Starting Five


1. Houston Rockets 125, Utah Jazz 80

–The worst moment for Jazz since Dave Brubeck died.

–Worst home loss in Utah Jazz history. The Jazz actually trailed by 50 points, 125-75, before a five-point outburst in the game’s final 20 seconds.

–The Rockets were delayed by a blizzard in western Colorado and were unable to take off from the airport in Denver. So much for that being a detriment.

–Utah was undefeated at the Delta Center in January (6-0) prior to the contest.

–Jeremy Lin had time the night before to attend the Sundance Film Festival and attend the screening of “Linsanity.” Then he shot five for five in the game.

Gordon Hayward did not play for the Jazz.

— Former Utah Ute great Wataru Misaka, who is 89, attended the game. Misaka, a 5-7 point guard, was the first Asian player in NBA history (1947-48 New York Knicks) and before that led the Utes to the NCAA championship in 1944. Misaka is of Japanese descent. Think about that for a moment. A Japanese-American basketball player leading a school to the NCAA championship at the height of World War II in the Pacific theater. I smell a movie…

2. Beginning Tuesday, Apple will sell a new  iPad4 that has 128 gigabytes of memory as opposed to the current model, which has 64. So the iPad4 is doubing in memory size from 64 to 128 gigs, or as I call it, Boeheiming.

3. On The Daily Show, Samantha Bee absolutely kills it in this report (“Women’s War Daily”) on females in combat.  Our favorite moments are when Sam snaps her fingers to create a black-and-white Mayberry universe and when she’s chowing down on the Ben & Jerry’s. Author Kingsley Browne’s quote will live in infamy and guarantee that he never gets laid by anyone under the age of senile: “Girls become women by getting older; boys become men by accomplishing something.” Then again, with a name like Kingsley Browne, how could the author being interviewed NOT be a troglodyte?

Bee, not afraid

Remember the scene in “Broadcast News” when Jack Nicholson, as the network anchor, smiles at the end of Holly Hunter’s piece as a sign of his approval? Watch Jon Stewart’s reaction when the camera returns to him after Bee’s piece. He is obviously pleased. 4. David Letterman on Dr. Phil interviewing Ronaiah Tuiasosopo: “You have a guy pretending to be a girlfriend talking to a guy pretending to be a doctor.” That’s gold, Jerry! 5. So, if we have our facts straight, both the Boy Scouts of America and the Toronto Raptors are open to accepting Gays?  

Unfortunately, Rudy is too old to be a Boy Scout. Age discrimination!


Skylar Diggins scores 33 points as Notre Dame defeats Tennessee in Knoxville. Not only was it the Irish’s first win at Tennessee, but in the past three weeks Notre Dame has beaten both UConn and the Lady Vols on the road. No team had done that in the same season since 1980, pre-Geno. The times, they are a changin’…

Media moves: Chris Cuomo is headed from ABC to CNN (by the transitive property, I’ve dated Chris Cuomo). Joe Posnanski is headed from Sports on Earth to NBC Sports (by no property and on no property have I ever dated Joe Posnanski).

By the way, we forgot to mention that unranked Villanova defeated a pair of schools ranked in the top five last week (No. 5 Louisville and No. 3 Syracuse) while unranked LaSalle defeated a tandem of top 20 opponents (No. 9 Butler and No. 19 VCU). Solid week for Philadelphia college hoops.

Today’s impertinent thought: Speaking of college basketball rankings, how quaint. Why does anyone bother ranking teams when 68 teams are invited to compete in March Madness? Here’s an idea that might add some actual drama to the months of December, January and February college hoops as opposed to it being the longest preseason in sports: Reduce the tournament size to 32 teams.

I know, I know, we all love the frenzy of the first two days of the tourney. However, nobody is able to view all the games with as many as four taking place simultaneously. In a 32-team field, the first round would run from Thursday to Sunday, with four games taking place each day. Each site would have a doubleheader.

For those of you who bark about the 250 0r schools who’d no longer have a chance to compete in the NCAA tournament, well, I’m sorry. You can split Division I into two divisions (as occurs in football) while leaving open the possibility of relegation for schools or entire divisions that are on the border.

The point is, rankings woud suddenly matter. The regular season would suddenly matter. And since a No. 16 seed has still never beaten a No. 1 seed in about three decades of play, I’m not all that concerned about the final teams no longer getting their “shot.” They’ve had shot after shot after shot. Just because you include them on the bracket doesn’t mean they are actually competing in the tournament.

Tiger Woods the year’s inaugural PGA Tour event while (we belatedly report) Novak Djokovic wins the Australian Open. It’s somewhat reassuring when the premier players in their sport win. Novak Djokovic, by the way: very handsome man. We can say that.

Granted, this is not Novak’s best look


Terrific interview this morning between Matt Lauer and Al Gore on Today. The former veep was positively poetic in describing the inarguable realities of climate change: “Every day is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation on the news.” A serendipitous quip there, since Today had just done a report on epic flooding that is waterlogging Queensland, Australia.

Gore did fumble in his defense of the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera. Lauer noted that Gore made $100 million on the deal and that Al Jazeera is funded by the government of Qatar, which gets almost all of its money via oil. “Isn’t that hypocritical?” Lauer asked. “I see your point,” said Gore, who is always unfailingly polite (and that may have cost him the 2000 election), “but I don’t agree with it. Al Jazeera has done solid reporting on climate change.”

Sorry, Al. Not good enough. The judges were looking for, “I see your point, but money trumps everything.”


Bob Costas, talking the “gun culture” on The Daily Show: “Guns are glorified in hip-hop culture. Some 70% of the players in the NFL are African-American. Not all of them are influenced by that part of the culture, but guns are glorified.” Because you just can’t go out and say, “It’s black people’s fault.”

Earlier in the interview Costas noted, in relation to gun culture, that Sly Stallone has a movie out entitled “Bullet to the Head”, leading Stewart to swiftly quip, “Well, when you’ve already thrown momma from the train…”

Letterman on Manti Te’o: “It’s not like he’s at West Undershirt, Wyoming. It’s Notre Dame.” Don’t know where Dave pulled that term out from, but we like it. Dave did err by saying a few times that Manti “dated” this woman for four years. Not exactly. Rob Burnett, if you’re reading this, I’m available for fact-checking at The Late Show.


The New York Daily News has an “exclusive” report of Tim Tebow training in Paradise Valley, Arizona. A Jet becomes a snowbird. And kudos to the reporter who talked his editor into giving him a few days in Arizona away from NYC in late January. Well done, my friend.

One thought on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING! 1/29

  1. Your suggestion that the tournament be reduced to 32 teams could be referred to as a “Reverse Boeheim,” which sounds like either a wrestling hold or something more . . . adult.

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