Category Archives: Uncategorized

A 12-scoop baseball helmet sundae? Sure. A beautiful gesture from the Boston firefighters, honoring their own. And the 12-year-old who shattered the Girl Scout cookie sales record.

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Unbelievable, that there was another mass shooting at Fort Hood military base in Texas Wednesday. That’s two at the exact same base in five years!  Four dead, many more injured. How much longer until America makes the mental health of our soldiers a bigger priority??? Thought back to the incredible David Finkel book about the subject, “Thank You For Your Service.”  Cannot be said strongly enough, which I felt after reading that book, which anyone would feel reading that book: Mental health care for our soldiers coming back from 10 years of American wars is a huge, huge, HUGE issue that is not being taken seriously enough.
OK, getting down off the soapbox now.

It’s officially baseball season, which to me, given my flagging interest in the sport over the years, means one thing more exciting than the games: Insanely bad for you, high-calorie new ballpark food!

Every year, it seems, the culinary folks at minor league and major league parks try to outdo each other, attempting to set gastronomic records and induce as many heart attacks as they can by concocting disgusting yet delicious ballpark fare (As George W. used to say, this is ‘Merica!)

This year I’ve been reading about enormous hot dogs wrapped in bacon, crazy $30 tacos stuffed with everything, and other fare. But so far I have to tip my sombrero for the best idea to the Chicago White Sox, who have come up with this beauty: It’s a 12-scoop banana split ice cream sundae, contained inside an actual full-size batting helmet.

Now before you get Dr. Oz on the phone, the White Sox it’s not “designed” to be eaten by one person. It’s for the whole family, they say! (still, three scoops per person for a family of four is still a lot of ice cream, I’d say). The mammoth dessert will sell for $17.

I think the first person who eats the entire thing by themselves should get an honorary plaque at Comiskey Park.
And an immediate ride to the nearest hospital.

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**I like to try to find any sliver of good news in any tragedy, and believe it or not there was a tiny bit of it coming out of that horrific Boston fire this week that killed two firefighters.

The widow of one of the firefighters killed, Kristin Walsh, asked her husband’s brave brothers at the firehouse if Michael Kennedy’s ring was there, as it wasn’t on his hand when his body was recovered.

The Boston crew couldn’t find it in the house, so six of them went back to the scene of the fire and spent 90 agonizing minutes, digging up one scoop at a time, looking for the ring.

And miraculously, they found it and returned it to Kristin Walsh.
They can’t bring her husband back, but thanks to incredible diligence and kindness, they at least gave her a lasting piece of their marriage.

girlscoutcookie.girl

**And finally, a hearty Wide World of Stuff round of applause to young Katie Francis of Oklahoma City, Okla. who broke a pretty awesome record last week: The sixth-grader shattered the national Girls Scout Cookie sales record, selling 21,477 boxes during this year’s selling period.

Twenty-one thousand boxes of cookies. Man, Katie must be a hell of a salesgirl. Then again, is there anyone who can really say no to Thin Mints or Tagalongs?

Check out Katie on “Good Morning America.”

The anxiety of school testing day, from both students and teachers. And a World Cup announcer calls a blind date, brilliantly

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Tuesday may have been April Fool’s Day in your world, but I’m here to tell you that I was in a NYC middle school all day and not a prank was to be seen.

That’s because Tuesday in New  York was the day millions of schoolkids, and teachers, had alternately dreaded and looked forward to: The first day of the state English test, the beginning of three straight days of seeing whether students had learned the new Common Core curriculum.

The feeling Tuesday was different, for sure; it was a school I had been at a bunch of times this year, but Tuesday felt a little strange. There was anxiety in the air, both from the students, who obviously wanted and needed to do well, and from the teachers, since New York, like many states, has started using kids’ scores as an evaluation method of their teachers.

Now … I’m not going to get into a whole screed about the Common Core, for or against, because quite frankly this is a public blog and I want to keep my position, temporary though it is as a sub.

I do think, contrary to many, that the Common Core Standards are needed and are a good idea, but they’ve been implemented hastily and teachers haven’t been given the time nor the materials they need to prepare student for them.

But anyway, enough about the test itself. My sympathies Tuesday were with the students. I don’t remember stressing out this much about tests when I was a kid; to see some of these middle schoolers Tuesday, you would’ve thought their life depended on the outcome.

I’m sure they all did fine. But 12 year olds shouldn’t be getting ulcers, you know?

 

**Finally today, this was hilarious. ESPN World Cup soccer announcer Ian Darke calls the “play by play” of a blind date. I laughed hard.

A heartwarming tale of a girls hoops team overcoming tragedy. A TV station gets creative with March Madness highlights. And the man who loved to high-five

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What happens in a person’s life when his greatest triumph comes at nearly the exact same time as his greatest tragedy?

I can’t imagine the conflicting emotions, the joy and the pain, all blending together to make a temporary emotional stew that very few of us have to deal with at the same time.

I was thinking about that a lot last week, as I wrote what I think is my strongest story yet for ThriveSports.com, the new sports site I’ve been writing for, and plugging.

It’s about a New Mexico high school girls basketball coach named Greg Slover, who in the span of one week recently, lost his beloved wife to cancer, then won a state championship with Tatum High.

This was a pretty emotional story to write and report for me: I interviewed several players from the team, and Slover himself, over the phone for a long stretch of time. Would’ve loved to do such a difficult interview in person, but that wasn’t possible.

What I hope comes through in the story I wrote is the courage and love Slover displayed, for his wife and his team; the deep compassion and heart his squad of teenage girls showed the coach they loved, and what can happen in sports when kids feel like they’re playing for a cause greater than themselves.

Sappy and corny and sounding too much like a Hollywood script? Maybe. But it all really happened, which is what makes sports the best stage for human drama I’ve yet to find.

If you get a chance, go into the lives of the Tatum team for a few minutes today. Thanks.

**Next up today, I thought this was brilliant. One of the many, many rules CBS and the NCAA have when it comes to the NCAA Tournament is that non-CBS TV stations across the country aren’t allowed to show highlights of games until 24 hours after they happen.

So what’s Gainesville station WCJB, an ABC affiliate, to do when the Florida Gators are advancing and their viewers want to know what’s going on?
Easy. Just re-create the highlights of the game using people who work at the station.

Check out this short clip of what WCJB put together; I love it!

**And finally, a man named Andrew Maxwell-Parish put a GoPro camera atop a helmet on his head and recorded short video clips of himself hi-fiving strangers.
I was dubious, but this does seem like a really cool video: Amazing to see such a simple, everyday interaction filmed this way.

 

Another insane weekend of NCAA Tournament hoops. Why kids need pets, in adorable photos. And “Jeopardy” turns 50

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Man, what an incredible weekend in the NCAA Tournament.
I love the Tournament every year, of course; it’s like sex and pizza: even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.
But sakes alive (nobody says that anymore, do they?), the last few days have been sensational, even for the Tournament.
The titanic Virginia-Michigan State battle on Friday night (going on simultaneously as the Kentucky-Louisville thriller, and man did America’s remote controls get a workout there). Wisconsin and Arizona going to the wire on Saturday. Kentucky and Michigan trading buckets and playing a wildly entertaining game on Sunday.

A wonderful weekend of hoops, which leaves us with a Final Four of Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Kentucky.

Some scattered thoughts from my hoops-overloaded brain:

– I hate John Calipari. Loathe the man, everything he stands for, and just about everything he’s done in his long, sleazy career. I root against him at all times, even rooting for the hated Tar Heels a couple years ago when they played Kentucky.
But even though I think he’s scum, I have to give it up to him: He’s an outstanding, outstanding basketball coach. This Kentucky team lost 10 games this year, some to really bad teams (South Carolina?), but has played sensational ball the last two weeks. The Harrison twins, Julius Randle, Alex Poythress, all have gotten so much better. I hate to say it, but I think they might win the national title. Here’s the great Pat Forde of Yahoo! on Cal.

– Real happy for Wisconsin and their highly underrated coach, Bo Ryan (above). But man did those last five seconds of the Badgers’ win over Arizona take forever. I like instant replay, but to take 10 minutes on an out-of-bounds call is ridiculous. The refs screwed up twice in the final seconds, with a terrible offensive foul call on the Wildcats, then by reversing the out-of-bounds call.

– Sean Miller of Arizona, by the way, is now the “best coach to never reach a Final Four.” He’s tremendous.
– I know a lot of people bash him because he knows nothing about college hoops, but Charles Barkley cracks me up. Here’s him talking about Shaq:

– Michigan State. What a miserable performance offensively on Sunday. I can’t believe that Keith Appling and Branden Dawson played so poorly in such a big game, and even Adreian Payne didn’t play well down the stretch. Really have to give credit to UConn, tremendous defense they played Sunday.

– Rough day for the state of Michigan. Both big-time schools lost nail-biters. But Nik Stauskas can play for me anytime; what a scorer.

–Finally, not sure who’s going to win on Saturday. My first instinct is that Florida beats UConn, and Kentucky ekes past Wisconsin, giving us an all-SEC championship game in a year that that league was as bad as its ever been.

Whatever happens, it’s sure been a hell of a tournament.

**Sunday was a historic day in game-show history milestones: “Jeopardy,” maybe the best game-show ever invented, turned 50. (My personal favorite game shows?: Gotta go with tree from my childhood: “Sale of the Century,” (loved me some Summer Bartholomew) “Card Sharks,” and of course, “25,000 Pyramid.” Loved me some Nipsey Russell, too).

“Jeopardy”‘s brilliance? Watching it makes you smarter. I have no doubt that much of the useless knowledge I have in my head came from Alex Trebek’s 30 minutes of brain stimulation.

One story and one video to share to commemorate. First, the great Chris Jones of Esquire wrote a little piece about why “Jeopardy” is so great, and then “Saturday Night Live” did a funny parody called “Black Jeopardy” last weekend.

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**And finally, because it’s Monday and nobody wants to be at work but so many of us have to be, here’s a little mood-brightener. Unless you hate babies, or pets, or babies playing with pets. And if you hate all of those things, well, get off my blog.

A site called hoperaised.com has put together 22 adorable pictures of kids playing with their furry friends. The photo above is my favorite, but really, they’re all pretty awesome. I love the one below, too.

Go ahead and click, I guarantee you’ll smile.

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The blind college student who’s become a guru to coaches. A kid’s perfect answer to a math question. And an oldie but goodie of a first kiss

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We start Good News Friday with a pretty remarkable tale from Evansville, Ind., where a blind young man named Bryce Weiler has become kind of a “coach whisperer” to some of the biggest names in college basketball.

Weiler has a 3.66 GPA, calls Evansville basketball games on the radio (despite, of course, never having seen a game), and talks regularly with guys like Brad Stevens and Rick Pitino.

Zak Keefer has written a sensational profile of Weiler in the Indianapolis Star. This is my favorite quote:

“He’s got energy out the gazoo, every single day,” said Evansville coach Marty Simmons, who invited Bryce to sit on Evansville’s bench during home games after meeting him four years ago.

“And he’s got a heart that could fill this arena. At times, you feel sorry for yourself, maybe after a tough loss. I’m in my office, thinking about what I could have done differently. Then he walks through. You’re like, wow. How can I ever think like that when he’s able to do what he’s able to do?”

Go ahead, read this story and try NOT to admire Bryce Weiler. What a fantastic kid. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him coaching basketball one day.

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**Next up, it’s testing season here in New York City, with millions of kids starting to take state-mandated exams next week.

If any of them are as creative as this 9-year-old kid who answered a test-prep math problem in a unique way, I think they’re going to be very successful in life.

If you can’t read the above photo, here’s the question:

“Evan told his class that the people in his family have 14 legs altogether. Quinton said Evan must have seven people in his family. Is Quinton correct? Explain why or why not.”

The student’s answer: “Yes because 14/2 = 7 but not everyone has two legs. Go to http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org.”;

Love it.

**Finally today, a sweet memory from the past. I’m not sure what sparked my remembering this 2011 video of Elliott and his little friend Bowie having a sweet moment, but I thought about it Thursday night and smiled.

One of my favorite videos I’ve ever posted. The look on his face at :53 is just so priceless.

Have a great weekend.

A huge win for college athletes, off the field. A man chains himself to a rest stop, for a very good reason. And hockey player James Neal feels the “love” from fans on Twitter

NLRB.unions

Spare a thought, or a prayer, or both for the brave and courageous firefighters of the Boston Police Department today. One more reason it’s ridiculous that we call athletes “heroic” and “brave.”

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this here or not, but in 1994, in one of my first sports columns at the University of Delaware’s school newspaper The Review, I said that college athletes should get paid.

After all, I argued, they are not allowed to get jobs during the school year according to NCAA rules, and they generate an enormous amount of revenue for their schools, none of which they see.

I was roundly mocked, laughed at, and made fun of the day the column ran. (Mostly by my friends, who were the only ones reading me at that time. But still…)
Maybe I was naive back then, or just ahead of my time. But ever so slowly, many, many others have come around to see the same point of view, and the idea of college athletes getting compensated got a major boost on Wednesday.

In what could be a momentous ruling, or what could be just a blip on the radar of sports news, a National Labor Relations Board ruled that college athletes can now legally form a union.

The ruling, by a regional director of the NLRB, was in response to a case brought by Northwestern football players who argued that they were basically employees of the university.

This ruling could lead to major, major changes in the NCAA, and how athletes are treated, which would be awesome. Yes, I know athletes get scholarships, so of course they’re not being used for “nothing.

But the billions of dollars earned in college sports have been earned on the backs of young, poor athletes for far too long. I hope Wednesday’s ruling leads to these kids getting at least some of the spoils.

**This is definitely my favorite story of the month, because it’s so bizarre. I heard it on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” and they swear it’s true.

A 21-year-old Illinois man named Kevin Walters chained himself to a highway rest stop the other day, to protest that the rest stop was going to be torn down.

Why was this particular rest stop so important? Well, it’s where he was conceived, of course.

Walters told CBS Chicago on Friday that he was angry the Des Plaines Oasis along the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway was being shut down because it had special meaning to him.

“It is a weird story, I must admit. About 21 years ago, my parents were at a Phil Collins concert here in Chicago, and one thing led to another. They ended up at the oasis … and I was conceived there,” he said.

Asked how his parents went about telling him that, Walters said “it just sort of came out just randomly in conversation.”

“They were like, ’Oh yeah, hey, we never really told you how you were born, or your conception,’ and my parents are weird people, so it’s not that surprising,” he said.

Phil Collins.

How many millions of babies were conceived because of that great man’s music!?? “I can feel it, coming in the air tonight…”

The man’s responsible for more sex than Wilt Chamberlain, I tell ya.

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**And finally, this may only be really funny to hockey fans, or to me, or to people who like seeing social media experiments that were well-meaning go horribly, horribly wrong. But my friend George H. sent this to me on Facebook and it completely cracked me up.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have had quite a few dirty players on their team the last few years, one of them being James Neal, who has a habit of concussing other players with his knees, elbows, and the like.

But the other day, as part of a Twitter outreach thing, the Penguins’ P.R. people decided that Neal would have a Twitter chat with fans, and suggested Pittsburgh loyalists send in questions under the “#askneal” hashtag.

Well, a few Flyers fans, and anti-Pens fans responded. Some of their probing questions for the dirty hockey player known as James Neal ….

1.  James, do you get the biggest thrill out of kneeing someone in the head or cross checking them in the head?

2. If you could have any super power, how would you use it to hit opponents in the head?

3. If you opened a bar how cheap would your shots be

4. If a tree falls down in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does James Neal still cross check it in the face?

5.  what favorite memory have you robbed from one of the players you kneed to the head?

There are more, and they’re all funny. Click here for the rest.

I just love hockey fans.

 

Gun control suffers another body blow. Thank goodness for Jon Stewart. And a crazy B.A.S.E. jump off the Freedom Tower in NYC

gunlaws

As I watch gun laws across this nation get looser and looser, I just keep waiting and wondering when does it all end. When will the pro-gun people be happy?

Will owning a firearm and wearing it at all times become mandatory? How about instead of reading and learning to share, we make sure all kindergarten classes have shooting practice with real bullets for the 5-year-olds?

Soon I expect law not only allowing guns in churches, bars and restaurants, but there’ll soon be firing ranges back near the restrooms, so you can order your meal, then go get in some target practice.

I want to laugh at these outrageous ideas, but really, are we that far away from them being reality? Look at this law being passed in Georgia right now, that both the right AND the left say is the most extreme law in a long time: Guns being allowed in bars, schools, restaurants, churches and airports (here’s a question: Under this law, where can’t  you have a gun in Georgia?)

This is a law being opposed by the police in Georgia, by the Episcopal and Catholic churches, and by a majority of Georgians themselves. And yet, far-right wing legislators (and, incredibly, the Democratic candidate for Governor, Jimmy Carter’s grandson) are pushing and supporting it.

The last paragraph of this story is heartbreaking:

The issue is a simple one for Barbara Lawson. On Saturday, the 53-year-old Sandy Springs resident went to Milo’s to tape posters with her son’s picture on the bar’s exterior, demanding it be closed. Her son, Tekilum Terrell, 34, was killed there last April. “My son was killed in a bar with a 9-millimeter gun,” she said. “Without that gun, we’d still have him here. Do we need more guns in bars? After this? Seriously?”

I don’t know how many more mass killings it’s going to take before we turn this gun-worshiping culture around, I really don’t. I would’ve thought a young man walking into an elementary school and opening fire, killing so many innocent young ones, would’ve done it.

But no, apparently that wasn’t shocking or painful enough. So what’s it going to take? How many more have to die?

So freaking sad.

**Thank God we have Jon Stewart to point out the further absurdity of the recent “controversy” regarding President Obama’s appointment for Surgeon General:

The idea that saying anything negative at all about the NRA, even if you’re a doctor, could disqualify you from serving as Surgeon General, is just ridiculous.

**And finally, four guys did a B.A.S.E. jump off the top of the NYC Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center in September.
They just uploaded footage of it to YouTube the other day. And, well, now they’ve been arrested. (apparently they were being investigated before posting the footage.)

Still, fast forward to 2:45 and watch something really, really cool.

A Michigan State star bonds with a sick little girl. A sweet, different take on the “First Kiss” video. And “The Breakfast Club” detention turns 30

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Even at NCAA Tournament time, we still hear so many negative stories about college athletes and college sports, but so many positive ones are out there and deserve to be told.

Here’s one that’s been told a lot: Michigan State senior star Adreian Payne met a sick little girl named Lacey Holsworth about two years ago, on one of the many trips Spartans players make to local hospitals each year. Lacey has been suffering from Neuroblastoma, a rare form of nerve cancer. She’s endured the discovery of a football-sized tumor that consumed her kidney, months with the inability to walk and cancer that’s spread to her neck and pelvic region.

But Payne has helped lift her spirits, calling her, visiting her, going to her birthday party, and having her be his guest at games.

Check out this great story from my colleague at ThriveSports.com, Sean Jensen, about their relationship, and watch this video about them as well: So great.

**You might remember last week I posted a video that had gone crazy viral called “First Kiss,” where a filmmaker asked strangers to come together and kiss for the first time, just to see what happens. It was sweet and cute and funny and awkward.

Well, this one might be even better, though a bit different. The Gay Women Channel on YouTube (yes, there’s such a thing) recruited 15 volunteers who admitted they were homophobic and asked them if they would hug 15 gay men or women, for their “first gay hug.”

The results are pretty interesting, and funny, especially after about 1:30…

**Finally today, we’ve reached a major milestone in the (cinematic) life of Generation X’ers like myself: It was 30 years ago Monday that the famous all-day Saturday detention happened at Shermer High School in Illinois. At that detention, was a brain, and an athlete, and a princess, and a basket case, and a criminal.”

They called it “The Breakfast Club.”

Some thoughts on the first four days of March Madness (but not on Duke losing). Rachel Maddow on the death of Fred Phelps. And Fallon and Billy Joel tune up

Syracuse v Dayton

Here’s what you won’t be reading today at Wide World of Stuff: A several-hundred word rant on the incredibly disappointing and sucky Duke men’s basketball team, which for the 2nd time in three years got bounced out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round by a vastly less-heralded team.

You won’t be reading that because since the game happened Friday afternoon, I’ve had more than 48 hours to stew about it, rant about it to my friends, and basically process it through my sports digestive system.

Instead, I want to talk about some of the other incredible stuff that’s happened in the first few days of March Madness, the greatest event in sports:

– Like the North Dakota State upset over Oklahoma on Friday night, which led to this awesome dancing from players and coach…

And the dancing from that Mercer kid I know I’m already sick of, Kevin Canavari, who played six minutes in their win over Duke but hey, kid’s entitled to celebrate:

– One of the constant themes of just about every upset, or blown lead (I’m looking at you, N.C. State): Missed free throws. It’s the easiest shot in the game, the one where no one guards you, yet every  year at crunch time players miss ‘em. Crazy.
– Not shocking that Duke or Kansas lost early, because they were led by freshmen and sophomores. That’s why Mercer, Stephen F. Austin, and North Dakota State’s wins weren’t shockers; those teams have been playing together for years, not months. They know each other’s games so well.

– I know a lot of people don’t like Charles Barkley as an announcer, and I don’t like him sometimes, too. But he is damn funny.

– Dear CBS: We don’t need to see a little boy in the stands crying over Kansas about to lose, SEVEN times in the last few minutes of the Stanford upset over the Jayhawks. I mean, OK, show the kid once for the human drama, but to keep going back to it is cruel.

– I know that No. 15 Eastern Kentucky didn’t end up beating Kansas, and No. 16 Coastal Carolina lost their steam and fell to No. 1 seed Virginia, but those moments, where the underdog is winning in the second half and their bench is going crazy and the crowd starts to believe this really can happen? Best part of the Tournament, every year.

– Best team I saw over the first four days: Wisconsin. Second-best? Florida.

– Finally, I can’t tell you how infuriating I found that Chris Webber/Burger King commercial, though not as infuriating as any Michigan fan surely did. Chris Webber, if you don’t know, was a major star at UM in the early 1990s, leading the Wolverines to two nat’l title game appearances. You won’t find any of those wins Webber led Michigan to in the NCAA record books, because thanks to Webber taking cash and benefits from agents, all those wins were wiped out.

Michigan was also put on probation thanks to Webber, and the sanctions set the program back years.

And now here he is in 2014, 20 years later, wearing a maize and blue Michigan jersey in a Burger King commercial, making money for himself off his association with Michigan basketball! The chutzpah, the gall, the whatever, of Webber to do that is mind-boggling.

**Next up today, you may have heard that Fred Phelps, leader of the disgusting Westboro Baptist Church and one of the most odious human beings who ever lived, died last week.
Rachel Maddow beautifully dissects the “positive” legacy of Phelps. This piece is so worth your time, to reaffirm that so much hate, can breed so much love and compassion:

**And finally, Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel team up for an awesome musical duet, doing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” thanks to a cool iPad app called Looper.

Seems like Fallon can get his musical guests to do anything.

Good News Friday: An 81-year-old bowls his first 300. The San Jose Sharks do a great thing for a sick kid. And a Medal of Honor recipient and the buddy who fought for him.

81yearold.bowler

And a Happy Friday to you all; whenever you’re reading this I can pretty much guarantee that I’m watching the NCAA Tournament, with a drink in one hand, a bracket in the other, and some sort of sauce stain on my shirt from whatever I just ate. What an incredible first day of games Thursday; four overtime games, and two buzzzer-beaters. Ah, I love the March Madness…

We start Good News Friday with an 81-year-old bowler who had the game of his life last week.

He’s waited eight decades, but now Ray Niedzwiecki of Luzerne County, Pa.  has found perfection on the lanes.

So naturally, he was a little excited about his first 300 game.

Check out this video of Ray getting his 300. Guy’s been bowling since 1949, and finally got a perfect game. Just perfect.

**Next up, an awesome story of a sports team doing well by one of its biggest fans. The San Jose Sharks have an 18-year-old superfan named Sam Tageson, who was born with a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and will likely need a heart transplant someday.

Still, Sam plays hockey and continues to defy his doctor.

“The doctors have given up trying to tell him no,” Sam’s mom said.

And thanks to the Sharks Foundation and Make-A-Wish, Sam got to practice on the ice with the team, meet the players and coaches, and then, coolest of all, skate out for warmups through the “Shark Head” all the players skate through before a game. It’s the first time a non-player has ever been allowed to do that.
Watch this video and realize, once again, how much power a small gesture of kindness can really have.

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**And finally, props to my friend Andrew for pointing me toward this wonderful story of friendship and loyalty. You may have seen this week that 24 soldiers were awarded extremely belated Medals of Honor.

The story behind one of the awards is incredible; it involved a 40-year fight, on behalf of the uncle of musician Lenny Kravitz, by a remarkable man named Mitch Libman, who grew up in Brooklyn with future Army private first class Leonard M. Kravitz.

Written by Michael Daly of The Daily Beast, it’s a beautiful story of friendship and persistence. Guarantee you’ll feel better after reading it.