TBT! The Official Blog of The Super Bowl

(Jauary 31, 2015) I’m not saying that The Phil Factor is The Official Blog of The #SuperBowl, and I’m not saying it’s not. What I am saying is that I want to get a cease and desist letter from the National Football League’s lawyers.

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For those of you not from the States, or from the U.S. but you just don’t care, this weekend is the championship game of the National Football League, otherwise known as the #SuperBowl. I’m hashtagging those words, linking to their site, and making a point of using the phrase ‘Super Bowl’ because the NFL literally tries to sue anyone who uses the phrase “Super Bowl” without paying them millions of dollars to do so. (I’m putting the words Super Bowl in bold print on the off chance that they’ll be more noticeable when someone from the NFL is looking at the internet.) Some networks even prohibit their announcers from saying Super Bowl out of fear of being sued by the NFL. Comedian Steven Colbert has taken to calling it the Superb Owl.

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I call bullshit. I don’t care who you are or what entity you’ve created, no one gets to own words. When I’m elected President, or #SuperBowl MVP (Most Valuable Phil), whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating “No people or corporations can own words.” It’s a stupid idea that someone can own the rights to the words #SuperBowl. I’m pretty sure that the words super and bowl were around long before American football. In fact, on Downton Abbey last week Mr. Carson was bringing soup to the Earl and Countess in this big, ornate dish and the Earl said, “Why Mr. Carson! That is the most super bowl I have ever laid my eyes upon!” Downton Abbey happened a hundred years ago, so there’s your proof that someone else used the phrase first.

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What if I really do own a super bowl? You know, one of those cool ones with a picture at the bottom that you can’t see until you’ve eaten every drop. That is truly a super bowl. Or what about the people who invented the Perfect Bacon Bowl? That has got to be the superest of bowls. If there were a vote I’m pretty sure that the Bacon Bowl beats out football as the best kind of bowl. I’m also pretty sure that the Bacon Bowl people aren’t going to sue me for mentioning their product. In fact, they might even send me a free Bacon Bowl maker for mentioning it (hint, hint). Click on the video below. The song is a hilariously awesome and may sound more than a little like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

I’m also sure that the folks in the legal marijuana states of Washington and Colorado  think their bowls are pretty Super too. Is the NFL going to sue anyone there who says to their smoking buddy “Man, this is one super bowl“?

I’m not afraid to say any word I want. And by the way National Football League, what in the hell makes you so arrogant to think that you have to police the world to make sure no one uses your phrase? I would like to hereby announce that I am legally forbidding anyone from referring to themselves as the official anything of #ThePhilFactor unless I declare it. There you go National Football League. I dare you to declare your #SuperBowl is The Official Super Bowl of The Phil Factor. You know what though? I’m not going to sue you if you do. They’re only words. If you think my blog is so awesome that you want to affiliate yourself with it, great, but it’s going to cost you. In fact, nevermind. The title is already taken. I’m officially declaring that the Perfect Bacon Bowl is The Official Super Bowl of The Phil Factor. And if the Perfect Bacon Bowl people wanted to buy advertising space in my sidebar I’m not opposed to that.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor, which is the #SuperBowl of blogs, please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. Have a great #SuperBowl weekend! ~Phil

I Have 3 Problems with the Polar Vortex

So I thought, “Phil, everyone loves cute, whimsical pictures of kittens. If you had a kitten on your blog more people would read it.” Seriously, how many of you saw the picture and said, “Awww!” and clicked on this to read more? Read on my frozen friends because the kitten wasn’t just a trap to lure you into my evil clutches. He’s related to the story. Prior to that sentence I had never thought of myself as having “evil clutches”, but there you go. It’s out there. It’s a thing. What is an evil clutch anyway? A cute little hand bag made by Satan?

This week much of the country is engulfed in the worst cold spell we’ve endured in a while. I have three problems with The Polar Vortex.

Problem Number 1: They named it. In an effort to make their marginalized profession seem more important, meteorologists are naming virtually every weather event so they can grab some headlines. The Polar Vortex does sound like an evil nemesis from Antarctica, which is awesome. (Apparently they couldn’t go with Mr. Freeze because the Batman franchise had that trademarked) But seriously, do we need to give every gust of wind and downpour a name? It used to be just hurricanes, but now every tropical storm, typhoon, and cold snap gets a name. I want a job on the committee that comes up with those names. How fun would that be? I’m also disappointed that not one weather forecast has brought out the Snow Miser video.

Problem Number 2: People in  warm states freaking out. Seriously everybody, it is just cold air. Zip up your coat and go to work. Maybe put on a hat, like the kitten in the picture.

It’s so frozen that Elsa was arrested

Problem Number 3: The idiots. Some science geeks suggested that for fun people boil water, go outside when the temperature is at least 50 below zero Fahrenheit (about -46 for my Celsius friends) and throw that water in the air to observe it turning into snow before it hits the ground. Pretty cool idea right? Yes it is pretty cool, unless you’re one of the idiots who said to themselves, “It’s only 17 below but I’ll try it anyway.” For those idiots it was pretty hot when the wind blew scalding water back in their face and these idiots filled emergency rooms to have their burns treated.

Doing my extensive scientific research for this column I did come across a video of actress Vanessa Hudgens actually performing this experiment successfully but I chose to go with the picture of the kitten. You’re welcome.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor I would love it if you would hit the Facebook, Twitter or Google+ share button below. Have a great Saturday! ~ Phil

picture credit: chud.com

My Fatal Flaw.

This is not me and that is not my naked bottom!

I rarely indulge in revealing my personal issues. Yes, I know it may come as a surprise to many of you that I do have a flaw, an Achilles heel if you will. It isn’t anything that would get me killed, but nonetheless, I’m discovering that it is quite the oddity in today’s world. In fact, it seems to be so rare that this flaw of mine is discriminated against by many places, including one of the most popular  companies in the world!

Yes, that’s right. Starbucks broke my heart by discriminating against me personally. That was a lot of build up. So what is my fatal flaw? It’s that I drink decaf coffee. Gasp! Even though you didn’t have your mic on, I heard that gasp. You’re suddenly thinking, Geez. Up until now Phil seemed so normal. I may have to re-think the whole Phil Factor worshiping that I’ve dedicated my life to.  Yes, D-E-C-A-F. I imagine that many of you were so shocked at this admission that you spilled your caffeinated coffee down the front of your pajamas.  So you’re gasping and you have coffee on your robe. Not a pretty sight.

That’s me on the left when I was younger

It’s been almost two years since I gave up caffeine. I don’t exclusively not drink caffeinated beverages, but I’d say that about 90% of the beverages that go in my body are decaf. Now that you know I don’t drink caffeine you’re probably saying to yourself, “If he doesn’t drink caffeinated coffee, why the heck was that grown ass man doing turning a cartwheel in his last video post?!!?”

What I’ve discovered is that not drinking caffeinated coffee is akin to walking into a coffee shop or restaurant with leprosy. They don’t want to serve you, but by law they have to. (there goes my leprosy audience. They’re such a sensitive demographic) The entire worldwide Starbucks chain has been commanded to stop serving decaf coffee. What they do tell me when I try to order a decaf is that “we don’t make decaf coffee, but we could make you a decaf Americano.” So I’ve let them do this for me twice. It turns out OK, but I’ve have to endure the aloof sneer of the hipster barista and it takes at least ten minutes just to get that simple cup of coffee. And, adding insult to injury, when they call out my name, they get it right! Gasp! I know, right?

Surprisingly, there are a lot of funny memes dedicated to decaf coffee. I’ve also discovered that being a decaf drinker is like being that gluten-free vegan. If you go out with a group you’re considered to be a high maintenance freak. Often restaurants have to go brew a pot of decaf just for you. I had a restaurant once tell me that it might be about ten minutes until I could get a decaf because they were told not to bother brewing it regularly because they only get one or two requests a day for it.

Good question Jean-Luc Picard. I started it about two years ago as part of a diet that was actually very effective and even though I dropped the diet after about three months, I decided to continue to skip caffeine but continue coffee because I like it and it has health benefits. In fact, doing my research for this post I learned that studies have shown that if you drink two or more cups of decaffeinated coffee a day, you will have up to a 48% lower chance of developing rectal cancer. That’s right, my butt is going to live forever!

I’m not sure how to top that last line as a walk off, so enjoy the rest of your caffeinated day! ~Phil

The Unemployment Diaries: Video Blog Week 1

Remember last week when I said that if I could, I’d do the Tom Cruise slide into the room like the scene from Risky Business? But since I have carpeting, there’s no way to slide in my house, so here’s the next best thing, and make sure that you have your volume on:

That’s right, I did a cartwheel. A much more sophisticated move than sliding in socks. Yes, it’s fair to say that I have a little time on my hands. And I did mention video blogging, didn’t I? I’m many things, but I’m not a liar.

I hope you enjoyed that. Have a great day! ~Phil

The Magic of Emotional Intelligence by Magician James David

At 7:30 a.m. I boarded a flight to Detroit. I made my way down the aisle to the coach section where we were packed into our tiny seats like eggs in a carton. I found myself seated next to a young serviceman. Army I think. He was in uniform and had carried on a duffel bag as if he were headed back to his base. A moment after we had both gotten situated, a guy makes his way back from the first class section, stops at my row and says, “Go take my seat. I’ll switch with you. You deserve it.”  Woo Hoo! It’s my lucky day, I thought. He must be a fan of The Phil Factor. 

As fate would have it, he was talking to the young serviceman next to me. Little did I know that both the young serviceman and I were in luck that day. My new but extremely weary travel companion was magician James David. He must have pulled at least $40 in change out of my ear during the hour long flight. I’m kidding of course. His real trick was staying awake. He had performed until late in Buffalo the previous evening and then during the night drove over an hour to get to Rochester where his flight was leaving from and he hadn’t slept all night.

This is James’ third time appearing on #ThePhilFactor, but it’s his first as an author. You can read his other two interviews HERE and HERE

Me: I have yet to see a job listing for magician on LinkedIn. How does one become a magician as a career?

James: Hey Phil, well one doesn’t just get to pick a job as a magician from Linkedin.   You have to receive a letter from an owl saying you have been accepted to Hogwarts.  Everyone knows that Phil!!   However,  if you are not that lucky (like myself) then learning from a book or a website is a good place to start.  Once you master the basics of magic and get good enough at them you don’t have to “apply” for a job, the jobs just come to you.  When I started to get really good people would just ask me if I did this for a living and how much did I charge?  All I had to do was answer yes!  So the short answer to your question is LOTS of hard work and practice.

Me: What led you, a magician, to decide to write a book about sports team chemistry?

James: Long before I was a magician I was a basketball coach.   In fact, I started learning magic to entertain my students and my players when I felt like making the atmosphere a little more fun. It gave the kids and myself a mental break from reality. But as I learned more and more about magic, I realized magic and sports/life are identical.   What I mean is that they both have fundamentals.  The more you practice a skill set the better you get at it and the better you get at mastering the fundamentals the more it looks like “magic”.   The same is with building chemistry with someone.

I was turned onto the topic of emotional intelligence through a conversation I was having with a friend one day.  It fascinated me and the more I researched the topic, the more I realized it had to do with building chemistry.  But my coaching mind never shuts off and I just kept saying to myself, “This is team building stuff.”   From there I realized that building chemistry is the same as magic and sports.   There are certain fundamental of chemistry as well.  Those fundamentals are self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management.  If you work hard at them and developing emotional intelligence, you will build chemistry!  (It’s explained in more detail in the book)
Me: What has been your most unique or exciting experience working with sports teams?
James: Since I am by heart a basketball guy, my two favorite team to work with have been UCLA men’s basketball and the Portland Trailblazers.  I just loved talking hoops and being able to help professional athletes think about team chemistry in a different way.  But UCLA was my favorite team growing up and it was special to work with a historic program like UCLA because of its rich history in winning championships and because of their former head coach John Wooden.   In fact, John Wooden has a lot of high emotional intelligence principles in his coaching style which is what helped him win so many hearts of his players.   They loved him because of it.
Me: What does your book offer for someone who isn’t in sports coaching?
James:  It was funny you asked this question because when I was having people pre-read my book, I picked some people  that knew sports and some that never played.  One consistent thing I heard back from people was that not only did they learn how emotional intelligent relates to sports, but that it also relates to life!   You do not have to be a sports person to get the value of emotional intelligence. You just need to be willing to learn  and apply it.   When you do that whether you play sports or not, your life will improve.
Me: Thank you James. I appreciate you stopping by The Phil Factor again. Best of luck with your book and your magic.
If you’re interested in learning more about James you can find him at JamesDavidMagic and you can find his book on Amazon! Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

Don’t Worry! I’m Not That Prince Philip

In case you were worried about me, I’m not the Prince Philip that was in a car accident a few days ago. Although we share an identical spelling of our first names, that’s where the resemblance ends. Why was Philip even driving? Was he trying to Brexit the country?

Is it just me or does he always seem to have two black eyes? I wonder if he’s in a lot more car accidents than we ever hear of. Or maybe he and Queen Elizabeth like it a little rough in the bedroom.

I may not  be a Prince, yet. If the Queen gets tired of Philip’s high jinks and gives him the boot, I’m not opposed to having a sugar mama, especially one that allows me to be King of England if she mysteriously passes away.

I may never be Prince, but when I’m elected President (#PHIL2020), or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law, not just in the United States, but the whole world. Which I think will require me to be Sexiest Man Alive, because that’s a worldwide title.  My law will state that no human being should be allowed to drive a car past age 75.

I know some will say that’s ridiculous, but I don’t think so. By the age of 75 so many parts of aging impede our ability to be a good driver. Our vision is much less than it was when we were younger and our ability to physically react quickly has declined significantly. If that wasn’t the case you’d see 75 year olds playing professional sports. Hell, I don’t want to be driving past age 75! If my kids read this, please take the keys away from me when I’m 75, or earlier if warranted.

Get this, Prince Philip was seen driving around two days after the accident. He obviously doesn’t have much common sense, but for cripes sake, is everyone in the English monarchy stupid? Get that guy off the road! Get him off the left side and the right side of the road! If he wants to drive around put him in a golf cart on the castle grounds but attach a tether to it so he can’t go too far.

With all due respect, this is a serious issue. If an elderly family member is still driving and you think they shouldn’t be, please take away the keys. Yes, that may upset them, but not as much as a fatal accident will.

~Phil

Some Suggestions For Getting Your Kids Away from Their Phones

Denzil Walton , a friend of The Phil Factor, has written a fascinating book. If you’re a parent I’m sure that the title of this blog post caught your attention. How in the world do we get our kids off their phones and interacting with the “real” world? Denzil, a lover of nature, the great outdoors and birds in particular has some great ideas.

Author Denzil Walton

His highly rated book is available for Kindle on Amazon USA, Amazon in the U.K. , and on Kobo . If you’ve got kids who are already spending a little too much time looking at life online instead outdoors I encourage you to check out Denzil’s book! ~Phil