Brawl of the Week: Servant of Yogg-Saron Tryouts (again)

We have had this week’s Tavern Brawl a few times-Servant of Yogg-Saron Tryouts. Pick a hero and get a deck full of random minions, and spells. When you play a minion, a random spell will be cast with the same mana amount, on a random target. It’s perfectly random, so prepare for that.

I picked a mage because that’s what I like to do. I quickly outflanked my opponent. Looking back, I am kind of surprised they didn’t “opt out” sooner.

Make sure to attack if you have minions on the board, before you play another. You might not like the outcome of the next spell.

I’ll probably play this brawl a couple more times, just because the Yogg Saron card was one of my all-time favorites. Get on in there, get your free pack, and have a blast! I did. See you next week!

Advertisements
Posted in Hearthstone | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

NFL runs ‘afoul’: How to fix Pass Interference, and Overtime

There has been a lot of chatter about the NFL and a couple major rules since Championship weekend. The results put the New England Patriots, and the LA Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Probably the most talked about issue is the Pass Interference rule, or lack thereof. The other, the length and format of Overtime. For the record, I am good with both, but I can see some easy fixes for them as well. Let’s talk.

Let’s start with Pass Interference. If you have watched a handful of games, you have no doubt seen a receiver, and a cornerback fight for the football. Sometimes there will be a cute yellow flag thrown, sometimes not. 90% one or both players will look around to see if the flag is thrown. A good amount of the time, one or both players will complain to an official. This is the current state of the NFL passing game. Like holding, pass interference, (PI for short) can probably be called at a high rate.

PI is a judgment call, simply put, it’s the referee’s discretion to call it or not. Sometimes the other refs will help him out. There has probable been no more egregious call than on Sunday in the Saints/Rams game. With less than 2 minutes left, Drew Brees threw a pass that was broken up, and at full speed it didn’t look too bad. Then the replay comes in, slowing the play down. We clearly saw not only did the defender clearly contact the receiver before the ball got there, he also hit him in the head with his helmet. Problem is, the refs don’t watch the game in slow motion. To me, that is the biggest problem. We live in an age where we have technology, and that technology influences the way we watch sports. Many people are calling for PI to be reviewable. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I know one thing; either the coaches would burn their challenges in the first quarter, or the game would be a challenge-fest. None of those options are good for the sport. I have a few things that I think can work.

  • Full-time officials: This works for both PI, and many other issues. The NFL has the money, and it’s long overdue. They should be trying to put the absolute best product on the field, and that starts and ends with full-time officials.
  • Extra officials in the defensive backfield: I would go at least 2 more officials, who only watch out for pass interference. There are too many players out there. You can have anywhere from 2-5 receivers on any given play. That means 5 or more defenders. Put 2 more refs back 20-30 yards. This would also let the other refs focus on other things. The speed of the game kind of demands it.
  • Official in the booth: A dedicated official in the booth, watching the game in real time. This is not a replay official, this is someone watching at game speed. They will stay in constant contact with the Referee. He/she will be able to buzz down and maybe tell them to huddle up, or take a look at something reviewable.
  • Keep the crew together: They used to do playoffs by crew. There were pluses and minuses to this. I think it’s time to look at going back to it. Perhaps one thing they can do is rotate officials in and out by quarter, or halfway through the season. This would give the officials a chance to work with different refs. Having a crew that worked a full season together has it’s advantages, I believe it outranks the cons.

Then there is the issue of Overtime. I don’t mind how it works currently, but the more I think about it, the more it should be a full quarter. The NFL tweaked the rule a couple years ago, to make it more likely that both teams touch the ball, and that the coin flip is less a factor. Since 2012, the team that wins the coin toss (at the beginning of OT) is about 52% likely to win. That is not a huge advantage. Factor in an elite quarterback such as Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers, and those stats are meaningless. However, you do have chances to stop them. Last Sunday, Brady converted 3 straight 3rd and longs (I believe 3rd and 10s) to march his team to a game winning touchdown. The Chiefs had every opportunity to stop them. They didn’t. That is why Tom Brady and the Patriots are going to their 9th Super Bowl since 2001. I think it’s fair, but I have a way to make it even more fair.

Simply: Play a full quarter of football. I know it’s odd. In the regular season they used to do this. It makes sense. A playoff game should not be decided by anything less. Major league baseball, and the National Hockey league both have it that way. I like the Sudden Death rule for the regular season. This year we had a few ties. I would go to Sudden Death after a 5th full quarter. The games have to end sometime.

Lastly, a final tweak I would make is have the booth reviews extended from the final 2 minutes of a game to the final 5 minutes. This would help out the refs, and the coaches would not have to worry about saving an extra time out for a challenge. Provided, they haven’t already blown their 2 allotted challenges.

 

Posted in Sports | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Brawl of the Week: The Void Singularity

This week’s Tavern Brawl is: The Void Singularity. Build your deck, at the end of your turn, your minions turn into a “Void Singularity” with attack and health that corresponds to the minion you played. It also combines with any other void singularity on the board.

We have had this brawl 1-2 times before. It’s equal parts exciting and frustrating. I picked the shaman on the basis of a couple things: One, they have a lot of cards that either silence, destroy, or morph minions into something else. The rogue will also be tough with it’s cards that destroy, send the cards back. However, I am not sure if you send a void singularity back, it will lose it’s altered attack/health. I’ll have to check on that. (they keep it)

I will also have to tweak my deck because cards like Mana Tide Totem, and any taunts are fairly useless since they morph at the end of the term. This is also a semi-Wild brawl; some cards are banned because they would be too powerful.

So get on in there and get your free pack! Since you pick your class, and build your deck, this brawl should be useful for pretty much any quests. Have fun & see you next week!

Posted in Hearthstone | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Battle in my Mind

The Battle in my Mind

1-25-19

I don’t feel like I’m winning

I’m too tired to even fight

I’ll close my eyes a little longer

Perhaps wake up when there’s light

I have a box full of excuses

When I don’t want to go outside

Anxiety smiles, and I’ll chose one

I hate so much to run and hide

There’s a battle that’s been raging

Since I was a little boy

Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose

I cannot make a simple choice

I fail to make the slightest progress

I let too much time pass me by

I make the same mistakes like clockwork

For no apparent reason why

I can pull out of this tailspin

If I had a steady guide

I’ll just tumble without purpose

Tomorrow brings another try

There’s a battle that’s been raging

Deep inside my silly head

I want to change, I don’t want to be afraid

Please take my hand and help me win

 

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Brawl of the Week: Shiftcon West

This week’s Tavern Brawl is a slight shift, if you will, from the classic Shiftcon brawl. In this newer version we get a scroll that shifts to a different spell every round.

This is a highly random brawl, but there is a slight strategy. Should you wait, or should you use that spell, or play that minion.

I tend to get something out early, then wait and play bigger minions later. Sometimes the game forces you to play cards earlier. There is one nasty spell, I’ll let you figure that out for yourself.

So, get in there, have some fun, and get your free pack. I’ll be back next week!

Posted in Hearthstone | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Brawl of the Week: Brawl Block: Old and New

This week’s Tavern Brawl was a new take on a basic brawl. Brawl Block: Old and New. Basically, make a deck only using cards from Goblins vs Gnomes, The Grand Tournament, Witchwood, and The Boomsday Project. For me, this was hard. I didn’t realize how dependent I have been on the Classic cards.

My first instinct was to do a mech deck, until I realized how little mechs I had from those 4 expansions. I actually had to craft a bunch of cards because I only had 1 copy of many. I was also playing later in the day after people had access to this brawl for 6+ hours.

So, I do what I normally do, and make a mage deck. I thought I had a decent deck until I saw all these exotic cards come out. It took me a couple games, but I got lucky. Figures I went up against 2 mage decks back to back.

Not a huge fan of this format. I got my free deck, and got some screen caps to write my post. Hope you enjoy it more than I did. See you next week!

Posted in Hearthstone | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All arrows pointing up for Bears in 2019

As of Monday afternoon, January 7th, the only uncertainty withe the Bears is: Will Vic Fangio get a head coaching job, or remain with the Bears? There is also the minor issue with their kicker, Cody Parkey. Will they allow him to rebound, or let him go? After that, all arrows are pointing up for them in 2019.

2018 ended with a sudden stop, a thud, as Parkey’s kick hit not only the left upright, but the crossbar. I think they should get extra points for that, personally. Maybe 2 points for hitting the upright, and another point if it goes in? That would change the kicking game now, wouldn’t it? In all seriousness, more things are going in a positive direction than not. Let’s take a look.

Quarterback: Mitchell Trubisky enters his 3rd year, and his second in Matt Nagy’s offense. He should have more confidence, play faster, and the game should slow down for him. This should translate into more accuracy, more efficiency, and less mistakes.

Running back: Jordan Howard will probably return (he would have to be traded, as he will be a 4th year pro). Hopefully Nagy makes him more involved in the offense. Tarik Cohen will no doubt improve with another offseason. He should be able to use his speed more, as he will be playing faster in year two. Nagy will come up with more plays, and different ways to use him.

Wide receiver: We got a glimpse of what 2019 could bring for star wideout Allen Robinson. In the playoffs he put up 140 yards receiving and a TD. Taylor Gabriel should be better in year two. We saw his speed at times, but I don’t think the Bears took advantage of it as much as they will in 2019. Same goes for Anthony Miller, who had a decent rookie year. Javon Wims might get the most benefit in year two. We only got to see Wims in week 17, but he showed some nice route running, and a bigger target for Trubisky to hit. Something they lack in the other receivers, outside Robinson.

Tight end: Trey Burton showed he can be a deadly weapon in this offense, but even he wasn’t used to his potential. As he and Mitch go forward, they should develop more chemistry. I’m not sold on Adam Shaheen, but hopefully he can be on the field more.

Offensive line: The best part of the O-line is they are mostly healthy at the end of the season, especially guard Kyle Long, who is going into 2019 without a major surgery.

Defensive line: They enjoyed a pretty solid season, but have room to grow. Leonard Floyd will be in the last year of his contract. The Bears will either option him, or possibly extend him.

Linebacker: Rookie Roquan Smith had a superb first year. Even though he did not start until later in the season, he led the Bears in total, and solo tackles. This guy should be even better, faster after a year in an NFL offseason.

Defensive backs: Starters Kyle Fuller, and Prince Amukamara had pro bowl years. Eddie Jackson was a superstar who showed a real knack for getting the ball, and scoring. There is a little uncertainty with nickle back Bryce Calahan, and safety Adrian Amos, who are both free agents. There are younger guys they might want to take a look at.

Matt Nagy: We have seen how creative he can be, especially on the goal line. Matt has used almost every member on defense on goal line packages. Mostly on 2 point tries, but we have seen them on actual 1st and goal to go. Year two of his offense should take a huge jump forward. Having your OC and QB on the same page is priceless.

The Draft, and Free Agency: The one downside is the Bears wont be picking until late in the 3rd round. The plus? They have Kahlil Mack, and don’t have many “needs” going into 2019. Nickle back, Safety, and maybe Kicker are all they may be looking for. All three of those can be handled in free agency, the draft, or undrafted free agent signings after the draft.

Silver lining: One of the best things about the loss to the Eagles, might be the way it ended. The Bears, to a man, should feel they let that loss slip away. There was no single area (outside from maybe Robinson) where there wasn’t a let down. Everyone made mistakes. Everyone should be looking at themselves, and asking what they can do better. That fire, that hunger will burn all season long, and hopefully well into the playoffs.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment