Chad Ocho Cinco

1 09 2009

Ocho Cinco

If you could have chosen your own name, what would you want it to be?  Our first name tells people who we are and our last name tells the world where we came from.  The player formerly known as Chad Johnson legally changed his last name to “Ocho Cinco” during the 2008 preseason.  This move forced the league to change his jersey and properly honor the union of the number eight and the number five from which Chad was created.

Like most people, I wrote this stunt off as the usually humorous mixture of arrogance and stupidity.  However, I’m starting to think Chad might have been trying to help the world evolve.  Maybe we shouldn’t have to just walk around with the names we were given at birth.  Maybe we need to take his lead and go grab our little piece of individuality.  Too often we conform to norms just because that is the way things have always been.  Why not pick our own names?  We pick our own jobs, clothes, and cars – all designed to reflect something about who we are.  Is it really that crazy?

People like to pick out things for themselves and that is exactly why I’m NOT against giving gift cards.  They allow the person to get something that is perfectly customized to their preferences.  Gift cards get a bad rap for being thoughtless, but they can actually be sentimental or romantic.  Here are some suggestions on making a gift card more personal, but feel free to reach out to me offline if you need additional ideas.  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.



  • Gift Card Hunt: Fill a big box with candy (M&Ms, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, etc) and have her hunt for the gift card.
  • Picture It: Put a romantic or sentimental picture directly on it.  Check out these Visa personalized gift cards.
  • Quirky Stores: A $50 gift card to an ice-cream parlor still seems like a fun and unique gift, whereas $50 at Macy’s seems more generic.
  • Entertain Me: Consider a Ticketmaster gift card.  This way you are giving the experience, but they get to pick which performance and/or dates work best for them.

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.

Matt Cassel

27 06 2009

I hope that made you laugh (and didn’t offend too many).  It has been a rough week and I think we all need a laughter break from life’s stresses and the nonstop memorials!  Thanks SNL and Justin Timberlake.  So what in the world does the clip above have to do with Matt Cassel?  Let’s face it, Matt Cassel is pretty boring (and that clip isn’t).  A year ago he was a virtual “nobody”.  He stood in for Tom Brady last season during the Patriots time of need and actually did a pretty good job.  The Patriots would have held on to him (especially since Brady’s recovery has yet to be tested), but Cassel was putting too much pressure on their salary cap and had to go.  He was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs during the offseason. 

We all face salary caps of our own and we call them our budgets.  The clip above highlights one option for a pretty inexpensive gift (though I don’t recommend it unless the recipient is ALREADY your woman AND has a GREAT sense of humor).  The key to giving with little to no expense is dramatically increasing the gift’s thought and creativity.  As mentioned in the Vick post, “cheap and thoughtless” is a dangerous combination.  If you already have a talent this will be easy.  You can paint a picture, compose a song, take some photographs, or write a story.  Less skilled ideas include issuing favor coupons or donating your time to a charity in their name.  Another winner is writing a sincere letter about their value in your life.  At the end of the day, the success of these ideas will often hinge on presentation.  You will need to take the time to provide the look and feel you would give to a more expensive gift.  This means boxing and wrapping these gifts (including the letter).  Inside the box, there should be actual certificates for your favor coupons or to commemorate the time you donated.  These ideas are a lot more work than their pricey counterparts, but they are likely to be the gifts your loved ones remember the most.  This is especially true when gifting your mother.  I don’t recommend trying this every year for every occasion, but it is actually a nice refreshing gesture (even when you have the money to buy something else).  If your woman doesn’t agree, get a new woman.  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.

Jason Campbell

19 06 2009


Top 10 Things Jason Campbell Can Teach Us About Wedding Gifts

1.   Sure we think he is an amazingly great guy, but all Washington (and any team) really cares about is how much he wins.  Likewise do pick up a card, but if there is no cash or check inside it isn’t really a gift.

2.  Does Jay Cutler have way better numbers?  No.  Is anyone fairly certain he is a better quarterback?  No.  All he really would have offered Washington was something a bit more interesting.  A new guy on the field.  Buying a gift will be more interesting and it could cost you less.  Consider it.

3.   Jason has had to learn three offenses in his short career due to Washington’s constant need for a new direction.  It is not easy to know what people want and it won’t be easy to pick out a gift on your own.  Stick to the registry. 

4.  Once you invested time and energy into a quarterback, you would probably want to invest in protecting him with a strong offensive line.  Washington never managed to do that, but you can do it with your gift presentation.  Bother to seek and find customer service in most department stores and they will wrap your gift for free. 

5.  The Redskins obviously think they can do better than Jason Campbell as evidenced by their attempts to trade for Cutler and Sanchez.  If you want to do better than the free gift wrap, customer service offers some pricey (can be upwards of $5) but much nicer selections than the usually monotone free options.

6.  Jason started last season strong, but fell apart at the end.  Remember to put your name on the gift if you didn’t get a card.

7.  We would all absolutely understand if Campbell was insulted and pissed with the Redskins, but it is nice to see a sports figure that decides to take the high road.  If you don’t attend a wedding you don’t owe a gift, but if you send one anyway it would be super classy.

8.  At the end of the day Jason and Washington are stuck with each other, even if they both think they have already given enough.  You are also still expected to give a gift at the weddings you participate in.  I know you already spent a ton on the tux and the bachelor party, but the expectation will be that you still give a gift.  If you choose otherwise, that’s on you.

9.  Sometimes having fire in your belly can do a lot to make people think you are capable.  Jason lacks the ability to create this impression and thus has to stand on results alone.  When invited to an engagement party, show up happy.  Maybe bring a card.  That should cover it.

10.  Jason Campbell is in the last year of his rookie contract with no talks of extension.  This is perhaps the biggest season of his professional life.  Weddings are also big events in the lives of the people you know and love.  Be helpful and supportive as they go through the process and it will matter more than your gift.

Finally, try to make sure the video is not on you when you bust out the Y-M-C-A at the reception!  You’re the quarterback; I’m just here to protect you.