By The Numbers: Week 11, 2019

I was thankful that Cam Newton was out of this week’s game, as the Packers were facing the Panthers who have had an okay year. It turns out, his backup is actually pretty good, and there were times I thought we might actually lose that one. Thankfully we did not, and we were able to go into the bye week 8-2. It’s been a good season, and I don’t see how we can’t still be competing come January. For a few weeks there it was getting pretty easy to choose who was going to win in games, but at this point in the season it’s anyone’s guess. I had my worst week of the season so far with my picks, and some of these weren’t a reach either. Take a look:

Chargers 27, Raiders 24
Lions 21, Bears 20
Ravens 31, Bengals 10 – Correct
Bills 24, Browns 10
Packers 28, Panthers 17 – Correct
Saints 35, Falcons 20
Giants 27, Jets 21
Cards 21, Buccs 19
Chiefs 28, Titans 17
Colts 25, Dolphins 13
Rams 21, Steelers 14
Cowboys 24, Vikings 21
Seahawks 31, 49ers 27 – Correct

Week Score: 3-10
Season Score: 86-61

Ouch. I think this might be one of the worst weeks I’ve had the entire time I’ve been doing this column. Seriously, 3-10? Looking at my picks prior to Sunday, most of these games looked like a lock. Sure the Chargers/Raiders game could have gone either way, same goes for the Lions/Bears, but the Browns beat the Bills? The FALCONS beat the Saints? Jets got another win, the Titans beat the Chiefs. The fucking Dolphins beat the Colts. Didn’t they beat someone pretty good earlier in the year? Anyway, I guess it’s coming out pretty random now, and my score has been affected. I’ll try better for this week, but it’s sort of a bye week for me too. My birthday is in a couple of days and I started celebrating already. My team doesn’t play so I may not watch football at all this weekend. Let’s make those picks.

Steelers 21, Browns 20
Ravens 24, Texans 21
Panthers 20, Falcons 13
Cowboys 28, Lions 23
Colts 21, Jags 14
Bills 30, Dolphins 21
Vikings 27, Broncos 10
Saints 35, Buccs 27
Jets 17, Redskins 13
49ers 24, Cards 13
Raiders 30, Bengals 19
Patriots 27, Eagles 24
Rams 21, Bears 10
Chiefs 27, Chargers 14

Let’s see if I’m any luckier this time. We’ll check back in next week to see how I did. Until then.

A Post About Not Posting

I’d like to say that I’m still burnt out from the post fest that is Blaugust, but that would be a lie wouldn’t it? If nothing else, I could have used it as an excuse for September’s low post count, but then I went and had another low post month in October.

Honestly there’s still plenty for me to say. I still play games daily. There are new and recurring titles that see play but yet I’m not really pulling additional posts out of them. You’ll probably notice my pattern where I will introduce my thoughts on a new game and only get a couple additional posts out of it before it’s on to the next.

I was regular about my round-up posts, but they took a bit of a backseat when I stopped playing a ton of games and started to really focus on the backlog. Problem being is that once a game gets its hooks into me, particularly those kinds that don’t have an end (looking at you, MOBAs, FPS PvP, and Battlegrounds titles), I tend to play them for hours but there isn’t a ton to write about save for update news and the like.

I have been playing a ton of mobile games and Apex Legends primarily.

Other things not so much.

It’s not that I don’t want to play. I generally always keep up on daily tasks on mobile titles. I also try to do my daily challenges on Apex Legends. I recently discovered a coworker plays League of Legends and I spent a chunk of this afternoon playing Ultra Rapid Fire (the “URF” game mode). So things are happening. I’m just in a funk when it comes to writing. This isn’t my time struggling with it either.

Most of the time, when things get tense/stressful in real life I will hunker down and out off blogging. I have been keeping up with Football posts but that’s sort of an aside here on the page so I don’t want that to be all I’m producing. Whatever the case, some things have gone down at work and there’s a possibility I change departments. I also have an impending move on the horizon, which will happen in January. So things have been more focused on those fronts and something has to give.

On the positive side I have posts about commander brews and news. I really only found one legendary creatures out of Throne of Eldraine that I was interested in building and I finished that so there will be a post. I also want to talk about super early Theros spoilers and the coming year’s commander releases. It’s going to be a great year for the game, but I basically don’t play. Hoping to rectify this soon with an LGS visit. Also looking into playing paper magic via webcam with distant friends and randoms.

I am still working through Borderlands 3 with my best friend, but we wanted our first playthrough to be strictly together so it’s slow going due to our differing schedules. I’m really tempted to buy The Outer Worlds, but having been burned on Fallout 76 I was hesitant. I’ve heard good things though so I’m likely to pick it up eventually.

Whatever the case I have about 5 drafts that are semi done. I wouldn’t expect a sudden increase in output bit I hope to get some of my mojo back in coming months. I think post move I’ll be able to settle in again. Then perhaps a podcast and other projects can resume too.

Thanks for bearing with me.

By The Numbers: Week 10, 2019

I had a very long day this past Sunday, as such I didn’t arrive home from work until halftime of the Packers game, despite said game starting late at 1:25. I was surprised to find they were down by 9 points and scoreless themselves — to the crappy ass Chargers. Unfortunate as that set up is, there was still a half to play. Our offense didn’t wake up until the 3rd quarter was almost over, notching field goal, a touchdown and a 2-pt conversion before going back to sleep for the rest of the game. The offense didn’t do much and unfortunately the defense wasn’t able to pick up the slack so we lost the game. I guess the Chargers are better than their record would suggest this year. Whatever the case, sitting at 7-2 I’m not worried about our season or anything. The rest of the remaining schedule is favorable, with a couple other contenders to face. First up, the Panthers, who probably won’t be starting Cam Newton, so that should mean a victory. We shall see. Let’s go over last week’s picks:

49ers 27, Cards 21 – Correct
Texans 23, Jags 20 – Correct
Bills 24, Redskins 13 – Correct
Titans 21, Panthers 17
Vikings 24, Chiefs 20
Jets 21, Dolphins 13
Eagles 21, Bears 10 – Correct
Colts 27, Steelers 23
Lions 20, Raiders 10
Seahawks 28, Buccs 16 – Correct
Browns 20, Broncos 10
Packers 35, Chargers 14
Patriots 31, Ravens 28
Cowboys 24, Giants 20 – Correct

Week Score: 6-8
Season Score: 83-51

Not a great week for picks either. Who would have thought the Ravens would beat the Patriots so soundly? I didn’t see my team losing either, nor did I think the Raiders would beat the Lions. The other matchups could have gone either way. Let’s make picks for week 10 and move on with our lives, shall we?

Chargers 27, Raiders 24
Lions 21, Bears 20
Ravens 31, Bengals 10
Bills 24, Browns 10
Packers 28, Panthers 17
Saints 35, Falcons 20
Giants 27, Jets 21
Cards 21, Buccs 19
Chiefs 28, Titans 17
Colts 25, Dolphins 13
Rams 21, Steelers 14
Cowboys 24, Vikings 21
Seahawks 31, 49ers 27

Taking some risks here as well, but hoping that the Seahawks get rid of the last undefeated teams so we don’t have to hear about that shit anymore. The teams that stayed undefeated this long had easy schedules to this point, and as soon as a challenge arose the Patriots got knocked off. I suspect it’s time for the 9ers to drop a game as well. Then we can get back to looking at who’s really performing overall. We’ll check in next week to see how I did.

By The Numbers: Week 9, 2019

Another week in the books, and I’m happy to report that the Packers improved to 7-1 on the season. The undefeated 49ers are the only team with a better record in the NFC, and the undefeated Patriots are the last team left in the AFC. At this point, I’d wager that the Packers have had a harder schedule than either of those teams, and I honestly think we could beat either one of them in a big game, and we’ll probably be able to see that happen later in the post season. Whatever the case, I had a very good week with picks and if I can keep up this sort of pace I should be able to finish this season out stronger than the last couple. Take a look:

Vikings 27, Redskins 13 – Correct
Seahawks 28, Falcons 10 – Correct
Bills 24, Eagles 20
Bears 27, Chargers 21
Lions 20, Giants 10 – Correct
Texans 21, Raiders 17 – Correct
Jags 23, Jets 13 – Correct
Rams 30, Bengals 10 – Correct
Saints 35, Cards 23 – Correct
Titans 21, Buccs 20 – Correct
49ers 26, Panthers 24 – Correct
Colts 27, Broncos 24 – Correct
Patriots 42, Browns 20 – Correct
Packers 31, Chiefs 20 – Correct
Steelers 28, Dolphins 13 – Correct

Week’s Score: 13-2
Season Score: 77-43

A nice improvement of the overall record there. Honestly I thought I was going to get 100% this week due to the fact that the Bills should have beaten the Eagles, and the Bears should have beaten the Chargers. But so it goes. Honestly at this point I just hope my team doesn’t implode and that we keep up this amazing season. Let’s make picks for week 9:

49ers 27, Cards 21
Texans 23, Jags 20
Bills 24, Redskins 13
Titans 21, Panthers 17
Vikings 24, Chiefs 20
Jets 21, Dolphins 13
Eagles 21, Bears 10
Colts 27, Steelers 23
Lions 20, Raiders 10
Seahawks 28, Buccs 16
Browns 20, Broncos 10
Packers 35, Chargers 14
Patriots 31, Ravens 28
Cowboys 24, Giants 20

I’m taking a couple of risks here, thinking that maybe the Browns can outplay the Broncos who no longer have Joe Flacco (not that he’s done much this season). I also think that the rest of these teams should be able to come up with the W, but in the end it is an “any given Sunday” sort of a game. I just can’t wait to trounce the Chargers, one of the local teams around here who have obnoxious fans despite being to only one Superbowl and losing it. These guys are clowns and I think they should move on from Rivers, but what do I know? We’ll check back in next week and see how it goes. Until then.

League of Legends Ports and Other Riot Games

I can’t recall the actual day, but recently Riot Games had a 10th anniversary livestream featuring League of Legends and other stuff. First of all, what an accomplishment to keep LoL going for ten years and building the Esports community up around it. Professional play has gone from some nerds in back rooms of warehouses to huge arena-filling events with famous live performers and a quality of production rivaling ESPN and other mainstream outlets — all of this on what I’m sure is less income and all done over the Internet eschewing traditional TV outlets. I started playing LoL back in 2011 which was around the end of season 1 heading into season 2. I’ve seen the majority of the champions release, I’ve seen a ton of events and in-game happenings along with changes to the game, its launcher, the main maps/modes, and Riot itself. I’ve watched the World Championship nearly every year since I first heard about it. I’ve watched regular season games of each of the major regions, even participating in their Fantasy League (like Fantasy Football) for a couple of seasons. I’ve collected vinyl figures, owned T-shirts, and have a rather large poster hanging on my wall. You could say League became a major part of my life, despite the fact that I haven’t really played very regularly in the past couple of years. Still, when I heard the news coming out of this live stream, I knew I had to talk about it. To be fair, there’s even more that was announced that I’m not going to touch on, but IGN has a great article encapsulating all of the news.

What excited me the most out of all that was said during the live stream was that League of Legends will be ported to consoles and mobile. Called “Wild Rift,” this version of League is not a direct port, it’s the same game rebuilt from the ground up for these other devices. I’m not a huge fan of complex games on mobile phones because usually the screen isn’t big enough and touch controls can be pretty wonky… but on console, I’ll play the shit out of this. It’s not so much that I dislike the game on PC, no, I’d rather play it there. But I have friends who don’t own PCs and probably never will, along with having never played LoL before and I’d love to introduce it to them. Also, the potential for a nice long trophy list makes the trophy whore in me lick his lips. I did play a different MOBA on PS4 recently and it had some fairly intuitive controls, so I assume if they are anything like that, this version of the game will be very enjoyable even with a controller in lieu of keyboard/mouse.

Teamfight Tactics, which I wrote about when I first tried it (and I’m still not into this auto-battler genre) is getting ported to mobile now as well. This makes sense since their main competitor DOTA Underlords is also both on PC and mobile. I assume this would probably be more fun on a mobile device since you can be doing other things while playing it. I get bored too fast with this type of game so this news wasn’t particularly interesting to me.

Legends of Runeterra is new. It’s not an existing game getting ported to other devices. It’s free-to-play. It’s a card game. That’s really all I know. The above trailer will give more detail than I can. What I do know is that I do enjoy card games. I just haven’t really found a digital one that I can play for a long term. I did play Hearthstone for quite a while, but then it got stupid (as Blizzard games tend to do). I can’t get into any of the Magic: The Gathering digital versions because I simply like playing the paper version so much more. This is a world/lore that I enjoy, and depending on what they do to make this stand out from the competition, this could finally be the card game I play when I need a fix.

Project A, as it’s being call at this juncture, is Riot’s attempt at a tactical FPS, but also looks to be a hero shooter. So think games like Paladins or Overwatch. I’m intrigued by this one, mainly because it’s such a far cry from a MOBA and this company has only been known for one game for so long. A card game based on the world is great and all, but I’m a FPS player through and through, so this is very appealing. My hope is that they do something different enough to make this feel better than existing games on the market. Graphically it looks okay, but I think that will get bumped up a notch when it gets closer to release. Gameplay looks fine, but I want some heroes with crazy abilities and I want tight gunplay. I’d also like to see some objectives and things that are different from what’s out there, but time will tell. Keeping an eye on this one.

Project L was announced as a fighting game. If this is 2-D hand drawn and plays like a Street Fighter title, I’m all in. If we’re looking at more of a Tekken style fighter, I’m less excited. We’ll have to wait for more details but I love me a good fighting game and Riot has already developed so many cool characters I’d love to fight as them. It’s unknown if that’s what’s happening or if all of the characters would be original. Also keeping an eye on this one.

Lastly, stuff that isn’t game related. A documentary about LoL called “League of Legends: Origins” was released on Netflix the other day and I watched it. It was a really good look into the origin of the company via Ryze and Tryndamere, along with the rise of the game itself and Esports. Basically all stuff that I lived through, but fun to see it in a different context. If you haven’t paid attention to LoL or Esports, or just don’t “get it,” I’d recommend giving this a watch. Also, an animated series called “Arcane” is being developed and looks to deal with stories about LoL characters. You can watch the trailer above, it looks really cool and I’ll definitely watch it when the time comes.

That’s all I’m going to touch on today, but some exciting stuff coming down the pipeline. There were a few other tidbits in the article I linked at the beginning of this post, so if you haven’t had your fill you can read more there. What do you guys think about Riot Games finally branching out?