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Vixen Survival Guide: NFL Playoffs

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You’re dating a guy who eats, breathes and lives sports. Just a fun fact: there’s pretty much no better time in his life than right now. The Super Bowl is weeks away, hockey is in full swing and NBA All Star weekend is his version of Valentines Day. Seriously, if LeBron James did the dunk contest, it would be like you coming home to a candle lit walkway, centered with rose petals, leading towards the bathroom, with Beyonce’s Drunk In Love video looped via projector on a sidewall and hubby sitting in the tub filled with warm water, waiting for you to ride on your “surfbort.”

You want nothing more than to connect with him and be one of the guys for a few hours, instead of the girl who screams home run in the crowded sports bar when his favorite team scores a touchdown. Don’t embarrass yourself and have him looking at you with the real life welp face emoji. I feel compelled to help you ladies out, so here’s a guide to understanding the game and a few standout stats to remember if you really want to wow him.

 

 

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Who’s Playing?

Right now, we’re in the Conference championship rounds. That means there are only four teams left and two out of the four will advance to the Super Bowl. The four teams are divided by the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. In the AFC, the New England Patriots are playing against the Denver Broncos.

 

New England Patriots Practice

 

AFC: How Do I Tell Them Apart?

With all those players on the field, moving in mad directions and the ball being so small, things sometimes get confusing, So here’s how you can tell which team is which in the AFC Championship game.

The Patriots

Colors: Blue, Red, Silver, White
Mascot: Pat the Patriot
Team City: New England (Massachusetts)
Abbreviated Name: NE

Standout Stat: The Patriots have a record of 13 wins and 4 losses, and are seeded as the number two team in the AFC.

Broncos practice at Dove Valley

 

How Do I Tell Them Apart?

The Broncos

Colors: Orange, Navy Blue, White
Mascot: Miles (costume) and Thunder (live horse)
Team City: Denver, Colorado
Abbreviated Name: Den

Standout Stat: Denver’s record on the season is 14 wins and 3 losses and they are seeded as the number one team in the AFC.

 

 

New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts, 2014 AFC Divisional Playoffs

Most Important Players

The weekend match ups are all about the quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is the quarterback for the Broncos and Tom Brady is the quarterback for the Patriots. Here’s some ways to identify them and facts you should know about both of them.

Tom Brady

Team: The Patriots
Jersey No.: 12
What Position He Is: Quarterback
What That Means: Brady controls the offense and is the the one that throws the ball down the field for New England. Without him, the team can’t move the ball because he makes the plays happen.

Standout Stat: Brady is one of the most celebrated quarterbacks in NFL history because he’s a proven winner. He’s won the most playoff games in NFL history as a quarterback, including three Super Bowls.

Divisional Playoffs - San Diego Chargers v Denver Broncos

 

 

 

Most Important Players

Peyton Manning

Team: The Broncos
Jersey No.: 18
What Position He Is: Quarterback
What That Means: Like Brady, Manning controls the offense and is the the one that throws the ball down the field for Denver. What makes him so special is that he calls audibles. This basically means he’s changing the original play at the last minute because he sees a different way to beat the defense. You’ll notice this because he steps away from his teammates a lot and yells out commands before they give him the ball.

Standout Stat: Manning holds almost every record you can as a quarterback, but as good as he is, has only won one Super Bowl. You should know that because the commentators on TV, and most likely a few of your boyfriends buddies, will mention that while he’s playing because they just want to point out his one shortcoming.

 

Seattle Seahawks vs New Orleans Saints, 2014 NFC Divisional Playoffs

 

NFC: How Do I Tell Them Apart?

Now that we got you covered for the AFC, here’s how you can tell which team is which in the NFC Championship game.

The Seahawks

Colors: Navy, Green, Wolf Grey
Mascot: Blitz
Team City: Seattle, Washington
Abbreviated Name: Sea

Standout Stat: The Seahawks have a record of 14 wins and 3 losses, and are seeded as the number one team in the NFC.

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

 

How Do I Tell Them Apart?

The 49ers

Colors: Red, Gold
Mascot: Sourdough Sam (a big headed character that looks like Yosemite Sam from looney tunes)
Team City: San Francisco, California
Abbreviated Name: SF

Standout Stat: The 49ers record on the season is 13 wins and 4 losses and are seeded as the number five team in the NFC.

Seattle Seahawks vs New Orleans Saints, 2014 NFC Divisional Playoffs

 

Most Important Players

In terms of the most important players in the NFC match up, quarterbacks still reign supreme. Russell Wilson is the quarterback for the Seahawks and Colin Kaepernick is the quarterback for the 49ers. Here’s a few ways to identify them and things you should know.

Russell Wilson

Team: The Seahawks
Jersey No.: 3
What Position He Is: Quarterback
What That Means: Russell Wilson is one the NFL’s new stars. He’s helped turn the Seahawks into one the best teams in the NFL.

Standout Stat: Even though he’s only 25, the young quarterback has been to the pro bowl twice and won rookie of the year in 2012.

 

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

Most Important Players

Colin Kaepernick

Team: The 49ers
Jersey No.: 7
What Position He Is: Quarterback
What That Means: Of all the remaining quarterbacks, Kaepernick is known as the most outlandish. Like Wilson, he’s a part of the NFL’s new wave of quarterbacks that are quick, strong and charismatic enough to take over fledgling franchises.

Standout Stat: Even though this is only his third season in the league, Kaepernick has already been to the Super Bowl. In fact, you might remember him because he was on the team that lost last year in the Super Bowl (the same one when Beyonce performed at halftime) tto the Baltimore Ravens 34-31.

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

 

How To Read The Field

Now you know the players to look out for, but there’s another problem: what’s with all the lines and numbers on the field?

First Downs and Yards

I’m sure you understand when a team scores a touchdown, but there’s a reason why a) it’s worth six points when they do and b) it normally doesn’t happen that often. TD’s are hard to come by and there are several attempts at scoring that require small victories. Kind of like when you mastered downward facing dog in yoga class and then hit that downward split like a G. It’s all about the baby steps.

The field is measured by increments of 10 yards. When a team has the ball on offense, they have four attempts (or downs) to move the ball ten yards down the field (or more) to keep possession of the ball. If they’re able to do this, they get a whole new set of downs (four more attempts). This continues until they either score a touchdown or a field goal (that’s when they kick the ball through the two poles). If they can’t gain ten yards, they have to give the ball back.

Usually on 4th Down, teams will kick the ball down the field to other team so that their opponent has a longer way to go to try to score. This action is called punting.

Carolina Panthers vs San Francisco 49ers, 2014 NFC Divisional Playoffs

 

Wifey Be Like... Which Clock Do I Look At?

Football games are divided into four 15-minute quarters. The game clock counts down from 15 and resets after each quarter. Keep in mind that it stops a lot, like during time outs, when a person with the ball goes out of bounds or the two-minute warning (this is basically a reminder to both teams that there’s only two minutes left in the half).

There’s also a timer called the play clock. Remember when we went over downs? Well before the snap (that’s when the big guy in front of the quarterback tosses the ball between his legs to the quarterback), teams have 40 seconds to choose a play they want to run. If they don’t get the play off before the 40 seconds are up, they get a penalty.

Standout Stat: This one might be a little tricky, so here’s an easy one. If you’re watching the game with the guys, don’t be afraid to ask which one is the game clock and which one is the play clock. Everyone will be impressed that you even know there’s a difference, so just ask if you’re not sure. Trust me.

 

New England Patriots Practice

 

Interceptions

Other than the touchdown, interceptions are the most exciting part of football. They’re often unexpected, can change the outcome of a game and shift the momentum from one team to the other. When the quarterback throws the ball and a guy on the other team catches it, that’s an interception. It’s not a good thing for the quarterback, but it is a great thing for the defense. Not only have they stopped the other team from scoring but they also get the ball back and can send a surge of energy to their team’s offense and fans.

Standout Stat: Be aware of which team your man is rooting for. Some of his friends may cheer when this happens, but if the quarterback on your boo’s team threw the interception, the last thing he wants is wifey getting all hype. Don’t catch the side-eye. Make sure you know who to root for.

If you can remember most of these pointers by Sunday, you’ll be in good shape. Keep in mind that asking a few questions is a good thing, as long as you sound like you have an idea of what’s going on. Plus, this is a great way to show you care about what your guy is interested in and then he owes you. Make him watch a whole season of Scandal or something after the Super Bowl. Stay tuned for the Super Bowl guide, where I’ll explain a little bit more so you can keep impressing your man.

 

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That Glow, Tho: How To Revive Your Skin After A Brick A** Winter

Whew, chile! Freshly fallen snow may be nice to look at, but the dry skin that accompanies the winter months ain’t it. And by the time the first tulip blooms come springtime, best believe your skin—which just endured months of humidity-deprived conditions—is super parched. Pass the moisturizer, please!

“The lack of humidity during the winter months is the main cause for the ‘winter’s itch’ and dryness,” Dr. Meena Singh, board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, told VIBE Vixen over email. And let’s not forget how the shorter days rob us ladies of the melanated variety of our warm and natural glow.

Luckily, there are many ways to combat such cold weather woes, both during and after the winter.

“I personally change my regimen significantly between seasons,” Singh added. “In the winter time, I am more prone to use heavier ointments and butters. Whereas in the spring, I can typically get away with moisturizing with emollient creams and lotions.”

But that’s not all you can do to whip your skin back into shape. Looking to bring your fly and radiant self back to life? Look no further. Vixen reached out to five women of color dermatologists, who’ve shared the following tips to help you get started.

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Hydrate From Within.

How many times have you asked a woman with bomb skin what her secret is and been met with the “I drink a lot of water” response? Did you figuratively roll your eyes? We’ve been there and we get it, especially since science says genetics do play a role in how your skin behaves—but homegirl wasn’t wrong!

Dr. Fran E. Cook-Bolden, board-certified NYC dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, tells Vixen that while you may not feel as thirsty when it’s cold out, it’s still important to stay hydrated and drink your eight glasses of water a day.

“The best way to avoid dry skin in the winter is to tackle it from the inside out,” she says.

Other ways to stay hydrated? Health.com suggests eating fruits such as apples, pears, and clementines, which are all over 80% water. Plus, not only will the vitamin C content of these fruits help you ward off the flu in the winter, but they’ll also keep you cool and refreshed once the weather warms up.

We stan a multifaceted solution.

Don't Forget To Cleanse.

As important as it is to drink your eight glasses a day, it’s also important to keep up with your cleansing routine—even if you’re not sweating as much.

In fact, board-certified Chicago dermatologist Dr. Caroline Robinson tells Vixen that maintaining moisture during the harsh winter months begins with cleansing. Washing our face removes makeup, dirt, and debris from the day, preventing buildup and breakouts. This also means the expensive serums and moisturizers you’ve probably splurged on are better absorbed by the skin.

But don’t overdo it!

“I find that many patients are over-cleansing, over-exfoliating or using cleansers that are not appropriate for their skin type and this is causing excess dryness,” she added. “Using a more mild cleanser can help tremendously in the battle against dryness.”

Our dermatologist-recommended favorite? CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser Bar.

It may also help to reconsider what you’re washing with when the weather changes. Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, Medical Director of Ingleton Dermatology, adds that as the temperatures go up, your routine should become “less heavy.”

“Switch from more hydrating cleaners and oils to foamy, gel-based cleaners” and to “a lighter weight daily moisturizer,” she advises. And if you’ve been skimping on the SPF don’t—you’ll definitely need it when the sun is back in these streets.

Keeping Up With "Wash Day" Is Important, Too.

Otherwise, you may end up with a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which often appears on the scalp as a result of product buildup, but can also show up in skin folds such as behind the ears, under the breasts, etc.

“A dry, itchy and flaking scalp is very common in the winter and becomes more common as the frequency of washing the hair decreases,” Cook-Bolden tells Vixen. “When seborrheic dermatitis presents, it’s a common belief that applying scalp lotions, gels or pomades will help to treat the condition and is indeed sometimes helpful in temporarily soothing the itching and irritation.

However, as these products build up on the scalp, they can actually worsen the inflammation and overall worsen seborrheic dermatitis.”

So keep up with your hair care regimen, and if you do find yourself with a case of the seborrheic itchies, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dermatologist for an anti-inflammatory treatment.

Ceramides & Antioxidants Are Your Friends.

If you’re not familiar with ceramides and their superpowers, now’s the time to get familiar. Why? Because they can be extremely healing for desiccated skin.

As Atlanta board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany Clay explains, ceramides are fats in the surface of the skin. When added to skin care products, they not only help your skin retain moisture, but they also give your skin a boost after being exposed to the elements like pollution and icy wind.

In terms of what to use, you’ll want to look for products described as “non-comedogenic,” which means a product is less likely to clog your pores. Additionally, products containing hyaluronic acid (HA) are also a win because of its ability to attract and hold water at the surface of the skin.

“I typically recommend patients keep their antioxidant serum/lotion (vitamin C) and their retinol on board no matter the season,” Clay also notes. “Over- the- counter retinols and prescription retinoids are vitamin A derived medications that most people use in a topical form.”

And they’re a major win-win. Using retinols/retinoids short term will help exfoliate your skin and give you that Kelly Rowland glow. Their long-term use helps to promote collagen production in the skin, minimizing fine lines and decreasing excess melanin production, which will even your complexion, reduce hyperpigmentation, and help reduce photo-damage.

As for vitamin C, look at it as SPF’s best friend.

“Vitamin C is an antioxidant that, when applied topically in combination with daily sun protection, decreases free-radical damage from ultraviolet exposure,” Clay shares.

Those rays don’t stand a chance.

Exfoliate, But Make It Gentle.

It may be tempting to grab the St. Ives but don’t. Instead, Clay suggests, get acquainted with chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandolin acid, or salicylic acid.

These strong but gentle powerhouses typically come labeled as AHAs and BHAs (alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid) and are way less harsh on the skin. Those over-the-counter scrubs you’re used to? They tend to leave scrapes and cuts on the skin, which can lead to inflammation and—you guessed it—hyperpigmentation... and we ain’t ask for all’at.

If you do decide to use a traditional scrub, Ingleton suggests trying Dove’s Exfoliating Body Scrub.

“This will help to slough away dry, dead cells on the surface and also hydrate/moisturize the skin in the process,” she says. “Apply a hydrating body lotion after doing the scrub.”

But again, be gentle!

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Kylie Jenner attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Kylie Jenner Doubles Down On Being Crowned A "Self Made" Billionaire

The premise of "self-made" and its interpretation when it comes to privileged celebrities has been a huge debate. When Kylie Jenner was named Forbes' youngest self-made billionaire, debates were raised due to her timeline in the limelight and her wealthy family. The 21-year-old defended her title, explaining how she doesn't fall into any ofter category.

"There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth," she said in Q&A with Interview Magazine's German edition. "That is the category that I fall under," she started.

She acknowledged how her fan base equated to her success but refuted claims that she used her family's money to jump-start her wildly successful Kylie Cosmetics line.

"Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans. I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100 percent of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that."

Earlier this month (March 5) the mother-of-one officially surpassed Mark Zuckerberg as the youngest person to reach billionaire status, when Kylie Cosmetics hit a billion dollars in revenue.

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'Boomerang' Episode 7 Recap: Family Matters And Pride

Bryson and Simone are a thing, like for real for real. They can’t keep their hands (or tongues) off of one another. As the two of them get steamy in the jacuzzi, a sexually riled up Simone tells her new beau that she wants to treat his face like a bean bag. They are in it, y’all. There’s just one problem — they may be half-brother and sister (insert vomit emoji here). The excitement of finally landing the girl of his dreams is shut down when he reveals that his mother, Jacqueline, informed him that Marcus Graham may be his papa. (Wait. Does that mean Marcus cheated on Angela back in the day? Regardless, what a way to ruin a mood.)

As they wait for the DNA test results, Simone and Bryson still try to be business as usual, you know, chillin’ like they used to. Speaking of business, Bryson is all that. Ari may be his boy and all, but when it comes to directing Tia’s music video, Bryson wants an Italian dude to shoot it instead. He just doesn’t believe Ari can execute. All great directors have vision and through Bryson’s eyes, Ari has none. Simone can’t help but agree. It’s obvious that Tia and her bae are not at all pleased with the video production of her single. Bro gotsta go. Tia has never been one to hold back and in a fit of frustration, she does what Simone couldn’t verbalize; she fires Ari.

Like the “big bad boss” he is, Bryson harshly tells Ari that not only will he basically fail at being a producer, but people will notice that he doesn’t belong here. Hold up. Are we sure Bryson and Ari are friends? Tough love is understandable but to completely obliterate the dreams of someone you’ve been rocking with? That’s foul. Unlike Ari, Bryson knows that he was brought up with the keys and basically helped himself to whatever role he wanted in the industry, a luxury he can afford to extend. Why not help your friend out now even with a little guidance knowing his career aspirations?

Bryson may be able to but Simone is not willing to give up on Ari just yet. She lets Ari collaborate Bryson’s pick, Shayan, who is also seemingly having a hard time capturing dope shots. A conversation with Simone about perfecting his craft leaves Ari somewhat disappointed but open to the constructive criticism.

While enjoying the Atlanta Black Pride festivities, an old filing recognizes Ari and waves him down. In catching up, the discussion quickly takes a turn to sexual orientation labels with a judgemental tone and Ari is not having it. Sure, while he was with her, he liked women but sometimes he’d rather be with a man. “Bisexual,” “Gay,” call it whatever, he just likes who he likes, refuses to be put in a box, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What is not about to happen is him being judged by a woman with five kids and three baby favas. Yikes.

That frustration instantly births inspiration. Instead of dryly shooting Tia performing with Pride weekend just happening around her, Ari points out how the world needs to see all black people not caring about what anyone has to say about them, especially when the world includes women rocking $12 jewelry. Sashayers, milly-rockers, and twerkers galore, the video shines on the culture, highlighting Kings and Queens of all shades, ages, genders, and sexualities. It’s a good time. Even Bryson can give up his props and that lead director credit to Ari. You see, Bryson? You gotta have a little faith like David always has.

Speaking of our fave pastor, unlike many Baptist churches, it’s amazing to see that David embraces and participates in the Atlanta Black Pride weekend. With the help of Crystal, David is preaching a message of loving who you are and loving others. His sermon last week no doubt spoke to the soul but if you recall, Crystal did notice that a lovely lady attended the service moreso for David and less so for Jesus. That obviously triggered something. Crystal and David may not have been able to work out their marriage but the attraction is absolutely still there. Could it be one-sided though?

You didn’t think we forgot about Bryson and Simone, did you? It should be noted that for his entire life, all Bryson ever wanted was to be like Marcus Graham, but not like this. David is right: be careful what you pray for. No matter the outcome of the paternity test, Simone and Bryson will undoubtedly be in one another’s life (maybe less like Whitley and Dwayne and more like Denise and Theo).

Well, folks, the results are in (insert Maury voice). In the case of Bryson J. Broyer, Marcus, you are NOT the father! But, you may still have some ‘splaining to do. Now that they are officially not related, Simone can finally go ahead and have that seat. We know, sis has been tired all day. Ow!

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