Periodization in CrossFit

 

When it comes to endurance training, the bible was written by one Mr. Joe Friel. And by bible, we’re talking about the The Triathlete’s Training Bible. Although the title says “triathlete”, it’s really the single best starting point to get into ANY endurance sports or build a training plan.

Joe does a fantastic job explaining the key concept of periodization which in its simplest form is breaking down your training into segments to focus on different things.

The book provides a solid foundation for athletes to either properly evaluate training plans written by your coaches or to create your own. Fair warning though, if you are interested in only the basics the book goes well beyond this as about a third of the book is about periodization. If you read the book, you’ll soon find yourself in the deep rabbit hole analyzing heart rates, training loads, recovery, acquiring the proper mental edge needed to race and so much more.

Periodization is in stark contrast to my other favorite sport, CrossFit, that at least at the local box level, seems to emphasize a complete lack of periodization. It instead sells itself as preparing the athletes for the “unknown and unknowable”. Sounds great but the athletes themselves get frustrated after a few years when they plateau and get stuck at a certain skill level.

At the higher level, there has been recognition of this issue. Even CrossFit HQ has presented the issue in a nice article Periodizing for the Games By Ben Bergeron where Ben comments “We’re no longer training for the unknown and unknowable. We’re no longer training for ‘a constant, ready state,’” adding: “We know when game day is. It’s the middle of July.” July is the date of the CrossFit Games, the sport’s highest level event. This is what most people see on ESPN and envision when they hear CrossFit.

With that revelation, a bridge can be built between random WOD programming and Friel’s periodization principles. Although not citing Friel, Bergeron proposes a simple block periodization training plan:

August: rest and recovery.
September and October: strength.
November and December: speed strength.
January: solely dedicated to weaknesses.
February and March: met-cons.
April and May: Regional prep.
June and July: Games prep.

This is what most serious – ie regional and games athletes, are and have been doing for some time. There are articles online dating back to 2009 outlining the need for periodization.

The average CrossFitter seems to have their head in the sand about periodization though. They expect the local box’s year round programming to have programming that will magically make them continuously better and heading towards being closer to a regional level competitor. I think most of them are crazy to foster any dream they will ever be regional level but I can understand their desire to constantly improve.

The local box however is not training games athletes.

The average box sets a fitness program for the mass public and is not set up to have athletes “peak”. They can’t follow a periodization schedule to make everyone at the gym happy. I’m assuming that over half of the average box is just interested in general fitness.  

For an informed athlete (like someone reading this), the solution to the lack of progression is fairly easy but it requires doing something other than just showing up to the box six days a week and doing classes.

Adding a periodized weight training plan concurrent with the box training plan, where they do the periodized weight training plan for 2-3 days a week using Bergeron’s focus areas, will take the average athlete a long way towards training for their Open goals. I’m very lucky because at our box that we have a weight training specialist who writes custom programs and it’s included in our dues (the high dues that they are).

If the coaches at your box won’t write a program for you, all is not lost. There are some super-simple programs out there to help build strength that are free as well. One I’ve tried in the past is GetStrong. There are a limited number of movements with some simple periodization but the site even provides an excel calculator to really dumb it down. If you want more detail on the program, you can even go the extra mile and read the entire explanation book, Get Strong: How to build strength & lift double your bodyweight. Working this program in will not get you to the games but replacing some WODs with this strength program during the September/October periodization phase will take you a long way.

Another super simple weight training progression program that can be used is the Wendler 5/3/1 program. It’s been around a while and there are several good articles on the internet about it but if you need a quick link to one, go here. There is also a very good iOS calculator for your iPhone called Wendler Calculator By Daniel Ohrlund. I used the phone version for about six months and hit my best ever back squat.

I still prefer the training programs written by our coach because they tend to focus more on the Olympic lifts which I need all the help I can get at but this year I plan to use one of the basic plans for the first period to improve raw strength and then move to his programming for the speed strength period.  

Education and planning appear to be issues for the average CFer but they have a bigger issue that comes even before that. Most don’t know what they actually want to do. The targeted peak date of July is probably not realistic. Should it be rolled forward to the Open since most CFers will be stopping there? Should it be the Regional date since even that would be a stretch goal?

While doing triathlons, it was easy to mark the “A” race on the calendar and build a plan moving backwards from that but CFers want to peak all year with no downtime. This maybe the single largest reason they are not progressing.

Although it could also be the lack of progressions in CrossFit training….

(that’s called a cliff hanger)

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TurboTax, TaxAct, Proseries, Fishback Tax & The Story of a Simple Partnership Return

Being a CPA by trade (although I work in industry now), I should have a simple problem to solve: filing a 1065 partnership tax return. And not just filing any partnership return either; it is a terribly simple rental property jointly owned in a LLC with one other partner. This should be Lindey Lohan easy.  

In prior years, this filing was done using the professional grade, super-duper kick ass Intuit ProSeries software. Everything about the software I loved other than one key thing: the cost. It’s a costly piece of software for someone that does not do a high volume of taxes professionally.

The basic version cost $279 and then each return cost $49 for the federal with an additional $29 for the state return. Several years ago I was filing 5-6 returns for friends and family that made this palatable but now I’m not. This put me on the path to searching for a less costly alternative. The cheapest option would have been to file the return by hand using paper forms but then I would have to type up the K-1 letters and risk numerous typos. Huge pain in the ass. I wanted to find software to do it.

First I evaluated software for my personal tax return and came to the conclusion that Intuit TurboTax with their top-of-the-line home and business package would be best because in 2015 my wife still had her consulting business. Since it’s also an Intuit package, I figured in the future years if I wanted to convert back to the Proseries version, it would be fairly seamless. The home and business package cost $79.64 over at Amazon with one state download included (always buy it through Amazon and not directly through Intuit). Included in the software cost is five free federal filings plus one state download. If the software is required for additional states, that is $39.99 plus the filing fee of $19.99 per state.

Shame on me but when I purchased this, I didn’t read the fine print and assumed that with “business” in the title, it would also have the ability to file a partnership return. Perhaps for an additional fee, but still have the ability. Wrong.

If you want to file a Partnership 1065 using TurboTax you need to additionally purchase TurboTax Business. Notice no “home and” before the business there!! Just a tad bit confusing.  

The cost for the TurboTax Business at Amazon is $119.99. At that point I was frustrated about having already purchasing the other software so I decided to expand my search and look for other options.

I had recently just read a Mr. Money mustache article talking about him paying to have his own taxes filed. Now this is something I would have never, ever considered since:

A) I’m a CPA

B) I think it doing your own taxes
provides an understanding of where you are financially

C) It costs money!

But he mentioned a company called Fishback Tax. Fishback Tax is basically an online accounting firm providing tax filing, including partnership returns, for a flat rate of $100. Being a CPA and having charged for returns in the past, that rate is pretty amazeballs. Out of curiosity, and the cost of their promised service being below the price of just the software I needed to file the return, I decided to check it out and give it a shot.

On their website, www.fishbacktax.com, I signed up (February 20) and the next day they emailed me access to private portal where documents could be uploaded into their system. I uploaded my prior year return as well a complete proforma P&L for the rental.

Add cricket noises.

There was no confirmation or response from anyone that the documents has been received. On March 2 I decided to follow up since not having the K-1s was preventing both my partner and I from moving forward with our own taxes. The did respond that day and told me that it would be 2 to 3 weeks before someone would reach out to me to follow up on the return. As of March 17, I have still not heard back from anyone.

Since this is holding up two people’s return (including my own), this level of customer service is not going to cut it. The slow response time was also not giving me much confidence in their overall service quality.

Back to the drawing board once again. I should’ve reevaluated my just doing this by paper for free but it still seemed like a pain in the ass. Plus, I still had the itch to try something new just to evaluate a new process or software.

One thing that has been around for years now that I had yet to try was a purely online tax preparation software. Everything I had tried to this point has been a downloaded desktop version. All of the major software providers offer such as service so I priced out the different packages online and found the TaxAct online package was fairly reasonably priced ($49.99 plus an additional $19.99 for the state return) and it was TurboTax’s competitor. That would give me a different perspective on their packages.  

I’m not sure what I was expecting since was my first time using a purely online service but I’ll it was pretty awful.

Right off the bat, there was no import ability for anything other than a prior year TaxAct file. This is in stark contrast to the TurboTax’s desktop version that can import a prior year return even from a .pdf (including a scanned paper copy). The pdf import method is far from perfect but it does give a basic starting point.

After you get past manually typing in your basic information, the navigation is difficult. The software tries to simplify the process by providing a step-by-step process to follow but they don’t simultaneously provide functionality to jump around through the return. At no point can you switch from step-by-step to form view even after the service is paid for. Not having a form view makes it difficult to review the return compared to prior year returns or to quickly adjust for mistakes that might have been made.

I was able to fight through all the crappiness finish my return. The return was so simple that there were no major issues but I would have hated to work through a more complex return with this software. But the mission was complete, it was cheap (all in for the filing it was it $69.98) and the return is filed.

Although it was a headache, when the dust settled I saved $242 across all the returns I filed (2 individual returns, one partnership, across 3 states) compared to the prior years Proseries cost. That’s some real coin so although this was not a smooth process, it’s one that I’ll probably repeat next year.

Tankless Hot Water Heaters: Is the return there?

Last week, BOBVILA.COM via Zillow posted an article Tankless Water Heaters: When, Why, and How to Buy One and it made me think back to the decision my wife and I made on one about two years ago.

The article gives a general overview of tankless units, the pros and cons, etc and cites some numbers regarding the possible savings. But nowhere does it calculate your actual return on making the investment. Do the cited cost savings really justify the initial cost? A tankless water heater is not cheap and at the end of the day all you’re getting is the same hot water from either source.

The article implies there are real, hard saving but reading other articles such as this 2008 one by Consumer Reports called “Tankless water heaters, They’re efficient but not necessarily economical” seem to question the actual return.

Almost two years ago now my wife and I were going through the process of building our home and picking out the various upgrades we wanted and the the tankless hot water heater was major topic. The builder wanted $1,729 to install the Rinnai RL94iN Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater. This was a large line item so we began wading through all the information and I started whipping up some spreadsheets.

Estimating costing savings for a hot water heater is a tricky issue since it’s based on several variables including energy costs, water usage, and the temperature of the water being fed into your house. The Consumer Reports article cited above includes their estimate of the average savings as $70-80/month. This is an old article however (6 years old at the time of our decision) and the technology surely has changed.

The Rinnai website has it’s own customizable calculator as well which calculated my estimated savings by switching to their RL94iN to be $160/month. Using this number of course is fraught with issues as well since it is being provided by the very people trying to sell you something. Just a slight conflict of interest…

So what to use in my analysis? I decided to split the difference and use $120/month, the average between the CR number and the Rinnai number.

Notes on the analysis:

The useful life of a tankless unit is estimated at 20 years compared to 10 years for a tanked unit. My house would have required two units so by choosing a tankless until, the estimated savings in year 10 are increased by $800 ($400 x two units).

My decision was also for new construction so the initial outlay was financed, spreading the cost of the tankless unit over the entire mortgage period (30 years). Given that the mortgage term is longer than the useful life, there will be payments in the future when benefits will not be received. To adjust for this, the future value of the $1,729 note at the end of each duration of my analysis is assumed to be paid.

The financing rate as well as the discount rate for the Net Present Value calculation was my mortgage rate of 3.25%.

Lastly, I just wanted to know how it would all work out if I didn’t finance the heater and instead purchased it upfront so the analysis was repeated.

Conclusion:

The return works out great if you finance it and keep the unit and the house for the entire 20 years:

5 Year

10 Year

20 Year

MIRR

-37.4%

-2.3%

7.6%

NPV

($1,159.11)

($157.09)

$510.32

Note: MIRR is the Modified Internal Rate of Return and takes the IRR one step further to assume cash flows received are reinvested at a certain rate of return. This is what you should always be using. Find out more here.

But the return decreases quickly. If you are only keeping your home ten years or less, it’s terrible and the breakeven seems to be right around 13 years which just so happens to be the average length of home ownership in the USA (see my LED light article for citations here).

The results are roughly the same if the unit is purchased upfront, although worse in the shorter durations and better at the longer ones:

5 Year

10 Year

20 Year

MIRR

-18.0%

2.4%

4.7%

NPV

($1,146.09)

($132.97)

$516.65

The entire spreadsheet can be found here: Tankless Unit IRR & NPV

So what did we do?

Our youngest child is 3 so we are planning to stay in the this house for at least 15 years. We also appreciated the smaller amount of space that tankless unit takes up so we decided to roll the dice on the tankless unit. Only time will tell if we will actually remain the house beyond the 13 years needed to break even but no doubt this is a risky bet. I think that for most people a tankless hotwater heater remains a poor choice compared to the cheaper older technology.

We have been happy with the performance however, we are right on line for the size of unit we have give the number of people we have in the house but we have yet to have any issues with the unit not keeping up with the demand for hot water.

Choose the lower upfront cost of the tanked unit, bank the difference and don’t expose yourself to the risk of not staying in the house long enough to see your MIRR on the tankless unit.

 

A 5K Training Plan built on “Power Speed ENDURANCE” Principles

The first time I read Power Speed ENDURANCE: A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance Training by Brian MacKenzie was when I was a strict triathlete (AKA pre-CrossFit) and although the book was a good read – I hailed from the endurance camp known as long slow distance (LSD) so immediately dismissed the book as gimmicky. The book attempts to dismissed the notion that high training volume is needed to be a competitive endurance athlete, instead it stresses that intensity is key in much the same way as CrossFit does (I’m not sure of the history but Brian MacKenzie subsequently started CrossFit Endurance with these principles).  

Then I started doing CrossFit and began toying with the idea of trying CrossFit and triathlons at the same time.

That took me back to this book and reread it.

The book touches on almost every training aspect in the endurance world: strength, running, swimming, biking, and mobility teaching. Not just building a plan but attempting to teach each of them as a skill. As a former swimmer, this jives with the old notion that fitness is technique practiced.

The book isn’t crazy technical however and many hard core athletes may find it too basic but it provides a good foundation and some actionable items for each area to enhance everyone’s training.

Using this book and some templates I found online, I prepared the following workout plan to prepare a PR attempt at a 5K:

Week 1

Monday: WOD (here and with all the WODs below, I just used the class at my CrossFit and did the prescribed workout there so there was no correlation to the 5K goal)
Tuesday: 8 x 200m w/ 2 min rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 2 x 800m w/ 3 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 5k Time Trial (TT)

Week 2

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 10 x 200m w/ 2 min rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 3-4 x 800m w/ 3 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 5k @ 85% of 5k TT pace from Week 1

Week 3

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 10-12 x 200m w/ 90 sec rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 4-5 x 800m w/ 2:30 rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 5 miles(M) @ 5k pace from Week 1

Week 4

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 4 x 400m w/ 2 min rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 3 x 1000m w/ 3 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 10k Time Trial (TT)

Week 5

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 6 x 400m w/ 2 min rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 6 x 800m TT’s w/ 5 min rest…(This means SPRINT!)
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 5k @ 10k TT pace from Week 4

Week 6

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 6 x 400m w/ 90 sec rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 2 x 200m w/90 esc rest, 2 x 400m w/ 2 min rest, 2 x 1000m w/ 3 min rest
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 7 mile (M) @ 10k TT pace from Week 4

Week 7

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 6 x 400m w/ 90 sec rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 4 x 1000m w/ 2-3 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 10 mile (M) Time Trial (TT)

Week 8

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 4 x 200m w/ 60 sec rest, 4 x 400m w/ 90 sec rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 4 x 4 min efforts w/ 3 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 5k @ 10 M TT pace from Week 7

Week 9

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 6 x 400m TT’s…w/ 3-4min rest…(This means SPRINT!)
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 5 x 4 min efforts w/ 3 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 2 x 5k @ 90% of 5k TT pace from Week 1

Week 10

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 8 x 300m w/ 60 sec rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 3 x 1200m w/ 2-3 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 10k Time Trial (TT)

Week 11

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 5 x 400m w/ 60 sec rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 2 x 1 mile (M) w/ 5 min rest…
Friday: WOD
Sat or Sun: 3 x 5k @ 10k TT pace from Week 10 w/ 5-10 min rest…

Week 12

Monday: WOD
Tuesday: 6 x 400m w/ 60 sec rest…
Wednesday: WOD
Thursday: 3 x 1 mile (M) w/ 5 min rest…
Friday: Rest
Sat or Sun: 5k – 15k TT depending on length of upcoming event (test race day fuel sources if using any)

So how did it go? Mixed.

I missed the PR by about 1:30 (time realized was 19:40 verse a PR of 18:05) but there was some positives. 

Why didn’t I PR? The CrossFit.

Since beginning CrossFit and giving up my all-in training for triathlons, I’ve put on about 20 pounds. Let’s just say that’s all “muscle”, I honestly think that most of it is but it’s still weight that needs to be carried around and messes up your power to weight ratio. If you want to be truly competitive in the endurance world, sports specificity remains relevant as does keeping your weight low which, at least for me, it much harder while doing CrossFit. There is a quote by Tyler Hamilton in The Secret Race that to be more competitive, he would rather lose a pound than do EPO (a performance enhancing drug). I’m not sure if that is actually a fact but he believed it. 

On the plus (not talking weight here) side, I had a lot more fun going through the training program than doing purely running plans in the past. And at some point enjoyment of the training has to be a factor or it’s going to be impossible to stay with any plan. Also, what is the point? I’m not going pro at any of this so I want to have fun.

I don’t know if would use this method to really train for long course events but I think it’s a great plan for short races. I also messed around with a more informal plan that mixed in each triathlon discipline twice a week to train for a sprint tri. Again, I was somewhat disappointed by the results but the training was enjoyable.

After the CrossFit Open ends again I’m going to give this training plan another shot to get back into running shape and go from there.

Either way, read Power Speed ENDURANCE: A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance Training by Brian MacKenzie and get a different perspective on endurance training. Go to your local library and borrow it or if you prefer to waste money and own books, it can be purchased here from Amazon here (and that would help support this blog!).

 

Cutting the Cord

A year ago, we were completely happy with our cable plan. We were out-of-market Eagles fans but we had DirecTV with the NFL ticket. We knew it was costing us a pretty penny but we were happy with the service and really didn’t think much of it.

Then last spring we started reading Mr. Money Mustache (or MMM for short). If you’re unfamiliar, swing on over there and read every last blog post. It’s a fascinating financial blog filled tips to get you on the path to early retirement. After reading a few of his articles, we began analyzing the cost of what we were actually paying for our cable. F me! It was shocking, in 2013 we paid $1394 for our DirecTV including the beautiful NFL ticket and then in 2014 that increased to $1552!! Talk about pricing power, over an 11% increase in a year the US CPI was 1.6%.

And that’s just cable people, no telephone or internet bundling included! The wife and I looked at each other and slapped each other in the face! Then we started counting the times we actually watched DirecTV for anything other than football. During the summer leading up to the NFL season we counted it was exactly 3 times. So for those non-football months that equated to $126 per viewing (roughly once a month for those summer months).

Now that’s not to say we did not have video entertainment as I’m not quite the reader and TV-shunner that MMM is. Our primary viewing medium just happened to be Netflix where we enjoyed binge watching shows and I enjoyed movies; both through it’s streaming offerings and through the DVD service (the DVD package is more encompassing and they are released quicker). Netflix was costing us $19.46/month or $233.52/year.

And on top of that, we also had Amazon Prime! Now up to this point, we used Amazon prime only for shipping never really thought about using the Amazon video streaming service which is more limited than Netflix’s. But since we were already paying $99/year for this service we wanted to become more committed to using it to see if it could replace Netflix.

Grand total for video entertainment was a whopping $1,885 a year!! Yikes!

Over-The-Air (OTA) Television

So we immediately knew we needed to eliminate DirecTV but we need to fill the hole in NFL viewing to make this palatable.

Not too get into the gory details (you can go down that rabbit hole here), but the Eagles are a secondary market for the Dallas area meaning we get about half the games through this super secret amazing technology called over “over-the-air” television. It even has this cool abbreviation: “OTA” yet almost no one seems to know about it or understands it.

The people that grew up with it (as I did not having cable until high school) seem to only remember fuzzy black and white TV received through rabbit ears with a picture that would slowly and uncontrollably scroll up and down the screen. After some google research, it sounded like the technology had come a long way so we committed to giving it a shot.

We immediately committed and canceled DirecTV two weeks before football season was kicking off. That’s commitment.

The good thing about coming from DirecTV is they were nice enough to install a satellite on the edge of our roof and route BNC cables into the house, even splitting it to my two TVs. Getting OTA television should’ve been a simple as removing the dish where it was, replacing it with a HD antenna, and replacing the DirecTV tuner boxes with OTA tuners.

IF ONLY.

We purchased an antenna off of Amazon and installed it easily. Installation was fairly quick because the dish location was right on the edge. It was easily accessible from a standard eight-foot ladder from the side of the house without me actually having to step on the roof. It all looked great and went inside to test out the channels. All of the channels looked crystal clear sans one: FOX. For non-NFL fans, FOX is the NFL provider for NFC games of which the Eagles is one. This was a huge problem. I attempted to reorient the antenna several times but nothing worked. Down came the antenna, it went back in the box, and back to Amazon. Simultaneously, a new, bigger, better, more expensive (it cost double because I’m not messing around now) antenna.

The new one was cover your eyes awful. It only received the telemundo stations from I can only guess were actually from Mexico; broadcast using nuclear powered microwaves. They came in so clear I was scared.

Now we are one day before the NFL season kicks off so I’m in panic mode. There was not enough time to order a third antenna from Amazon so in desperation I headed to Best Buy. Maybe in another rant I’ll go off on what I think of Best Buy but I was desperate. I purchased the best HD antenna they had, the Antennas Direct – ClearStream 2V Long-Range HDTV Antenna (notice how I linked that to Amazon…).  After a quick swap out it was like magic! Every OTA station came in crystal clear! People have come over to watch games and have had no idea they weren’t watching cable.

But I can understand the rub on OTA; this was not an easy one step process. Testing and installing three antennas is not an easy proposition. Additionally, you’ll also need a tuner and probably a booster (the ones I have are a Rocketfish™ – Bidirectional Mini Drop Amplifier and a Mediasonic HW180STB HomeWorx HDTV Digital Converter Box with Media Player and Recording PVR). And for most people, the worst part is that someone doesn’t just come to your house and do all this for you. People are lazy.

Movies & Cable Shows (HBO, Showtime, etc.)

Outside of football, my primary viewing is really movies although I’ve been known to binge watch shows as well. Solving this was easy. We continue to stream the same way we had before, through a PS3 which was originally purchased as a Blu-ray player. It has native apps for both Netflix and Amazon prime.

The main advantage of Amazon Prime here any movie that is released to be rented, can be rented through the platform as soon as they are available on a pay per viewing basis. We agreed that with the money saved on cable, we could purchase any shows or movies we really wanted to see if they weren’t already available on Netflix or Prime for free. Using this logic, we also canceled the DVD portion of our Netflix account saving $10/month.

Netflix still remains the main source for most of our viewing however. The apps interface is so much more friendly and that you can create profiles for each member in the house is great for kids. Each kid can have a profile that automatically screens options based upon their age. The selection is also better for shows and free movies.

The Cheat

Sharp people out there may still be asking themselves about the other half of the Eagles games not on OTA. Well we’re cheating a bit here. A lot of people recommend just going out to a bar to watch the games not on OTA, a very fun option and something we actually did several years earlier when we canceled the DirecTV Ticket but now that we have children it’s not an option. Our children like to watch the games with us and we’re trying to raise them as Eagles fans in Cowgals country. We need to be there to raise them right.

So we cheated little… We ended up installing a slingbox at my mother’s house who is still in Pennsylvania. We only use that for Eagles games that are not televised in the Dallas area, I swear. We have yet to use that to watch any anything other than that so I don’t think it it disqualifies the rest of our cancellation. I’m confident that DirecTV is going to lose its monopoly on NFL games soon so hopefully I can eliminate this, I’d rather have a pay-per-game option to NFL than deal with the workaround.

Conclusion

So far we’ve been very happy with the setup and cost. It breaks down:

table

That’s a saving of $1,276/yr compared to our old cable bill alone! Per year! Wow. We’re so happy so far and all I can think about is why do so many people still pay for cable?!??! It’s crazy. Hopefully at least one person will read this and cut the cord.