A true social experiment, by Chick-Fil-A

TL:DR (subscriber content) – Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy announces that the company will build a new Chick-Fil-A (CFA) restaurant in Atlanta’s Westside, hoping to help revitalize the notoriously blighted community.

First off, I just recently started playing Dragon Age: Origins (like, ten years late), so I think it’s actually hilarious that they use the phrase “blight” to describe the resurrection of evil monsters hellbent on overtaking the world, when in modern society, “blight” is pretty much a politically correct term to describe “a predominantly black community with a high rate of crime.”

Depending on whom you ask, there might not be that great of a perception of difference, as ironically sad as that might be.

Anyway, I do find it interesting, and certainly brog-worthy, this news that CFA is going to open up a store in Westside Atlanta.  Obviously, this is being done because Dan Cathy is one of several people who have a tremendous amount of stake in the new Falcons stadium AKA the Mercedes-Benz Arena (USA), which sits literally on the line that divides the City of Atlanta from the blighted community known as Westside, and it would be in the best interests of everyone as well as all parties involved in the stadium if the surrounding area to the brand new, state-of-the-art home of a mediocre underachieving NFL franchise, were to remain, full of blight.

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Naked and Afraid XL subjective power rankings*

I just finished watching Naked and Afraid XL recently, which is basically the Naked and Afraid formula, but super-sized in all ways.  Multiple teams, lots of past challengers, and nearly twice the duration, going for 40 days instead of 21.  I found the special season to be very entertaining, and it did a good job of making me buy in emotionally to particular people, and I was actively rooting for the successes of some challengers, while wishing hell and failure onto others.  After all, putting two people together is vastly different than putting a larger number together; predictably, the show devolves into a lot of personal drama between challengers, and conflicting ideologies and survival strategies, and we as the viewers end up taking sides, because that’s what we do whether we want to admit it or not.

That being said, upon the final episode of the challenge (the reunion show has yet to air at the time I’m writing this, although it too will undoubtedly be a train wreck of a guilty pleasure), I felt compelled to write something of a power ranking of the challengers of the XL challenge.  Some of them were no-brainers, but ultimately, it’s really a reason for me to blast the people on the show that I liked the least, as if they’re going ever read this.

From best to worst:

Jeff Zausch – Indisputably the MVP of the entire show.  He withstood near-debilitating dehydration to start the challenge, overcame it, and along with EJ, forged an unbreakable chemistry and team dynamic that carried them, as well as everyone who wandered into their gravitational pull to more favorable conditions than if they were on their own.  Jeff would proceed to be the finest hunter throughout the entire 40 day challenge, killing three electric eels and enduring numerous electrical shocks in the process, a stingray and several fish to acquire and provide the largest amount of protein for himself and everyone around him.

Jeff also demonstrated time and time again, the ability to be the bigger man in an environment that was cultivating drama and potentially detrimental conflicts, like when Team Weak Links caught their own stingray and didn’t share with Team Bro Show, but when Jeff caught his third electric eel, still shared his bounty with the rest of the cumulative group.

Perhaps it was his faith, or maybe he remained cognizant throughout the entire time that he, and his actions were going to be broadcast on television, but Jeff came out of the entire XL challenge looking like a badass and a saint.

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Long story short: the dream comes to an end, as the Washington Nationals prevent the Atlanta Braves from reaching the hallowed 100-loss plateau, by jobbing unceremoniously to Braves.

I just knew that once the Braves hit the 62-win mark, with the tragic number being 1, it was going to be the Washington Nationals that were going to be the one to troll me, and be the ones to lay down and die to the Braves to prevent me from seeing my 100-loss season.  I just knew it was going to be the them, I knew it was going to be the god damn Nationals that did it.

I should’ve bet money on the Marlins to sweep the Braves, because there was no way anyone else was going to lose to the Braves this season but the Nationals.  I’m pretty sure the Cardinals have just clinched the division, but if they hadn’t/haven’t, there was no way they were going to let off the gas and risk the Pirates catching up to them, even if they have 100 wins.  Even still, the Cardinals B-squad should theoretically still be superior to the Braves’ whatever-squad on any given day, so there’s little reason to believe that the Braves could beat them either.

So that leaves the Nationals, whom I’m more and more inclined to believe exists so that them and the Braves can troll each other on every single possible level.  The Nationals’ pathetic jobbing to the Braves now is kind of like when in 2009 the Braves were on this near-miracle run to make it into the playoffs, before falling just short in the final week of the season.  However, the good vibes made it fun and exciting again, and there was hope to see some fun and exciting baseball with the Nationals coming into town to end the season; except the Nationals ended up sweeping the Braves in Atlanta in four straight games.

Or like when the Braves were in the midst of their historic collapse in 2011, the Braves dropped two crucial games to the Nationals late in the season, while the Cardinals refused to lose at all, prompting some overzealous St. Louis tryhards to even send a gift basket to the Nationals’ general manager, thanking him for his squad knocking the Braves down.

Or like when John Smoltz notched his 3,000th strikeout, it was still a game in which the Nationals beat the Braves, regardless of the historic occasion.

All the Nationals do is troll the Braves, and this is no exception.  Although there are lots of people who probably don’t see it the same way I do, I certainly chalk this up as one of the larger troll-jobs the Nats have done to the Braves.

God damn it.  I knew it was going to be the Nationals.  I just knew it was going to be them.

This season has sucked.

Over Alert: The New Day

I’ve mentioned numerous times that I pretty much glaze over wrestling these days.  I still enjoy it, and I’m still a fan of it, but the fact of the matter is that I really loathe how RAW is presented.  Full of commercial breaks, always in the middle of matches, far too many matches that are always pushing storylines and not showcasing much actual wrestling, and then more commercials when they aren’t plugging the next pay-per-view or the WWE Network in general.

I’ve gotten watching RAW on DVR to a science; for the most part, I can knock out the three-hour long program in probably 90 minutes or less, seeing as how an hour alone is pretty much lost to commercials.  But really, I’ve learned that pushing the 30-seconds ahead button to the equivalent of 4:30-5:30 minutes pretty much nails every commercial break, and that any Sheamus or Randy Orton match is usually around eight total minutes, and a Bray Wyatt diatribe is usually about 6-8 minutes.

Needless to say, I fast forward a lot of matches, and the biggest rub from me as a viewer, is if I stop and watch a particular wrestler’s segment.

Lately, the things that I do not skip are John Cena US Title Open matches, as especially when they’re against someone with a story involved, have all been stellar contests.  I do not skip Kevin Owens segments, because he has admittedly grown on my as a WWE talent in spite of staunch beliefs that he will never amount to anything more than a transitional champion.  I do not skip Paul Heyman promos, most Cesaro matches, and lately one thing I’m adamant about watching is the Divas Revolution, because I’m totally digging Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, and it’s also interesting to see how much the existing Divas are trying to elevate their own games to try and keep up with the influx of newer, younger talent.

However, the one thing I refuse to skip over, and will in fact stop and rewind if I realize I’ve skipped too much, is The New Day.  They have been the best part of every WWE show I’ve watched lately, and I can’t help but witness them with awe and admiration, because they’ve basically managed to get over, in spite of the crappy gimmick hand they were dealt.

Seriously, when The New Day were originally put together, it reeked of slapping three water-treading talents with Kofi Kingston, Big E Langston and Xavier Woods together in a stable, and oh, they just so happened to all be black, and oh, let’s apply a slightly stereotypical black gospel angle on them.

Naturally, the instinctual racism behind most viewers began to kick in, and they were pretty much booed and steered into the heel bracket.  As individuals, everyone knew that there were obvious strengths to each of them; Kofi’s athleticism and successful track record, Big E’s physique and strength, and Xavier Woods might possibly be the best mouth in the current business.  But as a team, nobody really wanted to give them a chance.

But something incredible happened throughout the course of the last year; not only did The New Day not give up on the hand that was dealt to them that almost signify the company had given up on them, they managed to start eliciting emotion out of the audience, which is the penultimate goal of a wrestling performer.  Naturally, with Xavier Woods acting as the obnoxious mouthpiece, he has managed to get under the skin and prey on the predictable nature of live audiences by telling them what not to say, only for them to say it, much to the feigned chagrin of the unit as a whole.

All while Kofi and Big E have done the brunt of the actual in-ring performance, because both are clearly more capable than Woods is, despite the fact that Woods himself is no slouch.

Ultimately, from the start, I think guys like Kofi didn’t understand how to be a heel, and Big E at first tried to use the intimidating black mountain of muscle schtick he did when he initially broke in as Dolph Ziggler’s sidekick, which didn’t seem to work with this formula.  But with Kofi finding his footing as a heel, and Big E becoming vastly more vocal and facially animated, to work along side with Xavier Woods’ obnoxious mouthpiece, the trio as a whole has become the most entertaining part of the show.

Watching Stephanie McMahon and Triple H seemingly break characters and start dancing in the ring with The New Day was kind of an acknowledgment of the success the trio has found.  Big E’s exaggeratedly excited face and clapping to goad Trips back into the ring to start dancing was a true beautiful moment.

Despite the fact that the crowd is still chanting “New… Day Sucks,” it’s very apparent that the fans are waiting for the right moment, as if they just need a reason, to go absolutely bonkers over The New Day, and they become instant face characters.

The question is if it would be best for business for The New Day to become faces, but as it’s often said in the wrestling industry, it’s not for the industry to decide, because it’s always been up to the fans.  The fans are waiting to light that spark, so the real question is will the WWE ever give the fans that reason, or will it be best for business for them to remain heels?

Either way, I would say keep The New Day far, far away from the Wyatt Family, considering they’re a perfect three-man foil to them, because when and if they collide, I have to imagine it’s kind of a no-brainer that The New Day are going to be some mega faces then.

This is cute and all

In short: Capcom makes headbands with little googly chick birds suspended on them, to tribute the dizzy birds from Street Fighter II.

But my first thought is that if they’re attempting to merchandise off of dizzies in SF2, when are they going to try and merchandise and monetize off of the random puking that occurred in the same game?

Seriously, they could be like chintzy fake Halloween beards, but instead of hair, it be this gelatinous orange or tan rivulet that hung off your chin instead.  Perfect for referencing the perfectly timed hit in SF2 that prompted the damaged character to spontaneously hurl straight downward.

Maybe this ingenious suggestion will make the next round of SF2 tribute merch.  After all, there’s still dizzy stars and dizzy grim reapers to exploit, but they would be inconsequential if they were sold at the same time as SF2 vomit beards.