Idol Chatter

Johnny_Manziel_in_Kyle_FieldFormer Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel shocked America when he announced that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disease. Manziel has been the subject of headlines before, especially after he checked into a rehabilitation center in 2015. “I was self-medicating with alcohol. That’s what I thought would make me happy and get out of that depression to a point where I had some sense of happiness. But at the end of the day, when you’re left, staring at the ceiling by yourself, and you’re back in that depression and back in that hole, that dark hole of sitting in a room by yourself and being super depressed and thinking about all the mistakes you’ve made in your life,” Manziel said. “When I would wake up the next day after a night like that, going on a trip like that, and you wake up the next day and that is all gone, that liquid courage, or that liquid…sense of euphoria that is over you, is all gone.”

Now, however, he is getting professional help for his mental illness. “I am taking medication for bipolar,” Manziel said, “And I am working to try to make sure I don’t fall back into any type of depression, because I know where that leads me and I know how slippery a slope that is for me.”

Manziel believes that his friends and family are sure to see a change in his lifestyle, and he hopes that change will be one that sticks. Manziel said, “Where did [drinking] get me? Where did [drinking] get me except out of the NFL? Where did that get me? Disgrace? I went a solid five months until I really fell back into a little depression where I didn’t drink, but still I was going to therapy. The difference that I know this year is I started looking at my mental health…Now the question you asked is, ‘Is that sustainable?’ and ‘Would that be the case moving forward?…I would like to sit here and say, yes, and I have a lot of confidence that would be the case.”

Manziel hopes that his increased mental health will allow him to return to the football field one day. He is a former Heisman Trophy winner and was a first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns. “I am coming back from a huge downfall,” Manziel said. “I don’t know what kind of comeback it will be, but I know I want to get back on a football field, to what brought me so much joy in my life.”

Since getting help for his drinking problem, Manziel has largely stayed out of the spotlight until now. The latest batch of headlines he made, however, is not due to foolish and drunken behavior, but because he wants to support others diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “As dark as it gets, eventually times will get better,” he said. Hopefully, things continue to look up for Manziel now that he is getting the help he needs.

2000px-PyeongChang_2018_Winter_Olympics.svgThe opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics kicked off a week ago, and the Games are now in full swing. Olympians from all over the world have been fighting for the gold to bring back home to their countries. There have already been some big winners and losers this week with some incredibly stories.

Here are the top five moments we loved from the first week.

US Olympic Skating Couple Credits Christian Faith

The United States Olympic pair figure skaters Alexa Scimeca Knierim and her husband Chris Knierim opened up about their Christian faith this week. They said their faith helped give them the strength to battle through a life-threatening illness to compete in this years Games. Alexa was diagnosed with a serious gastrointestinal condition in 2016 that required three surgeries. She stated in an interview “And even here at the Games, it’s no longer about me. I have fans out there who know that I am a true believer in the Lord and I’m trying my best to shine His light and let people know that it’s okay to promote Him and do things for Him, because in the Christian life that’s kind of what we’re supposed to.”

Snowboarder Shaun White Wins First Gold Medal in Eight Years

The popular snowboarder was a favorite to take home the gold this year, despite missing the mark in past Games. Incredibly, just a few months ago Shaun White was in the hospital after an accident. Despite this, he won his first Olympic gold medal since 2010 at the age of 31.

Chloe Kim, 17, Wins Gold on the Halfpipe

At only 17, it’s unbelievable to see what the U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim can do. After winning the gold medal on the halfpipe this week, she became the youngest woman in history to win a snowboarding medal at the Winter Olympics.

Yura Min Avoids Her Almost-Wardrobe Malfunction

The South Korean figure skater Yura Min’s routine had people on the edge of their seats, but for the wrong reasons. At the very beginning of her routine, a clasp holding her costume came apart in the. She managed to handle it with incredible grace despite having to ad-lib the entire routine. She forced herself to keep her hands back to try to keep her costume from coming more undone. Luckily, the skater has another shot during the individual pairs competition later this week.

The Jamaican Women’s Bobsled Coach Stepped Down

Next week the Jamaican women’s bobsled team will be making their debut, however they are currently facing some last minute setbacks. Their coach, Sandra Kiriasis, was forced to step down by the the Jamaican Bobsled Federation. Because of this, she is now refusing to give up the team’s sled. Th JBF stated “Now that she is off the team synergy is much better, tension is down and athletes are now able to focus in a much healthier environment.” The only problem is that they need the bobsled back before they can ever compete, and Kiriasis has legal responsibility of it.

England - English Summer Forest“Summer in the Forest” is a new documentary that focuses on Jean Vanier, a real-life activist who works with the mentally disabled. Vanier was the first person to successfully secure the release of a mentally disabled person who had been confined in a mental asylum.

Vanier was born in Geneva while his Canadian father was working in the diplomatic service in Switzerland. Vanier was educated in Canada, England and France and joined the Royal Navy at England’s Dartmouth Naval College at the age of 13. When World War II broke out, Vanier and his family fled Paris just before the Nazis began their occupation of the city.

When the war ended, Vanier joined his mother in assisting the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. His experience with the victims changed him forever, and those experiences were part of what led him to establish L’Arche in 1964.

Through the 1960’s, people with mental disabilities were locked away in often violent asylums. After Vanier became aware of the plight of these people, he invited Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux to come live with him in Trosly-Breuil, France. Vanier nicknamed the house the three men lived in “L’Arche” after Noah’s Ark. Their simple friendship grew to become a new way for mentally disable people to live. Today, L’Arche works with mentally disabled people and their caretakers in more than 145 communities in 35 countries across five continents.

“Summer in the Forest” contains interviews with Vanier and gives outsiders a glimpse into the lives that disable people lead in L’Arche communities. According to the official synopsis, “’Summer in the Forest’ invites us to abandon the rat race and forge new friendships. Amid the ancient trees, Philippe, Patrick, Jean and the others welcome us into their lives. If there are rules to break, they will be broken, and if there is a truth to be told, they will tell it. Michel reveals his war torn past, Andre is desperate for a date, and young David will prove himself a hero in the fight against the forces of evil.”

The film premiered in the U.K. in the summer of 2017, but now this touching documentary is making its way across the pond. The trailer is now available online, and the full documentary is coming soon to the United States. Take a few minutes away from the daily grind and lose yourself the forest with Jean Vanier.

Pregnant Women Baby Shoes Pixabay

When it comes to finding the perfect name for a baby, it can seem impossible. With so many options out there, it can be hard to figure out where to even start. One common theme over the decades is people choosing their favorite athletes as inspiration. When someone is in the news enough, their name sticks in your head pretty easily.

Here are some athletes whose fame and accomplishments inspired spikes in baby names over the years. The numbers of babies with their name spans the athletes career.

Iker Casillas (10,000 Baby Names)

Soccer player Iker Casillas plays as goalkeeper for the Portuguese club Porto and the Spain national team. He is considered one of the best goal keepers of all time and earned the nickname “Saint Iker.” Before his fame, the name Iker barely hit the radar when it came to baby names. However after his first World Cup appearance, his name started to boom. Following more World Cups, and becoming the Porto Team Captain, there was a huge spike in babies being named Iker.

Laila Ali (31,000 Baby Names)

Laila Ali was an undefeated boxer and the daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. Just from the beginning of her career, babies named Laila spiked. She won the Super Middleweight titles in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007 which only increased her fame, and thus increased the names of Laila babies. Her name peaked in 2008 before it started a slow decrease.

Jalen Rose (35,000 Baby Names)

In the 1990s, Jalen Rose was a huge name to follow. Rose was a member of the Fab Five that reached the 1992 and 1993 basketball championship. He was drafted in the NBA in 1994 and played for six teams during his career. Slowly, babies named Jalen became increasingly popular. While playing for the Indiana Pacers in 2000, he helped them win the NBA finals. This was the height of his name, where 3,513 baby boys born were named Jalen.

Peyton Manning (44,000 Baby Names)

Payton Manning was the National Football League quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Bronocs and is considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He was the first pick in the NFL Draft of 1998, the MVP of the Super Bowl in 2007, and made three other Super Bowl appearances in 2010, 2014, and 2016. During these various accomplishments throughout his career, influxes of baby named Payton increased. At the height of his name in 2007, 3,317 babies were named Payton.

Mia Hamm (58,000 Baby Names)

Mia Hamm was the soccer icon that played forward for the US Women’s National Team from 1987 to 2004. She was the face of the first professional women’s soccer league in the US (2001-2003) and the first woman inducted into the World Football Hall of Fame. She also competed in the Olympics several times and brought home the gold. After her first World Cup Semi-Finals in 1995, the name Mia really started to take off. Throughout her career the name Mia continued to be popular each year.