by John Walters

Teen Exceeds Speed Limit

This is Hobbs Kessler of Ann Arbor, Mich. Over the weekend at the Portland Track Invitational Kessler ran a 3:34.36 in the 1500. That time not only breaks the U.S. high school record but also the U.S. collegiate record. It’s good as an Olympic qualifying time. Hobbs is heading to Northern Arizona University in the fall, but first he’s headed to the Olympic Trials in Eugene in three weeks.

(Kessler earns a hug from 27 year-old Craig Engels, a 2016 Olympic alternate who won in 3:33.64)

Kessler’s time beat the extant high school record, set 20 years ago by Alan Webb, by nearly four whole seconds. That’s crazy. He bettered Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse’s collegiate mark of 3:34.68 set just two weeks earlier.

A Day That Should Live In Infamy

One hundred years ago today, in Tulsa, Okla., a bunch of cowardly and scared white supremacists destroyed a flourishing black business district known as Greenwood and murdered approximately 300 people. They burned the area to the ground. See, they say wanted segregation, but what they also wanted that they failed to mention was degradation. Or, as Carol Anderson wrote in her book White Rage, “The trigger for white rage is black advancement.”

Ironic that this centenary is taking place on what white America recognizes as Memorial Day.

This area was known as Black Wall Street because black-owned businesses were flourishing. And that terrified them. So, being white nationalists and deplorable humans, they committed mass murder on a scale rarely seen.

This weekend former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, who should be behind bars (as opposed to backed by Barr) spoke at a QAnon conference in Dallas where he wondered aloud why a military coup like the one staged in Myanmar (“Minimar,” he said) cannot happen here.

Very little has changed in a century.

Me And Helio Down At The Brickyard

At Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, Brazilian Helio Castroneves earns his fourth career milk shower, his first since 2009. If you’re paying attention in 2021:

Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady (his 7th SB win) is 43.

PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson (his 6th major) is 50.

Castroneves is 46.

And the top seeded men’s player at the French Open, which began yesterday, is Rafael Nadal, who turns 35 on Thursday.

Sam I Am

The winner of this year’s Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions is Sam Kavanaugh, a substitute teacher from Minneapolis, Minn. Maybe now he’ll earn a full-time teaching position somewhere. Kavanaugh lapped the field in the two-day event that aired last Thursday and Friday, winning more than $68,000 in the competition. As the winner, though, he takes home $250,000. Not too shabby.

Kavanaugh had won $156,000 during a five-day streak of wins on Jeopardy! in 2019 when Alex Trebek was hosting. He knew he’d qualified for the Tournament of Champions, and when he lost his teaching gigs due to the pandemic last year, he devoted all of his time to studying for the T of C. Studying pays off.

An unofficial winner, in our minds, of the T of C was guest host Buzzy Cohen, who handled the duties the past fortnight. A former T of C champ (2017), Cohen possessed the perfect energy and acumen for the gig. He’d make a worthy successor to Trebek.

A Trio Of R.I.P. Worthy Gents

Three well-known figures all died over the weekend. First Gavin McLeod, whom you either know as Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show or as Merrill Stubing, the captain of the Pacific Princess on Love Boat, passed. He was 90. Has a TV actor ever played two more dissimilar characters?

Then Mark Eaton, the former NBA shot-blocker extraordinaire for the Utah Jazz, died in a bicycle accident. Eaton was 64 and 7’4″. Oddly, that’s the second catastrophic bike accident to take place in Utah this past few months involving a 7-foot plus center who played part of his career in Utah (the other was Shawn Bradley, who was left paralyzed). A two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Eaton averaged 5.6 blocks per game in 1984-85, which remains the highest single-season average since the league began tracking the stat.

Finally, musician B.J. Thomas passed. Thomas, whose “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” won the Oscar for Best Original Song and hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts for four weeks, was 78. Thomas did not write the tune, Burt Bacharach and Hal David did. They offered it to Ray Stevens, who turned it down. Thomas recorded it in seven takes—Bacharach hated the first six.

The song was an odd choice for a Western (Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid) but something about it playing as Paul Newman’s Butch rode a bicycle around the yard clicked. It was a massive hit, back when music lovers used to buy singles. Thomas did write and record “Hooked On A Feeling” (1968) and “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song” (1975). The version of “Hooked On A Feeling” that you knew was actually covered by Swedish group Blue Swede, who uses the “ooga chaka ooga ooga” intro you know so well. That version hit No. 1 in ’74.

The Kid

…took it on the chin this weekend. We wondered why he’d do a parlay, but he just had to, and the Nets lost Game 3 in Boston. It’s their only defeat in four games versus the Celtics in the series. Then on Saturday he took Man City and Pep Guardiola in the Champions League final. Frantic texts from The Kid on Saturday as Pep changed his lineup, dropping a midfielder into the defensive backfield before the match. The Kid thinks Guardiola has a little Darell Bevell in him, too smart for his own good, and he self-sabotages his squads in big games. Does something different just to prove that he’s different as it costs his squad. As an ND football fan, all’s I can say is, “Run the damn ball.”

Then again, Pep sounds a little like The Kid these past two weeks. Attempting reverse lay-ups when the gimme dunk is right there.

He’s now 9-6 and at $895, or $105 under water.

Today he likes Serena Williams minus-$300 over Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in opening round action rom Roland Garros. That’s $300 to lose, $100 to win.


by John Walters

I Don’t Understand The Filibuster, Either

We’ve all seen Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, right? That’s probably the extent of our knowledge on how the Senate filibuster works. If you are really, really, really against a bill being passed, you can stand up and start arguing against it and as long as you keep talking and refuse to yield back your time, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop you (just make sure you take a potty break before you embark on this mission). It’s like a Hail Mary pass of legislation and a test of one’s physical stamina and perseverance. A little like a Spartan Race inside the Senate chamber.

Here’s how it’s supposed to work. While it only takes a majority of 51 votes to pass a bill, it takes a supermajority of 60% (60 votes if everyone is voting) to end debate on a bill, so that the vote may be taken. So if you never get enough votes to end the debate, then the bill never comes up for a vote. And as Jefferson Smith taught us in that Frank Capra film, you stall debate by reading the Bible, the scout handbook, anything, in order to hold the floor and prevent the vote that ends the debate.

So a couple things I learned this morning:

  1. “Filibuster” is derived from the Dutch word for pirate. I don’t get the connection, but you can dig deeper into that.
  2. Senate Rule XXII (not the one where the Redskins mauled the Broncos) says that cloture—a motion to end debate on a bill—requires a supermajority of at least 60 votes. Which is another way of saying that having a simple majority of the 100 senators is not enough to pass a bill as long as at least 41 senators choose to obstruct that passage. And by invoking the filibuster, they choose to obstruct.
  3. The 60-vote filibuster has only been around since 1917, so don’t pin this one on “the Founders.”

In 2013, the Democrat-controlled Senate voted in a rule that all nominations except that for Supreme Court need only a simple majority. Just three years later the Senate, now under Republican control, said, “A ha, two can play that game” and extended the rule of a simple majority to Supreme Court nominations, which is how we got stuck with Brett Kavanaugh.

Now, since the early 1970s, the Senate has imposed what is known as the “silent filibuster.” Now you no longer need to drone on endlessly for hours (the longest such filibuster campaign was waged by South Carolina’s Strom Thurmond, who spoke for more than 24 hours in 1957 to protest the Civil Rights Act… but, of course). Instead, as long as at least 41 senators threaten a filibuster, the Senate majority leader can refuse to call a vote.

It’s a lot like the modern intentional walk rule in baseball. You don’t even need to throw the four balls any more. You just let the ump know you want the batter on first base. Takes all the effort—and fun—out of it.

I can’t say I understand why if Chuck Schumer (a Dem) is the current Senate majority leader why he allows the silent filibuster to happen. Not sure why he doesn’t force someone from the GOP side of the aisle to stand up and talk ad nauseam. Maybe it’s just a gentleman’s agreement (ha!) but it’s certainly wrong.

Meanwhile, West Virginia Dem. senator Joe Manchin says he will not vote to end the filibuster because he “does not want to destroy democracy.” Which shows that he has a poor grasp of what the term means. Because by insisting on keeping the filibuster he is in favor of not allowing democracy—a majority vote—to prevail.

And so that’s why the Senate approving a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission, when 50 of the senators are GOP and House Minority leader Mitch McConnell is asking them to filibuster the vote “as a personal favor,” is unlikely to come to a vote.*

*I think. Please school me where I’m wrong. I have to move on to other matters.

Rule No. 7

As longtime readers know, Rule No. 7 states that “any baseball game offers the opportunity to see something you’ve never before seen in the game (and the other team sports are just not like that).” The crazy thing here is that there were two outs. All Pirate first baseman Will Craig need do is turn around, step on the bag and the inning is over. He got lazy and now this moment of infamy will live for as long as social media does. Certainly it will outlive his career.

Overdraft Dodger

We’ve gotten so accustomed to congresswoman Katie Porter or Senator Elizabeth Warren stuff the Montgomery J. Burnses of the world in a locker—and yes, they almost always deserve it—that we may have forgotten to ask, Do the merits of the argument hold up? When Porter was holding J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s feet to the flames a year or two ago about the shamefully low wages his company pays to its tellers, etc., I was on her side.

Two days ago, though, when Sen. Warren upbraided Dimon for the > $1 billion in overdraft fees his company collected in 2020, I thought, Wait a minute. Isn’t an overdraft fee a bit like paying an overdue fee for a library book except that in the library-book scenario the consumer did not actually cost the library money? In other words, when Warren asked if Dimon would pay everyone back and he said, flatly, “No,” I thought, Neither would I.

An overdraft fee is the fee you pay when you withdraw more money from the bank than you actually have in your account. And the bank floats you that money. If I go to Whole Foods and buy $27 worth of goods but only have $20, they don’t let me take everything I bought out of the store. And why should they? So why should any bank give you more money than you have in it, unless you’ve formally applied for a loan? Which is essentially what an overdraft fee is: interest on a loan that you took out from the bank without actually clearing it with the bank first.

Sorry, Not Sorry

As Jerry used to say on Seinfeld, “That’s a shame.”

You have to wonder what Officer Trujillo was thinking as they intubated him and put him on a respirator in the final days/hours of his life. Was he remembering Donald Trump’s advice from last October about Covid-19: “Don’t let it dominate you?” Was he experiencing any sense of remorse over having been so arrogant and boastful about a subject he was woefully under-qualified to wax eloquent upon (that’s never stopped me)? That age, 33, is awfully young to depart this planet. But of course, being MAGA I presume, he probably thought that any type of capitulation to the reality of a pandemic that’s killed 2.3 million people would be a sign of weakness on his part. And if there’s anything white male MAGA types hate (more than govt. handouts to poor people), it’s weakness.

Ignorance is okay. But weakness is shameful.

Now he’s dead. An apt metaphor for the current condition of the Republican Party.

The Kid

… won again as the Lakers iced the Suns in Game 3.

He’s now 9-4 and the bank is up to $1,340 (from a $1,000 base).

Tonight he likes a PARLAY!

VEGAS over Minnesota in Game 7 of their Stanley Cup playoff series AND

Brooklyn over BOSTON in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series.

Betting $100 to win $112.

If he loses, he loses $100. If he wins, he wins $112.

And The Kid is not even done. He wants a Saturday bet for the Champions League final, an all-England affair between Chelsea and Manchester City in… Portugal.

He’s putting down $345 to win $300 for ManCity over Chelsea, even though the Blues have beaten them twice in the past six weeks. So that’s our first Saturday bet.


by John Walters

How YOU Doin’?

The Friends reunion is now streaming on HBO Max. We haven’t seen it. It’s not actually a scripted show, but apparently more than 90 minutes of chatter and replaying of scenes and even a game or two. Could I beeeeee any more disinterested?

The Friends sextet (pun intended) are essentially the MH staff’s age and the show was set in the city in which I was living at the time. So it was always fun to compare reality versus a Burbank or Studio City soundstage. It’s impossible to capture the oft-gray and windy and chilly life of New York City from a writer’s room no more than 45 minutes from Malibu. Not even Seinfeld did it.

Anyway, I remember hitting a very dimly lit bar on Columbus Ave. and 84th with two SI friends of mine after the first season of Friends aired. And there, sitting together that May (it must have been during upfronts week) were, I believe, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston. They could still go out in public then without too much fanfare. The three of us should get together again and see how things have gone the past 28 years.

If you had to rank the Friends’ post-show careers, what would your order be? For instance, if we did Seinfeld it would be Julia Louis-Dreyfus clearly in first place, then Jerry, then a tie for last between Jason Alexander and Michael Richards (and Larry David, who never really appeared on the show, might be ranked ahead of all of them). But for Friends?

I dunno. I mean Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow have all had their own TV series, but none of them were zeitgeist-type shows. Jennifer Aniston may have had the most prolific career. David Schwimmer was great as Robert Kardashian in the O.J. series and Matthew Perry gave it a go in Studio 60 (Aaron Sorkin’s biggest, if not only, bomb). We’re going to put them in a six-way tie unless you feel differently.

Ja Rules

The Grizzlies lost Game 2 in Utah last night, but second-year guard Ja Morant scored a franchise playoff-record 47 points. In only is second postseason game (if you want to quibble about his two previous play-in appearances last week, feel free). Coupled with his 24 points in Game 1, that puts the former Rookie of the Year at 71 points after two career playoff games. You know how many NBA players have outscored Morant after the first two playoff games of their careers?


Not George Mikan, not Wilt Chamberlain, not Jerry West, not Oscar Robertson, not Larry Bird, not Kareem, not MJ, not LeBron, not Steph. This is not an argument to say Morant is better than any of them, or will be. Just a point to say, Keep an eye on the kid.

A Swing and An Ole Miss

Yesterday at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., the University of Mississippi won its first NCAA championship (non-football where it was with votes) in school history. The Rebels’ women’s golf team prevailed over Oklahoma State. If you’re wondering, Wasn’t the women’s NCAA golf championship canceled a couple weeks back due to mansplaining?, you’re partially right.

An NCAA women’s regional was canceled in Baton Rouge due to an unplayable course (heavy rains), even though the LSU men’s team for some reason practiced on that very course that very day. Hmm.

Anyway, the top schools in that regional automatically advanced, one of which was Ole Miss. And yesterday the young misses from Ole Miss brought home the school’s first national title.

The Hardy Boy

The other night The Revenant aired on AMC (again), and I’ve seen it a few times, as have you. What strikes me on repeated airings is that Leo DiCaprio won an Oscar for his work in this but Tom Hardy did not. Hardy’s character and portrayal are less like acting than they are being possessed by an alien being. I’m not ripping on Leo for his not having to speak all that many lines—I know his actor was a make-good for all the worthy parts he’s played in the past… and when is Tom Cruise going to receive his long overdue statue?—but Hardy is simply fantastic in this film.

And I can’t even decipher half the sentences he speaks.

2015 was actually a very good year for films: The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road (Hardy starred in this), The Big Short (shoulda won Best Picture), The Martian and Brooklyn all released. And Spotlight, a good-but-not-great film, won Best Picture. Hardy was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Revenant, but lost out to Mark Rylance in Bridge Of Spies (I’ve never seen this so I’ll leave it up to you).

Also, next time you watch Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, that’s a younger Tom Hardy as Ricki Tarr. He’s terrific in that role, too.

San Jose: 9 Shot And Killed


Please share with a wackadoo gun nut you know.

The Kid

…won again last night as Utah evened the series with the Grizz.

So he’s now 8-4 and has $1,240 in the bank.

We’re waiting for today’s wager, but right now he’s at 66.67%, which is good.

Tonight he likes LAKERS minus-270 versus Suns in Game 2 of their series from Staples. Wins $100, or loses $270. A money-line wager.


by John Walters


Three items of news regarding Donald Trump, who has taken to cheap TV ads to raise money (exactly what for, he does not say) of late:

  1. A grand jury has been convened in New York City to decide whether to indict Trump on potential tax and bank-related fraud. The grand jury will convene three times a week for the next six months and hear other cases as well. Having served on a New York City grand jury myself, here’s what I learned: grand juries indict. If they don’t initially, the prosecutor comes back and repeats the argument until they “get it.”
(then there’s this guy… kicked off Duke’s golf team, kicked around low-level pro golf for 9 years, daddy got him a job in Trump administration, now he’s ready to be your GOVERNOR!)

ESPN’s Don Van Natta and Seth Wickersham are out with a report claiming that it was Trump who essentially bribed then-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) to lay off the 2008 New England Patriots Spygate inquiry. Allegedly Trump, a friend of both Robert Kraft and the senator, phoned Specter and said, “If you lay off the NFL, there’ll be a lot of [campaign] money in Palm Beach.”

At the time I was covering Notre Dame football for NBC Sports and wondered aloud if Charlie Weis, who had earned that job three years earlier due to his “decided schematic advantage” as an offensive mind, was actually just the beneficiary of some cheating. That column drew a nasty rebuke both from the school and one of my bosses at NBC. I’m still of the mind that Charlie probably could share a lot of info about this. Also, curious how Robert Kraft’s rub-n-tug bust a dozen years later, when Trump was president, just mysteriously vanished.Then there’s this… Man, if ever a meteor could be well-timed and well-placed…

George Floyd, One Year Later

(George Floyd’s daughter…this was yesterday)

The one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder by Officer Derek Chauvin was marked by the family’s visit to the Oval Office. Meanwhile, mass-murderer/white supremacist Dylann Roof is appealing his conviction. On what grounds? Probably on the grounds that he’s white and they were black. In South Carolina, it just might work.

(Mike Lindell…this was January…I feel better now, don’t you?)

Tokyo? To Go?

The Olympics are less than 60 days away and minor dailies such as The New York Times are still posing the question, Should the Olympics be canceled? I really don’t know how the GOP has missed this as an own-the-libs talking point thus far.

So we’re clear, and these back-to-back Asian Olympics within the span of six months may get confusing: cancel the Summer Olympics in Tokyo because of Covid and boycott the Winter Olympics in Beijing because of genocide of Uyrghrs (and because of the Wuhan lab and because of sweatshop labor and because “GI-nah”).

Male Bonding

Your name is Jennifer Grant. You’re one of the prettiest, most popular girls at your Los Angeles private school. One of your classmates has a crush on you and it just so happens that he’s just landed a role in an ABC “After School Special.” So your dad suggests that it’s okay for you to invite him over, that you and he can watch the special (“Schoolboy Father”) together in your bedroom. But dad will be in the room with the two of you (so that the boy does not become his character).

Your dad is Cary Grant.

The boy is Rob Lowe.

This actually happened, as told in Scott Eyman’s biography of Hollywood’s most comically refined leading man, Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise. By this time Grant was in his mid-70s. He took Lowe aside after the program and told him that he reminded him of a young Warren Beatty (who patterned himself after a young Cary Grant in many ways). And then, after Lowe departed, Grant chased after him. Grant, at the time a spokesman for Faberge products, handed him a gift basket of the fragrance and bath works company’s items.

That’s Hollywood.

William Least-Heat Super Flower Blood Moon

This morning, if you rose early enough, you saw the Super Flower Blood Moon… which I believed played the Yuma Tent at Coachella in 2017. Anyway, it’s SUPER because it’s the closest a full moon is to Earth in its elliptical orbit, it’s FLOWER as a reference to a full moon in May, and it’s BLOOD because it is a full lunar eclipse (our first since 2019…thanks yet again, Covid!).

If you missed it, well, you may not be into super-celestial events. Or you may be more into sleep. Or I should have posted this yesterday and given you some warning.

Seeing Red Over Greene

Listen: we all know that Marjorie Taylor-Greene (and Lauren Bobert) are total clown shows who, if you actually had to apply for the job instead of run for the office, would never have earned it. But that’s the great thing about being an elected member of the U.S. government: any dope can run and if there are enough other dopes who buy into your dogma rather than consider that you should actually be qualified, you can win.

So Greene is a U.S. congresswoman. And her entire tenure in office is performance art designed to get attention and trigger the libs. But this weeks she finally crossed a line, somewhere near Dachau and Auschwitz, by comparing the Holocaust with mask mandates. Greene’s exact quote is in this link.

Should anyone care that the crazy lady is barking at the moon? If you took her seriously before she said this a few days ago, I guess you should care. But if you took her seriously at all since you knew who she was, you’d better consult a physician. There’s Katie Porter at one end of the spectrum of intelligence and maturity, and then there’s Marjorie Taylor-Greene pushing tires across a parking lot.

Bee-yond Bee-lief?

Fanta? They must be Mexican bees.

The Kid

…was sweating bullets as Carolina-Nashville went to OT last night, but the Hurricanes prevailed.

He’s now 7-4 and up to $1,140.

He also may be chomping at the bit to start trying a parlay here or there. Parlay vous?, I inquired.

Yes, he said.

Tonight he wants UTAH minus-360 over the suddenly hot Grizz in what’s a must-win game for the 1-seed. Apparently, seeing the Clippers lose the first two at home to Dallas hasn’t spooked him.

So that’s $360 to lose, $100 to win on Game 2 between UTAH-Memphis.


by John Walters

Law A’ Biden Texans

The Texas legislature passes a law that says citizens may own handguns without having to undergo a background check, obtain a license or have training. It’s been less than two years since 23 people were gunned down in El Paso at a Wal-Mart. Of course, those in favor of this bill will note that the killer did not use a handgun and that if everyone in the store were armed, he might have been stopped earlier. On the other hand, if everyone in Texas is carrying a handgun devoid of background checks or a license, fender-benders are about to become that much more dramatic. And traumatic.

Texas just passed a “heartbeat bill” that in essence outlaws all abortions, even for rape. It’s putting draconian restrictions on a woman’s uterus while relaxing all restrictions on the 2nd Amendment.


The Eurovision Song Contest has been held annually since 1956 (with the exception of last year) but we Yanks seemed mostly oblivious to it until Will Ferrell made a film about it. The contest, which draws nearly 200 million viewers worldwide, was held this past weekend in Rotterdam. Thirty-nine nations participated. It’s like the EuroCup for songs.

The winner? Maneskin, from Italy, with “Zitti e buoni” (Either “good ziti” or “Quiet and Behave”). Here’s the tune:

Acceptable Nickname: Blackjack

That’s former Notre Dame possession receiver Robby Toma, the Chris Finke of his time.

Gamma Rays

On May 12 the Tampa Bay Rays, defending American League champs, were shut out 1-0 at home by Gerrit Cole and the Yankees. Their record fell to .500, 19-19.

Since? The Rays have won 11 in a row, sweeping 3-game series with the Mets and the Orioles and a 4-game series against the Blue Jays (it began with a defeat of the Yankees to avoid being swept in that series). They’re now 30-19 and have the best record in the American League. A lot can change in a fortnight.

Oddly enough, the Rays and Red Sox have the A.L.’s two top records but their combined home records are 24-24.

Scoring Cramps

The Golden State Warriors had the NBA’s scoring champ in Steph Curry (32.0 ppg) this season. The Dubs lost both of their play-in games in the postseason and were bounced.

The Edmonton Oilers had the NHL’s scoring champ in Connor McDavid (105 points on 33 goals and 72 assists). The Oilers were swept 4-0 in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by Winnipeg.

Two scoring leaders, Curry and McDavid, finish a combined 0-6 in the 2021 postseason.

Omission Impossible

We noticed one glaring omission from our “Stars Over 80” item yesterday. And this one is bad, since the movie star just won an Oscar for Best Actor last month: Anthony Hopkins is 83. He’s a two-time Oscar winner who won his first after his 50th birthday. Hope for us all.

Anyone else? Yeah, the Corleone brothers, James Caan* and Al Pacino, both 81.

Sports By Brooks

Someone at the Golf Channel leaked this never-ran interview of Brooks Koepka being addled and rattled as Bryson DeChambeau sauntered past and upstaged him. I don’t think Brooks is at all annoyed that it was leaked.

Remember The Mayne!

Last night was Kenny Mayne’s final night hosting SportsCenter on ESPN. This was memorable.

The Kid

…is on Tilt. It all began when he took Gerrit Cole and the Yankees to beat a Rangers squad that had lost six in a row. Cole, arguably the top pitcher in the AL, lost and then the Yanks won their next six. But they lost the night he took them.

Last night Vegas, whom he took, outshot Minnesota 40-14 but still lost.

So tonight, even though Jacob deGrom is on the mound at Citi Field against a Rockies team that is 3-17 on the road, The Kid is so spooked that he won’t take the Mets. Or the Rockies.

Instead, he likes CAROLINA minus-200 against Nashville. That’s $200 down to win $100 (or lose $200).

For the record, he’s 6-4 and at $1,040. A net of $40 after 10 wagers, or $4 per wager.


by John Walters

Phil, Fifty, Fit, Filthy

At age 50, Phil Mickelson becomes the oldest man ever to win a major: the PGA Championship at the scenic and sublime Ocean Course in Kiawah, S.C. It’s his sixth major championship and his first in nearly eight years, when he won the British Open in 2013.

Jack Nicklaus won the Masters in 1986 at age 46. And while age 46 in ’86 is older than age 50 in ’21 as far as we are concerned—everyone’s Sally O’Malley these days—you could also contend that there’s a lot more young talent on the PGA Tour today than there was in ’86. For the record, Nicklaus was not the previous oldest winner of a major. That distinction belonged to Julius Boros, who was 48 in 1968 when he won the PGA Championship. Surely, you remember.

Extreme Race, Extreme Conditions

This one has Jon Krakauer’s name written all over it.

Twenty-one runners perished when wind, freezing rain and hail swept into a 62-mile ultra-marathon in China over the weekend. The extreme conditions in the Yellow River Stone Forest struck at high altitudes (6,500 feet and runners, clad in light running gear, had little protection against the extreme weather. Another 151 runners survived the race in Gansu Province.

A fatality total of 21 may be the largest for any single road- or trail-running event we know of.

Joke Swap

Cecily Strong’s send-up of Jeanine Pirro was, well, strong. However, this was our favorite moment from the finale “Weekend Update” of Saturday Night Live’s 46th season. When Colin Jost and Michael Che write racially charged jokes that the other must read, without having previously seen them (and we hope that set-up is legit), it leads for some funny stuff. Laughter is a palliative against racism.

Speaking of which, how prescient was this old Chappelle Show sketch?

Women Jocks Rock

Here’s Simone Biles, who people in the know are calling the greatest female gymnast ever, doing something on a vault that no one has ever done before. And, at a lower level, but no less impressive, a memorable catch at a high school state championship softball game in Utah.

The common thread among both feats? Focus.

Star, 80

An 80th birthday today? It ain’t me, babe. It’s Bob Dylan. The troubadour from Hibbing who started out playing West Village coffee houses and became the voice of a generation (while, some say, appropriating Woody Guthrie’s style). Three favorite Dylan tunes?

Visions Of Johanna, Girl From The North Country, Mr. Tambourine Man.

Here’s another opinion.

We own Bob Dylan Live 1966 (The Judas concert) and can listen to it over and over and over again. Like it’s a rolling stone.

Star 80? No, Stars Over 80

For no particular reason (okay, maybe from the above item), we’ve compiled a list of the greatest living movie stars over the age of 80 yeas old. Feel free to quibble with our rankings. A bold-type name means he or she is an Oscar winner. An asterisk means an Oscar nominee. We also include the ages of each.

  1. Jack Nicholson, 84
  2. Clint Eastwood, 90
  3. Sidney Poitier, 94
  4. Sophia Loren, 86
  5. Eva Marie Saint, 96
  6. Gene Hackman, 91
  7. Joanne Woodward, 91
  8. Mel Brooks, 94
  9. Angela Lansbury, 95*
  10. Dick Van Dyke, 95

Also worth noting: Eva Marie Saint is hardly the only Hitchcock blonde still with us. Tippi Hedren (91), Vera Miles (91) and Kim Novak (88) are all still breathing, too. Darth Vader (James Earl Jones, 90) and Harry Belafonte (94) are also still kicking.

UPDATE: A big name, an Oscar-winner, I forgot: Woody Allen, 85.

The Kid

An equalizer in the 87th minute prevented The Kid from a victory on Friday. That’s what you get for scrounging around in the English League One.

He’s moving back to frozen pond today:

VEGAS minus $180 to win $100 over Minnesota

The Kid’s record is not 6-3 and the bank is at $1,220.


by John Walters

Nobody Beats The Wiz (Twice In 3 Days)

Washington seals the 8th playoff spot in the East via a 142-115 beatdown of Indiana. Six different Wizards scored in double figures, from Bradley Beal (25) and Russell Westbrook (18) above to some dude named Daniel Gafford (15). The Wiz will face the Nets, who landed the top seed in the East. If your first-round playoff series contains five surefire Hall of Famers (six?), consult your nearest physician.

Say What?

Two big mistakes here. The first is from Republican congressman Carlos Gimenez of Florida stating, on air, on camera, that he had people in his hotel room at 9 a.m. on January 6th stating they were “going to do something” that afternoon. The second is from Erin Burnett, who is not paying close enough attention to call him on it. Who were these people? Why did you not warn anyone? What specifically did they say they were planning?

Now, the moment has passed. Gimenez will either say he misspoke or that he did not hear anything specifically as to what they were planning or that he has no idea who they were.

Going forward, the most sinister thing the GOP is doing is attempting to normalize the capacity for state legislatures (ruled by Republicans in key states) to overrule the will of the people. To simply say that they don’t care what the popular vote was, they’re going to figure out a way to say that the election was tainted and that they’ll refuse to ratify the vote. They’re attempting to make this the new normal.

This is why we need to eliminate electors and make it a pure popular vote. Even if it’s a popular vote by state, with each state having a certain number of electoral votes. You can’t just rewrite the rules when you don’t like who wins (even if the NBA does it all the time where the Lakers are concerned).

Friends In Their Fifties

A Cup Of Grammar

The Kid

…triumphed again last night as Montreal thwarted Toronto, 2-1.

That pushes his record to 6-2 and his bank to $1,320.

Today The Kid goes arcane, to the third tier of English football, English League One (not to be confused with The English League, I confess). He likes…

BLACKPOOL +125 over Oxford United.

Betting $100 to win $125 should Blackpool prevail.

I’m fairly certain Blackpool was one of the seven kingdoms in Game Of Thrones.


by John Walters

Three-Rim Circus

Moments after taking a hard foul to the face from Draymond Green (and going full Gloria Swanson drama queen), LeBron James hit this :24-clock beater from nearly 30 feet away. There was just under one minute left. The score was tied.

LeBron ripped off a seemingly fresh quote afterward: “I saw three rims and I just shot at the middle one.”

The winners of this play-in game? The Lakers.

The losers? The Phoenix Suns, who finished one game off the NBA’s best record but will draw the Lakers in the first round. Ouch.

It’s Easy

On the House floor yesterday, 35 Republicans had the temerity to vote in favor of a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection. You know, the domestic tour-orists. But a full 175 voted against.

Here’s the three possible reasons for those cravenly 175 voting as they did: 1) they’re afraid of Donald Trump calling them out to “the base” 2) they were in on it or 3) they’re good friends or professionally linked to a Rep who was in on it.

It’s actually helpful to see who the bamboozlers of the Benghazi Boomerang are. Any Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who bluntly comes out against such a commission is basically saying treason over truth. The GOP had its Benghazi moment (eight of them, actually), hounded Hillary for nearly a decade and then made her spend 11 hours in the witness chair. And we didn’t even have Benghazi footage.

So why don’t they want to get to the bottom of January 6th? Why no interest? Because the truth will be illuminating.

75 and Cher

Cher celebrates a 75th birthday today.

Half-breed (her term), singer of a No. 1 song on the Billboard charts (“I Got You, Babe”) back when she was just 19 years old (1965), co-host with husband Sonny Bono of a prime-time variety hour on CBS, Oscar winner, comeback queen, diva, legend. As Greg Kinnear’s character in Stuck On You once quipped, “Boozin’ with Cher.”

Happy Birthday. And yes, we do believe in life after love.

Another No-No

This time it was Corey Kluber of the New York Yankees blanking the Texas Rangers. It’s not even Memorial Day and we’ve had six no-hitters this season. The single-season record is seven. Curiously, only three different teams have been no-hit, each of them twice: the Indians, Mariners and Rangers.

Here, the NYT attempts to explain why…

Crypto Crash (And Rebound?)

Bitcoin plunged some 30% yesterday as more and more Americans shared Bill Maher’s withering rebuke of 10 days past (No? That’s not the reason? Well, the timing sure fits). Five weeks ago, a single Bitcoin was worth $64,000. Yesterday, that same mined cryptocurrency (which, let’s face it, only exists in all of our mutual imaginations or it does not exist at all) was worth $33,000. And yet, it’s currently up to $42,000 so if you bought at the very bottom you’re up about 30% in one day.

I go back to Maher’s “New Rules” essay and to “Weekend Update’s” “What is dogecoin?” bit. Those happened on consecutive nights nearly two weeks ago. And right after crypto began to crater.

It’s Not Complicated

As you may know, I spent the past 13 months working a minimum-wage job as a side job. But for some of my co-workers, it was their main job. This is at a major American corporation, publicly traded, that is successful. There’s no way you could work there 40 hours a week and afford an apartment and a car payment or even gasoline (as well as food). The bare essentials.

And yet that company brags about the tens of billions in profit it made in that year. Companies ought to be successful. But employees ought to earn the bare minimum to live a minimally respectable life (food, shelter, clothing, and maybe Netflix or Amazon Prime, ya know).

I could’ve taken unemployment. I never have and I never will. But for the amount of time I devoted to earning barely more than someone on unemployment did, I was a sucker. Of course, if you eliminate unemployment, there’s no way companies will ever raise their compensation.

There’s an easy solution here: dock executive pay and pay the infantry workers a respectable wage.

The Kid

… was quite pleased with LeBron’s long-range missile.

That earned him $200 and brings his bank to $1,220. Also, he’s now 5-2.

Stay tuned…

Tonight he likes the Maple Leafs -200 to win $100 over the Canadiens.


…and a beast who is a beauty. I’m constantly impressed with how intelligent elephants are. They have empathy and understanding and anybody who kills one should go straight to hell (This will be a happy video, don’t be afraid to watch):


by John Walters

(Rep. Andrew Clyde, far left in this pic and far right in his politics, who’d later call the insurrection a “tourist visit”)

Truth, Trump, Treason

It feels as if these three alliterative articles have been dancing around one another for years now, no? Aren’t you dizzy? I am.

The latest: House Republicans want to prevent a bipartisan commission investigating the January 6th insurrection/”tourist visit” because, well, the tricky thing about treason from inside the house is that the very folks perpetrating it are the ones charged to investigate (see: Catholic Church, police internal investigations). So you have that going on while the New York Attorney General announced that the Trump Corporation (“I never met them, I may have taken a few pictures with them, I take pictures with a lot of people”) is now under criminal investigation.

Let us proceed to the finish line: the Republicans are hoping they can forestall any meaningful investigation into who was responsible for January 6th while passing voter repression laws. They’re attempting to stall the game until election day 2022 at the very least. Meanwhile the other side is attempting to bury Trump in legal issues—subpoenas, indictments, even trials—before he ever has a chance to re-run for president in 2024.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is test-driving electric Ford trucks in Detroit.

Now you’re all caught up.

Spencer Grit(s)

Two years ago Spencer Turnbull led all Major League pitchers in a most dubious statistic: Losses. The Alabama native’s record that season was 3-17.

On Tuesday night Turnbull, in his fourth season with the Detroit Tigers, tossed a no-hitter against the Mariners in Seattle. Turnbull’s 117-pitch gem, also his first career complete game, was baseball’s fifth no-hitter this season (and second against the Mariners in Seattle). The last time baseball saw a quintet of no-hitters before June 1 was in 1917. They were tossed by Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox, George Mogridge of the New York Yankees, Fred Toney of the Cincinnati Reds, and Ernie Koob and Bob Groom of the St. Louis Browns, on consecutive days, versus the White Sox.

There would be six no-hitters, total, in 1917. The last was started by Babe Ruth, who failed to record an out before being tossed. His reliever, Ernie Shore, recorded 27 outs without a hit.

Last night’s no-no improves Turnbull’s career record to 9-25.


The land of Gandhi set a single-day record for Covid-19 deaths for any nation yesterday: 4,529 fatalities. More than 71,000 Indians have perished from the pandemic just this month, which puts the Asian nation on pace to record 100,000 Covid fatalities in May alone. A late comer to the pandemic’s scourge, India now ranks third in reported Covid deaths (283,000) behind only the USA (approx. 600,000) and Brazil (439,000).

Around 1,000 Indian doctors and nurses have also died during the pandemic, in the line of duty, you might say. India is a mess right now. It will get worse before it gets better there.

There Goes Galapagos

Above, that is Darwin’s Arch in the famed and remote Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Well, that was Darwin’s Arch.

Today Darwin’s Arch is simply a pair of twin towers. Scientists blame it on erosion, but it sure seems like Joe Biden’s fault to us. Before he was president, we had an arch. Now he’s president and… no arch.

Porter, House, Stakes

There’s no one better at making powerful people of avarice squirm than Rep. Katie Porter (D-Cal.). Here she is demonstrating that Big Pharma’s claim that their prices are so outrageous due to R&D is a lie.

Now we just have to hope that these shaming displays actually lead to some effective policy, otherwise folks will begin to feel somewhat coarse to the effects.

R.I.P. Charles Grodin

Actor Charles Grodin dies at the age of 86. Employing the three D’s of comedy—deadpan, dry and droll—Grodin stole films such as The Heartbreak Kid, Seems Like Old Times and our favorite, Midnight Run. He was also an all-timer of a talk show guest, ranging from mild annoyance to outright provocateur. An outright original. Thank you, sir.

Grodin’s best work, many say, was reserved for his appearances on Letterman.

The mild annoyance and faux rivalry obviously tickled Dave.


…returned to the Win column last night with Vegas’ 3-1 win over Minnesota in the Stanley Cups playoffs.

He’s now 4-2 and standing at $1,020, or plus-$20.

Tonight The Kid is putting $400 on the LAKERS to win $200 versus the Warriors. Hate to see anyone bet against Steph, but it’s his money.


by John Walters

Here Comes The Sun

Little darlings, it’s been a long, cold, lonely pandemic.

Little darlings, it’s been more than a year since we been here.

This week’s issue of The New Yorker poignantly captures the spirit of renewal, reawakening and reopening that is happening in Gotham and elsewhere as businesses and restaurants return to 100% capacity and mask-free. The illustration is titled “Venturing Out” and the artist is Istanbul-baed Gurbuz Dogan Eksioglu.

Only 600,000 deaths later, with at least two-thirds of them unnecessary. The lives sacrificed to, in effect, rid this nation of Donald Trump.

Electric Luxe Orchestra

Yesterday we were out moseying on our bike and noticed, parked amidst the BMWs and Mercedes and Lexuses at a somewhat tony retirement village, a car we’d never seen before. It looked like a Ferrari or even a Maserati, but we knew it was not. Nor a McLaren. We pedaled for a closer look and the tag read…


Now we’d never heard of the Fisker (the above model is a Fisker Karma with a sticker price of $130,000) but apparently the SoCal automotive company has been around since 2011. The vehicles are electric-based and the company is publicly traded (FSR). There’s also a Fisker Ocean, which looks as if some giant stomped on the roof of your Volvo sub-SUV.

The company name comes from founder and Danish auto designer Henrik Fisker, who knows how to build a sexy car. He previously worked on Aston-Martin and BMW designs.

The Shohei Kid

Look at this home run that Angels hybrid superstar Shohei Ohtani launched last night. That’s a high fastball that he pulled and took over the fence. It’s also his 13th home run of the season, which leads all big leaguers. Ohtani also pitches, as you know.

In five starts this season he has a 2.10 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and has struck out 40 and walked 20 in 25 2/3 innings.

The Japanese native is 6’4″, 25 years old and not very quotable. Nor is White Sox catcher Vermin Mercedes, baseball’s batting average leader who is from the Dominican Republic.

Oh, Burry Me Now

Remember Michael Burry, the off-kilter, flip-flop wearing genius played by Christian Bale in The Big Short? Recent public filings show that his company, Scion Asset Management, has puts (sort of a managed short position) against 800,000 shares of Tesla. A put gives him the option to sell TSLA shares at a given price by a certain date no matter what the actual price (hence, if the price goes down you look like a smarty pants).

I’d not bet against Burry. Then again, Tesla rose 700% last year and has dropped more than 30% in stock value since its all-time high of $832 in February. It has been due, overdue, for a dip. What to do next? That’s up to you and Susie B.

Exhuming McCarthy

1950: The term “McCarthyism” is coined, a reference to Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.) who would smear anyone he believed too liberal as being “un-American” or “communist.” He would accuse them of either subversion or treason simply for not showing overt loyalty to conservative ideals. It should be noted that the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) had been around since the mid-1930s to investigate alleged disloyal and subversive activities of private citizens.

In 1946, HUAC considered opening an investigation into the Ku Klux Klan, but ultimately decided against it. That prompted one white conservative senator (John Rankin, D-Miss) to comment, “After all, the KKK is an old American institution.”

1987: Athens, Ga., -based band REM releases “Exhuming McCarthy,” a song that warns of the new McCarthyism sweeping the USA in the midst of the Reagan era. Everyone thinks it quaint and clever, if not overly ominous.

Vested interest united ties, landed gentry rationalize,

Look who bought the myth, by jingo, buy America…

2021: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (there’s that name again), a California Republican, announces that he opposes a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of January 6th. Almost from the git-go Republicans have attempted to downplay what Americans saw with their own eyes, for hours, that afternoon. Moreover, even if a commission is created, McCarthy would be a relevant material witness, as he had heated conversations with Trump in the midst of the attack. However, both sides would likely have to sign off on that and the chance of Republicans ever permitting McCarthy to be forced to testify is zero.

It’s funny: Benghazi was not even then Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s fault and yet Republicans kept that tragedy (in which fewer Americans perished than on Jan. 6) alive for years. Clinton even submitted to 11 hours of committee hearings on the event.

And yet Republicans, once again, refuse to play by the same rules that they once set (see: confirmation of Supreme Court justices). The Republicans’ game is to win at all costs and to never fight fair if there is even the slightest chance of losing. Some people consider this a savvy strategy. But it’s no way to operate within a democracy.

Justice is never the goal for them. Power is.

The Kid

…took a fastball to the face, like that Mets dude, as the Rangers, owners of a six-game losing streak, beat one of the top pitchers in baseball, Gerrit Cole. That -280 puts him under water at $920.

Tonight’s pick: LAS VEGAS -170 over Minnesota (NHL)

Betting $170 to lose $170 or win $100.