The Rock Opens up About How His Dad Shaped His View on Fatherhood

RIP Rocky Johnson
(Instagram/therock)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently suffered the loss of his dad, a decorated professional wrestling icon in his own right, and he recently spoke at length about his complicated relationship with the man and what he meant to his own development as a dad.

The Rock had a sit-down with the queen of celeb sit-downs herself, Oprah Winfrey, as part of her arena interview series (which is featuring various megastars at each stop along the way).

The Rock spoke about how his relationship with his dad wasn’t always perfect, the regrets he felt about things he could’ve/should’ve said, but also said that his dad made him a better man. He said his dad preferred the “tough love” style of parenting (is that really a surprise to learn about a professional athlete from the 80s?) and that he still feels a strong connection to his dad, even after his passing.

“The day he died, that night I went to bed, I felt so grateful and moved,” he told Oprah. “I realized, ‘Oh wow, I have a new relationship with you. Clean slate. No regrets. No pain. No complications. Just me and you.”

It wasn’t all introspection, as Johnson is currently on a major publicity tour for his new tequila, Teremana. So, of course, you knew that was going to come up, as he and Oprah shared a taste on stage. Oprah raised a glass to the late Rocky Johnson, praising him as a dad who helped make The Rock who he is, and wishing him well for this new chapter of his relationship with his dad.

Perhaps the most poignant part of the entire interview was when he talked about his relationship with his own children (he has three daughters) and how his relationship with his dad shaped his views about the type of dad he wanted to be.

“My dad loved me with the small capacity with which he was capable of. With my daughters, I want to be as full and as present as I can,” he said. “I want my daughters to know I love them truly unconditionally. As I told my 18-year-old daughter, Simone, ‘I love you. I’m going to tell you I love you every day.’ But I also told her, ‘I’m unattached. You don’t have to text me back. It’s without condition.’”

The thousands in attendance showed a lot of love for The Rock, and the love the son still had for the dad was clear. He said it best on Instagram shortly after his dad’s passing:

“You lived a very full, very hard, barrier-breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you Dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐

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2001 Has Finally Arrived: Strange Metal Monolith Discovered in Utah

Monolith in Utah
(Department of Public Safety)

After everything else that’s happened in 2020 (new “footage” of the Loch Ness Monster, an alien task force), would it be all that surprising if it ended with a giant star baby?

That’s the question many people are asking after a strange structure, reminiscent of something out of Stanley Kubrick’s landmark science-fiction classic 2001, was spotted deep in the Utah desert.

According to CNN, a team from the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Aero division was floating around southeastern Utan in their helicopter when they spotted an unusual object sticking out of the ground.

“One of the biologists … spotted it, and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” pilot Bret Hutchings said. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like, ‘What.’ And he’s like, ‘There’s this thing back there — we’ve got to go look at it!'”

“It” is a piece of silver metal, about 10-12 feet high, and, according to Hutchings, it looked like it had been deliberately placed there, rather than having sprouted. The structure immediately brought to mind the large black monolith that features in 2001 and causes some strange reactions in both primates and humans.

Thankfully, neither Hutchings nor his fellow team members were suddenly compelled to fashion weapons and attack each other. Nor does Hutchings attribute anything especially bizarre to the silver monolith’s presence

“I’m assuming it’s some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big (“2001: A Space Odyssey”) fan,” he speculated. As opposed to, ya know, an alien. But the pilot wasn’t taking any chances.

“We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it,” Hutchings said.

You can check out a photo gallery and even a few videos of the incident at the Department of Public SafetyDepartment of Public Safety.

Dad Gets Lightning Bolt Shaved Into His Hair To Match His Son’s Scar

Dad cuts lightning bolt into hair to match son's scar
(Youtube/KMOV St. Louis)

Finding ways to support your kids is a perpetually-changing aspect of parenting. It’s up to us as parents to figure out what will make our kids feel loved and supported through each challenge they face, and that’s no easy task. One dad from Missouri found a heartwarming but unusual way to make his son feel loved – and it came in the form of a haircut.

When Jonathan Tynes’s son was born, doctors found that he had a condition that caused the plates of his skull to fuse together early. As a result, Hunter had to undergo reconstructive skull surgery at just 21-months old.

“He had to be cut from ear to ear, opened up and his skull totally reshaped,” Jonathan told KMOV.

Thankfully, the surgery went well – but it left Hunter with a lightning bolt-shaped scar down the side of his head (doctors cut across his skull in a zig-zag pattern to allow the scar to be hidden more easily by Hunter’s hair). Though most of Hunter’s hair grew back as doctors expected, scar tissue on one side didn’t allow the now 5-year-old’s hair to grow. Years after his surgery, the lightning bolt scar remains – and recently, Hunter has become increasingly self-conscious.

Tynes tried to reassure his son that the scar was nothing to be self-conscious about, but the 5-year-old inadvertently told his loving dad exactly what he needed to feel better about his scar.

“I said, your lightning bolts are really cool. I wish I had that,” Tynes recalled, to which his son responded, “Well, if you think they’re so cool why don’t you get them?”

It took only a moment of consideration before Tynes made a decision. “I said okay, then I will.”

And as soon as he could get an appointment, Tynes followed through on his word. He went to the barbershop with an odd and incredible request – he wanted a matching lightning bolt shaved into his own head.

Tynes’s heartwarming story quickly went viral, but the only thing that mattered was how Hunter felt. Fortunately, Tynes got the seal of approval from his smiling son – and the pair couldn’t look happier.

Women’s Soccer Star Makes History as First Female to Play Power 5 Football

Sarah Fuller
(Twitter/ESPNStatsInfo//VandyFootball)

It’s extremely rare to get a standing ovation from the opposing team’s fanbase, and it’s even rarer to get that applause for a KICKOFF. But that was the scene at Missouri when Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller made college football history by becoming the first female to play in a Power 5 game, handling the kick-off to start the second half.

Vanderbilt isn’t very good at football this year (and to their credit, the SEC IS one of the toughest conferences), but their women’s soccer team won the league championship. So when the football team’s kickers and specialists were sidelined by COVID-19, the Commodores turned to the senior goalkeeper on that championship soccer team to handle their place-kicking duties.

Vanderbilt only got to kick-off once, to start the second half, but Fuller placed a squib kick exactly where it needed to be to prevent a return. Because it was such a historic moment, she even got a standing ovation from the Missouri fans.

“Honestly, it’s just so exciting,” Fuller said after the game (Vanderbilt did not win). “The fact I can represent all the girls out there who have wanted to do this or thought about playing football, it encourages them to be able to step out and do something big like this, it’s awesome.”

“I want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to,” she said. “Like, you really can. If you have that mentality all the way through, you can do big things.”

Former NFL Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee said her kick was great.

The sports world was quick to show their love to Fuller, and not just other football players. Media personalities, baseball stars, NFL Pro Bowlers, and everyone in between was loving the kick and what it meant.

Sports are at their best for moments like this, when you’re seeing history made. Fuller is an outstanding soccer player, but she’ll be remembered forever for her play on the gridiron.

Ryan Reynolds Said He Loves Having Daughters and ‘Being a Girl Dad’

Reynolds Girl Dad
(Getty/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin)

The coolest celebrities are the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously and manage to keep things in perspective, and few people check both boxes like Ryan Reynolds. He went up another notch in our book, thanks to his latest interview with Access Hollywood, where Reynolds talks about how much he loves ‘being a girl dad.’

We already appreciated Reynolds for stuff he’s done like Deadpool and bringing Rick Moranis out of retirement. We dig him even more for how much he loves being a dad. He was talking to Access Hollywood, promoting his new movie “The Croods: A New Age”, when he said his daughters (and wife Blake Lively) are ‘the most capable people I know.’

“If anything got scary in my life, they’re the first people I would lean on because they have wisdom and strength and they’re calm under fire,” he said. “They have courage under fire.”

Reynolds said, as the youngest of four boys, he never ‘in a million years’ imagined he’d have three daughters. But, he said he loves it.

“It has just been such a ride, and I love every second of it,” he said. He also explained that he and his wife don’t do movies at the same time, so the family can stay together at all times.

“ I think that’s been the best part of it is that we really don’t spend a lot of time apart. I get to spend a lot of time with my girls.”

Reynolds also feels the same frustration many parents have had when it comes to homeschooling. When he was on The Tonight Show in the spring, he said the family was getting through it by trying to make it as educational as possible, before joking (admitting?) he’s been “mostly drinking.”

Deployed Dad Wrote Lunchbox Notes for His Daughter, One for Each Day He Was Gone

Deployed Dad Writes Lunchbox Notes for Daughter
(TikTok/kris10grayyy)

Being deployed in itself is one of the bravest and most challenging things a person can do, but when you’re leaving behind your family and young children, it adds a whole new layer of difficulty. When Staff Sgt. Philip Gray found out he was being deployed to Afghanistan, he wanted to make sure his young daughter remembered every single day just how much he loved her.

On October 7, 2019, Staff Sgt. Philip Gray left Fort Drum, New York for his 10-month deployment. His wife Kristen and 7-Year-old daughter Rosie remained at home, but both were constantly at the forefront of his mind. To make sure that Rosie knew her dad was thinking about her, Kristen Gray came up with a brilliant idea.

Before Staff Sgt. Philip Gray left, he wrote 270 notes for his daughter, one for every day he expected to be overseas. Every morning of his deployment, Kristen slipped a single note into Rosie’s lunchbox. Sometimes they were holiday greetings that he couldn’t give in person, others were words of encouragement, but they all had one thing in common – each note was written with a whole lot of love.

“He wrote anything from, ‘You are super girl’ to ‘Smiling makes everyone else smile,'” Kristen Gray told Good Morning America. “He was very big on feel-good words for her and girl power. He made sure to tell her how smart she was, and run fast in P.E. and things that would really make her happy.”

Kristen shared some of the heartwarming notes on TikTok, each one signed “-Dad.”

@kris10grayyyReposting the original this Veterans Day. 🇺🇸 Thank you to @kellyclarksonshow for finding our story and sharing. 🤍 ##militaryfamily ##deployment

♬ original sound – Kristen Gray

Staff Sgt. Philip Gray’s deployment ended up being extended, but fortunately, this loving army dad made it home just days before his daughter’s birthday. Gray’s lunchbox notes helped him show his love for Rosie even from thousands of miles away. And when Rosie found out her dad was home, well, it’s abundantly clear how much she loves him right back.

@kris10grayyyHit 10k followers & wanted to repost my first video that brought me to TikTok. Wait for her reaction. 💙 ##happylife ##positivity ##militaryhomecoming

♬ original sound – Kristen Gray

Release the 3-Hour Cut of ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ and We’ll be Thankful

#ReleaseTheHughesCut
(YouTube/ Hats Off Entertainment)

One of the best Thanksgiving perks is the long weekend it creates, if you’re lucky enough to have the Friday after the holiday off from work. Sometimes, the entire week is slower than usual at the office, leaving families with plenty of time to bond, eat, and watch movies. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many Thanksgiving-themed movies. I always make sure to watch The Last Waltz, the classic concert film that was filmed on Thanksgiving (a bit of a stretch but it works), and this year we added Planes, Trains and Automobiles to the mix.

The late-80s road trip buddy comedy starring Steve Martin and John Candy is funny, real, and a little sad, a combination director John Hughes does well. It’s also only 90 minutes, which, these days, seems like a rarity, and is a little disappointing. We need more Thanksgiving movies – or at least a longer version of this one.

If this story about a dad’s ill-fated attempt to get from NYC to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving dinner were made today, it would probably be at least two hours.

Especially considering that Hughes left so much material on the cutting room floor. Another entire movie’s worth, apparently! And now the internet wants to #ReleasetheHughesCut of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Earlier this week, Hats Off Entertainment posted a video to their YouTube Channel in which outtakes, still photos, and more are combined to recreate some of the missing material from the 3 hours and 40-minute version of the movie that was originally shot.

Check it out, and join the growing chorus of people who want to #ReleasetheHughesCut. Especially if there’s a longer scene of Steve Martin cussing out Mrs. Poole!

‘Family Ties’ Cast Reunites To Reminisce and Speculate if Show Could Work Today

Family Ties Cast Reunion
(YouTube/Stars In The House)

This may sound shocking to many of you, but years ago, way back in the 1980s, people with different political opinions could actually get along. Even people in the same family!

This was so common that there was even a TV show about it. Several, in fact! First, we had All in the Family, in which an incorrigible racist slowly broadens his worldview when he learns to empathize with other people, and in the 80s we had the delightful comedy Family Ties, in which a couple of hippies find themselves raising a charismatic young Reaganite.

That Reaganite (he was a big Nixon fan too) was Michael J. Fox, and his role as Alex P. Keaton on the popular sitcom launched a stardom that lasted decades and even persisted through his fight with Parkinson’s Disease. Fox is making the media rounds to promote his latest book, and he recently reunited with the cast of Family Ties.

Fox and fellow cast members Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Tina Yothers, Brian Bonsall, Marc Price, and Scott Valentine gathered on the YouTube show Stars in the House to raise money for the Actor’s Fund. While there, they discussed memories from their days on the show, and whether or not it could work in a world of MAGA hats and BLM supporters.

“I just want to say one thing and that is, I loved the time that we were together,” said Gross, 73, who played patriarch Steven Keaton. “That was, I think as you’ll all agree, a kinder, gentler politics, when Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan could sit down over a glass of Irish whiskey and these two guys could hammer out compromises. And it was a great time. In the same way, we hammered out our compromises in the family and I think that’s one of the things that people loved about us.”

Watch the video:

‘Jeans Guy’ Is The Mandalorian’s New Breakout Character

Jeans Guy
(Twitter/SubCity_Comics)

Baby Yoda was the breakout star of season 1 of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+. He took over pop culture, becoming a cocktail and even a cereal, in addition to being a crazily in-demand toy. And now, season 2 of “The Mandalorian” has given us another breakout star: Jeans Guy.

Who is Jeans Guy? Where did he come from? These are stories we don’t have yet, that hopefully the rest of season 2 will fill in. The mysterious new character made his debut in episode 4 of season 2 and was spotted in the background of a shot of our heroes (the titular Mandalorian and his bounty hunting pals) shooting up an old Empire base. The crew member (or mysterious new character???) was spotted in the background of a shot and is clearly something that was missed in editing.

But the internet is having fun with it, as we should. Sub-city comics already turned the character into an action figure, which would probably be the hit of the Christmas season:

It quickly had fans reminiscing about perhaps the most famous editing snafu, the Starbucks cup that made it into an episode of Game of Thrones.

If you’re not an action figure collector, perhaps the Jeans Guy Lego set is more up your alley.

Jeans Guy quickly went viral, and as season 1, The Mandalorian would be served best by embracing it. They are currently working on the production of season 3, so hopefully, they are carving out a much larger role for mysterious Jeans Guy from the weird Empire base lab.

Also, having denim as official Star Wars canon opens up a ton of costume possibilities in future seasons.

And since we can’t see the face of Jeans Guy, it’s a possibility that it’s actually a character we’ve seen before in the Star Wars Universe.

With half of season 2 still ahead, we hoped to learn much more about Jeans Guy and how he fits into the Star Wars Universe. Sadly, it was recently announced that he was edited out of the episode.

RIP Jeans Guy, yet another casualty of 2020.

Alex Trebek Recorded an Inspiring Thanksgiving Message Before His Death

Trebek Thanksgiving Message
(Twitter/Jeopardy)

We lost a true gem in Alex Trebek’s passing, but the iconic Jeopardy host recorded an inspiring Thanksgiving message in one of the last episodes he recorded. Our collection of new Trebek episodes is quickly dwindling, but his witty outtakes will always be are timeless.

One of the episodes he recorded before his passing aired on Thanksgiving, and it included an uplifting message we all could hear right now (a few times).

“You know, in spite of what America and the rest of the world is experiencing right now, there are many reasons to be thankful. There are more and more people extending helpful hands to do a kindness to their neighbors, and that’s a good thing.

“Keep the faith,” Trebek concluded. “We’re going to get through all of this, and we will be a better society because of it.”

It’s impossible to watch that without the room getting a little dusty, as we savor every last special message from Trebek, with each taking on new meaning and importance after his passing.

There’s a reason Trebek was so beloved, and there’s no question we could all take his message of helping one another, being thankful, and keeping the faith to heart right now, as we endure what’s supposed to be a difficult winter before turning the corner on our global pandemic.