Tuesday, November 29, 2016

In My Heart, My Team Is Ranked Much Higher

This post brought to you by DICK'S Sporting Goods . The content and opinions expressed below are that of DadNCharge.

Every season starts the same. I always have high hopes. The new year is a chance to start over fresh with potential adds and free agent signings. Excitement mounts around training camp and every Bears fan starts to believe that this is the year we will finally turn it around. There's one thing you have to realize about Chicago sports as indicated by Cubs' fans, we are loyal to the end.

We've been through 24 different starting quarterbacks since the Punky QB was traded in 1989 and none of them have worked out.  Except for the 2006 season that our quarterback backed by the league's best defense and the best punt returner in the game led us to a showdown with the Indianapolis Colts led by a quarterback in his prime. On the opening kickoff, our kickoff returner raced up the field breaking tackles, carrying the ball 92 yards for a touchdown and I started to believe that it was finally going to happen. Of course in sports, dreams are often crushed unceremoniously and hopes dashed in the blink of an eye.

The Bears scored once more in that game and led 14-6 in the first quarter. The rest of the game devolved into a clinic of what not to do in the biggest game of your life. Five turnovers turned into points that the offense couldn't recover from and they only managed a field goal the rest of the game while Indy's defense took over. It's a familiar feeling these days as the Bears sit at the bottom of the NFC North and they're looking at another lost season. Call me a die-hard fan though, I will still be a Bears fan through it all and no matter where my players fall in the rankings, I'll still support them.

Sadly, on the DICK'S Sporting Goods Jersey Report, my team is second to last on the rankings and my favorite players are buried in the rankings. Even Pat McAfee, the punter for the Indianapolis Colts ranks higher than our two best players, Alshon Jeffrey and Jay Cutler!

Performance gains position in the DICK'S Jersey Report rankings so I have to live vicariously through other teams like the Dallas Cowboys who have found a legit starter in their rookie backup to Tony Romo with Dak Prescott and pine for the days when a Bear's quarterback is topping the list like Carson Wentz is for Philadelphia. I can only hope at this point in the season that my team will one day be trending in the top ten someday.

I long for the day when I can buy the jersey of a Bear's quarterback who isn't traded the next season and consistently performs like Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Cam Newton who all appear in the top ten jockeying for position in the current rankings.

Want to know where your team stands? Check out DICK'S Jersey Report and see which players are trending. Want to bump your favorite player or team to the top? Check out all the merchandise at DICK'S Sporting Goods and purchase a jersey to move them up in the rankings. Follow DICK'S Sporting Goods on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the standings and follow your favorite players to the top.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Family Ties

Let's be honest, there's no one like mom. In the case of many shows I would watch as a kid there have been families ruled by the mom that have left indelible marks on me. I grew up with TV moms like Mrs. Partridge, Mrs. Brady, and Morticia Addams. I also spent lots of time wishing Ginger and MaryAnn were looking out for me as long as Mrs. Howell kept her distance. And moms like Mrs. Cunningham and Elyse Keaton kept me honest. With the most recent passing of Florence Henderson and Netflix's release of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life it made me wonder just how important it is to bond with our real moms? Forget Netflix and Chill. I think it's time we focused on Netflix and Moms.

Do you watch TV with your mom? If so, what shows do we bond with our moms over and why is it important? 62% of mothers and daughters say sharing TV shows helps build a stronger relationship. In a survey done by Netflix they found that out of 10,143 women ages 16-65 that more than half of mother-daughter duos surveyed (59%) report that post-show discussions are the best part of sharing a show together.

In fact, watching together is so important that despite the distance, almost half of moms and daughters (41%) think watching together brings them closer. Even though one third of moms and daughters surveyed live thirty or more minutes apart, over half have gone out of their way to physically watch together on many occasions. It seems to me, that mothers and daughters bonding over shows goes back as far as I can remember.

My grandmother loved her soaps. Every year she would come for Christmas and my dad would have us haul out the TV to set up across from her favorite recliner so she could watch her shows. I could never understand as a boy why this was so important to her but now as an adult, I get how one can get sucked into the lives of characters you spent so much time with.

Here's a shocker for you, I've never seen one episode of Gilmore Girls. I know. How am I able to live with myself? I spent most of 2005-2007 caring for our first son and watching Dora the Explorer was higher on our priorities. But, if you're a fan of the original series then Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will return you to Stars Hollow where you will pick up ten years after the show's end to catch up with Lorelai and Rory and see them through four seasons of fall, winter, spring, and summer. In the meantime, if you need any advice, check out the Gilmore Guides for when your mom can't be there.

A show that I have watched with my wife that is the ultimate mother's relationship to her family is the series called The Crown, chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth from the 1940s to modern times. If your mom was a big fan of the royal family, and who isn't, this is the show for you. Getting a glimpse of the her family and the intricacies of relationships between royals is a must watch show for the queen in your life.

If your mom is anything like mine, you know she will do anything for you. That includes buying massive amounts of colored Christmas lights and hanging them up around the house so that you can just communicate with her from another dimension. Yes, Will Byer's mom is pretty bad-ass and she never gives up even when a freaky monster erupts from her wall. If you've been living under a rock, run, don't walk to see Stranger Things. Winona Ryder will not disappoint you.

Not everyone's mom is so supportive. Sometimes our relationships are complicated. Maybe she only wanted what is best for you but for you that meant striking out on your own to find your true self. IF that sounds like you, check out When Calls the Heart. Set in the Canadian West, Elizabeth Thatcher gets assigned to her first teaching job in the small rustic town of Coal Valley. Her mother disapproves of her high society daughter roughing it in such a wild place but soon she finds a love interest in the town's assigned Constable, Jack Thornton.

Give these shows a try. Call your mom over for a date night or watch it together over the phone and comment while you watch. You're mom is waiting for your call, you know that she is.

Disclaimer : This post was brought to you by DadNCharge on behalf of the Netflix #StreamTeam. All opinions are my own. 

The Fortress of Holiday Solitude

Where does Superman go to think when he's overwhelmed? The Fortress of Solitude of course! You know, that place up north in the bitter cold where no one dares to tread and Supes watches old videos left by his dad to reminisce?

I have a place like that in my house and I'm sure you do too. For me, it's my bedroom. It has a bathroom, a bed, and most of all, a big screen TV that sits eye level with me while I'm horizontal. I can pull up the covers up to my eyeballs, close the door and not be bothered by anyone.

It's the place I recovered from my vasectomy where a bag of frozen peas and and endless library on Netflix kept me company. It's the place I go to when I have a Mancold or recuperating from some injury. Or, on those rare occaisons that the kids leave me alone, I can sometimes manage an afternoon weekend nap. It's my solitary confinement when everything happening downstairs is just too much to take. But up until a week ago, it wasn't perfect.

In a 2,000 square foot house, my bedroom was a dead zone for my Wi-Fi. My router's signal just couldn't make it through the load bearing walls into the opposite corner of the house and it needed help. I would go up there like I was at a roulette wheel in Vegas hoping that my number would come up only to be repeatedly resigned to walk back downstairs and watch TV in the common area. My fortress of solitude was no more.

That is until I saw that Verizon FiOS offered a FiOS Network Extender for as little as $6 per month to rent or I could buy it outright for $99. I was on the FiOS website so fast, you might think I WAS Superman.

My FiOS Network Extender arrived a few days later. The brochure in the mail claimed that installation would take minutes to set up. They were right. All it took was connecting a coaxial cable to the wall and unit and a plug in at an outlet to fire it up. The FiOS Network Extender syncs automatically with your existing router so there's no messing with passwords. In minutes, I had full signal strength in my bedroom and the TV immediately connected to Netflix to prove it.

Now I can return to my mini-Mancave and enjoy surfing the internet, watching TV, or working on a laptop without giving up the comfort of my bed.

You've probably had a taste of what the holidays will be like with your relatives at Thanksgiving. If spotty Wi-Fi is preventing you from retreating to your fortress why suffer? Why not give the person you love or yourself one room that is totally just for you? Don't let load bearing walls and obstacles come between you and a connection to some alone time to yourself.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with Verizon FiOS in Philadelphia. All opinions expressed are my own. #FiOSPhilly

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Daddy, What Is Hate?

My five year old daughter and I  had just buckled into the car headed home after a morning playground adventure in Philadelphia when the questions started flowing.

You see, after we go somewhere I like to talk to my five year old about what we just did and ask her about her favorite parts and her least favorite parts. Call it an exit interview of sorts in that the conversations I have with my daughter help me learn more about who she is becoming and help me be a better parent for her.

I began with the highlight of the day and worked my way towards what she didn't enjoy which she gleefully screamed "NOTHING!" and pumped her arms into the air. Then there was a pause and some silence followed by a much heavier question directed back at me.

"Daddy, What is hate?"

My stomach dropped. I gripped the wheel tighter. My gut reaction since we had been at a playground was an unseen interaction maybe behind the rock wall or while she waited for a slide out of my line of sight.

We all know how little kids can be; they wear their hearts on their sleeves and they have no trouble letting everyone know exactly how they feel. Did another child say this to her?

I asked her "Why did you want to know? Did someone say it to you?" She was quiet so I assumed the worst.

I was relieved to find that it didn't come from another kid but in a show she as watching on the iPad where the character expressed her disgust while doing household chores. The offending phrase was actually "I hate doing the dishes!" but never hearing that publicly from her parents, I could see the reason why she wouldn't understand the ire behind doing a required task.

How quick was I to think the worst and to become angry and defensive. How quick it was that I had turned to hate.To hate something like doing the dishes should be replaced by "I dislike doing the dishes" Hate is a word that my daughter should not know to describe anything. Hate is too strong a word even for dishes.

This word hate had me thinking that in this increasingly violent world that children need to learn more about love than hate. In this world today, hate is a thing we a quick to act on. We assume the worst in people instead of the best.

Love takes time. Hate is too easy. We take much longer to decide that we love and if we can be loved yet turn hate on like the flick of a switch or all too often, the trigger of a gun.

Hate is fueled by misconceptions and a lack of acceptance for people who look, act, or seem different to us. Racism, bigotry, and hate run deep in our own country's government. A government that is supposed to be setting the example for freedom and equality for the people and by the people.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. It's a lie. Equality is a farce. Women don't get paid the same as men. People are profiled because of the color of their skin or where they were born. We automatically assume the worst without ever knowing what is in their heart.

Black men are gunned down daily because the automatic assumption is that they are a threat. A sudden movement can mean your life and they have to live theirs living in fear of the very people that we assume should be protecting them. I can't imagine what it must feel like, to see a patrol car behind you and wonder "Is this the day I am going to die?"

We have a presidential candidate that hates other races, women, and Muslims. He wants to keep us separated  into neat piles like a picky child's plate separated by walls of intolerance and fear.

He thinks that we shouldn't be mingling together and thinks that mixing us all together means the dilution of who we are. He's wrong. When we come together in love and respect, we create a whole new flavor and if your first instinct is to assume the worst in people, our country will never be unified.

All you need is love. Love is all you need.

When I think back to a time when I felt like there was an outpouring of love it always seems to come with a price. The attack on September 11th was meant to divide the country but made it stronger. Not because of hate or a lashing out in anger when we retaliated but because of love. People have a tendency to show their humanity when they realize that it is fragile.

There wasn't a divide in race, age, or sex. We helped everyone and anyone no matter what they looked like because they were just people. People trying to come together as a nation and survive an attack, one of the most horrific attacks on our home soil.

Yet despite our ability to come together and persevere together beyond age or race or any other characteristic that defines our outside selves, our walls eventually were put back up.Walls are not the answer. Only when walls come down will love grow in our hearts.

I don't want my children to grow up ignorant. I don't want them to hate first and ask questions later. I want them to see the good in people and accept that hate is never the answer. I don't want their first instinct to be distrust as we've come too far as a country to regress to that. Hate is too easy. Love takes time and it's time well spent.

I decidedly put my daddy bear claws away and told my daughter that using the word hate should never be uttered when it came to people. I asked her how she would feel if someone said she was a nasty girl.

"If someone said they hated me, I would be sad."

I'll be less likely to think the worst of other people and more focused on what it means to love my neighbor as I love myself instead. There is truth in the old Jedi mantra that hate is the path to the dark side. I've walked that path before and it leads nowhere.

There will be many things she will dislike in her life. There will be people that will wrong her and she will feel hurt and as much as we will want to hate them, hate serves no purpose in this life.  Love more hate less. Be compassionate. Be helpful. Lift others up when they are too far down to get back up. This is how we love and when that four letter word hate rears its ugly head, replace it with love instead.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Year With Frog and Toad Giveaway

Remember that roommate that was just the exact opposite of you and you wondered why you ever got along but you did? Somehow, opposites did attract and now, he's your best friend. If you read Frog and Toad as a child, you know what that relationship is like.

Now, you can see them in action as The Arden Theater Company is proud to present their upcoming show called A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD. The story follows the unlikely friendship between cheerful Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Their friendship blossoms and grows as they learn many life lessons along the way. Filled with musical numbers that will make you laugh and cry, A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD is a show to delight every age.

Barrymore Award-winners Jeff Coon and Ben Dibble return to their roles for the third time as the amphibious best friends. Actor Ben Dibble says, “I am thrilled to return to the swamp with my dear friend, Jeffrey. The last time we did this show our kids were all ages 3 and under. Now my kids know the stories from years of bedtime reading and listening to the songs. I think my years as a father will inform my Toad in new and wonderful ways.”

Want to go? Enter this giveaway below and you will be entered for a family four pack of tickets for one of the following preview shows in Philadelphia before it opens up to the public. If you win the giveaway, you will be notified by email and must choose the date you want to attend by November 13th. Some 10 am shows are available during the week for families who need them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 10:00 AM

Friday, November 25, 2016 12:00 PM

Saturday, November 26, 2016 12:00 PM

Saturday, November 26, 2016 7:00 PM

Sunday, November 27, 2016 12:00 PM

Sunday, November 27, 2016 4:00 PM

Saturday, December 3, 2016 12:00 PM

Sunday, December 4, 2016 12:00 PM

Sunday, December 4, 2016 4:00 PM

Must be 18 years or older to enter giveaway. Winner must provide an email address and mailing address to claim their prize. Once notified, winner will have 24 hours to claim prize before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is valid only in the United States. Sorry Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer : I am partnering with The Arden Theater Company this season as a lover of the arts and theater. I was compensated for promotion of this show. All opinions expressed are solely my own. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Last Minute Halloween Costume Recipes

Not that your kids haven't bugged you enough this month about what they are going to be for Halloween this year, things fall by the wayside when it comes to planning for costumes. My five year old daughter would change her mind daily and by the time Halloween rolled around, I was left scrambling for something that resembled a costume, making sure she wasn't going around in a bed sheet with some eye holes cut out.

The best costumes are the ones you make out of what you have. My kids used to dress up in costumes so often that we now have an entire large plastic bin full of enough props to make things up. Of all the costumes that I have had as a kid, the best ones were those that we made up out of thin air.  And, with some help with Amazon from time to time to supplement those things that complete a look, there are ways to create something meaningful out of nothing.

The trick is to go for the abstract. Think of characters that are popular in our culture right now. Trump is easy enough with a crazy wig and their Sunday best though you may want to look for Clinton signs before you trick or treat or you may end up with a rock. Any of your kids could be a cast member from show like Stranger Things, Care Bears, current movies like Minions, or movies from your childhood like Goonies.

With help from a fast internet speed, like Verizon's 100 mbps, opening multiple browser windows and conducting searches is going to be a snap. Get into the spirit by streaming your favorite show for inspiration or listen to some music. Whatever you do to get motivated, Verizon's Quantum Gateway router is going to handle it all while you Google search, visit your favorite online store, and make that two day shipping happen.

Stuck for a costume idea for your kids? Going to an adult party with no idea what to do? Here are some last minute ideas for you that are fast and simple.


Care Bears : Hoodie, sweatpants, face paint

Searches : Kids colored hoodie, sweatpants, care bears face painting, felt

Ideas : cut out belly badge out of felt and safety pin it to the front of the hoodie

Elliot and E.T. 

Searches: crate, red hoodie, E.T. Plush

Ideas: Attach a strap to the crate so that it can be fitted around your child's neck to make carrying easier

Back to the Future - Marty McFly

Searches : Puffy red vest, Jean jacket, foam headphones, aviator sunglasses kids

Ideas: Have a friend dress up like Doc Brown to go together


Eleven - Stranger Things 

Searches: Stranger Things Eleven dress, blue members only jacket, blonde wig, fake blood

Ideas: Add a little fake blood from your nostril to add to the effect. Carry around waffles

Pablo Escobar - Narcos 

Searches : Nautical sweater, fake mustaches, fake money

Bob Ross 

Searches : brown afro wig, fake goatee/beard, painter's palette

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with Verizon FiOS in Philadelphia. All opinions expressed are my own. #FiOSPhilly

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Get In the Halloween Spirit With Netflix

Monsters under the bed. Sounds at night. The wind howling outside. The unknown can be very scary for our children. We tell them that there is nothing to fear. That monsters aren't real and that they are safe. Yet, we are all fascinated by this notion that they are and embrace the possibility once a year on Halloween where we become anything our hearts desire.

I loved Halloween as a kid and still do as an adult. I'm that guy that decorates his front lawn, loads up on candy, and heads out with the kids in full costume with them going door to door. I suppose this fascination started as a kid. My older brothers are eight and ten years older than me so when they wanted to see a movie, I was often along for the ride. 

The first time I really remember being scared was at a drive in movie with my family. I saw part of Close Encounters of the Third Kind in that drive in.  I don't think that I saw the entire movie as my parents must have removed me from the station wagon at some point because I remember playing on the drive in playground the rest of the time and eating popcorn. But to this day, that organ music just stayed with me. 

It's hard as a parent to find movies that walk that line between scary but appropriate. We don't want our kids unable to sleep at night because their closet door is open a crack and they think something is coming to get them. Try these family friendly titles to get in the Halloween spirit instead, with the right amount of scary and a few titles that are just good old fashioned fun. 

For Kids 3-5

Spooky Buddies

Curious George : A Halloween Boo Fest

Casper's Scare School

For Kids 6-9

Pac's Scary Halloween

Dreamworks Spooky Stories

Scooby Doo 1 & 2

For Kids Ages 10-13

R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour

Monster Squad


Find these and other great titles on Netflix and follow this family guide to Stream & Scream for more

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

When You're Kia, You're Family

I've never thought much a Kia. When the Sephia and Sportage came out in 1994, they were a joke. It definitely showed in the J.D. Power initial quality rankings for that year. Kia was dead last in initial quality. As far as grabbing someone's attention, Kia wasn't even on the radar.  Buying an unproven car was a risk that not many people were willing to take.

But here's the thing about being on the bottom, you can only go to the top. Devoted to rejuvenating their image and climbing the scales, Kia has dedicated its efforts since 1994 to making people see that they just aren't a blip on the screen but here to stay.

I first test drove a Kia at the Philadelphia Auto Show in February of 2016 with Jeff Bogle of Out With the Kids. It was my first taste of what Kia was all about. I had reservations based on what I knew already about the car, which wasn't much. When I initially thought of Kia, I imagined a tiny car that I couldn't fit into so I was prepared to sit in the back and lament at the lack of leg room. This was not the case, and I was pleasantly surprised.

My wife and I had started to look at cars and I thought that maybe, Kia would be a good fit for our family. That is, if I could fit in the front seat. At 6'6" car buying isn't all that easy. Before I even sit down with a salesperson, I just sit in the front (with the seat as far back as it will go) and see if my kids can sit behind me.

In February of 2016, I attended Dad 2.0 Summit and had a chance to drive around Washington D.C. in my second Kia Ride and Drive experience. I started to think that while talking about my kids in this video, that this WAS my car. At the end of that month, my wife and I bought our first Kia, the Sorento, and I officially became a #KiaDad for real.

This summer, I spent three wonderful days in San Diego with Kia doing another Ride and Drive event, learning all about #TheNewKia. Do you realize that Kia went from the bottom of J.D. Powers Initial Quality to #1 ? They are one of the top ten best brands in the industry today and #1 in the entire industry for the number of owner satisfaction APEAL (Automotive Performance Execution and Layout) awards as stated by J.D. Power.

How did they do this? With a massive investment in operations her in North America. 2.5 billion has been spent to on proving ground, headquarters, design studios, and maufacturing plants, the main one operating out of West Point, Georgia. That's 15,000 jobs created here in the US for American workers. Over 40% of the vehicles sold here are made right here in the U.S.A.

Kia cars just make you feel good about driving them. They went from a joke to a head turner. They are that quiet girl that on one noticed until she showed up to the ball as Cinderella. Kia re-hauled their image with a dedication to design.

Who wants to drive a car that doesn't make them feel something? Their dedication to the design and their signature "tiger grille" grabs your attention and the details from body shape to interior features shows a real love for their craft. Here's the part that sealed it for me. At 6'6" I can actually fit!

 Kia's are just fun to drive for the whole family. My kids and I enjoyed a trip to Baltimore this summer in a Kia Sedona SXL. Our girls were enthralled with the second row moon-roof and enjoyed seeing the sky in a different light. We headed to Baltimore to explore the city in the new Sedona. My youngest daughter saw the car in the driveway and said "People are going to think we are famous!" Kia is luxury. Kia is dependable. When you're Kia, you're family.

Most of all, Kia isn't done with you yet. They are planning to lauch 20 new or redesigned vehicles in the next five years including the first of it's kind, the Niro, a HUV (Hybrid Utility Vehicle) which will change the way we look at the efficiency of cars with up to 50 mpg. In fact, innovation of their brand means innovation in car making. By investing $12 billion by 2020 by investing in development of green car and autonomous driving technologies.

But beyond that, they are a car company that cares. James Bell, Director of Corporate Communication for Kia Motors America said it best "We aren't happy until you are happy." So I spent a part of my summer taking photos of the people who interacted with a Kia and this is what I found. Kia can make you happy. They can make you happy because they care about the community. They can make you happy because their cars work for your family. They can make you happy because they care about your well being. That's what being a part of a family means. Safety and support to keep you happy, that's the Kia difference.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

From Wentz He Came

Fly Eagles Fly. It's everywhere. Fans are asking "If not now, Wentz?" It's a good thing Teddy Bridgewater went out with an injury because right now, Bradford might be the Eagles quarterback.

I'm no Eagles fan. I've been suffering in relative silence since 1985. Okay, that's not true. My hometown franchise, the Chicago Bears have hung their hats on our Superbowl team for a long time, probably too long. My only saving grace living in Philadelphia is that Eagles fans have been waiting longer.

As a transplant from another state, I never adopted another team based on where I live. There is a relative discomfort when I go into any store and am visually attacked by the sea of forest green and have to endure the Fly Eagles Fly mantra everywhere including the grocery store where I might see a life size cutout of Carson Wentz trying to sell me some Pepsi for the upcoming game.

When I moved here five years ago, I wasn't sure what to expect. Philly fans had a certain reputation about them. Still, I proudly flew my Bears flag on every Sunday despite the questions and the gentle (boy was I surprised) ribbing from neighbors.  The first time the Bears and Eagles met, I made a bet with my neighbor for $1 that we'd come out on top. I found a dollar bill under my windshield wiper the next morning.

This season though only in week three has already been deemed a lost year for the Bears. Cutler is hurt though most of Chicago is not concerned. It would be nice to have a quarterback you can trust. Jay Cutler isn't that guy. Though he hails from Santa Claus, Indiana whatever carryover magic he once had is long gone. The Bears failed to resign Matt Forte who is flourishing in New York, of course and our receiving corp while centered around Alshon Jeffrey is missing the one two punch that we had with Brandon Marshall. It's time to rebuild for us. Cutler is the oldest player on the roster at 33 and has no one on the team with him since cutting Robbie Gould, that played on the NFC North Division Champion team that went 11-5 under Lovie Smith.

As bad as the Eagles have been in past years under the help of Chip Kelly whose coaching style was attack, attack, attack, at least this year they have decided to roll the dice on Wentz who through two games, though against two weak defensive teams including my beloved Bears who looked more like the Bad News Bears, has shown poise in the pocket and is making things happen on the field.

What a difference a good quarterback can make for your team. I've been watching football this season on Verizon with my son, who is now part of a Dads and Kids Fantasy Football League that I started. It's a great way to bond together as he learns more about the game and maybe he'll understand why daddy is always yelling at the television now.

The Eagles look pretty good this season and it's not just about Wentz though Jon Gruden may want you to think otherwise. If he didn't ask Carson Wentz to the prom after Monday Night Football, I would be shocked. A team win means that all aspects of the game are managed including offense, defense, and special teams and the Eagles have done that. The Bears' new kicker missed a field goal, the Philly defense kept them out of the end-zone. Sacks and interceptions on defense lead to opportunities on offense. The Bears only scored in garbage time when none of that mattered.

This Sunday becomes the true test for Wentz. After facing the 19th ranked Browns defense and 16th ranked Bears defense, he will face the interstate Pennsylvania showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Neither the Browns or the Bears had any sort of pressure on Wentz in either game and it showed. You bet I'll be watching this Sunday on Verizon FiOS to see if the mantra Fly Eagles Fly really does stick.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with Verizon FiOS in Philadelphia. All opinions expressed are my own. #FiOSPhilly

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Name is Mod, Moto Mod

We already know what the future holds. We've drawn them out on pieces of paper and lovingly colored them paying attention to detail. When our teachers asked us to predict the future we would come up with wild ideas that seemed unreachable. Flying cars, living in space, and computers that could fit in our pockets. We've always been obsessed with gadgets that could transform our very life. The cool thing is, we live in a world where those ideas have become a reality.

As a kid I'd marvel at characters like Dick Tracy who wore a computer on his wrist. I loved to see what would come out of Batman's utility belt. He had some sort of gadget for every predicament, even a giant pool of hungry sharks!  And then there was James Bond, the ultimate gadget aficionado. It was important for a spy to have access to the latest technology. Of course, Bond had Q making all these cool things like watches that could double as dart guns or cuff links that could turn into explosives.

While I don't have much use for dart gun watches or exploding cufflinks the people at Verizon have their own personal Q in Motorola with their invention of the Moto Z Force Droid. You probably thought it wasn't possible to improve on smartphones. Each year cameras get better and batteries get bigger while phones get slimmer. But the people at Motorola have revolutionized the way you will think about phones with Moto Mods. Every person has a need for Moto Mods from the everyday civilian to the secret agent in you.

1. Moto Insta-Share Projector

Have you ever wanted to share photos, videos, or presentations with other agents but hate passing around your phone? Take the Moto Mod Style Shell off and snap on the Moto Insta-Share Projector and you can share photos you snapped while doing surveillance. Do you have someone in your family who has bad eyesight or an elderly person who has trouble seeing images off of your phone? Project your summer photos or the plans that Professor X has for his ultimate weapon on the wall and start the slideshow. Did you forget your jump drive at home and need to share your presentation with a client? Pull it up on your phone and impress everyone in that boardroom. You could even watch movies with it after a long day at work with the kids on the ceiling!

2. JBL Soundboost Speaker

Agents, need a distraction so you can find the entrance to the hidden base? Maybe you are just headed somewhere but you'd like to bring your tunes with you? Usually that would require you to bring a Bluetooth speaker and carry it separate from your phone. Snap the speaker onto your phone and cut out the middle man. There is no pairing required and no hassle. Listen to the video below to get a sample of what the speaker does for your music after attaching it as opposed to playing it through your phone. Remember, that agents need to keep their cover and everyone likes a good party.

3. TUMI Power Pack Battery

We've all been there. We are out with other secret agents and our phone battery is about to die. We can't run apps because they just drain it so we have to go to airplane mode to be safe. The evil villain is sure to get away because we won't have battery enough to record that incriminating evidence. Have no fear agent, the days of walking around with an external battery charger in our pocket or are scoping out the exterior walls for an outlet while we fret from across the room that someone is going to swipe it are over. Don't be a slave to your battery. Pop on the Power Pack wireless charging and be confident that your battery life is intact. Battery mode can be run as the default where the Moto Mod keeps your phone battery at 100% but shortens the life of the battery pack or you can run it in Efficiency Mode to keep the battery at 80% and keep the Moto Mod battery in reserve in case you need to take photos of the secret plans later.

4. Moto Mods Style Shells

Every agent knows that to keep the bad guys guessing, you have to constantly keep changing your appearance. This is easy to do with the Moto Mods Style Shells. They snap on and off just as easily as the other mods and you aren't tied down to any one style. Change your shell to match your outfit. Headed to a black tie affair and don't have anything to wear? Make a quick change with a shell with fabric, wood grain, or leather styles and keep everyone guessing.

5. Phone Features

The people at Motorola have thought of everything agent. The 2nd Generation ShatterShield glass is guaranteed not to break and the phone is water resistant. The 21 mp camera with optical image stabilization and laser autofocus will ensure that we get clear images of those dastardly villains or your friends if that's what you are into.

Security with this phone is the utmost importance. We can't let anything fall into enemy hands. That's why the Moto Z Force is enhanced with fingerprint recognition to wake and unlock your phone. Want to use your camera quickly but don't want the hassle? Use MotoActions and with the flick of your wrist or chop of your hand, turn on the camera or flashlight. No more fumbling with apps for you.

Battery life is rated up to 40 hours. Have you run down your battery with heavy use? Recharge the phone with TurboPower charging and get 15 hours in just 15 minutes! If I haven't convinced you yet then maybe you aren't cut out for this spy life. If I have, head over to your local Verizon store and pick up your own Moto Z Force Droid and transform your life.

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As a member of a great group of Verizon influencers, I occasionally receive cool products to test drive and share my honest thoughts on. I was provided with the Motoroal Moto Z Force and Moto Mods.  No additional compensation is provided, neither were any favorable comments promised. All opinions are my own.