Dear London, On behalf of the NFL…I apologize.

Look, kids...Big Ben. With Big Ben.  (Photo: CBS Sports)

Look, kids…Big Ben. With Big Ben.
(Photo: CBS Sports)

Dear London,

I apologize. When NFL Commission Roger Goodell announced two games in London this season, we were under the impression that he was trying to create overseas interest in the National Football League.

Then, we saw the teams he was sending. And let’s just say…YAWN! Or as you might say…WANKER! Or…bloody hell. Or something like that.

Don’t get me wrong, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings both have a great history. For the Steelers, it’s just been a few years. And for the Vikings…a few decades. I can say that, because I grew up a Vikings fan.

It’s not all bad, though. The Steelers have a quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. And he’s really big. So, they call him Big Ben. You know, kinda like your Big Ben. So…there’s that.

And the Vikings have a quarterback too. Sometimes. His name is Christian Ponder. And he’ll make you ponder, alright…mostly why you’re watching this game. Don’t worry about him. His wife has a really good job. He’ll be fine.

We’re supposed to be allies. You send us David Beckham. And we send you Ben Roethlisberger and Christian Ponder in return?! At least we sent Tom Brady over last year. Hopefully there’s still some goodwill carryover from that.

So, anywho…just try to enjoy the game. If that’s possible. And the good news is, you have another one to look forward to on October 27th, when Wembley Stadium hosts the San Francisco 49ers and…oh, forget it.

The Jacksonville Jaguars can’t fill their own stadium.

Why does the Commissioner hate you so much?

But, as I like to say, football is kind of like pizza. And sex. Even when it’s bad…it’s not that bad.

And American football at its worst is still better than soccer. Or as you call it…football. Futbol?! This language barrier is killing me.

Hopefully they’ve scheduled a good halftime show…like David Beckham kicking field goals.

In his underwear.

Cheers!

XO

On Wisconsin

Saturday night. Around 2:00 AM. I am up. In my living room. Watching the Wisconsin game. Mostly because my friend Jennifer (aka Mustard Girl) is in town and she is from Wisconsin, went to Wisconsin, and brought Bucky Badger Bells to Wisconsin. So, yes. Call her a Wisconsin fan.

Good time with a great friend. And a great game. Until the end.

Badgers quarterback Joel Stave was preparing for what would have been a game winning field goal against Arizona State. Stave claims he took a knee, then set the ball down before placing it for the kick, but before he could do that…a Sun Devil defender jumped the ball and layed on it until the clock ran out. Instead of making a call, the officials made a run for the exit. And the game was over.

And then, this happened…

A tweet from the wife of former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema. The same Bret Bielema who took the head coaching job at Arkansas last December and took off…leaving his players without a coach for the Rose Bowl.

No, honey. That’s not karma. Nice try though. You might want to look up the word karma. And while you’re at it, look up another one…class.

We’ll let you know when karma shows up. But, we probably won’t have to. That’s usually how karma works.

Let us not forget the botched call by the replacement refs that cost the Green Bay Packers a win against the Seahawks last season. As well as the controversial call they had week one of this season against the 49ers.

All this leaves me wondering…why do the officials hate Wisconsin so much? It’s a lovely place. Beautiful country. Nice people.

Football fans who root against Wisconsin teams may find these calls (or lack of) entertaining. But, just wait until Wisconsin secedes from the NFL. And the NCAA. And the USA.

And they take their milk, cheese, beer, and brats with them.

That, Mrs. Bielema, will be karma.

XO

Wear your pride on your nails…with an official NFL “fanicure”

It’s gameday! Do you have your fanicure?

If you’re a die-hard football fan like me, you’re always representing your team…whether it’s Tuesday or gameday. And the NFL is making it easier than ever for us to do just that. They’ve teamed up with some of our favorite companies to bring us new ways to show our team spirit.

Enter COVERGIRL. And the fanicure.

(Photo: COVERGIRL)

(Photo: COVERGIRL)

Yes, one of the oldest, most iconic names in beauty has entered the stadium. And they brought their entire playbook…with fun looks for fans of all 32 NFL teams.

The 49ers "fanicure" from COVERGIRL

The 49ers “fanicure” from COVERGIRL

Available at covergirl.com/nfl, COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glosses are uniquely bundled with colors that represent each NFL team. Different looks and how-tos are available online and at the COVERGIRL Facebook page. So, the perfect fanicure is now right at your fingertips.

www.covergirl.com/nfl

www.covergirl.com/nfl

Whether you’re clapping and cheering…or covering your face in horror, your nails will score big points…even if your team doesn’t.

Webster’s needs to add “fanicure” to the dictionary.

Because it’s totally a thing now.

XO

My Road to Canton

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio

Canton, Ohio is to football fans what Hollywood is to movie buffs. What Washington, D.C. is to political junkies. What the Vatican is to catholics. The heart of rock ‘n roll may be in Cleveland, but the heart of football is in Canton.

I made my first trip to Canton to cover the Pro Football Hall of Fame 50th anniversary celebration and 2013 enshrinement festival. Also taking place, a golden anniversary reunion of more than 120 Hall of Fame alumni, making it the largest group of hall of famers ever gathered in any sport, at any time…in any place.

The weekend was a football festival (literally). But for me, it was made up of moments. Special moments. Starting with getting dressed…

Before making the drive from Indianapolis on Friday, I put on my pearls. Along with a shirt that says, Do Things With Passion Or Not At All, because it seemed appropriate for the weekend. And it was. I swear, I heard angels sing when I first walked into The Hall. Coincidentally, that also happens when I walk into Louis Vuitton.

Shortly after arriving, I interviewed Cris Carter and asked him what he had to say to Vikings fans who supported him in his journey to the Hall of Fame. He looked me in the eyes, got weepy (again), and said the one regret he had in his professional career was that he never was able to bring a championship home to the people of Minnesota. I grew up a Vikings fan in Minnesota. I thought about the people I love. My dad, who made me a football fan. My great-uncle Elliott. My cousin Tim. His wife, Tina, who will have to print this out for Elliott to read (thank you, Tina). They deserve a championship. And I hope they get one.

A few hours later, I was at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, standing outside the entrance to the gold jacket dinner. Standing around together were many of the former football greats: Jim Brown, Joe Greene, Joe Namath, Troy Aikman, Jerry Rice…all in gold jackets. And all waiting to be introduced inside. One by one, they walked in to a chorus of music and cheers. It was hard not to get choked up at the sight.

After they were all assembled inside and I was about to do the same, a cart came up behind me. It was wheeling seven gold jackets on hangers. When put on, those jackets took football men Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson, and Warren Sapp and turned them into football royalty.

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On Saturday, I took time to go through the Hall of Fame museum. It was surreal, taking a walk through the history of the sport. Especially with its past rooted in Minnesota, like mine.

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame museum

After strolling down memory lane, I turned the corner and found myself face to face with football’s present and future, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. I introduced myself, shook his hand, and thanked him for being a steward of the sport.

Not long after, I ran into the beloved former coach of my Colts, Tony Dungy. I told him we miss him back in Indy, but enjoy seeing him on TV. And I did even more so, as I caught the end of the Hall of Fame Game from my hotel room on Sunday night.

On the opposite end of the personality spectrum, I met one of my other NFL favorites, Jon Gruden. I told the former Buccaneers coach a story about my husband teasing me for recording and watching every episode of Gruden’s Quarterback Camp. He smiled, gave me a big hug, and told me I was the best. Yes, I know Jon Gruden tells many people they’re “the best”…but I’m just happy to count myself among them.

I also had the chance to meet people like me…people who love the sport of football and love to tell the story of it. Many of them helped me in some way. And some, I now consider friends.

Unlike the players, my road does not end in Canton. In fact, for me…Canton could be some kind of beginning. Because, when you do something with passion…you never know where it’s going to lead.

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Get started on your road to Canton today.

Wherever your Canton may be.

XO

32 things to ponder this NFL preseason:

Photo: NFL

Photo: NFL

AFC

North

Ravens: Will “the squirrel” be replaced by twerking at M&T Bank Stadium?

Bengals: How will Chad Johnson finagle yet another appearance on Hard Knocks? Because you know he will.

Browns: What will it take for the fans to decide to just buy the damn team themselves?

Steelers: The bumble bees were a big hit, what will the Steelers be for Halloween this year?

South

Texans: Now that they’re teammates, does Joe Mays apologize to Matt Schaub? Or did he not need that part of his ear anyway?

Colts: Will Jim Irsay tweet the following during the Colts/Broncos game: Colts fans!!!!! Peyton Manning. Andrew Luck. You are welcome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jaguars: The Jags have an “offensive weapon” on their roster? When did they sign Aaron Hernandez?

Titans: Which Chris Johnson will show up this year? Or is he waiting to see whether I draft him in fantasy?

East

Bills: Does former Syracuse coach Doug Marrone realize the Bills left the dome off of Ralph Wilson Stadium?

Dolphins: How will the Dolphins attempt to lure in Heat fans…when so few of them actually live in Miami? *BOOM!*

Patriots: So many questions. But let’s not piss Bill Belichick off while I still like him.

Jets: When will we know if Geno Smith has earned the role of starting quarterback? And will Rex Ryan commemorate the occasion with a new tattoo?

West

Broncos: Will Peyton Manning get confused and curse himself out every time he throws to a Bronco at Lucas Oil Stadium?

Chiefs: Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson thinks Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the NFL? Who is Doug Pederson again?

Raiders: Do the Raiders even want to stay in Oakland?

Chargers: Will Manti Te’o be heartbroken to find out Norv Turner won’t meet him in person…because he’s not really the coach of the Chargers anymore?

NFC

North

Bears: Will Jay Cutler like his new offensive coordinator, Aaron Kromer? Enough to talk to him? During a game?

Lions: Will Reggie Bush survive a Detroit winter? Better yet, will he survive Detroit?

Packers: Is Eddie Lacy the answer to the Packers’ running game? Can he also stop players from running to Minnesota?

Vikings: When will the Vikings decide to start drafting their own players?

South

Falcons: All birds are dirty, right?

Panthers: Will competition from the Play 60 kid drive Cam Newton to his best NFL season…since his rookie year?

Saints: Now that Sean Payton is back, will the Saints leave a seat open for Jerom Bushrod?

Buccaneers: Does the defense practice rushing the quarterback kneel? At church?

East

Cowboys: Jerry Jones added AT&T’s name on Cowboys Stadium to improve reception…he knew they were referring to technology, right?

Giants: Will the Giants eliminate back problems by moving players out of the dorms and into Heavenly Beds® during camp?

Eagles: Will the NFL investigate Marcus Vick’s bounty offer? Will Roger Goodell ban him from twitter for life?

Redskins: Now that RG III is married, can RGIV be far behind?

West

Cardinals: Carson Palmer? Really??

49ers: Will Jim Harbaugh attempt the latest version of Kaepernicking…and pose nude after using his Sharpie to cover himself in tattoos?

Seahawks: ls Percy Harvin going to give the Seahawks migraines?

Rams: Steven who?

XO