REBEL, REBEL

You love bands when they’re playing hard / You want more and you want it fast – David Bowie, RIP

I believe I’m one who will take the good times with the bad times. One of those ride or die women. Then I attended a Raiders game.

They were playing the Jets. Of course I had to be there. I wore my Jets had proudly walking in. They were there to play. I was there to support. It was only proper. It’s a semi-gangster moment to say I walked into the coli wearing my Jets hat with no shame.

Okay you caught me… my hat is black… and I was in black / gray attire, so you can tell I know how to handle myself when presented with a situation like this. My friends, who are fans and non-fans, counseled me to dress like them. Blend in. Don’t let them see who you’re really cheering for.

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After placing my head in my hands many times, and viewing the game through my fingers, at the disaster that played out before me (which is the usual for us fans of Gang Green), I decided to change my POV.

I’m a my-whiskey-glass-is-half-full kind of woman.

First, the view from my seat felt like the field was right below me. Not 100 yards away like at MetLife. I was enjoying the club level, much like I also do back in NYC. I felt like I was actually watching the game at the stadium, not on my TV.

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Second, after a few teasing words from the gents around me, they realized I could speak the ball of foot language, had massive respect for the great Bo Jackson (my all-time fave player), Howie Long, Coach Madden and one amazing woman, Amy Trask, they offered to buy me a few drinks. We sat back to watch their enjoyment, and my sadness.

I began to really like Raider Nation. Raider Nation embraced me. By the end of the game I was infatuated.

I decided to ask those around me how much their seats are. When they told me I first had to erase my look of shock and instant response, ‘pro season tickets less than USC football?!’ then I said, ‘okay and for your PSL?’ They looked at me like I was saying a naughty word, or hinting at a new STD.

‘PSL? We don’t have PSLs here.’ I was loving this place and team even more.

The next day I called their ticket office. I wanted a piece of the Coliseum. Unfortunately they didn’t have a place for me in 213… but months later they did in 214.

This is how the Raiders became the object of my affection last season dear hearts.

Raiders love is some love. As I took it all in, which felt more like a college game vs pro, and the community around me, add that view I had from section 213 I thought ‘THIS is one of the best NFL stadiums I have ever sat in.’

I’ve visited eight others. The femme football tour will continue this season. It’s not stopping until I’m six feet under.

I love the stories of grandmothers sitting in the stands next to the Black Panthers and Hells Angels. It demonstrates how deep the support of this team runs, how badass the team, the people and fan base are. I’ve not even touched on NWA and the way they made the Black & Silver get noticed and part of their brand.644815803

Being a Raider means you’re a rebel. You’re not like the rest. You standup for injustice. You stand for what you believe in. You found those who get you, and you’re family. Once a Raider, always a Raider.

This is the same team with a former owner who was a raider in his own right, robbing two cities with relocation, who hired minorities, including a Hispanic Head Coach, and a woman to run his front office. He may have grown a little senile as his age increased. I won’t gloss over that detail, he was a pioneer, and a rebel.

The list of well-known players from the 70’s and 80’s and how impressive Derek Carr played this season could take up another post, so I’ll stop here.

Thank you Oakland. Hopefully you will stay.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

Whiskey Wednesday – Nikka

And if I needed whisky / He could serve it to me neat – Fleetwood Mac

Welcome dear hearts, to my first post about whiskey. It is Wednesday after all, the day we savor her goodness.

Yesterday I told you about my affair with football. However it’s not the only brown thing I’m obsessed with, whiskey or scotch whisky is a close second.

As I traveled to a little place by the name of London last week, and took in Paris before, I kept running into her. img_5555

Very sophisticated and sleek. A simple a lilac label,  which is THE colour this season, presented in an elegant bottle. Her name, Nikka from the Barrel. I already have a bottle importing to me as I type this.

She’s that good… and not cheap.

She is everywhere in Paris and London. Once I saw her 3x I knew I had to taste her.

Nikka from the Barrel is dark, deep and rich. I don’t prefer Japanese whiskey, until now. I’ve found Japanese whiskey too clean for my liking. This whiskey has changed my mindset. I real shame it’s not widely available here in the states.

Let’s see if we can change that.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

 

 

MY AFFAIR

See you in September / See you when the summer’s through – The Happenings 

Dear hearts I wanted to share with you my deep affection for my true love, football. It’s only fitting to give you a little something to enjoy on this day of love.

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Our  relationship has had it’s ups and downs over the years. Some seasons it treats me right, other seasons we’re in misery. No matter what, I keep coming back for more, September until right before Valentines Day. I can’t get enough. I’m infatuated. The game has me wrapped around it stronger than the white laces holding the ball together.

I could spend hours, maybe days discussing plays, strategies, coaches, players and the business behind the sport.  Nickel vs dime packages. Pocket passers and those who should never run with the option. Why the spread has been so much more potent for defenses to handle, than the wildcat could only wish to be. I should probably stop there. I could be here the rest of today, tonight and tomorrow.

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I fell in love when I was a little young thing, at six years old. I grew up in a community like those in West Texas (it wasn’t), unaware it was out of the norm for communities to shut down for high school football / Friday Night Lights, that my classmates’ fathers were coaches at well-known college football programs, the Division-I college coaches constantly urlattending my junior college’s games, or that guy’s uncle was my driver’s ed instructor.

Our relationship was in the stars. I was meant to fall in love with this sport.

My household could care less. Basketball and soccer were allowed, not football. This was not the case at my friend’s homes. I was entranced by how the game would bring my community together.

I give much appreciation to my boy-friends and boyfriends over the years teaching me about this wonderful game. I decided to take things into my own hands when I was a sophomore in college. My team and college had an undefeated season and I wanted to know more. I bought every coaching book from Barnes and Noble, including Football for Dummies (this femme has no shame), and got to work that summer. By fall I was interviewing to work for my college team, and could easily explain why our starter was a five-step QB vs the traditional three. I worked for my college team for over four seasons.

lipsAs a devotee to the sport, I wait longing for you as the months pass until you show up again this fall.  To you football, I adore you.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

GILDED

I know what to show / And what to conceal No one ever died from wanting too much
The world is not enough -garbage 

img_4920Pattie Pat Pats… -sigh- you did it again…

Yes, this is obviously late dear hearts. I had to give myself a week to digest what exactly happened. I’ve watched the tale of the tape a few times, and realized I missed something quite special, while I was in someplace quite special.

Truth is not only was my heart in Paris my-self was too. I found a way with my pretty friend, to watch the first half up until halftime, when everyone went Gaga. Until that point, I wasn’t going Gaga. I thought, well maybe the Pats are done and my fantasy may come true.

I had to sleep. I had a train to catch the next AM to London. Europe doesn’t hold its schedule for a femme who loves her American games.

The texts I woke up to hours later were priceless…
“What a game!”
“Wow… just wow” 
“Boo… can’t believe that happened” 

I immediately tapped my apps to figure out just WTF (what the football) had just happened hours earlier. 636219326615899498-usp-nfl-super-bowl-li-new-england-patriots-vs-atl

I was stunned… but not really. As a Jets fan, we know how those boys to the north find ways to win, and Coach Belichick has his own fifty shades of control drawn up for every team, tapping into his inner voyeur spying analyzing them.

Although the Hot-lanta Falcons were giving the Pats a taste of how fiery they were, I became concerned how their man to man D could continue playing as intense, as they had so far. Let’s face it dear hearts, you would be exhausted too if you had to chase around receivers x, y, z and the greatest QB of all time. Not an easy task, let alone the biggest game of your life that lasts longer, and is far more heavy than any of the other 16 games, and playoffs you’re already exhausted from playing.

Tommy boy proved my thinking to be right where it needed to be.

Enter Julian Eldelman, who’s not only my trainer’S BFF, he also catched that catch, bringing me to my knees and tears to my eyes. Paris heard me say “OOHHHH LA LA!!!”  That play was both glorious and hurtful.

The game was Magnifique!  Who needs the Mona Lisa or a Monet? This is football!

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Could we stop what we’re doing this moment, to give Coach Sark a congratulatory clap for his quick comeback? Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script. From getting fired at USC, to battling alcoholism, Sark has been not only been an OC for Alabama, he’s now the newly appointed OC for the Falcons. Maybe Lame Kiffin should take a page from Sark’s book.

Looks like the offseason won’t be boring. Keep it coming gents.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

Not Lying Intentionally (NLI)

Dear hearts I have so much to share with you, my fingers are shaking with excitement! 

Are you ready for this weekend? SB LI is Sunday if you didn’t know. Yes the Patty Pats will be playing, along with their fearless leader, Hoodie Billy B.

Kind reminder to refrain from doing this during the game … He’s their fearless owner  0ap3000000397918_video_cp

Be like this guy…. He’s lit and over 70 years old. Not quite the dirty bird, close enough. img_5223

He’s also the Falcons owner in his spare time, since retiring from building the store you likely spend your Saturday improving your home at. 

Personally, I’d rather sit sixth row, wearing in my fur, channeling my inner Joe Namath at Met Life Stadium, while watching the heartbreaking Jets play, in front of me when I’m over 70. I’m optimistic over the next four decades… img_4478

Who will win this lovely game? Watching the Pats lose a SB again is a nice little thrill. I prefer when Tommy Boy is upset. It’s not that easy to predict, and this game could be one of the best SB match ups to date. 

Let me guide you through a few points: 

Pattie Pats Pros

  • Experience – been here, done this before with 4 trophies  
  • Brady – arguably, sigh- one of the greatest QB’s of all-time will be starting
  • Possibilities -Belichick +DC Patricia +OC McDaniels can draw up plays and game plans that make opponents have nightmares

Negatives

  • Gronky – that tight end is out and he played a critical role 
  • Overconfidence – they may want to throw it to the birds, and that wouldn’t be smart with this Hot-lanta team

Falcons Pros

  • Offense – Fast + versatile with QB Ryan and primary target, J. Jones
  • O-line – Solid protection to operate the show behind them
  • Defense – A force and one who can fly into Brady 
  • HC Quinn – the new coach pumped more than a little life into the team this season
  • OC Shanahan Jr – he knows what to do with their system(s)

Falcons Negatives

  • Inexperience  – 18 years since last SB appearance
  • Defense –  young things Belichick can destroy quickly with his Tommy gun and additional offensive weapons – Edelman +receivers x, y, and z…

My prediction is a low-scoring affair, heavy on the D. That’s where both teams will need to focus since both offenses are potent.

If you are a pro-only type of football fan, the worst time of the year has possibly begun.

Unless you’re like me, who enjoys pro-style and college. nli_logo_400x400

Over the last 7-10 days, snaps, tweets and and many videos of recruits announcing to us silly fans, which school they will be signing off all their rights to as student athletes, tomorrow. 

The days of the hat swap in a high school gym, or an idea taken from The Decision have vanished. It’s okay dear heart to get a little excited. Now take a breath, and realize 2 -3 gents actually work out. It’s like picking a stock netting you a 35% gain. There’s not a science to it. Luck plays a heavy hand. 

Oh no… We’re witnessing another stadium finance disaster. How do you catch a billionaire? Or a millionaire trying to become a billionaire. Offer him several hundreds of millions in cash for a new stadium. Giggle if you didn’t see this coming…

These little snags happen. Ronnie Lott is running in to save the day, just like he used to when he played for the 49er’s. That’s domination in more than one way. Oh, San Diego is now also giving an offer… the residents will love that.

This is a lot to suddenly take in…img_4922

Cheers,

x|o FFF

GET IT

A little topic is receiving a lot of fingering and tweet-service via Twitter today: young writers, unpaid internships and going after what you want. Let me share with you a little secret:

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE DEAR HEARTS

I’m a believer in a little tough love. We know deep inside it’s the best kind.

football-closeupIwanted to work for my college’s football team. I wanted to be in charge of decisions and be respected. I didn’t know what role that would be in college. I knew the position I wanted to hold for pro team. Amy Trask, former Raiders CEO held a beacon of light, that if she could do it, I could do it too.

I began working as an intern for my mentor, Mr Hendrix and no is first name is not Jimi, in the athletics department. He was a former four-year starting point guard for our alma mater, leading our team to the Sweet 16 decades ago. At 5’10” he was not built to play in the NBA. He instead played six seasons as a corner in the NFL. He never played a down of football outside of high school. As he told me once, he didn’t like the feeling of being hit. One of those teams he played for, the Dallas Cowboys during their prime.

When I walked into his office I had no clue who he is. The accomplishments he displayed, his two degrees prominently  placed on top of a cabinet and several photos of his family surround his desk. Modesty is a virtue.

He gave me good advice, and the realities of playing in the NFL.

See, I was raised in a house where football wasn’t turned on every Saturday or Sunday. No my father wasn’t an armchair QB. I had to pull a QB sneak to peek at games.

Football is revered in my small-town community. A national football power at the time, was only 45 minutes away. Football brought people in my community together. The game fascinated me, and so my obsession began.

img_4295While interning unpaid for Mr Hendrix, I worked 1-2 additional jobs to pay my rent and expenses. I was a first generation college grad. A small-town girl who was feeling her away around a system that was savage. Read: it wasn’t easy.

Beverly Hillbilly’s exist. I’m living proof.

I was promoted to work for my college football team, as the Assistant Director of Football Operations for 4 seasons following my internship. I was paid, but if I told you what it was, you would think I was crazy to do what I did, for as long as I did. Most days I loved it, some days I didn’t. That’s life dear hearts.

I didn’t know it then, my last day working in football was NLI signing day February 3, 2010. I would work even harder to gain a similar position at USC. After years of making connections, and acceptance into the Marshall School of Business to pursue my MBA, I was told during my interview I was overqualified.

That’s what happens when you chase other dreams, like joining a tech startup that IPO’d. Another story for anther day… image

Realize all you have is yourself. Know your worth and be willing prove it. Go. Hard.

Cheers,

x|o FFF

ONE MORE TIME

The devil went down to Georgia / He was lookin’ for a soul soul to steal  – Charlie Daniels 

In my last update, I explained how greed is good for The League in LA, in a city where one team isn’t enough, and a round up of the divisional playoffs. 

I promise dear hearts, it wasn’t the unusual rainfall here in La-La land, or my (x) glass of Auchentoshan from the night before on the Sunset Strip, that I felt a little sleepy in the 2nd quarter of the Falcons / Packers Sunday…img_5158

This was a completely different game versus their other match up in October.

That was fun, this was a challenge

I chanted Go Pack Go,  hopeful they would make it a game. The devil, or the Packers defense couldn’t quite capture Matty Ice on Sunday in Georgia, at the last game played in the Georgia Dome. Another football relic I won’t see, before the demolishing crew comes in with a wrecking ball…

We didn’t view much stealing from the Packers sideline, besides looks of sadness. There really aren’t juicy details to review what we watched dear hearts. It was clear, the Falcons #roseup and the Pack didn’t. Game over. 

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The Patty Pat Pats are in the SB again…

New England demonstrated that with, or without their tight end, no problem. Enter their third string WR Chris Hogan. He used to be property of the Bills, and thank the football gods he didn’t play against the Jets. He pulled off the same numbers as Julio Jones (2 TDs for 180 Yards). Yes, the well-known Hot-lanta WR. 
The Steelers didn’t look organized. Saying the secondary played terrible is being quite kind. Terribly good is not what I meant. 

Six carries for 20 yards… Le-Vey-on-it, wasn’t on it. That’s exactly what she said here. No ball security and / or finding the end zone, or at least a first down. Cap it off with Big Ben is threatening to retire. 

Try not to giggle as much as I did over the following sentence: Johnny Manziel has announced to the world, he’s ready to grow up, sober up and return to The League.

Yes dear I have fantasies too, but these are quite some dreams Johnny has…

Johnny Football decides now he loves football? Let’s read between Johnny’s good intentions to find the unvarnished truth: a collector or five may be knock-knocking on Johnny’s door, and he needs to earn a paycheck quickly.  

He’s been invited to the newly minted NFL Spring League, or the USFL 2.0. The League knows we will likely watch a subtle hot mess. At least it’s football… In the Spring. 

In real news, Harbsy is taking his squad to Rome for a week in April. Of course educational experience was mentioned, this is a college football team. Don’t try to read into the details where this was announced just over a week before Not Lying Intentionally (NLI) Day, meaning every recruit in the nation’s ears just perked up, and if they didn’t, mine did. 

I know I shouldn’t but I do… want a Harbsy international scandal. Now it’s written, so maybe it will be done. If history likes to repeat, we know something is bound to happen. Although we already have enough with the current Viva America show that just started. 

Cheers,

x|o FFF