The last word on the USA crashing out of World Cup qualifying

Unfortunately for me, I was on assignment last night and therefore missed all the excitement and freaking-out that went on when the USA dropped their World Cup qualifying game to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1, which combined with other results eliminates them from next year’s Russia 2018. 

Make no mistake about it, sitting at home for the 2018 World Cup is a total disaster for soccer in the United States. This sport is still trying to go mainstream in the USA up against football, baseball and basketball. And the biggest platform it has in the USA is the national team’s appearances in the World Cup.

Without a USA squad playing at all in the Cup finals, which they have qualified for every year from 1990 on, who down there is going to tune in? This is a total disaster for FOX Sports, who are stuck with the rights to next year’s tourney. The business for US sports bars hoping to show 2018 World Cup matches to packed establishments, as usual, is up in smoke. This is a total meltdown on many levels, and anyone who says it doesn’t matter whether the USA is in or out needs to get their heads out of the sand. 

For the national team to not make it is a total humiliation, especially given that they play in CONCACAF which is chock full of unimpressive soccer nations. So for them to fail to get out of CONCACAF is akin to an NHL team failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs, it really is that bad. Now, everyone is calling for everyone to be fired, from Bruce Arena on down. Soccer analyst Taylor Twellman went on an epic rant about it last night on ESPN. This rant is surely the most entertaining thing to be shown on ESPN in a long, long time — way better than all this latest Jemele Hill nonsense.

But you know, a lot of favorites are not going to the Cup in Russia: the Netherlands is one of the nations sitting home, too. I notice my ancestral homeland Scotland didn’t make it either. The fact is it’s tough to make it past qualifying and into the World Cup. 

Heck, ask soccer fans here in Canada. We’re used to this.


This is it! Opening night for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights! #VegasStrong

Well, folks, this is a big night for Las Vegas sports fans, as they finally become a major league city with the first regular season home game of the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at T-Mobile Arena.

Granted, it will also be a night to try and start healing after the mayhem of last week. There are a lot of #VegasStrong signs that will line the boards during the game tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. Hopefully, the Knights will give Vegas fans a chance to forget about things for a couple of hours at least. 

It sounds like all of Las Vegas is excited for this game tonight, just based on what I have seen on the live news streams from the Las Vegas TV stations. This is the lead story on all these newscasts there. The good news is people in Las Vegas will actually see the team play on TV tonight, now that Cox Cable has agreed to carry the channel showing their games. Unfortunately, I am going to miss the opening faceoff on TV here in frozen Canada in order to, you guessed it, cover another council meeting.

Movie news: Harvey Weinstein departs, and Blade Runner 2049 underperforms

Here is my movie box office update, focusing on Blade Runner 2049, although I guess the real news from Hollywood is that Harvey Weinstein was removed from The Weinstein Company over sexual harassment allegations. 

I suppose I am not surprised it has now come to this, because there have been endless reports for years about how tyrannical Weinstein was. I guess the other controversy that erupted was that Republicans were accusing Democratic supporters of trying to protect and save Weinstein, pointing in particular to big feminist attorney Lisa Bloom who briefly represented him. They were calling her a hypocrite for doing this. The bottom line, though, is the company’s board has fired Weinstein and may go so far as to take his name off of the company. Anyway, that’s that for him. 

To the main news from the weekend box office, the story is that Blade Runner 2049 has done worse than expected. Yes, it finished in first place, but the weekend domestic gross is only $31.5 million — way short of expectations, although the international opening grosses are going to be $50 mil. Honestly, I don’t get it, yet again, because the original Blade Runner was considered a classic! I thought there would be far more enthusiasm for this effort than what it turned out to be. Then again, what has gone on at the box office has confounded experts all year.

National anthem update: VP Pence walks out after anthem protests in Indy!

It’s Sunday again, and you know what that means, America. Yes, it’s time for yet more national anthem protests in the National Football League.  

This time, however, the happenings on the sidelines were upstaged by Vice-President Mike Pence. He was in the audience in Indianapolis where the Colts were planning a salute to their retired legend Peyton Manning

But then came the anthem, and a bunch of San Francisco 49ers knelt during the anthem, and Pence took the opportunity to get up, and leave.

The left-leaning political people promptly lost their minds on Twitter and called this move a deliberate political act by the Vice-President. Well, of course it is, but let’s face facts: Pence is simply keeping up with the players on the sidelines.

The Veep has free speech rights, too, you know — although I guess he was also following orders. 

Aren’t you fed up yet with all this “politics” nonsense? As for me, I didn’t tune in; I tuned in NASCAR instead. Good choice.

Nate threatens Gulf Coast. Aren’t you fed up yet with hurricanes?!

Well, another weekend, another hurricane. This time, it is Nate threatening havoc. The story here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hurricanes and sick of the bad news.

And I should say a brief word about the ongoing mess in Puerto Rico. I know the anti-Trump piling on has been going nonstop, but if you want some real honest reporting about that situation instead of this usual partisan nonsense, here is what Geraldo Rivera had to say. 

Latest numbers on the Las Vegas tragedy

So, the latest is 59 people have died, 527 injured. 

I have had a hard time processing all of this today. Right now, I feel like crawling under a rock, or sticking some DVDs in the DVD player, just to get away from all the bad news. 

Below, some Twitter tweets.

Nightmare in Las Vegas

I didn’t find out until I woke up this morning all the horrific details of what happened last night at a music festival in Las Vegas, where a shooter opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay and killed upwards of 50 people and injured over 400. Story here. Also, live coverage here.

Tom Cruise and American Made LOSES at the box office!

I’m stunned, folks. The new Tom Cruise movie American Made, with its CIA and drug smuggling storylines, finished with a domestic haul of $16.85 million and lost out to the horror flick IT, which is back on top of the box office with a haul of over $17 million, projected to finish just ahead of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. 

(Update– Monday: Actually, based on today’s figures it looks like the Kingsman sequel pulled out a No. 1 finish after all.)

This ranks among Cruise’s worst opening weekends of all time. Moreover, according to that Deadline: Hollywood article I linked to, only nine percent of people under age 25 bought tickets to see Tom Cruise in this movie. 

Needless to say, some major finger-pointing is now on about this effort, and how badly it has done with Cruise in the lead role. But quite honestly, I don’t get it! This looks like a movie I would actually want to see. Moreover, it is doing very well at Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 87 percent! Yet, audiences rejected it anyway, at least in the domestic market.

I guess all the news stories that ran this summer about how influential Rotten Tomatoes is in convincing people to go to the movies were a bunch of “fake news”, then. Anyway, that’s that.

ICYMI: O.J. Simpson now a free man

So, with everyone focusing on all the latest Donald Trump controversies, O.J. Simpson was able to be released today from Lovelock prison in Nevada in the middle of the night with little fanfare and no media mob. A big change from when he was released in 1995 after he was acquitted of murder charges.

Also, I guess he is not moving back to Florida since it’s obvious Florida wants nothing to do with this guy. No, instead, it looks like our friend O.J. will be residing in my so-called “winter home”. Las Vegas.

Now, the latest national anthem update for this NFL Sunday

Well, here we go again, another weekend of national anthem protests around the National Football League. I understand before their game in London, the Saints opted to take a knee and then all stand up, in an attempt to appease everyone. What a joke.

Meanwhile, conservatives and most football fans remain outraged, and the reason is simple: people are fed up with politics invading the National Football League. It’s no longer even about the message these bend-on-a-knee people are trying to send, because no one cares anymore. Fans have simply had enough, period!

Sports are supposed to be something you turn to in order to escape from all the rest of the BS that is your miserable life. It is especially supposed to be an escape from politics! But now, as is the case in the entertainment world for years, there is no escape.

People have had enough of politics invading the NFL, and invading ESPN, and invading every portion of their lives in America. And Pres. Donald Trump has clearly touched a nerve with all his Tweeting on the issue. He knows this is a winner for him, and a good distraction from all the rest of the problems and ongoing fights engulfing his administration (the latest one being Puerto Rico).

I notice big NFL fan Rush Limbaugh is so turned off that he’s going out and playing golf now on Sundays. To which I say: good for him, he’ll get some good exercise.

Terror incident in Edmonton last night

So, folks, the city I was in a few weeks ago for UFC 215 had an interesting situation last night: namely a lone-wolf terrorist attack. This happened not too far from Commonwealth Stadium where the Edmonton Eskimos happened to be playing football, laying an egg against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled NFL coverage.

Ain’t It Cool News in full implosion mode as we speak

Been reading The Wrap about the full-on implosion happening this week at pioneering film-geek website Ain’t It Cool News. 

It seems site founder Harry Knowles (seen above) has stepped down in disgrace over sexual assault allegations he is facing. Meanwhile, two of their top writers, Eric Vespe (“Quint”) and Steve Prokopy (“Capone”) have disgustedly quit because they want nothing whatsoever to do with this. Well, if Quint and Capone are out of there, then so am I. Done.

Honestly, this looks like another Jian Ghomeshi type of situation (the disgraced CBC host who also left over sexual harassment allegations). It also could be the end of the site as we know it. 

The best thing about it, frankly, were the witty comment sections that ran below all the movie reviews and news. But now it sounds like those are being taken down, too, because of vitriol from readers over Knowles and his conduct. 

It’s too bad Ain’t It Cool News is in total chaos, because it was a good site for a long time, but things definitely sound messed up at the top.

Fun is dead in America. RIP Hugh Hefner

Well, it is a sad day: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has died at age 91. And I think a lot of the fun about America has died, too, right along with him. 

You have to admit, though — he shook things up down there. And that is all I will say on this topic, because if I say any more I will surely be in big trouble.

I’m going to post here some of the Twitter reactions from people about this news — I guess these are all from women who posed in the magazine. Also, suffice it to say, you can surely tell the difference between the uptight people and the non-uptight ones on Twitter, just based on their reactions to Hef.

‘Upset States’ update: Bill O’Reilly was killing it on Hannity last night

Welcome to what surely will become a regular feature at the blog from now on: updates on the regular craziness that passes for life down in the “Upset States of America”. 

First, Bill O’Reilly, hawking his new U.S. history book Killing England, was killing it on Hannity last night on Fox News. I guess it was his first time back on there since he was booted off the air in scandal and controversy a while ago. Both he and Sean Hannity were on a tear, going after Media Matters and the left-leaning Media, calling them left-wing totalitarians, and of course the National Football League for this anthem/flag nonsense. A sample of some of what they had to say is here.

Meanwhile, I notice their ex-colleague Megyn Kelly is on the air mornings on NBC now, and she is taking a radically different approach to what Fox News and CNN is doing, and for that matter, all the rest of the current Zeitgeist. She is now trying to do a politics-free show free of all the political nonsense. And by extension, free of Trump. That’s good!

You would think there would be a market for this more light-hearted approach. Unfortunately for Megyn, and viewers, her Hollywood guests are having none of it. 

Finally, they are clearly upset in Alabama, where GOP voters just nominated the bat-crazy, anti-establishment Judge Roy Moore for the Senate. For examples of how lunatic this guy is, read this.

That is that for that.

Enough with the politics, already. Kingsman: The Golden Circle takes the weekend!

For those looking for any relief from this weekend’s divisive, Trump-inspired, bend-on-one-knee football politics, look no further than the movie box office news where Kingsman: The Golden Circle toppled IT with a domestic haul of $39 million

On the flip side, it was a disappointing haul for Lego: Ninjago, the latest effort of that franchise, at a little over $21 million.

In other movie news, you might be surprised to hear this but the top-grossing superhero movie of the year worldwide happens to be Spider-Man: Homecoming. I know that is a surprise to some people given all the hype about Wonder Woman, but the international markets outside North America really came through for the Marvel flick bigtime, and its overall haul is now past the $874 million mark. 

In other interesting reading, here are the ten biggest flops of the year. 
That is all.

Latest Trump outrage: going after everyone in pro sports!

So, anyway, I guess the latest controversy today in the Upset States of America is that President Donald Trump is going after NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem, calling for them to be fired, and that he also disinvited the Golden State Warriors from coming to the White House the day after Steph Curry said in the press he’d vote against attending the White House. 

So now every single one of these NBA and NFL athletes are at war with President Trump. Moreover, Trump’s “base” of supporters, who are already mad at these players for being so disrespectful during the anthems, are now threatening boycotts of both these leagues.

My suggestion to Trump supporters: follow NASCAR instead, because you know for darned sure those folks will stand up for the anthem! Honestly, folks: what a country. There is no escape from politics down there.

Update (Sunday): here is the latest reaction on Twitter as of Sunday morning. 

And the view from up here in Canada:

Another update (Monday): Oh, great. Trump is now dragging NASCAR into this whole political fracus:

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s response:

I’m spending my day trying to avoid news of this latest North Korea nonsense 

I am at home watching sports on TV, trying in vain to avoid coverage of all the latest North Korea threats and name-calling, especially this week at the U.N.

Such as: Pres. Donald Trump calling Kim Jong-unRocket Man”; while North Korea responds with its own threats, calling Trump a “dotard”. And then the news broke about China telling banks to no longer do business with North Korea.

I gotta say, it’s hard to avoid this. Even today, on a day I am trying to completely devote to college football, I’ve felt the need to tune in occasionally to the South Korean all-News channels online, to see whether their neighbors North Korea have detonated their supposed hydrogen bomb over the Pacific yet. Anyway, if it happens we will know soon enough. For the latest news today about this ongoing story, see here.

Puerto Rico takes direct hit from Hurricane Maria

Maria socked Puerto Rico today; everyone lost their power. Sounds like the worst hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years. All the grim news from CNN.

Also, I wrote up a newspaper column about hurricane season here. Hope I didn’t sound too flippant about the plight of Canadian tourists stuck in hurricane alley: the point is tourists can usually avoid hurricanes simply by looking at the calendar and not booking the trip. 

Earthquakes, snowstorms, terrorist attacks and nuclear bombs are a different story, however.

Earthquake in Mexico City!! Good grief, what’s next?!

Oh, no. On the same day that Cat. 5 Hurricane Maria targets Puerto Rico after destroying Dominica, on the same day that President Donald Trump unloads on “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-Un at the United Nations, we get reports of a powerful 7.1 Richter scale earthquake hitting in the vicinity of none other than Mexico City. This comes on the heels of that other more powerful quake that hit Mexico not long ago.

What else is next, folks?!

It was the “mother!” of all box-office debacles this weekend at the movies!

This weekend, IT took the top domestic box office again with a haul of $60 million, but the story really was the debacle for Darren Aronofsky’s effort “mother!“, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. It bombed completely at the box office with a low $7.5 million haul thanks in no small measure to some epic-bad word of mouth. 

Audiences were turned off so completely by the storyline — an arthouse-y horror-psychological thriller with heavy religious overtones and lots of violence, apparently — that this movie sunk to a CinemaScore of “F”. You cannot get much lower than that, folks, in measuring audience reaction. 

What is odd is this is completely at odds with critics’ reactions. According to Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is at 69 percent! That’s 69 percent of film critics claiming they liked this movie and recommend you go and see it. Yet the audience’s reaction is more like a zero percent! 

I could not put a finger on why the audience reaction was so extreme. And quite honestly, I don’t want to head to the cinema to find out, because this sure doesn’t look like my kind of movie anyway.

No way, Jose! Same for you, Maria! Everyone is fed up with hurricanes

All of North America is surely fed up with all these hurricanes that have been hitting. Right now Hurricane Jose is way out in the ocean but there is concern it could maybe impact the Northeast USA later this week. 

Also, Maria has just formed in the Atlantic as a Cat. 1 and could hit the same places in the Caribbean that got slammed already by Irma, including Puerto Rico. And it could be a Cat. 3 storm by then!

Not again!!!

Parsons Green subway attack, Jemele Hill, Ben Shapiro and more News from Nowhere

So, folks, it is another depressing week of news here at News from Nowhere. I guess the latest bad news has been this Tube terrorist attack at Parsons Green that is yet again the work of Isis. Two arrests have been made and the threat level has now been lowered from “critical”. 

Anyway, it is more for people in the world to think about, in addition to North Korea’s usual antics and all the rest of it. 

As for our friends in the “Upset States of America”, they have had another one of their usual weeks with everyone getting offended by everyone. Business as usual.

The big news earlier this week had to do with ESPN hosts injecting themselves into politics again as one of their hosts Jemele Hill trashed Donald Trump on Twitter, as she Tweeted out “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists“. Trump supporters demanded Hill be fired for these outrageous comments, but instead ESPN gave Hill a slap on the wrist — and allowed her to keep her job

Then came the even more outrageous news that ESPN veteran Linda Cohn was suspended for going on the radio in April and saying ESPN overpaid for sports rights and pointing to politics as a reason for the ratings decline. She’s right! But for some reason, speaking the truth gets you suspended by ESPN while hurling slurs at the President gets you off scot-free. It almost seems like a double-standard at work.

Then, adding to this drama, persistent ESPN critic Clay Travis went on CNN to give his thoughts on this whole situation, in which he repeated what he said earlier in his print column: that the only two things he believes in are “the First Amendment and boobs.” And the entire interview immediately derailed as the uptight CNN host couldn’t believe what he just said

But really, all outrageousness aside, the point Travis seems to be making is a valid one: that freedom of speech really is under attack in the USA, and that there is a double-standard. A good example has been what has gone on for months on end at ESPN, with conservative voices being muzzled while liberals get to rant and rave all the time, to the disgust of sports fans tuning in.

More proof the USA is still crazy: the culture wars are still on! Berkeley was, as usual, the scene of the crime yet again this week, except this time a conservative voice actually was allowed to get a word in, for a change.

Daily Wire editor/pundit Ben Shapiro went in to give his speech to students called Say No to Campus Thuggery, in which he went on the attack against Antifa and these other anti-free-speech fascists who like to shout down dissenting people. 

“Thanks to Antifa, and the supposed anti-Fascist brigade, for exposing what the radical Left truly is; all of America is watching because you guys are so stupid. It’s horrifying, I am grateful, and you can all go to hell, you pathetic, lying, stupid jackasses.”

This speech went ahead amid massive security — $600,000 was spent on protecting Shapiro, apparently — as well as massive Antifa protests outside. These Antifa crazies were accusing Shapiro of being a white supremacist, of being a Trump supporter, of being a fascist, the usual slurs. Anyway, this is more proof of how freedom of speech is under attack in the USA. A speech by a conservative is enough to spark a big panic.

The real problem is it’s “all politics all the time” in America right now. Of course, a week ago we had the Miss America Pageant which was won by Miss North Dakota for the first time in its history — but not before judges put finalists through the ringer in the interview segment, by posing plenty of hot-button questions that encouraged contestants to slam the President.

I guess the latest news out of America is that a cop was acquitted of murdering a black man in St. Louis, so it is violence and protests every night now in St. Louis. 

Isn’t America fed up yet with all this civil unrest? You would think one night would be enough. Also, I understand Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new book out on “what happened” in the election, in which she blames everyone for her defeat

Finally, the Emmys go tonight and it promises to be yet another all-politics left-fest. Such is life in America. No matter where you turn, there is no way to avoid getting politics shoved down your throat whether you like it or not.

That’s all I feel like saying about all this U.S.A. nonsense for now. 

Fight night tonight: Canelo vs. Golovkin!

I am at home, following the social media reaction to this Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin title fight for the WBA-WBC-IBF middleweight boxing title. 

And unlike that Mayweather-McGregor quasi-WWE circus act we got recently, this is the real deal: a real fight for a real title. Unfortunately, I’m too cheap to spring for the pay-per-view as usual, and too lazy to leave the house, so I’m spending my evening looking at Twitter while watching the UFC on TV. Live results here.

Update: And the result is a draw!!! (?)

North Korea drives Irma out of the news, fires missile over Japan again

The last word on UFC 215 in Edmonton

As you know I was at UFC 215. Even though the main event Johnson vs. Borg had to be scrapped and replaced, I resisted the urge to demand a refund from Dana White and went to Edmonton anyway. 

Heck, I figured I might as well go, just to see what the new Rogers Place was all about. After being there I have to say: Saskatoon, you need to do something about SaskTel Centre. Rogers Place really does put that venue and most other arenas to shame. 

As for the fights: the replacement main event, the title fight between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko, went the distance with Nunes winning in a split decision. It was actually far more boring than you might think, given the razor-thin outcome. 

A lot of people thought this was a controversial result and that Shevchenko somehow got robbed, but the reality is Shevchenko did nothing to earn the title. If she had simply bothered to land some blows, she would have won the fight. Instead, both fighters did nothing for most of the 25 minutes. These two spent the entire fight basically dancing around one another, like it was Dancing with the Stars or something. The fans were so frustrated by what they were seeing in the Octagon that they were booing at the end of every round!

At one point, this so-called sellout crowd (there were a few empty seats in there) even broke out into chants of “Let’s Go Oilers” because this fight had no action to speak of. Only in the fifth and final round, when Nunes started landing some blows, did it get even remotely interesting. 

Then, finally, when Bruce Buffer announced Nunes was the winner, the fans booed again — just for the heck of it.

Anyway, despite all the problems with the card, the Edmonton fans were generally enthusiastic about the UFC being in their city. What is remarkable is that this UFC event drew as many people as it did on the same night that the Edmonton Eskimos were playing across town in front of a big crowd, against the Calgary Stampeders. 

As an aside: why the heck is it that in order to see some true major league sport I always have to drive for miles on end — whether it’s been for UFC or auto racing, or Major League Baseball (Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies)(!). I’m sorry, but I’m exhausted from the driving I had to do this weekend, and I really am fed up with constantly hitting the road to see any of the major sports/entertainment options that I’m interested in.

Anyway, it was a good weekend – it got my mind off of the hurricane. I also think this will have to be my last long road trip for a while.

IT hauls in a record September $123 million opening weekend!

I don’t know about you, but there is only so much storm disaster news I can take. So, instead, here is the box office news: the scary, creepy-clown IT movie opened to a September/October domestic record of $123 million! This is also an R-rated horror movie record!

This haul really is unheard of for this time of year, which usually ranks among the worst times for movie box office because so many people are going back to school/work or spending their weekends attending football games. This weekend gross is particularly remarkable because almost the entire state of Florida as well as much of Puerto Rico were out of commission due to Hurricane Irma evacuations and power blackouts. And yet this movie still made $123 million! What a performance this is.

That tells you something about how much people wanted to be frightened at the movies. I guess what’s happening in the world right now isn’t frightening enough.

Hurricane Irma is now pounding Florida

Hi, folks. I am spending my Sunday afternoon at home, flipping between the NFL and YouTube live streams of Hurricane Irma making landfall in southwest Florida. After all the devastation seen elsewhere, the American networks are treating this storm like it’s the coming of the Apocalypse.

Also, I will provide a report at some point of my trip to Edmonton to see UFC 215 last night, but I think that will have to wait until later.

Irma prepares for a direct hit of Florida, leading our News from Nowhere

Welcome to tonight’s News from Nowhere. As has been the case for the last several days in a row, hurricane news dominates yet again as Irma gets ready to sock Florida some time this weekend. 

The news is the eye of this storm will likely miss Miami. Unfortunately, it looks like the Florida Keys, Naples and Ft. Myers are going to be in the bullseye now — and even worse yet, it looks like this will be a Cat. 5 storm when it hits the Keys. The whole Keys now look like they will be blown apart by this storm. Bad news.

As for tonight, this storm is now over top of Cuba and is back to being Cat. 5. with 160 mph winds. It sounds like the tourism companies have been spending the last 24 hours scrambling to get their clients out of Cuba’s hurricane zone. I’ve been tuning in these Cuban radio stations right now, trying to decipher what they are saying in Spanish, and it’s basically nonstop hurricane coverage there. 

Sadly, it looks like the popular resort of Cayo Coco is going to take a direct hit, so that is very depressing news for Cayo Coco fans. Varadero, though, sounds like it won’t get roughed up quite as badly. We’ll see.

In addition to Irma, there are two other hurricanes going on at the same time! Katia is making landfall tonight in Mexico, while Jose is way out in the Atlantic and looks like it will clobber some of the same islands that have already been demolished by Irma. So this really is an active hurricane season, to everyone’s dismay. 

So that is the weather news for tonight. Cheery stuff. Now here is a look at the other, more happier news going on:

How about some good movie box office news, for a change? After a dreadful August that put the exclamation point on a generally awful box office summer for Hollywood studios, it looks like Stephen King’s IT is going to scare up a big opening weekend, with a haul of upwards of $75-to-$100 million, according to estimates. 

And there is more good movie news: the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is now on.

I gotta say it again: I love the supermodels. I guess the big recent news from the modeling world is who’s been named to walk the runway at this fall’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China. A look at the lucky Angels here.

And in more news about gorgeous and talented women: the Miss America Pageant is this Sunday in Atlantic City. 

Finally, the NFL season is on!!!

That will have to be it for the moment.

The Canada curse strikes again: Johnson vs. Borg main event is off at UFC 215!

This UFC 215 event in Edmonton tomorrow night at Rogers Place has taken a major, major hit right at the top of the card. Demetrious Johnson was all set to go for his UFC-record 11th title defence against Ray Borg, but Borg has come down with a viral illness and is ruled unfit to fight, so the fight is off!! Aargh! 

Now, instead of Johnson vs. Borg, the main event is Amanda Nunes v. Valentina Shevchenko 2, a fight which was meant to happen a while ago but which also got called off when Nunes pulled out. Well, folks, this particular fight had better go ahead this time, or else every fight fan in Edmonton will be mad. 

This adds to the UFC’s litany of woes in hosting fights up here in Canada, and particularly adds to their woes in hosting fights in Alberta, where their UFC 149 event in Calgary is still remembered to this day as being one of their all-time worst in history. 

Of course, this UFC Edmonton card is already under a cloud to begin with after former UFC fighter Tim Hague died this year in, get this, a boxing match in Edmonton. So even though this was boxing and had nothing to do with the UFC, all the news reports said “MMA”, so all of MMA in Alberta is under a microscope now because of this. The inquiry into his death won’t be done until after the UFC leaves town now.

Anyway, we shall see how this event goes tomorrow. Please, no more problems.

South Florida looks now like it’s about to take a direct hit from Hurricane Irma

I’ve been following Hurricane Irma as it has made its way through the Caribbean. Good grief, folks, just look at all the pictures the Daily Mail posted of the absolute mess that this storm has made. Its 185-mile winds have almost completely flattened Barbuda, and it has flattened St. Martin, and the entire Virgin Islands has been left in bad shape. It hit Richard Branson’s home on Necker Island, with Branson and his staff riding out the hurricane in a storm bunker

In Puerto Rico, there was less destruction, but the storm still knocked out the power to almost a million people, which explains why I lost the Puerto Rico live feed of their storm coverage on TV. And now the storm is in the process of flattening the Turks and Caicos Islands and the south Bahamas.

Now, Irma is making its way to Florida and the various models are now predicting a direct hit this weekend. Moreover, this is going to impact not just Miami, but the entire state. 

I hope folks there in Florida don’t get brave like Richard Branson, and that they realize what an absolute mess this storm has made already. Hopefully, they have gotten the H out of there before all the gas ran out at all the gas stations. This looks like a really bad situation this weekend there.

That is it for now. As for me, I am now going to go back to watching the first NFL game of the season between Kansas City and New England.

Cat. 5 Irma on track to clobber Barbuda, St. Martin, and other Caribbean locales

This is terrible, folks. Hurricane Irma is now Category 5 and it looks like the island of Barbuda, part of the island nation of Antigua & Barbuda, is about to take a direct hit. I am currently watching the live hurricane coverage from ABS television in Antigua right now on Facebook. It’s a scary situation there. It also sounds as if the island of St. Martin is about to take a direct hit, too, tomorrow. 

The worst of it for these places is the people living there cannot simply pack up their belongings, fill up the gas tank and evacuate like they can on the mainland. They’re pretty much stuck there on the island, unless they’ve already flown out.

Looking at the models you have to start worrying about Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and the north coast of Cuba, too, later this week. Heck, that’s where I was two years ago, and now that same place is under a hurricane watch! I know all these major TV news channels like to focus on what Irma might do to the USA, but this really is looking like a big calamity before we even see any damage done to the USA. 

Labor Day weekend wraps up the movies’ worst summer box office in 25 years!!

Wow, what an awful Labour Day/Labor Day weekend it was for Hollywood grosses, putting a big exclamation point (!) to this summer at the movies. 

The $13.4 million haul of The Hitman’s Bodyguard topped a dismal weekend, the worst Labor Day weekend since the late Nineties. And this entire summer season was the worst summer movie box office in 25 years

I notice this piece at right-leaning Breitbart was gleefully dancing on Hollywood’s grave, talking about how “Hollywood’s problems are permanent and deep“. I’m not so sure about that — a lot of the problems are fixable, in my view. But I do believe Hollywood is out of touch with the masses right now, generally. The political slant is turning lots of people off: at least half the US population, by my estimate. Hollywood needs to quit shoving their liberal politics down people’s throats, and ought to try and concentrate on giving people what they want! Then maybe they might get some more business in the future.

It’s also true what the article says: people really are getting to be more discerning in what they will see, simply because it’s not worth the hassles anymore to go to a cinema and then have it turn into a subpar experience. 

Anyway, as I said before, November and December ought to be better. Then again, how many Star Wars and Marvel and DC movies can you stand? Hollywood needs to come up with some fresh ideas, right now.

Irma is looking like a serious threat to the Caribbean and Florida

We interrupt your CFL football/US Open tennis-watching this Labour/Labor Day, for continuing live hurricane coverage. It looks like Cat. 3 Hurricane Irma is serious business. There is a state of emergency declared in Puerto Rico and real concern that this thing is going to hit south Florida now, at the end of the week. I understand the NFL is considering moving or rescheduling the Miami Dolphins game this weekend versus Tampa Bay.

I guess my real interest is whether the path of this storm impacts any potential winter getaway vacation venues such as Varadero, Cuba. If this hurricane hits Varadero, and it looks like it could, that crosses Cuba off my list for the winter — although, to be honest, I am leaning to Las Vegas anyway for all sorts of reasons, most of them financial. 

Anyway, try to enjoy the day off, folks. 

It appears North Korea has just done a nuclear test!!

Oh, good grief, here we go again. There are reports of a 6.3 earthquake out of North Korea and the reason appears to be a nuclear test! Earlier today the North Koreans were bragging that they had a hydrogen bomb they could potentially put on their ICBMs! I’m tuning in the South Korean all-news TV channels and they are freaking out, and I notice US cable news is freaking out as well.  

Folks, this is the Labour Day weekend. I want to spend this whole weekend watching football games, in peace and quiet. I don’t need this drama.

Next hurricane to worry about: Irma, already Cat. 3!

(Pictured: a different hurricane.)

Not again!! With everyone in flooded-out south Texas still dealing with the aftermath of Harvey, a new hurricane has formed in recent days in the Atlantic: Irma, which is Cat. 3 and is predicted to get to Cat. 5.

This could be the next dangerous storm for folks to worry about. However, the weather forecasters are cautioning people that it’s too soon to say if this storm will be an actual threat to North America. The storm could end up stay in the ocean, for all we know. Also, they are warning people of phoney maps circulating right now on Facebook that supposedly predict the track of this storm — and claim the track is headed straight to Houston. 

Folks, this is total BS at this stage. It is too soon to predict where this storm is headed, we won’t know where it’s headed for another week yet. So all of you need to calm down, already.

Sports radio wars come to Vancouver Monday! Sportsnet 650 vs. TSN 1040/1410!

Just a reminder to our considerable audience in the Pacific time zone that Sportsnet 650 launches on Monday, taking on TSN 1040 and 1410 in the Vancouver market.

Too bad the 650 signal is so terrible, though; you can barely hear it in the Okanagan, where you’re just as likely to hear CKOM Saskatoon on most nights. I guess there is always the Internet.

I notice much of the media commentary on this format change is about “how will TSN radio survive without the rights to the Vancouver Canucks,” who are moving to 650 AM. The tone of this talk is to imply TSN Radio has been decimated, as if hockey is the only sport in Canada

Personally, I think TSN will be fine. Heck, they’re still broadcasting Lions CFL games, and that’s the most important thing.

As for the NHL, TSN 1040 may not have rights to broadcast the Canucks games, but they still have every right to talk about them. Besides, the Canucks stink these days, so no one cares about them anyway.

The last word on the Mayweather-McGregor pay-per-view fiasco

As you know, I had a great time watching the Mayweather-McGregor fight last week. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t. Issues plagued the pay-per-view, with many at home unable to watch the fight card even though they had paid for it. The UFC had the most issues, with a lot of people unable to access UFC.TV on fight night because it was so overloaded. 

This reminds me of my issues trying to watch the National Lacrosse League’s Champions Cup finals game on Twitter back in June, when Twitter inexplicably geoblocked Canadians from watching the game feed. I was boiling mad. So I understand why these fight fans were so upset last Saturday.

I notice on Facebook that Dana White has publicly apologized and is offering full refunds to everyone who had issues with UFC.TV last Saturday. I also notice the reaction from the fans on Facebook was along the lines of “apology not accepted!” and “to hell with the UFC!” 

Clearly, the UFC has a lot of apologizing and begging for forgiveness ahead of them to mollify a ton of unhappy fight fans.

Good way to escape from the real world: go to a movie

Hi, folks. I have been absent from the blog for the last 24 hours or so because I decided I was sick and tired of the real world and the deluge of bad news from places like Texas, and North Korea.

I also decided I was sick and tired of life in Saskatchewan. So last night, I drove to Saskatoon and was out on a date with my hot blonde girlfriend Charlize Theron at the movies. 

All right, I confess: I wish she was my girlfriend. Charlize was actually in the movie. Atomic Blonde

I can definitely recommend it to spy movie fans. Women will like this movie because it’s feminist; guys will like it because Charlize spends 90 percent of the movie absolutely beating up on people and another 10 percent getting naked and having sex with another woman. 

I’m sorry, folks, but this is exactly what guys like to see! Sex and violence! Anyway it’s a good way to get your mind off of flooding news.

And if you are interested in Berlin at the end of the Cold War, and the rock music of the time period, that’s another reason to like it. Can you believe 1989 is 28 years ago already? And speaking of the passage of time: Princess Diana died 20 years ago Aug. 31.

North Korea threatens the whole wide world yet again; fires missile over Japan!

What timing! Right at the very moment that the United States is dealing with some of the worst flooding in history from Hurricane Harvey, this happens!! North Korea fired a missile that went right over top of Japan’s airspace before it disintegrated. Japan is freaking out, the South Koreans are freaking out, and so is everyone else.

Among those freaking out: traders. Dow futures already down 100 points.

Harvey flood news is sad to watch; Houston being flooded

It is literally painful to watch the coverage now from all the feeds about the catastrophic flooding in the wake (former) Hurricane Harvey down in south Texas. I am tuning in the live feeds on YouTube and this really is turning into a national emergency there. 

Now Houston is getting hit by massive floods due to heavy rains from this storm system that is still on top of Texas, I notice even KHOU TV had to evacuate its own building due to the floods there. Worse yet, a lot of people didn’t evacuate and some deaths are being reported. 

And this rain is far from over; the deluge is going to go on even longer. If you are interested in knowing what the forecast for the next few days in that area, here it is.

This is depressing, folks. I’ll keep on following this news as it unfolds.