September 1, 2014

Why is Tim Tebow the Most Hated Quarterback in the NFL?

By Kieron Walker   Posted at  Monday, September 01, 2014   Sports No comments
After watching the Denver Broncos bow out of the 2011 NFL Playoffs against the New England Patriots, I could not help but wonder just why certain people hate Tim Tebow so much. Of course he has just as many if not more fans than haters, yet I still cannot lose track of the fact that people seem to hate him with the same passion that people hate on whole teams like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, or Duke Blue Devils.

I guess to fully understand the hate directed towards him, you have to have a grip on just why people love him in the first place. Tebow was a highly-decorated high school football player who went on to further glory at the University of Florida. While he was a member of the Florida Gators football team, he managed to win two National Championships as well as the Heisman Trophy as the nation's top collegiate football player.

After college, Tebow was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He played limited minutes in his rookie season as a Bronco, but came in almost midway through his second season to lead the Broncos to the playoffs. Attention to Tim Tebow is not only limited to the football field however. He has also been a very vocal supporter of his Christian faith, and has taken time to do mission work in the Philippines as well.

Most people would read that description and wonder how people can dislike someone with those accolades and achievements, but when it comes to Tim Tebow there is definitely a flip-side. There are fans of the game who feel that the amount of attention that he receives is not in line with his actual talent as a quarterback. There are also believers that his fan-base may be more influenced by his faith than his production on the field. Individuals have also brought into question how Tebow seems to get all of the glory after victories despite the play of his teammates. With these points in mind, take a deeper look into the reasons why some people hate Tim Tebow.

His Fans Overlook His Passing Ability
One of the reasons that people seem to dislike Tim Tebow is that as a quarterback, he does not have the typical skill set that NFL fans are used to seeing. Tebow's talents lie in his bruising running game in a spread option type of offense. This was evident when he won the Heisman Trophy and helped the University of Florida win two national titles.

Despite his ability to make quick decisions on hand-offs and runs up the middle of the field, Tebow never came across as much of a drop back quarterback. His detractors often point to his long throwing motion as one of his negatives because it gives opposing defenses time to either sack him or catch up to open receivers.

Opposing fans and even some NFL players have credited Tebow for being a great competitor, but stop well short of calling him a great quarterback. Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher even went so far as to say that Tebow was "a good running back".

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Joey Porter took it a step further with his assessment of Tebow.

"Everybody had Tebow fever last year, you know what I mean? They went crazy for what he did. I mean, but it's not like he really won games the traditional way. He won eight games, and the way he did it was a lot of good defense, a lot of good plays, onside kick, field goal kicker had the best year he ever had."

Had Tim Tebow stepped in and delivered more as a passer, you cannot help but think that he may have silenced some of his critics. Many people will point to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and say that he is a version of what Tebow could/should be. Newton entered the NFL as a run-first quarterback, but quickly showed off his passing abilities and maintained them throughout his rookie season. Many doubters are wondering if Tebow will ever have that same level of comfort in the passing game. If he doesn't, it's likely that some people will ever view him as a true quarterback.

The Media is Obsessed with Tebow-Mania
When sports media finds a good story, they love to put it on the front page. When they find a great story, they tend to ride it until something else comes along. When it comes to Tim Tebow, the media starts to revolve all other news stories around him. For many people this constant media obsession is the reason that they hate Tim Tebow.

From the moment that Tebow took over the starting job for the Denver Broncos in week 6 of the 2011 season, he was a mainstay on most sports news shows. Even while other quarterbacks such as Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady out up historic passing numbers, it seemed as if Tebow was always the main story on the news. In spite of the Green Bay Packers making a run at an undefeated season late into the year, the media focused its eyes on Tebow's run just to get the Broncos into the playoffs.

Unfortunately media exposure can often work the opposite of the way it is intended. For as many new fans as Tebow may have received from being plastered on television sets and newspapers, he had to have received just as many haters who were simply tired of hearing about him all the time.

What About His Teammates?

Tim Tebow haters will make this argument dating all the way back to his college years. They will state that he has always been surrounded by talented players which make it easier for his team to win. By winning, the credit always gets deflected back onto Tebow whether or not it is rightfully deserved.

Tebow's college teams at the University of Florida were loaded with talent, including many players that are currently playing in the NFL. However when it comes time to assess the Gators win-loss record while Tebow was in college, nobody seems to recall the importance of the other players on the field. If you were to ask some people, you may think that Tebow played every position on the field for the whole game. There is no denying that as quarterback he held more influence over the game than most, but the amount of credit he received for his college victories is stunning.

During his playoff run with the Denver Broncos in 2011, Tebow received a similar amount of credit for the victories that his team achieved. Many NFL fans and some analysts argued that the true reason for Denver's success was the play of their defense during their wins. However many Tebow fans simply credited the quarterback and his winning mentality for the reason that the Broncos made it into the playoffs.

The Blurred Line Between Religion and Football

It is impossible to state why people do not like Tim Tebow without mentioning the role that his faith plays in it. To view the point as if people hate Tim Tebow just because he is a vocal Christian is too simple. I think that people there are a ton of people who could care less what religion Tim Tebow is as long as he plays hard and gets his team a win on Sunday. Many NFL fans just do not want to be subjected to religion while they are watching their sports. These same fans smirked when players knelt in the end zone after scoring touchdowns or mentioned their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in post-game interviews.

However with Tebow, you not only get a player who wears his faith on his sleeve, but you also get a legion of fans who seem to love him more for his faith than for his actual ability. This same group of fans who start to question whether the Broncos winning streak was more of a divine intervention than the result of the effort of the players on the field. It was even mentioned after one game whether Tebow's 316 yards passing may have been connected to the Bible verse John 3:16. This may be easy for some to overlook, but for many others it is just another reason to cheer against Tim Tebow.

Love-Hate Relationship

It is safe to say that whether you love or hate Tim Tebow that there are strong reasons for doing so. For as many reasons as I laid forth there are tons of others why people do not like him, and even more reasons why people are his biggest fans. One thing that you cannot question is that he is a talented, driven athlete who loves playing the game of football, and that his teammates seem to enjoy playing with him. At the end of the day, that should be all that matters.

Does Tim Tebow Deserve the Credit He Gets?

Based on his performance on and off the field, do you feel that Tim Tebow deserves all of the fan and media attention that he gets? What are your thoughts on Tebow-Mania?

August 22, 2014

Discover a Starter Goldfish Tank for Beginners

By Kieron Walker   Posted at  Friday, August 22, 2014   Miscellaneous No comments
Recently, I took my daughter to the Saratoga County Fair. She’s usually not too big on riding the rides, so I knew we were going to end up playing games for the majority of the time we were there.

We strolled around for a little while, and then one of the vendors called out to her asking if she wanted to win a goldfish. Not too many days before, my child had penned a letter to me expressing her desire for a pet, so I knew she wasn’t going to be able to resist this temptation.

We went over to the game , and all she had to do was toss a ping pong ball into an empty jar in order to win the fish. Needless to say, by the time we left the fair later that afternoon we were the proud owners of five new goldfish!

On the way home, all I could think about was how in the world I was going to keep them alive. My daughter only stays over at my house on the weekends, so I knew I’d end up being their primary caretaker.

The first order of business was getting them a place to live. I learned from prior experience that trying to raise fish in a bowl with no filter can be a nightmare. The water gets cloudy extremely fast from leftover bits of food and algae, and it makes it a lot harder for the fish to survive.

Instead of relying on the bowl, we stopped by the store and bought ourselves a little starter aquarium set, the Tetra LED Aquarium Kit to be precise. A couple of things quickly stood out to me before I even opened the box:
  1. The aquarium was the perfect size to put in my daughter’s room on top of her dresser. Although I know that I’ll definitely need to upgrade to a larger tank once the fish start to grow.
  2. It also came with a Whisper 3i water filter and a small air pump, which meant that I wouldn’t have to shop around for too many extra accessories.

The Setup

The setup was really easy. The aquarium came with a quick set-up guide that walked me through the whole process. The most difficult part of the process for me was transferring the fish from the old fishbowl into the new aquarium. That was mostly because I neglected to buy a net and no fault of the aquarium itself. In less than an hour, the fish were swimming around in their new home and my daughter was all smiles.

Over the course of a few days, I’ve noticed that the water filter and air pump really are quiet. There is a slight vibrating noise, but that’s to be expected. As long as the air pump is set in a sturdy spot, the noise has been minimal.

The water filter is also very good. I can already see how much cleaner the water is from when I first put the fish into the aquarium. It really shines when I turn on the overhead LED light. Of course, I’ll still have to change the water but this is a huge upgrade from just using a fishbowl with no filter.

In any case, we’ll eventually have to purchase a larger tank but this was the perfect one to get us started. It will allow me to get used to caring for the fish, and give my daughter a chance to enjoy her first new pets.

Additional Accessories

There were a few items that I needed in addition to the aquarium in order to make the goldfish feel truly at home. Chances are, you'll need them as well if you want to ensure your fish's health and safety.

Tetra 25900 Whisper Bio-Bag Cartridge, Small, 2-Pack
Although the aquarium comes with one filter cartridge, it isn't going to last forever. Stock up on a few of these now so you don't have to run out at the last minute before cleaning the tank.

Jungle NL064-16W Start Right Complete Water Conditioner Liquid, 16-Ounce, 473-ml
Before you drop your fish in the water, you have to make sure it's been conditioned. It's guaranteed to remove a lot of the chemicals and metals that exist in water that fish aren't suited to tolerate.

Tetra 29003 Crescent Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon
If the 1.5 gallon tank isn't big enough for you, feel free to upgrade to the 5 gallon aquarium. Keep in mind your fish will grow over time!

Goldfish Care 101

I’m not ashamed to admit that I needed a crash course on how to take care of goldfish. It seems easy enough, but there are quite a few things to keep in mind. The following video addresses some of the basics…

Share Your Goldfish Experience

Do you own any fish as pets, or have you owned any in the past? What types of fish were they?

If you’re experienced with caring for fish, please feel free to share any tips and suggestions for any new owners that visit.

August 21, 2014

4 Essential Books for Frustrated Job Seekers

By Kieron Walker   Posted at  Thursday, August 21, 2014   Entertainment No comments
Not long ago, I sat down at my computer and opened up a copy of my resume. My plan was to update it with information from my latest job, but I found myself staring at it and reminiscing over all my past experiences.

As I went through each section, I remembered the special moments that I lived through during those times in my life...

My graduation from Vanderbilt University in 2000. The summer working as a camp counselor at Camp Bob in North Carolina. The year working at home as a software analyst after my daughter was born. And all of the friends and co-workers that I came into contact with along the way.

Although it sounds like my journey was full of clear skies and smooth sailing, there were so many struggles that I had to endure along the way. From figuring out the best way to gain experience when people only want to hire experienced employees to deciding between money and passion, the frustrations were endless.

Along the way, I randomly came across four books that helped me to stay positive and focused on finding a job that I could love. I read them, took notes, and to this day I still work on putting them into use in my daily life. I gave away my physical copies of each book because I think that books are meant to be shared with others, but this article still allows me to "share" them with you with the hopes that they soothe your soul during your job search.

Are You Searching for Your Job the Right Way?

"Everyone knows how to search for a job."

At least that's what I thought when I came out of college.

It all seemed so simple back then. Figure out a career field, create a resume, go crazy sending it out to every company in that field, and then sit back waiting for a response. If that didn't work, create an account on Monster or CareerBuilder and then go crazy again applying for every job that came in up the search results.

Thankfully, my sister had graduated before me and referred me to What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles. She bought a copy of it for me, and I started my mission of finding a real job.

The book not only taught me the ins and out of identifying what I wanted in a job, but also how to go about finding it when it wasn't posted out in the open for the regular population to see. It introduced me to the world of networking, which up until that point was something that I thought only benefited the rich. It also explained how to go about finding more information about career fields and positions before trying to apply for them.

After reading it multiple times, I can tell you they don't call it "The Job Hunter's Bible" for nothing...

One of the special things about What Color Is Your Parachute? is that the book gets rewritten every single year.

Not revised…rewritten.

Author Dick Bolles explains the reasoning behind this project in the following YouTube clip…

If I were looking for a job and could only choose one book in this list, this would be it.

Are You a Free Spirit Stuck in a World of Office Jobs?

It takes a special person to work in a village of cubicles day after day and somehow not lose their sanity. However, it also takes a special person to choose the road less traveled instead of drifting towards the white collar world.

Although society can sometimes make us feel like grown-ups are supposed to strive to be in office environments, it doesn't have to be the only way.

Sadly enough, a lot of the frustrated job seekers I've come across in life are people who would rather die than be stuck in an office building for 8-9 hours a day. Some of them are artists, some are writers, and others just enjoy doing creative things outside. No matter what their career interest is, they all share the desire to do something not considered "the norm" by society's standards.

I came across The Lost Soul Companion and its sequel, The Not-So-Lost Soul Companion, when I was dealing with my own struggle over how I viewed working in Corporate America. If anything this book taught me that it isn't abnormal to consider professions in things that others don't view as "grown-up" enough.

It also spent a good portion of the book reflecting on the depression that creative-types often feel as they struggle with the pressures of making their career take off.

A companion in every sense of the word. This book serves as a shoulder to lean on and a kick in the butt for creative people looking for jobs outside of the office world.

Although trying to make it as an artist, musician, or writer can be difficult, it's not impossible. This book's message is that you are not alone in your journey and that you can be successful as long as you stay motivated along the way.

Additional Information for Lost Souls

The Lost Soul Companion Project
The companion website to the book series created by Susan M. Brackney. Find excerpts from both books along with other helpful resources for creative people.

Do You Wish You Had Taken a Different Path Along the Way?

Great people not only make you feel like you can do anything, but they also help you formulate a way to make it happen. For that reason alone, I consider Barbara Sher to be one of the best life coaches and people in general.

My sister recommended Wishcraft to me as a way of figuring out what I would do if I could ever change careers one day. Before then, I was always full of "what ifs" and "could have beens". For every dream, there was an excuse for why I couldn't make it happen.

Wishcraft ended up being the perfect book for me at that time. It had plenty of exercises in it that helped me discover more about myself. It also had plenty of stories about other people and how they discovered what they were meant to be doing.

Ultimately, it may confirm that you are on the right path with your life, but it will also make your alternatives a lot more clear than they have ever been before.

This book made me take a look at myself in ways that I had never done before.

By the end of the book, I had come up with a list of things that I would be doing if I had another life, reasons why I wasn't pursuing them now, and a plan to put them into action.

Every section of the book has exercises (and I suggest doing them all) and stories that you'll be able to see yourself in.

If you've ever wondered about changing careers but fell short for any reason, this is the book for you.

Follow Barbara Sher on Facebook and Twitter

As if Barbara Sher's books alone aren't great enough, she also has an incredible social networking presence. Check out her Facebook page and its most recent activity.

She is also active on Twitter (@BarbaraSher). As a matter of fact, she personally responded to my tweet while I was waiting for my copy of WishCraft!

Are Your Frustrations Causing You to Lose Sight of Your Goal?

Searching for a new job can be frustrating, especially when you aren't getting the responses you expected from prospective employers. After a while, it could even start to go to your head. You may question yourself and your abilities, and also begin to pull back from the world around you.

During moments like these, it's important to stay in tune with the good things that are still going on around you.

I came across Peace Is Every Step when I spent a summer living in Northern California. back in 2001. At the time, I was right outside of Mendocino, a place full of natural beauty. However, all I could do was stress out about what I wanted to do next with my life.

Once I read the book and started to focus on being more mindful about the world around me, I noticed a lot of the things that worried me before went away. In turn, I was able to focus on what I wanted my future to look like while still enjoying the present moment.

Although written by a Zen Buddhist monk, this book is rewarding for people from all walks of life.

Consider it your guidebook to living a more mindful existence in life. Taking the time to enjoy each and every moment in life for all its beauty.

While your job search may feel like the end of the world sometimes, you'll realize that there are still great things going on around you at all times. It's bound to re-energize you as you continue on your job hunt.

Share a Book that Helped You Through Your Latest Job Hunt

If you can think back to your latest job search, did you have any books that helped you survive?

Whether they were books that offered suggestions on how to look for a job or motivational handbooks, feel free to share them here. If they helped you, they are sure to help someone else along the way.

August 20, 2014

You Don't Have to Be a UNC Student to Hate Duke Basketball

By Kieron Walker   Posted at  Wednesday, August 20, 2014   Entertainment No comments
“The best thing about hating Duke University is that you never have to explain yourself.” - Ian Williams

March 31, 1986.

That was the date the last time I ever cheered for the Duke University Men’s Basketball team to win a basketball game. They played against the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA championship game that day and ended up losing, but I was cheering for them all the way. Pervis “Never Nervous” Ellison ended up having the game of a lifetime for Louisville, and I was actually bummed that Duke lost.

I’m not sure what happened since that day, but there are only two other sports programs that I hate as much as Duke now…the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Yankees. I once told my sister that I hate Duke so much that it makes me physically ill to watch them play on television. My heart rate increases and my stomach starts to feel nauseous as I hear the announcers gush over how good they are and as the refs give them every call during the game.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about them that drives me crazy because virtually everything about them drives me crazy. Their fans come across as overly-entitled. The players always seem to get the benefit of the referees’ whistles. Coach K is simply obnoxious. And the television networks seem to think everyone wants to watch 95% of their games on national television.

No matter what the reason is, it simply comes down to the fact that I hate Duke.

A few years ago, my sister sent me a package not long after March Madness was over. I opened it and pulled out a copy of Duke Sucks. I remember calling her and telling her that I loved the book…and this was before I’d even read a page of it.

Once I finally got around to reading it, I couldn’t stop. It was as if the authors of the book had been in my head at some point. They pulled out every reason a person could possibly hate the Duke basketball team, and tried to back it up with as much evidence as they could. Reading it was like a dream come true.

Some of the arguments put forth for disliking the team range from Wojo’s annoying floor slap to the Blue Devils’ notoriously easy non-conference schedule. Sprinkled in are some funny stories that only a true Duke hater (or UNC fan) could appreciate. One of my personal favorite chapters was titled “Charge #17: Duke Gets More Calls Than a Mumbai Customer Service Center”.

Ultimately, I finished the book in less than a day. I found myself nodding in agreement through the majority of it. There were a few spots that were a little cheesy, but it was still fun to see how much research was put into it. And when I used to struggle to put into words why I hated the team so much, now all I have to do is hold up a copy of Duke Sucks and it does all the work for me.

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