You know how some people have personal trainers? Personal shoppers? I have a personal news-watcher: my husband.
Don’t laugh–it’s a necessity! Now that I only drive a couple of times a week to work –the rest of the time I’m on my bike–I don’t get my former daily dose of radio news. Same with listening to the news while making dinner, as I used to: these days, with just the two of us, it’s leftovers more often than not, so there’s barely enough time to turn on the radio before, hey–dinner’s ready!
We don’t get a daily newspaper on the island. And I haven’t been able to make myself watch TV news on a regular basis since the days of Walter Cronkite. So I can easily get a little behind.
Thank goodness for The Mate. Not only does he keep me updated on real news like the war in Syria, the upheaval in Ukraine, and the (horribly upsetting) abduction of girls in Kenya, he’s also my go-to guy for all things sports and scandal-related. Sports scandals are even better (thank you, Donald Sterling!).
So when I came home the other day and found him laughing at the TV, I asked why. Turns out he had been watching some news program, and they’d switched over to show a football player signing a mega-million-dollar NFL contract on…The View. Wait–what? NFL and The View? Isn’t that kind of like tuning into the fishing channel to watch a story on make-up tips?
“I was annoyed,” The Mate said. “Why’s this guy making such a big deal of signing his contract, flourishing his pen and all in front of these adoring women? I almost turned it off.”
Until he heard Brandon Marshall explain to ESPN why he chose to sign his Chicago Bears contract on The View. Turns out Brandon Marshall has suffered from mental illness. Brandon Marshall credits his football talents with getting him the help he needed to survive and grow through his disease. Brandon Marshall wants to reach the widest possible audience who might care about helping other people like him, people without multi-million-dollar contracts.
Oh, and by the way, he’s donating a million of those dollars to research on mental illness.
The Mate was laughing at himself for his own knee-jerk reaction to what appeared to be something all too common–yet another spoiled, self-involved athlete–an turned out to be something very rare: an athlete with great personal courage risking an unpleasant stigma to step onto an unfamiliar stage, just to help other people overcome hardships of their own.
And me? I’m grateful to my husband for watching, otherwise I would never have run into this heartening story. Congratulations to Brandon Marshall. Yay for The Mate. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to make dinner, so keep your eyes out for more of these kinds of stories, willya?
How deep does your cultural literacy go? Do you rely on others for news tidbits, or do you glean ’em yourself? Or…do you know more about Mr. Marshall? Chime in, please!