Thursday, September 9, 2010
Rudy Vs. The Magic Sword
* = Could there be an NFL SuperPro sighting in my Marvel SAGA Campaign? You never know...
I stayed up a little later last night to finish Baltimore, Or The Steadfast Tin Soldier & The Vampire (Infinite *’s out of 5) by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden. Most people by now recognize Mignola as the genius behind Hellboy, and if you're ‘cool’ you also remember some of his other fantastic stuff like The Amazing Screw-On Head (Infinite ’s out of 5) or his Batman Elseworld’s Tale “The Doom That Came To Gotham" (***** out of 5). Golden is the guy Mignola has turned to write the Hellboy novels, and he’s done a bang up job. So when I started hearing about an original novel being done by the two of them I was intrigued. Some time passed but thanks to the magic that is Dark Dave I found myself holding a copy to read. Make no mistake this is not a happy tale, there is no bright and shinning ending, this is a tale of woe, and it is sublime. I don’t know how to describe the tale beyond saying it’s brilliant and the bits of Mignola art within make me long for a day when Mignola will return to draw Hellboy. All in all it is a beautiful book.
So since we are on the day of days I guess I should give you my
FOOTBALL PICKS BOUND TO GO HORRIBLY WRONG – AFC EDITION!
- AFC East Champs: New England Patriots – I think the AFC East has the potential to be a three team log jam, but one year now removed from the knee surgery, the return of Wes Welker, and the urgency of seeing the championship window closing will bring out the best in the team of the decade. The Patriots will remind people why they went 16-0 a couple of years ago.
o The New York Jets are a bunch of hype. I don’t see them being a legitimate contender and I truly think they will be hard pressed to make the playoffs. I want to like Rex Ryan but his mouth gets in the way. The Jets are essentially that gorgeous girl who gets you all hot and bothered who then speaks and you lose your erection. L.T. is old, Mark Sanchez isn’t the second coming of Joe Namath, the defense is exploitable, and I question just how good a coach Ryan is. All that being said the secondary is spectacular and the offensive line is outstanding, it just won’t be enough, I think the Jets miss the playoffs.
o The Miami Dolphins on the other hand will make the playoffs as a wild card team. Chad Henne is about to arrive, the offensive line is about as good as the Jets and it’s younger, the defense finally is where it should be, and they now have weapons in the skill positions. Oh did I mention this is the only team outside of the Browns who can effectively run the Wildcat Offense? This ensures that the Dolphins make a run this year.
o The Buffalo Bills are an afterthought. The defense lacks size in the defensive line; the secondary is young, and the linebackers are injury prone. More than that though is the fact they have NO quarterback. I’m thinking this is a three-win team.
o That brings us to the New England Patriots. I’m going to say it now; the Patriots will play in the AFC title game. I just don’t think they’ll win it.
- AFC West Champs: The San Diego Chargers – I SO want to go with my heart here and say the Chiefs make the GIANT jump and surprise the world, but reality is a harsh mistress. The Chargers have had one of the most talented rosters for the last seven years, nothing has changed, and they still are loaded top to bottom with great players. The problem they do have is Norv Turner. He’s a terrible coach; he makes Wade Phillips look like Vince Lombardi. They’ll win the West again this year, but the window of opportunity will soon be closed.
o The Oakland Raiders are dangerous, I’m serious, stop laughing. They finally have a quarterback, and yes I do think Jason Campbell is a very good NFL quarterback, their loaded at running back, underrated at offensive line, and have a very stingy defense. I don’t see Tom Cable as a long-term solution at head coach, their receiving core is potential laden but inconsistent, and while tough on defense they lack a consistent playmaker in the front four. Oakland will be making noise though in the next three years.
o The Denver Broncos are a mess. Josh McDaniels has effectively tied his career to Tim “The Chosen One” Tebow. They can’t stay healthy, see the injuries to Moreno and Dumervil, they have no field stretching threat at wide out, and that defense is in flux. I like Josh McDaniels, hell I even like Tim Tebow, but the Broncos are going to flounder.
o The Kansas City Chiefs are my surprise team this year. With an all-star cast of coaches, a quarterback finally secure in his role, TWO very dangerous backs, an ever improving offensive and defensive line I really feel the Chiefs are a potential playoff team, next year. Oh my beloved team will surprise some teams, but they’ll miss the playoffs. They really need Eric Berry to be the second coming of Ronnie Lott at the safety spot for they’re to be any real hope of surprising even me.
o The San Diego Chargers are on their last legs as AFC Champs. I actually picked the Chiefs to upset them in week one, but in the long run the Chargers will win the division and then do what they always do and get run in the playoffs. This is the curse of Schottenhiemer.
- AFC South Champs: Indianapolis Colts – The Colts will win at least 10 games, it’s what they do, but this year will be hard on them. That defense is getting old and is injury prone as is the offensive line. Peyton Manning has the most complete receiving core in football, but a very mediocre running game. I don’t think Jim Caldwell is the second coming of Tony Dungy, and the change in the rules will slow down Manning’s frantic pace. They’ll win the South, but this year they’ll have to earn it.
o The Tennessee Titans are a mystery to me. If Vince Young plays like the Vince of old, then WATCH OUT! If Vince plays like the whiney bitch he’s been known to be, then it’s another 8-8 year. I also think if the Titans can get Albert Haynesworth back from the Redskins that would be a tremendous coup for a young and nasty defensive core. Let’s face it, Jeff Fisher is the best coach in football without a ring and I really do feel that if he can get Vince to continue to evolve in a positive direction and build a bit more that in the next five years the Titans will hoist the Lombardi trophy, just not this year.
o The Jacksonville Jaguars are a joke. Every year it looks like their ready to make a run they fold like a cheap tent, and every year they are written off they make noise. I’m sorry, but I don’t respect a team that can’t fill a piddly stadium even in the best of times. David Gerard is a good quarterback, they have a decent running game, and believe it or not I think Jack Del Rio is a great coach, it’s just the rest of the team leaves much to be desired. Like the Bills I think the Jags are a 3 to 5 win team.
o The Houston Texans could be the sleeper of the AFC. Let’s face it, that offense is second only to the Colts in consistent production, they have a plethora of good running backs, and the best wide receiver in the league in Andre Johnson. The defense is full of potential greatness along with standouts like Mario Williams. If the AFC Central & East weren’t such log jams at the top Houston would a have great chance of making the playoffs, unfortunately I just don’t have any faith that they can get it done.
o The Indianapolis Colts are coming to the end of their run. The Colts have been one of the most consistent, best run teams in the NFL for ten years, but Peyton Manning isn’t getting any younger. Not to mention last year was a harsh reminder that for all his accolades and records he’s still only won ONE big game, and that was against Rex Grossman. I like Manning, he’s a great pitchman, but I really feel that Colt’s window closed after last year. They’ll win the South, but won’t make the AFC Title Game.
- AFC Central Champs: The Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are S-C-A-R-Y-! They’ve brought in a legit number one receiver, Ray Rice is a HIGHLY underrated running back, and Joe Flacco is more than a game manager, he’s a guy whose in his third year and ready to show his wares. Oh and in case you’ve forgotten that defense is still incredible. I know they’re older and Ed Reed isn’t ED “friggin’” REED anymore, but it’s still top five in the league. This is my AFC pick for the Super Bowl. That’s right it’s an ALL PURPLE Super Bowl!
o The Cleveland Browns could be a problem. Senaca Wallace has turned heads this preseason, Cribbs is an amazing asset everywhere they put him, and that defense is coming along. I don’t think they are playoff bound by any stretch of the imagination, but they are a LOT more dangerous than most pundits would have you believe.
o The Pittsburg Steelers are in turmoil. Ben Rothlisburger can’t keep it in his pants, allegedly. SO four games with out “Big Ben” mean Dennis Dixon, whom I like, will get the nod & that’s just not a formula for success. Let’s face it the running game isn’t what it once was; hell the offensive line isn’t what it once was. The defense, while good, can’t carry the load. This team got old real fast and it’s going to take a few seasons before they are a real contender again. I think they miss the playoffs.
o The Cincinnati Bengals are intriguing. I hate T.O., it’s true. I think Chad “Child Please!” Ochocinco’s antics are better than his production on the field. Cedric Benson is an idiot. All that being said the Bengals are a problem for the rest of the league. They have a very dangerous core of receivers now, the offensive line is excellent, so good it can support Cedric Benson, and Carson Palmer is a couple years removed now from that horrific knee injury. The defense is good, and getting better. A lot of people are picking Houston as the dark horse in the AFC, I’m going to disagree and, as much as it pains me to say it, Beware The Bengals!
There you have it; Minnesota Vikings Vs. Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl. In the end it’s The Baby Cheezus walking away with hardware and giving the Vikings their first Super Bowl trophy. Then I hope he retires never to be heard from again except in Wrangler commercials and cell phone pictures masturbating with Crocs on. Allegedly...
- Castle Ravenloft is sitting, punched, awaiting play this Saturday. Its siren call is almost irresistible.
- I still can’t believe I picked the Chiefs over the Chargers for Monday night, I’m either crazy or a GENIUS!
- Our normal crew is getting together to watch the game tonight. You know I find myself not caring who wins I just want to watch Dave & Christina watch football. It’s simply mesmerizing.
- I hate Darren Sharper. Seriously you’re not even playing tonight, just shut up.
- You know what I miss? I miss sitting in shorts and a comfortable t-shirt while starring at the sky and just dreaming. I miss that.
- I’m making a promise to myself; I WILL START LONEWOLF BOOK 1 THIS SUNDAY, THIS I SWEAR!
- I’ve been blown away thus far by Cassandra, Dave, & especially Mike’s Marvel SAGA Campaign characters. They’ve been inventive, steeped in Marvel lore, and easy to build my campaign around. I just hope it translates well when we play next weekend.
- Tomorrow we have to brave Sam’s Club; it is a trip I do not look forward to.
- Did Burt I. Gordon ever make any good movies?
- If I were starting another D&D campaign I’d have a hard time choosing between Dark Sun, The Chaos Scar, or translating Pathfinder’s King Maker adventure path. I read through it last night and it’s really interesting. It has some mechanics that give it an old school Birthright feel to them, but it’s not clunky at all. I don’t even think it would take much to convert it.
White Chicken Chili isn’t going to eat itself…
“From the snow and rolling thunder
From the frost and pouring rain
From the darkness, passing wonder
To illuminate again
Comes the highest of the seasons
When the crown of dawn returns
To collide in timeless reason
From the darkness as it burns
And when all your dreams discover
The future has eyes within you
And when all the paths uncovered
Are all you have left to turn to
The arrows of sun come dancing on your head
A flame that will burn until you're dead
Sunlight dries on your brow
Time to rise from the ground
Heaven cries, claim your crown”
* = Where does this take your imagination?