by John Walters

Starting Five

Lights Out

In Green Bay, lightning delayed the Bears-Packers game for 45 minutes and then Chicago linebacker Danny Trevathan delivered this hit on Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams that knocked him out cold.  Adams had caught a pass near the goal line and was being held up by another Bear defender when Trevathan just laid into him, helmet to helmet. He should have been ejected for targeting and forced to miss the first half of the Purdue game, no?

Green Bay won 35-14 because Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers and Mike Glennon is not an NFL starter.

2. Someone Else Is Not Fonda Megyn Kelly

Your week is going better than Megyn Kelly’s first week at Today.

3. Tesla Girls*

*The judges appreciate all references to OMD

This is Cover Girl‘s cover model this month and she’s not modeling for money. Her son is Elon Musk.

Ready to play Cruella if called upon…

Maye Musk, 69 (“verrrrrry nice”), is a South African lass who has been a model (as opposed to a Model S or a Model 3) for decades. She’s even more beautiful, and I know it sounds like heresy, than MH fave Helen Mirren.

4. The Price Is Wrong

We asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, to bid on the actual retail price of several private flights that he took without going over. Price bid $51,887.31 but the actual retail price is approximately $400,000. So no, he did not go over, but I don’t think he’ll be advancing to the showcase showdown.

What’s worse? That Price took all these flights (one to have lunch with his son and then return to D.C.) or that he actually stands up and says he’ll pay for the cost of his seat—the only reason these flights were undertaken was for his benefit—and believes that that should assuage any of us taxpayers.

Yet another Trump-appointed official that you look at and just think to yourself, What an asshole (too many to count).

5. Trumped By Baldwin

Alec Baldwin’s ascendence to the role of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live last autumn had pretty much the same effect on Darrell Hammond‘s as Trump’s election had on Hillary Clinton. This is a fantastic feature on Hammond in which the comic reveals that post-traumatic stress has led him to cutting his arms. In fact, Hammond cut his arm to relieve stress back in 2000 moments before going on live to deliver his famous Al Gore “lockbox” performance. Well worth your time.


Streaming service Roku issues its IPO yesterday and shares finished the day up 68%, from $14 to $23.50. If you made that bet, good for you. Even if you weren’t in on the initial offering, as most of us 99% are not, you could still have finished up more than 33%. The stock is up another 10% this a.m. in pre-market trading…The Astros beat the Red Sox but the Yankees lose and fail to gain ground: Astros are one back of Cleveland for best overall A.L. record (Cleveland owns the tiebreaker) and Yanks are three back of Boston with three to play. If Astros don’t overtake Cleveland, they’ll get Boston again next week….

Thumbs Down Guy perfectly represents the New York fan

It’ll be sad if the Yankees don’t defeat the Twins in the wildcard game next week because suddenly there’s a lot of fun stuff enveloping this team. Besides the Judge’s Chambers in right field, two new wrinkles that are actually organic because the players developed them: 1) the thumbs down after a teammate does something great, which began a few weeks back at Citi Field when Todd Frazier got a clutch hit and a fan seated in the front row gave a double thumbs down (a miserable Mets fan who did not appreciate the Yankees overtaking their park due to Irma?) and 2) the latest thing is Ronald Torreyes (cameraman) and Didi Gregarious (mic) conducting an improvised in-dugout interview of the Yankee who just clouted a home run.

Music 101

Such Great Heights

Nobody writes a song that sounds more like a Microsoft presentation at a tech conference better than The Postal Service. Vocalist Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie hooked up with two other musicians to form this indie band from the Pacific Northwest that rocked the world of English lit majors at all NESCAC schools.

A Word, Please

panoply (noun)

a complete or impressive collection of things

Remote Patrol

Weekend of TV! Gentlemen, start your couches!


USC at Washington State

ESPN 10:30 p.m.

Win one for the Kippur!

True frosh Stephen Carr is the most dynamic player on USC thus far


Saturday Night Live (season premiere with Ryan Gosling)

NBC 11:30 p.m.

If we don’t see Kate McKinnon as Megyn Kelly, I don’t know anything.


Curb Your Enthusiasm

HBO 9 p.m.

Six years, Larry?!? Six years? Welcome back.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Hugh Gone

The silk pajama party had to end some time.

We imagine Playboy founder Hugh Hefner read Ric Flair’s boast yesterday of bedding 10,000 ladies, cackled, and then fell into his eternal slumber. Hefner, 91, passed away at his residence. Cause of death: exhaustion.

Pamela Anderson has appeared on the cover a record-13 times

The MH staff had the opportunity to interview Hef (he was deaf in his left ear) and spend an evening at the mansion in May of 2000. We hung out at the Grotto and roamed the grounds with the future wife of a high-ranking ESPN executive. Later that night—this is all true—we climbed into Stuart Scott‘s limousine and drove up the coast to Malibu.

The maiden Playboy, with Marilyn Monroe on the cover in December of 1953, remains the best-selling issue with more than 53 million copies sold

What we recall about meeting Hef is that before we were allowed to sit next to him, his rep warned us that if we made any sudden movements toward the maverick publishing magnate, that we’d be quickly tackled and neutralized.

Unlike its imitators, Playboy often rose to high art, as with this June 1965 cover (there’s a 12-page pictorial of Ursula Andress inside, though)

We never subscribed to Playboy, but props to Hef for inventing an industry and launching an empire. It was even featured prominently in Mad Men.

2. Death at Yosemite

A rock fall on El Capitan, the famed granite rock face that rises nearly 4,000 feet from the floor of Yosemite National Park, kills one climber and injures another. The rock was said to have been “as big as an apartment building,” 100 feet by 100 feet. As this is the peak of climbing season, the casualty numbers could have been worse.

3. You Say Pitino, I Say Paterno….


At more than $7 million per year, Rick Pitino was by far the highest-paid coach in college basketball. Now he’s gone. Less than two weeks ago Pitino was the celebrity game picker on College GameDay. Where next?

4. Survivor: Puerto Rico

More contestants than ever, and everyone wants to be voted off the island. A nation without power and with 44% of its residents lacking access to potable water as Congress mulls whether to waive the (Alex?) Jones Act, which denies foreign countries from sending aid there. Meanwhile, relief supplies sent to San Juan have been sitting at the dock, unloaded, since Saturday.

And your president is claiming that Puerto Rico is in “the middle of the ocean.”

5. Escape From Detroit*

*We totally lifted this item from a SportsCenter report

Imagine you’re a Detroit Tiger fan, or player, or manager Brad Ausmus or owner Mike Ilitch. Staff ace Justin Verlander, a 2011 Cy Young Award winner, is putting together a desultory 10-8 season with a 3.82 ERA when you trade him to Houston. In five starts with the Astros, Verlander goes 5-0 and has baseball’s lowest ERA in that span, 1.05.

The Tigers also traded outfielder J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks. In 57 games with Detroit Martinez hit 16 home runs with 39 RBI. In 59 games with Arizona he has smote 29 home runs with 65 RBI, both tops in baseball in that time span.

If only the Tigers had some players this season, they may not have finished in last place in the A.L. Central and with the worst record in the American League.


Deshaun Watson, just one of those NFL “sons of bitches.” Also, perhaps J.J. Watt’s example is infectious?

Lionel Messi remains the GOAT….

The Tampa Bay Rays’ catcher is named Jesus Sucre. That’s right: Sweet Jesus.

Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte) are engaged. Is that dragon glass in his right hand or a fag?

Music 101


Neil Young, a Canadian, wrote this song after seeing photos of the Kent State massacre in Life magazine. Many radio stations wouldn’t play the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young tune because it directly mentioned Richard Milhouse Nixon, the president, in the lyrics. Listen to that angry guitar riff: they just evoke discord and trouble, no?

And try the version above, too. We may have even posted this one before.

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War: The Finale

PBS 8 p.m.

As Nixon resigns following Watergate, the Americans break their promise to return to South Vietnam should the North break the terms of the treaty and invade again. Vietnam descends into more civil war until the fall of Saigon in 1975. Thus ends the darkest chapter in American history (yet).


by John Walters

Starting Five

Kneel Arm-Strong

Donald Trump stepped up his campaign against NFL players and the First Amendment yesterday with this tweet:


 Then this morning he tweeted that Congress needs to abolish the 60-vote rule so that he can get his health care bill passed. Trump’s “SOB” comments last Friday night dovetailed nicely both with the failure of the GOP health care bill to pass and news, at least given to him, that the FBI had evidence that Jared Kushner was conducting government business on (“Lock”) his private (“him”) email server (“up!”).

And to a great degree this is what this entire charade has been about: Trump distracting America from his disastrous failure to push policies through despite a majority GOP Congress and the news trickling out about his family’s/cronies’ treasonous or at least corrupt and hypocritical actions in the White House.


Meanwhile, Lou Holtz, we’ll never tell you to “Stick to sports!”, but this was an ignorant and callous take.

2. The Other Shoe Drops

Tony Bland, one of the assistants charged

The FBI, in a sting operation, arrests assistant coaches from Arizona, Auburn, Louisville, Oklahoma State and USC for funneling shoe-deal money to recruits. And rumor has it that Rick Pitino, Louisville head coach, may be fired today, as he has already used up his allotment of last straws.

So college basketball/AAU/big shoe companies are dirty. I don’t even own a set of pearls to clutch. This is not a closed-system offense. This is a lesion on the skin that points to evidence of a completely diseased organism. Are we really supposed to believe this was taking place outside of the knowledge of the head coaches? And are we really surprised that with so much money at stake and so much money flying around that coaches won’t use some of that money to funnel the top players to their schools?

By the way, the FBI never informed the NCAA that it was conducting this sting. What does that tell you?

3. The Ballad of the Mad Pooper

An unidentified man posted a video (since taken down) claiming that the scourge of Colorado Springs, the Mad Pooper, both suffered a traumatic brain injury and has undergone gender reassignment surgery (apparently one excuse would not suffice so an entirely unrelated excuse was thrown in) and that is why she cannot control her bowels.

No explanation as to why, as the New York Post labels her, “the daring defecator,” always seems to poop on the same neighbor’s lawn. The unidentified spokesman, who may have just been someone horning in on the MP’s infamy, claimed that her name is “Shirley” and that pooping was protected under the first Amendment (it’s not).

4. Who’s Missing From This Montage?

Can you imagine the look on a certain former San Francisco 49er’s face when he first saw this week’s SI cover? ROGER GOODELL?!?! What the WTF?!?

5. From The Mad Pooper to Max Hooper

Crazy court verdict that should be garnering more attention this morning. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has been ordered by a Dallas jury to pay $4 billion-with-a-B! to the estate of a deceased American Airlines executive, Max Hopper (as we run to ATM to see if our money is still there).

Four billion dollars! In actual damages, though, Hopper’s wife and two step-children will likely be awarded about $5 million. Still, not a bad haul . Hopper pioneered the SABRE reservation system for AA and died in 2010 with assets totaling $19 million but with no will. The family hired J.P. Morgan to divvy up the goods and appears that JPM took their sweet time and kept billing the family.

Read the story and you’ll find that Hopper owned 6,700 golf putters and more than 900 bottles of wine. How many were belly putters, though?


This first inning catch by Yankee outfielder Aaron Hicks (breaking: the Yankees have a surplus of quality Aarons in the outfield, right, Hank?) robbed the Tampa Bay Rays of a grand slam. The Yankees would win 6-1 and are now only 3 back of the Red Sox, who have gone into a tailspin of late. Question: What are all of Hicks’ teammates in the bullpen staring at?

Twitter wants to give us 280 characters? How about first giving us italics? And 140 was quite enough, thanks…On CBS This Morning earlier Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian announced that beginning this weekend Delta would be offering FREE text-messaging in flight all around the world. When Gayle King asked him about use of cell phones to place calls, Bastian replied, “Not in my lifetime.”

We like this guy.


Music 101

My Best Friend’s Girl

You’ll find The Cars at the intersection of punk and New Wave in the late Seventies. And before you make a derisive quip about Ric Ocasek’s odd looks, he’s married to Paulina Porizkova and we’re not. This was the second single off their 1978 smash debut album, one of the best debut albums we’ve ever enjoyed 4,000 times.

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War

PBS 8 p.m.

Part 9 of 10. Yeah, we get it, JW, you want us to watch this series. Why? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Baseball’s most majestic swing

Bomb Blasts, Not Bombast

On a sultry autumn Monday afternoon in the Bronx, Aaron Judge connected twice to the bleachers (as he had done the day before in Toronto). The silent slugger’s two homers gave him 50 for the season, eclipsing Mark McGwire’s record for rookies. ROY? How about MVP?

2. Begin The Megyn

Unless her personality radically changes in the next few weeks—and it won’t—Megyn Kelly may go down as the SuperTrain of morning talk show hosts. Like the long ago ambitious NBC prime-time show that quickly crashed and burned, Kelly seems to be not just awkward to watch, but a tire fire. It was only one show yesterday, sure, but she had more than nine months to prepare for it. And it was cringe-worthy.

First Jamie Horowitz and now this. Why are NBC execs so, SO bad at their jobs?

3. Oy Vey!

On one hand 2-0 Miami at 4-0 Duke on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. gives the game marquee status. On the other, both student bodies (if not so much their football teams) are heavily Jewish, and Friday is Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. What up with that?

Later Friday night, 4-0 USC visits 4-0 Washington State. College GameDay should have been there. And yes, USC is also a Yom Kippur-aware campus

4. The Art of the Kneel*

It’s ironic, isn’t it (at least for us Game Of Thrones fans) that the Tywin Lannister wannabe occupying the White House is admonishing NFL players to “bend the knee” by not bending the knee. Last night Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, knelt in solidarity with his players (as Shannon Sharpe said on FS1’s “Undisputed” yesterday, billionaires do not appreciate being told what to do, not even by the racist facilitator they voted for).

Trevor Noah on last night’s The Daily Show: “I don’t know if Trump is racist, but I do know he definitely prefers white people to black people. I can say that with confidence.”

*Thanks, The Daily Show

5. Mean Tweets # 11

The Jim Parsons and Gwyneth Paltrow tweets are the funniest, but Kumail Nanjiani’s comeback at the final tweet is gold. Stay tuned to the end.

Music 101


Never released as a single, Joni Mitchell’s 1971 Christmas classic has nevertheless been recorded 432 times by various artists. She’s quite the Canadian. And yes, the piano accompaniment borrows heavily from “Jingle Bells.”

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War (April 1969-May 1970)

PBS 8 p.m.

It’s curious to watch the story of a nation coming apart nearly 50 years ago and then tune to cable news and hear the president call peaceful protesters “sons of bitches.” In last night’s episode, we heard how Richard Nixon clandestinely contacted the president of South Vietnam weeks before the 1968 election to ask him not to attend peace talks so that he could get a better deal from the U.S. once Nixon was elected. LBJ knew about it, via wiretapping, but he opted not to influence the election by revealing it. Nixon won. The rest is history.

Sound familiar?


by John Walters

Starting Five

Patriots are patriots

Through The Perilous Fight

Donald Trump, speaking at a Friday night rally in Huntsville, Alabama, refers to NFL players who kneel or sit for the national anthem as “sons of bitches,” and it’s on. Nothing like telling a predominantly white audience in the south that uppity N-word are SOBs.

It’s pretty simple: What Colin Kaepernick began as silent, peaceful protest for what he saw as injustice has morphed into, for those who support Trump, an assault on WHITE POWER. The flag is the symbol of liberty, not of nationalism. The very act of burning the flag or kneeling during the anthem is as American as any pledge of allegiance, because it is an affirmation of the First Amendment, an amendment for which Trump clearly has no respect or regard.


What happened last Friday galvanized players and others: kneeling or sitting during the anthem—the playing of which has no more necessary place at a sporting event than at a religious ceremony—is now, at least for us, a symbol of defiance of Trump, for a man who does not respect the tenets of freedom and liberty and justice for all.


There are big-P Patriots in the NFL and small-p patriots all over the country, and as Bob Costas wisely stated on CNN this morning, being a patriot is so much more than being a part of/supportive of the military. This entire obsession with beatifying the military as secular saints, by the way, began after 9/11. Which was part of bin Laden’s plan: tear away the one thing that makes this country great: the freedom to express yourself in any way you please non-violently.

Here’s billionaire Steve Mnuchin, who loves America so much that he spent your money to take his wife on a honeymoon to France…

Anyone remember this dude?

2. A Bunt Home Run? Yes, A Bunt Home Run

If you were wondering if the Detroit Tigers are simply going through the motions this month, this Brian Dozier leadoff bunt home run confirms it.

3. Miller Time Out

Someone did this to me when I played quarterback in 6th grade in Pop Warner football. Never realized it could cost you a game. Miller got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after a 3rd down play midway through the fourth, gave the Bills a fresh set of downs, and Buffalo went on to win.

4. Puerto Rico

Most Puerto Ricans are without power, and issues of food and potable water are soon going to be at high-crisis levels. If only Puerto Ricans were American citizens. Wait, wut? The storms are past, but the troubles are only beginning. This is MH’s official we-haven’t-forgotten post.

5. The MH Domin-Eight

Our weekly rankings of the top eight in college football. Note: Based on what I saw out of the Fighting Irish on Saturday night, I won’t be surprised at all if they find themselves on this list later this season.

By the way, our preseason pick to win the Grange Award was Saquon Barkley. We’re feeling awfully good about that pick after last Saturday night. Also note, that on the most crucial play of the Nittany Lions’ season, he stayed in for pass protection.

  1. Alabama (4-0) Tide trounced Vanderbilt 59-0 and suddenly those Derek Mason features look a bit premature
  2. Penn State (4-0) Maybe Clemson has the better road win, but maybe Iowa is better than Ohio State, anyway.
  3. Georgia (4-0) Or maybe the Bulldogs have the most impressive road win, in South Bend.
  4. Clemson (4-0) Tigers had a three-quarter post-Louisville, post-Auburn hangover versus B.C., then put up 27 in the fourth quarter.
  5. Oklahoma (4-0) The Sooners had more trouble with Baylor in the first half, and with Tulane the week prior, than a Top 4 team should.
  6. USC (4-0) Far from in love with the Trojans, but Stephen Carr is a future Heisman favorite and they have played three consecutive solid opponents.
  7. TCU (4-0) Impressive win for the Frogs in Stillwater
  8. Washington (4-0) Equally impressive win for the pooches in Boulder.

Music 101

I Got You Babe

I got flowers in the spring/I got you to wear my ring/And when I’m sad, you’re a clown/And if I get scared, you’re always around…

Schmaltzy sure, but this 1965 folk song by Sonny and Cher (what ever happened to them?) is a simple and timeless classic: you think they were gonna have Phil Connors be roused from his slumber by just any song in Groundhog Day? Sonny Bono, then a songwriter for Phil Spector, wrote the song as a rebuttal to Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe.”  The ditty spent three weeks at No. 1 in August of 1965 and sold more than one million copies.

Here’s their final time performing it together…

They seem to be having fun, no?

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War, June 1968-May 1969

PBS 8 p.m.

As civil unrest and racial violence reaches levels of hostility unprecedented since the Civil War, Richard Nixon wins the presidency and promises—wait for it—law and order. I wouldn’t put this doc quite up there with Ken Burns’ The Civil War or World War II efforts, but that’s partly a product of how difficult it is to provide a linear narrative of Vietnam. Telling the story has proven to be its own quagmire.



by John Walters

Starting Five

Mellow Yellow Fellows

The Los Angeles Rams overcame those color-rush yellow unis to beat the San Francisco 49ers 41 -39 (“39ers, amirite? Hello?”) last night on “Thursday Night Football” (slogan: “When it’s on, it’s on”). Under first-year coach Sean McVay, AGE 30, the Rams are 2-1 and have the NFL’s most potent offense.

McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, is making waves in a city known for them

No, seriously. The Rams are averaging 35. 7 ppg (No. 1), Jared Goff is No. 2 in the league in passing yards per attempt and Todd Gurley (above), a.k.a. The Gurley Man, is No. 1 in rushing touchdowns.

Up next for L.A. on October 1th? At Dallas. That should be interesting.

Meanwhile, sure it’s not the wisest thing to kick off a game at 5 p.m. local time in a stadium next to a major freeway at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay, but does the NFL really expect us to believe Levi’s Stadium was filled, as they say, to 100% of capacity last night? Or is it just a matter of scores of secondary-market tix going unsold?

2.Mad Men*

Kim is 33 years old, or younger than Ivanka. Trump is 70, or older than the DPRK

*The judges apologize to all the good—and bad—folks at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce

Tuesday: Donald Trump calls Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea in a speech at the United Nations general assembly.

Thursday: Kim releases a statement in which he promises to “definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard [senile old person] with fire.” Ooooooooh. So Khaleesi of you.


Friday: Trump tweets that Kim is “definitely a mad man.”

Small blessings, but at least they’re only lobbing insults at one another compared to what both have in their arsenal. Meanwhile, can someone put out an alert to Dr. Phil?


3. Another Kelly At 9 A.M.

The New York Times story is titled “Megyn Kelly Is Ready For Her Closeup,” to which we ask, “Is she?” The former BFF (Blonde Fox Female) steps into the 9 a.m. hour of NBC’s Today on Monday, instantly becoming the second-most popular Kelly (Ripa) at that  hour on TV.

Kelly is smart and pretty and all, but we kind of feel NBC paid for the Megyn Kelly of five to seven years ago as to the MK of 2017. It’s like that insane deal (at the time) Sony gave Michael Jackson in the 1980s after Off The Wall and Thriller had been released. The time to have gone into business with The King of Pop was before then.

4. “We haven’t seen this many people come forward to speak out against a bill since Cosby.” 

It’s extremely satisfying to watch Jimmy Kimmel, to borrow a term used by a famous orange-haired men earlier this week, “totally destroy” Senator Bill Cassidy this week. Of the many terrific points he made, Kimmel wondered aloud why so many congressmen and Fox flunkies go directly to ad hominem attacks about his qualifications to discuss health care when the man in the Oval Office’s main qualification to be there was that he once said, “Meatloaf, you’re fired.”

Later in the show Senator Al Franken appeared, and the Democrat from Minnesota and erstwhile Saturday Night Live writer quipped, “You know, I usually don’t like it when comedians get involved in politics…”

5. Bye Bye, Bettencourt

Liliane Bettencourt, the heiress of French cosmetics company L’Oreal, has died. Bettencourt was 94. Why should you care? With a projected worth of $44 billion, Bettencourt had been the world’s richest woman (now the mantle belongs either to Baby Ruth candy bar heiress Sue Ellen Mitschke or to Oprah; probably Oprah).

Music 101

Archie, Marry Me

Can a band whose members originate from the eastern Canadian islands of Cape Breton and Prince Edward make it big? Alvvays‘ (pronounced “Always”) self-titled 2014 debut album hit No. 1 on the U.S. college charts. The band, led by lead singer-songwriter Molly Rankin, released its second album earlier this month.



by John Walters

Starting Five

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?*

The MH film musicals department reminds readers that 1961 Academy Award Best Picture winner West Side Story featured a Puerto Rican character named Maria, but that it was 1965 Oscar Best Picture winner The Sound Of Music that had a Maria, decidedly not Puerto Rican, who was the subject of the above lyric. The staff regrets any misunderstandings.

Hurricane Maria, having left Puerto Rico “100% without power,” possibly for months, now heads towards Turks and Caicos. Imagine that: no electricity for months. The night is dark and full of terrors.

2. Top Jimmy Struts

This is what a beatdown looks like. And what a double-down, as well as a refusal to back down, looks like. Good for you, erstwhile co-host of The Man Show. 

Plus, Jimmy Kimmel has the facts on his side. What I’m reasonably certain of is that we asked Kimmel and the president to take a shot test on the details of Obamacare and Graham-Cassidy, that the late night talk show host would record a much higher score. What does that tell you?

3. Hey! My Balance Sheet Is Up Here


Is the woman above A) In the top 100 players on the WTA Tour B) the lead singer in a Chaka Khan cover band C) the CBO of one of the most oft-mentioned companies in America?

This is Bozoma Saint John, the 40 year-old Chief Brand Officer at Uber. Boz, as she is known, was born in Ghana but her family emigrated to Colorado Springs (back when that town was not riven by the strife caused by The Mad Pooper!) when she was 14. A graduated of Wesleyan, Saint John went from being a marketing executive at Beats, to holding a similar job at Apple after that monolithic brand acquired Beats, to her present-day job at Uber.

Her Twitter handle is @badassboz and we believe it. This is a dynamic, smart, beautiful, confident (Above: “I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid. I’ve never been afraid of anything“) and strong African-American woman. And as the first black woman at that high a level in Silicon Valley, Boz is also a pilgrim. If you’re wondering when Cosmopolitan is going to do a feature on her, they already have.

4. Bronx Bombings

The New York Yankees swept a three-game set from the Minnesota Twins this week, but what may linger more in our memory were the strikes by balls (see what we did there?). On Tuesday night Chase Headley was struck dangerously close to the Holy of Holies.

Yesterday, teammate Todd Frazier nailed a foul ball line drive that struck a young girl. She remains hospitalized this morning. The girl’s family declined to provide her or their names, but expect her to be the Rosa Parks, so to speak, of protective netting extending along the sidelines of Yankee Stadium.

5. What A Foo Believes

How about pairing one of America’s hardest-rocking bands with late-night TV host James Korden? Nothing about this conceit is new, of course, but sometimes it works better than others. This, with Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters, is one of those times. Who knew you could shred to a Rik Astley tune? That’s Pat Smear (wonderful name), bleached-blond in the back center, who used to be sorta the fourth member of Nirvana.

We love the answer as to why the Foos all pile into one van together even though they regularly have three vans prepared to transport the six members: “Because you don’t want to be the one guy not in the van” “Because then you know who they’re talking about.” Honest and hilarious.

It’s not actually much of a secret, but Foo Fighters have a tremendous sense of humor. Stick around to the very end to see what we mean.

Related: The Foos have never been featured in the segment below. We’ll fix that next week.



Too good not to include.

X squared + Y squared = Z squared

Music 101

I have no need of friendship/Friendship causes pain/It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain…

By 1966, teenybopper rock songs (“Wake Up, Little Susie”, for example) seemed inappropriate in a world in which JFK had taken a bullet to the head, Vietnam was becoming that problem that would not go away, and civil rights unrest here at home was no longer something that people could pretend was not happening. The Beatles released Revolver that year and the Beach Boys Pet Sounds, but Simon & Garfunkel were months ahead of them with Sounds Of Silence, an album whose first words were “Hello darkness, my old friend…” This song, the final track, reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts.

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War (July 1967-December 1967)

PBS 8 p.m. (re-airs at 10 p.m.)

Now we’re deep into the shit. As Dr. Benjamin Spock of all people said in last night’s episode, and I’m paraphrasing, This is a war in which tens of thousands of American men and Vietnamese will die because of LBJ’s pride (that’s a president, not a Sweet Pea).

“Life isn’t fair; get used to it.” That was the advice the commander at the Army Ranger Training School, Chargin’ Charlie Beckwith, gave his recruits. Incidentally, Beckwith was a former University of Georgia football player who was good enough to play in the NFL but chose the Army instead; he later would lead the ill-fated raid in Iran to rescue the hostages but instead resulted in the deaths of eight men.



by John Walters

Starting Five

Land Fall

A devastating earthquake, magnitude 7.1 and with an epicenter 75 miles southeast of Mexico City (the world’s 5th-largest city), leaves more than 200 dead (it could have been much, much worse). And how come earthquakes are not named?

Mexico City as the earthquake hit

Meanwhile, at a similar latitude but 1,000 or so miles east, Hurricane Maria and her 155 m.p.h. winds strike San Juan, Puerto Rico, just two weeks after Irma visited. It has been called “potentially the most destructive storm in modern history.” Are you beginning to get the idea that Someone Up There isn’t pleased?

2. The Wrath Of Con Man

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.” —Jules, Pulp Fiction

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” —Donald Trump, Sept. 19 United Nations Speech

We imagine the president is too busy rattling nuclear sabers this week to catch any installments of “The Vietnam War.” Sad!

Would it be so terrible if Donald and Kim Jong-Un took Jules’ advice when it comes to impending hostilities and just both acted like “two little Fonzies?” And you know what Fonzie is? Cool.

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi had a few thoughts on our president’s “malignant narcissism” and on America’s inflated sense of its own “exceptionalism.” Highly recommended reading.

3. Scoring Down, Snoring Up In The NFL


(We truly hope the above becomes the NFL’s 2017 slogan)

We are two weeks into the NFL season and the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers (the name may refer to their 2017 point total) have scored a combined one touchdown. The NFL used to be boring, but at least teams scored. Currently 15 of the 32 franchises are averaging fewer than 20 points per game.

If it were just outstanding defense, you could make an argument that this is still good football. But as we were writing that, Cam Newton just overthrew a wide-open Christian McCaffrey again. Newton’s Panthers beat the Buffalo Bills 9-3 on Sunday. Four field goals.  The Seahawks beat the 49ers 12-9 in a game that had one TD and five field goals.

Football is famine.

4. Hoskins Does It Again

Last night with the scored tied, two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Philadelphia Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins saw 10 straight fastballs between 96 and 98 m.p.h. against Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez. Hoskins fouled off multiple full-count offerings before hitting a three-run go ahead double and the Phils won 6-2.

With all the well-deserved hoopla (and pomp…and circumstance) focused on fence-clearing rookies Aaron Judge (44 homers) and Clay Bellinger (38), Hoskins has arrived late and staked a claim of his own. He’s the Hurricane Maria of rookie sensations. Since being called up to the bigs on August 10, the Jesuit High School (Carmichael, Calif.) alum has smoked 18 home runs with 43 RBI in just 39 games.

How do those numbers fare historically? Through a player’s first 34 games (Hoskins is in the midst of a relative HR drought at 5 games) his 18 home runs were the most in MLB history and his 43 RBI in his first 39 are the second-most ever behind only Albert Pujols (44). Bollinger has the NL ROY sewn up, most likely, but expect Hoskins to get a few votes.


5. The Mad Pooper Strikes Again!

Terror in Colorado Springs as an as-yet unidentified female jogger has at least twice been spotted taking a dump in the same spot outside a resident’s home. The assailant does bring T.P. to wipe herself, so these are pre-meditated attacks. Thoughts and prayers, C.S.

Music 101

Jesus Of Suburbia

Green Day played the Rose Bowl last Saturday night and is playing Central Park’s Great Lawn this Saturday. How’s your week going?

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War (January 1966-November 1967)

PBS 8 p.m.

If you watched last night, we’re getting to the point where it becomes clear that former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s pride/ego/arrogance helped to sentence tens of thousands of Americans (and exponentially more Vietnamese) to early deaths. You can read more about all that in David Halberstam’s The Best and The Brightest.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Will The Quick Blonde Fox Jump Over The Lazy Doggerel?

Here comes Laura Ingraham, 54, to host a nightly Fox News program at 10 p.m. and take on MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. More to the point, Sean Hannity is moving up an hour to do direct battle with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who has recently begun to win that hour (against “The Five”).

A few notes on Ingraham: she grew up in Glastonbury, Conn., graduated from Dartmouth (’85) where she was the first female editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth Review, and graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1991. She was outspokenly homophobic until she learned that her brother Curtis was gay (funny how that works, hey, alt-right?) and reportedly once dated Keith Olbermann, who later dated and lived with Katy Tur (the book he could write).

Ingraham’s show begins on October 30. A former Fox News female of similar follicular hue, Megyn Kelly, opens her daily NBC hour, 9 a.m., on September 25 (again, bad investment, NBC).

2. Now Soccer Is A Game Of Inches?

Manchester United has a new striker from Belgium, Romelu Lukaku, and its fans are so giddy about his Premier League-leading five goals thus far that they have adapted the lyrics of a song by local legends The Stone Roses to read thusly:

 ‘Romelu Lukaku/He’s our Belgian scoring genius with a 24 inch penis/Scoring all our goals/Bellend by his toes.’

Naturally, an advocacy-rights group named Kick It Out has labeled the chant as racist and wants it banned, although we’d have to ask whether instantly associating an alleged two-foot python with the color of its owner’s skin is not more racist? Also, has anyone in Kick It Out stepped inside a pro sports locker room because we have and…well…

3. The Four Hosemen?

Speaking of members only, bummed that we failed to notice this during the obligatory Frank Leahy montage for the Notre Dame-Boston College contest (he coached at both schools). By the way, Josh Adams rushed for 229 yards to surpass 2,000 in his career ( he is now averaging 147 ypg). The junior from Warrington, Pa., hit the 2,000 mark in just 316 (maybe we should have titled this entry “Josh 316?” The judges say, “Nah”) carries, the fewest in school history. According to school SID Michael Bertsch, the previous record-holder for reaching 2,000 in the fewest carries (323) was George Gipp.

But seriously, thank God there are no Manchester United locker room shots with a certain naked Belgian footballer in the background. We don’t even own pearls to clutch.

4. “Let’s Play Nine?”

The important numbers for Jose Altuve: .348, his batting average, the best in baseball; and 5’6″, his height

The Boston Red Sox are 86-64 and have the American League’s third-best record. The Houston Astros are 91-58 and have the A.L.’s 2nd-best record. Unless the Yankees, three back in the A.L. East, pass Boston or the Indians, 1 1/2 ahead of Houston for the best overall mark, falter, Boston and Houston will meet one another in the American League Divisional Series.

What makes that more intriguing is that Houston travels to Fenway Park for a season-ending four-game series later this month. A 4-game series is unusual enough, not to mention one in which two teams that are not intra-divisional play to end the season. Houston and Boston could very well wind up playing nine consecutive games against one another.

That’s an awful lot of outfielders

Note: The original World Series, in 1903, was the one and only best-of-nine series. The winner in that series, in eight games? The Boston Americans, who would later come to be known as the Red Sox.

5. “The Vietnam War” Companion Books

If you’re taking our advice and watching Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s PBS documentary, The Vietnam War, here are two outstanding companion tomes (seriously, two of the best history books our staff has ever read, and don’t we sound like Clay Travis now [“I’m smaht! I read history books! I know more than you do about The Civil War! BOOBS!”]):

The first is Once Upon A Distant War by William Prochnau, which would be the first book we’ll assign as reading as soon as some college invites us to teach a journalism course. It’s all about the scribes (David Halberstam, Malcolm Browne, Peter Arnett, Neil Sheehan) who have been heavily cited in the first two episodes of the doc and credited as the men who told the truth about Vietnam while the Pentagon and the White House fumed.

The second is by Sheehan, who has deservedly gotten mucho camera time to open the series, and is titled A Bright, Shining Lie. It’s all about John Paul Vann, the military advisor whom Sheehan and his colleagues first admired as the straight-talking in-the-field commander, but who also had a closetful of skeletons. Vann, referenced a lot in the second episode, becomes the symbol of the U.S.A. in Vietnam for Sheehan. It took him more than 12 years to write this book, an obsession.


Pfeiffer: All about Eve

Some horror films are gory; Mother is allegory. Remember that. How many people who are walking out of it don’t realize what they’re watching?…Clayton Kershaw surrendered the first grand slam of his career last night, to the Phillies, and the Dodgers lost 4-3. Kershaw has allowed nine earned runs in his past three starts after allowing a total of two in his previous seven…You may want to catch Conan O’Brien‘s special from Israel (TBS, 10 p.m.) tonight; he shines when he’s doing his wanderlust thing.

Music 101

Feel Good Inc.

Is Gorillaz the most important animated band since Josie & The Pussycats? In 2005 the band, which is primarily Blur lead singer Damon Alban but in videos consists of four fictitious animated members—2-D on lead vocals, Noodles on guitar, Murdoc Niccals on bass and Russel Hobbs on drums—released this worldwide hit that went Top 10 in 17 different countries. Alban has had far more success as the invisible genius behind Gorillaz than he has ever had fronting his “real” band.

Remote Patrol

Jerry Before Seinfeld


So that’s what those “Netflix Is A Joke” billboards are all about. Jerry Seinfeld’s special about how he got started in the biz begins streaming today. Why are you still here?