Our Broncos Country Playoff Weekend

*This post is sponsored by Dove Men+Care.*

The past two months have been amazing for me. Last month J and I got to take my dad, who introduced me to Star Wars, to see The Force Awakens. Bringing what he started all those years ago to a full circle, and this last weekend Dove Men+Care flew J and I out to Denver to watch our very first NFL game as part of their newest #RealStrength campaign. Dove Men+Care also gave me a third ticket so I could have the opportunity to surprise my dad for his birthday. We had such an amazing weekend, that I wanted to put some of our highlights in a post.

Highlight #1 – The Announcement

J and I have been watching the Broncos together since he was a newborn. J has been loving football Sunday this year, and he was so excited when I told him that we were going to our first Broncos game that he put his Rocket Raccoon costume on and put his Payton Manning jersey on top of it.

rocket

Highlight #2 – At the Hotel

While we were at the hotel, we decided to watch the amazing ending to the Cardinals/Packers game. After the game, Dove Men+Care released an amazing video about their #RealStrength campaign and I was able to share it with my dad (who has taught me so much about what it means to have #RealStrength) and J.


We also were really excited that hotel was about 1/2 mile from the stadium and we could see it from the hotel.

stadium

Highlight #3 – Game Day

We got to the stadium a couple of hours early so we could find our seats, eat some lunch and watch some of the athletes do their warm-up exercises. The game was intense, and the crowd did an amazing job of keeping J into it. We were so happy that our first game ended with a Bronco victory.

Highlight #4 – The Day After

We stopped by a Sports Authority before going the airport to buy something for my grandma because she is probably the biggest Broncos fan that we know. J was still so excited for the weekend that we had, that it was all he could talk about while we were going through security, and while we were waiting for our plane.

I really can’t thank Dove Men+Care enough for such an amazing weekend. We had such a good time, and if you are unfamiliar with their #RealStrength campaign you should check out this paragraph straight from Dove Men+Care:

Dove Men+Care is challenging the idea that an athlete’s strongest highlights only happen on-the-field – in fact, we found that nearly half of men in the U.S. feel modern masculinity is depicted inaccurately in TV advertising and sports, in part because it is typically the feats of strength on-the-field that are featured in everything from post-game reports to highlight reels.  That’s why Dove Men+Care is hijacking the traditional football highlight reel and releasing a fresh take on one of sports’ most iconic video properties, to show that care – not muscle – makes a man stronger.”

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I Guess I Should Say Something About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Finally, after seeing the movie more times than we can count on our hands, we have decided to put down some thoughts about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I know there are a lot of people out there saying things like, “It’s too much like Episode IV”, but like many great opera’s, Star Wars movies have reoccurring themes. It happens in the prequel trilogy, and now it’s happening in the new trilogy. There are still a lot of elements of The Force Awakens that do not appear in Episode IV, so don’t let that deter you from seeing the film.

Not very many movies can keep a 4 year old at the edge of their seat with their eyes glued to the screen for 2 hours and 15 minutes, but The Force Awakens had J at the edge of his seat the entire time. The first time we saw it, I couldn’t help but look over at J to see his reactions. His first words after the first viewing were, “I LOVE THE FORCE AWAKENS!! CAN WE SEE IT AGAIN?!?!?!” J wanted to talk about so many things, but since there were people lined up for the next showing, J held in his words until we got in the car. That way he wouldn’t spoil it for all the people who had tickets after we did. He was telling me who he thought certain characters, and why certain things had to happen to others. It was a car ride I will never forget.

Star Wars1

J after our second viewing.

The script was amazing, the acting was on point, and the scenery and practical effects were superb. The leads were fantastic, Daisy Ridley’s “Rey” is a strong young woman who had to survive on the desert planet of Jaku by herself from a young age. She’s a scavenger who always had to lookout for herself and never had anyone show an interest in how she felt or how she was doing, so please don’t misinterpret her reactions toward others. There isn’t a lot I can say about John Boyega’s “Finn/FN-2187” without giving too much away, but just believe me when I say that he did a fantastic job and I can’t wait to see what becomes of his character. Oscar Isaac did a wonderful job as rebel pilot/black leader “Poe Dameron”. He was smart, funny, and had the attitude of the “best pilot in the resistance”. While he was amazing as Poe, I think that my favorite thing that Isaac brought to the table was that amazing 70s/80s looking hairstyle, now that took me back to the original trilogy. I know that a lot of people are criticizing Adam Driver’s “Kylo Ren”, but in all honesty I thought he was so much better than I could have hoped for. The fact that he is guided by his emotions makes him unpredictable and terrifying, even more so than Anakin in Episode III. One last thing about the new cast, I am so glad that BB-8 was as amazing as I had hoped. BB-8 has such an amazing emotional range for a droid. When he is sad, you feel sad. Thank you J.J. for giving fans old and new such an amazing droid to follow on this adventure.

How can I write something about Star Wars without mentioning the original cast? Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Peter Mayhew all reprised their roles from the original trilogy, and I am so glad they did. Fisher leads the resistance in a way that only Leia can, Han and Chewie do what they do best aboard the Falcon, and Luke does a great job of pulling off that Obi-Wan Kenobi hermit look.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens had so much going for it; a more diverse universe, more women, the old gang, and a new little ball droid. In my opinion J.J. Abrams and the cast and crew knocked this one out of the park. Some articles have come out saying there are “plot holes” or they just blast the film for the sake of blasting the film. The former must not understand the concept of setting up trilogies and not giving all of the information right away (I should mention that the novelization answers quite a few of those so called “plot holes), while the latter just don’t get it and frankly don’t want to try. I will say that one of my big criticisms is that I wish there was more Captain Phasma, but I don’t want to linger on that because maybe we will get more of her in the next two films.

If you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet, then this is one that I highly recommend. As far as young children go, I would say to gauge it on your children’s understanding of reality and science fiction. If they have seen Episode III (only because this is the darkest of the prequel trilogy) and all of the original trilogy, then they should have no problem with The Force Awakens. There is a little blood shown in the first battle scene, but it is quick and not gory. Be aware that by seeing The Force Awakens, you may find it necessary to see it again right away. That is totally normal, many of us have seen it more than once and are planning on seeing it again…and again…and again. There is a reason why Star Wars has passed both Titanic and Avatar as the highest grossing film, and you should definitely go find out why for yourself.