It’s the night before the 2016 NFL Draft. Tomorrow night, a bunch of young football players will be millionaires. Almost half of these guys will be busts. That’s just how it goes. The stakes are as high as the hopes. And in the NFL, hope is what gets you paid.
NFL teams don’t reward yesterday’s stars for yesterday’s stats. Not like they do in the NBA. Can you imagine the Broncos bringing back Peyton Manning for a Kobe-style victory lap season as a thank you for his past efforts? No way. The NFL doesn’t work like that. If you don’t produce, you’re gone. It’s that simple. If you get paid, it has much more to do with your future potential than your previous accomplishments. The next man up is probably more affordable anyway.
Sure, there are exceptions. When the Steelers paid Troy Polamalu after he was gassed, it was more a gesture of thanks than an expectation of All-Pro production. But for the most part, NFL players have to produce to get paid and even when they produce, they may have to get paid somewhere else.
Matt Forte has produced. For eight very solid seasons. Since entering the league in 2008, he has more yards from scrimmage than any other player in football (12,718). Forte has more targets (636) and catches (487) than any running back during that span. He also owns the single-season reception record for a running back (102).
And since he entered the league eight seasons ago, no one has more touches (2,522) than Forte. Nobody.
Therein lies the problem, though. Because of how NFL teams reward players, Forte knew he wasn’t going to cash in with a third contract from the Chicago Bears. It became clear last season that the Bears wouldn’t even try to re-sign him. Mediocre NFL players are expendable, but ultra-productive NFL running backs turning 30 with more touches and total yards from scrimmage than anyone else over an eight year stretch are expendable, too.
But Forte found a home with the New York Jets, who signed him to a three-year, $12 million deal ($8 million guaranteed) this offseason. If he can stay healthy, he can certainly be a force in that offense. That’s the hope, anyway.
Leading up to the most hopeful day on the NFL calendar, we sat down with Matt Forte to chat about his new team, new coach, God, Tom Brady, the most under-appreciated player in football, the 2016 NFL Draft and how Verizon can help you stream draft coverage tomorrow on your mobile device with the Verizon NFL Mobile App. Here’s the video:
Next week it is when we get to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. It is a great time to hang out with friends and enjoy all the fun and celebration that comes with this day. To help you out we have some great cocktail recipes as well as some food ideas that will make your party one to remember especially when you use Peligroso Tequila!
“The Queso Fundido Con Chili a la Tequila” is a fun recipe for adults ages 21+ that contains just over 10 ingredients, including half a cup of tequila.
1 Cup Peligroso Silver
4 Cups Margarita mix
Half a cucumber, sliced
Half a jalapeño, sliced, seeds removed
Limes wedges for garnish
The Jalapeno Paloma
5oz Grapefruit Juice
1.5oz Peligroso Silver
.25oz Peligroso Cinnamon
.25oz agave nectar
.75oz lime juice
The Queso Fundito Con Chili A La Tequila
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup tequila
1 (15-ounce) can Hormel® chili
1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) block Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Garnish: jalapeño slices, corn tortillas
Directions: Heat oven to 400°F. In 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and next 4 ingredients until softened. Remove from heat, stir in tequila, return to heat and cook 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in chili, remove from heat and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Gently stir and bake 30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro and garnish with jalapeño slices, if desired. Serve in martini glass with corn tortillas.
Deadpool is not ashamed to say that he came early. In fact he is happy to admit it. I hope you weren’t thinking we are making any innuendos. We are talking about his film. Get your minds out of the gutter and download the film. No in the privacy of your own home you can witness the origin story of Wade Wilson, who adopts the alter ego Deadpool after a rogue experiment leaves him with accelerated healing powers…and a dark, twisted sense of humor. To purchase a digital copy of the film click here!
This week Mark Hamill announced details for this week’s campaign sponsored by CrowdRise in support of Star Wars: Force for Change. Since April 5th, Star Wars: Force for Change, an initiative that inspires people to make a positive impact on the world, has been matching the donations of Star Wars fans to four select charities up to $1,000,000!
This week, the top fundraiser will get a trip to London including tickets to attend Star Wars Celebration Europe where they will meet Mark Hamill. This month-long campaign will lead up to “Star Wars Day” on May the 4th. The four select charities include the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF Kid Power, American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Make-A-Wish.
Over the course of the four-week period, which culminates at 11:59pm (PST) on May 4th, fans will be able to donate through CrowdRise.com/ForceForChange to these four charities and have their donations matched dollar for dollar up to $1,000,000. All participants who enter will also have a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to Ireland, including Skellig Michael along the Wild Atlantic Way, the location of the dramatic final scene from The Force Awakens.
Show your Force and visit CrowdRise.com/ForceForChange now for more details.
Brian Singer returns to direct this latest installment of the X-Men franchise. His last outing with the mutant crew was the excellent “Days of Future Past” which brought the crew back together to change history, and thus opening a path for all new storylines and character development.
Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.
I love who shows up in the end!
April is Quest month! Well at least over at Loot Crate. They are celebrating all those who journey out for an adventure. Whether it is going back to the “Labyrinth” film or showcasing the very popular “VIKINGS” show on the History Channel this month’s box is filled with a ton of goodness.
There is even a cool way to keep your drinks cold in this month’s crate. Other items in the crate are inspired from Dungeons and Dragons, Uncharted 4, and Harry Potter. Loot Crate feels that sometimes life’s little adventures turn into big sweeping epics. So with that they salute these often unexpected journeys with April’s theme, which is Quest.
In each box you will get limited edition stuff like shirts, vinyl figures, and other collectibles. You will receive about four to six items over $45 of retail value in every crate. You can even get a discount and special gifts if you sign up for a 12 month plan. These crates are money. Below you can check out my unboxing video from Loot Crate.
There are different themed crates as well. There is a LootAnime, LootGaming, LootPets, Firefly, and LVLUp. They even have limited edition Star Wars and Call of Duty crates. You can pick out the best one that fits your style and your budget. Go to www.lootcrate.com for more info on each one and to start your subscription today!
Whiskey is really popular these day, but people still like to party with vodka. Whiskey wins the sipping competition easily. If you’re going to sit and sip and you really want to enjoy a well-crafted spirit, you’re probably going to reach for whiskey, Scotch or bourbon. But if you want a shot or a cocktail, you may want to explore some vodka options. But what if you can’t decide? What if you want the mixability of vodka without sacrificing the flavor of whiskey?
Well, Absolut has an answer for this scenario and it’s name is Oak. Oak by Absolut was devised by Per Hermansen, a guy who almost certainly owns the most amazing job title available at Abolsut: Director of Sensory Strategy. I mean that just sounds cool, right? Apparently, Per’s job description includes coming up with fun and unique vodka flavor combos. This is something Absolut has been doing for years with variants like Citron, Mandrin, Cilantro, Mango, Vanilla, Berri Acai, Apple, Pears, Hibiskus, Peppar. You get the idea.
So Per came up with the idea of aging vodka in oak barrels and he set about testing different barrel options to see what sort of flavors he could produce. The combination he came up with featured three distinct barrel types: American oak, Swedish oak and American oak barrels that had previously been used to age bourbon. The Swedish oak barrels produced a spicy, chocolatey flavor. The American oak barrels delivered a less spicy and more caramel forward flavor. The ex-bourbon barrels imparted a very strong vanilla vibe.
After the success of one of their most recent variants – Absolut Elyx – the brand decided to release Absolut Oak in a similar, city-by-city test program. Oak was first introduced in May of last year in Denver, Minneapolis and San Diego. Last week we attended the official launch of Oak in Los Angeles at Estrella on Sunset. I admit to being a bit skeptical of the product, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I expected a spirit that would be overly sweet and not quite sure what to make of itself, but instead I found a pretty mellow spirit that’s difficult to classify. Yes, its still vodka, but the barrel aging passes along so much additional flavor and color that it can easily be mistaken for a very light, drinkable whiskey.
Sampling the stuff straight up, it really wasn’t all that bad. It’s real power, though, comes in the form of a utility mixer. It plays nice with other ingredients. Here are the three different cocktails were served at the launch event:
Oak & Cola
- Pretty self-explanatory
- 2 parts Oak by Absolut
- 1 part Lemon Juice
- .75 parts Simple Syrup
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
- Shake with ice until cold
- Strain into a rock glass over cubed ice
- Garnish with a lemon wedge
- 2 parts Oak by Absolut
- .5 parts Ginger Beer
- Lime Wedge
- Angostura bitters (optional)
- Pour all ingredients into a fancy mug
- Fill with ice
- Garnish with a lime wedge
The Oak and Cola was simple and not too sweet. The Uppsala Sour was tart and refreshing. The Oak Mule was a nice take on the classic cocktail served in a fancy mug. I find traditional Moscow Mules to either be too sour or too sweet, but the extra smoky oak flavor of the vodka mixed well with the bitters and ginger beer to produce a very drinkable cocktail.
I’m still a whiskey guy and Oak by Absolut faced an uphill battle with me. I didn’t expect to be fully won over or converted on the spot, but I can definitely see myself partaking in this smoky brown vodka again in the future. I may not order it straight up, but I would certainly welcome the barrel-aged flavors that Oak can introduce to classic vodka-based cocktail options.
Recently Hot Wheels created a partnership with Magnus Walker of Urban Outlaw to launch the brand’s new Premium Car Culture Assortment of die cast cars modeled after Walker’s own vintage Porsche collection. Hot Wheels is a brand rooted in car culture and is excited to introduce the new collection with one of the nation’s biggest Porsche collectors to celebrate the history of the industry.
What do you think of the collection?
One of the most celebrated events in the sporting world is almost here. On May 7th people will dress up and get out their favorite hats to watch the Kentucky Derby. One other thing that goes hand in hand with the derby is cocktails. So with that said we are looking to showcase some fantastic spirits and cocktails that you might want to bring to your Kentucky Derby party.
Launched on Derby Day 2015, Blade and Bow pays homage to the artful passion and renowned craftsmanship of the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery through a unique solera aging system. Each bottle contains some of the oldest whiskey stocks, including the last remaining bourbon ever produced at Stitzel-Weller before it shut its doors in 1992. 91 proof, Suggested Retail Price $50
I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a history of more than 100 years of style and recently returned to the U.S. after close to 30 years abroad. I.W. Harper represents courtesy and sophistication in every glass, starting with the iconic Bowing Man on every label- “Anywhere, Anytime, It’s Always A Pleasure.” 82 proof, Suggested Retail Price $35
Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bulleit Bourbon was inspired by a family recipe passed down through generations to founder Tom Bulleit. Only ingredients of the very highest quality are used. The subtlety and complexity of Bulleit Bourbon come from its unique blend of rye, corn, and barley malt, along with special strains of yeast and pure Kentucky limestone filtered water. Due to its especially high rye content, Bulleit Bourbon has a bold, spicy character with a finish that’s distinctively clean and smooth. 90 proof, Suggested Retail Price $45
The Gifted Horse American Whiskey
Years ago at the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Ky., a batch of beautiful 17-year-old Kentucky bourbon was accidentally mixed with barrels of much younger Indiana corn and bourbon. This error turned out better than anyone could have expected as the older bourbon wasn’t marred, it was transformed into something surprisingly special. Beginning with a nose hinting at apple skin, almond, toffee, raisins and slight milk chocolate, The Gifted Horse has unique notes of creamy caramel, Bosc pear and fruit cake. This unusual blend’s fruity notes become more apparent with a splash of water. 115 proof, Suggested Retail Price $50
The Dark Maple
1.3 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz. Maple simple syrup
.5 oz. Lime
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake Well. Strain into an ice filled rocks glass or serve as up in a martini glass. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.
1 oz. Lemon Juice
.75 oz. Simple Syrup
Top off with Ginger Beer
Serve in a highball glass.
1.3 oz. I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
0.5 oz. honey syrup
0.5 oz. fresh lemon
0.75 oz. The Gifted Horse American Whiskey
0.25 oz. Benedictine Liqueur
.38 oz. Madeira Fortified Wine
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
You love your car. You might even have a cute nickname for it. Now thanks to ExxonMobil you can find your car’s true identity. They recently launched the Mobil 1TM “Loved Cars Have Names.” It is a two-month promotion accompanied by an online name generator that appropriately names cars to reflect the role they play in peoples’ lives.
Customers can submit information online about their car’s personality, style and functionality, and the “Name-U-Lator” will generate the car’s new name. Customers can have the name added to a free license plate frame, which is available with a qualifying purchase –thanks to cooperation with Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, CARQUEST, NAPA and Pep Boys. Alternatively, customers can create a license plate frame proudly displaying the given moniker of an already named vehicle.
Customers completing the “Name-U-Lator” exercise can register for a free license plate frame upon purchase of five or more quarts of Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil at any participating retailer location or online. Users completing online submissions must upload the purchase receipt to be eligible to receive the customized license plate frame.
To find the perfect name to suit your car’s personality, try out the “Name-U-Lator” and learn more about “Loved Cars Have Names,” at www.MobilOil.us/FrameMe.