My First Trip to Rally House  – Dayton, Ohio

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2 for $40 canvas chair

As you can probably guess, I’m a huge sports fan. There aren’t very many places to buy quality sports gear here in the Dayton area unless you are willing to pay an arm and a leg for it. Dick’s Sporting Goods is one of the most expensive sporting goods stores on the market, and Walmart doesn’t usually have a good selection – or – the quality of the merchandise is crappy. I was in a bind, and needed a gift really quickly.

My oldest son turns 11 today (tears….) so I wanted to get him a new Cincinnati Bengals hoodie since we are going to the Bengals/Browns game Thanksgiving weekend. Late November in Cincinnati means cool temps and perfect football weather. What better gift to give my son that a hoodie he can wear with pride every day!

My son and I love to watch sports together – especially the Cincinnati Bengals. We spend just about every afternoon throwing the football outside when the weather is nice.  Last year, I got to take him to a free practice the Bengals were holding at a local high school. It was a great afternoon of watching our favorite Bengals players practice. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get autographs because of the massive line waiting for the team to wrap up practice.

We’re going to our first regular season game on November 26th when the Bengals face the Browns in the Battle of Ohio. It’s going to be a great afternoon of football, fun, and fall weather!

Because we share our love of sports, I wanted to get him something he’d love. The first place I went was Target. Normally, Target has an ok selection of sports gear, but I was completely out of luck today. Although they had tons of University of Dayton gear, they had one Bengals shirt. I really found that annoying since college basketball hasn’t even started yet, and we are still at the beginning of the NFL season. So, I had a wasted trip in Target. I immediately left and went to Rally House just up the road.

I had never heard of Rally House before today, but as soon as I found their website, I found a lot of cool merchandise for local college and professional teams. The great thing about their website is that you can order online and pick up in store. I opted not to do that for my first purchase. As a sports fanatic, I just had to get in the car and make the 5 minute drive to their brick and mortar store (across from the Dayton Mall).

Rally House is a specialty sports store that offers an expansive selection of NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL & MLS apparel, t-shirts, hats, jerseys, jackets, gifts, gear & more. At Rally House you’ll find unique college & pro merchandise for every fan.

Rally House Dayton, Ohio
Photo Credit: RallyHouse.com

I love how Rally House has organized their merchandise. As soon as you walk in, you can quickly find the sport and the team you are looking for without having to walk around the whole store. The Bengals gear was in the front. Much like hardware stores, I have to really restrain myself in sports stores, or I’ll buy everything under the sun.

I found my son’s orange Bengals hoodie within a few minutes and within 5 minutes I had paid for it and was on my way home. My cool little 3 year old dude was with me to help!

If you are one to buy sports gear a lot, you’ll want to join Rally House Rewards to get access to promotions, special offers, ticket giveaways and more. I signed up before I went to the store and gave the clerk my email address. Before I even left the store, I had an email receipt waiting for me.

The one thing I was hoping for with my visit to Rally House was to find my favorite college team, the Georgia Bulldogs, but Georgia gear is very hard to find in stores here in Ohio because there’s not much of a market for the team’s gear. 99% of my gear I have to buy online or have my mom ship it to me from Georgia.

I also am very happy to have been accepted as an affiliate for Rally House today! Like I always promise, I only sign up for affiliate programs that provide a valuable product or service. In this case, you can’t go wrong with quality sports gear at affordable prices.  My first Rally House experience was awesome, and I’m sure I’ll be back for more over and over again.

Rally House has a great free shipping deal right now on orders $50 and over. It’s a great time to start gathering holiday gifts – and with free shipping – why not now?

 

 


Free Shipping

An Amazing Weekend in Lexington, Kentucky

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Clip art image by Cliparts.co

This past weekend I took my kids on a 2 hour drive south of home to Lexington, KY.  I’ve started a tradition of taking my boys to the UGA/Kentucky football game because it’s pretty much the closest location to my house where Georgia plays.  It was also my wife’s birthday weekend, so she had traveled down the day before to have a girl’s weekend.

If you are a long-time follower of my blog, you know that I’m a huge UGA football fan. I was super excited about going to Saturday’s game because I knew that it was going to be an exciting evening, and it surely did NOT disappoint!

UGA’s record this season was 4-4 coming into Saturday’s game.  A new head coach, a true freshman quarterback, and a lot of other changes to the team has made this year’s team fall a little short of previous years’ success. As with anything, with change, comes times of struggle.  UGA has struggled this year, but I truly believe this is a team that’s going to be fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoffs if not next year, within the next 2 years.

Kirby Smart is the right answer for the Georgia Bulldogs.  He’s got these guys fighting hard and working to finish every play strongly. He learned a lot from Nick Saban during his tenure at Alabama, so I know he’s had some very good experience coaching NFL-ready talent.  Plus, he’s a former UGA player!

Saturday’s game started at 7:30.  The stands were absolutely packed by kickoff. 2 years ago when we went to the game, there were a lot of empty seats.  Of course, Kentucky’s team at that point was not nearly as talented as their team is today.  We ended up beating them by 40 points. I knew that this year’s game would not be such a spread!

Georgia struck first and scored the first touchdown of the game.  But, it wasn’t long before Kentucky found their rhythm and scored too.  By halftime, it was a one point game.  At one point, UGA was down by 8 points, but eventually found the endzone for another TD, went for two, and tied the game.

By the time we got to the fourth quarter, my nerves were almost shot.  The game was still tied late in the game.  Georgia had a very solid drive well into Kentucky territory.  With 3 seconds left, UGA kicked a game-winning field goal!  Georgia fans erupted in excitement, while UK fans left in shock.  It was beautiful!

We had to walk about a mile from the stadium back to our hotel, and I knew it would be right through campus housing.  The houses were mostly quiet, but as we walked past a group of UK fans sitting around a fire pit, one guy yelled, “F*** Georgia!”  I laughed and just told my boys to ignore him.

I love the tradition I have started with going to this game every two years. I hope my kids remember it for years to come and will even start the tradition with kids of their own. There is nothing, I mean NOTHING, like SEC football.  The games are so fun and exciting. Everything that college football has to offer makes me a lifetime fan.

If you’ve never been to a big-time college football game, make it a point to go. You will not be disappointed. There is so much excitement in the air, and the games themselves really show how well-coached these boys are.

Here are some pics from this weekend’s fun trip to Lexington.

GO DAWGS!!

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The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

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Yesterday was a father-son day I’ll never forget.  The Cincinnati Bengals held a practice at a local high school here in the Dayton area, so my oldest son and I spent the afternoon there watching them.

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

It was an absolutely perfect day to be outdoors and to watch our favorite NFL team practice!  We had great seats to watch the action and nothing but blue skies and picturesque clouds above us!

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals 2nd string QB (former Alabama QB) AJ McCarron gives us a wave from the field.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals QBs (in orange jerseys) gather to begin their warm-ups at the start of the practice.

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals kicker, Mike Nugent (OSU), warms up at the start of practice.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals cornerback #24 Adam “Pacman” Jones.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Bengals QB #14 Andy Dalton (orange jersey) runs offensive drills.  Pretty cool to hear him calling plays.  It’s rare that you get to hear the QB call plays on TV unless there’s a mic nearby!

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

Left to right – #10 Kevin Huber -punter (Cincinnati), #4 Zack Hocker – kicker (Arkansas), #46 Clark Harris – left safety (Rutgers) and #2 Mike Nugent – kicker (OSU).

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The team goes through their warm-up drills during practice. QBs in orange, offense in white, and defense in black.

 

The Cincinnati Bengals Roll Into Dayton!

The view from the fence.  We were gathering with a large crowd awaiting the players to sign autographs.  Unfortunately, their practice ran longer than planned so we ended up leaving early.

We had such a great time!  As a daddy who works full time and has four little ones, it’s hard sometimes to just get one-on-one time with them.  To see my son so happy and excited to see his team means everything to me.  I enjoyed spending the day with him and bonding over the sport and team we love so much.

WHO DEY!!

Gear up for the 2017 NFL Draft with Draft Caps from New Era

3 Tips to Being A Dad During College Football Season

3 Tips to Being A Dad During College Football Season

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Here we go, guys!  Another football season is getting set for kickoff, and if you are like me you download your favorite team’s schedule, set up your DVR, and make plans to have no plans when it’s game time.  With a house full of kids and a load of regular responsibilities, it can be tough to set aside 4 hours on a Saturday to relax and watch the game.  But, it can be done.  Game day doesn’t have to be stressful for those in the house who don’t watch football.  Here are three important tips I came up with that work well for our household.

Make it fun

3 Tips to Being A Dad During College Football Season

There’s so much more to college football than just donning your team jersey, grabbing a cold beer, and chilling on the couch in front of the flat screen. A lot of families I know actually tailgate at home or at a friend/family member’s house. At our house, we watch the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide.  My wife and I love to make “football food” and special mixed concoctions for the occasion.  We also have our kids dress up in their jerseys and even go outside before the game to pass around the pigskin.

Get your kids involved with teaching them about the long engraved traditions of your favorite team.  Share the fight song, special cheers or motions with them.  Some kids just don’t understand all of the rules – hell, I don’t understand a lot of the crap they are changing today – so, make it fun by teaching them the most important rules of football in kid talk.

Use the time to teach your kids good sportsmanship

I’ve been known to yell at the TV from time to time, and I guess that was ok before I had kids.  But now that I have 4 kids watching my every move, I don’t want to teach them that being a bad sport is ok.  Use the game time to model positive behavior even when the team is losing or a bad call was made.

There will undoubtedly be coaches and/or players that will lose their cool, and your kids may see it unfold on TV.  Use that opportunity to explain what the negative behavior displayed was, and what the appropriate reaction should have been.  By learning this behavior from an early age, kids will transfer this to other aspects of their lives.

Don’t neglect your other duties as a dad

Even though football is important to you, there are things that are important to your kids. Your kids always should come first – even if it means missing a quarter, a half, or even the whole game.  This is a tough one for die hard sports dads.  But, it all boils down to displaying the behavior we want our kids to inherit from us. Neglecting a kid’s sports activity or birthday party that occurs at the same time will teach them that dad has other important things to do – which we know is NEVER true.  Be a dad 1st and then a sports fan!

A Message to Middle School Moms New to School Sports

A Message to Middle School Moms New to School Sports

 A Message to Middle School Moms New to School Sports

As the summer winds down and school is on the horizon, many of you new-to-middle school moms are about to embark on the exciting journey of middle school sports.

Perhaps your summer routine of relaxing by the pool has already been interrupted by two a days and “optional” conditioning practices.  Either way, what you are used to with regard to minivan rides to the field or the rink are about to drastically change.

Celebrate Being Involved in the School

Let’s start with what makes your first year of schools sports so great.  If you are new to school athletics, congratulations, your superstar has becomes a real member of a school sport.  Regardless of what sport, what position, and what level of ability, you are officially the parent of a school athlete.  It’s a rite of passage not to be taken lightly by any mom.

Your very first step in this journey is to take a minute to yourself, order the coolest school spirit shirt to wear to the games—heck get two, you deserve it.  Then, order yourself that ever so coveted button that boasts your kiddo clad in his super cool school uniform.  Because after you take a minute to indulge in what makes school sports fun, you need to prepare for what’s on the horizon because it’s going to be a long haul.

You may have been waiting with baited breath for the day when weekend games were a thing of the past.  Odds are your brain is saying, “Gone are the days of weekend games polluting your days off.”  If I were you, I’d hold off that thought.

Cursing Middle School Procrastination

Welcome to a new struggle.  The struggle to complete homework because practices run late and games are clear across town.  The struggle that has you awake until 11:00-11:30 proofreading an English paper that your little Johnny put off until the last minute, and he didn’t realize he had a game the day before it was due.

Before you go cursing the English teacher, who most likely assigned the paper two weeks ago, you need to remind Johnny that just because he can run a football in the 7th grade does not mean he can do so in the NFL.  Like it or not, English trumps sports.

So, while your weekends may be free, unless you can get a handle on the time management that is crucial to playing school sports, they are going to fill right back up with trips to a tutor to get Johnny’s grades up to be eligible to even play his favorite sport.

Teach Time Management

If you really want sports to compliment your child’s school career, middle school is the best place to teach time management.  With the technology available today, there’s no reason that you and your kiddo cannot get on the same page when it comes to balancing school and sports.  Something as simple as a shared calendar between you and him using the calendar feature on his phone or iPod can pave the way to developing lifelong time management skills that are crucial to success in life.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that sports do a lot more than develop athletes, they develop well-rounded team players who can face many challenges when they reach the real world.  It’s because they can balance what they love with what needs to be done that they can easily find happiness.  So, don’t just cheer for Johnny to score touchdowns or goals, cheer for Johnny to do his best at everything middle school has to offer—including that pesky learning part.