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
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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?

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America's Pastime is Back

America’s Pastime is Back

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Team USA 2017 World Baseball Classic Champions

It’s that glorious time of year when America’s pastime returns for a brand new season. Ever since I was a tiny baby, I grew up learning about the game of baseball. I can remember my younger brother and I spending hours in our front yard (back yard if it was an away game) pretending to be stars from the Atlanta Braves.  We would pretend that the leaves hanging in the trees were the fans, and the large ditch at the front of our property was the home run area.

It seems just like yesterday that I took our old Snapper riding mower and mowed a baseball diamond in our yard. I’m not really sure if my mom and dad appreciated me doing that. My brother and I loved the game of baseball, and we shared our passion together almost every day in the summer.

My parents got me involved in baseball from the time I could swing a bat. I remember playing catcher on my t-ball team, and eventually, when I moved up to kid pitch, because infatuated with pitching. It was so enjoyable to go to the ballpark on Saturday mornings for games. I couldn’t wait for the game to start.  Everything throughout the week seemed to move slowly, until it was finally game day.

There is no greater feeling than cracking a triple with the bases loaded, or making a fabulous diving catch to save a run from scoring. I experienced it all.  Good winning seasons, bad losing seasons, and everything in between. I didn’t care if we won or lost, I just wanted to suit up and play the game.

I grew up in north Georgia, so naturally everyone in my hometown supported the Atlanta Braves. If you are about as old as me, or a little older, you probably remember how terrible many of the Braves’ seasons were.  It was horrific to go to Fulton County Stadium only to find less than 5,000 fans at a game. We had years and years of misery.

The 1990s were the absolute best time to watch the Braves. From the now very famous Sid Bream slide into home to the World Series title in 1995, the Atlanta Braves experienced more success than any other Major League Baseball team. The Braves were famous for star pitching – pitchers such as Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux should be familiar names in any sports household.

When I moved to Ohio in 2004, I went to my first Cincinnati Reds game. I immediately fell in love with the city of Cincinnati, Great American Ballpark, and the Reds organization. I didn’t know too much about the Reds, except for the Big Red Machine.  After years of terrible baseball, they finally started producing winning seasons. I was able to attend several division-clinching games – one was a walk-off home run.

Although I’m a Reds fan now, there’s always a special place in my heart for the team that got me loving baseball. Anytime I watch the Reds and Braves play, it’s always a joy to think back on my childhood.

This weekend marks a brand new season. What’s NOT to love about everything the game of baseball has to offer?  The crowds, the crack of the bat, the strategy, and the push through a 162-game season, all make baseball a unique sport from all the others. Some people complain that the game takes too long. I never thought one second about the length of games when I was growing up. Escaping to a MLB baseball game for 3-4 hours was all I ever wanted to do. I never thought things would change to make the game faster. I truly hope that the league keeps those traditions alive that make the game so great.

As a daddy, I am so lucky to be so close to a Major League ballpark, as well as a minor league team right here in our hometown. Instilling a love for baseball into my kids’ lives is a real treat for me. When I see them step up to the plate, they remind me of myself.  The smiles on their faces when they get a hit, or throw a runner out, makes it all worthwhile.

No matter what sport(s) your kids end up playing and loving, be a parent that is present in their games. Support their development, encourage them when they are down, and always keep your eyes on them during the game – PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN!  Kids want to see engaged parents who applaud and shout for joy – not face down in a phone. Make it a rule for everyone in the family – and stick to it!

Major League Baseball is Back

Major League Baseball is Back

Major League Baseball is Back

Major League Baseball is Back

What do you love most about baseball? Did you grow up playing the game?


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Should College Football Players Skip Bowl Games?

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We see it almost every season. A standout college football player decides to forgo his team’s bowl game to focus on getting ready for the NFL draft. There are points to be made on both sides. I’m going to talk about how I feel about it tonight and will invite your side of the story.

I believe that the player has every right to skip a bowl game. If he is expected to go quickly in the draft, why risk injury in a pointless game and potentially lose out on an NFL pay-day?  It’s hardly anyone else’s decision to be made other than the player. It’s his career and his future.

There is more for a college coach to consider than there is for the player. He must consider what’s best for the team and the school. When his top player decides to sit out, it puts a lot of pressure on him strategy-wise.  But, the coach is also responsible for the welfare of his players’ future. Most college players come in with the expectation to take a shot at the NFL. Very few actually make it, and being in the spotlight of a college game today may be the only shot a player may get to hit the next level.

A lot of NFL players have recently come out to say they think these players are soft. I would think that of all people, current and former players would understand the struggle necessary to get to where they got. I get it. Many think that players are being selfish at the time of year when they are fighting for a bowl win. They think that everyone has to play as a team, and that’s understandable.

We’ve got to put more emphasis on what’s best for the player. The player aspires for more, so why can’t his team help him get there? It’s a tough world in college. I never played college sports, but I can imagine it’s a difficult decision for anyone. When the school gives you a full ride to play football, many will argue that the player is obligated to suit up. Will we see future players be held under contract to prevent them from darting off to the NFL? It’s highly likely.

What do you think? Is it in the best interest to allow a player to skip out on their bowl game?







#CleanOldFashionedHate #UGAvsGT

#CleanOldFashionedHate #UGAvsGT

I’ll always sing “Glory, Glory” and wear my red and black with pride, but today’s #UGAvsGT game made me realize how glad I was that this season had finally ended, and all that is left is a mediocre bowl game. As an avid #UGA football fan, I am not used to them losing games that they should be winning.  We lost to Vanderbilt, people. VANDERBILT!  We lost with 4 seconds left on a Hail Mary pass by the #Vols.  We were clobbered by Ole Miss, who got clobbered today by Mississippi State.  Florida has had our number for several years in a row. And now, Tech, the team we aim to kill every season, beat us in the final quarter. Enough is enough.  I’ve guzzled down an average of one to two extra beers per game this season because I just can’t watch the bad football being played.  But hey, at least the 2 hour drive south to Lexington was fun – we won that one with 3 seconds left.  That was great!

My #GeorgiaBulldogs played their hated rival, the Georgia Tech Sillynannies today and somehow found another way to lose. Was I shocked that they would lose? Not really.  Was I shocked that they lost it in this fashion? Not really. Blowing leads has been Georgia’s specialty this season.

Georgia started off very hot with their ground game.  Both Nick Chubb and Sony Michel ran the ball very well with the opening drive, but the drive stalled.  Michel ran it well over 150 yards today – if I had to pull anything out of this loss that was a positive, that was it!

Tech took their opening possession quickly down the field and managed to go up 7-0.  The triple option is hard to defend, but #UGA made #GT look like a professional team with the way they started off covering it.

#UGA quickly answered back and tied the game 7-7.  I quickly realized at that point that it was going to be a back-and-forth game all day long, and I was right for the most part.

#UGA took a 13 point lead and kept it most of the game, until the 4th quarter.  They have had all kinds of trouble this season in the 2nd half – especially against bad teams.  I won’t mention #UT or #Vandy in this conversation.

Jacob Eason played as I expected a true freshman to play in his first rendition of the rivalry game. He threw a pick at the worst possible time, though, and I don’t necessarily blame him because it was clearly a bad call on the offensive coordinator’s call. Why he elected to throw the ball on 2nd down when #UGA was trying to run out the clock was beyond me. Just plain poor coaching. But, the QB is going to take the heat for it because the ball is in his hands.

I was very surprised how quickly the tables turned in this game.  #GT scored 14 unanswered points to win the game 28-27.  I’m disappointed in the way this season turned out, but I am not overly surprised at it.  We have a brand new head coach and a true freshman QB at the helms.

Fans are going to be called for Kirby Smart’s head early on, but I think that giving him one season to turn things around was asking too much of him. Mark Richt was a solid coach. He took the #Dawgs to bowl games year after year, but could never win the big games. I think the coaching change was necessary, and I also have high respect for Kirby. We have very good potential even with the threat of Chubb possibly leaving early for the #NFLdraft.

We went 10-3 last season, which included a bowl win. We are 7-5 at this point with a possible bowl game in January. I hope the #Dawgs can pull together, forget about this loss, and try to get to 8 wins. I’m looking forward to the 2017 season.  We’ll have a sophomore QB with a year’s worth of experience, and a head coach with an okay first year in the #SEC.

My head is held high and I still get goosebumps whenever I see Sanford Stadium and the sea of red. I love the late Saturday afternoon sun with Uga sitting in his doghouse.  It’ll never get old and it’ll always be a special time when the #Dawgs take the field.

Here’s to a season that started off great, but quickly went down the drain, and the promise of a better 2017 season. GO DAWGS!



Why This Armchair Quarterback is Retiring

Why This Armchair Quarterback is Retiring

Wow!  What a wild and crazy #football season it has been this year!  There have been so many ups and downs that it makes it hard to keep one’s emotions in check.  How do we as parents keep our emotions in check when our favorite teams are not performing the way we expect them to be? How do we take winning and losing in stride to show good sportsmanship and behavior to our kids? Yes, I’m one of them “armchair quarterbacks” and today I’m announcing my retirement…

Whether it’s 1st and goal at the 1 yard line with 1 second left in the game, or 4th and long where only a miracle pass gives your team a chance to win the game, I think we dads can all say we have our moments in front of the tube. I’ve never gone as far as to destroy a TV (too freaking expensive!), but I’ve said things I wish I didn’t.  In the heat of the moment, I fail to realize that nothing I say or do impacts the game.  I’ve had childish attitudes in front of my family, and it’s stopping now.  What an embarrassment I’ve been at times just for a meaningless game on TV. I’m a daddy, and it’s time to rub off on my kids in a positive manner. Life is slipping away way too fast for my kids to see me put a ballgame ahead of other things in life.  It just doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

We dads love our sports, our couch, our official NFL jerseys, but we love our families more.  In this post, I’m going to talk about why I’ve decided to ditch the stressed-out armchair #quarterback I’ve always been and take watching my favorite sports teams in stride.  You heard me!  No yelling at the TV, no throwing things, no beating traffic to get home to watch a game.  It all ends today.

Why does it end today?  Because there are 4 sets of little eyes watching every move I make, and it’s influencing them now as to the types of people they are going to be at older ages.  I just can’t think about them doing what I do when my favorite team is playing.  Something’s got to give, and it’s an easy decision.

Why am I going to take watching sports in stride from now on?

It’s just a game, right??  Right!

Why This Armchair Quarterback is Retiring

Whether our team has a big win or a heartbreaking loss, at the end of the day, it’s just a game right?  In the grand scheme of things, life happens and is always more important than the outcome of a sporting event.  When I was a kid, without a family of my own, I was able to react to my #Dawgs win or lose basically anyway I wanted.  Today, I am still learning how to keep my emotions positive now that I have kids watching my every move. In the end, #sports are just games and don’t have any effect on my life.  Whether I scream for joy, or throw things in anger, the game is out of my control. I don’t have any control on how well the #quarterback passes the ball, or how many strikeouts the pitcher has. Remembering that I am just a spectator and not in control of the game has really helped me to keep my emotions in check.

Being too involved gets in the way of life.

Why This Armchair Quarterback is Retiring

My family is the most important thing to me.  It takes precedence over TV and other activities. It’s really important not only for us to never let sports get in the way, but to teach this to our kids too.  The things they see us prioritizing in our lives will teach them what we value as important.  Take time to remember the important things.  Watching our kids grow up in a safe and happy home is far more important than whether or not our NFL team makes the playoffs. We can control our home environments, but we can’t control what a #sports team does. Why give it more attention than the kids?

There have been many times in my past where I have seemed to put sports ahead of my family. Getting home to watch the game, or being late somewhere because of a game, seemed to be my norm. I have since realized that the world isn’t going to end if I don’t get to watch every quarter or period of every game.

Having enthusiasm for our favorite sports team doesn’t have to mean we lose enthusiasm for more important events in our lives. Sports can be fun and entertaining, but should never come before our families.

It’s still okay to be a sports fan!

Why This Armchair Quarterback is Retiring

I’m not saying by any means that we should stop watching sports all together. Having a passion for a sports team can be fun and can bring people together.  Sports teach us how to work together as a team, overcome adversity, and learn crucial life skills.  If you are going to have sports as a part of your family life, make sure you are balancing it appropriately with the more important things.

Here are 4 tips on how to incorporate the whole family into sporting events:

  • Record the game on DVR and watch it later.
  • Watch the game as a family – go out to a sports bar or hang out together with friends.
  • Go to the game together.
  • Watch the game together while teaching the rules of play/sportsmanship to your kids.

Take it all in Stride

As I said earlier, it’s all just a game.  Rather than get all wrapped up in the outcome, stay focused on being a positive role model to those around you – especially your kids.  Take the game in stride – win or lose.  I’ve seen actual videos of parents losing their tempers over a game in front of their own family.  In one case, the guy took a baseball bat to his flat screen after throwing it on the floor.

It’s been hard to keep my emotions in check, but remembering to put everything into perspective makes it so much easier.  We have been given amazing opportunities as parents to be wonderful role models for our kids, and this is a prime chance to put those opportunities in action.

Sound off!

Let me hear from all of you dads (and moms too!) and how you manage watching sports in your home.

I would love to hear from you!  Contact me at



An Amazing Weekend in Lexington, Kentucky

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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.