1. 10 Years After the Deluge

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami that reportedly claimed approximately 230,000 human lives across Indonesia, Thailand and 12 other countries. The earthquake that caused it, with an epicenter beneath the Indian Ocean, registered a 9.1, the third-largest ever recorded on a seismograph.

Here’s footage of the most devastating natural disaster ever recorded on tape. Here’s a little more. Incredible stuff.

2. Speaking of Tsunamis…

Technically, WKU won. But they should give this victory to CMU on principle.

…Western Kentucky led Central Michigan 49-14 after three quarters of the inaugural Bahamas Bowl, which took place in one of those stadiums that you typically see in Third World nations where a ruthless dictator wrests control from the democratic government and then marches all of his political foes into it and executes them. But I digress…

Anyway, it was a 35-point lead after three when my friend Dan Wolken at the USA Today tweeted, “Despite having watched the WKU defense’s work a few times this season, I think they can hold this lead.”

He was correct–but barely. I came aboard when it was 49-28 and WKU completed a screen near midfield in which Willie McNeal ran 56 yards after the catch down to the 9-yard line (the game is OVER if he scores) but McNeal fumbled. And WKU Keystone Cop’d the tackle –the first of many such KC moves I’d witness in the last 6:30 of the game.

(When McNeal fumbled, from that moment on, I was riveted. You just had that feeling…)

Even after CMU scored –you knew they would– it was still 49-35 with 3:06 left. Literally, all WKU has to do is the victory formation on consecutive drives –force CMU to call all three timeouts on first drive, then end game on latter, assuming they recover insides kick–but NOOO! Jeff Brohm is too crafty for that.

Fast forward to WKU, now up 49-42, punting with 0:10 to play. Ball nearly gets downed at the 1, but there’s a touchback. And an offsides. There’s now 0:1 to play and CMU is 75 yards away from a tying TD. And then THIS HAPPENS.

And then CMU blows it all with a lame fade route for the 2-point conversion. That, as my friend Moose said, was hubris. Get it into overtime, Chippewas. You have all the Mo’.

Still, a 5-touchdown fourth quarter—and you still lose.

Anyway, the spread was 3. This was the best backdoor cover/worst bad beat I’ve ever seen.

3. Hee Hawes

Kobe sat, too, yesterday but his sartorial inspiration was nowhere near that of Hawes’.

That’s seven-foot-one Spencer Hawes of the L.A. Clippers taking “will not dress for the game” to a new level yesterday. The NBA Store should be selling this (bonus points if they put “SPENCER” on the back).

Other thoughts from yesterday’s five-game set:

–The Knicks are now 5-26 and Walt Frazier is running out of synonyms for “ghastly.” I’m appealing to you, Guardians of Peace. Put the Knicks out of our misery.

–Everyone making a big deal about the Quincy Acy-John Wall kerfuffle seems to be missing the origin. I was watching and it appeared to me what when Wall took an outlet pass he backed right over Jose Calderon of the Knicks, knocking him ass-over-teakettle  But Calderon is not an All-Star (and Wall is), so no call (there was a lot of that going on yesterday in the five games). And watching, I felt as if some Knick was going to make Wall pay for that. And about a second later came Acy’s hard foul. Which may not excuse what Acy did to instigate this, but you can at least appreciate the why of it.

–I don’t know what Kevin Love’s role on the Cavaliers is. I don’t think he does, either.

Right now, when he is not allowed to get away with traveling (I know, like they’ll ever call it), LeBron James is not even one of the top three (top five?) players in the league. Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are all having better seasons to this point. So is Derrick Rose, when healthy (Merry Christmas Susie!)

–I really like Bulls’ 6-10 rookie Nikola Mitotic. who scored 13 points in 15 minutes. The better bearded big man in the East thus far (as opposed to Love). Chicago is the best team in the East and, as Sir Chuck said, maybe the best team in the NBA. And they’re doing this without the Heinrich Maneuver or Dougie McBuckets right now (yes, the latter is not yet a key contributor).

–When seven Spurs score in double figures, that should be Pop’s dream. But they still lost to an OKC team missing the reigning league MVP. Russell Westbrook is an alpha male.

Stephen Curry put on an absolute show in the first four minutes, then sorta disappeared (foul trouble was partly to blame). Steve Kerr got his fifth technical of the season as a rookie NBA coach. That equals the number of technicals he received in 15 seasons as a player.

–A really nice piece by TNT on Craig Sager and his leukemia odyssey…

4. American Sniper

“I know what you’re thinking, punk. ‘Did he have 47 rounds in that magazine or 48 when he started shooting?’ Well, I can’t remember, either. Do you feel lucky, punk?

Boffo reviews for the new Bradley Cooper film, based on the life of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who had 160 confirmed kills in Iraq, making him the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history (as far as anyone knows).  If you don’t know how Kyle’s story ends, I won’t spoil it here.

Meanwhile, Medium Happy’s crack(-loving) staff must now recalibrate its all-time rankings of films with “American” as the first word in the title (American Gigolo, American Pie, American Beauty, American Movie, American Psycho, American Anthem) as well as its all-time rankings of film with “American” in the first word of the title that star Bradley Cooper (American Hustle).

Directed by Clint Eastwood, who seems to get more prolific with age. It’s as if the 84 year-old is racing against time to put out as many movies as he can as an act of contrition for Million Dollar Baby before he dies.

Meanwhile, before the film was made, Kyle’s dad went all Dirty Harry on Eastwood…

I should say something about The Interview, but why? Didn’t we all know it was going to be another lazy Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy that probably seemed funnier when Rogen and his writing partner were stoned and writing it?

5. Christmas Lists…

So many year-end lists, and only one week left. Here’s Mediaite’s (I’m beginning to spell it correctly on the first try) “24 Most Cringeworthy TV News Moments of 2014” (not all were from FOX News and CNN).

Remote Patrol

Premier League Boxing Day Derby 

NBC Sports New 7:40 a.m.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, owner of one of the BPL’s better names.

It’s England’s response to America’s NBA Christmas cornucopia, as a flurry of football kicks off with league-leading Chelsea hosting surprising West Ham, currently in 4th place. At 10 a.m. it’s Newcastle at second-place Manchester United. Good footy. If you’re up and if you’re off today…

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. To say that Derrick Rose is better “WHEN HEALTHY” than LeBron James is like saying Santa Claus looks great in a speedo WHEN THIN!

    Look, I know Sweet Pea is not currently playing every game at his previous years’ MVP level & I have no idea why. Well, actually I have a few! –

    He’s not getting enough sleep in that 30,000 sq ft mansion with the newborn baby too close by. Two words, LeBron – “night nanny”!

    He’s upset/disappointed that the guy he crowed about as a “GREAT POINT GUARD” & how he SO looked forward to playing with such player is NOT playing that position at all! Sooprize, sooprize, LBJ – YOU are still playing VPG – virtual point guard!

    He belatedly realizes that Kevin Love thinks the “weight room” is where one goes to weigh in (which he avoids) & in fact has never actually lifted a weight. In his life.

    He’s still humiliated by the EPIC FAIL that was his 1st home game back in “the Land”. It’s HARD to play when one’s blood has rushed & stays on your face!

    That despite Coach Blatt speaking 5 languages, he apparently does NOT speak LeBron’s…

    He’s distracted by the continual loss of his hair (& is apparently now compensating by letting his beard grow, YUCK!).

    He’s finally realized that thanks to The Letter & those commercials, he is STUCK in Cleveland FOREVER!
    Well, seriously, I’m not sure why he’s not (always) playing like the MAGNIFICENT BEAST that he STILL is. Maybe he’s injured? Maybe he’s saving himself for the Playoffs like the Spurs do? Maybe the thought of turning 30 next week terrifies him as that is usually the beginning of or actually THE end for NBA players?

    As for the players you deem “better”? Well, yes, Steph was playing pretty damn good, at least till they lost to the laughingstock LAKERS (without Kobe yet!) followed by another loss yesterday. And Westbrook HAS to play at MVP caliber every night just trying to get their team INTO playoff contention thanks to early season injuries to himself & Durant (& Durant again now). As for Davis – don’t know, I can NOT watch him! The way some people can’t abide fingernails on a chalkboard? That’s my reaction to that damn eyebrow! Plus, not only is it disgusting to look at, he’s doing it for its’ BRAND MARKETABILITY (I heard him discuss this during his 1 collegiate year which turned my stomach then & now).

    I had actually been looking forward to yesterday’s game. But then Varejao got hurt in the previous game & will now be out for the season! Heck, I was worried enough before that this team was far from where they needed to be & NOW, well, unless they do some trading, I don’t see how they even get to the Eastern Finals. And even though I’m STILL verklempt/upset that LeBron left the Heat when he did, HE is the only reason I watch any basketball, so I am begrudgingly (both kicking AND screaming) a Cavs (ARGH) “fan”.

    And I don’t know WHY you keep harping on LeBron’s alleged traveling! Heck, the entire league now ‘travels’ like the Harlem Globetrotters on a World Tour!

  2. BTW, have you noticed that the Spurs are in 7th place in the Western Conf standings? They’ve already lost 12 games. Last year, they only lost 20 the entire season. They, the defending champions, are LUCKY they are not being treated as last year’s HEAT or this year’s CAVS. If they were, Sports Center would be in Crisis Mode & EVERY NBA talking head would be waxing & waning, bitching & moaning that the Spurs are “too old”, “lack motivation” or are just “too damn tired” after 2 consecutive trips to the Finals. Well, I wrote it here last May-June that the Spurs appearance in the Finals would NOT be repeated in 2015. They sold their souls to get their aging bodies back to the Finals last year. The Devil doesn’t give 2-fers.

  3. I’ve been away too long.

    Clooney did “The American” and it was sooooo slooooow.

    Gotta put “American Graffiti” on the list. I know Dubs loves “The American President.” I think he’s referenced “Wet Hot American Summer” for before-they-were-stars ensemble cast among American-titled movies.

    And for the love of all things Gretzky, “American Anthem” has to be on there.

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