Food/drink product roundup: Hint Water, Hungry Man Pub Favorites and Sledgehammer Wines

Yes, trying and reviewing food and drink, and even alcoholic drinks, is a tough job. But someone has to do it. Here are a few new products that either came to me with promotions attached to them or not:

Hint flavored water–I drink a ton of flavored seltzer, so the thought of non-carbonated water scared me just a bit. But alas, this Hint stuff is pretty damn good. They sent six flavors, including Watermelon, Blackberry, Mango-Grapefruit and Strawberry-Kiwi. The Strawberry-Kiwi flavor comes with a special label–that of Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo to promote the new Yogi Bear movie that debuts in December and stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Farris. You can win tickets to the movie by visiting www.drinkhint.com/yogi. Anyway, this stuff is delicious, and it doesn’t come with a sugary aftertaste because there is no sugar at all. If you need a break from carbonation or need flavor in your water, definitely start here.

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Top Gear prepares for a US debut this weekend

If you’re a car nut, motorhead, whatever you want to call it, you’ve probably spent hours digging up episodes of the internationally renowned series “Top Gear.” Search no more, auto geeks – “Top Gear” is finally coming stateside.

You can catch the US premiere of “Top Gear” this Sunday, November 21st, at 10/9c on HISTORY. The show will feature all of the super-cars, extreme stunts and challenges, car reviews and celebrity interviews that have made “Top Gear” the series of choice for car enthusiasts around the world. The U.S. version will be packed with high-adrenaline action entertainment as it tracks the colorful history of the automobile as well as the eccentric adventures of its hosts with “Top Gear’s” customary wit and humor.

Hosted by comedian and car enthusiast Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me, Paul Blart: Mall Cop), stunt driver Tanner Foust (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift and The Dukes of Hazard) and car-obsessed NASCAR expert Rutledge Wood, “Top Gear” is pulling out all the stops for the US iteration. Of course, the show would not be complete without its own version of The Stig, a masked driver who will performing stunts and high-octane feats.

  

Exclusive clip for MTV2’s “The Ride: The Road to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl”

Under-the-radar high school quarterbacks will get one shot to compete in the biggest game of their lives in MTV2’s “The Ride: The Road to the U.S. Army American Bowl,” which will air its second season on Saturday, November 13th at 11:00PM ET.

Only one quarterback will remain standing and play alongside the very best players in the nation at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, January 7. The eight contestants will go through a grueling process in which they’re coached up by some of the best in the nation in order to gain a Division 1 scholarship. It’s a great concept and a cool idea for a show.

The Scores Report got its hands on an exclusive clip of “The Ride,” which you can see below. For more info on the show, click here.

Here are the quarterbacks who will be competing against each other on “The Ride”:

- Ashton Broyld: 6’3″/225lbs (HS – Rush Henrietta) Henrietta, NY. Threw for nearly 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for almost 600 yards as a junior in 2009.

- Travis Champion: 6’1″/214lbs (HS – Rancho Verde) Moreno Valley, CA. Guided his high school to an 11-1 record as a junior in 2009.

- Josh Harris: 6’1″/198lbs (HS – Country Day) Detroit, MI. Threw for 1,650 yards in 18 touchdowns as a junior in 2009.

- Taylor Heinicke: 6’1″/185lbs (HS – Collins Hill) Suwanee, GA. Received a rating of 3 at the FBU camp Atlanta, GA.

- Connor Hempel: 6’3″/208lbs (HS – Ryle) Union, KY. Threw for 1,894 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior in 2009.

- Driphus Jackson: 6’0″/175lbs (HS – Cedar Hill) Cedar Hill, TX. Threw for 1,506 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior in 2009.

- Alex Mallory: 6’4″/205lbs (HS – Ballard) LaCenter, KY. Threw for 2,210 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior in 2009.

- Anthony Reid: 6′/180lbs (HS – West Catholic) Philadelphia, PA. Threw for 1,098 yards and nine touchdowns in 2009.

  

The Ektio Revolution is hitting a basketball court near you!

If you have ever played the game of basketball you are well aware of how many ankle injuries occur on the court. I have experienced these injuries myself and know how painful and long-lasting they can be.  With the development of so many technologies in the sports world it has now become time for design to help reduce ankle injuries on basketball courts all over the world.  Enter Ektio.  Yeah,  That’s what I thought when I heard name Ektio?  Why the name Ektio? The company’s name comes from the Greek words “ektor” and “alexio,” meaning “defend” and “protect.” And, according to Ektio, that’s what their Wraptor and Post Up shoes can do!
 
Bullz-Eye had the opportunity to test out the newest technology in basketball shoes and, I must say, we were impressed with what we learned. But before we get into the shoe testing here are some things we found out. We learned that sprained ankles cost around $3,000 per injury in healthcare alone which equates to a $4 billion economic loss in the U.S. alone, every single year.  Those are big numbers, and wait until you hear what it costs the NBA! According to retired NBA All-Star guard John Starks, “In 2009, NBA teams lost $15 million in revenues alone from this specific injury. It happens every year. This is the first shoe I’ve ever seen that could change all that. I have had many ankle sprains in my career and they were debilitating, painful and made getting back to the court very difficult. The technology that Ektio has created in order to protect players from rolling their ankles or the severe injuries that result when players jump and land on another player’s foot is remarkable. I wish that Ektio was available when I played. This will help players stay healthy and prolong their careers. I believe so much in what Ektio is doing that I’ve joined the company.”  Well,  After learning all of this from Starks and the following from Ektio’s Dr. Barry Kratz, it gets you pretty excited about the Ektio revolution.  You see, Dr. Katz knows how ankle sprains affect basketball players because his son was suffering from ankle injuries while playing basketball. “Clinical studies we did at Drexel University showed significantly less ankle inversion compared to a standard basketball shoe,” said founder Dr. Barry Katz, “yet the shoe did not inhibit any of the useful motions of the ankle needed to play basketball at the highest level. In preliminary studies, it was shown to be superior to ankle braces.  A second study at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC showed that despite the anchoring of the ankle to the shoe, useful ankle motions in activities necessary for basketball (running, jumping and cutting) were not inhibited compared to a standard basketball shoe with and without tape and compared to barefoot athletes. Our ability to protect against shoe rollover inversions while, at the same time not adversely affecting athletic performance, is the key to the product’s revolutionary benefits.”
 
Since the NBA lost approximately $15 million in 2009 to ankle related injuries and the fact that the Ektio’s will cost $199 per pair, look for the big boys to be a first-line testing ground for these new shoes. The price is higher than most designer shoes but when you add in the cost of ankle braces, taping your ankles (which doesn’t last very long) and the pain and costs of potential ankles injuries, the Ektios make sense.
 
Ektio technology is what separates these basketball shoes from anything else on the market . The tech consists of built in straps within the wall of the shoe that anchor the ankle to prevent rollover injuries. In addition, it incorporates “anti rollover bumpers” on the outside of the sole. It doesn’t sound like much but I’ve learned through the years that most of the best ideas are precise and simple things that change industries.
 
Ok,  You’ve heard all about the technology but you’re probably asking, “How do they look on your feet?” When I opened the box and saw the Ektio Post Ups in black and royal blue I was blown away!  These shoes have a very strong looking stance but also a very hip, urban and clean look that stood out from any basketball shoes I had seen or worn in the past.  The Ektios are sharp and, regardless of how well they work, we all know that basketball shoes need to look good or we aren’t wearing them!
The Post Up three-quarter-top shoe comes in a white and red upper with a white mid sole, red bumpers, white mesh walls with red underlay and an action leather toe with red laces. The second Post Up which we tested came in black and Royal blue with an action leather suede toe, black mid sole with blue striping, blue mesh walls with black underlay and blue laces and bumpers. The Post Up also comes in all black and all white styling. The other design (which I certainly expect more choices to follow) is the high top Wraptor that features action leather with opposing color and quilted stitching, perforated leather details with opposing color underlays and patent leather toe and ankle accents. The Wraptor comes in two color combinations: a black and red upper with black mid sole, black patent leather toe, red bumpers and laces. The grey and Carolina blue Wraptor features a blue patent leather toe, the addition of mesh-detailed walls, a grey midsole and blue bumpers and laces.

Conclusion:  When you first put on the Ektio you need to read the instructions.  I’m not kidding here as there are two straps, one that goes over the tongue and the other strap goes under the tongue. When your feet enter the Ektio Post Up you immediately feel the built in ankle support and get the feeling that your ankle is secure, like when you slip into a ski boot. When you strap the Ektio up you know this is something special, and the strong support and the “anti rollover bumpers” work like a charm. Ektio makes it near impossible to roll your ankles! The Ektio is lightweight, stylish and offers the safety that basketball players could only dream about before their arrival.  On the court hooping it up, the Ektio Post Up was light weight and an overall superb baskbetball shoe. You really gain more confidence in your game and are willing to go the extra mile knowing you have a solid base to protect you from a simple ankle rollover that could keep you off the court for months.

The Ektios officially went on sale this month (November 2010) and you can find them at www.ektio.com and probably at many other sporting good stores once the word gets out. Hopefully the Ektio brand will be in the football, baseball and soccer world’s product lists very soon so we can save more ankles! When shopping for your team’s baskeball shoes or individual shoes, remember that ankle injuries are the #1 orthopedic injury in the world and Ektio has arrived to do something about that with their stylish and revolutionary basketball shoes!
 
 

  

Friday Video – The sexy women of “Entourage”

This is money. “Entourage” is a huge hit with the BE staff, and the show has the best cheesesake ratio of any show on TV (new servings each week!), but in this clip made to promote the show’s syndication debut on Spike TV, the women strike back, lampooning how they worked tirelessly to land a job as an actress in Hollywood, only to be offered the role of stripper, hooker, escort or groupie. And worse, they have to blow Drama or Turtle? They don’t even get to maintain their dignity by being able to tell their friends that they got to do Vince? These women have our sympathy, and if they ever feel like crying on our shoulders, they’re welcome to stop by any time. Best line to the camera: “Sorry, Mom and Dad!”

Oh, and did we mention Gary Busey? Everything’s better with Gary Busey.

The Sexy Women of Entourage from SPIKE on Vimeo.

  

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