Tag Archives: Today Show

Good News Friday: A daughter gets her dad a day off at Google. A Mom’s very funny advice to new parents. And the NBA with a very classy draft night move

The U.S.A. men’s soccer team lost at the World Cup on Thursday! But we advanced to the next round anyway! Crazy tournament, this World Cup.  We won even though we lost.

How did this happen? Only Gloria from “White Men Can’t Jump” can truly explain it.
“Sometimes when you win, you really lose. And sometimes when you lose, you really win. And sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie.  And sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic mechanism, from which one extracts what one needs.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Gloria. Now on with the show…

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We start this Good News Friday off with a cool father-daughter story. Some people love Google, some people don’t love them so much (I personally think they’re mostly on the side of good), but in this story, I think we can agree that there’s at least one boss there with a good heart.

A little girl named Katie wrote a letter to her Dad’s boss at Google, requesting that he be given a day off since it was his birthday.

The letter (above) reads:

“Dear google worker, “Can you please make sure when daddy goes to work, he gets one day off like he can get get a day off Wendsday. Because Daddy ONLY gets a day off on Saturday.” She signed the missive “From, Katie.”
Below that she put an emphatic postscript: “PS. It is daddy’s BIRTHDAY!”
And just in case that wasn’t enough, Katie added: “P.P.S. It is summer, you know!”

And you know what? It worked. Google gave him a whole week off (of vacation time).
Read Google’s response here on the “Today” show website, which ran the story.
Very cool.

**Next up, Thursday night was the NBA Draft, and for the most part it was a pretty boring, routine event like most drafts are.
Until this happened. Isaiah Austin was a star at Baylor University and was projected to be selected in the draft this year.

But a few weeks ago Austin, who is legally blind in one eye, discovered he had Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that would end his career before it even got started.

Still, a dream of hearing his name called in the NBA Draft was made possible thanks to this beautiful gesture by Commissioner Adam Silver. This was so great…

**And finally, another “tales from parenting” story that yes, I seem to be running more and more of in this space as my impending fatherhood gets closer.
A hilarious writer named Lauren Laverne wrote this in the English newspaper The Observer last week, and my friend Amanda (a new Mom herself) sent it to me to prove to me that, like Laverne says, parenting will simplify your life.

Here’s an excerpt, but I strongly recommend reading the whole thing:

“We’re constantly being told to pare down, to be in the moment, to identify and pursue our goals. Lifestyle experts make wads of cash claiming they can help us: coaches, organisers, motivational speakers, declutterers, assertiveness trainers… A baby is all of these experts, rolled into a snuggly package of hope and meconium that you really quite inconveniently have to push out of your vagina or have removed with knives (these options: WTF). Your baby will be your life coach. Here’s how.

It will tell you what to do, all the goddamn time. Dealing with the entry and exit points of its food will take up 96% of your day. You will spend the remaining 4% figuring out how to make money to pay for food and nappies. At work you will become more motivated, assertive and efficient via a mixture of desperation, exhaustion and a distorted perspective on what you can achieve.

You made a human!

This fact will explode the boundaries of what you believed possible. Perhaps you can fly. Have you checked?”

Sounds great to me.

 

A memorable night at Yankee Stadium for my first playoff game. And the Mom who went on strike.

My voice is hoarse, my hands are sore and red from clapping, and I’m deliriously, indescribably happy.

I just had a sports experience unlike any I’ve ever had. I went to my first Yankees baseball playoff game thanks to the generosity of my friend Andrew, and if you haven’t seen any news or highlights today, well, it was kind of a dramatic finish.
Down 2-1 in the ninth to an outstanding Baltimore Orioels team, Raul Ibanez pinch-hit for $30 million man Alex Rodriguez and crushed a home run to right to tie the game.
Then in the 12th, with Ibanez due up again, I turned to the guy next to me in Section 433 and said “OK Raul, you kept us here before, now time to send us home .” (I swear to God and Tebow that I said that.)

And then he did. Ibanez crushed another homer, this time a game-winner, and I was one of 50,000 delirious Yankees fans, cheering and stomping and hugging strangers as the clock ticked toward midnight.

One of the things about being a sportswriter for a long time is that not only do you get jaded, but you’re really not allowed to cheer at games. You go, you sit in the press box, you describe the pandemonium beneath you, and get swept up in a great storyline, but you don’t really cheer.

As a “recovering” ex-sportswriter for the past year, I’ve learned how to root as a fan again at stadiums and arenas.  But nothing prepared me for the electricity of playoff baseball at Yankee Stadium, a place that I still think is too big and impersonal, but on Wednesday night felt special.

When Ibanez hit those homers, the stadium shook. Noise went to a new level. And I finally experienced what October baseball has been like for Yankees fans since 1996.
Walking down the hallways after the game, still giddy with excitement, Andrew, who’s seen dozens of Yankee playoff games, smiled and said to me “I’m so glad you got to experience this.”

Me, too.
Some other thoughts from a wild night in the Bronx, and stick with me because I may just be rambling here as my head is still pretty jumbled.

— Two funniest things I heard: 1, standing outside the stadium before the game, two 30-something guys walked by. One said to the other, “Old ladies, and gay guys, that’s who hits on me.”
And 2, when a (presumably drunk) guy with his shirt off ran up and down a nearby section, the snarky woman behind me yelled “There’s my future husband! Come up here and woo me, my prince!”

— Biggest difference between regular season fans and postseason fans that I noticed? Everybody Wednesday seemed into the actual game itself.

— I had so much fun watching the 10-year-old kid and his dad who sat next to me, as the son rooted and yelled and grimaced all night, while his Dad calmly explained things to him. At one point in extra innings I asked the Dad if the kid would have to go to school tomorrow.

“Depends on who wins,” he said with a smile. I hope that kid is playing hooky right now.

— Finally, hard to see how the Orioles come back from this loss. Just crushing, to be two outs away and have your closer blow it, for the second time in three games. They’ve had a hell of a season and I’ll always love Buck Showalter for resurrecting the Yanks in the 1990s, but I can’t see how they win this series.

**Finally today, a great story from the “Today” show about a Mom named Jessica Stilwell who was fed up with her kids’ lack of interest in household chores. So she went on strike, just to see what would happen.

It wasn’t pretty. But I salute you for trying, Mrs. Stilwell.