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The Backyard Gridiron FOOTBALL MEMORIES WITH MY FAVORITE COACH W hen you’re a kid, every game of backyard football feels like Super Bowl Sunday. You break right, dive for the end zone, and celebrate your victory against the neighborhood kids you’ve always played with on your parents’ turf. The grass stains and breathless breakaways might as well be done under the lights of a big dome while a rousing crowd cheers you on.
been a fan of the local teams, and like all backyard football players, I had dreams of someday playing professionally. When you grow older, you realize that’s a pipe dream for most people, but it’s exciting to see the players who could make it. When the Georgia Dome first opened, my dad took me to see the Falcons take on the San Francisco 49ers. As a young football fan, my dad knew it would be the opportune moment for me to see these Hall of Famers grind it out locally. For the life of me, I cannot remember which legendary quarterback the 49ers had or even what the score was, but it’s a memory of my dad that I cherish. To this day, I still support my Georgia teams, including the collegiate ones. Though, I’m also a big fan of my alma mater, Ole Miss. Like any Atlanta fan will know, some years are better than others. The good part about being so low on the totem pole for so long is that you get the top pick in the following drafts. Despite heartbreaking Super Bowl appearances and lackluster recent seasons, the Falcons had some great seasons, and they will have more again. But that’s the allure of football. There’s something special about putting all your faith in a team the same way you trusted your dad to sling bombs to you down the yard. I guess the magic of backyard football never loses its appeal. Why else would grown men still try to recreate it on the professional field? -William F. “Trey” Underwood, III
The playbook for our regular neighborhood games had maybe three plays consisting of buttonhooks and Hail Marys. My father orchestrated them all as the quarterback for both teams, and he also thought of himself as quite the amateur coach. I remember one particular time a small neighbor kid, Josh, was complaining about having to go up against Charlie, another neighbor who is pretty well-known for his great athleticism. In fact, Charlie went on to get recruited by a few college football teams. In hindsight, my dad’s response to Josh may not have been the most sound advice in today’s football world. He said, “Go low.” The next play, Charlie ran his route, gunning for a pass. When the blur that was Josh came whizzing over, Josh grabbed Charlie by the ankles and dropped him. With Charlie on the ground, Josh boasted his pride. In the backyard, anything was possible. My dad was the first one to introduce me to football by playing catch with me when I was just 4 years old. I even had a brief stint in organized football, donning the youth uniform as a fullback. As short-lived as my football career was, I’ve always
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3 WAYS CONTACT WITH NATURE IMPROVES YOUR HEALTH AWALK IN THE WOODS IS THE PRESCRIPTION
Our ancestors were deeply connected to their natural environment, mostly because their survival depended on it. With no Whole Foods available, those who could best track a mammoth, find water, and forage for edible plants kept themselves alive and passed on their genes. Given our history as hunter-gatherers, it’s no wonder contact with nature provides us with several health benefits. AMEMORY BOOST In a University of Michigan study, a group of students were asked to take a memory test that involved repeating numbers back to researchers. Next, researchers separated the students into two groups. Group A took a walk around an arboretum and Group B walked along busy city streets. Afterward, they were asked to take the memory test again. Group A, the students who had walked in the arboretum, performed 20 percent better on the memory test. Group B didn’t show any marked improvement. Additional research has corroborated the memory-enhancing effects of nature. AMOOD BOOST Observing the benefits nature has for cognitive function, scientists wondered what effects it might have on individuals diagnosed with depression. In one study from the University of Essex, participants with major depressive disorder
reported an improvement in self-esteem and mood after spending time in nature. Exercising while in nature resulted in even more of a mood boost for participants. A CALMING EFFECT Research also shows that spending time in nature reduces stress. In a study conducted by Chiba University in Japan, participants spent two nights in the forest. Researchers evaluated their levels of stress hormones during and after this period and compared it to their normal work days in the city. Across the board, participants’ stress levels were much lower during the days spent in the forest and for several days afterward. Today, we’re less connected to our natural environment than our ancestors were. Modern comforts and technology mean we don’t have to go outside to get our food. But nature is still accessible and you don’t have to go far to find it. In many of the studies, even minor exposure to the outdoors, like adding plants to your home or looking out a window during work, showed health benefits. This winter, find ways to bring a little more nature into your life each day. Your brain will thank you. a spinoff. First appearing in “Breaking Bad” and now the star of “Better Call Saul,” Saul Goodman’s quips and ferocious attitude make him a fierce fighter for his clients. You find yourself rooting for his dirty clients, and we never knew a criminal lawyer — and we don’t mean a lawyer who defends people accused of crimes — could be so good. Rudy Baylor Since Erin Brockovich is real and therefore exempt from this list, Rudy Baylor is the next obvious choice. When the case of a lifetime lands in his lap just after graduating law school, Baylor fights hard for a seemingly forgettable elderly couple up against a big corporation. Baylor’s resilience and tenacity to fight for his clients reminds us why we got into law and compels us to not become another shark in dirty water. Do you disagree with our list or think we’re missing Vinny Gambino and Atticus Finch? Let us know who your top three would be! And when you need a real dedicated lawyer in your corner, call the Law Office of William F. Underwood, III, P.C. at 229-888-0888.
TO HEAR OUR 3 FAVORITE FICTIONAL LAWYERS
Despite courtroom dramas emphasizing the theatrics of legal proceedings, the real courtroom is actually
a bit mellow. Still, we can’t ignore the antics and bravado of the following fictional lawyers. If we ever found ourselves needing legal representation in their universes, we know who we would call. Jack McCoy While he rose to “Law & Order” fame as a prosecutor against murderers, we love the fight Jack McCoy puts up for the people he’s responsible for. His character was so good at his job that the writers of his former show’s sibling series, “Law & Order: SVU,” brought him back in 2018 to prosecute a fellow district attorney. No one is above the law when McCoy is in the courtroom, and his multiple gut- wrenching episodes across a 16-season span prove he doesn’t give up easily. Saul Goodman You know a fictional lawyer is worth the hype when his original minor appearance on a show about a high school teacher selling methamphetamines turns into
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SOCIAL STRUGGLES How Your Social Media Posts Affect Your Personal Injury Case
An accident has a way of throwing a wrench into every aspect of your life. Maybe you’re struggling through injury recovery, and on top of that pain, you have to slog through insurance paperwork, legal documents, and work complications. You spend hours stressing about the outcome of your case while friends and family continue to live their normal, active lives.
Sadly, even your family and friends could face defensive scrutiny. If your mom is posting about how much fun she had doing yoga with you while you claim to have sustained damage to your neck, or your dad rants on Facebook about how much you want compensation, you may face accusations of fraud.
Don’t be quick to delete your accounts all together, either. Defensive teams will question why you were so quick to wipe out your social presence, and your credibility could be tarnished. Don’t let your social media pursuits ruin your serious and well-deserved fight for compensation after an injury. If you have questions or concerns in your personal injury case, our
Now you can add social media to the list of factors to consider.
When you’re injured in an accident, social media can be extremely detrimental to your case. It can even get your case shut down completely. The most important thing to remember is never to post about your accident on social media. Every word and photo you post has the potential to be twisted by insurance companies to prove that you don’t deserve the compensation you seek. Furthermore, what you regard as a simple reassurance to your far-away loved ones that you’re okay, the defense will see as a confession of perfect health — regardless of what your medical bills say. In the weeks and months after your accident, even your simple social media posts could prove to be the end of your case. While battling for more compensation for your broken leg and emotional distress, checking in at a local festival following your accident is a defense’s dream. They can twist your testimony and question how injured and distressed you are.
experts at the Law Office of William F. Underwood, III, P.C. can help. Call 229- 888-0888 for more information.
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine.
Have a Laugh!
Valentine’s Day Cookie Cards
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract Royal icing, sprinkles, and edible markers, for decorating
• • •
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large egg yolks
Directions 1. Heat oven to 375 F.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour with sugar and salt. Add butter and combine using a mixer at low speed, until butter breaks down into small, crumbly pieces. Increase mixing speed to medium and mix until butter and flour clump. 3. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract to bowl, return mixer to low, and mix until dough congeals. 4. Carefully roll dough into a sheet 1/16-inch thick and cut into 4x6- inch cards. 5. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake cookie cards for 6 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 6. Let cookies cool completely, decorate, and distribute.
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inside Backyard Football Memories PAGE 1 3 Ways Nature Improves Your Health PAGE 2 Favorite Fictional Lawyers PAGE 2 How Does Social Media Affect My Case? PAGE 3 Valentine’s Day Cookie Cards PAGE 3 Three Cheers for Chi Chi! PAGE 4
A Quadruple Amputee Who Inspires the World CHI CHI THE RESCUE DOG
In our darkest moments, it can be hard to believe joy can be found again. But one amazing dog proves that no matter what happens, through love and patience, we can make the world a better place. Chi Chi is a golden retriever who was found in a dumpster by an animal rescue group in South Korea. Badly injured and left in a garbage bag with her legs bound together, the only way to save Chi Chi’s life was to amputate all four of her legs. As she recovered, the call went out to find a family who could care for a dog with serious medical needs. As a quadruple amputee, just getting Chi Chi’s prosthetics on so she could go outside in the morning would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Elizabeth Howell from Arizona saw a video about Chi Chi’s plight online. “She stole my heart,” Howell said, taken by how Chi Chi was still wagging her tail despite her injuries. After seeing Chi Chi’s perseverance and her will to live, Elizabeth and her family took on the challenge. There were struggles as Chi Chi learned to trust people again, but with time, Chi Chi found peace and joy with her new family.
“She exemplifies resilience and forgiveness and
willingly shares her love and compassion in abundance,” Howell has said. “Her sweet- tempered and gentle spirit opens people’s hearts and her perceptive spirit senses where her love is needed.”
Chi Chi’s vet has called her a “miracle dog,” referring both to the fact that she survived losing all her legs and to the joy she brings to the world. Today, Chi Chi is a registered therapy dog, offering strength, love, and support to those who need it most. She visits VA hospitals, assisted living facilities, and children with disabilities. To celebrate her journey of survival, courage, and love, Chi Chi was honored with the American Humane Hero Dog Award in 2018. You can follow the adventures of this brave, loving canine at Facebook.com/ChiChiRescueDog.
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