by John Walters
The sports footwear and clothing company, Under Armour, reports earnings today. Under Armour (UA) is trying very hard to be the 21st century Nike, and thus far you cannot dismiss the Maryland-based company and its charismatic founder, Kevin Plank.
Here’s the thing, though, and why I’m leading with a stock story. Some of the most oft-mentioned brands of the past year or so have soared
100% 50% or more in value over that period.
Think about this: millionaires hand their money to hedge fund managers, who routinely promise an annual return of less than 10% in return for you handing them a minimum of $1 million (sometimes I specialize my stories specifically for An Inconvenient Ruth). Anyway, sure, great, but you haven’t had to be a genius or an alum of Goldman Sachs to find big returns in stocks the past couple of years. Look at the trendy names, invest in them, and just sit back and watch. To wit:
NetFlix (NFLX)….. Last April 21: $349 Today: $567 Up 62%
Apple (AAPL)…. Last April 21: $75 Today: $128 Up 71%
Chipotle (CGM)….Last April 21: $522 Today: $686 Up 31%
Under Armour (UA)….Last April 21: $53.50 Today: $84.76 Up: 58%
The question, of course, may be, Are their runs up finished? Perhaps. Under Armour, as I said, reports after the bell today (this is where I’m obligated to tell you I own UA stock, so hell yes I’m biased). The important thing I’ve learned, though, is to be less of a trader and more of an investor. Buy good companies and just walk away for awhile.
2. Headey, Lamar Make Magazine Covers (“That’s Headley! No, Wait a Minute, It’s Not. My Bad.”)
Lena Headey, who is pregnant, will not reveal the name of the father. Art imitates life sometimes. And then Kendrick Lamar made the cover of the Rolling Stone (when you cannot personally identify one song by someone on the cover of RS, you’re officially old. That’s me.)
3. EGOT Does Not Equal GoT
I discovered this while reading a(nother) dry and funny Stephen Douglas post in The Big Lead, this one dealing with Michelle Beadle’s Spurs fandom (Can we all agree that Beadle has become juuuuuuuuuust a little too full of herself? No? Well, whatever…). Anyway, it’s called EGOT, and it stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and refers to people who have won all four.
Only 12 people have done it, including Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg (yes, Whoopi Goldberg). The latest, and youngest, member of the club is Robert Lopez, a talented lyricist and writer who co-created The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q, as well as writing songs for Frozen. Lopez is 40 and he may or may not have twin brothers who are taking part in the NBA playoffs.
4. The Price is (Bleep)
I went to a pre-game manager’s presser and Glengarry, Glen Ross broke out. Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, in a pre-game meeting with reporters (standard), unleashes the F-word 77 times in five minutes. I have to admit, I was shocked: I thought Sparky Anderson was still managing the Reds. Also, who’s the guy who counted the number of F-words and how long did that take? “Are you sure it’s 77, Skip, because I got 75.” “Okay, let’s start over.”
5. That Item in Which The World Showers Taylor Swift with Love and Adulation Again (and Kanye Is Not Allowed in the Building)
That girl wins the Milestone Awards at the ACMs on Sunday night. Mom gives the introductory speech in which she reveals that Taylor wrote her breakout hit, Love Story, in one hour after her parents told her that they strongly disapproved of a boy (“and rightfully so!).
And When I Die
This 1968 tune, as recorded by Blood, Sweat & Tears (that’s 1960s for “Chicago”), reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts, but the real story here is Laura Nyro. The songwriter, who also penned Wedding Bell Blues (“Bill, I love you so/And I always will…”) wrote this uplifting tune about death in 1966 when she was just 17, and then sold it to The Mamas & The Papas for $5,000. Then two years later BS&T recorded it.
The lead singer with the strong, rich, raspy voice is David Clayton-Thomas, and his story is right out of Inside Llewyn Davis. Barely surviving on handouts in New York City in the Sixties, he was singing at a Greenwich Village club one night when Judy Collins saw him. She told her friends, who were looking for a lead singer in their band about him, and the next thing you know he was singing lead for BS&T. And then the first album they did together sold 10 million copies. It’s just…that…easy.
Paris St. Germain at F.C. Barcelona
FS1 2:45 p.m.
With apologies to the dudes at FOX Sports, who do a splendid job of covering the footy, they’re airing the wrong game. Yes, Lionel Messi is the greatest artist to work in Spain since Picasso, but Barca is at home and already have a 2-goal lead heading into the 2nd leg of the quarterfinal. Meanwhile in Munich, Bayern must rebound from a 2-goal deficit as it hosts surprising FC Porto. For much of the winter, Bayern Munich looked like the best club team in the world. Injuries have ravaged them, however, but the UEFA Champions League final will be played in Berlin. Germany’s glorious year of soccer uber alles is at risk.