by John Walters

Starting Five

A Picture of Dorian: Gray Skies

Dorian is cutting a swath through the Caribbean and is set to make landfall in Florida on Monday as a Category 4 storm. It’s at times such as this that I feel compelled to point out that the highest point in Florida is Britton Hill in the state’s panhandle, and that is only 345 feet above sea level. That’s less than the elevation of a football field, end zones included, if it was stacked up vertically.

115 yards. That’s the highest point in the nation’s third-most populous state as climate change bears down on the planet this century. Should be fun. Miami Subs will one day be known as Miami Sub-marine.

Aquino Es Aqui, No?*

*The judges will haltingly accept “Aristides Development”

On August 1st the Aristides Aquino, a 6’4″, 220-pounder whose prodigious home runs had already earned him the nickname “The Punisher” in AAA ball, was sent up the river. The Ohio River.

Aquino was not heading to jail, but from the AAA Louisville Bats to the Cincinnati Reds. Just 30 days later, the Louisville Slugger has set a Major League record for home runs in one month by a rookie, with 14 (What took you so long, Cincy?).

It’s been a record-breaking summer for heat and a record-breaking month for homers. The Yankees have hit 70 home runs this month with two games remaining, and that breaks the team record for one month by a margin of 12. And then there’s Aquino, the Dominican Republic native who now has the N.L. rookie record for a month. Also, Aquino hit 13 home runs in his first 100 career plate appearances, which is the most of any player in the history of the game.

That’s So Raven

The Baltimore Ravens won last night. Again. That’s 17 consecutive wins for the purple-and-black dating back to the final game of the 2015 season. Exhibition season, that is.

Yes, the Ravens have won 17 consecutive preseason games, which must be recognized in the Dubious Achievements Hall of Fame (memo to Esquire: bring back the Dubious Achievement Awards; it was the best thing ever).

As far as longest-ever NFL win streaks, the Patriots won 21 in a row (2003-2004), the Packers 19 (2010-2011) and seven clubs have won 18 in a row. All regular season. Since this current Ravens preseason W streak began with the last game of the 2015 exhibition season, the Ravens have appeared in one playoff game, which they lost.

Death Of An Iconic Figure

You recognize the figure, or at least the suit and hat, but not the name. The man on the left is James Leavelle, a former Dallas detective who was leading Lee Harvey Oswald out of City Hall and to the county jail when Jack Ruby fatefully, and fatally, intervened.

Leavelle, nearly 56 years since standing inches away from the path of the bullet that killed Oswald, died yesterday at the age of 99. In that famous image, he is handcuffed to Oswald for, ironically, safekeeping.

A native Texan, Leavelle was present at two of the most infamous moments the American 20th century. He was there for the JFK assassination, initially interviewing Oswald about the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit until it was realized Oswald was the prime suspect in a much bigger murder case. He was also aboard the U.S.S. Whitney, a destroyer tender, about two miles from Pearl Harbor during the attack on December 7, 1941.

Cary Grant-Style

Humphrey Bogart. Spencer Tracy. John Wayne. Clark Gable. Jimmy Stewart. Okay, George Clooney or even Brad Pitt. There are spectacular actors (Henry Fonda, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson) and then there are MOVIE STARS, and I’m not sure anyone I’ve yet mentioned in this paragraph better fit that term, in all that it meant, than Cary Grant.

Two nights ago I was watching a Grant film I’d never before seen, The Bishop’s Wife (1947), in which he plays angel named Dudley who’s come down to restore luster to a sagging marriage. Grant’s Dudley is possessed of an easy charm, self-assured without being arrogant or obnoxious. He is never rude, never foul-mouthed or ill-tempered. There is a grace to him, a joy in enjoying the moment and never truly letting circumstances get the better of his good nature.

Sure, but he’s playing an angel. Then I realized that pretty much every one of his characters is angelic. In films of his that I’ve seen—this one, The Philadelphia Story, To Catch A Thief, North By Northwest, Holiday, His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, and perhaps my favorite, An Affair To Remember—he’s always the same charmed man, usually, okay living a charmed life—and always better than his circumstances.

And this isn’t about his personal life. And maybe it’s a little pie-in-the-sky. But wouldn’t it be great if more of us, particularly more of us males, tried every day to be a little more like a Cary Grant character? A little good humor. Style. Manners. Who knows, maybe the Saville Row suits will just follow.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Yo, Google.

Starting Five

Liar, Liar

Watch this above and then we’ll talk.

The problem I have with this is that CNN created Kayleigh McEnany. She was blonde and feisty and they had her on panels as the foil to Van Jones and Ana Navarro more nights than not in the year leading up to the 2016 election.

That very visibility put her in a position to become the latest sycophant to work for 45 and now Chris Cuomo’s in a dither that she is lying so blatantly on national television? And he says, “Interview’s over” and then it continues for another minute?”

You’re either a true believer in Trump and you suddenly have decided that everyone in the media lies or else you’re someone who understands the term gaslighting. There’s really no in-between at this stage.

Earlier, McEnany had said that “the president would never lie to the American people because he loves this country.” That’s a two-fer in terms of prevarication as the president lies daily and it’s obvious the only thing he truly loves is himself.

Two nights ago Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC did something very stupid and went with a story on Russia and oligarchs that was insufficiently sourced. When he fully realized his error, O’Donnell went on air the following night and owned up to it. That’s not lying; that’s doing a poor job and owning up to it.

Call us the first time Donald Trump admits that he was wrong about anything. Or that he spoke in error.

The test for CNN and Cuomo is whether they will invite McEnany back on their air. Sadly, that will probably have less to do with her credibility than it will with the ratings. And seeing how viral that clip has become, I think we know the answer.

Kenan Wins

Yesterday we wrote about an SNL cast member who, like all those who preceded her, burned brightly for a few moments and then left the galaxy. Every cast member leaves SNL, and most after five years or fewer. They either fail to make an impact (Jim Breuer) or they become so big that they reach escape velocity (Eddie Murphy).

Enter Kenan Thompson, the SNL unicorn. The former Good Burger star is 41 and about to enter his 17th season with SNL. He doesn’t want to leave and Lorne Michaels is in no rush to push him out the door. By the time he’s 50 Thompson will have spent more than half his life as an SNL cast member, and we think he’ll get there.

There’s something truly admirable about surviving in a place such as SNL for as long as Thompson has. The trick is consistency and stability. The highs aren’t too high and the lows not too low. I’ve worked with people at Sports Illustrated who are just like this (won’t mention any names for fear of embarrassing them) and the sad part is, I’ve sort of taken on this role at the Cookoutateria: show up every day, on time, do your job consistently, avoid the drama (we have just as long an employee casualties list as SNL or SI does, and what’s more, we’ve had actual deaths, including one this summer).

What makes Thompson special? Just seeing him in a skit brings a smile to your face. He’s always happy or bemused and he understands that in almost every skit, such as how he’s become SNL’s de facto game-show host, he realizes he’s there in a complementary role. Us, we’ll always love the inspired zaniness of “What Up With That?” (Bill Hader as Lindsey Buckingham???), which he appears to have retired a few years ago. That was his starring vehicle, and it was always brilliant.

The secret to a happy life is pulling over to go skating. It’s the journey, not the destination.

There’s a line from an old Cary Grant-Loretta Young film (The Bishop’s Wife…you can catch it on Netflix) in which a cabbie tells Grant’s character, an angel named Dudley, what’s wrong with the world today: “No one knows where they’re going and they’re all in a terrible hurry to get there.” That line appeared onscreen in 1947 and it’s every bit as true today. Kenan Thompson is not one of those people. And you can see the inner joy within him because of it. A lesson for us all.

Note: We had wanted to write this story at Newsweek just before all the *&% hit the fan there. Glad it was written by WaPo. Thompson’s resilience and understanding of how good he’s got it is refreshing.

A Bunt Really Is As Good As A Hit

We show you this clip because we were alive at the time and until Twitter showed this to us yesterday, we’d never heard of it. This belongs right up there with the greatest Seventies sports moments, like Doc Ellis pitching a no-hitter on LSD.

The night was May 29 1974. The place, Arlington Stadium in Texas. It’s the fourth inning. Earlier in the at-bat Cleveland Indian pitcher Bob Johnson decides to brush Texas Ranger Lenny Randle off the plate by throwing a pitch behind him. Randle retaliates by bunting down the first base line—props for the execution of this idea—and then decleats Johnson while clearly running out of the base path. Indians first baseman John Ellis then tackles Randle and it’s on.

You may not be surprised to learn that the Rangers’ manager was Billy Martin.

Postscript: Five nights later the two teams played again, this time in Cleveland. The Indians staged a promotion, 10-cent beer night (drinking age was 18 in Ohio). At some point Indians fans rushed onto the field and attacked Ranger outfielder Jeff Burroughs (an All-Star caliber player) and a few umpires. Three bases were stolen, and not by either the Indians and Rangers. The game was called and the Indians forfeited.

A month later, the Indians held another 10-cent beer night. I miss the Seventies.

Thelma & Louis

If you happen to be traveling in the very remote Four Corners region (where Utah-Arizona-Colorado-New Mexico meet), be on the lookout for this couple, above. They were being extradited from upstate New York to Tucson, Arizona, this week to face a murder charge when they overpowered two security guards who were transporting them, in the southeastern Utah town of Blanding. If this is the pilot episode of Vince Gilligan’s next AMC series, we’re all in.

Leap Of Faith

First, of course, WHY?
Second, where? It looks, from the storefront, to be somewhere in France.

Third, how does one practice this stunt?

Fourth, what happens if he clips a toe as he’s clearing that wall? I don’t think we wanna know.

Finally, how did Johnny Knoxville not think of this first?

Music 101

I Go Blind

Love this song and only in researching it did I realize that Hootie and the Blowfish, who had a hit with it in 1996, were only doing a cover version. The song was written and released by Canadian band 54-40 (whom I hope at some point in their careers opened for UB40) ten years earlier. Is it just me or does this tune have the flavor of a classic Blood, Sweat and Tears song?

Here’s the 54-40 version…

Remote Patrol

Georgia Tech at No. 1 Clemson

8 p.m. ACC Network

No. 14 Utah at BYU

10:30 p.m. ESPN

He’s impervious to the hair jokes

Foobaw is back! I know we had Coke Zero last weekend, but that UF-Miami game is best forgotten and who on the East Coast was still awake when Hawaii stopped Khalil Tate at the 1-yard line at about 2 a.m.? Tonight we see Trevor Lawrence and Clemson against a Georgia Tech team with a new coach, Geoff Collins, who led Temple to an 8-4 record last season. Then it’s the Holy War (wayyyyyy too early in the season for this, btw) as your nightcap, and the Utes are favorites in the Pac-12 South. Jon Krakauer will be on the concourse signing copies of Under The Banner Of Heaven at halftime.


by John Walters

Starting Five

A Run To Remember

This is June Eastwood, who on Saturday will compete in an NCAA Division I cross-country race in Cheney, Wash., as a member of the women’s team at the University of Montana. What will make her run historic is that Eastwood ran as a male, Jonathan Eastwood, in her first three seasons as a collegiate runner at Montana.

While a transgender athlete has competed at the Division II level in track (and won an NCAA championship in the hurdles), it has never before happened at the Division I level.

And Eastwood’s times as a male (1:55 in the 800, 3:50.19 in the 1500) would absolutely crush the existing women’s NCAA marks. In fact, that 3:50.19 is only 12/100ths slower than the current female WORLD RECORD.

I honestly don’t understand all the anatomical details of what “transitioning to female (or male)” actually means and most stories are too delicate to inform. From

“The NCAA transgender handbook states that an MTF transgender athlete must undergo “one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment” in order to compete in the women’s category. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Eastwood has been taking testosterone-suppressing pills for one year (in addition to estrogen pills) and is in “full compliance” with the NCAA regulations.”

Jonathan Eastwood

It’ll be fascinating to see how well Eastwood does this weekend. And if she runs anywhere near as fast as she did as Jonathan, you can expect an uproar from competing runners and coaches. And while I empathize with her situation, I completely appreciate their gripes, should they manifest.

Pass Or Fail

For the second time in a week, a quarterback at a prominent Pac-12 school has announced he is leaving the program. USC redshirt sophomore Jack Sears, who actually acquitted himself quite well in his one start last season (20 of 28 for 235 yards in a loss to Arizona State), found himself No. 4 on the depth chart for the Trojans and has opted to depart. Sears joins U-Dub sophomore Jake Haener, who lost the August competition to transfer Jacob Eason and also is leaving.

Sears was actually the successor to Sam Darnold at San Clemente H.S. and rated the No. 5 passer in the nation by ESPN coming out of high school, FWIW. Meanwhile, we were not much impressed with USC starter J.T. Daniels last season, for all the accolades that whatever crew covering him that game heaped on him. Sears will graduate in December and if I know Mike Leach well, will probably be playing in Pullman next year. He or Haener.

Gone Girl

SNL cast member Leslie Jones, who was 47 years old when she joined the cast back in 2014, will not return for Season 45, which kicks off on September 28 with Woody Harrelson as host. That’s nowhere near as shocking as the fact that Pete Davidson is still alive.


So we don’t have Amazon Prime, which means we have not seen Fleabag, which means that we’re not cool. But the creator and star of the show, who also created Killing Eve, is a young and sharp-witted Brit named Phoebe Waller-Bridge. If you don’t know her (as I did not), here’s an introduction.

She’ll be hosting SNL this October with Taylor Swift as the musical guest.

We’re so old that we recall “Fleabag” as the Oscar Madison-like half of the duo from the Saturday morning cartoon The Oddball Couple. The cat was named Spiffy.

A Real-Life Axe Murderer

You may recall last week that we had an item about a book titled The Man From The Train. It’s a true-crime book, written by baseball saber metrics patriarch Bill James (and his daughter, Rachel) about a series of axe murders that took place all across the U.S.A. roughly between 1898 and 1912 (though most occurred in 1911-1912).

Exhaustively researched, the book is fascinating but also incredibly grim. With nothing but a hunch, the James began with the famed Villasca murders in Iowa in 1911, where a family of five or six was bludgeoned to death in their beds with the blunt side of an axe. Then then began looking to see if there were any similar crimes. Um, yeah. Like nearly two dozen or so.

By honing in on the killer’s modus operandi—the family always lived in a rural area, usually within a quarter-mile of a railroad track, the killer almost always struck after midnight and always used the blunt end of the axe to murder people in their sleep—the James were able to piece together more than 20 unsolved murders in this era from Florida to Washington, from Maine to Colorado.

They deduce that this murder, who is without the infamy and notoriety of such monsters as Jack The Ripper or Zodiac, likely murdered 100 or so people. While almost all of them were asleep in their beds.


The book is more than 400 pages long and it can get wearying, as the crimes are so similar but James meticulously lays out each one. But then there’s a huge payoff. Though these crimes are more than a century old and most of the research was done by searching through old newspaper accounts, Racel James was able to find a detailed story, with a known suspect, dating back to 1898 in Brookfield, Massachusetts. That suspect was never caught but the James duo believe he was the murderer. And as the chef’s kiss to the story, they theorize that he returned to his native country in Europe, whereupon they are able to find the story of a famous murder in that country, also unsolved, that took place a decade or so later and had all the same tell-tale signs.


by John Walters

Starting Five

To Be Oxycontinued

In Oklahoma, Judge Thad Balkman ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million toward ending the opioid epidemic. Balkman’s ruling is the first time a jurist has found a pharmaceutical company responsible for the spike in addiction and overdoses caused by its drugs.

There are more than a thousand such lawsuits being filed around the U.S. right now and every last plaintiff is going to cite this suit. The last time we were in Oklahoma? To report a piece on Austin Box, the starting linebacker at Oklahoma who died of an opioid overdose.

Good Luck, And Good Night

A full 48 hours after the Andrew Luck retirement, pundits such as Dan Dakich doubled down on their “rub some dirt on it and get back in the game” troglodyte takes while Dan LeBatard of ESPN exuded, in our opinion, true wisdom.

Here’s what we know, from having played organized tackle football many years but at a much lower level. If your heart isn’t in it, you definitely don’t belong on that field. You can go through the motions somewhat in other sports, but in football or boxing (or MMA), you just can’t. The sport is too violent.

As to Susie B.’s question as to why Indianapolis put such a poor line in front of him, the Colts had addressed that in 2018 by selecting the best offensive lineman of the past decade, Quenton Nelson, with the No. 6 pick in the draft. But this was after the lacerated kidney and the sprained shoulder and the messed up ankle.

An unexpected benefit of the Luck retirement: Fox talent feuding with Fox talent (Aikman-Gottlieb) and ESPN talent feuding with ESPN talent (Dan Dakich vs. Golic & Wingo). No one has revealed himself to be more of the horse’s ass we always knew him to be than Dakich, who himself quit a job at West Virginia in 2002 after less than two weeks.

Thirty Extra

Haynes even looks like Sully

Before there was Sully Sullenberger, there was Al Haynes. In July of 1989 Haynes was the pilot about United Airline flight 232, a Denver-to-Chicago DC-10 with nearly 300 passengers. Suddenly he heard a loud bang: the back engine had blown, which severed the hydraulics, crippling the plane. There was no way to steer it or manage the speed.

The plane had to make continuous right circles as it descended toward a crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa. The crash landing was astonishing in that where you sat in the fuselage determined whether you survived or perished. 185 people, including Haynes and his crew, survived. But 111 passengers also died.

Still, what Haynes was able to do, steer the plane by manipulating the two remaining engines, was borderline miraculous. Yesterday, after giving himself (and nearly 200 others) 30 extra years on the planet, he died in a Seattle hospital. Haynes was 87.

Burn Notice

The G7 pledges $20 million toward fighting fires in the Amazon rainforest ($20 million???? That was the pocket change around the table) and Brazilian president Bolsonaro turns it down and tells them to mind their own business. Sound like anyone you know?

We gotta believe, behind the scenes, that if Brazil felt any pressure from the United States to stop this environmental catastrophe from continuing, they’d be on it. But Bolsonaro does not.

We are simple folk: beyond the obvious catastrophic damage to the planet in terms of oxygen debt, we’ve never understood how anyone can destroy something that is beautiful and causes no harm (the Atticus Finch Postulate). Be it murdering lions and elephants in Africa or setting fire to the planet’s greatest symbol of life and biodiversity. For us, there’s simply nothing more evil than that. Anyway….they are called rainforests and we do hope Mother Nature takes a hand in combating that. Meanwhile, is it against the law to hope that a leader who is not the president of the United States takes a bullet to the face?

Here Come The Cards (And A’s)

Paul Goldschmidt is beginning to look like the player the Cards acquired from the D-Backs

Baseball…it’s a loooooooooong season. It’s a little bit like the Indy 500 or the Western States 100. Folks rarely lead wire-to-wire and what you were on June 1st doesn’t mean you have to be there on October 1st. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the St. Louis Cardinals and the Oakland A’s.

The Cards were 26-28 on May 29th and a week later they were 5 1/2 back in the N.L. Central. The A’s were six games under .500 on May 14 and 12 1/2 back in the A.L. West in mid-June.

Now the Cards, who always seem to garner an October invitation no matter how they play the first half of the season, have won 14 of 17 and are now 71-58, 2 1/2 up in their division. They were literally 58-55 after being swept by the Dodgers in L.A. just three weeks ago.

The A’s, once 35-35, are 40-20 since after beating up the Royals 19-4 last night. They swept the Yankees last week; the only other team to do so this season was the Houston Astros, in early April. Clip that one: the Yankees are 0-6 at Houston and Oakland this season. The A’s are currently a 1/2 game in for the second wild-card berth. Both of these clubs will be dangerous come October.


Off to another double-shift day. That apocalypse bunker isn’t going to buy itself.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

It’s been that kind of summer at the Cookoutateria…

Starting Five

As Luck Would Have It

We’ve been ginormous fans of Andrew Luck ever since he was shredding Notre Dame and we were covering the Irish for NBC/Fanhouse when he was back at Stanford. The reason? He has Hall of Fame passing talent inside the mind of a nerd. Sure, he was a brilliant passer on the Farm and there was that time a USC defender scooped up a fumble only to have Luck bodyslam him into the turf.

But Andrew Luck also loved talking about books and 19th century economics, etc. He’s a Renaissance man and that’s why Saturday night’s retirement, some 19 days before his 30th birthday, did not exactly shock us. Whereas his predecessor, Peyton Manning, also battled painful injuries for years only to be ousted (for Luck) and then play in two more Super Bowls as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Luck wanted none of that. And good for him.

What aroused our intrigue most about this was Adam Schefter‘s tweet. We’ve known Schefter—should say, “We knew”—since the mid-Nineties. Adam is bright but he is equally ambitious. Always has been. When we were covering the AFC West for SI and he was a reporter in Denver he was gracious about being our Uber driver/unofficial city escort. What I remember from our rides is that the way he speaks doing a 2-minute hit on SportsCenter is exactly the way he speaks during a Sportswriters In Cars Getting Coffee talk. He never turns off.

And that is a large reason why Schefter has ascended to having NFL Woj status. He’s earned it. But still, there was a part of me that wondered if he had to send out that tweet, had to file that story, exactly when he did. Granted, Luck did not have a Tom Brady or even Drew Brees career. Still, knowng that the moment you hit “Tweet” that you’re going to rob Luck of the chance to say goodbye to his teammates on his own terms, that you’re going to expose him, as he stands on the sideline during an NFL preseason game, to angry reactions from the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd…

Maybe Schefter believed another reporter was hot on his heels. Judging from the press box reaction to the news in this wonderful Chicago Tribune piece, I’d suggest nobody was. I get it. An intrepid reporter must be agnostic about such reverberations. Schefter had the story and as soon as he had it, he needed to go with it. And yet…who was the Colts insider who told somebody who told somebody else who told Schefter? And what if Schefter had told the Colts’ PR guy that Luck needed to tell his teammates immediately after the game because he was sending out the tweet 10 minutes after the game ended? Would that have helped? I don’t know.

It just felt somewhat wrong to me that Adam Schefter and Twitter dictated the closing scene of Andrew Luck’s NFL career. Particularly because, as everyone who has ever dealt with Luck will tell you, he’s one of the nicest and best athletes they’ve ever come across.

Too Little, Too Tate*

*The judges will not accept “Arizona Sinks In Hawaii—Again”

Week Zero of the college football season ended sometime around 2 a.m. and we just did not have the energy to stay awake for the final play of the season’s first episode of Pac-12 After Dark. The longest rush play from scrimmage was Khalil Tate’s 31-yard scamper on the game’s final play and with Arizona trailing Hawaii by a touchdown. The problem was that the play began from the Hawaii 32-yard line. So, yes, Tate fell one yard shy of being this week’s hero on this Week Zero.

Yes, Tate was stopped one yard shy of pay dirt in Honolulu on the game’s ultimate play. It’s worth noting that Tate, who had a brilliant breakout season under former coach Rich Rodriguez in 2017 in which he rushed for 1,411 yards in only eight starts, rushed for only 224 yards all season last year, Kevin Sumlin’s first in Tucson (by comparison Tate gained 327 yards rushing in his first real game for the Cats when he took over for injured Brandon Dawkins early in the game at Boulder). The difference? Head coach Kevin Sumlin. It appears that Sumlin finally realized you shouldn’t use a Maserati to haul firewood and let Tate do, at least a little, what he does best in the season opener. If only he’d realized that before the game’s final play.

This Byrd could not be caged…

Worth noting: Hawaii receiver Cedric Byrd had 14 catches for 224 yards and 4 touchdowns and has a HUUUUUUUGE head start on the rest of the field for the Biletnikoff Award.

What’s Black And White…

The Yankees and Dodgers, with nearly 250 Major League seasons (and 33 World Series championships) between them, play in the regular season once every three years. And not in the postseason since 1981. They once shared a city and they still share the title of (along with the St. Louis Cardinals) most iconic uniforms in baseball, unis that go back more than 80 years.

So when the two met in Chavez Ravine this weekend, which happened to overlap with MLB Players Weekend, which is just an excuse by MLB to put new merchandise on the shelves and at the store, perhaps Commissioner Manfred should’ve given them a four-pitch pass. Or at the very least limited it to one evening.

Every team in baseball was compelled to adopt the Stormtroopers vs. Darth Vader color schemes (white home, black visitor). We get the idea of changing it up for a series, but these were just horrible looks. The one redeeming aspect, for us, is that Dodger pinch-hitter Jedd Gyorko chose “Jerk-Store” as his nickname and then came to bat on Friday night with Larry David in the stands.

Meanwhile, in actual baseball news, Aaron Judge‘s power outage appears to be over, as he has smoked home runs in each of his past three games and in four of the last six. Before that he’d only hit one in the past two or three weeks. The Yanks (85-47) are tied with Houston for the best record in the AL while the Dodgers (85-46) have the best in the NL.

Trade Wars/Tirade Wars (Cont.)

Above, that was Friday in the latest back-and-forth between Trump and the American investor, a result of his tariff war with China. And here, below, is today, after Trump makes mollifying comments about possibly reaching a deal. Remember, the tariffs are not even due to begin until Sunday, September 1st.

As an investor, you may want to hold onto Linus’ blanket…

Mushroom Cloud Vs. Hurricane

Some ideas are so crazy that they just might work (e.g. the Trojan Horse or having Bill Walton broadcast baseball). Others? Just plain nutso. The website Axios is reporting that our 45th president has floated the idea of nuking hurricanes in order to disrupt them, an idea that only Slim Pickens could be in favor of.

This, of course, would allow us to divert even more money to military expenditures, one assumes. And perhaps we’d attack smaller tropical storms with conventional weapons? You might even be able to take out an afternoon thundershower with a Howitzer if you aim just right.

Music 101

Everybody’s Talkin’

Pick your preferred 1969 ill-fated buddy movie film song: B.J. Thomas’ “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or this gem from Harry Nilsson for Midnight Cowboy. This one, which was originally written and recorded by Fred Neil two years earlier, won a Grammy Award. Thomas’ tune won the Oscar.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Wow. Not only does he not know what the Old Testament and the New Testament are, but the only way he can relate to the Bible is to compare it to his own book. Rule No. 3 of Trump: Everything reverts to Trump.

Starting Five

At least in Roma they were trying to put the fire out

The Arsonists

The world has never been perfect. Allow me to amend that: the people who inhabit the world have never been perfect. The world, in the absence of people, is pretty perfect (parenthetical: I ruefully laughed at last week’s Twitter meme, “Name 5 Things You Love More Than People;” stop me when I get to 5 million).

The people who inhabit the world have never been perfect, but at least it used to feel as if there was moral courage at the top. No more. The Amazon rainforest is burning for the same reason that kids are being held in cages at the U.S.-Mexico border, which is the same reason that China is on the brink of violently suppressing peaceful demonstrations in Hong Kong, which is the same reason that Russia has yet another radioactive nuclear accident and claims, yet again, “Move along. Nothing to see here,” which is the same reason that Mike Pompeo plays footsie with the Saudis after they assassinated a journalist, a columnist for The Washington Post, in a Turkish embassy.

Axis of Evil: Western Hemisphere edition

An absence of morality, spurred on by insatiable greed and totalitarianism.

The planet is in a tailspin, and the willful burning of the planet’s most precious source of life, of both oxygen and biodiversity, in the name of more cattle ranching, well, there’s your symbol of everything that’s wrong with the world.

Not all of our leaders are so depraved. Justin Trudeau is not. Nor is Emmanuel Macron of France. Or Angela Merkel of Germany. Nor Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand. There are probably others.

However, the leaders of the most powerful nations in North America (Donald Trump), Asia (Xi), Europe (Putin) and South America (Bolsonaro) are all fascists, all crooks, all bullies, all men without empathy for living creatures, man or beast. They are beholden only to wealth and power. The world is burning, figuratively and literally, and they are the ones holding the matches.

Actions become habits, habits become character and character becomes legacy. And we have all seen time and time again that all habits have consequences. Call it karma if you like, but I believe it’s more tangible than that. The actions currently being undertaken by the most powerful “leaders” on the planet are going to have a devastating impact on thousands of species, including man, for decades to come. If not centuries.

If you have the chance and/or the inclination, you may want to read A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter Miller, Jr. The book, published 60 years ago, tells the story of a post-nuclear world where monks preserve just enough scientific knowledge so that civilization can once again rebuild. And , of course, after thousands of years, what happens? Man makes the same mistakes all over again. It’s both a hilarious (“The Archbishop of Texarkana”) and depressing read and I’ve always been amused that Fr. Becker, S.J., assigned it to us to read, since its basic message is that it is inherent in man’s nature to destroy everything, including himself.

I honestly don’t know if there is a capital-g God (yes, I graduated from Notre Dame). But it all makes you wonder how His supposed top-of-the-line model could be so inherently flawed, and that’s before you wonder why He built a universe that is hopelessly enormous, in terms of our ability to comprehend its size, and then stuffed all the creatures He adores on one tiny rock in one miniscule galaxy.

And that’s all I have to say about that. Now you may return to bickering about Popeye’s chicken sandwiches.

Michael Tauchmann Overdrive

A couple of thoughts after the Yankees were swept in Oakland in a three-game series in which they never led, not one inning:

Gleyber Torres, 22, hit his 30th and 31st home runs last night and went 4-for-4. The only Yankee in franchise history to hit 30 home runs in a season who was younger than Torres? Joe DiMaggio. So, yeah, that was a smart trade the Bombers made for him three seasons ago (and the player they traded away, Aroldis Chapman, is already back in the Bronx).

David Cone, in the booth with Michael Kay, is excellent. He really is. Insightful and articulate, sure, but the only man calling games who also pitched a perfect game isn’t afraid to voice an opinion that runs contrary to Yankee brass. After Torres clouted his first home run last night, in the 7th inning, Cone noted again that he doesn’t quite understand, just in terms of number of bats per game, why a hitter as talented as Torres bats 7th. When the A’s made an error in the 8th, the first thing Cone noted was that it meant Torres would at least get another at-bat in the 9th. And then with two outs and nobody on in the 9th, Torres hit his second home run of the night.

Every day is Gleyber Day in the Bronx

–At least the Yankees scored, meaning they’ve scored at least one run in 211 consecutive games. That’s the third-longest streak in MLB history. The second-longest streak belongs to the 1978-1979 Milwaukee Brewers, 212 games. In order to tie that streak this evening, the Yanks must overcome Dodger ace Hyun-jin Ryu, who has by far baseball’s lowest ERA at 1.64.

–Outfielder Michael Tauchmann, who was at the end of the list of afterthought Yankee replacements back in April (remember Clint Frazier? Tyler Wade?), has the second-best batting average in all of baseball since the All-Star break. Tauchmann, batting .299 overall with 12 home runs and 45 RBI. Tauchmann, whom the Yanks acquired from the Rockies last spring in exchange for a pear-and-arugula salad, has the same number of at-bats (221) and homers this season as starting centerfielder Aaron Hicks. Tauchmann has nine more RBI and one less home run than starting right fielder Aaron Judge, and that in 44 fewer at-bats. He has the same number of at-bats as Edwin Encarnacion (143), Giancarlo Stanton (31) and Miguel Andujar (47) combined. What are the Yankees going to do with this guy when everyone gets healthy?

–By the way, the player with the best batting average in the big leagues since the All-Star Break? Teammate Gio Urshela, who like Tauchmann was a complete afterthought on this highly compensated roster when the season began.

The Exchange Rate Field*

*The judges thank Cecil Hurt for the inspiration

The Packers and Raiders played a preseason game in Winnipeg because why not? And then they played it on an 80-yard field goal, which just gave Frank Calendo 4 more minutes of Gruden-related material. You may wonder, as I did, how two teams playing on a field that is ordinarily 150 yards in length (end zones included) would play on a shorter field, but apparently it had to do with the conditions of the end zones, which is funny because the Raiders annually play on the most inhospitable football surface in the NFL. So quit asking questions, okay?

This is not what everyone is referring to when they suggest that the NFL needs to shorten its preseason.

–Apropos of nothing, the Baltimore Ravens won their 16th consecutive NFL preseason game last night.

–Also, look around and you’ll see that the fourth-highest rated passer in the league this August (after established starters Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins) is New York Giant rookie Daniel Jones, who was selected out of Duke with the sixth pick overall. Who’s laughing now?

Eli will be spending this evening screening “All About Eve”

–Finally, Trace McSorley looks as if he’ll make the Ravens and Gardner Minshew the Jags and they’ll both be vying for the Kellen Moore Trophy this season.

Going Down

Here in Gotham City, a 30 year-old male was crushed to death by a malfunctioning elevator. In a 23-story luxury building that only four months ago was fiend $1,300 by the city for having unsafe elevators. Sam Weisbren was killed as he exited the elevator first and the elevator came crashing down on him as he stepped across the threshold; three eyewitnesses who were still inside the elevator saw the tragedy happen right in front of him.

One wonders if Weisbren was exiting first so as not to alarm any female passengers who may have thought he was stalking them (sorry, I had to).

A-Mays-ing Met

Another borough, another century, another franchise, another player, but last night at Citi Field in Queens Mets left fielder J.D. Davis made the most Willie Mays-robbing-Vic Wertz catch in the 1954 World Series you’re likely to ever see.

A reminder that Wertz, like last night’s batter, Greg Allen, played for the Cleveland Indians. And that Mays, 89, finished his playing career with the Mets.

Borders Without Borders

by John Walters

This will be typed with some trepidation. I am typing this for the same reason that I asked the question that led to the argument that ultimately led to this blog post: because I’m looking for an honest answer to my question. And I’m hoping you can help by offering some advice, solicited, as to whether I was completely off-base to even pose the question. All I’m asking for are your candid replies. Thanks.

“So if you were the president, what would you do about the border?”

That was the question I asked an old friend last week and in the time it would take to repeat the query, I went from old friend to Typical Middle-Aged Racist White Guy. I could see the look in my friend’s eyes. I could see the change happen that quickly.

Is it a fair question? As I was thinking of composing this, I thought of how in the past it was common to begin an argument with “If there’s one thing that we can all agree on…” To begin with common ground on both sides of an argument.

But in the Age of Trump, sadly, I have learned the hard way that there are far fewer things that we can all agree on than I used to believe. So while I was about to write, “If there’s one thing we can all agree on, separating children from their parents and keeping them in conditions that are worse than what the common felon endures at Riker’s Island is flat-out wrong,” I’m not sure we can even all agree on that, unequivocally. But I do know that I believe that it is flat-out wrong. Unequivocally. Racism is wrong. Unequivocally. And that takes precedence over how well one’s stock portfolio is doing. At least it does to me.

The horrors of the border internment camps. ICE raids on chicken processing plants. Trump’s latest plan to suspend any type of habeas corpus in the aforementioned camps (making them in effect a Guantanamo base for illegal alien children). Any of two dozen or more disturbingly cruel and outright racist practices under the Trump administration (take a bow, Stephen Miller), which itself was launched with incredibly racist propaganda about the types of people Mexico was sending us. All of this is cruel and evil and downright un-American. No doubt.

However, the Founders of this country, men inspired by the Age of the Enlightenment and who had only lived in a world ruled by despots and kings, understood well, and sought gamely, to create a nation in which individuals were treated equally regardless of race, religion or economic standing. And for this to happen, they believed, the nation’s foundation had to be laws and our adherence to them.

Now, of course, as you and I and Colin Kaepernick know, all laws are not enforced equally. But the point is, they’re supposed to be. And one of the reasons the phrase “a more perfect union” exists in the preamble of the Constitution is because it embraces the idea that, as a nation, we can always improve. Blacks were not free when the Constitution was ratified. Women did not have the right to vote. America has never been perfect, and it is certainly far from perfect lately, but the ideas behind the Constitution seem to be: 1) we can always get better and wiser (hence the allowance of Amendments) and 2) laws are the cornerstone of a society where people are as free as possible while also adhering to what Rousseau described as “the Social Contract.”

In other words, you cannot be for freedom of speech right up until someone says something that you do not like. The law, all laws, need to be based on general values that a society espouses. Not on particular circumstances. Not on emotions. And if enough of us no longer believe that a law properly represents our values, it can be repealed. Or a new law passed.

Which brings me back to the border. And sure, if you want to include the U.S.A.-Canada border, by all means, go right ahead. Let’s begin with this: If you or I travel to any country outside the United States, we know enough to bring our passports. All developed nations have rules about foreigners entering their country, even if it’s just a matter of an agent glancing at your passport for a matter of seconds before passing you through.

So I guess what I’d like to ask is if those Americans who cannot stand Trump (raises hand) have an actual policy, a guideline, for border crossings that are not undertaken legally. Should it be like the 55 m.p.h. speed limit where, hey, we have it so that we can enforce it if we want but 99 times out of 100 we drivers know they never will? Should there be no law at all and, Hey, c’mon over, everyone? Should it be strict?

I’d argue that one of the main reasons, if not THE main reason, that Trump got elected was because he tapped into the latent racism of far too many Americans, and he used illegal border crossings as his gateway drug. And because, at least to me, no one on the Democrat side had (or has) a better counter-proposal than to tap into the emotional aspects of the situation (the Emma Lazarus Syndrome of “Gimme your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…”).

So that what you had on one side was a return to Nazi Germany and on the other side was Morris Albert singing “Feelings” and in between there was just this giant vacuum where common sense should exist. Where we, the people, just ignored the fact that you can’t even begin to address the issue if there’s not a proper law in place. There are decent people who bleed red and blue, I believe, who are frustrated by only hearing the extremes from either side.

You can talk about why ICE isn’t raiding the people who employ illegal aliens as opposed to the illegal aliens themselves (I know I have in this very blog). You can talk about how Mexicans and immigrants from other Central American countries who did not arrive legally are some of the hardest workers and friendliest people you’ll ever meet (this is something I know first-hand, I’d say better than 95% of you reading this). But as you talk about all of that, you are deflecting away from the question. Because it’s not about whether someone coming to the United States illegally is the best cook in your kitchen or an MS-13 member (or both).

It’s about, Should we bother to enforce laws? Are our laws obsolete? And, if law-abiding citizens see that their government is not enforcing laws, how long until those citizens stop respecting laws themselves?

I don’t think (“I think we can all agree…” except that we cannot) you can call yourself a true American if you don’t root for anyone who wants to come here and make a better life for himself, herself, or their family. After all, you’re almost certainly here because someone on an older branch of your family tree did just that. I’m 100% on those people’s sides and I care not one whit about their color, their race, their sexual orientation. If nothing else, 30 years of living in New York City, where we have every conceivable type of person living in extremely cramped conditions and yet people get along just fine, has taught me that.

But, as someone who desperately wants to see Trump out of office, and who sincerely wants every child in a cage reunited with his or her parents tonight, I don’t at all think it’s racist or un-American to ask of a Democratic candidate, So IS there a plan for the border? As it stands now, the MAGA base would put up a wall, which is the enduring symbol of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign (a successful one, I might add, no matter what the popular vote was).

But it feels to me that the opposition (count me in) has to this point come up with nothing better than sharing heart-wrenching stories of either families who have been torn apart or individuals working three jobs to raise their kids. Emotions aren’t laws. Human-interest stories that Lester Holt can narrate on NBC Nightly News are not a response to the sinister xenophobia of Trump’s policy.

Be it on a sports team, on a restaurant staff, or as a United States citizen, I find the operation works best when we have a clear set of guidelines and we hold each other accountable. Isn’t it possible to empathize with every single person who is attempting to come to America while also asking, Do we even have a guideline for who enters and, if so, is it something we are willing to enforce? Or is that something no Democrat would ever do because he or she would never want to alienate their voter base? Which, come to think of it, is something right out of Donald J’s border policy playbook.

Thank you for reading. I’m sure this will all just go down as White Mansplaining, but that’s the world we live in now.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Amazon Crime

What the hell? People are intentionally burning down the Amazon rainforest? Why don’t we all just poop in our water supply, too? Of all the catastrophic events taking place during this new age of fashionable totalitarianism, burning down the Amazon rainforest may be the catastrophicest.

And we’re obsessing over whether or not Trump is going to buy Greenland?!? I’m at the ‘I-don’t-even-know-what-to-say’ level at this point. You?

The Constant Gardner

This photo notwithstanding, Gardner is having a solid summer for the Jags

Remember Gardner Minshew? Graduate student who was gonna be content to ride the pine at Alabama as a backup QB in order to kickstart his coaching career, then made an exodus to Washington State after the incumbent starter at QB in Pullman committed suicide? Became a cult hero as he led the nation in passing yards per game (367.6) and was second in passing completion % (70.7%) as the Cougs finished 11-2?

Minshew, about 6’0″, was not drafted until the 6th round, by the Jaguars. Jacksonville gave him $195,000, guaranteed. By comparison, Jared Goff, another former Pac-12 QB who never posted numbers as exemplary nor led his school to 11 wins, received $18.5 million guaranteed as a rookie three years ago. Not claiming Minshew is going to be as good a pro as Goff, but it does look as if he is going to make the Jags roster as the No. 2 quarterback behind Nick Foles (another Pac-12 alum who wound up surprising a few people as an NFL QB).


He’s kidding, right, this Dudek fellow? Ooh! Oooh! Pick me, Mr. Kotter!

Journey Of A Lifetime

By now you’ve probably seen or read about Brad Ryan and his grandma, Joy, who have set out on an epic adventure, a quest really, to visit all of our national parks. Thus far, after four years the duo have visited nearly half of the 61 national parks, having covered 38 states (Phyllis, what say you?).

I love this story and dollars-to-doughnuts someone will turn this into a feature film. That is unless we discover the two are not actually related and it’s some bizarre Harold and Maude-type relationship.

Comstock Load

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen on Twitter this week and I wanted to learn more. This is the story of Keith Comstock, former journeyman MLB and minor-league pitcher, who as a 32 year-old demoted back to AAA, was able (via teammates united against having their baseball card pics taken unless he was allowed to do this) to create the funniest Topps baseball card ever.

Somewhere Ron Shelton, the writer of Bull Durham, is kicking himself for not having thought of this for the screenplay.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Imagining the Trump Nuuk

Another Day Of Trump

Calls Jews “stupid” if they vote Democrat and cancels trip to Denmark after its Prime Minister called his interest in purchasing Greenland “absurd.” And that was Tuesday.

Just so we’re clear here: titular head of the Republican Party, who defends neo-Nazis as “very fine people,” calls out Jews who would dare to not support him.

The King AnDi-vorce*

*The judges will also accept “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”

Radio megastar and Weekend At Bernie‘s aspirational figure Larry King, 85, has filed for divorce from his wife of 22 years, Shawn King. Who is not that mixed race dude who always gets in on-line battles with Clay Travis. And is definitely not the former Tulane quarterback.

Shawn is 59. This was Larry’s seventh marriage and the depressing part is knowing he’ll get married again before we will wed.

There’s TWO Of Them?

Dear 23AndMe: I’ve got a project for you.

Wow. Yesterday on the campaign trail in Minnesota Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren met her doppelgänger (that’s the U.S. Senator on the right…for once). This gives us hope that there may just be a Charlize Theron lookalike hiding out somewhere.

Edina resident Stephanie Oyen has been told so often by family members that she resembles Warren that she decided to don her blue blazer and glasses (her standard Halloween costume the past two years) and attend an event in St. Paul where Warren was speaking. When she entered the back of the hall, people began to turn around and point out, “It’s her!”

Oyen is 50. Warren is 70. Here’s to great genes.

The Great Buster

TCM aired a documentary on silent film star Buster Keaton Monday night and because I barely knew more about him than the name, I decided to give it a chance. In the intro they explain that Keaton’s short films, or shorts, were essentially the inspiration for most Bugs Bunny cartoons. And, Bugs being an all-time favorite of mine, they had me hooked.

Two things to know about Keaton: 1) he was born, in 1895, to a pair of parents who had their own vaudeville act and then became a part of it before he could even walk 2) in that act and when he became a movie star in the early 20s, he did his own stunts.

Watch this, and notice what he does at :46. Also, at 1:26. Those are two of his most famous stunts. Don’t try that at home (or with your home):

There, Al McCoy

The Phoenix Suns announced that Al McCoy, who has been calling games for the NBA franchise since 1972 (and has missed only ONE game due to personal illness in all that time), will return for a 48th season this autumn. McCoy, 86, is nearly as much of an institution in the Valley of the Sun as Camelback Mountain. A few years back I profiled him in Newsweek.

Music 101

No Time

Last night at the Cookoutateria an upper-middle-aged rock band, The Rockbrokers, covered this Guess Who classic with aplomb. The song was released in September of 1969, which means that it turns 50 next month, and in the aftermath of the Manson Family murders and Woodstock, it feels as if it’s a breakup song with the Sixties in a way. With the gorgeous four-part harmonies and unique guitar riff, it makes us think that this is one song the Beatles wish they had written. The Canadian rockers, who also wrote “American Woman” and “These Eyes,” are somehow NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. WUT?

Remote Patrol

Sullivan’s Travels

TCM 8 p.m.

This 1941 Preston Sturges comedy is considered a classic. John Sullivan (Joel McRea) is a popular young Hollywood director of frivolous comedies (sounds like a few people we could name) who longs to make a meaningful picture. So he dresses as a hobo in Depression-era America to find out what the real people are really like. Somehow Veronica Lake factors into the plot.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Cue “Yakety Sax.”

Starting Five

Tua will start the season as the Tide’s undisputed starter

QB Carousel At The Top

For the first time ever, Clemson is atop the preseason AP poll. No surprise for the defending champions. Here’s to us, what is funny: from a cursory glance, every school in the AP’s preseason Top 5 has been part of a quarterback soap opera in the past two seasons:

-No. 1 Clemson: Trevor Lawrence supplants starter Kelly Bryant after one month in 2018 and Bryant flips to Mizzou (and doesn’t get a ring!).

No. 2 Alabama: Jalen Hurts loses his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa early in 2018 after leading the Tide to a pair of national championship games. He’s now the starter at No. 4 Oklahoma.

He may be young but Lawrence already possesses the tools of a future No. 1 overall pick (2021)

No. 3 Georgia: Jacob Fromm takes the starter’s job away from Jacob Eason, now at No. 13 Washington, early in 2017 and holds onto it, which prompts Justin Fields to transfer also. Fields is now the starter at No. 5 Ohio State.

It keeps going. Jarrett Patterson left Ole Miss and is now the starter at No. 7 Michigan. Ian Book took the job away from Brandon Wimbush at No. 9 Notre Dame last September; Wimbush is now at No. 17 UCF.

Elite QBs are not students so much as they are hired guns. And you can’t blame them. Frankly, all positions in college football are not equal and QBs should only have to sit out until the end of the season in which they transfer, if they transfer mid-season. If they transfer post-season, they should not have to sit out at all.

Mr. Ed

If you remember the 1960s sitcom Mr. Ed, the premise was a talking horse of the title who not only speaks to his owner but dispenses wisdom on a regular basis. Flash forward 50-plus years to Mindhunter, where convicted serial killer Ed Kemper (who decapitated 6 of his 10 victims) has become the show’s undisputed charmer and sage.

Kemper, who in real life stood 6’9″, has only one scene in Season 2 but his words have remained with me for a few days. Our G-men, agents Ford and Tench, have traveled from Quantico to Vacaville to interview Charles Manson, but he’s housed in the same facility as Kemper, whose interview kick-started the entire profiling practice. So they stop in and visit him.

Kemper on word of their interview with Manson having already spread through the prison: “Everyone knows when Charlie takes a shit, and if you haven’t heard, he’ll tell you all about it. Even if someone else took the shit for him.”

The real Ed Kemper who, like Manson Family member Tex Watson, is still alive and incarcerated in California

Later, Kemper demonstrates how insightful he is, recognizing that they’re on the trail of someone that has yet to make the papers (the Atlanta child murderer). When Ford somewhat smugly states that eventually every serial killer tips his hand and is caught, Kemper, who turned himself in because he realized the cops would never catch him, says, “It occurs to me that everything you know about serial killers comes from talking with the ones who were caught.”

Finally Fired

It took five years, but the NYPD finally fired Officer Dan Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death in July of 2014. Panatela remains a free man, but we can all sleep better knowing that the scourge of second-hand street cigarettes are no longer destroying the purity of Staten Island. In other news, “Juul Labs Says Raised About $325.0 Million In Equity And Debt Financing.”


X Marks The Spot

Yesterday U.S. Steel (ticker symbol “X,” which is way cool) announced that it will lay off hundreds of workers at one of its plants in Michigan. So much winning. The formidable company’s stock price was at $30.93 a year ago today; this morning it’ll open under $13. Stop buying wooden homes, people. Buy steel homes.

Forty Somethings


You know us by now: time is pressing, we have to get ready for work, and we still don’t have a No. 5. So we head over to and hope there’s something and—spoiler alert—there usually is.

Smith, on top of the world in so many ways

The annual Leadville 100, one of the most iconic foot races in the USA (100 miles of trail running across ridges and backwoods in the Colorado Rockies) was staged this past weekend and both the men’s and women’s winners were runners in their forties. Ryan Smith, 40, of Boulder, won the men’s race in a time of 16 hours, 33 minutes and 25 seconds. Magdalena Boulet, 46, who was an Olympic marathoner 11 years ago and lives in Oakland, won the women’s race in 20 hours, 18 minutes and seven seconds. She finished 11th overall and this was her very first Leadville run.