Thoughts From a Seahawks Fan on Super Bowl Eve

Y'all. I have not been able to concentrate all week. Unless you're something Seahawks-related, I'm not really f'ing with you this week. I'm sorry. My focus is failing me.

Does this team even understand what it's done to this city?

The energy on the streets is different this week. Everyone is smiling, high-fiving strangers, starting random SEA! HAWKS! chants, doling out thumbs up & nods of approval at one another's Seahawks attire. The city is alive, and blue and green is coursing through its veins. The undeniable adrenaline is what's making it so damn hard to do anything else.

Photo by Joshua Trujillo for Seattle P-I Seahawks Facebook covers

This season was a roller coaster. Nobody expected the Seahawks to make it back to the Super Bowl except for the 12s. Why would they? Nobody's ever done that before. That seems to be the outdated and horribly out-of-touch M.O. of a league that doesn't seem ready for a team like the Seahawks to be so dominant. Too young. Too short. Too inexperienced. "F" grade. Fifth-round picks. Too mouthy. Not mouthy enough. Not black enough. Even for a team that proved themselves by going all the way last year, the league doesn't seem to want the Seahawks to succeed. The national media announcers' commentary through every game will tell you everything they think about the Seahawks in so many words.

If they don't support our team, we'll just have to support them more.

Not that it's hard to. These guys are so damn easy to love. Uncle Pete (Carroll) runs the kind of ship any Seattleite can get behind: be yourself, work hard, keep things positive, and love your teammates. The national media stay trying to call them thugs for talking too much or not talking enough, but we know better. Their philanthropic efforts are bountiful and genuine; they love their team but they also love and support their communities, here and in their hometowns. They're just good dudes the whole city can be proud of.

And goddamn can they play some football!

I normally keep things all positive here, but I have to say, I feel sorry for all the candy that isn't Skittles. I wonder what those sales look like this week, especially here. I feel sorry for the people calling any 12th fan a 'bandwagoner' - for every one of those, there are at least a dozen more who'll happily give you a high-five for that blue and green. Why be that unhappy or worked up over someone else's happiness anyway? I feel sorry for Troy Aikman, Joe Buck & every commentator who loves picking against the Seahawks at all times. I feel sorry for non-Seahawks fans living in Seattle. I feel sorry for any non-football fan following me on Twitter. I feel sorry and send good vibes to anyone using the "Anyone but Seattle" phrase or hashtag. I need you to know that this energy and excitement is all love, and if your team were in the Super Bowl, I'd hope you'd feel just as high.

You need to watch this. Marshawn is a national treasure.

I am so grateful to to be a Seattleite and a Seahawks fan. I'm so excited for tomorrow I can hardly stand it. GO HAWKS!!!

Evening Magazine: Super Bowl XLIX Seahawks Style w/Fresh Jess 2015

Remember last year when Kim Holcomb & Evening Magazine were kind enough to have me on the show for a Seahawks style segment? Well, in between tears of joy and disbelief following this year's NFC Championship game, Kim and I coordinated to do another style segment this year. Here it is!

Article with links and full text here

It's still surreal to be on a show I've watched since I was a baby, in this beautiful city where we've put in many years of misery and no hope of coming close to the Super Bowl, to talk about my own way of sharing the pride I feel for our boys going to defend their championship title. The magic is alive in the Emerald City and it's in the hearts, smiles and blue & green sleeves of all the 12s out there.

I'm not sure how I'm focusing on anything else this week. Is it the Super Bowl yet? 

SEA! HAWKS!

Thank you endlessly, Kim, Howard & the Evening Magazine team for having me again!

Fresh Reads: Seahawks Edition

I can't get enough of all the Seahawks media coverage post NFC championship and leading up to the Super Bowl. I'm a voracious reader and would have to say that 85% of all the articles I've read these past two week have been about the Seahawks in some way, shape or form. I'm learning so much about this team and the individual talents that make it up, and loving them that much more after each read. Oh my God, there's so much to sift through, but I've rounded up some of my favorites here. If you've got some time on this fine Saturday, kick back and learn why we love our boys like we do.

ESPN's "The adoration of Russell Wilson" captures perfectly how I (and many other Seattleites) feel about our QB. I'm so proud this human being is the face of our team and I pray to God Niketown Seattle doesn't put him on top of their store building, thus cursing our city by driving him away eventually.

This nerd loved this breakdown on USA Today of Richard Sherman's life, infographic-style. They forgot to mention all of the stats he's #1 in this season though :/. The media attention around Sherman after the NFC Championship was insane and filled with so much hate and negativity. I loved reading the commentary around what the internet's reaction to Richard Sherman teaches us about ourselves, especially from Sally Jenkins at The Washington Post and Rembert Browne at Grantland.

The Legion of Boom waxing poetic on their bond:

Earl Thomas will be wearing these extremely fly Jordan cleats on Sunday. I'm not a big Jordan but these are sick! Not only is dude mad stylish, he's an excellent writer too. Check out his Area 29 blog on EarlThomas.com, with his recent post on thoughts after the NFC Championship game.

Doug Baldwin might be my favorite undercover firecracker on a team of undercover firecrackers. I mean, he's part Filipino (PILIPINOS!) but he also wears that chip ('boulder') on his shoulder proudly. He's been on a tear ever since he went undrafted, picked up by the Seahawks in 2011. Now he's one of our brightest stars. Don't call him a pedestrian!

Wanna know how I know you're a Seattle nerd? When you sport Google Glass at Media Day. Peep Golden Tate's GG experience over at Bleacher Report.

Marshawn Lynch pretty much dominated this week's coverage with his lack of interest in being involved with the media in any way, shape or form. Here's his mom talks raising Beast Mode & keeping it real with The Seattle Times. She reminds me a lot of my mama!

A couple of interviews Marshawn obviously enjoyed: talking candy with NFL Japan, and this amazing segment for SportScience:

Let's end this post with a remix of Marshawn's Media Day interview with Deion Sanders, featuring Geo from Blue Scholars:

GO HAWKS!!!

Fresh Jess' Seahawks Style on Evening Magazine

Last week, Kim Holcomb of Evening Magazine asked me to style some of my Seahawks pieces in a segment that aired last night. It was the perfect intersection of some of my favorite things - the Seahawks, hometown pride and personal style. I've grown up watching KING 5 and Evening Magazine, and to actually be on it was surreal! I had a lot of fun showing my 12th Man pride in the days before the big game. Being a Seattle native, there's never been a time when the city has felt so connected, swelling with support for our team. We know we have an extremely special squad this season, and it's been absolutely magical - and yet strangely natural - to see them get to this point. Football in February is the sweetest Valentine yet!

"I'm just 'bout dat action, boss" :P

Thanks Kim & Evening Magazine for having me!  

GO HAWKS

Seattle Seahawks' Derrick Coleman is Awesome

One of the most interesting things about this year's Seattle Seahawks squad is that it's quite the band of misfits. Undrafted. Free agents. Young talents flying under the radar. All of them wanted a chance, and Uncle Pete (Carroll) and his staff gave them one. Our fullback, Derrick Coleman, is no different. His commercial for Duracell* reflects on his strength, will, and persistence in overcoming adversity. He's fought hard to get where he is, and now he's headed to the Super Bowl!

*I've only watched this commercial once. I was bawling and know for sure I'll do it every time I watch it again.

Since this commercial debuted a couple of weeks ago, Coleman's become a hero to so many out there who are deaf. One little girl in particular wrote him a letter thanking him for inspiring her and her twin. Dad tweeted the letter out to him, and Derrick (new to Twitter as of this week!) responded with a tweet & photo of his written letter response:

@Seahawks@DC2forlife you've inspired my little girls in a way I never could. THANK YOU! #Seahawks#SuperBowlXLVIIIpic.twitter.com/lhpJfCPOSD
— jake kovalcik (@JakeIsMobile) January 21, 2014
@JakeIsMobile Your girls are awesome! Read them my letter back when you can! Thank you for the support! Means a lot! pic.twitter.com/9x5tQQwNbk
— Derrick Coleman Jr (@DC2forlife) January 22, 2014

How could you not ride for a guy like that?

GO HAWKS!

Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman for Nike Flyknit Lunar2

Yesterday in Seattle was incredible. Our Seahawks secured the NFC Championship after an amazing game against the Niners, and are SUPER BOWL BOUND! The energy in this city was (and is still) electrifying. Everyone seems so happy. It's like Christmas all over again! I had a hard time going to bed, and woke up super early still on cloud nine from the game. Although I'm making solid efforts to not be on social media so much, I couldn't help myself from devouring all of my friends' updates and photos of their own 12th Man excitement.

Of course, the whole world seems to be focused on one post-game interview by one Richard Sherman. If you didn't know who he was before last night's game, you definitely do now. We in Seattle know and love our extremely intelligent, quick-witted and calculated cornerback. Rather than add another thinkpiece to the quickly overpopulated pool of opinion on the interview, I just want to kick off the road to the Super Bowl with his latest campaign for Nike. One of my favorite boys and my favorite brand? You know I gots to. RS joins Kobe Bryant and others for Nike's latest iteration of the Flyknit Lunar - the 2.

Richard Sherman-Nike Flyknit Lunar2
Richard Sherman-Nike Flyknit Lunar2
Richard Sherman-Nike Flyknit Lunar2
Richard Sherman-Nike Flyknit Lunar2

Heyyyyy

The commercial:

You can also peep behind the scenes at InsideNikeRunning's YouTube.

In case you couldn't feel it from the rest of this post, the next two weeks will be very Seahawks-heavy on this blog. If there's anything I've learned about the Seahawks, it's that the rest of the country outside of Seattle hates them for reasons they can't even explain. No one knows how amazing this team is outside of our wonderful city - so I'm going to help make it easy for you to see exactly what we see in the days before the Super Bowl. 

GO HAWKS!

Stylish Seahawks Gear by Seattle's Homefield Sporting Co.

For those of you looking for some very stylish and non-corny gear for tomorrow's Seahawks game, head down to Tarboo (608 2nd Ave in Pioneer Square) for a raglan, hoodie or tee by Homefield Sporting Co.! They're open til 6:00p.m. today and 11:00a.m. - 2:00p.m. tomorrow before the game.

Peep my Seahawks Selfie Sunday post for other fun Seahawks gear ideas, and hit me up on Twitter or Instagram if you have any questions on any of said gear. I'm out and about all day and not checking blog comments until tonight!

GO HAWKS!

Thanks Grace Kelly for the heads-up! 

Homefield Sporting Co. on Instagram // Tarboo Inc.

Nike Running Seattle Lands in the University Village

In all of my years of blogging, I don't think I've ever been this excited to attend a media preview as I was last night for the Nike Running store in the University Village. Being a fitness fiend, former NikeTown visual merchandiser and Nike fan 4 Life, the stars aligned and my favorite brand on earth set its sights on Fresh Jess! I could barely hold my shh together all day yesterday in anticipation.

Nike Flash Pack
Nike Flash Pack

To prep us for the highlight of the evening - a 2.5ish mile run through out the University of Washington campus and University Village - Nike sent us the Flash Pack: the iconic Pegasus shoe in Pegasus+ 30 Shield and the waterproof, breathable and extremely reflective Shield Jacket. Seriously - the entire lower panel of the jacket and half the sleeves are purely reflective. Perfect for runs literally anywhere in Seattle, at any time. 

HELLOOOO NIKE RUNNING! YOU'RE PRETTY!

Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle

Nike Running Seattle is the 15th of its kind in the country. Keeping true to the essence of the Northwest, much of the 6303s.f. store is made of recycled or reclaimed materials. Designed to optimize energy efficiency, is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and is anticipating LEED® Gold Certification. It reminds me a lot of what NikeTown looked like when it first opened - carefully edited merchandise intermixed with artifacts of Nike's rich history in running. 

Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle

This store also includes beautiful black & white photography of popular trails in the area. I loved the #WeRunSeattle corner, complete with Run Club lockers and an interchangeable route map and board for upcoming runs and events.

Their Run Club meets every Wednesday night at 6:30p.m. in case you're interested in a group run!

There's a Nike Plus interactive experience holding court in the middle of the store where you can explore the Nike FuelBand and Sport Watch. Runners' services such as digital gait analysis are available, and ladies can receive specialty services such as pant hemming, custom bra fitting and styling. 

Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle

Getting schooled on the new Nike+ FuelBand SE. The SE is a sweet update to the original model, now with the ability to start and stop sessions (so you can track a specific workout, other activity, and most importantly - SLEEP.) You can also get social with it and track the NikeFuel activity of your friends.

ALSO, HAVE YOU SEEN THE ROSE GOLD FUELBAND SE?!? I NEED IT IN MY LIFE LIKE YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW! OMG

Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle

Nike Shield styling with Ashley (The Style Umbrella) and AlixRose

Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle

L: The marathon bib wall, which you can add to with your latest and greatest bibs

C: All of the Flyknits. ALL OF THEM!

R: More gratuitous shoe porn

Strawberry Moon juice
Strawberry Moon juice

Super special shoutout to Strawberry Moon for being our drink of the night. By far the most Glow-worthy beverage I've had at a media event!

The family that NikeFuels together, works hard for those Fuel points together!

Thanks so much Nike for having me!

Nike Running Seattle

is now open in the University Village in the new South garage building complex. Mon - Sat 9:30a.m. - 9:00p.m.; Sunday 11:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. and Wednesday Run Club 6:30p.m.

Nike Running Seattle
Nike Running Seattle

Aces Interview: Jeanine Pesce

The Create + Cultivate Portland event brought a lot of new badasses into my world. My two favorite speakers from the day were Emma McIlroy of Wildfang, and today's Aces interview, Jeanine Pesce.

It's refreshing to know Jeanine Pesce is somewhere out there being awesome. I can tell you right now that the answers you'll read below are so close to how I would answer these questions, it's scary. Kindred spirits indeed! She automatically became one of my favorites at C+C just because she and I were the only ones there wearing Nike FuelBands. I just don't come across sporty West Coast girls with a soft spot for dirty south hip-hop and an affinity for fashion and business to boot. Jeanine left the NYC fashion world for San Francisco and her own business. Range focuses on trend forecasting and daily inspiration for the active, sport and lifestyle markets. It's a perfect fusion of her love for outdoors with a keen sense for bringing the creative eye to sports and active lifestyle marketing. I think what she's doing is super rad and I hope you do too. Enjoy!

What's on your playlist right now?

I love gully rap music more than anything else in the world, I tend to stick to East Coast and Dirty South more than West Coast though. Sorry Pac.

  • Gucci Mane

  • Rick Ross

  • Waka Flocka

  • T.I.

  • Dipset

  • Weezy

  • Meek Mill

  • 2 Chainz

  • A$AP Rocky

  • Biggie

  • Big Pun

  • Three 6 Mafia

In addition to that, I've been pretty much been listening exclusively to records for the last few months, I have a pretty amazing collection of vinyl that I inherited from my parents that just found it's way out of storage and back into my life. It is an interesting mix of Motown, classic rock, movie soundtracks and instrumentals with a touch of '80s bangers. I would say my favorite of the bunch are:

  • Diana Ross

  • Marvin Gaye

  • Al Green

  • Stevie Wonder

  • Prince

  • David Bowie

  • Fleetwood Mac

  • Phil Collins

  • Hall & Oates

  • Neil Young

  • Tom Petty

  • Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd

  • Edith Piaf

Describe your style.

As I get older my style has changed dramatically. It also probably has something to do with the fact that I moved from NYC to California three years ago and have successfully shed most of my fashion-slave layers. If I had to try and nail it down I would describe it as "funky art-aunt goes to the mountain".

You know those ladies that are wearing something super swaggy, but it just looks like a sack? That is how I envision my future self.

I love tent dresses, tunics and rompers and I own more pairs of sport sandals, hiking boots and Birkentsocks than anyone you probably know in real life. I wear tons of performance apparel and natural fibers (like merino) because I am a huge nerd and I obsess over technical materials, plus I am usually outside either camping, hiking, running or getting ready for snow season, so I need clothing that functions and works with the body. I have not totally lost my taste for fashion though, so if I do buy a new piece, I try to make sure it is something timeless like Dries, or a simple basic from A.P.C. or Theory.

Who inspires you?

People that takes chances and strong, independent women. I grew up in a seriously hard-working household and I can only really relate to other people that have a similar work ethic. It is really a double-edge sword for me because I yearn for the freedom associated with being a dreamer, but my genetic makeup is firmly grounded in reality, so "taking a chance" and leaving my career to start my own business for example, wasn't something that came naturally (or easily) to me. I think that is probably why I spend so much time outside. Nature gives me the ability, both literally and figuratively, to get lost in the moment and experience guilt-less bliss. I truly admire the mothers of the world with full-time jobs that weren't willing to sacrifice their dreams of having children for a title and the entrepreneurs that have had the balls to carve out their own path or vision regardless of the outcome.

What are you reading?

Lately, I have been trying to do all my reading off-line, just to give my eyes a little rest from the glowing screen of my computer. I always read New York Times on Sundays with my fiance Cooper, it is a little bit of a tradition for us. We get a coffee and sit around the house passing the sections back and forth. There is something so nice about holding an actual, physical newspaper. Magazines that you will ALWAYS find on my coffee table are -> Kinfolk, Outside Magazine, Frame, Mark, The New Yorker, Sunset Magazine, The Surfers Journal and The Plant (Journal). My guilty pleasure is the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin, I just can't get enough of it and I can always use a little escape from reality.

What are you most excited about in the coming months?

Growing my business and taking on new challenges, wild adventures that involve tents, boards and bikes, and marrying my best friend in front of all the people that I love in the spring.

Thank you Jeanine! Find her at This is Range and JeaninePesce.com.

Read all of my Aces interviews here.

Beast Mode! Marshawn Lynch x Target Tees In Stores Now

While we're savoring every last bit of summer, it's clear to see the signs of fall creeping into the air. Leaves changing, clouds hanging out a bit lower & longer, and my personal favorite - NFL football in full swing! Seahawks fans, check out your nearest Puget Sound area Target for an exclusive Beast Mode tee, designed by the Skittles monsta himself!

Marshawn Lynch for Target Pro Merch
Marshawn Lynch for Target Pro Merch
Marshawn Lynch for Target Pro Merch
Marshawn Lynch for Target Pro Merch

The Pro Merch™ exclusive for Target Marshawn Lynch tees retail for $19.99. There are two different designs each for men & women, and you can cop yours through December (and possibly through the playoffs!) - that is, if they don't sell out before you can get to one.

“For me, it’s all about ‘Beastmode,’ and collaborating with Target has given me the opportunity to bring my hard-nosed, in-your-face playing style, plus my love for the Seattle fans into this new collection.”

Target’s Pro Merch™ exclusive collection partners the retail giant with various NFL players, reflecting their signature styles, distinct personalities, favorite pop culture elements and notable quips, keeping their fans in mind throughout.

Marshawn Lynch for Target_Beast Mode women's tee
Marshawn Lynch for Target_Beast Mode women's tee

GO HAWKS!

Fit & Fresh: Tmber, The Pacific Northwest Hiking Guide

Living in the Pacific Northwest, you can't help but get outdoors and into nature for a good workout. Hiking in the many beautiful trails is one of the most popular outdoor workouts, with a plethora of options just a short drive out of Seattle or Portland. If you've been hiking in this area, you know how hard and time-consuming it can be to find a good trail. State and national park sites are text-heavy and hard to navigate, and most other trail-finding sites are just plain boring and uninformative. 

Enter the hiking guide & community for the digital natives. Hey Tmber!

Tmber caught my eye when they started following me on Twitter. A few weeks later, my boyfriend wanted to try a new trail with some water, scenery and challenge but that wasn't too far away from Seattle. I went to Tmber to peruse some routes and immediately fell in love.

Tmber is centered around making your entire hiking experience enjoyable and not a complete mystery. They know over 63% of the 2.7 million people who hike in the Pacific Northwest research routes online before heading out into the wilderness, and they've created a site and community that answers all the questions you might have (source.) Most sites will tell you how long, how far away and how challenging a trail is, but Tmber will also tell you if that trail is good for kids, what to pack, the nearest place to get some fuel after the hike (both for your body & your vehicle) and what to expect.

The absolute clincher for me was the fact they've got short, 90-second videos of their people hiking specific routes, and describing their experience along the way. Peep the one on Franklin Falls - that's the one we chose. So simple, yet so incredibly helpful! Now I won't feel like I'm wandering lost into the wilderness next time I want to try a new route.

Peep Tmber's site, but check out their fun Pinterest too. Tons of helpful resources for hikers everywhere.

How are you getting fit & fresh this summer? Any favorite trails you like to hike - in the Pacific Northwest or beyond?

The Renaissance Man (Contributor Post!)

*Once a week, you'll hear from one of my amazing team of contributors. This week, I'm delighted to introduce you to Titus Kimbowa! Peep Titus' bio at the end of this post. Looking forward to Titus' perspective on entrepreneurism, business, music and life in general. Enjoy!

--------

Last week, I read somewhere on Twitter that Jay-Z was selling his stake in the Brooklyn Nets to become a sports agent. I was surprised, to say the least. Where does opportunity lay within the sports agency arena? For the next few days I pondered on why he’d make such an unconventional move.

Looking at all of Jay-Z’s past moves, from starting Roc-A-Fella to selling Roc-A-Wear, there’s something they all have in common: he actually never “leaves.” He’s still reaping benefits on every deal he’s made since leaving the drug game. He only uses each milestone to build onto another.

Diversifying the hustle per se.

Image via Book of Hov

Let’s look at the current move and see how much opportunity lies ahead. Jay-Z has created a brand in which everything he touches turns gold. He has a reach that is respected at every level. He was able to create a lot of buzz and support for the Brooklyn Nets - this is how he was able to get an ownership stake in the Nets at a discount rate. Being part-owner made it easier for the Nets to not only move to Brooklyn, but also gain New York’s support of the team. This is Jay-Z’s main role. He’s the face of an organization in midst of transition.

Selling his stake in the Brooklyn Nets and becoming a sports agent gives Jay-Z a new opportunity to use his brand in the sports arena. Using his ownership of the Brooklyn Nets as a stepping stone, Jay-Z’s out to challenge the likes of David Falk and Bill Duffy. Jay’s popularity and brand puts pressure on David and Bill’s business strategy. I’m interested to see how they’ll react to the new competition.

Growing up, many sports figures listened to Jay-Z’s music and many can connect to his story. Having him as their agent will give them access to him at a clock’s tick. I can already see a lot of young, up-and-coming athletes signing on to Jay-Z’s agency. You could look at Jay-Z’s relationship with Lebron James (among other professional athletes) as a catalyst for this move as well. Lebron is one of the top paid athletes in the NBA. If he is able to have Jay-Z represent him, this will keep the money within the clique (cue Jay-Z’s verse on“Clique”)

There’s a lot that Jay can do with the new venture and I’m particularly interested to see how this pans out. You never know, he’s known to move in silence.

-------

Titus Kimbowa is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.

Find Titus on Twitter.

30Fresh30 days of posts celebrating 30 years - and 5 of Fresh Jess!

Interview: Kasey Kahne at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

90% of the time, I am categorized as a fashion blogger. I'm fine with it, since most of my posts have something to do with style, but I consider myself a lifestyle blogger. There are so many amazing people and things about the Pacific Northwest, and I want to share those insights with you whenever I can.

Kasey Kahne is one of those people. I had the opportunity to interview the professional race car driver, who grew up south of Seattle in Enumclaw, last week as he was prepping for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. I used to live not far from the Seattle International Raceway (SIR) and heard about Kasey way back when. Admittedly, I don't know much about NASCAR or the world of race car driving, but I know that Kasey has made a name for himself since his Enumclaw days. I'm always down to learn about a culture that captivates so many, and I was curious to see what Kasey's been up to lately. My interview is the first of a series of NASCAR-related blog posts. Enjoy my conversation with Kasey Kahne!

2012 Charlotte May NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race

FJ: How did you get into professional race car driving?

KK: I started when I lived in Enumclaw. My dad worked on sprint cars and I went with him to the Skagit Races. I guess I've always wanted to drive; I got my first race car at 14 and started working on sprint cars & dirt cars from there. I've had a lot of great opportunities and just drove in the right races, at the right times with the right people watching.

FJ: What (or who) inspired you to pursue your dreams?

KK: I've always been motivated from my passion for racing, since I was young. That was all that was on my mind growing up. I always want to be better, to excel, and grow.

2012 Las Vegas March NSCS Practic

FJ: You created the Kasey Kahne Foundation* to give back to disadvantaged youth & chronically ill children. Do you have any specific KKF kids or events that have especially touched you?

KK: There's definitely been a lot of moments over the years where you meet different kids. We've done events at children's hospitals and had Make-a-Wish Foundation kids come out to the races. Those moments make you think about things. It's awesome to spend time with them. We try to come up with different events and do fun things to bring smiles to their faces. It gives them an opportunity to do things they don't normally get to do. Our 5Kahne (annual) race is coming up in Charlotte this Sunday. It's a 3.1mi run surrounding NASCAR Hall of Fame.

*In 2006, Kasey was appointed by President Bush to serve as a member of the President's Council on Service & Civic Participation. (Go, Kasey!) Through that, he strives to bring awareness to the importance of volunteering & giving back to the community.

The Kasey Kahne Foundation has raised & donated funds for: Ronald McDonald House; Make-a-Wish; NC Stem; Cornerstone Schools in Detroit, MI; Victory Junction; The Red Cross; Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund; Lilly School; & The Charlotte Bobcats Foundation.  

2012 Martinsville March NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

FJ: What are your thoughts on social media? (Which sites are you/your team active on? Do you like any one more than others?)

KK: I have a team, but I do my own Twitter. I have a lot of cool race fans that follow it. It's fun, because they can see some things they wouldn't normally see or hear about. What my sprint car team is doing, how the races are going.

FJ: What do you see for the future of racing? (or what would you like to see?)

KK: I'm in a great spot right now. We have great sponsors and partners. I've been racing for a long time now. I feel like I need to just win races and contend for championships. I'm ready for that stuff and to be a part of it. It allows my three sprint car teams and two World of Outlaws teams the opportunity to win races and championships themselves.

2012 New Hampshire July NASCAR Sprint Cup Victory Lane

FJ: Do you make it back to the Pacific Northwest often?

KK: I make it back about once a year, when I can. It's tough because you don't get to see friends you grew up with as much. They all started having kids and stopped coming to the races! It's nice to be home to hang out and see everyone.

Thanks, Kasey!

All photos credit Getty Images

touchdown animals

originally i was just going to post this because i thought it was cute that seahawks players were posing with rescued animals in the Pasado's Safe Haven Pro-Compassion Calendar. then i read the story of Pasado and how he inspired Susan Michaels to do her part in making sure animal cruelty is eliminated in washington state and i really had to cry.

visit pasado's safe haven to order your Pro-Compassion Calendar - but make sure you also read Pasado's story while you're there. it'll break your heart to know how many dbags are out there doing despicable things to animals. you'll also find out how you can help Pasado's Safe Haven's cause!

and just because:

lofa.jpg

kevin calabro's #1

this article is just fantastic:

seattle p-i.com: 'Voice of the Sonics,' Calabro jumps off magic carpet ride

i've been reading lots of reader comments on news articles and blogs since news broke a week ago that our beloved sonics are leaving us. what i really like about this article is kc's true honesty - he holds nothing back about how he feels, and that's what makes him such a treasure. i know you hear "good golly miss molly, my oh my" in your head right now...just nod and smile :)

what i don't like is how the guise of the internet brings out the severely unclassy. this is not just about the anti-sonics haters, i mean haters in general. lots of them come out of the woodwork long enough to say "good riddance sonics, now take the M's and the seahawks with you" or "the sonics never meant anything anyway." everybody's got their own opinion, i understand that, but ignorance just gets to me sometimes. you know what, this situation sucks, yes. we lost a pro sports franchise and there are many options at which/who to point the blame to. but what makes some people so mad about the sonics that they're so happy to see them leave? what is it about this NBA franchise that's making your life so miserable it inspires you to leave nasty comments on the internets? i'm sorry, are you one of the many employees who now have to make the choice to move to the armpit of america (OKC), or look for another job? are you one of the children or part of one of the families who were helped out by one of the sonics/storm's many community outreach programs? what people don't stop to think about are the ramifications of a major employer leaving the city, the neighborhood effects of losing a major tenant at key arena, etc. - because it's so much easier to complain, bitch & moan about how much you hate something right?

you can hate all you want, but you can't deny that the sonics are a piece of the pie that makes seattle such a great place to live - and losing them will definitely have an effect. think about that!

p.s. thanks for keeping it classy calabro

YAYER

courtesy globeandmail.com

GSP! GSP! GSP!

georges st. pierre is not only fine, he also happens to be the new (and rightful) UFC welterweight champion and hands down one of the fittest athletes in the world. most UFC fighters are really good in one or two aspects of mixed martial arts. GSP is not the best at any particular thing, but he is pretty damn good at almost freakin everything. he is perfect what can i say? he was totally worth moving my birthday party up a week from my real birthday just so i could have a fight party :)