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Eddie Van Halen...Lakers...Yanks
[Posted late Tues. p.m., like midnight…cuz I wanted to get in some late sports results…]
NFL Quiz: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 502 yards in a losing effort on Sunday against the Browns, the 24th time in NFL history a QB had thrown for 500. 1) Who holds the single-game yardage record? 2) Who is the only quarterback to throw for 500 yards three times? 3) Who holds the single season passing yards mark? Answers below.
So a funny thing happened on the way to a 4-0 Finals sweep for the Lakers. After I posted Sunday night, they laid an egg, falling to the Heat 115-104, Miami cutting the series lead to 2-1.
Playing again without Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic due to injuries, the Heat got a performance for the ages out of Jimmy Butler, who in 45 minutes, had 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. [14 of 20 FG, 12 of 14 FT]
But LeBron James, who led the Lakers with 25 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, though also eight turnovers, became a story line at the end of the game. Clearly frustrated with a late foul call and the team’s all-around sloppy play that cost them down the stretch, he was seen leaving the floor with 10 seconds left and off to the side before the buzzer sounded and the game officially ended.
“This is not a good look,” ESPN broadcaster Mark Jackson said of James.
James addressed the issue after the game, saying he left in frustration and he thought the game was over.
Bill Plaschke / Los Angeles Times
“The ending could be best described in three words that one never dreamed could be written about the likely future NBA champions.
“The Lakers quit.
“No, really, they literally quit.
“With 10 seconds remaining in his team’s embarrassing 115-104 loss to the undermanned Miami Heat…LeBron James turned his back and walked off the court. A handful of teammates followed. Even though the clock still was ticking, there were soon only two Lakers left on the floor.
“When there was a stoppage in play with about a second remaining, Lakers coach Frank Vogel had to insert three new players into the game just to finish it.
“It was unsightly. It was humiliating. It was basically how the Lakers handled their business the entire night at the AdventHealth Arena near Orlando, Fla., surrendering the ball, acquiescing to Jimmy Butler, conceding to a team missing two of its best players but clearly not its fight.
“ ‘I just felt like they were quicker to the punch than we were,’ the Lakers’ Markieff Morris said.
“Quicker to the punch? How could that be? In a game so vital, how could a team so brilliantly gifted and so clearly superior complete the rare double-double of failing to show up and then leaving early?
“ ‘We just had a little hiccup tonight,’ Morris said.
“It sounded more like a sonic boom, with potential reverberations that could be deafening.
“Two wins from a championship, the Lakers suddenly find themselves in a series…”
LeBron said on Monday: “Obviously, no one wants to ever lose. You hate that feeling, especially when you know you didn’t play your best, and I definitely wasn’t at my best [Sunday] night from an individual standpoint. So I take that responsibility, and I take that with a lot of passion and understanding of how I can be much better in the following game.”
So tonight in Game 4, the Lakers held just a 49-47 lead at the half, LeBron and A.D. with only 8 points apiece, James with five turnovers; Jimmy Butler with 13.
That’s when I caught up ‘live’ and it was 90-87 Lakers with just 4:20 left when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had some clutch buckets and the Lakers won 102-96. 3-1 L.A.
--The Yankees beat their hated rivals, Tampa Bay, 9-3 in Game 1 of their ALDS series, Giancarlo Stanton busting open what had been a 4-3 New York lead in the ninth inning with a grand slam, Aaron Judge also going yard in the game as the Yankees will rely on these two for big hits if they are to make a lengthy run.
Gerrit Cole was so-so for New York, six innings, three earned (two home runs), 8 Ks, but it was enough.
The Yanks are going with 21-year-old rookie Deivi Garcia in Game 2 at Petco Park against Tyler Glasnow.
And in the second, Giancarlo went deep again, tying it at 1-1, the first Yankee to go deep in four consecutive playoff games, but the Rays came back with five, Garcia removed after just one, replaced by veteran J.A. Happ, who has been pitching great, but tonight sucking royally, the Rays with three home runs, 5-1 Tampa Bay.
Then Giancarlo went yard again! A three-run shot, 5-4. Yes, this is what the Yankees signed him to that outrageous contract for.
But the Rays had a 7-4 lead after six, the Yanks’ pen not getting the job done, the Rays with their fourth home run. Tyler Glasnow exited after five, yielding the four runs but fanning 10.
And the Rays held on, 7-5. Series 1-1.
--Unfortunately, the Astros beat the A’s in the opener of the other ALDS, 10-5; George Springer with four hits, Carlos Correa with two home runs and four RBIs for Houston.
And then Houston won Game 2 today, 5-2, as Springer hit two home runs, driving in three, giving him 17 postseason homers in just 217 at-bats. Framber Valdez threw seven innings of two-run ball. This is incredibly depressing.
--Down in the bubble at Houston’s Minute Maid Park (Bing Crosby used to do commercials for Minute Maid), the Braves trailed the Marlins 4-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh, when Atlanta erupted for six runs; three on a home run by Travis d’Arnaux and two on a Dansby Swanson round-tripper.
The Marlins were up 4-1 in the third, when Miami starter Sandy Alcantara hit Ronald Acuna Jr., who had homered in the first, waking up the Bravos, as they said after. Lots of bad blood between these two teams.
But as for former Met d’Arnaux, I was literally writing Johnny Mac afterwards when he beat me to the punch. You see, the Mets released him in 2019, not even getting a bag of donuts in return, and the dude has resurrected his career in a big way, first with Tampa Bay last season, and now Atlanta, after they signed him as a free agent.
--The Dodgers are opening tonight against the Padres in Arlington. Walker Buehler taking the mound for L.A.
--It’s too soon to know if 14 Tennessee at 3 Georgia is a big game this coming Saturday, not knowing how good the Vols are, but 7 Miami at 1 Clemson is indeed a biggie Saturday night. The nation will again get a good look at Trevor Lawrence, Jets fans now salivating….
….So speaking of the “Tanking for Trevor” watch…
Houston 0-4….but they have Deshaun Watson
Giants 0-4…uh oh…we have real competition, Jets fans. Pretty easy decision between Trevor and Daniel Jones…
Atlanta 0-4…Matt Ryan will be 36 next season…
--Meanwhile, the undefeateds….
Kansas City 4-0
Green Bay 4-0
--Sunday night after I posted, the Eagles upset the 49ers in San Francisco, 25-20; Carson Wentz with a beautiful 42-yard scoring strike to Travis Fulgham to put the Eagles ahead 18-14 with 5:50 remaining, and then Philly’s Alex Singleton picked off Nick Mullens’ pass on the 49ers next possession and went 30 yards for the clincher.
Mullens had two interceptions and lost a fumble. In the final minutes, C.J. Beathard launched a valiant comeback but it fell short. It didn’t help that George Kittle, despite a career day for San Fran, 15 receptions for 183 yards, dropped the two-point conversion attempt that would have made it 25-22. [Shades of Pitt-N.C. State the day before, mused the editor.]
Philadelphia leads the NFC Least at 1-2-1.
--Monday, the Patriots took on the Chiefs, after a one-day delay due to Cam Newton’s positive Covid test, and his replacements, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham, combined to throw three interceptions, while on the other side, Patrick Mahomes had two touchdown passes, Kansas City rolling 26-10, dropping the Pats to 2-2.
In the other Monday night affair, Aaron Rodgers was near perfect, 27/33, 327, 4-0, 147.5, as the Packers whipped the visiting Falcons 30-16. Three of Rodgers’ scoring strikes went to tight end Robert Tonyan, a third-year player out of Indiana State who seems to be busting loose after limited action his first two years.
--If you’ve noticed a lot of scoring in the NFL, the league has averaged a combined 51.3 points per game, the highest through four weeks of a season since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
Aside from few if any fans in the stands, thus limiting the home-field advantage, the most significant shift is a dramatic drop in penalty flags, the result of a prime initiative by the league to limit penalties to only the most “clear and obvious” calls.
During the first four weeks, NFL games had averaged 13.4 flags per game, including those that were declined or offset, which is the lowest per-game average through four weeks in the ESPN Stats & Information penalty database, going back to 2001.
But while calls for offensive holding have declined 56.3% from 2019, there has been a substantial increase in defensive pass interference calls.
--In four years under Jim Caldwell, the Detroit Lions were 36-28, including two playoff berths. Caldwell was then fired, with general manager Bob Quinn saying he was looking for a coach who could make the Loins perennial Super Bowl contenders.
Caldwell got a bum deal, having a winning record three of four years, the Lions having just one in the previous 13 seasons before he took over.
But they hired Matt Patricia and he’s gone 10-25-1 in his 2+ seasons…6-10, 3-12-1 and now 1-3 this year, with the team having blown double-digit leads in all three of the losses. The Lions have now lost 12 of their past 13 going back to last year.
Aside from the fact he’s an absolutely horrible coach, Patricia is now catching heat in Detroit for some post-game comments after Sunday’s loss to the Saints when he asked why people should continue to have faith in him as head coach and Patricia responded, “Certainly, I think when I came to Detroit there was a lot of work to do.”
What?! The team had just had back-to-back 9-7 seasons under Caldwell.
Former Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who played three seasons for Caldwell, took exception. Now an analyst at ESPN, Orlovsky called Patricia’s comments “a bunch of trash” during a radio appearance Monday.
“To come in and say you had a lot of work to do is completely false,” Orlovsky said. “It’s a bunch of trash. Because that wasn’t the case in Detroit. We were a good football team. Matthew Stafford was playing as good as he has in his career. That was because of Coach Caldwell. And we were an organization that was ascending, we were building.”
“The culture was amazing,” Orlovsky added. “The culture was fantastic….So for (Patricia) to say there was a lot of work to be done is a bunch of b.s.” [Dave Birkett / Detroit Free Press / USA TODAY]
--U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau makes his return to the tour this week at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. He’s being matched up with Matthew Wolff the first two rounds.
And Vegas is the location for the following tournament as well, the rescheduled CJ Cup, which will be at exclusive Shadow Creek
This coming Sunday in Charlotte we have the final race in the Round of 12, the last opportunity to reach the Round of 8. [Could be ‘remnants of Hurricane Delta’ issues, I’m guessing.]
In the standings, Alex Bowman sits No.7, Joey Logano No. 8. Outside the cut line at No. 9 is Kyle Busch, defending Cup Series champion so all eyes on him. Austin Dillon sits at No. 10.
--At the French Open, 12-seed Diego Schwartzman defeated U.S. Open champ Dominic Thiem in a five-set marathon quarterfinal that extended over five hours today at Roland Garros. I have to be honest. Never heard of Diego Schwartzman….no offense to the Schwartzman family.
In another quarterfinal, Rafael Nadal took out Jannik Sinner in three sets. Sinner says he’s not as bad a person as some believe him to be. Novak Djokovic has his quarterfinal match tomorrow.
--The New York Rangers selected left wing Alexis Lafreniere with the first pick of the 2020 NHL draft tonight.
Lafreniere, who turns 19 on Sunday, was the consensus top prospect in this draft class, averaging 2.15 points per game across Canada’s top three junior leagues.
“Let’s Go Ran-gers!”
Phil W., “The Chief” would approve.
[That’s for former Blue-seat fans…The Chief a legendary character in Indian headdress who roamed the Garden from 1971-1995, and let’s just say, he wasn’t an American Indian. There is more on this guy…but not enough time tonight. Johnny Mac and Mark S., as well as Phil, I’ll retell the Ranger-Islander story some other day.]
--Trader George wanted to make sure I acknowledged the discovery by researchers off the coast of Nova Scotia of the “Queen of the Ocean,” a 2-ton great white shark believed to be roughly 50 years.
Researchers from OCEARCH last weekend were able to bring in the 17-foot long, 3,541-pound monster for tagging and testing. Chris Fischer, the OCEARCH expedition leader, in a Facebook post from the group said it was “really humbling to stand next to a large animal like that. When you look at all the healed-over scars and blotches and things that are on their skin, you’re really looking at the story of her life and it makes you feel really insignificant.”
According to the Smithsonian, great white sharks can live up to at least 60 years.
Fischer said in an update posted Monday that they found two additional female great white sharks on Monday, totaling nine that they’ve been able to sample and tag on their nearly monthlong expedition.
--Legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen died today after a long battle with throat cancer. He was just 65. His son broke the news.
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” Wolfgang Van Halen wrote.
“He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop,” he wrote.
Van Halen was the most influential guitarist of his generation and basically the founder of the band, Van Halen (some say “co-founder”), which was one of the most popular rock acts of all time.
As an obituary in the Boston Globe put it, the Globe compiling the thoughts of others, “He structured his guitar solos in roughly the same way Macy’s choreographs its Independence Day fireworks show, shooting rockets of sound into the air that seemed to explode in a shower of light and color. His outpouring of riffs, runs and solos was hyperactive and athletic, joyous and wry, making deeper, or darker emotions, feel irrelevant.”
“Eddie put the smile back in rock guitar at a time when it was getting a bit broody,” his fellow guitar ace Joe Satriani told Billboard in 2015. “He also scared the hell out of a million guitarists because he was so damn good.”
Van Halen is among the top 20 best-selling artists of all time, and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Rolling Stone put Eddie at No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
Eddie Van Halen was actually a classically trained pianist who then created some of the greatest guitar riffs in rock history.
The members of Van Halen – the two Van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex; vocalist David Lee Roth; and bassist Michael Anthony – formed in 1974 in Pasadena, California. They were members of rival high school bands and then attended Pasadena City College together. They combined to form the band Mammoth, but then changed to Van Halen after discovering there was another band called Mammoth.
Their 1978 release “Van Halen” opened with a blistering “Runnin’ With the Devil” (your editor’s favorite) and then Eddie showed off his skills in the next song, “Eruption,” a nearly two-minute guitar solo “that swoops and soars like a deranged bird.”
Mike McCready of Pearl Jam told Rolling Stone magazine that listening to Van Halen’s “Eruption” was like hearing Mozart for the first time.
The group’s “1984” album hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album charts (only behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”). Rolling Stone ranked “1984” No. 81 on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.
But Eddie Van Halen also played guitar on one of the biggest singles of the ‘80s: Jackson’s “Beat It.” He did it for free, as a favor to producer Quincy Jones. He actually received no credit for the work, even though he rearranged the section he played on. “It was 20 minutes of my life. I didn’t want anything for doing that,” he told Billboard in 2015. “I literally thought to myself, ‘Who is possibly going to know if I play on this kid’s record?’”
I love this. Heck, I wasn’t a big fan of Van Halen. I was totally enmeshed in my Oldies back then, living part of the time in Hoboken, New Jersey, where they had this club a few blocks from me, Mile Square City, where I caught revival acts like The Duprees.
But at the same time, when I’d see bits (and videos on MTV) of Van Halen, I always liked Eddie. He just seemed like a cool guy, not a jerk (which was how I viewed some of the other band members, rightly or wrongly). And it’s cool reading how he treated “Beat It.”
Yeah, by his own admission he was drunk or high or both when writing his music, but no trashing this man. Thank you for your work, Eddie Van Halen.
[His son, Wolf, was through his marriage to Valerie Bertinelli from 1981 to 2007.]
Top 3 songs for the week 10/4/80: #1 “Another One Bites The Dust” (Queen) #2 “All Out Of Love” (Air Supply) #3 “Upside Down” (Diana Ross…godawful tune…)…and…#4 “Give Me The Night” (George Benson…not his best…) #5 “Drivin’ My Life Away” (Eddie Rabbitt…underrated artist…) #6 “Late In The Evening” (Paul Simon) #7 “Woman In Love” (Barbra Streisand) #8 “I’m Alright” (Kenny Loggins) #9 “Lookin’ For Love” (Johnny Lee) #10 “Xanadu” (Olivia Newton-John/Electric Light Orchestra…C- week…going back to the 60s… So guess what? I ended up graduating from Wake in May and by October, I was earning $175 a week as a clerk/typist for an insurance brokerage firm behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York…it was actually the perfect first job out of college…fun company, a lot of us went out for beers after work in the bar that was in our building, I went to Mass at St. Pat’s at lunchtime, the discipline of working in Gotham…Manny R., hope you’re still hanging in there…).
*This is Bar Chat #2,326 and I know some of you are wondering why I call it a ‘Top 3 songs’ list when I list a top 10. Well, back in 1999, for a long time I just listed the top 3 before expanding it, but we’re all creatures of habit. The format for this, and that other column I do, the one I sign, has never changed.
NFL Quiz Answers: 1) “The Dutchman,” Norm Van Brocklin, still holds the single-game passing yardage record at 554, Sept. 28, 1951. He was 27 of 41, five touchdowns, two interceptions. Two of his receivers were Hall of Famers…Elroy Hirsch (9 catches that day for 173 yards and four TDs) and Tom Fears (7-162-0). A third also had 100 yards, Vitamin Smith (2-103-1). Love that name…can’t say I ever heard of him. 2) Ben Roethlisberger is the only QB to throw for 500 yards three times. Drew Brees and Tom Brady are the only others to do it twice. 3) Peyton Manning is the season passing yards record-holder with 5,477 in 2013, a single yard ahead of Drew Brees, who threw for 5,476 in 2011.
Dak Prescott has a record 1,690 in the first four games, as Sunday he also became the first to pass for 450 yards in three straight (450, 472, 502). He had 266 in the first game of the season.
So….give your home-schooling kids a little quiz. If Dak Prescott has 1,690 yards in the first four games, and somehow the Cowboys get in all 16 and he keeps up that pace, how many would he finish the season with…..6,760! Goodness gracious, boys and girls.
Parents, reward them with a cookie if they got it right.
Next Bar Chat, Monday.