Head On.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard A LOT more about concussions in the past few years and their effects, especially on football players.

So what is a concussion exactly?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head. But guess what? You DO NOT have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, multiple concussions compound on one another. Meaning, after you have one, the effects build when you get another one. That is why there are so many NFL players coming out with concerns, and that is why everyone from the NFL to high school athletic associations have created new concussions protocol measures.

Does this all seem like a bunch of BS? Well I’m here to tell you it’s not.

That’s me in my soccer playing days. A sport I was dedicated to for over ten years of my life until, you guessed it, concussions ended my career.

After sustaining multiple concussions from middle school to high school, the effects compounded and I was diagnosed with chronic migraines. Those migraines were so bad after my final concussion that I missed months of school and was in a constant search of anything that would help.

I’ve tried acupuncture, therapeutic massages, and all kinds of medication. This is now a part of my life.

The good news though? After seven years of daily preventative medications, I’ve finally seemed to figure out how to keep my migraines under control all on my own, with a little help of Excedrin migraine on a bad day.

So as you wake up today, frustrated that someone on your Fantasy Football team has been sidelined due to a concussion or upset that Detroit Lions rookie, Jarrad Davis, left the game last night against the Giants after making six tackles and his first career sack… let this serve as a reminder that concussions are serious. They are life-altering and can be life-ending for some. They changed my life forever and I wish people knew more about them ten years ago when I was a young athlete.

Four Downs.

In the spirit of football season, we give our “four downs” of the night on our high school football show on Friday nights, so I decided to bring it to the blog.

This week, my four downs cover a little bit of everything.

FIRST DOWN: STAFFORD IS BACK.

While everyone on twitter got a little bit nervous in the Lions first game against the Cardinals this past Sunday when Matthew Stafford’s first pass of the 2017 season was a pick six, Stafford’s resilience in that game showed exactly why he just received the biggest contract in the NFL.

Stafford pretty much picked up right where he left off last season, getting the team back in the game after going down early. Of course, no one wants to see a player who just signed a huge contract throw an interception to start off the year, but hey he did his job last week and we’ll see what he can do against the Giants on Monday in New York, who are hoping to bounce back after their loss in week one to the Cowboys.

SECOND DOWN: WINDIANS MAKE HISTORY.

Well unfortunately the Tigers were on the wrong side of history this week as the Indians handed them three straight losses, extending their win streak to 21 to tie 1935 Cubs team. On Thursday night, the Indians then passed the Cubs record when they came back against the Royals in the 10th inning to make it 22 straight wins.

That’s a pretty big deal in baseball and a lot of has to do with Cleveland’s pitching. Will they be playing in the World Series again this year?! Fall baseball is fun! (Not for the Tigers right now, but I’ve already talked about that on an earlier post haha.)

 

THIRD DOWN: FALLING FOR SEPTEMBER.

This week is actually a little bit warmer in Michigan, but it seemed like as soon as football season hit, so did the fall weather and I’m loving it!

Sweaters, jeans, leather jackets and booties – bring it on! I love fall weather and wish it would stay around a little longer in Michigan. I’m hoping it’s not going to start snowing the second October hits in West Michigan LOL!

FOURTH DOWN: LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

Okay, okay I’ll admit I’ve always been a Taylor Swift fan and even went to one of her concerts when I was in high school. However, her new album was such a new look and sound, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it.

Then, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ became the anthem for the first week of college football and I was sold. Smart marketing, Taylor! Even smarter? She debuted her other new song ‘Ready For It’ during some of the Saturday night college football games. This girl knows what’s up, and I definitely think this proves how much sports connect everyone.

I’m all in. Are you?

Let’s Get Social.

Social media is an amazing tool to connect with friends, grow your personal brand, find inspiration, and meet people with similar interests.

“Your network is your net worth.”

I was listening to a podcast recently when I heard this saying and it really stuck with me. No matter what industry you are in, it is such a small world and social media is just another platform for networking and connecting with like-minded people.

I recently had my own “small world” moment after moving to West Michigan. After over a year of following a jewelry brand and purchasing a couple of items from them, I found out the creator played college basketball nearby and was a sports reporter as well before diving into her business full-time. Talk about a small world!

This past weekend, I was finally able to meet Kaci when she hosted a pop-up shop in Holland, Michigan selling her PS46 jewelry and hand stamping them with personal messages. The brand’s motto is “everybody has a home team” and I love her mission to help women share their story.

Kaci and her sister Courtney were so sweet and it’s amazing it all started with some similar interests and connections on social media. So awesome seeing other women pursue their dreams. Go check her out at psfortysix.com or @psfortysix on Instagram!

 

Reality of a Rebuild.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day…”

We’ve all heard the saying, but let’s be real. Being patient isn’t always the easiest thing. Building something up to be the best version of itself takes time, effort, and yes, patience. It’s something I struggle with every day – trust me!!

Speaking of rebuilds… What’s up with the Detroit Tigers? After a number of big trades in recent months including J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton, Justin Verlander, Alex Avila and Justin Wilson, it is clear they are officially rebuilding.

But hey, growing up in Chicago, I understand what Tigers fans are feeling. The Cubs went 108 years without a World Series title, and there were a lot of interesting trades leading up to that.

The Tigers have continued to acquire younger players and hopefully will be able to rebuild their organization the way the Cubs have. A number of their top prospects are currently in West Michigan, playing on the Whitecaps.

I was able to attend the Whitecaps’ first home playoff game and talk to some of the players and staff about what it’s like to feel like there is a good future for them in the organization. Despite the chilly and rainy night, we had some fun and the team seems confident in their players (many of which will be moved up in the organization next year to Lakeland and beyond).

So in today’s day in age, when everything is instant and we crave constant results and entertainment, it is a good reminder to remain patient! Hopefully, the Tigers are on the right track and can build up their organization in the next few years. Okay it might take longer than a few years, but let’s try to be patient 🙂

Football is Back.

Fall is in the air… which means pumpkin spice lattes and football season are officially back! HA! I’m actually more of a pumpkin spice oatmeal girl and maybe a pumpkin spice candle too, but who doesn’t love fall?!

At my current job, I cover a ton of high school football, especially on Friday nights, and there is nothing better than the view of a packed crowd, with the sun setting, and the sounds of helmets hitting each other.

The first week of college football was pretty exciting as well. As a graduate of the University of Michigan, I was of course happy to see the Wolverines pull out the win against Florida. How about that defense? Coach Harbaugh even gave them high praises on Monday, saying they were the best defense he’s seen in his time at Michigan in terms of pursuing the ball and closing the gaps.

It was also a big win for Michigan State who’s mantra all offseason has been to put last year’s 3-9 record behind them. Looks like they are off to the right start.

And despite the fact that it caused my station to go on late, the UCLA win over Texas A&M truly solidified it being football season for me. I mean a 35 point comeback?! College football is just too entertaining.

Well because I’m feeling nostalgic, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite moments from the 2016 football season with you.

  1. Western Michigan had a historic year going undefeated in the regular season before making it to the Cotton Bowl. Covering them at the MAC Championship was one of my favorite moments!
  2. The annual Michigan vs. Ohio State football game was another favorite of mine in 2016. I cannot believe how crazy it was to be on the sidelines for that game. Yet to mention, cold! Hand warmers were stuffed in my boots and pockets that day LOL.

 

What are you looking forward to most in the 2017 football season?!