1. Not a Happy Cramper
LeBron James had to leave Game 1 of a non-air conditioned AT&T Center with about four minutes remaining and his Miami Irony trailing by two (in the King James Bible, this will become known as his Book of Exodus). They would be outscored 16-3 the remainder of the way without him. And, not only LeBron’s absence but also Danny Green’s marksmanship had a lot to do with that.
Above you see the Krebs Cycle, a.k.a. the Citric Acid Cycle, a.k.a. glycolysis. Now I don’t want to stray above my college pre-med pay grade here, but from what I recall this is your body’s anaerobic metabolic pathway. It kicks in when the aerobic pathway is not getting the job done. The problem is that its byproduct is lactic acid, and when dehydration comes into play, an excess of that lactate leads to the muscles shutting down to, in essence, save themselves.
Most of us have a leg cramp story. For me, I was on Mile 24 of my first NYC Marathon, near the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, when suddenly I felt as if someone had shot me in the leg –it was in the early ’90s, so I didn’t really think I’d been shot; now, though, I wouldn’t be so sure. I dropped like a stone.
It wasn’t a “This hurts, I’m gonna take a breather” pain. It was an “I’ve been shot” pain. I recall being unable to will myself to walk, at least for a few minutes. But then I adjusted my sports bra and you know, eventually got back in the race. It helped knowing that millions of people were not watching and that tens of millions of dollars were not being wagered on me.
2. Open Carry, Meet Stand Your Ground
As he is wont to do, Jon Stewart exposes the idiocy of Texans openly toting guns into restaurants and convenience stores. My anecdotal experience with these types of dudes is that they are severely insecure, misogynistic and, worst of all, not at all funny.
3. D-Day Turns 70
In a week where the news has been dominated by fractious partisan bickering (what else is new?) over the Bowe Bergdahl swap and whether this soldier is a deserter or just a POW, there’s absolutely no gray area about the 70th anniversary of what may be the proudest day in U.S. military history: the landing at Normandy.
Here, courtesy of my cousin Maryann –her second MH appearance this week–is then President Ronald Reagan’s speech in commemoration of the day in 1984, the 40th anniversary.
4. You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
Supermodel Kate Upton is dating a pitcher who, after being shelled for five earned runs in seven innings now has a 4.19 ERA. Justin Verlander had a respectable and nearly elite 2.67 ERA when he took the mound in Baltimore on May 14, but since that moment he has surrendered 24 earned runs in five starts and 32 innings. That’s .75 runs per inning, or a 6.75 ERA in that span, if my math is correct (which it may not be).
Verlander was baseball’s most dominant pitcher in 2011, when he won both the AL Cy Young and MVP awards, but he signed his five-year extension, which does not even begin until next season, right around the time of his 30th birthday and just before the start of last season.
The essence: Detroit is into Verlander for $140 million until 2019 and up until his 37th birthday. The question is whether he’ll ever approach being the ace that he was in 2011 again.
Rule No. 28: Never give pitchers above age 30 long-term contracts.
5. A Nack For Prose
A tip of the cap to Sports Illustrated for turning Bill Nack’s elegy on Secretariat, which may be the greatest piece of writing to ever appear in the periodical (penned by its fiercest advocate of the pain it should require to produce outstanding stories), into an inter-web long-form feature. I love this story. Take time to read it as you wait for California Chrome to enter the gate.
P.S. There are almost as many colorful stories involving Bill Nack as there are the entire rest of the masthead combined at SI. If Bill is even mildly interested in a subject, be it horses or literature or war or ladies, then he is PASSIONATELY interested in it. It’s not only that William Nack can recite the final paragraph of “The Great Gatsby” if you ask him to do so. It’s that he can do so in Spanish. Bill Nack is a walking lesson in how to live life.
“Show Me ‘Willing Wiener’!”
Okay, I”m beginning to think that TV game shows have hired extremely savvy viral marketers who create implausible and/or stupid moments just so the web will discover them. Did The Family Feud really run with “Willing Wiener?” That’s not very Family.
Sundance 7:30 & 10 p.m.
Another cinematic blind spot for yours truly, as I have never seen this early-stage Tarantino flick starring Brad Pitt, Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. Quentin wrote this before he ever wrote “Reservoir Dogs.” He may have still been working at the video store in the Valley for all I know.