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On to SB LII
[Posted early Wed. a.m.]
College Basketball Quiz: Some of the NBA’s all-time greats came from the ranks of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Here are some names, give me the HBCU that they attended. Some are easy, some not so much...but every good hoops fan should know their history. Earl Monroe, Dick Barnett, Willis Reed, Sam Jones, Zelmo Beaty, Al Attles, Bob Dandridge, Charles Oakley. Answers below.
Depending on the sports book, the Eagles are 5 to 6 ½-point underdogs, the biggest SB underdog since 2009. William Hill’s over/under was first set at 47.5.
The betting favorite has won 33 of the previous 51 Super Bowls.
Since Nevada Gaming Control began tracking wagering on the big game in 1991, the state’s regulated sportsbooks have come out ahead in 25 of 27 games. The books are up a net $173.6 million during that span, losing on just the 2008 Patriots-Giants contest and 1995’s 49ers-Chargers affair. [ESPN.com]
The Patriots kicked off this season as 5-2 favorites. The Eagles were 40-1 back in September.
Comments following Sunday’s conference championship games.
Steve Politi / NJ.com
“The list of words that an Eagles fan could have been expected to use when describing the NFC Championship Game was long, and given this franchise’s tortured history, not very pretty.
“Nerve wracking. Cringe worthy. Agonizing. Heartbreaking. Calamitous. A #*!$*&@ total #&%&*. Bitter. Pathetic. A bloody mess (and that’s just in the parking lot before the game).
“No, of all the entries in the dictionary, the E word wouldn’t have cracked the list for any of the 69,596 people inside Lincoln Financial Field and the other 1.5 million residents of this city watching in their living rooms and sports bars and, presumably, from behind their sofas....
“Turn the NFC title game, mostly a house of horrors for the franchise over the years, into a laugher?
“That was hard to fathom. But as early evening crept closer to midnight, with each brilliant offensive play and gritty defensive stop, it became clear that the biggest sporting event for Philly in years was going to be one long party. Hey, maybe it really is always sunny here.”
But for those of us who weren’t at the game, Politi describes the scene:
“Some of the passion, like the spontaneous ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ sing-alongs that broke out every few minutes and the countless fans who wore dog masks to support their underdog team, was great.
“Some of it, though, wasn’t pretty. You pretty much had to be armed like a Viking if you wanted to dress like one. Police on horseback had to break up a fight in Lot M, dragging a bloodied, bare-chested fan off the premises in handcuffs.
“ ‘Nothing was wrong, man! C’mon!’ another fan yelled as one of the officers, with his nightstick at the ready, directed the aggravated man to the ground with dozens of onlookers.
“ ‘Now back up!’ the officer yelled back, but to no one’s surprise, the crowd barely moved an inch.
“It didn’t’ take more than a few minutes in any of the lots to understand that every police precaution was warranted, and that includes greasing poles throughout the city with Crisco to prevent climbing.”
Sally Jenkins / Washington Post
“The New England Patriots always make it look unpreventable, as if there was nothing anyone could have done to keep them out of another Super Bowl. What were the Jacksonville Jaguars supposed to do in the fourth quarter, force feed Tom Brady some sugar, maybe, or plant a high-pitched whine in Coach Bill Belichick’s headset or sink some lead in Danny Amendola’s ballet shoes? They still would find a way to break their heart into pieces and leave it strewn on the field, along with the crumpled paper cups.
“But it was not inevitable, any of it. And that’s the thing to impress on your memory, for the years down the line when you want to tell somebody that you got to watch this organization in its heyday and what it was like. No other team would have seen this as doable: down by 10 points; their 40-year-old quarterback with stitches in his bandaged throwing hand; their best receiver, Rob Gronkowski, in the locker room with his head ringing from a concussion; and their opponents outmuscling them all over the field. The Jaguars were leading 20-10 with under 10 minutes to go, and the Patriots couldn’t seem to find a play that worked. The Jaguars were young and muscular and raw and underrated, and they came back with the punch-in-the-mouth power of Blake Bortles and running back Leonard Fournette....
“But when it was done, it seemed like an inescapable conclusion. Of course Brady and Amendola found a way to score two touchdowns in the last 8:44, and of course the Patriots won the AFC championship game, 24-20, at Gillette Stadium to make the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons and eighth out of the past 17.”
Jarrett Bell / USA TODAY
“(If) you expect to beat Bill Belichick’s team when it matters the most:
“Just before halftime, play into their hands. No NFL team is more efficient in scoring in the final two minutes of the first half than the Patriots, who have now scored 12 times this season in the final minute before halftime. This time, they used a six-play, 85-yard drive capped by James White’s 1-yard TD run to cut into an 11-point lead.
“New England started the drive with 2:02 on the clock, which reflected the impact of some key Jaguars mishaps on the previous drive. Jacksonville had back-to-back penalties – a delay-of-game infraction that wiped out a would-be completion for a first down and a holding call.
“Give them some chunk yards from pass interference penalties...
“Lose aggressiveness. After New England’s TD late in the second quarter, the Jaguars had 55 seconds to respond. Instead, they took a knee on back-to-back snaps to take a 14-10 lead into the locker room. Sure, the Jags would get the ball back on the second half kickoff, which they parlayed into a 54-yard field goal from Josh Lambo.
“Yet in a playoff game with points at a premium – and Brady on the other side – the Jaguars squandered a possession that might have added points. Not the best vibe when you’re trying to go to the Super Bowl.
“Stall out in the second half. Memo to Jacksonville. Field goals won’t cut it against Brady.... Even worse, they had trouble flipping the field position and were unable to milk the clock in crunch time. The drive times: 1:34, 2:23, 0:55....
“Give them a short field. New England’s game-winning drive began at the Jaguars’ 30-yard line, when Danny Amendola returned a punt 15 yards....
“Keep Brady within striking range. The Jaguars pestered and badgered and hit Brady frequently, evidence by New England’s 3-for-12 performance on third downs. But in the end, TB12 – sore hand and all – led New England’s crusade for deft situational football. After overcoming a 25-point deficit in the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, a 10-point deficit hardly seemed insurmountable. In fact, it seemed only to be a matter of time.”
--Yes, after the Pats-Jags game, that was classic Bill Belichick in the press conference, when he was asked about Tom Brady’s performance.
Q: “Bill, did anything change gameplan-wise because of Brady’s hand?”
Belichick: “Not that I’m aware of, Bob.”
Q: “Can you just speak to the resourcefulness of Tom, dealing with that midweek and then coming out and having a huge game like that?”
Belichick: “I mean, look, Tom did a great job. And he’s a tough guy. We all know that. But we’re not talking about open-heart surgery.”
--As for the status of Rob Gronkowski, now in concussion protocol, he’s expected to be able to play on Feb. 4, but there won’t be anything definitive until next week, and maybe right up to game time.
--I cannot get riled up over the officiating in the New England-Jacksonville game, including the 32-yard pass interference penalty for driving New England receiver Brandin Cooks out of bounds (following the hit on Gronk), which was a big play on the final drive of the first half that cut it to 14-10. It is what it is. You can bitch about virtually every single play in football if you want.
It’s the “possession” plays that we want the zebras to get right all the time.
Anyway, what truly was a bit bizarre and disturbing was the enthusiasm some of the refs showed for the Pats on individual plays, and then at the end of the game.
--Jason Gay / Wall Street Journal
“For the first time since 2017, the New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl.
“Are we really doing this again? I have a 3-year-old at home; the Patriots have now made it to three Super Bowls in her lifetime. She’s already bored by red and blue confetti. She is 3!
“I assume this means the country will rally behind New England’s opponent, the comparatively lovable – yes, I said ‘lovable’; I’ll fight anyone who disagrees in the stadium parking lot – Philadelphia Eagles.
“Unlike greedy, grabby New England, the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl. They went in the 1980 and 2004 seasons, and lost. Their fans wear generations of anguish like a wet winter coat.
“But now they’re back. The Eagles, 38-7 winners over the Vikings Sunday, will face the Patriots at Roger Goodell’s Minneapolis Crappie Fry, aka Super Bowl LII, on Feb. 4. America is looking to you, Philadelphia. You’re the only thing standing in the way of another Lombardi trophy being hoisted over the cut-off sleeves of Grumpy Lobster Boat Captain Bill Belichick.
“At the risk of offending my homeland, New England’s dominance is getting absurd. This makes 10 Super Bowl appearances for the Patriots – eight of them since Belichick and Tom Brady took the reins, including three of the last four.
“Twelve long months, the fans of this franchise have been forced to wait to return to this game!
“I think I just saw a couple of Detroit Lions fans walk into traffic.
“Do you realize that 95% of Bostonians are physically addicted to Duck Boat championship parades? It’s a public-health crisis. Dunkin’ Donuts now serves a flavor called Brimming Entitlement.
“It really looked as if Jacksonville was going to wipe the smirk off New England’s face Sunday. The Jaguars were dominating on both sides of the ball and carried a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter....
“The Patriots may be resented and considered cheaty cheating cheaterfaces by their haters, but they are so good at this. The world spent most of last week losing its mind about Brady’s hand injury, which New England guarded like a state secret... It turned out to be a whole bunch of nothing – Brady wore a bandage, but was his usual, stellar self. The Patriots claim DO YOUR JOB as their franchise motto, but it’s really NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS, MORONS.”
--Bill Simmons, rabid New England sports fan, was furious with the hit that knocked Rob Gronkowski out on Sunday, tweeting, “a cheap shot on Gronk to get him out of the game – we’ll see if the karma gods reward that one.”
But as social media was quick to point out to Simmons, it was Gronkowski who was suspended one game for delivering a major cheap shot of his own by jumping on Tre’Davious White, who had intercepted a Tom Brady pass and was lying out of bounds, when Gronk planted an elbow on White’s head, drawing a flag for unnecessary roughness and giving White a concussion.
--As the New York Post reported, it would appear Bob Costas is not part of NBC’s Super Bowl coverage, as the network announced its on-air and studio teams for the game and he wasn’t on the list.
A year ago, Costas said he was turning over prime-time host duties to Mike Tirico for the Olympics but had one more Super Bowl in him before assuming a lesser role at NBC. He has hosted six of them in his career.
But then about two months ago, Costas had some scathing words on the prevalence of head injuries in football, saying, “The reality is that this game destroys people’s brains.”
Costas also said, “The whole thing could collapse like a house of cards if people actually begin connecting the dots.”
So now people are suspicious of just what are NBC’s intentions in naming Dan Patrick and Liam McHugh as hosts.
--So I’m reading a piece in USA TODAY by Pete Dougherty, taking issue with those who say Bill Belichick is the greatest NFL coach of all time; Dougherty defending Vince Lombardi, who won five in nine years as Packers’ head coach, and went to a sixth title game, with a .754 winning percentage in Green Bay, and a 9-1 record in the playoffs.
By comparison, Belichick is gunning for his sixth NFL title in 18 years with the Patriots, 27-9 in the playoffs.
So Dougherty says Lombardi in the end wins out.
You can’t win this argument, but it’s like the old NBA and Red Auerbach.
In Lombardi’s NFL there were 14 teams, until the Falcons were added, and today’s NFL has 32.
[Auerbach’s NBA had all of nine teams most of the time he was on his run. Today’s NBA has 30.]
So there is no single greatest coach. Like everything else in life, ‘it depends....’
--As expected, the Giants formally named Pat Shurmur as their new head coach; Shurmur having thrived as offensive coordinator with the Vikings. He has quite a job ahead of himself, but this looks to be a solid selection, and I like that he is tabbing former head coach Jack Del Rio as his defensive coordinator.
Except he didn’t tab Del Rio! We were told he was the man, and instead we learned it is James Bettcher, who has been defensive coordinator at Arizona the past three seasons (replacing Todd Bowles, who then went to coach the Jets).
It certainly seems as if Eli Manning is coming back, plus the team has last April’s third-round selection Davis Webb, and in all likelihood will select a QB with the second pick in the upcoming draft. Shurmur’s job is to develop Manning’s successor, much as he worked his magic with Case Keenum.
--Since I keep these lists, for the record, Sports Illustrated’s preseason issue had the Patriots defeating the Packers in the Super Bowl.
The Eagles were projected to be 8-8, Vikings 11-5, Pats 14-2, and Jaguars 5-11.
The Giants were supposed to be 10-6....just a little off (3-13).
AP Poll (Jan. 22)
1. Villanova 18-1 (63)
2. Virginia 18-1 (1)
3. Purdue 19-2 (1)
4. Duke 17-2
5. Kansas 16-3
6. Michigan State 17-3
7. West Virginia 16-3
8. Xavier 18-3
9. Cincinnati 17-2
10. North Carolina 16-4
11. Arizona 16-4
12. Oklahoma 14-4
16. Saint Mary’s 19-2
17. Wichita State 15-4...doh!
18. Clemson 16-3
24. Rhode Island 15-3...cool...
Out of the top 25 is Kentucky! ....pssst....and Seton Hall....
So Monday night, Virginia Tech (14-6) had a huge win at home over North Carolina, 80-69, and West Virginia stumbled at TCU (15-5) 82-73.
Yes, the tournament is going to be nuts.
Tuesday, No. 1 Villanova whipped Providence 89-69, while 2 Virginia beat 18 Clemson 61-36, the Tigers without their second-leading scorer and rebounder, Donte Grantham, out for the season with a torn ACL, a huge blow.
The Cavs are 8-0 in ACC play, their best start in conference since the days of Ralph Sampson.
4 Duke handily beat Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, 84-70. My Deacs are now 8-12, 1-7, and there is no doubt coach Danny Manning isn’t the answer. We took a small step forward last season, but this is a giant one backwards, even if the preseason loss of big man Dinos Mitoglou to Greece’s pro league was huge. I don’t know what Wake will do, with a solid recruiting class lined up.
Lastly, I caught a lot of 5 Kansas visiting 12 Oklahoma in Norman and the Sooners prevailed, 85-80, as Trae Young had 26 on an efficient 7 of 9 from the field. He finally got some help. Kansas’ cause wasn’t helped by center Udoke Azubuike’s 1 of 7 from the free throw line.
--I’ve said my piece on the whole US Gymnastics / Larry Nassar situation. But it will be interesting observing Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, who made some highly clumsy comments after a game last Friday night, that he was forced to defend, and now he’s been feeling the wrath of Lynn Raisman, Aly Raisman’s mother, among others.
Izzo defended MSU president Lou Anna Simon, who reportedly was among those notified of allegations against Nasser – who was allowed to continue his employment at the university.
Izzo said, when asked after his team’s game against Indiana about the sentencing hearing, that it has been “a very difficult week for me.”
Lynn Raisman replied on Twitter: “I’m sorry it’s been a difficult week for you. Did you hear, Larry Nassar also said it was difficult. Since you ‘hope the right person was convicted’ I wonder if you are a complete and total MORON or just a LIAR when you claim you listened to the impact statements.”
To be fair to Izzo, he also repeatedly praised the courage of the survivors, but his support for Simon, who he has worked for nearly 35 of her 40 years at the school, wasn’t the best move given the evidence.
--In Games Monday, Minnesota had a nice 126-118 win on the road against the red-hot L.A. Clippers (23-23), as Andrew Wiggins had a season-high 40 points, and Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague did what he does best (when he feels like it), drive to the basket...Teague with 30 points including 16 of 17 from the line. The T’Wolves move to 31-18.
And in the Pelicans’ 132-128 win over the Bulls, DeMarcus Cousins had a game for the ages...44 points, 24 rebounds and 10 assists, only the third player in NBA history with a 40-20-10 triple-double, the last time being 50 years ago, Wilt Chamberlain, who did it four times, and Oscar Robertson who did it once. That’s it.
But the big story is the slumping Cleveland Cavaliers, Team Turmoil, the target now being Kevin Love, who bore the brunt of criticism Monday in a team meeting.
According to ESPN, Love was challenged by teammates for leaving the Cavs’ loss to the Thunder on Saturday (148-124) and missing Sunday’s practice.
Love had played only three minutes Saturday, leaving the game with an unspecified illness. Several players questioned the legitimacy of it in Monday’s meeting. Cleveland.com reported that coach Tyronn Lue and GM Koby Altman were also present and Love wasn’t the only player called out.
After winning 18 of 19, Cleveland was 23-8, but since then has gone 4-10.
Make that 4-11, as the Cavs lost on the road to the Spurs last night, 114-102, behind LaMarcus Aldridge’s 30 points.
LeBron had 28, but in the process he passed the 30,000-point mark for his career.
So it’s Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Wilt Chamberlain (31,419), Dirk Nowitzki (30,837) and now LeBron (30,021).
Also Tuesday, the Knicks had to play without Kristaps Porzingis, who hurt his knee in practice, so it was another road loss, 123-112 at Golden State, the Knicks falling to 21-27, 6-18 away, while the Warriors are 38-10.
And the Lakers (18-29) beat the Celtics (34-14) in L.A. as Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Clarkson combined for 50 points off the bench.
--Meanwhile, after a disappointing 23-22 start, the Milwaukee Bucks fired coach Jason Kidd, who was 139-152 in 3 ½ seasons with the club. Milwaukee had higher expectations entering the campaign, especially with breakout star Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way.
The “Greek Freak” was said to be devastated by the move, being close to Kidd.
Then Monday night, without Gianni and under interim coach Joe Prunty, an assistant with Kidd who was given the job for the rest of the season, the Bucks beat the Suns 109-105.
--I mentioned the other day that San Antonio fans had to be concerned with the health of star Kawhi Leonard, who has missed all but nine games this season with a right quadriceps injury.
But now it’s emerging there has been turmoil behind the scenes regarding Leonard’s treatment, rehab and timetable for return, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Michael C. Wright.
The Spurs under coach Gregg Popovich and GM RC Buford have a two-decade history of strong relationships with star players, but it seems “multiple sources describe Leonard and his camp as ‘distant’ and ‘disconnected’ from the organization.”
Popovich insists there is no problem with his star other than they are erring on the side of caution in bringing him back.
Lots of draft boards out there, but every now and then I’ll pick one just to get some stuff down for the record...and the voluminous archives.
Todd McShay of ESPN has a top ten listing at each position. To wit:
1. Sam Darnold, USC
2. Josh Rosen, UCLA
3. Josh Allen, Wyoming
4. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
5. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
6. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
McShay saying there is a big drop-off after the top four; Rosen the most NFL-ready, Darnold the bigger upside.
1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State
2. Sony Michel, Georgia
3. Derrius Guice, LSU
4. Ronald Jones II, USC
5. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
6. Nick Chubb, Georgia
I said Michel helped himself immensely in the College Football Playoffs and that seems to be the case.
1. Calvin Ridley, Alabama
2. Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
3. Courtland Sutton, SMU
4. James Washington, Oklahoma State
5. Anthony Miller, Memphis...the next Antonio Brown, boys and girls....
1. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
2. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
3. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
But I was shocked Wake Forest’s Cam Serigne wasn’t on McShay’s top ten tight ends list. Serigne will prove him wrong, typed the editor furiously.
Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama) is top safety; Bradley Chubb (N.C. State) top defensive end.
Wake Forest’s Duke Ejiofor is McShay’s No. 9 DE.
Regarding my bit last time on Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and his attempts to speed up the game, such as with a pitch clock, which he can do unilaterally, though no one wants such a drastic change without the players’ approval, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman points out that player-management relations are the worst in two decades.
“The players, among other things, are furious about how slow the free-agent market has moved this offseason and are not in the mood to do management any favors.”
But while agreeing pace of play issues need to be addressed, the players, while they haven’t reached unanimity on what to do, apparently are willing to do a deal on limiting mound visits, so as Sherman writes, Manfred should start there.
Pitch clocks, on the other hand, have been used in the minors at various levels since 2015, and I agree with Sherman’s take that MLB should hold off on adopting this at the major league level until more pitchers that have experience with this have graduated to the big time.
But, yes, if we don’t see movement soon on the free-agent market and the 150 or so players still available, there could be issues this coming season. You can see a work stoppage of some kind looming (though I have yet to see this mentioned anywhere).
--Alex Rodriguez is joining the ESPN team for Sunday Night Baseball. He will be paired with Jessica Mendoza, Buster Olney and new play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian, whose hiring was just announced as well.
A-Rod will continue to work for Fox during the postseason.
--Some big names went out before or in the quarterfinals on the men’s side, with six-time champion Novak Djokovic losing to South Korea’s Hyeon Chung in three sets to become the first Korean player to reach the last eight at a Grand Slam. Chung then faced another surprise quarter-finalist, American Tennys Sandgren, who upset 5-seed Dominic Thiem.
Djokovic was in visible pain with an injury to his right elbow, the same injury that forced him to miss the second half of the 2017 season, though in a classy move he said he didn’t want to take away from Chung’s victory and “the credit that he deserves.”
And top-seed Rafael Nadal also struggled with injury, retiring against 6-seed Marin Cilic in the fifth set of their quarterfinal match. Cilic was trailing but Nadal couldn’t continue, suffering from pain in his right knee.
So Cilic is going up in the semis against unranked Kyle Edmund of Britain, the 23-year-old never advancing to even the quarterfinals in his previous grand slams. Edmund defeated 3-seed Grigor Dimitrov.
In the other men’s semi, it’s 2 Roger Federer against Chung.
In the women’s semis, 2- seed Carolina Wozniacki squares off against Belgium’s Elise Mertens, while top-seed Simona Halep takes on 21 Angelique Kerber, who took out American Madison Keys.
--Go Tiger! Play well at Torrey Pines.
--Didn’t have a chance last time to note that Tommy Fleetwood won his second consecutive Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last weekend, a major accomplishment as this tournament has a loaded field each year, including Rory McIlroy, who finished tied for third, in a strong 2018 debut for him. [Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Rose were among the others playing.] Fleetwood, in winning his fourth European tournament, overall, served notice again this 27-year-old is ready to be a factor in the majors.
--I watched the entire playoff between Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry on Sunday in the CareerBuilder Challenge and it was noticeable how talkative the two were between shots, seeming to enjoy each other’s company. Great, I thought. I gained more respect for Rahm as a result.
But Curtis Strange, it turns out, was having none of it, tweeting: “Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me? Talking at all?”
Yup, that’s our Curtis. As fierce a competitor as there was. And he’s not the first older player to lament the on-course chumminess of today’s generation.
Monday, bottom dweller Swansea shocked Liverpool 1-0 at home, the first defeat in 19 league and cup games for the Reds, and giving new life to Tottenham in the battle for the fourth Champions League slot.
As for the relegation line, wow, Swansea’s win was huge, not just for them but in tightening things all around.
After 24 of 38 matches....
4. Liverpool 47 points
5. Tottenham 45
T15-17. Newcastle, Brighton, and Stoke 23
18. Southampton 22
19. West Brom 20
20. Swansea 20
--So I’m reading the Rapid City Journal (South Dakota) and one of my favorite places in the Black Hills, Spearfish, celebrated a huge anniversary on Monday.
The 75th anniversary of a weather event that put Spearfish in the record books.
On the morning of Jan. 22, 1943, “temperatures suddenly shot from -4 to 45 degrees F in just two minutes. The temperature continued to rise to 54 degrees and later that morning plunged back to -4.”
Monday night they held a special event at the library in Spearfish, where a meteorologist from the National Weather Service explained the causes of the temperature swings.
Susan Sanders of the NWS told the Journal that the cause of the startling weather change in 1943 “was much more than a Chinook. There was a combination of really cold air off to the north and east of the Black Hills, and warmer air coming in from the west.”
The heavier cold air and lighter warm air masses sloshed back and forth, she said. “Warmer air came in and pushed (cold air) away. When the winds let up, the warmer air retreated and the cold air came back. It went back and forth several times that day,” Sanders said.
Get this...from the Rapid City Journal:
“The sharp temperature changes cracked plate glass windows, while instantaneous frost appeared on car windows and forced drivers to stop and park, according to the National Weather Service.”
At the time, Spearfish’s weather event was featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” and “Strange as it Seems” cartoons printed in newspapers nationwide.
With World War II going on, this was one of the few light-hearted news items that garnered national attention.
Spearfish marks the entrance to one of the most beautiful drives in America, the Spearfish Canyon Road. Gorgeous. It’s also the jumping off point for heading west into Wyoming to go to Devil’s Tower, another in my top five places in the country.
And from Spearfish, it’s just about 20 minutes to Deadwood. [Paid for by the Spearfish Dept. of Tourism.]
--From the Moscow Times:
“A dog is suspected of shooting its owner to death during a hunting trip in southern Russia on Sunday.
“The man was reportedly shot when one of his two dogs stepped on his hunting rifle’s trigger, the local Region 64 news agency reported Monday. ‘The trigger was presumably pulled when the animals were being moved from the vehicle,’ the regional investigative Committee said in an online statement published Monday, adding that ‘the dogs had jumped on the man’ after being taken out of the car.
“Investigators said the 64-year-old victim died of stomach wounds on the way to the hospital... ‘The victim managed to tell the medics the circumstances of his death,’ the news agency reported.”
This is a tough one for the All-Species List Board...the ASL High Council in Kazakhstan throwing it down to us.
The ruling? ‘Dog’ is fined $42 and urged to limit its affection when its owner is carrying a firearm. It remains No. 1. ‘Man’ is 379.
--I forgot to note last chat that I needed to repeat a comment I had in that other column I do; that being adult-film actress Stormy Daniels’ claim in a 2011 interview with In Touch that Donald Trump, obsessed with sharks, once told the buxom Daniels in an ever so tender moment:
“I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.”
For this, President Trump is thrown in the December file...category to be determined.
--We note the passing of legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, a leading figure in the struggle to end apartheid and “the father of South African jazz.” He was 78.
Masekela gained global recognition with his distinctive Afro-Jazz sound and hits such as Soweto Blues, a 1977 song that became synonymous with the anti-apartheid movement.
Born in the South African town of Witbank in 1939, Masekela was inspired to learn the trumpet after seeing Kirk Douglas play Bix Beiderbecke in the 1950 film “Young Man with a Horn.”
At age 21 in 1960, Masekela left South Africa to begin what would become 30 years in exile. He learned under Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, and was encouraged to develop his own style.
In 1967, he performed at the Monterey Pop Festival alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Ravi Shankar, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.
And in 1968, he had his only top 40 in the U.S., the #1 “Grazing in the Grass,” a terrific tune that has handily withstood the test of time.
Top 3 songs for the week 1/21/78: #1 “Baby Come Back” (Player) #2 “How Deep Is Your Love” (Bee Gees) #3 “Here You Come Again” (Dolly Parton)...and...#4 “You’re In My Heart” (Rod Stewart) #5 “Short People” (Randy Newman) #6 “Slip Slidin’ Away” (Paul Simon) #7 “Hey Deanie” (Shaun Cassidy) #8 “We Are The Champions” (Queen) #9 “Come Sail Away” (Styx) #10 “Stayin’ Alive” (Bee Gees...yup, this was the Bee Gees’ year...Andy Gibb getting in the act, too....)
College Basketball Quiz Answer: Player and the HBCU they attended.
Earl Monroe (Winston-Salem State...averaged 41.5 points per game his senior year, then the Bullets made him their No. 1 pick in the 1967 draft...second overall)*
Dick Barnett (Tennessee A&I...now Tennessee State)
Willis Reed (Grambling)
Sam Jones (North Carolina College...now North Carolina Central)
Zelmo Beaty (Prairie View...what a beast he was)
Al Attles (North Carolina A&T)
Bob Dandridge (Norfolk State...one of the ‘smoothest’ players I ever saw)
Charles Oakley (Virginia Union)
1. Jimmy Walker (Providence) Detroit
2. Earl Monroe
3. Clem Haskins (Western Kentucky) Chicago
4. Sonny Dove (St. John’s) Detroit
5. Walt Frazier (Southern Illinois) Knicks
Jimmy Walker had a very solid career; Haskins played a long time, but just so-so; Dove only played two years in Detroit, then two with New York’s ABA team (the Nets then); and then there was Clyde!
Next Bar Chat, Monday. No doubt there will be a little chatter about the Baseball Hall of Fame vote, due out later today.