by John Walters
1. Birthday Boys
In the late 1980s the producers for a John Hughes film set in Chicago’s tony north side suburbs (weren’t they all?) were casting about for a mischievous lad to play the lead role of Kevin McAllister in a film titled Home Alone.
At the time just such a lad lived in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago, and he was even already enrolled in an acting class. He wanted to audition for the film. There was just one problem: his parents, both attorneys, realized that he was just too perfect for the role and they weren’t quite sure that they wanted to raise a child actor.
And so John Mulaney, who turns 32 today, never auditioned for the part, while Macaulay Culkin, who turns 35 today, landed it. And if you know Mulaney at all, you know that he really would have been almost too real to play that part. As it turned out, Culkin did just fine with it.
“And now you know…the rest of the story.”
P.S. If you watch this bit from Mulaney’s stand-up, you can ascertain that he still wishes he’d been given a shot at the role.
2. Notre Dame’s Screen Pass
Artificial Turf? Check!
Luxury Boxes for Well-Heeled Boosters? Check!
Alternative Uniforms? Check!
Truman Show-esque documentary crew hounding players and coaches? Check!
Giant Video Board! Check mate!
In 2007 then Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White told Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune that the Fighting Irish would not have an in-stadium giant video screen in his lifetime. Either White was wrong or he has about two years to live.
Yesterday Notre Dame announced that beginning in 2017 it will place a giant video board in the south end zone, which means that it will be directly in the line of sight of Touchdown Jesus, who undoubtedly hopes that the administration will have the courtesy to leave him the remote the other six days of the week.
Hey, I’m not Anti-Innovation across the board. I like the Shamrock Series unis (especially the all-whites from the ASU game). I cheered when the Irish stopped running their offense out of the famed Notre Dame Box. And I think the video board will be a great help: I’ve always wanted to watch two extremely pale humans named Dylan and Meghan smooch on a Kiss-Cam.
Still not a fan of the Field Turf. And I never will be.
3. The Daily Harrumph! NazIsis Edition
Curt Schilling’s Facebook meme read, well, you have eyes, it’s right above you.
After Schilling posted that yesterday, his employer, ESPN, suspended him.
Curt. Curt. Listen: Never go Hitler. Just…never. There is one exception to this rule: If you happen to be Jewish AND you happen to be funny, then you can go Hitler.
Mel Brooks. “Springtime for Hitler and Germany/Deutschland is happy and gay/We’re marching to a faster pace/Look out, here comes the Master Race!”
Woody Allen. “I can’t listen to Wagner. Every time I do, I get the urge to conquer Poland.”
Larry David: “The thing about Hitler I admire is that he wouldn’t take any shit from magicians.”
So , maybe if you’re Jewish and funny. But Curt, I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this, but you look quite Aryan. Your name is quite Aryan. And while that should not matter as you express this idea — comparing a regime that tried to annihilate a religion to, of all things, another religion — it sorta does.
I’ll give Curt this, though. I watched a documentary on Hitler last night just in order to write this item with less ignorance. Hitler’s plan was to intimidate through fear and violence (yes, you already knew that, but he started out this way; it was partially how he rose to power). ISIS is doing the exact same thing. They just lack a dynamic speaker.*
*But, really, ISIS really are a bunch of absolute, craven nihilists. Probably the worst organization of our lifetime. They’re like a Down With People group.
4. Huddle Humbled
You know what really blows after running a 10-K? Losing out on a medal on you final step. Those of us who have run non-elite 10-Ks are aware that there is always THAT GUY who sprints the last 20 yards so that he can beat you to the finish line and brag that he came in 1,291st place as opposed to 1,292nd. We loathe THAT GUY.
But, when the race is the Women’s 10,000 meter World Championship, well, you are permitted to be that guy. And so Emily Infeld passed her U.S. teammate, Molly Huddle, on the very last step of the 6.2 mile race to claim bronze. Painful lesson for Huddle, a Notre Dame alum. One she’ll remember at next year’s Olympic Trials.
5. Murder in Roanoke
A morning news crew shooting a remote in Roanoke, Va., this morning was murdered when a man approached them, as they were shooting live from the porch of an apartment complex, and fired. Killed were reporter Alison Parker, 24, and videographer Adam Ward, 27.
Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Chattanooga, Littleton, Baton Rouge… (I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few, but hey, there are so many). The fun never ends in America. Keep shooting, cowards. Keep shooting.
As Trenni Kusnierek noted on Twitter after the news broke, there are politicians who are vying for president and openly discussing tweaking the 14th amendment. But nobody will touch the 2nd amendment, now will they?
Keep living in fear, America. And keep feeding that fear, pols. It sells guns, it sells weapons, it sells billion-dollar contracts to manufacturers who have pols (or former pols) on their boards. Keep selling that fear. And yet the last time mainland America was attacked by an actual foreign military was….1918.
Light and Day
Easily one of the five best live shows I ever attended: the Polyphonic Spree at Irving Plaza about 7 or 8 years ago. One of the members was the woman now known as St. Vincent. This song also appeared on Scrubs. (note: this was the zenith of this highly underrated sitcom; they should have ended it on this montage. Dr. “Dorkian” had finally figured it all out). They’re a hippy, trippy band from Dallas who at the time had 28 members and were always in danger of losing one for a bit due to pregnancy, but I always enjoyed ’em.
Cubs at Giants
ESPN 10 p.m.
San Francisco, the most dominant team in baseball in even numbered years, hosts the Cubbies, who have won two less World Series in the past 106 years than San Fran has in the past three. Ah, but Chicago has won 6 straight, is 26-11 since the All-Star break, and though they’re in 3rd place in the NL Central, look poised for a wildcard berth. Kris Bryant looks to be the NL Rookie of the Year. October at Wrigley? We can hope.