by John Walters
We have to give President Trump credit for this one: a brilliant political maneuver, staging a chat with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren. Trump basically went Sting in “Money For Nothing” (I want my/I want my/I want my MTV!) while the newly minted commish did the Joey Bosa arms emoji. (Oooh, that’s good. We’ll use that professionally soon.)
See, the president knows that the Big Ten occupies important swing states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. States that could be the key to the 2020 election. And he knows that people in these states love their college football. And so here’s the president, the guy who’s supposed to be reminding everyone to strap on their seat belt and go the speed limit but who is instead asking how come we can’t go faster as he sticks his head through the sun roof.
But those folks won’t care about public health. And he knows it. They just want their football. And now Trump has come out publicly and basically said, “I want you to have your football, too.” Brilliant political maneuver, if nothing else.
If the Big Ten caves and does return, Trump takes a victory lap. If not and the SEC and ACC shine (and if cases don’t skyrocket), he takes a victory lap. Notice that he didn’t phone Larry Scott (although who can blame him? Who wants to speak to Larry Scott?). He knows he’ll never get the votes in California, Oregon or Washington anyway and besides, people out West are much better able to cope without college football.
We listened to Scott Van Pelt muse aloud the other night about how bad the Big Ten might look if it remains on the sideline while the other conferences play. What SVP did not do is muse about how bad the SEC, ACC and Big 12 will look if a number of its players contract the virus. Curious, that. It’s fine to muse as SVP did but without a counterbalance, you might almost think that SVP is rooting for one outcome more than the other.
Meanwhile, Alabama coach Nick Saban’s walk to Foster Hall has created some embittered Tide fans. The Tide is Turning? And in South Bend, Notre Dame Football’s official Twitter account tweeted a “Black Lives Matter” statement that, alas, drew the wrath of many an NDNation poster. We’re not on the Twitter so we can’t reproduce any of this (gladly), but if you are go to Notre Dame Football, find the tweet, and then look at the replies below. Who knew Matt Schlapp had so many surrogate Twitter accounts?
At Georgia, quarterback Jamie Newman, a transfer from Wake Forest who was slated to start for the Bulldogs, has decided to opt out of the 2020 season without ever playing a down between the hedges.
Thus, the presumptive starter will be USC transfer J.T. Daniels, who lost his starting job for the Trojans last season when he suffered a season-ending injury in the first half of their opener. Daniels’ replacement at ‘SC, Kedon Slovis, who would’ve had an outside shot at the Heisman this season, won’t play at all because all of the Pac-12 schools have chosen not to play.
The football does indeed take funny bounces.
There’s Only Us/There’s Only This/Forget Regret/Or Life Is Yours To Miss*
*On second thought the judges prefer “Walk Like An Eviction”
If you earn less than $99,000 a year (sorry, Susie B.), are a renter (sorry again, Susie B.) and have suffered financial losses this year (failing to invest in Zoom does not count), you won’t have to pay the rent before December 31st. President Trump signed one of those things he signed without needing approval from Congress that says the rent is not due for the next four months.
Of course, this is not rent forgiveness. It’s simply rent abeyance. You’ll have to pay all four months plus the next month’s rent come January 1st. Happy New Year!
Yesterday, magician David Blaine floated above what looks to be Lake Powell in Arizona. We still think the Taiwan Toddler’s stunt was cooler. And certainly more spontaneous.
Tower Of Babel-On
Today is apparently Skyscraper Day. Trees are, of course, the original skyscrapers so let’s give them their props. As for man-made types, the Great Pyramid at Giza (Egypt) was the world’s tallest man-made structure (455 feet tall) at the time of Christ’s birth.
You Bible readers may recall that Jesus spent his earliest years in Egypt (following his birth in Bethlehem) and thus, who knows, Joseph and Mary may have loaded up the family donkey and taken their Son on a family vacation to see the Great Pyramid. But there is no historical record of such.
The tallest building in the world currently is the Burj Khalifa, which is not a rapper from Pittsburgh but an edifice in Dubai. It stands 2,722 feet tall and has been the planet’s tallest man-made structure since its construction finished in 2009.