Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Game Status- Dragon Age: Inquisition

After 11 years, I finally left World of Warcraft- ran out of things to do in this expansion, and grinding faction by killing demons wasn't appealing to me.  Over a decade on one game is phenomenal- and who knows?  Maybe I'll come back at the next expansion.

But in the meantime, I tried a few other games.  

Borderlands 2 was fun, but I'm not good at shoot-em-ups... and after an hour or so, I started getting motion sickness.

Then I heard great things about Witcher 3.  It looks fantastic- and crashes 1 minute after starting.  I read a ton of various fixes... none of them worked for me.  

So finally I went back to my Playstation 3 (yes, 3; I'm a system behind) and started Dragon Age:  Inquisition.  I'm about 32 hours in.  Fun game, though not one I want to replay.  Some thoughts:

* Aligned with the Mages over the Templars
* Played a mage- haven't specialized yet
* My usual go-to party right now is Blackwall, Iron Bull, and Sera
* Romancing Josephine

Overall, a fun game- and nice to play something different.  Going to need to search for another game once I'm finished, though...

Monday, May 15, 2017

NBA Lottery Predictions

I haven't meant to turn this into a NBA blog- but I'm not in a mood to discuss politics, and unless you want to hear about my progress on Dragon Age:Inquisition, I don't have much else to discuss.  

I'm a Cavaliers fan, so I don't have a team in the lottery.  However, I do have the following thoughts:

* I have friends who root for the 76ers and Kings, so I'd like them to do well
* I don't like the Lakers
* I really don't want Boston to get a top 3 pick for swindling the Brooklyn Nets
* When in doubt, root for teams that haven't won it all yet.

Here's the current order- the lottery will pick the first three, and everyone else moves down:

1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets)
2. Phoenix Suns
3. Los Angeles Lakers (goes to Philadelphia if it falls out of top 3)
4. Philadelphia 76ers
5. Orlando Magic
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
7. New York Knicks
8. Sacramento Kings
9. Dallas Mavericks
10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans Pelicans; New Orleans keep if they rise to top 3)
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Detroit Pistons
13. Denver Nuggets
14. Miami Heat

So here’s how I see things playing out:

There is a kind and benevolent deity and he wants me to be happy:   (1) Philadelphia (via Sacramento)  (2) Sacramento (via Philadelphia) (3) Denver or Dallas.   Philly gets two top 6 picks.  Sacramento gets a top 2 pick and a top 11 pick.  Either Denver (a team that has never moved up) or Dallas gets a great player to elevate the team.  Sacramento's upset they lost their #1 pick but it's not a big loss and now they can discuss 'what if' for the next 20 years

What I am hoping will happen:  (1) Philadelphia (2) Dallas (3) Denver   Sacramento still gets 2 top 11 picks, Dallas and Denver get good players, and Nowitzki gets a new running mate to end his career with

What I expect to happen: (1) Phoenix (2) Philadelphia (3) Boston  Not quite chalk- and the Lakers lose badly.  

What I am worried will happen:  (1) Lakers (2) Boston (3) New York  Blargh.  Three of biggest name franchises get three great players in a deep draft

The Darkest Timeline:   (1) Miami (2) Lakers (3) New Orleans   Double Blargh.  I despise the Heat- DESPISE THEM- and them winning the top pick would be so damn typical.  The Lakers keep their pick and can draft Lonzo Ball.  New Orleans retains their pick because it's top 3 protected.  Philadelphia and Sacramento are screwed.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

NBA Second Round Predictions

Eastern Conference:

Boston (1) over Washington (4) in 7 games

Cleveland (2) over Toronto (3) in 6 games

Western Conference:
Golden State (1) over Utah (5) in 5 games
Houston (3) over San Antonio (2)  in 6 games

I like Utah- but Golden State is on a mission.  

Houston/San Antonio depends on Harden's health.  If he's hurting badly, San Antonio can easily take the series.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

NBA First Round Predictions

Eastern Conference:

Boston (1) over Chicago (8) in 6 games

Cleveland (2) over Indianapolis (7) in 5 games
Toronto (3) over Milwaukee (6) in 7 games <-- Best series of the first round
Washington (4) over Atlanta (5) in 5 games

Western Conference:
Golden State (1) over Portland (8) in 5 games
San Antonio (2) over Memphis (7) in 6 games
Houston (3) over OKC (6) in 6 games
Utah (5) over LA Clippers (4) in 5 games


Utah-Clippers is the only upset I have.  And my gut tells me that this game doesn't go 6 games, in either direction.  The Clippers are such a Jekyll & Hyde team that they either win the series by game 5 or lose the series by game 5

If Milwaukee was playing Washington or Boston, I'd pick the upset.  By Toronto doesn't beat itself. Toronto survives- barely.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

NFL 2017 Draft Thoughts

NFL Draft hopes as a Cleveland Browns fan:

You can’t say we were shocked.  We knew the Browns were going to be bad. 

They were 3-13 the year before.  And then lost four of their top free agents hours after free agency began- including 2 parts of their offensive line (the best part of the football team).  We all knew RGIII was a gamble.  And they traded down in the draft, passing up good players (not only Carson Wentz, but Joey Bosa, Jack Conklin, Ezekiel Elliott…)  And while none of their rookies were busts… none of them overachieved, either.

So… yeah.  1-15 wasn’t that shocking. 

But hey- it’s 2017.  The Browns not only have the #1 draft pick, they have the #12 draft pick from Philadelphia.  And 2 second round picks.  And this is supposed to be a deep draft.

People keep focusing on the QB- but the Browns need help EVERYWHERE. 

Adding a curveball is that Mitchell Trubisky is not only the top QB in the draft… and from Northeast Ohio… but his father is a co-worker.  So regardless of where he goes in the draft, I’m rooting for him to succeed.

So here’s how I see things playing out:

There is a kind and benevolent deity and he wants me to be happy:   Browns grab  Myles Garrett #1.  No QBs go from 2-11… then someone (the Jets?) overpay Cleveland for the #12 pick.  The Jets trade this year’s 2nd round pick, next year’s #1, and next year’s #2.  Browns continue the process, drafting defense for the next five picks, see how Cody Kessler plays this year- if he thrives, great.  If not, look for one of the QBs in 2018.

What I am hoping will happen:  Browns grab Garrett #1.  No QBs go from 2-9.  Buffalo grabs Watson at #10, and Arizona trades up to #11 to grab Trubisky.  This causes Jamal Adams to drop for the Browns to grab at #12.  Browns continue going heavy defense with 4 of their next 5 picks on the defensive side

What I expect to happen: Browns grab Garrett #1.  No QBs go from 2-11.  Browns grab Trubisky at #12, then keep drafting defense. 

What I am worried will happen:  Browns grab Garrett #1.  Suddenly panicking over losing their QB, they trade up to #5, offering their #12 and #33 to grab Trubisky at #5 before the Jets

The Darkest Timeline:   Browns grab anyone not named ‘Myles Garrett’ at #1

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wrestlemania 33 Predictions

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match (Kickoff Match)
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
What Should Happen:  This might be the match of the night.  Neville is awesome, and Aries can still rise to the occasion.  I’d actually like Neville to retain until they build up a new challenger.
What Will Happen:  Aries finally dethrones Neville to win the title.
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Two minutes into the match, Brau Strowman obliterates both men and wants to start the battle royal now.

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match (Kickoff Match)
Champion Alexa Bliss to defend against all female SmackDown LIVE Superstars who are available to compete
What Should Happen:  Alexa retains; on Smackdown on Tuesday, announces she’s defeated all of her competition… and out comes Asuka to take the belt from her.
What Will Happen:  Natalya wins the title to start a feud with Becky Lynch
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Carmella wins the belt because the writers love her and Ellsworth.

The Fourth Annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Kickoff Match)
Featuring Big Show, Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman, Apollo Crews, Mojo Rawley and more Superstars
What Should Happen:  Zayn is a giant killer, eliminating both Big Show and Strowman.
What Will Happen:  Strowman wins as his anointment as the next big man continues
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  The Ascension win and immediately begin feuding over which one is really the winner.

Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
What Should Happen:  Gallows and Anderson retain; Cesaro and Sheamus split up the next night and both announce they are going after the US Title
What Will Happen:  Amore and Big Cass win the belts.
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  The crowd turns on Amore and Big Cass to the point that they turn heel by the end of next week

Intercontinental Championship Match
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin
What Should Happen:  Corbin wins, and Ambrose starts a slow turn into a psychotic heel
What Will Happen:  Corbin wins the title
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Corbin wins the title when Dolph Ziggler costs Ambrose the title.  I like both Ziggler and Ambrose, but that feud feels stale for both men

United States Championship Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens
What Should Happen:  Match of the night, with both men giving dissertations on how to cheat.  Owens wins, and the crowd chants “Thank you Chris” as he heads off on tour with Fozzy.
What Will Happen:  Owens wins using every heel trick in the book
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Samoa Joe helps Owens beat Jericho in a forgettable match

Raw Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
What Should Happen:  Nia Jax wins and forces the other three to work together to overcome her.
What Will Happen:  Flair wins the title when Sasha Banks turns heel
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Flair wins the title, and the program continues as it has for months.

Power Couples Collide
John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
What Should Happen:  A glorious brawl that spends most of the match outside the ring.  Cena and Bella win, but Miz and Maryse look fantastic.  Cena proposes afterwards
What Will Happen:  A good match.  Same booking
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Miz and Maryse look like total chumps in losing.

SmackDown LIVE Commissioner vs. The Phenomenal One
Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles
What Should Happen:  Shane McMahon is attacked before the match, and Daniel Bryan announces a replacement- the returning Finn Balor. 
What Will Happen:  AJ Styles has had great matches all year.  He has another one, carrying Shane to a very good match, before winning cleanly
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Shane wins because… well, because

Non-Sanctioned Match
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H
What Should Happen:  Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens come out with Triple H- and Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose come out to support their Shield brother to brawl/chase out Joe and Owens.  Triple H uses every dirty trick in the book- but Rollins emerges victorious.  On the next RAW, a furious Stephanie McMahon engineers a major trade (Rollins, Cesaro, Zayn, and New Day for AJ Styles and the loser of Wyatt/Orton) just to get Rollins out of her league.
What Will Happen:    An excellent brawl.  Triple H has learned when to give the face the moment to overcome the heel, and Rollins finally gets his revenge here with a clean win.
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Samoa Joe costs Rollins the match, and Triple H finally starts showing his age.

WWE Championship Match
Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton
What Should Happen:  Wyatt goes full Max Cady here.  Harper returns- and Sister Abagail (Crazy Mary Dobson) makes her debut as well.  Wyatt wins a wild, wild match- if any match is allowed to get blood, this one should be it
What Will Happen:  Orton wins, turning heel in the process
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Orton wins and the announcers try to get him over as a face

The Phenom vs. The Big Dog
The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
What Should Happen:  Reigns turns heel and wins, telling both the fans and the McMahons to go to hell and making Undertaker go out on a stretcher
What Will Happen:  Reigns wins, there’s a handshake of respect.  The next night, Undertaker announces he’s retiring on RAW
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Undertaker wins, then takes the microphone and tells Reigns he’s the toughest man he ever faced in the ring.

Universal Championship Match
Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
What Should Happen:  Someone- Reigns, Owens, whoever- comes in and lays both Goldberg and Lesnar out, saying how sick they are of part timers taking their spots.
What Will Happen:  Lesnar wins, Goldberg goes back into semi-retirement, Lesnar and Reign stand face to face as the show fades out
What I’m Terrified Will Happen:  Match is less than three minutes

Other notes:
·         The New Day’s turn as host will involve a lot of jokes and ice cream giveaways- and right at intermission, they get interrupted by Christian, who is ticked off the New Day is being talked about as the greatest tag team of all time.  He points out that he and Edge were a great tag team, and the only reason they didn’t hold the record is because they had competition equal to them…  out come the Hardys to leave the New Day lying in the ring.

·         The big stories from RAW the next night are the major trade between RAW and Smackdown and the Undertaker’s retirement.  Asuka’s debut is held off for Smackdown

Baseball 2017 predictions

American League                            
EAST                           W            L
Toronto Blue Jays              92           70
Boston Red Sox                 90           72
Baltimore Orioles              88           74
New York Yankees               81           81
Tampa Bay Rays                 77           85
CENTRAL                        W            L
Cleveland Indians              96           66
Kansas City Royals             85           77
Chicago White Sox              80           82
Detroit Tigers                 77           85
Minnesota Twins                62           100
WEST                           W            L
Houston Astros                 93           69
Seattle Mariners               92           70
Texas Rangers                  88           74
Oakland Athletics              81           81
Los Angeles Angels             63           99

Playoffs:  Seattle over Boston (Wild Card)
ALDS:      Cleveland over Seattle
           Houston over Toronto
ALCS:      Cleveland over Toronto

* Biggest story is that the Angels will consider trading Mike Trout and contending teams will offer a ton of young players and prospects- it may be the biggest trade in baseball in 50 years.

National League                            
EAST                           W            L
Washington Nationals           93           69
New York Mets                  85           77
Miami Marlins                  80           82
Philadelphia Phillies          70           92
Atlanta Braves                 70           92
CENTRAL                        W            L
Chicago Cubs                   96           66
St. Louis Cardinals            85           77
Pittsburgh Pirates             79           83
Milwaukee Brewers              75           87
Cincinnati Reds                66           96
WEST                           W            L
San Francisco Giants           92           70
Los Angeles Dodgers            89           73
Colorado Rockies               80           82
Arizona Diamondbacks           74           88
San Diego Padres               74           88

Playoffs:  Los Angeles over New York (Wild Card)
ALDS:      Chicago over Los Angeles
           Washington over San Frnacisco
ALCS:      Chicago over Washington

World Series:  Cleveland Indians 4, Chicago Cubs 3