Super Bowl XLIX Guide: Everything Else You Need to Know

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 30th, 2015

Photo courtesy of You Touch Pix of EuToch/Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of You Touch Pix of EuToch/Shutterstock

By Michael Balderston

We know the New England Patriots are playing the Seattle Seahawks. We know it’s Mr. Clutch, Tom Brady, versus the dominating defense of the Seahawks led by Richard Sherman. We know more than we ever wanted to know about deflated footballs. But there’s more than simple Xs and Os in regards to Super Bowl XLIX, and we’re here to help with that. Here is everything else you need to know about Sunday’s big game.

Fun Facts

-          Smart money says the Patriots are going to be crowned champions on Sunday. Why? It isn’t because of Brady, Bill Belichick or some last-minute injury. The answer actually lies in the uniform. The Patriots will be wearing their white uniforms on Sunday. Since 2005, nine out of ten teams that wore the white uniforms during the Super Bowl won the game, including Seattle last year. The only team that didn’t was the Green Bay Packers in 2011.

-          Tom Brady will break records on Sunday as soon as he takes his first snap under center. Brady will break the record for most starts by a single player in Super Bowl history with 6. He will also tie with Mike Lodish for most Super Bowl appearances by a player.

-          Just in case you were worried about the Patriots trying to repeat Deflategate, the NFL has dispelled that fear. Seventy-two balls will be used during the game, and all of them will be handled by the equipment manager from the Chicago Bears and a team of independent ball boys rather than ones from either New England or Seattle.

-          Have dreams of going to the Super Bowl? Start saving: This year’s average ticket price is $4,066.98, a 21.5 percent increase from last year’s price of $3,348.21.

-          It will be déjà vu for the Patriots as they will play their second Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. They will be hoping for a different result, however, because the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants and David Tyree’s miraculous helmet catch.


For some, even more important than the game are the commercials. Staples like the Budweiser Clydesdales, Bud Light and car brands are prepping their Super Bowl spots, and you can get a sneak peek at some of them here.

Viewers also had a hand in deciding what commercials you will see during the Super Bowl by participating in Doritos Crash the Super Bowl competition. Ten commercials from amateur filmmakers have been selected by Doritos, but only the two picked by a fan vote will air during the big game. Voting is now closed.

How will this year’s crop of commercials stack up to classics like these?




In-Game Activities

If you happen to be one of those people who watches the Super Bowl for the commercials, the game can be a little boring. So here are some ways to make what’s going on on the field more interesting for you at home.

First is the Football Grid Pool. There’s nothing like making some money off sporting events, but if traditional gambling isn’t your thing, then the grid pool is a perfect solution. Have all your friends put in money, and someone can go home a winner—no matter the game’s outcome.

If you’re over 21, then drinking is almost an essential for any Super Bowl party, and with that comes the possibilities of drinking games. You can invent your own, or you can use others like Drinking Game Zone’s official Super Bowl XLIX drinking game. Or if you want to be really different, you can create a drinking game off of the commercials thanks to Jakob Marketing Partners.

Other Options on TV 

Looking to avoid the Super Bowl all together? There will be plenty of available alternatives.

-          Watch cute and cuddly animals with Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl XI,” Nat Geo Wild’s “Fish Bowl II,” this year featuring a clown fish as well as a gold fish, and Hallmark’s “Kitten Bowl, with watch parties in 20 cities.

-          If animals aren’t your thing, how about some babies? Discovery Communications will unveil “Toddler Bowl,” featuring tots from ages of 1-3, on TLC, Discovery Life Channel and Discovery Family Channel.

-          AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will run a marathon starting Sunday at 10 a.m.

-          BBC America is airing a “Star Trek: Next Generation” marathon

-          Bravo will air a “Real Housewives of Atlanta” marathon

Top Stories that weren’t Deflategate

In the two weeks since the AFC championship game, we’ve learned more about the proper inflation of footballs than we ever thought we could thanks to the Deflategate scandal involving the Patriots. But other stuff has been going on outside of all the rumblings about who deflated those footballs and how. Here are some of the best stories you need to know.

-          Seattle tries to trademark ‘12’

-          Patriots’ Julian Edelman does ‘Growing Pains’ parody

-          Marshawn Lynch offers statement about his refusal to talk to the media

-          Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski becomes the subject of a fan-fiction novel

-          GoDaddy pulls its Super Bowl ad amid controversy

Now you’re ready for the big game, so sit back, relax and enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.

Romney to make 2016 campaign decision Friday; D.C. to top homelessness record

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 30th, 2015

By Christopher Penrith

Romney reported to make 2016 campaign decision Friday

D.C. on pace top 2013′s homelessness
(Washington Post)

Northern Virginia is one of the top 5 U.S. hubs for sex trafficking
(Fairfax Times)

House budget writers weighing a state employee pay raise based on rising revenue  
(Washington Post)

Torpedo Factory Artists raise awareness with ‘Art for Life’

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Hyatt Regency Crystal City

Photo Courtesy of Phillip Saims.

By Victoria Gaffney

The National Kidney Foundation and artists from the Torpedo Factory have conspired to turn the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City into an art studio starting next month.

In an effort to raise awareness for kidney disease, volunteer artists from the Torpedo Factory  will display their work in the atrium of the Hyatt with different exhibitions debuting the third Thursday of each month, starting on Feb. 19.

The project, entitled “Art for Life”, is dual-focused and strives to both increase awareness of kidney disease and highlight the local artwork of Torpedo Factory artists.

“We were able to sort of bring these two amazing organizations together under our roof to bring awareness and have a good time and raise some funds for both,” says Phillip Saims, director of sales and marketing at Hyatt Regency Crystal City.

Unlike diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses, the devastating and pervasive effects of kidney disease are often not as well-known, says Saims.

“We felt that the Kidney Foundation probably doesn’t have the same level of awareness, although [kidney disease] kills and impacts more lives than [diabetes and heart disease] put together.”

Determined to increase public knowledge of this often overlooked disease, Saims reached out to The National Kidney Foundation, and together they came up with the new project. 

Every month will feature a different artist, and the program will include a wide range of mediums and artistic styles including metal, clay and oil pieces. The atrium, surrounded on all sides by glass and suffused in natural light, is an ideal space to showcase art, and Hyatt plans to arrange the space in a way that bests suits each artist’s medium. 

The first artist to kick off “Art for Life” is photographer Greg Knott. Knott’s work is unique, and his pieces often featuring sets of three or so; the series are intended to be what he calls deconstructions.

“My best-seller is a simple photo of a rock, a piece of paper, and then, on the last panel, a pair of scissors. And that’s: rock, paper, scissors,” he says.

“Art for Life” exhibits will run on the third Thursday of each month from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. For a $20 cover charge or a donation, each attendee will receive a complimentary glass of wine and some light fare.  Donations will go towards the National Kidney Foundation, and the artist of the month will be present for signings.

Art for Life
Beginning Feb. 19, 2015
4:30-7:30 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202 

McAuliffe discusses year-round calendar for Virginia schools; UVA steps up students’ security

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 29th, 2015

By Sophia Rutti 

‘Gigi’ starring Vanessa Hudgens opens at Kennedy Center before heading to Broadway
(NBC Washington

UVA steps up security for students after recent controversies

Gov. Terry McAuliffe discusses year-round school calendar for Virginia

Harry J. Parrish is the first Republican to join the race for retiring state. Sen Chuck Colgan’s seat
(The Washington Post

Woman arrested for allegedly running over two men at an Arlington auto dealership

Virginia Film Industry Pushes Forward with New Bill

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Photo courtesy of Virginia Production Alliance

Photo courtesy of Virginia Production Alliance

By Michael Balderston

House of Cards may deal with the sinister workings of politician Frank Underwood, but in the real world politics have played a part in the show’s production.

The upcoming season of Netflix’s premiere show nearly left Maryland, where it shot its first two seasons, because the state planned to cut their tax incentives; they stayed because of a last-minute deal with the governor. North Carolina, once considered the premiere production hub on the East Coast, has also cut back significantly on its state incentives and has seen a number of shows move elsewhere. But while these states pull back from film and TV, Virginia seeks to push forward.

The Virginia film industry and a number of state legislators, including 35th District Delegate Mark Keam, are supporting a new bill that will increase the tax incentive allotted for film and TV productions.

“It allows us to have funds so we can keep on marketing and bringing films in,” says Terry Stroud, who deals with legislative affairs for the Virginia Production Alliance.

Ever since the state started issuing incentives a few years ago, there has been consistent growth in the industry. The total impact of the film industry in the state for 2014, according to the Virginia Film Office, was $382.5 million, a 16 percent increase from 2013. The film office also claims the incentives created over 2,000 jobs. Recent productions include the first two seasons of AMC’s “Turn” and a new Meg Ryan movie.

“Our particular paybacks on incentives are a hair better than around the rest of the country because we’re a little more moderate in what we give away, and we offer other items to get people to come here,” says Stroud.

Stroud will have the opportunity to convince legislators to support the bill Thursday, Jan. 29, when Film Day is held in Richmond. Film Day allows for members of the film industry to meet with state legislators and express their interests and concerns on the state of the film industry in Virginia.

“It’s all about the jobs,” says Stroud, “and it’s all about the Virginians working on these things. It’s not about giving Hollywood a ton of money. It’s about utilizing people that live here, on the ground, working every day.”

Film Day
Jan. 29, 7:30 a.m.-noon
Virginia State Assembly
1000 Bank Street
Richmond, VA 23218

Sororities at UVA ordered to avoid fraternity parties; Boko Haram photos show child-soldier-training camp

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

By Matthew Tracy

Boko Haram releases photos of a purported child soldier-training camp

Sororities at the University of Virginia are ordered to stay away from fraternity events
(The Washington Post)

Family of the woman who died on Metro’s Yellow Line plans lawsuit

Fairfax County Board OKs Expansion of Herndon and South Lakes high schools

Bill To Regulate Uber And Lyft Moves Forward In Virginia

Food Focused

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

What food is best for your dog?

Photo courtesy of Lars Hallstrom/

What to feed our dogs? Raw, home-cooked or commercial dog food.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wintry Mix Predicted Throughout Day; Aerial Drone Found at White House

Posted by Editorial / Monday, January 26th, 2015

By Michael Balderston

Wintry mix predicted throughout the day as winter storm hits northeast

New bill looks to loosen restrictions on happy hour in VA bars

Aerial drone discovered on White House grounds

Miss Colombia wins Miss Universe pageant, Miss USA runner-up

Julianne Moore and ‘Birdman’ big winners from Screen Actors Guild Awards

Senator wants to decriminalize marijuana in Va.; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia dies

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 23rd, 2015

By Carten Cordell

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia dies at 90
(The Washington Post)

State senator wants to decriminalize marijuana in Virginia
(The Washington Post)

Metro Takes Safety Actions Following L’Enfant Plaza Incident

Weekend brings chance for snow or rain


Ventilation Drew Smoke into Metro Train; Fairfax Funeral Home Misplaces Body

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

By Sophia Rutti 

Ventilation drew smoke into stricken Metro train

Northern Virginia native makes Sundance debut in documentary “Fresh Dressed”

Preschool in Reston  celebrates 50th anniversary 

Fairfax City Funeral Home Misplaces a Body and later Recovers it
(Washington Post


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