Monthly Archives: February 2017

That was the greatest comeback in sports history. I hate you but I salute you, New England Patriots. There were a few good Super Bowl commercials that stood out. And “SNL” gets a hilarious Melissa McCarthy appearance.

julian-edelman-catch-super-bowl-51

Yeah, I got nothin.’

As the Atlanta Falcons bullied, pummeled, and bludgeoned the New England Patriots all over the field for the first 2 1/2 quarters of Super Bowl 51, I was so, so tempted to gloat. So much was I enjoying seeing my hated nemesis and their two-headed monster, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get their butts kicked, I wanted to get excited. I want to taunt my Pats fans friends (of which I have many). I wanted to make sarcastic remarks about Bob Kraft and Trump and Brady and so much of the New England mystique getting smushed on Sunday night… but I didn’t.

Because deep, deep, deep down, I knew that even at 28-3, this game wasn’t over. I have seen this movie, this incredible Patriots movie, too many times before. Too many times has No. 12 come down and broken hearts, splintered hopes, destroyed dreams.

And so with an enormous assist from their opponents, the Patriots and their robot quarterback did it again. In the biggest Super Bowl comeback ever (biggest by 14 points!), New England won a 34-28 overtime thriller.

And I’m … spent. In disbelief at how it happened, even as I feared it might. After looking so awful for so long, the Patriots woke up. Stopped dropping passes, stopped letting Brady get hit every time he threw, and actually played a little defense of their own.

And because they did, I have to finally say it: Tom Brady is the greatest QB in NFL history. And his coach is probably the best in NFL history, too (though Lombardi and Paul Brown have some pretty good arguments).

A horrible game. An amazing final quarter. A win that will last forever. A few semi-coherent thoughts from my notes…

— I mean, there have been sports collapses before, and choke jobs, and gag jobs, and just terrible play by teams that are way ahead… but oh my goodness, the 2017 Atlanta Falcons 2nd-half Super Bowl performance will be the standard all other collapses will be judged by. For eternity. you’re up 28-3! So many times they could’ve put this game away, but the two biggest screw-ups have to be throwing the ball on 3rd and 1, when you’re inside field goal range up 28-20 and a FG pretty much wins it in the fourth quarter, and then Matt Ryan’s sack/fumble that gave the Pats life a few minutes earlier.

Just an unbelievable collapse. The Falcons’ D surrendered but it was exhausted by overtime. This loss is just as much on the offense; how do you only throw the ball to Julio Jones FOUR times??? (and on one of those he made one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history). Just a complete and total meltdown that will forever stain all those involved.

— Somewhere Rodney Harrison, victimized by the David Tyree catch nine years ago in the Super Bowl, was smiling Sunday night. Because that Julian Edelman catch (above) was some kind of Spiderman shit, too. If there was any doubt at that point that the Pats would win, that unreal catch was it.

— Kind of amazing that after dropping so many balls the first three quarters the Pats receivers caught every freaking ball in the fourth quarter and OT. (No, I’m not bitter.)

— Is there anyone in America, except maybe Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who thought once the game went into overtime Atlanta had a chance? Nope. There was no hope, especially after Atlanta lost the OT coin toss. Those defensive players’ legs were rubber.

Lady Gaga performs during the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show held at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, TX. (Photo by Anthony Behar) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***(Sipa via AP Images)

— Lady Gaga’s halftime performance was stellar and pitch-perfect. Not overly political but certainly inclusive, she performed her hits, had outstanding choreography, and a pretty fantastic finish. Well done.

— A lot of otherwise-bright people will tell you today that this was the “best Super Bowl ever.” Nonsense. It was a one-sided rout for three quarters. It was the best comeback ever, maybe the most dramatic game ever. But it was a snoozefest for a long time.

— I am so, so glad I didn’t have to cover that game and write a coherent story on deadline.

**So, the commercials. I thought they were pretty decent this year, actually. I loved the Turbo Tax Humpty Dumpty one, and I thought the Christopher Walken/Justin Timberlake ad was really clever. But the two I liked the best were the Honda ad with quotes from celebrity high school yearbooks (above) and this one, from Budweiser, about how their two founders met: Really smart and well-done.

**Finally today, this was about the only thing that could cheer me up after the Super Bowl: “Saturday Night Live” hit it out of the park again over the weekend, as Melissa McCarthy did her best Sean Spicer (White House Press secretary) impression.

Again, these things are hilarious but the real-life stuff is just so scary; Trump saying on the Super Bowl pre-game that sure, Putin’s a killer but we’ve got killers in America, too is pretty horrendous, but this passage, from this tremendous NYT story, is what will scare the hell out of me for weeks:

Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council,…

The President of the United States had NO IDEA what he was signing!!!!!!!!!!

Ugh. OK. I think I need to take some pills. Have a wonderful day.

 

 

Good News Friday: The teacher with a special handshake for each kid is awesome. Remembering my favorite all-time Super Bowl ad. And a 5th-grade boy’s love letter is beautiful and hilarious.

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And a Happy Friday to all of you out in Internet-land! It’s Super Bowl weekend, and after this miserable NFL season, I think we’re all just hoping for the same thing: The Patriots get destroyed. OK, maybe only people outside of New England hope for that.

We start today with a video that went viral 100 times over this week, but in case you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty awesome. A teacher in North Carolina named Barry White has created a unique way of greeting every one of his students each morning at Ashley K-8 school in Charlotte.  Yeah, he has 58 students.

“I had a simple handshake with one student last year who wasn’t even in my class, but every day she would wait for me in the morning so we could do our handshake and I saw how powerful it was,” White tells PEOPLE.

Some of them are simple, some of them are crazy intricate. But all are special to each student, and when it all comes down to it, that’s what teaching is all about: Making each student feel special.

“I like that if I’m not having a good day, I can come to his class and I know I’ll have the opportunity to turn my day around.” says 10-year-old Zhyir Williams. “He can make you feel better with a handshake.”

You go, Barry White!

**Next up, I always like to run my favorite Super Bowl commercial before the big game. Now there have been a ton of great ads, like the Budweiser frogs, the Cindy Crawford Pepsi ad, the famous Mean Joe Greene Coke ad, the “1984” ad from Apple… all brilliant.

But I have to say this one is my all-time favorite. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Terry Tate, Office Linebacker:

**And finally today, a beautiful little love note from a 5th-grade boy, to his first crush. Ah, we all remember our first crush: Mine was on Jill Deruga, in 2nd grade. Man, she was cute. We gave each other “I Love You” banners for Valentine’s Day that year, because clearly at 7 years old we knew exactly what love was.

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Anyway, this is a love note from a love-struck boy to his new crush, Abby. In case you can’t read the note above, it reads:

“Dear Abby, your eyes remind me of the evening sky. My heart felt like broken glass until I saw you, and then I felt like I had every Pokémon ever. I love how you play Zelda even when people think it’s weird. If you liked me back it would be my first ever victory,” he wrote. 

Just poetry, man. Whoever that 5th grader is, there’s a Hollywood scriptwriting award in your future. I really hope Abby gave him a chance.

 

The new Doritos bag that can tell if you’re drunk. A 6-year-old aces the NHL All-Star Game. And the raven that swooped in and stole a parking ticket

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I need a breather. I need some time away from the insanity of the last few days in politics and in our world. A break from screaming at my fellow Democrats on Twitter and elsewhere to grow a spine and filibuster the ever-loving hell out Cheetos Jesus’ Supreme Court pick, who is being described as another Scalia clone (because that’s what we need). Only thing I’ll say today is I was wildly encouraged by this short video of the UK Parliament discussing our President’s upcoming visit, and the bluntness and strong points made by so many of them.

So a few fun/bizarre stories today that won’t tax your brain too much.

First up, and this absolutely sounds like a fake thing but apparently it’s real: Pretty soon your bag of snack chips will be able to tell you if you’re drunk.

According to this story in Fortune.com, in a partnership with Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Frito-Lay’s Tostitos has created a limited time “Party Safe” bag—one that is equipped with sensors and can detect any trace of alcohol on a person’s breath, USA Today reports. If the bag detects alcohol, a red light will flash below the Tostitos logo on the bag, and the message “don’t drink and drive” will appear. If a snacker is good to go, the light will flash green.

That’s pretty freaking amazing, right? I mean, sure most people can drive if they’ve had one or two beers, but a bag of chips telling you if you’re a little wasted?

Nuts. Wait, there’s more.

If the bag flashes red, it will also display a $10 Uber discount code to help get that person home, according to USA Today. The bags also are fitted with a technology called near-field communications (NFC), which means users can touch their phone to the bag to call Uber.”

Ladies and gentlemen, we have entered “The Jetsons” territory. I think this is a brilliant idea and could lead to some wonderful arguments at the Super Bowl.

“All right, I’m leaving. Thanks for having us over.”
“Excuse me, you’re not going anywhere. Go blow into that bag of chips.”

Then two guys argue over whether the light went on or not. What a time to be alive!

Then again, as the Lawrence, Kan. police department Tweeted, “If you can only tell if you’re drunk or not by blowing into a bag, FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY, DON’T DRIVE!”

**Next up, this was all kinds of adorable. NHL star forward Ryan Kesler’s 6-year-old son Ryker is a pretty good little hockey player, and at the otherwise-useless NHL All-Star-Game last weekend, Ryker got a chance to participate in the skills competition. He went 1-on-1 with top goalie Carey Price, and scored. The celebration is the best part.

**Finally today, this is the best excuse to get out of a parking ticket I’ve ever heard. A Canadian town is making a driver pay for a ticket despite, and I’m not making this up, a security camera in the lot showing a raven swooping down and snatching the ticket before destroying it.

Yep, the town of Yellowknife has some mighty fierce birds who are fed up with the citizens of that burg having to pay parking tickets.

So a raven swooped down and took care of it.

Check this out.