S1: The following podcast contains explicit language.
S2: Hello, I’m Josh Levine, Slate’s national editor and the author of The Queen. This is Slate’s sports podcast, Hang up and listen. For the week of December 9th, 2019 on this week’s show Banner Society, Spencer Hall will join us to discuss college football’s anti-climactic championship weekend and the hopefully climactic college football playoff. The athletics ouazzani Lamb Bray will also be here to talk about the surging Los Angeles Lakers. And finally, the Wall Street Journal’s Louise Radnofsky will be here to explore figure skating’s strange obsession with the music from Schindler’s List.
S3: Joining me in Slate’s Washington, D.C. studio, Stefan FATSIS, author of the book Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic. Hello, Stefan.
S4: Hey, Josh made a good life show. We’re going to act promote the live show. That was good. It was going to be good. And then it, in fact, was good. You can not buy tickets to the live show at Slate.com and listen to it. And wherever you get your podcasts, you can do that. As far good after Ball’s guest was great, Don Harper Nelson with a big Don Harper Nelson fans now going to hope to bring her back on the show in the spring as she is mounting her comeback. And this show is gonna be good, too. Yeah. Buy tickets to it.
S5: Let’s continue listening.
S3: Over the weekend, the College Football Playoff Committee gathered together and decided in its infinite wisdom that the only four major conference teams that finished with less than two losses would make it into college football’s 14 playoff that.
S6: Oklahoma, which had one loss, would get the number four seed and that the three undefeated teams, LSU, Ohio State and Clemson would be seated in that order, which corresponds to their strength of schedule. Controversy seems pretty straightforward, and yet the sport of college football is all about controversy, controversy and disrespect. So let’s get mad anyway. Joining us now is the angriest man on Skype, banner. society. Spencer Hall. What’s up, Spencer?
S7: So angry, infuriated, like, how dare you give us four good teams. That’s not what I’ve expected.
S1: What I expect is one amazing team, one complete crap team that played an easy schedule, one team that squeaked in on reputation and Alabama.
S6: It’s a bad week for the A-Team playoff crowd. I saw some people, you know, I guess respect to the people who are like eight team playoff or boss, no matter the facts on the ground, people throwing their brackets around like we could be just a few weeks away from LSU versus Memphis.
S8: We could be it. It could happen in that night universe.
S9: The 16 team playoff bracket three weeks ago and you scoffed would’ve been good three weeks ago.
S7: Why did you why did you pick the one piece of candy you knew I couldn’t put down? But putting LSU on the same field like like a 48 47 game that features two fan bases that I adore and almost zero ratings guarantee. That’s my dream. And you had to put it out there as part of the playoff. I I have counter arguments for all this, you know, because I’m I’m really a. I can’t control this person. I know that’s not what gets you. That’s why I’m not on sports talk radio very often. Right. Man, I remember that guy saying that this thing was the thing we should do, kind of a nihilist with this. I’m like, I don’t know. Jerks control all of this. So I have to make the best of it, even though I can tell you what would be cool to do, which would be an eight or a 16 team playoff. But I have a 14 playoff right now. And the cool thing is I don’t have to watch Baylor. I don’t have to watch Baylor football.
S10: I don’t have to watch a team that is brilliantly managed. But that does things like, I don’t know, they’ll go like one for twenty two, one third down and still be within three points. And I say, you know, theoretically, this is really interesting, but I don’t have to watch it do that.
S6: Quarterback last name was zino, right?
S11: The arrow himself. Yeah. And he completed only two passes and both were for 80 yard touchdown. We have a new paradox, Stefan. It’s the Costco quarterback. Man, you’ve got to buy in bulk.
S12: My favorite subplot of this year, but also of the run up to the playoffs, Stefan, is the Dabis when a disrespect card. He’s so mad. He’s so mad that they’re number three. They’re the defending national champion. They’ve won all these games in a row. Spencer’s Banner Society website noted that Dabo, when asked why the SCC does not get as much respect nationally, answered the media.
S9: Who else? It’s a conspiracy. So he’s upset that they Shaneah is really good, that the media won’t tell you. Number two instead of number three, that would have made a big difference.
S12: I think, Keith, he thinks that they should just be in another tier like not represented by there’s not a delay in the first round.
S13: It should be a three team playoff and they should be passed right through to the finals.
S7: He did this this weekend. Stefan, and it was amazing looking at the College Gameday crew as accommodating and charitable a group of people towards not only, I guess, Clemson football in particular, but towards management, right? Towards Dabo, towards the sport in general.
S9: This is what you’re paid to do.
S10: You’re not going to get a lot of sharp elbows. You’re not going to get an inch of pushback from anyone on that set. All right. Live at least that’s not going to happen. And Dabbah looks at the camera and when asked about the number three spot says, well, you all make it so easy for us to feel this way. Yes, sir. Look at it. Look at it.
S14: The politbureau and saying, you know, you know, if you just if you just go with the program, you’ll if you just if you just endorsed what we were doing here, maybe the premier could get some things done.
S12: Well, when you have three undefeated teams, you’re going to look at the one that barely beat North Carolina, the one that beat no rank teams until they beat number 24. Virginia by eight hundred points in the last game. That is a thing that I find amusing. Spencer, is this idea that if you beat a team really badly, then that makes that team look bad. But also, if you don’t beat them badly enough, that makes you look bad. There is this kind of like titration that needs to happen. And Clemson just beat up the SCC so badly that it made it very clear that this league. Dunk. They should have kept it a little closer.
S15: What? All you need to do is walk in and just say, we’re Florida state in the 90s. That’s it. Just walk in and say, hey, that’s what we are now. Historically, if any of this is hard for anyone to understand, we’re Florida state in the 1990s. We’re both really good. And we’re playing in a conference that can’t really keep pace with what we’re doing at all. Doesn’t mean we’re not good. It is in fact, it probably means we’ve got a little less mileage than everyone else has had out of no fight their way out of the big ten of the SCC.
S16: By the way, Clemson did face an ace in s.E.C. Team this year and they embarrassed them.
S12: Yeah, they got South Carolina counts. And it’s also a little bit of like you at Ole in the 90s where we kind of ignore them during the season because it’s not interesting. And then the tournament’s here. This team has every good player.
S7: Nobody gives them credit for being efficient. Right. That Clemson and their championship years, they’ve done this over and over again.
S15: They take kind of the first six weeks of the season to model things out. They really sort of get momentum over the next six weeks.
S17: And then once they hit, you know, championship bowl playoff time. Oh, and I should also say South Carolina time. That’s the all the joke in all of this, right?
S1: That that by the time Clemson has got everything figured out and they’re really beginning to put some horsepower to the system, they get to just roll through health care and save them as a demo on the way to the championship game and bowls slash playoff before we leave Dabo behind.
S9: I mean, does this martyr complex do anything for Clemson? I mean, does it energize the players? Does the fan base care that there are three instead of two, or is Dabo as transparent others as he is to us? I don’t think it’s.
S14: I think it’s pretty transparent. I think the players know, they just know that this is what he’s supposed to do. Right. That’s what in his head, that’s what he’s supposed to do.
S18: And the coaches isn’t sacrosanct to the players, particularly the head coach. We overestimate the level of contact that players get with the head guy. The person that the players are seeing most often is the position coach. The position coach is the one that they have the most contact with, probably second, actually, to the strength coach. Right. Strength coach is the guy who half the year runs the program.
S19: And if you haven’t noticed, strength coaches tend to be very personable and they like to get their person in in the face of your person and yell a lot.
S18: So the head coach, what they’re saying is sometimes treated with, I think, a healthy distance by the players just because they don’t they don’t see him a lot. That coach has got a lot of the responsibilities and the degree of inner individual interaction can vary a lot. Also, they’re college students. And, you know, college students are corny.
S7: They know what’s up. They know they know is doing a wrestling bit. Right. But half of them probably watch Smackdown. So they’re familiar.
S4: Shall we talk about Elesha? I’d love to. I would love to. To Spencer. I’m agnostic. Go ahead, fellows.
S1: We’re going. It won’t change. That’s definite.
S12: When we come in, do we think that Joe Barra is going to win the Heisman by the biggest margin ever supplanting O.J. Simpson? Man, I hope so. The play where he evaded that big Georgia dude twice and then hooked it downfield to Justin Jefferson was really good. And I think you did a good rundown of Dallas new offense and borrowed Spencer and how a lot of this is about scheme and putting all of L.A. She is great skill players in position to succeed. And yet there’s also this quarterback who not only is like accurate on normal plays, but is able to do amazing things on broken plates. And that’s how you get an undefeated team.
S18: Yeah, they did a lot of things that are you know, I watched I watched a lot a lot of Joe Burro footage. And the fun part about Joe Burro is this that they could reverse engineer him from spectacular played in normal play. He was always capable. Even an Ellis used very limited Palaeolithic offense in 2017 2018. Right before they made this big switch. He was very capable of doing these kind of things. It was just the the little withdrawals from the defense.
S10: His bank account on first down like LSU, you figured out something real basic, right? Generally, you should pass on first down. And that second and two is a much easier down than second and eight. Why don’t you just go ahead? You know, you could run for like two to four guards. Right. LSU has always been able to do that.
S19: Why don’t you do that on second or third down as opposed to trying to get it on first and second and and out with that, they took LSU Lee Ellis, she’s always had running backs everywhere. Right. Running back at wide receiver. You got a running back, a tight end. You got another running quarterback. Right. They just sort of said, well, wouldn’t it be smart to go ahead and give these dudes the ball? Right. And then when you have exceptional guys like Jamaa Chase, there’s absolutely no reason not to spread him out and get him one on one season. So like where they had all the right stuff, they just weren’t putting it in the right order. Right. The way the way I put it was that, you know, they were trying to bake a cake by throwing flour and eggs into a camp fire. Right. You’re like the right ideas or they’re right. There’s heat, there’s ingredients. You just have to change the sequencing. Right. And get past some sort of hoary old offensive orthodoxy in order to get to what you needed. And now now, look, they’re they’re indestructible, unstoppable. But we’re here.
S9: A fight which came first. Then was it a recognition that Joe Berra was getting better at the end of last season and that we should change the, ah, ossified 1980s offensive play calling structure or that something changed inside LSU use coaching staff, that there was a general recognition that we’re playing an outdated kind of football?
S12: I think it was both. Yeah.
S15: Yeah. And there’s a lot of signs that all kind of pop up at the same time, if you’ll remember there. There are false starts at this.
S18: They changed the offense by by hiring that candidate. That candidate didn’t get along with the rest of staff. The rest the staff didn’t get along with him. That really didn’t gel. When you get to a lot of these kind of like big coaching switches, a lot of times they are personality based in terms of whether they work or whether they don’t work.
S15: One thing that really pushed the change toward hiring Joe Brady, it’s, you know, in particular, like all of these concepts from the Saints. Right. And all of these NFL concepts, they all come from Joe Brady. They don’t come from their coach, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, who’s just a you know, like a he’s a college football lifer. He’s been really good in the run game, but he is an old school dude who really I don’t think has the sort of hand with the passing game obviously that Joe Brady has. The reason, by the way, Mississippi State started all this for LSU in terms of getting Joe Brady, because Joe Morehead came in at Mississippi State and Ed O’s, your aunt said, I need to know everything about run pass options because Morehead had worked at Penn State and at Fordham and had a very impressive run pass option game. Right. So when they went back down to the Saints, where if I remember Ojha on coached for a while, went to the Saints and set asked their staffs at, hey, listen, who do you know who is all up on run pass options now? Well, I bear our Joe Brady, right. Because he had some it’s some exposure to it. Believe he was with Moorhead at one point coaching. And it’s as simple as this otra on her. Joe Brady do a whole thing on run pass options and said, we’ve got to get this guy and ensminger because he’s smart and likes paycheques, said, you know, yeah, that’s cool.
S11: Well, I don’t we put a passing game. And I’ll just sit here and call it a run for it. And and while up that’s that’s kind of how we got here.
S19: That’s like the little that’s one fascinating little sub history is that six and six. Mississippi state team that won its game because old miss had a player pretend to pee on the field like a dog. Well, we know that. Yeah, that Mississippi state team is sort of responsible for LSU becoming an offensive volcano this year.
S12: It is unusual to go from rooting for a team where you look at the play calling and the play design and the structure. And you know, actually what the play is going to be just based on formation. And you’re not like even studying film. You’re just you’ve watched a game. You’ve watched the previous week’s game. But just the way that they, you know, use shifts and motions and put, you know, the running back and tight end out and out in the passing game. And just, you know, they’re getting the other team to substitute and getting too many men on the field penalties. It’s just like the sort of collective football intelligence that’s visible where, you know, LSU had never outsmarted anyone ever. They’ve like how talented they’ve, you know, out brute forced other teams. But if you take this talent, I mean, it’s just like it’s like in baseball, when the richest team also has the best front office, it’s like not fair. And so, you know, it just seems like they thought that they were too good to be. They didn’t need to be smart. And I think Kojo, who gets caricatured as this, like, you know, go tigers, individual and heat, he has that the fact that he would be the one to recognize that they needed to get smarter and needed in order to win, I think was unexpected for everyone.
S18: Well, also, this is just putting better players in better positions.
S12: And it’s pretty simple, but it’s not like advanced degree type stuff.
S7: No, it’s it’s very it’s very much this. It’s OK.
S19: It’s much easier if my you know, I can’t out muscle you. We’re not going to be stronger than Bama. Right. So I’ll spread you out. Okay, cool. My five up front are better than your four. Rushing are sometimes better than your five rushing. If I could do that all of a sudden. Guess what? I have collided with dealer Clyde Edwards. relayer is about five eight and it’s like trying to tackle a washing machine that can run a four or five. Right. That’s that’s something that nobody wants to do. Oh, he can catch two. Okay, cool. So if I just put him out here, all of a sudden he’s on a play or a linebacker who can’t touch him or a nickel who might be able to catch him. But guess what’s going to happen when my Nickleback collides with Clyde Edward T later? Nothing good for the Nickleback, right? It’s just a lot of like one. Like if I can get Jamaa chase one on one all of a sudden I can’t outmuscle you. But I do it one on one, and I do it with players who are faster than your guy and certainly have better hands. Oh, and then I start putting play design in. You’re done, you’re cooked.
S20: So they should kill Oklahoma.
S12: Gentlemen, the athlete favored by double digits. What say you, Spencer, about Ohio State and Oklahoma, who we have not talked about yet? I mean, one of the big themes of this playoff is transfer quarterbacks and both of those teams have won.
S21: They’ve been really, really good so far. They were not. Ohio State, that is an Ohio state with Justin Fields as their transfer quarterback. Justin Fields has been an excellent passer. He has been a good to great runner when he’s needed to be. I think he’s got somewhere around 400 yards rushing. So we’re not looking at a Jalen Hurts type runner. We’re not looking even at, I think, a Joe Burro type run it. Right. But he’s a guy who’s enormous.
S1: Like when he takes off out of the backfield, it looks like you lost an offensive lineman, right? He is a tremendously big child back there. He is huge.
S21: And but with that, the problem that you saw against Scott. And is this that he can get sacked?
S15: And that is a problem because I don’t know if you’ve watch Clemson play, but Brett Venables, their defensive coordinator and all that foreign five star talent on that unit, they’re third in sacks in the nation and that’s going to put it behind the chains a lot. If Justin Fields can’t get rid of the ball, they have something which raises a lot of these problems. By the way, you just give the ball, Jake Dobbins like he’s just a Band-Aid, right? Oh, here, take the ball. You’re gonna get eight yards. You’re gonna get nine yards. You’re horrible to tackle. Nobody’s going to want to touch you in the third and fourth quarter. I don’t care how good you are, by the way. This is, again, going back to football’s an easy game. And it’s simple to understand you might tackle a really strong guy once it’s going to suck to hit him the 10th, 15th, 20th time. And no one’s going to want to do that. Football players are sensible people, right? In the fourth quarter. Nobody wants to be the person that hits Jake Dobbins for the twenty eighth time because he’s probably hit you twenty eight times.
S22: What do we know about Chase Young versus the Clemson line?
S1: Only that Chase Young’s not handle a ball. He’s not at one point like Wisconsin did a great job on it for a half. That’s a really talented team with some very large offensive linemen. Again, don’t know if you’re familiar with Wisconsin. They make very large offensive linemen on the rag. It’s a lot of dairy, a lot of USDA supplements going directly into the bloodstream of the people who become Wisconsin. Offensive lineman Chase Young got around them eventually in the second half. That’s that’s you can’t scheme him out forever. I don’t care how good you are. I don’t care if you’re Trevor Lawrence. It’s there’s gonna be problems, right. Because he is just a mutant freaky athlete. And you’re gonna get him for at least two quarters of prime. Chase Young. So, yeah, you can take Clemson offensive line out of that. There isn’t an offensive line in the country that’s gonna be able to limit his impact. And here’s the thing. As a defensive end, he only needs two or three plays, right? That’s it. Like talk to end it. Like talking to NFL offensive lineman is fascinating because they’re like, yeah, I I have sixty snaps or I have fifty snaps. Right. And I have to be perfect on all of them because if I let the defensive end loose in the backfield for two snaps for one snap, that could be it because whatever he does to the quarterback’s going to be disastrous.
S23: What do you think about a three team playoff. Stefan round robin then if they all end up tied one I’ll just run it back. Could do that. Yeah. Flip a coin that would satisfy everybody. Can we end, though, with a little schadenfreude on how Nick Saban and Alabama season ended? Thanks to Gus Malzahn tricking the shit out of them.
S18: I want dessert. Yeah, that’s good, because we make jokes about like Megamind, Nick Saban not being able to count to 11.
S13: Yeah. So Alex Kerschner of your Vanner society did a nice breakdown. So Alabama’s losing forty eight. Forty five. They’ve just missed a field goal because Alabama misses field goals. Which makes me sad. Auburn’s punting from their own twenty six with what a minute. Two minutes ago in twelve minutes. One. And they put the punter out. Why? The quarterback is in the backfield. Alabama gets very confused. They put one unit on. They call the unit come off. They put another unit on.
S24: They’ve got like 19 players on the field and they’re flagged for a for a two minute man on the field. Game over. That was great.
S21: No, I enjoyed it. I’d like to see that again, frankly. If I can do that, you know, also in the Iron Bowl next year, if both coaches are still in place. Gus Malzahn better run the first play out of a formation with the punter in the slot.
S11: Let’s just say in Alabama vs. Michigan, the bowl game to determine the best program, whether 2010’s nothing good is happening here. Nothing.
S1: Because I want to say this as a Florida fan whose team is face Michigan five times historically and has lost four of them, mostly in bowl games, somewhere in Orlando or Tampa. Michigan swells to like 40 times its normal size if it’s playing somewhere along I-4.
S4: OK. Again and again, someone who doesn’t want to be there.
S17: Yeah, like like Superman transported from Krypton to the warming rays of our sun, making him, you know, infinitely powerful. Something about being in central Florida just makes Michigan, you know, just a tremendously better football team than they actually are.
S19: Also, when was the last time we saw an Alabama team this disinterested and disheartened going into a Balkan? Feels like the Sugar Bowl versus Utah. I know people. But then again, they’ve also faced in a game like this. They’ve also faced Michigan State. I don’t know if you remember the Alabama Michigan State game, but local emergency rooms didn’t because it was one of the few football games I’ve ever watched that I wanted to stop.
S25: Spencer Holoband or Society. Thank you very much. Thanks. I’ll.
S26: I will confess that I didn’t think this whole Laker’s thing was going to really go great. They’ve got LeBron and they’ve got Anthony Davis. They didn’t have to trade away most of their team to get A-Day and then they lost out on Kawhi Leonard to the cross-town Clippers. There weren’t that many dudes left to fill out the roster. That meant their big free agent acquisition was Danny Green. They’re put in the position of trying to convince America that bringing in Dwight Howard was a good idea. And now fast forward to Sunday night. The Lakers scored 142 points to move to twenty one and three on the season. Anthony Davis had fifty of those points. The crowd also serenaded fan favorite Dwight Howard, who celebrated his thirty fourth birthday on Sunday. Joining us now is Willes Nilan breh, a.k.a. Big Was. He’s a staff writer at The Atlantic and a podcaster for the Count the ding’s Network. What’s up?
S27: Was was going on, guys? Happy to be here again.
S26: There’s been some talk that the Lakers have benefited from an easy schedule wise, but they’re 21 and 3 that counts those wins count. This is surprising, right? I’m not crazy.
S27: Yeah, it’s surprising. I actually him and I like to tell people this all the time, especially on Twitter when you’re talking to fans and it’s like, oh, you’re a hater, you’re this year that I only root for my own picks in my own vanity. And I actually picked the Lakers to win the championship this year. Only part of it was that, you know, like 80s. He’s not like a Grilli good All-Star player. He’s great. He’s an insanely good. I thought there would be a longer sort of adjustment period, if you will. Right. But the Lakers defense out of the gate has been, you know, past anybody’s expectations. I would think even their own even they didn’t think Dwight Howard would, you know, become a spring chicken once again and that A-D would be this, you know, defensive player of the year type of player.
S3: But yeah, it surprised me that video where LeBron told a ref that he was going to play defense this year.
S27: Yes, I saw that video. And, you know, it’s one of those things where that wasn’t just a rumor. Right. Tom Habbush, throw our body back in like 2013. I want to say, wrote a piece that a LeBron doesn’t play defense anymore. So that was six years ago and nothing had really changed in the intervening years. And, you know, with good reason, the guy’s shoulders a very heavy offensive burden. And he knows the money games happen in April, May and June. So why am I, you know, expanding myself on the defensive end in Charlotte in February in a game that ultimately means absolutely nothing? So, you know, nobody fault him for that. But that had become LeBron’s reality specifically in the regular season. But he’s ratcheted up his defense by all accounts, and the numbers bear it out. The eye test buried out. He’s he’s actually putting forth together some effort there.
S9: The Lakers have held their opponent to less than 100 points more times this year than they did all of last year. I mean, that’s a lot of a day. But with with LeBron, it’s management, isn’t it? He’s not playing tremendous minutes. They are managing him so that he is able to play defense in April and May and June when it’s going to matter.
S26: One of the benefits of being so shitty last year is he got to rest, rest for huge chunks of the regular season. And in the playoffs, there are no Olympics this year like taking a year off.
S27: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you know, the other thing about this, which differentiates this team from all of the past LeBron’s teams since basically Miami, is that there’s actually a lot of defensive talent on this team. Right. So LeBron doesn’t even go harder. And he’s not being asked to guard the best perimeter player or the best power forward on the team. They could put him on the weak link and he can go hard. Like obviously, we’ve talked about A.D. Dwight Howard’s re-emergence as a as a plus defensive player is has been nothing short of breathtaking, honestly, because they got him on a non guaranteed minimum contract and he’s been incredible for them. But, you know, guys like Danny Green, guys like Avery Bradley, even Caruso, who a lot of people don’t realize because he’s a white guy essentially on the wing, but he’s a good defender by saying, oh, forget the ball thing. Oh, yes. He’s also hot spots for Cobb. Kentavious CALDWELL Pope good defender on. They have defensive talent on the team count Kuzma. Not much of a defender, but he’s missed time and he’s kind of easing his back on his way back in. But they’ve got defensive talent on the roster. And so LeBron’s able to coast on his defensive match-up. And you know, he could give maximum effort because he knows he’s playing with incredible defensive teammates. This isn’t a Kevin Love situation Kyrie. Guys that I don’t want to drag on the defense, but they’re not known for that end of the floor at all. And they were playing 30 plus, you know, thirty five minutes a night starter, a big star minutes. That’s not the.
S20: Case this year, with the Lakers having a D on defense obviously changes everything, having him on offense. Also changes everything. And the Lakers seem to have gone from a terrible shooting team last year with bits and pieces that they strung together and free agency that didn’t work to a team that has some shooters a and that the floor is opened up. And then I turned on the Lakers Blazers game on Friday night just to watch the I watch the first quarter. And all I kept seeing was JaVale McGee dunking alley hoops. The floor is wide open wall.
S27: So it’s a couple of things, right? I think a D as a playmaker. A lot of people because let’s be honest, not him. Not many people were tuning into New Orleans games. Right. People are turning their eyes onto a D this season. Throughout the years, like they only made the playoffs like a couple of times in his tenure there. They weren’t long runs. Obviously part of the reason why he forced his way out of there. But Anthony Davis, as a passer on, he’s already built a connection with with JaVale McGee. As far as finding them, you know, inside passing the high, low stuff that they like to do. But of course, LeBron’s traditionally been a passer. Shooting has probably been still their weakness as an offensive unit, but it’s been better than everybody could have anticipated coming into the season. It was one of those things that people like, well, how are they going to space? You know, the joke was can save use. CALDWELL Pope is a three and D guy with No. 3, you know, but it’s they’ve been able to make it work one, because like I said, not to belabor the point, but 80 is an excellent passer on the interior from the perimeter. And he’s doing that from the a former position. And two. They’ve just gotten individual excellence offensively from both ADA and LeBron. The shooting is coming around. It’s actually the last two weeks you’ve seen better shooting from them. It still needs to pick up if they’re going to be an excellent offense. But I think what you’re seeing is honestly just the individual brilliance of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
S22: Let’s walk through the various reasons why this here was going to be a disaster for the Lakers. Number one for me, maybe not number one, but this was obviously going to be a disaster is hiring. Frank Vogel is the coach who’s like their third choice and then installing Jason Kidd as the top assistant who has better rapport with LeBron and had been a head coach like this, obviously was not going to work and was a dumb idea and was we’ve heard nothing but like happiness and rainbows. There’s been zero coach controversy, which is like the first time ever that’s happened with LeBron. Everybody seems to be getting along. And Frank Vogel is not known as the most like kind and gentle and non abrasive coach in the NBA. Like, I am totally mystified that this part of it seems to be working and maybe we just need to wait for there to be a bump in the road and there to be like anonymous quotes about how LeBron’s really coaching the team.
S8: But like so far, it’s been amazing.
S27: Right. And you hit the nail on the head about the winning. But I actually spoke to Danny Green before the season started. Right. I did a Q&A with him to just talk about the offseason, the upcoming season. And one of the things he said to me was that, you know, people think we brought together some weird personalities when it comes to our boogie cousins over Rondo. And, you know, the difference that Dwight Howard McGee like these are guys that have been known to be not exactly sterling. Locker room reputation. But Danny Green told me in October, early, very early October, before the season started, that the chemistry was incredible, that, you know, such a veteran laden team, all guys have different stories and different things that they can relate to. They’ve all been in the league for so long that it’s been easy to gel once they’ve come together. And I’m not going to lie, guys. Part of me was like, really, Danny Green? You guys have incredible chemistry and the two and a half weeks you’ve been together, but you’ve seen that bear itself out on the court and even into the Vogel point. What a lot of people don’t understand about NBA coaching, so much of it is just strictly buying. It’s strictly just getting these guys to respect what you have to say enough to buy into what you’re selling. It almost doesn’t matter which is selling. When the talent level is his eyes, it is on the Lakers. But buying in and for whatever reason, I think last season was embarrassing for LeBron. It was embarrassing for D. Both of those guys really had something to prove this season outside of just the Lakers putting together a roster capable of winning. Those guys came off of embarrassing stretches last year A.D. with the sitting the way the trade demand blew up. You know, he’s the packaway. He’s played 22 minutes at a game at the end of the season, even though he’s a top five NBA player. Then, of course, LeBron, OK, you know, the whole thing with the young guys resenting them for basically want to get them out of town and how that whole thing crumble that the end of the season. And he missed the playoffs entirely for the first time since his second year in the league. Those guys came in with something to prove and they played hard. I don’t know that Frank Vogue. I don’t want to take the credit away from Vogel, but I think a lot of it is these guys have bought in and are playing their asses off right where the credit goes to him for being able to manage that.
S9: I mean, that is the tricky part when you are coaching arguably the best player in the history of the NBA. And you’re Frank Vogel. And then you bring in another guy who might end up being one of the top five or 10 players in the history of the NBA. And you’re still Frank Vogel.
S27: Yeah. And, you know, the Jason Kidd part can’t be underestimated. Right. The stuff in Brooklyn that he pulled off, what he did to get to Milwaukee. You know, he’s sort of known I don’t know if you guys are Game of Thrones fans, but he’s sort of known as the little finger of the NBA. Right. Like always trying to pull strings behind the scenes. I’ll never forget in July, I was in summer league. And and Jake Kidd had had already sort of been in the little media area. But LeBron came maybe five minutes afterwards and they had a lengthy conversation, a really long conversation, as if they were they had been friends for ever. And I. I remember my eyebrow going him, you know, like Jake. He clearly has the ear of LeBron and vice versa. And as you said, I was the same way. I was like you bringing in Frank Vogel. No disrespect to his record with the Pacers. And honestly, he disappointed with the magic. But this isn’t exactly, you know, George Dallas coming in. This is this is Frank Vogel we’re talking about. And LeBron has a history of butting heads with even the Greg Erik Spoelstra. Very early on in Miami, we saw what happened with David Blatt. Right. He has a history of this stuff. So I, like you, were skeptical, but these guys came out with something to prove. They’re playing very hard on both fans and, you know, so far as Kumbayah.
S22: Yeah. I mean, the way that this is not going to work eventually as an injury to either one of you up LeBron or a day, they just don’t have the kind of superstar at depth. And the Clippers are slow playing this season and like they’re seventeen and seven or something like that, they’re like sitting George and and Kawhi. Like, it’s funny that like the Clippers, despite done on their roster, not by like tradition, they’re the Clippers, but they are the ones who are like, we don’t care about the regular season. It’s just like postseason or bust. And so when it comes down to it, that roster is gonna be deeper in terms of quality talent and better rested maybe even then than the Lakers. So I don’t think we’re saying here was except for maybe you who predicted the Lakers to win a championship. But at the start, me and the Lakers are a title favorite. At least maybe that’s what you are saying. Tell us what you’re saying.
S27: No, I don’t think they can be considered Sidel favorites yet. Right. I think, like, as you mentioned, talent, Deb, the lake, the Clippers absolutely have the talent advantage. When you talk about. Okay. So with the Lakers, two guys in the postseason that, you know, you’re going to be able to completely count on you, basically knowing in a game the game bases, what you’re going to get from them is LeBron and Anthony Davis. And that’s kind of it. What about Curtis as well? Oh, yeah. Cool. Funny thing that Caruso’s actually making himself into a quality NBA rotational player night tonight. And he does it on both ends, which I think is most important. Right. Like he can guard both wing positions if you ask him to. He’s sneaky athletic guys. You know, he’s he’s actually a good rotation player. I think the Clippers. The problem they’re going to present to people in the postseason is that they have four. Right. Like you could count on, obviously, Paul George, obviously Kawhi Leonard. But Lou Williams this season has been in credible. He has been the most he’s been the most consistent thing about the Clippers the entire season. He knows what his role is. Any executes its absolute perfection basically every single night. And of course, they have Monterey’s Harrell, who’s also become a dynamite bench player. He’s dead. De facto starting center. He just doesn’t start. Zubov starts for whatever reason. But much as it typically closes out the game and plays a lot more minutes zew botch. So I think they have four guys. And then, you know, even Harkless who you can say can be up and down from game to game. He’s got postseason experience. JaMychal Green has been a nice find for them. He’s actually he never used to shoot threes and Memphis with grit and grind. No surprise there, but he’s letting them fly in L.A. and he’s getting more and more confident in his three point shot. You know, and then you got the more ancillary parts like MacGruder, like Jerome Robinson up guys that are sort of finding their role within the Clippers. But I would I think there are advantages they have for guys that you can absolutely count on in any postseason series. The Lakers have two. And if you want to be generous, if we want to say if the why are we could do this for a full season, they have three.
S6: You can be really generous when we’re tied to the Lakers.
S8: What about doing green? You’ve got to kind of N.B.A. green dids won many championships.
S27: He has, but he’s a he’s even in those championship years, he’s one of those guys who will make seven threes, one game and one the next. Right. So game the game, you know, really know what you’re gonna get from Danny Green. Of course, you know, he makes open shots for the most part, but he’s not a guy. Would you like OK. I know. Exactly. I’m going to get 13, 14 points and Danny Green every night. He’s actually never been that what you do know, you’re gonna get a solid perimeter defense. I’m extremely great effort in transition defense on the boards, on nothing. On the other end, he’s he’s a consistent player, but offensively he’s not.
S9: I don’t think any of us would complain if the NBA finals were one of those two teams against lianas on the Milwaukee Bucks. And I’d prefer to beat the Lakers because then maybe we’d have three under the coupons in the finals because the third brother, it cost us is he still on the Lakers rosters, bouncing back and forth to the now he’s still he’s still on the roster.
S27: Yeah, he doesn’t play, obviously, but he’s still on the roster.
S22: He could be there. Yanna Stopper, maybe do some like grind early brother stuff, curse at him in Greek. A lot could be. So I think maybe the place to end here was is that like the one risk for all of us and for the entire NBA. They’re just like, do we really want the Lakers to start feeling themselves to the extent that they’re clearly feeling themselves like you have Kyle Kuzma talking about, oh, the whole league is jealous of us now. I think they’ve missed the playoffs for, what, eighty seven years in a row now? Like, are we concerned about the Lakers becoming the Lakers again too quickly go ego mania?
S27: Look, I think Lakers hubris is one of those things. It’s like oxygen or gravity. It’s inevitable, right? Like it’s just one of those things that exist. You can go from Cosmas comments. You go from Jeanie Buss in those leaked emails calling Steve Ballmer balls. And she’s like, does he not remember what I did to my brother as if her flunky brother has anything in common with Steve Ballmer? You can go to just the idea that the Lakers then got they hired Vogel, but the idea that for decades, essentially all they ever did was hire any for every position in the team management coaching was basically like hooking up, finding Dr. Bus, his Rolodex. Right. It’s just Lakers hubris up and down from top to bottom throughout the year. So I’m not going to say was surprised, but I would I will say as a very selfish, cynical, self-absorbed media member. It’s great when the Lakers are good because they generate the most attention. I know you guys have heard about the ratings dip in the NBA. Please Lakers stay good so that we could continue to get ratings and continue to get paid to talk about silly sports.
S13: Come on, man. And if you’re not rooting for LeBron at this stage in his career to have at least do well and be on the stage, you’re heartless and not really a fan. Heartless. Yes.
S22: Have a heart. LeBron root for LeBron was. You can read your stuff on the athletic and hear your voice on the counter. Thanks. Network. Thanks so much for coming on.
S27: Thanks for having me, guys. This was fun, as always.
S3: All right. I wanted to let you know that our bonus segment for Slate Plus members, Spencer Hall of Banner Society will be back and we will be talking to him, Stefan, about the coaching carousel, the coaching Ferris wheel, the coaching teacups of the SCC. We’ve got a Lane Kiffin, the great Lane Kiffin back in the conference. And we’ve got a new guy at Arkansas. You all want to hear about if you want to hear that and you’re not a member. You can sign up for Slate plus just $35 for the first year.
S5: You can do that at slate.com slash hangout, plus sign up at slate.com. Slash. Hang up. Plus.
S28: 25 years ago, Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust drama Schindler’s List won the Oscar for best picture. Later in 1994, on a pro tour after winning a silver medal at the Olympics, American figure skater Paul Wiley performed to John Williams haunting music from the film. I’m not Jewish. So for me to really get into that music, I have to act wisely, said at the time. At one point in his routine, Wiley made a Nazi salute with one arm, which he dramatically lowered with the other. He later projected onto the ice. Images of barbed wire. Superstar Catarina Vitt skated to Schindler’s List that same winter. And since then it’s been go to music and skating used by big names including Johnny Weir, Irina Slutskaya, Yulia lipnitskaya and many others. The quarter century run, though, may be coming to an end. Last week, a figure skating governing body apologized for nominating for best costume in its annual awards, a Schindler’s List outfit worn by a Russian skater that appeared to be half Nazi SS guard, half concentration camp prisoner, complete with a yellow star of David overgraze stripes. The group claimed that it nominated the wrong outfit, but that didn’t slow the media attention and online outrage. Louise Radnofsky covers sports for The Wall Street Journal and wrote about the controversy. She is with us now. Welcome back to the show, Louise. Thank you for having me. Let’s start with the why. Why of all the dramatic music available, why have figure skaters performed over and over to the music from Schindler’s List?
S29: Well, the reason that they give is that it’s beautiful music, which it is that it’s meaningful to them, which in some cases it clearly is. And that in some cases, they also feel like they have something important to say to their audience by using it. And as you noted, Schindler’s List programs have run the gamut from Paul Wylie’s, which was done and was very acclaimed in its time to ones that provoke immediate outrage, usually because a skater has taken a very literal approach to what they’re doing to clean their costuming.
S3: Yulia lipnitskaya, who became known for doing this routine a few Olympics ago, was, you know, wearing the red dress that was famous in the movie that Spielberg used to illustrate that this young girl who ended up dying in the Holocaust and Anne Schindler sees the red dress and it inspires him to save the thousand Jews. And it was kind of this notable scene in the film because that’s in black and white and this one kind of splash of color. And when Justin Peters wrote about this for Slate back, I think it was in 2014. He noted that this is the marriage of a sport that demands hyper emotionalism and a film that delivers it more than any other in modern times. I think the thing that gets lost, Louis, is it’s like Schindler’s List itself was not subtle. So the fact that figure skaters are using it themselves in a non subtle way, it’s it’s kind of in keeping with the material a little bit.
S30: And in some ways, the controversy kind of mirrors the controversy around the film at the same time. Right there, there were some people, many people who thought that it was wonderful. And there were a handful of people who thought that using it and making fiction out of the Holocaust and winning awards for a movie about the Holocaust were also an appropriate.
S9: And it’s that I think literalism is where everyone gets tripped up here. You mentioned the costumes and in your first answer and they really have ranged from completely inappropriate to just mildly inappropriate skaters wearing costumes with the look sort of torn or smudged or dirty mentioned stars of David and prison camp outfits. Let’s listen to a clip. And I think this sort of illustrates where this sort of very surface level appropriation and analysis of the Holocaust is problematic for obvious reasons. This is from the 2016 World Championships. There was an Italian ice dance couple. You described these dirt smudged costumes. And let’s listen to how the announcers introduced it and the routine began.
S31: Welcome back to Boston on the Ice. Now the second ranked team in Italy for the past six years, 12th at last year’s world championships. Skating to music from Schindler’s List.
S9: This is a very emotional program and one that they really want to do justice with a story like this. They want to do justice with a story like this. You know, taking the Holocaust and trying to transform it into three minutes of figure skating seems to be where this becomes troubling.
S29: Well, figure skating is also a sport where it’s possible to fall down.
S30: And they were ice dancers. They didn’t necessarily have the same risks as skaters doing triple jumps. But it is one of the many risks that you undertake by skating to Schindler’s List, even beyond the risk of whether you’re just gonna offend people by turning up with it. Even beyond the pitfalls that your costume or your use of sequins could entail. You have to go out and perform this program in a way that doesn’t mess it up in other programs. You take a fall. You lose points, but you don’t run the same risks there. And you know, Paul Wylie’s spoke about this, too. If you’re going to go and do this every single night on a tour. You have to bring your old to it every single time. And that’s not something necessarily that every skater is in a position to undertake either.
S12: So there’s a cliche about the NFL that it’s a copycat league.
S3: This to me seems like copycatting like somebody did it once. Paul Wylie And then there’s just a kind of lack of creativity or this worked once maybe. Well, let’s let’s do it again. Is that really what’s going on here?
S29: That is absolutely true of figure skating. There are programs that just get so dull.
S12: Otherwise, it just wouldn’t make any sense to me because why would you skate to this music in particular as opposed to any of the like thousands or tens of thousands of things that you could skate to if you were just.
S26: It’s like strangely like the combination of being the most risky thing you could do and incredibly risk averse to just do the same thing over and over.
S9: But it also reflects a sort of denseness, too, that you’re not really even aware of what you’re doing because other people have done it before you. And the way that figure skaters have tried to make skating to Schindler’s List their own is by the costumes which have grown more and more literal. And that’s what’s problematic. And also by attempting to sort of tinker with the production itself and make it even more obvious and more heart strings tugging by making it as historically accurate or at least historically representative as you possibly can. I want to play one more clip. And there are no words in this one. But just listen to the to the beginning of it. This is in 2009. It was a Russian team and the woman is wearing a gray headscarf and gray striped prison dress. Yeah, that’s gunfire. And she covers her ears during it and then takes them off and looks around kind of wide eyed. That was just bizarre.
S29: Yes. So what this program, you can find it on YouTube. And if you do watch it all the way through, you should probably be warned that it starts in a way that only builds throughout the program. Don’t want to spoil the ending, but I also feel like people who are watching it should be warned in advance that it’s going to end in a certain way. But yeah, this program had been skated. The skaters did very well competitively with it. And nobody took from this a lesson that, you know, seven, eight, nine years later, you should be more careful.
S3: So why the Holocaust or have there been other examples of skaters using tragedy in their programs?
S29: An analogous way to a lot of gun imagery in the last few years that appears to be skaters pushing the bar higher and higher on on what is acceptable there. But Yevgeny Medvedev of Russia also performed a program a few years ago to the soundtracked of extremely loud and incredibly close, a film that uses 9/11 as part of its plot. And because you could use audio spoken word at that point, part of her program actually included the voice of George W. Bush booming around the arena, which the program did very well. I found it jarring. It was a little weird. But again, it worked for her competitively speaking, at any rate.
S3: Stefan, you’d be OK with this if the costumes were just normal skating costumes and there were no Holocaust references in the like routine. It’s often it is just the music. Is that correct?
S20: I don’t know. I mean, I think so. I mean, it is beautiful music and it does lend itself to skating. But when five hundred people have done it before, you maybe pick something of your own. I mean, I don’t know, I guess what what troubles me. I mean, all of it troubles me. But what troubles me is the sort of complete tone deafness on the part not just of the skaters and their coaches and choreographers, but in the case of this controversy from the last week of the figure skating officials after this guy, Shula, RPOF, had skated to this and had his costume nominated, and then they said that it was a mistake, rather than just saying, we think this is a bad idea and maybe skaters shouldn’t be skating and appropriating Holocaust imagery for their routines. That kind of doubled down. They defended the skater Shula POB, saying that that his routine represented the two parts of the life of Oskar Schindler, one being that he was a successful German businessman, and the other one, he was the savior of twelve hundred Jews. And they said in a statement, the IRS who understands that the use of the star of David can be interpreted as offensive. However, we would like to point out that in his free skating program, Mr. Shaw above skates to the music of the renowned and award winning movie. I just just maybe settle marker here that we should move on from Schindler’s List and other Holocaust movies. By the way, it’s not just Schindler’s List, is it, Louise?
S29: It’s not. There was actually a Japanese skater who is performing to the music of a film called A Man this season. It’s beautiful music. It’s a pretty inoffensive program. But she wore a dress to do so that had a kind of gaping wound across the waist with spreading blood that also raised some eyebrows.
S3: It starts to sound like a parody, like how could they possibly be doing this or how could they? They up the ante. Like, I don’t think there’s necessarily any way you can go after the half SS half prisoner costume. But I guess there is just something about this sport. Louis is where I don’t know if it’s the culture, if it’s the judges that sort of demands these sort of outsized displays of emotion. And it’s a sport that once its athletes to be over the top, maybe not in precisely this way, but you can kind of understand a little bit the impulse says, all right. How can we just ratchet up the emotion to like the highest possible level and then this is where it ends up?
S30: That’s a really good point. I mean, on some level, skaters are more like actors performing in the theater than they are performing on the big screen because the people who are judging the most immediately are several feet away in a very large arena at home on TV. You see them up close and you can sometimes cringe at a number of things they’re doing that don’t look quite the same when you see them from far away. But there’s also just a figure skating bubble. Not a lot of people inside figure skating have thought about Schindler’s List for years. It’s a it’s another accepted. He’s in a cannon. Another role that you might get to play at some point in your career, probably when you’re sufficiently mature to be able to do it. Some skaters acknowledge they wait to perform Schindler’s List until they’re older, although Yulia the Sky is the girl. The red coat was 15 years old. But it is definitely part of the range. And it’s only when you step outside of the bubble and you hear other people telling you that they think this is potentially strange to get competitive advantage, that you start to think about it.
S9: Do you think that this controversy, the latest one, will actually stop skaters from using Schindler’s List?
S30: I thought at the end of 2016, when there was a huge outcry over actually what was our reality TV skating program done in Russia involving yellow stars and lights. It’s beautiful. I’ll probably put. Yeah, another Holocaust movie that actually also did incredibly well and is incredibly beautiful and is very widely used among skaters, less literally than it was in this case. I thought that that was the moment and we all heard about this at the time. And so I’m not sure that if this hasn’t it that didn’t warn anyone else, then I’m not sure that this would ward anyone off either necessarily.
S32: Louise Radnofsky covers the sports for The Wall Street Journal, will post a link to her story about skating and Schindler’s List on our homepage. Louise, thanks for coming on the show. Thanks for having me.
S9: And now it is time for After Bawls Schindler’s List is certainly overused in figure skating. We’ve established that other music is also overused and figure skating, yeah. There are many lists you can get Spotify playlists of figure skating music.
S23: Whoo! Something new for me to listen to on your commute commute. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
S9: People have done lists of the most over used figure skating music. Let’s run one down. This is from the CBC. Carmen busways. Carmen. Yes, I would agree.
S23: So there’s Carmen. The other, not the other. Carmen. Yeah. Yeah. Swan Lake. Tchaikovsky. Makowski. Swan Lake. Not the other one. Yeah.
S20: Romeo and Juliet. Moonlight Sonata. These are all your classics.
S23: Phantom of the Opera. Yeah. Yeah. That’s bad. Yeah. Yeah, that’s pretty bad. Tosca. Yes. Schindler’s List as I’m looking so bad when you when you run down this list, Stefan, that that is true. I think Phantom of the Opera is probably the one that annoys me the most on that list. You want to do phantoms? Sure. Stefan, what does your Phantom Prentice’s of the Opera at the live show?
S20: Last week, I after about endangered minor league baseball team names, but it took many twists and turns to get to the rumble ponies and trash pandas. Here’s my original idea for last week’s After Ball brought to you. Now this week, an expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League last month announced its new name Proof Louisville FC. Louisville is, of course, known for its bourbon industry. So the locals decided to go with a name honoring that heritage. I think it’s a neat pun intended. The president of the Louisville Sports Commission said three fingers neat. Now, this seems ill-advised to me from a marketing standpoint for one simple reason. Some significant percentage of the fan base for women’s pro soccer teams consists of adolescent and pre-adolescent girls and their families. Consuming hard alcohol is probably not the main message you want to be sending to young fans. But they did it. So prove low is probably going to need an education campaign. So kids proof is a measure of alcoholic strength. The higher the number, the stronger the drink. Now let’s use our Merriam Webster dictionary app to look up the word neat when referring to alcohol need means without admixture or dilution straight. So get a glass. Go to mommy and daddy’s liquor cabinet. Start pouring out. Some of our sponsors find Kentucky bourbon when it reaches the height of three of daddy’s fingers. That’s three fingers. Neat. Can’t wait to meet proof. Louisville’s mascots Josh. Shot glass, fifth flask, wild turkey and Blo. Which is what dad will have to do when he stopped by the cops on the way home from the game. If he drinks multiple fingers, neat at the game. Of course, the marketeers tried to spin proof Louisville as not just about alcohol. The Sports Commission guys said that proof. Quote defines our community where we are at this stage of our life cycle as a city. We’re proving every day that we’re growing and that we belong in the upper echelon of God. Just admit that you’re trying to sell a Jersey sponsorship to Jim Beam and get on with it. Have a side question, though. Would you say we’re taking the kids to see proof tonight or we’re taking the kids to see the proof tonight? Because proof in this context is what’s known as a non count noun. So you wouldn’t use the article, but just saying proof. Sounds pretty dumb. I don’t know. To be determined, I guess the fans will choose Privett anyway. Proof Louisville got me thinking about other team names that would be regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. I could be missing some, of course, but I came up with these for the Baltimore later Washington Bullets of the NBA and three baseball teams, the Minor League, Durham Bulls and the Major League, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Colt 45s. I’m willing to grandfather the Brewers and Bowls Brewers refers to Milwaukee’s beer making history. There have been baseball teams in Milwaukee named the Brewers since the 19th century. Beer and baseball, yada, yada, yada. Bourbon and soccer, not so much in terms of their relationship. The bulls were named for Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco, a brand of loose leaf tobacco that dates to the 1850s. The team was known as the Durham Tobacconists at their founding in 1982 and changed that to bowls a decade later. The Bull Durham brand died 30 years ago. Most people at this point nationally anyway, probably wouldn’t even know that the team is named for tobacco. Lots of teams were named the bullets in the first half of the 20th century. The pro basketball team dates to the 1940s, possibly referring to the old shots tower in Baltimore, where molten lead was cooled to make bullets. When he decided to change the name in the 1990s, team owner A Pollin said he was concerned about gun deaths and the assassination of his friend, Israeli Prime Min. Yitzhak Rabin, but it’s equally plausible that the franchise which socked used gun violence as a pretext for a rebranding. Finally, the Houston Colt 45s fans sent him 12000 suggestions in a contest to name the 1962 National League expansion team. Rebels was the most popular. Colts was picked by team and city officials, but the team changed it to Colt 45s because it wanted to make it clear that we’re talking about guns and not the young horse. A team executive said the Colt 45 revolver and news report at the time said was made famous by Western bad men, cowboys and law officers during Texas. As early days, Colt 45s lasted just three years before the team became the Astros. In 2015, a USA Today blogger wrote that because we can’t have anything nice, the awesome original name was changed for obvious gun related reasons. The name actually was changed because of a marketing dispute with the Colt fire arms company. Colt had originally approved the name, but objected to the team’s sub licensing the right to use it on novelties and souvenirs. The Colt 45s may be dead, but fortunately their memory lives on in the original team’s fight song. Let us listen, Josh. By the way, the green. So I really.
S24: Shoot them down. Houston calls down a shot, proof Louisville. Josh, what’s your phantom on Sunday?
S26: At long last and seven years after his death. Marvin Miller was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Miller was the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1866 to 1882, more than almost anyone in any sport. He is responsible for what we now describe as player empowerment. It was under Miller’s leadership that baseball players killed off the reserve clause, which kept them contractually bound to whichever team wanted to contractually bind them. And he also ushered in free agency winning players, the freedom and the dollars that they deserved. The thing that killed the reserve clause was the site’s decision in which arbitrator Peter say it’s ruled in favor of pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally in 1975, granting them free agency. Miller played an instrumental role in that arbitration hearing. He was also involved three years earlier when the Supreme Court ruled against the players in the case of Flood vs. Kyun. That is the player, Curt Flood versus baseball commissioner Buie Kyun. In that case, Justice Harry Blackman wrote the majority opinion keeping the reserve clause in place. It was a weird and extremely flowery decision which begins. It is a century and a quarter since the New York Nine defeated the Knickerbockers 23 to 1 on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields. June 19th, 1846 Blackman includes a footnote in its opinion. That’s just the poem Tinker to Evers to Chance.
S8: And strangest of all, he includes a long list of players, a list he describes as the many names celebrated for one reason or another that have sparked the diamond and its environs, and that it provided tender for recaptured thrills, for reminiscence and comparisons, and for a conversation in anticipation in season and offseason. In a footnote to that, he added These are names only from earlier years by mentioning some one risks unintended omission of others equally celebrated. But I’m going to take that risk now, Stefan, and I’m going to read the list in its entirety because it is the original and I’d argue the ultimate exercise in remembering some guys, even if it was used ultimately and confusingly to keep baseball’s reserve clause in place, delaying Marvin Miller’s victory by three years.
S26: Regardless, here now, courtesy of Justice Harry Blackman, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth Trist.
S8: Speaker Walter Johnson, Henry Chadwick, Eddie Collins. Lou Gehrig. Grover Cleveland. Alexander Rogers Hornsby. Harry Hooper. Goose Goslin. Jackie Robinson. Honus Wagner. Joe McCarthy. John McGraw Deacon. Felipe Remarque Wired. Kristi Matheson. Tommy Leach. Big Ed Delahanty. Davy Jones, Germany. Shaefer King. Kelly Big Dan Brothers Wahoo. Sam Crawford. We Willie Keeler. Big Ed Walsh. Jimmy Austin. Fred Snodgrass. Satchel Paige You Jennings. Fred Merkle. Iron Man McGinty three-finger Brown. Harry and Stand Kovaleski. Connie Mack. Al Bridwell Red Ruffing Amos RUSI. Cy Young. Smokey Joe Wood. Chief Myers. Chief Bender. Bill Clemma. Hans Lobert. Johnny Evers. Joe Tinker. Ray Campanella. Where’s Chance? I’m just realizing Ever’s and Tinker. No chance. Ray Campanella. Miller Huggins. Rioux Bresler. darzi Vance at Rush. Bill wham’s. Gan’s. Clark Griffith. Branch Rickey. Frank chance.. Cap Ansah Knapp. L&G Away S&ED. Sam Jones Barbeau. Farrell Left Yodel. Bobby Veach. Willie Kam Haney. Grow Lloyd and Paul Wainer. Stuffy mckennis. Charlie Comiskey. Roger Bresnahan. Bill Dicky’s Aquí. Joyce Sisler. Charlie geringer Epper Rexy. Harry Heilmann. Fred Clark. Dizzy Dean. Hank Greenberg Pay Trainer HROOB Wydell Bill Terry Carl Hubble Old Hoss Rad Born Moberg Rabbitt Moran Vill Jimmy Fox, Lefty Grove.
S25: And then in conclusion, Justice Harry Blackman, master of Self-awareness, says, and I quote, The list seems endless.
S9: I’m surprised they stopped. He could have included a few more African-American players I counted to, you know, Justice Harry Blackman.
S2: Wrong on the merits, wrong on the details within the merits, but right about remembering some guys rapidly. Does our show for today, our producers, Melissa Kaplin Wilson, pashas and subscriber, just reach out, go to Slate, dot com slash hang up. You can email us at Hang-Up at Slate.com. If you’re still here, perhaps you just might want some more. Hang up and listen. And our bonus segment this week. Spencer Hall discusses the intricacies and majesty S.E.C. coaching.
S33: It’s an office of lykos. It looks like an offensive line coach. His head is perfectly square. His body is a. R-Miss. and perfectly square, it’s like Coach Minecraft, right? If you look at him, he’s exactly what you would imagine an offensive line coach should look like.
S2: Hear that conversation. Join Slate plus four just thirty five dollars for the first year. You can sign up at slate.com, fleshing out plus for Stefan FATSIS. I’m Josh Levine, remembers Olmo Baty and some guys. And thanks for listening.
S5: Including a Pyrrhic C.
S3: Now it is time for a bonus segment for Slate Plus members. Back with us is Spencer Hall of Better Society. Hello, Spencer.
S12: Hey, it’s been an amazing week for s.E.C. Coaching searches and really why week isn’t an amazing week for s.E.C coaching searches. But I will say that it’s not every week that Ole Miss releases Lane Kiffin themed video that’s accompanied by a fast moving choo choo train. So that was just an exciting week for me. Lane Kiffin back in the SCC. What could go wrong? I think, Spencer, this is just a week where it’s not hard for you to get out of bed.
S7: Not one bit. No, not one bit. I don’t know if you saw Lane Kiffin kind of somebody handed him a baby, I guess, because, you know, this is this is Mississippi. We’re all doing like, you know, Governor Pappy Stuntz, you know, hand him a baby. Let him kiss it. Lane Kiffin, always very fond of his kids, does a great job of showing everybody that that, you know, he he’s very committed to being a dad on social media. Not. I think in dating hold babies, not as a plus, not the part we’re on film. We’d go like in the film room in the dad filmer. We go back and look. Yeah, that’s for handling. You need three points contact on that baby lane at all times. Yeah. Sam Pitt got hired at Arkansas. That’s the part I don’t really understand because I know who Sam Pittman was is an offensive line coach. And you know how sometimes you can have a brain blindness where you cannot categorize somebody as something else. Right. It’s like when you saw your mom and dad kissing and you’re like, that’s not part of their life. They don’t actually do that. Right. As a kid, you’re just like, no, they’re they’re not romantic at all. SAMPAT It’s an offensive line, coach. He looks like an offensive line coach. His head is perfectly square. His body is enormous and perfectly square. He’s like Coach Minecraft, right.
S34: If you look at it, he’s exactly what you would imagine an offensive line coach should look like. They just made him a head coach. You know, he doesn’t look like in my brain and it won’t recognize it.
S22: A head coach who is the head coach that has been the most successful that looks the least like a head coach. Gonna put you on the spot like this. Does Brett B lemme look like a head to head coach?
S34: Yeah. Brett Bilum, it looks like some head coaches, right? Like there have been head coaches that looked like Brett B Lamar before. It is very hard for me to think of a head coach who looks like Mike Leach. That’s good, right? Mike Leach is one of them. I think Dave KLOSSON, if you see Dave KLOSSON to Dave Boston and he looks like I’m going to I’m going to Google him. Yeah. See, there, there, step one right here on the right track. If you’re like, oh, no. That dude looks like Dave KLOSSON has two strikes against him as a head coach looking like a head coach or sounding like one. The first is that as Wake Forest head coach. This may not surprise you. His favorite band is Talking Heads. The other thing about Dave KLOSSON that is mystifying, if you look at him, he looks like somebody who is either a secondary witness in a financial corruption case or he looks like a soccer coach, right?
S32: Yeah, he does. I’m a little Bob Bradley.
S34: Yeah. Yeah. I told you that he was like, you know, the coach of the Togo men’s team and that he had to that he had two years there and then had to flee the country. That’s that’s what I imagined Dave KLOSSON looking like. Right. Like Mique, but always ending up in the wrong place in international soccer. That’s a real niche thing. You know who else doesn’t look like a head coach? Sam Pittman. Okay. Sam Pittman does not look like a head coach. Somebody on Twitter this morning, I believe it was it was, sir, giggly in my mentions. He said that Sam Pittman looked like if you took a a dog and he became a human. Right. And it is. That’s what he would look like.
S7: I say this is somebody who also suffers from this. OK, Sam Pittman. Every suit that he puts on just looks rumpled. Doesn’t matter. He can come off the rack tailored. It can be perfectly ironed.
S19: Like Harry Potter’s hair, all suits just defer to rumpled on me.
S9: We should probably say that Sam Pittman was the offensive line coach at the University of Georgia. And he’s been hired now to be the head football coach at Arkansas, Arkansas.
S12: So West Blankenship posted this video on Twitter. And I didn’t know who Sam Pittman was. I didn’t know that he had been hired in Arkansas. All I saw was this video that says our Georgia football fans having a rough Sunday. And then it has a minute compilation of this guy who turned out to be Sam Pittman. And here, let’s listen to a little bit of it.
S35: Yes, sir.
S36: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
S37: Yes, sir. Now, we should say these are in different locations in what appears to be his suburban home.
S26: And he’s like opening up like a sport coat to reveal a Georgia offensive line jersey. He’s like a Reggie possum involved. So, Spencer, when I saw this originally, I. Like this guy is just a deranged fan of some kind. And then there’s a video of him with Georgia coach Kirby Spartan is like, okay. He’s gone to the coach’s show to show his support for for Georgia.
S12: He just looks, if not a head coach. He looks like the guy who’s, like, made a decent living at the used car lot.
S6: And so he is now going to just travel around like his thing is just going, no Georgia games. He’s like a guy that people in the Georgia program know. It’s like a star. Oh, that’s the yes, sir. Guy. Yeah, I like that guy.
S9: Well, then I was confused because I don’t know, follow Georgia message boards.
S20: Like, is this a meme? Was this a thing with him? Is this a Georgia thing? Yes, sir. Thing is the sad story here.
S12: He says, Yes, sir. As. As a code for 4. When Georgia gets an offensive line recruit committed, he puts out a video where he says, Yes, sir.
S26: Because you’re not allowed to tamper with the sacrosanct recruiting process by saying, oh, we just got this five star guy or you have to speak in. Yeah, you can tung’s.
S18: Now, I will say this is where we actually get saying really nice things about Sampath. Like it’s fun. Joke on it. But this dude can find beasts.
S12: He is a bestto I know a country baby. Yes.
S18: Lee a well well-known for well known for building massive offensive lines, including the one in Arkansas that had like Sebastian to Tola.
S17: And they had another guy who just looks like he recruited Sampath and recruited the most Viking looking dude I have ever seen. Like he recruited the offensive lineman who looked like the offensive lineman. Right. He recruited the like. He recruits linemen really well, develops them really well and did it at Arkansas. So I guess the thinking here is that he’s going to be able to take players there, develop them into these outstanding offensive linemen and then win six games. I don’t know, man. I don’t know. Like, there’s no. If you win six games, that would be improvement at Arkansas. And that’s not even damning with faint praise or joking. If they won if they won six or seven games back to back years, that would be outstanding improvement. So maybe I can’t believe the words like this are coming out of my mouth. But then again, Wal-Mart’s real successful, right. So I’m going to say it. Maybe Arkansas knows something we don’t.
S12: Well, we did just go through a segment saying that coach as intelligence was underestimated due to his voice and demeanor. Maybe we’re not giving.
S20: Coach Pittman has you know, I mean, at the very least, this video shows that he has a sense of humor. He is holding a bulldog in several of the images.
S11: It’s like when they bust out the live bulldog. Bulldog always looks to me like, please don’t involve me in a Georgia shirt. Yeah, I’m like the bulldog. Just thinking I have a very short windpipe, am very hot right now. Please put me down.
S12: Let’s get back to Lane Kiffin, because he developed an incredibly strong troll game at Florida Atlantic, which I’m curious, Spencer, if you think that he is going to be able to be as much of a troll. Well, they have to be a different kind of troll. Now he’s going back to the SCC. And we should also just note that at the age of 44, he has now been head coach in the NFL to SCC schools, USC and Florida Atlantic. What a career, though.
S17: Obviously, what a career. Did you want it? Does you want it consistent? Or did you want it? Interesting. Pick one. That’s what you’re going to get with Lane Kiffin.
S38: I don’t think he has to change anything because I think he understands now. If you read about his experience at Tennessee, that he understands that, you know, you got to talk a little to get the job done. And the S.E.C., especially if you’re punching up, you can’t really find a team that is more caught between punching up and punching down the old miss. Because if you look at them historically, they are an EKG chart. You know, they’re up or they’re down. There is not much in between. Right. And I think that makes Lane Kiffin an interesting choice, because I guarantee you you’re going to be up and you will be very down at times with Lane Kiffin. I also do not think that there is. I do not think that there’s anything he has to change or learn or that he can. I don’t think people really change that much. Right. That’s the exception to the rule. That’s why we talk about at OWS, Ron, now, because he actually did things differently. Right. I always maintain he did that because he is the closest thing at OWS. Ron has to a mentor in the coaching profession as Pete Carroll, somebody who, when he came from New England to USC, really did change everything about the way he coached, know the way he did things. And I think that was kind of in the back of Ed’s mind. I think for Lane, no change would be something that I would have liked to see proof of. Nor does he have to change that much, because offensively no one’s ever questioned his skill in terms of. Developing quarterbacks or getting offensive players in positions to succeed and being good at what he does. Nobody’s ever question is recruiting ability either, right? By the way, Lane Kiffin got an outstanding football season out of Jonathan Crompton. That is a deep pull in terms of s._e._c legacy quarterbacks. But it means a lot because I don’t think anybody expected him to amount to much as a quarterback after seeing his first year. So. And Giffin got him into into operational and good at the position. So I don’t think he has to change much. I just think the standard things that always bedevil Ole Miss are going to end up bedeviling them, which is this. They are a football school in a state that really should only have one. There is another school that is also committed to being very good in that state, like. Think about if if Mississippi just decided, OK, we’re gonna have one football team, they’re gonna represent the entire state. We’re gonna keep all the talent in here. They’d be a top 10 team every single year if they’re doing things even half right. Given the talent that comes out of that state and that is, you know, within striking distance of recruiting there, there’s no reason for them to have two schools. Ole Miss and mystate will always split a pie that should not be split.
S12: I think we can also say that on that E.K.G. Of Ole Miss, when they’re up, it’s generally or often due to cheating. And so given that bringing in Lane Kiffin is just that’s a good self-knowledge.
S34: I feel like we’ve learned nothing that’s over and over again. That’s what do we. You know, we’re now doing it, you know, every year and roundups. Right. Just put it in it like no one. We’ve learned nothing. And we’ll change nothing that we do. I don’t really see. By the way, I think you have to look at who they’re competing against. They’re going to have to you say the word cheating. That’s such typical dirty LSU fan test. Why would you do that?
S3: Spencer Hall, better society. Thank you. Thanks. And Slate Plus members, thank you for your membership. We’ll be back with more next week.