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The Dating Game: Where’d Chivalry Go?

31 Oct
Credit: innerbonding.com

Credit: innerbonding.com

I recently came across an article about something that rarely exists in our culture nowadays, something that almost made me grab a dictionary to rediscover what it meant.

Chivalry.

I hear it all too often from my female friends: “Love isn’t how it is in the movies.” Of course not; they’re movies. They’re a distorted perception of reality with an incredible amount of entertainment value because they provide an escape, a way for us to live through our favorite characters on the big screen. That’s why we watch them, cherish them, as if they were autobiographies of our lives.

But real life doesn’t come with a script.

You live. You love. You learn. You move on.

Typical romantic comedies – or chick flicks – often lead to unrealistic expectations within one’s own relationship.

That being said, that type of love can be possible – with the right person.

What we used to know as chivalry has become an ancient concept. It’s all but nonexistent. Men generally don’t take care of women the way they used to. And while women aren’t the ones who display the utmost examples of douchebaggery, so to speak, they can still be held somewhat accountable for chivalry’s endangerment by tolerating this type of behavior.

This takes me to one of my favorite quotes, from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”:

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Movies may not always be realistic, but there are many lessons that can be learned from them.

Just because a man does something nice for a woman does not mean he should feel a sense of entitlement, nor should a woman feel obligated to date him. I’m a believer in chivalry, but I don’t think women owe me anything in return. That’s not the point of being chivalrous. I do it because it’s right, and it’s how I was raised. Plain and simple. Having an ulterior motive would nullify being a gentleman in the first place.

But more often than not, kind gestures are underappreciated. Men who hold doors, pick up the tab at dinner, or make any genuine effort to sweep a woman off her feet are often misconstrued as clingy or desperate. If being a gentleman makes me desperate, then I won’t stop being desperate until my desperation leads me to an equally desperate woman who will appreciate my desperate actions.

Yeah, let’s go with that.

Ladies, when we do nice things for you, we aren’t suggesting that you aren’t competent enough to handle it yourself. If we open a door for you, it’s not a way for us to secretly check out your ass. Yes, a friend of mine was accused of this once. I’m not sure if he’s held a door for a woman since. If we pay for your dinner, it’s not because we don’t think you’re financially stable enough to put food on the table. We do these things because we feel like we’re making your life easier. We want to show you we aren’t like the other guys. We’re different.

Please forgive the nice guys of the world for wanting to show you more than their bedroom ceiling.

The hookup culture is so prevalent in today’s society, but if it’s what both parties want, then I’m not here to tell them otherwise. Unfortunately a lot of men, especially in college, go about it the wrong way, scheming women into having sex with them. They have charm, they say and do all the right things, but once they get what they want they’re nowhere to be found.

Sure, a wild night in bed might place a man squarely on top of cloud nine, but if he were to take a step back and consider the mental, emotional and potentially physical damage he inflicted upon a woman he took advantage of, he may not feel so high and mighty.

But that’s just it. These men don’t truly care about women. They only want to “get theirs.”

On the plus side, the men who do treat women with respect won’t settle for the bare minimum, which ultimately means they will probably end up with a woman who won’t settle, either.

And when that happens, the sky is the limit for your relationship.

Allow yourselves to be treated by someone who genuinely cares about you. Only then can you create the fairy tale you’ve always dreamed of.

Jimmy Graham to Packers?

4 Mar
Jimmy Graham

The New Orleans Saints used their franchise tag on tight end Jimmy Graham on Monday. The tight end has drawn interest from the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
Credit: http://www.zimbio.com

As the NFL Franchise Tag deadline passed at 4 p.m. ET Monday, only four of the NFL’s 32 teams elected to use their franchise tag. One of those teams was the New Orleans Saints, who tagged tight end Jimmy Graham.

The Saints likely intended to use their franchise tag on Graham to buy themselves more time to work out a long-term deal, but they might have different intentions, possibly involving other NFL teams.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggested the Green Bay Packers could be a potential team interested in Graham. The Packers could sign Graham to an offer sheet, giving up two first-round picks to the Saints if they are unable to match the Packers’ offer.

Signing Graham looks sexy on paper. He certainly would fill a void on the Packers’ roster, but don’t be mistaken. While tight ends Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless are set to become unrestricted free agents, making a play for Graham would go against the draft-and-develop philosophy of Packers General Manager Ted Thompson.

During his tenure with the Packers, Thompson has proven to be reluctant when acquiring top-tier players via trades or free agency.

In addition, this year’s draft class has a great deal of depth at the tight end position.

In a win-now league, the Packers must still be mindful of their future. Sacrificing two first-round picks for one player – even if it happens to be one as talented as Graham – would be a risky move. It would jeopardize the Packers’ ability to build through the draft and improve their porous defense, which ranked 24th in the NFL last season.

An integral part in improving, or at least maintaining, their defensive unit would be re-signing cornerback Sam Shields, who has already announced he will test the market once free agency hits Tuesday, March 11.

The Packers have the sixth-most salary cap space in the NFL this offseason, $34.7 million to be exact. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has reported the Packers will be big spenders in free agency. Look for them to spend that money on signing household names, such as Shields and center Evan Dietrich-Smith. Whatever money is left over should be spent on the defensive side of the ball.

With the Packers’ ample cap space, paired with a talented free agent pool, it’s not unthinkable for Thompson to slightly alter his approach this offseason. The last time he did was in 2006, when the Packers acquired cornerback Charles Woodson and defensive lineman Ryan Pickett.

The Buffalo Bills did not tag safety Jairus Byrd, and he will become a free agent next Tuesday. He would immediately fill a need for the Packers.

While it’s only a rumor and relatively far-fetched for now, the idea of seeing Graham in a Packers uniform is intriguing. Lining him up alongside Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb would make the Packers a juggernaut on offense.

That being said, the Packers’ defense is a priority, and the risk associated with signing Graham would arguably outweigh the reward. When all is said and done, I doubt Graham will be on the Packers’ roster next season, but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

Would you like to see the Packers make a move on Graham?

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again?

26 Nov
The Marshall Mathers LP 2

Eminem’s new album, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” is the culmination of everything he has accomplished during his career.

In August 1996, Eminem made his debut with the release of his first independent album titled “Infinite.” With his bleach-blonde hair, tattoos, earrings and incredibly profane lyrics, Eminem flipped the rap world upside down on his way to superstardom. Seventeen years later, his latest album, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2,” is the culmination of everything Eminem has accomplished during his impressive career.

Before I get into the odds and ends of the album, I would like to acknowledge a common misconception that “MMLP2” is a sequel to his masterpiece, “The Marshall Mathers LP,” from 13 years ago, as the title implies.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Eminem referred to this record as more of a “revisitation” than a sequel. “MMLP2” doesn’t feature continuations of songs from its predecessor, but the vibe and nostalgia remain the same.

Produced by Eminem himself, Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre, “MMLP2” combines elements of rock and hip hop, making it a multi-dimensional album that ensures no two songs sound the same.

Eminem’s 2010 album, “Recovery,” focused on his struggles with depression and drug addiction. On the contrary, Eminem emerges with an overwhelming amount of confidence in “MMLP2,” while making listeners feel every emotion possible.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Eminem album without vulgar and offensive lyrics that will more than likely be displeasing to many people, but Eminem’s most memorable work on this album features songs in which he shares lessons he has learned over the years. Despite Eminem’s difficult upbringing, he refuses to turn his back on his roots, which he raps about in “So Far….”

The 2013 version of Eminem is more mature.

In his song titled “Headlights,” Eminem stuns when he opens up about his relationship with his mother, Debbie Mathers, who was the focal point of much of Eminem’s anger throughout his career. He apologizes for the way he let it get out of control, making references to his hit song “Cleaning Out My Closet” – which targeted his mother – from his 2002 album “The Eminem Show.”

In “Stronger Than I Was,” Eminem sings. No, that’s not a typo. It’s the first time he sings for an extended period of time since “Hailie’s Song” from “The Eminem Show.” With the combination of deep lyrics and a slow instrumental, this song is an emotional track that expresses a side of Eminem that fans haven’t heard before.

Eminem’s first single from this album, “Berzerk,” is my favorite song on “MMLP2” and possibly my favorite Eminem song of all time. It merges Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” with a feel comparable to The Beastie Boys, and Eminem executes the delivery perfectly. “Berzerk” is a must-add to any party playlist.

“The Marshall Mathers LP 2” sold 792,000 copies during its first week on the shelves – second only to Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” which sold 968,000 copies – and it already has reached platinum status.

At 41 years old, Eminem truly is a master of his craft. In his song “Rap God,” Eminem raps, “I ain’t as big as I was.” After listening to “MMLP2” several times, I would argue that Eminem is just as big as he’s ever been, and he has enough left in the tank to keep his fans anticipating another record in the future. After all, I don’t think any Eminem fans would complain, even if it means recording his next album from a studio in a retirement home.

Pick up a copy of “MMLP2” and “go berzerk, all night long.”