Tag Archives: Carpool Karaoke

Good News Friday: Two great writers, talking about the craft, makes me happy. Foo Fighters and James Corden do an awesome “Carpool Karaoke.” And a 7-year-old girl with a bionic hand amazes MLB.

And a Happy Friday to all of you, and what the hell, Happy Autumn. The weather is still awesome and summer-y here in New York, and I want to wish all of my fellow Members of the Tribe a L’Shana Tova (Happy New Year),

Lots of good stuff to get to this week, but I want to start with the best piece of media content I’ve consumed in a long, long time. It’s no secret to any of my readers that Jeff Pearlman is one of my 3-4 closest friends in the world; dude was in my wedding, he’s as loyal a friend as you could ever hope to have (non-canine division), and I probably talk to him more than anyone else in my life except for immediate family.

One of the many things I admire about Jeff is his complete willingness to adapt, and try new things. He told me he was starting a new podcast where he talked to other writers about the craft, and I was excited but wondered where the dude would find the time, and how open other writers would be about “revealing their secrets” to why they’re so good.

Well, I still don’t know where Jeff finds the time, but the second part? Completely taken care of. The podcast, “Two Writers Slinging Yang,” has been sensational, but the absolute best episode just dropped last week.

Wright Thompson (above) is the modern-day Rick Reilly, Gary Smith, and Jim Murray rolled into one. Dude is under 40 and has written more historically great stories than most people do in a lifetime. Like this piece on Michael Jordan when he turned 50. Or this one about his Dad, and the meaning of The Masters golf tournament. Or his most recent story on the Cleveland Indians’ remarkable 22-game winning streak.

Wright is a good ole’ boy from Mississippi who is a master craftsman, and he spent 45 minutes with Jeff talking about what makes great writing. (One highlight from Wright: “Anyone who tells you there are rules in writing you have to follow? Ignore that person.”

Here in the podcast, Thompson talks about hating almost every story he writes, at first, about what makes a good (and bad) editor, and what keeps him motivated to write.

He and Jeff really dig deep and it’s just fantastic. I could’ve listened to these two for three hours. Take a listen here; whether you care about writing or not, listening to Jeff and Wright’s passion is guaranteed to inspire you.

**Next up, it’s been awhile since I’ve featured James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke,” but this one he did this week with the awesome Foo Fighters is worthy of your time, if only for the story Dave Growl tells about the night he dislocated his ankle and the doctor had to go on stage with him.

Corden is no hard rocker, but this was a really fun episode. Enjoy.

**And finally today, science just blows me away sometimes. Meet 7-year-old girl Hailey Dawson. Hailey was born with a rare congenital condition called Poland Syndrome, which rendered her with just two fingers on her right hand.

But the engineering department at University of Nevada-Las Vegas helped make a special 3D-printed hand for her, allowing her to grip and throw a baseball, among other things.

Hailey is a big baseball fan, and after throwing out the first pitch at a Baltimore Orioles game in 2015, she made it a goal to one day throw the first pitch at every big league park.

Bleacher Report, a sports website, posted the above video and story about her on Sept. 7, and the response was overwhelming. More than a dozen MLB teams reached out to say she was welcome to come to their park, and oh yeah, she’s now been invited to throw out the first pitch at Game 4 of this year’s World Series.

What an amazing kid. And what an amazing time to be alive.

 

The best book I’ve read in years finally comes out (and it was dedicated to me!) Lady Gaga and James Corden do a great “Carpool Karoake.” And a 5-year-old soccer fan does something adorable.

gunslingercover

In September of 1993, a scrawny, glasses-wearing, jean-jacket sporting freshman at the University of Delaware (OK it was me) walked up to the student newspaper office, The Review, and said he wanted to write.

I had all of two years of high school newspaper experience, hadn’t taken any of the required college journalism courses you needed to write for the newspaper, and probably annoyed a few of the editors by telling them how great my high school newspaper was (hey, The Commack H.S. Courant won awards!)

The editor-in-chief was a tall skinny dude with a cocky attitude but a heart of gold. His name was Jeff Pearlman, and he wasn’t allowed to write for The Review as a freshman, and it stung him. After quizzing me a bit on sports, he decided he’d give me the chance that he never was.

Twenty-three years later, I’m really glad I walked up the stairs to the office that day. Jeff has become one of my two or three best friends in the whole world. He has been more instrumental in whatever journalism successes I’ve had than anyone else; truly there was a time early in my career where just about every chance I got was because he either talked me up to the person in charge, or passed on an opportunity so I could have it.

As a friend, he’s been more than amazing, which is why he was a groomsman in my wedding three years ago. His kind gestures big and small have never been forgotten, including the time two years ago when he mentioned our newborn son’s name on a nationally-televised sports show, just because I told him my wife thought it’d be cool to hear it. (To be fair, my son DOES share a name with a former NFL receiver, so it wasn’t dropped totally out of nowhere).

He’s also, oh yeah, a fantastic journalist and author, with four New York Times bestsellers to his credit.

Why am I telling you all this? Because as one of the people lucky enough to have edited/proofread all of his books and offer thoughts on them, I feel pretty qualified to say this: His new book, “Gunslinger,” a biography of NFL legend Brett Favre, is by far his best. Jeff talked to nearly 600 people about Favre, who of course played QB for the Green Bay Packers, won a Super Bowl, had a major prescription drug problem, said he was retiring 43 times before he actually did, and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame last summer.

Also, I nearly cried when Jeff sent me an advance copy a few months ago and I saw this on the first page:

favrebookdedication-2

I can’t tell you how cool I thought it was to have a book dedicated to me (all those other names are obscure New York Jets from the 1980s and ’90s; we’re both hardcore Jets fans).

Anyway, after all he’s done for me, the least I can do for him is promote his books when they come out. I am certain this Favre book will be a bestseller, and well worth your time. (Here’s a very quick taste of what you can expect from the book.) If you are, or know of, a big NFL or Green Bay Packers or just sports fan, please consider buying “Gunslinger.”

**Next up today, seems like James Corden hasn’t done a “Carpool Karaoke” in a while, but this one was worth the wait. I’m no Lady Gaga fan (I don’t dig her music, and I think she spent way too much of her career doing offensive and crazy things just to get attention), but she comes across really well here. Her voice is, unquestionably, fantastic, and Corden’s “costume changes” at about the 12-minute mark through are pretty hilarious.

soccerfan-5yearold

**Finally today, I don’t know if this is a true “Good News Friday” story but it made me smile pretty widely when I heard it. It seems 5-year-old Louis Kayes had to go to a birthday party last weekend, which meant he couldn’t go to the game of his favorite soccer team in Scotland, Celtic FC.

So Louis borrowed his mom’s phone and called the team to tell them he was sorry he couldn’t make it, and could he speak to manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Scott Brown, to apologize for his absence

She told the BBC her son had called after a “bit of a guilt trip”.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Kaye Adams program, she said: “He was in the living room with my phone and then I heard the voicemail message from Celtic Park saying ‘thank you for calling’.”

“He wanted to let both of them know he’d missed it in case they were looking for him,” said Lisa Kayes, Louis’s mother.

Louis told BBC Scotland the birthday party had been “good”, but said he would definitely not be missing Wednesday evening’s Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Come on, Celtic FC, give this kid free tickets for the rest of the season!