Dead Flowers On Kentucky Derby Day

Hi there Trash Talk fans and fannettes, we are back. Personally, I think opening up B1G and SEC football is a declaration of pandemic war on society, especially in some seriously at high risk areas without the ICU resources to cover in a mass problem. Led by Trump, however, this seems to be the clarion call dopes cannot refuse.

Is it the move of voices like Trump, the flailing NCAA athletic departments, or the craven interests of Insta Sports betting interests like Fan Duel and Draft Kings who are desperate to make money now because their precarious and sick corporate lives depend on it? Don’t sleep on the latter, and pay attention as to the ever increasing Insta Sports Betting commercials soak up ad time on ESPN (and their chief shill, Mike Greenberg) and other sports channels. It is a full on push, and they cannot wait for the pandemic to end if they are to take over the gaming world. ESPN is all in on this garbage. Why? Because it is big advertising bucks, and money is their business. It is that simple.

Okay, on to the actual sports. First, today is, improbably, Kentucky Derby Day. As my family originally came from Kentucky before the cactus patch, the Derby is something special. Always has been and always will be. The Derby in September, without the people and hats in the stands, seems wrong. But the horses deserve to run in their time, so okay. F1, and even Indy, have proved that closed circuit courses with fast action are still compelling on TV. Frankly, so too has the NBA and NHL “bubbles”. So, it will still be interesting to see the Kentucky Derby.

One of our early partners and contributors here at Emptywheel, and even before the formal formation of the Emptywheel blog, was Mary. Mary lives on in our recollections and history, and her family, but will be forever known as the one that put horses in our bailiwick. Something Emptywheel Roving Reporter took to ground. So, when horses are up, the memory of Mary is as well. Today is an improbable, and weird day, for the Derby. But let it be run, for the horses. From CBS:

Though the NFL and Kentucky Derby are never mentioned in the same sentence, 2020 has been anything but usual. Even though the 2020 Kentucky Derby will go off Saturday, Sept. 5 on the brink of Week 1 in the NFL, all eyes will be on Churchill Downs, where 16 of the top three-year-old horses will load up for the 146th Run for the Roses. Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes earlier this summer and is aiming to become just the 14th horse in history to win the Triple Crown and the first since Justify two years ago.

There is also the NBA, and the “embubblement” is working far better than thought possible. The games are great down the stretch.

NFL football, surprisingly, seems not far off. There is no more fascinating and competitive division than the NFC South. Couple of years ago that would have been shocking, now it is a fact. Bruce Arians, Brady and the Bucs are the most interesting story in the NFL this year. Can they really live up to that interest? I dunno about that. What a division to have to deal with, it is imposing. We shall see.

F1 is back again this weekend. Monza. There are a lot of famous historical races. Monza is very much at the top. This is not a normal year, and the front of the field has been more boring than ever in history by my eye. There is actually pretty decent racing behind the front markers and midfield. I will watch, but do not have much hopes for Monza being the nail biting theater it once was.

As summer starts to wane, today’s music will be by the Loving Spoonful. It was almost Donavan with images of the great Sue Lyon, but I think I already did that years ago. So, let’s have a good weekend folks. Rock on and chat about anything. Also, of course, Dead Flowers for Kentucky Derby Day, because there will be few Derby Days here without that.

101 replies
  1. BayStateLibrul says:

    Cam Newton will be our opening day QB starter.
    Bill Belichick endorses him with gushing praise.
    Take that Brady!
    The beginning of a new dynasty.

    • bmaz says:

      Newton with McDaniels and Bill Bell will be fascinating. Not sure the NFC East will be much different than it long has been, although Buffalo is a seriously decent team.

      • biff murphy says:

        I just stopped in to see what condition my condition was in and I’ve been in 2 pools for years and the thought of no football is bad for my condition.
        As far as the east I think Buffalo is always a contender with 4 consecutive trips to the bowl but losing all of them, Miami at home has also been a tough team for the Pats historically. Miami 56 wins and NE 53. The Pats and Tampa don’t play until week 15, (assuming we get there with covid) but keeping Newton healthy will be critical for the Pats. Brady was sacked 27 times last year and the Pats have to do a better job protecting their new QB, but Gronkowski and Brady could be game changers for Tampa.

        • biff murphy says:

          Yeah i admit it’s a little lopsided with the Pats and the Bills but Buffalo still made the playoffs in two of the past three seasons, and the defense is tough. Hopefully the season will go off as planned, and players remain healthy
          Thanks for the football post bmaz, after the Bruins went down I’m ready for a little football.

  2. RacerX says:

    The Tour de France being held in August/September after an abbreviated season has been an interesting watch so far—rider fitness is all across the board. One week down out of three, but COVID-19 is the wild card; the race organization could potentially stop the race at any time, and teams could be forced to drop out if their riders test positive. Right now it’s looking like Primoz Roglic is the man to beat.

    All the Tour de France racers, of course, are paid for their efforts and suffer willingly. Horse racing is simply legalized animal cruelty, and I’m lucky enough to have a job where we’re working to stop it.

    • quebecois says:

      This year, three possible winners, Roglic, Bernal, Pogacar. I’ve been predicting Pogacar, I have a feeling that Roglic will crash and that Bernal will have more problems with his back.

      F1, Toto most probably is in his last years with Merc. I wouldn’t be that surprised if one day it’s confirmed that Toto gave Lawrence Stroll a few hard disks of last years car.

      Ferrari cheated their way into the championship last year. They got away with it. This year, they’re paying dearly for that. Leclerc doesn’t deserve this, I don’t care about Vettel, poor Sainz.

      Cancer is slowly metastasizing to my other kidney and lungs, I still have a while before I croak. I healed from my surgery only thinking about cycling. Late march, with Covid and knowing I was still going way too fast on my road bike and crashing once in a while, I decided to buy a hybrid bike with flat pedals.

      2000 km of pure pleasures and wonderful sights. My form is still getting better, heck, my muscular mass is augmenting. I still crashed and went over the bar, it was something I feared because I only have one kidney left, and that kind of accident often means you bruise a kidney, not this time, I rolled over with the bike and saved cyclist and bike.

      Back to the TdF, those fucking covidiots on the side of the road, wearing a mask on their chins, screaming their heads off 18 inches from an athlete are often spastic and uncoordinated. Perfect Trump voters.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Quebecois, Mes pensées vous accompagnent. J’aimerais vous souhaiter un voyage sans encombres mais je connais les aventuriers comme vous…

      • bmaz says:

        Aw fuck. In a sea of bad news daily, this is the worst. I cannot begin to imagine. But, to the extent willing to talk about it (and, no, not sure I would be willing to be that open), please do.

        This is not on you, and the hell is one that everybody faces, whether themselves, or within their family, sooner or later. Ugh.

        • quebecois says:

          Thanks you all for the kind words and suggestion.

          Being open about this is part of my process. I’ve even taken selfies of my face and scar to share it with others, heck, I judge people who take selfies… That cancer is a fact, I’m merely dealing with it on an hour to hour basis.

          Emotions are what I’m dealing with mostly, it’s a roller coaster ride that goes from heaven to hell, wild mood swings and crippling anxieties. The month following my surgery, I was a complete emotional mess, went to see a psychologist, had two sessions and covid hit. At that point, there was something worse than cancer to deal with. So, I calmed down and isolated.

          Physically, for a cancerous 61 years old, I’m damn good. Third day in the hospital, I navigated 6 floors of stairs, they let me go after 5 days during a snowstorm. Went to a hotel close to a big shopping mall so I could walk. Minimum of 5 km a day. Barely used the crazy opioid they wanted me to take.

          They scan me on a three month basis, and I’m cared for by a couple of specialists who are talking to the best in the states and europe. I’m not suffering, I’m years from buying the farm.

          I’ve never felt as good as I do now. I’m finally taking care of myself only. Every decision I’ve made from the moment they saw a huge mass on my kidney has been beneficial to my recovery and my biking. I’m lucky and so grateful.

          There’s something very motivating that happens when you let go of your fears and accept that there are some cells in your body that are throwing a toxic rave. I’ll take it as it comes, grinning all the way.

          Pogacar won this morning, he’s climbing his way back in the GC. Life is good.

        • bmaz says:

          Welp, my hat is off to you, and thoughts constantly with you. On another note, I always thought young Pierre Gasly was fast and pretty detailed, even in less than perfect equipment. But Red Bull demoted him for Alex Albon. Today Gasly won the Italian and Albon finished 15th. Yes, it was a weird race, but if you win the Italian, you have a forever place in a rich and deep history.

          Phil Hill won the Italian twice, but the second was almost certainly because his teammate Von Trips died. There are less weird things like that these days, but a win at Monza is still a very huge thing. Very happy for Gasly.

          Also, what a day for McLaren. A P2 for Sainz (and with one more lap, he may have taken the win) and a P4 for Norris. That is fantastic.

        • quebecois says:

          On that note, sad to see the Williams family exit f1.

          This new generation of pilots is brought up through f3 and f2 by the big manufacturers. With excellent support, they have to be focused pros at a very early age. Video games and then driving simulators diminish the risks they have to take. That said, they’re still kids, emotionally all over the place. Norris, Gasly, Albon need a couple more years to settle down and prove their worth.

          Great day for McLaren indeed, Sainz would have beat Gasly with another lap.

          And yes, relieved that Leclerc wasn’t hurt, it will be a very long two years for Leclerc until Ferrari can move back forward in this very competitive field.

        • bmaz says:

          Agreed about Williams, it is sad. Apparently the team name will live on, at least for a while. It has been clear for a while that the Williams family did not have the funding to keep up. Not sure about a VC firm at the helm though.

      • Valley girl says:

        So sorry to hear this quebecois. I’m not asking for you to answer, but I hope you look into immunotherapy. May or may not be appropriate for you, but wanted to mention it.

        Chaleureusement, VG

      • Tracy Lynn says:

        Good call on the hybrid. I have several different bikes but the road bike gives me the most intense downhill rush. May you continue to ride with the wind at your back. All my best.

      • RacerX says:

        Pogacar is a fighter, as it seems you are. He’s definitely one to watch this year; I think he’ll be on the podium in Paris, or wherever this TdF ends up finishing.

        Another good example of “spastic and uncoordinated”: Ilnur Zakarin’s descending skills.

  3. bokeh9 says:

    Biggest NFL pre-season underestimation: the Saints D. The two Jenkinses, Malcolm and Jackrabbit are major additions. On the other side of the ball, Emmanuel Sanders will create openings for everyone — like Ty Montgomery. Don’t know if Arians can get all that talent clicking quickly enough. And the toughest games are at home.

  4. Greg Hunter says:

    I absolutely love horse racing and IMHO should be the only wager where no tax is applied as it is the one of the only bets that provides opportunities for a large group of parties. From the labor on the backside, to agricultural interests the sport covers the gamut. The betting angles run from silks, to jockeys to trainers to genetics and then up into the world of mathematical equations and arbitraging of betting pools (not my area). Are their detractors and problems certainly, but every professional sport has those and we as society are unwilling to accept the fact people are going to take an edge using animals and athletes (see the NCAA).

    Weirdly I ran into Louis Cella, the owner/operator of Oaklawn in downtown Laramie Wyoming a few weeks ago and he was lamenting the doping in the sport. I was kind of miffed that he was just now concerned but recently bigger trainers had been caught. I find it funny how out of touch the owners of the venues are with those that own the product and bring it to the marketplace. To put in perspective my experience in horse racing lead me to question the Lance Armstrong phenomena long before he won it seven times and at the time I was roundly castigated for the opinion. In my experience it was normal conversation to discuss the masking affects of cancer treatments with respect to performance enhancers. When I look at the NFL I get the same feeling about some of the longevity of some of the players and their natural solutions to aging that I laugh inside, but questioning Lance was one thing, the NFL stars, quite another.

    My solution to the issue is not the one RacerX so ignorantly proposes but one that allows human nature to be accepted while attempting to protect the integrity of the sport going forward. I do not buy into the idea that racing is anymore cruel to a horse than our treatment of other animals on the planet. In fact horses WANT to compete and it shows if you pay attention. Certainly we could do better, but start with wildlife then go to cows, goats chickens, sheep, mink and other exploited animals first. The racehorse in comparison gets a great life for far longer than our other banyard critters, so I really miss the complaint from activists.

    Based on experience the tests for doping will always be behind the curve so my solution is too open the sport up to chemical enhancing techniques so long as the Owner/Trainer reveals what they are doing. It is my belief that some enhancements given to horses may be beneficial to humans as most of what Lance did was done to a horse first. If a horse is given a drug or PED and the owner says it then the testing firm knows what to look for and can find it in other horses that use it but did not reveal the substance. I would also propose keeping back parts of big purses that go to the owner for 10 years later by freezing the blood of the winning animal and after 10 years release the funds if the stored blood does not have any chemicals that weren’t revealed as the testing regime caught up to the doping schemes. Certainly there are downsides to this type of approach, as people will claim they hurt the horse for a win? I would find that type of thinking hard to believe as the line in racing is to enhance the horse without breaking it down or causing future reproductive problems. For instance, Cigar was a great horse on the track but a failure in the love shack and you will not find his progeny at the races.

    Okay with that said it has been a GREAT year for racing in America as was evidenced by the Oaks win yesterday by Shedaresthedevil as a longer shot, with a hot sire, that knocked off the two favorites, one of which was her ½ sister. Now today history can be made as Sackatoga stables shows up with NY bred TiztheLaw and what a good horse and story this crew has. I really hope that this horse rolls to victory, but as a gambler and a looker at horses, if some long shot looks good I will try to beat the favorite or attempt to get a good trifecta hit with the favorite in the mix. Have a wonderful day and Long Live Racing.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      If the breeders would go back to breeding for bone in addition to speed you would not see the breakdowns which have been increasing. Also I am not entirely sold on the fiddling with the composition of the track materials. I think the artificial materials added for ‘springiness” and drainage have added to the injuries.

      NO doping should be allowed. We have a responsibility to think of the horse’s wellbeing first, since they don’t get a vote in what is injected into them. IF some moron wants to take hormones or steroids to make it to the NFL/NBA/name your sport, it’s on their testicles, their choice. You shouldn’t do that to animals until they ask for it. In English.

      • Greg Hunter says:

        Molly I agree with much of what you say and breeders weigh these things all the time. Some with cash do breed for later results but others need to get some money whether at the sales or wins as 2 year olds. My Father in Law was convinced that the limestone based water for the horses was a benefit and when some of the KY farms got city water the stock degraded. Humans may benefit from groundwater as well? PJ may be correct in theory but in reality it is not practical in the same manner that kids waiting till x age to play football.

        I get your ideal on doping but just like the drug war it is a lost cause, so compromise while gaining public knowledge will make for a better future and one where only those drugs found beneficial to the horse and man are used.

      • BobCon says:

        I used to love going to the track, but I have soured on how many horses are being killed by the sport. This would have been a good time to really fix things, but I worry the opportunity was lost.

    • RacerX says:

      “Certainly we could do better, but start with wildlife then go to cows, goats chickens, sheep, mink and other exploited animals first.”

      Trotting out the ol’ False Dilemma Fallacy, eh? We work on all those issues, too. Interesting that you used the phrase, “other exploited animals”, though…

      • Greg Hunter says:

        Yeah you can go for some Freudian wording and I will say that all animals are exploited by man and some more than others. Wildlife and other domesticated animals, including man’s best friend rank much higher on the scale than the typical race horse.

        Far more important to get rid of First is the grazing of domestic cows on our public lands to the detriment of America’s wildlife. We certainly should work on expanding the bison in the Yellowstone eco system long before we attack horseracing, but the eastern liberals never seem to understand that….they are letting the corruption of our lands happen slowly with the passage of each stupid farm bill.

        • RacerX says:

          “Far more important to get rid of First is the grazing of domestic cows on our public lands to the detriment of America’s wildlife.”

          To the detriment of a whole lot more than the wildlife—the environmental damage is extreme. I’m in New Mexico, and it’s literally a shitshow out here.

          All that said, it’s fine to suggest working on this or that before some other this and that, but there’s nothing to stop us from working on multiple issues at the same time, and so we do.

          I’m not likely to change the minds of people who love horse racing, so this will be my last post in this thread. Thanks for reading.

        • P J Evans says:

          It’s the western ranchers who don’t understand it – they can graze cattle on public lands for much less than it would cost to do it elsewhere.

    • Mart says:

      In my youth collected manure at racetracks. Biggest fear was getting stuck by the hundreds of hypodermic needles tossed in the hay and straw.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        To say nothing of the ones used on the horses.
        Stables I’ve observed are cleaning up their act–not universally, but gradually.

    • MIchael J McCarthy says:

      There is absolutely doping in the NBA and NFL. Human beings don’t get so large without chemicals.

    • BobCon says:

      He got canned from his job at Arkansas for cutting two commercials for Jesse Helms. He belongs with Trump.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      The local public jazz station was playing Sonny Rollins this morning in honor of his birthday, saying that he used to cut high school classes to hang out with Thelonious Monk while he played, or take in musicals at the local movie theater.

  5. punaise says:

    …and RIP Tom Seaver, one of the titans of dominant pitchers from the 60s (Gibson, Marichal, Koufax, Drysdale, etc.)
    231 complete games, 61 shutouts, 17 years of 200+ innings.

    • bmaz says:

      Seaver really was all that. What an era for great pitchers, and Tom Terrific was certainly right there with them.

        • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

          I grew up watching and cheering on Bob Gibson. I will never forget when he stayed in the game (for a short time) after his leg was broken by a Roberto Clemente line drive in 1967.

    • elevator says:

      Yeah, i was wondering how the American league ever won an all-star game in the sixties and early seventies with that crew. And toss in Ferguson Jenkins and Steve Carlton. They used to play two all-star games.

      • punaise says:

        In today’s SF Chronicle:

        Brock will be remembered for many accomplishments. He was the National League’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 938. He had 3,023 hits. He was a first-ballot electee into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

        But he might be known mostly as the centerpiece of possibly the greatest baseball trade ever. On June 15, 1964, the Cardinals acquired Brock, a raw, 24-year-old outfielder, from the Chicago Cubs in a trade that cost them popular right-hander Ernie Broglio, who had been an 18-game winner for them the prior season although he was 3-5 in 1964 and perhaps injured.

        The trade was not well received by the Cardinals’ players. “We thought it was the worst trade ever,” said Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson. Brock had batted .263, .258 and .251 in his 2 ½ years with the Cubs.

        Brock would hit .348 the rest of the 1964 season and steal 33 bases as the Cardinals rallied to win the National League pennant on the last day of the regular season and went on to beat the New York Yankees in a seven-game World Series to bring St. Louis its first World Series title since 1946.

  6. scribe says:

    A couple quick notes, while I borrow some time from work.
    Lou Holtz: one can make a fair case that he’s earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom, insofar as one can “earn” such. In those awards there has always been a level of any particular president giving them to his personal favorites and this would likely be no different.
    Horses: It’s said that running is to dogs as dancing is to people. Its true. I think for horses, especially thoroughbreds, it’s more like “running is life”. Agree on ending doping and also agree on breeding more for bone. Or for more bone. Unless and until veterinarians can cure a broken leg in a horse with something other than a pistol or hypodermic of carfentanil (the opioid 100 or more times more deadly than fentanyl), there should be that consideration. These are majestic animals worthy of good care.
    Bubbled NBA and NHL: so far so good. Hard to watch hockey in August, though.
    Korean baseball: perhaps the single most successful sport this summer. They set out the rule at the beginning – one player gets corona, his whole team is done for the season. So far, it’s worked. That it’s on first thing in the morning, live, makes it all the better. Almost as great a way to start the day as listening to a game on the radio under the covers is a great way to end the evening. I’m waiting to see whether the Samsung Phones or the LG TV wins the standings in my house.
    F’g Yankees suck. Can’t win their way out of a paper bag.

    F1 – people say NASCAR is boring unless you count the crashes, and Indy is boring twice over, with no crashes worth waiting for. What then is a racing “league” where the winner is usually decided in qualifying?

    • bmaz says:

      Was Holtz ever really that good of a coach? The Jets Jets Jets might think not. Probably South Carolina too. And he left the Irish with a cheating scandal that even harmed his successor Bob Davie. The man is a jackass.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I’ll agree that Holtz’s principal interest to DJT is his grossly misguided statement about Biden, although it would be interesting to pin Lou down on how morally fit DJT is in comparison to Joe Biden. Then again, Lou was also a supporter of Jesse Helms’ effort to stop MLK Day from being a federal holiday which may have been a reason for him to leave the Razorbacks. I’m sure that’s a plus for DJT.

        Holtz had “recruiting issues” not only at ND but also Minnesota, and left under a cloud at Arkansas (see above). To be fair, however, at ND he inherited Gerry Faust’s team notorious for ineptitude. I recall one play discussed in Sports Illustrated where Faust’s Irish had too many men on the field, 14 in fact, but that was a small symptom of Gerry being in over his head no matter what happened before at Moeller HS.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Apparently the Yanks beat the Orioles for the 19th straight time last night, but unfortunately only play the O’s ten times this year.

      Bwa hahahaha.

  7. Eureka says:

    Welcome back, ? ! ? Mood.

    Reminded of The Replacements by one of your tweets, bmaz, I’ll leave a different title of theirs ( Since college students *appear* to be the only ones out living, so giving the college-days-wistfuls (well, until they get shut down for in-person, like outbreaky Temple did the other day) this one’s from a mixtape made for me by an old musician friend no longer with us (BSL, this was one of my Bahston-area friends; and ooh, you’re not going to split loyalties with TB*2?!? I mean, even just with one eye? Blinds closed/audio off?).

    As for NFL: don’t know how much I can get into it, feels distant and improbable — though I got sucked into baseball just fine (they do have generally more distance); Eagles did make some great off-season decisions, too bad it’s all fallen to crap, Iggles-style (it would probably pain me were it not for COVID and all the Boogaloo and stuff).

    How many teams are going to have fans in the stands, like Jerruh? Superspreader Sundays! I’m sure tailgates will be socially distanced, fully masked. He’s such a prick. [Petty-plus now fully awakened, with special bitterness about CeeDee Lamb] This year will just be a conflagration of tortures.

    NBC Sports is full of the sports betting crap, too. Even worse, though, is the same type of betting on the election. How might things like that alter people’s behavior, and the spread?

    Now I’m up for a harder-edged tune, and the yt’s acting awry for me. Later, perhaps.

  8. klynn says:

    I’ll never forget dialogue with Mary about my meeting Secretariat and his trainer by chance while vacationing in Kentucky when I was a kid and her equally amazing Secretariat story. She had so many amazing experiences and wisdom she shared with the EW community.

  9. Rugger9 says:

    Well, Lindsey weighed in on the troops, thanking DJT for backing Stars and Stripes while ignoring the fact that DJT’s DOD were the ones pulling the plug and also ignoring the losers and suckers fiasco. Then again, is anyone surprised? Will Mattis and Kelly speak out, as they should?

    The fever swamps are buzzing about a warning from Osama Bin Laden’s niece that “another 9-11” awaits us if Biden becomes POTUS. If that is true, then DJT owns this because of his (and his kids’) close connection to Crown Prince MBS who is also very close to the Bin Laden family. This was not a claim that came out randomly, MBS is likely collaborating with Trump 2020.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Lindsey is such a putz.

      Bin Laden’s niece is “predicting” that the US will “experience” another 9/11 without Trump’s small-but-manly hands on the wheel of the ship of state. LOL. That’s not far-removed from the domestic far-right saying that “bad” things will happen if they lose the reassurance of having Donald at the helm. Sounds like an organized extortion racket: “Nice business you have there, ‘Fredo….Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

      • P J Evans says:

        We’re getting at least two every week, just from the virus – and that’s on DJT. She can keep her mouth shut.

  10. BobCon says:

    The writers who quit en masse from Deadspin are launching a new mostly sports website called paid for by subscriptions.

    I hope they make a go if it.

    • bmaz says:

      And that from 1973 is STILL the fastest Derby time ever. Secretariat still owns the fastest times in the Preakness and Belmont too.

      What it does show is how good of a horse Sham was. Any other year, without Secretariat on the track, Sham may have won a Triple Crown, certainly at least a Derby.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Secretariat had the largest heart ever recorded in a horse. The average horse’s heart is 8-9 pounds. Secretariat’s was 22 pounds.

        The competitive heart was equally outsized.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    About that parade of small craft sailing on Lake Travis, in Texas, in the proverbial wake of Donald Trump, which styled itself as the Trump Parade. It seems that an undetermined number of vessels are in trouble and/or sinking. It is not clear whether the cause is too much alcohol, too little gasoline, poor maintenance, or poorer seamanship.

    Johnny McKeever captures the moment, by reference to its historical twin: [The Evacuation of] Dumbkirk.

    • P J Evans says:

      Alcohol in part, and determination to Own The Libs.
      The video I saw, they were going at a speed that produced a lot of wake, making it very rough out there.
      ( )
      At least four boats were swamped, not necessarily boats involved in the show of flags. One boat I saw a pic of had like *8* Trmp flags mounted on it, and you could only see two people because of the waves. Unmasked, of course. Word is that that area – it’s northwest of Austin – is full of RWNJs and Ron Paul fans.

      • Rugger9 says:

        That’s the reason for speed limits on waterways, hell we even have them in San Diego Bay for the USN (among others) because of the wake issue but it seems Lake Travis conditions also contributed. I don’t recall seeing any fatalities, yet.

        However, DJT’s embrace of hubris has rubbed off on his followers to the point where they think they can ignore physics and common sense. If the conditions were that rough (no Small Craft Warning?) then the Coast Guard and sheriff needed to keep them off the water and the boat owners will be held responsible (so let the lawsuits begin!). Like all of the COVID-19 clusters arising from DJT’s campaign, karma’s a beyotch.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Can you imagine the wake damage in SD Bay if there were no speed limit for those carriers and other naval ships? The subs would bob around like corks, the pleasure craft would become kindling, and the shoreline would wither away. North Island would become North Islet.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Not so much on the naval vessels (you should see what’s out there in the ocean, some areas worse than others), but all of the yachts owned by wealthy people with lawyers would take a beating and they’d be looking for lots of money to repair their boats.

          Semi-related, I see that DJT’s campaign had pulled ads for a month or so in AZ, and there is some evidence that they might be broke. Spending something like 60 M$ on legal fees would pay for a lot of advertising that the donors thought they were funding. On the other hand, DJT might be operating under the theory that no publicity is all bad, and as POTUS he will get his air time by tweet or at the “coronavirus briefings” without having to pay anything for it which is yet another reason for the networks to not cover these events.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          With Trump, I would assume he takes the vig before the campaign “gets” the money to spend. A lot of that would be spent through related parties, which Brad Parscale’s was also doing for himself. Like Trump’s inauguration committee, graft is the point.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh no, I will be fine with him off the air here. Although Trump’s ads are halfway sane compared to Martha McSally’s. McSally’s are way past disgusting.

        • P J Evans says:

          I read that wind speed was about 10mph. Not bad – certainly not small-craft-warning level. It was pretty flat before they started moving.

        • Chetnolian says:

          Trumpians sinking on Travis Lake? How wonderful. I have sailed on Travis Lake and it is essentially a very large puddle. On F1 I recognise Bmaz lacks anything worthwhile to watch this year. What oh what has happened to Ferrari? And I do so much hope we will be reading your pithy comments on F1 for a while yet Quebecois.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Given that wind speed (ho-hum) and the available fetch the wind waves on their own wouldn’t be a problem, unless the boats were overloaded on top of any rooster tails.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’ve been at my sis’s place in San Pablo – she can see north and northwest across the bay – and there have been days I’ve seen whitecaps. From more than two miles away. No sailboats out those days!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Overloading looked like a problem, too. Not a good combination with a large wake and the chop from so many small boats in close proximity. It’s such a poetic metaphor for Trumpism.

  12. Rugger9 says:

    Authentic won the Derby over Tiz the Law, so no Triple Crown this year although after last year let’s wait a bit… bmaz mentioned Sham vs Secretariat, how about Alydar vs Affirmed? Might be worth a simulation or two to see who would beat the other.

    • bmaz says:

      Given that it was Secretariat he was up against, Sham was incredible. Sham picked a bad year to run the Triple Crown; any other year and he might have won a Triple Crown. But he ran smack dab into the fastest horse the world has ever seen or known, and that is still true.

  13. scribe says:

    Haven’t really paid much attention to the No Fun League. Combination of a couple things. No preseason, for one. We didn’t get the annual slave auction-themed draft, nor the big media buildup starting after Memorial Day with the rookies getting to be part of their new job for a little bit, then all the pre-training camp speculation of who’s in, who’s out, who’s going to come back and all the other stuff that goes into producing the daily (for 32 weekdays) “today’s report on this team or that”. Didn’t get the pre-camp or at-camp bus tour on ESPN, partly because they decided to shitcan the Golics and partly because hardly anyone wants to get on a bus to a closed, masked camp anyway. IF Hard Knocks was on TV, I missed it. And with no pre-season games, there was no buildup where you could watch the Local Team on free TV, nor the anticipation of having to check The 506 every week to find out when and whether you could see them or your out-of-town favorite.

    So, we missed the usual buildup. And the presence of other sports horning in on what is time ordinarily split between baseball and King Roger’s domain, spiced up with daily speculating whether, when and which team or player will be out for corona, not to mention the mixmastering that opting-out yields, all has driven our attention away from football.

    That said, perhaps the most interesting story this year in football is not “how will the Cleveland Browns implode this year” but rather the arms race going on between New Orleans and Tompa Bay. The other day, the Biebers added Leonard Fournette, too fat, slow and old to play for was it Jax or Charlotte or whereever, but sure to grow new legs – and fast, strong ones at that! – the minute he is exposed to the flexible, avocado ice cream loving [uck] handoffs coming his way from Ol’ #12. Meanwhile, Team Brees is haggling with Alvin Kamara [sp] over his terms.

    And off in the corner, Cheatin’ Bill is working with his soon to be complement in gibberish, Cam Newton, New Captain of the Patriots. In the middle of his very stylish wordcloud the other day, Newton said something about “challenging coach to challenge me”. This should have an interesting denoument.

    In the rest of The League, a lot and a lot of nothing have been going on. Last year’s champions, the Chefs, are basically unchanged save for the Montrealer MD O-lineman who’s opted-out to be a doctor. And they’re dealing with squaring the circle of their name and identity, and the fans’ rituals yet showing themselves woker than woke about banning them. It’s always fun to watch the broadcasters twist themselves into knots working around this sort of problem. Last year’s runners up, the Niners, are likewise basically unchanged. There was some speculation that the later parts of last year’s SB loss led to dissatisfaction with Jimmy G, f/k/a Garop, seeing as how he went all Donovan McNabb’s Super Bowl Fail in losing the game late. As in, the 49ers were players in the Brady Sweepstakes, with sending Jimmy G away part of the deal, until (a) they couldn’t square the circle of Brady’s son living in NY and Biebs’ desire to be in the same time zone with him and (b) Biebs compared the income tax rates in FL and CA and gagged.

    The Iggles are trying to recapture a couple years ago and the magic of their SB season. Not likely. The Giants and their new QB, now in his second year, will be an interesting team to watch. The Washingtons, will lose some more. Carolina, Jacksonville, Miami, Atlanta … meh. Tomato cans. The Jets will suck, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. It will be a real race between Buffalo and Cheatertown and I would not bet against either. The Lions will break midwestern hearts again, with Patricia getting his walking papers at the end of the year. Green Bay will be OK, probably make the playoffs and lose somewhere in there. Indy will continue to improve and contend.

    Now for the real meat.

    Jerry and his Owboys will, yet again, look really good coming out and then have the wheels fall off sometime between late October and mid-November. Don’t count them out of the playoffs, but count on them imploding sooner or later. If there’s one team which I feel guaranteed to lose important player(s) to corona, it’s the Owboys. Even ahead of the Browns. And at the least opportune time. Bank on it. Jerry sold his soul to win those SB back in the 90s and has not yet figured out you can’t sell it twice.

    Pittsburgh. Oh, Pittsburgh. Reports on Ben and his elbow have been uniformly good. He’s feeling and throwing better than anytime in the last 5 years. Their defense is largely unchanged. Keep in mind that without Ben and with the immortals Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges under center, they still went 8-8 last year. And, had this year’s revised playoff system been in place, they would have made the playoffs. Their offense is more a band of similarly-skilled players among the RBs and receivers, as opposed to the LeVeons (well along making himself unwelcome in Jet-town) and ABs (out of the game, probably to come in mid-season, after his suspension, to replace some injured player) and a bunch of lesser guys as in the past. This, I think, will benefit them because it reduces opponents’ certainty as to where the ball will be going. Their defense is Strong.

    Cutting to the chase, if I had to pick 4 teams from each conference to go deep into the playoffs I’d say this, in no particular order:
    AFC: Stillers, Bills, Cheaters, Chefs
    NFC: Tompa Bay, NOLA, Niners, tossup between Houston (who always seem to choke) and Iggles.

    Coming on strong: Oilers, Colts, Owboys

    Interesting watches: Miami (can’t get much worse), Rayduhs (typical Vegas mentality – when the governor says you can’t have church but can have casinos and the S.Ct. goes along 5-4, the church rents space in the casino meeting hall and … has church. The Raiders will pull something like that, the exact contours of which we’ll just have to wait to find out.)

    Like the Dead said: “what a long, strange trip it’s been”.


    • bmaz says:

      The NFC South is really going to be something to watch. Brady has never had that strong of competition in his division. Going to be a lot tougher slog this time.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, indeed. Just checked, they were not horrible last year, pretty much right in the middle of the league with 40 sacks allowed. But they upgraded quite a bit, especially at right guard with rookie Tristan Wirfs who they took with the 13th overall first round pick. He is an absolute beast out of Iowa. They have far better depth this year as well.

          Also, keep in mind that Winston is famous for holding the ball too long always looking far downfield, thus causing a lot of the previous problems. That is not Brady’s style at all, he is very comfortable with short and medium passes and chewing up yardage. So that should help too. Although Arians does like to go downfield more than most coaches, and I bet you will see a bit more of that from Brady this year than in recent years under McDaniels and Belichick. Especially considering the receiving corps he now has. Really impressive, and that was “before” they added a healthy Gronk to the mix.

          So, we shall see. But that division is going to be brutally tough.

      • scribe says:

        Interesting to see Tompa Bay picked up Dolphin and Cardinal castoff Josh Rosen, signing him to the practice squad. Count on him getting lots of mentoring from Biebs and turning into something great.

        • bmaz says:

          Rosen has all the supposed tools, but has never actually used them with any consistency whatsoever. In fairness to the kid, he has had like seven OCs in the last seven years, and with his two years in the NFL on absolutely horrid teams. Cheap taxi squader though, his salary already paid by the Fish. Speaking of which, the Stillers released Duck. He also would make a decent emergency QB for someone’s taxi squad.

        • scribe says:

          Proven quantity in that gig. Kept his team in the games. He’ll get picked up the minute someone gets hurt, if not before.
          Good kid, great personality and good leadership skills, a bit shorter in the QB skills department, made up for it with desire. Make a good coach and/or broadcaster one day, probably.

    • Epicurus says:

      Deep playoff four:

      AFC: Ravens, Chiefs, Titans, Bills
      NFC: Saints, Cowboys, 49ers, Buccaneers

      Six young/youngish QBs, Two ancients. Exposure to Brady and Arians will be good for Rosen.

  14. The Old Redneck says:

    The NHL’s bubble seems to be working well. They’ve made it to the Eastern and Western conference finals without Covid eruptions. Waiting to see if it’s finally the year for the Lightning.
    As for Le Tour, conventional wisdom is that it’s between Roglic and Pogacar. But Bernal has been hanging around, always near the front at the end of the day. The time difference among the top 10 is tiny, and the race is ridiculously mountainous, so who really knows? Credit the organizers for creating some genuine suspense.

  15. drouse says:

    Damn. If it weren’t for bad luck, Ferrari wouldn’t have any luck this season. And Hamilton makes a rare mistake turning it into a race for once.

    • bmaz says:

      Just a brutal year for Ferrari. At least Leclerc is okay. At this point, they might as well say goodbye to Vettel now and let a development driver get some cockpit time.

  16. Ed Walker says:

    College football has added the threat of myocarditis to all the other risks. It takes most of the pleasure out of the game for me.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The Pac 12 worked out a deal with Quidell to do rapid testing, but aren’t these the 80% accurate ones with false negatives?

      However, repeated testing should get to a better place based upon the statistics of it (a 20% outcome repeated all 5 times has a probability of 1 in 3125). Then again, do you suppose a parent of a kid that gets one of the nasty side effects (something like 30% of the infected will) might just litigate against the university for failing to keep their kid safe? I’d say that probability is almost 100%.

  17. Rugger9 says:

    Who’s the guy that does all of those DJT paintings (no, I won’t link to it, they’re beyond maudlin), Jon McNaughton?

    I wonder how he’ll paint the cemetery scenes now after Aisne-Marne and Arlington.

  18. mospeck says:

    >the clarion call dopes cannot refuse
    NFL is finally back :)
    Also, additional good news: Navalny woke up yesterday and the three little kittens who lost their mittens are bringing it like a truck up against old joe lukashenko
    the bad news: putin and gerisamov are shortly to invade Belarus with their LGMs and are also going after Alexei’s supporters with subtly slightly less than lethal poisons. Theoretically though the things that do not kill us, make us stronger.
    So it’s not the Lovin Spoonful, 126 views

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