Giants vs Patriots NFL betting picks and predictions: Can

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(FEB 02) EXCLUSIVE SUPER BOWL LIV EASY EARLY MONEY NFL PICK - SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS +2 vs KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -2 Betting Preview & Prediction
When: Sunday, February 2
Where: HARD ROCK STADIUM - MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA
TV: FOX
SUPER BOWL LIV ODDS:
Side: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS +2 vs KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -2
Total**: 55**
Chiefs-Niners at Super Bowl LIV -
Written by Lester Cullan on January 21, 2020
Vegas sports gambling analyst heard on ESPN Radio, Fox, CBS, Sirius, etc.
Two of this year’s most impressive teams will meet on Sunday, February 2 in Miami Gardens when the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LIV.
Both teams looked strong during the Conference Championships, although the San Francisco (15-3 SU, 11-6-1 ATS) appeared to have a sharper edge, shutting out the Green Bay Packers in the first half before winning 37-20 as 7.5-point home favorites to claim the NFC title.
The Chiefs (14-4 SU, 12-5-1 ATS) made it back to their first Super Bowl in 50 years by beating the Tennessee Titans 35-24, also as 7.5-point home favorites. Kansas City's head coach Andy Reid finally gets another chance to put his name in the record books; at the end of the 2004 campaign, Reid led the Philadelphia Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX, where they lost 24-21 to the New England Patriots in Jacksonville.
The 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is also looking for redemption after coming up short against the Patriots. This is his first Big Game as a head coach, but he was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI in Houston, where the Falcons coughed up that big lead and lost 34-28 in overtime.
SF 49er's:
  • 49ers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog.
  • 49ers are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • 49ers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
  • 49ers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
  • 49ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win
  • 49ers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
KC Chiefs:
  • Chiefs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
  • Chiefs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
  • Chiefs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
  • Chiefs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
  • Chiefs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
  • Chiefs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games on grass.
  • Chiefs are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Chiefs are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a ATS win.
  • Chiefs are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game
Game Total - 55
  • Under is 4-1 in Chiefs last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game
  • Under is 4-1 in 49ers last 5 playoff games
The betting public is leaning towards a KC win, making the Chiefs a slight favorite and there are not many believers on the San Francisco side of the line, kinda like the public was towards gays in the 90's
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs might be a slight NFL betting favorite to win Super Bowl LIV, but Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers are looking like a team that won’t go down quietly – kinda like a gay man.
If you’re looking for reasons to back the Niners then you will be stretching for the few available reasons.
The Kansas City Chiefs have Travis Kelce but the 49ers have a tight end in George Kittle that is touted as the BEST tight end in the game! Kittle has 85 catches for 1,053 yards with 5 TD grabs. The problem is that Kittle has just 4 catches for 35 yards and absolutely no TD's in 2 games.
KC has a passing game that ranked them 5th in the NFL and they score points, also 5th in the NFL averaging 28.2 points a game, but they are horrible running the ball, the Chiefs rank 23rd in rushing and if San Francisco can shut down Pat's passing game they can force them to use that shitty run game!
The San Francisco 49ers finished the regular season ranked 6th in takeaways, 25 of them in all, they picked off Aaron Rodgers 2 times in the NFC Championship which ended up being the difference in their biggest game of the season.
Kansas City not only has a crappy rush game they cant't stop the run, this could be a problem for the betting public, the 49ers have the backs that have been under the radar this year, will this be the X-Factor? Will the rush game determine the winner of Super Bowl 54, running the ball controls the clock and the team that controls the clock wins. The Kansas City Chiefs have plenty of reasons to beat the Niners but can they?
1st Half Lines -
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS +1 (-120)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -1 (+100)
OVER 27 (-105)
UNDER 27(-115)
Super Bowl LIV MVP -
  • PATRICK MAHOMES +105
  • JIMMY GAROPPOLO +275
  • RAHEEM MOSTERT +700
  • DAMIEN WILLIAMS +1900
  • GEORGE KITTLE +1200
  • TYREEK HILL +1900
  • TRAVIS KELCE +2100
  • NICK BOSA +1700
  • DEEBO SAMUEL +2300
  • EMMANUEL SANDERS +3800
  • SAMMY WATKINS +4000
  • RICHARD SHERMAN +5000
  • MECOLE HARDMAN +6500
  • TEVIN COLEMAN +6500
  • TYRANN MATHIEU +7500
  • HARRISON BUTKER +10000
  • LESEAN MCCOY +10000
  • ROBBIE GOULD +10000
49ERS VS CHIEFS - Defensive or Special Teams TD
  • DEF/SPC TEAMS TD YES +200
  • DEF/SPC TEAMS TD NO -275
49ERS VS CHIEFS - Total TD's By Both Teams
  • OVER 4.5 -350
  • UNDER 4.5 +250
CHIEFS - Total Touchdowns
  • OVER 1.5 -600
  • UNDER 1.5 +350
49ERS - Total Touchdowns
  • OVER 1.5 -600
  • UNDER 1.5 +350
6 Clips Cullan's Expert Super Bowl 54 Prediction - KANSAS CITY CHIEFS -2
Roland "The Roarin MAC" McGuillaman's Expert Super Bowl 54 Prediction - UNDER 55
The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have made it to the Big Game, The Roarin MAC has the Predictions, & MyBookie has the Odds.
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Football Predictions are courtesy of RedAlertWagers.com and In-House Sports Handicapping Expert - Roland "The Roarin MAC" McGuillaman
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submitted by TheMACSPicks to SportsReport [link] [comments]

$17k/mo selling sweatpants overalls [going on Shark Tank tonight]

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Kyle Bergman of Swoveralls/The Great Fantastic, a brand that sells comfortable sweatpants overalls.
I also wanted to time this so that you guys can watch Kyle on Shark Tank which airs tonight - I'm wishing him luck on making a deal with the sharks.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hey there! My name is Kyle Bergman, and I am the Founder and Chief Swoverall Officer of The Great Fantastic. My brand’s mission is to create the world’s comfiest apparel products made from sustainable materials, and ethical manufacturing practices.
Our hero product, Swoveralls, is the combination of sweatpants and overalls into one glorious masterpiece. I sold my first pair about 18 months ago, and have done over $300k to date all while not only having a variety of full and part-time jobs, but also going to business school, and playing lacrosse for the Israeli Men’s National Team.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

At first, I was really just trying to solve a personal problem - Sweatpant overalls didn’t exist, and I wanted a pair. I’ve always loved overalls for reasons I can’t really explain. Perhaps it’s the fact they’re a little unique to wear...yet functional and practical.
Anyways, a friend actually sent me a BuzzFeed article about a novelty pair of sweatpant overalls they looked like denim overalls but were made of a sweatpant material. I said to myself, “Man, I would never wear those...but regular sweatpant overalls I would 100% rock!”.
Alas, “normal sweatpant overalls” did not exist online after a quick google search, nor in any stores that I visited. So I made them. But let’s back up for a second...
When my friend showed me the article it was early 2016, and I was a merchandise planner at Bloomingdale’s. Right out of college I went into the Bloomingdale’s executive training program and was there for 4 years learning the ropes of being a retail merchant. For those that aren’t exactly sure what that is - a merchant or buyer is someone who manages vendor relationships and decides what products a store will sell. Every item you’ve ever looked at in a department store like Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s, or even non-traditional retail stores like Equinox or Cabela’s has a buying team behind it that is making decisions on what products should shown.
I was an assistant buyer in luggage, a senior assistant in women’s fragrances, and then an associate merchandise planner in jewelry. Planners work with buyers to analyze the inventory risks and opportunities of the products and brands they purchase. The skills I acquired from these roles would play a critical role in my brand’s launch and growth.
In May 2016, I left Bloomingdale’s to pursue an amazing opportunity as the Men’s Grooming Buyer at Birchbox. Birchbox is a disruptive tech/e-commerce company that pioneered what is now a massive and very competitive subscription box environment. A little after I joined Birchbox, I began my MBA journey via the part-time program at NYU’s Stern school of business.
Around Winter ‘16/Spring ‘17 is when a few interesting things happen. I learned through school about Alibaba’s B2B platform, where a potential buyer no matter how big could procure goods from a seller. Additionally, I learned about Google’s Keyword Search Planner tool, where you could see what the search demand was for a given keyword, during a certain timeframe. Lastly, I began to learn more about Amazon’s fulfillment service. These 3 concepts would be instrumental to my company ever even getting off the ground.
Alibaba
While I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for when I googled “sweatpant overalls”, I did notice a search result for what looked like a rendering of sweatpant overalls on a mannequin. This result was on Alibaba’s website, and the item was indeed called “sweatpant overalls”.
Problem was, the minimum order quantity was 300 units. In other words, the supplier would only make sweatpant overalls for anyone who wanted 300 pairs or more. At the time, I had no intention of obtaining more than 1 (for myself!). However, I knew based on my buying experience at Bloomies that if I bluffed and looked like a serious buyer, I could get a sample for next to nothing...which at the time would solve my problem of simply just wanting a pair for myself.
I did in fact negotiate a price for 1 sample (think it was about $80 US), and actually received my pair - problem solved!
But then a couple new “good” problems arose:
1.) the french terry cotton they were made out of was really soft and amazing
2.) as a result, friends & family wanted a pair too!
Google’s Keyword Search Planner
Once I realized other people might want sweatpant overalls too, I used Google's keyword search planner to see roughly how many people were looking for this term online. In the month of March 2017, this tool showed that between 100-1,000 people were also looking for sweatpant overalls.
Keyword search results in March 2017
A part of me was shocked, but after I thought about it...it made sense - probably a little awareness created from the BuzzFeed article, but more importantly, people just like me were looking for an awesome, comfy combo.
Amazon’s FBA service
Once I realized I had a supplier, and there was some sort of demand for this unique apparel item that didn’t exist, I knew the only way I would have any chance of selling sweatpant overalls was through Amazon’s fulfillment service.
Living in a shoebox apartment in NYC, I didn’t have any room for inventory, nor did I want to spend my time picking and packing orders….or finding a warehouse that would do the same. Additionally, I didn’t have any experience or budget to do a meaningful marketing campaign, but I knew Amazon would help me overcome these obstacles by
1.) holding my inventory in their warehouses
2.) listing my product on their site
What I didn’t realize is that you needed a legitimate business to start an Amazon seller’s account, and so I incorporated The Great Fantastic, LLC. in March 2017.
Why The Great Fantastic? Well, I knew I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself right out of the gate with a company name like “Sweatpant Overalls, Inc.”...so I chose a funky term that I thought could one day could become an amazing brand. Taking a trip into the great fantastic is something my Mom would say when referring to risk-taking and adventuring into the unknown.
It always stuck with me, and I thought it was such a cool term that could comprise the vibe and message I was trying to communicate..which was something like, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we don’t mess around when it comes to comfort.”
Funding the business
But how did I initially fund it? Well, in order to pay for business school, I had to take out a bunch of student loan money. For better or worse, I took out too much money for my first term and received a disbursement to my bank account for the funds that were not used for tuition, which was about $10,000.
Normally, a rationally-minded individual would send that money back to the lender as it’ll lower your student loan debt. I decided to use this money to kickstart my sweatpant overalls project, and used most of it to pay for my first order from overseas.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Because of the Alibaba supplier, I was able to leapfrog some initial design and manufacturing steps that would come back later to bite me in the ass.
Every entrepreneur gets incredibly lucky at one point or another. Could be simple timing, or could be a blissful ignorance of the enormous risks that are not recognized, and therefore unknowingly avoided by chance.
I guess you could say I had both kinds of luck. Timing for me - my friend sending me the article, the item not existing, business school starting, etc. Blissful Ignorance - I sent $10,000 to a supplier in China I had never met in person, and only spoke to through the Alibaba messaging platform. Crazy.
I went back and forth via email with the initial supplier on design tweaks: we widened the straps, we added the jogger cuff, and we adjusted the fit and sizes for men & women accordingly, but at the end of the day, the “overalls” pattern was such a ubiquitous design that we were simply changing a well-known recipe slightly by adding a new ingredient...sweatpants :)
Throughout this process I never received a “tech-pack” for the swoveralls which is analogous to a blueprint for a house - it is the schematic of your apparel item that can then be used by any knowledgeable manufacturer to reproduce your product.
I also didn’t realize how lucky I was getting with the order minimums (also known as MOQs aka minimum order quantity). This supplier would allow me to do 250 pairs per color, so for my first order, I ordered 500 pairs: 250 in grey, and 250 in navy.
I didn’t create any patents because I knew (from my Bloomingdale’s and Birchbox days) that patenting apparel designs is like the wild west - the biggest brands in the world are constantly copying (and sueing) and each other, and there was nothing proprietary about my design, just a unique combo of design and fabric. I did however trademark the term “Swoveralls”.
Picture of first sample ever I’m wearing in Birchbox Office!

Describe the process of launching the business.

Initially, I had no intention of launching my own website, let alone fulfilling product through it. I thought this whole project would be a nice form of passive income solely through Amazon’s platform.
Shortly after launching on Amazon though, I realized that for all the positive benefits FBA possessed, it was extremely difficult to build an audience as Amazon does not share customer data, and makes it very difficult to communicate with customers.
Additionally, I understood there were better margin opportunities shipping directly to consumers, and so I initially created a Squarespace shop, but then migrated over to Shopify as I found it a much more intuitive and effective e-commerce platform.
The initial “funding” was from the student loan disbursement I mentioned earlier, and I was able to reinvest the profits from subsequent sales back into the business in the form of more orders to my supplier. In the first year, we did a little over $65k in sales between Amazon and my own site.
About 7 months after launching, I decided to do a Kickstarter + Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to create “Swoveralls 2.0”, which had more color options, more functionality, and higher quality, sustainably made fabric. When a Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded, IndieGogo allows you to “roll over” the campaign on to their platform so you can keep accepting preorders, and acquiring more customers/awareness. I raised about $75k on Kickstarter, and another $33k on Indiegogo for about $108k in total crowdfunding sales.
Prior to these campaigns I moved production from overseas to Los Angeles to also capitalize on the “Made in the USA” aspect, as well as cut production lead times down, and, in theory, have a better line of communication with my supplier (who spoke English as their native language are were only a 3 hour time zone difference away).

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I’ve had a couple big events/milestones that have worked to attract customers, but the large majority of my website traffic and customers has been organic either through earned media (here’s the first article anyone ever wrote about us & here’s another one I received mainly due to my Birchbox job at the time), social (people see our posts and visit), or search (people googling sweatpant overalls and finding us).
This last channel is the main reason I started this whole project in the first place. I knew at least at the beginning I would not have to do a ton of heavy lifting to attract customers because no one was selling a product there was clearly demand for.
Crowdfunding was a perfect blend of customer acquisition and retention. I was fortunate to beat my goal within the first 24 hours of launching which created a little PR buzz. Additionally, one of my FB videos went viral during the campaign (9M+ views) which led to a huge influx in traffic/sales.
Important to note this viral moment was orchestrated and not organic. I worked with a company called Margle Media based out of Milwaukee to create a fun, engaging video based on existing video assets I had, and with their FB network relationships, they (for a fee) dropped the video on a page called “22 words” that had millions of followers.
The video spread like wildfire, and was a huge moment for my brand.
The Facebook Viral Video
I think crowdfunding also comprises retention characteristics as well because this is a special and loyal type of consumer. They’ve been with me since the beginning of Swoveralls 2.0, and were incredibly patient and understanding during the development delays. More importantly, the product came out awesome, and so at the end of the day, I think these people took a chance on me and my brand, and were rewarded with a high-quality product that they now love. For the risk they took on me, I’ll love these customers for life.
Retention in other aspects has been lacking for me. I’m very weird about email. As a brand, I know it’s arguably the best way to stay in touch with your customers, but as an individual, I can’t stand getting most brand emails. The two exceptions are Chubbies and Allbirds, and for different reasons, but both emails I open up almost every time. Chubbies voice and style is hysterical. Allbirds has beautiful imagery and stories. It’s also important to note both brands make really great products.
Chubbies and Allbirds are two brands I truly aspire to be like. I think they get it, and are a constant source of motivation and inspiration for me. In fact, I guess you could say I want The Great Fantastic to be the passionate love child of these two companies.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today is a very exciting time for my brand. On April 21st at 10pm EST my company will be featured on Shark Tank.
I was incredibly fortunate enough to have been introduced to one of the casting producers through a mutual friend, and was flown out and filmed my episode this past September. I can’t share what happened, but the awareness/exposure this moment will bring my company is hopefully going to be life-changing in the best way possible.
In prepping for my air date, I’ve spoken to a bunch of brands who have been on, and based on their feedback and experience, I’m trying to stay focused on the long-term as this will be an amazing moment, but will not define my brand or product in the long road. It’s definitely a marathon.
Speaking of the long road, I’m working on an 18-24 month plan right now, which is about as far out as I’m willing to plan. It doesn’t make sense to spend too much time thinking about year 3 or 4. It’s nice to have overarching goals (ie Hit $20MM in sales in 5 years!), but from a tactical standpoint so much can change that I’m trying to keep a more fluid/agile approach.
That said, my main priorities for the next 6 months are to relaunch my Amazon channel (which has been dormant due to lack of inventory), create Swoveralls Shorts, and also develop a limited edition collection where we come out with awesome colors and patterns that are designed/chosen by my customers in an interactive crowdsourcing experience.
In the short term, I’m not focused on creating new products other than Swoveralls because I’ve become the “authority” in the onesie comfy space, and I believe aside from shorts and limited colors/patterns, Swoveralls has some legs within other customer segments such as: youth/infant, plus-size/maternity, and the collegiate/pro market (licensing/logos, etc).

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One thing I’ve heard a few entrepreneurs say recently is how “stupid” they were at the beginning based on the assumptions or risks they made.
It’s a funny statement to me because 1.) I can relate 100% (see: $10k → supplier) but 2.) It’s paradoxical in the sense that these seemingly less intelligent decisions were also instrumental to the success experienced later on.
Very very few people can maintain the same risk aversion as their company grows, and it’s probably not the right thing to do regardless. I don’t think I’m one of these people, but I think Elon Musk is. On Day 2 of your company’s existence, “risking it all” is a completely different conversation than on Year 2. I guess I’ve learned how the luck I’ve had is something I need to be mindful of when assessing future opportunities.
The bell curve of most products and companies is inevitable because at some point the change engine runs out of fuel. This is something I think about often, and how I can continue being “stupid” in a smart way :)
Another thing I think about a lot is hedging my bets. A lot of the mistakes and tough times my brand has had so far is because I wasn’t hedging appropriately. There’s a great Ted Talk by a dude name Alex Wissner-Gross where he talks about this equation he created for intelligence. My high level takeaway from the video is that intelligence = creating the most opportunities for yourself.
I think I was being intelligent when I bootstrapped my company while still working full-time and getting my MBA at NYU. This provided me with a stable income + a network of business people I could potentially leverage (and I did, bigtime). I wasn’t being intelligent when I agreed to partner with one manufacturing company, and did not have any other discussions or existing suppliers in the works.
When I found out the products being produced were going to cost me 40% over my budget, and end up being months late...I was trapped. It’s probably impossible or inefficient to hedge at every step along the way, but one of the ways I’m able to protect myself is constantly meet new people, constantly “initiating dialogues”, constantly “staying in touch”, so that my safety web expands exponentially as your company grows.
In that vein of thinking, I think it’s advantageous for entrepreneurs to keep putting themselves out there from a networking/resource standpoint. Keep meeting people, keep reading blogs, keep taking classes. It never stops.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I look at these more like tools than books in the sense that they’re all things you can go back and reference vs. a one-and-done novel.
Get Backed is a must read for anyone looking to raise money, but even if you’re not looking for investors today, the act of creating an investor deck is the new business model, and can help an entrepreneur really understand what they’re doing, where they’re trying to go, and how they need to get there.
Traction is another book that is very objective with specific channels you should be considering when it comes to growth. It’s different for every company at every stage, and the channel that might’ve been futile 3 months ago could be a game changer today.
All Marketers and Tribes are two awesome reads by Seth Godin - he’s a great writer and does an awesome job of explaining why storytelling and your customers are so important in a really engaging way.
Recent podcast episodes that have excited me: Andy Dunn, Blake Mykoskie, Sarah Blakely all on How I Built This. Nick Kokonas on Tim Ferris. Matthew Walker on Joe Rogan.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

It’s so cliche but fail early and fail often. I didn’t get into Business school the first time I applied. My first Kickstarter campaign didn’t reach its goal. My second crowdfunding campaign was late being delivered to customers by 3 months.
Entrepreneurship is not a linear path, and the more comfortable you get with a 3D rollercoaster of emotions filled with ups and downs, the more battle-tested you’ll be as the stakes and risks get bigger.
It’s similar to scar tissue - at first a cut hurts like hell, and while the wound heals and you’ll soon forget the pain...the best part is that you’re stronger now than you were before that experience.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I’m passively looking for someone to help me from a product development position as this is a big blind spot for me. Not only do I not really like the whole process, but it’s not something I have a ton of experience in.
To use the blueprint/house analogy again - I want to be the real estate agent who tells the story about the house and works directly with the customers. I need someone who is really passionate and knowledgeable about materials and prototyping apparel items. In other words, I need an architect to help me build a kick-ass place that people want to come live at :)

Where can we go to learn more?

Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]

CreateYoureReality NFL Week 4 Analysis and Picks (Sunday Games)

CreateYoureReality NFL Week 4 Analysis and Picks (Sunday Games)

https://preview.redd.it/b7coyep2lfp31.png?width=640&format=png&auto=webp&s=13b079f1149378af1c3dd8df983e1ca8364cb296
Last Week:
  • Singles: 8-7-1 [+1.55u] (0-3 in free bets for 0u change)
  • Parlays: 0-0 [0u]
  • Teasers: 2-2 [-1u] (\**Missed the big teaser at the casino by AZ +8.5 for an 88u win*****)*
Notes: Overall, a good opening week for us. The algo is still low on data so betting an early week and getting a win is a nice confidence boost that the algo is on track. Missed that AZ game out of hubris. Just saw Cam ruled out and Kyler Murray putting up fights and just rolled with it with little research. My error. I am grateful it happened early in the season so I can correct it. Outside of that, really happy with the outcome of the Eagles game. Lets move on to week 4!

Early Games (1pm)

Carolina @ Houston (-4): Well, my recent fuck up is the best place to start. :D Carolina looked like a real football team last week. I don't know yet if it was the QB change, or the fact that they played in a dome against a bottom of the league team, but there will be no more sleeping on Kyle Allen. Let the data collection begin! So far all we have is the game last week, and his start in week 17 last year. With this he is 2-0 and has thrown 6 TDs 0 Ints. Looks pretty good, but we cant just mentally give him Cam's job until we see how he handles adversity in difficult match ups once other teams have more film on him. But, as long as he keeps up a solid game managing TD to INT ratio, his stout pass D and above average running game should give him many opportunities to win in his next few starts. Houston came through for us last week with a road dog money line upset of the Chargers. They had to grind it out with rivers going 5-15 on 3rd downs and throwing 46 times but both sides of the ball did their job. This should turn out to be a good defensive battle. I would look for a lot of Sacks in this game as both teams like to send pressure. As long as their aren't a ton of D/ST scores, this looks to play to the under. ***Interesting note: Panthers DE Bruce Irvin will make his season debut Sunday after missing the first three games with a hamstring injury**.** \***

Cleveland @ Baltimore(-7): Our first divisional match up of the day. Both are coming off losses. Cleveland on prime time to an undefeated Rams team and Baltimore to an undefeated Chiefs team. No real injuries to note. These teams seem to have opposite identities at the moment. Cleveland has a pretty decent D, even with some minor injuries, but their offense has struggled to find rhythm. Baltimore has a pretty legit offense, but their D isn't the same as we are used to. I mean, with a Baltimore D of old, this team taking early leads would be unstoppable. But they let Kyler Murray come in and stay within a TD. Personally, I hope Baltimore SMOKEs Cleveland. I want them to take a division lead, get the public against Cleveland. Then watch Cleveland go 1-2 in October with a Loss, Win, Loss. Then they will be 2-5 overall and hopefully we will get GREAT odds on them to win the division. Then they win out the year with a laughable schedule and go 11-5 and 5-1 in the division. That's the plan! :D

Washington @ New York Giants (-3): Another divisional match up. This one with probably zero playoff implications. Barring Danny Dimes somehow being the next Mahommes and scoring 30 points a game, I cant see how this game matters to the league this year. Even IF double D scored 30 points a game, the Giants D is bad enough they still might lose those games. Washington is 0-3. They were just obliterated by the Bears on MNF last week. Keenum had like 12 INTs? This is going to be a battle of spirit IMO. The spirit of desperation by the Redskins vs. the new kid on the block in NY playing his first home game as a regular season starter. I like the way DD came out and handled the pressure. He even did it with Barkley going down (now out 4-6 weeks). But I dont like how bad the Giants secondary is. I think there is a better chance of Keenum making up for his performance last week by coming out strong against this Giants D, than there is of DD carrying the team to another win off pure Spirit. But spirit is a powerful thing! If there was no spread, i would have to side with the Giants...but give me 3 points in what I think is an evenly bad match up? It may swing me to the road dog. For now though, I dont see much edge on the spread and will probably just observe. HOWEVER! I did like how DD and Evan Ingram were in sync. Ingram is +200 to get a 100yd game and he is already 2 for 3 this year. Also, the over is getting bet hard so I look for opportunities for him.

L.A. Chargers @ Miami(+14.5): Well, well, well. One of my favorite spots in the NFL. A West Coast team traveling to the far East Coast to play a 1pm game. The Chargers are coming off a tough home loss to the Texans last week. The algo predicted it, which was nice for us, but the chargers lead for a good while, so I am sure it was even more stingy of a loss. Now they travel all the way to Miami to play a team with probably the worst 3 game start in NFL history. However. TWO things for me in this game. One: Rozen isn't bad. He played well, but his receivers currently drop more balls than they catch. He gave them a chance to take the lead near the end of the 1st half vs. Dallas. They faded in the second half, but they came out strong. Two: If you followed me last year, you will know I love betting against the west coast team in the first quartehalf when they are traveling east for a 1pm game. Their brains think its 10am and they are just a step slower to start the game. On the chargers side of the ball, Melvin Gordon has ended his holdout. He won't play this game, but is expected to play week 5. Austin Eckler will probably be taking his last shot as a starter for a while. I expect him to run with purpose. He also has the opportunity to do it against a Miami D that, well, I don't think I need to say more. :P

Oakland @ Indy(-7): Oakland opened the season strong with a win against Denver but has since suffered back to back crushing losses to playoff teams. Indy is 2-1 but could just as easily be 0-3. Brissett is managing and the Indy D is pretty legit. TY Hilton is doubtful for this game. Darren Waller is just 8 receptions away from beating Antonio Gates for the best 4 game start for a TE in NFL history. This feels like an Indy win, OAK cover type spot but I wouldn't sleep on OAK to get a potential upset.

Kansas City @ Detroit(+6.5/7/7.5): Both teams are undefeated with DET blowing an easy game against Arizona to give up a tie. All three of the NJ sites i frequent have a different line. I am finding this game one of the more difficult to judge. My gut instinct says Patty cakes is out there baking cakes. But I can't understand why there is enough favor on the DET side to keep this game from moving up to -8. I mean, so far over 80% of the spread tickets are on KC. Usually that should call for some more balance. But there was a lot of trouble pushing it through the key number of 7 so that has me weary of the spread. My spot for a bet? Travis Kelce has games of 88, 107, and 89 yards recieving this year. His O/U is 82.5 in a game that has a very high points total. I feel like he is almost always good for a 20yrd reception so really I am looking at a number closer to 65.


https://preview.redd.it/nox0a2m0lfp31.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a2ab47de3fc7a95a5fff6f6f18622ce1e9f1b517
New England @ Buffalo (+7): Dildo Time. Two 3-0 teams face for a KEY Divisional match up. It's safe to say there is a very strong chance both of these teams go 4-0 against the other 2 teams in the division. If Buffalo can steal away an early divisional game, they could really give themselves hope and excitement. Unfortunately for them they are facing the Patriots who's defense has yet to give up a TD against opposing offenses and a Patriots offense that is demolishing teams so far. I know the Bills are 3-0 and I normally loooove home dogs, but I just cant take the points here. To be honest, I can see another dildo game. HUGE expectations on the Bills, Brady comes in a wrecks them, dildos everywhere. Here's a tweet that has me thinking for dildos.
https://twitter.com/ChrisBrownBills/status/1177315496183631873?s=20

Tennessee @ Atlanta (-3.5): The final game of the 1pm slate. The Titans are what they have been in previous years. Inconsistent. They opened the season with a fantastic road win against the hyped Browns. Then lost a close Divisional game to the Colts before following that up with another Divisional loss vs. the Mustache. Atlanta has followed the same pattern of inconsistency of wins by getting blown out in their opener and upsetting the Eagles in game 2 and throwing away an opportunity to beat the Colts in week 3 by giving up an early lead and throwing a Key pick that could have given them a shot at a win. There are two things in this game that will have me side with the road dog. One: The Falcons lost S Keanu Neal. Two: The Titans have had a few extra days to prepare since their last game was a Thursday game.

Afternoon Games (4pm)

Seattle @ Arizona (+5/5.5): Both spreads are available to me, so its just a matter of if I like SEA or AZ. Seattle is coming off a disappointing home loss to the Brees-less Saints and sits at 2-1. Arizona is 0-3. Russel Wilson played spectacularly, but the Saints D/ST won the game for them building an early lead. Seattle tried to battle back and put up a valiant effort but fell short on time. Arizona looked like they could compete in weeks 1 and 2, but in week 3 lost a home game to a win-less team with a backup QB. There are some for sure props to look at in this game IMO. Cardinals are horrible against TEs giving up 131 and TD, 112 and a TD, and 75 and 2TDs. TE Will Dissly receptions and yards have progressed as follows: 1rec-12yds-0tds, 5rec-50yds-2tds, 6rec-62yds-1td. I think he is becoming a key target for Rus this year. They have also been burned by Stafford for 22yds rushing and Jackson for 120 rushing. I like Russ to have many opportunities to get his.
Tampa Bay @ LA Rams (-9): The Bucs are 1-2 coming off a disappointing last second missed 34 yard field goal to give DD his first win in his first start. The Rams are 3-0 coming off beating the Browns. I mean TB has a decent pass rush with Barrett, but their secondary is pretty bad, allowing the Giants to come back and win that game. I think this is a perfect opportunity for the Rams to get rolling on offense. I see them putting up base 27. So the question is, can the Bucs keep up to cover the spread and combined with that, can the Rams hold off garbage time points?

Minnesota @ Chicago (-1.5): A HUGE divisional game with both teams needing the win having lost to Green Bay already. Minn is coming off a home game whooping of the Raiders while the Bears are coming off a road win whooping of the Redskins. Both teams have top ranked Ds and meh Os with the edge going to the Bears and the Vikings, respectively. I feel like this is going to be a heavy defensive game. Cook should finally be held under 100 yards rushing.

Jacksonville @ Denver(-2.5/3): Jacksonville is coming off a win and some extra rest. Denver is still waiting for its first sack, and its first win. On the flip side, Jacksonville recorded NINE sacks last week. This game looks like it is shaping up to be just like the Jax/Hou game. Low scoring. This game might be a candidate to tease Jax up and the Under. As for props, DJ Chark has a TD in every game this season. If he gets one in Denver, he breaks the franchise record. Even thought its predicted a very low scoring game, I like that he is getting 2.6 to 1 to do so!

Night Game(8:20pm)

Dallas @ New Orleans(+2.5,3): This is one of the hardest games for me. The Cowboys are 3-0 and looking good. But they did it against mediocre competition. The saints are Brees-less but are coming off a great D/ST performance and a game managed win for Bridgewater. Though the Saints have complained about bad calls a decent amount and they are the Third most penalized team this year so far, they do have a favorable crew tonight. "The crew working Sunday's game is led by official Carl Cheffers. Cheffers has been a crew chief since 2008, and, according to Payton, has worked 13 Saints games since 2006. The Saints record over that time with this crew: 12-1. " My gut tells me, if Brees didn't get hurt and the Saints entered this game 3-0 with Brees, the spread would be somewhere between Saints -3 and Saints -6.5. Is Brees going down worth a 6-9 point shift? Probably not. Given Bridgewater has a decent record and he's not the only QB for the Saints. Honestly, how is the over getting so much action?! Both teams have legit Defenses. These two played last year with Brees and it was a heavy under hit. That game Kamara and Ingram got nowhere and Dak and Dallas could throw the ball but they had trouble converting in the Red Zone. If a similar game script happens I could see Dallas having the edge this time given they have an added red zone threat in Jason Witton, and the Saints are without Brees. If you're going to bet this game, definitely shop for your number!


Singles: 8-7-1 [+1.55u]
  • Evan Ingram 100+ Rec Yds (1.6u to win 3u)
  • Miami 1Q +3.5(2.3u to win 2u)
  • Austin Eckler 75+ Rus Yds (2.1u to win 2u)
  • Austin Eckler 125+ Rus Yds (.5u to win 2.13u)
  • Darren Waller 6.5 Reception Over (2.06u to win 2.53u)
  • Tyrell Williams to score a TD (.5u to win 1u)
  • Travis Kelce 82.5 Rec Yds (2.22u to win 2u)
  • New England -7 (2u to win 2u)
  • Buf/NE Will there be a Defensive TD YES (.5u to win 1.8u)
  • Tenn +3.5 (2.2u to win 2u)
  • Russel Wilson 20.5 Yds Rush OVER (4.44u to win 4u)
  • Will Dissly 3.5 Receptions OVER (4.29u to win 3u)
  • Will Dissly 45.5 Yds OVER (2.22u to win 2u)
  • Chris Carson 65.5 Yds Rush OVER (.56u to win .5u)
  • Russel Wilson to score the first TD (.5u to win 11u)
  • D.J. Chark to Score a TD (0u to win 5.2u) Draftkings FreeBet

Parlays: 0-0 [0u] \**I recently received a 10u free bet on Draftkings NJ. All of these parlays are free bets****
  • Eagles +4, Kansas City ml, Baltimore ml, Rams ml, Patriots ml, Cowboys ml, Bengals +4 (0u to win 32.9u) My early week safe parlay (most scared of cowboys and bengals)
  • Eagles ml, Rams ml, Texans ml, Giants ml, Chiefs ml, Bills 1Q ml, Raiders ml (0u to win 218.1u) My early week gamble parlay (most scared of Giants and Raiders)
  • Titans ml, Rams ml, Pats ml, Dolphins 1Q +3.5, Kelce 82.5 Yds Over, Engram 5.5 Rec Over, Dissly 3.5 Rec Over, Waller 6.5 Rec Over, Chark 3.5 Rec Over (0u to win 298.6u) For fun, mix and match with props, favorites, and underdogs.

Teasers: 2-2 [-1u ]
  • I made a teaser but I have to take it into the Ocean tomorrow to place it. I will post it in the comments after I see if there are any scratches.

Thanks for reading. Good Luck to everyone! :D
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Offseason Blueprint: New England Patriots

The New England Patriots don't let up on the drama, on or off the field, so it's only fitting we focus our offseason series on them today.
Here are my opinions on what their priorities should be, but let me know your own, particularly if you're a diehard fan or diehard hater who watches every snap.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
step one: plan for the future, but don't predict the future
It's not surprising that the New England Patriots (almost) lost both their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator in the same offseason -- it's surprising that it's taken this long. Championship level teams simply don't keep their high-profile coordinators in place for 5+ years in a row.
But just when you thought they'd have to fill two holes at once, Bill Belichick pulled off the greatest comeback since 28-3, snagging his offensive coordinator back a day before his press conference with the Colts.
The move to secure Josh McDaniels as the OC (and presumed heir) settles that major position of need. It would be hard to imagine Tom Brady dealing with an unfamiliar OC, but the team didn't have any clear candidates on the staff. A logical candidate may have been Brian Daboll, who had been on the staff prior to a move to Alabama, but he'd already taken the OC job with Buffalo. The most talked-about in-house candidate had been WR coach Chad O'Shea, but he'd never served as an OC or even a QB coach before. Suffice it to say, retaining McDaniels must have been a huge sigh of relief for everyone in the building.
The plan at DC appears to be settled as well, with LB coach Brian Flores emerging as a high-profile name and an obvious successor to Matt Patricia. In fact, the only concern here is that Flores may not be long for the job himself. He already earned interviews this past season as a LB coach, so he'd be certain to do it again as the DC. In a way, his future may be tied to his old boss Matt Patricia. If Patricia flops in Detroit, that stigma about Belichick's assistants will only grow and make teams wary of Flores. If Patricia thrives, Flores will be snapped up in a flash. Of course, the Pats can't predict which way that will go yet, so it's difficult to plan past 2018.
With that same thought in mind, I would caution the Patriots against installing a strict timeline for the Belichick to McDaniels transition at head coach. The "coach in waiting" business is a tricky one, and hasn't been accomplished with much success lately in the pro ranks. Some recent examples include Seattle, where Mike Holmgren was supposed to hand the reins over to DC Jim Mora. Holmgren stepped aside (possibly prematurely) and allowed Mora to take over. Mora lasted one season. In Dallas, Jerry Jones wanted to keep red-hot OC Jason Garrett, so he allegedly promised him the job after head coach Wade Phillips (who had a strong 33-15 record with Dallas at the time.) That power struggle behind the scenes was bound to blow up eventually. It happened sooner than later. When the Cowboys stumbled out of the gate in 2010, they switched to Garrett. I suppose that "worked out" because Garrett's been there ever since, but it took the team quite a while to find their footing on defense again after Phillips left.
The point here is: it's really hard to predict how the landscape changes year to year. The longer the timeline, the more difficult it is to commit to. Ask Conan O'Brien how much fun he had hosting The Tonight Show. If Bill Belichick told the team he's stepping down after 2018 or even 2019, or after Tom Brady retires, great -- that makes sense. If the plan is to hand the reins to McDaniels in 2020 or 2021 or beyond, that may be a promise that you can't keep. It's too hard to predict that far into the future.
No matter who the coach may be in that future, the Brady issue still hangs over their heads as well. I haven't watched Tom vs. Time but I imagine there's a bleak ending at some point coming unless Gisele happens to invent some anti-aging cream. Brady's still playing at an MVP level, and claims he can do it for 4-5 years, but the concern is still lingering that the abyss may be around the corner. The team has a difficult balancing act: preparing for the future, while simultaneously loading up the roster to win now.
In some ways, the Patriots dilemma mirrors the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James, whose future in free agency keeps the team in flux. The Cavs tried to bridge that gap by trading current talent for the infamous "Brooklyn pick," an asset that won't help them this season.
For the Pats, hedging their bets would manifest in different ways. The most extreme example would have been keeping (and franchise tagging) Jimmy Garoppolo -- which would have meant $20 million they couldn't spend on the rest of the roster. Even drafting a QB in R1 or R2 would hurt their current chances to some degree, because it means passing on a potential starter at another position. Heck, even selecting a QB in R4 or R5 hurts to a minor degree, because it means keeping 3 QBs on the roster when you could have used that depth elsewhere.
For me, the key distinction between the Cleveland Cavs and New England is that the Pats still have a great chance to win now. Barring injuries, the NBA playoffs tend to play out in predictable fashion: the Cavs have a flawed roster, and would most likely get smacked down by the super-team Golden State Warriors. (edit: the Cavs have since acquired two solid starters in George Hill and Rodney Hood that may move the needle, but that's a discussion for another sub.)
For the Patriots? They still have as good of a chance as anybody in the NFL. As long as Brady is ticking, they can absolutely win again. That's why, in my mind, they should use their picks to keep his supporting cast as strong as possible to make that happen.
The Patriots can still draft a QB, but they should only do it if they happen to fall in love with a prospect. Some names to consider: Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph, who has good size and great production at OSU. He's considered a notch below the top QBs in this draft, and may actually fall to the end of R1. Later on, there could be some R3-R4 prospects that would make for a more modest investment. I'd be intrigued by Virginia's Kurt Benkert based on his pro traits. Meanwhile, Toledo's Logan Woodside has production that you can't ignore. He may have played at a "small school," but so did Jimmy Garoppolo. In fact, Woodside's production in college (averaging 4005 yards, 36.5 TDs, 8.5 int, 9.7 YPA, 66.7% completion over the last two seasons) compares favorably to Jimmy G in terms of efficiency.
But again: I don't think the Patriots need to force a QB selection. In terms of the short term, they have Brian Hoyer as a competent backup. And if/when Brady hits the wall, Hoyer can serve a "bridge" role while you develop your next heir. If you need to accept one mediocre year post Brady, that's worth the price of another Super Bowl ticket or two in the meantime.
step two: only retain the free agents you can't afford to lose
The Patriots have a few major free agent decisions to make, although one of those may have already been made prior to their offseason.
That is: CB Malcom Butler. Last year, the Pats denied him a major contract extension, bringing in Stephon Gilmore instead. They squashed a trade with New Orleans that may have led to him getting a nice extension. The final straw came in the Super Bowl when they benched him; whether those reasons were legitimate or not, they may have torn the two sides apart past the point of reconciliation.
And that's okay. Butler's a good corner -- who's still only 27 -- but he would have likely commanded a contract beyond the team's budget. With Gilmore turning out well, the team can't overload that side of the defense when other holes have become apparent.
Similarly, the team may struggle to retain some of their free agent runners, including Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead. Lewis looks like a star when he plays, although that's not quite often enough. Pats fans who cite Lewis' advanced stats that suggest he's a top 5 RB miss the point; no team can sign Lewis and expect him to hold up for 16 games. He's in a great situation with New England here, as the deep stable of runners helps keep him fresh. On another team, in another situation, and he wouldn't be as effective. Your hope as a Pats fan is that other teams realize that and allows for a cheap reunion. But if some team out there wants to pay Lewis as a full-time starter, he'll likely be out of their budget.
The one free agent that I'd have a hard time letting go would be LT Nate Solder. In general, the Patriots' line played pretty well this year. Better yet, they're all in their primes -- none of them was over the age of 30. Solder's the one among them closest to teetering over that edge. He's turning 30 soon, and has dealt with injuries in the past. He's such a tall guy that he may have trouble holding up into his mid 30s.
That said, he's still a solid left tackle -- and that has a lot of value in the NFL. Losing Solder would be quite a risk. Ideally, the Pats would love to re-sign him on a 1-2 year deal, but again it may be out of their hands. I can see another team overwhelming Solder with an offer based on name value and past performance -- at which point New England would most likely let him walk as well.
In terms of saving money to make the math work, the Pats have a few cuts to consider. Cutting trade bust Dwayne Allen would save them $5 million if released. Cutting Mike Gillislee would save $2.4 million (although you'd consider keeping him if they lose Lewis). Cutting LB Shea McClellin would save $2.7 million, a decision that may be based on his health going forward. And of course, Tom Brady's contract can always be "flexible;" if he's sticking around, it'll be to win, not to make money.
step three: expand your horizons (and range) at LB
For a great team, the Patriots had an obvious Achilles heel. In fact, I'd call it more than an Achilles heel -- it was practically a dead leg.
Their slower linebackers simply couldn't hang in coverage, allowing them to get abused on mismatches and in space all season long. Some stats to illustrate that: the normally sturdy team allowed 1836 rushing yards at 4.7 yards per carry. They had even more difficulty keeping up with RBs in the receiving game, allowing them to collect 839 yards through the air -- 3rd most in the NFL. Smart teams took advantage of the Pats with that all season, starting with Andy Reid and Kansas City in Week 1 and fittingly ending with Andy Reid disciple Doug Pederson in the Super Bowl.
It's hard to claim that this team didn't have the horses up front, because they've invested quite a bit in this defense in terms of free agency and the draft lately. Rather, Bill Belichick needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and determine if his scheme and system helps contribute to this issue.
It’s strange, in a way, because the Patriots offense is very modern when it comes to spreading the field and attacking mismatches in open space. But defensively, they're not equipped to handle that at all. They're a power-based scheme that gets torched in open space. They're much better when the ball moves into the red zone and the field shrinks, but by that point you're already giving up points. Some call the Pats defense "bend but don't break." I'd call it, "We'll give you a field goal because we know we can score a touchdown on your ass." That strategy may work for now, but it's predicating on Tom Brady being the MVP. It's predicated on Rob Gronkowski being an unstoppable redzone beast. Neither of those are going to last forever. If the Patriots are going to keep winning beyond the Brady years, they're going to have to adjust this defense.
In my mind, their issues are twofold. For one, there's the obvious issue regarding their slow and stiff linebackers. Secondly, there's a lack of a pure edge rusher. The team has found some really solid and underrated pieces up front like DT Malcolm Brown, and DEs Trey Flowers and Deatrich Wise. Flowers and Wise fell in the draft because they're not prototypical edge speed rushers; they're well-balanced power players instead. And that's great. But to really push this d-line over the top, they need to be complemented by a prototypical edge rusher (like the one they lost in Chandler Jones.)
The need for a coverage linebacker (like a C.J. Mosley type) would be my first priority. Fortunately for the Pats, they'll have plenty of opportunities to find that in the draft, as they own their R1 pick (#31) and the 49ers R2 pick (#11 in the round). Among the linebackers that I'd eye for them would be Rashaan Evans (Alabama), Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech), and Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State) who all have the size and power that the Pats like, but more speed than the James Harrisons of the world. One of my favorite mid-round sleepers is South Carolina's Skai Moore; he doesn't have great size, but he has four years of production and 14 interceptions over his career.
the bottom line
In some ways, the Patriots are the big winners of the offseason already for retaining Josh McDaniels. Do I expect that succession plan to go cleanly? Probably not. Do I expect Tom Brady to actually play well into his mid 40s? Probably not. But you can only plan so far in life. So for right now, the Pats fans can feel good about their offseason and their chances in 2018.
previous blueprints
ARI, ATL, BAL, BUF, CAR, CHI, CIN, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GB, HOU, JAX, KC, LAC, LAR, MIA, MIN, NO, NYG, NYJ, OAK, PHI, PIT, SF, SEA, TB, TEN, WAS
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CreateYoureReality NFL Week 4 Analysis and Picks( Monday Night Football and Sunday Recap)


Hello all!
Another interesting Sunday! Lets recap it and talk about the Monday game. Scroll to the bottom if you just want Monday Night Analysis and Picks.

Sunday:

Sunday Recap: (Just going to run through the games quickly vs what we wrote to gauge accuracy)
CaHou: We were pretty spot on here with the defensive battle and the under. Kyle allen looks like a very positive replacement for Cam so far.
Cle/Bal: Totally off here. I was really hoping Cle O continued to struggle and we could bet them to win the DIV in a few weeks. The opposite range true as their offense finally woke up. I still dont think they found what they need to succeed against top teams. If anything this game is a knock on Baltimore's consistency rather than a big boost for Cleveland.
Was/NYG: Totally off here in my write up. I wanted to just ride the Danny Dimes train but I felt it was too early. Kase Keenum put in his bid for retirement with the way he opened this game and once the Giants got a lead, it was all over. Was just couldnt make anything happen. They tried a QB change, but it provided little help.
LAC/Mia: The west coast travel to the east for 1pm theory strikes again!! Hit that Miami first quarter play and then they proceeded to go home.
OAK/Indy: Another great spot for us. We said look at an OAK cover with a possible win with Darren Waller hitting his receptions over. All came in. Next time I'll have to trust myself more and take the moneyline :D
KC/Det: Wooo Weee! Kelce came in by 3 yards for his total. The chiefs won, and our questioning of why the line wasn't 8 was understood. Enough sharp money on the Det points! Great to see PM rolling, but that KC D is super vulnerable.
NE/Buf: Well, it wasn't a 27-13 blowout dildo game, but the Pats did come through and we hit the "will there be a defensive score". Should be interesting to see how Buffalo responds to its first loss this year.
Ten/Atl: All over the Titans. Again, maybe I should have gone with my gut and taken the ml instead of the safe 3.5. Something to note when liking underdogs, if you pick the winner of the game, 80% of the time, the spread (when under 6 points) doesnt come into play.
Sea/Az: Will Dissly crushed it for us and Sea crushed it. Russell Wilson, did not run. I guess I didn't consider that if they take an early lead and rely on running, he wont be rushing often.
TB/LA: Whoooof! Missed this one. But then again, so did probably everyone, haha. 90 points?! Rams D....Where ya at?
Min/Chi: Spot on here. Heavy defensive game, cook was held under 100 yards. (Why didnt I bet either of these?lol)
Jax/Den: Mustache rides again!
Dal/NO: The under was right on. How about the Refs, now 13-1 for the Saints with that Crew Chief :P

Adjustment Notes: I didn't notice this until a friend pointed it out, I had some really good plays written out in my analysis that i did not bet. In fact, most of my bets were props and not even spreads, moneylines or totals. I need to be more cognizant of my analysis vs. the value plays spit out by the algo. I may have left a ton of value on the table by sticking strictly to the numbers.


Monday Night Football:

Bengals @ Steelers(-3.5): Both teams come into the game 0-3. The Bengals are coming off the road loss to the Bills where they covered and had a chance to win. The Steelers are also coming off a tough road loss where they started a new QB, played pretty well on D/ST but managed to lose the game at the end. Despite the 0-3 record, Dalton entered week 4 second in the league in passing yards. While Pittsburgh enters the week 30th in pass offense, giving up over 300 yards per game. The Steelers D forced FIVE turnovers last week and Mason Rudolph still couldn't get it done. Tonight, i am rolling with the road dog.

Bets:
These are Free Bets:

Thanks for reading. Good luck to everyone! :D
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$17k/mo selling sweatpants overalls [going on Shark Tank tonight]

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Kyle Bergman of Swoveralls/The Great Fantastic, a brand that sells comfortable sweatpants overalls.
I also wanted to time this so that you guys can watch Kyle on Shark Tank which airs tonight - I'm wishing him luck on making a deal with the sharks.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hey there! My name is Kyle Bergman, and I am the Founder and Chief Swoverall Officer of The Great Fantastic. My brand’s mission is to create the world’s comfiest apparel products made from sustainable materials, and ethical manufacturing practices.
Our hero product, Swoveralls, is the combination of sweatpants and overalls into one glorious masterpiece. I sold my first pair about 18 months ago, and have done over $300k to date all while not only having a variety of full and part-time jobs, but also going to business school, and playing lacrosse for the Israeli Men’s National Team.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

At first, I was really just trying to solve a personal problem - Sweatpant overalls didn’t exist, and I wanted a pair. I’ve always loved overalls for reasons I can’t really explain. Perhaps it’s the fact they’re a little unique to wear...yet functional and practical.
Anyways, a friend actually sent me a BuzzFeed article about a novelty pair of sweatpant overalls they looked like denim overalls but were made of a sweatpant material. I said to myself, “Man, I would never wear those...but regular sweatpant overalls I would 100% rock!”.
Alas, “normal sweatpant overalls” did not exist online after a quick google search, nor in any stores that I visited. So I made them. But let’s back up for a second...
When my friend showed me the article it was early 2016, and I was a merchandise planner at Bloomingdale’s. Right out of college I went into the Bloomingdale’s executive training program and was there for 4 years learning the ropes of being a retail merchant. For those that aren’t exactly sure what that is - a merchant or buyer is someone who manages vendor relationships and decides what products a store will sell. Every item you’ve ever looked at in a department store like Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s, or even non-traditional retail stores like Equinox or Cabela’s has a buying team behind it that is making decisions on what products should shown.
I was an assistant buyer in luggage, a senior assistant in women’s fragrances, and then an associate merchandise planner in jewelry. Planners work with buyers to analyze the inventory risks and opportunities of the products and brands they purchase. The skills I acquired from these roles would play a critical role in my brand’s launch and growth.
In May 2016, I left Bloomingdale’s to pursue an amazing opportunity as the Men’s Grooming Buyer at Birchbox. Birchbox is a disruptive tech/e-commerce company that pioneered what is now a massive and very competitive subscription box environment. A little after I joined Birchbox, I began my MBA journey via the part-time program at NYU’s Stern school of business.
Around Winter ‘16/Spring ‘17 is when a few interesting things happen. I learned through school about Alibaba’s B2B platform, where a potential buyer no matter how big could procure goods from a seller. Additionally, I learned about Google’s Keyword Search Planner tool, where you could see what the search demand was for a given keyword, during a certain timeframe. Lastly, I began to learn more about Amazon’s fulfillment service. These 3 concepts would be instrumental to my company ever even getting off the ground.
Alibaba
While I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for when I googled “sweatpant overalls”, I did notice a search result for what looked like a rendering of sweatpant overalls on a mannequin. This result was on Alibaba’s website, and the item was indeed called “sweatpant overalls”.
Problem was, the minimum order quantity was 300 units. In other words, the supplier would only make sweatpant overalls for anyone who wanted 300 pairs or more. At the time, I had no intention of obtaining more than 1 (for myself!). However, I knew based on my buying experience at Bloomies that if I bluffed and looked like a serious buyer, I could get a sample for next to nothing...which at the time would solve my problem of simply just wanting a pair for myself.
I did in fact negotiate a price for 1 sample (think it was about $80 US), and actually received my pair - problem solved!
But then a couple new “good” problems arose:
1.) the french terry cotton they were made out of was really soft and amazing
2.) as a result, friends & family wanted a pair too!
Google’s Keyword Search Planner
Once I realized other people might want sweatpant overalls too, I used Google's keyword search planner to see roughly how many people were looking for this term online. In the month of March 2017, this tool showed that between 100-1,000 people were also looking for sweatpant overalls.
Keyword search results in March 2017
A part of me was shocked, but after I thought about it...it made sense - probably a little awareness created from the BuzzFeed article, but more importantly, people just like me were looking for an awesome, comfy combo.
Amazon’s FBA service
Once I realized I had a supplier, and there was some sort of demand for this unique apparel item that didn’t exist, I knew the only way I would have any chance of selling sweatpant overalls was through Amazon’s fulfillment service.
Living in a shoebox apartment in NYC, I didn’t have any room for inventory, nor did I want to spend my time picking and packing orders….or finding a warehouse that would do the same. Additionally, I didn’t have any experience or budget to do a meaningful marketing campaign, but I knew Amazon would help me overcome these obstacles by
1.) holding my inventory in their warehouses
2.) listing my product on their site
What I didn’t realize is that you needed a legitimate business to start an Amazon seller’s account, and so I incorporated The Great Fantastic, LLC. in March 2017.
Why The Great Fantastic? Well, I knew I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself right out of the gate with a company name like “Sweatpant Overalls, Inc.”...so I chose a funky term that I thought could one day could become an amazing brand. Taking a trip into the great fantastic is something my Mom would say when referring to risk-taking and adventuring into the unknown.
It always stuck with me, and I thought it was such a cool term that could comprise the vibe and message I was trying to communicate..which was something like, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we don’t mess around when it comes to comfort.”
Funding the business
But how did I initially fund it? Well, in order to pay for business school, I had to take out a bunch of student loan money. For better or worse, I took out too much money for my first term and received a disbursement to my bank account for the funds that were not used for tuition, which was about $10,000.
Normally, a rationally-minded individual would send that money back to the lender as it’ll lower your student loan debt. I decided to use this money to kickstart my sweatpant overalls project, and used most of it to pay for my first order from overseas.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Because of the Alibaba supplier, I was able to leapfrog some initial design and manufacturing steps that would come back later to bite me in the ass.
Every entrepreneur gets incredibly lucky at one point or another. Could be simple timing, or could be a blissful ignorance of the enormous risks that are not recognized, and therefore unknowingly avoided by chance.
I guess you could say I had both kinds of luck. Timing for me - my friend sending me the article, the item not existing, business school starting, etc. Blissful Ignorance - I sent $10,000 to a supplier in China I had never met in person, and only spoke to through the Alibaba messaging platform. Crazy.
I went back and forth via email with the initial supplier on design tweaks: we widened the straps, we added the jogger cuff, and we adjusted the fit and sizes for men & women accordingly, but at the end of the day, the “overalls” pattern was such a ubiquitous design that we were simply changing a well-known recipe slightly by adding a new ingredient...sweatpants :)
Throughout this process I never received a “tech-pack” for the swoveralls which is analogous to a blueprint for a house - it is the schematic of your apparel item that can then be used by any knowledgeable manufacturer to reproduce your product.
I also didn’t realize how lucky I was getting with the order minimums (also known as MOQs aka minimum order quantity). This supplier would allow me to do 250 pairs per color, so for my first order, I ordered 500 pairs: 250 in grey, and 250 in navy.
I didn’t create any patents because I knew (from my Bloomingdale’s and Birchbox days) that patenting apparel designs is like the wild west - the biggest brands in the world are constantly copying (and sueing) and each other, and there was nothing proprietary about my design, just a unique combo of design and fabric. I did however trademark the term “Swoveralls”.
Picture of first sample ever I’m wearing in Birchbox Office!

Describe the process of launching the business.

Initially, I had no intention of launching my own website, let alone fulfilling product through it. I thought this whole project would be a nice form of passive income solely through Amazon’s platform.
Shortly after launching on Amazon though, I realized that for all the positive benefits FBA possessed, it was extremely difficult to build an audience as Amazon does not share customer data, and makes it very difficult to communicate with customers.
Additionally, I understood there were better margin opportunities shipping directly to consumers, and so I initially created a Squarespace shop, but then migrated over to Shopify as I found it a much more intuitive and effective e-commerce platform.
The initial “funding” was from the student loan disbursement I mentioned earlier, and I was able to reinvest the profits from subsequent sales back into the business in the form of more orders to my supplier. In the first year, we did a little over $65k in sales between Amazon and my own site.
About 7 months after launching, I decided to do a Kickstarter + Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to create “Swoveralls 2.0”, which had more color options, more functionality, and higher quality, sustainably made fabric. When a Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded, IndieGogo allows you to “roll over” the campaign on to their platform so you can keep accepting preorders, and acquiring more customers/awareness. I raised about $75k on Kickstarter, and another $33k on Indiegogo for about $108k in total crowdfunding sales.
Prior to these campaigns I moved production from overseas to Los Angeles to also capitalize on the “Made in the USA” aspect, as well as cut production lead times down, and, in theory, have a better line of communication with my supplier (who spoke English as their native language are were only a 3 hour time zone difference away).

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I’ve had a couple big events/milestones that have worked to attract customers, but the large majority of my website traffic and customers has been organic either through earned media (here’s the first article anyone ever wrote about us & here’s another one I received mainly due to my Birchbox job at the time), social (people see our posts and visit), or search (people googling sweatpant overalls and finding us).
This last channel is the main reason I started this whole project in the first place. I knew at least at the beginning I would not have to do a ton of heavy lifting to attract customers because no one was selling a product there was clearly demand for.
Crowdfunding was a perfect blend of customer acquisition and retention. I was fortunate to beat my goal within the first 24 hours of launching which created a little PR buzz. Additionally, one of my FB videos went viral during the campaign (9M+ views) which led to a huge influx in traffic/sales.
Important to note this viral moment was orchestrated and not organic. I worked with a company called Margle Media based out of Milwaukee to create a fun, engaging video based on existing video assets I had, and with their FB network relationships, they (for a fee) dropped the video on a page called “22 words” that had millions of followers.
The video spread like wildfire, and was a huge moment for my brand.
The Facebook Viral Video
I think crowdfunding also comprises retention characteristics as well because this is a special and loyal type of consumer. They’ve been with me since the beginning of Swoveralls 2.0, and were incredibly patient and understanding during the development delays. More importantly, the product came out awesome, and so at the end of the day, I think these people took a chance on me and my brand, and were rewarded with a high-quality product that they now love. For the risk they took on me, I’ll love these customers for life.
Retention in other aspects has been lacking for me. I’m very weird about email. As a brand, I know it’s arguably the best way to stay in touch with your customers, but as an individual, I can’t stand getting most brand emails. The two exceptions are Chubbies and Allbirds, and for different reasons, but both emails I open up almost every time. Chubbies voice and style is hysterical. Allbirds has beautiful imagery and stories. It’s also important to note both brands make really great products.
Chubbies and Allbirds are two brands I truly aspire to be like. I think they get it, and are a constant source of motivation and inspiration for me. In fact, I guess you could say I want The Great Fantastic to be the passionate love child of these two companies.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today is a very exciting time for my brand. On April 21st at 10pm EST my company will be featured on Shark Tank.
I was incredibly fortunate enough to have been introduced to one of the casting producers through a mutual friend, and was flown out and filmed my episode this past September. I can’t share what happened, but the awareness/exposure this moment will bring my company is hopefully going to be life-changing in the best way possible.
In prepping for my air date, I’ve spoken to a bunch of brands who have been on, and based on their feedback and experience, I’m trying to stay focused on the long-term as this will be an amazing moment, but will not define my brand or product in the long road. It’s definitely a marathon.
Speaking of the long road, I’m working on an 18-24 month plan right now, which is about as far out as I’m willing to plan. It doesn’t make sense to spend too much time thinking about year 3 or 4. It’s nice to have overarching goals (ie Hit $20MM in sales in 5 years!), but from a tactical standpoint so much can change that I’m trying to keep a more fluid/agile approach.
That said, my main priorities for the next 6 months are to relaunch my Amazon channel (which has been dormant due to lack of inventory), create Swoveralls Shorts, and also develop a limited edition collection where we come out with awesome colors and patterns that are designed/chosen by my customers in an interactive crowdsourcing experience.
In the short term, I’m not focused on creating new products other than Swoveralls because I’ve become the “authority” in the onesie comfy space, and I believe aside from shorts and limited colors/patterns, Swoveralls has some legs within other customer segments such as: youth/infant, plus-size/maternity, and the collegiate/pro market (licensing/logos, etc).

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One thing I’ve heard a few entrepreneurs say recently is how “stupid” they were at the beginning based on the assumptions or risks they made.
It’s a funny statement to me because 1.) I can relate 100% (see: $10k → supplier) but 2.) It’s paradoxical in the sense that these seemingly less intelligent decisions were also instrumental to the success experienced later on.
Very very few people can maintain the same risk aversion as their company grows, and it’s probably not the right thing to do regardless. I don’t think I’m one of these people, but I think Elon Musk is. On Day 2 of your company’s existence, “risking it all” is a completely different conversation than on Year 2. I guess I’ve learned how the luck I’ve had is something I need to be mindful of when assessing future opportunities.
The bell curve of most products and companies is inevitable because at some point the change engine runs out of fuel. This is something I think about often, and how I can continue being “stupid” in a smart way :)
Another thing I think about a lot is hedging my bets. A lot of the mistakes and tough times my brand has had so far is because I wasn’t hedging appropriately. There’s a great Ted Talk by a dude name Alex Wissner-Gross where he talks about this equation he created for intelligence. My high level takeaway from the video is that intelligence = creating the most opportunities for yourself.
I think I was being intelligent when I bootstrapped my company while still working full-time and getting my MBA at NYU. This provided me with a stable income + a network of business people I could potentially leverage (and I did, bigtime). I wasn’t being intelligent when I agreed to partner with one manufacturing company, and did not have any other discussions or existing suppliers in the works.
When I found out the products being produced were going to cost me 40% over my budget, and end up being months late...I was trapped. It’s probably impossible or inefficient to hedge at every step along the way, but one of the ways I’m able to protect myself is constantly meet new people, constantly “initiating dialogues”, constantly “staying in touch”, so that my safety web expands exponentially as your company grows.
In that vein of thinking, I think it’s advantageous for entrepreneurs to keep putting themselves out there from a networking/resource standpoint. Keep meeting people, keep reading blogs, keep taking classes. It never stops.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I look at these more like tools than books in the sense that they’re all things you can go back and reference vs. a one-and-done novel.
Get Backed is a must read for anyone looking to raise money, but even if you’re not looking for investors today, the act of creating an investor deck is the new business model, and can help an entrepreneur really understand what they’re doing, where they’re trying to go, and how they need to get there.
Traction is another book that is very objective with specific channels you should be considering when it comes to growth. It’s different for every company at every stage, and the channel that might’ve been futile 3 months ago could be a game changer today.
All Marketers and Tribes are two awesome reads by Seth Godin - he’s a great writer and does an awesome job of explaining why storytelling and your customers are so important in a really engaging way.
Recent podcast episodes that have excited me: Andy Dunn, Blake Mykoskie, Sarah Blakely all on How I Built This. Nick Kokonas on Tim Ferris. Matthew Walker on Joe Rogan.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

It’s so cliche but fail early and fail often. I didn’t get into Business school the first time I applied. My first Kickstarter campaign didn’t reach its goal. My second crowdfunding campaign was late being delivered to customers by 3 months.
Entrepreneurship is not a linear path, and the more comfortable you get with a 3D rollercoaster of emotions filled with ups and downs, the more battle-tested you’ll be as the stakes and risks get bigger.
It’s similar to scar tissue - at first a cut hurts like hell, and while the wound heals and you’ll soon forget the pain...the best part is that you’re stronger now than you were before that experience.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I’m passively looking for someone to help me from a product development position as this is a big blind spot for me. Not only do I not really like the whole process, but it’s not something I have a ton of experience in.
To use the blueprint/house analogy again - I want to be the real estate agent who tells the story about the house and works directly with the customers. I need someone who is really passionate and knowledgeable about materials and prototyping apparel items. In other words, I need an architect to help me build a kick-ass place that people want to come live at :)

Where can we go to learn more?

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$17k/mo selling sweatpants overalls [going on Shark Tank tonight]

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Kyle Bergman of Swoveralls/The Great Fantastic, a brand that sells comfortable sweatpants overalls.
I also wanted to time this so that you guys can watch Kyle on Shark Tank which airs tonight - I'm wishing him luck on making a deal with the sharks.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hey there! My name is Kyle Bergman, and I am the Founder and Chief Swoverall Officer of The Great Fantastic. My brand’s mission is to create the world’s comfiest apparel products made from sustainable materials, and ethical manufacturing practices.
Our hero product, Swoveralls, is the combination of sweatpants and overalls into one glorious masterpiece. I sold my first pair about 18 months ago, and have done over $300k to date all while not only having a variety of full and part-time jobs, but also going to business school, and playing lacrosse for the Israeli Men’s National Team.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

At first, I was really just trying to solve a personal problem - Sweatpant overalls didn’t exist, and I wanted a pair. I’ve always loved overalls for reasons I can’t really explain. Perhaps it’s the fact they’re a little unique to wear...yet functional and practical.
Anyways, a friend actually sent me a BuzzFeed article about a novelty pair of sweatpant overalls they looked like denim overalls but were made of a sweatpant material. I said to myself, “Man, I would never wear those...but regular sweatpant overalls I would 100% rock!”.
Alas, “normal sweatpant overalls” did not exist online after a quick google search, nor in any stores that I visited. So I made them. But let’s back up for a second...
When my friend showed me the article it was early 2016, and I was a merchandise planner at Bloomingdale’s. Right out of college I went into the Bloomingdale’s executive training program and was there for 4 years learning the ropes of being a retail merchant. For those that aren’t exactly sure what that is - a merchant or buyer is someone who manages vendor relationships and decides what products a store will sell. Every item you’ve ever looked at in a department store like Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s, or even non-traditional retail stores like Equinox or Cabela’s has a buying team behind it that is making decisions on what products should shown.
I was an assistant buyer in luggage, a senior assistant in women’s fragrances, and then an associate merchandise planner in jewelry. Planners work with buyers to analyze the inventory risks and opportunities of the products and brands they purchase. The skills I acquired from these roles would play a critical role in my brand’s launch and growth.
In May 2016, I left Bloomingdale’s to pursue an amazing opportunity as the Men’s Grooming Buyer at Birchbox. Birchbox is a disruptive tech/e-commerce company that pioneered what is now a massive and very competitive subscription box environment. A little after I joined Birchbox, I began my MBA journey via the part-time program at NYU’s Stern school of business.
Around Winter ‘16/Spring ‘17 is when a few interesting things happen. I learned through school about Alibaba’s B2B platform, where a potential buyer no matter how big could procure goods from a seller. Additionally, I learned about Google’s Keyword Search Planner tool, where you could see what the search demand was for a given keyword, during a certain timeframe. Lastly, I began to learn more about Amazon’s fulfillment service. These 3 concepts would be instrumental to my company ever even getting off the ground.
Alibaba
While I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for when I googled “sweatpant overalls”, I did notice a search result for what looked like a rendering of sweatpant overalls on a mannequin. This result was on Alibaba’s website, and the item was indeed called “sweatpant overalls”.
Problem was, the minimum order quantity was 300 units. In other words, the supplier would only make sweatpant overalls for anyone who wanted 300 pairs or more. At the time, I had no intention of obtaining more than 1 (for myself!). However, I knew based on my buying experience at Bloomies that if I bluffed and looked like a serious buyer, I could get a sample for next to nothing...which at the time would solve my problem of simply just wanting a pair for myself.
I did in fact negotiate a price for 1 sample (think it was about $80 US), and actually received my pair - problem solved!
But then a couple new “good” problems arose:
1.) the french terry cotton they were made out of was really soft and amazing
2.) as a result, friends & family wanted a pair too!
Google’s Keyword Search Planner
Once I realized other people might want sweatpant overalls too, I used Google's keyword search planner to see roughly how many people were looking for this term online. In the month of March 2017, this tool showed that between 100-1,000 people were also looking for sweatpant overalls.
Keyword search results in March 2017
A part of me was shocked, but after I thought about it...it made sense - probably a little awareness created from the BuzzFeed article, but more importantly, people just like me were looking for an awesome, comfy combo.
Amazon’s FBA service
Once I realized I had a supplier, and there was some sort of demand for this unique apparel item that didn’t exist, I knew the only way I would have any chance of selling sweatpant overalls was through Amazon’s fulfillment service.
Living in a shoebox apartment in NYC, I didn’t have any room for inventory, nor did I want to spend my time picking and packing orders….or finding a warehouse that would do the same. Additionally, I didn’t have any experience or budget to do a meaningful marketing campaign, but I knew Amazon would help me overcome these obstacles by
1.) holding my inventory in their warehouses
2.) listing my product on their site
What I didn’t realize is that you needed a legitimate business to start an Amazon seller’s account, and so I incorporated The Great Fantastic, LLC. in March 2017.
Why The Great Fantastic? Well, I knew I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself right out of the gate with a company name like “Sweatpant Overalls, Inc.”...so I chose a funky term that I thought could one day could become an amazing brand. Taking a trip into the great fantastic is something my Mom would say when referring to risk-taking and adventuring into the unknown.
It always stuck with me, and I thought it was such a cool term that could comprise the vibe and message I was trying to communicate..which was something like, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we don’t mess around when it comes to comfort.”
Funding the business
But how did I initially fund it? Well, in order to pay for business school, I had to take out a bunch of student loan money. For better or worse, I took out too much money for my first term and received a disbursement to my bank account for the funds that were not used for tuition, which was about $10,000.
Normally, a rationally-minded individual would send that money back to the lender as it’ll lower your student loan debt. I decided to use this money to kickstart my sweatpant overalls project, and used most of it to pay for my first order from overseas.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Because of the Alibaba supplier, I was able to leapfrog some initial design and manufacturing steps that would come back later to bite me in the ass.
Every entrepreneur gets incredibly lucky at one point or another. Could be simple timing, or could be a blissful ignorance of the enormous risks that are not recognized, and therefore unknowingly avoided by chance.
I guess you could say I had both kinds of luck. Timing for me - my friend sending me the article, the item not existing, business school starting, etc. Blissful Ignorance - I sent $10,000 to a supplier in China I had never met in person, and only spoke to through the Alibaba messaging platform. Crazy.
I went back and forth via email with the initial supplier on design tweaks: we widened the straps, we added the jogger cuff, and we adjusted the fit and sizes for men & women accordingly, but at the end of the day, the “overalls” pattern was such a ubiquitous design that we were simply changing a well-known recipe slightly by adding a new ingredient...sweatpants :)
Throughout this process I never received a “tech-pack” for the swoveralls which is analogous to a blueprint for a house - it is the schematic of your apparel item that can then be used by any knowledgeable manufacturer to reproduce your product.
I also didn’t realize how lucky I was getting with the order minimums (also known as MOQs aka minimum order quantity). This supplier would allow me to do 250 pairs per color, so for my first order, I ordered 500 pairs: 250 in grey, and 250 in navy.
I didn’t create any patents because I knew (from my Bloomingdale’s and Birchbox days) that patenting apparel designs is like the wild west - the biggest brands in the world are constantly copying (and sueing) and each other, and there was nothing proprietary about my design, just a unique combo of design and fabric. I did however trademark the term “Swoveralls”.
Picture of first sample ever I’m wearing in Birchbox Office!

Describe the process of launching the business.

Initially, I had no intention of launching my own website, let alone fulfilling product through it. I thought this whole project would be a nice form of passive income solely through Amazon’s platform.
Shortly after launching on Amazon though, I realized that for all the positive benefits FBA possessed, it was extremely difficult to build an audience as Amazon does not share customer data, and makes it very difficult to communicate with customers.
Additionally, I understood there were better margin opportunities shipping directly to consumers, and so I initially created a Squarespace shop, but then migrated over to Shopify as I found it a much more intuitive and effective e-commerce platform.
The initial “funding” was from the student loan disbursement I mentioned earlier, and I was able to reinvest the profits from subsequent sales back into the business in the form of more orders to my supplier. In the first year, we did a little over $65k in sales between Amazon and my own site.
About 7 months after launching, I decided to do a Kickstarter + Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to create “Swoveralls 2.0”, which had more color options, more functionality, and higher quality, sustainably made fabric. When a Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded, IndieGogo allows you to “roll over” the campaign on to their platform so you can keep accepting preorders, and acquiring more customers/awareness. I raised about $75k on Kickstarter, and another $33k on Indiegogo for about $108k in total crowdfunding sales.
Prior to these campaigns I moved production from overseas to Los Angeles to also capitalize on the “Made in the USA” aspect, as well as cut production lead times down, and, in theory, have a better line of communication with my supplier (who spoke English as their native language are were only a 3 hour time zone difference away).

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I’ve had a couple big events/milestones that have worked to attract customers, but the large majority of my website traffic and customers has been organic either through earned media (here’s the first article anyone ever wrote about us & here’s another one I received mainly due to my Birchbox job at the time), social (people see our posts and visit), or search (people googling sweatpant overalls and finding us).
This last channel is the main reason I started this whole project in the first place. I knew at least at the beginning I would not have to do a ton of heavy lifting to attract customers because no one was selling a product there was clearly demand for.
Crowdfunding was a perfect blend of customer acquisition and retention. I was fortunate to beat my goal within the first 24 hours of launching which created a little PR buzz. Additionally, one of my FB videos went viral during the campaign (9M+ views) which led to a huge influx in traffic/sales.
Important to note this viral moment was orchestrated and not organic. I worked with a company called Margle Media based out of Milwaukee to create a fun, engaging video based on existing video assets I had, and with their FB network relationships, they (for a fee) dropped the video on a page called “22 words” that had millions of followers.
The video spread like wildfire, and was a huge moment for my brand.
The Facebook Viral Video
I think crowdfunding also comprises retention characteristics as well because this is a special and loyal type of consumer. They’ve been with me since the beginning of Swoveralls 2.0, and were incredibly patient and understanding during the development delays. More importantly, the product came out awesome, and so at the end of the day, I think these people took a chance on me and my brand, and were rewarded with a high-quality product that they now love. For the risk they took on me, I’ll love these customers for life.
Retention in other aspects has been lacking for me. I’m very weird about email. As a brand, I know it’s arguably the best way to stay in touch with your customers, but as an individual, I can’t stand getting most brand emails. The two exceptions are Chubbies and Allbirds, and for different reasons, but both emails I open up almost every time. Chubbies voice and style is hysterical. Allbirds has beautiful imagery and stories. It’s also important to note both brands make really great products.
Chubbies and Allbirds are two brands I truly aspire to be like. I think they get it, and are a constant source of motivation and inspiration for me. In fact, I guess you could say I want The Great Fantastic to be the passionate love child of these two companies.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today is a very exciting time for my brand. On April 21st at 10pm EST my company will be featured on Shark Tank.
I was incredibly fortunate enough to have been introduced to one of the casting producers through a mutual friend, and was flown out and filmed my episode this past September. I can’t share what happened, but the awareness/exposure this moment will bring my company is hopefully going to be life-changing in the best way possible.
In prepping for my air date, I’ve spoken to a bunch of brands who have been on, and based on their feedback and experience, I’m trying to stay focused on the long-term as this will be an amazing moment, but will not define my brand or product in the long road. It’s definitely a marathon.
Speaking of the long road, I’m working on an 18-24 month plan right now, which is about as far out as I’m willing to plan. It doesn’t make sense to spend too much time thinking about year 3 or 4. It’s nice to have overarching goals (ie Hit $20MM in sales in 5 years!), but from a tactical standpoint so much can change that I’m trying to keep a more fluid/agile approach.
That said, my main priorities for the next 6 months are to relaunch my Amazon channel (which has been dormant due to lack of inventory), create Swoveralls Shorts, and also develop a limited edition collection where we come out with awesome colors and patterns that are designed/chosen by my customers in an interactive crowdsourcing experience.
In the short term, I’m not focused on creating new products other than Swoveralls because I’ve become the “authority” in the onesie comfy space, and I believe aside from shorts and limited colors/patterns, Swoveralls has some legs within other customer segments such as: youth/infant, plus-size/maternity, and the collegiate/pro market (licensing/logos, etc).

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One thing I’ve heard a few entrepreneurs say recently is how “stupid” they were at the beginning based on the assumptions or risks they made.
It’s a funny statement to me because 1.) I can relate 100% (see: $10k → supplier) but 2.) It’s paradoxical in the sense that these seemingly less intelligent decisions were also instrumental to the success experienced later on.
Very very few people can maintain the same risk aversion as their company grows, and it’s probably not the right thing to do regardless. I don’t think I’m one of these people, but I think Elon Musk is. On Day 2 of your company’s existence, “risking it all” is a completely different conversation than on Year 2. I guess I’ve learned how the luck I’ve had is something I need to be mindful of when assessing future opportunities.
The bell curve of most products and companies is inevitable because at some point the change engine runs out of fuel. This is something I think about often, and how I can continue being “stupid” in a smart way :)
Another thing I think about a lot is hedging my bets. A lot of the mistakes and tough times my brand has had so far is because I wasn’t hedging appropriately. There’s a great Ted Talk by a dude name Alex Wissner-Gross where he talks about this equation he created for intelligence. My high level takeaway from the video is that intelligence = creating the most opportunities for yourself.
I think I was being intelligent when I bootstrapped my company while still working full-time and getting my MBA at NYU. This provided me with a stable income + a network of business people I could potentially leverage (and I did, bigtime). I wasn’t being intelligent when I agreed to partner with one manufacturing company, and did not have any other discussions or existing suppliers in the works.
When I found out the products being produced were going to cost me 40% over my budget, and end up being months late...I was trapped. It’s probably impossible or inefficient to hedge at every step along the way, but one of the ways I’m able to protect myself is constantly meet new people, constantly “initiating dialogues”, constantly “staying in touch”, so that my safety web expands exponentially as your company grows.
In that vein of thinking, I think it’s advantageous for entrepreneurs to keep putting themselves out there from a networking/resource standpoint. Keep meeting people, keep reading blogs, keep taking classes. It never stops.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I look at these more like tools than books in the sense that they’re all things you can go back and reference vs. a one-and-done novel.
Get Backed is a must read for anyone looking to raise money, but even if you’re not looking for investors today, the act of creating an investor deck is the new business model, and can help an entrepreneur really understand what they’re doing, where they’re trying to go, and how they need to get there.
Traction is another book that is very objective with specific channels you should be considering when it comes to growth. It’s different for every company at every stage, and the channel that might’ve been futile 3 months ago could be a game changer today.
All Marketers and Tribes are two awesome reads by Seth Godin - he’s a great writer and does an awesome job of explaining why storytelling and your customers are so important in a really engaging way.
Recent podcast episodes that have excited me: Andy Dunn, Blake Mykoskie, Sarah Blakely all on How I Built This. Nick Kokonas on Tim Ferris. Matthew Walker on Joe Rogan.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

It’s so cliche but fail early and fail often. I didn’t get into Business school the first time I applied. My first Kickstarter campaign didn’t reach its goal. My second crowdfunding campaign was late being delivered to customers by 3 months.
Entrepreneurship is not a linear path, and the more comfortable you get with a 3D rollercoaster of emotions filled with ups and downs, the more battle-tested you’ll be as the stakes and risks get bigger.
It’s similar to scar tissue - at first a cut hurts like hell, and while the wound heals and you’ll soon forget the pain...the best part is that you’re stronger now than you were before that experience.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I’m passively looking for someone to help me from a product development position as this is a big blind spot for me. Not only do I not really like the whole process, but it’s not something I have a ton of experience in.
To use the blueprint/house analogy again - I want to be the real estate agent who tells the story about the house and works directly with the customers. I need someone who is really passionate and knowledgeable about materials and prototyping apparel items. In other words, I need an architect to help me build a kick-ass place that people want to come live at :)

Where can we go to learn more?

Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
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Game of the Week (Seahawks vs. Panthers), Irrelevant Game of the Week (Vikings vs. Buccaneers), and everything in between: Week 8

Source

Mike Beuoy has created an interesting feature at fivethirtyeight.com that uses Vegas odds over the course of the season to create a ranking that is then used as the basis for multiple simulations of the remaining season, in order to quantify the playoff implications of each game this week, to each team in the NFL. Though the original blog post is very good and worth checking out on its own, people found my reformatted, self-post edition last week useful as well, so I'm posting it again this week (with a few changes/additions). The betting lines this week come from the OP's source. edit: updated Friday with more current lines from vegasinsider.com

The effect of the Thursday Night Football game

I was unsure whether to post the whole slate before or after Thursday Night Football: on the one hand, posting it before lets you see where the Thursday night game fits into the picture; on the other hand, the TNF game is played half a week before all the others, and affects their impact, so posting this early might be jumping the gun. I decided to post it before, this week, since there's probably some interest, and the TNF game will not affect the marquee matchup at any rate, but it might affect some of the other points of interest, so check back for an update before Sunday's games.

All Games of Week 8, ranked by influence on playoff picture

Favorite1 Underdog1 Potential Swing to Playoff Picture2 Expected Impact on Playoff Picture3 Teams Rooting for Favorite, ordered by how much they care Teams Rooting for Underdog, ordered by how much they care Betting Line1 Game Time4
Seattle Seahawks (3‑3) Carolina Panthers (3‑3‑1) 72.1% 33% SEA, NO, ATL, TB CAR, SF, DET, PHI, ARI, GB, DAL, CHI, NYG, STL Seahawks by 5 1:00
New Orleans Saints (2‑4) Green Bay Packers (5‑2) 56.7% 28% NO, ARI, SEA, PHI, DET, DAL, CHI CAR, GB, ATL, TB Saints by 1.5 SNF
Baltimore Ravens (5‑2) Cincinnati Bengals (3‑2‑1) 52.9% 26% 26.8% CIN BAL, SD, PIT, KC, BUF Bengals by 1.5 Ravens by 1 1:00
Arizona Cardinals (5‑1) Philadelphia Eagles (5‑1) 53.3% 25.8% ARI, DET, NYG PHI Cardinals by 2.5 4:05
Detroit Lions (5‑2) Atlanta Falcons (2‑5) 51.7% 24.1% DET, NO, CAR ATL, SEA, PHI, SF, GB, ARI, DAL, CHI, NYG Lions by 3.5 9:30 AM
Indianapolis Colts (5‑2) Pittsburgh Steelers (4‑3) 36.1% 17.5% CIN, IND, KC, SD, BAL, MIA, CLE, HOU PIT Colts by 3 4:25
New England Patriots (5‑2) Chicago Bears (3‑4) 41.6% 16.9% NE, DET, SF, PHI CHI, MIA, BUF, KC, NYJ Patriots by 6 1:00
Denver Broncos (5‑1) San Diego Chargers (5‑2) 43.6% 16.5% KC, PIT, DEN, CIN, HOU, CLE, BAL, BUF SD Broncos by 8 TNF
Kansas City Chiefs (3‑3) Saint Louis Rams (2‑4) 40.2% 16.6% 16.3% KC, ARI SD, CIN, BAL, PIT, MIA, HOU, CLE, STL, DET Chiefs by 6.5 7 1:00
Houston Texans (3‑4) Tennessee Titans (2‑5) 26.5% 13.1% 12.9% HOU SD, KC, CIN, MIA, IND, BUF, TEN, BAL Texans by 1 3 1:00
Miami Dolphins (3‑3) Jacksonville Jaguars (1‑6) 27% 12% 11.8% MIA NE, PIT, KC, HOU, BUF, CLE Dolphins by 5.5 6 1:00
Cleveland Browns (3‑3) Oakland Raiders (0‑6) 12.5% 4.8% CLE CIN, PIT Browns by 7 4:25
New York Jets(1‑6) Buffalo Bills (4‑3) 22.9% 10.9% NE, MIA, KC, NYJ BUF Jets by 3 1:00
Dallas Cowboys (6‑1) Washington Redskins (2‑5) 23.1% 7.6% DAL PHI, ARI, GB, DET, NYG, WAS, ATL Cowboys by 9.5 MNF
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1‑5) Minnesota Vikings (2‑5) 1% .5% TB MIN Buccaneers by 3 1:00
1. Italicized if playing at home.
2. The sum of how much every team's projected odds of making the playoffs differ depending on which side wins the game, called swing in the OP. See "Points of Interpretation".
3. The sum of the expected value of how much every team's odds of making the playoff will change after the game is played. See "Points of Interpretation."
4. Boldfaced for the highest-impact game of each time slot.

Points of Interpretation

• For purposes of this table, a team's goal is considered to be making the playoffs, full stop. Playoff seeding is NOT taken into account.
Practically speaking, this means that most teams who are in the hunt for a playoffs are likely to have some rooting interests that do not appear in the table; for example, as probable division winners the Patriots Colts, Ravens, and Broncos are competing for the top two seeds, even though they have relatively little impact on whether each other make the playoffs. By the same token, it's also quite possible that in some cases, factoring in seeding makes a team's rooting interest opposite from what's listed in the table.
Bear in mind, however, that taking seeding into account necessarily involves a presumably-subjective assessment of how to value the different seeds. You might want to value them by how much they contribute to the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl, but this overlooks that, for many, making the playoffs is a measure of success on its own, regardless of whether a team progresses further.
Bottom line: this table tells you which teams to root for if your goal is making the playoffs. It further tells which teams it's safe to root for seeding purposes: i.e., if the table doesn't tell you to root against a team, you know that its victory won't jeopardize your team's playoff chances. If, for seeding purposes, you would like to cheer for the opposite team from the table's recommendation, feel free, but know that, against the potential gain in seeding from that team's victory, there will be an overall reduction in the odds of making the playoffs at all.
• The table reflects results that were statistically significant in the context of a simulation repeated 10,000 times. Practically speaking, this means that if a game's outcome influences a team's chances of making the playoffs by less than ~.1%, it will not be reflected in the table.
• I'd meant to go into much more detail about the two percentages given, but this has taken me way longer than I meant it to, and I don't have time now. Hopefully when I edit this post, I'll add that detail; for now, in brief: "Potential Swing" is the number given by the OP, and corresponds to the difference in teams' odds of making the playoffs when you compare the two possible outcomes of a game. "Expected Impact" additionally takes into account the likelihoods of each outcome. When a game has an equal chance of going either way, "Expected Impact" will be exactly half of "Potential Swing". However, when one team is favored, the "expected impact" will be less. The resulting ranking is similar to the one based on swing but tends to differ in cases where one team is highly favored.
In a nutshell, "Potential Swing" tells you how big a difference a game can make; "Expected Impact" tells you how big a difference it's likely to make.

Points of Interest

GAMES
  • MOST IMPORTANT: The most important game of week 8 is Seattle (3‑3) vs. Carolina (3‑3‑1), in which the entire NFC has an interest, except for Washington and Minnesota, who have so little chance of making the playoffs that they barely care about their own games. It's also the game with the most teams pulling for one side, as all of these teams are rooting for Carolina except its opponent in the game and its competitors in its division.
  • LEAST IMPORTANT: The least important game of the week is Minnesota (2‑5) vs. Tampa Bay (1‑5), between two teams that are barely in playoff contention.
  • MOST CRITICAL TO A SINGLE TEAM: This could potentially change after tonight's game, but for now, the team whose game means the most to them is Cincinnati, whose stock has fallen a good deal since being acclaimed as the best team in the NFL only 3 weeks ago. If they don't win this game, they probably won't make the playoffs.
  • MOST CRITICAL TO THE TEAMS PLAYING: In the thread for Week 7, devilsadvocate33 suggested that "it's not about how many teams a game is important to, but how important is the game to the teams playing it". By this measure, the most critical game this week is Arizona vs. Philadelphia, between two very talented teams that may well end up competing for a wild card.
TEAMS
  • LONERS: The following teams are all loners this week (i.e, nobody but themselves is rooting for them): San Diego, Pittsburgh, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. As a rule these are teams that pose a threat to the rest of the league, so if your team is on this list, you can pat yourself on the back. In the Technicalities department, the teams playing the irrelevant game of the week are loners as well because no one else cares about their game in either direction. This week, those teams are the aforementioned Tampa Bay and Minnesota.
  • POPULAR: Counting this as "# teams rooting fo# teams rooting against", the most popular teams this week are Denver and Indianapolis, who at this point in the season (despite the latter's 0-2 start!) have established themselves as the cool kids of the league. Everybody is convinced that they are going to make the playoffs, probably as the #1 and #2 seed, respectively, so teams that are a step below cheer them on, hoping to gain a small edge over these teams' opponents instead. The crowd of betas surrounding these two includes Kansas City, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Houston.
  • COULDN'T CARE LESS: Oakland (0‑6) and Jacksonville (1‑6) are still the only two teams who have entirely given up on the season already. Jacksonville even won its last game (making a number of other teams happy), but alas, for Jacksonville, this win was the equivalent of passing Go as you land on Baltic Avenue and go bankrupt.
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WWE Network Chronological Watch #2: MSG 4/14/75, or "Who doesn't love to hate Nazi heels?"

Because I have too much time and not enough to do (and also a weird interest in the history of wrestling, but mostly too much time) I decided to start watching the more or less complete WWE Network in more or less chronological order. And because misery loves company, you're going to watch along with me, because I like to talk and I'm recapping the whole thing. I'm also very excited that a couple people liked the last recap! Up next: More Old School Wrestling from MSG, and the WWWF title is being defended again! Bonus content: Unqualified comments on wrestling, remarks on the differences to today's WWE, grammatical errors and prepositions all over the place because English isn't my first language, bad jokes and general smart-ass-ness. Hopefully also slightly better formatting, but don't count on it.
If you missed my first post, you can find it here: WWE Network Chronological Watch #1: MSG 3/17/75, or "Mutual Biting is a Thing in 1975"

MSG 4/14/75, or "Who doesn't love to hate Nazi heels?"

Date April 14, 1975 (Lita's birthday, so I'll take that as a good sign!)
Venue still Madison Square Garden
WWE Network Link MSG 4/14/75

Card

Tony Altomare vs Mike Paidousis
El Olympico vs Greg (not yet "The Hammer") Valentine
Waldo von Erich vs Chief Jay Strongbow
Little Louie, Sonny Boy Hayes vs Little Tokyo, Lord Littlebrook
Spiros Arion (with "Classy" Freddie Blassie) vs Bruno Sammartino (c) (with Arnold Skaaland) for the WWWF Championship in a Greek Death Match (whatever that is supposed to be)
Big Joe Novo vs Édouard Carpentier
Bob Duncum (with Grand Wizard) vs Victor Rivera
Once again, here are more photos in better quality at the Pro Wrestling Wiki.
And now let's go to the ring!
Young Vince being very young. Also, can't shit on him for the booking yet, because his dad is running the show and will be for quite some time. Wonderful example of 70s fashion, too!
After the Network Intro full of people not on this card (I'm going to keep track and tell you when the first one turns up, or, well, at least when I recognize the first one), we're greeted by Vince and a fancy pants 1975 graphical intro of spinning screensaver-like... thingies that make me dizzy, and a few unfolding pictures (one of them ironically saying "World Championship Wrestling" before announcing the Arion vs Sammartino match). Marked improvement from the last time, where they seemed beyond excited that they can underline things (with a cute little line for each letter) and make them BLINK (*gasp*). Also, this broadcast is twice as long as the last one, so I'll better get going.
The first match is Tony Altomare vs Mike Paidousis (for some reason spelled Altimore and Paidousas both on the screen and in the network captions - weird naming problems are a thing during this broadcast). There's also a very battered-looking steel cage suspended high above the ring and I hope we're going to see it later! Vince talks about "a lot of experience in that opening match tonight" (an euphemism if I ever heard one) with the ref nevertheless looking like he's older than both wrestlers combined. Judging from his patdowns, he also thinks the best place to conceal foreign objects are the armpits. Tony Altomare (who is called Altimore by Vince, but Altomare or something similar to it by the ring announcer) is also either wearing extremely strange makeup or has cauliflower ears from hell, and Paidousis is rocking a turtle-necked, short-sleeved white tee (WTF?) before the match. He could have kept it on, because there's not much wrestling happening after the bell rings, only a lot of standing around, glaring at the fans, running around the ring, and talking to the ref. I haven't figured out who's the face and who's the heel 100% either, Altomare is doing slightly heel-ish things (like complaning that Paidousis pulled on his... wait for it... chest hair), but Paidousis is... running away from him for some reason? Crowd doesn't seem too sure about it either.
Here, look at this totally non-staged picture of my cat in front of my laptop instead. It's way more interesting than the match.
Anyway, we're 3 minutes into this match, there's ten to go yet, and doing the dishes sounds like a very exciting proposition right now. At least they're doing something recognizable as wrestling now, but I think they could turn it into a ladder match and I'd have a hard time caring about it after that beginning. We also have a few seconds of blank screen, and I'm absolutely heartbroken to even miss the tiniest bit of this classic. Not. After a match of 13 minutes that ran about 13 and a half minutes too long, Paidousis finally wins by pinfall. Altomare is enraged and goes to scream a bit at Vince on commentary (which is more fun than the actual match). Watch this at your own peril, or to get rid of that annoying neighbor who somehow ended up in your living room eating your chips and drinking your beer.
Enjoy the familiar sight of a wrestler screaming at Vince on commentary. And he's even got a monitor at his desk!
Next up is Greg Valentine vs El Olympico. I was actually looking forward to this match because I've already seen Greg "The Hammer" Valentine wrestle in the 80s, but after Altomare vs Paidousis, my expectations are more like... ankle-high and still falling. At least we immediately know who we're supposed to root for here (and... well, we actually know who is who in this match - wasn't too clear in the last one after the introduction), because El Olympico (who isn't wearing his mask because "No Masks in MSG" allegedly was a thing back then and went for a weird white 70s formula 1 driver hood instead) is shaking hands with the crowd, and Greg Valentine looks like Dudley Dursley with worse taste in fashion. He is also approximately as well liked as Dudley by the fans.
\"Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.\"
Valentine and Olympico both know what they're doing and beat each other across the ring like they mean business. Valentine looks like an arrogant jerk from the moment he enters the arena and switches swiftly between smug confidence and extremely insincere pleading. It's rather satisfying when he gets whipped into the turnbuckles or is hit with a devastating-looking move that involves El Olympico putting Valentine's head between his knees, then making... a tiny jump. El Olympico also executes two dropkicks in a row, which is way more high-flying than I'd expected at this point and, well, I rather enjoy Valentine getting hit in the face. His "Look at me, I am a complete dick!" charisma is so strong that he doesn't even have to use any overt and dastardly heel tactics like raking his bootlaces across his opponent's face. But even though I'm rooting for the dude with probably the second most generic name in the history of masked wrestlers, we all know that it cannot last, and Valentine wins in 7:39 after an elbow drop and a swift three-count. Valentine is also important enough that he gets a graphic that proclaims him the winner, with TWO lines under each letter, and a slower-motion replay of the end of the match. I guess slow(er)mo was a real hassle to make back then.
Nice shot of the crowd waiting for Waldo von Erich that really shows we're in the 70s. Also, brown is the new black.
The next match is Waldo Von Erich (which should be spelled without a capital V in German) vs Chief Jay Strongbow and I'm looking forward to it. Not because Jay Strongbow's last match was so good that it blew me away (we covered that in the last recap... better not talk about it too much), but because I've heard a lot about the Von Erich wrestling family (to whom Waldo Von Erich is not, actually, related) in side mentions, but never seen any of them wrestle, and I want to find out what the big deal about them is. Vince is calling Waldo "a real superstar, if you will" (... aren't they all?) and Waldo looks like he's trying to push every Nazi heel button he can find, and then some (even though one of the cops - were these actual cops? - doing security weirldy seems to approve of him...). He's also the "Champion of All Germany"... well, I'm pretty sure that Otto Wanz (who defeated Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA World Heavyweight Championship in 1982) and the guys of the Catch Wrestling Association would like to have a word about that (Side Note: the proper German word for "Pro Wrestling" back then would have been "Catchen", of course pronounced with a weird German accent).
Waldo Von Erich. Looks like he was in the HJ for sure and is now doing a bad SS officer cosplay, but is actually Canadian with a German last name. Weirldy approving security to the right. Everyone else hates the guy.
Jay Strongbow (still wildly popular with the fans) makes a big show of wanting to kick Waldo's ass, but Waldo is having none of it. He hits him from behind, then unceremoniously throws him out of the ring, and when Strongbow can't get back up, Waldo von Erich is pronounced the winner. Bruno Sammartino is the first to run out of the dressing room to help his buddy Strongbow, and this ultimately leads to at least two matches between Sammartino and Waldo Von Erich. One of them is on the WWE Network. The crowd is also very clearly looking forward to seeing Sammartino beat up this Nazi guy who hurt one of their favourites.
The next match is Little Louie and Lord Alfred Michael PS Sonny Boy Hayes vs Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook (both of them teamed with King Kong Bundy at WrestleMania III), and if you haven't picked it up by subtle clues like three out of four wrestlers involved having "little" in their name, this is a midget wrestling match. I'm kinda torn on this one. On the one hand, in 1975 midget wrestling was still very close to its heyday (and not something that approximately one person on the planet finds funny), on the other hand... memories like Lawlers vs Doinks at Survivor Series 94 and Doink pushing an adult guy in a clown costume around in a toddler buggy are hard to shake. I hope these guys here do better and are taken as seriously as they deserve. They're getting a one-hour time limit and two out of three falls, a good sign, and they're having none of it when the ref condescendingly tries to pat their heads. Three of them (Little Tokyo, Little Louie and Sonny Boy Hayes) are also wearing championships, even though the announcer doesn't tell you about them and I can't find out anything at first glance. But apparently, there were all kinds of championships to be won in their divison.
Left to right: Little Tokyo, Lord Littlebrook (the two were real-life friends apparently and met in Japan), ref (he got pulled down to his knees by Sonny Boy Heyes). Little Louie (red trunks), Sonny Boy Heyes (red patterned trunks).
It looks like the story is "Cool Dudes with long hair and trunks" vs "Evil Foreign Heels with evil wooden sandals". Also, Sonny Boy Hayes really has the best arm drag I've seen so far during the recaps and he's using it (and smart tags to his partner) to dominate Little Tokyo until Tokyo's had enough and casually rakes his eyes. Enjoyable old-school theatralic heelwork by Tokyo and Littlewood, interspersed with moments of "WTF? Did Littlewood just jump on Hayes' EYE SOCKETS with BOTH LEGS?", a nice suplex by Tokyo, and Littlewood choking Louie with the tag team rope until Hayes just Cesaro-Chest-Jumps everyone he can. The photographer dude from last time is also around, but showing slighly better fashion sense with his dark brown tee, and having a lot of fun when all four wrestlers team up and swarm the ref, even though they're all pretending it was an accident. Can't fault them, with the amount of condescending hair patting he's been doing during the match. The guy continues to be an ass, particularly to Tokyo, but Tokyo and Littlewood pick up the first fall after twelve minutes with a handful of trunks. Could have been six minutes sooner, but these guys can wrestle, and after the first match, I'm not complaining.
It's selfie time for Lord Littlewood and Sonny Boy Hayes!
We're quickly descending into Survivor Series 94 cringe territory during the second fall, but the crowd loves it for some reason. We also see why the full nelson is a great move for teamwork, and Little Louie and Sonny Boy Hayes pick up the second fall when Tokyo and Littlewood suddenly lose all of their cohesion as a team and about fifty IQ points each. Then Littlewood has to save the third fall by kicking away the refs arm and making him crash on the mat (that's a good one!), only to have his partner used as a human battering ram against him. Despite that (and the ref being the real heel here), Little Tokyo and Lord Littlewood deservedly win the third fall and the match.
Next is the match I've been looking forward to most, Spiros Arion (with his manager "Classy" Freddie Blassie) vs Bruno Sammartino (with Arnold Skaaland) for the WWWF Championship in a Greek Death Match. I don't have the faintest idea what a Greek Death Match is supposed to be, but Vince will enlighten me shortly, and I hope it involves the steel cage we've seen above the ring earlier. I also don't know what happened between Arion and Sammartino in the month since the last Madison Square Garden show, but I suppose it's a safe bet that they still hate each others' guts. At least the fans haven't changed their stance: The crowd tries to boo Blassie (lavender all the way today, but no sequins) and Arion out of the building, then gives a standing ovation to the arriving Sammartino. Also, we find out that a Greek Death Match is a submission match (no pinfalls, no time limit), which sounds exciting, but no steel cage in sight and I'm a bit disappointed about that.
No weird running around the ring, just fists and boots. Good for them.
The brawl between Sammartino and Arion starts immediately and takes them all across the ring and outside of it. Sammartino looks impressive beating up Arion, and the fans just eat it up, cheering for his every move again. I haven't quite figured out yet why the fans hate Arion with a passion usually reserved for guys kicking puppies and stealing children's lollies, because he doesn't do anything heelish except looking slightly arrogant (and being managed by Freddie Blassie). I guess they just really hate traitors? This match naturally focuses more on submission moves than their last encounter - they have to make their opponent submit, after all. The fans know it - I've never seen people go so nuts about a bear hug (with occasional shaking). Arion finally manages to break free with a blow below the belt, but Sammartino's disadvantage doesn't last long, which makes the fans very happy (also... I haven't seen a single Italian flag this time for some reason). He continues to work on Arion's back with stiff knees and the boston crab, then abandons that tactic to just casually stand on his face for a while. With both feet, of course. Arion focuses on Sammartino's back, too, but Sammartino quite literally claws his way out of that predicament. He continues to look incredibly strong, and if he doesn't for a moment, he comes back with moves like choking Arion with the tag team rope (nope, that's not a heelish move at all!) or a sick double-footed stomp to Arion's neck.
Does this count as a submission move?
Arion continues to target Sammartino's back, and for the first time, it feels like he's in real danger, especially when Arion hits him with the Atomic Knee Drop (a devastating move back then), then goes up to the top rope (Whoa!). But Sammartino rolls out of the way and quickly attacks the knee Arion injured jumping off the top rope, then putting him in a submission hold targeting the knee leg hold. Arion vehemently declines to submit, until Sammartino cinches the hold tighter and it's too much for him. Sammartino retains in a very nice finish, but Arion hasn't got enough and attacks him again during the celebration. Bruno beats him up some more, until he's like "Fuck this guy!" and returns to the dressing room to party, while Arion has to be assisted out of the arena.
The card continues with Big Joe Novo (also known as Butcher Brannigan, billed here as Butcher Joe Nova) vs Édouard Carpentier. I don't know either of them, and I don't have high hopes for their match. Vince doesn't either, because he keeps on talking about Sammartino's win - who wouldn't? - and more or less ignores their introduction. But Carpentier is surprisingly ripped for a guy who's nearly fifty, and he and Novo obviously know that to follow the Sammartino match, they have to be different. They pull out the nice, athletic-looking stuff like cartwheels (By Carpentier. I'm not even thirty and I'd probably break something if I'd try a cartwheel!) and impressive armdrags and flips n shit and are generally doing a lot of exciting stuff compared to the earlier matches. It's fun and entertaining and the crowd loves it and I'm digging it too and it's much closer to modern wrestling than I've seen during the last two shows. Also, those two dudes from the first match just lost their only excuse for sucking, because they're in the same age bracket as Carpentier, who is awesome and wins with three cannonballs/rolling sentons out of nowhere. Wow, what a ride!
Joe Novo seems a mite confused. I think this isn't what usually happens when he throws his opponent into turnbuckles.
Last match of the night ("one fall, or until curfew") is Big Bob Duncum vs Victor Rivera. Duncum is with the Grand Wizard of Wrestling, who appears to have some kind of beef with Rivera, because he also managed Rivera's last opponent Killer Kowalski. I was prepared to be cynical about this, but Carpentier vs Novo proved me wrong, so there's hope for this one, too. Ducum also was a member of the Heenan Family, so there's that. The beginning doesn't look all that promising, but the fans are really into the match and go wild when Rivera dropkicks Duncum (who's this big, bleach-blond cowboy) out of the ring and into the guys in suits at ringside (who apparently are the judges from the New York State Athletic Commission. I'd be really curious to know if these people were in on the whole thing, or if they thought it was a sport like any other). Rivera actually seems a very athletic guy (he can cannonball, too, and we even see a German suplex), something that couldn't really shine during his match with Kowalski for some reason, but the rest holds and foreign object crap get really old really quick. I like it when heels are heels, but this is just... dumb and repetitive, and I can't blame the people trying to beat the traffic. Especially as they're wrestling to... a curfew draw. What a shitty ending for this show, but heartfelt thanks to those who made it this far with me. And we didn't get the steel cage either. Damn you, WWWF!
Guys in suits carefully stepping around Victor Rivera (on the floor outside the ring) to BEAT THE TRAFFIC! Guess they drew straws or something to decide who had to stay and supervise this.

TL;DR

70s CGI is strange, Vince is very young, armpits are a good place to conceal foreign objects, Greg Valentine looks like a pig in a wig, nobody likes the Nazi, good foreign heels come in all sizes, Bruno Sammartino is NEVER in peril, Édouard Carpentier is awesome and was born about fifty years too soon, and I have a very niece piece of ocean-adjacent property1 to sell to the last ref.
1 usable about fifty percent of the time

What to watch?

Novo vs Carpentier all the way. There's enough Sammartino to be seen elsewhere. And stay away from Altomare vs Paidousis, you really don't want to do this to yourself.

What does the cat think?

A card like a box of chocolates. Boxes are also really awesome.
Up next: Champion vs. Champion, or "Bruno Sammartino was a Real-Life Badass!" (WWE Network Link) Bruno Sammartino vs Waldo Von Erich (June 16, 1975) and Bruno Sammartino vs George "The Animal" Steele (August 9, 1975) (WWE Network Link) (left the last one out because the date on the Network is wrong). I originally wasn't going to recap those, but I want to know what happens with Waldo Von Erich, and I remember George Steele from back when he ate turnbuckles and had a crush on Miss Elizabeth, so I'm interested in that match too.
(fixed Arnold Skaaland's name, sorry about that) (added the link to the next recap, other minor corrections)
submitted by BackgroundAct to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

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