Category: Sports

Cardinal’s Kingdom: Why the birds of the desert deserve their Superbowl

Cardinal’s Kingdom: Why the birds of the desert deserve their Superbowl


Castle 21
The South Mountain Mystery Castle

About five miles directly south of central Phoenix sits a monument in the desert that exemplifies the true spirit of the residents of the valley of the sun. A castle built from nothing but natural materials and another man’s garbage that not only in itself is a thing of beauty but somehow encompasses everything truly southwestern. It is so strategically placed to remind visitors that courage to build a kingdom against the elements can be achieved with your eye to the north an urban oasis of promise, and your eye to the south a literal natural guardian of rugged wilderness, that swears it’s easier to die than try to cross over. The South Mountain Mystery Castle a spectacular reminder of how dwelling near death, a Phoenix can rise, and surpass all expectations if one’s true grit overcomes the elements.

What does this man-made wonder have to do with the NFL Arizona Cardinals? Everything. Phoenix, Arizona is not a place where people settled for an easy life. And even in more recent years with the influx of retirement weather refugees from the midwest and north, ask any of them after spending one Summer here, how easy it is. If it is not for the blistering heat with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees easily from May to October, it is the monstrous dust storms that trash the most immaculate landscaped yard to torrential rain storms that can flood out an entire neighborhood in less than ten minutes. Not to mention, the only other designated area in the world that has as many poisonous critters per square mile as Australia, including rattlesnakes, scorpions and Gila monsters.


1947 Championship Chicago Cardinals


No one should have settled here, not to mention a population large enough to support a football franchise, and not just any, but the oldest established NFL franchise in the country. The Chicago, Saint Louis, Phoenix, now Arizona Cardinals. A team that has endured the longest losing streak than any other, starting out as a group of guys from an athletic club in 1898 on the south side of Chicago in hand me down uniforms from a local school.  The team existed almost 50 years before they had a championship in 1947, and then would win one more before 1950, long before the Superbowl was even thought of. After losing popularity and trying to find a place to rebuild the team moved to Sanit Louis in 1960, but had little success, and endured a long stretch of mediocrity before the Bidwell family found a place to start anew, with hope and a handshake, moving to Phoenix in 1988, and settling in a city that should have never been settled at all.

Imagine for the man that built the Mystery Castle, to come to the desert on 1930 to live out what he thought would be his last six months of his life, Boyce Gulley ended up spending the next fifteen years finding a way to make a dream castle built for his estranged wife and daughter, and leaving it to them as a testament to a dream and a plan to conquer the elements in a place that no one would have thought you could build a kingdom.

Like the castle as a testament to ingenuity and integrity, built by a man with a dream to build something out of nothing on the edge of his own mortality, the Arizona Cardinals have stood the test of time. They were hardly  welcomed to Phoenix with a stadium that did not even belong to them for their first 18 years, and more of the fans often rooting for the visiting team in the early years. The Cardinals were often the butt of the joke in the NFL that struggled to obtain players and plays that exemplified anything worth cheering for year after year, having endured the elements, and proven themselves in time. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some great players and moments, especially in more recent years, but they, the oldest team in the NFL have yet to get that ring and have hung in there longer than anyone else.


Castle Front.jpg
Natural rock and recycled materials

Hanging in there, building a fan base by proving themselves that the glimmer of hope turned into a hint of excitement and players that came to the desert to brave the elements like the natives and transplants looking for a fresh start and better opportunity. Knowing it wasn’t the land of milk and honey, but rather dust and dry rot, they somehow tenaciously stayed strong through the bad years proving to build a franchise, a city, a kingdom, like the Mystery Castle, it takes more than just your average bird.

It takes a cardinal, as Native American myth often referred to the daughter of the sun, flying high with prosperity and good luck, what could be more appropriate for us desert dwellers. This bird literally means to point oneself in the right direction, with a strong foundation to build on, in time, against all odds and elements, the cardinal stays true, steadfast, and shows up year round to prove it. Much like the Phoenix, that can’t be put down, the Cardinal’s rise to the top may have taken time, but in the end, no team has been brought up, beat down, moved and put to the test more than the Arizona Cardinals. Slowly building that Kingdom in the desert proving people can create a championship if they believe they can achieve greatness even when facing near death and the toughest of elements.


Robin L. Stockmar M. Ed.

Technology Integration Specialist






Drones in Education: Why “Seeing Drones” could be a game changer

Drones in Education: Why “Seeing Drones” could be a game changer

coğrafyaWho can remember, or maybe wish to forget that teacher that droned on and on in school that put you into a mind-numbing zone out, and most certainly would test you on their endless word vomit of useless information, and when you missed it, reminded you how many times they covered it in class? This dreadful drone someday hopefully will no longer exist, until then, we should see the dawn of a new type of drone in education. With the continuous development of new technologies that can capture video evidence with important content makes it only a matter of time before modern day drones will be a regular part of public education.

There has been plenty of controversy surrounding the use and implementation of drone technology in our country, but controversy aside, the fact is that the technology is moving forward at such a pace that with the new abilities and innovations, namely the “Seeing Drone” Typhoon H using Intel RealSense that it won’t be long before we should see a boom in using them in schools. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. They are already a part of it. Many schools compete in robotics competitions, such as LEGO Education around the country, and students creating and using drone technologies to compete is becoming more common.
  2. The push for STEM in education. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education, that is driven by a national coalition to spread the awareness that these subjects play in the future of our nation to local, state and federal policymakers, with drones at the forefront in technology development, skills in this area will only grow in demand.
  3. The heightened awareness of long-term effects and injuries to student athletes, concussion awareness and how students are treated during practice. Drones can provide more video availability that can move with the player, protecting them from repeating injury prone movements.
  4. Active shooter response, such as ALICE training, with a drone strategically placed, there can be real-time video surveillance that can actually follow the intruder.
  5. And the most unpleasant, drones can save money with less personnel on the playground, hallways, common areas and cafeterias, with the ability to video during times of movements, and in less accessible places that stationary cameras can not.

Whether you are a proponent or using drones in our society or think that they are a sign that the world is coming to an end, there is one thing for sure, they are not going away. Besides, rather than trying to fear the advancement of technology, shouldn’t we try to find ways to embrace it and use it effectively, or does anyone have a better idea? Anyone, Anyone?


Robin L. Stockmar M.Ed.

Technology Integration Specialist




Whatever your latest VICE, think digital


Troye Sivan


What does Troye Sivan, Di Vinci and Jack Johnson have in common? Nothing except they all have a headline story on separate websites under the umbrella of one media company known as  VICE Media. Troye Sivan, the soul swooning Aussie, is the featured artist under Bullet, a site for fashion, music, culture, etc… Jack Johnson is FIGHTLAND‘s feature story about the heavy weight’s final pardon and Di Vinci once again makes news on the creators project, a partnership between VICE and Intel to promote support for the arts in technology.

Why should you care? Unless you live under a rock, you might want to take note that VICE Media is a company worth over $4 Billion, that started as an online zine, that appeals mainly to a younger, hipper audience than any other media source online. How do they do it? It’s all about the content and the amount of content, all things digital and online keeps the overhead way, way down.

As Wall Street had an abysmal end to cyber-week in consumer sales, what did one of the most visual losers, Disney, do? They turned to digital media and now own 10% of VICE Media, doubling their stake in the social media market for youth. Perhaps the idea is if consumers are not buying products in stores, online or otherwise, maybe the best backup plan is to invest in information, content based for that matter instead.

Again, why do you care? Because web-based digital media is a field that is not only growing but could be the ultimate game changer in how we economically survive in this country. Take VICE media, they have been able to grow a company and produce a product to consumers that practically cost them nothing. The product is information, and presenting it with more content that is up to date and relevant to their audience over others. They have also been able to promote products that consumers can purchase by supporting links to companies that reflect the information they are spewing. Who cares where the company is based, VICE still profits through advertising, even if the company is in China practically bankrupt.

Today’s grade school students already recall more about how they made their Christmas list for products promoted through social media sites rather than TV, movies or word of mouth. And there is no guarantee that even the popular toys, games, gadgets and devices that consumers want are from a company that exists in the same country that the social media site is based in that promoted it. The one more likely to make a profit will be the media site it through it’s content connected to advertising and partnering with the product’s parent company.

Next time you hear someone talking about indulging in their latest music, digital, or electronic vice ask them how they found out about it. Dollars to donuts, chances are through social media. The digital world of social media may just be the vice itself we soon have will have to partake in just to understand what it is we will want as consumers if not already, but very soon in the future.



McDavid Mania; and a word of tech advice…

Connor McDavid. (Darren Calabrese/CP

For those of you that are not professional hockey fans, you might not be familiar with the Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, but you probably have heard of Wayne Gretzky, and if all the hockey fates align, McDavid should soon become as common a household name, stateside as well.

McDavid was not only a first-round draft pick this 2015 NHL season, but the first overall draft pick, and his coming up from the juniors hasn’t caused as much fervor in the media since Gretzky in 1982. For Canada, a star of this magnitude is like a professional athlete, screen icon, and true to life super hero all in one. You can only imagine the glorious abundance of groupies that are paying homage to this young icon through social media nationwide, with over 136 thousand followers on Twitter, and a dedicated fan Facebook page that was recently created as the NHL 2015-16 season kicked off.

McDavid only 18, as part of the Millennial Generation, the first generation that has truly grown up with technology integrated into their everyday lives staying connected and cultured with a constant stream of social media filtering through their fingertips all day long, has some sound advice for his peers when staying focused on your goals, “turn off all social media, turn off your phones, try to make the world smaller, go out and do stuff.” Huh?

As unexpected as it may seem from his generation, advice that he took to heart. He spent all last year in the junior leagues off social media, because he said it distracted him from concentrating on playing and his goals, and in hockey, we know literally, goals.

Now that he is in the NHL, he has reinstated his Twitter, and a Facebook fan page is up and running, so we can as devoted McDavid maniacs, follow and “like” his every move. Will it be distracting? Probably not, his point is more so for young people that haven’t accomplished a specific goal they are working on. For him, it was making it into the NHL, and making sure he did it with the best stats he could put up. And boy did he, during the 2014-15 regular season, he scored 44 goals and 76 assists, finishing third in the OHL, and during the playoffs, he scored 21 goals and 28 assists and led all players with 49 points.

What words of wisdom can we take away from such a young millennial when it comes to using your tech devices in life? When they become distracting to your goals, shelve it for a while, stop using it and stay off it. Get your goals in focus, work hard, go out and make it happen. Once you get to your milestone, go ahead and share it, Tweet it out, Facebook and Instagram it. Nothing is more gratifying than setting a goal and making it happen, and in McDavid’s case, we sure liked watching it happen, as with all the “likes” he will soon be seeing, as we continue to watch, and if the hockey fates do align, all hundreds of thousands of “likes” to come.


Robin L. Stockmar M.Ed.

Technology Integration Specialist