Saturday, 21 June 2014

How To Travel-In and Enjoy Your Lambeau Experience

The following is a guide for traveling in and enjoying your Lambeau Field experience.
1) Reserve a Hotel Room:
The first step in the planning process is knowing what game you want to go to. Regardless of what game interests you most, you need to be prepared to book a weekend stay at a hotel months in advance. On home game weekends there is no option for a single night stay; the minimum stay is two nights. While this may be one extra night of paying for a hotel, it will make a big difference in your Green Bay experience.
2) Get Tickets
There are many different ways to obtain tickets and not all of them include purchasing them in advance; you can show up in Green Bay on game day and find a ticket(s) no problem. However, if you're trying to make the most of the game day atmosphere I would suggest having your tickets prior to game day so you're not occupied shopping for your tickets.
3) Travel Inbound for the Game
So, at this point it's game weekend. Your party has hopefully determined whose car you'll be taking and when you're hitting the road. I recommend an SUV and hitting the road at a time which will allow you to check in with the hotel at the earliest time possible; the sooner you arrive, the more time you allow to experience a game weekend in Green Bay.
4) Arrive at Hotel
You've reached Green Bay! Now to be honest, this step is very open for the interpretation. You have roughly 24 hours before kickoff, so it's all a matter of asking yourself/group what you want to experience in between now and then.
Rise and shine, it's game day and you don't want to miss a thing. Pretending it's an 3:15pm game, I'd say you got to be out of the hotel no later than 10am. Get the car and cooler loaded, then head over to a parking lot of your choice. There are many options, and there is no real right or wrong. If you decide to go with an local homeowner's backyard, I would suggest staying relatively close (couple blocks) so you don't get too detached from the Lambeau atmosphere. Regardless of where you decide, tailgate your tails off until maybe 45 minutes before kickoff. Then it's time to shut it down and make your way to the stadium.
6) Enjoy the Victory
After the game is over you are in no rush because you got no traffic to beat. I would take this time to lounge around Lambeau as much as possible. Whether it's getting close to the field for some pictures or just walking around the concourse, take your time and soak in the atmosphere.
By Aaron P Matthews

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Knee Braces for Football - Do You Need to Wear Them?

As school winds down and as the summer approaches, high school football players prepare for the upcoming year. Many of these athletes participate in summer sports camps to maintain physical shape, hone in on their skills and improve endurance and flexibility.
Knee injuries, particularly ACL knee sprains and tears are a common occurrence during this time, and require medical attention and protection as competition to make the football squad becomes more aggressive.
There is much controversy concerning the effectiveness of wearing braces for protection following a knee injury or used as a preventative piece of equipment just like shoulder pads, helmets and chest protectors.
New knee braces like the Bledsoe NZONE have been designed specifically for football, addressing both the functional aspect of a knee brace and as a shock absorbing knee protector.
Thigh and knee pads have been mandatory equipment in high schools and colleges. On May 22, 2012, the NFL made thigh and knee pads mandatory equipment for the 2013 season.
DonJoy has had much success with its DonJoy Armor Extreme, providing a rigid framed brace for ACL protection. The DonJoy custom Defiance is worn by a number of all-pro and super bowl quarterbacks in the NFL, to protect past ACL surgeries or simply for protection.
The Breg Fusion XT has provided superior support for a number of professional athletes in football and other sports.Although the functional mechanisms of all of these braces from the different manufacturers are the same, there are certain differences between the brands that differentiate one over the other.A healthcare professional, coach or trainer that is experienced with many of the most popular brands can help make the determination for which brace is best for a particular football player.
Some knee braces are more effective and wearable for wide receivers vs. ones that are better for defensive backs.An experienced company whether brick and mortar or online company can assist the athlete, coach or trainer in choosing the right brace for his player.
Whichever brace is chosen, it is up to the player to determine its comfort and fit, and if there are issues with the brace during activity. If the brace slides down the leg while running, that can pose a serious issue during a game.
The ultimate decision on wearing a knee brace should come down to the physician's recommendation with the cooperation and support of the coaches and trainers. They understand the anatomy, the injury type and support level needed to protect the football player. This will ensure that the athlete receives the best knee brace for their particular injury.
By Dr. Kenneth Shapiro

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Inviting Knockoffs To The Tailgate Party

It took 81 years to build the Washington Redskins brand into what is believed to be the third most valuable franchise in the National Football League. It took wannabe censors at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office all of five minutes to destroy that brand equity - or at least give it their best shot.
The controversy over the Redskins' name is either an example of the progress of 21st century cultural tolerance or of political correctness run wild, depending on your perspective. It might even be both. But regardless, as the public name of a private enterprise, the banner under which Washington's football franchise performs is a matter for the team's ownership, the NFL, the players and arguably for anyone who follows football. If the Redskins name becomes unpopular enough that it damages the institution as a commercial enterprise, the team's ownership will have every reason to change it.
That is how the process should have played out. Instead, the appeals board at the Patent and Trademark Office, acting on complaints from people with no formal connection to the sport but who have appointed themselves the guardians of all Native Americans' collective cultural sensibilities, stripped the Redskins of their trademark protection in a 2-1 ruling. The primary effect of this decision is to make the world in general, and the streets near the team's stadium in particular, safe for a variety of knockoff merchandise. The action smacks of both censorship and theft.
The team has said it will appeal the ruling. Such an appeal can be made to a federal District Court or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Bob Raskopf, a trademark lawyer employed by the team, said in a statement, "We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's divided ruling will be overturned on appeal." (1)
The team will continue to use its name during the appeal process, and as long as a stay of the ruling is granted, it will be more or less business as usual until a final ruling is handed down. Also, as Fox Sports noted, the team's logo remains protected by copyright, not trademark, which may rein in some attempts to profit from the trademark office's decision. (2)
This is not the first time critics of the team name have attacked its intellectual property protection. In 2003, a federal judge in Washington overturned the Patent and Trademark Office's decision to cancel six of the Redskins' trademark registrations. In that case, the courts did not reach the merits of the argument that the word "redskin" is intrinsically disparaging; instead, the court deemed that the plaintiffs had waited too long to bring their suit. The latest round of young Native American activist plaintiffs argue that they sued promptly upon reaching adulthood and thus have standing to challenge a trademark that was first issued decades before they were born. Whether they do, in fact, have standing is likely to be one of the issues raised on appeal.
Another issue, naturally, will be whether a name that has been in use for more than 80 years, and is in fact used by a team to promote a positive image of itself as fierce and courageous, can be viewed as so inherently and undeniably derogatory that the government can simply strip it of legal protection. I don't believe the challenge to the Redskins' name will pass that test. Denying registration to a brand-new applicant is one thing; stripping a trademark after 80 years of use and untold investment, and thus imposing a huge financial penalty on its owners, is quite another.
Anyone is now free to start their own venture and call it "the Redskins," trading upon equity other people created over the course of decades. If the trademark office can strip Washington's football franchise of its trademark, what stops it from doing the same to the Atlanta Braves? Or to the Yankees, on the grounds that their name offends some Northerners when leveled at them by those from the South? Or to the baseball franchise that performs in Anaheim, California, yet calls itself the Los Angeles Angels (appending "of Anaheim" out of apparent embarrassment)? That name seems doubly deceptive, since the team does not play in L.A. and is composed exclusively of mortals.
I agree with the Redskins' lawyers that the courts are likely to overturn the trademark office's sensitivity police. In fact, I suspect that the panel made its ruling more as a political statement than because it believed it had the power to do what it wanted. This incident is an invitation to Congress to narrow the grounds under which intellectual property can be denied protection.

By Larry M. Elkin  |

Monday, 31 March 2014

Put Your Tap Shoes On

I watched the Oscar winning animated film "HAPPY FEET" and thoroughly enjoyed it and the director George Miller was incited to make a sequel and "HAPPY FEET TWO" and I anticipate seeing this with great pleasure. The first was a resounding success and carried the usual Hollywood voices to ensure popularity. Plenty of very real-sounding characters and a good story, made the film a happy watch and hopefully the sequel will too.
However, it did make my mind wander to my feet, or the feet of great tap dancers such as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and not let's forget Ginger Rogers, who danced in high heels backwards thank you, one can only be in awe. I have nearly all the Fred and Ginger films and some of Gene Kelly's too as I love tap dance. It doesn't really matter who is doing the tapping, I just love the sound and am fascinated by the movement of all dance, tap dance in particular.
There are tap dancing classes all across the British Isles and probably over the globe and age is not a limit. Grandmothers and grandfathers along with toddlers and teens all tapping along, some in silver shoes with huge bows, others in less eye-catching footwear, there are no boundaries, tap away for a couple of hours a week and the fat will roll. You could even put taps on hobnail boots and make it look good. That's what the Australian group "Tap Dogs" did and they are great fun and amazing dancers. Fortunately every now and then they arrive in London to do a show for a couple of weeks.
I must admit tap dancing is something I could never take to, although I can dance and love to dance with a professional dancer as they lift you along without effort and with great enjoyment - no wonder "Strictly Come Dancing" is so popular. I'm just not tap footed enough. That doesn't stop me enjoying it to the full. Some of the most unlikely stars came from a "Hoofer" background, they had to start somewhere I suppose, and that background was probably one that gave them much scope in their future acting careers because if you've ever tried tap dancing and haven't slipped onto your rear end at some point, you've never learnt one of life's lessons: to fall is to rise again.
Bob Hope could tap dance, as could Donald O'Connor, James Cagney, Rita Hayworth, Shirley McClaine, Sammy Davis Junior and many other stars. Today tap dancing doesn't get enough air time as I would like although "Dancing with the Stars" proved popular. The spectacular "Lord of the Dance" has re-emerged and that was very popular worldwide. They should invest in new shows where tap dancers could strut their stuff and perhaps even have contests, people love contests. I'm sure it would prove successful and probably discover more stars of the future.
Some of the American tap dancers, especially of the forties and fifties, such as the Nicholas Brothers were stupendous. A natural sense of rhythm coupled with fast feet and a sense of fun, made them memorable. This was street dancing at its best and it fortunately transferred to film so there is a history going back decades. This vernacular culture still continues thankfully, from this I await future stars.
In San Francisco a few years ago, a group of seemingly impromptu Break Dancers appeared out of nowhere and performed a "routine" that went on for about twenty minutes. The crowd grew and grew and the dancers were a wonder to see. I don't recall their name or if they had one, but they were all skillful dancers and acrobats even, all smiles and friendliness and good to watch. The crowd thought so too.
Impromptu anything can be great fun and as the "Happenings" of the past few years at large London train terminals have proven, huge crowds can gather just for fun, the more the merrier. Not fun if you're trying to get somewhere at the time of their happening, but fun anyway to brighten the gloom, which according to the proclamations of our politicians, won't get better any time soon. Perhaps we should start up a dance-a-thon in Trafalgar Square where there's space.
So dancing is fun, any age group can take it up and if they feel like Fred, Ginger or Gene, or even little Shirley Temple, it doesn't matter, all that matters is tap. Put on your dancing shoes and get with it, get moving, get wise, because by doing something healthy such as movement, and enjoying it in the process, can only be good for you. Keep your feet happy and you should be too.
Any form of dance is exciting but tap is the one where everyone can do it, well enough to keep moving at least. From my sister's silver shoes with big floppy bows, to being enchanted with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, I will always be a lifelong fan. When I get a little older I may just take it up.

By Jeanne Valentine

Thursday, 20 March 2014

World Cup 2014 at Porto Alegre

One of the most anticipated events in the sporting world happens to be the FIFA World Cup, which is having its 20th edition this year. It is the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world and is held once every four years. Fans of the game across the globe follow the gaming action live, watch their favorite players vie for glory on the field and witness new records being set.
Brazil, which has won the title five times and are the only team to have qualified for every tournament since its start, will play host this year to the FIFA World Cup which begins on 12th June, 2014. Porto Alegre has been gearing up to host the FIFA World Cup 2014 ever since Brazil was declared as the host nation. From revamping its stadiums to upgrading its public utility services, they are leaving no stone unturned to give football fans a once in a lifetime experience.
The city has worn a festive look and going all out to impress one and all. The Estadio Beira-Rio stadium, which will be will be hosting five games, has undergone a complete makeover in preparation of the FIFA World Cup. Not only has the overall infrastructure of the stadium has been revamped to accommodate the teeming multitude of soccer fans, but an extra and creative metal roof has also been installed to cover the stands, ramps and the turnstile areas.
Live action station
The place where all the live action will take place starting 12th June, 2014, is the Estadio Beira-Rio. The stadium is located on the banks of the River Guaiba, and has a picture-postcard setting to it. Estadio Beira-Rio, which has saw many a scintillating derby matches and has also hosted four Copa Libertadores finals, is slated to host five games in the FIFA World Cup. The match that has excited everybody is the Round-of-16 tie. Beira-Rio has a seating capacity of 50,287, a number that was largely boosted due to the construction project that the stadium authorities undertook as a part of the revamping process. Being the largest football ground in southern Brazil, the Beira-Rio has some eye-catching support features as well. Furthermore, it has superb connectivity to ease smooth inflow and outflow of spectators at the time of the matches.
Weather during the World Cup
Porto Alegre has four very defined seasons and generally has a warm, humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season. Summer months have average temperatures ranging from 27ºC to 35ºC, with temperatures sometimes exceeding the 35ºC mark as well. Winters here are quite cold with records of subzero temperatures as well as heavy snow. But compared to the other capitals of Brazil, Porto Alegre has a milder climate with an annual average temperature of 19.5ºC. In the months of June-July (at the time of the World Cup), Porto Alegre is expected to have cool weather with temperatures hovering between 20-23ºC accompanied by calm to gentle breeze. Such weather conditions will not only be enjoyable for the live spectators at the stadium, but also for the players who will benefit from the absence of sweltering heat and humidity.
Games and their Dates for this city
Porto Alegre will play host to nine teams who will play a total of five matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Although the details are not known yet, what is known is that of the nine teams, one team will certainly play more than once. Even though Brazil is hosting this edition of the World Cup, the host team will not get a chance to play at the Estadio Beira-Rio at Porto Alegre.

By Sarbani Bhattacharjee

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

An Introduction to Classical Indian Dances

Dancing may seem like your average hobby, but it takes a passionate, informed dancer to realise that this activity is actually deeply rooted in the culture of a country and that through physical moves, you understand the cultural values and spirituality that that country possesses. If there is a country whose national folk dance is synonymous with spirituality, that would definitely be India. Most people associate it with Bollywood dances, which are more like a simplified, pop culture version of the real, complex dancing culture in India. The reality is that Indian dances are much more complex than what we see on TV. Unlike other countries, which have one or two variations of dancing, India has no less than eight folk dances. This is due to the fact that there are numerous subcultures, each one with its own language and traditions. As an integrated part of cultural life, dancing is strongly connected with the place it originated from. Therefore, each dance move is more can be interpreted in a certain way, being charged with various meanings. Of course, a beginner dancer might want to know less about philosophy and more about the actual dancing technique, as well as where to take Indian dance classes.
Indian dances can be seen as a form of theatre, because the dancers use many hand gestures and, throughout the dance routine, they actually tell a story. No matter where they originate from, the dances are almost always based on Hindu mythology, re-enacting stories with gods and goddesses. If you want to go to an Indian dance school, first you will have to choose the type of dance you want to learn: classical or modern. If you want to understand Indian culture and take up classical dancing lessons, then again you'll have to make a choice between the eight types. No matter what you choose, you will definitely have a lot of fun, because there is so much more than dance to these lessons. For example, the classical Kathakali dance requires the dancer to wear a vibrant costume, as well as heavy make-up, and play mythology roles accompanied by the sound of drums. In another kind of classic dance, Oddisi, the body had to be bent in three points and facial expressions are extremely important. Your mind has to be very present in the dance, you have to detach yourself from your problems and, to a certain extent, it can even be said that Indian dance is a profoundly spiritual experience.
Classical Indian dance is a beautiful art, but those are looking for something that is more up to date or that can be performed outsides stages and festivals, should take up modern Indian dances, which are a combination between classic moves and modern elements, such as ballet and Bollywood movies. Learning Indian dances can be a bit difficult at first, because they are different from the dances that we are all accustomed to. However, if you go to a professional school where the teachers are native and they know how to explain the origins and meanings of dance moves, then you will definitely learn faster.

By Groshan Fabiola

Why Picking The Best Mountain Bike for The Money Does Not Have to Be Difficult

The reason that picking the best mountain bike for the money seems so difficult for so many people is that they fail to do the necessary steps when they want to purchase their bike. The biggest problem people run into when buying a bike is that they think any bike will be the right bike for them. They seem to take a one size fits all mentality when deciding on a bike, so they do very little, to no research on which bike to buy. Selecting the best mountain bike for the money does take research, but you do not have to be a rocket scientist to be able to find the right one for you.
So the first thing to remember is that the bike you choose has to fit you like a pair of pants or a shirt fits you. Having a bike that fits you properly will do two very important things. First, it will make sure that you have the best control and handling which will therefore reduce the number of potential accidents and injuries that you may sustain. The second thing deals with comfort and feel. Having a bike not fit you is like wearing clothes that do not fit you. If they are too tight or too big, you don't feel right. Having both the correct feel and handling in a bike is key to making sure that you have both a safe and enjoyable ride.
So what do we have to do to find the one that will both be comfortable and allow you to have the best control? That is, what are the things we have to make sure our bike has to accomplish in order to make sure you are getting the best mountain bike? Note, it doesn't mean you have to have a specialized bike and it doesn't even have to be a new one, a used will do as well.
1. Make sure that the height of the bike is correct. A bike is supposed to have at least 2-inch clearance between your inseam (crotch) and the top horizontal bar of your bike's frame when you stride it with your feet on the ground. Having a larger gap will make it much harder to control and having it shorter will lead to potentially more injuries if you know what I mean.
2. Obviously when you go biking, most of the riding you do will be off-road. This means that the frame of your bike should be strong and sturdy to sustain the stress and pressure of riding and to avoid fatal accidents. Good solid construction, good welds and the weight of the bike will all contribute to a strong and sturdy frame of your bike.
3. In order to have a comfortable ride, you want to make sure that you have the correct suspension. Because mountain bikes have to deal with more difficult terrains they need to have a suspension that can handle these tough environments. The different types of suspension are rigid, hard-tail, soft-tail or dual suspension. This is a very critical part of the bike choice, and while some prefer full suspension, most mountain bikers normally choose a hard-tail suspension.
4. The last thing to consider is the braking system of the bike. There are two different types of brakes, the standard v-brakes and the newer disc brakes. When looking at the brake system, it is important to make sure that the brake system is the more up to date disc brakes. Disc brakes are much easier to maintain and will help keep your bike in much better shape.
Keeping these items in mind will go a long ways towards getting yourself the best mountain bike for the money that will not only be safe to ride, but will also make sure that it is a comfortable ride.

By Shaari Abdullah