by John Walters

Starting Five

Ohio Statement

The best college football team in America, after one month, is Ohio State. On Saturday night the Buckeyes strutted into Lincoln, a vaunted powerhouse until the past 17 years, and embarrassed Scott Frost’s squad. It was 38-0 at halftime and if Ryan Day had put the pedal down after halftime the final score would have been much worse than 48-7.

Defensive end Chase Young is a beast, fulfilling the promise that Nick Bosa never did last season. Quarterback Justin Fields is winning converts weekly both to his Heisman campaign and to the idea that Kirby Smart isn’t the best decision-maker out there. Finally, Ryan Day is the anti-Urban when it comes to basking in a drama vortex. We will call him Rural Meyer.

MH’s Top 4, after one month: Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Auburn.

I Don’t Want Your Civil War*

*The judges would remind you that for many of those who attend MAGA rallies, the Civil War never ended.

This is a classic Trump Tweet, filled with superlatives and threats and false premises. The facts are this: 1) no one diplomat/nation ever simply “does a favor” for another, just like no one ever went to Don Corleone asking for a favor thinking there’d be no payback expected, 2) since the beginnning Trump has never denied what he did (the transcript demonstrates it in black and white) but has instead asked “Who is accusing me?” 3) the Civil War has been going on ever since Lincoln freed the slaves. Some Americans will never accept the post-bellum world in which they live and all Trump has done is capitalize off that rift while further widening the gulf.

The funniest thing about all of this? Trump doesn’t give a tinker’s darn about any of you Middle America types. You think a guy who has lived his entire adult life within 2 blocks of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street gives the slightest (poop) about a $30,000-a-year worker in Centerville, Ohio? Think again. He’s exploiting you; he’s not fighting for you.

The Death of the Middle Class (In Pro Sports)

Detroit, which earlier this decade had the two best pitchers of this generation, lost 114 games this season

We don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or a reflection of market economics elsewhere, but what’s happening to the American class structure is being reflected in pro team sports somewhat. That is, an increase in folks to the ultra-rich or very poor with a decrease of America’s true middle class.

The Major League Baseball season ended yesterday and for the first time in THE HISTORY of the Show, four teams finished with at least 100 wins: the Dodgers, Astros, Yankees and Twins. Also for the first time, four teams finished with at least 100 losses: the Tigers, Orioles, Royals and Marlins.

Thirty teams, and more than 25% of them are uber-successful or distressingly lacking.

Meanwhile in the NFL, and we know it’s early, the only thing that’s going to prevent the Jets or Dolphins from finishing 0-16 is the fact that they both play in the AFC East. The Patriots look unbeatable. And the 0-3 Bengals face the 0-3 Steelers tonight on Monday Night Football.

The Broncos and Redskins are 0-4 and the Cards, who had the No. 1 overall draft pick, are 0-3-1.

The Fraser-Pryce Is Right

At the Worlds in Doha, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins the women’s 100 meters in 10.71 seconds. The Worlds gold medal in the 100 is the Jamaican’s (yes, what is it about Jamaican sprinters?) fourth in this biannual event to go along with her Olympic golds in the 100 in 2008 and 2012.

Pryce, 32, now holds two of the five fastest times ever run, and two of the other people who ran faster were Marion Jones and Flo-Jo, one of whom definitely wasn’t clean and the other of whom has long been suspected.

Truth be told, we don’t fully subscribe to any track and field record set in the past 50 years. Which is sad, and yes it smears plenty of athletes who’ve done it the right way. We’re not saying they’re all cheaters, only that our suspicions lead us to wonder. No matter what they say. Call it the Lance Armstrong Effect.

Watson, Come Here

I’m 100% with Jason here, and not at all with Mike. This is exactly how the process is supposed to work. And no egos were damaged in the exchange of information here. Reporter asked a good question: Was there a coverage that dictated why you could not throw deep? Watson explained in depth the coverage and how Houston had to react to it. Of course, at a certain point one team’s Joes have to make more plays than the others. That’s the unspoken truth in this exchange. We’ve always liked Deshaun Watson and we like him even more now.

Music 101


Come to me, baby/Don’t be shy/Don’t be shy/Don’t be shy

Written and released by New York-based electronic music duo The Knocks, featuring vocals by Crista Ru of POWERS. We detect a hint of The Human League here, no? Released in September of 2017, it’s a club favorite. Not that we get to many clubs.

Remote Patrol

Two of the men in this photo won Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor Oscars for this film, even though the most deserving, IMO, was Dana Andrews (middle), who did not


by John Walters

Starting Five

Russian Mobster

The cheap-suit mob boss persona of President Trump has truly come to light this week, what with the “I would like you to do us a favor” followed by “You know what we used to do with spies in the old days?”

Meanwhile, it’s a little odd that more folks aren’t drawing a direct line to the money Paul Manafort made from the Ukraine that sort of started all this. To wit:

From 2004 to 2014, Manafort had advised President Viktor Yanukovych, who advocated that his country sever ties with the United States and other Western nations, and align itself more closely with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. After Yanukovych fled the country in disgrace in 2014, a ledger was recovered from the burned-out ruins of his Party of Regions. Its records showed that Yanukovych and his political allies had madesome $12.7 million in secret cash payments to Manafort. The disclosure led directly to Manafort’s resignation in August 2016 as chairman of the Trump presidential campaign.

So you have Manafort advising the Ukraine to fall in step with Mother Russia. You have the candidate he was advising somewhat doing that very thing—severing ties with the West and becoming friendly with Russia—and so the question is who is behind all of this (Hi, Vlad!) and why. Oh, and then there’s that whole Rex Tillerson-Exxon-Russia’s oil sanctions dealio.


So you have Paul Manafort and Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine, you have Trump being overpaid for real estate by Russian oligarchs, and now you have a democratically elected president in the Ukraine feeling the squeeze between helping Trump investigate the Bidens or else losing military funding it badly needs to repel Russia. Donald Trump is truly the best friend Russia ever had.

By the way, if you are looking for a connection between this moment and Watergate, you may recall that Watergate began when Nixon hired a few goobs to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in attempt to dig up some dirt on his 1972 reelection campaign rivals. And then spent the next year denying any connection to it. So that’s almost a 1:1 comparison.

Trump In The Land Of Trumpy (Bob)

It’s a month old or so, but if you have a moment give a read to Matt Taibbi‘s piece in Rolling Stone on attending a Trump campaign rally in Cincinnati last summer. Taibbi is a gifted wordsmith, but he also possesses the insight to explain why the left has to this point failed to understand how to combat MAGAland. These are mostly cultists who’d respond better to fart noises than to a logical argument that illuminates their hypocrisy.

Still, the gold in any Taibbi piece are the unforgettable lines:

 His hair has visibly yellowed since 2016. It’s an amazing, unnatural color, like he was electrocuted in French’s mustard

He then reflects on his 2016 run, when hordes of people turned out to send him to D.C., from places he, Trump, would never have visited, except maybe by plane crash.

And finally, this…

Throughout Trump’s speech, spectators came down to taunt the libs. It got tense enough that a row of helmeted cops showed up, stringing patrol bicycles end to end in the middle of the street to create an ad-hoc barricade.

“He’s a fucking con man,” the would-be Ortega on the other side is chanting now. “Don the con . . . All power to the working class!”

“We are the working class, buddy!” an older man shouts. More laughs.

“No more hate!” the protesters chant.

“Four more years, bitch!” comes the reply.

The road is only four lanes wide, but it might as well be a continent. Two groups of people, calling each other assholes across a barricade. Welcome to America in the Donald Trump era.

Wag The Dog

If you’re wondering exactly how far down the rabbit hole we’ve gone, Fox News, the network that once worked itself into a tizzy daily about Hillary Clinton and her private email servers, yesterday came out in defense of President Trump using “special computers” to hide the transcript of his phone call to the president of the Ukraine.

Nothing Trump does matters to Fox News or the cult. If Trump does it, by definition it is okay. That’s a cult.

Wild About Harry

Also in that same issue of Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield‘s man-crush profile of former One Direction band member Harry Styles. The two spend a week together in Los Angeles and London—Styles had actually originally contacted Sheffield to tell him that he loved his book, Love Is A Mixtape.

Anyway, the ardor is strong in this profile but it’s pretty difficult to come away not liking the 25 year-old Brit. He comes off as a true gent, a good friend and a better son. A bit of an old soul and something of an introvert. A good bloke.

We like Harry because when RS asked him to list five influences, he went with Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Wings; Pulp Fiction; and Joni Mitchell. Solid list for a millennial.

Jakob’s Ladder

The Worlds (world track and field championships), a biannual event, begin today in Dotha, Qatar. One of the people to watch is 19 year-old Jakob Ingebritsen of Norway, who as you can see from above looks like he was taken directly off the beach from Chariots of Fire.

Ingebritsen is the favorite to win the men’s 5-K, a race that hasn’t been too well-represented by Europeans at least not since the days of Lasse Viren (1976). Keep an eye on him.

Music 101

Helplessly Hoping

We stole this suggestion from Styles above (maybe we have a man-crush!), who said about this C,S&N tune that, “If I had three minutes to live, it’s one of my one-more-time-before-I-go songs.” From 1969, a year that was flush with incredible music.

Remote Patrol

Penn State at Maryland

8 p.m. FS1

Both Big Ten schools coming off a bye week. The Nittany Lions think they’re a Top 15 school and the Terps are gonna be stoked about a Friday night game in College Park. Methinks SVP will be watching.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Give ’em hell, Josh.

Starting Five

Low Energy Donald

Are the walls finally beginning to close in on MAGAsaurus Rex?

Here’s the transcript, with key parts highlighted, of President Trump’s July 25th phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky (and who will play him on SNL this Saturday?). As far as we’re concerned, referring to Rudy Giuliani as “a highly respected man” is an impeachable offense (“Oh, shut up! Shut up, you moron! Shut up!”).

No one told him he’d have to show up for this.

So how’s this all going to end. The president will agree to move out of the White House as long as America signs an NDA.

Too Toobin

Presidential scandals provided unexpected moments of gold. Here’s a CNN panel from around 5 p.m. in which CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin is seated right next to a screen showing CNN political director David Challan who looks like his doppelgänger if only Toobin went on a weekend KFC chicken-and-doughut sandwich binge.

Deep Throat II

Turns out that when the majority party in the government is either corrupt or cowering at the feet of a corrupt administration, there’s not much that can save us except for a courageous government official who’s willing to sacrifice his career for the good of the democracy. In 1972 it was Deep Throat, whose identity would be kept secret for 33 years before it was at last learned he was FBI associate director Mark Felt.

This week it was The Whistleblower, who at the moment lacks a punchier nickname, which really speaks to the paucity of quality hard-core porn films being released these days, don’t you think? Anyway, whoever this person is, it is HIS or HER leaks that kick-started the latest Affaire du Trump and—and I know we’ve all said this before—this one actually looks serious.

There should be a better child-proof seal on the sanctity of the world’s greatest superpower than a lone wolf having to risk everything to bring powerful men to task. Don’t you think? But thankfully there are still some people in Washington who believe in truth and justice as opposed to power and wealth. And how long until we learn this person’s name? And rank?

The Price Is Right

By now you may have read about Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, gave all of his employees a $10,000 raise (a 33% increase for some) and announced that by 2024 all would be earning $70,000 per year.

Corporate America: Was that so hard?

“The market rate for me as a C.E.O. compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd,” said Price. “”A lot of people think giving up a million dollar a year salary and millions in profit is an unreasonable sacrifice to pay a living wage and give small businesses white glove service. Well, I am proof of one thing. It is worth it.” 

You can be CEO and by far the wealthiest earner at your company and NOT be an asshole. What a novel concept.

Brew True

Mike Moustakas. I don’t know what the NBC Sideline Sky Cam is doing in Milwaukee, either.

Remember when the Milwaukee Brewers lost prospective repeat-NL MVP winner Christian Yelich in late August? Remember when they were just two games over .500 on August 30th?

Of course you don’t. Who does? Who cares about the Brewers?

Still, if you gave them any thought, you left them for dead. Well, Milwaukee is 20-4 since then and they just eliminated both the Cubs and Mets from the postseason. They’re guaranteed at least a wildcard berth and they’re only 1 1/2 back of the Cardinals for first place in the A.L. Central heading into the final weekend. The Cards have three left against the Cubbies, who may be either just empty or somewhat motivated to knock the Cardinals down from their perch. The Brew Crew has one against Cincy and three versus the Rockies, both sub-.500 clubs.

No Yelich? No problem. Baseball is weird.

Music 101

Les Moulins de mon Couer (The Windmills of Your Mind)

Introduced in the original 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair, this tune composed by Frenchman Michel LeGrand with lyrics by a pair of Americans has, to us, always sounded better in French (not unlike Morticia Addams). It won the Oscar for Best Original Song that year and was re-recorded for the film’s remake by Sting. But we prefer this version.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Is This It? (No)

After the president admitted that yes, he held back $400 million in aid to Ukraine and, yes, he asked the Ukrainian prime minister to investigate Hunter Biden after but NOOOOOO, there was no quid pro quo going on, after all this, after the years of callously ignoring the Emoluments Clause, ranking Democrat Nancy Pelosi finally announced that the House will begin a formal impeachment inquiry.

What’s it all mean? Here, read this. The House voted to impeach Andrew Johnson. And Bill Clinton. Neither left office because on top of that it also takes a 2/3 vote of the Senate and I don’t think the Senate would vote that way about Trump even if he came out and confessed that he was the Zodiac.

If we know President Trump, though, this will make him fighting mad, which means he’ll cater to the cameras, which means he’ll probably utter even more self-incriminating words. Stay tuned.

Strike ‘Em Out, Hit ‘Em Out

Ronald Acuna, Jr., is a budding superstar, but he’s also whiffed an MLB-most 188 times in 2019

For the 12th consecutive season, Major League Baseball has broken its single-season strikeout record (41,208 and counting). Meanwhile, last night the New York Yankees became the first team in MLB history to have FOURTEEN players with at least 10 home runs. The Yanks, who’ve already broken the single-season team home-run record for the second year in a row, are one home run shy of 300 for the year.

What ever happened to contact hitters? Rod Carew is weeping.

Blue Planet, Red Alert

From the BBC:

According to a UN panel of scientists, waters are rising, the ice is melting, and species are moving habitat due to human activities.

And the loss of permanently frozen lands threatens to unleash even more carbon, hastening the decline.

There is some guarded hope that the worst impacts can be avoided, with deep and immediate cuts to carbon emissions.

I think Greta Thunberg nailed it on Monday. “And all you talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal wealth…”

Sticky Finger-Lickin’ Good

Meanwhile, you can bet that more folks on your Twitter and Instagram feeds will have the feels not about oceans rising but rather the prospect that their cholesterol levels will. Introducing KFC’s Chicken-and-Doughnut sandwich (a.k.a. the KFCPR), which will be rapaciously devoured by the same people who will then tell you that health care is a human right. There I go, Susie B., kicking your hornet’s nest again…

Evidence Of Love

We blame our old friend Moe Cav for stoking a recent interest in true crime books (it’s weird how when you go out to a bar to read Zodiac by yourself that more people do not approach and start a conversation. Huh). Anyway, she gifted us a copy of Evidence Of Love, a 1984 book by Jim Atkinson and John Bloom (you may know him better as film critic Joe Bob Briggs). It’s the true story of two suburban Dallas housewives, a sordid affair involving one of their husbands, and a grisly axe murder that took place in the utility room of one’s house. To say more would be…criminal.

If you think this is just a Lifetime movie on steroids, think again. The book is so thoroughly reported, the events so well-framed, that it will grab you. Strongly recommended. The details are lurid and grisly, but the reportage is as meticulous as anything you’ll ever come across.


by John Walters

Greta The Great!

If you didn’t know the 16 year-old Swede before yesterday, you may know here now. Greta Thunberg, who first gained attention last summer when she demonstrated outside of the Swedish parliament to call for climate action, was invited to speak at the United Nations yesterday, where dozens of world leaders have gathered this week (and clogged up traffic from Sixth Avenue east). She did not squander her moment.

“We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of economic growth. How dare you!” Take that and stick it up your corn hole, Joe Kernen.

Of course, it only took a few hours for a guest on Fox News to refer to her as “mentally ill” and for Laura Ingraham to refer to her as “Children of the Corn,” and you wonder at what age do people’s hearts die. Or maybe it’s not a matter of what age they reach, but how much income they’ve earned.

Spooky Castle*

*The judges are soliciting your help for a better headline

This is Dunstanburgh Castle in northern England, or at least the remains of the 14th-century fortification, located in Northumberland on the coast of the North Sea. Doesn’t look like all that much in the light of day…

…but then when the sun goes down and what with the Northern Lights and all, it becomes a Tim Burton soundstage. Bucket list wish: see the Northern Lights.

Trump, Biden, Whistleblowers and Nepotism

The latest, “Oh, he’s gone entirely too far!” episode involving our beloved 45th president involves him personally ordering his staff to freeze more than $391 million in aid to Ukraine in the days before he pressed the new Ukrainian president to investigate the Democrats’ leading presidential candidate. Two White House officials have confirmed this.

Now, we can have a separate debate as to why Uncle Sam is writing out such robust checks to any foreign government when our educational system is bankrupt and we can hardly keep grizzly bears out of classrooms because of it. Sure. But this is a pure Mob Boss move on the president’s part: I’m going to give Ukraine a taste of the pain I can unleash if it doesn’t play ball with me.

Meanwhile, Dems in Washington fluttered their hankies anew at the report and some wondered if they might have to change their reservations at Charlie Palmer. My Lord, what a bunch of feckless milquetoasts.

On the other hand, if you read this story, Trump does have a point: why did a Ukrainian petroleum company take on Hunter Biden, who does have a law degree, at $50,000 per month when he had no previous expertise in the industry or Ukraine? To get closer to his dad, of course. Now, sure, it’s funny that Donald Trump of all people would call out nepotism (he’s been both the beneficiary of it and he’s now passing it on to his kids), but yeah, the Bidens don’t come off as altogether wonderful. Don’t you just miss the days when Leo McGarry’s daughter was simply an attractive school marm that Sam Seaford could hit on….?

King Gone

After playing four games, and losing three of them, University of Houston senior quarterback D’Eriq King has opted to take a mulligan on the remainder of 2019. Because the new redshirt rule allows you to play up to four games without it costing against your season, King is eligible to return next year and play for the Cougars. Or, having auditioned in front of Lincoln Riley and 90,000 Sooner fans on September 1st in Houston’s season-opening loss at Oklahoma, he could become the third Texas-based QB in the past five years to transfer to Norman (after Baker and Kyler, who both went on to win the Heisman). Stay tuned.

One of King’s favorite targets, Keith Corbin, will also shut it down the rest of 2019. First-year Houston coach Dana Holgorsen, in our opinion, should just thank the two of them and tell them to get lost for good. And while you’re at it GET OFFA MY LAWN!

It’s All Downhill From Here

No human being has ever run a marathon in under two hours, even though that will likely happen in the next 20 years. Organizers of an event in Andalusia, Spain, can’t wait that long. With the aid of a 6,358-foot decline from starting line to finish, they were hoping to produce the first sub-2-hour marathon this weekend.

Didn’t happen.

Kenyan Anthony Kiringa broke the tape in 2:09, though his 30-K split (about 18-mile mark) was faster than fellow Kenyan Eliud Chipkoge’s split at the Berlin Marathon last year when Chipkoge set the world record at the 26.2-mile distance at 2:01:39.

Of course, if Kipchoge had run in Spain on Sunday he might’ve crushed the two-hour barrier but it would not be an official time, owing to the dramatic altitude decline on the course.

Personal memory: In 2006 we ran an all-downhill half-marathon in Fontana, Calif. The objective was achieved: our fastest half-marathon ever (about 1:21 as I recall). But we wrecked our quads for about two weeks. Here’s how crazy that race was: We finished in the top 10 but at least three runners ahead of us dropped out. Fast runners don’t ordinarily drop out of half-marathons. They did so because they’d been hammering their quads for 10-12 miles at that point and their muscles could no longer take the stress. Run a downhill marathon or half- at your own risk.

Music 101

Where The Bands Are

This song never made a Bruce Springsteen album, so as we belatedly celebrate his 70th birthday, we take note of it and offer that it would have fit perfectly on The River. By the way, all of the footage in this video is from before, during and after his November 5, 1980 show at the Arizona State University Activity Center (now Wells Fargo Arena) that my sister worked as an usher and scored me a ticket to but Phyllis wouldn’t let me attend because it was a school night. I’m not quite over it yet.

Remote Patrol

Country Music

8 p.m. PBS

Waylon & Willie, R to L

So both Phyllis and Susie B. have been chatting up this latest Ken Burns’ documentary (Burns has now done series on Baseball, The Civil War, World War II, Vietnam and this; let me throw out his next two for him, “The Movies” and “Rock ‘n Roll”) and even though we’re catching it nearer to the end, here’s hoping/guessing that PBS will re-air it plenty.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Life, death, fire, Iggles.

Starting Five

Red Light District

Sanford Stadium and Georgia wholly disregarded the advice of the Police on Saturday evening (“You don’t have to put out the red liiiiight”) as Notre Dame came to visit for the first time. The Irish acquitted themselves well, but in what has became a near-annual tradition, came away with a respectable loss versus a highly-ranked team (USC ’05; Florida State ’14; Clemson ’15).


Turns 70 today. So much has already been said and written, so much more should be. Everyone has their pop culture/artist heroes. For me, it’s Roger Staubach, David Letterman and Bruce. All of whom are now septuagenarians.

Fleabag’gin The Emmys

The TV show Fleabag, which is written by and stars a female with a hyphenated name, is filmed in London and appears on Amazon Prime, cleaned up at last night’s host-free Emmys. Creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge hauled in three Emmys, including upset wins against Veep and fellow hyphenated star Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Best Comedy and Best Lead Actress in a Comedy.

Our favorite televised thing of the year, Chernobyl, also picked up three Emmys. It was also the target for snarky filler lines such as “Chernobyl was filmed i Studio City in front of a live audience” and “Chernobyl, the little nuclear disaster that could.”

Game Of Thrones won Best Drama and like 11 other awards but, just like in the show, the women were treated callously and without mercy. The only individual acting award went to The Imp, Peter Dinklage.

Pandemonium In Pullman

For one half in Pullman, it felt like a baccalaureate exercise. Mustachio’ed man of the hour Gardner Minshew had flown 2,800 miles to return, in jorts, to the stadium that made him famous. His successor, Anthony Gordon, was on the way to breaking Minshew’s school-record 7 touchdown tosses in one game. The ESPNers were talking up Gordon’s Heisman chances and Mike Leach’s “Insurgency In Warfare” course.

And then suddenly Chip Kelly and UCLA authored their own episode of Pardon The Interruption. Trailing 49-17 early in the third quarter, the Bruins stormed back for an incredible 50-second half points and defeated the Cougs, 67-63. We’ve lost sleep over many a Pac-12 After Dark contest, but this was by far the Pac-12 After Darkiest.


Send your apologies to New York Giant general manager Dave Gettleman, who used the sixth pick in last spring’s draft to select Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, was roundly pilloried for it, and now appears to be having the last laugh.

In his first career start yesterday, on the road in Tampa, Jones led the G-Men to a 32-31 victory. Jones, with two fewer starts in 2019, has one more win than Kyler Murray, the first overall pick in the April draft.

Killer Cliff of Connecticut

Both a father and son perished after falling 75 feet off a cliff in Connecticut, a state that is not ordinarily infamous for its craggy promontories. Steven Price, 71, and his son Mark, 30, had been riding ATVs in a quarry in Farmington, Conn., a lovely town about 20 miles northwest of Hartford.

This happened last Wednesday night. The dad had gone over to peer off the edge of the cliff (never a good idea) and tripped. His son moved to save him and they both fell. Rule No. 1, quarry-style.

Music 101

Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

There we were at the Fairway market yesterday, groping avocados (not a euphemism), and an old-timey song came over the speaker system. It could’ve been a Sam Cooke song. Not sure. The refrain went something like, “Nothing, nothing, nothing could keep me…” and now I forget the rest. I mention all of this because A) I’m commissioning one of you to locate the song and B) because now I know from where Journey stole the melody to its 1978 breakout hit. The “nothing, nothing, nothing” lyric is “lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’.”

For perspective’s sake, Journey had been a band before this song, but Gregg Rolie had done the vocals. Then they brought in Steve Perry, who sang lead vocals here, and the band exploded. We remember it well, early autumn of 1979. And this song got wall-to-wall play on the radio. It was Journey’s first Top 40 hit. Rolie, who had co-founded both Santana and this band, did not take the demotion well, leaving Journey a year later. Then they released Escape. Maybe shoulda stuck around.

Yes, but did it have legs? Ask the producers of Glee:

Remote Patrol

Bride Of Frankenstein

11:15 p.m. TCM

“The cocktail hour MUST go from 2 to 4 while we’re taking photos!”

In which the producers pose the age-old question, What’s more terrifying than a 7-foot tall corpse come to life with the brain of a mental patient? Being married. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Jag Off(ense)

The NFL at last has a quarterback folk hero who may save the league from itself (and the Jaguars from Jalen Ramsey). Gardner Minshew, the East Carolina transfer who almost wound up as Alabama’s third-string QB last season as a grad transfer but instead trekked to Pullman, Wash., where he led the FBS in passing before becoming a 6th-round pick, led the Jags to their first win of the season last night in his first NFL start.

If you loved the 1970s, you’d love Minshew, who’s a bit North Dallas Forty meets Smokey and the Bandit. America and ESPN won’t be able to get enough of him but thankfully he’s in Jacksonville, where the media rarely ventures. Let’s hope the mustachioed Minshew buys himself a muscle car real soon and that everyone hopping over each other to do the next in-depth profile of him catches mono.

We will take a personal pat on the back and remind you we warned you about Minshew making an NFL roster a month ago. Meanwhile, last night’s Jags’ win provided a moment for Tom Brady, the face of the league to commit his most subversive act of his entire career (that he will admit to):


Tom’s right, you know. The NFL, and CFB, are over-obsessed with penalties thus far in September, particularly with QB hits. Flags on rough but not illegal (at least up until this season) hits on QBs cost Denver its game on Sunday and nearly cost Tulane its win against Houston last night. And it cost Jets DB Jamal Adams $21,000 for a clean hit on Monday night.

Speaking of the J-E-T-S, they also have a dude making his first NFL start this week who played under Mike Leach at Washington State: Luke Falk (above). The problem is he’s playing in Foxboro against Brady and the Pats. If for any reason he miraculously leads the Jets to victory, he’ll deserve to become a folk hero, at least locally.

“Yankees Clinch! Thuuuuuuuuh Yankees Clinch! (The A.L. East)

The New York Yankees, once George Constanza’s employer but never Jerry’s favored NYC franchise, clinch the A.L. East in typical 2019 fashion: the Yanks beat the Angels 9-1 thanks to four home runs, three of which were hit by players who were not in the Opening Day lineup: D.J. LeMahieu, Cameron Maybin and Clint Frazier.

(28 being the next number in terms of World Series the Yankees would win)

Aaron Boone becomes the first manager in MLB history to win at least 100 games in each of his first two seasons (Wowwww). And the Yanks win the A.L. East for the first time since 2012.

New York is currently 1/2 game behind Houston for the best record in the American League. It’s a mixed-bag outcome. The loser of that race gets an easier first-round opponent (Minnesota, most likely, as opposed to a surging Cleveland or Oakland, again most likely) but then cedes home-field advantage in the ALCS.

19th Nervous Meltdown

Okay, this encounter between the former mayor of New York City and the son of a former governor of New York (and brother of the current governor of New York) was rambling and unfocused the first half, as Chris Cuomo allowed Rudy Giuliani to fulminate at length. But near the end, you get to the “You’re damn right I ordered the ‘Code Red’!” moment.

Cuomo asks Rudy if he asked the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden. Rudy says no. Less than a minute later Rudy admits that he did, as the president’s lawyer, ask Ukraine to investigate Biden. Then when Cuomo pounces on the inconsistency, which there is obviously video evidence of now, Rudy returns to flatly denying it. The things you are hearing, and the things you are seeing, do not believe them. That is the Trump mantra.

Follow The Bouncing Bianna*

*The judges will also accept “Amanpour One Out For Bianna”

This morning CNN announced the hiring of Bianna Golodryga, who it felt as if just five minutes ago was co-anchoring CBS This Morning (not a terrible gig) and who not too long before that was a weekend co-anchor at Good Morning America where she looked way too much like fellow GMAer Paula Faris’ kid sister. It was like Single White Female meets Network.

Julia Boorstein, based in L.A., probably gets stopped and asked is she’s Jessica Chastain daily

We’ve long thought that Bianna and CNBC’s Julia Boorstein are two of the more underutilized talents in the news biz: they both have star potential. Golodryga was born in Moldova and her parents emigrated to the U.S. when she was an infant, settling in Houston. She graduated from the University of Texas (“Hook ’em”) and is fluent in Russian and, just for good measure, Romanian. It appears as if CNN is grooming her to be the next Christianne Amanpour, but then CNN doesn’t really send correspondents anywhere anymore, do they? Unless they’re named Anderson Cooper?

Tulane, TuPlays, TuMuch

This went for 18 yards

You’re Tulane. You’ve been irrelevant at least since the days of Shaun King (the quarterback, not the confused SJW) or maybe even 1931, when you went to the Rose Bowl and lost to USC.

So now you get a Thursday night matchup versus Houston on your own field and more importantly, on ESPN. And you’re quickly down 28-7. But you battle back to score 24 unanswered. Then Houston kicks a tying field goal in the final minute.

Are you playing for overtime? NOOOOOOOO! This is YOUR moment on the national stage, playa. Shoot your shot. And that’s exactly what Green Wave coach Willie Fritz did. With two plays:

  1. A fake victory formation play in the final :18 that allows an 18-yard gain up to midfield and gets the crowd stoked that something bigger is about to come:

2. Next up, a pass that was probably intended to set up the Green Wave (never mind the blue unis) for a game-winning field goal but instead went to the hizzy. And that’s an assistant coach’s son who just transferred in from Oklahoma State scoring it.

Tom Brady, THIS is what you should be watching on Thursday evenings (unless you’re watching your wife, which most males would be happy to do).

Meanwhile, Hello boys and girls, can you spell “harbinger?” I knew that you could.

Music 101

Touch And Go

Panorama was The Cars’ third album and their first relative dud, but we still like this song. Let’s end the week as it began, with a tribute to Ric Ocasek.

Remote Patrol

Utah at USC

9 p.m. FS1

Tune in at 8 p.m. as Reggie Bush returns to the Coliseum with the Fox studio crew (and the Trojan loyalists chant “We want Urban!” to his partner). This is Clay Helton’s last stand. If the Utes dispose of USC–would be their second loss to a Beehive State school in six days—then someone will drive Helton to LAX and fire him on the tarmac.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

(Close) The Book Of Eli?

Did anyone expect Eli Manning to play 16 seasons in the NFL, all of them until this one as the starter? Or for him to win not one but two Super Bowl MVP awards.

The New York Giants demoted their veteran quarterback on Tuesday in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. Perhaps the most telling stat of Manning’s star-crossed career is that after 232 starts, the team’s record in those games is 116-116. He’s not a Hall of Famer in our eyes, but in those two postseasons when the G-men needed him most, he more than showed up. And he may have completed the most incredible pass in Super Bowl history which, for all the acrobatics of David Tyree on the other end, never happens if Manning does not somehow magically escape the clutches of a New England pass rusher.

Manning’s always been a good dude. So he took the demotion with grace. How long before he joins big brother and Brad Paisley in those Nationwide ads is anyone’s guess.


In this morning’s New York Times, an entire article is devoted to this photo from Monday’s Corey Lewandowski circus. The story is titled “This Picture Tells You Everything You Need To Know About Impeachment” . In it writer Nicholas Fandos likens photographer Doug Mills’ shot to “a Renaissance painting.” Read it if you like.

We didn’t pay attention to Monday’s proceedings. It was just another incident of Democrats behaving like William H. Macy’s character in Boogie Nights when he sees what’s happening in the alley behind the party with his wife. And as for Jerry Nadler, he reminds me of the guy in line at Zabar’s who mildly protests when you cut in front of him but then does nothing more than say “Sheesh!” to the old lady standing next to him.

This Justin

For the record: We don’t care.

But this does mean that Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau can forget about auditioning for Saturday Night Live.

To Infinity—And Beyond!”

This could make for quite an interesting game of Marco Polo.

In London, plans are underway to construct a 360-degree infinity pool at the top of a 55-story hotel. The pool’s center will be glass-bottomed.

You may ask yourself, How do I get here? (Thanks, David Byrne). A spiral staircase leading from below will provide access, and much like a submarine surfacing, the staircase will rise and protrude through the surface when someone wants to access the 600,000-liter pool.

Great. Because if there’s one thing with which we’ve always associated London, it’s outdoor swimming.

Half Time

In Copenhagen last weekend, Kenyan distance runner Geoffrey Kamworor sets a new world record in the half-marathon: 58:01. The previous mark, set one year ago, was 58:18. A seventeen-second drop is quite a discount.

Kamworor, who won the 2017 New York City Marathon, has won three world championships at the 13.1 mile distance. And this is a reminder that the half-marathon should be an official Olympic event. It would be a crowd pleaser that could be run on the streets of the host city at the midway point of the Olympic Games. Easy Peezy, as they say.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Don’t Come Back, Shane

Less than two weeks before his debut as a new comic on Saturday Night Live, Shane Gillis is fired by Lorne Michaels. Just too many racial slurs. Wow.

I’ve never heard Gillis’ act, but comedy is supposed to be pretty simple. If the audience laughs, you’re doing your job. If not, then go find another line of work. Gotta wonder if SNL will even cover this situation in the season premiere.

We’re not gonna explore the whole “Cancel Culture” movement, but it might’ve been funny if SNL kept Gillis around just long enough to invite Lesley Jones to return one last time and have her go Mogambo on his ass.

Closer Meets Loser

Resisting the urge to proclaim, “Look at my Panamanian!”, President Donald Trump bestowed the Medal of Freedom on former Yankee closer Mariano Rivera Monday. Mo was the first baseball player in MLB history to be unanimously voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; Trump is the fifth president to lose the popular vote but still be elected president.

Trump said that Rivera began his career “in 1955” but by now you know that the president doesn’t really mean what he says unless he means what he says and it’s up to you to recognize the difference.

Pardon The Catharsis

Here’s Mike Greenberg‘s “I’m Mad As Hell And I’m Not Gonna Take It Any More!” moment, with a huge assist from Marcus Spears (why are former LSU defensive linemen so good on TV?). It’s so refreshing to get actual animus from an ESPN talking head, as opposed to what Screamin’ A does daily.

Is it just me or did this moment both remind you of that scene from Network but also the scene from The Green Mile in which Michael Clarke Duncan’s character gives Tom Hanks’ character a big ol’ hug and takes away all the pain?

A Yaz Goes Deep At Fenway

For those of us who remember the Seventies (and those of you who recall the Sixties…we see you, Susie B.!), there was no player more synonymous with the Boston Red Sox than Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz, now 80, remains ninth on the all-time Hits list with 3,419. Among Red Sox lifers, only Ted Williams was a better hitter (though military service kept him from compiling more base knocks).

So here comes Mike Yastrzemski last night, the grandson who’s a rookie for the San Francisco Giants, making his debut at Fenway Park last night in a late September game in an otherwise lost season for Red Sox fans. And what does he do? Gives fans of both clubs something to cheer about.

The Giants won 7-6 in 15 innings with Yaz, batting leadoff, going 2 for 7.

“The Hottest Spot In New York IS”

A few years ago at Newsweek our brilliant cubicle mate Alex Nazaryan pitched and then produced a piece on New York City hotel bars. We admired the temerity: visit swanky cocktail bars in Manhattan hotels and have the magazine underwrite all in the name of journalism. Genius, Alex!

We feel that our old friend, now covering politics for Yahoo!, may need to revisit his piece and add a new wrinkle: Department store bars. Above is Le Chalet, located on the 8th floor of Sak’s Fifth Avenue, which sits right across the street from Rockefeller Center. Basically, it has the view of 30 Rock that you see at the opening of 30 Rock.

If you find yourself on the 8th floor—designer women’s shoes, mostly—you may have to do a lap or two before you discover the discreet entrance to Le Chalet, which opened in February. There’s also an outdoor terrace.

And Nordstrom is opening a shop on Broadway and 58th that will also have a bar. Look, this is simple math: middle-aged women of means who think nothing of posting a four- or five-figure shopping tab are certainly not against a glass of rose or chardonnay.

Music 101

Call Me

Contrary to popular belief, the booty call was invented in the Sixties. Here’s Donna Loren performing it on Milton Berle’s variety show in 1966, but the song was originally recorded by Petula Clark one year earlier. It’s been covered by dozens of artists, but the version you may know best is by Chris Montez. If you suddenly feel you’re in the Pan Am airport lounge in 1966, well, you may be right.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Bye Bye Love

They were just another band out of Boston. But they weren’t Boston. Nor were they Aerosmith. The city by the bay—Massachusetts Bay, that is—produced a trio of iconic rock bands in the mid-to-late Seventies: the aforementioned pair and our favorite of the trio, The Cars.

On Sunday night the founder and quasi-lead singer of that band, Ric Ocasek, was found dead in his Gramercy Park apartment home. Ocasek, a towering and Tim Burtonesque figure at 6’4″, was 75.

A year before his death Ocasek split from his longtime model-wife, Paulina Porizkova, and also saw the long-overdue induction of The Cars into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where he’d gone to high school.

For us, we consider The Cars’ eponymous debut album perhaps THE most playable album, beginning to end, we’ve ever listened to. It’s pretty much perfect. We can still remember where we were the first time we heard “Bye Bye Love”: in the western Arizona desert, on a Thanksgiving morning drive to Disneyland when we were 13. That song is our favorite from Ocasek’s band (even if Benjamin Orr is the lead singer on it). God bless The Cars, god bless Ric Ocasek.

One Ticket To…

  • Dude’s holding a cigarette on his debut album cover. The end was written long ago.

We thought we’d give Eddie Money (nee Eddie Mahoney of Levittown, Long Island) his own item. Money, whose career peak nearly overlapped that of The Cars—mid-to-late Seventies to mid-Eighties—died Friday at the age of 70 from complications due to esophageal cancer. He’d been a longtime smoker.

Always a solo act, Money had a couple big radio hits early on (“Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets To Paradise”), started out in the family business: he became a New York City cop as his dad and grandpa were/had been. But he left the force and ultimately moved to the Bay Area during the Summer of Love. He supported himself by selling bell bottoms.

(For the kids, that’s Ronnie Spector, original doo-wop girl, and this is Late Night with David Letterman at its peak, 1986)

Three things we particularly love about Money: 1) when everyone thought he was over, by a long period of time, he conjured a hit that drew on his early teen years as a doo-wop singer, “Take Me Home Tonight.” Not only is it infectiously catchy and fun, but it became a staple of MTV in 1986. 2) He never quite looked cool on stage but he always looked like he was trying, and 3) In HBO’s The Kominsky Method last year, he had a cameo as himself playing in an Eddie Money cover band at a casino for tax purposes (give the writer who thought of that conceit a gold star).

Fired Up

Sideline heaters in the NFL have come quite a long way…

Meanwhile in Denver, in the final minute, THIS was flagged as unnecessary roughness and likely altered the outcome of the Bears-Broncos games. Somewhere Y.A. Tittle is howling.

NBC’s Why? Cam

So prepared was NBC for viewer and Twitter “overreaction” to their new technological innovation, the “Sideline Sky Cam,” that they came out with a preemptive mansplaining piece about it on this weekend. Also, you have to love the “Here To Stay” aspect of the headline. I’m sure Josef Stalin would approve of the authoritarian nature of that. It’s not, “a new view we’re trying out,” it’s “get used to it, kids, you have no say in the matter.”

So why even bother writing the persuasive piece, Rob Hyland? You don’t care what we think, anyway.

This play is a textbook example of why, for us, it’s a fail. The player coming in motion from the bottom of your screen, Avery Davis, will take the shovel pass and turn left upfield. The camera, with such a tight angle on the LOS, almost completely loses him. And then, near the end of the play, the shot is so tight on him that you don’t get much of a sense as to how much Davis beep! beep!’ed his way past the Lobo secondary.

As a replay angle, it has its merits. But you know, football and basketball are perfect for television because the field of play conforms to your television: they’re all rectangular. Give us the panoramic shot so that we can see what’s going on and there’s no need to move the camera DURING THE PLAY. Our eyes will figure it out. We’ve only been doing this our entire lives.

Meanwhile, we’ll refer to this as the Chicago Sky Cam, showing how that WNBA team lost a playoff game to the Las Vegas Aces on a final-seconds turnover. Love it.

Thank You For Vaping

Here’s the difference between OxyContin and vaping: no one ever pretended that the latter was good for you. If you ask us, there should never be any prohibitions on vaping because Americans of high school age and up should have the right to A) look as douchey as they possibly can and B) slowly kill themselves while doing it. I mean, even if vaping were not bad for your health, if you cannot see how much of a douche you look like as you sit at a table with your friends and then clandestinely move your fist to your mouth with your vape stuck tucked into your palm so that you can do a quick puff (I so relish catching these D-bags doing so at the cookoutateria and explaining in a voice all their friends can hear that you cannot vape here), then you sorta deserve what’s coming to you.

It’s all part of the freedom mandate. Give me liberty AND give me death.

As for OxyContin, whose manufacturer Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy today as a hedge against the mass class-action suit being filed against it, no mercy. They were selling their product as a painkiller designed as therapy when actually the highly addictive drug is responsible for probably more deaths annually than guns. F them and F the entire Sackler family, which an NY AG investigation found last week had wired up to $1 billion in transfers to other entities they control, and financial institutions, to hide it from plaintiffs and to post a lower balance sheet when the attorneys come calling. That’s straight-up Donnie Trump gangsta’ism.

Remote Patrol

Browns at Jets

8 p.m. ESPN

We mention tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup only because it’s the 50th season of MNF and these two franchises met in the inaugural matchup on September 21, 1970. Since then they’ve combined to win…(checks notes)…zero Super Bowls.