Good News Friday: Shaq dances with Kelly Clarkson onstage, and it’s delightful. A former top FBI man becomes a postal worker, and has never been happier. And a little sister waits for big bro at the bus stop, excitedly.

And a Happy Friday, humans of Earth! I hope you are doing super fantastic wherever you are reading this, we here at WWOS central are getting ready for a Halloween parade on Sunday, some fun activities in town Saturday, and super-pumped for the “any day now, right?” FDA approval of vaccines for my little guys.

Lots of good stuff as always this week (not even going to put in here about my Rangers having won three in a row, but I am pumped about that), but I’ve got to start with the great Shaquille O’Neal, who has more fun on Earth than just about anyone.

Shaq, as I’ve written in this space many times before, is an athlete who gets it: He gets that he’s a role model, he understands how lucky he is, and he just has so much excitement in his life.

This video above is from a recent charity benefit Shaquille and one of his organizations threw, and it starred Kelly Clarkson, who came onstage to perform her big hit “Since You’ve Been Gone.” 

And around the 1:30 mark, Shaq comes out in his purple tux jacket and starts dueting with her, and yeah at first the size difference between the two of them made me chuckle, but then it becomes two people dancing and having fun and it’s just oozing delightfulness.

Appreciate and enjoy life as much as you can. Live like Shaq if at all possible.

 

**Next up today, Steve Hartman of CBS News with another gem last week, about the former No. 4-ranked person in the FBI retiring, getting bored, and responding to the needs of his rural community.

Mike Mason is now a bus driver in Midlothian, Va. school district, and he’s having a wonderful time doing it. Just a wonderful little story of a man doing what he can to help his town.

“We need to get used to the idea that there are no unimportant jobs,” Mason said.

A-freaking-men. Way to go, Mike.

**And finally today, just a short video of a simple joy in life, and in parenting: Watching one sibling be excited at the bus stop, waiting for the other sibling to get off the big yellow vehicle so a warm embrace can be given.

I’ve watched it with my boys, hopefully you’ve watched it with your kids if you are fortunate enough to have them, and it’s a heart-melting moment almost every time.

Just look at this pure, pure joy!

The governor of Missouri threatens to prosecute a reporter for … helping the state government. The “SNL” cold open on the Gruden emails was pretty funny. A and a great idea for a comedy special: A comedian teaches senior citizens to perform.

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My mind, it boggles. It really freaking does.
Some stories that I see make me more than angry. They make me shake my head in wonderment, while thinking “how could one human being, in this high a position of power, be this mounmentally stupid?

We all know that Republican leaders like to demonize and blame the media; it scores them cheap popularity points with their voters. But this… this takes things to a level my brain cannot comprehend.

Check this out: A reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was working on a story for the paper and during his research, he discovered on a state website that the social security numbers of thousands of Missouri teachers were vulnerable to public exposure, thanks to a flaw in the database searching system on one of the state’s websites.

The reporter, who has gone unnamed so far, alerted the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the problem, it was fixed, and the newspaper waited to publish any report on the subject until the sensitive information was removed from being able to be seen by the public.

So this should’ve been a simple thing, with the state saying “hey reporter! Good job and thank you for finding this flaw in the system, we appreciate you helping out and protecting teachers’ privacy! Thanks!”

Except … that’s not the world Mike Parson, the governor of Missouri lives in. Parson last Thursday, inexplicably, vowed a criminal prosecution of the reporter, and a full investigation, calling the reporter a “hacker” and accused the journalist of trying to steal personal information of Missuori teahcers.

“This administration is standing up against any and all perpetrators who attempt to steal personal information and harm Missourians,” he said.

“We will not let this crime against Missouri teachers go unpunished,” Parson continued.” And we refuse to let them be a pawn in the news outlet’s political vendetta. Not only are we going to hold this individual accountable, but we will also be holding accountable all those who aided this individual and the media corporation that employs them.”

I’m sorry, BUT ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME????

This was public information easily found and searched on a state website, and the reporter is a hacker who they’re looking to prosecute??? Jesus H. Christ on a cracker, the reporter SAVED the state the embarrassment of a privacy scandal, and this numbnut governor thinks that, to score points with his base that hates all reporters not on Fox News, he should prosecute the reporter??

Like I said, the mind, it boggles. Absolutely reprehensible.

Here’s hoping someone in Missouri state government convinces Parson what a monumentally stupid idea this is. But my breath, as they say, is not held.

 

**Next up today, I didn’t see this over the weekend but very much enjoyed seeing it Monday. The Cold Open from “Saturday Night Live” featured NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and disgraced coach Jon Gruden, and others, made me laugh out loud a few times.

Especially Colin Jost as Goodell’s line about “kneeling.”

Great stuff.

**And finally today, I’ve never heard of comedian Jo Firestone, but this new idea for a special she had is phenomenal, and I can’t wait to watch it.
In March, 2020, she decided she wanted to teach stand-up comedy to senior citizens. Then the pandemic hit, and she continued to teach the seniors but over Zoom. And week by week, as they improved, she got the idea to make a comedy special out of watching her students learn and improve, and challenged them to all work up some jokes and perform in a live show.

The special is on Peacock TV and it’s called “Good Timing,” and I saw the trailer on Twitter this week and was instantly hooked. It looks fantastic.

Sports gambling, and sports gambling ads, have overtaken and suffocated sports on TV, and I’m sick of it. The Balloon World Cup is the greatest thing you’ll see today. And in the NFL, is Kirk Cousins actually … good now? And a pretty miserable week of games, competitiveness-wise

DFS_games Continue reading

Good News Friday: The great Tony Bennett, at 95, still singing his heart out. “The Golden Girls” as superheroes is brilliant and hilarious. And an L.A. organization helps ex-gang members turn their lives around.

Happy Friday! Somehow we’re already in the middle of October, my wife’s yearly obsession with candy corn this time of year is in full swing (I don’t think there’s any single thing we are further apart on as a married couple; I think candy corn is absolutely disgusting, and she will eat bags of it, happily) and I am very excited about this week’s Good News Friday entries. Also, hockey season has started, yay!!!!!!! (Seriously, check out this pregame opening to the Vegas Golden Knights game against the Seattle Kraken the other night, and tell me you don’t want to go see a game in Vegas.)

I’m even more excited than usual about this week’s Good News Friday stories, and I want to lead off with a remarkable, chill-inducing story from last week’s “60 Minutes” on the amazing Tony Bennett.

Did you know Tony Bennett was about to turn 95 years old, and he still has got an amazing voice? Anderson Cooper followed him for a few weeks over the summer as the great crooner prepared for a couple of “farewell” concerts at Radio City Music Hall, and the story moved me much more than I expected.

We see Bennett’s doting wife helping him along as he battles Alzheimer’s, and we see his friend Lady Gaga (who I have done a complete 180 on, I now think she’s sensational) helping him, and there’s a moment on stage at Radio City, and I won’t give it away, that absolutely had me near-tears.

Here is a man, who all his life has lived in front of big crowds and entertained millions, in his final act, and he barely remembers anything, but he remembers the classic songs that he’s been belting out for seven or eight decades now.

Just a really warm, special piece of television, and I almost guarantee it’ll put a smile on your face.

**Next up, this is just why the Internet, for all its flaws, is such a treasure.

A designer named Kevin Bapp came up with the idea of putting the SuperFriends superheroes into the theme song/opening credits sequence of “The Golden Girls,” and it’s absolutely fantastic and I’ve watched it six or seven times and laugh hard every time. It apparently was done in 2012, but I just saw it for the first time this week on Twitter.

So many fantastic moments, but Batman eating his fist at the kitchen table is just perfect. Enjoy.

**And finally today, checking in with the wonderful organization based in Los Angeles named Homeboy Industries, which takes former gang members and rehabilitates them and helps them find jobs and training in a productive field.

Led by pastor Gregory Boyle, Homeboy has been around for 33 years, and recently they held a fundraising 5K that raised $325,000, and announced a grant of $15 million from the state of California.

This group, like the organization Cure Violence I’ve written about several times, is so important toward helping men and women turn their lives around, and giving them a chance, and some hope, at a bright future.

Love what they’re doing. Love it!

Have a great weekend.

Some thoughts on “Ted Lasso” Season 2, now that it’s over: It was still awesome at times, but a little uneven and strange this year. A new sport taking over Japan: Adult pillow-fighting! And William Shatner going into space reminds of his most awful, hilarious moment.

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I’ve been waiting until all of “Ted Lasso” Season 2 aired before saying anything about it, and now that the season finale was released last Friday, boy oh boy, do I have thoughts.

Ask bartender May to get you a cold one, tell the Diamond Dogs to mount up, and settle in, because “Ted Lasso” is such a fantastic show, was amazing in Season 1, and was pretty damn good in Season 2.

OK, first of all, the show overall was excellent this season. It’s hard for any show’s second season to live up to its first, because as a viewer, all the characters and storylines are fresh and new in the first season, and clearly season 1 was excellent otherwise it wouldn’t have even gotten a season 2.

“Ted Lasso” was still incredibly funny, and the writers took many of the side characters we barely got to know in Season 1, like Sam, Nate, and Higgins, and developed them. The humor and heart that were so obvious in Season 1 were again there in the second season, but a lot of the fun this year was getting to know the ensemble.

— Speaking of bit players who I want more of, give me more Sassy, please! Rebecca’s best friend is 11 kinds of awesome.

— By far my favorite part of the season was the developing of the Roy and Keeley relationship. They are so perfect for each other; her winning charm and adorableness contrasted with his gruff but hysterical exterior. I hate the way the writers threw roadblocks in their way and implied, at season’s end, that they were going to break up.

Don’t you dare break them up, Bill Lawrence and Jason Sudeikis! My favorite scene, among many great ones this season, was this one (below) with poor niece Phoebe and her stinky breath. Roy’s face when she breathes on him … just epic. And his face when Keeley tells him he can’t go beat up a kid, so perfect.

— I thought the best episodes this season were the Christmas episode, which gave everyone something to do, and the funeral one, which had the exact right amount of sadness, humor and heart. It was such a joy to watch.

— The worst episode was definitely the “Coach Beard wanders through London after a tough loss” one. I don’t know what the writers were trying to do there, but I didn’t get it.

— The Ted/Dr. Sharon stuff was excellent, but I feel like we needed more of it. Once we established that Ted’s panic attacks were directly related to what happened to his father in Ted’s childhood, it seemed like we were going to go deep into why Ted is the way he is. But I feel like the show was afraid to go really deep on it.

— OK, the Nate thing … way, way too fast of a transition for him to go from “plucky equipment manager/nice guy who is a benefit to the team once Ted saw his value and championed him” to “obnoxious a-hole who thinks he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and alienates everyone.” I know there were only 12 episodes but come on, that was a lightning-fast conversion, and very hard to take. When Nate finally unloaded on Ted in the final episode, it felt like most of his points were ridiculous and hard to believe.

— I found it very, very weird and silly how they never discussed how the Rebecca/Sam relationship was SUCH a horrible idea because of the power dynamic involved. She owns the team, he’s the star player, and the two of them in bed together was creepy and odd, nevermind the huge age difference.
Still, I couldn’t help rooting for them to work because Sam is such an appealing character but with warmth and humor.

I also loved how much “Cheers” is in “Ted Lasso” DNA (Jason Sudeikis is George Wendt, Norm from “Cheers” nephew), and so loved the “Cheers” callback to a Sam/Rebecca relationship. 

— Finally, I hope the show goes beyond the original planned three years. It’s too good to end after one more season.
Now all of you go out there and be goldfish today!

**Next up today, under the heading of “Japanese people are competition-crazy and will make a sport out of anything,” I give you the annual All-Japan Pillow Fighting Championship.

Yes, that’s really a thing. No words I can use can accurately describe this insanity, so just watch the above video, and realize your kid’s next slumber party would be SO awesome if they did this.

**Finally today, news came last week that the great William Shatner, star of “Star Trek” and so many other things, is going to be a passenger on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin quasi-spaceship this week. Shatner is scheduled to go into orbit today, and when the idea was made official that the 90-year-old Captain Kirk was going to be headed into space, Shatner referenced that he was going to really be a “rocket man.”

So of course, there’s no way I couldn’t greet this news by bringing you maybe the most unintentionally-hilarious piece of video of all time.

Ladies and gentlemen, William Shatner singing the Elton John song, “Rocket Man.” Oh. My. Goodness.

An investigation into a Tennessee judge shows, horrifyingly, the jailing of black children for crimes that didn’t exist. The heavyweight boxing champ wins again, and sings again, joyously. And in the NFL, the Browns and Chargers play a crazy wild one, kickers couldn’t hit a thing Sunday, and God hates the Detroit Lions.

There are so many examples of African-Americans being treated poorly in our society, by government, by the business world, by any group in a position of authority, that it’s easy to sometimes become numb to it.

But this story, wow, did this story enrage me. ProPublica, the fantastic investigative journalism company, published a story a few days ago that made my blood boil. It’s about a county in Tennessee, Rutherford County, and a judge, Donna Scott Davenport, who oversees a juvenile justice system with a staggering history of jailing small children (yes, you read that right.) Sometimes kids are locked up for crimes that don’t exist.

Davenport says kids must face consequences, which rarely seem to apply to her or other adults.

Under Davenport, Rutherford County locked up a staggering 48% of children whose cases were referred to juvenile court. The statewide average was 5%.

Here’s the excellent lede of this ProPublica story:

“Three police officers were crowded into the assistant principal’s office at Hobgood Elementary School, and Tammy Garrett, the school’s principal, had no idea what to do. One officer, wearing a tactical vest, was telling her: Go get the kids. A second officer was telling her: Don’t go get the kids. The third officer wasn’t saying anything.

Garrett knew the police had been sent to arrest some children, although exactly which children, it would turn out, was unclear to everyone, even to these officers. The names police had given the principal included four girls, now sitting in classrooms throughout the school. All four girls were Black. There was a sixth grader, two fourth graders and a third grader. The youngest was 8. On this sunny Friday afternoon in spring, she wore her hair in pigtails.

A few weeks before, a video had appeared on YouTube. It showed two small boys, 5 and 6 years old, throwing feeble punches at a larger boy as he walked away, while other kids tagged along, some yelling. The scuffle took place off school grounds, after a game of pickup basketball. One kid insulted another kid’s mother, is what started it all.

The police were at Hobgood because of that video. But they hadn’t come for the boys who threw punches. They were here for the children who looked on. The police in Murfreesboro, a fast-growing city about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, had secured juvenile petitions for 10 children in all who were accused of failing to stop the fight. Officers were now rounding up kids, even though the department couldn’t identify a single one in the video, which was posted with a filter that made faces fuzzy. What was clear were the voices, including that of one girl trying to break up the fight, saying: “Stop, Tay-Tay. Stop, Tay-Tay. Stop, Tay-Tay.” She was a fourth grader at Hobgood. Her initials were E.J.”

The whole story is just amazing to read, how one judge could get away with so much.

**Next up today, you may remember one of the last great sporting moments before the pandemic was heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury (which is, let’s face it, a PHENOMENAL name for a boxing champion) defeating rival Deontay Wilder and then, because why not, belting out a damn good rendition of “American Pie” to the crowd in the arena.

Well, Fury and Wilder fought another thriller Saturday night, Fury won again, and gosh dang it I love this fella, he decided to croon yet again.

This time it was his own take on the Marc Cohn classic “Walking in Memphis,” with the words changed slightly because Fury was in Las Vegas for the fight.

I honestly don’t know why Fury hasn’t gotten into a recording studio and cut an album. He can REALLY sing!

I love this guy.

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**And finally today, it was another nutso day in the NFL, where nothing was predictable except the Giants and Jets both crashing back to Earth with bad, bad losses. My Jets, let’s face it, are not improving, and the offense looked hopeless in the first half once again.

But there was so much good other stuff in the NFL Sunday, including…

— What a wild, crazy pair of games in Cincinnati and Los Angeles Sunday. First in Hollywood, the Chargers and Browns played a game where the defenses took the day off, as Baker Mayfield and Co. traded blows with Justin Herbert and the Chargers all game, going back and forth scoring touchdowns.

The fourth quarter was bananas, with 41 total points scored just in that frame alone! The Chargers won, 47-42, and wow do they look like a dangerous team this year. The Browns, so explosive, but that defense needs some work.

— And in Cincinnati, Packers kicker Mason Crosby, who’s usually one of the top 2-3 at his position, and had made 25 in a row this season, missed 3 field goal tries in regulation and overtime before converting in OT. The Bengals kicker, Evan McPherson, missed two FG’s in the fourth quarter and overtime as well. For the love of God, can someone get Adam Vinatieri out of retirement?

— Tom Brady threw five touchdown passes Sunday. Tom Brady is 44 years old. Just ridiculous.

— The Detroit Lions, I mean, yeah. God hates them. I think my Jets are cursed, and they are, but the Lions, they’ve got it worse. For the second time in the last three weeks, the men from Michigan looked to have a game won, only to see the opponent kick a crazy-long field goal in the final seconds.

Sunday the Lions scored a touchdown with :37 left, to get within 16-15 of the Vikings, and then coach Matt Campbell, bless him, decided, what the hell we’re 0-4, let’s go for the win, and went for two and got it, so they were up 17-16.

Then the Vikings came down and drilled a 54-yard field goal as time expired to win. The Lions are the first team in NFL history to lose on a GW FG of 50+ yards with no time left on the clock twice in a single season.

I mean… what did they do to anger God? Waste Barry Sanders’ prime?

— Finally, the Buffalo Bills laid a whupping on the Chiefs Sunday night, 38-20, and Kansas City looked nothing like its former self. They also lost two key offensive players to injury, their defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed (thank you, Bart Scott) and the Bills look very much like a Super Bowl favorite.

Remember when everyone said the Chiefs couldn’t be stopped? Nothing lasts too long in the NFL.

Good News Friday: A best friend cheers up his buddy who had a miserable day at school. A malaria vaccine is approved, which is enormous world news. And a beloved hospital chef receives a great honor.

It’s Fri-yay, people! And yes, that’s the first and hopefully last time I ever use the word “Fri-yay.” I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.

It’s fall and we’re going Halloween costume-shopping but the temperature is in the 70s here in New York so we’re all a little confused.
It’s been a week full of exciting sports games (Boo Red Sox beating Yankees, yay Dodgers winning and setting up a great SF-L.A. series) and a ton of good news to share.

Let me start with the joy one can only know when one has had a truly miserable day: And that’s the joy of a surprise visit from your best friend.

From Upworthy.com: “Eleven-year-old best friends Stevie and Owen hadn’t seen each other since 2019, after Owen’s family moved from Chicago to Missouri. Despite several phone calls and FaceTime video game sessions, COVID-19 had made keeping in touch difficult.

But their luck was destined to change last Friday. Stevie Stroud had no idea that after being picked up early from a bad day at school, his friend Owen would be waiting in the car to pay him a special visit.

And Owen had a really bad day, and he gets in the car and … this happens. So, so wonderful.

Just beautiful. There’s nothing like having a best friend, someone who just gets you completely, and someone who when you see them, everything gets instantly better.

I have a feeling Stevie and Owen will be friends for a lifetime.

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**Next up, with all the talk about Covid vaccines lately, and anti-vaxxer nonsense (Hey Kyrie Irving? on behalf of all Brooklyn fans, just get the damn shot please!), I thought this story shouldn’t be ignored.

Malaria, a disease who has killed millions and millions of people throughout history, now finally has an approved vaccine.

The World Health Organization announced this week that it has approved the first malaria vaccine.

Malaria kills about 500,000 people each year, about half of them children in Africa., according to this New York Times story.

“The World Health Organization on Wednesday endorsed the vaccine, the first step in a process that should lead to wide distribution in poor countries. To have a malaria vaccine that is safe, moderately effective and ready for distribution is “a historic event,” said Dr. Pedro Alonso, director of the W.H.O.’s global malaria program.

Malaria is rare in the developed world. There are just 2,000 cases in the United States each year, mostly among travelers returning from countries in which the disease is endemic.

The new vaccine isn’t perfect, but it will help turn the tide, experts said.”

To quote the great Jesse Pinkman from “Breaking Bad,” “Yay Science!”

**And finally today, these are always my favorite kinds of stories, when a person who’s gone about their job anonymously for decades, doing a terrific job, finally gets some recognition.
Meet Danny, who for the past 45 years has been a chef in the kitchen of Miami’s Mercy Hospital.

Danny is a huge Dolphins fan (poor guy, they’ve stunk for decades) and upon his retirement, the hospital had a ceremony renaming the cafeteria “Danny’s Grill” and giving him free tickets to a Dolphins game.

Just look at the joy in his face here. It’s 100 percent correct what has been said: The one feeling everyone in the working world wants most is to feel appreciated.

Have a great weekend.

Some thoughts on this Congress infrastructure bill/debt ceiling mess, and I’m not just blaming Manchin/Sinema. A pretty amazing political ad featuring an unknown piece of history. And a neighborhood in Puerto Rico uses a hilarious way to finally get a pothole fixed

 

So I must honestly tell you that I haven’t gotten too deep in the weeds over this current impasse among Democrats in the Senate, regarding the holdup of passing the budget bill, the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill that is SO badly needed, and the raising of the debt limit ceiling.

I mean, I’ve been reading the headlines, I know the basic details, but I just don’t have the mental bandwidth anymore to get buried in the minutiae of who’s arguing with who, who’s meeting with whom, etc.

But I have some thoughts about why we as a country are once again stuck in this impossible position: We only have one political party interested in governing; the other one, whose heads are Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, only wants to rule by fiat and make laws that appeal to their narrow base of supporters.

So OF COURSE you’re going to run into problems when one party, whose Senate and House majorities are skinnier than Kate Moss in her prime, is doing all the heavy lifting. There are only 50 Democrats in the Senate, plus tiebreaker Kamala Harris, and it’s nearly impossible to get every Democrat to agree on something, even as basic as infrastructure.

–Also? A lot of my fellow Dems are hurling invective at Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, the two “moderate” holdouts who are garnering an enormous amount of attention for being roadblocks to Joe Biden’s agenda.
And certainly they deserve some blame. But you know who I blame just as much? Cal Cunningham and Sara Gideon, two failed Senate candidates in North Carolina and Maine, respectively, for losing very winnable races in 2020. When you have zero margin for error, it’s almost impossible to get anything done. If the Dems had even 52 or 53 Senate seats, than Manchin and Sinema become far less important.

— As frustrating as all of this is, and it is very frustrating for my fellow liberals, it would be so much worse if Trump was still in charge, or if Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock hadn’t won their Senate runoffs. It’s not good that the $3.5 trillion plan is now being reduced to $2.3 trillion, but it’s still much-needed money going into our economy.

— President Biden, bless his heart, still seems to think he can convince some Republicans to vote their conscience, and cooperate. He’s playing the long game in thinking bipartisanship isn’t totally dead. But the sooner he realizes that this Trump-led party will never agree to anything if he’s in favor of it, the better.

— The 2022 elections are really where we’ll find out if Biden/Harris will have any chance to make major legislative progress. If the Democrats can boost its majority, then maybe, maybe, some progressive ideas can fully take hold.

My breath, as they say, is not held.

 

***Next up today, this is a political ad for a race that isn’t even happening this year, it’s a Congressional election in 2022.

But it’s so freaking good, it rocketed around the Internet the last few days and I wanted to share it. Hear the story of Charles Graham, a Democrat running in North Carolina’s 9th district, and what happened to the Ku Klux Klan when they ran into some Lumbee Indians in 1958.

Pretty remarkable history lesson in 2 1/2 minutes. Wow.

**Finally today, I heard this story on “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell me” and got such a huge kick out of it. There’s a neighborhood in a town in Puerto Rico called Orocovis that has had a huge pothole in the road for years. Literally, years. And the residents of the neighborhood couldn’t get anyone in local government to fix the problem.

So a few weeks ago they decided to do something drastic and awesome: They held a fourth “birthday party” for the pothole, complete with costumes and everything.

They sang “Feliz Cumpleanos” to the pothole, they cheered and danced, and tried to bring some attention to the ridiculousness of having a pothole ruin the road for so long.

And what do you know? Four days after the celebration, the mayor of Orocovis made sure the road got fixed.

“Now it is the responsibility of the Department of Transportation and Public Works, to carry out the permanent works in place to guarantee the safety of all those who use this road,” said Mayor Gardy Colon.

Power to the people! Boy I wish we had thought of this when my family and I still lived in NYC; there are some potholes in Manhattan that we could’ve gotten 200 guests to celebrate!

On a glorious day for N.Y. sports, my Jets finally get a win! And I’m excited. Also the Cardinals are best team in football. A great “Sopranos” scene in honor of the new flick coming out. And a wild final day in MLB, as the Yanks and Red Sox make the playoffs, and the Dodgers get screwed by the system.

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Look folks, my beloved New York Jets haven’t won many football games the past four years, so if you don’t think I’m a little pumped up about their wildly imperfect, so-many-ways-they-could-have-lost 27-24 overtime win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, then you don’t know me.

The New York Jets won a game! A real live, NFL game that counts in the standings! Zach Wilson, you showed me a little something, kid! You did nothing for most of the game, but in the fourth quarter and overtime, you finally showed us fans why you were drafted so high.

Wilson made a few incredible throws, two to Keelan Cole, one to Corey Davis for a touchdown, that very few quarterbacks in the NFL can make. He showed poise, he actually had some time to make throws, and despite some really horrible play-calling in overtime (third and goal from the 1, where a touchdown wins the game, and you call A PASS instead of just running it in???), he led the team to the first win of the year.

One and three sounds great! I know they’re still finishing 4-13 or something, but for one day, we Jets fans are allowed to have a little hope.

Couple other NFL thoughts on Week 4:

— Kyler Murray and the Cardinals look like the best team in football. They absolutely hammered the 3-0 Rams, 37-20 on Sunday to move themselves to 4-0, and wow does Murray continue to look like a superstar. I really thought Arizona blew it hiring Kliff Kingsbury a few years ago, but looks like as with many things in life, I was wrong (though I still say those Zubaz pants I wore in high school were super-fly.)

— Of course the biggest storyline in the NFL all week was Tom Brady returning to New England for the first time, as a member of the Bucs. The crowd in Foxboro cheered Brady in the intro, which, duh, of course they should, the guy won you six Super Bowls, and then cheered for the Pats the rest of the way.

I hate Brady and the Pats, so I was really hoping the game would end in a tie. But alas, the Bucs won on a late field goal.

— Great to see the old Saquon Barkley again Sunday, as the Giants got their first win. Barkley is so easy to root for, and seeing him run so free and healthy was terrific.

— Russell Wilson is unbelievable. He evaded a sack on Sunday in the Seahawks’ win over the 49ers and threw a touchdown pass and sometimes you just need to step back and say, wow, this guy is an all-time, all-time great.

— The Chiefs still don’t look right. Patrick Mahomes and Co. beat the Eagles, 42-30, in a game that was much more difficult than it should’ve been. K.C. looks like they’re having a Super Bowl hangover year that a lot of teams that lost the big game have.

**Next up today, the new prequel movie to “The Sopranos,” called “The Many Saints of Newark” was just released on Friday, so naturally it had me and millions of other fans of the show reminiscing and going through YouTube for great scenes of the past.

“The Sopranos” was such a fantastic show; unlike some people I don’t think it’s the greatest thing ever, but it was so well-written and acted and directed. I thought of a ton of scenes I could’ve highlighted here today, from the “Pine Barrens” episode with Chris and Paulie, or something with Carmela and Tony, or one of a dozen other great ones.

But I really, really love this simple scene between Tony and Dr. Melfi. God, James Gandolfini was such a terrific actor.

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**Finally today, Sunday was the final day of the regular season in Major League Baseball, and it was as usual, chaotic and dramatic. We did not get, as I deeply hoped for, a four-way tie for the two American League wild card spots (that would’ve been awesome), but we still got some drama.

Couple quick thoughts on the end of the season and the upcoming playoffs:

— I’m happy, of course, that the Yankees made the postseason, but wow what a wild ride this year has been. They were terrible, then they were unbeatable, then they were terrible again, and now they squeaked in on a bottom of the ninth hit by Aaron Judge to win the final game and make the playoffs. I have no idea what to expect from the Yanks in the playoffs, but Tuesday night, Yankees-Red Sox in a one-game elimination situation at Fenway?

That should be epic. Paging Bucky Dent to throw out the first pitch or something.

— I really wanted the Mariners to make the playoffs. They haven’t made it since the year of 9/11, for God’s sakes, the longest drought in pro sports. But they fell one game short by losing Sunday. Sigh.

— I know these are the rules since baseball expanded to 10 teams, but it seems mind-blowingly crazy that the 107-win Los Angeles Dodgers could lose Wednesday and have their season end.
And equally crazy that a 107-win team and the 108-win Giants will likely play in the first round of the playoffs. Wacky and seemingly-wrong that one of the two teams with the best records in the sport this year will go home early.

— Can we take a minute and acknowledge the once-in-a-century season that Shohei Ohtani of the Angels just finished? He pitched, he hit, he did stuff no one had ever done before in the history of the sport. Just a few of his ridiculous stats this season:
At the plate: 46 home runs,100 RBI, and 26 stolen bases.
On the mound: 9-2 record, 3.18 E.R.A., 130.1 innings pitched 98 hits,156 strikeouts.

Just insane.

— My certainly-to-be-wrong World Series prediction: White Sox vs. Dodgers.

 

Good News Friday: A woman in Louisiana is an angel, feeding line workers helping after the hurricane. A trove of African-American history is finally getting digitized, thanks to the Twitter guy. And a 17-year-old teaches a 101-year-old to dance.

Happy Friday, and Happy October, my fellow humans! The chill is in the air here in New York (it’s like 40-something degrees here this morning, I want summer back) and autumn brings great things. Playoff baseball soon, leaves turning, me and the family are going to do some pumpkin-picking this weekend, I love it all.

Wanted to start Good News Friday this week with another sensational story from Steve Hartman of CBS, of people in Louisiana doing so much good for their helping visitors.

Houma, Louisiana is Cajun Country, and the town was hammered by Hurricane Ida at the end of August, with hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses losing power and seeing destruction.

As always happens after these storms, power line workers, or linemen, come from all over America to help a community rebuild. And in Houma, they’ve been treated like kings and queens, thanks to a perfectly-named woman named Angel Flood.

She and dozens of other Houma women have been feeding the linemen home-cooked meals, doing their laundry, and taking care of so many of their other needs.

Helping those who help, and it’s a beautiful thing. Just look at the faces of the men who are interviewed by Hartman; they look almost in shock at how well they’re being treated. It’s so great.

AFRO1902

**Next up, this may seem like a small thing but for historians or anyone looking to study African-American history, it’s huge.

Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter, and his philanthropic organization, called Start Small, have recently given a $535,000 grant to the Afro-American newspaper, to digitize more than 125 years of their history.

The Afro-American archives are a treasure trove of black history, with more than three million articles, notes, photos and other materials. Keeping them alive and easily accessible, digital, helps keep that history alive for future generations.

The grant from Dorsey’s company will cover the staffing and equipment needs for the first two years of this project.

Very, very important to digitize as much of our history as possible, so very glad to see this.

**And finally today, a very short video of a 17-year-old autistic boy, teaching a 101-year-old man in an assisted living center, some great dance moves. This took place at the Yelverton Residential home in Yelverton, UK.

From the great Twitter feed of @GoodNewsCorrespondent, some details: “17-year-old Ollie, who has autism, teaches 101-year-old, Don his moves! “Ollie’s autism creates barriers for him communicating with others but yesterday was an outstanding achievement for him…not only communicating but also teaching others his moves!”

You go, boys!