Starting Five

The Wedge at Newport Beach. I’m in awe of people who take on surf like this

1.  What up, Bee-och?

What if a hurricane hit off the coast of California and neither hyper-possessed sharks nor Ian Ziering accompanied it? Welcome to this week on the coast of southern California, where tremendous swells have led to 10-15 foot sets.

It’s crazy to go in ocean like that, no? I mean, I love the beach as much as anyone, but look at that photo. Wow. If I’m the lifeguard, I’m like, “You know what, guys? I’ll be back at the guardhouse brewing a fresh pot of Peet’s. Why don’t you go handle the next rescue?”

2. Josh Shaw’s Day Off

Is it possible that Josh Shaw was just a little proud of himself at how he was outsmarting the adults? Was he singing “Twist and Shout” atop a vehicle in a parade on Figueroa Street?

So I wrote a story in Newsweek about the Josh Shaw mess yesterday (two, actually). Here’s what we know:

1) Josh Shaw lied–repeatedly. He has acknowledged as much.

2) USC asked him….over and over and over and over and over…and then, over…if his slightly incredible story was correct. They were staring in the face of their team leader and basically saying, “We don’t truly believe this, but you are Josh Shaw and we’re giving you the benefit of the doubt.” Plus, the people –not just family members–whom Josh pointed at as back-up on the story all corroborated his piece.  And Shaw was insisting that it was true.

What if you are USC and after all that you don’t run the story? Do you really think the media is not going to find out a team captain has two high ankle sprains? And do you really think he’s not going to tell them the same story he peddled to USC? And if you are USC and don’t run the story, you are telling your team captain, “WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU,” which is a pretty awkward thing to say five days before the season opener. Aaaaaaand, if the media gets a whiff of that, that you didn’t run this heroic story because you questioned its veracity, oh, they’re going to destroy you for that.

As one friend of mine who appears on TV regularly told me yesterday, “Rinaldi was probably picking out pocket squares after he read that piece.”

3) We’d love to get Josh Shaw’s side of the story: he’s not talking. He’s lawyered up. Even though no criminal charges are pending against him. What’s that about?

It was not until Wednesday that Shaw began backpedaling on his version of events.

4) In some ways, Shaw is guilty of the worst kind of pathological lie. In others, he’s painfully naive. To not understand that he’s not a nobody, that as a team captain at USC you just can’t expect to fabricate the type of story you did and not have the national media descend upon you to go all “Tell Lara Spencer exactly how it happened” and “Oh, can we get you in a two-shot with your nephew?” Really, now, Mo’ne Davis is SOOOO last week. In the immortal words of Geno Auriemma, “What a dope.”

5) No one –especially not me–is accusing Shaw of doing anything wrong. Except lying. But lying is a pretty big one. Especially a lie as big and bold and intricate as this one. For those who say, “All he did was lie, there was no harm done,” all I can ask is, “Are you already a congressman or a senator?” How sad and depraved.

6) Whatever Josh Shaw WAS up to on Saturday night, he considered it worth jeopardizing his standing at USC to lie about it and concoct this bizarre story. Why not just say he was goofing off with friends and tried to jump off a wall? He’s a college kid on a Saturday night. There’s lots of ways to claim you hurt your ankle without bringing a drowning seven year-old family member into the story.

7) He wanted it known he was in Palmdale, an hour north (and home of Lennay Kekua, incidentally) and not in L.A. Why? Finally, might it just be possible that he was getting a kick out of not only not getting in trouble for whatever went down at the Orsini Apartments, but for manipulating USC into making him a hero? Might there have been a little Ferris Bueller action going on, and might he not have been a little proud of himself for how shrewd he was? Maybe?

3. Hill Country

Hill was surrounded all night by Cock blockers and actually flourished.

The answer to “How will Texas A&M replace Johnny Manziel?” is “44 for 60 with 511 yards and 3 TDs in his debut, which just happened to come on the road in the SEC in a Thursday night game on national television.”

Or you can just say, “Kenny Hill.” The red-shirt sophomore out of Southlake, Texas, broke Manziel’s school passing yards and completions record in his debut. The Aggies won 52-28, somewhat muting the Ol’ Ball Coach on this evening in Columbia.

Also starring: Aggie true freshman defensive back Armani Watts, who made a series of terrific hits against the Gamecocks. Keep an eye on him.

4. Eye of the Liger

As soon as he throws this football over that mountain, Uncle Rico is headed to St. Louis for a tryout.

An oral history of Napoleon Dynamite? I’ll read it if I feel like it! GOL!

5. Oh! J. Simpson

With last night’s win in 3:59.92, Simpson earns the season championship in the world’s only prestigious track and field “league.”

Track stars don’t earn quite what NBA or MLB players do, so forgive Jenny Simpson her excitement at winning last night’s 1500 in Zurich and with it the Diamond League season championship and an extra $50,000. Watch Simpson hold off fellow American Shannon Rowbury over the final 50 meters and dive for pay dirt as if she were that other Simpson.

Simpson wins by .01 of a second.

By the way, the British announcer here, whose name I don’t know, is cracking good.


That was last year. This time Petit, tied at 45 hitters in a row with Mark Buehrle, would not be denied.

Rule 27

You know Rule 27: “You can always see something you’ve never seen before in baseball.” Last night San Francisco Giant pitcher Yusmeiro Petit retired the first eight Colorado Rockies batters he faced, bringing his total to a Major League-record of 46 in a row, before surrendering a hit.

Because it’s baseball, of course the batter who ended Petit’s streak was Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles.

Petit’s streak stretched over eight games, most of them in relief. You may recall that last September, while on another streak, Petit retired 26 consecutive Arizona batters in one game before this happened.

Goodell Hunting: NFL commissioner walks the final step in the road to maturity: admitting he was wrong. It’s a start, Roger Goodell.

Frozen Water: The Ice Bucket Challenge Curse continues…

Mr & Mrs. Smith Finally Tie The Knot (as opposed to “tie the Nazi” which is something Aldo Raine would have gladly done)

Where in the World?

It’s been so long, I’ll refresh your memory with the previous one:

The Metropol Parasol, located in Seville, Spain, is made entirely of wood (heh, heh)


Hint: It’s the world’s tallest…

Remote Patrol


Navy’s Under Anchor helmets


No. 5 Ohio State at Navy….Noon, CBS Sports Net

No one actually enjoys playing the Midshipmen

No. 7 UCLA at Virginia…..Noon, ESPN

Myles Jack on the East Coast

BPL: Chelsea at Everton….. NBC, 12:30 p.m.

Honk if you hate John Terry

West Virginia vs. No. 2 Alabama….3:30, ABC

Katherine Webb ain’t walkin’ through that door (alas, a lass)

Rice at No. 17 Notre Dame….3:30, NBC

Who will be the fifth suspended starter? And how will Kathryn Tappen do?

Arkansas at No. 6 Auburn…. 4 p.m., SEC Net

Over/under on number of plays Nick Marshall sits? Seven

No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia…5:30 p.m., ESPN

It’s Georgia’s year. I can feel it.

Fresno State at No. 15 USC….7:30 p.m., FOX

The game is actually at 10:40 p.m in Palmdale. Tune in then.

No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State…8 p.m., ABC

King Crab vs. Eskimo Joe’s

No. 14 Wisconsin vs. No. 13 LSU….9 p.m., ESPN

Leonard Fournette versus Melvin Gordon. Run-fest.


7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. A Ferris Bueller mention…with a ferris wheel. Subtley genious.

    Also, OSU is favored by 16.5 versus Navy — in Baltimore. Navy returns 15 starters.

    Yes, the Buckeyes may boast one of the best defensive lines in the country. But, this is the Midshipmen we’re talking about. Give me Navy and the points.

  2. The 1st time I became aware of a PALMDALE, CA was from an early 80s TV show. Guess the name….IRONY ALERT! That’s right – THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO! It starred William Katt, Robert Kulp, & Connie Selleca. Palmdale featured prominently in one of the early episodes – those that establish plot & characters. If I remember correctly, a PALMDALE sign kept mysteriously appearing in front of William Katt’s character, impressing to him that he was supposed to GO there. Ever since, whenever I’ve read or heard the name PALMDALE (actually, not that often until 2 days ago…) , that show’s earworm-cheesy theme music invades my brain –

    “Look at what’s happened to me,
    I can’t believe it myself.
    Suddenly I’m up on top of the world,
    It should’ve been somebody else.

    Believe it or not,
    I’m walking on air.
    I never thought I could feel so free-.
    Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
    Who could it be?
    Believe it or not it’s just me. ”

    Funny, “believe it or not” was JUST what Josh Shaw was saying! Alas, “the greatest American hero” he is not.

    Apparently, 80’s television was not just cop-lawyer-doctor shows & sitcoms. They were the roadmap of our future. We are doomed.

    Anyhoo, until the inevitable end of days, I’ll keep watching TV (live by the sword, die by the sword). Wish I’d seen that A&M/SC game last night. Had planned to but was unable. Two things – EVERY (10 or so) CF writer at SI had picked SC as the likely winner (boy, must their faces be ‘scarlet’ today) & Kenny Hill is adorable – saw his postgame interview & he was just all smiles & dimples & said how he was the “happiest he’d ever been”. I’d imagine so!

  3. Wait, wait, wait. No Paul Simon for Jenny?

    “She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
    She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
    Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
    Diamonds on the soles of her shoes”


  4. In Newsweek, on Twitter, and here, you referred to Shaw’s lying as “pathological.” I think this is unjustified. A pathological liar is one who repeatedly and compusively lies on a variety of subjects, and does so even when the lies have no apparent benefit. Shaw’s lies were on a single topic, with an understandable (if misguided) intent, which was to avoid punishment. By all accounts, this was out of character for him and not a recurring issue. I would not attribute a psychological condition to him without further evidence.

  5. To Wally: “Pathological” in its informal meaning means “compulsive, obsessive.” It doesn’t mean that u lie on an entire range of topics unless I refer to you as a “pathological liar,” which I did not. But, considering what Shaw did hear, I’m not so sure that there aren’t more lies in his past. Too early to know yet. So while his lying in this case was indeed pathological, he may also be a pathological liar.

    • I think if you say someone’s lies were pathologic, you are at least implying that he is a “pathological liar.” But I think we agree that calling him a pathological liar at this point is premature. Perhaps other evidence will surface that will change that assessment.

  6. By simply referring to someone as “pathological” does not imply they are a “pathological liar.” Being “pathological” is a state of mind that is not exclusive to just lying. An example would be gambling.

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