You Don’t Need to be in New Jersey for a New Jersey

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DICK'S Sporting Goods for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve been called a “fair weather fan” in the past, but only because I’m from Seattle and I consider rain to be more than fair. While I may not follow any team in particular throughout any given season, I do not feel terribly out of place when I choose to support any given regional team.

If that sounds terribly general, it’s because I’ve lived in a variety of places throughout my life. In fact, I grew up in a state that did not have a team in the NFL – so, that made it somewhat easier for me to adapt when the Seahawks became “my team.” I was happy that they made it all the way to the Super Bowl a couple of times in recent years, if only because such positive attention serves as a rather palpable morale booster.

I prefer seeing any kind of sporting event in-person, though that’s not always possible (or practical). For some reason, the same energy never translates on TV – no matter how large the screen happens to be. Of course, you’d expect to see fans decked out in gear in any stadium on game day, but there’s plenty of logo play well off the field as well.

Not only does DICK’S Sporting Goods sell the latest NFL jerseys, but they have a “Jersey Report” which tallies the sales in aggregate. You can see which player (and team, vicariously) is number one on any given week – and, of course, encourage everybody you know to help boost your favorite player at any time. At the moment, there is only one Seattle Seahawks player’s jersey that has cracked the top ten – but I won’t rest until we’ve dominated the entire list.

Not to deflate you, but the Seahawks are unequivocally the best. Quivocal all you want – what I have written is true. Everybody I talk to around here happens to agree with me as well, so the scientific data is there to back up my claim.

In all seriousness, DICK’s has perfectly combined the activity of showing your support for any given NFL player or team with the prospect of seeing how your choice stacks up against others who find themselves in your situation. You can sort by several data points: overall, offense, defense, rookie, and team rankings (by week, 30 days, or season starting on draft day).

I may never play for the NFL, but I can try to help “my” Seattle Seahawks move from fourth place (as currently seen on the “Jersey Report”) to where they should always be: number one. I found it quite interesting that they weren’t already! 

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Tech Gift Ideas for Dads & Grads

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cobra. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’m not the best driver in the world, but I’m also not the worst. I’m okay with calling myself an average driver with average needs.

I stick to the posted speed limit, I yield to pedestrians, and I stay within the lines (not just in driving, but in coloring books as well).

There are certain features I wish my car carried with it – not the least of which is a warning light that would illuminate whenever I was about to obey the law and incite a fellow driver’s road rage. They’re probably working on that in a lab indirectly somewhere right now (along with edible turn signals since drivers don’t seem to use them for anything else).

Heading out with the family? Heading back to school? Dads (and grads) could use better tools to further enhance our driving experiences, but we’re not necessarily the kind who will pull over and ask for directions. Sometimes, you have to gift us with technology before we will accept it into our lives.

I was sent an Escort Max 360 radar detector, and my immediate thought was: “I’ve never felt like I needed one before, so how will this tool actually help me as a driving dad?” Then I saw the “Posted Speed Limit Data” feature and got very excited. Yes, this device knows the posted speed limit in your location and will warn you (unlike your car) when you’re going over.

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I’ve wanted something like that for the longest time, and I can’t tell you (as someone who respects the law) how genuinely excited I was to see this. Yes, it’s a system with dual front & rear detection, arrow indicators to point out the source of a radar, GPS-powered for rejecting false alerts, and lightning-fast data detection – but all of that intelligence means nothing if you’re playing fast and loose with the rules.

Yes, I’m a stickler – but that’s what keeps me (and others) safe on the road.

I also like planning ahead, so my trunk has a tiny kit with all sorts of emergency accessories in it. As soon as I saw the Cobra JumPack – Tiny but Mighty, I knew it would be a permanent part of my prevention pack. With it, you can not just rapid-charge your favorite mobile devices, but actually jump start your car multiple times (on a single JumPack charge). And it has a little LED flashlight built-in!

Okay, the smallest things often get me the most excited. Does your portable battery pack have an LED flashlight built-in? Didn’t think so. Oh, and it also comes with jumper cables – without any worry about needing another vehicle to help you start moving again.

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You don’t need to wait for a specific occasion to gift a dad or grad the right tech tools – they may not know that these experiences exist, so why wait another day to enable them to become a better-prepared driver?

I wouldn’t recommend waiting too much longer – because they probably needed these tech tools last week at some point.

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