We’re Crushing: On Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder on the 2014 ESPN Body issue   (Photo: ESPN Magazine)

Prince Fielder on the 2014 ESPN Body Issue
(Photo: ESPN Magazine)

ESPN’s 2014 Body Issue comes out this week. And prior to its release, some of the covers have been strategically leaked. One coverboy drawing great interest is Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder.

Much like the Dove real beauty campaign, Prince Fielder has put a new shape on a magazine…only this time, for males. Posing nude, Fielder proudly represents the men with buddha abs, toddler thighs, and sweet cheeks (four of them).

As a female with a backside, the one (and only) thing I can thank the Kardashians for is changing the image of a woman’s body in society. See ya, Kate Moss! Don’t let the door hit your skeletal ass on the way out…

No, you probably won’t see Prince Fielder wearing skinny jeans and Uggs like some of the cool cats we know. But, as women have discovered…skinny jeans are not for everyone.

Representing the National Football League are Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald…

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (Photo: ESPN Magazine)

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
(Photo: ESPN Magazine)

And giving new meaning to BEASTMODE, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (who, funny enough, is too shy to speak to the media).

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch  (Photo: ESPN Magazine)

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch
(Photo: ESPN Magazine)

I personally love Prince Fielder’s cover. I think he’s adorable. And I love ESPN for using it.

It also backs up my theory that baseball players are the least athletic and most overpaid athletes in professional sports. But, that’s just me.

Still, Fielder hits a home run as a model.

Because happy and confident is always sexy.

XO

Team USA: Hearts of Gold

(Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

A Sochi stray
(Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Say what you will about Americans. We may be spoiled, lazy, and unintelligent (generally speaking, of course), but you can always count on an American to stand up for the little guy. In this case, the little furry guy.

The Olympics are ripe with stories of passion, glory, and perseverance. But, there is no Olympic story that warms my heart more than the athletes from Team USA bringing home stray dogs from Sochi.

Stray dogs are common in the Olympic Village area and made headlines when the games opened. In an effort to avoid any nuisance and more likely, any embarrassment…the Russians sent out crews to capture the dogs and well, you know…

Enter Team USA.

First, we saw pictures of American freestyle skier, Gus Kenworthy, taking in a mother dog and her four puppies.

Photo: Twitter/@guskenworthy:
“puppy love is real to puppies.”

Then, American cross country skier, Holly Brooks, tweeted out this picture of snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis and her adopted pooch.

Photo: Twitter/@brooksha1:
“This Sochi Stray scored a one way ticket to the USA with @LindsJacobellis. #luckydog #justintime”

 And now, we hear several members of  the USA Hockey team have dogs living at the hotel with them and plan to bring them home.

Photo: Twitter/@A4A_org:
“Meet Sochi Jack and Sochi Junior with @dbackes42 and @shattdeuces during the @Sochi2014 with @USOlympic”

One of the dogs has even become the unofficial team mascot. From the streets of Sochi to Olympic housing…talk about a wags to riches story.

These athletes have to jump through many hoops to bring foreign dogs home and many are extending their stay in Sochi to do so. But, that’s nothing compared to what they went through to get there. Or, the unconditional love they’ll receive in return.

No matter how they perform on the slopes, at the rink, or in any of the Olympic events…these athletes have already won gold.

Team USA showed the world their hearts of gold…and won ours in the process.

And that, more than anything…makes me a proud American.

USA! USA! USA!

XO

The New (and Improved) Pro Bowl

I admit it. I always watch the NFL Pro Bowl. Mostly because football is ending and I’ll get my fix wherever I can.

But, I was skeptical when I heard the new format for the game this year: no conferences, a player draft, and teams managed by Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.

A Pro Bowl where guys on the same team play against each other? Why would they hit their own teammate? In the Pro Bowl? And what are they playing for anyway?

Come on, man…

It all started with a draft earlier in the week. With some reluctance, I turned on the Pro Bowl draft on Tuesday night. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, I was pleasantly surprised. And judging by twitter, I was not alone.

Most everyone said they enjoyed the fun, laid back approach, as well as the opportunity to see some of our favorite players in a different setting.

Team Rice and Team Sanders, along with their chosen captains, drafted their teams playground style. The setting was tropical and relaxed, but with trash talking, hurt feelings, and a behind the scenes green room complete with a confessional cam.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees gave a thumbs up to the new format, saying it gave players an opportunity to play with guys they would otherwise never get the chance to.

And guess what? As it turns out, Pro Bowlers are competitive. So much so, that proving themselves is enough motivation for them. There was also a prize of $56,000 riding on it for the winners and $23,000 for the losers. A nice bonus to some. Pocket change to others.

On the field, it played out as the best Pro Bowl we’ve seen in years. Many years. Maybe as many years as I’ve been watching.

There were more quarterback sacks in the first half of the Pro Bowl than I remember in the first half of any Sunday Night Football game all season.

I pictured many a coach (Sean Payton in particular), pouring a stiff drink and looking away as the face of their franchise was hit and grounded repeatedly.

There was friendly fire…on a few different occasions. And it wasn’t exactly friendly. Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson thought nothing of taking out running back Jamaal Charles, who was recovering from a recent concussion. I’m sure coach Andy Reid had something to say about that. After he could talk.

It was a close game…won by Team Rice on a gutsy two point conversion, and then a missed last-ditch, 67-yard field goal by Justin Tucker for Team Sanders.

All in all, the new and improved Pro Bowl gets a thumbs up. From the players, from the fans, from everyone, except…maybe, some coaches.

Also, can we keep the confessional cam? I think that would be a nice addition to the regular season sideline. After all, sports is the original reality TV.

It was worth asking, anyway.

XO