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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.

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

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

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!

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

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!”

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.

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Popular Culture

Pour Up with these Celebrities who Own Tequila Brands

There’s a new angle to the long-held debate of who is the G.O.A.T.— LeBron James or Michael Jordan. Fans and haters of both legendary athletes have vehemently argued about everything from their stats on the court to who has the best sneakers to which one has delivered the better Space Jam. Now folks can offer their opinions on which baller has delivered the best tequila. Next month, MJ’s Cincoro Tequila and Bron’s Lobos 1707 Tequila will go up against each other for the title of “Best Tequila Reposado.” Unlike with most of the other debates that involve Jordan and LeBron, these two aren’t the only ones competing for the top spot in the tequila game. There are several other celebrities who own tequila brands that are aiming to be the people’s champ.

Tequila is one of the most popular spirits in the world, so there’s no surprise that its popularity has caught the attention of celebrity investors and entrepreneurs. There is a growing number of celebrity owned tequilas founded and funded by moguls in entertainment, international pop stars and iconic athletes.

While some celebrities have simply lent their names to a tequila brand, others have been so heavily involved in the production process that they’ve collaborated with the distillers to create unique flavor profiles. It’s easy to assume that as the popularity of tequila continues to grow, more and more celebrities will get involved in the tequila business. Your favorite celeb may even be next to release a brand of tequila. Until then, you can just drink responsibly and pour it up in celebration of these celebrities who own tequila brands.

Michael Jordan

Cincoro Tequila

Price on Drizly: $10 – $3,000 

Michael Jordan knows how to build a winning team. The six-time NBA champion joined forces with the owners of several NBA franchises to create their ideal tequila, Cincoro Tequila. The super team of tequila lovers served up their first bottles in 2020.

George Clooney

Casamigos

Price on Drizly: $16 – $133

In 2013, George Clooney and a couple of partners got together to launch the tequila brand Casamigos. Their passion project soon paid off when Diageo purchased the company that the Academy Award-winning actor co-founded for more than $700 million.

Sean “Diddy” Combs

DeLeón Tequila

Price on Drizly: $26 – $1,311

Sean Diddy Combs is a mogul who has conquered music, fashion, television. He’s even reigned supreme in the spirits industry. Ciroc became a household name after Diddy attached himself to the liquor brand. Brother Love is also behind a line of tequila called DeLeón Tequila. This smooth, high-quality spirit is made out of 100% Highland Blue Weber agave that has been grown on fertile soil located in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico.

Kendall Jenner

818 Tequila

Price on Drizly: $32 – $100

It’s no surprise that Kendall Jenner has gotten into the tequila game with her own brand, 818 Tequila. The name comes from the area code for San Fernando Valley, which is where she grew up. It’s currently available in three flavours: Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo. She of course announced the launch of 818 on social media, with a post that featured her posing with a bottle of the drink. “So happy to finally share this with you all!” she wrote. Although the launch of the brand was met with controversy, the tequila has received solid reviews.  

Rita Ora

Próspero Tequila

Price on Drizly: $21 – $78 

Singer and socialite Rita Ora added “tequila maker” to her resume in 2019 when she partnered with Conecuh Brands for Próspero. The British entertainer said that part of why she decided to take a stake in the handcrafted spirit that features Mexican and European influences was working with Stella Anguiano. Anguiano created Próspero and is one of the first female tequila distillers. “Stella and her team are incredibly passionate about what they do and have given me the chance to collaborate on a project that celebrates all women,” said the “Hot Right Now” singer.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Teremana Tequila

Price on Drizly: $24 – $99

For years Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson asked us to smell what he was cooking. Now he wants us to drink his tequila. The G.O.A.T. wrestler, actor and producer r is a proud owner of Teremana Tequila. Handcrafted in a small town in Mexico, Teremana uses local businesses and traditional practices to create a tasty and sustainable ultra premium tequila. Teremana is said to mean “spirit of the earth.”

Nick Jonas and John Varvatos

Villa One Tequila 

Price on Drizly: $10 – $81

The worlds of music and fashion have collided in a variety of interesting ways. Platinum-selling artist and Jonas bro, Nick Jonas and famed fashion designer John Varvatos teamed up on a tequila called Villa One. Known for its bold and unique flavors, Villa One Tequila features notes of dried fruit and toasted nuts. 

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Culture Trading Cards

Collectibles Market Weekly Recap

The collectibles market has had an incredible past 18 months, with sports cards bursting back in to the mainstream conversation and record sales of both iconic vintage and modern superstars sometimes selling for millions of dollars.

Recently, there have been many other types of collectibles that have been heating up as well, with graded comic books, video games, ticket stubs and game-worn memorabilia beginning to take center stage.

The steady rise of auction houses such as Goldin, PWCC, and Heritage as well as the birth of fractional ownership apps such as Rally, Dibbs, Collectable and Otis, have made it possible for people on any budget to get in the game.

This weekly article will aim to inform you of some of the more interesting and exciting items that sold during the previous week as well as give a look ahead to some assets that will soon be available.

1. Serena Williams Rookie Cards – Record Breaking Sales!
PWCC Marketplace
PWCC Marketplace

This past weekend at PWCC Marketplace saw two record breaking sales for most expensive female sports cards ever.

The first was a 1999 Sports Illustrated for Kids Series 4 that was graded a PSA 10 and sold for $117,000. S.I. For Kids cards are notoriously tough to grade because they came inside of the magazine with 8 other cards on one sheet with perforated lines, and had to be torn out by hand. The PSA 10 population of this card is just 8, illustrating its extreme rarity.

The other was a 2003 NetPro Elite Glossy PSA 10, which also has an extremely low population of just 27 and sold for $96,000.

It will be interesting to see what the upcoming Netflix tennis documentary series does to the tennis card market. Will it have a similar effect that “Drive to Survive” had on the F1 card market? We’ll see!

2. Josh Allen 2018 Panini Prizm Gold Vinyl PSA 10 – $264,000
PWCC Marketplace
PWCC Marketplace

Shortly after one of the best football games in the history of the NFL, headlines were made in the sports card market because of the $264,000 sale of Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen’s 2018 Prizm Gold Vinyl PSA 10 rookie card. In the game, Allen completed 27-37 passes for 329 yards and 4 touchdowns, with the final one coming with just :13 seconds left in the game and appeared to send the Bills to the AFC Championship.

Patrick Mahomes had other plans.

This card is numbered to 5 and is amongst Allen’s most sought after and rare cards. While taking an “L” in a playoff game doesn’t typically shoot the value of the losing team’s quarterbacks cards up, Allen clearly earned a ton of respect amongst collectors for his heroic performance.

3. Trae Young 2018-2019 Flawless Green BGS 9 – +43.6%
Collectable
Collectable

From January 17-23, Trae Young led the Atlanta Hawks to a 4-0 record and averaged 31.3 points and 9 assists per game, earning him NBA Player of the Week honors for the fifth time in his career.

Shareholders of this Trae Young card, a green 2018 Panini Flawless rookie auto BGS 9 numbered to 5 (available on fractional ownership app Collectable) had to be excited to see the value soaring almost overnight, jumping an eye-popping 43.6%!

4. ’96 N64 Mario Kart 64 – SOLD OUT
Rally
Rally

On Wednesday, January 26th at noon, shares of this WATA graded 9.4 sealed “Red Label” variant Mario Kart 64 were made available for $15/each on fractional ownership app Rally.

Less than a minute later, the asset was fully funded.

While you can no longer buy shares at the IPO price, they will be available for purchase on the secondary market on Rally’s app soon.

The wildly popular game sold over 9.85 million copies, with the “Red Label” being used only on the earliest print-runs.

Graded video games are white-hot right now, and are definitely something to keep your eye on going forward.

On The Horizon!
5. 1997-98 Michael Jordan Game Used Chicago Bulls Uniform
Goldin Auctions
Goldin Auctions

This uniform was used during Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls in which he led them to his final NBA Championship against the Utah Jazz. The jersey and shorts are photo matched and authenticated by Sports Investors Authentication to two different games:

1: January 27th, 1998 against the Vancouver Grizzlies, a 103-85 win in which Jordan scored 20 points.

2: March 14th, 1998 against the San Antonio Spurs, a 96-86 win where Jordan scored a team-high 30 points.

The current bid is $120,000, with over 10 days left in the auction (closes on 2/5/22)

6. Patrick Mahomes 2017 Panini National Treasures “Stars & Stripes Patch Auto PSA 10
Goldin Auctions
Goldin Auctions

I previously mentioned the $264,000 sale of Josh Allen’s Prizm Gold Vinyl PSA 10 shortly after the end of the wildly exciting Chiefs vs Bills game, so it’s only fair that I also point out that Goldin’s Winter Elite Auction has some unbelievable cards available of winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

One of the coolest in the lot is this 2017 NT RPA numbered to just 13. Making it even more rare is the fact that it is graded a PSA 10, which is typically extremely difficult for thick patch auto cards like this one.

It is currently the only PSA 10 in the population and the current bid is $240,000 with just over 10 days left.

7. Abraham Lincoln Letter to the Army of the Potomac
Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions

This letter was written on December 22, 1862, during the Civil War by then President Abraham Lincoln to the Army of the Potomac after the Union Defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

The purpose of the letter was to “honor the brave men who fought and died in battle and to remind the Northern public of the great cause for which they fight”, according to Heritage’s site.

It was previously sold at Parke Bernet Auctions in 1964 for $16,000 and then again at Sotheby’s Auction in 1988 for $215,000. There are 16 days left, with the opening bid set at $250,000.

What an unbelievable piece of American history! I will surely be tuned in to see what this winds up selling for.

Categories
Sports Strength

Ranking The Ten Best NBA-Inspired Lyrics In Hip-Hop

If you’ve been around sports and hip-hop long enough, then you’ve come across this quote– “Rappers want to be like athletes, and the athletes want to be like rappers.” The two very influential entities, specifically basketball and hip hop, have a special chemistry. It has become familiar as the sunlight to find our favorite rappers sitting courtside at games or our favorite players quoting their lyrics. But their relationship is sustained by tributes (or plain disrespect); rappers pay homage to ballplayers in their songs, which sparks another round of conversations.

Down below are the ten best NBA-inspired lyrics from hip-hop.

1. Ice Cube, “Today Was A Good Day,” 1992 –

“Get me on the court and I’m trouble.

Last week f—– around and got a triple-double.

Freaking n—– every way like MJ.

I can’t believe today was a good day.”

2. Jay-Z, “Encore,” 2003 –

“As fate would have it, Jay’s status appears.

To be at an all-time high, perfect time to say goodbye.

When I come back like Jordan, wearing the 4-5.

It ain’t to play games with you, it’s to aim at you, probably maim you.”

3. Drake, “Thank Me Now,” 2010 –

“I can relate to kids going straight to the league.

When they recognize that you got what it takes to succeed.

And that’s around the time that your idols become your rivals.

You make friends with Mike but got to ‘A.I.’ him for your survival.”

4. Lil Wayne, “Kobe Bryant,” 2009 –

“Kobe doin’ work, 2–4 on my shirt.

He the greatest on the court and I’m the greatest on the verse.

Going for the fourth ring like it was his first.

Gotta get the bling, do it for Kareem.”

5. Jay-Z, “Pump It Up (Remix),” 2003 –

“Go ahead, bug out, I’ll Raid, n—-, scurry.

Worry, I’m, not, the Mike Jordan of the mic recording.

It’s Hovi, baby, you Kobe, maybe; Tracy McGrady.

Matter-fact, you a Harold Miner.

J.R. Rider, washed up on marijuana.

Even worse, you a Pervis Ellis.

You worthless, fella; you ain’t no athlete, you Shawn Bradley.”

Getty Images

6. Kendrick Lamar, “The Heart Part IV,” 2017 –

“Tables turned, lesson learned, my best look.

You jumped sides on me, now you ‘bout to meet Westbrook.

Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you.

Just know the next game played I might slap the s— out you.”

7. J. Cole, “Return of Simba,” 2011 –

Ced said, ‘Look, my n—–, we got a foot in’.

Being good is good, that’ll get you Drew Gooden.

But me, I want Jordan numbers, LeBron footin’.

Can’t guard me, Vince Lombardi, John Wooden.”

8. Jadakiss, “Put Your Hands Up,” 2001 –

“And y’all scared I can tell.

That I’ma get Bucks like Milwaukee, cause like Sam, I ca’ sell.”

9. Kanye West, “New God Flow,” 2012 –

“Went from most hated to the champion god flow.

I guess that’s a feeling only me and LeBron know.”

10. Drake, “0 to 100 / The Catch Up,” 2014 –

“I’ve been Steph Curry with the shot.

Been cooking with the sauce.

Chef Curry with the pot, boy… 360 with the wrist, boy!”