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.
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
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
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).
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?
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
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…
No I won’t back down
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…