Christmas has come early on the south side

The momentum has been building over the last few days as the winter meetings started in Florida. The big news was the White Sox had a half dozen teams interested in trading stud pitcher Chris Sale. On Tuesday, they hit pay dirt with the Boston Red Sox. On Wednesday, they frosted the cake, when they traded center fielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals.

General Manager Rick Hahn has to be feeling a lot like a kid on Christmas morning. I thought he could have got a better deal for Sale–don’t get me wrong, he probably got the best list of prospects. I would have liked a solid player or two, plus prospects. However, the Eaton deal looks fantastic on paper: 3 prospects for a veteran outfielder? If it works out, it could be a lot like the trade Theo Epstein made when they landed Jake Arrieta.

Even Theo didn’t strike this quick, albeit, he didn’t have a Chris Sale to trade. That’s the thing though, Hahn is just getting warmed up. He still has a couple moves left if he so chooses. They have a host of veteran players, including another ace in Jose Quintana. As a Cubs fan, I am excited for them. I used to watch the Sox quite a bit in the 80s and early 90s. The strike put me off baseball for a couple years–even my beloved Cubs. These moves might get me back interested in the south-siders. I hope Sox fans are excited and energized, and go out and support their team.

In the meantime, put on your warm slippers, your comfy pajamas, and go to bed dreaming of warmer days. Santa brought you some nice gifts to put under the tree.

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Brawl of the week: Double Deathrattler Battler (again)

This week’s Tavern Brawl is: Double Deathrattler Battler. We have had it before, but it’s been a while. All your Deathrattle minions trigger twice. Newer players might have a little trouble with this one. You can always make a quick striking deck to counter. Definitely don’t try and draw out the match if you don’t have the firepower. Bad things will happen.


Double Deathrattler Battler!

I made a priest deck, thinking the silences would be good. They are, but you have to wait a little. I thought I caught my first opponent at the right time, as they had 4 minions on the board, 1 card in hand. Except that card was “draw cards until you have as many as your opponent”. Damn paladins.



I figured I would give this deck one more try. It worked out better. This is my second account, so I don’t have all the juicy Naxx cards. You run up to someone using those and you might as well move on to the next match. Especially if they have Sylvanas too.

Get in early if you can, come 5:00-6:00pm*, the decks are going to be insane. Good luck, have fun. See you next time!

*Mainly central and eastern times. The sh-t hits the fan much earlier on the west coast!

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1st and 5

Week 14: The final countdown! The last week most teams will play. If you are on the edge of the playoffs, this is the most important week for you. Go out with all guns blazing! Don’t be afraid to make a move.

QB: Brock Osweiler, Broncos- Osweiler has been up and down, but has a nice matchup vs the Colts this week. Broncos will need to score 24+ points to keep up with Andrew Luck and his Colts. Alex Smith, Chiefs- is in the same situation. He’s got a good matchup vs the Raiders and will have to put up close to 30 points to beat them. Maybe a little less because they are at home.

RB: Ty Montgomery, Packers- Man. I struggled hard with this one. I can’t even suggest a situational play really. Since Montgomery can get looks as a RB or a WR, he might be worth a shot. If you have a backup of a premiere running back that is going up vs a soft team, you might want to go that route (Bilal Powell for example vs 49ers). Just nothing on the wire in my league.

WR: Brandon LaFell, Bengals- Has a very good matchup vs the Browns. Their #1 corner will be on AJ Green, leaving LaFell on the #2 corner. It’s a little risky, but the reward could be worth it. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs- Seems to be coming on strong lately. He is very explosive, but is not a huge/regular part of the offense. They will need points vs the Raiders though, and all it takes is one big play to payoff.

TE: Ladarius Green, Steelers- Green looks to be finally healthy and ready to produce like they thought he would. Buffalo doesn’t give up huge points to TEs, but they gave up huge points to New England and Seattle.

D/ST: Lions- I hate to suggest them vs my Bears, but the reality is they are at home & fighting for the division. This will be QB Matt Barkley’s first road game as an NFL starter, and 3rd game as a starter period. Ford Field will be rocking. Bengals are playing the Browns–I repeat: Bengals are playing the Browns. Might be an even better matchup than Lions D/ST vs Bears.

There you have it. Go for the gold. Good luck and godspeed!

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Walking Dead Weekly

Last night we got some nice answers. We also got a kickass view to what it’s like to be Negan. It’s pretty choice. Before we roll any further,

*****Spoilers Ahead!*****

Sing me a song starts out with Michonne wandering down a road when suddenly she breaks into whistle. We have no idea what she is doing, but we will.

With my good eye closed: We pick up where Jesus and Carl are stowed away in the truck going to Neganland. As I thought (by the preview) Carl snakes Jesus into jumping first, then he waved to him as he stayed in the truck. He was clearly nervous about jumping and getting caught. So he stayed hidden. Just like the comic, Carl shoots his way out of the truck and demands for Negan to come out. He does, but Carl is tackled to the ground.

Fire inside: Daryl looks on as Carl is subdued. It’s kind of a theme throughout the episode. Negan has Daryl around a lot, performing menial tasks such as cleaning up, and serving appetizers. It’s plain to see he is still Daryl, and man he is going to break out soon.

Father knows best: Spencer and Gabriel go out scavenging and Spencer asks if hating someone is a sin, Gabriel explains that while certain thoughts are bad, actions are more important. Spencer goes on to say how he hates Rick and continues to vent. After hearing enough, Gabriel tells him to stop the car, and then leaves. Spencer goes out into the woods to scavenge. I would have loved if Gabriel gave him a “STFU”. I guess he gave his version of that.

Make me a bullet, clown!: Rosita and Eugene go back to the place where Eugene wanted to turn into a bullet making plant. Rosita pretty much bullies/guilts Eugene into making her one bullet. I have to say this is the dumbest request in the history of requests. I mean, it’s laughable. I get why, but it’s almost out of character for her. It’s so stupid. One bullet–for a handgun no less. She should keep looking for a rifle at least or come up with a better plan.

Ship of fools: Rick and Aaron go out on their own to see what they can get for Negan. They happen on a farm, that says the only thing here is trouble. So naturally they continue on. They come upon a wall where a person states who they are and what they have waiting for them. Mainly, guns, but it seems like a formidable arsenal.  At the end of a small lake or maybe even man-made pond, there is a house/trailer. The water is filled with walkers. Nearby there is a boat riddled with bullet holes. Aaron puts up a mild protest, then walks over to a wooden fence and kicks a couple planks out. You would think the planks are to make some kind of repairs on the boat–no. They are for paddles. This is another dumb idea, but the reward is high. If only they had a Holocaust cloak and a wheelbarrow.

Michonne’s plan is dumb too: It starts out nice with a zombie speed bump: the corpses she killed piled up to block the road. That’s as smart as it gets. She then thinks she will force a Savior at gunpoint, to take her to Negan. Really? This is also unlike Michonne. Carl seems to be the only one thinking intelligently in this episode.

It’s good to be the king: Negan takes Carl on a little tour of the Savior’s compound, starting with a room full of his loyal subjects. He addresses the crowd and tells them everyone gets fresh veggies tonight–no points! Showing off his power, Negan turns around and whispers to Carl, “Are they still kneeling?”. Negan then turns around and shouts, “As you were!”

Negan then takes Carl to a room where all his wives are hanging out. After talking with Sherry, he confirms a rumor that another one of his wives has cheated on him with her ex-lover. Negan kisses Sherry just as Dwight brings Daryl in, who is carrying a plate of snacks. Clearly Negan loves to pour salt in wounds. Daryl asks about Carl prompting Negan to threaten Carl’s good eye with a toothpick. Negan then dispatches Dwight to get the furnace ready.

Bosom buddies: Negan and Carl sit in Negan’s quarters, and they have a series of conversations. Eventually Negan gets Carl to remove his bandage. At first Negan says how gross his eye looks, and makes fun of him. When he sees Carl start to cry, he stops, and sincerely apologizes. He then reveals that the wound looks “badass” and that no one would screw with him. “Fat Joe” enters the room and brings back Lucile who had been left behind when Carl started shooting.  Negan makes Carl sing him a song while he wildly swings Lucile, getting fairly close to him at times. After that, Negan asks Carl about his mom, and he tells Negan he had to shoot her. Carl then demands to know what Negan is going to do with him. Negan says that Carl is smart, and asks what he would do. Carl tells him to jump out of a window to spare him the time & effort. Negan loves it and decides to go on a ride.

Spencer finds a bow. Maybe he gives it to Rosita. Much better than one lousy bullet. He also finds a note written in Latin.

Back to Alexandria: Negan has one of his men drive him and Carl back to Alexandria. As they are ready to pull out, Daryl asks where he is taking Carl. Negan is none too happy, and tells Dwight to put him back in his cell. As they pull away, Daryl looks up and sees Jesus on top of the truck. When the camera shows the top of the truck Jesus has vanished.

Upon getting to Alexandria, they make a stop by armory. Negan cracks a joke about Olivia’s weight, which makes her start crying. For the 2nd time in the episode, Negan actually shows some regret over his choice of words. He then offers to make it up to her by having sex with her until Rick gets back. She declines the offer with a slap to Negan’s face. To which, he tells her he is now 50% more into her.

Grand tour: Carl then shows Negan around Alexandria where he is fascinated by four things: bare feet on a carpet, running water, playing darts, and Judith. Carl tried to play off that it was just a closet but Negan goes in and sees the baby. He instantly falls in love with the toddler. The two then go out and sit on the porch.

Go now: Daryl gets another note slipped under his door. It says, simply: Go Now, and has a key and maybe a lockpick attached to it. Is it another trap? I don’t think so. Negan is gone. This time it should be for real.

Spencer, Rosita, and Eugene all return at the same time. Spencer reveals he found a bunch of supplies and says there is more. Rosita asks him if he’s going to hand it all over to Negan and he says yes, but that is not all. They then see one of Negan’s men as he opens the gate to Alexandria.

This is may be my favorite episode of season 7. We get a lot of insight and see what other members of Alexandria are doing to possibly deal with Negan. From what I know, a lot of things happening are straight out of the comics, and if that holds true, there should be some major things happening in the season finale.

Questions: My main question is what did Carl whisper to Daryl when he took the tray of food from him? It was no more than a word or two. “I’m OK” maybe? It was early in his visit, so Carl didn’t get the vibe that Negan wasn’t going to kill him yet.

What does Spencer have planned? I actually know, as I cheated and found out some things. I won’t tell you though, you have to wait and see!

Will Daryl make it out of the Sanctuary? Will Dwight and Sherry help him?
Last time Daryl tried to get out he caught a major beat down. However, this time Negan is gone, so it might not be a trap! He’s going to go all Wolverine on anyone in his way. Should be epic.

What did Jesus do? I mean he was there then he wasn’t there. Did he hop into the back of the truck. That seems to make the most sense. The dude is a regular spiderman when it comes to getting in and around trucks.

Will Rick and Aaron make it out of the pond alive, and with anything that will help with Negan? Sounds like the dude had several guns and maybe some explosives. I don’t know much about Aaron going forward, so I have no idea what happens to him–if anything. His character has been kind of left out since the season started.

Rosita has a bullet, will she try and use it on Negan? She might be able to get close to him. If she misses though, Negan will want to kill someone.

Michonne thinks she is on her way to Negan. Somehow I don’t think she will get there. The woman she hijacked already tried to fight once. Perhaps she will see them and double back.

Will we see Morgan and Carol in the finale? The suspense on that one is killing me.

Zombie kill of the week: Michonne’s killed a lot of walkers, many in spectacular fashion. I believe the is the first person to make a speed bump with them. It was successfully crafted to get a person to stop and get out of their vehicle so she could hijack them. That part of her plan was brilliant. She gets the award!


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SportsBard Weekly

It’s a snowy day here in Chicago. What better to do than grab a warm drink and catch up on what I posted this week? Let’s go!

Promise– A poem about commitment and loyalty.

Lucky ones– They are those who us positivity to overcome any obstacle. It’s kind of an anthem.

Fans and ‘experts’ quick to dismiss Barkley– So many fans and members of sports media want to dismiss Matt Barkley. I understand the skepticism, but there is no need to pass judgment yet.

New Deck Recipes added with Mean Streats of Gadgetzan– A bunch of new Deck Recipes have been added to the game with the expansion patch. Check them out!

Brawl of the week: ‘Servant of Yogg-Saron Tryouts– Play a minion, cast a random spell. This brawl got updated with the patch. You still have a few hours to check it out!

1st and 5– Waiver wire pickups for week 13.

Walking Dead Weekly– Discussion and recap for Season 7, Episode 6: Swear. Check out the recap before tonight’s new episode!

Barkley shows he can play in the NFL, for Bears– I might be slightly biased, but I saw a lot in the Bears newest signal caller.

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Promise me you will be there

When my world crumbles

Promise me you will not care

When I lie in shame

Promise me you will be strong

When I am at my weakest

Promise me all that I ask

Forever and amen

I will promise you right back

I will lift you up

To the stars, and moon, and beyond

I will hold you tight

There is no light brighter

There are no tears less wet

I’ll promise everything you want

I will be waiting here

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Lucky ones

Lucky ones


We are really great, really great

Come and dance with us

Let your light pilot you

Through these troubled times

We will never wait, never wait

Going forward now and forever

Never looking back

Always shining, we will fight!

We are really fun, really fun

Come and sing our songs

Let your love explode

It will heal, it will cleanse

We are lucky ones, lucky ones

Underneath the sun and the stars

Never settle for less than your best

Now wipe away your fears



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