And a Happy Friday to all of you out there in Internet-land, which can’t be as frigid as it is here in New York. My word was Thursday a horrendous storm day; I usually love snow but this was too much. Happily, it’s over and now it’ll just be 46 below zero today.
Which is a perfect segue to talk about the awesomeness of the people of Buffalo. Yes, Buffalo, the place where even polar bears are like “Can someone turn on a space heater or something?” Buffalo-nians have endured a lot with their sports teams over the years (four straight losses in the Super Bowl by the Bills, the Sabres losing their one Stanley Cup Finals chance on a goal that probably shouldn’t have counted), and lately they’ve suffered through 17 consecutive non-playoff seasons from the Bills.
But finally last Sunday, thanks to the Bills winning and a remarkable comeback by the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Baltimore Ravens, the Bills are back in the playoffs.
It truly took a sensational play by Bengals QB Andy Dalton to win the game, and only by the Ravens losing to Cincy did the Bills finally qualify. And of all the ways Bills fans could’ve celebrated their team finally making the playoffs for the first time this century (seriously, 1999 was a LONG time ago), this way the fans responded was the coolest.
Buffalo fans have helped raise more than $400,000, in a week, for Dalton’s preferred charity and the charity favored by Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd, who scored the winning touchdown. Dalton and his wife Jordan’s personal foundation sponsors several community outreach programs, including the Pass It On Fund, which aims to provide medical equipment and financial relief to families with seriously ill or physically challenged children.
And more than $40,000 has been raised for the Western PA Youth Athletic Association, which Boyd played in as a child.
Hilariously, most of the donations have come in $17 increments, since it’s been 17 seasons since the Bills last made the playoffs.
Dalton was overwhelmed by the generosity.
“We are blown away by everybody that’s donating,” he said. “Thank you to all the Bills fans, thank you for anybody that’s just supporting our foundation. Let’s keep it going.”
Very, very cool. How could you not root for the Bills on Sunday against Jacksonville?
**Next up, this kind of thing always, always makes me smile. Evie Allen is a female news anchor at WSIL-TV in Carterville, Ill. She was on the air on New Year’s Day morning when suddenly the weather forecaster started talking about a surprise in the weather and that “ice is coming around the corner.”
Then, out of nowhere comes Evie’s boyfriend Matt, to propose to her live on television. (Please click through, it’s a really sweet, short video)
Such a sweet, sweet genuine moment. Live TV, man, you never know what’s going to happen.
**Finally today, I was 99.9 percent certain I was going to love the new Tom Hanks/Meryl Streep/Steven Spielberg movie “The Post,” because it has those three icons in it, and it’s about a newspaper. In this case, The Washington Post, in 1971, wrestling whether or not to publish The Pentagon Papers, the explosive documents ex-government employee Daniel Ellsberg released to the The New York Times that documented how deep the deception and lies went, over four administrations, to convince the American people that the war in Vietnam was being won.
(And by the way, a fabulous, hilarious touch by Spielberg to have Matthew Rhys, who of course is a Russian spy on “The Americans” play Ellsberg.)
The story follows the Post’s female publisher, Katherine Graham (Streep), and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) wrestling with the legal, political and moral implications of running the Papers.
Both leads are, of course, fabulous, and there are a ton of other great actors you’ll recognize here, including Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, and the fantastic Bob Odenkirk playing the reporter who brings the Post the actual papers.
The drama is presented realistically, as there’s no 100 percent clear right answer, and watching Streep balance friendship and journalistic responsiblility (something 99 percent of publishers never deal with) was fascinating.
“The Post” is too long, probably by about 20-30 minutes, but other than that, it’s fantastic. I believe it comes out nationwide in a few days, I highly recommend it.
Between “Spotlight” and “The Post,” we’re on a roll with great movies about newspapers!