Hello and welcome to my personal blog that will be updated frequently. Topics are ranging, but I will largely focus on the National Football League and its happenings.

All photos and videos, unless otherwise noted, are permitted for reuse.

Please share your comments and opinions below in the space provided. I welcome your feedback.

Prudential Center – Platinum Lounge

This post was published for Brett Fischer Sports Consulting on November 10th. 

We’ve had clients attend all New Jersey Devils home games already this season at the Prudential Center in Newark. Their VIP experience in the Platinum Lounge was so memorable it deserved a website post with pictures to showcase best in class amenities of the increasingly popular area referred to as “The Rock’s Hidden Gem”.

At every Prudential Center event (Devils hockey games, top concerts, family shows) the Platinum Lounge features high-end food options including appetizers, entrees, and desserts, as well as a top shelf bar area. As if this was not enough, Platinum Lounge ticket holders also get to enjoy the live action from some of the very best seats at the Prudential Center just a few steps away from the Lounge! We also include VIP Parking that allows for easy and convenient access to the Prudential Center. Please call us directly to plan your next client event or night out with family and friends in the Platinum Lounge!

Platinum Lounge Pic

NEC Social Media Day

This piece was for Brett Fischer Sports Consulting, LLC on October 22, 2014.

Brett Fischer Sports Consulting was live from the Barclays Center on Tuesday for the Northeast ConferenceBasketball Social Media Day! It is our second year in partnership with the conference marketing and selling sponsorship opportunities.

NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris kicked off the festivities before the event opened up to the live webcast produced by NEC Front Row and streamed on ESPN3.

Players and coaches from each of the teams were available for interviews and on air segments and the always-anticipated preseason poll was released for both the men and the women.

It is an exciting time for the NEC, now in its 34th year. Morris and the conference recently signed broadcast agreements with ESPN3 and CBS Sports Networking, significantly expanding their reach across the country.

We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the conference and look forward to the exciting season ahead!

30 Years of Def Jam Recordings

This piece was for Brett Fischer Sports Consulting, LLC on October 16, 2014 

Trace famous movements or projects to their roots and you often find a scene of humble and ordinary beginnings. Def Jam Recordings is no exception. Founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons released the first single with a Def Jam Recordings logo – “It’s Yours” by T La Rock & Jazzy Jay – out of a New York University dormitory in 1984.

Sounds humble and ordinary enough, but the label’s status today is anything but.

Little did they know then the worldwide phenomenon that Def Jam Recordings would become thirty years later. And tonight at the Barclays Center, those thirty years will be celebrated in an epic concert as Rick Ross2 ChainzDMXFabolousFoxy BrownMethod Man, and others are set to perform in front of thousands of adoring fans.

The label has gone through highs and lows, including financial troubles in the early 1990s, but now stands as a prime destination for aspiring artists worldwide. That’s no surprise with a roster including household names such as Mariah CareyIggy AzaleaKanye WestLudacrisRick RossFrank OceanCommonAfrojackAlesso and Big Sean. Past names on the label’s lineup include Jay-ZRihannaLL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys.

Tonight’s concert is set for 8:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!


The Players’ Tribune

This piece was for Brett Fischer Sports Consulting, LLC on October 12, 2014.

Mere hours after finishing the farewell tour that culminated his legendary 20-year career with the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter launched a new website – The Players’ Tribune. The mission is to give athletes the platform to speak directly with fans in the exact message intended, removing the ‘reporter’ middleman status.

“I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or ‘I don’t knows.’ Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted,” Jeter wrote in his introductory post.

Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson wrote a moving piece titled ‘Let’s Talk About Domestic Violence’ to kick off the first-person stories written directly by athletes.

The site has the potential to break through barriers athletes face in communicating with their fan base and it will be interesting to see what gets posted next.

So although retired from the diamond, The Captain has found a new way to leave his mark on the sports world.

Is anyone surprised? We sure aren’t.

The Players' Tribune

Focus On The Process!

The idea for this entry has been brewing in my mind for quite some time now. My psychology minor from Lafayette College may be in play here. Or not. That could be wishful thinking.

I graduated in May of this year. The event in itself culminated four incredible years with incredible people. But it was time to move on. That was the harsh reality.

Time is the beast that cannot be stopped.

I love that saying because it is oh so true.

Now is the time to face new obstacles and adversity. Now is the time to learn new skills. Now is the time to meet new people. And all of that is rather exciting. I hope you feel the same way. I think you do, considering how often I hear from my friends of their ambitions to experience new events and places and activities.

Most of you who will read this are 20-something-year-olds. Some of you have started full-time or part-time jobs. Others are still looking, which in a different perspective can be classified as fun-employment. Some of you are still in school.

The employment talk will stop there though. I won’t fill this page with middle school clichés in motivation attempts either.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

Just one, actually.

Think of a time recently when you had this sudden and exciting urge to build a new skillset. For me, it was computer coding. I watched a colleague of mine from the Steelers fix this issue with the website one day during my internship. It looked like a foreign language to me, but to him, it was effortless.

It was impressive. It spurred me to build that skillset. I was motivated.

Where to begin…? There was so much to learn but so little time, I thought. I have no idea what to do! I started focusing on the finished product of fixing that complicated issue rather than the process of building that skillset.

And now, folks, after 321 words, we have arrived at the meat of this entry.

Too often, when attempting to build these new skillsets, we have this ideal image of perfection set in our minds. The process of how to get there is forgotten. Each mistake we make derails us from that ‘perfect path’. We nitpick over the tiniest details.

And then in the end, or at least when we give up, no real progress is made. We are back at square one and have suffered a considerable amount of frustration and stress.

Now before I proceed, please understand I do not deem myself some expert of this subject matter. I simply am writing out my thoughts that stem from my experiences and wish to share them with you, the reader. Take them or leave them or tell me how shitty they are in the comment section… your choice.

So back to where we were. The majority of your focus should be on the process, not the finished product! I take daily lessons on Udacity. I learn tidbits of coding here and tidbits there and then put those skills into use. It’s exciting. It’s fun. And the frustration and anxiety with achieving that perfect self-set standard drifted away.

All because I am finally enjoying the process. That’s how you excel, at least in my mind.

It could be weight lifting or training for a marathon. It could be the path to becoming a published writer. It could be brewing the world’s best beer. It could be achieving that 4.0 GPA.

Immerse yourself in the process and I think you’ll find yourself on a much smoother and happier road to achieving that goal. Take pride in completing those sometimes little annoying details.

So next time you feel that urge to build a new skillset, take a step back and a few deep breaths, write down the necessary steps, and get after it. Immerse yourself in the process.

And I know it won’t be long before you feel that urge. We’re motivated 20-something-year-olds.

A few thoughts on the Panthers’ ROMP of the Blue Hens

By Michael Kelley

Holy smokes! The Pitt Panthers put on a clinic this afternoon of smash mouth and fundamental based football, albeit against the Delaware Blue Hens.

The final score? That would be 62-0.

The Panthers are now 1-0 and have a good foundation set for their game this Friday against Boston College. There was much to like in this romping, albeit against the Delaware Blue Hens.

Did I just repeat myself? Oh well.

STAT YOU HAVE TO LOVE: The 62-0 victory was the largest margin of defeat since the Panthers beat Temple 76-0 in 1977. That team went 9-2-1 and won the Gator Bowl 34-3. So there’s that…

THE OFFENSIVE LINE: Finally oh finally the Panthers feature a formidable offensive line. Coach Paul Chryst LOVES a solid line and he is building one in Pittsburgh in his third year.

I like seeing the line ten yards down the field finding new blocks after pancaking some Blue Hens. Guys like RT T.J. Clemmings paving the way downfield for the bruiser of a running back James Conner. I like seeing QB Chad Voytik have time to throw. And I love seeing Pitt control the line of scrimmage and dictate the flow of the game.

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some of the final stats: 55 total team carries, 407 yards for a 7.4 average and seven total rushing touchdowns. SEVEN! Conner had 13 carries for 145 yards and four TDs in limited playing time.

Rachid Ibrahim (14 for 95), Chris James (14 for 78 and 2 TDs), and Isaac Bennett (7 for 41 and 1 TD) were also on display. It’s turning into a game of pick your poison at running back for the Panthers’ opponents.

The arrow is pointing up on this group and the ceiling is high. If the Panthers can consistently run the ball, it sets up more open looks for…

TYLER BOYD: He’s elusive. He’s fast. He’s got great football smarts. And he’s silky smooth running around with that ball. He will be an integral part of the Panthers’ offense this season and watching him trek down to the locker rooms before halftime accompanied by trainers made you hold your breath for a second.

But it’s good news it’s only a dislocated finger on his left hand and not more serious.

The even better news was watching how much of an impact Boyd made in his limited time today. He caught that touchdown pass. He had the 35-yard punt return on his first touch of the season.

I’m excited to watch this talent emerge into one of the nation’s best this season.

DEFENSE: I’m holding out on the defense for now and thus, will keep this part short. Sure, they shut out the Blue Hens and held them to just 71 yards of total offense. But I want to see this unit as the season progresses into tougher opponents. They did look fast and the LBs and DL did a nice job of shedding blocks. The Panthers didn’t miss many tackles either.

Pitt mimicked their stadium sharing Steelers when they gave up 11 plays of 40+ yards last season. None of that today obviously, but it’ll be interesting to see how that weakness is shored up.

Till next time, folks.

LeBackfield in LeTrouble

The LeBackfield is in some LeTrouble.

The duo – Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount – royally fucked up on Wednesday afternoon when they were stopped and charged with marijuana possession at 1:30 p.m. For Bell, 22, it’s even worse. He could additionally be charged with driving under the influence.

They were presumably on their way to the team charter to Philadelphia that departed at 2:30. An unknown female was present in the back seat of the car.

How embarrassing. For them first and foremost. For the Rooneys. For Kevin Colbert. For Mike Tomlin. For the organization all together.

93.7 The Fan broke the news before it made its way into the mainstream media. Then, as you can expect, it turned into a free for all.

The list goes on and on, as you can imagine. The two became quite close during the offseason activities and their friendship was publicized during the three weeks of training camp at Saint Vincent College. Here’s one example for you to watch…

OR this, from Blount’s Twitter account:

And last but certainly not least, there was the scene at the Steelers’ annual night practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium on August 2nd. Bell and linebacker Vince Williams were pitted against each other in the ever-popular ‘Backs on ‘Backers drill’ and scuffled past the whistle. Blount dove into the pile both padless and swinging to protect his fellow running back.

It was quite the display of friendship. To give you an idea of the physicality of that drill, check out my video from that practice below:

All of that aside, the optimism surrounding this friendship and potential backfield has faded significantly, and you can bet it is under the management microscope now. Yes, it isn’t the most serious of charges and marijuana is slowly but surely reaching legalization. But that doesn’t cut out the fact that it is still illegal in Pennsylvania and the NFL.

It is a direct insult to the coach’s authority, in this case Tomlin’s, and it’ll be interesting to see his response, not just tonight following the conclusion of the Steelers-Eagles game, but over the coming weeks.

But for a team that started last season 0-4, a slow start cannot be afforded this time around. And the Steelers have acknowledged that many times. Tomlin is a big believer in controlling what you can control, but his LeBackfield surely didn’t heed that knowledge in this case.