Tag Archives: DeShaun Watson

The new Mr. Rogers movie was fabulous, and a lot deeper than I thought. Seven years after the tragedy, a thrilling moment for Newtown, Conn. And in the NFL, the 49ers inexplicably lose, while Eli gets a sweet sendoff

I went into the movie theater Saturday night to see a movie I’ve been excited about for months, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” with certain expectations.
I felt reasonably certain I’d like it, since it was about Mister Rogers and starred Tom Hanks. I thought it’d be mostly lighthearted, it would be acted well, and I thought it would be focused on Hanks as Rogers, a perfect match of actor and subject.

Well, I was wrong about almost all of my preconceptions. This was a fabulous film, but it was NOT all about Fred Rogers, and his story.

It was really about the people in Rogers’ orbit, and how his personal touch, warmth and overall humanity impacted so many.

The movie is based on real-life events, with Rogers and writer Tom Junod the real-life duo here.

Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is a cynical, world-weary journalist assigned to do what he thinks is a simple, almost beneath-him assignment: Write 400 words about Mister Rogers for an Esquire issue about heroes.

For a man who does long, thorough, critical investigative pieces, talking to a dude who performs with puppets, for children, would be a walk in the park.

But Vogel is a troubled guy, with a long-standing, cold relationship with his dad, Jerry (played wonderfully by Chris Cooper, who I’ve loved since “American Beauty.”) Vogel has also just become a father himself for the first time, and his patient wife (the very beautiful and very talented Susan Kelechi Watson from “This is Us”) is excited he’ll get to talk to Mister Rogers and perhaps have a reconciliation with his own dad.

And so the movie is really about Lloyd’s journey, more so than about Fred Rogers. And with lesser actors, it might have felt like a cheat, not getting to see the film through Rogers’ eyes. But Rhys is fantastic as always, giving Lloyd depth, and the movie itself goes a lot deeper than I thought it would, into human relationships, forgiveness, and how no man, even Mister Rogers, is a saint.

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is warm, sometimes witty, and yeah, a little bit slow at times. But Hanks is terrific, giving Rogers shape and showing him to be a TV perfectionist, as well as someone who always seems to know the right thing to say.

It’s a very, very good movie, that like I said goes a lot deeper into emotions and human behavior than I expected.

Fred Rogers may not have been an actual saint, but he did change and help millions of lives. And that should be celebrated, always.

**Next up, this was by far the best thing that happened in sports this weekend. Saturday was the seventh anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in Newtown, Conn.
This year the anniversary was also the date of the Connecticut state football Class LL championship game, between Newtown and Darien.

The score was tied at 7, there were a few seconds left, and Newtown QB Jack Street launched a pass downfield that wide receiver Riley Ward hauled in for a game-winning touchdown.

It was perfect, and it gave me chills. Many of these kids

 

**And finally today, a look at the NFL as we come down the home stretch of games, and after today I’m sad to report that most playoff spots are pretty well locked up, and there won’t be much drama the final two weeks.

But of course, I’m likely to be wrong, as most people usually are about the NFL.

— Most shocking thing that happened Sunday? No, not the Raiders collapsing, that happens all the time.
It’s the team across the Bay, the San Francisco 49ers, who have looked like the best team in the NFL most of the year, completely laying an egg and getting stunned by the woeful Atlanta Falcons, 29-22, after the Falcons scored a go-ahead touchdown with just two seconds remaining.

Again, do not bet on the NFL, people.

— In what likely was his final home game as a New York Giants starter, Eli Manning led his team to a victory over the putrid Miami Dolphins, and it actually was a sweet moment.

Eli hasn’t played most of the year, and quite honestly he’s stunk for most of the past five seasons when he was playing. But he is and always will be a Giants icon because of two incredible playoff runs that resulted in Super Bowl wins.

There is talk in New York that Manning is a Hall of Famer, and frankly I think that’s nuts. He was never an elite QB, I’m sorry but he wasn’t.
Still, it was nice that he got to go out on a high note, because he did give Giants fans two amazing memories (not that this Jets fan is bitter, nope, not at all, not one bit.)

— The Broncos and Chiefs got to play a snow game Sunday. Man, football in the snow is so much fun.

— Deshaun Watson, I’ve said it before, is so much fun to watch. He led the Texans over the Titans Sunday and I watched a good chunk of this game, and at least four times Watson scrambled out of danger to make plays that he had no business making. I just love this guy.

— The Eagles and Cowboys, the two least bad teams in the NFC East, both won Sunday to get their seventh victory of the year, and they play each other next week so someone will have to win. This assures us that a 7-9 team won’t get to host a playoff game. Now, only an 8-8 team will host possibly a 12 or 13 win team. One of the most asinine rules in the NFL, that a division winner must host, no matter how much worse its record is.

— The Browns. Oh, the Browns. With their playoff hopes still kinda alive, they went and got blown out

“This Is Us” continues to frustrate and entertain. Man dresses as his dog’s favorite toy for Halloween. And DeShaun Watson, he’s kind of a good quarterback, huh?

Editor’s Note: It’s Go Time! After nine months and much preparation by us, my wife is being induced Monday afternoon, and soon after our second son will be born. Needless to say, I’m going to be a little busy the next few days so there won’t be a blog post on Wednesday like there normally is. If all goes well, I will be back with a Good News Friday post this week (hint: It may be about the birth of my son). Keep us in your thoughts today, please. And may that epidural work wonders…

So I have written before about my love-hate relationship with the NBC show “This Is Us.” Now in its second season, I really enjoyed many parts of the first, from the fantastic acting of Sterling K. Brown and his biological dad, Ron Cephas Jones, to the surprisingly terrific performances by Mandy Moore and Milo (He’ll always be Jess from “Gilmore Girls” to me!) Ventimiglia.

But I also had lots of problems with the two other main characters, Kate and Kevin. They were both so one-dimensional and given crappy storylines, with Kate obsessed over her weight in every situation, and Kevin just a classic mimbo who’s beautiful to look at but is emotionally stunted and intelligence-challenged.

Still, there was so much good with the Randall storylines that I figured, by Season 2 they’d figure out how to get Kate and Kevin some interesting plotlines.

Well, we’re now five episodes through the new season, and I’m feeling the exact same way as I did before. I want to watch “The Randall Show,” because Brown and his wife’s stories are still fantastic, with the adoption of a troubled 12-year-old girl. And for the most part I’m liking the Jack and Rebecca stuff, because Moore is playing the hell out of this role, and the camping scenes last week with Jack and the boys were beautiful.

But… come on with these Kevin stories, please! He is such a wildly unsympathetic character, whiny and immature and now we’re supposed to care that he’s got a painkiller addiction along with other blocked images and feelings about his Dad dying? Here’s the thing: I want to care about Kevin, I want to root for him, I want to empathize, but I really feel like the show’s writers haven’t given us enough reason to root for him, enough reason to care. I just really, really can’t stand watching his scenes.

My other beef with this season is they’re harping so, so much again on how Jack died. It’s taken up like two full episodes, just teasing us and hinting and all that, and it’s going to be such a letdown whenever they finally tell us how he died because they’ve built it up so much.

The Kate stuff has gotten better, I think; we’re still forced to see everything about her through the prism of her weight, but at least they’ve given her a possible singing career, and now a pregnancy (Toby’s reaction to telling people in the restaurant last week, was fantastic.)

I really like most of this show. I want to love it. It’s just … a frustrating and delightful watch most weeks.

But hey, at least it ain’t boring.

**Next up today, it’s Halloween tomorrow, of course, and so I wonder how many of us would do what this guy did last year for the dog they love so much. I posted this last year but it’s so great I want to run it again: Watch this dog owner get an amazing reaction when he dresses up as his pooch’s favorite toy. Just fabulous.

**Finally today, a whole lot of crazy sports stuff happened over the weekend, including a scintillating World Series Game 5 Sunday night (really, Clayton Kershaw with a 4-0 lead in a huge game wasn’t a lock?), and some crazy college football comebacks (Ohio State came from way back to beat Penn State, which didn’t upset me given my feelings about the Nittany Lions), and my Jets being very different than what we expected (competitive and interesting) but still losing.

But I must write a few words about DeShaun Watson, who is really a terrific guy and one hell of a football player. This kid has had a phenomenal start to his rookie year in the NFL, and the fact that both the Jets and Browns, who desperately need QB’s, passed him up just boggles my mind.

Sunday, showing poise in the pocket, a cannon arm, and leadership qualities you can’t teach, was absolutely brilliant in the Texans’ 41-38 loss to Seattle. Watson threw for 402 yards and four TD’s, and ran for 67 yards as well.

This kid is special, and if he ever gets a good team around him… man, look out.

 

Good News Friday: The wristband that soon will be able to text your thoughts. An NFL QB gives his paycheck to women who lost everything. And a senior citizen writes a letter to a neighbor, and changes both their lives.

And a Happy Friday to you all, and may my fellow Members of the Tribe have a great Yom Kippur. I’m going to try to fast but my resolve on not eating or drinking for 24 hours seems to have faded since I’ve started chasing a little boy around. But we’ll see how it goes.

As always, lots of good stuff to get to this week; I honestly thought about making this entire post a tribute to Hugh Hefner, who died at 91 on Thursday, because I truly believe he was an American hero. But nah, just a few words of thanks to Hef, who was responsible for millions of Americans (including, ahem, me) seeing their first naked lady. Hef, you were an icon who always put women on a pedestal. You lived one hell of a good life.

OK, on with the show. We start this week with another athlete who absolutely gets it. Everything I’ve ever seen, heard or read about rookie Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson has told me what a class act he is, and t his story will only add to my respect for him.

Millions of Houstonians, of course, were devastated by Hurricane Harvey last month, with so many losing so much. Three cafeteria workers at the Texans’ stadium, NRG Stadium, were among those whose homes were destroyed.

This week, those workers,  Denisse Benavides, Isabel Sanchez and Maria Rincon, were surprised when Watson came to the cafeteria and donated his first NFL game check (about $29,000) to them to help them rebuild.

Watch the video above. The tears are real, as is the goodness in Watson’s heart. Heard enough horrible stories about the NFL this week? Here’s a positive one. I’m a DeShaun Watson fan no matter what team he plays on.
**Next up, I hope this next story doesn’t scare you, because it actually makes me excited. There’s a company called CTRL Labs that believes very soon, they will have created a wristband that can text for you just by reading what your thoughts are.

According to this article, and as I heard on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, the startup has created brainwave reading technology that they’re hoping will be mainstream by the year 2020, which isn’t exactly too long to go. Apparently it can pick up signals that your brains send to your fingers, so you won’t need to type to send texts/emails anymore.

According to one of the founders, Dr. Patrick Kaifosh, “We are developing systems to connect your neural output to machines as tightly as it is connected to the muscles that control your speech. I can already play Asteroids on my phone (personal aside: I kicked butt at Asteroids on my old Atari 2600) using only my thoughts, and the technology is already being used to train patients to use a virtual hand before receiving hand transplants from donors.”

This sounds awesome to me. Just as long as there are some safeguards, of course, I think this could make driving a lot safer (because of idiots who text and drive and let go of the wheel) and could help millions.

I’m sure there will be problems with it, but it’s still pretty incredible to me, that we live in this day and age where something like this could happen.

And finally today, it’s been a while since I’ve featured Steve Hartman and his fabulous “On the Road” stories for CBS News, but this one struck me as just beautiful. A woman in Park Hills, Mo. named Marlene Brooks got a strange letter last April, from a neighbor just a few doors away.

“Dear Mrs. ?,
Would you consider to become my friend? I’m 90 years old and live alone, and all my friends have passed away. I am so lonesome and scared. Please,  I pray for someone. Signed, Wanda Mills.”

Brooks was touched by the letter, and went to visit Mills the next day. And five months later, is still visiting her, four times a week, in a nursing home Mills now lives in. The two have become the best of friends, all because one kind woman helped out another person in need, simply by being there. Brooks even started a new pen pal group, Pen Pals for Seniors, to help others who might feel like Mills.

So much good in the world. So much good.