NBA Award Predictions

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Tomorrow is the 2017 NBA Awards Show! It’s in New York City, hosted by Drake with a performance from Nicki Minaj, and you can watch it all on TNT at 9 pm E.T. There will be 6 awards given to deserving players (one can certainly hope) and a coach. With the event less than 24 hours away, it seems appropriate to make some predictions on who will win each award. And AWAAAAAYYYY we go!…

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Defensive Player of the Year

Finalists:

I feel like Leonard is mostly in this discussion merely because he won the last two NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards. He averaged 0.7 blocks per game (BPG), and 1.8 steals per game (SPG) this season while playing in 74 of 82 games (G) this season. While those are impressive numbers for the NBA, they don’t quite stack up when compared to Green’s 1.4 BPG and 2 SPG playing in 76/82 G and Gobert’s 2.6 BPG and 0.6 SPG playing in 81/82 G. It’s a close call between Green and Gobert (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of those two names called tomorrow night), but I’m going with Gobert for two main reasons. The first reason is because I feel blocks are slightly more valuable than steals. Why? Blocks tend to be harder to forget as an offensive player. When you have the ball stolen from you, the simple answer is to be more careful with the ball and not get too fancy with dribbling or too careless with passing. When you have your shot blocked, it impacts your shooting motion because you feel like you need to do one or both of two things:

1) Shoot faster and/or

2) Shoot with a greater arc to get over defenders.

There are many players adept at changing their shots, but the majority of them still struggle to maintain their usual shooting percentage when they change their entire shooting motion. The second reason I’m picking Gobert over Green is that he played more games. I place a huge value on the players who stay injury and suspension free to be there for their teams as much as possible.

TheHaysWay Pick: Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz

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Most Improved Player

Finalists:

Two interesting things here:

1) All three of these guys don’t suit up for Team USA for the Olympics, they suit up for Greece, Serbia, and France, respectively.

2) Gobert is already making his second appearance as a finalist in the 2017 NBA Awards.

Due to number 2 there, I’m going to go ahead and remove Gobert from contention for this award because I already chalked up Defensive Player of the Year to his name. It’s another toss-up between two very talented and deserving players in Antetokounmpo and Jokic. I’m going with Antetokounmpo for 3 reasons:

1) The only statistical category that he has digressed in from last season is turnovers per game (TPG), where he averaged 0.3 more per game than he did last season. Everywhere else he has improved, including points per game (PPG) (+6), assists per game (APG) (+1.1), rebounds per game (RPG) (+1.1), SPG (+0.4), and BPG (+0.5). Jokic, on the other hand, averaged 1 more TPG this season as compared to last season, and he also digressed in SPG (-0.2) and fouls per game (FPG) (+0.3).

2) The “Greek Freak” has gone from impressive to a household name, while Jokic hasn’t quite reached household name status as of yet.

3) The Bucks made the playoffs and the Nuggets didn’t. I know the Western Conference is stronger than the Eastern Conference, so also consider this: The Greek Freak was the Bucks’ leader on offense and defense (he led the team in PPG, SPG, and BPG). If you look at those same three statistical categories for Jokic compared to the rest of the Nuggets, he finishes 2nd, T-2nd, and T-2nd, respectively. Now, I know statistics aren’t everything and I would personally argue that Jokic was still the Nuggets’ leader on defense, but I don’t believe there is any argument for Jokic being the Nuggets’ leader on offense. I saw Jokic play in person twice this season and, while I love his ability to hit threes as a center, I personally enjoyed watching offensive performances put on by the likes of Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried more because they were more explosive.

TheHaysWay Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks

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Coach of the Year

Finalists:

This is the easiest one thus far in my mind. I know Spoelstra did a great job with a very talent-less Heat team but frankly, they still missed the playoffs, so I can’t give him this award in good conscience. Popovich is a victim of his own talent: everyone is so used to seeing the Spurs in the playoffs that what he did this season wasn’t really special. D’Antoni made what many considered a risky move by allowing MVP finalist James Harden to play a lot of point guard for the Rockets this season. Did you notice it still says “MVP finalist” in front of James Harden’s name despite the change in role? That plus the Rockets solid playoff season will be plenty to give this award to D’Antoni.

TheHaysWay Pick: Mike D’Antoni, Houston Rockets

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6th Man of the Year

Finalists:

So, this is another great example of why Mike D’Antoni deserves to win the Coach of the Year award: He managed to get two players on his team nominated for the 6th Man of the Year award. Granted, Lou Williams was with the Los Angeles Lakers for a significant chunk (the majority) of the year. Many are picking Eric Gordon to win this award. If it were up to me, he wouldn’t even be eligible. For me, a true 6th Man is a guy who is coming off the bench. Eric Gordon started 15/75 G that he played in this season. I just feel that doesn’t count. Not enough bench time. True bench players should start a MAXIMUM of 9 G. Williams started 1/81 G he played in and Iguodala started 0/76 G he played in. I’m going with Williams:

1) Williams played in more games (I stated previously that I value players who remain injury and suspension free to actually be there for their team as much as possible)

2) Williams averaged fewer minutes per game (MPG) than Iguodala, but still averaged around 7 more PPG. Defensively, Iguodala was a fraction better in both SPG and BPG, but not enough to negate the point differential.

Now, you’re probably thinking about the roles they filled for their teams: the Rockets needed more points than the Warriors and the Warriors needed more defense than the Rockets. Even so, Williams was more proficient at his role than Iguodala was at his. The Rockets traded for Williams for a reason, and I believe this was that reason.

TheHaysWay Pick: Lou Williams, SG, Houston Rockets

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Rookie of the Year

Finalists:

Ok, Embiid is out because he was injured for most of the season. He only played in 31 G. Down to Brogdon (played in 75 G, started in 28 G) and Saric (played in 81 G, started in 36 G). Statistically, they were fairly similar with positions considered. Saric was better in RPG and BPG, Brogdon was better in APG and SPG. But, consider this: Saric ended up starring in a Philadelphia front court that was supposed to feature fellow rookies Embiid and Ben Simmons. He stepped up when those two were injured and he should be rewarded for it.

TheHaysWay Pick: Dario Saric, PF, Philadelphia 76ers

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Most Valuable Player

Finalists:

Westbrook was the first player to average a triple-double in a season since Oscar Robertson did so in 1962–55 years ago! Westbrook also carried possibly the weakest roster in the NBA this season to the playoffs. If he does not win MVP, go stock up on water and food because the apocalypse is starting.

TheHaysWay Pick: Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

A Couple More Things: Not NBA Awards Related

  1. For those of you who have been following me for a couple of years, you might be freaking out about the lack of Fantasy Football postings so far this year. I apologize if I caused alarm with that–with my new college schedule, my summer got off to a later start this year than it had with my high school schedule in the past. I promise, Fantasy Football rankings are in progress now and I hope to have them finished within the next couple of weeks.
  2. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have seen the quarrel I got into a couple of weeks ago with some Fresno State/Derek Carr fans. I plan on posting a statement about that in the near future. Of course, considering my recent lack of posting consistency I request that you don’t hold me too strictly to the “near” part of near future.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on NBA Awards and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much appreciated like. Feel free to give me respectful criticism, I appreciate the opportunity to make my blog better. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to be a MVP for my blog. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!

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When to Steal a Taco?, Darkness Must Pass

So, the Cleveland Cavaliers got smacked by the Golden State Warriors once again. With the Warriors now leading the NBA Finals 2 games to 0 and the series shifting to the city of Cleveland for games 3 and 4, I can’t help but wonder: Will I be home in time to get my free Doritos Locos Taco? For those of you who don’t know, Taco Bell does a special deal during the NBA Finals called, “Steal a game, steal a taco“. If a team wins on the road in the NBA Finals, Taco Bell gives out free Doritos Locos Tacos for a day. It’s pretty likely that the Warriors will win game 3 on Wednesday because the Cavs suck. I have no idea where the closest Taco Bell is to campus, but I leave on Thursday. So, depending on when Taco Bell opts to make “Free Taco Day,” I might not get one. 😦 Or maybe I will. 🙂

My group project grade came in today, and I guess my professor got my email, because I ended up with a B overall on the project, which THRILLED me considering the way it went down. I actually got a C on the presentation that I came up with in 5 minutes, but I managed a 100 on my paper (which was worth half of the total points on the project, the presentation was the other half). So, yeah me!

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A quick pun because-let’s be honest-we could all use some extra stupid humor in our lives right now.

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I believe I’ve mentioned before that there are few fictional characters I find more inspirational than Samwise Gamgee. But, if I haven’t: There are few fictional characters I find more inspirational than Samwise Gamgee. I found this quote particularly helpful with my finals looming in the next two days. I believe that everyone has many moments in their lives where they feel that terrible things will not ever end. There is, however, a line: “All good things must come to an end.” That’s true. Which means, that all bad things must also come to an end. Make no mistake, life is colossally unfair. But, it never fails to come through for you in the end. Whatever challenge you are facing, whatever anguish you are feeling, know that it will come to an end. Knowing that it will end is the best way to get through it. In fact, that was the mindset I used during my International Baccalaureate exams last year. That resulted in an IB diploma. So that mindset makes a huge difference. It calms your nerves “at an elite spa level” (Tim Curry as Nigel St. Nigel in PsychAmerican Duos). Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it is surprisingly comforting to know that no matter how badly something goes, it will end. Just ask the Cavs…

Side note: My campus reminds me a lot of The Lord of the Rings: everyone is high and/or drunk the majority of the time (with the exception of me, of course. I guess that makes me…Elrond? I actually don’t recall any of the elves smoking pipes in Middle-Earth. Can anybody confirm that for me?).

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the NBA Finals and/or on today’s quote of the day and/or on whatever else is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, that too shall pass when you become a follower. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

NBA Finals: Warriors > Cavaliers, Positivity, Etc

Today was…a day. It was most certainly a day.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers were smashed by the Golden State Warriors which was not surprising, but definitely disappointing. If you are looking for something that will make you laugh (other than my humor in my post, of course 🙂 ), look no further than this play. I have been laughing about this ever since it happened. There are always guys that move out of the way because they don’t want to get trampled on someone’s rampage to the rim, but you rarely see someone try to play it off the way Cavaliers SG JR Smith did. There’s no shame in getting out of Kevin Durant‘s way. There is a LOT of shame to go around for pretending that you didn’t even see him coming. As ESPN would say, “C’Mon Son!”

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I absolutely had to put this quote in here to discuss how much I disagree with it. Obviously, the Warriors probably think this quote is gospel. However, I have a prime example of why it is the falsest quote of all time. I had a group project in my Physics class today. Well, the presentation was today, anyway. The group had decided on a topic about a month ago. Apparently, my group decided to change that topic yesterday (after I had done a significant amount of research and after I had written a paper on the original topic, mind you) but that’s not the part that pissed me off. No, the part that pissed me off was the fact that my group opted to tell me about the change of topic FIVE MINUTES before we presented it to the class. So, I looked like an unprepared idiot by trying to pass off as knowledgeable in a topic that I spent five minutes researching, even though I did a few hours of research on the original topic. Needless to say, which is to say I do feel a need to say this because it’s actually rather ridiculous to say needless to say and then say the thing that doesn’t need saying. Anyway, I’m not looking forward to seeing my grade on the project.

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Going off another thing that happened in class today (though, this one happened in my Writing class today), my class took several moments to reflect on our progress through the quarter because it was our last class. The quote says two years, but it’s amazing how much I’ve learned in ten weeks. A good teacher makes a huge difference, and I said as much in class. It’s not so often I have a class where my limits are pushed as much as they were in the writing class. I learned so much from pushing my limits. I also learned that I don’t push my limits as much as I should because I want to learn more.

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Challenge: Try not to break into the worst Disney song ever made.

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I’m really not sure what to make of this. I can think only of my constant debates I have internally between my mind and my heart. I suppose this quote is referring to denying what the mind wants so the heart can get what it wants, which will feed your soul, in turn. I definitely have come to realize that the mind and the heart WANT very different things. Well, maybe want isn’t the correct word. It’s not that they want different things, it’s just that…they have different priorities, I guess. I’ve found that chasing what the heart wants often ends poorly. As much as I would like to balance chasing what my mind and my heart want, I know that my mind wins out most of the time. The interesting thing is that the mind often denies the heart what it wants because the mind has greater foresight to understand that the heart can end up worse than it started off if it does chase what it wants. In my opinion, the heart is under the impression that it can be healed if it is hurt in pursuit of a desire. Unfortunately, whatever heals the heart must not be the mind, which is why it stops the heart from pursuing desires. The mind feels the heart’s pain and can do nothing to ease the pain.

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So, I oozed enthusiasm in my writing class. I also did so during high school. (Ask any of my classmates, I’m actually curious to know how much I irritated them) I oozed enthusiasm to the point where I actually irritated myself. That’s the only way I know how to do it. I just try to spread positivity everywhere, and as much as possible. The world could use more positivity, especially with all of the negativity that is going around constantly in politics and the media.

This quote gets me through anything difficult. If you lift your head up, you will get through. I know that life is tough and I know that it’s tough to fight back when life hits you. But, the reality is that everything in life is a mindset. As much as other people try to convince me otherwise, I truly believe that. What I’m about to say might ruffle a few feathers, so please know that is not my intention, I am just stating my point of view from the information I have available to me. Several of my former high school classmates had/have depression (I will not name any of them for confidentiality reasons, of course). I stated my point of view to one of them that they would be fine if they just thought happy thoughts and chose to be happy. Their natural response was to say, “It’s not that simple.” But, how do we know either way? Those with depression have no idea what the mindset of those without depression is, and those without depression have no idea what the mindset of those with depression is. Whose to say that it isn’t as simple as a thought process that puts a person in either state? Again, I apologize if this offends anybody, that is not my intention. I’m simply saying that so much of life is mental. My opinion, is that it’s up to you if you want to be happy. And you always have that choice.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on Game 1 of the NBA Finals and/or on any of the 5 quotes above and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to hop on my enthusiasm train. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

NBA Playoffs, Listen Don’t Speak

So, the NBA Playoffs are officially set! The bracket looks like this:

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Courtesy of Business Insider

And it will eventually look like this:

NBA Playoff Predictions 2017
Courtesy of Yours Truly

It’s not the rematch the world wants, but it’s the rematch the world deserves. This time, skill trumps heart, as the addition of F Kevin Durant leads the Golden State Warriors to the 4-1 NBA Finals victory they almost had last year over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who play A LOT LESS like a team this year as compared to last year.

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Which leads quite nicely into the following lesson…
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Amen
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True. We all construct our own reality through our vastly different perceptions.
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Quote of the Day

This Quote of the Day is one I know my mom will love, and it’s definitely one that belongs on a shirt! This quote is basically shouting, “Shut up and LISTEN!!!” That’s something very few people are actually capable of doing. I try to listen as frequently as possible (maybe that’s why I seem to have so many friends who won’t stop making noises with their face-holes).  Life is far more interesting if you spend more time listening than you spend speaking. If you listen, you’ll hear stories. Stories of happiness, sadness, love, catastrophe, etc. It’s amazing to hear so many different stories from so many different individuals, all sharing their highly unique version of reality based on what they perceive. If you ask a person to share ONE story with you, you can learn: their top priority in life, whether they are an optimist or a pessimist, how deeply they feel, how deeply they care, among so many other things. If you ask for many stories from many different individuals, you will be able to piece together your own, unique perception of reality by building off of the building blocks given to you by others. In fact, I’m challenging you: see how long you can go without speaking a single word while you’re awake. Just listen and think. I would venture to guess most people could not get past five hours, so that’s your goal (remember, the challenge only stands while you’re awake because you can’t really listen effectively if you’re asleep). Let me know how well you do.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the NBA Playoffs (specifically, your own prediction) and/or on the quotes and/or on listening instead of speaking and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to make me feel like I’ve won my own NBA Finals. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

 

Warriors, Speaking while Watching, Frisbee, Youth Substance Abuse Prevention, Strength in Kindness

Just to throw this out there: I hate the Golden State Warriors. They’ve become the New England Patriots of the NBA. You just know that they are going to win. It’s REALLY annoying. They just defeated the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio for the 2nd time in the teams’ last 3 meetings there, and the Warriors had lost 33 straight regular season games in San Antonio prior to that. AND, the Spurs were up double digits in the first half. Come on! In other NBA news: The Cleveland Cavaliers suck.

You know what else is annoying? When people speak during your favorite movies/TV shows. I was watching an episode of my favorite TV show, Psych, when one of my friends entered the room and started speaking. Another friend got sucked into the conversation because he was already in the room. Then another one of my friends entered the room and joined the conversation. Then my roommate entered the room and joined the conversation. SERIOUSLY!? I’m watching the greatest TV show of ALL TIME!!! I just want to watch it in peace. Is that too much to ask for? Those guys talk enough throughout the rest of the day, and they can’t give me 45 minutes of silence to watch ONE episode!?

On a more positive note, I was tossing the frisbee with a friend today, and my forehand throw looked really good! Here in Denver, there always seems to be wind when I’m trying to play frisbee, but today it was virtually nonexistent. Also, when I went home for Spring Break, one of my friends who is AMAZING at frisbee taught me how to throw a forehand pass. He’s apparently really good at teaching, too, because my forehand throw looked better than my friend’s did today, and my friend is on the DU Ultimate Frisbee Team.

So, I wrote this Wee Intro Paper yesterday (that was the name of the assignment) and refined it today to turn in for my Writing class this quarter. It’s not optimal because I hadn’t written a piece for school in a couple of weeks, but feel free to read it (and critique it) if you wish. My Writing class is all about Preventing Youth Substance Abuse, which is an issue that I care about due to my personal values. In fact, if it were up to me, weed and alcohol would BOTH be illegal. But, I recognize the in-feasibility of that for the economic aspects (alcohol and weed companies would DEMOLISH me in court). Still, it would be nice if our country was substance free, right?

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It’s sad that society is set up like this. We can change it if we all work together…
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This probably sounds like the quote of the day, but I actually found an even better quote about kindness.
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Don’t worry, I won’t do another quote of the day with “happiness” and “rain” today. I do like rainbows, though.
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Ever seen the movie Shallow Hal? it’s like that.
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This came in second in today’s quote of the day race. I wanted to inject some humor, but then I found…
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Quote of the Day

Who would have thought that a gangster would beat out two writers in Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain for the quote of the day? I think this quote is perfect for those out there who are afraid to show kindness for whatever reason. It honestly reminds me of my favorite rule, which I affectionately dub, “The Black Rule”: Do unto others as others have done unto you. I show kindness to people until they are unkind to me. When someone is unkind to me, I make them regret it. If you don’t believe me, ask the biggest douche on the DU campus (in my opinion), or my ex’s best friend. Showing kindness, caring, and compassion to someone should never be considered a weakness. In fact, it should be considered a strength because that is how you make friends (and maybe lovers? 😉 ) that last lifetimes. Those who are unkind are the truly weak in society. So be strong in two ways: 1) Show kindness to everyone and 2) Make those who are unkind to you realize they have made a grave mistake.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the Golden State Warriors and/or on the Cleveland Cavaliers and/or on Psych and/or on talking during movies and TV shows and/or on frisbee and/or on my piece about youth substance abuse programs in Colorado and/or on the various quotes and/or on the Quote of the Day and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to show your strength in kindness to me. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

 

Destiny, Radio, Pro Bowl, Portland Trail Blazers, Star Wars, The Shining, Psych

My first ever radio show went well on Saturday!

Alright, now on to the negativity:

The NFC lost the Pro Bowl. Strike 1.

The Portland Trail Blazers lost AGAIN, this time to the PG Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors, in Portland. Strike 2.

Can you tell I’m having a tough time with the positivity today? Sports really make or break my day.

Also, I still don’t have a debit card because my bank screwed up. Strike 3.

Anything else?…

Well, I watched Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace today. Or, part of it. The Pro Bowl put a hold on the movie. Then I finished it after the Pro Bowl. So, all of it. Anyway, I’ll let you guys be the judge of how positive watching Star Wars Episode I is.

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I watched Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi yesterday. That was definitely a positive. I have a friend here who thinks that the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is better than the Star Wars Original Trilogy. He is literally the ONLY person I have ever known who thinks that. I’m not exaggerating. He is the ONLY one. The Star Wars Original Trilogy features the top 2 movies of all-time, and 3 of the top 5 movies of all-time. The only movie from the Star Wars prequel trilogy that makes the top 10 movies of all-time is Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Even Star Wars Episode III is only at #10. Make no mistake, my friend is WRONG. The Star Wars Original Trilogy is heads above the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. But, it’s all Star Wars, so it’s all good.

I also watched The Shining over the weekend. Jack Nicholson is a great actor. No idea who the woman in The Shining is. The Shining definitely wasn’t as scary as I had been led to believe. It may be due to the fact that The Shining was made in the 80’s, so it was kind of cheesy with some of the editing. The Shining had a well-written story-line, though. Plus, now I get the references to The Shining in the “Hereeeeee’s Lassie!” episode of Psych.

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Speaking of Psych, I watched some Behind the Scenes footage while I was taking a break from my big INFO 1010 project. James Roday’s audition tape, writers’ commentaries on the pilot, and interviews with all of the main Psych cast members (James Roday, Dule Hill, Maggie Lawson, Timothy Omundson, Corbin Bernsen, and Kirstin Nelson) all included. EPIC!!! Did you know that the main writer behind Psych (Steve Franks) is 6’8″?! I’ve seen him standing next to the Psych cast members and I always thought he was tall, but GEEZ!!! 6’8″ is INSANE!!! He also is a member of the band “The Friendly Indians“, who performed the Psych theme song.

Just an FYI regarding my radio show: The show is called the Bleacher Bums. Me and two of my friends are said Bleacher Bums. We are on the air every Saturday from 3pm-4pm. Tune it for our Sports Talk at kxduradio.com

Is destiny Written in the Stars? Or, do you write your own destiny? It’s a matter of predetermination. I will say this much: nothing goes according to plan. It doesn’t matter if it’s your plan or nature’s plan for you. There will always be bumps in the road. The most important thing is to be yourself. Don’t ever change who you are just to fit a plan. Find a plan that aligns with who you are. I realize that I am being hypocritical as I say that because I’ve just recently come to realize that I shouldn’t be sweating the “mistakes” that I’ve made by being myself. I know that I still think about those “mistakes” because I can’t help but thinking that they were “mistakes” because of the end result. But, I followed my heart and that’s what gets me past those, and other moments of doubt. I just keep following my heart, and my brain aids if it is needed. That’s what I encourage all of you to do. We are not defined by what others think of our decisions, but rather, by what we think of our own decisions. It doesn’t matter if you feel your destiny is predetermined, or if you feel you are continuously shaping your destiny every second of your life. Why? Either way, you should be who you are. After all, only YOU can shape your own destiny.

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That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on KXDU and the Bleacher Bums and/or on the NFL Pro Bowl and/or on the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors and/or on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and/or on Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi and/or on the Star Wars Prequel and Original Trilogies and/or on The Shining and/or on Psych and/or on destiny and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, fulfill your destiny by becoming a follower. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Weekend in Review: July 10, 2016

(Very minor language in the following scene)”When life gives you lemons? Don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad!” -Cave Johnson, Founder of Aperture Science

For those of you who have played Portal 2, you likely remember the EXACT moment this was said in the game. It is a FANTASTIC rant. For those of you who haven’t played Portal 2, I HIGHLY encourage you to give it a shot. It is a very well-done game and it’s loads of fun. I actually have played through the solo campaign AT LEAST 15 times. I once played it so many times in a row, that I memorized it, and finished the whole campaign in about 3 hours. (Hey, I’m proud of it! I don’t care how nerdy it is! It’s fun!) Even for those of you who aren’t gamers, you will likely find something fascinating throughout this game. I LOVE this rant. He’s SO right. Life throws a lot of crap at us that we don’t want, and we don’t deserve. Don’t just take it. Fight back. It’s like bullying. If you are the victim, the best way to stop the bully is to fight back and beat him/her. So fight back against life. Show life that the crap it throws at you is beneficial for you. There is a positive for every negative, and all you have to do is find it and embrace it. For example, the death of my beloved television was one instance of life giving me lemons. But I didn’t just take it. I fought back with a NEW television. A BETTER television. So my Madden, Portal 2, and Star Wars (I got an AWESOME new Kylo Ren lightsaber over the weekend!) marathon experiences now have a sharper picture! Take THAT life! Getting mad isn’t even the best way to do it. If you can beat the crap that life throws your way without letting it get to you, you are even better off. Again paralleling bullying, the bully (life) wants to affect you to hurt your self-esteem. If you don’t let it affect you, it will stop bullying you. There is always a way to succeed. Life will NEVER beat you when you STOP it. Now the news:

  1. Former NFL QB Michael Vick posted a photo-shopped picture of himself wearing a Golden State Warriors jersey today. I really only have one word for that: No.
  2. University of Oregon WR Devon Allen has booked his flight for the Rio Olympics. He placed FIRST in the US qualifying finals of the 110-meter hurdles yesterday night. INCREDIBLY impressive for a college athlete. Good for him, and best of luck at the Olympics. Bring home the gold for the US!
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell has been injured since tearing his MCL and PCL in Week 8 of last season. He believes he is on track with his rehab, and claims he will be ready for training camp. Though most players exaggerate how well they are doing in rehab, this is GREAT news for the Steelers. Bell is one of the best RBs in the NFL today, and the Steelers are FANTASTIC when their big three of Bell, QB Ben Roethlisberger, and WR Antonio Brown are all healthy.
  4. Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley came out and said that he “couldn’t ask for better QB” of rookie Rams QB Jared Goff. Goff appears to be doing all the right things so far in gaining the support of prominent teammates like Gurley. How well he performs as a QB at the NFL level won’t be displayed until he hits the field in REAL games. If Gurley is right, the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks will need to watch their backs in the NFC West sooner, rather than later.
  5. There has been a lot of controversy lately regarding which WRs are the best in the league due to some questionable rankings in the “Top 100 Players of 2016” list. Personally, I believe Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is the top dog in that group due to his consistent production every season. The next two are (supposedly) WR Odell Beckham Jr (duh) and WR Julio Jones? Beckham has the best hands in the league by far, so I believe he should be number 2 over Jones. I don’t believe Jones is number three. Who is, then? Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery? Definite possibility because he has been putting up big numbers with JAY CUTLER as his QB. He was also good enough to push WR Brandon Marshall and TE Martellus Bennett out of town. Cincinnati Bengals WR AJ Green? He has been the lone wolf receiving threat in Cincinnati (until TE Tyler Eifert’s emergence last season) and has put up big numbers. Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant? Played well even in the absence of starting QB Tony Romo. Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas? Has played VERY well despite receiving from QB Tim Tebow, and past-prime QB Peyton Manning. Okay, for last season ALONE, Jones definitely has a shot at the number three spot. However, personally, I would go with WR AJ Green. He really allowed for the emergence of both QB Andy Dalton and TE Tyler Eifert last season. Why did I bring this up? I bought an awesome statuette of New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr over the weekend! If you haven’t heard of McFarlane Figures, check them out because they make a lot of NFL player statuettes. So, I now have my OBJ one on my desk next to my New York Giants WR Victor Cruz one. Hopefully, the New York Giants starting offense this season will have the same duo.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news and/or anything that’s on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like (quick shout-out: my last post received quite a few likes, so thank you all VERY much for that and PLEASE tell me what you liked so much so that I can continue to improve like count 🙂 ). Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: July 4, 2016

I want to begin today’s post by giving a HUGE shout-out to my friend who started her own blog a week ago! It’s SUPER cool, so I encourage all of you to check it out. And don’t just check it out yourself, show it to EVERYBODY that you know. She discusses a lot of the same deep topics that I do with my daily quotes, though she does it in a much gentler fashion. So if I’m too straightforward for you, or even if I’m not, go check out her blog, Adventuresome.

Next up, I want to apologize for turning up on all of you yesterday. I get really invested in a lot of the things I talk about because I love to think, and yesterday’s topic is one that has influenced the lives of many people in many different ways. As an apology, I will stick to just the NFL news today. However, I still encourage you all to read yesterday’s post, so I will take the liberty of making it more entertaining by adding in the links I was going to add in yesterday. Even if you already read it, PLEASE read it again. I know it’s straightforward and it came (I admit) from a place of anger for me, but it is still HIGHLY applicable to society today. Now, (drumroll please), the moment you’ve all been waiting for since Friday…

  1. What better way to start today’s NFL news than with some NBA news?! The biggest free agent of the summer, SF Kevin Durant, has decided to sign with the…GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS! They weren’t unstoppable enough, apparently. The signing of Durant left former-Warriors SF Harrison Barnes to be picked up by the Dallas Mavericks, and the Warriors also traded C Andrew Bogut to the Mavericks to clear up cap space. Even so, the Warriors starting five now looks like this:  ALL FIVE OF THESE GUYS ARE CAPABLE OF PUTTING UP VIDEO GAME NUMBERS! And Durant will be a HUGE improvement over Barnes, who was Brick-City from three point range in the 2016 NBA Finals. Oh yeah, all of these guys can shoot threes at a high clip too. If they can all learn to pass, they might just be the first NBA team to go UNDEFEATED.
  2. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! I needed to make sure I said that (and I wanted to put in the best version of the National Anthem of the United States of America ever to be performed, and not just because it was prelude to one of the greatest Super Bowls ever, in which the New York Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills because Bills K Scott Norwood missed a last-second field goal attempt than would have won the game). I’m sure most of you are enjoying your fireworks shows as I type this. GO AMERICA!!!

It turns out there wasn’t much in the way of NFL news. Oh well. That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment regarding the daily news, along with a much-appreciated like. AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY FRIEND’S NEW BLOG, FOR WHICH, THERE ARE NOT ONE, BUT TWO LINKS IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF TODAY’S POST SO YOU CAN CHECK IT OUT!!!!! Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: June 20, 2016

“Successful people have a social responsibility to make the world a better place and not just take from it.” -Carrie Underwood, Musician

Well, believe it or not, I chose this quote because Carrie Underwood is in the NFL news today. But we’ll get to that in a moment. With regard to this quote, I would say I partially agree but mostly disagree. I partially agree in that successful people should be responsible for making the world a better place. However, I mostly disagree because that responsibility lies on everybody’s shoulders (and there are a lot more ‘unsuccessful’ people than there are ‘successful’ people). I’ve mentioned before that I strive to be positive every day because I want to make everyone’s days better. In making these strides, I am more successful than I would be making seven figures a year. What is the purpose of life, if not to strive to be a cohesive part of all life? True success lies not within how much money one makes, but within how many lives one changes for the better. Now, I bet you’re all still quite curious as to how Carrie Underwood relates to the NFL news, so I’ll get to that:

  1. Carrie Underwood will be debuting a new Sunday Night Football theme song for this season. Sadly, “Waiting All Day For Sunday Night“, has passed away…(moments of silence)…and onward we march. The new song will debut prior to the first Sunday Night Football game of the season, between the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals, on September 11, 2016. The new song is reported to be a re-worked take of “Something Bad”.
  2. Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins is expected to be back for training camp. The WR underwent foot surgery earlier this month, which left his return timetable clouded until now.
  3. Ok. Now my full NBA Finals analysis, as promised. So, again, congratulations to the city of Cleveland for breaking their 52-year-long streak without a championship. Obviously, we all saw Golden State get out to a 3-1 series lead, at which point I thought my prediction of the Warriors winning in 5 would be correct, and at least 90% of America already counted the Warriors as the champions, including at least 50% of Cleveland, itself. Then, the NBA announced that Warriors PF Draymond Green would be suspended for Game 5. Honestly, that decision was trash. Looking back on the dispute between him and LeBron James that got him in trouble, it was more LeBron’s fault than it was his. HOWEVER, Draymond is notorious for being a dirty player, so he did get his, just at the VERY WRONG time. That aside, the Cavaliers needed more than Green’s suspension to come back; they needed KING James. In the first 4 games of the series, LeBron looked more like QUEEN James with all of the scoring and attacking opportunities he passed out of. So big time props to him for stepping up with Kyrie Irving in games 5 and 6 to WILL their teams to victory. Straight up, LeBron carried the team through the final 3 games of the series. But, game 7. The Cavaliers no doubt deserved to even the series at 3 apiece after their domination in games 5 and 6. UNFORTUNATELY, the Cavaliers did NOT deserve to win game 7, in my opinion. The truth of the matter is, the Warriors were much more overall, fundamentally sound than the Cavs. If you watched the game in the same way that I did, you saw the Warriors rotate like true professionals on defense to contest EVERY shot the Cavs put up (including Irving’s three-pointer that ended up winning the game). In addition to this, you saw nearly flawless ball movement from the Warriors offense in the first three quarters of the game. That, combined with Cleveland’s lackadaisical defense led to a lot of open shots for the Warriors, which is why Draymond Green was 5/5 on three-pointers in the first half (though many of those open shots were also, sadly, missed). Now you’re probably wondering, “Billy, if the Warriors played so well, why did they lose?” This is the part where the Warriors fans dislike the post (much like the Cavs fans probably already have for claiming that they didn’t deserve their championship). The answer is simple: The Warriors stars DROVE THE TEAM INTO THE GROUND. Yes, Stephen Curry was the MVP. Yes, the Splash Brothers are the reason why the Warriors broke the NBA record for wins in the regular season. But, it was the coaching staff’s faith in the Splash Bros that cost them the championship. Klay Thompson had some moments throughout the series, but Steph was cold in ALL SEVEN games. I don’t care if he is the unanimous MVP, if a guy is cold with the championship on the line, you MUST take him out of the game. That’s right, if I was Steve Kerr, I would have benched STEPHEN CURRY. The only thing he was doing really well in the series was putting on a clinic for how to foul, especially in game 6. He couldn’t find his shot, and for some reason, he thought taking stupid shots with guys RIGHT IN HIS FACE was the way to fix that! So there’s that. I’m happy for Cleveland for getting their long-deserved championship, but, unfortunately, THIS championship was NOT deserved. Congrats to LeBron and Kyrie for evening out the series, but the Cavs would not have won the championship if Stephen Curry hadn’t driven his team into the ground in game 7, and throughout the series. I apologize to all Warriors fans who had to witness their MVP lose it all for them. History was made in the worst possible way this time around.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news (yes, angry comments are allowed too, but no death threats please). If you actually want to leave a like on my tirade against the two best basketball teams in the world, that like would be even more appreciated than usual, because I don’t even know if I would leave a like on this post. But, I’m telling it how I see it. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: June 13, 2016

First of all, I’m sorry for not posting yesterday. To be honest, I was going to post, but decided there wasn’t anything noteworthy in the way of NFL news. I realize now how ridiculous of an excuse that was because I still could have brought you a daily quote. No need to worry though, I learn from my mistakes (yes I do, ex-girlfriend!), and I’m coming back strong today.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” -Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

I love this quote. Especially the fact that a politician is calling education the most powerful weapon. Why is this significant? The answer is simple: Education can be used to teach people what those teaching WANT them to know. For example, in countries around the world, children in public schools are taught history that sheds their country’s actions in a positive light, even if they were the wrongdoers. What I’m saying is, the governments of the world have the power to brainwash their youth however they so choose. This can essentially turn the youth into an army (a most powerful weapon) that can be used to fight, and win wars with superior intellect (change the world). I believe that people as corrupt as politicians should not be in charge of determining what needs to be learned by the country’s youth (Common Core sucks) because not all kids are created equal. The truth is, with systems like Common Core, all people are MADE TO BE equal because those that are ahead are held back, and independent thinking is generally criticized. In fact, independent thinking is usually shut down by peer pressure bullying those who dare to be different. Anyway, that’s my rant for the day, now moving on to the news:

  1. The Philadelphia Eagles have inked DE Fletcher Cox to a six-year extension. The deal will pay Cox (indirectly through management, of course because deals themselves can’t pay money to people) $103 million, with $63 million guaranteed, and a $26 million signing bonus. Great, just what my Giants constantly-struggling offensive line needed: the best defensive lineman in the division (that isn’t in a Giants uniform) locked up for 6 more years.
  2. Ex-NBA PG Nate Robinson tried out with the Seattle Seahawks today. I didn’t think he stood a chance, then I heard he tried out to be a defensive back. For the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS. Do you think he’s heard of the legion of boom? Robinson doesn’t stand a chance of making the 53-man roster for the coming season, even if he gets lucky enough to spend training camp with the team.
  3. Speaking of the NBA, I WAS WRONG. The Cleveland Cavaliers won this evening to blow up my prediction of the Golden State Warriors winning the series, 4-1. Instead, expect Golden State to bounce back in Game 6 in Cleveland to win the series, 4-2.
  4. Former New York Jets P Curley Johnson passed away yesterday at the age of 80. Many of you are likely unfamiliar with the name, as he was a Jet and his name was not Joe Namath. However, Johnson was the punter for Namath’s Super Bowl III champion team.
  5. The Detroit Lions are trying desperately to find a solution at the WR position following the retirement of WR Calvin Johnson. The team signed WR Andre Roberts and is bringing in Walter Payton Man of the Year, WR Anquan Boldin, for a visit. I think Boldin would be a great signing for the team, but I don’t see Roberts making much of an impact. Also noteworthy: trying desperately for something usually doesn’t work. Don’t use desperation! It’s always a last-resort and means that you lost already, or you wouldn’t be desperate.
  6. Another tragic loss in the NFL family: former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Bryan Robinson was found dead at a motel in Milwaukee. He was just 41 years old.
  7. Just a brief mention: Baltimore Ravens WR Breshad Perriman has suffered another knee injury after missing all of last season with one. This one appears to be less significant though. I bring this up because, if any of you have played Madden NFL 16, you know that this guy has a 97 speed rating, which is RIDICULOUS. Unfortunately, the knee injuries might slow him down in reality, as well as in Madden NFL 17.
  8. The Denver Broncos received their Super Bowl 50 championship rings yesterday.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news, and a much-appreciated like would be much-appreciated :). Have a pleasant tomorrow.