Monday, October 16, 2017

Defy 8 Was Great

A few months ago, my brother let me know that he had two front row tickets for an independent wrestling show in Seattle. I live in Clearwater, FL, nearly the furthest place possible from Seattle in the United States. I have NXT shows five minutes from my house. It makes zero sense for me to trek across the country to watch more professional wrestling. But I am a child, so I looked at flights, got approval from my wife, and booked my trip to the great northwest. Traveling that far may seem insane, but Defy 8 was well worth the trip.

So before I even knew who would be on the card, I booked the trip. But I really lucked into things, as an organization really couldn't have brought in a more ideal collection of stars at the top of the card for this event.

Shane Strickland - Also known as Killshot on Lucha Underground. He's pretty awesome, but since he is also the Defy Champion, I basically knew I could count on him being there for the event.

Jeff Cobb - Also known as "The Monster" Matanza Cueto on Lucha Underground. He's a former Olympian in Greco Roman Wrestling, which means he has stupid strength and can basically throw around anyone from any angle.

John Hennigan - Also known as Johnny Mundo on Lucha Underground. Also known as John Morrison from the WWE, and Johnny Nitro from WWE. Oh, and also he's the star of Boone: The Bounty Hunter which you should definitely buy from Wal-Mart or watch on Amazon Prime. And as an added bonus, that meant that Taya was there to wrestle as well.

Matt Riddle - Also known as Matthew Riddle when he was fighting in the UFC. This was weirdly the guy I was most excited to see despite him having the least notoriety of the big names. I had seen him one other time in Orlando, and it was an eye opening experience. He had me when he came out to Warren G's "Regulate" but his wrestling cemented himself as one of my favorite wrestlers out there.

Even in the matches that didn't feature names that I knew, there was still a lot of talent and some really fun wrestling from guys I had never heard of. I saw a sexually provocative wrestler, fat Aleister Black, ladies wrestling men, ladies taking suplexes on the damn stage, a giant wrestler who called himself The Giant Slayer which really didn't make sense until I saw the woman he was talking to after the show, and TWINS.

But the highlights were the two main events. In the match before intermission, John Hennigan took on Jeff Cobb. This kind of showed the beauty of pro wrestling. It wasn't a traditionally great pro wrestling match, but it was so much fun that it really didn't matter. They had some great spots in it, and they had the entire crowd entertained from start to finish. Jeff Cobb is out there throwing Hennigan around and doing back flips. Meanwhile, Hennigan is out there doing a backflip while mooning the crowd. Why did he do that? No idea, but I was laughing my ass off, because sometimes sophomoric humor just hits the right spot.

As fun as that match was, it still really couldn't compare to the main event with Shane Strickland defending his Defy Championship against Matt Riddle. It was one of the best matches I have ever seen in person. These guys just got after it, and the pace they set was unbelievable. On top of that, every single thing they did seemed to have bad intentions. I know pro wrestling is scripted, but I was totally lost in the moment as the thing felt like a fight. I had so much fun and was truly convinced on multiple occasions that the match would end. Strickland is awesome, and I believe any person on this Earth can enjoy a Matt Riddle match.

Does it help to be a pro wrestling fan to enjoy something like Defy 8? Sure. But shows like that are so much more than a pro wrestling show; it's just a damn show, and anybody can enjoy that.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I Actually Found Someone Boycotting the NFL Because of National Anthem Protests

I officiated a wedding this past weekend, and maybe I'll get into the highlights of that experience later on, but ultimately, this was my biggest takeaway. I somehow found myself debating a woman about NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem. It was both amazing and stupefying all at once.

It all started when I was actually having a pleasant conversation with some old broad that was somehow related to the bride or groom. Somehow, I mentioned that I was a Bears fan, and she asked, "Oh, are you still watching the NFL?"

The question made me pause, because why wouldn't I be watching the NFL? My second thought was, oh shit, is this lady more liberal than I am? Is she worried about the concussions and CTE that players are suffering? Maybe she's boycotting the fact that there are many players that sexually, mentally, and physically assault women. That would be another very good reason to boycott the NFL. Was it possible that this lady was more woke than I was?

I responded, "No, I'm still watching," and then she showed that she's an ignorant dumbass and said that her and her husband have stopped watching because of the flag protests. This caused a pivotal moment. I could excuse myself from the conversation and let her go on thinking that this is actually a reasonable stance, or I could stand and present what an intelligent person would reason. I knew that the former was the easy choice, but I just couldn't help myself, so I chose the latter, even though I knew that anyone with that stupid of an opinion was not going to be swayed by reason.

I never thought I would have this conversation as I generally avoid hanging in the same social circles as these folks. But just imagine this conversation in your head. It's fucking stupid, right? Well, trust me, it was even dumber in person. I'll just run through her talking points as well as my responses.

It's disrespectful to our troops.
No it's not. Since troops fight for our freedom, it is actually more respectful to kneel during the anthem as you are taking advantage of the freedom that they fought for. There are some troops that think you should stand for the national anthem; there are some who don't. Guess what? You could replace troops with literally any other occupation, and the sentence would still be accurate. It's okay to do shit that people don't agree with if you're not hurting anyone. Kneeling during the anthem doesn't hurt anyone.

They should be thankful since they are millionaires. 
They worked harder and were better than anyone else in an incredibly competitive field. They deserve their money. And I'm sure many are thankful for things, but that doesn't mean that they need to just smile and act nice because they came from little and managed to make successes of their lives. If anything, it should be the opposite.

Well, sports and politics shouldn't mix, so they should just be out there on the streets if they want to protest.
They have a platform; they are using it. This makes a far larger impact on their cause, because people are actually noticing. And more importantly, politics shouldn't be mixing with sports. The fact that conservatives are still trying to use Pat Tillman's death to prove their point is insane, because even he thought the Iraq War was bullshit, and I can just about guarantee that he would support the flag protests as he was a man who believed in freedom of speech.

They don't even know what they are protesting.
They are protesting police violence towards blacks. They definitely know what they are protesting (it was at this point that I had to refrain from calling a spade a spade and flat out calling this lady a racist).

They should actually try to do something instead of just protesting.
Uh, they are. I then gave multiple examples of players helping in their community (Michael Bennett, Marcus Peters, and yes, even Colin Kaepernick), but, of course, she didn't know any of these things, because she lives in a small bubble where it is easy to avoid the truth and only find other people that agree with your own opinion.

Well, if I had a son that came home in a box, I wouldn't want to see them kneeling.
You have boycotted the NFL, because of a hypothetical you were able to imagine. Congratulations, you played yourself.

This conversation was painfully long, but I just couldn't let someone get away with thinking this sort of bullshit was acceptable behavior. I knew I wasn't going to change her opinion, but I'm happy that I at least took a moment to call her out and make her question her idiocy. Sometimes that's good enough.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Is New York City the Greatest City on Earth?

I went to New York City for the first time a couple weeks ago. Even though it was a work trip, I did get some time to explore. So I set out to check out as much as I could and give New York City a review. I didn’t have access to the vehicle, so I didn’t make it real far, but let’s face it, when people talk about New York, they are talking about Manhattan, and that is the place I spent nearly all of my time. Here are the highlights, starting with the sights, and following with the experiences.

Sights
Queens Boulevard
I saw a sign for Queens Boulevard and had to hold in my laughter. If you didn’t watch Entourage (good for you), you will not understand the pure comedy of seeing a sign for Queens Boulevard. But for those of you that suffered through all of that show, “Are you kidding me? I am Queens Boulevard.” That’s why Vinnie Chase was a movie star.

Statue of Liberty
Almost as impressive is the Statue of Liberty. It’s pretty cool that they have a replica of the one in Las Vegas right here in New York City. During the day, the Statue of Liberty is pretty blah, but it is pretty cool when it’s lit up at night.

Times Square
Man, I really just did not care about Times Square. I mean, it’s good that I got to see it, but I didn’t care going in, and I didn’t care going out. My full review: It’s quite bright.

9/11 Memorial
I checked out the fountains, and they were cool. Is it bad to say they were cool? I guess this was one of those things where I would have had more of an emotional connection had I seen the area before. But since it was my first time, it was just natural that they had this there. I obviously know the history, but I think it is much more powerful for a native than a tourist.

Grand Central Station
This is a famous place that is shown in movies. It is also a damn fortress that you will never escape. Every sign just points you to more trains. I didn’t want more trains, I wanted to get outside. My advice is to just keep going up until you luck into an exit or a roof.

Experiences
The Subway
My first Subway trip was awesome. We were nuts to butts in every car. I got intimate with many people that I will never see again. The smell was not great, and I kept my hand on my wallet the entire time. Great experience.

Street Performers
I have heard that some street performers put on really great shows. The street performers I saw put on a very shitty show. They said they were going to jump over like 10 people, but they ended up jumping over three. A huge buildup with a massive letdown. Do not trust people who say they are going to jump over 10 people; they will only let you down.

Watching Iowa Game
Watched the Iowa game at an Iowa bar in Manhattan. It was a lot of fun from start to fini…right before the finish. Still, I ate a big ass turkey leg and drank a bunch of cheap beer. Those are good things to do when watching football.

Running – Day 1
So when I was running for my first time in the city, I was still paying for the sins of the night before. I did not feel great, and I was very slow compared to my normal pace. Still, I pushed myself over the Brooklyn Bridge and into Brooklyn before turning around for a nice little five mile run. The Brooklyn Bridge was a very enjoyable place to run as I had the sunrise on one side and the Statue of Liberty on the other. Also, quite a few people were around so I never got lonely, and I couldn’t stop and look like a sissy. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with the running options in the city.

Drinking at a Fancy Bar
Night two I went to Stone Street and had an Old Fashioned at this fancy whiskey bar. It was delicious, made all the sweeter by the fact that I didn’t have to pay for it. I highly recommend going to nice places, having good drinks and not paying.

Running – Day 2
New Yorkers often talk about how tough they are, and if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. What I found is that they are massive cowards. My Day 2 run was at 4:45, and I saw a decent amount of people out at that time. Not a ton, but some, and all but one single girl were cowards. I would give them a runner’s wave as I went by, but everybody put their heads down and refused to make eye contact with me. What a bunch of ninnies. I mean, for a place that talks about how tough they are, I wasn’t very impressed, as they seemed to be intimidated by my “Buff Daddy” shirt from Bodybuilding.com.

Ordering Pizza
Speaking of toughness, the toughest thing in New York City is understanding people. I do not speak New Yorkian. I mean, I could not understand shit when natives were talking. Why do they talk like that? These people might make it in New York, but if they talked with a funny accent in small town Iowa, I guarantee that they would not make it there. I also heard a lot about how New Yorkers always get in fights, and I’m pretty sure that 90% of those are started because nobody can understand each other. Oh yeah, I got some pizza, and it was good. It wasn’t as good as pizza places in Iowa, and it wasn’t as good as the pizza place I go to in Florida. I sure hope they don’t brag about that stuff.
And that was my New York City experience. Is New York City the greatest city on Earth? No, and it’s not particularly close. I mean, it’s pretty cool, but there are plenty of places I could enjoy more. It’s a B+ city. I enjoyed my time there, but I won’t be heartbroken if I never make it back.

I EH 
NY

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Cubs Will Win the 2017 World Series

It's pretty clear that the Chicago Cubs have been a bit of a disappointment in 2017. Going into the year, people really couldn't come up with reasons why they wouldn't come close to last year's 103 wins, because nearly the entire squad was coming back, and they were going to get a full year of World Series hero, Kyle Schwarber. Things really couldn't get much brighter for the North Siders.

But then they actually had to play baseball, and the Cubs have just been putzing along all season. They've finally given themselves a little distance over the Brewers and Cardinals, enough where I feel confident penciling them into the playoffs. And once that happens? Well, anything can happen, and that is why the Chicago Cubs are definitely going to win the 2017 World Series.

Now there are some great teams that are competing this year. The Dodgers set a record pace early on in the year, and even though they faded, they are still having an incredible year. The Nationals have one of the most terrifying rotations that the world has ever seen. Then over in the American League, the Cleveland Indians just set a record for most wins in a row, and there are a whole lot of similarities between this year's Astros and last year's Cubs.

Doesn't matter; Cubs will win it all.

Now if you want intelligent analysis as to why the Cubs are going to win, you're going to have to go somewhere else. I'm not providing facts and figures, because there isn't a good argument that will be supported by facts. No, the facts can be tossed aside. The Cubs are a team of destiny.

The Cubs are destined to be the most hated team in baseball, and there is no quicker path to that than winning a second World Series Title in a row when they are clearly not the best team in baseball. The Cubs will become the new Red Sox, a team that went from being easy to root for to easily despised in the span of just a few years. I mean, let's face it, the Cubs frat boy fan base is already pretty hateable, and I say this as a Cubs fan.

Cubs fans are only going to get more insufferable, and the Cubs are just going to keep winning. It's not logical; it's just destiny.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Maybe I Should Start a Travel Blog

As loyal readers know, the output these last couple months have been pathetic at best. Honestly, I don't even deserve to call myself a Blogger with my recent performance. Thank God I'm married as Blogger was basically my only way to pick up chicks at the club. The only thing I've even posted this month before yesterday was a sponsored post, whaddup $40! But I didn't get into blogging for the money or the chicks; I did it for the love of the game. That is why I need to explain my (lack of) actions.

Basically, I've just been traveling a ton lately. That's it. Nothing too exciting, just general exhaustion from constantly traveling and not having the grit to still get it done while on a plane, train, or automobile. Over the last seven weeks, I went to Chicago, Iowa, Chicago again, Salt Lake City, Jacksonville, Delaware, Philadelphia, survived Hurricane Irma, and finally just chilled this weekend. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to New York, Seattle, Savannah, and Palo Alto. Then I think (hope) that I can get a couple weekends to just chill at home. But because of all of that travel, the blog has taken a back seat, and for that I apologize.

But I still figure I should get some content out of all of those trips, so let's do quick reviews of every place that I visited.

Chicago - This was for a work trip, and I actually stayed in Wheeling, Illinois, which is a good 45 minutes from the city. Therefore, I did not have time to go into the city. As for Wheeling, they have a really nice bike trail right along the river, but that was flooded, so don't go to Wheeling.

Iowa - Hometown visit to see the family. Parents are good, and Grandma is complaining about too many old people at the nursing home. I also had Harris Pizza, so this was probably my second favorite trip.

Chicago - Again for work, and again not in Chicago, as we were way out in Itasca, Illinois. Itasca sucks. They don't have sidewalks near where we stayed, so I was running against highway traffic. I can barely remember anything from the area; I just remember it sucking.

Salt Lake City - Salt Lake City was awesome. Good food, watched some baseball, and did some really awesome hiking. We even got within about 30 feet of a damn moose, which was slightly terrifying at the time, because he was about ten times my size, but after he left, it was pretty damn cool. You should go to Salt Lake City; just don't go there for the beer.

Jacksonville - Visited friends, went to a few breweries, hung out with the dog. I really can't argue with that.

Delaware - Visited my wife's siblings. Drank some beers, played some laser tag, and watched Iowa beat Wyoming on my phone, that's pretty much all I need in a weekend.

Philadelphia - We were here for like 12 hours. I saw the Liberty Bell and ate two cheesesteaks. One was very good, one was not very good. I don't think I need to go back to Philadelphia again.

Hurricane Irma - We only lost power for two days and didn't suffer any damage to our house, so I've certainly got no complaints.

Weekend at Home (no hurricane version) - After all that travel, this weekend definitely hit the spot.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

NFL Thoughts Going Into Week Two

Since I have been away from the blog for a while, I have not been able to share my suepr intelligence when it comes to NFL Football. I want to remedy that now to make you a smarter football fan.

Because of time missed, you did not get my fantasy football advice that Ezekiel Elliott would provide good value, Tyreek Hill would have a breakout, but I didn't like him as much as Allen Robinson (whoopsies), and DeAndre Hopkins might provide first round value yet again (jury's still out on that one). I also loved the Chiefs Defense more than anything, and even without Eric Berry, they'll still be really good, because they are going to have a great pass rush again, and Dave Toub always creates opportunities for special teams. My second favorite defense was the Eagles, because that defensive line is set to destroy the world this year.

Also, every year, it seems there is one guy that I want to add early in the season but don't quite have the roster space, and this year that man is Tarik Cohen. Last year it was Jordan Howard, as I was super high on both of them, but I just couldn't pull the trigger, and now I'm standing here, looking like an idiot with my pud in my hand. Also, I swear it's not always a Bears running back, as I was always way down on Jeremy Langford.

I also didn't get time to brag about how I was on the Mitch Trubisky bandwagon before everyone else. Seriously, can we just rewind to see my thoughts with these three posts professing my love for Trubisky before, during, and after the draft.

Breaking Down the Quarterbacks of the 2017 Draft
Who Should the Bears Draft at #3?
Why the Chicago Bears Traded So Much for Mitch Trubisky

Also, people are really trying to jump to conclusions after one week of football. The Giants offense is not going to be as bad as they looked in week one, the Falcons are still really good, even if they did struggle with the Bears, the Seahawks will be fine, and the only thing that is correct is that the Patriots Dynasty is over, and they'll be lucky to avoid last place this season. That one is definitely happening.

But most importantly, will the Bears please start Mitch Trubisky's Hall of Fame career already? I need this.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Important Things to Remember When You Are Preparing for Draft Football Fantasy

For the seasoned players and the newbies in DRAFT football fantasy, one of the most challenging aspects of getting into the league is the draft. Many players are intimidated by indecisions about selecting the right participants correctly. Sometimes the fear of making a stupid blunder and becoming the laughing stock of the season is even more intimidating to other fans.
But the solution for the challenges and fears is simple: you need to make proper preparations for the season by carrying out ample research. It will be easier for you to carry out your plan confidently and execute your moves without fear if you are better prepared. Just like with any other life activity, without adequate preparation, execution becomes a problem.
To get you ready for the 2017 season, this article aims to give you tips on the importance of preparation, when and how you need to do that, and the reasons why it is sensible to prepare by researching.
Get to Know the Players Well
Preparation for the draft is a very critical element of fantasy football. You can only make better decisions confidently if your knowledge of the players you intend to draft is wide. It is quite frustrating to get into this phase of the game if you are not fully prepared, but if you have carried out your research, you will obviously know which players to avoid completely, the ones you wish to draft, and in which order you want them to appear.
Preparation and Research Timing
It is essential to time your preparation and research for the draft phase well. There are several pre-season events that might make the value of a layer shaky and fluid, and so you should not start too early. Likewise, it is not a good idea to wait until the last or dying weeks because this might force you to cram a lot of information as well as trying to deal with other demanding pressures of your daily life. It is best to begin at least a month earlier. If you want to take part in the NFL season, it would be wise for you to start your draft in mid-August because the season begins on the first September weekend. Your preparation should, therefore, start in late July.
With the timing suggested in this article, you will have adequate time to know about the status of the off season injuries, you will know the signing of free agents, and any other major issues linked to the teams.
The Research Process
There are three steps that many gurus of fantasy football have consistently tried and tested successfully. First start by regularly reading or watching all sources of news associated with ESPN or NFL. It will keep you posted about the league’s high-profile players. You should be on the lookout for important news from any sources.
Next you need to come up with at least 5 cheat sheets for the draft listing all available and relevant players according to their current NFL season’s positions. Check for the information from any free fantasy football website. The cheat sheet you pick should be relevant to the specific rules of the league – PPR, IDP or standard scoring format. Lastly, sit back and enjoy a preview of you mock draft.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why I Chose To Stay In Florida During Hurricane Irma

I live in Clearwater, Florida, and tonight, I am going to experience my first hurricane when Irma rolls into town. Even though I stayed, it no way means that I am brave, and it also doesn't mean that I'm a dumbass. I just made the logical choice.

As a native Iowan, I never really had to worry about hurricanes, but I did once have a tornado roll right by my apartment complex during college. I was too drunk to really care about it, so it didn't greatly scare me, but considering that we experienced 155 MPH winds, I'm at least prepared for the winds of a hurricane. Tornadoes are far less stressful, and not just because their size is nowhere near a hurricane; it's mostly that a tornado pops up, runs through your area in the next couple hours, and then it's over. A hurricane is the slowest natural disaster imaginable, as we have known about Irma coming for a full week. It is just so damn slow

With that (lack of) speed, things have had so much time to change. It was going to get slowed down in the Caribbean when it hit Cuba and Puerto Rico. Then it was going to just rise up the east coast where we'd be on the outer range. Then it was going straight up the middle, and finally, in worst case scenario, it is now coming up the west coast. That's bad for me, but the whole leadup led to an awkward situation. By wishing for it to not hit me, it meant that I was wishing other people harm. Would I have preferred that it went somewhere else? Of course, that would have been a preferable outcome for me, but even in less than ideal outcome, I'm likely going to be fine.

This leads to the next question: Should I have evacuated? Even knowing what I know now, I still feel good about my decision to stay during the storm. My plan was always to stay unless I received a mandatory evacuation notice. Although Zones A&B did receive the mandatory evacuations, I'm in Zone C, which means that I am good to stay. Would it have been safer for me to go? Yeah, getting out of the way of a hurricane is safer than staying in the way, but I am tucked away in a neighborhood so I should be fairly blocked off from debris, and I'm in the best possible area to avoid flooding. I'm prepared if our house ends up sustaining some damage, and I'm prepared to lose power for a few days if it ends up coming to that, but physically, I feel as if I'm about as safe as taking a flight. Sure, something incredibly weird could happen, but the risk is so slight that I am in no way putting my life in danger.

Overall, I haven't been too worried throughout the process. When I took my lunch to pickup some bottled water last Tuesday, and there was nothing to be found at Sam's Club or Publix, I didn't really worry, I just picked up some Gatorade and figured I'd be good. When I heard that gas stations all across the state were running out of gas, I wasn't too concerned, because I didn't think I'd have to evacuate. When they started announcing evacuations in my area, I didn't really concern myself, because those were coastal areas, and of course they were going to need to evacuate. Even driving through town Saturday and realizing that everything was closed, I wasn't really worried, it just meant that I could go 100 on the highway, because what cop would pull somebody over for speeding when there is a hurricane coming (Also, there was a brewery open over in Tampa, so grabbing a beer with the wife and dog seemed like a good way to celebrate Iowa's victory).

I would say the most concerned I got was when my friends texted me in a group chat to tell me that I should evacuate. My friends are not concerned people; they're idiots, and that's why we get along so well, so it was a tad unnerving that these guys were actually worried about my safety.

But when I balanced everything out, it made sense for me to stay. The most likely outcome is still that everything will be totally fine, maybe lose power for a while. I could sustain some house damage, and I could be without power for days, but I'm prepared for either situation. We've got a safe spot tucked away in the middle of the house where physically, we'll be fine, although the dog may be freaking out a bit. She's always a spaz, so I think we can handle that.