Seven Games vs. One: Which Playoff Format Works for You?

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins could win The Stanley Cup. As I write this, they lead the San Jose Sharks 3 to 1 in a best-of-seven series. I have no particular plans other than to watch the game from home—from the same spot on my couch. I’m superstitious that way. But shouldn’t I be celebrating this game and a possible win the way I celebrate a football championship? Shouldn’t the house be full of fans and food? I live in Pittsburgh for crying out loud! I thought about the vigor with which we celebrate the Steelers around here, and I know we don’t love the Pens or the Pirates, for that matter, any less. Still, I’ve heard of and been to countless Super Bowl parties—even when the Steelers aren’t playing. But Stanley Cup parties? Not so much. (And we are serious hockey fans!) You know what I think? I think the series format is to blame. Something about that one definitive championship game mobilizes fans to come together in a way the best-of-seven series can’t. Think of all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Super Bowl from media day to the half-time show. Think of the ad dollars spent. That single game puts people into a frenzy. Seven games to get it done just makes you wonder if today is going to be the day or if you need to adjust your schedule so you’re free to watch the next game.

Have you ever wondered why football is the lone wolf when it comes to playoff format? I’ve heard people say even a best-of-three series is too high-risk for an injury prone sport like football. Please. Have those people ever watched a hockey game? Have you ever wondered why the NHL, NBA, and MLB don’t shorten or eliminate their series format all together, turning to a single championship game that can be milked for monetary gain? Which format do you prefer? And do you party as hardy for a series as you do for a Super Bowl? It’s something to think about … while you’re watching the Pens win The Cup tonight. 🙂

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Change UpElley Arden is the author of the ground-breaking Cleveland Clash sports romance series that focuses on female professional football players and the men who love them. Heroes and Heartbreakers called Running Interference “thrilling” and “one to root for.” The first book in Elley’s newest sports romance series,  The Change Up: Arlington Aces 1 (baseball), is available now.

To stay up-to-date on all the latest Elley news, sign up for her newsletter and get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways.
http://www.elleyarden.com/sign-up-for-elleys-newsletter-list/

Charming characters. Emotional stories. Sexy romance. On and off the field.

Go Figure…Hotness on Ice–Guest Blogger Elizabeth Harmon

I come from a family of devoted Chicago Cubs fans.

As a boy, my grandfather roller-skated inside the Wrigley Field construction site. Even after decades of disappointment, my father-in-law remained true Cubbie blue. In the late 1980s, I lived blocks from Wrigley and remember the first night game—the star-studded one which was rained out in the second inning, and the real one the next night, after all the celebrities were gone.

So when it came time to write a sports romance, it was only natural for me to write about…figure skating.

I’ve loved it since I was a kid. The Cutting Edge is one of my favorite movies. I even take lessons and a few years ago, checked off a bucket list item when I skated in our rink’s ice show. I fell once, but still….

Yet many people know nothing about it. Check out this Twitter post on Ten Misconceptions About Figure Skating.

Trust me, you can’t go to a pond and learn triple axels. The sport only seems easy because its top athletes make it look that way. Off camera, there’s training and conditioning as rigorous as what you’d find in sports played with a ball or puck.

As for the “aren’t all male figure skaters gay” question? Since I write m/f romance, I hear this one often. True, one of the sport’s most visible faces, Johnny Weir, is proudly out. So is Canadian pair skater Eric Radford. There are more openly gay figure skaters than say, openly gay football players.

But it’s only part of the story. There are plenty of straight guys on the ice, too. Americans Grant Hochstein, Chris Knierim and Charlie White, are either soon-to-be or recently married. There’s a long tradition of married couples in Russian pair skating, the latest includes 2014 gold medalists Tatyana Voloshozar and Maxim Trankov.

There’s also plenty of international hotness, on and off the ice. Check out 2016 U.S. Men’s Silver Medalist Max Aaron.

Max

Russian pair skater Alexander Smirnov

Alexander

Russian pair skater (and drummer) Alexei Roganov

Alexi

Or smoldering French ice dancer Guillaume Cizeron.

guil

With its breathtaking athleticism, and hot men, there’s lots to love about figure skating…and male figure skaters.

Intrigued? Check out my Red Hot Russians series, and meet Anton, Vladimir, and Mikhail, three sworn-worthy figure skaters who know how to heat up the coldest nights. Book one in the series, “Pairing Off” is a 2016 Rita Finalist. Getting It Back, the latest in the series, came out this month.GiB-FINAL_Cover

In this second-chance romance, a former top men’s figure skating champion is willing to risk everything for a comeback–except a new start with his long lost love.

An unexpected phone call from the man who broke her heart offers Amy Shepherd an opportunity to return to the work she loves, training elite figure skaters. Except it’s just one figure skater: Him. Can she finally forgive and forget?

Figure skater Mikhail “Misha” Zaikov once had it all: medals, money and the adoration of millions. But a devastating injury put an end to his career and his romance, leaving him with nothing but regret over what could have been. His last chance to re-join the world’s top skaters is now. And there’s only one person who can help him: Her.

On Russia’s unyielding ice, Misha must reclaim what he’s lost while facing off against a talented young rival and risking further injury. But Amy soon discovers Misha’s much bigger challenges lurk off the ice. And she’s determined to keep Misha whole and healthy, even if doing so ends his shot at the gold.

Derby Day–Again!

As the first Saturday contributor to Romancing the Jock, my blog always falls on Kentucky Derby day. As I’ve often confessed, I rarely pick the winner. Last year I went with Dortmond, American Pharoah’s stablemate, not a bad horse, but not a Triple Crown winner. Had I known at the time what a sweetheart Pharoah was and still is though he has become breeding stallion, yes, a stud, I would have picked him.

I always go for the good story, part of being a writer, I guess. Anyone who has read my books knows most take place in the Cajun country of Louisiana which has a long, rich history of horse racing that turns out jockeys such as the legendary Calvin Borel who lives not too far away from me. Another is Kent Desormeaux (how’s that for a Cajun last name) who will ride the second favorite, Exaggerator, from the difficult eleventh position. His brother, Keith, trained the horse. Both boys grew up riding at Cajun bush tracks on weekends which in the old days had lanes separated by a fence, so no jockeying for position, just flat out running fast done mainly by quarter horses.  Those inner rails have vanished now and thoroughbreds have taken over. However, Keith grew tall and Kent stayed jockey size and went on to fame and fortune that eventually destroyed his career with drink and drugs. When Kent showed up unfit to ride, his career took a slide. Keith brought his brother back up to form and now the two will take on the Derby together. With a plot like that I think they have to win. By the way, undefeated Nyquist is the favorite, starting from the 13th post.

Alas, there is no love interest in the above plot. Jockeys are by nature too short to be the hero of a romance novel. Just saying. Harlequin used to send out guidelines saying the hero has to be at least six feet tall and have dark hair though they’ve loosened up those rules. However, that could be spun around as there are more female jockeys now–and didn’t the elegant Fred Astaire marry a woman jockey? So, we make Keith, the trainer, a little more studly, and turn Kent into a she-jockey without the drug and drink problem, just a woman trying to make it in a man’s world. I think it could work, especially if the horse involved was a lovely American Pharoah type.

Speaking of love and horses, I was touched to read that Bob Baffert, Pharoah’s trainer, still visits the Triple Crown winner at the stud farm. After his horse’s mighty victories, Baffert kept his stall empty for thirty days before he was able to make himself give it over to another animal. Life goes on. Baffert will race Mor Spirit in the Derby, a good horse, he says, but a 12-1 shot. Still, you can never count out this trainer’s horses.

Who do you choose and why?  Me, I’m going for the good local story and Exaggerator.

My Favorite Thing About Playoff Hockey

Image by Sarah Connors (Blues vs Lightning)

Image by Sarah Connors (Blues vs Lightning)

Playoff hockey is here, and again I’m reminded that the game can be played without a fight, and I like it better that way. I grew up in ice rinks. I watched grown men rip their teeth out, throw them on the ice, and continue to play the game. I listened to adults in the stands scream vulgarities and death threats during on-ice, bench-clearing brawls. I had no doubt the men and women around me wanted someone “good and hurt” or at least to see blood. I accepted it—all of it—because this was hockey. This was the way the game was played.

When I was 5, 10, and even 15, I didn’t think about the players as sons, husbands, or fathers. They were gladiators in a frozen arena, and I cheered along with everyone else when a guy got his “lights knocked out.” These days, when a fight happens (and I’m in charge of the remote), I change the channel. If I’m at the game, you won’t find me on my feet. I’ve changed. I’m the mother of two sons, so I see who these guys really are now. I’m the wife of a sports medicine physician/concussion expert, so I know exactly how costly these “tussles” can be. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt—isn’t that what our moms used to say?

Fortunately, the league has changed, too. Some people say the NHL hasn’t done enough to curb fighting, which basically means some people want an all-out ban on fighting. I don’t know that it’s necessary. Fighting doesn’t happen with the frequency or intensity that it used to. Do guys still get hurt? Absolutely. It’s hockey. Do they still fight? In the regular season, yes indeed. But in the playoffs, where every second is life or death, nobody wants to be the guy who hurts his team with a loose cannon. So all you pacifists like me, let’s enjoy these next couple months of speed, grace, and agility. All you warmongers, settle down. There will be plenty of time for fisticuffs come October. 🙂

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Change UpElley Arden is the author of the ground-breaking Cleveland Clash sports romance series that focuses on female professional football players and the men who love them. Heroes and Heartbreakers called Running Interference “thrilling” and “one to root for.”  Elley’s newest sports romance series, The Arlington Aces (baseball), begins May 16 with the release of The Change Up.

To stay up-to-date on all the latest Elley news, sign up for her newsletter and get access to exclusive content and subscriber-only giveaways.
http://www.elleyarden.com/sign-up-for-elleys-newsletter-list/

Charming characters. Emotional stories. Sexy romance. On and off the field.

Baseball is Back!

Did you hear it? That giant cheer as the gates opened on stadiums across the continent last week?

Baseball is back!

Baseball Heart

And, along with the new season comes hope. Doesn’t matter where your team ended up in the standings the previous year, they all start with a score book filled with 162 blank pages. The future is their’s to write.

I think everyone knows I’m a Yankees fan, though when it comes down to it, I’ll watch anyone play baseball. I love the game. I love to watch individual players strive for perfection in a game where failure is more common. In what other game can a team where the players failure rate is 70%+  still be hailed as winners? No where. It’s what makes baseball unique.

There’s a lesson to be learned – celebrate the successes in our life, no matter how small they might be, instead of dwelling on the failures.

What success will you celebrate today?

I choose to celebrate the accolades coming the way of my historical BDSM sports romance, SUSPENDED GAME.

RL_suspended game

SG has been nominated for a Golden Flogger Award.

12289542_588063774676026_8554912744394220910_n

And, is a Readers Choice nominee at The Romance Reviews.

TRR Readers Choice Nominee

If you have a chance, please, stop in and cast a vote my way! Here’s the link.

Thanks so much! Enjoy your day, and remember to celebrate the good things, no matter how small they seem!

 

 

 

Guest Post: My Love Affair with Baseball

MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH BASEBALL by Debra Elise

debra1As the 2016 baseball season creeps closer, fond memories of attending Little League and Babe Ruth baseball games hit me as I watch spring training games when I can, read sports stories on new prospects and favorite players, and ogle the hot players being posted on Facebook. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how I was introduced to the game. My love for baseball, and its players, was born back in the late seventies, early eighties. My father, an avid fan, became a Little League coach when my younger brother was old enough to play. I would tag along when they had practice or when my dad made a homemade rock rake that he dragged around the infield behind his ancient Ford F-150, and when he built and rebuilt the pitching mounds to league standards.

I remember when I was ten standing on a wooden equipment box attached to the fencing behind home plate, falling off and receiving my first concussion (even though no one thought it was at the time). When I was a bit older, I proudly kept score. And I also spent a lot of time daydreaming about one day being the girlfriend of the cute pitcher or the big shouldered power hitter. Never happened. Oh well. But I never wanted the games to end. Pitching duels and extra innings never failed to bring a huge smile to my face.

But it wasn’t all about the cute boys and how much I liked their uniforms; especially in high school 😉 It was also about family. We spent our weekends at the ball field instead of church and everyone in my family had a role. While my brother played, my dad coached, and I kept score; my mother and sister worked in the concession stand and ran the fundraisers. After most games a handful of families stood around till darkness fell talking about the game and praising the players while I mooned over John Smith, the curly haired shy pitcher.

Now as an adult I appreciate the game in different ways and as someone whose attention span has returned to toddler status, I was excited when the league introduced the new pace of play rules last year and this year’s new slide rule in regards to double plays. It’s too bad that the Pirates Jung-ho Kang and the Mets Reuben Tajada receiving season ending injuries had to happen in order to spark the implementation of the new rule.

Baseball also played a big role in my first out of town trip with my then boyfriend and now husband. We flew to Seattle with friends to attend a Mariners game. I can’t remember who won, but I remember the buzz of the crowd, the cheers and the groans. I remember munching on peanuts, drinking beer and falling in love with my husband and again with baseball.

I no longer go to live games as often as I would like. Distance and plain ol’ life now gets in the way. But I plan on kidnapping hubby and paying off the grandparents to take the kids so we can make a Mariners game this summer. I’m looking forward to once again immersing myself in the energy of the crowd. To have the chance to watch others watching the game which feeds my second favorite pastime, people-watching which in turns makes my inner writer very happy.

And soon I’ll be happy when the regular season begins and decide if the new rules are good for the game. I’ll reminisce about the excitement I felt as a young girl going to the ballfield for endless Little League and Babe Ruth games; chanting along with the home team, ‘hey, batter, batter, batter—swing’ and how I used to never want a game to end or summer to be over.

Oh, and I’ll still daydream about being the pitcher’s best girl (don’t tell my hubby, LOL)

Go Mariners!

Debra Elise

BIO: Debra Elise lives with her husband and their two sons in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She loves to read, nap, write, watches too much TV, and daydreams how to make her characters come alive for her readers. She also enjoys hanging out with other author-type individuals and teasing her three ‘boys’ into displaying their killer smiles. Most days find her carpooling, avoiding laundry and spending too much time on Facebook and Twitter, and Pinterest, and Instagram and Tumblr *sigh*. She will soon be starting a self-help group for social media addicts-maybe.

Debra’s debut sports romance, SAVING MAVERICK, releases April 4th.

DebraMaverick Jansen and Kelsey Sullivan fall into a complicated game of PR strategy by day and searing passion by night where they both find a new meaning to fast and hard.

STRIKE ONE

Days before the biggest game of playboy pitcher Maverick Jansen’s career, his brother is killed in a horrific car accident. Determined not to let his teammates down, Mav pushes through his grief only to lose control of his signature pitch and the series.

STRIKE TWO

Still dealing with the backlash of his once adoring fans, Maverick learns the team’s owner plans to move the ball club to small-town America. During a night of hard drinking Mav rails against the move to Hicksville while a fan records the entire tirade. His career takes a nosedive when the video goes viral right before spring training.  

Kelsey Sullivan, s Media Consultant, is hired by the team’s owner and her childhood friend, Thomas Scott, to help restore Maverick’s image and find a way to get his mojo back. As the daughter of a former minor league ball player who walked away from her and her unstable mother, Kelsey breaks her main client rule–no male athletes—to help her friend and gain a coveted position with the ball club.

STRIKE THREE, or…Happily Ever After?

Forced to pretend they’re a couple as a last ditch effort to secure his place on the team and fix his public image, Maverick and Kelsey’s romance goes from on the bench to rounding the bases in no time.

Maverick knows what they have is more than just soul-shattering sex, but he’ll have to overcome his fear of commitment to prove to Kelsey love can save them both. But once-burned, twice-shy Kelsey might not be able to trust again, unless she can bury her long-held belief that this bad boy baseball player isn’t the happily-ever-after type.

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C7JMJQE

B&N  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-maverick-debra-elise/1123469871?ean=9781681191911#productInfoTabs

KOBO  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/saving-maverick

iBooks   https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/saving-maverick/id1094921529?mt=11

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Debra_Elise_Saving_Maverick?id=pMe4CwAAQBAJ

Concussion!

For no logical reason, my family decided to view the movie, “Concussion”, over the Christmas holidays. The men did not want to see “Joy” about the invention of the Wonder Mop, so off we went to watch this very tragic and important film. Despite some criticism, I thought Will Smith did a great job as Nigerian forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, and should have gotten an Academy Award nod, though I doubt he would have won. As for criticism of his Nigerian accent, I have no idea if it was spot on or not. None of those Nigerian princes who offer me great wealth ever call. They only e-mail.

Omalu discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in 2002 while performing an autopsy on Steelers’ great, Mike Webster, who by age fifty was living in his car and shocking himself with a tazer. Other cases turned up: Terry Long, Justin Strzelczyk, and Andre Waters.  Most recently, the great Junior Seaux succumbed to this frightening illness brought on by too many concussions while playing football at its top levels. The NFL brushed aside the doctor’s findings. The man was driven from his job and his home. His wife suffered a miscarriage during this stressful time. In the end, vindicated, Dr. Omalu would be offered a job as Chief Medical Examiner by the U.S. government who had joined in the harassment. He preferred to stay at his job in Lodi, California, where he was hired despite those who spoke out against him.

At long last, the NFL has taken steps to deal with concussions with new rules: certain hits outlawed, examinations right after a concussion, and no playing until healed. New helmets are being designed as well.

I admit I loved seeing those hard hits, but fear for players I admire such as Troy Polamalu, recently retired after twelve NFL seasons with the Steelers. I adored seeing this rather short man, 5’10’, but a stocky 213 pounds, race across the field, seemingly from out of nowhere and take down an opponent or pop out a ball. In fact, I was inspired to base my fictional Samoan cornerback, Adam Malala, rather vaguely on him in Paradise for a Sinner. As Troy recently told Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated, “When you start conforming to these rules you take away the aspect of fear, and overcoming fear is what makes us men, you know? It’s what challenges us. You take that away, and you kind of make the game for everybody.”

I’ll be watching and worrying about him for years to come and hope he escapes this terrible fate along with so many others who played hard and long for NFL. Some of my joy in seeing a big hit is gone, and that is for the best.

     

The agony of the trade

headshot smallWe sports fans are passionate about our teams. We’re also passionate about the players on our teams. We may never meet them face to face, but we care about them ( as in love them and sometimes hate them!) as if we know them personally.

But professional sports is a business. Owners of professional teams have to make business decisions that are best for the team overall. It’s tough to keep emotion out of it, but most businesses don’t run based on emotion and sports teams are no different.

This was made painfully obvious to me (and other Winnipeg Jets fans) recently when our captain Andrew Ladd was traded away.

 

IMG_00000184

The Jets have traded other players. In last season’s blockbuster trade, most fans were happy to see Evander Kane leave but sad about losing Zach Bogosian. But even then, I didn’t feel as devastated as I did when Ladd was traded.

It wasn’t a surprise. We’d known since the beginning of the season that Ladd was in the last year of his contract and would become an unrestricted free agent in July 2016. The media reported on talks happening between Ladd’s agent and True North Enterprises, what Ladd was looking for, whether it was in the Jets’ best interests to sign him up again sooner rather than later, with all kinds of pros and cons. They talked about the salary cap and the fact that Dustin Byfuglien was in the same position, and two Jets’ prospects are coming up to restricted free agency and will be looking for big raises. We don’t know much detail about how those talks went, other than no agreement was reached.

As the trading deadline neared, there was more talk, more speculation and more analysis. When the Jets made a deal with Byfuglien, it seemed less and less likely that they would also keep Andrew Ladd. But there were other trade rumours — about our backup goalie Michael Hutchinson after his stint down in the minors, about defenseman Jacob Trouba and Travis Hamonic’s request to be traded to a team nearer to Winnipeg, and others.

When you look at the analysis of Andrew Ladd, I completely understood why it was probably best for the team to trade him. He didn’t play great this season, possibly still recovering from the medical condition he dealt with last year. He’s 30 years old, and asking for a 6 year contract and $6.8 million. I read some extremely detailed analysis of Ladd’s play done by an actuary, comparing him to the team average and the league average in a multitude of categories, and overall, he’s an average player at best.

But there are intangible things, like the message it would send to the team to trade away their captain, their leader. There’s no question Andrew Ladd is a leader, both on and off the ice. He’s a great ambassador of the Jets and the NHL in the community, especially with the charity work he does. He’s well liked and respected by adults and children, men and women. Losing him would leave a big hole in the team.

Even though I knew with my head that trading him was probably the right thing to do, in my heart I wished we could keep him. I kept hoping that maybe there was still a small chance a deal would be done, that maybe there were other trades in the works that would then allow them to sign Ladd. But sadly, it was not to be.

Ladd said all the right things. He maintained he liked Winnipeg, liked the team, liked the people here and he wanted to stay for a long time. And I had the naive thought that if that was really the case, he would be willing to negotiate to make that happen.

It’s a business, folks, and not just for the teams but for the players. Yes, sometimes people make career decisions that aren’t based on money, such as deciding to stay in a lower paying job because it’s less stressful or more satisfying, or you love your boss. But it’s probably unrealistic to think that a pro hockey player is going to settle for less to stay in a small market on a team that’s not playing well and doesn’t have a hope of being a true playoff contender for several years.

And that’s probably why Ladd was asking for so much money and a long term deal– because he wanted to leave. True North made it clear what their long term strategy is last year by getting rid of seasoned players like Tlusty, Stempniak and Frolik (well we didn’t get rid of him, we lost him). They brought up young guys like Petan, Copp and brought back Burmistrov. These guys haven’t exactly delivered. Ladd certainly saw that his hopes of another cup or even another playoff run were dwindling. If he kept his demands high and True North met them, great–money in his pocket. But if they didn’t meet them–well, we know now that Chicago was at the top of Ladd’s list if he had to be traded, and he got just what he wanted.

So I’m really, really sad about him leaving, because I think he’s a good player and a great guy. He’s the only captain our Jets 2.0 has known. He made an impression when he flew up here on his own, right after True North bought the Thrashers, to check out the city, see about somewhere to live and then reported back to the rest of the team it was going to be great. He’s a classy professional. I also feel for the guys left behind, that their captain and leader is gone.

But wait…Ladd may be the only captain we fans have known, but how many of the Jets players have actually played with him the whole time they’ve been back in Winnipeg? Um…eight? Yep. With all those new players on the team, there are lots of guys who’ve only played with him a year. Or two. So…maybe it’s not such a big hole to fill.

The first game after the trade, we saw glimpses of the Jets’ future–Ehlers, Trouba, Scheiffele, and wow, Joel Armia who looked fantastic playing more minutes. We’ll see what this new Marko Dano does. We know Wheeler, more of a veteran, has the leadership skills to step into the captain role. I’m betting on young Scheiffele to wear an A next year. These young guys are getting their opportunity to play more minutes and show their own leadership.

So even though my heart hurt, I’m over it. It’s a business and this is all probably for the best for everyone.

Change for Change’s Sake?

Over the past few months, there has been talk about trying to increase the amount of goals scored in NHL games. Certain players and those in the coaching ranks have been quoted saying net or goalie pad adjustments should again be implemented. It seems that some people think that fans need to see more goals scored to make the game more interesting and exciting. Since goal and padding changes have occurred over the past few years, are more changes really the answer?

 

I, for one, am not sure we need to change one darn thing. If low scoring games are the issue, I would point the folks jabbering about more tweaks to the March 6 game between the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders. Ten goals were scored in that game. Ten! Myself and several other fans had concerns that someone had spiked the water at MSG that day. While this kind of scoring free-for-all isn’t the norm, it does go to show that goals can be scored on any given night without tinkering.

I, for one, much prefer a tight, defensive game. Sure, those wild and woolly games are fun, but for sheer drama and nail-biting excitement, a tied or 1-0 game with two minutes to go are way more entertaining. Yes, my beloved Blue Shirts have added a few gray hairs to my head, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love this game as it is. I don’t need the scores to look like a basketball or football game. What do you think?

 

Should changes be made to increase the odds of high scoring games, or should things be left as they are in the NHL? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!

~~*~~

V.L. Locey is the author of the best-selling To Love a Wildcat erotic hockey romance series as well as The Venom, a series about a women`s pro hockey team. The second Venom novel, Twirly Girl, released March 2.

She has a new LGBT hockey romance, Full Strength, coming out on March 23.

FullStrength_APP

Goodreads-Full Strength

 

You can find the Venom Series as well as all the Wildcat books and V.L.’s LGBT romances at Amazon and all other major eBook retailers.

Amazon-Clean Sweep

Amazon-Twirly Girl

 

Sign up to follow V.L.`s website for all things Wildcat, Venom and her standalone LGBT hockey romances.

http://vlloceyauthor.com/

Newsletter Slide

 

Who is Handsome?

A comedian once joked that of course all quarterbacks are handsome since they are usually the spawn of the captain of the football team and the head cheerleader or a former NFL great and his super model wife. I can only say Tom Brady’s kids are going to be stunning. However, Sports Illustrated took on this myth in their February eighth issue right before the Super Bowl in a lengthy article entitled Handsome is as Handsome Does by L. Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers. Lots to mull over here.

In comparing Peyton Manning to Cam Newton, both 6’5″ in height, by their facial measurements, Manning’s long face, high forehead and heavier jaw are seen as being masculine and tough while Newton’s rounder face works against him–but his wide mouth does predict leadership abilities. I could say something else about his big mouth, but won’t. Sulky, sulky boy after his lose to Manning whom I don’t consider handsome but manly and mature.

All thirty-two starting quarterbacks were ranked on a scale for leadership and attractiveness by people who obviously don’t follow football. Alex Smith of the Chiefs came in number one. My pick, Tom Brady, at number two. I mean that guy can just become a model after he retires. In the bottom six were Andy Dalton, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Robert Griffin III with Sam Bradford of the Rams being dead last. Come on. Colin Kaepernick would have been last on my list.  I find Andy Dalton kind of cute, but some women don’t care for russet eyebrows and blazing red hair. Brees and Manning are in a class by themselves that has nothing to do with their looks.

This I have learned is called the “halo effect”.  Both men are hard working, always give credit to their team when warranted, do good deeds, and have a sense of humor. Both came back from terrible injuries to continue their careers.  They are top notch players and individuals.  I’d love to go out with either one of them if they weren’t happily married. Not super handsome by any means, but great guys. Would I want to date Cam Newton who finished in the middle of the handsome pack? He might be fun for an evening, but I think the date would be all about him, not you. His halo looks more like a crown to me.

So, my observations are not too deep this time around, but please feel free to weigh in on your favorite quarterbacks and why they should have scored higher on the list.