Talking Heads Trash Talk

As I, er, complained of in the Khashoggi post, a talking head came to my hood Wednesday to “engage”. That was Chuck Todd and Meet The Press. It was a sham. Most all decent seats were RSVP’d or assigned to news people. There was nothing, and I mean nothing, in it for people that actually live in this part of Phoenix. Yes, I am still bitter, and what a joke that stunt was. Oh well whatchagonnado? So have a better bit of Talking Heads.

But now we are on to the weekend and real trash talk. First off, playoff baseball is the only really great baseball and it is going on. The Sawx have polished off the Stros with a little help from a blind umpire. Probably would have anyway if they can light up Justin Verlander, but still. But they are on to the Series. Much more interesting is the Brew Crew clocking in with a huge game six win against the Dodgers. That sets up a win or go home game seven in Milwaukee tonight. October baseball does not get any better than that. Must see TV.

Not sure there has ever been a better back to back SNF and MNF games than the Chefs/Pats and then Packers/Niners. Woof! This week the Pats play the Bears, who are looking far better than expected. I’ll still take the Pats, but the game is at Soldier Field, so you never know. Denver just blew up the hapless Cards on Thursday night, and the Cards promptly fired their OC Mike McCoy. And he deserved to be fired. Byron Leftwich will apparently be the defacto OC for the rest of the season, and that should be an improvement, but hard to see any salvation for Arizona this year. Buffalo at the Colts should be terrible. Cleveland at Tampa Bay should be more interesting with Winston back in the saddle after his suspension for molesting an Uber driver here in Scottsdale. Lions at Miami is notable. Lions are underperforming, and Miami over performing, even with Brock Osweiller apparently at QB for a couple of more weeks while Tannehill mends. No idea which way to go on that. Saints at Ravens much the same, though it sure feels like Nawlins is on a roll. The Bungles have been more consistent this year, but hard to see them winning in KC against a group of pissed off Chefs. Giants at Atlanta is just embarrassing, how did that dreck get scheduled for MNF??

And in the student athlete section for today, the most interesting game appears to be Oregon at Washington State. Both teams are 5-1 and have high powered offenses, it could be really fun. Michigan is in East Lansing to face Sparty, and the game is already underway. The Bo Merlots are clear favorites, but Sparty is plucky! In a shout out to Richard Taylor, Kentucky, at a shocking 5-1 has a great shot at early bowl eligibility hosting Vanderbilt. The Commodores are not as bad as their record though, so it will not be easy. LSU should take care of Mississippi State at home in Baton Rouge. Rosalind’s Stanford Trees already beat ASU on Thursday night and Jim’s Gators are off today.

UPDATE: This is really bad of me, but I did not even originally mention that the United States Grand Prix is this week in Austin Texas at the Circuit of the Americas. Frankly, the F1 Circus has gotten so boring I have a hard time paying attention anymore. Thankfully, commenter “J” woke me up. I will say that ESPN taking over coverage and basically just streaming Sky F1 has been an improvement over NBC Sports, but it is depressing that more is not featured in the States for the USGP.

Do people who are not die hard F1 fans even know the USGP is happening this weekend? And, yes, the battle for the championship that seemed so promising earlier in the season is done. Sadly. Another boring championship looms for the loathsome Lewis Hamilton. Someday there will be a real battle again.

Okay, this ain’t no party and it sure ain’t no disco. Stop fooling around and get trash talking.

76 replies
  1. Bay State Librul says:

    “So I went out and found the fan who interfered with Altuve’s flyball. Troy Caldwell is a lifelong Astros fan, born in Houston and now residing in Atlanta. Made the trip back specifically for Game 4. Said he didn’t touch Mookie’s glove and was behind yellow line.” Globe
    Comment: This I know, There is a God. Troy played the Trump hand. Liar, the replay and photos showed he interfered….
    Best Quote I’ve heard: Kimbrel makes me long for Koji Uehara

  2. j says:

    Is it okay to complain about the lack of normal-channel TV coverage of the Formula 1 race in Austin this weekend? All the practices and even quali later today is on a channel that requires a paid subscription to watch the one race of the year in the U.S. and nothing else all year. I know that my least favorite driver could get the championship tomorrow and spoil hopes of many that the title race would last longer into the season, even turn around, but to basically black out everything in the U.S. but the race is just mean.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, that is not only okay, it is perfect! I will say that ESPN taking over coverage and basically just streaming Sky F1 has been an improvement over NBC Sports, it is depressing that more is not featured for the USGP. Do people who are not die hard F1 fans even know it is happening this weekend? And, yes, the battle for the championship that seemed so promising earlier in the season is done. Sadly.

      • Ed Walker says:

        I gotta say, I can’t make out a word of what those Sky guys are saying with those accents. And the graphics are incomprehensible to non-fans.

        • bmaz says:

          They are indeed incomprehensible during the first lap or so! After that it is not too bad when they calm down.

          But the actual quality of video coverage and graphics are light years better than what NBC SN fed us.

        • Frank Probst says:

          Does the closed captioning work?  I know that live-streamed sports aren’t the same as scripted TV and movies, but I watch a lot of TV with the subtitles on, even when the show is in English.  (The issue is probably that I’m losing my hearing rather than having trouble with the accents, but I still find it to be enormously helpful.)

        • rosalind says:

          I’ve becomed addicted to closed captioning ever since I discovered it writes out the lyrics to songs playing in the b.g., and provides description for things going on I would never have noticed.

    • orionATL says:

      bmaz’s long affecetion for f1 racing brought it to trash talk years ago and left me perpetually interested in a sport i did not know in a way nascar never could. plus bahrain, monaco, and singapore are more exotic (as are the cars) than daytona, bristol, or talladega.

      here’s an article from the guardian that qualifies in my book as the essence of really great sports writing – team work and superb talent fighting back from defeat:

      i have gotten in the habit of read-watching playbyplay on the internet for many important sports contests, e.g., world series. less talk clutter from the announcers and ads and ability to go back and forth from other things. here’s the guardian’s play-by-play for the f1 between hamilton, vettel, and raiikkonen. what’s with the soft-tires business at this stage?

      • bmaz says:

        The Guardian coverage is quite good, excellent even. So too is the Sky F1 blog. There is, sadly, simply nothing remotely close to those two domestically here.

        • orionATL says:

          yeah, hamilton is going to have to wait, but boy all five were going at it hard, wheel-to-whee you might say – way in excess of what is referred to in local accident reports as “a high rate of speed”😁

  3. Tracy Lynn says:

    Yeah these playoffs are the best games I’ve seen—I spent the season experiencing the unwatchable suckitude that was the SF Giants 2018 edition. And, lookie! The reply button works!

  4. cd54 says:

    Don’t waste your time on F1. It’s been engineered to death.
    If you want to see actual racing, find a sprint car track or broadcast — they actually pass each other. Sometimes they even self-adjudicate on-track disagreements.

    If you just NEED something F1, wander around all the Internet info on the BT46B (one race, one win, banned forever).

      • cd54 says:

        NASCAR is the Professional Wrestling of motorsports. The only thing interesting in F1 this year is what happened after FIA added the 2nd sensor to the Ferrari’s batteries.

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          I will happily argue that the British Touring Car Championship of the 90s was a modern high point in auto racing. Short enough races that you didn’t have the grinding endurance component (okay in Le Mans or at Bathurst / Aussie V8 Supercars but less so in oval racing) but still needed basic reliability, with rough but not absolute parity in terms of the cars, run on good courses with relatively lenient race rules on contact when overtaking. I should really pay attention to WTCR but it’s all a bit twilight compared to what it was.

        • cd54 says:

          The best race I ever saw (on TV in the US) was the season ending CART race at Las Vegas in the early Eighties. All the series contenders were front running and competitive, but there was extreme difficulty for all of them with respect to either mechanical reliability or sand on the track. I can’t remember who won, but the ground effects/methanol cranked cars in that race were exceptional. For some reason Al Unser, Sr. comes to mind.

        • cd54 says:

          (Sorry) P.S.

          FWIW: I think any F1 car/driver outside of the top 4 (points wise) should be able to use 5%? – 10%? – 15%? nitromethane added to their fuel for competition’s sake. That would even the field extremely and hatchet-kill the extreme engine development costs within the sport.

        • cd54 says:

          (Sorry, more F1 venting):
          Wish List: No added aerodynamic device shall be allowed to be constructed of any material except metallic material which is at least 3 mm. in thickness. Any car components/parts which necessitate more than 3 field laps to be collected or recovered shall be deemed to be illegal and shall result in the disqualification of the car which deposited said components/parts onto the track.

  5. Pete says:

    1. You are on fire choosing musical – not just songs but arrangements! Nothing like LIVE.

    2. I have a family feud – wife Boston, son-in-law Wisconsin – riding on tonights BIG game.  Shhh – I’ll side with the Brew Crew.

    3. Q’s Q-Q At At costume rocks (Twitter).

    Kikki maybe a Storm Trooper:

    Can we get June Bug into a Ewok costume:

    4. You DO KNOW Trump was less than an hour? from you last night in Mesa.  You might have snuck in with a MAGA hat ;-)

    5. Psst F1 or some such poor excuse for it in Miami this weekend. Just a party though.


  6. DrFunguy says:

    Thanks for the Heads, that song singing more relevant again. Gotta hunt up some more of those recordings with the folks from Parliament!

  7. scribe says:

    Well, my Stillers are off this week – bye week – and Bad Teammate Whatshisname Bell hasn’t shown up.  Good.  We came off last week with a good, solid win against a pretty strong Bungles team.  But, the Bungles being the Bungles, their Bad Character gene came to the fore at just the moment its impact would be most felt – bad for the Bungles, good for the Stillers.  Another bright spot is that there is now building a players’ movement to have Vontaze Burfict banned from the League.  Putting Antonio Brown out for a couple plays with a dirty hit, Burfict next went to JuJu Smith-Schuster telling him “you’re next”.  Funny, how a couple plays later Burfict led with his helmet and knocked himself silly, and out of the game at a critical moment.

    But, seriously, if King Roger the Clown intends to protect the noggins of players, getting rid of Burfict and his targeting is a good place to start.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    Jerry Jones says Garrett will lead us to where we have to be, or are supposed to be, or something.   Irrelevancy is in the Owboys’ future.  It is their future.

    Indiana made a strong run against Penn State and came up short.  So, now, I get bombed with one political commercial after another until the next game begins.  Gives me new reason to be grateful for the “mute” button.  Indy played over their heads and PSU, slacked off.

    You wanna watch good F1 coverage, watch German TV.  They have real F1 fans who don’t tolerate crappy coverage.  OTOH, F1 has gotten so predictable and boring – all the races are decided in qualifying – I don’t watch.  Give me a figure-8 stock car race any day.  (If you’ve never seen fig-8, you haven’t lived.)  You can find them on YouTube.  Production values might not be the best, but even a grainy picture will show a t-bone collision very well.

    MLB can be glad it didn’t devolve to a Milwaukee-Houston World Series.  No one would have cared.  As it was, the games aren’t starting until almost 9 pm ET, making it absolutely impossible for us early risers to even think about watching.  Since the games end too late to make the morning paper, we wind up not knowing and not caring.

    The Cheating Cheaters of Cheatertown and the Iggles are rounding into shape.  Philly has taken some key injuries but, so far, has shaken them off more or less.  The Patsies are coming around, too.

    The Aaron Hernandez series in the Boston paper was a nice piece of journo work.  I am now convinced the prison and guards set things up so he would off himself.  You should read the articles.

    The G-men v. Atlanta game was scheduled for night-time football pre-season, when people thought at least the Falcons (Who were pretty good last year into the playoffs – ask the Iggles) were thought to be good.  The schedulers were about as good at predicting the future as I am, so there.

    That’s about enough.

  8. rosalind says:

    thanks to Jim and the lovely Lisa for treating me to a true Florida experience: hanging w/the kittehs, doggies and horsies watching the Gator game on TV followed by real gators at the lake. After a weekend of SEC indoctrination I found myself checking the poll to see how far Georgia had fallen.

    Back in PST and back to Team Tree. Go Card! (next week)

    • bmaz says:

      They are the finest folk in this land or any other land. Except that SEC Gator thing. Now THAT is really shaky, and it is not just Jim, it is lovely Lisa too!

    • Eureka says:

      Hi, rosalind.  Last week, Jim shared a link for your story about your work with Bill Graham, and I loved it.  So many stories in one…and I need a word for ~’I am happy for you that you got to live the life you made for yourself.’

      We had a civic center, and a nearby amphitheater, but nothing quite like those Concerts on the Green.  I looked at the lineups gasping, oh, Oh, OH!  Those were the days…I was apparently there in spirit with you, lol.  Later, in college, we had concerts on the green there, but I went to school in Phishlandia, so not quite the same vibe.

      Thanks for sharing those great stories.

      • rosalind says:

        aw, thanks Eureka! and a special shout-out to Brian & Kevin at Shadowproof for saving the FDL archive – for the old timers you can search by author over at Shadowproof and pull up our old posts, an invaluable resource.

    • orionATL says:

      polls or no, georgia fell a l-o-o-ng way in the lsu game. somebody’s who were supposed to be very good were really poorly prepared -or worse. we’ll see.

      generally, sports polls are exercises in media elephants marching, holding tails.

  9. somecallmetim says:

    bmaz: Pirate? Well whatever, the ducks have been boarded, looted and scuttled. I’m guessing that the Herbert Heisman talk (it was a thing here, seriously) delirium will clear up now.

  10. somecallmetim says:

    The Ducks were supposed to have a good, experienced O-line (coach Cristobal was a lineman and worked on toughening them up for power football vs. Kelly’s finesse), not thrown off by Wazzu’s stunting D-line. They look a little better after halftime, after their first halftime shutout in 6 years.

  11. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    At F1 in Austin w/ my 12-yr-old and we are having a blast! She got autographs from Verstappen, Vettel, Raikkonen, and almost Alonso, but she let a younger kid ahead of her (I am the proudest father!). More on this—some asshole was telling his kid to push ahead (they had a “kid zone” to make it easier for them to get close to the drivers) and his kid was saying he didn’t think it was fair for him to push littler ones out of his way. Too often the kids know better the difference between right and wrong.

    And on another subject: Chuck Todd is such a feckless Chuck.

    I gotta get to bed, Bruno Mars did a concert after qualifying. Go Ferrari!

  12. bmaz says:

    Hey! There is bonus football on right now courtesy of the Chargers and Titans in London. Sure beats the crappy Sunday shows.

  13. Trip says:

    Hey Texas, yeah! Vote for Cruz, enjoy the water (and cancer risk, just don’t expect health insurance to cover it)!

    Energy Department Ready to Approve Nuclear Waste Dumping

    Our Energy secretary could ship treated nuclear waste from our nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site to a Texas nuclear dump near an aquifer suppling(sic) water from northern Texas to South Dakota. The dump was opened by one of Secretary Rick Perry’s largest campaign donors…The dump is over or near the Ogallala Aquifer, depending on whether you believe the water table boundaries of the company or others. The dump is also in an earthquake hazard zone…Republicans have previously reclassified nuclear waste as less dangerous. In 2004, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) attached a rider to the defense authorization bill so the Department of Energy didn’t have to remove radioactive sludge from underground storage tanks in South Carolina and Idaho.

  14. Bay State Librul says:

    Have Kirk Gibson throw out the first ball this Friday in LA. How fitting. It’s been thirty years since #23 of the Big Blue, delivered his walk off homer, offered up by Eck.

    MLB has memorialized the hobbled legs, the fist bump, the joy, will it work again?

    Early October odds had the Sox making $340 on a $100 bet. Now, lay down $155 to pick up $255 (OddsShark).

    If you aren’t a bettor, sign up for the Duck Boat Tour for Saturday, the 29th of October.  It’ll only cost you $35.

    Poke the Bears today.

        • Peterr says:

          Money, for the boat operator, the tourist industry around the lake more generally, and everyone state and local that gets the sales tax revenue.

          (And, says every owner of a duck boat, “it’s the other guy’s boat that is the problem, not mine.”)

        • Eureka says:

          I know, it’s just always so sad.  We warn visiting fam/tourists away from them, since the out-of-towner potential victims don’t see the news reports of the last tragedy, with analysis of structural whys and wherefores…

        • Eureka says:

          I should add that here they are taken into riverine/port areas with real big boat traffic- tugs, ships- which ups the risks.

  15. Bob says:

    Chuck Todd plays a good game of girls lob softball. Tim Russert he is not.

    And when did we begin to have debate when each side is on the air only when the other side is not. Why not go back to live real time debates. Put em in together like Russert used to. Make em debate it out instead of these fake debates.

    • Peterr says:

      Given that most shows with the “put ’em on together” end up with folks talking (or shouting) over each other, I’m not sure that’s a better option.

      My preference would be for the host to be better with the questions and followup questions that call out nonsense answers for what they are. This is *not* Chuck’s strong suit. NBC has hard news folks who can do this (Katy Tur comes to mind, as does Ali Velshi), but Chuck is not going to get lose his seat unless he follows the Matt Lauer route.

  16. jo6pac says:

    I watched the last of the F-1 race and it was great to see the Ice Man win.

    Now I’ll watch the 9ers.

  17. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    My 12-yr-old daughter got Kimi’s autograph before her first Formula 1 race and it was gorgeous here in Austin! She is an “Anybody but Hamilton” type, and really likes Verstappen. I think he needs to mature—he nearly crashed out Lewis near the end of the race

    And Chuck Todd is such a feckless Chuck. (Gotta get that in every chance I can). Britney Spears concert after the race. ‘Merica!

  18. Chetnolian says:

    If I didn’t know the usual views of the folks here l would worry a bit about theHamilton hatred. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks amongst all these rich kids, even the nice ones. No wonder he can be a bit chippy and is maybe a bit too pleased with the money. He’s not born to it. Or is it just that he’s a Brit with a funny accent? But it was was great to see theIceman win (one for the late Sergio) and to witness Verstappen’s magic drive from eighteenth  to second. And the championship lives on. The mystery of  the self destruction  of Vettel continues.

    • bmaz says:

      Heh, but you know me quite well. And you know it is not that! Does Hamilton drive for Ferrari? Nope. Does he keep beating Ferrari? Yep. That is all it really takes.

      Hamilton is great. But don’t like him. Also, I still maintain that if given identical equipment, old man Alonso is still the best driver on the grid. Unfortunately, there is no way to test that now nor has there been for a long time.

    • Tommy D Cosmology says:

      I liked Hamilton’s piece on The Daily Show w Trevor the other night. He is charismatic and, yes, a damn good driver. Good for the sport, overall, although sometimes he berates his team and that bugs me.

      On another subject, the Britney Spears concert after the race was horrible, she can’t lip sync her way out of…(fill in the blank). Bruno Mars last night after qualifying was amazing. He sang, he played guitar, he danced, he talked to the crowd.

      The food prices at these events are just stupid. $4 for a Krispy Kream. $5 for a bottle of water.

      So happy to see Kimi win!! It’s been more than a decade?!

      Also happy to see all the Beto fans here.

  19. flachbau says:

    “Playoffs, playoffs”? When nascar added playoffs what wasn’t already over about it was over (sorry playoffs don’t make it a sport imo).

    F1 lost its intellectual interest when pit strategy died … a time when the lack of on track passing could still be forgiven and screaming v10’s thrilled.

    Its all going electric (formula E) … sigh, the future yada yada … maybe closed captioning can impart the sound of the whirring engines that are not otherwise audible anyway. Team Tesla anyone?

  20. flachbau says:

    I just watched Fareed Zakaria’s interview from today with Jonathon Weiler on closed caption while listening to ‘The Big Country’ from More Songs About Buildings and Food.

  21. Bay State Librul says:

    Openings and Closings

    What a lede from a baseball scout

    “The Los Angeles Dodgers are a bunch of jerks.

    Cody Bellinger is a jerk. So is Joc Pederson. And Yasiel Puig. And Manny Machado.

    This has nothing to do with their personalities. It has to do with their approach at the plate.

    “Jerks” is how I describe extreme pull hitters. They look to jerk pitches out of the ballpark, and are not really trying to use the whole playing field. Most of the Dodgers hitters have that approach, and they are quite good at it, having led the NL in home runs as well as runs, despite finishing eighth in team batting average.”

    Closings: Understanding Kimbrel

    Maybe it’s not mechanical, nor Kimbrel forecasting his pitches, maybe it’s emotional strain.

  22. Trip says:

    Since the photo is of animals, I’m placing this here.

    Leaked Trump Administration Memo: Keep Public in Dark About How Endangered Species Decisions Are Made

    In a Trump administration memorandum leaked to the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing its staff to withhold, or delay releasing, certain public records about how the Endangered Species Act is carried out. That includes records where the advice of career wildlife scientists may be overridden by political appointees in the Trump administration.
    “This is a clear attempt to stifle science and boost Trump’s anti-wildlife agenda,” said Meg Townsend, the Center for Biological Diversity’s open government attorney. “The public has every right to know how our government makes decisions about the fate of our most endangered species. This memo keeps the public in the dark and creates the perfect environment for political meddling.”

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