Going Beyond Point Spreads in NFL Online Betting


With a wild first two weeks of the NFL regular season behind us, now is the perfect time to start studying trends and game lines and get in on NFL online betting. While many new sports bettors may only be familiar with point spread betting, there are dozens of Read more

The Sacred, the Secular, and Lecrae


It boggles my mind and, yet, it's the primary example that it can be done with hard work, faithfulness, and, most importantly, the grace of God. It boggles my mind because I first met Lecrae back in the early days of college when he performed a concert at Christ United Read more

Memo to the NFL: Clean it up or Close it down


Two weeks ago before a video emerged of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice brutally hitting his wife in a hotel elevator, I gave my students an assignment as a writing prompt. “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said if a player is accused of domestic abuse moving forward, the punishment Read more

What to do if You Just Got Laid Off or Fired


To me, other than the loss of a loved one, I cannot think of an event more disheartening, more unnerving, more earth-shattering than being laid off or fired from what provides you and your family with basic necessities--food, clothing, and shelter. It seems to me, as of late, that everyone I know Read more

Is Ghostbusters the Perfect Comedy? Quite Possibly.


When my colleagues recently organized a matinee viewing of the remastered re-release of the 1984 classic, Ghostbusters, to kickstart Labor Day weekend, I was all in. I've always loved the movie, Ghostbusters, but admitted that I hadn't seen it from beginning to end in over a decade. Sure, I'd seen clips here Read more

A (Video) Wake-Up Call


We’re all guilty of it at one time or another. Our favorite actor, sports star or politician finds himself or herself in a bad place. Perhaps it’s an affair that stuns, domestic abuse that horrifies or – worst of all – murder to another human being. We, the fans, Read more

Top Ten Lessons Learned from House of Cards Season 1

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, Television, TV Reviews | Leave a comment

HOC2 Top Ten Lessons Learned from House of Cards Season 1

As I’ve patiently awaited House of Cards, it has easily become the show I’ve most looked forward to returning in 2014. The dark side of The West Wing, a D.C.-based political thriller more akin to a Shakespearean reflection on power and fallen humanity than it is Scandal or The West Wing, although it shares slices of elements from both of those as well.

I’ve written on The Wise Guise and in Fare Forward Magazine about marriage’s impact on TV watching. What you watch, when you watch it, and how fast you watch it. All of these change. And life is just busier. So as many friends binge-watched House of Cards within the first week of Netflix’s release of all 13 episodes at once, it waited patiently for me in my Instant Queue. Finally, Palmer and I had the time and the shared desire to start it. It took us just under two weeks to complete the first season.

So much has been written about House of Cards already. I agree with pretty much everything Andy Greenwald at Grantland writes about both the show’s content and the phenomenon of releasing the entire season at once. I share his distaste for Photographer Adam and how the untraditional and popular distribution model changes the way we can enjoy the slow development of great, long-form TV as a community over a period of weeks. But regardless, I haven’t been able to wait until the new season drops… and now it has! As I’m torn this weekend on whether to spread out my viewing of Season 2 or just binge all the way through, I thought it’d be good to reflect on Ten Lessons Learned from Season 1. For a full review of Season 1’s strengths and weaknesses, try Josh Smith’s review. And, as Josh says, “All in all, House of Cards is a pretty fascinating study in total depravity.” So what were the ten lessons learned in this study?

Read more

The Bachelor: Juan Pablo in Hobbiton

Posted on by Jeremy Wilson in Entertainment, Featured, Reality Check, Television | Leave a comment

Juan Pablo in White Chair The Bachelor: Juan Pablo in Hobbiton

I am in a fantasy league centered on The Bachelor. There, I said it.

When I moved to Nashville in early January, a few of my friends had a group of people that they watched The Bachelor with, and I was fortunate enough to be adopted into this inner circle of reality TV watchers. We then decided to make things interesting and created a fantasy league for this season. We had a draft after the first episode, giving all nine of us two contestants each. Every week I send out an email recap to our group, and this week I decided to share it with my friends on The Wise Guise.

(Disclaimer: I have watched The Bachelor for a long time. Too long, some may argue. I was hooked from the moment that Trista was told she had one, and then the guy pulled the old switch on her, which then landed her as the first Bachelorette. Ok, that’s enough of a history lesson.)

AND THEN THERE WERE SIX…

Down the stretch we go!

What we learned this week… Read more

10 Thoughts from Sochi: Week 1

Posted on by Jeremy Wilson in Featured, Other Sports, Sports | Leave a comment

sochi winter olympics 2014 10 Thoughts from Sochi: Week 1

I had a sour taste in my mouth in the weeks leading up to the Winter Olympics. I was bothered that all of my shows were taking long break– minus a certain reality show that comes on ABC on Mondays. I was annoyed by the cross-country skiing commercials. Who cares which kind of Greek yogurt these athletes eat?

Fast forward to the opening ceremony, and now I find myself wanting more detail about how many Greek yogurts the athletes are consuming and what time of day is best for it. Something happens internally when you see our group of Americans waving our flag in Russia while dressed in the tacky Christmas sweaters that Polo dressed them in. I suddenly become so fired up for the events that I complain that they only last a little over two weeks.

Today we are now officially a week into the games. Here are 10 thoughts from a casual fan who grew up in a state where “winter” happens for about a week total, but not in seven consecutive days. Read more

Prepare to be Blown Away by Dominant Displays of Athleticism this Winter Olympics

Posted on by Grant Oster in Featured, Other Sports, Sports | 1 Comment

Sochi Winter Olympics Prepare to be Blown Away by Dominant Displays of Athleticism this Winter Olympics

The ‘retweets’ and ‘likes’ have started. From major social media networks to the blogosphere, everything that anyone is talking about is the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. That is, anyone who has not decided to boycott the games. The Sochi Winter Olympics seems to have a litany of problems–the greatest of them being the continuous terrorist threats. What has the world most upset started last year when Russia banned the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality. Vladmir Putin tried to appease the LGBT community by publicly inviting gays to the Sochi Winter Olympics, promising that they “can feel relaxed and comfortable”; however, he finished by saying that they must “leave the children in peace.” (SMH, Putin…)

The Winter Olympics are my crack–no boycotting for me. I will eat, breathe, and live Olympics for the next few weeks.

There are only so many hours in the day; therefore, there are only so many events an individual can watch. These are some events and people who you are going to want to add to your Winter Olympics agenda.

Carrot Top No More

Carrot Top Shaun White 1024x689 Prepare to be Blown Away by Dominant Displays of Athleticism this Winter Olympics

Shaun White

Shaun White–the Tony Hawk of the halfpipe. He cleaned up well for the cameras, but will he clean up when it comes to the Olympic gold medal? He earned gold in the Snowboard Halfpipe event, both 2006, in Turin, and in 2010, in Vancouver. He is favored to win again this year–no surprise there. What is surprising is events that occurred in the last two months.

In December, White was handed a devastating defeat at a halfpipe competition in Breckenridge, Colorado. It is evident that this shook his confidence, as he has pulled out of the highly anticipated Olympic slopestyle competition. This was the first Olympic games to included this competition–an event that White preferred and primarily competed in before the Olympics added the halfpipe to its Winter Olympics’ program list.

With his entire focus on the halfpipe, I expect an extraordinary display of talent–per usual–from Shaun White.

Oh No, No Apolo Anton Ohno?

I was heartbroken when I found out that my favorite American Winter Olympic champion would not be returning in 2014 (not returning to compete anyway). The blow was softened when I recently learned that Apolo Ohno will be very present at this year’s games as an analyst and broadcaster.

Shani Davis and J.R. Celski Prepare to be Blown Away by Dominant Displays of Athleticism this Winter Olympics

Shani Davis (L) and J.R. Celski (R)

Ohno cast a large shadow in the last three Olympic games, but American racers Shani Davis and J.R. Celski have been lying in wait, preparing to take over. Both Shani Davis and J.R. Celski are world record-holders in their respective short track races – Davis in the 1000 and 1500 meter and Celski in the 500 meter.

I imagine both will represent America well, but I’m most excited for J.R. Celski. The 500 meter is going to be an all-out, no holds barred blitz to the finish line. With 14th ranked Mo Tae-bum winning gold in 2010, anything is possible. Read more

The Sun Sets (Again) on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show Tenure

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Entertainment, Featured, Movies, Television | Leave a comment

tonight show jay leno The Sun Sets (Again) on Jay Lenos Tonight Show Tenure

Confession: My late night TV viewing has never placed The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at the top. Growing up, my parents were David Letterman fans so I was a Late Show with David Letterman fan. As I began to stay up late until 10:30, I’d watch my favorite TV, movie, and music stars with Letterman.

As I grew up and became a bigger fan of TV history, I’d watch shows chronicling the life and career of Johnny Carson. I still vaguely remember Carson’s final show, but I was too young to realize the Leno/Letterman battle that occurred until HBO made a movie about it later on. To me, Carson was always the “last great unifying American late night TV host” in TV history. And while I enjoyed watching clips from that history, it was never my own.

Read more

In Defense of Justin Bieber

Posted on by Alex Beene in Entertainment, Featured, Music | Leave a comment

bieber1 In Defense of Justin Bieber

Kudos to Virginia Sen. Mark Warner for proving himself to be – like most of his D.C. colleagues – completely off-focus. Instead of making headlines for doing anything legislatively progressive, he saw top news billing for saying he would sign a petition to deport Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber.

And why has this petition been started? Multiple stories have surfaced in recent weeks of Bieber’s wild lifestyle. He got a DUI, which subsequently produced a memorable mugshot. Investigators have pulled drugs from his homes and planes. The paparazzi is following him on a 24/7 basis at this point, and not a day goes by that his photos aren’t splashed on media sites.

Let me insert a rare dose of logic into this mainstream entertainment disease: Justin Bieber is 19 years old. I’ll repeat that: he’s 19. To put into context for guys and girls of my generation how young he is, he was three months old when “The Lion King” released to theaters for the first time. Yeah.

Read more