A couple of strange things happened last summer. You might remember them. First, the people of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. Then, the Republican Party’s base chose to nominate a reality TV star and alleged billionaire for the presidency of the United States. When this writer found himself in a San Diego Hilton ballroom for Comic-Con roundtables with an executive producer and five cast members of “The Man in the High Castle,” Brexit was a certainty and the dystopian Republican convention had just wrapped. Even so, the election of vulgar reality TV star turned racist demagogue Donald J. Trump to the world’s most powerful political position seemed scary, but kind of unlikely. Yup.
In any case, these two events made for some interesting conversation, considering that “The Man in the High Castle” is the deliberately paced, lavishly produced Amazon TV series drawn from Phillip K. Dick’s dark, reality-bending 1963 science fiction masterpiece. Set in an alternate reality 1962 America some years after the totalitarian Axis powers of Germany and Japan have won World War II and subdivided the nation into a Nazi-dominated East Coast, a Japan-controlled West Coast, and a no-man’s land in the middle, the show portrays the lives of a number of characters caught up in a series of tragic and terrifying events. They are largely spurred by the existence of strange films that seem to show a world where the Allied powers of the U.S. and the UK had actually won World War II. By the end of the first season, it had become clear that other parallel realities would factor into the story’s next phase.
Kelley Blue Book recently announced the winners of the 2017 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards, honoring the top model-year vehicle choices available in the U.S. market. Of more than 300 new-car models available for 2017, KBB’s editors named the 2017 Honda Civic the Best Buy of 2017 alongside Best Buy Award winners in 12 major vehicle categories.
We spoke to NASCAR driver Chase Elliott about the KBB awards, his rookie season, and if his dad, legendary driver Bill Elliott aka “Awesome Bill From Dawsonville,” ever made him use KBB to help with an automobile purchasing decision like our dads did.
When was the last time you bought a car? When I was your age, my dad made me use Kelley Blue Book to confirm the right price. Did your dad ever make you do that?
Yes! I have in the past. I haven’t purchased anything recently because I’ve been so focused on my rookie season. But I have definitely looked at KBB over the years, trying to make a good move in terms of a purhcasing decision, and my dad got me started on that.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve thought of while driving 200 MPH on a racetrack?
That’s a good question. Once we get going in a race, we have so many things that are going on. Trying to make the car better, trying to improve, trying to drive better, communicating what you need to your team. We just have a lot of things going on. That being said, you don’t have a lot of time to think about anything outside of that. And if you do, your head probably isn’t in the right place. We try to stay as locked in as we can.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. On any given Sunday, one in seven men watching an NFL game will be diagnosed with this disease, but the odds increase to one in five if they are African-American and one in three if they have a family history. These are stats that no one wants to see up on a scoreboard.
I spoke to pro football Hall of Famer and prostate cancer survivor Michael Haynes about his partnership with an early detection campaign called Know Your Stats and his career as one of the best defensive backs in NFL history. Listen to the full interview here.
On the last NFL rule change to benefit the defense:
I don’t think they even take the defense into consideration when they make rule changes – they take you guys, the fans! You guys are the ones they are considering. It’s like, how can we make our game more exciting? How many fans love a 7-3 football game? I know how important that is. I feel the anxiety and the energy in those 7-3 battles. But today, if a team can’t score 21 or 28 points, something is wrong with that offense. The coach may be fired, his job may be in jeopardy. Anyway, it’s a different game, but I still love the game.
I guess. The rule changes have changed the game so much. A lot of people are not aware of the importance of the rules and how they affect the game. There was a time when the hashes were wider. And when the hash marks were wider, it was very rare that a running back would rush for 1,000 yards. Floyd Little of the Denver Broncos, I recently had a conversation with him about this, and he shared the story that he was the 13th running back in history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season – it was a huge, huge milestone. Today, it’s not a huge milestone. Now, it’s almost commonplace for a guy to rush for 1,000 yards as a running back. So, that created a huge difference in the running game.
Since you retired, you’ve started several different businesses – a trucking company, a real estate and housing company – and this is your latest entrepreneurial effort. Why have you been able to keep all your money when so many professional athletes go broke?
“Really, I look at needs. When I got into transportation, I looked at that as a fail-safe business. When I got into housing, the need was obvious. I’ve been very fortunate to have good partners. People that are trustworthy and know what they are talking about. I’ve got a lot of good ideas, but you’ve got to get with good people. Whatever is new and coming up, I’ve always tried to stay on top of that. And MVP Collections is an extension of that – I think there’s a need and a market for this. I go out and I look at certain styles – denim style, coded jeans – and they really weren’t there for big guys. And I was just thinking about how guys who need a two, three, four or five x jeans – 38 to 50 sized waist – had nowhere to go. So I was able to price point this thing: $58 bucks for a premium T, $208 for premium denim. It’s a lifestyle brand that’s affordable for the average guy.”