by John Walters

Happy 75th to Pele!

Starting Five

The CBJ are ice cold and we haven’t even had our first frost

1. Goodbye, Columbus?

We’ve barely bid farewell to Columbus Day and already it may be near the time to say goodbye to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ chances of NHL playoff contention. Sure, that’s hyperbole, but the CBJ have started off 0-8 and already fired coach Todd Richards and replaced him with John Tortorella, who led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004.

The CBJ, Medium Happy’s new favorite hockey franchise, lost to the Minnesota Wild last night, 3-2. They’ve allowed 37 goals while scoring 15. That’s not good.

2. Swords With Fiends

A man walks into a school in Trollhattan, Sweden, dressed like this. Two students see him, believe it is a prank, and ask to be photographed with him. He obliges. A teacher walks into the hall, sees what’s up, and tells the man to leave. The man, a 21 year-old, fatally stabs the teacher. He killed one other person, a teenage student, before being shot dead by police.

This answers that question, at least in part, What would it be like if guns were far harder to obtain in the U.S.? Mentally deranged people would still walk into schools and wreak havoc, although perhaps not quite as much.

3. The Black List

Classic exchange between ESPN’s premier duo, Neil Everett and Stan Verrett, on last night’s Post-SVP SportsCenter. The set-up: Stan is doing a V/O of Cal-UCLA highlights.

Stan: “And those are UCLA’s ‘City’ uniforms (all black). I don’t like them. I don’t like teams wearing black if black isn’t their normal color.”

Neil: “And you can say that because black is your normal color.”

(Silence for a few seconds….finally, Stan; “You went there?” as both chuckle).

4. Does Bo Know?

For the record, Bomani has always been GREAT to me. I’m sure this morning he is wondering why Whitlock opted to choose this fight, of all fights, to wage publicly and likely without any warning.

There’s no racist conspiracy working for Cousins and working against RG3,” wrote ESPN AOL Sports FOX Sports ESPN FOX columnist Jason Whitlock on his site,, yesterday. Whitlock thus crushed the opinion, framed in numerous posts, of former colleague Bomani Jones of ESPN, who has spent the past few months on Twitter insinuating that both the Redskins’ and the media’s promoting of Kirk Cousins (white) over Robert Griffin III (black) has been racially motivated.

I don’t follow the situation closely enough to parse the truth here. I imagine Bomani has taken this crusade a little too far, but the team is named the Redskins. Racism is their bag, baby. Still, it is quite rare for a nationally known African-American media type to publicly trash a fellow African-American media type’s opinion this way.


Will we be hearing more about this on His and Hers later today?

Meanwhile, Whitlock being Whitlock, he was unable to resist throwing a self-aggrandizing line into his column: “The reason so many people in the media hold me to a standard of perfection is because my record of achievement is so high.” (Resists urge to make “cholesterol level” quip).

Bomani chose to take the high road.

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday: Casa Brutale, Greece

Music 101

Stay With Me

Before this great Scot began tearing pages out of the Great American Songbook, Rod Stewart was a grade-A blues rocker with his band, Faces. When the Rolling Stones poach your lead guitarist (Ron Wood), your band must be doing something right. This 1971 tune climbed up to No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Remote Patrol

Memphis at Tulsa

ESPN 8 p.m.

Probably not a good idea to dub this team the “Lynch Mob” within 400 miles of Memphis

Dig: The Tigers are 6-0 and last week defeated the team, Ole Miss, that defeated Alabama last month. Quarterback Paxton Lynch is No. 2 on Mel Kiper, Jr.’s board after only Jared Goff (the difference between the two? Lynch’s team wins more often). The AAC has three undefeated schools (Temple and Houston, too) and Justin Fuente’s team will take on both of them on the road next month.

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. So Bomani is actually stating that it’s RACISM that’s keeping Cousins & not RG3 on the field? Seriously? No, I mean SERIOUSLY? There are various reasons why this fiasco is playing out before our eyes & racism is NOT one of them. That team & the entire Washington viewing area EMBRACED RG3 when he was drafted here. People went insane, camped out at the stadium just to see him introduced. And RG3 lived up to the hype until either he or the coaches RUINED (much debate about who really called the shot that he keep playing) his career by playing him after he hurt his knee. He’s never been the same since & debate has raged about why – is RG3 too self-absorbed &/or not putting in the work, did the ex-Head coach & the current Head coach NOT know how to use such a player, was RG3 coddled by the owner & thus alienate all his teammates, did Jay Gruden dislike RG3 (as a player) before he even got here & never planned to make any attempt to craft an offense around his QB’s attributes or is Gruden just another obnoxious conceit who thinks he knows EVERYTHING & really knows NOTHING? Racism is not keeping RG3 off the field, it’s STUPIDITY & CONCEIT. And the Redskin organization has been leading the League in both categories for the last 20 plus YEARS.

    As for the team name, please. Where were all these folks so concerned about “racism” over the Redskin name 40, 30, 20, even 10 years ago? Unless they are under 30 years of age, I don’t want to hear it. I became fascinated with American Indian culture as a kid & began reading & studying the various tribes & did so for years. (Actually, I still read the occasional book). This began before I became a Redskins viewer/fan (1971) & I was not happy at all with the team name. Nope, not one bit. Well, NO ONE WANTED TO HEAR IT. Not my family, not my schoolmates, not my teachers, not the local Hagerstown radio stations, not the Washington TV stations, & finally, not the team. I was either ignored or told to “shut up”. Repeatedly. So, I find it hysterical that NOW “everyone” is so enraged over this “blatant racism”. If the majority of tribal peoples in this country don’t have a problem with it, I’m ok too. If they want it changed, I’d be fine with that also (the name used on the TV show ‘Minority Report’ sounds good – the “Washington Red Clouds” – wouldn’t even have to change the emblem).

    Back to Bomani – this is the guy who bloviated on his radio show that the ONLY reason the NHL does not test for cocaine while the NBA does so is ONLY because the former is mostly composed of white players while the latter is mostly black. The fact that the NBA almost IMPLODED due to out-of-control drug use/addiction a few decades ago was NEVER even mentioned. People often see what they want to see, what they LOOK for. I thought it was a JOURNALIST’S job to look for the truth with no predetermination of what he/she would find? Bomani Jones is either failing as a journalist or has decided that to become a “media star”, one’s take must be a ‘First Take’.

  2. Last Christmas Eve, I lost an extremely contentious ping pong match to Pele’s manager, who hails from London. Alas the ping pong wizard won, because he refrains from imbibing while competing. (In my line of work, drinking on Christmas Eve is not only required, it’s mandatory.) He told me that Pele still makes about 50 international appearances a year, at six-figures a pop. At 75, Pele is still on a path of world domination!

    Music 101: when did the name Jezebel fall off the radar? It has such a nice ring to it.

  3. Almost forgot the one thing I wanted to ask you today : with the closing down of Universal Sports network/channel (I’d be more upset if I’d been able to watch the past 3 years, 9 months & 3 weeks, ahem) & NBC buying all the Olympic-sport broadcasting rights of the events they aired, do you think this means Comcast/NBC will actually create a new ‘Olympic TV channel’ of which they will be sole owner (& not minority owner as with Univ Sp)? You know people, especially at NBC, so I was hopeful you either already know or could ask someone. 🙂

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