Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Countdown to Christmas: Christmas Story (Gunsmoke radio, 1952)

 As many of you probably know, Gunsmoke began, like many of its contemporaries, as a radio series, launching 3 years before the TV version.

The first radio "season" lasted well over a year, and includes the series' 1st "Christmas Story". Keep an ear open for the twist ending to Antony Ellis' story.

Truth be told, I didn't see that ending coming.

Rating: B.

Sports this 'n' that

 Bowl season hasn't started yet, and some college teams are already making moves to change coaches for next season.

You'll recall that USC dumped coach Clay Helton earlier this season after a disastrous start. Now that it's obvious they won't be in a post-season game, the Trojans heisted Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma, hours after the Sooners lost to Oklahoma State in the annual Bedlam game on Saturday.

Riley's predecessor, Bob Stoops, will come out of retirement to coach the Sooners for their bowl game. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

LSU is saying goodbye to Ed Ogeron, who will not coach in the Tigers' bowl game. LSU administration pulled a similar heist, grabbing Brian Kelly from Notre Dame to be their next coach.

The carousel will keep spinning over the next few weeks.
It turns out that Javier Baez's stay in New York was just a rental after all.

Baez has packed his bags for the American League, signing with Detroit, ending a short stint with the Mets in which he formed a formidable double-play combination with BFF Francisco Lindor.

On the other hand, the Mets made up for the loss of Noah Syndergaard (Angels) by getting Max Scherzer away from the Dodgers to the tune of 3 years at $43 million a year. A rotation of Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, a healthy Carlos Carrasco, and possibly a returning Marcus Stroman, would make the Mets, barring injuries, a player in the NL East in 2022.
Former NY Giant Michael Strahan had his number retired prior the Giants' upset of Philadelphia on Sunday. After this, Strahan will take a leave from Fox NFL Sunday/Thursday and ABC's Good Morning America to go on a space flight next month. He'll be on the same shuttle that recently had TV icon William Shatner (ex-Star Trek, Rescue 911, TJ Hooker, etc.) on the last flight. The man with the most famous gap tooth this side of David Letterman will return before the season's over.
Texas Rangers fans are saying, here we go again.

The Rangers have struck big on the free agent market, bagging Corey Seager (Dodgers) & Marcus Semien (Toronto) for big bucks. In Seager's case, this gives him more opportunities to play against brother Kyle (Seattle) every year, at least until Kyle decides to test the free agent waters. The Blue Jays also waved good-bye to Steven Matz, as St. Louis outbid the Mets' plans for a reunion with the Long Island native.

That particular deal didn't sit well with owner Steve Cohen, who must feel like Matz's no-name agent decided to play salary chicken, using the Mets' offer to leverage a bigger deal with the Cardinals.
We have to close on a sad note.

Lee Elder, the first African-American to compete in the Masters in 1975, passed away on Sunday at 87.

Elder earned his first tour card for the 1968 season. In 1970, he was invited to appear on Shell's Wonderful World of Golf with George Archer and Canada's George Knudson......

Rest in peace.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Countdown to Christmas: Christmas & The Hard Luck Kid II (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, 1970)

 From season 1:

Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) ends up working alone on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, but watch for a familiar scene, used in the opening credits in later episodes, unfold toward the end of the show.

So why is this titled, "Christmas & The Hard Luck Kid II"? Because the title is borrowed from a similarly named episode from That Girl, and the producers added the "II" to avoid confusion, since That Girl was already in or about to enter syndication.

Ned Wertimer, of course, is better known as Ralph, the doorman, from The Jeffersons, which launched a few years later.

Rating: A.

Dunce Cap Award: Timex Cruz

 This was just too easy.

Texas twit Timex Cruz opened his big mouth, and said some more stupid things, like, for example, suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci be jailed for lying to Congress about the COVID pandemic.

Fauci went on CBS' Face The Nation on Sunday, and literally laughed off Cruz's pea-brained whining.

First, here's Farron Cousins to sum it all up:

Now, here's an excerpt of Fauci being interviewed by Margaret Brennan. His response to Cruz starts at the 3:30 mark:

Of course, you know what Cruz gets out of this from this desk:

Dude really needs to give up social media.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Proof that wrestlers are people, too

 With all the stories in sports about athletes struggling with mental health (i.e. Naomi Osaka), All Elite Wrestling put together a 7 minute video in which a number of talents and Amanda Huber, widow of the late Jon Huber (Brodie Lee), addressed their own issues with mental health.

Ryan Nemeth, brother of WWE's Dolph Ziggler (Nick Nemeth) hosts.

With the exception of Amanda, all of the above talents are working as heels or villains, but the video is proof that wrestlers, regardless of which side of the moral fence they're on, are people, too.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

What Might've Been: The McLean Stevenson Show (1976)

 "Those who fail to remember history are condemned to repeat it."-George Santayana.

McLean Stevenson falls into the category of actors who were better received by TV viewers as a supporting player, rather than a lead. Kind of like Tim Conway, Paul Lynde, and Nancy Walker, to name a few.

Stevenson's first post-M*A*S*H entry was 1976's The McLean Stevenson Show, which he co-produced himself, along with game show icon Monty Hall, who was developing something other than a game show for the first time. In what would be the start of a career trend, the series failed to get beyond one season.

Following is a sample episode. Mark Evanier, who was also a writer for ABC's Welcome Back, Kotter, among others, and also was a comics writer, co-wrote the script.

No rating.

Old Time Radio: A Christmas Carol (1975)

 From the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre:

Host E. G. Marshall (ex-The Defenders, The Bold Ones) slides into the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, in addition to narrating the series' adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

This episode became an annual tradition, repeated annually for the next six years.

Rating: A.

Friday, November 26, 2021

IBM presents a MASH reunion? (1987-8)

 M*A*S*H had been off the air a few years when someone convinced IBM to get most of the cast together for a series of commercials. The ad agency was able to bring in Harry Morgan, Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr, Gary Burghoff, Wayne Rogers, William Christopher, & Larry Linville.

The following six minute-plus compilation doesn't cover all of the ads.

As you can see, Linville still plays the buffoon so well. Alda's voice-over narration in a couple of the spots might've been what landed him a gig as host-narrator of PBS' Nova sometime later. The chemistry among the actors remains intact.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

The right wing's reluctant "hero" wants his life back. Can you blame him?

 Today, Kyle Rittenhouse will spend Thanksgiving like so many others, at the dinner table with his family, thankful especially of being acquitted six days ago. If he's lucky, he can fade into the mists of time until he's ready to decide what his life path really is.

Conservatives and Q-Anon cult members don't like that.

In an interview with Fox Shmooze's Tabloid Carlson, Rittenhouse shredded ambulance chaser and Q-fool Looney Lin Woodchips, saying that the deranged barrister's constant rants about conspiracies offended him and his family to the point where Woodchips was fired months ago, along with John Pierce. Pierce, at least, wants to distance himself from further controversy.

Woodchips, on the other hand, has the support of his fellow Q-dorks.

Photos courtesy of Yahoo!.

Rittenhouse has incurred the wrath of the Q-fools on various conservative message boards such as Telegram, but what these brainless idiots don't understand is that Rittenhouse is 18, could be headed for college, and, as he told Carlson, he doesn't think politics is for him. He actually supports Black Lives Matter, for one. Bottom line is, he wants his life back.

Earlier this week, Dumb Donald II (Donald Trump, Jr.) posted a photoshopped picture of his father giving Rittenhouse a Medal of Freedom. Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene) introduced a resolution that would award Rittenhouse the Congressional Medal of Honor. If what we've learned about Rittenhouse this week tells us anything, it's that he's still a kid who thought he was doing something noble by crossing state lines 15 months ago, and wading into a battle that wasn't his. He didn't want the attention that came with it.

But as long as the right wing's lunatic fringe continues to keep his name in their conversations, Kyle Rittenhouse won't be truly free. Just walk away from it all, kid, and we'll see you in a few years.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Week: Thanksgiving ice cream? (1978)

 Ah, the legendary Carvel ice cream commercials of New York. This time of year, back in 1978, Carvel offered ice cream alternatives to the traditional holiday desserts of mince or pumpkin pie. If you grew up in New York, any part of the state, mind you, thanks to cable, you've probably seen this, narrated by Tom Carvel himself.

Sports this 'n' that

 Jason Garrett's 2nd go-round with the Giants is over.

Garrett, who for a brief period was Kerry Collins' backup at quarterback 20 years ago, was let go as offensive coordinator Tuesday after the Giants' offense disappeared in a 30-10 loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who snapped a two game losing streak. Head coach Joe Judge is likely a goner after the season ends.
Much has been made about LeBron James getting suspended for a fight with Detroit's Isaiah Stewart the other day. James sat out the Lakers' loss to the Knicks Tuesday night, and will play in their next game. Stewart got 2 games to James' 1, because the league ruled Stewart exacerbated the situation.

Tuesday, on First Take, America's Idiot Savant, Stephen A. Smith, tried to compare this to Michael Jordan back in the day. However, what Smith forgets---largely because the idiot doesn't bother with researching facts anymore---is that Jordan did have an on-court altercation with Indiana's Reggie Miller, now a shill for Wendy's, back in 1993. The officials in that game ejected Miller, but let Jordan, the league's #1 star at the time (as Miller acknowledged in a recent interview), stay in the game. Double standard much?

Actually, Miller was in his 4th season in the league at the time, and Jordan had been well established for over a decade.
For most of his 9 years on the main roster with WWE, Seth Rollins (Colby Lopez) has played the role of a delusional heel who thinks he's doing the right thing, but in truth is going about it the wrong way.

On Monday night, Rollins was ambushed by a fan after shooting an angle with rival Finn Balor. Media sources mistakenly thought the scheduled match actually happened, but it didn't.

On his way back up the ramp, Rollins was attacked by Elisah Spencer, 24, of Brooklyn, who was arrested, and charged with assault.

The next day, it comes out that Spencer was himself the victim of a scam.

It's being reported that Spencer was catfished by some jabroni pretending to be Rollins, and doing a good enough job at that to fool Spencer, dating all the way back to 2019. Even though it was obvious that it wasn't Rollins at all, Spencer, friends say, planned the attack, which is not the first time that Rollins has had an unpleasant encounter with a fan.

It's not the first time that the phony Rollins account has bamboozled someone, either. Video surfaced of a radio interview Rollins gave, also in 2019, of a woman who was similarly catfished, in this case thinking Rollins was in love with her. Rollins married Becky Lynch (Rebecca Quin-Lopez) earlier this year.

When you stop and think about it, maybe this is the reason why WWE wants to limit or control the social media output of their talent, to prevent situations like this.
Good to see that Dick Vitale was back at the mic for ESPN Tuesday for a UCLA college basketball game. Vitale has been battling cancer, and has recovered from the embarrassment of doing a GEICO ad earlier this year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Thanksgiving Week: Remember when Armour Star sold turkeys? (1972)

 When many of us were growing up, the #1 brand in frozen turkey was Butterball, at the time a brand of Swift Premium, long since co-opted by ConAgra Brands.

But, there was a time when Swift had competition, namely Armour Star, better known for their canned corned beef hash, chili, and Vienna sausage, the latter of which can now be found in dollar stores.

In 1972, chef Jacques LeRoux was brought in to demonstrate Armour's self-basting turkey. Ed McMahon (The Tonight Show) is the announcer.


Monday, November 22, 2021

Freedom brings maturity

 Three days after Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges for killing two and wounding a third man in Kenosha 15 months ago, the teenager was on Tabloid Carlson's Fox Shmooze garbage hour, but, oh, did Rittenhouse have a moment.

When Rittenhouse was arrested last year, a $2 million dollar bond was posted, mostly raised by conservative lawyers such as John Pierce and L. Lin Wood. Now that Rittenhouse is free, Looney Lin Woodchips wants the money back, but Pierce doesn't.

Photo composite courtesy Yahoo!.

Pierce holds a receipt from a Wisconsin court, but is willing to give it up. Rittenhouse, in being interviewed by Carlson, shredded both lawyers. He fired Pierce a few months back, and hired Mark Richards, who successfully argued in favor of Rittenhouse. The now-18 year old Rittenhouse accused Woodchips & Pierce of attempting to exploit him for personal gain, as Richards had over the weekend, in similarly blasting right wing media.

We know this. Looney Woodchips wants to extend his 15 minutes of fame. Pierce just wants out of the whole scene, and who could blame him? Carlson, who hired a documentary crew to film Rittenhouse during the trial for his own selfish purposes, was spared the wrath for now, but if Rittenhouse goes to another show, like, say, for example, 60 Minutes, that could change.

Woodchips has legal problems of his own, which is why he's so hot for the $2 million as if he won the lottery. A chunk of the money was posted by Rittenhouse's mom, so figure she'll get her share back, which cuts the payday for Woodchips.

Prediction: The Rittenhouse family will get the money, and donate what was raised for them to charity. Turns out Kyle's actually found his maturity and brains. Maybe he can use the money for acting classes.

Thanksgiving Week: _________ Turkeys (Match Game PM, 1981)

 Match Game PM was one of two syndicated spin-offs from the CBS series. This weekly iteration was in its final season when this particular episode aired.

The difference between this and the regular Match Game was an additional round of game play and an extra Super Match before the Star Wheel (introduced a couple of years earlier). The 1st Super Match question has to do with this week's holiday.

Panel includes series regulars Brett Somers (ex-The New Perry Mason), Charles Nelson Reilly (ex-The Ghost & Mrs. Muir), and rotating guests Dolly Martin (Dick's wife), Jimmie Walker (ex-Good Times, B. A. D. Cats), Bill Daily (ex-The Bob Newhart Show, I Dream of Jeannie), and Debralee Scott (ex-Angie).

I think this might be the only time they used a Thanksgiving question on the show, but don't hold me to it.

Rating: A.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Musical Interlude: (I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight (1995)

 After leaving Chicago, Peter Cetera forged a successful career as a solo act, although the chart hits were few & far between.

Cetera's last hit was a duet with actress-singer Crystal Bernard (Wings, ex-Happy Days) in 1995, "(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight", co-authored by Eric Carmen.

Cetera had some success in duets, scoring with 1986's "The Next Time I Fall" (w/Amy Grant) and 1992's "After All" (w/Cher). Some of you might not remember, but he also had sung with Paul Anka on the latter's 1983 entry, "Hold me 'Til The Morning Comes".

GOPers need to stop appeasing America's Oldest Baby and move on!!!

 Donald Trump just doesn't want to get with the program, and he doesn't want the Republican Party to, either.

More than a year after a humiliating loss at the polls, which he's still publicly denying, exposing himself as the oldest baby in America, Trump is still fighting a losing battle to keep his records leading up to the January 6 insurrection away from investigators in Congress. 

"WWWAAHHHHHH!! It's not for them!! WAAAHHHH!!"

This time, Citizen Pampers wants Peter Navarro, one of his idiot advisers, to invoke executive privilege, something Navarro cannot do. President Biden has made it clear he will not use executive privilege, believing the public does have a right to know exactly what role Trump and his team had on January 6. 

That, of course, suggests that Trump has something to hide that would destroy his chances---and those of son Dumb Donald II----of running in 2024. The problem is that Trump thinks he's above the law. He's not, and never has been. What has him so scared is that years of using his celebrity status to avoid the law are catching up to him.

But, that's not all.

Remember when a scheduled rally in Alabama was cancelled earlier this year? Trump does, and he's railing against governor Kay Ivey.


The narrative across the board has been this. The GOP has to give in to what the man-child wants, regardless of the fact that he has no true power. Those that defy him, like Ivey, for example, will face a challenge from a Trump-backed opponent.

In Georgia, Trump is threatening to have governor Brian Kemp primaried because Kemp refused to overturn last year's election.

All of this could be moot if the investigation bears fruit, and Trump ends up in prison or a mental hospital by this time next year.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Musical Interlude: Foolish Beat (1987-8)

 The 80's brought some musical "rivalries" on the pop charts.

First, Madonna & Cyndi Lauper arrived on the scene relatively around the same time in the winter of 1983-4. Both are still active today, though Lauper has moved on to Broadway ("Kinky Boots"), and has moved away from the pop charts.

Just a few short years later, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson arrived on the scene. Like Lauper, Gibson was a New York girl, in this case from Long Island. Just before her 18th birthday, Debbie hit the top of the charts with "Foolish Beat", the fourth single from her Atlantic Records debut, "Out of The Blue". Gibson also wrote "Beat", and all of the material on the album.

Gibson's then-crush, Matt Goss, whose band, The Bros, was on the charts for a hot minute, appears in the video.

Like the other women, Debbie's dabbled in acting, mostly in schlocky sci-fi-horror movies that have aired on SyFy, and has been on Broadway. I think of the four we've talked about here, Tiffany is the only one who hasn't done Broadway.

You whine & cry your way into acquittal, and what's your reward? Interning for a pervert?

 Let's just put the cards on the table in relation to the Kyle Rittenhouse case, which ended Friday with Rittenhouse being acquitted of all charges in relation to his shooting three people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 15 months ago.

Rittenhouse's crying jag on the witness stand was an acting performance worthy of an award. A Golden Raspberry, sure, but it's an award. Pathetic, but it served a purpose. Rittenhouse got the sympathy from the jury to avoid going to prison.

But, this is what's lost in the narrative.

As a 17 year old, Rittenhouse, now 18, crossed state lines, carrying a weapon he wasn't supposed to have. He wounded one, and killed two, all white, like himself. The judge assigned to the case, Bruce Schroeder, was already demonstrating bias in favor of Rittenhouse by dressing down the prosecution before either side rested their case. The fix was clearly in.

I don't think the kid ever took an acting class in high school. Looking at pictures of him crying, he looks like a total dork. The bottom line is, he had no business being in Kenosha in the first place. He was looking for trouble. Personally, I think Schroeder was pissed because he was forced to cancel piano lessons for some local kids for a few days.

Anyway, it now comes out that DoorMatt Gaetz wants to reward Rittenhouse by offering him an intern's job. We don't even know if Crybaby Kyle even finished high school!

As Farron Cousins discusses this, he offers the idea that Gaetz is looking for a wingman to hook him up with some more co-eds or younger........

If I'm Rittenhouse, I'm turning this baby-faced pervert down flatter than a stack of hotcakes, and looking for a college education. Besides, there's no guarantee Gaetz will still be in Congress by this time next year, considering the legal troubles he's facing.

For Kyle Rittenhouse, image rehabilitation starts right now.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Live in Front of a Studio Audience returns, but the casting seems........off

 The 3rd installment of Norman Lear & Jimmy Kimmel's Live in Front of a Studio Audience specials drops on ABC & Hulu next month, this time featuring a pair of series Lear produced for NBC.

That, of course, would be Diff'rent Strokes and its spin-off, The Facts of Life. However, some of the casting this time leaves something to be desired.

You tell me what's wrong with this picture.

Emmy winner John Lithgow, last seen impersonating Rudy Goofiani on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, is a perfect choice to play millionaire Phillip Drummond, originally played by the late Conrad Bain. However, right in the center, you have Kevin Hart, who's been BUSY, as Arnold?!? Damon Wayans (we presume Damon, Jr.) as Willis?

As Arnold famously would ask, whatchoo talkin' bout, Mr. Lear? Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale) rounds out the four leads as Edna Garrett, who, of course, would move on to Facts. The younger Wayans was last heard from hosting the game show Frogger for Peacock, and his pop is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too old to be playing Willis.

Now, if they could snag Todd Bridges, the only remaining original cast member, for a cameo.....!

Just to give you an idea of how far-fetched casting Hart & Wayans is, we give you the intro to season 1 of Strokes:

As for Facts, with Dowd already in place, who'd fill out the student body? Most of the cast is still around. Molly Ringwald, who only lasted a year or two, last appeared on Riverdale, for example. Mindy Cohn resurrected her career doing cartoons, particularly the Scooby-Doo franchise, for more than a decade.

Here's the 1st season intro, with the theme performed by Gloria Loring and Charlotte Rae:

You can see they got the pruning shears out after the first season, cutting the extra adults. I think they want to surprise people with the new Facts, but could probably bring some of the ladies over from Riverdale (i.e. Lili Reinhart, Camille Mendes), unless they're looking for unknowns (likely).

I'm just thinking casting Hart & Wayans means a parody of Strokes instead of a homage, something they did not do with the first two Studio Audience entries.

Think of the day it airs. December 7. Pearl Harbor Day. You've been warned.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Musical Interlude: Rush, Rush (1991)

 Paula Abdul pays homage to James Dean, with a little help from special guest Keanu Reeves, in this clip for "Rush, Rush", from her 1991 CD, "Spellbound".

Reeves was in between "Bill & Ted" movies when he was cast in the video.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

If you're a lawyer working for America's Oldest Baby, find another line of work

 Donald Trump's legal team filed another brief trying to prevent the release of specific documents by the National Archive to Congress, still claiming that America's Oldest Baby has executive privilege.

Unfortunately, these clowns would get laughed out of moot court (if you've ever seen The Paper Chase or the movie version, you'll get the idea). Farron Cousins explains.

We tried to get in touch with the law firm these idiots work for, and.....

"We don't know what to tell you."

What a surprise. On the other hand, we were able to meet with a more learned fellow, one Charles Kingsfield:

"They would not have lasted 2 minutes in moot court."

In other words, Citizen Pampers, give it up. It's over. The more lives & reputations you destroy, the less chance you'll have of any credible legal representation when you do go to trial.

Weasel of The Week: Matt Schlapp

 Why do conservatives have a problem with Sesame Street?

The long running children's series introduced a new Asian-American Muppet, Ji-Young, who will debut in a special episode airing on Thanksgiving Day. Still stinging from one of the show's core characters, Big Bird, endorsing the COVID-19 vaccine for the kiddo's, leading to Ted Cruz showing his virtual butt on social media yet again, another conservative is whining about the new kid in town.

Awww, don't they look so cute?

Matt Schlapp, who runs the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), followed Timex Cruz's leaden trail, and whined about the addition of Ji-Young, ignorant of the fact that Sesame Street's Muppet community has expanded in recent years to include a Latina (Rosita), and an African-American family. Come to think of it, I don't think Schlapp's ever bothered to watch the show.

Anyway, what Schlapp wants to do is have PBS defunded because of this. Like, hello? First run episodes of Sesame Street now air first on HBO, then go to PBS, PBS Kids, & HBO Max. Like most conservative whiners, Schlapp has no real basis for his complaints, other than virtue signaling the bigots in our midst.

Conservative criticism of Sesame Street goes all the way back to the Nixon administration, which only goes to prove that conservatives and GOPers don't want education to evolve as society does.

Schlapp gets the Weasel ears this week for his ignorance.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The disgrace of Michael Flynn continues

 Retired General Michael Flynn, a former national (in)security adviser under Donald Trump until his fall from grace for lying to Congress, only to be pardoned by Trump, was at a evangelical conference in San Antonio over the weekend. Demonstrating once again that he gave up his brains to blindly follow a false prophet in Trump, Flynn is claiming we only need one religion in the US.

Bollocks & balderdash!!

While it is the Christian mission to bring the Word of God to people of other faiths, such as Buddhism & Islam, force-feeding it down everyone's throats paints the Christian faith in an even worse light than it already is in. As Jesse Dollemore explains, Flynn's bizarre rants suggest a willful violation of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, which Flynn swore an oath to years ago.

The fact that other swill salesmen, such as Looney Lin Woodchips and Prince Pillow (Mike Lindell), are at this conference itself speaks volumes of how brainwashed a section of the evangelical Christian base has become over the last few years. Flynn's warped message actually is putting Christian missionaries in the field in danger, and the geek doesn't realize this at all. 

We won't even dignify ourselves to discuss the latest tantrum from America's Oldest Baby regarding his decision not to attend the inauguration of President Biden in January, and where Senator Pruneface (Mitch McConnell) fits in. All we'll say here is that Bellevue is waiting to welcome the man-child with open arms.

Monday, November 15, 2021

NFL this 'n' that

 The Jests had a chance to break a 3rd place tie with Miami by upsetting AFC East leader Buffalo on Sunday. Then again, the Bills needed to make a statement after losing a snoozer to Jacksonville last week, and with New England hot on their heels, a half-game back.

Statement made.

Buffalo's defense collected four interceptions from Jests QB Mike White, who likely now goes to the bench for Joe Flacco if Zach Wilson isn't ready for next week, and routed the Gangreens, 45-17. Jests head coach Robert Saleh is a defensive specialist, but the Jests keep making the same mistakes as a certain baseball team in town, and don't think through their decisions. 

The Patriots, in turn, spanked Cleveland, 45-7. Rookie QB Mac Jones is finally settled in with New England, and that's trouble.
Jones' former teammate at Alabama, Najee Harris, apparently didn't pay a lot of attention to the NFL before he was drafted by Pittsburgh.

Otherwise, he'd know that there are still such things as ties in the pros, as the Steelers played to a 16-16 deadlock through overtime with the winless Detroit Lions.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo!.

Drafting Harris made James Conner expendable, and Conner went to Arizona, where the resurgent Cardinals are in a dogfight with the Los Angeles Rams for the division lead. Unfortunately, the Cards were decked by Carolina and the returning Cam Newton, 34-10. The Rams can take advantage if they beat San Francisco tonight.
Stop the presses! Tampa Bay is on a losing streak!!

I think we all figured the Super Bowl champs would use the bye week to figure out what went wrong vs. New Orleans 2 weeks ago. Instead, they got ambushed by the Washington Generics, 29-19. Tampa clings to a 1 game lead over the Saints in the NFC South, as New Orleans also lost, 23-21, to Indianapolis. Tom Brady has proven to be mortal, after all, as he has now thrown four interceptions in his last two games. Father Time is clearly catching up with Brady, who's lucky he doesn't have the perception of having a brain made of jelly, like his teammate, tight end and commercial pitchman Rob Gronkowski, who's now hawking some sneakers that look like Skechers clones in addition to being a dimwit in those USAA spots.

At least when he's selling shoes, as we saw during college football on Saturday, he appears to be a bit more professional & mature. He has to remember not to be typecast as a lunkhead if he wants a movie role.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Musical Interlude: We Belong (1984, 2021)

 The songwriting team of David Lowen & Dan Navarro wrote "We Belong" for Pat Benatar, who released the single on her 1984 CD, "Tropico", as Benatar was easing toward a more adult contemporary sound.

Lowen & Navarro would later climb the charts themselves with "All is Quiet Tonight", about 10 years after "Belong".

"Belong" is relevant again because of its use in the series finale of Supergirl on Tuesday, as sung by the show's star, Melissa Benoist, in a duet with guest (and former series regular), Tony & Grammy nominee Jeremy Jordan. Following is the full length version, with a screenshot of the Season 6 soundtrack CD, produced by musical director Blake Neely.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Musical Interlude: The Voice (1981)

 Released to radio stations in July 1981, "The Voice", the 2nd single off the Moody Blues' album, "Long Distance Voyager", peaked at #15 on the Hot 100.

In memory of Graeme Edge, 80, the Moody Blues' drummer, who passed away earlier this week.

It's never a good idea to feud with a comedian. Unfortunately, Timex Cruz never explained that to Lauren Bow-Wow

 "Those who fail to remember history are condemned to repeat it."--George Santayana.

Colorado airhead Lauren Boebert had to have seen the Twitter feud between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and ABC late night talk host Jimmy Kimmel. Why else would she be stupid enough to follow suit?

Boebert, who's looking like a clone of Sarah Palin in the clip below, shredded Kimmel one week ago on Twitter. Kimmel fired back the best way he knew. Farron Cousins explains:

As Cousins pointed out, Kimmel is backed by a staff of writers on his show, which gives Kimmel a huge advantage over both Cruz & Boebert. Let us not forget, of course, that Kimmel got his big break nearly 25 years ago as a sidekick to former presidential speech writer-turned-actor-turned-game show host Ben Stein, and has found his own niche.

Now, you'd think Boebert & Cruz could cross paths in Washington from time to time, and share ideas. But when Boebert needed Cruz's help, as we know, he was trying to bully Big Bird, and that didn't end well, either.

ABC trusted Kimmel enough to revive Who Wants to be a Millionaire? For his next trick, maybe he should do Candid Camera?

Friday, November 12, 2021

Advertising for Dummies: Even beavers respect chain saws (1978)

 This next item turned up more on sports programming than anywhere else. McCullough was a sponsor of ABC's Pro Bowlers Tour, Wide World of Sports, & The American Sportsman during the 70's. In 1978, they came up with a clever ad campaign that had a pair of beavers (voice actors unknown) finding a chain saw left unattended.

Casey Kasem (American Top 40, Super Friends, etc.) is the narrator.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Sports this 'n' that

Suddenly, the rich are getting richer in the NFC West.

Just days after acquiring Von Miller from Denver in a trade deadline deal, the Los Angeles Rams added to an already star-studded receiving corps by signing Odell Beckham, Jr., who was cut by Cleveland earlier in the week. Beckham had fallen into the trap of the "disease of me" because he wasn't getting as many catches as he's accustomed to, and while he goes from one playoff contender to another, he's going to have the same situation in LA as he did in Cleveland. That is, the perception that he won't be the #1 target until he can build up enough trust in QB Matthew Stafford to earn the right to be the #1 target on a team that already has Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, among others.

Speaking of Stafford, the Rams have ended up being the big winners in the trade with Detroit that brought Stafford to LA. Jared Goff and the Lions are in a familiar place, in the NFC North basement, and staring down the barrel of another winless season. The Rams have to hope Beckham, who gave up his dream team pairing with fellow LSU alum Jarvis Landry, remembers how to be a team player.
Maybe they'll have yogurt in the Carolina Panthers' clubhouse again, as early as Sunday.

With Sam Darnold benched, and PJ Walker, the XFL phenom more than 18 months ago, struggling, the Panthers brought back prodigal son Cam Newton.

Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

Newton, who played with New England last year, and was made expendable when the Patriots drafted Mac Jones, has fallen victim to the law of diminishing returns the last couple of years. If Carolina wants to escape the cellar in the NFC South, and climb past Atlanta, New Orleans, and division leader Tampa Bay, they need to learn, quickly, if Newton can adjust to coach Matt Ruhle's system.

To think there were rumors that the Panthers were willing to trade star running back Christian McCaffrey a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, right.
We are learning about some very bizarre locker room behavior involving a high school hockey team in Massachusetts.

At Danvers High, they designate specific days where players either willingly or reluctantly will use racial slurs (Fridays) or strip and, under the cover of darkness, run the risk of inappropriate touching (Tuesdays). The saddest part about this is, administration would rather cover this up, filing it under, kids being kids, than cooperate with law enforcement.

We know a few political perverts who'd love to learn about this.
We also must address the tactics of NFL referee Tony Corrente during Monday's Bears-Steelers game.

A controversial taunting penalty against Chicago negated a 4th quarter sack. Worse, Corrente is alleged to have intentionally made physical contact with the Bears player called for the taunt. Now, Corrente has held his flags at inappropriate times in the past, usually in games involving New England when a certain QB was still with the team, but he got called out by NBC's Chris Simms (son of CBS' Phil Simms). Sooner or later, the league will have no choice but to take stock in the lack of discipline meted out to supposedly corrupt zebras.
The Mets made qualifiying offers to free-agents-to-be Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto the other day. Conforto declined, listening to the bad advice of his leech, Scott "20 Mule Team" Boras, who tried to explain Conforto's lackluster 2021 start away with excuses about COVID.

These are the sort of tactics Boras Badenov likes to use to fleece teams into overpaying for his clients. In this case, he won't find a sucker. Mets owner Steve Cohen has deep enough pockets to retain both Conforto & Syndergaard, re-sign Javier Baez, and build a contender for 2022 and beyond.

Eric Bolling has lost his mind

 For 10 years, Newsnax anchor Eric Bolling has had a vendetta against the Muppets, dating back to their namesake 2011 movie, all because in the context of the movie, the villain of the piece was a corrupt oil baron.

Now, in the wake of Timex Cruz hassling Big Bird for getting vaccinated, Bolling wants to debate the eternal 6 year old or any of the other Muppet characters. Bolling even got his briefs in a twist over a recent episode of the Disney Jr. reboot of Muppet Babies because a parody of "Cinderella", in his warped mind, had a transgender agenda.

Bolling's another conservative moron lying to his audience to rile up the masses against the beloved children's franchise. Disney, which owns the Muppets these days, should consider litigation against this moron.

Farron Cousins breaks it down, mocking Bolling as he goes along.

I think Farron knows, along with the rest of us, that Bolling doesn't want to get into a heated debate with a Democrat, like, say for example, Alex From The Block (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), because he knows he's going to be destroyed. Because he wants to present himself as a sort of bully, like Tabloid Carlson over at Fox Shmooze, Bolling's former employer.

To illustrate what's gotten under Bolling's skin, here's a clip from the episode, "Gonzo-Rella". Not the first time the Muppets have done a riff on "Cinderella", but, well.......

Of course, it's over the top wacky, aimed at preschoolers. I'll bet Bolling hasn't read Cinderella, or seen any of the adaptations, including Disney's own theatrical feature many years ago, or Jerry Lewis' parody, "Cinderfella".

Come to think of it, what would a geek like Bolling read in his spare time, anyway?

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

What Might've Been: Triple Threat (1988)

 Al Masini, the man who brought us Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous through Television Program Enterprises (TPE), thought he had a good idea for a game show. Unfortunately, viewers didn't agree.

Triple Threat was a generational music trivia game. 2/3 of each team consisted of celebrities and their relatives (i.e. parent, child), partnered with a contestant. Jim Lange (ex-The Dating Game, Bullseye) was the series host for most of its year-long run. His fill-in when on vacation? Ex-MTV VJ Alan Hunter. Granted, in the episode with Hunter that's available, he actually hustles out to the stage when called by announcer-associate producer Sam Riddle (ex-Hollywood a Go-Go). Lange, a veteran of more than 2 decades of game shows, simply jogged. Generations, yo'.

Undaunted by cancellation, Masini was able to revive the series, and sold a revamped version, sans celebrities, to BET, with Spencer Christian (Good Morning America) as the new host. This also lasted one year, with two families playing.

Following is a sample with Lange.

No rating. Just a public service.

Weasel of The Week: Paul Gosar

"How do I know you're not sick? You could be some deranged lunatic!!"----The Fresh Prince (Will Smith), "Parents Just Don't Understand", 1987-88.

If you're a Republican, you've imbibed too much of the Trump kool-aid, you may be beyond help.

One example is Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who, over the weekend, decided to have someone doctor some footage from the popular anime, Attack on Titan, by photoshopping the faces of Gosar himself, President Biden, and NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on different characters, positing Gosar as the hero, of course.

The idea here is being presented that Gosar is fantasizing about killing AOC & Biden. Gosar is too much of a coward to confront Alex From The Block on the House floor on issues, as most GOPers are, and while AOC & Biden have disagreed on some Democratic issues of late, they still come across as mature, responsible adults, unlike the GOPers, who are now characterized as too cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs to belong in office.

Farron Cousins explains:

Unfortunately, Farron is right about one thing. The GOPers won't punish Gosar because they know their low information base will eat this swill up like candy. But what if AOC's supporters decided to turn the tables? You'd hear the squawking from Fox Shmooze and other right wing outlets within an hour of posting, or less.

Of course, ye scribe's answer to Gosar the Goofy GOPer's grandstanding BS is to give him a set of Weasel ears. 

I can just picture it now. Someone will take an old Road Runner cartoon, and put AOC's pretty face on the speedy bird, and Gosar's on the Coyote, and...........!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A little of this and a little of that

 Timex Cruz is at it again.

The Texas Senator, speaking at Texas A & M University the other day, told students that he was actually thinking of having the Lone Star State secede from the rest of the US. Uh, that was tried many, many years ago, and nothing came of it, jackass.

Even worse, Timex decided that podcaster and UFC commentator Joe Rogan (ex-The Man Show, NewsRadio, Fear Factor) would be appointed as president of Texas.

Farron Cousins explains why Timex plays the dummy card so much.

Oh, like, you were expecting him to name Jerry Jones or Mark Cuban? He's pandering to the students, whom he thinks are low information. Cuban, the owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks and a frequent contributor to ABC's Shark Tank, would probably flip off Timex, anyway.

For his low-rent babblings the last couple of days, Cruz gets a low rent Dunce Cap:

It's not a good idea to use your classroom to intentionally misinform your students about government.

On October 18, a history teacher at Anacapa Middle School in Ventura, California decided to rant that Citizen Pampers (Donald Trump) is still president, and tried to sell her students on vaccine hesitancy.

Said teacher has since been removed from Anacapa, and reassigned somewhere else in the district.
We were all hoping the Super Bowl would've been the State Farm Bowl back in February, were it not for Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur's bone-headed decisions in the NFC title game against eventual champion Tampa Bay.

So the NFL schedule makers decided to match up Green Bay and Kansas City during the regular season this year.

However, for the 2nd time, Aaron Rodgers couldn't keep a date with fellow State Farm pitchman Patrick Mahomes. As previously reported, Rodgers sat out Sunday's game as he was in the COVID protocols, as the Chiefs beat the Packers.

It's gotten out that Rodgers, acting on the bad advice of the aforementioned Joe Rogan, decided to take ivermectin instead of a COVID vaccine. State Farm doesn't agree with Rodgers' stance on COVID vaccines, but apparently, there's too much value in keeping Rodgers as an endorser, so they're not cutting bait. Yet.

Personally, I thought Rodgers' run as a State Farm shill had jumped the shark a while ago.

I guess you know what'll be in Rodgers' mailbox.....

Regular readers know I'm not too fond of commercials that treat the insurance industry like a joke.

The latest example comes from USAA, which serves members of the military and their families.

If you've been watching football this season, you've probably seen Tampa Bay's hard-partying tight end Rob Gronkowski, cast as a dimwit, trying to scam his way into a USAA policy, even though he's never served in the military, nor has anyone in his family. 

What we're seeing, however, is Gronkowski being typecast as a brainless buffoon when he's not on the field. We saw this when he was shilling for Tide detergent a while back, when he was still with New England.

Someone call Mel Brooks. If he wants to remake "Blazing Saddles", he's got his new Mongo.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Timex Cruz sinks to a new low, even for him

 Kids are finally getting their COVID shots, and many of them can probably thank Big Bird, the eternally 6 year old character from Sesame Street, who publicly was vaccinated over the weekend to show the kiddo's that it's safe.

Unfortunately, there are a few wackjobs who can't handle it. We call them GOPers.

Chief among the conservative crybabies in this case is Texas Senator Ted "Timex" Cruz, who called Big Bird getting vaccinated "propaganda". Apparently, Timex, you lost you dictionary when you fled to Cancun over the winter, because I don't think you get the message.

And while we haven't heard from the biggest baby in the Repugnant Party, and we shouldn't have to, quite frankly, Cruz's tin foil lips resulted in a discussion this morning on CNN's New Day:

What are the GOPers so afraid of? Their "vaccine hesitancy" is why COVID is still a thing after more than 19 months. Big Bird also went public with a measles vaccine all the way back in 1972, which, as CNN points out, was when Cruz was a toddler. Sesame Street, between PBS, HBO, & HBO Max, reaches millions of kids every day.

Clearly, in this day & age, Cruz's idea of a comedy team isn't Bert & Ernie, but Beavis & Butt-Head.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Richard Woodward, aka Dick Wood (1930-2021)

 For nearly 2 decades (1973-91), Dick Wood was the "opening act", if you will, to network evening news, anchoring WTEN's 6 & 11 pm news, after spending a decade in Rhode Island, where he helped launch one of the first hour-long newscasts.

From 1973-77, Wood's 6 pm newscast was a lead-in to The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite before the local affiliates began shuffling. WTEN flipped from CBS to ABC in October 1977. Wood, like his rivals, including WRGB's Ernie Tetrault, didn't confine himself to the anchor desk, often going into the field.

In recent years, Wood, born Richard Woodward, turned to advertising, just like Tetrault. Wood's voice was heard doing radio & TV ads for Quick Response Restoration, out of Clifton Park.

In 1980, WTEN decided to try a year-end news recap special, anchored by Wood.......

Personal note: My folks shifted back & forth among the local newscasts at 6, usually on whims, and would occasionally watch WTEN, though they were more inclined to tune in to Tetrault and his crew at WRGB.

Rest in peace.

When icons shill (2020)

 Uber Eats began their series of celebrity-driven ads last year, and some of these spots have been pretty funny, or, in the case of Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles being paired with Jonathan Van Ness (Queer Eye For The Straight Guy), cringe-worthy.

However, Uber got off to a good start with a pair of genre legends.

Think of it as Luke Skywalker vs. Jean-Luc Picard. Or, if you're a comics fan, The Joker vs. Professor Charles Xavier.

In other words, Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart appeared in a series of spots similar to what Lil Nas X is doing now with rock icon Sir Elton John. And, at the end of this compilation, I think we get a wee bit of the Joker from Hamill, whose television career dates all the way back to the early 70's, well before "Star Wars".

Cosmic, yo'.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Origin of a Classic: At Last The 1948 Show (1967)

Certain of our generation will remember David Frost as a talk show host here in the US, but before Group W signed him to come to the States, David was a humorist and television producer in England.

American audiences were introduced to Frost in That Was The Week That Was. In England, Frost's production company produced a 2 season sketch comedy series, At Last The 1948 Show, which, according to co-creator and co-star John Cleese, didn't really have anything to do with the year 1948.

Thirteen episodes were produced over two "series", as they're called in the UK, and were thought lost for some time. After the series ended, Cleese and co-creator Graham Chapman moved on to Monty Python's Flying Circus, which achieved iconic status on both sides of the pond. A 3rd Python member, Eric Idle, was a frequent guest on At Last.

Because of reports that Thames Television, which acquired At Last after the series ended, had "wiped" the tapes for reuse, it was thought to be lost, and I have no record of the series airing here in the US, even on PBS, which was the first American network to carry Monty Python. Britbox has acquired a number of clips for its YouTube channel, including this gem with Cleese and another co-creator who'd later become a legend here in the US----Marty Feldman.

If you can find it on DVD, get it.

Rating: A.

Friday, November 5, 2021

You may need a scorecard for all of the CW's changes

 To illustrate how the CW is run by incompetent programmers these days, the network hasn't fully launched its fall schedule, but they're already planning for winter.

The Flash & Riverdale will be partnered for five weeks, November 16-December 14, before going on a 3 month break. Each series will open their seasons with 5 part "event" arcs. 

Grant Gustin (l) as The Flash and KJ Apa as Archie Andrews from Riverdale. Photos courtesy
TV Line via Yahoo!.

"Armageddon", the 5-part Flash arc, will bring back Cress Williams as Black Lightning for one more go-round, among other guests. Over on Riverdale, Kiernan Shipka reprises her role from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for the 5-part "River-Vale" storyline. Being that November is a sweeps period for ad revenues, the network needed to kick-start both shows' seasons with the arcs that will lead into the holiday break.

After that, it gets crazy.

Superman & Lois returns on January 11, and moves up to 8 pm (ET), replacing Flash, while freshman drama Naomi, based on the short-lived DC series of the same name created by Brian Bendis, David Walker & Jamal Campbell, follows at 9. Naomi currently appears in Justice League, currently written by Bendis, so there figures to be some cross-promotion between DC & CW before January.

The Flash, which has led off the Tuesday lineup since its launch, shifts to Wednesdays, starting March 6, where it will be coupled with the returning Kung Fu, while Batwoman & Legends of Tomorrow, which have started their seasons, go on break or finish their current seasons. Riverdale then changes nights again, and moves to Sundays. That means that if Riverdale & Flash have full season orders for this season (season 6 for Riverdale, season 8 for The Flash), their seasons will bleed into the summer months again.

Ye scribe's take: I've felt for some time that Flash has run out of legitimately solid story ideas, and this could conceivably be the final season. Riverdale being shuffled twice in the same season suggests the end is near for Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's dark alternate reality soap as well. There usually is no rhyme or reason to how CW schedules their programming, and if that sounds familiar, well, they had the same problems with children's programming until they gave that up a number of years ago.

Then again, this is why they invented On Demand.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Musical Interlude: Mr. Blue Sky (2021)

 From the recent YouTube special, Dear Earth, Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem serve up a tasty cover of Electric Light Orchestra's 1977 opus, "Mr. Blue Sky". Dr. Teeth himself is on the keyboards with Rowlf unavailable.

One thing I've noticed about Muppets and musical instruments, and you can go all the way back to Kermit with his banjo, they tend to be left-handed players, such as Floyd & Janice of the Electric Mayhem. The Mayhem may be the only band with 2 lefty players.

A pathetic display of "sportsmanship"

High school hockey season doesn't start in the 518 until scrimmages begin around Thanksgiving. However, it has started elsewhere, such as in Pittsburgh, where a local team brought shame to their school one week ago.

Last Thursday's game between Armstrong High and winless Mars Hockey Club was marred by some vulgar, sexist chants directed at the Mars goaltender, a young woman, who also is the goaltender for Mars' JV team, by the students at Armstrong.

Now, I've covered high school hockey the last few years, and it's one of the reasons we have spun off Tri-City SportsBeat, which launched several months ago. There are young women playing on some of the teams in the Capital District High School Hockey League, including at least one goaltender, who graduated back in June. None of them, to my knowledge, have had to deal with any vulgarities chanted at them by opposing students. Instead, the ladies are treated with respect. What this one woman had to go through in Pittsburgh, though, is sickening.

The following video is from a local Pittsburgh station:

The closest there's been to a similar incident here came at a women's soccer match between Schenectady and Niskayuna two years ago, where Nisky students poked fun at some of the African-American players on the Lady Patriots, one of the worst teams in Section II, over their hair and heritage.

Reports say the Armstrong students are currently banned from attending hockey games, and some wanted to punish the players, who had nothing to do with the chants. Instead, the players offered comfort and support to the Mars netminder, who was clearly in tears during the game. She didn't deserve any of that garbage hurled at her, just because she was the only woman on the Mars team.

I suppose the season started as early as it did because of the NHL's Penguins & Flyers and their AHL affiliates in the same area.

You know what would solve everyone's problems? If an Armstrong player invited the Mars goaltender to prom. Just sayin'.

A little of this and a little of that

Prior to the start of the NFL season, Green Bay Packers QB-State Farm agent Aaron Rodgers would tell anyone who'd listen that he was "immunized", leading people to assume he had gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

Days before the Packers are to play Kansas City and fellow State Farm shill Patrick Mahomes, Rodgers is out of Sunday's game after it got out that he lied about being immunized, and has contracted COVID, perhaps putting teammates at risk.

With Rodgers on the COVID list, the Packers brought in Blake Bortles to fill in, and likely back up 2nd year QB Jordan Love, who likely gets the start vs. Kansas City.

Proof that a fool and his brains are soon parted.
After getting picked up for DUI after an accident that killed another driver and her dog, Henry Ruggs III was cut by the AFC West leading Las Vegas Raiders, although QB Derek Carr is still supporting Ruggs.

Was the Raiders' decision too hasty? Maybe, but they're not taking any chances. Ruggs, a second year receiver, was key to their early success this season.
Former AEW champion Jon Moxley (Jonathan Good) is stepping away from the ring to address some real life issues.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Moxley was withdrawing from the #1 contender's tournament for a title match vs. either current champion Kenny Omega or the current #1 contender, Adam Page, who will meet at Full Gear on November 13. Moxley has entered an inpatient alcohol treatment program, with the full support of the AEW roster and owner Tony Khan.

Our prayers are with Moxley during this time.
 Former WWE champion Mike "The Miz" Mizanin was eliminated from Dancing With The Stars on Monday, finishing 9th overall. Miz and partner Witney Carson looked like a winning combination during the tournament, but it seems more folks are interested in JoJo Siwa, who now is the prohibitive favorite to win the mirror ball, and Olivia Jade, daughter of scandal-scarred actress Lori Loughlin (ex-Full House, Summerland, When Calls The Heart).

Then again, Miz makes it four top 10 finishes for WWE talents on Dancing over the course of 15 years, though the highest placed finisher from the company, Stacy Keibler (3rd in the spring of '06), was technically no longer with the company by the time the competition ended.
What if J. M. Barrie's classic hero, Peter Pan, lost his innocence as he grew up?

In 1991, Steven Spielberg attempted to answer that with "Hook", with Robin Williams as an adult Peter, now married and a businessman. 25 years later, we have the worst case scenario. One guess.

America's Oldest Baby, Donald J. Trump, the Elmer Fudd of former Presidents, is whining about Fox Shmooze airing attack ads from the Lincoln Project while, at the same time, their cast of primetime sycophants continues to support Citizen Pampers and his family of grifters. What Citizen Pampers doesn't understand, of course, is that Fox Shmooze is not his personal propaganda tool. It's a business itself, and needs to generate advertising revenue any way they can, like any other network.

Farron Cousins explains it all:

Trump's take:

"WAAAHHHH! They're mean to me! WAAAAHHHH!"

Until you build your own network, you have nothing to say about content on the channel. Deal with it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

A conspiracy theory from the twilight zone

 I just don't get the followers of Q-anon conspiracies. Their theories sound so improbable, even implausible, such that they might've come from the desk of the National Enquirer.

The latest scamspiracy settles in Dallas, where John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was murdered nearly 60 years ago this month. Q zombies believe that Kennedy's son, John, Jr., who died in a plane crash with his wife & sister-in-law in July 1999, was secretly still alive, using an assumed name, and would resurface, and align himself with defeated former president Donald Trump, who got blown out of the White House one year ago.

And so these jabronies gathered at AT&T Discovery Plaza in Dallas, mindlessly, aimlessly waiting for someone who wouldn't be there. They'd later show up at a Rolling Stones concert, thinking the late JFK, Jr. would be there.

Farron Cousins explains why this is so, so far-fetched.

There's been stories for years that music legend Elvis Presley was secretly still alive, but that also has been debunked. Next thing you know, the Q-fools will delude themselves into thinking Elvis will return, too.

Digression aside, the Q-fools buy into the belief that Kennedy would join up with Trump, a social friend when they both lived in New York back in the day, because of that friendship. Just like Elvis' fans believed he was still alive simply because they didn't want to believe he was gone.

They stood in vigil for someone who wasn't coming. That gets these Q believers Dunce Caps.

Maybe now, they can start a dynasty that actually is one

 Thirty years ago, the Atlanta Braves & Houston Astros were divisional rivals in the National League. The Braves began their string of divisional titles under Bobby Cox in the NL West, moving to the NL East a few years later, and won it all in 1995, defeating Cleveland. 

Ten years later, with each league now three divisions, and Houston in the NL Central, the Astros reached the World Series for the first time, after being denied in the 80's, most notably by the Mets in 1986. Unfortunately, it wasn't Houston's time yet, losing to the Chicago White Sox. It would be Houston's only World Series appearance as a National League team, as they left for the American League seven years later.

We all know what's happened since then. The 2017 run tainted by the cheating scandal still lingered as this season began. Fans vented their anger when the season began. Still, the Astros persevered, and reached the Series for the 3rd time in 5 years, losing two years ago to Washington.

Most folks had picked Houston to win the Series this year. Not ye scribe. Oh, sure, there were still some ex-Tri-City Valleycats on the Astros' roster, one of whom, Jason Castro, on his 2nd tour of duty in Houston, was removed from the roster due to COVID. Atlanta also had 518 ties in the form of Shenendehowa graduate Ian Anderson, who would be pitching tonight if they needed to.

And that's a big 'if' we don't have to worry about.

Consider the moves Atlanta made in July at the trade deadline, or even earlier. Moves that were key to this Series.

The Braves traded for Joc Pederson, who won with the Dodgers last year, getting him from the Cubs. Jorge Soler came over from Kansas City. Eddie Rosario was heisted from Cleveland, and was NLCS MVP against the Dodgers. Once Charlie Morton, acquired from Tampa Bay in the off-season, went down with a broken leg in game 1 of the Series, the Braves went to "Next Man Up", giving rookies Kyle Wright and Tucker Davidson some prime time shine.

Anderson, in particular, was ridiculous in game 3, no-hitting the Astros for five innings. All of America found out what we in the 518 already knew. Anderson became an even bigger star in his 2nd postseason.

On Tuesday, then, came the coronation.

Soler launched a three run bomb in the visiting 3rd, which was all the offense Atlanta starter Max Fried needed to avenge a loss in game 2 a week ago. Dansby Swanson & Freddie Freeman added homers in the 5th & 7th innings, and the Braves, 22 years after losing to the Yankees in their last Series appearance, 26 years after dispatching Cleveland, may have written fini to the Astros' AL West dynasty.

Check the video:

For Houston manager Dusty Baker, in his first Series appearance since his playing days with the Dodgers, the postseason frustrations he's had as a manager resurfaced. This was the closest he's been to winning a championship since the Dodgers upset Oakland in 1988, but will Houston owner Jim Crane give him another year? We'll soon see.

Keep in mind that the Braves had to make the moves to get Pederson & Soler after injuries sidelined rising superstar Ronald Acuna, Jr. and, along with legal issues, may have marked the end of Marcell Ozuna's time in Hot-lanta. Acuna most certainly will be back next season, but would Atlanta hang on to Pederson, who was on a one year contract when he signed with Chicago last off-season, and/or Soler? We'll know soon enough.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

The transition has begun, but someone else is upset in Cleveland

 On Monday, with the World Series due to wrap up either tonight or tomorrow, Cleveland's baseball team is beginning the transition from Indians to Guardians.

Ah, but as ESPN's Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friends.

You see, Cleveland already has Guardians. They play roller derby, and absent a television contract, the skating Guardians are having what amounts to a herd of cows over the baseball Guardians, such that they've filed a lawsuit to stop the transition.

The skating Guardians' lawyers make a good point, noting that Major League Baseball would be the ones litigating if a roller derby team in Chicago used the "Cubs", or in New York, the "Yankees".

In the 70's, Cleveland had an NHL franchise, the Barons. However, they lasted two seasons before merging with the Minnesota North Stars, and eventually moved to Dallas as the Dallas Stars. There is, however, a local amateur program using the Barons name. Hmmmmmmmm.

What do you think?

Monday, November 1, 2021

Sports this 'n' that

 Just to prove how crazy things are in the NFL in 2021, we offer this bit of news, broken by ESPN's Adam Schefter, earlier today.

The Denver Broncos, in 3rd place in the AFC West at 4-4, but still within striking distance of the front-running Las Vegas Raiders, traded star linebacker Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams, tied for 1st in the NFC West with Arizona, in exchange for draft picks in 2022.


Have the Broncos lost their collective minds? Oh, they'll cite age as a factor. Miller's in his 11th season, and up until today, all with Denver. Just hours after Peyton Manning was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor, or, as I've read elsewhere, Ring of Fame, Miller is headed to Hollywood, as if the Rams needed another ace on defense. If Denver doesn't make the playoffs, this will be the reason why.
Watching Bucs-Saints last night, leading into game 5 of the World Series. The defending champions had come all the way back from a 16 point deficit to take the lead, only for New Orleans to move back in front. Tampa QB Tom Brady, allegedly the greatest of all time, if you believe the hype, throws a pick 6 on his next possession, and in the ensuing Tampa possession, Brady is sacked twice to end the game.

In a post-game presser, Brady took responsibility for costing his team the game. It makes sense. Had Brady and his coaches taken a different direction, and put the ground game to work, maybe, just maybe, the Bucs put themselves in position for a game winning field goal. Instead, Brady kept chucking it at a time when a few runs would've kept the Saints' defense honest in the final minute and change.

In short, Brady is mortal after all, but try telling that to all the Brady marks (or, as they're called online, stans), who couldn't take the analysis at face value.
After experimenting with letting their studio analysts fend for themselves on Thursday nights, Fox went back to having NFL anchor Curt Menefee hosting their Thursday pre-game show this season. Apparently, Fox suits finally figured out Michael Strahan (also on ABC's Good Morning America) needs to rest on Thursdays instead of hosting the pre-game. 
Condolences to the family and fans of former Red Sox & Angels infielder Jerry Remy, who would've been 69 this month. Remy passed away over the weekend after a long bout with cancer that took him out of the broadcast booth on NESN more than once in recent years. Fortunately, NESN was prepared for such a contingency, as Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley likely will slide into Remy's chair next to Dave O'Brien next season.

Now, if only Spectrum would pick up NESN to accommodate Red Sox fans in the 518.
Apparently, there are some things TNT won't allow All Elite Wrestling to do.

On Wednesday's Dynamite, the "SuperKliq" (Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, & the Young Bucks) wanted to go with costumes based on Netflix's red hot Squid Game. TNT suits said no. So, with a new movie coming out later this month, Omega and the Jackson brothers (Young Bucks), who double as company executives, opted for a "Ghostbusters" theme, including a modified version of Ray Parker, Jr.'s iconic theme song. The "SuperKliq" ended up losing the match. Karma, yo'.
When TCU takes the field for their next game, coach Gary Patterson won't be with them.

Facing another losing season, Patterson resigned following another loss on Saturday, rather than run the risk of finishing the season and getting fired. It wasn't so long ago that the Horned Frogs were in the conversation for a national title, but, as we know, everything runs in cycles in certain corners of college sports. TCU's time will come again......someday.