Horse Racing Odds: How to Read Odds & Calculate Payouts

Wizard Tournament: Chapter 9

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      “The number next to your name is the odds,” Sylnya told Peter. “and I think that might be some kind of record.”
      “Record?” Peter asked. “Is that a good thing?”
      “It just means everyone thinks you’re going to lose,” Sylnya told him. “The longer the odds the bigger the number.” Draevin caught a glimpse of a smirk from Peter at this news for some reason.
      “Wait a second,” Peter said. “You mean people bet on the matches. Like in horse racing?”
      Sylnya’s face went blank. She looked to Draevin but he wasn’t sure what had her stumped. “Sure,” she finally said, “it’s probably a lot like whores racing.”
      Peter’s eyes went wide and he choked out a snort of laughter. “What?” Sylnya asked. “What’s so funny?”
      Draevin got his own laughter under control first and told her, “Nothing. Just something funny that happened at the last whore race. You’d have to have been there.”
      “I don’t understand you meat-creatures sometimes,” Sylnya complained. She went back to studying the day’s schedule. She had a twinkle in her eye that Draevin was uncomfortable with given her past history of gambling. “Matching up three non-wizards in a row can’t be a coincidence. They must be trying to get them out of the way.”
      “I thought you said nobody knew which of those two orcs was casting spells,” Draevin pointed out. “Drant’ro, that’s an orc name right?”
      Sylnya waved a dismissive hand in Draevin’s direction without looking up. “Yesterday’s news. Everyone was talking about it last night after they registered. It turns out Drant’ro was just a bodyguard for the other guy.”
      “And why would you know that Sylnya?” Draevin asked seriously. “You said you weren’t going to be gambling this year. Remember how much you lost last year? You still owe me a hundred gold.”
      Sylnya gave Draevin a guilty smile. “Well that was before a certain human entrepreneur bought up all my debt!”
      “Is that what all this has been about?” Draevin asked. It all made sense. “Alex is holding your gambling debt until you finish helping Peter?”
      Sylnya snaked an arm around Peter’s shoulder and gave him a rather uncooperative squeeze. “You make it sound like a bad thing, Drae. What’s wrong with helping someone in need? Are you really going to tell me he’s not growing on you?”
      “Yes,” Draevin said firmly. As the group approached the ticket booth Draevin paused. “Please tell me you remembered your promise to buy my tickets this year.”
      Sylnya’s eyebrows shot up. “Oh yeah. I forgot!”
      “Syl…”
      Sylnya pulled some stubs of paper from her belt pouch. “I forgot I upgraded us to a viewing booth last night.”
      “Those are… expensive.” Draevin gave Sylnya a flat look. “Did Alex pay for those?”
      “Not at all,” Sylnya said. They reached the ticket counter and Sylnya handed over her stubs. The little gnome behind the counter took them and handed the group over to a female dwarf in a purple button-down Guild uniform who promised to take them to their seats.
      “Well I know you didn’t pay for them,” Draevin told his friend while they entered the main access tunnel for the arena, which was now bustling with people.
      Sylnya gave a huff of annoyance. “Fine. I didn’t. It was actually Caelnaste that paid.”
      “Didn’t she steal his room last night?” Peter asked.
      “Exactly!” Sylnya agreed. “I went and talked to her last night. She just wanted to offer her apology for that whole thing so there’s no hard feelings. She said booting you was the Queen’s idea and she had no say in it.”
      Draevin remembered the two eldrin mocking him last night. “I’m not so sure I believe that, but it is a nice gesture.” He supposed most well-to-do eldrin must just have more money than they know what to do with.
      “Here you are,” their guide announced. They’d arrived at their booth. It was just three walls to help block some of the noise from the crowd and softer seats, but it beat the hell out of sharing a wooden bench with a hundred other fans like they normally did. And the booth was as close to the field as it was possible to get; the open front dropped right onto the field. “Be sure to talk to any Guild acolyte you see walking around if you have any trouble with your reservation.”
      With that they were left alone to settle in. Sylnya sat in the middle and made Draevin scoot over to make room for Peter, but even with the three of them Draevin had more room than usual so he couldn’t complain.
      “I have a quick question before the matches start,” Peter spoke up. A few Guild engineers were still on the field making last minute checks of the battleground so it looked like they still had some time to chat.
      “Go ahead,” Sylnya said.
      “I get that there are a lot of wizards specializing in physical magics, but what about the less physical ones like lithomancy, sensomancy or cerebromancy?”
      “Those are a lot less common,” Sylnya explained. “Lithomancy’s a bit too finicky for combat, but we get a few. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an illusionist though.”
      “How would they even fight?” Draevin couldn’t help but chime in. “What is even the point of magic that can’t hurt anyone?”
      “As for cerebromancy,” Sylnya continued. “There’s only one I know of this year but he’s the best in the world.”
      “Is that Tomrha?” Peter asked. “I thought you said he wasn’t a master.”
      “He might as well be,” Sylnya answered. “Cerebromancy’s notoriously difficult to master.”
      Draevin had to agree. “I’m just glad he’s on the other side of the brackets from me this year. My cryomancy is useless against mental magic.”
      Peter furrowed his brow, then readjusted his glasses before writing down some more notes in his pad.
      The engineers started clearing out and Sylnya pointed down toward the field for Peter’s benefit. “Those white squares on the ground at each end of the field are called the fighter’s boxes.”
      Peter nodded and wrote that down. “Is that what we stood in when we registered?”
      “Correct,” Sylnya answered. “Contestants have to stand inside until the bell rings. The enchantments prevent spell casting and unravel any active spells.”
      “Unless you’re really good,” Draevin added.
      “He’s just saying that because he always wears Frost Armor robes when he goes into his matches. Don’t listen to him. It’s normally a huge waste of mana to try to bring active enchantments into your match. They’ll usually be worn away by the time the match actually starts.”
      Draevin stuck his tongue at her. “You’re just jealous.”
      “Hardly, I don’t…” Sylnya trailed off when she noticed the crowd around them suddenly starting to quiet. Draevin looked out at the field and saw the announcer was walking into the center of the arena. She was a master sonamancer from Eldesia named Maeve who wasted her talents acting as an announcer in exchange for fame and a steady paycheck. As an eldrin, she complimented her natural white skin and glowing white eyes with a bright shimmering dress of the same color designed to catch the light.
      “The first match of this year’s Wizard Tournament,” Maeve announced in the same soft voice that had made the previous announcement, “is between Shea and Joseph.” She gestured towards Shea on one side of the arena. The blue-skinned sea nymph waved both finned hands for the crowd. “Shea is a sea nymph hydromancer representing the Underwater Municipality of Shashena. She is carrying The Conch of Endless Tides.” At the mention of her item Shea held it up for the crowd to see, as was tradition. “Shea wants everyone to know that if they want their next vacation to be magical they should plan a vacation under the sea that they’ll never forget.
      There was a smattering of applause. Sylnya commented to Peter, “The conch gives her access to a source of infinite water.” Peter nodded, scribbling in his little notepad.
      “Shea’s wish is for immortality,” Maeve finished. She then gestured towards Shea’s opponent. He held up a scrap of burnt cloth. “Her opponent today is Joseph, a half-elf from Caldenia.” There was an immediate booing from the audience in response to this announcement. “Joseph carries a scorched swaddling blanket from the Draenlin Orphan Fire earlier this year.” The crowd laughed at this.
      Draevin felt the need to comment. “Another one of Korack’s. I don’t know how he convinced the poor sap anyone would just let him win. You might not want to watch this next part.”
      “No,” Peter said firmly. His jaw was clenched tight. “I’ll watch.”
      “Joseph wants everyone to know that The Draenlin Orphan Fire was a tragedy the likes of which has never…” The crowd started making too much noise to hear the announcer’s words after a short time. People were screaming, booing, laughing and even just whistling. Maeve waited patiently for everyone to calm down before she finished. “Joseph’s wish is to bring back all the children who died…” The crowd drowned her out once again. Maeve just shook her head and departed the field gracefully. Normally she sat with the judges in the upper stands and when she returned to her seat the crowd finally went silent.
      The contestants were in position. Maeve raised her hand to signal the judges and the piercing chime of a bell rang through the air. The first match began.
      Joseph gestured ineffectively with his scorched blanket. Shea giggled at him and pulled a stream of water from her conch with a flowing gesture. Joseph was on his knees preaching, Draevin even caught the word “children” in his speech.
      Shea hit him with a torrent of water that blasted him backwards. He slid back until it looked like she was just going to push him out of the arena and take her free win, but then at the last second she twisted her fingers and the water wrapped around Joseph in a globe that suspended him in the air. She dangled him upside down, flinging him this way and that to the crowd’s amusement while he drowned. When she was done toying with him she dropped him on the ground.
      She let him cough for a moment and catch his breath, then as soon as he opened his mouth to speak she shot the stream of water down his throat. He struggled for just a moment, before exploding into a shower of wet gore.
      The crowd erupted in cheers and high in the stands above the bell chimed a second time. Maeve announced, “Joseph is dead. Shea wins.
      The announcement let loose a roar from the crowd. Draevin was disappointed in how few of the fans were booing Shea’s pointlessly violent display, but he added his voice to theirs. “Booo!”
      “She just killed him?” Peter asked incredulously.
      Sylnya just shrugged. “There’s no consequence for killing someone who isn’t registered with the Guild.”
      “And what’s the consequence for killing someone who is registered?”
      “Only a fine if you didn’t register a Mutual Assurance pact with them.” Peter looked disgusted.
      “You’re going to need thicker skin, human,” Draevin advised. “It gets a lot worse than this.” Peter gritted his face but didn’t respond.
      A pair of medical wizards, marked by their white robes, marched into the arena. They quickly used some spells to clean up Joseph’s “mess” while other apprentices in purple removed the water.
      “They have to reset everything after each match,” Sylnya explained, “so it’s fair to all the contestants.” She took the time to point out the four large boulders scattered symmetrically across the field. “Usually they repair those rocks when they’re used for cover, but even cleaning up water is important.” Peter nodded.
      “The next match is against Drant’ro and Faernyl,” Maeve announced from her more permanent position above the stands on a raised dais next to the judges.
      Faernyl, the red-headed elf they’d run into on their way to the arena grounds, was already waiting in his fighter’s box. The other box remained empty.
      There was a commotion over in the contestant seating area. Draevin peered over and saw some Guild acolytes in purple arguing with a pair of orcs. One was a tough warrior type with a large sword on his back while the other had a grey beard and a long walking stick. The acolytes were trying to get the warrior to move and he wasn’t having any of it. He finally pulled out his sword and they were forced to leave him be.
      After a few moments a messenger ran up to Maeve. “I’m afraid Drant’ro has refused to fight. He has been disqualified from the tournament,” she announced to a chorus of boos. “Faernyl’s match will be postponed until an alternate can be located. We will move on to our third match early. Will Korack and Peter please make their way to their fighter boxes?
      “That’s you!” Sylnya barked at Peter. “You better hurry!”
      Peter jumped out of his seat. “Already? Where do I go?”
      Sylnya pointed back towards the way they had come. “Back that way, same as when we registered yesterday. The stairs on the left.” Peter nodded. “And good luck!”
      As soon as Peter was gone Draevin let out a big sigh of relief. “It’s about time,” he said. “All his questions were starting to get on my nerves. I hope you still get paid after Korack kills him.”
      Sylnya glared at him. “You can be really insensitive sometimes you know. But yes. I will.”
      When Draevin stretched his legs into the extra space his foot bumped against something. He looked down to see what it was and spotted Peter’s leather satchel. By all accounts the bag was going to be Sylnya’s responsibility after this. He scooped it up to give to her and it made a loud jangling sound. He shared a curious look with Sylnya. “Sounds like it’s full of glass bottles,” he commented.
      She snatched it from him and took a cautious peek inside. It was indeed filled with bottles. Dozens of empty glass bottles. There was also a roll of parchment. “Is that his Fireball scroll?” Sylnya asked.
      Draevin picked it out and carefully unrolled it until he could make out the raised, glowing runes. “Unless he has two of these things.”
      Her mouth opened in shock. “Give it here, There’s still time before his match starts!” She didn’t give Draevin a chance to hand it to her though, she just yanked it out of his grip and shoved the satchel into his arms. “Kot. Ride!” She commanded her shadow. Her shadow stalker, Kot, emerged and she jumped on its back. The pair bounded away down the stairs in the direction Peter had gone.
      Left alone with Peter’s bag Draevin decided to satisfy his curiosity regarding the glass bottles. He held one up for inspection. There was just the slightest hint of white light glowing on the rim. Were these mana potions? Was he recycling the bottles?
      He spotted Korack stepping into his fighter’s box down on the field. A few seconds later Peter jogged up to his own box a little red-faced from his run. Almost immediately a familiar green-skinned creature rode up on the back of a shifting black cat. Sylnya tried to hand Peter the scroll but he shook his head. They argued for a bit, then she left with the scroll still in hand.
      “Sorry for the delay. We’re ready to begin the second match,” Maeve announced from her raised dais. The crowd’s individual conversations broke off and a short cheer erupted.
      After the noise quieted Maeve gestured in Korack’s direction. “In this round we have last year’s tournament champion, Korack!” The crowd cheered appreciably. Korack held up a rod of unknown material covered in intricate carvings. “This year Korack has brought as his item a custom magical focus. Korack’s sponsor this year is Trunstown. Korack is wishing for immortality if he wins this year’s tournament and he wants everyone to know his wish last year has nothing to do with the famine that his home nation of Kreet is currently experiencing.
      The crowd continued cheering for another minute. While this was going on, Sylnya returned to the booth with the Fireball scroll. “Apparently,” she said as she dropped into her seat, “he didn’t want it. He said it would be useless against a pyromancer and he didn’t want to risk it getting burned.”
      Draevin shook his head. “He’s probably right, but there goes whatever slim chance of winning he had.”
      Sylnya just sighed and stuck the scroll back in Peter’s bag.
      Maeve was gesturing to the other side of the stage. “Korack’s opponent this year is a human named Peter.” The response from the crowd was mixed. Sylnya hollered her support, but most of the rest of the crowd was booing. There was a pocket of humans, way in the back of the cheap seats on the second level, that was making a bit of a racket.
      “There seems to have been some kind of confusion with our human contestant,” Maeve continued, “and he’s entered his box without an item—” It was impossible for Maeve to continue talking as the crowd erupted in a cacophony of laughter. Showing up without an item simply never happened. Maeve had to wave her arms for a while to quiet down the crowd. “Peter chose not to disclose his specialization.
      In the short gap of silence that followed, a large orc bellowed out, “Human’s don’t ‘ave any magic!” He was rewarded with a shower of laughter and a small boo from the human section.
      Once again Maeve had to wait for silence. “Peter’s sponsor is Haevish Family Mercantile. Visit Haevish today while they’re selling ‘a copper a cup.’ That’s right, this is truly the cheapest wine available.” Maeve did the ad-read for Peter’s sponsor with an unenthusiastic deadpan. “Peter’s wish is to improve the lives of humans everywhere.” As soon as the crowd heard Peter’s sappy wish they started making a ruckus. It was impossible to separate the laughter from the insults. Draevin clapped politely for Sylnya’s sake.
      This time when the crowd quieted Maeve dropped her arm in the signal to the judges and the bell chimed to announce the start of the match.
      Almost faster than the eye could follow, Korack shot out a lance of flame compressed down into a beam that blasted straight towards Peter and pierced a fist-sized hole in his chest.
      He fell to the ground. He was dead instantly.
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Gambling INTPs?

Any INTP knows the odds are against them all the time and that is enough to deter them. But I've always been a gambler. In middle school I got a multigame mini pool table, table tennis, and Roulette wheel and card table. My friends would come over and gamble money or things. My friend's mom disapproved and made him give me some stuff back (haha). I just didn't know I had to rake games to be "the house." In middle school the black kids taught white kids craps and we'd shoot for dollars. I still love a good dice game. We'd have them on payday after close a couple jobs ago. The shit talking is so much better than poker games.
In HS I gambled poker and chess a lot. My favorite poker game was played where everyone had 2.25g of shrooms in them. No poker faces and it didn't last that long. Not great at poker. I've gambled on Chess pretty successfully. Not great at Spades.
But I'm an INTP and Casinos aren't my thing. Rather gamble at pool at a dive bar.
That said I'm doing a lot of sports betting right now. I once read that a professional sports gambler only wins 55% of the time but they have advanced knowledge in props, parlays, hedging etc. I just figured at college and to a lesser extent pro football, I could pick the winner above 55% maybe even against against--the-spread. My favorite former gf was good at betting on the ponies because she was into horses and leased one, so she had similar inside knowledge as someone who's watched football for 25yrs
I put $150 deposit and got $165 because they passed some BTC savings onto me. First week I bet the full $165. I remember the bets too. $45 on Duke (Lost but beat the spread) Same with the $45 I put on S. Alabama. $45 on Coastal Carolina who won outright against Kansas $45. Because the house rakes the games I'd only win about $40 off each so that's $270. But I put a $30 parlay on all three winning and won $180. Turned $165 into $360 (not exact--change and some numbers were rounded). I qualified for a bonus $165 for betting everything. That's a cool $425.
I thought "Holy Shit I can just go pro" beginners luck. It was also right after I lost my job and I'm moving for a new one mid October. Back to my home city and old neighborhood. Pretty psyched really except moving is a hassle.
Two weeks ago lost $70. I thought that comes with the territory of a pro sports better. I broke even last week. This week I chose a new strategy and bet on 7 games instead of 3. Truth was I don't know a certain percentage. I know games I "know" but I only lost $60. It just feels worse because I went 1-6 instead of two weeks ago when I went 1-2. Plus I lose some change on the low probability parlays.
The problem is that I just dipped into my other $165 to bet on pro football. Put in a couple bets and a parlay. The winnings get transferred into my main account. I'm still up either $80 in my account (I can't cash in the "free money")
My floor is $200 because I wanna make at least $50 off this fun lil exercise but I see how addictive it is for the first time. I even sought out a Bitcoin chess gambling site mainly used by Africans but I don't play because either I'm not better at Chess than Nigerian Royalty or they use chess bots or both. It also was pretty obviously used for money laundering which is what the gambling sites are also used for. Now I'm betting on Sunday football. Not just Saturday.
I guess my cashout ceiling is a grand but I don't see that happening haha.
Point is that wk2 college football this year was like my first joint, the first time I mixed valium-codeine-and a belt of scotch at 14. The first time I painted something halfway decent under a bridge at 16. The first time I fucked a girl at 17. The first time I had an audience in stitches at 22 (standup). All very pleasurable and only relatively routinely done. Except maybe sex and drugs but they have other major downsides.
Hell when I learned to read at 8 I was attached to books my whole life but nobody thinks that's bad. Haha.
Do other people gamble?
I'm extraverted enough that if someone has dice on the street I'll shoot or if they have a chess game at a coffee shop. I'll bet $20.
Best in person bet was with a frenemy in my group who was the epitome of iamverysmart and everyone in my group thought he was a genius. I took $20 off him in front of everyone and he refused to try to win it back. Bad look for him.
I hope I can keep it just for fun. Any other INTP gamblers on here?
Edit: Forgot to mention I won $400+ in a $20 pool for the 2011 March Madness B-Ball tourney. I watched none of the regular season (like usual) but knew UConn was good but nobody picked them as they were a #3 seed. I didn't win most rounds either. Dumb luck. It's funny that I forgot because it was less recent than that grudge match against that guy I played chess against.
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How to Survive Camping: I still love Bryan's dogs but omg

I run a private campground. Last post I was like, “Oh I’ll just go talk to the fairy! I’m sure they’ll be able to help! It surely won’t end with me running for my life through the forest because fairies are capricious little shits!”
I didn’t even get a solution to the bad year, either. I just have more problems now.
Anyway, if you’re new here, you should really start at the beginning and if you’re totally lost, this might help.
My first attempt in finding the fairy was just wandering through the campground. This had the added benefit of giving me an opportunity to also find the lady with extra eyes. Unfortunately, we’re in the middle of a big event, and while I’m not letting people camp in the deep woods they’re still going on walks through there and I had to deal with people instead. People that didn’t recognize me as the camp manager and wanted to ask why the solar showers hadn’t been cleaned yet (there’s a schedule) or to complain about the potholes (you shouldn’t be driving fast through the campground anyway) or to ask what happened to that one food truck they liked (they failed a health inspection). I’m a little afraid of what would have happened if they did recognize me, I probably would have gotten a lot more complaints. Regardless, I could only take so much of that before I had to abandon the idea and try something different.
Also I have reason to hurry things up.
Those spiders that were in my house? It could just be my imagination, but I swear they’re still there. I keep glimpsing movement in the corner of my vision. I’ve looked and looked and put out various spider repelling remedies, but I haven’t found any concrete evidence that they’re still around. Could just be paranoia. But I swear the other night I woke up and just as I was about to nod off again, I saw a spider crouched on the edge of my nightstand, watching me.
Of course it wasn’t there when I sat up.
It bothers me, though. I’m worried that the lady in chains had another ally than just Jessie and that they’re still out there and that the spiders answer to them. Since the lady with extra eyes isn’t willing to see me yet I can’t ask her to maybe call them off, please? Perhaps she can’t. Perhaps that’s why she doesn’t want to see me yet. Cursed or not, she caused me a lot of suffering and that’s not the kind of guilt you easily get over.
Although guilt is a foreign concept to most of these inhuman things. They aren’t like us. I think the lady can feel remorse, at least.
If she’s not going to see me then I need to be more aggressive about getting my answers in other ways.
I called the old sheriff first. He refused to help on grounds of “my wife is giving me that look again” and so I left it at that.
Then I went and found Bryan. I’m not sure what kind of relationship he and the fairy have - if they have one at all - but I figure since his family is originally from Ireland he’s my best bet. And Bryan… well, he lectured me on folklore. Me. I mean, he wasn’t wrong, but it was a bit galling I have to admit. I guess I’ve been getting spoiled by just putting out a bottle of booze and having the man with the skull cup show up.
Speaking of him, Bryan also let me in on something he’s noticed that concerns him. The appearance of the man with the skull cup changed for him. He didn’t realize it at first, as he saw him from a distance and wasn’t certain if he was carrying a skull or something else. But then he described him and I was able to tell him that yes, that was the man with the skull cup.
His appearance has changed to match what I see.
I am rather alarmed by this and am wondering if there’s side-effects to whatever bond I created between us.
Bryan is going to ask around the staff and see if they’ve noticed the same thing. In the meantime, I get to deal with the fairy, and the method of finding them seemed very obvious when Bryan pointed it out to me.
Fairies show up when you need them - if they care to. They’re a bit unreliable. Otherwise you have to go searching for them and merely wandering through the forest until I get annoyed at my campers isn’t enough. I had to really search. The one story I’m thinking of had the hero searching for years. Reluctantly, I went back out into the forest and this time I stayed out until I felt I would collapse and then kept going. I was out until dawn the first night. Did it again the next. Then, after a few days of this, I saw a light approaching between the trees. I was hesitant at first, because it could also be the lights, so I waited for it to come to me. That’s a good way to tell if it’s not rule #3. Rule #3 will lead you somewhere. If it’s something else, it’ll come to you.
Granted, it still might be something unpleasant, but at least on my campground the odds are it’s either the fairy or another camper with a lantern, in favor of the latter.
I lowered my gaze respectfully as they approached. The deer paused a few feet away and I stared down at its slender hooves, listening to its heavy breathing. It wasn’t alone. It was surrounded by the sound of rapid panting and I raised my eyes slightly to see a myriad of paws, covered with shaggy black fur.
The fairy had Bryan’s hounds with them.
“You sought me out,” the fairy said.
“I did. This is a bad year.”
“It is. But it is not the first. What do you want from me?”
I had to do a bit of thinking on what I would ask them. This is not the sort of entity that you can just sit and theorize with, like some of you do in the comments. I had to be precise. One question.
I asked what causes bad years.
Not this bad year in particular. All of them. Why they happen at all. Why all the creatures on my land suddenly develop this hunger that can only be sated by predation on my campers, my staff, or my family.
Certainly, more specific information on this particular bad year would probably help me solve it quicker, but sure would be nice if I could help out whoever comes after me as well.
The fairy considered for a moment and said that they could certainly answer this, but that they didn’t think I wanted to be in debt to them for the information. Better I pay upfront, so to speak. I asked what they wanted. They made a show of considering, as I have no doubt that they knew exactly what to ask for even before they approached me. They probably thought it up days ago, when I first started searching for them. When they spoke again, it was evenly and deliberately enough that I knew this was not some answer given on a whim. They had a plan.
They wanted entertainment, they said. This land was dull, so far from home and kin, and the lesser creatures that shared the campground were uninteresting. It wanted a hunt.
And I guess I didn’t really get a choice, because no sooner had they said it than a shiver ran down my spine, I closed my eyes on reflex, and when I opened them again my perspective had shifted. My line of sight had changed. I could see more of the world around me and the colors were different. I can’t say how they were. They were just… different. I don’t think there is a way to translate how I perceived the world into human terms. I just remember that I saw two things of importance - the threat behind me and the escape in front of me.
I’d been transformed into a white doe.
And now the hunt was on.
The dogs like me. I give them treats. Okay, sometimes I get upset with them when they dig up the horse bones but that’s because I bring them bones from the butcher but nooo those aren’t good enough for them, they want some dirty bones that have lain moldering in the ground for I don’t even know how long. Otherwise, we get along. I give them ear scritches and they lick my face.
However, when the fairy gave the command to chase, it was like I had never existed. They broke from its side, paws churning as they ran, jaws dripping saliva as they opened their mouths to bay with the excitement of the hunt.
I ran.
There was little thought to it. I just... ran. I didn’t think about the past, I didn’t think about the future, my mind was utterly focused on only what was happening right now. Running. The movement of my legs. The beating of my heart. There was a peace in it that I don’t think I’ve known for a long time now. As I write this with my human hands, I feel the fear of death, as the little girl cries at my window. I feel the weight of my responsibilities - not just dealing with the inhuman things, but things like whether my budget was correct and if my campground will survive this year or if I can put off barn maintenance and if not, who I will hire to do it. As a human I feel slow and tired and I wonder how much of this is just because I hate running and how much is because I’m weighed down by all these fears and thoughts.
As a deer, I could just… run.
I’m not sure how long the dogs chased me. I remember some close calls, having to change direction in a split second as a dog’s jaws snapped at my neck, of having to jump as a dog grabbed for my leg. And the presence of the pursuing rider behind me, ever a distant concern in my mind no matter how close or how near it was. I never checked to see if the fairy was gaining or spared a thought to wonder what would happen if it caught up. There was only flight. Nothing else.
Then I hit something.
I can say I’ve never experienced this, but there it was a sensation like what I imagine running into a wall of Jell-O would be. I sank into it, my body slowing and the air in my throat felt thick and for a brief moment I felt like I was floating, like I wasn’t inside my body. The pressure stopped me but the deer kept running. It burst out on the other side and kept going and the hounds maintained pursuit, with the fairy on their steed bringing up the rear. Then they were all gone, vanishing into the trees, and my body was my own again.
The pressure was gone. I stumbled and looked down at my hands - I was human once more.
And the world around me wasn’t quite the campground I knew so well.
They were my trees, but they were the color of slate. The ground beneath my feet was like ash and the sky was the color of an overcast day, but not a cloud was in sight.
I was in the gray world.
My mouth felt dry. Was this what the fairy had intended? To send me here, of all places? Or had it just been dumb luck in evading the dogs? Regardless of how it happened, I had to focus on getting out. My uncle’s story about that creature that pursued him was at the forefront of my mind.
Seek the highest hill. I mentally took stock of my surroundings and tried to think of where the nearest hill would be. My entire campground can actually be divided into three parts. There’s the top, which is the crest of the hill and has some of the steepest slopes. We use it for parking. Sometimes if it rains too much the cars slide down the hill and then we have to get the truck to tow them out.
Don’t bring a nice car camping. It’s just not a good idea, regardless of where you’re going.
Then there’s the fields and the start of the forest, which is all roughly on the same plain. Head deeper into the woods and you go down another hill and you’re at the lowest point, which is why the deep woods tends to turn into a mudhole during rainy years.
I was still in the deep woods. There was a lot of hiking to do if I were to make it to the highest hill - if it actually worked that way. My uncle found the master of the gray land just by going up one hill that led from the deep woods to the fields.
I would go up the same incline. It was the fastest route to the highest hill.
I found the missing golf cart and four-wheeler at the base of it. They were covered in rust and their paint was peeling off in big gray chips, curling back like dried leaves. The metal was breaking apart in some places as well, cracked and flaking like dried mud. Turning to ash. The vehicles were dissolving. I thought this seemed reasonable. They were human things. They didn’t belong here.
And I wonder where that thought came from.
I went up the hill and it didn’t stretch on eternally, as it had for my uncle. I reached the top and beyond that was a small field that currently housed a cluster of camps for our big event. Their tents were visible like gray blankets, hanging limply in the still air. No people were visible. Just their belongings, washed of all color. I recognized the senior camp off to the left, just after the car-eating ditch that someone gets their tire stuck in every year.
I was halfway through the field when I felt like something was watching me.
Uneasily, I turned around. In the distance, at the crest of the hill, was a cluster of lights. They were like the glow of a candle, but more golden, and they drifted lazily in a tight knot. I felt dread knot in my stomach as I stared at it, unable to make out any details. I kept walking, to the edge of the field and where the forest closed in again. Then I turned around.
They were halfway across the field now.
No, they weren’t the lights. The lights don’t pursue people. This was something else.
I quickened my pace a bit and when I turned around again, I found that they had matched it. I tried slowing down. Again, it kept the same distance from me. This was a little reassuring - it wasn’t trying to catch up. Perhaps it was just a curious observer. I kept walking, periodically glancing behind me, and then when I reached the large field where the forest stopped entirely I found that it had remained behind, staying in the trees.
I walked through the silent rows of tents, making for the highest hill in the campsite. There were more woods up there, a cluster that covered one side of the hill and half of the top. I’d circle around those, I thought, and stay out of the trees. Just in case. So I took the steep route to the top of the hill and the only reason it didn’t leave me winded was because I’ve hiked this damn hill way too many times in my life.
At the top I found a tree. A single tree. The forest was behind me and I felt disoriented for a moment, because wasn’t it to my left? Wasn’t I not yet at the top of the hill? And yet here I was, standing at the highest point, in a clearing with a single tree and the forest encircling me.
There was a creature in the tree. My uncle never described it clearly and neither did any of the campers that encountered it and I think this is because it can’t be described. The human mind is not equipped to experience it. Like a false memory or an impossible color, a thing that the mind invents because we were not given the tools to understand what is before us.
I perceived it as something immense. Something that towered to the heavens and beyond, something that consumed all available space in the world. And yet it sat nestled in the branches of the tree before me.
I approached it and asked if it was going to tell me how I died and then give me the choice to stay. It said it would not.
“It would not be an honest offer,” it said. “You cannot stay.”
Because I was the camp manager? No, it said. Because I would die. And it looked at something behind me and I turned around to look as well.
Something was coming. Something immense, a black stain on the clear gray sky, a pair of massive wings, the feathers tattered and trailing like smoke. I felt fear twist up inside me. It was like watching doom approaching, like watching the apocalypse descending from the heavens. Like the end of the world was drawing upon me, an open wound in the sky that winged ever closer.
“I would keep you to shelter you from your death,” the creature sighed behind me. “But that which follows you is persistent.”
I asked if that thing was causing the bad year. It said it didn’t know what I was speaking of and I had the feeling that it didn’t know what a year was. So instead I asked what that thing was. The wings looked like feathers, I said.
“That?” it said and it sounded dismissive. “No. It will consume everything when it gets here, but it is not what pursues you.”
Slowly, I lowered my gaze. Those lights were once again visible in the forest that I had left behind. It held motionless. Waiting.
“I - I need to leave,” I stammered, suddenly terrified.
I don’t know what they were. I just know I was deeply shaken by their presence, afraid of them in a way I haven’t been afraid before. I fear death. I fear the beast. I know that fear. But this… it was like standing on a precipice and wondering what comes after the fall.
“Indeed you do,” it said. “None of you belong here.”
I opened my mouth to ask what it meant by that and then I found myself back in the forest. At the top of the parking lot hill, where I’d hiked to in the gray world. I was, thankfully, still human and somewhere in the distance I could hear the barking of the dogs. I shuddered for the white deer, for I knew in my heart it wasn’t going to end well for it.
Or perhaps it has no notion of a good or bad death. We are all born to die, after all.
Either way, I had no desire to intervene on its behalf. One narrow escape was enough for me. I returned to the house and the first thing I did when I got home was call Bryan. Yes, it was four in the morning. I didn’t care. I woke his ass up and asked if he was aware his dogs weren’t at home right now. He was. The fairy had asked to borrow them. Was there a problem?
I took a deep breath.
“Do you… often loan the fairy your dogs?” I asked, trying to stay calm.
“Oh sure. Why, is there a problem?”
At which point I said something like ‘holy shit Bryan they about murdered the fuck out of me tonight’ and he was appalled and deeply apologetic and I don’t think it was just because I have the ability to fire him and he said he’d ask the fairy what they wanted with the hounds next time and make sure it wasn’t ‘to kill your boss with’ or anything.
The fairy came and found me the next day. During the daylight, thank goodness, so I didn’t have to stay out all night again. It was right in the middle of the road, too, but the campers staying here just walked right past, oblivious to us both and the giant deer upon which the fairy was mounted.
“Did you mean to send me to the gray world?” I asked.
“I have no control over that. Nor was it my intent.”
“Does our bargain still count, then?”
It did. They were at fault, they said. The transformation may have drawn me closer to the gray world. Besides, it was a good hunt. They were entertained. It would answer my question about the bad years.
They told me that I was correct in that the boundaries are weakening. This is normal. There is a cycle to old land, moments of time when the balance of power is in flux and those affected by it can reassert their authority. An upheaval in the unwritten treaty that they’ve all established, essentially. This is the cause of what I’ve been calling ‘bad years’. A cyclical phenomenon.
It is not entirely voluntary. Even the creatures that normally wouldn’t care to hunt feel it, down to their bones, and their hunger compels them.
The chains. Those damned chains. The lady was trapped by them. I’m sure of it.
“The land is forcing everything on it to pick a side,” the fairy told me. “Yours… or their own. And for most of them, your side is not an option.”
I repeated everything the fairy had said in my own words to make sure I understood it. The fairy waited patiently which I think is a lot more generous than every other entity on this land. Looking at you, man with the skull cup. The bad years are part of a natural cycle that happens on old land, then, and the balance of power between the inhabitants is thrown up in the air for grabs. The humans get caught in the crossfire because this power struggle makes them all hungry and if they kill the current owner of the land they get, what, bonus points?
Close enough, the fairy said dismissively. Enough to suffice.
“But the man with the skull cup chose my side?” I asked, incredulous.
“You offered. He accepted.”
I’d refilled his cup. An offering.
“And if he’d refused?”
“You would have died by his hand, as payment for disobeying his warning and emptying the cup.”
Cool, so I guess I owe a life debt to him? That’s another thing I can add to the list of worries keeping me up at night.
“So what happens if I survive the bad year?” I asked.
“The cycle starts again.”
I asked what would happen if I died. They looked at me for a long pause and I thought they weren’t going to answer at all. Then…
“It depends on who kills you,” they said. “It would have been disastrous for your kind if the man with no shadow had succeeded.”
I don’t want to even contemplate what would happen to this land and the town if he were the dominant creature around here. But I have to admit it makes a lot more sense what he was trying to do now - he probably couldn’t take most of the creatures around here in a straight fight and so he opted to take over the land through deceit by being the puppetmaster of the current manager.
Ngl I’m a little sad we didn’t get to see the man with the skull cup - or heck, anyone - kicking his ass. In my head I’m envisioning it like chasing down the shitty kid from school and sitting on his back and shoving snow down his shirt until he cries. Not that I know what that looks like.
....I probably should have been suspended at least twice as a kid.
“And you? Whose side are you on?” I asked of the fairy.
It’s a reasonable thing to be concerned about. They hefted their hunting spear and turned to their mount.
“No one’s,” they said. “I don’t care who controls this land. I am not some lesser creature to squabble over scraps.”
I can’t help but feel a little offended to hear my land referred to as scraps, but this is also a fairy we’re talking about. However, it does confirm what I’ve wondered about for a while. The fairy isn’t here because this is old land. It didn’t seem to care about that. It’s here for some other reason.
I am deeply suspicious of Bryan and the fact that he’s my employee is what’s keeping me from publicly speculating right now.
I’m a campground manager. But heck that was a lot more than I bargained for. I mean… what is going on with the gray world? Was any of that normal? That’s a rhetorical question, there is literally no way any of us can know that, though if you’ve been to the gray world please message me because I’m at a loss here.
Otherwise, I’m a little disappointed with the answers, because it means that this isn’t something I can actually stop for good. It’s going to keep happening. I suppose all I can do is prepare for it. Though it does have me wondering - which creature came out on top the last time this happened?
I’ll be honest: my money is on the thing in the dark.
The fairy had said that most of the creatures on this land can’t choose my side. Not all, though. I think… when I next see the lady with extra eyes I’m going to offer. I saved her from the chains. Perhaps that is enough to bring her to my side and give me another inhuman ally in this bad year.
But I’m also going to bring a gun and that knife. Just in case.
I’m not about to let myself become some inhuman thing’s extra credit. [x]
Not that they aren't gunning for me.
Read the full list of rules.
Visit the campground's website.
submitted by fainting--goat to nosleep [link] [comments]

Flatten the Curve. Part 44. Bill Gates Rumored Doomsday Bunkers. Bill Gates Hoarding. Rockefeller Institute & Unethical Human Experiments. Toxic Dust Storms and Covid-19. It's Hidden in Plain Sight. Wake up.

Part 43 is here
Listen up. Do you have a gnawing feeling that something isn't right? A gut instinct? Is your intuition leaving you in a state of vigilance? Is your spidey sense tingling? Do you feel like the truth is hidden in plain sight, but you can't quite see it?
You're not alone.
So what is the truth and why won't they just tell us? They aren't going to tell us the truth because most of us can't handle the truth. They experiment on live subjects in the past, but suddenly they've seen the light? Suddenly they've found morality and embraced truth and ethical behavior?
The Stateville Penitentiary Malaria Study was a controlled study of the effects of malaria on the prisoners of Stateville Penitentiary near Joliet, Illinois, beginning in the 1940s. The study was conducted by the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago in conjunction with the United States Army and the State Department. At the Nuremberg trials, Nazi doctors cited the precedent of the malaria experiments as part of their defense. Link Here
Any day that Nazi Doctors use your experiment as a defense for Nazi medical experiments is not a good day.
Let me show you one other part of the puzzle that you need to read. Let me show you that at some point the money, power, or even the scientific research can detach some individuals from reality.
"A number of years ago, we talked about, 'What if there wasn't clean water? What if there wasn't enough food?" she said on the radio show. "Where might we go? What might we do as a family?' So, I think we should leave those preparations to ourselves." The only thing they did not prepare, however, was the vaccine or a treatment for the virus that would cause a pandemic, though she acknowledged how "lucky" she and her family are to be in a position of privilege when it comes to dealing with COVID-19. "What we mostly talk about now in our home every night is how lucky we are," she continued. "We understand our privilege. When we say our grace at night, what we're thankful for around the table, is that we aren't struggling to put a meal on the table as so many families around the world are." Link Here
Yep. Sure thing Melinda. You guys just sit around the dinner table (like us normal plebs) and talk about how lucky you are to have food. Then you went out and stocked up your basement. Maybe they hoarded all the toilet paper because they're so full of crap they can use TP to wipe their mouths with after they speak. And what a minute, isn’t hoarding food bad? And aren't billionaires just hoarding cash? Different rules for different people, and it makes no difference what they say publicly when it's still just the same crap.
August 7, 2019 | Many of the world's elite, including hedge fund managers, sports stars and tech executives (Bill Gates is rumored to have bunkers at all his properties) have chosen to design their own secret shelters to house their families and staff. Gary Lynch, general manager of Texas-based Rising S Company, says 2016 sales for their custom high-end underground bunkers grew 700% compared to 2015, while overall sales have grown 300% since the November US presidential election alone. Link Here
So which basements were you stocking Bill? I'm betting you stocked all of them. But that article really made it sound like you personally went grocery shopping, didn't it?
And there's that year again, 2015. The same year as the Bird Man plauge doctor video, coronavirus and bats possible pandemic discovered, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing went mainstream, and the Billy Boy pandemic warnings started with a Ted Talk, then the Doomsday Bunkers elite MKultra wealthy segment jumped by 700%.
That's not a good sign.
It's all connected. All of it. We might not know how. Or who's doing what. Or how bad our current ELE events will become, but we need to at least get an outline of the big picture, before the big picture turns into the Main Event.
As far as I'm concerned, there is no possible way our present unexplained mysteries aren't prognosticators of upcoming calamities.
No. Way. At. All.
Let's throw the spotlight back onto our pandemic. It's all plain and simple when you accept the government's and the medical community's word at Face(book) value. Our leaders tell us to Keep Calm and Carry On. Just take two official narrative pills and wait for the vaccine. It's all good. Honestly. Listen. Trust. Obey.
1913 to 1951: Dr. Leo Stanley, chief surgeon at the San Quentin Prison, performed a wide variety of experiments on hundreds of prisoners at San Quentin. Many of the experiments involved testicular implants, where Stanley would take the testicles out of executed prisoners and surgically implant them into living prisoners. In other experiments, he attempted to implant the testicles of rams, goats, and boars into living prisoners. Stanley also performed various eugenics experiments, and forced sterilizations on San Quentin prisoners.[13] Stanley believed that his experiments would rejuvenate old men, control crime (which he believed had biological causes), and prevent the "unfit" from reproducing.
Whelp, at least you could say that Dr. Stanley had the balls to carry out his experiments.
Tuberculosis. Syphilis. Herpes. Influenza. Malaria. The medical society treated us to a rolodex of experiments.
In 1941, at the University of Michigan, virologists Thomas Francis, Jonas Salk and other researchers deliberately infected patients at several Michigan mental institutions with the influenza virus by spraying the virus into their nasal passages.[24] Francis Peyton Rous, based at the Rockefeller Institute and editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, wrote the following to Francis regarding the experiments:
It may save you much trouble if you publish your paper... elsewhere than in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The Journal is under constant scrutiny by the anti-vivisectionists who would not hesitate to play up the fact that you used for your tests human beings of a state institution. That the tests were wholly justified goes without saying.
Wholy justified. Goes without saying. But we would never be so reckless with experiments today, no matter how justified, would we?
NY MAG. March 20
On January 13, less than a week after COVID-19 was identified as the virus behind the outbreak in Wuhan, researchers at Cambridge-based biotech company Moderna proposed a vaccine to fight it. A little over two months later, on Monday morning, a pharmacist in Seattle injected Rebecca Sirull with that vaccine, making her the third person to be injected in a 45-person clinical trial, the first human trial in the country. To rush the vaccine to clinical trial, Moderna skipped animal testing, a somewhat extraordinary measure. Sirull, a healthy 25-year-old editorial coordinator at a research institute, will receive a second injection in a month and have her blood drawn regularly for more than a year. Should the test be successful, the more optimistic estimates suggest that a vaccine could be available in 12 to 18 months. Intelligencer spoke with Sirull about her decision to take part.
Oh. Uhm. OK.
Jill Horowitz stood outside the Quaker Ridge Shopping Center in New Rochelle, N.Y.—an early COVID-19 hotspot—in March, stopping shoppers as they walked into the grocery store. She handed them blue pamphlets soliciting volunteers for a Rockefeller University antibody research study. “I would say, ‘Would you like to help us find a cure?’” says Horowitz, executive director of strategic operations at Rockefeller’s Laboratory of Molecular Immunology. “I didn’t even have to mention coronavirus. This neighborhood was completely subsumed.”
Yessiree ladies and gentlemen, step right up, roll up that sleeve, and get a poke to save all the good folks out there from the pandemic. The one that contaminates surfaces, but now doesn't spread through surfaces. The virus that you don’t need a mask for because a mask will make it worse. The virus you might need a mask for because it wouldn't hurt, but it's not airborne. Put on a darn mask because the virus is airborne. Maybe. But air-conditioning makes COVID-19 worse. So only wear a mask inside. The virus that worsens with pollution, but don't worry about putting on the mask outside. Because if you wear a mask you'll stop the second wave. But there might not be a second wave, it might just be one long continuous wave.
Is anyone else getting the impression that they don't have enough information about the virus to be issuing guidelines yet?
But I'm just being paranoid. I'm sure of it. That was then, and this is now.
Then: In a 1946 to 1948 study in Guatemala, U.S. researchers used prostitutes to infect prison inmates, insane asylum patients, and Guatemalan soldiers with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases in order to test the effectiveness of penicillin in treating the STDs. They later tried infecting people with "direct inoculations made from syphilis bacteria poured into the men's penises and on forearms and faces that were slightly abraded . . . or in a few cases through spinal punctures". Approximately 700 people were infected as part of the study (including orphan children). The study was sponsored by the Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health, the Pan American Health Sanitary Bureau (now the World Health Organization's Pan American Health Organization) and the Guatemalan government. The team was led by John Charles Cutler, who later participated in the Tuskegee syphilis experiments. Cutler chose to do the study in Guatemala because he would not have been permitted to do it in the United States. In 2010 when the research was revealed, the U.S. officially apologized to Guatemala for the studies. A lawsuit has been launched against Johns Hopkins University, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation for alleged involvement in the study.
That is so reassuring as we move forward, isn’t it? And don't give me any that was back then we've changed arguments. We haven't changed at all. Proof? Ok. Let's go.
This is a link to an LA Times article that talks about Bill Gates and his AIDS fight in Africa. You go Bill. Get them vaccines out to the people. You're such a good guy! That's what a New Normal article would say. This isn’t a New Normal article. It's scathing in it's judgment. They may not be dying of AIDS, or just living longer with AIDS, but they are dying due to other factors, which should be easily acquirable with the wealth at Bill's disposal to prevent.
But there was one item that caught my eye. It talked about a Paper Mill that was in a country in Africa, that Bill owned a substantial amount of stock in. This company owned paper mills in North America. Those paper mills were environmentally friendly with little emissions. But not the one in the African Country. Nope. Not at all. That one didn't bother with environmentally friendly processes.
The story goes on to discuss how one of Bill's AIDS treatment recipients lived downwind from this plant and how the fumes we're probably killing him. And what were the fumes?
Hydrogen Sulfide. (Read more at Flatten the Curve) - Part 13
Yes seriously. Treating them for AIDS while downwind from Hydrogen Sulfide. I'm not sure about you, but that sounds like a medical experiment to me. Seriously, the guy that wants to stop climate-change by geo-engineering the planet doesn't use his clout to stop the pollution from a paper plant that he owns stock in. OK. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?
Yet actually it might. No, seriously, it really might. I've already stated that the virus seems to be activated with environmental toxins. And here we have an ultimate real life laboratory. And what does this real life laboratory research?
Why maybe it researchers Miasma theory? Huh? Yep. Here we go.
The miasma theory is an obsolete medical theory that held that diseases—such as cholera, chlamydia, or the Black Death—were caused by a miasma, a noxious form of "bad air", also known as night air. The theory held that epidemics were caused by miasma, emanating from rotting organic matter.
Rotting organic matter, like at meat plants?
May 7, 2020: www.wired.com | Why Meatpacking Plants Have Become Covid-19 Hot Spots.
June 23, 2020: https://www.bbc.com | Coronavirus: Why have there been so many outbreaks in meat processing plants?
And do you know what else was associated with Miasma Theory? The Bird Man plauge doctor, just like the 2015 "you're all dead" video.
The word miasma comes from ancient Greek and means "pollution". And then we have Covid-19 and pollution.
The idea also gave rise to the name malaria (literally "bad air") through medieval Italian.
Malaria? What? Crazy? Aren't there debunked studies about Malaria drugs working on COVID-19? Nah. Must be fake news. Right? Or fake facts. Or is it fake news reporting fake facts? I'm just so confused.
Does the strangeness end there? Sadly, it doesn't folks. Not at all. Not in this New Normal.
Because Mr. Bill Gates is trying to eradicate tuberculosis.
And, Hydrogen sulfide stimulates Mycobacterium tuberculosis respiration, growth
Back when I looked for information about the pandemic, I noticed something odd, the mortality rate for Covid-19 fluctuated depending on the region. Now I'm not a doctor, but you don’t have to be to read, do you? So I kept looking at the data for similarities. And they were there. Hypoxic or polluted water like lakes or coastlines. Cities with factory polluting emissions. They all led to outbrakes and higher mortality rates.
And then it changed. I saw ourbreak regions with low mortality rates. It didn't make sense, but there had to be a reason. There's always a reason. And as I kept looking at the similarities of low mortality rates something jumped out, a lot of them were still vaccinated for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
Yep.
But this is crazy talk Greek! You're just looking for dots and finding a way to connect them. It's just a coincidence that Bill Gates is funding AIDS prevention, an article exists that points out a therapy participant is close to a source of hydrogen sulfide emissions from a company that Billy has stock investments in, and that Billy also has a program to eradicate tuberculosis. Stop seeing patterns where they don't exist. You're freaking people out.
Crap. Perhaps you're right. Maybe I am freaking people out. But let me show you something else. It's something that I noticed about a month after this pandemic was shutting us down. And it didn't make any sense to me at the time. Ready?
www.pnas.org | BCG vaccine protection from severe coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19.
BCG? What's that?
www.sciencedaily.com | Preliminary study suggests tuberculosis vaccine may be limiting COVID-19 deaths.
And then the studies started backing it up. Even betteworse, they linked it to Hydrogen Sulfide, endogenous not exogenous, but Hydrogen Sulfide is the same no matter if you breathe it in or produce it biologically.
So, yeah. Let's dig.
Endogenous Hydrogen Sulfide stimulates Mycobacterium Tuberculosis respiration, growth, and pathogenesis.
In mammals, H2S elicits a biphasic, concentration-dependent mitochondrial response14, which can be cytotoxic or cytoprotective. For example, at high concentrations H2S reversibly inhibits cytochrome c oxidase (Complex IV)15–17. In contrast, at low concentrations H2S can serve as bioenergetic fuel to stimulate mitochondrial respiration without uncoupling of respiration. Link here
At high concentrations Hydrogen Sulfide can be cytotoxic and reversibly inhibit cytochrome c oxidase. We've followed the White Rabbit and now we're digging. Can't stop now. Won't stop now.
Defects involving genetic mutations altering cytochrome c oxidase (COX) functionality or structure can result in severe, often fatal metabolic disorders.
Disorders involving dysfunctional COX assembly via gene mutations include Leigh syndrome, cardiomyopathy, leukodystrophy, anemia, and sensorineural deafness**.Link here.
Anemia? Like, the Momento movie? Do I have amnesia now and I have to live my life backwards?
Hold on, don't freak out. You don't have amnesia. Self inflicted amnesia induced systemically via behaviorally manipulated echo chambers introduced systemically through social media electronic pathways? Possibly. But this is anemia, and that's another story.
Current management of COVID-19 is based on the premise that respiratory failure is the leading cause of fatalities (Zhou et al., 2020). Nevertheless, mounting evidence points to drastic systemic events taking place that contribute to accelerated COVID-19 pathogenesis. The “cytokine storm” is a notion that is reportedly hailed as the hallmark of the COVID-19 hyper-inflammatory state (Mehta et al., 2020). Consecutive studies linked COVID-19 related hyper-inflammation to systemic events including hypercoagulability, oxidative stress and altered iron metabolism. Mehta et al., 2020, Phua et al., 2020
Hyperinflammatory and altered iron metabolism. Following? Good.
Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) has been regarded as an infective-inflammatory disease, which affects mainly lungs. More recently, a multi-organ involvement has been highlighted, with different pathways of injury. A hemoglobinopathy, hypoxia and cell iron overload might have a possible additional role. Scientific literature has pointed out two potential pathophysiological mechanisms: i) severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV- 2) interaction with hemoglobin molecule, through CD147, CD26 and other receptors located on erythrocyte and/or blood cell precursors; ii) hepcidin-mimetic action of a viral spike protein, inducing ferroportin blockage. Link Here.
Hypoxia? Where have I heard that before?
A dangerous symptom of the coronavirus that can cause a patient to fall unconscious or even die is known as hypoxia — when the body’s tissues do not receive enough oxygen. Dr. Richard Levitan, an emergency doctor working in New York City, wrote for the New York Times at the end of April that he has seen COVID-19 patients with “alarmingly low” oxygen levels, but no shortness of breath. He describes this as “silent hypoxia”. These patients had oxygen saturation levels as low as 50 per cent when normal levels are usually at 94 to 100 per cent at sea level, Levitan explained. These patients had oxygen saturation levels as low as 50 per cent when normal levels are usually at 94 to 100 per cent at sea level, Levitan explained.
Low oxygen levels. Dysregulates immune system. Are your They Live sunglasses on? Are plugged into the Matrix or hacking the Matrix?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov | Hydrogen sulfide stimulates Mycobacterium tuberculosis respiration + growth.
Tuberculosis (TB) is responsible for millions of deaths each year and several billion people are latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Mtb modulates host factors, such as endogenous gaseous signalling molecules, to persist in humans for decades. H2S has diverse biological functions, including modulation of immunity and cellular respiration. However, the role of H2S in TB is unclear. We found that mice deficient in H2S production are more resistant to Mtb infection than WT mice. Upon infection, Mtb increases host H2S, which suppresses central carbon metabolism and increases inflammation. Distribution of H2S-producing enzymes in human TB lungs showed that H2S is produced at the site of infection. These findings identify glycolysis and H2S-producing enzymes as targets for TB host-directed therapies.
Don't Freak Out like LeChic, but I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Dorothy.
Speaking of Kansas, do you remember the dust storm as the tornado blew in and swept Dorthy to Oz?
The “Godzilla” Saharan dust cloud over the US, explained:
Dust clouds originate in the Sahara, the largest desert in the world outside the poles, and the Sahel, just south of the Sahara. Much of the dust originates in the Bodélé Depression in Chad, an ancient dry lake bed at the threshold of the Sahara and the Sahel. There, convective storms in the early summer whip the dry ground and loft particles of silica, iron, and phosphorous as high as 20,000 feet into the sky. Link Here
And then we have this:
Residents wear face masks to protect themselves from the Saharan dust clouds covering Dakar, Senegal. N95 masks and even surgical masks can help protect people from getting sick from the dust. Breathing dust can trigger problems like asthma attacks and worsen conditions like heart disease. But particles from natural sources can pose some unique threats. “Desert soil can also be contaminated with bacteria and fungal spores or with toxic heavy metal,” Achakulwisut said. “For example, in the US Southwest, dust episodes there have been linked to outbreaks of Valley Fever and arsenic poisoning.” Link Here
Contaminated with bacteria. Guaranteed Anaerobic bacteria. And it carries along metallic compounds. Like this:
**A 2001 study in Limnology and Oceanography suggested that the seasonal windfalls of iron-rich Saharan dust become a banquet for red tides, blooms of algae that spill into the ocean like dye, deplete it of oxygen, and release toxins. Dust clouds can also host unwelcome stowaways. Jun 24, 2020 Link Here.
Red tides. Blooms of algae. Or rather perhaps, Cyanobacteria blooms? All in a dust storm. Maybe we should start wearing masks, right? Don't want to breathe in toxic dust, do we?
But Snake Park is no paradise. For decades the residents have lived with the mine, which they say blows clouds of dust into their homes. Now Snake Park, formally known as Doornkop, is in the sub-district with the highest number of Covid-19 infections in Gauteng. Last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura linked “cluster outbreaks” on mines, and people moving between them and where they live, to the Covid-19 infections in the western part of Soweto. In 2017, the Bench Marks Foundation, a nonprofit that monitors multinational corporations, released the results of a survey of household health in four mine-affected areas in Soweto. Mine tailings contain heavy metals and chemicals and cause various illnesses, including mental health issues and Down’s Syndrome. The report found that more than two thirds of the respondents in Snake Park complained about respiratory problems, including persistent coughs, sinus issues, asthma and tuberculosis. This year, the August dust storms in Snake Park will coincide with the expected peak of Covid-19 infections in Gauteng.
“We can’t breathe well. This mine is very dangerous. It’s toxic,” Phongoma says, adjusting his bright blue mask. Looking at the mine dump, now glistening in the afternoon sun, he adds: “It’s a bomb. It’s a nuclear weapon — and with this Covid-19 thing, it’s going to explode.” Link Here
Stranger and stranger, isn’t it? So strange that I would venture to say, Stranger Things haven't happened. You might want to read Flatten the Curve Part 39, and what I wrote about Turkmenistan and wearing masks for toxic dust. Link Here
So where are we now? Knowwhere or nowhere? Are you a nobody or a knowbody? Is this picture that I'm painting connecting enough dots for everyone? Does anticipating mass riots in protest of the upcoming environmental collapse, and the wars for natural resources along with it, make the centralization of the economy plus the mass surveillance system make more sense? The masks and facial detection AI improvements? Does ID2020, another Billy Boy project make more sense? The upcoming robotic automation of the workforce? The curtailing of civil rights? Heck, what about the Bill Gates endorsement of impossible meats and the sudden push to vegetarianism? Remember the meat plant shutdowns? Rotting organic matter and Hydrogen Sulfide?
Please remember, Hydrogen Sulfide outgassing is pretty consistent across past Extinction Level Events. Does this mean that all hope is lost? Puhlease. Hope flows abundant. We shut Pandora's Box before hope could escape, remember?
Let me leave you with one final thought. Words matter. Look them up. They know what's happening. They know all of this. The words they use hide it in plain sight.
I've written about Bill's fortuitous investment strategy. How he seemed to hit all the right stocks as the pandemic and environmental collapse strikes. It's mostly hidden in shell companies after shell companies, but it has to start somewhere. And it does. He owns Cascade Investment L.L.C. Link Here
Which: Oct. 22, 2014 · A subsidiary of Cascade Investments LLC, which oversees the Gates fortune, is buying thousands of acres of land in north Florida. Link Here
And what does Cascade mean? Let's look?
cascade (n.)
"a fall or flow of water over a cliff, a waterfall," 1640s, from French cascade (17c.), from Italian cascata "waterfall," from cascare "to fall," from Vulgar Latin casicare, frequentative of Latin casum, casus, past participle of cadere "to fall" (from PIE root kad- "to fall"). cascade (n.) a succession of stages or operations or processes or units;
To prepare. To fall. Interesting choice for a name.
Meteor showers occur when the earth bowls through a dense stream of debris left in the wake of a comet, asteroid, or other space-borne object. Depending on where you look, you may encounter fewer meteors, however. Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere will see shooting stars emanate from the shower’s “radiant” point in the southern sky, meaning the best meteors with the longest tails will be most readily visible in the east and west. A much more spectacular meteor shower — among the year’s most prolific — will pepper the skies with a spattering of bright shooting stars and “fireballs” come mid-August. The Perseid meteor shower peaks the night of Tuesday, Aug. 11. Dozens of shooting stars could be visible beneath a clear sky every hour. Perseid meteors zip across the sky at 37 miles per second. Their diaphanous tails can appear white, orange, yellow, pink, turquoise and even violet, lingering in the sky for a few seconds. The rainbow spectrum of colors come from the combustion of magnesium, sodium and iron. Link Here
Pepper the skies with fireballs. Fall from the skies.
Comet 67P's rotten-egg smell comes from hydrogen sulfide, and the horse-stable odor comes from ammonia. These scents are blended with the fainter almond smell of hydrogen cyanide, the vinegarlike odor of sulphur dioxide and the sweet-smelling scent of carbon disulphide, researchers said. Link Here
Hnmm. It definitely sounds like Bill was getting ahead of the curve before we started to Flatten the Curve, by being a good student and getting prepared before the hoarders bought up all the toilet paper for the upcoming SHTF event.
Wouldn't you agree? Are these all coincidence, or should we pay more attention?
They want us to Keep Calm and Carry On. When do people tell you to remain calm? When you start to panic. So do you really think they would tell us the truth and deal with panicking masses? Or do you think they would hide it?
Hide it in plain sight?
Keep your head up and eyes open. Talk soon.
submitted by biggreekgeek to conspiracy [link] [comments]

The Strangest, Yet Most Common Criticism of the ST

So that Recent Daisy Ridley interview made me want to dust off an old thesis statement of sorts I’ve been saying since The Last Jedi was released. Not so much what she was saying but the reaction to it.
I was going to include this in my post about why I wondered #ReleasetheEdwardsCut was never a thing but it didn’t seem right at the time.
So Here Goes Nothing:
This is an observation I began to notice about March 2018 or so, when the “””backlash””” for TLJ really began to take form and start getting ugly. A lot of signs went in different directions so it was hard to point to one exact thing.
Then, just after Solo’s release Jeremy Jahns uploads that video, the really dumb one where he says TLJ promotes too much Social Justice or some crap like that and tried to justify everything by saying “I like the movie mother!” (because nothing says good movie like a painfully obvious allegory my neighbours ten year old could figure out in addition to watching Jennifer Lawrence have the shit beaten out of her. Also a Baby gets eaten, yeah.) and something he said in to really stuck with me.
First he Says Star Wars is a cinematic universe (it isn’t) then says “Did anyone know what RJ was doing!?”
And that was it right there, he managed to summarize what I've been observing these last few months but couldn't put into proper words.
Star Wars Fans are mad that the ST is too Directo Artistic Driven then Franchise/ Design by Committee/ Business driven.
It’s as if Jeremy was saying that he wants more studio control on these things and that directors should just follow orders and shut up. Now obviously he didn’t say those exact words I just typed but he sure as hell seemed to imply it.
Now that seems like an oddly specific thing to say people are criticizing them for and I seriously doubt you will hear that exact phrase mentioned anywhere.
But Think About it For a Moment....
How many times have you seen variations of these comments: “Rian Johnson should be on a tighter leash” “They should have had a stric plan for the ST from the start” “One person should have written/ directed the whole thing” “They should only do what the fans want” "Take a page from Marvel."
Or some comment that eludes to the notion that Disney/ Lucasfilm should have stepped in more and not let the directors do as they were hired to do.
What's funny to me is how "They should have had a plan" always translates to "I fucking hated The Last Jedi!!!!"
Now that might seem like an odd way to look at it all but this isn't the first time Star Wars has been "criticized" like this. Look at the PT for example.
In just about every review I’ve seen, both in print and YouTube, there’s always a moment where the reviewer says something along the lines of “Did no one tell George this was a bad idea?” or “Did no one challenge George on this?” This is RLM’s most common talking point.
Or those claiming Lucas surrounded himself with yes-men who would do everything he wanted and that was it. Lucas did pay for the entire PT out of his own pocket mind you. He had an entire VFX company at his disposable to make any crazy thing he imagined. Who’s to tell him what he can and can’t do? Rick McCallum sure as hell wasn't going to.
There is a certain "tragedy" for lack of a better word, when comparing Lucas in the 70s/80s to what he became in the 90s/00s. He ultimately became the very thing he rebelled against, the film producing machine where he could call the shots, order people to do as he wanted and no one could tell him otherwise. This is the entire thesis of The People Vs. George Lucas documentary.
Very few directors working today occupy the same zeitgeist that Lucas once did. Abrams certainly doesn’t and neither does Johnson or Edwards or even Howard for that matter. How many can say they changed the medium of film with just one movie?
I’d imagine anyone who wanted to seriously challenge Lucas would probably be fired on the spot for it. It would be like trying to challenge James Cameron or Steven Spielberg or David Fincher. You’d get about one inch before being kicked out of the door or in Cameron’s case, yelled out till your ears bled while your phone was nail gunned to a wall. You just couldn't do it.
The situation the new films have found themselves in pretty much sets up that criticism though.
George Lucas is gone, never coming back. He was THE BOSS and nothing was going to change that. Disney now owns Star Wars and will continue to own it until Kingdom Come. It has now crossed the rift from Filmmaker’s creative vision to Valuable franchise used for profit. Another IP to add to Disney's ever growing roster.
So now with every new director they have to answer to Lucasfilm, to Disney, to the Mouse but they aren’t treated as servants but as guests. They aren’t ordered around, they aren’t told what they can and can’t do and they have all the resources imaginable at their disposal.
A blank canvas and a $200 Million dollar cheque.
For better TFA is very much JJ Abrams from start to finish. He loves his mystery boxes and stories about young women trying to find their place in the world and male supporting characters with father issues while ultimately being a pastiche of what he loves . If you seriously think TFA was made to be a remake of ANH (It really isn't) because Disney wanted it that way for a quick buck, welcome to your first JJ Abrams film.
For worse, TROS is very JJ Abrams in the most frustrating way possible… but still very much a film made by him. Every decision made in TROS, good or bad(mainly bad), is something that has appeared in all his movies/ tv shows. You see the gear turning in his head with some of the more... questionable choices.
Even behind the scenes, when things seem iffy is never feels like “The hand of the Mouse is stepping in.” It always feels like Abrams listening to feedback from his colleagues like Spielberg and DuVernay. Or in TROS's case, bad impulses....
TLJ is pure Rian Johnson from frame one up until the credits roll. TLJ is eerily similar to the Breaking Bad episode The Fly, the first episode he directed. An entirely character focused story that examines who the characters are and what they ultimately want and their greatest fears. And just like TLJ it is still talked about to this day. Frigg, TLJ and Knives Out both have the same ending twist…
The Last Jedi’s production however is where things get interesting. TLJ might just have the smoothest and cleanest production of any Star Wars film probably ever.
The Story was set and locked before TFA was in theatres. No massive reshoots, no extreme rewrites, no behind the scenes meddling, no studio oversight, no on set drama, no crazy editing changes and finished under budget with months to spare. That doesn’t happen for like 99% of movies made today, blockbuster or not.
The PT on the other hand, oh boy.... TPM got off reasonably well. Some bad weather that destroyed sets didn't send them back too much. Some like to point to everyones reaction to the Rough Cut being the ultimate sign that everyone working on TPM knew it was going to be awful. That's the thing though, it's a rough cut, that's the whole point. It doesn't matter how good or bad any movie is at the end of the day, rough cut screenings are brutal....
ATOC and ROTS on the other hand didn't even have a finished script until about a month into shooting. And most importantly Anakin's entire motivation to turn to the dark side was added after the fact during reshoots. Which were done in late 2004 mind you. No Comment.
It was funny for a while when I’d glance at STC throughout 2018 to see where the narrative was going and the most common one for a good month was always some variation of “Did Disney mess with TLJ!?” Trying to prove that something must have gone horribly wrong during the making of the movie... except there wasn't.
And I’ve seen this play out in real time with in-person conversations, but after realizing that not only is that not the case but they can’t point to any other of the “usual suspects” to say “this is why thing bad” their only option is to say “RJ Shouldn’t have been allowed to do that!!”
If anyone is wondering why RJ is getting his own trilogy this is the reason. The dude gets shit done with no issue. Even the death of Carrie Fisher didn’t put a damper on anything(the amount of comments I’ve seen that said “why didn’t they kill of Leia” got comical).
It’s what makes watching The Director and the Jedi such a fascinating experience because everyone is looking at everything going “Is this gonna work or no?” With Emphasis on Hamill the most.
TFA’s production was kinda messy but manageable. News about TROS's production has been revealed throughout the year and most of it points to it being messy and chaotic. The making of Docs try to hide this by showing us happy faces, people passionate about what they are doing and saying “hey this is awesome!”
Then there’s the horrible realization that we live in this shitty era of movies dictated by film franchises that we watch out of obligation and internet culture creating a massive hyperbolic bubble around everything.
I remember a time whenever information about any film was released (franchise or not) and if it was revealed that there was some form of behind the scenes drama between director and studio or changes made that the director wasn't part of people got mad.
But now whenever we hear that the response is almost always “Hey they probably saved the movie from being a disaster.”
A Real Paradigm Shift.
It’s just accepted that Franchise Films are the result of produce studio oversight and that’s ultimately a good thing(that’s not to say there aren’t examples where this hasn’t been the case but that’s a discussion for another day).
Which Leads Us To...
Marvel immediately comes to mind with regards to this. After 23 movies the MCU has gone through 15 directors. Those who left after one or two movies don’t have nice things to say about it and it’s easy to see why.
It’s funny seeing some put the MCU on some pedestal for “How Franchises should be,” which I find head-scratching. The MCU might just be the most micro-managed film franchise of all time. The amount of times I’ve read some behind the scenes piece about how scenes were shot literally weeks before release or were in six months plus of reshoots after the fact is staggering or how directors get screwed over and told to take a knee. And that’s not even getting into the nitty gritty of it all like how they don’t allow directors to shoot their own action or characters being shifted roles because it would affect toy sales.
They also sure as hell don’t plan everything out.
The amount of times the MCU has retconned entire films out of existence or just pretended certain developments didn’t happen could be its own drinking game. Character development in thrown out the window for the sake of appearance. The writers of Endgame can’t seem to keep their answer straight as to where and when Captain America ended up when he wanted to spend his life with Peggy. If anything Marvel is really good at giving the impression that everything is a well maintained car while running on fumes.
Compare the Avenger’s Home Base between movies and then tell me with a straight face “Marvel Pays attention to continuity.”
As an aside, what exactly do Marvel and Star Wars have in common? Aside from being owned by Disney what do they have in common?
Nothing.....
The approach, risks taken, sense of awe, the types of stories of told. It's like comparing a nice tasty burger from that one restaurant in town to an all you can eat Buffet. Sure it's all food at the end day but theres a difference.
There’s also the matter of the type of directors that Marvel has picked. They largely go for Indie or TV directors with very little experience making films this scale. They also don’t have a huge amount of clout to their name so they can’t make huge demands for what they want. Sure some have more of a style and clout to them but those are the exceptions that proves the rule. For every Ryan Coogler or James Gunn there's The Russo Brothers or Jon Watts.
Star Wars on the other hand has actively sought out directors with experience in films this size and those who have their own style that is reflected in the ones they make. To summarize JJ Abrams is Diet-Spielberg while Rian Johnson is Quirky American Auteur. Gareth Edwards could be the next “mostly” poignant blockbuster director while Ron Howard is a seasoned Veteran.
Star Wars could have easily have grabbed any number of pencil pusher directors and gave them ultra strict guidelines to follow and nothing else. Have them make movies that are nothing more than giant fan service reels aimed at getting all the fan dollars in the world. And I think that's what so many kind of expected we were getting from the get go and are confused and out right mad that isn't the case.
To Quote u/friedAmobo
"Disney and Lucasfilm, regardless of what some people may think, are not stupid - they know the best way to make money is to do what the fans want. That would mean Luke being the main character in TFA, the main trio reuniting, and other fan service moments that would make Rogue One blush. The fact that TFA\ ***isn’t*** *about any of that is telling. It means they had an idea for something different, and they made it."*
"TLJ is even more condemning for the cash grab argument. Rian Johnson was the sole writer and director of the movie, and as we all know, the movie was very divisive. But how was that a cash grab, then? If Lucasfilm wanted to make tons of money, they could have a powerful Luke train Rey, and then have him beat the First Order on Crait with super Force powers. It’d have made an easy couple hundred million dollars more. The fact that they didn’t do that, but ended up going with a story that had the potential to be divisive is, again, telling."
But…. then you have the complete 180 with the anthology films. Rogue One and Solo and reading into their production is mind boggling. For as much as TROS’s production seemed like a nightmare, the production of these two seemed like fighting Nightmare from Metroid: Fusion.
No one wants to come clean with what the hell happened with Rogue One. What movie completely reshoots it’s final act with a little over 6 months before release(not saying it doesn’t happen just bare with me here)? Gareth Edwards is probably never going to talk about how he was basically fired from it and replaced with Tony Gilroy. You think it’s anyway surprising that he has nothing to do with this Cassian Disney+ series?
Solo had its directors fired midway through production then reshot the entire movie with someone else. That Doesn't Happen…… I remember hearing that during the summer of 2017 and my coworkers and I just laughed our heads off at it. The notion of a Han Solo movie (without Harrison Ford) was such a ridiculous idea at the time and then this happened on top of it.
There’s also the uncomfortable truth that no one wants to admit about the Anthology Films.
They Aren’t About Anything.
Not that they aren’t about “anything” in the literal sense, but more so in the “these films exist to shove Star Wars nostalgia in your face and nothing else.” They are set during the OT era for frigg sake and throw LORE and CANON junk at you to make up for their complete lack of emotional/ dramatic meaning(I say this as someone who enjoys Solo greatly).
Because they are side stories you the viewer don’t have to worry about anything of major consequence happening in them that would affect the main narrative (Skywalker Saga in this case). They can do whatever they want and basically a safe bet for an audience. You don't have to worry abut your favourite characters being killed or doing things you don't agree with. It’s like a video game side quest where all you get is a shiny new item by the end of it that’s good for a while until you get something better an hour later.
This might not seem like much but I think fans seriously underestimate the power that comes with these being a side story. The Mandalorian fits into this category as well and something that Hello Greedo has praised the show excessively for.
Add on the fact that Disney/ Lucasfilm is going to keep making Star Wars content in the form of movies/ Live Action series/ animation until the ice caps melt and we all die. It's not out of the realm of possibility that something you've always "wanted" might one day happen.
To quote my very good friend u/SorryNotSpartacus:
“They also, very simply, are not the main saga, and I think people underestimate how much of a difference that makes to the fan audience that by and large seems to respond more positively to the anthology films. Most fans are used to reading or watching EU material.”
I recall seeing multiple comments early 2018 “RJ should have been given an Anthology film(s) instead.” As if to say “That way he can do what he wants and I don’t have to worry about it,” or something to that affect.
But there’s also the sad fact at the end of day that’s all Star Wars fans “Want.” They don’t want a story or anything meaningful but a shrine to their nostalgia, a two hour fan service reel or a big “thank you” for being fans. Fulfill their own expectations and make them feel nothing but superficial joy. Don't let them think or feel anything else in the process.
To quote Frank Oz:
“All the people who don’t like this ‘Jedi’ thing is just horse crap. It’s about expectations. The movie didn’t fill their expectations. But as Filmmakers, we’re not here to fill people’s expectations.”
He’s talking about The Last Jedi if that wasn’t clear.
You’d think this would be obvious but so many fans seem to think it’s the other way around that these things exists to validate them as fans and nothing else.
Don’t believe me? Go to any Star Wars sub reddit and search “this but un-ironcally,” or just type any number of words followed be “fans.” The results might surprise you… or won’t. Better yet just Search Rogue One and look for the most upvoted post.
It's why I take issue with that recent quote from Jon Favreau that's been floating around for the last few weeks.
“We alway knew, and this was something I learned from over at Marvel and working with Kevin Feige, is you always want to keep core fans in mind, because they have been the ones that’ve been keeping the torch lit for many, many years, but there are also stories for young people and for new audiences. These are myths, and you always want to have an outstretched hand to people who might not have that background . And so you’re really telling two stories at once. You’re telling the story for the people who are fresh eyes, and you’re telling the story for the people who’ve been there with the property and with the stories and characters for many years, and make sure you’re honouring them as well.”
Almost as if he's saying "Just shove enough fan-service onscreen, someone will recognize it and it will make up for our lack of story telling abilities." It's funny how he uses what he learned from Marvel as "collective wisdom" when he got screwed hard when trying to make Iron Man 2 a movie about Tony Stark dealing with his own death.
Stop treating these very corporately controlled entities like they are your best friend, they are not and never will be. Even if you think you have, it's not real.
You think this wouldn’t have to be said but it needs to:
You as a fan do not own Star Wars. Buying all the stickers and Funko Pops doesn’t make you an owner no matter how you stretch it. You do not have a say on how these things go, you do not get to say what can and can’t happen, you are not the writer, you are not the director, you are not the person who wipes the table off after a meeting because same jack-hole split coffee all over it. You are the person who buys a ticket then bitches online about it.
Then again there is always the obvious “fans have no fucking idea what the hell they even want anymore.” Not that I’m free from this, I sure as hell don’t know what I want. I could give some vague answer like “More Babu Frik” but even that seems too broad.
I saw a really dumb tweet around February 2018 that showed two posters, The Last Jedi and Justice League and the tweeter said "Filmmakers of these franchises should be actively aware what fans want and go out of their way to ensure that."
Naturally most of the replies were ridiculing the guy for his flawed logic. The most liked reply came from someone who said the following "This implies that Star Wars fans actually know what the hell they even want."
Also Justice League failed because it didn't do what the fans want? Oi Vey....)
None of this is to say anything you yourself have criticized any of the ST films isn’t valid to you or someone else. Unless you’re one of those people who thinks “They have a secret political agenda!” in which case please stop.
For as much as I talked about the ST being filmmake director driven they are still very much films released by Disney for the sake of profit. It’s just as much an art form as it is a business. Just as much of a product as they are a piece of fiction. For as much as RJ and his cast and crew have talked about the freedom he was given, he's not going to kill off all the characters and have Rey become a film scholar and analyze the works of Zack Snyder.
The ST films are not art house epics and never will be.
Neither is the PT or OT for that matter. Lucas is a much better businessman than director. He knew damn well the PT was his ticket to make up losing half his fortune after his messy divorce. Keep things going so he can basically retire once ROTS was done.
But that’s all I have to say on the matter. This was based entirely on observation and conversations with others.
Also there is no JJ-cut of TROS. There is no version of The Rise of Skywalker in which all the past Jedi appear as ghosts and start doing all the kick flips imaginable that was cut because CHINA.
It Doesn't Exist.
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[The Extramundane Emancipation of Geela, Evil Sorceress at Large] --- Chapter 34: Damned Bloody Prophecies

Synopsis: After hoodwinking Darkos, a holy priest, into escorting her back to her castle, Dark Enchantress Geela has one item left on her list: revenge on her ex-husband. With a confused Darkos in tow, she sets out. However, Geela isn't the only one with secrets. And Barney isn't the only old enemy who's about to get a visit.
Index ||| Previous Chapter ||| Next Chapter
Patreon ||| TalesByOpheliaCyanide
(Note: I'll be getting you two chapters next week but I have until next Wednesday to submit my derby project, so that will take momentary precedence.
Thanks for sticking with me through some crazy times!
On with the show!
Darkos shifted uncomfortably as he stood in the foyer of Liani’s Table, Geela’s restaurant of choice for dinner. He was uncomfortable, partly because of the trinkets weighing down the bag on his back and partly because of the trinkets weighing down his conscience. Geela wasn’t going to be happy when he showed her what he’d bought but he couldn’t help it. Every little thing he picked up that he found himself enjoying or could see her loving went into the cart and the next thing he knew, he’d paid out the equivalent of a horse’s weight in gold.
Now that horse’s weight in gold bore down on him. Stupid stupid stupid! Jane should have stopped him. Someone should have stopped him. But the little wooden mule had reminded him too much of Shawn and he thought it’d make Geela mad, in a funny way. Then he’d bought her an ornate necklace made to look like a hydra, to remind her of her old pet. Then, remembering how he’d killed the hydra, he also picked up a tea sampler of twenty different flavors, some of which, mint clouds, sleepytime honey, blueberry fields, and, above all, ginger summer zinger, he just knew she’d love.
And it had continued from there. He’d bought a clay maraca filled with metallic pebbles, which made a shimmery, tinkly sound whenever shaken, for Dad. Then he bought an ivory watering can in the shape of an elephant for Mom. But then he was worried Mom would feel left out if she didn’t have any instrument to play with dad on, so he got her a little jade ocarina, since she’d tried so futilely to get him to play her old one. And then Dad needed a second gift, so he got a crystal wind chime, to also decorate the garden with.
But then Darkos also wanted to treat himself. Not including all the little snacks that he’d sampled while out, he’d bought a really neat book sold by a girl who’d claimed to hail from the Third Sea Region, a really cool arm brace thing that changed colors when he shifted it, and a little brown circle thing that promised it stopped pots from boiling over. That last one kind of joined what was supposed to be the ‘for both of us’ pile. It already contained a hand cream that prevented itchy skin, an amulet that warded away bugs (and frogs), a tonic that knocked out hangovers, and a bottle of a delectable smelling liquor that promised some future hangovers.
It just… it had added up. He’d even bought Jane a little hat with a flower in it just because he thought it looked silly. She absolutely adored it.
“Draaaaaaake!”
He yelped and whipped around like his head was on fire. “Gee...ale!” he said, barely catching himself on her name. “I didn’t know you’d be here!” Then he winced. “I mean. I didn’t know you were. Here.”
She cocked an eyebrow but there was an odd look in her eye. “Of course I’m here. I said I’d be on time.”
“Well.” Darkos eyed the clock by the maiter de’s desk. Geela wasn’t, in fact, on time. She was late, but Darkos decided against pointing it out. “I’m just jumpy.”
She nodded, not questioning this, and banged on the desk. “I have a reservation for two at seven?” she said, her voice a bark. “Where’s the waitress?”
“Gale,” he said, trying to keep his voice down, “she’ll be back in a second. Just had to seat another customer.”
“Oh and I suppose that other customer is better than us, are they?”
Oh she was in a mood and Darkos swallowed, all the more nervous about showing her his… yield. “Yeah, guess so.”
Wrong thing to say. Geela’s eyes disappeared to slits. “Oh I bet they think they are. Someone is going to find live frogs in their soup.”
This was one of those idle threats that Darkos had long learned to take seriously. “Not frogs,” he said. “We don’t like frogs, remember?”
She shook back her long black hair and huffed. “Hmph. They’re lucky.”
“The frogs or the customer?”
“I suppose both.”
“I’m so sorry about the wait,” came a breathy voice as the maitre de appeared. “Do you have a reservation?”
“Two for Bronwyn,” Darkos said, before Geela could even start. “At seven?”
“Ahhh Gal and Drake? Love the name by the way,” she added, giving Darkos a friendly smile. “Reminds me of dragons. Right this way?”
Darkos wasn’t entirely sure how the building had managed to stand after that remark. Geela’s fiery glare should have been enough to turn both the lady and the entire building into ash and then set that ash on fire. However they made it to their table without too much fuss.
“Care to hear our spe—”
“No.”
“Aaaalright then I’ll just send your waiter on over and be out of your hair.”
“Gale,” Darkos said, as the woman scuttled off, “what’s got you in such a mood? Did you find the academy?”
She shot him a glare but couldn’t fight a tiny smile at the corner of her lip. “Yes Darkos, I found the academy.”
“Oh. And uh, Professor Elle?”
She let the smile spread a bit further. “Professor Eve Elle? I know where her office is, yes.”
Darkos laughed, shaking his head. “The subtlety is staggering. Imagine someone having a name that so obviously has something dark in it and not noticing…” His own laugh trailed off just a bit there as a thought sorta tugged at his brain but Geela, perhaps a bit more cheerful now, jumped in.
“So, how was window shopping?”
He broke out in a cold sweat. “I didn’t think I was supposed to be window shopping.”
She waved a hand before untucking her napkin and placing it on her lap. “No, of course not entirely. If you didn’t buy a thing or two, it’d look suspicious. Like you’re killing time.”
“Right, ok, and when you say a thing or two… you meant maybe for like… each… person?” The end of his sentence ticked up weakly and he gave Geela a queasy grin.
“For both of us?” She clicked her tongue but it wasn’t at all an annoyed tone. “Oh did you get me something?”
“Yeah! A thing or two. Or uh, so, um, first it’s like, this—” he rummaged in his bag before coming up with the wooden mule.
“Darkos!”
“Drake.”
“Drake!” Geela glared at the little wheeled toy.
He just grinned, pleased with her reaction. “It’s even got a hollowed belly you can put things in.”
“It does not.” She crossed her arms, a pout fighting a laugh. “It does not have a hollow belly.”
The two stared at it for a solid minute before she snatched it off the table, trying to run a fingernail under the wood somewhere.
“Ok, you’re right,” he said, after letting her fidget with it for another moment, “it doesn’t. I had you for a second there.”
Very witty. Did you get me a toy void fiend as my second gift?”
He brushed this off with a wave. “No no no. Something you can wear.”
“Earrings of Noire? Oh no, wait, let me guess, one of those really tacky tunics that say ‘My Parents Went to the Celestial City and Only Brought Me Back this Tunic’ on it.”
With a jingle of metal and crystal, he unearthed the hydra necklace. “Close but not quite.”
“Ohhhh.” She pulled it from his hands, a bit sharply, examining it, running her fingers over the chains and jewels. “It’s not… well it’s clearly been made by a rudimentary craftsman but it’s not… it’s well made. You can see the— look, Darkos, here.” She pulled his hands over one of the little jade lizard heads. “Feel that. The graininess around the engravings. It was definitely done by hand, so none of these were just replicas. This must’ve taken a while. Was it pricey?”
Darkos’s fingers froze over the hydra head but Geela blew past her own question.
“That’s wonderful. Good.” She nodded. “Very good.”
“Well…” Darkos wasn’t sure if he should go on, because buying Geela gifts with Geela’s money was a bit much.
“I don’t mind how much it is,” she said, as if reading his mind. “If you saw my treasuries… money isn’t an issue. I’d rather see what you think I’d like than see you pinch pennies on something stupid like a cheap felt hat.”
Darkos frowned, trying to remember what Jane’s hat was made of. “Uh. Don’t think it’s felt.”
“Did you get me a hat?”
He grinned and reached back into his bag. “Nope. Bought you… these. They smelled so good that I couldn’t resist.”
She examined the little jars of teas. “These are definitely not felt,” she said. “Did they sell felt tea? I suppose I should be grateful you bought something edible—Ooh, that ginger is delectable.” She inhaled deeply. “Any of these black? I’ll be up late tonight.”
“The acai. What’s tonight? Just doing research or…”
Her eyes clouded and Darkos remembered how bad her mood had been when she’d first walked in. “I have to visit someone.”
“Professor Elle?”
She shook her head but just as she opened her mouth, their waiter, a narrow faced boy who’d introduced himself as Henry, arrived to take their orders. Geela was, fortunately, a lot more subdued by now and placed her order with far more indifference. It wasn’t until he walked away that she let out a long breath.
“Do you remember Vera?”
Darkos shook his head without half a thought. Geela wasn’t probably expecting him to anyway, even if he did.
“Vera was an old student of mine. Slacker. Or, rather, unmotivated. The student whose eyes glaze over when you’re lecturing and skips assignments but then when she does turn in work it’s impeccable.” Geela stared at the dark nails on her fingers. “Brilliant but not challenged. Not sufficiently. I took a liking to her because I saw a bit of myself in her. So I invited her to an… extracurricular.”
“Blood cult?”
“Oh you do remember.” This comment normally would have been accompanied with an infantilizing smile but her face stayed perturbed. “I told you how it all went south, then.”
“They sacrificed her?”
Her brow creased at this. “No. No they didn’t. I only sacrificed people who volunteered. I…” She shook her head. “No. I did. To destroy the cult, seal up Berta, and take out her followers. Had to be done, she understood, doesn’t mean it’s any more fair cause it should have been one of them. I’m really very over it but I did pay her a visit and it just brought back how stressful the whole thing was.”
“Oh. Wait, you visited her?” Geela seemed upset, distressed almost. He definitely had the impression that things used to bother her more when she was younger than they had as she got older. This new realization was not a fun one. It played over his skin like someone running cold, sharp fingernails along it.
“She’s encased in bloodrock. Old Bertie’s trapped in the sanguine realm as long as she’s in there.” Geela wrinkled her nose. “But that’s not really what happened that was so interesting. She had children.”
“In the rock?!”
Before Geela could answer, their food was delivered. All the while, as their succulent dishes were placed before them, Darkos could just picture little angel-like babies swimming around in bloodrock. He shuddered. What a cursed life.
“No, Drake,” she said, as the waiters stalked off, “before she was sacrificed.”
“Oh.” The image still didn’t quite vanish, though, as much as he tried to dispel it. “Uh, ok. You said student, I thought young.”
“Oh she was. Youngish. Twenty, so young.”
“Did one of them find you?”
She laughed, a bit bitter, and took a bite of her food. “No. Grandchild. I have to meet him at midnight.”
“Why?”
She swallowed. “He knows who I am.”
“He knows you’re…” Darkos dropped his voice to a whisper, “Geela?”
“Mhm. I’m not sure how but apparently he does. We’re meeting at midnight.”
“We, like, we. You and me and him?” Despite the fact that her legacy was plastered across the realm, Darkos had precious few instances to run into anyone from her past. Yes she stole a mountain and he’d dreamed of Barney once but that was about it. This could be very interesting.
Or as he was increasingly feeling, absolutely a terrible idea, but he felt like he had to be there. What this said about himself he did not want to think about.
Geela had a distant look to her eyes. “I guess… I guess so. Yes, I mean us. You and me and him.”
She might need him after all. Darkos knew she’d be able to hold it together, but she also could potentially use the moral support.
“Good,” he said. “What time?”
“Midnight. Simple time. We might need costumes, but nothing facially disguising. Just not… boring street clothes. I’ll figure something out when we get back to the inn.”
“Good.” Darkos grinned. “I’ll make some tea, keep us up.”

The two tiptoed down the roads while Geela fidgeted with a little device in her hand. It was an illusimancer or something. An illusiometer maybe. No, an illusionograph. Illusionator? Something like that. Something that made illusions easier. She’d explained how she’d preprogrammed a handful of illusions to call upon more easily.
“I’m not going to show up with the full gamut of my power running. We need to stay on the downlow.” That was pretty much the only word for word part he remembered her saying. The rest of his memory was dedicated to remembering the name of her device.
The Celestial City didn’t really seem to sleep, even if Darkos kind of wanted to. Even though it was approaching eleven, there were more people on the streets than in Darkos’ entire village. He couldn’t really blame them. The sun hadn’t even really gone down all the way.
“Why are they up so late?” Darkos asked.
“I couldn’t say. Out late with friends, going to work, home from working, shopping. Big cities don’t use the regular clock, especially not in the Celestial Region. Sun just stays up so long.” She gestured at the sky to highlight her point.
“Oh.” It did make sense that the sun would stay up later in the Celestial Region. “Does the moon stay out in the Lunar Region all day?”
“Mhm. All day.”
Darkos absolutely could not tell if this was sarcasm or not so he just kept following her. They reached a fissure in the ground, one that went down so deep he couldn’t see the bottom. Geela peered down it for a moment before sighing and straightening up.
Dakors laughed, breathing a sigh of relief. “For a moment I thought—”
“Ah ah ah, one minute.” She held up a hand before reaching into her bag and pulling out a coil of rope, which she affixed to a point above the fissure. Darkos sagged.
“Oh. So we are.”
“Hmm?”
“Aren’t you worried you’ll fall?” he asked, plainly worried that she’d fall.
She looked up at him. “No?” They wore maroon hoods that obscured their faces just enough to keep them more or less hidden without being too ominous, so Darkos couldn’t really see her expression. He could, however, hear it. “You’re going to carry me.”
Dammit. “Alright but then we’re doing this piggyback style and you need to hang on no matter what.”
She took a deep breath, accepting her solemn duty before crawling onto his back like some kind of spider monkey.
“You’d better hold on tight,” he said. “How deep is it?”
“The rope should make it easier on your hands so it won’t be too bad,” she said, hands clasped tight around his neck. “And once we’re on it, people won’t be able to see it. It won’t snap or release either. It’s reasonably useful.”
Darkos nodded and, giving the area around them one final look around the area, started descending.
It took about half an hour before he realized she hadn’t said how deep it was.
“How deep did you say this was?”
“I didn’t.”
Wonderful. Darkos used to have to climb hand over hand up to the top of a local tower in his village that was several hundred feet tall, so this wasn’t something he’d never done before. It was a little different. The evil enchantress clinging to his neck for dear life, so nervous that she was breathing harder than he was, that was new. But on the plus side, he got to use his feet, so that was good. And Geela’s rope was a little magic.
After another ten minutes, he tried his question in a more direct way. “How much longer?”
“Well, it’s about one thousand, three hundred and thirty… seven feet? No, eight. One thousand, three hundred, thirty eight feet deep.” She took a measured breath and he could feel her shaking on his back. “So almost there.”
Almost there. If he didn’t have a passenger, he’d probably have reached the ground already. He just kinda wished she’d given him an ETA. Though, technically he knew they had to be there by midnight, so maybe he was just being whiny.
Then, all of the sudden and with no warning, he hit the ground. “Oh!”
“Oh— ow!”
Darkos whirled to see Geela had, while dismounting, tripped and fallen.
“You ok?”
“ANKLE!”
“Uh, what can I do?”
“Uggggh.” She stuck a hand up to him and he helped her to her feet. “We’re going to keep this meeting to as little moving as possible. How much time do we have?”
He checked his watch. “Fifteen?”
“Crap. Alright, I’ll need your hand.” She grabbed his shoulder, supporting herself hard on him.
“I could try healing you,” he said, as he helped her limp down the treacherous underground steps that were apparently part of the academy.
“No no no.”
He’d expected her to say as much. Any powers he had came directly from Noire. “Honestly, I’m not even sure I still have my old healing spells. They came from worshipping Noire, even as Alerion, but I haven’t worshipped it in a bit.”
“And there’s no reason to tempt fate,” she said. “I could…” She sighed.
“What? You have any potions or something?”
“No Darkos, I told you. Not an alchemist.”
He held her elbow firmly as she stepped down a narrow passage. “Fair. Just thought maybe one of the apothecaries might’ve had something. I saw a few when I was shopping but I wasn’t sure how or if they worked.”
She didn’t respond to this, probably annoyed at him for not getting any. “Huh,” she said after a minute. “We should get some after this. Sure beats the bow.”
“The bow?”
Strangely, she blushed at this, but before he could say anything else, she held up a hand. “Ok ok, we’re here. Show time.” She dialed her finger around the illusiotechnic and a mist fell around them. “Invisible, sorta, so don’t make a sound. Remember, if you have to talk to me, only talk when your face is obscured by the magic of my hood or they will be able to hear.”
They rounded the next corner to find a large room, occupied by a small cluster of people wearing dark red garments. Darkos and Geela half tip toed, half limped past them, careful not to make a sound. Somehow the ceiling was made entirely of glass and looked up into the sky, even though that must be impossible. The chamber held an odd amount of life. Bats fluttered from alcove to alcove, a rat scurried by. A cloud drifted over the moon and somewhere, in the distance, he heard the hour start to chime.
Geela, still invisible, pulled down her hood to fully reveal the symbols drawn on her face. An owl from one of the little cave pockets screeched and the room filled with an eerie glow from the moon above.
Darkos heard a gasp.
“There, she’s there!”
Darkos turned, a bit quick, to see the figures in robes all turn to face him and Geela. She must have dropped the invisibility field. Of course, he wished she’d have given him a signal, but he was learning to be quick on his feet. He kept his hood up, as Geela had requested, but kept his place behind her, stoic and still.
Geela for her part, stood before them, her Gale disguise shed, her golden hair spilling down her own dark red robes.
The cluster of eight people knelt before her, heads bowed. The one in front, a man who looked close to Darkos’s age, fixed her with a look of adoration.
“High Priestess Geela,” he said. “You have, indeed, not aged a day.”
“What’s this about.” Geela threw out a hand, gesturing at the room they stood in. “You’ve activated the sanguine chamber. You stand garbed in the robes of blood. You claim to be the children of Vera. Explain yourselves to me.”
Another figure looked up. His face was identical to that of the first man who spoke.
“We are the eight, the four of two, who were of one. The two drops hit the water and so we are the ripples.”
Darkos wanted desperately to ask Geela what this meant but from her body language, something he’d gotten very good at picking up, she was annoyed by this. Still, before she had to ask for more, two other figures uncloaked themselves. Two women unveiled their hoods. They had delicate features, pixie-like noses, dark hair cut sharp at their collarbones.
“In the light we serve.”
“In the dark we serve.”
“We are as the world sees…”
“One.”
The two both came together on the last word.
Geela let out a long breath. “Ah. I see.”
“There was a prophecy.” This voice came from another hood figure, another male’s voice, but this one harsher than the first twins who had spoken. “Speaking of lineage passed down four times.”
“From witch to priestess.”
“From priestess to servants.”
“From servants to daughters.”
“From daughters to the eight.”
“And all paid back in kind.” Geela finished. “Your poor mothers.”
“They know what must be done,” spoke the first man. “They will go willingly.”
“I would expect nothing less.” Geela turned to him and beckoned. When he grew near enough, she leaned forward, speaking in the enchantment of his hood. The cultists would hear only high, muted whispers. Darkos, meanwhile, heard, “I’m so completely and utterly done with this right now. I’m so pissed. Why, why did this have to happen now?”
“What’s going on?” Darkos asked. “This is total nonsense, right?”
She groaned. “Mostly. Well maybe half. There was a prophecy that we divined decades ago that was supposed to bring some crap ton of power to Berta. But I blew the place up before then and I’d thought we were fine because I didn’t know that my damned students had any kids.”
“Oh. So what’s it mean when you walk into a prophecy?”
“Nothing good. They’ll want me to bring Berta back.” Geela’s voice had grown tense.
“Can we, like, avert the prophecy? Ignore it?”
She sucked in a breath between her teeth. “I’m not sure. I’m really not. I am a little nervous to refuse them. They have the power of prophecy at their back, which is icky temporal magic and they also know my identity.” She sounded nervous now. “I’m not really interested in bringing old Bertie back but I don’t know how to say no to this.”
“What happens if she comes back?”
Geela leaned away and looked over at the eight, all staring at her, faces either solemn or hopeful or joyous or skeptical, depending on which twin pair you looked at. She leaned back in.
“I don’t have time to answer that right now. Just know that one, it’ll be complicated. Two, it’ll be… messy. And three? We may not have a choice.”
Oooh plot thickens more and more... Let me know what you think!
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2020 Offseason Review: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Division: NFC South (7-9 2nd in the Division)
Head Coach: Bruce Arians
Offensive Coordinator: Byron Leftwich
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Bowles

Intro: Let me Get Something off my Chest

A couple of months ago, I wrote the Buccaneers 32 Teams/32 Days Post. Looking back a it, I’m sticking to my guns on most of my analysis. There’s just…one….little….thing….we need to talk about. Regarding Jameis’s pending free agent status, I said:
There's also the question of QB. Jameis is also a UFA and I'd say there's a...40% chance we re-sign him. So who replaces him, and would an aging veteran QB like Brady or Rivers really be a marked improvement?
[Sneezes in Boston accent]
The answer is yes, Fencing Coach, you fawkin dumbass!
Did you really think that Jameis Winston was a bettah option than Tawm Fawkin’ Brady 6-time supah bowl champion and enemy of Rawjuh Fawkin’ Goodell? You were fawkin’ wrong!
Admit to the good people of Aw/NFL that you wuh just another paht of the fake news media that tried to say Tawm Bwady deflated the footballs and that Bill Belichick used the video cameras for the SpyGates!
And who would have evah guessed that we’d end up with Gronk! What a yeeyah! What an offseason you fawkin’ pessimist! We got the GOAT! Get ya Covid immunity TB12 pills and shove ‘em up yuh asshole!
[Snaps out of it]
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get serious for a moment. This is the final Hail Mary of the underwhelming Jason Licht era, and aggressive moves were made this offseason, because the excuses have finally run out.
Since taking over the team in 2014, Jason Licht is on his third head coach (to be fair, Lovie Smith was not his choice) and only has a 34-62 (.35) record to show for, 0 playoff appearances, and only one winning season.
Meanwhile, a select list of his GM peers hired since include:
Big moves were made this offseason at the Quarterback position, bringing in a certain 6th round pick out of Michigan to compete with the ethereal and legendary Blaine Gabbert. Jameis was shown the door. And the result is about a case of beer’s worth of cap space and little depth across the roster. Buckle your Bucs, this is going to be a helluvah ride.

Top Offseason Stories

The Tompa Bay Gronkeneers: The biggest news of the offseason was giving Tom Brady a 2 yeaar, $50M contract (fully guaranteed). I won’t be blind to the fact that Tom Brady is 43 years old and clearly on the decline. But Tom Brady on the decline doesn’t have to carry the team on his back when he has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, and Oterius Jabari Howard to throw to. Not to mention, people will be sleeping on the Buccaneer defense. They shouldn’t be (more on that later).
Had Jameis Winston cut his 2019 turnovers in half, the Buccaneers would have been a playoff team and he would have been in the MVP discussion. Of course, if my mother had wheels, she’d be a bicycle. The real value of the Brady deal will be in his accuracy and more conservative approach to quarterbacking. Let’s exclude Tom Brady’s rookie year and his 2008 season cut short by injury, and Tom Brady has averaged ~10 interceptions. In five seasons, Jameis averaged ~18 interceptions per season (and dozens more fumbles).
Numbers aside, Brady’s value will come in the swagger he brings to the locker room. The 2019 Bruce Arians signing brought in a coach with a track record of winning. Brady’s window is obviously short…very short. But the ride should be fun while it lasts.
Then of course, there’s Rob Gronkowski, one of football’s most beloved meatheads. One year post retirement, Gronk put the cleats back on and chose to follow Brady to Tampa (in exchange for a 4th and the Patriots’ 7th round pick). With OJ Howard and Cameron Brate already on the roster, the Gronkowski trade was a luxury move, but will give Brady his favorite all-time target in an offense largely unfamiliar to him.
Jason Licht’s approach of building from the outside-in has often worked to his detriment for a team that has always excelled at receiving skill position players…but little else. The Tompa Bay Gronkeneers will be fun to watch. Let’s hope Brady can capture lightning in a bottle.
The Jameis Winston Cult of Personality Ends: When Jameis Winston first entered the league, I declared that his ceiling was Brett Favre and his floor was Jay Cutler. Five seasons in and I feel like he got a quarter of the way past Cutler. So how will I remember Jameis? For those of you who were old enough to watch the Jerry Springer show and see a big reveal that Cletus’s wife was cheating on him with the next door neighbor, it sure was entertaining for everyone watching, except for Cletus himself. For five years, Bucs fans were Cletus. Fans of the NFL marveled at his “eating W’s” meme while many of us cringed in embarrassment. You saw 5,000 yards and 30 TD’s. We saw 30 INT’s and 6 more fumbles.
The worst part of the Jameis Winston era wasn’t the embarrassment on-field, but the divisiveness he generated off the field. Post-game discussion threads on Buccaneers were riddled with personal attacks should anyone have dared mentioned that perhaps we would have won the football game had he not thrown 18,000 picks. But the worst of all? The discussion that came from his third sexual assault allegation (no, this is not a typo. People forget there were two allegations at FSU). Three allegations were not enough to keep a large contingency of the fan base from defending him, justifying his actions, and of course the classic Redditor “she was just in it for the money” trope.
Jameis Winston signed with the Saints this offseason, becoming a division rival’s embarrassment. I still believe he has an on-field future in the league. Perhaps, for now, the comments section will allow for smoother sailing. Perhaps not.

2020 Outlook

Hard to believe that I’m now in Year 6 of writing these offseason reviews for Tampa, and outside of 2017 where I was wildly off on predicting our record, I’ve managed to fall within one victory/loss in each of the other four. The past two seasons, I’ve predicted our exact record. While Covid delays could impact the 2020 season itself, I predict the Tom Brady Bucs will go 10-6, win the wild card, and lose in the Divisional round.
Year My Prediction Actual
2015 7-9 6-10
2016 10-6 9-7
2017 10-6 5-11
2018 5-11 5-11
2019 7-9 7-9
2020 10-6 ???

Things I Like About the Bucs in 2020

Things That Scare me About the Bucs in 2020:

2020 Draft Analysis

Round/Pick Player Analysis
Round 1, #13 Overall Tristan Wirfs (RT – Iowa) Admittedly, I always struggle with evaluating OL positions. I thought Chance Warmack, Robert Gallery, and Jason Smith were generational talents. They were far from that. So take what I have to say with a grain of salt, and listen to people like Barian_Fostate who did an excellent breakdown of Wirfs and Jedrick Wills, with the evaluation noting some glaring flaws in Wirfs’ footwork and hand technique. There’s no denying that Wirfs’ athletic ability is deity level batshit. At 6’5, 320 pounds, he ran a 4.86 forty at the Combine, had a 36.5” vertical, and a 10’1 broad jump. Not to mention, the kid can straight up jump out of a pool and casually hang clean 500 pounds. I wanted to watch how Wirfs performed against some of his incoming peers in the NFL, so I watched his matchup against Pedophilia State University to see how he’d fare against Yetur Gross-Matos, 2nd round pick of the Panthers and future division opponent. The results were…underwhelming. YGM brought constant pressure throughout the game, and seemed to have Wirfs beat from his first step onward, but in the same game, his ability in the run game was eye opening (Example). But then you had cases of sheer lack of awareness on blitzes and also stunts that showed deep areas of weakness for Wirfs. One way or another, this was a necessary pick, and even if he doesn’t pan out at RT, Wirfs’ athleticism and gifted abilities in the run game will make him a long-term key part of the Bucs and a potential Guard candidate.
Round 2, #45 Overall Antoine Winfield Jr. (S – Minnesota) Antoine Winfield Jr.’s entrance into the league was a “you’re an old man” moment for us Redditors in our 30’s who grew up watching his “Hall of Very Good” father. This was a pretty pick. While Winfield is of course a safety, the very first thing that stood out to me watching his tape was his pass rush ability. Yes, his pass rush ability. The first couple of clips I put on of Winfield had him perfectly timing a snap from the box and immediately in the backfield by the time the QB had the ball in his hands. The second thing that stood out was his nose for the ball, particularly in clutch situations. As Joe Theismann simply stated: “big players make big plays,” and that couldn’t have been more true of Winfield, who had big time game saving interceptions against both Fresno State and Penn State. Winfield was my favorite pick of the Buccaneers draft class, and what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed and an excellent nose for the ball. Keep an eye out for this one.
Round 3, #76 Overall Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB – Vanderbilt) Ke’Shawn Vaughn was one of the harder players to scout from this Buccaneer class, simply because it looked like he would have been better off with an offensive line of obese, beefy toddlers than whatever Vanderbilt rolled out for him. Nearly every snap I viewed of him, he rarely had a clean hole and was hit in the backfield the moment he touched the ball. Like, seriously, what is this? Vaughn’s biggest strengths to me showed up on tape with designed outside runs. Between the tackles, he showed little elusiveness, and a similar issue I saw with former Buccaneer pick Jeremy McNichol is that Vaughn tended to make multiple cuts before turning upfield. Not a good thing. Unlike a glaring weakness I saw in McNichols’ complete inability to block, it’s an area where Vaughn succeeded with flying colors. This, along with his adequate pass catching abilities (28 receptions for 270 yards in 2019) will make him a valuable 3rd down back in the beginning of his career (assuming RoJo is anointed the feature back). There are some traits in a RB that can’t be coached, like vision. There are other things like running upright with high pad level, a weakness I frequently saw with Vaughn that can be taught. Vaughn crosses me as a valuable utility player who may get looks as a feature back should RoJo continue to struggle. The value was there with his 3rd round selection, but expectations for his upside should be kept in check.
Round 5, #161 Overall Tyler Johnson (WR – Minnesota) A lot of the Buccaneers crew is pretty high on the Tyler Johnson pick. Pro Football Focus (PFF) had him top 50 on their big board and a Round 2 grade. I just don’t see it. Not at all, in fact. For a guy who stands at a mere 6’1 and is expected to play slot receiver, his speed and separation stand out as glaring weaknesses on tape. What I do like however, is his footwork coming off the line. Most of the time he’d beat his receivers within the first 5-7 yards off the line, but when it came to the deep ball I didn’t see a lot of “wow” factor. Tyler Johnson, I think, will be a reserve WR, which is exactly what you want from a 5th round pick. But I don’t see him as the massive steal many other fans did.
Round 6, #194 Overall Khalil Davis (DT – Nebraska) Played alongside his twin brother Carlos at Nebraska (who went one round later to the Steelers). I watched Davis’s game against Wisconsin and he looked to me like he’d fit best as a backup 5-tech. Not particularly explosive with a slow first step, and there were numerous occasions when he did penetrate the backfield but had terrible angles on the RB. Mind you, he was playing against Jonathan Taylor and a stalwart OL, but you want to see flashes of brilliance, even against good competition. Did not see anything that made me say: “this guy’s going to make our final roster.”
Round 7, #241 Overall Chapelle Russell (LB – Temple) I was able to find little tape of Russell, but one area where I do trust Jason Licht is in his ability to scout LB’s. I’m not going to pretend I know anything about Russell. I don’t.
Round 7, #245 Overall Raymond Calais (RB – Louisiana Lafayette) Calais’s best shot to make the roster will likely be as a return man, where he excelled at Louisiana Lafayette. Based on the limited tape I saw of him, I saw flashes of Felix Jones for his ability to get big gains off of draw plays in the shotgun. Obviously a longshot to make the roster.

Schedule Predictions

Week Opponent Prediction Analysis
Week 1 @Saints 27-24 Bucs (1-0) Bucs pass rush finds a way to get to Brees. Fun fact: this will be the oldest matchup of QB’s ever in NFL history…until the Bucs play the Saints again in week 9.
Week 2 Panthers 34-20 Bucs (2-0) Panthers are no doubt in rebuild mode right now. In the past two matchups, Bucs run game has managed to stifle Christian McAffrey. Keep an eye on rookie Yetur Gross-Matos. I think he’ll have a more immediate impact than even 1st round pick Derrick Brown.
Week 3 @Broncos 37-28 Bucs (3-0) Always a challenge to play at Mile High on the road, but I think the Bucs defense will manage to shut down a young and budding Broncos offense. On a Broncos note, I’ll never understand Jeudy being the 2nd WR off the board (let alone the 2nd Bama receiver taken). Best route runner I’ve seen enter the league since OBJ.
Week 4 Chargers 28-21 Chargers (3-1) No, I’m not too high on Justin Herbert, but when the Bucs play a rookie QB, I’m usually prone to pick the other team. For some reason, no matter the Head Coach and/or defensive coordinator, the Bucs crumple into fetal position against rookies.
Week 5 @Bears 31-13 Bucs (4-1) If Foles’ performance against the Bucs last year is any indication, they have his number. Pray that Mitch Trubisky doesn’t start. In his last outing against Tampa, he threw 6 TD’s. He did that as a rookie, mind you. Remember what I said about Bucs against rookie QB’s?
Week 6 Packers 28-24 Packers (4-2) Rumors of Aaron Rodgers’ demise are greatly exaggerated. It’s a team that’s just complete enough on both sides of the ball that I find it surprising so many are writing them off.
Week 7 @Raiders 34-31 Bucs (5-2) Here’s another team that is starting to form well under the cracker Mike Mayock. Raiders will be as good as Carr is in Gruden’s offense, and while he improved somewhat in Chucky’s offense by the end of year 2, this is a team at the tipping point between playoffs and an outright QB replacement.
Week 8 @Giants 37-17 Bucs (6-2) Though rookie Daniel Jones (sense a trend here?) shredded the Bucs with gusto last year, Bucs run defense should be able to neutralize Saquon, and despite a good rookie showing, I don’t have much faith in the long term prospects of Daniel Jones.
Week 9 Saints 20-17 Saints (6-3) Can usually count on the Saints and Bucs to split the division series. And once again, the oldest QB matchup ever. Put on some episodes of MASH. Get your Bingo cards ready. It’s geriatric QB time.
Week 10 @Panthers 41-21 Bucs (7-3) Will there be a season by this point? I don’t know. But I still like the Bucs to sweep the series with the Panthers this season.
Week 11 LA Rams 24-17 Rams (7-4) Rams offense is all of a sudden looking less like the powerhouse it was from a few years ago, but their defense is still nasty. Aaron Donald will make any QB poop their pants, including Tom Brady. This will be a violent defensive battle and I think the Rams will take the edge.
Week 12 Chiefs 37-27 Chiefs (7-5) For years on NFL going back to his time at Texas Tech, I told you all to get on board the Mahomes canoe. Love seeing him already building his Madden legacy. I’m just not going to bet against him right now.
Week 13 Bye N/A I have no way of confirming this, but I’m fairly certain during the bye week Bruce Arians clears out his office and runs an illegal cockfighting ring with his assistant coaches. You can’t convince me I’m wrong.
Week 14 Vikings 31-28 Bucs (8-5) Vikings remain a balanced team on offense and defense and the Zim Zamm still can’t be flim flammed. Close game here that will be a defensive battle with a few big time plays on offense sprinkled in.
Week 15 Falcons 34-27 Falcons (8-6) I’m glad to see Raheem Morris back in a DC position after seeing him work his way back up the coaching ranks. Always one of my favorite Buccaneer coaches despite his (many) flaws. I pick the Falcons in our first matchup because of one man and only one man: Julio Jones. Jones has now played a full 16 games in his career against Tampa, coming up with a staggering 116 catches for 1,841 yards and 11 TD’s. That’s cruelty.
Week 16 Lions 41-14 Bucs (9-6) I have a feeling by this point in the season, Fat Patricia will be one of the first Head Coaches fired and the Lions will be staffed by Interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell. The Bucs will be playing a team with a wounded ego ready to be put down like Old Yeller.
Week 17 Falcons 28-3 Bucs (10-6) Bucs fight hard to squeak into the playoffs, their first appearance since 2007.
Final Projection: Bucs win wild card, lose in the Divisional Round

Projected Starting Lineup & Analysis: Offense

QB- Tom Brady: See above analysis. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 4,438 yards, 67.1% completion percentage, 33 TD’s, 13 INT’s
WR1 – Mike Evans: At only 26 years old, Mike Evans already sits at 128th all-time on the career receiving yards list, and has a chance to pass [checks notes] Michael Crabtree on the all-time list this season. In every season in the league, Evans has surpassed 1,000 yards and has become a hallmark of consistency, even with the suspect supporting cast around him. Having an accurate QB for the first time in his career will be a huge benefits to Evans. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 70 receptions, 1,213 yards, 6 TD’s
WR2 – Chris Godwin: Godwin had a brilliant breakout last season, earning 2nd Team All-Pro honors (that probably would have been 1st team had his season not been cut short by injury). While Evans might be the bigger threat, Godwin is among the most complete receivers in the league. A fantastic route runner with sure hands—and perhaps his most overlooked quality is his blocking. Find me a WR who does it better right now. You won’t. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 77 receptions, 1,387 yards, 7 TD’s
RB – Ronald Jones: RB is one of the few positions where fans can reasonably expect instant production from a player when he transitions from the college ranks to the pros. As a rookie, RoJo was a mega dud who could barely find the field in the Koetter era. He took a huge step forward in year 2 (724 yards, 4.2 ypc) but still often disappeared in games and lacked the pass protection skills that are so necessary in Arians’ offense. RoJo will have Vaughn to take off some of his workload, but I still see RoJo as one of the weakest links on an otherwise complete offense. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 808 Rushing yards (4.2 YPC), 5 TD’s
TE – Rob Gronkowski: See above analysis. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 41 receptions, 614 yards, 6 TD’s
LT – Donovan Smith: Donovan Smith provides as much protection as Jeffrey Epstein’s guards when he was on suicide watch. While Tom Brady tends to release the ball far faster than Winston, the Arians offense designed for Brady better be getting the ball out fast. 43 year old QB’s aren’t meant to take the kinds of hits Winston did. Let’s hope that Tristan Wirfs is able to prove himself a viable option on the left side. We’ll be able to get out of Donovan Smith’s contract after this season with no cap ramifications. On a side note, there’s a decent change Donovan Smith will opt out of his contract due to Covid concerns. And I wouldn’t blame him one bit.
LG – Ali Marpet: Marpet continues to be the most reliable piece of our OL. Like Lavonte, a continually unheralded player who you can rely on to go toe-to-toe with the league’s best interior DL while manhandling the dregs of the NFL. I thought last season would be Marpet’s shot at a 2nd Team All-Pro, but he was passed over once again. Love Marpet.
C – Ryan Jensen: Jensen’s first year with the team was free agent bust material. He seemed to thrive more in the Arians offense and we saw marked improvement in all facets of his game last year. Overpaid for his value? Definitely. Living up more and more to the contract we gave him? Yup.
RG – Alex Cappa: When Jason Licht rolled the dice on small school Humboldt State product Alex Cappa, he may have been expecting the next Ali Marpet. In his first full season as a starter, there were things to be encouraged by and I’m a little more bullish on Cappa than most of the fan base. Though he allowed 31 pressures on 562 pass snaps (roughly 6% pressure rate), I saw Cappa’s confidence growing as the season went on. His third season will tell us what his true ceiling in this league is. Right now, his floor isn’t Garrett Gilkey, but his ceiling ain’t Earl Grey.
RT – Tristan Wirfs: See above analysis.

Projected Starting Lineup & Analysis: Defense

EDGE – Sack Ferret: The Sack Ferret was brought on a 1 year, $4 million deal last season. I predicted he’d be a 5.5 sack guy and then probably hit free agency again. Just like we all expected, he went off and led the league in sacks with 19.5 (more than his previous five years in the league combined) and earned himself the franchise tag. Barrett has quickly become a fan favorite, and while I don’t see him replicating his majestic 2019 season, I still think he’ll be the same terror he’s been off the edge. Probably wrong projected stats: 12.5 sacks.
0-Tech - Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau Vea: Running on the Buccaneers in 2019 was damn near impossible, so much so that the team only allowed 73.8 rushing yards per game. That success started up front with Vita Vea, who has quickly emerged as the league’s top 0-tech. Unfortunately, like his forefathers in Vince Wilfork and Casey Hampton, he’s likely to spend his career as a valuable defensive cog who receives few to no career accolades due to the “unsexiness” of being a two-gap space eating defender. So NFL, here’s a homework assignment for you. Watch Vea on All-22 if you have some time while on Covid lockdown. You will see one of the most absurdly athletic big men in the league who is your definition of immovable object. His progress last year was a joy to watch and he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite players. Oh, and he’s the best TE on the Bucs. By far. Probably wrong projected stats: 2.5 sacks, 2 receiving TD’s.
5-Tech – Ndamukong Suh: We brought Suh back on another 1 year deal. No, he’s not the player he once was (he’s even refrained from curbstomping genitals in Tampa…so far), but his attitude he sets on the field has been a welcome change compared to the namby-pamby milquetoasts on our DL from the past. Suh’s value will come mostly in the run game. His sack producing days are long gone. Probably wrong projected stats: 3.5 sacks.
EDGE – Jason Pierre-Paul: It’s [checks notes] August, and Jason Pierre-Paul hasn’t had an offseason accident. Praise the football Gods. Despite starting in only 8 games last year due to a serious auto accident, JPP managed 8.5 sacks. At 31, father time hasn’t quite caught up with him yet. Probably wrong projected stats: 9.5 sacks.
ILB – Lavonte David: The good part of Lavonte David bouncing inside last season to Will is that he no longer got grouped in the same bucket as sack-producing 3-4 OLB’s who beat him out for All-Pro nods nearly every year. Even at 30, Lavonte only seems to be getting better, and his instincts and smarts continue to essential to the defense. Though Lavonte is one half of the Mike tandem and has been one of the league’s best LB’s’ for all of 8 seasons, I don’t think he’s going to be the centerpiece stud. Keep Devin White’s name at the forefront of your mind, which leads me to... Probably wrong projected stats: 3.5 sacks, 3 INT’s
ILB – Devin “Get Live 45” White: If you’ve read any of my posts here for the last 5+ years, you would see I don’t take a blind homer approach with player evaluation. Not once have I predicted a Buccaneer would win the MVP award, nor have I predicted a Buccaneer would win DPOY. In fact, only once have I ever predicted we’d be a playoff team. Now that preamble is done, let me say it outright: Devin White is going to win Defensive Player of the Year in Year 2. What? Mikes never win, you say. And you’d be mostly correct. In fact, Vegas odds don’t even have Devin White listed in their top 10. Here’s what I saw from Devin White in the last half of his rookie season: an absolutely insane nose for forcing the fumble, excellent pass rush abilities, and smarts that put him in the backfield often before the RB even had the ball in his hands. I saw enough from him to believe his leap in year 2 is going to be similar to that of Luke Kuechly’s where he won DPOY in his second year in the league. Wherever the ball is, Devin White will be there. You’re going to see one of the league’s dominant defensive enforcers for a long, long time. Probably wrong projected stats: 6.0 sacks, 5 INT’s, 6 FF’s.
FS – Antoine Winfield Jr.: See above analysis. I think we’re also going to see Justin Evans get cut Probably wrong projected stats: 2.0 sacks, 2 INT’s
SS – Jordan Whitehead: Jordan White is the most underrated player on the Buccaneers defense, in my eyes. No, not Lavonte, because people talk about how underrated he is all the time to the point he’s not so underrated anymore. Whitehead’s mistakes went down drastically last year and he has a knack for being where the football is. Really like him and could see some big plays from him this season. Probably wrong projected stats: 1.0 sacks, 3 INT’s
CB – Carlton Davis: Bruce Arians doesn’t give empty praise, but he recently called Carlton Davis a top ten CB in the league, an assessment I’m inclined to agree with. He was battle tested big time in year 2, getting targeted 105 times and only allowing 52.4% of those balls thrown his way to be completed. He was able to shadow the best, and his 18 pass breakups are indicative of a guy with great awareness. And the funny thing is, he’s not even the CB I’m highest on with this roster. Probably wrong projected stats: 4 INT’s
CB – Jamel Dean: For a guy who came in as a 3rd round rookie, Dean exceeded expectations and then some. His first game as a starter came against the Seahawks, there’s no sugarcoating it—he got owned. But what I saw was a guy who stayed stride for stride with his receiver with little help over the top. By the end of his rookie season, he was looking like a shutdown corner. This is the CB I’m most excited for in 2020. Kid’s got a bright future. Probably wrong projected stats: 3 INT’s
CB – Sean Murphy-Bunting: When I’m wrong, I admit I’m helluh wrong, and with Murphy-Bunting, I was helluh wrong. Yes, it’s been only one season and things could still go south, but I was baffled when we passed on Greedy Williams in favor of SMB.

Non-Buccaneer Predictions for the Season

  1. My 2018 breakout player prediction was Patrick Mahomes. Last year, it was Joshua Jacobs and Corey Davis (oops). This year, you need to watch J.K. Dobbins (rookie, Baltimore), N’Keal Harry (2nd year, NE). Perhaps not a true breakout, but I think Calvin Ridley will surpass 1,000 yards and become an even bigger complement to Julio Jones.
  2. MVP will go to Russ Wilson. DPOY will go to Devin White (and if you’ve been reading these posts long enough you know I don’t usually go the homer approach). OPOY will go to Patrick Mahomes. COTY will go to Cliff Kingsbury.
  3. The NFC Championship will be played between the 49ers and the Cowboys. The Cowboys will win. The AFC Championship will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. The Chiefs will win. The Chiefs will repeat in the Super Bowl, defeating the Cowboys.
  4. Last year I wrote: “Sam Darnold isn’t going to amount to much as an NFL QB. Not this year, and probably not ever.” I’ll repeat it this year too. But let me add one guy to that list: Tua Tagovailoa.
  5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire isn’t the superstar you think he is. I think his career will wind up like Joseph Addai’s: a guy who had a few flash in the pan seasons but never among the top backs. That’s not a bad thing, I would just cool expectations on him.
  6. The teams with the highest potential to land a top 5 pick, in no particular order: Lions, Jaguars, the Washington Football team (I feel like an idiot even typing that), Bears, Jets. Dark Horse: Eagles.
  7. Coaches who have the hottest seats: Fat Patricia, Dan Quinn, Adam Gase, Doug Marrone, Bill O’Brien (as coach and GM).

Shoutouts

Shoutouts to my fellow mods on Buccaneers and NFL. It's a pleasure working with you all every day and shooting the shit with dank memes. And of course, much love to platypusofdeath who puts an insane amount of work into this series every year. Thank you for all you do.
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