Blondes vs. Brunettes

A football game of a different type for a great cause

Whether it was a blonde or brunette, the competition on the field was fierce. Quy Tran photography

Red Sox vs. Yankees, Oklahoma vs. UT…..these rivalries don’t have anything on Blondes vs. Brunettes. We compete on and off the field. Literally. Every year in dozens of cities two all-female squads consisting of Blondes and Brunettes battle it out in a game of flag football. We can’t pull hair, so they give us flags. But we do some good with our hate. The game helps raise hundreds of thousands in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Going into my second season of Blondes vs. Brunettes, I am on Team Blonde (thanks to Loreal blonde dye). It’s pretty exciting to be part of such a great charity and event. All our teammates and coaches play for their own reasons. For some of my teammates the fight against this terrible disease is deeply personal.

For months leading up to the big game, we train for this. Blood, sweat, and tears. I poured my soul into each practice, and so did everyone else. On the first practice one girl broke her finger and one of our receivers took an elbow to the forehead, blood gushing.  You would have thought we were playing for the AAC championship and we were not even to the big game yet.

Two weeks before the game I’m playing corner in the red zone. We had about five minutes left of practice to finish this last drive. No way I was going to let them score on my side. As we lined up I saw one of our top receivers in my zone. Picture a Crossfit enthusiast, coming at me full speed.  Whistle blows, play starts, quarterback drops back and looks in my direction. The QB starts to scramble, looks in our direction, but I am all over this receiver. I can see her frustration not being able to get open. I am also frustrated. Seconds felt like an eternity, running all over the end zone. Finally, the ball is thrown. Our bodies are running together as one towards the center of the end zone. I take one step to the right, she immediately stops and reaches left for the ball. Her body’s momentum carried her into mine. We both ended up on the ground. But the good news is… so did the ball. I broke up the play. I got up, but after a few steps my adrenaline wore off and my knee gave out. I dragged myself behind the end zone, to get out of the next play. My coaches and teammates had to help me off the field.

With only two  weeks until the game, my knee was swollen and I was in pain. At this point I was unsure if I could even play in the game.  I spent the next two weeks rehabbing, trying to get back onto the field to play. My recovery came along great and the trainers at UH actually thought it was just a knee sprain. I insisted I was ready for the game, even though I had to wear a giant knee brace.

Finally, game day was here. I warmed up with my knee brace and although it did hurt at times, I stood up strong and said “put me in coach.” I got my chance to go in for a few plays in the first half and I painfully shook it off. I went in again in the second half, but I was frustrated since I wasn’t full speed or playing all out, like I know I can. Putting all that aside, I realized what was most important that day. We came together as a team, cheering each other on, pushing our teammates to keep the drive up until the end. It was such a close game and the team’s camaraderie helped pull together the win that day. The Blondes took the win by one touchdown in the end, to make it three years in a row.

Yet another amazing game and season of Blondes vs. Brunettes football. It turns out I had been trying to play on a completely torn ACL and partially torn meniscus after the MRI results. But it’s OK, I have seven months to recover. I’m coming back from a torn ACL next year, Adrian Peterson style.

 

All of these are Raheel approved!

5 Essential Gifts for the Modern Man

Courtesy photo.


With the holiday season close to wrapping up (pun intended!), I wanted to help out our readers that are struggling to find gifts for the modern man. These are all tested and approved by me and I highly recommend them for the man or buddy in your life. I'm going to assume the reader is either A. a women or B. a guy looking for a gift for a buddy. Here we go:

Lululemon ABC Jogger Pants, $128 

ABC Joggers

Lululemon.com

If I could, I would wear my ABC Joggers every single day instead of every other day like I normally do. These pants are the perfect fit for the office or traveling. While a bit pricey at $128, just think about this as a gift that will never stop giving and will be used almost every week. Lululemon also makes an office pant in the ABC line so that's great for somebody that needs more business casual pants.

Onnit Kettlebell 6 Online Workout, $49.95

Kettlebell 6

Onnit.com

The best thing I did this year was taking the Onnit Kettlebell 6 online workout. All you need is a kettlebell and between 30-mins to an hour every day. The course is comprehensive six week schedule that accounts for every single day to help you become the best you. This makes for a great gift for somebody in your life or heck, even for you. After I finished my six weeks on the course, I added muscle and my body fat was down. I loved it because you can download the videos and complete workouts at the gym if need be. I also recommend this because it's great for beginners and advanced lifters.

LUSH Dirty Hair Cream, $17.95

Dirty Hair Cream

LUSH.com

Okay, I know you're probably thinking, "what the heck, Raheel?! Something from LUSH? That's where my wife shops!" Yes, LUSH. I've tried all sorts of pomades, gels, and creams, but this is by far the best one in terms of strong hold and not damaging your hair. I recommend this product to every guy I know because it's not harming your scalp with chemicals and other non-sense. Bonus: when you stop by a LUSH store, pickup some stuff for yourself! $17.95 for 3.5oz seems high, but this will last somebody an entire year or more.

Nike 3/4 Training Compression Pants, $32

3/4 Training Pants

Nike.com

I get destroyed by my co-workers about wearing compression pants to the gym, but with the new year approaching and fitness goals being top of everyone's list, you have to get compression pants for the man in your life. Your muscles will stay warm and feel great during any type of workout for 2019. You can also get some money back for buying these on Nike.com by using eBates where they usually offer a percentage back on your purchase.

LED TV Backlight, $11.88

LED TV Backlight

Amazon.com

More people ask me about my backlit TV than anything in my house. I found this little bad boy on Amazon for under $10 earlier this year and programmed it to burnt orange for Texas Football games. This makes for a great stocking stuffer or White Elephant gift for a holiday party as well. The setup is simple and all you have to do is plug it in to a USB port on your TV or outlet to power it up.

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