This Sunday during the Super Bowl, Pizza Hut will produce over two million pizzas that will be consumed by football fans as they watch the game. Among the fans will be Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams.
In 2000, the then 16-year-old Williams worked at Pizza Hut as a cashier, cook and delivery driver. “I grew up in the small town of Wynne, Arkansas, which had about 8,000 people,” Williams said. “You knew the people who were good tippers and definitely got those people their pizzas first.”
For Pizza Hut, the largest pizza restaurant in the world, the day of the Big Game is also the largest delivery day of the year. To prepare, Pizza Hut hired an additional 11,000 employees.
Last week in Pittsburgh, I hung out with Williams and watched him put delivery drivers through various drills at the Pizza Hut Delivery Combine. “Coach Williams'” whistle never seemed to get a rest.
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.