The Wrap Sheet, September 2018
A monthly airing of thoughts and grievances
It’s a tough month, September.
The start of fall means many things. The summer is over. School’s back in session; kids are leaving home for the first time to venture into the unknown that is college. Or maybe they’re even younger than that and are venturing into the cruel unknown that is high school or middle school. And that can mean different things for parents, too.
The temperatures are getting colder. I know here in New York it’s been nice and cool and (as of the day of my writing this) even cloudy and rainy of late.
And, obviously, allergies are a thing. Take your Claritin, kids.
And then there’s all the shit that’s been happening in this country, and it’s almost like the world is falling to hell.
You’ll have to bear with me, as this is probably going to be a very scattered version of the Wrap Sheet.
I have been largely silent on the subject of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and his hearing that has been going on in the last few days, as well as the statements of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I have been away from social media, just because reading about it all makes me upset and spikey.
My thoughts are brief.
Brett Kavanaugh is a spineless piece of shit. I love the analogy of Hillary Clinton being question for 11 hours and not batting an eyelash, but Kavanaugh being questioned for 11 minutes and breaking down into hysterical sobs and outrage.
And yet, a part of me felt that all the outrage meant (or rather, would amount to) nothing, because the politicians in this country care about politics and party over people.
When I saw this morning that the swing Republican voter, Jeff Flake, would vote in favor of appointing Kavanaugh, I thought to myself that it did not come as a surprise. Politics over people.
Right before I started writing, I saw that the vote would be pushed back a week to “allow for FBI investigation,” which gave me back a fraction of my faith in humanity.
I guess I didn’t know what to say about this whole thing.
I know that as a straight white man, and even as a human who has made mistakes in this life, it is my job to be a better person in any way that I can. Little steps, big steps, whatever.
We all have to be better.
And it’s sad that we, in 2018, aren’t already.
I want to move off this issue, if that’s okay with you guys.
The weather and politics have me in a funk today, and for the rest of the time, I want to share with you a few things from September that made me laugh, smile, or just make me feel good.
Because for all the utter shit that this fall has brought us this far, there are some diamonds that lie in the rough.
Let’s jump into it. For real this time.
EDIT: Somebody made THIS and I think it’s incredible.
This is the Kavanaugh hearing combined with some Pulp Fiction.
"Check out the big brain on Brett!"
This just brings me pure joy.
If I go chronologically from my notes, one of the first things that happened this month was a Nike commercial that aired during the opening game of the NFL season.
As you can imagine, there was backlash.
But here’s the thing. Nobody cares what you think. This is the age of the internet where you’re just a faceless nobody behind a computer screen.
This commercial is fantastic. And I’m not getting anything from this commercial other than “chase your dreams, no matter the obstacle.”
But of course, the internet went apeshit at it. And people started burning Nike gear on their front lawns. Because, y’know. People are crazy.
To which Nike responded with this tweet:
Just sweet. So, so sweet.
There will probably be no smooth segways in this Wrap Sheet, just because it’s how I’m feeling today, and I wanted to share all of these things with you.
Husband calling became a thing this month.
Only in Iowa, am I right?
I have a stepfather who is, for lack of a better term, a bit of a bellower.
It’s charming, really, I promise it is.
But he ain’t got nothing on these midwestern ladies, especially the very last woman in the video, who placed first in the 2017 competition, 89-year old Bonnie Swalwell Eilert. She’s the stern grandma you read about personified into a real-life Iowan husband caller.
The bite in her voice when she says “Can you hear me?” is FANTASTIC.
I want to tie back to politics really quickly, but it’s about Barack Obama, so I hope you’ll give it a pass.
Obama broke with tradition by going out on the campaign trail and publicly calling out the current president during an event at the University of Illinois.
You can watch some of the highlights here:
I miss this man. His speech is measured, eloquent, and well-informed. Also his voice is just plain old pleasing to listen to. I can’t even bring myself to listen to Trump talk because his voice is just as decrepit as he is. Watching Obama speak, especially when Trump is president, is cathartic. You can, like, take a deep breath, almost.
Brie Larson is playing Captain Marvel in the upcoming film of the same name, so that’s fun.
And, of course, she’s already facing the ire of cowardly men on the internet who think she doesn’t smile enough in the first trailer released for the film.
Also, don’t tell women to smile. I don’t care what your intentions are.
“Life’s not that bad!”
“You’d look prettier if you smiled.”
I don’t care. Stop it. She’ll smile if she wants to, not for your enjoyment.
That being said, Larson took to Instagram to post these pictures in response to the “smile more” comments:
Brie Larson with the clapback of the year.
If you’re a superhero, you probably aren’t smiling when you’re protecting the world from evil or an alien invasion.
And if you expect them to be smiling while they do it, they probably look as goofy and as unsettling as the men in the reimagined posters that Larson posted.
Keep on keepin’ on, Brie Larson.
Captain Marvel comes out March 8th, 2019. I’m excited.
We’ll finish with a few sports things, because sports make me happy and this is my blog so shut up.
The first is Tiger Woods, who finally won his first golf tournament in five years, going wire to wire to win the Tour Championship last Sunday by five strokes.
Justin Rose actually won the FedEx cup, as the Tour Championship is the final event in golf’s playoffs, but Woods took home the victory for the actual tournament.
What struck me were the THRONGS of people who took to the course to watch Tiger win his first tournament since 2013.
Seriously, look at these pictures:
Regardless of what you think of Tiger Woods, there is no doubt this man made golf cool when he was in his prime.
How often do you see a crowd of people of this size following Rory McIlroy or Justin Thomas?
Tiger makes golf worth watching. And if you’re a casual golfer who doesn’t actively watch it on TV, you’ll watch if Tiger is in contention on Sunday.
This is one of the great sports stories of the year, and it will be a major talking point in 2019 if Tiger can continue his upward trend.
I never thought the golf shot of the year would be a two-foot, tap-in putt on the final PGA tournament of the year.
Welcome back, Tiger.
And finally, the best thing I saw this month:
The Philadelphia Flyers have a new mascot.
He was born in the space between fantasy and reality, initially thrown out as an idea character for the film The Happytime Murders.
He was the love child of the Phillie Phanatic and Danny DeVito’s character from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
He is an acid trip, perfectly reflective of Philadelphia’s sports teams and its collective culture.
He has broken the internet.
This is Gritty.
And just in time for Halloween, because this piece of genius is utterly terrifying.
He’s a coked-out, googly-eyed menace. And he’s coming to fuck shit up on the ice this winter.
Oh, by the way. When I say he’s broken the internet, I’m not kidding.
Here he is recreating a famous photo:
Here he is dancing (sorta) with Jimmy Fallon and Ricky Gervais:
Gritty is a national treasure who looks like he’s going to send kids six packs of Yuengling for Christmas.
He’s a beautiful mess that perfectly encapsulates Philadelphia, existing solely to remind the world that this is the city that booed and threw snowballs at Santa Claus, greased its light poles to minimize riot damage from its first Super Bowl win, had man intentionally throw up on a police officer AND HIS 11-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, and had Sylvester Stallone run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art ONE TIME.
Gritty is the best because he is the worst. And I can’t wait to see what comes next out of this orange nightmare fuel.
Give me more Gritty, NHL. WE WANT MORE GRITTY.
So, yeah. For everything that’s happened this month, there’s been some equally great things that are overshadowed by the depressing news.
And that concludes this month’s Wrap Sheet, you guys.
I have a new sports vodcast called Under Further Review, where my partner, Kata Stevens and I give our tepid opinions on sports and things. We broadcast on Facebook Live every Monday, with a podcast version put out later in the afternoon.
We also drink and do fun dares and stuff. This Monday, one of us is getting pelted with water balloons by random passersby.
You can find us our pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the handle @ufrvodcast.
Lots of fun things coming up this fall, you guys! October means baseball playoff predictions, plus a first look into Oscar season.
I’ve also got my Best of 2018 spread in its early planning stages, so look forward to that.
Thanks for reading. Stay alert out there.