I love hugs.
Huge fan. I hug everyone. I’m usually the last person to let go in a hug, because I usually feel like it’s almost rude if you let go first, like, “OK, we’re done, I’m ready to move on now.”
Anyway, because the world can always use more hugs, two stories today that might make you want to reach out and embrace someone.
First, one of my new heroes. Jeff Ondash is a 51-year-old man from Ohio, and two weeks ago he broke the world record for most hugs given in a 24-hour period (one of those records I’m sure most people lie awake at night, dreaming of breaking). Ondash, whose nickname is Teddy McHuggin (I wish I were making that up), squeezed 7,777 people in one day.
I love his quote: “When you hug somebody, they all walk away from each other smiling,” Ondash said. “They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away; a hug a day — it’s just fun.”
**And then there’s this. Hug E Grams. Yes, this is real. A one-minute infomercial truly doesn’t do this justice. I can’t believe this really, really exists. But God bless America, it does.
**Another great day for Olympic hockey. Team USA continues to amaze, with yet another win. This one was extremely tough, with Switzerland goalie Jonas Hiller playing awesome for two periods. And when the U.S. goal in the final seconds of the second period was disallowed (I mean, the puck was on the goal line when time expired; another tenth of a second left in the period and it would’ve been a goal!), I was nervous. I’m not going to lie to you.
But Zach Parise came through, and Team USA is in the freaking semifinals. Amazing story. Two weeks ago, I would’ve said no way they’re in the semis. And yet … It’s a great story.
The game I was really looking forward to was the ridiculously-early-in-the-tournament Russia-Canada quarterfinal. Everyone figured this would be the gold medal game. So much incredible talent in this one. Crosby. Ovechkin. Malkin. Nash.
And yet, it turned out to be a blowout. Russia’s defense, and goalie Evgeni Nabakov, was beyond awful. Canada, powered by a great home crowd, destroyed Alex Ovechkin and Co., 7-3.
Now, best thing we can hope for is a U.S.-Canada gold medal game on Sunday. Works for me.