Heroes Of The Week!

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This week in the news, the Senate proved that the invisibility cloak really is a thing, Harvey Weinstein vied for an Oscar at his rape trial and the Kansas City Chiefs filled in for the New England Patriots as Super Bowl champions. So with that roster of ridiculous and sublime headlines, we deserve our Friday edition.

And now your Heroes . . . .

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi belly slides through confetti after the Chiefs 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl 54 Sunday night in Miami.

Nnadi By Nature- Give this kid a mention and he decides to go double or nothing on me. I was just talking up Chiefs defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi‘s school supply runs last week. Evidently, he’s all about getting right to the encore because he’s made Heroes history by going back to back. After the Chiefs got done winning the Super Bowl, it was announced that Nnadi had paid the adoption fees for every single available dog” at every KC Pet Project location.  Do the math and that’s about fifteen thousand bucks. Consider the cosmic beauty of his deed and it’s priceless.

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Sugar Ray- Queen of the Foodies, Rachael Ray, came down with such a case of the feels that she decided to keep the Nnadi-ness going. When she heard about the star’s good deed, she tweeted out an offer to supply free pet food to all of the dogs that are adopted out on Nnadi’s dime. Ray is a passionate animal rights activist who just served up another winning dish for her four legged friends.

What Happens In Vegas Pays In Vegas- The formerly Oakland Raiders are wasting no time endearing themselves to their brand new football home. This week they announced they will be donating $500,000 to tackling meal debt in schools throughout Nevada.

“Today, we want to make a donation to the Nevada Department of Agriculture meal service program, which feeds kids lunch and breakfast at the schools. We are hoping to eliminate the debt that the entire state of Nevada has to do that project, and in that regard we are donating $500,000 to the program,” said Raiders Owner Mark Davis.

The monies will help to make up the difference in school meal debts owed by low income families. Turns out, the silver and black has a heart of gold.
(Props to the Fabulous Q for this story)

A Pizza Their Heart- I know you’re wondering how long this pizza pie stretches to, and Imma tell you it’s not quite long enough to reach the moon . . but not for lack of trying. Pierre and Rosemary Mojo are the owners of Pellegrini’s, an Italian joint outside Sydney Australia. The brother and sister team wanted to do their part in helping those first responders who continue to battle the devastating wildfires in their home country. 338 feet and four thousand slices later, they had a pizza pie all ready for a charity fundraiser. The proceeds will go to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Any way you slice it, that’s amore.

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When Push Comes To Love- Some day, when the world stops spinning and our ancient crib dissolves into a cosmic dust, I have to believe the echos of good deeds will provide a spark that gives birth to a brand new planet. And nestled deep inside the womb will be the moments written into being by Captain Dennis Noble, Driver Engineer Joe Clark and Firefighter/Paramedic Duane Norman.

The trio of Florida firefighters out of Hernando County Fire Rescue provided a safe landing for a family that was stranded on the side of the road. Their vehicle had run out of gas while driving a family member to the hospital, so they called 911 and waited for paramedics. After the patient was treated and delivered to a local hospital, the three family members still had a small matter to resolve; they were left with no money, no gas in the tank and because why not, their tire was losing air to boot.

Enter the Station 11 engine crew members Noble, Clark and Norman. These fellas pushed the stranded vehicle a quarter mile- up a hill no less- to a gas station. They tended to the flat tire and then they paid to fill the tank before sending them on down the road again.

When this new planet gets cooking, these wondrously selfless acts will plant the seeds to fill it. From the echos whose kindnesses will not simply move mountains.

They will make them.

Alphabetically Correct

aFrankAngle said goodbye to the blogosphere on Tuesday evening. If you knew him, you are the better for it. If you’re not familiar, do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes roaming the grounds. Trust me on this.

Buttigieg winning the Iowa Caucus . . maybe . . possibly . . is the first time I’ve paid attention to what the Democrats are up to this year. It’s progress.

Coronavirus is becoming an issue the CDC is digging its mitts into stateside So why I am so indifferent to it?

Dodgers Win World Series! feels like the headline we will read this October after they got Mookie Betts. And really, if they don’t win with this club, will they ever?

Elizabeth Hurley proves that Instagram isn’t a complete waste of time after all.

Fast and Furious movies should move into roman numerals from here on out, because they’re never going to end.

Gayle King is being criticized for bringing up the Kobe Bryant rape charges, because social media has turned journalism into instant pudding.

Hulu’s Tom Brady spot helped alleviate the tension headaches I was having over the idea that he was ready to hang up his cleats. I feel so much better now!

Iguadola to the Miami Heat is my favorite headline of the Association’s trade deadline week.

Jay-Z stayed seated during the national anthem in Miami on Sunday night. And in other news, I am out of Raisin Bran . . .

Kirk Douglas lived one hell of a life. Godspeed Spartacus.

Lego Masters is a television show, so all those peeps who insist the networks are out of original ideas can just eat it!

Masai Ujiri is the President of the Toronto Raptors and the architect behind Canada’s first NBA championship ever. I wouldn’t blame him for taking on the catastrophe that is the New York Knicks job but I hope he passes. Because James Dolan.

Nancy Pelosi needs to find herself an agent and score a sitcom while there’s still time.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is gonna score five Oscars. You heard it here first.

Pete Rose insisting he should be in the Hall of Fame because steroids and sign stealing happened is the dumbest thing he’s said since the last time he talked.

Quarterbacks like MVP Lamar Jackson and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes have me all hyped for next season.

Romney went against his Senate pals, who are miffed. Welp  . . I’m miffed that they’re miffed!

Shannon Doherty is going to need all the love and support she can get after being diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. I’m sending my prayers.

Ted Bundy: Falling For a Killer is a docu-series I watched on Amazon Prime. It is a riveting look inside the personal lives of those closest to this monster. Sobering, heartbreaking and chilling . . it’s worth a look.

USA Today has been around for almost forty years . .  and that makes me feel old.

Vick is a two part documentary on ESPN that I will not be watching. He had a right to make a living after getting out of prison, but I still do not believe it should have been an NFL career.

Wu Yongning was a rooftop climber and social media sensation. The video of him plummeting to his death from a 62 story building is not included in this link. I watched it on YouTube and wished I hadn’t.

XFL football begins this weekend, so please cancel any plans you got . . alright?

Yahoo News feels like an oxymoron and for the most part it reads like one too.

Zazzy is my new old fashioned word discovery. It’s slang from the sixties and it means shiny and colorful. And you didn’t think I’d be able to crush a Z word, did you?

 

 

Joe Pesci Does Haiku

So I got a ticket yesterday afta noon because I was double parked while picking up my dry cleaning. And okay, I grabbed some bagels and a couple lottery tickets  . .  the newspapers, and alright, I stopped in da liquor store and picked up some Chivas because I never wanna be outta the stuff.

I come outside to find this wackadoo giving me a fucking parking ticket! Can you imagine the noive of dis guy? So I tell him “Yo, what’s the deal? I only been gone like tree minutes? Do ya really gotta bust my chops for being away from my car for tree fucking minutes?!” He keeps writing out the ticket and that really pissed me off. So I told him he wasn’t a meter maid, he was a glorified arcade attendant and I mighta said something about his mudda.

He turns to me and with a straight face . . he says to me “Sir, I am a parking enforcement officer” and then he hands me the fucking ticket! So I says to him, “Yeah, and I’m Jimmy Hoffa”.

Da boss asked me to write a haiku about my experience, so I’ll humor the prick.

A cop wannabe

Putzing around all day long

He can go blow me

The End Of Time

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won
As we sailed into the mystic

-Van Morrison

I once wrote that as soon as you take your last breath, a million years will pass in the blink of an eye. The vacuum of time and space belies the tranquility those stars are painting for us inside this tent.

When you think about it, life manages itself just fine in spite of the effort so many of us put into wasting or stealing or borrowing its precious commodity. Its movement is effortless, like a parade inside the ether whose consequences are perpetuated inside one long string of granules whose beaches will eventually run to the other side of that thing called forever.

But where time is neutral, mortality is a locomotive on speed dial; a merciless fire that pulverizes everything in its wake. It does not discriminate the rich from the poor, the good from the awful, the old from the young. When it wants you, it will return you to the mystic from whence you came. Ready or not.

Each time I attempted to write about Kobe Bryant’s passing, I failed. Miserably. And I guess some of it had to do with the fact that I was never that much of a fan. My love for the Association was time stamped inside the halcyon days of Magic, Kareem, Dominique, Bird and Jordan. The last name on that list will always be first in my book. I always respected the generation that Kobe and Shaq carried into the new millennia, but I already had my mind made up when it came to the masters.

But the post was never about basketball in the first place. Oh sure, the tributes from players and arenas across the country were sporting life testimonials to the everlasting hold Bryant will always have on the game he knew and loved. For me it was different. As far as Kobe was concerned, I saw a man who always learned from his trials and tribulations- especially the self inflicted ones. This isn’t meant to sweep Colorado under the rug of idolatry that feeds much of society, because I will not. And I think it’s probably this complicated history that provided the most dubious hurdle for me when I got to writing about last Sunday.

So I remembered back to that line I once wrote about death and its timeless thrust. And this served to cancel out the narrative of a Renaissance man of the hardwood and a legendary college baseball coach. Because when you break this tragic event down to its saddest common denominator, you get nine souls whose forever got lost in the fog last Sunday morning. Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. All of them, gone to the million years worth of mystic that began to unfurl much too soon.

Gigi was thirteen years worth of mighty, and she was going to play for the UConn Huskies someday. Her basketball sister, Alyssa Altobelli possessed that very same fire; she aspired to play ball at Oregon. Her mother Keri was the basketball super mama who fueled Alyssa’s dreams. Sarah and Payton Chester were the ultimate mother/daughter team; with mom coaching up her girl in all things basketball and life. Christina Mauser was the coach for the Mamba Academy team; the mother of three will not be there to celebrate her daughter’s fourth birthday this week. Because a Sikorsky S-76B piloted by Ara Zobayan crashed into a Calabasas hillside, stealing countless chapters from the stories that will forever be unwritten.

My heart breaks for the eighty years worth of living Gigi, Payton and Alyssa never get to have. And I mourn for Keri, Sarah and Christina, who never get to see their girls prom nights and wedding days. And John and Kobe . . . they never get to finish their most important jobs of all; as fathers to young girls who were their heroes.

Gone for a week now, a million years worth of it.

 

Heroes Of The Week!- Super Bowl Edition

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I was behind on my news munch this week so I had to run a hurry up offense in order to get this episode nestled onto its Friday morning doorstep. You could say I winged it, and that’s no guac. But I figured out a way to make this a Super edition by including a member of both the Niners and the Chiefs in my lineup. Yanno, in the name of fairness and world pizza.

And now your heroes . . .

Heart of Gold- Richard Sherman is going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer whenever he decides to hang up his cleats, but in the game of life he is already there.

In November, Sherman wrote out a check for almost $7,500 to the Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, California that wiped out all lunch debt owed to the cafeteria. A month prior to that, he wrote a check for over $20,000 to the Tacoma Public Schools in Tacoma Washington to clear all lunch debt there as well. Since 2013, Sherman’s organizations- The Richard Sherman Family Foundation and Blanket Coverage Foundation- have raised more than $1.5 million dollars to provide students in low income communities with school supplies and clothing.

This dude is already super.

A real Life Saver- For all I know, this might have been Timothy Prather‘s first rodeo. But you’d never have known it from the way the nine year old sprang into action to save his little cousin. Timothy was enjoying a night out at the rodeo when his three year old cousin Connor began to choke. Welp, Timothy knew exactly what to do thanks to a first aid poster he’d taken notice of in the cafeteria at Ramer Elementary School in Tennessee. He applied the Heimlich and dislodged the candy from Connor’s throat. This story had me wondering how many adults know how to apply this life saving move.

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Take this job and shovel it- Remember kids, my heroes run the gamut. They don’t need to score the real world headlines to make mine. They just need to show me some kind of wonderful, and when they do it in the quiet? That’s butter. Fed Ex driver Melvin J. Marlett of Manistique, Michigan supplied the flavor recently when he was delivering a package to Jodi LaFreniere. The kindergarten teacher wasn’t home but the motion sensor on her security camera resulted in a notification text, and when she checked out the video footage, there was Marlett . . shoveling her front stoop. Of all the random acts perpetrated in this crazy world, kindness always works best.

 

Commander and Chief- Derrick Nnadi was a hotshot Florida State prospect a couple years back until a forgettable workout at the league Combine left his pro career in doubt. But the defensive tackle worked his ass off to overcome that blip, and now he finds himself sixty minutes away from a Super Bowl ring.

Nnadi’s hard work on the field is in keeping with the great good work he’s doing off of it. The league honored him as the Kansas City Chiefs Community MVP of the Week back in September for providing a shopping spree to the family of one of the victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting. That’s his hometown, and it’s where his heart will always reside. He’s pretty good at dishing up these shopping sprees to school kids, having done it last summer in his adopted hometown of Kansas City as well.

“As my father says . . we don’t receive . . we give . .”

When the universe listens- Seven years ago, Georgina Laurie had just lost her husband Dennis and life no longer seemed worth living. She slipped into a depression from which it seemed she might not return.

“A year prior to that, I’d had a stroke, so my whole life completely changed and I couldn’t cope with that,” recalls Laurie. “I got really depressed, really down and I really couldn’t see there was a way forward in life for me.

It was on the night when she began thinking about the end of her life that she was able to find a new beginning. She noticed the card for a suicide prevention hotline called Samaritans by her bedside cabinet and gave them a call. She had no intention of being talked down from the ledge her life was balancing on, but that is exactly what happened. So inspired was she, that this grandmother from the UK later made the decision to become a volunteer for the organization. So it was that Georgina overheard a conversation her fellow volunteer Des McCarthy was having with someone who called into the hotline recently. Des was comforting the person on the other end of the line and the words . . well, they brought Georgina all the way back to that fateful night. And that’s when Georgina realized that Des- her mentor and fellow volunteer for the last four years- had been the voice that talked her down from that ledge once upon a time.

There are no coincidences.