Heroes Of The Week! (World Series Edition)

Roberto Clemente

Montreal has its long deserved World Series title . . . And okay, so this isn’t what happened on Wednesday night. It was the Washington Nationals who actually won the World Series, but Imma stick with celebrating it under the Expos banner. Because this is the 25th anniversary of the baseball strike of ’94, which led to the cancellation of the World Series. It also canceled out a Montreal Expos team that possessed the best record in the game (74-40) when the lights went dark.

The Nationals season could be titled “The Comeback”. They dug themselves out of a 19-31 start to make it to October. After which they came from behind in the eighth inning of their winner take all playoff game against the Brewers to advance. They weren’t supposed to beat the heavily favored Dodgers in the NLDS, until they came from behind and did just that. And then lost three straight games in Washington after taking the first two in Houston to start the World Series, and so everybody figured this was the end of the Nationals magical ride. Because no team had ever won four road games in a postseason series. In any sport. 

When the Astros went up 2-0 in the 7th inning on Wednesday night, it started to feel as if all the crazy chances the Nats had rode in on were about to turn into pumpkins. And then Anthony Rendon turned on a Zack Greinke sinker that didn’t sink, and then the Nationals were coming back again. All the way back. Again. Twenty five years worth of comeback, painted in red, white and sacre bleu.

On the flip side of all that nostalgic feel good, there’s the MLB. Coming off an historic World Series in which the visiting team won every game, you’d think the league would be riding a wave. But you’d be thinking wrong, on account of the fact that most peeps who might have watched, didn’t, since every game lasted longer than a Ted Cruz filibuster. I mean, how in blessed hell do they expect to grow the game when future fans are fast asleep before the final outs are recorded?

Would it kill Rob Manfred to start World Series games at 7 pm on the East Coast, thereby giving kids a chance to stay up and watch? And would it be such a bad thing if they streamlined the bucco pitching change process instead of making each one a five minute commercial break? And how’s about getting rid of instant replay, which is anything but instant and kills the flow of a game? And don’t even get me started on the juiced balls the league went to during the regular season in an inane attempt to make each game read like an NFL score. The bosses seem intent on ruining the qualities that make it unique from any other game. Why?

The Houston Astros have done just about everything right over the last five seasons, following a painful rebuild in the first half of the decade that saw them lose over a hundred games three years in a row. From the ashes of that rebuild came what looked to be baseball’s next dynasty. And it got cooking in 2017 when the Astros won 101 regular season games and then beat three of the best teams in baseball in the postseason (Boston, New York, Los Angeles) to capture their first World Series title. Over the last two seasons, Houston has arguably had the best team in baseball- best lineup, best rotation, best manager- and they just won 107 regular season games to make it three seasons in a row in which they’ve topped the century mark. And yet, that dynasty hasn’t quite happened the way most of us figured it would. Maybe it still happens, as the Astros are early Vegas favorites to win it all next season. But it just goes to show how hard it is to win, in any sport. And maybe Houston never gets its dynasty, but I wanted to take a moment to recognize the damn good baseball they’ve given the sport.

Once upon a time Josh Hamilton was a feel good story. A blue chip prospect, he was selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 1999 MLB draft. His life was full of brilliant possibilities when a car accident in 2001 changed everything. It led to Hamilton’s addiction to drugs and alcohol and a spiraling journey that saw three teams cut bait with him before his recovery. In 2008, he landed with the Texas Rangers and it seemed as if all those brilliant possibilities had finally shown up. Hamilton made five straight All Star games, won a HR Derby and an American League MVP. He scored a $125 million contract with the Angels in 2012. But things never reached that zenith again as Hamilton battled injuries and then a relapse. For all intents and purposes, his baseball career came to an end in 2017.

Hamilton was arrested Wednesday on charges of injury to a child- a third degree felony-  after being accused of physically assaulting his 14 year old daughter. And now all those brilliant possibilities he once carried with him feel like they happened a million years ago. And how tenuous a thing it is, to have it all.

And finally, Imma take the way back machine to get to my hero of this particular edition. Way back to 1972 and a baseball player named Roberto Clemente. Born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, he received plenty of push back in his climb to the major leagues on account of the fact he was a black man from Latin America who did not speak English. This was a triple edged sword that he overcame by sticking to the lessons of his upbringing.

It served him well, to the tune of a Hall of Fame career in which he was both a National League MVP and World Series MVP. He amassed 3,000 hits, was a four time N.L. batting leader, a twelve time Gold Glover and a fifteen time All Star. But it was his influence off the field that has resonated.

Clemente became the Latino equivalent of Jackie Robinson, as he was one of the first Puerto Rican born players to reach the majors in 1955. Today, almost thirty percent of the league is comprised of Latin born players.

His work off the field is what lands him in this spot, however. Because Roberto Clemente never forgot where he came from, and he understood his responsibility to those in need. His legendary efforts on the field exist on equal footing with his immense contributions off of it. He spent his off seasons doing charity work, bringing aid and hope to those in need. As a result of his example, the Commissioner’s Award- given to the player who ” . . best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team . .” was renamed after Clemente in 1973.

It was a posthumous undertaking, as Clemente was taken from the world he had given so much to on New Year’s Eve of 1972. He was accompanying a relief mission on a plane he had chartered to Managua, Nicaragua after the capital city had suffered a devastating earthquake the week before. It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico immediately after takeoff. So distraught was his best friend and teammate Manny Sanguillen, that he decided not to attend the memorial service. He dove into the waters where Clemente’s plane had been lost instead. His thoughts inside those desperate moments is every bit as relevant almost fifty years later.

We didn’t get nearly enough of him.

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Dead Pool

This week’s episode is gonna be short and sweet, seeing as how I’ve been preoccupied with not paying any attention whatsoever to the news cycle. Blissful? Meet ignorance.

And now what I got of the news . . .

The Houston Astros were losers on and especially off the field this week in the aftermath of their now former assistant GM’s bully tactics towards some female reporters. After dispatching the Yankees in the ALCS, Brandon Taubman yelled “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so fucking glad we got Osuna!”during the postgame celebration. Taubman’s reference was to Astros closer Roberto Osuna, whom the team acquired last season after he had been suspended for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy.

Kudos to Astros manager A.J. Hinch for being the voice of reason and class in the organization. While his organization originally refuted the female reporters’ story, Hinch knew better and said so.

And speaking of lone stars, Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings showed his shine recently when he helped to cover some of the funeral expenses for Atatiana Jefferson. The twenty eight year old Dallas woman was shot and killed by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean while she was watching her young nephew. Barnes is tight with his North Texas people, having handed out dozens of Thanksgiving meals last year. He also sponsored a couple of basketball courts at the Mesquite Boys and Girls Club, where he has hosted youth basketball camps. The dude is a slam dunk of righteousness.

In yet another disturbing incident of fan entitlement last week in the Bronx, some Yankees fans went lower than an entrenched incumbent in an election year. First they hurled bottles and souvenir baseballs onto the field after a replay review didn’t go their way. But it didn’t stop there. Some fans decided to hurl insults at Astros starter Zack Greinke as he warmed up in the bullpen. They referenced his mother as well as his battles with social anxiety and depression. What a sad and disgusting spectacle.

Milwaukee police officer Kevin Zimmerman brings more than a badge and his service issued particulars to the job every day. He also happens to bring a heart and soul whose perspective gleans best case scenarios from trying situations. As he did during a traffic stop recently when he came through for a young mother and her three children. Zimmerman had pulled over Andrella Jackson for driving with an improper registration, after which he saw that her young children were not in car seats. Jackson explained that she’d just bought the car at auction, but could not afford car seats for the kids. Zimmerman decided not to issue her a citation . . and then he bought the kids some car seats. That’s called a good day’s work, and then some.

One minute Marlon Anderson was just doing his job as a security guard at Madison West High School in Wisconsin and the next, he was given a pink slip. The reason? Marlon Anderson uttered the N word at a student he was escorting off the school grounds. This unruly student had been calling Anderson every variation of the N word, as well as the slur itself. The security guard, who’s worked for the school for eleven years finally had the shit of this punk’s fit and told him to quit calling him that word. So the school board made sure to punish Anderson since they have a zero tolerance policy, which is just another way of saying they had their heads up their asses and were not bothering with context in the least.

And finally, U.S. astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir made history last Friday when they stepped foot outside the International Space Station, becoming the first women to go on a spacewalk together. 

The dynamic duo spent more than five hours in space; repairing a failed power controller and then working on some ‘get ahead tasks’ for the space station. There was no sign of Sandra Bullock or George Clooney, and there was no need to go looking for ’em. These superwomen achieved a literal top billing, giving wings to some little girl in her backyard with dreams of touching the stars one day.

So accomplished and yet so very humble, they made sure to give thanks to those who came before them.

” . . . we recognize that it is a historic achievement and we do of course want to give credit for all those who came before us,” Meir said. “There has been a long line of female scientists, explorers, engineers and astronauts and we have followed in their footsteps to get us where we are today.”

Now that is what I call girl power.

 

 

 

There Is A “Me” In Team

I was asked recently what character I would be in the Walking Dead series, to which I pondered my answer with equal parts so and frito whilst tumbling a couple fingers worth of a deftly constructed swim of smoky caramelo.

“They ain’t written him yet,” Was my answer.

“How about Rick? You’ve got the beard and you’ve got the swagger . . .”

For one thing, my swagger is more a matter of compromised structural integrity. Add to that the fact that Rick was much too fastidious when it came to the ‘team’ concept, which is something I’ve always been dubious about. It’s been that way since I quit Boy Scouts after slugging a fat bully because he was picking on my best friend Mark Luis. The incident taught me a lot about the implicit danger in buying into something whilst eschewing common sense. I’m not damning the concept of teamwork. Just the obligatory lockstep too many peeps buy into, after which they refute all manner of that common sense and in the most egregious examples, human decency.

I played wide receiver in high school to great success. I wasn’t the fastest or the strongest but I had skilled hands on the level of a diamond cutter. If the quarterback had to throw it up for grabs- which is really all a high school quarterback ever does- I was the one he threw it to, because I didn’t miss. For a hot second- until both my knees got busted up- I dreamed of playing college ball.

I wanted to play for Penn State, for Joe Paterno. Because he was the antithesis of all the coaches I’d experienced in my young life. My high school coaches were bitter men whose locker room talk consisted of calling young men ‘pussies’ if they got injured and couldn’t play. They leered at girls who could have been their daughters and considered women to be little more than obscene parodies. When peeps ask why the #metoo movement is so necessary . . I’ve got my answer all locked and loaded.

Having moved to Lancaster county in 1986, I witnessed first hand the grip Penn State football had on a community and a state. This fervent dedication to an individual, and to his vision of what teamwork was supposed to look like was unwavering in its obsessiveness.

Working retail while going to school at night, my free time was spent with girls who, even if they didn’t follow sports, knew Penn State football. To say it was a religion is not an understatement. It was during this time that I scored a manager’s gig at K-Mart whilst learning under the roughly hewn tutelage of Joe Hewitt.

Joe was a forty something retail lifer who smoked his three meals and ate occasionally. He cursed like a sailor, but he was the genuine article. His Alma mater was Pitt University, and so when he would talk shit about State, I took it as the predictable rantings of an alumnus who was screaming and kicking at his second fiddle status.

Over time, I came to learn differently. Joe had played a couple years of college ball, and had actually met Paterno a handful of times.

“Don’t believe what they tell you about this guy, kid. He’s not a Saint, not even close . .”

Of course, Joe Hewitt was right. And of course it didn’t matter in the twenty five years between my working with him and the arrest of Jerry Sandusky on charges of rape and child sexual abuse. And if you live in Penn State country? It still doesn’t matter to many.

Because as great as head football coach James Franklin has been for a university in desperate need of good men like him, there is still an appreciable divide between the people who accept the new establishment and the old guard who still hold fiercely to Paterno. And the latter is not solely comprised of old white guys who spend their afternoons drowning in menthol smoke at the VFW. Not even close.

Paterno’s team still has plenty of people who defend him in spite of everything that has transpired. Young and old, alumni and transplants, Baby boomers to Gen-X’ers to Millenials . . an insidious religion maintains its creep, like ivy on a structure whose foundation has been blasted into memory and retrofitted to a more logical conclusion.

This mindset is far from unique to State College, of course. The horror of Penn State simply retained its relevancy inside an ever changing news cycle because it involved one of college football’s biggest brands headed up by the supposed Pope of the gridiron. Whose defenders are far less vocal today, but no less tenacious.

Perhaps the greatest misconception of teamwork is that it is inviolable, above reproach. This is its greatest power, and our greatest weakness. People want to belong to that cliched bigger than ourselves mantra, without ever stopping to consider the fine print. And it’s why I consider its vulnerabilities in much the same way I do my so called swagger. Because to think otherwise is to declare myself a buyer.

No thanks, I’ll rent.

 

Heroes Of The Week! (Yin/Yang Edition)

 

Constantine

It’s been a meh week for the boss here at Sorryless, what with the requisite aches and pains associated with another birthday kicking my ass. I was able to get back yesterday with my first run of the week, but alas . . the news kept coming and I had bupkis pie. So this week will be somewhat abbreviated as a result.

Imma go with a Cool vs Uncool theme this week and I’m even breaking out my red and blue highlighter for the proceedings. Star Wars Rules: Blue is bueno and red is not so bueno.

The Cleveland Browns went Hollywood with big names and bigger attitudes. They anointed themselves championship contenders before winning a damned thing, and so it ain’t shocking that peeps are drawing a bulls-eye on them now. And if they don’t watch it, they’ll become just the latest team to talk a better game than they ever played. 

The Washington *Montreal Expos* Nationals were 19-31 on May 23rd and the Beltway was calling for the head of manager Davy Martinez. But these dead men walking turned it around and made October, and then they beat Milwaukee in a winner take all wild card game for the honor of being summarily dismissed by the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers. And then Wednesday night happened, with the Nationals spitting in the face of all their past playoff failures. And it’s why more books are written about baseball than any other sport. 

Bedfellows Of Interest- You’re more likely to build consensus among first graders at a pizza party than to get our elected representatives to come together on basically anything. So it was interesting to see this polarity find equanimity (say that one time fast) on the NBA vs China imbroglio. Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez co-signed a letter to the league, urging them to cease operations in China until the country ends its boycott against the NBA and the Houston Rockets over a pro-Hong Kong tweet by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey. Eight lawmakers signed off on a letter expressing concern that the NBA’s decision to self censor itself sets a dubious precedent. For a moment anyways, that kids table in Washington was busy making sense. 

Say Anything . . Please?- The NBA and its players are a league that has prided itself in taking on social issues, which makes their radio silence dismaying. Of course, it’s not so simple to cut off ten percent of your revenue (which is what China means to the league’s bottom line). But hey, if they are about being woke . . they wouldn’t exactly go broke by speaking up  in this instance. They didn’t have to defend Morey’s support of Hong Kong protesters, but they could have taken a stand for free speech and canceled their scheduled game between the Lakers and Nets. But they played their game in Shanghai . . . quietly, and now I really don’t care what LeBron and Kyrie and the rest of those guys say about free speech once they return to the states . . because it’s kind of too late. 

Sick Puppy- Twenty two year old Brandon Fleury used thirteen different Instagram accounts to stalk the family members of the Parkland shootings. Using aliases such as Nikolas Cruz and serial killer Ted Bundy, Fleury harassed and threatened these people while also posting messages such as this one. 

“With the power of my AR-15, I take your loved ones away from you PERMANENTLY.”

This creepy little asshole was convicted of interstate cyber-stalking and interstate transmission of a threat to kidnap.He faces a maximum of twenty years in prison, which doesn’t seem long enough. 

Thank goodness we still find peeps like Carlos Correa, who manage to fight the madness of gun violence with soulful deeds. The Houston Astros shortstop recently donated $10,000 to the family of a Texas Sheriff’s Deputy who was shot and killed during a traffic stop last month.

Sandeep Dhaliwal was a ten year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and its first Sikh deputy. Dhaliwal was walking back to his vehicle to run a background check on the occupants of a vehicle he had stopped when Robert Solis, 47, removed himself and approached the deputy from behind, shooting him in the head. Solis had been wanted on a parole violation and now faces capital murder charges.

Dhaliwal left behind three children and a wife, not to mention a community that was devastated by his loss. Here was a guy who was the embodiment of an American dream, having become the first sworn officer in Harris County to wear a turban. He was taken down in yet the latest horrible example of what America has become.

So Carlos Correa decided that he could write some small and positive meaning into how this latest tragedy will be remembered. And it wasn’t just money that he gave to this young family. It was the smiles he elicited when he met with them. It was the hugs he received when he talked about feeling a kinship with Dhaliwal after he learned that the deputy had gone to Puerto Rico- Correa’s birthplace- in 2017 to help in the recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria.

The author James Baldwin believed that we can change our prevailing reality in millimeters. His idea was that if we might attain the hardest earned goodness in miniature, it still counts for everything. It’s in the smallest things, the quietest moments that you change the day someone walks through, the thoughts someone possesses.

That’s how you change the world

 

 

Heroes Of The Week! (800lb Gorilla Edition)

Buffy

This week’s heroes is going in a slightly different direction. Don’t blame me, it was corporate’s idea. They’re pushing for expanded lines in lieu of a compromised inventory of worthwhile news. And I can’t says I blame their shell game, seeing as how Congress has been using the model to great success forever.

So this week, without the empirical . . Imma go satirical. But only with the zeros, since the heroes in my list are too good to mess with. And no . .  Trump ain’t invited, because as we are all aware, when you add satire to the satirical, you get insanity. And the world ain’t need more crazy.

And now the news . . .

Nathaniel Collier is honing his skills as a future politician by selling beer for seventy times the ticket price. The bogus beer man charged two fans $724 dollars for a couple pints at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday during the Dolphins scheduled loss against the Chargers. Collier was arrested on charges of grand theft, using a skimming device and attending a Dolphins game. The fan took the incident in stride, “It was still a bargain compared to what I paid for the tickets,”.

When I write these posts up, I’m always on the lookout for something I’ve never felt before. And Chloe Dorsey paid me in full with her superwoman exploits at a state park. The Georgia woman was out for a run when she spotted a deer that was stuck in a metal fence. So she bent the bars to release it . . because of course she can! After running a few hundred feet, the deer got stuck in another fence. And Imma include the video, because it speaks to the fight we need to keep on pushing and the love that fuels the try.

Last Saturday, an unidentified woman climbed over a safety barrier at the African lion exhibit inside the Bronx Zoo and began taunting one of the lions. In the video, the unidentified woman appears totally ignorant as to the job description of the king of the jungle. “I love Lion King as much as the next guy, but people have to realize it’s not real life, for fuck sake!” Said the perplexed lion. “I’ve seen a lot of crazy shit since I moved to New York, but that takes the cake,”

The St. Louis Blues sure know how to close. First they delivered up the franchise’s first Stanley Cup last June, and this past Monday they moved the ice onto Laila Anderson’s ring finger. The club made their super-fan a special part of their title run last spring as she battled HLH, a rare auto-immune disease. And so the victors spoiled their special lady with a 10.6 carat championship ring as a way of saying thanks. This Laila really brought the guys to their knees.

Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr. has resigned after pleading guilty to stealing more than $87,000 from a youth basketball program he co-opted . . co-founded. U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito says Gilliam used donations made to AC Starz to fund a lavish lifestyle that included, “designer clothing, expensive trips and vacations,”. Gilliam’s lawyer insisted that his client never attended an NBA game with the funds, saying “he felt that would be ironically reprehensible,”. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy was said to be ‘shocked’ by the story, as it appears he was unaware Atlantic City had a mayor.

In September 2018, Amber Guyger shot Botham Jean dead when she mistook him for an intruder. Guyger had entered the wrong apartment, after which the Dallas police officer used deadly force on the twenty six year old accountant who was born in St Lucia and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

On Wednesday, Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison for Jean’s murder; a sentence the victim’s mother found difficult to accept, saying that her son’s life “was worth more than ten years,” The sentiments were completely understandable, coming from a mother who had lost her pride and joy in such a senseless way.

Eighteen year old Brandt Jean’s response was extraordinarily different, and it provided both a poignant final chapter to a tragic story as well as questions as to how much time Guyger might serve in prison.

When delivering his impact statement to the court on Wednesday, the brother of Botham Jean chose forgiveness.

“I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail,’’ said Brandt Jean, who, at 18, is 10 years younger than Botham would have been now. “I want the best for you.’’

He then asked the judge for permission to approach Guyger, after which the two engaged in a prolonged embrace. The gesture brought sobs from those in attendance and provided the kind of lesson you just don’t see much of in this world. Here was an eighteen year old kid who didn’t lash out in anger, who didn’t embark on a vitriolic rant directed at the individual who murdered his older brother. Instead he chose what has become the path of most resistance in these modern times: Compassion. And if it can happen inside this most extraordinarily tragic circumstance, it makes you wonder.

What’s the world’s excuse for not trying?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Joker

Welp, the NFL decided to come back for another season, so I would be remiss if I didn’t give you some quick shot predictions for betting purposes only. A top five? Why not . . .

1- Antonio Brown will be traded to the Hollywood Wives
2- Jerry Jones’ quest for a Super Bowl comes up short again. So he buys the Patriots.
3- A 350 lb lineman who’s somehow faster than Carl Lewis is suspended for PED’s. Fans and commentators are shocked!
4- The Dolphins win the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in peaceful co-existence on the field of play after winning one game, by accident.
5- Roger Goodell announces the league will eventually have teams in London, Madrid, Paris and any other European city that doesn’t give a fuck about American football

Autumn Johnson has one cool name, but his outlook on life is even cooler. The six year old South Carolina boy was saving his birthday money for a trip to Disney World when Hurricane Dorian hit Florida. So he took his money and used it to feed evacuees instead- one hundred in all. Run for office, kid . . please?

An American woman tried to board a plane with a six day old baby in her carry on bag. Authorities at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila detained the woman, who claimed she was an aunt. If only all human traffickers were this dumb.

Prez Tweet Funny

Sarah Yerkes just published her first collection of poems (“Days Of Blue And Flame”) at the tender age of 101. Proving that time can be a prison or a gift. The choice is ours. (Shout out to the Delectable Q for this get.)

On April 12, Emmanuel Aranda threw a five year old boy over the third floor railing at Mall of America. The boy suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones but is recovering. Aranda was sentenced to first degree attempted murder and will serve nineteen years in prison. Imma pick him up when he gets released . . .

Disney Streaming Service
Disney Streaming Service! Just Shut Up And Take My Money!

I didn’t realize Popeye’s chicken sandwich fever was a thing until I read about the imbecile in Houston who pulled a gun on an employee when he was informed they had sold out. This follows the imbecile in Tennessee who sued Popeye’s, alleging “deceptive business practices” after driving all over town looking to score a sammy but coming up empty. Here’s an idea, eat a fucking salad.

Bria Montes pens hand written letters. I dig the posterity of her austerity but I really dig the recipient in this instance: An Odessa, Texas police officer. Montes left the handwritten note along with some flowers on his police cruiser to show her appreciation for his service. The good guys won a day, thanks to Montes.

NY POST Cover

On Wednesday, Google agreed to pay a $170 million fine after YouTube was found to have been collecting information . . . from children. Which led to this brief conversation:

Me: Shit like this really pisses me off, because I love YouTube.
Mellow Harsher: You don’t have to use the site, you know.
Me: Are you out of your mind?

Police in Glasgow, Scotland foiled a game of hide and seek that was to be played out in a local IKEA after three thousand people signed up on Facebook to participate. They stopped any customers who looked as if they were there to play a game of hide and seek, which is the funniest Goddamn case of profiling I’ve ever heard of.

Crazy cat ladies best move over and make way for Chella Phillips, ’cause she’s got plenty of company. When Hurricane Dorian touched down in the Bahamas, Phillips took 97(!) dogs into her Nassau home, providing them with food and shelter. Just call her the patron saint of paws.

Coming up next week, I’ve got a special September 11th issue featuring nothing but heroes. Because when the good guys win the day, it feeds the world.

Heroes Of The Week!

Black Widow

Last week’s episode proved that mashups ain’t no joke. I was able to fit in more stories than in any previous Heroes post. This isn’t to say there weren’t glitches, because any good thing comes with glitches. Just ask the peeps at Apple. Using the Speaking Of format caused ‘rollover’, in which one positive or negative story bled into the next with precious little room for a segue salve. But don’t fret, my maintenance crew is looking into the problem and you can look forward to a new and improved version sometime soon.

And now, the news.

Fidel would’ve loved this chick- If lies really do set your pants on fire, they’re gonna need dental records to identify Kayleigh McEnany. In an interview with Chris Cuomo, the press secretary for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign insisted Trump has never lied, after which she went back to the tired old well of blaming the media for every single thing. Kudos to CC for cutting it short with K Mac before she could blame the media for her cluelessness.

What impossible dreams may come- Imagine losing your right leg as a newborn in a chemical fire, after which you spend the next eight years in a state run orphanage in Nanjing, China. That was Scout Bassett’s reality until her entire world changed when she was adopted by a Michigan family in 1995. Some people rest on their good fortune, while others use it as fuel. And that’s what Scout did, winning three medals in the Para-triathlon and two more in the Para World Championships. She recently made ESPN’s “Body Issue”, where she proves that you shouldn’t be afraid of your scars. You should own them.

Luck ’em all!- Andrew Luck’s retirement took most football fans by surprise. But that didn’t make it alright for Colts fans to boo him as he left the field after last week’s game. And it doesn’t mean that Adam Schefter, who broke the story for ESPN, should have waited for Luck to announce it in a presser. And it sure as hell doesn’t mean Dan Dakich gets to rip Luck’s commitment, and people with mental health issues on his sparrow shit of a radio show. Maybe a little high road would’ve done everyone involved some good.

Ain’t no mountain high enough for these two- In 2010, Marine Staff Sgt. Jonathon Blank was serving in Afghanistan when he lost both his legs to an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). His friend John Nelson was nearby when it happened, and while that memory will never leave them, they’ve made sure to make plenty of much better ones in the time between. Nelson recently climbed Mt. Timpanogos in Utah, with his pal Jonathon on his back. 14 miles and 4,500 feet in an epic tag team hike. And they’re not done yet. Next up, they’re going to hike up the tallest mountain in California, Mount Whitney. And they’re gonna do it on Veteran’s Day. Because they can.

The tykes keep teaching us how- Eight year old Christian Moore didn’t think twice when he saw his classmate Connor Crites struggling on his first day of school. He didn’t laugh, shake his head or judge Connor for having a meltdown right in front of their whole class.

Hero Kid

Moore didn’t know Crites has autism or that he finds it extremely difficult to fit in with other kids. All Christian saw was a friend in need. So he did what any good friend would do. He sat with Connor as he cried, and then he held his hand and walked with him into school. No shaming, no blaming. Just love, in a not so random act of kindness that made all the difference in the world to one little boy.

That’s the problem with us adults. We tend to forget the power of compassion, and that it is every bit as much of a currency as all that dope we peddle to make us smarter and richer and stronger and younger. The difference with compassion is that the stuff has no expiration date. It will never leave us broke. Or empty. Or alone. And it is full of the kinds of nutrients that do a body and soul the most good. Lessons.

That picture is worth a thousand of ’em.