Something strange appeared on the teevee last night. The Minnesota Vikings played football, but Brett Favre wasn’t on the field to start the game. How weird is it for Fav-ruh to miss a start? It’s the first time that happened in 297 games, or more than 18 years. Take a second to process that: EIGHTEEN YEARS.
Put it this way: Facebook launched more than 11 years after the streak began. Twitter was created 13+ years after the streak started. YouTube, 12 and a half years. Even Google got its start six years after Favre’s first game under center. Deadspin, the Gawker Media sports site that first informed the world about the size of Favre’s limp dong, didn’t come online until 13 years into the streak.
Kurt Cobain wouldn’t go on to commit suicide for another year and a half, though he had been married to Courtney Love for seven months. Miley Cyrus was a month away from being born, 18 years away from taking salvia bong rips. Click here to see what else has happened since the streak began.
[Yeah, But Who's Their Fifth Starter?!] Cliff Lee turned in the biggest surprise of the baseball offseason, spurning better offers from the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that traded him away when Roy Halladay made himself available. Lee’s signing a reportedly five-year, $120 million guaranteed contract, which means he likely left about $30 million of Yankee money on the table to sign with Philly. Halladay, Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels now make up the best rotation in the sport. Pretty nasty. Totally filthy.
[Envoy to Heaven] He may not have been a household name, but the world lost a diplomatic giant this week: Richard Holbrooke, a man who brought peace to the Balkans, Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, died on Monday after undergoing heart surgery. He was 69. The New Republic has a nice collection of articles about him and by him. And here’s a video obit from CBS:
[France : Jerry Lewis :: Switzerland : Woody Allen?] From the “What could possibly go wrong?” file: “Switzerland is now considering a controversial new bill to decriminalize incest…Marriage between second-degree relatives (aunt/uncle, niece/nephew) is already legal in Switzerland, but the new measure would overturn the ban on consensual sexual relationships between siblings, and between parents and their adult children.” That sound you hear is childless Swiss people complaining they still can’t get laid.
[Tax Deal Comin'] Like the Bush-era tax cuts compromise or not, it looks like it’s coming up for a vote ASAP: “A bipartisan bloc of senators easily propelled President Obama’s tax cut compromise over a key procedural hurdle yesterday, clearing the way for a final Senate vote as early as today, and setting the stage for a potential showdown later this week among divided Democrats in the House.”
[Why ♥ NY? This.] Because a woman with a 400-square foot apartment can still throw a great effin’ party. So good, in fact, that it led to the best quote in New York Times history: “If you can’t afford to hire a bartender,” he added, “you shouldn’t be having a party.”
[Empty Blatter] The uber-corrupt FIFA put the 2022 World Cup in Qatar then denied it had anything to do with the bags and bags of cash being funneled into their trucks. Qatar you say? But don’t they have no alcohol and criminalized homosexuality? Yup. But don’t worry, FIFA President Sepp Blatter says there’s a solution to the prison sentences for gay people: Gays “should refrain from any sexual activities,” he says. Brilliant idea.
[More Facebook Novices] Another maroon in hot water over some controversial Facebook posting. This time it’s a youth football coach in Georgia: “The coach, Frank Samuelson, who led a team of 10-year-olds in the Brookwood Football Association this fall, created the upheaval when he made a series of posts in October that described south Asians as ‘Red Dots’ and Hispanics as ‘Beaners,’ and mocked other ethnic groups and women.” Asians as Red Dots? Someone’s gonna have to explain that one to us. Man, has the world learned nothing from hateful Arkansas bigot Clint McCance’s episode? You don’t post racist and homophobic nonsense on your Facebook wall. You do it in private IMs and e-mails! Sheesh!
[Guns Don't Kill People...American-Made Guns Kill People] The violence in Mexico is well-documented. About 30,000 people have been killed in drug-related murders over the last three years. And in an unbelievable fit of journalism, The Washington Post investigated where they’re getting their guns. Turns out, it’s the “I learned it from watching you, Dad!” commercial all over again. Read the whole piece…but here’s a frightening stat: “What is different now, authorities say, is the number of high-powered rifles heading south – AR-15s, AK-47s, armor-piercing .50-caliber weapons – and the savagery of the violence. Federal authorities say more than 60,000 U.S. guns of all types have been recovered in Mexico in the past four years.”
[Sweet Lew] Wanna know what Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Lew Alcindor looked like as a 15-year-old high-school sophomore? You can! He’s on Ed Sullivan:
[Today in Iowa] An excerpt from Sally Kohn’s first HyperVocal post: “On Tuesday, hundreds of homeowners who have been foreclosed upon or are facing foreclosure will meet with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to demand that state Attorneys General nationwide do more to hold banks accountable and stop wanton foreclosures. Miller is leading the 50-state investigation of the foreclosure scandal. The families traveling to Iowa, representing hundreds of American families organized by National People’s Action, the PICO Network and other community groups, want the banks that created this scandal to be prosecuted and want more mandatory principal modifications of existing loans.”
[You Gotta Have Friends] Michael Moore goes to bat for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, offering to bail him out: “I am aware of the various allegations Julian Assange faces in Sweden. I am willing to act as security for Julian in the sum of twenty thousand dollars USD$20,000.”
[The George Costanza Defense] Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? “A western Michigan school bus driver faces drunken driving charges after authorities say he had five beers at a bar, then left to pick up a load of honor students on a field trip.”
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