A couple of programming notes before we dive in to Good News Friday: 1, I don’t believe in my 43 years of life I’ve ever had a hurricane named after me, but Hurricane Michael is here and walloped the hell out of parts of Florida and Georgia, and on behalf of all Michael’s everywhere, we apologize.
Also, about a year after we bought the impossible-to-get tickets, the wife and I finally saw “Hamilton” on Broadway Thursday night. Mind-blowingly good. Like, “holy cow everything everyone said about it being amazing was an understatement” kind of good. Much longer blog post about it coming next week.
OK, on with the show…
We start Good News Friday this week with a story of a wonderful gesture from Carolina Panthers football player Julius Peppers. The longtime star defensive end is from North Carolina, and back when Hurricane Florence hit last month he immediately donated $100,000 to the relief efforts, and got teammates like Cam Newton to match that amount, too.
But Peppers didn’t just put up money; this week on his off day he went to the United Way headquarters in Robeson County early Tuesday morning to begin a day of service.
According to this story in the Charlotte Observer, he joined volunteers as they went through neighborhoods to speak with residents and see homes, and lend support as those affected told their stories.
“A lot of these people had to rip the walls out of their homes, throw out furniture and clothing, throw out everything that they had, all of their possessions thrown to the side of the road,” said Peppers. “Seeing those things, and the people telling their stories, it was an experience that I’m going to take with me and that I’m going to share with others as I encourage others to come try to help out, too.”
Peppers joined members of the Mennonite community as they served meals to residents affected by the storm in various neighborhoods in the county.
Then, Peppers and the United Way volunteers helped clean out and start repairs on the home of a policeman who couldn’t save his own belongings from the storm, because he was out in the neighborhood helping others evacuate.
Outstanding job, Julius. I like highlighting these stories because we hear so often about the Ray Rices and Greg Hardys of pro football, who have committed crimes, but not nearly enough about the vast majority of good humans who play in the NFL. They deserve praise, too.
**Next up, every once in a while I like to remind myself and others of how amazing Steph Curry is. This was just one moment in a meaningless pregame warmup to a meaningless preseason game.
But seriously, how cool is this shot? Watching Steph Curry is pure joy, man. Just pure, pure joy.
**And finally today, it was International Teacher’s Day last week, and while I think every day should be one we honor teachers, this one was special for at least one student.
Ian Wright is a former soccer player from England, and he told a story about his favorite grade school teacher, a man named Mr. Pigden.
Here’s Wright, in a short 2-minute video, explaining what Mr. Pigden meant to him, and oh man, get the tissues ready for what happens starting at the 1:20 mark.
Great teachers never die, they just live on in our memories.