Archive for December, 2017

Snoop, call your office, please…

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Chuck Pagano out as head coach of the Colts.

Pagano’s tenure in Indianapolis ends with a 53-43 overall record, though nine wins from the 2012 campaign were credited to Pagano while he battled and eventually beat leukemia and Bruce Arians ably filled in as interim coach.

The team was 4-12 this year.

Edited to add: And now, Jack Del Rio out as coach of the Raiders, according to ESPN. Haven’t found a good link for this yet. Rumor for the past couple of days has been that the Raiders really want Jon Gruden and are prepared to offer him everything, including equity in the team.

Gregg Easterbrook is going to be more insufferable than usual.

Your loser update: week 17, 2017.

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

Honorable readers:

As of 3:06 PM Central on December 31st, 2017, the Cleveland Browns became the third team in the modern NFL era to go an entire season without winning a game, and the second to finish an entire season 0-16.

Only the 2008 Detroit Lions match Cleveland’s record for futility: the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished their first season 0-14.

In other news, the New York Football Giants actually won their game, improving to 3-13. This may be good enough for second place in the draft: the Colts beat Houston and finished 4-12.

More later, maybe. There will be a ceremonial toast drunk tonight.

Edited to add: Yep. Looks like it’s going to be Browns-Giants for sure. I think the third and subsequent positions are still up in the air until the late games are over.

ETA2: coverage.

ETA3: Per, it’s going to be:
Browns again (traded with Houston for this pick)

I expect Bloody Monday to be interesting. If there are any “Damn, you didn’t even wait to get him in the house” firings tonight, I’ll try to update.

Obit watch: December 31, 2017.

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

It looks like the NYT replaced the incomplete Sue Grafton obituary I linked to on Friday with a full obituary, without changing the link. Okay fine. LAT. WP.

I wish I had more to say about her: I’ve never read any of the books. They are sort of on my list, but I have it in my head that I want to start with “A” and read them in alphabetical order, and I’ve just never gotten around to doing that.

NYT “The Lives They Lived”.

They missed one, and I think this is a nice tribute:

Damn it all to Hell and Hong Kong.

Friday, December 29th, 2017

The NYT is reporting the death of Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Millhone “alphabet” mysteries, at the age of 77.

The paper of record does not have a full obit up yet: I will try to post a follow-up when I can.

Obit watch: December 29, 2017.

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Rose Marie.

Originally known as Baby Rose Marie, she is probably best remembered for her “Dick Van Dyke Show” role as Sally Rogers, one of three comedy writers — the others were Rob Petrie (Mr. Van Dyke) and Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam) — who worked for the fictional series-within-a-series, “The Alan Brady Show.”

I’m too young to remember the “Dick Van Dyke Show” (and oddly, never caught it in reruns).

Sally was witty, wisecracking and independent-minded, but she was also perpetually on the hunt for a husband; though tough as nails, she was not immune to romantic misadventures. Her main significance, though, was that she worked as a comedy writer, a rarity for women at the time. (One inspiration for the role was said to be Selma Diamond, who had written for Sid Caesar in the 1950s.)

Yeah, that Selma Diamond. I did not know this.

She was also seen frequently — from the first episode, in 1966, to the last, in 1980 — on the original version of “Hollywood Squares,” the game show on which celebrities answered questions (and made jokes) to help contestants score X’s or O’s on a giant tick-tack-toe board. There, with her trademark bow in her hair, she flaunted the persona she had perfected: a feisty, witty, outspoken spinster (although she was actually a widow) who refused to grow old without a fight.

This is where I remember her from. And here’s a neat piece of trivia:

In this first phase of her career, she performed with Rudy Vallee, Benny Goodman and Milton Berle, among many others. She had at least one famous friend outside show business as well: Through her father she met Al Capone, who took an interest in her career, often driving her to and from shows. She referred to him as “Uncle Al” in her memoir and quoted him saying, “If you ever need me for anything, tell your father to call me.”

TMQ Watch: December 26, 2017.

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Because this year’s schedule meant football on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, TMQ didn’t watch any.

We’re still unclear on why this was the case. Especially on Christmas Day: the first game started at 3:30 PM Central, and was over with enough time left to watch the good “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and promptly flip over to the second game before the bad “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” came on. (Really, whose bright idea was it to show the vastly superior animated special before the feature length movie that should never have been made?)

But how can you miss me when I won’t go away?

So. Many. Possible. Punch. Lines.

My holiday gift to readers is a column-length expansion of Tuesday Morning Quarterback’s A Cosmic Thought item.

Can we return this and get something actually useful? Like socks?

After the jump, this week’s substitute for a TMQ


Loser watch.

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Two articles from ESPN that amused me:

The worst teams in NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL history“. I quibble with their NBA team choice, but the rest of the picks seem sound.

The worst NFL teams ever for all 32 franchises“. The picks for Detroit and Tampa Bay are logical. But were the 1990 Browns worse than the 2016 Browns?

De minimis non curat lex.

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

However, this sounds like an excellent case for small clams court.

This gives a new meaning…

Monday, December 25th, 2017

…to a “white elephant” gift exchange:

A man was shot overnight on Christmas by what police say may have been a stray bullet while gathering with family for a gift exchange at a home in southwest Houston.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 25th, 2017

I’m having a hard time finding versions of this song on YouTube that I like. I might have to resort to something different next year.

But this year, you’re getting a twofer.

I like this video enough to post it. My quibble is that this is entirely instrumental, and I feel like this song needs vocals.

So I’ll throw this one in as a bone to all my prog-rock friends out there:

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… (part V)

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

One more, I think, before Christmas. This is another military Christmas story, but does not involve General Mattis at all. It’s been widely retweeted by a whole bunch of folks, but if you haven’t already seen it:

Start there and follow the thread. Also for what it’s worth: I put this in the “funny” rather than “touching” category.

Your loser update: week 16, 2017.

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

da Bears won! da Bears won!

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16:


With the defeat, the Browns became the first team in NFL history to have multiple 15-loss seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Browns, who are 0-15 this season, finished 1-15 last season.
Coach Hue Jackson has been coach for both seasons and is 1-30 in his two years leading Cleveland. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam already has stated that Jackson will return in 2018.

And in other news:

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen would prefer to play for the Giants over the Browns and would be hesitant to declare for next year’s NFL draft if he knew that Cleveland was going to take him with the No. 1 overall pick, according to league sources familiar with the situation.

Gee, where I have heard something very much like this before…? ‘Tis a mystery.

As I’ve noted a couple times before, the Browns last game of the season is in Pittsburgh. Anything can happen, of course, and depending on playoff position the Steelers may want to rest their starters, but I don’t see Cleveland coming out with a win unless things go totally off the rails.