I’ve been extolling the virtues of the outstanding NPR program “Only A Game” for as long as I’ve had a blog in these here parts, so it was so heartwarming to me Saturday to see a story featured on it go totally viral Saturday.
Give yourself 10 minutes on this Monday morning and listen to this remarkable, wonderful story about NBA superstar Charles Barkley, and the crazy friendship he struck up with a man he met in a bar in Sacramento four years ago, a cat litter scientist from Iowa named Lin Wang.
It’s as heartwarming and simple a story as you’ll find, and I loved it. It’s narrated by Lin’s daughter, Shirley, and no matter what you think of Barkley before you hear this, I guarantee your opinion of him will go up a few notches here.
“It gives me great memories and great joy to know that I was a friend of his,” the NBA Hall of Famer says about Wang.
What wonderful radio storytelling this is.
**Next up today, “SNL” had a pretty fantastic and star-studded episode Saturday night, highlighted by the cold open featuring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Matt Damon and others, as Donald Trump got to play the Jimmy Stewart part in “It’s A Wonderful Life.” (And man, don’t Trump and Jimmy Stewart have SO much in common?)
I thought this was really well done, especially the Sarah Sanders and Mike Pence stuff.
**Finally today, it was another crazy weekend in the NFL, where I once again I feel the need to remind you that nobody knows anything, there’s no such thing as an expert on this league, and the playoffs should be particularly crazy this year.
Some thoughts on Week 14…
— The Cleveland Browns, ladies and gentlemen! How can you not be rooting for this team to somehow make the playoffs? Their rookie QB Baker Mayfield is exciting, they’ve got a young, aggressive defense, and they’ve been down for so long everything looks like up. The Brownies won again Saturday, are now 6-7-1, and yeah the postseason is still a longshot but hey, they’ve got a shot!
— Explain how the Cowboys, with so much to play for and having won so often the last few weeks, can go to Indy and get shut out. Explain how the Seahawks can go play a putrid 49ers team, on their 3rd QB of the year, and lose in overtime? You can’t. The NFL has SO many mediocre teams, and the line between winning and losing is so tiny.
— And the Eagles! Looked dead last week in losing to Dallas, then go play maybe the best team in the league, on the road in L.A., and beat the Rams. Crazy league.
— Very encouraged by the play of Sam Darnold, aka, the reason I’ll watch the Jets for the next 10 years (also I’m addicted to the misery but that’s another story). Kid almost led the Jets to a big upset over Houston. Me likey very much
what Darnold is showing.
— Move of the day comes on a play after the game, when Chicago Bears player Charles Leno Jr. decided to propose to his girlfriend, Jennifer Roth, on the field. She said yes, and I’ll let you make your own “moving the goalposts” or “gotta love a man in uniform” jokes here. But very cool to see a player do this.