Top 9 Rules for Football Etiquette: What every fan friend needs to know

football socks

Official Lions Player socks from my husband for my birthday

The NFL Football season has kicked off and I have a few rules of etiquette to play by for the entire season. I’ve already had a few friends and family members ‘attempt’ to break them so preseason is the right time to have these rules figured out. These are my rules. Feel free to adopt them, add to them, print and hang up on your front door and share on any site and spread the word that football is back!

  1. Calling during any TV pre-game show interferes with fantasy draft last minute decisions and you’ll be flagged for interference.
  2. Calling at any time a game is on TV will result in a technical foul.
  3. Texting is ok at anytime but a reply may not be happen until a TV time out or after the game.
  4. If you come over to my house and a game is on TV, I will be watching it. Attempts to break my attention could result in ejection.
  5. Talking about anything other than football if you’re at my house when a game is on is frowned upon. You may get a penalty call.
  6. If you don’t know when games and pre game shows are on; I’ll see you in February; post season.
  7. One exception to these rules: My grandson Ashton. He gets my attention no matter what and has unlimited ‘grandma play with me’ challenge flags.
  8. Any criticism of the unhealthy snacks, food & alcohol consumed during games will get you traded.
  9. (From my mom) Do not come back from a personal leave to ask “what happened” while gone. Hold your pee ’til a TV time out or half time.

Contributed rules from my blogger friend Aaron Jordan:

  1. Standing up in front of the TV will be ruled “Illegal Block in the Front” and could result in ejection
  2. If you must throw something, please invest in a “bad call” foam brick (can be found at Campus Den)
  3. If you stand up to get a beer, you must offer to get one for everyone of-age in the room or you will be benched for conduct detrimental to the team

Sisterhood of the Traveling HOMTV Mug: #HOMtostay

smokey the bear

Smokey the Bear Historical Marker in Wisconsin

When I was interviewed to work at HOMTV I said I planned on being here for 5 years. Ha! I’ve been HOM to stay since that interview. And why not? I love it here. I’ve been here since 1996 with a little absence during 1997 when I worked for national sports. But really, I’ve been HOM the whole time. My heart is here. My passion is here. Even when I travel away from HOM, my heart is still here, and I LOVE to travel. I’ve got HOMTV inside that ‘mug’ of mine all the time; picking up story ideas, production design ideas, meeting with alums and so much more. No matter where I am though, I’m HOM to stay. We even did a HOM To Stay video on this with our alumni members!

Oops! coffee to go

Recently my aunt ‘borrowed’ a HOMTV mug out of my cupboard and posted this pic on my wall; “Oops! Coffee to go!”

The HOM Marketing Team started putting our mugs (brains) together and thought, we need to do this! We need a HOMTV traveling mug. And thus, Sisterhood of the Traveling HOMTV Mug was born. So, wherever you are in your travels, HOMTV is HOM to stay and we want to know where you are.

Here’s how it works: The Sisterhood of the Traveling HOMTV Mug is the practice of returning ‘HOM’. Anyone who has a HOMTV mug by way of receiving one as an alumni member, studio guest, elected official, purchase, etc. is encouraged to participate. It involves taking your HOMTV mug on a trip, photographing it at a famous landmark and returning the mug ‘HOM’ by way of sharing your #HOMtostay destination photos.

Hotel Doherty

Hotel Doherty in Claire, one of the many haunted places in Michigan

If you get the concept of the traveling gnome, basically we’ve adopted the traveling HOM. For the #HOMtostay Sisterhood of the Traveling HOMTV Mug Campaign, use #HOMtostay, while away from HOM and share with others where your #HOMtostay destination is during summer 2015.

Personal Reflections of an Ongoing Journey Towards Professional Growth

The-future-belongs-to-those-who-believe-700x700I’ve been at Meridian Township/HOMTV almost nonstop since 1996. I’ve witnessed so many HOMTV interns work countless hours to get to where they are at and where they want to be. I experienced that myself as an intern and continue that strive as a professional.

Almost inevitably, most high goal achievers have the same initial feelings of discontented eagerness I recently read in an article that seems to sum up that transition from college to career just perfectly. LinkedIn Influencer author and former reporter Ann Handley nails it in her article about being eager but measured The Things I Thought I Knew at 22 That Turned Out to Be Totally Wrong. If I were to look back at my first stories I thought were great and know now they were not, I can understand why news stations I thought should have hired me, did not. Knowing what I know now, I can empathize with Ann Handley and chuckle those feelings of discontent I felt as an intern.

But even now, as the Communications Department at Meridian Township continues to strive to provide better communications to its residents, and we look to expanded services, as the Communications Director for Meridian Township, I have to check that. Some days, those eager discontent feelings creep in.Thanks to tor Ann Handley for this article.

How I check eager discontent when it creeps in:

  • I remember my first stand up, I looked like Vanna White presenting the new board to contestants. I’ve come a long way and I have so much further to go. I’m content with that knowledge trying to continually improve to deliver the best information of importance to our residents.
  • In 1996 as an intern, I thought I looked confident on air and now realize confidence comes with time. When you start off as a reporter, you worry so much about how you come across and your delivery style. Later, you realize delivery is in the importance of the message and conveying it in a way everyone can understand. You lose that worry.
  • When feeling eagerly discontent about where the Communications Department goes from here, I check myself and look back at how much HOMTV has blossomed into the Communications Department, and the depth of services provided that were not there before. I look at current projects that will benefit residents.
  • When feeling we could do so much more, I check myself and remember we are doing so much more and with the same number of staff we’ve had since 1992. Its really a miracle if you think of this History of HOMTV.
  • Success of others. Each year, the Communications Department’s HOMTV Internship program trains 30-40 multimedia professionals. Witnessing the interns hard work and dedication, growth, and celebrating their success is one of the most satisfying and grounding feelings of content. This semester alone, we celebrated so many interns become Successful alums. Read about it here.

So as we continue to strive as professionals in whatever industry we may be in, remember where you were and how far you’ve come. The things we know after years of experience foster our ability to become mentors. Happy success!

Top 7 Reasons to Attend this year’s Media Central Spring Conference

  1. Networking: Meet with professionals in your area of expertise. It’s not that easy to get to know like-minded career professionals in the areas of television production, on air talent, communications, and telecommunications policy work. This is a great opportunity to and build working relationships and new connections to help each other in our industry.
  2. Behind the Scenes Tour at WLNS 6 News Station: This is a great opportunity to take advantage of seeing how the pros bring local news to the viewing audience. Find out how News is delivered, see the studio newsroom and apply some of that at your own facility. How cool is that!
  3. Municipal Broadband Case Study: If your community is looking at internet for everyone, the Village of Sebewaing shares how they provide businesses and residents with high speed internet.
  4. Camera and Storytelling Tips from Pro’s: We all have a story to tell. How can we tell it better? From News to Covering High School Sports to Human Interest stories, learn tips and best practices from Veteran News Journalists.
  5. Crisis Communication: The Polar Vortex last year hit Mid-Michigan hard! When storms and other crisis situations happen, a strong communication system needs to be in order for your residents to keep up to the minute on what is happening and safety procedures. Join experts for how they handled a triple back to back storm that led to praises from community members.
  6. Branding Your Image Best Practices by King Media: They say that image is everything and content is king. Learn from marketing experts about the importance of branding your organization. Learn to brand and rebrand yourself to position yourself in a world that can be hard to be seen in.
  7. GREAT VALUE!!! With over 20 highly valuable sessions with presentations from experts to choose from, professional networking opportunities, including full breakfasts, luncheons and refreshments; a small investment goes a long way.

Register today! central states

Make My Day with Caffeine


“I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without it.” -Says the plaque hanging above my Nespresso machine at home.

And it’s true. I’m basically a zombie wandering around aimlessly until I’ve had my caffiene fill. You know when its foggy outside and you’re trying to drive but can’t see well? Thats the experience I have with my brain and my eyeballs until I’ve had a good amount of caffeine to clear my foggy state away.

Continue reading

The Force is in My Cookie Jar

So I’ve been debating a lot lately about what will be my first 2014 blog. A writer, well that’s what I call myself, wants it to be special and kick off the new year perfectly! You know, that blog that grabs a thousand new fans and followers out there.
rosebowlvictoryI originally thought I would write about how I brought in the New Year just right with my first Rose Bowl game and on the MSU victory football field experience. Then I thought I would write about how its been the strangest transition into a new year. Which, does stand on its own when you go from an ice storm to a snow storm to a winter vortex all in the matter of a couple of weeks. Nuts for around here and setting some storm and power outage records. Then I thought I would talk about those pesky New Years Resolutions. Should I stormdebmake them? Well, no, they only get broken anyway I told myself. Besides, that is so cliché, everyone does that. So I told myself; I am not going to do that and be like everyone. So I decided to be like everyone else and not do that.
Instead, I did write commitment goals for my self. Not the same as a New Years Resolution. It’s just not. How is it not my girlfriend asked? It’s just not.
Last year I decided that every time something wonderful happened to me or someone said something nice to me, or I had a happy thought of thankful appreciation, I would write it down and store it someplace safe. This happened to be my Star Wars cookie jar. Hey, may the force be with you right? I thought, what better force to be with you during the New Year than Happy thoughts. I thought happy thoughts in the force was the right direction to take. Great!
3papersEpic Fail. At the end of the year when I went to clean that dusty jar, I opened it up to discover 3 pieces of paper in it. THREE! I read them:
   1/1/13 Finding the button to my winter coat that’s been missing for years. (I can’t find this again)
   1/2/13 Playing Dark Tower with Zac and Amanda
   1/3/13 Using personal time to go to the movies with Lynn and Brandie
I remembered, oh ya, that was my New Years resolution for 2013. cookiejarThat didn’t go well. I only wrote three things!!! So I told myself. I just had too many happy thoughts, moments, experiences, compliments, to even be able to write them down and put them all in a jar. The force of happy thoughts was being carried in my heart all year anyway. I still wish I would have filled it. That would have been cool.
Anyway, moving on to 2014. What to do? I certainly wasn’t going to force my thoughts into a jar. I’m carrying them with me. So what to do? I decided to make commitments. So I wrote down things I wanted to do this year; not resolutions.
  1. Get my fit on! By that, I mean being healthier; mind, body, and spirit. I was ending 2013 well in those endeavors. I wanted to continue though and needed motivation in during the winter time. Well…. so far in 2014, its day 36 and I’ve been crashing and burning this one like a champ! Spirit: Haven’t opened up the good book much to speak of; which does happen to be my favorite. Body: There’s lots of great stuff in there and inspiration to put in your Force jar (heart). Been sick most of this year with a sinus infection so working out hasn’t gone as planned. Mind: Can’t necessarily say my minds been getting fit by watching my favorite movies I’ve seen a dozen times and my only source of reading are ecards.
  2. debsdog Walk the dog daily! No Excuses! That’s how I wrote it. Epic Epic fail if you can have two epic fails. I picked out an amazing coat I wanted for Christmas and these awesome Coach boots; sending pics of them to my hubby so he would buy them for me for Christmas. I distinctly remember telling him I needed them so I could walk the dog in the winter and the reason I couldn’t walk the dog was cause I didn’t have boots and a warm coat. Well, we have TWO closets FULL of coats in our house. What’d I get for Christmas? Good hubby. How many times have I walked the dog daily as I committed to? Ten. I blame winter. Again, its day 36 of 2014.
  3. I can’t remember. But I think it had something to do with blogging. Hmm?
  4. Work out while watching TV. Apparently harder than I thought cause I haven’t gotten up to do that.
  5. No eating after 7pm. Why would I write this? I’m eating right now. It’s 8:30pm.
  6. More spiritual time. Since I wrote this commitment its been less. I read one verse this morning. Better get to it!
Do these sound like resolutions? I call them commitments to myself to be healthier. Can I turn it around? Of course! There are 365 days in a year and we are only on day 36. This isn’t give up my commitments to me because of a couple of minor set backs like being so sick I know my toilet really well and being laid out flat due to a sinus infection.
Those are just blessings that I can recover, bounce back, maintain happy thoughts, and put it all in my little Star Wars force jar (my heart) for motivation to keep believing in my commitment to myself. Welcome 2014! You’ve kicked me so far but I’m kicking back. After all, the force is with me and not in some jar.

Getting Published

Thanks to the Lansing State Journal for publishing my Made in Michigan essay. At the time I was asked, I didn’t even know how much I loved Michigan. At the end of writing this essay, I think I DeborahLSJsurprised myself with how much Michigan really means to me. Read my essay below and then share what you love most about Michigan.

“We grow up listening to songs by the Beach Boys, like “Kokomo,” where we visit all sorts of exotic islands, and “California Girls” where every region of the United States holds beauty. Tony Bennett even had every girl wanting to search his heart in San Francisco. “Footloose” had us believing every place was better to live than the town we lived in, while Disney begged us to visit a whole new world. We wanted to go to these places without realizing our hearts and our whole new world were in our own backyard. For me, that’s Michigan.

debarizonaWhen I first met my husband, we always talked about living in Arizona which led us to many vacations. We’ve been to some amazing places like Hawaii, Virgin Islands and almost every major city in America.

In my early 30s and late 20s, I wanted that whole new Disney World in Florida and wanted that California Beach Dream on a Michigan winter’s day. Some of our greatest milestones happened in other places — we fell in love in Arizona, got engaged in Cleveland and brought in the new year in many states revisited for auld lang syne (old times sake). Wanting to not live in Michigan made me fall in love with Michigan. One of our greatest milestones is saying our nuptials at my place of work. I know. Sounds. So. Lame! Totally not. We got married at the Meridian Township Historical Village and it was absolutely perfect and beautiful in every way. We wed under the gazebo by the pond with historic buildings surrounding us.

debstthomasJust like our milestone moments, the seasons of life are what I love experiencing here in Michigan. When I feel nostalgic, I walk to where I said ‘I do’ for my lunch hour. On our anniversary, my husband and I enjoy exploring new things together like a winery tour, or hiking a sand dune or walking our own Meridian trails. Do I complaindebwine about weather in Michigan? Of course! It’s not perfect anywhere. Believe me, I’ve searched for it. I’ve learned I don’t have to travel to the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean to find great beaches listed on Conde Nast travel because my favorite beaches have been and will always be along Lake Michigan. I have bottles of sand from every beach I’ve been to, but none has ever measured up to the sand between my toes along the shores of Lake Michigan. Yep, I fell in love with Michigan. And witnessing the amount of effort Pure Michigan has made to keep me here, Michigan fell in love with me, too.”