Taking Flight: Lamar Jackson — formerly of your University of Louisville fighting football Cardinals — made his first NFL start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, says ESPN. And all he did was pick up the win against the Bengals of Cincinnati and break a record or two. On account of that’s what he does.
Mr. Jackson got the nod when regular starter Joe Flacco suffered a hip injury. In the 24-21 Ravens victory, Mr. Jackson ran 27 times — an NFL record for a quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Those 27 carries gained 117 yards, a Ravens single-game record and second all-time for a rookie quarterback since 1970. His teammate Robert Griffith III owns the top spot.
First career start ➡ W. pic.twitter.com/QNQeSMEbaE
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 18, 2018
SB Nation says, “Lamar Jackson is the playmaking quarterback the Ravens haven’t had for years.”
Well, yeah. See also: records, broken.
And ESPN takes you “from hospital to history: inside Lamar Jackson’s first NFL start.” Mr. Jackson took a trip to the hospital on Thursday with a stomach bug but returned to practice on Friday.
NBC Sports quotes Mr. Jackson saying:
I didn’t think I would run the ball that much. But whatever it takes to win.
Well, how could you? Again, you ran more times than any other quarterback in the modern era.
Said Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley:
It’s crazy; he looked even faster in the game than he does when we practice against him every day. He’s just got a giddy-up that no one sees every day. It was amazing seeing him out there playing and getting his first win. Hopefully we can start a good run now.
ESPN quotes Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, saying:
Quarterbacks don’t run forever in the NFL. Sooner or later, they get hurt, and they don’t run the same. But, today, he could run, and he did a good job.
NBC Sports quotes Ravens coach John Harbaugh, saying “Lamar Jackson can and will throw the ball more”:
I think that’s what Lamar felt that it took today. I don’t believe it’s going to take that many carries every week. It’s not what we’re going to be shooting for, by any stretch. But, if it takes that many, Lamar will do it. But, no, he took some hits. I think they knew the quarterback was going to run the ball. They were going after him a little bit, as you would expect. That’s something that we have to look at going forward.
The Athletic asks and answers: “Is a run-heavy game plan sustainable? It was good enough for Ravens to win, and that’s all that matters.”
And USA Today would kindly ask you to “Stop freaking out about the way the Ravens are handling Lamar Jackson.”
The sentiment behind all of that, and speaking to what Marvin Lewis was getting at, it’s not so much how much a quarterback runs, so much as it’s how often he’s going to get hit. And in this case, the one being hit is not a big quarterback in height or stature, and the hitters are bigger and meaner than anything at the college level.
And most of the electricity from Mr. Jackson Sunday came from his feet more than his arm, which isn’t to say there was nothing in the passing game. He was 13-19 for 150 yards in the air, with one interception, which is not as awful as some of the reports make it sound, but not as balanced as you want it to be. To maximize the air and ground threat and keep him as healthy as you can for as long as you can, he’s going to want a few more throws.
All that said, he performed Sunday as the player you drafted — one of the most singular football talents out there, so you have to let him be himself as best you can within the confines of your system.
Speaking of, at least as of this writing, Joe Flacco’s status remains uncertain for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders, says NBC Sports. If Mr. Jackson gets the week 12 start, Sports Illustrated says it will leave us with three possible outcomes:
1) Jackson gets pummeled, and Flacco returns; 2) Jackson performs well, and Flacco gets ready to hit the dusty trail; 3) This debate resumes in full next week, only with more evidence to inform Harbaugh’s decision.
Every Vote Counts: Democrat Jim Glenn beat incumbent Republican D.J. Johnson in the race for Kentucky’s state House District 13 (Owensboro) — winning by a single vote, says The Washington Post, TIME, The Hill and Newsweek.
Said Mr. Glenn:
I’ve had 25 people tell me they are the one person that voted for me. Whether it was one vote or 1,000, it’s a win. A win’s a win no matter how you count it.
The AP talked with Mary Beverly Goetz, 76, who voted for Mr. Glenn via absentee ballot due to health concerns. She said:
It made me feel good. It made you feel like your vote really counted. I trust him. I’ve spoken to him myself. He seems to be an honorable person. For a long time it’s been Republicans winning everything. I’m glad that he won.
The Kentucky State Board of Elections will meet next week to certify the election results, but Mr. Johnson will likely ask for a recount. The District 13 race is one of several Kentucky races decided by seven votes or less; the others are in Districts 27, 91 and 96.
The legislature meets this January, and when they do, the Democrats will have 39 seats, while the Republicans will keep its supermajority with 61 seats.
Show creator Alan Ball celebrated the 10th anniversary of the show with a special screening of the pilot episode. At the screening, Mr. Ball talked about the show’s history, a rumored musical version of the show and some notable actors who read for the show but didn’t get the job.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jessica Chastain read for the show’s leads — those roles went to Steven Moyer and Anna Paquin. And for season three, a 17-year-old Jennifer Lawrence read for the role of a were-panther. It’s the 17-year-old part of that that kept her from being cast.
Said Mr. Ball:
She was great, but all the women in the room, because she was going to be Jason’s girlfriend, and she was 17 at the time, were like, ‘No, that’s gross.’
Ryan Kwanten, who plays Jason Stackhouse, would have been around 31 or 32 at the time.
But it just goes to show what that particular flap of the butterfly wings will do. Anna Paquin and Steven Moyer met on the set of “True Blood,” fell in love, married and have two kids — that doesn’t happen if casting goes the other way. And for Ms. Lawrence, this was just before “Winter’s Bone,” which led to the “X-Men” films and “The Hunger Games” to “Silver Linings Playbook,” which brought home an Oscar.
If she’s on “True Blood,” maybe she doesn’t audition for “Winter’s Bone,” doesn’t become one of the biggest actors in the world, and I don’t have this section to write about week in and week out.
So you just never really know what greatness is sitting around the corner of frustration or rejection.
Ms. Lawrence also missed out on the “Twilight” series, “Superbad” and “Easy A” — the latter two went to her pal Emma Stone — and the one loss she says hurt: Alice in “Alice in Wonderland,” which went to Mia Wasikowska.
Bourbon Ahoy: I try to follow up on some things for you as best I can, and way back in September of last year, we talked about Louisville actor Jordan Price taking on the role of a pirate for Long John Silver’s.
Jordan has a new project, a podcast with wife Lenae Price called “Bourbon and Babies,” a down-to-earth look at parenting, the challenges, mistakes and successes, all of which may require the occasional hit of bourbon. Or, you know, whatever you’re drinking.
I’m listening to the “Eat the Damn Carrots” episode this very moment.
Speaking of, you can catch a new episode weekly, looks like, and one of the most recent editions features another Louisville actor and friend of the column, Leah Roberts, who happens to be in “The Old Man & the Gun,” starring Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek. So, you know, that’s kind of a big thing. You can still catch that film over at Village 8.
I’d like to take a minute of gratitude on the Village 8 still being a thing, if I may. They were scheduled to shut down back in 2016, and I don’t know what happened there, but I sure am glad for whatever’s kept the doors open.
My sincerest well-wishing to you and yours for your Thanksgiving weekend. I turn this edition of the mighty “In Other News …” column in a little earlier than usual due to the holiday, so hopefully my news is still the news and nothing’s gone to hell in the meantime. But if it did, be assured we’ll talk about it next week.
Per always, I take this opportunity to express my thanks to you for stopping by — even the guy who sassed me last week. You are the reason this thing is here. I get a lot of very kind mail from you, alongside the sometimes not as kind, but the “this made me laugh out loud” or “I hadn’t thought about it quite that way” is worth the destruction of my Thursday night sleep cycle for going on five years now.
Also per always, a thanks to my editors, Mickey, Sara and Caitlin, who are just the best going. They put up with my idiosyncrasies and give me a lot of room to move here, which is not something I take for granted, even a little. So as a special thanks to them, I have my word count under control this week even though I had more. There’s always more.
Speaking of more, here’s something we didn’t talk about last week: the new trailer for “Toy Story 4,” which seems an appropriate thing to leave you with going into the weekend:
See you next week.