Inside the ‘Florida man’ craze that’s taking over the Internet

ORLANDO, Fla. — A new challenge making waves on social media pokes fun at Florida’s reputation for producing strange news stories involving guns, drugs, booze and reptiles — or some combination of the four. The challenge invites participants to run their birthday and “Florida man” through a search engine to find out which headline pops…
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You Might Not Recognize Baseball’s Highest-Paid Star. For the MLB, That’s a Problem

Finally, Mike Trout is buzzing across the country! Mike Trout’s a thing!

Trout, the generational baseball talent who plays center field for the Los Angeles Angels, is reportedly close to signing the largest contract in North American professional team sports history. It’s a 12-year, $ 426.5 million extension with the Angels. The contract topped — by nearly a cool $ 100 million — the previous high of $ 330 million over 13 years, which Bryce Harper fetched from the Philadelphia Phillies less than three weeks ago. Harper chirped about recruiting Trout to the Phillies when he became a free agent after the 2020 season: Trout’s from South Jersey, and grew up a Phillies fan. But rather than relocate, Trout preferred a paycheck the size of Tonga’s GDP.

Days before the start of March Madness, Trout’s face popped up on ESPN throughout the day, as the network’s pundits debating the merits of the deal. He was trending all day on Twitter. MLB marketing execs were surely smiling.

This historic contract, however, won’t fix baseball’s Mike Trout problem. And baseball, indeed, has a Mike Trout problem.

It’s not that Trout is in any way toxic or anything. In fact, quite the opposite: by all accounts, Trout is a genuinely nice fellow who goes out of his way to sign autographs and do good deeds. No whiff of controversy, steroid or legal or otherwise, trails him.

Trout’s the best player in the national pastime. He’s won two AL MVP awards, and finished in the top two in the MVP voting in all but one of his seven full big-league season. According to analytics site baseballreference.com, his production through age 26 measures up to that of Frank Robinson, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, and Hank Freakin’ Aaron. The issue is that there’s a good chance that if he walked into your Olive Garden, you’d keep eating your breadsticks. Meanwhile, if LeBron James or Tom Brady did the same, you might choke on them.

Trout’s probably the most anonymous super-duper athletic star in America. According to The Q Scores Company, a marketing research firm, Trout has a familiarity score of 22 — meaning just 22% of Americans know who Mike Trout is. Meanwhile, Tom Brady has an awareness rating of 79, and LeBron James clocks in at 74. (Yes, it’s hard to believe that one in four Americans aren’t familiar with LeBron James. Guess it’s a big country out there.)

According to Q Scores Executive Vice President Henry Schafer, baseball players generally score lower in familiarity than football and basketball players. While Brady and James have ratings in the 70s, baseball’s most famous active player is Miguel Cabrera, with a score of 27. Trout’s score is similar to that of NFL players like Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who’s played in 14 career NFL games. Those players haven’t matched the greatness of Trout in their sport.

Trout’s score is also comparable to that of Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who has a 23. Love’s a fine player, a five-time All-Star. But if more Americans are familiar with a guy who’s on one of the worst teams in the NBA — and has been injured most of this season — than the best player in baseball, that’s bad news for baseball.

“The thing with athletes is exposure, exposure, exposure,” says Schafer. “Baseball players aren’t out there. They’re not getting tremendous exposure.”

MLB’s aware of this. At last summer’s All-Star game, Trout’s aversion to self-promotion became a bit of a sticking point. Commissioner Rob Manfred noted that if Trout “wants to engage and be more active” in marketing himself, “I think we could help him make his brand really big. But he has to make a decision that he is prepared to engage in that area, and it takes time and effort.”

Manfred’s comments generated headlines — “MLB Commissioner places blame for Mike Trout’s lack of national visibility on Trout” wrote the Los Angeles Times — and irked the Angels, who released a terse statement in response, pointing out that Trout regularly visits hospitals, schools and “countless” charities.

“We applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion,” the statement read. “That is rare in today’s society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent.

Trout might score higher if he played on a better team. While James and Brady have made regular appearances in Super Bowls and NBA Finals, Trout’s played in one postseason series, in 2014; the Kansas City Royals swept the Angles in three games, and Trout hit .083, though his one hit was a home run. You can’t blame Trout for failing to make the playoffs almost every year. It’s much harder for a great baseball player, who only comes up to the plate every nine at-bats, to carry a team on his back like a quarterback who’s involved in every offensive play, or a basketball player who can have the ball in his hands on every offensive possession.

Other factors beyond Trout’s control also account for baseball’s buzz issues. Long games turn off some younger attention-challenged fans. While pace of play initiatives like limiting mound visits and a timing clock for pitching changes helped quicken games a bit last season, the average game still checked in at three hours per nine innings, 10 minutes longer than a decade ago, and more than a half-hour longer than games 40 years ago. Also, baseball fandom is more localized. While it’s easier to follow basketball and football stars on national platforms like ESPN, TNT and Monday Night Football, following 30 teams over a 162-game season takes too much time and energy.

There used to be Monday Night Baseball on broadcast TV. It didn’t last like its football brethren. “Baseball is much more of a geographically contained sport,” says J.C. Bradbury, an economics professor at Kennesaw State University and author of The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed. “MLB has figured out that by going after lucrative regional TV contracts, we’re going to get our money.”

Still, baseball players have the potential for mass cultural relevance. Derek Jeter, for example, transcended sports. MLB is also taking more measures to market its players. Trout, for example, will appear in a new MLB ad on Opening Day, March 28.

But Trout’s probably never going to be the “it” guy. You can’t fake charisma. And his contract, eye-popping as it may be, will soon lose its clout. Don’t forget, Giancarlo Stanton once signed the richest contract in North American pro team sports, a $ 325 million deal with the Miami Marlins in 2014. Right before signing, 11% of Americans were familiar with Stanton, according to Q Scores. Today, even after he subsequently hit 59 home runs one season in Miami and now plays for the New York Yankees — in the country’s largest market, for the game’s most storied team — Stanton checks in at 13, a difference of just two points. Such a spread is within the poll’s margin of error. So it’s completely possible Stanton’s no more famous today than he was five years ago.

That’s more disheartening news for baseball.

 

Sports – TIME

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Former That’s So Raven Star Kyle Massey Sued for Alleged Sexual Misconduct With a Minor

Kyle MasseyFormer Disney star Kyle Massey is being sued for $ 1.5 million for allegedly “attempting to commit a lewd act with a minor.”
The suit was filed anonymously and thus refers to the…

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College Admissions Scandal: Everything That’s Happened So Far

The worlds of entertainment, business, sports and academia were rocked by the recent revelation that wealthy parents such as Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin allegedly paid college admissions consultant Rick Singer large sums to get their children into elite colleges. New developments in the scandal, dubbed Operation Varsity Blues by the FBI, continue to pop […]

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entertainment: Is there something that’s implied in the film…

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Is there something that’s implied in the film that you would’ve liked to give more screen time to if the film could be as long as you wanted?

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Cooper: That’s the sound of Barr leaving his options open

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I tried the keto diet that’s sweeping Silicon Valley with help from a gadget that tracks progress

Ketogenic diets are all the rage, so I decided to give it a try. Here's what it was like to stick to a low carb, high fat diet.
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Virtual reality start-ups offer a VR experience that’s part movie theater, part theme park

Dreamscape Immersive — backed by Hollywood's biggest players including IMAX, AMC, Fox and Warner Bros. — is opening up its first permanent location this weekend in one of Los Angeles' biggest malls,
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That’s What She Said: Nicki Minaj Is Ready To Get Married

Nicki Minaj has a new man! The pair dated when they were teens and have recently rekindled their relationship. It’s only been a few months but they have reportedly already talked marriage and babies!

Nicki’s new boo is a registered sex offender and did 7 years for manslaughter, but Nicki reportedly said she doesn’t care about his past because he’s a good man.

What Kym thinks she meant to say was, “I need a man that needs me because I got his bail money.”

What Sherri thinks she meant was, “he’s a killer? have you seen my booty? That’s a killer too!”

But on a serious note Sherri warns Nicki if they actually get married, “get a prenup Nicki, please.”

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China bought 500,000 tons of U.S. soybeans. But that’s just a drop in the U.S. export bucket

China is back in the market for U.S. soybeans, but the recent purchases represent just a fraction of sales American farmers have lost since the Trump administration embarked on a trade war with Beijing in July.  
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Take That’s ‘The Band Musical’ sees the boys reunite for gala show

Robbie Williams joins Gary, Howard and Mark for a song at a West End gala performance of the musical featuring their top hits. Rough cut (no reporter narration).


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I quit Instagram and Facebook and it made me happier — and that’s a big problem for social media

Christina Farr used to spend 5 hours a week posting and interacting with friends on Instagram. She quit cold this summer, and her life changed dramatically for the better.
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Little Drummer Girl Is a Brisk Spy Thriller That’s Worth Your Time

“Terrorism is theater,” wrote Brian Jenkins, an expert on the topic, in 1974. John le Carré’s novel The Little Drummer Girl takes this famous–and, in 21st century America, self-evident–observation to its logical extreme, following an actor recruited to infiltrate a terrorist cell that is planning its next lethal show.

In AMC’s adaptation of the book, a co-production with the BBC that will air on three consecutive nights starting Nov. 19, the year is 1979 and the actor is a young Londoner named Charlie (Florence Pugh). Despite her bewitching performances, she’s still awaiting her big break when she meets a mystery man (Alexander Skarsgard’s Becker) in Greece. He whisks her away, supposedly for a private getaway but really to recruit her for a renegade squad of Israeli spies scheming to take down a Palestinian terrorist leader. The group’s obsessive boss, Kurtz (Michael Shannon), fancies himself a director in the “theater of the real,” and he’s cast Charlie as his leading lady. She has a history of pro-Palestine politics, but the team is betting that her sympathies will only lend authenticity to her charade.

As in all le Carré stories, there’s a lot more going on here–enough to mire the first third of The Little Drummer Girl in exposition without providing much insight into the characters. Only after Charlie’s mission begins does thriller master Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), who directed the miniseries, pick up the pace.

But later episodes are worth the wait. Suspense builds against a backdrop of ’70s interiors so bright, they’re sinister. Charlie’s moral dilemma, fraught by her feelings for Becker, speaks volumes about British interference in the Middle East. There are nuanced characters on both sides. Yet it’s Pugh–an actor playing an actor improvising her way through the role of a lifetime–who makes the show work. By capturing Charlie’s ambivalence, she creates a truly unpredictable heroine.

This appears in the November 19, 2018 issue of TIME.
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Amy Schumer Shares Ultrasound Video of Her Baby: ‘It Has So Much Energy — That’s Why I’m Puking’

Say hello to Amy Schumer‘s baby on the way!

The pregnant actress and comedian, 37, shared an ultrasound video on Instagram Monday, over two weeks after her appointment as the footage was dated Oct. 16.

“It’s moving all around! Oh my God, oh my God, see it has so much energy — that’s why I’m puking every day,” Schumer said as she excitedly watched the screen, which showed her child’s arms and legs in motion.

Much like her Oct. 22 pregnancy announcement, the video had a secondary purpose as Schumer urged fans and followers to vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

“Happy Election Eve!” the mother-to-be, who is married to chef Chris Fischer, captioned her ultrasound footage. “You can look up your polling place + hours by texting LOCATION to 21333 And you can look up a sample ballot to be prepared at vote411.org/ballot Make a plan to #vote and let’s make history tomorrow!”

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.


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Happy Election Eve! You can look up your polling place + hours by texting LOCATION to 21333 And you can look up a sample ballot to be prepared at vote411.org/ballot Make a plan to #vote and let’s make history tomorrow! ♥🗳 (Feel free to copy this + send it to everyone.) thanks @piperperabo

A post shared by @ amyschumer on Nov 5, 2018 at 2:33pm PST

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

In addition to recently showing off her baby bump for the first time on Instagram, Schumer has continued to update her fans about her pregnancy.

On Friday, the I Feel Pretty star discussed being in her second trimester while performing stand up in Las Vegas. “I don’t like it,” she said, later adding, “I’ve had a really tough pregnancy so far.”

Joking that she has “a half a year” left of pregnancy, Schumer also said everyone is a “psychic” when it comes to the sex of her baby. “It’s a 50/50 shot. It’s better odds than in Vegas. I don’t know what it’s going to be. I think it’s going to be a baby,” she said.

RELATED: Amy Schumer Calls Her Baby on the Way ‘My Precious’ as She Cradles Her Growing Bump

Schumer’s sister Kim Caramele recently joked about her sibling and brother-in-law becoming first-time parents.

“They are going to be UNBEARABLE parents,” Caramele captioned a photo of Schumer and Fischer taking pictures of their dog Tatiana dressed in a lamb costume for Halloween.


PEOPLE.com

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Be better than Kanye: Use a password manager like this one that’s on sale.

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Let Kanye’s visit to the Oval Office be a cautionary cybersecurity tale: don’t set your phone’s passcode to 000000 (Really, Ye?) In fact, don’t set any of your passwords to a repeated assemblage of numbers or letters for that matter. Like ever.

Time and time again, security specialists have been nailing it into our heads the number one commandment of the digital age: change your passwords as frequently as seasons change, and make them sophisticated enough that they’re unhackable but straightforward enough that you can still commit them to memory. Frankly, that’s not always the simplest task, given that most websites require you to create codes that contain special characters, uppercase letters, or something bizarre like the exact value of Pi. Read more…

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Rocket League Delays Update, And That’s Good News

It’s rare that gamers are hit with news about an update or a game being delayed and it’s, somehow, good news. However, in this rare case you’re probably going to be duly excited to find out the reasons behind Rocket League‘s delay for the latest update, because it will completely change…


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Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true


Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Author Michael Arceneaux talks Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the absurdity of prioritizing the “fears” of young men before the experiences of sexual assault survivors.

As we’ve come to learn in his still relatively short but nonetheless exasperating, exhausting time as president, Donald Trump’s debasement of the office moves at a freakishly accelerated pace. Every single day of this ongoing nightmare, one has to wonder not if Trump will reveal himself to be an inhumane boob—but how many times that day and to what extent? On Tuesday night, the man who once defended Neo-Nazis by calling them “very fine people” and who endorsed a person credibly accused of pedophilia for the U.S. Senate decided it was time to up the despicable ante: He mocked the victim of an alleged sexual assault during a rally in Mississippi.

He mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—the woman who came forward to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during their high school years. Trump mocked Dr. Ford’s trauma to the cheers and laughs of adults. Children were present. I know that cable news pundits already bore the hell out of people with their trite, cliche-ridden newspaper columns about “both sides” showing selective morality, but there is only one major U.S. party that has its president mocking women who were sexually assaulted.

That cruel reality makes me think of the other remarkable thing President Trump said on Tuesday just hours prior: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America.”

It is perplexing (to say the least) that Trump would say this now given his history with those accused of sexual violence—notably, the time he infamously took out a newspaper ad calling for the death of the Central Park Five. Despite DNA evidence exonerating them, then-candidate Trump continued to profess their guilt decades after the matter had been settled. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this hypocrisy, but as she often does, she forgoed facts and straight answers in favor of spouting fables about the wannabe tyrant she habitually lies for.

It would be easy to dismiss Trump’s remarks as the ramblings of a sociopathic buffoon, but like his racism, like his sexism, like his xenophobia, like his transphobia, and like his homophobia, Trump is the id of the Republican Party, and to some extent, a major bloc of the electorate. It’s not just his son Donald Trump Jr. echoing these sentiments, it is people like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and well, Republican voters themselves. But still, it’s not just conservatives who seem to buy into this notion that we ought to care more about the concerns of the accused than the accuser. This misogyny pervades our entire patriarchal society: The idea that we must worry more about what can happen to a man’s career before we can focus on the life of a woman whom his abuse has impacted. That ultimately, and simply, men matter more.

Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz explained to the Washington Post that among Republicans, “There is a feeling of being guilty until proven innocent. In this era of #MeToo, there are a lot of men—and some women—who believe that justice no longer exists in America, that the accusation is enough to destroy someone’s career and someone’s life.”

In a new Quinnipiac poll released on Monday, the survey found that 51% of white voters believe Kavanaugh should be confirmed. Meanwhile, 80% of Black voters believe Dr. Ford over Kavanaugh. For, Latinx voters, it is 66% who believe Dr. Ford. Only 40% of white voters believe her account, and when split by gender, 46% of white women believe Dr. Ford and 43% believe Kavanaugh. In sum, Luntz has a point—no matter how irrational, delusional, and disgusting the viewpoint is among those who hold it.

In fact, despite the faux condemnation of Trump’s remarks by select Senate Republicans like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake, it is still likely that Judge Brett Kavanaugh—the man Ford claims once tried to rape her 36 years ago—will be confirmed to the Supreme Court in light of continued support among Republican leadership and, per Gallup, most Republicans. And apparently, with the support of most white voters.

So, my question is, how exactly is it a “scary time for young men” in America? It is a far scarier time for women in this country given that we have an American president—one serially accused of sexual assault himself, no less—who will belittle a survivor of sexual assault.

It is a far scarier time for women given that a major political party has no qualms propping up a sexual abuser to a position of power—literally to the laughs of white voters.

As RAINN notes: “Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.”

Men are scared? I wish men were more afraid of facing consequences for abusing women and girls, but given the climate we live in and the longstanding statistics about sexual assault, why would they be? Look at the man who stands behind the podium with the symbol of the U.S. presidency and look at the support he maintains. I long for a better day, but no serious person would kid themselves into thinking we need to worry about young men in America.

And all that concern about men being falsely accused? About survivors “[wanting] to destroy people,” as Trump also said on Tuesday? Studies reveal that it is more likely for a man to be sexually assaulted than falsely accused of rape. “Unfounded” or false rape accusations only make up 2 to 10 percent of rape allegations. In an interview with Vice.com, University of Kansas Law Professor Corey Rayburn Yung said, “The false reporting rate [for rape] is lower than lots of crimes.”

We need to care more about the women and girls of this country who are not only susceptible to abuse, but burdened by a patriarchal system in which their abuser is still likely to harm without consequence.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the recently released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostRolling StoneEssenceThe GuardianMic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

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