(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian)
I am very glad that this week ended with an incredible outbreak of hilarious low comedy, courtesy of our friends at the Miami Herald. You may recall that Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, recently was busted for allegedly engaging in what Myles would have called "nasty gymnastiness" at a strip-mall massage parlor in Florida. The establishment in question, which is now being investigated for human-trafficking among other crimes, was founded by a woman named Li Yang. And, as the Herald reports, Li Yang ran in the highest circles of the MAGA-thon. And, glory be, there's art.
Sometime during the party at Trump’s West Palm Beach country club, the president turned in his chair to look over his right shoulder, smiling for a photo with two women at a table behind him. The woman who snapped the blurry Super Bowl selfie with the president was Li Yang, 45, a self-made entrepreneur from China who started a chain of Asian day spas in South Florida. Over the years, these establishments - many of which operate under the name Tokyo Day Spas - have gained a reputation for offering sexual services. Nineteen days after Trump and Yang posed together while rooting for the Patriots, authorities would charge Kraft with soliciting prostitution at a spa in Jupiter that Yang had founded more than a decade earlier.
There's a lot of art.
Before the 2016 general election, Yang offered no evidence of political engagement. She hadn’t voted in 10 years, records showed. But she has now become a fixture at Republican political events up and down the East Coast. Her Facebook is covered in photos of herself standing with President Trump, his two sons, Eric and Donald Jr., Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sen. Rick Scott, Sarah Palin, the president’s campaign manager and an assortment of other high-level Republican operators she has met at charity events, political fundraisers and galas, many of which require hefty donations to attend. She sometimes carries a rhinestone encrusted MAGA clutch purse.
Molly Jong-Fast's corner of the electric Twitter machine helpfully has compiled all the actual photographs. (Hi there, Dan Bongino! What up, Diamond and Silk!) And, of course, the president* spent the afternoon in Alabama, autographing Bibles, and God has simply given up and gone into real estate.
The lady who runs the “Asian spa chain in south Florida” may very likely be the next RNC chair. pic.twitter.com/R65C0Bbx9U- Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) March 8, 2019
Let me tell you a little bit about the game story. Writing a decent game story always was a special skill. Once TV came along, and everybody knew who won before your newspaper hit the stands, it became even more difficult, and let's not even talk about trying to write a good game story when your assistant sports editor is in your ear to tweet about the 6-4-3 double play he just saw on TV. This is how you write a game story, or at least the biggest play in one.
Heavens to Omaha if Rodgers didn't catch it with Greg Pruitt right on him. He took the blow, spun around on his own 30-yard line and planted his left hand on the Tartan Turf to keep from falling. Strangely, Pruitt's lick only turned Rodgers away from the grasp of another lunging Oklahoma tackier, Ken Jones. With that, however, he set sail to the right. But just as quickly he then darted back to the left, through a whole cluster of wine-colored Sooner jerseys. There the minuet ended. Rodgers was open and away from the flow of the coverage that had developed, heading for the left sideline.
Dan Jenkins wrote that for the December 6, 1971 edition of Sports Illustrated in his game story about the epic Nebraska-Oklahoma game in Norman, Oklahoma. It was the kind of thing that, in this young mind, anyway, made being in Norman with Jenkins as attractive as being in Paris with Hemingway or in Nepal with Peter Matthiesen. As my own career went on, I finally made it to Norman and realized that what made Norman special in my mind was that Dan Jenkins had been there.
You cannot find many sportswriters of my generation who were not fired with the idea of writing for the Sports Illustrated put together by genius editor Andre Laguerre. Deford. Tex Maule. Curry Kirkpatrick, whose 1971 piece about Al McGuire and Marquette basketball had a great deal to do with my choice of college. Pat Putnam and Mark Kram on boxing. Bill Nack at the track. And Dan Jenkins, writing about college football and golf, which he managed to write about as a Texan hustling a ten-buck Nassau and not like a misplaced Princeton valedictorian.
(Case in point: "We called him Cecil the Parachute, because he fell down a lot. He would attack the golf ball with a whining, leaping half-turn-more of a calisthenic than a swing, really-and occasionally, in his spectacular struggles for extra distance, he would soar right off the end of elevated tees.")
It is not an exaggeration to say that I would not be doing what I do without those guys, and Jenkins first among them. There were the novels; I have a particular fondness for Fast Copy, his novel about ace reporter Betsy Throckmorton and her big story about a murderous cabal on Texas bankers, also starring Big 'Un Darling, the sports editor who, while covering the glory train of the 1936 TCU Horned Frogs, promised Betsy that he'd "work on his sims." Similes, that is.
And then, late in life, Dan became an essential follow on the electric Twitter machine, live-tweeting major tournaments and keeping the casual golf fan updated on the state of Sergio Garcia's nipples, which he did at encyclopedic length.
Dan passed on Thursday at the age of 89. I met him once, at the PGA in Rochester six years ago. I had a picture taken with him and with his daughter, Sally, the essential sports columnist at the Washington Post. I treasure that photo in my phone, which is something we can do these days. The lights are dim at Goat Hills this weekend. Thanks for everything, hoss. As someone once mused, nobody ever said it wasn't going to be semi-tough.
I would not do what I do if I hadn’t read Dan Jenkins as a kid. RIP, Dan. Lights are dim at Goat Hills tonight. And I’m glad I saved this picture from the 2013 PGA in Rochester. pic.twitter.com/LT3EpA8LIC- Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) March 8, 2019
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Flood" (Borealis Rex): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: In further honor of the late Mr. Jenkins, here's Ben Hogan in 1957, coming home from having won the British Open. If you can find one athlete who makes your lights shine the way Hogan did for Jenkins's, you're a lucky fan. And look! Fireboats! History is so cool.
Now, barring a surprise change of heart, it appears that sometime this Spring the 40-year-old Marine from Marblehead with three Harvard degrees will declare himself a candidate for President of the United States. This is for real, I am assured by people familiar with [Seth] Moulton’s political operation. Despite the ever-present caveat that no final decision has been made, they acknowledge that plans have been moving forward, with the expectation of a late-April or early-May announcement. Most Massachusetts political insiders roll their eyes at the idea. They scoff at his ego and self-importance, and assume that any Presidential run will be short-lived, forgettable, and politically suicidal. There are plenty of reasons to back that thinking. But as Janis Joplin sang nearly a decade before Moulton was born, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Why shouldn’t Moulton run? His future isn’t in the U.S. House of Representatives; he wants to lead something, not be one of a crowd. If his Presidential campaign fizzles, well, nobody really expects otherwise, so he won’t lose any stature. He’ll still be a young, well-connected figure with some national following and plenty of options.
Jaysus, who the hell is this guy when he's at home? He was an intriguing congressional candidate and he got elected. Suddenly, the day after the election, a National Political Figure appeared in his mirror. Nancy Pelosi handed him his hat which, apparently, made him think of himself as a potential president. Hubris is a helluva drug.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, LiveScience? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!
It may be hard to imagine towering Tyrannosaurus rex as tiny, but the toothy Cretaceous giant didn't spring from an egg fully grown. In fact, T. rex hatchlings were about the size of very skinny turkeys, with "arms" that were longer in proportion to their tiny bodies than in adults. And each baby T. rex was covered in a coat of downy feathers. What's more, T. rex's feathers likely grew along the animal's head and tail into adulthood, according to new reconstructions that represent the most accurate models of the dinosaur to date.
We all have baby pictures that embarrass us, right? Little fuzzy T-Rexes lived then to make us happy now.
The Committee was struck by Top Commenter Jay Ramsperger's ability to find a subtext of ick beneath the story of the New Hampshire legislators who wore pearls to a hearing on gun laws. In response to Top Commenter Terry Moran, Ramsperger top-commented:
Terry, I get the feeling that the dry cleaning bills for that other meaning would be horrendous.
"Mr. Speaker, I would like to play into the record the song 'Pearl Necklace' by ZZ Top..."
Congratulations. Here are 80.11 Beckhams. No, really, a handshake is not necessary.
I'll be back on Monday with more Yang wang news, if there is any. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, or we'll take you out to Goat Hills and you'll never come back.
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