Saturday, May 2, 2015

Skittles. More Than Candy.

I have been mentoring and just being friends with a little third grade girl this school year. She has had many ups and downs. The latest hurdle for her has been that she melts down during the yearly, state testing at school. I was asked if I could give her some encouragement with regards to getting through the tests. I told her to try and stay focused and that when I was a little girl like her, I would tell myself that summer was soon coming and I had to get through the testing to move on to next year! I had her repeat back what she was going to tell herself and she had it! Then, she asked if she could go out for regular recess. That there was a group she had plans to play with. This was music to my ears because she is known to be a loner and not have many friends. I gave her a small bag of Skittles and off she went. I also went outside to the playground and could see her off in the distance running and playing and shaking the Skittles into her friends' hands. It almost looked like a TV commercial that was advertising more than just candy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Curiosity Got Me, Where NFL Cheerleaders Are Concerned.

I have a friend whose daughter is going to be a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader for the 2nd year in a row. This sparked a conversation between myself and another friend where we were curious how much money they are paid? (I knew it was super low)And what do they really get out of it? Can you believe it is usually less than minimum wage? I can believe it. And the "kicker" (sorry) is that they make put these women through gruelling try outs and interviews and a lengthy voting process. They are given a football test and of course there is also the degrading swimsuit modelling. Except for shattered nerves, what could they possibly get out of that? I'm not judging here, I'm just curious as to why these women wouldn't rather do something big to promote women as the stars and not the underpaid supporters of some big he man football players and organizations who don't have the greatest reputations these days, if ever? I can't really figure it out. Here is an article I found that has some interesting facts and perspective. Let me know what you think and let's continue to help women wake up! NFL DRAFT VIDEOS PHOTOS LISTS TICKETS nflSeptember 11, 2014 9:09pm EDTSeptember 11, 2014 6:09pm EDT NFL cheerleaders bring in money, but barely paid any Howard Bloom @SportsBizNews Email RSS September 11, 2014 9:09pm EDT In the midst of the greatest image crisis in recent NFL history, the optics of which are in part focused on the relationship the NFL has with women, how the league treats its cheerleaders, long viewed as eye-candy at NFL games, is in the news. Twenty-six of the 32 current NFL franchises have cheerleading teams, with the Baltimore Colts becoming the first in 1954 and the Dallas Cowboys later pushing the cheerleaders’ ability to influence ticket sales. The Buffalo Jills perform during a game in 2013. (AP Photo) PHOTOS: NFL cheerleaders But as much as they are valued as a business bonus, cheerleaders have for the most part received little more than recognition for the hundreds of hours they put into their game day preparation, performances, and the many different events they attend on behalf of the NFL teams they represent. The Raiderettes last week were awarded a $1.25 million settlement on back wages owed to members of the Raiders cheerleading team. Under the terms of their previous agreement, the cheerleaders made less than $5 an hour. Under their new agreement, they will be paid $9 an hour. Four NFL teams (Cincinnati, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and New York (Jets) are still dealing with cheerleader-related lawsuits. The Bengals, Buccaneers and Jets all have cheerleading teams, but the Bills disbanded the Jills in May after the Jills filed their lawsuit. When the Bills play the Dolphins in Buffalo's home opener Sunday, it will be for the first time since 1967 without the Jills. In their filing, Buffalo’s cheerleaders contend they were asked to work 16 hours or more during the NFL season and for all of their efforts, were given a parking pass to Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Ben-Gals were paid $45 a game, well below minimum wage when the hours of unpaid practice time is factored in. How the NFL values women will be at the forefront of the looming court cases. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, based on New York's $8 hourly minimum wage, factoring in the 20 hours each Buffalo Bills cheerleader had to invest once they were selected as a Buffalo Jill for the 42 weeks of their cheerleading season (tryouts, practices, regular season and playoff games), the Bills would have to invest $235,000 for the entire Jills squad. Cheerleaders have become a fundamental part of the NFL’s game day experience. With the average NFL ticket price nearly $85 this year, it seems incomprehensible NFL teams would continue to pay cheerleaders next to nothing for the entertainment they offer NFL fans. How often are cheerleaders on camera as part of the NFL’s $4.9 billion network agreement? According to Eric Smallwood, an analyst at Front Row Marketing Services, a Philadelphia-based company that consults with sports teams on sponsorships, the answer is an average of seven seconds during most broadcasts — more often than not on the way to and from commercial breaks. That represents $317,000 per year for each of the 26 teams with cheerleading squads last season. How important are cheerleaders to the Atlanta Falcons? At the start of the 2014 season, the Falcons introduced a new incentive for returning season ticket holders. Fans have a chance to order a seat-side visit from a pair of Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders. It seems almost morally reprehensible that the NFL is allowed to treat cheerleaders as badly as they have, while simultaneously trying to sell a message of inclusion for women fans. Howard Bloom is a Sporting News contributor and the long-time publisher of Sports Business News. He can be reached at

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bad Situation.

A few weeks back, a dog I know in my building was attacked. And had severe injuries that needed a lot of vet attention involving surgery. I heard that the owners of the dog that went on attack mode were moving out. The dog that attacked happens to be a female pit bull and is now being held in quarantine not too far away from here. Last night the owner of the pit circulated letters around the complex pleading for neighbors to come forward in support of her dog by means of letters that would help free her dog from being euthanized tomorrow. The letter was also very derogatory towards the dog that was attacked. A dog that I happen to know pretty well. The attacker dog's "Mom" is not accepting any kind of responsibility! I feel kind of stuck in the middle but will not get involved in this situation in any way. I feel like it's the apartment management's fault for allowing dogs who are over 20 pounds. This was always a 20 # limit until just recently. They just shouldn't be in apartment buildings. It's too bad that the pet rules had to change! And I hope they change back. It's kind of scary for people like me who have a little 17 pounder. We never seem to know what's around the next corner. Bless the beasts! I really don't even want to know what happens to the dog who is being held. She was in several family photos. within the letter and looked just as sweet as could be. Always something!