FIFA World Cup Player Escort Sweepstakes (Plus a Fun McDonald’s and Indy Eleven Giveaway)

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Wendy R!

This post is sponsored by McDonald’s of Central Indiana, as a partnership with #McDsIndyMoms. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Has the soccer bug bitten your family? I wouldn’t say we’ve been bitten yet, but the bug is definitely flying within biting distance for us! Mike and I didn’t grow up playing soccer, but it’s huge in Indiana, so we thought we’d give it a go with Elena.

preschool soccer
Let’s just say the highlight of Elena’s brief soccer career was the snack and juice box at the end. And can I just take a moment to cherish the days of pigtails? Look at that baby face!

We have a few things conspiring to give us soccer fever, though. In a couple of weeks, Eli will start playing in his first soccer league. He’s super excited, and being the sports nut that he is, I think he’ll enjoy it more than his big sister ever did.

toddler soccer

One of my favorite pictures ever … because baby boys in rompers, of course!

Such a sweet moment between Eli and his Uncle Donnie.

Shortly after soccer wraps up here, we’ll be heading to Spain. I hear they’re just a little into fútbol, no? I’d love to come home with a Real Madrid jersey for Eli. A little closer to home, we’re very excited in Indianapolis to welcome professional soccer to our sports-loving town. The Indy Eleven, a North American Soccer League team, was formed just over a year ago. Their first season kicks off in just a few weeks, and we’ll definitely cheer them on.

Of course, die-hard soccer fans know that the FIFA World Cup begins in June. This year’s World Cup is being held in Brazil, June 14-July 13.  McDonald’s is a proud sponsor of both the FIFA World Cup and the Indy Eleven. As a part of that sponsorship, they have an exciting sweepstakes taking place for young Hoosier soccer fans. The World Cup Player Escort Sweepstakes will give 25 young soccer fans ages 6-10 the experience of a lifetime: to walk hand-in-hand with a US soccer player as they take the field in the FIFA World Cup. Across the globe, 1408 children from 64 different countries will get the same honor. Here in Indiana, one young fan will get the chance to travel to Brazil with their family as part of the FIFA World Cup Player Escort Program.

All you have to do to enter your young soccer fan into the sweepstakes is visit mcdonegoal.com . The sweepstakes runs through April 6. After you take your chances there, how about entering a fun little giveaway here?#McDsIndyMoms and McDonald’s of Central Indiana have a prize pack to giveaway to one Just Like The Number reader. The prize pack includes a McDonald’s World Cup water bottle, a $10 Arch card, coupons, and a selection of Indy Eleven goodies.

Here’s what you need to do to enter to win the McDonald’s prize pack:

  1. Leave a comment below telling me which team you’ll root for in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  2. For an additional entry, subscribe to Just Like The Number so you never miss a post! Just remember to leave an additional comment below telling me you subscribed so that you’ll have 2 entries counted. And if you’re already a subscriber? Tell me in a separate comment as well – you totally get an extra entry for being a loyal reader!

The giveaway will end Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Thanks!

Looking for additional chances to win a prize pack? Check out the giveaways going on these other fabulous blogs:

Gotcha Baby (ends 3-24-14)

Chaos Is Bliss ( ends 4-6-14)

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If My Adam Schefter Face is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right (Notes From the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine)

NFL Scouting Combine 2014

I’ve grown quite accustomed to the quizzical looks I get when I talk about the NFL Scouting Combine. Not many people outside of the NFL-obsessed know about it, and most of them don’t care. I get it. But for me, what started out as an event I stumbled upon quite by accident has turned into something I look forward to immensely every year.

The NFL Scouting Combine takes places each February in Indianapolis. College athletes who have declared their intention to come out for the NFL draft in the spring hope to get an invitation to the Combine, where scouts and NFL coaching staffs will observe them in action. Impress people at the Combine and you can see your draft stock rise significantly.

If you’ve seen anything from the Combine, it’s most likely the athletes running the 40-yard-dash. The workouts and drills are just one part of the evaluation process players go through. From the moment these young men step off the plane, they are under constant scrutiny. While at the Combine, they will go through extensive medical and psychological testing, team interviews, as well as the workouts and drills. It’s essentially the most important job interview of their life … one that goes on for 4 days straight.

Since 1987 the Combine has made its home in Indianapolis. Thanks to our excellent athletic facilities and world-class sports medicine center (as well as our kick-ass craft beer scene – let’s be honest), we’re the perfect hosts. Over 900 credentialed media descend upon Indy, in conjunction with the athletes, NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts.

For the average Indianapolis resident, this means virtually nothing. For the city, hotels, restaurants and bars? It’s huge. It’s estimated that the Combine has an economic impact of $6.5 million dollars to Indianapolis. So yes, I’m not the only one around here who gets excited about the Combine.

NFL Combine Tweetup

As a fan both of football and the people who cover it, the Combine is a chance to geek out in my hometown. It starts with the annual Combine Tweetup. You may remember, I attended my first Tweetup four years ago. It’s where I first met Peter King, and thanks to that chance interaction I’ve found myself both in the Monday Morning Quarterback column as well as writing for the the Sports Illustrated site. Pretty darn cool.

We attended the Tweetup on Friday night. It was awesome as usual, with a great panel including Peter, Pat McAfee, Doug Farrar, Matt Miller, and Adam Schefter. Speaking of awesome, how about me finally meeting the King of Breaking NFL News on Twitter himself? Let me introduce you to my “HOLY SHIT, IT’S ADAM SCHEFTER! face:

Adam Schefter NFL Combine Tweetup

Afterwards we hit the town, catching up with old friends and admiring players, coaches, and media kingpins from afar. Or literally running into them – I was so close to Sean Payton I could smell his Juicy Fruit. And maybe getting a little too chummy with Rich Eisen too soon and inviting him to your house for a poker game. Whatever. For football geeks like Mike and I, it’s so much fun … but thankfully not nearly as much “fun” as I had last year.

NFL Scouting Combine 1iota

On Sunday we had the chance, thanks to 1iota, to attend the actual Combine and see the quarterbacks, wideouts, and running backs work out. And while Peter King may have compared it to “watching paint dry,” for the fan who appreciates what it takes to make it to the league, it’s a thrill to see.

So now it’s over for another year. It’s a long time to wait, between now and the first days of training camp. So long, in fact, that I’m seriously considering trying to score tickets to the Draft in New York City in May. I mean, that’s totally normal, right?

I’m guessing from the Adam Schefter face you’re throwing right back at me, the answer is a resounding no.

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Insta-January

JanuaryInstagram

1.  With all the nasty weather, delays, and school closings, we’ve been spending lots of time inside. TOGETHER. It never ceases to amaze me how well Elena and Eli get along when they work on a Kiwi Crate together. I don’t know what kind of crazy ju-ju the sprinkle in those green boxes to make it so, but I love them for it.

2.  We celebrated my 39th birthday and my brother’s 50th birthday in Nashville. Sombreros make everything more awesome.

3.  We cut the above trip short abruptly so we could get home before this snow storm hit on January 5th. Since then we’ve missed 6 days of school, had 4 two-hour delays, and I haven’t seen the grass or a day above 40 degrees.

4.  I spent a fun Saturday evening celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday on a bus tour of several local breweries. So much delicious beer, so little time!

5.  Eli got a LEGO castle for Christmas. Two weeks and nearly 1000 pieces later, he has this to show for it!

6.  January 13th marked the one-year anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing. Paul loved him some Cracker Barrel, so Eli and I had a dinner date there and shared some of our favorite memories.

7.  Elena made a rainbow cake after she saw one on Pinterest … and she actually nailed it!

8.  I just can’t quit a paper planner. My favorite one was discontinued, so last year I tried an Erin Condren planner. I liked it, but couldn’t quite stomach the price tag again this year. I found this one on etsy from Plum Paper Designs and I love it.

9.  We signed Eli up for basketball at the Y. He’s on the Butler Bulldogs, and he’s having such a good time. He had his first game last week. After he made his first game basket, he sprinted to the middle of the court and busted out some breakdancing moves. I’m pretty sure that’s frowned upon, but I loved it.

10. Mike came home with this issue of Sports Illustrated for me. I’m such a fool for that guy – I cried when I was reading it! I so wanted him to take home another Super Bowl ring this year.

If you’re not already following me on Instagram already, please do! You can find me there as (the one and only) AngieSix.

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