Why The Vikings Should NOT Start Keenum Going Forward

Allow me to preface my statement by saying this: I like Case Keenum. I’ve been a fan of his since he was slinging touchdowns left and right at the University of Houston. He came from an era in which quarterbacks like Colt Brennan, Graham Harrell, Dan LeFevour, and Kellen Moore were putting up, as the phrase goes, “video game” type of stats on a regular basis. All of them are among the all-time leaders in career touchdowns in college football history, but Keenum is still the NCAA all-time leader for most career touchdowns, passing yards, and completions.

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As he transitioned into the NFL, he surpassed the long odds and achieved some success despite going undrafted and now playing for his 3rd NFL team. He stepped in for a Houston Texans team that was near the end of the Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub era and provided a spark for a team that was once thought of being a good quarterback away from becoming a championship contending team – including throwing for 3 TDs in the first half of a game vs. the Colts and finishing with 350 passing yards.

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However, the Texans didn’t view him as their future signal-caller (since his record as a starter was 0-8) and long story short, let him walk to the St. Louis Rams (while swapping him back and forth for a season). In limited action after replacing an underperforming Nick Foles, he finished his first season with the Rams totaling 4 TDs and 1 INT, but the only thing most people remember about this season in regards to Keenum is the concussion he sustained during a game at the Ravens and was questionably allowed to stay in the game (fumbling the game away shortly thereafter). After a rough start to the following season with 9 TDs and 11 INTs (the first as the L.A. Rams), he was benched for rookie QB Jared Goff, who was the first overall pick of the previous NFL Draft.

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Since he became expendable to the Rams, he left Los Angeles and decided to compete with Taylor Heinicke for the backup job in Minnesota behind starter Sam Bradford. After playing spectacularly in the preseason and winning the backup job until Teddy Bridgewater’s return (more on that later), he was forced to step into action week 2 with Bradford experiencing knee pain and soreness. For the most part, he has played better than most have expected. As of right now, he has 5 TDs and 1 INT while leading the Vikings to a 3-2 record if you count the game he played at the Chicago Bears.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers

Having said that, I’m not ready to jump on the Keenum bandwagon that most in the sports media world seem to be doing. Most point out how the team is rallying behind him right now and that his mobility helps out the Vikings’ offense in a way that Bradford obviously cannot do. It isn’t that their viewpoint is wrong, because it is true to an extent, but please do not fall for what the situation appears to be.

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When looking at the teams he has played against, only two of them have a competent defense (Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions) and did not perform well in either game – both of the Vikings’ losses. In those losses, the Vikings have averaged 8 points-per-game. If you take a look at his skill-set, he is essentially a rich man’s version of what the Vikings were hoping to get when they drafted Christian Ponder with the 12th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. I like to call Keenum the definition of an NFL QB “tweener.” By that, I mean that he is a great, quality backup QB for an NFL team, but is not the type of guy a team would like to start over a long stretch of games. The media keeps making a big deal about his lack of turnovers, but they must not be watching all of the games since he has gone multiple games, including the most recent game vs. the Green Bay Packers, having thrown numerous dropped interceptions. This is where the lack of tough competition comes into play. He also couldn’t make a play almost the entire 2nd half at home against the Lions when the team needed a play – especially in the 4th quarter.

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Think about it: Keenum is the 3rd best QB on the Vikings’ roster. Obviously Sam Bradford’s injury is worse than the Vikings have been leading the public to believe. I’m not accusing anyone of lying or not doing their job, but the reality is that Bradford might not be back this season. Conversely, Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings’ 1st round pick from 2014, is finally practicing for the first time since August 2016. As a close friend and fellow Vikings’ fan recently told me, the best plan of action for the Vikings (if Bradford cannot return from injury) is having Bridgewater continue to get first team reps in practice and be inactive this upcoming weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, then serving as the #2 QB the following game against the Cleveland Browns (since both teams are not exactly the toughest opponents on our schedule), and finally having him take over the starting job after the bye week at the Washington Redskins.

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Things could obviously go much different as it usually does in the NFL on a week-to-week basis. The best thing that could happen for the Vikings is having Sam Bradford fully recovered from his injury since he is the most talented passer of the three (although Bridgewater has the most potential), but it should be interesting to see how it all unfolds. If the Vikings do decide to stick with Keenum for the remainder of the season as the starter, no amount of mobility (which has also been talked about and praised way too much) or team spirit will turn him into a savior and, ultimately, save him from facing the tougher teams remaining on our schedule, such as the Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers. Like I said at the beginning, I like Keenum’s ability, so I hope that he continues to find success and does whatever is necessary for the Vikings to continue to win games. I’m just not sure that continuing to start him will be the solution. 

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Reflecting on my Collegiate Career

It seems like only yesterday when I walked on stage in my black gown and shook hands with my school’s chancellor. I finally did it. I accomplished the one thing that I never thought I would be able to complete: gaining my bachelor’s degree. There were plenty of times, even right up towards the end, when I was close to falling off track and dimming that light at the end of the tunnel. To this day, I’m still not sure how I made it. Maybe I’m underestimating myself. I’m sure some luck was probably involved as well – perhaps from that certain someone upstairs. Either way, I came out on the other side in one piece and with a new, important piece of paper. The classic Hollywood ending . . . sounds like a great story, right? Well, that wasn’t the beginning and, in fact, this isn’t the end.

I began my college career in a bit of confusion. I spent my first collegiate semester at a small community and technical college near my hometown (I was supposed to go to a different community college, but that’s a long story meant for another day). I thought that things wouldn’t change much since I would be still near home and actually still living at home. Well, no matter how much I wanted to believe that, I knew deep down that nothing was still the same. Life around me at home was moving on with or without me, so after a long and isolated semester in a school that had very few students actually attending there for their generals, I decided to jump ship and go to the place I probably should have gone to from the start: a different, bigger community college that my best friend was attending.

This time was different, and by different, I mean the good kind. It was and always is good to be home with my family, but I needed a change and they would be the first to tell you that. This time I was going to school an hour away from home and living with my best friend and a few other friends from high school and previous sports teams. Hanging out with them are some of my favorite memories even up to this day. The combination of friendly, familiar faces in a new environment with new friendly faces was perfect for me. I not only got to see some friends from high school, but I also got to befriend some new people that, to this day, I’m still glad I was able to meet – and in some cases, still communicate with.

After a fun, yet successful spring semester, I returned to that same community college the following school year, but unfortunately, my roommates were all a year ahead of me and were either no longer attending the school or living near campus. That meant that I lived at home and drove to class from there. It made traveling to work (workstudy at the computer commons) a little more challenging – particularly on days with bad weather – and I added onto it even more when I was cast in a community theatre production, Jack the Ripper: Monster of Whitechapel. That was also a great experience with incredibly talented individuals surrounding me.

Once my first two years were expired, I had to make a big decision regarding my future. The first decision was choosing a university to attend and the second was deciding on a major. Up to that point, I had been so focused on my generals that I hadn’t really thought much about picking one specific major. In my last few months at that community college, a few of my English teachers saw how well I was doing in those classes and talked me into being an English major, so I was aided in that decision, but deciding on a new school was not as simple.

I looked at a few schools that interested me and, more specifically, the English programs they offered. I concluded that a private school in the twin cities was the best fit for me and my academic strengths. That was the plan all the way up until a week or two before moving in when it was ultimately decided that, financially speaking, it would not work out.

That left me in a frenzy about what to do. My backup plan, UMM, was one of my next options and the school my sister was attending was another option. It didn’t take me long to discover that my backup school from the beginning – the school I was close to picking in the first place – was the right option and I have never been more right about anything in my life. Sure, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but it was a great environment for me and I made some amazing new friends (one I lived with and still talk to almost daily).

The environment was friendly and once again, I was surrounded by a few familiar faces and some wonderful new faces. Plus, it wasn’t too far of a drive for me to go home for a weekend. Of course, I can’t leave out the fact that I met the most amazing and important person in my life only a few weeks into fall semester. If you, the amazing and important person previously mentioned, are reading this, you definitely know who you are – although most people that know me probably already know who that person is, so I’m not sure why I’m wording it like it is some big revelation. Anyways, yes, I met some great colleagues, classmates, professors, and co-workers – particularly the librarians that I worked for. They are fantastic people that are incredibly good at their job. It was and is always a joy to see them.

In regards to my major, if I am being completely honest, it was a little bit of a mixed bag. The reason why I didn’t initially attend UMM was that I felt like my skills within the discipline of humanities and, more specifically, English, didn’t quite align with what their program offered. My strengths were and still are with creative writing. The program was more literature-based and exposed me to completely new territory. I had to learn a lot of information on the fly because, quite honestly, I was not ready or prepared for it.

In hindsight, it was probably the best thing for me to grow, academically speaking. It made me learn the fundamentals and basics of English and gave me a more well-rounded approach and mindset towards it that I could apply to other subjects and facets of life. I will also admit that I struggled with symptoms of depression and anxiety as my time there went on (I’m not the most outgoing person anyways) – thank goodness that amazing person was there with me! If I am also being honest, if the opportunity came before me to go back and redo it all over again, I think I might pick a different major. It isn’t because of any deficiencies I have with English, but rather because I had a good experience with an upper-level CMR (communication, media, and rhetoric) class. I found that class to be very intriguing and engaging while also earning a better grade in that class than I did in my English class at that time. In the end, I would probably pick that major just because I already experienced the English program and would want to try something different.

My last semester at UMM was bonkers. I took all English classes (something I never did before) that included my senior seminar course. I’m pretty sure I ended up with over 25 books in total to read for the semester. On top of that, I was still trying to hang out with friends and family back home here and there while also dealing with some personal stuff. I was forced to sacrifice some things in order to achieve success with my insane schedule – which included stepping down from writing for Odyssey. This was all happening while I was supposed to be figuring out what I was going to do with my life after college and also find a way to make monthly payments on the car I had bought in the winter. It got to a point where I actually spent some time with a guidance counselor that I basically became friends with more than anything, but it was still helpful nonetheless. It actually reminded me of the guidance counselor I used to see in high school and both scenarios were beneficial to me.

Finally, finals were over and it was basically a waiting game. My grades turned out to be not-so-horrible and I made it to commencement. That was a strange day for me. I know it is almost cliché to say it was surreal, but it really felt like that. It felt like it was a culmination of my college career and that it was meant to be. It also felt like it wasn’t quite the end of my college career (more on that a little later). All in all, it was a great day, but also a bittersweet one. For the ceremony, I sat next to two of my roommates that were also graduating with me. That is the last day I have seen both of them as of the moment this is being written. They are both really good friends of mine and I was lucky enough to have roomed with them for my senior year.

What also made it bittersweet was that it was the end of that chapter in my life. I would never live there again on campus and stay up late working on homework with my girlfriend. It might have been the last time I might ever see some of the people I was graduating with. Everything did work out great in how it all concluded, but that didn’t make it any easier. I remember being in my on-campus apartment with my younger brother and he told me he was going to wait in the car while we both waited for me to be officially checked out of the on-campus apartment. The lady came, checked me out, and after I took a moment to sit on the couch and let it all sink in, I walked to the door, turned back and saw all of the memories one last time, and then left for home with my younger brother no longer a college student.

Well, that isn’t entirely true. See, shortly after my last semester began, I was informed that I would be one course short of getting my degree due to an error with the website that showed me my graduation progress. Thankfully, it was in my major and after discussing it with the professor I had the most success with, I took not one, but two summer courses via email. I chose to do that because it would delay the grace period for loan repayment and bought me some time to figure out my next move. This is the first time I have mentioned it to just about everyone because at first I felt embarrassed about it. I bet my manager at the hotel I currently work for would be shocked to hear that I worked full-time while taking two heavily reading-intensive courses at the same time (he truly is an incredible boss, by the way). After that was completed, it was truly the end of my college career and yet time for another big change in my life.

So you are probably wondering by now what I am doing with my life. Well, a few weeks before commencement I made contact with one of my former editors at Odyssey. He invited me to join the entertainment website he is a staff member of called The Pop-Break. I instantly hopped on that opportunity and it has been a blast writing for them as a contributing writer. I’m still working at home for the hotel I’ve been working part-time / seasonal at while attending UMM (now it’s been more like full-time). I have also been spending some of my free time working on projects that I have wanted to work on for a long time, but hadn’t been able to due to time and / or resources, like tribute videos for my YouTube channel and, of course, writing. Am I still getting constantly asked if I have applied for a “better” job yet? I would be lying if I said no, but I understand and agree with their point-of-view. It is time to be a full-fledged adult, I suppose. It is just a matter of finding the right opportunity and putting myself in the best position for what I would like to do.

I actually still visit my former campus sometimes to see my girlfriend and connect with a few friends that still attend there. I think the weirdest part about graduating wasn’t the actual ceremony, but instead moving my girlfriend back into college for fall semester and then driving home afterwards. She is in her senior year (which is so weird to think about) and, while it has been tough being apart, we are adjusting and making it work. We’re regulars at this dating stuff since we’ve been together for three years now (with many, many more to come).

I guess that brings this collegiate-inspired narrative arc full circle. Wow, that was a slippery sentence. In a way, that kind of defines my college experience. There were a lot of changes and difficult times – some of which I purposely chose not to mention for personal reasons – but in the end, I pulled it all together and made it up the mountain. Some of the most important information that I learned actually wasn’t in the classroom, but rather how that material can help me improve my skills for a future career, how to be an adult, and how to live life in the real world. I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by great people everywhere I have been and it makes me ponder what lies ahead for me in the future.

If I have one message to leave here for current or upcoming college students, it would be this: have fun and enjoy college for what it is worth, but do not forget why you are there and make the most of it; make it count and become the person you wish to be. If you do finish and are still working on the next step, that’s okay. I’m still trying to figure this thing out as well.

Thanks for reading! If you’re interested, check out my other recent content here on my WordPress site.

13 Reasons Why: Season 1 Review

Some television shows exist to provide comedy, while some others exist to provide action and entertainment. Left hiding in the shadows are a select few that have a strong message and purpose, such as 13 Reasons Why. This wildly popular Netflix-original show (produced by Selena Gomez) is one that leaves its mark on viewers and is created with such fervor that it rivals other top shows.

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The premise of the show revolves around high school sophomore / junior Clay Jensen discovering a set of tapes on his doorstep addressed to him. He is in for a surprise when he finds out that they were made by his classmate, co-worker, and friend, Hannah Baker, just before committing suicide. Each tape is about a specific person that is, in a way, responsible for Baker’s death and is filled with instructions and information related to that event. As Jensen starts listening to the tapes, he recognizes that others have listened to them before he had (each person passes the tapes along to the next person in the order of who is featured on which tape). Unfortunately for Jensen, the others do not want this information getting out and will do whatever is necessary to keep Jensen quiet.

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My favorite part of this 13-episode arc is the way in which it is written and directed. Every episode is sharp with transitions, misdirections, and misdirections of misdirections. The depth within the dialogue and what / who is in the shot reveals not just what is being spoken, but also conveys that information to what or who is being shown. Plus, the interweaving narrative of Baker’s retelling on the tapes combined with Jensen hearing the tapes in the present day is handled extremely well. The lighting in the past utilizes warmer colors while the present features darker illumination to further demonstrate the different feelings of before and after the death of Baker. It is not something new, but works well in the context of how it is used.

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The characters in 13 Reasons Why are, thankfully, not clichéd or stereotyped. They are unique in their own ways and are all well-developed. You know the writing is tremendous when we feel for a character that most probably could not stand in previous episodes. The entire purpose of the show is to demonstrate that every person is going through or dealing with something in their lives. The writers take the time in every episode to explore the different characters associated with Baker’s life. One might state that it might be a little too convenient for the plot to explore characterization through the tapes, but it is done in a way that ups the suspense and mystery – which makes the viewer want to know more, so in my mind it furthers the plot in an engaging way.

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There is no way to avoid the potential danger that accompanies this show. I realize that every episode begins with the warning and encourages troubled individuals to reach out, but with a television show that is centered on a likable female protagonist that puts so much thought into committing suicide and making tapes for those responsible to listen to afterwards, it could encourage those watching that are troubled to make a bad decision. I hope the show helps those in need to discover that suicide is never the right option and there is always a way through the dark times.

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There are also some dark, graphic, and violent moments peppered throughout the show that might not be best suited for the faint-of-heart. It is powerful, but could be too much for some to handle. As they say: viewer discretion is advised.

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At the end of the day, 13 Reasons Why is not only top-notch, but incredibly important due to the subject matter. While at first I was not sure how a TV-MA rating would coincide with a show based on a novel targeted for high school kids, it is clear that it is handled in the best way it possibly could. The acting is almost always on-point and combination of direction and writing is nearly masterful. I cannot wait for what the next season will unveil.

Grade: A

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13 Reasons Why features creator Brian Yorkey based on the novel by Jay Asher. The series entails directors Gregg Arraki, Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Carl Franklin, Tom McCarthy, Helen Shaver, and Jessica Yu and writers Nic Sheff, Thomas Higgins, Elizabeth Benjamin, Diana Son, Nathan Jackson, Nathan Louis Jackson, Kirk A. Moore, and Hayley Tyler. The show stars Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, and Miles Heizer. 13 Reasons Why is produced by July Moon Productions, Kicked to the Curb Productions, Anonymous Content, and Paramount Television. Season 2 is expected to arrive on Netflix in 2018.

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Did Tom Welling Just Tease His Next Film Project?

Some might remember Tom Welling as Charlie Baker from the Steve Martin-led film, Cheaper By the Dozen, but most probably remember Welling’s portrayal of Clark Kent / Superman from the hit WB and CW series, Smallville. After the show’s 10-season run ended in 2011, he has only appeared in a handful of projects, including Parkland, Draft Day, and The Choice.
After The Choice debuted in February 2016, things have been mostly silent for Welling minus his St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital t-shirt campaign. He hasn’t been announced to be involved with any other projects for the past 17 months, but now we may have an indication of a new project he may appear in – with Welling’s Instagram as the direct source.
On July 7th, Welling posted the following picture onto Instagram (which has been screenshotted from an iPhone).

TW
As you can see, he wrote “Back on set,” which is obviously a strong indication that he is filming something, but there is always a chance he might not be. As for what that project could be, your guess is as good as mine. I’m just happy that he might be involved with a new project. Let’s hope this is the beginning of his true comeback; he’s too talented of an actor not to.
Update: It has been brought to my attention that this picture is actually about Welling promoting Saddle Club with his girlfriend, Jessica Rose Lee. Sorry for the misinterpretation. It looks like we will have to wait longer to hear about any other potential projects. 

“Riverdale” Season 1 Review

This critically-acclaimed CW series, based upon characters from Archie Comics and currently available for streaming on Netflix, has some awesome, multi-dimensional, and relatable characters (and actors portraying those characters), intriguing murder-mystery moments, fun Easter eggs and references (hint, hint, DC Rebirth), and a refreshing tone and take on this type of source material. This will be a non-spoiler review, but a few very minor spoilers may appear. The basic, end-all, be-all question I set out to answer by the end of this review is the following: is “Riverdale” a good show that I can recommend to others?

When I first saw promotional material for the pilot, I was immediately intrigued by the plot and tone that the show was going for. “Riverdale” turns the opportunity for a stereotypical high school drama into a fun, dark, and wacky murder-mystery with a high school template. The plot of the pilot, which sets up the entire season, begins with high school reject, Jugghead Jones (Cole Sprouse), narrating the story he is writing about all the events happening in the small town of Riverdale, which happens to be the content of each episode. The opening finds a high school girl named Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) located on a rock next to Sweetwater River with a distraught look on her face. It is revealed that her brother, high school football star, Jason Blossom, has been found murdered and the investigation begins.

One thing this show nails is characterization. The show revolves around a small group of attractive, yet real and believable high school kids. Football star and up-and-coming musician, Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), appears to be the focal character of the show. He might appear to be the perfect “boy next door” type of character, but he is written in a way that makes him much more flawed and relatable. His best friend, Jugghead, might be the best character on the show. The constant turmoil that his character deals with and continues to rise above is something admirable and inspirational in a sense. The “girl next door” to Archie is Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart). She is another character that masterfully avoids being a stereotype. She has her own issues to deal with at home that complicate her life. Her best friend and new girl in town, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), is probably a fan favorite. She has charisma and charm, but despite her rich family and endless talents, she gets caught up in the heart of the story.

One aspect of the show that has surprised me is the critique of parenting. All of the parent/guardian figures have decent intentions at heart, but don’t always live up to expectations. Veronica lives with her mother, Hermione Lodge (Marisol Nichols), in which it is revealed that Hermione is not a completely innocent parent (Veronica’s father is in jail, so I suppose he isn’t innocent, either). Betty’s parents, Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) and Hal Cooper (Lochlyn Munro), are control freaks and believe in discipline and perfection, which obviously leads to conflict with Betty and others. Cheryl’s parents, Penelope Blossom (Nathalie Boltt) and Clifford Blossom (Barclay Hope), run a $1 million syrup company and are probably the most problematic of the parents on the show. For two people that recently lost a son, they still seem quite cold and suspicious to viewers. The most unsuspicious and well-hearted parent is actually Archie’s father, Fred Andrews (Luke Perry). We do get to meet his mother, Mary Andrews (Molly Ringwald), but Fred is the parent that everyone wishes they had. He is the heart of all that is good in Riverdale, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be human, either. The plot seems to hammer home the idea that too much power and control can lead to chaos (like strict parenting, for example), but chaos has already become a staple for the town of Riverdale – which is fascinating as a viewer.

When the plot takes a break from the murder investigation and slows down, there are some great musical moments. Following not just Archie’s storyline involving music, but also a band named The Pussycats are excellent and fit the show perfectly. Obviously the song lyrics are meant to subtly reflect and reveal the feelings of the character singing, but the music itself has great replay value – even outside the show. It’s not only that the musical scenes have good music, but it furthers the plot of the episode and adds to it tremendously. This is one area of the show that I cannot wait to see expand with the characters and the plot.

Riverdale main cast

Every television show or movie has pros and cons to them, and “Riverdale” is no different. Don’t get me wrong, I like high school shows (including this one), but there is one particular aspect of the show that bugs me a little bit. I cannot understand why the show has an elaborate kissing scene in almost every single episode. Most of them actually work well, but it can feel overdone at times to a point where it takes me out of it and it loses its impact. In addition, certain characters hate each other during one episode, then get along really well the next episode, and then hate each other the episode after that. I find it to be a little odd and somewhat unbelievable. Plus, some of the dialogue doesn’t feel authentic at times, but it never took me out of any particular episode.

I think it’s obvious that there will be some kind of reveal at some point during the season. For me, I didn’t find that specific reveal to be very rewarding or impactful, which negatively impacts the entire murder-mystery subplot throughout the season. All of the build-up, twists, and turns in regards to the murder is actually fascinating and digs up new questions, but how it all concluded feels like somewhat of a letdown – although it is actually filmed really well. In fact, after I initially watched the finale episode, I thought it was a weak ending to such a good show. After taking some time to process it, I’ve actually come to like it quite a bit more, but not entirely. I’ll let you watch and decide for yourself. What I can say is this: the best scene of the entire season is in the season finale.

My only other minor gripe about “Riverdale” is based on the season finale. To me, I feel like I already know exactly what is going to happen in the next season. I like the idea of how they were setting up the next season, but I think they set it up a little too well – although, I have to admit, a particular scene with Archie and Veronica is pure gold.

With everything considered, I think this is a show that I can definitely recommend to potential viewers. The good easily outweighs the bad. The show’s producers, writers, directors, and tech crew (most notably: executive producer, Greg Berlanti, and composer, Blake Neely) have a hit-show on their hands. I think the part I like most about “Riverdale” is that while the first season is a success, the future seasons have so much potential and ability to elevate the show’s quality even more.

 

Grade: B

 

My Ranking of 2016 Superhero Movies

*This is my personal opinion, so if you disagree, that’s completely okay.*

  • Title image credit: Heroic Hollywood

 

There were some good comic-book films that were released this year and some iffy ones, so I’ll share my thoughts on the ones that I have seen. SPOILER ALERT! There will be a few minor spoilers within this piece, so if you haven’t seen a particular movie on this list yet and don’t want to know about it, please come back after you’ve seen it. Everyone good? Those still here – let’s jump right in!

 

 

Deadpool

1) Deadpool – 9/10

Pros:

  • Balance of incredible comedy and heartfelt moments
  • Personality (takes advantage of hard R-rating)
  • Pacing
  • Creativity – low budget and opening credit sequence
  • Villain

Cons:

  • Not long enough

 

 

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2) Captain America: Civil War – 8.5/10

Pros:

  • Airport action sequence
  • Iron Man and Captain America
  • Introduction to Spider-Man and Black Panther
  • Characterization
  • Tone

Cons:

  • No memorable soundtrack
  • Slightly unsatisfying conclusion
  • Villain

 

 

Trinity in action

3) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition) – 8/10

*Theatrical cut – 6.9 or 7/10*

Pros:

  • Epic action
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • Wonder Woman
  • Ben Affleck
  • Cinematography
  • Setting up the DC Universe

Cons:

  • Slightly too dark of a tone
  • Not enough action and interaction between Batman and Superman
  • Africa sequence and storyline
  • A little more heroism and heart
  • Pacing/Editing

 

 

suicide-squad-group-shot

4) Suicide Squad – 6/10

Pros:

  • Deadshot
  • Harley Quinn
  • El Diablo
  • Amanda Waller
  • Batman and Flash cameos

Cons:

  • Messy and stupid plot! Particularly the last half
  • Misuse of Katana’s character
  • Joker (not enough to fully tell yet)
  • Killer Croc
  • Slipknot
  • Rick Flag
  • Forced humor
  • Villain

 

*Haven’t seen X-Men: Apocalypse or Doctor Strange yet.*

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Potential Justice League Storylines

WARNING: There will be spoilers below for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you haven’t seen the film yet and don’t want to have it ruined, come back after you’ve seen it. If you haven’t seen it and don’t care about seeing major plot points, then that’s fine, too, I suppose!

Aquaman

 

Ever since the ballsy ending to BvS, there has been much controversy. It isn’t just about the ending, but that the ending was so unexpected and somber. Well, I guess it shouldn’t be shocking for comic-book fans. One of the highest-selling graphic novels of all-time was called The Death of Superman, in which Doomsday and Superman both die, but then some other events happen (discussed below).

 

Anyway, here are my theories for possible Justice League storylines.

 

Superman's soldiers

#1: Injustice: Gods Among Us

This is most likely going to be a part of the film. It all depends on how much. Essentially, the Injustice storyline is based off of the Joker killing a pregnant Lois Lane, and Superman decides to exercise power in order to end all crime. Batman initially disapproves with Superman, but tensions skyrocket when Superman kills the Joker.

Injustice gods among us.jpg

Also, in the comics, there has been war-like tension between Aquaman’s home down in Atlantis, and Wonder Woman’s humble abode in the Amazon. Batman v Superman writer Chris Terrio was also quoted saying he has done a lot of research for both of these heroes’ homes.

 

 

 

Gal Gadot as WW

#2: Batman and Wonder Woman – Action/Adventure

We learned that Batman and Wonder Woman are going to find the other metahumans discovered in the e-mail file and form a group to serve up some justice. My theory is that they go around to each hero’s city and find them in an effort to help combat the threat Lex warned Bruce of (and the Flash cameo earlier). Maybe things are put into motion a little quicker by a new threat? Is it Superman? Is it the Amazon/Atlantis war? Brainiac? Darkseid?

Batman seeing Darkseid omega symbol

 

 

 

Darkseid holding Superman's head concept art

#3: JL War

This animated movie from 2014 shows a plethora of superheroes eventually coming together to stop the evil force of Darkseid. To make this clear, Darkseid is very similar to Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Darkseid was created FIRST in the comics. This movie shows the origin of Cyborg and Shazam, as well as seeing great banter between Green Lantern, Flash, Batman, and Superman before taking on Darkseid.

Communion

There were many hints to this storyline in BvS. The box that helped create Cyborg (also seen in the deleted scene on YouTube titled “Communion”) is called a motherbox, or the “iPhones” of Darkseid’s home planet named Apocalypse. Also, Darkseid turns Superman evil for a small period of time, which was hinted at in a couple scenes of BvS. Could we see the Justice League teaming up to stop Steppenwolf (Darkseid’s army general in the picture above) from gathering all three motherboxes?

 

 

 

The Death of Superman.jpg

#4: The Death of Superman continuation

Obviously this was a part of the final act of BvS. This comic book (and eventually animated movie) is one of the most iconic of all-time.

Superman black and chrome

In the story, Superman and Doomsday kill each other after a long, hard-fought battle in Metropolis, but Lex takes advantage of this. He made an evil clone of Superman, which the real Superman had to fight against when he came back from the dead by way of his Kryptonian technology. The best part: he came back with an awesome black and chrome suit.

 

 

 

The Flash in BvS.png

#5: Crisis on Infinite Earths

This might be a stretch, but it’s possible. There was a part of the storyline that snuck into BvS. In the storyline, Flash goes back in time (or onto a different Earth for sweaties out there) to warn Batman of the future and that the world is dying.

Crisis on Infinite Earths Flash.jpg

In BvS, Flash arrives through a time portal to tell Bruce: “You were right about him,” and “It’s Lois, Lane Lane! She’s the key!” Although this is more likely to be be a part of either the Flash solo movie in 2018 to bring together the movie and television universe, I think DC wants to keep their TV-shows separate from their movies – especially after that Season 2 finale of The Flash television show.

 

 

Trinity plus Aquaman

The Verdict

Which one of these options is most likely? Well, probably a little bit of every option, but no one really knows. That’s a lie – Zack Snyder, Warner Bros, and the cast of Justice League already know. I’m just extremely enthralled and pumped for a live-action Justice League movie! What do you think will happen in the upcoming DC movies? Let me know!

Superman laughing

AP won’t repeat as rushing champ, but not for the reason you think

Adrian Peterson is obviously one of the best running backs the NFL has ever seen. Having him in our backfield has been wonderful ever since 2007. That being said, he is aging – especially for a position that doesn’t see much success over the age of 30. This guy has to be the one exception, right? Well, the answer is a little more complicated than that. He has a good chance to continue rushing for 1,400 yards for at least 3-4 more seasons, but his physical ability won’t be the reason for not repeating as rushing champ: it’s Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings receivers.

Laquon Treadwell

With the 23rd pick in the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Vikings selected WR Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss. He was a playmaker and will hopefully provide a bigger target for Bridgewater in the redzone with his 6’2″ frame. When you combine Treadwell with the returning trio of receivers (Thielen, Diggs, and Johnson), us Vikings fans can only hope Bridgewater is progressing and preparing to take the next step. If he is making strides and showing signs of becoming a franchise-caliber quarterback, less stress can be put on Peterson to carry the offense on his back. By less stress, that means he will be given a few less carries and perhaps a few less plays on the field since Jerick McKinnon is a more versatile receiver out of the backfield.

Todd Gurley

Recently on NFL.com, there was an article with writers and analysts split between which running back will rush for the most yards this upcoming season. The two backs that are the favorites are Adrian Peterson and popular young Rams running back Todd Gurley. Gurley ran for 1,106 yards while missing three games due to injury. I think Gurley has a better chance to run for more yards since he has a rookie quarterback. The Rams will surely ease their #1 overall selection (QB Jared Goff) into things – which means the Rams will lean heavily on Gurley for offense.

Adrian Peterson

What do you guys think? Do you think AP will win the rushing title again, or do you think Gurley has a better chance of stealing it away from Peterson? Maybe there is another dark-horse candidate that could win? Thanks for reading!

My Favorite Sports Movies

I really enjoy sports. You really enjoy sports. We really enjoy sports. Whether it be watching it on the TV, or playing out in the backyard, sports are inevitably a big part of many people’s lives. Since I love movies, seeing a good sports movie always fulfills a part of me inside. The following is my list (in no particular order) of favorite sports movies.

 

NOTE: This list is one of the most challenging tasks I’ve ever done. There are so many good sports movies out there, so this won’t quite cover them all.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Rudy (1993)

Rudy

Draft Day (2014)

Draft Day

Miracle (2004)

Miracle

 

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

Dodgeball

 

Top 10:

The Replacements (2000)

Replacements

 

 

Major League (1989)

Major League

 

Space Jam (1996)

Space Jam

 

Rocky II (1979)

Rocky 2

 

Happy Gilmore (1996)

Happy Gilmore

 

Remember the Titans (2000)

Remember the Titans

 

 

42 (2013)

42

 

Field of Dreams (1989)

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For Love of the Game (1999)

For Love of the Game.jpg

 

The Waterboy (1998)

Waterboy.jpg

 

Should you buy the Ultimate Edition of BvS?

In 2013 at the San Diego Comic-Con, Hall-H was filled with approximately 6,500 screaming fans dressed in costumes of their favorite heroes and villains. Warner Brothers had a surprise panel that saw Man of Steel director Zack Snyder walk across the stage and eventually announce (with the help of Harry Lennix) that the sequel would be Batman v Superman. Pretty crazy, right?

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

 

Fast forward to March 2016. Your local theater played the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (PG-13), and nationally garnered very mixed reactions and reviews from fans and critics alike. Overall, it has made quite the haul ($860 million worldwide), and has set up a great DC Universe for the big-screen for years to come.

Trinity in action

 

What some people don’t know is that the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the movie in July will have an extended edition with an ADDITIONAL 30 MINUTES of deleted scenes not shown in the theatrical version – putting the film’s runtime at 3 hours and 1 minute. Plus, the ultimate edition will have OVER 2 HOURS of behind-the-scenes footage. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – it’s rated R (sequences of violence).

High def Batfleck

 

That begs the question: should YOU buy the extended/ultimate edition of BvS? Well, it depends if you want to see the movie the filmmakers wanted you to see in the first place. Only mere months before entering movie theaters, the studio and Snyder decided to cut the film down in order to make more money and not detract fans that don’t want to sit through 3 hours of a movie without peeing and missing anything.

Clark looking at comp

 

I’ve already pre-ordered it online, and I’m fascinated by the scenes that are mentioned to be in it. I think it will make the movie better. It should (hopefully) fill in some of the plot holes that critics had problems with and flesh-out the characters and their motivations more. It will also give a hint as for what’s to come in the future movies – like the roles of Jena Malone and Dan Amboyer (which I may already know).

Trinity plus Aquaman

 

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. I’m actually more surprised we didn’t get one with Man of Steel since Zack Snyder is so good at director’s cuts/extended editions. His director’s cut of Watchmen (another R-rated superhero movie from 2009) has actually been received much better than the original theatrical cut.

Batman seeing Darkseid omega symbol

 

If you’re a fan of masterful soundtracks, solid villains, spectacular action and visuals, and thought-provoking subject matter that isn’t just for kids, then you will love this ultimate edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It has possibly the best on-screen Batman, the greatest, most powerful hero of all-time in Superman, and not to forget an incredible Wonder Woman too! At the very least, it’s an entertaining watch. Thanks for reading!