by John Walters

We’re embarking on a pilgrimage to a magical northern Indiana spot today, so this has to be quick. 

Starting Five

You know why this man is smiling

Berkeley Bros

On the same day that Cal alum Aaron Rodgers (’04) signed a record-breaking, four-year extension with the Green Bay Packers valued between $176 and $180 million (with $103 million guaranteed upfront), fellow Cal alum and Super Bowl-winning linebacker Mychal Kendricks (’11)was  charged with insider trading. The Cleveland Browns, Kendricks’ current squad, later cut him.

2. Don McGone

No, not that Don. Sadly. The White House announced that its chief counsel, Don McGahn, will be exiting in the coming weeks. Certainly it had nothing to do with the White House learning that McGahn had spent 30 hours talking to Robert Mueller and his staff recently.

3. The War of 13-12

36 hits, 25 runs, 13 pitchers, four lead changes and one player, Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, hitting for the cycle. That’s the story from Cincinnati on a late August night as the Brewers defeated the Reds, 13-12.

4. A Nearly Dead Ringer

No, someone in Montgomery, Texas, was not attempting to recreate a scene from The Strangers last week. This 32 year-old woman rang the doorbells of at least five homes at or after 3 a.m. Why? She was reportedly trying to escape a domestic abuse situation (we know: Zach Smith lives in Ohio. Hey, don’t @ us!). Her 49 year-old boyfriend was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

5. Flying Fish

This apparently is a thing. In Utah it’s easier and less traumatic on the piscine species to air drop them into a lake than to drive them from a hatchery.


Music 101


The early ’90s was flush with fantastic and diverse bands: Nirvana and Pearl Jam, obviously, but also No Doubt and Green Day and Live and Counting Crows and The Cranberries and Smashing Pumpkins and the Lemonheads and Matthew Sweet and Blues Traveler and Oasis and and Weezer and Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead. I traveled a lot those days for SI, and the radio was a constant and satisfying companion. What happened? Why did it have to end?

Meanwhile, I will never forget walking outside from work one late summer afternoon in the early ’90s and seeing Gwen Stefani and the band rehearsing this song from atop the marquee of Radio City Music Hall. Pretty cool moment.

Remote Patrol

8 1/2

8 p.m. TCM

Fellini’s classic. We had to watch it for a course in college and remember nothing from it except that maybe we missed chicken patty night because of it. If you’re not into avant-garde Best Foreign Film Oscar winners that are widely considered to be among the top ten films ever made, there’s Northwestern at Purdue on ESPN at 8 p.m.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Princess Diana

Her team lost in overtime, but anyone who stayed up late (on the East Coast) and witnessed her performance in Game 2 of the WNBA semifinals between the Phoenix Mercury and Seattle SueBirds (or Seattle Stewies) can bear witness to the fact that Diana Taurasi is the greatest women’s basketball player EVAH.

The Mercury trailed by 19 at Seattle in the 3rd quarter, but the Chick from Chino began to will them back. She buried a trio of three-pointers in the final three minutes, the first from Mercer Island and the last two off-balance as she moved to her right. The latter of those two, to tie the game, came with three seconds left in Sue Bird practically in her bra.

We Must Mention: Seattle led by four in overtime and Phoenix got the ball back with a few seconds remaining. Analyst Rebecca Lobo noted that all five Seattle players should just stay in the free throw lane because the only possible thing that could go wrong here is if they fouled and Taurasi made a three, setting up a potential four-point play. She’s ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

Of course, the Seattle coaching staff/players ignored that sage advice, manned up on Taurasi, and fouled her as she drove and shot the three. They were bailed out by the facts that A) she missed and B) the ref did not call it, which is why you get this stalk-off staredown above.

2. Aaron Cox

Cox, left, and Trout, right, both starred at Millville High

It’s not even a blip on the radar screen here in the East, but the death of Mike Trout’s brother-in-law, Aaron Cox, 24, has been cataclysmic inside the Angels clubhouse. Trout is from a small southern New Jersey town, which is where he met his future wife, Jessica. Aaron was Jessica’s younger brother, who starred at the same high school in baseball that Trout did.

Earlier this month Cox, who was a minor-league pitcher battling back from injuries, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Trout wore his name on the back of his jersey last weekend. In his first at-bat since returning from an injury and dealing with Cox’s death, Trout hit a triple.

3.  Baby, It Swarm Outside*

The judges wonder, What is a Hot Gog?

*The judges will also accept, “Bee-vacuation”

On what might have been the hottest day of the year in New York City, a swarm of bees gathered on the umbrella of a hot dog stand in Times Square (and ordered 3 dogs, kraut, no relish). City officials wisely removed the bees without doing harm to any of them, since bees are probably as responsible for the continued success of all living creatures as any one species in the animal world.

Of course, some people failed to grasp this. If they were smarter, they’d realize that the best move toward public health would be to remove the hot dog stand. Don’t @ us, we love hot dogs, too, and are frequent visitors to Gray’s Papaya, the “Famous Hotdoggery.”

How did the bees get to Times Square, you ask? They took the B train…

4. Amazon $2,000?

Morgan: Not a bullish Bezos bank

This morning Amazon (AMZN) shares got a 2% boost when investment bank Morgan Stanley (not to be confused former Patriot wideout Stanley Morgan, but then why would you?) raised its price target on the Bezos Behemoth to $2,500. The stock, which closed July at a price of $1,777, is now at $1,970. Those who were saying that it could top $2,000 by the end of 2018 are adjusting their predictions to “end of the summer.”

MH’s fiduciary arm, Walker Capital, owns a large stake in AMZN, but not as large as that of MH’s chief consumer and critic, Susie B. If AMZN hits $2,500, that lady is gonna be rich Rich RICH. Would she attempt a hostile takeover of Medium Happy, or will she simply continue her passive aggressive takeover in the comments section? Stay tuned….

5. The Grange Award Nominees (and Pick)

Let’s dispense with the suspense: we’re letting our feelings for good friend Thom Gatewood get involved and picking his grandson, A.J. Dillon of Boston College, to win the Grange. Last season as a true frosh Dillon, from New London, Conn., rushed for at least 149 yards in six of the Eagles’ final seven games, i.e., when they at last made him a starter. He’s also very good at body-slamming defensive backs who dare to take him on mano a  mano.

This move alone would have gotten Dillon onto our list

Our other finalists….

2. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State: Super stud who will play in some big games (at Penn State, versus Michigan) in November.

3. Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona: Like Dillon, didn’t make a peep in September, then became a starter in October and lit the Pac-12 on fire.

4. Jonathan Taylor-not-Thomas, RB, Wisconsin: As a true frosh, finished third in the nation in rushing last season and he may have the nation’s best offensive line in front of him. Also, Wisconsin plays no one until it visits Ann Arbor on October 13.

5. Bryce “What Is Love, Baby Don’t Hurt Me, Don’t Hurt Me, No More”, RB, Stanford: We really didn’t want to add another RB to the list, and we feel that David Shaw would probably put him out on the field even if he had a pair of torn ACL’s, Type-2 diabetes, a hernia and syphillis, but the kid can flat-out fly and he has marquee games versus USC and Notre Dame in September to get the Grange Express rolling. So, reluctantly, we’ll add his name and watch as Tom Rinaldi gushes about how he’ll become a doctor and cure 97 types of cancer.

Music 101

Live Forever

It doesn’t happen often: a song you’ve never heard of by a band you’ve never heard of plays on the radio and before that song is over, you know both it and the folks playing it are gonna be YUGE. Oasis never fulfilled their promise of being the greatest British band since the Stones or Beatles, but then again, who from the U.K. has been better than the Gallagher brothers since the early ’90s? Radiohead. Okay, perhaps. Coldplay? SHUTCHO MOUTH!

We contend there are more Oasis songs people would rather listen to than Radiohead, by the way. Their greatest error is not being as magnificent over the long haul as this song suggested from 1994 suggested they could be.

Remote Patrol

Bogie & Bacall


8 p.m. The Big Sleep

10 p.m. Key Largo

Now that is a dame

They smoldered onscreen and, despite a 25-year age difference, fell in love and got married off. Bogie, born on Christmas day in New York City in 1899, was the son of a cardiopulmonary surgeon (we didn’t know the profession existed 100 years ago) and a Mayflower descendant. Betty Bacall was a nice and lovely girl from the Bronx (just like the mother of this site’s author).

Here are two of their better films, both of them in the noir category.

The Film Room: Crazy Rich Asians

by Chris Corbellini



by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

This was retweeted 170,000 times. We mention this only because the real Warren Buffett spells his surname with two “t’s.”

Starting Five


In the opening match of the U.S. Open, women’s No. 1 seed Simona Halep of Romania is bounced in straight sets by Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. The 26 year-old Halep, French Open champ and the world No. 1 player, became the first top-seeded woman to lose the opening match in Flushing Meadows history.

At least she didn’t lose 15-0 to the Nationals this week.

Halep also lost in the first round here last year, to Maria Sharapova.

Kanepi is 33.

2. Ginobi-LEAVE!!!

After 16 magical, maddening seasons in which he buried key three-pointers, perfected the Euro Stop (Traveling!!!), taught Euro-style flopping to the NBA, never learned to shave his head to hide an encroaching monk’s bald spot, and won a quartet of NBA championships, Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs (and only of the SAS), is retiring.

Fellow teammates and future Hall of Famers Tim Duncan (retired) and Tony Parker (Charlotte Hornets) have already departed. Does this mean south Texas native Michelle Beadle is done watching basketball, too?

If you see Charles Barkley today, give him a hug.

3. Carnage In Indiana

A slumber party. A vehicular breakdown just a block from home. Teens at the slumber party come out to help push the car. Another vehicle rams into them. Four dead. That’s what happened Saturday night on a state road near Seymour, Indiana (John Mellencamp’s home town).

The victims were a trio of female teens, ages 14 and 15, and a 16 year-old boy. Four other teens were hit. The driver of the broken down SUV, Cara Selby, 37, is the person who was hosting the slumber party. The driver of the other vehicle, Elizabeth Watson, is 24. I imagine she’s got some explaining to do as to why she struck that vehicle (and I wonder if it had anything to do with reading a phone while driving).

4. The Crypto Kid

We failed to tell you about the new Bitcoin doc on CNBC last night (caught bits and pieces during a dead hour at the cookoutateria), hosted by Melissa Lee. One reason the doc succeeded is that they found a face to put on the saga of cryptocurrency, and he was Bitcoin’s version of Puck (not for you Shakespeare fans, but for you MTV: Real World fans).

The Crypto Kid, actual name and home town unknown, read a paper on Bitcoin almost 10 years ago and got a job solely so that he could invest everything he earned in Bitcoin. He’s still, reportedly millions of dollars in earnings later, living almost like a homeless person in order to pour all of his capital into Bitcoin. He lives in that tree house above, rent-free.

What’s fascinating about Bitcoin, and the documentary explores this, is that you have very smart and successful people betting on Bitcoin (and not just the Crypto Kid) and very smart and successful people (.e.g, Warren Buffett) telling you it’s a scam. One side is going to be very, very right and the other will be wrong. Who’s going to be looking foolish in five years? Is it the college dropout in board shorts and a tiger paw scarf? Or the Oracle of Omaha?

p.s. We really cannot wait until Adam McKay (The Big Short) turns the Bitcoin phenomenon into a film and we wonder who will play this character, who seems like someone McKay would’ve conjured if he did not already exist.

5. Is This The First Great Monologue In Film History?

Before last Friday, I’d never heard of M except as a letter of the alphabet and an early New Wave band that gave us “Pop Muzik.” Turns out it’s a 1931 German film by Fritz Lang that starred Peter Lorre in the role that turned him into a star.

Sure, before 1931 there were other films of note (Wings, Birth of A Nation, Safety Last, etc.) but most were silent films. We tuned in to TCM, curious about the premise: a serial killer who preys on little children is haunting Berlin. And we listened to TCM host Ben Mankiewicz explain that this is the role that turned Lorre into a film star, even though it’s entirely in German.

And then, through most of the film’s first 80 minutes, we barely see Lorre, who is the killer. Finally, he is captured—not by the police, but rather by the city’s criminal underworld, who despise that the cops have been cracking down everywhere in their hunt for him. He’s been hurting their business. So they find him before the cops do and assemble their own kangaroo trial.

Lorre: The Minister of Sinister

What follows, above, is mesmerizing. If you love movies and were, like me, completely ignorant about this scene, take the time to watch it. On film, at least, no one had ever done it this good before and few have since.

The Paul Harvey rest-of-the-story note: Lorre was born Laszlo Lowenstein in Hungary. His parents were Jewish. If he doesn’t become a famous actor and depart for America in 1934, who knows what becomes of him? Perhaps he dies in a concentration camp. Of course, film lovers will note that the Nazis did capture and kill Lorre’s character in Casablanca, a film for which he has received far greater notice than M.


Music 101

Hawaii 5-0 Theme

Growing up on the Jersey Shore in the 1970s, we rarely saw barreling waves at Sandy Hook the likes of which exploded onto our TV screen one night a week during the opening credits of Hawaii 5-0, a CBS police drama that ran from 1968 to 1980. It was never anyone’s favorite show or the most-discussed, but it did have a theme song that provided, what you might say, a Hawaiian punch. And a catchphrase no other cop procedural has topped: “Book ’em, Danno.”

The theme was composed by Morton Stevens, a Julliard alum who was not unfamiliar with Pacific islands when he took on this project. He had previously worked on Gilligan’s Island.

CBS just loves cops and Hawaii. The year Hawaii 5-0 ended after a 12-year run, Magnum P.I. made its debut and would run for eight seasons. This year, reimagined versions of both series will air on CBS.

Remote Patrol

Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm, Game 2

10 p.m. ESPN 2

He’d probably never do it, but if you were to ask Geno Auriemma to rank his favorite five players he’s ever coached, three of them would be playing in tonight’s game: Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart of Seattle and Diana Taurasi of Phoenix. Rebecca Lobo would also make that list, and then Geno might add Maya Moore or Kerry Bascom or Meghan Pattyson or maybe some wildcard name just to demonstrate that he’d actually given the query some thought.

Taurasi remains the best women’s basketball player I’ve ever seen and as far as I’m concerned, the best of all time. She’s also the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer. Her backcourt mate on the 2002 NCAA championship team, Bird, is the WNBA’s all-time assists leader. Stewie won four national championships in four seasons.

More than 50% of households in Connecticut (excluding Fairfield County) will be tuned into this game tonight.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

The Odd Couple

Arizona senator John McCain, who among other things may be the most famous POW in American history, succumbs to brain cancer at the age of 81. Playwright Neil Simon, who wrote a play in which a sportswriter owns a two-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue, dies at the age of 91.

Now through death their names will forever be linked, like Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson (who would truly have made an odd couple).

There’s a lot about which to muse on either, such as Why did the scion of two generations of four-star admirals reside in a landlocked desert state? Or, How do you get lost in Yonkers? You’re pretty much bordered by the Major Deegan and the Bronx River Parkway east and west, Van Cortland Park to the South, and Yonkers Ave. to the north.

Anyway, we’ll leave the above here. There’s not much that better sums up what America is in 2018.

2. All-Name Teamers at QB

We can’t remember who found both, other than that both came to our attention via Twitter (take that, Instagram!). First, from the Upper Peninsula locale of Michigan Tech University comes 6’3″ freshman quarterback Steele Fortress. The kid is no joke: a three-time All-State player at Parma Western High, where he threw for 4,155 yards and 50 touchdowns. If only Harbaugh had offered…

Don’t @ us! We typed in “General Booty Football” in the search page and got scores of photos akin to this. This kid’s going to flummox and yet also beguile photo editors.

Then, from Cornerstone Christian Prep in San Antonio comes General Booty. His grandfather is former Buffalo Bills QB Joe Ferguson (who used to hand off the ball to O.J.), and his father is Abram Booty, who played wide receiver at LSU. His uncle is Josh Booty, who played QB at LSU and then USC.

Note: We wrote a story on the Booty family for SI when both Josh and Abram were still in high school in Shreveport, La. Josh was the higher-rated QB out of Louisiana that year between he and a kid named Peyton Manning. Yes, we do feel old.

3. Maddening

At a Madden competition at The Landing in Jacksonville, a well-known mall, a 24 year-old fatally shoots two before being killed himself. T & P, we guess. T & P. That was, on the 238th day of the year, the 233rd mass shooting, which is defined as “four or more shot and/or killed, not including the shooter.”

The victims: Taylor Robertson, 27, of West Virginia, who had won the Madden ’17 Classic, the game’s national tournament. The other, above, Eli Clayton, also a player, from Woodland Hills, Calif.

The shooter, 24, who also died, was not an undocumented Mexican worker, so Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly will likely have little to say about him.

4. Get Lost!

You don’t get a tan like this living in TriBeCa

Last Friday we wrote about Michelle Beadle‘s pigskin polemic on Get Up! that had taken place the day before. We opined that she missed LA and wasn’t crazy about pre-dawn alarms and staring at Mike Greenberg’s mug for 3 hours each morning (we mean his coffee mug, of course!).

Well, Beads was likely already out the door, as over the weekend ESPN announced that she was headed back to La La Land exclusively for NBA hosting duties. She failed miserably and got what she wanted. Wouldn’t it be nice if life worked out that way for all of us?

Why didn’t ESPN give Jemele Hill a show called “Woke Up!”

Meanwhile, ESPN colleague Jemele Hill is headed all the way out the Disney door, severing ties with Steamboat Willie as of September 1st. Hill was never our cup of tea, but she’s obviously smart and ESPN thought enough of her audience-garnering capability to give her its nightly 6 p.m. show (along with Michael Smith) less than two years ago. What happened other than her calling President Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter in the interim (we’d make a “calling a spade a spade” reference but in this climate we’d probably be fired by someone in Indianapolis).

Hill’s position at ESPN was untenable pretty much as soon as Trump called her out (clapped back, you might say) in a tweet. Then she just became little more than a symbol of ESPN’s woke-ism, which does not play well west of Philadelphia and east of Berkeley.

5. The Joy Of Six

Luke Voit, who began the season with the St. Louis Cardinals, hit three home runs at Camden this weekend and has supplanted Greg Bird at first base.

Eight days ago, on the morning of Sunday, August 19, the Boston Red Sox led the New York Yankees by 11 games in the A.L. East. Eight days later, with the Yankees missing three key starters, two of whom are All-Stars (Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez) and the third who would be if he did not play the most loaded position in the A.L. (Didi Gregorius), the Yanks are just 6 games back.

Boston got swept three games at Tampa Bay this weekend (“Little Trop of Horrors”) while the Yankees took all four games at Baltimore. Worth noting: The Yanks were swept at the Trop in late June and the Red Sox swept four in Camden Yards only two weeks ago. It all evens out, we guess.

All of which is to say that the A.L. East pennant race, which many assumed was over when the Yanks dropped all four at Fenway at the beginning of August, is alive and well. The Yanks still have seven easy games immediately ahead of them (Chicago and Detroit, all at home) before heading out west for a Labor Day matinee versus the A’s.

Buckle up, baseball fans.

Music 101

What Is Love 

Trinidad native Haddaway isn’t about to apologize for this 1993 song that is shamelessly derivative of everything Seal had released up to this point. The song soared to No. 1 in 13 different countries (topped off at No. 11 in the USA) and became a dance club staple. Of course, it would best be remembered as the musical cue for the SNL duo of Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell to get their A Night At The Roxbury groove on.

Remote Patrol

Citizen Kane

4 p.m. TCM

Charles Foster Kane: Tough sledding ahead

Do we expect even 5% of you to park your arses in front of a TV at 4 p.m. on an August Monday to watch what many cinephiles consider the best movie ever released? No. We’re placing this here to wonder aloud why TCM would air it at such an odd hour? They’re just taunting us (the MH staff has NEVER seen it. Never. This and Moby Dick, i.e. the novel, are the two biggest holes in our cultural literacy).

Anyway, the fourth episode of Better Call Saul also airs (9 p.m., AMC). Is Rhea Seehorn going to have to spend the entire season in an arm cast?


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

If this were a ’40s Hollywood film, they’d bicker for 15 seconds more and then he’d grab her and kiss her on the lips. Those were the days.


CORRECTION FROM YESTERDAY: Kirk Herbstreit DID appear on ESPN after the Ohio State presser Wednesday night. He’s also doing a media conference call today.

Starting Five

45th President’s Film Festival

Featuring Flipper, Ratatouille, Liar Liar, Birth of a Nation, All The President’s Men, Wag The Dog and Godfather II.

2. The Malibu Stalker

For the past few years, someone has been acting like a sniper in the canyons above Malibu, peppering campers and hikers with buck shot. Two months ago, a camper was murdered, shot in the head while in his tent shortly before dawn. Is one person involved in all of these incidents? The Guardian examines these incidents.

3. Trump’s Pecker May Once Again Get Him Into Trouble

Ron Silver will definitely play him in The Worst Wing movie

The CEO of American Media David Pecker, who by connection also publishes the National Enquirer, which has been a repository (but not a printer) of what is apparently a trove of torrid Trump tales, well, this Pecker fella has apparently reached an immunity deal with federal prosecutors.

Why this longtime pal of the president’s would need an immunity deal is itself a story. Did the NE, which is technically a news organization, work to protect the president during the election and did it receive money for doing so? Appears that way.

And yes, Kellyanne Conway leveled the same charge in he opposite direction against CNN last night, claiming they tried to influence the election by reporting the news about Trump. Of course, no one from Hillary’s camp paid them to do so and then there’s the small matter of news organizations’ jobs being to, you know, report the news.

4. Beadle Juice*

*The judges will NOT accept “Get Up! On Your High Horse.” Just won’t do it. But they will accept “Miss Ain’t Behavin’ “

In the wake of the Ohio State presser, Michelle Beadle, trip-host of an ESPN show called Get Up! that we panned from the beginning and continue to pan, declared the she no longer watches college football or the NFL. That same night the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles played the 0-16 Cleveland Browns in a preseason contest and lost 5-0 and we decided that Beadle may just have a point.

Beadle’s declaration of gridiron independence, her girlcott, was about football not caring one bit about women (unless they’re prancing on the sidelines) and she has a point. We haven’t watched the NFL—until the playoffs—for years because A) the games are no longer played as much as litigated B) the NFL takes itself entirely too seriously; even the U.S. Senate has a better sense of humor and C) the entire regular season is about fantasy football, which we have never bothered to care about.

As for Beadle, she was making huge coin talking about the NBA and living the glam life in LA on a show that aired around noon local time. Now she’s had to uproot herself to New York City (bad NBC memories), wake up before dawn, pretend to have chemistry with Mike Greenberg, and play much more by Norby’s rules. No wonder she’s miserable.

Put me in, coach: I likes football

This, once again for Beadle, won’t end well. You don’t absolutely need to watch football to be a trip-host for Get Up!, but it’s a bad look in the months September through January. Forget how much ESPN has invested in its NFL coverage for a moment: if 95% or more of your core audience watches something that you yourself find not worth your time, maybe you’re doing the wrong show.

Admire Beadle’s candor. But she’s headed down a Bill Simmons/Jemele Hill path. Maybe she hopes they’ll move her back to LA. and let her do nothing but talk about the NBA with her good pals. My guess is that Norby tells her to take her views to another network. And, oh, by the way, isn’t Katie Nolan there in the corner, twiddling her thumbs, waiting to be given something to do?

5. Booking a Book Writer*

The judges will accept “Conan’s Caro Canon” but will not accept “The Purple Prose of Caro”

Harvard grad/talk show host Conan O’Brien is a total fan boy of Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker (which is like required reading as soon as you move to New York City). But for reasons beyond the TNT talk show host’s understanding, Caro has no interest in sitting on a couch in Burbank.

Maybe he just doesn’t want to be that close to a guy named Richter in a land notorious for earthquakes. We don’t know. Anyway, here’s the story.


Gotta run, kids. The cookoutateria called us in early today.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Colum B.S.

Yesterday, after entering an administrative building through the back entrance (garbage dumpster adjacent), Ohio State coach Urban Meyer met with the school president and certain trustees. After 11 hours of closed-door meetings, they determined that the three-time national championship-winning coach had nothing to do with Benghazi.

However, if you follow our friend Brett McMurphy‘s tweets, you’ll see that his behavior regarding Zach Smith was even worse than most of us thought. OSU let him off the hook with a three-game suspension and the following B. S. excuse:


We could share more, but really, just read Brett’s timeline on Twitter. For everyone who ever thought that Meyer was a pompous poser, well, you’re right. A fantastic football coach, but as a human being he’s Mike Pence. He’s not officially done at Ohio State, but there’s a part of us that thinks he is done. Meyer has been exposed as a total phony, and while his defenders, much like our president’s, will counter with, “They all are!” well, that isn’t true.

The important thing is, with Urban, we have the stark evidence. And last night’s presser provided excuses no parent would accept from a five year-old. But, for now, they’ll suffice in Columbus. Meyer will miss games versus Oregon State, Rutgers, and at TCU.

2. The Herbies

Meanwhile, ESPN gave its star college football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit, an hour in prime time last night to hand out idiosyncratic preseason awards (apparently neither he nor anyone else in Bristol have ever heard of Khalil Tate, who ran for more yards than any quarterback not named Lamar Jackson last season, and in two fewer games). But the last five minutes of that special were preempted for the Urban Meyer presser.

It’s 12 hours later, and we’ve yet to hear a peep from Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback and the son of a former Buckeye captain from the 1960 squad. Maybe that’s too soon to expect a comment.

(This is a gridiron analogy for how Ohio State and, to this point, ESPN, has handled the Urban Meyer story)

Herbstreit’s a smart man and has shown in the past that he’s unafraid to be frank and even  confrontational on camera (“They should be thanking ESPN!”). We’re curious to hear his reaction to last night’s announcement of a three-game suspension, and expect it to come long before the College Gameday crew arrives in South Bend.

3. Impeach Basket

Well, at least President Trump is using the “I” word, finally. And if you listen closely, or even casually, you’ll notice that he’s no longer claiming that he’s innocent. Rather, he’s claiming that the stock market is doing so well and that unemployment is so low that you cannot impeach him or, “you would see numbers like you wouldn’t believe.”

“Like you wouldn’t believe” is a favorite phrase of Trump’s. And it fits a man whose every statement is something we wouldn’t believe.

4. The Prattle Of Bull Run

It was all over CNBC yesterday afternoon (to the chagrin of my co-workers, I often tune our cookoutateria TVs to this channel when no live sports are airing): “Longest Bull Run” in stock market history.

On Wednesday the bull market reached its 3,453rd day, dating all the way back to March 9, 2009. The next day, CNN’s late and great Mark Haines called the market bottom (the famed “Haines Bottom”).

On March 9 of 2008, in the dreadful wake of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the DOW was around 6,500 and the S&P, ominously, stood at 666. Both indexes have quadrupled since that date (as has MH’s own portfolio, which is a point in favor of the “Just own an index fund” argument).

Of course, all this prattling about the markets enjoying a nine-plus years uninterrupted bull run opens the door for the unasked question: WHEN IS THE MARKET CORRECTION COMING?

Would you short this?

Frankly, we don’t know. Think of it like a party. You know you should leave, but they’re about to serve jell-o shots and there’s a rumor that Paris Jackson is showing up soon. So can you really grab your coat and walk out just yet?

5. Lamey Down

This is Bob Lamey. The 79 year-old broadcaster had been the “Voice of the Colts” since they moved to Indianapolis in 1984 (excluding a three-year hiatus from 1992-1994). Then suddenly, last week, he wasn’t. Lamey abruptly retired, as many NFL veterans do in the midst of training camp, but this was different.

Now here’s where it gets weird: If you’ve spent any time in Indianapolis or southern Indiana (we have), you are aware that what you’re about to read does not at all stretch the imagination. Here goes: more than 30 years ago a local Indy Car racing broadcaster, Derek Daly, shared a humorous anecdote, or so intended, with Lamey that incorporates the N-word.

Last week Lamey, who to repeat is 79 and has held a position of great renown locally for more than three decades and probably doesn’t filter his thoughts much in private for reasons stated earlier in this sentence, re-told that story off-air to a friend at a local radio station. The story of that story being told got around.

Within a day or so, Lamey had “retired” and the Colts issued a statement that read, in part:

Yes, in regards to Bob Lamey…first and foremost, the Colts deplore and do not tolerate the use of any racial slur – in any context. 
While it is the Colts’ strict and long-standing policy to not make public comment on personnel matters, Bob publicly acknowledged that last week he repeated an inappropriate word when telling a story.  He immediately apologized to the people who heard him use the word, and then promptly retired as the Colts play-by-play announcer.

Daly, the race analyst who had been at WISH-TV in Indy for more than 30 years, confirmed that he had shared the story with Lamey during a live interview 35 years ago. Daly has since been fired from WISH-TV.

Honestly, we’re conflicted on this one. You can argue that there’s no difference in calling someone the N-word and repeating it as part of a story or a joke. You can also argue that there is a difference. My only argument is that there’s no consensus on this issue, and I think that employing the word in a story may be a better indicator of poor judgment than of racism. But that’s my take. Yours may be different.

It’s wild, though, that these two men shared this story live on-air back in the Eighties and no one said squat. In 2018, both lost their jobs simply because the story was re-told. Bob, Derek, if you’re out there, the first Papa John’s Pizza is on us.


Hawaiian Storm Update

Hurricane Lane: bearing down on Oahu

Little League World Series: Hawaii 10, New York 0. Is there a greater disparity between two U.S. islands than Oahu and Staten?

Music 101

Just The Way You Are

How’s this for a debut solo single: the song goes to Number One on the Billboard charts and gets covered in the pivotal scene from Pitch Perfect the following year. Bruno Mars’ paean to a woman’s physical beauty remains, in our unenlightened opinion, his catchiest tune (but then again, that may be our PP bias showing).

Worth noting: Billy Joel’s 1977 song of the same title, his first big hit, peaked at No. 3.

Remote Patrol

Virginia Mayo Fest



Hold the Mayo!

You may have first heard her name when Roger Sterling set up newly single Don Draper with a blind date (played by Anna Camp) and referred to her as “a Virginia Mayo type.” The name hasn’t survived the decades, at least among casual moviegoers, but in the Fifties Mayo was a buxom starlet who got a lot of work. TCM is celebrating her all day as part of its “Summer of Stars” series with a bunch of films whose quality and entertainment value we are truly unable to assess: She’s Working Her Way Through College, The Big Land, Great Day In The Morning, Colorado Territory, Flaxy Martin and, of course, Backfire.

Mayo’s best film was The Best Years of Our Lives, which won Best Picture, but TCM aired that last night as part of its Dana Andrews day. So you already missed it. We should have alerted you. We’re sorry.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

The only thing that would improve this is if we learned that was Karl Ravech’s suit…

Starting Five


Former presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort is found guilty on eight counts of tax fraud. Former presidential lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to five charges and tells the court that he was directed to make two payments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars “at the direction of the candidate.”

Donald Trump steps off Air Force One in West Virginia and in less than a minute of speaking says, “There was no collusion” four times, and also adds, “Believe me.” Just a few months earlier, while on that plane, he denied everything that Cohen would later admit.

What are the implications? Try here for Paul Manafort and here for Michael Cohen.

What’s next? This is just getting started.

2. Mollie Tibbets’ Body Found

Iowa student Mollie Tibbets went out for a run on July 18 and never returned. Yesterday, with the help of a neighbor’s home surveillance camera, police tracked down the man who abducted and allegedly killed her: 24 year-old Christhian Rivera, who is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico (so expect to hear Mollie’s name invoked often at Trump rallies from here on out).

It was two summers ago in New York when a young woman, Karina Vetrano, went for a jog in Queens and met a similar, grisly fate. Why do men have to suck at life so badly? I dunno.

3. Yemen Is Shameful

We follow Walker Bragman, a journalist, on Twitter and in the past few weeks he has made it his personal crusade to admonish all media for talking endlessly about Trump while ignoring the tragedy that is Yemen.

We dig Walker’s beef, but for almost all of us Yemen might as well be another planet. You don’t know anyone from Yemen, you’ve never been to Yemen, you’re never going to Yemen (certainly not now). And, you know, Walker, you could always travel to Yemen and cover this story yourself.

And yet, he definitely makes some cogent points. For example, last weekend 40 children on a bus were killed during an air strike by Saudi forces. What makes it particularly shameful is that the Saudis were using U.S.-made bombs.

4. Usain Down Under

Had you heard? The world’s fastest man, like, ever, Usain Bolt, has migrated to Australia to embark on a professional soccer career. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist is training with the Central Coast Mariners, a team that is located just a few miles up the coast from Sydney. Some lucky U.S. sports writer will be dispatched to Sydney (“OOOH, OOOH, Mr. Kotter! Pick me! Pick me!”) to chronicle Bolt’s avocational vacation.

5. Long Shot

That’s Ricardo Benitez, who stands 4’2″ and was born without femurs. He’s attempting to make Baylor’s football team as a walk-on. We don’t see any down side for coach Matt Ruhle to keep him on the roster, for no greater reason that with all the miscreantism associated with Baylor football the past few seasons during the Art Briles era, what’s wrong with a little inspirational message in the form of Benitez?

If Rudy was a hit, imagine how popular Ricardo may be (though it may be difficult to find an actor to play the role). This will almost certainly be Tom Rinaldi’s first feature on the first College GameDay. Here’s a tip for Tom: Your kicker can be that the last walk-on in Texas you read about wound up winning the Heisman Trophy in 2017.

Music 101

Sister Christian


You’re motoring/What’s your price for flight….In the summer of ’84, the best reason to own a lighter was so you could wave it during this song at a Night Ranger show. The band’s biggest hit, sung by its drummer (who’d written it for his sister), it would peak at number five on the charts. A dozen years later, the Canadian band’s power ballad would provide a meaningful backdrop during a highly tense scene in Boogie Nights that featured Mark Wahlberg, Thomsas Jane and Alfred Molina.

Remote Patrol

The Herbies: Preseason Special 

8 p.m. ESPN

Everyone’s favorite college football toe-head (this side of Brock Huard), Kirk Herbstreit, does his John Madden thing at the student-athlete level. Expect to hear the name Bryce Love a bit. Good news, Irish fans: There’s not a single Notre Dame mention on the lists. This augurs well, believe it or not.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

We really hope this is authentic.

Starting Five

Korey Stringer’s death was the product of coaches not properly appreciating that 330-pound men shouldn’t be doing conditioning as if they were 180-pound men.

  1. Death And Football

On Sunday writer and frequent friendly Twitter sparring partner of ours Patrick Hruby sent out this tweet:

To which we replied…

To which Patrick replied, after a short back-and-forth…

I want you to read Patrick’s side of the story, which is well-articulated here in a piece that he wrote for The Guardian.  The problem, particularly when someone pushes back on Twitter with reality, is that the Idealism Police come out in full force and reality takes a back seat.

To be clear, as someone who played six years of organized tackle football and spent August days such as this doing two-a-days in the Arizona desert heat: I’m quite personally familiar  with the sadistic attitude toward conditioning that many a football coach has and I’m ALL in favor of having no deaths at all in the sport. The difference between Patrick and I, I believe, is that I do not believe the system can be made fatality-proof.

A few points here:

1. 33 deaths in college football between the years 2000-2016, when easily more than 20,000 young men (probably closer to 30,000, but I’ll skew low) per year play college football. So that’s less than 2 deaths per year, which means that 1/100th of 1% of players will die playing college football each year, i.e. one out of every 10,000 players. Now, eliminate the traumatic collision deaths from Patrick’s sample and we have 26 deaths over 17 years and now we’re at roughly one player out of every 12,500.

2. Of course, the Idealism Police will holler, “ANY DEATH IS TOO MANY DEATHS!” Fine. I’m all for censuring Maryland for failing to follow heat stroke protocols. Their negligence led to Jordan McNair’s death, it appears. I’m all for testing for sickle-cell traits. I already know that players undergo physicals before being cleared to play football in order that they can test for heart defects, etc.

3. Where Patrick and his followers and I part company is the idea that you can make football safe by creating workouts that will eliminate heat stroke, etc. And here’s why: no two athletes on a football field are built exactly the same. There’s the obvious differences in size between football teammates, which is why one Twitter follower’s attempt to silence me by noting how there were no collegiate track workout deaths in that same time is rather uninformed.

But there’s more than that: There are players who will dog a workout and there are those who will go past their limits. Women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, early in his career, set up a workout designed to punish his players for staying out too late and drinking the night before. At each corner of the court he set up a garbage can. He basically ran them until the offenders began puking their guts out. Because no one died that afternoon, it’s a great anecdote and a footnote in the career of the most successful women’s basketball coach of all time. If someone had died, Geno might be selling life insurance in Altoona right now.

I want to address Pat’s pithy tweet about Hondas and known defects. Honda’s objective is to sell cars that transport people reliably and safely. Honda is not about building the fastest car, a vehicle faster than all of its competitors. Moreover, there are no variables in the Honda analogy: You have a defective part, you remove it.

What is the defective part in football workouts? The best answer that Patrick and his allies might provide is, Workouts that cause young men to die of heat stroke. Great. Name me a particular workout. How does that workout vary due to the person doing it and the weather conditions that day. A more accurate analogy would be to recall all Hondas because they are involved in fatal accidents.

(Moreover, as any actuary or automobile exec will tell you, the greatest defect in any automobile in terms of accidents is the person behind the wheel. You cannot eliminate human error without eliminating humans. Jordan McNair did not die because the proper protocols were not in place; he died because people who were paid to implement them failed to do so.)

As Patrick and I were bickering on Sunday, as he was tossing out the Honda analogy, a better analogy was playing out in real life. At the Pocono 500, Robert Wickens crashed and nearly died. Nearly, but not quite. Three years ago, in the same race on the same track, in a crash that was nowhere near as violent, Justin Wilson was killed because an errant part of a car that was in a wreck struck him in the helmet as he drove past. Wilson was not even involved in the accident.

By the way, there are far fewer professional race car drivers than college football players, and 124 of them have died since 2000.

4. Patrick’s answer, my guess would be, is that we just need to make football workouts safe enough so that no one dies. The problem is that’s finding the solution in the outcome, not in the process. And just like men driving Indy Cars are not like motorists driving Hondas, college football players are not simply people trying to stay fit.

Every team is trying to gain a competitive advantage on the other. One of the ways to do that is by being stronger, faster and fitter. I played a college sport. In crew, we reveled in how hard our off-season workouts were and tried to outdo one another. We joked all the time about how it had to be colder than 27 degrees outside for practice on the water to be canceled. Never mind that freezing point is 32 and what were we going to do if we caught a crab and got tossed into the St. Joe River when it was 28 degrees? That wasn’t going to be much fun.

I’ve spoken to college football players who would sneak into dorms that had weight-lifting equipment late at night, after their team workout room was closed, just so they could get in more lifting. These are elite athletes not just because of the gifts God gave them but because many of them love to push themselves to limits beyond most of us would find crazy or unsafe. They want to be the best.

Ryan Shay could run a sub-30 minute 10-K, and he died during a race.

Do I agree with Patrick that no one should die in an offseason workout? Of course. Does Patrick or any of the other well-meaning people on his timeline have a practical solution on how to monitor workouts while acknowledging that coaches and players at the FBS level are extremely competitive and looking to gain an edge on one another? Simply saying, “Just make it so that no one dies,” is not an answer.

As I pointed out on Twitter on Sunday, Ryan Shay was an elite men’s middle-distance runner and the NCAA champion in the men’s 10,000 meters. In November of 2007 Shay, in better physical condition than 99.99% of the humans on this planet, was participating in the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City when his heart suddenly exploded. Running in Central Park, and relatively early in the race, he fell to the pavement and died instantly. Shit happens.

In two weeks college football games will begin in earnest. Some team is going to be blown out 49-0 or worse and no one, absolutely no one, is going to care if the coach on the losing side says, “We may have gotten destroyed, but we run positive and safe off-season conditioning and no one was hurt doing so. And that’s what we’re all about.”

I don’t like, as a former football player, that anyone dies doing the sport. And I agree that there are some asinine, sadistic and prehistoric approaches to conditioning. Here’s one: Why do any conditioning outside in the heat in shoulder pads and helmet? No need for it. And don’t tell me it recreates game conditions. No one does 10 gassers in a short stretch in a football game.

Yes, there are better methods out there. But I’m never going to insist that a 0.00% mortality rate is the only acceptable number. In any sport. Sports are about risk. As is life.

2. The Kids Are Alright*

*The judges are relieved that the headline did not need to be “Blood On The Tracks.” They will not accept “The Goat Escape.”

It’s the type of story that makes Pat Kiernan and the rest of the folks at New York 1 (the news channel for us locals) happy to be alive. It’s a story involving rogue goats, Brooklyn, our failing subway system and comedian Jon Stewart. What’s not to love?

As The New York Times aptly put it, yesterday morning in Brooklyn a pair of goats were “on the lam.” Where they came from, no one is sure, though there are a few slaughterhouses in the area (Do we eat goat? Did you know that?). Anyway, the goats were tranquilized (“Thanks A LOT!” says Harambe) and then noted wildlife preservationist (and this is why we at MH truly love him) Jon Stewart and his wife picked up the goats and drove them to Watkins Glen, N.Y., where they will live at a sanctuary.

It’s like The Great Escape except it has a happy ending.

3. Matinee Idyll

What’s wrong with this picture? (Answer: nothing)

We were slogging through a slow afternoon at the cookoutateria yesterday—overcast skies and no Yankee game on the horizon for later—when it occurred to us: here’s a summer window with absolutely NO sports on television. Why isn’t Major League Baseball filling the void? Why would it not do this every day?

Hence, our proposal: The Day Game. Every damn day of the week there should be at least one, and often just one, televised Major League Baseball game. How difficult is this? Answer: Not very.

Naysayers, because they always exist, will argue that this is difficult to do for Mondays and Fridays, since teams often travel on Sunday nights and after Thursday nights. Our short answer is, “Tough toenails,” but we’ll work with them.

A. Teams playing on Monday afternoon will never play Sunday Night Baseball, B) The Day Game can start as late as 3 p.m., particularly in July and August when the sun is out later, C) On Mondays and Fridays baseball would look for situations where the home team was home the day before and the visiting team is traveling a relatively short distance. Think the Brewers to Chicago or the Dodgers to San Diego or the Phillies to Washington.

Not only would baseball own that time slot, but kids out of school would be able to attend with more ease. Also, the day game would make the 6 p.m. SportsCenter.

It’s too easy. You’re welcome, Commissioner Manfred.

4. AP-titude

Tate had four games of more than 160 yards rushing last season, all versus Pac-12 foes.

Here is your Preseason AP Top 25 poll

Or, if you don’t feel like hyperlinking:

  1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Georgia 4. Wisconsin 5. Ohio State

         6. Washington 7. Oklahoma 8. Miami 9. Auburn 10. Penn State

  11. Michigan State 12. Notre Dame 13. Stanford 14. Michigan 15. USC

16. TCU 17. West Virginia 18. Mississippi State 19. Florida State 20. Virginia Tech

21. UCF 22. Boise State 23. Texas 24. Oregon 25. LSU

What we glean:

–Alabama worthy of top ranking and the Tide have a relatively easy schedule. I’m sorry, an easy schedule. Tua Tagovailoa will start.

–Georgia, on the basis of how easy the Bulldogs’ schedule is, could’ve been No. 1.

–Wisconsin may be the best Big Ten squad, but Bucky plays AT Michigan and AT Penn State after September. They’ll have to earn it.

–The winner of Washington-Auburn should be ranked no lower than fourth after Week 1. There’s a clear separation after the top three teams.

It would be so 2018 if this year the Canes’ staff emphasized blocking kicks, thus ushering in the Blockchain

–We like Auburn, but the Tigers play U-Dub, Georgia and Alabama all away from Jordan-Hare. Won’t finish in Top 10.

–Oklahoma, Penn State and USC all lost players who went in the top three picks in the draft. The Trojans should not be in the Top 20.

–Miami’s Turnover Chain magical season is over. And they’ve lost some leadership. They’ll lose to LSU and at B.C. later in the season.

–We’re dubious on the Irish. Unproven running back and no one knows if Brandon Wimbush is accurate yet. Season really hinges on Week 1. After that, the schedule plays heavily in their favor.

–Arizona’s absence is a mystery. The Cats have arguably the nation’s most dynamic offensive player in Khalil Tate and a pair of true sophomores on defense who may be first-team All-Americans in Colin Schooler and Kylan Wilborn. If the Cats take down the Cougars (BYU and Houston) in Feline Fests in Weeks 1 and 2, watch out.

5. Les Mets-erables

The New York Mets of 2018 are not very good, but they’re also not boring. One day ace Jacob deGrom is pitching a gem and earning no run support. The next, the Mets are scoring 40 runs, literally within a 24-hour span (seriously; think about that). Or crushing the Phillies in Williamsport, Pa., as they did Sunday evening.

Then last night, at Citi Field, they’re into the 13th inning against the San Francisco Giants. The score is knotted at 1-1, and the erstwhile Polo Grounds inhabitants have runners on 1st and 3rd, two outs. Brandon Crawford lifts a hiigggggh fly ball out to shallow left field. Shortstop Amed Rosario drifts beneath it. Left fielder Dominic Smith, who ordinarily plays first base, races toward it.

Boof! (above)

Mets lose, 2-1.

Music 101 

Head To Toe

Vintage mid-Eighties dance tune here from Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam: note the electronic, hexagonal drums and the lead singer who looks vaguely like one of the Jacksons. Lisa Velez was born in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. This song actually rose to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in June of 1987. Could Paula Abdul be that far behind?

Remote Patrol

Dallas Wings at Phoenix Mercury

7 p.m . ESPN2

Cambage, at 6’8″, is a load

Diana Taurasi of the Mercury is the all-time leading scorer in WNBA history. Liz Cambage of the Wings will easily win the league’s Most Valuable Player award this season, as she leads the league in scoring and is second in boards. It’s a single-elimination game, though it’ll be interesting how rowdy the local crowd will be: 4 p.m. on an August afternoon in Phoenix is peak siesta time.


by John Walters

Starting Five

1. The Film Room: BlacKKKlansman

by Chris Corbellini

And here’s an outstanding sack by Minnesota Viking lineman Antwione Williams, who came off the edge unblocked, that was flagged as roughing the passer, a.k.a. The Aaron Rodgers Rule. This is ridiculous. Now the NFL doesn’t even know what a tackle is. They best get this straightened out before Week 1.


Star Power

The best film we’ve seen at the theaters this year is not even a film yet: it’s the under-3 minute trailer for A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Ga Ga and directed by Cooper. The film itself premieres on October 5 and has thus far bypassed opportunities to be screened at major film festivals such as Cannes and Telluride.

Why? The studio, and Cooper, know that they have a monster hit on their hands and don’t want the hype to peak too early. We found this interview with Sean Penn, who has no connection to the film other than that he had a chance to screen it, telling. Penn doesn’t kiss anyone’s ass (unless it’s a Mexican drug lord).

This isn’t the first time we’ve hyped this film in this space, but we’re only doing so because we want to ride shotgun on this bandwagon. And, too, it’s rare that you watch a trailer that satisfies you more than most films do. Cooper is going to take home one, probably two Oscars next February. The film may also win Best Picture and don’t be surprised if Stefanie  Germanotta (Ga Ga) takes home a statuette, too.

Oscar Wins: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Song (with at least two being nominated in that category). Our only quibble is that 20 or more years after You’ve Got Mail, Dave Chappelle is still playing the black buddy/romantic adviser to the white dude in love.