Culture

There are plenty of things to celebrate in the world which is why there are so many holidays and special events on the calendar. The Super Bowl has quickly become its own event even though some may think of it simply as an annual football game. So why has it become so important these days?

The Super Bowl is the championship game of the professional football season. It is the highest honor in professional football. The Super Bowl has been around for decades and has not lost any steam. Last year, more than 111 million people watched the Super Bowl, showing how much its popularity has grown. As a child, I watched the game with my father who loves sports. As I got older, I realized I enjoyed the big game for all it has to offer (which is more than just the sport!).

The Super Bowl has become an event that has something to offer for everyone. For the sports fan, there is football itself. For the music fan, there is the glamorous half time show. There are also the Super Bowl commercials, known for their inventiveness, humor and heart. By combining all those factors, almost anyone can sit down and find something to be entertained by. There is no adult content that many people can take offense to. It is programming for all ages and everyone in the family. Because of this, tons of people can gather around the television and binge on their favorite junk food. Watching television has basically become a party during these few hours of the year.

The Super Bowl has evolved into a national event. That said, it is not necessarily a bad thing. While it is a major production that generates a huge amount of money and draws millions of viewers in, it is also a wonderful event because it brings people together. Here’s how you can make Super Bowl Sunday special:

  1. Join a group of people for a viewing party. This could be your family or anyone who is important to you.
  2. Pick out your favorite recipes. Thanksgiving has turkey. The Super Bowl is junk food heaven. Find your recipe and indulge or share a healthier recipe with your loved ones.
  3. Be willing to stop what you’re doing for awhile. You may be tempted to text or do something else during the parts of the game that you are not interested in. By doing that, you might miss some of the excitement. Be part of the moment.
  4. Enjoy yourself. This event isn’t steeped in meaning like some. The point is to make memories with those you are close to. Don’t miss the chance to bond with those you love.

Image: Unsplash

Culture

We’re so excited that one of our favorite holidays is just around the corner. While delicious food is a major perk of Thanksgiving, it is also a great time to remember what you are grateful for. We’ve talked about ways to show your gratitude throughout the year, Spotlighted a guy who started a company that encourages sending thank you cards, the power of random acts of kindness, and have offered tips on different ways to say thank you.

Thanksgiving is a time to count your lucky stars, appreciate your family, and give back to those you love. It is also a perfect time to share with friends and show how much you care about one another. A fantastic way to do this is by hosting a Friendsgiving! Friendsgiving is the celebration of Thanksgiving dinner with your friends, and it usually happens the Wednesday before or the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Whether you plan a Friendsgiving a couple of days before Thanksgiving or if it replaces actual Thanksgiving (since you might not be able to make it home for the holiday), there’s no better way to spend time with friends.

These are the 6 benefits of hosting a Friendsgiving:

  1. Experiment with new recipes.

Have you been waiting for the perfect event to make those mini pumpkin pies? Here it is, your perfect moment has arrived. Since you’ll be cooking or baking for a crowd, you can try multiple recipes and show off those kitchen skills.

  1. Experience different traditions.

Encourage those attending to incorporate their family traditions – does your best friend play football with his family before the feasting begins (hello Friends!)?, does your other friend watch football on TV afterwards? Is there a movie that one of your friends watches every Thanksgiving? Does someone love playing board games post-meal? Perhaps your family goes around the table before eating to say what they are grateful for?

Include these fun and new traditions into your Friendsgiving. By kicking off Friendsgiving, you and your friends will be starting a tradition of your very own.

  1. Try your friends’ favorite foods.

Make your Friendsgiving a potluck and tell everyone to bring their favorite dish (you’ll want to coordinate this so you don’t have four types of mashed potatoes). Through the variety of foods, you will experience the different flavors that your friends have enjoyed and celebrated over the years.

  1. You’ll get two days to focus on being thankful!

While being grateful every day of the year is important, this year you’ll get two days to focus on what you are thankful for – Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving. Lucky you!

  1. Start celebrating Christmas early without judgment.

So you and your friends want to start listening to Christmas music without being judged for it? This is the safest environment to do it in! Blast those Christmas carols and holiday tunes and make a dance party out of it. Who better to rock out to Jingle Bells with than your best friends who love the holidays just as much as you?

  1. Cleaning has never been faster.

Once the meal is over, there are multiple hands to make the clean-up process move much faster. For a stress-free post-meal experience, clean before you eat dessert. This way there won’t be that huge task looming over you. The job gets done sooner when everyone helps out.

Happy Friendsgiving!

Image: Friends Season 10

Culture

With the U.S. patent office preparing to strip the Washington Redskins of their trademark, the team that has received much backlash might lose its ability to solely own the Redskins logo.

For years, American sports teams have come under fire for their mascots or team names that follow culturally insensitive caricatures of the Native American race. Stanford, Dartmouth, and Marquette are just a few schools who changed their trademarks in response to complaints from the Native American community. However, teams like the Washington Redskins still perpetuate these Native American stereotypes by fighting for their trademarks and claiming that they are honoring the culture through their use of an infamous racial slur.

Whatever intentions the Redskins hoped to make, it does not discount the fact that their actions preserve older viewpoints that were used to justify the oppression of tribes in the Old West. For example, in old Western films Native Americans were either portrayed as noble savages that existed as sidekicks to the John Wayne-esque hero of the film, or as bloodthirsty savages who tore their way through western American civilization, leaving carnage and despair in their wake. So these people were only ever viewed as those worthy of assimilation into white-society or as beasts to be sent for slaughter. These two portrayals are not only constrictive of the Native American culture, they are also still used constantly in American sports.

And, to an extent, American society has tried to make up for these indiscretions through film and media. Some Westerns such as The Searchers attempted to make the idea of miscegenation between Native Americans and Caucasians more palatable for society and hoped to show discrimination against tribes as a thing of the past. Also, in the 1970’s, the Keep America Beautiful campaign utilized The Crying Indian as a way to show Americans the downside of littering. But with all things aside, both forms of media exploited the bloodthirsty and noble savage institutions. Why can’t media portray Native Americans like they do Caucasians, as limitless beings?

One of the few accurate portrayals of Native Americans in film is in Smoke Signals. The film follows young Victor and his friend Thomas, two Coeur D’Alene Indians, as he comes to terms with his father’s death. But what is underneath the surface of the film is the idea of reconciliation with the past; the idea that sons can mend what fathers have broken.

And I believe that idea is the solution to all of this uproar with American sports teams like the Redskins. By using a person or race as a mascot, you are reducing them to the status of an animal- considering that is what most mascots are. We have done away with most logos that marginalize African Americans, so what is different about the Native Americans? And as the Washington Redskins prepare for the appeals court in order to protect their patent on their mascot, I hope people keep in mind the fact that this racial slur is a commonality of the past. As the present and future of society, it is vital to be culturally sensitive and to fix what social issues past civilizations threw to the wayside.

Image: Business Insider

 

Skills

The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch the Seahawks and the Broncos take on one another for the big win. As the players compete their hardest for the Super Bowl title, we are reminded of how important healthy competition can be. This game will be life-changing for either team and losing would be a huge disappointment. However, despite what the players feel on the field, how they act and respond to referee calls, taunts, and their own mistakes is a major test of their character. There are many ways to demonstrate good sportsmanship on the field. The outcome of a game is a moment in time, but the way people conduct themselves in situations of winning or losing is very telling for who they will be for the rest of their lives.

Whether you watch sports or not, there are many lessons to be learned from how the competitors on the field and court act. Here are 11 ways to be a good sport:

1. Remember that losing can have positive outcomes. When you fail, you can learn from your mistakes and have something to work on to be better and stronger next time.

2. Failure is temporary. You can improve your skills, move on from that moment of losing, and think positively about how you can work towards permanent success.

3. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you don’t want to be called names and prefer to be treated with respect during the game, treat others with the same mindset and values.

4. Don’t gloat. If you win, that will be obvious for everyone involved based on the final score. Be proud, but don’t rub it in other people’s faces.

5. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

6. Don’t swear or make others feel bad. Dirty words and trash talking on the field is a no-no. Use words that won’t hurt others.

7. Play fair and follow the rules of the game. Rules are implemented so that all of the players have an even playing ground. You would want others to play fairly against you, right?

8. Respect yourself, your teammates, your opponents/competitors, your coaches, and the officials. At the end of the day, you are playing a game. Show respect and others will do the same to you.

9. Have a sense of humor. As hard as this may be when you lose something you are passionate about, having a sense of humor will lighten the moment and provide a different perspective during this challenging time.

10. Be gracious and pay a compliment after the game. Walk up to the other players, their coaches, and the referees and thank everyone for a “good game.” What happened on the field can’t be changed, might as well show off your true gracious colors.

11. Be grateful for the opportunity to play. You have the chance to play a sport that you love. Use this opportunity to learn, grow, and have fun!

How are you a good sport?

 

CultureEducationSkills

“Whether things are going really well or not so well you just want to play one play at a time and stay in the now.” — Russell Wilson

russell wilson seahawks

 As Seattlelites, we are huge Seahawks fans. This season has been a great one for the Seahawks, and as they head into the Playoffs this month, we will be supporting them every step of the way. If you’ve ever seen a Seahawks game, you’ll notice the incredible teamwork and passion on and off the field. One player in particular that stands out for his passion, skill, and leadership is the quarterback, Russell Wilson. Watch this video of Russell Wilson from Seahawks.com to watch his leadership in action – it is seriously impressive and admirable. From this video, the dozens of games we’ve watched him play, and his interviews, Wilson demonstrates the qualities of a strong leader and a devoted team player. Just from watching Russell Wilson play football, these are seven leadership traits he possesses:

Russell Wilson Leadership Traits

1. Maintain a Positive Attitude. If a play doesn’t succeed, Wilson does not let that affect his positive attitude. Instead, he looks at the bright side and uses encouraging words to pick himself and his teammates back up. Wilson praises his teammates and gets his team excited and re-energized.

2. Know your Goals. Leaders should have goals – for themselves and their team. Ask Wilson what his goals are and he doesn’t even take a moment to hesitate. He has four: be dominant, be consistent, be clutch, and be healthy. Know your goals at the top of your head so that they will always be a part of your every action.

3. Admit your Mistakes. If a poor pass is made during the game, Wilson is the first to acknowledge his mistake. By admitting what he did wrong, Wilson can then take the necessary steps to improve and not make the same mistake twice. It is not weak for leaders to make mistakes; in fact, your team will appreciate that you aren’t trying to be a hero or a faultless leader.

4. Separation through Preparation. Wilson stands out on and off the field by preparing and being as ready as he can be for game day. Wilson is incredibly focused and will spend hours and hours studying film that will help him better understand his opponent and how he can move better on the field. By taking the time to prepare, Wilson is ready to handle anything that comes his way on the field.

5. Pay Attention to Details. Wilson focuses on the little details, which in turn help him improve his game and skills.

6. Set the Tone. Before a practice or a game, Wilson sets the tone by arriving early to work and leaving late. Wilson remains composed and confident – on the field and during press conferences. As a leader, setting the tone for your team or group will establish a solid foundation for expectations and how you intend to lead and treat others. By showing up early, prepared, and ready to improve, others will follow suit.

7. Leave a Legacy. Wilson frequently visits the Seattle Children’s Hospital on his days off and he is the National Ambassador for the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association. When he is not in-season, Wilson hosts the Russell Wilson Passing Academy, a youth football camp that teaches the fundamental skills of being a great football player.

What leadership traits have you learned through watching sports? 

{Image via, Russell Wilson, Seahawks}