Old Baton Rouge sports editor Bud Montet used to run a column called "Random Shots," which I grew up reading. Old Bud was a funny man. In Bud's memory, here are a few of my Random Shots for a warming Friday.
*What was the ugliest ride of the week, Danenarys Targaryen on her dragon or John Daly on his golf cart?
*Zion Williamson is warming up to the idea of playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. A bowl of gumbo and a beignet and he'll be fine. And if the NBA doesn't work out, there's always a home for him as a tight end at LSU. Or with the Saints.
*Tough to bet against the Warriors winning another NBA title. Golden State can lose Kevin Durant, and still win with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. If the Bucks lose Giannis, they're dead. Same with the Blazers and Damian Lillard and the Raptors and Kawhi Leonard.
*Though I'm not a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I always get a tug of nostalgia when the Red Birds come to town. The Cards were my father's favorite team. As a boy in North Louisiana, he heard broadcasts of Dizzy Dean, Pepper Martin and the Gashouse Gang. My first major league game was watching the Cards of Ken Boyer, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and the aging Stan Musial play the Houston Colt .45s. The Cardinals' logo is the best in all of sports, along with the Tigers' Gothic D and the Yankees' N.Y.
*I discovered another Texas writer, Grover Lewis. An early new journalism practitioner for Rolling Stone, Lewis apparently wasn't too particular about facts. In a piece about the making of Peter Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show" in Archer City, Texas, Lewis claims that he and "Last Picture Show" author Larry McMurtry witnessed a redneck beat up Elvis Presley at a Wichita Falls honky tonk. McMurtry in his "Literary Life" memoir convincingly denies the claim. Elvis did give a concert at Wichita Falls in the 1950s.
*With all of the "Game of Thrones" hoopla, the show comes nowhere near to matching the ratings of old network shows like "MASH" or "Dallas." Episodes of "MASH" still appear in Cable TV Land, and I'm surprised at how well they hold up. Again, the notion that HBO invented television with "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" is overblown.
*An eight-part Hulu miniseries of "Catch 22" involving George Clooney? Sounds intriguing, but Mike Nichols' film version dissipated a lot of the book's energy, casting doubt on a TV series doing better. The book's sprawling plot and cast of characters seem beyond the scope of a Hulu production. Perhaps the show will catch the book's essence.
There's a Catch 22 - I'd like to try the show, but I don't subscribe to Hulu. I'm more tempted to return to Joseph Heller's novel to see how it holds up after all of these years. Heller's anti-war spirit was groundbreaking when the book was published in 1961, setting the stage for the later Vietnam War movement. In those Cold War days, Heller's book caught a building wave. The book's anti-establishment spirit might spark again as Trump and the GOP carry out their subversion of democracy and the Constitution.