Holy Moley! It’s Thanksgiving again, just like that, and the air is crisp with young footballs. There will be NFL games on TV almost every day from now until Christmas — and, after that, March of next year, which is a long way off.
The Gods of Sport are always Hungry in the winter. They feed twice a day, and they don’t take no for an answer.
I was brooding on this last night, when the phone rang and jerked me back to reality. It was an old friend, calling with a frog in his throat. I could barely hear his voice.
“Speak up!” I said sharply. “I thought I told you never to call me on your cell phone. You sound like some kind of Eskimo whore.”
“Are you drunk?” I asked when he called back.
“No,” he replied. “I am high on life. Good things are happening, I want to run in a marathon.”
“Calm down!” I warned him. “Don’t embarrass yourself in public. People will lose all respect for you.”
“Public?” he said nervously. “What do you mean, public? We are talking on a secure land line. I would never talk like that in a public place. So you think I am stupid?”
“Of course not,” I told him. “You are nowhere near stupid. You are smart as a whip. Nothing stupid will ever come between us – at least not in public.”
“What are you trying to tell me?” he snapped. “Are you already jealous of me?”
“No,” I said. “Why would I be jealous? You’ll be suffering, chasing some imaginary feeling that only leads to sore feet and heart attacks. Just ask Jim Fixx, he was a jogger and died, while jogging – no sir, I’ll be watching football, drinking barley-pops, and enjoying the loosening of my waistband.” He continued to babble on about who knows what, told him good-luck and hung up, ain’t nobody got time for that…not this time of year!
As for those insufferable people you might have to share a table with who have waited all year to give you their hot-takes – here’s how to respond to those jabberwocky’s
5 reasons Bears fans should be thankful for Jay.
There might not be a quarterback in the NFL who has been criticized as strongly and as consistently over the course of his career as Chicago’s Jay Cutler.
A lot of this has been deserved, mind you, and he hasn’t done himself any favors at times – OK, at many times — with his press-conference demeanor. The much-maligned QB is playing quite well for Chicago, and the Bears’ struggles are far from his fault.
2016 H.O.F. Semi-Finalists
The Pro Football Hall of Fame narrowed the field of potential members of the Class of 2016 to 25 semifinalists on Tuesday, including players like Brett Favre, Terrell Owens and Kurt Warner.
Favre and Owens are two of five players to be named semifinalists for the first time, along with Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca and Sam Mills, although only Favre, Owens and Faneca are in their first year of eligibility. Terrell Davis and Kevin Greene are each semifinalists for the 10th time, the most for any of the 25 remaining nominees.
The list of 25 semifinalists was cut from a group of 108 nominees named in September and will be cut down to 15 in early January. The final Class of 2016 will be determined on Jan. 31 and can include no more than five modern-era members who receive an 80 percent positive vote from the selection committee.
Anarchy in the U.K.
Baseball was not invented by some American in upstate New York. Rather, it evolved from a number of different bat-and-ball games like cricket, rounders, bat and trap, and stool ball. These games, first played in England, meshed together over time in important ways to form what we now know of as baseball. It’s a fascinating history, featured in a great documentary which searches for baseball’s primordial common ancestor.
Which is to say that, while this seems odd given baseball’s almost total lack of popularity in the U.K., it’s not entirely inappropriate. It’s really just an overdue homecoming:
The Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners are discussing a trade that would send outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the Mariners in exchange for pitching, as first reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.
Since hiring new GM Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners have been the most active team in baseball, swinging trades and signing several free agents. Thus far, the Mariners have acquired closer Joaquin Benoit, outfielder Leonys Martin, infielder Luis Sardinas, and pitcher Nate Karns in trades. Additionally, the team re-signed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and signed catcher Chris Iannetta.
As a basketball fan, one of life’s simplest pleasures is waking up each day and knowing there is a good chance that Lakers head coach Byron Scott is going to do or say something that is hilariously dumb. Last night, he did not disappoint.
The Lakers got smoked by the Warriors, losing the game 111-77. Getting blown out by the historically great Warriors is no great shame, but it’s hard to understand why Scott once again kept his rookie point guard, D’Angelo Russell, nailed to the bench for the entire fourth quarter. After the game, Scott explained his decision:
If not Football, then what?!
At this time tomorrow, Americans across the country will be preparing to gorge themselves on turkey and football. Thanksgiving is a great holiday for getting together with family and friends. It’s also a great holiday for getting so stuffed that you can’t move — and if that happens, why not plop down in a movie theater to catch up on everything you’ve missed this month? Looking for a brilliant, heavy-hitting Oscar contender? Check out Spotlight, the riveting drama about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the sexual abuse committed by clergy in Boston’s archdiocese. Looking for an inspirational sports drama that doesn’t pull any punches? Check out Creed, the clever sequel/spin-off of the beloved Rocky franchise. Looking for something the whole family can enjoy? Check out The Good Dinosaur, Pixar’s latest, about a world where people and dinosaurs live side-by-side.Looking for something else? Fortunately, there should be no shortage of options. Click here to check out a full November film guide, by Scott Meslow.