Mom’s Note to Huggies Is a Cautionary Tale on Product Placement

(Facebook/Emilee Webber)

It’s no secret that we as parents will opt for – and even seek out – versions of everyday products that are co-branded with the latest new movie or popular cartoon attached. It’s often an ill-fated attempt at making mundane routines a little easier with our kids.

Whether it’s Paw Patrol toothpaste to encourage them to brush, or yogurt with Anna and Elsa on the package, companies know that the littlest consumers are often calling the shots, and we as parents just want them to brush their teeth and finish their damn lunch.

So when it comes to diaper time, parents will take any help available to distract the tiny little terrors just long enough to wipe their butts and strap them back in. Brands like Huggies have been printing familiar characters on their diapers for years, so it likely comes as no surprise that with Toy Story 4 now in theaters, these bad boys have hit shelves around the country.

(Huggies)

 

So when Emilee Webber posted an open letter to Huggies regarding the placement of the characters on their latest branded briefs, parents all over the United States reacted to her good-humored review.

Ah, yes. A little classic product placement humor goes a long way. Her post is now sitting at 77k shares with 28k parents sounding off in the comments or tagging their spouses. It seems Webber isn’t the only parent who has dealt with a version of the exact same scenario playing out in their own homes.

We can thank Emilee for sharing her experience and reminding parents everywhere that if we don’t remember to laugh at these little moments, we’ll kick ourselves when they stop talking to us altogether in their teens.

Walt Jr. Hopes to Follow in His Father’s Footsteps in Breaking Bad Spin-off

Walt Jr. as Drug Kingpin
(AMC)

It’s good to have dreams. Hope is a powerful thing. We all need something to keep us going. For me, it’s the Dolphins someday drafting a franchise quarterback and righting the ship. For you, it might be HBO ponying up to re-do the last season of Game of Thrones, or Disney wiping The Last Jedi from the canon. I don’t judge.

For RJ Mitte, the man who played Walt Jr., aka Flynn, on Breaking Bad, it’s participating in a sequel series to the classic show, in which his third-level character ascends to the lead role.

You gotta have something to believe in!

And believe Mitte does, as he’s actually fleshed out his idea and taken it to Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, its spin-off series Better Call Saul, and the recent Netflix movie El Camino.

In an exclusive interview with The Irish Sun, Mitte laid out his idea for Walt Jr. to front his own show, picking up where his father left off.

“He is his father’s son in a way of his actions and his moralities of what he’s going to do would be right for his family. I think for us it would be a very hard life after what Heisenberg did to his family and I think that stigma would carry,” Mitte explained, before landing the death blow: “But I would like to see Walt Jr. being a gangster.”

RJ’s idea for a sequel to the classic TV series is for his character, Walter White’s breakfast loving son who, like the actor himself, suffers from cerebral palsy (something that was never explored on the show and was merely presented as a fact of Walt Jr.’s life), to follow in his chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin father’s footsteps.

It seems unlikely that Gilligan, to whom Mitte has actually pitched this premise, would follow through on this idea. Breaking Bad benefited from a variety of factors, not the least of which was Bryan Cranston’s iconic performance as Walter White, and no offense to RJ Mitte, but I’m not sure he’s of the same caliber.

That said, no one expected Better Call Saul to work either, and that’s coming back for its 5th season next month. So you never know!

Father Figures: A Reminder

“This picture is from 2014. I had lost my job and we were so broke we had to move into a back bedroom at my wife’s grandmother’s house.

I took a job driving a school bus and substitute teaching to get back on my feet. I would wake up at 5:00, commute 30 minutes, drive a morning route, teach all day, drive an afternoon route, and come home. Sarah’s grandmother would always have dinner ready when I came in.

This is my then one-year-old, climbing all over me, trying to get to my chili.

Fast forward to 2020, I work in insurance, we have our own house, own cars, three kids now, and just got back from taking the boys to Chicago for their birthday. We are more blessed than we have ever been.

I keep this pic to remind me how hard those days were, and to keep me from ever being ungrateful for what we have now.”

– Andy Runyan

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

#GirlDad Is Trending After ESPN Anchor’s Emotional Kobe Tribute

#GirlDad is Trending
(Twitter/michaeleaves)

The sports world was rocked by the tragic death of Kobe Bryant over the weekend, and tributes to the legend and the others on board have been emerging ever since. People have praised Kobe’s curiosity, his competitiveness, the early stages of his second chapter. The Athletic did a beautiful piece on Gigi. Newspapers have chronicled the other victims and their stories.

But one of the most emotional, and widely shared, tributes came from ESPN anchor Elle Duncan.

She described her only meeting with Kobe, which occurred when she was eight months pregnant. Kobe gave her a huge hi-five and gushed when he found out she was having a girl and talked at length about how girls were awesome and how much she’d enjoy it. He told her to be grateful for that gift because “girls were amazing” and “I’m a girl dad.”

Fighting back tears, she recounted how he talked about his daughters and how much he loved them. When it came to sports, he talked about how his oldest was an accomplished volleyball player and the youngest was a toddler, so he wasn’t sure what she’d do. But the middle one, he told her, was a basketball player.

“The middle one, she was a monster, she was a beast,” he told her. “She’s better than me at that age. She’s got it.” That girl, Gigi, also died in the helicopter crash on Sunday.

Duncan tearfully closed by saying the only small measure of comfort for her, reflecting on their meeting, was that Kobe died doing what he loved.

“Being a dad. Being a girl dad.”

It wasn’t long before #girldad was trending on Twitter, as people claimed the mantle or simply shared the moving tribute.

As a #GirlDad myself, it was awesome to see how people responded to her beautiful tribute and made being a great dad a way to honor Kobe’s legacy.

Tweet Roundup: Tributes to the Late Kobe Bryant

Twitter Roundup of Kobe Tributes
(Twitter/TheoHernandez)

When an influential figure dies, a politician or a musician or an actor or an athlete whose career and persona spread far and wide and impacted many people’s lives, the world seems to stop to take a collective breath and honor that person.

This phenomenon was in full effect on Sunday and Monday, once news spread that NBA legend and Lakers great Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash, alongside his 13-year-old daughter and 7 others. Kobe had a larger-than-life persona and was admired, feared, and respected by countless people inside and outside of the NBA and the sporting world in general. His impact on the culture was made apparent by the outpouring of tributes, including during Sunday night’s Grammy awards.

But nowhere is this better represented than on social media, the most effective tool most of us have for sharing our thoughts and reaching thousands upon thousands of people across the globe with our remembrances of the person who has passed on. All over Twitter, people shared their stories about Kobe, what he meant to them, and how he changed their lives.

We’ve gathered a few.

The high school he attended before leaping straight into the NBA:

Former teammates and rivals:

He transcended his sport to impact football players:

Soccer:

Tennis:

Hockey:

Musical artists:

Entrepreneurs:

Billboards:

Subway signs:

Newspapers:

ESPN obviously has a lot to say, but sometimes fans say it best:

RIP Kobe.

Fortnite Player Livestreams Call to Mom to Say He Paid Her Student Loans

Aydan Conrad Calling Mom
(Twitch/Aydan)

College is expensive, it’s undeniable. According to a 2019 Forbes article, the average borrower from the Class of 2017 owes over $28,000! What would you say, then, if your kid called you and let you know you’re all paid up?

Pro Fortnite streamer Aydan Conrad’s mom doesn’t have to imagine anymore. While streaming on January 23rd, 20-year-old Aydan calls her up live with his followers (numbering over 1.4 million) watching. He tells her he wants to give her the Christmas gift he wasn’t able to give her before, but she says “I don’t need anything, Aydan. You’ve done enough for me.” Aydan just pushes forward, though, and proceeds to let her know she has no more student debt. After the initial shock and disbelief wears off (especially after Aydan dropped the name of, we’re assuming, her contact for loan payments), everyone gets a chance to witness a truly heartfelt moment between mother and son as the two share some happy tears over the phone.

Aydan humbly credits all his viewers for making it possible, saying “It’s not me, it’s all the people that are watching my stream right now”, to which she responds “Aw, I love them… everyone click ‘exclamation point sub’ and ‘exclamation point prime’!” (for those that don’t use Twitch, those are two chat commands viewers can use to support streamers with a paid subscription). Talk about a loving family that supports each other in their life goals!

NotCryingYou'reCrying
(Giphy)

Last Place Fantasy Football Manager Has to Drive Bright Pink Loser Mobile

Loser-Mobile for Fantasy Football Bet
(Twitter/News12)

Nobody really wins their fantasy football league. Even the league champion has to endure four-plus months of agony over draft picks, regret over lineup decisions, frustration at injuries, and irritation at losing to the dude whose kicker scored 17 points.

Everyone suffers.

Of course, some players suffer more than most, often because the league has rules to make sure of that. Some leagues required the last place team to pay for something – the next year’s draft party, the league trophy, etc., some leagues force the loser to get an embarrassing tattoo, and some leagues, like the one Nick Johnson is in, force the loser to drive around in a loser mobile.

A bright pink loser mobile adorned with hearts and unicorns and that literally has ‘I’m a loser” emblazoned on it.

To be specific, it’s a 2020 Toyota Corolla, and Nick seems fine with the deal he struck.

“Typical rules, the winner wins a bunch of cash and a trophy and the loser gets punished and this year this was my punishment,” he told NBC12. “I only won two games, I didn’t really watch any football this year, so that’s kind of how it goes…”

Nick is particularly “lucky” that the winner of his league owns a custom car wrapping business – Chris Breezy Customs in Mamaroneck, NY – that makes his punishment possible. And to add insult to injury, Nick is not only humiliated by his ride, he’s giving the league’s winner – the author of his pain – free advertising!

“I went to the mall the other day and when I came back out my car was surrounded by 20 people,” he says. “Pretty much nonstop pointing and laughing.”

To his credit, he’s taking the punishment like a man, admitting that it’s his own fault for not watching many games and not having a good team.

“I pretty much botched it as worse as I possible could,” Nick concedes. But he has a plan for next season. “I’m gonna pick the best players, maybe a hire a consultant. We’ll see.”

Kobe Was Coaching His Daughter to Be the Family’s Next Basketball Star

Kobe & Gigi Bryant
(Instagram/kobebryant)

The world was dealt a tragic blow Sunday when news broke that basketball legend Kobe Bryant had died tragically in a helicopter crash at the age of 41. The news became even more heart-breaking when it was revealed his 13-year-old daughter Gianna also died in the helicopter crash.

They were flying to Gianna’s basketball game, a game that Kobe was going to coach. Gianna (Gigi) was Kobe’s second-eldest daughter and, like her dad, a devoted baller. When people in the basketball world told Kobe it was a shame he didn’t have a son to carry on his legacy in the game, he was quick to correct them and point to Gigi as his heir apparent on the court, something he told Jimmy Kimmel in an appearance on his talk show in 2018.


“The best thing that happens is when we go out and fans would come up to me and she’ll be standing next to me,” Bryant said, “and they’ll be like, ‘You’ve gotta have a boy, you and V gotta have a boy. You gotta have somebody to carry on your tradition, the legacy.”

“She’s like, ‘Oy, I got this,” Bryant said. “I’m like that’s right,” Bryant said. “Yes, you do, you got this.”

Kobe was one of the most high profile WNBA supporters around, partly because of his daughter’s love for the game.

Gigi even showcased some of her dad’s moves on the court.

One of the most shared clips on social media Sunday was a clip of Kobe in the stands with his daughter, as Kobe goes full dad-mode as he breaks down the game to Gigi.

Social media was consumed with tributes for Kobe, from utterly shattered and devastated friends and former teammates, to others in the sports world, teams found different ways to handle the news. Games were played, but every team started their game by taking a 24-second shot clock violation, paying homage to Kobe’s jersey number. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said no Mav would ever wear #24 again, in respect to Bryant.

And while the tributes poured in, the most poignant ones mentioned the bond between the dad and daughter, and the hopes the former had for the latter.

Sunday’s crash rocked the sports world and the devastating tragedy will continue to reverberate around a game Bryant left an indelible mark on. And as the sports world will always hold Bryant up for the shots he made, it will also mourn the shots Gigi will never get to take.

 

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My Gigi

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

Brooklyn Man Registered Beer as His ‘Emotional Support Animal’

Emotional Support Beer
(Twitter/CraftBeerTime/Caroline Ourso)

Brooklyn gets a lot of flak. It’s the land of hipsters with handlebar mustaches selling artisanal pickles who front bands that Pitchfork loves. As someone who lives in Brooklyn, I concede that all of that is true.

But Brooklyn also often sets trends that reverberate throughout the rest of the country, because it’s the land of pioneers. And today we learned of a new pioneer from New York City’s best borough, and here’s hoping his groundbreaking efforts start a movement that benefits us all.

His name if Floyd Hayes, and he lives in the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn. But after his recent gambit, where he really lives is in our hearts, and in the annals of legends, because Floyd successfully registered his beer as an emotional support animal.

Floyd told the Brooklyn Paper how he came up with the idea. “It’s a delicious beer and at a reasonable 5% abv, can be consumed without hindering hand-eye coordination, mental ability or judgement. I’ve had trouble trying to take the pint onto public buses and into places of business, so I had the idea to get it registered,” he added.

He reached out to USA Service Dog Registration and applied online.

“I’m not permitted a dog in my building, so I thought an emotional support beer would be more appropriate. It helps alleviate my anxiety and is a cost effective way to manage stress,” he told Ale Street News.

And it worked! Sort of.

An anonymous employee there told Brooklyn Paper that it won’t provide Floyd with many benefits.

“This will not get you into Walmart, it will not get you into Denny’s, it will only protect you where you’re renting,” she said. “He can register his beer all day long, it’s not going to get him anywhere.”

Except straight into our hearts.

NBA Legend and Laker Great Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash

(Getty/Harry How)

Tragedy struck Sunday afternoon when NBA legend and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, just outside of L.A. There were nine people on the helicopter including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore (Gigi), with whom he was headed to basketball practice. There were no survivors.

Bryant was just 41 years old, and leaves behind three other daughters, including a newborn, and his wife Vanessa.

The superstar was a bit of a polarizing figure, turning off many fans with the constant comparisons to Michael Jordan, his “selfish” playing style, and his at times abrasively competitive personality. But at a time like this, it’s not his career as a basketball player that stands out. It’s his role as a family man and father to four young girls, including Gigi, with whom he was recently filmed sitting courtside, explaining something about the game they were watching together.

Kobe, who was partially raised in Italy where his dad, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant, played professionally, is synonymous with Los Angeles, where he spent every one of his 20 years in the league in the Lakers’ purple and gold. The city will be reeling, as will the NBA itself, facing the premature death of one of its biggest stars, who was one of the faces of the NBA for the better part of this still young century and remains prominently tied to the league and the current generation of players who saw Bryant as a role model. The tributes will be pouring in all week long.

Bryant entered the NBA straight from high school and almost immediately made his mark on the league, teaming with Shaquille O’Neal to bring the Lakers back to NBA prominence, and dominance, before retiring a few years ago as a five-time champion, an 18-time All Star, two-time Finals MVP, and the league’s third all-time leading scorer. (He moved to fourth place just 16 hours before the crash, when LeBron James passed him Saturday night.)

Love him or hate (losing to) him, he was one of the game’s greatest players, and one of the most fun to argue about. But no matter how you feel about Kobe Bryant himself, you have to feel for his family, especially the thee young girls who lost their father – and a sister – just after he’d retired and was able to be more present for them.

It’s an incomprehensibly sad day for his family, and a loss for basketball fans everywhere.