by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

1. Chiberia

We didn’t coin the above term, but we wish we had. It looks brutally cold in the Second City this week and it was 23-below yesterday. The last time anyone saw a U.S. city this frigid, Jake Gyllenhaal was searching for his dad.

When it’s THIS cold in the Midwest and it’s THAT hot in Australia, it makes us wonder if Snow Miser and Heat Miser are feuding again.

Why isn’t he wearing gloves?!?!

Also, the Minnesota Timberwolves actually played last night, at home, despite temperatures dipping to 29-below. The game against the Grizzlies went into overtime. The crowd was announced at 13,000-plus. I don’t think so.

2. “BP” Stands For

  1. Best Picture?
  2. Black Panther?

The question is, At next month’s Oscars will those two be interchangeable? The MH Cinema Snobbery Crew believe they will. Yes, we believe Black Panther will win Best Picture.

Should it? We don’t know and we don’t care. We just think it will.

Why? Because Roma is the closest thing to a legitimate Best Picture, but few people saw it and almost as many had the same reaction while watching it as the deadbeat boyfriend did during the movie date scene in Roma.

Bohemian Rhapsody? Won Bet Picture at the Golden Globes and even its producer looked as if he was about to apologize. BlacKKKLansman? Not close. A Star Is Born? The GGs and SAGs showed it little love; we don’t see Oscar reversing that course. The Favourite? An English period piece that doesn’t know if it’s a comedy or tragedy and is whiter than the avalanche scene from Force Majeure? Nope. Vice? Everyone is sick of politics. Green Book? Possible, but if you’re going down the kumbaya-racial-harmony road, why not just go all the way and give THE MOST FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL ALMOST-ALL BLACK CAST OF ALL TIME FILM THE OSCAR?

#OscarsSoWhite? You can’t say that now. Oscar doesn’t like super hero films or blockbusters? Shut up! With one decision the Academy can shut up most of its detractors and still give Roma the Best Foreign Picture statuette.

We saw Black Panther and we thought it was okay. Not great, but okay. The actors were extremely good-looking. There was that. But we think it will win. For one Academy Awards at least, Oscar will be made of Vibranium and the last words you may hear are “Wakanda Forever!”*

*Our nasty wish is that Warren Beatty or whoever reads the card wrong and early into the acceptance speech the producers of Black Panther see that their award was meant for BlacKKKlansman.

3. Bahamian Rhapsody

Always preparing

If you’ve seen the Netflix Fyre Festival doc (not sure if he shares this anecdote in the Hulu doc), you won’t forget Andy King. He’s the well-heeled, creamy-lipped (?) pal of Billy McFarland who was told by the doomed festival promoter that he might have to “take one for the team” and then was only too happy to be a team player.

In the past week or so, King has become the web’s favorite meme, a flirtation with infamy that has brought him to his knees. Still, the events promoter/entrepeneur warned, and he actually used these words, that while he was “blown away” by the attention, he does not “want to be known as the blow job king of the world.”

Doesn’t he look like someone who should be in Congress?

4. What To Do With Amazon?

“Alexa, don’t tell my wife about this”

Tech/retail/and-soon-to-be-healthcare? giant Amazon reports its earnings after the bell today. As you know, musing on where Amazon stock is headed is almost as popular on this site as is hating on the Super Villains at Susie B.’s gated estate in Maryland.

Last Friday Amazon stock hit $1,680 per share.

On Tuesday it dipped to $1,592.

Yesterday, after AAPL and FB announced solid earnings and when Fed Chair Jeremy Powell announced he’d be holding his horses on rate hikes, AMZN shares shot up to $1,670. And then to $1,691 after the bell. (UPDATE: And now $1,702).

Is the rally on? Or has the price jump already been baked in with Tuesday’s leap? Guess what: We have no idea. But maybe you do?

5.  God-Forsaken

We don’t know what else to put in this space today, so why not include America’s most misplaced Cracker Barrel server, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders, telling two evangelist interviewers that “I think God wanted Donald Trump to be president?”

Meanwhile, this piece in Salon is outstanding is it walks readers through the final moves of Robert Mueller’s chess game.

Music 101

Don’t Cry Out Loud

No era did sappy melodramatic AM radio tunes quite like the Seventies, and Melissa Manchester was riding in the first-class car on the tear train. Maybe punk rock was born out of necessity. Anyway, this song was written by Peter Allen (an ex-husband of Liza Minnelli’s) and Carole Bayer Sager, who also wrote Arthur’s Theme. That’s a lot of schmaltz for two people to produce. This video, by the way. I mean…

The song peaked at No. 10 in 1979.

Remote Patrol



Our friends to the north who are snowbound and housebound recommended this to us. It’s Canadian and it’s funny, but maybe NSFP (Not Safe For Phyllis). Enjoy.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

1. Life Below Zero

If you know someone in the Midwest, they may experience the coldest day of their lives today or tomorrow. Some 90 million will experience temps below zero, while 25 million of those will experience cold below minus-20 degrees.

Grand Forks, N.D.: minus-27.

Minneapolis: minus-27.

Duluth, Minn: minus-26.

Chicago: minus-19.

Des Moines: minus-16.

Wind chills in these cities will take another 10 to 30 degrees off the thermometer. Meanwhile in Australia, it’s so HOT that snakes are taking refuge in people’s toilets (no, mate, that is NOT the world’ longest dump you are staring at).

But back to The Biggest Chill. In Chicago, where there are estimated to be 80,000 homeless people, a week like this is an actual national emergency. Maybe they’ll build a wall against the cold. Or maybe they’ll tweet about it.

2. Feeling Minnesota

There’s snow place like home…

Meanwhile in northern Minnesota, the most frigid temps in 50 or so years did not stop the Arrowhead 135, an ultra marathon, from being staged. The race, in which competitors may run, mountain bike or ski, covers 135 miles from International Falls, MN (often the coldest spot in the Lower 48) to the Fortune Bay Casino, also in Minnesota.

This year approximately 160 racers embarked just before dawn on Monday morning and as of now there are still seven runners out on the trail. Here are this year’s results as of now, with a 7 p.m. local drop dead (not literally, although…) limit on racing:

–none of the skiers finished

–39 of the 75 bikers finished

–6 of 57 runners finished, with 7 still out on the course.

3. Love And Hate

Also in Chicago, early Tuesday morning (i.e., just after midnight betwixt Monday and Tuesday), actor Jussie Smollett from Empire was attacked and brutally beaten. The attackers, who doused him with an unknown substance and also attempted to put a noose around his neck in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood, allegedly yelled homophobic and racist slurs. Smollett’s character on the show, like Smollett, identifies as gay (and as black, I mean, since neither are really a choice…c’mon, people, it’s 2019).

Meanwhile in Atlanta, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks gave two tickets to the Super Bowl and is paying all expenses for the team’s locker room janitor.

Love and hate. We always have a choice, as Preacher showed us. By the way, last night for reasons I won’t explain, I went back and re-read the lyrics to “Where Is The Love?” by the Black-Eyed Peas (yes, this is the same band that gave us “My Humps.” Leave it alone). Read them if you have some time. Straight-up gospel stuff.

4. Stairway To Hell

To live in New York City is to see mothers attempting to carry a stroller down a flight of stairs into the subway station. Almost always, no matter the neighborhood, someone spots that mom (or nanny) at the top or foot of the steps and provides an assist. We’ve all done it.

That’s what makes the death of Malaysia Goodson, 22, on Monday night so wrong. Goodson died attempting to carry her toddler down the stairs in a midtown subway station. The pols and media will harken for more elevators at subway stations ($$$). I’ll simply harken for more good Samaritans. It’s cheaper and it’s better.

5. Monsters Bald

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and…

…Balok, the alien at the end of the closing credits from the original Star Trek TV series. Both of them feel the Mueller Report needs to be released as soon as possible. Also, if you know the history of the series, both of them are figureheads being propped up by someone else, both lacking any real substance or bona fides. Look it up.

Music 101

I’d Love To Change The World

Fronted by guitarist Alvin Lee, the band Ten Years After took its name from the idea that it formed in 1966, or ten years after the birth of rock ‘n roll. This tune, by far the Brits’ most successful commercial release, peaked at No. 40 and epitomized the sense of confusion and frustration of the counterculture movement. The song’s opening lyrics: Everywhere is freaks and hairies, dykes and fairies.

Ten Years After played Woodstock and made the film, even though this song was not yet in their arsenal.

Remote Patrol

The Theory Of Everything


One of those delightful British historical films that either stars Eddie Redmayne or Benedict Cumberbatch or Keira Knightley. You decide. Remember when Redmayne, who won a Best Actor Oscar for this portrayal, nearly won two Oscars in two years after having been a complete nobody? The Academy wised up and said, “Whoaaaa! Whoaaaa! Who do you think you are, Hillary Swank?”


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Howard’s End?

Billionaire coffee merchant Howard Schultz does a sit-down with Andrew Ross Sorkin in a Manhattan Barnes & Noble to discuss how he’s considering entering the 2020 presidential race as an independent and gets fresh-roasted by an audience member.

Too many Americans are not ready for yet another outerborough-born billionaire (Brooklyn) coming in and mucking up the presidency. Especially because Schultz’s entry into the race as a third-party candidate could swing the election for the incumbent.

2. Pelican Westbound?*

*The judges will never apologize for a Haircut 100 reference.

Saturday: Saturday Night Live presents an insightful and spot-on skit about how obnoxious recent visitors to New Orleans can be.

Monday: Anthony Davis informs the Pelicans that he will not re-sign with them at season’s end. Dude, if you’re going to California why not join the Dubs? Do you realize that LeBron will be 35 next season and already has 1,400 career games under his belt? There are a lot more “groin injuries” in his future. We don’t want to say that we’re against anything that keeps the propagation of this Lakers 24/7 narrative alive, but we are.

A message to my ESPN friends: We love how Scott Van Pelt makes a plea about how the blogosphere/sports media annoyingly lives in the future and never the present. So how come all of you (SVP included, though at least he preemptively decries it) keep doing this “Lakers All The Time” bit? They stink and they have for awhile. We know they’re historically a great franchise, but your obsession with them is tantamount to tampering.

3. Zionist

Zion had 26, 9 and 4 blocked shots in last night’s victory in South Bend.

We’ve changed course in our Zion Williamson assessment. Yes, he’s not long and that may not be what NBA GM’s are looking for, and he’s not a great outside shooter, and he still dribbles like a bull in a china shop, but here’s what he does have: incredible energy and strength, especially around the rim.

The team that drafts him (wait, wasn’t I just hectoring ESPN about staying in the present a  moment ago?) is going to have to be amenable to having an outlier, a square peg, but there is something Xavier McDaniel/Rodney Rogers/Charles Barkley about his game that is highly appealing.

As for Duke this season, they’re really, really good. We prefer the Virginia Redemption storyline one year after being the first-ever No. 1 seed to be knocked out in the first round.

4. El Chapo, Meet The Sacklers

American Drug Kingpins

Yesterday in a Brooklyn court room the prosecution rested its case against notorious drug lord El Chapo (a.k.a. Joaquin Guzman). Also yesterday a Massachusetts court ruled that a lawsuit against the Sackler family, the nation’s most aggressive proponents and marketers of Oxycontin, will have its documents revealed on February 1.

Oxycontin and other prescription opioids are, in terms of American deaths per year, are the mot lethal drug, legal or illegal, out there. Two Sackler brothers, since deceased, were medical doctors who launched Purdue Pharma, which was the first big manufacturer of Oxycontin in the U.S.

The Sackler name is all over art institutions and other such cultural spots for the family’s philanthropy. Are they gonna get the Christophe Columbus treatment eventually?

5. Islam and The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

Take a few minutes if you have them (you do; get off Instagram) and read this wild adventure of a young man motorcycling through Kurdistan. If it sounds crazy, it kinda is, though not as crazy as biking your way through Syria. By Jason Motlagh in Outside magazine, which still often does tremendous work.

Music 101

These Eyes

Arguably Canada’s greatest rock group (after Rush), inarguably Winnipeg’s greatest rock group, this is The Guess Who. This was their first top ten single, released in 1969. The band once played the White House for Richard Nixon (but they were told not to play “American Women”) but we have no idea if they ever shared a bill with The Who.


Remote Patrol


2:45 p.m. TCM

Written by Billy Wilder, directed by Ernst Lubitch, and starring Melvyn Douglas and Greta Garbo, this 1939 comedy classic is your typical fish-out-of-the-Volga schtick. A stern Russian woman is sent to Paris to sell tsarist jewels after the Bolshevik revolution and finds herself irresistibly drawn to the Parisian lifestyle. Josef Stalin is subtly mocked. It’s like An American In Paris with much less dancing.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right


Starting Five

End Of The Stone Age?

From Roger Stone‘s Wikipedia page: “In 1977, at age 24, Stone won the presidency of the Young Republicans in a campaign managed by his friend Paul Manafort.” Those two have been tight for more than 40 years—they started a D.C. lobbying firm together in 1980. If you read up more on Stone you’ll learn that he treats politics a little like Fight Club: The First Rule of Politics Is There Are No Rules.

(Go directly to Kate McKinnon’s Wilbur Ross at 2:28)

Stone was arrested Friday morning in a pre-dawn raid and charged with seven felony counts. He is the embodiment of the Trump Villain: just a little too smug and pleased with himself. It’s not enough that he committed the crime; you can tell he wants a little satisfaction in the form of attention and that, ultimately, will prove his downfall.

Roger Stone’s going away just like Manafort and Flynn and Cohen and the rest. The question voters should ask themselves is, Next time, will there be a crew that is equally mendacious but not so stupid? Because that gang will truly be dangerous.

2. Maisel Tov!

At the SAG Awards, which don’t waste our time by handing out awards to unattractive people such as writers or directors or makeup folks, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (we’ve never seen an episode but we’d like to, so if you have Amazon Prime why don’t you be a dear and invite us over to binge?) wins Best Ensemble Comedy, Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress. Glenn Close wins “Best Actor In A Film No One’s Seen,” Rami Malek wins “Best Actor Portraying a Lead Vocalist,” and Black Panther wins “Best Ensemble Cast In A Film That Spike Lee Did Not Direct.”

Robin Wright at 52. Princess Buttercup still got it.

In other notes: Host Megan Mullally was a delight because she didn’t try too hard and Robin Wright must be doing pilates and yoga and cross-fit all at once. Bradley Cooper must be wondering if he’s just not that popular in Hollywood (as we’ve said before, if there were a “Best Trailer” Award or “Best First Half Hour” Award, A Star Is Born would be a shoo-in). Jason Bateman won for Best Lead Actor in a Drama and had our favorite line: “This is…reassuring,” before giving a sincere and sober speech about the rollercoaster life of showbiz. And yeah, that was Elvin (Geoffrey Owens) from The Cosby Show, a.k.a. the world’s most famous Trader Joe’s bagger, doing an “I’m an Actor” monologue in the open.

3. Mural, Mural On The Wall*

*The judges will also accept “Goodbye, Columbus”

As you may have read, the University of Notre Dame has decided to cover up the murals of Christopher Columbus that have lined the 2nd floor hallway walls of the Administration Building (you know it as the Golden Dome building) since the late 19th century. A few tweeps and friends have asked me what I think of this development (while a certain older family member gave this move three “Sheeshes” and an “Oh, Brother!”).

Let me begin: For two years I was a student tour guide at Notre Dame and every tour began in front of those murals with a brief description. To go back, I actually worked in the Admissions Office, but I was so incompetent at filing that our office manager, Josie, eventually moved me over to tour guide. For every hour I worked for her, I think Josie need another hour to correct my filing mistakes. At least once a week she shot me a glare that said, “If I’d known you were this dumb, I’d have made sure they never admitted you here.”

(As an aside, if you or one of your siblings did not get admitted to Notre Dame in the mid-Eighties, my filing errors may have had something to do with it. I’m sorry. But then again, look where you are today. And look where I am. So it all worked out for you!).

Back to Columbus: I’m not a leading scholar on whether or not Columbus was more pernicious or more of a product of his times. I do know that in 1985 and ’86 we ND students were not “woke” about Columbus. The nearest we got to being woke was owning a Benetton shirt. I doubt I really paid too much attention to the Columbus controversy before that Sopranos episode.

The problem for the university is that as the nation’s foremost Catholic institution, it positions itself as a paragon of virtue. Hence, if there is considerable evidence that Columbus played a major role in mass genocide, etc., etc., then you have yourselves a problem. However, if you scrub the Columbus murals, what next? I mean, the Catholic church has literally hundreds of priests who have been convicted of pedophilia. What happens when we begin to examine those legacies.

Remember, this is a school whose two most famous figures are 1) the world’s only know virgin mother and 2) its only known person to rise from the dead. So in terms of fanciful suspensions of disbelief, the Notre Dame community has already positioned itself at the very tip of the planet’s longest and flimsiest limb. It’s just serendipitous timing that the school was established after Galileo’s theories on heliocentrism became established as accepted fact as opposed to being heretical. There may have been murals in the Golden Dome illustrating the sun revolving around the Earth.

I’m not sure if I’ve made myself clear. But, really, I wasn’t half bad as a tour guide.

4. Government Hutdown

This is Warnscale Head, one of 100 or so “bothies” on the British Isles (I, too, was disappointed when I looked closer and did not see an “r” in that term). These communal huts, appealing to ascetics, are basically available to anyone who happens to reach one and is in want of shelter. Here’s the story from the lucky New York Times scribe who was able to trek out on this boondoggle.

In the pre-WorldWideWeb days bothies were a well-guarded secret, but because the internet ruins everything you are now able to find them mapped out and even provided with latitudinal/longitudinal coordinates. An aside: Northern Scotland is the most magical place we’ve ever visited—and we’ve been to Tucumcari, N.M.—so this would be a wonderful way to while away a fortnight or two.

5. It Wasn’t Me

James Corden and Shaggy hook up for a little parody tune.

Music 101


If you were one of the kids who bought Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak album in 1976, back when music came in vinyl that had two sides, this eponymous single was Side One, Track One. But when you flipped the disc over and the needle touched the outer most ring on Side 2, you heard one of the essential songs of the ’70s: “The Boys Are Back In Town.” Lead singer/songwriters Phil Lynott, an Irishman, isn’t a household name in the States, but he’s a legend back in Dublin. Lynott became addicted to heroin in the late ’70s/early ’80s and was only 36 when he passed away in 1986.

Remote Patrol

Duke at Notre Dame

7 p.m. ESPN

If you really hate Notre Dame (and not just because they had those Columbus murals up for 130 years), tune in tonight as Zion Williamson turns John Mooney into a poster. When we were students there, the Irish took down a No. 1-ranked Duke squad (if not 1, at worst 2 or 3). That ain’t happening tonight against what will likely be a No. 2 Duke squad. The Irish lost by 27 at home to No. 3 Virginia on Saturday. This could potentially be worse.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

1. Intolerable Cruelty

He’s a silly little man, that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The billionaire, appearing on CNBC yesterday morning with Andrew Ross Sorkin, said he did not understand why furloughed government workers are going to homeless shelters for food (tip: this is what many people who don’t get paid do). They should be taking low-interest loans out from banks instead.

Check out the second video where Ross refers to a family being broke as a “liquidity crisis.” Good grief. I’m sorry, who are the elitists? The good news is that Savannah Guthrie will probably have a sit-down with Wilbur later this week.

Later, attempting to ameliorate the gaffe but instead only exacerbating it (that’s two, TWO SAT words in one clause!), President Trump painted a Rockwellian portrait of being broke, “Local people know who they are, when they go for groceries and everything … They will work along. I know banks are working along … They know the people. They’ve been dealing with them for years. And they work along.”

When did “work along” become a phrase? And does Trump really expect Americans to believe we’re all living through the bank run scene from It’s A Wonderful Life (“Why, your money’s in Joe’s house…”). By the way, it struck us yesterday that it must seem like old times for Donald Trump: he’s got thousands of people working for him who are being told they’ll be getting paid later. You may want to ask a few dozen contractors, plumbers and construction workers in the Tri-State area how that movie ends.

2. In Other Jimmy Stewart Movie News

Early last evening a normally mild-mannered Senator from a flyover state gave an impassioned speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. And he didn’t even have to filibuster. Michael Bennett (D-Colorado) let bearded counterpart Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have it right between the eyes.

Our little commentary on how yesterday killed THE WALL, in the form of a geometric proof:

  1. President Trump proclaimed that he was going to build THE WALL and Mexico was going to pay for it.
  2. Mexico isn’t going to pay for it.
  3. Trump’s next step was to hold the budget hostage unless he got funding he wanted for THE WALL.
  4. In fact, ON CAMERA, in the Oval Office, Trump assured Bennett’s Senate colleagues Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, that he would take the blame for the government shutdown: If we don’t get what we want… I will shut down the government…I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. … I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down.”
  5. The government has been shut down for 35 days.
  6. Now the very people who were with Trump on this shutdown are watching as he and his billionaire cronies stiff hundreds of thousands of Americans and put air-traffic security at tremendous risk in order to get THE WALL.
  7. Trump doesn’t really care about Americans, he cares what Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham think. He’s not even willing to listen for one moment to reasonable alternatives to THE WALL. Because he understands that THE WALL is the symbol of his presidency. And if it fails, he fails. He’s willing to screw Americans for as long as it takes in order to get THE WALL.
  8. Yesterday, America got to see just how out of touch Trump and his cronies are with most of Americans. “Liquidity crisis” and “work along” from billionaires who’ve never had to work paycheck to paycheck.

  9. Having already lost the battle as to whom is to blame for the government shutdown, yesterday the White House lost the battle as to who the true elitists are. The only people who still believe in them are hopelessly racist or foolish.

3. Intolerable Cruelty, Part II

You need more? Here’s Larry Kudlow, the president’s economic adviser, attempting to portray his fundamentally wrong—and he knows it—interpretation of “volunteering” as a battle of semantics. It simply isn’t.

Of course, being told that you must come to work and do your job without pay or else be fired is not volunteering. It’s forced labor. Indentured servitude. It’s a hostage situation. But I’m sure Bill O’Reilly would point out that they are being well-fed.

How many more examples does America need to demonstrate just how little the filthy rich care about most of them? There’s only thing they want from you, there’s only thing they need from you and that is YOUR VOTE. And trust us, if there were a way to remain in office without having to figure out ways to manipulate you in order to obtain it (what do you think voter suppression is, anyway?), they’d go that route. They want NOTHING to do with you other than that you do your jobs for as little as possible.

4. Wait, There’s More?

This morning, before sunrise (just before 6 a.m.), FBI agents pounded on Roger Stone‘s door in Fort Lauderdale: “FBI! Open the door!”

Stone, a longtime friend and consigliere to Trump, was arrested and indicted on seven counts. The circle is closing.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, the FBI agents who conducted that raid have yet to receive a paycheck in 2019.

5. He Bru Outta Here

*The judges will also accept “Bru’s Your Daddy”

Just weeks into his early enrollment classes at USC, Bru McCoy, the Trojan’s lone 5-star recruit of 2019, enters the transfer portal. We’re not exactly sure how this will go down, but it could work out that McCoy will have to sit out a year no matter where he transfers (if indeed he transfers) even though we’re still one week away from National Signing Day. That’s because he signed during the early period and already enrolled at USC.

But that was before the Trojans’ new offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, moved on to the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals. It almost—I mean almost—seems unfair. McCoy, rated the No. 1 athlete prospect in the nation and a product of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, a giant feeder school for both USC and Texas, is reportedly thinking Longhorns. That would be a huge pickup for Tom Herman (until the NCAA finds out someone from the Longhorns was tampering…we’re only kidding…they’d never do that!).

The only other question is whether “Bru” is the past tense of “Bro” or of “Brah.”


ESPN’s Odd Couple

Bill Walton Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts

During the second half of last night’s “Conference of Champions” classic from Eugene, Bill Walton told partner Dave Pasch (I can’t recall why it came up) that he had been in Ghostbusters but that his scene was cut. Pasch, not surprisingly, was dubious. If you travel to the film’s IMDB page, however, you’ll find Big Red’s name in the cast credits, in the “others listed alphabetically” area.

Now, if only we can gets someone from ESPN to twist Ivan Reitman’s arm to release Walton’s deleted scene(s).

Music 101

Fat-Bottomed Girls

It never got the radio play of Queen‘s other late Seventies/early Eighties hits—maybe it had something to do with the title and lyrics?—but few tunes exemplify everything that made the band original and unmatchable: cheeky (!) lyrics, crunchy guitars, ethereal harmony and Freddie Mercury’s charismatic and inimitable voice. The song was released in 1978 as a Double A-side single with “Bicycle Race.” Talk about a bargain for $1.99. It went to No. 24 on the Billboard charts.

Looking back, it’s almost tragic that this band did not write the soundtrack for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The two were off by just a few years, but they would’ve been perfect for it.

Remote Patrol



Definitely falls into our Top 10 favorite documentaries list along with Grizzly Man, American MovieFree Solo and The Mule. Wait, what?

Brazilian Formula One champ Ayrton Senna had it all. Then he lost it all on one bend in the road on a day when he knew he shouldn’t be driving. Worth noting: the driver directly behind him that day was Michael Schumacher, who himself has been in a vegetative state due to a post-retirement skiing accident that took place more than five years ago.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Scare Traffic Control

At peak operational times there are approximately 5,000 airplanes in the sky at once (and yet on most cross-country flights you rarely see more than one or two cross your path), more than 2.6 million travelers flying daily in and out of U.S. airports and some 14,000 Air  Traffic Control specialists, none of whom have been paid in more than a month. Nor have Air Marshals. Or TSA agents.

This is like some awful statistical probability experiment that, should it continue to run its course, will end in calamity. Catastrophe. The last large-scale domestic commercial air plane crash in the United States took place in 2009 when 49 people perished on a flight from Newark to Buffalo due to ice buildup on the wings. So we are nearing a happy decade anniversary (take a bow, Sully).

Yesterday unions that represent pilots, flight attendants and the ATC (the lone group not being paid), an alliance of more than 130,000 air travel pros, issued the following warning: “In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break.”

Then again, maybe they’re overreacting. What could possibly go wrong if people who are not paid to do a very important job (i.e., the ATC and TSA) kept not being paid? I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

2. And Yet, No Backyard Or Basement

Hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin just spent $238 million on an apartment at 220 Central Park South (of the two obnoxiously towering residential skyscrapers, it’s the one on the right). That’s by far—by more than double—the most money ever spent on a private residence in U.S. history and it doesn’t even hit .300 or smash 50 home runs.

Griffin’s home has 24,000 feet of space but no backyard (I mean, he has Central Park but then so do you and I) or driveway. Not even a moat. I mean, here’s Seton Castle in Scotland which sold for a fraction of the price ($6,5 million) in 2008

Seton Castle in Scotland would have cost far, far less

By the way, if you’re wondering what exactly hedge fund managers do to be worth all that money, it’s a little bit like being John Calipari: You recruit, recruit, recruit, except that instead of recruiting talented basketball players, you recruit billionaires and mega-millionaires. You recruit them to put their money into YOUR managed fund.

You have an SEC license (congrats, you passed a couple of tests) which allows you to trade directly with the big banks and who knows, with all that money in your arsenal, maybe (I mean, maybeeeeee) someone on the inside gives you a tip here and there because there could be a kickback in it.

At the end of the year, you keep a percentage (sort of like the vig for gambling) of what you  bring in. You may not do better in terms of the market than Walker Capital or the average investor but it doesn’t matter because once upon a time you worked at Goldman or Credit Suisse and that C.V. persuaded enough billionaires to park their cash in your fund. Congrats!

(We may have gone off on a tangent about hedge funds and the people who work at them  from what began as a simple item about the most expensive home ever purchased in the U.S.A. Oh, well.)

3. You Go Conway And I’ll Go Mine

In a new book by Cliff Sims, who spent 500 days working in the Trump administration (presumably Sims worked there for as long as he thought he needed in order to secure a high six-figures book deal), Chief Reptile Kellyanne Conway receives a withering review. In an excerpt from Team Of Vipers we found this line: “She seemed to be peren­nially cloaked in an invisible fur coat, casting an all-­knowing smile, as if she’d collected 98 Dalmatians with only 3 more to go.”

MH recommends hitting that hyperlink. The last graf is a keeper.

4. Harden In The Garden*

*The judges who miss Lance Kerwin suggested “James At 61”

He makes it look SOOOO easy, but James Harden, abetted by 25 free throw attempts (22 of which he drained) scored a career-high 61 points and heated up frigid New York City in a 114-110 Rockets win. Only Carmelo Anthony (until last week, Harden’s teammate this season) has ever scored more points (62) at MSG and among Knicks opponents, only Kobe (also 61) had ever scored as much.

It was Harden’s 21st consecutive 30-point game and he also had 15 boards. The MVP race is O-VUH.

5. Wild Moose Chase

Should’ve been at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado last Saturday, where a moose took after snowboarders in the wildest moment involving death-defying ski hijinks since the “Chinese Downhill” scene from Hot Dog, The Movie.

No one was hurt and the moose was excused for not wearing a lift ticket.

Music 101

Reap The Wild Wind

We have no basis for this assertion (when has that ever stopped us?) other than having lived through the era as teens, but we’d call late 1982-early 1983 as the peak of the New Wave era. It was a glorious epoch of synthesizers, androgynous lead singers and kids in our Arizona high school wearing trench coats to school cuz they wanted to pretend they livd in London or Manchester. For this song that was released in September of 1982, Ultravox teamed with producer George Martin. Yes, the guy behind the mixing board for the Beatles. That George Martin.

Remote Patrol

Warriors at Wizards

8 p.m. TNT

Sports creatures you’re watching right now, this month, that you should not take for granted because people will still be talking about them 20, 40 years from now: the New England Patriots and the Golden State Warriors. The Pats are headed to their ninth Super Bowl of the Belichick-Brady era. The Dubs are headed to their fifth straight NBA Finals and if you saw them sweep the Staples Center tenants the last few nights by 18 and 19 points, respectively, you know they’ve shifted to an even higher gear with the addition (UNFAIR, really) of Boogie Cousins. Savor it.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Enter Sandman*

*The judges will also accept “Mo-mentous!”

There are, as of this morning, 264 former players in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but Mariano Rivera just became the only one of them who was elected unanimously. Rivera, baseball’s all-time leader in Saves (652) appeared on every baseball writer’s ballot, including the Boston writers’. Well-deserved.

We met Mo once. Doing a story for The Daily on how important it is for baseball writers to be bilingual and we dared to approach the Panama native at his locker before a game. Mo could not have been more effusive, more friendly, more garrulous talking about how he learned English in the minors. He was near the end of his legendary career by this time (it was 2011?) but he acted like a rookie who was just happy to have someone speak to him. We’ll always remember how gracious he was.

2. Enter Sandmann

As we type this, Savannah Guthrie’s full interview with Covington Catholic’s patron saint of Stand Your Ground, Nick Sandmann, has yet to run. We’ve only seen this snippet:

Methinks this kid is taking the fall, no matter where you fall on the spectrum in your perception of this incident (From “They Did Nothing Wrong” to “The Next Gillette ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Ad”), for a lot of the bad actors, i.e., his friends and classmates, who were surrounding he and Nathan Phillips.

Meanwhile, Savannah Guthrie and Today are going to take a beating for this, no matter what is said. I’ll say this for her predecessor/partner, Matt Lauer: no matter how much of a cretin he may have been with the ladies, Lauer was unsurpassed among A.M. show types in these types of interviews.  You could trust him to handle this correctly. As for Guthrie, who I imagine spoke to Lauer for advice prior to sitting down with the kid, we’ll see.

UPDATE: Here’s the entire interview above. We haven’t watched it yet.

3. Plot Twist

Serena Williams, the GOAT of women’s tennis, was up 5-1 in the third set versus (INSERT NAME OF EASTERN EUROPEAN SUPERBOT HERE) in the quarters at the Australian Open. Serving for the match.

Then, a foot fault. Then, a twisted ankle. That’s when Karolina Plizkova of the Soviet Union Latvia Ukraine? Belarus Czech Republic pounced, winning that game and the next five to take down Serena in three sets. Wow, have her last two grand slams not gone according to plan.

Williams had been 82-0 when serving for match point at the Australian Open before Tuesday/Wednesday in Melbourne. Now 37—ancient in tennis years—Serena has not won a Grand Slam event since giving birth to her first child. Blame the baby!

4. Megan Gustafson Great Again*

Do you recognize this face?

*The judge may have tried too hard on this one.

Google “Port Wing, Wisconsin.” Go ahead, we’ll wait…See where it is? How it’s on the southern shore of Lake Superior, about 40 or so miles east of Duluth. Port Wing is home to  college basketball’s superior women’s player this season, Megan Gustafson. Somehow Gustafson got out of America’s Dairyland after setting a state record with 3,229 points at South Shore High School.

Now at Iowa, the 6’3″ senior leads the nation in both Scoring at 26.2 points per game and  in Field Goal % (70.7%) and is third in Rebounding with 13.0. The Hawkeyes are 14-4.

5. Maidan Shar: Now What?

You may have missed this, what with all the identity and culture politics taking place and overshadowing the government shutdown which is also overshadowing this, but on Monday a suicide bomber for the Taliban driving a captured HumVee got past the gates at an Afghan military base, Maidan Shar, and detonated his bomb as he reached the main building. The fatality count among the Afghan government soldiers, many of them intelligence officers, is at least 45 but may climb to as high as 100.

This one day before the Taliban was scheduled to have talks with the United States and its allies about a possible withdrawal from Afghanistan. Make of it what you will, but U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan for 17 years. It’s not getting any better.

Music 101


Christopher Wallace, better-known as Biggie Smalls, was only 22 when this, his first single was released and shot up to No. 27 on the Billboard charts. It was the first single off his Ready To Die debut album. Less than three years later, Smalls was murdered. Whoever done it, no one’s saying.

Remote Patrol



Fyre Fraud


Dueling documentaries, both released last week, about the outrageously fraudulent and failed Fyre Festival from 2016. The idea was great: a private island in the Bahamas packed full of super-duper models and popular musical acts. Alas, they forgot to take care of  infrastructure. Billy McFarland was the architect of it all, a sociopathic personality and pathological liar who talked a big game but never delivered and defrauded everyone who believed in him out of thousand of dollars if not more. Again, sound like anyone you know?

MH recommends!


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

The Dress Controversy

It was four years ago this winter when America looked at a photo of a dress and then descended into a lengthy debate as to whether it was blue and black or gold and white. Fortunately, at least for a day as I recall, there was a llama escape on a freeway in Phoenix to divert our attention.

The 2019 incarnation of the Dress Controversy is the Covington Catholic High School boys at the Lincoln Memorial incident. Do you look at the photo above or some of the accompanying videos and see a young man simply trying to “defuse the situation,” or do you see a kid staring down a Vietnam veteran with a smirk and non-verbally challenging him as his friends egg him on? It all depends on your perspective.

On Saturday we had the reaction to the video. On Saturday night/Sunday we had the pushback from the MAGA crowd, which led to Monday morning’s backpedaling/apologies from many in the media, which led to Monday night’s pushback (“Don’t Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes” advised Deadspin), which led to late Monday night’s tweet from  Trump, which led to me thinking they really did do something wrong (Mitch McConnell’s former aide hooked them up with a P.R. firm to manage the situation).

(What do you see?)

Of course, this morning we wake up to a few more videos that do not cast these high school lads in the most favorable light. Here’s an idea: How about, as a school, not bussing a bunch of teenaged boys to participate in a march that they have no real-world experience appreciating in terms of the argument over abortion rights? At my all-boys Catholic high school, they bussed us to take ski trips at Sunrise or Snow Bowl. Much better use of everyone’s time.

If you search the web, there’s video of Covington boys acting the way teenage boys sometimes do in a mob situation. One, harassing a woman as she walks past. Two, one dude saying, “It’s not rape is she enjoys it.” One of their former classmates, Class of ’18, was just indicted for rape last month so, not a good look.

2. Rudy Can’t Fail (To Amuse Us)

3. Krokodil Rot

If you saw the opening monologue on Saturday Night Live this weekend, there was a brief mention about a scary new flesh-eating drug called krokodil. They weren’t kidding.

The drug is a homemade, street version of desomorphine, which itself is 10 times more potent than morphine. It first became popular about a decade ago in Russia, as a heroin crackdown began and traffickers realized they could make this far more easily using codeine, iodine and red phosphorus (pro tip for Donald Trump: it’s not the drug, it’s the appetite for the drug).

Due to the strains of iodine and phosphorus in the drug, continued use leads to rotting of the flesh and eventually amputations. This is not the worst photo I could have posted here. Far from it. Google it if you like.

4. Feat of Klay

Our favorite thing to watch in the NBA—okay, in all of team sports—is the Golden State Warriors when the engine is revving. At Staples Center last night in front of LeBron (seated) and a national TNT audience, the Dubs exploded for 45 third-quarter points, 23 of which were scored by Klay Thompson (who left the game with 3 minutes to play in the quarter and never returned).

Thompson finished with 44 on the night on 17 of 20 shooting. He buried the first ten three-pointers he took in the game and his lone miss, on a heavily contested three (hey, he was feeling it) came just before coach Steve Kerr took him out. And yet what may remain most viral from this epic third quarter is the above, the worst seven seconds of Stephen Curry’s career.

5. Oscar, Oscar, Oscar

We’ll go deeper later, but here’s every Best Picture nominee (out earlier today) and what we didn’t love about it (You’re just a grouchy old man who can’t love anything made after 1999…You may be right, but we really did love Free Solo):

Have Not Seen: Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, Vice

Black Panther: Finally saw it on recommendation of @FightOnTwist. Liked it, thought many of the characters were outstanding. At a certain point, for us, the comic book violence lost its luster for us and we were bored. Don’t get me wrong: It wasn’t that I was shocked or horrified. I just no longer believed that there was any possible way to kill the good guys and at that point it’s like playing War with your friends when you’re seven and you shoot your buddy and he refuses to fall. The game loses any semblance of fun and fairness and you quit playing. Loved the Globalism vs. Nationalism theme, loved Chadwick Boseman, loved the callbacks to The Lion King (why does every African king have to rise after his dad is murdered and why is there always a bad uncle?), didn’t understand how you fly through a tunnel and come out to a land with panoramic vistas, but that’s just me.

BlacKkKlansman: I thought Spike Lee should’ve gotten a Best Director Oscar for Do The Right Thing and at the very, very least the film should’ve been nominated for Best Picture. An absolute shame. That said, I thought this film was heavy-handed and almost comical, like Hogan’s Heroes comical, in terms of how dumb the bad guys were made out to be. Also, no one has said this, but it was Adam Driver’s character who physically infiltrated the KKK and put himself at far greater risk, but JewKKKlansman doesn’t sell as many tickets.

A Star Is Born: For the first 30 minutes or so, this film is tremendous. Magical. Then Bradley Cooper takes Lady Ga Ga on a day trip to a pecan farm in Arizona (the locale is actually just outside Palm Springs, as anyone who has driven the I-10 between Phoenix and L.A. will instantly recognize, and Palm Springs is in California) and then the film begins to fall apart. Not because of that, but with barely any buildup you have Cooper slugging his brother in the face? The big problem with this film is that they didn’t know which cat to save after Act 1. Was saving the cat getting Ga Ga discovered? Or the two of them falling in love? Yes, and yes. So what next? There was no place interesting left to go, so we’re left with Cooper wetting himself at an awards show. Maybe he can duplicate that moment next month?

The Favourite: I took my mom to see this film based on all the glowing reviews. Bad idea. BAD idea. If you can’t take your mom to a Best Picture winner, does that say more about the movie or your mom? Both, perhaps? Okay, get past the two vivid lesbian love scenes—the latter of which comes moments after Emma Stone strokes off her husband on their wedding night—and all the puking, this film lost me as soon as they turned the 18th century dance scene into a breakdance scene. They were just having a little fun? Great, but if you want me to take a film seriously, don’t break the veneer by doing something that catapults me three centuries forward. Silly. Why not just have Rachel Weisz text Olivia Colman from the adjoining apartment? Coulda been great, but wasn’t.

Roma: This is going to win. It’s beautifully crafted, it’s black-and-white, it tells a moving story without upsetting anyone’s political affiliations. All that said, I’m with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne here, who tweeted that she got bored after about 10 minutes. So did I. This is film school crack cocaine, and you’d do best in many of the scenes to pay more attention to what’s going on in the background. This should win, of these nominees, and I think it will.

All of that said, Free Solo thrilled me far more than any of these movies. Also, I’d take The Ballad of Buster Scruggs ahead of any of these that I’ve seen, too. Finally, things I watched last year that I enjoyed more: the 2018 College Football Championship Game, Mindhunter, Game 3 of the World Series, Broadchurch, and Season 2 of The Crown.

I’m just one dude with one opinion. Don’t take it for anything more than that.

Music 101

19th Nervous Breakdown

Released on February 12, 1966 in the USA, this early Rolling Stones classic soared to No. 2 on the Billboard chart in one of the two or three best years in the history of pop music. Wanna take a guess at which song prevented it from being No. 1? Answer at the bottom of Remote Patrol.

Remote Patrol

To Have And Have Not

4:30 p.m. TCM

Bogie. Bacall. A whistling lesson. Leave work early.

Answer: “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Brady once again taught a Master Class in Playoff Quarterback

Double Overtimes!

For the first time, both the AFC and NFC Championship games went into overtime, making Roger Goodell and saloon proprietors coast-to-coast giddy. An added plus: the Selection Committee has been vindicated.

Both road teams won. The Rams, with a 23 year-old QB who was born and raised in the Bay Area (Jared Goff, Novato), kicked a field goal in OT after intercepting New Orleans’ future HOF fortyish QB Drew Brees. The Pats, with a 41 year-old QB was was born and raised about an hour south in the Bay Area (Tom Brady, San Mateo), won in OT after he led them on an extended TD drive.

He’s looking at the play, he’s just not seeing the play.

The Saints were screwed at the end of regulation by a blatantly missed pass interference plus targeting. The Chiefs screwed themselves at the end of regulation when DE Dee Ford lined up in the neutral zone on a play in which KC intercepted Brady in the final minute. Ford’s transgression was incidental to the outcome of the play, but it altered the outcome.

It’s one play in each game, and sure one play isn’t the entire game, but those two will and should be remembered. We missed most of the first game, but New England-K.C. was a thrill ride. Exceeded the hype.

2. I Was Wrong

More information and a second, longer video has emerged concerning the Friday afternoon standoff at the Lincoln Memorial between students from Covington Catholic and Nathan Phillips, the drum-banging Omaha. I was wrong to jump the gun on condemning the students.

From the original video I saw, I wrongly assumed that they had moved in to surround Phillips. A later video shows that Phillips had moved into their area and that the real confrontation was taking place a few yards away, as a small band of Black Hebrews were inveighing against the students primarily because of their whiteness and yeah, probably, their MAGA gear. And, yes, that means the Black Hebrews were being racist.

I live in New York City, so the Black Hebrew sect is nothing new to me. But if you’ve never come across them, what you notice when you encounter them is their open hostility and their unwillingness to find any common ground, any harmony. They were trying to provoke the students and while the students were clearly intrigued and mostly bemused, they were never nasty. They weren’t the ones throwing out the “N-word,” the Black Hebrews were.

As for what happened between the lone student (whose name has spread far and wide across the internet, partly his own doing), different people are going to see what they wanna see there. True, he never said anything or made any type of gesture toward Phillips.   At the same time, I wonder why he didn’t simply move to give Phillips the opportunity to pass (“WHY SHOULD HE?” I dunno, maybe because Native Americans have been yielding ground to white people for two centuries? Maybe it wouldn’t have been the worst thing for a teenager to step aside to let a 66 year-old man pass, at least give him the option?).

Like I said, people will see what they want to see. I don’t often see teenage boys staring down men old enough to be their grandfathers, even if it is with a smile on their faces. What we seem to have had on Saturday was a maelstrom of discordant forces: angry Black Hebrews, a large group of mostly white suburban high school boys and a few Native Americans. People of different walks of life.

Let me restate: I was wrong to jump to the conclusions that I did about the students. And for that I apologize. But I’m not sorry I wrote what I did (a post or two ago) about the red hats that many of the boys were wearing and what they imply to people of color and to many of us who are white but would like to see a less racially divided country. Maybe the boys bought the hats in D.C. on a lark. Maybe they thought it was ironic. Maybe they already owned them. Maybe someone handed them out to them. I don’t know.

But the hat is hate. You can’t hide behind it obtusely and say, “I just want America to be great.” Who doesn’t? And when the man who made this “fashionable” is Donald Trump, his track record speaks for itself. I’m not going to admonish 16 year-old boys for not knowing better.

What I do find humorous is the people on Twitter who’ve come to castigate me about this, though. As if my incorrect assumption of the incident validates their belief that I have the MAGA phenomenon wrong. They hassle me for an apology and a mea culpa all the while excusing the daily transgressions of Donald Trump. This goes back to the election: the Trump crowd demanding a standard of ethics and accountability from Trump’s adversaries that they would never once demand of Trump himself. Or of themselves. This is the game that they play and I’m just not interested.

(From under rocks and onto your Twitter timeline)

So yeah, I’m sorry that I saw that first video and jumped to an incorrect conclusion of how the mob was formed and what it was all about. My bad. I’m not sorry for condemning people who walk around in MAGA hats. Or people who defend them as if all they are about is not wanting your taxes to be so high (Shit, bro, your conservative president just sent the national debt to an all-time high. That’s fiscal conservatism?).

Even if you insist you’re not racist, your stubborn refusal to appreciate or understand how Trump has galvanized the rotten, racist underbelly of this country and how that hat is a symbol of their unity, well, it leaves me wondering why you’d rather defend that than open your eyes to it. Saying, “I hate Hillary” is hardly a sufficient answer.

(The Black Hebrews actually began by harassing the Indigenous Peoples. I love the “That’s right” dude, though.)

It was a learning experience for me. I will do my best to appreciate that what looks like something through one lens is not what it appears to be. I don’t expect the people attacking me on Twitter to change, though. They’ll continue to defend Donald Trump and the MAGA movement no matter what. And many of them will call themselves Christians. Which I find funny.

One last question for them: If it’s okay for Mike Pence and his wife to defend her place of employment because the Bible condemns homosexuality, why is it okay for Mr. Pence to continue to serve at the pleasure of a president who is a serial committer of adultery? Isn’t that the seventh Commandment? “Thou shalt not commit adultery?” I’m just curious why some sins are worthy of conversion therapy in Mr. Pence’s mind and others are blatantly ignored?

3. Woe Is Wu

This is Gigi Wu—was Gigi Wu36, who to the extent that she enjoyed renown, was renowned as the “Bikini Hiker” because she scaled mountains in two-piece bathing suits. Last week Wu, from Taiwan, fell into a ravine while hiking solo in a Taiwanese national park. She sent out a distress signal but it was 28 hours before helicopter rescue teams could reach her and in that time, more than 5,000 feet above sea level, she was dead.

Cause of death: Exposure (duh).

At least she won’t be stuck with that hefty rescue operations bill.

Kids, if you’re going to hike in swimwear, please go with a one-piece. It could save your life.

p.s. Who’s going to take care of her cat?

4. Millennial Millions

After a month off, SNL returned with a few very good moments: Colin Jost’s Super Wolf Blood Moon (“I’m told that’s the name of the lunar eclipse and NOT the name of the band that played just before this segment [Greta Van Fleet]”) joke was solid, as were John Mulaney and Pete Davidson on The Mule (“Clint Eastwood’s has two threesomes in this film and he directed it!”).

5. Fake News From Fox & Friends

Earlier today Fox News strongly suggested (see above) that Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has been battling cancer, had expired. Now of course that’s just an innocent mistake. Seriously, I’m sure it is. But the next time MSNBC or CNN (or I) gets something, I won’t expect the MAGA crowd to react with magnanimity or a sense of equanimity. That’s the world we live in now.

Music 101

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

This Motown classic was written by the gifted duo of Ashford & Simpson in 1967 and given to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, who had a Top 20 hit with it. The duo had played it for Dusty Springfield and she wanted to record it, but they wouldn’t let her. They held out for a Motown artist, hoping this would be their golden ticket of entry into Berry Gordy’s world. They figured right.

Three years later Diana Ross recorded this more epic version of it, which rocketed to No. 1 on both the pop and R&B charts.

Remote Patrol

NBA Day!

Rockets at Sixers

8 p.m. TNT

Warriors at Lakers

10:30 p.m. TNT

For those of you wondering on this, MLK Day, Kyle Kozma’s middle name is Alexander, hence that initial is an A.

This may be the NBA’s best day of the regular season, even better than Christmas (having been marooned in NYC on many a bleak, frigid MLK Day in the past, I’ll attest to this). So how come no one is airing Mavs-Bucks (Doncic v. Giannis) at 2 p.m.? Adam Silver’s TV peeps always seem to be a year behind the times.



by Chris Corbellini

Championship Weekend Picks: The case for Bill

On the eve of yet another AFC Championship Game for the New England Patriots, I ask, who had more to do with this Patriots’ run of ridiculous: Bill Belichick, or Tom Brady?

Don’t give up so easily and answer both.  No … truly … who made more of an impact on this NFL dynasty from the years 2001-19: The Hall of Fame-bound coach, or the GOAT QB?

Are you a Belichick person? Or a Brady person?

It’s not a hard answer for me to get to. Brady is one of the five best QBs of all-time in my estimation, and probably No. 1. And still, I choose Belichick every day and a thousand times on Sunday. He has been a part of my Sundays since I was in my early teens. I’m now in my 40s, and he still shows no signs of wanting to retire to the broadcast booth or his Nantucket compound to fish. Actually, he shows no outward signs of anything beyond “Do your job,” and trust me, football followers like me are watching closely.

I read an essay in Esquire about bar wisdom that theorized that success is a point on a graph where faith and purpose meet. And Bill and his hoodie has been standing at that point for decades, arms crossed and scowling and pissy and secretive. He belongs on a sideline. You’ll need to pry his headset from his cold, dead hands.

For me it all started with ‘80s Belichick, skinny and under-dressed and baby-faced (really) and scribbling purposefully at RFK or Giants Stadium on a white board as grizzled Giants defensive players like Carl Banks and Everson Walls looked on. He was not quite the first football assistant coach/defensive coordinator I’d ever seen — my first Pop Warner assistant coach would sleep off the wild night before in the parking lot before practice, and one of us would have to tap on the window of his car to wake him up.

That guy was hilarious, and hard-nosed, but nowhere near the vicinity of in charge. No, Belichick was the first assistant that I recognized had value on the greatest stage in pro football at that time — the NFC East. Belichick was Parcells’ guy. He was going to be the HC of his own team one day. John Madden told us that on NFL Sundays, and I believed it. Football-wise, Belichick showed me if you grind and succeed for someone like Parcells, and help win the biggies when all of us are watching, you’ll get your shot. Throw in Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense in that era, and I quickly surmised you are your coaches — great assistants were the difference makers between a very good team, and a Super Bowl one.

From there, four BB anecdotes have stood out to me over the years:

1-Thurman Thomas and Super Bowl XXV: As I discovered while helping out on the 1990 New York Giants America’s Game show for NFL Films, Belichick told his Giants defense that if they allow All-Pro Thurman Thomas to rush for 100 yards, they will win the game. This, naturally, infuriated some the veteran defensive players, and though Banks wouldn’t say who in his on-camera interview, no doubt the mercurial Lawrence Taylor was part of that vocal group. But no, BB stood firm. Let Thurman eat. Let him slip free just enough. Let him get 100. That’s clock-ball. That will keep the K-Gun offense – led by Jim Kelly and Andre Reed and James Lofton — grounded and confident the ground game is enough. Amazingly enough, Banks noted, it all came to pass as Belichick predicted. Thurman had 135, and the Giants edged the Bills, 20-19.

2-Brady over Bledsoe: This one took real stones. Belichick chose Brady as the starter over franchise passer Drew Bledsoe for Super Bowl XXXVI, and the dynasty began.

3-He will remain anonymous, but: Belichick agreed to a Films doc about the 2009 season (a 10-year BB challenge!), and as part of that film, he was wired for every game and gave the crew unparalleled access – provided Films didn’t give away strategy. Not long after shooting was completed I asked someone who scrolled through all that footage the Belichick-Brady question, and he answered very quickly: “Bill. He’s the brains behind all of it.” I’ve never forgotten that.

4-Sterling Moore/Julian Edelman 2012 AFC Championship Game: This might be BB’s greatest coaching moment, and it only involved defensive backs. His secondary decimated by injuries, Belichick used Julian Edelman as a slot corner, and at one point the receiver was actually covering Anquan Boldin in the AFC Championship Game, and doing a decent job of it. Sterling Moore, a rookie who started the year as a practice squad player for the Raiders, would then break up a touchdown pass to Lee Evans that sealed the game. It was an incredibly heads-up play, timed perfectly, and it wasn’t an accident. Moore explained to reporters afterward he had practiced that move over and over in practice, so much so it became pure instinct. When someone asked him who specifically taught him that slap-away move, he answered simply:

“Coach Belichick did.”

If this year’s AFC Championship Game is close, I’m giving the edge to BB. In the close ones, his teams are just better prepared – even bottom-of-the-roster guys like Sterling Moore manage to define big moments. As Steve Sabol once wrote of Belichick, “His complex schemes work like a kaleidoscope: with each little twist, they present different pictures to the opposition.” And that’s why I give the edge to Bill over Brady. Tom clawed his way out of the slime as a sixth-round pick to become arguably the greatest QB of all time, and holy sh-t, that 75-yard throw he made at the end of Super Bowl XLII to Randy Moss that was knocked away by Corey Webster at the last moment was the most beautiful ‘almost’ I’ve ever seen on a football field. I was there. And still, every Sunday, be it the preseason or a Super Bowl and all games in between, BB comes up with something totally unique on that football field.

It must drive opposing coaches batsh-t crazy.

I just wonder if the Patriots can keep it close in KC to make Andy Reid BB’s latest victim.

As usual, I have William Hill odds here, with the home team in caps.

Rams (+3) over SAINTS

So, anyway, yeah, Michael Thomas vs. Marcus Peters is a huge mismatch. In their last meeting on November 4, Thomas turned Peters into a whimpering puppy, hauling in 12 catches for 211 yards. The issue here is that the Rams have mismatches ahead for Robert Woods AND Brandin Cooks. I think the Rams steal this, even in that glorious pleasure dome down in New Orleans.

CHIEFS (-3) over Patriots

I flip-flopped on this one twice. If KC keeps it close, then the BB mind games start. If Patrick Mahomes tries some kind of funky throw — underhanded perhaps — then the Patriots D will sniff it out and capitalize. Plus, given KC’s relative weakness defending out in the flat, I see James White having a big day catching passes out of the backfield.

And yet … if the Chiefs go up big early in the cold in front of all that red at Arrowhead, then it’s over and a new AFC power rises. And I can easily see that happening. Mahomes plays like he has nothing to lose on every snap. He’s a win or two away from being the face of the league.

But again, I flip-flopped twice on this game. Call me sentimental. I’ve been watching BB pull out close playoff games for decades … with back-ups like Moore, and rock stars like LT and Brady. It doesn’t seem to matter who he fields out there, and that is his enduring greatness.

Last week: 1-3

Playoffs: 3-3-1
Overall: 27-41-1