Monday, August 31, 2020

Musical Interlude: Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)(1972)

From Rollin' on The River:

Looking Glass scored its only #1 hit with 1972's "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)". Uploaded by singer-guitarist Eliot Lurie to YouTube:

A little of this and a little of that

A true Christian accepts criticism without question. Four years after he supposedly gave his life to Christ in a meeting with Dr. James Dobson of Focus on The Family, President Trump still hasn't demonstrated any Christian values.

On Saturday, Trump threw another Twantrum, hitting back at his niece, Mary, over her book, and had some venom for legendary journalist Bob Woodward, who has a book coming out soon that, like Mary Trump and John Bolton, is reportedly critical of the thin-skinned man-child.


In his warped mind, Trump thinks the only reason these books are being published is because he's getting slammed. Whatever happened to turning the other cheek, Mr. President? Oh, that's right. You don't know how to do that.

Add to this the fact that Trump's sister, Mary Anne Trump-Barry, has reportedly said in an interview that she thinks Trump's daughter, Ivanka, is turning into a self-serving copy of her father, and that brother Eric is a moron. Well, she's not wrong about that last point.
And, of course, with the protests going on over racial inequality, and spiraling out of control, the fear mongers on the right are supporting 17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse of Illinois, charged with two counts of murder. There are those who say Rittenhouse drove in to Kenosha, with the goal of protecting his father's business.

Unfortunately, the complete story's not being told on either side. The only thing that is sure is that Rittenhouse shouldn't have had a gun in his hand because of certain laws prohibiting persons under 18 using or possessing firearms. If that's the case in Wisconsin, but not in Illinois, then there's a story to be told.
The baseball trading deadline has come and gone, and teams thought to be pretenders, but are surprising contenders in this shortened season, are making moves.

Miami, for example, pulled infielder Jonathan Villar from today's 5-3 win over the Mets in mid-stream after he'd been traded to Toronto. The Marlins are also getting outfielder Starling Marte, whose time in Arizona is over after just a few weeks of play. Along the way, the son of 90's Marlins hero Jeff Conine was acquired by Miami.

After making some ill-timed remarks over the weekend, Kevin Pillar is returning to the NL West.

Pillar, whom Boston acquired from San Francisco in the off-season, was traded to Colorado earlier today.

As for the Mets, who now have lost four straight, they cut a deal to acquire catcher Robinson Chirinos from Texas. No further information at press time. This gives the fading Mets an experienced backup behind Wilson Ramos.

Update: The Mets are also bringing back infielder Todd Frazier, who'd signed with Texas as a free agent over the winter, and picked up Miguel Castro from Baltimore, whom the Mets will visit the next two nights.

Arizona has dealt pitcher Archie Bradley to Cincinnati in another last second deal.
When 2020 started Stuart Bennett, aka Wade Barrett to WWE fans, had been hired as a color analyst for NWA Powerr on the NWA's YouTube channel, replacing Jim Cornette. However, with the NWA sidelined due to COVID-19, Bennett was looking for work. Guess who came calling?

Last Wednesday, Bennett, reverting back to the Wade Barrett handle, joined the NXT broadcast team, working alongside Vic Joseph, with Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix heard but not seen, calling the action from her home in Tampa. The same trio will be back tomorrow for the first of two special Tuesday editions of NXT on USA, with replays on Wednesdays on SyFy due to the NHL playoffs. Pro Wrestling Illustrated's PWInsider website is reporting that Bennett is negotiating a deal to return to WWE full time. Revered as a heel since his debut 10 years ago, and a 5 time Intercontinental champion, Bennett is still popular with internet fans. Fellow Brit Nigel McGuinness was furloughed back in April due to coronavirus concerns, but should be back as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
Since we're a week away from Labor Day, the US Open tennis tournament started today, but, surprisingly, under the radar as of now. ESPN has the live coverage.
In the wake of the death of actor Chadwick Boseman over the weekend, fans are calling for Marvel Studios to not recast the role of Wakandan King T'Challa, aka the "Black Panther", the better to honor the memory of Boseman, who passed away from colon cancer at 43.

In the comics, Marvel has experimented with a female Panther, with T'Challa's sister Shuri donning the costume, and with a "Black Widow" movie coming this fall, now would be a good time to take a chance and use "Black Panther 2" to transition Shuri into the role of Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Are you reading this, Kevin Feige?

Origin of a Classic: The Time Element (Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, 1958)

Everyone knows that The Untouchables got its start on CBS' Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, even though the series ended up going to ABC. But what some of you might not know is that it wasn't the only hit series to come out of Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse.

In 1958, CBS suits didn't believe a science fiction anthology series could work, and rejected a pilot written by Rod Serling. However, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz were looking for a dramatic entry for the Playhouse to air in between installments of what would become the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

The then-power couple picked up the Serling pilot, and aired it on the Playhouse in November 1958.

Jackpot! "The Time Element" led to the debut of Serling's seminal Twilight Zone, which, like The Untouchables, was part of the television freshman class of 1959. William Bendix (ex-The Life of Riley) headlines, with co-stars Martin Balsam, Darryl Hickman, Jesse White, and, for Three Stooges fans, Joe DeRita.

Lucy makes a cameo at the end of the show to plug the next week's show, as Desi is the series host/executive producer.

Unfortunately for Lucy & Desi, their marriage fell apart within a couple of years of this broadcast, and Desilu eventually was absorbed into Paramount by 1967.

Rating for "The Time Element": A.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Musical Interlude: Heavy Fuel (1991)

Dire Straits returned to the charts in 1991 with "Heavy Fuel", which, sadly, was their last run at the Top 40.

The band is shown getting upstaged in rehearsal by an obnoxious, star struck roadie (Randy Quaid), and there's some concert footage, too.

Sports this 'n' that

Traditionally, the Boston Marathon is run in April, on Patriots Day, a state holiday that has been on the books since before a certain NFL team became Public Enemy #1 outside of Massachusetts. COVID-19 made sure the race wouldn't be run in the normal sense this year.

However, perhaps emboldened by the organizers of the Freihofer's Run For Women in Albany, which opted for a virtual version of the race, the Marathon lives after all.

A virtual race and exposition will begin on Labor Day, with WBZ providing nightly television coverage, which is more than the Freihofer's virtual race got. The virtual Marathon will run from September 7-13, segueing right into the start of NFL season. The timing, of course, is coincidental, but for rabid sports fans in Boston needing some positivity as the Red Sox are tanking this season, worse than we thought, they'll take it.
Speaking of the BoSox, it appears first year manager Ron Roenicke and team management are waving the white flag.

After getting shellacked by Washington the other night, Boston traded first baseman/designated hitter Mitch Moreland to San Diego for prospects. Moreland will in all probability be the full time DH for the resurgent Padres, who also acquired reliever Trevor Rosenthal from Kansas City to fill a void created by the loss of closer Kirby Yates for the season due to elbow surgery.

We envisioned Boston finishing 4th, but didn't count on Baltimore exceeding expectations this season, leaving the Sawx in the cellah, as they say in Bah-ston.
The Yankees snapped a 7 game losing streak at the expense of the Mets on Saturday afternoon, winning, 2-1, after ex-Yankee Dellin Betances let in the winning run on a wild pitch.

Betances and fellow hurler Steven Matz were placed on the injured list after the game, as the Mets continue to have issues with their pitching staff. The game might've been in the Bronx, but the Citi Field injury curse continues to bite the Amazin's when they least expect it. Matz made his first relief appearance of the season in the home 5th, but lasted just the one inning, and the placement on the IL confirms ye scribe's suspicions that Matz was pulled from the rotation because of concerns about a then-undisclosed injury.

The Yankees weren't the only ones to walk off with a wild pitch. Cincinnati did the same in the nightcap of their doubleheader vs. the Cubs, salvaging a 5-4 win by rallying in the 7th against the Cub bullpen.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

A little of this and a little of that

Hollywood is mourning the loss of actor Chadwick Boseman, 43, this morning. Boseman had not disclosed that he had been battling colon cancer for the last four years, while working on Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" and subsequently, "Avengers: Infinity War" & "Avengers: Endgame". Boseman also headlined feature film biographies of singer James Brown and baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
As the traditional fall television season is being delayed due to COVID-19, the networks are, gradually, rolling out temporary schedules.

The CW was the first to do so, largely because most of their programming (i.e. Supergirl, Riverdale, The Flash), under the aegis of producer Greg Berlanti, films in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will not be ready until January at the earliest (Supergirl, due to star Melissa Benoist's pregnancy, is set for a spring '21 return). As a result, the network will bring up a sanitized Swamp Thing to fill time in a few weeks.

Half-sister network CBS has acquired the Latino-flavored remake of one of their classic sitcoms of the 70's & 80's, One Day at a Time, from Netflix, and will, to the delight of Trekkers everywhere, repurpose first season episodes of Star Trek: Discovery for those viewers who don't have CBS All Access. CBS has also acquired Spectrum's Manhunt: Deadly Game.
Is the world ready for Snoop Dogg, action hero?

Snoop has gotten pretty comfy doing television these days, co-hosting a cooking show with Martha Stewart (the two also do ads for Doritos), doing commercials for any number of other advertisers (i.e. Dunkin), and it appears his remake of The Joker's Wild, which shifted from TBS to TNT for season 3, has ended.

So next up for the rapper-turned-multi-tasker is a crime drama from producer Jerry Bruckheimer for CBS. Game will pair Snoop with Martin Lawrence, making his return to series television. Lawrence, of course, co-starred with Will Smith in Bruckheimer's "Bad Boys" trilogy.

Snoop knows crime drama, having played Huggy Bear in Ben Stiller's spoof of Starsky & Hutch, and also headlined the horror movie, "Bones". This will be interesting.
America's Oldest Baby is at it again.

President Trump, ignorant of the fact that coronavirus concerns have forced some college football leagues to shut down fall sports (i.e. Big 10), tweeted that he wants the Big 10 to start play "now".


                           "WAAAAAHH! I want them playing! WAAAAAHHHH!!!"

Of course, he's blaming the Democrats, who have nothing to do with the issue at hand, but that's a case of Trump misreading the room, if you will. He's treated coronavirus as if it has a natural cycle, like most common diseases, but is ignoring the fact that this is not the case at all.

And it's not going to help reverse the tide of poor ratings for the GOP Genuflection Circus, which only saw temporary spikes for certain networks over the four nights. The fact that some of the brainwashed masses showed up in Washington without masks and refusing to employ social distancing Thursday will only lead to more cases of coronavirus, and the blame will be placed on Trump, who violated the Hatch Act by holding his acceptance speech, and other convention activities, at the White House, which is not allowed. This is the result of poor planning for the convention due to the pandemic and Trump's massive ego.
At least one baseball game was postponed Friday to protest racial injustice, as the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics decided not to play. They'll make it up with a doubleheader this weekend. The NBA, WNBA, and NHL will be back in action today.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Sports this 'n' that

The Stanley Cup playoffs paused, at least for the Islanders and Philadelphia, on Thursday night, as the two teams agreed to postpone their game in order to join their brethren in other sports in protesting racial injustice. The WNBA postponed their slate for a 2nd night.

Before today is over, this will have the attention of President Trump, after the conclusion of the Republican Genuflection Circus last night in Washington. More on that another time.
College basketball lost one of its all time great coaches Thursday with the passing of former Arizona coach Lute Olsen at 85. The Wildcats were regulars in the NCAA basketball tournament under Olsen in the 80's.
I'm reading where Major League Baseball is actually considering the possibility of playing the post-season, World Series included, in bubbles, following the examples set by the NBA & NHL. In all honesty, given how many games have been postponed due to coronavirus spikes since the season began last month, maybe they should've had bubbles in place in the first place, instead of just going with regional scheduling.

And there are concerns that some teams, like Miami and Philadelphia, might not be able to make up all the games lost to get to the 60 game limit. The Mets & Yankees, weather permitting, will begin to make up the postponed Subway Series games from last week with a doubleheader today and one on Sunday, with one remaining make-up game next Thursday.

It is going to get interesting in the final month.
The wrestling world is mourning the loss of Bob Armstrong (real name: Joseph James) at age 80.

An iconic figure in the Southeast during the 70's and 80's, Armstrong never wrestled for WWE, although son Brian would, as the Road Dogg, and another son, Scott, served as a referee for WWE in recent times. The Armstrongs were regulars in the NWA, appearing on Georgia Championship Wrestling during the late 70's and 80's.

Following is Bob & Brad vs. two jobbers, with Gordon Solie at the mic. Courtesy of WWE's YouTube channel:

The "Bullet" nickname also refers to Armstrong's masked alter-ego. Armstrong was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame a few years back.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

For now, the games don't matter.....

As we are learning more about the circumstances surrounding the senseless, mindless shooting of Jacob Blake, an African-American father of three, by a white police officer, Rusten Sheskey, on Sunday, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, professional athletes are continuing to take a stand against police brutality, racial injustice and inequity, by stepping away from the field of play.

The Mets and Miami Marlins became the latest teams to postpone their game 20 minutes ago. The Mets took the field, but then, the dugouts emptied, and the players, coaches, & managers stood for a moment of silent prayer that actually lasted less than 60 seconds, mindful of the fact that tomorrow will be Major League Baseball's observance of Jackie Robinson Day, normally celebrated in mid-April.

Last night, after a 5-4 Mets win, Dominic Smith got emotional taking questions from the press...

As a life-long Mets fan, Dom, I'm with you.

The NBA playoffs were postponed for a 2nd straight day, and league officials are hoping to resume play tomorrow or Saturday.

It won't surprise anyone if there's a great amount of caterwauling coming from the White House come tomorrow, as the Republicans are ignoring, for the most part, the Blake case, and falsely blaming the Democrats for the violence in the wake of the incident.

Players are people, too, and they care. We all should.

Musical Interlude: In The Summertime (1970)

Mungo Jerry singer Ray Dorset composed the group's worldwide #1 hit, "In The Summertime", he says, in about 10 minutes while on break from his job at Timex.

And for those of you who've thought Dorset was Mungo Jerry, well, be prepared to have a reality check.

The band took their name from a TS Eliot poem. Unfortunately, they ended up a 1-hit wonder here in the US.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Sports this 'n' that

Unnecessary police violence against unarmed African-Americans continues to be a problem, and the sports world is responding.

After Jacob Blake of Kenosha, Wisconsin was shot 7 times on Sunday, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, there have been more protests against racial inequality and injustice. In nearby Milwaukee, the Brewers decided to postpone their game against Cincinnati, and the NBA Bucks chose not to play their playoff game. The NBA & WNBA decided to postpone their entire schedule for tonight.

Two more baseball games were postponed, both on the West Coast, as the Dodgers & Giants and Padres & Mariners chose not to play. The NHL playoffs continue as scheduled in Canada, which, given the current social climate, might as well be half a world away, eh?

The Mets' Dominic Smith took a knee prior to the start of tonight's game vs. Miami. You know that won't sit well with a certain demagogue....
We dealt with this in greater detail over at Tri-City SportsBeat, but Shenendehowa graduate Ian Anderson made his Major League debut a successful one for Atlanta earlier tonight in beating the Yankees, 5-1, outdueling Gerrit Cole in the process. Anderson went six, struck out six, and gave up just one hit.

Here's the highlights, courtesy of MLB's YouTube channel:

And, yes, we SO want to see Ian vs. the Mets next month.

The Republican Liars Club gets called out

"You can't handle the truth!"--Jack Nicholson to Tom Cruise, "A Few Good Men", 1995.

Truth, we know, is a foreign concept to the Republicans under America's Oldest Baby, Donald John Archie Bunker Trump. Night 2 of the Trump Genuflection Circus showcased more family members (wife Melania, son Eric, daughter Tiffany) and sycophants willing to misuse their position to please their boss (Mike Pompeo, Larry Kudlow) in order to attempt to discredit Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The primary mission is to continue to perpetuate the Big Lies, while mainstream media ignores what positive things that Trump has accomplished in his administration.

The problem is that Trump wants credit for everything. Did he help broker a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates? Yes, but he wants to take a victory lap as if he was an actual witness to the deal.

CNN's Anderson Cooper & Don Lemon anchor panels on fact-checking to straighten out the narrative.

It's been pointed out repeatedly that using government property for political events such as the convention are a violation of the Hatch Act, but Trump doesn't care. Pompeo was in Jerusalem as a means of catering to the brainwashed evangelicals, for example, and a Secretary of State normally would not be associated with his party's convention. There was a naturalization ceremony in an attempt to show that Trump is not a racist. That's still open to question. Trump issued a pardon, just so he can show he is a just man. Melania's speech was at the Rose Garden of the White House, where she actually addressed the coronavirus, believing her husband "will not rest" until the virus runs its course. She also addressed the hot-button racial issues, including the Sunday attack on an African-American, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, by police.

However, that was negated by the constant attacks on Biden and his son, Hunter, perpetuating false claims that have been debunked over and over. Melania Trump chose not to bash the opposition, believing how divisive it really is.

Ratings, though, are not where Trump thinks they should be. Monday's first night of the circus saw ratings 14% lower than night 1 of the Democratic convention a week earlier. I can imagine more of the same last night as well as tonight & tomorrow, and if the ratings continue to tank, then Trump will find an excuse to whine and complain again. To paraphrase the late Walter Cronkite, that's just the way he is.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Republican Horror Show begins. You don't need to watch.

We knew going in that President Trump would be formally nominated for a 2nd term. That piece of formal business happened early Monday afternoon, and will be made official on Thursday night. But by then, Trump might be looking at the worst Nielsen ratings of his entire public career.

What the Republicans are doing this week is the same thing they've been doing the last several weeks. Deflecting and projecting their failures on the coronavirus, civil unrest, etc., on the Democrats, but the speeches last night by Dumb Donald II, his honey, Kim Guilfoyle, aka Screaming Kimi from this point, and Matt Gaetz, were an embodiment of "Weird" Al Yankovic's 1985 hit, "Dare to be Stupid", because they were.

Screaming Kimi yelled at the top of her lungs in an empty room. Dumb Donald II, they say, looked like he might've been warming up with a certain white powder, likely shared with Gaetz, who's too stupid to realize everything he said last night was a bald faced lie.

Farron Cousins of Ring of Fire explains:

Gotta wonder if Screaming Kimi was on the bong, too........!

Anyway, we're handing Gaetz a Dunce Cap, simply because his fear-mongering whining wouldn't pass muster with the Liars Club. Nobody's buying your stories, Matty. And I'll be willing to guess that no one will watch on Thursday, having seen enough of Dumb Donald I to last a lifetime.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Weasel of The Week: Louis DeJoy

Well, you had to know this was coming.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy (or, DeJoyless, as I prefer to call him) was grilled about dismantling postal equipment. Watch him squirm, then turn defiant. Video courtesy of Now This.

DeJoyless had it coming. He is refusing to reinstall the machines, continuing to take instruction from his boss, America's Oldest Baby, President Trump, who is presiding over a 4-night genuflection party in his honor as we speak, disguised as the Republican National Convention. If DeJoyless refuses to put the machines back in place in time for the election, then Congress should find someone who will, and basically tell Trump, screw you!

A little of this and a little of that

According to reports surfacing over the last 24 hours, a New Jersey lab had a flaw in their testing system leading to 77 (!) false positive tests among NFL players for coronavirus. All who tested positive with the flawed system have since tested negative, and a 2nd negative test will likely vindicate the players involved. Training camps will alter their protocols to avoid future missteps.
This year's Republican National Convention, getting underway tonight, has been reduced to a 4 day vanity party for President Trump. Luckily, there are alternatives, like baseball, Monday Night Raw, the NBA or NHL playoffs, or just giving your DVD player a workout.

For what it's worth, Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", a chestnut from the 70's, should play, at the artist's request, of course, over anything President Narcissus says.....
Speaking of Trump, Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins had some breaking news last night. Trump will lose the services of Kellyanne Conway by this time next week. Conway gave her notice that she was leaving the administration at the end of the month to focus on her family. Given that husband George is one of the point men of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, Kellyanne, whose screen time has shrunk as Kayleigh McEnany has gotten more attention as the dimmest bulb in the cabinet, is thinking in terms of retaining some dignity, integrity, and saving her marriage, in no particular order.

Former Indianapolis Colts punter-turned-podcaster Pat McAfee made history Saturday night at NXT Takeover 30. He was the first celebrity to lose a WWE PPV match, as he was defeated by former NXT champion Adam Cole. However, McAfee put on a better show than Cole's willing to cop to. Not only that, but Cole's version of the Canadian Destroyer, the Panama City Sunrise (named for his Florida hometown), is the worst variation I've ever seen. Hops off the middle turnbuckle, then hits the move, which is supposed to be done in one fluid motion. Anyone that has seen the Destroyer, particularly executed by its creator, Petey Williams, knows what I mean.

However, McAfee wasn't the only 1st timer to lose.

Rey Mysterio's son, Dominick, lost to Seth Rollins, who apparently is in line for another shot at the WWE title and current champion Drew McIntyre. There'll be another day for the Mysterio family, but shame on WWE for not allowing them to gain revenge on the False Prophet.

Also, Sonya Deville had her match vs. Mandy Rose changed to a no-DQ, loser-leave-WWE match on the advice of her attorney, since she'd have a hard time explaining a shaved head the next time she's in court.

Prediction: Deville will return in January, around the Royal Rumble.

Bray Wyatt's Fiend persona regained the Universal title from Braun Strowman, but expect the rematch to be a 3-way, with Roman Reigns returning and attacking both men post-match. Between Wyatt and new NXT champion Karrion (Kevin) Kross, WWE all of a sudden thinks their champions, McIntyre and the women aside, have to be freaky, spooky types. Well, when the chairman of the company is missing a few too many brain cells as he turns 75 today......!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Musical Interlude: On The Dark Side (1983)

1983's "Eddie & The Cruisers" did a lot of good for two men's careers.

Actor Michael Pare was cast in the lead as musician Eddie Wilson. Rhode Island-based singer-songwriter John Cafferty was Pare's voice double on the musical numbers on the soundtrack, which included a pair of singles, "Tender Years" & "On The Dark Side", the first single off the album.

I think a lot of people consider "Eddie & The Cruisers" to be some sort of homage to Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band, right down to having a solid saxophone player, in this case Michael Antunes.

There are two clips circulating on YouTube of "On The Dark Side". This is the one that got the most airplay on MTV, and introduced America to Cafferty.

Cafferty would follow up with a pair of hits off the soundtrack to Sylvester Stallone's "Cobra" three years later, but would not return for the "Eddie" sequel, which was released in 1989, and included a cameo by rock legend Bo Diddley.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Forgotten TV: When The Whistle Blows (1980)

ABC thought an hour-long drama about construction workers might be a good idea. It didn't pan out the way they hoped.

Oh? You didn't know about When The Whistle Blows?

It was a spring replacement series that aired in 1980, with a cast that included football player-turned-actor Tim Rossovich, Dolph Sweet (later of Gimme A Break!), and Douglas Barr (later of The Fall Guy).

Now, to be honest, I didn't know this show existed, either, until I did some digging on an unrelated matter. Hence, no rating. 

Edit, 7/19/22: The episodes have been deleted. All that's left is the intro:

A little bit of this and a little of that

Apparently, President Trump was operating under the mistaken assumption that the Democratic National Convention, which wrapped last night with Joe Biden accepting the nomination to run for President, was actually taking place as scheduled in Milwaukee.

Now, this is a little weird and awkward at the same time, given how Trump whined about former First Lady Michelle Obama's speech on Monday being pre-recorded, when she was actually at a remote location. That should've been the first clue to the current President that this was a virtual convention, just like the one he'll preside over starting on Monday.

Speaking of whining, he had son Eric go on Spam Hannity's Fox News show Thursday to do just that about Biden. Some people never learn.
Given how ye scribe has felt that Citi Field has been cursed since it opened 11 years ago, it then comes as no surprise that the Mets are the latest team to fall victim to coronavirus.

An unnamed player and a team staff member tested positive, forcing the postponement of Thursday's game vs. Miami, and at least tonight's Subway Series opener vs. the Yankees. The Marlins will make one final visit to Citi Field next week before the Mets head to the Bronx, and one gets the feeling that there'll be doubleheaders a'plenty if the entire Yankee series at Citi is iced this weekend.

If you don't look for trouble, it finds you.

Update, 1:06 pm (ET): The entire weekend series vs. the Yankees has been postponed, which likely leads to split doubleheaders at both Citi Field & Yankee Stadium, which has been done before, next week.
WWE superstar Sonya Deville (Daria Berenato) testified on Thursday at a hearing against Philip Thomas II, who broke into her home Sunday morning. Turned out in the interim that her best friend and former tag team partner, Mandy Rose (Amanda Saccomanno), was the houseguest she had to rush out of the house after running into Thomas, a week before the former -partners are to meet in a match at Summerslam.

Reddit was abuzz with members calling for Thomas to be sent off to prison. However, given the fact that his actions were spurred on in all probability by mental illness, prison is not the best place for him. He needs psychiatric help, preferably at a state mental hospital in either Florida, where he was arrested, or in his home state of South Carolina. To go from being a fan of Deville to operating under the delusion that she has to be with him sounds as though Thomas, who's likely lost his job at Applebee's as a result of this, is more in need of therapy than getting raped himself in prison. We'll see.
Second generation announcer Thom Brennaman, long a football & baseball announcer for Fox, won't be working Fox NFL games this season.

This comes after Brennaman, who inherited his father Marty's long time gig as the voice of the Cincinnati Reds, committed an audio gaffe the other night, in which he used a gay slur on a hot mic, thinking he'd turned the mic off.

Brennaman then took the time to address the issue and apologize, like so:

Officially, Brennaman has been suspended despite the apology, and, as noted, won't be heard on Sundays this season. In today's cancel culture climate, that means he has one foot out the door at Fox, where he's often been used as a sub for Joe Buck during football season while Buck calls the World Series.

Would that same cancel culture do the same to a certain Washington bloviator........

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Musical Interlude: Stand Up (1985)

Mel McDaniel peaked at #5 on the country chart with 1985's "Stand Up", the video for which might be considered Nashville's answer to Billy Joel's "Keeping The Faith" (off 1983's "An Innocent Man"), also set in a courtroom.

Suffice to say, divorce court may never be the same again when McDaniel and the band roll in to help a man (Gailard Sartain, Hee Haw) argue his case.

On The Shelf: More Free Comic Book Day Summer ruminations

Yesterday, ye scribe picked up a few more Free Comic Book Summer entries, just to have something to read besides what's on the pull list at the local shop.

But before we get there, let's take a look at a recent inter-company cross-over that dares to test our imaginations.

A couple of years back, DC & Boom! Studios joined forces to posit a tale in which Green Lantern ended up on the Planet of The Apes, which Boom! had the license to. A trade paperback that was due last week is running late at the hometown shop due to complications, so I needed to fill the void. I wish I hadn't.

With all of Geoff Johns' updates to the Green Lantern cosmic mythos, adding Red & Blue Lanterns, along with Yellow Lanterns in support of Sinestro, in recent years, this took away what would've been an acceptable adaptation of Pierre Boule's original novel, adapted by Rod Serling for the big screen in 1968. Instead, with more supporting characters from DC than needed, the story is just too busy.

In short, this ain't the story your parents would've read had DC teamed with a former license holder, Marvel, back in the 70's, when this would've been perfect.

Rating: C.
Now, let's look at some FCBS 2020 entries.

Fantagraphics shares the license on Disney legends such as Donald Duck, and one of the stories in this 1-off introduces a new cousin of Donald's, Fethry (yep, that's how it's spelled). It's an inducement, of course, to buy one of Fantagraphics' overpriced reprint albums that includes material from overseas. Fethry hasn't appeared on screen here in the US yet, but will he? Who knows?

Rating: B--.
Papercutz has the license for Nickelodeon's The Loud House and The Casagrandes. Your kids will dig, but that may be about it. The designs remind me of The Fairly OddParents, which might not be so bad, depending on how you look at it.

Rating: B-.
John Patrick Green took the idea of private investigators and came up with a delightfully silly comedy series about two crime solving alligators. Investi-Gators should get some attention from the kiddo's, as long as they can find the books.

Rating: A.
Robert Kirkman's Invincible has been around for a while at Image, and with the series being adapted for Amazon Prime, Image decided to reprint the first issue this year. Kirkman, also the creator of The Walking Dead, has a good idea about how to write a superhero drama, especially involving teenagers. I think this is not the first time this has been reprinted for FCBD, though.

Rating: B.
Sci-fi icon J. Michael Straczynski returns to comics, joined this time by Mike Deodato, Jr. and his staff at AWA-Upshot with The Resistance, which sounds like something he might've had in mind for television. Deodato can be up & down, but this is fine work.

Rating: A.
Eric Powell, creator of The Goon, returns with Hillbilly: The Lizard of Rusty Creek Cave for upstart Albatross Comics. Rural horror may never look the same again.

Rating: A-.
While fans are waiting for his much anticipated Batman-Catwoman maxi-series to hit stores, writer Tom King will serve up a tale of the Watchmen's Rorshach, starting in October. By then, his Strange Adventures will have passed the halfway point. Personally, I'd rather see someone take a chance on a long dormant series from the 60's & 70's, The War That Time Forgot, which was last seen in Weird War Tales (1st series) in the 80's. Yes, it takes its cues from Burroughs, and goes from there. It wouldn't hurt.

Dunce Cap Award: Millie Weaver

"Dumb Dora is really dumb!"--Gene Rayburn, Match Game, many times in the 70's.

I've maintained that the writers on Match Game began using Dumb Dora for questions after getting static from Bill Cosby, creator of Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids, since Dumb Donald was one of the supporting characters in that series.

Turns out that, to explain the bold italics above, there was a Dumb Dora comic strip in the 20's & 30's, originally drawn by Blondie creator Chic Young. Here's a sample:


In truth, Dora wasn't really that dumb after all, just street smart.

And that brings us to this week's Dunce Cap winner, Millie Weaver of Infowars. If you work for a conspiracy nut like Alex Jones, chances are you gave up your brains to get there, and Millie certainly did.

Y'see, Millie was arrested nearly a week ago for robbing---can we actually say scamming or swindling?---her own mother. And she live-streamed her own arrest!!

Naturally, the denizens of booby hatch country--other conspiracy theorists, that is---claimed she was a victim of the fictional "deep state". Truth is a foreign concept to these folks, let me tell you.

There's no conspiracy here, friends, and our Dunce Cap winner is whining to get sympathy. Ain't none to be had here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Paging Melania: Baby needs a pacifier!

The "baby", of course, is President Donald Trump.

After former First Lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National (Virtual) Convention, the reaction from the traveling President, on the stump in the midwest was predictable...

                                           Classless Crybaby Donald Trump Wants to Be America's Complainer in ...

               "WAAAAHHH! She's over her head, not me! WAAAAAHHH!! Melania! Where's my milk?"

After Postmaster General Louis DeJoyless caved and said there'd be no more changes to the United States Postal Service (USPS) until after November 3, there came reports of pending lawsuits against guess who?

                                        Classless Crybaby Donald Trump Wants to Be America's Complainer in ...

                                "WAAAAHHH! Where's my lawyer? I'm being sued!"

Yep. According to Farron Cousins at Ring of Fire, a number of politicians here in New York and other states are filing suits against Trump for sanctioning the dismantling of postal equipment, mailboxes included. While Cousins didn't identify any plaintiffs, one could probably guess who they are.

Now, Yahoo! is reporting that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has a zero-tolerance policy against political speech, although they freely support the LGBTQ community and minorities. Trump's response was to call for a boycott of Goodyear. Like, seriously?

                                        Classless Crybaby Donald Trump Wants to Be America's Complainer in ...

        "WAAAAAAAHHHHHH! Goodyear hates me! Boycott them! Don't buy their tires! WAAAAHHHH!"

I don't think they actually hate you, Mr. President, to be frank, but the truth is, they don't want those red MAGA hats in their factories causing distractions and disturbances among their employees, and that's the key here, which you don't comprehend. If you could stop & think for five minutes, instead of making knee-jerk reactions like a kindergartener, which would embarrass your youngest son, Barron, to no end, you could actually improve your image. Then again.......

                                    Classless Crybaby Donald Trump Wants to Be America's Complainer in ...

NBC Fall Preview 55 years ago (1965)

NBC presented their 1965-6 fall lineup to their affiliates---and shown on said affiliates---with what can be thought of as a demo reel for Get Smart. Series star Don Adams (ex-The Bill Dana Show), in character as Maxwell Smart, is our host.

As for the rest of the freshman class? We've already discussed the following:

The Dean Martin Show
The Wackiest Ship in The Army
My Mother The Car
Please Don't Eat The Daisies
I Dream of Jeannie
Camp Runamuck
I Spy
Mona McCluskey
Run For Your Life

We're on the lookout for these:

The John Forsythe Show

As we begin, Max is at a theatre when he's interrupted by the embarrassing ringing of his shoe phone....

Clever and innovative, buzzwords that fit perfectly with Get Smart.

Rating: B.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Musical Interlude: If I Had a Hammer (1963)

Most folks associate the folk standard, "If I Had a Hammer" with Peter, Paul, & Mary. However, it was also a hit for Trini Lopez back in 1963. Lopez, best known for "Lemon Tree" on the charts, and a memorable acting job in "The Dirty Dozen", does a serviceable job here.

In memory of Lopez, who passed away one week ago at 83 from complications due to coronavirus.

A little of this and a little of that

ESPN announced Monday that their top college football broadcast team, Chris Fowler & Kirk Herbstreit, would call 1/2 of Monday Night Football's season opening double-dip on September 14, when the Steelers & Jets meet. In the nightcap, the new MNF team of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick, will debut. Levy & Griese have also called college games for ESPN and ABC over the years, while Riddick, who played for Detroit among other teams in the NFL, was a studio analyst and commentator.

Look at it this way. It ain't going to be boring.
Eric Trump, alias Stupid E, issued a 4 word condemnation of night 1 of the Democratic National Convention, defining it as "terrible", and got roasted on Twitter. Well, what did you expect?

And they think either he or his brother, Dumb Donald II, is a future candidate? As if.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, shown above, ripped into President Trump, only mentioning his name once, Monday night, putting him on full blast for his lack of empathy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and describing him as being "in over his head". HA! I've said that many times during this administration.

Late Night host Seth Meyers likened Mrs. Obama's headline appearance to Beyonce headlining the first night of the Coachella festival, as a means of getting people to stick around for the rest of the party.
So what does the President do? He holds a rally in Wisconsin, and repeated his claim that if he were to lose on November 3, the election would be rigged. Yeah, so like a spoiled brat to make such juvenile claims.

Meanwhile, Postmaster General Louis DeJoyless is likely going to go before Congress next week to try to spin his way out of the mess he's gotten himself in. Meantime, they've stopped removing mailboxes until at least after the election. Seeing pictures of this goof remind me of a certain cartoon character we all know. Some fella named Fudd.

Monday, August 17, 2020

The most gullible man in America is selling another fake cure for coronavirus because two people sold him on the idea

You'd think by now that President Trump would learn to pay more attention to detail on what's being passed off as "miracle" cures for COVID-19. Unfortunately, he won't.

According to reports, Trump, on the advice of Ben Carson, representing the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and Mike Lindell, founder-CEO of, is touting oleandrin as a possible cure.

While Lindell's highly advertised product retails for around $30 or better, depending on where you shop (yes, it's available at stores, not just via mail order), Trump comes off sounding like a famous huckster from another era.....

Image result for mr. haney on green acres

Yep, Mr. Eustace C. Haney (Pat Buttram) from Green Acres might've inspired Trump's persistent con games.

According to those same reports, there is no evidence (a recurring theme with Trump) that oleandrin is a credible cure for coronavirus, which tells us, that, well, it isn't. Where Lindell & Carson got their information is unknown, but they did share that information with Trump at a briefing last month.

All this says is that Trump is looking for something else to distract voters from the scandal surrounding Postmaster General Louis DeJoyless and his sabotage of the Postal Service, at Trump's command. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called a halt to lawmakers' summer hiatus for an emergency session, hoping to get DeJoyless to meet with the House to explain his & Trump's latest scam.

Yes, the Postal Service has been bleeding money, has been for years. However, dismantling equipment and removing mailboxes (which now won't happen again until after election day after much complaining) is not the answer. It's a means to an end, that end being, getting Trump re-elected by suppressing votes by any means necessary. Here's to the House dismissing DeJoyless and sending him off to jail for---wait for it----fraud.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

He might be an obsessed fan, but he's also an idiot.

It's one thing to be a wrestling fan, but to kidnap the object of your fandom? That is little more than a one way ticket to loserville.

Police in Lutz, Florida arrested a South Carolina man earlier today for breaking into the home of WWE superstar Sonya Deville (real name: Daria Berenato), with intentions of kidnapping her.

Phillip A. Thomas II was arrested for breaking into a home with plans to hold the homeowner hostage, deputies said. [Courtesy of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Philip Thomas, 24, is a fan of Deville, and has supported her on Twitter. So why would this goof, otherwise employed by Applebee's, take his fandom too far? When arrested, Thomas was found with zip ties, duct tape, etc., tools needed to subdue his victim. Only, in this writer's opinion, I don't think he'd fare too well on an even playing field. Like, he broke in between 1 & 2 am (ET) this morning. So what did he hope to gain?

Deville is not only a wrestler, but has a MMA background. I'm guessing Thomas wanted her to teach him a few moves, on his terms, not hers. The only moves he's going to learn going forward are going to be avoiding bending over for the soap at the local lockup. Not only that, but he won't have a job to go back to. Count on that.

Musical Interlude: Love Changes (Everything)(2018)

A while back, we posted the video for Climie Fisher's "Love Changes (Everything)", which peaked in the top 30 in 1988.

Parker Harrison recorded a cover for the song 30 years later, and a year after that, posted a music video to YouTube. Give it a listen.

Yes, there's more where that came from. I think Parker's got a great future ahead of him.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Videos of Summer: Southern Cross (1982)

Crosby, Stills, & Nash released their first music video of the modern (MTV) era with 1982's "Southern Cross", the 2nd single off "Daylight Again". While David Crosby appears in the video in some studio shots with his comrades (you can't miss that mustache), he apparently wasn't really involved in recording the track, which credits other talents, such as Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles) & Art Garfunkel, as backing vocalists.

However, this is not the complete song, as the video stops short of 4:00, and the last verse takes up 47 seconds. Stephen Stills wrote some new lyrics off a track written by the Curtis brothers.

Update, 8/29: This is the complete version, with the final verse included. MTV edited it off for time constraints back in the day, and never bothered to edit it back in after longer clips became more common:

Friday, August 14, 2020

Remember when they marketed a Perfect Cup of coffee? (1976)

Back in the 70's, General Foods had a line of coffees to go along with Maxwell House. You had Sanka, Brim, and.....The Perfect Cup?

Yes, there was such a thing, but ye scribe doesn't remember seeing it at the grocer. Actor Nicholas Coster (Another World, "All The President's Men", later of Lobo) explains.