And a Happy Friday to all of my readers, and sincere apologies for there not being a new post on Wednesday.
I totally had one in mind and ready to be written, but life got extremely busy Monday and Tuesday and I just ran out of hours (quick aside on that phrase; I once had a co-worker in the sports department at one of my newspaper stops who wasn’t exactly known for his work ethic. One Saturday night, after a particularly busy week, he literally walked away from the desk where he was laying out the section and declared “I’m out of hours!” and left the building, got in his car, and drove home with a couple of pages unfinished. Ah, good times.)
Anyway, lots of good stuff in the world this week, including the return of Stanley Cup playoff hockey, and so many beautiful tributes to the tragic Humboldt Broncos junior team bus crash that killed 16 (this short video got me teared up. Hockey people are the best.)
We start this week in the NBA, where a fantastic story of perseverance and hunger paid off. Andre Ingram played collegiately at American University, and was known as a terrific 3-point shooter but not quite good enough for the NBA. For 10 long years, he has played in the NBA Developmental League, now called the G League, trying so hard to get his shot. He worked as a math tutor in the offseason to help feed his family, too (pretty sure no other NBA player is also a math tutor.)
Finally, this week the L.A. Lakers called him up, and Ingram was sensational. Scored 19 points in his debut and got showered with “M-V-P” chants from the crowd, played very well in a second game, and served as an inspiration to so many.
“If it’s your dream man, I just feel like you stick it out and you just see what the end is going to be…if it’s the dream it’s worth keeping at it,” he said.
You go, Andre Ingram.
**Next up today, been a while since I’ve enjoyed a Jimmy Fallon sketch as much as I did this one. He and Will Smith decided to do a mash-up medley of 1970s, 1980s and ’90s TV theme songs, and it was, as expected, fantastic. My favorite starts at the 2:01 mark.
When our first son was a baby we used to sing TV theme songs to him in the bathtub. Not sure how that’s going to help him in life, but if he ever has to name the lyrics to the “Cheers” song to win a bet, he should be good.
**And finally today, a little more proof that the world is a nice place. Two pieces of proof, actually, both involving the same person.
First, there’s a new baseball superstar named Shohei Ohtani, who’s both an outstanding hitter and outstanding pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. He’s young, he’s from Japan, and he’s awesome.
The first story involves Ohtani, a 6-year-old boy who wanted a bat, and a small act of kindness. Read the story here.
The second story is this: Ohtani hit his first major league home run on April 4, and the ball was caught by a Cleveland fan named Chris Incorvaia. Incorvaia saw 9-year-old Matthew Gutierrez, a big Angels fan, sitting behind him. So the Indians fan gave the Angels fan the ball.
“I knew he would appreciate it more,” Incorvaia said. Gutierrez wanted to return the historic souvenir to Ohtani, so he then handed the ball to a stadium staffer who’ll give the ball to Ohtani. Matthew and Chris got to meet Ohtani after the game, with Ohtani giving autographs to both.
Just a very cool little moment.