Walking Dead Weekly

The season 7 finale has just ended, and I am a little speechless. Still processing some of the events. The last time I had all these feels is when Daryl came back and lit the pond on fire with some gasoline and a Rocket Propelled Grenade. This time it was a slightly different tiger, his master, and The Kingdom. Before we open up the throttle,

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

Full disclosure: The flashback/dream sequences were super annoying, until they were not. If their objective was to keep us guessing whether Sasha had taken “the pill” or not, they succeeded. I’m sure I will look at them a little differently the second time I watch it. Right now, I have to get this all out (as Talking Dead isn’t on yet).

I went back and forth on if I thought Sasha had taken the pill or not. When she said to Eugene, “I haven’t given up on you yet”, I was fooled. Her turning into a walker did cross my mind.

Blown away: I have to say I am blown away by The First Day of the Rest of Your Life. I didn’t see the Scavengers turning on Rick and Alexandria, but it did lead to some phenomenal TV. I was thinking Oceanside would have been surprise guests, perhaps they will be at some point.

Just one person has to die: I think it is at this point when Sasha and Negan are negotiating that she realizes she has to take the pill to avoid Negan using her against her friends. Negan even notices when a tear falls down, he asks her if that’s real.

I’m Negan: Eugene asks Negan for permission to talk to Rick. He mentions something about buying them time, but I’m pretty sure Negan was with him the whole time. At any rate, Eugene tells Rick the “jig is up”, they have all the angles covered. The only way out was “fealty” and surrender. At this time the Scavengers reveal they had a better deal from Negan. Rick wants to talk to Negan. Eugene boldly states, “I am Negan”. I haven’t wanted anyone shot faster than when Eugene said that. That didn’t happen. My feelings might change, but as of right now, I’m hoping someone catches up with the little pecker biter.

So you don’t like Eugene anymore?: Rick refuses Eugene’s request for a full surrender, and Rosita presses the trigger that was supposed to blow up a truck to take out as many of the Saviors as possible–including Eugene. When that fails, Negan comes out of the truck and demands Rick surrenders all their guns, 1 person of Negan’s choosing (for punishment), Daryl, and all their lemonade. In return, Negan doesn’t kill Sasha.

Rick asks to see Sasha alive and all heck breaks loose when Negan opens up the coffin. Surprise! Sasha has killed herself and reanimated as a walker; she lunges for Negan and knocks him off the truck.

Quick acting Carl: As soon as Sasha knocks Negan down, he turns and starts popping Scavengers. The rest of Alexandria follows suit, and it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Peeve: During the battle for Alexandria, Michonne actually struggles to fight off one Scavenger. I could see if it was two, or three, but one? This is the same woman who continued doing all kinds of pushups and situps when she was recovering from being shot in the leg. No way she is going to struggle with any single combatant short of Daryl, Rick, or Negan.

Hello again: Negan once again has Rick and Carl kneeling on the ground. This time he flat out says he is going to kill Carl and smash Rick’s hands with Lucile. Rick tells Negan it doesn’t matter who he kills, or what he does to him, he is going to kill Negan. Not today, maybe not tomorrow…

Stop. Tiger time!: Shiva gets into the battle in grand fashion; just as Negan was going to take Lucile to Carl’s skull, she leaps on a Savior right behind Negan. He gets knocked down, screams like a girl, and runs away cursing about the tiger. Shiva continues to pounce on saviors and eat their face! Full admission: I had tears free flowing at this point. I might have yelled out something. Scott Mmmm Gimple: You got me good.

The battle continues: Ezekiel, Carol, and Morgan followed Shiva–guns blazing. The Hilltoppers did as well, led by Maggie. The collaboration of Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom was more than enough for the Saviors. Jadis shot a flare and her pack of double-crossers turned and fled. Negan took the surviving Saviors and ran back to the Sanctuary where he told the others they are going to war. Michonne and Rosita are recovering from their injuries. Maggie led a group out into the forest where Sasha was tracked down, and released from her undead state.

It was really nice to see Carol back in Alexandria. Especially when she sat down next to Morgan. Not sure what the future holds for either, but as of that moment, it looked good.

Many questions popped into my head during this extended season finale. In order of occurrence: Where was Gregory? Did he make it to the Sanctuary? We were made to believe Jadis (or Tamriel) was informing Negan of their plans, so what happened to him?

Is Hilltop and the Kingdom safe without their leaders being present? I was kind of surprised Negan didn’t stop at one of them and attack, knowing they would be pretty much defenseless.

How did the Scavengers know about the bombs in the truck? I don’t think they were there yet. How did they let Negan know about them? Perhaps we will find out in a “flashback”.

Will Tara return to Oceanside? The fight is not over, and they could use more help. My hope is that someone from Oceanside was watching the events take place, and saw how the three communities defended themselves.

What was the significance of Dwight tossing the carved figure in the gate housing with the words, “Didn’t know” written on it? Didn’t know about Sasha? The Scavengers double cross? Both? Where did he get the pen?

Zombie Kill of the Week: There was only one walker in this week’s episode. I am going to do a reverse ZKotW and give it to Sasha, who bravely became the zombie to attack Negan. It was perfect timing, and she did get to kill a couple people. She went out more heroically than many of our favorite characters.

So now we wait, and wonder what else is in store for our beloved companions. They are now three communities strong, united against a common enemy. Season eight promises to be as epic as season seven was.

 

 

 

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Mike Glennon will be ____ as a Bear

I have been a Mike Glennon fan since he got playing time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I wasn’t a fan at first, but he won me over. When the Bucs drafted Jameis Wintston, I thought maybe he had a shot at becoming a Bear.

That scenario took place as free agency opened for the 2017 league year. Rumors swirled that the Bears were the “front runner” for Glennon’s services. When it was finalized, Mike Glennon said the Bears were #1 on his list. Then word came out about how Mike Glennon wanted to learn everyone’s name he would be dealing with. A sign of maturity and leadership like we haven’t seen here in Chicago. That might not translate into wins or losses, but it’s a refreshing step in the right direction.

I was a big fan of Jay Cutler, but Jay did all he could do, and it ended up being a subpar record with a lot of nice stats. So this leads me to the question: Mike Glennon will be…(what?) as a Bear?

As of right now, Glennon has a little less to work with than Cutler did. Over the past 2 seasons, the Bears got rid of: Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, Alshon, Jeffery, and guard Matt Slauson. That’s a lot of talent let go on offense. They do still have a couple nice running backs in Jordan Howard and Jeremy Langford, and a  decent offensive line. The wide receiving corps are a bit of a question mark. Cameron Meredith showed some flashes, as did Joshua Bellamy, but first round pick Kevin White still has more questions than answers coming off another leg injury. They did add free agent wide receivers Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton, but do not seem to have a legitimate #1. Deonte Thompson re-signed, which gives them somewhat of a deep threat. Consistency will be a concern going into the season.

Much will depend on the upcoming draft, which is stocked with tight ends. Will the Bears end up taking one? Zach Miller has shown he is sneaky athletic, but has a history of getting injured, and is 32. The Bears added Dion Sims in free agency, and have a couple of young tight ends in Daniel Brown, and Ben Braunecker.

I see their focus being more on the defensive side, adding at least 2 defensive backs, (corner and safety) and a linebacker or another pass rusher. That leaves little room to draft an offensive playmaker. My dream scenario has them trading down from #3 overall and adding at least another pick.

My prediction is that Mike Glennon will be a solid QB and leader as a Bear. Ultimately it depends on how much he can get out of what he has to work with, and if certain players such as Meredith and White continue to develop. A lot also depends on how the offensive line holds up, as Glennon is knocked for his ability to move in the pocket. The pressure will be on John Fox to finally show some improvement in his third year as the Bears head coach.

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Free Mean Streets of Gadgetzan pack for logging on

Upon logging on to Hearthstone today I was surprised to find another free pack waiting for me. This time, it was not a “mystery” pack with a ribbon on it. It was colored like a Mean Streets of Gadgetzan pack. It can also be opened right away!

I’m anxious to hear from other Hearthstone players as to what cards they got. My luck is “so-so” when it comes to opening packs. I have got my share of legendaries, but it’s about average or slightly under when it comes to frequency and quality. So when I got a legendary, and a golden epic, I was quite surprised.

I am wondering if every one of these “special rewards” contains a random, “guaranteed” legendary. It could use the same mechanic is one of the upcoming Ungoro cards that puts a “special pack” of cards into your deck. If so, this is a kickass catchup mechanic.

So log on into Hearthstone and see what the RNG gods have in store for you. Best of luck!

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Walking Dead Marathon perfect time to “come back”

This Saturday at 6pm Eastern/5 Central, kicks off the Walking Dead season 7 marathon, that leads straight into the extended season finale. This is a perfect time for some of you fans who “opted out” after watching the season premiere, and didn’t like the direction of the latest season. I promise you, you will not be let down.

Everything you could have wanted (sans certain members being resurrected) is about to at least come true in part. I can’t get into any more without spoiling your sunshine. You just have to trust me on this one. Now is the time to jump back on the train, and enjoy the series you used to follow faithfully!

Check your local listings for exact times.

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Brawl of the week: A Mammoth of a New Year

This week’s Tavern Brawl is another cooperative battle. You and a partner must “decorate” the tavern. Of course there will be things to get in your way.

How Mammoth will this New Year be?

You might recognize the “Party Crashers” from last week’s brawl to “decorate” Stormwind.

I’m not sure if everyone gets the same two heroes, but my match was Valeera vs Malfurion. Your decks contain a mix of random minions, class cards, and a few “special cards”.

Things get crazy, fast.

Your hero power actually changes in the second phase of the brawl.

Once you finish “decorating”, a Pinata is dropped in. We are told there is candy inside. I’m not convinced. (how cool would it have been if we got a coupon for a candy bar?)

The Pinata switches side to opposite of the hero attacking.

There are some shenanigans.

Sweet, sweet shenanigans.

Finally, the Pinata goes down.

Glorious destruction.

Look, another free pack!

A third free “mystery” pack!

I’m guessing we probably won’t see this battle again, at least not under the same name. It looks like this was a one-time deal for the coming new Hearthstone year.

So get in there and get your free pack. This is the third new (probably Un’Goro) pack we have got from brawls, if you have played the last 2 weeks. (and today)

Gotta gotta get gold!

There was also a 50 gold bonus for logging on, which I found to be a little odd, but hey, it’s free gold!

See you next week!

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Walking Dead Weekly

Here we are, one week from the season final for season 7, and things are ramping up quite nicely. We get to see some interaction with Sasha and Eugene in Sanctuary, and Tara leads the group to Oceanside. Before we go further,

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

Last night’s episode, Something They Need, pushed the group further in their preparation for war. We see the group sneaking up on Oceanside from the shore–the same way Tara did when she washed up on it.

To protect or not: Maggie is outside the walls of Hilltop when Gregory rolls up. She is diligently trying to dig up a blueberry tree to replant inside the walls. Gregory starts talking to her about Hilltop and being a united front. Maggie says she is up for it and that people can change, dropping a hint that Gregory could get a second (or third) chance. A walker stumbles out from the forest line, and Maggie learns that Gregory has never killed a walker. She ends up saving him from two that stumble out from the forest.

Rape is against the rules here: A savior named David tries to rape Sasha in her cell, after she declines his advances. Negan ends up walking in on him, and immediately knows what’s going on. He then sticks his over-sized knife through his neck. After that, he takes advantage of the opportunity to recruit Sasha. I must say, this might be my favorite Negan scene. Negan says out loud how much he likes Sasha’s “beach ball sized lady-nuts”, and wants to “harness that heat”. He gives her a set of options that include: suicide, letting David re-animate and eat her face off, or killing “Rapey David” and joining the cause.

Please say yes: Eugene brings Sasha some “creature comforts” to her cell. He lets he know he is aware of the deal Negan made her, and thinks she should consider it. Seems like watching Abraham die at Negan’s hand broke Eugene. He realizes as long as he stays behind Sanctuary’s walls he will be safe. At one point Sasha looks like she wants to kill Eugene and tells him to leave.

You promised: Tara enters Natania’s cabin and surprises her. She talks to the leader of Oceanside at gunpoint, telling her they are going to take their guns. Tara also advises them to join the collective fight against the Saviors. Cyndie walks in, and Tara continues pleading her case. Cyndie eventually rushes Tara and gets her gun, but finds it empty. They hear an explosion from outside, and Tara says it’s too late.

Rick and the others take Oceanside, including the armory, pretty much without incident. Natania brings out Tara at gunpoint. Rick and Tara both say it doesn’t matter if Tara dies, Rick is taking the guns. He asks Oceanside to join them in the fight. Natania is bent on killing Tara, even if she herself will die. She feels she needs to remind her group what is at stake. A herd of walkers emerge from the forest, drawn by the explosions. Rick hands a couple members of Oceanside some weapons and the two groups fight off the walkers. Cyndie ends up disarming her grandmother and helps protect the others.

You win: Negan returns to Sahsa’s cell to find she stuck David in the head with his huge knife. Negan takes the knife back and says she has a ways to go before he trusts her 100%, but this was a nice start. He keeps working to recruit her. Negan then mentions “a little birdie” told him that Rick is up to no good. He mentions something about enjoying a little of what they have to offer, and that tomorrow will be a big day.

One tequila, two tequila…: Gregory “enjoys” some tequila as he looks at a map, and the note Simon wrote him. He then calls for his flunky, Kal to pack a bag because he needs him to drive him “somewhere”. Obviously the somewhere is the Sanctuary to talk to Simon.

Second thoughts: Eugene comes to check on Sasha and she tells him she can’t join them; the thought of her fighting against her friends, or Negan using her to get at them, will not fly. She begs Eugene to get her something so she can “prevent Negan from using her”. A gun, a knife, some glass…anything. Eugene says he will consider it. Sasha smiles (from behind the cell door) thinking Eugene will fall for her play.

Poison pill: Eugene returns and slips one of the poison capsules he made under the door to Sasha’s cell. Sasha is absolutely devastated when she sees what he gives her. Eugene says he hopes she chooses not to use it. It’s clear she was hoping for something she could use to escape & maybe still kill Negan.

Dwighty boy: Rosita opens the gate to Alexandria as Rick and the group come back with the guns from Oceanside. She lets them know there is someone here to see them, and leads them to the cell Morgan constructed. Daryl goes a little apeshit, and tries to get at Dwight. Dwight says he wants to help them. Rick says, OK, and then pulls out his gun and levels it at Dwight’s head. He tells Dwight to get on his knees.

That my friends, is how you end the last episode before the extended season finale!

Questions: This was a “more answers, than questions” show–which I happen to really enjoy. That said, there are some interesting questions to ask.

Will any of the women from Oceanside find their way to join the battle against the Saviors? I think it would be epic if a few of them make it to Hillside, or Alexandria and join in the fray.

What will happen with Gregory? Will he make it to the Sanctuary, or be caught in the middle? What info will he give Simon? He doesn’t know much, just that they are gathering and prepping for a fight.

Who is Negan’s little birdie? It can’t be Eugene, as he was taken before Rick and the group decided to go to war. I suppose he could have any of number of people from either the Kingdom or Hilltop spying for him.

Is Dwight being real with Rick? Will Rick trust him enough to let him help. Will Daryl just kill Dwight before he can help?

Will Sasha use the pill on herself? I doubt it. I think she wanted to escape. The pill though could still be used against Negan, or someone else. Even though Sasha was not happy, she still has a pretty powerful card to play.

What are Negan’s plans for Sasha? He could obviously dangle her, Eugene, and/or Dr. Carson as bait or leverage. I don’t think at this point, Rick or Maggie will endanger the collective communities for any number of hostages. We know Sasha would most likely force Negan’s hand if possible.

Will Eugene buckle under the pressure and end up crying or peeing himself, or will he find his courage and step up when the Saviors go to war? He still has one poison capsule. He did mention the 37 minutes he spent driving the RV was the best time in his life.

Will Dr. Carter be a factor in the events that go down, or will Negan keep him safely tucked away, since he doesn’t have another option? Having a Dr. when you go to war might be the difference between winning and losing. Especially in an extended campaign.

Zombie kill of the week: It’s kind of easy for me: Watching one of the smallest Oceanside ladies–Rachel, kick a walker to get it on the ground, and stabbing it in the head was a nifty move. If she gets to grow up, she will be quite the badass.

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Fantasy Impact: 2017 NFL Mock Draft (1-16)

As you may know, the last few years I have been doing my mock draft purely from the Fantasy Football perspective. I put players where I think it would be best/most fun from that angle. It’s less guessing, and more wishful thinking. Sometimes reality matches up. So grab your favorite beverage, and let’s see what I can come up with this year!

1. Browns: Myles Garrett, DE: Texas A&M- Possibly the best defensive player in the draft. He should make an immediate impact on the Browns defense. He had a great combine too.

2. 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE: Stanford- New General Manager John Lynch is a Standford alum. Thomas is considered one of the best edge rushers coming out. Seems like a good union of talent/need, which is actually rare.

3. Browns (projected trade with the Bears): Leonard Fournette, RB: LSU- I know, the Browns could stay at 12 and probably get a really good RB there. They have a ton of picks though. If they don’t trade for New England QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, they need to trade them to someone. No way they can draft and keep that many players. This trade would give the browns two of the top 3 picks, and really add some stud players to a roster bereft of talent.

4. Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DE: Alabama- The Jaguars probably had their sights on Fournette, and the Browns muscled back into the top 5. This will probably not happen, but it would be fun if it did.

5. Titans: Derek Barnett, DE: Tennessee- The Titans defense was pretty awful in 2016. The quickest way to make it better is on the D-line.

6. Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB: Ohio State- One of the most dynamic defensive backs coming out. Depending on what they do at quarterback, the Jets could take the first QB off the board, as they are competing with 3-4 other teams that will be at the top of the second round. They could try and move down a few spots, which is what I hope my Bears do.

7. Chargers: Corey Davis, WR: Western Michigan- The Chargers need a reliable receiver. Not sure they take this exact receiver, but Davis is one of the more dynamic players in the draft. He is a little banged up, but he is generally durable.

8. Panthers: Mike Williams, WR: Clemson- The Panthers add another tall, rangy receiver for Cam to throw to. Paired up with Kelvin Benjamin, and TE Greg Olsen, would give them one of the taller receiving corps in the NFL. They could opt for speed and go with John Ross from Washington.

9. Bengals: Marlon Humphrey, CB: Alabama- The Bengals could be eying a wide reciever, and could go with Williams (if there) or Washington’s John Ross. I think they upgrade and aging defensive backfield. They need someone to compete with Pittsburg’s potent offense.

10. Bills: OJ Howard, TE: Alabama- I can’t remember the last time the Bills had a dynamic tight end. This would help out QB Tyrod Taylor and also WR, Sammy Watkins. OJ is also a durable player who will be tough enough to play in those cold Buffalo winters.

11. Saints: Evan Engram, TE: Ole Miss- Engram is a playmaker in the mold of a Jimmy Graham. He might not be as big, but he’s more polished than Graham was coming out of college. If not Engram, I can see them drafting another WR to complement Mike Thomas who emerged as a solid #1 last year.

12. Bears (from Browns): Jabrill Peppers, Safety: Michigan- This is my dream scenario for the Bears: they move down, get a dynamic playmaker, and get an extra pick or two. Then they can move back into round 1…shenanigans ensue! *Update: Watching Path to the Draft last night, Charley Casserly mentioned the Panthers might have some interest in running back Leonard Fourette, which isn’t that big of a surprise. The good thing is, the more teams interested in Fournette, (or another top 5 player) the more likely the Bears will have a trading partner. The Panthers would be more ideal than the Browns, as they would be able to stay inside the top 10. 

13: Cardinals: Jamal Adams, Safety: LSU- I don’t really think the offensive players will fall off the board like I hope they will. That said, if Adams is here, he would be a pretty awesome addition to the Cardinals defensive backfield. He and Peterson would make a fierce tandem. A WR or TE could be welcomed options as well.

14. Eagles: Haason Reddick, LB: Temple- Reddick stays in-state and goes to the Eagles. Brings immediate toughness to the Eagles D.

15: Colts: Christian McCaffrey, RB: Stanford- The Eagles very well could take a running back one pick ahead, and it very well could be McCaffrey. I think McCaffrey fits in with a lot of teams that like to throw the ball as much or more than they like to run. There are about 5-6 teams he would excel with.

16. Ravens: Dalvin Cook, RB: FSU- The Ravens are actually at a great spot in this year’s draft. They will have one of several players to choose from. I think Cook would have the most impact should he be on the board here. The Colts could very well choose Cook over McCaffrey, or another team could take McCaffrey sooner (Saints, Eagles, a team trading up). If not Cook, perhaps Njoku, or a wide receiver.

*Updated 3/31/17

Picks 17-32

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