Life Of Percentages

We, as a society, try to use words like “beliefs” and “positivity” as explanations of how we overcome certain things. I realized recently that it doesn’t matter how positive or how much you believe in something, things can always take a negative turn.

There are thousands of Self Help Books designed to make us better people. Authors like Tony Robbins talk about how positivity can solve your problems. People use literature and research as methods for constructing positivity.

Let’s use the scenario that I have a life threatening illness and there is a chance I may die. On one hand I am the roaring Ra-Ra confidence of the American spirit. Where I believe I can overcome ANYTHING! Let’s say I live…is it because of my positivity or because I took the right things? People will talk about how confident I am and how nothing can take me down because I believe. Not “just” because I took the right things.

On the other hand I am negative and depressed constantly. I feel like I have no value in this world and will die alone. But let’s say I take the medicine still (which I will go into later on) and I live. Do you think it was my negative attitude that rewarded me with life? Again, maybe me taking the right things cured me and not a mindset.

I had 2 life threatening concussions. I had bleeding in the brain and doctors were shocked that I had no symptoms at all and didn’t miss a step. At the same time of my first concussion, actor Liam Neeson’s wife (Natasha Richardson) hit her head on soft snow and died of a head injury. I hit my head on ice so hard that my skull cracked and I was perfectly fine while she died. So did I overcome my injury with my positive sensibility? Did my body say “Heal now” and it did? Or does this reside in the category of “shit happens”?

Jim Valvano gave one of the greatest speeches in history. He was diagnosed with cancer and gave an emotionally roaring speech at the ESPN awards ceremony about how anyone can overcome anything. A few months after his speech he died…..of the same cancer that he made us all believe that he can overcome. Meanwhile people who maybe have a more serious diagnosis of cancer and who aren’t as positive may live.

The reason I put in parenthesis the part about the medicine was because (even though I am mostly bashing the notion of positive attitudes as methods for success) you still have to have a small notion of positivity to want to take something in the first place. If there is a 1% chance that you may live after hearing that you have a life-threatening illness, then you have a chance. I could be a devout Christian and have my heart filled with the Holy Spirit and still die. Meanwhile, I can be a negative atheist who has the same thing and live. Putting my hands together in prayer isn’t going to guarantee success.

Mercer College beat Duke in the NCAA tournament last season. Are you going to make the argument that Mercer College was more positive and wanted to win more than Duke? Or can you make the argument that Duke’s shots weren’t going in and Mercer had a better game plan? There are 68 teams in the tournament so therefore you have a 1/68 chance of winning it all. There are no certainties in sports. If you make it to a tournament, then you have a chance to win. Don’t let odds makers determine outcomes.

We love the David vs Goliath type of stories. Movies like Rudy and Miracle show us how people overcome impossible odds and come out on top. What a better story? How LeBron James has overcome adversity and has finally achieved all he was predicted to or how Bill Russell has won 11 titles in a row because he played on the best team in the league at that time?

I don’t mean to shit on people’s beliefs or positive energy. I trying to be a best-selling author and overcome disappointment constantly. I get rejection letters from publishers and still I send more out. Why? Because it’s something I want to do for a living. There is a big chance that I may never achieve my dream and have to settle for another career choice.

So I believe in being positive because without taking that first step you might not get what you want or take what you need to survive, BUT I don’t believe that thinking positive or reading the right material will automatically solve your problems.

Like I said about sports and certainties, there are also no certainties in life. If you have a 1% chance of living, then you have a chance of living. If you have a 99% chance of living then you still have a 1% chance of dying.

We love to hope that there is some otherworldly force that can help us in times of peril. That our positive energy can therefore challenge the laws of the universe so we may come out on top, but sadly that is hysterically untrue. Sometimes, to be blunt, shit happens. And there are no guarantees with medicine, self-help books and Ra-Ra speeches.

Joe Reyes

 

Interstellar: The Worst Movie of the Decade

 

Yes, you read that correctly. A blockbuster hit that won awards and has been nominated for 5 Oscars, I think is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. This movie was incredibly boring, outrageously long and confusing to the point where I had to research message boards to find out what was going on. Also, the music was entirely too loud. It might’ve been the theater I was at (I doubt it), but the music was so loud it drowned out some of the key dialogue.

When I saw the trailer, I figured it was going to be a bad movie. Because from what I gathered, the movie was about the Earth becoming uninhabitable and Matthew McConaughey going to other planets to find one that can sustain life for humans to travel to. This isn’t a plotline that looks to be filled with many twists and turns. Just seems like McConaughey would go to planet 1 and say “Eh” and go to planet 2 and see how it is.

McConaughey plays Cooper, a former pilot who eventually becomes the savior of the world…sorta. I was surprised that McConaughey wasn’t the writer on this movie, because it seems that Cooper could not die even though there were many times for it to happen.

The human race is dying of starvation I think. Giant sandstorms wipe away crop fields and causing people to suffocate. The only hope is to find another place for humans to live. Luckily, a wormhole has appeared in our solar system put by….aliens they think. The aliens must’ve known that Earth was in trouble and created a wormhole to another galaxy with habitable worlds.

There is a lot going on in this movie. I haven’t even gotten to the backstory of Cooper and his family. Cooper is a farmer now, who lives with his father in law, son Tom and daughter Murph. Yes, Murph, because that’s a girl’s name somehow.

Murph thinks there is a ghost in the house. In her room there is a giant bookshelf, and books seem to fall randomly. Murph decides to write these occurrences. Somehow Murph ends up connecting the dropping of books into Binary and Morse code. Really? Are we just going to pretend that makes sense?

Cooper indulges Murph’s crazy theory and puts the code as coordinates on a map and follows it to a secret military base. Cooper and Murph are captured by robots, tough talking Lincoln Log looking robots.

Skipping ahead, because this review isn’t even half way through. Scientist Professor Brand has discovered the wormhole with a bunch of other scientist and have already been sending exploration groups through and are sending another team consisting of Professors Brand’s daughter Brand….yes Brand is her name, random black guy and another scientist. Cooper is sent along as well. Because apparently they want him to pilot the craft because they are in desperate need and here Cooper randomly is.

Murph cries and tries to convince Cooper to stay. She even says the Morse code spells out STAY, but Cooper leaves anyway. The team goes into cryo sleep and go through the wormhole and land on another planet.

The problem is the time this mission takes. They don’t want to be gone too long because the world is dying, apparently, so taking forever isn’t a good idea. On approaching the planets, the time increases for the amount of time on Earth. 1 hour on the planet amounts to 7 years on Earth. So there is a rush to this mission.

I don’t want to spoil the ending or the 1 twist to it in the middle too much. This movie is about a Temporal Causality Loop. Family Guy had it in an episode. Stewie created the universe and Brian questioned how Stewie could create the universe if he was born in it. Stewie explained it like this “The universe created me so I can create it so it can create me and so on”. That is this movie in a nut shell. Something happens, beyond logical reasoning and TCL is the answer to it.

This movie was awful on all fronts. Worst of all, the ending was “apparently” a tear jerker. I was watching the ending and heard a sniff a few seats over. I see a woman in tears. I turn to tell my girlfriend of the phenomenon and saw another person crying. The whole theater except me was having an emotional reaction to the scene! To quote Lou Costello “Why? I don’t know”.

I give this a 0/5. It was just a disaster in every scene. Nothing made sense and it was just so long. I’ve seen long movies without a ton of action and still thought it was good. But this movie had no redeeming qualities to it. The biggest gasp moment for me was finding out Matt Damon was in the movie.

I do give the movie a smidge of credit. They had a line that was so hysterical that I literally laughed out loud. I highlighted it for you.

Cooper: Dr. Mann there’s a 50/50 chance your gonna kill yourself.

Dr. Mann: Those are the best odds I’ve had in years.

Joe Reyes

$100 Million Dollar Contracts

In the NFL they seem to give $100 million dollar contracts to anyone who has a good season. These contracts should be reserved for players that are Quarterbacks only. Mainly because they impact the game in ways far greater than any other position on the field.

JJ Watt is having a Defensive Player of the Year season, but look at the records for the Texans. Trade Watt and Andrew Luck and see which team goes to the playoffs. Luck has a bad roster around him. B- receivers, C running game, worst offensive line in the league and an OK defense at best…..playoff team.

The Texans have a Pro Bowl wide out in Andre Johnson, Pro Bowl running back in Arian Foster, a bevy of pretty good defensive players….they won’t make the playoffs. There is a huge drop off from Watt and the next best defensive player. Watt is a huge contributor on defense, but this is a quarterback dominated league and without a good one, let alone a decent one, you can’t make the playoffs.

Now the biggest problem teams have is in the rebuilding phase. The average fan can see a quarterbacks ceiling. Andy Dalton is average, at best, but still got a $100+ million dollar contract. Is he deserving of that contract…..#$#% NO!

BUT you gotta look at it like this. Do you start over OR try to build around him and hope he doesn’t #$#% up. So the Bengals were trapped in a situation of “pay the man” or “start over”. And the Bengals are just good enough to screw themselves out of a good quarterback draft pick.

Unless you have an impact guy…..then move the #@$% on. That simple. Now not to discredit Watt, he is a hell of a player, but a defensive player isn’t going to get the Texans into the playoffs.

You don’t need a max guy to win it all. That’s one of the main problems with professional sports today. Teams and fans think you need max contract guy to win it all. In salary cap leagues, you cannot….CAN-@$%#ING NOT overpay for a guy who won’t win it all for you.

Dez Bryant wants a big payoff this upcoming off season. Would you sink $80 million into a guy who can’t impact that game unless the quarterback is giving him the ball? Larry Fitzgerald screwed himself with a $100 million dollar 7 year contract.

The Texans are one quarterback with an above average IQ and arm away from making it to the Super Bowl. Watt is playing his absolute hardest and they are just barely surviving in this league. Without him nobody cares about the Texans, but with him they are less than nothing. They are nothing now, but would be less than nothing if they lost Watt.

Smart players take less to build around themselves and their team. Salary cap leagues are meant for teams to go 8-8. Same money to spread around, better draft picks to losing teams are two key reasons.

Texans need a quarterback, plain and simple. They don’t need a $100 million dollar defensive end who you can double team and add some extra blockers to deter him who most importantly take a big chunk out of the salary cap.

Joe Reyes

Larry Fitzgerald and Chris Bosh VS Hall of Fame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no question that these two men have Hall of Fame talent. When Bosh was on Toronto he had incredible numbers and was one of the best Power Forwards in the league. Fitzgerald has had up and down seasons because he had some terrible Quarterbacks around him. When Kurt Warner was giving the reins, Fitzgerald and the Cardinals went to the Superbowl. But with Warner retiring and Bosh taking a step back in Miami, both men have had subpar seasons at best.

The question is, do both men end up in the Hall of Fame? Fitzgerald has incredible talent and is a tough man to cover, but he doesn’t have a Quarterback. Without the Quarterback, you can be the most talented man on the planet, but still not get the ball.

Bosh took a cut in pay to play with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade and has also taken a step back in performance. Bosh knew his place on Miami. He was the 3rd best player on that team and played his role perfectly to achieve 2 championships.

The criteria for Hall of Fame isn’t “how good you can be” it is “how good you were”. Playing with a career with bad Quarterbacks do hurt your stats. Bosh does have rings, but came at the expense of his numbers going hysterically down.

Both men are deserving talent wise, but I think if you have to pause and look over their careers, then it’s a no. The Hall of Fame isn’t a collection of What Ifs. They are of players that were the man on their teams. Huge fan of both men, but can’t see them making the Hall of Fame. If they do, it won’t be on a 1st ballot.

Joe Reyes

Ray Rice Let Go?

After a new video surfaced with Ray Rice seen knocking out his now fiancé, the Ravens have released Rice from the team. I completely and utterly….disagree with their decision to do so. In no means am I defending Rice’s actions. In fact I believe that those who commit domestic violence should be kicked out of the league entirely.

I disagree that this video changes anything in my mind about the whole situation. This is a new video that was released of the incident. Before we only had the video of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancé out of the elevator. He was suspended for “domestic violence” charges brought up against him. So……he did hit her. That much we already knew. Don’t see the point of making a further penalty for reasons that we already knew to be clear.

We all know the act was bad….so why does a video apparently open our eyes to it more? I think this was an overreaction to the new released video. This should’ve been done AT THE START of this whole story and not simply because we now see what happened.

I mean it’s not shocking at all of what this video was. He knocked his wife out. How he did it was irrelevant to me and it should be irrelevant to the Ravens organization. I believe Rice should’ve been let go when he was suspended. They had evidence that he hit his wife at the beginning of the investigation and now they have even more proof. So?

Joe Reyes

 

 

I’m Sorry That It’s Not My Fault

“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans. I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff,”

                                                                           Josh Gordon

Hmmmm….I don’t see the part where he acknowledges his dumb actions and takes responsibilities for his mistakes, past and present. Josh Gordon has been pulling this baby like act for his whole football career.

Gordon smoked marijuana in high school, got suspended for it in college, switched teams because of his drug use and is now getting suspended for an entire year, but still manages TO FIND THE BALLS to pretty much say “Hey wasn’t my fault,”.

I hope Josh Gordon never plays another snap in football ever again. Gordon simply doesn’t deserve it. Sure he put up great numbers last season (missing a pair of games for drug use again), but it doesn’t matter. This is a man (a grown man and not a child) who simply doesn’t get it.

I don’t think this suspension will solve anything. Yes, it would be nice if he has a Cris Carter type of awakening, but I doubt it. I am closing the door on Gordon. Last season Gordon might’ve put himself into the elite category of receivers (ever more impressive because he is a member of the Browns), but it doesn’t amount for a thing right now. The league suspended him without blinking and they had the right too.

The NFL will find a new star quickly, like they always do, and put the memory of Gordon in the rear view mirror. Hopefully, the next football prospect will think twice about smoking marijuana or doing any type of illegal substance. Maybe Gordon’s dumb, selfish actions will actually save a young player’s career.

No one player is above the might of the NFL shield. The league does a great job at protecting its brand and boots out players that violate their code of conduct. Gordon will most likely find himself playing again next season. He is too great a talent to not be employed by some desperate team, but one puff of smoke and he is back to watching the games at home.

Joe Reyes