Saw this nice little story about Texans wideout Andre Johnson providing a shopping spree to a dozen at-risk children in Houston. Good for him. You might recall that, on a smaller scale, Virginia Tech defensive back Antone Exum did something similar last year with his bowl swag.
I love stories like that, and I really don’t care if the motivation is 100 percent pure or partially about polishing an image (no reason to believe it’s anything but pure in the case of Johnson and Exum). It’s just a great idea. The Johnson-style shopping spree, where participants are given a set amount of time to grab as much as they want, is my favorite. When I was a kid, my complete list of life goals went something like this:
1. Play for the Orioles.
2. Elbow my way into one of those timed Toys ‘r’ Us shopping sprees I’d seen on TV.
I accomplished neither, but I take heart in the fact that those were tremendous goals. Aim high, I say.
Is there anything cooler for a kid than being able to run around and grab whatever you want? Adults got a taste of this in the fantastic game show “Supermarket Sweep.” The best players had sound strategies: Go for the meat, then the cheese, then the medicine. The kids in the Johnson spree apparently had a game plan, too; their combined 80-second haul totaled more than $17,000.
(Side note: In college, I once financed much of a summer with money earned winning Supermarket Sweep bets with roommates. We would throw money in the pot and “draft” the contestants as they were introduced, with the draft order determined by who had won the previous episode. Winner takes all. Hint: Always take the pair of guys if available. What they might lack in product knowledge they more than make up for in cart-driving prowess.)
The best part about shopping sprees is that if you don’t get exactly what you want, you only have yourself to blame. Good lesson for us all.
Thursday news nuggets:
1. RG3 is benched for the rest of the season.
2. The No. 3 car is back in Sprint Cup.
3. MLB plans to eliminate home plate collisions (good move, IMO. This is one of those situations where “It’s always been done this way” just isn’t a good enough argument).
4. The Stagg Bowl will stay in Salem at least through 2017. Other NCAA contracts extended with the city include D-3 men’s basketball, D-2 softball, D-3 softball and D-2 women’s lacrosse.
5. Your Thursday night NFL game is Chargers-Broncos.