Update: My Avengers Theory Got Ripped Off!

I recently posted an idea I had after seeing the Avengers: Endgame trailer, having to do with the idea that Scott Lang’s video message at the end of the trailer is actually an old message from the past. I thought it was a pretty cool idea. Apparently, other people thought it was good, too… good enough to rip off without giving any credit to me.

Here’s “New Rockstars” posting my theory on YouTube, a day after I posted it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3R1tNATpMo

And here’s “Emergency Awesome” getting a mention on Esquire.com for posting my idea a whole two days late:

https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a25460836/avengers-endgame-trailer-theory-scott-lang-time-travel/

You’re welcome, guys!

There are tons of other stories out there with this theory now, but there weren’t any when the trailer first hit on the day of my post – trust me, I looked. It’s nice to have been the first one to get it on record, but it sucks to have others take it and pretend it’s an original idea of theirs.

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Avengers: Endgame – Trailer Theory Alert!

Back after a SUPER hiatus!!!

Yeah, I know, I get into phases where I post a ton and then I don’t do shit for months, deal with it. But I came out of hiding for a serious message that I am giving to you right now (peace & love, peace & love).

The trailer for Avengers: Endgame came out recently: it’s not big on action or anything, but if you pay attention I think it confirms one of the MAJOR theories going around on how exactly the Avengers will defeat Thanos.

The theory I am talking about is the Ant Man/Quantum Realm theory, where Ant Man will somehow use his access to the Quantum Realm to undo all of the snapping Thanos got going on. The trailer confirms that Ant Man will be featured in Avengers: Endgame, but I don’t know if anyone has figured out just how much the trailer is telling us.

As a sort of “after credits” semi-comedic scene in the trailer, Scott Lang shows up at the front door of the Avengers compound. Earlier in the trailer, we see Bruce Banner looking mournfully at a picture of Scott Lang – either the Avengers think he died along with the others, or perhaps the Avengers somehow find out who was supposed to die and the Quantum Realm shielded him. We are supposed to assume that this is a scene showing that Ant Man is here to save the day, but is that what this really is?

Let’s look at the details. Scott Lang is driving the van from the post-credits scene from Ant Man & the Wasp, so he is probably fresh out of the Quantum Realm. He even says he met the Avengers “a few years ago at the airport in Germany,” referring to Captain America: Civil War (which lines up with the timeline correctly). All of this points to Scott Lang being at the front door at the present time, waiting to be let in…

But…..

Captain America asks, “Is this an old message?”

What if he’s right?

I’m betting that Captain America IS right: Scott Lang isn’t actually at the front door, he recorded the message and the left when he wasn’t let in… only this happened before the Thanos incident. There will be a timestamp to the message that shows Cap is correct (can anyone go back and freeze frame any of the Avengers’ compound screens from earlier movies to see if there is a “pending video message” alert anywhere???). Because of his “few years ago” statement, Cap and Black Widow will figure out that Lang traveled back in time from post-Thanos to pre-Thanos; this will prompt them to seek him out and develop a plan to use the Quantum Realm to undo all that was done.

I mean…. why else have Cap mention that it’s an old message? If they think he’s dead, maybe they are mistaken. But why use this as the final scene of the trailer? It’s not a surprise to us that he’s not dead, so it doesn’t achieve much in that regard. It only makes sense to use this as a closer for the trailer if it’s a big deal, and “Hey, Scott Lang is alive” doesn’t qualify. But “Hey, Scott Lang went back in time and inadvertently left a message on the security system for future Captain America to formulate a plan to save half the universe” definitely makes the cut.

Fantasy Football is NOW!!!

Thank God football season is here!

Not only have the Mets been sickening at times, but my fantasy baseball team has been having a rough year thanks to some prominent injuries (I drafted Cory Seager early, so thanks for that). Football could not have come at a better time.

The league I play in with some friends – the league that I won the first (and only) year we played for cash – drafts in about a week or so, so I’m excited to have another fantasy team to sob over when my players fall apart. Rather than doing the same old “draft strategies” post that just about every blogger does nowadays, I figured I’d list some thoughts on my draft approach.

1) QBs – don’t touch the rookies: I play in a 2 QB league, so this rule is more important to follow than in a standard league – in most leagues, there are enough QBs to go around without having to worry about taking a rookie or not. But in our league, the level of talent on your 2nd QB can make a big difference week to week. The rookie QBs in this year’s draft class aren’t necessarily bad, they just happen to be on bad teams. Honestly, I’d say Baker Mayfield on the Browns has more upside than Sam Darnold on the Jets, but either one of them is a longshot to make any type of impact fantasy-wise.

2) RBs – get yourself a bell cow: what happened to all of the three-down backs in the NFL? They haven’t gone extinct, but they are close. That’s why players like Todd Gurley and Le’veon Bell are so valuable – you can just set ’em and forget ’em each and every week. You don’t have to worry about matchups or “game scripts” or any of that crap. Even rookie Saquon Barkley is a better pick than some other established veterans, simply because of his workload.

3) WRs – work as a team: One of my favorite moves is to pair up my QB with one of the top WRs on his team. In this case, any yards thrown to the WR get double scored for my QB; same goes with touchdowns. It can be a boom-or-bust strategy, but if you get a really good pairing (example: Julio Jones/Matt Ryan) things can go REALLY well for you.

4) TEs – absolute torture: If playing in a 2 QB league wasn’t enough, we also play in a 2 TE league…. I know, why do we hurt ourselves so? In the case of TEs, though, if you aren’t first out of the gate drafting, you are better off waiting – there isn’t really any other tiers besides “Gronk/Kelce/Graham” and “everyone else.” From week to week, it’s really a crapshoot figuring out which TE is going to go off.

Well, that’s all I have. Please don’t take this as an “advice” post – although I have won my league more often than anyone else in it, I don’t claim to be an expert on this stuff.

Hanzo Style

I know I’m running the risk of this blog becoming Overwatch-heavy, but so be it – it’s a great game, and I really do enjoy it!

In response to Tracer being nerfed out of the world, I’ve started to work on refining my Hanzo skills. He fits the current meta so well, and although Hammond (I refuse to call him “Wrecking Ball” due to the fact that it’s so freaking dumb) seems to be a soft-counter for Hanzo, he at least has a sliver of a chance in 1v1s.

There are two important skills to master when it comes to Hanzo: aiming and mobility.

With good aim, Hanzo is an absolute beast. He can one-shot about half the characters with a headshot, and cut down most of the tanks pretty quickly with his Storm Bow. The tough part about Hanzo’s aiming is the factor of projectile aiming and predicting your enemies movements. Because he is most effective from medium to long range, you must be able to lead your targets with your shots. Factor in the difficulty of placing headshots, and aiming with Hanzo can be quite a challenge. The hitbox for his arrows is forgiving, but only to a point; you really do need to know how to shoot.

Mastering Hanzo’s mobility is essential to increasing his survivability – the less you die, the more arrows you can plant in people’s craniums. Combining his wall climbing with his new lunge ability allows him to get out of difficult situations – Hanzo’s biggest weakness is that he is extremely dive-able, so being able to jump away and climb over a wall is an important escape tactic to know.

Lunge isn’t just a defensive tool, though; it can also be used for insane flank routes to set up sneaky ambushes:

Instead of firing Deadeye across the point and wiping my team, McCree instead takes an arrow to the back of the head and my team takes the point.

It’s making plays like these when I know I’m starting to really get into the flow of a hero.

Mets Hindsight

I normally enjoy the articles over at sbnation.com – there are tons of blogs on the site, and you can find posts about pretty much anything sports related (they even have MMA blogs!). Of course, I look for Mets news most of the time, but I recently read an article that had me shaking my head.

For those “non link clickers” out there, the premise of the article is that, despite the horrid mess that the Mets are in right now, there isn’t much different that could have been done between the 2015 World Series appearance and now that would have changed things. Personally, I disagree with this, and here’s why.

2015 was actually a pleasant surprise type of year: it’s not like anyone expected the Mets to be a World Series contender or anything. In fact, the Mets were only 3 games over .500 before going on an epic tear through August. Much of that run was fueled by Cespedes going supernova and carrying the team to the postseason. And the World Series run was propelled by Murphy’s sudden dominance over LA pitching. Would it have been too out of line to consider this a string of good luck? I know I thought that at the time.

So, if it’s just extraordinarily good luck getting us to the World Series, is it prudent to continue to bank on it? I don’t think so.

The biggest mistake that the Mets made was “going for it” during the 2016 season. We were once again mediocre at the end of July (4 games over .500 this time around), and we expected the same magic to fall into our lap… hence, the Jay Bruce trade. I have NEVER liked Bruce… sure, he hits homeruns, but never when you need them. Instead, he strikes out in high leverage situations. He’s very much the Armando Benitez of hitters – great stats on paper, absolutely abysmal player in real life.

What the Mets should have done instead in 2016 was stay the course and continue developing talent. Now, I’m not saying that Dilson Herrera would have ended up being the savior of the franchise. However, if the Bruce trade isn’t made, then you don’t end up with him on the payroll in 2017. Maybe the rest of 2016 doesn’t go all that well, and you don’t waste $17 on a Neil Walker resign. Maybe Lucas Duda doesn’t get squeezed out of town and you keep his smaller salary on the books.

There isn’t one specific deal that the Mets could have made in order to avoid the mess that they are in now. But they could have adopted a different perspective: one that treated 2015 as an overachievement, and continued on a development course for 2016 and beyond. Instead, they took their shot too early on players that ended up not having enough impact, and now they are left in worse shape than they would have been if they had just done nothing.

It’s Hammond Time!

The next new Overwatch hero is here, and yes, he’s a mech-driving hamster.

Sometimes this game is just silly.

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I haven’t had the chance to play Hammond yet – I’m a console player, so I don’t have access to the PTR. I have seen some gameplay videos, however, and I am aware of his play style/powers/etc. With that said, here’s my take on the new guy:

Hammond is an interesting add to the Overwatch roster, mainly because he seems to go counter to everything the devs have been trying to do lately. With recent nerfs to flanker heroes and the addition of Brigitte, it seemed as though the devs were trying to push the game out of the dive meta… however, it doesn’t take more than three seconds of watching Hammond game footage to tell that he’s pretty much a dive tank on steroids.

So what’s the deal?

I think that the devs realized just how much they swung the pendulum away from dive, that they needed to give it a little push back in the opposite direction in order to balance things out.

I’m not going to get too much into the details of Hammond’s kit (you can find that stuff in any one of 400 YouTube videos), but I would like to talk about my predictions on how he is going to alter the utility of other current Overwatch heroes.

Just from his role, one would think Hammond would supplant both Winston (the original dive tank) and D.va (the original mech driver). I think he’s only going to make them more popular – having two mobile dive tanks throwing the enemy team into chaos is better than one, I would say. I think the immobile tanks like Orisa and Reinhart are going to suffer. It is also going to make heroes like Tracer and Genji even weaker than they are now – they will be sitting ducks when a humongous hamster ball is rolling around aiming to crush them.

Instead of trying to bring about a brand new meta with the addition of Hammond – or, as some people have suggested, trying to get rid of the idea of “metas” completely – it seems as though the devs are trying to move the game towards a “rock-paper-scissors” type of equilibrium regarding comps, which will lead to teams switching mid-match in response to what their opponents are showing. This will reduce the value of one-tricking and greatly increase the value of acquiring flex skills.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know if we can be sure yet. Is it a good thing to move away from the idea of “mains” being a good thing? Are players going to lose interest when they find they aren’t dominating in every game with the same hero all the time? I guess we’ll see. For now, I’m going to work on expanding my hero pool some more.

The Music In My Head

A few years ago, I realized I started going through was pretty much amounted to a mid-life crisis. While most guys will end up getting a funky haircut or buying done expensive sports car, I went the “less disruptive” route and simply developed a new hobby. What was the new hobby, you ask?

Parkour?

Bungee jumping?

Tiger wrestling?

Nah… I’m too boring for any of that. Instead, I settled on composing music.

Since I was little, I always felt I had music inside my head, but I never learned to pay an instrument or to actually write music. At the same time I started craving a hobby, I was hearing “my music” more and more. I realized that I needed to create it somehow. Thankfully, I was able to find Caustic: it’s an EDM music creator app that allows to you make full songs, edit them, and convert them into mp3s for full playback.

So, yes… I am now an amateur EDM composer.

Now, I don’t have any crazy fantasies about becoming a chart-topping EDM artist – I very much realize that I’m not all that good. But I am able to bring to life the music that’s in my head and make it real, and that is something amazing.

So, without further ado, here are three of my songs that I’ve written. I hope I enjoy listening to these when I check back later to make sure I embedded them properly!