Starting Five

In this SI cover from a year ago, Balotelli is seen standing on water, arms outstretched in crucifixion mode.

1. Bad Boy Toys

(The judges will also accept, “We’re going down to Liverpool to do nothing…”)

Last season Liverpool had a wonderful problem on its hands: Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker-biter led the EPL in goals scored by a wide margin despite being sidelined for five matches due to a suspension (re: cannibalism).

Suarez scored 31 goals in 33 games and was the consensus Premier League Player of the Year as Liverpool finished second and qualified for Champions League play. Then he bit someone else, in a World Cup defeat, against Italy, in a match in which Mario Balotelli (like Suarez, one of the five best strikers in the world when he’s on) played.

Suarez was suspended from soccer for like, I dunno, you look it up, a long time. So Liverpool sold him to F.C. Barcelona, where he will now team up with Lionel Messi –so arguably the world’s two top footballers on the same side.

Are Suarez and Balotelli big deals? Do you know how often soccer players make the cover of SI?

And so Liverpool, which is right near the summit when it comes to world’s wealthiest football teams, has gone and purchased Balotelli from A.C. Milan. Mario was the world’s most notorious footballer before Suarez acquired a taste for human flesh. This should be interesting.

FWIW, Balotelli spent a few seasons with Manchester City, which is only an hour east of Liverpool, so he’s familiar with the region.

2. One of These Will Finish Fourth

“You’re the smartest man I’ve ever met, and you’re too dumb to see they made up their minds we were going to win Best Drama nine months ago”

The Emmys will air on Monday night…your host is Seth Meyers and I’m truly hoping for cameos from Stefon and Olya Povlatsky. But here’s the thing, kids. How loaded is the Best Drama category?

Game of Thrones

Mad Men

Breaking Bad

True Detective

House of Cards

Downton Abbey

Roger Sterling does not care that you didn’t nominate him for Best Supporting Actor…he just wants to know where the bar is located

I’ve never watched the final two, but look at those top four. None of them deserves to finish in second place, much less third or fourth (for this reason, I’m 98% certain that Downton Abbey will win).

What will happen? I believe True Detective should win, but I think voters will punish it for hubris. You would’ve won Best Mini-Series in a slam-dunk, but you had to be pushy. Tough luck, Rust Cohle. Besides, none of us have ever even auditioned for Nick What’s-His-Name. Game of Thrones is excellent, but voters will not want to admit to loving it (Lena Headey will probably get stiffed on Best Supporting Actress in a Drama as well, though she deserves it).

Timothy C. Simons, who plays Jonah Ryan, wuz robbed by not garnering a Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy nom. And if “Veep” doesn’t win Best Comedy, the Emmys are dead to me.

Which would bring it down to a pair of AMC dramas, Mad Men or Breaking Bad. Both outstanding. Mad Men is about as genius as it gets, but Breaking Bad has bowed out, and everyone loved it, too. BB will win this year and then MM, whose final season is coming up, will win next year, as a way for the voters to say thank you.

Worth noting: Walking Dead not nominated, nor did it deserve to be. Also, none of the six nominees come from network television.

3. Awkward Silence?

Mark it down: Austin Kryszczuk will play Major League Baseball…and probably before I learn to spell his name without having to look it up

Not sure if you’ve heard, but America still has a few problems with racism. Fortunately, we’ve got the Little League World Series to take our minds off the troubles in Ferguson. Let’s see who’s playing tomorrow for the U.S. championship. Here we go…lemme see…oh, here….it’s Mountain Ridge Little League out of Las Vegas, reperesenting the West, versus Jackie Robinson West Little League out of Chicago, representing the Midwest….says here that Mountain Ridge’s team is entirely made up of white players, while Jackie Robinson’s is entirely made up of African-American players.

The kids from Mountain West are named as if their parents’ favorite show was Saved By the Bell (and maybe it was): Austin, Dallan, Brennan, Zach, etc. The closer for Jackie Robinson West is named Marquis.

Wondering if the gang at ESPN will make any mention of this…

4. This Interview

Lemon never backed down to Kweli. I give him the win here.

You decide for yourself. Contrary to the Daily News headline, this is not a “disastrous” interview at all; it’s illuminating for what it reveals without even attempting to: the simmering-below-the-surface temper, the heightened concern about being “disrespected.” True confession, and this will not surprise you: I own no Taleb Kweli albums.

And, so you have it, here’s Bill O’Reilly of FOX News having returned from vacation (Bridge Hampton? East Hampton? Wainscott?) and unleashing some furor on the coverage of this story. Regardless of your opinion of FOX News, he’s mostly on-target here.

5. Sam Smith=Tom Petty

Right down to the same number of letters in the first and last names…

Sam Smith: Never covered the Chicago Bulls in MJ’s heyday

Well, I won’t back down

No I won’t back down

Won’t you stay with me

Cuz you’re all I need

You can stand me up at the gates of Hell,

But I won’t back down

This ain’t love, it’s clear to see

But, darling, stay with me…

Tom Petty: Is used to musicians plagiarizing his chord processions. Remember Dani California?

One thought on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Are you kidding? After what’s been happening in the much-vaunted ‘Mid-West’ for the past few weeks? ESPN’s musical intro & commercial break music for the LLWS Finals should be 3 DOG NIGHT –

    “The ink is black
    The page is white
    Together we learn to read and write
    The child is black
    The child is white
    The whole world looks upon the sight
    The beautiful sight

    And now a child can understand
    That this is the law of all the land
    All the land”

    And then they can pass it on to CNN, MSNBC , & Fox News.

    (BTW, the convenience store “robbery” may or not be a “fact” after all. Just one more example of ALL media rushing with “the story” & facts be damned. Have to be FIRST, who cares if it’s accurate these days. Ever since the Boston Marathon with the countless FALSE info on “mainstream media” (who followed “social media” over the ledge like a bunch of freakin lemmings), I no longer believe anything I see or read immediately.)

    Anyhoo – liked your Mo’Ne piece very much. Hope she looks back on this time with fondness & I hope to see her in the Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament 5 or 6 years from now. Also, your word choice of “plume” made me smile – only jdubs or Austin Murphy could be the author. 🙂

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