by John Walters

Starting Five

Kneel Arm-Strong

Donald Trump stepped up his campaign against NFL players and the First Amendment yesterday with this tweet:


 Then this morning he tweeted that Congress needs to abolish the 60-vote rule so that he can get his health care bill passed. Trump’s “SOB” comments last Friday night dovetailed nicely both with the failure of the GOP health care bill to pass and news, at least given to him, that the FBI had evidence that Jared Kushner was conducting government business on (“Lock”) his private (“him”) email server (“up!”).

And to a great degree this is what this entire charade has been about: Trump distracting America from his disastrous failure to push policies through despite a majority GOP Congress and the news trickling out about his family’s/cronies’ treasonous or at least corrupt and hypocritical actions in the White House.


Meanwhile, Lou Holtz, we’ll never tell you to “Stick to sports!”, but this was an ignorant and callous take.

2. The Other Shoe Drops

Tony Bland, one of the assistants charged

The FBI, in a sting operation, arrests assistant coaches from Arizona, Auburn, Louisville, Oklahoma State and USC for funneling shoe-deal money to recruits. And rumor has it that Rick Pitino, Louisville head coach, may be fired today, as he has already used up his allotment of last straws.

So college basketball/AAU/big shoe companies are dirty. I don’t even own a set of pearls to clutch. This is not a closed-system offense. This is a lesion on the skin that points to evidence of a completely diseased organism. Are we really supposed to believe this was taking place outside of the knowledge of the head coaches? And are we really surprised that with so much money at stake and so much money flying around that coaches won’t use some of that money to funnel the top players to their schools?

By the way, the FBI never informed the NCAA that it was conducting this sting. What does that tell you?

3. The Ballad of the Mad Pooper

An unidentified man posted a video (since taken down) claiming that the scourge of Colorado Springs, the Mad Pooper, both suffered a traumatic brain injury and has undergone gender reassignment surgery (apparently one excuse would not suffice so an entirely unrelated excuse was thrown in) and that is why she cannot control her bowels.

No explanation as to why, as the New York Post labels her, “the daring defecator,” always seems to poop on the same neighbor’s lawn. The unidentified spokesman, who may have just been someone horning in on the MP’s infamy, claimed that her name is “Shirley” and that pooping was protected under the first Amendment (it’s not).

4. Who’s Missing From This Montage?

Can you imagine the look on a certain former San Francisco 49er’s face when he first saw this week’s SI cover? ROGER GOODELL?!?! What the WTF?!?

5. From The Mad Pooper to Max Hooper

Crazy court verdict that should be garnering more attention this morning. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has been ordered by a Dallas jury to pay $4 billion-with-a-B! to the estate of a deceased American Airlines executive, Max Hopper (as we run to ATM to see if our money is still there).

Four billion dollars! In actual damages, though, Hopper’s wife and two step-children will likely be awarded about $5 million. Still, not a bad haul . Hopper pioneered the SABRE reservation system for AA and died in 2010 with assets totaling $19 million but with no will. The family hired J.P. Morgan to divvy up the goods and appears that JPM took their sweet time and kept billing the family.

Read the story and you’ll find that Hopper owned 6,700 golf putters and more than 900 bottles of wine. How many were belly putters, though?


This first inning catch by Yankee outfielder Aaron Hicks (breaking: the Yankees have a surplus of quality Aarons in the outfield, right, Hank?) robbed the Tampa Bay Rays of a grand slam. The Yankees would win 6-1 and are now only 3 back of the Red Sox, who have gone into a tailspin of late. Question: What are all of Hicks’ teammates in the bullpen staring at?

Twitter wants to give us 280 characters? How about first giving us italics? And 140 was quite enough, thanks…On CBS This Morning earlier Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian announced that beginning this weekend Delta would be offering FREE text-messaging in flight all around the world. When Gayle King asked him about use of cell phones to place calls, Bastian replied, “Not in my lifetime.”

We like this guy.


Music 101

My Best Friend’s Girl

You’ll find The Cars at the intersection of punk and New Wave in the late Seventies. And before you make a derisive quip about Ric Ocasek’s odd looks, he’s married to Paulina Porizkova and we’re not. This was the second single off their 1978 smash debut album, one of the best debut albums we’ve ever enjoyed 4,000 times.

Remote Patrol

The Vietnam War

PBS 8 p.m.

Part 9 of 10. Yeah, we get it, JW, you want us to watch this series. Why? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. My admiration for Holtz died the day his ARDENT support for Trump became known & now, EVERY DAMN TIME I hear or see a comment from him, my opinion falls even farther.

    Speaking of college football, I have a question – how many games does Ohio State have to WIN before they fall OUT of the Top 20? 😉

    About the college basketball (for now) “scandal” – I’ve told pro-cycling fans for DECADES that college sports was FAR “dirtier” than just athletes using PEDs. It’s also similar in that the head honchos ALWAYS knew what was going on & actually facilitated until the testing caught up & folks were exposed. Suddenly, they were all Captain Renaults. In almost every article I read & TV person I heard yesterday all said this was “the most well-kept secret in sports”. Well, then WHY wasn’t it dealt with? Because they didn’t want to! It was in every one’s best FINANCIAL interests to keep the farce going. And NOW, the jig is up. I feel sorry for the eventual scapegoats, but unless there is REAL change, this is all a damn show. Take away Cam Newton’s Heisman AND strip Auburn’s championship & MAYBE I’ll pay attention.

    • Sheesh, that’s supposed to be “the most well-KNOWN secret in sports”. Sigh. Brain fart or that I’ve just been so pissed about everything with college basketball for more than the last decade & this latest SNAFU just piled on. Why am I so upset? Because for over 30 years, college basketball was my favorite team sport to watch & then I watched it be destroyed. I almost choked last night when some TV talkers said one of the 1st steps to “fix” the problems is to get rid of the “One & Done” rule. Hell, I agree but in the OPPOSITE way they suggest! They say let the best kids go to the NBA straight from high school. HAH! That’s what set CB on the ROAD TO RUIN in the 1st place! And except for the ONCE in a generation Sweet Pea, no guy under 20 is READY for that adult workplace or ‘world’. Seriously, how many of the One & Done rookies are great in the NBA the 1st year? In fact, it’s HARMED the overall skill-level of the NBA to have so many of these “kids” that could have used at LEAST another year at the college level. Or maybe in the G-League. It seems Silver & the NBA want to expand the role & impact of that league, so maybe now’s the time.

      I know you have a problem with the idea of paying the college players but how ELSE do you contain the “market forces”? If the parents or kids don’t know what they are worth to schools, there are plenty of bottom feeders in the AAU world, the sneaker companies & other low-life to inform them. And coaches & colleges are DESPERATE to have the best talent they can get, to win, keep winning & hopefully reach the Promised Land of the NCAA Tournament. If they don’t, the coaches are out of their jobs & possibly their careers & the schools literally get poorer.

      I also laughed last night when various college FOOTBALL TV guys said this is mostly a “basketball thing”. I guess, but to think that schools (or their boosters or other “affiliates”) are NOT giving money to the most sought-after football players is a JOKE! Which Miss school got outed on draft night 2 years ago, paying the utility bills of a player’s mother? Are they barred from post-season play YET? Has the entire program been “investigated”/scoured? And then there’s Cam Newton, where one of the guys involved in trying to get money from Miss State for the “father” to allow his son come play for them CONFESSED & detailed to all how it went down. And YET, the NCAA couldn’t find “evidence” that someone paid the Newtons for Cam to go to Auburn (when they had NO ties to that state, let alone the school). The freakin NCAA “investigation” lasted, what, a MONTH? Oh yeah, didn’t want to disturb the Heisman run & eventual championship! FARCE!

      • Susie B!


        I’m not as against players being paid as I am against schools paying them. And I think there is an entire aisle of cans of worms this would open if they did.

        The other thing I never hear anyone discuss is that while it is the players ppl pay to watch, no one would pay to see them play in a vacant lot or on an instantly created minor league team. Fans have a STRONG affinity for their school (“Go Terps!”) and we’ll always be cheering for laundry. The brand is the bigger draw, not the athlete.

        There are some athletes schools should be paying to play there. Most athletes should be paying the school for the opportunity it is providing them.

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