Clinton Portis

9 09 2009

PortisCostume1

My kids went back to school today and I (like many parents) took numerous pictures this morning of them all dressed up in their brand-spanking-new first day of school outfits.  Clinton Portis seems to know the power of a fresh new outfit and he wears his various costumes to press conferences just to provide Washington fans with some entertainment.  I’m not a Washington fan, but I do find these antics amusing.  You have to be really comfortable with yourself to go out in public looking that foolish.

PortisCostume2

I personally have a hard time recommending that you buy clothes for someone as a gift.  It is very easy to get both their style AND/OR size wrong.  I tried this once and the gift failure is a story my friends still tease me about to this day.  How could you go wrong when giving someone a plain collared black shirt?  Good question, but here’s the answer.  Apparently, Banana Republic cuts their shirts really small AND many of their shirts are designed in a more cosmopolitan style so they don’t work well for guys who aren’t into fashion trends.  The recipient (let’s call him “Jack”) accepted the shirt and claimed to like it.  He even told me he wore it once, but that was before another male friend informed me of the Banana Republic sizing issues and the extremely high probability that my shirt gift was on its way to Goodwill.  I questioned Jack, but he said it “fit” and that he “liked it”.  I knew that wasn’t true, but just on principle I asked that he wear it so I could see it.  I’ve seen Jack maybe 30 times since then, but have never seen the shirt.  I’ve seen many collared shirts on him.  I’ve seen many black shirts on him.  I’ve just never seen my super styled, super tight shirt – and I never will.

PortisCostume3

Don’t let this happen to you.  Skip the clothes unless the recipient picked them out in advance.  Coats are one exception to this as they require less of a style and size match.  I know many of you will try this anyway, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

PortisCostume4

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Jim Nance

20 08 2009

Jim Nance Card

These aren’t just players; these are people. 

One of my oldest friends recently brought to my attention the Patriots Hall of Fame induction of Jim Nance.  Nance was a two-time AFL All-Star.  He was the first player to eclipse the 1,400 yard mark in a single Patriots’ season.  He also still holds the highest yard per game average in Patriots’ history – a record he has held for 43 years.  These are amazing accomplishments and there is no doubt that Nance has meant a lot to the Patriots.  Jim Nance won’t be at the induction ceremony today.  He passed away in 1992.  His family will be there instead.  Football is a way of life, but it isn’t life.  Often we forget that after the big plays are over – these men are sons, husbands, and fathers.  I salute Jim Nance today for all he accomplished – on and off the field.

I feel very fortunate to still have my father’s presence, guidance, and laughter in my life.  We recently shared a chuckle over his “best gift ever” story.  My father grew up in Southwestern Virginia.  Following family harvests, he was often promised a bicycle.  When it didn’t arrive after a few years, he simply gave up and assumed it would never come.  One day, he arrived home from school and found a brand new bicycle sitting in front of the family store.  You have to hear how he tells the story – even after all this time.  “Oh man, it was nice!  It had everything – chrome and tassels!”  He even likened it to the iconic bicycle in the movie “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.”  My father’s mother died when he was nine years old so it is amazing that he found so much joy from events that took place only a short time afterwards.  In the true spirit of giving, he passed on his bike to a cousin when the family moved to New York City. 

Men might not be as emotional as women, but the passion my father had around this story tells me that a great gift affects everyone the same If you can, drop everything and go ask your father what his best gift ever was.  There is no time like the present!  Besides, it might give you some additional insight.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.





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.

BIG TICKET EXPERIENCE IDEAS

  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

RogerGoodell

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!





Trent Edwards

23 07 2009

The T.O. Show

What do contracts, lost luggage, and hot Asian real estate agents have in common?  If you guessed the first episode of “The T.O. Show” then you are correct!  Yes, I watched it.  I would like to say it was purely for research and that I would never seriously entertain such garbage, but then I would have to pretend like I didn’t watch the entire season of Vh1’s “For the Love of Ray J”. 

It is hard to act like this is T.O.’s first TV show.  He makes a show out of each and every NFL season.  Some may disagree, but my favorite T.O. episode is the one when he was crying over the media’s treatment of Tony Romo.  However, the episode when he spit in the face of Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall (during a game) is definitely a close second.  Terrell said it best in his famous quote, “I love me some me”.  In his mind, the whole world is a show about T.O. and Buffalo is about to join the list of team’s that have learned that lesson.

It would be great if the rest of us could be our own biggest fans, just like Terrell Owens.  (Ok, not exactly like him!)  Right or wrong, people often depend on other people to help inflate their perceptions of themselves.  That’s why one of the greatest (and cheapest) gifts you can give is a compliment.  What you may not know, is that the way you give a compliment will have more or less effect based on the gender of the recipient.  See below for quick tips to help your compliments become more meaningful.

 

TIPS for Complimenting Men

1. Ask for their advice: Men see this as a sign that you respect them and respect is probably their most important factor in a caring relationship (maybe even more than love).  Women see advice as a way to think things out and don’t realize that asking for advice is a compliment and that not taking the advice could be seen as an insult.  Consider limiting the practice of asking males for advice when you really only want validation, but already know for sure what you will do. 

2. Be specific: Most men (and please forgive the stereotype) don’t need as many general compliments as women.  They prefer their compliments to be more targeted and unique.  This is probably because they tend to prefer logic to emotion.  It is easier for them to see the logic in “I love the way you smoked the steaks; it had just the perfect mix of grill taste and meat taste” than “Great steak, honey”.

 

TIPS for Complimenting Women

1. Notice new things: Women like to think you are paying attention, so try your hardest to notice and then compliment their changing style.  This is especially important with new hairstyles or lost weight.  You will score bonus points for noticing smaller changes like new clothes, shoes, or makeup.  If you think you see a change, compliment her on it immediately.

2. Volume: Feel free to “say it loud and say it proud”.  Not to the point where it feels fake, but women don’t really get tired of compliments.  If she does get tired of your compliments, it is a major red flag that she no longer cares what you think about her (which is code for, she no longer cares about you).

 

What the genders definitely agree on is the need for feeling both desired and appreciated.  You can’t go wrong with a sexy compliment nor a few words of gratitude. 

Speaking of compliments, please feel free to pay me a big one and help me spread the word.  I would greatly appreciate it if you would send the blog on to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc) or simply send a link to anyone you think would use or enjoy it.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.

IMPORTANT: There is something wrong with this post.  Did you notice it?  I will check in the comments for your answers.





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). 

 

GIVING YOUR GIFT A COMMERCIAL

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

ObamaSteelers

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.