What 2 Watch 4: Preseason Week 1

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2009 NFL Black Logo|Michael Tipton; Image from Flickr

Football is back! Well, it was technically back with the Hall of Fame game last week…but, this is the first week back for all 32 NFL teams, 10 of which you can watch live on NFL Network over the next three days:

Thursday, August 9th

Friday, August 10th

Saturday, August 11th

NFL Network usually picks the preseason games they feel will be most compelling to air live on their network (the rest are still aired, but after the games have already concluded). Here’s a look at why NFL Network chose these five games, aka why you should watch them and what you should look for:

 

Cleveland Browns @ New York Giants- Thursday, August 9th 7pm ET

 

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Baker Mayfield Training Camp 2018; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Cleveland Browns 

 

  • QBs. While Tyrod Taylor is already widely considered the Day 1 starter for the Browns, don’t sleep on Baker Mayfield. It’s not too often that you see #1 overall NFL draft picks sit their entire rookie season. While I believe Taylor is the better player and he has a winning track record (see: 2017 Buffalo Bills playoff run), I don’t think he’ll start the entire season because I don’t think head coach Hue Jackson (1-31 in 2 seasons in Cleveland) can afford that, especially if the Browns come out of the gate slow. Also, tune in for perennial backup Drew Stanton, who is probably one of the best backup QBs in the league, but may not make the final 53 in Cleveland.

 

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Darian Thompson 2017; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

New York Giants

 

  • Secondary. The Giants have the usual issues that you’ll want to watch with another ‘retooled’ o-line and linebacking corps (oh, and there’s also a RB by the name of Saquon Barkley that you might be excited about, though he’s not likely to play much tonight), but I’m really interested in seeing the defensive secondary. CB1 and SS are both locked down by Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins, respectively (you might not see either in this game), but CB2, FS, and Slot Corner are all much more compelling. CB2 is likely to go to Eli Apple, the 10th overall pick in 2016 who is probably in his last year to prove that he belongs. Curtis Riley is getting the start at FS, but I like Boise State alum Darian Thompson who, like Eli Apple, is a member of the 2016 Giants draft class who is probably in his last year to prove himself. If Thompson plays well in the preseason, expect to see him jump Riley come the regular season. Slot Corner is the biggest toss-up with a mix of at least six different players up for the job. My two favorites are veteran signee BW Webb, and fan-favorite Donte Deayon.

 

Dallas Cowboys @ San Francisco 49ers- Thursday, August 9th 10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys

  • WRs. Dez Bryant is gone, Jason Witten is retired. Who’s got next? I don’t really like any of the TEs in Dallas, so I’ll focus on the receivers. There’s hot-and-cold Terrance Williams who has yet to have a true breakthrough season, there’s on again-off again Cole Beasley, there’s first-round bust and physical freak Tavon Austin (who’s actually listed as a RB), and there’s third-round rookie Michael Gallup. One of those guys has to step up. I don’t think Williams, Beasley, or Austin are capable of anything more than what they’ve already shown. If Dallas is going to have a WR1 emerge from this group, it’s going to be Michael Gallup, who is probably my favorite receiver from this draft class. He’s not really a physical standout in terms of speed, agility, etc., but I think he’s got the best hands to come out of the draft since the 2014 class (OBJ, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks).

San Francisco 49ers

  • FS. I think the 49ers are in a spot where there is a pretty clear line between most of their starters and their backups, which is pretty unusual and can be a good or a bad thing. The one spot I definitely do not believe that to be the case is FS. The 49ers’ unofficial depth chart lists 2017 7th rounder Adrian Colbert as the starter, followed by rookie 5th rounder DJ Reed. I don’t know much about either player, which usually means most people don’t (that’s not intended as a brag so much as a comment about how I spend WAY too much time analyzing football), so I figure that should be a fun competition to watch. One name I do recognize is backup CB Jimmie Ward, who I believe has played safety in the past and may be a dark horse to win the starting FS job if Colbert and Reed fail to distinguish themselves.

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets- Friday, August 10th 7:30pm ET

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Tevin Coleman 2015 2; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta Falcons

  • RG and Tevin Coleman. RG is the biggest starting spot competition for the Falcons this year, so there’s that. But I’m going to be watching Tevin Coleman, who is WAY too good of a RB for the Falcons to keep on their bench (but he’s also not good enough to warrant benching Devonta Freeman). He won’t be in a Falcons uniform next season, so Falcons fans should enjoy having the best backup RB in the league while he’s still a backup.

New York Jets

  • QBs. Veteran journeyman Josh McCown is listed as the starter and was serviceable for the Jets in a less than stellar 2017 campaign. Free agent acquisition Teddy Bridgewater is listed as QB2 and has reportedly looked quite good in training camp after missing most of the last two seasons with a severe knee injury. Rookie 3rd overall pick Sam Darnold is listed as QB3 and is looking to start making good impressions on his teammates, coaches, and fans following an extended holdout over his rookie contract. One of these three guys will not be a New York Jet by the trade deadline, possibly even by the start of the regular season. Who will be the odd man out?

Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders- Friday, August 10th 10:30pm ET

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LeGarrette Blount; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Detroit Lions

  • RBs. Come for the best goal-line back in the league, stay for the hilarious mess that has been the Lions running game basically since Barry Sanders called it quits. I kid you not, the depth chart at detroitlions.com has TWO SEPARATE RB SLOTS, without any sort of ‘power’ or ‘3rd down’ or other distinguishing designation on either! LeGarrette Blount is the veteran free agent signee who has been on two straight Super Bowl Champion teams but is slowing down at 31 years of age. Kerryon Johnson is the 2nd round rookie who the Lions probably could have gotten as late as the 4th round. Then you have Theo Riddick (a pass catcher), Ameer Abdullah (a bust), Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner who were all on the team last year and if you recognize their names, it’s because they have ALL TAKEN SNAPS FOR THE LIONS AT SOME POINT. Good luck figuring this one out because the Lions sure haven’t.
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Jon Gruden Coaches Tour Camp Liberty July 4, 2009; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Oakland Raiders

  • COACH. The Raiders’ roster hasn’t changed that much. What has changed is that Jon Gruden will once again be roaming NFL sidelines in black and silver.

Minnesota Vikings @ Denver Broncos- Saturday, August 11th 9:05pm ET

Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos

  • Why this game is getting televised is beyond me. You’re probably thinking, “because both teams have new starting QBs, and the Broncos’ new QB was the Vikings’ old QB. DUH!” But this is the preseason. Kirk Cousins and Case Keenum MAY get one drive each. Leaving them in any longer than that would be idiotic. This is a dumb game to televise. I guess tune in to watch Broncos QB Paxton Lynch (2016 first rounder) throw away the rest of his NFL career and Vikings QB Trevor Siemian (last season’s Broncos’ starter) show once more why he should never have been a starting QB?
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When Will the Music Die?

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Music 22; Picture from Public Domain Pictures

How much longer will it be until people are unable to make new, unique songs?

Have you heard that question before? Better yet, have you wondered that yourself? I have. It’s an interesting notion. After all, there are only so many different pitches in music. Therefore, there is a finite number of ways to put all of those pitches together. Hence, there is a finite number of different songs that humanity can produce. Despite that, it is HIGHLY improbable (dare I say, impossible) that humanity will reach the point of not being able to produce new, unique songs. Why is that?

Think about numbers. Technically, there are only ten different numbers, which we refer to as digits:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

A person can spend their whole life counting up from zero and never get to the end of their count. That’s because, while there is a finite number of individual units, the number of ways to combine those units is so large, that society considers it infinite (mathematicians literally use infinity in formulas). The cause of the apparent infinity is an exponential growth of 10^x*9 (x being the number of digits minus one); There are ten

single-digit numbers, ninety double-digit numbers, nine hundred triple-digit numbers, and so on. If you’re trying to figure out how ten single-digit numbers fits the exponential growth formula, it doesn’t. 0 is technically a number of its own, but when placed in front of another number the combined number is considered the same number as the number that follows the 0 (09=9). You can’t take 0 out of the digit list because without zero we would not have 10, 20, 30, etc. They say that there is an exception to every rule; 0 is the exception to the exponential growth of number count formula.

Due to exponential growth, we will never run out of new music. The bad news: songs are going to get a heck of a lot longer over time if they still want to be original. The good news…

The Music Will NEVER Die.

2018 NFL Win Projections 1.0

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File:Cam Newton’s first NFL play.jpg; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

I released the long overdue first edition of my 2018 Fantasy Football Rankings last week, so it’s only natural that I release the next long overdue thing on the agenda: the first edition of my 2018 NFL Win Projections. The win projections list is too long to make for an aesthetically pleasing post, so I’ll post the link to the document below. Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments:

2018 NFL Win Projections

GRAND Music Mix

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My primary Spotify playlist, “TheHaysWay Grand Music Mix” is officially finally living up to its name! After somewhere between 3-4 years working on it, I have gathered over 1,000 songs (that’s right, one GRAND–See what I did there?). In honor of the milestone, I felt it fitting to have a music-related post (which I will be making exactly 1,000 words long). Here is a list of some of the best all-time quotes about music, from some people you may have heard of (in alphabetical order by last name, in case you’re looking for a particular famous person) 🙂

 

  • “I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears.” – Adele
  • Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou
  • “Dance music is an emotional journey. It’s how well you can make people feel something that they haven’t felt.” – Steve Aoki
  • Music is life itself. What would this world be without good music? No matter what kind it is.” – Louis Armstrong
  • “Without music, life would be a blank to me.” – Jane Austen
  • Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear.” – Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” – Leonard Bernstein
  • Music is what tell us that the human race is greater than we realize.” – Napoléon Bonaparte
  • “A great song should lift your heart, warm the soul and make you feel good.” – Colbie Caillat
  • Music is the emotional life of most people.” – Leonard Cohen
  • Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” – Confucius
  • “I love music. It’s freedom, a way to deal with pent-up frustration.” – Ice Cube
  • “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” – Charles Darwin
  • Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can’t.” – Johnny Depp
  • “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” – Albert Einstein
  • Music is one of the most powerful things the world has to offer. No matter what race or religion or nationality or sexual orientation or gender that you are, it has the power to unite us.” – Lady Gaga
  • Music is a safe kind of high.” – Jimi Hendrix
  • “To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?” – Michael Jackson
  • “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel
  • Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” – Elton JohnImage result for music
  • Music evokes so many feelings in us, memories, nostalgia, things that are connected to our past.” – Olga Kurylenko
  • “If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” – John Lennon
  • “My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” – Martin Luther
  • Music is therapy. It connects people in ways that no other medium can. It pulls heart strings. I acts as medicine.” – Macklemore
  • Music is the strongest form of magic.” – Marilyn Manson
  • “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
  • Music is not math. It’s science. You keep mixing the stuff up until it blows up on you, or it becomes this incredible potion.” – Bruno Mars
  • Music inflames temperament.” – Jim Morrison
  • “The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.”  – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • “Distance doesn’t exist, in fact, and neither does time. Vibrations from love or music can be felt everywhere, at all times.” – Yoko Ono
  • “All that stuff about heavy metal and hard rock, I don’t subscribe to any of that. It’s all just music. I mean, the heavy metal from the Seventies sounds nothing like the stuff from the Eighties, and that sounds nothing like the stuff from the Nineties. Who’s to say what is and isn’t a certain type of music?” – Ozzy Osbourne
  • Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” – Tom Petty
  • Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato
  • “The world’s most famous and popular language is music.” – Psy
  • “Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.” – Ronald Reagan
  • “When you play, never mind who listens to you.” – Robert Schumann
  • “Singing is a way of releasing an emotion that you sometimes can’t portray when you’re acting. And music moves your soul, so music is the source of the most intense emotions you can feel.” – Amanda Seyfried
  • “If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.” – William Shakespeare
  • “People often called us perfectionists, but we were not looking for perfection. We were looking for some kind of magic in the music.” – Paul Simon
  • “I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it.” – Igor Stravinsky
  • “That’s the amazing thing about music: there’s a song for every emotion. Can you imagine a world with no music? It would suck.” – Harry Styles
  • “Singing is just a feeling set to music.” – Carrie Underwood
  • “Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.” – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories. And the longer a song has existed in our lives, the more memories we have of it.” – Stevie Wonder

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Sources:

https://www.cmuse.org/100-famous-and-inspirational-music-quotes/

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/music

 

2018 Fantasy Football Rankings 1.0

I dropped the ball on these: I’m Sorry. I’ve actually had these done for a few weeks but I kept forgetting to post them. These may change a little over the next couple of months. As usual, you can also find this ranking on my fantasy football page. Enjoy, and feel free to tell me how wrong these rankings are in the comments. 🙂

  1. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams

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    File:RB Todd Gurley II Rams, 2015.jpg; Photo from Wikipedia
  2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
  3. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
  4. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
  5. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
  6. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
  7. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
  8. Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
  9. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
  10. Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers
  11. TY Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
  12. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
  13. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  14. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
  15. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
  16. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
  17. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  18. Derrius Guice, RB, Washington Redskins
  19. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

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    File:RB Derrick Henry Titans, 2016.jpg; Photo from Wikipedia
  20. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
  21. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
  22. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
  23. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
  24. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
  25. Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers
  26. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
  27. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
  28. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
  29. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
  30. Isaiah Crowell, RB, New York Jets

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    File:Isaiah crowell 2016.jpg; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  31. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
  32. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
  33. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
  34. Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos
  35. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
  36. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
  37. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
  38. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
  39. Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
  40. Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
  41. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns
  42. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
  43. Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  44. Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    File:Marqise Lee vs. Ravens 2014.jpg; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  45. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
  46. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
  47. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans
  48. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
  49. AJ Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
  50. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
  51. Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins
  52. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
  53. Allen Hurns, WR, Dallas Cowboys
  54. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
  55. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
  56. Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets
  57. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
  58. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
  59. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants
  60. Michael Crabtree, WR, Baltimore Ravens
  61. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Buffalo Bills
  62. Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks
  63. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
  64. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

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    File:Russell Wilson vs Vikings, November 4, 2012.jpg; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  65. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans
  66. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
  67. Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers
  68. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
  69. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
  70. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens
  71. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
  72. Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
  73. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
  74. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
  75. Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills
  76. Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
  77. Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
  78. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
  79. Cameron Meredith, WR, New Orleans Saints
  80. Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
  81. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
  82. Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
  83. Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins
  84. DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  85. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
  86. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
  87. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
  88. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
  89. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
  90. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers
  91. Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins
  92. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
  93. Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans
  94. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
  95. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
  96. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears
  97. Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
  98. Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
  99. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
  100. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
  101. Mohammed Sanu, WR, Atlanta Falcons

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    File:Mohamed Sanu 2016.jpg; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  102. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
  103. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
  104. Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys
  105. Jordy Nelson, WR, Oakland Raiders
  106. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
  107. Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers
  108. Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos
  109. TJ Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  110. Albert Wilson, WR, Miami Dolphins
  111. OJ Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  112. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
  113. Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals
  114. Jacksonville Jaguars, DEF
  115. Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  116. Martavis Bryant, WR, Oakland Raiders
  117. Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
  118. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings

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    File:Kyle Rudolph runs ball vs Packers.jpg; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  119. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
  120. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
  121. Baltimore Ravens, DEF
  122. CJ Anderson, RB, Carolina Panthers
  123. Jermaine Kearse, WR, New York Jets
  124. Chris Ivory, RB, Buffalo Bills
  125. Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans
  126. Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears
  127. Philadelphia Eagles, DEF
  128. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
  129. Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns
  130. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
  131. Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos
  132. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
  133. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
  134. Chris Hogan, WR, New England Patriots
  135. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

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    Matt Ryan | by Keith Allison; Photo from Flickr
  136. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
  137. Tedd Ginn, WR, New Orleans Saints
  138. Minnesota Vikings, DEF
  139. Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers
  140. Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins
  141. Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
  142. Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears
  143. Ty Montgomery, WR, Green Bay Packers
  144. Tyrell Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
  145. Los Angeles Chargers, DEF
  146. Jonathan Stewart, RB, New York Giants
  147. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
  148. Rishard Matthews, WR, Tennessee Titans
  149. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
  150. Alex Smith, QB, Washington Redskins
  151. Greg Zuerlein, K, Los Angeles Rams

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    File:Gretheleg2013.jpg; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  152. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
  153. Jordan Wilkins, RB, Indianapolis Colts
  154. Robbie Gould, K, San Francisco 49ers
  155. D’Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans
  156. Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders
  157. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
  158. Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
  159. DJ Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
  160. Paul Richardson, WR, Washington Redskins
  161. Stephen Gostkowski, K, New England Patriots
  162. Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
  163. Harrison Butker, K, Kansas City Chiefs
  164. Donte Moncrief, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
  165. Los Angeles Rams, DEF
  166. Frank Gore, RB, Miami Dolphins
  167. Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons
  168. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
  169. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
  170. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams

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    File:Jared Goff.JPG; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  171. Theo Riddick, RB, Detroit Lions
  172. Carolina Panthers, DEF
  173. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
  174. Doug Martin, RB, Oakland Raiders
  175. Chris Boswell, K, Pittsburgh Steelers
  176. Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings
  177. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
  178. Carlos Hyde, RB, Cleveland Browns
  179. Denver Broncos, DEF
  180. Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
  181. Matt Prater, K, Detroit Lions
  182. Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  183. Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  184. Jordan Matthews, WR, New England Patriots
  185. Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots

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    Rex Burkhead; Photo from Wikipedia
  186. James White, RB, New England Patriots
  187. New England Patriots, DEF
  188. Wil Lutz, K, New Orleans Saints
  189. John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
  190. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
  191. Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
  192. Houston Texans, DEF
  193. Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
  194. Jake Elliott, K, Philadelphia Eagles
  195. Willie Snead, WR, Baltimore Ravens
  196. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Detroit Lions
  197. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
  198. Mike Wallace, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
  199. Corey Clement, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
  200. Dez Bryant, WR

Learning Is Our Second Chance

My Quote 2

It’s been a while since I’ve composed a post about an inspirational quote, and it’s been even longer since that quote has been one of my own. I’m rectifying that today:

“Learning, in its truest form, is the realization of our second chance fantasies.”

-TheHaysWay

How often do you get the question, “If you could go back in time and change one thing that’s happened in your life, what would it be?” Sometimes, others ask us this question. Many times, we ask ourselves that question. It is humanity’s way of checking our regrets. We regret those moments that we felt did not go the way we wanted them to because we chose poorly. Maybe ill-conceived words decimated a relationship, be it with an acquaintance, a friend, a family member, or a lover. Maybe a catastrophic decision closed the door on an opportunity, like a career.

No matter what others tell you or what you tell yourself, we ALL experience regret at some point in life. Yet, there are some people that have no regrets. When you hear someone say that they have no regrets, they often don’t include the fact that they used to have regrets. How did they eliminate them?

When one experiences a moment one regrets, one tends to replay that moment in their head with all of the different possible outcomes that would have been preferable to the real outcome. Those different outcomes are our second chance fantasies; When we are asked about what we would go back and change about our life, they are usually the clarification we tack on the end of our response. “If time travel was possible…”

It’s not.

A day may come when time travel becomes a reality, but it is not this day. The good news is that time travel is not necessary to realize our second chance fantasies. The key to freeing oneself of regret is learning from those second chance fantasies. If you decimate a friendship by telling your friend to go to hell, you say kinder and more reasonable things in your other friendships. If you close the door on your dream job by missing a crucial interview because you needed an extra hour of sleep, you start setting your alarms earlier for future interviews.

Everybody makes mistakes and the truth is, not a soul among us can take back mistakes we’ve made. But, every single one of us has the capacity to learn from our mistakes, ensuring that we do not repeat them in the future. We learn from our second chance fantasies by taking what we should have done in a moment we regret, and turning that into what we actually do in a similar moment in the future.

Learn from your mistakes.

2018 Fantasy Football Weekly: May 24

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Football Field|by danxoneil Football Field|by danxoneil; Photo From Flickr

You probably remember my Way Too Early Fantasy Rankings from a couple of weeks ago. Well, I’ve changed my mind on what I said in that post; My 2018 fantasy football analysis is no longer going in alphabetical order–it’s all over the place. It’s in complete chaos. The good news is that NFL.com has opened their mock drafts, so I have a more updated list of players to work with, including the rookies. That also means I can base my rankings more on where players should be drafted, rather than how many points they will score this season (ex: QBs will score the most points, but the gap between the best and the worst QBs is significantly less than the gap between the best and the worst RBs and WRs). Anyway, I’m trying to get my poop in a group (s*** together, if you prefer). Here is my first official Top 25 2018 Fantasy Fooball Ranking, in the order in which you should draft them:

 

  1. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL.com ranking: 1)
  2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (3)
  3. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams (2)
  4. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals (4)
  5. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (6)
  6. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans (10)
  7. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (12) 

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    Julio Jones catching a pass; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  8. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (9)
  9. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (5)
  10. Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (8)
  11. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons (18)
  12. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants (11)
  13. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (7)
  14. Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (13)
  15. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (15)
  16. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (17)
  17. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20)
  18. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (14)
  19. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (19)
  20. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings (16)
  21. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (22)
  22. AJ Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (21)
  23. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings (24)
  24. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots (23)
  25. TY Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (29)

Music Spotlight: The Score

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The Score-Unstoppable (hour version); Photo from YouTube

A band I’ve been hearing a lot of lately is The Score. This, in part, is due to the fact that I have 16 of their songs in my Spotify playlists. But, they’ve also been getting more recognition on a larger scale; I’ve started hearing a couple of their songs in commercials (for example, this Battlefield 1 official trailer from last year). Their latest album (which is also their debut album), Atlas, was released last October and is absolutely fantastic. I definitely recommend checking them out, especially if you like pop rock. If you’re short on time (or patience:) and you don’t want to listen through the whole album, my favorite song on the album is “Revolution,” unless you’re listening to the Deluxe version, in which case my favorite song is “Money Run Low.”

Fixing the NBA’s Imbalance of Power

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2009 NBA Playoffs|by RMTip21; Photo from Flickr

It’s no secret that the NBA has become EXTREMELY top-heavy. That’s why the difference between the 2017 and 2018 NBA Playoffs is 4 teams (that’s right, the playoff field was only 25% different). That’s why the 2018 NBA Playoffs are on the brink of bringing us a Cleveland Cavaliers versus Golden State Warriors NBA Finals matchup for the FORUTH YEAR IN A ROW, with the Cavs having just evened their series against the Boston Celtics at 2-2, and the Warriors having a 2-1 lead in their series against the Houston Rockets including a win in Houston already. It’s like the NBA decided that instead of just a seven game series each year, they should play seven, seven game series over seven years to decide an NBA Championship.

 

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LeBron James (right) posts up Klay Thompson (left) at the 2016 NBA Finals; Photo from Wikipedia

Are there people in this world–not including Cavs and Warriors fans–who still enjoy watching the Cavs and Warriors meet in the Finals?

I don’t, and it’s not just because I want my Portland Trail Blazers to make it (though, that would obviously be awesome). Take this season for example: I’m so sick of the Warriors winning that I actually screamed in excitement when the New Orleans Pelicans won a single game against them in their playoff series, despite the fact that in the Pelicans’ previous playoff series, they swept my Blazers in completely dominating fashion.

We know there is a problem in the NBA’s balance of power: How can it be fixed? Here are a few ideas:

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Money Cash; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  • Change the heck out of the salary cap policies. The NBA has ridiculous salary cap policies, most notably the presence of a “soft” salary cap in addition to the “hard” salary cap. The soft salary cap gives NBA teams MANY exceptions which allow them to go over the soft cap to sign players. I may go into those in more detail in another post, but for the sake of preventing this post from getting too long, I’ll just leave you with this: According to spotrac.com, the 5 NBA teams that are furthest over the cap are all 2018 playoff teams and the top 2 of those are the Cavaliers and the Warriors. I’m guessing the billionaire owners don’t mind spending so much money considering they are competing for a championship every season (which also usually means greater fan attendance and higher ticket prices to make up for the extra money spent).
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NBA TV; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
  • Change the playoff format from seven game playoff series to single game matchups. Everybody loves March Madness in College Basketball because nobody knows what will happen–case-in-point: UMBC. That’s because if a team wants to win it all, they have to play their best in EVERY GAME. If the favorites take a game off, the underdogs will rise. The seven game playoff series pretty much guarantees that the better team will advance to the next round, which is occasionally a lower seeded team. But that playoff format is boring. Want proof? Viewership numbers from Showbuzz Daily and TV By the Numbers on Wikipedia indicate that the clinching game is consistently, BY FAR the most viewed game in the NBA Finals, most notably in 2016 and 2014:
    • 2016- 10.32 million more viewers of final game than second-most watched game. Gap between second-most viewed and least-viewed: 4.23 million viewers.
    • 2014- 2.46 million more viewers of final game than second-most watched game. Gap between second-most viewed and least-viewed: 0.76 million viewers.
  • Conference Realignment. This solution is the easiest, yet least practical. It’s simple: If the Warriors and Cavs play in the same conference, they can’t play against each other in the NBA Finals. It’s complicated: This would involve more traveling for teams, which would wear out the players more and cost the teams more.
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2012 NBA Finals-Heat vs Thunder|by RMTip21; Photo from Flickr

College football has been trying to stop Nick Saban, so why isn’t the NBA trying to stop the Warriors and Cavs? Maybe there is a better idea out there to level the competition in the NBA (if you have an idea, let me know in the comments), but certainly we are at the point where something needs to be done.

Movie Talk- Avengers: Infinity War IS The Matrix

SPOILER ALERT: Most of the movies I’m going to be discussing have been out for several years (some for multiple decades) but the most recent movie I will be including is Avengers: Infinity War, so if you still have not seen that movie, you may not want to continue.

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Avengers Infinity War; Photo from Wikipedia

I was re-watching the original The Matrix this weekend because the trilogy is streaming on Hulu right now (the second and third in the trilogy are, largely, crappy. The original one is cinematic gold). In the movie, there is a line where Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) is discussing humanity with Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne); He compares humanity to a virus because, rather than attempting to live with the natural equilibrium that most species work with, we continue to multiply and deplete natural resources. Let me guess: that line sounds familiar to you, but you haven’t watched The Matrix for a while? That’s probably because Thanos (Josh Brolin) has a very similar line in Avengers: Infinity War. He tells the story of his home planet–Titan–which was destroyed because his species continued to multiply until they depleted their natural resources. In fact, that line is Thanos’ justification for his quest to destroy (or save) half of the beings in the universe. Agent Smith also uses that point to justify to Morpheus why it was right for the machines to plug all of humanity into The Matrix (roll credits).

Takeaway: Thanos is Agent Smith.

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Agent Smith Matrix; Photo from Flickr

Maybe that’s a reach, but imagine this: Humanity knows how to travel through space, so logically the AI we create does, too. They do so and establish versions of The Matrix on other planets, including Titan. If the machines can do that, it’s reasonable to assume that they would have some form of interplanetary communication. Therefore, they hear about what happened on Earth respond with two actions:

  1. They modify each planet’s version of Agent Smith.
  2. They send more machines back to Earth to reclaim it and reestablish The Matrix there.
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Thanos; Photo from Wikipedia

Now, humanity progresses and makes discoveries over time and likely, aliens do so as well. So, over time the different planets’ Matrices meld together as alien species and humans discover one another. Eventually, humanity’s melded version of The Matrix reaches as far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe does. During all of this, the machines are consistently improving Agent Smith because he needs to be able to deal with many different species now. The problem with the last Agent Smith was that he was designed to deal with humans who questioned the system. So, the new Agent Smith draws attention away from the questioning of the system by trying to destroy the peace within it (for example, attempting to eliminate half of the population of the universe). To do this, he needs more individual power than a human form will afford him. So, he decides to take the massive form of a member of the Titan species, which is Thanos.

To recap:

  • The Matrix has expanded from Earth to become a universal system of domination for the machines.
  • Agent Smith has changed his objective from ‘stop people who question the system’ to ‘prevent people from questioning the system in the first place by threatening to catastrophically alter it’
  • In order to complete his new objective, Agent Smith becomes the massive life form of Thanos (of the Titan species) because it affords him the individual, physical power he needs.

Hence, Thanos is Agent Smith.

Drop the mic.

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The Matrix DVD Cover; Photo from Amazon

Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support the jumps I made throughout that tale. That said, there is also no evidence to deny the jumps I made throughout that tale…except one part. While, in our “real world” we progress and make discoveries as a species and a society, that’s not how it works in The Matrix. Recall one of Morpheus’ conversations with Neo (Keanu Reeves), where Morpheus explains that The Matrix has everyone living in the 1990’s, while in their real world, it is more like 2190. Therefore, that suggests the machines do not program The Matrix in a manner that progresses mankind, which, in turn, means that there would not be a logical reason to meld different species’ Matrices together because humanity is unable to make discoveries of that magnitude (aliens) within The Matrix.

That’s all kind of a bummer for my extended Matrix fan-fiction, but think about this for a second: The ONLY part of my tale that The Matrix trilogy can definitively disprove is the progression of societies and the resulting melding of Matrices. There is no evidence in the movies to disprove the notion that the machines could have overrun other species on other planets to plug those species into their own, unique version of The Matrix. If any movie studio out there wants to reboot The Matrix, holla’ at me in the comments section!