Happy Friday! I’m on my way to Delaware this weekend so I’m a happy fella; always love going back to the site of my college years. Attending a fundraiser to try to help save my old college newspaper; should be good times with old friends.
First up today, I thought this was a gesture above and beyond what athletes normally do. St. Louis Rams players Chris Long and William Hayes drove through poverty-stricken St. Louis neighborhoods all the time, and one day Hayes suggested the two of them really get to see the homeless problem in the city up close.
So with a security guard in tow, Hayes and Long spend 24 hours on the street, living the homeless life. ESPN did an outstanding feature on the pair, following them for the day.
Fantastic piece, and great to see two athletes actually trying to see how the less-fortunate spend their days.
**Next up today, maybe it’s because I sometimes feed my baby son using the “airplane” technique that this commercial, from the AARP, moved me so much.
It’s a wonderful, wordless tale of a daughter and her father, and how the roles reverse many years later. I just thought it was so sweet.
**Finally today, so there’s a kid playing the French Open juniors who I have a personal connection to, and he’s been tearing it up this week.
Longtime readers may remember the post I wrote two years ago about Reilly Opelka, a kid from Palm Coast, Fla., who I first wrote about when he was 11 and I was a sportswriter in Daytona Beach (about 20 minutes from Palm Coast). While I was able to win some points off him at age 11, Reilly grew up to be a 6-foot-10 phenom who has been a highly ranked junior player for the past couple of years, and turned professional in April.
Well, despite turning pro the 17-year-old is still eligible to play the Juniors events at the Grand Slams, and despite only winning one match at a junior Slam event prior to this week, he roared to the quarterfinals this week before losing on Thursday, beating the No.1-ranked junior player in the world along the way. I talked to him Thursday and wrote a story for FlaglerLive.com, an excellent news website based in his hometown.
Very happy for Reilly and his family, who are class acts all the way. Keep an eye out for his name on the pro circuit; this kid’s going places.