Dan Marino

18 08 2009

I’m all for swimming with dolphins, but sting rays?!  Isn’t that what killed “The Crocodile Hunter”?  I like a little water excitement, but I draw the line at swimming with sting rays or sharks.  I really don’t want to swim with anything living in the water unless it is a dolphin.

People love dolphins, but they have always struck me as a strange sports name.  The Miami Dolphins are the home of Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.  This is the guy who has held the most passing yards in a season record for 25 years!  Seems like he deserves a stronger team name than the “Dolphins”.  Don’t get me wrong, they are super cute.  It’s just that cute is not what I think of for football names.  How would you feel about the Green Bay Bunnies or the Philadelphia Puppies?

Still, I got four different stories about swimming with the dolphins being someone’s best gift ever.  This makes me think I need to try it!  When I think of all the stories I received, more were about experiences than actual gifts.  Giving an experience allows the recipient the opportunity to hold on to memories long after the value of an item has faded.  I’m not going to lie – big experiences usually don’t come cheap.  Here is a list of the one’s I have received, plus some ideas of my own.  I’d be happy to help if you want to do any of these and need help figuring out some of the details.  You can always reach me at giftqb@yahoo.com.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.


  1. Swimming with the dolphins
  2. Helicopter ride
  3. Adult space camp
  4. Bungee jumping
  5. Hot air balloon ride
  6. White water rafting
  7. Skydiving
  8. Stock car racing
  9. Snorkeling/scuba diving
  10.  Horseback riding

Roger Goodell

30 07 2009


Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reportedly said that being NFL Commissioner would be her dream job.  Roger Goodell (the man pictured above) is the current commissioner.  This job has required him to deal with players fighting dogs, killing people while driving drunk, and getting into fights after “makin’ it downpour” in a strip club – and much, much more.  I’m not sure WHY Condi would want that job?!  It sounds like a major headache to me.

What’s your dream job?  I define “dream job” as the tasks you would still do if you hit the lottery and no longer needed the money.  Are you currently working with your passion?  My passion is giving.  I don’t mean making purchases.  I mean giving of yourself to the people you love.  I mean celebrating relationships and special milestones with those that make your life worth living. 

Giving is a lifestyle and not just an occasion.  It can be infused in everything you do (from compliments, to kind gestures, and of course actual gifts).  Living as a giver is just like being a quarterback.  You get the ball every time, you call the plays, and you have a chance to deliver for the team.  In this case, the team is anyone and everyone.  Giving spreads, so the more you do it – the more others will too.  I can’t think of a better job than helping people win on the giving field and I appreciate you allowing me to do it – just by reading this.  Now if you paid me that would be nice too!  Oh well, you’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

Now go give somebody something!

Peyton Manning

19 07 2009

Forget the stupid diet and just buy some bigger shirts!  Accepting a spreading waistline can be tough, but I hope those words from a Super Bowl champion have put your mind at ease.  Commercials and endorsements have become a part of the legacy of Peyton Manning.  Definitely not more than his on the field accomplishments because he is just amazing!  He is a three-time season MVP, a Super Bowl MVP, has been selected for nine Pro Bowls, and I could go on and on.  So don’t get me wrong, I am in no way judging Peyton for capitalizing on his success.  I’m just saying, the guy has done A LOT of commercials.  I actually like commercials, they help set my expectations from the companies that market to me.  Are they trying to be a part of a trend, a classic brand, make me think I’m cool, make me laugh?  

Setting expectations will always serve you well and this also applies to gifting.  I don’t care how great the robe you bought is, it is not going to be well received if the person was expecting a diamond ring.  In contrast, if you think you have an exceptional gift, you might want to create a little pre-gift excitement to get the most mileage out of your time, money, and effort.  Below are three gifting scenarios and ways you can give them an appropriate commercial.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.  Try these commercials at least a week before you give the gift (that will give them time to sink in). 



Scenario #1: Practical Gifts

Examples: Slippers, a new blender, some gloves, gift cards, etc.

Commercial: “I’m looking forward to celebrating your birthday and giving you a little gift I picked up.  It’s something I think you will use and I hope you will think of me when you do.” 

Message Delivered: This gift will be practical and probaly not romantic.  Still, this person wants to help you out and they want to have a place in your life.


Scenario #2: Most Other Gifts

Examples: Books, spa gifts, lingerie, a watch, etc.  These gifts are definitely nice and have some sentimental value, but it isn’t over the top.

Commercial: “I really hope you like your gift.  I never know which way to go, but I think you will like it.”

Message Delivered: This could go either way so don’t get your hopes up too high.  Still, they tried and they care if you like it.  (This commercial sets the expectations lower than the gift probably warrants and you can only go up from there.)


Scenario #3: Premium Gifts

Examples: Hard to give an example, but it’s when you’re pretty sure you knocked it out of the park.  This is not your everyday kind of gift.  It has a lot of sentimental value, is very thoughtful, is really personalized, and/or just very expensive. 

Super Bowl Commercial: I once had someone give me a super thoughtful gift.  Obviously they knew they had selected a real winner and decided to create extra gift excitement by providing clues that allowed me to try to guess the gift before it was given.  This was brilliant in two ways; it started the anticipation clock early which of course made receiving the actual gift more exciting.  It also was a “mini-gift” being able to find excitement and joy in analyzing the clues.  Tailor the number and difficulty of the clues to the level of suspense you think the recipient would enjoy.  (I like a lot of build-up so there were 12 clues and they were all really hard.)  I still think of this gift every time I see Heather Graham.  Her name was a clue that was supposedly going to lead me to the gift being monogrammed.  As you can see, the recipient is unlikely to actually guess the gift (unless you make the clues way too easy), but boy is it fun thinking about it. 

Message Delivered: They obviously think they have a great gift so you can feel free to start getting excited right now!  Yeah!

Big Ben Roethlisberger

15 07 2009


If Barack Obama was an NFL quarterback, which quarterback do you think he would be?  My guess is Ben Roethlisberger.  When Ben was playing high school football, “the man” tried to hold him down.  The coach preferred to start his son in the position of quarterback so Ben was stuck as a wide receiver until his senior year.  Hmmm….Ben had to endure favoritism given to someone a person in power just felt more comfortable with.  I’m sure Obama can relate to that.  Ben is also known for playing outside the pocket and shaking things up a little.  This sounds like a “change platform” to me.  And then the obvious, Ben won big in only his second professional season.  He followed that up by winning the Super Bowl again just a few short years later.  Ben’s football accomplishments (and the speed at which he has achieved them) baffle my mind in exactly the same way that Obama’s political success does.

Sometimes getting something faster can make it seem even better.  I know that is the case with my lunch order.  The faster it arrives, the better I think it tastes.  Keep this in mind when unexpected gifting opportunities arise.  These unexpected gifts are often more meaningful to the recipient than the standard occasions like a birthday (those can start to appear more like an obligation).  Flowers or a gift to celebrate a big promotion will seem even more extraordinary if you can get it over to the recipient as soon as possible (within 24 hours).  Whenever you think you want to send a card or gift for something, get online and do it before the thought slips your mind.  Timing is everything so don’t miss a window to gain some extra points.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

Drew Brees

1 07 2009

Drew Brees Action Figure

I was recently prompted to consider the possibility that Drew Brees is the first great quarterback that New Orleans has ever had.  Wow, the first!  Being that I’m a Dallas fan and we have such an amazing history of talent (no bias there), the idea of a modern NFL franchise just now celebrating their first high caliber quarterback seems ridiculous.

It is hard to deny that Drew had a great year.  He not only had ten 300+ yard games last season, but he also welcomed his first born into the world.  Baby Baylen was actually born on Drew’s 30th birthday.  This may sound cute, but I would really hate it.  The LAST thing I want to do on my special day is spend it enduring a kid’s birthday party!

You may be lucky enough to have someone else around that buys presents for the children in your life.   For those who have to make solo selections on kiddie gifts, I have a simple idea for you.  It will help you avoid having to enter any toy stores or launching online gift hunts.  Simply go into a major movie rental store (Blockbuster is a safe bet) and pick up the bucket style microwavable popcorn and one (or two) boxes of candy.  Grab a $5 or $10 gift card and throw the candy and gift card in the bucket of popcorn.  Not only do you have a great kid’s gift (ages 3-13), but you don’t even have to wrap it.  I tried it recently and the kids at the party got excited at the mere sight of the $15 gift.  Kids love the treats, but they also enjoy the power of making their own selections at the video store (especially if they have siblings).  Trust me, it’s a winner!  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

Michael Vick

24 06 2009

Vick Cartoon

Michael Vick probably isn’t worth the energy of this post, but here goes.  You can’t miss the stories of the promising young quarterback turned convicted felon and media villain.  There is nothing uncommon about football (or sports) players getting in trouble, but usually the public and certainly the NFL are more forgiving.  I can easily think of several players accused of crimes against men, women, themselves, and the very integrity of their sport.  What makes Vick so different?  There are some countries where you can cook your dog for dinner tonight.  However, we don’t “PLAY THAT” when it comes to dogs in America!  We adopt them, we love them, we protect them.  The American pet industry is one of the few to experience growth this year with revenues exceeding $50B.  Fifty Billion DOLLARS!  Whether Vick knew it or not, his crimes were unforgivable to many people.  I suspect he will play in the NFL again (not next season, but maybe the following), but he will never be forgiven by the American public.

It isn’t hard to figure out where I might be going with this.  There are some gift unforgivables and it might help you if I just spell them out now (before you do them).  They aren’t really “unforgivable” as gifts are just things after all, but they will kill the spirit of the gesture.  I understand that some of these tips are very basic and you might have never thought to do them in the first place.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.  Take a quick look and take caution, if you need it.

Five Almost Unforgivable Gift Giving Crimes

1.  The Gift is Late: Don’t show up at your anniversary dinner or her birthday celebration claiming that you will get a gift later.  This looks like you didn’t give her or the celebration enough forethought.  This doesn’t apply to gifts that will take place later (like a trip) or gifts that just didn’t show up (blame UPS).  If there is a good reason for the late arrival, explain it and seem genuine about wishing something was there.

2. Poor Presentation: I hope this doesn’t need to be said, but don’t give a gift when you have made absolutely no attempt at wrapping it (not even a bow).  It should also not have the price tag on it or be in the store’s plastic bag.  I don’t think I really need to explain why so catch up with me offline if you need more info.

3. The Gift Isn’t Really For Them: If your woman doesn’t like football, NFL tickets are not a winner.  Gifts that can in any way be seen as more for you than the recipient should be avoided.

4. Hidden Insults: I know it might seem like you are helping someone out, but gifts that highlight any insecurity should be avoided.  No treadmills if she is concerned about her weight (feel free if she just loves to run) or cookbooks if her food is bad.  Gifts should always highlight what a person likes and/or is good at.

5. Cheap AND Thoughtless: My next post will be on giving great gifts with no or little to no expense.  This can be done, but not without making it really thoughtful.  If you don’t have time to think about it, the gift will probably have to be pretty good (by this I mean expensive).  How much thought does it really take to guess a woman might be pleased with diamonds?  None.  Just remember, cheap and thoughtless will always be a nasty combination.