1st and 5

Welcome to week 4. I think we avoided some major scares, but there were still some significant injuries. I have some players you should take a look at though.

QB: Trevor Siemian, Broncos- Trevor broke out against a team that usually does pretty good defensively. It was at Cincinnati too. He’s got two pretty good targets in Sanders and Thomas, a nice tight end in Green, and their RBs always are a threat out of the backfield. He also plays the Bucs, Falcons, and Chargers in the next 3 games. Carson Wentz, Eagles- Although he is on a bye week, he has been doing very well in his first 3 starts. It’s kind of fun to watch him progress. You could do worse.

RB: Jordan Howard, Bears- Jeremy Langford is said to be out 4-6 weeks with a severely sprained ankle. Even before that, Howard was running with speed, power, and confidence. Lucky for me, I saw this coming, and snagged him last week.

WR: Terrelle Pryor, Browns- I have liked Pryor since he was in Oakland. Now as a wide receiver, he continues to be a dynamic playmaker. With Coleman out for some time, he will be no less than a WR2, even when Josh Gordon gets back from suspension. Rookie QB Cody Kessler seems very able to get his WRs the ball. Jamison Crowder, Redskins- he may be the teams 3rd WR, but he’s getting lots of action in Washington’s passing game. Kirk Cousins seems like he is starting to come around after a slow start.

TE: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings- Looks like he and Sam Bradford are making beautiful music together. Look for this to continue as long as both players stay healthy. Which has been a problem. For both players.

D/ST: I might have mentioned the Eagles and Bills last week. Still available in my league. Eagles are only 20% owned, and the Bills are only 24% owned in ESPN leagues. If your D/ST is only giving you 5-6 points a week, you should probably pick one or both up.

 

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Walking Dead Weekly: Fear The Walking Dead

Last night we got the 2nd to the last episode of season 2, (kind of) Date of Death. Kind of a “coming out” of sorts for Chris, some closure for Travis, and a revelation for Alicia. Before we get into it,

*****Spoiler Alert*****

I’m not sure they needed an entire episode to set up Chris and Travis parting ways. Especially with only “one” episode left (it’s really 2 one hour episodes). That being said, Date of Death had a lot to offer.

2 steps up, one step back: We start out with a flash forward of Travis making his way to the hotel. We then go back to when Baby James got shot by the farmer. Then to the present where Travis fixes his gunshot wound. Turns out it was a “through and through”, which means simply that the bullet exited cleanly.

Sorry, but I’m not sorry: Travis and Chris have an eye opening conversation that leaves Travis asking him where his morals are? We get a scary look inside the head of what probably will become one of the biggest serial killers of the zombie apocalypse. If it wasn’t a TV show it would be very chilling.

Tribute to Eastman: It was not lost on me how Travis found the driver’s license from the farmer, then carved his name into the cross that he had put in the ground to make his grave. Probably one of the most symbolic gestures that one is still clinging to their values. It was also a nice nod to Eastman from The Walking Dead.

Travis makes his stand: Travis ends up snatching a gun when the group wants to kill Baby James because he is “dead weight”. He buys the kid some time, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.

Trick or treat: Was a little surprised that Chris had to trick Travis into thinking the other two bros were gone so that they rush in and kill their buddy who was recovering from a clean gunshot wound. That should tell Chris all he needs to know about his “friends”. Of course, it could very well have been Chris’s idea. He seems to be fully on board with any kind of killing–friend or foe. This is great set up for things to come.

Ride on: Chris goes with the two bros, telling Travis he can’t adapt to this new world. Travis pleads with his son, but in the end curses him as they drive off for San Diego.

I was wrong: I was wrong about Chris–slightly. I thought Travis would be leaving Chris once he saw the hotel lights. Turns out Chris booted Travis out of the group. Either way, he cut ties from his past, and his only living family member.

Travis come home: Travis makes his way to the hotel where we see a bunch of people at the gate wanting to come in. Somehow Madison was able to let just Travis in, and lock the gate back up. Travis is pretty much a zombie as he was processing everything he experienced from the last few days.

Confession: Madison takes Alicia out onto the pier to tell her what really happened to her father. It was a little sappy, but nicely acted. I really liked how Alycia Debnam-Carey played the scene out. It was very realistic. The bond between the two ladies was genuine and concrete. Pretty much the mirror opposite of Travis and Chris.

Too many mouths to feed: The group chose to let all or most of the people outside the gate inside the hotel area. We see them in an underground parking garage. The group is looking them over to assess their condition, giving minor medical attention to those who need it. I’m going to say this might be a really bad decision. Not sure what would stop a bunch of them from just grabbing what they can get and taking off. Hopefully the group reinforced the doors so they can’t get into the hotel itself.

Wolves at the door: At the end of the episode we see Brandon and Derek outside the gate. Chris is not shown, but could be nearby.

Questions: My biggest question right now would probably be how long until the new arrivals riot and try to take over the hotel? I’m hoping the have them in a secure area. I don’t really expect the original group (including Carlos and his group) to stay there much longer. Especially with the revelation that the bros are outside.

Why did the bros not go to San Diego? Did they see the lights or did something else happen? Where is the truck? Did it break down. Did they run into someone and have the truck hijacked? Where is Chris? Maybe they parked the truck and walked up to not draw attention to themselves. This could explain why Chris is not there. He could be waiting with the truck.

Will the bros and/or Chris try to take over the hotel? Will the lead the chaos or take advantage of it, if it happens to start without them? Either way, I feel the bros and Chris will play a part in the probable fall of the hotel.

Who else saw the lights of the hotel? We now know lots of people did. Could Daniel have if he escaped his fiery fate? Did Marco see them when he was out looking for la Colonia? Possibly too far for Nick and his group to see.

Are they ever going to get or make some weapons? I don’t see how they can keep the bunch of people they let into the hotel without them. If an armed group comes knocking they are pretty much toast.

 

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Why Blizzard Watch needs your Adblocker “off”

I would like to preface this by stating I am writing this post during prime NFL football watching hours. This speaks to how important I feel this is for the Warcraft community.

I had a nice conversation with one of Blizzard Watch’s most prolific and entertaining editors, Liz Harper, who brought up the topic of Adblocker and how much it means to their livelihood that consumers turn it off when visiting their site.

It’s a double edged sword of sorts. I had no idea what Adblocker was until maybe 3-4 years ago. I would visit sites and get popups and that would annoy the shit out of me. I still get popups now and then. I’m not the most PC savvy dude on the internet. I’ve heard that popups are no bueno though. As someone who can’t afford a new PC or even repairs on it, I take what security I can get seriously. So eventually, I enabled the Adblock on my Firefox browser. Fast forward to when the former site that is now Blizzard Watch was in some financial trouble do to their host, cutting their funding. I learned how important not blocking ads was to them. As someone who has been under employed more than not, I understand the value of what we can do “for free”. So I disabled Adblock (just for BW) for the respect I had for the writers, and to possibly keep the site going.

When they moved to their new site, I was one of the people who blogged, and posted on social media about the site. I like to think I was helpful in getting the new site going. I even put up some money, money which I really couldn’t afford to donate, towards their Patreon. I left ads on for a while, even when I was giving money monthly. I felt I was doing all I could to help out. My finances tightened even more, and eventually I had to drop my contribution to a measly $1 a month.

About 4 months in or so, I kind of became disenfranchised with the direction of the site. There were a couple of posts that I felt were “self-serving” including a “review” for one of the editor’s books. I eventually dropped my $1 per month donation. I did figure on re-upping it once I had the money to do so. I mean, it’s a fantastic site, even though I might have my quibbles. I can be a little self righteous at times, I will admit that.

Things that turned me off to Blizzard Watch: In fairness, I think it is important to list these things. Think of them as raw data that can help them possibly correct some things–or not.

  • Moderation- There was a period where the site (particularly The Queue) was being actively trolled by 1 or more individuals. That person made reading and commenting particularly not fun, for lack of better words. As someone with a low tolerance of BS, I found myself trying to “moderate” which was probably not the best thing to do. They finally got the situation under control but it left a bad taste in my mouth, especially as a “paying member” at the time.
  • Site management- I’m not an expert, nor do I have insider knowledge on how things were being run, but it seemed like the site was not being run as a professional site, and more of someone’s hobby. I don’t have a lot of concrete stuff to go on, just my own observations/perceptions.
  • Preferential treatment for Patreons pertaining to The Queue: Whether this is right, wrong, or indifferent, I felt like this was a slight. I was even still a Patreon when this was rolled out, so it didn’t affect me one bit. I just thought it was a poor decision, coming from someone who knows what’s it’s like not to be able to afford even an extra $1 a month.
  • Blizzard Watch logo: This probably will seem petty, and maybe childish, but when they were working on developing a new logo for the site, I suggested why not use one of the logos some commenters have posted? There are a lot of talented people who submitted logos on the site that were pretty cool looking. The idea was shot down, and it was stated that “they had someone working on it”. About a month or so later, they rolled out what is now their logo. Fairly unimpressed with what they decided on. I also think it would have been a cool, “thank you” to the community who helped them sustain their blog. Like I said, it’s not a huge thing, but it was one of those, little things that built up over time.

Things that make me feel more part of the community:

  • Posting on the site and connecting with like-minded individuals. Really, this is what keeps me going back day in and day out. Through content lulls, through bad patches. I like the feeling of connecting with the community or just chatting about what I had for dinner.
  • Giving helpful information to other readers. This is why I initially started posting. I felt I had information and ideas to bring to those who were seeking it.
  • Sharing experiences in the realm of Blizzard and outside it. Blizzard games are great, but what makes it better is sharing the experiences with others who feel the same way.
  • “Community Blog Topic” fueled my budding unprofessional career as a blogger. It also was a medium for me to help Blizzard Watch when they moved from their former site.
  • Learning about new Blizzard products, features, updates, and all kinds of stuff. When info dumps happen, or when BlizzCon is on, there is no better place to be than the “pages” of Blizzard Watch. I found out about this site way back during Wrath when talk of the new expansion (Cataclysm) was percolating. I was relatively new to Warcraft and it’s community and in my opinion, they were the premier place for info and discussion on the topics I wanted to hear more about.

Blizzard Watch editors work hard to bring us meaningful content. Some of them have part time jobs, some of them have full time jobs. I know Liz seems to be on the site at all hours of the day. Yes, they chose to be at the jobs they currently have, but that is no real reason to withhold compensation from them, is it? Which is exactly what we are doing when we peruse the site with Adblocker on.

All that aside, if you are a regular or you hit up the site 1-2 times a week. What does it hurt to turn off Adblocker for Blizzard Watch? Yeah, the ads can be annoying, but for the most part, it hasn’t been a security issue (as far as I know). It’s probably the smallest thing you can do effort-wise that will have the biggest impact on people’s lives. Particularly the dedicated staff at possibly one of your favorite fan sites. I will ask on their behalf, please turn your Adblocker off for Blizzard Watch.

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(Move ’em all down) The road

(Move ’em all down) The road

9-22-16

They’re coming at us from the East

They’re coming at us from the West

They’re coming at us from Capitol Hill

And they sure don’t send their best

Attacking us with their mad men

Equipped with 3-piece suits

Double talk legislation

They think they got us by the noose

Move ’em all down the road

Move ’em all down the road (you gotta)

Move ’em all down the road

Move ’em all down the road

You can’t throw no bullets

You can’t breathe teargas

We gotta do much better

Start something that will last

I don’t care about color

I don’t care about creed

We all got a beating heart

Our blood will drown their greed

You can’t say you’re tired

You can’t say you’re scared

You gotta take a risk and give a damn

We all have a burden to share

 

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Brawl of the week: Randomonium (again)

This week’s Brawl: Randomonium (again) is the bane of many player’s existence. I like the concept that the mana cost of your cards can change from round to round, but the RNG is a killer.

hearthstone-screenshot-09-21-16-13-26-46

Started out with the mage, as I am want to do, but that did not work out for me so much. One thing I will say is, battles that look one sided early can change.

looking-good-with-the-mage

I thought I had a really good start, but no. It was not meant to be.

looking-not-so-good

So, I went with the priest. Things didn’t get any better.

winner

Did the priest thing again and got turned into Ragnaros, which ultimately didn’t work out for my opponent. I sneaked out the win, and I am done with brawl for the week.

The one good thing is you get to pick your class, so you could use this to get dailies done. I don’t have that much patience, but you might love it! Get in and get your free pack, then enjoy it or wait ’til next week!

 

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The heat is on for Fox, Pace

Fresh off the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football, there is little doubt that head coach John Fox and 2nd year GM, Ryan Pace are feeling the heat. The Bears turned in an abysmal 14-29 performance. The game wasn’t nearly as competitive as the score made it out to be.

This isn’t going to be a traditional John Fox turnaround. They looked bad at almost every position group. From quarterback, to offensive line, to running back, and everywhere in between. The defense at least put up a fight early. Young defensive backs Bryce Callahan, Jacoby Glenn, and Deiondre Hall made plays and looked good at times. The defensive line failed to put much pressure on the rookie QB Carson Wentz, unless they rushed more than 4. Jay Cutler looked like the rookie due mainly to a horrible offensive line. Although they scored a rushing TD, they failed to run the ball when it mattered. Running back Jordan Howard showed some nice burst but only when they were down 7 to 22.

I’m traditionally a glass-half-full guy, but I am really doubting the direction this team has going forward. I have already had doubts with Ryan Pace, and John Fox. Last night’s disaster didn’t help matters much.

Not much went right for the Bears as they took on the Eagles lead by Carson Wentz who was starting his second game as an NFL quarterback. Wentz regularly had plenty of time to complete passes. When he was pressured, he stood calmly in the pocket and took a hit, and still delivered an accurate pass. Something Bears veteran QB Jay Cutler struggled with the entire game. Late in the 4th quarter the Bears picked up their 2nd TD when Eddie Royal took a punt 66 yards down the sideline for the score.

Injuries rocked an already talent-limited team. Jay Cutler left early in the 4th quarter with an injury to his right (throwing) hand. After the game, Jay came out to the podium in a cast.

I’m not sure what the rest of the season has in store for the bears, but it is not looking good. Most likely, they will head to Dallas with Brian Hoyer as the starting QB. The offensive line showing no signs it can pass block or run block.

The saddest part in all of this is, if the Pace/Fox regime doesn’t work out, it will be the 4th coach/GM combo that the Bears have had in the last 4 years. The Bears will more than likely give the duo one more year. Not sure how I feel about that, considering not much has panned out for them so far. If the Bears end up with a top 5 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, do you trust Pace/Fox to draft a future QB? Right now, I can’t say that I do.

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Walking Dead Weekly: Fear the Walking Dead

Last night’s episode, Pillar of Salt was another meaty installment in the second half of season two. It had some flaws. but overall was excellent. Before we get into that,

*****Spoiler Alert*****

There were a couple things that bugged me–mildly. Another person uses “zombie” blood to hide from the infected. I get it. It’s a great concept, but to have it be used over and over, is kind of overkill. Another speech by Alejandro. I get he felt he needed to address his flock but, meh. Strand injured again? COME ON! Leave my guy alone. Okay, on to the good stuff!

Ofelia is back, and she is a sexy badass! Where has this been? This is another example of someone being a little bit of a “nobody” before the apocalypse and then blossoming into a full blown ass-kicker afterwards. Not sure if she will get to that level, but damn, she made a heck of a stride.

She took the truck and stocked it with supplies including a nice hammer she puts to good use in tearing off an infected’s head. We get to see some nice backstory and what she can do alone. I hope they are not just setting her up to make her death more meaningful.

No Bueno: Francisco takes his family and leaves the Colonia where they are promptly caught by Marco who has been searching for them. Because of editing, it looks like they were stopped literally a block or two away from the Colonia, which was kind of annoying. I’m sure it was a few miles?

Hotel California? I love the song that plays as we get to see the hotel being cleaned up and restored to former glory. The generator gets going and they fire up the power for a bit. Madison and the group start talking about plans to use the generator once a week or so. Things start feeling pretty cool…

Knock, knock–stab! Strand opens the door for who he thought was Hector. Turns out it was a psychotic Ilene who wanted some payback for her daughter being killed. She stabs Strand with a steak knife, and I almost lose my sh-t. I mean seriously. The group then makes plans to visit a warehouse to get medical supplies to get Strand healed up. Madison lays down the law and says the next person to lay a hand on another person gets exiled.

I’m the boss and I say we stay: Luciana asserts herself and then kisses Nick passionately. They have quite the fiery relationship. Makes me wonder how hot it will get when it flames out. Oh, come on. These things don’t last forever folks.

Family reunion: Elena and Madison make their way to the warehouse to get the meds for Strand. Turns out to be the same warehouse Nick and Luciana frequent. Small world, this Mexico. Hector’s brother is not so happy to see her and even less that Hector didn’t come. They let the women in and tell Carlos he needs to stay out. Madison overhears Marco talking to Francisco who was brought back for interrogation. Hearing that a “ratty-haired” gringo was bringing drugs there, she immediately knows it’s Nick (slight eyeroll), and runs up to the room where Marco was at. Very slick.

I see you looking at me, looking at you: Nick sees Marco looking at the Colonia through binoculars. Apparently Nick has really good vision because he didn’t need enhancement to spot the leader of the warehouse.

You light up my life: Madison rushes to turn on the hotel lights as soon as she gets back from the medicine run. It’s a beacon in the dark for anyone from miles around to see. In a nice scene Alicia convinces Madison to turn the lights off.

This episode nicely set up some things to come over the final two episodes of season 2. However, it left a lot of questions to be answered, which is good. Hopefully they don’t leave us hanging too bad when it’s all said and done.

Questions: Looks like Ofelia is headed back to the States to find her boyfriend. Very ballsy, but maybe not the smartest thing to do in the new world. How far will she get? Will she find her way back to the group?

Will Strand recover? When he initially got stabbed, I was less concerned, but as the show went on, he kind of got philosophical. He also had a nice scene with Alicia. He survived a gunshot, so he should be able to survive being stabbed with a steak knife, right? He better be.

What will happen to Ilene? They said to lock her up and watch her. I don’t have much faith in her recovering. She lost her husband and daughter in the span of minutes. I think they are going to regret not taking care of her.

Is Alejandro losing it? He’s definitely lost confidence in himself. Paranoia is causing him to question his two most loyal subjects in Luciana and Nick. An attack on Colonia is imminent. Will he hold it together or buckle under pressure? Who will he take down with him? I have a feeling it could be Luciana.

When will Marco attack? We know he knows where Colonia is. Will he attack next episode or continue to survey and plan?

Who else saw the hotel lights? We know Travis saw them, and will probably make his way there sooner or later. From the looks of next week’s preview, he and Chris are headed for a parting of ways. I think him leaving Chris would be the nail in the coffin as far as Chris turning full-evil. Who else saw the lights though? Infected? Marco’s group? Daniel?

Weapons? Yeah. It’s almost the end of season 2 and our group doesn’t have a single weapon. Well, Chris does, but he’s not really part of our group anymore. There are some knives and hammers, but nothing really formidable. When will this change?

Zombie kill of the week: There were only two I think, but that doesn’t really matter. Ofelia runs away with her hammer-smash of an infected. The initial hit was nice and powerful, but what sold me was the way she just ripped it out–taking half the zombie skull with it.

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