A FIRST-TIMER’S GUIDE TO SKIING VAIL

The problem about skiing is once you get a taste of the good stuff, you only want more—not only that, but you want it bigger, better, faster, snowier. After a first taste of mountain perfection, we vowed to return to Colorado every year for a long ski weekend and try out a new resort each time; this time Vail was our mountain of choice.

The Terrain

Fifty-three percent of Vail Ski Resort’s 5,289 acres is expert level and only 18 percent of it is for beginners. (So if you like the bunnies, you might want to look elsewhere.) We spent the majority of the time on some green and blues on the front side of the mountain, Christmas being my favorite. We spent some of our day on the China Bowl and some of the other blue runs. The terrain was so beautiful, smooth and perfect. No words can describe what perfect powder is until you try it for yourself.

Skiing in Vail: Everything you need to know about your first visit to Colorado’s most popular mountain. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

Once we finally reached the back, there was a plethora of untouched powder and some long, leisurely runs that we loved. If you dig wide open groomers, take Poppyfields through the Back Bowls; I could have skied this run all day and never tired of it!

An App for That

EpicMix is a Vail Resorts’ product that uses RF technology to track your progress on the mountain, and it’s currently only available at Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Heavenly and Northstar. This year, they’ve added some major improvements, such as on-mountain photos that are uploaded directly to your EpicMix account for social media sharing (and they’re free to share online! to print, you have to purchase). Plus, I always like to see what pins I’ve collected and how many lifts I’ve ridden at the end of the day!

Skiing in Vail: Everything you need to know about your first visit to Colorado’s most popular mountain. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

The Village

Vail Village mimics the look of ski towns all over Europe; it’s primarily pedestrian access with no cars allowed down the cobblestone streets, and there’s something so quaint and charming about its neutral-colored buildings and Swiss-style chalets. Plus, the streets are heated like in Europe, so there’s never slushy snow to tread through during a storm. It definitely makes it easier on the pedi-cab drivers who pedal up and down the paths all day waiting to give skiers a lift!

Skiing in Vail: Everything you need to know about your first visit to Colorado’s most popular mountain. | CamelsAndChocolate.com

Counting down the days till I’m back in Colorado and skiing those beautiful slopes.

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10 Best Football Movies

Today, I’ve decided to kick off this football celebration with the 10 best football movies…EVER (in my opinion).  They’re not in order, because I’m indecisive and had a hard enough time just picking 10 for this list.

10 Best Football Movies:

  1. Any Given Sunday: (Drama and the ultimate motivational speech)

 

2. Rudy: (Just a feel good movie but tearjerker)

 

3. Varsity Blues: (Part teen flick, part sports movie)

 

4. North Dallas Forty: (Loosely based the Cowboys, part comedy and part brutal truth)

 

5. Remember the Titans: (Drama and comedy, definite tear jerker and inspirational)

 

6. The Blind Side: (Sandra Bullock killed it, a smart and funny movie with serious undertones)

 

7. Jerry Maguire: (Drama and comedy, more light hearted)

 

8. Friday Night Lights: (Intense, similar to the TV show if you’ve seen that)

 

9. Brian’s Song: (Get ready to cry)

 

10 . Concussion: (Very serious movie about current issues with great history and scientific vibes)

 

There you have it, my 10 best football movies.  It’s so hard to narrow it down but these are my faves!  Try giving them a shot this weekend to get in the football spirit.

NBA Playoffs 2018: Role Players Complete Cavs’ 113-112 OT Win Over Raptors In Game 1

LeBron James was his awesome self after he forced overtime, sinking an 11-foor jumper with half a minute left in regulation. But it was his trusty veterans, Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, and Tristan Thompson, who finished the job in the extra period.

The Cleveland Cavaliers now have a 1-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series. Game 2 is scheduled again in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday.

James had another 40-plus-minute performance, 47 to be exact, finishing with a triple-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. The King also had two blocks and a steal, but he struggled from the field, shooting only 12-for-30, including a 1-for-8 stint from beyond the arc and a 1-for-6 clip from the free throw line.

With the Raptors leading by four, 105-101, with 1:32 left on the clock, LeBron once again willed his team to a comeback. He scored the Cavaliers last four points in regulation, including a go-ahead layup and a short jumper only a minute apart from each other.

Korver opened the overtime period with a three-pointer off an assist from James to give the Cavs a three-point lead. Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan quickly answered with a long-range two to trim the gap to only one point.

Smith then unloaded another three-pointer a minute later, again coming from a LeBron assist to give the visitors a four-point cushion. Thompson made it a six-point lead with 2:17 remaining after putting back a missed shot by James.

DeRozan scored on a drive before Kyle Lowry completed an and-one play to make it 113-112 with a minute left in overtime. The Cavs’ defense held on until the final buzzer, which made it the final score.

Smith had 20 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals, shooting 5-for-6 from three-point range. Korver finished with 19 points, two boards, and one assist as he shot 5-for-12 from deep.

Thompson had another big game, recording a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds coming off the bench. Meanwhile, Jeff Green contributed 16 points, two boards, three assists, and two steals also as a substitute.

DeRozan led the Raptors with 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and three blocked shots while Lowry had 18 points, 10 assists, and three boards.

Jonas Valanciunas had a monster game of 21 points and 21 rebounds, but it was all for naught. Pascal Siakam contributed 11 points off the Raptors’ bench.

Seahawks Stomp Rams

When Richard Sherman claimed earlier in the week that Thursday Night Football is a “poopfest”, he is 100% correct. It was a rather one sided affair once again in a 24 to 3 Seattle Seahawks victory over the Los Angeles Rams. With the win, the Seattle Seahawks clinch the NFC West crown.

Early in the first quarter, Jared Goff threw a deep ball to Mike Thomas, and he dropped it. It would have been a touchdown. On the same drive, Goff missed a throw in the endzone to Brian Quick. Then on a 4th down play, Todd Gurley was stuffed. That has been basically the Rams season in a nut shell.

In the second quarter, Russell Wilson threw a 8-yard touchdown pass to Luke Wilson. On the Rams next drive, they tried to fake a punt, but the pass was incomplete.

With the Seahawks up 10 to 3 in the third-quarter, Wilson threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. Baldwin finished with 5 catches for 35 yards receiving and 1 touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, the Seahawks put the icing on the cake when Wilson threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett. Lockett finished with 7 catches for 130 yards receiving and 1 touchdown. Wilson finished with 229 passing yards 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

Later in the quarter, Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, faked a punt and ran up the middle for 26 yards and then he was injured on the play. He had a longer run than Rams running back, Todd Gurley (22 yards).

The Seahawks will host the Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1) next Sunday.

 

What to Expect From Jake Guentzel in the NHL

This morning, the Pittsburgh Penguins called one of their most promising prospects up to the NHL to fill in for the injured Chris Kunitz. Jake Guentzel will be with the Penguins as they face off against the Rangers. He could just be a healthy scratch tonight, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Sullivan and Jim Rutherford give Guentzel some playing time over the next week or so just to see what he’s got. So, what exactly should Penguins fans be expecting from one of the most promising Baby Penguins? Let’s take a look.

Guentzel is a forward with impressive scoring ability. In three years at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Guentzel was a 1.10 point per game player. After his final season of NCAA hockey ended last spring, he joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for their playoff run, tallying 2 goals and 6 points in 11 games. 2016-17 is his first full professional season, and thus far he has put up 7 goals, 10 assists and 17 points in 16 games for the Baby Penguins, leading the team in all categories.

Guentzel is a pretty small build at just 5’10, 168 lb., but he’s fast, and if there’s one thing that last season’s Cup-winning team taught us, it’s that speed is greater than size.

I suspect that if Guentzel does see playing time in this NHL stint, he’ll play somewhat of a sheltered role at first, maybe seeing 10 minutes of ice time on a bottom 6 line. However, just by watching him play, Guentzel looks like one of those guys who could jump right in and play the NHL way without flaw instantly, and if he can impress early, I wouldn’t be too shocked if they give him some looks with Crosby.

I don’t think Geuntzel’s stay in the NHL will be permanent this time. I think he will prove that he’s the real deal and will be back full time before the end of this season, but the Penguins are pretty healthy for the most part now and Guentzel’s contract can be moved from AHL to NHL freely, so he’s a flexible piece for Rutherford to move around when it comes to the salary cap.

It will certainly be exciting to see what Guentzel’s got in the tank because without a doubt we’ll be watching a future NHLer on the ice.

College Football Power Ranking/Predictions – Week 14

Power Ranking

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Ohio State

4. Washington

5. Michigan

6. Penn State

7. Wisconsin

8. Oklahoma

9. Colorado

10. Oklahoma State

11. West Virginia

12. Western Michigan

13. USC

14. Florida State

15. Louisville

16. Navy

17. Boise State

18. Stanford

19. Florida

20. Nebraska

21. Virginia Tech

22. Houston

23. LSU

24. Utah

25. Auburn

I think so far it is a pretty easy task to pick who should be in the playoff. They have mostly been near the top all year.  A couple of little flaws in the system will be Ohio State making it, and not actually winning or even getting to conference championship. In reality two spots are up for grabs, the Clemson and Washington games are the ones to watch. If both teams win, the playoff will be set with Alabama facing Washington and Clemson facing Ohio State.  The Clemson versus Ohio State would be a great game.

Heisman

1. QB Lamar Jackson – Louisville

2. QB Deshaun Watson – Clemson

3. WR Dede Westbrook – Oklahoma

4. RB D’Onta Foreman – Texas

5. RB Donnel Pumphrey – San Diego State

Honorable Mentions – Baker Mayfield, Jalen Hurts, Jabrill Peppers, Jake Browning

The race has tightened up with end of the year struggles by Louisville and Lamar Jackson.  He has put up some impressive numbers this year and it would take a big time performance from the other candidates to win it. Deshaun Watson has the best chance after a big South Carolina game and with the championship game coming up.

Predictions

Friday

Western Michigan VS Ohio – Western Michigan

Colorado VS Washington – Washington

Saturday

Temple VS Navy – Navy

Oklahoma State VS Oklahoma – Oklahoma

Baylor VS West Virginia – West Virginia

Alabama VS Florida – Alabama

Clemson VS Virginia Tech – Clemson

Wisconsin VS Penn State – Penn State

Potential Upset – Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State

Best Game – Wisconsin VS Penn State

On paper the team higher ranked and best teams should win. There will be upsets so be prepared to watch it just to see the excitement.  If either Clemson or Washington lose someone will sneak into the playoff potentially, which would make for pretty exciting playoff selection show.

NFL Playoff Predictions

AFC

  1. New England Patriots
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. Houston Texans
  4. Baltimore Ravens
  5. Oakland Raiders
  6. Denver Broncos

NFC

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. Seattle Seahawks
  3. Atlanta Falcons
  4. Detroit Lions
  5. New York Giants
  6. Washington Redskins

Wildcard Round

Denver Broncos @ Houston Texans:

Broncos 7 – Texans 21

Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons:

Redskins 35 – Falcons 28

Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Ravens:

Raiders 31- Ravens 20

New York Giants @ Detroit Lions

Giants 17 – Lions 14

Divisional Round

Oakland Raiders @ New England Patriots:

Raiders 13 – Patriots 10

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys:

Redskins 27 – Cowboys 24

Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs:

Texans 17 – Chiefs 20

New York Giants @ Seattle Seahawks:

Giants 28 – Seahawks 30

Conference Round

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs:

Raiders 13- Chiefs 20

Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks

Redskins 17 – Seahawks 20

Super Bowl

Kansas City Chiefs vs Seattle Seahawks:

Chiefs 20 – Seahawks 23