Tuesday, November 30th, 2021


Irish Goodbye

"Just know that my love for you is limitless." So said Brian Kelly in a message to his suddenly former Notre Dame football players. Apparently limitless love has its limits and that limit is around nine and half million a year over a decade—the deal Kelly just signed to become the new coach of LSU. Notre Dame as a stepping stone to LSU? That's only part of what makes this deal odd as football becomes even more disconnected from the colleges it supposedly represents. In another big NCAA move, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley left the Sooners sooner than expected for a $110 million USC contract that includes "a $6 million home in Los Angeles and ... 24/7 access to a private jet." (The Trojan Horse is being used exclusively to transport cash.) And these days, when coaches move, "students" follow. All of this is taking place in an era when many college sports are being scrapped because of the pandemic. Kendall Baker in Axios: College football gone mad.

+ While college football is being disconnected from college, pro basketball is being disconnected from high school. NYT (Gift Article): The Teenagers Getting Six Figures to Leave Their High Schools for Basketball. "If someone never reaches the N.B.A., will losing the opportunity to play in high school and college have been worth a few sure years of substantial income? When I put the question to Porter, he dismissed it. He described the connections made with Overtime Elite's sponsors, investors and affiliated celebrities as yet another form of compensation, as if a shooting guard who turns out to be a step too slow could simply go to work for Drake instead." (I always tell my kids they'll have three career choices: Play professional sports, work for Drake, or launch a Substack.)

+ And one more piece on the importance we place on sporting excellence, and what we're willing to overlook to achieve it. WaPo (Gift Article): They trusted a coach with their girls and Ivy League ambitions. Now he's accused of sex abuse.


Swampy Meadows

It's hard to segue from college sports to something more corrupt. Unless you include politics. "Donald Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot and is providing records and agreeing to appear for an initial interview." (Basically, he's setting conditions and trying to avoid a contempt charge.)

+ Trump called aides hours before Capitol riot to discuss how to stop Biden victory. (Yes, he tried to overturn an election. What you saw is what happened.)


Omicron Job

According to a few hundred news stories, it's not time to panic about Omicron. In other news, it's never really time to panic about anything. Meanwhile, it turns out, the Omicron COVID variant was in Europe before South African scientists detected and flagged it to the world.

+ NYT (Gift Article): South Africa Deserves a Big, Fat Prize. "Travel bans won't work if the variant has already spread widely and silently outside the targeted nations. But if they work even a little bit, it will be hard to persuade national governments not to impose them. Understandably, each government puts the health and safety of its own people first. There is a way out of this seeming impasse — one that would prevent the spread of the new variant while creating incentives for nations to detect and report future variants. The solution is money." (Interesting. That's also the solution USC's football team used to try to stop sucking.)


Runnin’ on Fenty

"Barbados has officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become the world's newest republic. In an overnight ceremony in the capital, Bridgetown, Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as president."

+ Barbados hails Rihanna national hero as it becomes republic.


Mouse Trap

"Disney Plus users in the U.S. may be able to stream every episode of "The Simpsons" ever made, but apparently, that's not the case in China. With the platform's launch in Hong Kong, users have discovered that one episode in particular has been scrubbed from the streamer — the one that mocks Tiananmen Square." (This is a relatively small story. But it's yet another example of democracy bending to appease authoritarianism in the name of capitalism.)


Maple Leaves of Absence

"While high gas prices have pushed President Biden to tap into the US's strategic oil reserves, America's neighbor to the north is also dealing with a shortage of another so-called liquid gold." Canada taps into strategic reserves to deal with massive shortage ... of maple syrup.


Praise the Hoard

"For many small businesses, the unpredictability this year has forced them to make buying decisions months or weeks earlier than they normally would and to tie up more of their cash in inventory, which can be risky." The supply chain slowdown is affecting everyone. For some small businesses, that means hoarding has become a strategy.


When You Book the Wrong Guest

"It's hard to recall a former politician who was showered with more free media attention than Chris Christie this month as he peddled his new book, "Republican Rescue." Invited to appear on a carousel of shows, Christie was all-present as journalists lined up to interview him. CNN even dedicated an entire primetime hour to him, treating the in-your-face Republican as one of the most important political voices in the country. Consumers aren't buying it." A colossal flop — fawning media can't save Chris Christie's new book. The question here is why did the media give Christie so much free promotion. They should be covering my book instead of Chris Christie's. It sells better. It gets way better reader reviews. And it's not filled with self-serving garbage. Also, unlike Chris Christie, I send tens of thousands of readers to news sites every week. (Of course, I suppose that could stop...)



"She has over a million followers on TikTok and Instagram, where she goes by the name Miss Excel, and she's leveraged that into a software training business that is now generating up to six figures of revenue a day. That's six figures a day." How an Excel Tiktoker Manifested Her Way to Making Six Figures a Day.


Bottom of the News

"Joseph Ducreux was a French painter active in the latter part of the 18th century — he was a portraitist in the court of Louis XVI and continued his career after the French Revolution." He was also pretty good at painting selfies.

+ People are naming their dogs Fauci and Pfizer. Here's the most popular pet names of 2021.

+ "I can't believe I have to write these words, but a giant virtual yacht just sold on a video game for $650,000 in real money, well real crytocurrency, successfully combining all the worst aspects of the NFT and crypto trends into an actual and yet somehow still fake purchase."

+ A snowstorm stranded an Oasis tribute band, bar patrons and employees for three days at an inn.