Tag Archives: Sports Illustrated

The Forever Lazy, my new favorite infomercial product. Jimmy Kimmel has parents torture their kids. And the best sports photos of the year


Admit it: You’re stuck on a holiday gift for someone you love. We’ve all been there.
But my friends (that’s my John McCain voice there, it always creeped me out the way he said it), I’m here with the answer. Although the answer leaves me with so many more questions.

You don’t want to get someone a Snuggie. That’s so 2009. No, what you need is the “Forever Lazy” jumpsuit! Watch along with me at this remarkable infomercial, and marvel at the following:

– At 0:06: Who really fights their blanket that much when they’re sleeping alone?
At :24: Yet another person wearing their “Forever Lazy” while reading. Do you know anyone who reads as much as the people in this video?
– At :29: I wanna know who are all these people who are having so much trouble talking on the phone wearing sweatshirts. Are these special ed people? People from another planet?
– At :39: I’m sorry, I’m calling total B.S. on this one. Three guys watching sports on a couch all wearing one-piece jumpsuits? This doesn’t set off alarm bells in anyone else’s head? And the guy in the middle jumps up so fast I’m worried he’ll get chafing from the “Forever Lazy” in his crotch area.
– at :58: Man I hope all that food the guy’s grabbing isn’t for him. Otherwise he’s going to need a much larger jumpsuit pretty soon.
– at 1:08: OK, if you’re wearing one of these bad boys at a tailgate, A, you’re not getting to talk to pretty girls like these guys are, and B, you are getting your butt kicked, guaranteed.
–at 1:19: “Hatches in the front and back, for great escapes when duty calls!” God I love a good double entendre.

I could go on and on; this thing is two minutes of non-stop goodness. Truly, I so desperately want to be in these meetings where these commercials are planned out. I would love to know what kind of drugs these marketing “geniuses” are on.

**Sports Illustrated, which always has some of the best sports photography in the world, has put out a collection of its best images of 2011. I love so many of these that it was hard to choose which one to put on this blog.
Check them out here; if you don’t have time to look at them all, check out 2, 10, 16 and 19 especially.

**Finally, the evil genius that is Jimmy Kimmel strikes again. He asked his viewers to “fake” videotape themselves giving their kids really awful Christmas presents. The kids’ reactions are awesome, especially the girl with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich about halfway through:

The incredible story of Dick Hoyt and his son. And the greatest school project on pregnancy, ever



What do you say we start the week with some inspiration?

Dick Hoyt and his son Rick have gone on an incredible journey for the past three decades. Rick has been confined to a wheelchair virtually since birth, struck down with cerebral palsy.
Wanting to show his son that he could still lead an active lifestyle, and refusing to allow Rick’s handicap to define the family, Dick started running road races.
While pushing Rick the whole time. They started with 5Ks, and moved on to half-marathons, and then marathons.
And because that wasn’t challenging enough (Dick and Rick actually ran several sub-3 hour marathon times in the 1980s; remember this is a man running while pushing another person in a chair) they started doing triathlons. Yes, Dick actually swam and biked with Rick strapped to his side, or in a boat nearby.

Through heart attacks and illness, through financial problems and divorce, Dick and Rick Hoyt, bonded together through their love and through running, have just kept on going. They have each other and little else, except for the love and admiration of millions who are so glad that from the start of the Hoyts’ crazy odyssey to now, the plight of disabled people has stopped being shoved in a dark closet and has been brought out into the brilliant sunlight.

There is so much we can accomplish with hope, and love, and a good pair of running shoes.
I can’t express how impressive these two are.

Next time you want to complain or worry about your problems, think of a father pushing his son in a chair, showing love the greatest way he can.

Here’s the Sports Illustrated story from last week’s issue by the great Gary Smith about the Hoyt’s, and below is the HBO Real Sports piece in which I first heard of them. If you’re not crying by the end, well, maybe your tear ducts are empty.

**I’ve heard about going above and beyond for a school project before, but this girl takes the cake.
Gaby Rodriguez is a 17-year-old student at Toppenish High School in Washington state.  She was a straight A student, and decided during her senior year that for her senior project, it’d be fun to pretend to be pregnant, to see how her school and the community would react.
And so she did it, for 6 1/2 months she pulled it off. Until last week, when she shocked her school by pulling her “baby bump” out from under her shirt.

All throughout, she wrote down what people were saying about her, and most of it wasn’t positive, as you’ll read.

I think this is beyond fantastic. That a kid would take on such a project to show how stereotypes foster terrible treatment of pregnant teens is WAY more interesting than any crap they show about it on MTV.

Good for you, Gaby.

Thirty-four

MichaelAge5

So I turned 34 on Monday.

Not really a big birthday, landmark-wise. Not close enough to 30 to feel that I’m in my early 30′s, but not close enough to 40 to start freaking out about that big number.

The biggest things that hit me about 34 were this: I’m now twice as old as the typical high school senior, and I’m in the last year of that coveted advertising demographic of 18-34. I know, thrilling.

I always used to get pretty depressed a few days before my birthday; I’d go into a little bit of a funk as I thought about another year gone down the drain.

I’m as optimistic a person as you will ever find (well OK, maybe Richard Simmons and Dick Vitale are cheerier than me), but around August 12 of every year I would get sad. “I haven’t done this yet,” or “I’m only this far along in my career,” all that stuff would bounce around my cranium like a ping-pong ball.

I’ve gotten better about that over the years, starting with my birthday in 2004  (I had a girlfriend then, so that probably was the big difference), but I still get a little bit melancholy.

I look back and ask myself: Is this where I thought I would be by now? Shouldn’t I have done X, Y, and Z by this point in my life? And am I ever going to achieve my dream of working for Sports Illustrated?

It’s not a good way to think, to always be browbeating yourself about what you have and haven’t accomplished, and I do my best to knock those thoughts out of my head when they come in.

I keep telling myself it’s not a race, that there’s no finish line, and that no one who really matters is keeping score of what I have and haven’t done. A long time ago I realized that I have what many others don’t, and that there will always be others with more than me.

Looking around inside my brain today (I like to browse from time to time), I saw a loving wife who will be my true companion until we’re old and gray. I heard from my wonderful parents, who despite their divorce 20 years ago (geez, has it been 20 years?) remain close friends. I heard from the best in-laws a person could ever hope to have.

I glimpsed fantastic and trustworthy friends, some who I’ve known literally since birth, and who now have kids of their own (I’m still having trouble processing that Marc, Tracie and Andrew, three people who knew me when I looked like I did up in that picture, have kids of their own now).

I have a job doing what I love to do, in an industry filled with people determined to keep raging against the dying of the ink.

I get to tell stories of great heroism and courage, and expose shameless liars and crooks, and make a small difference in people’s lives. That’s a damn special thing to get to do every day.

When I’m no longer able to or allowed to do that, it’ll be a hell of a sad time.

The roadmap of my life has brought me here, to this point, and I have to admit: It’s a wonderful view.

Thirty-four will be wonderful, because I’m truly blessed.

Now 40? That scares the hell out of me.

P.S. I think I still have that belt in that picture up there. Boy did I love that belt. And you notice how the socks match the sneakers? In the words of Kevin Spacey from “American Beauty,” that was not an accident.