Vontae Davis Retired From the NFL at Halftime. Good for Him.

When Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis took the highly unusual step of ending his NFL career at halftime of Buffalo’s 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the predictable rebukes swarmed down on him. One columnist called him “selfish.” Another reporter labeled his decision “an unconscionable act.” Some of his teammates were understandably perturbed. Buffalo linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said Davis’ halftime retirement was “completely disrespectful to this teammates.”

Davis, who started the game for Buffalo, put on his street clothes at the half, and eventually left the stadium during the game. “Today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard,” Davis said in a statement, released after the game, confirming his retirement. “I shouldn’t be out there anymore.”

By trusting his gut on this one, however, Davis may have done his teammates a service. Too many things can go wrong in football under normal circumstances. If a player is distracted, his mind elsewhere, the consequences could be catastrophic.

Sure, Davis could have just asked out of the game due to its physical toll, and announced his retirement afterwards. Or at least taken a night to sleep on it. But there’s something authentic about Davis having what he termed an “honest moment” with himself, prioritizing his long-term health over his professional football career, and declining to just go through the motions. Davis, a 10-year veteran, was done with football. He knew it. Leave it behind and never look back.

So many people fantasize about saying “take this job and shove it.” Davis got to live that dream. But just because he’s an NFL player, he’s a pariah?

Over the years, NFL coaches, executives, players, media and fans have created a culture that equates professional football with the battlefield. Players with the “warrior mentality” are lionized: you must view your teammates as brothers in arms.

But some perspective is key. Davis didn’t go AWOL. He decided to stop playing a game. He also likely cost himself a hefty payday, as Buffalo can likely recoup most of the $ 5 million Davis was owed this season.

A year after making the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades, the Bills are back to frustrating Buffalo’s irrationally loyal fans. The Baltimore Ravens wiped them out 47-3 in the season opener; in that game starting Bills QB Nathan Peterman turned in one of the uglier stat lines (5-18, 24 yards, 2 interceptions) you’ll ever see. The team’s now in the hands of promising, but unproven, rookie quarterback Josh Allen. The schedule does Buffalo no favors: the Bills face a couple of tough NFC North teams, the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, over the next two weeks.

Buffalo has bigger problems to worry about than an aging, injured cornerback who wanted out. The Bills needs to move on from Vontae Davis. Just like Vontae Davis moved on from them.

Sports – TIME

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This Football Player Retired at Halftime Because He Felt He ‘Shouldn’t Be Out There Anymore.’ People Are in Disbelief

Sunday’s biggest shock in sports came when Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis retired abruptly at halftime.

It wasn’t how the 10-year NFL veteran imagined his departure, but in a post-game statement, he said the physical toll was what dawned on the field.

“I shouldn’t be out there anymore,” the 30-year-old Davis said, noting the toll the game had taken on his body. “The season is long, and it’s more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late … This was an overwhelming decision, but I’m at peace with myself and my family.”

Davis did not cite a specific injury, but research has suggested a link between playing football and traumatic brain injuries.

Davis signed onto the struggling Bills team earlier in the year, and his mid-game departure took his coach and teammates by shock.

“[Davis] pulled himself out of the game,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “He communicated to us that he was done.”

“Never have seen it ever,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “Pop Warner, high school, college, pros. Never heard of it. Never seen it. And it’s just completely disrespectful to his teammates.”

Fans watching online were as stunned by Davis’ timing as ever, and could not resist the joke opportunities.

The Los Angeles Chargers ultimately beat the Buffalo Bills 31-20, laying out a challenging road ahead for the team.

Sports – TIME

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The Surprising Way This Retired Army Master Sergeant Deals With Stress

Andre Rush is a retired Army Master Sergeant and former senior enlisted aide and adviser to the superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. An outspoken advocate of self-care, he practices what he preaches by sticking to a clean diet and ‘crushing’ a regular fitness routine that includes bench pressing 700 pounds and knocking out 2,222 push-ups.

But there’s much more to Rush than meets the eye: He is also a master chef, expert cake decorator, and ice sculptor who has helped prepare delicious meals for US presidents for the last two decades. Even more compelling is his relentless desire to serve others and make the world a better place for all to thrive.

In an interview, Rush discusses how cooking helps him manage stress and navigate the demands of his multifaceted career.

Your professional trajectory is pretty impressive. What inspired you to join the military?

My inspiration for the military came at a very young age. I always knew I wanted to accomplish something ‘bigger’ in terms of serving others. I realized rather intuitively that serving this great country, both near and afar, frankly, is about as ‘big’ as it gets.

With President Barack Obama

How did your military experience, particularly while serving at the United States Military Academy at West Point, challenge you to move outside of your comfort zone?

Serving at the military academy at West Point, was, by far, my most challenging and rewarding assignment. The very nature of my work often required that I execute core duties as an ‘army of one.’ I had substantial responsibilities and was expected to function at a high level with little to no supervision. During the course of my tenure, I discovered that the Military Academy at West Point represented a uniquely powerful opportunity to learn, grow, and serve. While the expectations were extraordinary, so were the rewards. And to be sure, there is no place like it anywhere in the Army (or the world, really) for that matter.

Despite taking on regular duties as the senior enlisted aide and adviser to the superintendent, I was also in charge of a large segment of the accounting, which included performing rigorous audits for seven-year intervals. Additionally, I was involved in the overall training, development, and mentoring of cadets. To my chagrin, there was also a resident ghost, Molly, who occupied my quarters and kept things interesting—and me a bit out of my comfort zone.

Because of your varied and high-level responsibilities, you were no stranger to stress. How did you discover cooking could be a way to cope with such stress?

That’s a great question. Actually, I didn’t realize that cooking translated to coping right away. One day, though, it dawned on me that after nearly every stressful event, I ended up making an abundant amount of food. I eventually realized that cooking calmed me down, allowed me to think and redirect any negative energy. It made me happy.

Chef Rush at the White House supervising meal prep

Can you describe a specific instance where cooking helped you to cope with a particularly stressful situation?

There was a time when a soldier committed suicide…I cooked for days and didn’t want to stop. The process helped me let go, regroup, and gain the closure I needed.

What is your best advice for someone dealing with workplace stress or other areas of their life that consistently conjure up pain or anguish?

Talk to someone. There’s nothing courageous about grappling with stress, grief, or depression alone. Feeding your ego and suffering in silence does not serve you; it only hurts you in the end. Think about the things that truly matter: your kids, family, friends and your quality of life…what brings you joy and how you can bring joy to others. Remember that stress is an inevitable part of our lives, and not all stress is bad. However, what is most important is how you choose to deal with it. And your choice can either enhance or diminish the overall quality of your life. Choose wisely.

The post The Surprising Way This Retired Army Master Sergeant Deals With Stress appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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Pentagon budget increase will lead to a ‘major economic disaster,’ says retired US Army officer

The spike in defense spending won't solve the military's readiness problems or make us safer, says Daniel Davis.
Economy

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‘You could say I’m reluctantly retired from writing books’: travel writer Dervla Murphy

In a rare interview, the much-loved author of Full Tilt and Through Siberia by Accident, now 86, looks back on more than 50 years of pioneering, intrepid travel

‘Sláinte,” says Dervla Murphy, settling back into her armchair, her pint raised aloft. We are in the bohemian study of her home in the centre of Lismore, County Waterford. Home is actually a collection of unconnected buildings adjoining a cobbled courtyard that once formed the historic town’s marketplace. We are enjoying the great Irish travel writer’s favourite tipple: beer. “Lovely. Lovely,” she says, taking a sip. “Now, off you go.”

She is referring to the start of our interview, I assume, and not peremptorily instructing me to leave – though with Dervla, it seems, you cannot always be sure. She has a reputation for plain speaking, for her no-nonsense approach to life. She dislikes being quizzed by journalists and audiences with her are infrequent.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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Look At God! Retired Man Claims $24 Million Winning Lottery Ticket Two Days Before It Was Set to Expire

A retired security guard won a $ 24.1 million New York lottery jackpot that he was lucky enough to claim just TWO DAYS before his ticket expired.

via NYDN:

Jimmie Smith, 68, told the gaming commission he’s been buying lottery tickets in New York and his native New Jersey since the 1960s — but the one time he actually won, he didn’t even realize.

Smith’s identity was released by New York LOTTO this week.

His $ 24.1 million jackpot from May 2016 sat idle for nearly a year before the East Orange, N.J., resident picked it up.

But he almost didn’t get it at all after sticking it in an old shirt pocket with “a stack” of unchecked, losing tickets, New York’s gaming commission said in a press release.

“I always told myself, ‘I’ll check them when I have the time,’” Smith told the commission.

He figured it was time to check after seeing a news report about the jackpot’s pending expiration as the one-year .

That’s when he dug out the May 2016 ticket featuring the winning numbers: 5 – 12 – 13 – 22 – 25 – 35.

“I stood there for a minute thinking, ‘Do I see what I think I see?’ I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air,” the father of two and grandfather of 12 told the gaming commission. “I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real.”

Nearly a year earlier, he bought the winning ticket in Tribeca at Renu Corp Grocery & Tobacco at 158 Church St. between Chambers and Reade Streets.

“I don’t remember who it was,” said owner Bobby Patel told the Daily News in May when the winner was announced. “I didn’t see the face or anything.”

Smith’s identity wasn’t released at the time — nor why it took him a year.

He elected to be paid out over a 26-year period, according to the gaming commission.

Smith plans to have an “all-family” meeting to discuss how the money will be split up, according to the gaming commission.

The universe was definitely on his side with this one!

The post Look At God! Retired Man Claims $ 24 Million Winning Lottery Ticket Two Days Before It Was Set to Expire appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

B. Scott | lovebscott.com

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Even in North Korea crisis, retired general John Kelly is an apolitical force in a White House divided by ideology

Kelly, a 45-year Marine Corps veteran, is leading Trump’s West Wing without an ideological agenda, officials say. Kelly has also become one of several key generals whose advice Trump has come to rely on.
Politics

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Notes of a Retired Wedding Videographer: From Proposal to Reception; Lessons Learned from Brides and Grooms

Notes of a Retired Wedding Videographer: From Proposal to Reception; Lessons Learned from Brides and Grooms


Initially this book originated by way of a response to a reprehensible and professionally insulting article I stumbled across in a popular wedding magazine. I telephoned the editor and reviewed the article sentence by sentence with him regarding the inconsistencies and inaccuracies of a real-life wedding focusing specifically on the videography facet. By the end of our conversation, he asked me to commit these thoughts to paper for consideration and I did. The article with my amendments was first published in the Summer 2005 issue of Premier Bride Magazine. Inspired by this, I continued to expand and record my experiences and observations with the sole intent of offering an experienced, unique insight for all would-be newlyweds to consider. "Notes of a Retired Wedding Videographer" is intended to provide an entertaining and informative guide to help brides and grooms understand all that the camera captures throughout the wedding day as well as some frequently overlooked tips on how to ensure that the festivities recorded on video best capture the festivities occurring in live action at the time. Enjoy the most memorable insights based on actual first-hand experiences through the course of nearly 1000 completed wedding assignments during the last 11 years. Topics include observations and opinions regarding bridal logistics, wedding themes and color schemes, music/photographer/videographer selection, wedding within budget,7 tips for men in kilts, how to avoid becoming a victim of Murphy’s Law, and much more- all illustrated by real-life personal experiences from behind the camera.
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Youre Retired Now What: Money Skills for a Comfortable Retirement

Youre Retired Now What: Money Skills for a Comfortable Retirement


Plenty of books tell you how to plan for retirement. This book tells you how to manage it once you are there.Retirement: A time in your life when you should be kicking back and relaxing on a sandy beach or a golf course, without a care in the world. Right? Well, these days it''s a bit more complicated than that. With Social Security and Medicare hanging in the balance, questions and uncertainties abound: Will you have enough money? Will you need a part-time job? Do you have adequate health insurance? Here is the road map you need for a comfortable, stress-free retirement—complete with sandy beaches, if that''s your preference. Ron and Murray Yolles, a father-and-son team who have advised retirees on money matters for fifty years, provide a solid, down-to-earth plan for a successful retirement, covering everything from the best investment strategies to maximizing retirement plans and IRAs.Will your money last? This book helps make sure it does for the millions of Americans entering retirement, answering this key question and many more in an easy-to-read, friendly way. —Jean-Marie Eveillard, President, SoGen Funds.You''re Retired, Now What? is a great read to help clear one''s mind of all the conflicting financial advice that exists today. —David Herro, CFA, Partner, Director of International Equities The Oakmark International Funds.
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Retired Greyhounds: A Guide To Care And Understanding

Retired Greyhounds: A Guide To Care And Understanding


Every year many thousands of racing greyhounds retire from the racetrack and are successfully re-homed through dedicated greyhound charities. Written in association with Greyhound Rescue West of England, this guide is essential reading for anyone who owns or is thinking of owning a retired greyhound.
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