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Ever heard of Chicago Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling? The president has.

He has proven himself to be a leader off the ice as well as on.

In hockey, backup goalies don't often get much credit — especially from the president.

But that's exactly what happened when the Stanley-Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks made their way to the White House on Thursday for an awards reception.

Among the people President Obama wanted to give credit to: backup goalie Scott Darling — who played in just 14 regular-season and five playoff games last year.


GIFs from the White House/YouTube.

Why? Well, it was actually something that Darling was involved with off the ice.

Obama wouldn’t have known to praise Darling without a serendipitous exchange between an Uber driver and a Beer League Hockey Player.

Here's a story an Uber driver told beer league hockey player Kane Van Gate, who posted it to Twitter:

"I knew nothing about hockey until I gave Scott Darling a ride. He changed my life. When I picked him up he had a man with him. A man who had been through some really trying times and Scott just so happened to see him on the street and strike up a conversation. So he had me drive this guy to a hotel and he paid for him to stay at that hotel for an entire month until he got back on his feet, and even got him some groceries.

I've never met anyone in my life who was so sincere. I later Googled him, found out who he was and now I think hockey is the greatest sport in the world."

Now, you're probably thinking, "That's an oddly specific story, but how do you know the Uber driver wasn't just making it up or missing a few facts?" Well, Darling confirmed the story via his own Twitter account, though he hasn't said anything else about it since.

Darling warms up before a game last season. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images.

Now, it really should be noted that Darling is nowhere near one of the National Hockey League's top-paid players (he's making $575,000 this year — which is obviously a lot for those of us who aren't professional athletes, but you get the idea).

"He paid for him to stay at that hotel for an entire month until he got back on his feet, and even got him some groceries."

Pretty cool, right?

Darling lifts the Stanley Cup trophy during the Blackhawks Championship Rally last June. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

And while Darling has remained hush-hush on the whole thing, Obama felt such a selfless act was worth highlighting.




Ever the modest one, here's how Darling reacted to the presidential kudos:

You can watch Obama's remarks below (go to about 5:30 for his shout-out to Darling).


I live in Washington, the state with the first official outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. While my family lives several hours from Seattle, it was alarming to be near the epicenter—especially early in the pandemic when we knew even less about the coronavirus than we know now.

As tracking websites went up and statistics started pouring in, things looked hairy for Washington. But not for long. We could have and should have shut everything down faster than we did, but Governor Inslee took the necessary steps to keep the virus from flying completely out of control. He's consistently gotten heat from all sides, but in general he listened to the infectious disease experts and followed the lead of public health officials—which is exactly what government needs to do in a pandemic.

As a result, we've spent the past several months watching Washington state drop from the #1 hotspot down to 23rd in the nation (as of today) for total coronavirus cases. In cases per million population, we're faring even better at number 38. We have a few counties where outbreaks are pretty bad, and cases have slowly started to rise as the state has reopened—which was to be expected—but I've felt quite satisfied with how it's been handled at the state level. The combination of strong state leadership and county-by-county reopenings has born statistically impressive results—especially considering the fact that we didn't have the lead time that other states did to prepare for the outbreak.

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