Monday Night Football with Peyton & Eli Was a Beautiful Mess

A somewhat unusual topic for this blog, though it does feature football to some degree. What’s under the microscope for this piece is not so much football itself, but the way it was covered. Specifically, a unique broadcast alternative that started this year, where former star quarterbacks (and brothers) Peyton and Eli Manning watch a game and commentate while doing so.

I don’t recall where I saw this (probably ProFootballTalk), but this “MNF with Peyton & Eli” block was described as something of a more relaxed viewing alternative to the standard broadcast. Like sitting in a bar and watching with your buddies, so to speak. I was intrigued, to be sure, as the normal situation revolves around a two to three person team talking over football in a professional manner and, debatably, with little personality.

Peyton & Eli did end up being somewhat of a more unkempt flavor of football commentary. What it also did was completely trust the Manning brothers with what I assume to be near-complete creative freedom with how the show was conducted. This assumption gave birth to the first episode of a series I both hope continues forever and gets cancelled tomorrow.

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Top 10 Favorite Yu-Gi-Oh Card Artworks

Like many youngsters in the early 2000’s, I was quite fond of this new card-game phenomenon by the name of Yu-Gi-Oh. Complete with super-censored anime adaptation airing at the time, my interest peaked pretty early, only to slowly dwindle as the different generations rolled around (mid-way through GX for me, personally). Still, if there was one thing I could harbor a deep affection for, it was the super rad artistic aesthetic of the collectible cards.

Yes, I was one of those people who would collect the cards to stare at the cool artwork and not actually play the game.

A random urge recently came over me to re-visit some of those old artworks that titillated my younger mind. In time, that urge to simply view transformed into an urge to rank, to assert my opinion in a structured fashion that speaks to me on a spiritual level. Now, here we are; these are my favorite Yu-Gi-Oh card artworks, based solely on how rad I think they are.

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Top 10 Games I’m Looking Forward to After E3 2021

I truly missed E3. After being cancelled last year, 2021 returned with all the lovely game announcements and surprise reveals that I once cherished as a gaming connoisseur. While my tastes and standards have shifted since 2019, I still viewed the Wholesome Direct, Xbox/Bethesda Showcase, and Nintendo Direct in full, and otherwise kept a pulse on the E3 “hype train” on social media.

So many games… I can barely keep my head on straight (not that I could before). Now that most of the celebration is done and gone, what’s there to look forward to? What games am I, specifically, foaming at the mouth to get my hands on? These are the ten games that I’m most looking forward to post E3 2021.

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Actually, Mortal Kombat’s Direction Is Fine; I’m Just a Nostalgia-Bound Cynic

Back in January of 2019 B.C. (Before COVID), I made a post chronicling my history with Mortal Kombat and how its current direction left me uninterested. Now two and a half years later, with Mortal Kombat 11 released with multiple DLC packages and a new film recently released, I’ve kind of fallen back into the Mortal Kombat vibe. Not enough to play any of the newer games, but to the point where I’m willing to give these new entries the benefit of the doubt. After all, I’m been trying to rid myself of the nostalgia goggles that have been strapped to my face for several years.

The intention of this post is simply that of revision—to update the thoughts I had previously stated and basically dab on my younger, likely more cynical self. For those who were here for the first post, welcome back! To those who weren’t, please feel free to give the link to said article above a click and get familiar with the structure of the post. This will basically be mirroring that, only with a “before and after” style of rebuttal.

Continue reading “Actually, Mortal Kombat’s Direction Is Fine; I’m Just a Nostalgia-Bound Cynic”

Ranking The Oscars 2021 Best Picture Candidates (+ Some Extras)

Something nice happened this year. Due to the graciousness of a dear friend of mine, I was able to watch every film nominated for Best Picture this year. That marks the first time in this blog’s far-too-long history that I managed to do so, despite my best efforts (being frugal can be limiting). As such, expect a much longer ranking post this year, as I also managed to squeeze in a couple extra films nominated for other awards I’d like to discuss.

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Replaying 16 Hours of Pokémon SoulSilver Just Made Me Want to Replay Pokémon Silver

“Modern” (relative term) Pokémon games and I have a bit of a rocky history. Raised and conscious in the era of Pokémania, I’ve been raised into an expectation of what a Pokémon game is and how it should play. Scrumptious RPG elements combined with catching and raising a variety of creatures used for battle and, eventually, other activities.

In the years since I became a teenager and eventually an adult, Pokémon has constantly evolved (ha) into something more and more aimed at accessibility than anything else, which I’m not totally fond of. Such disdain spurs me to continuously replay older games to suit my preferences, lonely and tedious as that has become.

Recently, I’ve begun replaying various Pokémon games in order to ascertain their quality given my current mindset, which is more tolerant of the inevitability of change. Of late, I’ve found that Pokémon Platinum is pretty great (still need to finish it to be sure) and Pokémons FireRed/LeafGreen are not as great as I once believed them to be. The latest of my revisit tour comes in the form of Pokémon SoulSilver/HeartGold, which many consider the definitive version of Pokémon‘s second generation. Do I agree? Well, the article title gives a hint, but first, some history:

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Updated Thoughts on Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi (Ft. Sexism)

Lately, I’ve been re-watching a lot of anime from back in my “heyday.” The times where anime was all the rage in my impressionable mind and no amount of sexual fan service could have me drop a title. Those were the days… Nearly eight years later, I’ve come around to Ookami-san, a series I affectionately referred to as “kind of looks like Toradora, I guess” in my “Anime Due for a Re-watch” list on my MAL profile. With such high expectations (originally given a 6/10), how does it fare now that I’m older, wiser, and (hopefully) more tolerant?

I dropped it after five episodes. Tolerance ended up working against it.

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Top 10 Favorite Pokémon (2020 Redux)

top 10 pokemon redux cover

For a long while, I found myself doubting my capacity to enjoy Pokémon in a modern setting. Hand-holding aplenty, huge emphasis on EPIC legendary encounters and storylines, and the constant attempts at gripping nostalgia for maximum profit has made me wary of the current direction of the franchise. Even so, after playing Shield for myself, I had a good time, and have even come to terms with thinking it better than games prior (a controversial opinion I may expand on at a later date). I still adore the franchise and how it helped shape my gaming youth, and with a resurgent vitality, I began to ponder that list I made in 2016. It could use a bit of a touch-up. Continue reading “Top 10 Favorite Pokémon (2020 Redux)”