Who’s having a good week? Who’s having a bad one?
Every week we track the highs, lows and everything in between. We give you … What’s Up? What’s Down?
UP: TOM BRADY
The all-time great Tom Brady made history yet again this week, becoming the first player in the history of the NFL to throw 700 touchdown passes over the course of his career. The 58-yard pass was caught by Tampa Bay receiver Breshad Perriman in overtime, granting the Bucks a 33-27 win over the Chicago Bears.
From his humble roots as the 199th pick in the 2000 draft, Tom Brady has earned a spot in history with six Super Bowl rings to show for it. Sunday’s game-winning pass notches off another broken record for the storied QB, edging out such greats as Drew Brees, Bret Favre and Payton Manning — and this time, he might actually get to keep the ball.
When Tom Brady threw his 600th career (regular season) touchdown pass, the receiver threw the ball to a fan, unaware that his quarterback just broke a record. But on Sunday, the Buccaneers’ equipment manager made sure to take possession of the ball before it was given away, much to the amusement of the TV audience.
Is Tom Brady the GOAT? That depends on who you ask. Is Tom Brady trending up? You bet.
DOWN: ‘DASH FOR CASH’ ORGANIZERS
At a junior league hockey game in South Dakota on Saturday, public school teachers scrambled across the ice to scoop up $1 bills in a fundraiser dubbed the “Dash for Cash.”
The spectacle, put on by the Sioux City Stampede hockey team, was meant to raise money for educators to help pay for classroom supplies, with each teacher competing to grab as much of the $5,000 pot as they could stash in their pockets. But when a video of the event went viral on social media this week, critics were outraged — slamming the incident as demeaning, disrespectful and depressing.
So widespread was the backlash that organizers issued an apology Monday, saying that while their intention was to help fund classroom projects, they were deeply sorry for “any embarrassment” teachers might have felt while watching the video.
It’s not the fault of the event organizers that teachers are so often strapped for funds — but maybe, next time, just write a check?
UP: WORLD PEACE
Call it a Christmas truce. The Korean War raged from 1950 to 1953, when hostilities ended with the signing of a ceasefire at Panmunjom. But a ceasefire is not technically an end to war, and North and South Korea have been officially in a state of conflict for 70 years, never negotiating a permanent peace.
That might change soon, as both nations said this week that they agree “in principle” with regards to inking a peace deal, according to Forbes.
Nothing has been signed yet. The two Koreas are still technically at war, as they have been for decades, and South Korean president Moon Jae-in has said that northern diplomats remain concerned about U.S. hostility, real or perceived.
Still, it’s taken a lifetime to even get the rival nations to the point where they’re discussing a possible peace deal, and that’s nothing to shake a stick at. This week — even if only “in principle” — world peace is on the way up.
DOWN: VACCINE CARD FORGERS
It’s a bad week to be in the phony-vax-record business.
In a series of high-profile busts, law enforcement nationwide cracked down this week on fake Covid-19 vaccination cards — forged documents that are helping vaccine skeptics slip into bars and restaurants across the country.
First, federal authorities arrested a Maryland man who was peddling the cards on Facebook for $75 a pop. But more charges cropped up as the week wore on, culminating with the arrest of five police officers across the Northeast.
Not only were three Vermont State Troopers forced to resign after they were accused of helping to make the fake documents, but two “high-ranking” New York City police officers were busted for allegedly submitting phony cards to their superiors.
These accused forgers might not have proof of vaccination, but risking jail time to avoid getting immunized is proof that they’re trending down.
The beloved actress made a splash on the red carpet this week, promoting her upcoming film, Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Joined by her on-screen and real-life boyfriend Tom Holland, the 25-year-old Disney Channel alum turned heads in her spiderweb dress, which observers lauded as both thematic and stylish.
In the film, which is set to premiere this week, Zendaya reprises her role as Mary Jane, Peter Parker’s sardonic love interest. Her most recent big-screen role in Dune alongside Timothee Chalamet earned her critical acclaim, and she’s expected to keep her hot streak going in Marvel’s latest installment.
And while her partner Tom Holland is increasingly signaling, he wants to take a break from acting, there’s no reason to believe Zendaya’s box office success will slow down anytime soon. This week the brunette beauty is definitely trending up.
DOWN: THIS ITALIAN BISHOP
You’re a mean one, Monsignor.
Bishop Antonio Stagliano of the Noto diocese in Sicily was forced to apologize this week after he reportedly told a group of parish children that Santa Claus doesn’t exist — just two weeks before Christmas.
According to Italian news outlets, the clergyman was speaking at a religious festival this month when he told his young audience that Kris Kringle was a work of fiction, and that his traditional red suit was invented by the Coca-Cola company to sell soft drinks.
Outraged parents soon demanded the bishop apologize, which he did. A spokesperson for the church later said that Bishop Stagliano was only trying to stress the significance of the real Saint Nicholas, a 4th century bishop noted for delivering gifts to the poor — but it’s hard to imagine that the kids in the audience picked up on that nuance.
Santa might not actually come down the chimney, but if you spoil that magic for children, you’re sure to trend down.
DOWN: THE DUGGARS
The family that brought you 19 Kids and Counting has had a long fall from grace since their show was pulled from the air in 2015, and this still might be their worst week yet.
First, an Arkansas jury convicted Josh Duggar on federal child pornography charges last Friday, concluding a six-year saga in which the former lobbyist was accused of several sex crimes.
Less than 24 hours later, it was revealed that Jana Duggar had been arrested on child endangerment charges in September, though she had since posted bail and was no longer in police custody.
The cherry on top didn’t come until this Tuesday, when Duggar patriarch Jim Bob lost his race for Arkansas State Senate in a humiliating landslide — winning only 15 percent of the vote and placing third in a field of four candidates.
There’s no two ways about it, the Duggars are trending down.
UP: THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS
HBO’s hit drama made serious waves since its premiere last month — so much so that the network renewed the series for a second season only three weeks after it landed on streaming platform HBO+.
The show follows four young women navigating the highs and lows of campus life, and has marked the television debut of Pauline Chalamet, Timothee’s older sister. Critics have lauded Sex Lives as a “warm-hearted romp,” praising its portrayal of teens confronted with suddenly unlimited freedom and the hardships that accompany it.
While the showrunners are keeping quiet about what’s in store for Season 2, Breaking Daily News can confirm one spoiler: The Sex Lives of College Girls is 100% trending up.
See you next week for What’s Up? What’s Down?