by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

The author of the letter to the editor may be the best pro-choice argument you’ll see today…

Starting Five

F(Oregon)e Conclusion

How do you give away a football game—twice? I still don’t believe what I saw happen in Eugene. Are the Ducks cursed or are the Stanford Cardinal simply charmed?

That moment where Duck QB Justin Herbert had his back to the play, coolly flipped the ball to his running back on the jet sweep, and it appeared that he’d race to the pylon for the score that would make it 31-7 late in the third quarter? That very moment where he flipped the ball so nonchalantly out of his hands into the air?

The 6’6″ Herbert completed 25-27 passes before overtime and ran for what should have been the game-winning first down in the final two minutes.

That was the zenith of his college career. That was the moment every one of us has in our lives, where the future is unbelievably bright and hopeful, just before things come crashing down and you graduate to the school of hard knocks. Not all of us get the chance to see the precise moment happen, but there it was.

2. Star 80

At the end of the first round of the PGA Tour Championship in Georgia on Thursday, Tiger Woods had a share of the lead. And at the end of Sunday’s final round, the 42 year-old had the lead all to himself. Woods, who still has not won a major since June of 2008 (his 13 major championships are second only to Jack Nicklaus’ 18), claims his first victory on the PGA Tour in five years.

He went 1,876 days between Tour wins…

It’s Tiger’s 80th PGA Tour victory.

Preparing for a Sunday drive or two…

It was refreshing to hear “Tiger’s exploits” and not have to think, Who now? And if you’re wondering about that wave of euphoria, that swarm of fans who followed him up the 18th fairway, and asking, “Why?” Because we all love a redemption story.

People are calling this the greatest sports comeback of all time. Don’t know about that. Do know that if Michael Schumacher ever returns to win a Formula One race that’ll top it. Too soon?

And that’s an encouraging way to end 2018 for a veteran of multiple back surgeries. “Tiger’s Back” has long been the problem, but maybe “Tiger’s Back” is at long last an accurate report of events.

3. Feats Of Clay

For the third consecutive week, Green Bay Packer linebacker/Norse god Clay Matthews (he’s a viking, not a Viking) was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a quarterback, or what everyone outside the league offices on 52nd and Park Avenue would describe as “doing his job.”

This is a crock, as recently retired future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas implied on Sunday…

4. The Job Of Book

*the judges spent 73 minutes attempting to think of an original Ian Book pun.

Granted, Wake Forest isn’t exactly Michigan (and the Demon Deacons did fire their defensive coordinator in the wake of Saturday’s 56-27 defeat), but it’s not far from Ball State or Vanderbilt. Redshirt sophomore Ian Book took the reigns of Notre Dame’s offense for a trial run (as this blog suggested on Sept. 12 in an item titled “Notre Dame’s Playbook? Play Book”) and won the job.

It wasn’t just that Book’s numbers were impressive (25 of 34, 325 yards, 2 TDs, 0 picks, three rushing TDs) in leading the Irish to eight offensive touchdowns (they scored nine in their first three games, all wins), but more so that everyone else shined with him on the field. Ten different teammates caught passes, again equaling the number through three games with Brandon Wimbush at the helm.

Wimbush led the Irish to a 3-0 start this season and was 11-3 as a starter/finisher, but the offense often sputtered until/unless he started doing improv

The Irish defense has the chance to be special. Now, the offense with Book on the field can come close to matching it. And what of Wimbush, whom the coaches call the team’s premier running back? That’s the next conundrum. Is he the number two QB, or do you move him to wideout or running back? Would he accept that move?

Related: Did you see that throw true freshman Phil Jurkovec unleashed in garbage time? He has a cannon.

5. Thanks, I’ll Drive

In Birmingham, England, 44 m.p.h. gusts from Storm Ali (not to be confused with Storm Ali G.) caused this Air France airbus to abort its landing this weekend. Mitch McConnell commented that as soon as he gets Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to SCOTUS, these will no longer take place. And then someone told him to shut up.


Music 101


Love this summer of ’78 Fleetwood Mac-style single from Jefferson Starship. This song peaked at No. 12 and I’m honestly not sure if the vocals are Marty Balin or Grace Slick. I think it’s the former. It was a good summer for music, and I remember it well because the fam moved cross-country and drove the entire way. Must’ve heard this song, Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good,” and Walter Egan’s “Magnet and Steel” two dozen times each on that pilgrimage.

Remote Patrol

The Last Waltz

9 p.m. TCM

Early in his career, Marty Scorcese filmed the final live performance of The Band, at San Francisco’s Cow Palace on Thanksgiving, 1976. If you were there you witnessed the legendary group play a dozen songs and then back up even brighter luminaries such as Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond, Ringo Starr and, of course, the musician for whom they launched their career as a backing ensemble,  Bob Dylan.

Better Call Saul (a.k.a. The Last Walt)

9 p.m. AMC

If you don’t have DVR, this WILL be a dilemma.

7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Tiger is now the leader in the clubhouse for SI Sportsman of the Year, right? No other clear favorite comes to mind … maybe the Golden State Warriors, Mike Trout, Justify, Nick Saban, Nick Foles/Eagles, Loyola-Chicago, Real Madrid.

    • How about the Cleveland Browns, if they have a winning record come late November?

      Tiger’s already won. It would be curious if they handed it to him again.

      A safe but totally understandable pick would be Jay Wright.

      • I could see a “#MeToo” pick of some sort, honoring those who spoke out against Larry Nasser and others, although that would basically be a repeat of what Time did with its Person of the Year last year.

  2. jdubs, I’m not sure whether to write this in last Friday’s comment section or here but just in case you don’t go back to look at old posts, I’ll write it here. I hope you were not offended by my comment. I did not mean it to be snarky or offensive & didn’t even realize it could be taken that way until I reread it this morning. Couple things – (1) I’ve actually been wondering about The Athletic since the beginning largely because of the HUGE influx of writers. Since you wrote a post mentioning (sort of) being a paid writer, I thought that was my chance to ask. (2) I think you are woefully underemployed or at least underappreciated by your profession (at least those who do the hiring) & it irritates the hell out of me EVERY DAMN DAY I read some dreck online that can’t hold a freakin candle to this site (i.e. YOU). Every sports media site/mag/paper SHOULD be banging down your door, begging you to come work for them. At least until that day & hopefully ever after, that you choose to display your talent, skill & humor here makes me very happy & thankful. (Excepting those days you yell at me about my absolutely righteous heralding of Sweet Pea, which BTW is on a “break”).

    WHATEVER ‘The Athletic’ is paying you, it’s not enough.

    And finally, to answer today’s item#1 (“are the Ducks cursed”) – “it’s NOT EASY BEING GREEN”. 🙂

  3. Thank you, Susie B. And it didn’t need to be said. I’m happy and blessed. And so glad not to be working for the dude who runs SI.

  4. I hope the MH judges are on a brief recess. They had their work cut out today!

    Better Call Saul is heating up, with a renewed focus on the protagonists, who act more like antagonists. They’re both doing their best to salvage a relationship fraught with fateful accidents, career challenges and moral deficits. It’s hard to look away. And even harder to see them surviving as a couple after this season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *