Thoughts On A Wonderful Football Weekend

December is a great time of year, with Christmas and New Yeas around the corner, people are in the holiday spirit, the weather is getting colder, (except here in FL) and the football season is winding down, bowl games are decided, playoff births are being earned, and the intensity is getting to a fever pitch.  I love this time of year, and I get fired up when I see the playoff picture is getting clear and teams are ramping up their game to push for the final playoff spots in the NFL. 

Lets begin with the college games on Saturday.  Auburn defeats Missouri in the SEC Championship 59-42 behind the running of Tre Mason who put his name in the Heisman talk with an impressive 304 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Auburn vaulted themselves into the BCS championship with that win due to Ohio State falling flat o their face, something I predicted last week. 

Michigan State beat Ohio State in the Big 10 championship 34-24, spoiling OSU’s chances at playing for a national championship and proving doubters (including myself) right as to how weak of a Number 2 OSU actually was.  Their defense had been giving up more points to teams they should have been pounding all year long, including over 600 yards of offense to a weak Michigan squad, who had lost to teams such as Ohio university during the season.  Yes there is a lot of emotion when Michigan plays Ohio State, but OSU with their #2 ranking should have won more decisively if they were to be considered an elite team.  Their schedule was weak, and the Big 10 was horrible this year. 

Michigan State wins the Big 10 and will face Stanford in the rose Bowl after The Cardinal defeated Arizona State in the PAC 12 championship 38-14 to go to their second consecutive Rose Bowl. 

To no ones surprise, Florida State manhandled Duke 45-7 to win the ACC championship, setting up a showdown with Auburn in the BCS Championship Game in Pasadena Jan 6.  This is the matchup everyone wanted, after Auburn defeated Alabama last weekend with that dramatic missed FG return as time expired, and it promises to be a much hyped showdown, with both teams having high powered offenses.  The key is going to be which team will have the better defense.  I am going to predict that it will be a close game, but I feel FSU has more weapons and the better defense and will win their first championship since 1999.  I am very much looking forward to this game and may actually take the day off from work so that I can enjoy it and not have to watch the “game cast” from my computer at work.

The rest of the BCS bowl games are set, as you have Oklahoma and Alabama facing off in the Sugar Bowl, Ohio State and Clemson in the Orange Bowl, Missouri and Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl and the aforementioned Rose Bowl with Michigan State and Stanford.  I have found myself really into the college games this year, with all of the excitement and drama that has been going on, The dispute over how “good” Ohio State is, the Jameis Winston Case, Alabama trying to three-peat, Dukes rise to prominence in a sport other than Basketball or Field Hockey, and the final year of the BCS.  There will be a playoff system in place next year, with the top four teams vying for the right to play in the Championship.  I say good riddance to the BCS, as it has done nothing but cause controversy.  It has always been a flawed system and a playoff has always been the best way to go, as the Div. 1 teams have been doing a “bracket style” playoff system for decades.  It isn’t a perfect solution, because it only involves the top 4 teams, where an ideal situation would make it a 8 or 16 team playoff system, but it is a start and I am glad to see it finally happen.  Next year will definitely be a better process and will have a clear cut winner, with the computers being thrown out of the equation. 

As for the NFL, well, lets just say this past weekend is the reason I love this game so much.  You had excitement in nearly every time zone yesterday with 4 games coming down to the last seconds of the game, all of which had playoff implications.  You had whiteout conditions in Philadelphia, where the Eagles beat the Lions, freezing temps and snow in Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Green Bay,  Controversy, bad calls, record breaking scoring (90 touchdowns in all) and injuries that could cost at least one team in the Playoffs.  Matt  Prater kicked a Record Setting 64 yard for for the Broncos, eclipsing the  record of 63 yards set by Jason Elam in the same stadium only a few years ago.  Rob Gronkowski tore his ACL and is done, hurting NE’s playoff chances once they get there.  Adrian Peterson went down with an ankle injury early in the game against Baltimore and though X-rays were negative he is going to have an MRI sometime today to see what damage was done.   

Miami beats Pittsburgh on the final play of the game, as the Steelers tried the always entertaining “lateral it til we lose” play.  it was 4th and 4 from their own 26 yard line and Big Ben completed a pass to Emmanuel Sanders and that’s where the fun began.  After what appeared to be about 200 laterals, the ball finally ended up in the hands of Antonio Brown who scampered down the sideline and appeared to have scored the winning TD with no time left on the clock, but after further review, Brown had stepped out of bounds at the 12 yard line, ending the game and Pittsburgh’s faint playoff hopes.  Brown’s foot was maybe 2 inches out of bounds, but it was enough. 

In New England, the Patriots score 2 TD’s in the last minute of the game to beat the Browns.  This ending was marred by a controversial Pass Interference call in the end zone on Leon McFadden.  It appeared that there was no interference, that they both were going for the ball, and McFadden’s hand just happened to be on Josh Boyce’s left shoulder, but did not impede him in anyway for going for the ball, but the Ref’s, in their eternal wisdom saw it a different way and called the PI, placing the ball on the Cleveland one yard line.  Brady hit Julian Edelman one play later and the comeback was complete.  The Patriots were outplayed for 58 minutes but Brady being Brady, it seemed that it was just inevitable that the Pats would come back to win that game.  The Browns did manage to get the ball back with 35 seconds left, were able to drive to the patriots 39 yard line, allowing Billy Cundiff to try a last second 58 yard FG, but it was short and the Pats win.  The win keeps New England as the second seed in the AFC, just above Cincinnati, who had a dominating win against the Colts yesterday.

In San Francisco, The 49ers Phil Dawson kicked a 22 yard FG with 26 seconds left to lift The team to a win over Seattle, in a battle of NFC powerhouses.  The win only made the race in the west that much closer with each winning games against each other at home, Preventing Seattle from clinching or at least close to clinching the division. Despite the loss, Seattle clinched a playoff spot, but did not get the division.  The road to New York still runs through Seattle, and if San Francisco is hoping to get back to the Super Bowl, then they will more than likely have to beat Seattle at home in the playoffs to do it.  These teams prove week after week that they are the class of the NFC, with maybe New Orleans and Carolina a close third and fourth respectively in the conference.  The NFC is clearly the stronger conference this year and whomever comes out of the NFC to represent in the Super Bowl, The AFC better be ready, cause they will have a big fight on their hands.  I like Seattle at this moment, only because the have the best record in the NFC and if any other team hopes to get to the championship they will have to beat Seattle in their house, a tall task for sure.

Wrapping up the fantastic finishes, we go to Baltimore, where for the first 3 quarters, the Ravens and the Vikings only managed to score a combined 13 points, but then in the fourth quarter, the scoring fiasco began.  Combining for 44 points in the 4th quarter, they provided perhaps one of the most exciting endings to a game I have ever seen in my 40 years as an NFL fan.  Six different lead changes, 5 TD’s in the last 125 seconds, and a spectacular catch by a rookie in the end zone with 9 seconds left to play capped off a flurry of scoring in a game that no one seemed to want to win.  With 2””:05 left to play, Dennis Pitta, returning for his first game since separating his hip in preseason caught a 1 yard pass on 4th down to put Baltimore ahead 15-12.  Toby Gerhart then ran 41 yards for a score to put the Vikings up 19-15 with 1:27 to go.  Jacoby Jones then took the ensuing Kickoff 77 yards to the house to put the Ravens back on top 22-19 with 1:16 left. Matt Cassell then tossed a 79 yard TD pass to Cordarrelle Patterson with 45 seconds left to play and seemingly putting the Ravens away for good 26-22.  Flacco was not done though and he drove the Ravens  80 yards in Five plays that took all of 41 seconds.  The drive concluded with Flacco hitting Rookie Marlon Brown in the back of the end zone to put the Ravens up for good with just 4 seconds to play capping off the scoring frenzy.  The Win kept Baltimore’s playoff hopes alive with just 3 games left in the season.  They play 3 division leaders in that time frame, with games in Detroit, Cincinnati and a home game against the Patriots.  it’s a tough hill to climb for them but this win kept their hopes alive.

I cant remember a more exciting weekend of football than what was presented to us the last two days.  the stretch run is upon us for both College and Pro Football, and if the last 3 months are any indication, we have a lot more exciting drama left to go.  I cant wait for it to happen, and all I can think is that it will all be over in just 2 short months from now.  There are three Playoff spots taken after this weeks games, the Broncos, Colts, and Seahawks all clinched spots, with the Colts clinching the AFC South , despite losing to the Bengals.  Buckle up folks, its only gonna get wilder as we sprint to the finish.

The Effect of Motivation (or lack thereof)

Fair warning…  This may be be a depressing article, and for those not having fun in their lives or  not succeeding, it may not be for you….

In my 47 years on this planet, I have seen my share of successes, failures, unfulfilled goals, shattered dreams, mini victories, and just general accomplishments.  I’m  good at a lot of things, I’m pretty good at a few, but mostly I’m not great at anything.  I’m unremarkable, normal, and basically a nobody.  Now that’s a pretty mundane start to a blog post, and lord knows I have a pretty mundane life, but I cant help but think there is more to life than going through the motions, getting up, having my morning coffee (usually a pot or two) going through my usual websites, catching up on what I missed in the 6 hours since I went to bed, getting in the shower dressing myself, then going off to work for anywhere from 9 to 13 hours a day, coming home, and starting the process all over again. I’m sure there is in fact, more to this thing called life, but for the most part I have a severe case of “lack of motivation”.  I have always been an underachiever and have lost out on many an opportunity due to lack of being proactive, being scared, or just plain lazy.  I don’t know what it is that keeps me from grabbing the bull by the horns when opportunity arises, but that’s me, sitting in the shadows, not taking the chance and letting others succeed and allowing myself to sit here being comfortable being a failure.  I keep telling myself that I will get off the pot tomorrow, do this tomorrow, do a little more, but tomorrow comes and all I do is sit here.. 

I don’t know what’s more disconcerting, the fact that I don’t take action, or the fact that I KNOW I am not doing what I know I should do.  it all boils down to motivation.  I have none.  I don’t know if it is because I am afraid of failure, because of my layoff in 2008, because of my failed relationship with my son, or because of my last divorce, but whatever the reason, I need to get over it, get through it, and find the juice I need to move on to bigger and better things.  I know inside myself there lies a person that can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.  But there is also this little voice inside of me that is telling me that I will fail and right now that voice is overriding anything else that is happening in that pea size brain of mine.  I am not sure what it is going to take to move on from my problems, I have a long laundry list of things that are haunting me, things that I wish I could have done better or different, but although those are obstacles, they should not be taking away from the things I know I should be doing to better myself, to better my situation, or to be happy. 

Am I depressed?  Yes, I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, but despite that, I know things could be worse.  I have a roof over my head, a job, a family that loves me, great circle of friends, and  I am relatively healthy, despite my weight issues and smoking.  Depression is a weird and cruel monster, just when you think you are coming out of it, it rears its ugly head and you fall back into that abyss and start the patterns all over again. 

So beginning with this revelation for all of you to see, I am taking this time to try and focus on getting better.  I am generally a happy person, but sometimes that isn’t enough.  I am going through the motions and not doing anything to better my situation, whether it is because I don’t have the time, don’t have the funds, or just simply don’t care any more.  Most of you that are my friends would never know from the outside that things have not been going well.  In fact I am sitting here while writing this contemplating if I should even post this to my blog.  Usually I am positive, and I certainly don’t want to LOSE readers because of this, but then again, the people that do read my blog are for the most part the people I trust and the ones that will look at this as a confession, not so much a “oh poor me” post.  I am not looking for sympathy, I am not looking for a handout, nor am I looking for a magic bullet to get me out of this.  I am simply looking for understanding that despite all of my outward appearances, I am dealing with a lot of shit, and if this post allows me to begin the transition to what I know I can accomplish then so be it. 

Thank you for reading this, and for those that did not stop at the first paragraph, I appreciate it.  Just know that despite all of my issues I am still going to try and get through them, whatever it takes, whatever I have to do.  Just understand that I am not going anywhere, I am not at the point of giving up, and to be honest it is the people that I have met while online that have allowed me to keep trying to move forward.  The friends I have on this wonderful creation called the internet are my rock, they are my focus, and I love everyone of you.  Just know that this will not be the last time I address these issues, and there will be times when I will sound like a poster child for giving up, but just know that I had to get this written for my own sanity, in order to put everything in perspective and to be able to write down on digital paper what it is that I need to look at and remember should I be able to look back and laugh at this post and tell myself what loser I was at this point in my life…lol 

For those that have me on Skype, feel free to ask if you need any further details or are curious to see how I am doing.  I wont bite, and I wont ignore you. 

Keep me in your thoughts, and thank you for reading. 


Focus on What’s Important

There was a big hubbub yesterday in the TE world….something about icons, cheaters, and the efforts being done to get rid of them.  Well,  I’m not a TE owner, but I surf 15-20 different TE’s per day, and in those TE’s I probably surf upwards of 5000 pages overall, so, I think I can speak for us affiliates out there that experience a lot of different TE’s daily and weekly and can form an opinion of what matters to us “little guys” in the industry, since we are the target audience for all the owners that want and need traffic to their sites. 

I find surfing in TE’s a fun and enjoyable experience, and if I didn’t I would be in the business.  What the owner does to dissuade cheaters, find them and get rid of them is important, but in the long run, these efforts don’t affect me much in the big picture of things.  Owners want us to promote their sites, drive traffic to their sites, and the bottom line is they want members to spend money with them.  This is how they become successful, this is the avenue they have chosen to eventually quit their offline jobs, and to eventually earn a full time income from home. 

As an affiliate of over 30 Traffic Exchanges I will promote the sites I enjoy surfing, sites where I recognize there is a lot of traffic, have a membership that is active, and most of all, ones that I am willing to upgrade in, because without that traffic my ads will not get seen, and thus I can’t move forward in this business myself, and eventually get to where I want to be.   I want to be one of those owners one day, I want to be a leader in the industry one day, but until that day comes, I will continue to surf, look for opportunities, and take advantage of them when I can.  When I surf a site that is making it difficult or tedious  to click from one page to the next, I lose interest, I get frustrated and I eventually will just quit surfing that site altogether. 

I may not know all the ins and out of TE ownership, in fact I know very little, but the fact is I DO know from talking a lot of owners there are so many different ways to find and weed out the bad eggs, that just changing the surf Icons isn’t going to do it.  I have seen them, I have surfed the sites that use them, and they require that you know and understand English.  What about those active members that may not understand or are able to read English?  you going to punish them and drive them away simply because you have a few cheaters in your program?  In my opinion you are losing money by doing that. 

I understand the need to weed out the cheaters, however the most important thing I have learned from owners  in running a traffic exchange is to take care of the non-cheating members, the active members, and the affiliates that like your site enough to promote it in other programs, not just in other exchanges, but other types of programs, PTC’s, List builders and the like.  That is what gets you traffic, that earns commissions and that will bring in members that want to buy from you.  Little tricks and quirks that are solely designed to deter cheaters will not garner you any favor with them, they will not enjoy surfing your site, and they will not promote your site.  So do yourself a favor, make it fun, make it simple, and make your site stand out from the rest.  Focus on those things and you will not only see the difference in traffic, but in your wallet as well. 


As for the person that started all this discussion, your program doesn’t even USE the script where these icons are located, so what the hell are you doing focusing on a script you don’t even use?  Worry about what YOU are doing, and make yourself and your site better, don’t focus on a script that other owners are using…

Get in the game or sit on the bench…..It’s up to you…..

Pot Meet Kettle

As I have pointed out in previous posts, this is a sports blog, but every now and the I will delve into the world of Traffic Exchanges and the happenings in that world as well, this is one of those times.  I also mentioned in a previous post that the person that introduced me to the world of traffic exchanges, my mentor, my friend, my little sister, Rhonda Pizor has always been there for me, and that behavior has transferred into the traffic exchange industry.  Rhonda is the owner and designer of MakeMySplash dedicated to the design and implementation of advertising designs and websites for the traffic industry.  She has been doing this for nearly 2 years, has a graphic design certificate and is constantly improving her craft. 

In my honest opinion, she has no equal in this business, though there are others out there that try, no one compares to her quality of work.  She has designed splash pages, squeeze pages, banners, and other items for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Click Track Profit and Legacy Hits, along with other high profile owners and affiliates that go to her anytime they need a high quality design at a fair price.  She provides superior support for her designs and is always available by phone, Skype, or email to those that need her services or help.

Recently a Blog post was made by one of her “competitors” and I use that term loosely, cause this person is not a designer, nor are they an artist. Anyway this person criticized Rhonda’s work and her business  because they noticed a spelling error on one her splash pages that had been designed for one owner of an extremely popular traffic exchange, throwing her under the bus in the process, making “fun” of her website, and just being low, callous, and downright nasty about it. What she failed to understand is that this industry is built on mistakes, learning from them, and getting better.  Most of the owners and affiliates in the industry are nice, caring, helpful and encouraging individuals that look out for each other, that prop each other up and truly want everyone to have success.  The road this person decided to take when pointing out this “mistake” was not only detrimental, to a certain degree, to Rhonda and her business, but to herself as well.  Pointing out other peoples mistakes in a negative manner is just another form of bullying, and instead of getting the result they were looking for, specifically they wanted to take business from Rhonda, she instead disturbed a hornets nest, and made herself look shallow and petty. 

Word of advice…

Focus more on what YOU are doing, not so much what others are doing or not doing, and you will go a long way in earning respect, admiration, and customers.  You are what you make of it in this business, and your behavior, your work ethic, and your product will benefit if that is your focus and not what someone that has been doing it longer, better, and is successful.  What you do has no bearing on what I do, unless it inspires me to do better, unless it inspires me to achieve my goals, and unless it wakes me up and gets me off my ass to try harder.  I would normally not give you a second look, cause to this point NOTHING you have done has done anything to inspire me, but to come out and throw a baseless and hurtful attack at a close personal friend of mine, one I have known for over 13 years and know better than I know my own family, well that’s gonna get my attention.  Your actions have done nothing but backfired, cause I know for a fact, Rhonda has more class, more poise, and especially more TALENT than you do, and this will only grow her business and detract from yours. 

Get in the game or ride the bench….its up to you

The Entitlement of Sports Figures

Recent developments in the world of sports has caused me to reflect on the past, present, and future of sports in this country.  We all have our sports heroes, whether it was someone you idolized growing up as a kid or someone that you idolize now, they are there, larger than life, supernatural in your eyes, can do no wrong, are the cornerstone of your favorite team, the quarterback, the basketball star, baseball star, whatever they may do, they are the best at their specific sport and they are the reason you watch sports. 

However, with recent events over the course of the last few months we have to look at these idols for what they are.  Human beings with flaws, with questionable judgment, and with entitlement issues.  Major League Baseball has handed down 13 suspensions to players that were found to be linked to a Florida Anti-aging clinic that is suspected of distributing steroids to these players, including Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees.  the suspensions range from 50 games to, in Rodriguez’ case, over 200 games.  A-Rod is appealing his suspension cause, in my mind, he is in denial and feels that because he is who he is and makes the money he does, that he is above the laws of MLB and is not subject to their rules regarding PED’s. 

Then we have Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback who has also bee in the spotlight lately.  The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, it appears, has allowed his fame to go to his head, getting himself caught up in scandal after scandal regarding his behavior off the field.  He has been in a few altercations off the field, usually involving alcohol, that has called into question not only his level of maturity, but his sanity.  Now there are allegations that he has received money from autographs that he has signed at memorabilia shows in the offseason, calling into question his eligibility for continuing his career at A&M.  As a collegiate football player he is not eligible to receive money for anything related to his playing for A&M, including salary, perks, or money in return for services or appearances, including autographs.  He has shown the attitude that he is beyond reproach and that he can do pretty much whatever he wants to, since he has that little trophy on his mantle that was presented to him by the Downtown Athletic Club. 

There is an old saying that says, with great power comes great responsibility, and that may be a corny line from a not-so-great movie, but it is in fact true for these individuals whether they believe it or want to follow it or not.  They have been provided or have developed an extraordinary talent in their respective sport, and to abuse that talent or view it as a birthright is not only irresponsible, but it is a detriment to the game they represent.  Maybe we should all take a fresh look at how we view these players and put this into perspective.  Heroes are not sports figures, they haven’t completed heroic things, they haven’t saved a life, put themselves in harms way, cured a disease or done anything that is even close to being considered for “hero status”.  You want to be my hero?  Pull a family out of burning building, discover a cure for cancer, save your buddies lives on the battlefield, or for better reference, go into a 110 story tower to put out a fire knowing damn well that you will probably not come out of that thing alive. 

Look, I love sports, I will continue to watch the games I love, and I will continue on rooting for the players on my favorite team to do well, to score touchdowns, make goals, and to score runs, but I will not place them up on a pedestal to give them “hero” stats in my life, they are not an inspiration to me, and they will not be beyond reproach with how they approach the game or how they act off the field.  they are human beings, making millions of dollars to play a game, and until they perform CPR on a dying fan, or do an act of courage that warrants my respect, they will continue to be overpaid athletes that I enjoy watching for entertainment purposes.  Sports is my release from the real world for a few hours each week, and that is all.  So for all you want to be heroes out there, show me something, show me how humble you are, and show me that you have respect for not only the game you play and its history, but for yourself as well.