I had a talk with my niece as we waited for church services to start yesterday and what she said really disturbed me.

“Those people are so fake,” she said, “Why should I go into work and speak to them when I have work to do?”

I totally understood how she felt. But I also know, now, how the game is played. Fake is relative in the corporate world. I also found that Corporate America isn’t all that different from the streets. When it comes down to it you have to keep your word, be on time, take no shorts and demand your respect.

4 Simple Truths About Getting Ahead in Corporate America

Pretty simply, when I learned that navigating the corporate structure was more about relationships than anything else, it became so much easier to get ahead.

That’s what I told my niece and I also shared a few other things with her. I thought I’d share them with you, too. Maybe it will help you out as well.

  1. Don’t judge them, you may be doing the same thing they are. Remember how my niece said the other people in her office were fake? Well, maybe they were, but if we’re really honest with ourselves we can all be a bit fake sometimes. That’s why we should cut the other people a break. You know, they just may be intimidated by someone who is so smart, talented and focused.

  2. Find one thing you have in common with each person at the office. I know it can be hard, but being good at your job isn’t the only thing you need to do to get ahead. You also need to develop what are called “people skills” or “faking skills” as my niece would probably say. To do that, I found one thing I have in common with each person I have to work with. In fact, that was the first thing I did when I started my new job. With Tim I talk about my love for the Philadelphia Eagles, with Victoria I always ask her about her kids and her husband.

  3. Keep the conversation short, but friendly. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out conversation. Just spend a few minutes listening and then exit the conversation by saying, “I’ll chat with you again soon.” Or “You’ll have to tell me more about that a bit later. I have to get to that meeting.”

  4. Use key phrases at the start to get out fast. If you’re really in a rush for time start the conversation by saying, “I have a few minutes before my meeting starts, but I wanted to ask you about your kids. How are they doing?” Or “I’ve got to make a call in two minutes, but did you see the game last night?” It only takes a few minutes to make that connection and then you can get out of the conversation by taking a quick look at your watch and saying, “Wouldn’t you know it’s time for that meeting. I’d love to stay, but I’d better run if I don’t want to be late.”

I do hope this helps you to deal with the so-called “fake” people you may be running into at work. Developing these skills can sometimes be more important than your core job function. People really want to feel like they’re treasured and they look for that at work as well.

You can still get your job done and rise up the ladder of success, just remember that effectively dealing with people – especially co-workers – is a major part of landing your dream job.

And to my niece, I understand where you are right now. Things will change. “They” may not accept you, but accept yourself and watch for new opportunities on the horizon.



Source by Lisa D. Sparks

I have proven to myself, most prayerfully, that the Philadelphia Church of God is the most unique of all the groups who've distanced themselves from the Worldwide Church of God's devious doctrinal changes. Only Malachi's Message clearly speaks with AUTHORITY and not "like the scribes" (Matt. 7:29). I've listened carefully to the Voice of the Shepherd, hearing what the Spirit says to God's Church today, checking out everything with the Bible and what Mr. Armstrong faithfully taught us (John 10: 3; Rev. 3:22; 2 Thess. 2:15).

Of course, there are those who claim to follow the traditions we've been schooled in, yet they've refused to humble themselves and submit to the fact that JESUS ​​CHRIST had already moved HIS LAMPSTAND by the time they finally saw the light! All that was necessary for them to do was to go where Christ had already gone, and support HIS WORK of knocking the errors in the Worldwide Church of God, while holding on for dear life to God's truth! We either GET A GRIP – or we lose it! (Rev. 3:11).

Instead of working with Christ, some have chosen to do their own thing, contributing to the Church's state of confusion, rather than helping to RESTORE ORDER (1 Cor. 14:33). Why duplicate efforts, wasting precious time and money? Why not join ranks with the PCG so we can present a UNITED FRONT to an increasingly divided world? This would enable us to effectively share with others the message GOD would have them to hear (John 12:49). We bought to come together, in Christ, especially since we've all been heard repetely: "There is only one Church. CHURCH "( Mystery of the Ages, pg. 243).

Whether we like it or not, God, in His infinite wisdom, chose Gerald Flurry to reveal to God's Church what was going on – and thereby allow us to show our true colors by how we responded to Malachi's Message. (That does not mean Mr. Flurry is infallible or that he does not need to continuously apply the principles of Malachi's Message to himself and organization, as we all do as explained in my article "Worldwide All Over Again?").

Restored to Zion!

If I'm so convinced that Christ is only with the PCG, and that the others are self-murdered, for the most part, resisting God's lead, why do not I attend their services? (Matt. 7:21; 1 Sam. 15:23). And how can I believe that God is actively working through me in the Middle East? Because I've unjustly been disfellowshipped (2 Thess. 3: 2), yet I remain loyal to God's truth they teach!

It's BEWILDERING to see an organization that apparently started out so good and strong and correcte degenerate into a personality CULT that rules through intimidation and fear and borders emperor worship! Yet they have more truth in many regards than the others, just like Herbert W. Armstrong saw Sardis (Church of God, 7th Day) did, however impotent. Strange but true! Perhaps it's like Saul was still the anointed until he was punished by death for his sins and then David reigned …..

When Gerald Flurry was not anything in his own sight or mind God used him and now, unfortunately, it seems to have gone to his head, all the new revelation (and simply that he understands that of all things), and he forgives that all truth is from and belongs to GOD and that God can use a donkey to deliver it! (1 Cor. 4: 7). Gerald Flurry has become so swollen in his own imagination that he fails to see that he is the leader of LAODICEA! He knows what warning God is giving the Laodiceans, of which he is chief! He had better heed his own words!

Under Herbert Armstrong Pasadena, California was the headquarters of the Philadelphia era of God's Church; now Edmond, Oklahoma is the headquarters of the Laodicean era, and next in God's plan is the restoration of His headquarters to Jerusalem!

God knows my attitude and actions still support the work God's given them to do, but I really believe what Gerald Flurry teachers: their work's almost finished! It'll just slightly overlap the beginning of GOD'S FINAL WORK as outlined in my book, Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall (John 3:30). Minister Dennis Leap wickedly disfellowshipped me for believing that GOD has ORDAINED that I should promote its timeless truth (Isa. 61: 1), even though I'm not from the "school of the prophets" (Ambassador College), or going about it in the "conventional" way (1 Sam. 17:39).

I've come to better understand that God has already begun the transitional process of RESTORING His Menorah – His Lampstand to JERUSALEM! (1 Kgs. 11:36; Amos 9:11). As prophesied, a NATIONAL MESSENGER will be on active duty in Jerusalem, preparing the way for Messiah's imminent return (Zech 12: 8). God reveals He would send this outspoken individual to deliver a BLISTERING MESSAGE and a SCORCHING CONDEMNATION to the NATIONS – just before NUCLEAR FIRE AND BRIMSTONE RAINS DOWN from those who've returned GOD'S ULTIMATUM! (Isa. 41:27; 30:27; Micah 3: 8).

It's from Jerusalem that we must warn another HOLOCAUST is coming! That's the sensitive location where God will spark a NATIONAL DEBATE and ignite an INTERNATIONAL CONTROVERSY! (Micah 6: 1-2). It'll shock the Jews and anger the Germans! It'll unduly offend many holocaust survivors who now live in Israel, but they bought to understand and lend their voices of experience to ours, having personally witnesses GERMANY'S BRUTE FORCE, to help our efforts to ensure "Never Again!"

Regardless, we can expect a maelstrom of protest and a bitter backlash – but such persecution will only fan the flames of this BURNING ISSUE! (Isa 54: 15-16). Both Germany and Israel (for their own reasons), will want to immediately stop such "incitement" – calling it fear-mongering and racist – but they'll fail and God's Word will prevail (Jer 1:19).

God must grant "political immunity" to His Two Witnesses , so they can be free to boldly say and do all that he commands, even though the world will regard them as public enemy number one! (Ps. 105: 15; Rev. 11:10). Undeterred, they'll carry on God's work and serve as His official government spokesmen, even in the hostile face of fiercely opposition (Jer. 1: 8). But I'm getting ahead of myself. This is all related in Beyond Babylon, but let's go back to the beginning – of the true Philadelphia era ….

Experiences of Mr. Armstrong

In the words of Mr. Armstrong, referring to his dealings with certain Sardis ministers, "I Shall Not Hide the FACTS!" ( Autobiography of HWA, Vol. 1, pg. 366). However, lest I be misunderstood, I've been most hesitant to say or write anything about my experiences with certain professing Philadelphia pilots, but I feel compelled by GOD to state the truth, without fearing men's reactions, but trusting in God's PURPOSE!

Mr. Armstrong relates how he had presented a "dual test" to the Church of God, Seventh Day, to help him determine whether or not it was really the Church of God. His first test involved mailing an "exposition of 16 TYPEWRITTEN PAGES providing clearly, plainly, and beyond contradiction that a certain minor point of doctrine … was in error … to see whether their leaders would confess error and change." Their leader acknowledged what Mr. Armstrong pointed out was true, but feared it might upset many of the members and even threaten to divide the Church! "Naturally, this looks my confidence considerably." ( Autobiography of HWA, Vol. 1, pgs. 360-361, emphasis mine).

I, too, detected "a certain minor point of doctrine" taught by Dennis Leap (on the 144,000), was in error. I did not want to rock the boat, and it was not something I'd lose sleep over, so I wanted to just ignore or overlook the matter, but God would not let me! Amazingly, a dear friend asked me about the 144,000 out of the blue, and then somehow it came up again with someone else; so God succeeded in getting my attention to write Dennis Leap about it. I sent him my PAGE AND 1/2 LETTER, reproduced here – and did not hear anything.

Finally, around my third try (I do not give up easily!), Dennis Leap discussed it with me on the phone. When I mentioned that the Scriptures clearly state that once you've broken your "seal" you've lost your salvation, and to claim we can somehow be "resealed" amounts to crucifying Christ twice, Dennis Leap stammered around, unable to justify his position, but retained determined to stick with it – to my sorrow. Like Herbert W. Armstrong's experience, "Naturally, this looks my confidence considerably."

Church Rejects New Truth

God used an evangelist in Florida to challenge Mr. Armstrong. He had written Mr. Armstrong and told him he was ignorant if he did not know where we are mentioned in the Bible. After gleaning through the surprising amount of information on the subject in the library, Mr. Armstrong PROVED that the so-called "Lost 10 Tribes" are, in fact, the American, British and Northwest European peoples. He then sent the "lengthy manuscript of close to 300 TYPED PAGES" that he had written to support this truth to the editor and leader of the Church. "Did this Church accept and proclaim this vital new truth … But this Church refused then to accept it or preach it or publish it though their leader frankly confused it was TRUTH and a revelation from GOD! Yet here was the Church which appeared to have more truth, and less error than any other … Truly this was bewildering! " (Pg. 362) …

Philadelphia Church of God Leads Laodicean Era (Conclusion)



Source by David Ben-Ariel

Visualizing Density By Julie Campoli and Alex S. MacLean, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 113 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, ISBN 1-55844171-9 , 978-1-55844-171-2, $39.95, 160 Pages, 2007

Planners and designers must make room in their reference library for this engaging new book that explores land density in the United States. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a think tank, in conjunction with the authors, Julie Campoli whose focus is landscape change, sprawl, and density and Alex MacLean, an aerial photographer, have produced an authoritative book for both professionals and the layperson. Green building and design is more than a trend and this in-depth book outlines the current density problem and as well as offers solutions to uninspired sprawl and urban housing concentrations that strain infrastructure and residents.

Content covers: Growing Closer: The Count, The Coming Boom, Spreading Out or Growing In, Crosscurrents, The Benefits, Why We Hate Density, How We Can Love Density and Patterns of Density: Planning for Density, Designing for Density The Density Catalog features aerial photos of density of Less Than 1 Unit Per Acre to More Than 200 Units Per Acre . Additional features include a forward, references, acknowledgements, about the authors and background information about the Lincoln Land Institute. Also included is a handy CD-Rom for educational use.

The aerial photography tells a compelling story of how many cities and suburbs can learn and visualize density patterns, which Mr. MacLean does in a impressive way, with crisp, clean and interesting photographs. Highly recommended for urban, suburban and ex-urban planners, designers, city and village administrators, smart growth advocates and residents of areas around the country looking for a birds-eye-view of their community.



Source by Mark Nash

In the last 10 years, various services to assist sellers in the marketing and sale of their properties have grown, leading many to question whether they still need to hire a real estate agent. The Internet greatly expanded access to listings, and provided sellers with avenues to sell outside the traditional path. Commissions typically run to 6% of the home’s purchase price, and many sellers wonder if the investment in a full service agent is worth it. Before you decide that 6% is just too steep an investment, consider what it is that an agent actually does.

ACCESS, ACCESS, ACCESS

Whether on the buying side or the selling side, an agent gives you ready access to available listings. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the service used by agents nationwide to list properties, giving other agents with interested buyers all the details about the home they may need. Sellers will want their home on the MLS, as it is the primary place buying agents look to find prospective properties for their clients.

CONVENIENCE IS KEY

Hiring an agent to represent your property is much more convenient than trying to market and sell a property on your own. For starters, the phone calls alone can be overwhelming! The moment a home hits the market, agents and interested buyers are calling, trying to schedule viewings and ask questions about the particulars of the property. Sometimes these prospective buyers show up, but then again, sometimes they do not. Having an agent to field the phone calls and handle the many inquiries about the home is very convenient, especially for those with a busy and active lifestyle.

NEGOTIATING EXPERIENCE

Whether it is a “buyer’s market” or a “seller’s market,” agents need good negotiation skills. Prospective buyers may want to offer less than asking price on a property, and a good agent will guide them in deciding on the right figure. Sellers want the most they can get for their property, and a good agent will guide them on how to handle offers that come in for less than the asking price. In addition to negotiating the sale price, there is also the matter of negotiating concessions on closing costs, any adverse inspection findings, and more. Since most people don’t regularly negotiate transactions of this size and complexity, it’s easy to see why an agent is good to have.

WRITING THE CONTRACT

Sure, there is a uniform real estate contract that most buyers use when putting together an offer. It may look very “fill in the blank” — and it is — but what’s so important is what gets put in the blank! A savvy agent will make sure that the timelines and contingencies are in place, so as to protect a prospective purchase or sale.

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

Using a professional agent increases the odds that the transaction will proceed with all parties representing themselves and the property honestly. Professional agents are required to observe a fiduciary relationship with their clients, which means that, by law, they must work in their client’s best interest. Whether buying or selling a property, it’s good to know you have a professional on your side.

THE BOTTOM LINE

For most people with an active and busy lifestyle, an agent is a wise choice. Not only will they handle the big stuff, like assisting on pricing, marketing, and other necessities of listing, but they’ll handle the small stuff, like those endless phone calls and letting in prospective buyers on short notice. Agents bring professionalism and experience to one of the most significant financial transactions you’ll ever make.



Source by Brad Stanton

It’s safe to say that the mortgage market in America is not only in recession but has downright collapsed. Today, it has become exceedingly difficult for a homeowner to land a mortgage. Furthermore, real estate investors are having even more difficulty finding traditional mortgages. That leaves only one real option: private lenders. Now the question is how does a real estate investor find one of these private lenders? Isn’t it difficult to qualify lenders? You may think it’s difficult to find any resources, let alone qualified ones.    

One of the best ways to go about finding real estate lending possibilities is by writing and delivering an elevator speech. You can keep this elevator speech with you at all times, always read to deliver a knock-out presentation at anytime of day. (Thus the expression, a short speech that could be delivered in a 30 second elevator ride) An elevator speech, also called an elevator pitch, is the overview for your lending prospect. 

Remember that the elevator speech will often be the sole criteria upon which your idea is judged by venture capitalists and independent lenders. The person listening to the pitch will listen carefully and will judge your project based on the quality of the presentation. When you write an elevator speech for the first time, try and answer some very basic questions such as: what the offer is, what benefits it brings, who you are, and why you’re qualified to handle this project. Most elevator speeches come in at about 150-300 words, or 30-60 seconds.

It will help to try and coin your own catch phrase, as this is a pitch sentence that can easily be remembered hours after the conversation ends. Make sure your opening lines are intriguing and quickly involve your subject. Try and think up statements that provoke questions, because ideally, the more a person asks you the more interested he or she is in your business. 

You are involved in an aspect of marketing. How unforgivable it would be if you approached a golden opportunity with a quality investor and yet had no great marketing ideas to share! So avoid boring details and instead write a pitch that provokes questions and pushes sales. You can’t take an old school approach and focus solely on yourself and how great your abilities are. You have to write a speech that addresses the needs of your prospect.

Now that you’ve written the speech, polish it into a professional pitch by practicing it aloud. Memorize it, but also know the material well enough that you could extemporize if asked to provide further details. It may help to practice the speech in front of a mirror or record your voice on tape so you can make adjustments if necessary.

Now be ready to deliver your speech to your entire network of contacts. Even if one person isn’t interested, they may know of someone else who would be. Don’t be afraid to give the speech to whoever is a valued contact. It’s all about networking, even in this age of recession.  



Source by Mike Lautensack

Real estate depreciation offers substantial opportunity for increasing tax deductions . Most depreciation schedules are established by simply separating land and long-life improvements. This simple approach is lawful but severely understates legal depreciation. About 20-40% of improvements for most properties are short-life items. Short life items can be depreciated over 5, 7, or 15 years. There are about 130 short-life items that have been determined by legislation, tax court decisions and IRS rulings.

Real estate depreciation can typically be increased by 50-100% for the first 5-7 years of ownership by obtaining a cost segregation study. A cost segregation study precisely values ​​up to 130 components of real estate that can be valued as short-life property.

By obtaining a cost segregation study, it is possible to obtain a windfall of tax deductions by "catching-up" previously under-reported depreciation. This one-time "catch-up" can occur in the first tax return filed after the cost segregation study is performed without filing any amended tax returns.

Reviewing fixed asset listings (of business personal property) can generate a meaningful amount of tax deductions. They often include items that should have been estimated, which have been sold or thrown away or which have an excess depreciation life. Items that should have been estimated include operating expenses (sometimes included by error) and maintenance or repairs (which was necessary but did not increase the life of the assets or component). Section 179 allows business to use up to $ 108,000 of 2006 capital expenditures as tax deductions. Confirm you are not capitalizing assets that could be claimed as a tax deduction.

Casualty losses also offer opportunity for tax deductions. For a casualty loss, you can deduct: 1) the market value immediately before the casualty less 2) the market value immediately after the casualty less the amount covered by insurance. The portion that is not intuitive is: the market value after the casualty is much less than the value before plus the cost to renovate. Other factors which can and should be considered for tax deductions are: lost rent / usage, stigma (in some cases), construction management, construction risks, and entrepreneurial effort.

Bad debts are a subject matter. Judgment is required to accurately estimate the amount that should be claimed as a tax deduction. If bad debts have not been carefully examined for several years, they may offer a meaningful tax deduction opportunity. (This applies to companies who utilize accrual accounting. Companies who use cash accounting can not claim a tax deduction for bad debt since they never recognized the revenue.)

Do well by doing good. You reduce taxes in several ways when making charitable contributions. For example, you purchased land 10 years ago for $ 200,000, and it is now worth $ 1,000,000. However, you now realize you will never use the land for the intended purpose. You can donate the land to a qualified charitable organization and take a tax deduction for $ 1,000,000. However, you do not have to pay capital gains taxes on the appreciation.

Tax deductions sometimes seem arcane and complicated. However, a knowledgeable team of advisors from several fields can reduce your federal income taxes. The complexity of the tax code makes it difficult for any one personal to be knowledgeable in all areas.

Cost segregation produces tax revenues and reduces federal income taxes across the country and in every size market. Below are just a few examples of cities where cost segregation generates meaningful tax deductions.

City:

  • New York, NY
  • Houston, TX
  • Hartford, CT
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Memphis, TN
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Bridgeport, CT
  • Worcester, MA
  • Akron, OH
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Portland, OR
  • Scranton, PA
  • Greenville, SC
  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Madison, WI
  • Chicago, IL
  • Fresno, CA
  • Riverside, CA
  • Albany, NY
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Augusta, GA
  • Honolulu, HI

Cost segregation produces tax deductions for all all property types, including the following:

Property Type:

  • Medical facility
  • Shopping mall
  • Restaurant
  • Country club
  • Fast food restaurant
  • Power center
  • Hotel
  • Car wash facility
  • Convenience store
  • Health spa

Almost every industry, including the following, can generate cost-efficient tax deductions by using cost segregation.

Industry:

  • Golf courses and country clubs
  • Transportation equipment manufacturing
  • Electrical component manufacturing
  • Real estate lesser
  • Apparel manufacturing
  • Wood product manufacturing
  • Plastic and rubber products manufacturing
  • Furniture stores
  • Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing
  • Building supply dealers

Tax reduction services include federal income taxes, state income taxes and property taxes. We do not prepare income tax returns. Instead, our advisors review your circumstances and suggest cost effective options to legally reduce your income tax liability. 5. O'Connor & Associates is a national provider of commercial real estate consulting services including cost segregation studies, tax reduction, feasibility studies, tax return review, apartment inspections. O'connor associates services includes business valuation tax deduction, due diligence, income tax, tax reduction, property tax, feasibility studies, real estate consulting, market research, Denton Central Appraisal District, Tips and Tricks for Applying Your Property Taxes in Collin, Collin county appraisal, Federal tax reduction



Source by Patrick C O'connor

Making the decision to purchase a home is one which should never be taken lightly. Not only could purchasing the wrong home in the wrong area end up being a costly mistake; having to live in an undesirable neighborhood could make everyday life extremely unpleasant and inconvenient overall. There are currently a few up and coming Philadelphia area real estate markets that should be considered by anyone who is keen on buying a home there.

Devon

With the average median income being more than $140,000 a year, the cost of living may be somewhat higher here than in many other parts of Philadelphia. However, residents enjoy the fact that Devon is in fact one of the safest areas of the city to live in as well. Numerous top-class amenities abound as well, making this area extremely convenient and accessible to live in, while attractions such as the Valley Forge National Park, the Annual Devon Horse Show and an extensive variety of historical sites mean that residents are always kept entertained. Property prices can also be quite high here, ranging from around $500,000 to more than $1,000,000.

Flourtown

If you’re eager to start a family or already have a family, but would like your kids to grow up away from the hustle and bustle of living right in the city, then this is certainly the ideal place to purchase a home. Although there may be quite a long commute if you are going to be working in the heart of the city, being able to benefit from extremely low crime rates along with some of the best schools and wide range of amenities in the Philadelphia area make this a much sought-after area for you and your family to settle in. House prices here can range anywhere between the $300,000 and $700,000 mark.

Fort Washington

Although the cost of living may be considered as being quite high in this neighborhood, it is one which comes highly recommended by the Philadelphia area real estate community for a few reasons. Residents are not only able to benefit from a wide variety of amenities that are in close proximity as well as right in the area; the neighborhood also boasts some of the best private as well as public schools in the city, making Fort Washington an ideal place to raise your family. House pricing can be relatively high in this area though, with many of them starting off at more than $500,000 and going to well over the $3,500,000 mark in some cases.

If you are keen to find out more about the above mentioned areas, a Philadelphia area real estate expert will be the right person to speak with. He or she will provide you with any information you require regarding the availability of amenities you require, how safe the area is for your children and any other information you may need to help make your final decision of where to purchase a home as quick and easy as possible.



Source by Scott Li

Dallas Cowboys:

After decades of being poster children for drug abuse, Dallas was working towards cleaning itself up so it was surprising when they drafted LB Randy Gregory. Gregory cost himself a mint by either being too hooked on weed or too stupid to not smoke weed DURING the NFL Combine. Either way, if Dallas can smack some smarts into the man, getting him with the 60th pick is a bonafide steal. Other big moves include grabbing G La’el Collins after he went undrafted due to the Baton Rouge police wanting to interview him in the murder investigation of his girlfriend. He is not currently a suspect and if he is completely exonerated, this is THE massive steal of 2015 and could be a landmark steal. The remainder of the draft focused on adding more depth to their massive offensive line and shoring up their defense. CB Bryon Jones should be an impact player for them this year. They also added lightning rod DE Greg Hardy in free agency. He will be suspended until week 12, but will be a boost for their defense down the stretch and into the playoffs.

On offense, the biggest story is letting DeMarco Murray go and only adding Darren McFadden to replace him. I truly do not know why they didn’t go after Zac Stacy. He seems like a good fit behind their line and was dirt cheap. Anywhoo, McFadden is made of cupcakes and will be fool’s gold this year. If this unit stays intact, you will want RB Joseph Randle on your team.

Fantasy starters: QB Tony Romo, WR Dez Bryant

Fantasy bench: RB Darren McFadden, WR Terrance Williams, TE Jason Williams, Dallas D/ST

Fantasy Sleeper: RB Joseph Randle

Philadelphia Eagles:

I have no idea where to start with this team. Talk about turnover! Goodbye to QB Nick Foles, RB LeSean McCoy and WR Jeremy Maclin and Hello to QB Sam Bradford and RBs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews. Bradford appears to be as fragile as they come but that running back tandem is the best in the league if Mathews can stay healthy himself. The Eagles replaced Maclin with a better receiver at a much lower cost when they drafted Nelson Agholor from USC in the first round. He will light up the return game and provide a very nice compliment to WR Jordan Matthews. He runs a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash, has excellent hands and is a good route-runner.

On defense, the Eagles acquired Kiko Alonso from Buffalo for McCoy. This brings Alonso back under his former college coach. He will definitely help stuff the run if he returns to form following his missed 2014 campaign due to an ACL tear (never a good thing for a space eater). The other key component addressed in this year’s draft by Philly was to work on their leaky secondary. They did in triplicate by drafting S Eric Rowe from Utah in the 2nd round and CBs JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans in the 6th round; one from each Big 12 Kansas school. However, there is a good chance that this draft will be remembered in Philly for what Chip Kelly reportedly offered up to get Marcus Mariota. It seems like FAR too much, but even a player or two or a pick or two less seems like too much. If Bradford stays healthy, this team is playoff-bound and the trade offer will be forgotten. Oh yeah, the Eagles signed Tim Tebow as well!

Fantasy starters: RB DeMarco Murray, WR Jordan Matthews, Philly D

Fantasy bench: QB Sam Bradford, RB Ryan Mathews, WR Riley Cooper, TE Zach Ertz

Fantasy Sleeper: WR Nelson Agholor

New York Giants:

The biggest addition for the Giants this season is getting WR Victor Cruz back. If he returns to form, he and WR Odell Beckam Jr are a receiving duo that can make QB Eli Manning appear like a competent NFL QB (see David Tyree ). Other than that, their defense is not good and getting older and their running game is a mess. With only six picks in the draft this year, they could not address all areas of need. They did pick up DE George Selvie in free agency. He has one good year out of his seven though and figures not to provide much help to Jason Pierre-Paul.

They drafted OT Ereck Flowers from Miami in hopes of providing some run blocking to get that unit to perform this year. They are banking on RB Rashad Jennings staying healthy and earning the contract he signed last year. Andre Williams proved serviceable in his absence but wasn’t overly impressive. They added PPR stud Shane Vereen from New England to add a dimension sorely lacking in their backfield. Drafting S Landon Collins in the 2nd round from Alabama was a good move because they are woefully devoid of talent in the secondary and Collins is better than anything else that they have in uniform. They added another safety in the 5th round in Mykkele Thompson from Texas. Nice additions but not near enough to cover deficiencies on DL and LB.

Fantasy starters: WR Odell Beckham Jr, WR Victor Cruz

Fantasy bench: QB Eli Manning, RB Rashard Jennings, RB Shane Vereen, TE Larry Donnell

Fantasy Sleeper: None come to mind

Washington Redskins:

The Redskins didn’t do anything flashy in the off-season other than signing DT Stephen Paea, who had his best year in Chicago last season, and DB Dashon Goldson after 2 disappointing seasons in TB. They added no one else of note through free agency but they did draft individual pieces that will help the team overall (it did need help at all spots). They know they need to run to ball to be successful and Alfred Morris has not really dazzled so they decided to draft OT Brandon Scherff from Iowa in the 1st round to help open holes immediately and expect 5th round pick, G Ari Kouandjio from Alabama to see a lot of time on the field as well this year.

They added a little depth at the RB spot in the 3rd round with the selection of Matt Jones from Florida. He goes 6’2 231 so he can help open holes or get the tough yards that Morris cannot. They added a slot WR in the 4th round in Jamison Crowder from Duke and drafted DE Preston Smith in the 2nd round from Mississippi St. Smith was a run-stopper on a solid Bulldogs’ defense but will be moved to OLB in the Skins’ 3-4 defense.

Fantasy starters: RB Alfred Morris, WR DeSean Jackson

Fantasy bench: QB Robert Griffin III, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Jordan Reed

Fantasy Sleeper: WR Jamison Crowder



Source by Bill E Parsons

When I attended the NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto last February, my daughter asked me to bring her home a jersey.

Obligingly, I picked up a Dwyane Wade replica jersey on her behalf. When I did, however, I noticed something that I had never seen on an NBA jersey before: a small logo for Kia Motors Corporation. The patch mirrored those on the All-Star jerseys worn by the players themselves, marking the first foray into advertising on sports uniforms.

Well, in a professional American men’s league in a major team sport, at least. Such marketing is very familiar to fans of car racing, from Formula One to NASCAR, where drivers and their vehicles have both served as high-speed billboards for years. Soccer fans, whether or not their team is based in America, are used to advertising on jerseys too; such ads generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for European teams. The WNBA has sold advertising space on jerseys since 2011, supporting a league that struggles to generate profits through fan attendance alone.

The four major professional men’s sports leagues in the U.S. have, until now, shied away from such advertising. In the past, logistical concerns such as securing individual owner approval and avoiding conflicts with existing sponsors have kept league officials hesitant. For a long time, it seemed like no sport wanted to be the first to cross this particular line.

Now the NBA has taken the plunge. After the All-Star game pilot, the NBA’s board of governors approved a three-year program to test the idea of teams selling space on jerseys for corporate logos. The program will begin with the 2017-18 season, and the Philadelphia 76ers have already announced a partnership with StubHub for next year. While the NBA protects a few of its partners, such as ESPN and Nike, from seeing competitors’ logos appear on a team jersey, nearly any other company that doesn’t deal in gambling, alcohol or politics is fair game.

The revenues from such ads will be divided among the league, the team and a revenue-sharing pool split among the players themselves. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that the league has calculated the program will be worth about $100 million annually. Relative to the NBA’s overall revenues, this would be a relatively small piece of the pie. But the league, team owners and players are all looking for more revenue sources as their business continues to change. For example, PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported that media rights fees will outpace ticket sales by 2018.

During the pilot program, the logos will be small: a 2.5-inch square patch on the left shoulder. Assuming the pilot program goes well, however, I expect that we will eventually see multiple logos on the front and back of jerseys, perhaps with variations for home and away uniforms. Considering the amount of revenue that jersey sponsorships generate for European soccer leagues, it seems likely the ads are here to stay. I expect the NFL, MLB and NHL, which have all held out against ads on game jerseys, to follow suit in the not-too-distant future.

As I discovered at the All-Star game, it is not only players who will become walking advertisements; fans may get in the game, too. During the pilot program, teams are required to offer logo-free jerseys to fans, but have the option of also selling those that will match the ones worn by players. Teams will doubtless determine their own approaches as the program progresses. For instance, the 76ers have said that jerseys sold nationwide will not carry the StubHub logo, but jerseys sold at their team locations will. Effectively, the team is attempting to turn the jersey with an ad into a collector’s item.

The 76ers’ CEO, Scott O’Neil, told ESPN, “We have a very strong opinion that little Scottie, [a hypothetical consumer] who is 9 years old, will want to wear what the players are wearing on the court.” (1) This theory may or may not pan out, but it is not without logic. Giving fans the option of jerseys with and without a logo will let them vote with their purchases during the three-year pilot.

Although certain fans may not be pleased with the idea, advertising and sports have long gone hand-in-hand. From player endorsements to arenas named after brands, professional sports already involve sponsorship to an extent that makes hand-wringing over small patches on player jerseys seem a bit strange. And ads have no impact at all on players’ performance or the quality of the game, which are the reasons the fans show up in the first place.

The bigger problem for league officials would be pushback from the players themselves. Since the players will benefit directly in the form of additional compensation, however, I expect that most of them will favor the plan. If I am wrong, players have an opportunity to make their displeasure known. The existing collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association does not expire until June 30, 2021, but either party may opt out of it until December 15 of this year. If players want to object before the pilot season, they can – but it seems unlikely that they will.

In a way, my daughter’s All-Star jersey may become a piece of basketball history. Keep your eyes peeled in the next few years to see what sort of partnerships appear. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a Carnival Cruise Line badge on a Miami Heat jersey in the near future.

Source:

1) ESPN, “76ers sell first NBA jersey ad”



Source by Shomari D. Hearn

Philadelphia real estate may be the most undervalued and underperforming asset on the East coast. The City’s location is arguably better than any other metropolitan area in the United States, including New York City and Los Angeles. It was only 240 years ago when Philadelphia was the most important centralized meeting place in the colonies. That might seem like an eternity but relative to the total timeline of human existence, it really isn’t. Humans have been populating North America for thousands of years and although the political and social influences change constantly, the pros and cons of a City’s geographic location remain constant.

If one was to disregard current political and social conditions of cities and just focus exclusively on geography, it would be tough to argue that Philadelphia not rank at the top. There is no other city in the country with more population in a 250 mile radius than Philadelphia. This radius includes 4 of the top 10 most populated cities in the United States – Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York, and Boston… half of the country’s total population within a half day’s drive.

Furthermore, population growth is trending southward into Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. These areas are less congested and have two important features that New York and Boston will never have – warmer climates and lower taxes. As population continues to decline in the northeast and move southward, Philadelphia will be the closest distribution hub for these areas.

Unfortunately for Philadelphia, geography is not the only factor that influences a city’s success. Political power tends to have more weight in the short term and many Philadelphians remember when it was illegal to build higher than William Penn’s hat on the top of City Hall. Although it seems comical today, this law seriously affected the City’s growth during the 19th and 20th centuries. Without the ability to build vertical, the City was forced to spread out, pushing population into the suburbs. New York City, on the other hand, built some of the world’s largest skyscrapers which allowed for higher density within the City, more businesses, and therefore more revenue.

The good news is that, in the long run, markets should eventually correct themselves. When they do, Philadelphia will benefit greatly by the current pricing disparities. One must only hope that local politicians do not stand in the way.



Source by Joe Jesuele