TODAY   |  October 09, 2013

Kentucky high schools stop post-game handshakes

TODAY’s Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morales talk about the buzziest topics of the day, like the decision among Kentucky’s public high schools to end post-game handshakes after an increase in the number of brawls between coaches and athletes.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> wednesday morning, october 9th , 2013 . i'm willie geist with al roker and natalie morales . good morning guys.

>> good morning.

>> everybody doing all right even though the government is still shutdown.

>> yeah.

>> but it takes real outrage to get things going.

>> we've got real outrage. this is the new york daily news asking are you satisfied washington. are you satisfied congress? we reported yesterday families of service members killed since the shutdown began are not getting emergency death benefits from the pentagon. normally they get $100,000 within 36 hours to cover cost.

>> transportation to the dover air force base .

>> funeral and everything else. joseph peters is a 24-year-old intelligence officer from springfield, missouri, he died on sunday serving in afghanistan after two tours in iraq leaving behind a wife and a 20 month old son. his wife ashley put out this statement. she writes it's upsetting because my husband died for his country and now his family is left to worry. my husband always said if something happened to him, we would be taken care of.

>> andrea mitchell broke this story yesterday morning and then immediately saw lawmakers reacting. there was outrage on their part as well. a lot of them didn't realize this would be one of the effects of the government shutdown but they vowed they would try to get a bill done today to help resolve this.

>> and the charity stepped in to do what the government has not done. when you hear that these families are not being taken care of, yet the house gym is open for business.

>> right.

>> so that they can be taken care of. it's unbelievable.

>> there were four american soldiers killed sunday in afghanistan. 25, 25, 24 and 24.

>> heartbreaking.

>> young men and women with families as you heard there. the very least we do is pick up the check for their funeral and help their families afterward.

>> you take care of those families.

>> these are people that walked into fire for the country. let's give credit to fisher house . they stepped up to help the families with free airline tickets to get to dover and lodging at fisher house . it helps military families to begin with. putting them closer to where their loved ones are getting medical treatment .

>> this is high time .

>> stop it.

>> the president said it yesterday but all sides have to come together on this at this point. it's an embarrassment. it's an embarrassment to our country. i think the president said it yesterday, we look pretty bad around the world these days.

>> and private charities can only do so much. they can step up here and there but the problem is bigger. it's time to move on from this.

>> starbucks coming up with a way to approach the shutdown, customers getting a chance to pay it forward and get a free in store coffee. he said it would be many of our customers felt cynical, powerless or disengaged so we find ourselves asking a simple question, what can we do about it at starbucks ? after all we're just a coffee company. starting today at starbucks , if a customer buys somebody else in the store -- buy you a cup of coffee.

>> i want to buy you a cup of coffee, starbucks gives that customer a free tall brewed coffee in return. it's a symbolic gesture but starbucks does this a lot. what private companies can do that washington cannot do.

>> yeah, we hope other companies take that example as well.

>> it's funny. i remember back in the day when you could do this going through the toll booth . i would pay the toll for the guy behind me and people would be like what --

>> what happened there.

>> of course you can't do that now with e-z pass.

>> do you want to pick up the e-z pass bill?

>> i don't think you can.

>> nothing feels better than an anonymous gesture like that.

>> speaking of starbucks and paying it forward, how about being very forward at a starbucks ? so there's a graphic designer , brody ryan in line at a starbucks , a very nice looking young lady and he began to hit on her. her name is piper kennedy. she reluctantly gave him her phone number. well, the next day he sent her this. it's a video selhelf fee show casing his best features. [ music playing ]

>>> i'm shy. i'm shy.

>> wow.

>> there it is again.

>> the dimples, the hand. i thought this was a perfume commercial or something. it kind of looks like that.

>> his hair.

>> that's nice.

>> it's got good dimples. well, piper apparently told a friend or showed a friend this and then of course it went viral and now people have set up parodys online. we have a couple of these.

>> it's amazing.

>> unicorn.

>> oh.

>> i take it he didn't get the date from her?

>> well, in fact, they have been in touch. they have been in touch.

>> even a puppy. look at that.

>> it's ridiculous.

>> he is going to be here tomorrow on today. brody ryan. maybe he'll do one of these for us again. let's all do one.

>> do you think it was a joke or is that an after the fact? i was kidding.

>> okay. going on a little too long. that's about three seconds too long.

>> it's ridiculous.

>> so was the original one. come on, you do it. you try it.

>> no, i think you ruined it for all of us.

>> would you ever pick somebody up at a starbucks ?

>> given that we're married, no.

>> speak for yourself, al, getting that free coffee deal today.

>> this is your pick up line .

>> right?

>> this next story is just --

>> yeah, let's wade through this one a little bit. in the state of kentucky, schools have been warned that they should not let the kids take part in postgame handshakes. after a softball game or football game , whatever it is, no postgame handshake unless they're property supervised because there's been a lot of fights. this is in high school . the kentucky high school athletic association issued it advising schools about the risks of organized postgame handshakes.

>> yeah.

>> here's an idea action why don't you just organize a postgame fight. get it out of the way.

>> you actually -- you played high school sports .

>> yeah.

>> and you saw fights break out?

>> yeah, this is a response to some fights that have happened and this is just about absolving themselves of responsibility. you can have the handshake but we have nothing to do with it.

>> you have to supervise it.

>> we had a couple -- i played football and i played basketball and we had rivalries so intense. no more friday night football because of fights and drinking and all of that.

>> did you get a little of this.

>> no, it was worse than that.

>> what team, the sharks or the jets?

>> it was a tough league. we had one game where the rivalry was so bad we had to play a basketball game at a neutral site where there were no fans.

>> this was ridgewood high school .

>> wow.

>> it's a tough league.

>> this is the kind of team, we went after the quarterback and then we web aftnt after his family. tough. just tough.

>> wow, that is wrong.

>> so they're covering themselves. if you're going to brawl, we want nothing to do with it.

>> i guess you can understand they have had a lot of incidents in recent weeks.