Every year I do a post inviting people to my Thanksgiving table. I have done sports figures to political figures. I like that tradition because it is fun to write about plus quick and easy. I figured I would do the same for 2019. I have broken into down into real and fictional characters that were relevant for me in 2019. It was originally slated to be five, but I added a sixth.
Bill Belichick / Tom Brady, Head Coach and QB of New England Patriots
I cheated here, but it feels like a package deal. For two decades, they have absolutely dominated the NFL landscape in a league predicated on parity. I wrote about the evolution of Brady which has made him successful. I would love to talk to these two off the record about their perspective on everything from team building to X’s and O’s to the locker room and especially how they get people to buy in to the system. There is not a better coach or quarterback in the history of sports. That is not even debatable at this point. I just have so much respect for everything they have done since 2001.
Best Quote: “We’re onto Cincinnati.”
Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones
From start to finish, Tyrion was one of my favorite characters throughout. A couple went from favorite to not so favorite. Tyrion was always there. I appreciate anyone who can command respect when the odds are stacked against them. I appreciate someone who doesn’t need physical prowess to intimidate others. As someone who prides myself on knowledge and being able to utilize that knowledge, I love that Tyrion always had the answers. I also love that much like myself, he is willing to admit fault and mistakes. When you can objectively judge and criticize yourself, that makes you a powerful person. Always.
Best Quote: “Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.”
Cody Rhodes, President of AEW
Speaking of outcasts, Cody Freaking Rhodes. I have been a wrestling for a looooong fucking time. When it comes to entertainment, I will bail if you can’t keep my interest. WWE did that. It became bland, boring, predictable and receptive. It lacked creativity and direction. Those are two things that I love about wrestling. It is an industry where you can take far fetched ideas and make them believable. I love that. Cody who was always one of my favorites while in WWE, despite the shitty gimmicks he was dealt, launched AEW in 2019. It has taken off like wildfire. I have never been more excited to be a wrestling fan because of it. It is all of the amazing parts of wrestling combined into one promotion. I love that AEW breaks the fourth wall in so many ways. Cody was always an outcast and he mentioned that in his promo leading to his match with Chris Jericho a few weeks ago. That promo is going to be one of the most iconic promos of all time. I highlighted the part in the promo that made me jump off the couch in excitement because it was so raw and so real that it packed a punch leaving you with so many emotions. You could hear the anguish and pride in his voice of making it.
“If I do not defeat Chris Jericho at Full Gear, I will never challenge for the AEW World Championship again.
Chris Jericho, that is a very big ‘if.’ It’s not an encumbrance, it’s not an albatross that is going to sit on your chest and weigh you down, it is going to vanish. You’ve taken to calling my lot ‘entitled millennials.’ You’ve called me an ‘entitled millennial bitch.’ I’ve neglected to read in your best-selling book A Lion’s Tale, which you can get on Amazon for three dollars or at any flea market, I neglected to read about the upbringing you had that was so hard. You talked about my silver spoon, gosh, it must have been so difficult being the upper-class son of a famous hockey player. It is almost like we shared the exact same silver spoon, you stupid dick!
“You dismissed every accomplishment I’ve made. You’ve talked about my father. Well you call me an ‘entitled millennial’ I call you a carny succubus because the dirty secret about you – the dirty secret is that you need this generation the more than it needs you and you surrounded yourself with impressionable youth. This isn’t about my dad. This isn’t about the dead, it’s about the living. It’s about my mother, it’s about my sister, it’s about my wife, it’s about the 14 years it took me to go from undesirable to un-goddamn-deniable!
“At Full Gear, at Full Gear…I beat you. I become the World Champion and you fall back into your circle, your Inner Circle and you let ’em know that the ground should be rumbling between their feet because The Elite are coming and when The Elite and The Inner Circle square off it’ll be a match beyond and we are going to eat you alive!”
Megan Rapinoe, US Women’s Soccer
I have been a massive Rapinoe fan long before her protesting and outspoken personality took shape. She always reminded me a lot of Mesut Ozil. I loved that she has always been a great player in terms of setting up others for success through her handling and passing ability. This year she broke the stratosphere when she not only demolished the field in the World Cup, but did it with a loud wave of criticism thanks to her spat with Donald Trump regarding visiting the White House. It made me love her that much more. She proved what a trailblazer she actually is. Women’s athletics do not get the same attention that men’s do as a general rule. However, the USWNT does every four years. Their games move the needle just as much as the World Series and NBA Finals which is remarkable. With so many people watching and so many blasting her wishing her failure, she gave them the proverbial middle finger by shining brighter with not only her words, but her play. That picture of her after a goal with her arms spread and body language “I am here” was one of the powerful images of 2019.
Best Quote: “This is my charge to everybody, Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside of yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you’ve ever been before.”
Will McAvoy, The Newsroom
Because of the current state of social media, journalism and the spreading of false information, it pains me that this show only lasted three seasons. Will McAvoy is easily one of my favorite TV show characters ever. He embodies what journalism should be. The show touches on all hot bed issues and McAvoy presents all of them in an objective light. It truly is a must watch. I am sure you all have seen the America’s Not The Greatest Country in the World Anymore speech, which is the show’s opening scene. That only scratches the surface of what the show talks about. It covers events like the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the Gabby Giffords shooting where all the major stations called she was dead, when she wasn’t. Those were two of my favorite episodes.
Best Quote: “I call myself a Republican ’cause I am one. I believe in market solutions and I believe in common sense realities and the necessity to defend ourselves against a dangerous world and that’s about it. Problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st century. But most of all, the biggest new requirement, really the only requirement, is that I have to hate Democrats. And I have to hate Chris Christie for not spitting on the president when he got off Air Force One. The two-party system is crucial to the whole operation. There’s honor in being the loyal opposition. And I’m a Republican for the same reasons you are. So I hope your voice gets louder in the next four years.”