I have never been a NASCAR fan. For a guy who loves sports, I knew more about curling than I did NASCAR. I could never understand why watching cars making hundreds of laps was so popular.
Then I attended the 2014 Daytona 500 in Jacksonville, Florida courtesy of Lowe’s and my life changed. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve watched each of the ensuing races in Phoenix and Las Vegas, intently. We interviewed 21-year old rookie Kyle Larson since then and my respect for him, and the sport, is through the roof.
The highlight of the trip? Meeting six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and Lowe’s driver Jimmie Johnson.
Prior to meeting Jimmie Johnson, I had no frame of reference for his level of success or how historically dominant he has been working alongside Crew Chief Chad Knaus.
It was only after someone aptly explained that Knaus is the Bill Belichick to Johnson’s Tom Brady (though they’ve been twice as successful in terms of championships) did I realize how much they’d accomplished as a team. Here’s Jimmie and I, laughing about our favorite recipes:
After I met and briefly interviewed Johnson, I was fortunate to be invited into the Lowe’s pit for the start of the race.
The thing that impressed me the most was the sound. When you’re standing in the pit, you hear this groaning sound in the distance, like a gathering thunderstorm, and then all of the sudden… BOOM! The entire field explodes right in front of you, a mix of colors and shapes that you can barely discern. Then, they’re gone again and the sound dissipates to a low hum.
Guys are pretty easy to shop for. Most of the time you can just get stuff you’d buy for yourself. Yet sometimes, when you’re shopping for your dad, brother or any other guy on your shopping list, you have to cast a wider net as tastes obviously vary. But at least you can pick up some stuff for yourself as you’re browsing.
Click on the image next to each item to purchase it online, and for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.
A nice watch is the ultimate accessory for men, and the right watch can make any man look good.
Tendence Gulliver Round Urban Men’s Watch
Here’s a slick and trendy new watch featuring a black silicone band and a black, round face with stylized white numbers. It’s a trendy look that’s not too extreme and should appeal to a wide variety of consumers. It’s great for a night on the town but also for everyday use. It’s the kind of watch people will notice, and you can check out other round watches from Tendence for other colors and styles.
Leather Strap Watch from Calvin Klein
If you’re looking for something elegant but with beautiful understated design, check out this Calvin Klein Stainless Steel Case Leather Men’s Watch. The silver, stainless steel face of the watch contrasts nicely with the black leather band. The watch is also water resistant up 100 feet. It’s a perfect watch for business or evening attire.
Luxury Sport Watch from Tommy Hilfiger
Most guys would love to have a nice sport watch, and this Sport Luxury Chronograph and Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch from Tommy Hilfiger offers a great choice. It has a stainless steel case and bracelet, and black chronograph dial for a sporty but elegant look that can be worn anywhere. It’s water-resistant to 165 feet and features a durable mineral crystal to protect the watch from scratches. It’s a high-quality item for a reasonable price.
Much like that other watch company named after a certain archeological discovery, Dakota has been providing quality wristwatches at respectable prices for several decades. Ranging from sports watches to elegant timepieces, Dakota’s unique collection has something for every personality, gender and age. One of the more popular styles – the Dakota Spider – resembles a high-end luxury watch at a fraction of the price, with 330 feet of Stingray water resistance, mineral glass crystal and a stainless steel band. (There’s even a cool Rose Gold variation that’s perfect for the special lady in your life.) The collection also includes digital watches for those who lead active lifestyles, leather bands for formal and casual settings, and an entire rainbow’s worth of eye-popping colors. But most importantly, Dakota makes great watches that you can depend on, and until that changes, you won’t find a better gift for that friend or family member whom you’re not sure what to buy.
Derrick Rose might be out for the 2013-2014 season, but his new kicks from adidas are out there getting the job done in style. The adidas D Rose 4 shoes feature an exclusive, tailored design inspired by Derrick’s distinct on- and off-court personalities. From SPRINTFRAME stability to support any player’s explosive and attacking style of play, to the sleek, clean upper mirroring Derrick Rose’s off-court style, these shoes combine premium performance and innovative design for the ultimate signature basketball shoe. Comfort is top priority if you want to take your game to the next level, and the D Rose 4 seamlessly-bonded SPRINTWEB provides breathable, lightweight support that any player will appreciate.
Jason Mewes has been very busy lately. We know him from cult classics like “Clerks” and all of the Jay and Silent Bob”projects, and earlier this year, Will Harris spoke to him about new TV projects. Now, he’s starring in a new and innovative online TV project on Chill.com called “Vigilante Diaries,” a high energy, fast-paced ride into the dark world of vigilante justice with plenty of guns and blood. The show also stars the lovely Jessica Uberuaga, who you can see in the slideshow above. You can check out the trailer below.
We’re seeing a revolution in how TV shows are produced, with Netflix changing viewing habits and now also shaking up the landscape with original programming. We’re also seeing online TV shows catch on through sites like YouTube. Chill.com is pushing the envelope even further with “Vigilante Diaries,” as the first two episodes have been produced, and now they’re asking the audience to help in getting a full season made. If they reach their goal of $50,000 in paid downloads in 30 days, they will start shooting the new episodes right away. It’s pretty simple – if they find an audience, that audience will help keep the series alive. With Jason Mewes in the lead role, sexy co-stars like Jessica Uberuaga, and an edgy storyline with plenty of action, the prospects look pretty good.
While the San Antonio Spurs cruised through the Western Conference Finals against Memphis, the Miami Heat had everything they could handle against the size and youth of the Indiana Pacers. Naturally, throughout that seven-game marathon, the storyline seemed to change over and over again. We had the inevitable drama as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh took some heat for their play, but as usual (since their choke job two years ago against Dallas), the Heat delivered in crunch time. So now we have a pretty evenly matched NBA Finals, and serious betters will be doing a ton of research and then checking out online gambling site reviews to make their picks and get the latest and best odds, though in the end this one really comes down to your gut.
We have one dynasty led by Tim Duncan, and one potential dynasty led by Lebron James. With Duncan, he’s basically ceded the leadership of the team to Tony Parker, and their “Big Three” with Manu Ginobili have more to do with legacy. The Spurs are a deep team, with these veterans supported by some excellent young talent. The professionalism and experience of the Spurs sets them apart from some of the other teams the Heat have played, so many think they have a shot here.
In Miami, Lebron was ridiculed for being “Robin” to Wade’s “Batman” several years ago, and while we can all mock him for pairing up with superstars to win, there’s no doubt today that he has emerged as the leader of this team, as he matured quite a bit after the humiliation of the Dallas series. Meanwhile, the inconsistency of Wade and Bosh has to worry Heat fans, though like I said earlier, they always seem to rise up. Lebron also has revenge on his mind, so the motivation is definitely there against the Spurs.
So sit back and enjoy what should be a great series.