Muhammad Ali had an airport named after him and other news of the week
The Week That Was Jan. 14-17
Former Penn State football assistant coach Jay Paterno, not letting his late father have all the fun in tarnishing the family’s name, invoked the American Civil War and “societal differences” while writing a pro-Saudi Arabia op-ed in a Saudi-controlled newspaper. Sacramento Kings forward Iman Shumpert, who has clearly never watched Rocky IV or Creed II, tried to storm the Portland Trail Blazers’ locker room to confront Bosnian center Jusuf Nurkic. President Donald Trump, letting Wheaties be the breakfast of champions while he makes trans fats and sodium their dinner, welcomed the national champion Clemson football team to the White House with takeout food from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Domino’s. German automaker Volkswagen, hoping a U.S. women’s national team victory in the upcoming World Cup will take the spotlight off that little $14.7 billion settlement from 2016, agreed to a three-year partnership with U.S. Soccer. Recently hired Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens, who ran because Jeff Fisher walked, said it “drives me crazy that people are happy with 7-8-1. That’s not acceptable.”
Free-agent outfielder Melvin Upton, reaching Muhammad Ali territory of “his mama named him Clay, I’ma call him Clay” name changes, said he is reverting to his former playing name of “B.J. Upton” after initially switching to “Melvin” in 2015. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who once coached a player who threatened to quit football entirely to force a trade from his previous team, called Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown a “diva” for his recent off-field actions. Former NFL head coach Gregg Williams, who will somehow be his new team’s interim head coach 2½ years from now, will be hired as defensive coordinator for the New York Jets. Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh offered a 13-year-old Michigan boy a scholarship for when the seventh-grader graduates from high school in 2024, possibly finally giving Harbaugh a signature win over Ohio State. Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters, like an aggrieved yoga class participant, said, “F— patience” after being limited to 12 minutes in the team’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Louisville Regional Airport Authority board of directors voted to change the name of the city’s international airport to “Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport” but did not mention whether it will be easier for people named “Muhammad” or “Ali” to board a plane there. Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, explaining the plot of White Men Can’t Jump, said he responds to fans who criticize his game by telling them, “Let’s be real … I’ve got a receding hairline, I’m slow and I’m probably not the most jacked-up with abs and all that, but I’m still going to beat you one-on-one. Settle down.” Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia, seeing through his third eye that you can’t make a Super Bowl unless you have a sketchy play-caller to eventually risk losing said Super Bowl, hired former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who infamously called a pass play from the 1-yard line against Patricia’s New England Patriots defense during the 2015 Super Bowl. Rocky actor Sylvester Stallone, who will reconsider his position once the Creed residuals start rolling in, said he regrets having killed off Carl Weathers’ Apollo Creed character in Rocky IV.
Motown legend Gladys Knight was selected by the NFL to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl, almost ensuring that no black player will take a knee before the game. Former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, whose height played no small part in him playing in the USFL and CFL and doing dropkicks by the end of his career, said Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray can make “all the throws” in the NFL despite standing only 5 feet, 10 inches tall. NFL owners, predominantly conservative, old white men who nonetheless believe in fascism (team ownership) and socialism (revenue sharing) and oppose free market capitalism (salary cap), will likely advocate for further health care reform after losing general liability insurance coverage for the pre-existing condition of head trauma.
Illustrations by Nathan Gelgud.