Patrick Mahomes Broke the Fabled EA Sports “Madden Curse”

Mahomes Breaks "Madden Curse"
(Twitter/EAMaddenNFL)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback did something no other player in football has successfully achieved: he killed the Madden curse.

Mahomes put the Chiefs on his back throughout the playoffs, engineering three significant come-from-behind wins. His 4th quarter performance in the Super Bowl is a huge reason why the Chiefs were able to rally and stun San Francisco 31-20 and was the reason Mahomes captured the Super Bowl MVP. But there’s a Super Bowl MVP every year, but so far, no one has completely broken the curse.

For the longest time, football fans have generally understood that the cover athlete for EA Sports Madden franchise was, well, pretty much doomed. It’s a curse with few exceptions and more than a handful of major examples. There was Daunte Culpepper in 2002, Michael Vick in 2004, Shaun Alexander in 2007, and the list goes on. Troy Polamalu, Rob Gronkowski and Peyton Hillis are also victims of the curse.

The lone exception could be Tom Brady two years ago, but even that team, which was a heavy Super Bowl favorite, came up short. But then there was Patrick Mahomes…

 

Patrick Mahomes put the talk of the Madden Curse to bed, forever, with his Super Bowl performance, capping an outstanding playoff run. And he looked pretty happy to be the curse slayer.

And even though he didn’t mention it by name, we can assume the reason Paul Rudd, Chiefs superfan, is so happy here, is because the video game voodoo is over.

And maybe Mahomes has created a new Madden trend, where every cover athlete leads their franchise to a crazy Super Bowl run.

Here’s the Full-Length ‘Groundhog Day’ Super Bowl Commercial

Bill is Back for Groundhog Day Ad
(YouTube/Jeep)

Looks like it’s deja vu all over again.

It’s been 27 years since weatherman Phil Connors was stuck in the same day for the classic film Groundhog Day.

Fast forward to 2020 and he’s right back at that Punxsutawney bed and breakfast being jolted awake by Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” on the clock radio.

“Oh no,” he says. And it’s not long before he’s haunted by familiar faces from the past.

Only this time the tides quickly turn when he discovers a new ride and he embraces life on repeat with his furry little friend.

Everyone is a little older. And sadly, the movie’s beloved director Harold Ramis is no longer with us. But it’s obvious the makers of this commercial went through a lot of trouble to get all the details from the original film right.

Check it out below:

Jeep had released a few teasers leading up to the big reveal:

Phil and Phil have a heart-to-heart.

We missed you Ned:

Enjoy the big game!

Elderly Man Keeps His Late Wife’s Memory Alive in Emotional Super Bowl Ad

Google Helps Keep Memory Alive
(YouTube/Google)

Super Bowl commercials have a fine line to walk to be memorable. Try too hard to go for frat-boy joke clichés, and your millions of dollars are wasted in an instant. Go too hard for a positive or sentimental ad that doesn’t hit the right notes? You’re forgotten before people get to the water cooler the next day. Kill off an iconic mascot? Well, you could be in hot water before the spot even airs.

But Google, they did the thing with their Super Bowl ad.

Google’s emotional Super Bowl ad works because simplicity is the key. It’s not too flashy, it doesn’t smack you over the head, it lets the narrative flow through the elderly man narrating the spot. The commercial features a beautiful moment of the man remembering his late wife and all the little things that were part of their relationship. The “twist”, if you could even call it that, is the man is recounting stories of his late wife to his Google Assistant. And that way, the machine can remember and talk about the person his late wife was.

As the man tells his Google assistant different things about their relationship (Lorette hated his mustache, the way she laughed, the things hse liked), his AI-device remembers it. Supposedly, the ad is based on a real story of the grandfather of a Google employee.

“At 85, to an audience of millions, he’ll be making his film debut,” Google’s chief marketing officer said in a statement. “We couldn’t be happier for him.”

It’s a simple love story, recounted through the years, and it hits all the right notes. Sweet, sentimental, but more celebratory than sad. Google has the first ad that seems destined to check the right boxes this Sunday (sorry, Planters), and maybe even bring a tear or two to your party.

Ryan Newman Walks Out of Hospital With Daughters Two Days After Crash

Ryan Newman Walks out of Hospital
(Instagram/ryannewman1977)

If you were watching Monday night’s Daytona 500, you probably saw the fiery crash that ended Ryan Newman’s day just as he was about to win the race.

Claiming that trophy suddenly became the last thing in Newman and his family’s mind as they watched his car burst into flames and didn’t see the driver climb out, as they were surely hoping. Instead, Newman was rushed to the hospital, where it was reported that he was in serious, but non-life-threatening condition.

That was great news for Newman’s wife Krissie and his two daughters, Brooklyn and Ashlyn, whom he clearly adored, as evidenced by his doting social media posts.

NASCAR officials have been updating the public on their driver’s condition, sharing some good news on his progress.

Wednesday they released this statement: “Ryan Newman continues to show great improvement after Monday night’s last-lap accident at Daytona International Speedway. The veteran driver is fully alert and walking around Halifax Medical Center. True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends, and family while spending time playing with his two daughters.”

And then, a few hours later, Newman posted this image on his Instagram, just two days removed from his harrowing wreck.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#Repost @roushfenway ・・・ Ryan Newman has been treated and released from Halifax Medical Center

A post shared by Ryan Newman (@ryannewman1977) on

That’s Newman, exiting the hospital with his two girls. That’s Newman walking out under his own power, a mere three days after the crash that had many viewers fearing the worst.

The caption reads: “Ryan Newman has been treated and released from Halifax Medical Center.”

NASCAR fans knew the man was fast, but this is remarkable. Even better that his girls were there to walk out with him.

Happy news all around!

Scott Bakula Discusses Potential Quantum Leap Reboot

Bakula Discusses Quantum Leap Reboot
(NBC Universal)

I spent a fair amount of time whining about the cavalcade of remakes and reboots and reimaginings that Hollywood keeps sending down the pike. From beloved animated movies being remade into pointless live-action spectacles to classic action movies being rebooted with a younger cast. Then there are 80s favorites and 90s sports flicks being converted into TV shows.

It never ends.

Of course, every once in a while, a project that deserves another chance actually benefits from this trend. No, I’m not talking about a new Back to the Future. I’m talking about a new Quantum Leap.

Oh boy.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 80s sci-fi TV series, it starred Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett, a scientist who becomes unstuck in time and keeps randomly leaping into new people, inhabiting their bodies and lives so he can set something right (the JFK assassination, his own brother’s death, something to do with Stephen King once?) before leaping out again. Every episode featured Sam in a new situation, in a new time (although he could only leap to a year that was within his own lifetime), and the show was incredibly entertaining and addictive. (And very wholesome. For years, I’ve been telling people that Quantum Leap should be remade for HBO and that a harder edge would make the premise even more enticing. But no one listens to me.)

Now there are rumors we might be getting a reboot or a sequel series to the show! Though those rumors don’t appear to be based on much.

Bakula appeared on The Talk and was asked about a potential reboot, to which he responded, “I don’t know, I don’t know. But I know the fans would love to have a reboot.”

He went on to speculate that the current era would offer plenty of fodder for Sam Beckett to tackle. “Well, there are so many things going on right now that need to be put right, that are currently going wrong, that he would be very, very busy. Lots to do.”

Which is true, but is also very far from saying, “We’re making it!” Unfortunately. It’s a little surprising that this isn’t already in motion, for HBO (fingers crossed!) or anywhere else. Quantum Leap had a great premise that seems easily replicable in all manner of ways. It’s one of the rare properties that is screaming out for a reboot.

Let’s make this happen!

Set Video From The Matrix 4 Shows High-Flying Stunt

High-Flying Matrix 4 Set Video
(YouTube/Is It Worth It?)

Over the past few months, since the announcement was made, most of the news we’ve gotten has revolved around the cast. We know that Keanu and Carrie-Anne Moss are returning. We know that Lawrence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving are not. We know that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, fresh off Watchmen, will be involved, as will Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff (my money is on the Mindhunter star playing an evil agent). Jada Pinkett Smith will also star, deciding not to pass on a role in The Matrix, like her hubby Will did.

We also know that The Matrix 4 is set to be released on the same day as John Wick 4, which should be quite the bonanza for both Keanu Reeves and Keanu Reeves fans.

But we have no idea what the movie is about, aside from the titular Matrix itself, how it connects to the previous films (hopefully it barely connects to Reloaded and Revolutions at all), or what’s up with Zion and the Architect and the Merovingian. (I apologize if those issues have been resolved, I have almost no recollection of the last two films in the series.)

We do, however, know there will be some crazy action because this is a Matrix movie. And because some footage of the filming has recently landed on the interwebs.

The footage doesn’t off all that much aside from the high-flying stunts that we’ve come to expect from the franchise. In the footage, which was taken during filming in San Francisco, we can see two black-clad individuals, presumably, Neo and Trinity (and more presumably Keanu Reeces’ and Carrie-Anne Moss’s stunt doubles), running and then jumping off of a roof.

Take a look:

Why they’re running, where they’re jumping to, who’s chasing them, we have no idea. (One theory is that Neo is somehow reborn into the Matrix and has to relearn the ropes.) How the stunt will actually translate to film is also a mystery. But I’m pretty sure it will look cool, and it’s nice to see that the fashions haven’t changed.

Next year, on May 21, 2021, we’ll find out what else hasn’t – or has – changed in the world of the Matrix. Stay tuned!

Man Creates Beer Pillow Because This is ‘Merica

Beer Pillow
(YouTube/BeerGoals)

Do you love beer? Do you like to sleep? If you answered yes to those questions, and of course you answered yes to those questions, you’re in luck!

There’s a hero out there who has found a way to combine two of your favorite things – drinking beer and being unconscious – into one delightful product. It’s called the “Beer Pillow” and it’s not even as sophisticated as it sounds. It’s not a plush, fluffy, insulated pillow surrounding a six-pack of your favorite microbrew.

No. This isn’t America, this is ‘Merica! And Mericans get what they deserve, which is literally a Ziploc bag full of Bud Light.

The invention was dreamed up by Phil, the man behind “Beer Goals,” a Facebook page and YouTube channel dedicated to drinking 50 beers from all 50 states.

His FB bio reads:

“I’m a beer drinking expert. What kind of craft beer do I like to drink? All of them. IPA’s, Lagers, Double IPAs, you name it. That is why I have launched BEER GOALS to attempt and catalogue drinking 50 beers from 50 states. I know what you’re thinking; ’50 beers sure is not a lot of beers.’ Not fifty beers total. Fifty beers in EACH state. That’s 2500 beers! Although, we can’t forget the District of Columbia. So that’s… 2,550 beers! Along the way I’ll be providing helpful insights into hunting down and finding tasty beverages to help you achieve your beer drinking goals.”

When it came to creating the beer pillow, he wants to show you “how to have the ultimate brew night sleep.” So if your beer-drinking goal was to drink while you slept, well, Phil’s got you covered in this video detailing what his “beer pillow” is and how you can score your own!

Does it look comfortable? No. When I wake up parched in the middle of the night, do I want a nice cold Bud Light? Of course not.

But does its existence make me happy? USA! USA! USA!

Artist Turns Infant Medical Helmets Into Works of Art

(Facebook/Lazardo Art)

A Washington State woman has been using her artistic talents to brighten the lives of thousands of babies and their families.

Back in 1996, a friend approached Paula Lazardo with a unique request. Their child would need to wear a medial helmet due to plagiocephaly — a common disorder causing a baby’s head to have a flattened appearance. The helmet would need to be worn for several months, so Lazardo knew it needed to be something special.

Once completed, a doctor saw her first creation and knew Lazardo’s talents could help so many more. The condition impacts around 10% of newborns in America, so while this was her first encounter with the medical helmets, it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

Since 1996, Lazardo has hand-painted over 3,000 of the typically mundane medical devices, all thanks to that initial interest by the treating physician. “He saw value in having the helmet painted for his clients,” Lazardo told HeartThreads. “It was just one of those snowball things… and now it’s virtually 99 percent of what I do is paint for babies! Which is the best job ever.”

Beyond brightening the lives of the children and likely everyone they encounter, her creations are unique to the owner. From motorcycle helmets to Captain America gear, the artist has created some truly incredible works, often in just 48 hours due to the nature of the equipment and its immediate need. But for Lazardo, it’s all worth it. “That’s what I love about the art that I’ve been able to do in my life: It’s always been for other people. It’s been able to make other people happy. That’s why I’ve got the best job!”

She has even created smaller helmets so that a child’s doll can have a matching cap.

Custom painted baby helmets
(Facebook)

With so many satisfied little customers, it’s easy to see why so many parents have turned to her over the years.

To learn more about her incredible work, visit Lazardo’s Facebook page.

Father Figures: Ready For This

I remember calling him after our third date. I knew I was in love with him already. My situation was complicated; I had a little girl of my own.

I asked him if he was sure he was ready for this.

“I want a family. I want you. I want her. I want to come home to you guys every day.” We stayed on the phone until we both fell asleep, and I’d never felt more peace.

At some point, my health tanked. I had a stroke 6 months after our wedding, and needed immense help during my recovery to do basic things. He fed me and never complained. He bathed me and never complained. He helped dress me every day, and still didn’t complain.

I thought back to that phone call. How I gave him an out and he didn’t take it then. I decided to give him another chance to walk away from this chaos he didn’t ask for.

I looked at him in tears and said, “If this is too much, the kids, the recovery, the weight you’re carrying for us, I understand. This is not how we planned to spend our first few years together.”

He was quiet for a moment… and then, “I planned to spend these years with you. I’m exactly where I want to be. I’m not going anywhere so you’ll have to do better than a stroke to get rid of me.”

He never shakes when faced with a struggle, and picks our family up when we have nothing left to hold us. I’m thankful he chose me, and her, and us.

We’ve since added two more daughters to the mix, and I’m thankful every moment he’s their dad.”

– Stashia Tracy

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

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Study Shows Nearly Every Couple Argues Over the Thermostat

Couples Argue over Thermostat
(Vivint Solar)

No marriage is perfect.

My marriage isn’t, your marriage isn’t, George and Amal’s marriage isn’t, not even Blake and Ryan’s marriage is without its struggles. We are all different people, and no matter how well you know one another, there will always be conflict. Sometimes big, sometimes small, but there will always be issues of disagreement, and those issues are bound to be unique to your own relationship.

Except this one.

Almost all married couples argue about the thermostat. It’s the source of countless jokes, and memes, and moments in bad sitcoms because it’s true. It’s a stereotype for a reason. And now we have the science to back it up!

A company called Vivint Solar has published a report around thermostat arguments, and these numbers make a lot of sense.

75% of women and 74% of men admit to fighting over the temperature in the house, with the arguments breaking down in two ways: 33% think their partner keeps the house too cold and 31% think it’s too hot. 36% actually say it’s fine, so apparently they don’t need counseling UNLIKE THE REST OF US!

Helpfully, the study provides a little bit of guidance so as to not let the thermostat wars destroy your union. Vivint Solar enlisted Dr. Margaret Paul, a relationship expert, to offer some tips.

“What happens in conflicts like these, is that each person generally just wants to win—it can turn into a power struggle,” she says. “The way out of that is to be open to understanding not only their own feelings, but the other person’s, as well. It’s very interesting what happens when people are open to learning rather than just trying to win. When they’re caring about themselves and caring about the other person, then they can come to a resolution.”

What I think she means is: keep your paws off the thermostat and throw on a blanket!

That’s what 23% of the people who responded to this survey do, with 28% of women saying they’ll grab a blanket or a sweater and let it go. Only 17% of men are willing to raise that olive branch, with most men preferring to continue to argue. Probably for the make-up sex.

If you don’t want to fight and you don’t want to layer up, the study suggests that a temperature of 70 degrees is the perfect compromise, with both men and women agreeing on that number. I dunno though, just one degree less seems nice to me.