Karmin Kills “Acapella,” Even Sans Rebel Wilson

Karmin Acapella

This is how acapella is done, folks. I’ve been a fan of Karmin – comprised of tandem turned love couple, Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan – since their pre-fame YouTube days covering top-40 singles (released as an album in 2010). I became an even bigger fan when my sister told me they’d studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music (i.e. they’re legit).

The two take a page out of “Pitch Perfect” with their latest swag-pop (yes, this is a thing) single, “Acapella.” The only thing this video is missing: Rebel Wilson!

Want more? Allie Van Dine of PolicyMic discussed the vid in a recent article, listing 10 reasons – complete with gifs – why the song achieves musical perfection. I’d tend to agree.

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When Sports Transcend the Playing Field

Dooling Collins

Working in sports for several years now, I’ve increasingly come to realize how truly sports transcend what takes place on the field, court, etc. I’ve been following a couple of stories recently that I believe exemplify this and wanted to share them here.

The first has undoubtedly been one of the biggest news stories of the year – Jason Collins coming out as the first openly gay active athlete in a major professional team sport (the media has learned to be very precise in its phrasing here). I credit both Collins for his courage and Sports Illustrated for giving him license to self-author his story in its magazine.

While most of us are aware that Collins has come out, I’d encourage you to read his article and some of the ensuing coverage (some found via the link above). His story is a huge step for sports, and I think the overwhelmingly positive reaction to his revelation, particularly from the sports community, speaks volumes for where we as a society are headed. I’d say a personal call from President Obama is pretty substantial as well.

Another story that I came across shortly before the Collins news broke was that of fellow NBA player Keyon Dooling in the Boston Globe. Dooling, who I’ve followed for years now given his Mizzou roots, has publicly disclosed that he was sexually abused as a pre-teen. A concerning incident last summer soon landed him in a debilitating mental health care situation until the likes of Celtics head coach Doc Rivers stepped in to intervene.

After undergoing the necessary care and the likely lifelong healing process, Dooling has now not only gone public with his news, but he has also begun speaking out as an advocate for sexual abuse victims.

As Collins notes in his article, it often takes a major event – in his case the Boston Marathon tragedy – to put things in perspective. I applaud him and Dooling for publicly sharing their stories, thereby allowing us to join them for the ride.

There’s a great deal we can learn from athletes like Collins and Dooling. The lessons are many and come in the form of self-discovery, courage and acceptance, to name a few. We all experience joys and challenges in our everyday lives – some more momentous than others – and perhaps their stories go to show we should let others in a little more often.

Moreover, I always enjoy seeing athletes and others largely in the public eye using their platforms to break down stereotypes and to advance the greater good. I’m confident that others will now follow Collins’ and Dooling’s lead, and we as a society will without a doubt be better off because it.

Lots of Inspiration to Stand as One With Boston

Martin Richards Sign

After tragedies like Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, many of us search for a way to help, as evidenced by the many inspiring stories of good being done in the aftermath of the attack and over the past several days. I know that finding a way to give back was one of my prevailing thoughts after my initial senses of shock and horror began to dissipate.

Today I heard about a “Boston stands as one” tribute T-shirt being sold by Boston Marathon sponsor adidas, which will donate 100% of the proceeds to the One Fund Boston founded in Monday’s aftermath to help support the victims of the bombings and their families. Mens and women’s styles are available, both featuring a blue and yellow theme – the colors of the Boston Athletic Association that coordinates the marathon – for a very race-appropriate cost of $26.20.

I immediately bought a tee to serve as a tribute to the victims, their families, all of the marathoners, the authorities and the people of Boston. I figured another way to give back at this point is to spread the word about the various ways to give back, which is my aim here.

If a tee isn’t your thing, then check out One Fund Boston and The Salvation Army’s Boston Emergency Services Fund. Another awesome resource is the Boston Marathon’s Crowdrise site listing a ton of teams and individuals to which you can donate. It’s amazing to

In addition to that, I’d encourage you to get out and go for a run to honor those affected as well as to take some time to pray, which I like to think is the most powerful option. Oh, and call your loved ones and tell them you love them!

I wanted to end this post with several inspirational things I’ve seen in the news over the last several days…

The fans at Wednesday’s Bruins/Sabres game stepped in after Rene Rancourt had difficulty overcoming his emotions while singing the National Anthem (occurs around 3:00 mark)…

In a clear display of support, the archrival Yankees paid tribute by playing Sweet Caroline during Wednesday’s game against the Diamondbakcs…

I also wanted to share President Obama’s speech made at today’s  interfaith service in Boston. I point to two statements in particular: “Your city is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and yes, run again.” and “It should be pretty clear by now that they picked the wrong city to do it. Not here in Boston. Not here in Boston.”

Lastly, the Chicago Tribune featured a very classy tribute on the front page of its Sports Section on Tuesday. I thought this was incredibly well done.

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Per Usual, I’m in the Minority

Layla Snow

I get it. You hate cold weather; a hatred that’s probably been only further magnified by winter continuing to linger like it is now in late March.

I’m sure many of you have recently stepped outside and flashed a McKayla Maroney-esque sneer similar to the one of my sister’s dog Layla in the pic above.

Like you, I’m fully aware that spring has officially arrived, so why isn’t the weather acting like it? Damn Mother Nature and that (Punxsutawney) Phil with his six more weeks of winter. Winter’s the worst, right?

Wrong. Per usual, I’m in the minority. As my friends and family know, I’m one of the seemingly few folks who genuinely loves cold weather. Winter and I are tight. In fact, if it weren’t for it not being light enough for morning runs, we’d be besties. But generally I’m a big fan of rocking my Patagonia jacket, holing up at Starbucks, couch surfing with my mags or a good book and piling on the blankets at night.

While many out here in Virginia don’t mind (but always find a reason to complain about) these soft winters with their lame quasi-cool temps and little to no snow, I personally can’t wait to move up north in the near future (Boston!) so I can bundle up, finally get into cross country skiing and occasionally score a snow day when a massive snowstorm like good ol’ Nemo hits.

Growing up in the Midwest, I miss my authentic winters, a fact I was reminded of this past weekend when my mom group messaged my sisters and I photos of the winter storm that dumped 15 inches on our small central Illinois town. The pics made me reminisce about snowfalls during our childhood and all of the good times we Burri and the neighbor kids had together.

In this spirit, and because my mom braved the snow and cared enough to send these shots, I thought I’d share them here on the blog. Enjoy!

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