Most Shared

A brilliant idea is helping anti-Trump Patriots fans feel good supporting their team.

Trump's favorite team is headed back to the Super Bowl. Let's hope for #AGoodGame.

A brilliant idea is helping anti-Trump Patriots fans feel good supporting their team.

Donald Trump loves the New England Patriots, and the Patriots (or at least their owners, head coach, and star quarterback) love him back.

Quarterback Tom Brady infamously kept a "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker during the 2015 season. The following year, head coach Bill Belichick wrote a letter Trump read on-stage during a rally, gushing about how great the future president was. Owner Robert Kraft even gave the commander-in-chief a Super Bowl ring after the team won in 2017.

While most of the team's fans probably don't care too much about the political leanings of their favorite athletes — at least enough to affect how they feel about the game — some, very reasonably, do feel a bit conflicted.


Trump poses with Patriots coach Bill Belichick during a ceremony honoring the team for winning the 2017 Super Bowl. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

So last year, two Patriots fans decided to put their own feelings of conflict to good use before the Super Bowl, raising $100,000 in the process.

Pats fans Josh Gondelman and Emma Sandoe came up with a brilliant idea in their quest to root for their problematic football fave: They'd donate money to a good cause every time the Patriots score.

Gondelman pledged $100 for every Patriots touchdown and $50 for every Patriots field goal to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, sending the group a total of $500. Sandoe pledged $5 to Planned Parenthood for every Patriots point, bringing her total to $170. Others jumped in on the action as well, making pledges in various amounts to various charities. By night's end, according to Sandoe, people on the #AGoodGame hashtag had committed more than $100,000 to charity.

Socially-conscious sports fans Sandoe and Gondelman.

With the Patriots back in the Super Bowl, I caught up with Sandoe and Gondelman (full disclosure, I know Josh from Twitter — you should follow him) to see what they had in store for #AGoodGame, part two. They didn't disappoint.

Asked why she thinks last year's campaign took off the way it did, Sandoe says she believes "deep down people want an opportunity to turn negative feelings into something positive and constructive."

"Certainly, being on Twitter, being politically active, or just being alive in 2018 can often feel like a negative experience,  and this gave people that avenue to turn it into something positive, even without the football aspects," she adds.

For this year's iteration, the duo launched the A Good Game website, where people can log their own pledges for this year's Super Bowl. The simple site, put together by Ronik Design, also offers a bit of background on the project as well as a list of some of Sandoe and Gondelman's suggested charities.

This time around, Gondelman's donations will be going to the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, and Sandoe's will support the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Tom Brady lifts the Super Bowl trophy after the Patriots 34-28 win over the Falcons in the 2017 Super Bowl. Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.

Being a sports fan in a politically heated year like 2018 can be tough, but we all have our ways of working through it.

The #AGoodGame campaign is just one of several examples of people dealing with some of the unease that happens when someone or something we love does something that makes us feel uncomfortable.

Take the 2016 World Series, for example. With the baseball season winding to a close, the Chicago Cubs looked like they had a legitimate shot at winning their first World Series championship since 1908. As they got ready to head into the playoffs, the team traded for Aroldis Chapman, one of the league's best relief pitchers. Many fans cheered, convinced that Chapman would lead the team to victory; others were a bit more conflicted, though it had nothing to do with baseball.

At the tail-end of the 2015 season, Chapman allegedly fired a handgun eight times, once into the open window of a car, and choked his girlfriend. While he was eventually suspended for 30 games, he never quite owned up to his actions. The Cubs' decision to acquire someone facing credible domestic violence allegations left some fans wondering whether it was worth winning a World Series if that was the cost.

Cubs fan Caitlin Swieca reconciled her love for the team with her disdain for domestic violence by launching #pitchin4DV, pledging $10 to domestic violence organizations every time Chapman recorded a save (one of the key stats for relief pitchers). Others joined in the movement, and helped raise $38,670. The Cubs did win the World Series that season, and Chapman did play a key role for the team down the stretch — and some really great charities made a bit of money along the way.

Chapman celebrates the Cubs 8-7 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

There's an important lesson in all of this: If you look for it, there's usually something positive that can come out of negative situations if you're willing to act.

As the Chapman example showed, this isn't just about Donald Trump. In fact, maybe you love Donald Trump. Either way, you can still get in on these #AGoodGame-type campaigns as well. Gamification can be a lot of fun, as anyone who's ever owned a FitBit can confirm, and it's part of why people love to play Fantasy Football so much. That's the driving concept behind these campaigns: combining charity with sports for a better world. Give it a try!

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

File:Pornhub-logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic and it feels like disinformation and denial have spread as quickly as the virus itself. Unfortunately, disinformation and denial during a pandemic is deadly. Literally. People who refuse to accept the reality we're living in, who go about daily life as if nothing unusual were happening, who won't wear a mask or keep their distance from people, are preventing communities from being able to keep the pandemic under control—with very real consequences.

An ER nurse in South Dakota shared her experience treating COVID patients—some of whom refuse to believe they have COVID—and it's really shocking. One might think that the virus would become real to people if they were directly affected by it, but apparently that's just not true for some. As Jodi Doering wrote on Twitter:

"I have a night off from the hospital. As I'm on my couch with my dog I can't help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don't believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm. They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that 'stuff' because they don't have COViD because it's not real. Yes. This really happens. And I can't stop thinking about it. These people really think this isn't going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated. It's like a fucking horror movie that never ends. There's no credits that roll. You just go back and do it all over again."

Keep Reading Show less

While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


Keep Reading Show less