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[OC] The Best MLS Player from Each Country That's Fielded One: Part 1 (UEFA)
Throughout its first 25 years, Major League Soccer has seen players from all different corners of the globe, each with their own career story. Whether it be a guy like Tim Melia or Chris Wondolowski who were scrappy guys that came out of nowhere to be stars in this league, or world famous names such as Zlatan, Beckham, and Henry, the league's history of big names is as diverse as they come. Let's take a look at the best player from each country around the globe. This will be based on national team allegiance. Today, we'll be leading with Europe! Please note that this is my opinion, and in some cases the decisions were tough; I'll be sure to add in honorable mentions where I can, or add notes. Albania: Shkëlzen Gashi ( COL 2016-18) Short list to pick from here, as Gashi's only competition is Jahmir Hyka and Hamdi Salihi. Gashi gets the nod, if nothing else, for his huge 2016 season, where he scored 10 regular season goals (one of which was that year's Goal of the Year) as the Rapids damn near won the Shield. The madlad then went and one-upped that with his absurd equalizer in the playoffs against the Galaxy. His last two years weren't as fruitful, but man, when he was on he could pull something out of nowhere. Armenia: Yura Movsisyan ( KC 2006-07, RSL 2007-09 & 2016-18, CHI 2018) Four choices here, although in the end it's Movsisyan winning out over Harut Karapetyan, who played a couple seasons in the 90s for the Galaxy, San Jose, and Tampa Bay. The fourth pick in a strong 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of Pasadena City College, Movsisyan is mostly associated with RSL, who acquired him in a 2007 trade. With the Claret and Cobalt, he would tally 15 goals in 53 regular season appearances, and in 2009 he'd hoist the club's first MLS Cup. That'd be his last game with RSL until 2016 after some time in Europe with Randers, Krasnodar, and Spartak Moscow (even sharing the Russian PL Golden Boot in 2012/13 with Wanderson). He'd put up a similar clip of 16 in 57 before being waived and finishing his MLS career with four scoreless games with Chicago. Austria: Daniel Royer ( NYRB 2016-pres.) The choice here was largely Royer vs. Andreas Ivanschitz, who was a regular starter for Seattle's first MLS Cup, but I can't say no to a man with over 100 MLS matches played and three straight 10-goal seasons. In all comps, the former Austria Vienna man is just two goals behind Thierry Henry for third on the Red Bulls' all time goal scoring list. Belarus: Sasha Gotsmanov ( COL 2005) Gotsmanov qualifies by default as the only Belarusian player in MLS history. The Minsk native (and son of former Soviet and Belarusian international Sergei Gotsmanov) played one (1) single game for Colorado in October 2005, against RSL. Belgium: Laurent Ciman ( MTL 2015-17, LAFC 2018, TFC 2019-pres.) Shouts to Roland Lamah, who had his moments in Dallas, and Jelle van Damme, who played a season and a half for the Galaxy, but Ciman is the obvious choice. While he's fallen off a cliff as he's gotten older, he's a three-time All-Star and won Defender of the Year in his first MLS season; in his second, he played for Belgium at Euro 2016. At 35, he's lost a step and probably should only be used in emergencies, but at his best he was an elite MLS center back that could also be deployed at right back. Bosnia & Herzegovina: Haris Medunjanin ( PHI 2017-19, CIN 2020-pres.) The first one where I'm not totally confident in my pick, as Baggio Hušidić made this tricky (and as a Union fan I'm afraid of bias). But at his best, Haris is an assist machine (30 in four MLS seasons so far), and a threat on set pieces; the madlad even scored an Olimpico this year. His left foot is probably the best the Union have ever had. While his commitment to defense was nonexistent, give him the ball and he could spray a pass anywhere. Bulgaria: Hristo Stoichkov ( CHI 2000-02, DC 2003) One of three former Ballon d'Or winners to play in MLS (the others being Lothar Matthaus and Kaka, although "playing" is generous for the former), Stoichkov spent the last four seasons of his career in MLS, scoring 22 goals in 72 regular season matches for Chicago and DC. In his first season, a 9 goal in 18 match outing for the Fire, he also won the US Open Cup, scoring the opening goal of the final, a 2-1 win over Miami. (The winning goal, by the way, was scored by our old friend Owen Goal.) Croatia: Damir Kreilach ( RSL 2018-pres.) Mr. Miyagi's favorite MLS player for his crane kick equalizer in the playoffs, the former Rijeka and Union Berlin man has proven to be an excellent utility piece and core part of RSL throughout his time there, scoring 26 goals and chipping in 14 assists in 86 regular season matches and playing all over the damn place (naturally a central midfielder, he's probably still RSL's best forward). At 31, he still has a lot to give. MLS has seen a huge influx of Croats lately, though; before Kreilach's 2018 signing there had only been four Croatian players in MLS history, two of whom barely played. Currently, there are five on active rosters. Czechia: Luboš Kubík ( CHI 1998-2001, DAL 2001) Czech players have had a good hit rate in MLS. In his lone MLS season, Bořek Dočkal led the league in assists, and Zdeněk Ondrášek was a very solid piece for Dallas, albeit one whose MLS time was brief. But no. We have to go with Kubik. The sweeper was Best XI twice, in 1998 and 1999, and won Defender of the Year in 1998 helping Chicago to a MLS Cup-Open Cup double. He'd win another Open Cup two years later, before being traded to Dallas in 2001 and retiring due to injury. So many lethal counterattacks started on the foot of this man, and he is rightfully seen as one of the greatest defenders the league has ever seen. Denmark: Jimmy Nielsen ( KC 2010-13) I debated going WAYYYYYYY off the board here and throwing out Miklos Molnar. His time in MLS was brief, just the 2000 season before he retired, but the man was the best attacking piece on a Cup winner. He could have balled out if he didn't retire early. But nah. We're going with Casino Jimmy, one of the keys towards Kansas City's early 2010s turnaround. A two time All-Star, Nielsen was Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012, a year that also saw him win the Open Cup with the Wiz (on penalties, because KC and penalties, name a more iconic duo at this point). In 2013, he capped off his career by winning MLS Cup, again on penalties, while playing with broken ribs. England: Bradley Wright-Phillips ( 2013-2019, LAFC 2020) This league, man. The list of English players to have represented in MLS is a long one, full of iconic names. Ashley Cole. David Beckham. Frank Lampard. Steven Gerrard. Jermain Defoe. Wayne Rooney. Hell, even Bradley's brother Shaun. But nope. Many of those guys are the butt of many MLS jokes. BWP, on the other hand, is one of the greatest goal scorers the league has ever seen, with two Golden Boots to his name and well over a century of league goals. He was a part of 3 Shield winning teams, and made CONCACAF's Best XI in 2018. And it all started with a quiet trial in 2013 after Charlton dumped him. This. League. And This. Man. Even as a fan of Philly who doesn't care much for the Red Bulls, I respect this dude and everything he's done. I hope he gets another year after winning Comeback Player of the Year this year. Estonia: Joel Lindpere ( NYRB 2010-12, CHI 2013) The only other option here was Erik Sorga, who could dethrone Lindpere as he came to MLS at a very young age. But it's unlikely, as Lindpere was quietly very solid for the Red Bulls during his time. The Tallinn native was a two-time All-Star, and in 2010 he was named the Red Bulls' team MVP. Finland: Alex Ring ( NYC 2017-2020, AUS pres.) T O P I C A L There's a few fairly talented Finns in MLS right now that could make this interesting (I really like Robin Lod's game, and Lassi Lappelainen would be excellent for Montreal if he'd stop getting hurt). Ring however has proven his worth across 4 seasons, including time as NYC's captain. Over 10,000 MLS minutes, mostly for good teams, as a defensive anchor, he will be a fantastic tone-setter for the new Austin team. France: Thierry Henry ( NYRB 2010-14) Oh man, as an Ireland fan I wanted to give this to literally anyone else. I am still bitter, dammit. His best competition is probably Aurelien Collin, who has a closetful of trophies (including a Best XI and MLS Cup MVP). But no...it's Henry. When a big name comes to MLS, what people want to see is someone who treats the league with respect. Henry did that. Not only was he dominant on the pitch, a three-time Best XI nomination, he also respected the history of the club he played for and gave 100%, even though he was getting up there in the years. He's a Red Bulls and MLS legend...as much as I curse that godforsaken hand Georgia: Valeri "Vako" Qazaishvili ( SJ 2017-20) It looks like the San Jose chapter of Vako's career is done and dusted. While the former Vitesse man struggled for consistency, he did put up 26 goals and 13 assists across four MLS seasons for the Quakes, including 10 while being coached by Mikael Stahre, which should probably get him and Wondo some sort of award. We'll see what's next for him, if he leaves MLS or goes back to Europe. His only competition was Quakes teammate Guram Kashia. Germany: Bastian Schweinsteiger ( CHI 2017-19) I'm...actually not sure about this one. I actually changed this while writing, as I very nearly chose Julian Gressel; the former Rookie of the Year has two 10-assist seasons under his belt, and Kai Wagner has also been one of the league's better fullbacks for Philadelphia; Schweinsteiger was solid enough for Chicago in his advanced age for some very frustrating teams (and even moved positions to center back!)...but man, I don't know. Germany is weird. For a country with such a great footballing tradition, the pickings are fairly slim. Arne Friedrich had one good year for Chicago before injuries claimed his career. Lottar Matthaus was as committed to this league as Schalke are to winning football matches. Stefan Aigner was stifled by Anthony Hudson going galaxy brain. Torsten Frings...existed. I dunno. Greece: Alexandros Tabakis ( ATL 2017) The only Greek in MLS history...and our second one game wonder. Atlanta's FOURTH string keeper in 2017, he managed to sneak into a game against Minnesota with Brad Guzan on international duty, Alec Kann injured, and Kyle Reynish sent off during the match. Atlanta lost 3-2. He's now in USL. Hungary: Nemanja Nikolić ( CHI 2017-19) Dániel Sallói and Krisztián Németh had their moments, but the winner is Nikolić, who came to MLS from the Ekstraklasa and immediately won the Golden Boot. His totals diminished in the three seasons he spent with Chicago, but 51 goals in 96 appearances isn't too shabby at all - it's second in Fire history behind Ante Razov. Iceland - Guðmundur Þórarinsson ( NYC 2020-pres.) Not much choice, 3 guys, all of whom were mostly bench guys. I almost went with Kristinn Steindorsson here on the merits of "he didn't have a penalty saved by Rodrigo Schlegel." Israel: Gadi Kinda ( SKC 2020-pres.) It was either him or Dedi Ben Dayan, really. And I nearly went with the former Colorado left back, but nah, Kinda is very much the superior player. The midfielder born in Ethiopia, Kinda shone brightly in his first season in KC, with 6 goals and 4 assists in his debut season. He'll be a DP next season. Italy: Sebastian Giovinco ( TOR 2015-18) A signing that changed an entire club. Before Giovinco, the Reds were a laughingstock. He came in, won a Golden Boot and MVP right away, led the league in assists, made Best XI three years in a row, led them to their first playoff game, their first MLS Cup final, their first MLS Cup win, and a historic treble. And they damn near won CCL too. The Atomic Ant was must-see from Day 1. It's not just because of him that Toronto is now one of MLS's elite...but he was a huge part of changing that culture. 83 goals in 142 games in all comps. And he dished out his fair share of assists too, with a telepathic partnership with Jozy. Latvia: Raivis Hščanovičs ( TOR 2010) Not much to write about here. 14 games for a bad Reds team. Gets in by default with no other Latvian MLS players. Liechtenstein: Nicholas Hasler ( TOR 2017-18, CHI 2018-19, SKC 2019) Another one by default. 66 games as a utilityman. Won MLS Cup and the Shield, though. Lithuania: Vytautas Andriuškevičius ( POR 2016-18, DC 2018) Only other choice was Edgaras Jankauskas, a forward who played 14 games for the Revs. Vytas played 37 for Portland and zero for DC. Luxembourg: Maxime Chanot ( NYC 2016-pres.) Another one by default but this one's an actually really solid player that finished fourth in Defender of the Year voting in 2019. We take those. Malta: Etienne Barbera ( VAN 2012) 2 games in 2012. Only Maltese player in MLS. Montenegro: Branko Bošković ( DC 2010-12) Pretty much every other Montenegrin player played less than 20 games in MLS. Bošković played 43 before returning to Europe for family reasons. 7 assists in his final season though, which is technically something. Netherlands: Johan Kappelhof ( CHI 2016-pres.) Much like Germany, bright footballing tradition, very shaky MLS history. Which is weird because the Eredivisie exports a lot of guys to MLS. Also, I'm excluding Kelvin Leerdam, as he is probably changing his international allegiance to Suriname. So I'm going with 2017 All-Star Kappelhof, who I think is still fairly solid. But really the choices aren't great. Dave van den Burgh? Roland Alberg scored a hat trick once I guess? Danny Koevermans was decent but injured all the time? Maybe it's a hot take. It probably is. North Macedonia: Oka Nikolov ( PHI 2013) Never actually played, only in a friendly. Watch this space though as North Macedonia is apparently courting LAFC's Danny Musovski. Northern Ireland: Johnny Steele ( RSL 2012, NYRB 2013-14) Another case of shaky opposition, it was either Steele or Steve Morrow, who played 41 games for Dallas in the aughts. Steele played regularly for a Shield winner, the 2013 Red Bulls. Easy peasy. Norway: Vadim Demidov Ola Kamara ( CLB 2016-17, LAG 2018, DC 2019-pres.) Adama Diomande is the main competition here. Kamara's first stint in MLS was a smashing success, scoring 48 goals in 90 regular season matches for Columbus and the Galaxy (he was traded for Gyasi Zardes before 2018). A brief foray to China followed, and while he's back in MLS with DC he hasn't quite been the same. Still a good player on his day, maybe just the Bennyball effect. Poland: Piotr Nowak ( CHI 1998-2002) When I think of early Chicago, Nowak and the earlier-mentioned Kubik are the first two names that come to mind. Kubik held down the back while Nowak was the chief creator in the midfield. Three-time best XI, three-time All-Star, and MLS Cup MVP. ...can I drink my water now? Portugal: José Gonçalves ( NE 2013-16) Gonçalves fell off a cliff in his latter years, but in his first MLS season he won Defender of the Year and in his second he was a key part of a team that made the MLS Cup final and damn near won the thing. Runner up here is Nani who is probably closing in. EDIT: I also forgot to mention Pedro Santos, thanks to the Crew fans who pointed that one out. I still think Gonçalves pips him for his 2013 if nothing else, but Santos is probably closer than Nani. Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane ( LAG 2011-16) A LOT closer than you think; Time Person of the CenturyJuventus legend Ronnie O'Brien was two-time best XI himself. But nonono. This is Robbie freaking Keane. When we see these big name Euro guys interested in MLS, this is the man we want them to be. Hypercompetitive and holding guys accountable on and off the pitch, and scoring for fun. 83 goals in 125 MLS regular season appearances. Best XI four times. 2014 MVP. MLS Cup MVP in 2014. A closetful of team awards including 3 MLS Cups. This man was a baller, and frankly his departure was the beginning of the Galaxy decline into irrelevance, but that's a story for another time. Romania: Alexandru Mitriță ( NYC 2019-pres.?) Question mark because he's on loan and I have no idea if it'll be permanent, but he was punted out by the Pigeons just as he was really starting to break out. He scored 12 goals in his debut season last year but filled in nicely this year while Maxi Moralez was injured. EDIT: NYC fans have informed me he wasn't punted out, but was loaned out to be closer to his pregnant wife. My apologies. Honorable mention: Alex Zotincă, who played for the Wizards and Chivas USA in the aughts. Brave man. Russia: Igor Simutenkov ( KC 2002-04) Not a lot to pick from here either. 49 games, 12 goals for this forward from Moscow, who now serves as an assistant coach at Zenit. Scotland: John Spencer ( COL, 2001-04) Give Johnny Russell another few years and he'll pass Spencer, but for now I'm leaning the latter. Spencer as a coach was frustrating as hell, but as a player he was Best XI twice and an MVP finalist once. Dude could score goals despite battling injuries in his time in MLS. Just don't let him sign Kris Boyd. Then you lose to Cal FC. No one wants that. Serbia: Aleksandar Katai ( 2018-19, 2020) FROM A SPORTING PERSPECTIVE. And mostly due to a weak pool. Runner up was probably someone like Miloš Kocić. 18 goals in 62 games for Chicago before getting yeeted back to Serbia for Bad People Reasons Slovakia: Albert Rusnák ( RSL 2017-pres.) He has tenure on Ján Greguš, who's the closest competitor, but Rusnák is also good. He followed up a 14-assist debut season (4th in the league) with back to back 10 goal seasons before struggling this year with injury. Slovenia: Robert Berić ( CHI 2020-pres.) Once he got acclimated to MLS, the goals came, and Chicago has its successor to Nikolić up top. He finished with 12 goals in his debut season, tied for second in the league with Ruidiaz and Zardes. Also, from what I saw early on, seems like he's a dark-arts type of guy that gets in your head. That's fun. Spain: David Villa ( NYC 2015-18) I really didn't want to put him here due to recent allegations, and the fact that Pozuelo has already matched his MVP and two Best XI performances.... 77 goals in 117 games though, that's tough to pass on. Sweden: Zlatan Ibrahimović ( LAG 2018-19) It's Zlatan. He pretty much dragged a sorry LA organization to something resembling competitiveness. What the hell did you expect? (Anton Tinnerholm made this hard, though) EDIT: Forgot Gustav Svensson as well in my honorable mentions. Switzerland: Stefan Frei ( TOR 2009-13, SEA 2014-pres.) Pretty self-explanatory, one of the most accomplished keepers in MLS history and with a closetful of hardware. And all it took Seattle to get him was a late first round pick that pinged around so much that it was eventually traded for a coach. Turkey: Sercan Güvenışık ( SJ 2012) 5 games that year. No one else has flown the Turkish flag in MLS. Ukraine: Dema Kovalenko ( CHI 1999-2002, DC 2002-05, NYRB 2006-08, RSL 2008, LAG 2008-10) I'm afraid he'd break my legs if I didn't. One of the most physical and downright dirty players the league has ever seen. Made nearly 300 appearances though, and has one each of the 3 major US trophies (MLS Cup, USOC, Shield), all with a different team. Wales: Andy Dorman ( NE 2004-07, 2013-15) Dorman was a key part of that real good Revs team from the mid-aughts, and just beats out Carl Robinson. He made 112 appearances in his first stint, and played in 3 MLS Cup finals, though they famously lost all three. The Revs brought him back in 2013 after some time in Scotland and England, and was playing semipro in the area as recently as 2018.
[Other] These are the top 73 parks in the United States, ranked based on the quality of their coaster collections, as voted by, well... you! This is as close to objective as a ranking will ever get for this. Don't worry, I have some nerdy data to help explain myself.
This post needs a little clarification. Anyway, many of you are aware of the brilliant Vote Coasters project over at Coaster Bot. If not, take a look: https://coasterbot.com/votecoasters-fullresults2020 2699 enthusiasts from across the wrold people ranked every roller coaster they've ever ridden, at an average of 43 coaster credits per voter (116256 total credits). Many of you personally participated in this survey. Their algorithm is extremely clever (https://coasterbot.com/votecoasters-how) - "The community is only permitted to rank roller coasters they’ve actually ridden. This way each roller coasters position in the final results will be as truthful and accurate as possible. By making it easy for lots of people to contribute their lists, Vote Coasters is able to accumulate a large sample which represents everyone! Once the community has voted, the numbers are crunched. Our method involves directly comparing the rank of two individual roller coasters across all of the submitted lists. As Vote Coasters makes direct comparisons between individual roller coasters, the poll is not a popularity contest. Even obscure roller coasters that few people have had the chance to ride yet can do well!" I have taken this data and created a point system for coasters that's directly linked to their ranking on Vote Coasters 2020. The #1 ranking, Steel Vengeance, is worth 500 points. [Zadra's second and would be worth 499 points, but it's not in the US] #3, Lightning Rod, gets 498 points. El Toro gets 497 points and so on, all the way down to La Vibora in 499th place, earning only 2 points for its park. Any coaster under the top 500 (such as Corkscrew at Cedar Point) is worth zero points. This weeds out kiddie coasters and terrible coasters from factoring into a park's collection quality. Basically, crappy coasters add zero points to a park's total points, while excellent coasters are worth way more points than mid-tier ones. For coasters with two tracks, such as Gemini or Lightning Racer, I only counted points for the best of the two tracks. My spreadsheet showing the point values for all 256 American coasters in the top 500 is here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10aaS1f8CptsXEvUSqE2-VUtal-Od9gim-x8rT7xkT8M/edit?usp=sharing I have added all of the points for the coasters in all of the 73 American amusement parks that house at least one global top 500 roller coaster. I ranked the earned point totals for all 73 parks. (That's how I got to a "Top 73!") For those like me who care exclusively about coasters and collecting quality credits and nothing else, I think this is an EXCELLENT way to prioritize future amusement park trips based on the quality of each park's overall coaster collection. Without further ado, here's what you want to see:
69 (93 points): Frontier City (5 coasters, 1 ranked)
70 (37 points): Adventureland New York (2 coasters, 1 ranked)
71 (17 points): Lakemont Park (3 coasters, 1 ranked)
72 (12 points): Conneaut Lake Park (2 coasters, 1 ranked)
73 (8 points): Belmont Park (1 coaster, 1 ranked)
If any coaster YouTube channel wants to use this data to fuel an idea for a new video (sup Airtime Thrills or Coaster Studios or, you know, COASTER BOT!), please feel free! 100% of the credit goes to Coaster Bot for helping me compile this ranking.
Okay so this happened to me yesterday, but according to coworkers has been happening since Friday. Like my last post, this took place at the gas station job and it pertains a certain customer determined to cash a check. It was a normal Monday night, which by that I meant 90% of our sales was alcohol since the store is in a neighborhood full of alcoholics. We often get checks written over the amount for cash back so I usually don’t think too much about it so long as they have an ID on hand. Well, this one lady came in and with a small handful of things to buy, delivered me a prewritten check well over the total for cash back. It raised numerous red flags right away. Here’s the thing, our store is the one of the few in my city that that takes out of town checks. But we don’t take checks from out of state. So if you have a check from Florida, you won’t be able to use it here. Her check was from Minnesota, though her ID was of this state. Second was that it wasn’t a bank check. We will accept credit union checks only if the union is one from our town but we don’t take checks from out of town unions. I usually distrust prewritten checks. It’s my own personal thing, I prefer to see the check written when people pay with one. It was over the total amount, on its own not bad, but the check was roughly 115 dollars over. 40 is our max for cash back. It was written in red ink. And unless something changed, banks can’t accept checks in red because something about their systems. Save for prewritten, all of those are grounds to refuse because store rules. But when I explained it to her, good Lord you’d though I hit her and then threw her dog off a bridge. She was offended and pissed and kept going on and on over how we always take her checks, how I’m so unreasonable and being an incredibly rude employee for refusing. I explained to her the rules again and specified that Our Owners specifically told us not to accept checks that did any of those things. Oh no no no, she wanted me to call the manager. Claimed to be best friends with the manager. It was past nine at night our manager would have been asleep because she does the 5am opening. I told her that no, I’m not going to wake my manager up for this, if you claim to be such good friends then go ahead and call her. She didn’t, of course. At that point she had gotten some others attention in the store and one of our regulars in the casino had come out and was standing off to the side to see if he needed to intervene (he’s a very big guy, but very nice, always steps in when our drunk customers get out of hand). I just told her she needs to leave. Instead of leaving with her dignity, she threw the check at me and said she’d be back for her money, that she’ll call the owner and that I can kiss this job goodbye, and I won’t have any luck getting employed anywhere else with my attitude. Of course, she never came back my shift, I informed my boss and left a note for the manager in the morning. Found she’s been coming in at different times these past few days trying to find an employee who’d cash the check. Would have had better luck if the ink wasn’t red.
It’s June 18th, 2017. There are three days before the National Hockey League’s first expansion draft in seventeen years, and the boardroom of T-Mobile arena, the future home of the Vegas Golden Knights, is buzzing. Months of scouting, speculation on who might be available, and discussions about possible trades are finally nearing their fruition. Bill Foley, the team owner, steps out to grab another cup of coffee when a thought suddenly strikes him. He works it around in his brain for a second, then runs back into the boardroom. A pro scout who focuses on goaltending is making his pitch to General Manager George McPhee. “...Well, if we don’t take Grabovski, Jaroslav Halak is available as a potential backu-“ “Don’t you DARE speak that bastard’s name to me!” McPhee screams. He quickly snaps out of the PTSD flashback that the goalie’s name inspired and moves on. “We’ll take the centre from them and... what about that Rangers backup instead? That Raanta guy?” On the whiteboard behind them is a set of handshake deals that they have made, pending registration with the National Hockey League's office.
Anaheim trades: Shea Theodore for Expansion Draft Considerations. (Clayton Stoner) Columbus trades: 2017 1st, 2019 2nd, jack johnson, for Expansion Draft Considerations (William Karlsson) Florida trades: Reilly Smith for Expansion Draft Considerations (Jonathan Marchessault) and a 5th round pick Minnesota trades: Alex Tuch for Expansion Draft Considerations (Erik Haula) and a 3rd round pick New York trades: 2017 1st round pick, 2019 2nd round pick for Expansion Draft Considerations (Mikhail Grabovski) Tampa Bay trades: Nikita Gusev, 2017 2nd, and 2018 4th for Expansion Draft Considerations (Jason Garrison) Winnipeg trades: 2017 1st round pick and 2019 3rd round pick for Expansion Draft Considerations (Chris Thorburn) and Columbus 1st
Foley interrupts the goaltending conversation - this can't wait. "George, can I talk to you quickly?" They take a sidebar. "George, I just had a thought. These deals you made - you just traded 'expansion draft considerations,' right?" "Yes, we'll select the player that they want us to." "But what if you don't? What if you just take whoever you want? Would it be against the rules?" "I... well...no. Technically we could do that. But it would be dishonest and would make everyone furious at us." "So? I didn’t buy an NHL team to make friends. I bought an NHL team to win a Stanley Cup, and also to let people know that I went to West Point. Did you know I went to West Point?” “Yes Bill” “I trust you George. Now go out there and get me a championship.”
Tensions are high in the green room on June 21st. General managers are walking in and out to greet and chit-chat with George McPhee and Bill Foley, the newest members of their exclusive fraternity of NHL executives. They laugh and exchange stories: Joe Sakic tells them about the gas leak in the Pepsi Centre that they noticed as soon as the season was over; Peter Chiarelli asks them to give him a call if they draft a right handed defensive defenceman (because that Draisaitl kid isn't really working out); John Chayka asks them if they're hiring. McPhee is having a hard time keeping things light and friendly, knowing that he's about to betray all of these men. Just submitting an offer sheet is enough to get you kicked out of the GM Secret Santa, let alone dishonesty at this level. Gary Bettman walks into the green room excitedly. “Bill, George, I am so excited for us to get going. Everyone in this building is so energized, I even just saw Evgeny Kuznetsov doing some smelling salts in the bathroom!" ~ The Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is packed with new Vegas Golden Knights fans. The award show itself is highlighted by the best NHL.com intern-written jokes that unpaid can buy. Host Joe Manganiello is dutifully following the Jack Johnson model on stage: he might be bombing out there but boy is he eating up minutes. After Brent Burns finishes his Norris trophy victory speech, and the PA quickly wipes the crumbs and beard hair off the microphone, the time has come for Vegas’ first picks. "From the Anaheim Ducks, Vegas picks…” McPhee looks out at the smiling faces in the crowd. He sees Bob Murray, sitting with his plus-one for the evening (Randy Carlyle). He sees Jim Rutherford trying to turn his blaring ringtone off with his screen brightness turned up all the way. He sees Lou Lamoriello, sitting with a slightly less murderous look in his eyes than usual. He knows that the friendships he has fostered with all of these extremely normal and competent people will never recover from what he is about to do. He takes a deep breath. “Josh Manson!" The Vegas fans go wild. The attached trade is announced too: they have picked up Shea Theodore in exchange for “draft considerations.” The general managers’ faces contort with fury as it dawns on them what has happened. Things only get worse as McPhee and Foley continue to announce their picks. Instead of taking Erik Haula from the Wild, they take Matt Dumba. And they still get Alex Tuch. Instead of taking Mikhail Grabovski from the Isles, they take Brock Nelson. And they still get a 1st and a 2nd. Instead of taking Jason Garrison from the Lightning, they take Yanni Gourde. And they still get Nikita Gusev. ~ After the show, twenty-nine general managers storm the green room with murder in their eyes. Bettman tries to deflate the situation. “Good evening gentlemen. I understand you’re upset, bu- Wait, where’s Jim Benning?” “He got stuck in the revolving door somehow. But we have him on speakerphone.” Benning's voice bellows out of Pierre Dorian's team-issued Motorola Razr. “That was an embarrassment! A mockery! An insult to everything that hockey is supposed to be! Who even wrote those 'jokes' anyway?! And by the way, the expansion draft was bullshit too!” Bob Murray’s face is an angrier shade of red than usual. “George you scumbag, we had a fucking deal! We only traded you Shea Theodore so that you would take Clayton Stoner!” McPhee says “Well actually, Bob, the trade was made for “draft considerations.” And I promise you we really considered taking Stoner.” The room erupts in anger again. Garth Snow is irate as well: "You bastard, how could you take Nelson?! Resigning Tavares would've been a sure thing if you had taken Grabovski instead! I can't imagine how this franchise's cap situation could possibly be any worse!" Lou Lamoriello smirks. Bettman sighs and tries to be diplomatic. “Gentlemen, I’m sorry, but he’s right. It says in the transcripts of the official trade calls that the trades were made purely for ‘considerations’, not for the selection of specific players. There’s nothing we can do about that. That being said, George, per the NHL’s licensing agreement with EA Sports we will need to confiscate a few of your phones.” The managers walk out of the room grumbling. On the way out, a confused Dale Tallon says “There's one thing I don't understand: If George went back on all those other deals, why didn’t he take Alex Petrovic from us instead of that Marchessault guy? And he still took that cap dump Reilly Smith from us too! What an idiot.” ~ The Knights’ players were already fired up by their respective teams’ willingness to let them go – now they’re extra motivated by everyone else in the league hating their guts.
Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Reilly Smith David Perron – Brock Nelson – Yanni Gourde Tomas Nosek – Vadim Shipachyov – James Neal Ryan Carpenter – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Alex Tuch William Carrier Brayden McNabb – Matt Dumba Nate Schmidt – Josh Manson Shea Theodore – Colin Miller Jack Johnson Marc-Andre Fleury Antti Raanta
They claim the President's Trophy and the Stanley Cup in each of their first three seasons. The league's general managers conspire to exact revenge on these scoundrels, and all agree that Marc Bergevin should offersheet their best young players, a plan that immediately backfires when Bergevin inadvertently saves Vegas considerable negotiating time and helps them lock up their core at reasonable numbers. The Knights later find a loophole in the salary cap that allows them to add high-salary free agents seemingly at will. After they sweep through the bubble playoffs in 2020, it becomes clear that no other team can compete with them, and TV ratings hit a dismal low. Amid financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the National Hockey League officially folds in late 2020. Agent Allan Walsh, desperately trying to secure spots in the KHL for his stunned clients, soberly sums up the feelings of the hockey world: https://preview.redd.it/q9p41mrmnzv51.png?width=560&format=png&auto=webp&s=5db5d08168a2c897b4f57e8473f73612f191398c (Thank you for reading, it's been awhile!)
CreateYoureReality NFL Week 13 Analysis and Picks (Speed run)
Week 12 Recap: Meh, not our worst showing this year, haha. How can I be so spot on with game predictions, but still be struggling in my singles plays this season. Very curious. Putting a pin in it to think about, however... Let's move on! Singles (8-17 -12.87u) Parlays (0-4 0u)All Free Bets Teasers (0-1 -4u) BBDLS(0-6 -2.2u) Sunday Games Detroit at Chicago: Lions just fired coach and GM. Chicago has Mitch back. It seems the Lions can't win games without Galloday and Swift. It already appears Galloday is out. Swift is questionable and even if he plays should carry a limited snap count. Chicago essentially starting their playoffs with this game. Does it continue? Cincinnati at Miami: Bengals starting Brandon Allen again. He didn't look horrible last week, however without a 105yrd kickoff return for CIN, that games 4th quarter wouldn't have been nearly as close as it was. Miami brought back the FitzMagic last week and he delivered an ABC performance against the struggling Jets, keeping Miami in the playoff contention with an outside shot at still winning the AFC East. While my algo has them with an almost 90% chance of winning, it only has them covering the spread around 42%. Indianapolis at Houston: Colts had a hard fall last week, giving up the divisional lead to the Titans. Houston is playing much better now but suffered the loss of two players to suspension this week. My algo has this one closer to a 24-25 IND and thinks Indy only covers 34% of the time. Might even put a little sprinkle on the Texans. Jacksonville at Minnesota: Jacksonville played tough last week and is sticking with Glennon. Minnesota has an opportunity to be .500 for the first time this year and an outside shot at the playoffs. Cook and Theilen are back and I expect Min to get the win here. However, Algo only likes a MIN cover 39% of the time. Las Vegas at New York Jets: One would expect the Raiders to take care of business against the winless Jets, however last weeks blowout loss vs. the Falcons doesn't instill the most confidence .Also, last years similar spot and loss is a little scary: " Las Vegas (6-5), in a battle with Miami, Indianapolis and Baltimore for the final two wild card spots in the AFC, were in a similar position last season. And that 3-7 Jets squad thumped the 6-4 Raiders, 34-3, as quarterback Sam Darnold played arguably his best game as a professional, going 20-of-29 passing for 315 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while also rushing for another score. " Carr traveling East for a 1pm game 🤔 The Jets have decided to roll with Darnold as long as he is healthy. My algo has this as a projected 27-20 LV with a cover% of only 54. A little worried on this game as I could easily see the Raiders winning 31-13, but also see them losing 20-17. Maybe the play in this one is the Under😏 New Orleans at Atlanta: Divisional rematch of two weeks ago. For some reason, just like last year, the Falcon's defense played horribly in the first half, but decides to show up for the second half of the season. They were a little lost in the first match up, but I expect them to have a better defensive showing this time around. NO is 2-0 with Taysum starting. I expect their defense to continue to perform, especially against a divisional rematch. However, I don't think Taysum will fair as well this time around. ATL +3.5, @ home, in the rematch, plus no Brees? ALGO favors ATL points, and the Under. Might even drop some sprinkles on the cupcake. Cleveland at Tennessee: BIG match up here. Two playoff contenders in the same conference. Both have amazing running games. Cleveland gets back Miles Garret this week. Tenn might be getting back Humphries. My algo has this as TEN -3.5 and a cover of the 5.5 only 36%. You know that means we will be looking dog here. More excited to watch this game and check out 3 of the top 5 running backs right now. (Maybe only 2, but Hunt is pretty ok) Might be worth a little sprinkle on the cupcakes! New York Giants at Seattle: Giants HAVE won 3 in a row, and their defense is looking decent. However, those wins have come against Washington, Philadelphia and Cincinnati -- teams with a combined record of 9-22-2. (and cincy could have been a loss if Burrow didnt go down) Seattle is rounding into Superbowl form and on top of their defense starting to gel, get Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde is back after injuries sidelined both for a month. While I expect Seattle to win almost always, their M.O. is winning close games. So double digit points is not something I will look at against a defense capable of scoring. LA Rams at Arizona: Rams horrible loss last week. It's like Shanahan just knows how to out coach McVay. Arizona hasn't really won a game (besides a last second hail marry) in a month. If they were a playoff contender, they should have taken care of New England last week. Majority of $$ on AZ right now, yet the line opened at -1 and has climbed to LA -3 in most spots. RLM on the minority always has me looking that way. Eagles at Packers: Eagles have looked like trash. Packers have shined like gold. My algo has this only GB -5.5 so as the line climbs higher, I can't help but look at Philly. Their perception is trash, however their defense is decent. Tied for second in sacks this year and 5th in 3rd down completion percentage. (their defense vs opponents offense) If this was a normal year I would LOVE some philly sprinkles. New England at LA Chargers: I am going to avoid this game. I personally love Bill B and this year have taken a liking to Justin Herbert. The line is almost nothing so I can't see much value here in a coin flip game. Denver at Kansas City: Primetime divisional battle. Does anyone give Denver a chance to Win this game? Outside of Mahomey getting taken out of the game and a ton of penalties giving DEN great field position for a ton of scores...No. But also, how often have you ever seen me ride double digit lines. If it is, it is the dog. And do I step in front of the KC pain train? No. Skip Mon/Tue games: Leans on PIT ml, SF ml, DAL spread I have 30u of FB to use this week. You know they are going in the parlay section :D Singles (76-103, -38.03u)
[Discussion] 25 great albums you might have missed from 2019. Spotify playlist included.
Spotify playlist is here Google Play playlist courtesy of u/TimeFourChanges is here Apple Music playlist courtesy of u/LegoWaffles is here Last year I listened to over 800 albums and posted a few of my favorites. This year I did the same thing, and I’ve had some people asking me to post again, so here goes. These are not my top 25 albums. These are just 25 albums that I felt were sorely overlooked. Last year some people rightly complained that I included artists which broke the sub’s popularity rules. I’ve done my best to ensure that none of these artists have more than three songs with 500,000+ plays on Spotify, nor 250,000+ listeners on Last.FM. I apologize in advance if something was overlooked. Hopefully we can help get these artists and albums some of the credit they truly deserve! Without further ado, here are 25 great albums you might have missed in 2019: 1. Peter Cat Recording Co. - Bismillah (Released 6/7/19, India) I’ll admit right off the bat that I’m a huge Tool fan, so my choice for best album of the year is definitely biased. But Bismillah by Peter Cat Recording Co., my second favorite album of the year, sounds nothing like Tool. In fact, it’s pretty much as far as you can get from extended prog metal jams. The music defies classification, drawing from a breadth of influences including rock, folk, jazz, and electronica. The vocals are rich and smooth, reminiscent of classic pop stars like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. So far, no one I’ve introduced to this album has disliked it. At this point, I’d go so far as to say it will likely appeal to anyone who just plain loves music. Please do yourself a favor and listen to this incredible album! Standout Tracks: Where the Money Flows, Memory Box, Freezing, Heera 2. Mdou Moctar - Ilana, the Creator (Released 3/29/19, Niger) There’s a lot of incredible music coming out of African countries that goes virtually unnoticed in the west. Mdou Moctar is one of those artists, a king of desert rock guitar whose psychedelic jams draw heavily on Tuareg folk music. There is an infectious energy to this album that doesn’t let up from beginning to end, and every time I listen, I find myself wishing it were a few songs longer. Despite the fact that I can’t understand a word of the lyrics, it’s one of those albums that makes me feel like I can hear colors and taste sounds. The next time I get my hands on some LSD, this will be my go-to record. Standout Tracks: Kamane Tarhanin, Tarhatazed, Tumastin 3. Flamingods - Levitation (Released 5/3/19, Bahrain) In a year with new albums from Pond and the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, not to mention two new albums from King Gizzard, I never expected this album from a little-known Bahraini group to blow the Australian psychedelic scene out of the water. It’s unpretentious and unassuming, playing it safe rather than pushing the limits of studio experimentation, but Levitation needs no gimmicks. The melodies are catchy and memorable, backed by tight instrumentation with lots of guitar noodling. The influence of traditional Middle Eastern music is audible, but usually subtle. Though there is still room for the band to grow in its sound, this album is nearly perfect as it is. Standout Tracks: Astral Plane, Peaches, Mantra 4. Bruno Bavota - RE_CORDIS (Released 1/18/19, Italy) Winter is usually the slow season for new album releases, but the mood of the season perfectly matches the mood of RE_CORDIS. It’s a fairly straightforward album of instrumental compositions enhanced by the lightest accents and effects that demonstrate the delicacy with which Bruno Bavota hones his work. The instrumentation varies from song to song just enough to stay engaging, and while it does encourage wandering thoughts, there are many subtleties to actively listen for. It’s one of those albums that sounds best as you’re just drifting off to sleep, when the silence and darkness of the room allows each note to stand out. Standout Tracks: Passengers, La luce nel cuore, The Man Who Chased the Sea 5. Cykada - Cykada (Released 3/29/19, England, UK) For a debut album, Cykada is pretty impressive, and that’s because the musicians behind it are already well established in the London jazz scene. Which of course means jack shit in the world of pop music, so I hope you’ll forgive me stretching the rules of the sub just a little to show off this “supergroup” ensemble. There are only five songs on Cykada, but with the shortest clocking in at just under six minutes, each one feels like a journey in and of itself. If the opening of the first track doesn’t immediately hook you, then perhaps this isn’t the group for you. But if it does, I think you’ll find yourself hanging onto every note until the end of the nearly 12-minute jam that closes out the album. Standout Tracks: Creation, Ophelia’s Message, Third Eye Thunder 6. Claude Fontaine - Claude Fontaine (Released 4/26/19, California, US) There’s a tropical undercurrent to the songs on Claude Fontaine, which shamelessly dips into Carribean and Latin American influences, but the tone of the album more somber than sunny. The vocals come across as wistful, at times loney, and the lo-fi production adds a degree of separation that feels like listening to a memory of a bygone summer. There’s nothing technically impressive about this album, and in fact the opposite is often true, but something about the raw introspection coupled with atypical Latin grooves feels like slipping into a dream. Standout Tracks: Hot Tears, Love Street, Pretending He Was You 7. Iguana Death Cult - Nude Casino (Released 10/25/19, Netherlands) By the time Iguana Death Cult released their album Nude Casino just before Halloween, I was expecting the year to more or less be over, musically speaking. Then I found myself playing this album on repeat at work, and it quickly shot up into my top 20 on the strength of every song being an absolute jam. The band is so clearly having fun that it’s all but impossible not to join in. The bouncy, dance-like energy reminds me a bit of early Arctic Monkeys. As an added credit, I’d say they’re a strong contender for the best band name/album name combo of the year. Standout Tracks: Nude Casino, Liquify, Nature Calls 8. Saor - Forgotten Paths (Released 2/15/19, Scotland, UK) This album feels cinematic, on the scale of Lord of the Rings or The Avengers. It’s an overwhelming experience, like watching thunderheads roll in over the plains, except instead of thunder and lightning it’s blast beats and metal screams. There are moments of symphonic grandeur, but also passages of graceful simplicity that draw inspiration from folk and chamber music. Even if you aren’t generally a fan of distorted vocals, it’s worth a listen for the instrumentals alone. Standout Tracks: Forgotten Paths, Monadh, Bròn 9. Sandro Perri - Soft Landing (Released9/6/19, Canada) I’m not really sure how to describe or categorize Sandro Perri’s music. Google suggests he’s been classified as “post rock”, “ambient”, and “folk”, but none of those terms really see to fit. His music is experimental if nothing else, exploring the simplest ideas to the fullest extent and crafting entire songs around short musical phrases. Despite the peaceful vibe, Soft Landing isn’t really background music. The pieces of the puzzle all sound familiar on their own, but Sandro Perri assembles them in a way that sounds strange and unique, and might cause you to involuntarily cock your head to the side as you listen. Standout Tracks: Time (You Got Me), Wrong About the Rain, Soft Landing 10. Uluru - Acrophilia (Released 2/8/19, Turkey) One thing that I love about the explosion of psychedelic rock over the past decade is that it’s largely transcended geography. Uluru is another example of the intersection between Middle Eastern and psychedelic music, but unlike Flamingods, Uluru tends more towards the crunchy stoner rock end of the spectrum. This album is also different in that it’s entirely instrumental, but that doesn’t make it feel incomplete. At just seven songs, each between 3-8 minutes, Acrophilia is just the right size to leave an impression without wearing on into endless jam sessions. Standout Tracks: Şark, Constantine, Aeternum 11. Jimmy “Duck” Holmes - Cypress Grove (Released 10/18/19, Mississippi, US) Some music ages like fine wine, but the blues ages like whiskey. Like many underappreciated blues pioneers, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes didn’t start recording studio albums until fairly late in his life. Despite going unnoticed by the music industry, Holmes is a fixture of Mississippi blues history, and deserves every bit as much acclamation as his contemporaries. Cypress Grove doesn’t features surprising new compositions. It’s the work of a true artist interpreting old standards, and though it sticks keenly to tradition, there’s nothing quite as genuine as an old blues master pouring a lifetime of experience into an acoustic guitar. Standout Tracks: Catfish Blues, Goin’ Away Baby, Little Red Rooster 12. Julian Taylor Band - Avalanche (Released 3/29/19, Canada) This album exemplifies the meaning of “groove”. Lyrically it doesn’t offer any hot takes or great philosophical depth, but it will make your foot tap and your head nod whether you like it or not. It’s music for late summer evenings, for grilling out and driving to the beach. But if you like magic mushrooms and hackysack, this album might touch you on a deep emotional level. Standout Tracks: Time, Back Again, Never Let the Lights Go Dim 13. Modern Nature - How to Live (Released 8/23/19, England, UK) How to Live didn’t leave much of an impression when I first heard it back in September, but as I was going back over my top albums at the end of the year, it suddenly connected with me. Maybe it was the funky beats, or the flawless blend of electric and acoustic instruments. Maybe it was just the large quantity of marijuana edibles I’d ingested. But there’s something fascinating and engaging about the delivery of these songs. It’s not just the vocals, which are hardly above a whisper. Even the instrumentals sound stealthy, as if the band recorded at night and didn’t want to wake the neighbors. The songs also stick with you, but not in the sense of a Top 40 earworm. More like a ghost haunting from just over your shoulder. Each time I listen to this album I find something new to like about it. Standout Tracks: Footsteps, Peradam, Nature 14. Fvneral Fvkk - Carnal Confessions (Released 9/27/19, Germany) Everything about this band seems intentionally offensive, from their conjunction of religion and sexuality to their egregious misspelling of the word “fuck”. But when you’re through clutching your pearls, check out the rich vocals and heavy riffs that make this metal band’s debut album stand out. If you’re into heavy rock but don’t care for unclean vocals, this should make you a happy camper. Unless you’re a member of the clergy, then perhaps give this album a pass. Standout Tracks: Chapel of Abuse, A Shadow in the Dormitory, The Hallowed Leech 15. Dommengang - No Keys (Released 5/17/19, California, US) Dommengang aren’t breaking down musical barriers, but I can’t find a single song on this album that I dislike. In the era of music streaming, there’s something to be said for a collection of solid singles that can each stand on their own. But No Keys is more than just a collection of singles. The sum of its parts is a cohesive album that touches on blues rock, psychedelic, and metal without committing to any one style, all following a current of driving rock guitar riffs with plenty of flourishes. Standout Tracks: Wild Wash, Kudzu, Jerusalem Cricket 16. Magic Circle - Departed Souls (Released 3/29/19, Massachusetts, US) Magic Circle is a bit like the Greta Van Fleet of Black Sabbath wannabes. Unlike Greta Van Fleet, however, these guys have serious musical talent and songwriting ability that make Departed Souls more of a respectful tribute than a piss on the legacy of 70s hard rock. There is also a good bit of originality to this album, and while it’s obvious that vocalist could pull off a flawless Ozzy impression if he tried, there’s a modicum of restraint that suggests the incorporation of broader influences. In fact, some of the albums best moments are when the band isn’t directly emulating the classics. Standout Tracks: Departed Souls, Valley of the Lepers, Nightland 17. Obsequiae - The Palms of Sorrowed Kings (Released 11/22/19, Minnesota, US) The Palms of Sorrowed Kings is an album of stark contrasts, catapulting back and forth between brutal, howling metal and languid, acoustic folk. The end result is an emotional journey with moments of triumph, rage, introspection, heartbreak, and tranquility. While the vocals accentuate some of the album’s more powerful moments, they aren’t highlighted above any of the other instruments, instead blending into the cacophony like the voice of a commander shouting orders across a field of battle. Fans of tabletop RPGs might want this album playing in the background of an adventuring session. Standout Tracks: Palästinalied, Morrígan, Lone Isle 18. Black Peaches - Fire in the Hole (Released 5/17/19, England, UK) Black Peaches have a sort of jam band aesthetic, drawing on the musical influences of the southern US to flavor their brand of psychedelic indie rock. Despite the frontman’s tangential involvement with Hot Chip, the band is firmly rooted in drums and guitars, with a sound more comparable to Phish or Widespread Panic than any synthpop outfit. Whether cranking along to frantic percussion or grooving smoothly over funk textures, the songs on Fire in the Hole are wild and dynamic from beginning to end. Standout Tracks: Fire in the Hole, Black Peach Boogie, Pillars of Hercules 19. YĪN YĪN - The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers (Released 10/18/19, Netherlands) As much as I try to be objective when approaching new music, I can’t help but love what I love. The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers checks a lot of boxes for me: psychedelic atmosphere, unique instrumentation, lengthy jams, danceable rhythms, incorporation of world music styles - even the artwork instantly attracted me to this album. While perhaps it’s not a perfect record, it has a lot of relistenability, and no other album released in 2019 sounds quite like it. Standout Tracks: One Inch Punch, The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers, Dis̄ kô Dis̄ kô 20. Red Rum Club - Matador (Released 1/11/19, England, UK) What’s the easiest way to make your generic indie band stand out? Add a trumpet! Seriously, that’s pretty much what makes the album work. Fans of alt pop bands like Neon Trees, Catfish and the Bottlemen, or Young the Giant will recognize the rather formulaic approach to songwriting - powerful vocals, straightforward lyrics, and hopelessly catchy hooks. But regardless of how many sound-alikes you’ve heard, the soaring brassy tones on Matador imbue the songs with an irresistible dancefloor spirit. Standout Tracks: Hung Up, Honey, Calexico 21. Ouzo Bazooka - Transporter (Released 1/11/19, Israel) Ouzo Bazooka isn’t the first group to combine the raw energy of garage rock with the experimental songwriting of psychedelia, but they play it with such skill that any lack of originality should be forgiven. Like many contemporary bands inspired by the music of the 60s and 70s, Ouzo Bazooka isn’t picky about the sources from which they draw influence, and their music benefits from that open-mindedness. At times they appear to be firmly planted in unassuming rock n roll, only to blast off to the cosmos at a moment’s notice, taking you along for the ride. Standout Tracks: Latest News, Space Camel, Killing Me 22. Konradsen - Saints and Sebastian Stories (Released 10/25/19, Norway) Konradsen makes a lot of interesting musical decisions in the songwriting on Saints and Sebastian Stories. These songs aren’t likely to hook you on your first listen, and might even seem off-putting as they meander slowly over layers of studio effects. The album follows the precedent set by experimental indie artists like Bon Iver, combining disparate elements from jazz percussion lingering piano chords to shy-sounding horns. It’s the type of album that takes a couple songs to warm up, but then continues escalating and improving as it unfolds. Standout Tracks: Dice, Baby Hallelujah, Red to Rhyme 23. Black String - Karma (Released 9/27/19, South Korea) Generally speaking, jazz isn’t my favorite genre. That said, Karma doesn’t sound like what most people first think of when they hear the word “jazz”. The improvisational aspect is there, but the songs are structured around traditional Korean music in a way that subverts western expectations. Fortunately for us westerners, the group has provided a sort of jumping off point in their brilliant cover of Radiohead’s Exit Music (For a Film), reworked until only the bare bones are recognisable. Standout Tracks: Sureña, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Exit Music - For a Film 24. the one and only PPL MVR - THE CHOSEN (Released 6/4/19, California, US) There’s this crazy theory going around that the one and only PPL MVR is actually just the members of Brand New dressed in yeti suits. I’m operating under the assumption that the theory is bunk, and that this gimmicky band is just an underappreciated power trio with a flair for the dramatic. While the band’s prevailing sound can best be described as heavy rock music, they certainly don’t feel the need to pigeonhole themselves. From power chords to autotune, nothing is off the table. Standout Tracks: NML, MOVE, THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS 25. The Garifuna Collective - Aban (Released 9/15/19, Belize) The Garifuna Collective is ever so slightly outside the normal popularity parameters for listentothis (their third most popular song has 524,000 plays on Spotify), so I beg your leniency for this incredible group of musicians who are widely unknown outside Central America. It’s so outside the spectrum of my normal listening habits that I don’t really know how to classify this kind of music. All I do know is that the rhythms are infectious and the melodies compelling. I’m always somewhat surprised when a group of musicians who speak a different language and live in a place I’ve never visited can reach me through music in a way that transcends culture. The combination of predictable patterns and unfamiliar elements is precisely why I pause to listen. Standout Tracks: Wiya Waist, Ideruni (Help), Magidu (The Market) As in 2018, I’ve also been keeping a spreadsheet to track my top 500 favorite albums throughout the year. If anyone’s interested, you can view it here, as well as a 500 song playlist including one song from each album (link is at the top of the spreadsheet). Keep in mind that most of my top 500 albums don’t meet the popularity rules of this sub, nor is it the focus of this post. Since people asked for it last year, I just figured I’d share it again.
Trump has attempted to get the presidency many times in the past
The beginning When Q is saying “Was Trump asked to run for President w/ assurances made to prevent tampering?” my initial thought was that the alliance asked him to run some time before the 2016 election but with a little bit of research it becomes obvious that this is not the case. So, let’s go back in time. The year is 2011, Trump is giving interviews as a potential candidate for the Presidency. While he is not sure if he will end up running or not that doesn’t stop him from going full attack on Obama. In one interview (1) he says about Obama’s background “I have people that actually have being studying it and they cannot believe what they are finding”. In another (2) with Sean Hannity he seems to know every detail when it comes to Obama’s connections with extremists such as Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright and a mobster named Tony Rezko. What is interesting about the events that transpire then is something that Trump said about Obama in his 2015 (3) speech at CPAC “Hillary Clinton wanted his birth certificate … John McCain fought really hard and really viciously to get his birth certificate … Trump comes along and I am not a sitting senator I am not a sitting anything else … he gave a birth certificate … Hillary Clinton wanted it, McCain wanted it and I wanted it. He didn’t do it for them, he did it for me (!) …” This wasn’t the first time Trump attempted to get the Presidency. According to some articles (4) he was mulling with a presidential run for 2004 and 2008 but both times decided against running. He did however came much closer to a presidential run in 2000 when he campaigned for the nomination of the Reform Party. It is important to note who is backing Trump this time. First, it’s his long time pen pal and star of the Reform Party, Jesse Ventura. To be exact, Ventura privately encouraged Trump to run but official told reporters that “… If he announces that he will be a candidate he will absolutely get my full consideration” as he put it. Second it’s his longtime aide Roger Stone who was hired as director of the exploratory committee. Again this wasn’t the first time Trump came close to running for President. For that we have to go back in 1987, where there are reports stating that Sumner Baye and Abe Hirschfeld launched a campaign to make Donald Trump the first multi-billionaire president of the United States. Also there is a political activist named Mike Dunbar who launched a “Draft Trump” campaign hoping that he will convince the billionaire to run. So, what year was he asked to run for President? If you look at the above timeline and consider the effort put to make Trump President it appears that this effort intensifies as we come close to 2016. The first attempt in 1987 appears uncoordinated by some secret benevolent force. It is just some guys who thought Trump had what it needed in order to become great President. Plus back then Trump completely backed George Bush for the Presidency (5) so he didn’t seem to have good info or inside knowledge. If you think maybe Bush wasn’t at the time the scam he turned out to be you will probably be wrong. Between 1977 and 1979, he was director of the Council on Foreign Relations, prior to that he was Director of the Central Intelligence (CIA) for about a year. The second attempt (2000) however is a whole different case. This time he does a lot more than attend a couple of rallies as he did in 1987. He forms a presidential exploratory committee, makes numerous media appearances as a candidate, travels to campaign events in Florida, California, Minnesota and even qualifies for two presidential primaries. What is really interesting about this potential presidential run is the timing. Donald Trump announced the creation of a presidential exploratory committee on October 7 1999 on Larry King’s show. JFK Jr. died July 16, 1999. Not even three full months after his death Trump is considering a presidential run. But how is this related to Trump’s decision? Trump and JFK Jr were friends (Trump said it in his interview with Larry King) (6). JFK Jr was considering a run for the New York Senate. Hillary Clinton was targeting the same seat. JFK Jr was the favorite to win the seat. The Clintons murdered JFK Jr (or so they thought) in order to massively increase Hillary’s chances of winning. My theory is that this is the event that convinced Trump to join the alliance and run for President. I am assuming that there is already an effort to get rid of the cabal since 1963. As Q put it “Rest in peace Mr. President (JFK), through your wisdom and strength, since your tragic death, Patriots have planned, installed, and by the grace of God, activated, the beam of LIGHT." Maybe that was The “Start” Q mentioned in post 1082. Important to note that even back then you can clearly see the MSM are doing their best to paint a negative picture of “The Donald” (7) as they called him. But remember who controls the media, it’s the CIA. Operation Mockingbird started in the early 1950s so by the 1999 they must have had complete control of the media. So when MSNBC is bitching about Trump back in 2000 who is really bitching about Trump. Yep, you guessed it, it’s the CIA. So either they knew there was an organized effort to take the Presidency or simply that Trump wasn’t one of them. Unfortunately at this point and time the alliance’s attempt to win the Presidency seems rushed and not well prepared. Take for example Trump’s picks/considerations for his cabinet. Oprah Winfrey for Vice President and Colin Powell for Secretary of State. I left the “best” for last. John McCain for Secretary of Defense. Wait what, no name for DOD?? (ṌṌꙬ@). Years pass by, Trump continues to run his empire and joins The Apprentice in an attempt to build his reputation (?). He mentions in a couple articles about a potential Presidential run for the 2004 and 2008 years but nothing happens. Until 2011. Then, he is literally everywhere, giving interview after interview, attacking Obama with very well research points, being more serious than ever to run. Everything looks ideal for them, he even leads some polls (according to him) but in the end decides not to run. What happened? Why didn’t he run for the 2012 election? Maybe the alliance wasn’t ready? To get a better picture you should also consider this. Members of the alliance are using the US military for their counter coup but remember the military is equipped to fight tanks, fighter jets and other armored vehicles, it is not equipped to fight the mainstream media and all other corrupt officials. It must have taken the white hats years in order to transform the military with new abilities (plus they would have needed to be extra careful in the beginning). So ask yourself these questions. Trump joined the apprentice in 2003, what if he didn’t join to make his name a bigger brand? What if this move was part of the plan? The show made him look powerful, in control and friendly to millions of Americans. Just listen to what Roger Stone said in an interview (8) “He is perfectly made up. He is perfectly coiffed. He is perfectly lit. He is in a high back chair making tough decisions. What is he look like? He looks like a President! …I understand the elite say that’s reality TV. Voters don’t see it that way”. Yet, there are evidence suggesting that the organized plan to make Trump President goes way before 1999 (which was my initial guess) with unknown forces supporting it and others opposing it. These evidence are not direct but suggest foreknowledge and negative preconditioning for the public. First, it’s the famous Illuminati card game published in 1982. In one of the later versions of the game, Illuminati New World Order Assassins (1995), a card was published with a potential great significance to our research. The card is titled “Enough is Enough”, is depicting a guy yelling and it writes “At any time, at any place, our snipers can drop you. Have a nice day.” What is particularly interesting about this card is the similarities with real life and the timeline that led to where we are now. To begin with the analysis the guy depicted in the card bears a strong resemblance to the 1995 Donald, furthermore the picture cleverly conceals the guy’s hair. All these years people though that this card predicted Trump’s Presidency but I don’t think it did. I have an alternative explanation, probably better. What if Trump is the one saying “Enough is Enough” (He has said it many times in his rallies (9), I even found it on his twitter 3 times one of which was on 9/11/2014! Even Q wrote the exact same phrase 3 times in posts 930, 1010 and 1494) and the bad guys are the ones saying the other part “At any time, at any place, our snipers can drop you. Have a nice day.” Maybe the card was published as warning for the good guys not to try anything. Maybe that was the reason the guys’ hair was concealed. Donald’s hair is unique, if it wasn’t concealed it would have been obvious to whom this card was addressed but that wasn’t necessary. The message could be sent and received without unrelated people finding out what is all about. It is worth mentioning that the game was published by a gaming company (Steve Jackson Games) who has a pyramid with an eye as its logo and had its offices raided by the Secret Service in 1990 for supposedly making a 'Hacking Guide'. Second, “Back to the Future Part II” screenwriter Bob Gale recently confirmed in an interview that Donald Trump was the inspiration for the character (Biff Tannen) he and director Robert Zemeckis created back in 1989. Long story short, future Biff steals time travel machine, goes back in time and gives his younger shelf a sports almanac with the outcomes of the games for the next 50 years. Biff uses this info, becomes a billionaire and a playboy, buys a casino and gets involved in many shady businesses. His ascent to power is accompanied with the burning of the local school, the rise of the police state, increase in poverty, prostitution and gang related crimes. Overall, the beautiful town of Hill Valley descends into anarchy. In the same movie that predicted the attacks on 9/11 Trump’s character is portrayed as someone that will endanger society’s future. In case you don’t know in Back to the future 1 Libyan nationalists attack Doctor Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in the Twin Pines Mall at 1:16 Α.Μ. (which is 9:11 if you turn it upside down), in Back to the Future 2 you can see two pines appearing in Marty McFly's (Michael Fox) tv which later turn into the twin towers as his mother keeps changing the channels. If you observe the whole scene from grandpa McFly’s point of view (he is hovering upside down from some medical device) you can clearly see that the towers appear to be falling. The same people that feel the need to reveal their plans before they end your life they are also “telling” you that Trump’s ascent to power can have severe consequences. Again, consider the timeline. The second movie is published in 1989. It would have been in production for at least one or two years. What year Trump attempted a run for the Presidency for the first time? 1987! I know I didn’t prove exactly when he was asked to run but I think I made it obvious that this underground war has been going on long before any of us knew anything about it. I am also wondering if bad actors were aware of an attempt to end their empire with Donald Trump destined to lead this effort then how did he manage to avoid assassination all these years? I will leave you with this, one of Trump’s tweets “…I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star.....to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!” Is he taunting anyone? “I knew this day would arrive, it is only a question of when…” Donald J Trump
Telling landlords to not accept black applications, to the extent of being sued by the DoJ and which identified a superintendent put the letter 'C' on applications of people of color so the office would know to reject them. source 2
Central Park 5 - repetitive accusing them of being criminals 12-17 years after DNA led to exoneration, all as justification for death penalty and police becoming more violent
Tried to buy out the Ground Zero Mosque "not because I think the location is a spectacular one [because it is not] but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse."
Will not allow Hurricane Dorian refugees from the Bahamas because because they are full of “very bad gang members.”
Muslim ban (yes it was, it treated people differently based on religion)
Pardoning Joe Arpaio who was convicted of racial discrimination, expressly broke the law to target hispanics, arrested people for being hispanic without an actual criminal charge, and kept them in brutal prison conditions
Charlottesville apologetics of the neo-nazis - first said the problem was the left then "both sides" etc
Tweeted calling for the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, the Muslim who killed 8 with a truck along a Manhattan bike path. Yet he never said it for Dylann Roof, who killed 9 in a Charleston church even when Nikki Haley linked the rhetoric to him.
“I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money,” Trump said, according to the 1991 biography. “I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” ... “I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”
“You’re not gonna support me even though you know I’m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel”...“And I know why you’re not going to support me. You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money”...“You want to control your own politician.” and “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.” source
Not sure what to do anymore. I have a life to live. Yet time is not on my side.
I've been struggling for years. Socially, with relationships, academically and with just about every little detail I can think of. I've reached a point where I cannot even get any enjoyment out of the things I used to. I've had a excellent business plan in the works for years. Over a decade. Just before my Junior year of high school my mother had a breakdown and was put into a mental institution. My adderal ran out and I was forced to take care of my baby sister. While my grandmother gambled away our rent and bill money at a nearby casino. Nobody was around to fill my adderal prescription. I didn't have a car and we lived very far from town. My Mom returned and shortly after had to return to the hospital again. My grades dropped. My social life crumbled. My girlfriend cheated repeatedly. I once went to visit my old friends. See we had moved an hour and a half outside the city of Minneapolis. My best friend since infancy said to me. That I'm an embarrassment and I have no social skills. That I'm like a freak now. My mother was manic on what I now know was most likely my own medication. She was misdiagnosed as bipolar when in the hospital. Was given shocks and god knows what other treatments. Turned out she was given way too much adderall and a combo of the wrong drugs. So now she's a healthy functioning nurse practitioner. She has no knowledge of me ever being prescribed adderall. I'm positive I took it. Because after she left and my last prescription was gone is when everything fell apart for me. Now I spend my days diagnosed as disabled with multiple forms of anxiety. And the meds make me hyper and severely restless, with no way to channel that energy. Yet I cannot focus. Years ago I resorted to taking all kinds of drugs to self medicate just to get through my days. Yet in never exhibited any addictive behaviors like most others who self medicate. Now I have used my own will to stop these sedatives. And I lay in bed watching tv doing nothing day in and out. I can't even enjoy myself. Or I try to play video games, but I get bored within 10 minutes and shut it off. I even have a vast list of health issues commonly related to people with adult adhd. I remember being diagnosed as a child at a children's hospital. After rigorous testing. I remember clearly because I met 3 of the players for the Minnesota Vikings. One I can remember was Corey Stringer. My mother took me to see another doctor. (Her story). Claiming that they over diagnose kids and that I'm fine. Well she didn't wait out the initial side effects. Her recollection is not very good of that time at all. I have not been close to fine my whole life. My mom usually ignored what went on deep within my mental health. Now days she believes holistic medicines are the best solution. Unless death is a possibility. I'm 34 and I am sick of living a life of nothingness. I need to be taken seriously and be given a chance to recieve proper treatment. I once got a about 8 adderall from a friend. And Immediately I felt like my old properly functioning self. That night I went home with a great woman. We went to breakfast. I applied for a job got an interview. Got the job and lost it nearly right away. Because I ran out of the meds. I also slept 8 hours easily while I had them. I even started on revising my business plan. And got the idea to enroll in MIT's online open courseware. And Cornell's online entrepreneurship certification. I thought maybe it would help me with the transfer to private college after I gather enough credits from a community college in Minneapolis. But the productivity and focus was fleeting. Then it crept into depression and a feeling of defeat. I just need my psychiatrist to see what it is that truly ails me. I fear if I'm not helped I'll wither away into nothing. Alone and with nobody. I just had a nephew. My first. I haven't even gotten the courage to go see him yet. The idea of seeing him makes me think of the fact that I thought I'd be a father by now. My mother kept me from returning to my girlfriend as a teenager. Wich set in motion events that made it too late to be with her. By the time I was of age, my ex had moved on. It was very difficult to spend time with her socially. My mother ruined several of my relationships. See my brother died as an infant, before I was born. Then came me. Which is why I think my Mom has been so involved and protective. 9 years later my sister was born. I was forced to raise her most of the time. I feel like an absolutely numb person living without purpose. I wish I knew what to do from here. I feel hopeless no matter how hard I try to change. I'm stuck in a cycle of anguish. Which is unfortunate, because I have so many hopes for the future. I don't really have a family that sees when another family member is struggling.
NOTE: This is FAKE HOCKEY. To talk about actual hockey, go to the latest Daily Discussion thread Trade Deadline Tonight will continue TONIGHT! The /hockey Trade Deadline Game is back for day 2! Starting today at 8:00 AM MT trading is officially open again. Trading will run until Thursday, January 30th at 6:00 PM MT. You are not late! You can still sign up at http://www.tdgdb.com When you are traded, change your flair on hockey-related subreddits and spend the week from January 31st through February 7th cheering for your new team. Here are this year's reporters, the people who will make things up break news of trade negotiations:
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