Life is full of unpredictability. We can often live under the illusion that we know what’s coming, that we are in control, but really… life throws you a curveball more often than not.

And that includes the NFL. 😉

As you may know, if you’ve frequented this blog, the Campbell family enjoy a weekly seasonal tradition of tracking whom we think will win each of the NFL games every fall. It’s a fun thing to do together that we all enjoy, but the best part for me is watching the youngest choose the team they think will win. They are usually pretty sure they know, with a good measure of certainty!

And so am I… but this week, not so much!!

All year I’ve been doing pretty well. I had begun to think, “Hmm… I have this thing all figured out!” Going into this weekend, through nine weeks, 130 games, I had gotten ninety of them correct. 90-40. That was several (or many) games better than many so-called “experts”. Nice!

But then what happened? Who knew Seattle could actually beat Baltimore? And, who in the world could have predicted the John Skelton-led, 2-6 Arizona Cardinals could fly all the way across the country to Philadelphia and beat a much more talented Eagles team???

Not me.

So, I have fallen from my perch atop our family league’s standings (at least, I think I was previously atop it…) and I’ve also slipped into second place in another league of NFL pick making.

What is this world coming to??? 🙂

For now, I think it’s a good reminder that you never really know what’s coming. No, life is not one big NFL game. (Or even a collegiate level or otherwise lesser game.) However, it does seem to throw just as many curve balls as some crazy NFL weeks, like this one!

Speaking of unpredictable and the world of NFL football… how about those Buffalo Bills?!

Good thing we at least know there is Onewe can always count on in this crazy unpredictable world. 🙂

So Cliché

It’s football season, and this year’s campaign is no different than any other. Each team is going to be taking it one game at a time, giving 110%, and leaving it all on the field, hoping to come away with a victory.

When the game begins, when the chips are down, if you’ve put in your time in the film room, studied your opponents tendencies so you know what they’re going to throw at you, and you’ve got your game face on, even though the outcome is always up in the air, chances are you’ll have the upper hand. Plus, if you’re playing in your own back yard, you’ll have the aid of the 12th man!

Once the game is underway, you’ll have to keep your head in the game. Stick to your gameplan. Your best defense is a good offense. Let your backs pound the rock, or your QB air it out, and get a jump on your opponent by getting on the board early. Then get ready for the ensuing kickoff.

On the other side of the ball, you’ll need to just pin your ears back, step up, and play a full sixty minutes. Make sure you cash in on your takeaways, and whenever possible flip the field on special teams. You have to win in all three phases of the game.

At the end of the day, when the final whistle blows, the better team always wins the game.

And that’s why we love this game.

Note: I didn’t “scratch the surface” of the breadth of terms employed by football players, coaches, and especially media personnel “week in and week out” in the world of NFL football. So, if you have some to add, “throw your hat in the ring” in the comments below. (What does that really mean, anyway?)

Recommended: Netflix

Sign up for Netflix today!OK, unless you really don’t pay attention to … well, anything… then you’ve likely heard of Netflix. 🙂 And, since you’re reading this online, it’s likely that you already know that if you are a Netflix subscriber you can stream much of their catalog of movies and TV shows via your computer (unlimited streaming for as little as $7.99/month now). (Do you also know that there are many other devices that you can use to do this, like the Wii, XBox, AppleTV, many TVs, Tivo, goodness.. there are literally dozens!)

(It also works great on an iPhone/iPad!)

Well GregsHead.net is a Netflix user, fan, and also affiliate. (That means, they will give us a “commission” for any referrals.) And today they sent out another email with a special link in it for that purpose. (This link … right … here.) asking affiliates to spread the word again, which I am dutifully responding to.

Really, it’s not a very large commission … that’s just a bonus. The reason I’m taking the time to post it here is that is is an excellent service. If you like TV, movies, documentaries, etc… for only $7.99/mo they have thousands and thousands available for streaming. For a few dollars more you have access to their DVDs as well, mailed to your house. We’ve used it for years, and they just keep getting better. (As a tech enthusiast, I appreciate the hard work they’ve put into getting their service to work so well on so many platforms. Netflix on the Wii is super easy to use. It’s fantastic.)

We also love the queue. Every week (on Tuesdays) there’s a list of all the new content available for streaming. I quickly peruse that and add items of interest to our queue. Then later, from any device we choose, we can pull up that queue and start watching. (And, it remembers where you left off, if you don’t have time to watch the full movie or episode. That is often very helpful, too!)

So, if you’ve not tried it yet, they offer a one-month free trial. Give it a try today. We highly recommend.

Note: I was not paid to write this… but I will be “paid” if you click the links and sign up today. 🙂

Family Football Fun: Wrapping Up the 2010 Season

Well, it’s official. If you’re a fan of the NFL, you know that when the playoffs start next week, they will include for the first time ever a team with a losing record. That’s right. A losing record. Something about that fascinated me and I found myself watching nearly all of the game that just finished. (That’s rare… I usually only watch the Bills games and then hardly any of the rest of the games on NFL weekends.)

If you are not a fan of the NFL, you may have figured out that a team with a losing record is not a very good team. You’re right. Both teams tonight, while they had their moments, also showed repeatedly why they finished the year 7-9.

The football season has ended (in a way) and that means that our Campbell Family Football Fun has ended as well. I think I have posted here before that we make picks as a family each week, and tally all the results. Every game, every week. It’s a blast! I believe this was at least the third season we’ve done it, perhaps the fourth.

This year was the second for “The Girls” (Kirsten and Julia, our 6 and 4-year-old girls as a team) to make their picks. Right out of the gate they had a sizable lead, and they kept it most of the year! It was so fun to see them picking crazy picks… and getting them right!!! But besides pure innocent luck, even better were all the times that these two tiny girls pondered their selections, weighing the pros and cons for each team including who’s playing and who’s not, where the game is being held, current trends for both teams… they were great!

Sadly, though they were tied with Dad going into the final week, Dad pulled off an incredible 12-4 record for the week, while the girls—perhaps paying homage to the first losing-record team to make the post season—finished 7-9.

However, don’t feel too sad for them. Mom and Ian finished tied for at a distant third. They still had quite a great year!

And, Kirsten was the champion of our family fantasy football league, too, beating out Uncle Scott by .54 points in the league’s championship game! (Way to go Dark Pink Pony Pigs! Yes… Kirstie’s very creative team name…) 🙂

We love football Sundays, but honestly, I think we love all the family fun even more than the NFL or the games themselves!

Now we can’t wait till next year!

NHL GameCenter - Free Preview Oct 11

NHL GameCenter – Free!

NHL GameCenter - Free Preview Oct 11

The NHL is once again offering a one-day only free preview of their NHL GameCenter package. For $19.95/mo or $159 for the whole season you can watch every NHL game, several at once, and they even have classic games and an archive of past games that you can peruse. It’s a pretty great deal if you’re a huge NHL fan, or if you are not in your favorite team’s market.

And for today… it’s completely free!

So head on over and sign up and watch some hockey today! There are games all day, since it’s Colombus Day. Early games have the Rangers and Islanders playing at 1pm ET, then Ducks/Blues at 2pm ET, Penguins/Devils at 4pm ET. At 7pm ET there are three more games (including my Buffalo Sabres!): Blackhawks/Sabres, Avalanche/Flyers, and Sens/Caps. Then, finish of the hockey day with the Panthers visiting the Canucks at 10pm ET. Nice!

Hoping I get to see some of those games today… And I hope you do too!

Good (Competitive) Family Fun!

NFL LogoFor the last two, or maybe three years we Campbells have been having some more interactive fun with the weekly NFL games. Not only do we enjoy watching as much of them as we can on weekends, we also try to predict the outcome of each, and we have quite the “set up” to track our results!

Before the season begins we print out all the NFL logos on card stock (6 total sets) and then we set to work cutting each one out. That’s a pretty fun part, too, as the kids enjoy cutting out the shapes of the logos. (And Alex enjoys making the shapes even more interesting!) Then we put them all in little ziploc baggies that bear our names and we’re ready to go.

Then each week, I print out the schedule of games and one of us sets up the bulletin board with the week’s games. Everybody then pins up the logo of the team they expect to win and we have a nice little pick’s board hanging on our dining room wall. On Sundays we put up big colorful thumbtacks next to the choices that were correct.

There are five columns of predictions next to the game list. Dad, Ian, Alex (the original three participants), Mom & “The Girls” (our six- and four-year-old girls who work as a team). So far Emma and Cameron are not participating. But I’m sure they will!

Now, the best part this year is the current standings. The first year, I finished as the winner, but only by a narrow margin over our then 6-year-old son. Last year I believe Ian won, by a good amount of games (Dad finishing second) and this year? I know it’s only two weeks, but… the girls are SIX games ahead of the rest of us!!!

The Girls: 23-9
Dad: 18-14
Mom: 17-15
Alex: 16-16
Ian: 14-18

Too funny! I mean… those little girls probably have the best record of any prognosticators anywhere. And the best part is, they’re not just completely guessing! They actually know the teams, which ones tend to win more or less, and that home teams generally have the advantage over road teams. Incredible!

Family Fantasy SportsSo, along with our own family fantasy football league (hosted at FamilyFantasySports.com we have quite a bit of fun here in the Campbell household during football season!

(Fun except when Ian steals all of the free agent running backs that I am trying to pick up!!!)


2010 NFL Season Begins!

The NFL Football season “officially” begins tonight (8/8 @ 8 ET) with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, OH. The Cincinnati Bengals play the Dallas Cowboys, and even though it’s pre-season football, we can’t wait to watch it here in the Campbell household! It will be fun to see a former Bill (T.O.) in his new uniform, and well, just fun to see NFL football again!

Hulu.com is getting into the celebration mode as well, with a series of short videos highlighting the players being inducted into the hall of fame this weekend, including Jerry Rice. (First video below…)

So… tune into NBC at 8pm ET tonight for some football, and warm up with the videos below. Enjoy!

Shaq Vs. – Season 2

I’ve mentioned this show here before, but we just watched the first episode of season two and loved it again. 🙂 It’s a light-hearted, fun show… Shaq takes on leaders in various sports. Last season it was Ben Roethlisberger in football, Albert Pujols in baseball, Michael Phelps in swimming, among others. This season starts with a race against Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Imagine the size of the car to accommodate Shaq? Not to mention his racing suit!)

He also takes on the Spelling Bee champ. Ha! And future season two episodes include competition against another boxer, attempting to best Penn and Teller at their own magic tricks, trying to beat a world-class sprinter in the 200m dash, and cooking a better burger than Rachel Ray. It’s a fun half-hour. Enjoy.

Math Whiz

I have mentioned here many times before that my Dad (probably much like your Dad?) is a great proponent of the email forward. 🙂 Now, honestly, I don’t like email forwards, I don’t trust them, and usually I just delete them. But I’ll at least scan> most of the ones that come in from my Dad.

Today’s was a fun little math puzzle that claims that anyone who can come up with the answer has an IQ of at least 120. (According to some sources, that means you are either “Gifted” or “Highly Intelligent”.) Not sure how accurate that really is, but it was a fun puzzle to solve. Took me about five minutes… (what does that say about me?) 🙂

(Note: after solving the puzzle that supposedly showed that my IQ was over 120, I decided to take an online IQ test here… great way to “wake up” my brain this morning!)

Leave your answer as a comment and I’ll post the answer later this week (also as a comment). (If you’re reading this well after the post date… DON’T READ THE COMMENTS before you figure it out. (What fun would that be??)

Alright, get those math wheels a crankin’

Here is a neat math problem. The people who forwarded it to me claim that only people with an IQ 120 and over are able to figure this out.

2 + 3 = 10
7 + 2 = 63
6 + 5 = 66
8 + 4 = 96

9 + 7 = ???

Diff’rent Strokes: Two Mr. Ts

You have probably heard by now that actor Gary Coleman died yesterday from injuries he sustained to his head from a fall. We had recently been reacquainted with Coleman as one of the ball players in the movie Church Ball (now one of our son Ian’s favorite movies!) but of course Coleman is most known for his role as Arnold Jackson in the 80s TV show Diff’rent Strokes.

How much better could it be then, than this clip featuring Gary Coleman as Arnold and Mr. T as… well, Mr. T! Hulu has a bunch of clips like this from Diff’rent Strokes. Enjoy.