Everything I Need to Know About Being a Man, I Learned Playing Football

Week 1 of 2017 is in the books. How’d you do? Is the world a better place because of what you did this week? If not, don’t worry about it, you get another chance this week. Here’s some tips, tools and tactics to help you be awesome.


There’s nothing more southern than a gentleman with a tumbler of good bourbon. Not a shot of Fireball, but a couple of fingers off fine sippin’ whiskey and maybe a cube of ice. Deals have been made and feuds have been settled by two southern gentleman having a long talk over a bottle of good bourbon. In honor of this heritage, here are 6 famous men and their whiskey of choice from the folks at coolmaterial.com

Frank Sinatra – Jack Daniel’s

What’s there to say about Old Blue Eyes that hasn’t already been said? Did he have the voice of an angel? Absolutely. And what do you think that angel lubed his throat pipes with? Jack Daniel’s. Sinatra was such a huge fan of Old No. 7 that Jack Daniel’s released two limited labels in his honor—Sinatra Select and, to commemorate what would have been his 100th birthday, Sinatra Century.

Lemmy – Jack Daniel’s (and Coca Cola)

We included one man and one man only on this list who drank his whiskey mixed, and his name is Lemmy. Lead singer of Motörhead, one of the gnarliest rock and roll bands to ever grace a stage, Lemmy’s penchant for hard living—sex, drugs, rock and roll, and especially booze—is a thing of legend.

After his death (prostate cancer, of all things) late last year, a petition was formed online to officially rename Lemmy’s drink of choice, the popular “Jack and Coke” (Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola) to “The Lemmy.” Food and Beverage Magazine listened, and made the official change, honoring the petition that accrued more than 40,000 online signatures.

Andrew Jackson – Homebrew

When we think of American badasses, Andrew Jackson nears the top of our list. Aside from his incredible battle-tested wartime heroism, Jackson was big on gun fighting. A reporter once called his wife a whore, so he said something like, “Yeah? Screw you. Let’s duel about it.” So they did, and Jackson killed him. It has been alleged that throughout his gun-fighting career, Jackson killed more than 100 men.

And he didn’t just have a penchant for gun violence. He also lived like a 19th century rock star. After he was elected POTUS, he threw public parties at the white house, beat an attempted assassin with a walking cane, and at his funeral, his pet parrot had to be removed from the procession because it wouldn’t stop cussing in the Lord’s house.

Jackson was also a well-reputed whiskey guy. Old Hickory loved the brown stuff, and he never had a noted brand of preference because he was too busy making his own. When Jackson wasn’t practicing law, shooting dudes in the throat, and being a president, he was entranced by the process of alcohol distillation. He had his own distillery at Hermitage, his Tennessee plantation home.There’s even rumors about that when his friend, John Coffee, was suffering from arthritis, Jackson recommended he take a whiskey bath. A bath. In whiskey.

John Wayne – Wild Turkey Bourbon

John Wayne was another man’s man, and he too was a whiskey guy. Lore tells us Wayne was a situational drinker of sorts—tequila, vodka, cognac, and even high-end French wines, on occasion. But it came time to declare some loyalties, Wayne was a bourbon guy. In an interview, his son, Ethan, recounted that when his dad would take on a movie role that would keep him in exotic places for months at a time, he’d pack cases of Wild Turkey for the trip, just to make sure he didn’t have to go without the good stuff for too long.

Anthony Bourdain – Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon

A New York-born and Jersey-bred creator and ground shaker of the highest degree, Anthony Bourdain has proven himself an incredibly talented chef, food critic, traveler, and writer. He’s also a certified booze connoisseur.

Bourdain once jokingly (presumably?) tweeted that he was considering getting a full back tattoo dedicated to Pappy, and has talked about it in several interviews. When he sat down with Eric Lipert for an interview, Lipert surprised Bourdain with an unopened bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year. Bourdain’s face lit up, he immediately let out a gasp, and proclaimed, “That is the most glorious bourbon on the face of the planet.” You can’t really get any clearer than that.

Dressing Like a Modern Southern Gentleman

#135 is one of my favorite Man Skills

Showing up in jeans and a wrinkled t-shirt is not how you get serious men to take you seriously. But you also don’t have to wear a tuxedo everywhere you go. Here are a few basics that will help you stand out from whatever crowd you’re in.

Keep Your Shirts Pressed and Your Shoes Shined. Here’s a greatvideo on how to polish your shoes from Kiwi
Keep It Simple, Stupid. Classic always works. So no crazy colors, no Mister-T starter set necklaces. You want them to remember the man, not the Ed Hardy T-shirt
When In Doubt, Go With A Plain White Shirt. There’s nothing better than a starched white dress shirt when you’re wearing a suit or sport coat. Bonus points for french cuffs and good cuff links.
It’s Always Better to Overdress Than Under Dress. Whether it’s a job interview, funeral or dinner party, I’d rather show up in coat and tie and realize i’m over dressed, than show up in jeans and a baseball cap. I can always take my tie off but there’s no way to dress up my favorite Alabama baseball cap.
Never Leave Home Without Your Wristwatch. One reason is it looks good. But an even better reason is it’s one less temptation to pull your phone out. BTW, you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands to have a nice watch. This one is less than $50

Socks are the best way to go a little crazy. Great sock game will get you noticed in a good way.BONUS-Your belt should always match your shoes.


I can handle the basics of car maintenance like oil changes, replacing air filters and burned out bulbs but there’s one I’ve never had the nerve to try, change brake pads. This video makes it look so easy I may give it a try.


One thing I learned early on is the right tool makes any job easier. So what tools do you need to tackle the average projects and repairs around the house? Here’s a pretty good list.


BONUS tool tip- Check out these uses for a screwdriver you’ve probably never thought about.


Everything I needed to know about being a man, I learned playing football

I played football from 8 years old until I graduated from high school. I can’t say I enjoyed every minute of it but I can and will say it was not wasted time. The reason it wasn’t wasted is I’m convinced much of who and what I am as a man was developed on the practice field and in games. There are certain lessons learned in a competitive, physical sport that are hard to pick up in other ways. Here’s a list.

  1. I have to own my mistakes. When I missed a block, it was me. Not my parents. Not the coach. Not the QB. It was me.

  2. How to follow authority, even if you don’t always respect the person. I played for a lot coaches and liked all of them. Except for one. I had to learn it wasn’t necessary that I like him, he was the coach and if I wanted to play, I was going to have to do it his way. 

  3. Don’t be thin skinned. You’ll miss a lot of good lessons if you focus on the manner and method of the coaching instead of the substance of what the coach is saying.

  4. I must relentlessly review my performance. Watching game film can be the worst time of your life. Especially with a coach who’s in love with the rewind button. But it’s really the only way to get better.

  5. How to be a dependable teammate. It doesn’t matter if you’re a starter or a scrub, you have to be there for your teammates and they have to know that.

  6. Being a man is results oriented not talk oriented. You can talk all the smack you want before the game, but when it starts, it’s all about how YOU perform.

  7. Discipline. I learned how to do something I didn’t want to do, two-a-day practices in August, to get something I really wanted to have, playingon Friday night.


As you get ready to start your week, here’s a short list of actions any man can do that will guarantee his world is better today than it was yesterday:

  • Help one more person every day
  • Give more and take less
  • Ask why