Categories
Collectibles

Holiday LEGO Sets: The Best for 2022

What are the best holiday LEGO sets to look out for this year?

With the most joyous time of the year upon us, it’s no surprise that LEGO continues to dominate the toy space with more great holiday themed sets!

Related: Best Holiday Themed LEGO Sets of 2021

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The time has arrived for making a cup of hot cocoa and hanging out with family and friends, but why not bring some LEGO fun to the party? Here’s every LEGO Holiday 2022 product on the shelves for you to build this season: 

1. Holiday Main Street
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/holiday-main-street-10308
LEGO

Every year, LEGO offers a Holiday-themed set targeted at advanced builders under the “Winter Village” banner. This year’s build is the instant classic Holiday Main Street – complete with six minifigures, a music store, a toy shop, a Main Street centerpiece and a trolley that can be motorized and run on train tracks (sold separately.) 

2. Santa’s Sleigh
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/santa-s-sleigh-40499
LEGO

At $39.99, this may be my personal favorite Christmas LEGO set of all time. Totaling at 343 pieces, this set gives you four large reindeer, a sturdy sleigh build, and the Kris Kringle himself to steer the sleigh. A perfect set at the perfect price point makes this one an easy purchase! 

3. Wintertime Polar Bears
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/wintertime-polar-bears-40571
LEGO

The perfect stocking stuffer, this $12.99 set offers two adorable polar bears hanging out at the North Pole with a small Christmas tree, a sled, and even a red scarf that might make you thirsty for some Coca-Cola… 

4. Santa’s Visit
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/santa-s-visit-10293
LEGO

Another installment in the aforementioned Winter Village line, this set offers a ton of play value and display value. It’s priced exceptionally well at $99.99 for nearly 1450 pieces, which makes this a great gift for any builder with a little experience under their Santa belt. 

5. Christmas Tree
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/christmas-tree-40573
LEGO

Whether you’re building a minifigure-sclae Rockefeller Center or you want something small to spruce up your home, the 784-piece Christmas Tree is a great way to get festive without dedicating a ton of space to your display.

6. Christmas Wreath 2-in-1
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/christmas-wreath-2-in-1-40426
LEGO

Perfect for hanging on your door or laying on your table as an Advent wreath, this leafy built offers quite a bit for it’s $39.99 price tag. Admittedly, this is not my favorite holiday set, but I do love the fact that it can be hung – a rare feat for a LEGO set! 

7. Penguin and Snowflake Ornaments
https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/penguin-snowflake-40572
LEGO

Many years back, LEGO started offering brick-built ornaments, and it’s hard to imagine a better holiday pairing. Who wouldn’t want to build their own ornaments?! 

Let us know which of these set(s) you’ll be building this Christmas, and always, feel free to hit me up on IG for recommendations or suggestions! 

Categories
Sports

The Five Biggest Takeaways From Opening Week of NFL Training Camps

Football fans celebrate this time of year as NFL training camps are in full swing after its opening week. With all 32 teams taking their last step in preparing for the upcoming 2022 campaign, this stage of the NFL’s calendar year garners a ton of attention, and so far, we’re reminded of why.

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The Los Angeles Rams are rallying their troops for a repeat as Super Bowl champion. The Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders are “all in” following their massive offseasons. Tom Brady pulled a Michael Jordan once he realized retirement wasn’t for him. And lastly, some teams want to prove they can win after spending an insane amount of money, despite their critics (and fans) saying otherwise.

With the first week of NFL training camps concluded, here are our five biggest takeaways.

All Eyez On Tua and Tyreek
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It’s honestly not egregious to say the quarterback and wide receiver duo of Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill is already one of the most watched and scrutinized across the league. But with every play between them comes greater chemistry, as witnessed by their huge touchdown that sparked reactions from social media up last weekend.

Deebo and DK got what they (rightfully) deserved
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Even with many teams, fans, and media downplaying the contributions of skill players, the money still proves otherwise. Within five days, both NFC West star receivers signed new extensions with their teams that rewarded them with bonuses of $33.2 million (Samuel) and $30 million (Metcalf).

A slew of unproven players are already showing out!
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As training camp rolls out, we begin hearing reports about which players are “standing out.” In some instances, it can be someone like Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers and in others, Chicago Bears wideout Velus Jones Jr.

Either way, this is when starting roles are earned, and roster spots are secured, so you have to expect these kinds of developments along the way.

Your daily reminder that injuries are terrible
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While injuries are a grudgingly accepted part of football, it’s still unfortunate, especially during training camp. Alongside having a player on the sideline and undoing months of their hard work, it’s generally a setback to their teams– specifically those who heavily rely on them.

Look out for “insiders!”
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With all due respect to the aspiring insiders who may or may not be legitimate at what they do, we have to warn NFL fans to watch out for you all. It’s extremely easy for most “insiders” to report these days, given how simple it is to make a connection between players and teams, and more times than not, their report is a Hail Mary at gaining clout online.

Categories
Sports

‘NYC Point Gods’ Honors NYC Hoops In A Refreshing Way

With great anticipation, “NYC Point Gods” aired last Friday (July 29th), and New York City basketball supporters had their moment on center stage. The Showtime and Boardroom-produced documentary breaks down the Big Apple’s basketball scene of the 1980s and 1990s through the eyes of its greatest point guards– while also explaining why they’re “point gods” and their lasting impact on the sport.

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With over 85 minutes of running time, “NYC Point Gods” provided a bit of everything. First, there was the energic and thoughtful narration of poet Joekenneth Mueseau. Then we heard entertaining testimonies from the likes of Stephen A. Smith and Fat Joe. And last but certainly not least, we heard from the players themselves, who were honest and relaxed while recounting their playing days and upbringings (Stephon Marbury, God Shammgod, Rod Strickland, and Kenny “The Jet” Smith were amongst those whose stories got told).

Even though documentaries about New York City basketball have and will continue to get made, this body of work by Showtime and Boardroom was different.

Instead of exploring if the city is still the epicenter of their sport or making another love story between it and music, “NYC Point Gods” simply spotlighted the people and circumstances most involved. And that, in turn, allowed for natural transitions into basketball-related conversations about music and fashion that rightfully changed the vibe of this documentary when necessary.

Since its release, viewers have applauded the documentary as it sparked feelings of nostalgia and appreciation.

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“NYC Point Gods” is now available on the Showtime app and its supporting platforms.

Categories
Sports

Where Can You Find The Best Summer Pro-Am Leagues?

As a hoops fan, the dread of no college and NBA action can be a lot until you remember the game is currently getting played in its purest form. Across the country, fans are returning to old-school gyms and playgrounds to watch an assortment of players compete in Pro-Am leagues in gritter but more dynamic environments. And amongst those hosting competitions, a select group stands out above the rest.

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Whether discussing Dyckman Basketball or the Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League, leagues of their caliber possess a “who’s who” of competing players and a memorable attending experience. The latter is why some fans don’t overly care about attending college or NBA games. Why do so when you can walk down your street and watch high-level talent up close for free?

With summer basketball approaching its halfway point, here is our list of the eight-best Pro-Am leagues.

Drew League, Los Angeles, CA
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While the Drew is in the news because of LeBron’s incredible performance last weekend, the almost 50-year-old league has been a staple of nationwide summer hoops and proving ground for several upcoming and established hoopers– especially those from LA.

Dyckman Basketball, Uptown New York City
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New York City is most undoubtedly known for its hoops history within the parks, and no one is currently hotter than Dyckman Basketball. From all over the world, people are making their way to Uptown to watch the game get played in its grittiest, intimate, yet entertaining way possible.

The Crawsover, Seattle, WA
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Once known as the Seattle Pro-Am and run by former NBA player Doug Christie, “The Crawsover” has been entertaining and consistent like its namesake— Jamal Crawford. During its 14-year-tenure under Crawford’s watch, this league has witnessed Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, amongst other NBA stars, suit up in its uniforms.

Danny Rumph Classic, Philadelphia, PA
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Despite all of the noises made within East Coast hoops because of New York City, summer hoop lovers are fans of the Danny Rumph Classic. This Philly staple proudly represents their city’s basketball movement and attracts star talent– most notably James Harden, Lou Williams, and Dion Waiters.

Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League, Atlanta, GA
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Having kicked off their 10th season, the AEBL quickly made a name for themselves as a highly entertaining yet challenging league. On any given night, you’re watching the past, present, and future of Georgia hoopers compete, and you’ll never know when a star will join the party.

Miami Pro League, Miami, FL
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Besides the lovely weather, beaches, and no-state income tax, plenty of college and NBA players are stopping by Florida to play in the Miami Pro League. In recent years, James Harden, John Wall, and Ja Morant have made appearances here and left an assortment of highlights that we still enjoy.

Brunson League, The State of Maryland
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The DMV, short for Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, has been a hotbed for talent for a long time, with a portion of them coming from Maryland. The Brunson League became the state’s premier Pro-Am after Barry Farms, and the Goodman League held it down for quite some time.

Dreamville Chi-League Presented By Wilson, Chicago, IL
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Before Dreamville and Wilson Basketball successfully relaunched the Chicago-based Pro-AM league last summer, the Chi League was one of the best leagues across the country. Once a true battleground for the city’s most immense talents, Chicago fans are now watching the next generation of hoopers take center stage, notably All-Star point guard Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Categories
Sports

LeBron James Returns To The Drew League and Dominates

For the first time in 11 years, LeBron James stepped on the floor of the Drew League and entertained a sold-out gym in Los Angeles, CA, on Saturday. Having last played in LA’s famous Pro-Am league during the summer of 2011, watching the four-time NBA MVP and champion play during this time of the year was a rare sight. But all it took was an invite from Chicago Bulls All-Star DeMar DeRozan to change that.

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DeRozan is beyond a regular in the Drew League; he’s essentially a staple, a walking tradition you expect but appreciate whenever you watch him in that environment. And by having his own team, the MMV Cheaters, the proud Compton, CA native is free to create competitive advantages and unforgettable moments like the one on Saturday.

The Drew League faithful was more than welcoming to James as he walked on the court to a loud ovation. Rocking his signature No. 6 and a pink colorway of his upcoming LeBron 20, the NBA’s second-highest all-time scorer was locked in from the start as he eventually dropped 42 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a 104-102 victory.

Whether before or during James’s performance, fans’ reactions to what occurred didn’t disappoint.

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And it was easy to spot the look of amazement (or fear) players had guarding LeBron
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Which players would you love to see play at Drew League, Dyckman Park, and other famous Pro-Am leagues across the country?

Categories
Sports

Nike Will Release Jackie Robinson Dunk Low at MLB All-Star Game

As we’re a week away from this year’s MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium (July 19th), the anticipation for it only rises. And amongst all the noise regarding who made the All-Star teams, the uniforms, etc., nothing will be bigger than Nike honoring the great Jackie Robinson by releasing a sneaker in his honor on game day.

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Donning his Brooklyn Dodgers colors and No. 42, while also being outlined with his famous quote– “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”– the Jackie Robinson Nike Dunk Low will be released on the day of the All-Star game.

While tributes to Robinson, who was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in 1947, aren’t unusual, it doesn’t make it less memorable. And this particular tribute is exceptional because it’s been 75 years since the late Hall of Famer’s historic entry into the Majors, which will also be recognized on the shoe with a 75th-anniversary emblem on its tongue.

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Other than Major League Baseball, Nike has made a great effort to honor Robinson. For several years, the sneaker giant has partnered with the Jackie Robinson Foundation and donated millions of dollars to their causes of educating and uplifting disenfranchised communities in the inner cities across the United States.

The Jackie Robinson Nike Dunk Low will be released on July 19th via SNKRS, UNDFTD, and select retailers.

Categories
Sports

Flag Football Gains Greater Momentum Towards Potential Olympic Appearance

In today’s times, a new or existing sport sees an emergence that captures the sports world’s attention; pickleball, foot golf, and competitive tag immediately comes to mind. But the classic sport of flag football is also emerging, and it’s serious enough for the NFL to support its cause of becoming an Olympic sport by 2028 significantly.

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With a focus on growing American football internationally, making it more inclusive, and states such as New York declaring it a varsity sport, flag football has become the helping tool the NFL and others needed. But to make it an Olympic sport?

“When we talk about the future of the game of football, it is, no question, flag,” NFL executive Troy Vincent told the Associated Press. “It’s the inclusion and the true motto of football for all.” A big step for flag football’s reemergence is currently happening in Birmingham, AL– the 2022 World Games. Between July 10th-14th, the NFL-presented flag football competition at the World Games will consist of men’s and women’s teams from eight countries.

Who would you choose if given a chance to build your flag football team, regardless of who it is and why? Below, I have my dream flag football team in a five-on-five setting.

Quarterback – Patrick Mahomes
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There is literally no one else I would want at quarterback than the annual MVP candidate. Mahomes’ arm talent and above-average mobility are all I need to win.

Running back/defensive back – Tyreek Hill
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It’s easy to look at Hill’s speed, but he is insanely athletic. And to have that in flag football? On both sides of the ball? Ha!

Wide receivers/defensive backs – LeBron James and Kevin Durant
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I promise you; there isn’t an answer for how to defend a pair of 6-foot-8 and nearly seven-foot wide receivers who are faster, stronger, and jump higher than almost every other human on earth that isn’t in their league. And Mahomes is my quarterback? #scaryhours

Wide receiver/pass-rusher/game changer – Myles Garrett
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In all seriousness, Garrett *might* be the greatest flag football player ever if he stepped into this environment. More than any player on my team, he has no real matchup from his opposition.

Categories
Sports

What’s Next For Devin Booker and Nike?

Even though Devin Booker’s season didn’t end the way he wanted, his offseason has gotten off to a great start. Just minutes after free agency started nearly two weeks ago, the Phoenix Suns All-Star signed a super-max extension worth $224 million. Then he was named the cover athlete of the NBA2K23 video game. And now? Booker has signed another new extension– this time with sneaker giant Nike.

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Having been signed to the ‘Swoosh’ since arriving in the NBA seven years ago, Booker has proven to be a successful investment. Despite what some fans say about him, Booker is well-liked and accomplished–a high-level player who is clutch, hasn’t abandoned his team yet, and is racking up endorsements at the same rate as All-Star (three times) and All-NBA team appearances (Just made his first one this year).

So when considering that and the details of Booker’s latest extension, which is rumored to be six years long, the question is, what’s next for Booker and Nike? Suppose you were to go off the company’s current handlings of their NBA stars (Think LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, for example). Would these following options be the most realistic?

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Nike makes D-Book their go-to player to wear new signature sneakers

Similar to what Jordan Brand recently did with Jayson Tatum and the Air Jordan 36, Nike can make Booker their go-to player/litmus test to unveil new signature sneakers.

In his case, it makes too much sense for Booker to be the player revealing new color aways of the late Kobe Bryant’s sneaker line, given their relationship and similarities in playing style.

Does Booker receives his own shoe and collection?

While this option is closer to unlikely than likely, given his lack of a championship, I wouldn’t rule it out– even if he doesn’t win one within the next few years. Like any other shoe company, Nike is looking to build its following line of superstars, especially with LeBron James and Kevin Durant nearing the end of their careers.

A signature shoe and collection is never out of the question as long as D-Book continues playing at a high level.

Nothing changes (for now)

This option only exists because it could very well be the case. Nike doesn’t have to elevate Booker’s stature within the company. Not with LeBron and KD being their long-time acts, Antetokounmpo’s line getting pushed following his 2021 championship run, and Kobe’s on-court legacy properly preserved through his collection.

It’s going to be a lot of fun watching these two sides continue their relationship! Congratulations to Devin Booker once again.

Categories
Sports

Tony Romo Wins American Century Championship; Survives A Sudden Death Playoff

While the reality of multi-sport athletes is ordinary, it’s still exciting to watch one-sport athletes switch it up. This weekend (July 8th-10th), the 33rd annual American Century Championship witnessed various athletes step on a surface they’re rarely seen at– the golf course. But when it was over, Tony Romo emerged victorious, surviving a sudden-death playoff against Dallas Wings defenseman Joe Pavelski and former MLB All-Star pitcher Mark Mulder.

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The acclaimed CBS commentator, who’s also a former Pro Bowl quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, is now a three-time winner of this event. And while the rest of the field consisted of other talented part-time golfers– including reigning 4x NBA Champion Stephen Curry, and NFL star quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen– Romo’s consistency and clutch play were unmatched by his peers as he finished with a score of 62.

But more impressively, the 2022 American Century Championship caught some of the attention of sports fans despite it being a jam-packed weekend– men’s and women’s Wimbledon finals, Yankees vs. Red Sox, the NBA Summer League, and WNBA All-Star Weekend. But with highlights like this, how could you turn away from it?

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And what’s an golf outing without Charles Barkley?
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Salute to the American Century Championship for hosting another fun event!

Categories
Sports

Sandra Douglass Morgan Is The First Black Woman To Become An NFL Team President

History and sports are synonymous with one another, and it’s a daily occurrence when the two sides come together. On Thursday (July 7th), history was made when the Las Vegas Raiders hired Sandra Douglass Morgan to become their new team president– marking the first time a Black woman has held that position in the NFL.

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The proud Las Vegas, NV native, joins the Raiders as an accomplished and already-historic executive and attorney– she worked alongside the Nevada Gaming Board and was also the state’s first African American city attorney. With such expertise in community-building, hospitality, and law, Morgan was the right choice for the AFC West competitor.

“The fact is I have accepted this role because I believe in the promise of the Raiders,” Morgan said at her introductory press conference at Allegiant Stadium. “I believe in the future of the Raiders, and I believe in this organization’s tenets of community, integrity and, most of all, commitment to excellence.”

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As the Raiders aim to build upon last season’s playoff appearance and their mega-trade for All-Pro wideout Davante Adams this past March, Morgan will have to stabilize the team’s front office movement. Over the past year, the Raiders have witnessed two other team presidents and several executives leave the organization for many reasons.

“She’s honestly the best for the job and it’s going to be awesome, we’re excited for the future,” Raiders star and All-Pro defensive end, Maxx Crosby said about Morgan.