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The Playoff Chase
[Posted Sunday p.m.]
NCAA College Football Quiz: 1) In the 1960s and ‘70s, there were six schools that won multiple AP championships. Name ‘em. 2) Name the other three schools to win one during those two decades. Answers below.
--After taking 15 of 16 to put themselves right in the heart of the wild card picture, what a frustrating stretch for Mets fans. Last Wednesday night, manager Mickey Callaway removed starter Stephen Matz, who had been mowing down the Braves in Atlanta, his last 14 in a row, just 79 pitches, in six innings, the Mets up 2-1. Before you could say Seth Lugo, the Mets’ most effective reliever had yielded five runs in the seventh, the Mets losing their third straight, 6-4.
Incredibly, some New York pundits said Callaway made the right move. No!!! He didn’t. And if the Mets don’t qualify for the WC, this single game should cost Mickey his job. Period.
The Mets did recover to beat the Braves Thursday, 10-8, rookie Pete Alonso going 5-for-5, 6 RBIs, including his 39th home run, tying the N.L. rookie mark.
But then they traveled to Kansas City for a weekend set against the lowly Royals and promptly laid an egg Friday night, losing 4-1. They then bounced back last night behind Jacob deGrom, the Mets winning by the same 4-1 score.
So they needed to win today to ensure a 3-3 road trip heading back to Citi Field, which was all I wrote a week ago that I wanted, and after starter Zack Wheeler blew a 3-0 lead, the Mets came back to win 11-5, Pete Alonso breaking the N.L. rookie record (Cody Bellinger) with home run No. 40. [Aaron Judge had 52 in 2017 for the Yanks.]
--Mark R., Phillies fan, was all excited that Bryce Harper had hit four home runs in Charlie Manuel’s first three games as the new hitting coach, including a dramatic, walk-off grand slam Thursday, the 75-year-old former Philadelphia manager brought in to shake things up.
But today as the Phils lost to the Padres 3-2, Harper left the game after two at-bats due to dehydration. We’ll cut him slack as it was very humid in Philly and he’s played in 123 of 124 games this season.
However, it’s a reminder to all you, boys and girls. Stay hydrated!
--I apologize for forgetting to acknowledge Rafael Devers’ historic game last Tuesday, 6-for-6, and four doubles, the first player to record six and four in MLB’s modern era. Devers was the third-youngest player to go 6-for-6, following Jesus Alou in 1964 and Joe Morgan in 1965.
And the 22-year-old continued to rake. Through Saturday, his average was up to .327, with 44 double, 3 triples, 26 home runs, and 97 RBI, with a .960 OPS.
Devers leads all of baseball with the 73 extra-base hits, so he has an outside shot at the magic 100 mark. As Ronald Reagan would have told Nancy while reading the sports pages, ‘Not bad, not bad at all.’
But wait...there’s more! Devers went 4-for-5 today in the Red Sox’ 13-7 win over Baltimore, two more doubles, a home run, and 4 RBIs.
So he’s at 27-101, .332, .983 OPS, 102 runs scored, and 76 XBH! Goodness gracious. We are officially on 100 watch.
Nancy would have gone to her Ronnie, ‘Did you see what Devers did today?’ ‘No, dear. Tell me.’
Such was their awesome relationship.
--So last Thursday night, the Yankees lost to the Indians at the Little Bandbox that Ruth Didn’t Build, 19-5. With the score 14-4 heading to the top of the eighth, Yankee manager Aaron Boone threw first baseman Mike Ford to the wolves and Ford gave up five runs in the inning, but did pitch a scoreless ninth.
So Boone was asked about an option of ending such a game early, by manager’s choice, and as much of a traditionalist as I am, there is no reason not to have a surrender rule.
But it would have to be only after seven innings, and the team down 10 or more.
At first, thinking about this, after Boone said he’d like the option because you don’t want to use up a bullpen in a game like that, and using position players on the mound is a joke, I thought no way, it cheats the fans.
But any game at that point, 11-1, 14-4, after seven has obviously exceeded well over two hours in today’s game. Beer has been consumed...vendors can’t be unhappy.
Because at the end of the day, boys and girls, it’s all about the suds.
Meanwhile, the Yanks’ Aaron Judge entered Sunday’s game with one home run and four RBIs in his last 23 games! Aaron Judge! Eegads.
Update: He had two hits and a ribby today in the Yanks’ 8-4 loss to the Indians. They do not want to face them in the second round.
--The Dodgers lost lefthander Julio Urias to a 20-game suspension stemming from his May arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery, the suspension beginning Saturday. It’s actually just 15 games, since Urias missed five games while on administrative leave; the measure agreed upon by the players association and MLB.
So Urias, who has been highly effective as both a spot-starter and reliever (4-3, 4 saves, 2.53 ERA), will be back well before the playoffs, which is all that matters at this point for L.A.
Meanwhile, Hyun-Jin Ryu lost Saturday 4-3 against the Braves to fall to 12-3. Ryu had yielded just two earned runs in six starts since the beginning of July, but doubled that last night in 5 2/3, his MLB-leading ERA rising from 1.45 to 1.64.
The Braves won again today, 5-3, though Cody Bellinger hit home run No. 42.
--What a game in St. Petersburg, Fla., last night as the Rays beat the Tigers 1-0 in 13 innings. Mike Brosseau had a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the 13th in a game in which the Rays struck out 24 batters without walking any.
In the first two games of the series, the Tigers set a franchise record, striking out 37 times without a base on balls.
Rays relievers struck out 14 in 20 hitless at bats. And not for nothing but Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough (11-3, 3.34) has pitched to a 1.43 ERA over 56 2/3 innings in his past 11 appearances.
--The Reds’ Aristides Aquino hit another home run Saturday, a three-run shot, in Cincinnati’s 6-1 win over the Cardinals. It was Aquino’s 10th homer in 11 games, and 11 in 17 career games, the first rookie since 1900 with 11 in his first 17, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Today, he was 0-for-2, 2 walks, in a 5-4 Cardinals win.
--The Nationals lost a crazy game to the Brewers Saturday, 15-14 in 14 innings in Washington, as Christian Yelich went 5-for-6, two home runs (Nos. 40 and 41), four RBI.
Nats closer Sean Doolittle had his sixth blown save, blowing an 11-8 lead in the ninth. Doolittle is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA since the All-Star break.
But today, the Nats won 16-8, behind 8 home runs, tying a franchise record. Sean Doolittle was put on the 10-day IL with knee tendonitis.
Juan Soto, who had two of the homers, became the third player in MLB history with 50 home runs before his 21st birthday. Soto, who turns 21 on Oct. 25, joined Mel Ott (61) and Tony Conigliaro (56).
--A federal court of appeals ruled in favor of minor league baseball players seeking to raise their wages as part of a 2014 lawsuit seeking minimum wage and overtime pay that now can proceed as a class action. The case was originally brought by 45 current and former minor leaguers against MLB, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, and a number of MLB franchises.
Most minor leaguers make less than $7,500 per year, regularly pulling them below minimum wage laws.
--Shu reminded me the Royals are the lone franchise to never have a player hit 40 home runs, Mike Moustakas with the record at 38, set in 2017. But Jorge Soler will shortly do so, Soler at 35 (second to Mike Trout in the A.L.). No Royal has ever finished better than third in league in homers.
--If you didn’t catch Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton calling the White Sox-Angels game in Anaheim, Friday night, look it up. Absolutely hilarious...and another reason why Walton is an all-time fave of Bar Chat. I frankly wish he did every single college hoops game, except, maybe the NCAA Tournament semis and final.
--So some standings, with a few results yet to come in....
St. Louis 65-57
Chicago 65-58... 0.5
Milwaukee 64-60... 2
N.L. Wild Card
Washington 67-56... +2
Chicago 65-58... ---
Milwaukee 64-60... 1.5
Philadelphia 64-60... 1.5
Mets 64-60... 1.5
San Francisco 63-61... 2.5
A.L. Wild Card
Cleveland 74-51... +1
Tampa Bay 73-52... ---
Oakland 71-52... 1
--Medinah Country Club in Illinois has hosted three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships, as well as the 2012 Ryder Cup. It is known as one of the better tests of golf in the country. Hale Irwin won the 1990 U.S. Open, and Tiger Woods the PGA there (1999, 2006).
So a lot of us were looking forward to seeing Medinah, as the second event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs that would slash the field from 70 to the final 30 for the Tour Championship.
But what we didn’t know is that with all the recent rain in the area, Medinah had become a soft little pussy cat. True, in 2006, Tiger shot -18 but he won by five strokes.
Saturday, Justin Thomas shattered the course record with an 11-under-par 61, to enter the final round at -21, six strokes better than Tony Finau and Patrick Cantlay.
And Thomas closed the deal, finishing -25, for his tenth career PGA Tour title. Thomas held off Cantlay by three.
So for next week, given the new handicap system, Thomas starts out -10, Cantlay -8, and Brooks Koepka -7.
I’ll have the full cheat sheet next time.
--Tiger Woods shot a disappointing 71-71 in the first two rounds, but followed it up with a solid 67 on Saturday, T-31 in the field. But he stood at 40 in the FedEx Cup standings, down from 38 at the start of the week, and it was clear he had to pick up four shots on essentially everyone in front of him to have a shot at getting into the final 30 for East Lake. Ergo, something like a 63 or 64.
Well, Tiger fell well short, as did the likes of Phil Mickelson, Shane Lowery, Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, and Jordan Spieth.
Jason Kokrak nailed the last spot for the Tour Championship.
--My Tottenham Spurs picked up a huge point, drawing with Manchester City on the road. But it was a highly-controversial 2-2 ending that will likely be talked about all season, City’s first league home game without a victory in nearly eight months.
It was an excellent contest for spectators, the Spurs coming back from 1-0, 2-1 deficits to tie it, but then City’s Gabriel Jesus scored to make it 3-2 in extra time, for what was going to be a crushing defeat for Tottenham...until it wasn’t.
This is the first season the PL is using Visual Assistant Referee (VAR), which automatically checks all reviewable incidents and recommends an on-field review. Before Jesus drove in the apparent game-winner, VAR spotted the ball brushing the arm of City defender Aymeric Laporte before Jesus struck home.
This wasn’t a classic handball, but totally accidental contact, yet now this is enough to negate a goal, and you can imagine the home faithful at Etihad Stadium, let alone the players and manager Pep Guardiola were beside themselves at the result.
All were in agreement, though, the law is the law, but...this doesn’t seem right.
That said, there will be countless times over the course of the season where VAR will make the right call vs. the initial ruling by the referee, and at the end of the day, the goal is to get everything right. But it will be interesting to see how this result impacts the inevitable Man City-Liverpool season race.
Speaking of Liverpool, they defeated Southampton on the road, 2-1, despite an awful play by the goalkeeper Adrian that led directly to Southampton’s lone tally.
Arsenal beat Burnley 2-1,and then today, in another terrific game, Leicester managed a draw at Chelsea, 1-1. The Blues are lucky to get a point out of it.
And newbie Sheffield United got its first win, 1-0 at home today over Crystal Palace, their first in the PL since the 2006-07 season. Just three years ago they were languishing in League One (the equivalent to AA).
Monday, Wolverhampton hosts Manchester United in an intriguing contest.
--My brother passed on a piece from the Daily Mail that “Watching football IS good for you.”
“Researchers from the University of Leeds analyzed 25 fans of the city’s soccer team over three Championship (the rung below the Premier League) games.
“They found the supporters’ heart rates increased by around 64 percent, with some peaking at 130 beats per minute. A ‘normal’ resting heart rate is between 60 and 100.
“This ‘workout’ is equivalent to going on a brisk walk for an hour-and-a-half, the scientists claimed.
“Watching their team win also reduced the fans’ blood pressure and gave them a ‘psychological boost’ that for some lasted all day.
“However, seeing their club defeated had the opposite emotional effect with fans battling a ‘slump’ that one compared to ‘a friend dying.’”
Switching sports, I can tell you that being a Mets and Jets fan more often than not generates very negative feelings and takes 10 years off your life. Yankees fans, by comparison, irritatingly live ten years longer.
--Yes, every NFL fan, coach, player, wants the same thing out of preseason. Just keep everyone healthy. You still need to give the players a few snaps of live action, but for the quarterbacks in particular, it’s just a few series these days. Like four or five, total.
The Jets have had a pretty good camp thus far in keeping the key players healthy, save for their defensive backfield, but on Thursday night, in a meaningless 22-10 win at Atlanta, they suffered a devastating blow when playmaking linebacker Avery Williamson was lost for the season due to a torn ACL.
The thing is, it was late in the second quarter and Williamson was in there with the second team when backup cornerback Tevaughn Campbell dived for a pass from Matt Ryan in the end zone and hit Williamson’s knee.
Darryl Slater / Star-Ledger
“The Jets just made their first big coaching mistake of the Adam Gase era....
“Gase and/or defensive coordinator Gregg Williams decided to play Williamson...with the backups, after all of the Jets’ other starters had exited.
“And then...cornerback Tevaughn Campbell dove for the ball and smashed into Williamson’s right knee. It wasn’t Campbell’s fault.
“This was an accidental collision, in the course of game-speed action, by a guy trying to just make the roster.
“The blame falls squarely on Gase and/or Williams. And even if Williams does decide who plays (and when) on defense in these preseason games, the buck stops with Gase, as the head coach....
“Remember, the Jets haven’t played running back Le’Veon Bell at all through two preseason games. And they might not play him a single snap in the preseason, as Gase said Thursday night....
“Yet Williamson was out there with the backups in Atlanta. Why? It made zero sense.”
Mike Vaccaro / New York Post
“It happens this quickly. It happens in an eye blink. Quicker than that, even. One moment you are covering a running back in the end zone, doing as your skills and your instincts have guided you to do your whole athletic life.
“The next moment, the knee goes.
“And the season follows....
“And we are reminded, again, just how fragile it all is, every bit of it: a football player, a football season, the delicate architecture of a team in a sport in which there are 17 different ways players can hurt themselves every time a ball is snapped.
“We are reminded how what seems like a simple decision – keeping a front-line player in a meaningless game when most of the other front-line players have taken a seat for the night – can have profound ramifications. Yes, you can second-guess Gregg Williams and Adam Gase’s decision....
“But there is a value to playing, even in a meaningless game. The Falcons still had starters in the game at that point. The Falcons still had their franchise quarterback, Matt Ryan, in the game, so they were assuming risk as well....
“But these are the absurdities that football coaches have to make all the time at this time of year. They may work under the brightest glare in December and January, when playoff berths are determined and championships won, that may be when they are ultimately fired for failure or celebrated as geniuses.
“But so much of what happens in December can be defined by what happens in August.”
--Receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated and is eligible to play in the regular season for the Patriots, after his latest suspension last December for violating terms of his previous reinstatement under the league’s substance abuse policy.
“We are all rooting for Josh to succeed, both personally and professionally,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement on Friday. “Everyone shares in that hope and will continue to support him to every extent possible. But as Josh acknowledged, ultimately his success is up to him.”
Gordon has been suspended several times and missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons. It was 2013 he led the league in receiving yards while with the Browns...1,646.
The guy is still just 28 and if he gets his mind right, as the warden implored Cool Hand Luke to do, he can be effective for Brady and Co.
--So much for Josh McCown’s retirement and move to ESPN to start a broadcasting career. He signed a one-year deal, $2 million guaranteed, to play with the Eagles, who lost Cody Kessler to a concussion and Nate Sudfeld to a broken bone on his left wrist last week.
So the quarterback will be attempting to throw a regular season pass for his eighth team, as he is currently tied with Ryan Fitzpatrick for the record of throwing at least one for seven. Fitzpatrick, who signed a two-year deal with Miami in the offseason, will also be likely attempting a pass or two for the Dolphins, making it eight for him.
--Jarrett Bell / USA TODAY Sports
“Jay-Z is all-in with the NFL now.
“The hip-hop mogul, whose given name is Shawn Carter and whose economic identity is cemented by a signature lyric – ‘I’m not a business man; I’m a business, man’ – is suddenly the new face of the league’s evolving social justice campaign. And he’s surely the game-changer the NFL needed to revive its sagging Super Bowl halftime show.
“Yet as details emerge about the new partnership formally announced on Wednesday linking Carter’s entertainment group, Roc Nation, with another conglomerate, the NFL, I’ve flashed back to the image from a couple of years ago of Jay-Z rocking that Colin Kaepernick jersey on ‘Saturday Night Live.’
“No, the announcement that Roc Nation headquarters with Jay-Z and RG1 (NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell) likely never would have happened if Kaepernick had not taken action.
“ ‘This is the next thing,’ Jay-Z said during the news conference, addressing Kaepernick’s protests.
“It’s too bad that Kaepernick wasn’t there, too....
“That’s why, to me, Jay-Z’s hook-up with the league is a bit more intriguing. Until now, Jay-Z, with his massive influence in the African-American community, was one of the most prominent critics of Goodell’s league for its handling of Kaepernick. In recent years, he also would not touch the Super Bowl halftime product. One artist after another, including megastar Rihanna, subsequently refused to be associated with the NFL in the aftermath of the Kaepernick saga.
“As Jay-Z’s lyrical message to the NFL once put it, ‘You need me; I don’t need you.’
“Well, now you’re in it with them as the NFL continues to try to squash controversy and manage sentiments from its fan base – existing and departed – from multiple directions.
“Maybe Jay-Z will still be a critic from the inside, one who holds the league accountable for its actions and inactions. But when money is involved, it’s fair to wonder about motives and convictions. It’s encouraging that Jay-Z insists that he’ll work with autonomy on NFL projects. Just don’t hold your breath that he’ll be able to help Kaepernick in the pursuit of a return.”
So I’m cynical, but as Jarrett Bell notes, there’s the music.
“The partnership will allow Roc Nation to develop the entertainment for a variety of purposes, including promotional TV spots and live events. Naturally, the Super Bowl halftime show is the most significant of all, with more than 100 million viewers. And now Jay-Z can pick the acts.”
No more Maroon 5. I wouldn’t mind Rihanna prancing around for 12 minutes, would you, guys?
Liz Granderson / Los Angeles Times
“Ever since Roc Nation and the NFL announced its partnership around social justice earlier this week, I’ve been trying to find answers for all of the wrong questions.
“I’ve spent days peeling back the layers enveloping the tweets of Carolina Panther defensive back Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa.
“I’ve spoken to reporters who attended the news conference announcing the partnership.
“The consensus was that the environment in the room was the opposite of one in which a partnership to help those less fortunate was announced. Like me, the attendants wanted answers to immediate questions, and in the hours that followed became laser focused on one: Did Jay-Z speak with Kaepernick before agreeing to the deal and, if so, why would Kaepernick’s girlfriend tweet that he didn’t?
“Who was lying?
“Who has the most to gain?
“Did Jay-Z sell out?
“It wasn’t until 48 hours later that I realized the question that matters most is ‘how much of this will matter?’
“Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson voted against every civil rights bill that made it to the floor between 1937 and 1956 and often used racist language. However, history remembers the Civil Rights Act of 1964 he signed into law as president. One aspect of his life doesn’t excuse the other but in the hierarchy of significant impact, the latter supersedes the former. Whether Johnson did it to honor the memory of John F. Kennedy or if he had a change of heart, at the end of the day sanctioned discrimination suffered a significant blow because of the heroism of a villain.
“History is often retold with linear precision, but the way it actually unfolds is closer to a murky labyrinth.
“Reid is right in calling the partnership disingenuous given the NFL’s well-established history of addressing important off-the-field matters clumsily in retrospect as opposed to proactive thoughtfulness.
“Nonetheless, if the resources of the most powerful league in the country are utilized to improve the lives of minorities and spur real change in the criminal justice system, does it really matter if the NFL did so for publicity or Jay-Z for money?
“Of course we want people and corporations to do all the right things for all of the right reasons. But the reason why there is a tax break for charitable donations is because at some point it became clear ‘being a good person’ wasn’t enough motivation.
“Call it human nature, call it greed, I really don’t care as long as it’s also recognized as pragmatism.”
--The Star-Ledger here in New Jersey does a great job covering our state university, Rutgers, and Saturday they had a piece on attendance at football games...as in its been plummeting. Four years ago Rutgers had more than 31,000 season ticketholders. For this year, it’s looking like 17,000, the lowest total since at least 2012, when Rutgers was accepted into the Big Ten.
In 2015, Rutgers sold 31,168 season tickets. In 2016, 28,478. In 2017, 23,812. Last year, 22,709.
--Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal had a piece on falling college football attendance around the nation, and how many schools are relying on sales of alcohol to draw some of the fans back.
Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek said, “I don’t know that someone is going to make a decision to come to a game just because alcohol is being served, but we just can’t take that chance anymore.” [The Razorbacks are introducing the sale of beer and wine in general seating areas this fall for the first time, after attendance has fallen 14% over the past two years.]
Colleges long shunned alcohol out of a mix of public safety and optics concerns. West Virginia, for example, a decade ago was plagued with growing binge-drinking at football games. Though booze wasn’t sold in the stadium, its re-entry policy allowed fans to leave during halftime and return.
“People would leave, go to their tailgates and booze up again for the second half,” said Oliver Luck, who was then the Mountaineers athletic director and is now chief executive of the XFL.
Luck proposed an experiment: sell beer inside the stadium and ban re-entry. In 2011, WVU became one of the first programs in a major conference to sell alcohol in public areas and the policy largely worked – at least there was a significant decrease in alcohol-related incidents.
Average attendance for Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools has fallen for five consecutive years, according to the NCAA. It is down 11% from a decade ago. Actual attendance is often well below the reported figures.
But alcohol can make a difference, even if a small one, in stopping the slide, and the schools make a little money in doing so.
--One of the my favorite three or four races of the year in NASCAR is the August Saturday night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and last night, driver Matt DiBenedetto was close to a storybook ending for what had been an awful, “devastating” week.
DiBenedetto led a race-high 93 laps (of 500) and it looked like he was headed for his first career Cup Series win, just four days after he found out he doesn’t have a ride next season with Leavine Family Racing.
But in the final laps of the .533-mile track pole-winner Denny Hamlin chased him down for the win, his fourth of the season, while DiBenedetto finished second.
So the first thing Hamlin did when he got out of the car was apologize to DiBenedetto, who said he has no prospects for next season yet. Hamlin said after that Matt was a “great guy” and an “amazing race car driver.” Hamlin then added that if DiBenedetto doesn’t find a ride, “all you car owners are idiots.”
--You have to feel for Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins, who is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee, his third serious leg injury in the past year and a half.
Cousins, who is awesome when healthy, and a four-time All-Star, already had his mobility compromised by a Jan. 2018 Achilles tear and then a quadriceps tear in April. He suffered his latest injury while working out in Las Vegas.
Cousins had signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Lakers in July and was going to be a key piece backing up center Anthony Davis
--Delegates from 180 countries have been holding a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Geneva. Some African nations are again pushing to reopen the trade in ivory. Others are seeking the highest possible protections for all of Africa’s elephants.
A study published in 2016 estimated that 30-40,000 elephants were killed by poachers every year with roughly 400,000 left in total.
Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe are proposing that ivory from elephants in their region be traded.
Others, including Kenya, Nigeria and Gabon are proposing that all elephants in Africa receive the highest form of protection available to Cites.
It turns out five countries in all want to re-open trade in ivory, 32 countries want full protection and a complete ban.
Others say they are worried about giraffes, who are suffering a “silent extinction” with numbers dropping by 40% over the last 30 years because of habitat loss, civil unrest, illegal hunting and the international trade in body parts.
--We note the passing of actor Peter Fonda, who died of complications from lung cancer. He was 79. Son of Henry Fonda, brother to Jane Fonda and father of Bridget Fonda, Peter Fonda will forever be known for his 1969 tour de force in “Easy Rider,” the countercultural road trip sage that he starred in, co-wrote and produced. The film, directed by Dennis Hopper, captured the uneasy moment of late ‘60s America and is widely seen to have ushered in a new era for Hollywood.
The film also earned Fonda his first of two Oscar nominations, for the film’s original screenplay co-written with Hopper and Terry Southern.
Fonda never took home an Oscar, but he won two Golden Globes – for his supporting performance opposite Helen Mirren in the 1999 television film “The Passion of Ayn Rand” and for “Ulee’s Gold.”
The success of “Easy Rider,” which was No. 4 at the box office that year, was cataclysmic. As Charles Champlin wrote in the New York Times in December 1969, “It is the mark of an extraordinary movie that discussion about it will not die. ‘Easy Rider,’ more than any other movie this year, is one which people can’t let alone, whether they like it or (even more) whether they don’t.”
In a 2018 interview with The Times, Fonda reflected on the legacy of “Easy Rider.”
“That audience was not something that the establishment knew anything about or how to reach,” he said. “They thought it was a small little market. But it was a market that had never been played to. Nobody had sung their song to them. They had their poetry. They had their artwork. They had their music. They had their dress. They didn’t have their movie.”
“Easy Rider” went “right into that movement. It was their movie.”
Top 3 songs for the week 8/20/77: #1 “Best Of My Love” (Emotions) #2 “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” (Andy Gibb) #3 “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher” (Rita Coolidge)...and...#4 “I’m In You” (Peter Frampton) #5 “Easy” (Commodores) #6 “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (Pablo Cruise) #7 “Do You Wanna Make Love” (Peter McCann) #8 “Just A Song Before I Go” (Crosby, Stills & Nash...just go, I don’t need a freakin’ song...) #9 “You And Me” (Alice Cooper) #10 “You Made Me Believe In Magic” (Bay City Rollers... C- week...)
NCAA College Football Quiz Answers: 1) Multiple AP titles in the ‘60s and ‘70s:
Alabama (5...1961, ’64, ’65, ’78, ’79)
USC (3...1962, ’67, ’72)
Notre Dame (3...1966, ’73, ’77)
Texas (2...1963, ’69)
Nebraska (2...1970, ’71)
Oklahoma (2...1974, ’75)
2) Single titles: Minnesota (1960), Ohio State (1968), Pitt (1976)
1969 Mets, cont’d....
The Metsies were home for the west coast teams, starting off with four against the expansion Padres, including back-to-back doubleheaders owing to a Friday rainout.
Aug. 16: The Mets sweep the Padres 2-0, 2-1. Tom Seaver threw eight scoreless in the opener, Ron Taylor the save, as Tom Terrific moved to 17-7, though once again he complained of tenderness in his right shoulder.
Jim McAndrew pitched seven innings of one-run ball in the nightcap, Tug McGraw the save, as Jerry Grote had the game-winner, a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh.
Aug. 17: The Mets sweep the Padres again, by identical 3-2 scores. Jerry Koosman threw a complete game in the opener for his tenth win, Duffy Dyer with a 3-run homer in the fifth to account for the Mets’ offense.
In the nightcap, Don Cardwell (5-9) threw seven scoreless, and after Cal Koonce was hit hard in relief, Ron Taylor picked up the save.
So after two rather productive days, the Mets had four wins while scoring only ten runs combined. Now 66-51, 8 games back of the Cubbies. The Padres, by the way, fell to 35-85.
Next in the Giants.
And next Bar Chat, Thursday.