Friday, February 2, 2018

Super Bowl LII Prop Bets: Patriots vs Eagles

by Dan Moore (@SouthieDanimal) & Mike Parker (@UncleMiggsy




Here we are at the end of another football season. Lo and behold the Patriots are in the Super Bowl again. And what better way to celebrate them in the big game again then by betting on a bunch of stupid, trivial bullshit? (All odds & bets courtesy of Bovada) 





Dan's Choice: Tails hasn't failed me in years...but is it time for me to meet Heads again at the turn of the tide? Hmmmm...Here's the all time coin toss stats...


Tails has come up 4 times in a row...I'm sticking with TAILS, which is not only an excellent side of coin, but a hell of a Sonic the Hedgehog sidekick. 


His real name is Miles. MILES!!

Miggs' Choice: I’m going with HEADS. Any math nerd will tell you that the coin flip is 50/50 no matter what but I don’t buy that. Looks at all these winners named for the ol’ noggin.



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dan's Top 9: Patriots Super Bowl Appearances

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal


The fact that I even get to write this list is RIDICULOUS. Nine Goddamn Super Bowl appearances with the tenth on the way. Absurd. It must kill all the other fan bases that this list can exist. I LOVE IT. It's gonna go from worst to first so here we go. 



9. SUPER BOWL XLII: Patriots vs. Giants

UGGGGH This one SUCKS to even think about. This is the one that really sticks in the craw with us spoiled Pats fans. It still hurts to think about it to this day. The unstoppable force. GONE.  The best offense ever. GONE. The Perfect Season. GONE. All because of this fucking helmet catch. 




8. SUPER BOWL XXXI: Patriots vs. Packers

This was the first real memory I have of one of my sports teams being in the big one. I was 17 during this game and I remember being at my aunt's house with all my friends and family watching this, hoping to see a championship. Alas, notorious genital photographer Bret Favre killed that dream, along with Desmond Howard's stupid kick return. Goddammit. 


Plus, they were very mean to my friend Drew. 


7. SUPER BOWL XLVI: Patriots vs. Giants

Deja fucking vu. The rematch was AWFUL too. I was convinced the Pats would get them on the second try. As it turns out, the Giants ended up being the white whale to the Patriots Ahab. 


A big, dumb white whale. 

6. SUPER BOWL XX: Patriots vs. Bears

This loss barely registers. I was seven when this game was played. I don't remember much at all except a big fat guy with a football improbably hitting paydirt, and that was my Uncle Benny when he hit one of his squares. (As much as these losses stink, it really is a joy being able to write about the NINE TIMES the Patriots have been to the Super Bowl. Yeah, Super Bowl losses suck, but being a Patriots fan is the best. We know another opportunity to win one is right around the corner. That's not arrogance. It's LIFE). 


5. SUPER BOWL XXIX: Patriots vs. Eagles

Now we're getting to the good stuff. The victory that solidified the Pats as a dynasty is also their least memorable in terms of winning. Seriously, the biggest moment everyone remembers from this game is Donovan yakking all over himself. 


"I'm so sick of losing, I could puke!"


4. SUPER BOWL XXXVIII: Patriots vs. Panthers

The Super Bowl where people started to notice "wait a minute...these Patriots might not be a fluke." I got so excited for this one cause they could be one of those dominant teams people talked about like the Cowboys or the Niners. Little did I know they'd eclipse both those teams. 


3. SUPER BOWL XLIX: Patriots vs. Seahawks

I wanted this game. NEEDED this game. After all the bullshit about air in footballs and how Brady sucked unless his balls were squishy (heh), I needed this team to take home the trophy. And it did not look good...until...


The deafening roar of the crowd was only eclipsed by the yelling and screaming of me and my idiot friends. The pure joy in that one moment was monumental. One of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history...and the Patriots did it when it was needed most. 


2. SUPER BOWL LI: Patriots vs. Falcons

The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history was a roller coaster of emotions for us poor Patriots fans. Tom Brady, unjustifiably suspended. Injuries all year. Just once, can't we catch a break? No, we had to go down 28-3 and claw our way back to the most improbable victory in football...ever. Was it worth all the stress of the first 3 quarters to come back and win the FIFTH Lombardi Trophy in the only ovetime game in Super Bowl history?


1. SUPER BOWL XXXVI: Patriots vs. Rams

But this one...this one here is my favorite one. Huddled once again at my aunt's house...drinking...swearing...screaming...hoping for once the sad sack Patriots, the team I've been following during the dark days of 1-15 and Hugh Millen could finally turn it around against the Rams. Who at the time were the best, unstoppable force in football (sounds oddly familiar). When Vinatieri lined up for that potential game winning kick, everyone in the house joined hands. And the kick was good. The cheer from the crowd in that living room was so loud it caused my sister's toddler son to bawl his eyes out and most likely cause irreparable damage to his hearing. But we didn't care. It was the best. We were finally winners. And it started the greatest dynasty in sports history. 



IT'S GOOD! IT'S GOOD!



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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New England Patriots Cheating: A Loser's Myth

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal

The New England Patriots are the greatest dynasty the NFL has ever known. They're about to make their 8th Super Bowl appearance since 2001 with 5 wins and possibly their sixth this coming Sunday. But they are not without controversy, either real or imagined. Here now are my thoughts on all the alleged cheating, scandals and referee help they've received since their run began almost twenty years ago.





2001- TUCK RULE

Ah yes, the Tuck Rule game. The game where a rule was applied correctly and everyone lost their shit. The rule that earlier in the year went against the Patriots. The rule that was applied in a divisional round game, a full two games before the Super Bowl, that allowed the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Yes, that rule. 


Raiders fans would have you believe this is what the play actually looked like. 

You wanna bitch that the rule sucks? I’m with you. You wanna say the Pats got lucky that game? Abso-fuckin’-lutley. But don’t give me any of this bullshit that the Raiders got cheated out of the Super Bowl when they couldn’t even take care of business two fucking games before the big one. There was 1:50 left in the game. Oakland could've, ya know, stopped the Pats. Or maybe stopped them in overtime. But that gets left out when you talk about this game BECAUZ WE WUZ CHEATED (Also, let me remind you, the big bad Raiders, who totes woulda won the Super Bowl in 2001 if not for the refs cheating them out of the Super Bowl 8 whole quarters before it began, made it to the Super Bowl in 2002 and got their fucking doors blown off 48-21 by Tampa Bay so suck a boner, you Raiders crybabies). 



2001- PATRIOTS TAPE RAMS PRACTICE

This is the one. The big one. The lie that still gets repeated to this day. The Patriots were reported to have taped a practice the Rams had the weekend of the Super Bowl, by breathing tub of goo John Tomase.


The man's a goblin

A fat, curly haired nobody who decided that journalism doesn’t matter as long as you’re first to report whatever tripe you hear in a bar room. Tomase did no research and said “Eh fuck it, Pats taped practices." And this is the nonsense you hear from every other jealous fanbase about the Patriots. The man lied about it, made no real apology and SOMEHOW is still employed in the Boston media. It makes no fucking sense and I hope he gets paper cuts on that little web section of his hand in between his fingers.

(Also, read this if you wanna know all about this nonsense https://thetomaselie.com )


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The WrestleMania Main Event: No New People Allowed

So I'm getting ready for work this morning and my mind wanders, as it does more frequently than I care to admit, to the subject of pro wrestling (Oh CHRIST, here he goes again....).  Specifically I was thinking about WWE's inability over the past decade-plus to create new top stars, and how that correlates with who gets to main event The Show of Shows, WrestleMania.  The idea popped in my head once again that, wow, no matter what happens to him from here, whether his in-ring career resumes or not, Daniel Bryan got to headline WrestleMania.  It's an honor bestowed on so few, and he's one of them.  Forever.

The fact that these guys got to main event 'Mania but Punk didn't is just unreal.

But then I decided to go back over all the 'Manias since the show was created 33 years ago and count exactly how many men got to main event the spring spectacular.  Just how exclusive is this club?  And the numbers are pretty striking when you think about them.  The overall total is 33, which is an average of one new guy per year.  But it's the decade-by-decade numbers that are really telling.  First let's review exactly who's on this list and then I'll show you how revealing this trend is as it pertains to WWE's stagnant star factory.  I'll give you some totals after each ten years of Manias.

The following is a list of NEW WrestleMania main event participants by year:


WrestleMania I: Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, Mr. T

WrestleMania 2: King Kong Bundy

WrestleMania III: Andre the Giant

WrestleMania IV: Randy Savage, Ted Dibiase

(WM5 had Hogan and Savage, who had both headlined before)

WrestleMania VI: Ultimate Warrior

WrestleMania VII: Sgt. Slaughter

WrestleMania VIII: Sid Justice

WrestleMania IX: Bret Hart, Yokozuna

(WM10 had a rematch of the WM9 main event)

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Power of the Pin 1.29.18: The Last Days of Lesnar

Welcome to a special guest column from Ryan K Boman of thegorillaposition.com.  Ryan K. Boman is the co- founder of Lecrettia Media Services, a content and marketing firm that specializes in sports & entertainment promotion.  He began writing professionally in 1990 at the age of 14. As a syndicated columnist and feature writer, his work has appeared in The Miami Herald, AdWeek, SB Nation, The Southern Illinoisan and 1wrestling.com.

by Ryan K. Boman

As we come churning to the end of the WWE calendar and look towards WrestleMania, we’ve already answered one major question: Shinsuke Nakamura will face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship on the company’s signature stage.

For "smart fans," it must have felt like it was raining candy, hearing Nakamura utter those three syllables after he won The Royal Rumble last night. And for Smackdown, as a brand, it’s another opportunity to surpass its older brother, RAW, with the world watching. Based on their past encounters in Japan, there’s no reason to believe that The Artist and The Phenomenal One won’t play a tune in New Orleans that will have the wrestling audience singing.


Which brings us to the dance card of the current Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. With a showstopping match already set in the other world title scene, what does WrestleMania have in store for Brock? And even more importantly, what comes afterwards?

Earlier this year, speculation was swirling that Lesnar might be riding out his contract with World Wrestling Entertainment until his UFC suspension was over. The theory, some fans surmised, was that he was simply collecting a paycheck until he could return to a ‘real sport’. Fueling that chatter  was some sniping over the summer between Lesnar and former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, leading fans to believe the two were hyping a potential MMA fight. That buzz died down when Jones was suspended for a drug violation himself.

Lesnar has made comments in the past that indicate he feels he’d be taken more seriously as a legitimate combat fighter, as opposed to a sports entertainer. Despite his rough, ‘I-Don’t-Give-A-Damn’ exterior, it’s clear that Lesnar’s legacy as an athlete (real or otherwise) is important to him. His foray several years ago into football was a sign of that natural, competitive streak; he had never played football at the collegiate level, yet still hung with the Vikings before eventually being cut.

WWE Royal Rumble 2018: Nakamura, Asuka and RONDA ROUSEY


Well.  It seems WWE has rediscovered how to put on a fun Royal Rumble.  TWO in fact.  For a while there the Rumble had become one of my least favorite events on their calendar, but between last year's pretty great show (with admittedly the wrong ending) and last night's pretty great show (with the exact right results across the board), the Royal Rumble has officially returned to form.  There was nary a bad match on the main card, both Rumbles delivered, there were memorable moments abound, lots of fun surprise entrants, a clear direction for WrestleMania, and a monumental debut to end the show.

First up, oddly, was the WWE Title match.  AJ Styles defended against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, in a crisply worked 16-minute match.  Nothing spectacular here, but the three of them worked well together and AJ even got to bust out his moonsault-reverse DDT combo (which I don't remember seeing since his WWE debut two years ago).  Styles retained after countering an Owens pop-up powerbomb into a roll-up, but Owens and Zayn protested since Owens technically hadn't tagged into the match.  Solid opener.


Next was the Smackdown Tag Title match (SD kinda got shafted with this lineup; both of their bouts went on first), as The Usos defended against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin.  The Usos have been on fire and this continued that trend.  Energetic, fast-paced and well-booked, with a shocking two straight falls for Jimmy and Jey, this was a fine undercard match.  I liked that the first fall was long and the second fall was surprisingly short - it was realistic and defied the typical structure for a 2/3 Falls match.

The men's Royal Rumble was third out of six, which was pretty baffling until the end of the show when it was made clear why.  I dare say this was the best Rumble match of the past decade, if not longer.  The booking of this match was predictable in a good way; everyone who should've gotten to shine did.  The final five ended up being the five most plausible winners.  Finn Balor entered at number 2 and made the final four, having lasted 57+ minutes.  And of course Shinsuke Nakamura got his WWE career-defining moment by outlasting both John Cena and Roman Reigns to win the whole thing (after 44 minutes of in-ring time).  It seems my WrestleMania wish is coming true - AJ vs. Nakamura will tear the house down.  This is how you book a Royal Rumble match in 2018.  Other notes: Rey Mysterio looked better than he has in probably ten years and I wouldn't mind seeing him return as a part-timer.  Andrade Almas and Adam Cole both had good showings and it was great to see the NXT guests not geeked out on the main roster for a change.  Fuck you Comcast, for my internet going out RIGHT AT THE END OF THE MATCH.  Anyway, this was a pretty fantastic Rumble match that ranks up there with the 1992 and 2004 editions.


Participants: Rusev, Finn Balor, Rhyno, Baron Corbin, Heath Slater, Elias, Andrade Almas, Bray Wyatt, Big E, Sami Zayn, Sheamus, Xavier Woods, Apollo Crews, Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Jinder Mahal, Seth Rollins, Matt Hardy, John Cena, The Hurricane, Aiden English, Adam Cole, Randy Orton, Titus O'Neil, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Roman Reigns, Goldust, Dolph Ziggler
Final Four: Shinsuke Nakamura, Roman Reigns, John Cena, Finn Balor
Long Man: Finn Balor (57:30)

The match given the unenviable post-Rumble spot was Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan vs. The Bar.  I didn't really see any of this match except the finish, thanks to Comcast and my piece of shit wifi modem.  By the time I got back online the match was almost over.  From what I understand it was passable and served its purpose in furthering the Rollins-Jordan feud.  And The Bar regained the straps as they should have.  So no complaints there.

Friday, January 26, 2018

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia Preview & Predictions

Welcome to another edition of NXT Predictions, here at Enuffa.com, where Landon Wayne and I break down the latest TakeOver special from the one good brand under the WWE umbrella.


I gotta be honest, I haven't been keeping up with NXT current events very well these days, and it's not easy when the main roster has scooped up so much of their top talents.  NXT's been in a rebuilding phase for the last six months or so, and while the wrestling quality is always very good to excellent, it's felt like a developmental brand again, which hadn't been true since before the Owens-Zayn signings.  That said, TakeOver: Philadelphia is looking like a pretty terrific show.

Let's get to it.



Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream


This match was just officially announced last night.  Dream has been quite the breakout young star of late, with monster charisma and a great grasp of his character.  He had an unexpected show stealer with Aleister Black at the last TakeOver, and many were sad he didn't win that match.  Well I think this will be his consolation prize.  Dream is a hot commodity and now's the time to give him his first major win.

Justin: Dream
Landon: Dream wins. No offense to my personal Hero, but Kassius is here in the player coach role mostly I feel. I don't know if he'll ever make it to the main roster or not.





NXT Tag Team Championship: Undisputed Era vs. Authors of Pain


Hmm, which tag team name is better, reDRagon or Undisputed Era?  What precisely about this era is undisputed?  Or does the name suggest that there's no dispute that this is indeed an era?  What asshole came up with this name?  It sucks.  If you're not gonna use reDRagon, at least come up with something similar.  Or something that references Ring of Honor, like Code of Honor maybe.  Just something.  Christ.  Anyway this should be a fine contest.  AoP have come a very long way since their 2016 debut.  O'Reilly and Fish are the balls.  This could be the sleeper hit of the show.

Justin: reDRagon retain, as I think AoP are main roster-bound sooner rather than later.
Landon: reDRagon


WWE Royal Rumble 2018 Preview & Predictions

Welcome to the first round of main roster WWE predictions of 2018!  It's January, and that means it's time for the Royal Rumble, traditionally the one PPV a year WWE hasn't sucked all the fun out of......except in 2014 and 2015.


It's a somewhat unpredictable field this year, as other than the obvious choice of Roman Reigns (whose second Rumble win would be met with scorn and violence in the same building in which his first occurred three years ago, so get it out of your fucking heads WWE), there are multiple potential winners.  Look, we all know Roman's fighting Brock at WrestleMania, so there's no fun in having him win the Rumble.  It has to be a Smackdown guy takin' it down again on his way to facing AJ.  Unless of course WWE has some curve ball in mind.  And WWE curve balls always suck.  They suck balls, in fact.

This will also be the first Rumble event to feature TWO Rumble matches, as the women are getting their own match.  This could be fun.  I'm sure we'll see some cameos in that match from former WWE women's stars.  I also imagine this match will be of the 1-minute-intervals variety, so as not to burn out the crowd before the men's Rumble.

But let's get to some predictions.  Side note: Thank Christ we'll be spared that awful Cruiserweight Title match they had planned.  Fuck Enzo.

***I'm leading with 74/103 (71.8%), Landon's on my heels with 64/91 (70%), Dave's third with 47/69 (68%), and Dan's in the caboose with 63/103 (61%)***



Smackdown Tag Team Championship 2/3 Falls Match: The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable


Man, how much better would this be if it were American Alpha still?  I've always liked Benjamin but Jordan & Gable had such great chemistry as a team.  I'm still baffled.  Anyway, this should be a fun tag match as long as each fall is given time (WWE has this habit of rushing through 2/3 Falls matches and making them totally unrealistic).  This match could go either way but I'm sticking with the champs here because of what I think is gonna happen in the next match....

Justin: The Usos retain
Dan: Yes
Landon: Fuck, I'm behind on Smackdown...uhh.....Usos cause nothing matters to me about this company besides beating Justin in predictions.
Dave: Usos





RAW Tag Team Championship: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs. The Bar


Dean Ambrose's injury really effed everything up, huh?  Rollins & Jordan has to be the most random tag title pairing since Cena and David Otunga.  Anyway this match should be quite good given the talent involved.  The rumored plan is for a Rollins-Jordan match at Mania, which is a double-edged sword.  On one hand, that could be a pretty great little match.  On the other, THAT'S the best you have for Seth Rollins?  At any rate, it makes sense for The Bar to win the staps back and begin the breakup of this unlikely babyface team.

Justin: The Bar
Dan: JR retain
Landon: Rollins and Jordan retain
Dave: The Bar.....mmmm, beer.....





WWE Championship Handicap Match: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn


I hate handicap matches.  So, so much.  Why couldn't this just be a triple threat?  It'd be great.  Nope, RAW already has one of those even though that one should just be a singles match.  Fuck this shit.  Soo, clearly Owens and Zayn end up not being able to get it together and I'm guessing it all leads to a Mania match between them.  No complaints there, but wouldn't a 3-way here accomplish the exact same goal?  This will be yet another case of the Shane nonsense getting in the way of a good match from these guys.

Justin: AJ retains
Dan: Fuck it, KO & Sami
Landon: AJ Styles
Dave: AJ, I mean, come on.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

The XFL is Back, BABY!!!

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal


WOOOOO!!!

Vince McMahon just announced the return of his formerly ill-fated and all but forgotten sports venture, the XFL. That's right, the football league with WRASSLIN' commentators and big old floppity titties is coming back.


She plays for the New Jersey Hindenburgs

I dunno about you but while I wait for the Super Bowl to commence in about a week, this announcement of a sub-par football league coming back is really getting my gonads a-moving. I for one cannot wait to see a team fumbling punt returns and throwing short on 3rd and long every time (like Andy Reid!). 

And holy shit can you imagine what the silly nicknames could be on the back of the jerseys nowadays??!?! Yea, me neither cause they could be real fucking names. There is 100% a kid SOMEWHERE in America named He Hate Me. I guaran-fuckin'-tee it. 


SHALOM! It is I, He Hate Me Blumsack!

I have no idea why Vince hates money, cause this thing is probably gonna fail AGAIN. He's spending $100 million bucks to televise third rate football games WITHOUT my man Johnny Manziel. I mean, WHAT??!?! Vince said that nobody with a criminal background can be in the league. That's like 95% of the SEC. Who's gonna be in this league, soccer players?!?!



TOUCHDOWN!!!!

Regardless, I'll still watch this piece of shit league for three reasons. 

A. I love football

2. I love train-wrecks

D. You're outside of your mind if you think I'm gonna miss Tim Tebow suiting up for the Corpus Chisti Christ-O's.


"Christ is the only Hail Mary I need...wait a minute..."





NJPW The New Beginning 2018 Preview & Predictions

New Beginnings are coming in a few days. Three nights, every title on the line at some point. Going through all of the matches at once would give me a hemorrhage cause ain't nobody got time for that. So we're distilling the important matches out of each night and talking about them. I'm running behind on my own blog, so let's jump right in with Sapporo.



The New Beginning in Sapporo, Night 1, 1/27/18

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Championship [1st Defense]
Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (Bullet Club) (c) vs. Togi Makabe, Toa Henare & Ryusuke Taguchi (Taguchi Japan)


Landon: Bullet Club keeps the belts here, I hope. This shit needs to stop bouncing back and forth between teams, and this is probably the best use for Fale and the Tongas. Let their reign be long and chaotic.
Justin: The title that never stops moving.  I guess it's fine that this title exists because it gives a tiny bit of significance to one six-man schmozz on each show, but that's diminishing with each title change.  Instead of a barely cobbled together six-man division I wish NJPW would introduce a women's division.  That would preclude the necessity for so many multi-man tags on these big shows, plus it would potentially be yet another case of NJPW showing WWE how it's done.  Bullet Club retains I guess.



IWGP Intercontinental Championship [5th Defense]
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun)


Landon: I know this is like the fourth time I've said this but I don't care. Tanahashi is hurt and his elbow is made out of  broken glass wrapped in paper. Put the belt on Suzuki and let it ride for a year. Get the belt off of the poor man, now.
Justin: Man, Tanahashi is STILL holding onto that arm.  At this point it must look like Homer Simpson DIY spice rack.


I have to think Suzuki is the man who finally dethrones him so he can take some time off.  Suzuki may have lost the NEVER belt but this would be a helluva bounceback.  Suzuki wins.



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Mike's Oscar Thoughts 2018

by Michael Drinan
@mdrinan380


Ladies and gentlemen….it’s Oscar season! After a year full of great films, the nominations for Academy Awards were announced and now we get to discuss. So, here are a few of my thoughts.

First, a huge shout out to Rachel Morrison for becoming the first woman to be nominated in the Best Cinematography category for Mudbound. She also filmed Fruitvale Station, another really good, deeply emotional film. Highly recommend, that one.



BEST PICTURE

I didn’t make it out to the theaters as much as I had in years past, which caused me to have only seen one of the Best Picture nominees, which was Get Out. (which was excellent BTW) I’m going to try and see more before the show so I can be better informed when making my predictions.

For me, this category didn’t really have any surprises. I’ve heard great things about each and every one of the nominees so it’s going to be very interesting to see how it all shakes out. At the moment Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, for me are the frontrunners here, with Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water being dark horses.



BEST DIRECTOR

I really feel the Best Director Award is Greta Gerwig’s to lose, for not only making a critically and universally adored film, but after her strikingly incomprehensible absence in this category at the Golden Globes, I feel she’ll get the votes. If not, Guillermo Del Toro might get it. My money’s on Gerwig.



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Original Screenplay is going to be a great category to watch. It is filled with excellent films, with great scripts. I don’t know who is going to win but I do know which film isn’t going to win. As much as I loved The Big Sick, for its humor, real-world situation and characters, diversity and intellect, it is up against a very, very tough field. I’m very happy Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani were recognized for their excellent screenplay. They deserved it.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Hardships of Being a New England Patriots Fan

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal



The New England Patriots vanquished the Jacksonville Jaguars to move on to their record 10th Super Bowl. It is their 3rd in the last 4 years and their 8th since 2000. It is a spectacular run the likes of which has never been seen in professional football. But I'm not here today to talk about how awesome the Pats are or how beautiful Tom Brady is or how big a johnson Bill Belichick has. No. I've done all that.

I'm here to talk about how awful this is for us Pats fans. I mean, this winning all the time really takes a toll on all of us. Here are my major gripes about the Patriots being the greatest team in football ever:


1. WHERE TO PARTY

Figuring out where to go for the Super Bowl usually isn't that tough. Mainly because your loser teams aren't in it. But we here in New England hafta figure it out yearly. Do you know how hard that is? I mean, do you go to someone's house or a bar? Do you order pizza AND wings (yes)? And what kind of drugs are allowed? Are you at some loser's house where you can only smoke weed? Or at a cool guy's house, a guy named Tank, where the cocaine falls freely like a snowstorm? These things take planning and it's not easy to plan the biggest party of the year every year.


2. BUYING NEW MERCHANDISE 

See this here?


WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT. I had this banner for like 8 minutes before it became useless. So I replaced it with this.  


Now with the Pats going back to the Super Bowl, there's a strong likelihood that this banner will also become pointless. Just another jizz rag in the jerkoff store of life. I find it rude, nay, downright IMPOLITE of the Patriots to continue to be so dominant that they make me buy new banners and shirts every year just so I can keep up with all the championships. I'm fucking broke over here. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Movie Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)


At the risk of sounding imprudent, I think the Best Picture Oscar for 2017 has been decided, in my mind at least.  I still have a lot of catching up to do with the current crop of Oscar bait movies, but I frankly can't fathom a 2017 film outshining Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  Martin McDonagh's black comedy powderkeg is a Coen-esque masterpiece, boasting an absolutely stacked cast, a sardonic, brutally frank sense of humor, multiple knife-twisting plot turns, and maybe most significantly a career highlight lead performance from Frances McDormand.  Sweet Jeezus this movie's brilliant.

Three Billboards concerns a divorced mother, Midred Hayes, whose daughter Angela was raped and killed months earlier, now outraged that the murderer has still not been found.  She rents out the titular billboards near her house, asking the local sheriff (a compelling-as-always Woody Harrelson) why he hasn't done anything about it.  This throws the town into an uproar, as Mildred's ad campaign is seen as an attack on law enforcement, and the pressure is on to solve the case but also to punish Midred's impudence.  What follows is a contentious, often violent power struggle, during which we're treated to one unforgettable scene after another and introduced to numerous memorable characters.  There's the dimwitted loose cannon Deputy Dixon (an Oscar-worthy Sam Rockwell), who's already been accused of torturing black suspects, or Mildred's abusive ex-husband Charlie, who sides with the police and blames Midred for Angela's death, or Red, the mealy-mouthed advertising agent from whom Mildred rents the billboards and who the police pressure to revoke her lease.  It's rare to find this deep a roster of supporting characters.

I won't go into much more plot detail than that; part of the joy and sadness in watching this film lies in the numerous surprises.  The story does not at all unfold the way one would expect, the script finds laughs in some very unexpected places, and high tension between characters is conjured before you even know what hit you.

Thematically the films deals with the senselessness of tragedy, our powerlessness in the face of it, and both the destructiveness and effectiveness born of carrying around all that anger.  Mildred is a pillar of righteous rage, bringing to task a local police force that seems too busy harassing local citizenry to be interested in solving her daughter's murder.  In her mind she has nothing left to lose, which manifests as a pervading aura of anarchic free will.  No matter what the police or anyone else threatens her with, she is not in the least bit intimidated.  Mildred acts the way we all wish we could when confronted with injustice; her anger gives her incredible power.

There's nary a misstep in the performances either.  Sam Rockwell nearly steals the show as the loathsome, degenerate Deputy, revealing sympathetic character traits that confound expectations.  Harrelson as Police Chief Willoughby could've been a villainous hick caricature, but instead is both authoritative and reasonable.  John Hawkes as Charlie is hardened and frightening, a violent bastard of a husband.  And McDormand.....Frances McDormand's terse, internalized performance is awe-inspiring and may be the best of her career.

Martin McDonagh has amazingly taken seemingly divergent narrative tones and woven them together to make a uniquely hilarious, unnerving, heartbreaking film.  If there's a better movie than Three Billboards in 2017 I can't wait to see it.

I give the film **** out of ****.



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Friday, January 5, 2018

NJPW WrestleKingdom 12 Review

Well.  That show took some unexpected turns, didn't it?  Like The Last Jedi, WrestleKingdom 12 left more than a few people scratching their heads, as what seemed a slam-dunk main event result ended up not happening.  Ya know what though?  I'm puzzled by it, but I'm not sad about it.  More on that in a bit.


New Japan's flagship PPV is in the history books, and all told it was one helluva good show.  The nine matches on the main card ranged from inoffensive to pretty awesome.  While WK12 lacked for me that one blowaway match, it was a newsworthy show with a ton of variety (in the same way the WK9 card had lots of different match types), and while a bit of an endurance test (The shortest bout was over 14 minutes), never got boring (unlike WrestleMania cards these days).  There was no intermission and the matches were presented one after the other without a lot of wasted time in between.

The show kicked off with the Jr. Tag Team Titles, as RPG3K defended against The Young Bucks.  The match, like its WK11 counterpart, was much more psychology-based than your average Jr. Tag match, as the Bucks and Sho/Yoh waged a war of attrition, one man from each team selling a back injury.  I especially liked the exchanges where Nick and Sho took turns kicking the injured backs of their respective opponents.  This match got a robust 18 minutes before the Bucks hit Yoh with the Meltzer Driver and finally tapped him with a Sharpshooter.  The ending felt a little flat to me but otherwise this was a fine opening match.  I assume RPG3K will chase the belts for a few months before regaining them.  I'd like to see the Bucks move up to the heavyweight tag division after that.


Next up was the one skippable match, the 6-man gauntlet.  This was mostly pretty nondescript but also inoffensive.  The first segment involved Suzuki-Gun against War Machine and Michael Elgin.  This had some fun exchanges and ended in roughly six minutes with Zack Sabre causing Rowe to pass out with a leg scissor.  Ishii/Yano/Beretta then made quick work of SG when Yano rolled up Taichi for the pin forty seconds later.  A few minutes after that Yano pinned Taguchi with another rollup.  Finally the champs, Fale and Guerrillas of Destiny arrived and had the longest segment of the match, looking pretty dominant for a while but ultimately losing the straps as Beretta polished off Tama Tonga with a Dudebuster.  So new six-man champs as per usual.  Again, this match was skippable but fine for what it was.  If this is the worst thing on your PPV, you've put together a pretty damn good PPV.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

NJPW WrestleKingdom 12 Preview & Predictions

3, Koraku 1-chrome, Bunkyo, Tokyo Japan
The Home of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Yomiuri Giants
42,000 seats
The Big Egg
The Motherfucking Dome.

January 4th is around the corner. The culmination to a year of storylines brings us back to Tokyo.  We've seen Young Lions Return completely changed, cried together as someone fought for his life, been amazed (and some appalled) as a foreigner came in and fired the first shot in his war, and the stage is set to pay off what's my pick for the greatest redemption story in Pro Wrestling this Millennium. Every title in New Japan's power is on the line, with one non-title match, and only one schmozz with nothing behind it. It looks to be,  I'm sure this has been said every year for a while now, the biggest and most important Dome show to date.




IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles [1st Title Defense]
Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (c) vs. Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)


Landon: Sho and Yoh came back late this year, and shocked the system in the Junior Heavyweight scene. Winning the titles in their first match back, and in their next three bouts as a team, won the Super Jr. Tag Tournament. Now we have the biggest challenge of their run, The Young Bucks. This match could go either way, seeing how much everybody fawns over Matt and Nick, but I hope it ends up being Roppongi 3K defending. It could be a capstone to a solidifying moment that makes them the new, hot, domestic team, which is something this company needs bad.

Justin: The company has strapped rockets to Sho and Yoh's backs, booking them to win the Jr. Tag belts in their debut match as a team and also booking them to win the Jr. Tag tournament.  I see no reason to put the brakes on now.  RPG3K retains.



NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Title Gauntlet [1st Title Defense]
BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs. CHAOS (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) vs. Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Takashi Iizuka & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) & Michael Elgin


Landon: Bullet Club retains. Who could possibly care.

Justin: Another clusterfuck gauntlet for the 6-man straps.  This set of belts is quite meaningless now, to the point that LIJ more or less had to lose them in order to go for the real tag belts.  It also bugs me that Tomohiro Ishii has nothing better to do, for the second year in a row, than be in a multi-man schmozz.  But whatever, this is the only potential throwaway on the entire PPV, so I'm not that upset about it.  War Machine is apparently WWE-bound (Goddammit), so they aren't winning here.  Any of the other teams could walk away with the belts.  These matches almost never favor the champions, but I could see them retaining.  Keep 'em on Bullet Club Team Tonga.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The 2017 Enuffa.com Pro Wrestling Year-End Awards

Welcome to Enuffa.com's 4th Annual Year-End Awards! 


Man, what a strange year.  One major company soared to new creative and nearly unprecedented commercial heights (at least for the past twenty years), while the other engaged in one baffling, counterproductive decision after another, wasting arguably the strongest talent roster they've ever boasted.  Said company's developmental brand, seemingly on the verge of equaling its main roster a year ago, took a step back in 2017 after losing so many of its stars and being forced to rebuild.

Remember a couple years ago when we were worried about New Japan after they lost several top guys?  Yeah, that's all out the window.  New Japan Pro Wrestling delivered on every front in 2017, offering some of the most incredible matches anyone's ever seen, elevating multiple new stars and building one of the deepest rosters in years, and enjoying some of the biggest financial gains since the Great Muta era.  Not only that but NJPW's fanbase in North America is the largest it's ever been (the company promoted NJPW-only shows on American soil for the first time) and 2018 promises even more significant growth in that area.  Shows like WrestleKingdom 11 and Dominion were shining examples of what a stacked wrestling PPV should be, while the G1 Climax tournament delivered easily a dozen Match of the Year candidates.  November saw the company deliver a bombshell revelation, with the announcement that 18-year WWE stalwart Chris Jericho was jumping ship to New Japan, marking one of the most US-impactful NJPW-related stories in history.  With the card set for WrestleKingdom 12, including one of the company's all-time biggest main events, we could see the largest Tokyo Dome crowd since the company's heyday.  It's a very exciting time to be a New Japan fan.

On the other side of the Pacific, WWE took an incredibly stacked roster and used it in some of the most logic-defying ways imaginable.  At least once a month the company presented a head-scratching booking decision that cumulatively wore down fan enthusiasm, until by year's end the brand seemed about as uncool as 1999 WCW.  Let's take a look at some of WWE's more bumbling creative moves of the year, shall we?  I bet I can name at least one per month.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Movie Review & Discussion: Star Wars - The Last Jedi


Wellsir, my colleague Dan Moore and I have each seen the latest Star Wars epic, which has strangely proven a very divisive film with the fanbase (critics have near-unanimously praised it) due to its flouting so many of our expectations of where the saga was going.  Say what you will about this film, director Rian Johnson and his team definitely did not play it safe; where The Force Awakens was a comfortable, satisfying return to the Star Wars mythology, The Last Jedi was downright subversive.

Daniel, your thoughts on The Last Jedi?

***SPOILERS AHEAD!***

Dan: Probably the most anticipated movie for me since...The Force Awakens. I was very much looking forward to this one. And I was left a tad disappointed. As usual, I took my seat and got all hot and bothered when the STAR WARS title hit and the music swelled (as did my pants). I got annoyed right away, as Star Wars dropped a "YOUR MOTHER" joke. In a galaxy far, far away, they seem to be getting old episodes of Def Comedy Jam transmitted to them. The humor in this flick felt more like a Marvel movie and less Star Wars. I thought they tried way too hard to throw in jokes that didn't belong.

We are then treated to a pretty badass space battle. It's got bombs, it's got explosions and then it's got...the longest, slowest chase scene in movie history. As the good guys are in their ships going 14 miles an hour, the bad guys chase them in ships that can only go 12 miles an hour. That's the rest of the movie. It's RIDICULOUS. You're telling me the entire First Order can't scrounge up a ship that can catch up to them? It's beyond absurd. It's such a lazy plot point. They're not capable of destroying ONE cruiser that is JUST outside of firing range? That reeks of incompetence.


Justin: My overall first impression was "Wow, that's a lot to unpack."  This film took so many unexpected turns I'm still not sure what to make of it all.  It'll take multiple viewings to digest, but my initial reaction is decidedly positive.  This wasn't the warm & fuzzy film The Force Awakens was.  Instead Johnson turned everything on its ear, which has made a lot of people very uncomfortable.

I forget the "Your mother" joke, but I agree some of the humor in this film felt like Marvel's antics.  Overall it didn't bother me, but the one bit of forced humor that did get my goat was Luke looking forlornly at his lightsaber.....and then chucking it over his shoulder like an empty beer bottle.  This moment struck me as just completely wrong, like it belonged in a Mel Brooks movie.  I have to think they did numerous varying takes of this shot, and managed to pick the exact wrong one.  Luke should've looked down sadly at the lightsaber for a moment and then defeatedly let it drop to the ground at his side before walking away.  That would've fit the tone of this broken character.  I hope for the Blu Ray release they change that take.

That aside, the extended chase didn't bother me all that much.  Yes it was odd that the First Order would just continue following them, but a) they know the Resistance cruiser can't go anywhere without being followed and b) they know it'll run out of fuel eventually.  Plus I get the impression a character like General Hux would relish the final chase a while before killing the Resistance dead.  Could the screenwriters have come up with something more creative for these characters to do while Rey, Kylo, etc. do the main stuff?  Sure.  But this didn't bug me really.  It's not all that different from the Star Destroyers chasing the Millennium Falcon for half of Empire's running time.


Dan: The slow chase scene just bothered me so much because I cannot envision a scenario where an admiral would have told Vader "Yo, boss, they're like 90 feet away, we have no idea what to do" and that they'd just keep following slowly.  It's a dopey plot contrivance. You can do this sort of cat and mouse thing with a space ship avoiding another space ship quite well, actually. It's called Wrath of Khan. But watching these bad guys chase along at a steady pace is boring.

I agree with that lightsaber toss over his shoulder. Just doesn't make sense for that scene. Some of the choices they made for Luke I just didn't care for. I hate that he was away from the main cast and conflict for the entire movie. I hate that we didn't get more info about his last 30 years. I liked how he was depressed and basically done with the world after realizing the Jedi did more harm than good. But I wanted more Luke. I wanted a kickass fight scene with him. Maybe a bit more than a 10-second conversation with his sister. And for fuck's sake, why didn't he hug Chewie when he saw him?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Music Review: Eminem - Revival


Anyone who knows me well, is aware that I am often slow on the uptake when it comes to certain musical acts.  I'll go years without an appreciation for a popular band or artist and then one day suddenly something clicks for me and I become obsessed with them.  It happened with Nine Inch Nails in 2009, it happened with Led Zeppelin and Rush in 2012, last year it was Stevie Wonder, and in 2017 it was Eminem.  Yes, that's right, a mere 18 years after Marshall Mathers took the world by storm, I became a huge fan.  So I'm a little behind, screw you.

I have historically not ever been a rap guy.  It's a genre that, by and large, I've found varying degrees of obnoxious.  But after Hamilton blew down that door I found myself much more accepting of the form, and with Eminem's viral anti-Trump freestyle video from the BET awards making the rounds I said to myself, "Ya know Justin, it might be time to give this fella an honest listen."  So I did, perusing his entire back catalog (2010's Recovery is my favorite album of his), and then discovering a couple months ago that he would be releasing a new album before the end of 2017.  Thus Revival, as it was to be called, became one of the most anticipated albums of the year for me.

But how is it?

Well, in keeping with much of Eminem's recent releases, the 45-year-old has tempered his lyrical venom on Revival, mostly offering a more restrained, somberly introspective approach than his outlandish, darkly comic early output.  Em's work has always been steeped in autobiography, but on the last few records and especially here, he attempts to make amends for some of his past transgressions. 

"Bad Husband" for example is a bittersweet ode to his ex-wife Kim (known to Mathers aficionados as his everpresent antagonistic muse) for his failures as a spouse ("Not bad people, just bad together"), featuring a poignant chorus hook from X Ambassadors.  Another such tune is the Cranberries-assisted "In Your Head," where he more or less apologizes to his daughter Hailey for thrusting her into the spotlight for so many years ("Hailie, baby, I didn't mean to make you eighty percent of what I rapped about").  Then there is the emotional one-two punch of the album's dovetailing closing tracks, "Castle" and "Arose," which deal with Em's drug overdose and road to recovery, while imagining what might've happened had he not made it out alive ("Consider the last four minutes as/That's the song I'd have sang to my daughters/If I'd have made it to the hospital/Less than two hours later").  This album is rife with melancholy self-examination, including the opening single "Walk on Water" (featuring Beyonce) wherein Eminem strips away the cocky stage persona he's built up for so long and becomes his own worst critic.

Eminem's signature rage is on display as well though; Revival features a pair of scathing political pieces, the first being a commentary on police brutality and racism called "Untouchable" ("You don't have to know our plans or what our intentions are/Our cards are close to our chest, you better show your hands/And put our minds more at ease/Or get shot in the thyroid, comply or die, boy"), the second a surprisingly hopeful but no less scornful rebuke of Donald Trump, "Like Home," featuring a sanguine chorus from Alicia Keys that hammers home the message that we as Americans will rise above this troubling time.  Even Em's verses, while taking Trump to task, ultimately carry a positive, patriotic spin that all listeners can relate to ("But you ain't ruining our country, punk/You won't take our pride from us/You won't define us").

Thursday, December 14, 2017

WWE Clash of Champions 2017 Preview & Predictions

We've come to the final WWE PPV of 2017, and what a limp across the finish line it promises to be.  Jeezus, this entire card screams "SKIP IT!"  Why couldn't Clash be a RAW PPV again this year?  There's WAY more going on over at the red brand.  Or, and here's an even better idea, don't do a December PPV.  Leave both brands 9 weeks to build up to the Royal Rumble, thus making it feel more special.  I don't know that I'll even watch this show, honestly, and I don't say that often.


But let's get to the picks.

***I'm leading still, with 68/96 (71%), Landon's right on my heels with 58/84 (69%), Dave's in third with 41/62 (66%), and Dan's in the basement with 58/96 (60%).***



Pre-Show match: Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley


Christ, the team no one gave a shit about has now split so we can see a feud no one gives a shit about.  What a pointless feud.  On a show whose tag division is super thin as far as viable tandems, why break up an underdog babyface team you could use in a Young Stallions-type role?  Anyway, Zack is never getting another push, so there's no chance he wins this.

Justin: Mojo
Dan: Gronk
Landon: Mojo
Dave: Jesus Christ.  Mojo I guess.




The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Breezango


I like that they've repackaged Harper & Rowan.  Harper is one of the most wasted talents on the entire roster - he really should be getting the push Strowman's currently enjoying.  But I'll settle for him and Rowan destroying the entire tag division for a while.  Breezango is obviously getting crushed-- er, BLUDGEONED here.

Justin: The Bros
Dan: Mario Bros
Landon: Bludgeon, who managed to eke out a win against one of my favorite local wrestlers Colin Delaney on Smackdown.  Love me some Colin.
Dave: Bros




Smackdown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way: The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Gable & Benjamin vs. Rusev & English


Oh good, another clusterfuck match.  This tag division needs a shakeup.  The Usos and New Day are the only two real contenders at the moment, with the Bludgeons soon to be added to the mix.  Gable & Benjamin is okay on paper but the magic was with Gable and Jordan.  Rusev and Aiden English??  Get the fuck outta here.

Justin: Usos retain
Dan: New Day gets 'em back
Landon: Usos
Dave: Usos



Monday, December 4, 2017

Landon Acclaims Paul Simon's "Stranger To Stranger"

This year, Paul Simon celebrated his 50th year as a musician. Which is absolutely ridiculous when you consider that he's been making new music semi-regularly for most of that time. It's been implied, sometime recently, that he's upset people don't like his new music at his concerts and only his classics. I really like some of Paul's new stuff, so I thought I'd help him along and try and get the word out about his most recent album...from last year. I never said I was in a hurry.



The first song of the album "The Werewolf" starts off as a nonsense song backed by Paul's now usual array of instruments. A variety of percussion and acoustic strings, helped along eventually by brass, gives the whole song a very primal feeling to it. The lyrics of the song take a realistic turn, however, when they turn on a dime to the nature of humanity. The greed and ignorance of the upper class, and the eventuality of humanity's self destruction are worked into the song easily, the beat and before mentioned feel of the song is never lost. A great opening song, that can either be digested for it's lyrics or enjoyed simply for the melody.

"Wristband" is a drastic turn from the both the instrumentation and tone. The song is simply the story of a musician who gets locked out of his venue, and the troubles he has trying to get in. I wouldn't be surprised if the first two verses were inspired by a similar event happening to Paul. We switch to a simpler array of a bass, drums, and trumpet for this song, which helps to put emphasis on all of Simon's lyrics. This is all until the third verse, when Paul turns to the issues the poorer children of the world have trying to be accepted at large. This comes off, after one has listened to the whole album, as a weak attempt to connect the song with the themes in the rest of the album. The same might be said for The Werewolf, only in that song the themes fit better and flow from the original topic easily, never thrown in haphazardly.

We get our first instrumental of the album with "The Clock," a simple string of notes played on a xylophone behind a clock's ticking. Nothing truly important to the album as a whole, but a good minute long break to help listeners find focus for what's coming next. In "Street Angel" we see the beginning of the album's overarching story. Much like "Wristband," it comes across more as an experience put to word. The titular street angel in the song comes off as a savant, as a child or young adult who fell through the cracks of society, spouting philosophies of life and his purpose here. The song is backed only by a simple arrangement of percussion and a capella sounds, leading listeners again to focus on the lyrics. The song ends implying the street angel has been taken to a hospital. The song works better as a part of a whole than a standalone, as we will see.

Which actually does not lead into "Stranger to Stranger." The track halts the narrative Paul had barely begun, to give us a dream-like song about the possibilities of love and happenstance. Maybe his intention was to create the feeling of a dream, as we transition from one scene of the story to the next. The song has a wonderfully done accompaniment of woodwinds and chimes creating a floating sense of relaxation, as the man himself very generously rambles about the nature of his relationship with someone. He asks, maybe the person or perhaps himself, if they would fall in love a second time if their meeting had been redone. If fate always meant for them to have the relationship they have, or if what they have is happenstance. It's a very emotionally grabbing piece I find myself putting on repeat for a few loops though before moving on.