by John Walters

Starting Five

Ohio Statement

The best college football team in America, after one month, is Ohio State. On Saturday night the Buckeyes strutted into Lincoln, a vaunted powerhouse until the past 17 years, and embarrassed Scott Frost’s squad. It was 38-0 at halftime and if Ryan Day had put the pedal down after halftime the final score would have been much worse than 48-7.

Defensive end Chase Young is a beast, fulfilling the promise that Nick Bosa never did last season. Quarterback Justin Fields is winning converts weekly both to his Heisman campaign and to the idea that Kirby Smart isn’t the best decision-maker out there. Finally, Ryan Day is the anti-Urban when it comes to basking in a drama vortex. We will call him Rural Meyer.

MH’s Top 4, after one month: Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Auburn.

I Don’t Want Your Civil War*

*The judges would remind you that for many of those who attend MAGA rallies, the Civil War never ended.

This is a classic Trump Tweet, filled with superlatives and threats and false premises. The facts are this: 1) no one diplomat/nation ever simply “does a favor” for another, just like no one ever went to Don Corleone asking for a favor thinking there’d be no payback expected, 2) since the beginnning Trump has never denied what he did (the transcript demonstrates it in black and white) but has instead asked “Who is accusing me?” 3) the Civil War has been going on ever since Lincoln freed the slaves. Some Americans will never accept the post-bellum world in which they live and all Trump has done is capitalize off that rift while further widening the gulf.

The funniest thing about all of this? Trump doesn’t give a tinker’s darn about any of you Middle America types. You think a guy who has lived his entire adult life within 2 blocks of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street gives the slightest (poop) about a $30,000-a-year worker in Centerville, Ohio? Think again. He’s exploiting you; he’s not fighting for you.

The Death of the Middle Class (In Pro Sports)

Detroit, which earlier this decade had the two best pitchers of this generation, lost 114 games this season

We don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or a reflection of market economics elsewhere, but what’s happening to the American class structure is being reflected in pro team sports somewhat. That is, an increase in folks to the ultra-rich or very poor with a decrease of America’s true middle class.

The Major League Baseball season ended yesterday and for the first time in THE HISTORY of the Show, four teams finished with at least 100 wins: the Dodgers, Astros, Yankees and Twins. Also for the first time, four teams finished with at least 100 losses: the Tigers, Orioles, Royals and Marlins.

Thirty teams, and more than 25% of them are uber-successful or distressingly lacking.

Meanwhile in the NFL, and we know it’s early, the only thing that’s going to prevent the Jets or Dolphins from finishing 0-16 is the fact that they both play in the AFC East. The Patriots look unbeatable. And the 0-3 Bengals face the 0-3 Steelers tonight on Monday Night Football.

The Broncos and Redskins are 0-4 and the Cards, who had the No. 1 overall draft pick, are 0-3-1.

The Fraser-Pryce Is Right

At the Worlds in Doha, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins the women’s 100 meters in 10.71 seconds. The Worlds gold medal in the 100 is the Jamaican’s (yes, what is it about Jamaican sprinters?) fourth in this biannual event to go along with her Olympic golds in the 100 in 2008 and 2012.

Pryce, 32, now holds two of the five fastest times ever run, and two of the other people who ran faster were Marion Jones and Flo-Jo, one of whom definitely wasn’t clean and the other of whom has long been suspected.

Truth be told, we don’t fully subscribe to any track and field record set in the past 50 years. Which is sad, and yes it smears plenty of athletes who’ve done it the right way. We’re not saying they’re all cheaters, only that our suspicions lead us to wonder. No matter what they say. Call it the Lance Armstrong Effect.

Watson, Come Here

I’m 100% with Jason here, and not at all with Mike. This is exactly how the process is supposed to work. And no egos were damaged in the exchange of information here. Reporter asked a good question: Was there a coverage that dictated why you could not throw deep? Watson explained in depth the coverage and how Houston had to react to it. Of course, at a certain point one team’s Joes have to make more plays than the others. That’s the unspoken truth in this exchange. We’ve always liked Deshaun Watson and we like him even more now.

Music 101


Come to me, baby/Don’t be shy/Don’t be shy/Don’t be shy

Written and released by New York-based electronic music duo The Knocks, featuring vocals by Crista Ru of POWERS. We detect a hint of The Human League here, no? Released in September of 2017, it’s a club favorite. Not that we get to many clubs.

Remote Patrol

Two of the men in this photo won Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor Oscars for this film, even though the most deserving, IMO, was Dana Andrews (middle), who did not

7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. October baseball, baby!

    As a Cardinals fan, I’ll be rooting for a Cardinals/Yankees World Series, but am expecting a Dodgers/Yankees World Series. We need a chilly weather team (Minnesota, New York, St. Louis) to make it deep into the playoffs, because Fall is the best season and we shouldn’t be deprived from that.

  2. Since the text under Remote Patrol isn’t appearing for me, I’ll point out for anyone who is wondering that that’s The Best Years of Our Lives, from 1946, which is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Harold Russell, a vet who lost both of his hands in an accident, won two Oscars for his role, Best Supporting Actor and a special award given to him for inspiring his fellow veterans (they probably thought he wasn’t going to win in the competitive category.)

  3. Before I discuss my main topic today (the final episode of Ken Burns’ Country Music miniseries), I want to ask you a sports question. You’ve been involved in sports reporting for the past 25+ years, worked at 2 Olympics (that I’m aware of), know MANY people in various sports & probably know more about the “inner workings” of many sports organizations than you’ve yet hinted. So, I ask you, I IMPLORE you, can you PLEASE tell me HOW MUCH MONEY Qatar pays certain sports orgs (both over & under the table) to locate their BIGGEST non-Olympic event (i.e. their WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS) in that country where they are DEBASED & EMBARASSED by the pathetic lack of people in the stands actually watching let alone giving a damn? Last year, the Gymnastics World Championships were held there & until the final 2 days, the ONLY people in the arena stands were various team officials. I have NEVER seen such a pathetic TV broadcast of a top Olympic sport World Championship in my life. It was EMBARASSING! And made the sport look pathetic. And of course right now, the Track & Field WC is taking place in Doha. I watched EVERY minute of TV coverage over the weekend, jumping back & forth like a trained freakin seal between the 3 channels (Olympic Channel, NBC, & NBCSN). The stadium looks nice & the organizers did snazzy pre-race intros before the M & W 100 meter races. However, the top HALF of the stadium seats are ALL TARPED OFF & still, there is maybe, MAYBE just half of the remaining seats filled. Humiliating. WHY would these sports put their jewel event in such a locale? HOW much more money does Qatar pay them than other cities in other countries that host the championships? Whatever it is, UNLESS the sport can literally not continue because of lack of money, it’s NOT WORTH IT. They are debasing their own sport! (And don’t even get me started on Qatar itself).

    Track & Field is struggling enough right now, the LAST thing it needs (beside more doping positives & the recent disclosure that the Russians did something hinky with the “data” it took them 3-4 years to finally turn over to WADA as a prereq to get back into Olympics as ‘Russia’… I KNOW, what a ‘SHOCK’!) is to show the World their biannual jewel event with less onlookers than a middle school girls field hockey game. Yessiree, that’s what you want to show the world – that no one gives a crap about your sport, even at the highest level!

    I read last week that Sebastian Coe was re-elected head of the IAAF. If it was his idea or he signed off on putting these WC in Doha, I’d FIRE HIS ASS right now & bar him not only from ever again holding any position in the sport, but I’d bar him from ever entering a stadium to WATCH another T&F competition! If an NBA team can bar a fan from their arena for saying something nasty to a player, this sport should bar any of its sports officials for SELLING THEM OUT!

  4. Your point about the disparity in MLB final records is a good one — as noted recently by Joe Sheehan, not only is 2019 the first year with eight total teams with either 100 wins or losses, it is an exceptional outlier — since 162 game-schedule began in 1961, there have been only five seasons in which as many as FIVE teams won or lost 100 games, and two of those were expansion years, 1962 and 1967.

    Sheehan posits that every big structural change in MLB over the last generation has served to worsen competitive balance. “Baseball had the best competitive balance in its entire history from the dawn of free agency through 1993, the last full season before the strike. Of the 26 teams that played through that period, 17 seasons, 22 won a division title, and the Expos sort of did in 1981. Eighteen of 26 teams played in the World Series. Thirteen teams, half the league, won the World Series.”

  5. And for the record, do you REALLY believe the athletes in the big 3 male pro team sports in this country do NOT use PEDs or other ‘illegal’ methods to improve their performances? LOL! LOL! LOL! There are MILLIONS of DOLLARS at stake! These sports barely test compared to Olympic sports! And can you imagine a pro foot/basket/base ball player subjecting themselves to YEAR-ROUND updating of their “whereabouts” &/or having someone knock on their door at 8AM or 8PM to pee in a cup &/or give blood 10, 20, 30 times or more a year? LOL! LOL! LOL!

    And then there’s the “punishments”. What do you get in the NFL – 4 GAMES? You get 2-4 YEARS in Olympic sports for a 1st offense, unless you’re a Spanish cyclist, a Jamaican sprinter or a Russian or Chinese athlete in any sport…

    Remember that pre-Super Bowl article in SI a few years back? Football players would take ANYTHING, even “Deer Antler Spray” & ‘special-power STICKERS’ (yes, stickers!) if it would help them get into or stay in the NFL? But track/cycling athletes are the ‘real’ dopers? LOL!

    • Susie B.,

      You’re Trumping. “To Trump,” when you defend your illegitimate acts by pointing out someone else may be doing it, too.

      That wasn’t the subject today, Susie B. Team sports, I mean. But we know how much you love cycling. Everyone has a sacred cow (except Devin Nunes).


      • I’m not “defending” doping, merely pointing out that the REAL PRO sports (i.e. the ones where the athletes & coaches & owners & media make BILION$ & not just ‘sofa cushion change’) are NOT held to the same standard as the Olympic sports & it’s not only hypocritical, its bullsh*t. Let’s see, Lance Armstrong is a “disgraced doper” but A-Rod is not only all over baseball’s TV coverage, ESPN keeps trying to give him his own non-baseball shows! (My fave was a ‘show’ where A-Rod was “teaching” (LOL!) ex-NBA player Joe Smith (MD alum) how to “fix” his post-sports life, specifically his finances. The very idea that a “DISGRACED DOPER” & a one-time scourge of his sport telling ANYONE how to handle their life “better” almost made me pee my pants. Seriously, I laughed so much I almost rolled off the sofa. Why don’t they just give Barry Bonds a show about “How to Win Friends & Influence People’? LOL!)

        And you never answered my question – do YOU really think the pro athletes in foot/basket/base ball do not use any form of PEDs? I’m not sure about basketball, but I’d guess at least HALF of NFL football players have done if not still do. There is far more incentive (i.e. MONEY) for the athletes of the above pro team sports to dope & yet, and YET, their testing & punishments are by far the least. It’s ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, HONEY! And this unequal standard is bull.

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