You know those people who can light up a whole room with their smile?
I'm talking about the social butterflies—those lanterns of empathy, whose presence alone can flood an entire space with joy and goodwill between men.
The following are a number of athletes (and coaches) just like that—the walking mirth-merchants of sports who go about their lives spreading cheer and smiles wherever they go. These are their most jubilant pictures, along with my presumptions at what good fortune exactly brought them to this elevated plane of happiness.
They're like human space heaters, but instead of heat, they bathe us all in the warmth of their compassion.
This is Kendrick Perkins waking up to a hearty, chocolate chip pancake breakfast in bed.
Were the chips arranged so that they spelled out "Big Daddy Perk Perk"? Rhetorical question—of course they were.
"Aw, come on guys. You know the rule. No Edible Arrangements on the field."
"But Alllllbert. It's your birthday!"
"Well (chuckles), you know how I can't pass up fresh honeydew..."
Kansas State players gathered around close as coach Frank Martin recounted a childhood story about the first time he smelled rain.
Here's a shot of Brian Cushing yucking it up on the sideline.
Sometimes for away games, he and J.J. Watt have Papa John's pizza delivered to their room and listen to The Mamas and The Papas because it tastes better that way.
YOU ARE GOING TO DIE when you see this .GIF Kevin Garnett just made.
Seriously, it's great. Cat sees itself in a mirror and does this Thriller thing with its paws. He captioned it "Meowchel Jackson" and...eh, you just have to see it.
Urban legend holds that Zinedine Zidane arrived at the 2006 World Cup After Party with five Twister mats and a pony keg of Mello Yello.
You can always tell when the cute girl at La Boulange hooks Randy Moss up with an extra shot of espresso.
"Hey yo! I made Bagel Bites! Don't wash your hands; they'll get cold!"
Optimism and pizza-flavored bagels weren't the only things abound in the Buccaneers locker room at the beginning of the season.
There goes Adam just loving life after attending another crazy bar mitzvah.
He gets invited to these things all the time and comes back bragging about the spread and the Moon Bounce. The last one he went to had one of those bouncy tracks where you're strapped to a bungee cord, and you run real hard and try to stick the sticky thing on to the Velcro strip at the end.
It's like dude—we also enjoy Jewish food and hard-earned rug burns. Stop rubbing our noses in it.
Ordered double steak on his burrito. Got charged for single steak. Wayne wins.
"YING DING DING DING DING DA DING!"
Years before Ylvis became popular, Bob Knight's "What Does The Bob Say?" brought tears of joy to the residents of Texas and Indiana.
The quick smile...the easy laugh...empathy pooling in his eyes like a quiet bay at high tide.
Yep. You can always tell when Pau Gasol has just watched Patch Adams.
"No Coca Cola, eh? Well, that's fine. I'd gladly drink a Pepsi product. Tastes the same to me."
Not sweating the small stuff—one of the big reasons Will Muschamp will outlive us all.
The joy of the Lord fell upon Zach Randolph this fine day, and he selflessly spread the Word of God to other members of the Memphis Grizzlies without making anyone feel uncomfortable.
It was his signature smile that brought everyone down to the river.
It's a breathless, multi-part routine, but somehow Gregg Popovich always pauses for eye contact between verses while performing his karaoke version of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now."
DeMarcus Cousins looks like the type of guy who would wake up early on a Saturday just to help you move.
He would bring his truck over, insist on lifting the heavy boxes and then pay for lunch because "you'll need the money to get those awful shelves replaced."
Bill Belichick is in the house, because he heard you were feeling sad and couldn't bear to disappoint your fragile little soul.
He even brought Girl Scout cookies and a Mediterranean egg white sandy on ciabatta. Just how you like it, slugger!
As you can see from this photo of Kwame Brown, the Charlotte Bobcats' Media Day in 2010 was an unending veil of good times, Fruit By the Foot and wasabi peas for all parties involved.
Joy? Or elation?
It's difficult to tell with Ndamukong Suh sometimes. The Detroit Lions tackle seems perpetually caught in the healthy afterglow of an all-you-can-eat Go-Gurt binge.
You know who's a barrel of fun? John Rocker.
He's always pal-ing around, buying Groupon's for all of these cool little Thai restaurants in the city. You just can't get this guy to think negatively.
Vernon Maxwell looked up at the Jumbotron, and for reasons unknown, it was as if he was seeing it for the very first time.
Maxwell studied his name burning in lights and felt something inside of him shudder and give way—like a horse-kicked bucket upending and spilling onto a dusty floor.
All of the emotions, the pent up joy, shy confidence and happiness—feelings he'd tucked away for years, waiting for the day when he'd feel as though he had earned them—poured forth from him, streaming in rivulets from his lips and eyes.
He didn't understand what was happening to him, much less why. It would be days before he realized he had stayed at a Holiday Day Inn Express the night prior.
On Twitter, where empathy flows like wine. Awful, terrible wine.