|Articles||Go Fund Me||All-Species List||Hot Spots||Go Fund Me|
|Web Epoch NJ Web Design | (c) Copyright 2016 StocksandNews.com, LLC.|
Darnold and Mayfield
[Posted Sunday p.m.]
College Football Bowl Quiz: Time for a now annual one...this year there are 39 bowl games (there were 41 two years ago). But in 1970-71, there were just 11. Name ‘em. Answer below.
In the only games that remotely mattered at this point in the season....
--Tennessee (8-6) stayed very much in the playoff hunt, shutting out the Giants, who are now out of it at 5-9, 17-0 at MetLife Stadium. It was a truly pathetic effort by New York, as Eli Manning reverted to his early-season form, 21/44, 229, 0-1, 54.1, plus a lost fumble that led to a Tennessee touchdown, while the Titans held Saquon Barkley to just 31 yards on 14 carries.
For Tennessee, Derrick Henry had his second straight huge game, 170 yards and two TDs rushing on 33 carries.
The weather was atrocious and if you went to this game, you’re bemoaning you’ll never have those five hours, at least, including travel time, back again.
--The Packers are finis, 5-8-1, after a 24-17 loss to the Bears, who at 10-4 have worked themselves into the Super Bowl conversation. Mitchell Trubisky threw two TD passes for Chicago, while Aaron Rodgers basically sucked, 25/42, 274, 0-1, 69.0.
And not for nothing, but for a guy who is known to be rather prickly, and now a coach destroyer, Rodgers gets an awful lot of commercial opportunities. He’s everywhere these days. I’m getting irritated.
--Indianapolis is very much still in the playoff hunt at 8-6, following a rather surprising 23-0 whitewash of Dallas, whose five-game winning streak ended ingloriously.
The Colts were led by running back Marlon Mack’s 139 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.
So Dallas, 8-6, gave life to the following...
--...Washington, who beat the Jaguars (4-10) 16-13, to move to 7-7. Josh Johnson got the start and did enough, 200 yards of total offense. The Redskin defense had six sacks.
--Minnesota is still very much in the wildcard race at 7-6-1, actually in the No. 6 slot, following a 41-17 win over Miami (7-7), denting the Dolphins’ hopes. Miami’s Ryan Tannehill was awful, 11/24, 108, 0-0, 59.0, though the Vikings defense had something to do with that.
For Minny, Kirk Cousins tossed two touchdown passes, and Dalvin Cook went off for 136 yards and two scores on 19 carries.
--The Ravens stayed in the final AFC WC slot at 8-6, after a 20-12 win over Tampa Bay (5-9). Rutgers rookie Gus Edwards had 104 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown, his third 100-yard effort since he was inserted into the starting lineup, during which time Baltimore is 4-1. Classic Rutgers.
--Seattle suffered a bad loss to fall to 8-6, 26-23 to San Francisco (4-10) in overtime. Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed an early extra point and that was the difference, 49ers kicker Robbie Gould booting the game-winning field goal in OT. Richie James had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for San Fran.
--And in the big national game, Pittsburgh held on to defeat New England (9-5) 17-10, the Steelers hanging onto first place in the AFC North at 8-5-1.
For Pittsburgh, running back Jaylen Samuels, subbing for the injured James Conner, rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries. He had all of 59 yards, total, coming in.
Tom Brady looks increasingly ordinary as he ages in front of our eyes, though his receivers let him down bigly in the first half, dropping a couple key throws.
--We had two entertaining, and important, contests on Saturday.
The Jets fell to 4-10, losers of ten or more three consecutive seasons (all under coach Todd Bowles), but after seeing glimpses of the future this season in rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, despite losing 29-22 to Houston (10-4) at the Meadowlands, Darnold grew up, playing even better than his 24/38, 253, 2-0, 100.0, 35 yards rushing, slash line indicates.
Steve Serby / New York Post
“The statements, delivered loudly and boldly and in no uncertain terms Saturday at MetLife Stadium by Sam Darnold:
“You ain’t seen nothing yet.
“You have seen the future, and it’s me.
“This was the day that Sam Darnold threw off his baby shoes and began walking tall.
“This was one more small step for a boy growing into a man, one giant leap for Jetkind.
“This was the Samchise at his best.
“Darnold scared the hell out of the playoff-bound Texans, with his arm and with his legs, and when the cavalry arrives to help him, he will beat them one day, and one day soon.
“He was a 29-22 loser only because Deshaun Watson [Ed. 22/28, 294, 2-0, 134.6] found unstoppable DeAndre Hopkins [10-170-2] with a 14-yard TD pass against Mo Claiborne with 2:15 remaining, and Darnold was out of magic and out of help from Robby Anderson when he got his two last desperate chances.
“But 50 years after Super Bowl III, Darnold provided a compelling reminder he is the oasis in the dessert, the crown jewelry of the New York Jets....
“ ‘I feel like I’m seeing the field a lot better, and I feel like our whole offense is really starting to click a lot better getting in and out...but it comes down to wins and losses,’ Darnold said. ‘That’s the whole point of playing, you want to win.’
“Once he has a better team around him, no one doubts that he will.”
Meanwhile, the improbable Cleveland Browns moved to 6-7-1 and still have a slight shot at making the playoffs following a 17-16 win over the Broncos (6-8) in Denver, Broncos coach Vance Joseph opting to kick a field goal to cut it to 17-16 with 4:35 to play, rather than go for it on fourth-and-one from the Cleveland 6.
Yes, Denver had two timeouts, the two-minute warning, and their solid defense, so Joseph thought for sure the Broncos would get it back for a final attempt to win it.
And they did, only it was from their own 13, not, say, the 40 after a presumed defensive stop. Heck, Cleveland interim coach Gregg Williams went for it on fourth-and-one from the Denver 10 and Nick Chubb was stopped for a loss. So you could question Williams not kicking the field goal there.
Anyway, the Browns won behind the other big rookie quarterback in the NFL, Baker Mayfield, who overthrew a lot of his passes in the first half but improved to finish 18/31, 188, 2-1, 83.8.
Mayfield, like Darnold, has been as good as the team could have hoped for (and then some, in Baker’s case). It’s his team, mid-December, and Cleveland, 1-31 over the previous two seasons, is talking playoffs.
And not for nothing, but they are 4-2 since firing Hue Jackson as their coach.
--I can’t remember the last time I watched an entire Thursday night football game, but it was an outstanding matchup, the Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, the surging Chargers now tied atop the AFC West with the Chiefs at 11-3, though the Chiefs own the tiebreaker.
Down 14-0 early and 28-14 late, L.A. rallied for a pair of touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the final 3 minutes 49 seconds for a huge win, 29-28.
With only four seconds remaining, Philip Rivers passed one yard to Mike Williams, Williams’ third score, to make it 28-27.
Rather than settle for a tie and overtime (your editor nervous as hell because this would mean Summit’s Michael Badgley would have to boot it), coach Anthony Lynn opted to go for the win. Rivers again hit Williams, who was wide open when the Chiefs’ secondary crumbled, for the two points and the victory.
“We didn’t come here to tie,” Lynn said of the thinking behind going for two. “We came here to win. To me, it was a no-brainer.”
Kind of shockingly, San Diego/Los Angeles has qualified for its first postseason berth since 2013.
This was a real breakout game for receiver Williams, the seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Clemson, as he had seven receptions for 76 yards and two TDs, plus a 19-yard TD run.
As for K.C., there are already folks saying budding superstar QB Patrick Mahomes could be his generation’s Dan Marino...a record-setting QB who fails to win a Super Bowl. You need a supporting cast and Kansas City doesn’t have a Super Bowl-caliber defense.
Back to Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers, he has overcome deficits of 14 points or more to win 11 times, the most among active quarterbacks.
Lastly, my man Badgley was 3-for-3 on extra points, no field goal attempts, so he’s 14/15 FGs, 23/24 PATs. [Jets fans saw Saturday how extra-point attempts are far from automatic these days as Jason Myers, who has been their MVP this season, missed two of them.]
--What a sad story in Washington, as quarterback Alex Smith finally left the hospital. ESPN’s Adam Schefter and John Keim reported “there is some optimism, but hardly certainty, that Smith will be able to resume his NFL career, though the priority for now is simply recovering from a spiral leg fracture that became infected after multiple surgeries.”
Smith’s future is at stake, ditto Washington’s, because if Smith is unable to play, the Redskins will have to eat $20.4 million worth of salary-cap space next season and another $21.4 million in 2020 – “essentially about 13 percent of the NFL’s projected salary cap.”
--Can’t say I caught much of Saturday’s bowl game action, but happy for No. 21 Fresno State, which won its 12th game (12-2) for the first time in school history, 31-20 over Herm Edwards’ Arizona State (7-6).
And Appalachian State won its fourth straight bowl game, this one 45-13 over Middle Tennessee, the Apps winning under interim coach Mark Ivey, in his only game at the helm, as the ASU has hired North Carolina State offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz to be its new head coach, replacing Scott Satterfield, who is off to Louisville.
And that’s how it works in the college coaching ranks, everyone striving to climb up one notch at a time.
Case in point, Elon. Shu told me about its coach of two years, Curt Cignetti, who turned around a pathetic program and is now off to James Madison, where he signed a six-year deal.
Cignetti has been a head coach for eight seasons, the first six at Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania, before he moved on to Elon. He has a 67-26 record in that span.
Cignetti replaces Mike Houston, who is the new head coach at East Carolina. Houston was 37-6 at JMU.
--In the FCS semifinals....
No. 1 and now 14-0 North Dakota State will be squaring off against Eastern Washington (12-2) in the Jan. 5 title game, NDSU beating South Dakota State 44-21, while EWU defeated Maine 50-19.
College Basketball Review
--Exams are over...time for the College Basketball season to heat up. But the first game after being off for a week, in many cases, can be a dicey affair for some teams.
Saturday, No. 1 Kansas (9-0) hosted No. 17 Villanova (8-4), which still no doubt had memories of the loss to Penn at the Palestra the other day. But the Wildcats played well, only to fall to the Jayhawks 74-71, Kansas led by Dedric Lawson’s 28 points and 12 rebounds, while LaGerald Vick scored 29. [Devon Dotson added 11 points...so 68 of 74 by these three.]
Kansas actually tried hard to give this game away, making some inexplicable mistakes down the stretch, but ‘Nova could never get over the hump.
No. 3 Tennessee (8-1) beat Memphis 102-92 (5-5).
No. 12 North Carolina had a huge win over 4 Gonzaga (9-2) at the Dean Dome, 103-90, the Tar Heels improving to 8-2 behind Cameron Johnson’s 25 and Luke Maye’s 20 and 16 rebounds. Carolina made 13-of-25 three-point attempts.
No. 5 Michigan stayed undefeated at 11-0 with a 70-62 win over Western Michigan (5-5).
Your Bar Chat “Pick to Click,” No. 7 Nevada, are 12-0 after a 72-68 win over pesky South Dakota State (9-4) in Reno.
No. 13 Virginia Tech improved to 9-1 with a nice 73-61 win over Washington (7-4) in Atlantic City (the Air Force Reserve Boardwalk Classic).
Surprising No. 14 Buffalo is 10-0 with a 73-65 win over Southern Illinois (7-5), the Bulls now facing off against Syracuse and Marquette their next two.
But No. 25 Syracuse (7-3) lost to Old Dominion (8-3), 68-62, at the Carrier Dome.
Meanwhile, the No. 23 Furman Paladins moved to 12-0, destroying UNC Wilmington 93-50.
It’s very cool that Buffalo and Furman are playing so well.
I do have to also note I caught the exciting finish of No. 25 Indiana* against instate rival Butler, the Hoosiers (9-2) prevailing 71-68 on a Rob Phinisee deep, buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Butler dropped to 7-3.
*In the last AP poll, Indiana, Syracuse and Kansas State were all tied at No. 25.
Finally, in the Battle for New Jersey, Seton Hall (7-3) defeated Rutgers (5-5) 72-66.
Boy, my interest in the NBA thus far this season is negligible. I do care what the Knicks do, like in a nice 126-124 overtime road win Friday over Charlotte, New York 9-21*, because it’s about figuring out who can be legitimate supporting players going forward, point-guard Emmanuel Mudiay, for example, with a career-high 34 points and eight assists against the Hornets. He’s looking more and more like the 2015 lottery pick by Denver, and he’s still just 22.
*Make that 9-22, after a 110-99 loss at Indiana.
Otherwise, I guess I have to note that LeBron James and Lonzo Ball had rather stellar nights for the Lakers, Saturday, in a 128-100 rout of Charlotte (which no doubt was tired from the Knicks contest the night before).
James and Ball each notched a triple-double (James 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists; Ball 16, 10 and 10); the first time Lakers teammates accomplished the feat since Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Jan. 22, 1982.
But wake me up come playoff time when it comes to this sport. College hoops is superior in so many ways.
--In a kind of strange trade as the Winter Meetings came to a close, Carlos Santana, who had been recently acquired by Seattle in a deal with Philadelphia (that included the Mariners sending Jean Segura to Philly), was then traded back to Cleveland, where he was an Indians fan favorite, slugger Edwin Encarnacion headed to Seattle – where it’s expected he’ll be included in another deal because, otherwise, it makes no sense for the Mariners, who are blowing up the team in a major rebuild.
It was a three-team trade, Tampa Bay receiving infielder Yandy Diaz and a minor league pitcher from Cleveland, the Indians acquiring first baseman Jake Bauers from Tampa Bay, and a bunch of money was passed around among the three.
Of all players in this deal, Diaz could be the key, a guy with talent whose opportunities were limited in Cleveland with their talented infield.
--To make room for Carlos Santana, the Indians then traded first baseman Yonder Alonso (.250 BA, 23 HR, 83 RBI) to the White Sox for a minor-league infielder.
--The Yankees still haven’t officially wrapped it up, but it would appear J.A. Happ is returning for two years at $34 million – with an option for 2021, $51 million if he maxes out.
Happ was 7-0, 2.69 ERA, with the Yankees in eleven starts once he was acquired midseason from Toronto. But he’s 36.
--I like the move my Mets made...bringing back one-time closer Jeurys Familia (three years, $30 million) to be the set-up man for newly-acquired Edwin Diaz.
But wait...there’s more! The Mets signed free-agent catcher Wilson Ramos, a two-time All-Star, to a two-year deal, pending a physical. Ramos hit .306, with 15 homers and 70 RBIs for both Tampa Bay and Philadelphia last season. It’s a big risk, given Ramos has trouble staying healthy, but I like the move.
--The Dodgers landed free-agent reliever Joe Kelly, who was so dominant in the postseason for the Red Sox, especially against L.A., on a reported three-year, $25 million deal.
--I really like this one...the Angels signing first baseman Justin Bour for one year, $2.5 million; terrific insurance should Albert Pujols not be able to play the field. Bour, 30, given the right opportunity, will bust out some day.
The Angels are in a bind because they won’t know until spring training what kind of shape Pujols is in, and the timetable for Shohei Ohtani being allowed to hit, the phenom recovering from Tommy John surgery, is unknown at this point.
--The Yankees were furious over this one. An investigation into food-safety at Major sporting venues across the country conducted by ESPN, based on reports in 2016 and 2017, found Yankee Stadium was ranked last in MLB with a violation rate of 79.07 percent.
Of the 43 outlets inspected at Yankee Stadium, 34 contained high-level violations. The issues included problems with food handling, with investigators finding multiple locations where food was “adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded” properly.
There also were violations with hygience; inspectors discovering “personal cleanliness inadequate” at one concession stand, where an “employee’s outer garment was soiled with a possible contaminant.”
ESPN compiled 16,000 reports on food quality at 111 sports arenas around the country.
The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, home to the Hornets, ranked dead last with a violation rate of 93 percent. Oracle Arena in Oakland was ranked tops overall, with just 1.12 percent violations, while Miller Park in Milwaukee was the best in MLB at 8.7 percent.
The Mets’ Citi Field wasn’t much better than Yankee Stadium – 86th overall and just four spots ahead in MLB – with violations found at 55.17 percent of locations inspected.
The Yankees, a day after the report was released, vehemently refuted the claims, saying all the violations were immediately remedied upon notification.
I’m still grossed out.
--Back to the selection of Harold Baines for the Hall of Fame through one of those committees defined by cronyism (Baines going in next summer along with Lee Smith and whoever the writers come up with in January), I forgot to mention the travesty of Albert Belle not getting in, Belle being on the same ballot as the other two.
I mean there was no one more feared in the game than Belle in his era, the slugger having nine straight 100-RBI seasons, three top-3 finishes in the MVP vote, 3 times leading the league in RBIs, a 50-home run season, a .933 career OPS (vs. Baines’ .820).
But Albert Belle was not a real popular player, especially among the writers, and he could be a royal a-hole...yet no one was better in the decade of the ‘90s.
--Doh! Griffin Roberts, a first-round pick by the Cardinals last June out of Wake Forest, has been suspended for the first 50 games of the 2019 season for a second positive test for drug abuse.
Roberts, a terrific pitcher at Wake as both a starter and closer, bagged a signing bonus of $1.66 million and then he does this. C’mon, Griffin.
--We’re entering the best time of year for Premier League fans. All the other European leagues largely take the holidays off, but the PL crams in more action than normal. Throw in some crappy weather and its great fun, for those of us watching on television, heat on.
Saturday, Manchester City defeated Everton, to get back on track after last week’s loss to Chelsea, while Tottenham, no doubt super tired after its midweek Champions League effort, eked out an extra-time, 91st minute, 1-0 win over Burnley (thank you, Christian Eriksen).
Sunday, Chelsea beat Brighton 2-1, but lowly Southampton shocked Arsenal, 3-2, in a stirring contest, Southampton now above the relegation line at No. 17.
The match of the weekend, though, was Liverpool hosting Manchester United today, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (the most likeable coach/manager in professional sports) inserting substitute winger Xherdan Shaqiri with 20 minutes to play, game tied at 1-1, and all Shaqiri did was score twice in seven minutes, Liverpool winning 3-1 and regaining first place.
For struggling, and troubled, Man U, the best player on the team, Paul Pogba, remained on the sidelines the entire match. No explanation given.
So after 17 of 38 matches...W-D-L...Pts...
1. Liverpool 14-3-0...45
2. Man City 14-2-1...44
3. Tottenham 13-0-4...39
4. Chelsea 11-4-2...37
5. Arsenal 10-4-3...34
6. Man U 7-5-5...26
That Arsenal loss was a killer for the Gunners, and great for Tottenham, which is going to be vulnerable later on with Champions League play in February and March....
--...Speaking of which, the Champions League holds its draw for the last 16 on Monday morning; Man City, Man U, Tottenham and Liverpool all part of it.
The 16 sides are split into two pots of seeded and unseeded teams – you cannot face a team from your country or one that you have already played in the group stage.
Only Man City won its group, the other three English clubs finishing second, so there will be some very tough matchups for our boys of the PL.
Alpine World Cup
You know what I watched a lot of Saturday night, NBCSN’s coverage of the men’s downhill at Val Gardena (Italy). I had been tipped off during the day that Switzerland’s Marc Gisin suffered a horrific crash on the treacherous course, airlifted to a hospital, and I was curious how things developed, plus I just admire the hell out of the men and women in the downhill event, as much as any single sporting event. [I put them on par with Indy Car drivers...you try controlling a missile...whereas downhill racers are the actual missile.]
NBC does such an awesome job on ski racing and so you could tell on the taped coverage that they were preparing to show all the potential winners in their two-hour window, but then Gisin came down when they were clearly in a commercial break, and as we saw on the replay his crash was terrible.
It turns out the race was interrupted for 30 minutes while he was removed, but in the end Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won it.
The U.S. men, who have been without a podium finish thus far this season, did, however, finish fourth thru sixth. As Ronald Reagan would have said, describing the action to Nancy as he read the sports page, the two enjoying their breakfast, ‘Not bad...not bad at all.’
As for Gisin, this afternoon, the Swiss team announced that “scans on the skull showed no serious injury,” but the skier has several broken bones.
The team statement said Gisin fractured several ribs on his right side, his right lung was also injured, his pelvis was dented slightly, plus he has a “few, no-serious fractures on the spine.”
He will remain hospitalized in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The thing is, as the announcers doing the NBC coverage noted following the crash, Gisin had recently come back from an awful crash at Kitzbuehel, Austria, in 2015. Yes, he was out more than two years with concussion syndrome. That’s so scary...but he had to come back. Boy, we wish the lad well.
Gisin’s sisters are highly successful skiers. Dominique won gold in downhill at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and Michelle Gisin won the combined at the Pyeongchang Games in February.
--There is nothing worse than poor copycats, and such is the case with ESPN and its attempt to one-up Sports Illustrated and its “Sportsperson of the Year,” SI this year selecting the Golden State Warriors, a solid choice.
So ESPN came up with its list of “The 20 Most Dominant Athletes of 2018.”
Now ESPN has Simone Biles No. 1, and I’m not going to argue with that, nor with Katie Ledecky’s well-deserved No. 5 spot. And I like how Justify was on the list at No. 16.
But what stands out first is there is no Brooks Koepka! The guy rises to No. 1 in the World Rankings, wins the U.S. Open for a second consecutive year, and the PGA, and instead, female golfer Ariya Jutanugarn was placed at No. 4!
And UFC fighter Daniel Cormier is No. 3!
This is what we call too cute by half.
--I have to admit I’m enjoying our little annual break from golf. It starts up again soon enough, first week in January in Hawaii.
But we are at the midway point of the College Golf season and the Golfweek / Sagarin men’s rankings have:
1. Oklahoma State
3. Georgia Tech
8. Wake Forest ...ding ding ding!
On the women’s side:
15. Wake Forest ...ding ding ding!
--The best sportswriter in the business these days is Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal. I mean when George Will is singing yours praises, as he did Mr. Gay’s about six months ago, you know you’re good.
“Another year’s end beckons, which means we’ve arrived at List Season: the time for self-styled experts of all stripes to offer unsolicited, allegedly well-considered Top 10s in movies, television, books, sports, art, food, business, technology, automobiles, fashion, mindfulness, gardening, wine, cigars, travel, UFO abductions, unusually-shaped vegetables and, if we’re lucky, tiny dog pillows.
“I’ll let you in on an industry secret, which is this: Top 10 lists are baloney. They’re a ruse created by the media industry to allow staffers to peel off for the holidays. In a week or so, newspaper reporters and editors throughout the land will be boarding their lavish private jets for their Caribbean idylls, content in the knowledge that they can unplug for at least a week without interruptions from the office.
“Fun fact: Most Top 10s are written by the author in a limousine to the airport. A large proportion of the rest are automated, written by AI or very skilled robotic stuffed animals. You may already know all this.
“But the thing that should really bother you about Year End Top 10 lists is this: They’re all so superlative. Every list is a Best of, a Greatest, a Finest, a Most Amazing. The positivity can be suffocating, like the guy who’s always trying to sell wheat germ at the supermarket....
“The truth is, a big chunk of life is unremarkable. For all of the beautiful and inspirational events we experience – if we’re lucky – there are plenty of mundane ones, and we never seem to recognize those.
“With this in mind, I’d like to offer My First Ever Top 10 Unmemorable Moments of the Year:
“10. That Cheese Sandwich I Bought at the Airport. I was in a rush. I saw the line at Starbucks, and I knew there was zero chance of making my flight if I stood there. So I found an empty newsstand with a cooler, and my eye migrated from the $7.99 cup of grapes to the $4.99 hard-boiled egg to a cheddar cheese on whole wheat for just $15.99. Halfway through my flight, I remembered I had it. It was not great, but not terrible, either....
“7. Everything I Watched on Cable News in 2018. Everyone on cable news acts like their pants are on fire. And yet, minutes later, I can’t remember a single thing I watched....
“3. That Ferry Ride. Don’t fly, they said. Take the ferry, they said. I enjoyed it. But it wasn’t like some crazy skydiving adventure or something.
“2. The Cat’s Performance. Another lackluster year for your ambivalent house cat, who seldom shows love or interest in us. Yet it expects us to praise it in print? Get real, buddy.
“1. This Column. If they gave out Pulitzers for mediocrity...”
--I have to put in a good word for Penn State. Saturday, I dropped by a charity event that two PSU students were throwing in neighboring New Providence, and I couldn’t have been more impressed by the kids I met there.
Penn State hasn’t had a lot of good publicity the last few years, to say the least, between the Sandusky mess and the hazing tragedy at the fraternity, but the school is doing something right. These kids are destined to make a difference in society.
--From BBC News:
“A monk meditating in a forest in the Indian state of Maharashtra has died in a leopard attack, officials say.
“Rahul Walke [Ed. don’t know him] had been ‘meditating under a tree’ in the Tadoba forest, which is a protected tiger preserve, officials told PTI news agency.
“Walke had been attached to a Buddhist temple which is inside the forest, but he had walked to a spot quite far away from it to meditate.
“Forest officials said they had warned the monks against going too far inside.”
There are plans to capture the leopard. A monk belonging to the same temple told the BBC that he had seen the animal attacking Walke when he visited his meditation spot to give him food.
The Tadoba reserve is home to an estimated 88 tigers, as well as leopards, hyenas and honey badgers.
I hope the leopard shared his kill with the others.
--Maroon 5 is the lead act for the Super Bowl Halftime Show, but due to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, the band is having a hard time finding anyone to appear as featured guests during the 13-minute slot.
Among those considering the appearance are Cardi B, who is featured on the Maroon 5 hit “Girls Like You,” which spent seven weeks at No. 1 over the fall, and Andre Benjamin, AKA Andre 3000 of Outkast. Others are under consideration, but no one seems to be jumping at the opportunity.
The Super Bowl is in Atlanta and other acts in the area around the time of the game are Cardi and Bruno Mars.
Actually, Maroon 5 hasn’t officially been announced as the halftime act. This whole thing is kind of a mess.
I’m guessing Tony Bennett is available. “Hey, Tony, no...face that way....”
By the way, the halftime show doesn’t pay, which makes it tougher to get an A-list act.
But if everyone is so skittish about performing this year, despite the benefits of appearing before a television audience of over 100 million, who will even perform the National Anthem?
--There was a story in the Irish Independent on the lack of new Christmas songs; as in Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” from 1994, is the last one, if you can believe it. [And if you believe Carey really wants you, think again.]
The article noted a Chris Rea song, “Driving Home For Christmas,” (1986...didn’t chart until 1988), and I had to YouTube it. Great tune (great video)...it gets zero play in the New York area.
It’s just kind of funny that there remains a thirst for the old and familiar.
--Another outrageous injustice was perpetrated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as the just-announced 2019 class of inductees includes Stevie Nicks, Janet Jackson, Radiohead, The Cure, Def Leppard, Roxy Music and The Zombies.
Now I’m fired up, and a bit surprised, that the Zombies got in. They deserve it...a very underrated band from the British Invasion.
But Dr. W. and I are beyond torqued off that Todd Rundgren didn’t get selected, which makes zero sense, as we look at Radiohead? The Cure? Roxy Music? C’mon. This is bulls---.
Of course these are the same folks who years ago rigged the vote against the Dave Clark Five, preventing them from getting in for another two years, during which time two of the band members died. Fox News did a study then, proving the ballot shenanigans.
With the travesty of Rundgren not getting in, Dr. W. and I have been rioting in our respective communities, causing Yellow Vest-type damage (though not getting arrested). The good Doctor (who actually saves lives) reminded me of the voting process...as in us fans, thinking we have a real say, have essentially none.
Here are the rules:
“Each year, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s Nominating Committee Selects the group of artists nominated in the performer category.
“Ballots are then sent to more than 1,000 historians, members of the music industry and artists – including every living Rock Hall inductee – and the five performers receiving the most votes becomes that year’s induction class. Beginning in 2012, fans were given the chance to vote for the nominees they’d like to see inducted into the Rock Hall. The top five vote-getters in the public poll form one ballot, which is weighted the same as the rest of the submitted ballots.”
It sucks that the fans are the equivalent of a single ballot, when we believe we should be at least 10% of the vote. I wonder how many people, who are thus wasting their time going online to vote, realize how little it matters.
On the other hand, it’s true you can kind of stuff the ballot in voting multiple times, but ‘one ballot’?!
Further protests are planned for next weekend.
Top 3 songs for the week 12/22/79: #1 “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (Rupert Holmes) #2 “Please Don’t Go” (K.C. & The Sunshine Band...their dreadful attempt at a slow song...) #3 “Babe” (Styx...ditto...though got heavy slow-dance play at Wake Forest...not that I attended such shindigs...burrowing myself in the library, seven nights a week, to ensure I would graduate at the top of my class....cough cough...hack...cough....)...and...#4 “Send One Your Love” (Stevie Wonder) #5 “Still” (Commodores...decent tune...) #6 Do That To Me One More Time” (The Captain & Tennille) #7 “You’re Only Lonely” (J.D. Souther) #8 “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” (Barbra Streisand/Donna Summer...beyond awful...) #9 “Ladies Night” (Kool & The Gang...loved these Jersey Boys...but this one hasn’t aged too well, in my humble opinion...) #10 “Take The Long Way Home” (Supertramp...just a really, really crappy week...so Ken P. and Jim D. will be pleased to know I’m heading back to the 60s...)
College Football Bowl Quiz Answer: 11 Bowl Games 1970-71....
Gator, Cotton, Orange, Rose, Sugar, Bluebonnet, Peach, Tangerine, Pasadena, Sun, Liberty
The next year the Fiesta Bowl was added.
The 1970 Tangerine Bowl matched up Toledo and William & Mary.
For you younger folk, the Gator Bowl was the clear #5 behind the big four. The Peach, Sun and Liberty bowls were also ‘must-see’ for us budding football fans. I mean among these first eight, they were basically all top 20 matchups.
Yes, trying to remember the Pasadena Bowl, which even I don’t, is unfair. So if you got 10, you are still entitled to quaff a cold one.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.