NFL week one is over, and while I was terribly upset by the play of the Giants, there was some great football to be seen throughout the league. Last week I decided to make a prediction for each game and I ended up being correct on seven of my sixteen picks. I am confident that I can do better than seven correct, so I will be giving it another try for week two of the NFL season. The first game is a division matchup of the Patriots and the Bills, and while New England looked unstoppable last week, I can see the Bills pulling out an upset in a close game. The Panthers will win in a not so competitive matchup against the Texans, and The Bengals will defeat the Chargers in a high scoring shootout. After getting torched by a rookie QB last week, the Buccaneers won’t stand a chance against Drew Brees and the Saints. The Steelers will defeat the 49ers, the Cardinals will beat the Bears, and the surging Titans will win a close one against the Browns. The Rams will easily defeat the Redskins, and the Vikings will have a bounce back game as they defeat the Lions in a slight upset. I stated earlier that I was very unhappy with how the Giants played in week one, but I am still picking them to win in week two, they will have less mistakes and manage to defeat the Falcons in a very close game. The Ravens will defeat the Raiders, The Dolphins will win over the Jaguars, and the Eagles will find a way to beat the Cowboys in a matchup that I feel will be decided by the mistakes of the losing team. As for the prime time game, The Packers will defeat the Seahawks by exploiting the weaknesses in their secondary, I am sure that once the Hawks are 0-2 they will decide to pay Kam Chancellor the money he has been asking for. The last game of the week pits the surprisingly potent Jets offense against the surprisingly feeble Colts defense, the Colts are a good team but they will not be able to defeat Jets if they keep playing the way they have played thus far. I can’t wait for the games to start tomorrow, hopefully I have more than seven correct picks this time.
Today is the day that the NFL season finally starts. I know I have been heavy on the football posts as of late, but it is my favorite sport, and quite possibly my favorite pastime. The NFL season will be kicked off by a matchup of the perennial powerhouse, Pittsburg Steelers, and the defending champion New England Patriots. Tonight’s game looks like it will be a total “shootout,” both teams boast incredibly high powered offenses, while holding exceedingly average defenses. I fully expect both quarterbacks to take advantage of the holes in the defenses and I am eager to see an incredibly high scoring game. The story of this offseason was the “deflategate” scandal that involved the altering of game equipment by the New England Patriots, while it has been widely accepted that the Pats are guilty of cheating, a court order has rescinded the suspension that was once given to Tom Brady. With the “new life” given to Brady by the courts, I expect him to play the greatest game of his career tonight, and to throw for at least four touchdowns. I am going to make one of my not so accurate predictions for tonight’s game, I believe the Steelers will win this one in a high scoring thriller by the score of 38 – 31. Tom Brady will have a big game, but defense will be the downfall of the Patriots, as I just don’t think they will be able to keep up with the speed of Antonio Brown. I am very excited for the start of this NFL season, with game one being mere hours away, it is looking like we are going to be in for an enjoyable couple of football filled months.
Dope was an interesting movie to say the least. I went into the theatre expecting to see a slightly cheesy comedy, but I was met by an interesting drama with some surprising social commentary. This film follows a young African American boy named Malcolm as he navigates life as an intelligent young man in the “hood.” Malcolm is faced with many trials and circumstances that are uncommon to an average high schooler, but he manages to use his intelligence to his benefit and get the best out of his environment without compromising himself. The writing in this film was brilliant, with enough humor mixed into the story to keep me laughing, but not so much that it detracted from the serious issues of the drama. The story flowed seamlessly and the characters in the film were all connected in unique ways that kept each scenario interesting and relevant. This movie had a very satisfying ending, and while some elements were slightly outlandish, the film asked serious questions about our country and how we view culture. This movie had quite a bit of vulgarity, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under 18, but it was definitely well written, and perfect if you want to watch a thought provoking narrative of the life of the youth of America.
Every once in a while I like to think about how I met the people I consider friends and acquaintances. William Butler Yeats, a famous Irish poet, once wrote, “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met,” I love that quote because it perfectly represents any relationship before an acquaintance is made. I met a few interesting people this weekend, and as I sit and reminisce about the fun times I shared with my new friends, I am brought to the memory of first running into these “strangers.” I have blogged before about first impressions and their importance, but during everyday outings little attention is generally given to first impressions. Most people notice small things about others wherever they go, but overall I don’t believe people are always putting their best foot forward at every landing. A routine trip to the supermarket doesn’t often lead to meeting people but a simple conversation in any setting can trump a first impression. The most important step in meeting anyone is speaking to or interacting with the person, there doesn’t even need to be a formal introduction since, I honestly think that is a waste of time, but anything can turn into a lifelong relationship. It is too often an occurrence that people allow their own biases and preconceived notions to have control over their interactions with others, and many friendships never begin because of these cases. The best way to meet people and make friends is to converse, you may not become friends with everyone, but you will surely never miss out on some great conversations.
Today is the running of the Belmont Stakes, it is the third race in a series of big horse racing events. This year’s event is special due to the fact that there will be a horse that is running in hopes of winning the triple crown. The triple crown is a feat that is accomplished by a horse who can successfully place first in each of the three races in the series. The winner of the previous two races, American Pharoah, looks to be the 12th horse to take home the triple crown in the long history of the sport. American Pharoah is a spunky horse, with a purposely misspelled name, and an absurd amount of energy, the most notable thing about this horse is how he never seems to get a great jump at the start, but he still ends up in first place. Over the past couple of years, there have been many attempts to win the triple crown, by many fast and well bred horses, but nobody has managed to bring home that title since 1978. I would love to see a triple crown winner in my lifetime, but unfortunately I don’t think American Pharoah will be able to overcome a poor start in this race and find a way to win.
Over the past weekend two major events took place in entertainment, both were drenched in an unbelievable amount of publicity, and both events received plenty of criticism for not living up to the hype. The two events I am referring two are “The Fight of the Century: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao,” and the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. I feel as though many people today are actually more interested in the publicity value of an event than the actual event, and this was shown perfectly by the amount of non boxing fans willing to spend 100 dollars to watch a sport in which they have no interest. Many people were upset with the lack of “action” in the boxing match, many people tuned in expecting to see Rocky 6, but were upset with the tactical nature of the match. I have watched many Mayweather fights, and he fought the same way he always does, he was never much of a puncher, and he eludes as many punches as he can. This boxing match was classic Mayweather, I feel as though the individuals who were disappointed in the match were just betrayed by the hype. The new Avengers movie had the same issue as the fight, many were unhappy with the action of the movie after all of the build up. I understand the poor reviews of the Avengers film since the last one was extremely action packed, but given the amount of characters they had to introduce, it would’ve been too hard to make the movie more action packed without splitting it into two films. I enjoyed both the boxing match and the film that was released this weekend, and while I respect the opinions of others, I think people need to taper their expectations and not give into the hype so easily. Hype is a machine used to get people excited for events, but it is ultimately the individual that must decide whether the event is worth their time and money.
At the end of this week, Marvel will be releasing their newest film to the United States. Avengers: Age of Ultron is the newest superhero team movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and early reviews have stated it lives up to the hype nicely. I was never the biggest comic book reader, but I was always intrigued by superheroes, and I love seeing any kind of literature brought to life on the “big screen.” Marvel and Disney have found a way to legitimize the comic book movie world by creating a central universe in which all of the characters from several different comics exist concurrently. In this Marvel Cinematic Universe, characters and elements of comic books interact seamlessly on the screen, effectively bringing life to the pictures from the childhood comics of many. The films based in the Marvel universe are usually written beautifully and often use ingenious methods to explain how it is possible for certain heroes to coexist. I love watching films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I am eagerly anticipating this week’s release as well as the next phase of marvel movies. Marvel is looking to monopolize the comic book movie world with their abundance of excellent titles, and I as a fan am nothing but excited for the future of these films.
I have to begin by stating how excited I am about my Duke Blue Devils winning the Men’s Basketball National Championship, not only did they win, but they won with the exact score that I predicted in yesterday’s post. Congratulations Blue Devils, let’s make it two years in a row!
Today I decided to visit the New York International Car Show, it is a showcase of some of the auto industry’s most magnificent works. I am generally not a car person, but this show got me pretty excited for next year’s vehicles. The international car show is like a zoo for cars and a playground for grown men, as we get to sit in and play with vehicles we dream about owning, or plan to buy someday. I had some favorites in the show, but of all of the makes available, I was most interested in seeing next year’s edition of the Audis. I love the engineering and style of Audi vehicles, but seeing the showcase of brilliant automotive technology today has me questioning my prime choice of vehicle. I stated earlier that I am not a car person so rather that trying to describe the cars I saw, I will leave you with a few photos of my favorite cars from the event.
Today is a big day in sports, while the Major League Baseball season started yesterday with the Cardinals taking on the Cubs, today all other teams get a chance to play. My impressions of yesterday’s game were mostly positive as I love that baseball is back, but it seems like the Cubs just can’t shake their losing ways. The Cubs were shutout yesterday in this seasons inaugural game, and it is starting to look like all of the big changes they made in the offseason won’t help them win a championship this year. The Cubs have not won a championship since 1908, and while I would love to see this “curse” broken, the team needs to believe they can win before they start winning. I know there has only been one game, so I will hold further judgment until at least June, the Cubs will have plenty of time to figure things out before I chide their performance. The team I am most excited for this year, is the New York Yankees, the Yankees have been struggling the past few years, but barring any major injuries, I feel they may have a chance make the playoffs this year. All baseball fans have a strong opinion of the Yankees, and given the fact that the team is very old, the haters have been quite loud in their opposition. I am optimistic this year because the team is extremely talented, and as long as they stay healthy, the Yankees will be a formidable opponent to any team in the MLB.
The last event going on today that will round out this full day of sports is the college basketball championship game, The two teams who have made it to the final game are the Wisconsin Badgers, and the Duke Blue Devils. I have been extremely vocal in my support for Kentucky as they were the most talented team in the tournament, but Wisconsin found a way to defeat them in the Final Four. I really like the Wisconsin team, but I am a Duke fan and I will roll with the Blue Devils, the score of the game tonight will be 68 – 63 with Duke winning the championship. I hope all of the events going on today are enjoyable, and I hope every sports fan out there enjoys the action today.