Starting Five

“I’ll get Tommy Trojan over here and then we’ll see how tough you guys are.”

1. A.D. Hoc Committee*

(The judges will also accept “PH Unbalanced?”)

For posterity’s sake: Late in the third quarter, USC kicks a 25-yard field goal to forge a 10-10 tie with Stanford in Palo Alto. Then the Trojans are penalized five yards for “delay of game,” for not respecting that white space that rings the field. Coach Steve Sarkisian barks, so he earns a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (my guess is both flags came after repeated warnings about both).

Then Sarkisian claimed that USC was not delaying the game, but instead saving its cousin from drowning. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, from its own 15, USC loses a starter when Hayes Pullard is ejected for targeting. On the very next play, from USC’s 47, Stanford QB Kevin Hogan fumbles and USC recovers.

Responsible for fewer calls, if not passes, dropped

By this time someone on the USC sideline has already texted athletic director Pat Haden, a member of the 13-genius Selection Committee panel, and told him Stevie has poopy pants. Whatever. So Haden puts down the crab puff and hustles down to the sideline to be Sark’s champion in Trial by Combat. Meanwhile, the 3rd quarter conveniently ends –remember, USC has the ball again–and Haden, a Rhodes Scholar, commences to do something very dumb: advocate for his coach (“Fight on!”), during the game, with ABC’s cameras there.

Now, first, the genius who texted Haden, or the person who ordered that genius to text, is mostly at fault here. Second, by the time Haden arrived USC had already gotten the ball back and it wasn’t as if any of those three calls were going to be reversed, so what was the point of bitching? Third, big ups to Stanford for its in-game in-stadium mobile phone reception. Methinks The Tree is actually a cell phone tower. Finally, I don’t agree with my friend Dan Wolken that Haden needs to resign from the Selection Committee. I am heartened, though, that all the simpletons who thought a 13-member panel of enlightened post-hormonal geniuses and an expanded “playoff” would bring greater clarity –not to mention an improved product–are so quickly seeing the folly of their idea. It was always stupid. This weekend’s hi-jinks just prove as much.

2. Medium Happy 8

Incorrigible Utes: Only A&M has scored more points than this Power 5 (vomit at the term) school that remains unranked.

Not to be confused with the AP Poll, where Utah, a school that apparently some voters have yet to realize is in the Pac-12, is not ranked despite beating Idaho State 56-14 and Fresno State 59-27. We’re not saying the Utes are even the best school in the Beehive State –No. 25 Brigham Young probably is– but how come they are not ranked while five one-loss teams are?

Our Top 8:

Texas A&M: Aggies have beaten a ranked team on the road, in a nationally televised Thursday night game, and are averaging 62.5 points per game, the most of any team that has played two games.

Oregon: Defeated No. 7 Michigan State with 28 unanswered 2nd-half points and are averaging 54 points per game.

Auburn: Have now covered 13 straight games —McMurphy’s Law–and have been the most impressive squad in the Tuscahasseeburn Triangle.

Oklahoma: Sooners have outscored opponents 62-3 in first half, which at this time of year is indicative of a focused team.

Florida State: The Seminoles should be No. 1, but they certainly have yet to play that way. Boredom? Self-satisfaction? This is a team that appears to be guilty of shellfish behavior.

Baylor: Only school in nation in the top ten in both Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense. No, the Bears haven’t played anyone. Most teams haven’t.

In their last scheduled meeting, Jaylon Smith and Notre Dame handed Michigan its first shutout defeat in365 games.

Georgia: Dawgs only 1-0,  but look even better after Clemson crushed  foe without hap, 73-7.

Alabama: Tide were a 42-point favorite. Led 41-0 when game was called in fourth quarter due to lightning. They are the anti-Auburn.

By the way, this weekend’s games are miserable. Georgia at South Carolina is the only one halfway worth watching, and I think the Doggies, off a bye week, will roll. Go out and run a half-marathon instead or something.

3.  You Can’t Spell ‘Crisis’ Without ‘Isis’

No joke: these are members of ISIS’ all-female brigade.

Intolerant of any religion or ethnicity that is not their own and hiding behind hoods and robes. Whom does ISIS remind me of….?

Anyway, The Obama appeared on “Meet The Press” yesterday and announced that he had hired Chip Kelly to go on offense against ISIS, or something like that, and that he will also lay out a “game-plan” in a nationally televised address on Wednesday.

Personally, I’ve always enjoyed this splice of footage from the 1994 Whit Stillman film Barcelona as a tactical and dynamic U.S. foreign policy.

4. Rice Capades

From KO to OK in one easy press conference? Not so fast.

As my pal Arash “Guest List” Markazi tweeted, “seeing is believing.” The video of Ray Rice tossing a compact left hook at his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, and knocking her out, obtained today by TMZ, puts this entire ugly affair in a new orbit.

Who saw this video –the NFL, the Ravens, the police?–and yet still only put Rice in a pre-trial diversion program and gave him a two-game suspension. The NFL is claiming it only just saw the elevator video today. If that is true, then maybe it’s time to give Rice at the very least an 8-game suspension. Worse, of course, is that prosecutors did not seek jail time against Rice. Untenable position.

As for you and me? If the NFL does not at least further punish Rice, let’s stop watching and attending games. At least for a weekend. Come on, America, I know you can do it.

Finally, yes, I don’t know why seeing the video should amp up the rage so exponentially. How did we think she came to be knocked out? The logic on this is solid, but the truth is that the video changes everything. It eliminates any doubt.

5. Ali Baba and the Sept. 18 IPO

Get ready, home-gamers. Ali Baba, the of Asia and much of the rest of the world, will have its initial public offering (IPO) on September 18. The price range is expected to be $60-66 and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t above $100 per share by Christmas.

A quick note on high-profile IPOs.

GoPro (GPRO) (June 26) $28……….Today: $61

Twitter (TWTR) (Nov. 7) $26……….Today: $51

Facebook (FB) (May 18, 2012) $45…..Today: $78

Chipotle (CMG) (Jan. 26, 2006) $22….Today: $677

There are, of course, many more companies that file for IPOs and whose stock plummets afterward. My point is that these are some of the more high-profile IPOs of the internet and Twitter age, when everyone can MMQB these companies. I didn’t even note Google or Apple or Pied Piper (!), but they’re all highly, even exponentially positive. I think Ali Baba (BABA) will go the same way. Besides, I’m going to like, as an investor, being known as BABA Walters.

Chipotle (CMG)


4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I didn’t watch quite as much CFB as last weekend but did click back & forth between “my 2 teams” (ND & Buckeyes) & flitted around the other 100 or so other channels showing college games Saturday –

    Impressed by : QB Golson of ND (AGAIN!) who led the golden Domers to a BEATDOWN of Michigan in their “final” regular season scheduled game (at least for the next decade). Sure, it was a home game for the Blue & Gold & sure, Big Blue is looking blue but NOT so ‘big’ these days, but it was still impressive. A shut-out!

    Also, did not actually see the game, but saw clips of Oregon/Mich State & QB Mariota looked impressive. His Heisman candidacy is still intact.

    NOT impressed – you knew (well, I did) Ohio State fell out of contention for the Playoffs even before the season started once QB Braxton reinjured his shoulder & was out for the season, but this is a team coached by Urban Meyyyyer (in his infamous 3RD year…) & they had been the pretty good the past 2 years , so you expected their defense to at least hold things together while the newbie frosh QB got his feet wet. Well, the baby QB is not Braxton but the Buckeyes have a LOT more to worry about. Beginning with the defense. They lost AT HOME, in front on over 100,000 screaming fans (& a certain 6’8 “homedude” on the sidelines). I still believe Urban can guide his Buckeyes to a winning season because heck, he took them to an UNDEFEATED season during his 1st year when they were ineligible for the post-season!

    Also – not impressed by USC. Not the coach, not the squeaky-queaky win over Stanford, & ABSOLUTELY not the AD coming down to the sideline to do WHAT exactly? They should be EMBARASSED.

    My Players of the Week – Golson & Mariota. Duh.

    Honorable Mentions – Clemson in their comeback game where the score looked like a basketball game. And Gurley Man of GA. Ok, TECHNICALLY, the Bulldogs did not play this week, but his domination of poor Clemson & really, of all college football that 1st weekend make the GA-SC the MUST SEE game this Saturday & I am salivating already. That it apparently (according to jdubs) is the ONLY game worth seeing AT ALL means the entire nation can tune in & be amazed & debate whether Gurley Man is Herschel 2.0.

  2. Oh, & apparently the Big Ten ‘recruited’ Maryland so at least ONE of their teams would be 2-0 at this point in the season. 😉

    Actually, with all the players who left this program the past 2 years (their nickname in some quarters was no longer Terps but Titanica…), I’m somewhat surprised MD is even able to field a team.

    For the record, I HATE, absolutely HATE that MD left the ACC. Will never forgive the carpetbagging MD President who was the instigator & when he has finally moved on to his next big paycheck, MD will realize they made a HUGE mistake.

  3. Different topic – while driving to work this morning I heard on the radio of another NBA owner selling his team & that this is sale is “possibly” being forced by the NBA due to some “reprehensible racist rant-filled email” sent by the owner 2 years ago to staff. I just read the actual email. If the owner is really being forced to sell his team because of THAT email, then THAT is what is reprehensible. 1st, that email is the opposite of a “rant”. The guy is trying to figure out why they have so few season-ticket holders, why there aren’t more asses in the seats for the games AND why those ass-owners aren’t spending MORE money at his establishment. Since he apparently wasn’t getting anything but “shoulder shrugs” from his employees when he asked these questions, he attempted to ascertain the answers himself. I’ve never been to a Hawks game so don’t know if his observations about the crowd are accurate but in the past 3 years that I’ve been watching & reading about the NBA, I can tell you that I REPEATEDLY heard on TV & read that the Hawks home crowds were “sparse” & among the lowest in the league AND that players did NOT want to play there because of the apathetic fan base. Were some of the owner’s opinions a bit racist (or at the least, uninformed or naïve)? Possibly. The most “offensive” statement seems to be his belief that southern whites are not comfortable being in an arena where they are the minority. This is a “reprehensible” statement? I’d say it’s fact.

    Two things – 1st, Charles Barkley, a black man, can REPEATEDLY “joke” about the “BIG OLE WOMEN of SAN ANTONIO” (i.e. they are fat & unattractive) for the past TWO YEARS on TV & everyone on his TV set just laughs & laughs. And 2nd, for the past few months, I’ve read about & listened to discussions on TV about the “few” numbers of American blacks today in the MLB. This is considered a “concern”. Also of ‘concern’ is how to get more American “black kids” to take up baseball. This “concern” is apparently NOT considered “reprehensible racism.”

    Discrimination exists. Racism, sexism & other hate-filled ignorance-based beliefs exist. (Just read the twitter feeds of women in sports media &/or the message boards for almost any stock on Yahoo Finance for a daily sampling). But forcing team owners to sell based on emails such as Levensen’s means Cuban’s “slippery slope” is correct. Instead of looking for more ‘smoking gun’ emails &/or secret recordings, an owner’s actions & deeds should be what is thrust under the microscope. (That Sterling did not pay off his ex-head coaches until legally forced is an example of “REPREHENSIBLE”. Why didn’t the NBA get involved in that?)

  4. I’m a little late on this, but I laugh every time I hear Sark was penalized for not respecting the white space on the sideline. Isn’t USC the place where Pete Carroll patrolled the hash marks more than he patrolled the sideline?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.