The Mandalorian Episode 8 Recap: What’s Up With That Lightsaber?

Mandos Save Din
(Disney+)

In the recap for last week’s episode, I talked about how the show played into video game lore by introducing the force-heal power into the live-action Star Wars universe, which most of us now know was a setup for what goes down in The Rise of Skywalker. This week’s finale, however, is essentially the greatest hits album of video game tropes, while also managing to be one of the most heartfelt, nuanced and entertaining episodes yet. We’ve got mini-guns, flame-thrower sub-bosses, and setting aside prejudices to form new friendships!! Taika Waititi, man. Taika Waititi.  As always, *SPOILER ALERT* from here on out.

The episode opens with the greatest scene in the history of Star Wars? The two scout troopers who offed Uncle Ugnaught race back to the city with Baby Yoda in tow, stopping to await orders. Played by Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally, the two chat idly, the subordinate trying to convince his superior to let him see the baby. It’s a funny scene that mocks what terrible shots Stormtroopers are. Ever since Obi-Wan snuck past some troopers talking about “the new VT-16” in A New Hope, the Empire’s faceless soldiers have always had a bit of a working-man vibe when you catch them having a chat. This scene lays into that hard enough to make you almost like these two dickheads, right up until they start punching Baby Yoda.

Enter my boy, IG-Taika Waititi, the reprogramed killer nanny bot. He drops in to murder the Tag and Bink wannabes and get his kid back. I’m sincerely worried dads are going to start asking their neighbor’s 12-year-old to demonstrate that wrist-breaking maneuver before trusting them to babysit for 20 bucks.

IG and Baby Yoda
(TheNerdStash.com)

Anyway, back in town, things aren’t awesome for Mando and his crew. Moff Gus From Breaking Bad still has the space team cornered in the local bar…which, hey, things could be worse, right? The big bad drops some key points of information to intimidate our friends. He knows Cara Dune is from Alderaan, which is why she hates the Empire so much. He knows The Mandalorian’s real name! And he calls out Carl Wethers for…being kinda old, I guess? Dramatic stuff. Mando and Cara Dune explain to Carl Wethers than being a Mandalorian isn’t a race, because yes, race is a social construct, Ok boomer? Yes, even in a galaxy with fish-people.

We get the full flashback of Din Dijin’s family being killed during the Clone Wars, and Mando explains how Moff Gus was the Imperial behind the big Mandalorian purge we keep hearing about. He was supposed to have been executed for war crimes but it looks like the New Republic is already getting sloppy with paperwork.

Anyway, Moff Gus gives them until nightfall to surrender for no real reason other than it’s a television show. We don’t have to wait that long, though because IG-Taika Waiti saves the day, blasting in on his speeder to start a big ole’ gunfight. Before the fight, Moss Gus made a big deal about how cool his big gun was, so of course, Mando goes right for it and turns it on the Imps. The team hit the standard approx 75-to-1 ratio of kills during a fight with the Empire but is forced to retreat back to the bar when Mando gets hit with one of Moff Gus’ frags. I’ve been playing a lot of Fallen Order lately, and you just gotta watch out for those bonus attacks.

In the bar, a flame-trooper goes in to burn everyone alive (I mean…Jesus) while the team argues about how to get out of there. Mando wants everyone to leave him to die covering their escape, but Cara Dune’s not having any of that because Cara Dune is the best of all of us. Baby Yoda proves to be a Baby Yoda Of Action and saves the day by blasting the flame trooper’s fireball back in his face using the Force. Then, like me, after doing anything remotely taxing, he takes a little nap.

IG-Taika Waitit promises to take care of Mando while everyone else jumps into the garbage shoot sewer grate. This, in my opinion, is the strongest moment of the series so far. All of the connections they have built over the season – Mando’s droid racism, IG-Taika Waititi’s obvious Mandalorian stand-in metaphors, the very question of who Din Dejarin is under that helmet – all come to this perfect, understated moment. Only the droid can save the Mandalorian. And since the droid “is not alive,” removing the Beskar helmet isn’t technically breaking with the code. We see Pedro Pascal’s face for the first time, and he’s just a person under all that armor after all. Fragile and vulnerable.

Mando's Face
(WhereverIlook.com)

The team is reunited in the sewers, where they learn that the entire Mandalorian clan from the beginning of the season has been wiped out by the Empire for helping Mando escape in episode three. Only the Armorer survives, cleaning up the devastation Mando has left in his wake. She finally meets Baby Yoda and declares the child to be a foundling, just like Din was. Until ManDADlorian can train the kid in the creed, or return him to his own kind, they are officially father and son in the eyes of Mandalore. Mando finally receives his signet – the mudhorn monster from episode two that the Armorer tried to give him before. Only this time it is given with the understanding that Mando and Baby Yoda are a clan unto themselves. (Cara Dune and the rest of the gang don’t say anything about that, but like…burn.) He also gets a jetpack, which is less meaningful, but what’s a good cut scene without an equipment upgrade?

The gang leaves the Armorer to her cleanup on aisle 11, and soon Stormtroopers descend on her in what looks like a heroic, ceremonial end for the character. But she ends up beating the shit out of a whole squad of stormtroopers instead, which was just great.

Mando and co make their way out of town playing a big game of The Floor Is (Literally) Lava. With stormtroopers at the exit, however, it’s up to IG-Taika Waititi to save everyone by making the ultimate sacrifice. In episode one, Mando had to stop the assassin droid from blowing himself up for selfish reasons. Now, in the finale Din Dejarin again pleads with the same droid, but this time it’s because -even with no other choice- The Mandalorian wants his friend to live. Cyclical storytelling that highlights character growth: George Lucas 101. As the man himself once said, “It rhymes.”

Still, IG-Taika Waititi does what needs to be done and clears the path by blowing up his central processor and taking all the stormtroopers with him. Flights of Angels, buddy.

The finale of the episode sees the Mandalorian finally get to use a jetpack in a fun air fight with Moff Gus’ TIE Fighter. It’s a very Indiana Jones moment: Mando is badass, but he still drops his little bombs at first, you know, because getting yanked around by a starfighter in low atmosphere is probably kinda hard. Anyway, the ship goes down and Mandalorian gets a 7 for the landing, with a little flourish of his theme music that I’ll miss very much. It’s time to say goodbye to the space team and The Mandalorian flys off with Baby Yoda the same way we saw baby Din flown off to safety in the flashback earlier.

(Collider)

The big surprise cliffhanger tag of the episode is not that Boba Fett shows up, but that Moff Gus cuts his way out of his downed TIE Fighter using the Darksaber. Clone Wars and Rebels fans will recognize this particular “not just any lightsaber” as the legendary weapon used by the first (possibly only?) Mandalorian inducted into the Jedi Order centuries ago. (Mini-Spoiler Alert ahead, if you want to go back and watch those shows totally cold).

The sword has played a big part in Mandalorian culture over the years, passing hands among fan-favorite characters Darth Maul and Sabine Wren. There’s a lot to infer here since we know Moff Gus had some part to play in the Great Purge. His having the ceremonial weapon is probably not going to sit well with The Mandalorian in the future. Are we setting up a story where Mando will reclaim the sword and unite all Mandalorians? Will this all align with his growing beyond and expanding the dogmatic creed as he corrects the sins of the past? IS IT MAYBE GONNA BE LIKE A STAR WARS THING, YOU THINK?

Very frustratingly, we’ll have to wait until Fall 2020 to learn more.

Blaster Fire:

  • The Mandalorians who rescued baby Din Dijarin and brought him into the Creed are members of DEATH WATCH (Dun-dun-dunnnnnnnnn). In Clone Wars the Death Watch clan were all about bringing honor back to Mandalore, and generally speaking, they were sorta portrayed as bad guy terrorists who weren’t very chill with the Jedi. Still, the Jedi were stupid pricks about the Clone Wars in general, so it’s cool to see a more heroic side of the controversial clan of Mandos. It’s always about a certain point of view, after all.
  • There’s a fun bit of narrative trickery when Mando has his flashback. We know that Moff Gus was part of the Mandalorian Purge, but we hear that story while also seeing the Mandalorians rescue Din from certain death during the clone wars. These two events are years apart, but the narrative sleight of hand emphasizes Moff Gus as a nemesis to Mando. It’s not that he was there during the raid on the village, but by learning about these two disconnected stories at the same time, we’re conditioned to see the Moff as an overarching villain in Mando’s story.
  • I could go on all day about the unmasking scene. IG-Taika Waititi claims that because he’s “not alive,” it’s not breaking the Mandolorian creed to see Den’s face. But in seeing his droid buddy face-to-face for the first time, Den lets some of his hatred of droids go. That’s the moment Mando sees the droid as a person, even if not a technically living one. It’s bending the rules, to say the least, but in a way that suggests the growth, our main character is experiencing through this story.
  • Absolutely love how the Armorer and Mando talk about the Jedi as this vague, mysterious band of sorcerers, and how they are “the enemy.” Playing into the Jedi/Mandalorian conflict is great fodder for the story as the Mandalorian dad raises his Jedi baby. Also, I know people who love to obsess over details will be like “how do people not remember the Jedi from like 30 years ago,” but the fact is Star Wars is cooler when the mystical stuff is kept in the shadows. The Jedi are just more interesting when they are unknown and mysterious, rather than a weird law enforcement agency.
  • IG-Taika Waiti is the best version of the Spock character in like thirty years. Not to franchise-hop, but Taika nails delivering an inhuman performance who is subtly full of compassion and humanity. Everything the droid does, including explaining his own “jokes,” is cold and calculated, but it’s obvious that despite his saying otherwise, he was very much alive.

 

Heroic Healthcare Professionals En Route to Help New York City Hospitals

Healthcare Workers Fly to NYC
(Instagram/southwestair)

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe – there are a handful of hotspots where large numbers of cases have been confirmed. One of those hotspots is New York City, now known as the epicenter of the Coronavirus in the United States.

Over the past week, frequent updates from hospitals and healthcare workers in the NYC area have bemoaned the overwhelming number of Coronavirus patients and a subsequent lack of personal protection equipment (PPE). Also at a premium are doctors and nurses, those dedicated professionals who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day, to help care for patients and try to stem the growth of the disease.

To that end, many selfless doctors and nurses are heading to New York to help their colleagues on the front lines of the pandemic, and a whole bunch of them recently flew up from Atlanta on a Southwestern Airlines flight. The airline shared a photo of those brave men and women on Instagram, where it’s getting a lot of attention with over 25,000 likes.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

While so many of us continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one knows what is happening quite like our medical professionals. These brave souls soldier on in the midst of tremendous risk and exposure, constantly putting the needs of others above their own. Their selfless sacrifice is a beacon of light during such a dark time in our world, and no amount of gratitude and praise would ever be enough. Because of their courage, our family, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, and more have a fighting chance. More than a dozen healthcare professionals from Atlanta answered the call this past Friday evening to serve in New York. This photo embodies it all: bravery, courage, and sacrifice. If it were easy, everyone would do it, but we know that is not the case. Thankfully, this group and countless others do it each day, and for that we are forever grateful and in their debt. So to all the first responders, medical professionals, healthcare workers, and anyone else on the front lines today and every day to keep us safe, thank you. #SouthwestHeart (📸 Southwest Employee Dayartra E.)

A post shared by Southwest Airlines (@southwestair) on

Southwestern’s caption perfectly describes their heroic actions, which is the behavior that we can all do with hearing more about during these tough times.

“While so many of us continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one knows what is happening quite like our medical professionals. These brave souls soldier on in the midst of tremendous risk and exposure, constantly putting the needs of others above their own. Their selfless sacrifice is a beacon of light during such a dark time in our world, and no amount of gratitude and praise would ever be enough. Because of their courage, our family, our friends, our coworkers, our neighbors, and more have a fighting chance. More than a dozen healthcare professionals from Atlanta answered the call this past Friday evening to serve in New York. This photo embodies it all: bravery, courage, and sacrifice. If it were easy, everyone would do it, but we know that is not the case. Thankfully, this group and countless others do it each day, and for that we are forever grateful and in their debt. So to all the first responders, medical professionals, healthcare workers, and anyone else on the front lines today and every day to keep us safe, thank you.”

They’re all making the “Southwestern heart” logo with their hands, but they might as well be showing the size of their own hearts as they fly halfway across the country to help.

Head of Security at Cowboy Museum Handed Keys to Twitter Account

Tim Send Tweets
(Twitter/ncwhm)

In these trying times, it’s nice to see folks pull together, helping where they can, doing others’ parts in addition to their own. One hero that’s emerged in recent weeks is Tim Send, head of security for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma.

After the mayor of Oklahoma City declared a state of emergency, the museum closed to the public and various tasks were relegated to employees still able to work. The responsibility of maintaining an active social media presence was entrusted to Tim, whose big heart and unbreakable spirit are needed now more than ever.

He introduced himself with a pic.

He then tried to show us around, unsure of how these newfangled hashtags work.

So he reached out for some pointers.

Well, accidentally.

No progress yet on hashtags.

His wholesomeness is nothing short of heartwarming.

He gave a shoutout to his grandson.

Keeping so positive and encouraging.

Eventually, he figured out hashtags.

Come to find out he has both a sense of humor and a wife named Tina.

And if that’s not sweet enough, he even used the platform to wish his grandkids goodnight.

Click here to follow Tim’s journey into the world of tweeting. We wish him good health and can’t wait for the Cowboy Museum to reopen its doors!

Hero on Twitter Uncovers the Secret Meaning Behind “Triscuits”

Triscuit Mystery Solved
(Nabisco)

Without being able to go to bars and restaurants and concerts and sporting events, thanks to the coronavirus, most of us are stuck inside all day long without a lot to do. We’re forced to Netflix and chill ourselves into oblivion, which, thankfully, the various streaming services are more than happy to help us do.

There’s only so many times we can re-watch Tiger King before we find ourselves searching for different ways to pass the time.

One man has found a heroic way to do just that, by launching an investigation into one of the enduring mysteries of our time: where did Triscuits get their name?

His name is Sage Boggs, and his Twitter bio reads, simply, “Triscuit guy.” He certainly lives up to that description with this thread, which he started by saying “OK, buckle up. I wanna talk to you about Triscuit.”

And talk about Triscuit he did.

He begins by explaining how he became interested in tracing the origins of the popular cracker’s name.

He quickly discovered that there was no definitive answer.

So he reached out to Nabisco, to hear it from the horse’s mouth. But what he learned was… unsettling. Not only did Nabisco themselves not know where the name came from, they immediately refuted the seemingly obvious assumption that the “tri” in Triscuits means “three” or something.

Sage was not satisfied.

In fact, he was left with more questions.

He kept digging.

And he discovered the truth.

The answer will shock you!

After Sage published his findings, Triscuits themselves finally weighed in, confirming Sage’s research.

No, living under quarantine is no fun. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be productive! Sage Boggs hero dug deep and uncovered a mystery. We salute you.

TRISCUIT MEANS “ELECTRICITY BISCUIT”

Who knew?!

Father Figures: Thank God You’re Here

“It’s 3:33 in the morning, and I, a man known by his wife to be a world-champion sleeper, am hopelessly awake.

Since I work from home these days, I’m not too concerned about having to power through tomorrow’s work day; one of the silver linings of this terrible pandemic is that instead of catching the 5:45am Manhattan-bound bus in a suit and tie, I wake up at 7:30 in mesh shorts and a t-shirt and go with my wife to get our little 9-month old daughter out of her crib.

Eventually I fire up the computer and earn my paycheck, but not before taking the time to be a good father and husband. I’ll miss this dearly when life goes back to normal.

But I won’t miss the underlying sense of concern I constantly feel for our Siena as we live amidst viral pandemic.

I never used to be this way; back in my twenties, when my bod wasn’t so dad-like, I was pretty fearless.

9/11 literally hit close to home and became my inspiration for joining the Marines. In the nine years I stuck around the Corps, I found myself volunteering often to deploy, eventually hanging it up after four tours. I never thought seriously about the possibility that I might get hurt or killed. Why bother with those harsh considerations when you are an immortal twenty-something anyway?

But the thirty-something game is way different. I used to run around with an M4 rifle strapped to my chest, my adventurous soul fueled by nothing more than Mountain Dew and a youthful ignorance sometimes known as bravery. Now, I take baby aspirin to reduce my risk of heart disease (okay, not really, but to be honest maybe I should start).

Life is not just about me anymore. It’s about the woman I get to wake up next to. It’s about the little girl in that crib who smiles and gives you this ‘thank God you’re here!’ look every morning when you rescue her from the monotony of her mandatory rest period.

No, little girl, thank God you’re here. You are my reason for being and I’m glad you’re awake.

And as uncertain as things are these days, at least one thing is for sure: there is no one I would rather be stuck with in this damn house than you and Mommy.”

– Nick De Gregorio

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here

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.

The 9 Best Disney Virtual Rides and Tours You Can Enjoy at Home

9 Best Disney Virtual Rides and Tours
(YouTube/Theme Park University)

Disney might be closed right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their rides. Videos of just about every ride are available online now, and even better you don’t have to wait in line! With so many to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve come up with a handful of our favorites. (Maybe one of these will even inspire you to create a DIY Disney ride experience for your kids.)

Star Wars Millennium Falcon

Turns out a galaxy far far away was actually only Florida. Galaxy’s Edge opened last year and has proven to be enormously popular. The best ride is undoubtedly Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and with this video, you can see why. As Chewie says….actually no I have no idea what he says.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World

You shouldn’t watch pirated videos at home – unless it’s this one. This ride is always popular and a firm favorite and this video nicely captures the magic.

It’s a Small World at Walt Disney World

Another essential for younger kids, and even better this will keep them entertained for 13 minutes and 7 seconds, which really is Disney magic!

Space Mountain

It’s one of the best and most iconic Disney rides. There are a number of videos that use night vision to capture the real experience but we enjoy this one, the lights are on and it’s cool to see what you’re screaming about!

Splash Mountain

You can’t ride Space Mountain without its bigger, wetter brother. Enjoy the relaxing first section through the caves before that incredible drop, when my stomach introduced itself to my feet.

Expedition Everest

Another classic, this time from Animal Kingdom. Kids will love the part when the track unexpectedly ends, resulting in a thrilling backward plummet. And watch out for the Yeti!

Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

As it is the best ride in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, the lines are usually pretty long. But online they’re not, and you get right to the front! Get ready for that boost start midway through! To infinity…and well, back to the start.

The Seas With Nemo & Friends

If you can find Nemo, this ride is an under-rated gem at Epcot, and you can see here what a fun, colorful experience it is.

Test Track

A Dad favorite – designing a car, and then testing it out on the track? We’re all in. Do not wear driving gloves though. People laugh. Don’t ask how I know.

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.

Ryan Reynolds in Talks for Live-Action Dragon’s Lair Adaptation

Ryan Reynolds Dirk the Daring
(Don Bluth/Cinematronics)

I have a confession to make: I don’t “get” Dragon’s Lair.

This was the supercool looking arcade game that seemed to take things to the next level. It didn’t look like other games, it looked like a cartoon. Like something you’d watch on Saturday morning. But it was playable! Somehow. Like I said, I was never really able to figure it out and preferred to waste my tokens on Outrun and pinball. It was an incredible looking game that foreshadowed more immersive video games with movie-quality graphics – like we have today.

Which makes it the perfect time to bring Dragon’s Lair back. To the big screen!

Ryan Reynolds is doing just that, having signed on to a movie version, both live-action and animated, that he’ll star in for Netflix. The Hollywood Reporter says that the movie will be written by Dan and Kevin Hageman, who worked on The Lego Movie and wrote the recent Scary Stories We Tell in the Dark. Netflix only just secured the rights to the game, so there’s no word on the director, plot, or release date yet. Obviously.

Released in 1983 with animation from Don Bluth, who went on to direct An American Tale and All Dogs Go To Heaven, Dragon’s Lair was a sensation.

Apparently, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the game used LaserDisc technology to deliver the graphics, and they were so good that the game was the most popular arcade game in the country for a time. It recently had a cameo in Stranger Things, along with every other piece of 80s pop culture you can think of.

The game is about a knight who is trying to rescue a princess from an evil wizard and a dragon, and one presumes Reynolds will play the knight, Dirk the Daring. Or maybe a man playing the actual game itself? Hard to tell at this point, but one thing is for sure: no matter who he plays, Blake Lively’s husband will spend a lot of time winking at the camera because that’s basically what he does when he’s not supporting bartenders or donating large sums to food banks.

If anything, the dude knows how to have fun, and this movie will surely be that. We’ll find out, eventually.

MLB Teams Share Messages of Solidarity as Opening Day Passes

We Miss You Baseball
(Twitter/RaysBaseball)

Usually, this is a triumphant time for baseball.

Winter is over, teams are hopeful, and fans are ready for a new season. Opening day is a special day in America, even if baseball doesn’t occupy the same place in our culture as it once used to when it truly was the country’s national pastime.

Unfortunately, thanks to the global pandemic we are all dealing with right now, opening day has been postponed, along with the rest of the season. But major league teams still did their best to recognize opening day online.

First, Rob Manfred, the MLB commissioner, put out a statement urging fans to stay home to help contain the coronavirus, sharing ways they can watch classic games for free online, and professing hope that the sport will return soon.

Teams across the league put out video messages on social media, sharing messages of solidarity with fans.

The Rockies made an exception to the “no crying in baseball” rule.

The Red Sox put out a statement recognizing fans for their efforts to protect themselves and others from COVID-19:

And the Mets put a call out to fans to share images of themselves celebrating this unique opening day with their gear:

We may not have baseball this April, but we’ll have it again, and the MLB is doing its best to keep fans happy and hopeful as we wait to return to our favorite ballparks.