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What is the most likely explanation for the Murder of Ralph Probst, a case that has baffled investigators for over 50 years?

2020.09.18 01:53 Armchair_Detectives What is the most likely explanation for the Murder of Ralph Probst, a case that has baffled investigators for over 50 years?

Ralph Probst was a Cook County Sheriffs Officer who was murdered in the late hours of April 10th 1967. Over the years the case has lead investigators to those close to him, the mob and a series of potentially related murders.
The Murder
Ralph Probst was a 33 year old father of 3 who had worked as Sheriffs Officer in Cook County, Illinois for 3 years. On the night of April 10th he and his wife Marlene were awake in their living room watching the Oscar's together.
Marlene later said she had fallen asleep and awoke suddenly to the sound of glass breaking and a loud bang. Their home was quite open plan and She spotted smoke drifting behind the tv from the kitchen and went to investigate. Marlene found Ralph lying on the floor unresponsive with blood pooling around his head.
Investigation
By the time Marlene had called for help and it had arrived Ralph was dead, he never regained consciousness. He was found to have died from a gunshot to the back of the head, the bullet appeared to have ricocheted after it went through him and ended up lying on the kitchen Hob.
The bullet was analysed and found to have come from an extremely rare .41 calibre Magnum, the weapon it had likely come from had only just begun manufacture. The weapon was never recovered and hasnt been used in any other crimes. Only 2000 guns capable of firing such a bullet were owned in the United States at the time and none of the owners have ever been linked to the case.
Police were baffled by the crime scene as they found that a window had been shattered when it had apparently been shot through, the problem for them was that the glass all lay on the path outside and not in the kitchen. It was one of just several parts of the case that would later lead to disputed claims made by various investigators.
Theories
Marlene
Suspicion quickly fell on Ralph's own wife, she was the only adult in the house at the time and police found her claims of hearing glass breaking and a loud bang questionable. Many feel that the bang of a gun firing should have prevented her hearing the glass break as the bullet passed through it. Police also found the angle the bullet entered Ralph's head to suggest someone outside the window or in the room with him but shorter in stature then him.
Marlenes own testimony that she saw smoke in the kitchen when she awoke also lead to police believing the gun had been in the house when fired. The surmised that Ralph may have struggled with a killer in the kitchen, causing the gun to fire out the window shattering the glass onto the path outside before he was then overcome and shot dead.
Marlene was cleared by police officially when a test was carried out firing a gun through the same kitchen window. In the test when the gun was pressed to the glass when fired it caused gun smoke to enter the room and glass to fall outside only. Some have later called this test into question as a standard police .357 firearm was used and not the .41 calibre weapon that was actually used in the crime.
A separate theory that was later advanced about Marlene was that she may not have directly killed Ralph but set him up for the killing by asking him to fetch something from the kitchen at the right time. Police believe the killer couldnt have waited long at the window for fear of being seen and so would have needed to know Ralph would be standing in the kitchen with his back to them. It has been theorised that he either had stepped in to make a call on the kitchen phone or had been somehow compelled to step into the kitchen at that moment.
The Mob
At the time of his death Ralph was assigned to a special department unit called the tactical squad. His partner at the time was Bob Borowski, he and Ralph had encountered a notorious local mobster named Sam DeStefano only a few months before Ralph's death.
During this encounter DeStefano had been serving time in prison when he became ill, Ralph and Bob were assigned to guard him at the local hospital while he was being treated. Bob later said that Ralph's by-the-book approach annoyed the aging monster and once Ralph had kicked out guests from his room and cuffed him to the bed as was regulation DeStefano had told him he would have him killed.
Bob Borowski believes that Ralph was waiting for a call on the kitchen phone when he was shot, he has stated this was a favoured mob tactic when carrying out a hit to ensure the victim was where the shooter needed them to be.
DeStefano was later cleared by investigators as they couldnt find any evidence he had placed any kill order out on Ralph and at the time wasnt believed to still have to clout to call for such a killing.
Frank Calvise
It has long been suspected that Ralph may have been working off duty on a case involving a Vice ring in Cook County. Ralph was discovered to have paid a visit to an ex-convict named Frank Calvise who was a suspect in this ring at the time.
Police learned of an unusual individual who resembled Calvise that had viewed a property for sale across the street the week before the shooting. The home owner told police he kept asking if the house closely resembled other houses on the street. Police believe this man was establishing a floor plan of Ralph's home.
The neighbour who reported the odd house viewing later changed their story and said the police had coerced them. Many believe they were scared into changing their story.
Bob Borowski believes that Ralph had information that was critical enough for someone to want him dead. He learned that Ralph had made several calls from a pay phone at a gas station on the day of his death. It's been surmised that Ralph may have been waiting for a call from a contact when he was shot dead through the window.
A Fellow Officer
While not supported by the police investigation, many media reports have suggested Ralph was the victim of a fellow officer. The single well placed shot to kill him and the rare weapon used in the killing have been pointed to as potential evidence of this.
It has been said that Ralph's by-the-book approach and strict adherence to the rules may have made other officers dislike or distrust him. In this scenario a dirty cop is suggested as the killer.
This theory doesnt hold up well much like several others when no .41 calibre weapon was believed to belong to any of the officers on the force and not even to anyone in Cook County at the time.
The Silas Jayne Connection
Silas Carter Jayne was a Chicago-based stable owner who was implicated in multiple savage crimes in his lifetime.
Convicted of rape as a teenager, he spent a year in a reformatory before he and his brothers went on to become horse traders and successful stable owners in the 1930's in Woodstock, Illinois. While his brothers went on to serve in WW2, Silas was ineligible due to his Rape conviction and spent the war trading in horse meat. He was described at the time as a savvy businessman with a bullying personality.
During the war years he also made a considerable amount of money selling worthless horses to wealthy men who believed these were championship horses. He was supported in this endeavor by members of the Chicago Elite who were his patrons.
Silas went on to boast to friends of how he often molested the young daughters of these wealthy men when they would visit the stables. He went on to use this to brand the girls as promiscuous if any of the businessmen caught on to his scams.
A man named Kenneth Hansen came to police attention in the 1990's while they were investigating a missing person case. An informant revealed that Hansen had murdered 3 young men while working as a stable hand on Silas Jaynes ranch in 1955. It emerged during the investigation that Silas had been aware of the crimes and likely used his own car to help dispose of the bodies. While Silas was never charged with the crimes, Kenneth Hansen was tried in 1995 and found guilty before the conviction was overturned and the case was re-tried in 2002 whereby Hansen was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Silas Jayne is also suspected in the disappearance of Ann Miller, Patricia Blough and Renee Bruhl who all disappeared in July of 1966. They had reportedly gone boating with one of his Stable hands and didnt return. It was believed at the time that Miller and Blough who boarded horses at Silas' brother George's ranch may have witnessed the planting of a bomb there that went on to kill a young woman named Cheryl Lynn Rude.
Silas was believed throughout the 1950's and 60's to have contracted several hitmen to kill his brother George. He was caught in the attempt to hire a hitman when a sheriff posing as one recorded him requesting they kill George. He was later acquitted of the crime of conspiracy to commit murder when the states key witness suddenly developed amnesia.
It is believed after this close brush with the law that Silas had then decided to kill his brothers business by calling the IRS on him instead. His brother was subsequently indicted for income tax fraud.
In 1969 Silas successfully claimed self defence when he shot dead Frank Michelle Jr, who was attempting to replace the battery on a tracking device that his brother George had placed there previously. During the shooting he used 3 different calibres of weapon and used a vice grip to crush Franks testicles.
Silas brother, George Jayne would finally be murdered in 1970 when he was shot through the heart while standing at his basement window while hosting a bridge night with family on his sons birthday. Silas was charged and convicted of the murder in 1973, he was sentenced to 6 to 20 years but was released after just 7 and died in 1987.
Since his death, Silas Jayne has been suspected of involvement in the still unsolved murders of the Grimes Sisters in Cook County in 1956 and the disappearance of Helen Brach, the heir to the Brach Candy Fortune who vanished in 1977. At the time of her disappearance she had been locked in a bitter dispute over animal welfare with Silas Jayne and an associate named Richard Bailey, Bailey would later be charged with conspiracy to murder her and to defraud her. He was only convicted of the fraud charges and Silas Jayne was never convicted in her disappearance.
The connection put forward by investigators later in their investigation into the death of Sheriffs Officer Ralph Probst was that he was working on his off duty hours to crack a horse price fixing and insurance racket being run by Jayne and Bailey at their respective ranches whereby they had so-called experts on their pay role recommend worthless horses to wealthy investors. Helen Brach discovered the scam when an investigator she hired recommended she invest nothing in the horses on either ranch.
The method by which Ralph died is uncannily similar to the manner in which Silas Jaynes brother George died. No concrete evidence has ever linked Ralph's death to the horse dealers or Helen Brach and many believe the truth of the murder may lie with someone he knew well but the rumours persist to this day.
Modern investigators now believe that Helen Brach was likely murdered by her houseman who was likely defrauding her of money at the time. His statements to police have been called into question and her whereabouts cant be substantiated after she was last seen with him. The houseman has no connection to Silas Jayne or Richard Bailey.
Conclusion
Many involved in this case, both suspects and investigators are now long deceased and the case has been cold for sometime with no new leads since the early 90's.
What do you believe is the most likely explanation for the senseless killing of a Sheriffs Officer in 1967?
Does it lie with the horse trade, is it a dirty cop or reprisals by a slighted mobster or could it be someone closer to home?
UNSOLVED MYSTERIES LINK
SILAS JAYNE
Grimes Sisters
Helen Brach
submitted by Armchair_Detectives to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 01:28 rosheromil Fantasy Booking - The Hangman/Elite Storyline

Hi guys, hope everyone is doing well, I'm back with the second installment of this series where I book an alternative covid-free version of the storyline involving Hangman Page and the Elite. The first part which involved a battle at Blood and Guts as well as a rematch from Revolution will be linked below.
Part 1 (Blood and Guts - Double or Nothing)
Build to Fyter Fest
On the May 27th edition of Dynamite, the Young Bucks host a slightly over the top title celebration after defeating Page and Omega to win the gold at Double or Nothing. They are interrupted by none other than FTR, who made their debuts in the tag etam casino ladder match at the Vegas show. Harwood and Wheeler, accompanied by their manager Tully Blanchard, come to the ring to confront the Bucks and send out a warning that they are coming for their titles...
And then, out comes the Hangman. Page is typically pissed off and gets in the face of the Bucks, claiming that he and Omega deserve their rematch. FTR, who have history with Hangman, calm Page down and propose an idea to their former friend. A tag match at Fyter Fest to determine who will challenge the Bucks at Fight for the Fallen. Harwood and Wheeler vs Omega and Page. Page agrees, and interestingly shakes the hands of the pair, as well as manager Tully Blanchard. After months of being the lone wolf, does Page now have some new allys in the business in the form of FTR?
The build up to Fyter Fest explores this dynamic that we’ve seen in real life between FTR and the Hangman. In fact, on one episode of Dynamite in the weeks before the match, Kenny and the Bucks find FTR in the bar. They exchange a few words about their upcoming bout before Kenny realises that there are three glasses out. Harwood and Wheeler say it’s for their manager Tully who’s on his way but then out of the restrooms comes none other than Hangman Adam Page.
Page and Omega share an awkward stare, as the Hangman stands in the middle of FTR and the Elite, quite literally representing the divide within him. Now, just like before with Kenny and the Bucks, it’s a question of where do Page’s loyalties lie, heading into Fyter Fest…
Fyter Fest, June 20th 2020
This year, Fyter Fest was scheduled to take place at Wembley Arena in London, England, becoming AEW’s first ever event overseas. On the show, Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page face FTR for the right to become the no. 1 contenders to the AEW World Tag Team Championships. With everything that’s happened between Hangman, Kenny, the Elite and now FTR over the last few months, this was sure to be a can’t-miss match up...
Also on the card, you would have the Young Bucks retaining their recently won titles against Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy of the Jurassic Express. And they would stay to watch the match between Kenny, Hangman and FTR to see who their next challengers were…
Just like at All Out, in real life, FTR have a brilliant match with Hangman and Omega, constantly using their old school style and tag team expertise to get the better of the singles stars. They consistengly try to exploit the fragilities between their opponents and at times the fans are wondering whether Page may turn on his partner...
Late in the match, Hangman is the legal man for his team, he and Kenny prepare for the Buckshot V-Trigger on Cash Wheeler. Hangman flips over the rope, but in a shocking turn of events, Kenny pushes Wheeler out of the way and hits a devastating V-Trigger that knocks out his own partner…
Kenny walks off to the back, leaving his tag partner all alone. A surprised FTR, hit the Shatter Machine on the Hangman to pick up the victory. Cameras catch up with Kenny, leaving the arena alongside the Bucks, he hints at a singles run and the return of the Cleaner persona, saying the real Kenny Omega needs to return. Meanwhile, back in the arena, Hangman struggles to his feet after being betrayed by his so-called friend Omega. He briefly shares a look with his old buddies FTR and their manager Tully Blanchard before leaving the ring…
Build to Fight for the Fallen
That next week on Dynamite, similar to how he did a week ago in real life, Hangman sits down with Tony Schiavone in a backstage interview segment. Page mentions how he’s lost everything since coming to AEW, he lost in the first ever AEW World Championship match last year at All Out, he’s lost his place in the Elite, he’s lost the tag team titles and now he’s lost his friendship with Kenny. A depressed Hangman, says he needs to go home for a while and do the thing he's best at... drink.
It’s announced that night, that in a few weeks’ time, AEW will host another special edition of Dynamite similar to Bash at the Beach and Blood and Guts, with this one being the second Fight for the Fallen event, to be held at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. At this event, the Young Bucks will defend their AEW World Tag Team Championships against the no. 1 contenders FTR…
Also, on the show, Tully Blanchard’s other client Shawn Spears challenges Elite member Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship as part of Cody’s TNT Open Challenge. During the build up to the show, we see FTR and Spears have a few run ins with their Fyter Fest opponents the Elite, which also includes some war of words between managers and ex Horsemen teammates Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard.
Fight for the Fallen, July 15th 2020
Early in the night, Kenny Omega continues to rack up some singles victories after splitting from tag partner Adam Page, and beats Darby Allin in impressive fashion. We are slowly seeing the return of the Cleaner as Kennys attitude and aesthetic begins to change. Later that night, Cody scores a win against Shawn Spears to retain his TNT Championship, in a match that wasn’t short of outside shenanigans from Arn and Tully.
Then a few matches later, Tully’s other clients FTR face the Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Championships. In a brilliant clash between old school and modern tag team wrestling, Wheeler and Harwood defeat Matt and Nick to be crowned the new champions, ending the Bucks reigns at just under two months.
Build to All Out
The war between the Elite and Tully Blanchard’s men continues after Fight for the Fallen. Tully claims that he and his boys are bringing real wrestling back. Their aim is to eradicate the Elite, as they are representative of everything wrong with this modern era of pro wrestling. Blanchard references to his and Arn Andersons old group the Four Horsemen claiming his new stable will be just as revolutionary and be remembered as this generations ‘Horsemen’.
After comparisons were made between his new stable and the Four Horsemen, speculation begins to grow as to whether theirs a fourth member of the group. This grows when Tully challenges the Elite to a 4-on-4 Elimination match at All Out. After a couple weeks of confrontations and scuffles between the two factions, Kenny meets Spears in the main event of Dynamite.
With the two stables, Arn and Tully watching on from ringside, the Cleaner pins the Chairman after a Tiger Driver 98 to pick up the victory. But the drama isn’t over there, as after the match, all the men involved enter the ring. The Elite have the Horsemen outnumbered when all of a sudden FTR put up the four fingers. Everyone in the arena is made to wonder just who is the fourth man? And then… Ghost Town Triumph begins to play throughout the arena, and a certain Hangman returns…
After weeks away at home, Hangman Adam Page arrives on Dynamite to the eruption of the live crowd…but wait does this mean Hangman is the fourth Horsemen? Page gets in the ring, beer in hand and stands alongside FTR and Spears, staring down his former friends the Elite. Then Page gets in the face of his friends before smashing Kenny with his beer. A huge brawl between the factions ensures that ends with the Hangman and the Horsemen holding the ring…
Its announced that at All Out, the first ever 'All Out' Brawl is to take place. Essentially an All Out Brawl is a No Holds Barred tag team elimination match and the only way to win is when one team has been fully eliminated, meaning they are ‘all out’. And the first ever edition of the match will see the Elite take on the Horsemen. Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks versus Hangman Adam Page, Shawn Spears and FTR…
All Out, September 5th 2020
The second annual All Out pay-per-view, takes place from the NOW Centre in Chicago, Illinois on September 5th 2020. And in one of the headline matches, The Elite take on the Horsemen in the first ever All Out Brawl.
The first elimination takes place after the Young Bucks hit a Double Superkick on Shawn Spears, followed by a vicious V-Trigger to the ball of the head from Omega for the three count. Then Nick Jackson is the next to go after a Shatter Machine from FTR. Omega gets his second elimination when he pins Dax Harwood after a One Winged Angel before Hangman eliminates long-time foe Matt Jackson with a Dead Eye. The next elimination comes when TNT Champion Cody Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes on Cash Wheeler and pins him for the three count.
Hangman it’s the last man left standing for the Horsemen, whilst Cody and Kenny remain for the Elite. Hangman buckshots Cody out of the match but is immediately attacked by Omega with a steel chair after the pinfall. The Cleaner shows no remorse to his former tag team partner, and despite Hangman trying to rally, Omega eventually hits the One Winged Angel on Page for the three count. The Elite prevail at All Out and the Cleaner is officially back!

What happens next in the rivalry between the Elite and the Horsemen and after a dominant display from Kenny, does the Cleaner now have championship gold in his sight? Stay tuned for the next part...
Feel free to check out some of my other stories here...
submitted by rosheromil to fantasybooking [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 00:23 hallach_halil Three statements for each week one NFL game


https://preview.redd.it/cfeadwtzekn51.png?width=900&format=png&auto=webp&s=e7702758b01778b27cd777a782c7eb5743d458f6

Football is back, baby! After an awesome first week of NFL action, which I watched every full game of, I wanted to kind of recap all 16 matchups and come up with three statements for each one. Some of them may be more hyperbolic or could be labelled as hot takes, while others state for obvious facts. You can also listen to my Youtube breakdown of week one, where I just give more of my general thoughts on all these games, while also bringing up some of the points I make in this article.
So here’s what I took away from week one:


Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs

1. Clyde Edwards-Helaire makes this KC offense unfair
This physicality and ability to break tackles is scary, when you think about how dynamic the Chiefs are with Patrick Mahomes and all those guys streaking downfield. I like what I saw from the offensive line, with Kelechi Osemele adding some power on the inside, but 106 of 138 rushing yards for CEH came after contact. No other player in the league even cracked 100 rushing in general. And he didn’t even get any work in the passing game yet, where I believe he could be even more dangerous, as defenses have to back off and then try to bring this bowling ball to the ground. Thank god I have him in all my fantasy leagues and as my favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
2. Will Fuller is the clear number one option in the passing game for Houston
With DeAndre Hopkins out of the picture, 150 targets were all of a sudden on the table and “The Flying V” (thanks Fantasy Footballers) should take on the lion’s share of that amount. In the season-opener, the fourth-year receiver caught eight of ten targets on the night for 112 yards. He was on the field for 86 percent of the offensive snaps, while newly acquired running back David Johnson was the only Texans player to catch more than two passes and Fuller was responsible for 44.3 percent of their total through the air. Fuller and Deshaun Watson have a clear connection and with me expecting Houston to be down in games quite a bit, this could lead to a lot of production.
3. The Chiefs are in a different league than the Texans
I went into this game thinking the Chiefs were the best team in the NFL and I had the Texans projected to go 7-9, so it wasn’t overly surprising to me that the games was never actually that close, but this was never even a contest beyond the first quarter. Don’t let the final score (34-20) fool you. The Chiefs scored 31 unanswered, while the Texans picked up eight first downs over that stretch. Even with their two starting corners missing half the game, the defense looked strong, with Frank Clark beating Tytus around the corner like a drum routinely, and if Demarcus Robinson just held on to a couple of passes in the end-zone, KC would have scored 11 more points.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Football Team


1. This game was almost a mirror image of what happened in week one between these two in week one of last season
In that game to kick of 2019, Washington got out to a 17-0 lead in the first half before Carson Wentz came roaring back, hitting a couple of deep balls to DeSean Jackson to win the game. This time around, Philly dominated the first half, with Washington’s first points coming with less than a minute until halftime. Then two things happened over the final 30 minutes – the Eagles started going down like “birds” and that Washington D-line completely took over the game. I will get to those two points a little more in detail, but it is still crazy to me how everything flipped in half two and how reminiscent it was to what happened exactly a year ago.
2. Philadelphia’s two biggest issues seem to be back
First of all, the injuries are already a major concern for the Eagles. They had to bring in three different offensive linemen off the bench, after they had already lost Brandon Brooks and Andre Dillard for the year, plus Boston Scott went to the locker room after they already made the trip without second-year back Miles Sanders. And then, I really didn’t like what Doug Pederson did with the Philly offense in the second half. They almost exclusively went to shotgun, spread sets and ran standard West Coast passing concepts, which Washington was all over, while their pass-rush came crashing down. I know they lost their top run-blocker before the season, but this is still a team that should stick with the ground game and play-action off it.
3. Washington’s defensive line is nasty
The “Football Team” racked up eight sacks, as they were beating up everybody on Philly’s O-line and banging Carson Wentz around like a human piñata. Chase Young immediately showed what kind of freakish talent he is and you had multiple guys from that front become free quickly, to put the heat on Wentz. So much so that Washington’s linebacker started getting through untouched. And their DBs started jumping routes, because they knew the opposing QB had to listen to his internal clock, breaking once he first pointed his shoulders at the target. I never thought I’d say this, but “The Football Team” is alone in first place.


Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

1. The Cam Newton-led Patriots offense could be scary
This New England offense is so unique now that they went from statuesque Tom Brady to dual-threat Cam Newton and while Cam loves to spread the field and attack matchups, what they do in the run game is what really creates problems for defenses. The Patriots ran the ball 42 times compared to only 19 passes, with 15 of those carries coming from the quarterback. With jet sweep fakes, inverted veer runs and different option plays, their opponents will have to be very disciplined and assignment-proof. Plus, then with Cam’s big arm, he can push the ball downfield off play-action, which wasn’t even a real factor in game one. If not for N’Keal Harry fumbling the ball into the end-zone, New England’s offense would have scored 28 touchdowns – something they only did once from week eight on last season.
2. No New England skill-position players will be on my fantasy team
This is something I haven’t really done in the past either, outside of maybe Gronk, but now – maybe more so than ever – I don’t want the headache of figuring out who will be fantasy-relevant every week. With his rushing upside, Cam might be an interesting option in your leagues, if he is still available on the waiver wire, but none of those skill guys are dependable options for me. Here are the players, who touched the ball at least five times against Miami – Sony Michel (10), James White(8), Rex Burkhead (7), Julian Edelman (6), J.J. Taylor (5) and N’Keal Harry (5). No thank you.
3. We won’t have to wait much longer for Tua
Everybody – including current starter Ryan Fitzpatrick – knows that it’s only a question of time until fifth overall pick Tua Tagovailoa is ready and takes over at quarterback for the Dolphins. Fitzy actually played really well in 2019, but was picked off three times in this year’s season-opener and if you just follow the CBS cameras, you’d think Tua was about to go onto the field. Miami will host the division-rival Bills on Sunday, then it’s the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football, before the Seahawks come to town. After that there are two tough road-trips are on the horizon with San Francisco and Denver. So if the Dolphins don’t want to throw him out there on a short week, they might want to wait for that stretch to be over, since the two L.A. teams will come to South Beach after that. But I think we’ll see the rookie by mid-season if he’s fully healthy.


Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

1. Aaron Rodgers is baaad man
I’m sorry for using a Stephen A. phrase here, but I just loved seeing Rodgers shut everybody up with a four-touchdown performance, after people started questioning how good he still is, with the Packers drafting his apparent successor Jordan Love in the first round. The way he threw the ball on the move, the zip that he put on his passes and the way he was straight up dealing reminded me of what I saw from Rodgers over the six plus years he was the best football player in the world. At one point he threw two TDs in the matter of half a minute. The first one to Davante Adams was absolutely filthy, when Rodgers escaped to the right and perfectly placed the ball to a spot where the corner had no chance to make a play on it. And then following a Jaire Alexander interception at the Minnesota 45, he connected with Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a long TD on a go route. Green Bay as a team only punted once all day and did not turn it over. Rodgers is getting himself ready to cash all those offseason receipts.
2. That young secondary will break Minnesota’s back
As spectacular as Rodgers was, I’m also highly concerned with this Vikings back-end. I talked about this heading into the year, with that entire group of cornerbacks combining for less than 1500 career snaps on defense, and there is hope that they can still improve as the season goes along, but yesterday they had no answers for number 12 and those Green Bay receivers. Rodgers averaged 10.1 yards per attempt and if not for a couple of drops and guys tripping, that number could have been even higher. You saw the Packers QB pick on Holton Hill quite a bit, their rookies got taught a lesson and nobody could even try to slow down Davante Adams, who hauled in 14 of 17 targets for 156 yards and two TDs.
3. Davante Adams is a top five receiver
When I released my personal top 100 list a couple of months ago, I only had Julio Jones and Michael ahead of Adams. DeAndre Hopkins had a spectacular debut in Arizona and while they didn’t show much in week one, Tyreek Hill and Mike Evans are part of that conversation, but nobody was more impressive than that dude from Green Bay. Matt LaFleur did manufacture a few touches for his top target, with bubble screens and deep crossers, but Adams always made the most of those plays, he made some big catches downfield and for good measure, he also recovered the game-sealing onside kick. The way he schooled those young DBs for Minnesota off the line and how that connection between him and Rodgers was almost automatic was fun to watch. As much as there was made about the Packers not drafting a single receiver in a historically great class as a number two to Adams, I also thought MVS and Lazard stepped up in the season-opener. And I also want to say his counterpart on the opposite team in Adam Thielen had a great day himself.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

1. Gardner Minshew is a real quarterback
Unlike what new Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette may think, Jacksonville does have a guy people want to go to battle with. You can’t be too mad at Fournette, since he did have to deal with Blake Bortles for most of his career, but after week one, you can definitely say that statement did not age well. Against the Colts, who were favored by eight points coming in, Minshew completed all but one of his 20 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns, showing that gamer mentality and ability to make plays off script on several occasions. I talked about those Jacksonville receivers early on in the offseason, saying that they are a pretty underrated group, and they also found their new lead back in my big draft crush from Illinois State – James Robinson, who took 100 percent of the carries for Jacksonville. Indianapolis should not have lost that game, since they didn’t punt once and almost doubled Jacksonville in total yards, getting stopped inside the Jags’ five and missing a 30-yard field goal, but let’s give these guys some credit.
2. Time for the Jonathan Taylor show
First and foremost, it just sucks that Marlon Mack seems to have torn his Achilles. He was off to a strong start in this game and I feel really sick for him, especially being in a contract year. However, as bad as I feel for the veteran, I’m also so excited to see what this rookie running behind that Colts O-line. Taylor did not run the ball very well (nine carries for 22 yards), but surprisingly was a big factor in the pass game – which wasn’t his strong suite at Wisconsin – bringing in all of his six targets for 67 yards, where he showed that sprinter speed and the power he can build up on a couple of plays. While Nyheim Hines should clearly be a factor in that offense, with his ability to produce as a pass-catcher and gadget player, without Mack, Taylor now has all the chances to rival Clyde Edwards-Helaire for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
3. C.J. Henderson will be a stud at corner
I could have easily gone with something like “Same old Philip Rivers”, after throwing that bad pick down four in the fourth quarter on a deep crosser to Parris Campbell, when he telegraphed the throw way too much and allowed the safety in quarters coverage to break in front of his receiver. Instead I want to give their ninth overall pick in the draft some love. Henderson was outstanding in his first showing, breaking up three passes and won on kind a jump-ball for an interception, when Jacksonville was down 7-0 at that point in the second quarter, which set up his offense inside the Indy and led to that first touchdown to D.J. Chark. Henderson was all over T.Y. Hilton on a few snaps, including a throw into the end-zone on a third down in the second half (which I thought might be called for P.I. actually) and he knocked the ball out of the hands of Hilton on that fourth down that sealed the win.


Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

1. Same old Lions
I’m starting to really feel bad for people from Detroit. It’s been about 30 years since that franchise last won a playoff game and they have been irrelevant for large stretches of that window. On Sunday it was yet another example of how this team can mess up games. Up 23-6 with the Bears having a fourth-and-one from the opposing 10-yard line heading into the fourth quarter, the Lions had no business losing that game. Mitch Trubisky all of a sudden turned into Joe Montana and scored three touchdowns in just 15 plays. Matt Stafford on the other hand took a bad sack, which led to a missed a 55-yard field goal and tried to force a ball over the middle that got knocked up in the air and intercepted, when Detroit was still up by three. Even with that, the Lions had a chance to still win the game, as Stafford drove them all the way down the Chicago 16 and after spiking the ball with eleven seconds left, the Lions QB hit running back D’Andre Swift for a perfect pass on a wheel route, but usually sure-handed rookie had it slip out his hands and the prayer Stafford threw up with zeros on the clock was knocked. Another heart-breaker for Motown.
2. The Bears offensive line is a lot better in the run game
After the main part of free agency and the draft were wrapped up, I thought Chicago had two major holes on the roster – Right guard and a safety to pair up with Eddie Jackson. As bad as their Trubisky was in 2019, my biggest issue with Matt Nagy’s offense was the rushing attack. They finished bottom-six in yards per carry and total yards on the ground. So when they basically replaced Kyle Long with a former first-round bust in Germaine Ifedi I was worried of course, even though I said right away that he would fit better inside. In their first showing of the 2020 season, the Bears started getting people moving and you actually saw linemen five to ten yards down the field, as they put hands on the Detroit linebackers. David Montgomery ran hard, Tarik Cohen sprung loose on a couple of power and draw plays and Cordarrelle Patterson had a couple of crucial carries as well. Overall, they the ball 28 times for 149 yards and I give a lot of credit to new O-line coach Juan Castillo, who replaced the legendary Harry Hiestand.
3. Mitch magic in the fourth quarter
Through the first three quarters of the game, Trubisky was 12 of 26 for 153 yards. He did not look like a capable quarterback and had recently missed a wide open Cole Kmet on a third-and-nine from the Detroit ten by several yards. However, over the final 15 minutes he looked like a former second overall pick all of a sudden. Helped by some Lions miscues, he threw three touchdowns on the final four drives (15 total plays) and delivered in the clutch. That final scoring play on a fade route from Anthony Miller out of the slot was a thing of beauty. Miller also made some other huge grabs in that fourth quarter. I still say this was more bad Lions than good Bears, but give the guy some credit. Oh, one more thing – Adrian Peterson still has it. I don’t know how he does it, but he was the best running back on that field on Sunday


Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers

1. All those vertical weapons on the Raiders could finally make Derek Carr cut it loose
While it was still more of your usual efficient showing by Carr, as he completed 73.3 percent of his passes for 239 passing yards and one touchdown, I thought he displayed the willingness to test defenses deep. That Jon Gruden offense leans on frustrating defenses with short passes, getting the run game going and then hitting them with a few shots over the top, That last element I thought was missing last season, which capped the Raiders’ potential, While DC is a conservative passer by nature – often times to a frustrating extent – that lack of deep balls had something to do with not having the appropriate weapons at the receiver position. With the additions Las Vegas made this offseason, that has changed. On just the second play of the game, Carr put the ball 50 yards in the air for rookie speedster Henry Ruggs III. Later on the first quarter he hit Ruggs on a deep crosser to set a one-yard touchdown by Josh Jacobs. Carr threw a 23-yard dime Nelson Agholor shortly before halftime to put his team back up by five and at least had his eyes downfield much more throughout the afternoon.
2. That Joe Brady offense and Teddy B will put up some numbers
While he did already coach under Sean Payton in a much smaller role, this is still a rookie offensive coordinator and to begin your career with 30 points against a pretty good Raiders team has to be nice. Teddy Bridgewater certainly deserves some credit here, but I was very impressed with Brady’s offense, that spread the defense out with five guys out on the route and how he forced the Las Vegas defense to defends every level of the field, leading to a lot of easy completions indicated by simple reads of second-level defenders and zone/man indicators. I don’t know who actually made that call fourth-and-inches just across midfield that would have given the Panthers a chance to still win that game, but obviously you’d rather have the ball in the hands of your best player in Christian McCaffrey or create some separation on some kind of mesh concept.
3. Josh Jacobs is about to become a superstar in this league
I came into this season with very high expectations for this second-year back and after watching him put on a show against Carolina, I probably should have put some money on him leading the league in rushing. We already knew how high Jon Gruden was on this kid coming out of Alabama last year and he had a great rookie season, with a team-record 1150 yards on the ground for a first-year player and that was despite missing three games. I already said in the offseason that I believe the Raiders have a top five O-line and the way he puts his head down and runs through people, led to an NFL-best 69 missed tackles forced. The difference this year should be his involvement in the passing game, which he was pretty good at in college, but he only caught 20 balls for 166 yards as a rookie. Against the Panthers he already caught four passes for 46 yards and showed what he can do after catching a simple dump-off, to go with 93 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.


New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills

1. The Bills now have all the weapons to force opponents to defend the entire field
If there was one area the Bills needed to improve upon this offseason, it was the wide receiver position. John Brown probably had his best season as a pro in 2019 and Cole Beasley was a dependable target in the slot for them. However, neither one of those guys should be a true number one option. Now that they brought in Stefon Diggs via a trade from Minnesota, it puts everybody in their appropriate position. With Dawson Knox taking another step and even having a screen drawn up for him, as well as those backs getting involved, I like what offensive coordinator Brian Daboll can do in terms of making opponents defend the entire field. I know it was “only” the Jets, but Buffalo just seemed to play so much more freely in the pass game.
2. Josh Allen could be an MVP contender in 2020
I actually had Allen as an honorable mention among my MVP candidates and was made fun of a little, when I posted my list on Reddit, but with what I just wrote about the Bills pass-catchers, I just think this could be a big year for their team and the quarterback in particular. The O-line gave him plenty of time to scan the field, he stayed patient and found his checkdowns late and still fired some absolute lasers. Allen also made a lot of plays with his legs on designed runs and scrambles. Will you still get the occasional “What the hell?” moment from him, like fumbling the ball while flipping over a defender? Yes. But if they hone himself in a little and be a more consistent threat from within the pocket, to go with those off-script plays, he could put up some big numbers.
3. The Jets might be the prime contenders for the number one overall pick in the 2021 draft
When I released my pre-season power rankings, I had the Jets all the way at the bottom of the list and that’s exactly what they looked like when we first saw them this season. The final score might have been 27-17, but the Bills could have easily blown them out by 30. It took Gang Green 40 minutes to get into the end-zone and it took Jamison Crowder breaking three tackles and going 69 yards and a quick screen play to get there. Buffalo’s rookie kicker Tyler Bass missed two field goals from less than 40 yards – even though I still believe the first one was actually good – Josh Allen fumbled the ball twice and that last touchdown was meaningless, with under a minute remaining. As much as I liked Sam Darnold coming out of USC, as I had him as my top quarterback in the 2018 draft, and I still believe in the right situation he would already be an above-average starter, I don’t know how you could pass on Trevor Lawrence if you are in position to draft him.


Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens

1. The reigning MVP might be even better
Lamar Jackson was so sharp and in control of the offense, keeping his eyes downfield even as he was stepping into crowded spaces or backing out and rolling either way. We saw him hit a deep ball to Marquise Brown, which was where I wanted to see him improve, and he impressed with tremendous ball-placement all afternoon, taking advantage of the leverage of defenders and drilling the ball into some tight windows. The day after the game I saw a statistic that he was 9-of-10 for 180 yards on passes of 10+ yards against Cleveland, after he completed only 49.2 percent of those his MVP season. I would just like to see him avoid some of those hits, where he goes head-first to pick up a few extra yards. But in terms of his pure pocket passing, it is scary to think where he could go.
2. The Ravens secondary plastered those Browns pass-catchers
It’s not a secret that Baltimore has one the premiere group of cornerbacks in the entire league, but I would argue they are the very best there is. Jarvis Landry got open on some crossers and deeper developing routes, when Baker did have a clean pocket, but altogether outside of Cleveland’s one touchdown at the goal-line, where the Ravens D lost one of the tight-ends out of a jumbo package, it was tough sledding for OBJ & company. Marlon Humphrey is already top five at his position, Marcus Peters is unreal at anticipating and reading routes, Jimmy Smith would be a high quality #2 on any other team and Tavon Young coming back in the slot only helps. Oh, and for Austin Hooper to be the highest-paid tight-end early in the offseason and to only come up with two catches for 15 yards is pretty disappointing.
3. J.K. Dobbins is about to take over this Ravens backfield
I’m not saying the rookie will play 80 percent of the snaps or handle more than half the rushing load going forward, but there is a reason I grabbed Dobbins in all my fantasy leagues, He was my number two back in the draft and I said right away that he was a perfect fit for this Baltimore offense. In his debut, the rook had a couple of nice gains and converted twice near the goal-line, while veteran Mark Ingram was stuffed for minimal yardage on several occasions. Gus Edwards will get some work to close out games, when they Ravens are ahead by multiple scores, and Justice Hill is an explosive player, who I really like in the passing game in particular, but Dobbins should be the lead guy for this squad.


Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons

1. The Falcons secondary is still a mess
Over the first half of the 2019 season, the Falcons were the worst defense in the NFL, allowing 31.6 points per game, as they went 1-7 over that stretch. They started turning things around after that, but on Sunday afternoon they reverted back to that early 2019 form. We saw them play a lot more man-coverage, where they constantly allowed separation on crossing routes or just lost guys out of their breaks. When they were in zone, those corners gave way too much cushion in cover-three and when they did force some long-yardage situations, they just backed up and allowed easy 10-15 yard plays to set up easy third downs or basically surrender field goals. What really killed them was that 4th & 5 play Seattle had from the opposing 38-yard line when it was still 14-12, as Isaiah Oliver missed his punch in press-alignment, giving up the inside release to D.K. Metcalf, who could still make a perfect over-the-shoulder catch on a fade route. And by the way, Seattle didn’t look much better on the back-end.
2. Russell Wilson is finally allowed to cook
As bad as Atlanta was on the back-end defensively – What a performance for Russ. He went 31-of-35 for 322 yards and four touchdowns, while picking up two more first downs with his legs. Seahawks – and all football fans for that matter – have been screaming at the top of their lungs for the coaching staff to let Wilson to throw the ball earlier in games and on early downs. It wasn’t like the Falcons were all over Seattle’s receivers, but the touch Wilson throws with to perfectly put the ball in the hands of his guys in full stride is just a beautiful thing to watch. D.K. Metcalf looks to have taken a step forward with his route-running and Tyler Lockett is back fully healthy. So that means it’s bombs away for the Seahawks, which means trouble for the rest of the league, since they can still win with the power run game and then take play-action shots off that.
3. Calvin Ridley is an absolute stud receiver
I always believed in this kid. He was my number one receiver in the draft three years ago coming out of Alabama and he immediately started producing in the pros. While he was on track for a 1000-yard campaign last season, he is off to an even better start in 2020. Against the Seahawks, he hauled in nine passes for 130 yards and two TDs. Ridley constantly created separation by attacking leverage and excellent route-running. While he isn’t a straight-burner necessarily, he knows how to find space and is very shifty after the catch. The only thing that sucked was that one bad drop late in the game on fourth down, when he was too focused on getting his feet in bounds and had the ball go right through his hands because of it. But he and Julio Jones are right there in the race for top receiver duos, in a loaded division for pass-catchers.


Los Angeles Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals

1. Welcome to Cincinnati, Joe Burrow
It’s always tough for a top draft pick to come to a bad team, try to turn things around and learn early on that even if he does everything right, it might not lead to victories. Burrow did not play a perfect game by any means – He got picked off by Melvin Ingram in the fourth quarter, who made such an instinctive play, when he read the screen pass and spun around to have the ball land right in his hands as Burrow shoveled it ahead late, he missed a potential touchdown to A.J. Green on a deep ball earlier and 13 points just don’t get you any wins in the NFL. That being said, he had his team in position to beat the Chargers, as he drove them all the way down to the L.A. three, only to have A.J. Green get called for an offensive pass interference on what would have otherwise been a game-winning TD and then his kicker to miss a chip-shot 31-yard field goal attempt. He better be hurt and not just have faked something there, once he saw the kick was wide right.
2. Mike Williams is one of the great big-play receivers in the game
Coming out of Clemson four years ago, Williams was known for being a super-physical downfield receiver, that had connected for a multitude of big plays with his former quarterback Deshaun Watson. That’s exactly what he has been in the NFL so far. Williams is incredible on 50-50 balls, he routinely comes through with big catches downfield along the sidelines and comes through when his team needs him most. Of the three receivers that went in the top ten back in 2017 (him, Corey Davis and John Ross), it is safe to say the Chargers has by far been the most best one – even though Davis had a pretty good showing himself on Monday. Last season Williams cracked the 1000-yard mark on a league-leading 20.4 yards per grab. This past Sunday against the Bengals he might have only caught four passes, but all of them were key in the victory – a great toe-tap grab at the sideline, coming back to the ball on a deep curl route and two go-balls on the sideline, where the safety almost knocked his head off on both of them.
3. Bobby Hart should not ever trash-talk
I have said many times that Hart is one of the worst starting offensive tackles in all of football and I have no idea why the Bengals continue to pay him, even with their bad track record of drafting linemen. I’m sure he tries “hart” and it’s not like he doesn’t belong in the league, but he should not talk trash – especially not to Joey Bosa, who came back to beat him for a sack with his well-known double-hand swipe, before getting into the face of Hart. This Chargers D-line was beating the crap out of Cincy’s front-five and the only reason they were in the game was their rookie quarterback speeding up his internal clock and still finding ways to make plays.


Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

1. DeAndre Hopkins is worth so much more than a second-round pick
While I do understand that the Texans would not have been able to pay D-Hop the kind of money he demanded, Bill O’Brien doesn’t deserve any sympathy for being the laughing stock for NFL fans. Hopkins is an elite receiver and Houston certainly didn’t get back the return he was worth, as they basically got back a second-round pick and took a bad David Johnson contract off the hands of Arizona, even if he actually looked better in week one than he did all of 2019. Nuk had more catches (14) than all the Texans receivers combined on Thursday (13). He went for 151 yards, including a couple of big grabs, including setting up a one-yard Kenyan Drake touchdown after being called down just short.
2. The Cardinals defense is starting to come together
I know the day didn’t start off great for this Arizona D, when they allowed Raheem Mostert to slice through for a 76-yard catch-and-run touchdown on an angle route, but outside of that one play, they held the offense of the game’s most creative offensive play-caller in Kyle Shanahan to just 290 yards. Mostert averaged under four yards per carry on 15 attempts and they held the reigning NFC champs to just a field goal over 50 minutes of game time. I’d advise you to check out Brett Kollman’s breakdown of all the different elements to Vance Joseph’s defense, where it seems like they now have the pieces to actually be successful with it. Budda Baker is a flying missile, their run defense should take a huge step forward with what they added to the front and some of their other young guys made plays when they really needed to, including Byron Murphy breaking up that final fourth down attempt for San Francisco, even though the ball was certainly thrown behind the receiver.
3. Jimmy G has to be more accurate
I understand why 49ers fans are frustrated, because their team was in control of the game early on and even after the Cardinals took the lead, their quarterback had all the chances to still get them the W. San Francisco rushed for 123 yards on 4.9 yards per attempt and Garoppolo also relied heavily on his backs in the pass game. If you take away that 76-yard catch-and-run touchdown by Raheem Mostert, where the QB just had to lob it over the middle and watch #31 take off, Jimmy G threw for only 183 yards on the other 32 attempts he had (5.7 yards per attempts). His stat line did look pretty good, but it does not represent the performance he had. Because not only did he almost kill George Kittle on a simple bubble screen, by putting the ball way too high, but when his team needed him most, with the ball at the Arizona 21, he underthrew an easy touchdown to Kendrick Bourne on first down and then thew the ball behind Trent Taylor on fourth-and-five.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints

1. The Saints D-line has a clear advantage over the Bucs O-line
The formula for beating Tom Brady has been out there for a while – get home with four. He has been notorious for slicing up defenses when they have to send extra blitzers, which only a few teams have been able to do effectively. On Sunday, Cam Jordan & company made life very uncomfortable for the 43-year old quarterback, as they sacked him three times and made him move around constantly. You saw some frustration on the first pick he threw, expecting Mike Evans to continue going down the seams and he was off with ball-placement on a few occasions. This is the reason I had the Saints beating the Bucs in the NFC title game, when I put out my season predictions two weeks ago.
2. Scottie Miller will be a key piece to the Tampa Bay offense
The Bucs obviously have one of the premiere receiver duos in the league with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, their group of tight-end honestly goes three deep and they now have an interesting mixture of backs. However, the one guy who routinely came up with big plays for Tom Brady was little Scottie Miller. Last year’s sixth-round pick out of Bowling Green caught five passes for 73 yards and added another six-yard run against the Saints. Ronald Jones was the only one with more scrimmage yards for Tampa Bay on Sunday and that was by only three. The guy they call “Scooter” lined up inside and out, caught a couple of passes over the middle, came up with a big grab on a slot fade route and forced a P.I. call on an out-and-up. Miller could be Brady’s new version of Julian Edelman in his new home.
3. Alvin Kamara is a different breed
While I don’t advocate paying too many running backs beyond their rookie contract and I have to believe the Saints have turned off the salary cap on their Madden team, with how much they will be in the minus heading into next year’s offseason, we saw that elite running back they did pay for on Sunday. The Bucs are a tough for New Orleans, because with Drew Brees’ declining arm talent, they really want to rely more on their backs and that run game to control games, but Tampa Bay was the number one rush defense just last season and they should be near the top once again in 2020. Still, with Kamara not even being the team’s leading rusher (12 attempts for only 16 yards), he caught five passes for 51 yards and converted twice in the red-zone, once on a screen pass that seemed to be dead in the backfield and then on a six-yard run, where he bounced off a tackler, who in cinematic fashion lost his mouthpiece in the process. That explosiveness, the contact balance and the speed are all back, after he was banged up for most of last season.


Sunday Night and Monday games in the comments!!

If you enjoyed this content, I would really appreciate if you could visit the original piece - https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/2020/09/16/three-statements-for-each-week-one-nfl-game/
You can also listen to my other breakdowns on my Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxjwwcjGcWpjlDyDj-pY5wQ?view_as=subscriber
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2020.09.12 16:57 DLWhoHurtHisBalls TrueAnon Library

I'm sure we are all familiar with the semi-weekly threads looking for recommendations of books on "X" TrueAnon-related topic. I decided go scrounging through all of the past threads to compile a list of non-fiction titles that have been explicitly referenced on the show or have been recommended by users of this subreddit. My hope is that we can direct newly interested people to this list to help guide them in their research. I've broken the list into sections based on subject and listed books in the section relevant to their primary subject. Basically half the books on this list touch on the CIA somehow but it would not be particularly useful to list them all under that heading. I've done my best to categorize books based on the title, description, and the thread in which the book was recommended but I'm sure I've made mistakes. Please let me know if you think a book should be re-categorized or needs different subjects. This list is far from complete and I would love to expand it further. I am planning to go back through the podcast starting from the first episode in order to ensure we don't miss any recommended/referenced titles but if you know of a title that I've missed or the episode in which a title is referenced, let me know. Most importantly, let me know if I have included a title that is demonstrably false or contains significant amounts of disinformation; I haven't been able to read every single title so I also have not been able to vet every title. Do not let me know if you think I should remove a title from the list because the author subscribes to a particular political tendency that you disagree with.
Remember to always read critically and double check sources, ESPECIALLY for information you find compelling or convincing!
Citation Format:
Nazis, prewar and postwar / "The Spider Network" / Fascist Internationale
GLADIO / The Years of Lead / Post-war Italy
9/11
The Kennedy Assassinations
US Elites / American Crime
The CIA
American Empire / US Intelligence Services (not CIA specific)
Finance / Economics / Money Networks
Political Theory / Critique
General Histories
Silicon Valley / Technology / Cyber Warfare
The Occult / Magick
UFOs
Healthcare / Medical History
Fiction (recommended on the podcast)
Misc
Right Wing / Reactionary Thought
CAVEAT: The inclusion of these titles on this list should not, in any way, be construed as an endorsement of their content or ideas. Rather, they have been included with the premise that it is important to understand, or at least be able to recognize, right wing and reactionary ideas in order to better combat them.
Some important advice from the comment below where many of these titles were suggested:
"It helps to understand what the right believes and how they got there, but definitely be cautious with their books. Have someone to talk about it with so you can avoid getting sucked in."
I am sure that any user on this subreddit would be more than happy to talk with you about why the authors listed below are full of shit and complete psychos.
submitted by DLWhoHurtHisBalls to TrueAnon [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 15:40 FlynnPatrick Top 500 Players in the NBA (Episode 9)

Two teams have so many prospects it's just not fair: Denver and Boston.
I mean, the Nuggets practically gave away Malik Beasley and (spoiler) he's a fringe top 100 player. Then Boston has like 10 young players who could all make a serious impact.
I live near Denver and people are excited here. My coworker told me that he went to the liquor store and as a Colorado native he had never seen so many people talk to him about the Nuggets in his entire life. He also guaranteed a Nuggets' championship in 2-3 years. My 1st reaction is "I don't know about all that" but maybe he's right.
330. Jeremiah Martin (Brooklyn Nets)
6’3, 24.2 years old
Watching Martin gives major Brandon Jennings vibes. They are both left-handed and are walking buckets. He was an afterthought at Memphis in college at 1st but developed enough to get minutes in the bubble and Martin scored 24 points against Orlando and 20 against the Celtics. He might have a hard time starting with Kyrie Irving in the mix, but I would not be surprised to see him in the Nets rotation next season.
329. Tim Frazier (Detroit Pistons)
6’1, 29.8 years old
Frazier played in 27 games for Detroit and started in 11, but was ultimately waived shortly before the all-star break. Tim does a good job at giving assists to his teammates (98th percentile AST%) and is a solid perimeter defender (78th percentile STL%) but only shot just 36.2% from the floor with a 9.8 PER.
328. Chris Chiozza (Brooklyn Nets)
6’0, 24.7 years old
Chiozza showed solid potential in the bubble, and even scored 14 points in game 3 of the 1st round against the Raptors. Chiozza puts his teammates 1st, telling newsday.com:
“We just try to share the ball as much as we can, not settle for good shots, we try to get great shots. Sometimes, that’s just making an extra pass. That leads to high percentages and more assists. We just try to make smart plays and make the easy, right play every time.”
Similar to Jeremiah Martin (Chiozza is also from Memphis), he will be looking to prove himself again in 2021.
327. Nassir Little (Portland Trail Blazers)
6’6, 20.6 years old
Little was the 2018 McDonald’s All American MVP and built hype from that performance that he did not live up to at North Carolina. Nassir still had enough potential for the Blazers to select him in the 1st round and results were mixed. I would describe his rookie season as average, he didn’t disappoint and brought young energy to the court when he was on the floor. Little impressed the most shooting at the rim (64th percentile), non-corner 3’s (38%), and the physical skills are there. Maybe a little tuning will help in 2021.
326. Allonzo Trier (New York Knicks)
6’6, 24.6 years old
Trier once had a New York Times profile as the top 7th grade player in America and even though he is not even in the top 300, he at least made the big leagues. I think he could thrive in a situation other than being on the Knicks as well. His offensive advanced stats are very positive (above 60th percentile at rim, mid-range, and 3-point) and I think he deserves at least one more season to prove himself.
325. Cheick Diallo (Phoenix Suns)
6’9, 24.0 years old
In 47 games for the Suns, Diallo shot a career-high 64.8% from the field and he’s put up an above average PER every single season of his career. Diallo can finish at the rim but his form extends to mid-range (84th percentile, 47%). His defense is a work in progress and his offensive value is limited without a 3-point-shot, but he has the talent to be a rotation big man in the league.
324. Anthony Tolliver (Memphis Grizzlies)
6’8, 35.3 years old
In 13 games for the Grizzlies, Tolliver proved that he still has value as a stretch-4, shooting over 41% from long range. Anthony has played in over 700 games which the casual NBA fan probably would not be able to guess, and 10 NBA teams. The true definition of a journeyman, I would say he could probably make an NBA roster for another season or 2.
323. Cody Martin (Charlotte Hornets)
(6’7, 24.9 years old)
Cody stood out for his hustle and the 36th overall pick of the 2019 draft finishes substantially higher on this list than his brother Caleb. His offensive game is well balanced, he does a solid job of finishing at the rim with his athleticism (66th percentile) and he has potential as a perimeter defender as well (84th percentile STL%). As Cody told NBA.com about his experience in the big leagues:
“Being able to be in those [big games] gave me confidence, and it showed that not only my teammates, but the staff had confidence in me to be in those situations,” Martin said. “That was something that was important for me. and something I take pride in is just being ready. Going out there, I already know I’m going to play hard and at 100 percent. It’s about executing the game plan and learning once I’m in there.”
322. Keita Bates-Diop (Denver Nuggets)
6’9, 24.6 years old
Keita has a very pretty offensive game with a smooth jumper and he put up a few nice performances for the Timberwolves early in the season. He was eventually sent to Denver, and overall on the season I would say at the least he progressed from his rookie season and there is room to improve during year 3 in 2021.
321. Elie Okobo (Phoenix Suns)
6’2, 22.9 years old
Okobo saw less minutes than he did during his rookie season (18 MPG to 13 MPG) but he did slightly progress overall. His father was a professional basketball player, and as Elie told NBA.com on how he got into the game of basketball:
“I remember on Saturdays when I was a kid, the game from Friday night was on TV in the morning,” Okobo said. “I was watching the NBA. I wanted to watch LeBron so bad because LeBron was my favorite player. I was watching the Cavaliers. It was like 9:00 AM. I was waking up, 'Oh the NBA is on this morning.' That was my first memory.”
Okobo did finish in the 64th percentile for 3P% and from the 2K simulations I ran this past season, Elie tends to have a 10+ year career. I do think there is some long-term NBA potential but probably not on Phoenix.
320. Shaquille Harrison (Chicago Bulls)
6’4, 26.9 years old
Harrison improved in his 3rd season, most importantly from the 3-point-line (27% to 38%) and scored a career-high 25 points against the Indiana Pacers shortly before the season was suspended. The advanced stats show that he is a plus offensive player (.4 OBMP) and defensive player (2.4 DBPM, 99th percentile for both BLK% and STL%) and those defensive stats show a very clear under-the-radar player who could have a serious impact if given more minutes.
319. Ian Mahinmi (Washington Wizards)
6’11, 33.8 years old
Mahinmi’s contract he signed in 2016 was not viewed very pleasant the last couple of years, but he at least ended on a not terrible not and probably had his best season for the Wizards. Ian has extended his range to the 3-point-line and has a surprisingly nice form. He scored 21 points (pretty much all on Andre Drummond) in January and also scored a career-high 25 points against Miami in January. Still, his offensive efficiency was well below league average and I’m not sure what his value is heading into 2021.
318. Mario Hezonja (Portland Trail Blazers)
6’5, 25.5 years old
Hezonja has never lived up to his number 5 pick potential. Partially due to Orlando holding him back but it’s been 5 years now and he is firmly in bust territory. Mario thinks he still has value in the league, telling OregonLive in July on his fit with the Blazers:
“In my opinion, I fit in perfectly,” Hezonja said. “Off the ball, on the ball, subbing Dame at the one. I can be at the three, I can be behind CJ, I can be behind Melo. I can be behind Zach. I just want to help the team.”
Mario is a solid mid-range scorer (75th percentile) and does have some value on perimeter defense (78th percentile STL%) but at this point in his career I’m not sure a team will let him be the primary go-to guy.
317. PJ Dozier (Denver Nuggets)
6’6, 23.9 years old
I wrote that last year Dozier would be a sleeper in 2020 and was correct. The kid has serious potential, take a look at his PER36 stats:
14.7 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.8 RPG, 1.2 SPG
Not counting garbage time, Dozier shot 44% from 3 (99th percentile) and made 70% of his shots at the rim (90th percentile). He signed a multi-year contract with Denver recently, showing the Nuggets eye for young and up coming talent.
316. Ryan Arcidiacono (Chicago Bulls)
6’3, 24.4 years old
Arcidiacono shot a career-high 39.1% from 3 in 58 games and is the perfect definition of a “hustle player” ranking 6th in the NBA in charges drawn per game. Nothing flashy about his game, but has value as a role-playing hustle player moving forward.
315. Pat Connaughton (Milwaukee Bucks)
6’5, 27.7 years old
Connaughton had a big role with 15 points in a game 2 playoff win against Orlando and I almost moved him up more than this. I would say he did regress from 2019, however as he was a tiny bit less efficient. Pat is best making shots at the rim (88th percentile) but also shot just 33% from long range which is below league average (28th percentile) and even with that 15-point-game is averaging just 4 PPG in the playoffs. He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and we will see if another team takes a chance on him.
314. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans)
6’5, 22.0 years old
It was reported that NAW grew from 6’5 to 6’6. As for what else he worked on in the offseason, Nickeil had this to say to NBA.com
"I would say just being able to get to the basket and finish. Not being able to shoot, being in a cast, it was a lot of finishing and working. When I got out of the cast, working my way back into finishing and small stuff like that, being able to gradually move back until the wrist got it’s strength back. But I would say finishing and getting to the basket."
Nickeil saved his best performance in the last game of the bubble with 29 points and 7 assists against the Orlando Magic. He did show some potential with a 38% 3-point-percentage in non-garbage time minutes (67th percentile) and I see him moving up this list next year.
313. Khem Birch (Orlando Magic)
6’9, 27.9 years old
This is about where I had him last year and statistically he regressed a tiny bit from 2019 to 2020 (FG% fell from 60.3 to 51.0). He’s solid finishing at the rim and has an okay mid-range jumper, but didn’t excel anywhere else. He’s signed through 2021 with the Magic and will get more chances to prove himself next season.
312. Cameron Payne (Phoenix Suns)
6’3, 26.0 years old
Rarely will a player finish this high with a limited sample size, but Payne is an exception. Like Jeremiah Martin, Payne also gives major Brandon Jennings’ type vibes and he excelled in the bubble. It would be interesting to see if he got an expanded role, take a look at his PER36:
17.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.6 SPG
That statline is that of a top 60 player in the league. Payne finished in the 100th percentile for 3-point-efficiency AND the 98th percentile for finishing at the rim, to go along with a career-high 15.7 PER. We need to see more before jumping on the bandwagon but I think at the very least he cemented himself a spot in the NBA in 2021.
311. Marvin Williams (Milwaukee Bucks)
6’9, 34.2 years old
If someone told you in 2010 that Marvin Williams would outlast Deron Williams by nearly 5 years in the league, the casual NBA fan would have thought you insane. Williams was hyped as a player who could have an impact as a role player on the top team in the NBA during the regular season, but regressed once traded to Milwaukee (just 4.0 PPG) and is basically an insurance policy at this point. His 3-point-percentage (non garbage minutes) is just 31% for the Bucks and for the Bucks he has a below 10.0 PER for the 1st time in his career. Still, he was pretty solid in Charlotte and that takes into account on this ranking as well.
310. Chandler Hutchison (Chicago Bulls)
6’7, 24.4 years old
This is lower than I had him in 2019, but Hutchison at the very least progressed in the right direction in 2020 (PPG: 5.2 to 7.8, 3P%: 28.0 to 31.6). Taking a look at the advanced stats, the biggest area where he progressed in 2020 was perimeter defense though (STL%: 39th percentile to 92nd percentile). There is a lot of potential here, he still needs to put on some weight, but if he continues to progress in year 3, he could be dangerous in year 4.
309. Skal Labissiere (Atlanta Hawks)
6’11, 24.5 years old
This is an eye test ranking, when he did see the floor, Labissiere looked impressive. In one of the highlights’ I watched, he blocked Giannis’ shot which very few players are able to do. He showed the potential to be an inside-outside threat but needs to improve his efficiency. Would have likely gotten some chances with the Hawks once traded there had he not been injured, and I can see him being John Collins’ backup in 2021.
308. Robert Williams (Boston Celtics)
6’10, 22.9 years old
My biggest area to see if players are moving in the right direction is progression or regression: did a player improve from last year or not? Williams certainly did, his PPG improved from 2.5 to 5.2 and the Celtics are handling his situation delicately. Yes the Timelord can dunk, but he also improved his mid-range-percentage (non-garbage) from 33% to 50%, and if he can continue to extend his range, he just might make time stop altogether.
307. JJ Barea (Dallas Mavericks)
6’0, 36.1 years old
Barea is likely the best Puerto Rican player ever, and would have finished higher if not for a limited sample size of 29 games. Let me tell you something else impressive that Barea did: the dude came back from a ruptured Achilles tendon 9 MONTHS after the initial injury..at 36 years old! Not only that, but Barea probably has a couple of more years left in him.
306. Abdel Nader (Oklahoma City Thunder)
6’6, 26.9 years old
Nader continued to progress in year 3 and finished in above-average percentiles for shooting percentage on all areas of the floor. He is also near-elite at blocking shots (86th percentile BLK%) and he had a positive VORP for the 1st time in his career. Nader progressed big time in year 3 and could jump into the top 250 with continued progression in year 4.
305. Darius Bazley (Oklahoma City Thunder)
6’9, 20.2 years old
Bazley is paving his own way, jumping to the G-League before Jalen Green made it cool and like Kawhi signed with New Balance. What really made Bazley take a big leap in this ranking was the bubble, where he averaged 13 PPG on 46+% from 3-point-land while making a serious name for himself as the potential starting small forward for the Thunder in 2021. Bazley also shot 50% from 3 in the playoff series against Houston. As Chris Paul told The Oklahoman about Darius recently:
“He’s so talented,” Paul said. “For him to be a rookie, there’s a lot being thrown at him. … To see his growth from when we first started off the season, he’s been really, really impressive.”
304. Daniel Gafford (Chicago Bulls)
6’11, 21.9 years old
Gafford’s potential is limited without developing an outside shot, but similar to Mitchell Robinson, he is an absolute beast in the paint. Daniel averages 3.3 blocks-per-game PER36 and shot over 70% from the field with a 16.2 PER. He also led all rookies in total blocks. As he replied on twitter about what he had to do in year 2 to continue progressing in the right direction, Gafford said “Gotta work harder”.
303. Torrey Craig (Denver Nuggets)
6’6, 29.7 years old
Craig has started in 3 playoff games for Denver and I moved him up 30+ spots taking this into consideration. He has been efficient in the playoffs as well, shooting over 36% from long range. What I like about Torrey is that he has slowly progressed and Denver clearly trusts him enough to be on the court in important minutes. He makes 73% of his shots at the rim (94th percentile) and his game is moving in the right direction.
302. Avery Bradley (LA Lakers)
6’2, 29.8 years old
Bradley bounced back a little bit, posting his best eFG% since 2017 with the Celtics during a time he was considered a near-unanimous top 100 player. Still, his momentum was halted by not joining his teammates in the bubble. He showed nice defensive plays during games but was also a net-negative on the offensive end (-3.0) and doesn’t have the ability to create his own shot at the NBA level. He is signed through next season and I will say he is a better option than JR Smith or Dion Waiters.
301. Andre Iguodala (Miami Heat)
6’6, 36.6 years old
At this point in his career, Iguodala’s impact is mainly in the locker room. Still, that’s a big impact as the Miami Heat are currently up 3-1 on the top seeded Bucks in the playoffs. As for how Andre feels about the current situation he is in:
“I feel great,” he said. “This is a good fit for me, and I understand my role, and there’s plenty of reasons to like where this team and this franchise is going.”
This does not mean that Iguodala is only a locker room guy: Andre can still make shots at the rim (72nd percentile) and more impressively is in the 100th percentile for BLK% and 66th for STL%, showing his value as a versatile defender even at 36 years old.
submitted by FlynnPatrick to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 15:35 FlynnPatrick Top 500 Players in the NBA (Episode 9)

Two teams have so many prospects it's just not fair: Denver and Boston.
I mean, the Nuggets practically gave away Malik Beasley and (spoiler) he's a fringe top 100 player. Then Boston has like 10 young players who could all make a serious impact.
I live near Denver and people are excited here. My coworker told me that he went to the liquor store and as a Colorado native he had never seen so many people talk to him about the Nuggets in his entire life. He also guaranteed a Nuggets' championship in 2-3 years. My 1st reaction is "I don't know about all that" but maybe he's right.
330. Jeremiah Martin (Brooklyn Nets)
6’3, 24.2 years old
Watching Martin gives major Brandon Jennings vibes. They are both left-handed and are walking buckets. He was an afterthought at Memphis in college at 1st but developed enough to get minutes in the bubble and Martin scored 24 points against Orlando and 20 against the Celtics. He might have a hard time starting with Kyrie Irving in the mix, but I would not be surprised to see him in the Nets rotation next season.
329. Tim Frazier (Detroit Pistons)
6’1, 29.8 years old
Frazier played in 27 games for Detroit and started in 11, but was ultimately waived shortly before the all-star break. Tim does a good job at giving assists to his teammates (98th percentile AST%) and is a solid perimeter defender (78th percentile STL%) but only shot just 36.2% from the floor with a 9.8 PER.
328. Chris Chiozza (Brooklyn Nets)
6’0, 24.7 years old
Chiozza showed solid potential in the bubble, and even scored 14 points in game 3 of the 1st round against the Raptors. Chiozza puts his teammates 1st, telling newsday.com:
“We just try to share the ball as much as we can, not settle for good shots, we try to get great shots. Sometimes, that’s just making an extra pass. That leads to high percentages and more assists. We just try to make smart plays and make the easy, right play every time.”
Similar to Jeremiah Martin (Chiozza is also from Memphis), he will be looking to prove himself again in 2021.
327. Nassir Little (Portland Trail Blazers)
6’6, 20.6 years old
Little was the 2018 McDonald’s All American MVP and built hype from that performance that he did not live up to at North Carolina. Nassir still had enough potential for the Blazers to select him in the 1st round and results were mixed. I would describe his rookie season as average, he didn’t disappoint and brought young energy to the court when he was on the floor. Little impressed the most shooting at the rim (64th percentile), non-corner 3’s (38%), and the physical skills are there. Maybe a little tuning will help in 2021.
326. Allonzo Trier (New York Knicks)
6’6, 24.6 years old
Trier once had a New York Times profile as the top 7th grade player in America and even though he is not even in the top 300, he at least made the big leagues. I think he could thrive in a situation other than being on the Knicks as well. His offensive advanced stats are very positive (above 60th percentile at rim, mid-range, and 3-point) and I think he deserves at least one more season to prove himself.
325. Cheick Diallo (Phoenix Suns)
6’9, 24.0 years old
In 47 games for the Suns, Diallo shot a career-high 64.8% from the field and he’s put up an above average PER every single season of his career. Diallo can finish at the rim but his form extends to mid-range (84th percentile, 47%). His defense is a work in progress and his offensive value is limited without a 3-point-shot, but he has the talent to be a rotation big man in the league.
324. Anthony Tolliver (Memphis Grizzlies)
6’8, 35.3 years old
In 13 games for the Grizzlies, Tolliver proved that he still has value as a stretch-4, shooting over 41% from long range. Anthony has played in over 700 games which the casual NBA fan probably would not be able to guess, and 10 NBA teams. The true definition of a journeyman, I would say he could probably make an NBA roster for another season or 2.
323. Cody Martin (Charlotte Hornets)
(6’7, 24.9 years old)
Cody stood out for his hustle and the 36th overall pick of the 2019 draft finishes substantially higher on this list than his brother Caleb. His offensive game is well balanced, he does a solid job of finishing at the rim with his athleticism (66th percentile) and he has potential as a perimeter defender as well (84th percentile STL%). As Cody told NBA.com about his experience in the big leagues:
“Being able to be in those [big games] gave me confidence, and it showed that not only my teammates, but the staff had confidence in me to be in those situations,” Martin said. “That was something that was important for me. and something I take pride in is just being ready. Going out there, I already know I’m going to play hard and at 100 percent. It’s about executing the game plan and learning once I’m in there.”
322. Keita Bates-Diop (Denver Nuggets)
6’9, 24.6 years old
Keita has a very pretty offensive game with a smooth jumper and he put up a few nice performances for the Timberwolves early in the season. He was eventually sent to Denver, and overall on the season I would say at the least he progressed from his rookie season and there is room to improve during year 3 in 2021.
321. Elie Okobo (Phoenix Suns)
6’2, 22.9 years old
Okobo saw less minutes than he did during his rookie season (18 MPG to 13 MPG) but he did slightly progress overall. His father was a professional basketball player, and as Elie told NBA.com on how he got into the game of basketball:
“I remember on Saturdays when I was a kid, the game from Friday night was on TV in the morning,” Okobo said. “I was watching the NBA. I wanted to watch LeBron so bad because LeBron was my favorite player. I was watching the Cavaliers. It was like 9:00 AM. I was waking up, 'Oh the NBA is on this morning.' That was my first memory.”
Okobo did finish in the 64th percentile for 3P% and from the 2K simulations I ran this past season, Elie tends to have a 10+ year career. I do think there is some long-term NBA potential but probably not on Phoenix.
320. Shaquille Harrison (Chicago Bulls)
6’4, 26.9 years old
Harrison improved in his 3rd season, most importantly from the 3-point-line (27% to 38%) and scored a career-high 25 points against the Indiana Pacers shortly before the season was suspended. The advanced stats show that he is a plus offensive player (.4 OBMP) and defensive player (2.4 DBPM, 99th percentile for both BLK% and STL%) and those defensive stats show a very clear under-the-radar player who could have a serious impact if given more minutes.
319. Ian Mahinmi (Washington Wizards)
6’11, 33.8 years old
Mahinmi’s contract he signed in 2016 was not viewed very pleasant the last couple of years, but he at least ended on a not terrible not and probably had his best season for the Wizards. Ian has extended his range to the 3-point-line and has a surprisingly nice form. He scored 21 points (pretty much all on Andre Drummond) in January and also scored a career-high 25 points against Miami in January. Still, his offensive efficiency was well below league average and I’m not sure what his value is heading into 2021.
318. Mario Hezonja (Portland Trail Blazers)
6’5, 25.5 years old
Hezonja has never lived up to his number 5 pick potential. Partially due to Orlando holding him back but it’s been 5 years now and he is firmly in bust territory. Mario thinks he still has value in the league, telling OregonLive in July on his fit with the Blazers:
“In my opinion, I fit in perfectly,” Hezonja said. “Off the ball, on the ball, subbing Dame at the one. I can be at the three, I can be behind CJ, I can be behind Melo. I can be behind Zach. I just want to help the team.”
Mario is a solid mid-range scorer (75th percentile) and does have some value on perimeter defense (78th percentile STL%) but at this point in his career I’m not sure a team will let him be the primary go-to guy.
317. PJ Dozier (Denver Nuggets)
6’6, 23.9 years old
I wrote that last year Dozier would be a sleeper in 2020 and was correct. The kid has serious potential, take a look at his PER36 stats:
14.7 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.8 RPG, 1.2 SPG
Not counting garbage time, Dozier shot 44% from 3 (99th percentile) and made 70% of his shots at the rim (90th percentile). He signed a multi-year contract with Denver recently, showing the Nuggets eye for young and up coming talent.
316. Ryan Arcidiacono (Chicago Bulls)
6’3, 24.4 years old
Arcidiacono shot a career-high 39.1% from 3 in 58 games and is the perfect definition of a “hustle player” ranking 6th in the NBA in charges drawn per game. Nothing flashy about his game, but has value as a role-playing hustle player moving forward.
315. Pat Connaughton (Milwaukee Bucks)
6’5, 27.7 years old
Connaughton had a big role with 15 points in a game 2 playoff win against Orlando and I almost moved him up more than this. I would say he did regress from 2019, however as he was a tiny bit less efficient. Pat is best making shots at the rim (88th percentile) but also shot just 33% from long range which is below league average (28th percentile) and even with that 15-point-game is averaging just 4 PPG in the playoffs. He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and we will see if another team takes a chance on him.
314. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans)
6’5, 22.0 years old
It was reported that NAW grew from 6’5 to 6’6. As for what else he worked on in the offseason, Nickeil had this to say to NBA.com
"I would say just being able to get to the basket and finish. Not being able to shoot, being in a cast, it was a lot of finishing and working. When I got out of the cast, working my way back into finishing and small stuff like that, being able to gradually move back until the wrist got it’s strength back. But I would say finishing and getting to the basket."
Nickeil saved his best performance in the last game of the bubble with 29 points and 7 assists against the Orlando Magic. He did show some potential with a 38% 3-point-percentage in non-garbage time minutes (67th percentile) and I see him moving up this list next year.
313. Khem Birch (Orlando Magic)
6’9, 27.9 years old
This is about where I had him last year and statistically he regressed a tiny bit from 2019 to 2020 (FG% fell from 60.3 to 51.0). He’s solid finishing at the rim and has an okay mid-range jumper, but didn’t excel anywhere else. He’s signed through 2021 with the Magic and will get more chances to prove himself next season.
312. Cameron Payne (Phoenix Suns)
6’3, 26.0 years old
Rarely will a player finish this high with a limited sample size, but Payne is an exception. Like Jeremiah Martin, Payne also gives major Brandon Jennings’ type vibes and he excelled in the bubble. It would be interesting to see if he got an expanded role, take a look at his PER36:
17.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.6 SPG
That statline is that of a top 60 player in the league. Payne finished in the 100th percentile for 3-point-efficiency AND the 98th percentile for finishing at the rim, to go along with a career-high 15.7 PER. We need to see more before jumping on the bandwagon but I think at the very least he cemented himself a spot in the NBA in 2021.
311. Marvin Williams (Milwaukee Bucks)
6’9, 34.2 years old
If someone told you in 2010 that Marvin Williams would outlast Deron Williams by nearly 5 years in the league, the casual NBA fan would have thought you insane. Williams was hyped as a player who could have an impact as a role player on the top team in the NBA during the regular season, but regressed once traded to Milwaukee (just 4.0 PPG) and is basically an insurance policy at this point. His 3-point-percentage (non garbage minutes) is just 31% for the Bucks and for the Bucks he has a below 10.0 PER for the 1st time in his career. Still, he was pretty solid in Charlotte and that takes into account on this ranking as well.
310. Chandler Hutchison (Chicago Bulls)
6’7, 24.4 years old
This is lower than I had him in 2019, but Hutchison at the very least progressed in the right direction in 2020 (PPG: 5.2 to 7.8, 3P%: 28.0 to 31.6). Taking a look at the advanced stats, the biggest area where he progressed in 2020 was perimeter defense though (STL%: 39th percentile to 92nd percentile). There is a lot of potential here, he still needs to put on some weight, but if he continues to progress in year 3, he could be dangerous in year 4.
309. Skal Labissiere (Atlanta Hawks)
6’11, 24.5 years old
This is an eye test ranking, when he did see the floor, Labissiere looked impressive. In one of the highlights’ I watched, he blocked Giannis’ shot which very few players are able to do. He showed the potential to be an inside-outside threat but needs to improve his efficiency. Would have likely gotten some chances with the Hawks once traded there had he not been injured, and I can see him being John Collins’ backup in 2021.
308. Robert Williams (Boston Celtics)
6’10, 22.9 years old
My biggest area to see if players are moving in the right direction is progression or regression: did a player improve from last year or not? Williams certainly did, his PPG improved from 2.5 to 5.2 and the Celtics are handling his situation delicately. Yes the Timelord can dunk, but he also improved his mid-range-percentage (non-garbage) from 33% to 50%, and if he can continue to extend his range, he just might make time stop altogether.
307. JJ Barea (Dallas Mavericks)
6’0, 36.1 years old
Barea is likely the best Puerto Rican player ever, and would have finished higher if not for a limited sample size of 29 games. Let me tell you something else impressive that Barea did: the dude came back from a ruptured Achilles tendon 9 MONTHS after the initial injury..at 36 years old! Not only that, but Barea probably has a couple of more years left in him.
306. Abdel Nader (Oklahoma City Thunder)
6’6, 26.9 years old
Nader continued to progress in year 3 and finished in above-average percentiles for shooting percentage on all areas of the floor. He is also near-elite at blocking shots (86th percentile BLK%) and he had a positive VORP for the 1st time in his career. Nader progressed big time in year 3 and could jump into the top 250 with continued progression in year 4.
305. Darius Bazley (Oklahoma City Thunder)
6’9, 20.2 years old
Bazley is paving his own way, jumping to the G-League before Jalen Green made it cool and like Kawhi signed with New Balance. What really made Bazley take a big leap in this ranking was the bubble, where he averaged 13 PPG on 46+% from 3-point-land while making a serious name for himself as the potential starting small forward for the Thunder in 2021. Bazley also shot 50% from 3 in the playoff series against Houston. As Chris Paul told The Oklahoman about Darius recently:
“He’s so talented,” Paul said. “For him to be a rookie, there’s a lot being thrown at him. … To see his growth from when we first started off the season, he’s been really, really impressive.”
304. Daniel Gafford (Chicago Bulls)
6’11, 21.9 years old
Gafford’s potential is limited without developing an outside shot, but similar to Mitchell Robinson, he is an absolute beast in the paint. Daniel averages 3.3 blocks-per-game PER36 and shot over 70% from the field with a 16.2 PER. He also led all rookies in total blocks. As he replied on twitter about what he had to do in year 2 to continue progressing in the right direction, Gafford said “Gotta work harder”.
303. Torrey Craig (Denver Nuggets)
6’6, 29.7 years old
Craig has started in 3 playoff games for Denver and I moved him up 30+ spots taking this into consideration. He has been efficient in the playoffs as well, shooting over 36% from long range. What I like about Torrey is that he has slowly progressed and Denver clearly trusts him enough to be on the court in important minutes. He makes 73% of his shots at the rim (94th percentile) and his game is moving in the right direction.
302. Avery Bradley (LA Lakers)
6’2, 29.8 years old
Bradley bounced back a little bit, posting his best eFG% since 2017 with the Celtics during a time he was considered a near-unanimous top 100 player. Still, his momentum was halted by not joining his teammates in the bubble. He showed nice defensive plays during games but was also a net-negative on the offensive end (-3.0) and doesn’t have the ability to create his own shot at the NBA level. He is signed through next season and I will say he is a better option than JR Smith or Dion Waiters.
301. Andre Iguodala (Miami Heat)
6’6, 36.6 years old
At this point in his career, Iguodala’s impact is mainly in the locker room. Still, that’s a big impact as the Miami Heat are currently up 3-1 on the top seeded Bucks in the playoffs. As for how Andre feels about the current situation he is in:
“I feel great,” he said. “This is a good fit for me, and I understand my role, and there’s plenty of reasons to like where this team and this franchise is going.”
This does not mean that Iguodala is only a locker room guy: Andre can still make shots at the rim (72nd percentile) and more impressively is in the 100th percentile for BLK% and 66th for STL%, showing his value as a versatile defender even at 36 years old.
submitted by FlynnPatrick to nba [link] [comments]


2020.09.04 10:20 KagsTheOneAndOnly Jimmy Butler's strengths and weaknesses

(Repost, edited some parts!)
Definitions and Terms I'll be using:
FULL LIST + EXPLANATIONS ON IMGUR: per 75, TS%, rTS%, ORTG, rORTG, PnR, PPP, AST%, Backpicks Passer Rating, Box Creation, PIPM, BPM, RAPTOR, RPM.
Name:

Jimmy Butler "Jimmy G. Buckets"

In a nutshell: 30 y/o, Miami Heat SF/PF, 6-7, 230lb, All-NBA Candidate
2020 regular-season stats: 19.9/6.7/6.0/1.8/0.6 with 2.2 TOVs on 45.5/24.4/83.4 shooting splits (58.5 TS%), 58 games played
2020 postseason stats: 22.0/4.7/4.0/2.5/0.8 with 3.3 TOVs on 46.8/54.5/85.7 shooting splits (63.0 TS%), 6 games played
Nerd stats: 25.1% Usage, +6.4 On/Off, +3.54 PIPM (16th) , +6.1 RAPTOR (10th) , +4.1 BPM (Backpicks) (13th) , +5.4 BPM (BBRef) (9th) , +3.08 RPM (23rd) , +2.21 Luck-Adjusted RAPM (12th)

🟢 The Good:

  • 🟢 Efficient volume-scorer; "Jimmy G. Buckets, The 'G' stands for 'Gets'": 21.6 Points/75 on 58.5 TS% (+2.0 rTS%) in the regular-season, 23.8 Points/75 on 63.0 TS% (+5.7 rTS%) in the playoffs thus far
Butler finished the regular-season as Miami's leading scorer. He's highly resourceful at racking up points, utilising strength, speed, craft, handles, and deft touch in the paint to compensate for a jumper that deserts him on occasion. Per Basketball Index, Butler is in the 95th-percentile at off-ball movement and finishing among wings, and in the 93rd percentile for post-scoring.
Jimmy Buckets's scoring-breakdown by zone in the 2019-20 regular-season: (per stats.nba.com)
    • 38% of his shot attempts come in the restricted area, where he's finishing at an above-average rate for forwards (64 FG%)
    • 24% of his shot attempts come in the non-restricted area of the paint (a.k.a. "floater range"), where he's also scoring at above-average rate (43.4 FG%)
    • 22% of his shot attempts come from the midrange, where he's unfortunately shot at the 2nd-worst rate in the league (31.7 FG%)
    • 16% of his shot attempts come from 3, where he's shooting at the worst rate in the league (24.8 FG%)
Jimmy uses his strength/speed/footwork combination to bulldoze or finesse his way to the rim and finish through contact, capable of athletic finishes through multiple defenders. When in the post/paint, Jimmy utilises hesitation moves and jab steps effectively, has an effective handle, excellent at keeping defenders on his hips before exploding forward and finishing either at the rim or a bit further out, with a nice little floater off two feet to finish over shotblockers. Butler is also highly physical, using his body to create space - he dips his shoulders on drives, throwing his momentum into his defender's body; he doesn't lack craft, however, using ball fakes and spins a lot (he even throws a spin-fake in there sometimes!).
To quote the great Evin Gualberto:
(Butler's) foundation is his phenomenal footwork. He’s got the poise and patience to pivot and pump, and twist, and then rip through and power to the paint. He can use his force or finish with finesse; he’ll go any way he needs in order to get to the basket, whether that’s under the defender, over, around, or even through them. He’s got the ability to hit from distance, his post game is pretty with the pristine pivoting he does, but he can also go full bully ball. Speaking of, he’s an absolute bull when he wants to get to the rim. He can score any kind of way, so as a defense, all you have to do is make him take the toughest shot possible…the only problem is, yeah, he can make those with worryingly regularity as well. He is Jimmy G Buckets after all, the G stands for gets.
In previous years, Jimmy has been a decent 3-point-shooter (36 3P% in the previous 3 seasons, on 3.2 3PA/game) and has generally shot in the high 30s from midrange, which isn't fantastic but is still a value-add to his versatility as a scorer.
In the playoffs thus far, however, Butler has been money on his jumpshots, connecting on over half his threes (though on low volume - 1.8 3PA/game) and 42% of his midrange shots (again, low volume - 12 midrange attempts) so far.
As an overall scorer, Jimmy is:
    • A hyper-competent and -active cutter (8% of his possessions, 97th percentile efficiency)
    • Fantastic in transition (12% of his possessions, 92nd percentile efficiency)
    • A competent post-operator (7% of his possessions, 80th percentile efficiency)
    • A passable PnR finisher (36% of his possessions, 56th percentile efficiency)
    • Solid in isolation situations, likely buoyed by his very good rim-finishing (10% of his possessions, 68th percentile)
    • Below-average scoring from spot-up scenerios and handoffs
Despite his jumpshot having deserted him in the regular season, Jimmy ekes out efficient scoring options via drawing fouls and very solid rim-finishing in transition, isolation, and by cutting often and decisively. To quote Zach Lowe:
(Butler) can blend into a broader offensive system as a shoulder-checking cutter, and supersede that system when the situation requires.
Accordingly, 41% of Butler's buckets are assisted, a very solid rate for a primary ball-handler who had a non-existent jumpshot during the regular-season, that showcases his off-ball activity as a ferocious cutter.
  • 🟢 Free-throw rate that would make Shaq blush
Jimmy Butler's foul-drawing rate this season has been, to put it mildly, something of an outlier.
Butler is 29th in the NBA in Points/game (19.9), but 5th in the NBA in FTA/game (9.1), and just to emphasize how absurdly often Butler's been finding his way to the line relative to his total shot attempts, here's a fun little table comparing Butler's FTA/game and Points/Game to the league's other elite free-throw-attempters: [TABLE].
To try and add even more context, Free Throw Rate (FTr) is a very simple statistic that gives the ratio of free-throw attempts to field-goal attempts.
Just to ballpark the sort of numbers we expect from high-volume free-throw shooters: famed foul-shot-aficionado James Harden's FTr this season is 0.528, meaning that he averages 0.528 free-throw attempts for every field-goal that he takes. (The Beard's career-high was 0.592, set in 2013.) Paint-destroyer Giannis Antetokounmpo has a FTr of 0.508 this year, and low-post monster Joel Embiid has a FTr of 0.543. A pretty dominant fella who went by the name of Shaquille had a career-average FTr of 0.578, averaging an incredible 0.653 in a 5-year span from 2001 to 2005.
Now, keeping all of this in mind ... Miami Heat All-Star wing Jimmy Butler's Free-Throw Rate, in the 2019-20 season, is 0.693.
(If you're wondering, Butler has more than managed to maintain this in the playoffs too -- after 6 games, Jimmy is 2nd in the entire playoffs in Free-Throw Rate, posting a ludicrous 0.810 FTr. Small sample size, obviously, but wow.)
  • 🟢 Good playmaker
First, some numbers: 6.0 Assists/Game, 7.5 Passer Rating, 7.4 Box Creation. Miami have a fairly strong offense (+1.9 rORTG, 6th) which improves by +4.1 points with Butler on the court. Per Basketball Index, Jimmy is in the 91st percentile for playmaking among wings.
For a few seasons now, Jimmy has been a very solid passer and playmaker. Mimicking another former well-known Chicago wing who went by the name of Michael, Jimmy is a low-turnover player (career 1.5 TOV/game; this season: 2.2 TOV/Game, excellent 2.73 AST/TOV ratio). He is a decisive and relatively low-error ball-handler and shot-creator, hitting bigs and shooters well off PnDHO-action. Butler manipulates defenders with his eyes to unlock shots for teammates, and is also adept at punishing help defenders who have to react to his bruising drives to the rim by kicking to shooters and dropping it off to cutters. He's developed especially good chemistry with Bam (25% of Butler's 6.0 AST/game go to Adebayo), Duncan Robinson (who receives 17% of Butler's assists), and rookie Kendrick Nunn (18%).
Some clips of Jimmy's playmaking: (Source: stats.nba.com)
  • 🟢 Excellent defender
Jimmy at his peak is easily an all-league defensive talent, with tremendous instincts and effort on D, generally remaining incredibly active on that end both on- and off-the-ball. Miami's 12th-ranked defense (-1.0 rDRTG) improves by 1.0 points with Butler on the floor. Butler’s defensive awareness is top-tier, as is his lateral quickness - he's comfortable chasing speedy guards around the court; Jimmy is also uber-switchable for his size, guarding positions 1-4 at least 18% of the time each, and guarding centers for 10% of his possessions, when switched onto bigs in Miami small-ball lineups. Jimmy is in the 82nd percentile of post defenders, fantastic given his position, and players shoot a whopping 4.4% worse on 3s when Butler's the closest defender, demonstrating his defensive engagement and closeout-speed. Butler is a very physical defender as well, often "bodying-up" larger players the post, Marcus Smart-style, crowding their space and making scoring uncomfortable.
To again quote Evin:
(Butler's) ability to stand up powerful post-up players, coupled with the quickness to stick with the shiftiest wings, and the instincts and IQ to know when to stay down and when to jump to contest, make him a dynamite defender... (he) frustrates opponents with foot speed and anticipating with active hands, he’ll blow up pick and rolls, or send his man one way only to remarkably beat him to that same spot. You’ll see jumping in passing lanes, but you’ll also just see him holding his ground a lot; in one, he even holds Melo off with one arm while grabbing the rebound with the other. His intelligence shines through when he avoids getting screened and when he forced ball handlers into help.
Butler is quite disruptive off-ball (7th in Deflections/Game, 7th in Steals/Game, 13th in Steal-%, 14th in loose-balls recovered/game), often jumping passing lanes or making crisp rotations to cut off offensive angles. He's also a plus-rebounder for his position, snagging almost seven boards a game; the Heat's defensive-rebound-% spikes by almost 3 percentage points with Butler on the court. He's generally very engaged on D, providing hard closeouts to shooters (players shoot almost 4.3% worse from 3 when Jimmy is the closest defender) and providing help when the primary Miami defender is beat. Along with Adebayo, Butler is one of the main reasons Miami's defense is still better than league-average even though many of their lineups prioritise shooting over defense (see: Robinson, Herro, Leonard, Olynyk).
Most defensive metrics (taken with a spoonful or two of salt, of course) think of Butler as a very solid positive on defense (+1.0 to +2.0); Basketball Index has Jimmy as the 4th-best Wing Stopper at Passing Lane Defense, and ranks him in the 90th percentile of perimeter defenders in the league overall. It also has him in the 71st percentile as a defensive rebounder, and in the 47th percentile as an interior defender.
Here are some clips of Jimmy's defense:

🔴 The Not-As-Good:

  • 🔴 Inconsistent jumpshot
Butler suffered the 7th-biggest drop in the league in perimeter shooting grade from last year to this year (per Basketball Index). Famously, he was the least efficient jump-shooter in the league by eFG% in the regular-season.
As mentioned, though, his jumpshot has been very respectable in the bubble for now, albeit on very low volume.
  • 🔴 Room for improvement in some areas of scoring
Namely: spot-up shooting, handoffs, and PnR scoring, all likely related to his regular-season shooting woes.
  • 🔴 Some areas of playmaking
From my very limited film study (~15 games), Jimmy doesn't seem to try advanced passes often (though that might be a Miami Heat scheme-related issue), rarely slingshoting cross-court skip-passes to corner shooters like LeBron/Luka/Trae do (please correct me if I'm wrong, Heat fans!). He can occasionally miss cutters while hunting for the kickout pass for 3. Butler's delivery can sometimes be a bit wild or inaccurate as well.
  • 🔴 Some areas of defense
Jimmy's activity does dial down on occasion. He also lacks size/strength/length to defend larger wings consistently, and his gambles can blow up on him at times too when he's springing passing lanes, with the player he's supposed to be guarding getting an open 3 or cutting to the rim as Butler isn't there to recover in time. Jimmy is also vulnerable to size at the rim - despite posting one of the best block rates in the league for a guard/forward, these are mostly on smaller players and he doesn't seem to influence shot attempts at the rim too much in general - opponents shoot almost 6% better within 6 feet of the hoop when Butler's the closest defender. It also appears that Butler's pick-and-roll defense may have some room for improvement as well (46th percentile in defending PnR ball-handlers), he may have trouble negotiating man and ball occasionally.
  • 🔴 A few regular-season clutch woes
Jimmy shot 45.1 TS% in the clutch this season, with a -10.4 individual clutch net rating, while Miami as a team were 24th in clutch net rating.
However, the team still broke even in the wins column (18-18) and had a 14-10 clutch record when Butler played.
In addition, I say "regular-season" for a reason (keep in mind the usual "low sample size" asterisk, of course): Miami have been the 4th-best clutch team in the playoffs by net rating, winning all 3 of their close games so far, while Jimmy himself is sporting a blistering hot 88.7 clutch TS% and +29.8 clutch net rating at the moment, with an absolutely scorching +137.5 clutch offensive rating.
  • 🔴 Few durability questions
Jimmy G. Buckets (the 'G.' stands for 'Gets') has played >67 games only twice in his 9-year career.
HOWEVER, he's been very available for the Heat this season, missing 'only' 11 games.
Indeed, Butler played heavy minutes in his last playoff run for Philadelphia (38mpg in 2nd round) as well, performing admirably in a razor-close loss to the eventual champion Raptors in the 2nd round (22/7/6 on 56ts%, +1.0rTS%, vs Toronto), very nearly pulling through a Sixers team otherwise starved of late-game offensive-creation into the Conference Finals.

That's it for today, thanks for reading!

(P.S. Here's Butler's playoff career-high 40-point performance against Milwaukee in Game 1 for your viewing pleasure: LINK.)
BONUS
heres some other things I've written (if you're interested in this sort of stuff or just wanna pass the time while waiting for the games to begin)-
submitted by KagsTheOneAndOnly to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 17:21 KagsTheOneAndOnly [OC] I tried writing up a short Jimmy Butler player breakdown:

"short"
Definitions and Terms I'll be using:
FULL LIST + EXPLANATIONS ON IMGUR: per 75, TS%, rTS%, ORTG, rORTG, PnR, PPP, AST%, Backpicks Passer Rating, Box Creation, PIPM, BPM, RAPTOR, RPM.
Name:

Jimmy Butler "Jimmy G. Buckets"

In a nutshell: 30 y/o, Miami Heat SF/PF, 6-7, 230lb, All-NBA Candidate
2020 regular-season stats: 19.9/6.7/6.0/1.8/0.6 with 2.2 TOVs on 45.5/24.4/83.4 shooting splits (58.5 TS%), 58 games played
2020 postseason stats: 22.0/4.7/4.0/2.5/0.8 with 3.3 TOVs on 46.8/54.5/85.7 shooting splits (63.0 TS%), 6 games played
Nerd stats: 25.1% Usage, +6.4 On/Off, +3.54 PIPM (16th) , +6.1 RAPTOR (10th) , +4.1 BPM (Backpicks) (13th) , +5.4 BPM (BBRef) (9th) , +3.08 RPM (23rd) , +2.21 Luck-Adjusted RAPM (12th)

🟢 The Good:

  • 🟢 Efficient volume-scorer; "Jimmy G. Buckets, The 'G' stands for 'Gets'": 21.6 Points/75 on 58.5 TS% (+2.0 rTS%) in the regular-season, 23.8 Points/75 on 63.0 TS% (+5.7 rTS%) in the playoffs thus far
Butler finished the regular-season as Miami's leading scorer. He's highly resourceful at racking up points, utilising strength, speed, craft, handles, and deft touch in the paint to compensate for a jumper that deserts him on occasion. Per Basketball Index, Butler is in the 95th-percentile at off-ball movement and finishing among wings, and in the 93rd percentile for post-scoring.
Jimmy Buckets's scoring-breakdown by zone in the 2019-20 regular-season: (per stats.nba.com)
    • 38% of his shot attempts come in the restricted area, where he's finishing at an above-average rate for forwards (64 FG%)
    • 24% of his shot attempts come in the non-restricted area of the paint (a.k.a. "floater range"), where he's also scoring at above-average rate (43.4 FG%)
    • 22% of his shot attempts come from the midrange, where he's unfortunately shot at the 2nd-worst rate in the league (31.7 FG%)
    • 16% of his shot attempts come from 3, where he's shooting at the worst rate in the league (24.8 FG%)
Jimmy uses his strength/speed/footwork combination to bulldoze or finesse his way to the rim and finish through contact, capable of athletic finishes through multiple defenders.
To quote the great Evin Gualberto:
(Butler's) foundation is his phenomenal footwork. He’s got the poise and patience to pivot and pump, and twist, and then rip through and power to the paint. He can use his force or finish with finesse; he’ll go any way he needs in order to get to the basket, whether that’s under the defender, over, around, or even through them. He’s got the ability to hit from distance, his post game is pretty with the pristine pivoting he does, but he can also go full bully ball. Speaking of, he’s an absolute bull when he wants to get to the rim. He can score any kind of way, so as a defense, all you have to do is make him take the toughest shot possible…the only problem is, yeah, he can make those with worryingly regularity as well. He is Jimmy G Buckets after all, the G stands for gets.
In previous years, Jimmy has been a decent 3-point-shooter (36 3P% in the previous 3 seasons, on 3.2 3PA/game) and has generally shot in the high 30s from midrange, which isn't fantastic but is still a value-add to his versatility as a scorer.
In the playoffs thus far, however, Butler has been money on his jumpshots, connecting on over half his threes (though on low volume - 1.8 3PA/game) and 42% of his midrange shots (again, low volume - 12 midrange attempts) so far.
As an overall scorer, Jimmy is:
    • A hyper-competent and -active cutter (8% of his possessions, 97th percentile efficiency)
    • Fantastic in transition (12% of his possessions, 92nd percentile efficiency)
    • A competent post-operator (7% of his possessions, 80th percentile efficiency)
    • A passable PnR finisher (36% of his possessions, 56th percentile efficiency)
    • Solid in isolation situations, likely buoyed by his very good rim-finishing (10% of his possessions, 68th percentile)
    • Below-average scoring from spot-up scenerios and handoffs
Despite his jumpshot having deserted him in the regular season, Jimmy ekes out efficient scoring options via drawing fouls and very solid rim-finishing in transition, isolation, and by cutting often and decisively. To quote Zach Lowe:
(Butler) can blend into a broader offensive system as a shoulder-checking cutter, and supersede that system when the situation requires.
Accordingly, 41% of Butler's buckets are assisted, an extremely solid rate for a primary ball-handler who had a non-existent jumpshot during the regular-season, that showcases his off-ball activity as a ferocious cutter.
  • 🟢 Free-throw rate that would make Shaq blush
Jimmy Butler's foul-drawing rate this season has been, to put it mildly, something of an outlier.
Butler is 29th in the NBA in Points/game (19.9), but 5th in the NBA in FTA/game (9.1), and just to emphasize how absurdly often Butler's been finding his way to the line relative to his total shot attempts, here's a fun little table comparing Butler's FTA/game and Points/Game to the league's other elite free-throw-attempters: [TABLE].
To try and add even more context, Free Throw Rate (FTr) is a very simple statistic that gives the ratio of free-throw attempts to field-goal attempts.
Just to ballpark the sort of numbers we expect from high-volume free-throw shooters: famed foul-shot-aficionado James Harden's FTr this season is 0.528, meaning that he averages 0.528 free-throw attempts for every field-goal that he takes. (The Beard's career-high was 0.592, set in 2013.) Paint-destroyer Giannis Antetokounmpo has a FTr of 0.508 this year, and low-post monster Joel Embiid has a FTr of 0.543. A pretty dominant fella who went by the name of Shaquille had a career-average FTr of 0.578, averaging an incredible 0.653 in a 5-year span from 2001 to 2005.
Now, keeping all of this in mind ... Miami Heat All-Star wing Jimmy Butler's Free-Throw Rate, in the 2019-20 season, is 0.693.
(If you're wondering, Butler has more than managed to maintain this in the playoffs too -- after 6 games, Jimmy is 2nd in the entire playoffs in Free-Throw Rate, posting a ludicrous 0.810 FTr.)
  • 🟢 Good playmaker
First, some numbers: 6.0 Assists/Game, 7.5 Passer Rating, 7.4 Box Creation. Miami have a fairly strong offense (+1.9 rORTG, 6th) which improves by +4.1 points with Butler on the court. Per Basketball Index, Jimmy is in the 91st percentile for playmaking among wings.
For a few seasons now, Jimmy has been a very solid passer and playmaker. Mimicking another former well-known Chicago wing who went by the name of Michael, Jimmy is a low-turnover player (career 1.5 TOV/game; this season: 2.2 TOV/Game, excellent 2.73 AST/TOV ratio). He is a decisive and relatively low-error ball-handler and shot-creator, hitting bigs and shooters well off PnDHO-action. Butler manipulates defenders with his eyes to unlock shots for teammates, and is also adept at punishing help defenders who have to react to his bruising drives to the rim by kicking to shooters and dropping it off to cutters. He's developed especially good chemistry with Bam (25% of Butler's 6.0 AST/game go to Adebayo), Duncan Robinson (who receives 17% of Butler's assists), and rookie Kendrick Nunn (18%).
Some clips of Jimmy's playmaking: (Source: stats.nba.com)
  • 🟢 Excellent defender
Jimmy at his peak is easily an all-league defensive talent, with tremendous instincts and effort on D, generally remaining incredibly active on that end both on- and off-the-ball. Miami's 12th-ranked defense (-1.0 rDRTG) improves by 1.0 points with Butler on the floor. Butler’s defensive awareness is top-tier, as is his lateral quickness - he's comfortable chasing speedy guards around the court; Jimmy is also uber-switchable for his size, guarding positions 1-4 at least 18% of the time each, and guarding centers for 10% of his possessions, when switched onto bigs in Miami small-ball lineups. Jimmy is in the 82nd percentile of post defenders, fantastic given his position, and players shoot a whopping 4.4% worse on 3s when Butler's the closest defender, demonstrating his defensive engagement and closeout-speed.
To again quote Evin:
(Butler's) ability to stand up powerful post-up players, coupled with the quickness to stick with the shiftiest wings, and the instincts and IQ to know when to stay down and when to jump to contest, make him a dynamite defender... (he) frustrates opponents with foot speed and anticipating with active hands, he’ll blow up pick and rolls, or send his man one way only to remarkably beat him to that same spot. You’ll see jumping in passing lanes, but you’ll also just see him holding his ground a lot; in one, he even holds Melo off with one arm while grabbing the rebound with the other. His intelligence shines through when he avoids getting screened and when he forced ball handlers into help.
Butler is quite disruptive off-ball (7th in Deflections/Game, 7th in Steals/Game, 13th in Steal-%, 14th in loose-balls recovered/game), often jumping passing lanes or making crisp rotations to cut off offensive angles. He's also a plus-rebounder for his position, snagging almost seven boards a game; the Heat's defensive-rebound-% spikes by almost 3 percentage points with Butler on the court. He's generally very engaged on D, providing hard closeouts to shooters (players shoot almost 4.3% worse from 3 when Jimmy is the closest defender) and providing help when the primary Miami defender is beat. Along with Adebayo, Butler is one of the main reasons Miami's defense is still better than league-average even though their lineups prioritise shooting over defense (see: Robinson, Herro, Leonard, Olynyk).
Most defensive metrics (taken with a spoonful or two of salt, of course) think of Butler as a very solid positive on defense (+1.0 to +2.0); Basketball Index has Jimmy as the 4th-best Wing Stopper at Passing Lane Defense, and ranks him in the 90th percentile of perimeter defenders in the league overall. It also has him in the 71st percentile as a defensive rebounder, and in the 47th percentile as an interior defender.
Here are some clips of Jimmy's defense:

🔴 The Not-As-Good:

  • 🔴 Inconsistent jumpshot
Butler suffered the 7th-biggest drop in the league in perimeter shooting grade from last year to this year (per Basketball Index). Famously, he was the least efficient jump-shooter in the league by eFG% in the regular-season.
As mentioned, though, his jumpshot has been very respectable in the bubble for now, albeit on very low volume.
  • 🔴 Room for improvement in some areas of scoring
Namely: spot-up shooting, handoffs, and PnR scoring, all likely related to his regular-season shooting woes.
  • 🔴 Some areas of playmaking
From my very limited film study (~15 games), Jimmy doesn't seem to try advanced passes often (though that might be a Miami Heat scheme-related issue), rarely slingshoting cross-court skip-passes to corner shooters like LeBron/Luka/Trae do (please correct me if I'm wrong, Heat fans!). He can occasionally miss cutters while hunting for the kickout pass for 3. Butler's delivery can sometimes be a bit wild or inaccurate as well.
  • 🔴 Some areas of defense
Jimmy's activity does dial down on occasion. He also lacks size/strength/length to defend larger wings consistently, and his gambles can blow up on him at times too when he's springing passing lanes, with the player he's supposed to be guarding getting an open 3 or cutting to the rim as Butler isn't there to recover in time. Jimmy is also vulnerable to size at the rim - despite posting one of the best block rates in the league for a guard/forward, these are mostly on smaller players and he doesn't seem to influence shot attempts at the rim too much in general - opponents shoot almost 6% better within 6 feet of the hoop when Butler's the closest defender. It appears that Butler's pick-and-roll defense also has some room for improvement as he may have trouble negotiating man and ball sometimes - he's in the 46th percentile in defending PnR ball-handlers, which isn't terrible, by any means, but is still far from elite.
  • 🔴 A few regular-season clutch woes
Jimmy shot 45.1 TS% in the clutch this season, with a -10.4 individual clutch net rating, while Miami as a team were 24th in clutch net rating.
However, the team still broke even in the wins column (18-18) and had a 14-10 clutch record when Butler played.
In addition, I say "regular-season" for a reason (keep in mind the usual "low sample size" asterisk, of course): Miami have been the 4th-best clutch team in the playoffs by net rating, winning all 3 of their close games so far, while Jimmy himself is sporting a blistering hot 88.7 clutch TS% and +29.8 clutch net rating at the moment, with an absolutely scorching +137.5 clutch offensive rating.
  • 🔴 Few durability questions
Jimmy G. Buckets (the 'G.' stands for 'Gets') has played >67 games only twice in his 9-year career.
HOWEVER, he's been very available for the Heat this season, missing 'only' 11 games.
Indeed, Butler played heavy minutes in his last playoff run for Philadelphia (38mpg in 2nd round) as well, performing admirably in a razor-close loss to the eventual champion Raptors in the 2nd round (22/7/6 on 56ts%, +1.0rTS%, vs Toronto), very nearly pulling through a Sixers team otherwise starved of late-game offensive-creation into the Conference Finals.

That's it for today, thanks for reading!

(P.S. Here's Butler's playoff career-high 40-point performance against Milwaukee in Game 1 for your viewing pleasure: LINK.)
BONUS
heres some other things I've written (if you're interested in this sort of stuff or just wanna pass the time while waiting for the games to begin)-
submitted by KagsTheOneAndOnly to nba [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 11:53 GaslightEveryone Fallacious arguments about, or otherwise unsubstantiated conceptions pertaining to, British India

This was not written by me, but is on my profile at the author's behest. I do not maintain this post.

Famines:

No famines weren’t more common during the Raj. It is fallacious to claim so:
Cormac O’Grada, an expert on famines rightly criticises such statements:
again and again, historians have been unable to resist the temptation to infer the incidence and frequency of famines from the documentary record
O’Grada, Famine: A Short History.
He further states unambiguously:
In the longer run, although colonial rule may have eliminated or weakened traditional coping mechanisms, it meant better communications, integrated markets, and more effective public action, which together probably reduced famine mortality.
Tirthakar Roy in The Economic History of India, 1857–1947 (Oxford: OUP, 2011), pg 140–41 is of the same conclusion as O’Grada. He says that the recording of pre colonial famines was patchy and thus leads one to wrong conclusions.
More recently Roy, 2019 elaborates:
We cannot be sure if famines were more frequent or less frequent during British rule compared with past rules. The required sources do not exist for periods before the early-1800s... The pre-1770 data came from biographies of rulers, chronicles of military exploits, and travelogues. These are not reliable sources of historical statistics.
Mixing sources can lead to misleading conclusions about the long history of famines. Historians of Indian famines have often fallen in that trap. For example, one of the best-known works on Indian famines, Famines in India by B. M. Bhatia, estimates that ‘in the earlier times a major famine occurred once every 50 years’, whereas ‘between 1860 and 1908, famine or scarcity prevailed in .. twenty out of the total of forty-nine years’.
His source was Alexander Loveday, a Cambridge scholar who wrote an essay on Indian famines in 1914.4 Loveday did not do any original research but prepared an appendix listing known famines since the beginning of the Common Era. Whereas the post-1800 famines were recorded by the government statistical system, the pre-1800 data came from hagiographies and travelogues. The frequency with which famines occurred in these earlier times depended on the frequency with which hagiographies were written. If this was once in fifty years, we would conclude that famines happened once in fifty years, as Bhatia did. It makes no sense.
Tbf not all Indan historians are victims of this fallacy. Take Kumar, 1993:
Colonial governments may well have been negligent in dealing with famines by modern standards, but they were certainly not so in comparison with their predecessors...public and private resources were limited. Sanjay Sharma has pointed out that active intervention by the Mughal state was constrained by transport bottlenecks, and the decentralised nature of Indian society.
Or Hatekar, 2005:
I do not know of a detailed study of famines before the 19th century (this could be due to my weak knowledge and poor memory) that demonstrates that the intensity and frequency of famines went up significantly during the second half of the 19th century.
To someone like me who spends considerable time working with rural documents of 18th century Deccan, famines seem to have been a regular fact of life even during the 18th century. The great poet saints of the 18th century have given heart rending accounts of the effects of pre British famines.
The general "forced commercialisation of agriculture during the 19th century" also fails to tell us why several parts of the country like the Konkan belt of Maharashtra managed to remain free of famines.
A history of pre British famines and their demographic and economic consequences is in crying need of being written.
With that out of the way, India was a land ridden with famine. See this comprehensive site. Furthermore anyone who’s read Indian history will be aware of the incidence and intensity of pre colonial famines. Here’s just a partial list:
Famine in sindh in 1540 led to cannibalism. Source: Elliot's The history of India, as told by its own historians Vol I. Famine in 1555 in the heart of Mughal India. Cannibalism ensues. Source: Elliot's Bibliographical index to the historians of Muhammedan India.
Famine in 1572 in Sirhind. Cannibalism ensues. Source: Irfan Habib, The Agrarian System of Mughal India (1999) pg 114 footnote 7. Famine in 1576 in Kashmir. Cannibalism ensues. Source: A History Of Muslim Rule In Kashmir 1320 1819 R. K. Parmu Pg 261 footnote 92.
Famine in 1595 in the whole of Hindustan. Cannibalism ensues. Source: Elliot's The history of India, as told by its own historians Vol VI. Famine in 1626 in the Fishery Coast. Cannibalism ensues. Source: Bhavani (2008), Economic History of TamilNadu from AD 1600 to 1857 Chapter VIII, p364.
Great Famine of 1630. Cannibalism ensues. Source: Elliot's The history of India, as told by its own historians Vol VII. Famine in 1646 in the Coromandel Coast. Cannibalism ensues. Source: Bhavani (2008), Economic History of TamilNadu from AD 1600 to 1857 pp 364-5 Famine in Patna in 1670. Cannibalism ensues. Source: John Marshall In India by Shafat Ahmad Khan lists some pre colonial famines:
For the century as a whole, there were said to be severe food scarcities and famines in: ‘1613–1615, 1630–1632, 1636–1637, 1640, 1642, 1644, 1646, 1647, 1648, 1650, 1651, 1658–1660, 1662–1663, 1670, 1682, 1685, 1691, 1694‒1695, [and] 1696–1697’. This list is incomplete, however. It relates only to areas that were under Mughal control, and the records of English and Dutch trading companies increase its length. In addition, Geoffrey Parker notes that the monsoon failures of 1613–15, 1630–32, 1658–60, and 1685–87 appear to have been especially disastrous.
Nor were the British worse than Indian rulers wrt famine reloef despite assertions to the contrary by Mike Davis, Parthasarathi etc:
See Kumar, 1993:
Colonial governments may well have been negligent in dealing with famines by modern standards, but they were certainly not so in comparison with their predecessors.
Ahuja (2002) puts it rather succinctly:
Yet we do not presently have any proof for the type of rudimentary ’famine policy’ practised in Mughal North India that relied on the prohibition of food exports from famine stricken areas and on the regulation of food prices in urban markets. Nor is there much indication for popular pressure on the Govemor-in Council of Fort St George to impose such regulations on grounds of custom.
no clear-cut ’famine policy’ appears to be perceivable in pre-colonial South India on the basis of the available evidence… Moreover, while Nawab Asaf ud-Daula reportedly gave employment to 40,000 people on construction sites in Lucknow during the ’Chalisa’ famine, no evidence is available for the establishment of similar ’famine works’ by pre-colonial rulers in South India
Commenting on assertions made authors mentioned above Roy, 2016 says:
Commenting on the Bengal famine of 1769-70, Prasannan Parthasarathi writes that ‘pre-British political practice .. was to [organize] food distribution on a massive scale.’ If this is true, the subsequent history of colonial famines would mean that the pre-British rules were welfare-minded whereas British rule was not. This proposition is not testable because no one can say how large or how effective precolonial relief effort really was.
Agrawal et al, 2000 note the same:
One cannot compare, for instance, the absence of complaints or solicitations for relief rice in Mughal India with their replete presence in colonial records and assume that this means Mughal kings took care of their populations during famines and British colonial officals did not. It might mean this, although the historical evidence is certainly weighed against such a conclusion. But it is also possible, and perhaps probable, that the absence of solicitations in Mughal documents means that no one expected the Mughal officials to supply any relief, so it was pointless to ask, or that court scribes whose job it was to record the "event" portrayed only what would make Mughal rulers or patrons look magnanimous and charitable.
Eraly, 2007 doesn’t mince his words and states it starkly:
THE SINGLE MOST appalling fact of life in Mughal India was famine, a spectre present at the turn of every season... These [relief measures] were, however, only token and random measures, at best palliatives. The amounts spent on famine relief were trivial compared to the extravagant personal expenses of the emperor and the amirs, for instance, the 100,000 rupees disbursed by Shah Jahan for famine relief was a mere one tenth of the annual pin money of Mumtaz Mahal! The Mughal indifference to the woes of the people was not callousness, but culture. It was the same everywhere in the medieval world. Human misery was not seen as misery by medieval rulers, but merely as the common lot. Even if the emperor had viewed it differently, and had wished to help, there was not much that he could do, for he did not have the administrative capability for effective famine relief [...] For the emperor, famine relief was charity, desirable but not obligatory.
His primary concern was to preserve and extend his power, and he would not even suspend military operations to provide famine relief. The attitudes of Hindu monarchs were the same. Thus, 'while people died with the word "bread" upon their lips,' Hemu, the Hindu revivalist, 'valued the lives of a hundred thousand men at no more than a barley corn,' says Badauni; 'he fed his five hundred elephants upon rice, sugar, and butter. The whole world was astounded and disgusted'. For a monarch it was more prudent to feed elephants than people
In contrast the expenditure on famine was generous, thus there was no death from starvation in the famine of 1873-74.
The British ended peacetime famines. See Roy, 2019:
First, the open economy that the regime sponsored delivered two extraordinary benefits to the Indians, it stimulated business and reduced deaths from diseases and famines.
Economic historians have the habit of looking long and hard at numbers. In the late 1970s, an American scholar Michelle McAlpin did that with the Deccan famines. This region, one of the driest agricultural zones of the world, had never been free of acute scarcities for more than 10–15 years at a stretch in the recorded history of famines in India.
But famines disappeared here after 1899, McAlpin observed. The significance of the end of famines was momentous, not just for India, for the world. It turned the population growth curve up. The British were still the rulers of India in the 40 odd years after the last of the Deccan famines when the mortality decline happened. Did colonial rule help end famines?
Weather shocks of similar severity repeated after 1900 in at least four years. ‘Yet the potential dangers were largely dealt with’. The instruments were, a railway system that carried food quickly from low-price to high-price areas (as McAlpin noted); a statistical system to track weather and harvest conditions; knowledge of tropical diseases that killed many weakened by starvation; private charities; and a state-run relief system. The government worked to improve its ability to deal with famines. The strategy paid off.
Roy states the case clearly:
The technology embodied in the railways came from Britain, though it had to adapt to Indian conditions. Railways were not just another item in the catalogue of ‘benefits’ of empire. It had a profound impact on ending famines. Current statistical research confirms McAlpin’s insight that the railways caused the end of famines and delivered the gift of life to generations of Indians born after 1900.
Indians lived longer from 1920, thanks to better epidemic control, better theories of disease causation and treatment, and the disappearance of famines after 1900. See this askhistorians answer.
Further Reading:
McAlpin, Subject to Famine: Food Crisis and Economic Change in Western India, 1860–1920, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983
Can Openness Mitigate the Effects of Weather Shocks? Evidence from India’s Famine Era, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 100(2): 449-453, 2010.

Le 25%

Repeat after me “Relative decline doesn’t equal absolute decline”.
Angus Maddison must be rolling in his grave. People misinterpret his figures even India’s former PM who’s an economist!
India had close to a quarter of the world’s population. Hence its large share of the global GDP. If people bother to read Maddison they’ll know that, India's GDP during the British Raj grew in absolute terms but her relative share in the world economy declined. Roy had to explain the obvious to Tharoor: The statistic that India produced 25 per cent of world output in 1800 and 2–4 per cent of it in 1900 does not prove that India was once rich and became poor. It only tells us that industrial productivity in the West increased four to six times during this period.
We have reliable figures for pre colonial India, compiled by Broadberry and Gupta. They show that in 1600, India's GDP per capita was a third lower than Britain's. A recent paper extends India’s poverty even further!
Further Reading:
https://old.reddit.com/AskHistorians/comments/cl842u/in_precolonial_india_where_european_explorers/faz3xxn/
RC Allen, India in the Great Divergence in The New Comparative Economic History: Essay in Honour of Jeffrey G. Williamson.
Roy, T. (2010). Economic Conditions in Early Modern Bengal: A Contribution to the Divergence Debate. The Journal of Economic History, 70(1), 179-194. Despite the fabulous riches of Bengal subah, the masses were essentially a poverty stricken lot. The Nawab, his nobles, Rajas, Roys and merchant princes were fabulously wealthy no doubt. A tale similar to pre colonial India!

45 Trillion

https://old.reddit.com/AskHistorians/comments/ig9sdd/did_amongst_other_things_the_british_steal_45/
https://old.reddit.com/AskHistorians/comments/gc3ifutsa_patnaik_claims_that_the_british_siphoned_45/fp9yyx0/
CJ Dewey’s scathing review of her work is essential reading. We however shall concern ourselves with the parts pertinent to us:
There are only two things wrong with Professor Patnaik’s methodology. She consistently adopts statistical assumptions (such as compound interest at a rate of 5% per annum over centuries) that exaggerate the magnitude of the drain; and she consistently ignores research that would tend to cut the economic impact of the drain down to size, such as the work on the sources of investment during the industrial revolution (which shows that industrialisation was financed by the ploughed-back profits of industrialists) or the costs of empire school (which stresses the high price of imperial defence).
I wonder whether there is a single serious economic historian outside India who would accept her view of the centrality of India’s exploitation in the development of the global economy. There are too many rival claimants. Quite right!

Drain

The drain theory of poverty is confused claptrap. That’s not us saying this but Roy, 2019:
Calculations of the drain are not worth the ink they are written with. Simon Digby thought £1000 million was transferred between 1757 and 1815. Angus Maddison reduced this to £100 million. Javier Cuenca Esteban placed the figure closer to £40 million. If we take the third figure, the implied annual transfer against an estimated national income (1800) of £100–150 million is trivial.
Indian nationalists brushed off the difficulty by suggesting that all of the export surplus was forced and a waste of money. The crudeness of the claim beggars belief…. the drain theory of poverty is a confused claptrap.
Charlesworth on the drain:
How great was the drain? Dutt's assessment was that 'one-fourth of all the revenues derived in India is annually remitted to England', amounting to £159 million out of total revenues of £647 million over the last decade of Victoria's reign. Such contemporary estimates, however, can be challenged on their definition of what constituted the drain.
Often costs were included, notably profits paid to foreign investors, which were borne by many developing economies in the nineteenth century, outside normal definitions of Britain's 'informal' let alone formal empire. Most modern measurement, therefore, has concentrated on the home charges: interest paid to Britain on the Indian public debt, military charges (notably the cost of maintaining the Indian Army), the cost of purchasing 'stores' in Britain and the 'civil charges' arising from British administration, the latter including those India Office charladies and, especially, payment of Civil Service salaries and pensions.
Even many of these charges, however, might not be viewed, strictly, as a 'drain'. The rapid growth of the Indian public debt, for example (it stood at £30 million in 1837 and £220 million by 1900) was mirrored in other contemporary developing economies, such as Russia, where foreign borrowing is frequently ascribed a highly productive role. In fact much of India's public debt, like Russia's, was the outcome of expenditure on railway building, which presumably had some constructive impact.
The drain, then, is now typically defined as thunproductive element in the 'home charges'. In this light Macpherson points to 'defence services', which totalled around 15 per cent of the home charges in 1870, along with civil pensions and allowances. Similarly, T. Mukerjee estimates that between 1840 and 1900 some 18 per cent of the public debt was caused by ward.
Pared down in this way, the drain looks much less like Dutt's 'continuous, ceaseless flow'. Mukerjee assesses it, defined as 'unnecessary' home charges, at about £42 million over the 1840-1900 period. By any standards this must have been an infinitesimal percentage of total national income: Mukerjee suggests between 0.04 and 0.07 over the period 1870-1900. Even if all the home charges are included, the drain would barely exceed 0. 5 per cent of national income.
**Undoubtedly this modem measurement correctly highlights, in simple quantitative terms, what Chaudhuri calls the 'insignificance' of the drain controversy. It is perhaps remarkable that so much attention has been expended on the late nineteenth century expropriatory mechanism whilst the massive new mobilisation of revenue funds associated with early British rule remains comparatively ignored.
See McLane, The Drain of Wealth and Indian Nationalism at the Turn of the Century:
India's public debt was small compared to that of the United Kingdom, and the interest India paid to the United Kingdom on private and public loans was only a fraction of the £60,000,000 or so which the United States was annually remitting to Europe in about 1910 as interest. It is a truism, but nevertheless worth repeating, that the significance of India's foreign obligations was not be found in their absolute size.
As per Maddison’s calculations the British extracted less from the Indian economy than the Mughals.
Further Reading:
India and the World Economy 1850-1950 ed G Balachandran (OUP, 2003) particularly the Introduction.
K. N. Chaudhuri (1968). India's International Economy in the Nineteenth Century: An Historical Survey. Modern Asian Studies.
M. Mukherjee, National Income of India: Trends and Structure (Calcutta, 1969).

Railways

Despite Tharoor’s rantings. Railways were a benfit to India. Let’s breakdown his claims.
Wrt the guarantees, Guarantees were used throughout the world in the mid c19th.
And here’s the irony of this silly controversy. We’ll let G Balachandran do the talking:
The notorious railway guarantees would have appeared less offensive, and not peculiarly colonial, to a student who first came across them in the early 1990s (when the Indian government offered extravagant sovereign guarantees and counter-guarantees on rates of return to attract foreign investments into power and infrastructure projects or in the spring of 2001 when some of these guarantees came back to haunt the government) than to someone in the 1970s when India was a closed economy with little exposure to foreign direct investment or international capital markets. Hmmmm… Wonder why Tharoor neglects to mention this?
Moving on, Tharoor omits a fact that has been known for decades. The realised rates of return on Indian rail securities were much lower than other rail securities and similar to British rail securities as per Michael Edelstein's calculations.
New research by Bogart and Chauhdhuri further confirms that railways, were far from extractive:
The average annual total return on the largest and most important Indian railway securities was 3.7%. These returns were not excessive by any financial standard. Indeed, they were lower than the return on railway securities in North America, Latin America, and Asia.
The rail infrastructure had a vital effect on the market for grains. We first deal with the work of Michelle McAlpin. Her papers were condensed into a book.
What does her book say? She mentions that certain railway lines were constructed specifically to make it possible to move grain quickly and relatively cheaply from areas of surplus production to areas affected by crop failure. These lines were not necessarily expected to show a profit, although some of them did. The volume of railborne trade in grains and pulses increased enormously between 1880 and 1920. As her findings show, the *increase in internal grain trade was far larger than the rather limited increases in the exports of wheat and rice. *
Railways along with other measures (that McAlpin details in her book) contributed to the decline of peacetime famines in the 20th century in the Deccan, an area notorious for its famines.
McAlpin isn't the only one who has shown this. In a widely cited 2010 paper Burgess and Donaldson echo her conclusions:
The results of our analysis suggest that rainfall shortages had large effects on famine intensity in an average district before it was penetrated by India’s expanding railroad network. But the ability of rainfall shortages to cause famine disappeared almost completely after the arrival of railroads. This lines up with findings in Donaldson (2008), where railroads were seen to significantly reduce the exposure of agricultural prices and real incomes to rainfall shocks. Donaldson drew this conclusion in another widely cited article published in 2018.
19 million passengers rode the trains in 1871. This increased to 183 million in 1901, 630 million in 1930 and more than 1 billion in 1946. That's an increase of 5163.21% in 75 years.
India had a poor system of transport before the railways. Grain and goods a town away would vary enormously in price. The cheapest and most widely used method of transport (non riverine areas) was pack bullock.
Hurd calculates the savings made from the railways.
By 1900 Rs 1 billion or 9% of national income in 1900 was saved in transportation costs. Even in areas of light rail traffic, rail saves Rs 372 million on 4% of national income in 1900. The cost of it all? On average 0.2% of national income, never more than 0.3% of national income was paid to rail investors. This was between 1860-96 when guarantees were paid.
Colonial scam eh? Most nations would wish to be scammed this way.

United India

No the existence of Mauryan Empire doesn’t mean India was united entity in any way. This isn’t even disputed in academia yet sadly we must prove a truth universally acknowledged.
See Bryant, 2000:
But then, it would be anachronistic to condemn eighteenth century Indians, who served the British, as collaborators, when the notion of 'democratic' nationalism or of an Indian 'nation' did not then exist.
Indians who fought for them, differed from the Europeans in having a primary attachment to a non belligerent religion, family and local chief, which was stronger than any identity they might have with a more remote prince or 'nation'.
Let’s read what the doyen of IR studies in India the late Dr Rajan had to say about this:
Perhaps the single greatest and most enduring impact of British rule over India is that it created an Indian nation, in the modern political sense. After centuries of rule by different dynasties overparts of the Indian sub-continent, and after about 100 years ofBritish rule, Indians ceased to be merely Bengalis, Maharashtrians,or Tamils, linguistically and culturally.
The British did unite India. It is laughable to claim otherwise.

Commercialisation of agriculture

Despite it being repeatedly asserted, no the advent of the Raj did not lead to farmers abandoning foodgrains for cash crops. Nor did the Raj force farmers to till their land for export markets. India wasn’t a colony that was operated for purposes of extraction. (https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/L/bo24214020.html)
India was not a plantation colony. Small to midsize farms were the norm.
The share of exports in total agricultural production in 1871 was only around 10%. At its peak, only 10–15% of crop land was devoted to non food exports. Exportable goods came from just a few districts. Wheat WAS exported to the West true. HOWEVER, as little as 5% of the wheat crop was exported.
82% of acreage cropped was devoted to foodgrains. The same holds true for Bengal. Yet people confidently claim that themajority of cropped land was turned over to cash crops.
The Raj did not create a class of large landlords out of the blue. Most of the consolidation occurred before the Permanent Settlement, a process initiated by Murshid Quli Khan.
Mughal taxation was atrocious with peasants parting with anywhere from 40 to 50% of their gross produce.. Under the Raj however land tax as a proportion of the value of agricultural production declined from possibly 10% of net output in the middle or early nineteenth century to less than five in the 1930s.
To the chagrin of many nationalists, salt was cheaper than ever [with salt consumption under the raj being substantially higher than the Mughals.](Habib 1999 pg 105)

De industrialisation

Far from being prosperous and independent artisans weavers, just like most of their contemporaries, were a poverty stricken lot.
Weavers were mainly agriculturists. It was only the European Companies who, with their incentives turned them into full time manufacturers.
The lot of the weavers was one misery and debt.*
The East India companies induced weavers to migrate, and weavers often did to escape local oppression. The experiences of weavers engaged in export oriented manufacture 'cannot be assumed to be representative even for all artisanal occupations'.
The export trade in itself was tiny. The proportion of textile export to total textile production was very small, at its peak not more than 1 to 2%. To give a sense of scale, around 1795, India's net export of cotton cloth was 22 million yards, and domestic production was 1102 million yards.
What de industrialisation?
India from 1750 to 1900 produced more cloth than she did from 1600 to 1750. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0014498314000187) and (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0014498383900414) The Indian cotton and silk industries did not decline due to British policy.
[In a new paper Gupta states unambiguously 'the thriving world of Indian trade and commerce barely touched the vast majority of people'. Bengal by far the most industrialised region in India, had only 11% working in industry. Sushil Chaudhury estimates in a workforce of million maybe 50,000 jobs being created by the VOC and the EIC.
Even if one were to assume the very worst of the fate of Indian weavers who were in engaged in the export trade, one must bear in mind that they were not in any way representative of the Indian weaver at largen nor even the vast majority of the Indian textile industry. They were but a tiny part of that industry.
Gupta in a recent paper speaks of the interaction between the Companies and the weavers. As her paper outlines Indian exports of textiles increased massively with the arrival of the European Companies. The companies made profits from the trade. So destroying the industry was not in their interest. The Companies (mainly English and Dutch East India company) signed contracts with the weavers through Indian intermediaries to buy textiles.
While Gupta is sure that some of the examples of harassment by the companies is correct, she however cites documented archival evidence of weavers defaulting on the contract and the companies not being able to do anything because they wanted to contract with them again. According to her, it would make no sense for the trading companies destroy the weaving industry, which was the basis of their trade and their prosperity.( https://brill.com/view/book/edcoll/9789047429975/B9789047429975-s012.xml)
Far from de industrialising India industrialised. India was the earliest country in Asia to begin her industrialisation. We turn to Roy, 2020:
Profits from trade were invested in large-scale mechanised factories, especially cotton and jute textiles, plantations, mining and banking. Between 1860 and 1940, employment in factories increased from near zero to two million. The growth was comparable with that in two other emerging economies of the time, Japan and Russia, but without parallel in the tropical world.
India led the contemporary developing world in two leading industries of the industrial revolution, cotton textiles and iron and steel.In1910, 55% of the cotton spindles installed outside Europe, North America and Japan were in India. In 1935, 50% of the steel produced outside Europe, North America and Japan was produced in India.

Mike Davis:

Mike Davis frankly a clown rather than a serious scholar. Not content with just parroting falsehoods he treats a study from 1878 as gospel but ignores contemporary works which would of course ruin the narrative.
An excellent and most cogent critique was offered by Morrison, 2019:
The growing tendency among historians to draw an equivalence between the crimes of European colonialism and those of the Nazi and Soviet regimes seems to have crept up on us by stealth, until it has become a normal part of academic discourse. The pioneer was perhaps Mike Davis in Late Victorian Holocausts, a book that has acquired near canonical status *despite being riddled with elementary errors of historical fact and tradecraft. *
Davis’s crass title was intended to suggest that the millions of deaths worldwide which occurred as a result of famine and disease in the late 19th century should be considered in the same light as the deliberate mass killings perpetrated by the Nazi regime in the 20th. His argument was that the integration of peasant subsistence farmers into global markets made them far more vulnerable to famine caused by fluctuations in global grain prices. For this argument to work, Davis had to demonstrate that famine had been unknown or at the very least much rarer in precolonial times, which he did by cheerfully taking absence of evidence as evidence of absence.
Davis is a particularly egregious example of this tendency, claiming that “Mogul [sic] India was generally free of famine until the 1770s, [1630 don’t real]” while the British colonial state that succeeded it was unable to prevent or mitigate famine because of its doctrinaire adherence to laissez faire and reluctance to intervene in grain markets.
Quoting the footnote:
Ironically enough, the evidence Davis cites in the three-page section of his work devoted to precolonial systems of famine relief in India consists largely of unsupported assertions of the superiority of Mughal systems by conservative East India Company officials such as Sir John Malcolm and Mountstuart Elphinstone, who in the 1820s and 1830s were engaged in a polemical debate with “westernisers” in Calcutta over whether British rule should take on “European” or “Oriental” forms, a debate Davis is clearly completely unaware of.
The extent of his ignorance of Indian history can be gauged by his reference to “traditional Indian elites, like the great Bengali zamindars” when the latter were, of course, a British administrative creation, noted not for their paternalism, as Davis argues, but for screwing as much revenue as they possibly could out of the land the colonial state had given them.
Hmmmmm…… Wonder who’s worse? Tharoor or he?
submitted by GaslightEveryone to u/GaslightEveryone [link] [comments]


2020.08.29 23:00 OneWingedDevil28 Booking The Shield's Debut in 2020 in Any Promotion (Chapter Seven: SHIELD.)

Booking The Shield's Debut in 2020 in Any Promotion (Chapter Seven: SHIELD.)
SIERRA
HOTEL
INDIA
ECHO
LIMA
DELTA

Two competitors are already locked in for the main event of Allstate Arena’s annual AEW show, All Out, those two competitors being the Lunatic, Dean Ambrose, and the Lone Wolf, the AEW World Champion, Roman Reigns. However, the dynamic was not that simple. SETH ROLLINS has had two opportunities to get into the match, each opportunity, he’s failed to seize.
We are on the fast track to All Out. The Shield’s storied rivalry will come to a close, but not every question has been answered yet again. Rollins. Ambrose. Reigns. Three men that have revolutionized wrestling across the last two years, on epic ascents to the top. Rollins wants a way in. Ambrose wants revenge. Reigns wants domination.
The Hounds of Justice are out for each other.

Booking the Shield’s Debut in 2020 in Any Promotion (Finale: SHIELD.)

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 27th July 2022
Mere days removed from Fight For the Fallen, where Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins in the main event, and Roman Reigns defeated Brian Cage to retain the AEW World Championship, we see Seth Rollins come out to the ring. He issues an ‘Open Challenge’ to anyone in the back, claiming that he’s not going down without a fight.

Seth Rollins Gauntlet
That Open Challenge is answered by none other than Rey Fenix. One of the Shield’s opponents in one of their first feuds. Fenix comes down to the ring, the bell rings and the two have a stellar match, kicking off Dynamite with a bang, the two going into full throttle, with Rollins coming out on top after a Phoenix Splash followed by a Skywalker, a clean initial win for Rollins.
Seth Rollins def. Ray Fenix (7 minutes)
Rollins wastes no time getting back on the mic as Fenix limps up the ramp, Rollins demands another opponent, as BRODIE LEE comes down to the ring. Rollins grins at the arrival of one of AEW’s highest calibre stars, but that grin turns to regret early, as Lee DOMINATES Rollins, almost a squash. Fatigue already beginning to set in on the Architect, Lee pleasures himself on humiliating Rollins, who makes a comeback, he is able to pull away with the win after a roll up pin.
Seth Rollins def. Brodie Lee (15 minutes)
The next person down to the ring is MJF. Capitalizing on the defeated Rollins, who can barely stand on his own to feet, MJF commands for the ref to ring the bell, and when the ref does so, MJF immediately pounces on Rollins, stomping him in the corner, gloating to him, taunting him. Rollins makes efforts to launch an attack on MJF, but to no avail, who chuckles at the ‘pathetic’ effort of Rollins.
The match kicks into gear when Rollins initiates his comeback sequence, Wardlow attempts to get involved, but Rollins disposes of him, he goes out onto the apron, SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY TO THE OUTSIDE, WHERE MJF AND WARDLOW ARE! Rollins and MJF have an epic battle inside the ring, MJF gets a chair and attempts to strike Rollins, Rollins dodges and connects with Wardlow, Rollins then gets a shocked MJF, SKYWALKER! 1…2… MJF KICKS OUT, ROLLINS IS STRAIGHT TO HIS FEET, ROLLINS DEBUTS THE CURB STOMP! 1…2…3!
Seth Rollins def. MJF (23 minutes)
Rollins celebrates his win, and there doesn’t seem to be anymore people lining up to face the Architect, he has made a statement tonight, proving himself as the Iron Man of AEW, defeating MJF, Brodie Lee and Rey Fenix in one night. Rollins goes up to the top rope, and celebrates his victory, he gets down and turns around… SPEAR!
IT’S ROMAN REIGNS! THE AEW WORLD CHAMPION HAS JUST SPEARED SETH ROLLINS! REIGNS GOES INTO THE CORNER, HE WANTS TO GO FOR ANOTHER ONE! ‘OOOOAAAH-‘
The fans pop, Reigns’ assault of Seth Rollins is interrupted by Reigns’ opponent for All Out, DEAN AMBROSE! Ambrose walks out and marches down to the ring, Reigns turns his attention to the ramp, Seth then turns Reigns around, SUPERKICK! Ambrose gets into the ring, DIRTY DEEDS!
The AEW World Champion has just been taken down! On the canvas is the AEW World Championship, both Ambrose and Rollins grab the title at the same time, Ambrose tells Rollins “This isn’t your war.” Rollins contemplates, before shaking his head and leaving, as Ambrose and Reigns have a brawl.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 3rd August 2022
Seth Rollins cuts an in-ring promo, where he talks about the dynamic of the Shield ‘A brotherhood, an impenetrable bond. While it was believed that we were stronger than a unit, greed and desire consumed one of its members, and the group self-imploded.’ Rollins calls out the AEW World Champion, Roman Reigns, who does come out. The two do not brawl when they are in the ring, they keep civil.
Rollins cuts to the chase. He stakes his claim for the AEW World Championship, and wants to enter the main event at All Out in a few weeks time. The fans cheer in approval of Rollins’ offer, but Reigns downplays Rollins, declining it, and saying Rollins needs to earn a shot, and he’s had more than enough chances already. Reigns goes to leave the ring.
“You know me well, Roman.” Reigns turns his head. “You don’t give me this, I will make your life a living hell. All I’m asking for is ONE. MORE. OPPORTUNITY. Accept it, and show this audience that you have any sort of credibility inside you. Or reject it, and look like nothing but a coward.” Reigns walks towards Rollins. “I don’t have anything to prove to you, or the fans. The Shield is DEAD.” Reigns drops the mic and leaves.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 10th August 2022
Seth Rollins has became obsessed with trying to get the title opportunity at All Out. Tonight, Roman Reigns has his final defence of the AEW World Championship, going up against the Cleaner, Kenny Omega, in a PPV-worthy match. During the show, a vignette is shown of Dean Ambrose entering a desolate, ghetto gym, the only light being the sunlight that comes through the tinted and half-smashed glass windows.
In a backstage interview, Rollins says that he knows what he has to do to get the shot at the AEW World Championship. At the end of the show, both Reigns and Omega make their entrances, a big-match atmosphere in the arena.

Kenny Omega vs Roman Reigns © for the AEW World Championship
Reigns and Omega have an absolute war in the main event, a slightly more methodical pace as both men know that a foot wrong could cost them the match and the main event of All Out. Omega catches Reigns’ Superman Punch attempt with a V-Trigger. Omega hits Reigns with repeated V-Triggers just to get him on his knees, he hits all of his signature moves and inflicts pain on the AEW World Champion, who is struggling to establish any form of momentum.
Omega has a grasp on the match, he goes for the One Winged Angel, Reigns slips out of it, pushes Omega against the ropes, SPEAR! Before he can go for the cover, Omega slides out of the ring, Reigns gutted. Both Omega and Reigns find themselves fighting on the top rope towards the end of the match, Omega goes for a hurricanrana from the top, Reigns catches him, sit out powerbomb from the top rope!
Both men are down, Reigns begins to limp to his feet, he wants to finish this match, but the attention turns towards the crowd, where Seth Rollins leaps over the barricade, a worn out Reigns in despair, ‘not now’ he murmurs. Seth takes a steel chair and watches from ringside, sitting down, as Omega then flings Reigns into the turnbuckles with a V-Trigger, Omega goes to the top rope and tries for a 450 Splash, but Reigns moves out of the way, he goes for a Superman Punch, OMEGA DUCKS, ROLLINS CLOBBERS REIGNS IN THE FACE WITH A STEEL CHAIR!
Roman Reigns © def. Kenny Omega via Disqualification (16 minutes)
Reigns collapses to his knees, feeling a cut open up on his forehead where the chair connected. Seth, who looks totally consumed, raises the steel chair, going for another strike, but Omega walks in and throws the chair away, as he begins to argue with Rollins. Omega’s chance at the AEW World Championship has been busted thanks to the Architect!
Rollins gets escorted out of the building by security, Reigns gets medical attention, Rollins clearly regrets his actions tonight after being fully consumed by the desire for the AEW World Championship, it’s turned him into a monster.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 17th August 2022
It is said that Roman Reigns is injured, and won’t be fully fit for All Out after being struck in the face with a steel chair in the main event of last week. It is also announced that Kenny Omega has been inserted into the main event at All Out, therefore making it a triple threat for the AEW World Championship, after being so close to victory last week.
Towards the end of the show, Kenny Omega comes down to the ring, dwelling on the announcement. “Earlier today, I was given the news that I have been inserted into the main event of All Out for the AEW World Championship, and I will be facing Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, after what transpired last week involving a certain Seth Rollins…
This all feels a little controversial to me, after all, I created the Shield, I discovered their potential, and I propelled them into Stardom. So, to some extent, I feel responsible for all of the carnage they’ve dished out, and all of the chaos that has ensued in the past weeks. I realized that Rollins, Reigns, Ambrose, they’re not my business anymore. It’s not my spotlight to take, and as a result, I will not be participating in the main event of All Out.” Some of the fans gasp, some cheer, some are in confusion.
“I do have one request, though…” Omega pauses, still contemplating his next words. “I would like Seth Rollins to come down to the ring.” Omega waits, the attention pointed towards the stage, where expectedly, Rollins’ music eventually does hit, he comes down to the ring, riddled with guilt, but his desire all the same. Once Seth steps in the ring, he has nothing to say.
“Seth, I have watched your career ever since Day One, from the days of Tyler Black, all the way to now, where you are one of the headlines of this brand. What happened last week… That isn’t the Seth Rollins I know. And may-be, that Seth Rollins we saw last week is still prominent right now, I know you, Seth, you’re a person with great desire, great determination, and you will not stop until you get the justice you crave!” Omega pauses, Rollins slowly nodding.
“I know there’s only one way to get the bad out of you, Seth.” The fans begin to catch on. “I firmly believe that you deserve this, and I don’t want you to let me down. The only way that I can bring the old Seth Rollins back… Is if I offer you my place in the main event of All Out!” the fans pop, as Rollins grins, Omega conflicted.
Rollins takes a minute, before replying to Omega. “I accept your offer.” Seth drops the mic, with Omega grinning, and it is now OFFICIAL, at AEW: All Out, it will be Dean Ambrose vs SETH ROLLINS vs Roman Reigns for the AEW World Championship! Rollins confronts Ambrose at the top of the ramp, they enter a brawl, with the locker room splitting it up.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 24th August 2022
On the go home show before All Out, Ambrose and Rollins have a promo war in the ring, setting the scene for their All Out main event, which is also to include Roman Reigns, if he is physically fit. Ambrose claims that Rollins’ has gone the dirty route, he couldn’t get an opportunity based on pure skill or wins, he had to whine and attack people. Reigns and Ambrose have both beat Rollins, and that will be no different at All Out.
Rollins claims that Ambrose was always the ‘weak link’ of the Shield, always in the shadows, contributing nothing and starting arguments, while Rollins and Ambrose were competing for championships in New Japan, Ambrose was either on the sidelines or competing in another tiny promotion for relevance.
The promo war reaches boiling point, before familiar music hits. Roman Reigns makes his return, AEW World Championship in hand, still wearing a neck brace after the damage done to him by a single chair shot from Seth Rollins. Reigns comes in, claiming that Rollins has lost all credibility, Ambrose has become infused by revenge, Reigns will always be the superior member of the Shield, and all he needs is the AEW World Championship.
The three have immense back and forth, insults being dished out, the promos even becoming emotional at one point, as they set the stage perfectly. “YOU’LL HAVE TO PUT A BULLET THROUGH MY HEAD IF YOU’RE THINKING OF KEEPING ME DOWN ON SATURDAY!” Ambrose exclaims, Rollins says that it’s his time, the stars are lined up for him, and Reigns reassures everyone that the Lone Wolf will prove why he will always be the greatest member of the Shield.
The three men stare down with each other, the stage is set for an amazing AEW World Championship main event in Chicago this Saturday at AEW All Out!
Before the show, a vignette is posted all across social media, with individual personal interviews with each member of the Shield, going through their contributions to the faction, their major results, how they were affected by the turn, and why they are going to win/retain the AEW World Championship at All Out.

The Lone Wolf
“It felt like… I was always being underestimated. I only need to show this title to prove that once I broke free from the Shield, I was able to reach my full potential.”
Power. Will. A man who prefers to let his in-ring work do the speaking, Roman Reigns went from being the Dark Horse to the Lone Wolf. The Shield’s New Japan run was when Reigns began to break into independence, getting into his own singles feuds, and being a vital part to the team in the Shield’s World Tag League run. Reigns kept the group together when Ambrose and Rollins were on the brink of turning on each other, so he firmly believes that he deserves recognition for keeping the group together as long as he did.
Competing in the G1 Climax, Reigns was able to pull off some amazing results, most notably against his Shield brother Dean Ambrose, knocking him out of the tournament. Reigns would go on to be recognized by Kazuchika Okada himself as a ‘wrestler with great potential to become a star of the industry’.
Reigns’ big breakthrough would come in the form with a feud with the Stone Pitbull, Tomohiro Ishii, as they fought for the NEVER Openweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom, with Ishii coming out on top. Upon the Shield’s return to AEW, Reigns stood out, even teasing a feud with Hangman Adam Page, the current AEW World Champion.
Reigns was the one to break up the Shield’s so-called impenetrable bond, betraying Rollins and Ambrose after they lost to the Inner Circle on Dynamite. A short while later, Reigns would beat Page to win the AEW World Championship. Since then, Reigns has gone on to defeat Brian Cage and Seth Rollins to retain the belt, becoming the ‘Lone Wolf’ of AEW, and a force to be reckoned with.
At All Out, he wants to justify his decision to betray the Shield, by defeating them once and for all, and proving that he is the best Shield member. He has beat both men in singles action before, it is time for him to consolidate all of his growth in the past 2 years, and walk out of Chicago with the AEW World Championship still in his grasp.

The Architect
“I want this more than the other two. They do not understand what I’ve had to go through physically and mentally to get this match. It can’t be for nothing.”
Seth Rollins. A man that was recognised as top talent as soon as he introduced himself to the wrestling world. Agility. Intelligence. Critical. While Reigns believes he didn’t have much of a spotlight at first, Rollins was the exact opposite, all eyes were pointed at him as being the ‘next Kenny Omega’. In his New Japan run, Seth Rollins won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, he would lose it to Hiromu Takahashi, but still catch the eyes of the rest of the roster, as Seth would be challenged to a Tokyo Dome match by Will Ospreay.
The two fought in a Match of the Night contender, however, Will Ospreay came out on top. Seth has never been on the perfect wavelength with the other Shield members, most notably, an argument with Dean Ambrose in their World Tag League run stripped them of their synergy, ultimately costing them the tournament.
Seth has had the best singles matches out of all the Shield members, something he says he wasn’t credited for, at all. When Roman betrayed Seth, it left him scarred, broken. When he saw Roman Reigns win the AEW World Championship, Seth had his work set out for him. He came back with a vengeance, he faced Roman Reigns at Fyter Fest, coming short only by a small margin, a devastating defeat for the Architect.
His journey wouldn’t stop there, however, he would keep scratching and clawing for the championship, becoming obsessed with the belt, injuring Reigns, breaking up his friendship with Ambrose. When he finally got his shot, thanks to the creator of the Shield, Kenny Omega, doing what he thinks is right, Rollins has believed since that the stars are aligned for him to win the AEW World Championship.
He has watched Ambrose and Reigns inside and out, he knows their every trick. At All Out, Seth is out for triumph, looking to break the curse of losing in big matches. He doesn’t want to let Omega down. He doesn’t want to let the fans down. He doesn’t want to let AEW down, by letting the Lone Wolf walk out of All Out still the AEW Champion.
Seth Rollins finally has a chance to break the chain.

The Lunatic
“You’re gonna have to put a bullet through my head if you want to keep me down on Saturday!”
Charismatic. Daring. Assertive. Just a few times to describe the ‘Wild Card’ of the Shield, Dean Ambrose. A man who converts pain into determination, Ambrose was seen as a de-facto leader of the group upon their formation, making decisions on their behalf and speaking. An inconsistent G1 Cimax run saw Ambrose go to CZW, his home ground, to reassure himself and to go back to familiar territory. In his first match back, he won the CZW World Championship and held it all the way until December, where he lost it to Sami Callihan.
He rejoined Rollins and Reigns at AEW: Revolution, and he believes he was the worst affected by the Reigns betrayal. Mentally, it made him not want to leave bed in the morning, physically, he could barely walk if he was able to get out of bed in the first place. When he saw Reigns win the AEW World Championship, while he was sat in his bed fending off rehab, it fuelled Ambrose.
It gave him a reason to fight, and when Dean Ambrose has a reason to fight, chances are, he’s going to throw fists and stand his ground until he’s out cold. Ambrose has been on a revenge trip, picking up what he describes as a ‘career defining win’ against Seth Rollins at Fight for the Fallen. He has always been the best the Shield has to offer, at least that’s what he claims, which is why he was the leader. Reigns and Rollins could never live up to his standard, so that’s why they fell out.
At All Out, Dean Ambrose is going to complete his path of revenge, and win the AEW World Championship. This is not about proving dominant. This is not about fulfilling a destiny. It’s about fighting for what he believes in, and he believes that Rollins and Reigns have become so hell-bent on the AEW World Championship, it has turned them into people they’re not.
Dean Ambrose will fight forever if he has to.

All Elite Wrestling: All Out – 27th August 2022
AEW’s signature show, presented in front of a red-hot, always enthusiastic Chicago crowd. Sears Center is sold-out tonight, the stage is set for what could be AEW’s most stacked card to date, the audience is welcomed to AEW: All Out!
An amazing night of wrestling ensues, with constant reference throughout to the main event of the night for the AEW World Championship. We get through the 7 prior matches as we then reach the highly anticipated main event, everybody knows about the wars, the battles, the desire, it all culminates now, and the arena is BUZZING.
A promo package is shown, highlighting the Shield’s growth, dominance and downfall throughout these past two years. It shows the betrayal, Roman winning the AEW World Championship, the returns, the build, the interviews. After the promo package ends, there is a wideshot of the crowd, before the attention turns to the stage.

https://preview.redd.it/twm0w8c6a0k51.png?width=610&format=png&auto=webp&s=27ca73a9ce9152f183f1aa77e38fb999c6cc5670

“REDESIGN, REBUILD, RECLAIM!” The fans are torn tonight, some are rooting for the Architect, others still haven’t forgiven him for his questionable actions in the past weeks just to get into this match. Rollins look up for it, he truly believes that tonight is his night, his moment. Seth makes an intense entrance, embracing the crowd and maintaining focus.
The Lunatic is here! The camera goes to the entrance of the arena, where DEAN AMBROSE appears out of the Chicago streets, into the arena, the fans are fully behind Ambrose, as he appears into a sea of AEW fans, walking down the steps. There are no theatrics to his entrance, just him walking through the crowd, he hops on top of the barricade and stretches his arms out to a chorus of cheers.
The same man that created the theme song for AEW competitor Shawn Spears makes a live appearance tonight, Josiah Williams plays out the AEW World Champion, the Lone Wolf, ROMAN REIGNS! Reigns poses on top of the ramp, pyro going off, as he marches down to the ring, not many of this Chicago crowd are behind him tonight, but that’s part of what goes into the name ‘The Lone Wolf.’
Reigns poses in the middle of the ring, Ambrose hopping back and forth, motivated, Rollins stretching in the corner. This is the culmination. This is what everyone has been waiting for. This is intensity. This is atmosphere. This is the climax. This is wrestling!

Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose vs Roman Reigns © for the AEW World Championship
When the bell rings, the fans have not settled into their seats, they are on their feet, chanting for whoever they are behind tonight! Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose move one step closer to each other, surveying their opponents, before REIGNS HITS ROLLINS WITH A SUDDEN SUPERMAN PUNCH! Rollins slides to the outside of the ring, Ambrose is shocked, as Reigns urges Ambrose to go one-on-one.
They do so, entering a collar and elbow tie up, Reigns takes the upper hand early, he is used to this big match environment, he’s composed, in his element. Ambrose uses the rally of the crowd to get to his feet, irish whip, arm drag by Ambrose, he goes for another, but Reigns holds on, he goes for a hip toss, but Ambrose rolls through fluidly, Reigns then walks into an enziguri from Rollins, who is on the apron, sunset flip, he goes for the cover, 1…2.. Ambrose breaks it up!
Ambrose and Rollins then have a duel, they know each other in and out, no man is able to take the upper hand until Rollins breaks into a spree of momentum, he throws Ambrose to the outside of the ring where Reigns is, SUICIDE DIVE TO BOTH MEN! Rollins gets Reigns back inside the ring, Rollins goes for the Springboard Knee, but he drops down back onto the apron before he can commit, Reigns going for the Superman Punch but being completely and psychologically outsmarted by Rollins, who gets back into the ring and continues the beatdown on Reigns.
Rollins goes to the top rope, supposedly going for the Phoenix Splash, but Ambrose stops him, the two fight on the top rope, Ambrose goes for a superplex but Rollins stays put, Reigns comes over, powerbombs Ambrose, TOWER OF DOOM! Reigns takes the action to the outside of the ring, where he drives Ambrose into the apron, Seth then balances on the barricade, JUMPING LEAPING CLOTHESLINE TO AMBROSE! Reigns tries to drive him into the ring post, but Rollins stops it, he kicks Reigns in the midsection, Rollins goes up to the apron, HE LEAPS OFF, TILT A WHIRL DDT ONTO REIGNS FROM THE OUTSIDE! Rollins gets the crowd going, he leaps off the steel chairs, but REIGNS CATCHES HIM, BELLY TO BELLY ONTO THE OUTSIDE!
Back inside the ring, Reigns goes for a Sit Out Powerbomb on Rollins, who regains his senses last second, he reverses it into a hurricanrana, Ambrose leapfrogs over Reigns, who goes crashing into the middle turnbuckle, as Ambrose then goes for a Dirty Deeds on Rollins, who gets out of it, he connects a step up enziguri on Ambrose, sending him into the ropes, REIGNS COMES BACK WITH A SUPRMAN PUNCH ON ROLLINS, AMBROSE’S PENDULUM LARIAT CONNECTS WITH REIGNS, EVERYONE IS DOWN!
An absolute war of attrition so far, both men stagger to their feet and enter a three way striking exchange, Reigns, the powerhouse by nature, comes out on top, he delivers repeated Superman Punches to Ambrose, but he just won’t stay down! The fans reach a fever pitch, as Reigns goes to rebound off the ropes for more momentum, BUT ROLLINS HITS REIGNS WITH A RUNNING KNEE STRIKE!
Ambrose goes for the Dirty Deeds on Rollins, he connects it, 1…2… ROLLINS KICKS OUT OF THE DIRTY DEEDS! AMBROSE HAD THE VICOTRY IN GRASP THERE! Rollins rolls to the outside for a breather, as Reigns comes back into the fray, he locks in the Sleeper Hold on Ambrose! The same submission that made Reigns AEW World Champion, Reigns has victory so close here! Ambrose has his hand raised once, it falls to the canvas. Twice, to the canvas again. Ambrose is beginning to fade! The referee does it one more time, AMBROSE PUTS THE MIDDLE FINGER UP TO THE REFEREE!
Ambrose rolls over Reigns, pinning his shoulders down, 1…2… Roman kicks out just in time, both men get to their feet, SPEAR! REIGNS HAS HIT THE SPEAR ON AMBROSE, 1…2… ROLLINS BREAKS IT UP WITH A PHOENIX SPLASH! The fans can barely keep up with this amazing triple threat match, these three are putting everything into this AEW World Champion main event! Rollins goes for a Skywalker on Reigns, who pushes Rollins into the ropes, Reigns goes for a Superman Punch on Rollins, who ducks it and rebounds off the ropes again, he goes for a Curb Stomp on Reigns, who catches Rollins mid-air with a Sit Out Powerbomb! Reigns goes into the corner, ‘OOOOOOAAHHHH’ he exclaims, he begins to charge towards Rollins, going for the Spear, but AMBROSE LUNGES IN ON REIGNS ON THE LAST SECOND, HE BEGINS TO LAY INTO HIM, ENACTING REVENGE! Reigns slides to the outside of the ring, Ambrose rebounds off the ropes, Rollins goes for a lariat, Ambrose dodges and flings himself to the outside, going after Reigns!
Ambrose gets back inside the ring, BUT HE IS MET WITH AN IMMEDIATE GOD’S LAST GIFT FROM ROLLINS, HE IS PULLING OUT ALL OF THE STOPS! 1…2… AMBROSE KICKS OUT OF THE GOD’S LAST GIFT! Rollins does not know what he has to do to put away Ambrose, so he goes to the outside, he picks up a STEEL CHAIR! The same object that injured Reigns, he now wants to use on Ambrose, the obsession has gone too far!
Rollins slides in the ring, a sadistic expression with the chair in his hand, Ambrose barely has any sense right now, he has a bloodied forehead! Rollins contemplates as he looks into the eyes of his Shield brother, he becomes conflicted, and he throws away the chair! But he was wasting too much time contemplating, he walks right into a Dirty Deeds from Ambrose! 1…2.. REIGNS BREAKS UP THE PIN!
Dean and Roman enter a striking exchange, Roman headbutts Ambrose continuously, Dean falls into the ropes, perhaps going for the Pendulum Lariat, but Roman connects a SPEAR! COVER, 1…2… ROLLINS CURB STOMPS REIGNS, HE THROWS AMBROSE OUT OF THE RING, HE WAITS FOR REIGNS TO GET ON HIS KNEES, SETH CONNECTS A CURB STOMP ON REIGNS! HE POUNCES ON HIM FOR THE COVER, 1…2…3!
Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns © vs Dean Ambrose (28 minutes)
HE HAS DONE IT! THE SEARS CENTER ERUPT AS THE BELL RINGS! “Ladies and gentlemen, your winner of this match, and NEWWWWW All Elite Wrestling World Champion, Seth Rollins!” Seth has done it! Despite being battered, he is able to muster enough adrenaline to get to his feet and lean against the ropes, glancing at the crowd, who Seth has been able to win over across the course of this match!
Seth turns around, and he sees the AEW World Championship presented to him, as he breaks into near tears. It was a long journey, a journey that nearly turned him insane, and he nearly resorted back to it at one point in the match, but he redeemed himself, and he is the new AEW World Champion!
He celebrates with the belt as tickertape falls from the rafters, pyro goes off from the ramp. This is finally his moment. He has dethroned the Lone Wolf. For Seth, he had to lose everything to win this championship. His brothers, his own faction. His relationship with Kenny Omega. It may be worth it, however, as Seth Rollins has his career defining moment.
All Out ends with Seth Rollins’ hand raised.

Epilogue
Seth Rollins would go on to have a lengthy reign with AEW World Championship, as Roman Reigns would go on to become more of an anti-hero, and Dean Ambrose would spend more time in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Rollins’ first AEW World Championship reign would come in the form of Kenny Omega, Omega comparing Rollins to himself in his early days and claiming that Rollins needs to ‘repay the favour.’
The Shield triple threat goes down as one of the best matches of the year, and their dominance/feud is regarded as one of the best long term angles in wrestling. Their great matches are remembered, their chemistry is never matched and while they all go on their own paths, they still keep that bond that holds them together, eventually reuniting two years after All Out.
The Shield had cemented themselves as the greatest faction of the modern era. And Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose became some of the most decorated competitors in the modern era. The Hounds of Justice had left their influence over the industry forever.
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2020.08.29 11:08 OneWingedDevil28 Booking the Shield's Debut in 2020 in Any Promotion (Chapter Six: Delta)

SIERRA
HOTEL
INDIA
ECHO
LIMA

At Double or Nothing, Roman Reigns pulled off one of the upsets of the year by defeating Adam Page clean to win the AEW World Championship. Mere weeks after betraying his Shield brothers, Reigns proved his worth as a singles competitor and concluded his storied feud with the Hangman. Now that Reigns’ lightning ascent to the peak of the company has arrived, will he be able to sustain his place at the top, or will he crumble under the pressure?
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are yet to return, emotionally traumatised from the betrayal and still feeling off the physical and mental effects. The Shield has self-imploded, and now, the fate of all three superstars lie in ambiguity.

Booking the Shield’s Debut in AEW in Any Promotion (Chapter Six: Delta)

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 2nd June 2022
Roman Reigns comes out to open the show to a chorus of boos, just nights removed from the Las Vegas PPV which saw Reigns’ hand held high at the end of the night. Before the new champion can even speak out a single word, the fans overload him with boos, Reigns chuckling to himself and adjusting the title over his shoulder.
“I am THE guy.” Reigns says, monotone, as he goes on to cut a promo, claiming that the doubters have now shut up, everyone in the AEW Locker Room is jealous, Rollins and Ambrose are in despair, Adam Page is ashamed of himself, and himself, Roman Reigns, is at the peak of the company. He is interrupted by Darby Allin, who stakes his claim for the AEW World Championship.
Over his head with his own ego, Reigns claims that next week, he will have his first defence of the AEW World Championship against Allin to prove everyone that Reigns is here to stay. Reigns has laid out the groundwork for his title reign, the fans struggling to come to terms with the new world champion.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 9th June 2022
Tonight, Reigns has his first defence of the AEW World Championship, a very risky environment for Reigns, but one that he believes he’s ready for. Both men make their entrances, Allin is laser focused, hopeful and ambitious, he’ll have to go off the crowd support tonight, as Reigns is observant, menacing.
Darby Allin vs Roman Reigns © for the AEW World Championship
Reigns reaches the bottom of the ramp, and Allin flings himself towards him, suicide dive, Allin lays into Reigns, sliding him into the ring as the bell rings, Allin has his plan laid out and it’s working soundly right now. Reigns retreats out onto the apron, where Allin connects a Coffin Drop out onto the apron, he gets Reigns in the ring and goes for another one, but the Lone Wolf slides out of the danger zone, Allin gets down from the top rope and approaches Reigns, who goes to reply with a sudden Superman Punch, but Allin telegraphs it, roll up pin attempt is kicked out of, Reigns goes for a sit out powerbomb but Allin rolls through, DESTROYER!
The match does not let down in the pace at all, the momentum shifting frantically throughout. Reigns is able to assert himself, playing the power game with Allin after scooping him up and slamming him down with a Uranage, the slam echoing around the arena. Reigns awaits for Allin to get to his feet, Reigns goes for a Spar but ALLIN LEAPFROGS, REIGNS GOES STRAIGHT INTO THE TURNBUCKLE! Allin plants Reigns with a german suplex, he follows it up with a Superkick and he lays over Reigns as the ref begins to count, Reigns kicking out at 2!
Allin locks in the Figure Four Leglock, now trying to tap Reigns out, who breaks it up, Allin lunges to Reigns, who scoops him up and slams him with a backbreaker, Reigns then dominates the rest of the match, proving to the fans that he is worthy of the AEW World Championship. Allin uses the fans’ inspiration at the end of the match for a brief comeback, the two find themselves fighting on the top rope with Allin throwing Reigns down, the number one contender goes for a Coffin Drop, BUT REIGNS CATCHES HIM MID-AIR AND PUTS HIM INTO THE SLEEPER HOLD!
ALLIN BEGINS TO FADE, BUT THE MAN DOESN’T FEEL PAIN, REIGNS TIGHTENS THE SLEEPER, ALLIN ROLLS OVER REIGNS, PINNING HIS SHOULDERS TO THE MAT, 1…2.. REIGNS KICKS OUT, BOTH MEN ARE ON THEIR FEET, SPEAR! REIGNS COVERS ALLIN, 1…2…3!
Roman Reigns © def. Darby Allin (16 minutes)
Not a convincing title defence for Reigns, but one that proves to the fans that he is worthy of having great matches, him and Allin had a blistering pace throughout the match, Allin showed little to no signs of winning the title besides a few opportunities, but Reigns asserted himself, used the size and strength advantage, and as a result, he has retained the AEW World Championship tonight.
After the match, Reigns celebrates his victory, he walks up the ramp, his business done, “where the haters at now, huh?” Reigns asks to the crowd, who are silenced after being so behind Darby Allin, who recovers in the ring and gets applause from the crowd before exiting.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 16th June 2022
Roman Reigns is seen walking around backstage, asserting himself. A production member bumps into him, Reigns pinning him up against the wall, Scorpio Sky attempts to break Reigns away, but Reigns grabs Sky and lobs him over a set of crates, many members of the roster just watching as Reigns struts away, going out to the car park, where his car is waiting for him.
He turns a corner into the car park, he takes a look at his car, which has been severely vandalised. The windows, shattered. Flat wheels. Scratches, dents. Reigns goes around to the other side, which has spray paint that says “JUSTICE SERVED” in neon orange. Reigns charges around the backstage area, attempting to find the perpetrator, until he goes into a dimly lit corridor with a hooded figure in the distance.
Reigns looks on, fearless, as the hooded man steps into a hall light, highlighting him. He slowly puts down his hood. IT’S SETH ROLLINS! The fans pop for the return, both men charge towards each other and begin brawling without hesitation, the two brawl through the entire arena, even going down the stairs and out ringside, they brawl up the ramp, it ends with Seth powerbombing Roman through the announce table! Seth Rollins has returned to Dynamite!
Rollins goes over to the AEW World Championship belt, glances at it, before walking away, Rollins has returned to Dynamite, and he has a vendetta for his former Brother, he has a vendetta for the Lone Wolf! Seth Rollins is back!

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 23rd June 2022
On the go home show of Dynamite before Fyter Fest, the feud between Roman Reigns and the returned Seth Rollins ignites even more, with Rollins coming down to the ring, and claiming that the Roman Reigns who has won the AEW World Championship is not the same Roman Reigns that was in the Shield, and Seth knows which one he prefers, so at Fyter Fest, he is going to take the belt from Reigns, so then the Lone Wolf will have no choice but to resort back to the Big Dog.
Reigns and Rollins have a brawl, Rollins getting the upper hand, therefore solidifying himself as a worthy contender for Reigns’ AEW World Championship. At Fyter Fest, a singles match is planned for the belt, Seth Rollins has been the talk of the brand since he has returned, he’s out to get revenge on Roman Reigns this Saturday.

All Elite Wrestling: Fyter Fest – 25th June 2022
In the main event of the night, the AEW World Championship is up for grabs on one of the final stops before All Out, Reigns goes up against Rollins, the Lone Wolf vs the Architect, these two Shield members are out for revenge, and nothing will stop them on their track of demolition. There is a promo package, Seth makes his entrance, pumped up, ready, while Roman is composed, laid back. The bell rings, the match is underway.
Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns © for the AEW World Championship
There is a big fight feel for this one, Reigns and Rollins stare at each other, trying to come to terms of the different people they are. Torn apart by conflict. On their own paths, Rollins has stated that tonight, he’s not facing the Roman Reigns that stuck by his side for years. Both men circle the ring and enter a tie up, Rollins coming out on top in the first exchange, he has spent his time off working, studying, developing.
The story of the match is how well each man knows each other, so there is a lack of signature moves, because each man has the other telegraphed from the time they spent with each other. Reigns eventually uses the power differential to his advantage, leaping clothesline, Samoan Drop, Roman goes for a Superman Punch, Seth catches the arm and locks in a Crossface, Reigns is able to get to the ropes nearly, but Seth rolls over, forcing Reigns to power to his feet and ram Rollins into the turnbuckle to get out of it.
The fight goes to the outside, Reigns rams Rollins into the apron, he goes for a Lawn Dart into the stairs, but Rollins gets out of it and he repeatedly bashes Reigns’ skull into the ring post. Rollins goes up onto the apron, PK Kick to Reigns, he goes up to the top rope, MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE! Back inside the ring, Rollins goes for the Arava Kadavra, but Reigns dodges away from it, Rollins hits a Step-Up Enziguri, he goes out onto the apron and tries for the Springboard Knee, but ROMAN CATCHES HIM WITH A SIT OUT POWERBOMB!
Reigns goes into the corner, he does his taunt, he’s going for the Spear, but he’s spent too much time taunting, Rollins comes in with a SLINGBLADE! Rollins goes to the top rope, he goes for the Phoenix Splash but ROMAN MOVES OUT OF THE WAY! Reigns dominates for more time, until Seth initiates a comeback, getting the crowd back into it, he goes for another Slingblade but Roman catches him with a motion and connects a Belly to Belly suplex, both men sprint towards each other, but Roman is one step ahead of Seth, SPEAR! He goes for the cover, 1…2.. SETH HAS KICKED OUT OF THE SPEAR!
Roman is beating the canvas, pushing the referee, in denial of how Seth has just kicked out of the Spear! Roman goes for the Sleeper Hold, he locks it in, Seth goes crashing to the canvas, he rolls over Reigns, pinning his shoulders to the mat for a close 2 count, Seth gets to his feet, AVARA KADAVRA! Seth has the upper hand here, he takes Reigns to the top rope, both men are so worn out, he goes for it, SKYWALKER FROM THE TOP ROPE! OH MY GOD! HOWEVER, REIGNS HAS HIS ARM OVER SETH’S CHEST! 1…2…3!
Roman Reigns © def. Seth Rollins (27 minutes)
How has this happened! Rollins had victory in his reach, he hit his finisher from the top rope, but Seth was too worn out to go for the pin, by luck, Reigns had his arm over Rollins, and as a result, he has won the match and retained the AEW World Championship! Rollins is the first to his feet, he thinks for a second that he has won the match, but comes to the realisation that Reigns has somehow retained.

Rollins is gutted, a combination of chagrin, confusion, frustration, exhaustion. Both Rollins and Reigns, who is prepped against the bottom rope, clinching his championship belt, know that this is not the end of their feud. Rollins leaves, as Reigns then gets his moment in the ring, not a celebration as much as a huge sigh of relief. Reigns travels up the ramp, fans beginning to leave, but there is a buzz in the air. Reigns stands at the top of the ramp, he holds up the belt as the end of show logo appears, but Reigns’ music suddenly cuts out.
There is confusion about this unheard theme, the silence turns to overwhelming joy as DEAN AMBROSE MAKES HIS WAY OUT ONTO STAGE! Reigns turns around and he’s in complete denial, he’s too fatigued, too worn out to beat down Ambrose, who cracks his knuckles with a grin on his face, he’s been waiting for this for a long time, DEAN AMBROSE POUNCES ON REIGNS, LOU THESZ PRESS, HE BEGINS TO LAY INTO AMBROSE!
Reigns is fuelled by adrenaline, he goes for a Superman Punch, but Ambrose is having none of it, the two have a scrappy brawl on the stage, it ends in Ambrose scooping up Reigns and dropping him off the stage into a production pit off the stage. A statement conclusion to Fyter Fest, we had Rollins return, and now, DEAN AMBROSE HAS MADE HIS LONG AWAITED RETURN TO AEW!

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 29th June 2022
The returning Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins both stake their claims for Roman Reigns’ AEW World Championship, Rollins and Ambrose stand in the ring while they plead their cases, the tension between the two rising, reaching a boiling point when the betrayal is mentioned, a sensitive topic for both of them. Rollins believes that he was cheated out of the AEW World Championship nights ago at Fyter Fest, Dean Ambrose believes that Rollins got a shot when he returned, and Ambrose is next in line.
The two nearly reach a brawl, until it is announced that next week, both men will have a chance to become Number One contender for the AEW World Championship, however, it will be in a Fatal 4 Way Match that also includes Kenny Omega and Brian Cage, with the winner facing Roman Reigns at Fight For the Fallen for the championship.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 6th July 2022 – Kenny Omega vs Seth Rollins vs Brian Cage vs Dean Ambrose in a Number One Contendership Fatal 4 Way
Immediately, Ambrose pounces on Omega as soon as the bell rings, and a frantic 4 Way ensues, Rollins and Ambrose clear Page and Omega at once, turn around and see each other. Knowing what’s next, Ambrose loosens off while Rollins grins, they have a brief duel halted by Brian Cage, who asserts himself, Cage connects a Tornado Claw on Ambrose, who falls back into the ropes and goes for the Pendulum Lariat, but Cage dodges and Ambrose walks into a V-Trigger, Cage goes after Omega who throws Cage out of the ring, he goes off the ropes for the Tope Con Hilo, but meets an Enziguri before he can launch himself, Rollins connects a sunset flip on Omega followed by an Avara Kadavra, the move broken up by Ambrose.
This fast pace is maintained throughout the match, each man getting their opportunity to win the match and walk away with the AEW World Championship opportunity. Rollins and Ambrose collectively team up to take down the monstrous Cage, taking him out with a Shield-esque assault, but then, they have to deal with the creator of the Shield, Kenny Omega. Omega plays mind games with both of them, luring them to begin fighting with each other. Cage comes back into the match as Ambrose and Rollins fight into the crowd and out of the equation, back inside the ring, Cage takes Omega out with a Drill Claw for the 123, Brian Cage the new number one contender.
Brian Cage def. Kenny Omega vs Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose (12 minutes)
Ambrose and Rollins became so preoccupied with each other, that it left Brian Cage to come and seize the opportunity, pinning Omega and becoming the Number One Contender, and a more than viable threat for Roman Reigns’ AEW World Championship. After the match, Cage and Reigns stare down with each other, setting up their Fight For the Fallen match in weeks’ time.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 13th July 2022
Reigns and Cage begin their program, having a contract signing two weeks away from their Fight for the Fallen bout, the final stop before All Out. The tensions rise, concluding with Page powerbombing Reigns through the table, as both men take on a ‘titan vs titan’ feel to their feud, a guaranteed barn burner of a match at Fight for the Fallen.
Meanwhile, Rollins and Ambrose begin a fully-fledged feud after both men stopped each other from becoming Number One contender last week, however, an even larger opportunity comes their way, as, at Fight for the Fallen, it will be Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins, with the winner challenging the AEW World Champion at All Out.
A blockbuster match is announced for next week, to hype up the two main matches at Fight for the Fallen, they will have to put their grudges aside for a single night, as Rollins and Ambrose will team up to face Cage and Reigns, the question being – which team will crack first?

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 20th July 2022 – Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs Brian Cage and Roman Reigns
Rollins starts for his team, and Reigns starts for the other team. Rollins and Reigns have a thrilling opening exchange, mirroring their dynamic and even spots from their Fyter Fest clash, as Reigns begins to establish momentum, using the power advantage, Brian Cage tags himself in, Cage and Reigns argue amongst themselves, giving opportunity for Rollins to go for a roll up pin. Rollins and Ambrose are clearly on the better wavelength than their opponents, they even show elements of their team ups in the Shield days. An exciting tag team match that sets the PPV matches up well sees Reigns and Cage take the win due to miscommunication between Ambrose and Rollins.
Roman Reigns and Brian Cage def. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (13 minutes)
After the match, there is no celebration. Rollins and Ambrose begin to argue with each other, and it is Roman Reigns who splits them up, claiming that they can settle their differences this Saturday. Reigns walks around, where Cage stands, menacingly. As Rollins and Ambrose go off in their diferent directions, Reigns and Cage have a tug of war for the AEW World Championship, concluding in Cage blindsiding Reigns and beginning to beat him down.
Ambrose and Rollins catch glimpses of what’s happening, they sprint back ringside and help Reigns, where the Shield have one final moment together as they Triple Powerbomb Cage. Reigns leaves with the championship, and unexpectedly, AMBROSE GRABS ROLLINS, DIRTY DEEDS! Ambrose debuts the Dirty Deeds, getting a sneaky attack on Rollins!
The dynamic is so complex – the two worked relatively well in the tag team match but their damaged relationship cost them a win, then, after the match, the Shield collectively work together to take down Brian Cage, and now, Dean Ambrose has attacked Seth Rollins! Ambrose poses on the ramp to close the show.

All Elite Wrestling: Fight For the Fallen – 23rd July 2022
A brace of important matches ahead of us which will determine the main event of AEW: All Out. Roman Reigns will defend his AEW World Championship against Brian Cage, a goliath vs goliath scenario, Reigns can’t look forward to Chicago just yet as he faces his biggest threat yet. The Lone Wolf finds himself on the Path of Cage, can he survive?
In the rightful main event of the night, two Shield members will collide, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are set to do battle, but it just isn’t any normal grudge match, the winner will confirm their place in the main event of All Out, facing either Roman Reigns or Brian Cage. Rollins believes he is the rightful Number One contender after losing to Reigns at Fyter Fest in controversial fashion, while Dean Ambrose believes that he’s been due a shot at the title since February.
On an 8 match card, the 6th match of the night is the AEW World Championship clash. Cage makes his entrance, firmly believing that this is his night, the stars are aligned for him, he is ready to finally take the big prize and spoil the party. Reigns comes out, looking menacing as always, the Lone Wolf has played somewhat of an anti-hero role throughout the build. Both men are introduced, the bell rings and this world title match is underway.

Brian Cage vs Roman Reigns © for the AEW World Championship
The match was promoted as a Goliath vs Goliath tale, and that is exactly what it is as Reigns and Cage have an absolute barn burner, they pull out their signature moves right from the get go as they demolish and lay waste to each other. Reigns’ strategy is the repeated use of the Superman Punch. When Cage goes for a Tornado Claw, Reigns is able to strike in a swift Superman Punch. Cage lifts Reigns for a chokeslam, another Superman Punch is used.
However, he’s not able to use the same trick repeatedly, as Cage catches on and adapts his moveset. Cage is able to connect the Weapon X, as he begins to take control, he goes for the cover but Reigns is able to kick out. Reigns eventually applies the Sleeper, Cage uses all of his will, all of his strength to keep himself on his feet, he eventually gets out of it, he goes for a Tornado Claw, Reigns ducks under, rebounds off the ropes, SPEAR!
But, instead of going for the cover, Reigns goes into the corner, he urges Cage to his feet, he seems to be going for another Spear, but Cage catches him with a big boot, BUCKLE BOMB, REIGNS COMES BACK WITH A SUPERMAN PUNCH! The two have a physical striking exchange, nothing spectacle about this match, it’s gritty, gruesome, hard hitting.
Both men take each other to their limit, Cage goes for a Drill Claw, but Reigns is able to get out of it, he goes for a Samoan Drop, but Cage sways Roman’s momentum over to the corner, where Cage gets out onto the apron, both men find themselves fighting on the top rope, with Cage connecting a line of headbutts to floor Reigns. He goes for the Moonsault, BUT REIGNS MOVES OUT OF THE WAY! He waits for Cage to get to his feet, SPEAR! 1…2…3!
Roman Reigns © def. Brian Cage (10 minutes)

A short and sweet match, Roman Reigns has retained the AEW World Championship against a huge threat in the form of Brian Cage, and Reigns has booked his ticket for the main event of AEW: All Out. Reigns celebrates the victory, almost in relief, his reign was in jeopardy tonight, and Cage looked sublime in defeat. Reigns now, can only watch and analyse who he will face in the main event of All Out.
After the penultimate match, we reach our main event. This is the lifeline for Seth Rollins, he lost to Roman Reigns for the World Championship, he was able to speak his way into this match, it’s now or never for the Architect. He makes his entrance first, perhaps the biggest match of his career. Ambrose’s music then sounds around Daily’s Place, and Dean Ambrose arrives from the rafters, making his way down the amphitheatre. Ever since the betrayal, he has been out to get revenge, it’s all he has knew for the past months.
As soon as Ambrose enters the same ring as Rollins, knowing they are opponents, there is a tense vibe in the ring. The atmosphere changes. The two men keep their eyes locked until the bell rings, the crowd is excited for the main event of Fight For the Fallen.

Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose
The topic of this match is the game of mental chess the two have to play against each other – do they actually hate each other, or is it an artificial hate fuelled by their combined desires for revenge and the AEW World Championship. These men put their bodies on the line in this match, a dragon suplex on the apron, Ambrose hitting three repeated suicide dives, Rollins leaping off the barricade with a diving clothesline.
Back inside the ring, Ambrose goes for the Headlock Driver, but Seth fights out of it, spin kick to the midsection, sunset flip pinfall attempt is kicked out of, Rollins goes to catch Dean with an Avara Kadavra, but Dean catches the leg, he powers to his feet, Rollins concerned. Dean flips Rollins, who lands on his feet, Step Up Enziguri connects, Ambrose falls into the ropes, PENDULUM LARIAT!
With both men down, the ref counts up to 9, and both men spring to their feet and enter a striking exchange, with Ambrose coming out on top, he delivers repeated forearms to the temple of Rollins, who collapses to the canvas as Ambrose lays in a brutal assault, even the ref’s efforts cannot stop him.
From there, Rollins makes an inspirational comeback, he goes for a Skywalker, but he is pushed away. The two men trade finishers, they have the entire crowd on their feet as the match reaches a tense climax. Seth goes for a Phoenix Splash, but his leg gives in on the top rope, Ambrose gets to the top rope, GERMAN FROM THE TOP ROPE! AMBROSE MAINTAINS WRIST CONTROL, AMBROSE HAS MAINTAINED WIRST CONTROL! HE GETS ROLLINS ON HIS FEET, AMBROSE DEBUTS THE DIRTY DEEDS! 1…2…3!
Dean Ambrose def. Seth Rollins (23 minutes)
Dean Ambrose is headed to the main event of AEW All Out! He will show down with Shield brother Roman Reigns, and tonight, he’s got that career defining win he has been waiting for, he came back to AEW, and he has made the difference in this Shield conflict. Seth Rollins was an obstacle of his path of inevitable revenge.

Ambrose wares off the damage done to him in a match, refusing any medical attention and instead soaking in the win. Underestimated for so long, Ambrose has the full support of the crowd. He leaves through the crowd, his statement of intent made to the Lone Wolf, your time with the AEW World Championship is numbered.
That leaves Seth Rollins. He slowly recovers in the ring, before slowly getting to his feet and getting applause from the crowd. Two opportunities now, wasted. He takes a look at the fans, understanding why he has done all of this, made all of this effort. He thanks them, before heading up the ramp, his head facing downwards. He can’t come to terms that this may be the end of the road for him.
He doesn’t envision a scenario where he doesn’t become AEW World Champion. He is desperate. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns are all set up, but Seth Rollins is in despair, despite wanting this more than anyone. Fight for the Fallen ends with Seth Rollins, near tears, standing at the top of the ramp, lost.
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2020.08.29 03:42 Someone-00 Guns, the medical profession, and bad history Part 1: US gun culture saved Europe in the World Wars and Cold War

Part 2 here
I found out about Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership when I first encountered the following article:
The US ‘Gun Culture’ That Saved Europe does not occur in a vacuum
(by the way, check the comments to get a real laugh)
Anyway, the writer is none other than Miguel Faria, a doctor and gun rights advocate who believes that Europe owes it's salvation in the World Wars to...American gun culture? I dug rather deep, finding out that Faria and his ilk at DRGO mangled the history of firearms in the US, the World Wars, US crime, the Wild West, and other issues so badly, that I had to mention it.
Offending links:
https://surgicalneurologyint.com/surgicalint-articles/is-gun-control-really-about-people-control/
https://drgo.us/review-america-guns-and-freedom-a-journey-by-miguel-a-faria-jr-md/
Faria claims that the weak, spineless Europeans, with no gun culture, allowed the Germans to overwhelm them in two world wars, yet the brave US saved their miserable, gun-hating asses twice. This is as you can tell, is utter horseshit, as it simply babbles on without any concrete evidence (save, of course, for a brief mention of Sgt. Alvin York as an example). Outside of this one anecdote (which, to Faria's credit, is certainly inspirational but not a definitive illustration of US military skill) there is no concrete evidence. Furthermore, it ignores important factors such as troop numbers, military tactics, resources, geography, and industry in favor of a nonsensical narrative. Furthermore, Faria continues to push the "guns would have stopped the Nazis" cliche.
Of course, this is far from the only badhistory I found. As it turns out, Faria and his friends at DRGO also believe that easy gun laws stop all sorts of crime and other nonsensical tropes about guns, which I'll get to in part two.
So let's start at part one: how the World Wars were stopped by gun culture. Faria does little to help his case with WWI by mentioning the case of Alvin York and using next to nothing else as evidence. The fact that the Germans where outnumbered, with 13 million troops against a total of 15 million from the Allied Powers, escapes him. As does the blockade that starved the entirety of Germany, as well as the fact that many German sailors were carrying out mutinies and that the country fell into unrest. Or even the fact that the Central Powers were falling apart one-by -one, or that Germany had just finished removing the Russians (themselves a major foe) from the war when America arrived. He even glosses over the many Allied victories, such as the 2nd Marne and 100 Days Offensive, stating that
Many Americans in the 21st century still cling to their guns and their Bibles, and it stands to reason that the alleged “gun culture” mentality and patriotic outlook may not be gained solely by an 8-week army basic training boot camp. Life experience, patriotism and the attitude to fight along your fellow soldiers in a just cause—such as freedom and a country’s way of life—do not appear in a vacuum.
Um... ok. What evidence do you have for this? And furthermore, if having high gun ownership makes you good at winning wars, then why did the US suffer a draw in Korea? Or lose Vietnam? Or fall into quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan? Overall Faria chooses a completely unexplained factor as the reason for US victory, one which not one historian will take seriously. Is he forgetting the ferocity with which the other Allied Powers fought before the Americans arrived? The multiple fights at Ypres, Verdun, Vimy Ridge, the First Marne, Cambrai, are all those so forgettable?
WWI was won for a number of reasons. Woodrow Wilson's overtures to the German government, combined with more pacifistic leaders rising to power as the German military broke apart, and unrest at home all lead to Germany's surrender. Germany's Ottoman allies were being pummeled by British and Arabic forces. The Austro-Hungarians were on their knees, and the Bulgarians had quit the war. American forces would not be present in full until Spring 1918, when the German Spring Offensive, largely held back by the same Europeans Faria dismisses, held the Germans back long enough for the Americans to turn the tide. Germans forces overexerted themselves just as American reinforcements, fresh, ready for combat, and larger in numbers, began to arrive in Europe.
Faria then proceeds to brag about how the "pusillanimous Europeans" did nothing as Nazi Germany goose-stepped all over them. In Poland, Hitler triumphed due to the Poles simply being unprepared to deal with the twin Nazi and Soviet assaults. No declaration of war, combined with new tactics enabled the Germans to overrun the Poles in their Blitzkrieg. Norway fell due to the Allies having to abandon it to protect France. German forces conquered France by maneuvering past the Maginot Line and driving the British out at Dunkirk. The French Army, meanwhile, suffered from poor leadership and failed to repel the German Army, which had the element of surprise, along with speed, on their side. Finally, Greece fell due to an army that was too small, not prepared enough, and had inadequate support from it's neighbors and the British/Commonwealth forces, as documented by George E. Blau in his book The German Campaign in the Balkans.
As for the spineless Europeans that are constantly scorned, Faria forgets that in every nation the Nazis invaded, there were dedicated resistance groups. The Yugoslavian resistance, which beat the Croats, helped liberate Sarajevo, and took Trieste. The Soviet partisans, who fought for their country when their armies could not. The Germans in the Ruhr pocket who helped capture Dusseldorf. Or perhaps the Italians, who liberated Naples and killed a German general or even the French Resistance, who fought to free Paris and) made up for their lack of military prowess with their sabotage and spying.
American industry also was critical, too. The efficiency at which the US produced vehicles and other materials made them able to overwhelm their opposition, especially with the added benefit of being out of range from enemy bombers:
War production profoundly changed American industry. Companies already engaged in defense work expanded. Others, like the automobile industry, were transformed completely. In 1941, more than three million cars were manufactured in the United States. Only 139 more were made during the entire war. Instead, Chrysler made fuselages. General Motors made airplane engines, guns, trucks and tanks. Packard made Rolls-Royce engines for the British air force. And at its vast Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Ford Motor Company performed something like a miracle 24-hours a day. The average Ford car had some 15,000 parts. The B-24 Liberator long-range bomber had 1,550,000. One came off the line every 63 minutes.Shipyards turned out tonnage so fast that by the autumn of 1943 all Allied shipping sunk since 1939 had been replaced. In 1944 alone, the United States built more planes than the Japanese did from 1939 to 1945. By the end of the war, more than half of all industrial production in the world would take place in the United States.
Patriotism of soldiers certainly helps, yet the fanaticism of such countries as Japan and Germany did not win them the war. Japan's industry was unable to catch up with the sheer industrial might of the US (just look how fast each side could build aircraft carriers, for example). Germany, meanwhile, had to divide up their resources for the war effort, according to the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. German industry was disabled by repeated air raids that caused massive devastation:
In the wake of these attacks there are great paths of destruction. In Germany, 3,600,000 dwelling units, approximately 20% of the total, were destroyed or heavily damaged. Survey estimates show some 300,000 civilians killed and 780,000 wounded. The number made homeless aggregates 7,500,000. The principal German cities have been largely reduced to hollow walls and piles of rubble. German industry is bruised and temporarily paralyzed. These are the scars across the face of the enemy, the preface to the victory that followed.
The air raids that harassed Germany, were most effective when combined with a divided front. With up to 16 million American soldiers committed to the entire war, it would be hard to argue that the Nazis, (with 20 million) could sustain themselves against half that amount when combined with the scores of Soviet soldiers and the 5 million Brits (along with other Allied forces) also committed to the conflict.
Faria also arrogantly assumes that the Swiss were not invaded due to their zealous gun culture. More likely theories include the fact that the Swiss were not only tough fighters but could use the rugged terrain to their advantage. Furthermore, it's believed that the Nazis wanted to use the country's banking system to store their gold. As such, an invasion would likely ruin their financial interests.
Faria and others, such as Robert B Young, claim that authoritarian regimes can be destroyed by gun ownership. Nazis (surprise, surprise) are brought up. This is a fallacy that has many reasons for being wrong. First off, why have Australia, Canada, the UK, and Japan not become dictatorships after passing far stricter gun laws? Second of all, the supposed gun control=Nazism argument is laughably absurd. Yes, the Nazis did ban Jews from gun ownership, yet no such gun laws are being proposed in the US. Furthermore, the claim that there would have been an uprising by German Jews going Rambo against the Nazis is undermined by many factors, not the least of which is the fact that they made up 1% of the population. That is not to say that there's any problem with them rising up, yet as pointed out by Alan E Steinweis, an expert of the Holocaust:
It is preposterous to argue that the possession of firearms would have enabled them to mount resistance against a systematic program of persecution implemented by a modern bureaucracy, enforced by a well-armed police state, and either supported or tolerated by the majority of the German population. Mr. Carson’s suggestion that ordinary Germans, had they had guns, would have risked their lives in armed resistance against the regime simply does not comport with the regrettable historical reality of a regime that was quite popular at home. Inside Germany, only the army possessed the physical force necessary for defying or overthrowing the Nazis, but the generals had thrown in their lot with Hitler early on.The failure of Jews to mount an effective defense against the Waffen-SS in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 provides a good example of what happens when ordinary citizens with small arms go up against a well-equipped force. The uprising in the ghetto possesses enduring symbolic significance, as an instance of Jews’ determination to resist their oppression. But the uprising saved few Jewish lives and had little to no impact on the course of either World War II or the Holocaust. Jews around the world did, to be sure, react to the Holocaust by concluding that they needed to protect themselves from anti-Semites more effectively. But they understood that this would be accomplished not through the individual acquisition of firearms, but rather through the establishment of a Jewish state with an army to defend it.
Furthermore, Nazi gun control was an anti-Semitic propaganda tool. Mass shootings were hardly a problem in Germany at the time. In fact, the Nazi gun control law, while certainly aimed at disarming the Jews, also extended access to firearms for groups the Nazi regime did approve of. Licenses for hunting, for instance, were loosened to allow ownership of any gun.
Faria cites other genocides as proof of why gun control is problematic. He and his allies list, in addition to the Nazis, the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Castro's despotism in Cuba, and the Armenian, Cambodian, and Rwandan genocides. Faria uses the Warsaw ghetto as proof, yet seems to forget that the Jews who rebelled had armament comparable to civilians in the US, with one machine gun and some pistols. The Warsaw Uprising that he approvingly speaks of, meanwhile, relied on military-grade equipment such as sub-machine guns, not hunting rifles or more civilian-oriented weapons. The fact that it was an organized effort certainly helped, but so did their use of military-grade equipment that they made or had airdropped. The Hungarian revolution is also cited. What is neglected, however, is that the rebels actually won the first phase of the revolt. It was after the Soviet military arrived that Hungary gave in. He then mentions the dictatorship of Fidel Castro claiming that shortly after he took office, he asked " ¿Armas para que?", "Weapons for whom?". Yet what Castro meant was that the weapons that his 26 of July Movement had captured from the military and police would stay as such. Furthermore, he was talking about military weapons being smuggled and stolen.
Yet I tell you here and now that two days ago elements of certain organizations broke into the San Antonio barracks, which are under the jurisdiction of Commander Camilo Cienfuegos and also under my jurisdiction as commander in chief of the armed forces, and carried away 500 small arms, (16?) machine guns, and 80,000 cartridges.
The conversation does shift to gangsters, which presumably entails taking away civilian weapons, yet the conversation revolved around other rebels stockpiling weapons to counter Castro. Faria uses the 1959 Escambray rebellion in an attempt to point out the negatives of gun control, yet seems to miss the context. The Escambray rebels lost because, according to Ernest Volkman, they had lost CIA support, the elimination of many CIA assets by Castro likely factoring in. Faria has cited the small numbers and lack of supplies. Overall, to use gun control for the Escambray rebels is simply a poor argument, as it was other factors that lead to their defeat. Furthermore, as of 2017, it is believed that there are 2.10 guns per 100 people in Cuba. In fact, citizens can purchase firearms for hunting and self-defense. Why have no residents rebelled against the government using these weapons? And seeing as how little documentation there is of Cuba's gun culture, could it be that easy access to firearms would not have made much of a difference?
Armenia, Cambodia, and Rwanda are also ridiculous comparisons. In Armenia, the government did in fact pass a law in 1911 that required Armenians surrender their weapons. It was the outbreak of WWI that made the genocide inevitable, as long-held contempt for the Armenians by the Young Turks fueled suspicions that the Armenians would rebel against them. Furthermore, the Ottomans had forbidden groups like the Armenians from gun ownership for centuries. And before the 1911 law, a pogrom killed hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the 1890s. When the Armenians did have their guns taken, it was weapons that soldiers had been given, not just hunting rifles or handguns they owned for self-defense/hunting. To argue gun control enabled the genocide forgets the nuances behind the affair. The Armenian genocide website itself argues that it was not armed resistance that would have ended the genocide, but international awareness.
Cambodia is the next example, as Pol Pot did in fact eliminate guns. Unfortunately, most of those guns belonged to the upper-class:
Firearms ownership rates in rural rice farming communities practising subsistence agriculture have been very low in Cambodia, and firearms have not been part of traditional livelihood strategies. Cambodia is not rich in large game, and game meat is not part of the typical rural diet, which is largely based on the consumption of rice, with fish as a source of protein. Nutrition surveys have demonstrated that only a minority of the rural population eat any meat at all (27–34 per cent of children aged 24–59 months were found to have eaten some meat [Helmers and Kenefick, 1999, pp. 72–73]), and most of this is derived from livestock, such as chicken, pork, and to a lesser extent cattle. Low firearms ownership rates in rural society are also the outcome of government policies and low rural incomes. To counter communist and anti-colonial insurgencies, the French colonial rulers (1863–1953) passed several laws to prevent Cambodian peasants from arming themselves (Kopel, Gallant, and Eisen, 2005, p. 6; page no. from e-publication). The laws passed between 1920 and 1938 imposed a strict licensing system and only allowed hunters to own a single gun...Available evidence suggests that unlike in many Western societies, private firearms ownership during the early period of Cambodia’s independence before the Khmer Rouge took over (1953–75) was predominantly a characteristic of the urban male elite, who were mainly in government employment
While French colonists did place restrictions on gun ownership in the 1920s and 1930s, Cambodians in general never really were interested in it. Furthermore, the efforts to counter Communist insurgents involved the very same gun control that is seen as taking citizen's rights, yet it failed to stop Pol Pot from taking the country over. Overall, one could argue that lighter gun restrictions would have given the Cambodian populace a better chance, yet since they did not really have a thriving gun culture, it would have little impact. Those that did were upper-class, meaning that they were often in the minority.
As for Rwanda, I had trouble finding good sources. Rwanda does indeed allow gun ownership, yet the one law I was looking for, which was passed in 1979, had little information for me. As such, I'll have to make do with what I could find. The 1979 law was amended in 2000, 6 years after the genocide, to do such things as ban access of government firearms from the population. Basing the gun regulations off of this chart, I assume that Faria believes that gun registration, confiscation abilities, and more were what occurred. The Small Arms Survey's analysis of Rwanda, however, makes no mention of any abuse of this confiscation system. Furthermore, the idea that registration enabled the slaughter of Tutsi tribesmen and Hutu moderates ignores the fact that many Rwandans were required since the Belgian colonization to carry ID cards which gave their ethnicity. Alain Destexhe, a Belgian politician who worked for Doctors Without Borders in areas such as Rwanda, even goes so far as to say:
it was the ethnic classification registered on identity cards introduced by the Belgians that served as the basic instrument for the genocide of the Tutsi people...
Once again, it was an organized military faction, the Rwanda Patriotic Front, that stopped the genocide. It was not armed civilians, but a faction with weapons that far outclassed those legally available to civilians in the US. To argue that gun rights would stop these regimes ignores events that Faria cites.
Look at most regimes over the past 20 years, and you'll find that they had fairly large gun ownership. Sudan had millions of civilian weapons in circulation in 2007, yet it was 12 years before Omar al-Bashir was toppled, and not due to armed civilians. In Venezuela and Libya, authoritarian regimes grew in spite of high gun ownership rates. Yet easily the most surprising is the case of Iraq, where a large portion of the population, in spite of strict gun laws, owned firearms, yet Saddam stayed in power, enduring several rebellions and only being beaten by a US-led invasion. Saudi Arabia, an authoritarian regime in it's own right, had the 7th highest rate of gun ownership in the world.
Heading back to WWII and gun cultures, Faria makes the case that the only other country to offer the Nazis any resistance, the USSR, was largely due to the NKVD holding soldiers in place. He says:
just as Stalin’s “Patriotic War” stimulated Russians to fight for their motherland, and to make sure they did so the NKVD’s SMERCH units (Soviet military police and counter-intelligence units) were everywhere behind the front lines to stiffen Soviet fighting resolve if their morale lapsed.
While certainly, the Soviets did carry out these measures, they had already repelled the assault on Moscow when this order, No. 227, which organized such units, was passed. In late 1944, blocking detachments were disbanded, largely due to improvements on the front lines, yet their impact on morale arguably helped hurt Soviet morale almost as much as it fixed it. Furthermore, Faria also seems to overestimate the role of SMERSH units. While indeed responsible for slaughtering many deserters, the reality is far from what is depicted in such media as Enemy at the Gates. Geoffrey Roberts, in his book Stalin's Wars, writes that of the detainees arrested by these units,
3,980 were arrested, 1,189 were shot, 2,961 were sent to penal battalions or companies and 131,094 were returned to their units.
Faria insists that only Americans were driven by as sense of patriotism and civic duty, yet the same holds true for the Soviets, in spite of the monstrous actions of their government. Roberts states that Stalin's skill in tapping into Soviet patriotic fervor was essential to their victory, the patriotic messages providing a useful image of a united Soviet nation against a foreign menace.
Also mentioned are Filipino, Guatemalan, and other insurgents as proof of the importance of gun ownership. Once again, Faria makes more mistakes. He assumes that privately-owned firearms are what these groups used when it was also military-grade gear. The insurgents in the Philippines, meanwhile, operated even after strict gun laws were passed by president Marcos, and likely benefited from the jungle terrain. As for Guatemala, Faria seems to once again conflate organized insurgency with gun rights. The Guatemalan insurgents that held the regime back for decades received Soviet and Czech weapons that were smuggled through Communist states such as Nicaragua. The stereotypical patriot who owns guns to protect from an oppressive regime was not the kind of individual who fought against the government. Furthermore, many of these rebels were often peasants who were likely too poor to own firearms.
Overall, Faria misuses countless events to fit his narrative. His claims are so poorly constructed that they are almost impossible to support. Those that use historic events as basis often neglect to mention other factors, such as cultural differences, or history.
Sources:
On Gun Registration, the NRA, Adolf Hitler, and Nazi Gun Laws: Exploding the Gun Culture Wars (A Call to Historians) Bernard E. Harcourt
http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/publications/by-type/yearbook/small-arms-survey-2007.html
https://www.britannica.com/place/Norway/World-War-II
Soviet Arms and Central American Turmoil, ALBERTO R. COLL
https://www.lawphil.net/executive/genogo1972/genor_6_1972.html
http://www.world-war-2.info/casualties/
https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-France-World-War-II/The-fall-of-France-June-5-25-1940
Blau, George E; THE GERMAN CAMPAIGNS IN THE BALKANS (SPRING 1941), 118
http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm
https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/armenian-genocide
https://blog.usni.org/posts/2020/05/24/reflections-on-memorial-day
https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/battle-of-cambrai
Small Arms Survey: The Use and Perception of Weapons before and after Conflict: Evidence from Rwanda By Cécelle Meijer and Philip Verwimp
Small Arms Survey: How Many Weapons Are There in Cambodia? By Christina Wille
14/06/2000 - LAW N° 13/2000 OF 14/06/2000 MODIFYING THE DECREE-LAW N° 12/97 OF MAY, 1979 CONCERNING FIREARMS AND THEIR AMMUNITIONS
https://ucdp.uu.se/conflict/445
https://www.anesi.com/ussbs02.htm#c
Alain Destexhe, Rwanda and Genocide in the Twentieth Century; Pg 47
https://www.businessinsider.com/switzerland-gun-laws-rates-of-gun-deaths-2018-2?op=1
http://www.pbs.org/thewaat_home_war_production.htm
https://www.britannica.com/event/World-War-I
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-chicago-gun-laws-explainer-20171006-story.html
http://www.genocide-museum.am/eng/online_exhibition_8.php
https://www.britannica.com/event/Rwanda-genocide-of-1994/Genocide
https://www.armenian-genocide.org/genocide.html
http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/castro/db/1959/19590109.html
https://www.britannica.com/event/Hungarian-Revolution-1956
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/opinion/ben-carson-is-wrong-on-guns-and-the-holocaust.html?_r=0
https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/01/09/guns-dont-kill-dictatorships-people-do/
Roberts, Geoffrey; Stalin's Wars From World War to Cold War, 1939-1953 pgs 22, 132
https://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/sudan
Volkman, Ernest 1995. "Our man in Havana. Cuban double agents 1961–1987" in Espionage: The Greatest Spy Operations of the Twentieth Century,
https://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/26/weekinreview/the-not-so-neutrals-of-world-war-ii.html
Roberts, Walter R. (1973). Tito, Mihailović and the Allies 1941–1945; pg 319
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lP70jPAqRs
https://thehistoryherald.com/articles/military-history/world-war-ii/aktion-rheinland/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Crisolli
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_of_Paris#FFI_uprising_(19%E2%80%9323_August))
https://www.historynet.com/french-resistance-resistant.htm
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2020.08.25 20:11 sweetgock 2020 Draft Recap

The highly anticipated 2020 GCPL draft went underway last night as it was full of good picks, awful singing, and the entire 3rd season audio of Schitt's Creek. Unlike some of my other fellow GM's I will try my best to keep this as professional and non biased as possible.

GM Farley - Kenyon Feel it Mr. Krabs?

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Cam Newton
RB Miles Sanders
RB Kenyan Drake
WR Michael Thomas
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
TE Tyler Higbee
FLEX Leonard Fournette
K Brandon McManus
DEF Kansas City Chiefs
BENCH
QB Drew Brees
RB Adrian Peterson
WR Christian Kirk
WR Michael Gallup
WR N'Keal Harry
TE Hayden Hurst
Overall I am very pleased with how I drafted. I feel like I have such a deep bench having both Michael Gallup and Christian Kirk not starting and boy does it feel good. I was shocked that I got Michael Thomas as the second WR off the board at pick 7. Michael Thomas single handedly knocked me out of the playoffs last year on MNF and it feels good to have him on my side this time around. I also did not believe Miles Sanders was going to fall to me at the 18 spot and I am thrilled that he did. Sanders finished at RB15 in his rookie year which mostly came from the last 6 weeks of the season, and now he does not have to compete with Jordan Howard for touches. I'm also excited to play around with both Cam and Brees week to week. If Cam can stay healthy I am VERY excited to see him play for the Pats. Cam signed a 1 year deal and is determined to make sure the Panthers know that he is still a top QB in the league.
DRAFT GRADE: A
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 85%

GM Ehrlich - Bedtime Guys

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Pat Mahomes
RB Aaron Jones
RB D'Andre Swift
WR Julian Edelman
WR Tyler Boyd
TE Blake Jarwin
FLEX Cam Akers
K Zane Gonzalez
DEF Minnesota Vikings
BENCH
RB Corey Clement
RB Boston Scott
WR Darius Slayton
WR Jaylen Reagor
WR Brandon Aiyuk
Yikes. I mean come on Bob. I am trying my best to be professional and unbiased here but wow that team looks horrific compared to the rest of the league. Bobby had one pick in the first 4 rounds of this years draft due to him keeping Aaron Jones at 11th overall, and trading both his 3rd and 4th round picks to eventually lose to me and be knocked out of the playoffs. Bobby then spent that one pick he had on a QB. Now it is the best QB of all time that he picked, however most competent fantasy players that have been playing for as long as Bobby has, know not to spend a top pick on a QB. Juian Edelman is Bob's WR1 followed by WR 2 Tyler Boyd. No need to comment on that. Does Bobby know that we only do one keeper a year? Bobby is quadrupling down on hoping a rookie phenom can win him a championship drafting two rookie RB's and two rookie WR's. MAMA THERE GOES THAT MAN... to the consolation bracket once again.
DRAFT GRADE: D-
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 10%

GM Frye - Nuklear Blast

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Deshaun Watson
RB Josh Jacobs
RB David Johnson
WR Deandre Hopkins
WR AJ Brown
TE Noah Fant
FLEX DJ Moore
K Jake Elliott
DEF Baltimore Ravens
BENCH
QB Baker Mayfield
RB AJ Dillon
WR Antonio Gibson
WR Marquise Brown
WR Justin Jefferson
TE Jared Cook
On to my real divisional competition. Jackson has a decent starting lineup here. The fact that you can flex DJ Moore is great for you, especially considering that Moore would be Bobby's WR1. We are awfully lucky to have him in our division, make sure to thank him for his service. I am obviously not the biggest fan of David Johnson because of what happened last year, but then again it led me to trading you for Kenyon which has worked out phenomenally. Jackson is going to need Johnson to stay healthy and succeed in Houston as he has a lackluster bench with an RB3 and RB4 of Antonio Gibson (who was a WR in college) and AJ Dillon (who is 3rd string in GB.) Watson, Nuk and Jacobs are obviously exciting to have and I can definitely see them carrying you to some good wins. KEEPER ALERT: Justin Jefferson, Round 10.
DRAFT GRADE: B-
PLAYOFF CHAANCE: 65%

Commissioner Kiely - St. Peter’s Water Towers

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Carson Wentz
RB Joe Mixon
RB James Conner
WR Julio Jones
WR Terry McLaurin
TE Evan Engram
FLEX Raheem Mostert
K Will Lutz
DEF Indianapolis Colts
BENCH
RB Ronald Jones II
RB Bryce Love
RB Anthony Mattison
WR Desean Jackson
WR John Brown
WR Robby Anderson
Even with losing a 4th round pick, John was still able to draft two RB's and two WR's that are better than any of Bobby's options. Mixon is a great pick and is a lot of fun watch every Sunday, I think he could potentially be a top 5 back this year. Julio at 17 overall is a steal as he has an ADP of 13. McLaurin proved he was a stud in his rookie year and has such big upside especially if Alex Smith can come back in and get rolling. Mostert is a steal of a 15th round keeper, as at the end of last year he came on strong to secure the spot of RB1, and ended up leading the league in YPC. This is a solid team that is a few key pickups away from making a deep playoff run.
DRAFT GRADE: B-
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 65%

Private Hunt - Young Hoes

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Lamar Jackson
RB Alvin Kamara
RB Melvin Gordon III
WR Stefon Diggs
WR Robert Woods
TE Travis Kelce
FLEX Adam Lazard
K Younghoe Koo
DEF LA Chargers
BENCH
RB Latavious Murray
RB Chris Thompson
RB Zack Moss
WR Dionte Johsnon
WR Preston Williams
TE Johnu Smith
Private Hunt had the strongest finishing rounds of the draft ending with Williams, Smith and Lazard who were on everyones sleeper lists. Those 400 mock drafts came in handy. If Melvin Gordon gets RB1 touches this team is SCARY. Lamar being the best (fantasy) player in the league last year is obviously a solid keep for an 8th rounder, and a strong core of Kamara, Woods, Diggs and Kelce should keep him consistently scoring high week to week. It is unfortunate that myself and Ty will never be able to make a trade again. I would love to help him solidify his flex spot.
DRAFT GRADE: A
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 85%

GM Beudoin - AlGore69

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Russell Wilson
RB Saquan Barkley
RB Todd Gurley II
WR Kenny Golladay
WR Adam Thielen
TE Darren Waller
FLEX DJ Chark Jr.
K Harrison Butker
DEF San Francisco 49ers
BENCH
QB Tyrod Taylor
RB James White
RB Frank Gore
RB Marlon Mack
RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn
WR Sterling Shepard
WR CeeDee Lamb
WR Henry Ruggs III
WR AJ Green
TE Rob Gronkowski
It is very evident here that Chad had 4 extra draft picks here to play with having FOUR running backs and FOUR wide revievers on his bench next to a backup QB and TE. Chad was also able to grab his defense and kicker of choice in rounds 8 and 10 due to him having an abundance of picks. This simple strategy is Bobby's excuse to having such a piss poor team because he "didn't even think about how you could do that with your extra picks." DJ Chark for a 15th round was the best keeper IMO as he has an ADP in the 5th round, and he may very well be worth a keep next year. It will be interesting to see which 4 players Chad cuts as he has some great value on the bench that includes 3 rookies, and yes Blake once he cuts them you can attempt to claim them. As long as Gurley and Saquan can stay healthy, Frank Gore is in a great spot to get his first ring.
Draft Grade: A+
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 90%

GM Kiely - Saint Louis Battle Cawks

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Josh Allen
RB Derrick Henry
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
WR Amari Cooper
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
TE Mark Andrews
FLEX Brandin Cooks
K Robbie Gould
DEF Buffalo Bills
BENCH
QB Matthew Stafford
RB Duke Johnson
RB Matt Breida
RB Sony Michel
WR Breshad Perriman
WR Jamison Crowder
Coming off his first ever championship, GM Mike Kiely had a strong draft. His starting lineup looks impressive as long as OBJ and Brandin Cooks can forget about last season and get back to their old ways. Mike may have the best 1-2 RB duo in the league, but his bench RB's are definitely the weak spot of his roster. Henry and CEH are going to be exciting to watch this season and should be the backbone of this team. If Mike can find a good RB3 this team has the potential to make another deep playoff run.
DRAFT GRADE: A-
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 80%

GM Rayo - MateoRayo

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Dak Prescott
RB David Montgomery
RB Jonathon Taylor
WR Tyreek Hill
WR Mike Evans
TE Hunter Henry
FLEX Tyler Lockett
K Kai'Imi Fairbairn
DEF New Orleans Saints
BENCH
QB Jared Goff
RB Justin Jackson
RB JK Dobbins
WR Deebo Samuel
WR Mecole Hardman
TE Dallas Goedert
Surprise of the draft was GM Rayo taking Tyreek Hill at number 5 overall last night becoming the first of four Chiefs to be taken in the first two rounds. I definitely do not hate the pick as Hill is one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL, however Hill is the the consensous #3 ranked WR with an ADP of 13. Rayo has a deep WR core that again rosters three wideouts who are better than all of Bobby's options. Rayo takes a risk at the RB drafting two rookies in Jonathon Taylor and JK Dobbins. Jonathon Taylor is expected to do big things in Indy and Rayo needs him to do so in order to compliment this deep WR core.
DRAFT GRADE: C+
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 55%

GM Whalen - Hangin' with Hernandez

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Kyler Murray
RB Christian McCaffrey
RB Chris Carson
WR Chris Godwin
WR Allen Robinson II
TE Zack Ertz
FLEX Devin Singletary
K Justin Tucker
DEF New England Patriots
BENCH
RB Phillip Linday
WR Marvin Jones Jr.
WR Jarvis Landry
WR Mike Williams
WR Calvin Ridley
WR Steven Sims Jr
Thanks to Bobby giving up his 3rd and 4th round picks just to lose to the much more elite Farley last year, Whalen was able to draft a strong team and something for fans to get excited about for this upcoming season after finishing in last place in 2019. Whalen has a deep bench rostering 4 WR's better than any of Bobby's options. Godwin came back to the team after he was let go early from Whalen last year. After Whalen traded away Godwin last year he was lighting up fantasy scoreboards every week and Whalen hopes for the same production this year out of his 2nd round draft pick. Connor was able to swoop up the #1 DEF and #3 K from a year ago due to him having two extra picks early, which again is not fair because it is something that Bobby did not plan for. Connor benches 5 WR's and 1 RB with no backup for QB or TE so Blake should be prepared to make some waiver moves soon. I fully expect this team to be near the top of the scoreboards each week, and for Connor to compete for his first ring.
DRAFT GRADE: A+
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 90%

GM Zeloski - Chubbs' Wooden Hand

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Aaron Rodgers
RB Nick Chubb
RB Leveon Bell
WR Davante Adams
WR Keenan Allen
TE Eric Ebron
FLEX Cortland Sutton
K Mason Crosby
DEF Philedelphia Eagles
BENCH
QB Ryan Tannehill
RB Tarik Cohen
RB Damien Harris
WR Sammy Watkins
WR Auden Tate
WR Golden Tate
In case you missed it, Bobby and Blake made a $20 side bet on who will have the better season, and if I am Blake I'm doubling down here. Having WR core of Adams, Allen and Sutton will have to carry this team to reaching a playoff spot. Blake was missing a 3rd, 7th and 8th round pick last night and it shows in his RB depth having Leveon as his RB2 Tarik Cohen as an RB3. Blake traded away 3 picks last year and was able to get all the way to the championship before falling short to GM Mike Kiely. The king of transactions will meed to strengthen up his RB core if he wants to make consecutive trips to the playoffs, but he has a solid start here that will probably be a completely different team in the next 3 weeks.
DRAFT GRADE: C
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 45%

Officer Lewis - TylerBackwoods

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Tom Brady
RB Dalvin Cook
RB Austin Ekeler
WR Cooper Kupp
WR DK Metcalf
TE Austin Hooper
FLEX Jordan Howard
K Greg Zurlein
DEF Pittsburgh Steelers
BENCH
QB Joe Burrow
RB Kareem Hunt
RB Tony Pollard
WR Jerry Jeudy
TE Mike Gesicki
DEF LA Rams
It is a surprise to no one that GM Lewis has a white guy as his WR1 in Cooper Kupp. Lewis went RB with his first two picks of the night and it is showing big time in his lineup. Officer Lewis doubles down on RB's he drafted last year with drafting both Dalvin Cook and Jordan Howard in back to back years. Tlew also picks up the now clear #1 guy in LA with Austin Ekeler. Ekeler was a PPR machine last year but some question if he will be as involved as much in the pass game this year with a new QB under center for the Chargers. This team has a solid bench with Kareem Hunt getting consistent touches every week and he also stashes rookie phenom Jerry Jeudy. Lewis will hope that Hooper can succeed in his new Browns uniform as he is going to need him to compete with some of the other teams in this league. If Hooper is not the answer for lewis, watch out for Mike Gesiciki to have a big year in Miami.
DRAFT GRADE: C+
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 55%

GM Dullard - Connor19

PROJECTED WEEK 1 STARTERS
QB Matt Ryan
RB Ezekiel Elliott
RB Mark Ingram II
WR TY Hilton
WR Davante Parker
TE George Kittle
FLEX Kerryon Johnson
K Matt Prater
DEF Chicago Bears
BENCH
QB Daniel Jones
RB Tevin Coleman
RB Chase Edmonds
WR Will Fuller V
WR Anthony Miller
WR Emanuel Sanders
GM Dullard waited til the 4th round to pick a WR as he hopes his strong RB core and the #3 TE from a year ago can lead his team to victory. Zeke and Ingram is a dangerous 1-2 combo that will be the backbone of this team. Dullard went with George Kittle in the second round and he will need him to put up some big numbers to makeup for his below average WR core. Dullard does stash 3 wideouts on his bench that all gave potential to put up solid numbers this year. Connor will hope that rookie RB's JK Dobbins and Deandre Swift stay away as he rosters both of their veteran teammates in Mark Ingram and Kerryon Johnson. If either of those rookies take away touches, this team could be in serious danger.
DRAFT GRADE: C+
PLAYOFF CHANCE: 55%

And there you have it folks, hope you enjoyed cause this took me entirely too long. Take all your complaints to the commish, you can't be mad at me cause I still have a broken leg and can't even walk for 4 more weeks. Make sure to smash that upvote button, subscribe, and hit that notification bell! Leave a comment on what you think I missed for my next post! Toodaloo motha fuckaaaaas
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2020.08.23 18:08 FlyingMocko Why I want every team to win a Championship and why ?

Given the overwhelming negative posts about teams and especially this post, I figured I’d change it up abit and make a post about the interesting narrative for each team still with a chance winning.
Milwaukee Bucks - The Bucks winning will solidify Giannis as an All Time great and we will have witnessed one of the greatest single seasons by a player since Hakeem (awards wise) given he could possibly win MVP, DPOY & FMVP.
Toronto Raptors - Nick Nurse leading the Raptors to a repeat after losing his best player and the Raptors winning despite not having a bonafide Superstar would be a testament that well rounded teams are still capable of winning championships and it’s not all about Star power. Another ring for Lowry in Toronto all but guarantees a place in the Hall Of Fame for him, something that is argued upon almost daily.
Boston Celtics - peep the flair. Banner 18 boogie duh. But also, having to put with years of mismanagement in Charlotte and finally winning a title for Kemba Walker after his historic NCAA run would be a nice story. Gordon Hayward after his gruesome injury winning a title would be great too. This would also solidify Tatum & Brown as the duo for the future.
Miami Heat - Jimmy Butler would’ve been right. His criticisms about Chicago, Philly, Minny etc were met with mixed reactions at the time but if he is able to take the Heat over the top it would be the ultimate vindication for someone who is a somewhat controversial player. Not to mention the story of his life given a kid who was homeless, passed on in the draft goes on to win a title in Miami with a team of hardworking underrated individuals is the stuff movies are made of.
LA Clippers - Kawhi Leonard would be the ONLY player to win FMVP with 3 different teams. We’d have witnessed the stuff of legends. Paul George recovering from a potentially career ending injury to play at a high level and be a number 2 on a Championship team is also remarkable as controversial as it may be. The Clippers winning a championship won’t do much in terms of LA being a Laker town entirely, but there would definitely be a power shift and a new generation of basketball fans from LA may opt to be Clipper fans.
Houston Rockets - Russell Westbrook & James Harden, childhood friends, former MVPs, often controversial amongst NBA fans winning a championship not only solidifies their status as All Time greats, it solidifies the concept of “true small ball”.MDA finally getting a long overdue ring will be a welcome addition to this already amazing narrative. Russ & Hardens one championship alone will be looked upon more fondly than KDs championships with GSW by NBA fanbases.
Denver Nuggets - You can win the championship with your best player being a Center. A position that is being phased out of the NBA will receive a major boost of Jokic is able to lead the Nuggets to a chip. Also another example a la Raptors & Heat that team ball can win you a championship with an unselfish superstar like Joker.
Utah Jazz - Mike Conley gets a ring! Marc Gasol got his so this time Mike gets his. A championship would also do wonders for the Gobert-Mitchell dynamic after having to go through a lot of scrutiny earlier in the season. Solidifies Mitchell & Gobert as one of the best duos in the league and brings Utah their first Championship.
OKC Thunder - CP3 gets a ring! Him leading a team with no other all star would be a feat for the ages, Dirk-esque. This will solidify his position and possibly push him into the Top 5 of the All Time PG list having done what Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and to certain extent Harden couldn’t do.
Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard would’ve led a team that should not even be in the Playoffs, to virtually one of the greatest championship runs in the history of the game if he pulls this off. It would be the ultimate vindication of his decision to stay in Portland and he would be rewarded for it. Plus Carmelo gets a ring!
Dallas Mavericks - Luka Doncic leading the Mavericks to an NBA Championship would change the NBA worlds view on scouting entirely. Often thought that Euro Ball is inferior to college ball, Luka leading the “greatest offense of all time” in the Mavs in only his second season as an NBA player would change the world of NBA scouting drastically and would arguably make him the youngest FMVP since Magic.
ugh guess I have to..
LA Lakers - 17 Championships. Tied with the Boston Celtics as the most in NBA history and proceeds to make a statement that a lot of people already believe to be true that the Lakers are the greatest NBA franchise of all time. Lebron gets his 4th ring bringing him closer to MJ and we get to see more greatness at work given our years of witnessing elite level of play are coming to a close. AD finally gets his due after years of performing for a mismanaged franchise in NOLA.They get to one up the Clippers, “as good as you are, we’re still better” gaining the ultimate bragging rights in LA.
and they’d have done it for Mamba.
——————————————————————
That being said Celtics Rockets Finals is where it’s at.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
Edit : Added Mavs, my bad
submitted by FlyingMocko to nba [link] [comments]


2020.08.22 23:00 GoldWhale Jordan Binnington is Far Overrated - The Numbers Back It Up

Let me preface this by saying I dislike Jordan Binnington as a person. I think he’s cocky, unlikable, arrogant, a major douche, sexist, who’s a dirty player. Being said, this post is more to dispel the myth of Binnington being an elite goalie in the NHL.
After an absolutely terrible playoff outing, is it finally time for fans and folks on hockey to realize that Jordan Binnington might just be a little nervous? Despite the general consensus that Jordan Binnington has easily found his way inside the top 10 best goaltenders in the league, in my eyes, he is not even in the top 20. As many of you have seen on hockey, the man has become a sensation. Many people have clamored that Binnington was a clutch goalie, an easy top 5, minimally top 10, a Vezina snub, an easy Calder snub, and a guy who would perennially challenge Carey Price as the best goalie in the league. It's not just hockey folks who clamor him as amazing. It's the media too.
Binnington, in my eyes, is this generation’s Steve Mason - a stellar rookie season, followed up with league average to well below average play. Not to say he can’t have a good season, but Binnington’s stats do not show him as one of the premiere goalies of the NHL.
Let us first start where it all began - last year after the firing of the previous coach, the hiring of Craig Berube. Berube was a phenomenal coach, he switched the blues to a defense based system. After the replacement of Yeo, the Blues goals against went from being the #6 worst in the league, to ending the year at 5th best, an absolute domination of the play after the coaching swap, and a complete buy in to a new style of hockey with a new coach. They went from being one of the worst teams 5v5 in the league, to the quite literal best in terms of ability to control high danger chances and overall possession of the puck. People are quite to say that Binnington was the savior, yet the system allowed for this. He undoubtedly had a great rookie season, but people putting so much of the credit on him is ridiculous.
When it comes to the playoffs, he's the 4th worst goalie of the millenia to win a cup, in front of only Niemi, Quick in 13-14, and Fleury. For everyone calling him clutch, these teams all had worse defensive cores... except for potentially Chicago in 09-10. Any average goalie could have done what he did, especially as despite St. Louis locked down defensively, Binnington was the worst goalie in terms of HDGSAA and one of the worst in GSAA, meaning compared to the average goalie, he underperformed by a decent amount in the situations.. Binnington was not impressive, and pretty much any other goalie on that team would have won the cup, without even needing to go to game 7, just simply according to the numbers.
In the 18-19 playoffs, the average SV% for qualified goalies was a .9165. Jordan Binnington had a .914, below the league average. While people may not think this makes a major difference, this is still below the average for the time and place. Binnington was pulled in the big moments, in the final against Boston. While he may have been able to be cool and collected in his return games, a more competent netminder wouldn’t have needed to go to 7 games against a struggling Bruins. In all situations, Binnington had a negative GSAA and ranked at the bottom of qualified starting netminders. In terms of high danger S%, Binnington was one of the worst goalies in the playoffs, sporting the 3rd worst numbers out of all qualified netminders.
This season, Binnington’s numbers dramatically dropped. Despite a defense with even better pieces, and continued dominance in terms of possession and puck movement 5v5 Binnington put up worse overall numbers, and was only slightly above league average, yet below other netminders such as Varlamov, Crawford, Grubauer, Raanta, Koskinen, etc. who don’t see the light of day on almost any of these NHL lists. He also had a fairly low QS% which is again, nowhere close to the top 10 for qualified goalies, and is just outside the top 20.
When it came to the playoffs this year, well the numbers speak for themselves. Binnington was horrendous, only posting a single game with a s% of over .900. He was pulled multiple times, and lost his spot to someone who had completely outperformed him in the regular season, and was able to produce much better in the playoffs, Jake Allen.
Binnington has had 1 mediocre playoff, 1 slightly below average one on a cup winning team, 1 league average regular season, and a good rookie season. Binnington is a NHL goalie at this point, that is not debatable. What’s debatable and ridiculous is all the media and fan proverbial cocksucking that has him ranked as highly as he is.
Off the top of my head here are 20 goalies I would take above Binnington in no particular order.
Ben Bishop
Tuukka Rask
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Robin Lehner
Corey Crawford
John Gibson
Jacob Markstrom
Carey Price
Darcy Keumper
Carter Hart
Frederick Andersen
Marc Andre Fleury
Seymon Varlamov
Jaroslav Halak
Anton Khudobin
Phillip Grubauer
Elvis Merzlikins
Jonaas Korpisalo
Antti Raanta
Connor Hellebuyck
Mackenzie Blackwood
There are other goalies too who have had down seasons recently, but generally I would also take above Binnington: Lundqvist, Rinne, Holtby, Murray, Bob and Quick.
To me, Binnington is a top 25 goaltender, but that’s just about it.
Binnington's numbers aren't very impressive, he doesn’t stand out in the eye test, and if that isn’t enough, he’s a cocky douchebag too. The man is extremely arrogant, and the media clammors it up, yet seems to ignore the fact that he just statistically isn’t a top 10 goalie, especially with how solid the defensive system he plays in is.
submitted by GoldWhale to hockey [link] [comments]


2020.08.21 16:09 hallach_halil Ranking all 32 NFL teams in tiers pre-2020 season


https://preview.redd.it/it6vqxvxzci51.jpg?width=900&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d5ba4c7f80a1439c4283f4b30e3514629fcf504b

Now that we have passed the opt-out deadline and are only about three weeks away from the Chiefs and Texans kicking off the 2020 NFL season, I wanted to put together my pre-season power rankings and put all 32 teams in separate tiers, to give you an idea of where I see them at this point.
When putting together this list, I considered the talent on the roster, coaching staff and what will be a more important factor coming into this season than it has been in previous – the continuity as a franchise, since the COVID situation has limited the amount of preparation and ability to build chemistry as a team. That will be especially tough for new head coaches and inexperienced teams.
With that being said, this is how I would group them:

Super Bowl contenders:

This group of four represents what I think are the four elite teams in the NFL. They all feature complete rosters, excellent coaching and continuity as a franchise. I think these are the franchises that will most likely square up against each other in the conference championship games on either side of the bracket.

1. Kansas City Chiefs
We have heard this many times over the course of the offseason – the reigning Super Bowl champs bring back 20 of 22 starters (actually 19 now) on offense and defense combined. They have the best player in the league, the most dangerous receiving corp, above-average O-line play and a still improving defense, that just added some much-needed speed at the second level, which will allow DC Steve Spagnuolo to even more versatile. So at this point I can not have anybody unseat them. I think Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU) will be a star in that offense, they get a couple of guys back that missed their playoff run and there are plenty of young, developing players on that roster. What general manager Brett Veach has done this offseason in terms of securing Patrick Mahomes for the next decade and still opening up cap room to also sign their best defensive player in Chris Jones is amazing to me. My only two concerns for Kansas City at this point are a lack of depth in the secondary and the fact they will have to go on the road when they face the four best teams on their schedule – Baltimore, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and New Orleans, which has me favoring the second team on my list for the number one seed in the AFC and which this year means having one more game in the playoffs on their road to another Super Bowl for Andy Reid’s troops.

2. Baltimore Ravens
Right behind the Chiefs, as the biggest competitor for the AFC is Baltimore. They were the best team in the regular season from this past year, but the Titans handed them only their third loss of the season in the Divisional Round at home. While they did lose what to me is a first-ballot Hall of Fame guard in Marshal Yanda, outside of that the Ravens to me have an even better roster. The reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is only entering his third season in the league, the Ravens just added a top prospect in J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State) to a backfield that set a league-record in rushing yards and some of these young receivers will continue to develop. On defense, they addressed the two areas that needed some help, when they brought in Calais Campbell to boost their pass-rush and two top-six linebackers on my board in the draft (Patrick Queen & Malik Harrison). They may not have as many superstar names as some other teams, but without a full offseason to prepare for it, that Greg Roman offense could be even tougher to stop if Marquise Brown becomes a more dependable deep threat (now fully healthy) and I love how multiple Wink Martindale is with his defense, combining the different pressure looks to go along with more versatile pieces up front and one of the elite secondaries in the game. You combine that with a rising young special teams coordinator in Chris Horton and a great motivator and in-game decision-maker in John Harbaugh – I just can’t find a lot of L’s on their schedule.

3. San Francisco 49ers
Obviously the Super Bowl hangover will be brought up a lot of times with the loser of that contest, but unlike a lot of these teams coming off the big game – yet similar to the actual winners in the Chiefs – John Lynch did a great job re-tooling for the few losses they did have and didn’t overspend on some of their talented guys. Kyle Shanahan to me is the best offensive play-caller and game-designer in football, with a diverse rushing attack and the type of personnel to match it, while Jimmy G, despite some issues, is coming off his first 16-game season in his career. Defensively, they are losing what I thought was their best player in DeForest Buckner, but they did replace him with a top ten prospect in Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina) and Fred Warner is an emerging superstar. Their Seattle-based scheme under Robert Salah may not be very complex, but the Niners have a ferocious pass-rush, fast-flowing linebackers and a great safety tandem to be very sound in their execution. The Deebo Samuel injury is definitely a concern for me and if he doesn’t get back a few weeks into the season, I might drop San Fran a spot or two, plus I don’t love what they have at that second cornerback spot, but as for now I see the recipe that made me predict them winning the NFC West ahead of 2019 and what allowed them to be up double-digits in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.

4. New Orleans Saints
One of the themes this offseason for me has been how loaded this Saints roster is and that they just need to win this year. This is the final season with Drew Brees at the helm, they are already in a horrible place with the cap – before that even goes down in 2021 – and to be honest, a lot of their key contributors are getting pretty old now. While I have seen a significant drop-off in the arm-strength of Brees, other than that I don’t see any offense with this Sean Payton-led offense – the front-five is elite, Alvin Kamara should be back to 100 percent as a dynamic dual-threat back and they finally found a number two receiver in Emmanuel Sanders. When healthy, that defensive line is a dominant unit, I think third-round pick Zack Baun (Wisconsin) gives that linebacker group some versatility and they have a lot of experience in the secondary, including a guy I thought would be a future star on the outside in Marshon Lattimore. Before anything else, they need to take care of divisional-rival Tampa Bay – which is a very tough challenge already – but if they can do that, they are fairly in the hunt for the NFC’s top seed. There’s a lot of pressure on this group because of the cap situation, their all-time great QB having his “Last Dance” and brutal playoff losses in recent years, but they have all it takes to finally break through all the way.

Playoff contenders:

This second tier consists of eight teams that to me have only or two holes on their roster, while their coaching gives them an advantage over the majority of teams in the league and they bring back most of their pieces from a year or at least improved in those areas. I expect all but one of these squads to make the playoffs in 2020, as long as they don’t suffer significant injuries along the way.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Number five in the entire league seems pretty high for a team that finished below .500 last season, but this is not just about Tom Brady coming in, but rather the roster Tampa Bay has built around him. To me Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are the top receiver duo in the league, the Bucs arguably have the best tight-end room in the league and the offensive line only got better with superhuman Tristan Wirfs (Iowa) playing one of those spots on the right side. I have talked about this a lot over the offseason, looking at the match between Bruce Arians’ vertical-based passing attack and what Brady is used to, in terms of spreading the field and getting the ball out of his hands quickly. My bet is they go to a bit of hybrid and figure things out. Maybe more importantly, I don’t think people realize what they have put together on defense. Last season the Bucs finished number one against the run, they forced the fifth-most turnovers (28) and tied for sixth with yards per play (5.1) in the league. Todd Bowles is excellent defensive mind, who now enters his second season with as much talent as he has had since his Arizona days. Jameis turned it over 35 times last year (12 more than any other player in the league), while Tom didn’t even crack double-digits once again, and he immediately improves their situational football awareness and overall execution. This is a very dangerous squad.

6. Dallas Cowboys
When you talk about some of the most talented rosters in the league, the Dallas Cowboys come to mind right away – especially on the offensive side of the ball. Dak Prescott now has one of the premiere receiver trios with the selection of Ceedee Lamb (Oklahoma) in the draft, still probably a top-five offensive line and Zeke looking to re-establish himself as a top-tier back, after looking a step slow for most of last season. Defensively they are getting back Leighton Vander Esch, whose energy they desperately missed for stretches last season, and they have a very deep rotation at the defensive line (even though nobody knows what we’ll get from a couple of guys that were out of the league), while Mike Nolan will change things up a little more and get his guys into the face of opposing receivers. We have yet to see how much Mike McCarthy will want to have say in the offensive play-calling, but I like that they retained a young and creative OC in Kellen Moore, and as far as in-game control and CEO duties go, I certainly believe McCarthy is an upgrade. There are some questions with the secondary after the loss of Byron Jones and losing Travis Frederick to retirement hurts, but I think those are things that can be overcome. Something that I think should not be overlooked is the signing of former Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein and his special teams coordinator John Fassel, after converting only 75 percent of their field goal attempts last season (6th-lowest in the league) and missing a couple of crucial kicks.

7. Philadelphia Eagles
Right behind the Cowboys, I have their division rivals from Philadelphia. I think the Eagles actually have a better quarterback, the best defensive player among the two teams in Fletcher Cox and a more experienced secondary. However, with Brandon Brooks out for the season and maybe the worst group of linebackers in the NFL, I could not put this group ahead of Dallas, even though they have come up victorious against them in the big games recently. Last year Carson Wentz carried a group of skill-position players from the practice squad and a banged-up O-line to a division title. This upcoming season he will go from already wasn’t an overly dynamic receiving crew to a group of track stars, most notably with first-round pick Jalen Reagor (TCU) and a hopefully healthy DeSean Jackson, plus Miles Sanders I think is ready to emerge as a star back for Philly. The defense did lose some long-time stalwarts like Malcolm Jenkins and Nigel Bradham, but I loved the addition of Javon Hargreave in the middle to free up the other guys to attack upfield and with Darius Slay as their new CB1, not only does that move everybody one spot lower on the depth chart, but it also finally makes more sense for Jim Schwartz to be as aggressive with those zero-blitzes, since he has the guys to cover. Those two newcomers also fit perfectly when matching up against Dallas, because of an improvement interior run defense and having a guy who can match up with Amari Cooper, after the other guys got toasted for the most part.

8. Buffalo Bills
For the first time in about twenty years, a team not named the Patriots will enter a season as favorites in the AFC East – and it’s actually not that close for me. Buffalo made a switch last season offensively to more 11 personnel and quick-tempo with Brian Daboll moving to the booth. This offseason they finally got the big-armed Josh Allen a dependable deep threat in Stefon Diggs, who averaged 12.0 yards per target last season (second-highest in the league), which – similar to what I just talked about with the corners in Philadelphia – moves everybody else down one spot in the food chain. And I love what they do defensively, with Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier’s game-plan specific zone pattern coverages, with a versatile secondary to execute those, to go with a deep D-line and two super-rangy linebackers. Even outside the Diggs trade, Buffalo has made some sneaky-good deals since losing that Wildcard game at Houston in such heart-breaking fashion. Whether that is Mario Addison as double-digit sack guy in four straight years, added depth on the O-line or a really solid draft class to complement what they already had. I don’t want to crown them at this point, but to me they are the favorites for the AFC’s number three seed as for right now, since I think the South doesn’t have that clear front-runner to win the majority of their divisional games.

9. Seattle Seahawks
I would have probably had the Hawks as the final team of this group or right at the top of the next one a couple of weeks ago, but after acquiring Jamal Adams, I think they have re-established themselves as that second team in the NFC West, since I had them very close with Arizona originally, I did not love what they did in the first two days of the draft (somewhat of a trend with them), they lost their second-best defensive player at that point in Jadeveon Clowney, I’m not sure if they upgraded on the offensive line and we don’t even if know if Quinton Dunbar will be suspended at this point. With that being said, Seattle has finished above .500 every single year with Russell Wilson under center and while I’m not a fan of their conservative approach offensively, where they don’t allow Russ to throw the ball on first downs and push the tempo a little at times, they are one of the most effective rushing teams and they have two lethal weapons to catch those trademark rainbow balls from the Seahawks QB. Defensively there are still some questions about the edge rush and at second corner spot, but Pete Carroll at least has what he wants most in a team at those positions – competition – and you already saw them go to more two-high looks in coverage than we are used to, telling me they utilize Jamal’s versatile skill-set more than what that strong safety mostly does in that system.

10. Green Bay Packers
The whole Aaron Rodgers-Jordan Love drama has been looming large over the offseason and that has brought us some interesting discussions, but let’s not allow this to take away from the fact Green Bay just had a first-round bye in the playoffs and made it to the NFC title game. While they were 8-1 in one-score games and should regress more towards the mean in terms of the success rate in those close games, the North is still wide open and they have a few things going for themselves – they have the best quarterback in the division, the best offensive line, the most versatile and effective pass rush and a lot of young talent in the secondary. The first-round selection of a future signal-caller aside, I wasn’t too fond of what they did in the draft. Even though I liked Cincinnati’s Josiah Deguara and can see what they want to do with him as H-back/move guy in this offense, I thought they did not get Aaron Rodgers help in the receiving corp, which has no proven commodity outside of Davante Adams. Their defense got absolutely steamrolled in two games against the eventual conference champion 49ers, but I hope to see Rashan Gary develop in his second season and I think Christian Kirksey was a very under-the-radar signing as a run-stopping linebacker. I think schematically with Matt LaFleur’s offense based on what they did under Sean McVay and Mike Pettine being very creative himself they are one of the better coaching staffs in the NFC, but I would like to see them open up the offense more for Rodgers and break tendencies more often with their coverage calls.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Another very dangerous squad for me is the Steelers. I have talked many times about how bad the Steelers quarterback situations was last season, as both Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges finished near the bottom in air yards per attempt, percentage of throws beyond the marker and many others. We have only seen Big Ben throw in some short clips on the internet, but if he is just 70-80 percent of what he was in 2018, this team is bound for a playoff berth. There are some question marks with this group of skill-position players, but I expect Juju to bounce back in a major way with a capable QB and being healthy himself, I have already picked Diontae Johnson as a breakout candidate for this season and I like the diversity of this group of backs. Pittsburgh’s defense was already elite last year, finishing top five in both yards and points allowed, tied for first in yards per play (4.7), the most takeaways (38) and sacks (54). If former Raven Chris Wormley can replace Javon Hargreave as a two-down run-stopper at least and rookie Antoine Brooks Jr. (Maryland) can fill a very specific role as their second sub-package linebacker in place of Mark Barron, I think they will one of the scariest units in the NFL once again. So the best all-around defense for my money and an offense who I would say has top ten potential at the very least is a tough match-up. Maybe not quite battling with the Ravens for the North, but the top Wildcard spot for sure.

12. Indianapolis Colts
If there is one team in the AFC that could go from finishing sub-.500 to making it all the way to the conference championship game, the Colts would be my pick. I thought Philip Rivers had a really rough 2019 campaign, in which his arm looked rather weak and his decision-making hurt the Chargers on multiple occasions, but he will play behind by far the best offensive line he has ever had and they will run the heck out of the ball. Indy already had a pretty good back in Marlon Mack, but Wisconsin superstar Jonathan Taylor, who they selected in the second round, will be one of the front-runners for Offensive Rookie of the Year if given the chances in combination with what I believe is the best front-five in the entire league, plus their other second-rounder Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) will be that Vincent Jackson/Mike Williams type target for Rivers. More importantly, with the trade for a top 50 player in the league in DeForest Buckner, this entire Colts D immediately takes a step forward, since he is a perfect fit as that 3-technique in their front and help them disrupt plays at a much higher rate, to go with range in zone coverage behind that, including the “Maniac” Darius Leonard chasing people down. I’m a big fan of Frank Reich and the coaching staff he is has put together, in terms of in-game decision-making, offensive gameplans and just the intensity his team plays him.

Fringe playoff teams:

This middle tier is made up from all those teams who I expect to be at .500 or above, firmly in contention for a Wildcard spot at least. They can be some areas of concern, but overall they have the roster ready to compete with the big dogs and/or feature above-average coaching. With a couple of these there is a change at quarterback and head coach respectively, but they have enough around those to overcome that.

13. Tennessee Titans
This definitely seems a little low for a team that is coming off an AFC Championship game appearance, but people seem to forget the Titans were 8-7 ahead of week 17 and if it wasn’t for the Steelers losing their final three games, this group wouldn’t have even been in position to lock down the six seed. Things were also made a lot easier by their division rival Texans, who sat most of their starters after beating Tennessee two weeks prior. So as impressive as their playoff run was, you have to think of what happened before that and put it into perspective a little. With one more playoff spot in each conference, their chances of making it to the tournament should be at least equally as good, but I believe the Colts are the favorites to win the South and for me the Steelers are the favorites for the fifth seed. With all that being said, there is plenty to like about this team still – they can pound you with the Derrick Henry and the run game, Ryan Tannehill at least gives them the threat of pulling the ball and going deep off play-action, they have some young weapons catching the ball and defensively they are very versatile in how they set up gameplans. I also like the mind-set Mike Vrabel installs in these guys and I was impressed with what OC Arthur Smith did in 2019. If there are two spots that could decide if this group is fighting for a division title or that final playoff berth, it will be their rookie right tackle Isaiah Wilson (Georgia) and recently signed edge rusher Vic Beasley.

14. Cleveland Browns
While I don’t see them competing for the AFC North – just because of how loaded the Ravens are – the Browns are pretty clearly the most talented team that is considered to be third in their division. In terms of their group of starting skill-position players at least, they are near the top of the NFL, the O-line to me already just made my top ten ranking with room to move up, if healthy they are at least in the conversation for that with the D-line as well, with a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Myles Garrett, and I like how they have assembled their secondary. Now, they have some unproven guys at the linebacker level and Cleveland’s potential is largely dependent on which Baker Mayfield we will get. With Kevin Stefanski coming and installing an offense that will be built on the zone run game and bootlegs off that, where his quarterback is put on the move, I could see much more efficient play and more comfort in that system. Something that really jumped out to me on tape was how many times Baker seemed to not be “on the same page” with his receivers, expecting routes to break off differently and unfortunate drops in certain situations. Even though the preparation for the season does look a lot different and QB & WRs haven’t been able to spend too much time together, I expect this to improve and more suitable roles for those pass-catchers overall. And if they are ahead in more games, that pass rush will be a problem.

15. Arizona Cardinals
There are certainly still some issues here, but the Cardinals are probably the most exciting young team in all of the NFL. Kyler Murray was a one-man show last season and is due for a big jump, with DeAndre Hopkins being added to a receiving corp that severely lacked dependable weapons, to go with some other youngsters fully healthy, Kenyan Drake looked like a different player once he came over from Miami and the O-line should at least be marginally better. Defensively they transitioned a little up front, with big gap-pluggers on the line and Isaiah Simmons being that ultra-rangy player on the second level, who can run guys down on the edges, if those ball-carriers forced to bounce outside, plus they have maybe the most underappreciated edge rusher over the last four years in Chandler Jones. I don’t think they are very deep in the secondary, but Budda Baker is an absolute baller, Jalen Thompson emerged late last season and I already predicted Byron Murphy would have a breakout second season. With Kliff Kingsbury and Vance Joseph, Arizona has creative play-calling on both sides of the ball and they now have the personnel to execute at the needed level as well. Like I mentioned, I was ready to have the Cardinals at least go toe-to-toe with Seattle for a playoff spot, but the addition of Jamal Adams has shifted the balance again to some degree. And if you just go based off my rankings, two NFC Wildcard spots already go to teams from five to seven.

16. Denver Broncos
A team that has been getting a lot of love this offseason is the Broncos. They have pretty much all the pieces that you usually see with those rising squads – a promising second-year quarterback with a lot of weapons surrounding him, a ferocious defensive front and having shown signs late last season. My belief in them has taken a bit of a dump unfortunately since I thought they did well to improve the offensive line, with Garrett Bolles on the left end being the only weak-spot, but now that Ja’Wuan James won’t be available at right tackle for the second straight year (injury last season and now opting out), their duo of OTs is a concern for me. Defensively you have to love what they have in the front seven, with Von Miller and now again Bradley Chubb coming off the edges, Jurrell Casey added to the interior to go with Shelby Harris and Alexander Johnson being an under-the-radar standout at linebacker. I’ve always been a big fan of Justin Simmons, but that second corner spot is still up in the air. I like Vic Fangio and that coaching staff they have put together in Denver, with Pat Shurmur providing a QB-friendly offense, the game’s best O-line coach in Mike Munchak and most of the people that have helped Fangio put out elite defenses at multiple stops before. So the Broncos are still the most dangerous opponent of the Chiefs in the AFC West, but now I’m not sure if they can add some drama over the fourth quarter of the season.

17. Minnesota Vikings
At the same time, a team that has been a little overhyped to me this offseason is Minnesota. While I don’t love how the Packers have operated since February, what have the Vikings done to really improve? They traded away the best deep threat in the league last season in Stefon Diggs, stalwarts on the D-line in Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph are now gone, their entire group of corners has combined for less than 1500 career snaps and their offensive coordinator is now in Cleveland. I’m intrigued by the combination of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, who could be pretty interchangeable in their roles and I like their 12 and 21 personnel groupings, but they lack depth at the receiver position. And the defense will be relying on several inexperienced pieces to step in. I mean their three starting corners from last year are off the team now. So I don’t really get how most people all of a sudden put them ahead of the Packers. With that being said, I like the offensive scheme and always thought Gary Kubiak was a huge factor in their success on the ground at least. On defense there are certainly question marks – especially in the secondary – but Minnesota could easily have a top five player at their respective position at all three levels, with Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Harris, plus they still have some promising young guys like Ifeadi Odenigbo, Mike Hughes and a deep rookie class. Their only true shade nose Michael Pierce opting out hurts though.

18. New England Patriots
This offseason must have been a rollercoaster for Patriots fans. First, Tom Brady leaves and everybody goes crazy. Then people start getting onto the Jarrett Stidham hype train and talk about how good the rest of this team still is. Out of nowhere they sign Cam Newton for the veteran minimum basically and they are back in the conversation for the top teams in the AFC all of sudden. And now, they lead the league in players opting out of the season, with key defensive pieces like Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung, to go with a couple of role players on offense at least. So now they are right at the bottom of these fringe playoff teams for me, because purely based on the roster, they are not even in the top 20 league-wide, but they still have maybe the greatest defensive mind in NFL history in Bill Belichick and one of the best offensive play-callers right now in Josh McDaniels. Obviously a lot of this will come down to what version of Cam Newton we will get and even if he is and can stay totally healthy. Not only is New England the most adaptable team in terms of how they can adjust to personnel and how flexible they are with their game-plans, but Cam is a great fit in that offense, where he can spread the field and make decisions based on defenses adjusting. The one area that took the biggest bump – outside of quarterback I’m guessing – is the offensive line, because they lost a legendary position coach in Dante Scarnecchia and their probable starter at right tackle in Marcus Cannon. While the Pats do have some young players, who can replace part of the losses, they were already more in plan for the pieces that left before there was any virus outbreak.

Around .500:

This broad group of seven teams represents all those franchises who will be dancing around .500 mark in the win-loss column. A couple of teams have the potential to win nine or ten games, while others could see those numbers on the wrong side of the column as well. There are obvious question marks in certain areas, even though they might feature top-tier players and/or coaches.


19. Houston Texans
It’s kind of tough to put a team here that has won its division the last two years, but I think the Texans are pretty clearly number three in the South now. I love Deshaun Watson and I think he has fairly established himself as a top five quarterback in the NFL, but Bill O’Brien just took away an elite wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins and replaced him with an injury-prone Brandin Cooks to go with another always banged up Will Fuller and a declining Randall Cobb, to go with a David Johnson in the backfield, who was unrecognizable last season. I think the O-line is improving, but outside of Laremy Tunsil maybe, they don’t have anybody other than Deshaun who is clearly above-average in their role. And defensively they finished in the bottom five in yards allowed and tied with Cincinnati (who picked first overall in the draft) for an NFL-high 6.1 yards allowed per play. Hopefully having J.J. Watt back for a full season should help, I like the selection of Ross Blacklock (TCU) on the inside and there are some talented young corners on this roster, who could be better much in 2020. I would not be surprised if they are that .500 team at heart and their quarterback carried them to a couple of wins that they weren’t supposed to get – which we have seen him do many times before – but it’s more likely to me that they are fighting for one of the two bottom Wildcard spots.

20. Atlanta Falcons
Very rarely do you have a team that was among the worst over the first half of the season and among the best over the second half. The Falcons started out 2019 with a 1-7 record, but would go on to win six of the final eight games. Their defense was absolutely atrocious early on last season, with no pass-rush impacting the opposing quarterback and several miscues in coverage. With Raheem Morris taking over the defensive play-calling, they showed a lot of improvement already and there are signs that trend will continue. While there are some questions about the back-end and if they can get consistent production from their rush outside the top two guys, I think Dante Fowler is an upgrade over Vic Beasley, I like Marlon Davidson (Auburn) as a guy with inside-out flexibility on sub-packages and Keanu Neal is back healthy, as that Kam Chancellor-type, who can be that extra defender in the box in their system and punish receivers when catching the ball over the middle or in the flats. Offensively I believe this is still a team that can move the ball – they just have to start doing so earlier in games. While the top NFL receiver duo is in their own division with the guys in Tampa Bay, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley could easily be that next one. They lost a very productive tight-end in Austin Hooper, but I believe Hayden Hurst can replace at least 80 percent of that production, and while we have no idea what we get from Todd Gurley and his knees at this point, last year the Falcons had one of the least effective per-touch backs in Devonta Freeman. Plus, the O-line should take a step forward with former first-round pick Chris Lindstrom returning from injury.

21. Las Vegas Raiders
To me the Raiders are still in transition, not only moving to Las Vegas, but also in terms of roster construction and the culture Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are trying to establish. Outside of Tyrell Williams, that entire group of receivers was overhauled, they have a lot of young pieces on the defensive line and the secondary, plus they will have at least two new starters on the second level of their defense. By far the biggest thing they have going for them is the offensive line and second-year back Josh Jacobs running behind it. When I did my top ten offensive lines in the NFL a couple of weeks ago, I had the Silver & Black at number five, and Jacobs was already a top 100 player in the league for me, with how physical and elusive a runner as he is. I could easily see the Raiders finish near the top in terms of ground production, and I also like the young guys they brought in around that, with Henry Ruggs III (Alabama) keeping the defense honest with his speed, Bryan Edwards (South Carolina) as a physical receiver, who will get hands after the catch, and Lynn Bowden Jr. (Kentucky) as that chess-piece potentially, that you can use in a multitude of way. My bigger question here is if Derek Carr is willing to push the ball down the field. Defensively I like the rotation they have on the interior D-line and the two linebackers they brought in via free agency, most notably Corey Littleton. There are still some questions about how snaps will be split between their corner group, but I’m excited to see a full season of Jonathan Abram hopefully. These guys have some attitude and an energetic head coach.

22. Los Angeles Rams
Oh, how far we have come. Just one-and-a-half years ago the Rams were officially 20 spots higher basically, when they lost the Super Bowl to New England. Ahead of last season, I predicted them to miss the playoffs and while they made a bit of a run at it late, that’s what ended up happening. Now I see them as the fourth team in their own division – even though that says more about the competition they face rather than them. I still believe in Sean McVay and his ability to win on paper with play-design and game-planning, but Jared Goff has turned out to be an average quarterback, they don’t have a prime Todd Gurley setting the table anymore and the offensive line had some major issues, for large stretches of last season, especially in the run game. I was very high on Cam Akers, who they selected in the second round out of Florida State, but he will obviously be a rookie with shortened preparation, rather than an Offensive Player of the Year like Gurley was for them. Defensively, they have two elite players in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey and I like some of the other guys in their roles, but overall the high-end talent beyond the two biggest names isn’t overly impressive. Leonard Floyd might be their top edge rusher and he has always been more of a Robin, they have no proven commodity as stand-up linebacker and I have yet to see if Brandon Staley can actually be an upgrade over Wade Phillips as their defensive coordinator.

23. Detroit Lions
While I was going back and forth with putting the Lions third or fourth in the NFC North, I recently said they are among the top two teams that could go from worst to first in their division and I would not be surprised if they were in the hunt for a Wildcard spot in the last couple of weeks of the season. His second year in a system under Darrell Bevell – where he wasn’t just going in shotgun 40 times a game and asked to make magic happen – Matthew Stafford looked like an MVP candidate as long as he was healthy in 2019. That duo of Kerryon Johnson and my top-ranked running back in the draft D’Andre Swift (Georgia) could be one of the most dynamic ones in the league, the receiving corp is highly underrated and I like those rookies competing for the two guard spots. Defensively, they seem to finally look like what Matt Patricia wanted, when he came over from New England, in terms being versatile with their fronts and having guys who can take on receivers in man-coverage. With that being said, there is also a good chance that the Patricia experiment could go to shambles, if some of the veterans get turned off by his style of coaching without having established that winning culture, and this team has simply been dealing with too many injuries to key players. I don’t think there is much of a gap between the Lions and Vikings for example, but Detroit has not shown the stability of some other organizations.

24. Chicago Bears
A franchise that I don’t really hear anybody talk about – unless it’s their quarterback competition – is that team from the Windy City. I understand that the Bears aren’t really sexy because they lack those superstars on offense that people will recognize, but I’m higher on some of the guys they do have on that side of the ball and on defense they could be much closer to 2018, when they led the league in points allowed and turnovers forced, rather than being just inside the top in most categories last season. A guy I already predicted to break out for Chicago this upcoming season with a bigger workload is running back David Montgomery, to go with Anthony Miller as a gadget player and developing young pass-catcher and one of the more underappreciated receivers out there in Allen Robinson. Defensively, I thought the biggest issue last season was Akiem Hicks missing double-digit games, as a table-setter with his ability to disrupt plays from the interior, and Leonard Floyd didn’t provide much on the opposite side of Khalil Mack, who they upgrade from with Robert Quinn, who just had his best season since the Rams were still in St. Louis. Now, I don’t love what they have at that second safety spot to complement Eddie Jackson, someone will have to fill that second corner spot – even though I’m a fan of second-round pick Jaylon Johnson (Utah) – and nose tackle Eddie Goldman opting out is a huge loss. If the quarterback position can just complement the rushing attack and the defense plays up to their potential, this group could be competing for second in the North, but Foles or Trubisky could still hold them back.

https://preview.redd.it/aep6uj385di51.png?width=1060&format=png&auto=webp&s=07674898e4de7d73699c065907983e69612c56a4


The final tier is in the comments!!

If you enjoyed this breakdown, I would really appreciate if you could visit the original piece - https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/2020/08/18/ranking-all-32-nfl-teams-in-tiers-pre-season/
You can also listen to my analysis on the Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz7WE0epZw8
submitted by hallach_halil to nfl [link] [comments]


2020.08.21 08:23 trumpscoaster [BB] trumpscoaster's Big Brother 2: Rivals!

Hello America, and welcome to Big Brother!
For our second season and first winter edition of Big Brother, we have a number of interesting twists that we are beyond eager to share with you, but first, let's meet the cast!
Britney Carmichael (22, Journalist): Britney had rough teenaged years. She was considered a "DUFF", designated ugly fat friend, by her hot old best friend who had it all: Blond hair, good looks, good grades, and fake tits. It got to her, eventually, and she skipped town without warning in college, leaving her old friend behind with many hard feelings left untouched.
Deborah Kim (47, Model Scouter) u/RickieXCX**:** Deborah was born in South Korea, but immigrated to the United States at just the age of five. The girl was extremely smart for a woman of her age, and excelled greatly in school. She wasn’t just book-smart though, as Deborah knew her way around the fashion world. Though her outfits were impeccable, Deborah believed that she wasn’t ever pretty enough to be a model; so she got the closest to it, and decided to CHOOSE the models instead!
Donovan "DonDon" Avery (20, Factory Worker) u/TheMythicalCake**:** Donovan is somebody who has never really had to try hard to make friends. He's not the most physical or brainy person in the world but he's coming in ready to play, and hopefully make fools of his housemates!
Helen Kim (42, Executive): Helen has put nearly twenty years at her company, but has been passed over for every opportunity of advancement, leaving her dumbfounded every time. She has all the qualifications, an MBA, high intelligence, but, strangely, not charm... Perhaps that's it, and not her dick boss Greg.
Jeff McDee (28, Bouncer): Jeff is one of twins, and is a big fan of wrestling and dog fighting. He's been to prison twice, once state and once federal. He, strangely, doesn't talk or really do much.
Kiara Phoenix (28, Novel Writer) u/Nahuelfire39**:** Kiara is socially generous and shy, but inside she behaves pessimistically about herself. Kiara can be a leader but sometimes she have difficulty giving orders correctly, but she still tries. Kiara's family is doing well, being the only daughter of her parents, but sadly she lost her mother on July 19 this year to heart attack. Kiara and her father kept on doing what they like to do; her father, Damian, working as a furniture maker and Kiara in a hobby that is writing novels and drawing, DeviantArt, but then she changed to Tumblr because of problems in the page, but months later she is recognized by her book "The Dark of Fantasy" and now she works mostly as a Novel Writer.
Miranda "Mira" Jones (25, Hostess) u/jinoble**:** Mira has lived her whole life in Vancouver, Washington. Since she was young, she's loved everything about life. She works as a hostess at her parents' restaurant, and has for a few years. She lives in an apartment with a few friends, and she loves going out and trying new things. She sees Big Brother as the next big adventure of her life.
Sa'Rae "Rae" Jones (24 VIP, Barmaid) u/RickieXCX**:** Sa’Rae was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, into a low class family. Her single mother raised Sa’Rae and her younger brother by herself, which forced Sa’Rae into the hustle early. She began to work hard to support her mother, until she was eventually old enough to leave the nest. Sa’Rae had dreams of becoming a professional runway model, but they were crushed when told her that she would be nothing. Sa’Rae still used her looks to her advantage though, when she chose an occupation as a VIP Barmaid, waiting on the elite of Chicago. She plans on winning Big Brother to buy herself an even bigger home, that her mother will be able to follow her into.
Trent Taylor (30, Unemployed) u/jinoble**:** Trent has always been open, friendly, and honest, but that hasn't always helped him. His openness and friendliness have helped him get jobs, but they've also lost him jobs, as he doesn't always know when to keep his mouth shut. He's floated between retail jobs and has only been low positions in those companies.
Amir Basil (25, America's Player): We know very little about Amir, except for the fact that he is our first twist of the winter! Amir will have his every move controlled by America as America's player, essentially letting the audience play for him! He will receive $10,000 for every task he completes!
We enter the house, and while introductions happen, the second twist of the summer is revealed! Jeff, Britney C, and Helen all have their three nemesises, or rivals, enter the house with them! Jeff's long lost, abandoned twin Yonder enters the house, Britney C's mean old best friend who took everything including her name, Britney Leanne, enters the house, and Helen's old boss who passed her over at every junction, Greg Nicotine, enters the house! Only time will tell how these preexisting relationships will affect the season...
Week One: The Houseguests are paired up. One sits atop a large spinning mushroom while the other answers questions about their fellow Houseguests’ applications. Each incorrect answer causes the mushroom to spin faster. If a Houseguest falls off the mushroom, they and their partner are eliminated. The last Houseguest remaining on their mushroom wins the competition for them and their partner. The winning pair is DonDon and Amir. The Rivals must choose who wins Hoh... and they choose DonDon! DonDon is the first Head of Household of the Winter! America has Amir try and get Jeff nominated! It is a success, as Jeff and Helen are nominated, making it seem that DonDon and Amir are allying with the nemesises... Britney L, Rae, and Yonder are all selected to compete in the veto. They play Hide and Go Veto, and Helen pulls out a win, saving herself! Deborah is named as a replacement and America sets its sights on Jeff, asking Amir to get him evicted! Amir fails, and Deborah is evicted 6-5 as the first evictee of the winter.
Week Two: For the next HOH competition, the Houseguests stand in their individual booths in the backyard. Julie Chen will ask a question and they each must answer the question the way they think the rest of the house will respond. If they answer with the majority, they advance to the next round. If they answer with the minority, they are eliminated. The last Houseguest remaining becomes the new Head of Household. Mira pulls out the win, becoming the new Head of Household! America asks Amir to try to get DonDon nominated in a shocking turn of events. He fails, as Mira nominates Yonder and Amir, making Amir's first big test of the season. Britney L, Helen, and Extreme Kumquat are all selected for the veto. Yonder wins the veto and pulls himself off. Mira names Helen as the replacement, and by a vote of 8-2, Helen is backdoored.
Week Three: The HOH competitions comes, and the Houseguests stand in their individual booths. Each round Julie Chen will ask them a question based on a certain school subject. An incorrect answer results in elimination. The last remaining becomes the new Head of Household. Greg pulls out the win, having just helped take his rival out. America asks Amir to try and get Jeff nominated, but Amir fails as Yonder and DonDon are nominated. Amir, Rae, and Jeff are all picked for the veto, and Rae wins! She doesn't use the veto, finalizing DonDon and Yonder as the nominees. Amir tries to get DonDon evicted, and succeeds, as by a vote of 5-4, DonDon is evicted!
Week Four: The next HOH is the Eliminator, and Amir, and by extension, America, wins! America has him nominate Jeff and Yonder. America has him not use the veto, and he doesn't. America has him target Jeff, who goes home by a tiebreaker vote of 4-4, with Amir breaking the tie.
Week Five: Yonder wins the endurance competition Time's Up and is the new Head of Household! America has Amir try to nominate Greg, but Amir fails as Rae and Mira go up. Kiara, Britney C, and Trent are selected to play in the veto. Yonder wins, pulling Rae off and nominating Greg in a backdoor attempt, rendering Amir's old mission a success! America targets Greg, but Amir fails to follow through as Mira instead goes home by a vote of 4-3.
Week Six: For the next HOH competition, "Let's Make a Duel", The Houseguests enter the backyard to see a two podiums with buzzers on them at the front of a large wrestling ring. Each round, Julie Chen ask a question. Two Houseguests will face off at a time. The winning one will move on and must choose the next two to face off, while the losing one is eliminated. The last Houseguest remaining becomes the new Head of Household. Amir outlasts the others and wins HOH, letting America control the week yet again! America sets its sights on Yonder and Greg, who Amir nominate! The Britneys and Treny are selected fr the Veto Competition. Greg wins the Hard Act to Swallow veto and pulls himself off. America has Amir put Britney L up as a replacement. America has Amir target Yonder for eviction! In a 3-3 tie, Amir sends Yonder packing, accomplishing yet another mission!
Week Seven: The next HOH, Strange Visitors, goes to Kara! America tries to get Greg nominated again, but Amir can't follow through as Kara nominates the Britneys instead. Kumquat, Trent, and Amir are selected to play in the veto. Britney C wins the veto and manages to pull herself off! Rae is named the replacement nominee, and we move on to eviction night. America has Amir target Britney L, who is evicted by a vote of 3-2.
Week Eight: In the "Tanks for the Memories" competition, Greg becomes the new Head of Household! America has Amir try to get Rae nominated, and they succeed as Greg nominates Rae and Extreme Kumquat. Trent, Kara, and the last Britney are selected for the veto. Greg wins the veto, and pulls off Rae and puts up Amir in a backdoor attempt! It fails, and Kumquat goes home 3-1 as Greg officiates himself as a villain in the eyes of Amir stans on twitter.
Week Nine: The next HOH competition is the BB Tea Party, won by Trent for his first win of the season! America has Amir try and get Greg nominated yet again. They fail as Rae and Britney go up instead. Everyone is picked for the final 6 veto, and Rae wins! She pulls herself off and Kiara is named the replacement nominee. America targets Kiara, who goes home 2-1, another success for Amir. A big shock happens as it's revealed to be a double eviction! Amir wins HOH and nominates Greg and Rae. Greg wins the veto, and Britney goes up as a replacement. Amir targets Rae, who leaves 2-0.
Week Ten: And then there were four, Amir, Greg, Trent, and Britney C. Britney C. wins HOH and nominates Amir and Greg, America's target. Greg wins the veto, leaving Trent and Amir as the nominees. Casting the sole vote to evict, Greg takes out his biggest threat tow winning the game: Finale Night: Final Three time as Greg, Trent, and Britney C. walk up to the first part of the final HOH of the winter. The final three Houseguests stand atop pedestals while holding keys. They must jump over a pole with a bunny attached to it as it swings under them. If they stop the pole, fall off, or let go of their key, they are eliminated. The last Houseguest standing wins part one of the final HOH competition and will advance to part three! Britney C. Wins part one! The two losers of part one individually enter the backyard. They must jump into a tank of water, where they must complete a puzzle that will create a path to each of the past Head of Households. The Houseguest to complete this puzzle in the fastest time will win part two of the final HOH competition and advance to part three! Greg Wins part two and goes on to face Britney! Britney shockingly wins the final HOH, guaranteeing herself a place in the final 2! Greg gets in her ear and talks her into keeping her, as she evicts Trent! The Jury Questions come, and America wants to see loveable Villain and best player of the season Greg win. Amir whispers in ears, and gets the votes for Greg to become the winner of trumpscoaster's Big Brother 2: Rivals! One last success for America's player and one big win for a dominant strategic and competition player in Greg. Amir completed 15 of his 24 tasks, winning $30,000. America shockingly votes Yonder as America's Favorite Houseguest.
Winner: Greg Nicotine
Fan Favorite: Yonder McDee
Potential Returnees: Greg, Amir, Rae, DonDon
This season felt very different than Hamsters Alone to me. While the winners played similar games, this cast was a bit weaker overall as the only real contenders to win were Amir and Greg all season, with a bit of a surge by Britney C at the end. Applicant characters did considerably worse than my recruits, but overall this season did well. I think it was enjoyable and it was a fun back and forth between two players. My next season will run on BB11 and will have our first returning player! Be on the look out for trumpscoaster's Big Brother 3: What Makes You Clique?
Play the season here!
Season 1
Season 3
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2020.08.17 22:35 OneWingedDevil28 Booking The Shield’s Debut in 2020 in Any Promotion (Chapter One: Sierra)

Prologue
The setting is All Elite Wrestling, 2020. The ongoing tensions between the AEW Tag Team Champions, Kenny Omega and Adam Page, becomes a burden as they are forced to put their differences apart to combat a mutual enemy in the form of FTR, a tag team that has rocked the division since their arrival, quickly becoming challengers to the championships held by the Elite duo for the duration of the year.
All Out 2020 – it will be FTR vs Omega and Page for the AEW Tag Team Championships. Arguably the two best tag teams in the world, on the biggest stage that AEW provides. Will Page and Omega effectively dismiss their differences and defeat the threat, or will FTR cement their status in the AEW Locker Room by winning tag team gold mere months into their tenure at All Elite Wrestling.

AEW: All Out – 5th September 2020
Despite every championship being on the line, and many feuds spanning months coming to a conclusion, the bout with the overwhelming hype is the tag team championship match, intriguing due to the numerous dynamics going into the match regarding Omega and Page’s relationship and FTR. On an 8 match card, the bout is the 7th on the card, only giving space for the World Championship main event.
Both teams make their entrance, butting heads in the ring, Omega and Hangman evidently on the same page, the Sears Center all on their feet in anticipation. The championships are showed off, the bell rings and the match is underway.

FTR vs Kenny Omega and ‘Hangman’ Adam Page © for the AEW Tag Team Championships
Despite the two teams being the best in the world, they have significantly different approaches to their matches, FTR focusing on synergy and working effectively as a team, while Page and Omega focus more on their individual talents, coming together to combine forces only when necessary. Early on in the match, Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood get the advantage, forcing Omega to get the tag on Page to try and swing back the momentum.
Throughout the match, Omega and Page find themselves on the back-foot, and not even because of their miscommunication or lack of tandem offence, rather just being out-smarted by FTR. They go for a Mindbreaker on Omega, Wheeler goes to the middle rope but Page lobs him off, Omega gets out of the Piledriver and delivers a V-Trigger to Harwood, Page then goes to the top rope, he launches himself and goes for a Moonsault on Harwood, who moves out of the way, Omega then goes for a V-Trigger on him, but Wheeler comes back in with a forearm, everyone down in an amazing sequence.
The match is bonded together by innovative tag team spots, maintaining a fast pace and leaving no room for error, they put Omega and Page both in Sharpshooters, they hold each-others hands to avoid tapping out, they eventually get out of it, Page connects a Cracker Barrell on Wheeler, they go for the Lariat/V-Trigger combo and CONNECT IT, Page goes for the cover, Omega smothers Harwood, 1…2… Harwood drives Omega into the pinfall attempt, as Page gets to his feet and begins to argue with Omega, claiming they had the victory in their grasp.
The arguing gives time for Wheeler to get to his feet and roll up Page for a near fall. Omega eventually gets the hot tag on Omega, who goes on a roll, he tags in Page, who gets in position for a Buckshot Lariat, but Wheeler sweeps him off the apron, Wheeler and Harwood connect a Goodnight Express on Omega, 1…2… He kicks out. Omega fights back into the match, he goes for a V-Trigger on Wheeler, but he dodges, Omega connects with Page, meanwhile, Wheeler plants Omega with a powerbomb, they get him up, MINDBREAKER! 1…2…3!
FTR def. Kenny Omega and Adam Page © (24 minutes)
We have new tag team champions! FTR celebrate their win, hugging each other in the centre of the ring while the championship belts are handed over to them, Page sits in the corner, glancing angrily at Omega, who is motionless, panting for air. FTR stumble onto the ramp, where they hold up the championships in front of the Chicago crowd, who applaud them.

Back in the ring, Omega and Page get to their feet on other sides of the ring, Omega feeling off the pain, Page simply disappointed. They knew that their bubble would burst eventually. Now it has. Throughout their time in the ring, recovering, they tease the betrayal numerous times, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats. Will they betray one another? Who will do it? When will it happen?
Page and Omega have a conversation in the ring, shoving each other, Page eventually owns up, acknowledging that Omega didn’t break up the pin purposefully, he was shoved, the two fist bump each other and begin to applaud the crowd for coming out, however, the attention is pointed to the ground seats, where three men in black vests and cargo leggings hop over the barrier, security go to pounce on them but they all slide into the ring, wearing black face masks with a hound pattern on them.
The three men ambush Omega and Page, flooring them and laying into them, before Omega or Page had a chance to turn on each other, they are now being attacked, laid to waste in the middle of the ring after a championship match loss. The three men all stand on the turnbuckles, posing to the crowd, letting their intent be known.
A man with slicked back brown hair, quick in his motions and somewhat of a leader. A man with long hair, a single streak of blonde, strands of hair covering his eyes. A muscular man, black long hair, a silent one, menacing and intimidating. They walk up the ramp, posing at the top, as they all outstretch their fists. Who are they, and why have they attacked Kenny Omega and Adam Page?!

Booking The Shield’s Debut in 2020 in Any Promotion (Chapter One: Sierra)

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 9th September 2020
Going into the first show since All Out, the biggest question is the speculation regarding the trinity of people we saw attack Kenny Omega and Adam Page after they lost the AEW Tag Team Championships last Saturday to FTR. Clearly not authorised to be there due to security going to take them out, people are wondering who they are, who they are hired by, and what there intentions are. The majority of these questions are answered in a promo.
The group come down to the ring in the vest gear, ominously standing together in the middle of the ring. They take off their face masks, showing their faces, as the man in the middle demands a microphone, the crowd wait eagerly as they go to speak for the first time.
“My name… Is Dean Ambrose.” Ambrose slicks back his hair, cracks his knuckles and continues to chew intensely on a piece of gum, as he sways his head to the right. “On my right here, is Seth Rollins.” Rollins lifts up his chin. “And on my left… Roman Reigns.” Reigns stares into the camera sternly. “I’m sure you have a lot of questions, and I’m not here to ANSWER them. I am here, we are here, to lay out the groundwork, and put the entire locker room on hold.
We have no regard for anyone who isn’t our own. We follow a strict code of justice. Why are we here specifically? How ‘bout you stop asking us the wrong questions.” Ambrose outstretches his arms. “WE ARE THE SHIELD. And we don’t give a fuck about you.” Ambrose throws the mic at the floor, and looks towards the camera.
“ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?” Kenny Omega’s theme music hits, he walks out onto stage with a grin on his face, he slowly trots down to the ring, surveying Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins. He enters the ring, standing across from The Shield. First off, he applauds the Shield for making a statement, how once he had the same drive as they did to reach the top of wherever they went.
He moves onto the point of the All Out assault. “While you may have had the right intent for making a statement in Chicago… You may have bit off more you can chew for your choice of victim.” Omega smashes the mic into the head of Rollins, he begins to lay into the Shield, trying to get revenge. His attack is initially successful until he just becomes outnumbered, Reigns and Rollins hold him in the corner while Ambrose gloats to him, Omega spits in his face, Ambrose walks backwards, wiping off the spit, before laying into Omega ruthlessly, he orders Rollins and Reigns to get Omega up, they plant him down with a Triple Powerbomb!
The segment ends with The Shield posing over Omega’s motionless body. So far, this group looks dominant, and they surely have many more doses of justice to dish out in AEW.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 16th September 2020
Tonight, we see The Shield in their first AEW match, as they go up against the Jurassic Express trio of Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. They come out first, followed by The Shield, who walk through a tunnel in the arena, emerging into the crowd, Ambrose hyping himself up, Reigns surveying the crowd and Rollins nodding his head. They all circle the ring, the Jurassic Express trio all hesitant, grouped up in the middle. Each team retreat into their respective corner, Seth Rollins decides that he will start for the team, while Jungle Boy is insistent for his team.
Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt) vs The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose)
We see the Jurassic Express get a fair bit of offense in the early stages, Rollins and Jungle Boy having an effective duel, Rollins retreating to the outside, as Jungle Boy tags in Luchasaurus who connects a Step-Up Tope Con Hilo. Back inside the ring, Ambrose gets the tag on Rollins, they both dominate, using tandem offense on Marko Stunt to overwhelm him. Ambrose gloats to the rest of Jurassic Express, giving time for Marko to get the hot tag on Luchasaurus. He goes for an axe handle, but Ambrose dodges and lunges for his corner, tagging in Reigns.
Reigns gets into the ring and simply DOMINATES over Luchasaurus, even lifting him up for a Samoan Drop. Stunt goes for a Springboard Assault, but Reigns catches him mid-air with a Superman Punch, meanwhile, Rollins and Ambrose assault Jungle Boy outside of the ring, Reigns exclaims his battle cry, before connecting a SPEAR on Luchasaurus for the 123, The Shield picking up their first win.
The Shield def. Jurassic Express (6 minutes)
An impressive first showing for the Shield, while they all bring their own distinguishable styles to the ring, they can also work effectively as a team demonstrated tonight. After the match, they celebrate their victory, as Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt aid Luchasaurus.

Later in the show, we see Kenny Omega and Adam Page bump into each other backstage. They stare at each other for a few seconds. “You still must be feeling off the effects of last week, huh?” Page asks Omega, in reference to the Shield attack, Omega grasping his ice pack and placing it on his neck. “Yep.” Page looks at the floor for a few seconds,
“Well, I was gonna offer that-“
“Why weren’t you there?” Omega snarls to Page, who stares at him right in the eyes, trying to pick out the right choice of words. “Are you serious? Are we now supposed to follow each other round everywhere you go?”
“We have our backs for each other!”
“You walked into that confrontation by yourself!” Page raises his voice. “You gotta take responsibility for things like this. They happen.” Page begins to walk away, the confrontation seemingly over. “You know what, NO!” Omega replies. “You’ve wanted to get away from me this entire time, I wouldn’t be so surprised if you hired those dudes to put me out of action!”
“Are you accusing me?” Page turns around, the two begin to enter a pushing altercation until Cody and The Young Bucks come along. “Hey, hey, break it up!” Cody and the Bucks intervene, Page and Omega are both consoled, still clear tension between all of them. “We don’t know how equipped these guys are.” Cody claims. “We’ll wait for the right time, okay?” No answer. “OKAY?!” Page nods, while Cody turns to Omega, who says under his breath, “You got it.”

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 23rd September 2020
An interview between The Shield and Tony Schiovane takes place, where Schiovane attempts to dig deeper into the motives of The Shield and to pick apart the members, specifically asking for Reigns’ and Rollins’ input throughout the interview, having heard enough from Ambrose already. They remain shallow in their answers, not giving away much information, and when Schiovane ‘begins to ask the wrong questions’ Ambrose walks up to him, grabs him by the neck, and shows his more unhinged side. “You wanna see what we’re capable of, huh?” Reigns commands Ambrose to stop, they leave Schiovane to recover as they leave.
Backstage, The Elite group up, as they come up with ideas to combat the arrival of the Shield. Page is insistent on going head first into them, requesting a match, but Cody wants to stay back and let them do their thing, and strike when the time is right, Omega agreeing. Feeling outnumbered, Page announces that next week, he is confronting The Shield, and nobody can stop him, and if they were true friends, they’d help him out. He leaves, Omega and Cody left conflicted.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 30th September 2020
Adam Page marches down to the ring with clear intent – to bring out the Shield. Microphone in hand, Page stares the camera in the eyes and demands that the Shield show up and fight like the Justice-seekers they praise themselves to be. In nature of their characters, The Shield do arrive, cornering Page, who throws a middle finger up to Ambrose, who chuckles as Reigns and Rollins hop up to the apron.
They enter the ring, moving closer to Page, before Cody’s music hits, he’s the first to sprint down the ramp, he slides into the ring, taking off his blazer and tie and slowly pushing Page away, their eyes still locked on the Shield. With his back turned to the Shield, Cody consoles Page, before turning around and decking Ambrose with a strike, a brawl ensuing. Cody and Page begin to be outnumbered, as then The Young Bucks sprint down to the ring to help out Cody and Page, evening the odds.
It is absolute carnage, and as expected, Kenny Omega is the last to run down the ramp, he pushes Rollins away, helping Page to his feet, as The Elite stand on one side of the ring, The Shield on the other. Wanting civility, Omega stands in the middle of the ring, arms stretched out both ways, trying to prevent a brawl. Omega takes a glance at the Shield.
HE TURNS AROUND OMEGA V-TRIGGERS ADAM PAGE! CODY TURNS TO OMEGA, SHOCKED, WHILE THE SHIELD RUN IN, ATTACKING THE BUCKS AND CODY! Omega looks at Page, menacingly, the audience in shock, he lifts them up, ONE WINGED ANGEL! OMEGA IS MARVELLING IN ADRENALINE! Omega commands the Shield to hold Cody on his knees, defenceless, Cody receives a V-Trigger, as Kenny Omega has turned his back on the Elite!
Omega grabs a mic, “This is a little process that I’d like to call The Cleanup. If Page, Cody and the Bucks are too naive, too insistent on protecting their petty little reputations, someone will have to knock them down a peg or two. YOU had this coming, Adam. Right here” Omega points towards The Shield, “This is the future of All Elite Wrestling. We live in a time where justice is needed more than ever, and I think it has been served tonight.”
Omega has took the Shield under his wing! This entire time, The Shield and Omega were plotting together, hence why Omega put the blame on Page and wanted minimal altercation with The Shield! In the middle of the ring, The Shield do their pose, with Omega in the middle, doing his gun taunt. The Cleaner has returned, and the Shield are under the wing of the man with the most status in AEW.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 7th October 2020
Kenny Omega cuts a promo in a desolate warehouse, crates stacked and windows shattered, leaving a gleam of moonlight that illuminates the four men. Omega explains his betrayal of the Elite, going off the basis that Cody, the Bucks and Page built AEW just so they can enhance their egos, they’ve never had desire to build new talent, and whenever new talent want to join AEW and make an impact, such as the Shield, the first thought from the Elite is to knock them down.
Omega goes through every member of the Shield, listing their qualities. The attention is then focused to the door of the warehouse, where Adam Page busts through in a brown leather jacket and jeans, he ambushes The Shield and Omega, a brawl emerging, as the camera cuts to static and does not show the outcome.
It is officially arranged, in next week’s episode of Dynamite, it will be The Elite team of Cody, Page and the Young Bucks, going up against The Shield and Kenny Omega.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 14th October 2020
Tonight, The Elite get a chance to get their revenge on Kenny Omega, who looks to ascend The Shield and cement them as stars to stay, a win against the largest stars in AEW would certainly help their case, as an epic 8 man tag team match is on the card for the main event. The Elite make their entrance first, The Bucks, followed by Page and then finally Cody.
Omega then makes his entrance, he goes as far as mid-way down the ramp before stopping, as his music cuts out and The Shield’s music hits, they walk through the arena from separate directions, as the team of Omega, Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns converge ringside, one man on each side of the ring. Reigns starts for The Shield, Page starts for The Elite, frustrated that he can’t get his hands on Omega.

The Elite (Cody, ‘Hangman’ Adam Page and The Young Bucks) vs Kenny Omega and The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins)
Reigns starts well for The Shield, forcing Page to get the tag on Cody, who does well, as a brawl emerges outside, meaning Reigns is unable to get the hot tag. Reigns and Cody eventually tag in Page and Omega, who immediately sprint to the middle of the ring and throw fists, a great atmosphere as Page gets the upper hand, he goes for a Buckshot Lariat, but Reigns catches him mid-air with a Superman Punch, Omega lifts him for a One Winged Angel, Page sways his momentum to the corner of the Elite, where The Bucks tag themselves in, they dominate the proceedings, as Ambrose and Rollins then get time to shine against them, concluding in a double suicide dive to the outside.
Back inside the ring, The Shield lift Page for a Triple Powerbomb, but the Young Bucks catch them with a superkick, Cody goes for a Cross Rhodes on Ambrose, but Omega catches Cody with a V-Trigger. The Young Bucks go for a Meltzer Driver on Omega, but before Nick can launch himself, he is swept off the apron by Seth Rollins, Ambrose gets Matt Jackson in position, he connects a Headlock Driver, he goes for the cover, 1…2… Adam Page breaks up the pin.
The match unfolds in a superb spot fest which highlights numerous members of the Shield while also showing off the new side to Kenny Omega and building his story with Adam Page, a feud set to culminate at Full Gear. There are many near falls in the match and many great spots, Reigns eventually gets Cody in position to hit a Spear, he begins to sprint towards Cody, but Page leaps over the rope and connects a Buckshot Lariat. He tags himself in, goes for another Buckshot Lariat on Reigns, who is able to get to his senses, hitting a Superman Punch last minute, he then lunges for his corner, where he gets the hot tag on Rollins.
Rollins is able to connect a Skywalker on Matt Jackson, he gets the tag on Omega, who goes for a One Winged Angel to put him away, but Nick Jackson connects a superkick to break it up, they then connect a More Bang For Your Buck, but in the process, Ambrose is able to tag himself in, meaning they are able to catch the Elite by surprise. Reigns spears Cody through a barricade.
Omega and Page brawl into the crowd, going through the tunnel and out into the arena, leaving just the Shield and The Young Bucks in the ring, where the Young Bucks are outnumbered, Nick Jackson becomes victim of a Triple Powerbomb, Reigns pins Nick while Rollins and Ambrose connect a double suicide dive on Matt, 1…2…3.
Kenny Omega and The Shield def. The Elite (29 minutes)
Mere weeks into their AEW tenure and the Shield have already had a classic in the form of this eight man tag team match. While Omega and Page are busy brawling through the arena, The Shield taunt the crowd and celebrate their win in the middle of the ring, definitely a statement tonight, taking down the Elite, taking down Page, Cody, the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega’s program is off to a great start.
To close out Dynamite, The Shield do their fist-pose over Matt Jackson, as they increase their AEW status as we near closer to Full Gear.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 28th October 2020
The team SoCal Uncensored claim in an interview that they are not afraid of the Shield, SCU are and will be the best team in AEW until they retire, and that’s a fact. Daniel’s monologue is interrupted by The Shield, who come along and command SCU to move along and leave them be. Daniels throws his hands up, turning away as SCU begin to walk away, they turn around and initiate a backstage brawl.
A huge brawl ensues backstage, with SCU actually getting the upper hand before the entire locker room split them up, Scorpio Sky looking particularly impressive in the brawl as the Shield and SCU clearly have unfinished business.

All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite – 4th November 2020 – Seth Rollins vs Scorpio Sky
In lieu of last week’s brawl, Rollins and Sky have a one-on-one singles match, giving Rollins a chance to show himself off as a singles competitor rather than just another Shield member, Scorpio Sky provides a perfect opponent as the two give each other a superb challenge, their similar styles blending to create an exciting match showing the talent of an underrated roster member and one of AEW’s largest up and comers.
Sky is even able to connect a Blackout late in the match, planting Seth with a lifted DDT, he goes for the cover but Seth is able to kick out, Sky unsure of what he has to do to defeat the Shield member. Seth and Sky build to an epic finish, where Sky goes for another Blackout, but Seth lands on his feet, he connects a Superkick and follows it up with a Skywalker, he goes for the cover and defeats Sky, a huge singles win for Rollins.
Seth Rollins def. Scorpio Sky (14 minutes)
After the match, Rollins calls down Ambrose and Reigns, who sprint down to the ring and beat up Sky, trying to make a statement of intent, as if to say ‘don’t mess with the Shield’. However, Daniels and Kazarian come to the defence of Sky, sliding into the ring, scaring the Shield away, who retreat into the crowd. While Kazarian helps Sky to his feet, Daniels gets the mic. “It’s about time someone stood up to you! We will see YOU at Full Gear!”
And just like that, the match is official, it will be the SoCal Uncensored trio of Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky going up against the Shield trio of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose at Full Gear. In a press conference the night before the event, Kenny Omega, who is preparing for his match against Adam Page, claims that The Shield will win on Saturday, and it’s debatable whether SCU are even on their level.

All Elite Wrestling: Full Gear – 7th November 2020
On a card filled with great matches, most notably the blood-infused clash between Kenny Omega and Adam Page, and the six man tag team match between SoCal Uncensored and The Shield. Third match of the night, this could be a huge night for the Shield, who attempt to cement themselves as a force to be reckoned with, powerful without the lead of the Cleaner, Kenny Omega.
SCU make their entrance first, each member visibly more focused in tonight, SCU have achieved great things in AEW, and tonight could be the consolidation of their efforts. The Shield then make their PPV entrance through the crowd, looking intimidating, menacing, the Hounds of Justice have already made a huge impact on AEW. Ambrose starts for the Shield, Daniels for SCU. The bell rings and this six man tag is underway.

The Shield (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins) vs SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky)
The match starts with blistering pace, The Shield forced to retreat, clearly underestimating SCU, who then hit stereo triple suicide dives on the Shield, completely overwhelming them early. However, when the Shield are able to bond together as a team, working efficiently and demonstrating tandem offense, they are able to prove themselves as a dominant force as they get back into the match, picking apart individuals rather than heading on into a full on battle. The Shield are strategic, methodical, but when they are forced to go in guns-blazing, they’re not at a disadvantage, which goes to show later in the match.
Daniels goes for a Moonsault on Ambrose, with Rollins yanking Ambrose away from the danger zone, Reigns finds Daniels in a perfect position for a Spear, he goes for it, however, Sky catches him with a superkick, he then goes for a Blackout DDT, but Ambrose lunges in, breaking it up. Kazarian then strikes Ambrose, who falls into the ropes, rebounding with a lariat, as the Shield are in complete control.
SoCal Uncensored are able to muster a comeback late in the match, as the match builds to a thrilling finale with every member getting a moment to shine, both teams showing why they are the best AEW has to offer trio-wise, however, it’s the Shield who pull through to achieve victory, as they connect a Triple Powerbomb on Daniels, they go for the cover and the ref counts to 3, a huge win tonight for the Shield, which sends the entire locker room on alert.
The Shield def. SoCal Uncensored (20 minutes)
SCU recover on the outside, while the Shield celebrate inside the ring, Ambrose the most pleased with the victory, Rollins confident in himself, Reigns as methodical as always, they pose in the middle of the ring, looking intimidating and prideful in victory, The Shield pick up a win against one of AEW’s most renowned groups in their first PPV appearance here at Full Gear.

A few days after Full Gear, New Japan Pro Wrestling announce that The Shield will be partaking in their annual World Tag League. Looking to expand their dominance, The Shield is going overseas to New Japan, looking for groups and tag teams that can contest with them. After an impressive initial stint with AEW, they are looking to capitalise on their momentum over in New Japan, with Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins marvelling in dominance, The Shield growing to new heights, as the Hounds of Justice get ready for an IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title chase.
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2020.08.17 13:44 NitroXYZ [OC] Every NBA Team Ranked By How Well They Have Performed To Preseason Expectations This Regular Season In 2019-20.

With another regular season complete I decided it would be cool to continue my annual series and take a look back at every NBA team this season and place them into tiers based on how well they performed relative to pre-season expectations. These are the 7 tiers teams will be fit into.
  • Completely Exceeded Expectations
  • Exceeded Expectations
  • Slightly Exceeded Expectations
  • Met Expectations
  • Slightly Didn't Meet Expectations
  • Didn't Meet Expectations
  • Completely Didn't Meet Expectations
I have made this series of post over the last two seasons and both were very positively received so I hope you guys enjoy this version as well. Here is a link to the 2018 edition and another link to the 2019 edition for anyone interested.
As always different teams have different issues throughout a season. So, as a result, to determine how each team performed relative to expectations I have considered the team’s overall win-loss record but also how acknowledged injuries and other context of how they have performed.
An important clarification to make here is that teams can exceed their preseason expectations and still have disappointing seasons.
This is just my opinion and I am keen to shuffle the list around if people disagree with my results so feel free to leave your input and I will be very willing to take the feedback. Please don’t be too harsh and I will try to make sure my rankings are as accurate as possible
Just a couple other things to consider:
It was tricky to write the post this year with the complications of unbalanced fixtures due to the 'bubble games' and the shorter season. I have scaled each teams WL record to the equivalent of an 82 game season for the sake of these comparisons in the post so that's why the WL records are different.

Completely Exceeded Expectations

  • OKC Thunder WL Record: 50-32
The OKC Thunder were predicted to win 37 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 33 games. They were viewed as a team that would commit to a rebuild after the shock departure of all-star duo Russell Westbrook and Paul George. While they had acquired great veteran players in Paul and Gallinari the expectation was that those two would be moved by the trade deadline.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Thunder to make the playoffs. Despite a modest start to the season at 11-14, which was already better than expected, nobody expected OKC to be a playoff threat let alone a 50 win team. Their success can be attributed to many factors such as the terrific leadership of Chris Paul, the elite play of Shroeder who is sure to be a strong contender for 6MOTY and the breakout season of second year player Shai Gilgeous Alexander. The Thunder have surprised everyone this season so look for them to try and cause a major first round upset.
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  • Toronto Raptors WL Record: 60-22
The Toronto Raptors were predicted to win 45 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report Odds expecting them to win as few as 42 games. They were viewed as a team that would make the playoffs in a 3-6 seed in the weak East but would struggle to compete amongst the league’s elite following the departure of FMVP Kawhi Leonard and role player Danny Green.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Raptors to make the playoffs, however none of them predicted Toronto to finish with a top 2 seed. Toronto defied that expectation and played at a 60 win place this season which saw them finish with the league’s second best record outright. Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and OG Anunoby all made major improvements in their game, as did Pascal Siakam who made his first all star appearance. It's unbelievable that the Raptors finished the year 28-5 especially with their starters missing over 50 games through injury in 2019-20 and it's a huge testament to the system Nick Nurse has created and the Raptors next man up mentality that sees them as arguably the deepest team in the league. Could they shock everyone and go back to back?
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  • Memphis Grizzlies WL Record: 38-44
The Memphis Grizzlies were predicted to win 28 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 24 games. They were viewed as a young team that was set to enter a new rebuilding era after the departure of franchise legends Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. A successful season for Memphis would've been to see rookies Brandon Clarke and Ja Morant as well as sophomore Jaren Jackson Jr develop.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Grizzlies to make the playoffs. However, despite a poor start to the season at 6-16, Memphis surprised everyone and were in playoffs contention all the way until the final day of the regular season. Expected rookie of the year Ja Morant averaged 18/4/7, Brandon Clarke was a hidden gem off the bench, Jaren Jackson continued to improve in a major way and 2017 first round pick Dillon Brooks emerged as a strong 3&D scorer doubling his PPG total from the year prior. They may have just missed playoffs in 2020 but the Grizzlies future looks to be heading in a promising direction.
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Exceeded Expectations

  • Phoenix Suns WL Record: 38-44.
The Phoenix Suns were predicted to win 31 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 27 games. They were viewed as a young team in a brutal Western Conference that wouldn't really be much of a threat to anyone. A successful season for Phoenix would've been to see growth from their young stars and to close the gap between their best and worst games.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Suns to make the playoffs and to be honest for almost the entire season they weren't really considered a playoff chance. However, they went on a remarkable 8 game win streak in the bubble and were one Caris Levert jump shot away from qualifying for a play in. Despite the heartbreak of missing playoffs, the Suns do have a sense of direction now for the first time in a while. Free agent Ricky Rubio was a great fit for the team and helped lead the Suns to become the number one assist team in the NBA. Devin Booker received an overdue all-star selection and with DeAndre Ayton's great second season the future is looking brighter in Phoenix.
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  • LA Lakers WL Record: 60-22
The LA Lakers were predicted to win 50 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as few as 48 games. They were viewed as a team that was top heavy with compromised depth, and with Anthony Davis' injury history and Lebron's reputation for coasting there weren't many believers that the Lakers would secure a top 2 seed in the regular season.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Lakers to make the playoffs, however only 7 of them predicted LA to hold a top 2 seed in the stacked Western Conference. This ended up being just another lesson for us who doubted Lebron though as the Lakers elite defence saw them achieve great regular season success. James played at an MVP level and in year 17 clinched his first assists title as he played more of a point guard role. Anthony Davis was terrific too leading the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks, proving to be a great duo next to Lebron. It's still to be seen how far the Lakers can go with limited depth and a top-heavy line up in the playoffs but this regular season they exceeded expectations.
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  • Milwaukee Bucks WL Record: 63-19
The Milwaukee Bucks were predicted to win 55 games in the preseason with Kevin Pelton's odds expecting them to win as few as 51 games. They were viewed as a team that would compete for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, but not many expected them to play at such a high level for so much of the season as they held a record of 52-8 (71 win pace) before managing players to end the year.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Bucks to make the playoffs, all voters put them as a top 2 seed, however only 17 of them predicted them to finish on top of the Eastern Conference. It seems odd that the team with the league’s best record last season exceeded expectations by doing it again, but as stated before, the Bucks had a historic record before load managing kicked in late in the year and the team never looked like losing their grip on the 1 seed. They began the year 24-3 and look like the team to beat. Giannis had another MVP caliber season averaging 30/14/6 and is also the odds on favourite to win DPOY. They've dominated this regular season but now the true challenge is to go all the way and win it all.
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  • Miami Heat WL Record: 49-33.
The Miami Heat were predicted to win 43 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as few as 41 games. They were viewed as a team that would be competing for playoffs but a first round exit at best. The departure of Whiteside, Richardson and Wade who all received major minutes in 2019 had people unsure what to make of them but the addition of Butler was enough to expect them not to bottom out.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 25/29 voters expected the Heat to make the playoffs, 5 correctly predicting Miami to finish with a top 5 seed. The improvement by the Heat can largely be attributed to the breakout season of third year star Bam Adebayo who averaged 16/10/5 to make his first all star appearance. In addition to his play the Heat’s other young stars all made big impacts with Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn all playing great basketball. They may not go all the way this year, but the young Heat team looks ready to compete for the foreseeable future.
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  • Charlotte Hornets WL Record: 29-53.
The Charlotte Hornets were predicted to win 23 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 16 games. They were viewed as a team that was doomed after the departure of Kemba Walker and one that had no direction or quality players. Many expected them to be one of the outright worst teams in NBA history too.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Hornets to make the playoffs and to be honest for almost the entire season they weren't really considered a playoff chance. However, they managed to amazingly finish the season with the 9th best record of Eastern Conference teams, and while that’s not an accurate reflection of how good the Hornets are it shows that they weren’t that bad. Devonte Graham improved his PPG by over 13 points and Terry Rozier had a solid first season in Charlotte to give Hornets fans something to cheer about moving on to 2021.
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  • Dallas Mavericks WL Record: 47-35.
The Dallas Mavericks were predicted to win 42 games in the preseason with ESPN expecting them to win as few as 41 games. They were viewed as a team with two young stars that could push for the playoffs in a competitive Western Conference but nothing more than at best an 8 seed.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions just 6, out of 29 people, expected the Mavs to make the playoffs, all of those selections were as an 8th seed too. However Dallas did better than many expected and were in the playoff picture all season, with their final win percentage relatively high for a 7th seed. It’s not hard to tell where the improvement came from as Luka Doncic announced himself to the NBA. The Slovenian sophomore averaged 29/9/9 and will be sure to feature highly in the MVP voting. In addition to his improvement, Kristaps Porzingis had a career season and got better as the season went on. The Mavs have the odds stacked against them going against the Clippers but this regular season was a success for Dallas fans.
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Slightly Exceeded Expectations

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  • Boston Celtics WL Record: 55-27.
The Boston Celtics were predicted to win 48 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 45 games. They were viewed as a team in an uncomfortable situation after a drama filled 2018-19. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford departed and with Kemba, Tatum and Brown the new face of the team the expectation was a comfortable playoff appearance but not really a championship threat.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Celtics to make the playoffs, 17 correctly predicting Boston to have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who both took big steps forward in years 3 and 4 to show why they are so highly touted and viewed as the future for Boston. The year was one without much drama, a stark difference to 2019, and one that all Celtics fans could enjoy, Gordon Hayward returned to his best form and Kemba Walker was a great fit for the team. Regardless of how these playoffs pan out Boston looks ready to remain an East contender for years to come.
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  • New York Knicks WL Record: 26-56.
The New York Knicks were predicted to win 24 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 20 games. They were viewed as a team that would have a dreadful year after an offseason that saw them have to revert to a plan B after failing to sign a big-name free agent.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Knicks to make the playoffs, and while they didn’t qualify there were still some positives to take out of the season. RJ Barrett showed flashes of his potential and Mitchell Robinson continued to thrive as their center for the future. It’s a little funny to say that the Knicks ended up slightly exceeding expectations by playing at a 24 win pace but by avoiding a bottom 5 record this season I’d say they fit the category.
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Met Expectations

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  • Indiana Pacers WL Record: 50-32.
The Indiana Pacers were predicted to win 45 games in the preseason with Kevin Pelton’s odds expecting them to win as few as 43 games. They were viewed as a team with solid depth and good players to make up for the departure of Bojan Bogdanovic, Wes Matthews and Thaddeus Young in the offseason but weren’t really deemed much of a threat.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Pacers to make the playoffs, 16 correctly predicting Indiana to have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Pacers were led by TJ Warren, Malcolm Brogdon and first time all star Domantas Sabonis who averaged 19/12/5 for the season. The Pacers were probably the most accurately predicted team this season as everyone knew that they were better than your typical fringe playoff team but they weren’t really set to be an outright contender. It’ll be interesting to see if they can end their first round hoodoo this season against Miami in the playoffs.
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  • LA Clippers WL Record: 56-26.
The LA Clippers were predicted to win 53 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report Odds expecting them to win as few as 52 games. They were viewed as a team with two superstar small forwards that would coast through the regular season and be ready to compete for a championship after developing chemistry all season.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Clippers to make the playoffs, with less than half of them correctly predicting them to finish the regular season with a top 2 seed. As stated before, this was largely due to the belief that the Clippers would be managing their star players for the playoffs. Despite a down year for Paul George, LAC were still able to play at a 56 win pace in large part due to some elite bench play from duo Lou Williams and 6MOTY front runner Montrezl Harrell. However, the Clippers were always a playoff lock and the real challenge begins now on their quest for championship success.
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  • Washington Wizards WL Record: 29-53.
The Washington Wizards were predicted to win 28 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 19 games. They were viewed as a team with no real direction and a strange roster of misfits. Bradley Beal was expected to be traded before the trade deadline to allow the team to embrace a full rebuild.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Wizards to make the playoffs yet they found themselves in a position to make the playoffs with 8 games remaining. Bradley Beal was a shining light for the team averaging a career high 30.5 points per game and the growth of Thomas Bryant, Rui Hachimura and Mo Wagner was something for Washington to enjoy but the success was limited. For being just about as bad as we expected them to be this season, despite playing at a below 30 win pace, the Wizards are classified as meeting expectations.
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  • Cleveland Cavaliers WL Record: 24-58.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were predicted to win 23 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as few as 19 games. They were viewed as a young team with no real stars but a team that could see some development in their youngsters. Kevin Love was expected to be traded before the trade deadline to allow the team to embrace a full rebuild.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Cavs to make the playoffs and for good reason too. The Cavaliers finished the season with the second worst record in the entire NBA and had very few positives outside of the improved offensive game of second year guard Colin Sexton. A late season trade for Andre Drummond was unexpected and it’ll be intriguing to see what direction this team takes from here. It’s funny to say that the Cavs met expectations this year but they were horrible as everyone was expecting.
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  • Denver Nuggets WL Record: 52-30.
The Denver Nuggets were predicted to win 54 games in the preseason with basketball reference expecting them to win 53 games. They were viewed as a great regular season team with lots of depth and quality players that give them a strong opportunity to secure a top 4 seed in the regular season while the majority of the West powerhouse teams would coast a bit more.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Nuggets to make the playoffs, with 21 of those votes allocated to Denver making a top 3 seed. It’s hard to find a major storyline for the whole year to go off for the team as they did what was pretty much expected of them. Nikola Jokic had another fine season averaging 20/10/7 while Will Barton provided a spark to remain one of the league’s most underappreciated players. The biggest positive for the Nuggets was the late season emergence of Michael Porter Jr who will look to build on his great recent play with a series win over Utah.
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Slightly Didn't Meet Expectations

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  • Sacramento Kings WL Record: 35-47.
The Sacramento Kings were predicted to win 37 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 40 games. They were viewed as a team that looked set to put their past history of failure behind them and build on a great 2019 season. A successful season for the Kings would’ve been qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions just 8, out of 29 people, expected the Kings to make the playoffs, all of those selections were as an 8th seed too. Unfortunately, they didn’t make the improvement expected of them. The Kings began the season 0-5 and never looked like a playoff threat and as a result extended their streak of failing to make the playoffs to 15 straight years. A rare positive in a disappointing year was the continued growth of Fox and Bogdanovic but this was an otherwise forgettable year for Sacramento.
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  • Utah Jazz WL Record: 50-32.
The Utah Jazz were predicted to win 52 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 59 games. They were viewed as a great regular season team with lots of depth and quality players that would give them an opportunity to secure a top 4 seed in the regular season while the majority of the West powerhouse teams would coast a bit more.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Jazz to make the playoffs. 16 of those votes were allocated with the expectation that the Jazz would have a top 4 record in the West, and despite doing so, something about Utah just seemed off this year. Perhaps it was their inability to match it with the league’s elite teams but nobody really considered the team a major threat in the West. Rudy Gobert had another DPOY caliber year and Donovan Mitchell received an overdue All-Star selection as a positive for the team but they ultimately fell to the 6th seed after a three way tiebreaker.
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Brooklyn Nets WL Record: 40-42.
The Brooklyn Nets were predicted to win 43 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report Odds expecting them to win 43 games. They were viewed as a decent team on paper but one that didn't have a lot to play for in 2020 with the absence of Kevin Durant. A pass mark for the Nets this year would simply be making the playoffs and being competitive.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 26/29 voters expected the Nets to make the playoffs, but ultimately this year didn't hold much significance. In a way its remarkable that the team played within 3 games of their expected win total too given that Kyrie Irving only played 20 games for the year, two of which were 50 point performances. With the improvement of Caris Levert and Spencer Dinwiddie, the Brooklyn Nets will be a force to be reckoned with in 2021 if the team can stay healthy.
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Orlando Magic WL Record: 37-45.
The Orlando Magic were predicted to win 42 games in the preseason with Kevin Pelton’s odds expecting them to win as many as 47 games. They were viewed as a young team that was on the up. A team that would be a near lock for playoffs and in a weaker Eastern conference, a team that could push for a 5th seed or potentially higher.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 16/29 voters expected the Magic to make the playoffs but a majority outside the subreddit rated them much higher. The Magic were an elite defensive team this season with Jonathon Isaac making a name for himself as a defensive star of the future. Vucevic, Fournier and Gordon were all reliable offensive players and Fultz showed signs of improvement after a nightmare start to his career. The Magic only played at a 37 win pace which was lower than expected but since they still solidly made playoffs so they only slightly failed to meet expectations this year.
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New Orleans Pelicans WL Record: 34-48.
The New Orleans Pelicans were predicted to win 39 games in the preseason with basketball reference expecting them to win as many as 40 games. They were viewed as a young team with solid veterans that could help push the team towards the playoffs in a competitive Western Conference but nothing more than at best an 8 seed.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions just 2/29 voters expected the Pelicans to make the playoffs with both votes at the 8 seed. Brandon Ingram had a breakout season for the team, Lonzo Ball improved and star rookie Zion Williamson impressed in his 24 games for the season but it's hard to make an assessment on NOLA. They began the year 6-9 before losing 13 consecutive games. A stretch that they followed up with by playing at a 50 win pace during the middle of the season, before poor play in the bubble saw them miss an opportunity at the playoffs. Personally I'd say the Pelicans only slightly didn't meet expectations since they had a losing record with Williamson in his 24 games and he was so hyped up, but I am open to changing this based on what you guys think.
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Didn't Meet Expectations

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Philadelphia 76ers WL Record: 48-34.
The Philadelphia 76ers were predicted to win 54 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 58 games. They were viewed as an elite defensive team with two great young players that would be hungry after a heartbreaking game 7 loss to Toronto the year prior. Players like Al Horford and Tobias Harris were expected to see the team competing for a top 2 seed in the East.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions All 29 voters expected the 76ers to make the playoffs, with a stunning 28 off them predicting a top 2 seed (12 even predicted the number one record out East). However what happened was a variety of issues from Simmons' poor fit on the team and lack of any improvement offensively, Horford's decline paired with overall inconsistency and poor chemistry from the team. A 6th seed is a fair reflection of a forgettable season for the team that was had an unbelievable ability to dominate at home and play like the worst team in the league on the road.
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Houston Rockets WL Record: 50-32.
The Houston Rockets were predicted to win 54 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as many as 57 games. They were viewed as a superstar team with two MVP caliber players, and with their kryptonite Warriors weaker than years gone by, this was seen as Houston’s opportunity to secure a top 2 seed and make a championship run.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Rockets to make the playoffs and while they did so, it happened in extremely unconvincing fashion. 13 preseason voters expected Houston to finish with the West's best record but similar to the 76ers, their record was the same as a 6th seed in the conference. Russell Westbrook had two conflicting halves of the season while James Harden put together another great year averaging 34PPG. The post season is where the Rockets should finally be able to put their previous woes behind them and where we can truly assess if the season was successful or not.
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Portland Trailblazers WL Record: 39-43.
The Portland Trailblazers were predicted to win 45 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 47 games. They were viewed as a lock for the playoffs in a competitive Western conference after an impressive WCF appearance in 2019.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Blazers to make the playoffs and while they did so in the end, they only finished 8th in the standings with a sub .500 record. Of course it's easy to understand why when you consider that their starting front court in Collins and Nurkic missed almost the entire season. Damian Lillard had a fantastic season posting a career high 30 points and 8 assists per game averages to keep the Blazers afloat in a difficult year. As harsh as it is when you account for injuries, the reality is that Portland were still expected to make playoffs after a WCF appearance without Nurkic the year prior so for the regular season this year the Blazers failed to meet expectations, despite a late season run.
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San Antonio Spurs WL Record: 37-45.
The San Antonio Spurs were predicted to win 43 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 47 games. They were viewed as a weaker team than the squads they had in years prior but were still expected to compete for the playoffs. All though missing the playoffs was more expected than it likely ever has been for the team in the last 20 years.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 13/29 voters expected the Spurs to make the playoffs with 12 of those votes as an 8th seed. The Spurs had made the playoffs in 22 consecutive years and after coming off a 48 win season in 2019 they seemed a safe pick. However, the 48 wins also signalled the end of a long streak of 50 win seasons for San Antonio and they were clearly on a decline. There wouldn't be too many times in NBA history that you would call the Spurs season a disappointment but this year they failed to meet expectations. It will be interesting to see what the future of the team looks like going forward.
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Atlanta Hawks WL Record: 25-57.
The Atlanta Hawks were predicted to win 33 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 36 games. They were viewed as a young team that looked like a dark horse to secure a spot in the Eastern conference playoffs after years of limited success.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 6/29 voters expected the Hawks to make the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Hawks John Collins' was suspended for 25 games and with Hunter and Reddish struggling early in their rookie year the team never looked like a playoff threat. The biggest shining light for the Hawks in a poor season was no doubt the improvement of Trae Young who averaged a stunning 30/4/9 for the year on 60% TS, culminating in an Allstar selection as a starter. Atlanta made a late season trade for Clint Capela in hopes to fix their poor defence but he didn't get an opportunity to play as the season was shortly suspended. The Hawks this season were disappointing from a win loss perspective but I'm sure the development of Trae this year keeps fans excited for the future.
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Chicago Bulls WL Record: 28-54.
The Chicago Bulls were predicted to win 35 games in the preseason with Kevin Pelton’s odds expecting them to win as many as 39 games. They were viewed as a young team that looked like a dark horse to secure a spot in the Eastern conference playoffs after years of limited success.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 3/29 voters expected the Bulls to make the playoffs, not a great total but there was some excitement around them. Unfortunately Chicago saw limited growth from their young players with some even taking a step backwards this year which ultimately led to the recent firing of head coach Jim Boylen. Zach LaVine was a rare positive for the Bulls as he averaged 26PPG but the team has a lot to work on and some tough decisions ahead of them going forward.
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Completely Didn't Meet Expectations

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  • Detroit Pistons WL Record: 25-57.
The Detroit Pistons were predicted to win 38 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report expecting them to win as many as 39 games. They were viewed as a team with a strange mix of stars in Drummond, Griffin and Rose but one that should have been able to finish in the 8/9/10 range of the East standings.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions 11 out of 29 people, expected the Pistons to make the playoffs. They weren't expected to be winning any playoff series but the bare minimum was a playoff appearance. Detroit however struggled with injuries and poor form all year and finished in absolutely shocking form with losses in 18 of their last 20 games. Christian Wood played well as a starter for the team averaging 22/9/2 on 65% TS in that role but the stats didn't translate to much success. After trading Drummond late in the year the Pistons look set for a long rebuild.
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  • Minnesota Timberwolves WL Record: 25-57.
The Minnesota Timberwolves were predicted to win 39 games in the preseason with 538 expecting them to win as many as 44 games. They were viewed as a young team that wouldn’t really achieve a whole lot of success but would at the least be competitive with a star big man on the roster.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions not a single voter, out of 29 people, expected the Wolves to make the playoffs and for good reason too. The team had no semblance of defensive identity all season long, with the exception of games where Towns was absent, in a worrying sign for a team looking to build around a star player. Malik Beasley flourished after being traded late season but there weren't many other positives for the team. The Wolves could have had a disappointing year by winning 35 odd games but instead were even worse and won had the leagues 3rd worst record in 2019-20.
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  • Golden State Warriors WL Record: 19-63.
The Golden State Warriors were predicted to win 49 games in the preseason with Bleacher Report Odds expecting them to win as many as 51 games. They were viewed as a weaker team than years prior following the departure of KD and with Klay’s knee injury but a combination of Curry, D’Lo and Draymond had many believing the team would be a lock for playoffs and a chance to steal a playoff series.
In /nba preseason power ranking predictions all 29 voters expected the Warriors to make the playoffs with 26 of those voters expecting a 5-6-7 seed for the team. Golden State’s season began in shocking fashion through the first 5 games of the year and things just got worse as Curry was sidelined soon with a hand/wrist injury. Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell struggled to keep the team afloat and the Warriors ended up trading D’Lo late in the season for Andrew Wiggins. It’ll be interesting to see how the team goes next season with a healthy Curry and Klay back in the lineup, but for finishing with the leagues worst record after 5 straight finals appearances there is no denying that the Warriors completely failed to meet preseason expectations.
submitted by NitroXYZ to nba [link] [comments]


2020.08.16 11:25 finnagains Kamala Harris is not a ‘left radical’ or a ‘Marxist’. I wish she were - by Paul Street - 14 Aug 2020

By Paul Street, the author of numerous books, including They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Routledge, 2014) and The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Routledge, 2011). Paul Street’s latest book is Hollow Resistance: Obama, Trump, and the Politics of Appeasement (CounterPunch Books, September 2020). Follow Paul on Twitter @Streetwriter17 Within moments of Joe Biden announcing Kamala Harris as his running mate, the Trump campaign and the American right-wing propaganda machine began portraying the California senator as a “far-left radical” of the “Marxist” variety.
There’s nothing wrong with being a leftist (I am one), but the charge (I might say compliment) is ludicrous and undeserved. Harris has long been firmly lodged on the right wing of the Democratic Party, which Richard Nixon’s former strategist Kevin Phillips accurately described as “history’s second most enthusiastic capitalist party.”
As both a Bay Area prosecutor (1990–2003) and California Attorney General (2003–2016), the Big Business-backed Harris earned a reputation as a friend of the police and an agent of racially disparate mass incarceration. She boasted of her high felony conviction rates, achieved with significant violations of defendant rights. She fought back any attempts to change California’s vicious prison system, institute a criminal justice reform and abolish the death penalty.
She even resisted a court order to release low-risk inmates by arguing that it could cost California an important source of cheap labor to be used, at risk to their lives, to fight wildfires for $2 a day.
She was hardly the “progressive prosecutor” she claimed to have been when announcing her presidential candidacy in 2019.
Anyone who thinks ‘Copmala’ Harris was a criminal justice ‘progressive’ should watch a short TED-style talk she gave on behalf of racist mass incarceration at the Chicago Ideas Week conference in 2015. One really must take in her derisive voice and body language as she launched into a scornful attack on reformers’ supposedly naïve call to move taxpayer money from mass imprisonment to education:
“We all have these posters [sarcastic posture] in our closet [pained look on face] that is attached to a stick that we sometimes will cart out when we’re talking about criminal justice ... and we run around with these signs [disdainful face] ... ‘Build More Schools, Less Jails! Build More Schools, Less Jails!’ And we walk around everywhere – ‘Build More Schools!’ We protest [mocking face, hand pretending to hold up a placard] ... ‘Put money into education, not prisons!’ [loud mocking squeaky voice]. There’s a fundamental problem with that approach, in my opinion. And it’s this: ...You have not addressed the reason I have three padlocks on my front door.”
Attorney General Harris and her multimillionaire white husband had “three padlocks on [their] front door” because the class rule and racial oppression system she spent her adult life serving and protecting had reached such stunning levels of savage inequality that the top tenth of the American One Percent possessed as much combined wealth as the nation’s bottom 90 percent while the median household black-white wealth gap had reached six black cents on the white dollar. These disparities were only worsened by the giant racist mass arrest and incarceration regime that she and her future presidential running mate Joe ‘Three Strikes’ Biden did so much to advance.
During her very brief stint (2017 – present) in the Republican-controlled US Senate, Harris has tried to develop a progressive persona by speaking on behalf of liberal causes such as immigration reform, marijuana legalization and increased pay for schoolteachers. She scored more points with liberals by aggressively questioning Trump’s right-wing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
In her disastrous and prematurely concluded presidential campaign, Harris clumsily tried to play the great game of Americans politics – “the manipulation of populism by elitism” (Christopher Hitchens) – by inauthentically posing as a candidate of “the people.” She briefly took up Bernie Sanders’ call for “Medicare for All” but then reversed herself on ending private health insurance in favor of a federally financed system. She promised to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients from deportation and opposed Trump’s border wall with Mexico, but, tellingly, failed to vote against Trump’s network of immigrant detention camps along the US-Mexico border. She backs a boosting of the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, but says nothing about how such an increase would leave millions of workers poor while ineligible for food stamps, housing subsidies and Medicaid.
Harris has also been a big player in the Democrats’ Russiagate campaign, demanding Trump’s impeachment, not for his chilling violations of the US Constitution or his nativist persecution of immigrants, but for being an alleged Russian “stooge.” That has earned her points from the US national security establishment.
Vice presidential candidate Harris will make no calls for a real Green New Deal, genuinely progressive taxation, or single-payer health insurance (Medicare for All), which the arch-corporatist Biden says he would veto – this, even though single-payer is backed by seven in 10 Americans. Biden chose her because she will be safely on board with the corporate agenda while her deceptive progressive pretension and her nonwhite and female identity cloak her loyalty to an American System run by and for the mostly white corporate, financial, and imperial establishment.
It’s an old game in American politics: Democrats posing as populists and progressives when they’re owned by the nation’s imperial ruling class.
The Republicans are also playing an old game: absurdly labelling corporate and imperial Democrats “totalitarian,” “radical leftists,” “Marxists,” “socialists,” and “communists.” From the New Deal (1932–1940) on, not a single Democratic president or presidential contender (no matter how militantly corporate, imperial, and anti-communist/-socialist), has escaped this “paranoid-style” charge from the American right. (The deeply conservative Barack Obama was ludicrously described as a “socialist,” a “Marxist,” and even a “Marxist-Leninist” by the Tea Party right, even as he governed in strict accord with the interests of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the military-industrial Pentagon System.)
It’s a bit harder than usual for the right to make the neo-McCarthyite charge stick on Biden. He’s an old and conservative, racially problematic white man with a long congressional and vice-presidential record as an abject warmonger and a tool of the corporate class. Things are different with Harris. As a more recent arrival on the national stage, a product of the supposedly radical San Francisco Bay area, and a black female, Harris is much easier to sell to the Republicans’ disproportionately rural, white, and male voting and street-fighting base as a radical, big-city threat.
It’s all very ironic. As with Obama, Harris’s identity attributes help conceal her captivity to the capitalist profits system that the right religiously supports. At the same time, as neither of the two major US parties will ever admit, the United States could use a good dose of the socialism that Kamala Harris and other top Democrats are absurdly accused of supporting. Like something straight out of, well, Marx, the nation’s capitalist ruling class is grinding the American ‘democratic’ experiment into arch-plutocratic dust, rendering longstanding majority-progressive public opinion irrelevant while wealth and power concentrate yet further upwards, and millions of ordinary Americans are thrown out of work, off health insurance, and into poverty and misery in the middle of an epic pandemic.
submitted by finnagains to leftwinger [link] [comments]


2020.08.15 14:21 KagsTheOneAndOnly [backpicks] It's fascinating viewing the MJ Bulls' Point Differential increase steadily over the 90 and 91 seasons as they slowly got used to Phil's Triangle and elevated from "coach to first class"

GRAPH IN QUESTION: https://backpicks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Bulls-90-to-91-Growth.png

FYI: Definition of "SRS" is Simple Rating System = Team rating that takes into account point differential and strength of schedule. Zero is average.

Context

... Then there’s his scoring. Historians have mislabeled Wilt as the game’s most “dominant” scorer, but that epitaph should belong to Jordan. He holds the highest pace-adjusted scoring rate in NBA history (since eclipsed by '19 James Harden) and six of the nine highest-scoring rates of all time. He litters the record book with more high-efficiency, high-volume seasons than anyone:
GRAPH
A more selective filter demonstrates Jordan’s singular brilliance: In only 15 NBA seasons has someone scored over 30 per 75 at +6 percent rTS, and Jordan owns four of them (Karl Malone and Harden each have two, Shaq, LeBron, Curry and Kevin Durant have one each). His scoring game was so resilient that in the postseason he upped his volume and creation with almost no loss in efficiency. This coincided with Chicago’s slight improvement in relative playoff offense during the ’90s, as the Bulls generated a +7.3 postseason rating with Jordan, an eight-season mark bested only by Magic’s Lakers from 1984-91.9
In 1990, Jackson introduced the triangle, an offense with a notorious learning curve. The Bulls arc that year reflected some growing pains; their first-half was comparable to previous seasons, teetering along at a 45-win pace until the All-Star game before a dynasty blossomed. There’s a near perfect trajectory from the All-Star break into the heart of the ’91 season as Chicago ascended from coach to first class. Here’s what its rolling point-differential looked like over the period:
(The graph this post is referring to)
Fittingly, almost all of this change occurred on offense. With Pippen and Grant entering their primes, the Bulls first-half attack that year was a respectable 2.6 points better than league average. But, for the first time in Jordan’s six seasons, it moved into the upper atmosphere after the break. Chicago’s rORtg was +6.3 in the second-half (including postseason), which would place it in the top-35 of all time for a full year, and at the time would have been the seventh-best offense ever. The 1991 Bulls were a similar +6.7 on offense.
In 1992, Chicago peaked at +7.4, the 12th-best offense ever, and one of three attacks in history with a raw efficiency above 115.5 points per 100. After three consecutive top-100 offensive seasons, Jordan took a baseball sabbatical and the Bulls scoring efficiency dropped to 2 points above league average. In 1995, before his return, Chicago chugged along at +1.2 for 63 games (playing at a 52-win pace), reinforcing the team’s competence but also highlighting Jordan’s value — lifting slightly above average offenses by 5 or 6 points is GOAT-worthy. After nearly two seasons off, MJ (posting a cringeworthy -2.6 percent rTS) lifted the ’95 team’s offense to +4.3 in his 27 games (at a 59-win pace). Again, the turnovers declined, down to 12.1 percent from 14.6. Even an oxidized Jordan made an impact.
With the rust off in ’96, MJ led Chicago to two of the 10-best offensive seasons ever, including the fourth-best of all time in 1997.10 They also benefited from the shortening of the 3-point line, as both Jordan and Pippen were better marksmen from the shorter stripe (in place from 1995-97). The height of four of the Bulls six title teams was staggering:
Graph

Source: https://backpicks.com/2018/04/08/backpicks-goat-2-michael-jordan/

EDIT:
MJ has the highest peak on the list, though he ranks 3rd overall. This list ranks the most valuable overall careers, so longevity is rewarded. It is stated that he might easily have finished 1st had his 'missing' years in 86 and 94-95 followed the rest of his surrounding seasons-
... More importantly, Jordan lacked longevity, missing a year in ’94 and logging partial seasons in ’86 and ’95, both of which cost him valuable GOAT mileage. By my valuations, he composed 10 MVP-level seasons, compared to 12 for Kareem and Russell. If MJ’s injured seasons followed his valuations curve, he would have a strong argument for No. 1, and if his hypothetical 1994 season followed the curve, he would likely be No. 1 on this list. While I can see giving him slightly more credit, he could only finish first with his current longevity if I viewed his peak as an outlier among outliers, and neither box metrics nor non-box data support that idea. If anything, they suggest Jordan’s GOAT peak status isn’t unassailable, which means there’s also an argument for him dropping back a slot. Therefore, he’s my highest peak player, but falls short in career value to Abdul-Jabbar, landing at No. 2.
LeBron James's combination of peak and longevity ranks him at 2 at the moment - he was 3rd when the series was written but he was moved up to 2nd after the 2018 playoffs-
... In total, Jordan is the only comparable perimeter peak in history, although James’s defense was slightly more impressive at its apex. Eight of LeBron’s last nine seasons are all-time level campaigns, pairing either good or great defense with transcendent offense. He’s logged enough mileage to challenge Jordan; this will be his 14th season on the All-NBA team, whereas MJ only made 11. Like the other great megastars who excel in non-scoring phases of the game, I do wonder if I’m undervaluing LeBron, given the unique shape of his offense.
... In a few weeks, he will likely move to No. 2 on this list. If I had fewer reservations about his ball-dominance scaling (and his lack of spot-up shooting), he’d be a spot higher already, and I do think he has an outside argument as the highest-peak player in NBA history. And, barring injury or premature retirement, James will likely retire with the most valuable career ever. For now, he’s etched on the Mt. Rushmore of the sport at No. 3.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar's very good peak, but more importantly, his consistent 15-20-year excellence lands him at no. 1-
... Yes, others were better at their best, but Jabbar passes them with the most impressive longevity in NBA history, finishing with the most All-Star years (17) and MVP-level seasons (10) in this series. Put another way, his Lakers career alone was longer than Magic Johnson’s entire career (and nearly as valuable), and he played six all-world years before that in Milwaukee. His drop in mobility (per the scouting report) reduced him to a marginal defender during many of those later seasons, but size kept him relevant, and I credit him with seven strong All-Star campaigns in the ’80s alone and three MVP-level years at the beginning of that decade. At his best, he was an elite offensive anchor and a strong defender with a number of monstrous value-signals, enough for me to give him a top-eight peak of all time. My valuations even feel conservative because of how tricky it is to weigh his dominance in the early ’70s; he smoked the competition, but it was the strangest period in league history, with teams stretched thin by expansion. His lead over the field is large enough that I’d have to downgrade his prime seasons by nearly 10 percent just to pull him off the top line. So, the most reasonable conclusion is that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar authored the best career in NBA history.
High-peak but lower longevity greats like Bird and Magic are docked places accordingly.
... In total, Bird has the imprint of a GOAT-level offensive player with a clear case as a strong defensive factor early in his career. However, like so many other superstars, his offensive peak didn’t coincide with his best defensive seasons, making it less likely that he was a top-5 peak player ever. By my valuations, Bird’s first eight years are MVP-worthy, including one of the best two-year apexes in NBA history with an argument for the best post-merger rookie season. I do wonder how much credit to give his non-traditional offensive traits, but either way, minor adjustments up or down don’t move Bird much on the list. With a phenomenal peak and problematic longevity, he lands here, barely behind No. 10.
... Collectively, the film and data scream that Johnson was one of the very best offensive players in history. His WOWYR numbers are fantastic, finishing first in the 2016 results, and near the top in all regressed game-level studies. His team’s offenses were even better in the postseason, improving by a weighted average of 2.5 efficiency points. However, Magic’s defensive work dings him somewhat among the other greats, as he was likely a neutral-impact defender in the early part of his career before his defense waned in later seasons. But it’s his longevity that costs him most on this list, as HIV stole valuable prime years for him to climb up the top-10. All told, I consider Magic’s peak just short of the all-time greats, not only due to his defense, but because his ball-dominance introduces redundancies on good teams. On the flip side, because his offenses were so good, and his style somewhat unique, I can see an outside argument for him reaching Wilt and the next block of players. Either way, what’s clear is that with two more years comparable to his ’91 campaign, he would move up multiple spots, and with three similar seasons would be pushing the top five. Instead, he narrowly edges rival Larry Bird for the 10th-most valuable career in NBA history.
If I may suggest something, give the whole list a read! It's an interesting and well-written & -substantiated historical resource by the guy who runs the equally excellent Thinking Basketball YouTube channel, Ben Taylor: https://backpicks.com/2017/12/11/the-backpicks-goat-the-40-best-careers-in-nba-history/
submitted by KagsTheOneAndOnly to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]


2020.08.12 07:20 alex9834 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball: Three Decades of Failure (aka the Curse of Chris Webber)

Hi guys, long time no see. I'm back again with yet another Legacy of Failure.
And this new LoF is heavily inspired by Tree's new LoF for the Maple Leafs. May not be as dramatic by I'll do my best.
And I'm also doing this LoF post because of the dire situation College Sports is in right now. But I'll explain more of that at the end of this rant.
Now, let us begin, with the One Billionth roasting of my favorite College team, the Michigan Wolverines, but in basketball edition.
April 3, 1989 - "Michigan is only 3 seconds away from claiming it's first ever national championship and becoming the first team to win both the Rose Bowl and the NCAA in one year. P.J. Carlesimo can not change, he is out of timeouts...they're gonna have to get the ball over Mills who will try to Harris, the big man on the throw-in...starts when touched, long pass, Walker, Green battle, fires up, it's over! Michigan has won the National Championship!
Well done, Michigan, after your first two attempts failed you have finally climbed to the top of the College Basketball world! Feels good, eh? The basketball National Championship is finally in your hands. With some of your top stars like Glen Rice moving away to the NBA draft, great challenges are sure to rise, but you've still got plenty of time to cement yourself among the Blue Bloods of College Basketball. The Future looks bright for you...
1989 offseason - After leading your team to a National Championship as an interim coach after we told that underachieving fuck Bill Frieder to fuck off, Steve Fisher is now officially your new head coach. Things are looking promising indeed...
1990 - Yes they are as Coach Fisher leads the Wolverines to another strong season at 23-8 and the #3 seed in the West Regional bracket! Unfortunately they are they pounded in the second round by 11th seeded....LOYOLA MARYMOUNT?! AND THEY DROPPED 149 POINTS ON YOU?!! Jesus Christ what a complete slaughter...this has got to be the worst title defense effort I have ever seen in my life!!
Please don't let this be a sign of bad things to come...
1991 - Turns out that Loyola Marymount whooped Michigan's ass so hard that they completely fell to shit and missed the Big Dance. Guess 1989 was a fluke after all...things need to change and fast...
1991 offseason - The Wolverines end up making the offseason splash to end all splashes. They end up recruiting what is arguably the most promising Freshman squad in College Basketball history. With their totally gangsta "Boys 'n the Hood" persona, baggy shorts and Ice-T like personalities, All-American High School basketball star Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, along with Texas-sized high school basketball stars in Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, they form a new College Basketball superteam simply known as - the "Fab Five." The rest of the College Basketball world better get ready to protect their balls from being kicked in, because the Wolverine basketball Empire is about to begin...MWAHAHAHAHAHAH!!
1992 - Though not perfect, the Fab Five do not disappoint and finish with a solid 25-9 record and the #6 seed in the Southeast Region.
1992 NCAA Tournament - The Fab Five manage to win Tournament games against Temple and East Tennessee State in the first and second rounds respectively. After narrowly defeating Oklahoma State in the Sweet 16, they make it to an Elite Eight showdown with their biggest rival - those Buckeye fucks from Ohio State. Bring down the hammer.
1992 NCAA Tournament, Elite Eight - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! How do you like dem apples, Suckeyes?!! The Wolverines pull off the upset in OT and make it to their 5th Final Four! Go take your sorry asses back to Columbus, Suckeyes, it's time for the Wolverines to form...the Empire...
1992 Final Four - The Cinderella run for the Fab Five continues as Michigan edges past 4th seeded Cincinnati in the National Semifinal, and on their way to the National Championship game against those fuckers from Duke. Christian Laettner, Grant Hill and Coach K won't know what kind of freight train is gonna hit them! Move over, Blue Devils, here come the Wolverines!!
1992 National Championship Game - Here come the Wolverines as they blow their halftime lead and do absolutely nothing in the 2nd half as Duke goes on to repeat as National Champions and form their own Empire instead. Like seriously, you couldn't even try to make it close? Fuck off with your choking.
Oh well, still a successful season though. Next year you'll get over the hump!
1993 - What did I tell you? The Fab Five make the rest of the Big Ten into their bitch and finish the season with Michigan's best record yet at 26-4 and the #1 seed in the West regional! Onto your glorious future!
1993 NCAA Tournament, Second Round - Ugh, you're already blowing it in the second round against UCLA?! Just get it over with already so I can hit the Molson bottles...wait...Michigan...didn't choke?!
1993 NCAA Tournament, Elite Eight - After defeating Temple you finally make it back to the Final Four, and you have a tough challenge coming up against those Wildcats from Kentucky in New Orleans. I'm not too sure about this...
1993 Final Four - Did you just pull off a shocker against Kentucky in OT without making a single 3-point shot?! Well, I may have faith in you once more! You once again make it back to the National Championship...and you're facing that OTHER ACC powerhouse in North Carolina. You're even ranked higher than they are and have a good shot at winning! Don't blow this again...
1993 National Championship Game - Okay, you're down by 2 with only 19 seconds remaining. Try and at least send this into OT for now...
"Michigan...will have to bring it in-OH HE WALKED!! HE WALKED IT AND A REFEREE MISSED IT!! Webber brings it into the front court, they have no timeouts remaining-OH HE CALLED TOO MANY TIMEOUTS, it's a technical foul! He called a timeout, Michigan didn't have any! He got by with a walk, he calls a timeout, he doesn't realize that's Michigan's 'too many', and so it will be a technical foul, North Carolina shooting, and the ball."
Are you fucking kidding me? Instead of going into a corner you could have attempted a 3 point shot or passed to another open player. For fucks sake, the refs and the Tar Heels were literally HANDING you the game on a silver platter and you blew it yet again. You are utterly pathetic. Complete and utter garbage. I hope you don't make it this far in the tournament again for another 20 years.
May 1993 haunt you for eternity!!
What a truly...pathetic display. YOU BLEW IT!!!
1994 - After that impressive chokejob, the Fab Five devolve into the Fab Four as Chris Webber fucked off to the NBA Draft. Nonetheless, the remaining 4 Fab Five players lead Michigan to yet another strong regular season finish at 21-6 and the #3 seed in the West Region. They make it back to the Elite Eight only to have their hopes and dreams smashed by Arkansas. President Bill Clinton laughs at your pathetic excuse for a basketball team as his Razorbacks go on to win the National Title. The window is beginning to slam shut...
1995 - The Fab Four has now become the Fab Two as Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose have left for the NBA. The Wolverines barely squeak into the NCAA Tournament as the #9 seed in the Midwest region...only to lose to...fucking Western Kentucky?! In OT?! The hell??!
1996 - The Fab Five era has officially ended at Michigan, but the Wolverines still make it back to the NCAA Tournament with an improved 21-10 record and the #7 seed in the Midwest Region. Only to receive a Lone Star State-sized ass whooping at the hands of Texas in the first round.
1997 - Despite another winning record you miss out on the NCAA tournament for the first time in 6 years. You at least make the NIT, and you win THAT tournament's championship game against Florida State?! I...guess that's impressive. Michigan fans, I hate to say it but this is your team's best moment since 1989. Cherish it. Because you're not gonna like what's coming next.
1997 offseason - Michigan then rewards Steve Fisher's efforts for winning the NIT tournament...by firing him before the start of next season during a scandal...which we will explain next. Let's rewind the tape a bit...
1996 - Michigan has plans to rebuild back into a powerhouse. They decide to recruit an upcoming high school star from Flint named Mateen Cleaves. As he and Maurice Taylor are driving to Ann Arbor, they lose control of their Ford Explorer on M-14 and flip over. Turns out they were going to visit a prominent...University of Michigan booster named Ed Martin. Who apparently supplied players with money...and ran an illegal gambling operation...and a money laundering operation...which are in violation of NCAA rules. Oops. Let's hope the NCAA sweeps this whole thing under the rug...if not then you are totally fucked...
1998 - With Steve Fisher gone your new head coach is Brian Ellerbe. Thanks to stars like "Tractor" Traylor and Louis Bullock the Wolverines finish with a strong 24-8 record. They manage to win another tournament game and move on to the next round...where they are then upset by UCLA.
Now is where the real suffering begins...
1999 - Turns out that Ellerbe's first season was a fluke and your window has now slammed shut on your hands. You're terrible again! You turn into a laughing stock by finishing dead last in the Big Ten.
2000 - You are so trash that you lose in the first round...of the NIT tournament...to the Fighting Irish...trash.
2000 National Championship Game - Remember that Mateen Cleaves guy you tried to recruit? Well, turns out he became a contributor to your rival Michigan State's run to a second National Title. May your suffering continue...
2001 - You finish near the bottom of the Big Ten yet again with a 10-18 record. The team is choking so hard that they tell Brian Ellerbe and his choking ways to fuck off.
But wait, there's more!
2002 - Good news is that the NCAA decides not to put sanctions on you. The bad news is...your University's administration decides to do the NCAA's job for them. As a result of the Ed Martin scandal, University of Michigan administrators decide to vacate your entire 1993 season, as well as each game from the 1995 to the 1999 season. Also, your appearance in the 1992 Final Four has been vacated. Not the entire tournament, just the Final Four. Jesus Christ, even after 1993, the College Basketball world is still sodomizing this team with a chainsaw...
2002, continued - With Brian Ellerbe gone, Michigan decides to recruit the glorious....TOMMY AMAKER...oh Christ, you are so fucked...my condolences...
2004 - You finished with a 18-11 record? At least you made the NIT...and you won the NIT again against Rutgers? Well, I'll be damned, at least it's not all torture.
2006 - You made the NIT tournament again but you lose to South Carolina in the championship game. Please tell me there's a light at the end of the tunnel...soon...
2007 - The Tommy Amaker era is finally over, now get the fuck out of here with your losing.
2007 offseason - It's time for us to hire a real head coach again. This John Beilein guy will do.
2009 - John Beilein's effects on the team are very positive, as thanks to new recruits such as Zack Novak, Stu Douglass and DeShaun Sims, the Wolverines FINALLY make it back to the NCAA tournament after 11 years. They make it in as the #10 seed in the South regional and pull off an upset against Clemson in the first round...but in the second round they are then defeated by Blake Griffin and Oklahoma. You've got promise though. Keep it going.
2011 - After a disappointing 2010 season the Wolverines finally make it back to the NCAA tournament, this time as an #8 seed in the West Region. After pulverizing Tennessee in the first round, they clash with their old foe from years past in Duke in the second round...only to be narrowly defeated in the final seconds. Man, fuck those assholes from Duke...
2012 - Thanks to new recruits Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Jordan Morgan, the Wolverines experience their best season in ages and finish the regular season ranked for the first time in 15 years. They're the #4 seed in the Midwest region...and the lose in the first round...to Ohio. Yes...Ohio. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU LOSE TO A FUCKING MAC TEAM IN THE FIRST ROUND ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME...GET ME THE GODDAMN BLEACH.
2013 - Anyway, let's just look at the fact that the Wolverines just recruited the top class in the country for 2013. New recruits Mitch McGary, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III join Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. in forming...the new Fab Five. At least this reincarnation won't be scandal ridden.
2013, continued - Michigan experiences their best season since the Fab Five era as they pull off numerous feats, starting of the season 19-1, being ranked #1 in the AP Poll for the first time in two decades and finishing with a 26-7 regular season record. They are the #4 seed in the South region, and they steamroll past South Dakota State and VCU to reach their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1994.
2013 NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16 - Ugh, you're down by 3 against Kansas in the final seconds...just get it over with-you're not choking? You pulled off the upset in OT? Say it isn't so!
2013 NCAA Tournament, Elite Eight - And then you embarrass Florida and finally make it back to the promised land - your first Final Four appearance in 20 years. And you're facing another tough opponent looking to end their own championship drought in Syracuse. Eh, they made it far enough, it's your time now!
2013 Final Four - You manage to take out Syracuse and you make it back to the National Championship! And you're facing yet another team with a lengthy championship drought in Louisville. Hell, some have listed you as an upset favorite to win the title! Bring it home!
2013 National Championship Game - You're up by 12 in the first half...now finish them!!!
Second Half - What?! WHAT?!! You seriously blew a 12 point lead to a Louisville team that was all but handing you the game?! I...I can't even...just fuck off already. Time to hit the bleach again...YOU BLEW IT!!!
2014 - New year, strong start. You're the #2 seed in the Midwest Region and are heavy favorites to win the title. Duke and Wichita State all choked early so you have a chance to make the Final Four again. Don't disappoint...
2014 NCAA Tournament, Elite Eight - You're up by 10 against an 8th seeded Kentucky team. Finish them off-wait, you blew that lead too? What the fuck is wrong with you and blowing leads to inferior competition?! Well, this bleach ain't gonna drink itself...
2016 - After collapsing in the 2015 season, the team is back in rebuilding mode again, but makes it back to the NCAA Tournament. Though you manage to defeat Tulsa in the First Four you are then pulverized by Notre Dame in the first round. The window is shutting again...wonderful...
2017 - Or not! After a sluggish start, new recruits Jordan Poole, Isaiah Livers, German phenom Moe Wagner, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rakman, the Wolverines manage to win the Big Ten tournament and gain an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as a #7 seed in the Midwest Region. After squeaking by Oklahoma State in the first round, they then get revenge on Louisville for 2013 and return to the Sweet 16. Unfortunately, they are edged out by Oregon, a team that hadn't made the Final Four in almost 80 years. Woof.
2017 offseason - Great news! Turns out that due to a sex scandal involving head coach Rick Pitino, Louisville has been forced to vacate their 2013 title! So I guess you can call yourselves the unofficial champions? At least you don't have to hang your heads in shame anymore...yay?
2018 - You win the Big Ten Tournament yet again and finish the regular season with a 28-7 record. You are the #3 seed in the West Region. Please let this be the year...
2018 NCAA Tournament, Second Round - Ugh, you're down by 2 against Houston? Just get it over wi-
"At mid court, extra pass...'buzzer sounds'...IN IT GOES FOR THE WIN!!! THE THREE POINTER...BY JORDAN POOLE!!!"
You're not choking...
2018 NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16 - You're gonna lose to Texas A&M?! They haven't made it out of the Sweet 16 in their EXISTENCE for god's sake. Don't tell me you're gonna shit the be-you're not choking?
2018 NCAA Tournament, Elite Eight - Are you seriously trying to hand Florida State the game here? Quit playing down to your competition! Do something for once! Beat their asse-you're...not...choking? You made the Final Four? And you're facing the Cinderella team of the decade in Loyola-Chicago? I'll be damned.
2018 Final Four - After being down by 11 to Loyola-Chicago you come back to beat Loyola-Chicago by 12 and ruin Sister Jean's hopes for a second national title for the state of Illinois. You're back in the Championship game, and you're facing a tough opponent in Villanova. Will this be the year you finally break through?!
2018 National Championship Game - And you then proceed to blow yet another lead and get Death Starred by the Wildcats. Your best season since 1989, and you get turned into a laughing stock once again. Like seriously, you couldn't even make a close game out of this? God, you're pathetic. And as a result of all this choking you now have the WORST ever record in the National Championship game of the teams that have won a National Title at 1-6. You are tied with Duke and Kansas for most losses in the National Title game. To quote Asuka from End of Evangelion, "Pathetic." I'm going to combine this bleach with fabric softener now. It's been ages since 1993 now and College Basketball is still sodomizing this team with a Chainsaw.
2019 - Okay, you may be the #3 seed in the West region again but your window is beginning to slam shut now. Please, do SOMETHING!! You don't. You get embarrassed by Texas Tech in the Sweet 16 - a team that hadn't made it past the Sweet 16 in their existence.
And now John Beilein has decided to fuck off to the NBA. Fuck...here come the dark ages again.
2020 - Former Fab Five alum Juwan Howard is your new head coach, and it turns out that he's not that bad. He leads you to a 19-12 start going into the Big Ten tournament...and then COVID-19 hits and the NCAA tells everyone to fuck off. No tournament this year...
And I'm all out of bleach now. Maybe this team can let me down at my funeral like they have for the past decade...
As a Michigan fan I feel completely broken. Years upon years of failure after that one magical season in 1989. Was this team really worth saving? All of the wasted talent, all of the chances they had to finally end the misery...and for what? A hollow claim to a paper championship in 2013 which Louisville vacated. A 1-6 record in the National Championship game. FOUR straight losses in the National Championship game since the 1989 title. Never ending misery thanks to the Curse of Chris Webber.
But to be frank with you guys, I honestly think 2018 and 2019 were indeed Michigan's final chances to win a second national title. And it's beginning to look that way with the recent COVID pandemic, as the Big Ten has just decided to cancel football for the 2020 season. And if more conferences cancel, it will likely mean no college sports PERIOD this year. So the NCAA Tournament could be cancelled yet again. March Madness is at least 90% of the NCAA's budget revenue, and if the NCAA Tournament is cancelled for 2021, we could see not just the NCAA lose tons of money, but many college athletic departments go under. Welcome to what could be the College Sports apocalypse.
And if you think that the Government is going to bail out any of these athletic departments while this country is still overcoming a loss of a third of it's GDP, I have a bridge in Northern Michigan that I'd like to sell you.
There's no way these athletic departments are getting bailouts right after claiming non-profit status, but had the balls to ask the senate for anti-trust exemptions. Total lack of self awareness.
We could witness the college sports version of the Smoot-Hawley act.
If College Sports does return late in 2020 or in 2021, it's going to look very different, dramatically different, and it may be for the worse.
And as a Michigan fan it makes me sad to think that the Wolverines may never win a title in college basketball or football ever again, especially since this pandemic is gonna have major financial ramifications, and potentially on the well known programs.
We could see the end of College Sports in it's current form, or for good. And this will be a miserable time for fans of teams that are suffering from a major title drought like Michigan and others.
Fuck this year. I'm beginning to think our world really did end on December 21, 2012, and we're all just living in a simulation now.
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