Fit to be Tied: Your University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals rolled over the University of Kentucky winning Wildcats, also yours, by a score of 44-17. I’m going to say that covered the spread. The Governor’s Cup series is now tied at 15 wins for each team, with the Cardinals winning six of the last seven. Full recaps at ESPN and USA Today.
A couple of takeaways:
Lamar Jackson broke his own record as he had his 12th consecutive 300-yard game. He also threw a couple of touchdown passes.
And then there was this:
That little moment with Kentucky’s Jordan Jones drew the attention of USA Today and The Washington Post, who labeled the altercation a “serious brawl.” I have to say that looked less of a brawl and more a couple of shoves and a roll on the ground.
Said Mr. Jackson:
“There was stuff said. They wanted to win, we wanted to win.”
Well, that explains it. They had 11 players, we had 11 players. They had helmets, we had helmets.
After the game, Mr. Jackson tweeted:
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) November 25, 2017
I know they played at Kroger stadium, but trash talking grocery stores? You didn’t have to go there.
CBS Sports reports he just took ACC Player of the Year, because he’s only the best player going right now and that’s how awards ought to work, ideally. He and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma are frontrunners for the Walter Camp Award, says NBC Sports.
Mayfield is the frontrunner for the Heisman right now, and most experts say he’s going to run away with the voting, barring any big bungle this weekend when the Sooners face off against TCU. Jackson’s numbers are better and better than they were when he won the award last year, but people are just all about Mayfield this year. Bleacher Report says he’s lucky “his most qualified competitor isn’t receiving proper recognition.”
This is the cover to Sports Illustrated:
USA Today looks at the quarterback class entering the 2018 NFL Draft. Here’s what they have to say:
Though fewer people have paid attention this year for a variety of reasons, he’s actually on track for a better season statistically than his Heisman campaign. Jackson’s completion percentage is up (56.2 to 60.4%); his yards per attempt is slightly up (8.66 to 8.74); he’s thrown three fewer interceptions on roughly the same number of attempts. Jackson also ended the regular season with six consecutive 100-plus yard rushing games. He’s clearly grown as a player, and he was already outstanding. But as talented as he is, there isn’t a lot of buzz right now that he’ll be a top-15 pick.
Not so, say the experts at SB Nation. They have him going third overall to the New York Giants. Kyle Ware of the mighty “In Other News …” column thinks he’ll go in the first 10, but if he doesn’t, that’s good for him long term. He’ll still get a first-round contract, though not a first-pick contract, and go to a better team. Win-win.
Cardinal Sin, Week 10: Former University of Louisville Cardinals basketball coach Rick Pitino sued the University of Louisville Athletic Association on Thursday, says ESPN, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and Bloomberg. You can also take a look at Joe Sonka’s coverage for Insider.
Pitino seeks $38.7 million, claiming the university breached his contract when it placed him on leave in September before subsequently firing him a couple of weeks later in October.
That suspension/firing came about, you may recall, from allegations resulting from a FBI investigation into bribery and fraud, claiming UofL staff worked with sponsor Adidas to incentivize potential recruits to work with key agents and advisors.
Pitino has maintained his innocence. According to his attorneys, he “never has had any part — active, passive or through willful ignorance — in any effort, successful or unsuccessful, completed or abandoned, to pay any recruit, or any family member of a recruit, or anyone else on a recruit’s behalf, as an inducement to attend the University of Louisville.”
Sports Illustrated’s legal analyst looks at the lawsuit’s chances of success. They say:
“Can Pitino win? The odds probably weigh against him. This is mainly because Pitino’s contract contains expansive and vague language for the university to construct a valid rationale for firing with just cause.”
More on that as it develops, no doubt.
Go West: The San Francisco Chronicle picked up a Business Insider profile entitled “Forget New York—millennials are flocking to these 11 cities in droves.” And would you look at that: Owensboro, Ky., squeaks its way in at No. 11 alongside the likes of Seattle, Oakland and New Orleans.
Here’s what they say:
Owensboro, Kentucky, may be another surprising entry on this list, but according to Ellie Mae, in 2015 millennials made up 48% of homebuyers in this riverside town of 60,000. Owensboro is within a few hours driving of Nashville, Louisville, and St. Louis, adding to its appeal.
Wow. Half the homebuyers. That’s huge, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens politically and socioeconomically with that much of a generational shift over time.
It’s a welcome change for me, as nothing good ever happened to me in Owensboro. Not the town’s fault, mind you, we just don’t belong together. I’ve had about three dozen traffic citations there and the last time, the officer was kind enough to let me sit in the back of his car for a few minutes to think about my life choices.
While there, I told him about my collection of Owensboro experiences, including a stay during the early-mid aughts, the noughties, if you will, for Mardi Gras.
I was there with a group of actors and we went walking to this bar to that bar to some sort of biker karaoke bar with a healthy amount of Bob Seger, Guns N’ Roses and Reba McEntire from which to choose, back to another place near the hotel with some tool doing an acoustic cover of “Gold Digger,” accompanied by bongos.
We were about to order what would later be known as the most absolutely unnecessary drink of the night, when a woman approached our table. She said something, inaudible between bongo thuds and thumps. Repeated herself, but again, no good. So I just nodded politely in agreement. “Yes. Absolutely.”
And then she ever so slowly leaned down and jabbed her tongue in my ear.
Jabbed is important, because this was not a provocative move. I mean, it was, but there was nothing even a little suggestive about it. She simply dropped it in there for a minute and let it sit as though my ear were some sort of tongue-docking station. And then she stood, smiled, took some beads from my neck and off she went. And for all I know, that’s what I agreed to, so I couldn’t really say much and she wouldn’t have heard me over the song bongo stylings of Jimmy and Steve anyway.
I told the officer I think that’s why I speed through Owensboro.
“Are all your stories like these last few?”
“A bit, yeah.”
“OK. Get out of my car. You’re free to go.”
Too Damn Hot for a Penguin: Jennifer Lawrence and Adam Sandler met to discuss all things acting for Variety’s seventh series of “Actors on Actors.”
These are always pretty brilliant, in no small part because the pairings are often compelling and it’s just interesting people talking. You have Tom Hanks chatting with Viola Davis, Samuel L. Jackson hanging with Michael Keaton, Michelle Williams talking with Natalie Portman and so on.
One of the things they cover is the stress of promoting Darren Aronofsky’s pycho-horror-thriller “mother!” which put a strain on their yearlong relationship.
“Normally, I promote a movie, ask people to go see it, and then it’s just out of your hands,” she said. “I normally just kind of let it go. Dating the director was different. We’d be on the tour together, I’d come back to the hotel, and the last thing I want to talk about or think about is a movie.”
“He comes back from the tour, and that’s all he wants to talk about, and I get it, it’s his baby. He wrote it. He conceived it. He directed it. I was doing double duty trying to be a supportive partner, while also being, like, ‘Can I please, for the love of God, not think about ‘mother!’ for one second?”
You can watch the full interview here:
I don’t mean to bury the lede here, but we have quite a few outlets reporting the two have broken up. News broke last week of the split, but two reasons why we didn’t cover it then: The mighty “In Other News …” column was already queued up and ready to go, and the only sources I had were pretty sketchy with no quotes from anyone on anything. Just “People confirmed they broke up.” Confirmed with whom? No one knows.
Now we have a couple of quotes from a “source” that People and HuffPost are running, but still nothing from reps or the two people actually in the relationship, so I’m still not tagging anything until someone’s willing to put their name on it.
I was going to say something about breaking up around the holidays being the worst, but I don’t know that there’s a good time to break up with anyone. I was in a relationship once that took me six months to break off — longer than we’d actually dated up to that point — because I was looking for the right time that was just not going to come.
“I can’t do it now — her birthday’s coming up and then Valentine’s Day and then there’s a lot going on at work and her dog is sick and her best friend’s in the hospital in the room next to her mother and you don’t want to be like, ‘Hey, I know you’ve a lot going on, but I’m probably not coming by tonight. Or tomorrow. Or anymore.’”
You don’t want to be the villain in the broke-up-with-me-on-Christmas/New Year’s/Valentine’s/birthday/same day my cat died story.
Megan asked if I think any former girlfriends read the column, and I say it doesn’t matter. That’s a composite anyway. I’m no good at it and have so many where I couldn’t stick the landing for all the flips I tried to do in order to not be the Darth Vader of that particular story. I once broke up with someone twice because I felt so badly the first time that my attempts to console her made her think we were getting back together. Bad form, that.
But what I learned is sometimes you’re just going to be Darth Vader, and that’s more fair to the other person that way. You don’t get to break someone’s heart with the expectation that they’ll also love you forever.
And if you’re doing what you can to be honest and respectful of whatever time you’ve had, that’s really all we can ask. You can understand that you’ll be seen as Darth Vader and that’s part of the deal, so long as you’re not trying to rejoice in your Vaderness.
Particularly when it’s not really anybody’s fault, you know? Like there are some people who can travel with you longer distances than others, and there are some people who will be with us a small part of the way. No less valuable; just shorter chapters in the story of you and your shorter chapters in the story of them.
So if reports are accurate, the Lawrence-Aronfsky chapters in their epics come to about a year, and they have a really interesting piece of art to show for their time together. We’ll talk about it if I get something more solid or it’s relevant to anything.
* * *
The big “Avengers: Infinity War” trailer arrived this week. You can watch that here:
And you have this image near the end, which had you told me when I was 12 would ever be a thing … man.
I know superhero films are killing cinema, but let me get this and “Black Panther” out of my system, and I promise I’ll put in my fair share of art house films again. The Blu-ray of Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” was my lone Black Friday purchase, OK? Only $5, if you can believe.
Speaking of, a couple of weeks back we talked about “Lady Bird,” which is now officially the film that broke Rotten Tomatoes with a full 100 percent rating with 183 reviews in. So to everyone in film who says Rotten Tomatoes is killing the industry, I think the trick might be to make better films, and that might help out the scores.
“Lady Bird” just picked up best film of 2017, and Saoirse Ronan took best actress yesterday from the New York Film Critics Circle.
See you next week.