Friday Five – May 15, 2015

Friday Five

1. Birthday Week

It was my birthday on Wednesday and I was completely spoiled!! Josh took the day off of work and catered to my every whim – we saw a movie, went to the bookstore and he was entirely patient during a trip to Target. I received tons of cards and gifts from my wonderful friends and family and I could not be more grateful for all the love. Also – cards featuring cats are clearly perfect for this crazy cat lady and I can’t believe I didn’t get any doubles! Well done friends, well done.

Spoiled.

Spoiled.

2. The Tonight Dough

Caramel and chocolate ice creams with chocolate cookie swirls & gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter cookie dough. I feel like that’s an #enoughsaid. But I’ll add: It’s delicious and everything I ever wanted and more.

20150512_194642

3. Patriots Respond to the Wells Report

Brady officially filed an appeal for his suspension and the Patriots released their own response to the Wells Report about the same time I was releasing mine yesterday. I quickly linked theirs at the bottom of my post, but in case you missed it, you can find it at http://www.wellsreportcontext.com. I mean, I’m sure everyone that already decided the Patriots were guilty will definitely go read it. PS: Their response was 20,000 words. So if you thought MINE was long ūüėČ

4. Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not in a Pool

My friend Caitlin asked for something guaranteed to make her laugh the other day – and this is what I sent her, so I figured I’d share.

5. Split Image

Split Image is a beautifully written article by Kate Fagan on ESPNW.com and it is worth your time. Fagan writes about Madison Holleran, a track star who lost her battle with depression at 19 while attending the University of Pennsylvania last year. Fagan looks at Madison’s Instagram account and social media presence to compare the difference between what was publicly displayed versus Madison’s inner struggles.

“Young women growing up on Instagram are spending a significant chunk of each day absorbing others’ filtered images while they walk through their own realities, unfiltered.”

The article is well-researched and supported by the Holleran family. In memory of Madison, the family has dedicated a Facebook page to ending the stigma of mental illness and suicide prevention. Madison excelled in both academia and sports, while also being beautiful and popular and having a strong family life. It seemed like Madison had everything going for her Рbut that is why mental illness can be a silent and vicious foe. It is our job to spread understanding so people can come out of the darkness and survive.

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:¬†http://www.afsp.org/
  • Out of the Darkness:¬†http://www.afsp.org/out-of-the-darkness-walks

matters

Ending the Friday Five on a serious note, again. But I felt like that article needed to be shared, even if the subject is uncomfortable.

How was your week? 

Deflategate – Let’s Get Generally Aware of Some Facts

The Wells Report and Deflategate penalties came down this week and it has caused QUITE the ruckus on my Facebook page with every hater of Patriots nation being very vocal about the report and results. And while I didn’t like the punishment or the report, I really, really didn’t like how many people only read the headlines and ignored a lot of the facts. So here’s a not-quick-at-all-can-barely-be-called-a-summary of what people are getting wrong:

1. Football tampering is SUPER important to the integrity of the game

Instances the NFL did not care about football tampering:

Panthers at Vikings, 2014 – Sideline cameras showed (Evidence! Actual evidence!) both Panthers and Vikings football attendants warming up game balls on the sidelines with a heater. That is changing the air pressure in the footballs and considering tampering and illegal. Both teams were issued a warning. A warning.

San Diego Chargers, 2012 – The Chargers were investigated for having an adhesive substance on towels and using those towels on the game footballs. They were fined $20,000 after the equipment manager did not give over the towels. Hm…an uncooperative equipment manager? The Patriots equipment manager was accused of being uncooperative in the Wells Report because he was not available for a FIFTH interview. He has a day job and offered to do it by phone, but Wells refused. And the Chargers were merely fined 20K and this story was never covered by The Today Show.

Patriots vs Colts, 2015 – What’s that you say? The NFL didn’t care about football tampering during The Game? The Colts went to the NFL to warn them about under inflated footballs and the NFL didn’t take the accusation seriously. They didn’t even record the footballs original PSI! No recordings even after they had been warned something might be up? And speaking of PSI levels…

And please don’t tell me about the junk science article you read about the¬†Patriots fumbling record.¬†Not everything you read on the internet is true.

lincoln2

2.The Science of PSI

Facts:

  • The football pressure was not recorded before the game. Even after the heads up. So we have to take their word for it that the Colts started at 13 PSI and the Pats at 12.5. What if the Colts started at 13.5 or 13.25? Then the difference between the Patriots and the Colts PSI isn’t significant and definitely attributable to weather.
  • One of the Colts footballs measured at 12.95 at half time. And we’re supposed to believe it started at 13? Every other Patriots AND Colts football dropped significantly in the cold weather except that one? In my opinion, it’s more probable than not that the Colts football started at higher than 13 PSI.
  • Two different gauges were used, and the official (Anderson) couldn’t recall which one he used for sure, but “believes he used the logo gauge” (the logo gauge is the one that recorder higher, .3-.45). But the Wells Report states “it’s more probable than not that Anderson used the non-logo gauge.” The gauges were different by .3 to .45. A huge difference when you’re talking these numbers. So The Wells Report decided to report what fit THEIR narrative even though its printed in the report that when interviewed, Anderson said he thinks he used the Logo gauge.
  • Eleven of the Patriots footballs were retested. Four of the Colts were retested, AFTER the Patriots were done. So for almost 15 minutes the Colts footballs were warming up in the nice, heated locker room while the Patriots footballs were checked. If you are currently thinking, “oh come on, you’re reaching…” add that small temperature change in PSI, with the change of using different gauges, with the change of not knowing exactly where the Colts footballs started? It adds up. Also. Small sample size much?
  • In conclusion: No baseline was established for the footballs, different gauges were used, subjects tested at different times, and a different amount of test subjects. My seventh grade science teachers says that is NOT how you prove a hypothesis.

3. Text Messages

Facts:

  • There is absolutely no mention in those texts that Brady instructed anyone to go less than 12.5 PSI on the footballs. Zero. In fact, the only time a PSI is mentioned, the equipment manager says “I just measured some of the balls. They supposed to be 13 lbs‚Ķ They were like 16. Felt like bricks”
  • The texts are from months before the AFC Championship, and mostly concern a Jets game were Brady was angry at the equipment manager for not getting the footballs to where Brady preferred. The texts indicate the footballs were closer to 16 PSI. No wonder Brady was angry. Numerous NFL quarterbacks have come forward and said that it is totally normal to want the footballs exactly how they feel best. Aaron Rodgers even admitted to wanting them OVER the legal amount, and purposely pushing the limits.
  • If you read the texts and are convinced Brady asked the equipment managers to go below 12.5 PSI, that can be concluded by what you read. If you read the texts and assume he is just riding them hard to get the footballs exactly like he wants them (12.5) then you can conclude that as well.

mockingbird

4. Uncooperative Patriots and Brady?

The NFL seems to be touting this line from their penalty letter that “the failure to cooperate in the subsequent investigation” was one of the reasons for the harsh penalty. And that seems silly because the Wells Report stated “The Patriots provided substantial cooperation throughout the investigation.” Huh. So this must be all about Brady’s reluctance to pass over his cell and emails? Because if I was Brady there is no way I would ever give over my cell and emails. We live in a world where everything leaks. The CIA gets hacked and you want me to trust you my personal cell records because you’re on a witch hunt? Absolutely not. His right to privacy is just as sacred as yours or mine.

5. Draft Picks and Fines

The Wells Report clearly states that Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization as a whole did nothing wrong: “We do not believe that the evidence establishes that any other Patriots personnel participated in or had knowledge of the violation of the Playing Rules or the deliberate effort to circumvent the rules described in this Report. In particular,¬†we do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick or any other Patriots coach in the matters investigated.” So…why the exorbitant fine and TWO draft picks targeting the entire organization? The Atlanta Falcons AS AN ORGANIZATION cheated for TWO seasons by pumping in crowd noise. That is something that effects every single play called by the opposing offense if they cannot hear. And the Falcons were fined a mere $350,000 and a fifth round draft pick. And those charges were proven. Not “probably.” Not “generally aware.”

6. A Culture of Cheating

This one REALLY bothers me, primarily because most people haven’t even bothered to read this blog post all the way through and educate themselves about what they’re talking about. First off, most people get the facts of SpyGate so wrong that it’s absurd. Opposing fans love to throw it around and yet most have no clue what happened. I still have people, who I used to think were at least informed NFL fans, posting on my Facebook wall that the Patriots taped an opposing team’s practice. That is unequivocally false. In fact, the Boston Herald had to publish a full, front page story apologizing for printing that story without any evidence. I might need to write an entire “Facts about SpyGate” post because people still don’t get it. Anyways. Culture of cheating? Do the Ravens have a culture of felonies because Ray Lewis was accused of killing someone about ten years ago too? And Ray Rice then knocked out his fianc√© in an elevator (this is where I insert the obligatory: And Ray Rice originally got a two game suspension for it?!)? And if you think whatever team you are a fan of has never done any against the rules? You’re wrong.

7. Media and Public Opinion

As I stated in February, the public and media care more about the Patriots than any other team because they win. A lot. So this story is going to make The Today Show, and casual fans are going to decide the Patriots cheated. Because they’re not reading the Wells Report. They’re reading the headlines. And the opposing fans are forgetting “innocent until proven guilty” because it’s convenient. The Wells Report, with language like “more probably than not” and “generally aware” is not convincing and nor should it be. But they didn’t have to convince – they had to construct a narrative that makes sure the NFL doesn’t look stupid (not recording the original PSI? really? I’m stuck on that) because the NFL is their boss (millions of dollars of billable hours to this company that once “proved” in court that tobacco doesn’t cause cancer) and enable the NFL to once again make an example of the Patriots. Tom Brady was absolutely not caught cheating.

brady

Here’s the thing. Bill Belichick was made an example of because he made a mockery of Roger Goodell by disobeying a rule that has been put in place THAT YEAR that prohibited videotaping from the sidelines. So Goodell made an example of him. I understand. Tom Brady is being made an example of because of two things – he did not take this seriously enough at first. He laughed and the NFL did not. He probably had a PR guy in his ear that said “admit nothing, say nothing, this will go away.” And it did not. And he did not cooperate by handing over his cell and email, even after submitting to a six hour interview, in person. So that’s apparently not cooperating.

witch hunt

My parting general questions:

  • Seriously though – you were warned the footballs might be altered and you didn’t record the PSI? Really.
  • Where are the other quarterbacks now? Don’t want the NFL to come knocking on your door? Because Rodgers made that comment about wanting his footballs above the legal limit BEFORE deflategate was ever a thing. He flippantly talked about it with an NFL commentator like it was no big deal. Because altering a football isn’t a big deal apparently if Rodgers, the Vikings, the Panthers or the Chargers do it.
  • Most importantly: The equipment manager and ball boys never said they deflated the balls after they were checked. Why not? They had said terrible things about essentially their boss (they really, really hated on Tom Brady in those text messages because he was so demanding) and admitted trying to take free sneakers and clothes. They must have known as soon as those texts were released they’d lose their jobs. Why not admit it? One of them is a part time employee! Surely if he deflated footballs in a bathroom he would just admit it when he had nothing to lose.

I stick by this thought, originally from February:

And just to make this clear ‚Äď if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime‚Ķ and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it ‚Äď because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.

Has the punishment fit the crime? Absolutely not. Has the crime been proven? Absolutely not.

This is a big deal because it is the Patriots. End of story. You’re deluding yourself if you think otherwise. Because I didn’t see this kind of coverage during the Falcons or Browns investigations this year. I didn’t even see this much coverage after the original Ray Rice video was released. Or Adrian Peterson. A man can beat his fianc√© or child? But something that typically comes with a warning or a $25,000 fine is more important and warrants a several million dollar investigation? Where are the priorities?

Priorities.

Priorities.

Based on the evidence you’ve read above, do you think it’s fair to ruin a man’s reputation? Tom Brady’s legacy is forever tarnished by THIS? That makes me sick to my stomach because of the injustice. This is a media driven story with a narrative developed by a dislike for a team and fostered by an organization (NFL) that needed a scapegoat after¬† a season of bad decisions. The NFL has gone so far off the rails that I personally think other NFL fans should be upset (they’re not, because #patriothate). And I think Roger Goodell will eventually lose his job over this. Because you can’t make up the rules as you go and expect to just lay the hammer down on the last guy you happen to want to make an example of after an entire season of mishandling sensitive subjects like child abuse and domestic violence.

rice

Obviously I am a Patriots fan. But I’m also an educated adult who believes I can see clearly. The “crime” is equivalent to using pine tar or stickum. It’s a misdemeanor. It should not be done, but I’m not calling Brady a cheater any more than I’d call Jerry Rice a cheater for stickum. If the equipment manager or ball boy someday comes forward and says, “Yes, I let air out of the footballs in the bathroom after they were checked and Tom Brady specifically told me to” then I’ll come right back here and say Tom Brady did it, without a need for a videotape or text message. But right now? The evidence is not there. And if I am going to ruin a Hall of Fame quarterback’s reputation and brand him a cheater, I’m going to need more than “generally aware” and “more probable than not.”

Like I said. Not a brief summary. But then again, the Patriots didn’t exactly summarize their defense either. If you got this far, thanks for sticking around.

Friday Five – May 1, 2015

Friday Five

Happy May! Can you believe it’s already May? It’s my birthday month!

1. Oodles of Zoodles

I have been spiralizing up a storm since getting my Spiralizer last week and I’m happy to report they’re delicious! This tool is both super easy to use AND clean which means I think it’s the greatest thing ever. I am way less likely to use a kitchen gadget if it is hard to clean, I hate that. And I am happy to report that Josh enjoys zucchini noodles, though we’ve been easing them into the menu by combining them with a few cheese tortellini! Keep an eye out for an all Spiralizer themed List in the future!

20150422_182804

Here’s the one I bought:
Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

2. The White House Correspondent’s Dinner

President Obama gave his usual speech to kick off the dinner and he did not hold back! Honestly, watching the entire thing is worth it. It’s hilarious, self-deprecating and the satire is spot on. But it’s 21 minutes so I completely understand most people don’t have the patience for that length of a video so here’s a two minute highlight reel. Everyone’s got two minutes:

View the entire speech here. It really is worth your time.

3. NFL Draft Day should be a National Holiday

I love Draft Day! It means football is creeping closer and that’s always a good thing. Plus, I root for a team that manages to always do great things on draft day, which is nice. If you didn’t stay up for the last first round pick yesterday, the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots selected defensive tackle Malcolm Brown. Great pick.

NFL

4. Cat friends vs. Dog friends

This YouTube has been around a while, but in case you missed it…here’s a look at what it’s like to have a friend that acts like a dog versus a friend that acts like a cat!

5. Shut up and Dance!

I love a good dance movie. It all started with Save the Last Dance, which Megan and I saw at least three times in the theater in high school. But the love continued with Center Stage, Step Up and the cinematic classic You Got Served. Below is a mash up of scenes from different movies (not just “dance” movies) where the main characters dance. I guarantee it will make you smile!

 

Are you ready to jump on the Zoodle wagon and buy a Spiralizer?

More importantly, are you ready for some football?!

State of the Union – NFL Edition

The Super Bowl is over and my beloved New England Patriots are reigning champions. They won despite being plagued by accusations regarding under inflated footballs during their AFC Championship stomping of the Colts. Accusations that have been categorically denied by everyone from Tom Brady to Robert Kraft and none of which have been substantiated.¬†But I am not going to talk air pressure, or defend the Patriots…my rant is this: In the last THREE days, the following NFL stories and scandals have broken – not a single one of which has appeared on my Facebook or been a leading story on The Today Show.

In order to differentiate, I have placed each story into the three main issues that people seem to be wailing about with the Patriots:

C – Cheating ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I – Integrity ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†NFL – Actions not in accordance with the NFL “Shield”

1. Cleveland Browns, TextGate, C & I & NFL

The Cleveland Browns GM stands accused of texting coaches during the game – a practice that is expressly forbidden because it could lead to a competitive advantage. They currently face fines and a possible loss of a draft pick. That’s serious business and if found guilty, will face the exact same sanctions currently being threatened against the still innocent until proven guilty Patriots. PS: The Browns have plenty of other breaking news within their organization – Josh Gordon was banned from the NFL for a year for violating once again the Drugs and Alcohol policy and Johnny Manziel has checked into rehab.

2. Green Bay Packers DT Letroy Guion, FelonyGate, I & NFL

Good ol’ Letroy was pulled over with $190,000 in cash and over 350 grams of marijuana in his truck. He was extremely uncooperative and hostile to the police and was charged with felony drug and gun possession. Definitely not keeping up with the integrity side of the NFL.

3. Baltimore Ravens NT Terrence Cody, GatorGate, I & NFL

Cody was indicted this week on 11 counts of animal cruelty, including abuse or neglect of a dog and an alligator. The aggravated animal cruelty are felonies (as they should be) and are also coupled with a drug possession charge (of course). It is hard for me to contain my rage regarding people who abuse defenseless animals, so I am just going to leave it at that.

animalabuse

4. Atlanta Falcons, Artificial NoiseGate, C & I & NFL

The Falcons are currently under investigation for pumping in artificial crowd noise during the past two seasons while their opponents were trying to call plays and during the huddle. It is definitively cheating, and appears to have definitely happened – The Falcons owner has apologized and expressed his disappointment in their lack of integrity, though the investigation is continuing and the Falcons still face fines and possible loss of a draft pick. Fines and loss of draft picks? That sounds familiar. But fans don’t care about the Falcons (or Browns) cheating because no one cares about the Falcons (or Browns). Because they aren’t beating your team all the time.

5. Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle, ArrestGate, I & NFL

Randle was arrested for drug possession after police responded to a call for domestic violence with a weapon. Drug arrests in the NFL seem to be a weekly occurrence, but I am including this one because it is his second arrest in four months. He was arrested for shoplifting in October. Clearly a wonderful representation of the NFL.

6. New York Jets, TamperingGate, I & NFL

The New York Jets owner apparently publicly expressed his interest for Darelle Revis to return to the New York Jets. This is a violation of the league’s Anti-Tampering Policy. I chose not to give this one a C for Cheating, primarily because I think it’s silly – but the rules are the rules and the integrity of the game is sacred and everyone just keeps telling me that when they discuss the PSI of footballs in a game won by 30+ points.

7.¬†Indianapolis Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson, Just a MisdemeanorGate, I, NFL & Idiot

Jackson was arrested this week for getting in a physical altercation with a pizza delivery guy over a parking spot. A parking spot. So I am charging him with insulting the NFL Shield, a lack of integrity, and being an idiot. And not to add insult to 30+point defeat injury, but Jackson is the 5th member of the Colts to be arrested in the last 9 months…including the Colts owner (DUI). Maybe the NFL should launch an investigation and examine the science behind an organization with more mug shots than playoff wins this year.

insulting you

Just a reminder…these stories all broke THIS WEEK. And can all be found on ESPN – some front page, some buried. NONE can be found on The Today Show or on my Facebook feed. Did adding “Gate” to all their offenses make it real to you? Make you want to design a meme or haunt my Facebook page posting articles of football pressure? No? Could you look inside yourself and see that this Patriots situation was treated unfairly by both the media and opposing fans because it’s personal (we hate the Patriots) rather than an actual big story?¬†Especially considering the cheating accusations against the Browns and Falcons – the ones that come with the same exact possible penalties as the Patriots? But no one cares about because the Browns and Falcons do not win. And that’s the truth of it.

socialmediaoverreaction

And just to make this clear – if this was sanctioned by anyone in the Patriots organization, it is absolutely wrong and I agree they should be punished for it. But the punishment should fit the crime… and at this point, if they are found innocent of wrongdoing, will people even believe it?

I doubt it – because the court of public opinion has already ruled against them.

Because. They. Win.

supermanbrady

 

A Lot.

billbelichick

 

Have you been following these stories the past three days? Sharing articles? Worried about the integrity of the game?

Advertising Awesomeness

Last week I laughed out loud at the new Subway commercial and it inspired me to put together a list of my favorite commercials. I tried not to pick the ones that always make that prime time special that airs the week of the Super Bowl, and instead chose some of my personal, lesser-known favorites.

1. Subway, CropFit

“This is not a one man job!”

2. NFL Network, Tom Brady is Way Hotter Than Carson Palmer

“I think I definitely made my point.”

3. Coors Light, Here’s to Love Songs

“Dogs that love cats…”

4. Under Armour, I WILL what I WANT

“You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turn out, torso length, and bust.”

5. Budweiser, Puppy Love

“Best buds.”

6. Nike, Find your Greatness

“Greatness is not some rare DNA strand. It’s not some precious thing. Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing. We’re all capable of it. All of us.”

7. NFL, Play60

“And become your Mom’s favorite player?”

8. ESPN, This is SportsCenter

“Wally! It’s not what you think!”

9. Disney, Voice of Experience

“Goofy is huge. I know he’s only this big on TV, but in real life? Goofy could beat up Dad.”

10. Nike, I’ve Got Soul

“Everything you need is already inside.”

11. NFL Network, Peyton Manning Looks like an Aerobics Instructor

“I’m not really changing the play – but this looks smart and cool.”

Have you laughed? Teared up? Been inspired? Good. My job here is done.

greatness

What favorite commercial of mine was YOUR favorite? Want to share your own favorite commercial with me? Link it in the comments!