1. What’s App’ening!
Scores of people in the Bay Area, the nation’s wealthiest region, became wealthy or wealthier yesterday. First, the owner(s) of a single ticket purchased in the town of Milpitas, which sits at the base of San Francisco Bay, will claim the $425 million Powerball lottery prize, the sixth-largest such jackpot in history. A little farther up the 101 in Mountain View, a college dropout named Jan Koum and his partner Brian Acton sold their start-up, What’s App, to Facebook for $19 BILLION.
The company only earned $20 million last year but suddenly, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s munificence, it is worth more than 47% of the companies in the S&P 500. Koum, a Ukrainian immigrant, signed the deal with Facebook –a company that once turned him down for the job– on the door of a government building where he once stood on line for food stamps.
You cannot make this stuff up.
The orange tops and blue trunks were a bad look for the nation’s No. 1 and undefeated team at home. A worse look? Losing to Boston College, which had already lost twice this month to Notre Dame and had just two conference wins. When Patric Young, the Florida center whose own No.2 team survived a brush with disaster versus Auburn last night, heard who had spoiled Syracuse’s perfect season, he put it succinctly: “Boston College? They suck.”
It was a terrific win for the Eagles, of course, made sweeter after the loss of a family member of sorts: longtime sports information director Dick Kelley, who had been suffering from ALS, died over the weekend. The team attended his wake just two days earlier.
3. The Russian Drill Bit
Iulia Lipnitskaya, the 15 year-old Russian skating prodigy who is Olympic-eligible by only 26 days, bit it on her final jump of the ladies’ short program on Wednesday, putting her in fifth place. She may not medal, but if you have not seen Lipnitskaya skate, it’s a phenomenon of human axis-spinning. Only the Tasmanian Devil spins faster than she does. Watch (near the end of the program).
4. Rice Capades
Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice allegedly hits his fiancée with an open hand and knocks her out cold. Video shows Rice dragging her out of an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. But at least he isn’t gay, right?
5. Hashtag You’re It
I’ll stop posting Jimmy Fallon items and videos as soon as he stops doing stuff worth sharing with you. Fallon’s Tonight Show isn’t a talk show and it’s barely a variety show. It’s more of a “Can Celebrities 1-3 Come Over To My House and Play?” Last night Fallon played charades with Oscar nominees Bradley Cooper and Emma Thompson and Taylor Swift’s original candy crush, Tim McGraw, but the better segment was his Hashtag bit (something he’s done before with Justin Timberlake) with yet another Oscar nominee, Jonah Hill.
Not sure whose idea it was to have Cooper give Fallon the Chrysler Building piece as a gift. Anyone who’d watched the first two shows knew it had already been there. Hashtag falling flat.
Perfect moment in the Lakers-Rockets game last night. Just as Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy were noting that the talent-bereft Lakers still play hard night in and night out, ESPN’s cameras caught Swaggy P, in dress clothes on the bench, checking his smart phone for messages. Thank you.
Oh, and last night ESPN had Rockets-Lakers, a 26-point blowout, instead of Spurs over Trail Blazers by two in Portland. Tomorrow night ESPN has Celtics-Lakers instead of Spurs at Suns.
Someone, anyone at ESPN: We get it, LA is an iconic franchise. But they’re HORRIBLE this season. And it’s not going to get better. Please move on.
Kudos to Pablo S. Torre for sitting in and hosting Olbermann (“This is Olbermann…I’m not Olbermann”) and doing a terrific job.
That’s Kaitlin Sather-Nielsen on the cover of the current issue of Runner’s World. Sather Nielsen is not a runner per se, but rather a former Honorable Mention All-American volleyball player (and high jumper) at UCLA.
Pretty cool Saturday for middle-distance prodigy Mary Cain. On a snowy New York day, Cain won the mile at the Millrose Games, which took place at the intimate New York Armory in Harlem (picture the NBA All-Star Game taking place at Hinkle Fieldhouse and… WAIT A MINUTE, that’s a great idea!), which is situated directly across 167th Street from Columbia Presbyterian, the hospital where her dad works as an anesthesiologist.
Personal note: As I was walking from subway to Armory entrance, I came upon three young women in unbelievable shape running past me. They all looked Scandinavian. This is not something you ordinarily see in Harlem. Turns out they were entrants in the mile (Emma Coburn and others) who were warming up. There was nowhere to warm up indoors.
Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner
1937: Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B; 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF
Jake Beckley, 1B; 1888-1907, 6 teams, Pittsburgh Pirates
Besides a career batting average of .309 with 2,934 hits (34th all-time) and 1,578 RBI (40th all-time), “Eagle Eye” was a cunning fielder. After failing to fool Honus Wagner with the hidden-ball trick, he waited until later in the season and got the better of Wagner. How? By using TWO baseballs! Genius.
Rube Waddell, P; 1897-1910, 6 teams, Philadelphia A’s
From 1902-1907, all with the A’s, Waddell led the National League in strikeouts while also being a 20-game winner in four of those seasons. A true character, Waddell wrestled alligators in the off-season and reportedly spent his entire first signing bonus on a drinking binge, leading one publication to refer to him as a “sousepaw.” Still, on the all-time lists, he ranks 10th in ERA (2.16), 18th in WHIP (1.102) and 19th in shutouts (50).
NBC 8 p.m.
The finals of the ladies’ figure skating. Our favorite Amy Adams doppelganger, Ashley Wagner (a stage name if I ever heard one), will perform both on ice and in the kiss-and-cry area.