In 1993, the television show “Family Matters” aired the episode “It Didn’t Happen One Night.”

For those living under a rock in the 90s, “Family Matters” was an ABC comedy following the Winslow family and their neighbor, Steve Urkel. Urkel was the stereotype of an obnoxious nerd with most of the humor on the show stemming from the rest of the characters getting annoyed with him.

In the episode “It Didn’t Happen One Night,” Urkel is traveling with Laura Winslow, who has frequently bullied and rejected him throughout the series. Steve is a very passive person and just puts up with Laura most of the time. In this episode, the two have fallen into hard luck, staying in a fleabag motel with a broken down car in the middle of nowhere and this time it’s all Laura’s doing.

Steve continues to be passive, even when Laura refuses to share the one bed in the motel room and tells Urkel to sleep in the bathtub. So, off Steve went, closing the door to the bathroom. Until ...

“NO!” Steve shouted, emerging from the bathroom as lightning stuck from outside. “I’m not gonna sleep in the bathtub, you’re gonna sleep in the bathtub.”

Oh snap! Who was this? Steve hadn’t transformed into his alter ego Steffan Urquelle, but he wasn’t acting like himself.

Steve began to layout how everything that happened to them in the episode was actually Laura’s doing. Any time Laura attempted cut Steve off, he had something to say.

“Don’t interrupt me!” “I’m not through!” “Oh put a cork in it missy!”

This was getting good. Steve Urkel was a man pushed too far. He was like Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” or me when I haven’t had any breakfast. This man had had enough.

“I love you with all my heart,” Steve told Laura. “Just because you don’t love me back doesn’t mean you get to treat me like dirt. I’m a person! I have feelings! And I demand to be treated with respect and dignity!”

The canned applause from the audience went wild. It was like the Jerry Springer show or my neighbor’s apartment after 9 p.m. on a Friday. After years of being pushed around, Steve Urkel said, “NO MORE!”

I loved it as much as the audience loved it. It’s always good to see those who struggle to stick up for themselves finally speak out.

That takes us to this week’s Hart of the Matter: stand up for yourself. Don’t let people talk to you however they feel like it just because it’s scary to speak up. I challenge you to be confident this week, and I’ll join you in doing so. As Michael Caine told Nicholas Cage in the movie “The Weather Man,” “The harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually one in the same.”

That line probably came from somewhere else first, but let’s give Michael Caine all the credit he wants.

Anyway, enough about how we’re not going to take it anymore. It’s a big week for sports so let’s get to it.

Last week sure was exciting for football and it’s only getting better this week. West Valley will be on the road Friday as they visit Wasilla at 7 p.m. Lathrop is coming off one of the biggest wins in school history and will look to keep the momentum going this week at East Anchorage at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Saturday is big with North Pole visiting Eagle River at 2 p.m. The only game in town this week is a great one as Monroe visits Eielson Saturday at 1 p.m.

It’s not just classic tackle football going on this week. Flag football started last Thursday and it’s in full swing this week. Tuesday night will see North Pole host Lathrop while Hutchison will host West Valley at 6 p.m. That’s the same time Hutch will be hosting Lathrop on Wednesday and the same time North Pole will host West Valley on Thursday.

Volleyball will be in full swing this week with North Pole hosting Monroe at 6 p.m. on Tuesday to start. Thursday will see Eielson host Lathrop and Monroe host West Valley with both games beginning at 6 p.m. Delta will host Lathrop at 6 p.m. on Friday while Hutch will travel to Valdez.

It’s a big week for individual sports as well. The Lathrop Invitational Swim and Dive meet will take place at Hamme Pool this Friday at 6 p.m. while the All Schools Race at Chena Lakes will take place Saturday as well. The time for that race was not yet official at press time.

The last bit of prep sports this week will be on the tennis courts, weather permitting. Tuesday will see West Valley take on Lathrop at 3 p.m. while Hutchison will make their season debut against Monroe right after. Action continues Thursday as Monroe takes on West Valley at 3 p.m. and North Pole takes on Hutch right after. All of those games are at DRCTC on Lathrop’s campus. Colony will also be in town competing Friday and Saturday.

It’s an exciting week as UAF athletics are finally back. Things begin Friday as the Nanook volleyball team is on the road playing Hawaii Pacific. The cross country team will be holding their Blue/Gold Race on Saturday at 10 a.m. while the volleyball team continues to play in Hawaii. The ‘Nook volleyball team will play Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific that day. The volleyball team will conclude their trip with a Sunday match against Chaminade.

In the world of amateur sports, this is the final week of racing at Mitchell. Last Friday was canceled due to rain, so here’s hoping the 7 p.m. start time still happens.

Lastly, it feels like the Ice Dogs just wrapped up their season. However, training camp for the 2021-2022 season begins this Friday and the annual Golf Scramble is this Saturday. Contact the Ice Dogs for more information.

Well, as far as I know, that’s it. Thanks for getting to the Hart of the Matter with me. If I forgot anything, say what you want to me. Just know that I will tell you to sleep in the bathtub.

Contact Hart Pisani at 459-7530