The Rock Just Bought the XFL

XFL The Rock
(Twitter/TheRock)

The Rock bought the XFL. It’s the type of fun story we don’t have enough of in 2020. A pro sports league, run by a wrestling promoter, that’s full of promise and potential with its reboot. Then a pandemic hits, everyone gets laid off, and that promoter sells it to…his most famous wrestler. Dwayne Johnson partnered with RedBird Capital and bought the bankrupt football league for a bargain at just $15 million.

And sure, everyone is gonna make the same joke about how this sounds like it could be a story arc in The Rock’s HBO Show “Ballers”, where he plays a former NFL player-turned-financial investor.

While COVID crippled the season and left the future of the league in doubt, it was fun for a (brief) while, and there’s loads of potential there for whenever a restart is feasible. If you watched some of the new XFL, you probably enjoyed it!

The Rock issued a statement about his acquisition (of which he’s a 50-50 partner).

“The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things – my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans.”

“With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”

Even his quote, about applying his callouses to the XFL and creating something special…I mean, is there anyone as motivational as The Rock? Fans, and most importantly, players, should feel optimistic for the first time in a long time, because of Johnson’s overwhelming track record of success. He’s become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and has been killing it in movies and TV (and now he’s branching out into tequila and sports leagues). And I’m sure he’d be gratified to succeed where Vince McMahon failed.

Put a Dive Bar in Your Backyard Courtesy of Miller High Life

Backyard Bar
(Miller High Life)

Thanks to the most annoying coronavirus of the century, bars in much of the country still remain closed or restricted in time/capacity. We’ve had to change the way we booze, and many of us have had to change the where. Miller High Life recognizes our current hellscape, which is why they are going to put a brand new dive bar right in one man’s (maybe you?) backyard.

Happy hour at your local pub isn’t what it was even a year ago, and we’ve had to change the way we enjoy a cold one. When most of the country started throwing ‘em back at home more, it even caused an aluminum can shortage (sorry, Dr. Pepper fans). Some even enlisted dogs as their new drinking buddies.

Miller High Life wants to change the game for your socially distant boozing, by putting a dive bar right in your backyard. No more worrying about where to go, or how to get home. Instead, they will plunk a free dive bar (valued at $10,000) and outfit the drinking space with bar stools, a popcorn machine, classic wood paneling and questionable art, and dim lighting. They’ll also hook you up with a bunch of free beer.

The champagne of beers gets it, drinking at home doesn’t have to be a bummer (anyone with a basement bar knows this already). You can sign up by texting “DIVEBAR” to 90464, according to the Beer Co, to sign up for the giveaway (or by going to HighLifeDiveBar.com).

The only catch is, if you win, you have to let us come over as much as we want.

Ryan Reynolds’ Response to The Rock Ripping Down a Gate is Remarkable

Ryan Reynolds responds to The Rock tearing down his gate
(Instagram/therock)

Long before taking on the role of Black Adam, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been known for his incredible physical strength. Wrestling with the WWF for nearly a decade and appearing in over 50 movies, The Rock has become our favorite gentle giant. Though the dude looks like the human equivalent of a tank, he has an enormous heart and only uses his superhuman strength for good.

On Saturday, The Rock took to Instagram to share the saga of a metal gate that had the misfortune of getting on his bad side. Evidently, the Black Adam star was about to leave for work when he realized the large metal gate in front of his house wouldn’t open. For most of us, a service person would be our only route to freedom. But most of us don’t have biceps the size of a small child, or the spare cash to buy a new gate every time it malfunctions. Well, the rock has both – so he took matters into his own Hulk-like hands.

He said in his Instagram post, “Not my finest hour, but a man’s gotta go to work.” He explained, “We experienced a power outage due to severe storms, causing my front gate not to open. I tried to override the hydraulic system to open the gates, which usually works when power goes out – but this time it wouldn’t.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Not my finest hour 🤦🏽‍♂️, but a man’s gotta go to work. We experienced a power outage due to severe storms, causing my front gate not to open. I tried to override the hydraulic system to open the gates, which usually works when power goes out – but this time it wouldn’t. Made some calls to see how fast I can get the gate tech on site, but I didn’t have 45min to wait. By this time, I know I have hundreds of production crew members waiting for me to come to work so we can start our day. So I did what I had to do. I pushed, pulled and ripped the gate completely off myself. Tore it out of the brick wall, severed the steel hydraulics and threw it on the grass. My security team was able to meet the gate technician and welders about an hour later — and they were apparently, “in disbelief and equally scared” 🤣 Not my finest hour, but I had to go to work. And I think I’m 💯 ready to be #blackadam 😄💪🏾 #ripgates

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

With a set full of production crew members waiting on him, he didn’t have time for a service person to come fix the gate. “So I did what I had to do,” he said. “I pushed, pulled and ripped the gate completely off myself. Tore it out of the brick wall, severed the steel hydraulics and threw it on the grass.”

The post continued, “My security team was able to meet the gate technician and welders about an hour later — and they were apparently, ‘in disbelief and equally scared.’”

Hopefully, they left the torn-down gate in the grass as a warning to all future gates that may decide to stop working at inopportune times. The Rock Concluded, “Not my finest hour, but I had to go to work. And I think I’m 💯 ready to be #blackadam.”

It wasn’t long before our favorite smartass, and nice guy, Ryan Reynolds, showed up in the comments to provide some helpful info. “The gate opened the OTHER way,” Reynolds explained, lovingly trolling a man who could break him in half with one metal-crushing hand.

The Rock later posted a video of the damage, showing the busted hinge and the absolutely destroyed metal gate lying lamely on the ground.

 

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Well here’s the destruction 🤦🏽‍♂️ I left behind after pulling my gates off myself and going to work. This footage was taken from my security after I had already left and he arrived on the scene. The second video is of our technicians and welders carrying one of the gates and placing it gently in the grass. As you guys know from my last post, there was a power outage at my house, causing my gates to not open. Sure as hell wasn’t my best hour, but there were a lot of people waiting for me at work so I did what I had to do, hopped in my pick up and went to work. Maybe next time I’ll just hop the gates and call an Uber. Actually, no I won’t. There’s no fun in that 😈 Jokes aside, THANK YOU to the techs and welders who mobilized very quickly in the morning to come over and take care of the destruction. Thank you, gentlemen. Just one of those days where I wasn’t in the mood. We’ve all been there. 🥃 #ripgates

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

“Maybe next time I’ll just hop the gates and call an Uber,” The Rock considered. “Actually, no I won’t. There’s no fun in that.”

“Jokes aside,” he continued, “THANK YOU to the techs and welders who mobilized very quickly in the morning to come over and take care of the destruction. Thank you, gentlemen. Just one of those days where I wasn’t in the mood. We’ve all been there.”

Sure, we’ve all been there. I mean, not EXACTLY there, but we get it. We’re all a little on edge these days, sometimes all it takes is one more little thing going wrong for us to become completely unhinged.

‘Wandavision’ Trailer Is Weird, Like Everything Else in the World of 2020

WandaVision trailer
(YouTube/Marvel)

2020 has been a rough one for the entertainment industry.

The pandemic slowed down or outright halted production on a whole bunch of movies and television shows we’d all been anticipating, and made it impossible to go to the movies and see the stuff that has already been made. Quarantine started with The Last Dance and Tiger King, but now that fall is here, pickings are going to be slim.

So when we get a taste of something new, it’s easy to get excited. Especially when that new footage looks so good. Last week, a trailer for The Mandalorian’s second season premiered, and it looks just as bad-ass as the first season. Its October premiere can’t come soon enough. Now Disney+ is has dropped the first trailer for WandaVision, coming later this year, which has a decidedly different feel from most previous Marvel properties but looks like a lot of fun.

It’s a blend of something all right, and it looks weird AF, opening with Wanda and Vision living in 50s domestic bliss right out of an old-fashioned family sitcom and cycles through a series of shots of what appears to be different decades of TV, before ending with some ominous glimpses of portals and police of some kind.

The series has been described by Marvel as “mega event series,” and the official synopsis reads: The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

Especially since it takes place after Endgame and will have to reckon with the fact that Vision was killed at the end of Infinity War (and not by the snap that was magically reversed).

It’s clear things aren’t quite what they seem, and that this show is bursting with creativity, so there’s bound to be a fun explanation for his return.

Check out the trailer for the show, which looks like a real trip. In a year in which real-life couldn’t get any weirder, the touch of the surreal might be just what the doctor ordered.

Daughter Does Dad’s Makeup

MLB Star Flies Home for Two Hours To See Son’s First Tee-Ball Practice

MLB tee ball Freddie Freeman
(Twitter/Chelseafree5)

Traveling for work can be a bummer for dads. You do what you gotta do, but no amount of money lessens the sting of missing important milestones your kids reach while you’re out of town. Whether it’s the first word, first step, a birthday, or some other important moment, you want to be there for as much as you can. That’s why one MLB star flew home in the middle of a road trip, for two hours, just so he could watch his son’s first tee-ball practice in person.

Few things bring dads and sons together like sports. We’ve seen baseball dad surprise his son with a new bat, and then catch a home run his son hit with said bat. Even in the pros, dads never lose that feeling of joy when their kid does something big.

So Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman did everything he could to be at his son’s first tee-ball practice. Freeman flew home in the middle of an 11-day road trip, so he could squeeze in two hours at home. Then he flew straight to Washington for a game that night.

A ton of travel, just for two hours at home, and I’m sure it was worth every bit of hassle to Freeman, as he got to surprise his son and watch his first practice. It was also Freeman’s birthday, but I’m sure that felt like a distant second to getting to spend that moment with his son. Freeman’s wife Chelsea posted about the surprise on social media,

Atlanta won the game against Washington that night, no word about how good Charlie’s tee-ball team was, but I’m going to bet it’s pretty good with the son of a major leaguer on the squad.

“RockyNoHands” Becomes First Quadriplegic Signed by Pro Esports Organization

Rockynohands first quadriplegic in professional esports
(YouTube/Shot Callers Esports)

Before age 19, Rocky Stoutenburgh was just your average teen. He played sports in high school, and after graduation, he began working full-time. In 2006, while wrestling and messing around with his friends, Rocky was dropped on his head. Shocked and confused, the 19-year-old realized he was unable to move. Rocky was rushed to the hospital, and through the whirlwind of doctors and scans, the truth began to sink in. Rocky had a broken C3 vertebrae in his neck, and though at first, he maintained hope that life could return to normal, Rocky soon faced the reality that he would never walk again.

Rocky pushed through months of physical therapy, but the paralysis remained. He had to figure out a way to move forward somehow, completely restructuring the way he envisioned his life to align with his new reality. Unsure of what else to do, Rocky began to watch his brother Andrew play video games, reminding him of the games he played as a kid. Andrew didn’t want his brother on the sidelines though, he wanted Rocky to play. Andrew did some digging and found a modified controller called a quad stick, allowing Rocky to play using his mouth.

Following his accident, Rocky was severely depressed. Throughout his life, he had been extremely active – playing sports and going out whenever he had the opportunity. The things that filled his time and gave him joy before the accident were no longer options. But Rocky began to pour his energy into video games, competing and building up skills in an activity where his quadriplegia didn’t limit him.

Rocky began to stream, going by the username RockyNoHands, and immediately the Twitch community was captivated – not only because of his admittedly unique playing style, but because he was good. Really freaking good.

“I started streaming. I got really popular, started playing games like Club G and Fortnite that are very competitive and I started getting good at them and I got a couple Guiness World Records,” Rocky told FOX2.

Over the summer, Rocky entered a competition called “So You Think You Can Stream?” which aimed to discover little-known but highly talented streamers. Stoutenburgh, now 33, had gained popularity on Twitch and other social media platforms, but knew the other streamers were likely talented as well. Rocky amazed the judges, and ended up winning the competition.

Rocky not only won a cash prize and the knowledge that he more than held his own among his non-disabled peers, but the competition also landed him a contract with Luminosity Gaming. Now, he is the world’s first quadriplegic to be signed by a professional Esports organization. Can we get a W in the chat?

According to Forbes, Adrian Montgomery, chief executive of Enthusiast Gaming marveled, “Irrespective of anything else, he’s a high-quality gamer. He’s just flat-out good. Plus, he’s got this inspirational story. I think he is a trailblazer, and I think he is going to inspire other people to become gamers.”

This Is the Way: The Mandalorian Snags Seven Emmy Wins

Mandalorian Doc
(Disney+)

Though the Star Wars franchise has undoubtedly had a lot of misses and false starts lately, The Mandalorian has been a saving grace in the Star Wars universe. Set between the fall of the Empire and the arrival of the First Order, the series follows bounty hunter Din Djarin on his various exploits, protecting Baby Yoda at all costs.

The Mandalorian is the first live-action Star Wars series, an enormous challenge given that it has to compare to the production quality of feature films. Fortunately, Disney+ jumped on the project, and The Mandalorian was a hit. Surpassing Netflix’s extremely popular series “Stranger Things” in audience demand, it was clear from early on that the Star Wars series would leave a mark on pop culture. Season two is already on the way, the trailer was just released, and fans of the show couldn’t be happier.

Night three of the Creative Art Emmys confirmed what we already knew – The Mandalorian is a show well worth celebrating. Since Disney+ has only been available since November of 2019, this is the first year that any Disney+ show has been eligible for an Emmy. Thanks to The Mandalorian’s staggering 15 Emmy nominations, the streaming platform hit the ground running. Walking away with an impressive five Emmy wins in one night, The Mandalorian took home more awards than any other show as of day three.

The Mandalorian took home awards for Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour), Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Program (Half-Hour), Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour), Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour), and Outstanding Special Visual Effects.

A brand new show snagging five Emmy wins is incredible, but the Star Wars series wasn’t done. The talented Ludwig Göransson walked away with the award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score). The Mandalorian also won an Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie. That brings the grand total to seven well-deserved Emmys for this game-changing show, setting the bar high for future seasons.

Among the other winners for this year’s extremely unusual virtual Emmy ceremony were Rick and Morty, taking home their second-ever Outstanding Animated Program Emmy. Watchmen also absolutely nailed it this year, tying with The Mandalorian with seven Emmy wins (and 26 nominations!). Watchmen won the awards for Outstanding Casting For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special, Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes, Outstanding Cinematography For A Limited Series Or Movie, and several others. Eddie Murphy took home his first-ever primetime Emmy award for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series after hosting SNL, 40 years after first appearing on the show.

A bizarre award ceremony, but definitely an exciting one full of highly-deserving winners. If only we could have given Baby Yoda his very own Emmy for Outstanding Everything, the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards would have been absolutely perfect.

Father Figures: Light of My Life

“Even though she isn’t my blood, my daughter is the light of my life.

I found out in 2011 that I couldn’t have children, and the thought of not being a father crushed me. My wife and I went through two failed domestic adoptions before we decided to pursue international. There we found our sweet child.

Ella was born in Taiwan three years and three months before I met her. She was born deaf, and at three months old her birth father did the unthinkable: he lost control and proceeded to shake my daughter to the point she became unconscious, and then left her on her own for several hours.

It breaks my heart to think of my sweet daughter going through life-saving craniotomies with nobody there for her. She survived, but now has trauma-based cerebral palsy, causing her to permanently be in a wheelchair.

The day I first saw her picture, I felt a spark of love for my precious daughter, the day I met her for the first time in Taipei I openly wept with love for my little girl.

I travel for work and every chance I get to be home is a special time for both of us.

To all the dads – blood or not – keep up the fight for your kid, love your child unconditionally, and always strive to be the person they can call their hero.”

– Blake Wood

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

Hacker Turns LEGO Super Mario Into Super Mario Controller

Hacker turns LEGO Super Mario into controller
(Twitter/r1ckp)

There are so many different ways to play video games. Some people prefer PC games, while others flock to the newest gaming consoles. You can use your keyboard, a wheel fit for Rainbow Road, or even your entire body. There’s really no wrong way to play video games, as long as you’re having a good time. A hacker from Hamburg decided to put that to the test, building one of the most unique gaming controllers in existence. VR may let you put yourself in the game, but Rick’s controller let him bring Super Mario out.

Self-proclaimed hardware hacker Rick recently took to Twitter to show the world his incredible creation, a LEGO Mario that he had programmed to act as a controller while playing Super Mario. Leaning LEGO Mario forward makes on-screen Mario move forward. Bouncing LEGO Mario on the LEGO pad makes him jump, and tapping him on the LEGO pipe makes him slide down the on-screen pipe (all of these components came with the LEGO Super Mario set).

“I heard about the Lego Mario set in a podcast and did not find any technical info or teardown on the web. I had a spare amazon giftcard, so I ordered one to reverse engineer it and see what’s in it,” Rick told The Dad. “My wife suggested to play Mario with it and I loved the idea.”

In just four hours, Rick managed to figure out how to intercept LEGO Super Mario’s Bluetooth signals and program them to communicate with the on-screen Super Mario. Rick is far from an amateur when it comes to programming and engineering, if that wasn’t clear. He tinkered around with electronics as a teen, studied electrical engineering at his university, and has worked in the fields of software development and electronic development for 15 years.

The Super Mario project was far from the first fascinating piece of technology Rick has created. “I build a lot of devices that intersect between art and electronics,” he explained.

He’s made a Robo-lamp that tracks objects, reminiscent of the inexplicably adorable Pixar lamp. A reverse-geocache box and pocket-sized device that measures the moisture of face masks are also among this talented hacker’s creations.

“I really like to inspire other people to build stuff” Rick explains, “especially if it‘s just for fun or because you can.”