Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Season 3 - Midway Point

This roster is shaping up so well.  There aren't any players on the roster in important roles over 30.  That isn't the hallmark of a productive or successful team, but I was able to jettison more expensive older banged up players because I had young lions ready to step in.

On top of the division and looking to make a run at the championship.  My favorite part is the sheer amount of 2nd round picks my team has.  I have never been able to accumulate so many picks in an early round like this.  

On the negative side, the team has some injuries that hurt.  Namely the backup running back I drafted.  I wanted to run a lot this year.  I had a line that can run and event he backup lineman could get in and run block.  I envisioned a battering ram attack.  8-9 linemen pushing forward with 2-3 backs as the tip of the spear.  Running for 5+ ypc.  Instead I took an offer for Randy Thomas for a 2nd rounder and got realistic.  I can still commit to the run and not run an offense from the 1940s.

I normally have not been able to run plays with pulling linemen ever in NFL Head Coach 09.  I wondered if I could pull it off.  So I created a few pulling plays based off of some successful plays I was already running.  The new plays worked in practice so I tried them without even training them up.

Most of them opened up gashing runs.  Huge holes with yards of space.  The pulling plays (both in general and in this instance) get your linemen into different areas to block.  In theory you could set up a running play where a TE, FB, OT, and OG would all be blocking LBs and DBs primarily.  Its been effective in 2 games. 

Another oddity, Jason Campbell is turning into a pick machince.  He was red hot to start the year and now, in the last 2-3 games hes got more picks than TDs.  I don't see a pattern in it.  Its not on one look or coverage or type of play.  I think it might be throwing deep against cover 2, but I have to reflect on that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

NFL Head Coach 2009-2010 Season Oct Check In

Things are going well.  The team managed to bring in some new talent for little money.  The older players are starting to take a back seat so some other guys can get a run.  But its not forced!

Some guys we brought in are doing much better than expected.  Lets recap the acquisitions:

  1. New Backup QB Benji Ambrose - When we changed the role of the QB in our scheme, his potential shot up to 91.  Hes not ready to get gametime yet, and likely wont be for at least another year.  Hes a solid developmental guy, but he has a bum leg.  His health is one of the lowest on the team from some preexisting injuries.  We took him as a UDFA so there is little risk.  We need to get a trainer with a rehab program to offset that.
  2. Pair of new HBs, James and Russell - Russel is a 3rd back, just a big guy to take some carries in a pinch.  James on the other hand has HOF potential.  A 97 potential.  Turns negative runs into positive runs.  If this team could block, we would be a top 10 running team easy.
  3. Two new WRs Bellows and Lane.  Bellows is the guy I took a flyer on.  Another 97 potential guy.  Hes stepping into his role very well making some big plays.  Lane is a guy the GM brought in for a camp body.  The guy kept making plays.  Kept him as the 6th WR, which I normally don't even think about keeping.  94 potential.  Hes still buried behind Moss, Bellows, Thomas, The Comb, and ARE.  Next year we will offload ARE so we will only carry 5 barring another stellar find.
  4. Couple of linemen.  LT Rico Hutchinson and RT Tra Chapman.  Right now both are just depth across the line.  Next year Chapman will be the starting RT because he has a 94 potential.  To be honest, the line is kind of struggling in run blocking.  Big Randy's health is a concern, hes missing practice for health concerns.  Rabach isnt doing anything in the game.  Samuels health isnt great either.  I passed up some linemen in the last draft.  This upcoming draft is just ok on linemen so I will have to keep an eye on the waiver wire, FA outlook, and the draft for options. Realistically I have starting quality LG and RT for the next 3-5 years barring injury.  Three other spots need filling.  This is a concern.
  5. CALAIS CAMPBELL - He must have gotten into it with the HC in Zona because this dude was a free agent.  Hes a starting level maybe pro bowl level player who is in his 2nd year.  I made the move and hes locked up for 5 years on the end.  The other end spot needs work.  Carter's health is really poor.  He will not be able to finish games this year.
  6. Pair of new DTs - Lopez is the top guy.  Good to see your hunch pay off.  On the other hand Burke is just a rotational guy.  Not a wasted pick but I thought he was going to be the steal of the draft.  Win some lose some.
  7. Knox at LOLB and hes a solid starter, nuff said.
  8. Riley and Moe Johnson at Corner.  Both are starting level guys, Riley has 95 potential so he could be the man for a decade.  I traded Carlos Rogers for some mid round picks.  Meh.
  9. Prince Justin is a solid starter, not much more too it.
  10. The punter I took was solid too.

So here are the starters I have that are 28 or younger.  QB, (HB), FB, WR, TE, LG, (RT), RE, DT, LOLB, ROLB, CB, FS, SS.

On top of that we are 6-1 so its going well.  There are some health problems, but if it holds together we will be a badass deep young team a la superbowl year Seattle.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NFL Head Coach 09 Draft 2009

I got some epic length videos to upload to YT.  I will try to get to those tomorrow.

Here is my draft sheet.  Each name is someone I would be comfortable taking.  If they have a color its a specific value target.  Those are dudes I think have a 99% chance of being probowlers.

And here is the draft:

I was very proactive in the draft and end up taking roughly 10 players.  I have played this game quite a bit so I kind of know what types of ques lead to good players.  Thats more repetition than pure skill.  Even more so I got lucky.  Almost every pick I made McShay got on to tell me how sweet a guy was.

General policy:

  1. Don't draft hype, draft what you scouted.  This is both in real life and in the game.  If you havent done your homework how can you invest heavily in a player.  If its a late round flyer thats one thing but lets say you were picking 10th.  If a player you expected to go top 3 fell to you, your first reaction is to take him. The value is almost too great to pass up.  Problem, what if the other 9 teams did their homework and really don't like that guy.  You were the chump that fell for it.  You run the risk of wasting a pick.  Now, you also run the risk of missing on the value.  Ultimately its your call, but know the risk.
  2. There will always be another horse next year.  Don't fall in love with a guy.  Very very rarely does a guy come along that really is worth overspending for.  Take the RG3 trade.  HUGE trade.  Initially it looked like the Rams won the trade.  Then about week 12 it turned around and I remember people saying the Rams didn't get enough for RG3.  We are several years out and RG3 is a benchwarmer and the Rams stink too.  Lesson?  Don't pay a kings ransom for a guy.  If you are the Rams I guess the secret is draft better(?).
  3. Don't force a pick.  If you are on the board and nothing entices you, trade back.  Don't be afraid to trade into next year.  Its not always possible, but its sweet to stockpile picks.
  4. Every pick is valuable.  Even that late 7th round pick can be valuable.  Find value in every pick and get the most for every trade you make.
  5. Best Player Available.  Don't draft for need.  Take the example from before.  You pick at 10.  You really need a LT.  The best player on the Board is a DE.  Take the DE (or trade back).  If you take the need, you might draft a lesser player earlier.  In an optimal situation, you could trade back, get a 3 and a 5 maybe, get the LT you wanted and 2 other players.  Or if you get really lucky you take the DE and later on you get that LT you wanted or someone comparable.  Think about it this way, you are on the clock.  You think the best guy on the board is Tony Gonzalez 2.0, you already have Chris Cooley on the Roster.  You would rather take Brandon Lafell (a solid option) because you needed a WR?  You couldnt do better with 2 dope TEs?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Offseason NFL Head Coach 09

I was going to post this over HERE but I thought it would be easier just to keep it here on MOB.

Monday, October 6, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

I remember sitting in the theater watching the first X-Men film and being disappointed.  X-Men was a film without any real vision of its own.  Ultimately a pointless film without "moments
 or kind of a theme.  Tons of miscasted actors in costumes with names of characters who were popular but devoid of characterization.  I remember reading an article before the film came out saying that the direction was taking a lot of cues from The Matrix.  The turn of the millennium was a different time.  Remember, back then The Matrix was a huge hit with a cultural impact.  So I can't blame them at the time for copying what was hot.  Look at the poster for X-Men:

Sleek look, black leather everywhere, those aren't exactly essentially Matrix and this post isn't even about X-Men (2000).  So lets get back on track.  Days of Future Past is the follow up to the prequel/reboot First Class (which I thought was masterful).  Despite being a significant financial hit despite lacking real starpower, someone made the decision to replace First Class director Matthew Vaughn with director of X-Men (2000) and X2 Bryan Singer.  We also will have the return of the older cast from X-Men as well.

Perhaps people were clamoring were for the return of the older cast but I can't be sure about that.  What we got was a very very good movie.  But it wasnt great and this film had the real potential to be AWESOME!!!!1!!one! with only minor changes.  And I place the blame for all of the choices in these areas firmly on Bryan Singer's shoulders (mostly because I dont really like him).  We won't even talk about the ridiculous design of the Sentinels (much).

Here is what is on the ticket today as far as what held this bad boy back:

  1. Who is really the Villain?
  2. Why is Wolverine the protagonist?
  3. Who are these people/Why are you in the movie?
  4. Are there any characters that were introduced by Bryan Singer (and lets throw in Brett Ratner who directed X3) that had any depth or character?

1.  I will ask you who the villain of this movie?  The Sentinels?  Trask?  Nixon?  Magneto?  Mystique?  DoFP is a difficult story because I guess the real antagonist is the onset of the "bad ending" happening.  So why even introduce Trask?  What did he add to the film besides being able to say "hey look its Peter Dinklage" in the film.  He is largely a non factor in the film.  He has one odd monologue about envying mutantkind or something to explain is motivation but hes a pointless character who adds nothing to the plot of the film.

If you say its the Sentinels, yeah I guess so but they are just a group of machines.  You can probably say Mystique is the antagonist pretty easily but she isn't really aware of what she is inadvertently going to cause.  This is a race against time story, which is fine, but why even include this "villain lite" with a lame attempt at making a non-player into a player.  A wasted opportunity and a wast of time.

2. Why Wolverine?  Probably because Wolverine is super popular.  Which is a factor in the great success of this film.  But why make him the one you send back in time.  No, I am not making a purist "it should have been Kitty Pryde" though I do like me some Shadowcat.  Actually, from a writing standpoint the choice they made seems (to me) to be the least entertaining and useful option.  They set the rules for timetravel.  Think about that, there are no set rules for time travel.  This is not a hard science like in a hard sci fi movie you can't do X because X is impossible by currently scientific understanding.  Time travel is fantasy and you set the rules everytime you engage in it.  They set up that you must have been alive at the time because they are sending their consciousness back.  They also set up the completely superfluous rule that the process would destroy you so you need someone who can withstand the punishment.  Cue the lame Wolverine "hey bro I can heal so send me."
Lets pause here and go to Wolverine in the movie.

Bystander.  Onlooker.  Side character.  For some reason he doesn't know what was going down in the 70s so he CANNOT be an actor.  He is just there to link the characters with real drama.  Why do this?   Bro, Wolverine was alive in the 70s.  Why wouldnt he know what happened?  The 70s happened, why wouldnt he know what happened?  This is something you control.  You use any number of mechanics if you so feel the need to force Wolverine as your protagonist.  Why make him functionally impotent?

Try this on for size the world's greatest telepath says "Logan, your memories of the 70s have been wiped.  I will telepathically implant you with my account of the 70s.  This will allow you to access information that you might not have had even at the time.


"Logan, its a good thing we went to the black ops site and found that dude who gave you your memory back (as a kind of nod to the House of M storyline where he came out of it with full recall of his past"

Or even better, send any other character back , remove that requirement about it being a destructive process and have them link up with a cogent, active, but initially reluctant Wolverine yet fully aware of what is going on in the 1970s.  With any of these options, you dont have those scenes where Wolverine is sitting in the back of the room, pulling a T-Dog, doing nothing of importance.

This could have been a cool opportunity to use the elder Storm as the sendee and when she wakes up, use a different new actress (I could suggest the hot off of Scandal Kerry Washington) and actually use Storm in a meaningful way.

Of course, there is the final fight where it think Wolverine is about to get himself some action and he gets flung literally and figuratively out of the story.  Complete waste of a character.

3. Who are these people/Why are you in the movie?  The extras in the future, Trask, the mutants in Vietnam, Colonel Stryker.  None of these people have any kind of character.  You are expected as a viewer to either bringing in prior knowledge/affection for the characters or latch onto these characters without any history, characterization, or in some cases dialogue.

My favorite example of this storytelling shortcoming is when someone is talking to Professor X in the future about how much they hoped Wolverine would succeed.  Professor X delivers a great line about how they wont know because by them sending him back they have changed the time stream.  Which is an interesting point to make.  But if that is the case, why do I care what happens to the future.  Its already been eliminated and these characters will not exist.  How much tension can there be in any scene in the future?  I know, you have to keep the process going or else maybe the heroes won't complete their mission.  Fair, but really it felt like an excuse to use more special effects to pad out the film with those action scenes in the future.  Kind of a waste.  None of those characters other than the 3 or 4 who we knew from other films have any characterization.

4.  Are there any characters that were introduced by Bryan Singer (and lets throw in Brett Ratner who directed X3) that had any depth or character?

I think the answer is no.  Storm, Blink, Colossus, Wolverine, Trask, Guyrich, Quicksilver, Nixon, Stryker, the Vietnam mutants, Shadowcat, Bishop, Storm, ETC.  Some of these characters barely spoke.

Lets recap.  Imagine this film with either a superfluous villain being removed or a legit villain, either an active Wolverine by being in command of his memory or being the guide for the protagonist, and fleshed out or removed supplemental characters.

You probably end up with something that is even better than what you had before.  What is troublesome is that going forward this movie removed alot of the characters from First Class that actually had tension.  What will the next film look like if we dont have the players to tell the Apocalypse story well.  Apocalypse has to speak, have motivation, character, and menace.  We saw Angel in the 3rd film and again he wasnt really a character.  Will Bryan Singer feel the need to force in the Angel we already saw and didnt feel anything for.

Hopefully we wont, because the single best past of this movie is that is literally wipes out the original X series.  None of that unimportant problematic trilogy exists anymore.  Clearly I want Matthew Vaughn back but you have a chance even with Singer to tell stories that have tension and maybe even a compelling vision.

Doubtful, but one can hope for some good movies at least.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Real Hater Never Stops.

First, the awesome.  Yuichiro Miura just climbed Everest.  For the 3rd time.  At 80 years of age.  Amazing stuff there.  I know, its not like I am breaking news about it.  But its been on my mind for a few reasons.  The guy is just amazing and I hope I can get going when I get up there in years.

But, here on the Memoirs we have to throw in a little humor.  Naturally, you cant be a badass mountaineer without having a foil or a rival.  (what class was I supposed to take to be a mountaineer by the way?)  Hes got Min Bahadur Sherchan, another 80 something year old badass as his match.  Why do I bring this up?

So, Miura is at the base of Everest.  Reporters gathered around.  He is celebrating a truly special moment.  Reporters asking him about his man Sherchan, who just failed out of his last attempt at Everest.  And what does Miura say?

"He is to be pitied."

Stop for a second.  Maybe the tone of the articles I read were off.  Maybe the translations between cultures and languages is too much.  But that is some of the coldest stuff I ever heard.  Ever.

Barack is giving his victory speech and someone in the crowd asks about Romney.  What if instead of doing the "ran a great campaign" shtick he went with a "he is to be pitied."  

And think about the context here.  Miura is likely the record holder for the oldest dude to climb Everest for a long time.  Anytime someone does a Google search for his name or that record, you know what they will find?

"He is to be pitied."

Ice Cold.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Its 2012?

Wow.  I guess I missed alot.

  1. We finally got the Avengers movie
  2. I got to see what I considered a good Spiderman movie
  3. We closed the Batman trilogy in spectacular fashion
  4. The Rock came back

And we are about to vote again.  By the by, please exercise your right to suffrage.  We support awareness here at the MoB.

Theres so much to write about.  Theres so much to share.  Where do I start?

I think I should tell you guys about when I got bit by the vampire stripper in New Orleans.  That will have to wait for when I leave Richmond.

I could recommend a few autobiographies.  Maybe I try writing my book again.  Could do some podcasts.  A retrospective on the Anaconda series?

I dont know.  I feel the itch to do something again.