by John Walters
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:
Investigation report: “We learned Coach Meyer has sometimes had significant memory issues in other situations where he had prior extensive knowledge of events. He has also periodically taken medicine that can negatively impair his memory, concentration & focus”
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 23, 2018
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.
After McMurphy dropped the text messages, Brian Voltolini and Urban “discussed at that time whether the media could get access to Coach Meyer’s phone, and specifically how to adjust the settings on Meyer’s phone so that text messages older than one year would be deleted.”
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) August 23, 2018
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
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 23, 2018
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?
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?
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.
Virginia Mayo Fest
TCM ALL DAY
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.