Wednesday, April 20, 2016

2016 NFL Mock Draft Selections 1-15

2016 NFL Mock Draft

1. LA Rams: QB Jared Goff: CAL well this escalated quickly!  Just when I thought the Dolphins Eagles trade weeks ago was going to be the big move, the Rams put their big boy pants on and in all likely hood will draft one of the two top QB's.  I actually like Wentz a little better, but think the rams will keep the Cal Kid close to home.

2. Cleveland Browns: WR Laquan Treadwell: Ole Miss.  This is really an interesting spot for the Browns here.  are the satisfied with RG3 holding the reigns?  They could very easily take Wentz from ND State.  They may shoot for now, and go for a big thick WR like Treadwell for RG3 to throw to.  Especially with Josh Gordon not very likely to see the field anytime soon, they need an offensive weapon.

3. San Diego Chargers: DE Joey Bosa: OSU.  Every team needs a strong pass rusher off the edge and Bosa fits the bill. The only question is do you think that Bosa will be a better pro than Ramsey the kid from FSU who many think is as sure thing as a lock in this draft.

4. Cowboys: QB Carson Wentz: ND State.  With Romo injury plagued lately, Dallas maybe looking for their next QB of the future.  Bring Wentz in now and let him learn behind a good solid QB like Romo and they would be set for years at the QB position, and one of the better offensive lines in the NFL.

5. Jaguars: DB Jalen Ramsey: FSU.  The Jaguars would be ecstatic with what could be the steal of the draft sitting at 5.  This would bolster the defense that would compliment the improved offense and could soon start to compete with Indy and Houston for the AFC South crown.

6. Ravens: OL Laremy Tunsil: Ole Miss.  The Ravens need to get a pick or two geared towards offensive line to help keep Joe Flacco upright this year.  Tunsil or Stanley I could see heading to Baltimore.

7. 49ers: QB Conner Cook: MSU.  I know right?  The whispers by the water cooler in the rumor mill say that San Francisco is in love with Conner Cook.  They may get desperate enough to pull the trigger this high.  It would not be the biggest surprise in an NFL draft, but it would be a stretch.

8. Eagles: RB Ezekiel Elliot: OSU.  Many are saying Elliot is the best RB since Adrian Peterson. The Eagles are in need of a RB and as much as I would love to see him fall to Miami, I think it will be to much for Philly to pass on.

9.  Bucs:  OL Ronnie Stanley: ND.  Tampa Bay needs to add some depth to the offensive line to keep Winston up right.  Stanley is pretty athletic and would be a good get for the Bucs.

10. Giants: DE DaForest Buckner: Oregon. The Giants just gave a huge contract to Olivier Vernon from the Dolphins, but Buckner on the other side would be an opportunity to strengthen the defense that blew a few fourth quarter leads last year.

11. Bears: OLB Miles Jack: UCLA. The Bears have a few different holes they need to fill, but the seem to be in the market for an Edge rusher.  As much as I love Jalen Smith from Notre Dame.  I doubt he will be going in the first or even second round due to his injury.  Miles Jack seems to be a logical fit for an outside rusher, but some injury concerns there with his knee make this a questionable selection.   If they want an edge rusher they may also turn to OSU's Darren Lee.

12. Saints: DT A'Shawn Robinson: Alabama.  The Saints need to shore up a less than impressive defense from last year.  With the NFC South one of the more competitive divisions, where each team beats up each other, they will need some interior help to stop the likes of Cam Newton led offense and what has potential to be a high flying Atlanta team. Robinson would give the Saints a big interior presence.

13. Dolphins: CB Vernon Hargreaves III: Florida.  The Dolphins were brutalized in the secondary last year and with the loss of Grimes in the off season, the Dolphins are desperate for some help in the secondary.  Hargreaves will be the top CB on some teams boards and if he is available at 13, I don't see Miami passing him up.  Unless a wacky trade happens which has happened in the past, I would almost lock in Hargreaves if he is available.

14. Raiders: OL Jack Conklin: MSU.  The Raiders are in position to select Conklin who may be the best OL on the board at this time.  Of course the Raiders could do what the Raiders have done in the past and make a stretch for Alabama's Derrick Henry at Running back.  I still feel like Henry is a round 1 talent, Elliott is the better RB in my opinion but he should be long gone by the time the Raiders come calling.

15. Titans: OLB Darron Lee: OSU.  The Titans reeled in a gold mine of picks with the LA Rams trade.  They will have plenty of picks to help the team so going best available would be a pretty solid get here at 15.  Darron Lee is a solid edge rusher, who reeked havoc on offenses all of last year, most recently against Notre Dame in the bowl game.  Titans will be sitting pretty after that trade.  Titans fans should be excited.  Very smart trade, in my opinion.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

An Addicts confession

For most of you reading this, the thought of me being an addict may be a shocker.  But let me take you back in time to 2005.  I found out that I was diabetic in April of that year.  I was working at Eckerd camp and weighed in at close to 400 pounds.  I was drinking Pepsi and Mt. Dew to feed my soul with enough caffeine to keep my self awake those very long days and nights.

I was told the next day at the doctor that I needed to quit drinking those two beverages immediately and if I needed to drink Diet Coke if I needed a cola fix.  So it was with great disdain my caffeine fix was now of the diet variety and it was god awful in the beginning.  But it eventually became my go to.  Diet Coke and Unsweet Tea with Sweet and Low.  That was my fix.  Daily and many days many many diet cokes.

I never thought of Diet Coke as an addiction or a drug but it was.  I made many excuses for drinking it.  I was told my many of friends to drink water and that Diet Coke.  My reasoning was always something like really?   My friends and family are having daily glasses of wine or beer, and I am drinking Diet Coke and that is a problem.  I always had an excuse and I always had a reason for drinking it.

My wife has told me several times that I do things to the extreme for a while and eventually I would fall back in the same routine.  And like always she is right.  I have quit drinking Diet Coke before but just temporary and not for the right reasons.  I loved Diet Coke and my latest excuse was buying a 44oz of Diet Coke was cheaper ($1.06) than a 16 oz bottle of water (north of $1.75).  I had told myself that I needed it.  It was not harming my body in any way.  I mean after all its a diet drink with zero calories and sugar free.

I have scanned past the video that I saw many times posted on Facebook that read something to the effect of Why Diet Sodas are bad.  I kept scanning because I did not want to face what I knew could possibly be true.

So about 4 weeks ago, I got to work a little early and for some reason, I hit play. And my world changed.  I am not a doctor but I will give you the jist of what I heard.  I also talked to a Pediatric friend of mine who consumed about 6 a day and started telling me the same things I had heard.  He quit drinking it immediately and so did I. And now you may be asking your self exactly what I found.

So to try and put it in terms that you may understand.  Basically the artificial sweetener in Diet Coke and Sweet and Low among a few, acts as bad bacteria in your stomach.  It feeds off of the fat in your stomach and tricks your brain into thinking that you are still hungry and still thirsty.  You are left craving food any and all.  See what Diet Coke did to me, I couldn't just drink Diet Coke.  I had to eat something with it.  Potato Chips, Peanut Butter M and M's, Twix....Anything.  I was always eating something with it.  I would get home and eat anything that I could put together that would fix my craving.

I know!  it sounds crazy right?  I quit cold turkey with a little help from sour jolly rancher hard candy to fix the craving.  I found out that I am less tired, I do not crave nearly as much as I did while drinking it, and I think the scales have seen about a 10 pound decrease.  For all I know it may be a state of mind, but I feel healthier without it.  I do drink a sprite from time to time, and a sweet tea mixed with unsweet to give it just the right amount of sweet.  I drink mostly water by challenging my assistant and one of my students to a water consumption contest during work.

It was an awakening for me.  At 43, I need to live a while longer to help raise these two most amazing children that I have.  I am not saying its for every body, but I had to, to see if I felt any different.  I do.  I hope you will at least contemplate what I have written.  If not, No Worries.

Thank you for your time,

and always... Peace, Love and Wrigley!

M L Vogel

Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 2 I Remember

I remember running through my small house in West Virginia on my second birthday and fell on the floor grates and scarred my stomach and chest.  Those scars lasted me most of my school age years.  

I remember my sister cutting her leg open on a broken glass window my mom was cleaning out of the storage room, and required 17 stitches.  Also that same year I think she slipped getting out of our neighbors pool and split her chin wide open.

I remember swimming next door at Tracy's house and a bunch of the neighborhood guys were trying to hit down a bees nest and then jumping into the pool so we would not get stung.  Also swimming in the poring rain as we watched the rain drops melt into the water of the pool.  We also climbed his antenaae in the winter of 1978 in the blizzard like conditions.  There was so much snow that we could sled off of the roof.  Also crashing out at the Billets House because of school being cancelled.  That did not happen much.

I remember driving in our big green sketchy carpet covered van asking my mom and dad where Enus was, and they proceeded to go into a discussion about the birds and the bees about where my Penis was..I remember my mom getting pulled for speeding in that same creeptastic van in some random small town on the way to West Virginia.

I remember listening to New Kids on the Block the entire 9 hours in the car to West Virginia way before CD's and iPhones it may have been that same trip that I was busted playing with a My Pretty Pony because I was so over Hanging Touch!  Pretty close  to every Christmas after that getting a My Pretty Pony as a gag gift from my sisters.

I remember my best friend losing his mom in high school.  He was in National Honor Society and she dropped him off at a meeting in the morning.  She was hit by a train that morning after dropping him off.  One of the most surreal moments in my life.

I remember Atari with just a simple joy stick and one button to fire with, much simpler than the multi button system today.  I remember Roos shoes with a zipper on the side.  I would put cash in there.  I also remember hiding money in my drop ceiling as a way to save money.  I remember my grandmothers making me a quilt for Christmas in 1980, I still have it today.  I remember our tire tractor sand box, they don't make them like that any more.

I remember seeing my first Paul McCartney concert back in high school in Indianapolis and eating stromboli for the first time.  

I remember my sister Julie prank calling a friend and then getting in trouble for it, because they had her voice on the answering machine.  Tracy Kylee and I ate it up, happy that it was finally us not getting in trouble.

I remember Boy Scouts and white water rafting in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I remember visiting the tourist attractions long before Dollywood ever came about.

I remember Good Ole Hughes Backstop that we built to keep the whiffle ball from going into his garden.  that happened more times than i can remember.

I remember my friend Thom talking me into playing Golf my last three years of high school and then getting in major trouble with Coach Sharpe because the seniors skipped sectionals to go to graduation parties.  I remember shooting 77 on the front 9 and thinking that was a good score my first time out, boy was I wrong.

I remember that fateful black day when I found out I was Diabetic.  A time I erase from my memory.

I remember my brother in law having a diabetic attack on the bus during an away game and we had to get him snickers and Mt. Dew to bring his sugar back up.  I didn't realize it then that he would ever be related to me.

I remember High school football.  The good ole days!  Playing for a state title my freshman year wearing British Knights on the Hoosier Dome turf that Eric Dickerson ran on.  I remember getting beat in Semi State my senior year with 2 minutes left to go in the game and getting beat 8-7.  I remember falling to the ground crying and Tracy coming up to me picking me up and giving me a big hug.  Damn I miss that dude!!

I remember working at the YMCA where great relationships were formed and bonded.  I remember moving to NC and working at a wilderness camp for 8 years and meeting the love of my life there.  Of course it would be a hot minute before I would ask her to marry me.  I remember screwing that up and needing to re ask at a more "romantic" time.  I remember her working at Salem college and eating quesadillas and black bean and corn salsa.

I remember vacationing at her parents house in Destin Florida. I remember the day she told me that she would spend the rest of her life with me, the wedding a Winston Salem based theme.  I remember the day she told me I was going to be a daddy for the very first time!  I remember the day I became a daddy for the very first time.  I remember her telling me I was going to be a daddy for the second time and the birth of my daughter.  These are all great memories with many more to write, but for your sake I will end it here.  Thanks for reading...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day 1 Bear

Well it has been entirely to long, and it drives me a little crazy that I get overly lazy and stop blogging.  I am going to attempt a new exercise that will probe me to write a little more.  I am working on a book from Bonni Goldberg entitled a Room to Write.  So with out further delay here goes something....

So the first exercise is to write about a word that has more than one meaning.  With the several that were listed, I chose the word BEAR...


When I think about the word Bear it automatically takes me back to Boy Scouts when we were rafting the Natahalia and Ocoee River in Tennessee.  On one of our many adventure hikes I remember   the front of the group running smack into the presence of a bear.  I big old massive brown bear that could have wiped us out with one swipe.  I don't remember exactly which one of us it was that thought it was more important to take some photographs of this enormous animal (although I want to say John Bergen) for some reason that name rings a bell, although off topic, I remember John Aryea likes his Dr. Pepper with NO ICE!  said he gets more soda that way.

Bear also makes me think of the book Spirit Bear that we read while counselors and camp, while at Eckerd, about a young kid who had severe anger management issues, and beat up a kid pretty bad.  He was sent to an Island off the coast of Alaska where he was going to live there for a year, by himself to try and rehabilitate himself.  Once on the island, he lost control of his anger and burned everything he had to survive with including his shelter.  Later that night as he was trying to survive he came face to face with the great spirit bear that he got into an altercation with.  The spirit bear did some serious damage to him and he was left for dead....if you haven't read it now you have a brief synopsis of it.

#34 Sweetness!  the greatest Chicago Bear of my time.  I love to watch him run, it was extremely poetic!  The Chicago Bears, monsters of the midway or at least they were back when I was growing up.  The Chicago Bears shufflen crew, Iron Mike Ditka as coach, The funky QB, Jim McMahon, The Refrigerator William Perry, Jeff Fisher, Mike Singletery, Willie Gult, Dan Hamton, ahhh what a motley crew that was, They struck fear in the hearts of opponents, every opponent except for one!  Yep thats right, the Dan Marino Experience, the Miami Dolphins were the only stumbling block in what other wise was a perfect season.

Bare Naked Ladies, If I had a million dollars I would buy you a real fur coat, but thats cruel!  ah you gotta love the 1990's.

The great Cubbie Bear!  Yep the one in the same, favorite baseball team and the lovable losers on the North Side, You just wait until this year! Its our year! 2015!  Just ask Michael J Fox in Back to the Future 2!

The great polar bear! My sons favorite is Bernard (he pronounces in Bungard).  They also take me to the coke commercials with the polar bears sliding across the ice with coke bottles in their hands (yeah sorry it just came to mind, that is why I wrote it).

Bear Down!  not sure if this is a Chicago thing or a Baylor thing, but they both love their bears!

On a sadder note, the stupid bear traps that are used by hunters to trap bears.

Winnie the Pooh Bear was a great story book character.  I read a lot of Winnie the Pooh growing up, one of the books that led me to want to write.  Winnie, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Christopher Robin those are great memories. We can't forget the Berrenstein Bears!  If I remember correctly they live in a tree.

Paul "Bear" Bryant was a legendary college football coach that coached at Texas A&M and most notably The Crimson Tide of Alabama.  I read once that he got his nick name from wrestling a bear.  I will leave the specifics up to my cousins that are Alabama fans.

Well i barely have anymore bears on the brain!  I hope you enjoy, till tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Writer's Blog

Okay so that is kind of a play on words.  Most of us in writing come up with a mental block known as  writers block.  For me this has come in a couple different forms.  Not having time to write, not knowing what to write about, or having to much to write about, but not sure if its worth stepping on toes.

I guess the best way to go about this is to just write and whatever comes out go with it.  So first and foremost, TGIS!!  Thank God Its Summer!!  Not that I love the Hot weather, (i prefer milder climates, only so many clothes I can take off in the summer before other people start getting uncomfortable).  It really is nice when you can spend long days in the neighborhood pool, and with the absolute loves of your life.

Being a father is one really awesome adventure.  Every day you learn something new or your kids say something you have not heard yet.  They are learning their colors and numbers. They love to see you and say "Dada Deuces" and I love you!  or to listen to them say their prayers at night.  It just warms your heart.

I really feel like this is all over the place and sometimes it has to be.  I enjoy writing and I enjoy watching my little "brother", excel in writing as well.  He is coming into his own as a writer and is really brilliant with the contexts of what he writes.  I hope that he continues to the point of getting his book published because there really is nothing else out there quite like what he is writing.

As far as my writings, i am much more comfortable blogging and writing what comes to mind, than writing novels.  I want to write books both novels and children's books.  It is my passion.  I am a dreamer!  I love to dream about what life would be like if I could write full time, where we would live, what my surroundings would be like.

The biggest thing is just seeing my name on a book, in print.  That would and will be a very momentous occasion.  I love to teach my kids in school, but I have a very sour taste in my mouth regarding the state of education especially in North Carolina right now.  As my back up plan I have to get into writing mode!  LOL

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Goal Update

I blogged back at the beginning of the year that I had probably more than enough goals for the year.  I  have decided that as much as I love writing and the passion that I have for it, I wanted to put some of that fire in losing weight.  

I entered January of 2014 with a focus on losing 42 pounds in a year.  I really felt like that was a manageable number to obtain in a years time.  I think it averages out to somewhere close to three pounds a month.  I knew that the bulk of it needed to be lost in the first six months because when football season rolls around, my schedule and routine take a hit and I may not be able to focus on weight loss when the football team and myself will be focusing on winning a state title!!

I have been going since January 4 of this year.  As of my last weigh in yesterday March 15, I have lost a grand total of 27.2 pounds.  I am really kind of speechless.  I wanted to write a big long blog on how things are going and the struggles and the successes.

I just don't know exactly what to say.  I am a lot farther ahead than I thought I was going to be when I started this journey.  It really is much easier that I ever had imagined.  Again, once you get sick and tired of being sick and tired, you put your mind to it that you are going to do it and you go for it.  Do I fall of from time to time? Yes!  Just last week I weighed in and gained a pound and a half.  That is what crazy weather does to a person.  Instead of being in your routine, you are at home with easy access to the snacks and you don't move around much.  Its okay to fall off.  You recover from it.  Every once in a while I will treat myself to some killer frozen yogurt with the PB topping and some crunch cereal thrown in and a brownie and some peanut butter cups, i said ALL IN on the frozen yogurt.  But its a once in a while thing.  My weakness when I started this trip was wings!  LOVE THEM!  All of them, everyone of them!  I could not slow down if their were 20 in an order I would do everything I could to put away each of them, plus the loaded cheese fries I got with it.  Things are much slower and civil now.  I still treat myself to wings when someone invites me to.  I get a small order and a small order of a fried potato product and enjoy.  I find that my stomach feels smaller, like I ate 3 pieces of pizza a couple of weeks ago and I felt terrible.  I use to do that with my eyes closed and without thinking twice about it.  

It is okay to splurge from time to time.  You don't want to play the system.  Some people like to do "activity" and get activity points, and then add that to their points for the day.  I just go for the allotted  points for the day.  I don't want to beat the system.  Beating the system is what got me to, to close to 400 pounds.  It was a scary sight and feeling.  

I remember back a few years ago I was watching the Biggest Loser sitting their watching it with a gallon of Moose Tracks Ice Cream eating it by the scoop fool.   That thought afterwards has stayed with me to this day.  Watching a Weight Loss show while Gaining weight in the process.  Think about that for a second.

Okay I feel like I have babbled enough today, so I will let you guys get back to better things like watching for the upcoming Ice Storms headed are way!

Peace, Love and Wrigley!  I love you guys, thanks for the hits...
  I love this pretty lady!  One of my all time favorite pictures of me and my beautiful wife!  Trenton, the sweatshirt has been spotted.

Time Flies....Just like Superdad

Well it has been awhile, and to be honest with you its been to long.  I love writing, I know I have said this countless times, but it is true.  I just got really busy really quick!  So what is going on in the great big world of Winston Salem and the Vogel House hold?

BABIES!!  Lots and lots of babies!  I know when you read that your first thought is Michael and Nissa have more than 2?  Well in a way we kind of do.  Nissa has a "Sisterhood" if i can use that as a term, that have all had babies around the same time as both of ours.  Finn's was more spread out from the other babies that came that same year, but Lil Ms. Eleanor?  Hers all came around the exact same time. One even came on the same day!

Visitors?  Well she was born in the great Blizzard of '14 so the visitors that we did get, came by foot.  Her Aunt Booka and Uncle Tooka braved the elements and walked to the hospital to see their new niece.  Not sure Eleanor realized what great lengths they came.  If she knew that her Aunt Booka freezes when its 78* outside, let alone blizzard like conditions.  She did venture out of the room on the second day to go visit her newest boyfriend, we will call him Mr. UNC!  Not that I am a UNC or Duke or NC State fan by any stretch of the imagination, but his daddy IS a die hard fan!  UNC born and bread.

It really was quite comical.  Nissa allowed me to leave the hospital as the snow storm started (now before you going and getting upset with me about leaving my beautiful bride at the hospital with our second born by herself, we live a whopping 1 mile from the hospital, and plus her best friend was literally right down the hall) again we live roughly a mile from the hospital.  It took me close to 40 minutes to get home with all of the people leaving work to get home.   I got home and got a nice HOT shower and clean clothes.  On my way back was the crazier scene.  I left and took some roads less traveled because I know how to drive in snow unlike anybody in the south.  There were cars stranded on the ramp ways and as I approached the stoplight by the mall/hospital there were people deserting their cars and heading for higher/dryer ground.

Superdad?  Well I feel like it anyway.  Not that I am superhuman by any stretch and I don't do super things but Finn just makes me feel that way.  He yells out for me when I am getting home for work, or he will go in the bathroom and clime in the window to waive at me and blow kisses at me as I leave for work.  We have our own unique sign language just the two of us that we are helping mommy with so she understands, it took her forever to figure out what GUP was?  Ummm Hello Garbage Trucks!

I don't feel like a Super Dad so mad as Super Blessed.  I have been blessed with an amazing wife, an amazing son and daughter.  My family in Indiana is pretty special and amazing themselves.  I miss them and wish they had the ability to see my kids more.  I keep telling them that they won't get all of that nasty weather in North Carolina like the 100 plus inches Indiana has been hit with this year.  Somebody will take me up on it sooner than later I am hoping.  Thank you guys again for taking the time and reading my work and blogs. I enjoy it.