Starting Five

1. The Most Dramatic Collapse Since the 2011 Boston Red Sox?

A bridge on Interstate 5 spanning the Skagit River in northwest Washington collapses, purportedly after an 18-wheeler slammed into it. The road is the major artery between Seattle and Vancouver, two cities that used to possess NBA franchises. As dramatic Evergreen State bridge collapses go, though, the 1940 undoing of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge remains unrivaled. And shame on your high school physics teacher if he/she failed to show you this video as an example of the power of a transverse wave.

2. “This is a tornado emergency. You need to be below ground immediately…we are not here to scare you, but this is a very large tornado…”

A news truck from KOCO TV 5 in Oklahoma City captures the first moments of funnel formation with the Moore, Okla., tornado and then the first 10 minutes. Nature’s wonder and nature’s wrath all in one scene. This is mesmerizing.


Profiles in Human Interaction: Monday in Moore, Okla., and…


…Wednesday afternoon in London.










3. London Galling

The first word that comes to mind with the murder of Lee Rigby in mid-afternoon on a London street? Brazen. The second? Calculated. Two hoodlums garnered worldwide attention with a despicable act, landing themselves on the cover of yesterday’s New York Daily News. Say what you want about their cause, about imperialism, etc. but in the 21st century video/photos/social media is a mighty powerful weapon.


4. Can’t you just see the pitch meeting for “The Purge?”  “It’s ‘The Hunger Games’ meets ‘The Strangers’ with a generous dollop of real-life Detroit.”

The Purge: Promises to be a let-down for fans of eating disorder films.


5. Until the Harvard Baseball Team Makes Another Road Trip Mash-Up…

….this video of University of Cincinnati players photo-bombing teammates during post-game interviews is the most significant contribution to college baseball humor for 2013.



The Antidote to Modern Fandom: F.C. United of Manchester

F.C. United’s fans have no Old Trafford of their own (they rent space at different locations), but they don’t care.


“I don’t support their business model. It ignores the fans. And because of that I won’t give them any cash.”

Is this me talking about the New York Yankees? It could be: I haven’t spent a dime on a ticket to the new Yankee Stadium since it opened in 2009 (and I’ll have a story about the egregious Legends Suites seating area out soon in an actual newspaper). But in fact this quote comes from Andy Walsh, the general manager of F.C. United of Manchester, a franchise that was erected on the cornerstone of disenfranchised Manchester United supporters. Man U. are the New York Yankees of European football (soccer). Walsh and other fans finally grew so fed up with Man U.’s arrogance that in 2005 they created their own fan-owned club in which each member gets one vote (“a motion to never sell advertising on the team’s jerseys passed with 96% of the vote,” writes Sam Borden of The New York Times).

Players earn $220 per game

The best part, perhaps, is that FC United of Manchester began the 2005-2006 season on the lowest rung of English club football, the 10th division. They have already ascended to the 7th division and narrowly missed an opportunity to move up one more rung on the ladder on May 11 when they lost, 2-1,  in front of 4,412 fans (Do they look as if they care that they’re not part of the Barclays Premier League?) to Hednesford Town in the Northern Premier League playoffs.

This one master stroke, relegation, is what makes English soccer so fascinating. Imagine if the worst team in Major League Baseball (hello, Miami) had to drop down a division while the best team in Triple A was allowed to advance. And if the worst AAA team had to follow suit to AA, and vice versa. And so on. This is reality in English soccer, and it is why a franchise that was literally conceived out of the disenfranchisement of the most powerful club’s fans may potentially play in the same league with that leviathan entity some day.

Leave it to our former “tyrannical” British overlords to teach us Americans a lesson in sports providing a “land of opportunity.” Now please may we have our F.C. United of Manchester kits? And when will the movie be released?

“Don’t Forget Who You Are/You’re a Rock and Roll Star”

When Tom Petty performs, he gives concert-goers their money’s worth. All this week Gainesville’s Gift to music has been performing at the Beacon Theater, a five-minute walk from here, calling it “heaven on Earth.” David Fricke of Rolling Stone provides a review.

“With one foot in the grave/And one foot on the pedal…”








2 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING! May 24

  1. Just realized today that I’m a proud member of Jdubs’ “previous following”. Kinda wordy for a t-shirt though.

    About Le-BRAWN’s game-winning basket the other night – there’s been much mentioned how LB didn’t “react” afterwards – no fist or chest bumping, etc. I thought it odd too at 1st & then it hit me – he’s a MATADOR! Know how the matador flings his cape at the bull & the bull charges past? The matador then turns his back, drags the cape on the ground & walks sloooooowly away. Very dramatic, very macho, very “I’M the bull in charge in this ring!”

    Also, I’ve heard/read how the Pacers should be optimistic about their chances now as they ALMOST beat the Heat in their house. I disagree. Despite LBJ’s 2-seconds-to-go-game-winner & despite his TRIPLE DOUBLE, LeBron actually had an OFF NIGHT, played far under his usual superhero abilities. If I were the Pacers, I’d be upchuckin’ in the john.

    And maybe I’m just a conspiracy freak, but is the reason why the Heat had to wait ANOTHER week after the 2nd round is because the NBA poobahs wanted to give SOME team a chance against them? They were rusty in the 1st game against the Bulls after being off for a week & the same against the Pacers, again after having an entire week off. Hmmmmmmmm.

  2. Help me out: Why would the premise of “The Purge” make any sense? You allow any crime for 12 hours a year, and as a result, crime and unemployment nearly disappear?

    Wouldn’t there be retribution for criminal acts committed during the purge? Do you really say “you killed my son, but because it was during the Purge, i will yield to this obscure set of ethics and come back for you after 6 p.m. on this day next year”?”

    Why would you be more likely to get and keep a job, because you have an annual outlet to vent whatever illegal urges you have?

    I understand the writers have created a new and scary situation, forcing characters to learn Right and Wrong under new contexts. I hope the movie has some 30-second exposition in there that puts a little fake research into why this would not only be attempted, but would become an annual event.

    Oh, and if such a window exists, I might download bootleg Tom Petty concerts for part of the 12 hours each year.

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