by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

If these two performed “Popular,” MH contributor Katie McCollow would simply lose it.

Starting Five

His name is Greedy Williams. Shouldn’t it be a coach who has the nickname Greedy?

1. No Big Deal…Or Is It?

The initial CFP rankings were released last night. Your top four schools: Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame.

So you know where our affinity lies, but we really do our very best to be objective. So we’re just trying to understand this. And we write all of this with the following proviso: Yes, we know LSU plays Alabama on Saturday and will probably lose and then, should the Irish win at Northwestern (no gimme), then they’d likely move in to that spot anyway. We know this.

Having said that (famous Curb truism callback), let’s attempt to understand the logic of LSU ahead of Notre Dame. First, Notre Dame is undefeated and LSU is not. That’s, you know, kind of a big deal.

Julian Okwara (42) is one of half a dozen Irish defenders having a better season than the experts expected.

Not good enough for you? Next, Notre Dame beat the No. 5 school (Michigan) in the CFP ranking. That’s the best win of any of the top four schools. The argument is that LSU looked more convincing beating the No. 6 school, Georgia, than the Irish did against Michigan. Okay, we can buy that, but the Irish took the lead early against Michigan and led by two touchdowns at the end of the first quarter and for most of the second half. The Wolverines scored a late touchdown to make it a 7-point game (although CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli reported it in his story last night as a 3-point win….people make mistakes).

You can give LSU the slight edge in the Michigan vs. Georgia wins if you like, but bending over backward for the Tigers (whom we love, too), it’s slight. I mean, aren’t the Wolverines everyone’s darlings and didn’t the Irish own them for most of the game (oh, and still win)?

Third, you look at the auxiliary wins. LSU beat Miami and Mississippi State, both of whom are somewhat overrated. Notre Dame beat Stanford and Virginia Tech, both of whom have had relatively disappointing seasons. Myself, I’d still call the Cardinal the best of that quartet of three-loss teams.

Either way, it’s splitting hairs between Notre Dame’s and LSU’s strength of victories, which means that the “-0” at the end of the Irish’s record should be the deciding factor as opposed to the “-1” after LSU’s.

And if it isn’t, then here’s a better question: Why isn’t LSU ranked second? Clemson doesn’t even have a win as good as LSU’s or Notre Dame’s (their best is at No. 20 Texas A&M) and they have the closest near-loss, to No. 19 Syracuse.

We get it: the eye test. Clemson does look better on film than everyone except Alabama. But this is where the SelCom always loses us: using data and/or analytics for some rankings and the eye test for others. It’s very Nate Silver of them.

Finally, we’ll say this. The best reason we can conjure for LSU being No. 3 is to soften the landing for Alabama in the unlikely event that the Tide fall in Death Valley this Saturday night. We can easily see the committee only dropping Alabama to 3, instead of further. We don’t see Alabama losing, but it’s a nice little insurance policy they’ve given the Tide.

2. Inside Job

Notorious Boston-based mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed inside his prison cell yesterday morning, just one day after being transferred to a facility in West Virginia. “”He lived violently and he apparently died violently,” said Dick Lehr, author of Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss. “It marks the full circle of a terrible life.”

Folks will speculate as to the specific reason Bulger, 89, got fatally rolled in his jail cell, but we don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Red Sox won the World Series only two days earlier and that a lot of MS-13 members are probably Dodger fans.

3. Statue-tory Gape

Please, India, do not give Donald Trump any ideas.

Earlier today India unveiled the world’s tallest statue, a 597-foot tall homage to  Sardar Vallabbhai Patel (so, yes, to someone you’ve never heard of). The monument is nearly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, so that if you were to put them side by side it would be another Kristen Chenoweth-Boban Marjanovic deal. Who was Patel? Turns out he was an independence leader and the first ruler of India following the termination of British colonial rule in 1947.

No offense, but doesn’t he kinda look like one of those creatures from “300” who needs to have a virgin in order to survive?

I mean, if anyone, we thought they’d do this for Gandhi. And if you’re going to honor any Patel in this fashion, certainly you begin with Dev. And what’s India going to do once it’s inevitably uncovered that he owned slaves or sided with the Confederacy? On the other hand, we see a perfect backdrop for a Godzilla remake here, don’t you?

4. Looney Vs. Clooney

The president took a swipe at Danny Ocean. You don’t take a swipe at Danny Ocean without getting burned.

You may not love his films or his politics, you may have preferred Dr. Carter on E.R., you may still not forgive him for appearing on Facts Of Life, but Clooney is a genuinely good dude. And he’s done a ton more work in Africa trying to improve people’s lives other than simply sending his wife over there and then when she returns saying nothing more than, “Tremendous poverty. Tremendous.”

You picked on the wrong “elite,” Mr. Ultimate Elitist.

5. At Least Paul Westhead Is Happy

The Bucks are one of four teams averaging more than 120 points per game.

We did a little informal fact-checking last night and even though the NBA season is but a fortnight old, already 29 of the 32 clubs have surpassed 120 points in one game. The Warriors (149) are one of four clubs to surpass 140 points in a game and also posted 92 in the first half on Monday versus the Bulls.

Scoring is up. Way up. The Spurs beat the Lakers last week, 143-142, and you probably didn’t even hear about it. Okay, there was an overtime period, but still. The Dubs put up 144 and 149 in just the past week…both times on the road.

The three teams who have yet to eclipse 120? One good club, the Celtics, and two poor ones: Orlando and Brooklyn.

We have barely watched a minute of NBA hoops this month, so we don’t have an explanation for the spike in offense, but maybe it’s all due to Pat Mahomes and the Air Raid offense?


How about this song…

…coupled with this footage?


The mistruth, the Wohl mistruth, and nothing but the mistruth. As someone tweeted this morning, “There’s no prize for out-Carter Page’ing Martin Shkreli.”

Music 101

You Never Even Called Me By My Name

There isn’t a fraternity boy (or sorority girl) worth his (or her) solo cup in the SEC or Big 12 who isn’t familiar with David Allen Coe‘s 1975 outlaw country classic, which was indeed penned by his good friend Steve Goodman. The song is not directed at a female, but actually at the insular Nashville music scene that never (until this point) let Goodman or Coe feel as if they were worthy. Goodman had actually written a previous classic “The City Of New Orleans” (Good morning, America/How are ya?) that Arlo Guthrie recorded and made a Top 20 Billboard hit in 1972, so he had a right to be salty.*

*If you’ve never listened to this, we recommend. It has a funny surprise in the middle.

Remote Patrol

The Pit And The Pendulum

9:45 p.m. TCM

It’s Vincent Price night on Halloween night, with three other V.P. films besides this: House of Wax at 8 p.m., The Masque of the Red Death at 11:15, and if you’re still up and want to be sure not to be able to sleep the whole night, tune in to House On Haunted Hill (the original in black and white, much scarier) at 1 a.m.



by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Feat Of Klay

It was a veritable three-for-all at the United Center, as Klay Thompson set an NBA record for three-pointers in a single game with 14. Thompson finished the evening with an NBA-best this season 52 points and you almost forget that the Dubs led 92-50 at halftime (they won, 149-124).

As second (no, third) bananas go, Thompson’s not so bad. Besides breaking backcourt mate Stephen Curry’s single-game three-pointers record by one (notice how upset Steph seems right here), he also holds the NBA record for most points in a single quarter with 37 (set in 2015).

2. Saturday Shame

On the day eleven Jews were in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump attended (performed?) at two political rallies.

–At the first he joked about perhaps canceling because he was having a bad hair day. Verbatim: “I said, ‘Maybe I should cancel this arrangement because I have a bad hair day.”

Then he attended a rally in Illinois, where in the first 10 minutes he told two giant lies (or he just got his facts wrong, which, hey, what does he or his MAGA audience care?). First, at 5:40, he says, “We must bring back the death penalty” to cheers. Except that we’ve had the federal death penalty back since 1988. Maybe he wants to take credit for that, too.

Then, at 9:45, he rationalizes that he’s decided not to cancel his appearance at this rally the same day as the massacre because “on September 11th, the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day.”

It was not. It did not reopen until September 17, six days and three full trading days later.

But here’s what’s beautiful about Trump, and how you know he’s not stupid but is instead a fabulous con man. Two days after this ridiculous error, forgetting for a moment how thoughtless it was for him to be out barnstorming on this day (because his ego is insatiable) and not even mentioning him trolling Los Angeles Dodger manager Dave Roberts later that night via Twitter, forgetting all that, let’s go to his interview with Laura Ingraham on Monday night. Because here is where you get the full measure of his character, of his duplicity (and of Ingraham’s complicity).

Again, he brings up the New York Stock Exchange opening so quickly after 9/11 to justify his appearing at the rallies, but notice how this time he does not claim the NYSE opened the next day. Instead he says, “As soon as posible” because by now he realizes people have caught on to Saturday’s lie. And notice how Ingraham doesn’t push back on this. She knows it was six days later, too, but she doesn’t push back.

Now, is this more important than 11 Jews losing their lives to a gunman? No. But it’s just one more example of the lack of character of the president, and his appetite for deceit.

3. Fun While It Lasted

Wouldn’t you know it, the couple who fell off a promontory in Yosemite Park, Vishnu Viswanath and Meenaksi Moorthy (purple hair), had an Instagram account and a blog, Holidays and Happily Ever Afters, that featured the two of them taking photos at the edges of cliffs and skyscrapers.

As Moorthy wrote in the blog, ““A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL??? Is our life just worth one photo?”

You tell us. You. Tell. Us.

4. Waterlogging Miles

Where else but in Venice would it be apropos to run a marathon partially below sea level? The Venice Marathon had some flooding issues this past weekend and we doubt any veteran harriers achieved personal bests.

But at least they’ll have a good story to tell. The flooding didn’t affect the runners until the last few miles, in Venice proper, but then the last few miles is when it already feels as if you’re running in a foot of water. The top finisher, who had been on a 2:09 pace for most of the race, finished in 2:13.

5. Cope and Haven

No. 2 on the list, Shenzhen

Lonely Planet just released its top 10 list of cities to visit in 2019. We’ve only been to three, including the city that tops the list. Maybe we’ll make them all next year (unemployment has its perks).

1 Copenhagen, Denmark
2. Shēnzhèn, China
3. Novi Sad, Serbia
4. Miami, Florida
5. Kathmandu, Nepal
6. Mexico City, Mexico
7. Dakar, Senegal
8. Seattle, Washington
9. Zadar, Croatia
10. Meknes, Morocco



Music 101

Only You

This song by Yazoo (known here as Yaz due to copyright reasons) only reached No. 67 here in 1982 but climbed all the way to No. 2 in the UK. It was written by Vince Clarke of Depeche Mode, who teamed with vocalist Alison Moyet to form this side project duo. It’s a genuine New Wave slow song classic, and it’s sort of impossible to believe that it never made its way into a John Hughes film. It’s the ultimate John Hughes film torch song.

Remote Patrol

College Football Playoff Selection Show

7 p.m. ESPN

The Crimson Tide are to college football, we fear, what the Red Sox were to baseball. This is just an inexorable, unsuspenseful journey we all happen to be on.

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, LSU.

Next four? Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, ? (personally, I’d like to see Wazzu or UCF there, but watch them go for Ohio State).

Our friend Brett McMurphy has a piece on where he predicts the Playoff as Alabama-Notre Dame, Clemson-Michigan. That would mean Michigan jumps Notre Dame, but we don’t quite see Michigan jumping the Irish unless the Irish lose, and we’re not so sure the Irish get in with one loss. So we’re not quite certain what Brett was thinking on this one.


by John Walters

MH staffer Chris Corbellini almost won $1 million (pinky finger to side of mouth) last January. To learn how close he came, and why he didn’t, please read his column that directly precedes this. Related: I once nearly interviewed Elle MacPherson at a posh Madison Avenue townhouse in the early ’90s, but then she had to cancel at the last minute. 

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Darn Sox

In every year that has ever ended in ’18 and had a World Series, the Boston Red Sox have won that World Series. Also, as one tweep noted, of Boston’s nine Fall Classic championships, all have taken place between the years ’03 and ’18. So as a Yankee fan let’s hope we’re off the hook for another 85 years or so.

Listen, the Sox were the best team by far all season and all playoffs long. In last night’s clinching Game 5, Rent-a-World Series-MVP David Freese of the Dodgers hit David Price’s very first offering for a home run and Los Angeles never had a legitimate hit after that (Freese’s triple was more the result of a designated hitter playing right field and losing a playable fly ball in the lights).

(We hated everything about Manny Machado’s approach to hitting and base-running this October, which is why we’re terrified the Yankees will sign and overpay him. Above, the final pitch of the World Series.)

Before Game 5, after the wild 18-inning classic (we stayed up for all of it) and Saturday’s Sox comeback win, we had an inkling that this series would end up a little like 1975. In that series, the Red Sox lost to the Reds but all anyone seems to remember about it is Carlton Fisk’s Game 6 home run (that’s on you, Will Hunting). We thought that all anyone might remember of 2018 going forward was the Game 3 classic, the longest game in World Series history both by innings and time (Nathan Eovaldi’s 98-pitch extra innings defeat is a metaphor for every “nice try”), and also the Yasiel Puig GIF/three-run homer from Game 4

Was it a memorable series (besides for Red Sox fans)? Yes. It had two memorable games, 3 and 4, some outstanding performances by two guys who look as if they play beer-league softball on the weekends (MVP Steve Pearce and near-MVP Brock Holt), some memorable plays (Clay Bellinger’s 8-2 double-play put out). The 1986 World Series? Everyone only remembers one game from that, after all, but we still talk about it. Game 3 and, to a lesser extent, Game 4, will long be remembered. Steve Pearce’s animal takeover of the Series–home run, bases-clearing double, home run and home run over 4 at-bats through Games 3 and 4—were legendary. And he’s 35.

As I asked after his second home run last night, “Where has he been all his career?” And as my friend Jim, a diehard Sawx fan who can read the back of a baseball card replied, “Everywhere.”

2. Tragedy In Pittsburgh

Eleven dead, including a 97 year-old Holocaust survivor. You know the story.

How did the president react? First, he discarded an umbrella at the top of the steps of Air Force One, providing the perfect metaphor for every human being or institution with which he has ever come in contact.

 Then Trump suggested that the synagogue should have had armed guards (never mind that four police officers were shot confronting the suspect, who had an AR-15). Then he attended a rally and joked that he’d considered canceling because he was having a bad hair day. Then on Monday morning his blonde Eva Braun, Kellyanne Conway, suggested not that the murders were anti-Semitic but rather “anti-religiosity” (the Evangelicals even want pity after a slaughter of Jews)…

while Trump once again attacked the media, which is like quintupling down on his gas lighting. It’s all very, very obscene.

Wow. That almost, ALMOST, sounds like a call to arms for more alt-right whack jobs to attack the press. I wonder which cable news TV host will be assassinated first. It’s coming. And when it happens, trust me, Donald Trump will not hold himself accountable. Behind closed doors, he’ll smile.

3. Van-Demoninum

The Friday arrest was a reminder to us all that all vans house creepy characters (even Van Jones, what with that interview of Jared Kushner last week). A brief rundown of van enthusiasts will only prove that (thanks to all who contributed):

Jack Black, Mr. Schneebly in School Of Rock

Uncle Rico, Napoleon Dynamite….

Buffalo Bill, Silence Of The Lambs 

Fred, Daphne, Thelma, Shaggy and Scoob (and how did they get the money to finance their never-ending road trip? Selling drugs, probably)

Kelly Leak, The Bad News Bears

Matt Foley, who lived in a van down by the river…

Also: Jeff Spiccoli (though he’s not actually creepy, just stoned), Cheech & Chong (ibid) and Harry and Lloyd (might as well be stoned).

4. Indonesia Air Tragedy

A Lion Air Flight with 189 aboard crashed into the sea not long after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia. The pilot had requested to be able to return just 13 minutes after takeoff and then there was radio silence.

5. Mike Gundy’s Second-Best Press Conference Moment

We gotta admit, the Oklahoma State coach is right on (though we don’t collect unemployment checks here at MH).


Finally, FINALLY, someone made the smart play that the Twitterverse always clamors for. I don’t know if this wrecked your wager or your fantasy points and I don’t care. This is legen…wait for it….dary.

Music 101

Do You Love Me

It’s not every week that we feature a genuine classic here, but this 1962 gem by The Contours is certainly that. Backstory: THE Berry Gordy, Jr., wrote this song and intended to have The Temptations record it. But he literally could not locate them and was so impatient to release it, knowing it was a sure-fire hit, that he gave it to The Contours, whose first two singles had tanked. It was the right move for everyone involved, as lead singer Billy Gordon’s raspy vocals make it inimitable. The tune had two top-five runs, in 1962 and, thanks to its appearance in Dirty Dancing, in 1988.

Remote Patrol

Patriots at Bills

8 p.m. ESPN

A hero for these times

First, even we’re a little intrigued by a prime time game at Rich Stadium we mean Ralph Wilson Stadium, er New Era Field. Second, consider this a six-day advance warning that the Packers and Aaron Rodgers are playing Tom Brady and the Pats in New England next Sunday night and that contest will blow past any NFL or World Series ratings to date the past two months. Gonna be YUUUUUUUUGE. And we’d love to go if you have a spare ticket or two lying around.

Tonight, though, it’s just gonna be odd to see the Bills playing in prime time. If you go, bring a book. When New England is up by 50 in the second half, walk to the top row of the stadium, take off your coat/sweater/shirt and neoprene undergarment, and start reading your book. You’ll instantly become a meme.


by Chris Corbellini

Week 8 Picks:

Some thoughts on Big Data: Last January I sat at a kitchen table in a lower Manhattan apartment, the quiet of a cold Sunday morning behind me, slush on the ground, and made an executive decision regarding fantasy sports: let me try a roster made up of quantitative roster choices, based purely on data and nothing else, and roll with it. I was alone, and thankfully so – I was betraying my instincts and years of pro football experience in storytelling and qualitative film evaluation. It just felt weird. A buzzy feeling crawled up my spine.

After all, you never go against your instincts, right? Because that’s what I was doing. And taking a 30,000-foot view of it, I wondered, why was I being so weird about a single fantasy lineup that no one else cared about? I wasn’t exactly rescuing orphaned kids from a burning ship here.

And still, I hesitated. Maybe because in one sense the years and long hours that came before in my football life would be rendered useless if I went quantitative. Maybe. Working in pro football is a dream. The long hours are the tradeoff, if you want to be good at it. You are trying to get an “A” in a pass-fail course with the NFL – because that’s who the league hires, and also because everyone around you is so good you often need to be obsessively competitive to keep up. So, this Quant Lineup I was making became an existential thing – as if all my choices in the past didn’t mean much. My head was screaming change your picks and go with your gut — I worked for those beliefs, and had enough experience to know my opinion was as good as anyone’s in the biz. It felt unnatural to go against all that experience.

But I didn’t make the change.

It was a single-game daily fantasy sports contest — Minnesota vs. Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game — with well over 300,000 entries. Grand prize was the biggie — $1 million. I had three entries, one was the Quant One in question and the other two a mix of Quant/Gut picks. There was no entry limit, so I was going against the sharks in the industry. The dudes that tout their picks on radio shows and websites. The millionaires. They enter hundreds of lineups in these biggies, which essentially gives them mad stacks of chips at the poker table, while you have a single $5 chip.

In the fourth quarter, I was out in front of all those big names, and everyone else. Eagles receiver Alshon Jeffery scored his second TD of the day in Philly, sending the Linc into hysterics, and I only vaguely heard it because my quant lineup was in fourth fucking place. And climbing. My whole of the Planet Earth was on my little (cracked) iPhone screen, which indicated a high five-figure payout. The million was just waiting for me. I jumped from my chair, stared at a friend for a looong moment, and said numbly “I need a drink.” This was what they called in the industry a sweat. They should just call it the shakes.

I poured myself a Scotch, plopped down on the couch, and watched as the Vikings got the ball back, trailing 38-7. If there had been a five-alarm fire in the apartment at that moment, with human beings and my Labrador retriever on fire, and my high school crush standing in front of me amidst all that chaos asking me to marry her, I wouldn’t have noticed it. Nothing mattered but the pixels on the iPhone screen, and the TV screen.

And, you know, at least I didn’t allow myself to think what would I do with that money. Good thing, because the ensuing series did me in:

–2nd & 6 at MIN 14 (9:14 – 4th) J.McKinnon up the middle to MIN 21 for 7 yards (M.Kendricks).

–1st & 10 at MIN 21 (8:56 – 4th) C.Keenum pass short right to J.McKinnon to MIN 28 for 7 yards

–2nd & 3 at MIN 28 (8:32 – 4th) C.Keenum pass short left to J.McKinnon to MIN 33 for 5 yards

–1st & 10 at MIN 33 (8:10 – 4th) C.Keenum pass middle to J.McKinnon ran ob at MIN 45 for 12 yards.

–1st & 10 at PHI 40 (6:34 – 4th) C.Keenum pass short middle to J.McKinnon to PHI 30 for 10 yards

Adds up to a totally meaningless 41 yards for running back Jerick McKinnon, during a drive that ended with an interception. It meant squat. But the Jerick McKinnon Garbage Time Power Hour mattered quite a bit to me. Those plays dropped me to 666th place, where I finished.

666. Perfect.

*** Out of the ashes of that experience is where I am with sports analytics. I get it now. The quants shall rule the Earth. It’s not a coincidence that my first-ever quantitative lineup sent me upwards to new heights. So much so that if your NFL team doesn’t have a quant team, I have to ask: “How’s 1966 treating you?”

At some point (soon), a pro football organization is going to find a perfect meld of old-school/analytical thinking, and become the new NFL dynasty. We’ll call it the Big Data era. It’s coming. Some sports executive, man or woman and probably south of 40 years old at the moment, will figure out how to combine those two schools of thought perfectly (that’ll be the qualitative part, getting those two schools to co-exist). That organization will then take all the big games, and the copycats will probably chase them for a decade. And when someone figures out how to measure emotional intelligence, and the exact cost, production-wise and chemistry-wise, of removing a very good player for a more affordable one … I mean, it’s over. The principles of those findings and the data could very well be put into practice in the corporate world, and a single team could make millions off it.

Ultimately, I think the numbers game was hard for me to fathom because I’ve been so close to pro football players over the last few years. Close enough where I could smack their shoulder pads between reps. I know their backgrounds. I know what gets to them. And with that … I noticed everyone is so different out there on the football field, even when plugging away together. That hard to quantify, right? Still, in the data there is a winning formula for the sport. I know it. It won’t be ignored. And it shocks me not at all that gambling will run side-by-side with those analytics in years to come.

So, this week, I tried to find the perfect balance of quantitative and qualitative with these picks. Let’s see where it goes. Hopefully not to the 666.

Like always, William Hill odds, and home team in CAPS.

BEARS (-8) over Jets

Here’s great stat from the betting tool at The Quant Edge (full disclosure: I work as an advisor to that start-up, and looked around the site this week): Should Mitch Trubisky have a great game at home, there’s a 79.3% chance Chicago will cover the line. I see no reason why he won’t play well. Mitch came within a yard of tying it against the Patriots in the final seconds last week, and practically scrambled to Lake Michigan on a score earlier in the game. This is his team now, and I’m sure that mad scramble had teammates talking all week. When the Jets try to box him in, he’ll just dink and dunk them to death.

I also entered the Pro Football Focus grading tool into an excel sheet this week to see the difference between the Jets offense and Bears defense, and I got -14.218. In other words, the Bears D is 14 points better in the matchup — or 1.29 per player. This is the biggest mismatch of the week. Ow. No doubt gambling experts will tell you that Da Bears are the lock of the week, and I can’t disagree with them this time. The numbers bear it out. Pun intended.

Colts (-3) over RAIDERS

So yeah, the Raiders are 32nd in the league against No. 3 receivers, 32nd in the league against tight ends, and 31st in the league against running backs in the pass game (stats courtesy Pro Football Outsiders). And after running back Marlon Mack gave us a brief injury scare earlier in the week, only to return and practice in full (he’s still listed as questionable), it’s all systems go for the Colts pass game. Andrew Luck will go all “Pass 2 from Techmo Bowl,” dropping passes to Mack in the flat, where Oakland’s average linebackers will struggle to keep up. We’re gonna blink and Luck will have 300. Coach Chucky threw in the bloody towel this season with the Mack and Amari trades, and perhaps QB Derek Carr — who had to defend himself on Twitter with a “I’m a Raider” stream of consciousness — is the next to go. The organization can’t get to Vegas and a blackjack table soon enough.

Patriots (-14) over BILLS

I know, I’m messing with the football gods with this pick. Going against a home underdog? -14. Really? At this juncture, yep. The Patriots are beginning to hit their stride. The Bills D will look to stymie James White in the short passing game – it’s Buffalo’s weakness (the defense ranks 24th against pass-catching running backs, according to PFO) and it’s White’s offense now, as he leads the Patriots in catches, touchdown catches, and Boston Globe Sports Friday features. And I think Buff’s strategy will work just long enough for Bill Belichick to glare at the offense, and *almost* raise his voice. New England will then counter-strike with its other offensive weapons, leading to a healthy heaping of Belichick/Brady gushing from the MNF announcers, and that’ll be that.

Tommy B will dive for a TD in the fourth quarter, pump his fist, spike the ball, and we’ll go to bed. By the way, another TQE stat: If Brady and White have good games, there’s an 80.5% chance New England will cover. So, I’m saying there’s a chance, Buffalo.

Eagles (-3) over JAGUARS

None of this is Wentz’s fault. Not the 3-4 record. Not the erratic play. And the NFC East is still up for grabs, so Philly has every reason to be jacked up for this business trip. Here’s a stat to remember: Jacksonville has allowed 400 passing yards to the right side of the field on short throws, where Wentz has done well. Strictly going on numbers here, Wentz should be able to pick at that right side — away from Jalen Ramsey, though I don’t think they’ll avoid him altogether — and thus a lot of that target volume will go to my favorite Eagle, Mr. DFS, Alshon Jeffery. I also put Philly-Jacksonville PFF player grades together in a spreadsheet for this one, based off a Jaguars three-receiver set due to the Leonard Fournette injury, and the Eagles D has over a 10-point advantage against the Jags offense, nearly a point per player.

After a key turnover or two, I see the Eagles prevailing by a TD and regaining their confidence. Time for the sweat of another NFL weekend. Or should I say, time for the shakes …

Last week: 2-2

Season: I don’t want to say … OK, gun to my head, it might be 8-17.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

MAGA Millions Lottery Winner!

I have a cat. I love my cat. He’s everything you’d want a cat to be: cuddly, passive-aggressive, fiercely unaffectionate unless he wants food, and an instigator of all sort of fluid-related messes.*

You know what he doesn’t do? Fetch. Which is why I never throw him a ball to retrieve.

NBC’s Andy Lack hired one fantastic cat and then ordered her to bark and for that, they’re both bozos. Lack is a bozo for ever thinking Megyn Kelly could be a daytime host with broad appeal and Kelly is a bozo for ever believing she’d be able to step out of the Fox News vortex of hate and paranoia and be the next Kelly Ripa or Ellen.

But Lack, 71, will still retire with a pile of gold and Kelly may walk away with as much as $69 million. She gets the money and she doesn’t have to do the job? Is America great or what? That’s just purr-fect.

*My cat would not authorize MH to use a photo of him for this piece.

2. Try A Little Tenderness

Look at these crisis actors! Crossing racial lines to actually be kind to one another. What is this country coming to, anyway?!? Hoping Twitter can get on top of this and suspend the accounts of the people who promulgated these videos. Did you watch the second video kind of wondering if the lady was going to call the police or take a pot shot at them? Because we’ve seen enough of those.

*MH staffers watched that video and thought, Well, she may be paying for gas with pennies but at least she owns a car. Must be nice!

3. Mike and The Fred Dog

We get it, Mike Francesa. You’re a New Yawk City guy, and New Yawk is a pro sports town, and here’s some schlep from Syracuse calling to ask your opinion about Fred Flintsone’s pet. Besides, college coaching names are whacko what with Dino and Dabo and Jimbo and Ed. O.

Still, it’s funny and very in character that Francesa is so dismissive of the caller. Instead of saying, “Who is that?” he decides to simply declare that such a person does not exist. Francesa, 64, retired last December and remained retired a full four months. He missed that daily jolt for his ego. He either needs to do more homework—Syracuse is the only Power 5 school in New York state and having a good season and, oh, they play Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium next month—or hang out with Megyn Kelly.

4. Yosemite: 2 More, That Makes 8

Two more people died in Yosemite National Park this week, bringing the total this year to eight and making it far more dangerous than surfing but still less dangerous than riding in an SUV limousine in upstate New York (too soon?).

By the way, this story is strange, or at least its coverage has been weird and perhaps a tad confusing (or incompetent). What happened was, a couple apparently was standing at Taft Point, a popular but perilous overlook at Yosemite and no one knows what caused it but they fell a few thousand feet to their deaths.

What makes this odd is that every story you read talks about how another couple posed at this spot a week ago, a photographer shot them in his frame and then went about on social media trying to locate them. Apparently that shot went viral and he’s still attempting to locate them but WHO THE F&%* CARES, THEY’RE NOT DEAD YOU JUST HAVEN’T LOCATED THEM AND WHY WOULD YOU THINK THAT YOU COULD?

Anyway, most stories we’ve read have focused more on this photo and the man’s search for this elusive couple than on the couple that actually died and I’m sure I had to read the story more than once or twice before I was absolutely sure we weren’t talking about the same couple (which, sure, we might be if the same couple visited the same spot one week apart).

I’m more frustrated than I ought to be by this. But you know, death by gravity, that’s just part of lie (Rule No. 1) whereas Bad Journalism, that’s something we ought to be able to combat.

5. This Is You, And That Is Every Day

We can all learn a lot from this pooch.


Two crazy moments from an NFL Thursday night game….


The dude in the suit is thinking, Wasn’t forcing me to shave this glorious beard punishment enough?


Being forced to watch videos of serial killers at breakfast but it’s not toxic at Maryland? Okay…At the very least it’s twisted.

Music 101

The Rest Of The Dream

While certainly a song of its era in terms of sound, this 1990 offering from criminally underrated musician/songwriter John Hiatt remains a timeless gem. It’s an ode to parents and their children (“When you can’t find a light at the top of the stairs/When you cry in the night/You know I’ll be there”) and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band liked it enough to cover it the same year it was released (and it’s really lame, but we run it so that you can appreciate how awesome Hiatt is). Hiatt is in the midst of an East Coast swing right now and coming to a theatre near you!

Remote Patrol

World Series: Game 3

Red Sox at Dodgers

8 p.m. FOX

The Red Sox have celebrated series wins at Yankee Stadium, Minute Maid Park and maybe, as early as Saturday or Sunday, at Dodger Stadium

As our Twitter pal Andrew Hammond asked Wednesday night, “Does anyone really think this series is returning to Boston?” L.A. would need to win two of three in Chavez Ravine for this to happen. The Sox are 9-2 in the postseason after a 108-win regular campaign and we feel obliged to remind you, again, that all this has been done without Dustin Pedroia who, while no longer in his prime, is still a mighty good player.

This actually looks like the opening scene from a Stephen King horror novel.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Andrew Benentendi is our favorite Red Sox. If we could trade for one, it would be him. Maybe because we’re both Italian. I dunno.

Starting Five

Bombs Away

Two days after a pipe bomb was sent to liberal billionaire (apparently there is such a thing) George Soros, similar suspicious packages were mailed to the Clintons, Obamas, CNN and Senator Maxine Waters.

Investigators aren’t saying whether or not these were actual pipe bombs or fascimiles, but last night at a rally in Wisconsin America’s greatest blow hard, Donald Trump, absolved himself of any blame. “No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains, which is done often and all the time,” said Adolf HiTrump. “It’s got to stop. We should not mob people in public spaces.”

He’s right about the historical villains comparison. Hitler, after all, was not German.

A reminder that Trump has called Waters “crazy,” CNN and its like “the enemy of the people,” and leads “Lock her up!” cheers regarding Hillary Clinton. And only a week ago he praised a Montana politician for assaulting a member of the press. But it’s not his fault the far right is becoming even more brazen in terms of potential violence.

Yes, the entire Trump presidency is a ticking time bomb…

2. Toronto Rapture

The best team in the NBA is…the Toronto Raptors? Okay, maybe not but early in the season Toronto (5-0) is the best in the East. The addition of still-in-his-prime and fresh-legged Kawhi Leonard has done wonders. Leonard posted 35 last night in a win against the  Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s nice to have Mr. HUGE Hands back in the game.

3. Stock, Drop and Roll

The Dow plunged 600 points on Wednesday and the Nasdaq plunged 4.4%—that index’s worst day in seven years. Over at Walker Capital, MH’s investment arm, we’ve stopped shipping in the LaCroix and are compelling all employees to drink out of the tap. We’re tightening both our bootstraps and our chinstraps (no matter what Merrill Hoge says).

Anyway, it’s been a grim month but we believe that there are three emotions involved with investing: euphoria, calm and panic. When you’re euphoric, sell or hold. Never buy. When you’re calm, don’t do anything too drastic. And when you’re in panic mode, hold or buy. DO NOT SELL.

In the immortal words of that sage investor from Platoon, Sgt. Barnes, “Take the pain.”

It’s good for you.

4. Blackface-Listed

Remember, NBC dumped $24 million into a contract for Megyn Kelly, which was quite the costly lesson to learn for something we could have gladly told them: Yes, those anchors you watch on Fox are actually as out of touch with the average decent American as you presume them to be.

Kelly may be blonde and she may (up until today) host a daytime talk show, but she’s the anti-Ellen DeGeneres.  She’s not warm, she’s not relatable, she’s not funny and she’s definitely not friendly. Whatever NBC execs thought they saw in her, they were wrong—and some exec who pees standing up and lobbied for her to join the team should be canned (If you wonder why are there so many dopes in high-level positions in media, it’s because they get there by mimicking the maneuvers of the high-level dopes who are their bosses on the way up).

Kelly did apologize today but it’s too late. She is out, based on those completely tone-deaf blackface comments. It would have been awkward enough if a guest on the show had defended wearing blackface (on a show that airs at 9 a.m.), but for the host of the show to do it? Anyway, I’m sure she’ll be a welcome presence on whatever right-wing whack-job radio network that employs Rush Limbaugh. Time to return to your tribe, Megyn.

5. Mercury Retrograde

You know how you can’t wait to see the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody? Have you noticed that while the music in the trailer rocks you (clap clap) and while Rami Malek looks and feels enough like lead singer Freddie Mercury, that the dialogue feels trite and hackneyed? And that’s the trailer, which stuffs in all the best moments.

Alas, your instincts are correct, at least according to this review. Writer David Ehrlich basically says that the film took the satirical Walk Hard (a parody of every rock biopic ever filmed) and then tried to be that minus the funny.

Something to remember: surviving band members Brian May and Roger Taylor originally wanted to do this film more than a decade ago and believed that Freddie’s way-too-early AIDS-related death was just the midpoint of their story. That’s clearly delusional.

May and Taylor also have their fingers in this pie, and apparently were far too worried about how everyone would come off as opposed to presenting a vivid and accurate portrayal. If the film wanted to break free, it never actually does. But the music is still great; they couldn’t crush that.


Hudson Whodunnit

Two female bodies were found washed up on the shore of the Hudson River just half a mile south of Medium Happy World Headquarters on Wednesday afternoon. The unidentified females were bound together at their feet by duct tape. That’s about all we know right now but chances are that they were dumped upriver a ways and floated down toward the Upper West Side.

Music 101

Party All The Time

Here’s what’s funny: It’s not a bad song, and how many acts would love to be able to say they had a single spend three weeks on the Billboard charts at No. 2? But when Eddie Murphy released this, he was 24 years old and one of the biggest stars in the world purely off his precocious comic genius. He was the Michael Jackson of comedy and now he wanted to be the Michael Jackson of music?!? People thought it was a bit, until they realized it wasn’t. And no one ever really took Murphy seriously as a comic again once he began taking himself so seriously as an “artist.”

Remote Patrol

High Anxiety

8 p.m. TCM

Mel Brooks was riding quite the winning streak (Blazing Saddles followed by Young Frankenstein) when he wrote this lampoon of psycho dramas. While not quite in those films’ class, this one is still a treasure and Cloris Leachman as Nurse Diesel (“Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup”) is the model for all future dominatrix types. Note the wispy mustache.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

We have a tie! Here’s Sid The Kid scoring the goal that will lead off every Hall of Fame montage in which he ever appears…

…and here’s Tony Atamaniuk as the prez detailing that he understands this nation better than we do, sadly.

Starting Five

1. Freeway Fuhrer 

It’s 2018 but someone forgot to inform the owner of this World War II German-model plane that the Battle of Dunkirk is over.  Let’s face it, though, living in the age of Trump, hearing that a Nazi war plane crashed on the 101 Freeway northwest of Los Angeles barely musters more than a yawn.

The pilot, who took off from Van Nuys Airport, walked away unscathed and we presume will return to his unit in the Malibu Luftwaffe shortly even though he was shot down behind enemy lines. MH staffers reached out to the pilot for a comment, but he only provided us with name, rank and serial number.

2. Maritime Of Their Lives

That’s Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu, and through viewer support of their YouTube channel, Sailing La Vagabonde, they’ve cruised 41,000 nautical miles across the high seas. Sure, it helps that they look like an early ’70s album cover, but their wanderlust has obviously inspired viewers.

They’re obviously not doing a lot of running. Yoga, perhaps?

To their credit, Riley saved up enough money to purchase a small boat, then made Elayna his first mate (!), and then they set up their video camera and suddenly it was smooth sailing. They even recently upgraded to a catamaran that costs more than $600,000.

They’re both Australian, in case you were wondering.

3. Tragedy At Utah

She was a heptathlete on the University of Utah track and field team and there’s no good reason why Lauren McCluskey, 21, is not alive this morning. Instead, she was shot dead by her 37 year-old ex-boyfriend, who later killed himself, on Monday night.

Two weeks ago McCluskey found out the man she was dating had lied to her about his past—he was a registered sex offender—and broke up with him. Then he began harassing her. Then she told university police. And they never informed his parole officer. On Monday night, as McCluskey was sitting in her car and talking to her mother on the phone, he approached her and shot her.

4. “When It Hasn’t Been Your Day, Your Week, Your Month, Or Even Your Beer*

*The judges acknowledge that the best MH hed we’ve written in ages, we didn’t even write. Our sister sent this one in.

This Ross Geller doppelgänger lifte a case of beer in Blackpool (north of Liverpool, on the northwestern English coast). Police are searching for both him and his monkey.

5. The Shipping News

Two things: First, a 2,400 year-old Greek trading ship was found intact on the floor of the Black Sea. If that little Swedish girl who found the Viking sword found this also, it’s game over. Meanwhile, might be a good time for Gordon Lightfoot to head back into the studio.

Second, as you’ve probably heard, they’re planning on sailing a replica of the Titanic on the same course in 2022. The Blue Star Line (yes, just like the one from the movie) is currently   building Titanic II in China. It will make its maiden voyage with room for 2,400 passengers from Dubai to Southampton, England (where its namesake sailed from) and then head across the Atlantic to New York.

Our guess is that every passenger will attend the lifeboat drills.

Fate being what it is, we’re worried it will collide with Riley and Elayna’s craft and while that will make for an extremely viral YouTube video, we’re not sure if that’s the best outcome for all.

Music 101

Highway Tune

This is Greta Van Fleet, a Michigan-based band for our times who sound as if they found their parents’ stash of Led Zeppelin albums. Recently, New York Times reviewer Jon Pareles had a problem with that. We don’t know why. Three of the four band members are brothers, so really they’re more like the Beach Boys or even Haim.

Remote Patrol

World Series, Game 2

8 p.m. Fox

Do you realize that Joe Buck has been calling World Series games since 1996? Sure, his pop was a broadcasting legend (Jack Buck), but Joe has smoothly transitioned into arguably the most valuable sports microphone wielder there is. And his sidekick, John Smoltz, is up to this level. We also love how Fox has kept the booth to two men.

As much as we loathe the Red Sox, there’s no better TV venue for a baseball game than Fenway Park. It’s a wonder more new parks don’t try for the more intimate, quirky setting.



by John Walters

Starting Five

MBS’ B.S.*

*The judges will also accept “Turkish, Bizarre” and “CSI: Istanbul”

Mohammed bin Salman’s lame attempts to Nathan Thurm his way out of the Jamal Khashoggi murder took another hit this morning as Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at length about what he termed a “premeditated murder” and demanded that those responsible, no matter how high up the ladder, be held accountable and tried in Turkey.

What we know: On September 28, a Friday, Khashoggi, a Saudi native, visited the Saudi consulate requesting papers to finalize his divorce so that he could marry his fiancee. Later that day Ahmad Abdullah al-Muzaini, the deputy head of the consulate, flew to Riyadh and met with Ahmad Asiri, the deputy chief of Saudi intelligence. al-Muzaini returned to Turkey on Monday, October 1; the assassination squad sojourned there the next day, October 2, the day Khashoggi was told to return for the paperwork.

Again, and we’ve asked it before: How stupid and how clumsy and how downright unnecessary of MBS? So a Washington Post columnist pens a few columns that get under your thaw and you get this butthurt? People will tell/have told me that this demonstrates that MBS didn’t care about the consequences; I disagree. If he did not care, he wouldn’t have tried to cover it up. He would have done it in broad daylight, Gran Torino-style, and bragged about it.

This was premeditated, but also a crime of anger and passion. MBS was like Homer Simpson on “rageahol” and he didn’t think through the consequences so much as he just wanted this “I’ll show you who’s boss” murder done because the opportunity presented itself. He insisted on stealth because he actually thought he’d get away with it.

What a dope.

If you’re scoring at home, the Saudis at first denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts or disappearance. Then they admitted he’d died during an interrogation gone wrong. They’re still yet to produce a body, or explain why a bone saw was brought to an “interrogation.” Nor can they explain why a body double dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes was sent out of the consulate that afternoon to walk about in public places in Istanbul so that there’d be surveillance “proof” of his being out and about.

We’re nearly at the point where Donald Trump and Jared are just going to have to (once again) lie directly to our faces. Fortunately for them, they’ve had plenty of practice.

2. Caravandalism!*

*The judges will also accept “Hondurance Run” and “Minority Deport”

No matter what you think of the 7,000-plus Hondurans making their way northward from Honduras to what they hope will be the U.S. border, a pilgrimage that will still take them at least another six weeks, think about this: Can you imagine 7,000 Americans making this trek?

I mean, think of all the whining: “My phone’s almost out of juice” or “I can’t find a Starbucks serving pumpkin spice anything” or “I’m a binge-watcher, not a binge-walker!

Anyway, we don’t want to beatify these folks, but we don’t want to (as a certain president is doing) demonize them, either. Our guess is if you’re that desperate to flee the country you call home that you’d put up with marching 1,500 miles through Guatemala and Mexico, you must really want it. Not that (The Mayflower) we Americans (the Pilgrims) would have  any concept (Plymouth Rock) of what (Happy Thanksgiving!) that would be like.

3. Nationalist Lampoon

As my high school friends and I like to say, “What The WTF?!?” The president of the United States, appearing in Houston to support old enemy Ted Cruz (incidentally, he mocked Beto O’Rourke for going by a childhood nickname [full name, Roberto] while conveniently ignoring that Ted is actually Rafael Edward Cruz, but when have facts ever mattered to Trump or his mindless supporters who pay him unadulterated fealty?), dropped any pretense of not being on the side of the neo-Nazis last night when he said, “You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, okay?…Use that word, use that word.”

Now when I make the inevitable comparison to Adolf Hitler, the previous century’s most avowed nationalist, some will roll their eyes. Why? They’ll always go immediately to the worst things Hitler did, you know, like kill 6 million Jews and incite a war that resulted in 70 million dead worldwide.

But here are the points they always seem to miss: 1) Hitler didn’t start out that way. In the early 1930s, he was doing all the same things that Trump is doing now. All of them; Trump is basically operating from his playbook, and 2) And this may be the more important point to make: even if Trump never goes down the genocide/World War III route, why would you as an American ever want a president who so closely identifies with Adolf Hitler as a leader? Aren’t the shared values bad enough? Do you really want to sell your soul and the actual values that the USA stands for just to make sure another Kenyan doesn’t occupy the White House?

4. LAL? LOL!*

*The judges will also accept “Cranky Goes To Hollywood”

Four of the NBA’s 30 teams are winless after nearly one week of games, and LeBron James’ new team is one of them (as is his most recent former team). The Lakers lost 143-142 to the Spurs in overtime last night to move to 0-3. That’s not instant oat meal, by a long shot.

It’s not that we’re so happy that LeBron is losing as we are that this is totally screwing with ESPN’s boo-boo kiss love affair with the Lakers. The ESPN NBA show headquarters are located a mere minute or two by foot from Staples Center, and they’re certainly not there for the Clippers.

A couple things: Villanova product Josh Hart was, not at all to our surprise, a great pickup. The rookie scored 20 off the bench last night. He’s already a pro’s pro. We told you we loved both him and teammate Donte DiVincenzo last spring before the draft…Also, have you noticed that nobody seems to be playing defense this season? A few scores from the first week of games: 143-142 (OT), 125-124(OT), 131-120, 133-111, 132-112, 140-136, 131-123, 149-129, 124-123, 131-112

5. Clueless Joe*

*The judges will also accept “MAGA Millions!”

So many mornings as we type we have CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on in the background. More often than not it’s on mute because co-host Joe Kernen almost always makes our ears bleed with his reliably tone-deaf statements. Besides being a chauvinist and a Trump cheerleader, Kernen consistently fulminates on topics that demonstrate how out-of-touch he is with anyone who doesn’t frequently lunch at Del Frisco’s on the expense account.

To wit, yesterday his sane and agreeable co-hosts, the full-generation-younger Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin, were talking about the Mega Millions jackpot and how it had exceeded $1 billion. And this is where Kernen felt the need to interject, “I don’t know, I just think that it’s so much more satisfying to earn it than win a lottery.”

Well, duh, Joe. Let us clue you in on a few things: You more than likely are in the top 1% of wage earners, and I’m not here to say that you don’t earn it or that your job is easy. I respect that you wake up every morning before dawn and are on the air for three hours live.

But here’s the thing: there are millions of Americans who work every bit as hard as you, millions who work harder, who because of the careers they chose will never, ever be in the top 1%. Teachers. Firefighters. Police. Nurses. They’ll never even be in the top 5%, which means they’ll never have the access to luxuries that you do.

And while no one should rely on a lottery to change their fate in life, the idea that everyone is going to have the opportunity to be rich, or should covet that, is asinine. Moreover, what you are saying implies that you equate how much you earn with how hard you work. As if you are saying, If people just worked a little harder (the way I’ve done), they’d be wealthier.

Sorry, no. The shittiest analyst at J.P. Morgan is still likely to earn more than the best teacher in the Bronx. The laziest, cocaine-snorting, skirt-chasing bond trader at Citi Bank will still earn more than almost every nurse in every big city hospital.

Wealth and hard work do not go hand in hand. Wealth is a product, for almost all, of your family upbringing (trust fund, inheritance, etc.) or the choice of profession. And as I was talking to a family member about this last night, she said something that stuck with me, “When did we start looking down on people just because they were poor?”

Or even middle-class?

Music 101

More More More

In 1975 Andrea True was a porn star living in Jamaica (we’ve all been there…the Caribbean, that is, not porn stardom) when an attempted coup prevented her from leaving the country with the wages she’d earned from some work. So she called on Gregg Diamond, a songwriter, to come visit and help her write and record a song. The result was one of the most popular songs of the disco era, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard charts in 1976. Stick around for the second half of the song and you’ll hear the riff that Len would later steal as the backdrop for their one hit, “Steal My Sunshine.”

Remote Patrol

World Series, Game 1

Dodgers at Red Sox

8 p.m. Fox

There’s the Babe, front and center

These two franchises last met in a World Series in 1916, when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and were known as the Robins and when Boston played in Fenway Park and were known as the Red Sox. In Game 2 of that series, Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth went all 14 innings in a 2-1 Boston victory (the Bambino went 0 for 5 batting, though he had an RBI—not the game-winner). The Babe’s final 13 innings that day were scoreless, and though Boston’s home field was Fenway, they played their World Series games at Braves Field, as they were able to draw 10,000 or more fans at that venue.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

We really hope Phyllis does not ask us to explain why this is funny….

Starting Five

This is the 9-minute mile gate….

1. The Walking Dread

On the one hand, yes, you just can’t allow thousands of illegals to cross into Texas as if they’re in the midst of a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. On the other hand, this is what you reap when you separate thousands of children from their parents.

Of course, that’s just a tiny slice of the 7,000 or so Honduran migrants who have crossed the Suchiate River that separates Guatemala from Mexico and are now continuing north. You have to admire these folks’ desire for a better life and yet as November bears down on us in the northeast, I’m thinking a beach below the Tropic of Cancer wouldn’t be the worst thing (Can you Air BnB switch with a Honduran migrant?).

Are we headed toward another Kent State massacre, just on a larger scale? And why won’t anyone take us up on our idea to economically invade Honduras, i.e., let our raging venture capitalists take over the economy, build luxury resorts and Zaxby’s chicken eateries, and then no one would want to leave?

President Trump has frequently derided our border laws as “a joke” but has yet to come up with a realistic and/or viable alternative (no, “The Wall” is not it). The most popular policy being considered at the moment to deal with the caravan involves the following: “Parents would be forced to choose between voluntarily relinquishing their children to foster care or remaining imprisoned together as a family. The latter option would require parents to waive their child’s right to be released from detention within 20 days.”

The problem, as we see it, is that any finite amount of incarceration only means that the illegal immigrants will try again at a later date. Any undetermined amount of incarceration is both illegal (unless, you know, you’re Muslim and happened to be walking down the wrong street in Kabul at the wrong time) and extremely costly to U.S. taxpayers. Violence—just mow ’em down when they try to cross—would probably be a popular option at certain red-state precincts and in the Saudi royal palace, but not play well as a long-term strategy and would eventually foster an Oscar-nominated picture starring Penelope Cruz and George Lopez, directed by Alfonso Cuaron.

“Badges?!? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”

And who wants that?

So, it’s a sticky situation, and it’s only worsening. The Border Patrol apprehended 16,658 people in family units in September, a record amount. Our radical idea is one we’ll stick with. Play offense. Invade those countries. All that coastline. All that arable land. The price of a bottle of Casamigos would plummet, no? Call me loco, but it just might work. Would you rather re-locate for your job to Detroit or Puerto Vallarta?

2. Purdue Comes Through

Rondale Moore, Moore, Moore/How do you like it/How do you like it

A terminally ill student…a prime-time game at Ross-Ade Stadium on ABC…an unranked program, one that hadn’t knocked off a top ten opponent since 1984, taking on mighty Ohio State, ranked No. 2.

The Boilermakers didn’t just win and upset the Buckeyes, they curb-stomped them, 49-20. For some reason Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins attempted a school-record 73 passes, as suddenly Urban Meyer’s surfeit of 4- and 5-star offensive linemen forgot how to run-block.

Meanwhile, Tyler Trent, who is dying of bone cancer, became a national celebrity, as Tom Rinaldi worked his tinkling piano magic once again. He seems like a terrific young man and we’re genuinely thrilled for him that he had this moment, even if ESPN did lay it on, as is their habit, a little thick.

How Purdue was this weekend? The school’s greatest alum not to orbit the earth in a lunar vehicle, Drew Brees, completed his NFL cycle by beating the last team he’d never defeated, the Baltimore Ravens. And even that was somewhat magical, as it required Raven kicker Justin Tucker to miss the first PAT of his career (he was 222 of 222 until that moment) in the waning seconds of the game as New Orleans won 24-23. Tucker had been the only kicker with a serious amount of PATs from the NFL’s new distance, which changed in 2015, to never miss a PAT from that distance.

He can’t believe it, either

Tucker appeared shocked, but that’s just the kind of weekend it was for Boiler Up! acolytes. As Brees departed his post-game presser, he shouted, “Go, Boilermakers!”

3. Michigan’s Moment


All I can say, as a Notre Dame alum, is that I’m really glad the Irish don’t have to face Michigan this season.

4. Rio Naranjo Tragedy

In Costa Rica, four Americans on a bachelor party excursion drown when their raft capsizes on the Naranjo River. The guide also perished. The Americans, ages 25 to 35, were all from the Miami area and the river was swollen and flooding due to recent heavy rains. Pro tip: when the water is brown, don’t go rafting.

5. Walk-Off Go-Home Run

This is Kenya’s Kenenisa Bekele, who is arguably the greatest marathoner ever to lace ’em up. Yesterday he was running the Amsterdam Marathon and had the lead at the 18-mile mark. He began to get tracked down by some in the lead pack and by the final mile he was in 10th place or so. With about a half mile remaining in the 26.2-mile event, Bekele simply stopped running and walked off the course (above). No “Finisher” T-shirt for you, Kenenisa.

When asked why his client did not finish the race, Bekele’s agent, Jos Hermens said, “Tell me why he would? I know he was going to finish in 10th place probably, 2:10. And then push another 2k? It’s no use.”

Music 101

Mr. Soul

Look, kids, it’s Neil Young in a lime-green fringe outfit. Here’s Buffalo Springfield (the name is taken from a brand of steamroller) performing at the Hollywood Palace in 1967. Little-known fact we learned while researching this: before joining this future R&R HOF band, Young was in his native Canada all set to join a group called the Mynah Birds, but the band’s lead singer, Ricky James Matthews., was arrested by the U.S. Navy for being AWOL. That singer served a year in prison and so Young headed to California. You know that singer better as “I’m Rick James, bitch!”

Remote Patrol

Monty Python’s Best Bits


We were way too young and our tiny brain was not fully formed when the local PBS station would air “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” in the early Seventies. Go back and watch some of their best sketches (“The Argument Clinic”) for one in this five-episode series, as comics and actors from today (Jim Carrey is, expectantly, animated and hilarious describing his passion for the troupe) introduce the sketches.



by Chris Corbellini

Overshare warning: I didn’t exactly wow an NFL team during a recent chat, I bitched to Medium Happy EIC John Walters via text about working for free*, my accounting course could be going better, and I’m currently dealing with a slight hangover due to a wedding rehearsal dinner that got all Malbec-y. That’s the cloudy-sky version of things.

The sunny side: I did pick up a sweet consulting gig, an NFL team actually wanted to talk to me, I’m actually studying at Columbia, John actually allows me to write here, and one of my favorite family members is getting married, and seeing her smile last night I must admit it’s hard to be a misanthrope. I’m running towards life this weekend. Good things lay ahead. Even with these picks. “Things *do* turn around, Steve,” Cameron Crowe once wrote. And I believe it.

So anyway, yeah, that’s a long way of writing that on a professional note … I didn’t get these picks in until Saturday around noon. Home team in CAPS. William Hill odds.

* (Editor’s Note: I, too, have bitched to John Walters about writing for free…)

MIAMI (+3) over Detroit

When in doubt, go with the home dog. Last week I was certain the Bears D was going to pound and grind the Dolphins into a tuna melt, but Brock Osweiler made things interesting. By comparison, the Lions linebackers are poorly rated on Pro Football Focus, and field a corner who, according to the grading system, is one of the worst in the league. So, throw more than few dump-offs to Kenyan Drake, put in Frank Gore at the goal-line, and get Danny Amendola involved, and the Dolphins get to a single eyebrow raising 5-2. I see the Dolphins winning this by a field goal, with cries of “Why not us?” before Brady throws for seven touchdowns against them in mid-December, and Amendola refuses to hug it out with Tom after the game.

INDIANAPOLIS (-7.5) over Buffalo

I really wanted to write that the Bills will cover here. They showed me enough at Houston last week to second-guess this. But Buffalo’s new QB, Derek Anderson, is being force-fed the offense in a few days, and his last start was in 2016 (and only to punish Cam Newton). I think Anderson will make some good throws on muscle memory alone, and the Bills defense will play nasty at times (especially on the defensive line), and this week it won’t be enough.

Dallas (+1.5) over WASHINGTON

I have this working theory that coaches who’ve failed miserably as NFL HC’s make terrific assistants. Something about having a second chance reinvigorates them, and while they understand the big picture the way a head coach would, they don’t have all that responsibility anymore and can focus on a specific area. Example: Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. He washed out in St. Louis, and now doing great things with Dallas QB Dak Prescott.  And defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli? Suffered through a winless season with the Lions in 2008, and is now putting together a top defense without any established stars in Big D. Dallas is one receiver away from contending, but still, these Cowboys do look dominant at times.

KANSAS CITY (-6) over Cincinnati

At Arrowhead? Nah, not this week Cincy. For starters, the Bengals don’t have the speed to keep up with Tyreek Hill.  Plus, I keep reading about the dirty play of Cincinnati LB Vontaze Burfict, and it’s clear all the frustrated quotes from opponents are feeding into his self-worth as a player. He thinks he’s doing the right thing. Well, the football gods are getting angry, Vontaze. There will be a reckoning when you hit people late over and over just to hit people late.

Opponents see that … so not only will they target Burfict whenever they can, there is a possibility Bengals QB Andy Dalton absorbs a few late shots himself. You know, just enough of an elbow that’ll make Dalton feel it and the refs won’t be able to see. I predict Hill will score a long one, TE Travis Kelce will score underneath, and perhaps Burfict has a meltdown to remember. “Instant karma’s gonna get you. Yeah, you.”

Last week: 1-3

Season: 6-15

My head still hurts a little