A Tribute to All the Sports Moms out There on Mother’s Day

A Tribute to Moms
(Twitter/SportsCenter)

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s only fitting to take a moment to recognize all the sports moms out there. No, this is not going to be one of those agonizingly mushy think pieces that make up with empty prose what it lacks in sincerity. It’s not going to be some missive about how women are the true power in the world and men are complete and utter trash. But sports moms, we see you.

We know how hard it is to get a 7-year-old’s shin guards on seconds after getting them off the bus, shoveling something loosely resembling food in their mouths before dropping them off at soccer. We know how boring it is to sit on a rainy sideline, waiting for your kid to do something tangentially related to the sport they are competing in (he kicked near the ball!). We see you juggling practice schedules with the tenacity of an air traffic controller. And we see you on the sidelines, as more moms are coaching youth sports than ever before. We see you, and we respect you.

Sports Moms are also crazy. I respect that too. If you’re a crazy sports dad, either the police are called on you, or you develop a reputation in the community. Crazy sports dads get banned from coaching. Crazy sports moms are just a good time. Of the top five craziest things I’ve seen at youth sporting events, moms have been involved in seven of them. I once saw a mom at a soccer game for second-graders yell at the ref to go f*** himself. The ref was a 12-year-old kid.

Baker Mayfield read a letter to his mom on Sportscenter and it made her cry. What a jerk! While this has been getting a lot of attention, I think his letter-writing skills leave a lot to be desired. I’ll be honest; I was expecting a lot more from him when I clicked the link.

I was raised by a sports Mom, as my mom spent years coaching my youth soccer teams. She didn’t know anything about soccer and had to spend hours going over books she checked out from the library to build our practice plans, but you wouldn’t have known it as we finished in 2nd place. We may have also been naturally very talented though, so who knows who truly deserves the credit?

Milwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich also wrote a letter to his mom, this one featured on The Players Tribune. He mentioned his mom convinced him to stick it out in baseball when he wanted to quit as a seven-year-old. He was afraid of being hit by pitches, and his mom offered him $5 per pitch he got hit with as an incentive to keep playing. I think we really need to consider the true motives here. It’s probably really funny to see a seven-year-old get hit with a pitch, and for some reason, his mom wanted to see it happen so much she put a financial reward on it. Sure, for the holiday, we can retcon this as a moving gesture by a strong mom teaching her son a lesson about quitting. But it could also be a tired, frustrated mom living vicariously through other kids throwing baseballs at her kid. I know those moms (and dads) are out there.

Indianapolis Star sports columnist Gregg Doyel is one of the best in the country, and he also has a moving Mother’s Day column worth reading.

Now, for a tonal shift, BEES! The Cincinnati Reds had their game delayed this week due to bees, which is just as terrifying as it sounds. A swarm of bees invaded the stadium, stopping play as the umpires and teams tried to figure out what ghastly curse had been invoked on all present.

There was a sciency reason why bees act like that, but this sort of thing might be exactly what makes baseball more watchable. Don’t stop play until they leave, force the players to play through it. Football players sometimes play when it’s a little chilly out, so baseball players should be forced to play as literal clouds of thousands of bees swarm around them.

Jamal Murray is one of the better free throw shooters in the NBA, making some pivotal ones down the stretch in a game four win for Denver.

He credited his dad with being the reason he’s so good at free throws. His dad used to blindfold him, yell at him the way a hostile crowd would, and make him shoot free throws. I’m not sure if that counts more as practice or as hazing. 

The best sports moment of the week goes to hockey, as hometown hero Patrick Maroon scored the game-winning goal in double overtime for the St. Louis Blues, and the reaction of his son is priceless.

And here was the video that went viral a few years back, when Maroon was talking about his son getting to see him score another goal.

I hope Maroon keeps scoring goals, and we get a video of his kid crying into the Stanley Cup in a few weeks.

7-Yr-Old Pleased With Recommendations by Restaurant’s “Nugget Sommelier”

7-Yr-Old Approves of “Nugget Sommelier”
(Getty/Maskot/HelpingHandPhotos)

TOLEDO, OH – Second-grader Jesse Landgraf hailed a local restaurant’s nugget sommelier as “sophisticated and insightful”, in a glowing review posted Tuesday.

“I have a sophisticated palate — I eat literally any kind of nugget,” the 7-year-old said in his review of Big Papa’s Diner. “Having a trained nugget professional to communicate with is really important to me.”

Many kid-friendly restaurants now offer a nugget sommelier — or “nuggetista” — since that is the only thing kids will eat.

More than simply providing options for different kinds of nuggets, the 7-year-old said his nugget steward asked insightful questions so he could find the right nugget style for Jake’s palate.

“I was initially leaning toward the beef nuggets, but he said that wouldn’t pair well with my chocolate milk,” Jake recounted. “I appreciate that kind of expertise.”

Ultimately, Jake said he opted for the chicken nuggets because they were shaped like dinosaurs.

Despite being completely plausible to parents, THIS JUST IN is satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Reimagined Ren & Stimpy Coming to Comedy Central

Ren & Stimpy Return
(Nickelodian)

Back in my day (the 90s!), there was some bizarre, and often groundbreaking animation floating around. From Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butthead to Liquid Television’s Aeon Flux on MTV to the meta Animaniacs and the just plain batshit Ren and Stimpy, animators were going off.

Now, 20+ years later, many of those shows are coming back. Animaniacs is returning to the airwaves this fall, Beavis and Butthead is being revived in a very different era (are they still going to make fun of music videos?), and now it’s been announced that Ren and Stimpy is coming back as well.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that 25 years after its initial run on Nickelodeon, Ren and Stimpy, an adult-focused cartoon featuring the misadventures of Ren, a manic, often exasperated chihuahua, and his dopey sidekick, Stimpy. The show ran for 5 seasons and 100 episodes and often featured content – about religion, politics, and more – that didn’t jibe with Nickelodeon’s kid-centric content. Still, it gained a cult following.

Now the show is being reimagined for Comedy Central, which will also air the new Beavis and Butthead and Jodie, a series based on MTV’s Daria.

“We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio,” said ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group president Chris McCarthy. “Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.”

The new, “reimagined” Ren and Stimpy will be made with a new creative team and entirely without the involvement of creator John Kricfalusi, who will also reportedly not benefit financially in any way from the new series. He’s been a controversial figure since Buzzfeed published a story about his relationships with underage girls.

Keanu Is Writing a Comic Book and the Main Character Looks Like Him

brzrkr Keanu Comic
(Boom! Studios/Alessandro Vitti/Bill Crabtree)

Keanu Reeves is a popular guy on The Dad.

Not only does he star in some of our favorite movies, including the John Wick Series, The Matrix (the fourth installment is due next year… we hope!), the Toy Story series, and Bill and Ted‘s (which hits on-demand in about a month), he’s an all-around good dude who is constantly behaving like a real-life version of the superhero-type characters he often portrays on screen.

For his latest project, Keanu is finally joining the comic-book game, but not in the way you might think. He’s not suiting up – yet; instead, he’s leaving acting behind for a minute and shifting gears into writing.

He is teaming up with writer Matt Kindt to pen a 12-issue limited comic book series called BRZRKR.

According to USA Today, BRZRKR is illustrated by Alessandro Vitti and is “action-packed and hyperviolent.” It’s about a warrior who has spent centuries fighting battles and in 2020 finds himself doing dangerous jobs for the U.S. government – to prevent them from exposing his identity. It sounds a little bit like Netflix’s recent The Old Guard, with former Keanu co-star Charlize Theron, which was itself based on a comic series.

“This character who was born 80,000 years ago, half man, his father’s a war god. It’s a little fantasy in reality,” Reeves explained. “I had this image in my head of a guy fighting through the ages because of his father’s compulsion to violence.”

The main character of BRZRKR resembles Keanu, so perhaps one day he’ll play his own creation on screen: “I’d love to play Berzerker!” he admitted. “It’s a really fun story so if it’s not me, hopefully someone can play it.”

For now, he’s enjoying being behind the scenes.

“I guess I’m in the writing room,” he told USA TODAY from Berlin, where he was prepping for “Matrix 4” and “Skyping pretty regularly” with his co-writer.

“We’re excited about what’s happening,” Reeves says. “The story’s taking some really interesting twists and turns.”

So has his career, which is entering its fifth decade and shows no signs of slowing down. Especially if he’s able to parlay his stardom into comic book success.

You can get the full sneak peek from Boom! Studios here.

The first issue of the comic hits shelves on October 7th.

Skydiver’s Lost Prosthetic Leg is Returned by a Local Farmer

Skydiver’s Lost Prosthetic Leg is Returned by a Local Farmer
(Facebook/Chris Marckres)

There’s a lot to think about (read: worry about) when going skydiving. Is your parachute going to open, or did you somehow accidentally grab a random backpack instead? Did you eat too much beforehand? Are all of your limbs going to stay attached while you’re flailing around in free fall? For most of us, maybe that last one is nothing more than a flash of irrational panic as your brain scans through every horrible possibility while coming to terms with the fact that you’re about to jump out of a moving plane. But for Chris Marckres of Vermont, being a double amputee meant that he was just slightly more likely than the rest of us to lose track of a limb mid-air. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened during his very first jump last Saturday.

Marckres was tandem skydiving, which means he was safely strapped to an instructor to ensure that his first jump went (mostly) as planned. Even the most experienced instructor probably wouldn’t have imagined that one of Chris’s prosthetic legs would have detached during the jump – in fact, Chris himself didn’t even realize that his leg was missing until he landed.

Prosthetics are expensive and take time to replace, so with fading hope, Chris put out a social media post explaining his peculiar predicament in the hopes that someone might stumble upon his missing leg. In a shocking turn of events, a farmer named Joe Marszalkowski messaged Chris with some incredible news – the missing leg had been found, New Balance sneaker and all.

In a Facebook post, Chris shared his good fortune. The post read, “Just got a message from Joe Marszalkowski that he found my leg. 9500 foot drop and it’s 100% intact. I can not even begin thank everyone enough that has been involved with the search. You all have shown me there are still so many good people. Thank you all again, especially Joe.”

Chris Leg
(Facebook/Chris Marckres)

Nobody was more surprised than Chris that, against all odds, his leg had been safely recovered. “About the time Joe messaged me saying he had located my prosthetic, I had been coming to terms with the fact it was most likely not going to be found,” Chris told The Dad. “I was beyond excited to have it returned, and equally surprised it wasn’t damaged at all.”

After seeing Chris’s post on Facebook, Joe discovered the lonely leg in his soybean field. Fortunately, he had diligently kept an eye out – had any machine come in contact with it, the leg surely would have been destroyed.

This experience hasn’t turned Chris off of skydiving. In fact, he told The Dad that he anticipates completing more jumps in the future. And if anything like this ever happens again, the people on social media are always willing to lend a hand – or in this case, a leg.

Ben Stiller, Jon Cryer Auditioned for a Very Different Back to the Future

Alternate Back to the Future
(Universal Pictures)

Near-miss casting decisions are a fascinating experiment in alternative history. What if Tom Selleck had been able to get away from Magnum P.I. and play Indiana Jones? What if Robert Redford had starred in the Graduate? What if Eric Stoltz had played Marty McFly.

Well, Stoltz actually did play Marty McFly for about three weeks, before the people behind Back to the Future realized it wasn’t working and Michael J. Fox stepped in.

Turns out that Stoltz wasn’t the only future star to miss out on one of the biggest movies of the 80s. The 35th anniversary of Robert Zemeckis’s time-travel-sci-fi comedy is approaching, and with it comes a Blu-Ray box set complete with deleted scenes and auditions from a variety of well-known actors, including Jon Cryer (Pretty in Pink, and Two and a Half Men) and Ben Stiller (of half of the biggest comedies of the past 20 years.

Amblin Road, a website dedicated to Steven Spielberg (who produced BttF), tweeted out the news about the box set and those auditions.

Stiller responded, having apparently forgotten about his audition, which came a few years before he broke out on Fox with The Ben Stiller Show.

Jon Cryer, who made his name in 80s teen comedies before having a hugely successful run on Two and a Half Men, also chimed in about his audition, which apparently also wasn’t great:

Cryer also divulged some info about the original script of the movie, it originally opened with Marty playing something different with his guitar and closed differently too. It also didn’t yet feature the iconic DeLorean but did feature a sequence that Spielberg later repurposed, to much notoriety, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Dad Shares 14-Yr-Old’s Comics and the Internet Loves Them

Dad Shares 14-Year-Old’s Comics and the Internet Loves Them
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

It’s a proud moment for parents when kids develop a passion for their hobbies and work hard to improve their skills. Hanging their pictures around the house or sharing poems with family and friends is a great way to encourage and support them, but it’s not often that thousands of strangers also take an active role in cheering on a kid’s creativity. When 14-year-old Jake started drawing impressive and hysterical comics on the whiteboard on his bedroom door every night, Jake’s dad David thought that others might enjoy them too. David began sharing Jake’s comics online, and anyone who has ever thrown content into the abyss that is the internet knows it’s not easy to win over the self-proclaimed content connoisseurs – but Jake’s comics clearly struck a chord.

With nearly 15,000 Instagram followers and counting, Jake’s comics are a hit. The 14-year-old initially used his whiteboard to share a “word of the day” with his family, but soon grew tired of searching for interesting vocabulary. Jake’s whiteboard soon became a place for doodles and comics, which caught his dad’s attention. These comics were not the scribbles and questionable jokes one might expect from a teen – they were delightfully funny, impressively drawn, and highly entertaining.

Jake told Bored Panda about the origins of his Instagram page. He recalled, “My dad took pictures of them, and once we got around 50, my dad asked for permission to put them on an Instagram page. I was reluctant at first, but I gave my dad the green light to put the comics up. The page got 10,000 followers in two days, and I drew comics on the whiteboard more frequently. And that’s how it all began!”

The comics are entirely products of Jake’s active imagination, and while the drawing process is quick, the ideas themselves take time to develop. Jake explains, “I’ll have an idea for a comic, think, ‘Hey that’s actually a good idea,’ and write it down on a sticky note for future use.”

Jake’s dad has posted over 150 of his comics so far, and his daily drawings are added frequently. Check out Jake’s Instagram for his full catalog of work, and enjoy some of our favorites below!

On wishful thinking

Jake comic 3
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Finding loopholes

Jake comic 2
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Incredible advertising

Jake Comic 1
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

And questionable decisions

Jake comic 4
(Instagram/jakes_door_comics)

Netflix Has a New Jurassic World Animated Show and Unsurprisingly, Dinos Escape

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous
(YouTube/Netflix)

The Jurassic World movies, much like its predecessors, may not be the easiest entry point for kids into dinosaurs. But Netflix is producing a new animated show aimed for the younger demographic that’s premiering this fall. “Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous” drops in mid-September but we have a trailer now. That trailer is…pretty badass, actually.

So maybe not aimed for the littlest of kids, as even the trailer seems pretty intense. But if you have tweens, this could be right up their alley. According to the Netflix release, JW:CC will follow a group of “six teenagers chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at a new adventure camp on the opposite side of Isla Nublar.” And natch, because it’s Jurassic World, the dinosaurs that were very controlled became less so, and take over.

The formula may be a little standard but guess what, it’s worked for a whole bunch of movies so far, so there’s no reason it can’t work here. Let’s all forget the obvious shortcomings of the parents who would send their kids to an “adventure camp” that is not only full of dinosaurs, but that has also never been run before and only has a total of six attendees (so many red flags there you have to really hate your kids to ignore them).

Netflix is planning for 8 episodes of Camp Cretaceous and, supposedly, they are aimed at ages of all users. The show is set during the same time period as the Jurassic World movie and it marks the first TV series in the Jurassic franchise.

Father Figures: Best Dada

“My husband has been such an amazing source of support through our pregnancy and the first three months with our son.

Things haven’t been the easiest for us. Don’t get me wrong, lots of people have it worse, but I’m a big believer that one persons problems do not negate another’s.

After a miscarriage, we were lucky to get pregnant again after a few months. He helped me so much with all my anxiety during that first trimester. Then, I was on bed-rest for the last 7 weeks of my pregnancy and ultimately induced at 37 weeks due to gestational hypertension.

My husband did everything for me during that time and never complained. When our son was born at the start of this pandemic, knowing he was the only support person I could have in the hospital, he really stepped up and woke up with me for every feeding, washed pump parts, and got me cookies from the cafeteria whenever I asked.

He’s helped with everything from day 1. Just this week I tested positive for Covid-19 after going back to work in a high risk environment. Going back to work was hard enough, but this has been my biggest nightmare come true with a three-month-old at home. Thankfully, my husband tested negative and he has been doing everything to care for our little man and me as safely as possible.

I feel so blessed to have him to get through these hard times together, and as much as I hate having to social distance from my own family, it’s been a joy to see them bond even more during this time. He’s an amazing husband and the best ‘Dada’ our little man could ever have.”

– Alyssa Johnson

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

NASA Dads’ SpaceX Mission Was a Splashing Success

NASA Dads’ SpaceX Mission Was a Splashing Success
(Twitter/NASA)

If ever there was a time to take a vacation from Earth, now would be ideal. For nearly two months, astronauts and dads Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley have been soaking up the atmosphere in the International Space station after being the first astronauts in history to travel to space in a commercially-built capsule. NASA hired both Boeing and SpaceX to build spacecrafts that can transport astronauts between Earth and the International space station, and SpaceX’s first mission was a success.

Not only was SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule the first privately-built capsule NASA sent to orbit, but it was the first time since 1975 that any American space crew had utilized a water landing, otherwise known as a splashdown. NASA and SpaceX staff weren’t the only ones counting down the minutes until the Dragon Endeavour’s return.

“I’m happy you went into space, but I’m even happier that you’re coming back home,” Hurley’s son Jack told him early Sunday morning.

“Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up, Daddy, wake up! Don’t worry, you can sleep in tomorrow. Hurry home so we can go get my dog!” Behnken’s son Theo exclaimed, which just goes to show that if you promise your kid a dog, even going to space for a while isn’t going to make them forget.

On Sunday, after a 21-hour voyage from the International Space Station, the two Astronaut dads splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico. The landing went mostly as planned, with the capsule deploying four large parachutes to slow its descent to 15 miles per hour for landing. There was a small delay caused by toxic nitrogen tetroxide fumes around the exterior of the capsule, which was caused by one of the spacecraft’s fuels – fortunately, the crew was able to clean the fuel tanks without much trouble. The capsule was pulled from the water by a crane and set down on a boat nearby where staff was waiting to help the astronauts out of the spacecraft.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was thrilled by the success of the mission. He explained that the Crew Dragon endeavor signified “a new era of human spaceflight where NASA is no longer the purchaser, owner and operator of all the hardware. We are going to be a customer, one customer of many customers in a very robust commercial marketplace for human spaceflight to low Earth orbit.”

That’s one small step for dads, one giant leap for dadkind.