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Memorial Tournament Preview Blog

Since Riggs, Trent, and Frankie have turned their golf positions at Barstool into less blogging and more playing with themselves and selling $50 cases of soda, I decided to take a dull, butter knife stab at a preview blog for this weekend’s Memorial Tournament.
Last Week
Real quick let’s talk about how much we should all hate the PGA after Sunday’s off-air debacle, and then about some questionable feature groups this week. For weather reasons on Sunday, the Workday final round tee times were moved up so players could finish before incoming storms. Great, that all makes sense. But somehow the PGA was not able to broadcast the round on TV, and when they did have to kill the live broadcast, they didn’t even mention where to go watch the rest of the tournament. THERE ARE NO OTHER FUCKING SPORTS ON, WHAT COULD CBS HAVE MADE PRIORITY OVER THIS FINAL ROUND? No seriously, someone please tell me because I would love to know what aired on CBS from 11 am to 3 pm instead of live sports. Can we also talk about how terrible the Thursday/Friday coverage is every weekend on all networks? You usually get 2-4 featured groups you can stream online from 9-3 (even these groups you often need NBC Sports Gold to watch), and then get maybe 3 hours of full coverage in a TV broadcast. There is legitimately a channel called the Golf Channel, who are airing a shitty preview/talk show while you are missing coverage. Here’s a fucking mad idea - put live golf on the golf channel before the major networks get prime coverage.
Then we got a look yesterday at the featured groups for the Memorial. How do you fuck this up? If you are younger than 70 and even sporadically watch golf, you could do this job better than whoever does it for the PGA. Here’s the formula: Brooks Koepka makes a joke about Bryson Dechambeau using steroids one week ago = you put them in the same group. Golf has so little drama because all these guys are friends and making millions of dollars even when they aren’t winning. Fans need these storylines/rivalries to be buffed up, not ignored because they might hurt Bryson's feelings.
This Week
As far as a course preview, we get a strange twist this week with the players coming back to Muirfield, who just hosted the Workday Charity Tournament. I’ve been watching golf for a long ass time and cannot remember the last time this happened, but it’s not a major headline at all so maybe this does happen on occasion. Either way the setup this weekend will look different than last weekend, with much faster greens, thicker rough, and some changes in tee box locations. I think we see some youngeinexperienced players struggle with the change in green speeds, especially since they just played these same greens and they were rolling like carpet (stimpmeter will go from 11 to 13.5). My gut tells me the winner is either a veteran or someone who didn’t play here last week. This would rule out guys like Hovland, Burns, Merritt, Niemann, etc.
Finally, we have to mention that Eldrick Tiger Woods returns to the field this week. I’m looking at his +2000 odds and hate the value because we have no idea where his game is at right now. That being said, Tiger has won the Memorial five times and placed T9 last year, and T23 the year before. I will root for Tiger to win every tournament he enters, but I won’t look at a future for him at these low odds, and for his first post-break golf since The Match.
Now let’s go over wagers this weekend and what you should look for. I am usually not a fan of betting on outright winners, before any golf has been played. The odds always look so good but you will rarely have a profitable year trying to bet winners every week. That being said, here are some of the best value picks IMO.








My pick: once again reiterating I will likely not bet on a Sunday winner before Thursday starts, but if I was I would put my money on Justin Rose +4500 or Xander Schauffele +2500.
Thursday Matchups
Easily the best way to bet on golf, and in my experience the most profitable. Here are a few picks I’ll be making before Thursday. Currently I am 4-2 betting matchups (last 4 PGA events) and I’ll track my picks moving forward. If I get to Jack Mac or Reags level of bad betting, I promise I’ll retire and not pretend I know what I’m talking about. I’m only going to pick matchups in the featured groups for Thursday. Nothing worse than betting on someone like Marc Leishman, and having to refresh the golf cast simulator thing instead of watching live play.
Dechambeau (-115) over Thomas (-105): everything is so planned out and calculated with Bryson, and his sit-out at the Workday feels like a part of his plan. Fucking hate rooting for this kid, but I see him coming in fresh against JT who blew an enormous lead last weekend.
D. Johnson (even) over Morikawa (-120): my favorite first round matchup bet. It seems counter-intuitive going against the guy who won at this course a few days ago, but don’t forget the major change this week will be how the greens roll. And Morikawa is 150th on tour in strokes gained with the putter. Lock it in.
Take a flier - round 1 leader
I don’t think I’ve ever bet this prop but I’ve also never written a golf blog before so let’s take a shot here. I’ll put a half unit on it as well: Rickie Fowler +4000
Rick's finishes at the Memorial the past 3 years: T14, T8, solo 2nd. In 2017 when he placed 2nd, he shot an opening round 66. I also feel like I see him in the mix a lot in early rounds, but can’t quite put together those low weekend rounds.
That’s all I’ve got. Sorry it’s not funny but it’s better content than we’ve gotten out of Foreplay.
Let’s make some money and blow off work Thursday and Friday.
submitted by -elbisreverri- to barstoolsports [link] [comments]

35 Whimsical and Fantastical Taverns and Inns For Your Table

35 Whimsical and Fun Taverns, Bars and Inns For Your Table

EDIT: An excellent official-looking edit has been created by the talented u/natesroomrule. You can find their copy here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_xtqOtSbnULTjo81l0aYhQj7NdmWWi2p/view
A few years ago, I drafted a d100-based table for a variety of interesting and fantasy-themed taverns for my group. While that session ended up falling apart, I completely forgot about the table I created until recently.
Behold! Below, find a variety of silly, interesting high fantasy tavern ideas you can use to populate your worlds to make everything feel a little more fantastic and flavourful.
Note that some taverns assume a particular location or setting, but feel free to re-roll or adjust as need be.
Dropbox Link (.docx format): https://www.dropbox.com/s/ena4hwp0o82qzws/Fantasy%20Inns%20and%20Taverns%20Table%20by%20Tr1lobyte.docx?dl=0

The Table

# Name Description
1-3 The Dancing Imp Once a bar of ill repute, where shady deals and even devil worship took place. The legend goes that once a cunning bard called a devil, tricking him by destroying his sigil and cursing the imp to dance until it perished from exhaustion. Nowadays, it goes that demons have never since been found into the bar due to this old superstition. While the truth of this tale is often in dispute, the bar runs a marathon dancing contest on the first Saturday of every month with the winner taking a "devil's share" of alcohol in winnings.
4-6 The Drunken Unicorn Legends tell that, a long time ago, a unicorn made itself an unwitting patron of this bar. Drinking from a leaky cask of wine set out at the establishment's back door, it had that night crashed through a wall, caused an atrocious ruckus, and ran off after scaring all the patrons. Families whose ancestors were in the bar at the time of the event consider it a badge of fortune, and continue to drink there loyally to this day.
7-9 The Giant’s Foot A dirty bar full of lowlifes and criminals, commonly used for dealings between races such as orcs, goblins and yes, giants. While it's a hive of scum and villainy, where crimes between patrons are met with an uninterested shrug, those who mess with anything within the bar such as stealing glasses are swiftly met with a guard who nails them by the feet upside-down to the wall to rot, until their ankles break off and only their crucified feet remain.
10-12 The Dragon’s Head The giant skeletal head of a dragon hangs over the bar, a trophy of its retired dwarf owner from his years as an accomplished adventurer. The head is enchanted to breathe mists of pipe smoke when given an offering of alcohol.
13-15 The Living Ivy The building, it high roof taller than it is wide a relic of the building's former status as a church, casts a beautiful spotlight across the empty floor. Long thick vines, once a Shambling Mound, crawl up the walls, growing back so fast they're almost impossible to remove. During spring, pilgrims come from far away to witness the vines release magical glowing spores, which it is believed (falsely) are able to cure all manner of ills and ailments.
16-18 The Hungry Beaver Located at the bottom of a valley in a flood-prone region, the bar is set up on long, thick stilts to keep it from getting wet during heavy rains. A set of stairs, often responsible for the broken bones and chipped teeth of drunks leaving in the early dark hours of the morning, lead up to its doors. The tavern has a special local brew, called "Beaver Honey", which is made using this water and the sap from a nearby species of tree to give it a sweet flavour.
19-21 the Backwards Inn A tavern inherited by no-nonsense elvish managers who doggedly insist that the inn is sensibly called "Traveller's Rest". Locals have a tradition of reversing the lettering on all the signs advertising its presence overnight, always insistently crediting it to an ancient curse bestowed on the inn by an angry wizard long ago, or to an ancient tribe of mischievous pixies who consider it one of their greatest cultural customs.
22-24 The Twin Golems At the entrance to the tavern two huge clay golems stand, lifeless, their longswords crossed above the door frame. When commanded, such as during a raid or crime, the bartender can tell them a secret command word which activates their defensive procedure, blocking anyone from entering or leaving the building with force if necessary. The golems have been repurposed here, having been once automated labourers in a mine, but have no personality and are comatose until commanded.
25-27 The Laughing Gnome A small tavern with ceilings and objects designed for those of halfling or gnomish size, but they take all visitors. Their prized gnomish ale is famous, and the manager and owner, a portly gnome named Ferrowin Gladis, never tires of large human men attempting to squeeze their way through its tiny doors for a drink. There's also a variety of budget rooms for the shorter adventurer underneath the building, which for their price offer an unparalleled quality.
28-30 The Filthy Priest Once located near a church, this dive is notorious for its association with illegal trades being right next to the city’s skid rows. However, any Detect Good and Evil inside the bar only detects good. Its previous location next to a church and the scandals that it had involved with its residents resulted in the name change and move to the new building in the slums about a decade ago, a small statuette of a god providing the blessing on the building that had been stolen from that very religious establishment.
31-33 The Portly Frog A large, open room with a circular fountain and one particular statue of a giant, fat frog at the centre. Rumours say that the frog was a magically cursed prince petrified by a Medusa, though it is impossible to determine its validity. A small quartet of bards can usually be found in the corner, singing beautiful songs and busking for money. Those who cause trouble in the bar quickly find that this band of high-level Bards are also the security of the establishment.
34-36 The Rotten Pumpkin Located in the city where the annual "World's Largest Pumpkin" takes place, the winning pumpkin every year is traditionally placed at the front of the building until it rots, after which children often rip chunks off and have food fights outside. While this festival only occurs once per year, the pumpkin-based beverages and meals are available all year round.
37-39 The Paladin’s Oath A classy establishment for paladins of all sorts, all Evil cowers when entering its premises. Those of any Good or Lawful faith are often given free rooms provided they are questing for the betterment of the world, and small shrines can be found to most major gods surrounding the building in small stone huts. The owner, a human man and woman who were once paladins themselves, are willing to offer any assistance they can in the battle against the forces of evil. No cheap alcohol can be found here, and drunkenness is greatly discouraged.
40-42 The Rabbit’s Foot Once the host of an underground gaming den, the tavern now repurposes the betting rooms for lodging. On the ground floor, several dice, board and card games are always to be found, and locals (who are veterans to gambling and are often charlatans) love to play their games with travellers. The local favourite, Gladiator Dice, is even played by local nobles who frequent the rooms and are usually surrounded by guests hoping to cash in on their reckless spending.
43-45 The Shaking Shack Also known as "The Drunk Tavern", every few minutes the building shakes very briefly as if in a small-magnitude earthquake. Most locals and the bartenders are used to it, barely noticing the shakes, but new travellers frequently find it frustrating and distracting. Legends go it was once cursed by a warlock who, after being insulted by a legion of drunks, cursed the building itself to 'hiccup' as if drunk itself. For this reason, once per night, it is customary to pour a beer out onto the floorboards to sate "the hair-of-the-dog in the building itself".
46-48 The Garden of Maidens Named after the legendary children's tale of the 12 Missing Maidens (which is said to have happened nearby), the tavern is less jovial than one usually comes to expect. Drinking any alcohol in the bar invokes a somber depression in the drinker, which the owner credits to the haunting spirits of the dead maidens spoiling the drink. While it famously triggers sadness in almost all who drink there, it has a strangely addicting quality. Even stranger still, the only people this curse does not seem to affect is young human women.
49-51 The Mourning Widow This seaside tavern is populated by sailors, who sing loud out-of-tune sea shanties into the early hours of the morning. Its exclusive brew, the Widow's Tears, are said to be made from the tears of ladies whose husbands have died at sea. For these reasons, anyone who dealing with the death of a loved one can expect free drinks on the house.
52-54 The Enchanted Mug Contrary to its title, the mugs at The Enchanted Mug are not enchanted. In fact, gnomish engineers have developed a complex hand-cranked machine where a patron can observe the automatic creation of "The Perfect Brew". It tastes foul, but most people pay just to watch the Rube Goldberg-like giant wall-mounted device create their drink behind a pane of reinforced glass. Nowadays, it frequently experiences malfunctions, and often expels ale even worse than normal.
55-57 The Whispering Web A bar infamous for hosting criminals and fugitives from authorities, often home to Drow and other evil creatures. Theories go that secrets travel faster than feet there, which may or may not be true: Mirrors hanging on the walls around the bar are used to anonymously conduct business with one another, with each dealer the only person able to see the other. For this reason the tavern in prized for its discretion and has been rumoured as the host to a number of highly influential underground business deals.
58-60 The Shivering Pelican A classier establishment, the bar serves infamously cold ales. Among them is their prized "Frozen Swill", cooled with magical jets to far below zero, which is nearly impossible to drink. Themed as a Winter Wonderland all throughout the year, a series of hot springs located out in the back are very popular among the richer folk who can afford to use them. The bartender rumours that nobles use the springs as meeting places for concubines and illicit lovers, which is supported by several other gossiping members of staff.
61-63 The Golden Harp This tavern contains a magical harp, brought in at no small expense, which plays beautiful music as patrons drink and dine. Believed to be imbued with the magical talents of an angel themselves, its melodies have an almost hypnotic quality to them, which has been known to invoke intense emotion among a minority of the weak-willed. Frequent attempts to steal the priceless artefact mean that the harp is placed behind several magical wards that prohibit anyone from approaching. Each flagon and mug has an ornate harp carved into its side, and these are commonly stolen as ‘souvenirs’ for patron’s homes as a testament to its owner's musical tastes.
64-66 The Broken Cavalry Popular among war veterans, it borders a huge stable and a large field where horse races are frequently run for sport and recreation. The first stop in a long pub crawl, tradition dictates that a budding drinker not leave the back of their horse throughout the entire ordeal, which becomes increasingly more difficult as the rider becomes more drunk.
67-69 The Starving Yeti Set inside a cave in the side of a tall mountain peak, it is often used as a safehouse during the occasional avalanche or orc raid due to its naturally fortified structure. Only the opening of the mouth is used for the business, but the rest of the uncharted cave behind it travels deep into the mountain: However, only the bravest dare to scout out the area due to its huge labyrinthian size and dangerous monsters. Rumours of ancient dwarven treasures from a time long-forgotten are familiar to all locals, including the recipe for a highly-prized ancient Dwarf wine.
70-72 The Dragon’s Roost Pigeons have long taken their place in the rafters of the tall building in which The Dragon's Roost is located, often pooping into the drinks of those below (which is considered a very lucky omen). Many sustained attempts to remove the infestation in the past has proved fruitless, and has slowly developed into a superstition that the pigeons are the reincarnated souls of regular bargoers.
73-75 The Prickly Crocodile Located on the middle of a dry and unforgiving desert, most drinks are synthesized from a common cactus to create a series of bitter yet strong alcoholic beverages known as The Prickles. As the plant is highly toxic, only the bar's owners, and old and influential Dragonborn family, are familiar with the secrets to extracting the appropriate liquid without retaining its deadly poisons.
76-78 The Gaudy Cannon Located on the roof of the squat, well-constructed stone tavern, a faux-golden cannon fires a blank shot of gunpowder every time somebody completes the venue's infamous Drowned Liver Challenge, which involves copious quantities of local wine. The proprietor and barkeep, an eyepatch-wearing halfling pirate by the name of Two-Bones (since retired), takes great joy in this ceremony (the cannon her proudest trophy from her travels) and often participates in the challenge herself.
79-81 The Wild Sorcerer Though not gifted with Sorcerous magic herself, bar owner Meredith Garalin inherited the venue from her mother after it spontaneously appeared from nowhere during one of her episodes of wild magic. Business is slow due to its out-of-the-way location, though local rumours that suggest the tavern is cursed to one day magically return to whatever plane it was summoned from (and with all its patrons inside).
82-84 The Ghost Hog Impossible to trace, the faint squealing of some faraway pig can sometimes be heard from inside of the tavern during the day. Notoriously grimy and filthy the east side of the tavern, dubbed 'The Swill', is an open, muddy space which is commonly the ground for drunken barehanded wrestling matches both for sporting and settling disputes. Solid lumps can frequently be found in their unappetizing pints of ale.
85-87 The Glowing Scales The only remaining building in a village now entirely in ruins, it acts as an important resting place for those travelling between two major cities which keeps business booming. Due to its highly vulnerable nature, the barkeep offers free room and board, as well as a night of free drinks, to anyone who assists in fighting away the goblin hordes that attack at sunset several times a week.
88-90 The Masquerade Floor A classy establishment built in a refurbished noble's manor after it was invaded and taken over by a neighbouring kingdom, its blindingly white tiled floors give it a strikingly futuristic aesthetic. The drinks are distinctly expensive, but come in an eclectic rainbow of colours. All its staff, mostly elves, wear white face masks that conceal their identities.
91-93 The Empty Pail A large, popular tavern in which large drink orders are made in 'pails', metal buckets filled with ale that can be shared between patrons or quaffed by larger, more ambitious humanoids. A lot of food, like small sections of dried apple or strips of preserved bacon, are served floating or submerged in the alcohol which gives them a bitter flavour.
94-96 The Clever Merchant A bustling hub of trade and mirth, the business offers not only rooms and drink but also a variety of trade stock such as grains, ore, and lumber. The owner, a bald Dragonborn merchant, makes a decent profit over the impulse purchases of drunks with coin to spare, as well as off a variety of house-run gambling games such as the popular card game Merchant.
97-99 The Thunderous Wagon Located on the outskirts of a city next to a large stable for late-night travellers, they offer cheap rooms for those willing to put up with loud distractions to their slumber during the night. Popular wisdom dictates that banging your mugs of ales against the table before drinking will bless those staying overnight with good rest.
100 The Bloodthirsty Fish A popular location among hobbyist fishermen, the walls are lined with the trophies of various huge catches. A patron can be offered a free drink if they can prove themselves a record holder of the largest for a particular type. Their brew is atypically salty-tasting and popular among sailors.
submitted by tr1lobyte to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

I Decided to Watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Season 1)

Yesterday, I posted my thoughts on the first four episodes of the season. There were people that encouraged me to post updates on my progress, so here we are! I just finished the season a few minutes ago. I'll be listing things that are fresh on my mind, so if you have more specific questions, feel free to ask and I'l be happy to answer!
Also, I'll be quoting some of my thoughts from the first thread and give an update now that I've finished the season.
ANOTHER THING: Beyond this point, there will be heavy spoilers for AOS Season 1, and by the nature and purpose of this thread, I'm not censoring any of them.
As for the show, I'm liking it! Right now I wouldn't say that I love it because I can already see some of the standard television tropes. I'll be honest, if it was any other show, at this point, I might begin to consider not continuing. However, with Coulson and the occasional MCU references, it keeps me engaged and allows me to overlook them.
Update: I love it. I went into this show knowing two things: the Hydra infiltration happens and that at some point in future seasons, they travel back in time. I didn't know any of the details surrounding either of them, I just know that they happen at some point. With that said, I'm not sure why, but I just had a feeling that the Hydra storyline happens in Season 2. I guess I just thought the first season would lay the foundation and then they'd flip it upside down afterwards. I was so of this belief that I seriously did not even consider that the Clairvoyant was apart of Hydra. It wasn't until Coulson had the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents get on the bus to talk in Ep 16 and saw Sitwell where I went, "....WAIT A SECOND!"
Once that moment happened, I knew I was in for a ride. Not sure how many of you watched the final season of The Clone Wars, but watching this show now, it felt like those final episodes. We knew Order 66 was going to happen, but not necessarily when or the circumstances around it. So when the Hydra stuff was hinted at, I was just filled with dread. It was great.
I got a real kick out of Agent Hand thinking Coulson was Hydra, and he and the team thinking she was Hydra, but it turns out that she isn't while also making some actual good points about why she thinks Coulson is, only to find out that it's Garrett...AND WARD?! WHAT?!
Grant Ward is also the tough guy who's good at the job, but is forced into this team with less qualified people, so he has to learn to communicate and work with other people, which is going to then make him an even better agent.
I am so glad to be so wrong. This show has guts, doesn't it? They played me like a fiddle. I always had a weird feeling about him, but I figured that was the point, you know? I thought I was watching this dude slowly learn to open up, but nah. Although, I may look like a fool later, but my instinct is to say that he's going to be redeemed somehow. Not sure how to feel about that just yet because he fully intended to kill Fitz and Simmons and I don't know if I can forgive him for that.
The Skye character is a bit weird to me. She's this great hacker, but lacks a lot of the other skills needed to be considered "good", however at the same time, the show acknowledges very early on that nowadays everyone has access to technology, so isn't it very likely that there's a bunch of people just as good of a hacker as Skye and also has the skills that she doesn't? I feel like there's another reason why Coulson wants her specifically. I'm going to be pretty bummed if it turns out to be the typical "I picked you because I just had a good feeling about it."
I have to be honest with you, I know some of you have told me that S2 is Skye's season and she'll grow on me, and I hope that's the case because I don't really like her right now. I know she's supposed to be this super kind person and all, but I can't help but get annoyed with her. I feel like she's shoved down my throat, in a figurative way, of course. It seems like she has to be at the center of everything. An instant example that comes to mind is when they have that Christian woman, Hannah, on the bus. Skye is just so hell-bent on being the one to talk to her and being a friend. I'm just like, chill the hell out, it doesn't have to be you. Another is in the season finale when Simmons shows up at the end. It feels like Skye just had to be the first one to get to her and hug her. I feel like I may be coming off as mean, but that's just the feeling I have. I hope it changes.
Speaking of Coulson, I really like him! There's clearly something off about him and I'm curious what that is. Hey, I guess Tahiti is a magical place. I LOVE how he's this really chill and good dude, but does not hesitate to blow a damn lid at any moment. Already one of my favorite moments is when Coulson tells Fitz and Jemma to figure out a 3rd solution to their problem in I think the pilot episode. Jemma says that there's no way and Coulson turns back around and yells "don't ever tell me there's no way!" I was like "hey, I guess Tahiti is a magical place."
Well, I guess I don't want to go to Tahiti anymore.
I think they did a good job with his arc! I hope it's not the end of the T.A.H.I.T.I. stuff though. Him repeating "please let me die" has to be wrapped up, right? It somehow has to circle around to him realizing that it isn't what he wanted, right? I guess I'll find out!
I'm curious what they're going to be doing with GH.325 inside of Coulson and Skye. I wonder if it's going to fade away or remain relevant, although it seems like it hasn't been an issue for Skye whatsoever. Maybe her powers are protecting her?
Melinda May is very interesting to me. The woman who plays her is great. I hope and am betting that she's going to have a bigger role as we continue on.
She was great throughout the entire season! Really fascinating to see her cover blown at the same time as Hydra. For a second, I really did question if she's apart of it, but turns out it was just another one of Fury's secrets upon secrets upon secrets. I loved it!
There's a big part of me that wishes she and Coulson get together. I know Phil has that cello woman in Portland, but it seems like it's better for her not to be subjected to that life, especially now since Coulson is the head of the entire organization. May and Phil seem like they both really care about each other, and my man Phillip deserves some happiness! GIVE IT TO HIM!
...and that moment when May nailed Ward's foot to the floor? MAAAANNNN! That was some good stuff!
Fitz and Jemma are hands-down my favorite characters right now. They're the perfect comedic relief and the two have great chemistry together.
No update on their placement. They remain at the top. One of my favorite episodes is "FZZT". Elizabeth Henstridge put on an incredible performance and I love how Fitz just got to a point where he'd rather die with her than continue living. Powerful stuff. Underrated moment is when Fitz was about to jump out of the plane to save her. He probably wouldn't have been able to, but respect to him for not caring. Fitz is ride or die the entire season and I absolutely love it.
I really hope that Mike gets brought back at some point. He was an instant standout and his performance was really good.
YOOOOOOOOOOO! Deathlok is WILD! All this man wants to do is provide for his son and he's literally torn apart for it. I am so, so glad that at the end, he did not hesitate to turn on Garrett. I feel like if he did, I'd start to dislike him. He remained a good man even through all of the terrible stuff that he had to do. Again: Powerful stuff.
I predicted Fury would save Fitz and Simmons, but that didn't stop me from freaking out when he did. That's so crazy. I finally understand why people get annoyed when they're told this show isn't canon and connected to the MCU. It absolutely is and more so than I ever thought it would be.
Maria Hill was also great to see. She doesn't get a lot to do in the movies, so I'm glad she's given respect on the show as someone to answer to.
What a bonkers moment when Fury makes Coulson the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. like....WHAT?! That's INSANE!
The Lady Sif appearance was a lot of fun! I hope she returns. I considered that entire episode to be pretty solid and very enjoyable.
Raina is quite the fascinating character. The actress is phenomenal. Anytime she's on screen, I feel uneasy. She's creepy and it's really cool. Then it turns out she's doing all of this for evolution? Pfft. Okay Ultron, calm down.
ARE WE JUST GOING TO IGNORE THAT SIMMONS SHOT SITWELL? Well, he's Hydra so it's alright. BUT STILL! SIMMONS, THAT'S HOW YOU HANDLED THE SITUATION? WILD!
That's about all I have off the top of my head. Again, if you have a specific question or moment in mind, don't hesitate to ask!
Overall, this is a great show and I'm excited to jump into Season 2! Hail Hydra!
submitted by BladeStudios to marvelstudios [link] [comments]

r/NFL Top 100 Players of the 2019 Season - #20-11

Welcome to the reveal for players ranked 20-11 for this year’s NFL Top 100 Players for the 2019 Season!

Players whose average rank had them land in places 20-11 are on this portion of the list revealed today. Players are associated with the team they finished 2019 with.
Below you will see write-ups from rankers summarizing the players' 2019 season and why they were among the best in 2019. Stats for each player are from this season and are included below. Additionally, their previous ranks in this long running series are also available for all of you.
Methodology
LINK TO THE HUB POST WITH A MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODOLOGY
  1. A CALL FOR RANKERS just after the Super Bowl.
  2. Rankers for each team nominated players to rank. 10 Games Played Minimum Threshold. Players are associated with the team they finished the 2019 Season with.
  3. The Grind. Utilize ranking threads for individual rankers broken up by positional group. Users were tasked with ranking players within the following tiers based on their evaluation: T-25, T-50, T-100, T-125 based on 2019 regular season only. There were no individual case threads. There were no arbitrary position limit caps. Just questions and rankings.
  4. Users submitted their individual Top 125 list. Ranking out to 125 is new for this year.
  5. User lists were reviewed for outliers by me with assistance from two former rankers. Users were permitted to correct any mistakes found. Once complete, lists were locked.
  6. Reveal the list… right now.
So now, without further ado, here are the players ranked 20-11 in the NFL Top 100 Players of the 2019 Season!

#20 - Danielle Hunter - EDGE - Minnesota Vikings

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R 32
Written By: uggsandstarbux
Khalil Mack. Von Miller. JJ Watt. Those are the names that come up when you mention edge players in the NFL over the last half a decade. Yet none have as many sacks as Danielle Hunter in the last two years. Hunter is continually passed over in the conversation of edge rushers. Even among young edge rushers like the Bosa brothers, TJ Watt, Myles Garrett, and Bradley Chubb, Hunter is forgotten. He only received 4 All Pro votes from AP (of a possible 50). He failed to make PFF’s All Pro team. Is it because he wasn’t a 1st round pick? Is it because the Vikings defense was already dominant before his arrival?
Hunter has improved every year he’s gotten into the league (88 pressures this year vs 67 last year vs 55 in 2016). His first couple years in the league, he rotated in behind Everson Griffen and Brian Robinson. Yet he holds the record for most sacks before his 25th birthday and was one of only a handful of players in 2019 with double digit sacks and 15+ TFLs last season. He earned an 89.0 overall grade from PFF and forced 3 fumbles this year.
Beyond the numbers, Hunter is a unit. He came out of LSU as one of the more raw pass rushers in his draft. However, under the tutelage of the mighty Andre Patterson, Hunter has become one of the most athletic, versatile, technical, dominant edge defenders in the game. He can beat you with a pure bull rush, but he can also beat you with his speed and agility. He’s picked up Everson Griffen’s deadly spin move and has the motor to work through double teams. He can win with an inside move, or he can play pure 3T for an entire game (a la vs NO). He’s got a great understanding of the game and is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re placing bets for DPOY in 2020, don’t waste your money on the big name guys like Aaron Donald (+750) or Khalil Mack (+1100). Don’t spend it on young up and comers, lke Nick Bosa (+1300) or TJ Watt (+1500) either. Place it on Danielle Hunter (+2300). He’s going to continue dominating as he gains more recognition and climbs toward stardom.

#19 - Chris Godwin - Wide Receiver - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R
Written By: MysticTyph00n
At the beginning of the 2019 NFL season Bruce Arians said:
"I think Chris Godwin is going to be close to a 100-catch guy, especially because I think he can play in the slot,"...."He's never coming off the field."
Bucs fans thought this could be very well true in BA's system, especially with the departure of Desean Jackson which only really left Mike Evans as the only other real target on the team.
The 3rd round pick from Penn State showed up big time this year after having two relatively quiet seasons. Through 13.5 games (missing the final 2.5 due to a hamstring injury) he amassed 86 receptions for 1,333 yards, 9 TDs and only one drop(In fact he's only had 2 drops total in 2018 & 2019)He very well could have gone over 100 receptions , 1,500 yards as well as double digit TDs, but that's just projecting right?
According to PFF he was an absolute monster in the slot with an outstanding 96.5 grade, which shows he can line up anywhere on the field and still produce big time for the Buccaneers.
In 2020, I honestly expect Chris Godwin to have close to the same production, and possibly even better with how much he produces from the slot.
Please don't leave us…

#18 - Quenton Nelson - Offensive Guard - Indianapolis Colts

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 70
Written By: Zzyzx8
Selecting a guard 6th overall was a bold movie for second year GM Chris Ballard, even one as highly touted as Quenton Nelson. Casual fans hated it, while draft junkies loved it. Two years later, it’s become clear that the pick was a home run. Nelson’s selection single handedly turned around a unit that was largely responsible for a slew of injuries to Andrew Luck into one of the best units. Nelson’s second year was only better, cementing himself as one of the best guards in the league, a true road grader. He spent the past year terrorizing nfl defensive lineman en route to his second pro bowl and all pro selections. Plus, he pulled off what was by far the best touchdown celebration of the season

#17 - Jamal Adams - Strong Safety - New York Jets

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R 18
Written By: the_fuzzy_stoner robdog1330
I would just like to start with a moment of silence for the fans of the New York Jets after Jamal Adams recently demanded a trade from that inept organization with a dumpster fire of a coach in Adam Gase.
Anyways, after an incredible sophomore season, Adams has kept up with his awesome play in his third season as one of the NFL's best and most versatile defensive players as well as the clear-cut best player on a football team that somehow won seven games. Adams, also known as President 'Mal, recorded an interception (which was returned 61 yards to the house), 7 passes defended, 11 hurries, and 36 stops, but that's not all! Adams also garnered 6.5 sacks (which is amazing for a DB) and forced two fumbles (like this one he returned to the house on my guy Daniel Jones 😔). With his exceptional play, the star safety was named to the 1st Team All-Pro as well as his second Pro Bowl selection (an honor which none of his other Jets teammates got this year).
What makes Adams so special is that he is exceptional against both the running and passing game. Whether he's with Gang Green or another franchise next year, I'd expect another stellar season out of Jamal Adams in 2020 (assuming there is one) and even as a Giants fan who watched him dominate my team this past season, I really appreciate the guy's play.

#16 - Derrick Henry - Running Back - Tennessee Titans

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R
Written By: broccolibush42
DERRRRIIIICK HENRY!!!
This part man part tractor was the plow that turned our barren field into a bountiful wheat field full of Nashville Hot Chicken. This beautiful muscly man with a poop rat tail decimated opponents and General Sherman'd the AFC South. Totaling at 1540 yards and 16 Touchdowns in 15 games, with 6 coming from a slow start in a Mariota lead offense, he caught fire and dragged his nuts all over teams like the Chargers, Chiefs, Jags, Colts, Texans, Raiders and was showing just absolute dominance on the field. (Sadly we arent able to take the playoffs into account otherwise i'd gush over how he embarrassed a couple of scrub one and done teams).
Henry has this certain tenacity and a godlike level of endurance that just makes him an absolute beast in the 2nd half. He is just able to keep going, and going, and going, until finally, players get tired of it and turn into lead blockers for him. He is extremely hard to tackle to. Take a look at this play against the Chiefs in week 10, guys just bounce off him like he's running through toddlers. Derrick Henry is so hard to tackle that, according to PFF, Henry had over 1200 of his 1540 total yards after contact. Like this dude was getting hit at the line of scrimmage and he is just like, fuck this shit, i aint no dion lewis, and keeps going. How is this guy even real???
Another thing about Henry is his speed! Henry is a 6'3" 240 pound dude running 20+ MPH down the field when he breaks the open one. Like look at this speed he gets vs the Browns in week 1. Or this one against the Jags where he outruns guys and stiff arms the ones who barely managed to keep pace. Speaking of stiff arms, Derrick Henry has one of, if not, the BEST Stiff Arm in the league. If I had to pick a way to die, I think I would like Henry to stiff arm me in the face running at me at 21 miles per hour with this face, because there would be no greater honor to a titans fan than death by Henry. That concludes my Henry jerk fest. Here are some more highlights. and here are the real link.

#15 - Travis Kelce - Tight End - Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/R 84 N/R 28 31 13
Written By: DTSportsNow
Travis Kelce was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft. He wound up missing his rookie season due needing to receive microfracture surgery on his knee over the offseason and dealing with a bone bruise during the season. Since then he's received 4 All-Pro designations and was named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade team. He's also become the 1st TE in NFL history to have 4 straight 1,000+ yard seasons. Not bad considering how his career got started.
In 2019 he finished his 2nd straight season of 1,200+ yards and 3rd straight season leading the league in deep receiving yards by a tight end (274). He finished top 4 in overall TE grade for the 4th straight year (85.1), and was named to his second 2nd-team All-Pro designation. In the Sunday Night Football contest against the Chicago Bears he caught his 500th career reception, becoming the fastest TE in NFL history to reach that mark.
There's no doubt that Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the game, and winding up in the top 20 proves many believe him to be one of the very best players in the league. Since Gronk's decline it's essentially been between him and George Kittle for the top player at the position. He's a key component of what Andy Reid and the Chiefs like to do on offense, even as stacked as the offence is. With a Super Bowl victory and a few records to his name already his legacy will be decided by how long he can keep up his premier play. His partnership with Patrick Mahomes should take him to a locked up Hall of Fame bust.

#14 - Ryan Ramczyk - Offensive Tackle - New Orleans Saints

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 100 74
Written By: Dahki
In 2017, sb nation wrote an article claiming that Ryan Ramczyk wasn't a first round talent at LT. The site went so far as to say he would benefit from a switch to RT. In short, they ended up nailing that on the head. The three-year vet has spent almost the entirety of his career anchoring the right side of the Saints O-line after being picked at 32 overall, and boy, has it worked out for both the team and the Wisconsin alum.
Ram makes the /nfl top 100 list for two reasons. First, he was really good. Second, we really wanted to hammer in the idea that the Saints O-line as a whole was really good. Most notably, Ram exits the 2019 season with his first first-team all pro, and he was more than deserving of it. Similar to teammate Terron Armstead, Ram refused to allow Brees or Teddy to be touched, giving up no sacks on the season. Even better, Ram kept his QBs almost squeaky clean in the pocket, allowing just one hit on the entire season, good for 2nd best in the league among nominated tackles. And Ram didn't just do well in pass pro; he was PFFs top graded OT when run-blocking, showcasing his power and quickness from his spot. In total, Ram spent the 2019 season as the biggest challenge for opposing D-lines to overcome when facing the Saints.

#13 - Julio Jones - Wide Receiver - Atlanta Falcons

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
32 93 23 8 2 21 17
Written By: CokeZ3ro
It's a bird, it’s a plane, no it's Jet Jones! In his 9th season Julio continues to be one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL, and the undisputed best player on the team. He’s a force that defenses must give their full attention, and even then he can explode. Even when he doesn’t get the ball, his influence and abilities still shape the play, and better everyone around him. This past offseason Julio agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $66 million, making him the NFL’s highest paid WR, and extending him to 2023. Even though 2019 was a down year statistically, Julio continued to show why the money is worth it. In a “down year” Julio was 2nd in reception yards, 3rd in Yards/Game, and 1st in Scrimmage Yards/Touch, and made his 6th consecutive Pro-Bowl.
But stats can hardly capture the elite combination of athleticism and skill that makes Julio so great. A combination perfectly captured here where Julio is able to jump over the coverage of CB Leodis McKelvin and then tiptoe to complete the coverage on the way down. Later that same game, with the Falcons against the wall, Julio showed that no man can catch him in a 53-yard burst (shoutout to Jake Matthews for the Pancake Block). Julio utilized his route skills to make CB Pierre Desir eat turf before making a 34-yard reception; which likely would have been much more if Ryan didn’t underthrow it. He’s pretty good at catching too, exhibited as reaches over CB Quincy Wilson and manages to hold onto the ball through tackles from Wilson and SS Clayton Geathers to score. Doesn’t matter who you are, Luke Keuchly, Marshon Lattimore, AJ Bouye; doesn’t matter. bUt hE dOEsn’T gET tOUchDoWnS I hear the Fantasy owners say. Watch this and notice how often in the redzone Julio is serving to support his team (blocks, inside presence, taking double defenders), or is just ignored. He’s open more often people realize.
Even in a disappointing season for the Falcons, Julio continues to shine through as one of the NFL’s premiere combos of athleticism and skill. Julio is and will continue to be an absolute force for the offense.

#12 - Chandler Jones - EDGE - Arizona Cardinals

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/R N/R N/R N/R 60 24 100
Written By: Beehay
In my write up of ChanJo last year, I mentioned that the return to the 3/4 (even if it's under Vance Joseph) will be huge for his stats. And boy howdy was it! At 30 years old and after double digit sack totals for 5 straight years, Jones set a career high of sacks at 19 this year. He had 8 Forced Fumbles, 53 Tackles, and 26 QB hits. Most of his stats improved from 2018, some more drastically than others. His pass coverage marginally improved but why the hell would you really want him to cover guys? (Don't say it Niners fans, DON'T SAY IT)
Chandler Jones is the prototype for edge defenders. He is what all other Defensive Coordinators wish they had. Strong, fast, smart, consistent. Here's a guys opinion and a breakdown. Here's some highlights because not everybody watched all 16 Cardinals games last year and I don't blame them. I think he will rank even higher next year if he stays healthy because he will finally get to settle into a defense again. Even if it's Vance Joseph's.

#11 - Ronnie Stanley - Offensive Tackle - Baltimore Ravens

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R 97
Written By: Letsgomountaineers5
Where to begin with Ronnie Stanley? Oh, how about a nearly minute long clip of him absolutely bullying First Team All Pro and NFC DPOY Chandler Jones. You like that? (Sorry Cards fans, but hey we all know Chandler Jones is a beast). Ronnie Stanley was the best LT in the league. No wait, actually he was the best overall tackle in the league. Actually, Stanley was the best lineman in the league, bar none. I truly believe Stanley was a top 5 player in the NFL last season and even tried (and failed/came to senses) to argue Stanley as a top 2 player. His dominance on the left side of that line was unprecedented.
I know stats don’t paint the entire picture, especially for OL, but I have to start there because his stats were unworldly as a blindside protector facing the best pass rushers the NFL has to offer. Going against the likes of TJ Watt twice a year, Carlos Dunlap twice a year, Myles Garrett, Chandler Jones, Nick Bosa, Shaq Barrett (need I go on), he allowed zero sacks and six pressures on 445 pass blocking snaps. Of tackles with at least 400 pass blocking snaps to allow 6 pressures or less, he was the only one. Wait, the only one? Let’s expand. 10 pressures on 400 snaps? Hmm. Only Ronnie Stanley. 15? Hmm only Ronnie Stanley. 20 and no sacks? Only Ronnie Stanley. Unreal.
So how does he do it? Well for starters, he has an elite pass rusher’s explosion as an offensive lineman. He can pack a pop that will knock the best rushers off line or on their ass without overextending. Just ask Nick Bosa. Refer back to the Chandler Jones lowlight reel for a second and check out how often he simply beats Jones (one of the most explosive and best bending edge rushers in the game) to his spot time and time again. Stanley is out of his stance so fast it looks like he’s false starting and, be it film review/sixth sense/sheer athleticism (my money is on all three), he hits the pass rushers’ marks before they do. Sometimes, he even chips defenders to the ground he doesn’t have a responsibility for. Because of these reasons, he’s basically the only lineman in the game not playing catchup and is tremendously equipped to react to counters. In the run game, he was a driving reason behind that team’s record setting running success. He can be a mauler, but with his speed also can pull like the best guards in the game and lead block for some of the fastest players in the game.
At the end of the day, his dominance in both pass blocking and run blocking makes him a worthy top 15 player, and if not for a tendency to underrate linemen, I believe he should’ve been a shoe-in for the top 10. If you read this far, thank you. Now I need to go puke after that glowing endorsement for a Raven.

LINK TO 2019 POSITIONAL GROUPING TRACKER

LINK TO 2019 RANKER SHEETS

LINK TO HUB

Schedule Change

Unveiling of ranks 10-6 will take place Monday, July 6 instead of Tuesday. Unveiling of ranks 5-1 will take place on Thursday, July 9. Thank you!
submitted by MikeTysonChicken to nfl [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jun. 17, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Some of you may have missed last week's post because I didn't do it on Wednesday. Ended up posting it Thursday instead, so it's there in the archives below if you missed it. I know this 2002 series of Rewinds doesn't really have the momentum or appeal that it had back when I was posting them 3 times a week for years on end. Sorry about that, like I said before, I just decided to post these on a whim when the virus started and didn't really prepare for it so it's all kinda haphazard. But just didn't want anyone to miss the one from last week if it flew under the radar.

  • Steve Austin walked out of WWE this week and threw everything into upheaval. As a result, Raw featured Vince McMahon challenging Ric Flair to a match for ownership of the entire company. It was the ultimate final blow-off to a huge long-term angle, and they did it with only 2 hours of build-up. With Vince now in charge of both shows, questions are swirling about whether this spells the end of the brand split, only a few months in. The reason this all happened is because, only 6 hours before Raw went on the air, Steve Austin showed up to the arena and found out he was scheduled to wrestle (and Dave thinks put over, though he hasn't confirmed that yet) Brock Lesner. Dave immediately points out the obvious, that an Austin vs. Lesnar match is something you should build up ahead of time, not throw it on free TV with no build up at all. Plus, he's still so new, he's incredibly green, and he's spent the last few months selling way too much for people like the Hardyz and Bubba Ray Dudley. Hell, before he debuted in WWE, he wasn't even the most over guy in OVW. He's nowhere near the level you'd expect for him to be winning matches with Steve Austin un-hyped on free TV. In fact, Lesnar should probably go through just about everyone else on the roster before putting him against Austin. That's a potential Wrestlemania-level match and Dave seems befuddled that they would just book it for Raw like this.
  • Apparently Austin felt the same way because he and his wife Debra left the building and flew home before Vince McMahon even arrived to the arena, the second time since Wrestlemania that he has walked out on the company. A source who was there when McMahon learned of the news said that, for the first time anyone could remember, Vince seemed to drop his "game face" and there seemed to be genuine panic about what to do. Rock has one foot out the door to Hollywood. Undertaker and Triple H are banged up and won't be around forever (bet). Business is already collapsing. And now the biggest star the company's ever had just walked out the door. Last time Austin walked out after Wrestlemania, he was only away for 2 weeks. This time, there's a feeling it could be much longer. Those close to Austin say he's been unhappy for months and this decision wasn't anything specifically to do with the Lesnar match. That just happened to be the final straw. Austin made news last week when he went on the WWE's Byte This show and voiced his frustrations with the company's creative direction. Plans had been put into motion over the last couple weeks for Austin to feud with Eddie Guerrero and then Chris Benoit, which he was happy about (he was enjoying his recent house show matches with Eddie and Benoit is one of Austin's favorite opponents) but that's out the window now. Austin and Vince McMahon reportedly haven't been on good terms for several months now and word is the night before Raw, the two of them had a very heated conversation over the phone that left Austin pissed off and frustrated even before this went down.
  • And that's the deal on Austin. He has more money than he'll ever be able to spend and doesn't have any financial need to wrestle. He only does so because he enjoys it. And if he doesn't enjoy it anymore, then by all means, it's his right to leave and he doesn't owe the business anything if he wants to hang up the boots. But Dave does feel like Austin owes WWE at least a few weeks to write him out of storylines since he's such an important piece of the company. Walking out from a live TV taping is unprofessional and it leaves guys like Guerrero and Benoit left hanging, thus screwing up their future plans and money-making potential too (yeah, that's something that doesn't get talked about much. Austin walking out fucked Guerrero over pretty hard here. It would take him another 2 years to get back into that main event scene that he would have been involved in here). That being said, pretty much everyone in the locker room sympathizes with Austin and agrees with his complaints about the creative direction of the company, but not many of them were defending the way he walked out. And given that this is the second time he's done it, the feeling is he shouldn't be allowed back without facing some actual punishment this time.
  • So anyway, the day of Raw, they went into panic mode and had to re-write the entire show. And with the feeling Austin won't be coming back anytime soon, Vince felt they needed to do something big. So they went with blowing off the dual-owners angle in a match that was designed to turn Flair babyface again and establish Vince as the heel owner of everything. There was also discussion of turning Undertaker babyface again, since he's been getting more cheers than RVD when they work together at house shows lately but they decided against that for now (they end up doing it in a couple weeks). So now Flair has been abruptly turned back, after only turning heel a few weeks prior. The brand split may or may not be dead. And there we stand.
  • In what would have been a major story during any other week, DDP has officially retired from wrestling at age 46. Unfortunately, Austin's walk-out overshadowed everything. The decision on DDP's retirement was actually made by Vince McMahon and Jim Ross, who pretty much made the choice for him after they got his medical reports. DDP has been advised by multiple doctors that his spine is shot and he needs to retire. For the company's own liability, WWE decided to listen to the doctors and DDP agreed. There has been talk of finding ways for DDP to work the remainder of his contract for the company in a non-wrestling capacity. (He obviously ends up wrestling a handful of matches in the years since, but for the most part, this really was the end of DDP's in-ring career as a full-time wrestler).
  • There were a couple of moments on Raw this week where Shawn Michaels was cutting a promo and made a comment about Austin "losing his top spot" and another comment later about Rock "stealing Triple H's spot." A lot of people in the company backstage were upset, feeling like this was the same ol' Shawn, going into business for himself and trashing on Austin and Rock and yada yada. Not the case. Those comments were actually scripted for Shawn to say because they want to get over the idea that Shawn on the mic is a loose cannon and you never know when he might start "shooting" and say something he's not supposed to. It's all very dumb, you see. Almost like Vince Russo is coming back any day now or something.
  • Dave gives a big preview and rundown of the Jarrett family's new NWA-TNA promotion, which has its debut show next week on PPV. Not all cable systems are carrying it, however. Cablevision and Dish Network both declined to carry it, but DirecTV is. This cuts down on the number of available homes for the show and probably cuts 20-30% off their potential revenue. The main PPV provider in Canada, Viewer's Choice, has also declined to carry it. Steep mountain to climb here. Dave expects them to do decent numbers for their first show but predicts an XFL-like collapse after that. By week 3, Dave is scared for their chances. From here, Dave gives the whole history of other promotions who've tried to make it on PPV in the U.S., with varying degrees of success and failure. UWFI, UFC, ECW, WCW, PRIDE, etc, WWF has even toyed with similar ideas. In 1991, they did the one-off Tuesday In Texas PPV as a test to see if they could run PPVs back-to-back (Survivor Series was only the week prior) and it was a flop. The original concept for Shotgun Saturday Night was for it to be a weekly Saturday night PPV with a similar >$10 price point, but that idea got scrapped before it got off the ground and it became just another TV show. Dave doesn't think TNA is going to make it without a TV deal. This PPV exclusive plan just has too much working against it. The Jarretts have talked about the millions of disenfranchised fans that stopped watching after WCW died, and it's true. Those people are out there. But those millions of fans all checked out between 1999-2001, and TNA isn't going to win them back by using the same people and the same concepts that ran those viewers away from WCW. All your wacky booking ideas, your Vince Russos, your Jeff Jarretts as champion, bringing in guys that even WWE won't touch (Scott Hall), etc. Those are all the same things that ran away those WCW viewers. Dave just doesn't see how this experiment can work in its current form.
  • Vince McMahon himself was the latest guest on WWE's Byte This show and needless to say, it was interesting. Vince denied the idea that the wrestling business is "cyclical" and said it's more like a series of peaks and valleys that have slowly been trending upwards over the years. Vince also admitted WWE doesn't always make the best decisions but says their batting average is good overall. Vince also said he's proud to have the word "wrestling" in their company name, which is a pretty big about-face from all the years he's tried to publicly claim they were "sports entertainment, not wrestling." He admitted things are rough right now but said there are huge changes coming soon that will change the entire industry but wouldn't elaborate on what he had planned (I think time has proven that the answer to this was nothing whatsoever. They had no idea what they were doing during this time and were just making shit up as they went along). Vince acknowledged that Austin has been frustrated lately and said Austin is the most demanding of all the wrestlers in WWE. Vince also said he pays no attention to the internet because everyone thinks they're a booker. He also complained that it's hard to live up to people's expectations because fans all think they know everything now. Acknowledged ratings being down and played it off like, yes, WWE is sick. But it's only a cold, not pneumonia or anything, so don't panic.
  • More notes from Vince on Byte This because huge unbroken paragraphs suck: he hinted at producing movies starring WWE talent. Dave thinks that's a bad idea. "No Holds Barred," anyone? Criticized backyard wrestling, which Dave actually agrees with him 100% on. Was asked about bringing Vince Russo back and said he hasn't given it any thought but he has an open door policy (see you next week, Russo! Jeez, it almost makes you wonder if Vince got the idea from this interview or something). When asked about the recent Jim Cornette/Ed Ferrara incident, Vince basically seemed disinterested but said he admires Cornette's passion for wrestling but felt spitting in Ferrara's face was unprofessional. When asked about NWA-TNA, Vince said he didn't understand how they could do it without television. Trying to get people to pay $9.95 a week for a 2 hour show (a minor league product at that, because anything other than WWE is basically minor leagues at this point), when they already get Raw and Smackdown on free television. Otherwise, he said he has no opinions on it because he hasn't seen it, but Vince seems to share Dave's opinion. He doesn't see this PPV model as sustainable and doesn't seem particularly threatened by it.
  • NJPW's latest Best of the Super Juniors tournament is in the books and was a disappointment, just like everything else in NJPW lately. Koji Kanemoto won a pretty boring tournament. There was only one new name involved, which was Michinoku Pro wrestler Curry Man (Christopher Daniels under a mask). He's talented and charismatic but he's not even that big a star in Michinoku Pro, much less to the NJPW audience. Otherwise, it was more of the same, with no real notable matches.
  • Zero-1 in Japan is hoping to put together a working relationship with NWA-TNA. Specifically, they're hoping they can do a Shinya Hashimoto vs. Ken Shamrock feud, perhaps over the NWA title.
  • While training for his comeback, Kenta Kobashi messed up his shoulder doing bench presses, because of course he did. Doctors have told him not to return too soon but he still plans to be back in the ring by next month. Because of course he does.
  • NJPW's latest show at Budokan Hall was a disaster. From photos Dave saw, he figures there couldn't have been more than 3,500 fans in the building. Even at its weakest after the NOAH exodus, AJPW never fell below 7,000 at Budokan and this show looked to be half that. It's likely the smallest crowd NJPW has ever drawn to that arena. The whole show was said to be terrible because of the depressing atmosphere of a building that was 2/3 empty.
  • This week's World Cup game between Japan and Russia did a 66.1 TV rating, making it the #2 highest rated sports broadcast in the history of Japan. This is notable because by doing so, it surpassed the Rikidozan vs. Destroyer match from 1963, which did a 64.0 rating, knocking it down to #3 (for what it's worth, it's believed that a Rikidozan vs. Lou Thesz match in 1957 was actually watched by even more people, but official ratings weren't kept as detailed back then, so it can't be counted for sure).
  • Dave has read some excerpts from the new Shaun Assael book on Vince McMahon called "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks." From what he's read, Dave says it's a very good and accurate portrayal of how the WWE has grown to what it is today. Vince's former close friend and VP of Titan Sports during the expansion era Jim Troy and Jim Barnett were both interviewed for it, among others. If you're a hardcore fan who's been following the Observer for years, there's nothing new here that you probably don't already know from a major story standpoint, but there's some interesting details at least that were new to Dave. But to the average fan, this should be pretty eye-opening. Dave expects to have a full review soon.
  • CZW held its second annual Best of the Best tournament at the old ECW Arena and the show got rave reviews. Particularly British wrestlers Jodie Fleisch and Jonny Storm, who tore the house down in their match. Trent Acid defeated Fleisch to win the tournament.
  • The Coen brothers, producers of the movie "Fargo", have had talks with Bobby Heenan about doing a movie based on his life (this pretty obviously went nowhere).
  • New Jack is no longer working with XPW and has jumped ship to work with a rival local promoter in Southern California. Perhaps not coincidentally, the last check New Jack received from XPW promoter Rob Black for $800 ended up bouncing. Dave says New Jack probably isn't the guy you want to write bad checks to.
  • NWA-TNA has changed its taping plans and no longer plans to tour, and they will now be live every week. The first two shows will be taped this week in Huntsville and after that, all future shows will be live from Nashville at the 9,000-seat Municipal Auditorium. Apparently the rent for that building is really cheap because a newer, more modern arena was just built nearby, so TNA can afford it. That being said, with as much trouble as they're having selling tickets for the debut show in Huntsville, Dave thinks it's pretty optimistic to start trying to run live tapings in the same 9,000-seat building every week. He thinks they would be much better off running a small 800-seat building every week, with a smaller, more intimate atmosphere that would come across a lot better on TV than a big cavernous arena that, inevitably, is going to be mostly empty (to this day, 18 years later, TNA/Impact has never once drawn a crowd of 9,000 fans. Never even really close actually).
  • Various other TNA notes: Dave runs down the list of confirmed names for TNA's first taping. Rick Steiner, K-Krush (formerly K-Kwik in WWF), Konnan, Steve Corino, The Harris Brothers, Psicosis, and a bunch of others. Don Frye has talked to Jeff Jarrett about coming in to work a match with Ken Shamrock. Jackie Fargo is going to be there doing something. They made an offer to Shane Douglas but he only agreed to come in if they didn't hire Francine (some kind of falling out between them). TNA decided they'd rather have Francine. They're expected to be doing some kind of old school vs. new school angle so....yay. More latter-years WCW shit. Mike & Todd Shane are coming in as a tag team called Dick & Rod Johnson and will have costumes that apparently look like penises, just in case you were still on the fence about whether Vince Russo is involved. The top stars are basically making around $3,500 per week which is a pretty decent salary for one day's work every week. The guys without name value, on the other hand, are getting $300 per show and are covering their own transportation. Just in case you were still on the fence about whether Jerry Jarrett is involved.
  • Ken Shamrock did an interview and acknowledged that he hasn't done pro-wrestling in a few years and knows he's going to be rusty. He also said he's worried because with only 1 show per week, he won't really be able to get enough matches under his belt to get good again. He also said he's signed a 3 fight deal with UFC and will be fighting Tito Ortiz in September, which turns out to be a pretty huge damn deal.
  • Dave saw the K-1 match with former WCW developmental wrestler Bob Sapp vs. some dude. Doesn't matter. What matters is Bob Sapp is enormous ("makes Brock Lesnar look like Jerry Lynn"). And he mauled this poor guy. In fact, it looked like Sapp was trying to get DQ'd, as he started kicking and kneeing the guy while he was down and just treating it like a street fight, violating lots of rules in the process. He was DQ'd but then K-1 booked Sapp and this other dude for a rematch in July. That leads Dave to think this was planned as an effort to get Sapp over as a lunatic, but if it was a work, somebody should have told the other guy because Sapp fucked him right on up. "This was like everyone feared Mike Tyson would behave, but 1,000 times worse and from a man far more scary." Furthermore, Sapp came out in a full Ric Flair robe and to Ric Flair' ring music, and the arena went insane. Sapp has massive superstar appeal in Japan right now and promoting him as a violent psychopath who has no regards for the rules in a shoot fight appears to be getting over huge.
WATCH: Bob Sapp vs. some dude. Doesn't matter. K-1
  • Edge will not need surgery for his torn labrum injury, so he'll only miss a few weeks of action instead of a few months. Edge is in the midst of the biggest push of his career and this is his chance to finally break through to the next level so needless to say, good news.
  • Notes from Raw: show opened with Vince walking out, which was unexpected since this is Flair's show. He said Austin wasn't there and made a point of saying Austin was too much of a coward to be there. Pretty well buried Austin and buried Raw as a bad show (blaming Flair in kayfabe for all the show's real life problems. Sorta like last year when they actually turned the bad ratings into a storyline by trying to blame it on Corbin. Some things never change). They're doing a storyline with Trish making fun of Molly Holly for allegedly having a fat ass because, again, some things never change. Former Tough Enough contestant Chris Nowinski debuted doing the Harvard grad gimmick like the heel jock in every teen movie. "The heel jock." Never change Dave. Shawn Michaels made his big return, cut his promo joining the NWO and turning heel on the fans before superkicking Booker T out of the group. So theoretically, this should mean Booker T should have to work his way through the entire NWO one by one before getting to Shawn at the end, in what should be Shawn's first match back. "I'm not holding my breath," Dave says. And of course, Vince beat Flair to take control of both shows. Horrible match but considering it was a last minute panic move, understandable under the circumstances. Lesnar ran in and helped Vince win the match.
WATCH: Vince McMahon opening promo with Ric Flair on Raw
WATCH: Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon for sole ownership of WWE
  • Notes from Smackdown: during a big pull-apart brawl, several agents ran in to break it up. Among them were Dean Malenko and Fit Finlay, appearing on TV for the first time in their new backstage roles, and John Lauranitis who was also shown on TV last week. More gay jokes with Billy and Chuck and Rico, which Dave calls Russo-esque. Not quite yet. Jamie Noble was introduced with Nidia from Tough Enough season 1 as his valet, in a feud with Hurricane. There was a big effort to make Bob Holly a star this week, starting a feud with he and Kurt Angle and they really pushed Holly hard as a star and Angle busted his ass to try and get him over. And they did a show-long angle with Maven in the hospital (he's legit injured) and Torrie Wilson shows up, it's implied that she gives him a blowjob, and then Dr. Tajiri shows up, mists Torrie and beats up Maven. Dave is at least happy that they're trying to make an angle out of Maven's injury so he has a storyline to come back to, which is more effort than they put into most stuff these days.
  • Various WWE notes: referee Tim White suffered a torn rotator cuff in the Backlash Hell in a Cell match and will need surgery that will keep him out of the ring for months. Rey Mysterio is scheduled to debut on WWE house shows this week and, as of now, is expected to be wearing his mask again. Terry Taylor has been reaching out to get hired, but the company won't return his calls (they eventually re-hire him in September).
  • There's been a lot of praise for the new Spiderman comic "Tangled Web" which was written by Raven (I had to research this, but yeah. "Tangled Web" was a Spiderman anthology series that lasted about 2 years and had 22 issues. Each issue was written by different authors. Issue 14 was called "The Last Shoot" and sure enough, it was co-written by Raven alongside Brian Azzarello, who is the mind behind one of my favorite comic series of all time, 100 Bullets. And I had no idea. Wild).
  • The long-discussed plan of having Arn Anderson as Chris Benoit's manager seems to be off the table now. The thought is Anderson has been devalued so much in recent months (they pretty much wheel him out every time they need someone to take a beating for heat in a Flair feud) that he wouldn't be effective as a manager for a strong, serious heel.
  • Tough Enough II winner Linda Miles made her in-ring debut on Velocity, against Ivory. She was accompanied by fellow winner Jackie Gayda, who turned heel on her and cost Linda the match. Dave thinks it's waaaaaay too early to put these 2 women in a feud against each other considering how green they both still are.
WATCH: Linda Miles vs. Ivory - WWE Velocity 2002
  • The Rock, Vince McMahon, Undertaker, Jerry Lawler, Jm Ross, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Shane McMahon were all in Memphis at the Mike Tyson/Lennox Lewis fight last week. Rock could be seen on camera a few rows deep throughout the fight, while Vince was shown on camera as a celebrity in attendance before the fight. The others were never shown on-camera, but they were all there. The PPV is estimated to have done 1.8 million buys and grossed a record $103 million, which are numbers that WWE can only dream of. Prior to the PPV, Rock co-hosted a pre-show party with guests such as Halle Berry and Britney Spears.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Steve Austin accused of abusing Debra, much more on that situation and Austin's walkout, Jesse Ventura not running for re-election, Rock wrestles in Hawaii, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

Pre-Match Thread : Getafe CF - Atlético de Madrid

Match Facts
Simeone tells you what to expect from #GetafeAtleti
AUPA ATLETI !!!
submitted by Ashitakaa to atletico [link] [comments]

15 NBA players have been murdered.

Not all at once, I mean in the history of the NBA total. Here's the full list with bios and details. Let me know if I missed anyone! Sorry if this is too dark:
  1. Lorenzen Wright (1975-2010): Wright played in the NBA from 1996 to 2009, best known as a member of the Grizzlies, Clippers, and Hawks. He went missing in July 2010; his body was found over a week later in the nearby woods of Tennessee. A 911 call had been made from his cell phone, connecting with a dispatcher before 11 gunshots were heard. However, the dispatcher failed to report the call to his supervisor. In 2017, the gun believe to have killed Wright was discovered in a lake in Mississippi. Billy Turner was arrested in connection with the murder along his fellow church member Sherra Wright-Robinson---Lorenzen's widow. Likely motivated by her husband's $1M life insurance policy, Sherra was ultimately sentenced to 30 years in prison. Turner still awaits trial. Eerily, Wright's father (a former Memphis policeman) was also the victim of gun violence, having been paralyzed by a shot to the back when Lorenzen was 7 years old.
  2. Joe Fulks (1921-1976): HOFer Joe Fulks played his entire career with the Philadelphia Warriors between 1946 and 1954. He earned 2 All-Star selections, 4 All-NBA/BAA honors, won a ring in 1947, and led the league in scoring (23.2 PPG) the same year. Fulks set and broke the BAA/NBA single-game scoring record 4 times, culminating with a career high 63 points in 1949--a record that stood for over a decade before being lost to Elgin Baylor. Fulks also served with the Marines in World War II and later became the recreational director of the Kentucky State Penitentiary following retirement. In 1976, he was shot and killed by his girlfriend's son, Gregg Banister, during an argument over a handgun.
  3. Howard Porter (1948-2007): Porter played for the Pistons, among other NBA teams, from 1971 to 1978. As a collegiate player, he led Villanova to the NCAA Championship Game vs. UCLA, where he was named Most Outstanding Player; however, this title was stripped as he had already signed a professional contract with the ABA's Pittsburgh Condors. Following an NBA career plagued by addiction, Porter worked as a probation officer in Minneapolis for over a decade. In 2007, his badly beaten body was discovered in an alley. Police arrested a 33-year-old woman in connection with the crime, though she was released due to insufficient evidence. Rashad Arthur Raleigh was later arrested for Porter's murder and is currently serving a life sentence.
  4. Bison Dele (1969-2002): A career journeyman, Dele (born Brian Carson Williams) played his best seasons between 1995 and 1998 as a member of the Pistons, Clippers, and Bulls. He eventually won a ring alongside Michael Jordan in 1997 and allegedly dated Madonna before abruptly retiring in in 1999. An avid traveler and sailor, Dele set out from Tahiti on his boat, the Hakuna Matata, on July 6, 2002, along with his girlfriend Serena Karlan, his brother Miles Dabord, and skipper Bertrand Saldo. Two weeks later, Dabord returned from sea alone. Following a sting operation, Dabord was detained by police; it was soon discovered that he had forged his brother's signature to buy $152,000 of gold, while the Hakuna Matata had been re-registered in Tahiti with patched bullet holes. Dabord claimed that a fight between he and his brother resulted in Karlan hitting her head on the boat; when the skipper insisted on reporting her death, Bison killed the man, followed by Dabord shooting his brother in self defense. Fearing prison, Dabord intentionally overdosed on insulin, slipping into a fatal coma. Dele's body is assumed to have been thrown overboard in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
  5. George Trapp (1948-2002): Trapp played for the Pistons and Hawks from 1971 to 1977; his brother John earned a ring with the Lakers in 1972. Following an argument with his roommate, Jerome Miller, Trapp allegedly struck Miller with an ashtray, leading Miller to fatally stab Trapp in the abdomen. While Trapp underwent successful surgery, the wound became infected, resulting in pneumonia and death.
  6. Reggie Harding (1942-1972): Another Detroit Piston, Harding played in the NBA from 1963 to 1968 after becoming the first NBA draft selection without prior college experience. By all accounts, Harding was not a great guy: He allegedly carried a gun in his gym bag, playfully shot at teammates, robbed gas stations, became involved with drugs, and was eventually suspended by the NBA for the entire 1965-66 season. Worse, future Supremes singer Florence Ballard claimed Harding raped her at knifepoint in 1960. In 1972, Harding was gunned down at a Detroit intersection; while the case was never solved, it's safe to say Harding had no shortage of enemies.
  7. Anthony Roberts (1955-1997): Roberts played 5 seasons in the NBA between 1977 and 1984, best known as a member of the Denver Nuggets. Roberts was shot and killed by two men in the parking lot of his apartment complex following an alleged argument.
  8. Bubbles Hawkins (1954-1993): Best known as a member of the Nets from 1976 to 1978, Robert "Bubbles" Hawkins averaged 19.3 points per game in during the '76-'77 NBA season following the departure of Julius Erving. However, his career was ultimately short-lived. His body was discovered shot to death in a suspected Detroit crack house in in 1993.
  9. Jim Bradley (1952-1982): While not technically an NBA player, Bradley was an ABA champion in 1975 during a 2-year stint with the Kentucky Colonels. An alum of Northern Illinois University, he and former Illinois State player Bubbles Hawkins often faced each other on the court--however, their lives would follow a similar pattern right until their tragic ends. After a drug deal gone bad in 1982, Bradley was shot in the back in Portland OR, where his body was found in an alley.
  10. Ozell Jones (1960-2006): Jones played just one full season with the Spurs in 1984-85 before embarking on an overseas/minor league career. Following retirement, he opened up a men's big and tall clothing store in California. In 2006, he was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot wound to the abdomen; the case remains open today.
  11. Sid Tanenbaum (1925-1986): Tanenbaum played two seasons for BAA's Knicks and Bullets from 1947 to 1949. Following his basketball career, he opened up a metalworks shop. A pillar of his community, he would often loan money to his neighbors; however, when Tanenbaum refused to continue lending to a local 37-year-old woman, she stabbed him to death in his shop.
  12. Jack Molinas (1931-1975): Molinas played for the Fort Wayne Pistons during the 1953-54 season, earning All-Star honors in what would become his lone NBA campaign after being banned for betting. He was later implicated in the infamous 1961 point-shaving scandal (alongside Connie Hawkins and Roger Brown), serving 5 years in prison for his role, where he supposedly gained ties with the New York mob. In 1973, while awaiting trial for interstate pornography distribution, Molinas was fatally shot in his backyard just 9 months after the murder of his former business partner, Bernard Gusoff. Police could not rule out a mob-related motive.
  13. Gary Suiter (1944-1982): Suiter played 30 games for the Cavaliers during the 1970-71 NBA season. Following an argument regarding a gambling debt, he was murdered by Gary Randall Hoxsie, who was later sentenced to life in prison.
  14. Bob Hogsett (1941-1984): Hogsett only played 20 professional games for the Pistons in 1967 and the ABA's Pittsburgh Pipers the following year. He later served as an administrator for the Virginia Tech veterinary hospital. While motives remain unclear, Hogsett was confronted by carpenter Louis Dowdy on December 5, 1984, outside their place of work. Dowdy fired a single shot into Hogsett's chest before turning the gun on himself.
  15. Bryce Dejean-Jones (1992-2016): After going undrafted 2016, Dejean-Jones worked his way up from the D-League before starting 11 of 14 games with the New Orleans Pelicans. Just three months after signing a 3-year contract with the team, he became the first active NBA player to die following Eddie Griffin's fatal car crash in 2007. On May 28, Dejean-Jones kicked in the front door of what he believed to be his girlfriend's apartment following an argument. In actuality, his girlfriend lived one floor above. Dejean-Jones moved into the bedroom, where a sleeping resident awoke and fired through the door in self-defense. Dejean-Jones was struck in the abdomen and pronounced dead at just 23 years old.
submitted by WatchMe_Nene to nba [link] [comments]

I'm finalizing my portfolio for this year.

It's been a while since I made a big post. Lots of people are still messaging me about the energy sector post, especially for the ENPH tip, so I'm here to show my portfolio. I don't own all companies yet, this is partially hypothetical. I'm holding on to a reasonable cash position for a possible new downturn, but I have starting positions in most companies and will DCA.
I will try to keep it summarized, as I have done quite a lot of analysis on each of them. I'll draw the main picture and give the most important arguments for my choices, but I'm not expanding too much. If you're interested, you can DM me to talk about them more.
Let me start by saying I'm a growth investor. I always look for a combination of growth with a great track record, if possible at a reasonable price. There are exceptions as you will see below, but the main balance stays the same. I'm not a defensive investor, but no aggressive one either. My timeline is 2-5 years at least (due to a possible start of a small business), but I would gladly hold on to these companies 10+ years.
TLDR; For you guys not interested in my portfolio, I've added a short list of interesting smaller cap companies at the end, most of them trading at decent values.
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ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES - $AMD
This one is becoming a blue chip, but has more than enough growth potential to live up to those high valuations. Preferred by gamers and beating their biggest competitor in the CPU market hard. While AMD and INTC were close competitors at the beginning of the 21st century, INTC took the lead by a lot. Since 2017, they introduced 7nm CPU's and GPU's and they are closing the gap fast. Not only are their chips more performant, they are also cheaper. Market cap $60B vs $261b.
Those next generation chips lead them to new partnerships, often beating INTC. Microsoft, a long time Intel customer, began using AMD chips in their Surface laptops. Lenovo using AMD for their new servers. Nvidia started using the chips in their AI products. AMD is also used by Apple's high-end laptops, while Intel (used in the budget range) will probably get replaced by Apple chips made in-house. Apart from laptops, AMD has government contracts to deliver supercomputers in 2021/2023 and they are used in both PS and XBOX consoles, to give a few examples.
For the CPU market, AMD is destined to take over, but they're also taking on NVDA for their GPU's. They have been catching up for years and in 2019 they finally made a better performing GPU in the $350-400 price range. There is a possibility to gain GPU market cap since NVDA has been pushing their prices due to the lack of competition. Therefore, with AMD stepping up their game, they need to give up market share or lower their margins.
Financial
Assets over liabilities are x1.88. Cash to debt ratio well above industry average, debt to EBITDA well below IA. ROE 17.12% and ROIC 28.06%. Earnings were growing fast before Covid (125% in Q3, 78% in Q4). Yes they're overvalued, but with their future outlook, I would always buy below $49.
Doubts
Now that they are done catching up, the question is, will they outperform in the future. To gain more market share of Nvidia, they need to be better, not equally good. AMD also needs to control the heating better, as it is one of their long term problems.
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MASTERCARD - $MA
Fintech companies like SQ and PYPL are a great investment. However, a lot of big companies will (and already did) implement online financial services. MA is able to easily work with multiple of those companies and they're using their global presence pretty well, that's why they're my pick for the fintech industry.
They launched Mastercard Accelerate last year, implementing those online paying platforms and letting start-ups take advantage of their global presence to grow and transform very fast. Last year they acquired Ethoca (managing e-commerce fraud) and Vyze (platform to connect merchants with multiple renders, giving them the opportunity to get those financial needs for start-ups). MA is basically helping start-ups to grow faster, which will result in more financial transactions in the future.
Last but not least, they like to focus on expanding to countries where there isn't much competition yet. They are expanding their exposure to Middle East and Africa, working with local networks and e-commerce platforms. They are in a strong position to capitalize those regions in the future and take on market leader Visa even more.
They get compared a lot to Visa, so I'll expand on that subject a bit as well. While V is focussing on performance and speed, MA plays the cyber security card. They are already working on ways to implement cryptocurrency and Mastercard tend to have more growth potential vs stability from market leader Visa. While V is in the lead, MA is more widely used by fintech companies, which shows potential take-over in the future. Next to their credit services, they also own debit service Maestro, which is widely used in Europe.
Financial
Returns as high as 150% (ROE) and 60% (ROIC). Very large margins and perfectly stable balance sheet. High EPS growth YoY, 53% and 42% in the last two years. Quick ratio 1.87. V has more assets and even bigger margins, however MA wins in returns and cash. In terms of more growth, I like to focus on those last numbers more.
Doubts
It's a blue chip at a $300B market cap. Their growth potential might be limited, although I see them as one of the better picks between blue chips.
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ENPHASE ENERGY - $ENPH
I already talked about solar energy in another post, so I'm gonna skip the explanation. As some of you know my choices were ENPH and SEDG, so I'll explain a bit about why I choose ENPH here. Mainly it's because of their financials, so I'll dive that straight away.
Quick ratio - 2.35 vs 1.74
ROE - 142.94% vs 21.51%
ROIC - 85.51% vs 25.81%
Net margin - 25.81% vs 10.28%
However I think SEDG balance sheet is a lot better and safer, ENPH is working on their future more efficient. They are paving the way smoothly with bigger margins and return on investments. Although SEDG might be the better pick right now, ENPH will be the better one in a short while. ENPH is also a bit less overvalued and their PEG ratio is lower, which makes them the better pick to get in right now.
Diving into the products as well, ENPH just has the better and more efficient product. Their micro inverters are more durable (20 vs 12 years) and give the chance to increase or decrease the amount of solar panels easily, depending on your personal situation.
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GALAPAGOS - $GLPG
I'm not a big fan of biotech companies, but these guys have my attention. Not because they're working on Covid vaccines, but because of two reasons. First one is them getting back-up from Gilead Sciences. That's the push they needed to start operating worldwide, increasing their potential market cap. Now that they have the cash from GILD, they can keep on buying interesting divisions and increase their growth. While having almost no long term debt, they are set pretty well with about $4 billion extra in cash.
Second, they have multiple medicines in later trial phases, with Filgotinib as their biggest one. They had a setback on those results, but the company is very confident, giving an opportunity to get them at a decent price. I wouldn't be surprised if they partner up with another big pharmaceutical company in the metabolic disease section.
Financial
High PE (84 vs 44 average), but PEG ratio is 1.2. Quick ratio 9.28. ROIC 75.91% and ROE 7%. Became profitable this year with 16.25% net margin. 38.7% YoY EPS growth.
Doubts
Like all biotech players, there's a lot depending on medicines getting through phase trials and being commercialized. If Filgotinib will fail, their stock will obviously fall. However since they are backed by a big US giant, they can commercialize the product faster and on a bigger global scale if trials succeed. That's what gives them the advantage in comparison to other biotech companies for me.
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WALT DISNEY - $DIS
This one has got me doubting a lot. I've taken them off and put them back on my list multiple times, but eventually I decided to keep them at least 2 years to see how they will evolve into streaming.
Biggest advantage they have on their competitors is they basically have a monopoly on kids entertainment. Kids are growing up with electronic devices and content, so they're creating customers at a very young age. That's how Coca Cola used to work. They targeted 14-16 year olds, dumping loads of money into advertising which resulted in life long customers, as people didn't change cola brands often.
Disney+ is a big hit and they won't get so much competition from other streaming services as Netflix and Roku will. They have one of the strongest defined brands out there and they know perfectly how to build and maintain their company. It's also still unclear how sports with public will evolve, but it's certain streaming will become even bigger after Covid. Therefore their money-losing ESPN acquisition could even turn into a moneymaker.
Financial
I can't really say great things about their financials. ROE is 12.67%, above 10% is decent. Assets over liabilities are x1.85 and debt to equity is 0.61. You could apply the saying "too big to fail' here, but that's about it. The bad financials are mainly caused by their big investment to streaming of course and they're working on it hard. They doubled their cash position, increasing their quick ratio from 0.75 to 0.89.
Doubts
I would say financials are their weak point here. They still have to go through some bad weather this and next year I would say. Them doubling their cash position in Q1 was soothing, as I see it being the biggest issue for the future. It might be better to wait it out and keep an eye on them for next year, but I wanted to take a position already. Not higher than 8% of my portfolio though.
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MICROSOFT - $MSFT
They don't really an introduction I guess. 2nd biggest player for cloud services with Azure. Naming Satya Nadella as CEO and making the transition from hardware to software in 2014 were the best decisions they could've made. Acquired the government contract with Pentagon, however there's still uncertainty about it. In short, Amazon is claiming they were about to win the contract, but Trump criticizing the company would've lead to calling off the deal. For me, that's probably the main reason why MSFT didn't fly as high as their fellow cloud competitors yet.
Financial
Assets over liabilities x1.67. ROE and ROIC respectively at 43.82% and 28.88%. Quick ratio of 2.88, 0.65 debt to equity and 1.86 cash to debt. Decent financials, great returns. Talking about blue chips, I would say MSFT is still fairly valued with a PEG ratio just below industry average. Also paying a small dividend.
Doubts
The Pentagon contract allegations could be pretty negative for the company. They will probably not come back on their decision, cause if they do, MSFT will claim they already made big investments towards them and things will just keep on dragging on. Even without the contract, MSFT should be a 10 year hold while buying on dips.
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INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES - $IIPR
Haven't read a lot about them here on Reddit, but they're a very decent investment. Basically, they buy properties from cannabis companies and leases them back to the sellers, giving them the cash they need to grow faster and IIPR keeps the long term advantage of renting out those properties. They need to buy about 6-8 properties a year to keep their growth rate going and they already bought 7 this year. They still have a lot of cash ready to take advantage of the crisis.
Not only are they 20% undervalued right now, they have a lot more growth potential after that and on top of it, they pay close to 5% dividend. I'm not a big fan of betting on the best cannabis company for the future, but IIPR is a great buy to have exposure in that industry. It doesn't happen very often I come across a company that combines growth potential with a high dividend, but IIPR does.
Financial
Quick ratio 6.75, cash to debt 2.8 (while REITs have an 0.07 average). Net margins 13% above average. Assets over liabilities x4.88. Annual EPS growing by more than 150% and about 41% in the last quarter before Covid. They just missed Q1 estimates, but it was only an 8% drop from Q4, performing way better than other REITs.
Doubts
IIPR has held a lot of new investment rounds, diluting shares. Of course extra capital will result in higher growth and will eventually be positive in the long run. There has been a drop in these last few days due to the announcement of selling 1 million more shares soon. I would look at it as an opportunity to get an even better price on them.
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TELADOC HEALTH - $TDOC
It's the only company I don't own yet. I can't force myself to invest more than $140 per share for them, although I really like their business model. A lot of people are skipping doctors visits these days, going straight away to get medicines and counting on the advice of pharmacists. A lot of times, there's more examination needed.
Not only do I see them succeeding in their field, I see them as an essential part of the automation of the pharmacy industry. It's a useful tool in emergencies, giving advice and deciding how serious the condition is, if (fast) medical care is needed. Teladoc will also play a role in insurance and giving the employers a checking tool. 98.9% of their shares are owned by institutions.
Financial
In terms of profitability and returns, not great of course. They are estimated to get profitable in 2023. Great balance sheet, assets over liabilities x2.66. Quick ratio 6.14, cash to debt 1.06, debt to equity 0.48.
Doubts
It's hard to see if a company is well managed before they are profitable. Their moat isn't very narrow, however I feel being one of the first ones gives you a big advantage in this field.
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DRAFTKINGS - $DKNG
Gonna keep this one pretty short, there has been enough posts about Donkey Kong. For me, the most important factor for choosing them in this industry is their fantasy sports section. They are widely popular and that division will only get more interesting while online gambling, and especially in-game betting, gets more and more legalized in the US.
Although they realized major revenue growth in 2019, they almost doubled their earnings loss. Main reason of course having to develop their platform and system. Good thing is, their technology is highly scalable, meaning they margin will grow massively while expanding in to more states and countries. Not many ratios available yet, so that's about the only financial information I own atm.
The only negative I see is their pretty wide moat, so this one should be monitored more closely in the future. But for now, they have the momentum and are one of the most popular choices, great investment.
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RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES - $RTX
As many of you know, two great companies (UTC and RTN) merged together in April. While United focussed on aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), Raytheon manufactured weapons, military and commercial electronics. They always delivered advanced technologies and them gaining multiple government contracts in the last decade is confirmation of their performant products.
Raytheon will continue to grow their leadership in different segments. Because of their diversity, they seem perfectly in place to grow even more into an aerospace & defense giant. Engines, aerostructures, avionics, sensors, cybersecurity and other software solutions are just a few examples of their working fields.
Financial
With a PE ratio of 13.58 and PB ratio of 1.41, this is probably the most undervalued stock in my portfolio. Assets over liabilities x1.43. The rest of their financials isn't that great. UTC was carrying a lot of debt, but because of the merger, it will be better balanced as RTN was only carrying $2 billion net debt. If they can decrease their debt and optimize their merger, they are set to be the new number one in defense.
Doubts
It's still unclear how the merger will work out financially and logistically. In theory, they should be very well armed (pun intended) to take on LMT as market leader. Their exposure to commercial aircrafts is also a big threat, but it's less of an issue because they can make up with their other practices.
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As you can see, I've tried to get the best blue chips with still some growth potential and stable growth companies together. Since a lot of companies already got mentioned on this forum, I'll include a bonus round of interesting companies I came across during my search for the best companies. I didn't include them in my portfolio mainly because I feel the chance of them succeeding and living up to their future potential is more risky than others. For you looking for higher risk, higher reward, check out these companies below.
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So, that's about all I have to share. This will also be my last big post a while. Analyzing stocks has been my main occupation for the last three months, but it's time to work on opening up the hotel and bar again. I hope some of you get something out of this. I'm not a professional so always check again for yourself. I'm gonna hold on to these companies for a while now. Will add some extra capital at the beginning of 2021, so you could expect another big post about my newest findings then. For now, I'm gonna take a break from following the market day in day out and enjoy the weather a bit more.
Have a good one!
submitted by CapitalC5 to stocks [link] [comments]

A brief Guide to Boardgames for Newcomers

Hello dwellers, I’m a German guy who just recently got into the hobby, and spent a long time researching… well, a lot of stuff. The following is intended as a reference or perhaps a guide for newcomers who might find themselves lost. It is a long read, but I think it may save you a lot of “work” and touch topics that you might not have considered yet. Headlines are written in bold letters, so you could just scan through it or simply use Ctrl+F to see if something interests you. I mentioned my nationality so you can put some statements further down into perspective. I apologize in advance for any inconsistencies, I wrote this over a longer timespan. Anyway, here goes:
Boardgamegeek
Chances are you already heard about this infamous website. Its main purpose is to serve as a database for boardgames. All games (and many expansions) are assigned an individual score from 1 (bad) to 10 (good), one of which is the community rating, and the other a weighted rating that BGG implemented to prevent games with low review counts to reach unproportonally high ratings. As a rule of thumb, if a game you are considering to buy has a score of 6.5 or lower (which is still fine of course), you should think twice. Assigned to each game (by the community) are also: a “good” and a recommended number of players, the estimated length of the game and its “weight” on a scale from 1 (easy) to 5 (hard). There’s been some criticism regarding that simple weight score, because it does not differentiate between “difficulty to learn” and “difficulty to play”, but it is still a solid indicator of how heavy a game is. For starters, if you are trying to introduce new people to the hobby, games with weight < 2.5 might be a good starting point (for a brief list of recommendations as well as links to BGG sites, scroll all the way down).
Another important part of each game’s site is the “Expansions” tab, but we will get to that later.
BGG also hosts a market place that I have used twice so far, with great experience. You can directly access it by searching for the “Buy” button on your desired game’s BGG site. On the “Geek Market”, you’ll find listings of sellers, with their location next to their names. Make sure to read the description first, because not all listings are necessarily offering the full game.
There is a lot more going on on BGG, but I want to finish off by mentioning the Top 100, which is led by Gloomhaven. There is a latent debate about how representative that list is, but most games in the Top 100 are widely considered excellent, and they cover many different “genres”.
Kickstarter
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform for new ideas of all kinds, not only boardgames. Still, boardgames are introduced on Kickstarter frequently, and they require a certain amount of money from so-called “backers” (people who support the project financially) who pick a certain “pledge” (prices usually don’t contain shipping cost already, which is often fairly high for non-USAmericans). If enough money is collected, only then the product can actually be produced. Backers receive what they pledged for, usually 1 or even 2 years later. Most Kickstarter campaigns last for about 30 days, some are much shorter. Once the funding goal for a game has been reached, many projects will offer “stretch goals”, extra content that is unlocked gradually as more money is pledged. Again, there are some pros and cons, but remember: All that glitters is not gold, which is especially true for miniatures. You’ll run out of precious shelf space soon enough. Kickstarter projects toying with customers’ fear of missing out is a bad trend in my opinion. Some projects even offer Kickstarter Exclusive Content which is almost impossible to get your hands on later, for exmaple the “Unspeakable Box” that was part of the “Cthulhu: Death may die” Kickstarter. Dealing with that can be frustrating, so be warned.
In general, a very important question you must ask yourself is, if that game you saw for 150$ + shipping with all those stretch goals and exclusives is worth more than the number of throughly reviewed, excellent games out there that you could get instead. If money is not an issue for you at all, and you have empty shelves to fill, these concerns become less relevant.
One thing I want to mention is that for people with no credit or debit card, it may be hard to find a reliable and inexpensive way of payment. I spent days researching on that, and finally settled with the “boon” banking app. Setting it up may take a while, and since it’s a proper bank managing the whole thing, you’ll have to confirm identity for “boon+” which is highly recommended and free. It works like this: You use “SEPA” to send money to your virtual prepaid credit card (can’t go below 0), and are free to use it about 1 or 2 days later. Anyway, think carefully before entrusting someone with your personal data.
To finish off this topic, here is a “calendar” of some upcoming boardgames on Kickstarter, maintained by u/Zelbinian . Props to him.
Out-of-print (OOP) games
Unfortunately, not all games are continued indefinitely. Contracts and licences expire, money has to be made. That includes games like Android Netrunner LCG (see section below), Forbidden Stars and Battlestar Galactica. Your best bet is to try and find these games second-hand (see section “buying used”) for somewhat reasonable prices, or maybe go for a different language (see section “Buying in other languages”). Even if an OOP base game is still affordable, the price of its better expansions will often increase rapidly. The Reign and Reverie expansion for Android Netrunner, which was released in 2018 at a price of about 30$, costs at least 200$ at the time I wrote this, and there are only 2 offers I could find. For some games, like Android Netrunner, you may be lucky enough to find so-called proxies, aka scans of all cards for you to print and use. Don’t waste your money, just print them on paper and sleeve them along with the others in matte sleeves (more under section “Sleeves”). Be careful not to break any laws. Especially games that are still printed and expanded are most likely not to be copied or custom printed.
Living Card Games (LCGs)
A Living Card Game like Arkham Horror LCG is any card game that receives (somewhat) regular expansions with fixed content, some of which may be part of a “cycle”, a set of expansions that is connected thematically or storywise. I want to make very clear that it makes little sense to buy expansions packs from different cycles in random order. As a newcomer, you should first try and get a brief overview. Resources such as the .pdf files in this BGG thread for the Arkham Horror LCG will be very useful. Of course, you should start with the base set / core game before going for expansions. While you should stick to the release order within cycles, whole cycles and deluxe / standalone expansions can usually be bought and played in any order. If you are unsure what expansions to go for first, I recommend minding three criteria: Age, Price and Rating on BGG. Age is important because older expansions may not be reprinted, so getting them first could make sense. Price is important because you will probably find complete cycles for a cheaper price later, rather than following along with the newest releases. BGG Rating is a great reference if you do not know where to start after the base game. Just make sure to check the number of ratings to put the rating into perspective.
Famous and high-rated LCGs include Arkham Horror LCG, Marvel Champions LCG and Android Netrunner LCG, most of which are ideally or exclusively played with 2 players.
Unfortunately, LCGs can become very expensive. A whole cycle of the Arkham Horror LCG, consisting of one “cycle core box” (Example here) and 6 mini-expansions costs anywhere between 80$ and 120$ if you buy new. Replayability may or may not be an issue, depending on the LCG.
Most LCGs have very poor storage solutions (if any) by default. For more information, see section “Storage”.
Legacy” Games
Legacy Games like Clank! Legacy: Aquisitions Incorporated and Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 are spinoffs of standalone games that make for a campaign-like, session-oriented playthrough of their respective base games (in this case: Clank! and Pandemic). You do not need to own the base game, but trying it first will give you an idea if you will like the Legacy game or not. In general, Legacy Games cannot be used to play the base game after you are done with them, because you will put stickers on the board, tear apart cards and so on. Think of them as huge EXIT games with a much better price/value ratio.
Storage
Kallax. Next!
...actually, ikea’s Kallax is a cheap, elegant and practical way of not only storing your boardgames, but also presenting them. A 2x4 shelf costs about 60 bucks here. Only but the most monstrous boardgame boxes such as Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition, Gloomhaven, Too many Bones or War of the Ring 2nd Edition will manage to escape a Kallax’ grasp, everything else will fit in there smoothly. For proof, just go through this sub and check some “[COMC]” posts (I think it means “Cast on my Collection”, but it could just as well be something completely different). 75% of them will be black Kallax shelves stuffed with boardgames, and organizing them is so fun all the time sometimes, haha!
You can also try to store some of your games vertically rather than horizontally. Some boxes come with one side printed sideways for this very purpose. Just make sure to secure everything inside the box with rubber bands and ZIP bags.
Now that we found one possible solution for storing the boxes as a whole, let’s now tackle the much-harder-to-solve issue of storing what’s INSIDE of them (section on sleeves is further down). If the only games you ever played were Wizard and Catan (which comes with an okay storage solution by default), know that this is not the norm. In this part of the section, we will look into several issues regarding component storage and solutions using specific games as examples.

Gaming Mat
After reading into it for a while, it became clear that there is no “best gaming mat”. So to keep it short and simple: Neoprene (material) is widely appreciated, but a cheap fitness mat from amazon (or, preferrably, anywhere else) may work very well, too. All I can say is, don’t put drinks on the table if you can’t live without the game that’s on the table.
Sleeves
There is a large variety of sellers and brands to choose from. You will find a lot of info in several threads such as this, so I will only give a very brief overview with 2 recommendations. First of all, why sleeve? It's not somethign you need to do with all your cards, I'd say you should only sleeve when necessary. After all, a pack of 100 acceptable sleeves can cost anywhere between 2 and 12 bucks (or more if you really want to). Sleeve the cards that you shuffle constantly and, most importantly, you might want to sleeve that card game which went OOP (out of print) like Android Netrunner.
If you are unsure what size you need, check this thread. Many cards will have “standard” size, which means they have the same dimensions as “MtG” (Magic the Gathering) cards. Knowing this will make finding fitting sleeves a lot easier.
Next, think if you want clear or matte sleeves. Clear sleeves may be cheaper, and you get to see the actual back of your cards. Matte sleeves on the other hand have 2 advantages: First, you can pick colours of your liking and second, you can make cheap and expensive proxies likewise indistinguishable from other card for playing. I’m doing this for Android Netrunner, and it works well if you use somewhat sturdy paper. A device like this will help.
For affordable clear sleeves I re-recommend Swan Panasia, heard a lot of good things. For matte sleeves, I ordered a small number of Ultra Pro Eclipse Sleeves. They are pretty expensive tho, about 8 bucks for 100 sleeves.
Buying
This is a somewhat random list with bits of general advice.
Do not buy expensive games that your friends already own.
Try and try games before buying them, for example on Tabletop Simulator.
Don’t buy complex games unless you are sure they will see table time.
Before buying in other languages, make sure the game is either light on language or your potential players won’t mind it. Check BGG forums for a great number of resources, including rulebook translation into other languages. There’s been one for Brass: Birmingham years before it received a German edition.
When ordering from another country, or just in general, try and buy in bulk to save shipping.
Consider buying games as a group, for example Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 or Gloomhaven.
Watch reviews by established Youtubers like Shut up & sit down or No Pun Included for ideas.
If you are German, use the site brettspiel-angebote.de. If you are not, go and create a version of that site for your country. Refer to a game's BGG site to learn about ideal player count, length and complexity. Americans probably have a variety of options to choose from which I am not aware of, but one of them is this subreddit.
You can use BGG as a reference to find what expansion may be the best for your core game. Hit the “Expansions” tab, then sort by average rating. Mind the number of reviews, if it’s too low, the rating may not be representative. If you are not buying English, consider if you should. Is the game light on language? Are the expansions out of print in your language? Then you may want to buy the English version.
Stay away from unreviewed games on Kickstarter unless you are 100% sure the game is worth the price and will see table time. Do not forget about shipping, which may increase if material from stretch goals is included.
The German “equivalent” and partner to Kickstarter is the spieleschmiede from spiele-offensive.de.
If there is no particular order in which you want to buy the games on your wishlist, and there are no big sales, try and get the ones that are out of print (soon) first. Price will only go up, so you won’t lose much even if you end up not liking and reselling the game.
Play a game at least 3 times with an open mind before deciding if you like it or not.
Do not hesitate to buy used (especially for cheaper games), I had great experiences using the BGG marketplace and ebay. Make sure the seller is trustworthy, and always doublecheck the articles’s description and the game’s normal price. Often enough you’ll see offers where the seller wants more money than you’d pay new. Stay away from those guys.
No matter where you buy, unless the seller has a good reputation and you do not mind breaking Paypal’s rules, do not pay by “send[ing] money to a friend”. Serious sellers will probably agree to take the proper Paypal route if you offer them to pay extra for the Paypal fee (0.35€ + 2.5% of the price in Europe). That way, you get Paypal’s buyer protection.
The current pandemic may have you buy a lot more now that you are not playing. Don’t over do it, and make sure to coordinate your purchases with your gaming group if you have one.
Buying can become a bad habit. From what I gathered so far, a lot of people people on here have made that experience (or are going to make it). Here’s a link to a relevant thread. Unfortunately, as I am writing this, the top commentor has deleted his post (or it was removed by a mod), but what he basically said is, get your finances and your dopamine under control (goddammit!).
Last but not least, be patient! If your desired game is still available in large quantities, or seeing a reprint soon, there is no reason to rush it for a high price.
Solo Gaming
...isn’t quite the same as “classic” boardgaming. Make sure you like the concept before buying that Mage Knight: Ultimated Edition for 80 bucks. I think your best bet is to get games which not only fit your taste, but also offer an optional and well working solo mode, like Terraforming Mars. For some games, you’ll find solo variations on the BGG forums. Perhaps check them out to see if you already own a solo-playable candidate?
2-player Games
These can be hit or miss with your (playing) partner, so again you are well adviced to try games that are either cheap or come with an optional 2-player mode first (like, again, Terraforming Mars, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Castles of Burgundy, Race for the Galaxy, Hanabi (cooperative), Ticket to ride, Dominion, Spirit Island (heavy, cooperative), Marvel Champions LCG or Arkham Horror LCG (expensive). I bought most of my first 2-player games according to recommendation threads and BGG’s Top 100 list and wasn’t disappointed twice. Keyforge didn’t really work out well, and its resell value is horrible because people just assume you are trying to get rid of underwhelming decks. Anyway, for dedicated 2-player games you may want to start with cheaper, lighter games that you think fit your partner’s taste. A brief list of examples: Fox in the Forest, Patchwork, Hive or Hive Pocket, 7 Wonders: Duel, Air Land & Sea or Mandala. For dedicated cooperative 2-player games, check out Codenames: Duet or Aeon’s End. Arkham Horror LCG and Marvel Champions LCG will work best with 2 people as well.
Make sure to read the rules and play a short test round first for heavier games if you think your partner may get bored or he/she is really impatient in general. Looking up rules in the middle of the game can become very annoying. I haven’t tried it yet, but maybe use a timer every turn if the issue comes up. That will also give you a chance to point out potential hypocrisy regarding percepted and actual turn length. Of course, this is kind of an extreme measure and may not lead anywhere really. Some people just are not blessed with patience, and to deal with that, either get more people to the table for inter-turn-conversation, actually reduce your turn time somehow or avoid heavier games. Real-time games may also do the trick, but I can’t think of any that are working for 2 players.
Niche” Games
Niche games here refer to stuff like Captain Sonar, Gloomhaven or War of the Ring 2nd Edition. These may be hard to get to the table, either due to their (ideal) player count, their playing time or their complexity. Or a combination of these three (Twilight Imperium). As a general rule, as mentioned above, when you are considering to buy a game, do not listen to uncle dopamine who’s telling you that buying this 150$ game will get you and your friends the best time of your lives. Only buy them if you can actually see them being played. Make sure you know beforehand how a game is supposed to be played, if you need a dedicated group, how long it takes to read the rules, if they are well written and so on. The higher the price, the more careful you should be. 150$ (and everything close to it) is already crazy expensive, do not be fooled by current Kickstarter prices. There are cheaper, often better games waiting for you to be played as well.
(Semi-)Cooperative Games
There’s not much to say about cooperative games I guess, except that they are mostly “PvE” (Player versus Environment). Good and cheap starting options are Hanabi, The Crew, Magic Maze, 5-Minute-Dungeon, Pandemic & Pandemic: Legacy: Season 1 and, the game that I love with all my heart and that is the main reason I got into the hobby, Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition (expensive and requires an app).
But there are also semi-cooperative games. These usually include at least the possibility of one of your “friends” being a betrayer… Semi-cooperative games come in different falvours, but they will often use hidden information of some sorts. Great options out there, like Insider, Human Punishment (ridiculous but I absolutely love it), the classic, player-elimination-featuring Werewolf, the new and different One-Night-Werewolf, the infamous but expensive (and player-elimination-featuring despite its long play-time) Nemesis with a currently ongoing Kickstarter campaign and Dead of Winter, which I haven’t tried myself yet, but seems great although it’s also hit or miss apparently.
Party” Games
Party Games here refer to light games that are quick to teach and work well with large groups. Most of these are reasonably cheap. If you are interested, have a look at Just One, Insider, Wavelength ("Perfect Match" in German), Human Punishment, Decrypto & Codenames: Pictures and, of course, Twister (fight me).
Print & Play (PnP)
Print & Play – Games are, as the name suggests, games that you can print and play right away, at least theoretically. It my take some work to have the components look good, but many games do not require many components. For exmaple, I found a PnP version of Air, Land & Sea (legally of course) which usually costs about 15 bucks. If you do PnP card games, perhaps you could use some matte sleeves so your astounding works of craftsmanship are harder to tell apart. Some PnP games are only offered for a short time.
Tabletop Simulator
This is a Virtual Reality – compatible software which offers barely more than a playground for script kiddies (God bless them), who took the opportunity to imitate real games like Mage Knight and Wingspan almost flawlessly. I do not like It myself, but the software (on Steam) is rather cheap and offers tons of games for free. It is thus a great option to test games or just play them with your friends as a substitute in the ongoing pandemic. But be careful, I heard word that some “big” games are being taken down by Asmodee, and other publishers may follow. Which they have every right to do of course, but I doubt it ever hurt their sales, quite the opposite actually. But anyway.
Games that got me into the Hobby
This is what this post was going to be about before I decided to take the time and try to write a brief overview for newcomers. I played board and card games for as long as I can remember, like Yugioh and Catan. But It wasn’t until a friend showed me the Lovecraft-inspired Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition that I thought “Yeah, maybe this hobby is cool”. So props to him. I realized that what got me into the hobby was not just the fun I had playing boardgames.It’s theme. Theme is what makes a game interesting before you even look at the rules or components. Theme is what makes Human Punishment stand out for me, theme is what separates a classic card game from Fox in the Forest, and it’s theme that makes people like Battle for Hogwarts despite its numerous shortcomings. So when a game had weak theme and still managed to convince me, such as Codenames: Pictures or Just One, all the better. Until now, apart from a few games that were (soon) OOP, I focussed mostly on collecting games for any group, that means size and playtime + complexity, which are similar but do not always overlap. Here are my recommendations for games to start with, and their current estimated price in Germany (in €) according to brettspiel-angebote.de, which hopefully serves as a reference for buyers from other countries. You'll often pay much less when you are waiting for sales! If you can't wait, at least buy local if possible.
2 players: Fox in the Forest (~20€), Castles of Burgundy (~38€), Patchwotk (20€), Race for the Galaxy (~30€), Hanabi (~7€).
3&4 players: Quacks of Quedlinburg (~21€), Love Letter (~8€), Roll for the Galaxy (~39€), The Crew (~12€), Magic Maze (~21€), Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition (~80€), 7 Wonders (~36€), Terraforming Mars (~60€), Scythe (~66€), Brass: Birmingham (~60€).
5 players: Cosmic Encounter (34€), Quacks of Quedlinburg (~21€) with Herb Witches Expansion (~15€), Mysterium (~35€) or Dixit (~20€), Human Punishment (~27€), Just One (~16€).
6 players: Decrypto (~18€)or Codenames: Pictures (~18€), Wavelength ("Perfect Match" in German, 35€), Twilight Imperium (~116€), Just One (~16€), Human Punishment (~27€).
7+ players: Just check the “Party Games” section. If you are exactly 8 people, try Captain Sonar (~30€).
This Subreddit
...is amazing. It’s beyond me how there’s over a million subscribers with so few posts over the day. But oh boy is the active community active. Everyone loves talking about boardgames, and I mean, that’s what this sub is forl. Just make sure to read the rules, even though they are not super specific, it’s important to understand that you should not ask for game recommendations outside of the dedicated daily thread. Anyway, I am looking forward to look backwards when I get to build my gaming table one day, and steal all the great ideas posted here over the years for myself. So keep them coming!
Thanks for reading!
submitted by laleluoom to boardgames [link] [comments]

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