by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

From Russia With Glove

The World Cup begins today! In just an hour or so, in fact. Thirty-two nations, none of them us. Even if the host nation is Russia, this event is a tribute to global community on Donald’s 72nd birthday, of all days (We did not forget to wish you, “Birthday,” Donald).

Viking Quest! We’re rooting for Iceland and its 335,000 citizens. Smallest nation to ever qualify for the World Cup.

Go ahead and read Roger Bennett’s World Cup guide for Clueless Fans/Americans from last weekend’s NYT.

2. When Life Hands You Yemen…

Move over, Syria. Step aside, Rwanda. Whatchugot, Somalia? The World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis of 2018 is Yemen, where a civil war has been raging for some time. On one side you have rebels backed by Iran. On another you have the incumbent regime, which has drawn direct air and ground support from Saudi Arabia, which is backed by the U.S.A.

What could possibly go wrong? A recent assault by Saudi forces on the port city of Al Hudaydah has made it impossible to deliver food and supplies to millions Yemenis (Yemen may be Arab land, but it is not arable land). And you may ask, What does any of this have to do with whom LeBron will play for next season?, and that’s fine, but a century ago your great (great) grandparents were wondering what the assassination of an Austrian prince had to do with Ty Cobb batting .400? And then look what happened…

Reportedly, eight million of Yemen’s 28 million people are at risk of starvation (“Ya ate sand?”*). This story will catch you up on the details.

*Raising Arizona

3. MAGA? No, Gaga

Recently caught the trailer for A Star Is Born, a film that has only been made three times before (1937, starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March; 1954, starring Judy Garland and James Mason; 1976, starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson). This version due out in October, stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who will also direct. It looks solid and if nothing else, Gaga will be performing at the Oscars next winter.

Not for nothing, but Cooper, 43, is an alumnus of Georgetown, which also produced Nick Kroll, 40, (starring in Operation Finale, out later this year) and comics John Mulaney, 37, Jim Gaffigan and Mike Birbiglia. Who needs a school of Foreign Service when you’re an entertainment factory?

Another Georgetown alum? Paul Manafort.

But if you just CANNOT wait for a feel-good music film about a man and a woman, Nick Offerman is starring in a nice little indie about a father-daughter band called Hearts Beat Loud. It’s currently playing in selected cities (“Please pray that your city is selected” *) and also includes Ted Danson, Toni Collette and Blythe Danner.

We love movies about bands or wannabe bands. Here’s a quick list from just the past dozen or so years if you’re just getting started: Once, Sing Street, Whiplash, Begin Again, Crazy Heart. Not a dud in the group.


4. The Mark of Zero

On Tuesday, May 1st, the New York Mets were 17-9. The Mets were coming off an off day and the day before that they’d blasted the San Diego Padres, 14-2.

Since the calendar turned from April to May the Mets are 11-27. They have been shut out six times (in just six weeks). They have scored two or fewer runs in 21 of those 38 games. The injury to power hitter Yoenis Cespedes (“a Cespedes for the rest of us”), out since mid-May, has certainly played a huge role in the power outage.

Meanwhile, in Jacob de From (1.01 WHIP) the Mets have the second-best pitcher in the National League (behind Max Scherzer) and a top 10 arm in Noah Syndegaard (1.18 WHIP). The pitching overall has been outstanding. The signature game of this wretched run came on June 3rd, when Met pitching struck out Cubs hitters 24 times but the Mets still lost in 14 innings, 7-1.

So what do the Mets do? Do they fold with two aces? Trade one? There’s a team across the Long Island Sound with a surplus of bats who are in need of a No. 2 starter. Hmmm.

5. Turtle Beach

Yesterday a tweep (@NoFunJim) apprised of the stock price for the company Turtle Beach (ticker symbol: HEAR), a San Diego-based company that makes headsets. Shares of HEAR have soared in the past year as its headphones have become the earmuffs of choice for players of fortnite.

How much? On June 14, 2017, shares of HEAR opened at $2.96. Today, HEAR should open at around $23.35. That’s a jump of eight times. Just yesterday shares rose nearly 13%. Is it too late? We don’t think so. We dipped  in yesterday up to our ankles.

Music 101

Passionate Kisses

This song is so easy, so lyrical, so well-written, it should not surprise you in the least that it was written by Lucinda Williams (in 1988). Four years later Mary Chapin Carpenter  made it a hit. I’m sure Lucinda wonders why…

Remote Patrol

World Cup, Day 1

Russia vs Saudi Arabia

11 a.m. Telemundo, FOX

One country assassinates pesky journalists. The other assassinates women who get raped by their brothers. No wonder Donald Trump, whose birthday is today, is such a Yuge fan!


5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I just came out of a meeting & at the end I asked if any/every one was going to watch the World Cup. EVERY SINGLE PERSON asked “what sport is that?”. And they were NOT all females! sigh. Up until this January, our group had a guy who actually played low-level professional soccer in Europe. He retired this year but I’m not sure if he’ll watch either as he never watched the WC much in the past , much to my consternation. Anyhoo, I’m looking forward to it, albeit not as much as if USA actually had a TEAM in it! Gosh, that’s still just unbelievable & pathetic to me! I did watch the pre-show on FOX1 last night & my only comment so far is that I HATE the TV set’s backdrop view! Sure, you see St Basil, but you see a PARKING LOT & a bunch of trucks & buses too! Yuck.

    Anyway, June-July is chock-full of big sporting events! Golf’s US Open the next 4 days, World Cup for a month, USA Championships in both Track & Field & Swimming, the NBA Draft, Tour de France (late start of 7/7!), & of course, the BIG ONE – the announcement of whether Sweet Pea BREAKS MY HEART!

    I’ve actually been thinking LeBron would go to L.A. since I 1st heard he bought the 1st of 2 houses in Brentwood some 2-3 years ago. And my anger & disgust is not just about the Lakers, it’s LA itself. The guy who bragged about Northeast Ohio (& why he wanted to raise his family there) as the land where “people work for what they get” going to LA, land where people call a $2 MILLION dollar house a “dump” or teardown? @#$&*^@&$. But hey, good news for you jdubs, as if/when he does join the Lakers, I will no longer clog up your comments section with my ‘odes to Sweet Pea’ as I will not be watching let alone writing about LeBron James. 🙁

    Here’s hoping LeBron James wins at least 2 more championships. In Cleveland or San Antonio or Houston or Boston or anywhere EXCEPT LA, land of the schmooozers.

    jdubs, did you ever professionally cover or go to a World Cup? Even 1994’s?

      • Wasn’t that the one in South Africa? With those HEINOUS ‘zuzu’ horn things that made it unbearable to watch/listen on TV? What was it like in person? Was the sound of those godawful horn things as bad on location as on TV? They RUINED it for me, I just couldn’t bear to watch too many games.

        Do you think you’ll go to a game or two in 2026? Or was once enough? I’ll be retired by then so I’d like to go, all dressed up in red,white & blue screaming “WE BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!” 🙂

  2. A few thoughts about golf’s US Open. I understand that the USGA wants their big event to be a “test” , i.e. difficult (no 20 unders in this tournament!) in hopes of bringing out the “best” from the “best”. However, what usually seems to happen is that golf’s “best” rarely win. Some guy the general public has never heard of often hoists that silver cup on Sunday. Which in my opinion seems to argue that a LOT of LUCK more than skill is involved in this sport & that’s the WRONG thing they should be trying to push. I just glanced at the leaderboard & sooprize, sooprize, Phil, Speith, Jason Day, Rory all must have been playing with some kind of, er, ‘handicap’, like one arm tied behind their backs? Sheesh.

    • WAIT! Dustin Johnson ends the day ATOP the leaderboard! Guess he didn’t get the memo. 🙂 🙂
      But one of the things any pro-golf viewer learns prettee early on is that being top 5 on Thurs, Fri, oftentimes even on Sat in any golf tournament let alone a Major, has little correlation to the final outcome (unless it’s Tiger, Jack or Spieth at their peaks). Still, at least he’ll be playing this weekend. Not so sure about many of the “big names”.

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