Thanksgiving, Spotlight Videos & More- The Daily Spotlight for 11/30/2015

Hello everyone and happy Monday! Ok ok we all know that today is much more of a slow and plodding Monday following an extended weekend but alas we’re all here so let’s make the most of it and get into some updates for the day.

Thanksgiving:  I really hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  My family and I went down to the Milleridge Inn in long island, New York.  The Milleridge Inn is always a great time as there’s something about taking the classic photos outside of the inn and checking out the stores that remind me so much of Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season.  I also went down to the Macy’s Day Parade for the first time ever on Thanksgiving.  The folks down at the parade were more than accommodating in letting us know the best areas to view the parade and tips for getting up close to get the best content possible. I’m working on a video and piece about the parade that should be up tomorrow.

Black Friday: I used to be the guy that used to gather up a group of family and friends and really get into Black Friday.  If doors opened at 4 am, my friends and I would meet up and head straight to Best Buy and wait on line to get in there and would often continue shopping until 12 noon or so where we would make our way to the food court at Roosevelt Field Mall, have lunch and then head back home for some much needed shuteye.  Black Friday 2009 is probably one of my fondest memories because it was my reintroduction to coffee.  My original introduction to coffee occured back in 2004 when I was dating a girl who would drink cups and cups of coffee a day and it was strong Serbian coffee, no milk and no sugar.  Well from that moment on I convinced myself that I hated coffee and so I drank tons of mountain dew every day in order to get that jolt of energy.  It was completely ridiculous and very unhealthy.  Well that night in 2009, at the Milleridge Inn my father fixed me up a cup of coffee with milk and sugar and convinced me to try it.  I tried it and loved it back!  Nowadays Black Friday doesn’t have the same appeal to me.  I still went this year and got some good deals but my girlfriend and I didn’t get started until around 1 pm.  I think what killed it for me was the idea that Black Friday now starts on Thanksgiving.  As much as I love a good deal, I value my time with my loved ones a little more.  By starting Black Friday at 4pm Thanskgiving Day, it just kills the holiday for me and isn’t worth it.  Today is finally the end of the bargain shopping with Cyber Monday.  I will say that hands down the best site I’ve seen today has to be Abercrombie which has a 50% off sitewide sale.  While Abercrombie isn’t really my cup of tea, kudos to them for really going above and beyond.  Target also deserves a kudos for their 15% sitewide sale although everything I noticed being good seemed to already be sold out and their site traffic is at a premium.  Of course, my favorite Cyber Monday site is Amazon who continue to lure me with their lightning deals throughout the week.

Site Updates:  I got some great feedback on the first video we launched on the official daily spotlight YouTube channel on Thanksgiving Day.  That video, for those who’ve asked was shot during my annual tradition on Thanksgiving Eve in which a few out of town buddies and I gather at Aunt Bellas Restaurant. It’s always a great time and as you can see at the end of the video, everyone really got into it.  If you haven’t done so you can check out our first video right here! The plan with these videos is to roll them out 3 times a week to start on Tuesdays, Thursdays and at some point over the weekend.  There will be a definitive focus on Travel type videos that I’ve shot over the last three years.  The plan for this week’s videos is to roll out my video on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Tuesday, a video on the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting (which I will be attending live on Wednesday night) on Thursday and then a video on Dubai’s historic Burj Khalifa this weekend.

We’ve also gotten a ton of great feedback on a few posts we did last week on the Lapsed Fan Wrestling Podcast’s new Starrcade journey and on a look at the WWE’s 2002 appearance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It’s been a lot of fun interacting with a number of wrestling fans and wrestling legends over on twitter @tommyonthespot or @daily_spotlight.  I have plenty of fun posts on the way this week including a sports update that I’m finishing up right now looking at one of the crazier weekends in all of sports this past weekend and a movie review on The Night Before, which I thought was fantastic.  Until then I appreciate all of your support and hope you all have a kick ass week.


The Spotlight NFL Week 12 NFL Picks Against The Spread

Almost had to take a bye week here, but have no fear we are in before the kickoffs here.  If you were unable to check out my thanksgiving picks, you can do so right here , that would be our official youtube channel which I’ll be updating again either later today or tomorrow with a video chronicling my trip to the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  So far this week with the Thanksgiving games I’m 2-1, which brings my year long total to 62-24 against the spread.  Vegas can be a cold hearted  bitch but we are getting through this so let’s get into the rest of the picks.

1) Oakland Raiders (-1) at Tennessee Titans

I’ve been against the Raiders much of the way because I feel like they’ve gotten a ton of hype, despite not beating any one .500 or better (other than the Jets but that was the Geno Smith game).  Well, this week they get to play the 2-8 Titans and so I’m back on the Raiders here.  Look the Titans defense is pretty good (ranked number 6 overall) but they haven’t been able to carry the offense to anything save for that game in New Orleans where they won a stunner in overtime.  Honestly though, I could call my boy Adam Tobey and have him rally up the Benai Brith youth troop and we’d drop 30 on the Saints defense too.  The Raiders have been pretty unlucky the past three weeks but that luck will turn around in Tennessee.  I like the Raiders in a pickem.

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Indianapolis Colts

If you can make this 3.5 for a little less juice, I’d like it a little more because it reads like a field goal winner either way.  It’s the battle of the oldest quarterback in the league vs. the youngest quarterback in the league.  Despite Matt Hasslebeck being undefeated this season, I’m going to take my chances with youth on the road.  Famous Jameis has arrived folks!  Way sooner than anyone could have predicted, Winston has the Bucs right in the midst of a playoff race.  While Winston has made the play when he’s had to, I can’t give him all the credit.  The Bucs have done it this season lead by a stout defense, lead by Lavonte David and by the number 2 rusher in the NFL, Doug Martin, who has bounced back in a big way this year.  The Bucs really showed me a lot last week when they went into Philly and beat them by four touchdowns, I think their road prowess continues this week.  I like to the Bucs +3

3) Houston Texans (-3) over New Orleans Saints 

Oh boy do I love this pick!  I like it so much it was so close to being my lock of the week.  The Texans are rolling after taking down the undefeated Bengals and my New york Jets and now they get Brian Hoyer back.  While Hoyer likely won’t be battling for a pro bowl slot, he’s the best the Texans have and opposing defenses don’t need Deandre Hopkins to get a better quarterback.  Speaking of defenses, you’ve probably heard all week that the Saints defense will be a lot better because they’ve finally fired Rob Ryan.  Well, they still have the same personnel and the last time I checked, Drew Brees still can’t win on the road.  Don’t expect Brees to get his act together against JJ Watt and that stiff Defense of the Texans.  I lie the Texans by a field goal.

4) Kansas City Chiefs (-4) over the Buffalo Bills 

After going on the road and outscoring their opponents 62-16, the Kansas City Chiefs return home winners of four straight to play host to the Buffalo Bills.  The Bills have a good defense but seem to really be struggling to score on the offensive side of the ball.  You mean to tell me a Rex Ryan led team has trouble with the quarterback position.  As a Jets fan, I’m tired of that narrative.  The defense should keep it close, but I like Kansas City, -4.

5) Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 at Seattle Seahawks

Big Ben makes his first ever appearance at Seattle today and I’m going to go with the road team in this one.  Go ahead a take a peak at the Seahawks schedule.  They really haven’t beaten anyone all season and have been beatable at home.  On the other side of things, the Steelers are coming off a bye so Ben has had an extra week to rest up and get healthy.  You know I don’t choose underdogs that I don’t think can win.  I like the Steelers +3.5

6) IF YOU”RE DESPERATE: Atlanta Falcons (-1) over Minnesota Viking 

I know I know, the Falcons have been awful as of late and continue to find a way to lose.  Actually I haven’t lost too much this season but when I have it’s mostly been with the Jets and the Falcons.  That said, this is my tenth game that I’m picking before the primetime games even start and so it’s a bit of slim pickings.  The Falcons have been a bit too dependent on Devonta Freeman after his fluky hot start and so now that he’s out I expect a lot of Matt Ryan airing it out.  That’s when the Falcons are at their best.  The Vikings were a bit exposed last week against the Packers and I expect a bit of a hangover here.  Falcons will find a way to get it done.

LOCK OF THE WEEK (10-1): New York Giants (pk) at Washington Redskins

Prior to this season, I have never picked the Giants and when I have it’s blown up in my face.  That said, the Giants have been my Lock of the week 3 times this season and I like em again today.  The Redskins are sneaky good at home (4-1) and have their big weapon back in Desean Jackson which makes Kirk Cousins look like a professional quarterback.  That said, the Giants are coming off of a bye and get Prince Amukamura back.  Couple Prince with the resurgence of JPP and the Giants have something on the defensive side of the ball to go along with Eli, who’s looked great.  The Giants will find a way to get it done and put the NFC East to bed before Decemeber.


The Spotlight On WWE on Thanksgiving

OK so most of you know by now that WWE used to hold their annual Survivor Series on Thanksgiving Day.  But did you know that the WWE Superstars and Divas once took part in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City?  In 2002 a whole host of WWE Superstars, Divas and announcers took part in the Macy’s Day Parade complete with a state of the art mini ring float (that featured a commentator table, ladder and ring).  Aboard the float for WWE was Vince McMahon, Triple H, The Hurricane Shane Helms, Sergeant Slaughter, Victoria, The Coach, Lillian Garcia and of course JR and The King.  The video is worth a watch if for no other reason than to hear Al Roker’s bad butcher job on Jerry Lawler’s name.  I remember, as a fan, thinking this was the coolest thing ever.  For year’s the Macy’s Day Parade would promote “The Big Red Machine” appearing later in the show and I would hope it would be Kane, of course it was Santa.  Well, in 2002 it was cool to see some representation from a few of my favorites, especially the Hurricane, who was my guy!

Even though this was the only appearance, I can remember, from WWE at the Macy’s Day Parade, there were two appearances at the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade by former WWE Superstar CM Punk.  In 2008, Punk made his first appearance for the parade while one half of the WWE tag team champions.  It’s a cool appearance for Punk, who joked that the CM in CM Punk actually stood for Cookie Monster!

34 Seconds In For Punk

In 2012, while in the midst of his historic 400+ day run as WWE world heavyweight champion, Punk would return to the Chicago Thanksgiving Day Parade, this time as the grand marshall!

With WWE having such a big presence on NBC Universal, it’s surprising that WWE hasn’t returned to the Macy’s Day Parade.  I know I can’t be the only one who would get a kick out of it.

The Spotlight NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving Picks Against The Spread 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! As promised on Thanksgiving Day we were going to launch the next phase of our website…the video portion! The spotlight videos are going to debut on our official YouTube channel and  then within the next couple of hours you’ll be able to watch those videos right here on! The videos are going to consist of a good portion of travel videos that I’ve built up over the past 2 years or so. However, I’m also going to be filming videos dedicated to my weekly NFL picks. The plan is to film my picks at a different location every time, so without any further ado lets get into them.

This week I’m going to start with a video breaking down the three games that will be played today, on Thanksgiving! Now yes we’re 60-24 this season and have simply been tearing it up but use a little caution here. This is a tough slate of games here, so tough that I likely would have passed on the three games if they were a part of Sunday. I feel much better about my Sunday games by the way and I’m excited to get into those games later this weekend. If you’re unaware of the schedule today the (3-7) Detroit Lions will host the (4-6) Philadelphia Eagles at 12:30 PM EST on Fox. From there the (3-7) Dallas Cowboys will welcome the (10-0) Carolina Panthers at 4:00 PM EST on CBS and then tonight the (7-3) Green Bay Packers play host to their bitter rival, the (4-6) Chicago Bears on Brett Favre day at 8:30 PM EST on NBC. I break down all three of the games in the 2 and a half minute video below. Check it out and I wish all of you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

The Spotlight On The Return Of Mark Sanchez To Thanksgiving Football

Hello everyone and happy thanksgiving eve!  If you’re like me Thanksgiving is synonymous with a variety of things including the start of the holiday season, good food and, of course football! Well, in 2012 for me, as a Jets fan, Thanksgiving went on to live forever in infamy…

Video Courtesy Of The NFL

Sitting at 4-6 the New York Jets welcomed their division rival, the New England Patriots to a sold out Metlife Stadium, hoping to get their season back on track.  The result was one of the worst quarters of football in history.  Despite having possession of the football for 12 of the 15 minutes in the second quarter, the Jets were outscored by the Patriots, 35-3.  This included a 52 second stretch in which the Patriots scored on offense, special teams and defense, which culminated with one of the worst plays in football history, the butt fumble!

It’s never easy being a Jets fan but that Thanksgiving may have been one of the most disappointing losses in team history.  Part of that reason is because of just how excited my dad and I were for the game.  We rushed back from Thanksgiving dinner and went through all of the possible scenarios of what the Jets had to do to make the playoffs all Thanksgiving long.  This was at a time in which the Jets were coming off three straight .500 or better seasons and were just two seasons removed from the two trips to the AFC Championship game, which included a playoff win in New England.  Jets fans, like myself, finally had a reason to get excited about their team and it was thanks in large part to Rex Ryan and Quaterback Mark Sanchez.  Unfortunately, this sad 49-14 loss against the Patriots spelled the beginning of the end of that era of Jets football as they haven’t been the same since and now both Sanchez and Rex are long gone.  It’s a shame for Mark Sanchez that he is remembered mostly for such an unfortunate play because for a few years that kid ran New York.  That’s right, truth be told Sanchez had quite a bit of success for the Jets and has the record for most playoff wins by a Jets Quarterback (4), all of which were on the road no less.

The good news for Mark is that he does have a bit of a chance to redeem himself because he returns to Thanksgiving tomorrow afternoon as the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, filling in for the injured Sam Bradford.  The Eagles sit just a game out of first place(again at 4-6)  in the NFC East and a good performance from Sanchez tomorrow may lead them to a virtual tie with the Redskins and Giants by the end of the weekend.  That would definitely a bit of Thanksgiving redemption for the former Sanchize.  One thing is for sure, it can’t be much worse than it was on that fateful night in 2012!