Can we please fix Flint, Michigan?

I’m just a casual blogger. I usually try to keep things light. This is not a blog for social issues, but it’s hard to see athletes and entertainers I admire “standing up” for certain issues, while people in this country are really suffering every day. I wish I would have posted this sooner. I wish I could do more. The outpouring of humanity in Houston underscored something I have felt all long: We can do this.

JJ Watt and Chris Paul did something pretty amazing in the wake of devastation from hurricane Harvey. To date, over $27 million dollars has been raised. As far as I know, Watt and Paul were the only 2 big names*. That’s just two superstars, and a whole lot of good humans giving what they could give. Imagine if we got a few more together. We could take care of just about anything.

So why not make our focus Flint Michigan? Take a weekend and get some entertainers together. They did it for Live-Aid. They did it for Farm-Aid. Do the people in Flint not deserve to be helped? I know throwing money at a situation is often not a solution, but I’m sure it could help. If nothing else, it could pay for alternative water solutions until they are able to rebuild the pipes, and whatever else needs to be done.

Bottom line is, this is only one of many problems citizens of the United States face. We need to start being progressive instead of being reactive on this and several other things. My first priority would be public education. As someone who went through the public educational system, I can attest that it is flawed at best. We need to overhaul the system, that encourages the “status quo”, and fails many children. I’ll be writing a post on this in the near future.

*At publishing, Jimmy Fallon has donated $1 million to the foundation

 

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Trubisky promoted to backup QB: what it means for Bears

Today the Bears announced rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was promoted to #2 QB. If you follow NFL football, or even just the Bears, you know the backup QB is the most popular player on the team. Multiply that times 10 when that QB happens to be the 2nd pick overall. What does this mean for Trubisky and the Bears?

The hype for Mitch Trubisky probably crested in just his first NFL game when he came in vs the Broncos in week 1 of the 2017 preseason. Callers flooded the lines of local sports talk radio. Social media was buzzing. Fans were calling for Trubisky to start even long before that. The off performance from starting quarterback Mike Glennon was just fuel to the fire–the fire Trubisky sparked when he put up a passer rating of 103.1. The rookie QB showed off his mobility and accuracy, especially when sprinting to the right. As a skeptic, I was impressed. Mitchell leveled off a bit vs the Arizona Cardinals, but didn’t make any major mistakes. In week 3, he earned reps with the starters and hooked up with Tyler Gentry for a long TD pass. Mike Glennon however, had a “comeback” game vs the Tennessee Titans, and maintained his starter status at QB.

Then the announcement broke in the early afternoon, and once again social media was buzzing. What does this really mean though? One thing I can safely say: The Bears have plans for Trubisky in 2017. If not, they would have let him sit and hold a clipboard–something he still may do. As I wrote earlier, I would not put the rookie QB in before week 7–leaving him 10 games to play, at the most. My reasoning is twofold: 1) He would be able to soak in as much as possible before he plays, and 2) 10 games is about the length of a college season; so there shouldn’t be a “rookie wall” to run into.

I will need to see if Mark Sanchez is active on Sunday (3rd string QBs are normally not), if not it means the Bears are very comfortable bringing in Trubisky at any time. If Sanchez is active, then the #2 tag on Trubisky is just a status symbol, and nothing more. This is a situation the Bears have not been in since I have been watching them, and that goes back to 1985. The last time the Bears drafted a quarterback as high as Trubisky was in 1999 when they selected Cade McKnown with the 12th overall pick. Head coach Dick Juron famously stated that “Cade gives us the best chance to win”, which many immediately questioned, including players.

This time around, Trubisky has actually earned his promotion, rather than have it handed to him by a coach or upper management (or Bears ownership). I have to say John Fox, Dowell Loggains, and Ryan Pace, have seemingly handled the young QB the right way. The rest is up to Mitchell. I’m still hoping to see him come in later than sooner, but there will be an underlying excitement leading up to the time when he gets to be a starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

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An Evil Exchange (again)

This week’s Tavern Brawl is one we have had a few times. Like the name says, it’s evil. Mostly for it’s RNG. No strategy here really. You are one of two heroes: Rafaam or Kel’Thuzad. Each of them have their own hero powers. Both have decks made of assorted minions, and spells.

They did seem to update the selection with the latest cards from The Frozen Throne. There are also a few cards that are unique to this brawl.

All and all, it’s kind of fun. My brawl lasted over 20 minutes. Even though it ended up fairly one-sided, there were times when we both had 4-5 minions on the board at the same time.

So get on in there and get that free pack! See you next week!

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Brawl of the Week: Blood Magic – Standard

It seems we have had this week’s Tavern Brawl at least one time before. However, that was a Wild brawl* and this one is Standard rules**. This brawl is straight forward: build a deck, your spells cost Health instead of Mana. Huzzah!

I went with the mage because, mage. It’s a double edged sword, so you want to strike fast. I could see priests being very tricky opponents. I was lucky and drew a druid. The brawl only lasted 4 rounds until they decided to concede. I’m not sure I had done anything spectacular, but I did clear their board. I’m happy with the result. It gives me more time to write this up!

Since you make your own deck, you should be able to get all your dailies done. I’ll definitely be playing through on all characters just to see how things go. I hope you will have fun with it too. So get in there and grab your free deck. See you next week!

*Wild Rules = you can use all the cards in your library.

**Standard rules = you can only use the cards in the current year cycle.

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When should Mitchell Trubisky start?

I’m writing this on Monday after Mitch Trubisky’s first start in the NFL. Full disclosure: I didn’t want the bears to draft him, or any QB in the first round (unless they traded down). I like Mike Glennon, and think he will do fine. I would not start Trubisky anywhere short of the last game of the season. Having said all that, Trubisky mania is sweeping the Windy City.

I probably should hold onto this post until after the young QB’s 3 game at least, but where is the fun in that? So here we go.

I’m looking at the schedule, and I don’t really see a soft spot (aside of the Buccaneers, week 2) in the first 6 games. Game 7 at home vs the Panthers might be a decent spot, provided the Bears record is sub .500. I could see them being 2-4; would that be bad enough for management (Ryan Pace) to pull the plug on Glennon and enter the Trubisky era?

If not, take a look on down the road: Week 9 is there bye-week, the Packers come to town week 10 for a noon game. It’s vs the best QB in the league, but it’s at home after a bye-week.

Personally, as I said at the top: I hope Glennon does well, and Mr. Biscuit holds a clipboard for 16 games. If the Bears have other plans, inserting a rookie QB with 10 games to go seems like a good place to start for multiple reasons. First, it gives them a handful of games to watch. Soak up as much as you can. Remember, Mitchell has only played 13 games in the NCAA. Second, 10 games is similar to a college season. There would be no “rookie wall” unless they got into the playoffs. Lastly, there will be less pressure on him, especially if the team is a few games under .500.

The Bears could also choose to insert Trubisky in for a few plays here and there. Perhaps on the goal line where they might want to take advantage of his speed. They could set things up for gimmick plays (screens, end arounds, etc), and then let him throw a couple when the defense thinks they have it all figured out. This would give him a taste of the speed of the NFL, even if things are going good.

Whatever they choose to do, I hope they have a plan, and stick to it.

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Brawl of the Week: By the Power of Ragnaros

This week’s Brawl is an interesting one: By the Power of Ragnaros. Build a deck; the cost of the cards in your hand drops by (1) each round they are in your hand (after your turn). It’s also Wild rules. If you haven’t been playing Hearthstone for a while, Wild rules means you can use any card in your library.

Not a whole lot more to it. I’m sure by now there will be some interesting deck comps from earlier brawls. I can see the old hunter mech decks working. The mage quest deck from last season might be pretty crazy. You might be able to trigger it by turn 4 or 5. Not sure how much I will play this brawl, but since you build your own deck, it has that flexibility going to complete lots of dailies.

So get on in there, and get your free deck. Have a bunch of fun creating crazy decks. See you next week!

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After 2 games, Bears ‘backups’ impress me the most

People often say the preseason is boring, too long, or meaningless. I tend to disagree on all points. First of all, there is the ‘Fantasy Football’ angle, but that is it’s own post. Second there are the rookies; it’s always good to see which new players will do well. Lastly, there are the special teamers–the second and third string players that will make the team based on their versatility, and production on special teams. Hey, whether you like it or not, it’s a third of the game.

Ka’Deem Carey has grown on me over the years. We have seen what he can do as a backup running back. He’s solid, and provides a different style of running when called upon. This season, he has been a special teams ace. The guy you count on to make a big tackle on a punt or kickoff.

Benny Cunningham was an outstanding pickup from the Rams. He is a solid runner, pass receiver, and pretty darn good on special teams. He can return kicks, and is often one of the first downfield to cover kicks. He has already made a handful of plays in just two games. The Bears RB corps are possibly the strongest unit on the team.

Rookie Eddie Jackson seemingly has been promoted (or at least got to hang out) to first team; and he looked solid in doing so. Jackson can definitely contribute on punt returns, but I see him being a day 1 starter as a safety or nickle corner. Ryan Pace, and the Bears might have got the steal of the draft here.

Deonte Thompson has made plays all over the field. With the absence of playmaking from Cam Meredith, and Kevin White, Thompson just might creep into the starting lineup as a 3, or dare I say, the #2 WR. He has been the most reliable target so far in 2017. Then there was his 109 yard kickoff return when  kicker Phil Dawson missed short on a 63 yard field goal try. It was reminiscent of Devin Hester’s runback vs the Giants.

 

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