Tebow & Foles: Two Case Studies

Nick Foles & Tim Tebow

My best friend in high school was a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. Naturally, I grew to hate the team. One of my cruelest sports moments was when I called him after the Eagles’ defeat in Super Bowl XXXIX to rub the loss in his face.

Strangely though, I have grown to like the Eagles over the past two years because they have stuck by their backup quarterback. That standard is also the reason I detest the Denver Broncos since they were willing to throw away Tim Tebow.

I never liked Tebow. One of my biggest sports disappointments is that the world never got to see Colt McCoy and the Longhorns defeat Tebow in the 2008 BCS National Championship. I hate how pious Tebow is and that I look like a jerk for hating an all-around great human being. I detest the fact that he was a terrible quarterback who won games on the back of a strong defense and sheer luck.

But if that guy had been my quarterback, I would have hypocritically loved him because he had a divine ability to win games. At the end of the day, that is all that matters in the NFL.

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In Defense of One More Day

Spider-Man: One More Day

Superman is kind of an asshole. His powers are basically unlimited, but he does not save everyone. Danger and crime are constantly happening around the world. Superman can hear cries for help across the globe, and he possesses the strength and speed to intervene anywhere. In theory, Superman could spend 24/7/365 saving lives, but he still chooses to take some time to live as Clark Kent.

How does Superman decide when he should bother saving people? Does he only leave a meeting atĀ The Daily PlanetĀ if an American needs to be saved? When Superman is getting frisky with Lois Lane, is it awkward to hear the screams of an Indonesian grandma getting mugged?

How does Superman balance his professional obligations and personal desires with his duty to save people? This should be the fundamental conflict of most Superman stories, but instead most Superman stories are about how he is allergic to a green rock. Continue reading

Learning C++

Paddlist (C++)

Since I was in middle school, I wanted to make games. Discovering gamedev.net was a revelation that made me realize video games did not magically spawn out of the ether. They were crafted by real artists and programmers.

I devoured several articles on gamedev.net that gave advice to game development newbies. My interest gravitated to the dark arts of programming. Then I made the same mistake common to most aspiring game developers: I decided to learn C++.

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Hello, World

I fucked up my life. In high school, I was a straight A student who graduated sixth in my class of over 800. I was accepted to the University of Texas as an honors biomedical engineering student with a full scholarship. My first semester GPA was a 4.0.

Then I screwed it all up. My grades slipped, and I lost my scholarship. Engineering became philosophy, bringing constant questions of “Philosophy? What on earth are you going to do with that?” After five unsuccessful years, I dropped out and moved back home to live with my parents. While my friends were graduating and moving on to great careers, I started working again at the same grocery store I bagged at during high school.

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The Flaws of Final Fantasy XV

Full spoilers for Final Fantasy XV follow.

I hated Final Fantasy XIII. After years of hearing how great the series was, FFXIII was my first numbered entry in the franchise, but the game was a major letdown. Outside of Lightning, the characters were annoying. The game begins with a twenty hour tutorial. The level design is nothing more than straight corridors, and the battle system basically plays itself. I gave up on the game before I felt like I had even finished the introduction.

After being burned by the series, I was hesitant to pick up Final Fantasy XV especially after hearing so many negative reviews and comments on it. But I still gave the game a try because of the amazing trailer featuring a cover of “Stand By Me” from Florence + The Machine. Epic fantasy games are overdone, but coming of age buddy adventures are less traveled territory in video games. I picked up the Royal Edition in order to give the game a chance.

What I played was definitely a flawed game. Even with the additional content Square Enix has put out since the game’s release, so many areas of this game are lacking. After a decade of development, the game still feels unfinished. In fact, that long development time is probably a huge cause of FFXV‘s disjointed feel because of how often the developers’ vision changed. There is already plenty of discussion online about Final Fantasy XV‘s flaws. I will not bother rehashing those problems in too much detail, but here are some of the game’s biggest mistakes: Continue reading

King Slayer

For 24 hours, my hatred for the Lakers was renewed. LeBron James left Cleveland and signed with Los Angeles. No matter what your specific list of top 10 professional basketball players entails around half of them have been on the Lakers at some point in their careers1)Imagine you had a time machine allowing you to field a team of the Lakers’ all time greats at their peak powers. Here is what my starting lineup would be: PG-Magic Johnson, SG-Jerry West, SF-Elgin Baylor, PF-LeBron James, C-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I am not sure if those are the 5 best individual Lakers, but it is the best team possible if only to have Kobe and Wilt coming off the bench. Both of them would be playing with chips on their shoulders, and we would get to see Wilt get 40 assists and Kobe score 80 points every game.. The rich get richer.

But then DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Warriors. The greatest team in the NBA signed another All-Star, and they got him for the veteran minimum. Next year Golden State will be better than a superteam made out of the best players from the entire Eastern Conference. The NBA is fundamentally broken right now. We might as well award the Larry O’Brien Trophy right now, and Golden State’s dominance shows no signs of letting up. Continue reading

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Imagine you had a time machine allowing you to field a team of the Lakers’ all time greats at their peak powers. Here is what my starting lineup would be: PG-Magic Johnson, SG-Jerry West, SF-Elgin Baylor, PF-LeBron James, C-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I am not sure if those are the 5 best individual Lakers, but it is the best team possible if only to have Kobe and Wilt coming off the bench. Both of them would be playing with chips on their shoulders, and we would get to see Wilt get 40 assists and Kobe score 80 points every game.

A Defense of Easy Mode

Michael Phelps swam a lot. Tiger Woods golfed for thousands of hours. Steph Curry took a ton of 3-pointers. Practice often develops excellence but not for me.

I have played thousands of hours of video games, but I am still terrible at them. I will confidently pick the standard difficult level and then proceed to die over and over again. Most of the time, I will give up within a few hours and restart on easy. This happens so frequently that I now often just start on the easiest setting. Continue reading

My Worst World Cup Losses

Soccer is usually only a passing interest of mine. I will catch a Premier League match if I am up early on the weekend or a Champions League one if I have a random day off in the middle of the week. However, soccer is not an obsession of mine like college football or professional basketball.

Except when the World Cup comes around. Every four years my social life gets put on hold as I try to catch every game. I will quickly form passionate opinions on players like Neymar and Mo Salah. I will support a team based solely on how good their uniforms look.

As an immigrant from the UK, football is in my blood, and I am forced to support both the England and USA international teams. Yet my love for the World Cup is more than genetic; several reasons make it the world’s greatest sporting competition: Continue reading