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5 Most Important Moments In The ‘1883’ Series Premiere

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5 Most Important Moments In The ‘1883’ Series Premiere

Yee-haw, Yellowstone fans! The premiere of Taylor Sheridan’s highly-anticipated prequel 1883 is finally here. Written and directed by the man himself, “1883” brings together all the players we’ll be watching this season, including James Dillard Dutton (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill), whom Yellowstone fans have already had the pleasure of meeting, albeit very briefly. The episode starts off with a devastating flash forward to a Native American attack on a wagon train accompanied by a dreamy voiceover monologue by Elsa Dutton (Isabel May). No other Dutton family member is in sight as Elsa scrambles through the burning wagons, grabs a nearby gun, and confronts a warrior on horseback. He reveals his plan to sell her, and Elsa fires and kills him as he shoots an arrow in her stomach. No wonder Elsa describes the Great Plains as “hell.” Welcome to 1883!

The episode then moves to an earlier time focusing on Captain Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) who is in tears as he discovers that his wife and child have succumbed to small pox. He burns their home with their bodies inside and goes to kill himself, only to be stopped by fellow Pinkerton agent, Thomas (LaMonica Garrett). As the two ride off, they witness John Dutton outwit and outshoot a band of thieves as he protects his horses and his wagon. He’s on his way to Fort Worth to pick up his family at the train station–his wife, Margaret, his daughter, Elsa, his son, John (Audie Rick), his sister-in-law, Claire (Dawn Olivieri), and niece Mary Abel (Emma Malouff). As he navigates the unruly city, Shea and Thomas go back to their office where a large group of European immigrants is waiting to commence a journey west over the Oregon trail. Only a man named Josef speaks English, and from what Shea can gather, these travelers are woefully underprepared for the journey ahead. Shea attempts to recruit James and his family to join their party and help protect everyone, but James refuses.

After a train ride and a couple of face slaps (compliments of Aunt Claire), the Dutton family arrives in Fort Worth. As James and Margaret get a little romantic in the tub, Elsa pines for adventure. She gets it when a drunken man stumbles into her room and attempts to rape her. James kills him and, realizing that there’s safety in numbers, catches up with Shea and agrees to join him and his ill prepared wagon train as they head North by way of the Trinity river.

Let’s break down the 5 most important moments from the 1883 premiere that will have repercussions throughout the rest of the season.

MEET JAMES DUTTON

A former army officer, James Dutton knows his way around firearms. In a stunning sequence, we see the OG Dutton patriarch driving his wagon and team of horses with several robbers in pursuit, Shea and Thomas watch from above as he outmaneuvers and kills his attackers with his rifle. When Shea and Thomas reveal themselves, he just says, “Thanks for the fucking help.” As he goes to take one of the robbers’ horses, Shea warms him against it, saying these thieves run in packs, and if they see that horse, “you’d just be advertising for the next gun fight.”

Discouraged, James unsaddles the horse, giving the animal its freedom. As he climbs back on the wagon, he stops and vomits. From this scene, we learn that James is a man who can handle and inflict violence, but it still doesn’t sit well with him.

FORT WORTH IS DANGEROUS

When trying to store his wagon and horses for the night, James finds out what a shady city he’s in. He’s forced to pay $32 dollars (astronomical for 1883!) for a man to put his belongings in his barn and have someone protect them from robbers. When James asks the barn owner about a hotel for his family, he’s told, “Shouldn’t bring your family here. Should go to Dallas.” The man adds, “If you pull your pistol in this town, Mister, you better know how to use it.” No worries there, friend-o!

James ends up shooting his gun twice in Fort Worth: once when a pickpocket attempts to steal his wallet and again when a drunken man tries to rape his daughter, Elsa, after he stumbles into her hotel room. That’s when he knows he can’t protect his family alone.

JOSEF SPEAKS

Upon Shea and Thomas’ return to the Pinkerton office, a group of immigrants await them. They have paid the men to take them on the Oregon trail and keep them safe. Shea realizes just how tall an order that is when he lays eyes on the people. Josef (Marc Rissmann) is the only one among them who speaks English, thus becoming their leader by default. They have no horses, no food, no supplies, no guns, but plenty of heavy furniture and bedding, and Shea is shocked at their ill preparedness.

When Shea tells Josef they will all have to pay him more money for the journey, Josef is furious, saying the people back home think they are fools and warned them about men who would take advantage of them in America. Shea holds him against the wall and growls, “You have no horses, no guns, you can’t ride, you are a fucking fool for thinking you can travel 2,000 miles with no skills to survive it.” Josef and his companions are then forced to pay Shea the money he needs to hire more men for protection.

A PROPOSITION

After Shea and Thomas approach some cowhands with little luck, they set their sights on James as he sits at the bar having his dinner. Shea comes to him with a proposition: “We’re leading a wagon train north. Figured you might be heading the same way. Could use some capable men and you seem to be that.” James refuses, not wanted to join up with a big party. He tells Shea, “I’m gonna keep heading North till I find land that’s worth the journey.”

Shea observes that James’ has been lucky so far but adds, “Jope you got enough luck left for those coming with you.” Being a Dutton and stubborn, James accepts Shea’s proposition only after his daughter is almost raped and he more fully understands the perils that threaten his family.

SMALL POX IS RAMPANT

Knowing the deadliness of small pox from personal experience, Shea has James and Claire check all the foreign travelers for signs of the infectious disease. As the group strips down naked for inspection, James finds a growing patch of small pox on one unfortunate man’s back. The men quietly tell him to get dressed, find the man’s wife, takes them outside and tell them to leave.

The man is stunned, not quite understanding the gravity of their discovery, and asks what he did wrong. Taking pity on him, Shea tenderly explains: “You didn’t do anything. You have small pox and you’re gonna die. In 3 days, you’ll give it to everyone you meet. If you have a soul, you’ll leave this city, find a river and lay down beside it and die in peace.” He then adds more sternly, “If I see you again, I’ll kill you myself.” As the townspeople of Fort Worth drive the man and his wife out of town, Shea can only ponder the chaos surrounding him and his charges.

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
USA TODAY Sports

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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