Pro Athletes Love Florida — and Here’s Why

Famous athletes from many different sports make their homes in central and southern Florida. Golf legend Tiger Woods, Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson are a few athletes that call the “Sunshine State” home. From Orlando to Miami Beach and Jupiter, Floridians find themselves living next door to the country’s greatest sports heroes. Just as sportsbooks bonuses entice sports fans to ante up, Florida’s many bonuses draw professional athletes to bet on life near the state’s beaches and byways.

How the Pros’ Love Affair With Florida Began

Golf legend Arnold Palmer used to be followed around the course by groupies who called themselves “Arnie’s Army.” In 1976, instead of leading his fans toward the 18th hole, Palmer led a tide of athletes toward Florida. Arnie settled in Orlando after he and a group of investors leased Bay Hill with an option to buy it. Palmer fell in love with Orlando back in 1965, when he visited the state as part of Wake Forest’s golf team. By the mid-1990s, baseball legend Ken Griffey, Jr., had settled in Windermere. Griffey counted both Shaquille O’Neal and Miami Dolphins tight end Eric Green among his neighbors. Former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz built a house near Lake Nona.

According to Palmer, athletes saw him move to central Florida and thought he “must have had some sort of scoop.” The pro athlete invasion didn’t stop in Orlando. Alex Rodriguez, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh moved to Miami Beach. LeBron James moved to Coconut Grove, while Michael Jordan, Bill Parcells and Tiger Woods settled in Jupiter.

Florida’s Tax Advantages

Pro athletes pay taxes in nearly every city their teams play in. In fact, pro athletes often pay what accountants call “the jock tax” in 10 to 30 jurisdictions every year. In addition to the jock tax, players pay income taxes on their salaries in the cities where their teams are based in. To make things even more complicated, they pay taxes on income from dividends, interest, endorsements and personal appearances in the cities they live in.

Athletes who live in Florida pay no income tax on endorsements and personal appearances. In fact, when LeBron James chose to play for the Miami Heat in 2010, taxes may have factored into his decision. If he’d chosen the New York Knicks, then he would have lost 10 percent of his salary to taxes. By choosing Florida, LeBron got to keep all that he earned from his contract.

Attractive Real Estate Prices

Another draw for pro athletes is Florida’s affordable real estate market. After the 2008 recession, Tampa and Orlando both made Bloomberg Businessweek’s list of the Top 10 Cheapest U.S. Housing Markets. A mansion that would cost millions in California, for example, costs a few hundred thousand dollars in Florida. Cities that offer attractive real estate deals also absorb athlete income when the pros pay for furniture, vehicles, landscaping, housekeeping, entertainment and utilities.

Recreation

For many pro athletes, Florida is a good place to raise a family. Pros who live in Orlando live near Disney, Cape Canaveral, Pleasure Island and other kid-friendly attractions. In South Florida, families can enjoy year-round access to the beach. In many cases, towns like Orlando have just enough nightlife — but not too much — to make the area both fun and family-oriented.

Additionally, many pro athletes enjoy playing golf, and Florida has some of the country’s best courses. Many baseball players whose teams conduct spring training in Florida often book their tee times around their practice schedules. An athlete living in Jupiter, for example, has year-round access to The Bear’s Club and The Dye Preserve.

Last, but Not Least: Great Weather

Retired baseball pitcher Frank Viola, a longtime resident of Sweetwater, doesn’t dig out a snowblower in the winter. Instead, he digs out his golf clubs and heads to one of central Florida’s many golf courses. “Two or three cold snaps and that’s your winter,” he told The Orlando Sentinel. “Who wants to clean up your driveway and garage all the time?”

About the Author: Greg Perry is a freelance sports writer and avid sports bettor who lives in southern Florida.

  

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Product Review: D&Y Spring/Summer 2013 Hats for Men

D&Y

There is nothing more polarizing on earth than a Fedora hat. You could wear a sign that proclaimed your stance on the death penalty, abortion and the afterlife all at once and you still wouldn’t be judged as harshly.

For every piece of positive feedback I received, I garnered five negative comments. It reminded me of the usual treatment I receive at the hands of my fully developed, blonde soul patch that I rock unabashedly in general, but in this particular instance, concurrently with the Fedora hat — double trouble, baby.

Why does the Fedora generate such angst? Because it’s an affront to weak dudes. And weak dudes are currently perpetuating their gutless shtick at record levels, passing themselves off as “real dudes” to chicks who are desperate for the genuine article but are forced to settle for a POS facsimile; like buying movies from the bootleg DVD guy in your neighborhood rather than spending a little more time and money to purchase the real deal. Do perceived needs motivate your actions? You’re already missing the point.

But what’s cool about the Fedora from D&Y is how it makes you feel. And how you feel on the inside has a large hand in generating the situations you attract on the outside.

To game test my Fedora, I took it with me while I covered this BMX session in Orlando, Florida. If any place on earth was going to be appreciative of the Fedora, the last bastion had to be by the pool at the Universal Studios hotel in Orlando. And it was, by two smoking hot babes who happened to be lounging nearby.

Both ladies were quick to complement not only the hat, but the man wearing it. They said the hat “spoke to them,” and that any guy who had the balls to wear it, and effectively pull it off, was a guy they wanted to be around. A guy they wouldn’t regret sleeping with. In short, a fucking man.

So what if a couple farmers from Dubuque, IA didn’t think much of my Fedora; I thought their Dekalb logo-emblazoned t-shirts were as preposterous as the way they interspersed the word “ain’t” throughout their cheap, low-level casual conversation.

If you want to look like a garden variety dumbass with nothing to offer the world, particularly the fairer sex, the new line of hats from D&Y isn’t for you. But if you’re a man who looks good,\ because he takes the time to look good, cares about his appearance, and has the intellectual wit to match the exterior, a hat from D&Y is the perfect accessory for a well-maintained, coordinated wardrobe.

You may have to wade through some negativity, but it’s only because you look good and that makes weak dudes nervous. And they should be.

Check out the full line of D&Y Spring/Summer 2013 hats for men here.

  

Picture of the Day: Anita Dark gets unzipped

Anita Dark is a very famous model from Hungary, and we had the opportunity to photograph her in Florida years ago. She’s known for her incredible and all-natural rack, and here she looks amazing in her unzipped hoodie as she flashes her incredible cleavage.

Also, check out the 233 extra shots of Anita Dark available in our Premium Members section.

  

Picture of the Day: Nichole in thigh high stockings

Nichole shows off her killer body in this great photo taken in Florida. This sexy blonde is sporting a thong and thigh high stockings. Check out her Featured Model shoot and also 146 extra shots of her in our Premium Members section.

  

Flo Rida Previews New Album at Manhattan Event Sponsored by HP

Last night at the Hotel on Rivington in Manhattan, ArjanWrites.com presented a special ARTIST #TALK session with Miami-based club rapper Flo Rida, a massively successful artist who has sold 60 million records and scored 14 hit singles, including the ubiquitous hits “Low” and “Right Round.” Arjan describes the ARTIST #TALK series as “as a listening session meets ‘Inside The Actors Studio‘,” and this is a fairly accurate way to put it. The evening began with a basic interview summing up Flo Rida’s career thus far, and then proceeded to a preview listening session for his new album “Wild Ones.”

Flo Rida began as a hype man for the legendary 2 Live Crew, who were equally loved and hated in their time for boundary-pushing songs like “Me So Horny.” Of this experience, Flo says, “I heard about the crazy things that went on, but I never took part in that. I just went out and did the shows.” This is a large part of of his persona as an artist, a relentless positivity that embraces partying while avoiding explicit lyrics about drugs, guns or any other negative tropes often heard in club music. He says, “I was happy to have music that my mom could listen to … and put smiles on the faces of young and old people.” He has even started his own charity, Big Dreams 4 Kids, to give back to underprivileged youth in slums like the one in which he grew up. When asked about the way his music has mixed Hip-Hop with electronic dance music, he also points to his upbringing: “Growing up in Miami, Florida, it’s like a gumbo of different cultures.”

We then moved on to the listening portion of the evening, previewing 90-second snippets of all nine tracks from the new album, “Wild Ones.” The first single, “Whistle” has a pleasant, laid-back feel to it, with a hook that is almost reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The title track, “Wild Ones,” features the up-and-coming singer Sia, and Flo spoke of his interest in finding new talent because “when you’re starting out, you don’t have the chance to work with who you want to, you just have to do what you can, and that’s how I started out.” He would seem to have a good instinct for future success, judging by songs like “Starstruck,” an early collaboration with a then unknown artist named Lady Gaga.

The rest of the album largely follows the template of “Wild Ones,” with thumping dance beats and Flo’s facilitating delivery. It should give fans exactly what they’ve come to expect, but it would be nice to hear him switch up his style more. Flo is a club rapper, though, not an emcee’s emcee, and he has found a sound that works for him. Even his more reflective song, “I Cry” has a similarly up-tempo flow on the verses, though the beat is a bit slower than the rest. “Good Feeling” is another standout track, featuring a beautiful Etta James sample, and according to Flo, “she passed away right after we went number one” with the song, a strange omen that meant a lot to him. Perhaps the worst track on the album is “Sweet Spot,” which features a guest turn from Jennifer Lopez and lots of lazy sugar/sex references, even dropping the phrase “candy shop,” a reminder of 50 Cent’s most embarrassing work. Still, this is a record for people to dance to, not analyze, and it should satisfy that need quite nicely.

  

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