Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Super Bowl is coming to the Big D!

One of the perks of being a football wife has been enjoying Super Bowl festivities over the years. Actually, when I was in college, I worked for Rodney Peete and Holly Robinson Peete and we threw an amazing fashion show at Super Bowl every year for their founation, so I've been hitting up Super Bowl cities for over a decade. With the big game making it's way to Dallas this year, we are going to be busy!!!! Here are some of the events I'm involved in this year. Tickets are available for these events, so come on out and join me!!!! Most of these are charity events so come out and have a good time while giving back!

Sunday, January 30th

Tuesday, February 1st and Wednesday, February 2nd

Wednesday, February 3rd

Friday, February 4th - Off the Field Football Wives' Association Fashion Show

Saturday, February 5th

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Game at Bella 32

Here are a couple of pics from the party appearance last week. We had such a fun night! I didn't get to bed until after three - my dogs were killing me! Loved my
Go Sports Jewelry ( football pendant I wore. Thought it was appropriate since Chanita and I were there repping Football Wives!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Show Me the Money"

"Show Me the Money." Mention this piece of film brilliance and most people know it comes from the movie "Jerry Maguire." I sat in a meeting last week about the upcoming NFL lockout, and it was one of the first things that popped into my mind. Concerned with the ramifications of the ongoing NFL/NFLPA collective bargaining agreement negotiations, I asked former NFLer and current NFLPA representative Scott Turner to fill us in on the current state of affairs. I will try to regurgitate the plethora of information he gave us as best as I can. There are currently 1900 active players, over 18,000 retired players, and countless others who will be affected by a lockout so this is important info and worth telling.

Scott began by giving us a little history about the current CBA which is set to expire March 3rd. Both sides - the NFL (representing the owners) and the NFLPA (representing the players) - agreed to bargain "in good faith" in the event of conflict over the CBA. The CBA was signed in 2006 and was supposed to run through 2012 but the NFL owners have opted out of the final year of the agreement. Some food for thought though - the owners didn't opt out of the agreement recently. They opted out way back in 2008 - just two years after agreeing to the CBA. The owners claimed that in this struggling economy, NFL teams were struggling financially and they believed players needed to incur some of the financial loss. The NFLPA asked to see the corporate books of the teams - the thought process being that if teams are struggling financially, they should look at areas that were actually struggling and address those particular areas instead of imputing blanket responsibility.

Bob Batterman, the labor and employment attorney responsible for orchestrating the NHL lockout in 2007, has been hired to represent the NFL. His response to the NFLPA's request to see the books - "The owner's profit is none of your business." Curious - is that what bargaining "in good faith" looks like? Is the NFLPA supposed to just take the NFL's word for it that they are struggling financially, so much so that they now want to impose some of that financial loss on players? I mean, we know how much the NFL really cares about the players - as evidenced by the fact that they only recently acknowledged concussions might lead to long-term mental disabilities for players.

Struggling financially, huh? Let's look at some of the facts. NFL teams are cash cows. Most teams have increased in value over 500%. Nine NFL franchises top the list of Forbes most valuable sports franchises. In comparison, there is one MLB team on that list - the New York Yankees. The most valuable NFL franchise is the Dallas Cowboys of course. The Green Bay Packers, the only publicly-owned team in the NFL, reported it's earnings at $25 million last year. Sounds like a lot of money to me in a struggling economy. Yet team owners want us to believe they are struggling so much, it's time to pass that burden on to the players?

Here is what the current fight is over - 18/18. The NFL wants to increase the regular season to 18 games while forcing players to take an 18% pay cut. Let's start by talking about the 18 games. Currently, there are four preseason and 16 regular season games. Many folks have wanted to do away with the preseason forever. From the owner's perspective, they aren't very profitable. From the player's perspective, there is certainly an increased risk for injury, and if you aren't on that opening day roster, for most players that means you're not getting paid. If the owners get what they want, there will be 2 preseason games and 18 regular season games. So what's the big deal? It still equals 20 games.

Regular season games are more intense and take a larger toll on players. Many vets only see a significant amount of playing time in two preseason games anyway so for many of them, taking away two of their preseason games and tacking them onto the regular season REALLY means playing two more games. The average NFL game consists of 70 plays. Most players aren't getting that many downs in the preseason, but tacking them on in the regular season will mean more downs played. Scott asked the guys in the room how they feel around week 6 or week 7 of the regular season. Already hurting by that time of year, a couple guys responded that they wonder how they'll get through the rest of the season. Adding two more games will certainly create a huge burden on the players. With over 400 players going on season-ending injured reserve during the 2010 season, it is valid concern.

Now let's look at statistics. Currently, the average NFL career is 3.2 years. The NFLPA estimates that if those two games are tacked onto the regular season, the average career will decrease to 2.9 years. Where this becomes a huge issue for players is that you don't become vested (and eligible for post-career insurance and benefits) until you play three credited seasons. More players getting hurt/shorter careers equals fewer benefits packages being paid out by the teams to former players. Insurance is expensive - bet they could save a lot of money since fewer players will become vested with an 18-game season.

As I mentioned before, preseason games aren't very lucrative. Conversely, adding 2 games to the regular season will add $500 million in discretionary income to NFL teams. Since those funds are discretionary, the NFL can use it on the players "if they want." I'm assuming they won't be writing any bonus checks since they are already struggling.

The NFLPA came back with some counter-proposals for the 18-game regular season. If the owners wanted more games, the NFLPA thinks there should be 5 or 6 more players on a roster (currently 53 players) to allow for players to heal from injuries or rest when needed. The NFL came back and offered one extra player and he could only play special teams. Huh? If there's a longer season, maybe there should be a shorter offseason program with fewer mini-camps, shorter training camps, etc. The NFL's response? Not happening.

The kicker is that it's not like the NFL is trying to pay players more for playing more. In fact, they want them to incur an 18% cut in pay. This would come in the form of charging players for travel expenses (that's right - players would have to pay to travel to away games), and facility and stadium maintenance. Seriously - players would have to pay to maintain the facilities, yet they'd have no financial stake in them. There would be no income paid for sold-out concerts or circuses in the facilities they were being charged to maintain. Can you imagine if your boss came to you and told you you'd have to take a pay cut so you could help maintain your office? And the fact that the NFL is so fleeting - that one day you could be on a roster and the next day you're packing your bags and turning in your playbook - is it really fair to ask players to pay to maintain a stadium they may not even be playing in?

The disagreements over these issues are leading to a potential lockout. There have been 36 negotiating sessions with no real progress, so the notion that there may not be a season in 2011 is inching towards becoming reality. Players are quick to tell you that this is not a strike - they WANT to play but they can't and won't under the owner's currently proposed 18/18 plan.

One of the wives in the meeting asked a great question - why would the NFL owners be playing such hardball? If there's no season in 2011, they won't be making "jack poo" either. Well, this isn't true. The NFL owners actually negotiated a media deal that will allow them to be paid even if there is no football played. How much will the owners make from the networks? $4 billion. That's right - that's BILLION with a "B." That means each team will get about $333 million if not one down is played in the fall of 2011. The owners are covered - they'd be making plenty of "poo."

So this all comes down to money - owners want more and players want to keep what they currently have. Can you blame players? Most aren't making millions and with the average career lasting 3.2 years (for now), shouldn't they try to get as much as they can?

There are very real consequences if the CBA expires and no new agreement is signed. Current players will loss their insurance and will have to pay for COBRA. COBRA isn't cheap - it can run close to $2,000/month for a family of four. COBRA only lasts for 18 months. Players will also lose their income if there is no season. Stadium employees from the parking attendants to the suite managers won't get paid. The financial impact could be huge.

We did get some good news in the meeting. Retired players currently receiving benefits will continue to get those benefits. Ryan and I often contemplated what it would be like to have to spend $2,000/month on insurance. It's money we don't really have to spare. And with his football injuries and Will's autism, it would be nearly impossible for us to find outside insurance. When Scott informed us that we'd still have insurance come March, I cried.

I asked Scott what we can do. He wants current players to OPEN THEIR MAIL!!!!! Anything they get from the NFLPA, our insurance company, etc. could contain time-sensitive information (players only have 60 days to file for COBRA - if they miss the deadline, they are SOL). He said let the NFLPA do their job - they are working very hard for the players. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will all get worked out.

Bottom line - this lockout comes down to money. Instead of the NFL owners trying to take from the little piece of the pie that the players get, they need to spread the "wealth" among themselves and stop asking the players to "show them the money." How about owners show us their money - then maybe both sides can come to the table and really start talking.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

My Golden Globes Fashion Wrap Up

I had a great time chillin' with some BFFs watching the Golden Globes last night. I missed all my usual Sunday programming - Baskeball Wives, football, etc. - to watch the Globes' pre-game. The red carpet did not disappoint!

My favorites:

Olivia Wilde in a stunning Marchesa gown. I know, it was a LOT of dress, but it took my breath away!

Megan Fox in Armani Prive'

Carrie Underwood in a phenomenal Badgley Mischka

Catherine Zeta Jones in Monique Lhuillier. I tried on a Monique Lhuillier gown once - fit like a glove. But is cost $5,500. It stayed at the store.

Claire Danes in Calvin Klein Collection

And after waffling for a while, I've decided my hands down favorite was Halle Berry. I want to be her when I grow up!

When I first saw the dress, I thought she might need to be very careful since there was minimal fabric - no need for flashing on the red carpet. But I just dig this look on her - amazing!

My least faves were:
Angelina Jolie and Anna Hathaway (the back of the dress was gorgeous - I hated the front) - I wasn't really feeling the dynasty throwback dresses.

Leighton Meester

Emma Stone (way too matronly for her)

You don't see Helena Bonham Carter on the list - I never expect much from her and would actually be borrowed if she didn't show up Bjork-inspired.

On a non-fashion note, I was so happy that Colin Firth won for his role the The King's Speech. The movie was phenomenal and he as brilliant in it. Two thumbs up!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I know it's last minute...

But this is where I'll be tonight! It's going down!

Blitz and Glam - What's In My Purse?

There is a lovely lady by the name of Tamara who runs a wonderful website - - it's where fashion meets football. Who doesn't love that?!? She's been a wonderful supporter of me and Football Wives, so when she asked me to post a vlog on her website for one of her new features - What's In My Bag? - I didn't hesitate!

And yes - I really do carry this much stuff in my purse!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little uplifting...

There is nothing better than hearing a child's laugh. Bryn has a funny one - she cracks me up.

I just thought that was funny and wanted to share.

You know me and my horoscopes. I'm not a horoscope worshiper by any means, but every once in a while, I come by one that hits very close to home and ends up giving me a little hope. Ryan and I have been struggling with the transition out of football - what is he going to do for a career? Do I need to go back to work full time at the expense of my child, charity work, etc.? Lots of big questions. Then I came across this: If you have developed a pessimistic attitude recently because things have not gone your way, you need to free yourself from the negativity. You may have endured some difficulties over the last few weeks. It may seem that even though you've worked hard, been diligent in your efforts, and done your very best to deal with what life has thrown at you, things have not improved significantly and you're feeling tired of facing the same old problems. But don't give up - the universe is gearing up to assist you. Very soon, your life will take on a more carefree tone, and prosperity will be knocking at your door. Sounds about right...