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The Masters Of Faster Talk Of Trash

Alright Wheelies, it is Trash talk time! For the doldrums of summer, there are a lot of sports to talk about and space needed for all things “not” January 6 related. Bring it all here.

First up is the AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX. Qualifying is on right now. Stroll has already crashed his Aston Martin into the wall. Good thing his father owns the team, else Lance would not have a job. Oh no, the other Aston Martin, driven by Sen Vettel, has now gone into the wall, but seems the car is okay. Of the middle eastern races, the Baku City Circuit is actually better than most and usually provides good racing. As usual, the Red Bulls and Ferraris are up front.

Qualifying is over, and Ferrari’s Jean Leclerc is on pole, followed by Checo Perez, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz in the other Ferrari. Race coverage on ESPN at 7 am EST Sunday.

THE BELMONT. The 154th running of the last leg of the Triple Crown in Elmont New York. The shocking come from behind winner of the Derby, Rich Strike, is entered.

There will be no chance of a horse winning the Triple Crown this year, after Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike did not race in the Preakness in May. But Rich Strike will still have a chance at making history on Saturday.
….
“Obviously, with our tremendous effort & win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter course & run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honor for all our group, however, after much discussion & consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed & a few others, we are going to stay with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie is what’s best for our group, and pass on running in the Preakness, and point toward the Belmont in approximately 5 weeks.”

The 80-1 long shot at the Kentucky Derby is still not favored to win at Belmont, with that honor going to We the People at 2-1.

It is hard to tell what to make of Rich Strike, only got in the Derby field by a last minute fluke, but he really went on a tear down the stretch and looked like he could have kept going, so today should be pretty interesting. But no, wouldn’t bet the farm on him.

NBA FINALS. Last night’s game four was something. Steph Curry just flat went off, finishing with 43 points and ten rebounds, which is Jordan and LeBron land. But it seemed more than that, he was everywhere. The series is tied 2-2, and they head back to San Francisco for a Monday night game five. It sure looks like it may be a seven game series.

LIV. Rayne mentioned it previously, and she covered the background, including Phil, quite well. Here is a running blog by ESPN on the final round in London. My only real comment is that the LIV is not attracting many viewers. Which figures because it is not on TV. At all. The only way to watch this junk is by streaming it, and who wants to do that for a golf tournament? Maybe sports writers that have to cover it? Those are the only folks I know that are watching. It is just a giant cash grab by golfers, most of whom nobody has ever heard of. From brutal murderous Saudi thugs.

DESHAUN WATSON. What a mess this sordid affair is. While two separate grand juries have refused to serve up an indictment, there are 24, Twenty Four!, civil suits filed against Watson. All by one carnival barker Houston lawyer, Tony Buzbee. Buzbee now claims he will be naming the Houston Texans as a party defendant as well, apparently based upon the somewhat tangential fact that Watson obtained a generic template non-disclosure agreement for from them. Something that had been known for a while actually. But Buzbee like to make a buzz, and he is at it again. Frankly I have no idea in the world how he does not have 23 conflicts of interest. There is no way in hell all of his clients are similarly situated, or have the same ultimate interest. I am stunned the Texas State Bar has not reeled him in. From Ben Volin at the Boston Globe:

But Watson and the Browns look to be in big trouble. The New York Times’s reporting on the lawsuits, which found that Watson visited 66 massage therapists over 17 months, provided vivid details of the allegations against Watson and revealed him as a deviant who used his power and celebrity to prey on women.

Nobody comes out of this looking good. Watson could be forced to sit out yet another season. The Browns look horrible for embracing Watson and still might need to find a quarterback for this year. The Texans are now getting dragged into the lawsuit and could be found at least partially liable. And Watson may find himself in more hot water thanks to the 24th lawsuit that was filed this past week.

The Browns may be without Watson for some or all of 2022, but there should be no tears shed for Jimmy Haslam’s team. It was shameful enough when the Browns traded three first-round picks for Watson despite these allegations hovering over him. But the contract they gave Watson shields him from any sort of financial accountability.

Not only is every penny of the five-year, $230 million contract fully guaranteed — setting an NFL record for the length and total of a guarantee — but the Browns truly protected Watson from financial repercussions of a suspension.

The Texans at least had the good sense to cut loose Watson. They paid him to not come around all of last year. But the Browns and Haslem look truly horrible. There is a lot of good stuff in Ben’s article. I’ll have more to say about this mess later as it plays out, but it is truly ugly on every front. Especially Watson, the Browns and carnival barker attorney Buzbee.

I knew Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin a little in the past, and he is very, very good. He can try any kind of case, although is probably best known for criminal ones. Head to head, Rusty would likely mop the floor with Buzbee. But 24 of them? And, make no mistake, you would have to try to make sure they are all separate and attempt to keep out all the other allegations from each one. That is certainly what I would do. Ooof.

Okay then, let rip the trash talk on anything that interests you. I’ll leave this post around through Monday night so there is always a place for things not January 6. Today’s music is an extremely little known one by the great George Harrison. The song is really written about the late great Ronnie Peterson, one of the fastest and nicest drivers ever in Formula One.But there is a lot of superb F1 footage in the video, including a couple of shots of my automotive mentor Phil Hill. And, if you catch it, a cameo by the Wee Scott, the great Jackie Stewart, as George’s driver. It is absolutely fantastic, give it a listen!

Coming Attractions: Emptywheel Live Music Trash Talk

Hi there. I mentioned it previously, but without live sports, and the trash talk we often do and it is hard to see any of that anytime soon, Emptywheel Music Trash Talk is an idea long discussed, but the time may have come. Listen, this would be a kind of dead period anyway. The Boys Of Summer would still be in spring. The NBA and NHL seasons that seem to go on forever, would not have even been close to their playoffs. And don’t start about football, at best that would be over four months away.

So, I started a thing about maybe having some trash talk about music. It was an afterthought that caught more steam than I anticipated, even though I had considered it for many years in one form or the other. Probably would have happened this weekend, but for some unfortunate dental experience that left me a bit daff. But, additionally, I have to figure how to do this, as people will want to post a lot of You Tubes in comments, and that is a bigger concern than you may think.

Assuming my dentist gets me off of the painkillers, maybe this can go off Thursday or Friday where everybody can lob in over several days. In the meantime, Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii will always make the cut of the best. The 2016 Gilmour version, even not as iconic as the original band, but back at the ancient grounds…likely will not, but it is beyond freaking fantastic. Get ready to get live, get ready to rip up this juke joint.

Until we meet again…..

2017 NFL Draft Trash Talk

This was “supposed” to be a far better post than you are going to get. But I have had a couple of tough days in court, and this is what you are gonna get! Sorry!

Locally, the question is what will the Cardinals do? Carson Palmer will return for 2017 and, assuming healthy, he is really pretty good. Not inconceivable he plays in 2018 too, zoo a rook may get 1-2 years seasoning from a very good film study and preparation QB. Local chatter is Bruce Arians and Steve Kiem quietly are dying to take Patrick Mahomes from Texas A+M and groom him. Kid has Brett Favre, seriously, potential as to arm strength and play making capabilities. He also has Favre’s gunslinger recklessness. Frankly, I like him and think, if available, the Cards should take him with the 13th pick and hope Palmer can school him up, ala Aaron Rodgers with the original gunslinger, for two years before he takes control. I would also think Davis Webb, with a big frame and big arm, and who grew up as a coach’s son, would be pretty attractive.

Okay, as to other teams, I was FORCED into being a Patriots fan, not by the lady of the house Marcy, but by the jackass of the world (other than Trump and whatever gel headed midget is running North Korea currently), Roger Goodell and Deflategate. As the last Super Bowl proved, in stunning fashion, Bill Bel, Tom Brady and the Pats are still here. They arguably have already won the offseason by incredibly shrewd free agent dealings, but they don’t have a ton of high draft slots.

As to the rest of the teams – I think, despite the attempts at misdirection, Cleveland will take Myles Garrett at number one. Is that the right choice? Eh, I dunno, but it is probably a safer bet than Mitch Trubitsky, who has started a grand total of 13 games in a weak college football conference. Will the Brownies use a few of their famously accumulated draft picks to move up and take both Garrett and Trubitsky? Now that is a good question.

Where will the other QB’s go? Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes and my favorite sleeper…..Davis Webb of Cal? That will be fascinating to watch.

Where will Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook go? Dalvin Cook, as great as Fournette looks, may actually project better into the pros because of his pass catching and ability to make space on the fuel happen in an instant. Ezekial Emanuel to the Cowboys last year showed just how fundamentally a great dual purpose running back can still alter the game.

Besides Garrett, on defense, Reuben Foster, even if a bit of damaged goods, seems like the real deal for a linebacker. The kid out of Temple though, Hasson Reddick, is a HUGE sleeper. Watch out for this guy for a loooong time to come.

All right, gotta fly for now. Enjoy the draft, and chip in before, during and after. Listen, the NFL is all about money, so how about a song about the original Money Honey. We just passed, a couple of weeks ago, the 16 year anniversary of Joey Ramone’s death. Where the fuck did the time go? It, seriously, seems like yesterday. So, here are the Ramones with “Maria Bartiromo”. If this doesn’t light you up, you might be dead already. And, yeah, Maria thought it was awesome too. Keep on keeping on folks.

Tom Brady Taps Out of Deflategate and Other Trash Talk

Just posted a few minutes ago on Tom Brady’s Facebook page:

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 10.46.18 AM

Frankly, I am stunned. From the jump, Brady seemed to be a guy that would fight to the bitter end because he truly believed he was innocent and that the conduct of Roger Goodell and the NFL was dishonest and oppressive. And, frankly, every bit of research and evaluation of the case indicates that is exactly the case. My early analysis, which I still believe holds up nearly 100% is here. I touched significantly on why the Deflategate litigation was critical not just to Tom Brady, but to all organized labor operating ind a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). That is quite so, and the NFLPA has already indicated they may – may – continue on as a union to litigate this issue. We shall see, though they will be weakened without Brady being involved.

Having said that I am completely stunned Brady has tapped out, there are cognizable reasons for it. His best shot of success was with his petition for wn banc review in the 2nd Circuit, but that was denied Wednesday morning. To go further, Brady would have to file a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court and seek to obtain a stay of his suspension while the cert petition was processed. That would have been a tall order. The first stop would have beed the 2nd Circuit itself, which just dumped him, and then with Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the assigned Circuit Justice for the 2nd Circuit, and lastly to the full SCOTUS (which is not even in session currently).

I have a couple of sports law attorney friends I have found along the Deflategate way that thought Brady had a shot at a stay, maybe even odds as good as 50%. I thought that was probably entirely too optimistic, and not we will never know as the NFLPA does not have any need for a stay without Brady’s suspension hanging in the mix.

Just spitballing here, but I am going to guess that Bill Belichick, Bob Kraft and the interests of the team were the deciding factor for Brady, and not the thin odds. You see, even if Brady had been granted a stay, unless the Supremes granted cert, there is a real chance that the four game suspension rears its ugly head again at the end of the season and/or even the playoffs. If the Patriots are going to lose Tom Brady, it is far better that it be in the first four games, most of which they may have a decent shot at winning even without Brady, than have it be at the end of the year or playoffs. Nathaniel Grow at Sports Law Blog has a good discussion of the timing issue it Brady had actually obtained a a stay. So, dollar to donuts, this was not just the deciding factor, but the only real factor. Money was never an issue.

Just so you know, the Pats open here in Arizona against the Cardinals on Sunday Night Football on NBC, and then are at home in Foxborough against the the Dolphins, Texans and Bills. They can win some, if not most, of those games with Jimmy G at QB.

So, there you go, Deflategate comes to an ignominious end, at least as to Tom Brady. But there are other sports issues in the air, not to mention a boatload of politics and other matters. So feel free to use this thread as an open forum.

Premature NFL Trash Talk Under Duress

Are y’all paying attention to that Twitter widget thingy lodged on our blog on the right hand side? Well do ya? If so, then you have seen the oppressive brutality with which the otherwise demure Empthwheel has demanded pre-season Trash Talk.

I get no respect I tell ya.

So, here we are. Of course, all the cool talk is about the Patriots and Tim Tebow….WAIT….WHAT?….that’s not really the story?? Oh my, turns out there is MUHDERRRRR bout the ‘ole Foxborough and baby Jesus ain’t even close to the main story. Go figure?! And, this time, the OJ of the moment is juicing his fans with mash notes of innocence. Yippy-yi-o-cay-yay.

Alright. Okay. Let’s do some serious trash talking, mmmkay? And I ain’t messin around here. I think people in Gainesville know where this is pointed and I DEMAND response!

Q: What does a Saint, a Racist, and a Murderer have in common?

A: Urban Meyer and the Gators.

Boom!

I would say some phony smart bunk about the teams (seriously, Peyton Manning’s arm is growing stronger by the day and Donkos Rule!) but, hey, it is preseason and not a lick of it matters. As Marcy said, this is a test drive to see who of the normal Wheelhouse pit crew is still in the mix and what kind of chops the new recruits have. Represent people.

Oh, one last matter: The F1 Circus is off grid until the Belgian Grand Prix on August 23-25.

Oh well, it’s been a good day here in the hell of the desert. Turn it up and splay your opinions out here for all to see – on everything. Let’s rock.

Bracket Busters and Odds and Ends Trash Talk

Fairly slow day yesterday on news and events, but the NCAA basketball tournament is in full swing. There are the usual 12-5 upsets that have become tradition, like Oregon over Oklahoma State (not much of an upset if you saw the Ducks play in the Pac-12 tournament), ‘Ole Miss over Wisconsin (now that was an upset) and Cal over UNLV. Three out of four 12-5 games were “upsets. This happens so frequently every year that it is now the expected.

But there have been two more results that were actually shockers. First, on Thursday, Harvard took out Steve Alford’s highly regarded New Mexico Lobos in the 14-3 game in the West regional. First tournament win ever for Harvard. The glory may be short lived however, as the Crimson runs into a much more athletic University of Arizona Wildcat team in the Round of 32. Of course right about the time that was happening, Harvard was showing its real Goldman Sachs like colors by having four years of National Academic Quiz Tournament Championships stripped for cheating.

The even better upset story happened Friday night when little known Florida Gulf Coast University, a 15 seed, demolished the 2nd seeded Georgetown Hoyas. FGCU didn’t even really exist until the mid 90s and is in only its second year of eligibility for the tournament. Wow. And the Eagles have a real shot against their next opponent, San Diego State. The Eagles have real leaders in their guards, Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson. Hot guard play in the tournament will take you a long way, and if last night is any indication, FGCU may have it.

The F1 circus is in Malaysia this week. If there is one thing you expect in Malaysia, it is the wet; and that is exactly what arrived during qualifying at the Sepang Circuit. Sebastian Vettel took pole, with Felipe Massa in P2. Alonso was in P3 and Hamilton beside him in row 2. Kimi Raikkonen qualified back in P7, but came from similarly back on the grid last week in Australia. Button will be beside the finn in P8 and teammate Sergio Perez in P10. Massa has historically been very good at Sepang, can he beat out Vettel and his teammate for the first win of his comeback? Will there be more wet for the race? Coverage starts on NBCSports channel at 4:00 am EST and 1:00 am PST.

In the other set of exciting brackets, our very own @Emptywheel has won her first round in Twitter Fight Club. The second round will be more challenging however, with a formidable opponent in Michael Cohen, aka @Speechboy71.Actual voting does not start until Monday morning, March 25. However, if you are on Twitter, you can help the cause by issuing strong (but good natured) battle tweets in favor of @Emptywheel and against the dreaded opponent @Speechboy71. Say something pithy and substantive. Get in the fight, and don’t forget to vote Monday!

This week’s music is Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by the Hollies. Great song and nice video. The bonus track is a video by yours truly taken Thursday night on Art Walk in Old Town Scottsdale. The guy pictured was set up in the plaza next to the restaurant where we were eating on the patio, the Barrio Queen. Dude was an amazing showman. He painted the Hendrix canvas to All Along the Watchtower prior to the Stones one in the video.

Sick Of The Election Jiz Virtually Speaking Trash Talk

If there were more days remaining, say maybe seven, perhaps there would be reason to throw some politics in here for discussion. But, no, there are, as I write this blarney, only four days left in our long national nightmare. So, enough of the yankee doodle dandies in their gold Rolls Royces, and car elevators, enough of the relentless ads and horserace discussion, let us instead talk football.

But this week it will not just be here, Marcy and I will also be appearing with Jay Ackroyd on Blog Talk Radio Sunday at 9pm EST [note corrected time] and other times adjusted accordingly moving ever westward. To talk about the election? Nope, enough of that, we will be talking trash about football baybee! So come join us, here is a link to the audio feed on the net and if you are in Second Life, you can find us there as well. Even better, you too, my friends and friendettes can call in and yammer with us by dialing (646) 200-3440 during the show. Can’t promise how many get through, because I am a rookie at this, but what the heck give it a try. Exciting!

With that public service announcement out of the way, let’s get down to business. First up is, of course, the student athletes. The game of the week finally does not have to do with the Blighted Irish. This week it is without question Alabama at LSU. Both teams have big and nasty defenses, but the Crimson Tide has a quietly cold blooded efficient offense, and I think, coupled with the defense, it will be too much for LSU. The other critical showdown is Oregon at USC. Can Matt Barkley and the Trojans get their mojo back and spoil the Ducks’ season? Maybe, the game is in the Coliseum and the Men of Troy have a lot of weapons in the offensive skill positions. But their O-line is not up to usual par, nor is the defense. And, as I witnessed in person a couple of weeks ago, the Quackers are big, fast and badass; I’m sticking with the boys with the billed beaks. Lastly, an honorable mention to Colin Klein and Kansas State, who host the always dangerous Oklahoma State.

On to the pros. The big cheese here is the Cardinals at Packers. Okay, not really, the Pack will light up and then crush the Cardinals in Lambeau and send the once promising season for Arizona further down the toilet. The game I am strangely hooked on is Miami at Indianapolis. The Fish are WAY better than anybody thought. Philbin can coach, Tannehill can throw, and Reggie Bush can be a featured back. Oh, and the defense is quietly awesome. Miami looks to be for real; but so too do the Colts and Andrew Luck. No clue which way this one will go, but maybe a slight edge to the Fish because of the D.

The third game on the slate for discussion is Pittsburgh at the Giants. Really, this is probably the best game of the week. Good/Bad Eli and Big Ben both came out of the 2004 draft, and both have a couple of Super Bowl wins. Both teams traditionally have punishing defenses. Fun fact: “This is the first time quarterbacks in opposite conferences with multiple championships are meeting in a regular-season game since Joe Montana’s 49ers beat Jim Plunkett’s Los Angeles Raiders in 1985.” The game is in the Meadowlands where emotions will be running high from Sandy. Everything points to a win for the Gents, but the Stillers are starting to gel after a rough start to the season, and I think they may pull off an upset.

Hard to see Dallas having much for the Falcons in Atlanta. A better question is who in the world will win between the Saints and Eagles down in Nawlins on Monday Night? Both teams have been quite sucky to date. I don’t think any team in history has given up more yards on defense through the first seven games than the Saints, and Drew Brees is getting uncharacteristically hammered behind a porous O-line. Mark Ingram has been close to a bust at running back. It ain’t pretty down in the Big Easy. Nor has it been for Mike Vick and the Iggles. His and Any Reid’s jobs may truly be on the line. Both teams are desperate for a win, but I think Philly is a better team and will take the win.

Lastly, the Circus is up and running in Abu Dhabi this weekend. Sebastian Vettel had some problems with the brakes on his Red Bull in practice and spent most of the time in the garage. Qualifying is underway as I post – and it has just wound up. Lewis Hamilton was fast and took pole. Mark Webber will join him on the front row, with Vettel and Maldonado in the second row. Jenson starts from a disappointing P6 and Alonso is all the way back in P7 and Massa in P9. Two oddities may affect the final grid by tomorrow: Vettel stopped his car on the track as qualifying ended, and that is usually a penalty. Secondly, Ferrari was working beyond permissible hours last night in the garage, and that may yet cast Alonso and Massa. We shall see.

The Yas Marina Circuit is the most expensive track on the calendar, and it is indeed beautiful. It is also a pretty fine track for racing. Here is a nice video overview by CNN from when Yas Marina first opened in 2009. Should be an excellent race and it goes off at 8 am EST Sunday morning (think I have that right, it is the stupid daylight savings time change day).

So, that is it for this weekend. Music above is the original promo video of Elected by Alice from 1972 and it is pretty fun. Rip it up!

The Joy of Real Referees For the NFL Trash Talk

The real refs are back, and the scabs are gone. This is a very good thing for the integrity of the sport; the cockup that cost the Packers the game in Seattle was just too much. After that, how in the world could the NFL send a team of scabs into Lambeau this Sunday for the game with the Saints? They couldn’t. And now we have a deal.

One thing should be kept in mind. While the deal looks like the referees and their union won big, it is not quite as solid of a win if you look at the details. As Travis Waldron notes:

When the lockout began, the owners had three major asks: they wanted to eliminate the pension benefits current officials receive, add full-time officials, and add a back-up pool of officials. More details will come out, but the deal they reached last night added a group of full-time officials and a back-up pool of officials and grandfathered in pension changes that will eliminate the current defined-benefit retirement program for all officials by 2016. The owners got basically everything they wanted, and somehow they lost?

I’m not seeing it.

If anything, this deal is more evidence of the power corporate interests hold in labor disputes. Laden with cash and able to wait, the NFL spent the offseason moving the NFLRA’s thin red line closer to what the owners wanted, to the point where the reasonable compromise was one that gave the league everything it wanted, if on a slightly slower timeline. That ensured that when fans firmly took a side, the league would still get its way. That power is shared by corporations in lower-profile battles, where companies are locking out workers to pay them less and eliminate pensions and benefits just because they can.

I think Travis is exactly right. Not that an NFL official’s life is a terrible lot, they are paid well for 6-8 months of work a year, and get other benefits. But if the point was to score a “win for labor”, this really is maybe not the gleaming example it has been painted as.

But, as a football fan, I will take it; anything is better than the degraded product we saw culminated last Monday night. And, who would have ever guessed it could be possible for referees to get a standing ovation of love from a packed house of football fans? I do wonder, though, how long the newfound love and respect for the refs by the players and fans will last. We shall see.

Hey, here is a great story about Brian Dawkins the former Eagles and Broncos great who is being honored with a jersey retirement in Philly for the Giants game Sunday night. Do the Eagles have enough motivation to take it to the Gents? I think they do this time. For Dawk.

Other games that look good are Oakland at Mile High to visit the Broncos. Houston was too tall an order, but I think Peyton gets untracked on the Rayduhs and their secondary. The Niners are going to roll the Jets. Detroit is reeling, and the Vikings looked shockingly competent whipping San Francisco last week; these two are so unpredictable, it is a tossup. Can the Cardinals make it 4-0 with a win in Phoenix over Miami? I think so; who’d a thunk it? The Bears play Dallas on MNF, hard to see why anybody cares about these two at this point.

For the “student athletes”, there was a huge upset Thursday night when the Washington Huskies chopped down the Stanford Tree. There is not much else in the way of excitement on tap for Saturday. Maybe Florida State and USF will have a little juice. Maybe Baylor at West Virginia will be fun. Other than that, it is just kind of bleak by my scan.

Although it is an off week, there is some huge news in the F1 world. The circus silly season has begun with two huge moves. Lewis Hamilton is leaving McLaren after this season to go to Mercedes, where he will replace departing Michael Schumacher. Hamilton will team with the remaining Nico Rosberg Young and promising Sergio Perez will leave Sauber to replace Hamilton at McLaren and will team with Jenson Button. There is scuttlebutt Schumacher may not be done and may take a seat at Sauber, but I am not sure if I buy it. Lastly, one of the all time great auto racing announcers and commentators, Chris Economaki, has passed away at age 91.

In baseball, Jim white’s TB rays are making a balls out stretch run at the playoffs, but they lost a tough one tonight, and they are running out of time and are three back of a wildcard slot. The Orioles are still one back of the Yanks for the AL East. Compelling stuff.

This weeks music is to honor the joy of real refs, and is a rare early live show, with surprisingly good sound, of Blind Faith.

“With A Neck Like a Jockey’s Bollocks” Trash Talk

Yeah, about the title. No, I am not quite sure what it means. Maybe Marcy and other sundry mystery guests will be along to explain the damn thing.

What I can confirm is that it is unequivocally the single most awesome grouping of words I have seen in a very long time. So I am rolling with it baybee!

And, you know, leave it to the Irish, in this case Michael Higgins, who was not then, but is now, the President of Ireland. And, also, who is, by my marker, a man of and among men. I would quote Mr. Higgins more, but it would not do him justice. Watch the video.

Honestly, sincerely, really unequivocally, whatever the fuck, just listen to Michael Higgins eviscerate the American ethos. It is brutal and real.

Oh, before we go any further, I have a new chapeau. I will, and you can, thank the one and only, ever lovely, Phred for this wondrous occurrence.

Y’all have known I had an affinity for CHEESE since I was a child in elementary school. It was easy then, as there was no NFL team within hundreds of miles, and the one that was there was the Rams, and it was not all that compelling. No, the team of my youth and dreams was Lombardi’s Packers. Fuck Dallas, Green Bay was, and is, the people’s, and America’s, team. Always has been. As the only team actually of the people, it must so be. Don’t pitch that crap about teams that are corporately owned, or owned by narcissistic dicks like Jerry Jones.

Knowing my affinity for the once, always, and future real team of America – the ONLY publicly owned and locally controlled, NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, our friend Phred has blessedly provided me with an official CheeseHead. It arrived a couple of days ago, and is the most awesome thing I have been given in a LONG time.

So, I raise my Ronnie Raygun like head to the Great Cheese In The Sky.

Back to Michael Higgins, necks and bollocks. Watch the video. Higgins correctly identifies the wankers in life, I love it and ratify his identification. Precisely.

Now, on to the sporting side of life. Well, normally, Marcy or I post up Trash Talk whenever we are so inclined. Sometimes, however, itinerant Roving Reporters, like Mademoiselle Rosalind, get all uppity in our grill and force us to Trash.

Oh my. The ignominy of it all.

So, without further adieu, we shall lead off with sailing. Yes, I know, this is all a bit discomfiting for the normal Trash Talk aficionados. Whatta ya gonna do Mofo? We support our Read more

Kentucky Derby Trash Talk: A Run For The Roses & Missing Mary

If it is the first Saturday in May, it is Kentucky Derby day. And so it is again today. We dabble with the ponies occasionally here at the Emptywheel blog, from previous Derby Trash Talks, to our coverage of the historic battles of super filly Zenyatta against the biggest and baddest boys of the horse racing world. Heck, we even have our own fearless roving reporter, Rosalind, monitoring the pending debut of Zenyatta’s little sister, Eblouissante.

But, by far, it was our friend and colleague Mary who kept up our equine quotient here. Her tales from her farm, in the actual horse country of Kentucky, were a constant over the years. Whether it was the feeding and common chores to care for her horses, saving ones in trouble, to making sure they were ready for incoming storms, it was a slice of life we don’t often stop to ponder in the fast paced politi-legal world we generally do here. Mary loved racing horses more than the actual racing really. For the big race days she would always say something to the effect of “oh, I’ll probably just be working on the farm for that”. Yet, later would say “well, I found a few minutes to see Rachel Alexandra run, wow what a race!”

Mary’s voice, sadly, left us just before last Christmas and, frankly, we are still reeling a little from the loss. Communities need glue, and she was part of ours. The first thing I thought when the Derby chatter started up this year was “Damn, I miss Mary”. So, our Trash Talk and Derby coverage this week is dedicated to Mary. In honor, one of our longtime good friends of the blog has put together an amazing video, which is at the top of this post, and has a powerful ending. Give it a watch please. If you are new here and did not know Mary, here is the original memoriam we did.

So, there is a real live Derby today. It has not been one of the years with a big noisy media buildup. While we would probably know Andrew Cohen, the CBS News and The Atlantic legal analyst more for his work in the law, he is a completely devoted and involved soul in the world of Read more