YOU Magazine - November 2007 - Home Field Advantage The Best Seat in the House Could be at Home Subscribe to YOU Magazine and other timely market alerts from Laurie Gardner.

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Laurie Gardner     Laurie Gardner
Senior Mortgage Loan Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage Company NMLS Unique ID #204060
Phone: (907)796-1202 / fax 907-929-6711
Fax: WA Consumer Loan Co. License #CL-157293
License: Mortgage License #AK157293
Alaska USA Mortgage Company NMLS Unique ID #204060
November 2007

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Home Field Advantage
The Best Seat in the House Could be at Home

Home Field Advantage - The Best Seat in the House Could be at Home

Football is different from other sports. Maybe it's because the season is so short, or because the games are played once a week as opposed to every day. Whatever the case may be, diehard fans watch every game with a faithfulness and intensity not seen in other forms of team competition. If this rings true, here is your personal playbook for creating the ultimate football experience right in your own home.

Football fans are notorious for seeking out the best place to watch the game. For some, the location is a neighborhood sports bar or a friend's living room. For others, it's about tailgating at the stadium. But what if you could create an environment that exceeded the aforementioned, one that combined the ultimate in viewing with a little decadence and a lot of convenience?

We realize that football season has been underway for nearly 2 months. At the same time, it's important to know that the most exciting contests have yet to take place. The remaining games in both college and professional football will determine who plays in their respective post seasons. College bowl games will take us through the New Year, and the NFL playoffs and Superbowl will run through early February. In other words, it's not too late to make improvements to your game-watching experience.

When it comes to watching any football game, the most important component has to be the television. Actually, if the television is poor, the quality of everything else we'll talk about in this article really doesn't matter. Our first bit of advice is to take a good hard look at the TV you're using to watch the games. Is it time for an upgrade? If so, there's some good news regarding the deals that are available.

Before we get to that though, we would like to direct you back to an article we published in November of 2006 entitled, Creating a Home Theater. The article features a user-friendly overview of the different types of televisions available. From the various flat screen and rear-projection models to front-projection televisions, the article lists the pros and cons of each. The large number of options may seem a little daunting at first, especially when you're talking about a subject like electronics. But once you read the article and fully understand the choices available, that trepidation will turn into empowerment.

Keep in mind that buying a new television isn't exactly a small, inexpensive purchase. It's also a purchase you don't make every year. For most of us, it's more like every 5 to 10 years. What we're trying to say is that you're going to own your TV for a while, so you should get exactly what you're looking for in terms of price, features, and performance.

After you read the article, we suggest that you take a trip to your local electronics super-store, but not for the purpose of buying anything. Check out the selection of TVs, and take note of the models that interest you. Be sure to write down the model number and price. This also gives you a chance to ask specific questions about the products. Now, walk out of the store.

While an electronics superstore may be convenient, you are ultimately paying for that luxury. Ergo, they are not always the best place to find a great deal. Instead, head home and scour the Internet, being sure to hit up sites like and Do a search with the brand and model number and see what turns up.

With both and, you will receive a list of the various companies who are selling your TV of choice. You'll see the prices they charge, as well as customer reviews, shipping information, policies for returns, and customer service information. From there, you can decide if it makes more sense to buy your TV online or at a retail outlet.

If you end up purchasing your television at a superstore, be sure to check back every week for the next month to see if your TV goes on sale. This is not uncommon, especially around the holidays. What's also not uncommon is for the store to refund you the difference between the two prices.

Now that you've procured your TV, you may also want to think about making the switch from cable TV to DirecTV satellite. Why, you ask? For an extra charge, DirecTV offers "NFL Sunday Ticket", a service that enables you to receive all 14 games every week of the season. No longer will you be held hostage by the networks. This service is perfect for football fans who don't live in the same city as their favorite team.

Nowadays, prices for satellite TV are fairly competitive with those of cable TV. There are also other advantages to satellite, such as arguably better HD quality. If you decide to go the DirecTV route, be sure to ask about any special they may be running, as well as the ability to prorate any sports packages that are purchased midway through the season.

Now that you've purchased your TV and set up your satellite package, it's time to focus on comfort. We'll go on record saying that if you've got a football fan in your house, a perfect early Christmas gift would be a TV-watching chair they could call their own.

We realize that the furniture you buy for your home is a very personal choice. And we would never tell you to choose one style or motif over another. However, when it comes to watching TV in pure comfort, it doesn't get much better than a recliner.

We know what you're thinking – recliners are tacky. Well, if you were picturing Archie Bunker sitting in his 70s-style Barcalounger, you'd be right. But recliners have come a long way, and the company who's led the charge ever since the chair's inception is La-Z-Boy. So, you're still skeptical? Tell you what, why don't you check out the countless options and styles at, and get back to us.

Before we tell you about something really cool, we need to get an important proviso out of the way. As with any gathering, game day at your home requires you to offer several options when it comes to beverages, and we're not talking about light beer and dark beer. Rather, we are referring to non-alcoholic beverages – water and soda to name just two. The reasons for doing so are fairly obvious.

Now that we've said our piece, let's talk about a really cool way to serve beer. It's called a Kegerator, and it serves up the closest thing you'll find to the draught beer at your local watering hole. While a Kegerator comes in many shapes and styles, it is basically a refrigerator that can hold a beer keg and has a tap on top. There are outdoor versions, indoor versions, ones that hold full kegs, and some that hold pony kegs. No matter which style of Kegerator fits your needs, there are two reasons for buying one.

The first is taste. There's no simpler way to say it, draught beer is far tastier than the beer in a can or in a bottle. It's smoother and cleaner-tasting. And since your Kegerator only holds beer, it can be set to the temperature of your choice. The second reason for buying a Kegerator is price. While the Kegerator itself costs money, it is far cheaper to purchase beer by the keg or half keg than it is by the bottle or the can. What an awesome selling point in any fan's quest to drink quality draught beer.

We've come to the forth and final chapter in our playbook. We'd be remiss to wrap things up without talking about food. After all, food and football virtually go hand in hand.

Our best bit of advice for serving food on game day is to stick to tradition. In other words, this is not a time to serve anything too healthy or too gourmet. This is an event that calls for chips and guacamole, barbecued ribs, or grilled Brats with onions. Get the picture?

To get you started here's Kirk Leins' (Executive chef with YOU Magazine) recipe for Easy Buffalo Wings and Creamy Blue Cheese dressing. He calls 'em easy because these wings are baked and not deep-fried. We guarantee you're going to love them.

Easy Buffalo Wings

  1. 24 chicken wing drumettes
  2. salt and pepper
  3. 1 stick of unsalted butter
  4. 1/2 cup of Franks Red Hot sauce
  5. a squirt of fresh lemon juice
  6. blue cheese dressing
  7. celery sticks

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Arrange drumettes (at room temperature) onto a cookie sheet, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place in oven, and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepot placed over a low flame. Add the Frank's Red Hot and lemon. Allow mixture to cook over extremely low heat for about 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm. Remove drumettes from oven. Transfer them to a bowl and add the sauce. Toss to coat. Transfer wings to a platter, and serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
In a bowl, combine 1 cup sour cream with 1 cup mayonnaise. Add 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 clove garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1.5 tbsp parsley (finely chopped), salt and black pepper. Mix together, and add 4 to 5 oz of crumbled blue cheese.

This recipe yields a thick and creamy dressing perfect for Buffalo wings. If using the dressing for a salad, Chef Leins recommends thinning it out by mixing in a touch of buttermilk until the desired consistency is achieved. Allow dressing to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

You are now set for the ultimate football-watching experience. All that's left is to grab yourself a plate of wings, pour a glass of beer, kick back in your new chair, click on the remote for your new TV, and most importantly – enjoy the game!

License AK# 157293 Washington Consumer Loan Company license# CL-157293 California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License# 4131067

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