by John Walters

Starting Five

Colum B.S.

Yesterday, after entering an administrative building through the back entrance (garbage dumpster adjacent), Ohio State coach Urban Meyer met with the school president and certain trustees. After 11 hours of closed-door meetings, they determined that the three-time national championship-winning coach had nothing to do with Benghazi.

However, if you follow our friend Brett McMurphy‘s tweets, you’ll see that his behavior regarding Zach Smith was even worse than most of us thought. OSU let him off the hook with a three-game suspension and the following B. S. excuse:


We could share more, but really, just read Brett’s timeline on Twitter. For everyone who ever thought that Meyer was a pompous poser, well, you’re right. A fantastic football coach, but as a human being he’s Mike Pence. He’s not officially done at Ohio State, but there’s a part of us that thinks he is done. Meyer has been exposed as a total phony, and while his defenders, much like our president’s, will counter with, “They all are!” well, that isn’t true.

The important thing is, with Urban, we have the stark evidence. And last night’s presser provided excuses no parent would accept from a five year-old. But, for now, they’ll suffice in Columbus. Meyer will miss games versus Oregon State, Rutgers, and at TCU.

2. The Herbies

Meanwhile, ESPN gave its star college football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit, an hour in prime time last night to hand out idiosyncratic preseason awards (apparently neither he nor anyone else in Bristol have ever heard of Khalil Tate, who ran for more yards than any quarterback not named Lamar Jackson last season, and in two fewer games). But the last five minutes of that special were preempted for the Urban Meyer presser.

It’s 12 hours later, and we’ve yet to hear a peep from Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback and the son of a former Buckeye captain from the 1960 squad. Maybe that’s too soon to expect a comment.

(This is a gridiron analogy for how Ohio State and, to this point, ESPN, has handled the Urban Meyer story)

Herbstreit’s a smart man and has shown in the past that he’s unafraid to be frank and even  confrontational on camera (“They should be thanking ESPN!”). We’re curious to hear his reaction to last night’s announcement of a three-game suspension, and expect it to come long before the College Gameday crew arrives in South Bend.

3. Impeach Basket

Well, at least President Trump is using the “I” word, finally. And if you listen closely, or even casually, you’ll notice that he’s no longer claiming that he’s innocent. Rather, he’s claiming that the stock market is doing so well and that unemployment is so low that you cannot impeach him or, “you would see numbers like you wouldn’t believe.”

“Like you wouldn’t believe” is a favorite phrase of Trump’s. And it fits a man whose every statement is something we wouldn’t believe.

4. The Prattle Of Bull Run

It was all over CNBC yesterday afternoon (to the chagrin of my co-workers, I often tune our cookoutateria TVs to this channel when no live sports are airing): “Longest Bull Run” in stock market history.

On Wednesday the bull market reached its 3,453rd day, dating all the way back to March 9, 2009. The next day, CNN’s late and great Mark Haines called the market bottom (the famed “Haines Bottom”).

On March 9 of 2008, in the dreadful wake of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, the DOW was around 6,500 and the S&P, ominously, stood at 666. Both indexes have quadrupled since that date (as has MH’s own portfolio, which is a point in favor of the “Just own an index fund” argument).

Of course, all this prattling about the markets enjoying a nine-plus years uninterrupted bull run opens the door for the unasked question: WHEN IS THE MARKET CORRECTION COMING?

Would you short this?

Frankly, we don’t know. Think of it like a party. You know you should leave, but they’re about to serve jell-o shots and there’s a rumor that Paris Jackson is showing up soon. So can you really grab your coat and walk out just yet?

5. Lamey Down

This is Bob Lamey. The 79 year-old broadcaster had been the “Voice of the Colts” since they moved to Indianapolis in 1984 (excluding a three-year hiatus from 1992-1994). Then suddenly, last week, he wasn’t. Lamey abruptly retired, as many NFL veterans do in the midst of training camp, but this was different.

Now here’s where it gets weird: If you’ve spent any time in Indianapolis or southern Indiana (we have), you are aware that what you’re about to read does not at all stretch the imagination. Here goes: more than 30 years ago a local Indy Car racing broadcaster, Derek Daly, shared a humorous anecdote, or so intended, with Lamey that incorporates the N-word.

Last week Lamey, who to repeat is 79 and has held a position of great renown locally for more than three decades and probably doesn’t filter his thoughts much in private for reasons stated earlier in this sentence, re-told that story off-air to a friend at a local radio station. The story of that story being told got around.

Within a day or so, Lamey had “retired” and the Colts issued a statement that read, in part:

Yes, in regards to Bob Lamey…first and foremost, the Colts deplore and do not tolerate the use of any racial slur – in any context. 
While it is the Colts’ strict and long-standing policy to not make public comment on personnel matters, Bob publicly acknowledged that last week he repeated an inappropriate word when telling a story.  He immediately apologized to the people who heard him use the word, and then promptly retired as the Colts play-by-play announcer.

Daly, the race analyst who had been at WISH-TV in Indy for more than 30 years, confirmed that he had shared the story with Lamey during a live interview 35 years ago. Daly has since been fired from WISH-TV.

Honestly, we’re conflicted on this one. You can argue that there’s no difference in calling someone the N-word and repeating it as part of a story or a joke. You can also argue that there is a difference. My only argument is that there’s no consensus on this issue, and I think that employing the word in a story may be a better indicator of poor judgment than of racism. But that’s my take. Yours may be different.

It’s wild, though, that these two men shared this story live on-air back in the Eighties and no one said squat. In 2018, both lost their jobs simply because the story was re-told. Bob, Derek, if you’re out there, the first Papa John’s Pizza is on us.


Hawaiian Storm Update

Hurricane Lane: bearing down on Oahu

Little League World Series: Hawaii 10, New York 0. Is there a greater disparity between two U.S. islands than Oahu and Staten?

Music 101

Just The Way You Are

How’s this for a debut solo single: the song goes to Number One on the Billboard charts and gets covered in the pivotal scene from Pitch Perfect the following year. Bruno Mars’ paean to a woman’s physical beauty remains, in our unenlightened opinion, his catchiest tune (but then again, that may be our PP bias showing).

Worth noting: Billy Joel’s 1977 song of the same title, his first big hit, peaked at No. 3.

Remote Patrol

Virginia Mayo Fest



Hold the Mayo!

You may have first heard her name when Roger Sterling set up newly single Don Draper with a blind date (played by Anna Camp) and referred to her as “a Virginia Mayo type.” The name hasn’t survived the decades, at least among casual moviegoers, but in the Fifties Mayo was a buxom starlet who got a lot of work. TCM is celebrating her all day as part of its “Summer of Stars” series with a bunch of films whose quality and entertainment value we are truly unable to assess: She’s Working Her Way Through College, The Big Land, Great Day In The Morning, Colorado Territory, Flaxy Martin and, of course, Backfire.

Mayo’s best film was The Best Years of Our Lives, which won Best Picture, but TCM aired that last night as part of its Dana Andrews day. So you already missed it. We should have alerted you. We’re sorry.

6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Re the long bull market, the story that history will tell about it was summarized in the NYT yesterday, which is that “This is the decade in which wealth inequality has increased the most in U.S. history.” The NYT noted how most Americans, by choice or circumstance, have missed out on the growth. That $18 trillion in wealth mostly accrued to the top ten percenters.

  2. I’m not going to scroll thru someone’s twitter feed of the past week in futile hope of finding an actual INVESTIGATION, hasn’t he further written somewhere in more than 140 character increments? Frankly, what he 1st wrote was FAR from thorough & I haven’t read anything from anyone since that has gone deeper with actual FACTS & not just quotes from the bitter ex-wife &/or conjecture.

    What amazes ME is that so many, SPECIFICALLY the media, are ready to jump in & pontificate BEFORE knowing much of anything. Did the Duke Lacrosse TRAGEDY & the UVA FALSE gang rape allegations (just to name 2) not teach ANYTHING? It seems the EMPLOYED sports media are more incensed by being shown up by a currently unemployed writer that they rushed in on a volcano-hot topic WITHOUT knowing anything more than what McMurphy wrote. And we’re now supposed to listen to THEM? Puhleeze.

    And you don’t think Ohio State is, oh, lemme totally guess, possibly protecting ITSELF because Meyer did report anything he found out about Smith to his bosses & it was THEIR failure to follow up? And that’s IF the allegations are true. Plus, IS it an employer’s legal responsibility to “follow up” on alleged but uncharged crimes that don’t involve them? And you don’t think there’s even a chance this bitter woman is fabricating even part of her current story? That her OWN MOTHER says she’s lying should at least give one major pause. Many, er, decades ago, I always took the female “victim’s” testimony/story as “true”. I later learned the hard way that this is NOT always so & I wasn’t a freakin investigative journalist whose JOB it is to try & uncover the ever-so-illusive “truth”.

    I have other questions. What about the other 2 schools that employed Smith between his tenures with Meyer? Did he not “abuse” his then-wife there? Beyond the school names, I’ve read NOTHING about his times there &/or any calls to police. 2nd, WHY were there no (undropped) charges let alone trials & convictions? Is THAT Ohio State or Urban Meyer’s fault? Are we saying OSU influenced the legal authorities in Columbus & wow, wouldn’t that be a BIGGER story?

    Let me ask you, what is the “responsibility” of an employer? Not just to their employees but to their employees’ family members? And how far in the family – spouse, kids, parents, siblings? I keep hearing how Meyer & OSU “didn’t help that woman” but is that what is expected of corporations/state employers these days? HAHAHAHAHA, since when? Let’s roll it back to 2009 when the alleged “abuse” 1st occurred. How DARE Meyer keep someone like this on his payroll, right? So, if he FIRED the guy, as the media seems to be demanding that he have done, then what? FLA wipes their hands of him. What happens to the wife THEN? Wait, the “ex-employer” is supposed to finance a new life for the spouse? EVEN if she doesn’t leave him? Are we kidding?

    What exactly would be Meyer’s fireable offense? That he “lied” to a reporter at a press conference (HAHAHAHA, look at who’s in the White House. EVERY DAY.) or that he didn’t fire Smith immediately for “crimes” of which the alleged perpetrator was not charged let alone convicted? In “Right to Work” states, I guess an employer can fire any employee for almost any unprotected-by-law reason, but I’d think a lawyer could file suit for unjust cause.

    SPEAKING of lawsuits, how soon will we see a lawsuit against Meyer & ooh, the REAL big bucks, Ohio State, from the ex-wife? And if you think there won’t be one, nope, haha, that’s not even a possibility.

    Finally, I hate, absolutely DETEST even to appear as a ‘defender’ of any piece of shit that would ASSAULT (I also hate the word “abuse” as I believe it belittles ASSAULT) anyone let alone someone they vowed to love & protect. However, in cases without proof let alone actual CHARGES, I detest even more the jumping to conclusions & “verdicts” & firing someone without actual proof of a crime IS a form of a “verdict”. In this case, one without trial & that SHOULD horrify people in this country just as much as alleged domestic abuse.

    • Susie B.

      I’ll resist the urge to be snarky here. After all, if I grew up in your neighborhood, I would’ve been eaten alive.

      First, I recommend you do read Brett’s timeline from the past 24 hours. Mostly, it’s reporting about last night’s press conference.

      Second, I’ll direct you to this timeline so as to help illustrate why this is an issue. As soon Courtney Smith’s order of protection against her ex-husband (received on July 20) became public (July 23rd), via Brett’s report, OSU fired Smith. So what was their reason to fire him that day? Ostensibly, because they were learning about this.

      Of course, as we now know, that was hardly the case. One day later Meyer lied about having any previous knowledge of the situation (“Who makes up a story like that?”), which has since proven to be a lie. Where your argument breaks down, for me, is if OSU is going to fire him at all, then why fire him on July 23rd? The most logical answer is because it became public knowledge. Their termination of Smith was purely a cosmetic exercise; it had nothing to do with what their real values are.

      If OSU never fired Smith, even now, I might be on your side. But they DID fire him. And they had the same cause to fire him for years. The only thing that changed in the past five weeks is that they couldn’t keep it hidden any longer.


  3. One more thing. WHEN is an adult RESPONSIBLE for their own life choices? It seems to be a whole hell of a lot easier to blame someone else or better yet, an “institution” for what mess one’s life is turning out to be other than one’s SELF. You ok with that, jdubs? Since when?

    Unless the ex-wife was ILLEGALLY sold into that marriage, she put herSELF there. If she was truly being beaten &/or feared for her life, she should have gone to the legal authorities. But no, it’s SO much easier to blame the alleged abuser’s EMPLOYER for not “protecting you”.

    Damn, that pisses me off. Wait, wonder what the statute of limitations is for filing lawsuits for alleged negligence/putting employees lives at risk? Gee, maybe I can sue Univ of MD (better yet, their name is MUD these days!) for not protecting ME & other female Main Dining Hall employees some-40 years ago, and for not contacting the police after the attempted assault of me on THEIR property even though I demanded that they NOT & stated I would not cooperate? Who cares that it was MY choice, right? Better yet, I was 17 at the time. Oooh boy, I’m thinking MEELLIONS.

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