Zach Parise followed his father’s footsteps by playing in the NHL. Zach was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in 2003 as the 17th overall pick. Parise then signed a 13 year contact with the Minnesota Wild where he currently plays the position of left wing. This move was sort of a homecoming for Zach since his dad, J.P. Parise played there and was the captain for the team who at the time was called the Minnesota North Stars.
Just recently Zach was named the captain for the 2014 U.S. Men’s Hockey team for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. He and his fellow teammates came up short winning a medal, but he will always remember his time in Sochi.
I was able to chat with Zach about the NHL, fatherhood, his Olympic experience including shooting a commercial with Chobani Greek Yogurt, and what lessons he learned from his dad before entering the league.
Art Eddy: The 2014 Winter Olympics are now a month behind you. What did you take away most from that experience?
Zach Parise: Unfortunately for us we left on a pretty sour note. We started off the tournament really well, but the way we ended with that loss to Canada and losing in the Bronze medal game to Finland was not what we had planned. We had some pretty high expectations over there.
The whole experience was awesome. There was a lot of fun. They did such a good job. The Russians did a great job of running the Olympics. I know all the stuff that was on the TV and the media before, but it was such a good experience. It was a lot of fun.
AE: The commercial you did with Chobani Greek Yogurt was pretty cool. How did working with Chobani come about?
ZP: They are one of our major Olympic sponsors for Team USA. They were looking for an Olympic athlete, well a hockey player in particular. We have a great relationship with them now. The commercial thing was one of the first times that I have done a commercial like that. It is amazing to see what goes into it.
It took us about 12 hours to film it. It was cool to see how they do everything and how many times you have to do the same thing over and over again, but it was really fun.
AE: Now switching to hockey is there a team that gets you more hyped when you see them on the schedule than any other team?
ZP: When I was playing in New Jersey you have those special rivalries. It was always us and the Rangers. Those games were so intense. I think we played them three times in the playoffs when I was there. Here in Minnesota we are starting to establish ourselves as a pretty good team. We are going to have some good rivalry games with the Jets and also Chicago with just how close we are.
AE: Besides playing at home, which city do you like to play in?
ZP: Going to play in Montreal is always fun. The crowd is so good. To experience the excitement in the building is unbelievable. That is probably one of my favorite places to go play a game. It is a great atmosphere in the rink.
AE: Your dad, J.P. Parise made a name for himself in the NHL. What advice did he give you when you entered the league?
ZP: I think that his biggest thing was to enjoy it. He told me at the time of my first year that how quickly my career will fly by. At the time I was thinking okay I am 21 years old and it won’t go by fast. Then all of a sudden I look today and I have been in the league for almost nine years. Then I was like he was right. He wanted to make sure that I enjoyed it and had fun playing.
It seems simple, but it was great advice. You go through so many ups and downs throughout your career. It is always good to take a step back and take a look at your career and see where you are and where you have come from.
ZP: I think you learn a lot as you get older. You learn a lot mentally how to keep an even keel throughout a season. You go through so many different stretches where things are going right and everything seems to go in. Then there are times where nothing you do goes right.
As I have gotten older I kind of learned to keep a level head throughout the season. Not get too excited when things are good or not get upset when things aren’t going so good. I think that is probably the biggest thing I have learned.
Here at MANjr we like to test drive a few new gadgets out and relay what we find. Here are some cool new tech toys that can help you get the most of your devices and adventures.
Booqpad for iPad Air
Booq, a leading brand of premium laptop bags, backpacks and iPad & iPhone cases unveils the new Booqpad for iPad Air, which is pictured above. Crafted from premium materials, the Booqpad combines an iPad Air case and notepad into one, giving creative professionals the ideal solution to create, store, review or present their next big idea. Multi-fold cover folio adheres magnetically to polycarbonate snap case via an ingenious super-array of magnets, giving your iPad Air the flexibility to be removed and ready for picture taking in a snap. A screen protector provides 360 degree protection. The Booqpad for iPad Air is available and shipping now for $60 at www.booqbags.com and retailers throughout the country.
Booq’s intelligent design allows you to sketch like you mean business. A paper pad made from unbleached, acid-free and 30% recycled post-consumer content is perfect for salvaging ideas at your next meeting or while on-the-go. Its symmetrical design suits both left and right-handed note takers. The Booqpad easily folds into multiple angles, offering versatile protection while you view, type or play without interfering with the camera or access ports.
Recently I picked up an iPhone 5c. My next mission was to find a case for my new phone. I saw the Rapt and I liked the design and how it would protect my phone. As a sneakerhead it also reminded me of the Air Jordan X sole. I got the blue/dark blue case and so far I am happy with the case. Hard polycarbonate and soft rubber criss cross and combine to make a new super protective case from X-Doria. Rapt’s distinctive design is a combination of polycarbonate and rubber, wrapped together to form a super grippy surface across the back of your iPhone. Alternating matte and glossy textures add visual interest. Hard plastic protects your iPhone from impacts front, sides and back. Inside a soft rubber lining ensures that your iPhone never touches hard plastic. This soft lining extends to form a protective bezel, keeping your screen away from table tops and other potential scratch hazards. Volume and lock buttons are completely protected as well, yet absolutely accessible.
The Clamplight is an innovative and versatile LED flashlight that lights up every situation by clamping to virtually anywhere, making chores easier and play better. The quality grade CREE LED’s provide 100,000 hours of bulb life and up to 100 lumens. It has resilient spring clamps to lock securely to shelves, doors, pipes, branches and a plethora of other objects, keeping both hands free and flashlight out of the way. There are two axis swivel head pivots and directs light where you need it. There is a nonskid feet lock to open and convert into a stand when there’s nothing to clamp to. It also has high impact ABS plastic with non-slip TPR for a comfortable yet rugged look and feel. Last but not least the Clamplight has maximum portability which allows you to fit in a belt, pocket, or anywhere else.
You are looking at the world’s first charcoal accelerator that points a steady stream of fire-fueling oxygen directly onto your BBQ to get it ready to grill in under 10 minutes. The BBQ Dragon takes a simple concept, which is adding oxygen to fire and puts some power behind it. For people like me it helps to make starting charcoal easier and faster than any other method and it’s hand-free. It is perfect for any fire, whether it is being used for the beach, smoker, fireplace, or wherever. The BBQ Dragon is battery-powered, hands-free and is micro-USB rechargeable. So as the summer approaches the BBQ Dragon could be very handy for those cook outs.
Earlier this year, Crown Royal welcomed a new spirit to the family. You already know the classic Crown. The original Crown Royal DeLuxe is still a favorite. Maybe you’ve sampled the sweetness of Crown Royal Maple Finished or taken in the fullness of Crown Royal Black and Crown Royal Reserve. If you’re really lucky, you’ve savored the liquid dream that is Crown Royal XR – that rarest of rare Crown blends that includes the final batch of whiskies from the now-closed LaSalle Distillery in Montreal. The exceptionally smooth finish on the XR is well worth the price of a tasting. I highly recommend it.
The new Crown on the block is the Crown Royal XO. It’s not as sweet as the DeLuxe or the Maple and it’s not as impossibly smooth as the XR, but it does have one strong sensation these whiskies do not: spice. The type of spice we’re talking about here isn’t overbearing or anything like that. It’s not like you’re chugging a bottle of Cholula here. But make no mistake, there’s some bite to the XO. It’s a welcoming bite though – a crisp wave of spice that wakes you up without making you cry.
Maybe it’s the blend of more than 50 different Crown Royal whiskies. Maybe it’s the fact that XO is finished in cognac casks from the French Limousin Forest. I’m not sure what gives XO its bite, but I think that the feature that sets it apart from the rest of the Crown family.
Other folks have talked about the smoothness and vanilla undertones and hints or dried fruit and so forth, but that’s not what I think of when I try this whiskey. I think of that spicy bite, and I like it.
If you are a fan of the game of basketball than you are probably a fan of Grant Hill. From his college days at Duke University to his time in the NBA Hill always gave it his all on the court. If you don’t believe just look at some of his accolades. In college he was a two time NCAA champion, the ACC Player of the Year, and NABC Defensive Player of the Year.
In the NBA Hill made his presence known right away by winning the NBA Co-Rookie of the Year award. He was a seven time NBA All-Star and was part of the All-NBA First Team in 1997.
Besides his great body of work on the court, Grant has helped just as much off the court with community service. Hill has been working with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Allstate to promote the 2014 Allstate NABC Good Works Team. This is a team made up of 10 college basketball players who have been recognized for their community service and work off the court. Hill is a member of the voting panel with other former student-athletes, coaches and media members to select the team.
Grant was able to chat with me about the NABC Good Works Team program, basketball, and his signature sneakers.
Art Eddy: First off let’s talk about the 2014 Allstate NABC Good Works Team program. Tell how you are helping out with the NCAA and Allstate.
Grant Hill: I am proud to be associated with the National Associate of Basketball Coaches and of course AllState to be a national ambassador for this team. It is the second year of this program. Basically they select a group college basketball players who stand out in their community for their charitable achievements and activities.
We get a chance to honor the ten players who were selected for this team. It is really an outstanding group of men who exemplify and embody what this award is really all about. The great thing for me is that I had an opportunity to see the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on my community while I was at college in Duke. That is something that really stuck with me throughout my career and my life.
To know that there are basketball players all over the country that we had a chance to select from was great. Unfortunately not all could make it, but the ten who did are really exceptional. Just to know that there are other kids out there who understand this I think is really amazing and really important. I am honored to be involved and share it with people like you.
AE: How can fans participate?
GH: You can go to the website, nabc.org or bca.org. There is also a team for women’s college basketball. There will be a program where we honor them at the Final Four this year in Texas. There will be a community project benefitting the city in the Dallas area. We will have an opportunity to get all ten of these honorees together. Certainly you can go onto the website and get all of the information.
AE: March Madness is here. Every sports station seems to always show your iconic moment with Christian Laettner to beat Kentucky. I take it that video highlight never gets old for you?
GH: No it doesn’t. It is funny. You get a chance to relive great moments. Basically that happened about over 20 years ago. It is still one of those plays that I guess people will always remember. It is really just what I think the NCAA tournament is all about.
Those big game moments and great plays on that stage are fun. I don’t have a problem whatsoever. I know that at some point during March Madness I get a chance to see it on television and I am not complaining. (Both laugh.)
AE: What were some of the things that Coach Mike Krzyzewski taught you at Duke that you still take with you in life?
GH: Coach K has taught me that there are so many values that you can take from the game and really apply them in life. There is hard work. There is preparation, discipline, collective responsibility, and pride. All these different things that he stressed makes him a great coach, teacher and a leader. It also translated into great teams.
Certainly all of his teams do not win the championship, but for the most part they play and do things the right way. I think a lot of those values you can take with you. I know I have. It stuck with me. I was a teenager 20 some odd years ago playing for Coach K. I still remember and go back and think about those lessons and apply them in all facets of life.
Coach K is the best. I am fortunate that I had a chance to play for him. He is still going. Coach is still continuing to contribute to the game. He still is having an impact over the span of 30 years at Duke University. It is pretty remarkable.
GH: At first it was interesting. There were certain things about the game early on that I realized were easier than I had anticipated. There also were some things that were more difficult. After a year under my belt and having the time to reflect after my rookie season I had an idea of what I needed to improve upon.
I had some confidence now. I can play at a high level. I can make the All-Star games. I was hungry like most young players to get better. After success early on you are still trying to prove yourself. After my first year I was still trying to prove myself. I locked myself in the gym. I worked on my game and I felt like I came out better the next year.
AE: Do you have a favorite all-time moment from your playing days in the league?
GH: It is hard to choose from. I feel like my career was separated in a few different careers. It was like two or three careers in one. In the 90s, which included my time at Duke from 1990 to my time in Detroit up to the year of 2000 were just amazing. I certainly couldn’t have dreamt up anything better. Four years in college and six years in the pros, All-Star games, and all of that.
From the adversity of my time during the Orlando years, being hurt, and thinking that I might not be playing ever again. At the end there were some really neat years in Phoenix. Maybe because it was more recent I would say I enjoyed my time in Phoenix. I had a new opportunity. I was appreciative of going through the fire and going through adversity.
Even though I was a different player it can be just the opportunity to play. Sometimes you can only appreciate things until they are gone. They were almost gone for me. My whole career was great. It had its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for one minute. I was just grateful that I was able to play and play for as long as I did.
AE: You had some cool signature kicks during your time in the NBA. Did you have a favorite?
GH: Not really. Maybe my first shoe might have been my favorite just because it was the first one. It really took off and did well. Those were fun times. I was real fortunate. A lot of things that I have dreamed of happened for me and happened right away. That seems like a whole lifetime ago. That was almost 20 years ago.
It was cool to have your own shoe. It is cool now for my kids to look back and see that I had my own shoe.
Brackets are made and all eyes will soon be on Dallas. If you’re not heading to Dallas and are stuck in the office, Bud Light is making it easy to pretend like you’re working when you’re secretly watching the biggest basketball tournament of the year.
This week, Bud Light is introducing three tools to help sports fans focus on the tournament, even if they’re trapped at their desks:
Mad Ads – Keep up with all the scores – no matter what site you’re on – with Bud Light’s Mad Ads. This handy little app will replace banner ads with scoreboards. You’re welcome.
Cheat Sheet – Want to check the scores, but the boss is hovering? No sweat. Just use the Bud Light Cheat Sheet, a spreadsheet that automatically populates with the latest tournament updates but looks like something you’re supposed to be doing. You know, work stuff.
Fast Break – Need an excuse to get away from your computer? Use the Fast Break tool to fake a hard-drive catastrophe so you can sneak away to watch the games.
Beginning today, fans can grab the tools at BudLight.com/MadThingsHappen.
It’s hard to imagine, life before Bluetooth wireless speakers became so commonplace. Outside of a boombox that could play cassettes or provide portable radio tunes, most people my age grew up listening to immoveable music stations. Sure, the Discman was a big deal and we were all very happy when we could listen to CDs on the go or even in the car (with the help of a cassette tape converter thing). But now everything’s different. Now you can pack gigabytes of tunes on your phone and carry a pretty impressive library with you wherever you go.
But what happens when you want to bump the tunes you have on something outside of headphones? That’s when you need a wireless speaker solution. And there are tons of options to choose from.
You can go affordable and keep things under $40. You may save on money and size, but you get what you pay for with these. You can skip to the next tier and keep things under a bill. You’ll be looking at a larger unit with better sound quality, but if you’re an audiophile of any sort, you’re going to want something better than tinny sounds and weak bass lines.
Enter Cambridge Audio and their Minx Go Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. This thing costs about $150, but man, it is solid. It feels like an old school stereo system, but it’s completely mobile. The lows thump. The highs are crisp. The unit isn’t that large, but it truly provides room-filling sound. You place this thing in a large living room and you can cover every corner with tunes. Want to jam out in the shower? This thing will turn your bathroom into a club with the push of a button.
And 18 hours of battery life? That’s pretty sweet, right there. One charge and you can have this thing fueling a party for an entire weekend. And unlike other Bluetooth wireless speaker options, this thing actually looks nice. It’s not a big cube or some other clunky/awkward shape. It’s got clean, curvilinear lines and a modern feel. Sure, the whole thing is portable and that’s the point and all, but the Minx Go can live comfortably on a mantle or other living room space and it won’t look goofy.
The unit is super easy to pair with all types of devices. You can stream Internet radio or tunes from your iPhone, Android, laptop, tablet or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. It’s a one-button-touch setup process. Couldn’t be more simple.
Attractive, well-constructed with amazing battery life and unparalleled sound quality, the Minx Go delivers big, quality sound in a compact, easily portable package. Pass on the cheapo wireless speaker options. Drop the $150 and pick up the Minx Go.
Most of us can’t wait for the madness to begin. We have finalized our brackets for the 100th time and we are ready to watch the underdogs take on the powerhouse teams. As guys we are always looking for some ways to get more done at once. So guys are ready to put more things on that to do list? No better time to start then now right?
There comes a time during every NCAA® March Madness® when the underdog comes face to face with the goliath. Every year, basketball fans are witness to amazing buzzer-beating moments and historical, dramatic upsets. So many great underdog moments have occurred it’s hard to pick the best one ever!
As Official Locker Room Products of NCAA® Championships, Degree Men® deodorant is creating “Clash of the Underdogs,” a series of brackets that place history’s favorite March Madness underdog victories against each other, and gives fans the chance to vote for the greatest of all time. Fans can visit DegreeBasketball.com and vote for their favorite NCAA March Madness “underdog moments,” and then register for the chance to win a trip to the 2015 NCAA Final Four® in Indianapolis.
Basketball superstar, Stephen Curry is someone who is very familiar with underdog and buzzer-beating moments. From leading his college team to two March Madness appearances in a row, to becoming one of the best guards in pro basketball, Curry constantly pushes himself to DO:MORE and IMPROVE. With help from Degree Men®, Curry is on a mission to inspire others to push themselves to DO:MORE and IMPROVE no matter their passion.
Fans can visit YouTube.com/DegreeMen to view an exciting short film series, directed by 9-time Grammy winner John Legend, showcasing how Stephen Curry pushes himself to DO:MORE off the court in order to IMPROVE on the court.
To push guys to DO:MORE during the hype of March Madness, Degree Men® deodorant has released a limited edition NCAA basketball-themed Sport Defense stick from its Adrenaline SeriesTM line featuring new and improved MOTIONSENSE™ Technology. Triggered by even the most sudden and slightest of body movements, Degree with patented MOTIONSENSE™ is the only antiperspirant/deodorant that releases extra microcapsules when you start to move – not just when you start to sweat – protecting you from sweat and odor for 48 hours and allowing you to DO:MORE. The more you move, the more it protects.
Bragging rights on the line as Dick Vitale goes up against Joel, the Fort Worth Herd longhorn as they make NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship picks at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.
Dick Vitale, ESPN college basketball analyst and one of the sport’s most famous and recognizable icons, is putting his NCAA® bracket to the test against Joel, the Fort Worth Herd’s lovable longhorn, as part of the Allstate March Mayhem™ Challenge.
Last year, fans were reminded that anything can happen during the NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship after witnessing Dick Vitale narrowly edge out a bracket victory against the Georgia Aquarium’s sports-prognosticating dolphins.
This year, Allstate, an official corporate partner of the NCAA, has challenged the legendary television analyst to put his college basketball expertise on the line again against an unlikely opponent – a 1,795-pound Texas longhorn. From inside the Fort Worth Herd steer pen, Vitale will go head to head in a bracket contest and reveal his team picks before Joel makes his selections in an attempt to beat the broadcasting legend at his own game.
From improbable upsets to come-from-behind victories, Mayhem is everywhere, making it difficult for even the most respected and knowledgeable basketball analysts to predict what will happen.
If Vitale loses to his NCAA March Madness® arch-nemesis, he’ll have to work as Joel’s personal ranch hand, helping to prep him and the rest of the herd for their daily cattle drive down Exchange Avenue, while the triumphant longhorns earn ultimate bragging rights.
In the spirit of good sportsmanship, Allstate will make donations to both Friends of the Fort Worth Herd and the V Foundation for cancer research.
BOOST provides you with more energy return than any other foam cushioning material in the running industry. Ever. To give your feet a BOOST go to www.adidas.com/boost.
Whether you hit the roads, tracks or trails, adidas BOOST cushioning technology delivers you the Energy Running solution that you’ve been waiting for. adidas knows that today’s runners are seeking more from their runs and more from their running shoes.
To answer the call, adidas developed BOOST foam cushioning which uses thousands of energy capsules that combine the benefits of comfort and responsiveness to provide you with a running experience unlike any other.
After your pub crawl this St. Patrick’s Day you might be starting to get a little ripe. You can change your awful odor with the luck of the Irish. There is some new GEAR from Irish Spring.
For over forty years, Irish Spring has kept men fresh and clean as a whistle. Now, Irish Spring introduces Irish Spring GEAR a new line of shower products engineered for advanced performance to help men stay cleaner and fresher longer than ever before.
Irish Spring GEAR body wash and bar soap contains a unique, clinically-proven odor neutralizing technology that provides 24 hours of long-lasting freshness. Unlike most brands that use fragrances to mask the odor, Irish Spring GEAR with Odor Neutralizing Technology actually neutralizes and helps eliminate odor at the source to provide a clean, long-lasting freshness.
Plus we added an old school commercial from Irish Spring. You are welcome.