by John Walters

Starting Five

1. Vote For Roger — or Davo!

As we wonder whether Sepp Blatter’s Panic Room will eventually be a U.S. jail cell….

As we speak, Blatter is running (figuratively, not literally — although I would pay to watch a foot race) against Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan for the FIFA presidency. Ali has pledged universal health care if elected.

Below, the guy I’d nominate to be the next FIFA prez…

2. Caste, A Spell

Your co-champions (co-champions? When did the Big 12 take over this event?) for the National Spelling Bee are Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kans., and Gokul Venkatachalam of Chesterfield, Mo. Well, they are both from Big 12 country, as it turns out.

The last words that each spelled correctly — “nunatak” and “scherenschnitte” — are Inuit and German, respectively.

Mr. Trilby finished 3rd….

3. Pre Destined

Steve Prefontaine in high school….

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the death of Steve Prefontaine, one of the true legends of American sport. The annual Prefontaine Classic will be held at Hayward Field tomorrow in Eugene. I’m rooting for Emma Coburn and Jenny Simpson in the women’s 1500 because they’re cool.

Tough Buffs: Coburn (L) and Simpson (Not L)

4. Met-a-Physics

The Mets signed Syndegaard after the History Channel granted him an unconditional release from Vikings.

I kind of like that the New York Mets pitching staff now has not one but two dream boats (Matt Harvey and Noah Syndegaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard) but that its staff ace, and one of the best pitchers in the N.L. this spring, is Bartolo Colon (7-3, tied for most wins in NL).

How can you not love this guy?

5. Stairway to Heaven?

Behold, the Half Dome Cables Trail in Yosemite National Park, which is a 45-degree, 600-foot climb to the top of Half Dome. People do this every summer. Are they nutso? Have you done this? What was your experience, if you did? Panoramic photo below….

6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. 6/17/72 : WATERGATE BREAK-IN
    8/8/74 : NIXON FORCED TO RESIGN (& Susie b & her summer camp friends partied into the night & for the next 15 years on every 8/8)

    FIFAGATE? SEPPGATE? BLATTERGATE? Oh, please, VOTE for the latter.

    All I want to know is if Sepp will flie away in a helicopter or on his own hot air.

  2. And in happier news – VANYA! VANYA! GOKUL! GOKUL! These 2 kids have been my Bee faves for several years. When I saw them once again in the Finals last night, I naturally rooted for them & hoped one if not both would win. But I thought the latter unlikely as we had co-champions for the 1st time in 50 YEARS just last year. What was I saying yesterday about “Mercury in retrograde”?

    We 1st saw Vanya in the audience as the little sister of the 2009 winner : Shoulder length hair, black glasses & cute as a button. She started showing up onstage in the Finals herself just a few years later. Earlier this year she won some televised competition called “CHILD GENIUS” (alas, I missed). And Gokul became an immediate fave of mine when his video-bio a few years ago mentioned he was a big LEBRON fan (he wore his LEBRON jersey under his shirt last night) – a sure sign of “genius” too! 🙂

  3. And if you didn’t actually watch The Bee last night, there was a kid in the Finals who looked EXACTLY like a ventriloquist’s puppet. Even though he didn’t make it to the Final 4, he was no, er, dummy.

  4. It must be the millennial in me, but no Aladdin reference in #1 and Prince Ali? Alas, the vote is over and Sepp was re-elected, so there goes the opportunity to capitalize on an old ’90s Disney hit.

  5. Have done half done cables twice, it’s so popular you need to get a ticket thru a lottery. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you are coming down and are forced to look out at the backdrop (and drop!) below. When someone has a “freak out” and can go neither up nor down, others are forced to go around on the outside of the cables, which is just crazy. I consider the steep stone step lead up to be more treacherous than the cables. Put it on the bucket list John, not for the day before Dipsea however.

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