Inaugural Class [Ep. 7]
A few months ago, when the weather in Wisconsin was still hospitable to outdoor human life, a guy came to my regular pickup soccer game wearing a pair of Rec Specs. If all you were looking at was how he played the game, he was just another dude, but if you looked at the way he approached life, Roland was obviously much more than that. He was a champion. He protected his eyes, improved his vision, and looked good doing it, all with one simple ocular apparatus. He did it with Rec Specs, and he did it with style. Anyone who has ever worn these bad boys knows what it’s like to be the coolest player in the game. Anyone who has ever seen a teammate wear these beauties knows what it’s like to have won the game before it’s even started. And anyone who has shown up to see an opponent decked out in this fearsome gear knows the meaning of terror. The only thing you might be able to compare it to would be a premodern northern European seaside village when Viking sails were spotted on the horizon. Welcome to the OFF THE CHAIN Hall of Fame, Rec Specs. You earned it!
He performed the greatest dock to boat car jump of all time. That alone would be enough to put him in the Hall of Fame. But Paul didn’t stop there; no, he was just getting started. He made us all cry in the now classic Antarctic dog rescue movie, 8 Below. He came back to teach us even more about what cars can do and what life is all about. He taught us to never give up if you’re bros with Vin Diesel. He taught us about the joys of fatherhood. He taught me how you show up to the birth of your daughter. He taught me how to be a man. He’s in the hall of fame because that’s where he belongs and he’s in my heart because there’s no way to get him out of there. You know why Paul Walker died in that car accident? One reason and one reason alone: he was not driving the car.
Second Class [Ep. 11]
Miami lawyer and immigration reform advocate Nora Sandigo has become the legal guardian for more than 800 children whose parents have been deported for illegal immigration over the past 6 years. She works tirelessly to protect children and the families of the vulnerable in the United States, and for that she’s more than worthy of entering the Off the Chain Hall of Fame.
Third Class [Ep. 23]
The genius of this is that someone thought to ground up bones and add them to sugar and somehow this turned out well. Gelatin is a miraculous substance but it has almost no meaning without sugar. Combined these two things can reach higher levels then either could ever dream of separate. Then rather than just accepting a jiggly piece of sugar some genius decided to mold it in the form of a bear, the most pleasing shape of candy possible. No one in the history of the universe has said no thanks when offered a gummi bear. That is because we all know that it is right. Now we can get candy in any shape and flavor you can imagine. This is wonderful but it would never be without first the gummi bear.
Fourth Class [Ep. 33]
The one, the only, the lawyer/rapper/master motivator who is Lawyer Mike. I don’t know how we missed him on our first ballot, but he’s a long time favorite of ours. What’s not to love about the man: the hair, the voice, the music videos, the Gators gear, the tattoos, the tan, the beard, the love? Lawyer Mike never disappoints, and that’s why he’s in our Off the Chain Hall of Fame. Tweet at him and encourage him to keep sharing his message. The world needs more lawyers like Mike!
Fifth Class [Ep. 71]
The Public Library
The greatest idea in the history of Western civilization? The last bastion of pure idealism in the United States? Yes and yes. We think you’re great, public libraries. The first thing we do whenever we move to a new city is head to the local public library and apply for a library card. Being without lending privileges is almost a fate worse than death. Where else can everyone in a community find something free for them under one roof, a place with computer access, videos, music, books, and classes for all? Nowhere, that’s where. Public libraries are truly the best. Thanks for everything!
–-Dave & Steel