Honestly, there’s too much happening. We’ll do what we can to cover it.

Starting Five

It’s all for a good cause

1. Ice Bucket List Challenge

When did donating money to a good cause become a blatant act of self-promotion? I get it: celebrities dousing themselves in a bucket of ice water draws attention. Which raises awareness. Which spikes donations.

But it feels as if we’ve crossed the Rubicon on this. Now it’s more like, “Well, if you don’t let someone videotape yourself being self-icing a bro, you want people to die of ALS. And you’re just mean.”

Larry David covered this ground –brilliantly– in a terrific episode of “Curb…” with Ted Danson. 

My dream? Someone issues Meadowlark Lemon the Ice Bucket Challenge and then he allows someone to toss a bucket of confetti over his head.

2. Ferguson

Captain Ron (left) meets with protesters

A few thoughts on the Ferguson crisis, some of which you may not like:

1) There are two sides to every story, and I’m not even certain we’ve heard one of them yet. To quote Fr. John Jenkins of Notre Dame, who was speaking about another matter entirely, the rush to judgment here may be “premature.” What I do know is that we don’t know. And that this eyewitness account is only going to upset some people more.

Officer Darren Wilson

2) It’s been three days, and I still don’t know anything more about Darren Wilson other than he is a six-year veteran of the Ferguson P.D. and that he is 28. Where did he grow up? Where did he attend high school? College, yes or no? Married? Kids? Anything in his background to point to his having a short fuse or problems with minorities?

3. Of course no one deserves to die because they stole a pack of Swisher Sweets. And of course it’s coarse for the police to release that “DVD extra” as they grudgingly release Wilson’s name. But you know what? It IS slightly relevant. Why? Because it goes to Michael Brown’s state of mind when he was confronted by a police cruiser not long afterward. The photo of Michael Brown lying dead in the street is ugly because the entire situation is awful. But maybe a little patience is in order here.

4. I’m more than a little over the embedded media practicing the “Look at us” journalism. This isn’t Selma. Sorry. A young man was shot down in midday on a street by a policeman. We still don’t know all of the extenuating circumstances. Getting yourself arrested or tear-gassed doesn’t make you a better journalist. It makes you a voyeur. What happened to Wes Lowery of the Washington Post last week–that was real news. Everything since has felt like a battle for attention.

5. No, I’m not “blaming the victim” when I point out that in a town that is two-thirds African-American only 12% of the African-Americans voted in the last election*. The point is that towns operate best when their leadership is representative of the general population.  If 35 of Ferguson’s 53 police officers were African-American, as opposed to three of the 53, my guess is that the Michael Brown tragedy is very unlikely to happen. Statistically alone, the chances would’ve been two out of three that the cop who came across him would’ve been black and would’ve handled it better.

*I’m told the 12% figure is for the entire town, not just African-American voters. Still, two-thirds of Ferguson IS African-American.

6. I’m sorry, Dorin Johnson, but you lost me. You went on the cable news shows and gave your account of the shooting without ever mentioning what you’d been involved in less than half an hour earlier. You surrendered the moral high ground. So I’m a little more skeptical of how the police cruiser’s car door just accidentally got pushed back in when Officer Wilson opened it –you described it as an accident.

7. Is everything that folks, from Bill Maher to John Oliver, are saying about the militarization of police forces true? Sure. In fact, as follower Jim Leahy reminds us, The Andy Griffith Show covered this ground more than 50 years ago. Do the Ferguson PD have a PhD in incompetence when it comes to handling the aftermath of Brown’s killing? Certainly. Will that photo of the Fallujah Invasion cops pointing their weapons at an unarmed black person as a mailbox in the background has the words “F___ the Police” haunt this town and this era of law enforcement for a long, long time? Yes.

But does any of that directly impact the evidence of Michael Brown’s killing? No. Time will tell.

8. A few African-Americans who follow –followed?–me on Twitter said that Captain Ron Johnson is a “puppet.” I found that a little sad. To me he’s pulling heroic duty, stepping into a racial gulf and trying to soothe a situation before anyone else needlessly dies.

3. Football Returns: Size the Day!

Jason Gay of WSJ likened this moment to “Armstrong walking on the moon.”

The opening weekend of the Barclays Premier League saw the NBC debut of the Men in Blazers, (listen to how often Rebecca Lowe giggles off-camera) a pair of awesome no-look, heel-touch assists (for Liverpool and Manchester City) and an awesome fan penalty kick that the keeper, much to my delight, still felt the need to save. Love that.

Last week –and we all saw this coming back in June– the Michael and Rog visited GFOP Seth Meyers.

Also, worth noting:

Steven Naismith                                                                       Stephen A. Smith





Rebecca Lowe                                                                                                              Rebecca Lobo








4. Story Arc of a Diver

Windle already has a gold-medal smile

Meet Jordan Windle, a 15 year-old Cambodian native who was orphaned before his first birthday and then adopted by a gay American man, Jerry Windle. Who is now married. Yesterday Windle convincingly won the U.S. Men’s Diving 10-Meter platform championships and he is now a legitimate medal threat in Brazil. I cannot wait to tell Ann Coulter!

Jerry and Jordan have already written a book about their lives, in fact.

5. Nice Mug

Grudging Admiration. Extra credit for making the T-shirt orange

This is Robert Burt, 19, of Pittsfield, Maine. The charge: Driving under the influence and operating a vehicle without a license.


4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I’m confused. You say above, on the Ferguson situation, “maybe a little patience is in order here,” but earlier you tweeted at someone that you “think it’s self-evident that MB was murdered. Probably by a racist cop.”

    Those 2 statements don’t jive.

  2. The only “facts” known for sure is a young, black man is dead, allegedly by the hand of a white police officer, & the same night, prior to the police confrontation, the black man robbed a convenience store AND twice made threatening moves toward the store employee who confronted him (which is on video).

    About the Ice Bucket Challenge – sure, maybe it’s now reeking of self-promotion, BUT it has raised MILLIONS of dollars & awareness for ALS, so KEEP ON ICIN’! ICE, ICE, BABY!

    SEC Network update – still couldn’t find the channel Friday night when I looked in the 2 locations where all the other ESPN & sports channels cluster, so I called Comcast again. After another 15 minutes (on hold, back, hold again, etc), I was told it “must be part of a sports package I don’t have”. A few hours later as I was watching TV, I scrolled up the Online guide, & THERE IT WAS! I did not call back Comcast to inform them of their ignorance & incompetence. Didn’t feel like being put on HOLD again for 15 minutes. Anyhoo – watched some “classic SEC football games” over the weekend – 2007 NCG (FLA whupped OH St & I 1st laid eyes on a jump-passing freshman Tebow) & 2008 SEC championship game when Tebow & the Gators chomped the then-unbeaten #1 team Alabama. I’ve viewed both these games at least 3-5 times each & whereas I still love the games & the outcomes, my enjoyment is now tinged with anger & sadness that Tebow is still not playing the game he loves AND in which he excels. Will NEVER understand why he is not on an NFL team right now.

    BTW, my name & email address above the comment area now keeps disappearing – on the old site, it stayed in place so I didn’t have to type it in each time. Can this site be fixed to do the same? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  3. Susie,

    Tebow’s probably not on an NFL roster more for the circus that surrounds him than his actual ability. If he goes to a team that struggles, the talk each week will be about Timmy starting, etc.

    Tebow had a chance to nip this in the bud but he let the Skip worship get the best of him and agreed to do that segment with him. Manziel could meet the same fate is he doesn’t live up to the hype.

    • Hi Okerland – from what I’ve read, heard & observed of Tebow since his freshman year in college is that he is the nicest & most polite football player to ever have a microphone jammed at his face, almost 24-7. For the 1st couple of years, I thought it had to be fake as NObody could be that nice, that thoughtful AND an elite QB at a football factory. But, he is. Back during “Tebowmania”, pretty much the only TV media guy that was NOT trashing Tebow every day was Bayless, hence I’ve thought that Tebow felt he “owed” Skip to appear on his show. If the NFL is holding that against Tebow then they are even more ignorant & incompetent than COMCAST. (Based on how they’ve handled several issues these past few years, not a surprise).

      As for “distraction”, the media fed that fire & then THEY became the “distraction”. Every few months, I go to some Tebow fan websites & the comments there are pretty much as crazy & varied as any sports website but most seem to think some kind of “conspiracy” is keeping Tebow out of the NFL. I’ve always thought they were a bit, how do I say this, CRACKED in the head, but now I’m thinking there may be some truth to it (wait while I adjust my tinfoil hat, please ). Especially when I compare the SPOILED BRAT CIRCUS that is Johnny Manziel to Tebow. Seriously, the unadulterated ‘ME-ME-ME-I-CAN-DO-WHATEVER-I-WANT’ of Manziel is more acceptable to NFL teams than self-sacrificing Tebow? This could be “the sign” that the sport is doomed.

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