I tried to write a succinct topper to this sucker. Twice.
First, I wanted to tell you about the Warby Parker frames I tried on, and the adventures (and misadventures) they led to. It got long, and I didn’t want it to detract from the Go Ask Daddy portion. So I shelved it.
Then, I got into soccer.
So many great things happening in the beautiful game for me right now. They even overshadow the bad things going on. The tough stuff. By far. From one kid getting a yellow card and an acceptance letter, to another getting a hat trick on a special day for her sister.
And one kid winning gold.
I’ll get into it, I promise. For now, the kids have questions. And I went and looked for some answers.
1. Who is the nicest player in the NFL?
It’s an easy trek to the not-so-nicest guys in the league.
We won’t go there. Dudes such as Peyton Manning, Jason Witten, and Cam Newton get cited for niceness. Certainly, charitable works prove this. Some guys, though, just seem to show respect for the game, their teammates, their opponents, and even the media.
Here are three of the nicest players in the NFL I’ve had the pleasure to talk to lately, and a quote I got from each of them:
LARRY FITZGERALD, WR, Arizona Cardinals
This sure hall-of-famer answered candidly and with tears in his eyes when I asked about his window of opportunity closing after a postseason loss to the Carolina Panthers:
“You get to this position as an older guy. You know the window of opportunity is closing on you. You put the time in, you put so much effort in – the film study, all of that, all the things you do, and sometimes, you forget just to take a deep breath and do what you’ve done your entire career.”
RUSSELL WILSON, QB, Seattle Seahawks
You know I can’t stand the Seahawks. This dude, though. He comes out to the post-game press conference looking like he’s set for Masterpiece Theater. And he’s 100% genuine:
“The circumstances, down 31-0, make it a little challenging obviously. But you stay in the moment, you stay in the now. That’s all you can do, whether you’re up by a lot, down by a lot, or the game is tied. That’s something we’ve done all year.”
JAMEIS WINSTON, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He’s had his moments and mistakes, but he impressed me with a drive to take responsibility and will his team to greater heights. Much more than a sum of rookie parts in this kid:
“We’re way better than losing four games in a row. I don’t ever remember losing three games in a row in my life. And that’s the positive part, because I know we’re going to get better. I’m so confident.”
2. Is a girl goose green, or is that in ducks?
Girl geese dress the same as boy geese – it’s the mallard that has different plumage.
Ducks might be nicer than geese, too. When’s the last time you saw a duck go spider monkey on a kid? Canada geese carry identical plumage; boy geese tend to be about 10% bigger than the girls.
Also, their call is more distinctively low, a “honk” if you’ve ever heard one. The lady geese call out “hink!”
The human equivalent of this phenomenon is the man on Tinder with the boat, or the bass player in a low-brow local band who plays the Rusty Rustler on Saturday nights.
Male ducks have green heads. Boys, called drakes, get a shiny green head around mating season. The human equivalent of this phenomenon is the man on Tinder with the boat, or the bass player in a low-brow local band who plays the Rusty Rustler on Saturday nights.
These markings are nature’s way of paving an easier path to mating. It seems to work with the drakes.
3. Is that a saxophone in the song “What The Man Says”?
It is, played by jazz man Tom Scott, whom the band Wings called in on a whim to record.
Paul McCartney’s band recorded the song in 1975, in New Orleans. Scott, a famous jazz saxophonist who is now 67, turned up within an hour of being called to the studio. He recorded several times, but Wings went with Scott’s first take.
It’s an upbeat, hopeful song about love. Huh.
And The Man? Maybe it’s God. Or Larry Fitzgerald.
4. Why is Jack in the box?
I love to reach the probing, philosophical questions, right around 1:03 a.m., with Foreigner on the 8tracks.com playlist, and the cake plate beside my laptop achingly empty.
Before Jack in the Box became the joint a dad and his kids could get an actual filling meal from a dollar menu, Jack actually popped out of a box. Wrongly tagged a clown, Jack is actually an August. Clowns wear pointy hats and ruffled collars, like Bozo.
Augustes bear red noses and buttonhole flowers that squirt water.
In the 1500s, swindlers who sold you something in a box – only the box was empty were called Jack in the Box. There wasn’t jack shit in the box. Also, in the 12th century, otherwise known as my sophomore year in college, this English dude made a tall claim.
Sir John Shorne told his posse he’d captured the devil himself – and kept him in a boot.
That’s kind of bad ass. But I thought Lucifer would be .. you know. Taller.
5. Is that C-3POs sister at the beginning of Episode IV?
So, it’s not a good idea to Google search “girl C-3PO.” Just telling you.
That silver droid isn’t C-3PO’s sister. It’s U-3PO. He’s a 3PO-series droid who got reprogrammed by the Empire to become a spy. Like C-3PO, he’s a protocol droid. He’s of masculine programming. Protocol and astromech droids were made either boy or girl.
Remember Jabba the Hutt? He and other hutts are hermaphrodites, meaning they could adopt characteristics of either sex. That becomes convenient for finding a date to prom.
When I was a kid, I actually spray-painted an extra C-3PO I had silver, and was the only kid on the block with a U-3PO, too. such.a.nerd.
Since we’re nerding it anyway … here’s that scene. U-3PO makes his appearance around the 2:40 mark.