Tag Archives: Gregg Popovich

Kate McKinnon belts out an unforgettable “SNL” opener. The Redskins and Chiefs look like they’re for real, while my Jets continue to stink. And Gregg Popovich speaks some truth

Kate McKinnon is a talented actress and comedian. She may go on to do many incredible things in her career, win awards, make lots of money, and entertain millions.

But I’m 99 percent certain that when she dies, this performance will be a part of her legacy, her eulogy, a mark of her time on Earth.

“Saturday Night Live” had a very tricky job this weekend; they could’ve trotted out Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and mocked the pain millions of Americans were feeling. They could’ve had McKinnon as Hillary try to go for laughs upon losing an un-lose-able election.

Instead, using the death of legendary songwriter Leonard Cohen as inspiration, “SNL” sent out McKinnon dressed as Hillary Clinton, sitting down at a piano all by herself, and belting out an emotional version of “Hallelujah,” with some lyrics changed at the end to suit the situation.

I don’t know about you, but I watched with my jaw on the ground. Amazing, powerful, beautiful performance.

Host Dave Chapelle’s opening monologue was pretty terrific as well, if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, the last three minutes are pretty great.

Bravo, SNL. Pitch-perfect job at giving  your audience what it needed.

Oh, and in case you had forgotten what the next four years could be like, read this.

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**So it’s been a pretty crappy season of NFL football, I think most of us could agree. But Sunday finally gave us a day where we had great finishes, outstanding plays by superstars to win games, and a little bit of separation between the best teams and the not-so-bests. (Yeah I know that’s not really a word. I’m going with it).

Of course I have to mention just briefly the beginning of the Bryce Petty era for my Jets. Umm, yeah, didn’t go so well. They scored six points against a bad Rams team and the Jets are 3-7 so, yeah, go ahead and play Petty the rest of the season please, see if the kid has a future.

In more interesting games…

— Wow, that fourth quarter of Steelers-Cowboys was fantastic. Four lead changes, a hell of a drive by Ben Roethlisberger to put Pittsburgh ahead, and then Dak Prescott, who looks more and more like the next huge NFL star, comes down and leads the ‘Boys to the win. Cowboys are 8-1, and Jerry Jones is happy, and I don’t like it when that happens.

— Ever see the winning points of a game scored on a blocked extra point returned for two points? Me, either. But Denver did it and beat New Orleans. I love how players are totally timing jumping over the center to block kicks now, incredible athleticism.

— Anyone notice Kansas City was 7-2? I sure as heck haven’t. Another impressive win that few will pay attention to. I know everyone in Philly was sick and tired of Andy Reid, but guy seems to always have winning teams.

— Redskins seem to be good again, which is always fun because then I get fewer screaming calls from my buddy Tony that being with, ‘MIKE, THIS TEAM IS KILLING ME!!!” followed by me reminding him for 10 minutes to calm down and it could be worse, khe could be a Jets fan.

— The hell has happened to the Packers? No, seriously, they gave up 47 points to a mediocre Tennessee team on Sunday. That’s un-good.

— My mid-season Super Bowl prediction is Seattle vs. New England. Because even though they’re 8-1, not sure Dallas is a sure thing. Also, I want to see 500 more replays of Seattle throwing at the end of their last Super Bowl against the Patriots, because that was fun.

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**Finally today, check out this amazing photo, taken by Dutch photographer Tomas van der Weijden of the Kamchtaka Peninsula in Russia (you know, our new best friend, Russia!). It’s a volcano, it’s a meteor, it’s pretty amazing. If you’re a photo fan and want to know how he created it, check this out here.

And then, I thought this was some pretty remarkable stuff from San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, on last week’s election. Unlike most jocks and coaches, Popovich has always been a thoughtful, intelligent speaker of truths of what he sees around him.

And in this interview, he makes a whole lot of sense, in his angry, thoughtful tones, about what America chose last Tuesday.

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A 10-month-old’s “real” wish list for Santa. Gregg Popovich and Craig Sager have an awesome NBA sideline moment. And a Scottish newspaper shows how a free country welcomes refugees

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It is one of those Thursday nights for me where, yet again, I have trouble being optimistic and feeling uplifted while writing a Good News Friday post.

Because in what is sickeningly becoming a weekly event, there was another mass shooting in America this week. The names change, the locations change, the motives change. What never changes are the laws that might prevent such a massacre.

I mourn for the victims, as always, but I just don’t have the mental strength to rant for hundreds of words about how pathetic it is that we, the strongest and most advanced nation in the world, continue to allow this shit to happen over, and over, and OVER again.

Instead, how about some positive news, like this hilarious wish list for Santa from a 10-month-old, sent to me by great friend of the blog Rebecca and written by a Huffington Post writer named Raquel Dapice.

Believe me, as the father of a 14-month old, I can say this is 100 percent accurate.
I was hooked from the beginning:

Dear Santa,

I am a 10-month-old baby and I write because my mother has been sending out my “Christmas List” to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want. I could give two s#*ts about receiving stacking cups.

And I know you’re ready to make the joke about 10-month-old babies and how all we want is the wrapping paper and the boxes. Touché, Santa. Touché. We do, of course, want those things. But I have a number of additional things I want very badly.

My list is enclosed below. Have a lovely holiday.

–10-Month-Old Baby

My favorites on the list? The contents of the trash bucket, and the “wall mount entertainment center.” Those are hugely popular items in my house.

**Next up today, this made me feel great, and if you’re an NBA fan or just a fan of good people, I think you’ll like it too. Gregg Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, is known primarily for two things: Being an incredible coach, one of the best ever, and being incredibly cantankerous during interviews. Especially when he’s forced to do one of these pointless mid-game interviews with a sideline reporter every time the Spurs are on on national TV.

Popovich loathes these fake Q and A’s more than anything, and over the years he and colorful TNT announcer Craig Sager have had dozens of verbal sparring matches, where Sager tries to ask a question and Popovich stonewalls, or stares at Sager, or says one or two words. Truly, these Sager-Pop interviews are performance art.

Anyway … Sager was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, and thankfully has recovered enough to resume his TNT duties. Thursday night, Sager and Popovich “met” for an interview, and it was beautiful. Seriously, watch that video and see the respect and love Pop has for Sager. It’s so, so great…

**Finally today, there has been so much nastiness, and fear-mongering, and downright hate speech in America the last few months over the issue of Syrian refugees coming to the U.S.

It’s wrong, it’s xenophobic, and as we’ve seen this week, worrying about terrorists coming thousands of miles to kill us when we’ve got plenty of homegrown terrorists with guns already in our borders is pretty ridiculous and pointless.

Which is why it was so refreshing to see this front page (below) from a Scottish newspaper called the National two weeks ago, when the first refugees from Syria were arriving.

Scotland.frontpage

THAT is how you treat people escaping the horrors of their country for the hope of something better. Wonderful to see. Bravo, Scotland.

The Spurs, a championship “team” in every sense of the world. A couple of beautiful Father’s Day tributes. And my thoughts on an incredible run by the Rangers ending

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There are certain teams in sports that remind you of why you loved them in the first place.
They play the game beautifully, like you always want to see it be played. They conduct themselves with class, with humility, and win gracefully. Their games are the purest, most beautiful form of the sport, and you wish it could always be that way.
But it’s not, which is when a team like that comes along, it’s so special.

The Edmonton Oilers made me feel that way about hockey in the 1980s. The New York Yankees did it for me in the late 1990s.
And the 2014 San Antonio Spurs … man, is this a team that Norman Dale from Hickory High School would’ve loved, or what?
Tim Duncan, as selfless a superstar as basketball has ever seen. Tony Parker, a wizard with the ball on a string. Manu Ginobili. Boris Diaw. And Kawhi Leonard, who I remember watching at San Diego State a few years back and thinking, ‘That dude plays hard.

The Spurs finished off a massacre of the two-time defending champs Sunday night, and it wasn’t even close after the first quarter. The Miami Heat got a championship performance from LeBron James (next stop, Cleveland? I have no idea, but that would set the sports media shuddering with joy.), but nobody else really showed up after Game 2.

Do you realize how incredible it is that Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich (above) won titles together 15 years apart? FIFTEEN! That’s unheard of, but it speaks to quiet consistency, and greatness both.

The Spurs are more than worthy champs, and stand as a testament for all that basketball fans like me love about the game.

Couple more thoughts on an NBA Finals that ended way sooner than any of us expected:

— It was the final game in the career of my all-time favorite Dukie, Shane Battier, and that makes me a little sad. The man had a tremendous career, making every team he was on better with his defense, his intensity, and his intelligence. The joke when he was at Duke was always that he’d be President one day.
Wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

— Very classy of LeBron and the rest of the Heat to act gracefully in defeat, congratulating the Spurs on the court after the game. It’s really hard to dislike LeBron anymore, isn’t it, all you who hate him?

— I said this on my Twitter feed the other day: I would 100 percent watch a reality TV show starring broadcasters Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, living in an apartment together, bickering, hugging, you name it. They are fantastic on TV together.

**Hope everyone had a happy Father’s Day Sunday; I am so blessed to have three outstanding fathers/role models in my life, with my dad, my stepfather, and my father-in-law. They show me every day what it’ll take for me when I join the “club” in September and become a Dad myself: compassion, humor, kindness, and most of all, patience. Lots, and lots of patience!

Can’t wait to join the club. Three more months and I get the best title of all: Dad.
Couple things to share that I saw Sunday: First, the above Dove ad that almost made me cry, and this from Joe Posnanski, who is never better than when he’s writing about his kids, and being a father. This is really great.

Rangersonesies

**Finally … after midnight on Friday, after Alec Martinez had collected a rebound kicked out by the all-world Henrik Lundqvist and deposited it into the open net to give the Los Angeles Kings the Stanley Cup, I fell back on the couch and sighed deeply.
I was mad for about 60 seconds, mad that the incredible New York Rangers run through the Stanley Cup playoffs was over. Mad that they played three games in L.A. this series, all went to overtime, and they somehow lost all of them. Mad that Chris Kreider didn’t score on a breakaway in OT, mad that the Rangers hit the post twice and didn’t score the winner.
But that was it; just 60 seconds or so of anger. After that, it was pride. And joy. And a little greatfulness sprinkled in, that the Rangers took their fans on a crazy, unexpected journey that came up just three wins short.

It really was a hell of a spring, and a great way to go out. The Kings were better, but I’m so glad the world got to see Lundqvist at his best.

Sigh. Training camp in three months. Can’t wait. In the meantime, check out (below) the always-awesome Hockey Night in Canada closing montage, putting a bow on these fantastic playoffs:
(By the way, that photo above is not how I looked after the game. Lenox Hill Hospital gave out 100 Rangers onesies to babies born during the Finals. Brilliant.)