Posts tagged football
Earlier this year Riddell reached out to the football community to commit to “smarter” tactics both on and off the field. Riddell, who is the leader in helmet design and innovation recognized seven teams for going above and beyond in creating a better, safer game as part of its first-ever Smarter Football initiative.
The seven programs, which span youth and high school teams, will receive a combined $100,000 in equipment grants from Riddell. The donations include the InSite Impact Response System and SpeedFlex helmet – two of Riddell’s most advanced football protection technologies.
The Riddell 2015 Smarter Football Grant recipients are:
Juniata Thundercats Youth Organization (Philadelphia, PA)
Westlake Village 101 Warriors Youth Organization (Westlake, CA)
Pioneer High School (Whittier, CA)
Ypsilanti Panthers Youth Organization (Ypsilanti, MI)
Boyne City High School (Boyne City, MI)
Natick Youth Football (Natick, MA)
Jensen Beach Falcons (Jensen Beach, FL)
As the game evolves, so too does the technology and techniques that will push the game forward. Riddell created the Smarter Football program to promote smarter tactics and is excited to reward these programs for doing their part in bringing the game into the future.
Football is less than a month away. From the NFL to college football we as fans can’t hardly wait. One question does remain. Is your car tailgating worthy? If you are not sure there is a list of the top 10 vehicle features for tailgating that Cars.com has recently put together. So check out the top 10 vehicle features for tailgating to keep your pre-, during- and post-game party on track
How do built-in bins with enough space for more than 200 cans sound? Tasty, I know. RamBox, available on Ram light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks, saddles two massive bins on each side of the truck bed with up to 8.6 cubic feet of cargo space in the larger, 6-foot-4-inch bed, and 7.3 cubic feet of beverage space with the 5-foot-7-inch bed. The RamBox is lockable with the remote key fob to keep poachers from stealing your goods while you watch the main event.
Household Power Outlet
Two or three-pronged household outlets are fairly easy to find in SUVs, trucks and minivans, especially those with rear-entertainment systems. Be sure to check the power ratings of the outlet as some don’t have enough juice to power a larger TV. In that case, pick a truck like the Toyota Tacoma with optional 115-volt, 400-watt outlet to handle an assortment of powerful tailgating electrical devices.
Rear Entertainment System
Plug your PlayStation/Xbox into the rear entertainment system for some pre-game pump up on “Madden 16″ or on a classic game such as “ESPN NFL 2K5.”
Rear-Facing Tailgate Seat
With the party happening at the rear of the vehicle, rear-facing tailgate seats like in the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Ford Flex provide a great view of the action off the field. These third rows pivot backward and are prime real estate.
In-Car Wireless Internet
Though earlier systems proved weak and more of a gimmick, in-car wireless systems are heading in the right direction with 4G LTE speeds being tapped and transmitted into in-car hot spots. Audi and GM offer the feature across all varieties of their cars, trucks and SUVs.
Multiple USB Ports
Tailgating often means a long day of constant battery drain while researching lineup changes, injuries and green flag start times. Thankfully, you and all of your friends can mooch off up to five USB inputs for charging devices in a truck like the Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra. Want to get creative? Look into a USB-powered mug warmer for those frigid, late-season football games.
Stuck tailgating at a football game while NASCAR continues on or vice versa? Tune into the broadcast on satellite radio and pipe the race or game through the car’s stereo or a mobile device via the SiriusXM mobile app.
Honda Odyssey In-Car Vacuum
Driving to the football field can be like piloting a rolling kitchen pantry. The chances of spilling a 32-ounce giant plastic bin of cheese balls are high, plus many racetracks’ parking lots are in grass- or mud-covered fields, so something like the Honda Odyssey’s built-in vacuum becomes an easy win for cleaning up after the last embers go out in the grill.
YES Essentials Upholstery
Spills are unavoidable, and the spill risk increases with the amount of “refreshments” brought to the tailgate. No one wants to go there, but designated drivers with YES Essentials fabric in certain Kia, Hyundai and Fiat Chrysler Automobile vehicles won’t have to worry as much about the unspeakable since the cloth upholstery is stain and — this is key — odor resistant.
Anything With a Liftgate
This seems like a no-brainer but it’s worth a mention. Sure, tailgating refers to gathering around the fold-down tailgate of a truck or SUV, but anything with a liftgate might be the way to go as the liftgate rises above the rear of the vehicle to shade tailgaters – liftgaters? — From sun and foul weather.
Thomas Q. Jones is a captivating force on and off the field. While best known as an unstoppable running back that played twelve seasons in the NFL, Jones has turned his post-NFL focus to the world of acting and will next be featured in Season 3 of the BET smash-hit, “Being Mary Jane.”
He recently completed filming “Straight Outta Compton,” the feature film based on the lives and careers of the hip-hop group N.W.A. and has appeared in such acclaimed series as “Shameless” and “Comedy Bang Bang.”
Drafted 7th overall in the 2000 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals out of the University of Virginia, Jones went on to become one of the 25 leading rushers in NFL history, with more than 10,000 rushing yards. In addition to the Cardinals, he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets, Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs, becoming AFC Rushing Leader, an NFC Champion and Pro-Bowl selection within his career.
He grew up in Big Stone Gap, VA alongside five sisters, one brother (former NFL running back, Julius Jones) and his coal-miner parents. Jones recently collaborated with his parents to publish Blessings from the Dust, a book inspired by the struggles the family endured coming from the poverty-stricken coal-mining camps of Virginia.
Jones received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, in three years, from the University of Virginia, and established the Thomas Quinn Jones I Academic Scholarship, at his alma mater, among his other philanthropic endeavors. Committed to helping the NFL evolve, he has committed to donating his brain, for research upon death, to the Sports Legacy Institute which studies the link between sports and brain trauma. He is also working on a documentary, “The NFL: The Gift or the Curse?”
I had the great fortune to talk with Thomas about his many passions and outlook on life. From his playing days in the NFL, to acting, creating a business, and getting his MBA, Jones is always working. It is remarkable to see someone not only excel in one job that is hard to get into like the NFL, but then make it in the acting world.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson and the Hendrick Motorsports 48 pit crew team surprised the Independence High School football team in Charlotte, NC on behalf of the Gatorade Beat the Heat program.
Johnson and Gatorade look to educate athletes, parents and coaches on the importance of proper hydration to reduce heat-related illnesses during athletic events. Johnson, who is known as one of the most physically fit NASCAR drivers, even joined the team in some conditioning drills. You can check him hanging out with the team in the video below.
The Manning brothers are back at it. They are looking to secure their names in rap history with another fantastic song about football. This time they are spitting rhymes about their love for fantasy football. Jets running back Chris Johnson makes an appearance as well as Jets great Joe Namath.
Eli and Peyton’s dad, Archie gets a cameo. This video has everything you need to get you in the mood for fantasy football. Enjoy!
Tom Cleverley is a highly-rated young midfielder who has made giant strides towards establishing himself as a regular for both club and country. The Basingstoke-born youngster rose through Manchester United’s youth system to become interim Reserves captain, and was nominated for the prestigious Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award in 2007/08.
Manchester United has announced that its 2014 Tour, presented by Aon, will take place in the United States. The team will visit a number of destinations in the country as they look to prepare for the 2014/15 season. This will be the team’s first visit to North America following two successful back-to-back tours in 2010 and 2011.
Manchester United Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold, said: “I’m delighted to announce that the team will be returning to the USA for our 2014 Tour, presented by Aon. “Since the Club’s last visit in 2011, the appeal of football in America has grown rapidly. NBC reported that this season’s Barclays Premier League opening weekend saw the average viewership rise by 78% from the 2012/13 season*, with Manchester United’s match against Swansea being the most-watched game.”
I was able to chat with Tom about football, his team’s tour in the United States, and which players he looked up to while he was growing up. To listen to the interview click here. You can purchase tickets to the games here in the states HERE!
Bud Light’s ‘Up for Whatever’ video series has enlisted U.S. Soccer legend Cobi Jones for yet another wild and unpredictable fan experience!
This latest installment in the series was shot in Arizona prior to the U.S. vs. Mexico friendly match this past spring. Led by Cobi Jones, fans who agree to be “Up for Whatever” are taken on a wild adventure that eventually leads them on the field at the match in front of thousands of fans.
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicking off in two weeks, adidas today unveiled the brazuca Final Rio, the official match ball for the championship on July 13 at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
The brazuca Final Rio design mirrors the brazuca official match ball with new green and gold colors inspired by the World Cup trophy.
Prior to the launch of brazuca and brazuca Final Rio, both balls went through a two and a half year testing process involving more than 600 of the world’s top players and 30 teams in 10 countries across three continents, making it the most tested ball ever by adidas.
brazuca is a breakthrough innovation featuring a revolutionary six-panel design. Created for every player on the field, the ball features six identical panels alongside a unique surface that will provide improved grip, touch, stability and aerodynamics on the field. brazuca has been thoroughly tested to meet and exceed all FIFA metrics for an official match ball, ensuring top performance for every condition.
The brazuca Final Rio goes on sale June 1 and you can pre-order it now HERE.
With the World Cup almost here fans all over the globe are getting excited for soccer. Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Argentina are the four countries who seem to be poised to make it far into the tournament. Still as former U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS legend, Brian McBride says there is always a surprise team in the World Cup that shocks everyone.
McBride knows this because he played in the World Cup in 1998, 2002, and 2006. From playing for Fulham in Europe to the MLS league in the United State McBride has had an outstanding career. Just this year he got inducted to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.
Now McBride has teamed up with Allstate for the “Good Hands F.C.” soccer clinic. They will surprise local soccer teams in a few areas across the country with soccer gear and a coaching clinic run by McBride.
I was able to catch up with Brian to talk about his work with Allstate, the World Cup, and more.
Art Eddy: You are working with Allstate before some of the friendly games that take place before the World Cup. Can you tell me what you are doing with Allstate?
Brian McBride: Yeah. It is two things. I think the first part and the most important and most enjoyable part is that Allstate formed this Good Hands F.C. It is basically this opportunity where I get to go into the community with Allstate and provide a coaching clinic and we hand out some really nice gear. The club that we go to will have new uniforms and new balls. For the most part it is really a great opportunity because these clubs don’t usually have the opportunity to have these things.
AE: Sounds pretty cool. What is the best part about surprising these kids at their practices?
BM: There is no end to the joy of seeing their faces light up and them grasping the fact that they are getting new uniforms. They are getting new backpacks and training suits. It is fun watching them take in the training part of it. That is the coaching side of me, but I think the most enjoyable part is seeing their reaction to when they realize what they are getting.
AE: Switching to the World Cup the buzz from Team USA is that Landon Donovan didn’t make the cut. What is your take on that? Is the media making too much of the fact that Donovan is not on the team?
BM: No, I don’t think you can make too much of it. The nice thing now is that the soccer community is so large and there is so much interest into it now. It was a huge news story. It definitely is something that came as a surprise. It is a big step for Jürgen (Klinsmann). He has shown that he is a bold coach.
For me it wouldn’t be a decision that I would take, but you have to look at the past and he has always had the support of the players. Last year people had their questions, but the players showed their commitment to the team and each other and the coach. I hope it doesn’t become an issue on the field. It is a big statement to leave off a player that I quite frankly wouldn’t have left off.
AE: Who do you feel has the best opportunity to win the World Cup?
BM: For me there are four teams that stand out. There are of course some teams that could pull some surprises, but for me Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Spain look the strongest. The great thing about a World Cup is usually there is one surprise team. Who will it be? I hope that it is the U.S. That would be awesome, but those four teams I mentioned would be the strongest teams going into this.
BM: The 2002 World Cup was by far the most memorable and enjoyable period of soccer. We had great results on the field. The team off the field was such a solid group. I was just married. My family was there. My wife and my daughter was there. We were able to spend time together. It was such a perfect situation and scenario.
AE: You were the CONCACAF Gold Cup MVP, Chicago Fire team MVP, and you just got elected into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. Congratulations on that achievement. What stands out the most to you from your great career?
BM: For me I was just so blessed to play the game for so long and to have some great memories. My time in England was just amazing. The chance to get into the fabric of a club like Fulham, be accepted by the fans, and getting a chance to see what soccer is like at the top level were really exciting things. To see a culture that is all about soccer day in and day out and to see fans get excited was great. It is starting to happen here in the states too, but we still have a long way to go.
Boomer Esiason played 14 great years in the NFL. He played for a total of three teams, the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Jets, and the Arizona Cardinals. In 1988 the four time Pro Bowler won the NFL MVP award. Even after retiring from the game, Esiason is still making an impact on the NFL.
Boomer can be seen during the football season on CBS breaking down the game. He also is on the radio as a color commentator for Monday Night Football. He even has a morning show on a New York sports radio station called “The Boomer and Carton show.”
Yet if you ask Boomer what he is most proud of, he would probably say all the work he does through his organization, The Boomer Esiason Foundation. The foundation looks to support and improve the lives of those who have Cystic Fibrosis. His son, Gunnar was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in 1993. Boomer used his popularity to raise awareness for the disease to not only help his son, but other children who have CF.
I had the great pleasure of talking with Boomer about his foundation, his time in the NFL, and more.
Art Eddy: You played 14 years in the NFL. What sticks out the most to you from your great career in the league?
Boomer Esiason: Well for me and I think most of the players will tell you the same thing. It is really the relationships that you develop when you play for different teams. Now for me I played in three different cities, in Arizona, New York, and Cincinnati. You develop these close relationships with coaches, players, and front office people. Those are the memories that you hold on to for a lifetime. Even when you are going through tough times Art. Whether it be a bad season with the Jets or Bengals or going to the playoffs and Super Bowl, or throwing for over 500 yards in a game with the Cardinals I always say the positive memories always outweigh the negative ones.
When you play 14 years there will be all sorts of emotions that you are dealing with. For me I always think back to all the great relationships that I was fortunate enough to make. It wasn’t just for what the NFL did for me as a player, but as a person too. In my world now with broadcasting I don’t think I would be doing what I am doing if it wasn’t for the 14 years I spent in the NFL.
AE: From watching you on the field and now hearing you breakdown the game on TV and the radio I know that you have a team mindset, but winning the MVP in 1988 had to be up there as one of the all-time greatest moments for you right?
BE: It was, but it was also a little bit embarrassing. I used to say back then and I say it today. An MVP award in an ultimate team sport like football really doesn’t make any sense.
I am a voter for the MVP award now that the AP gives out. I take that vote pretty seriously. This year it happened to be Peyton Manning. He would be the first to tell you that he wasn’t able to accomplish the things in his five MVP seasons without the teammates and coaches he goes to work with every day. That is how I felt when I won my MVP. While it is certainly displayed proudly in my home I will tell you that I owe a lot to the players and coaches in 1988 when I did win that award.
AE: Not that many people get a chance to play quarterback in the NFL. I think the role of the quarterback is one of the hardest positions in all of sports. As a fan of the league can you walk me through what you experienced as a quarterback?
BE: It is an amazing responsibility. I take the upper echelon of the quarterbacks today like (Tom) Brady, Manning, (Drew) Brees, (Aaron) Rodgers, and (Ben) Roethlisberger. They are on a different plane than the bottom half of the league.
The reason that they are on that plane is that they not only understand how the game is played on the field, but how to carry themselves in the locker rooms and in the meeting rooms. Not only do the put accountability on their shoulders, but they hold their teammates accountable. They do that by more with their actions than words.
When the team wasn’t doing well the last thing that my team wanted to hear from was me. So I would go out and practice harder. I would try and challenge players on the practice field. Hopefully that would turn up on Sunday or Monday night when we were playing into a winning football game.
I always say that about quarterbacks. It is certainly about how you can communicate verbally, but it is really your ability to communicate through your actions. That is when you don’t need words to describe what you are doing or what you are trying to get done. Other players will react to that. That to me is the genius of one Peyton Manning.
AE: During your career when the game was on the line did you have a go to guy that you knew would deliver?
BE: Well yeah you do. It is somebody that you really, really feel comfortable with. For me I had a couple of those guys. It was Cris Collinsworth and Rodney Holman back in my days in Cincinnati. When I was with the Jets it was with Rob Moore. Fortunately for me I had Rob Moore as a receiver in Arizona too.
When I went back to Cincinnati there were younger players that I really didn’t know that much about. I knew that I could have a profound impact on their careers by doing what I just said. I would show them how to prepare and how to use that preparation on the field and turn it into a success.
When I think back about my last year in the NFL I had a running back who was a rookie that year. He had a phenomenal rookie year. That rookie was Corey Dillon. I think about how Corey Dillon became a great running back in the NFL. I hope in some small way that I helped him become a success in the NFL. After I retired Corey continued to have a great career and even won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.
That is what I think quarterbacks are known for by helping players become great. Hopefully when people think of me that they will say that I had an impact on their career to make them successful in the league.
AE: During football season people can see and hear you pretty much everywhere. You are on TV, the radio for Monday night football, and you have a morning talk show on the radio as well. You do a great job breaking down the game. With that you are very busy during the NFL season. I do have to say though you must have great time management skills.
BE: (Both laugh) I guess so, but I love the fact that people feel good about me to employ me in such high profile jobs. I will never ever take for granted the opportunity to speak about something that I love so much. The NFL has been great to me.
Covering the NFL is the ultimate for a football junkie like myself. I don’t have to coach. I don’t have to be a general manager. I don’t have to make those fourth and one decisions that a (Bill) Belichick or a Tom Coughlin have to make. Then on Sunday or Monday I can sit in judgment about those decisions and be able to sleep at night and not worry about it with any repercussions. (Both laugh.)
AE: Your son Gunnar was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in 1993. You and the many great people at your foundation have done so much for the CF community. For those who don’t know too much about your foundation can you give an overview?
BE: I was actually exposed to Cystic Fibrosis in 1989 by Frank Deford. Frank was speaking at a banquet that I was at. He had lost his daughter Alex to Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetically transmitted disease. My wife and I didn’t know that we carried the recessive gene trait.
The disease itself involves the lungs and the digestive system. The lungs are marked with bacterial infection. Saying all of that when Gunnar was diagnosed in 1993 at the age of two when I became the quarterback of the Jets the second phone call I made was to Frank Deford. He was just as shocked as I was that destiny and irony had found our family when Gunnar was diagnosed with the disease that ultimately killed his daughter.
He said that this was God’s way of saying that we have an opportunity here. To use your celebrity in New York to raise funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. I have never ever not taken that piece of advice as seriously as it deserved to be taken. I feel really strong after 20 years of watching Gunnar grow up and graduate from Boston College that we have taken Frank’s ideas and trying to create a world for Cystic Fibrosis patients to live a healthy, normal, and productive life as any child in the world.
I can say that watching Gunnar fight this disease every day that I am most proud as a dad of what he has already accomplished in his young life. I want him to become a father himself. As any father can attest to that there is nothing more fulfilling and greater than becoming a father. So for me we are trying to make a difference in the lives of Cystic Fibrosis patients. Gunnar is a prime example of that. I think we have accomplished our mission, but the ultimate goal is to cure this disease but we are still a ways from that.
AE: How has research and medicine evolved since the early 1990s?
BE: Well a number of things have come to fruition. First and foremost if people want to find out more about Cystic Fibrosis they can go to our website at Esiason.org or they can go to the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website, which is CFF.org.
In the past 20 years we have raised the median age. The average lifespan with Cystic Fibrosis was from 19 to now 37. Which in a greater understanding of the disease there are better ways to handle the symptoms of the disease. Lung transplants are more commonplace than ever before. We ask people and beg people to become organ donors because you never know when you can have the positive impact on somebody else’s life. You can give them a second chance at life, which I have seen and lived through many times over in the world of Cystic Fibrosis.
The drug from the patient to the test tube has been fast and furious over the last 20 years. There have been at least six or seven new therapies that Gunnar and all Cystic Fibrosis patients have been benefitting from. There is a better understanding of the disease, the symptoms of the disease, and the drug delivery in terms of the types of infections these kids are dealing with.
Even though it is not easy living with Cystic Fibrosis as Gunnar has proven and many young adults like him have proven it is an attitude that you have to have. You got to be positive. You got to be realistic. You got to be aggressive in dealing with the disease. That is one of the reasons that we are seeing kids live a lot longer. We are seeing female CF patients being able to deliver their own babies and becoming moms themselves. It is really becoming quite the story.
We have a number of CF patients that run in marathons. The story of triumph in the world of Cystic Fibrosis has really been nothing short of a miracle thus far. We continue to see miracles each and every day. We are going to continue to fund the research, college scholarships, lung transplant grants, and every other aspect of Cystic Fibrosis that we can improve we will continue to do.