Men Decoded: Football Basics

Men Decoded: Basics of Football

In keeping with an athletic theme and in honor of the start of the NFL season, here’s the next chapter in my Men Decoded Series: Football Basics.

Keep in mind, football is a complex game so there’s SO much more than this. I just wanted to start you off with some basics. More to come in future weeks!

I am by no means a football expert so feel free to let me know if I’m completely wrong about something. I just love the game and I want everyone else to get the chance to too!

Ladies joining the football world for the first time, turn on one of the games tonight and see if I made ANY sense to you! I hope I did!

If you’re reading this entry, feel free to check out my Let’s Get Physical link up and comment on some of the ladies who linked up!! I mean we’re all on a fitness journey and a little encouragement is ALWAYS nice!



Men Decoded: Fantasy Football

Happy Monday ya’ll!

I’m one of those girls who just LOVE football. And I’ll be honest, it hasn’t always been like that. Besides the fact I found myself in love with a football player (Starting O-line all throughout high school!), I became a diehard football fan by playing fantasy football. If your man friend loves football or you’re competitive by nature and just want to learn to play, I’ve decided to break it down today:

Fantasy Football is a game where you create your own team from players throughout the NFL.  You get to create a “fantasy” team by picking the best players from all the football teams for your own team.

There are tons of free fantasy leagues everywhere and I personally have experience with Yahoo Fantasy Football. It’s super simple to sign up and all you need is a gmail or yahoo account.

If you get an invite to a league, usually you just create a team and get ready for the draft. If you want to  be a commissioner (to run the league), there’s a little bit more work so I’d recommend not commissioning until you’ve participated in one league.

The draft is when you pick the players. The commissioner sets a day and time and one by one, all the teams (each person in the fantasy league) will pick football players in a predetermined order. Most drafts happen online where all you need to is is log into your league and do the draft there. In an online draft, there’s usually a draft center that opens a half hour to an hour before and you can set up a “queue” of the players you want. If possible, I recommend participating in the online live draft! It’s fun to watch the players disappear off the list and feel like you’re building a team (even if you’re just pulling the players from the ranking list. More on that below.)

Everyone has their own method of picking the best team. But if you’re thinking “I have no idea who anyone is in football!” don’t fear! There’s usually a list of draft pre-rankings that tell you in what order ALL the players are usually drafted (meaning they’re ranked based on how many points they’ll give you!). Overall, if you aren’t able to make the draft or you just want to see how it works for the first time, Autodraft is a safe bet. What autodraft will do is pick your players based on their ranking and based on your position in the draft. Usually that means you’ll end up with at least 3-4 awesome players without even having to do anything! The computer does all the hard work.

But if you do want to pick your own players, I recommend getting a few good Runningbacks first (RB) and a good Quarterback (QB). Those two positions will usually give you the most points. Defense and Kickers usually don’t give you much.

The nice thing is that after the draft, the website does most of the work for you. Your players will gain you points just based on doing what they do for a living! The main idea is that you rotate out players who aren’t going to make you points. With the starters in your line-up (your line-up is all the players on your team), you’ll also get a bench of players (players on your team but don’t score you points because you didn’t put them in the game). Rotate your bench players into your starting line up if one of your starters has a bye week (if the player’s team isn’t playing that week), if a player get injured or if they’re not getting you any points! Usually this just involves dragging and dropping players in your line-up.

The only caveat is that you can’t move players in the line-up once their team’s game has started. So I recommend you check your line-up every Wednesday (later in the season, Thursday games mark the beginning of games for the week). Check bye weeks, injuries, things like that.

The higher the points, the better you’re doing. Download the app on your phone and follow along with all the games weekly. Learn to cheer on your quarterback and soon you’ll find yourself invested in the games too! The nice thing about fantasy football is that you’ll end up cheering for a lot of players on different teams. You’ll know their names!

There’s probably much more to say about Fantasy Football but I didn’t want to overwhelm those of you who are new to fantasy. Are you still with me? I promise it’s so much easier than it seems! And it’s perfect for you other competitive spirits out there 😉

If you’re still lost on what in the world Football is, I’m happy to report that I’ll be starting a brief weekly feature called Men Decoded: Football, where I’m planning on sharing some of my football knowledge! I’ll be covering the basics of Football, how to watch a game and even how to recognize the penalties. I know there are plenty of women in the world who love football (me included) so don’t take offense if you know all of this, I just want other women to know football isn’t just for men! 🙂 (Also if there are ANY men reading my blog, feel free to chime in anytime!)

As if you need more reason to get excited for this season, here’s my Football eye candy for the week:

So you can still sign up for Fantasy Football until the regular season starts which is Sept 5, 2012 for the 2012-2013 season. I thought I’d offer to run a fantasy football league if any of you are interested in giving it a try! If we have at least 8 teams (8 people, 1 being me), we can give it our own go! I’m already in 2 leagues so I won’t be offended if there’s no one interested this year, I promise.  🙂 Just leave your e-mail in a comment if you’re interested.

How was your weekend?

Friday Letters: Olympics, PLL and Football

Happy Friday everyone!

Every week I cling to the fact that there IS a Friday and hallelujah for that! I took a mini bloggy break yesterday (because who really reads my blog daily 😉 ) and I have to say, it was lovely. I don’t want to blog just to fill up space so I’m going to shy away from writing entries that I’m not invested in. So that means hopefully more high quality entries at the risk of less entries overall. What do you think? Do you expect bloggers to blog daily?

On to Friday Letters!

Dear Olympics, YOU ROCK. I cannot believe how much I enjoy watching everything, even if I’m hours behind. Women’s gymnastics is my FAVE. Makes me want to attempt a cartwheel and fail miserably.

Dear Shay Mitchell, why are you so unbelievably beautiful?! I swear I watch Pretty Little Liars just to stare at you and Lucy Hale. That and because I cannot leave a mystery unsolved (I hate love myself a little for starting this series).

Dear luggage from Utah, unpack yourself, will ya? I’m so overwhelmed with the idea of unpacking you.

Dear Rob, one of the millions of reasons I love you is that you buy all the practical things I’d never own without you. This Mini DisplayPort (girls say whaaaat?) has made my blogging/netflix-watching a million times better. It turned my desktop monitor into a 2nd screen for my MacBook Pro = life changing.

Dear Blog friends, thank you for adding to my life in a wonderful way. Every comment, e-mail and tweet means so much to me and I might be driving you crazy with all the thank yous but I mean every single one!

Dear French Fries, we’re through. Despite my extreme love of everything you are, I’m quitting you for August. I know its only a small token of friendship I can offer to my health but it must be done. And for the record, it’s not me, it’s you… you and your golden goodness.

Dear Football season, let’s go! 33 days and counting… Ordering my Peyton Manning jersey ASAP. This is my dream season and I can’t wait! Any other football lovin girls out there??

Link up with Friday letters here!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Put on a Chef’s Hat and Call Me a Baker!

* This blog post was from long ago, before Simply Evani was born. But since it was my first experience with cake pops, it’s definitely a keeper!

Sorry it’s been so long since an update, things have been minor league crazy around my parts! On the bright side, my mind has been buzzing with blog topics that I will hopefully delight my readers with, once I have the time.

So yesterday was Rob’s Birthday and officially the 6th one we’ve celebrated together! Rob is really shy about his birthday, he was the kid who’s birthday wish was not to go to school for the day and for the past few years, he’s changed his facebook profile so that it didn’t accurately portray his birthday. In comparison, I’m CRAZY about birthdays. I love to celebrate them, make a big deal out of them and purposely cause public spectacles that illicit strangers saying Happy Birthday (my favorite way of doing that you ask? 2 years ago on Auva’s birthday I gave her a bouquet of balloons to walk around campus with. Winds were STRONG that day). Anyways, I’ve learned to tone Rob’s birthday down a bit since he genuinely doesn’t like the attention but since it was his first birthday at this office, I knew I had to do something.

In comes my recent obsession, CAKE POPS. Basically Cake on a Stick made famous by Bakearella. Now everyone knows this isn’t a dessert making blog, and I won’t try to pretend all went as planned but I figured my response from these recent cake pops was too good not to share. Anyways, I saw these ADORABLE football shaped cake pops on a blog and I knew this was it. I’ve been planning to try out a recipe for cake pops for weeks now, but have failed to do so.

Then comes May 9 and my first time making cake pops, I’m ambitiously making 56 of them for Rob’s whole office. Of course since baking 56 cake pops seemed too easy with boxed cake mix and store bought icing, I decided to make my own icing. Let me tell you right now, the icing alone took 3 hours. So 6 hours of baking later, I’ve produced something that resembles cake pops. And because I don’t like to half ass anything, I spend an inhumane amount of money in a craft store to make a decorative plate for the cake pops (with the help of my crafty little sister). Here’s the final product:

My final product 🙂 Broncos colors of course 🙂

After Rob sheepishly put the cake pops in the break room while we went to lunch, we come back and his office happily devoured at least half the cake pops while we were gone. His coworkers were raving about the taste (which is news to me since I didn’t even taste one until I dropped it off) and I was happy with the product. It was soft and moist cake on the inside and chocolaty goodness on the outside 🙂 I even got a job offer to work in one of his coworker’s wives’ bakery! (which I will unfortunately have to turn down since I’m still EXHAUSTED from doing these a day later)

I used Devil’s Food Cake and Yellow Cake (for 56 cake pops, I needed 2 cakes). To make the actual cake pops, you cook the cakes as usual, then once they are cool you crumble them into little pieces. You mix in the frosting with the cake crumbles (I did 1 box cake to 2 cups frosting) and you form it into shapes (I handmade footballs). You allow the cake to harden in the fridge, put them on a stick and dip them into chocolate or other toppings. They’re DELICIOUS, I promise.

Here’s the frosting recipe:

BEST EVER CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Makes around 2.5 cups frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup sifted unsweetened baking cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s®
1/4 cup half-n-half

Directions: In a small mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Slowly beat in powdered sugar and cocoa powder, alternating with half-n-half. Add an additional tablespoon of half-n-half if necessary for frosting to obtain consistency to frost cake. Makes approx. 2 cups. Notes: Make sure the butter is at room temperature. For the smoothest frosting, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder before measuring. This is a wonderful frosting for cakes too. Double the recipe and add enough cream for appropriate consistency for cakes.- via this forum

Rob liked them too, I think. And we only sang Happy Birthday to him once, at his house. 🙂 As he would’ve liked. Happy Birthday boo!

After this experience, I not only have more faith in my baking abilities but I will probably be making cake pops for all my children’s birthdays! Hopefully they’ll be easier on the eyes as I get better! 🙂