by John Walters
In Melbourne, Roger Federer beats Marin Cilic in five sets to win the Australian Open and his 20th Grand Slam title. Federer, 36, has now won three of the past five Grand Slam titles, with 31 year-old Rafael Nadal winning the other two. Those two men are the top two all-time in GS singles wins with 20 and 16.
Since the start of 2004, Federer, Rafael Nadal (16 Grand Slams) and Novak Djokovic (12) have combined to win 47 of the 57 Grand Slam singles titles. A triumvirate of tennis greats.
2. Mars Attacks!
Album of the Year: 24K Magic.
Record of the Year: 24K Magic.
Best R&B Album: 24K Magic.
Song of the Year: That’s What I Like.
Best R&B Song: That’s What I Like.
Best R&B Performance: That’s What I Like.
At the 60th Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden, Hawaiian native Bruno Mars stole the show, winning six awards. I don’t know who killed rock and roll, but last night Bruno killed hip-hop.
3. Eau No!*
*The judges will not accept “The Shape of Water”
In Paris, the floods are in Seine! The famous river has surged to a peak of more than 19 feet and your Evian water may be a little brown this spring.
4. Wynn Loss
After becoming the latest rat bastard outed as a sexual harasser, 76 year-old Steve Wynn steps down at Republican National Committee finance chairman. It’s amazing, isn’t it, that of all the powerful men who’ve been accused of sexual harassment in the past 18 months, that Donald Trump is the only one who was falsely accused. Wynn, for the record, dismissed the claims that the billionaire demanded naked massages and sexual intercourse from employees as “preposterous.” Of course.
Anyway, you may remember Moe Greene from The Godfather (“You son of a bitch. Do you know who I am? I’m Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders”), who was loosely based on Bugsy Siegel, the man who built Las Vegas. If that is Siegel’s legacy, then Wynn is the man who saved Las Vegas. Every bit the visionary that Siegel was, Wynn is the man who in the past 30 years made Las Vegas what it is today.
As for Wynn’s transgressions? As someone on CNBC put it on Friday, “It is Sin City, after all.” The good news is that he’s now free to star in Weekend at Bernie’s 3.
5. Hoops Whoops
I don’t know if it made SportsCenter (it failed to make the ESPN.com gamer), but Phoenix Suns rookie Josh Jackson shot 0-13 from the field in the team’s Sunday matinee loss at Houston. It’s not the worst shooting performance of all time—Tim Hardaway shot 0-17 in a game in 1991 and Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson shot 0-14 in Game 7 of the 1978 NBA Finals, but each of those dudes were five-time All-Stars. Jackson is a rookie who has had a disappointing season.
Also worth noting in weekend hoops news: both Duke (by 2 to No. 2 UVA) and North Carolina (in double OT to NC State) lost at home on Saturday. The last time that happened was 1973.
The last time Duke and UNC lost at home on the same day, Roy Williams was a high school basketball and golf coach and Mike Krzyzewski was literally in the Army.
— Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) January 27, 2018
Message In A Bottle
The best song that is also a Nicholas Sparks book title, this 1979 single by The Police was their first No. 1 hit in the UK.
A Futile And Stupid Gesture
Do you know the story of Doug Kenney (played by Will Forte, left)? I did not. Kenney and his Harvard Lampoon pal Henry Beard (Domnhall Gleeson in a shagadelic wig, right) parlayed success at the Lampoon—they wrote a satire J.R.R. Tolkien tribute called Bored of the Rings—into the foolish courage to launch a magazine start-up, National Lampoon.
Kenny would go on to write two comedy classics, Animal House and Caddyshack, before a tragic and arguably accidental death in Hawaii at the age of 33. He actually was colossally wrecked over the “failure” of the latter film, as Airplane! was released three weeks earlier and got all the pub in that summer of ’80.
It’s a biopic, but it’s also delightfully silly: it ends with a food fight at a wake. And if that middle-aged blonde leading the studio tour near the end of the film looks familiar, that’s because she is: Martha Smith, who played Babs Jensen in Animal House.
Did I say “38”? Make that 39.
So, you know how I’ve bemoaned a time or two that I didn’t put all my original stock-buying cash into AMZN instead of spreading among 4 stocks back in Nov 2008? Well, the other day, I looked at what my (non-retirement acct) mutual funds were worth at the time & IF I had sold 70% (including enough to cover the cap gains tax) & added the proceeds to my original cash, I could have bought 1000 shares of AMZN. Yup, right this minute, I’d be a freakin millionaire in AMZN! $1.4 million to be exact. From $36,000. Sigh. I feel faint. Quick, I need a barf bag.
This is now worse than my previous “worst investing mistake” when I let my Dad’s stockbrokers talk me out of buying 4 shares of Berkshire Hathaway back in 1980 (or 81, can no longer remember the exact year). This was the original BRK as the “B” shares didn’t exist yet. They cost about $400/share at the time, which I thought was “soooooo expensive” but I was impressed by the “nice middle-aged man” I read about in an interview & figured some of my US savings bonds money (accumulated from relatives since birth) would do “alright” with him & his company. ARGH! I have never & will never invest a freakin dime with a “full-service” brokerage firm!
Makes not investing in NFLX look like a dropped penny. Oh ok, a wallet.
What’s your worst investing mistake, jdubs?
So many “worst investing mistakes” to choose from, Susie B., but I recall buying AAPL in autumn of 2001 when it was at today’s equivalent of $1.25 and selling it after it had triple in value. REN, YOU IDIOT!
I distinctly recall making a lot more money from my Geno book than I expected, which was satisfying after the No. 2 guy at SI had frozen my salary for three months as I struggled to finish it, then laid me off on the final day of the frozen salary (yeah, I’m still angry at him). Anyway, suddenly I have this cash windfall and I toyed with the idea of putting the first big installment entirely into AAPL stock. Had I done so and never touched it, that decision would have been worth about $11,000,000.
The lesson: Don’t be afraid to take a chance, kids.
It’s Tues 1/30/18 at 10:37 AM & I just now read your comment….$11 MILLION DOLLARS! OMG! Geeze jdubs, do you sleep at night? Cry at inopportune times & locations? I’m SOOOOO sorry for you but I must say, this makes ME feel much better about MY “mistakes”. 😉
Question – if you HAD bought that AAPL stock, do you think you’d STILL own it today? Since by your own admission, you seem, er, quick to pull the sell trigger. I’m thinking you’d own at least half, right? Or maybe bought a NYC apartment?
Anyhoo, maybe you have “learned” from your “mistakes” but for me, the truth is I would NEVER invest $36,000 into one stock (unless I have won at least $10 million in the lottery [after taxes] 1st). Yep, the only way that could have happened is if my current self traveled back in time & tied my then-self into a chair complete with a gagged mouth so I could sell the mutual funds & buy the stock. 🙂
For the record, Susie B., $36,000 is not the correct figure. Not sure where you got that.
The $36,000 is what I would have spent to buy 1000 shares of AMZN the day I bought my little 50. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I was trying to say even knowing the huge windfalls that could come from buying the right stock at the right time, *I* just couldn’t do it (unless my time-traveling future self stepped in).
The good news (for me) is that I did NOT use all my original cash on RIMM. Which if I had, not only would I not have a 39-bagger, I’d have less than HALF my investment right now. At the time, the “experts” ALL touted RIMM as being a better investment….
I’m assuming to get to $11 million within less than 20 years, you’d have had to invest more than $36000. Unless it was a cryptocoin. 😉