in orbit

Are You Even In Orbit, Bro?

April 8, 2015
Randy Neil

I’d like to take a moment to congratulate myself.  Although I admittedly put minimal effort into selecting teams in my March Madness bracket, I ended up victorious.  That’s right.  Out of 64 teams, I picked Duke to win the NCAA Championship.

Two reasons:

  1. I’ll take the top ranked player in the field
  2. Screw Kentucky.  Literally 85% of my pool picked them to win.

Granted, Jahlil Okafor looked somewhat worthless in the Finals (please Sixers, do not draft him), but the cast of characters surrounding him on Duke were able to carry the load throughout the tournament.

To be honest, though, I didn’t even watch the entire championship game.  I was poised to win $100 and instead of furiously gripping my remote, I was balls deep in a raid on Vault of Glass shooting aliens with my pulse rifle.

I’ve been hiding my secret obsession with the video game Destiny (most notably from my girlfriend), but I think it’s time to just admit that I’m a huge nerd right now.

The past 2 weeks of my life has been nothing but raids, bounties, crucibles, leveling my Red Death, seeking out Xur, and farming glimmer.  Whew… that sounds lame.

BUT IT’S NOT!

I purchased the expansion so, all told, I gave Bungie $80 of my money and probably played 60+ hours.

The worst part about the game, however, is the awkward break-up you need to have with other nerds when you don’t want to continue playing with them.  Good God, it gets weird.

It basically goes something like this-

*You just complete a mission with 3-4 other strangers

They go: “Hey, I just sent you a friend request.”

Me: *silence

They go: “I think we’re gonna run the raid on Crota later, check out my friend request.”

Me: “Uh… yeah, maybe later we can…”

They go: “…or I mean, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

*then about 10 seconds of silence, and I awkwardly leave the group

It’s kinda of like breaking up with a girl.  It’s sad.  Their universe kind of crumbles.  You feel terrible.

It’s surprising how crappy I feel when that point is established and I’m forced to admit that, “Hey, you’re cool and all, but… you’re not that cool.  In fact, you’re kinda lame.”

Plus, who are all of these people that try to accrue a huge list of 100+ friends on Playstation?  I’m from the era where buying a ping pong table on Craigslist could get you killed.

Make no mistake, though, that I will need your revive when a Praetorian kills me.

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March Gladness

March 20, 2015
Adam Thomas

1.) Holy smokes, what a great start to the NCAA tournament. I’ve got to say, this weekend is hands down the best weekend in sports in my book. Basketball games galore, each filled with drama and so far, almost every one has come down to the last possession. Is there anything better than watching a team like Northeastern put up a great fight against a big school like Notre Dame only to have their players all suddenly experience synchronized brain meltdowns and turn the ball over on the last possession?

Or how about Georgia State beating Baylor on a last second three (by the freaking coaches son, no less) causing the coach to spas out and fall off his chair? Seriously. There is no better time in sports than right now. March madness rules.

2.) I remember either last year or the year before, I picked Missouri as a number 3 seed to go to the final four only to see them lose in their first game. This year, I picked number 3 seed Iowa State to go to the final four only to watch them lose in their first game. So number 3 seeds be warned, if I pick you to make it to the final four next year, you are donezo.

**I just double checked and Missouri was actually a number 2 seed and it was in 2012 so…yeah. My memory’s not the best.**

3.) Of all the Sportscaster anchors, John Buccigross is EASILY the most annoying when it comes to recaps. He does this little Minnie Mouse voice that just irks the hell out of me at 5 o’clock in the morning. “Russell Westbrook drives to the hoop (goes up 27 octaves to the Minnie Mouse voice) and he makes a ridiculous dunk!” Goodness. Please. Go. Away.

4.) 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired earlier this week causing all sorts of pandemonium with NFL apologists. Mike Florio from Profootballtalk sent out a hilarious series of tweets about how “Americans routinely assume far greater physical risks for far less money and fame than the risk/reward of playing in the NFL” some examples of things he gave were “riding motorcycles without helmets, jumping out of airplanes, climbing rock walls, working as police officers, firefighters.” He also listed soccer as a sport where people are subjected to as much head trauma as football which is funny because growing up, football players would refer to soccer as a sport for sissies but now they are forced to use it as an argument to help support their game. Weird.

But of course the ultimate drop the mic moment came when someone tweeted to him: “As someone who actually did take that risk for his country, I’d appreciate you not using my dead friends for leverage here” to which he responded: “And I had an uncle who was decapitated in a coal mine. The truth is the truth.”

Crazy.

The bottom line is that the Borland retirement has to worry the NFL because he was an up and coming player who would make like 25 tackles a game. He seemed like the perfect replacement for Patrick Willis but he is now going to retire after only one season because of concerns over his long term health. People who love the NFL will respond similar to Florio, saying that there are thousands of guys who would give their left nut to play in the NFL and who can replace Borland. The only problem with that argument is that those guys probably suck and when the NFL loses good players over injury concerns and replaces them with bad players who love the game but can’t play, well, then the NFL becomes the XFL.

5.) Speaking of the NFL, shout out to commenter “Papa Bear” for calling me out on my 5-11 Eagles season prediction. Is it way to early to make these sorts of statements? Of course! But if I can’t use my jump to conclusions mat on this blog, then where else can I use it?

6.) Album of the week is “Man if Feels like Space Again” by Pond. The album sounds like a young Flaming Lips mixed with Tame Impala. Check it out cause it is pretty awesome (especially “Outside is the Right Side” and “Zond.”)

Enjoy the games everyone!

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More Free Agency Thoughts!

March 12, 2015
Adam Thomas

1.) The biggest fail of free agency so far has to belong to the Seattle Seahawks social media team who–after safety Earl Thomas tweeted “Hakuna Matata” in reference to the team signing Jimmy Graham–sent out this tweet in reply, “it means ‘no worries for the rest of your life.’

Rest of your LIFE? Are you kidding me? What kind of jacked up version of the Lion King did they watch? It’s days, fools. DAYS. Which they corrected in about a minute once everyone pointed it out to them on twitter.

2.) Eagles fans in a nutshell: after trading LeSean McCoy, all I heard about was how the running back position was overrated and not that important. Now that the Eagles are about to sign DeMarco Murray to a multi-million dollar deal it’s “omyyyggggawd what a great running back! We need to sign him!”

Also, Chip Kelly seems like the biggest toolbox in football. How can that Barney Rubble looking fool garner respect in NFL locker rooms? HOW? That press conference was an absolute gem. Lies, upon lies, upon lies. Good stuff.

That Sam Bradford for Nick Foles trade was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. That trade wouldn’t even be allowed in fantasy football.

My prediction for the season? Eagles start out 3-0, all is well and then Bradford tears both of his knees to shreds, they end up like 5-11 and Chip flees back to college, getting a job coaching Oklahoma.

Mark it 8, Dude.

3.) By the way, another note about how stupid free agency is.

The Jaguars signed 6 unrestricted free agents yesterday.

The Packers have signed 5 unrestricted free agents since 2007.

Which organization would you like your team to emulate? Again, don’t get caught up in the ESPN hype of who wins free agency (which, by the way, I’m sure every news outlet will trumpet the Jaguars for winning it this year).

4.) Album of the week is Rose Mountain by the Screaming Females. This is actually the album of the year so far in my book. The lead singer’s voice annoyed me at first, but now, I’ve come to love it. Wishing Well is the bomb.

 

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NFL Free Agency in a Nutshell

March 10, 2015
Adam Thomas

2014: the Buccaneers sign Michael Johnson to a 5-year, $43.75 million deal with $24 million guaranteed. Declared a great signing as he was the number 5 free agent available.

2015: Profootballtalk is reporting that in an attempt to get out of paying Johnson $7 million, the Buccaneers might cut him. After a year.

2013: The Dolphins sign linebacker Philip Wheeler to a five-year, $26 million contract.

2015: The Dolphins are trying to trade or will release Wheeler.

So remember, when your team signs a player to a contract worth millions today, it might be best to temper your expectations. He might not be on the team a year from now.

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So Long Shady

March 6, 2015
Adam Thomas

The Shady McCoy trade was a great example of a trade that seems to help both teams. Buffalo most definitely improves in the short term and the Eagles would seem to benefit more down the road. The trade also cannot be viewed as simply a player for player swap as an astute reader of the Headrush pointed out that the trade is Kiko and 10 million dollars in cap space for Shady–so it is really Kiko and whoever the Eagles sign in free agency for McCoy.

However, what I don’t like about the trade is that it looks like Chip Kelly is clearly in control of both coaching and personnel moves for the Eagles. This would scare me if I were an Eagles fan because I don’t think Chip has done enough in his brief tenure to have earned that power. He has only made the playoffs once and, save for the first game the system was implemented against the Redskins, the league has seemed to caught up with his up-tempo offense.

He also seems to be incredibly stubborn when it comes to getting rid of talented players. Desean Jackson would’ve helped the team last year. Shady would’ve helped the team this year. And for some reason, he doesn’t seem to like Nick Foles. It seems like instead of simply wanting to win, Kelly wants to win and get all the credit for being the mastermind behind the team’s success.

And I will say this, for a coach who seems to believe in player nutrition–smoothies! Fruits! Vegetables! No more junk food!–as part of his revolutionary ‘system’ shouldn’t he be buying into the program himself? It can’t be easy to have to hear about nutrition in the Eagles team meetings from a guy who looks like an avocado.

Anyway, getting back to the topic, if the Eagles sign a guy like Mark Ingram or CJ Spiller for $3-5 million, then can sign 1-2 other players with the remaining money, I think that the trade looks better for the Eagles. If, however, they waste the money on some more Oregon scrubs, well, than I think they are the clear losers in the deal.

Free Agency

Want to see how much more loaded the 2015 free agent class is than the 2014 free agent class? Look no further than the top 10 free agents available from each year:

2014:

Jairus Byrd, Eugene Monroe, Michael Johnson, Alex Mack, Lamarr Houstin, Jared Veldeer, Brandon Albert, Alterraun Verner, Michael Bennett, Aqib Talib.

2015:

Ndamukong Suh, Justin Houstin, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul, Julius Thomas, Mike Iupati, Randall Cobb, Devin McCourty, DeMarco Murray.

Good God! It’s night and day! In 2014, two freaking Raiders made the top 10, that’s how weak that free agency class was. This year, holy smokes, it is LOADED.

Now, granted, some of those names in the top 10 received the franchise tag already, but 10-25 looks even better than the top ten from last year. Needless to say, this is the year to have all the monies.

Bracketology

People get on Kiper and McShay all the time for the stupidity of their Mock Drafts but is there anything stupider on ESPN (talent excluded) than Bracketology? I mean, “Joey Brackets” has to have the eaiest job in the world. Just look at the rankings, factor in strength of schedule aaaaaand your done. In fact, his job gets easier once all the conference tournaments are done and half the field is set, so I’m not even sure what he does all day. Look at rankings, look at strength of schedule, go back to sleep.

Album of the week

Last week, I talked about how the women were rocking it this year, so this week’s album will dip into last year and be very male centric as it’s Tomorrow’s Hits by The Men. Not only is the album lean and mean at 8 tracks (which a lot of albums are trending towards these days) but I watched a video of them on the AV Club and the bass player looked like Fat Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. So definite bonus points for that.

Until next time….

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Castles Made of Snow

March 2, 2015
Adam Thomas

On Saturday night, I was sound asleep when I woke suddenly to the sound of my dogs barking viciously at something outside. I got out of bed and went to the window in my spare bedroom to do the nosey neighbor peak and noticed two teenagers in hoodies standing directly in front of my house. My mind started to race: what could these hooligans be up to? Are they messing with our cars? Are they going to do something to our house? Gaaaaaaaah!

Thinking these thoughts and worrying about the teenagers made me feel old, as not too long ago–or perhaps, longer than I want to admit–that would’ve been me out there in my hooded sweatshirt causing mischief on a Saturday night while scared old neighbors looked on terrified from their windows.

I watched as they moved into the street when suddenly a car came by and caused them to spring back onto the sidewalk. They each took out their cell phones and with the blue lights shining, they looked like druids walking around with lanterns ablaze.

Once the car went by, they went back out into the street and started moving around again. Their heads were down and their movements were deliberate. I knew they were up to something….but what?

I watched them suspiciously as my dogs growled on the bed beside me. I wondered what I would do if I saw one of them do something to my car. My heart started to race when suddenly, they moved away from my house and back into the night.

I kept an eye on the street for a few more moments. There was no sign of them but before long, another car came by and shined its headlights on the street. That’s when I saw it and I realized what they were doing. They weren’t doing anything malicious. They were simply drawing a large penis in the middle of the street out of snow. Which is hilarious.

I started laughing. And laughing at this made me realize that perhaps I’m not as old or mature as I think.

The next morning, I looked outside to see if the snow penis was still there for all the neighborhood to see.

Sadly, it had melted and washed away.

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