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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The Ends of Eras

I wasn’t originally planning on posting today because Saturday is typically my day off, but two thing occurred today that are highly worthy of being talked about:

  1. Michael Phelps’ career has (seemingly) come to an end. He had his last race of the 2016 Rio Olympics today, and it was also likely his last race ever. He finishes the 2016 Rio Olympics with 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal. He finishes his career with 28 total Olympic medals, 23 of which are gold. Congratulations to the greatest athlete of all time. It has been a storied career, and today (likely) marks the end of an era. (It’s possible he comes back again because the 2012 London Olympics were also supposed to be his last, but it seems far less likely this time.)
  2. On a much sadder note, actor Kenny Baker passed away today. For those of you who have been hiding under rocks, Kenny Baker is the actor who played R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise. Yes, there was a person inside of R2-D2; Baker was 3′ 9″. He is the first of the actors who were young in the original trilogy of Star Wars, to pass away. To make matters even more tragic, he was one of just two actors who have been in all seven, main Star Wars movies that have been released. He will also appear in Episode VIII, which finished filming last month. The other actor who has been in all of the main Star Wars movies is Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO. Yes, there’s a person inside of C-3PO, too. You will be missed, Kenny Baker. Rest In Peace.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the news, along with a much-appreciated like. Also, if you like what you read and you aren’t a follower, please become a follower because it puts a big smile on my face. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: August 10, 2016

Olympic Update:

  1. First of all, Team USA basketball. The Men’s team has played twice since my last update; Two days ago they defeated Team Venezuela 113-69 and today, they defeated Team Australia 98-88. The Australia game was very close as their NBA stars came to play. Patty Mills had 30 points, Andrew Bogut came up with 15 points, and Matthew Dellavedova ended with 11 points AND 11 assists. However, despite the great efforts from Australia’s big three, they couldn’t overcome Carmelo Anthony’s 31 points, which made him the all-time leading scorer for Team USA in the Olympics, along with Kyrie Irving’s 19 points and 5 assists. For the Women’s team, they also had two games since my last update; They beat Team Spain 103-63 two days ago, and they beat Team Serbia 110-84.
  2. Second of all, Michael Phelps. I watched him swim the 200m butterfly yesterday, along with all of the Team USA basketball team. It’s funny to see Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in the crowd, cheering for an athlete who is even better than they are! Phelps took gold in the 200m butterfly, along with the 4 x 200m freestyle relay yesterday. His gold medal count is up to 3 in these games, and 21 all-time.
  3. Gold Medal Count: T-1. Team USA (10 gold); T-1. Team China (10 gold); 3. Team Japan (6 gold)
  4. Total Medal Count: 1. Team USA (31 total; 10 gold; 11 silver; 10 bronze); 2. Team China (23 total; 10 gold; 5 silver; 8 bronze); 3. Team Japan (18 total; 6 gold; 1 silver; 11 bronze)

(WARNING: Movie Clip contains minor language.) “The truth needs so little rehearsal.” -Barbara Kingsolver, Novelist

Ironically, that scene likely required a lot of rehearsal because it was hilarious. My response to the quote: Maybe so. But is the truth really the best way to go? I’m going to go Life of Pi on this quote. What if you stretch the truth a little bit? If you still give the major details with accuracy, isn’t it more fun to tell the story the way YOU want it to be. The way that is more entertaining. The truth is always good, but it’s not always fun. I’d like to compare this to music, too. Music contains embellishments to make it better, and sometimes, the truth could use some of those embellishments, as well. I like to embellish the NFL news with my biased opinions 🙂 (sometimes):

  1. San Diego Chargers WR Stevie Johnson is missing the season with a meniscus tear. This is what the Chargers were expecting, hence the signing of WR James Jones. As I said before, the Chargers should be fine without Johnson because they still have WRs Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin, in addition to Jones.
  2. The New England Patriots are opting to sit QB Tom Brady for their first preseason game. I laughed when this was “Breaking News!” Of course they’re sitting Brady. With Brady suspended for the first four games of the regular season, it makes sense for them to prepare QB Jimmy Garoppolo with as many snaps as possible.
  3. ESPN sportscaster John Saunders passed away at the age of 61. He was with ESPN ever since 1986. R.I.P. John Saunders.
  4. The Buffalo Bills continue to get worse news. The injury to LB Reggie Ragland has proven to be a torn ACL. He will miss the entire upcoming season. Don’t worry Buffalo fans, your team would’ve lost, regardless. Why? Rex Ryan is your head coach. Just ask the New York Jets. 🙂

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the Olympic update and/or the daily quote and/or the daily news and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Weekend Update: August 6-7, 2016

“Sometimes, it’s super sweet…to NOT know.” -James Roday (as Shawn Spencer from Psych), Actor

The above quote is my lame excuse for being tired and not wanting to search for a powerful quote. Same goes for the repeat scene. But let’s be real, that’s a great scene. Besides, I’ve got quite a bit to talk about. Starting with the Olympics:

  1. Team USA is destroying the competition in Rio. We lead the games in total medal count (12 to second place’s 8), silver medal count (5 to second place’s 3), and we’re tied for first in gold medal count (3). Michael Phelps received his 19th all-time gold medal today in the Men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay. I also saw our archery team take silver because South Korea’s team couldn’t stop hitting the target dead-center. Both of our basketball teams destroyed their competition. For the men’s team, they beat China on multiple threes from Golden State Warriors SF Kevin Durant. Honestly, he looked like more of a splash bro than Golden State Warriors SG Klay Thompson did in that game. For the women’s team, they set new US Olympic records for points scored (120, previously: 114) and largest margin of victory (65 points, previously: 60 points). In fact, they won by more points (65) than the Senegal team scored (55).
  2. Team China and Team Australia are currently tied for first in gold medal count (3), with Team USA.
  3. Team Japan leads the way in bronze medal count (6).
  4. Coming in behind Team USA in total medal count are Team China (8 medals, 2nd place), and Teams Italy and Japan (7 medals, T-3rd place).

So a little bit about my life today as an explanation for why this post is so late. I woke up this morning and proceeded to mow two lawns. After that, I showered, then went to see the new Bourne movie. By the way, after that movie, I said, “I would rather have seen Star Trek: Beyond again.” Of course, Star Trek: Beyond is a fantastic movie, but the point is, the Bourne movie sucks. There is so much action that they forgot about the story. Following that, I had a couple of hours to do some Green Bay Packers-Indianapolis Colts Madden NFL 16 gameplay, in preparation for the Hall of Fame Game (I’ll get back to that), prior to my French Horn recital. Then, I had my French Horn recital. After that, I FINALLY went to get some ‘real’ food (It was about 7pm and all I had to eat the entire day was popcorn at the movie theatre) at Dairy Queen with two of my fellow French Horn players, and our French Horn instructor. Our instructor left after about an hour, but the other Horn players and I kept talking in Dairy Queen for ANOTHER hour. Then, we decided to head over to our local ‘fun zone’ (that’s the technical term) to play some mini golf and bowling. So, I just got home about 30 minutes ago. LONG day. That’s why this is a late post. But I still have NFL news ahead:

  1. I said I would get back to the Hall of Fame Game later…it’s later. CANCELLED. Yeah, the first taste of football since the Super Bowl, back in February was CANCELLED. That was a MASSIVE disappointment after having counted down all of the days until the return of football. Apparently, some of the paint on the field was a slipping hazard. LAME EXCUSE! I WANTED FOOTBALL!!! I DON’T CARE IF IT’S PRESEASON, GIVE ME FOOTBALL!!!!! So, the wait for football now continues until Week 1 of the NFL Preseason begins on Thursday.
  2. The Oakland Raiders are anxious to start winning. OG Kelechi Osemele and DE Mario Edwards Jr threw punches at each other in practice today. They both got booted from the session following the brawl. The attitude is finally back in Oakland! I’m excited! This could be a special season for the Raiders.
  3. LB Brandon Spikes has had a lot of controversy surrounding his off-the-field antics. He did not play in the NFL last season following the discovery of his car on a highway, not far from the location of a hit-and-run. Well, Spikes seems to have overcome his issues, as he signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills today. His antics do seem to match head coach Rex Ryan’s style.
  4. Good news New England Patriots fans, WR Julian Edelman has officially returned to practice. The receiver was previously kept off the field due to a foot surgery he underwent in May. Of course, Edelman might not make too much of a difference with QB Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Still though, a confidence boost for the team, for sure.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the Olympics news and/or my day (or your day) and/or the daily news and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: August 5, 2016

“I didn’t come with a lot of energy the same way I came in the first game…I’ll come to the next game very, very hard.” -Leandro Barbosa, Basketball, Brazil

In honor of tonight’s opening ceremony, I chose this quote from Brazilian basketball player, Leandro Barbosa. Barbosa was a member of this season’s record-setting Golden State Warriors team. He also has a legitimate shot of leading Team Brazil to a medal. There are a total of 45 current NBA players participating in the Olympics this year, a new record. Countries represented by these players include: Argentina (notably: San Antonio Spurs SG Manu Ginobili), Australia (Dallas Mavericks C Andrew Bogut), Brazil (Barbosa), Croatia (Brooklyn Nets SF Bojan Bogdanovic), France (San Antonio Spurs PG Tony Parker), Lithuania (Toronto Raptors C Jonas Valanciunas), Nigeria (Detroit Pistons PG Michael Gbinije), Serbia (Denver Nuggets C Nikola Jokic), Spain (Minnesota Timberwolves PG Ricky Rubio), United States of America (DUH!). Almost all of the countries listed above have more than one current NBA player on their roster, I just listed one notable one for each country. In regard to the opening ceremony, it was really awesome to see US swimmer Michael Phelps bearing the US flag. I didn’t realize that Phelps had never been a part of the opening ceremony prior to tonight until NBC’s Matt Lauer mentioned it. It’s a good last hurrah for him. I watched the entire opening ceremony through Team Ireland. I am very proud of my Irish heritage, despite the fact that I have heritage from all over Europe, and I’m American-born. Being red-headed, many people automatically connect me to Ireland and I wholeheartedly embrace that. Don’t worry, Team USA still gets my priority as a fan, but Ireland is second in my heart, with third not even in sight. So there’s the Olympic fix for this football blog, now on to the football portion:

  1. The Arizona Cardinals extended their two biggest, veteran stars today. QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald are now locked up through the 2018 season with their one-year contract extensions. Palmer’s extra year is worth $24.35 million, while Fitzgerald’s is worth $11 million. The Cardinals are rocking training camp. They extended these two during the SAME WEEK in which they extended FS Tyrann Mathieu. Clearly, the Cardinals want to achieve similar levels of success to that of last season. With these resignings, I don’t see any reason why that can’t achieve and surpass that level.
  2. The Buffalo Bills continue to deal with injury issues. They are already without their 2016 first round pick, DE Shaq Lawson, and now, they have lost their 2016 second round pick, LB Reggie Ragland. Ragland suffered a knee injury while pursuing freshly-signed RB Reggie Bush in practice. The intensity of the injury is not yet known, though the speculation is that it is not good because it was a non-contact injury.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Daily Update: August 2, 2016

“Forty-eight years is almost enough time to hold a record.” -Larisa Latynina, Olympic Gymnast (9 gold medals; 1956-1964), Russia (USSR or Soviet Union at the time)

Olympic opening week continues, this time with the top gold medal-ling athlete from the 2nd-most gold medal-ling country. Another quote that is fairly straightforward, but embodies what it means to be an Olympian. Obviously it requires A LOT of training to be an Olympian (even A LOT doesn’t come close to describing it). Just to make it to the Olympics is a HUGE feat. To set OLYMPIC records makes someone an instant legend. The odds of any person born into this world setting an Olympic record are lower than the odds of winning any of the lotteries in the world. ABSURDLY impressive feats for ABSURDLY impressive athletes. Olympic records are awesome to see, especially if you get to see it LIVE (just don’t get Zika if you’re going to watch the Olympics live in Rio). Something else that is awesome to see (though on a much different scale) is the NFL news:

  1. The Dallas Cowboys woes continue. Today, backup QB Kellen Moore broke his ankle in practice. Frankly, I was heartbroken when I heard this. As a Boise State fan, Kellen Moore is my favorite player of all time. While it will be nice for the Cowboys to lack a quality backup, I would much rather see Kellen on the field, even as a Giants fan. That’s how big of a fan of Kellen Moore, I am. Why couldn’t Tony Romo have just gotten hurt again!? 😦 With Moore’s injury, the Cowboys have now set the record for most Boise State, NFL players that aren’t able to take the field. Moore is injured, Tyrone Crawford is injured, and DeMarcus Lawrence opens the season with a suspension. Why did you have to drag Boise State grads into your bad luck, Dallas?
  2. In happier news (as is typically the case coming out of Arizona, rather than Dallas), the Arizona Cardinals have extended FS Tyrann Mathieu’s contract. Said extension is for five-years, $62.5 million, and $40 million in guarantees. If Mathieu can stay healthy, he is ABSOLUTELY worth it. He is one of the best safeties in the league because of his ball-hawking skills, and he makes Arizona’s secondary one of the best in the league when he is teamed-up with CB Patrick Peterson.
  3. RB Trent Richardson has been released by the Baltimore Ravens. Yeah, most people saw that one coming. That is likely the end of Richardson’s NFL career.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick, CB William Jackson tore his pectoral in practice. Interestingly enough , many people believe the Bengals drafted Jackson so the Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t have him. If that is the case, I’m guessing the Bengals are rethinking their strategy. Luckily, the Bengals still have Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Darqueze Dennard to start in the secondary, and all are capable. They better be ready because Jackson could potentially miss the entire season.
  5. Staying in Cincinnati, the Bengals have signed FB Ryan Hewitt to a three-year contract extension. The deal is for $7.5 million with a $1.5 million signing bonus. Hewitt has been steadily becoming a phenomenal blocker out of the backfield.
  6. The Atlanta Falcons are continuing their pursuit past mediocrity. Today, they signed veteran DE Dwight Freeney. Freeney will be more of a mentor to last season’s first-round pick, Vic Beasley Jr, than a starter in Atlanta.
  7. Another veteran signing, the San Diego Chargers were quick to respond to the injury sustained by WR Stevie Johnson, as they signed WR James Jones. Jones will likely play third-fiddle to WRs Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin. Jones has proven to be HIGHLY ineffective outside of Green Bay, but the Chargers clearly believe he is worth the risk.
  8. Finally, someone outside of my family has discovered the danger that is Pokemon Go. Detroit Lions OG Larry Warford played the game when it first came out. On Monday, Warford discovered the horrifying reality that nearly everyone is addicted to the game. He immediately deleted the game after this realization, calling it, “some mind-control stuff.” I’m glad I’m not the only conspiracy theorist. I could never bring myself to download that game. People are playing it EVERYWHERE they go! You go to the park, and instead of people enjoying the scenery or eating shave ice, they’re all walking around, scrutinizing their phones like a bunch of zombies. It’s disturbing! I’m concerned the government is experimenting with methods for mind control, and this one easily gives them control of 75% of America. Wake up, people! There are WAY more important things in life than video games. Don’t be so obsessed with it. I would personally recommend actually speaking to the people around you (and NOT about Pokemon!).

That’s not all for TheHays way today, yet. I have an exciting announcement. I might, MIGHT, begin vlogging, too. I’m still working out a few kinks in the system, so it’s not a go as of right now, but I would really like to make it work. It will give you guys a more in-depth analysis of the things I talk about in my daily blog posts, and it would also expand my audience to YouTube which would be HUGE for my blogging endeavors. So, stay tuned for that. If I can work that out, rest assured, you guys will get exclusive access that YouTube won’t get because THIS blog is still my number one priority. The daily posts will still continue, you will just get expanded content. If this possibility excites you, PLEASE leave a like to encourage me to work through the kinks faster. There are a lot of kinks right now, so there is no definite timetable for the vlog yet. IF this works out, HOPEFULLY, I will have it running by the end of this month. 🙂

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the daily news and/or the exciting announcement and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. 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.