Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Something to Look Forward To

My brother in-law Patrick is getting married in a few weeks.  He and Whitney are headed to Hawaii for their honeymoon, which got me thinking about a trip I took to Hawaii for Christmas in 2004 with my mom and sister.  Thought I'd share some photos from our trip to help build the excitement!  Can't wait for the wedding, and for the photos that Pat and Whitney take from Hawaii.
A rainbow on a beautiful day thanks to a blowhole on Maui

Another shot of the blowhole, this was out first day in Hawaii (I think).  We got in the car and drove down the highway along the ocean and saw this blowhole from the road, so we parked the car and walked down to check it out.  If I'm honest, we kind of thought it was a whale at first because we really couldn't see exactly where it was coming from.

From the top of the coast, before we hiked down to the blowhole

The Blowhole in between waves

The waves rolling in

The water going back into the ocean

These next few are from the top of Haleakala, it's an active volcano.  For a small fee a tour company will drive you to top.  They'll pick you up at your hotel at 3am, you get to the summit a little before dawn and then you get to watch the sun rise over the pacific ocean from the top of a 10,000 ft peak.

Above the clouds
Another sunrise

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From the Hana highway, a waterfall in the distance in a rain forest
This was a botanical garden, they actually filmed the opening scene to Jurassic Park right here.
Another rainforest waterfall
Very green
Lava Beach
I couldn't resist getting in, the water was pretty chilly in the rainforest

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The difference is in the diet

Maybe I'm just like you.  Then again, maybe I'm not.  If you don't really know me, here's the quick bio:

I just turned 31, I'm 6'2" and I'll get to the weight a little later. I've been playing sports for as long as I can remember and I've always been on the bigger side physically.  I played offensive and defensive line in football and was never a base stealing threat on any of the baseball teams I ever played on. I played football at a small college in Iowa (Division 3 Grinnell College) and I've always enjoyed lifting weights, even doing so competitively in high school.  I'm generally active, don't watch much television (except live sports and a sitcom or HBO drama every once in a while) and love to be outside whenever I can.  I graduated from high school in 1998, I was 18 years old and weighed 235 pounds.  To be fair, I wasn't 235 for my entire senior year.  In fact, when I started school that fall I was closer to 260 because I believed that in order to play college football I needed to gain weight.  About three minutes into our first fall practice I realized how wrong I was; so I lost weight pretty much the entire year and by the time the state weightlifting meet came around in May of '98 I weighed in at 232 pounds.

My weight fluctuated a bit in college, typically I would start each football season in August at about 250 pounds, by the end of the season I would be about 242 and by the time we left school in May I was usually about 258.  When graduation rolled around in May of 2003 I was weighing about 255.  I had stopped working out consistently because for the first time in almost 10 years I wasn't training for anything.  I didn't have another football season to prepare for and I took full advantage of the fact that there were no more early morning workouts or afternoon running sessions in the spring.  Once I graduated from college I immediately got into coaching.  For anyone not aware, football coaching isn't exactly the healthiest profession in the world.  Long hours, lots of stress, horrible eating habits and lots of beer.  Anyway, I worked out sparingly, mostly getting 30 minutes on an eliptical machine or lifting some weights periodically (mostly bench press and curls).  I tried to stay active but my athleticism was slipping away and my weight was ticking up consistently.  At my highest point, I was probably within an M&M of 300 pounds and I felt terrible.  I ate whatever I wanted and didn't work out with any regularity.  That trend lasted about 6 years and while my weight came down a bit, I still didn't feel very good.  My operating weight through my mid and late 20's was about 275lbs and I was pretty well resigned to the fact that this was where my body wanted to be.  I couldn't run very fast, couldn't jump anymore (although I was big, I could always dunk a basketball on a regulation goal through college) and felt much older than I actually was.  In July of 2010 I moved to Kansas City, took a new job outside of the coaching profession and found a new gym.

I'd heard of Crossfit prior to joining the gym and had even done a few workouts.  I found BootCamp Fitness and sent the owner, Coach Rut, an e-mail.  I don't remember the exact e-mail but it was something about feeling like I was too young to have lost the feeling of being athletic.  I started my workouts in September of 2010.  I started on the BootCamp side of the gym, which is mainly body weight, dumb bells, med balls, and rowers for the first four months.  I was going to gym at 5am, and on my first day I weighed 286 (I think) and had a body fat percentage in the low 30's.

After a few months of working out, I started feeling better.  Functional movement can do wonders!  Just doing basic things like air squats, lunges, squat jumps, shuffling, hell, even running felt good.  When the new year rolled around I was "admitted" into the advanced side of the gym which incorporated a lot more Olympic weightlifting.  I was thrilled to get over there because I really wanted to lift weights again. By early March I cleaned 300 pounds for the first time since college (easily 7 years) and was starting to get pretty strong.  I was even doing pull ups, which is remarkable since I had never actually done a real pull up before joining the gym.  Everything was going great, I was feeling better physically, I felt strong and mostly healthy.  My weight still fluctuated some, but I was solidly 270-275 on most days.  I definitely started to look a little different, my weight was shifting slightly, but I still looked pretty swollen in general and puffy in the face.  When the fall of 2011 came around, I found a part time coaching job at a local high school and stopped going to the gym for a few months.  In all honesty, I wasn't planning to go back.  I thought I could replicate the workouts on my own, save a little money and take 100% control of my fitness.  By week 9 of the season I was miserable.  I was 285 again, had pulled my hamstring, wasn't sleeping well and was eating terribly.  Three weeks before the season ended I re-upped with the gym.  I realized how much I missed the workouts, the community and mostly the structure of it all.  By the time the new year came in 2012 I was back into it full swing.  I was still heavy, almost 290 by this point, but I was getting strong and just figured that I was adding a bunch of muscle and that a bi-product of that was getting heavier.

To backtrack a bit, when I first joined the gym in 2010, I was given a packet of information describing a Paleo Resolution.  A 30 day eating challenge designed to change your relationship with food.  The long and short of it is, no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no sugar.  Eat natural meats and veggies.  Lots of them.  The premise is to get the body back to what it was designed to be, a fat burning machine evolved from our hunter/gatherer roots.  I dismissed the diet immediately and put it off for well over a year.  I had never dieted before, I wasn't into the whole deprivation thing, I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  But I was miserable really.  I wasn't fully happy, I was depressed at times and I felt sorry for myself a lot.  I hated being big.  I envied the guys at the gym, my brother in-law, or other friends of mine who seemed to have a naturally "fit" physique.  I was certain that it was all due to genetics and that I was just unlucky.  I was destined to be a little bit fat, no matter how strong I was I was always just going to be big.  I told myself, "Hey, at least I carry my weight well!"  But that was all BS.  I didn't really care how "well" I carried the weight, I was tired of the weight.  I was tired of being 290lbs.

On January 14, 2012 I had agreed to lift in an Olympic weightlifting competition with a few guys and gals from the gym.  I drove up to the meet with Coach Rut and on the way to Leavenworth, KS I told him how much I appreciated the gym.  I told how much better I felt physically, that I felt strong and that I was gaining back some of my athleticism.  I told him the only issue I had with it was that I wasn't losing any weight.  In fact, I told him, I had gained a few pounds since coming back to the gym after the football season.  He asked me if I had started the Paleo resolution yet.  I told him no, that I didn't really pay much attention to my diet.  He said, "try it for 30 days, if you do it right, you'll lose 20 pounds, I guarantee it."  I figured, what the hell, I'm going to do it.  I thought it was BS, but when I weighed the potential outcomes I realized I would either lose 20 pounds or have the undeniable satisfaction of proving Coach Rut wrong, what's the downside?!?!   At the meet weigh-in that day I weight 289 pounds.

That next day I ate my face off.  I had sweets, pizza, probably a beer.  Pretty much whatever I wanted.  On Monday, January 16, 2012 I started my Paleo journey.  It was pretty hard for about a week.  It was hard to figure out what I could eat, how I would prepare my meals, how I would quit eating sweets cold turkey!  Luckily, my wife was on board from the beginning.  She did a little research, asked me a ton of questions and promised that we'd cook A LOT more.  On Rut's recommendation, I bought this guy's book (http://www.robbwolf.com/tag/paleo-diet/)  as a guide.  During the first 7-10 days, whenever I felt the tug of the refrigerator or pantry, I picked up the book and read.  I researched on the internet and asked everyone with any experience or knowledge as many questions as I could.  I bought in 100%.  By day 17 I had lost 20 pounds.  While I was a little pissed to have to admit he was right, I was far more excited to share my accomplishment with Rut and his crew.  By the end of day 30 I was down 22 pounds.  Today is the end of day 60, and I'm under 260 for the first time since college.  This morning I weighed 257.3 pounds.  I've lost 31.7 pounds since that weight meet.  The other day Rut checked my body fat and it was below 18%, almost cut in half from when I had tested it when I first started at the gym.

Now that you know some of the story, I want to get to the best part.  The past 60 days have been arguably the best 60 days of my adult life.  I've finally started to see the results I've always wanted physically.  My outlook on life has been incredible.  My mood has been much more consistent, I haven't felt sorry for myself (despite have knee surgery that has kept me from training for the better part of 6 weeks!) and I've done it all while getting healthy.  I love what I eat.  I bought a 1/4 cow.  Grass fed, natural, local beef.  I eat vegetables at least twice a day and everything I eat is natural.  Most of what I eat has one ingredient.  I'm totally off the processed foods.  I eat protein and fat, I get my carbs from veggies.  I keep a food diary (www.myfitnesspal.com) on my iphone and even bought a Withings scale to track my weight.  I also bought a fitbit device to track my steps and sleep every day.  I've seen the light.  I am totally convinced that happiness and health are found in our diets.  If you feed your body right, it will operate right.  I had never truly fed my body right, and now that I am I find myself wondering how I ever functioned while eating a "normal," modern diet.

Let me make this clear, I have cheated.  I've eaten a slice or two of pizza at 2 in the morning (it was my birthday after all!) and I've had a few drinks.  I've even had ice cream twice.  I'm still not into the deprivation thing, but I've found that after the initial 30 days, I don't crave sweets anymore.  I don't crave "junk" food at all.  I don't eat the cookies that vendors bring to work, I don't eat pasta or bread.  I don't snack on chips or pretzels.  I don't eat an oreo after my daughter goes to sleep.  I eat meat and vegetables and I love it.  Everything I eat tastes good, but more importantly it makes me feel good, really good.  I can say, unequivocally, this experience has changed my life and I can't thank the crew at bootcamp fitness and especially coach Rut enough.  I'm well aware of how I sound right now, I know I sound like a cheesy infomercial, but if you know me you'll know that this is 100% sincere.  I've included a few photos below, after all, pictures are worth 1,000 words, right?

2007 - Before the Broncos beat the Chiefs!

From the lake of the Ozarks, 2008

Chillin with Avery, February 2010

In the Backyard with Avery - Summer 2011

This was Day 1 of the Paleo Resolution.  January 16, 2012

Day 30 of the Paleo Resolution, 2/14/12

30 days side by side

Day 45 2/29/12

I bought these jeans in December, can't wear them now...

Day 60 - March 15, 2012
Day 1, Day 30 and Day 60

Thursday, September 15, 2011

NFL 2011 - I promise I wrote this before week 1

Football is coming, thank god.  NFL thoughts below:

Baltimore Ravens - Tough as nails, always relevant with Ray Lewis on their team.  This is my pick to rep the AFC in the Super Bowl this year, BOOM.  Right out the gate, it's like that. 13-3

Cincinnati Bengals - Terrible.  Mike Brown is quickly gaining on Al Davis as the worst owner in football, and maybe all sports.  What a joke of a franchise.  Usually, I feel like players control a lot of their own destiny, but this franchise ruined Carson Palmer's career.  I think he might have been a Hall of Famer with 30 of the other 32 teams in the league (Oakland would've screwed him too).  2-14

Cleveland Browns - This is a team on the come, but Cleveland is a city that is cursed.  I like Colt McCoy, he can play.  Mike Holmgren seems to know what he's doing.  I could see them going 8-8.

Pittsburgh Steelers - Always good.  Great head coach, solid QB, vicious defense.  I don't like the Steelers because I think Hines Ward is the dirtiest player in the league, but they'll be in the playoffs as a Wild Card in the AFC.  9-7.

Indianapolis Colts - No revelation here, but it's been a great ride Colts fans.  I hate that Peyton will only win one Super Bowl in his career because I think he's arguably the best QB to ever play in the NFL but he'll be overshadowed in his own era by Brady because of the rings Brady has.  It's been an unbelievable run but it's time for the decline in Indy...9-7, out of the playoffs...wow.

Jacksonville Jaguars - I feel bad for Garrard.  All signs point to him as a great guy, a good QB and it just seems like the Jags have been looking to better deal him for a while.  Now they have Gabbert, this will be a transition year for the Jags, Gabbert will be good and Garrard will be out of a job.  7-9.

Houston Texans - As a Bronco apologist, Gary Kubiak is my boy.  I really want him to succeed and keep his job.  The Texans have talent, best WR in the league in Andre Johnson, really good tight end and a RB coming off a great year.  They signed a corner, which they needed.  Make or break year for the Texans, I think they win the division at 10-6.

Tennessee Titans - If Hasselbeck can stay healthy and Johnson doesn't hold out for the entire year, they might have a chance to compete.  I never like replacing a great coach with someone that's one the staff already, but I like the way the Titans play defense and the new coach, Mike Munchak, is an OL guy who will demand some toughness. 7-9.

New England Patriots - For the record, the Pats haven't won a playoff game in their last three tries and the last two years they've lost in the first round at home, but who am I to question the mighty Patriots?  They are probably going to get some production out of Haynesworth, but as much as I love Chad Ocho Cinco I think they missed this signing.  Chad Ocho has made a career catching balls between 15-21 yards from the LOS in the middle of the field and verticals on the outside.  The Pats run a ton of crossing routes and short quick throws.  I don't think Chad's that kind of player, plus he's getting old.  He'll play well, maybe 60 catches for 800+ yards and 6-8 TD's.  Good stats, no doubt, but the Pats always score points.  I think they're good, I think they win the AFC East and maybe even get to the AFC championship game where they lose to Baltimore.  13-3.

Miami Dolphins - Didn't they almost go defeated a few years back?  This year they might make it.  Praying for Luck. 3-13.

New York Jets - Back to back AFC championship games, I'm still not sold on Sanchez.  He looked like a pretty good dude in last year's hard knocks, but I don't like him as a player.  I love Rex but eventually even Rex will lose some steam.  10-6, wild card.

Buffalo Bills - Hopefully they're in LA sometime soon.  5-11.

Denver Broncos - I still think Tebow can be a good NFL player, and I'd like to find out soon.  It's too bad the Broncos couldn't get any value for Orton, but with him as a starter and a better coached defense I think the Broncos can win a few games.  The QB situation will have to wait another year, Orton guides this year's Broncos to a 8-8 mark behind an improved defense and running game.

Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs will take a step back this year, I'm not at all sold on Cassel.  Don't underestimate the loss of Charlie Weiss either.  Think what you will about him personally, he's an a-hole, but he's really good at his job.  Watch John Brantley play his way into some Heisman talk this year at Florida and then watch Cassel get sacked 34 times this season.  Not a huge step back, but 8-8 won't get you into the playoffs this year.

Oakland Raiders - I don't care, until Al Davis is no longer running the team, the Raiders will mire in mediocrity.  Let me be clear on this, I hope Al Davis lives FOREVER!  6-10.

San Diego Chargers - Chargers finally live up to the talent, make the playoffs and lose in the first round.  11-5.


Chicago Bears - I actually like Cutler, he's a good quarterback.  The reason people don't like him is because his personality doesn't fit what "we" like in our athletes.  Whatever.  Dude can sling it, I'm still pissed the Broncos traded him, he's an all pro and the Bears play defense.  They'll be good again, 10-6.

Detroit Lions - A team on the come for sure.  Dominant d-lines are undervalued.  If Stafford can stay healthy the Lions might be working their way up.  They need a running back to round things out and if I'm honest I have no idea what they're defense looks like so I'm gonna say 8-8.

Green Bay Packers - Rodgers is the real deal, the receivers are solid.  I'm interested to see how this team responds to getting players back from IR.  I know on paper they should be great, but chemistry is worth a lot in sports and last season during the last two weeks and playoffs the Pack had great chemistry.  Not going to repeat, but they'll win the division at 11-5.

Minnesota Vikings - Look for McNabb to have a solid season.  Not sure how the receivers will respond but Adrian Peterson is a beast and the Vikes will find a way to score.  I don't their defense will be nearly as dominant as it has been in the past few seasons, I'm saying 8-8.


Carolina Panthers - What if Carolina has the number one overall pick again this year?  Do they take Andrew Luck? 3-13.

Atlanta Falcons - Should be really fun to watch, especially if Julio Jones stays healthy.  I love this offense, the defense needs to make plays when it counts (ie, the playoffs).  The kickoff rule change will affect the Falcons more than any other team.  The dirty birds led the NFL last year in KOR's, so with the new kickoff rule they'll be forced to drive 80 yards more than they were last year.  11-5.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Everything I hear about this team is that they're the real deal.  I don't buy it, I'm saying they take a step back and finish at 8-8 this year.  I'm still not buying Freeman as elite.

New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees is a top 5 QB in the league, he's fantastic.  The Saints will get to the NFC title game but lose there, 11-5, Wild Card berth.


Dallas Cowboys - How 'bout them Cowboys?!?!  They have to get it together sooner or later, right?  I actually really like this team.  No more loud personalities, Jerry seems to be letting Jason Garrett coach and control personnel.  It disgusts me to say it because I'll be cheering against it all year, but the Cowboys will rep the NFC in the Super Bowl.  13-3.  They'll lose to the Ravens though.

Washington Redskins - Grease fire, this team is terrible.  4-12.

Philadelphia Eagles - Vick is special, but he'll miss at least 4 games this season.  Also, it's great to have 3 really good corners, but they can't all play at the same time effectively.  I'd expect to see a lot of 2 back 1 TE personnel against the Eagles, play action passing to expose the middle of the field.  Andy Reid is GREAT at coaching football.  He may not be great at anything else, but he is great at coaching football.  10-6, wild card.

New York Giants - Injuries are piling up for the Giants, I like their running game but don't love Eli and I certainl don't love their defense.  Tough division, 7-9.


Arizona Cardinals - Who knows how Kolb will be, Fitzgerald is a really good.  Beanie Wells has some potential, their defense is average.  Terrible division though, the Cards will be in the playoffs at 9-7.

St Louis Rams - Year two will be more difficult than year one for Bradford.  A new play caller in Josh McDaniels will complicate things too, although ultimately I think McD will be good for Bradford.  Stephen Jackson is an absolute MAN and if he stays healthy he'll be great again.  Probably the most under appreciated back in the NFL. 6-10.

Seattle Seahawks - No idea what's going on here, Carrol might not be around long enough to draft Luck or Barkley as some are suggesting is his plan.  I don't believe anyone in the NFL would ever tank a season, but that would at least explain some of these moves! 3-13.

San Fransisco 49ers - I love what Harbaugh did at Stanford and I think he's a solid coach, but doesn't it seem like we've all drank the Harbaugh Kool-Aid?  Let's remember, he hasn't won a single NFL game yet, and if we know one thing for certain it's that collegiate success at the coaching level doesn't always translate to the league.  I think Harbaugh will be good, but we don't need to crown him just yet.  5-11.

Monday, April 25, 2011

If Tressel ain't Safe..

...nobody is.

I spent two years in Cleveland, OH coaching at Baldwin-Wallace College, the alma mater of Jim Tressel.  There are a lot of people in Ohio, a lot of people in Cleveland and especially a lot of people at BW who think very highly of Tress.  Many of the folks that I got to know while coaching at BW knew Coach Tressel personally and I, myself, became sort of close with the Coach's brother (another BW alum who was pretty involved in the program).  I'm not going to rip Tressel here, because I think he's a stand up guy who made a serious mistake.  He's probably going to lose his job over it, in part, ironically, due to his carefully crafted reputation and in part because he's been so good.

The thing about it, is that Coach Tressel has become so powerful that he can't afford this mistake.  College football and basketball coaches are absurdly overpaid.  I've got quite a few friends in the coaching profession, and if any of them are reading this they might be a bit surprised and pissed to hear me say that, but it's the truth.  These guys have become brands, not coaches but brands.  Every time you turn on ESPN, these guys are guest commentating, or going through the "car wash," or tweeting or creating YouTube videos (check out this http://www.footballscoop.com/news/3721-strange-video-paul-rhoads-visits-wally-world).  Coaches have two reasons for doing all this, one, they have to if they want to compete, and two, they all have huge egos.  It's true, these guys get really caught up with themselves, and you would too.  If everywhere you went people not only treated you like you were a king, but they also listened to everything you said because everyone has been trained since they were like 5 years old to obey their coaches.  It's not these guys' fault that they act the way they do, it's ours!  It's everyone who boosts ESPN's ratings and loves the year round behind-the-scenes style coverage of college sports these days.

Coaches are responsible for so much money these days it's absurd.  They make more money than the University President in almost every case, they generate more money for the school than anyone else and they operate budgets in the tens of millions a year.  I heard somewhere recently that is costs $8,000 a day just to feed the University of Alabama football team.  That's a little less than $3 mil a year in training table.  With all that, their salaries are justified, but they are still overpaid.  They're overpaid because they have way too much responsibility.  It's impossible for a coach to be in charge of the entire program.  We give 3rd grade teachers the opportunity to send a kid out of class if that teacher can't control him/her and they're working with 25 8 year olds, not 85 20 year olds who are also a little full of themselves.  And disciplining the kids isn't even the hardest part of the job.  Recruiting those kids is.  Imagine you make $5 million a year and you know that if you lose four games for two years you might lose that gig, and in order to keep it you have to somehow convince 18 year old kids that you can get them what they want.  For some it's a shot at the NFL, for some it's a sweet apartment, for some it's p*ssy, for some it's a nice car...and even at that, you don't know what they're thinking.  When's the last time you had a productive conversation with an 18 year old where you felt like you knew exactly where they stood on anything?  It's all screwed up.

Coaches make too much, they're overworked and most of them don't even get to do what they really want, and that's coach football.  I don't know how you fix it, except to take the money out of it, and the day that happens will be the day that, well, I can't think of a strong enough metaphor...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Madness

It's been a fun tournament so far.  The Jayhawks got beat, which sucks, but there are some good stories that have come out of the tourny.  Since this is the first time ever that not a single one seed or two seed has made the final four, I think it's fitting to broach this subject (again).

Anyone who points to college basketball as the model for finding the "true" champion when arguing for a playoff system in college football no longer has any argument to stand on.  In my opinion, that argument was always flawed, but this year has proven that it is.  The tournament does not in any way crown the best team in the nation as its champion.  In fact, the one and done scenario almost prevents the best team from winning every year.  Love it or hate it, but in the last 12 years the BCS has done a better job of getting it right than the NCAA tournament, when crowning the *best* team in the country.  Since 1999 there has been 5 match-ups of number one seeds in the championship game in the NCAA tournament.  In that same time span, college football has gotten 12 match ups of the top two teams in the country.  I, personally, love the bowls.  I love the games, I love the match ups and I love that the players, coaches and support staff get to take part in the experience of bowl games.  I don't see a single problem with having 35 bowl games, I think it's great.  Reward these guys for the grind of the season.  I also don't understand why anyone hates bowl games.  What's not to like?  It's a bit spread out, I'll admit, but what's your reasoning for disliking the bowl games?  I don't hear anyone screaming that we should do away with the NIT.  If you don't like the bowls, don't watch them. 

Now, the tournament in March is an unbelievable fan experience.  But it absolutely diminishes the value of the regular season.  The best record left in the tournament is UConn at 30-9.  There are 18 teams with equal or better records from this past season that are not involved in the final four.  Granted, most of them had their chance to get there, but they aren't there.  There are 7 teams not playing in the final four with 5 or fewer losses.  You may not like the fact that TCU didn't get play in the National Championship this past season in college football, but the teams that played above them were also undefeated.  If your argument is that playoffs would crown a "true" champion, you're mistaken.  If you want playoffs purely for the match ups and games that we'd get, fine, but I'd have to be convinced that a playoff system wouldn't greatly diminish the value of the regular season.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Twitter will Save the NFL

Full disclosure, I didn't come up with this idea on my own, I heard it from 'cousin Sal' while listening to the BS Report Pod Cast (which is great, by the way).

I think we learned a few things in the wake of the Jay Cutler ordeal.  Not the least of which is that as it turns out the media is not, in fact, the devil in the sports world.  We saw first hand that when given an unfiltered opportunity to express their feelings and opinions, a la twitter, that athletes will show their ass.  They don't need the media to 'spin' a story or misquote them, they get a chance to express their feelings immediately and without filter.  I was surprised to see how venomous the attacks against Cutler were, especially considering that they were coming from other current NFL players.  With that said, here's how twitter will eventually save the NFL.

It's nearly impossible to be an NFL fan right now and not know about the potential labor stoppage.  This weekend's Super Bowl could be that last NFL game that we see for a while if a deal doesn't get done.  When you listen to all the experts, it appears that if a deal doesn't get done by March (when the old agreement expires) then it might not get done for a long time.  Now, I don't know, or care, enough about the details to go through them here, but here's what makes some sense.  NFL players won't begin to lose paychecks until sometime in June.  They will continue to be paid until then.  So that's the magic month.  Start watching Twitter sometime around mid-June or early July and see what NFL players have to say.  We've already seen a few players come out with a public plea for a deal to get done.  Just wait until these same players start to not get paid.  Money motivates.  As soon as these dudes stop getting that check deposited into their accounts, they will start to get impatient.  DeMaurice Smith, the head of the NFLPA, had better be prepared to deal with some fall out if a deal isn't in place by June.  Players will start to tweet about their impatience and lack of confidence in the union and then Mr Smith will lose any perceived leverage that he has.  The bottom line is, the owners are going to get what they want.  The best you can hope for as a player is that you get a few concessions for agreeing to an 18 game schedule (which is a terrible idea, by the way).  I love football, I hope we don't miss anything, I hope there is a deal in place by March and things operate as normal.  But if not, watch the impact of Twitter, it will be significant.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ski Trip

Just got home this afternoon from a little ski trip to Colorado.  My buddy Trevor and I flew out of KC on Wednesday night, arriving in Denver at about 8:30.  We headed to the rental car place and when we got there the lady behind the counter inevitably tried to sell me on an upgrade.  We had reserved a full size, an Impala to be specific, and she tried to get me into an SUV.  I knew it wasn't going to be snowy so I declined.  We walked outside with the sales lady to pick up our car and we walked by a Dodge Ram (hemi) and she said if we wanted it we could take it for an extra $10 a day.  Sold.  We eventually made it to Trevor's parent's house around midnight on Wednesday night.  The next morning we drove over to Copper mountain for the first ski day of the season.  We met my dad's best friend Fred, who I've been skiing with for about 12 years now, for a few runs in the morning.  The snow was pretty good, Summit county has been getting a ton of snow and there was still some really soft snow on the mountain.  We took a few runs with Fred before he had to leave around 11:30.  We caught up with my cousins, Nick and Eric and his wife Brianne (hope I spelled that right...), for a few runs to finish out the day.  Around 3 we ate some food, had a beer and left for Aspen.

Our buddy Ryan has been living in Aspen for the past six years now and I think we've been out there for 5 of his six years.  He's well connected enough to get us in to some nice restaurants and we always have a great time out there.  Skied Aspen mountain on Friday, it was pretty awesome.  Not as much snow in Aspen as Summit county, but we cruised the groomers all day and had a blast.  We took the bus out to the X-games, which they hold on Buttermilk mountain, on Friday night.  It was an experience.  Those athletes are certifiable.  We watched the ski super pipe, some snowboarders practicing the best trick and snowmobiles hitting the speed and style track.  The features at the X-games are unbelievably large.  I don't mean that metaphorically, I mean they are literally UNBELIEVABLE.  The guys are absolutely crazy.  I've got some pics and video, and I know Trevor does too so we'll put some stuff up at some point.

We skied HIghlands on Saturday.  I demoed some skis for the day since I've been on the same skis since 2004 or 05.  It was a great decision.  Technology has come a long way on 6 or 7 years and I had a blast on the new skis.  I think I've decided to demo skis from now on, that way I can ski on new stuff every year without having to shell out a few hundred bucks to buy skis.

I always have a great time in the mountains.  Amanda and I will make a trip out this summer, I've got plans to hike Torrey's peak with Fred.  That's where my father's ashes are scattered and I haven't been up there since.