NFL Films Interns Top 15 Teams Week 11 Edition

They Call It Pro Football - Official Blog of NFL Films

Now that we’re entering the thick of the playoff push, each game between winning squads seems ever more crucial. This week, there are three mouthwatering matchups that could very well decide the final playoff landscape: San Francisco vs. New Orleans, Kansas City vs. Denver, and Carolina vs. New England. All six of these teams boast elite status in their respective conferences, and all are in our Top 15 here – in fact, all are in the top 10. Any one of these titanic clashes would be the marquee battle for another week – this week, they’re just one of three. You can be assured that there will be a big shake-up between this week’s and next week’s posts, just by the necessity that that three elite teams will have lost a game this upcoming weekend. Looking back to last weekend: some teams firmly entrenched themselves among the top groups in football, while…

View original post 631 more words

NFL Films Interns Top 15 Teams Week 10 Edition

They Call It Pro Football - Official Blog of NFL Films

We’re past the midway point of the NFL regular season, and with the postseason looming, now is when the true contenders separate themselves from the pack and make their playoff push. Who will slip their way into a coveted Wild Card spot? Which team will snag that much-needed first-round bye? Whose stadiums will the rest of the respective conferences have to go through if they want to make it to the Big Apple?

We don’t know. Sorry about that – but we interns do have opinions on who the best teams are in the League going into Week 10. The biggest leap this week: the Patriots, from #8 to #6, after their impressive victory against the Steelers.

Here are the interns that contributed to the pool this week:

Kevin Joyce, Producers Department, “Inside the NFL”

Tim Yingling, Producers Department

Ryan Boepple, Producers Department, “Thursday Night Football”

Kyle Toot, Producers Department, “NFL…

View original post 553 more words

The Cleverness of Puppies and Toddlers Should Never Be Underestimated

Kevin and GlennaGinger has recently become more adventurous. I used to be able to open the door to let her out and be assured that she would not wander more than 20 feet away from me. As September waned, she grew bolder and even started to leave the confines of our small property. Lately, she has become so brave as to worry me that she might run out into the street after a dog or cat. Her sneakiness in trying to outwit me so that she can escape is both entertaining and exasperating. Although we occasionally venture out without a leash, I usually keep her close now.

This transformation into a daring pup reminds me of my daughter’s audacious behavior as a tot. Glenna was sassy, physically able, and mischievous in her determination to best me at every opportunity. She would wait until I was distracted for a few seconds and then race for the nearest door; street; or dangerous, large, and moving object. And she was fast too. When we were home, I had to keep an eye on her almost every second unless she was parked in front of a video. Even then, I had to check on her frequently to make sure she wasn’t getting into trouble, but, at least, I could accomplish a few chores. Or so I foolishly believed.

On one weekday afternoon, she and her brother were relaxing while watching a favorite film. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I took the garbage out to the garage and grabbed something else I needed in there. When I reentered the room, I noticed her shirt on the floor in front of the couch. The conversation that ensued evolved something like this:

“Why is your new shirt on the floor?” I asked.

“I threw it there,” my three-year-old replied.

“Why did you throw it there?”

“Because I took it off.”

“Why did you take it off?”

“I don’t like it anymore.”

“Why don’t you like it anymore?”

“Because it isn’t pretty now.”

“Why do you think that it’s not pretty now?”

“Because it has a hole in it.”

“How did a hole get in your new shirt?”

“I cut it.”

“Why would you cut a hole in your shirt?”

“I had scissors.”

“So you cut a hole in your shirt, took it off, and then, threw it on the ground.”

With irritation, she said, “I don’t like it anymore. I want to watch the video.”

Serves me right for leaving the room for 120 seconds and paying full price for a fancy Gymboree® shirt for a three-year-old.

Rending her shirt was a relatively mild offense compared to her attempts to publically demonstrate my maternal incompetence. On one particularly eventful afternoon, I decided to take my then three-year-old son, Kevin, and 18-month-old Glenna shopping with me. That decision wasn’t too unusual except that on this occasion, I wanted to journey to the local department store and battle with the other women over clearance racks.

A few days earlier, I had purchased a wrist lead for my daughter. (Okay, I’ll admit it; I bought a leash for my kid.) She was so impish that I finally faced my vexing predicament head on, and procured a tool that I had previously scorned all others for owning. For the first 10 minutes or so in the store, it worked great. While she indignantly tried to remove the offending constraint (this alone kept her busy), I held it and her brother’s hand as we walked toward the much-anticipated sale.

The area was a beehive of activity. The racks were extremely tightly packed together, one virtually on top of the other. All were crammed with hundreds of articles of marked-down apparel. About thirty women swarmed the environs; each with her arms loaded down with goods. A few eyed my tethered child and threw disdainful looks my way. Excited by the prospect of finally purchasing myself some clothing after a virtual three-year hiatus, I didn’t care what they thought.

All was going swimmingly as I approached the third round garment rack of my search. My son timidly commented on my choices, and my daughter was marvelously cooperative and quiet. For a few brief moments, I was in paradise.

My heavenly sojourn was not to be long-lasting, however. Without warning, wailing emerged from around my feet. With great stealth and amazing agility for one so young, my toddler had managed to tangle herself around the base of the rack. To my surprise, she was so intertwined in the framework that she could barely move. Kevin proffered advice while I searched for a way to disentangle her. The only solution was to unstrap her wrist. In a nanosecond, the frustration and fear evaporated from Glenna’s face, she laughed (“sucker”), and took off, weaving her way through the maze of clothing, racks, and legs.

Trapped and unable to pursue her, I knelt down next to my son and said, “I give you permission to find your sister, knock her down, and sit on her.”

“Really?” he asked, disbelief screwing up his perfect, little boy features.

“Really,” I said.

He vanished as I struggled to my feet. For about a minute, I hunted for my wayward child from my vantage point; I then heard her angry cry coming from the other side of room, just outside the sale area. Dropping my would-be purchases, I ran over to find a triumphant Kevin sitting on top of a flattened and very irked Glenna. “I did it!” he exclaimed.

My child was found, and my mortification was complete. Imagining the clucking all around me and barely looking up, I bid a hasty retreat.

NFL Films Interns – Top 15 Teams Week 7 Edition

They Call It Pro Football - Official Blog of NFL Films

It’s time for another edition of the weekly Top 15 teams in the NFL, as per the NFL Films interns. With the Patriots’ wild and miraculous victory over the Saints, they leapfrog the Seahawks, Colts and Chiefs to make it into the Top 3. The rest of the Top 15 remained fairly static, with one exception: the San Diego Chargers bumped the Cleveland Browns out of the ranks of our best teams in the league with their win over last week’s #3 team, the Colts. The top two teams, in our eyes, remain the Broncos and the Saints. Here are the interns who contributed opinions and rankings this week:

Tim Yingling – Producers Department

Kyle Toot – Producers Department, “NFL Turning Point”

Ryan Boepple – Producers Department, “Thursday Night Football”

Kevin Joyce – Producers Department, “Inside the NFL”

Here are the Top 15 teams heading into Week 7:

  1. Denver Broncos…

View original post 522 more words

Tonight on “NFL Turning Point” – Saints On the Wrong End of This Miracle

They Call It Pro Football - Official Blog of NFL Films

Some more wild finishes and thrilling moments highlighted the football feast that was Week 6 of the 2013 NFL season. The Patriots notched perhaps their most improbable victory of the Brady era with a win over the Saints, the 49ers slugged one out with the Cardinals, and Aaron Rodgers showed why the Pack is still a force to be reckoned in toppling the Ravens.

The Patriots have been banged up and depleted all season, and that was no different as they limped into their matchup with the 5-0 Saints. On Sunday, New England was missing their top five receivers from last year (including two Pro Bowlers in Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski), as well as their All-Pro starting nose tackle, Vince Wilfork. Regardless, they dominated the first half and hung on in the second half. When the game seemed out of reach with just over a minute to play, Tom Brady put on…

View original post 184 more words

“Michael Strahan: A Football Life” Preview

They Call It Pro Football - Official Blog of NFL Films

Here on One Sabol Way, we try to carry on the legacy of our former president by delving into unchartered territory when it comes to sports filmmaking, much like he did in years past. “Michael Strahan: A Football Life” continues the acclaimed series’ tradition of providing the viewer a window into a well known football figure’s background, his upbringing, and how his actions off the field shaped his play on it. This time, however, you’ll get to see one of the greatest pass rushers in football history being interviewed with a new spin (pun intended, and you’ll see what I mean) put on it. During the interview, you’ll of course see Strahan talking, but you’ll also see everything else: the lights, the crew, the equipment cases, and NFL Films Producer Paul Camarata conducting the interview. All this you’ll witness while the camera rotates 360 degrees around Strahan as he recounts his…

View original post 46 more words

A Brutal Wind

As usual, Ginger is not sure what all the fuss is about and proclaims her innocence with her puppy eyes.

As usual, Ginger is not sure what all the fuss is about and proclaims her innocence with her puppy eyes.

There is no way to put this delicately, so I’ll just come right out and post it. My puppy is farting. A lot. She has in the past passed gas occasionally (usually when we are trying to watch TV, and she is sleeping at our feet), but recently the frequency of her eruptions of flatus has grown exponentially.

As I sat in a cloud of puppy-produced methane, skatole, dimethyl sulfide, and other malodorous and noxious chemicals, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Does every puppy owner suffer as I do?” I googled the following:

“puppy farts”

There were 1,120,000 hits in .29 seconds. So, I am not alone. Then I googled this:

“dog farts”

There were 2,660,000 hits in .19 seconds. Does the former number imply mature dogs are more flatulent than puppies are? To answer this question, I googled:

“Do adult dogs fart more than puppies do?”

There were 19,700,000 hits in .71 seconds. Okay, I realize that with more words in my search string, I am going to get more hits. But wow, are there really that many people posting about this issue? I was hesitant to even type my initial string in the search bar for fear that some obnoxious virus would invade my computer as soon as I clicked on a result. After all, one can’t assume that a website devoted to canine wind is trustworthy. I could only imagine the humiliation in trying to explain my frozen computer to the Geeks rolling their eyes at Best Buy™. “Yes, I swear that I don’t usually frequent such iniquitous sites.”

Nonetheless, I began surfing. I reasoned the first two pages of SEO frontrunners would be well-intended, reputable sites designed and written by professionals. Mostly what I found were discussion boards filled with piteous pleas from fellow sufferers. A plethora of well-meaning good Samaritans answered these calls for help with suggestions on changing dog food brands. Of course, each responder endorsed a different alimentary solution.

My dog’s excessive flatulence began with my changing her food to one suggested by the vet, who assured me it would cure another minor ill. I have been adding it gradually, and now that I think about it, that’s when the frequency of odiferous events accelerated. Fortunately, I only purchased a small bag of the offending chow.

To restore my home’s atmospheric harmony, I have resorted to running around the house while spraying Glade® Clean Linen® scent and leaving windows ajar. Now that it grows cold with autumn, the windows will have to stay closed. I can only hope the solution to this dilemma presents itself soon.

A Clean House

Since Ginger came into our lives, there has been little time for cleaning. Instead of scrubbing the bathtub, I am giving her a bath. Instead of sweeping the floor, we spend time playing fetch. Ginger doesn’t like it when I tidy up. I know this to be true because she never fails to attack the broom when it emerges from the closet. Also, she does her best to shred every paper towel and cleaning rag she can find, especially when they are in my hands. During the moments when I am most frustrated about the mess, I imagine knocking the whole house down and rebuilding from scratch.

On a related note, I must admit to a mild fascination with the program, Hoarding: Buried Alive. I don’t religiously watch it, but have been known to sit through three consecutive airings unable to peal myself away. Attractive in its repulsiveness, this reality show makes me want to sanitize my entire house after a binge viewing. I cannot help but feel my skin crawling as I see our own domestic clutter. Every pile of familial detritus seems akin to the featured hoarder’s mounds of unsightly waste. In my mind, a newspaper on the dining room table will soon become the highlighted family’s buried surface they haven’t eaten off of in four years. I can imagine the fire department declaring our home uninhabitable because of our disorganized study. Our fridge usually houses only one Tupperware container with week-old leftovers, but I just know that it will soon look like the roach- and rodent-infested one on TLC’s reality show. So after turning off the TV, I will find some project in the house to furiously attack, like dusting all of the bedrooms or reorganizing the bookshelf. I exaggerate, of course, but part of me has always been a minimalist and a bit of a neatnik, and if it weren’t for my other family members, I could happily live in a small space spartanly decorated with dust-free possessions.

My husband doesn’t think watching this program is a healthful activity for me. He is already convinced that I care too much about cleanliness—that I have some sort of addiction to housework, as well as an undying need to throw things away, especially his belongings. Perhaps, he believes Hoarding: Buried Alive will only feed my compulsion, and he’ll wake up one day to discover that I have finally tossed those 20-year-old issues of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. On the contrary, I feel like my viewing this show is beneficial in the following ways:

1. After watching, I am forced out of my chair to clean the nearest dirty/cluttered area; thus, I am moving again and obtaining much-needed exercise.

2. The house becomes a cleaner, more pleasant place to be, and he doesn’t have to lift a finger.

3. I usually find something that was lost while cleaning.

4. There are certain chores I would avoid at all costs if not for the prompting of this program; therefore we both have Hoarding: Buried Alive to thank for the reorganization of our closets. (Not to worry, somebody will inevitably mess them up again.)

5. After the initial, reality TV-fueled impression of my house being compared to a hoarder’s paradise has faded, I begin to realize that our humble abode is a pretty orderly place and abandon my more ambitious plans. Perhaps, we won’t have to resort to hiring a demolition crew after all.

Spice Pets

Cinnamon and Sugar

We own two parakeets. Their names are Cinnamon and Sugar. After hearing about Ginger, my daughter’s boyfriend pointed out that our pets all have “spice names.” For some odd reason (incipient dementia?), I hadn’t noticed my penchant for aromatic-sounding monikers until his observation. As the lively debates echoed in the kitchen, we considered a variety of names for our new puppy, including Pepper (another seasoning). The final two choices were Ginger and Rufus. The latter would have been the name of our dog had we chosen a male from the litters available.

Ginger seems quite oblivious of Cinnamon and Sugar. In fact so much so, that she has barely glanced in their direction since arriving in our home 10 weeks ago today. Her notable disinterest has me concerned. I have to ask myself, “What self-respecting dog wouldn’t have at least tried to secretly make a meal of them by now?” Is she betraying her very nature? There they sit, two little tasty treats, and she has yet to yap at them or jump up when they fly past.

Of course, should she actually succeed in eating them or hurting them in any way, I would be horrified. It’s just that Ginger is a dog, and I presume that she will act like one. A couple of days ago, she sat for about 10 seconds (a long time for a puppy) and studied the parakeets. Anticipating a leap at the cage, I watched expectantly. And then, with a cock of her head, she ran off. Clearly unimpressed once more.

Back when I worked for a pet service company, I occasionally brought dogs into our house while their owners were on vacation. We played host to a variety of terriers. These dogs were originally bred to control rats and rabbits and even bigger animals like foxes and badgers. Each and every one of those dogs of dignity made a play for the birds (a cockatiel and a parakeet at the time) within minutes of entering our home. Before bigger dogs like the German shorthaired pointer and Labrador retrievers boarded with us, I secured the birds in another room. Those hunting dogs detected their potential prey right through a closed door.

For now, the birds scoff at her as they flit overhead. Why Ginger stands for their mockery, I don’t understand. Perhaps, she is laying plans to attack after our complacency (mine and the birds’) is well-established. She did pounce on a housefly the other day. Maybe there is hope for her yet.

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile and Puppy Toddlerhood

After a couple of weeks of job applications, interviews, infections, allergic reactions, and schlepping children off to a college and an internship, I finally have time to post on my blog. It seemed every minute was accounted for by all of the above and taking care of Ginger. Despite her now reaching the ripe old age of 4 months, she is still very needy. In many ways, more so than before. Until recently, she was constantly at my feet. Now, she is a little braver and wanders off in the yard or the house, requiring me to go after her to make sure she hasn’t decided to bother a skunk, chew a hole in my comforter, or wipe her behind across the kitchen floor. (That surface has become her favorite place for after-constitutional cleansing.)

Having a puppy this age reminds me of raising a toddler. The puppy is completely dependent on me. I feed the puppy. I bathe the puppy. I calm the puppy. I play with the puppy. I discipline the puppy. I clean up after the puppy. I try to make up for lost time while the puppy is napping. The difference between now and when I first brought Ginger home is that she is so much more mobile and has so little judgment. Sound familiar, you parents out there?

Of course, there are certain socially, morally, and legally acceptable differences between caring for my puppy versus parenting a toddler. For obvious reasons, the Department of Children and Families in Massachusetts will not investigate me if I:

1. Put Ginger in a crate for two to three hours and leave the house. She cries at first, I walk away, and despite feeling a tad guilty, I am pretty sure that every other puppy owner is doing the same thing.

2. Spray my puppy with a hose if she gets really dirty outside before bringing her back in. She seems to enjoy these impromptu showers, actually. I assure you I wasn’t in the habit of doing this with my children although I will admit to being tempted on several occasions.

3. Encourage my dog to rub her rearend on the grass/walk so that she doesn’t do so on my floors. (What joy is in my heart when I discover such a smudge under my clean socks in the morning.)

4. Growl at my puppy. Lately, I have begun barking and growling at my dog. No, I haven’t suffered a psychotic split or finally revealed my secret alien self to my confused family. It’s just that sometimes the only action that works to break her manic moods is to bark and growl. If I say, “No,” to her, she often just barks right back at me and continues to bite my feet. 

5. Walk her around the neighborhood on a leash. Ginger demonstrates little talent for walking on leash. My husband and I can be seen on occasion pulling her along the street trying to get her to walk cooperatively. She must look quite pathetic while we are doing it. I must confess to having used a wrist lead with my rambunctious daughter on two occasions. She completely outwitted me and escaped, but that is a story for another post.

When my children were toddlers and riding in their car seats in the back, I wouldn’t even step out of the car to cross the sidewalk and return the Lyle, Lyle Crocodile video to the library dropbox. Partly, this irrational fear arose from the fact that the Taunton Police Station was about 40 yards away across the parking lot. I imagined that I might be characterized as an unfit mother if an officer saw me walk the 6 feet to the dropbox without my children in tow.  Partly, I was truly worried about leaving them in the car, if only for 10 seconds. My husband thought I was being quite neurotic; I wasn’t so convinced.

So, I have a question for all of you dog owners out there. How long does toddlerhood last in a dog? For example, when will I be able to leave her for 15 minutes to take a shower or walk around the block and not find my cell phone charger chewed to bits?