Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux

Mark Chalifoux is a stand-up comedian who has been featured on Fox and IFC and has made national radio appearances on The Bob and Tom Show, SiriusXM and BBC Radio. As a writer, Mark has contributed to ESPN.com, CBS Digital, The Baltimore Sun, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Chalifoux Family Christmas Newsletter. Mark is the father to a beautiful and amazing daughter and her sister.

ESPN Moves up Release of Highly Anticipated Michael Jordan Series

The Last Dance
(Twitter/ESPN)

The sports world is feeling the crunch of suddenly having absolutely nothing going on. Athletes are creating makeshift sports at home, while fans cling to repeats of The Ocho. Kids got Frozen 2 early and free Amazon content but sports fans have been left in the cold.

Until now.

ESPN as stepped up and is delivering the hotly anticipated, 10-part Michael Jordan documentary months early. It will now be premiering now on April 19th.

The documentary series, The Last Dance, details Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls. For millennial sports fans, it’s tough to understate how big this is. In the late 90s, there was nothing cooler than Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. And with literally nothing else in the sports world even happening, everyone will be tuned in for this. Even the final trailer seems incredible and leaves fans awash in nostalgia for a time when people could actually gather in public.

This is big enough news that even athletes can’t wait for the series. LeBron James is the only basketball player in a generation to even get close to the Jordan discussion (and some may say James is the better player). And even LeBron can’t wait for the documentary.

The 97-98 Bulls was one of the more unique versions of the dynasty, as outside of Jordan you had Steve Kerr (now a wildly successful coach), Scottie Pippen (at the height of his career), Dennis Rodman (before he was a North Korean spokesperson) and Phil Jackson (always the Zen Master). That’s a lot of personalities around the biggest personality in basketball history.

Former NBA Star Working to Secure 10 Million Masks for NYC

Stephon Marbury Masks
(Instagram/starburymarbury)

New York City is the new epicenter for COVID-19. The hospitals have been overrun by cases, sirens are the only constant sounds on the streets, and healthcare workers are in desperate need of PPE. And on that last need, one former NYC basketball star is trying to come to the rescue.

Stephon Marbury, a talented baller from Brooklyn who starred for the New York Knicks, is working to negotiate the delivery of 10 million of the much-needed N95 masks, and at a steep discount. Marbury played in the NBA for more than a decade, but it wasn’t until he moved to China that he became a basketball hero.

In China, where he still lives, Marbury became an icon. And as the country of origin for COVID-19, they know a thing or two about fighting the illness. Now that cases are lower in China, they don’t have a significant need for protective equipment. Marbury wants to help move the surplus to his hometown and found a mask supplier willing to sell them at cost (which is about three times cheaper than what NYC has been paying for masks).

“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury told the New York Post. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

The basketball legend still has family scattered throughout the city, and recently lost a cousin to the deadly virus. He said he’s working to have the masks delivered in weekly shipments of 2 million.

Marbury has always been a charitable figure, donating frequently to various causes when he was a Knick. This latest act is another testament to the legacy of one of the most important players New York City has ever produced. He wasn’t exactly known for assists, but this one would be a big one that’s never been needed more.

Crocs Is Giving Away up to 20k Pairs to Healthcare Workers, Daily

Crocs Daily 20k Giveaway
(Instagram/Crocs)

If there was an honorary member to the dad shoe class, Crocs could make a case. It checks all the boxes; they’re comfortable and durable. They’re affordable and easy to clean. Oh, and they’re an awesome company.

The shoe is popular in the medical community, for many of the above reasons. And as our nation’s healthcare workers are facing a pandemic, the shoe company is trying to show its love, by giving away up to 20,000 pairs to healthcare workers daily.

The president and CEO of Crocs said in a statement the duration of the giveaway to these ‘heroes’ would depend on inventory. But after offering 10,000 daily the first few days the campaign ran – they upped the number to 20k a day.

He also said: “These workers have our deepest respect, and we are humbled to be able to answer their call and provide whatever we can to help during this unprecedented time.

This is the hour where people are rallying to help those on the front lines in any way they can. Maybe it’s free shoes. Or maybe it’s stopping the manufacture of jerseys, opting to make medical masks and PPE. Or maybe it’s donating supplies from your TV show, or making hand sanitizer instead of (or along with) booze.

Companies across the spectrum are doing their part to support those in the pandemic trenches. If you are a healthcare worker (or know one), you can get your free Crocs by going here at 12:00 p.m. ET every day.

Sports Apparel Companies Start Manufacturing Hospital Supplies

Sports Apparel PPE
(Twitter/AROD/BauerHockey)

Getting healthcare workers the supplies they need has become a worldwide effort, with companies doing what they can to make sure doctors and nurses have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely treat COVID-19 victims. We saw it with medical TV dramas donating their supplies to local hospitals, and now sports equipment manufacturers are shifting gears to help answer the call.

Major League Baseball and Fanatics, the company that makes its jerseys, are retooling their efforts to instead make some of the most in-demand items in hospitals: masks and gowns. Fanatics immediately stopped making jerseys for MLB and is using the fabric to make those masks and gowns. Their goal is to make one million for hospitals around Pennsylvania (where the factory is located), with hopes to increase production to help the New York/New Jersey area as well.

The employees are appropriately spaced out in the factory (read: more than six feet apart) and volunteered to be part of the movement. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred quickly agreed to the shutdown of MLB jerseys and cleared the way for Fanatics to refocus on much-needed hospital supplies. Baseball greats approve:

Fanatics isn’t the only sports company getting in the mix. Bauer, which is synonymous with ice hockey, has joined in to start manufacturing much-needed face shields for doctors and nurses. Sure, it would be cool if they were inked up like a goalie’s mask, but I understand how that may be time prohibitive. The legendary hockey company released a statement on social media, saying:

Protection that allows athletes to give everything for their team is our heritage. Right now, we’re all on the same team. We’re repurposing our facilities to make face shields so that medical professionals battling COVID-19 can safely continue to help those most vulnerable.

Bauer will put skates and helmets on hold, and will instead be dedicating its efforts to making the equipment doctors and nurses need more than ever.

Dad Makes up for Canceled Disney Trip With DIY Splash Mountain Ride

Dad's DIY Splash Mountain Ride
(reddit/laramargaret)

The coronavirus has taken something from everyone. Even for those who are in good health, it’s disrupted and changed daily lives in ways we are still unpacking. Even the small indignities can have big effects on kids, such as missing graduation, a prom, a birthday party, or even the last three months with a beloved first-grade teacher. And for plenty of families, a missed vacation is part of the equation.

Obviously not equivalent to having a family member or friend struggling with the virus, but it’s still a bummer to see your kid’s heartbroken at the cancellation of a long-awaited trip to Disneyland. That was what one Utah family was experiencing. So their dad decided if they couldn’t go to Disneyland, they would bring Disneyland to the living room. All he needed was the library of virtual Disney rides on YouTube and a little dad-ingenuity.

In a video shared by their mom, the dad is shown with his five-year-old son on his lap, as they watch a POV video from Splash Mountain. He’s got his kid in an empty diaper box that he’s moving around along with the ride and even adds authentic home-made splash effects throughout.

When you can’t go to Disneyland…thanks for the idea Reddit! from r/Disneyland

This is where we’re at after only a few weeks into life under pseudo house arrest. For now, we can turn our living rooms into theme parks. If this lasts into the fall, we can kick off the NFL season in our basements, ruthlessly bowling over toddlers on your way to a badass touchdown.

Everyone is going to cope with changes in their own way, so if some dads are going to kick that creativity up a notch, more power to them. And maybe we learn we don’t really need Disneyland because the real Disney was in our hearts the entire time.

And that’s the lie we’ll all tell ourselves until this mess is over.

Here at The Dad, we hope you, your families, and communities stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information, please utilize online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

Community Hosts a Social Distancing Parade for Girl Finishing Chemo

Social Distancing Parade for Coco
(Twitter/momuses)

Social distancing has been in our lexicon for only a few weeks, which in 2020 time, is equivalent to about 40 years. And as we get used to the guidelines of our new society, we’re finding ways to make it work. Friends and family are connecting over Zoom. Neighbors exchange pleasantries with the proper six feet of space between them. Kids school themselves on iPads with all screen time rules abolished. And we are also finding new ways to celebrate.

In one of the best feel-good stories you will see today, a young girl was returning home from her last chemo treatment, and her neighbors wanted to do something to celebrate. But with our social distancing rules in place, they had to get creative. So they did, helping set up a social distancing parade to welcome home the young girl.

Hat tip goes to John Krasinski of Office fame since he put the call out for good stories, and to the girl’s mom for delivering the video we needed to see today.

The girl’s friends, family, and neighbors all lined the street in decorated cars, holding balloons and signs, cheering her on as they pass.

It’s the most heartwarming thing you’ll see today, and frankly, we can use all the good news we can get these days.

Welcome home, Coco.

Medical TV Dramas are Donating Much-Needed Supplies to Hospitals

Shows Donate PPE
(Instagram/ontariofiredept)

One of the biggest challenges ahead is keeping health systems from being completely overrun by COVID-19 cases. An essential piece of this puzzle is keeping healthcare workers healthy enough to treat patients. And for that to happen, they need enough supplies to stay safe in the line of duty. Sadly, they don’t have nearly enough.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is what hospitals desperately need, and they are going to any length necessary to acquire it. Masks, gowns, and gloves are the basics, and healthcare workers are searching high and low to find them. Several medical TV dramas are heeding the call, donating their supplies to healthcare workers and actually doing something real to help people (beyond making sexy doctor dramas).

The Resident on FOX donated their supply of masks and gowns to an Atlanta-based hospital. The staff there was overjoyed to see the shipment come in, to help replenish their supply.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” . To the entire team @theresidentonfox, thank you for this incredibly generous donation of #PPE from your set, including gowns, masks, gloves, and all the things our healthcare workers need to provide safe care for our community during #COVID19. . Yesterday, I had a serious discussion with the residents about how, though supplies are low, a magical shipment of masks is unlikely to arrive. And yet, a magical shipment of masks DID arrive, in the form of this very generous gesture. This kind of community support means so much to our #frontlineproviders who are making many sacrifices to staff our hospitals and care for our community. . Thank you, @theresidentonfox and @foxtv for being helpers. We needed this kind of good news today. . PS: Sorry it’s not a great pic, but the focus was not on the photo at the time. Similarly, the team @theresidentonfox are good citizens doing good deeds and not looking for a shout out. Though I encourage all to support The Resident and the great team behind the show and to pay their good deed forward any way you can. . #Hurstlife #residentlife #emoryIMresidents #lookforthehelpers #gratitude

A post shared by klaw (@karen.ll.law) on


“Yesterday, I had a serious discussion with the residents about how, though supplies are low, a magical shipment of masks is unlikely to arrive,” wrote a doctor at the hospital. “And yet, a magical shipment of masks DID arrive, in the form of this very generous gesture. This kind of community support means so much to our #frontlineproviders who are making many sacrifices to staff our hospitals and care for our community.”

Grey’s Anatomy on ABC is one of the longest-running shows of all time, and they also followed suit, donating medical supplies, gowns, and gloves to a California-based hospital.

“At Grey’s Anatomy, we have a backstock of gowns and gloves which we are donating as well,” said producer Krista Vernoff. “We are all overwhelmed with gratitude for our healthcare workers during this incredibly difficult time, and in addition to these donations, we are doing our part to help them by staying home.”

Fire drama Station 19 donated their hundreds of N95 masks to a real fire station.

The Good Doctor, Chicago Med, and several other medical dramas plan to donate their inventory to local hospitals. Several popular medical dramas on the BBC are also donating their set supplies to hospitals in the U.K.

It’s not much, but every bit counts, and hopefully, they will inspire more to donate what they have.

Here at The Dad, we hope you, your families, and communities stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information, please utilize online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

NHL Player Uses Drone to Send Toilet Paper to Isolated Teammate

Drone Delivers Toilet Paper
(Twitter/Megan_Carter_)

This country once ran on gold, then on oil, all supplanted in the last decade by data. But the new prized commodity in this nation is toilet paper. After the COVID-19 outbreak came to our shores, people responded by going straight to the grocery store and buying every roll of toilet paper or TP-adjacent product they could find.

Because of the widespread shortage, it falls on friends to be there for you when you need someone to spare a square. And Jeff Carter of the L.A. Kings probably knows this better than anyone. His teammate, Alex Iafallo, hooked him up. But he didn’t just drop off a roll, he went to extreme lengths and had it delivered…by drone.

This is where we are as a country, which is both illuminating and also kind of scary. It’s terrifying you can’t just automatically get toilet paper when you need it. But it’s cool we live in an age when a friend can deliver without even leaving his home.

Camaraderie in hockey is different than in other sports. NBA players may be better on Tik Tok, but I don’t see any of them using their robots to save their teammates from a crappy situation.

#SocialDistancingGoals

Nursing Home in Isolation Hosts Giant Game of Hungry Hungry Hippos

Nursing Home Hungry Hungry Hippos
(Bryn Celyn Care Home)

We can all use a pick-me-up from the COVID-19 news cycle these days, and the trusty old internet can usually be counted on for such a respite. So for those who need some good news, may I present to you a senior citizen center creating their own version of Hungry Hungry Hippos?

It’s a classic kids game, involving all the strategy of eating everything as fast as humanly possible. It was the original button masher. And a nursing home in Wales recreated the whole thing, using the elderly as the hippos. All it took were some wheelchairs, some rigged up baskets, a bunch of balls and some willing seniors.

A representative for the facility told NBC the team there is always trying to come up with fun ways to keep residents entertained. “This activity really raise morale and had all the relatives and team members laughing.”

Morale needed a boost, as the center is currently under self-isolation rules (sort of like the entire world, for the most part.) It seems to have worked out for the best, as everyone seemed to have a blast including the millions who viewed it.

There will be no judgment for how we (safely) pass the time to get through this. That said, we’re probably only a few months away from a Senior Citizen Ninja Warrior obstacle course.

Bored Professional Sportscasters Start Doing Play-By-Play of Everyday Life

PB&J Play-by-Play
(Twitter/johnlewinstuff)

The sports world is still coming to grips without having their regularly scheduled games. NBA players are shooting hoops with socks and a trashcan, baseball players are organizing sandlot games, and broadcasters? They haven’t stopped.

Of course, without games to call, sports announcers are doing play-by-play of, well, anything else. Rugby broadcaster Nick Heath was gaining some internet fame for his dramatic calls of everyday life.

Never before has a crosswalk been quite so exciting.

These are almost good enough to make me want to go back and watch him call actual rugby matches…almost.

UCLA and Red Sox sometimes play-by-play guy Josh Lewin is keeping his skills sharp in a similar fashion, only he’s calling the action of videos submitted to him by followers.

Lewin even started a YouTube channel to follow along with his play-by-play of anything.

And even sports broadcasting titan Joe Buck is getting into the action, doing play-by-play of stuff around his house:

He also put out the call for videos from followers that he can broadcast as well.

Sure, these announcers are bored, but guess what, so are we. And we will take any content we can get at this point, so if it’s a half-crazy sports broadcaster doing play-by-play of squirrels chasing each other through a park, sign me up.

Shaq Makes Surprise Appearance During First Grade Class’ Video Chat

Shaq Crashes Video Chat
(YouTube/Making Movies Jealous)

We’re entering a new era of remote learning for kids, which will be interesting, to say the least.

But this is a brave new world we’re living in, so you have to approach it with a measure of understanding and unpredictability. Like, maybe your first-grader will be in a video chat with his class, and the session will be interrupted by an NBA legend.

Yup, Shaquille O’Neal, decided to surprise everyone in the online classroom by popping in to say and encourage students to be good and listen to their parents.

It was a surprise even the teacher wasn’t expecting. And it’s not too long into the video before some of the parents realize what’s happening, and jump on the video to confirm it.

Apparently, Shaq is friends with the family of one student, so he decided to hop into the class to surprise everyone.

As kids transition to online learning, there will be hurdles for everyone to clear. But, hey, you might also run into a Shaq along the way.

But sadly he’s no longer growing out his hair.

Anheuser-Busch Is Making Hand Sanitizer

Anheuser Busch Hand Sanitizer
(Twitter/AnheuserBusch)

There are two national imperatives right now as we fight the COVID-19 crisis. The first is to stay home, to help our hospital systems from being crushed by an influx of new cases. Second, keep your hands clean. When you don’t have soap and water, then it’s time to turn to hand sanitizer.

And that part is a problem, as the nation’s big-box stores have been wiped out of inventory. Some small distilleries scatted around the nation have done their civic duty, adding sanitizer to their boozy offerings. Now, the cavalry is coming, as brewing giant Anheuser-Busch is getting into the sanitizer game.

The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light, and a series of hard shelters, etc, is empowering its nation-wide infrastructure to start producing hand sanitizer, and a lot of it.

The world’s biggest brewer has some strong logistical advantages that the small distilleries clearly don’t have, so they can really ramp up the effort across the nation.

Anheuser-Busch said it would work with the Red Cross to direct the supplies to the communities and the hospitals that need it most. The company announced the move on social media, with a beer-looking bottle of hand sanitizer, and the simple message “It’s in all our hands to make a difference.”

Now, when you hear news like that, your first thought is “what’s the cost?” Yeah, we need hand sanitizer more than ever, but will that come at the cost of beer, another much-needed staple to help us survive isolation?

The answer is no, the company stressed it will produce sanitizer IN ADDITION TO its regular output of beer. This is just a company stepping up in a time of need.

Here at The Dad, we hope you, your families, and communities stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information, please utilize online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

Nickelodeon Launches Website to Help Kids Navigate This Mess

SpongeBob Washes Hands
(YouTube/Nickelodeon)

During a time when very few people know what’s truly going on, it can be hard for parents to know what to say to their kids about the COVID-19 situation. They’ve been suddenly cut off from school, routines, friends, as they brace for the longest and most boring spring break of all time.

Nickelodeon is trying to help in that regard, launching a new initiative for kids to help explain the crisis we’re all living through. The content is part of the #KidsTogether campaign includes some of the popular characters from Nick shows explaining what’s going on around the world.

The kid-appropriate content includes videos, social media posts and explains some terms such as social distancing. It also includes encourages handwashing courtesy of SpongeBob. We’re all gone blue in the face telling our kids to wash their hands for two happy birthdays, but a bacteria-filled cartoon sponge will help really drive the point home.

If you want some help from your friends at PAW Patrol and the Bubble Guppies to normalize your kids on our new hellscape, NickHelps.com is where it’s at. There are also ideas and other activities for your kids there, and Nickelodeon has also made their preschool learning service, “Noggin”, free for the next few months.

If you’re like me, this is how you’re learning Nickelodeon even has a preschool learning service, but you might need all the help you can get for the challenges ahead, so file it under “Good to Know.”

Here at The Dad, we hope you, your families, and communities stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information, please utilize online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.