by John Walters
1. Will Hill Fills Bill
The Ravens defeat the Browns, 33-27, by blocking a potential game-winning 51-yard field goal with :03 left and returning it 64 yards for the touchdown. Brent Urban blocked it and Will Hill scored on the return. Where was this play Saturday night in Palo Alto, he asks?
2. No Doughty
Look, there’s Connor Cook of Michigan State on ESPN…
And here’s Baker Mayfield’s ridiculously sophisticated Heisman website…
And they’re both real good. And their teams are 11-1.
And then there’s Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty, who is 5th in the nation in passing yardage per game (349) and has thrown 42 TD passes versus just 6 picks. Nobody with over 30 TD passes has a better TD:INT ratio (Paxton Lynch of Memphis is 28:3) and neither Cook nor Mayfield have as much passing yardage (32nd and 20th, respectively, in that category), total offense or TD passes as Doughty.
Again, the Hilltoppers are 9-2.
Will Doughty win the Heisman (no) or even the coveted Grange Award (too soon to say)? But doesn’t his name deserve to at least be mentioned?
p.s. Dalvin Cook’s numbers are way better than Derrick Henry’s, too, and his team has only one more loss. Man, did that blocked kick at Georgia Tech hurt.
3. Woody Turns 80
Today is Woody Allen‘s birthday. Oddly, enough, it is also Jared Fogle‘s birthday.
Five essential Woody Allen films: Annie Hall (in a class by itself), Bananas, Crimes and Misdemeanors (“Tragedy plus time equals comedy”), Broadway Danny Rose, and Match Point (the last of which he does not appear in).
Five more? Okay, how about Manhattan, Sleeper, Bullets Over Broadway (“Don’t speak! Please, don’t speak”), Everyone Says I Love You (highly underrated; it’s a different kind of sleeper) and Midnight in Paris?
My hope is that some day Jerry Seinfeld will persuade the Wood man to appear in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, but I know that’s too much to ask (if it were to happen, though, I think they’d have to get Christopher Walken to drive).
4. Trial By Keg Toss
Last weekend in Scandinavia (or as I used to like to call it, Scandalnavia…no reason) Hafbor Bjornsson, a.k.a. The Mountain from Game of Thrones, set a new world record in the keg toss:
I don’t know what the old world record was, and your millennial-friendly websites did not bother to find out (hey, neither did I, but I’m writing this in my pajamas….okay, so are they), but Bjornsson tossed the 33-pound keg about 24 feet skyward.
Meanwhile back in Westeros, those blood transfusions appear to be working. Cersei Lannister has her champion back next season.
Related: Back at my little college, there used to be a spring keg toss competition during the An Tostal weekend. Except the idea was to toss the keg far, not high. So, one year the school’s best hammer thrower took a stab at it, whirled around, and tossed the keg…directly into the crowd. Nailed a girl in the head. No lie. She survived, after drifting into a coma. And that was the end of the keg toss event at An Tostal. True story.
5. Mikaela Rocks
You know what we always say: “There’s no business like snow business.” Yes, we do.
Last Saturday in Aspen American Mikaela Shiffrin (warning: very cute) won a World Cup slalom race by 3 seconds, which is only the largest margin in the history of women’s World Cup skiing. The reigning Olympic gold medalist in the event has now won five straight slalom races and can you imagine what her knees must be like?
Eve of Destruction
This war protest tune, by Barry McGuire, hit No. 1 in late 1964, way before anyone realized just how bloody Vietnam was going to be (well, maybe Barry did). Ever notice how there are either War Protest songs or Patriotic songs? Hmm.
One of McGuire’s couplets: “Think of all the hate there is in red China/Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama…”
See, kids, it’s all been done before. It’s all happening, but it’s also all already happened.
McGuire turned 80 in mid-October. He’s still around. Oh, and by the way, he was in the Navy before he wrote this song, back in the early 1950s.
Not On TV
Lakers at Sixers
My dad used to do this joke, where he’d pretend to do a voiceover and say, “The Invisible Man will not be seen tonight…” Well, you’ve got Kobe coming home to Philadelphia, threatening to shoot 1 for 37, Jahlil Okafor likely to break another law, and a Sixers team that still has yet to win…and nobody at ESPN or TNT could find a way to televise this nationally? Even NBA TV is covering a different game at this time. It’s almost as if the NBA, and its partners, don’t want us to know that this epic stench fest is taking place.