Heroes Of The Week!

When Hugh Jackman was almost fired as Wolverine after leaving director, studio head unimpressed with performance | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

Welcome to Friday! Well . . . we’re close enough that I can plant the flag on the weekend, don’t you think? Quick shout out to the lovely Dale for contributing the musical spill today. My roster is shorter this week, because I was getting in the habit of dishing up a weekly five until it occurred to me that it doesn’t matter how many stories I have, but the snap, crackle and pop of the ones that happen upon this place.

Let’s get to it . . .

Star Trek's' Shatner going to space on Bezos' Blue Origin rocket, admires 'remarkable' vision | Fox Business

If you were to ask me what kind of crazy man would venture into space at the age of ninety, I’d have to go with Shatner. Because of course he did that.

Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders coach amid report he sent more offensive emails - The Boston Globe

Inside a week’s time, Jon Gruden goes from mediocre football coach to outright creep. Of course, it wasn’t really a week’s time when you think about it. Because maybe that’s how long we’ve known Gruden for who he really is, but the evidence presented shows that he didn’t just become a racist, homophobic, misogynist ass in a week’s time. Or even in ten years time, if you go back to the dates on those emails. Because we’re not going to pretend 2011 was his initial foray into the kind of hateful language that forced him to resign as head coach of the Vegas Raiders.

Gruden regaled in being the league’s every man. A folksy, tell it like it is ball coach who said all the right things when the cameras were on. And now we learn that his preach was simply a disingenuous reach. And now he becomes just the latest phony to have fallen on his self righteous sword; a man who owes his standing in the NFL community to the same people he denigrates.

He showed us what privilege looks like last week when he shrugged off the email about DeMaurice Smith in which he wrote that the director of the NFLPA had lips “the size of Michelin tires”. Gruden said it was no big deal and then insisted he didn’t have a racist bone in his body before telling everyone he was done talking about it. And he would have probably gotten away with it until more emails surfaced this week.

William Rhoden brought up a good point the other day when he wondered as to the content in the replies to all those emails Gruden was sending.

Stay tuned.

Ohio State football: Ryan and Nina Day continue push for mental health

Not every head football coach at Ohio State makes the zeroes list on my Friday cruise (Yeah, Urban Meyer). In fact, Ryan Day is proving to be a refreshing change from his predecessor. Results on the field and genuine commitment to his kids and the community at large off the field is what Day is all about.

Ryan and his wife Nina have teamed up to create the Ryan and Christina Day Fund for Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Wellness at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. And they got things rolling with a $100,000 donation. They’re also involved with the “On Our Sleeves” initiative to end the stigma associated with mental health. Ryan lost his father to suicide when he was nine years old. He kept this to himself until 2018 when the rash of teen suicides in his community compelled him to speak up and take action.

“Life is all about ups and downs. We all go through ups and downs. When things are well and it’s on upswing, enjoy it best you can. Hug your family, hug your friends, get all you can get. Love it, enjoy it, laugh, have fun,” He says. “But at some point, it is going to go back down, and when it goes back down and it gets hard and it gets tough, you just have to hang on. That’s all you do is hang on because eventually, if you just hang on, it’s going to turn and it’s going to go back up. That’s just the way life works,”

It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you face the day.

Brittany Walters hugs Nyla Covington after she passed along her crown.

Imma finish up with one from Frank “Beach Walks” Angle and just letting you know right from the get, this one comes with a Kleenex alert.

It was a promise Brittany Walters was intent on keeping. On the day her mother A.J. passed away from cancer, her daughter promised to attend homecoming with her father. The senior was on the list of nominees for homecoming queen, and while she didn’t win the crown, she did end up winning the night thanks to that promise.

A.J. Walters, an administrator at Mississippi’s Forrest County Agricultural High School, played the role of Wonder Woman when it came to her little girl. From bake sales to assemblies to games, she showed up. She was that silent partner for her child, ceding the spotlight as Brittany tested her wings on the sky and every single good thing it had coming. When mom left this earth, it was Brittany’s turn to show up.

And then on homecoming night, it was as if A.J. Walters had been granted one more wish from the cosmos when Nyla Covington presented Brittany with the crown she had just won.

“I just felt like it was something that was put on my heart,” Covington said. “It was really just for her, to bring up her day a little bit, and she’d rather have her mom than a crown… but the point was, I was telling her that she was her mom’s queen and I was just letting her know that she was loved by many and especially me.”

Nyla says the crown is Brittany’s to keep, knowing full well the value of this piece is in what it means to her and her family. Because when they look back on all of this, that crown will signify a promise made.

And a promise kept.





39 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week!

  1. Terrific heroes, Pilgrim. You were right about the tissue alert on the last one. Looks like dad is having a moment too. What a great story. Ryan and Nina day are putting their hearts in the right place for sure. Gotta give Shatner some props for staying engaged. Thanks for the stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. B

    Not knowing the theme of this week’s Heroes, I couldn’t possibly know how perfect this song would end up being!

    How fabulous that Captain Kirk got a chance to go up into space and “Shatnered” the age record for space travel… No, I cannot lay claim to that one.

    I think what pisses me off most about the Gruden shit is that he stepped down and was not fired. It gives him a (albeit puny) modicum of grace that he doesn’t deserve. On the positive side, he’s out.

    Now Ryan Day is on a whole ‘nother playing field. Of course, when one has been subjected to the effects of mental health issues – by way of losing someone, as he did, it brings awareness to the fore big time. That he and his wife chose to do something about it, following all those suicides is a beautiful thing.

    Oh. Em. Gee. You did give a warning, yes you did. Did that stop my vision from becoming blurry suddenly? No, it did not. Nyla Covington is a beautiful soul. Period. Looks like Daddy Walters was having a tough time keeping his eyes from being washed out, too. Kudos to Frank from binging this story to you.

    Talk about reaching out – in the two last stories. Wonderfully done, babe!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. {Sniffle…} that last story…yup-a definitely two hankie piece for sure. Kudos for this week’s Heroes (and a klunk on the head to the Zeros…Gruden with U Meyer just on principal). It makes you wonder where these people come from…the good and the ungood. Each having their own opportunities to do right and yet some choose to take the other route. Head shaking…hope you have a super weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a huge fan of Mr. Shatner, I was all a titter when he went up. It was like a little Star Trek aftermath for me.
    I hate all these Zeroes sports guy stories. When they get fired, do they look for work at the cathaholic church? Why is there a seeming endless roster of 0’s, and it’s not just coaches. Yes, there are heroes, but they seem on the underdog side. More Ryan Day’s, please!

    Frank picked a great story. It doesn’t lose its song!
    Speaking of songs, nice pick, Thunder!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Right? And the man is NINETY YEARS OLD. Which does deserve to go in bold font just because. He is making 90 the new Hells Yeah!

      You ain’t kidding about that! Urban should go look into that, Gruden too. Creeps.

      More Ryan Days, pretty please. The sports world and the whole wide world needs more of that.

      Cincy knows how to pick em, doesn’t he? And so does Thunder!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You, Frank and Brittany got me alright. What can I say. Making lemonade out of such sad, sorry lemons ain’t easy Mr. Imma. I need more than Kleenex. How bout my bedspread.

    Also, sorry I’m reading HEROES so late. Never not know how much I like the weekly piece and very aware of all the work that goes into it. Your fellow-ess scribe

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well I don’t have the studies off hand – but in some of my crisis training and CE courses- they do mention that suicide prevention starts immediately with dialogue And just informing – and I guess some folks have had the difficult moment come – where it felt like he end – and something from their tool box or a seed that was planted awakes it becomes a light/ something like that

        Liked by 1 person

          • This is kind of a side note – but some aucides are control and anger related
            I believe (not sure) but from what I have heard about Kate Spade’s suicide it was a last attempt to exert control.
            I heard the story at the time but then it hit home even more when my husband’s ex wife committed suicide – it was very similar – well we had to piece meal the details – but believe it was the exerting control as the husband no longer was under their control – and the ex also likely had depression meds – and I once heard that a lot of mass shooters were all on depression meds – and that is not walkways reported –

            Liked by 1 person

          • Control is a word, alright. I remember many moons ago when I was blathering on about a very dark place I was in to my therapist. Turns out I was using that word and them throughout my conversation. We addressed it, I admittedly was in need of her help and glad I was there to get it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That is wonderful to hear and thanks for sharing your details – that kind of openness can really empower others!

            And it really comes to accurate self awareness and being a detective to understand how we have Been shaped and how we are responding – and then being open to change

            Liked by 1 person

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