I'd love to know how you think my defense matches up against Blerds offense.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
I'd love to know how you think my defense matches up against Blerds offense.
For fans, it is a time when almost every fan-base feels optimism, even Marlins and Rockies fans think they might be a wild-card contender. Normally we can joke that any team could make the World Series, except for the Cubs. Well the hiring of Joe Maddon and the promotions of Bryant, Rizzo, and others proved that is no longer the case.
Players can prove their worth and try to make the big leagues. Others look to bounce back from down years, or ready their bodies after an injury shortened season. Teams that finished last in their division last year, like the Tigers and Red Sox, both teams with top 10 payrolls (hell the Tigers spent $200 million a couple weeks ago), look to bounce back from seasons that were way under expectation.
I love baseball. I have since I was a young buck, thanks to my older brother, Major League the movie, fantasy/board/video games, the Indians, and the Tigers. I played baseball from t-ball age to college age. Since "growing up" I have become a MHSAA baseball official and also began coaching the softball/baseball team at the school I teach at. Though I hate hot summer days and my tolerance for math is only because there are apps for it, I love baseball games and the stats that go along with them.
My dad, brother, and uncle got me into Strat-O-Matic baseball (which I am trying to get my students into), I also got to grow up with Earl Weaver baseball on the PC, Triple Play baseball on the Playstation, MLB 2k on the Xbox and now The Show on the PS4. Before fantasy football became the giant in the room, it was Auction Rotisserie drafts for fantasy baseball.
Baseball is going to a minor league ball game and eating weird food. Living in Flushing, Michigan I am lucky to be within an hour from the Lansing Lugnuts and the Great Lakes Loons. Both of which sport amazing food options, great little stadiums, and inexpensive tickets. They might not even be the best in state either. The West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers' A ball team) has been featured on numerous lists for their food, including a 2013 USA Today article (http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/06/01/12-outrageous-foods-at-minor-league-ballparks/2376915/)
So far the theme of my blog has been dedicated to my nerd side, but with the start of baseball approaching, get ready for some high heat (that was another great video game, featuring the amazing Vlad Guerrero on the cover).
My next baseball article will be about my favorite players of all time. Who are yours? Why?
Thursday, January 21, 2016
A few weeks ago, I suggested to my friend and co-worker, @blerdwords, that he should take his passion of comics and put it into football. Ferg is not the most knowledgeable when it comes to sports, but he tries, bless his soul he tries.
I lack the comic knowledge that Blerdwords possesses, so I will be leaning heavily on ComicVine's Top 100 Marvel Character list (http://www.comicvine.com/profile/theoptimist/lists/top-100-marvel-characters/32199/)
Blerdwords (blerdwords.blogspot.com) started and he gave us a traditional (70s-80s era football) offense, with a TE/RB/FB and two WR. I figured I had thrown a lot at him when I explained schemes, packages, and positional attributes, so I let it slide. I can't go with a vanilla offense. Instead, I am going showtime, I mean hell, I'm picking from super heroes and villains. I would run a 3 WR set with middle school kids. After I have posted my offense, I am going to enlighten Blerdwords on defensive matchups and see if he can pick a solid defense to go against my team, and I will counter his team.
QB - When this idea first came up, I argued that DC's Cyborg would be the best QB, with his previous experience. As we have not gone down the DC road yet, I move on. Next up I was thinking Bullseye, but that whole "doesn't miss his target" is cliche to me. I am actually jealous of Blerdwords pick of Captain America, so I will counter with Captain Britain.
As a kid, I liked Braddock better than Rogers, then the MCU movies came out. Anyways, Cpt. Britain gives me most of the same attributes that Cpt. America gives Ferg, except my guy can fly.
RB - Blerdwords' choice of Spiderman has some merit and I like the Marshall Faulk likeness there. As I build my team, I am thinking about defense also, as I dont want my guys playing both sides of the ball, so that rules out some good options. I want a RB that is agile enough and coordinated enough to hit the flats and be a pass catching option. My RB also needs to be tough enough to pick up the blitz on 3rd down.
My starting RB was going to be Dr. Henry McCoy, but I found a better use for him. Instead, I am going with the Black Panther, T'Challa gives me agility, speed, and strength, plus a ferocity that makes me confident he can level an incoming linebacker or safety. T'Challa is intelligent enough to read the field and pick his holes while running, and recognize pass coverage to find an open zone.
TE - I want a two way tight end. I am a massive Detroit Lions fan and I am experiencing some tumultuous play at TE. Ebron and Pettigrew both have serious problems holding onto the ball and are guilty of some boneheaded penalties. Again, I am a pass first offense, probably 70-30 pass/run, so I want a TE that is built like Rob Gronkowski. 6'5", 250 pounds, but can run a 4.45 forty yard dash.
Thor, the Norse god, is my choice for TE. I almost hate to use him for my tight end, because I instantly penciled him as an OLB in the vein of Clay Matthews, Chris Spielman, and JJ Watt. Then I figured the chance for mismatches were too much in his favor.
WR 1 - I cannot stand this character (though the two iterations that were used with Days of Future Past and Rise of Ultron, gave me some reconsideration) but I have to have a high speed wideout. I'm talking about a WR that Al Davis would sell his entire draft to take. I also hate that Blerdwords chose this character (maybe he was paying attention), but Quicksilver is a must have addition. Nothing more to type.
WR 2 - This WR slot is my workman wide receiver. He goes up against the second best CB and needs to be counted on to catch those difficult passes in the middle of the field. Where as the WR1 position I wanted blazing speed, for this position I want detailed follow-thru and bravery. He is likely to be hit by players a lot larger than him.
I am going to use Blerdwords' words against him. Part of his problem with Peter Parker is that he will get his butt kicked all comic long, but then pull it out in the end. That is the type of person I want as my #2 WR. Spiderman's agility, strength, and awareness give me security that I need in my go-to WR.
Slot WR - Wide receivers get a bad rap for being prima donnas, but if the shoe fits...Namor wears it. The slot WR gets to pick on the third best CB, so mismatches should be aplenty. The Submariner is strong enough to run routes in the middle of the field, but fast enough to stretch the defense if he has a S lined up across from him.
LT - I don't know that Captain Britain is a right-handed thrower, but in the NFL, the most heralded offensive lineman are the Left Tackles, so he is now. I need a person mobile enough to counter the stand up rushers, but strong enough to holdback the stunting nose tackles. I want my offensive line to be a pass blocking force. What running I do, will be sweeps, tosses, and misdirection. It will be rare when I run the ball straight up the gut without a delay or draw. I also want my line to know each other, because it is my opinion that communication is the most important thing for a o-line.
That being written, the man protecting my quarterback's blindside will be Colossus. He is a massive man, and mobile enough to move and protect the passer.
LG - I wrote communication is important, so what better communication than picking teammates. I'm talking Uncanny X-Men #425, Juggernaut. Yes, I know he is more known as a villain, but Colossus and Juggernaut on the left make getting through that side almost unheard of. My guards need to be mobile, because when I run, the guards will need to pull and lead the way for my running back.
C - My center has to be smart. He is the person, along with the quarterback, that reads the defense and decides on audibles and changes in block scheme. My center needs to be strong, but not the behemoth that is required for a strong central running game. I want a quick center, that is capable of getting off the snap and being a lead blocker if need be. Most importantly, I need my center to continue my "affiliation" trend.
That center is the "converted RB" Beast. When I read his profile, he seemed to fit as a center, just as much as he did my running back. What made me place him here was his status as a X-Men.
RG - I've already explained what I want in a guard, so I will be quick and just let you know that I am keeping with the X-Men theme and choosing Warpath. Proudstar is one of my favorite characters and I would be remiss not to put him on my team. The tough choice was between reserving him for defense or a thankless spot on the offensive line. Well communication won out in the end.
RT - The last player on my offense is also another better known as character, similar to Juggernaut. That villain and arch-enemy of Wolverine is Sabertooth. I'm talking post-AXIS Victor Creed, that saw his morals realigned to the side of good. Sabertooth is another beast, but with great maneuverability
I think my 11 man starting offense stacks up very comparably to Blerdwords, but I know all to well it is not offense versus offense. I look forward to seeing what defense Blerd chooses to use against my offense.
What do you think, who would be on your team?
Monday, January 18, 2016
When we came outside, the passenger door was open and the friend (who it was my first time meeting) was throwing up all over the driveway. My wife helped me get her situated and we pulled off. We made it three houses before I had to pull over for the friend to throw up again. We finally got the friend home and in bed, then we got home. I was now up and ready to go, so bed was out of the question.
After a bad fantasy football experience, I found myself sitting through NFL games a lot less. Don't get me wrong, I am a die-hard Detroit Lions fan, I'll have to post a picture of my Lions themed classroom, but if they are not on TV (which it's the playoffs, you know damn well they're not), I watch but distractedly.
So instead of waiting until Sunday morning, I found myself using the DVR and pausing the game while my wife was doing some housework and cooking. My dumb ass waited until she was about 5 minutes from serving dinner, before I started (which she made sure she remarked upon), so I almost shouldn't even count that 3 minute spurt. Matter of fact, the only reason I am counting it, is because while walking to Hangman's Alley, I killed a legendary raider that carried an exploding combat shotgun.
With an amazing Chicken Fettucini Alfredo served and the Pats/Chiefs game getting better I decided to shut the system down and wait till Sunday. I am glad I made that choice, because the Packers/Cardinals game was fantastic, with an amazing catch and weird OT coin-flip tom foolery.
Sunday came and I was up again, around 5:00 in the morning. I turned on the Keurig, grabbed some leftover alfredo and started Fallout. I forgot to mention that my John Matherson character, at the outset of this 12 hour play-thru was at level 17, about 1/5 of the way from 18. I had been holding about 10 levels worth of perks (I wanted inspirational and local leader before I left Sanctuary, and then I would figure this character out as I went).
So now that I had a beast mode (Marshawn Lynch, who was cleared to play that afternoon against Carolina) shotgun I figured it was the best time to commit some perks. I had spent points on lockpick, so I did not miss out during my travels. I then put points into everything settlement and crafting related (armorer, blacksmith, science, etc.). After spending those 10 or so points, I was ready to head out. My goal was four hours that morning, knowing my wife was going out with friends and I would be able to get some gaming in that night.
I played for four hours and moved along in the main quests and started finding some of the elusive bobbleheads and magazines I so desperately needed. I always buy the strategy guide when I buy a game, but for bathroom reading more often than not. After I have been to an area, I might go to the digital version to make sure I did not miss anything. That pretty much sums up the 4 morning hours.
Thanks to the Panthers crushing the Seahawks in the first half, I got in another half hour or so. Then my wife left and I figured I was good for at least 3 hours of play. Then my teenage daughter finally wanted to hang out with her dad.
Those with teenage kids understand me. You take what time you can get with them and drop any other plans. That time spent was making simple dinner, mac & cheese (I CANNOT cook and am a threat to house and home) and then we watched 17 Again, a better than expected movie with Zach Effron. It was 8:00 when the movie was over and my kid then retired to her room to text and watch Netflix, so I decided upon two hours of Fallout.
I was trying to earn the Greygarden settlement's trust, so I was undertaking their mission. First run thru, I came to the water treatment plant, encountered the opposition, then watched as Brotherhood of Steel soldiers engaged in a gunfight with some Gunners. I helped clear the last Gunner, a legendary with useless bug armor and watched the Vertibird take off.
A rotor caught fire as it took off and I was eager to see it crash, so I shot at it. What I did not realize, was the power armored BoS and his scribes were still "boots on the ground" and lit me up.
I restarted the mission, this time, taking care to not F*** with the Brotherhood. I started moving through the flooded area and stepped on a bathroom scale. Too which I yelped when my dude was blown all to hell. Attempt three and I fixed my first and second mistake, then mowed down the mirelurks, cleaning the water for the settlement. I got back to Greygarden and was just getting ready to talk with the Zsa Zsa robot, when the game glitched and restarted.
I was beyond mad and decided I was done. I decided to hit up the DVR of the Broncos/Steelers game. I fell asleep at some point and was awaken by my wife's call, needing picked up because they had "too much fun".
I am going to end it here, because from 1:30 am on it was...
This is not a soapbox post, about our current affairs. Rather it is a tribute to the people that have made things undoubtedly better, so that I, like so many others, can celebrate a long weekend. Somewhat selfishly, I challenged @blerdwords to a Fallout 4 filled weekend. Between Saturday and Monday, our goal was to play 12 hours of Fallout 4.
You might be scoffing, and depending on your stage in life, it's either because you think this task too simple, or nigh impossible. I am a husband and father first and foremost, but my daughter is 13, so I have it easier than my buddy, with three girls all under ten. I think he shares my thought that in our "prime" a 12-hour gaming session would have been a good night, not a three day affair.
I have a few characters active right now. Alden Gere (a rough translation of Tolkien for Lord Loose) was my first character, with numerous flaws, thanks to just getting the game and midnight and getting started. I did level him to 41, before I decided I want a less jack of all trades, and more of a Min/Max person.
That character is John Matherson (a fictional character from one of the best "apocalyptic" novels around, One Second After) who is a former military, current college professor, tasked with leading his North Carolina town when an EMP causes all hell to break loose. I thought this would be the perfect 10 charisma with high intelligence backstory.
So my task with John is to get every possible settlement and get them as close to 100% happiness as possible. My goal with this character is also to actually finish the game. I have spent hundreds of hours playing and the farthest I have gotten is killing a Courser. Looking at how much I have already written, I think this will carry us through my Saturday, but I digress.
Thanks to the awesome Playstation 4 feature, Rest Mode, when I awoke around 5:00 am Saturday morning, I was one button press away from where I had last left off, inside Sanctuary, obsessing over my current settlement issues. I wish I would have better planned my 12 hours of gaming, but instead I spent the first hour making sure I had enough beds, that my supply lines made sense, and that I had responded to Preston Garvey's nonsense (seriously, this dude has some nerve, wanting to rebuild the Minutemen, but never leaving the extreme safety of Sanctuary). Ever since I completed The Castle, I can no longer carry on conversations with Garvey that will allow me to have him accompany me, or move him to somewhere more likely to be invaded.
By about 6:30, I figured it was time to actually play Fallout 4, instead of a trumped up version of the mobile app, Fallout Shelter. Wanting to try a mission I had never attempted, I started my walk towards Diamond City and beyond that Fanuil Hall, the location for the quest Gilded Grasshopper. It was after 7:00 before I arrived.
You see, when at all possible, I try not to fast travel, and if I do, I only allow myself to fast travel to the nearest settlements. This is just one of many "rules" that I impose on myself. More of which you will learn if you read on.
To make sure I keep spoilers to a minimum, I will just say DAMN! I think I massively over-estimated my combat effectiveness with this character. I leveled up to five before ever leaving Sanctuary, by building up defenses and rooms. This caused me to be woefully under gunned, so I turned the difficulty down to Easy. Once I found some better weapons and armor, I upped it back to Normal. Fanuil Hall actually had me pausing the game to make sure I did not set it to Survival.
After more than 30 minutes, of running, healing and sneaking potshots, I was finally able to complete the what I needed to there and move on to finalize the mission. Of course the walk there ended up being treacherous and caused me to get blown up. Which also caused me to REDO FANUIL HALL.
Unfortunately, one of my "rules" is only auto saving when sleeping, other than that it is if I remember. So back through it all and though it took less time, I was no less frustrated. I was gunning for 5 hours on my initial play through and after completing Gilded Grasshopper and arriving at Bunker Hill (and then Diamond City, and Good Neighbor) to sell all my loot, I was just about there, with it being 9:55 am.
I spent the next 25 minutes going to my settlements that had too many people again and removing the radio towers, making beds, and when necessary moving settlers to different places.
The fun really started to kick up on Sunday.
Monday, January 4, 2016
I am a dad and husband, and today marked the first day back to school from Christmas Break for my one and only child, a thirteen year old daughter.
What's that got to do with the title? Squat, but taking her to school brought me past the local YMCA, which in turn sparked the topic. The Y in my city is pretty busy on most days, but the first few weeks of the year it is insane.
By 6:30 a.m., gym goers start counting their walk from the car as part of their workout. Hell, maybe I can offer shuttle service for some side cash. (mental note)
It is great that people want to take care of themselves, and New Year's Resolutions, however often unfilled, serve many a good purpose. Not for me, as I wrote that I procrastinate and border on lazy. Baby Jesus knows I could stand to lose a few dozen pounds, but we'll I'm going to die eventually so I figure why not die happy.
Don't get me wrong, I have some things that I would like to see changes made to in 2016, the year of the Monkey (being born in 1980, this is my year). The serious ones lime family, finances, and friends well that's just boring. So here instead are a few trivial ones.
1) I want to better answer surveys
Huh? Well some insight. I love surveys, the MiniSurvey app, the Nielsen ratings pamphlets, even the fast foot receipts. Matter of fact, I take pride in the Speedway and Rally's/Checker's opinion surveys I receive in my email.
The fast food ones always ask, "in the last 30 days how many times have you visited (insert fast food restaurant)."
I want to be able to pick something other than 4 or more. Look I like to eat and I'm good with it, but liking to eat crap is something I have to move past. Hell my bank statements yell at me about my fast food addiction. So I guess I'll try baby steps and get the answer down under that or more.
2) Accomplish something in Fallout 4
I was there for the Midnight release and have spent hours (just in case my wife reads this, I'll keep it to hours) working through the Commonwealth Wasteland.
However in that time I have not yet completed the main story. Actually, I think I barely got about 1/2 way through it before restarting with a different character.
I am always thinking of new characters and going so far as to creating back stories. Hell, just last week, my co-worker, the ubiquitous Blerdwords, had an hour long discussion on what our S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats would be. So there are more characters to create.
I've stayed away from spoilers about the ending of the games but it is getting increasingly more difficult. I want to finish the game before everyone tells me that Severus killed Dumbledore. Speaking of spoilers...
3) Stop cheating the plots
I stayed strong for The Force Awakens. I could not see it until Sunday afternoon, but I stayed away from all spoilers. I'm sure you're thinking, well duh...except I normally search out recaps and spoilers before watching the movie/TV shows I want to see.
I am the same person that became a corner unwrapping pro as a child. No matter where my parents hid my gifts I found them. Even now, I painstaking chart Secret Santa possibilities so I have a great idea who has who.
My goal is stop spoiling movies do that way I can feel some anticipation (I just shuddered while typing that).
Well that's all for me, for now. Does anyone else have any half-ass resolutions?