12 College Football Handicapping Betting Tips from Expert

Top Ten Greatest Male Players in Challenge History - No. 4 - C.T. Tamburello

Honorable Mentions - Abram, Dan S., Jamie, Mike M., Theo V., Turbo, Wes
No. 10 - Alton Williams (Real World: Las Vegas)
No. 9 - Mark Long (Road Rules: USA - The First Adventure)
No. 8 - Darrell Taylor (Road Rules: Campus Crawl)
No. 7 - Derrick Kosinski (Road Rules: X-Treme)
No. 6 - Kenny Santucci (Fresh Meat)
No. 5 - Evan Starkman (Fresh Meat)
No. 4 - C.T. Tamburello (Real World: Paris)
 
C.T. carrying the Johnny Bananas backpack is the greatest highlight ever recorded in Challenge history.
 
Before the backpack moment, we hadn’t seen C.T. in three years. He was rumored to be forever banned after almost killing Adam King on the Duel II. On Cutthroat, when T.J. announced the heavy hitters twist and C.T. came walking out the dark, challenge fans all around the world were not prepared for what they were about to witness. C.T. was finally let out of his cage and Johnny Bananas became absolute prey.
 
If there were ever to be a logo for the Challenge, a visual image of the C.T.-Bananas backpack moment would be it. Picture this: Replace the Jerry West silhouette in the red and blue NBA logo with a white silhouette of C.T. mid power-walk and Bananas in the back of him imitating a backpack. Then, replace “NBA” with “MTV”. Now, you got your MTV Challenge logo. C.T. being at the front and center of a hypothetical challenge sports logo makes perfect sense considering C.T.’s athletic performances changed the landscape of the Challenge from a regular game show to the series becoming known as America’s Fifth Sport.
 
C.T. is the Peyton Manning of the Challenge.
 
Peyton Manning is the greatest regular-season quarterback in the history of the NFL. C.T. is the greatest regular-season competitor in the history of the Challenge.
 
Peyton Manning only has two Superbowls (and won his second one in his final season in the NFL, while being a shell of his former self). C.T. has three championships (and won his final one while being in his worst physical shape ever).
 
Both, Peyton Manning and C.T.’s regular-season career numbers lead you to believe that they should have had twice as much championships than what they currently have. However, their own blunders (C.T.’s boneheaded mistakes and gassing out right before the finish line on the Exes 2 final = Peyton’s choking) throughout their careers hold them back from reaching extreme success in the post-season.
 
To continue this comparison, Johnny Bananas is Tom Brady (6 championships). C.T. is the more natural athlete and talented challenger between him and Bananas, but Bananas has had the better legacy (Peyton’s the more talented QB between him and Brady, but Brady accomplished a greater legacy).
 
C.T. has seven of the greatest regular season competitive performances that didn’t result in championships.
 
The Inferno: In C.T.’s rookie debut, the higher end competition consisted of Abram, Darrell, Mike Mizanin, Shane and Timmy. C.T. won 4 life shields. C.T. led all the males in life shields and actually won more life shields than the higher end competition as one whole collective (Darrell, Mike Mizanin, and Timmy each won one life shield, totaling up to 3). C.T. was the best performer of the season as a rookie. He made the final challenge, but his Real World team lost to Road Rules in a close race.
 
Inferno II: C.T. was the life shield king. He racked up 6 life shields this season in one of the most competitive male casts to ever be assembled in Challenge history. C.T. led the season in life shields again, Landon came in 2nd with four, Mike in 3rd with three, and Derrick came in 4th with two. C.T. made the final, but he and the final remaining Bad Asses got blown out the water in a triathlon.
 
The Duel: C.T. won three missions and landed in the top 2 seven times. In C.T.’s third season, he was the second best competitor behind Evan, who won six missions (but half of them were due to having the superior partner in Jodi in comparison to C.T. having Diem). Despite being a top 2 performer, C.T. got disqualified against Brad in the final male duel and didn’t make it into the post-season.
 
Gauntlet III: C.T. was co-captain of one of the most dominant regular season teams ever, the G3 Veterans. C.T. was either the best or second best athlete on the team (along with Evan, the other team captain). C.T.’s performance in Piñata Pit (which I delve into later) proved what a freak of nature of a competitor C.T. was.
 
Rivals: C.T. managed to win two missions and landed in the top three overall six times with an average partner (Adam). Rivals C.T. was the scariest. The whole season was based around J.E.K. and friends trying to take him out, because he was such a force to be reckoned with. C.T. lost right before the final because of Adam’s performance in the T-Bone elimination.
 
Exes: C.T. and Diem won two out of eight missions, only second to Bananas and Camila’s three. C.T. and Diem made the final, but got second place. C.T. and Diem had the lead the whole final, but C.T. collapsed moments before the finish line.
 
Dirty Thirty: C.T. was competing in his 11th season and still putting up the best scoring numbers in one of the toughest male casts ever assembled. C.T. won 6 missions. That’s the most out of all males on Dirty Thirty (Not a single other player won 5, Hunter won 4, Nelson and Leroy won 3, and the rest have 2 or less). C.T. made the final on D30, but got third place because his gas tank can’t keep up with the other two finalists.
 
C.T.’s ATG Physical Strength, Aggression, and Athleticism is the most lethal combination in Challenge history.
 
If the Challenge were to ever have a Madden-esque video game, C.T.’s player rating regarding his athleticism and strength would look something like: STR: 99. SPE: 99. AGI: 99. A prime C.T. was a cheat code. The Bananas Backpack moment attests to this. Below are some other missions and eliminations where C.T.’s strength and athleticism proved to us he was of a different breed.
 
In Piñata Pit (G3), players from both teams had to jump in a mud pit, retrieve a ball, and return it to the starting line. The mission was played in rounds. Each round, there were fewer balls than there were players. Players were getting eliminated round-by-round. The game of Piñata Pit came down to the two best players on each team, Veteran C.T. and Rookie Derek McCray. You’re probably reading this wondering who Derek McCray is. I don’t blame you. Let me give you some background information on him. The moment Derek M. first stepped into the Challenge, he was immediately viewed as a competition threat, even with no performance log to back for it. Derek M. came into the Gauntlet 3 with instant respect, based off the fact that he had been recruited by more than 200 colleges for his football talent. Considering Piñata Pit contained all the aspects of a game of football: running, tackling, stripping a ball away from an opponent, and taking it to the end zone, the average betting man would’ve bet on Derek to score and win it for the Rookies. Challenge fans, however, knew to bet differently. When the final round went underway, Derek reached the ball first, but C.T. was inches behind Derek as he gained possession of the ball. C.T. then proceeded to slam him to the ground effortlessly and Derek literally yelped as he was getting manhandled. C.T, with what looks like half an effort, popped the ball out of Derek’s arms and took it back to the end zone to win it for the Veterans. In Piñata Pit, C.T. basically took the manhood out of a Division 1 athlete.
 
In the T-Bone elimination (Rivals), C.T.’s “Choo! Choo!” train almost killed Johnny and Tyler. It’s the biggest near death experience in Challenge history. I have a theory: We haven’t seen C.T. in a physical combat elimination ever since for good reason. I’m positive that’s a calculated decision by the Challenge Gods, not one that’s left up to chance.
 
C.T. faced off against Leroy in Wrecking Wall (FA), an elimination where both players had to punch through a 30-foot dry wall to make holes to climb up until they were able to reach the bell at the top. First player to ring the bell won. Leroy is an elimination beast; he’s won 8 career eliminations because of his physical strength and athleticism alone. He was no match for C.T. though. Anyone who watched the Duel 2, knows C.T.’s punching power is nothing to be played with. His punching power knocked out a whole wall on that season.
 
In the Flying Leap mission (Duel), players, one at a time, had to jump back and forth from one end of a platform to another that was suspended from a crane 20 feet above water. Numerous flags were hanging from poles located on both sides of the platform. Players had to grab as many flags as possible within a three-minute time limit; Whoever collected the most flags won. C.T. won Flying Leap with flying colors. He was the only male to not land on his body when jumping or not use any running momentum to assist his jumping sequences. C.T. instead showed us his athletic prowess, by setting his feet, loading his hips, exploding and jumping across, landing on his feet every time. Everyone on the sidelines watched in awe. C.T. made it look like a walk in the park.
 
C.T.’s All-Time Great Intelligence.
 
C.T. is the perfect two-way player. He not only has the brawn, but he has the brain as well. His long history of solving puzzles makes him an ATG intelligent male player. Below are some of C.T.’s greatest moments in which he had to put his brain to work.
 
C.T. eliminated Evan in Ascender (Duel), an elimination game in which players had to climb up a rope, pull a handle at the top of the rope, to release a basket containing puzzle pieces. The players then had to climb back down the rope to assemble a tiling puzzle similar to a tangram. C.T versus Evan was the second last male elimination on the original Duel. Up to that point, Evan was the clear #1 best competitor of the season and C.T. was the second. The two best players were going mano a mano. Evan got raddled under the stage lights (got caught trying to cheat), and the brain of the cold blooded killer, C.T. solved the tangram with ease.
 
In the Rivals 2 final, C.T. completed the puzzle checkpoint in a flash that Johnny/Frank fell behind in. Upon seeing the puzzle, C.T. straightaway figured it out because the puzzle was one that he played when he was hungover at a breakfast country club.
 
In the Final Redemption Challenge on D30, players had to read a code that provided a combination to a lock that contained puzzle pieces. The first two players to retrieve and complete their puzzle would return to the game, while the rest were eliminated. C.T.’s competition in this challenge was Dario, Jordan, Leroy, and Bananas. C.T. was the first male to successfully figure out the code and complete his puzzle, and re-entered the game as a result.
 
C.T. eliminated Darrell in Knot So Fast (Invasion). It was the last champions elimination of the season. The grandest stage of them all was set and the two all-time great champions had to rely on their strategical intelligence to win this one. Darrell put up a good fighting effort in trying to undo C.T.’s knot, but it looked like a physically impossible task. It actually was. According to Darrell on Challenge Mania, C.T.’s knots were so tight that production had to cut them off with machetes after the elimination was over. C.T. broke the Knot So Fast elimination. That’s how intelligent C.T.’s strategy was. The elimination win versus Darrell gave C.T. a spot in the finals, where he faced off against underdogs Cory and Nelson, who were fifteen years younger and in the athletic prime of their lives. In the final challenge, C.T. still managed to acquire his second season win and proved to the rest of the Challenge world that the underdogs were no match for the champion of champions.
 
C.T. has the All-Time Greatest Eating Abilities.
 
Eating is such an important trait to have in the challenge. It’s often identified as the most difficult portion of the final challenge each season. Players hate it. We’ve actually seen players quit in the final before because they couldn’t stomach eating disgusting things. We’ve seen C.T. devour all types of disgusting things without looking fazed in the slightest, that makes you question whether or not he has taste buds.
 
Remember the pickled fish soup in the Rivals 2 final? C.T. drank his like he was chugging a beer, while everyone around him was vomiting all over the place. Wes couldn’t bother to even taste his drink, so C.T. chugged it down for him.
 
In the Exes 2 final, C.T. ate the deer head and sheep blood as if it was everyday dinner. When he finished his plate, C.T. decided to go for seconds and helped Diem finish up her plate as well.
 
C.T.’s eating abilities are inhumane. Not only is C.T. known for downing disgusting foods in final challenges as if it were nothing, but he’s also known for winning regular season competitions where you had to eat a ridiculous amount of food (Toss Your Cookies v. Shane, eating the entire birthday cake on Race to the Altar in Exes).
 
C.T.’s first championship and third championships (Rivals II and WOTWII) were social-political clinics.
 
C.T. played his first eight seasons without winning the big one. It wasn’t until Rivals II, his ninth season, where he finally got his first challenge gold medal. As usual, C.T. crushed it on the field, but off the field, in the Challenge house, he played one of the best political-social games I had ever seen. On Rivals II, the opposite sex had control over the votes on male elimination days. C.T. was wooing all the girls, and they thought they were going to be apart of the next love big story on the Challenge. C.T. was never voted in because at least one player within four of the female teams had a fling with C.T. or were falling heads over heel for him on Rivals 2 (Anastasia, Cooke, Diem, and Nany).
 
On War of the Worlds II, C.T. was a member of the U.K. Team. He was apart of Cara’s Cult/The Royal Family. The physical shape C.T. was in this season was his worst ever, so him not ever being considered for elimination by his own team is mind blogging. C.T.’s social game was on a whole another level this season. My favorite C.T. moment on WOTWII is when he turncoats on Cara’s Cult right before the final and saves Tori from elimination to strengthen U.K.’s team for the final. C.T.’s political-social finesse on WOTWII rightfully earned him his third championship.
 
C.T.’s social-political skill, in general, deserves more recognition. Every time I hear people talk about C.T.’s eliteness, people only bring up the competition juggernaut and not the social-political mightiness he’s established over the course of his sixteen season career.
 
C.T. has only done three less seasons than Johnny Bananas, but he’s been in 11 less eliminations. Other than the first Rivals, I don’t recall there being a time where he wasn’t at the top of social structures. He has a whole catalogue of seasons where he was either pulling strings from the top or aligning with the biggest playmakers that were ones doing the pulling (i.e: Inferno 2 – CT was in a four person alliance with Derrick/Brad/Darrell where there duties were to not nominate each other in the inferno selections; The Duel – CT/Evan/Derrick/Brad each were paired with the best athletic girls and controlled the chain selections; Exes 2 – in an alliance with Mark/Robin, Johnny/Camila, and DunbaPaula that ran the game till the very end).
 
C.T. made history twice on Invasion and War of the Worlds II.
 
C.T. won his second championship 22 seasons after his rookie season. He debuted on the original Inferno, which took place in 2004, and won Invasion of the Champions in 2017. That’s a span of 13 years. C.T.’s Invasion win broke the previous record of the longest span between a rookie debut and championship win, that was held by Johnny Bananas. J.B. won his sixth championship 16 seasons after his rookie season. He debuted on the original Duel, which aired in 2006, and won Rivals 3 in 2016 (a 10 year span).
 
C.T.’s new breaking record was broken again by none other than C.T, just a few seasons later. C.T. won War of the Worlds 2, which took place 27 seasons after the Inferno, and 15 years later.
 
C.T.’s Overall Assessment.
 
If you read up until this point, I’m guessing a lot of you probably refuse to agree with my opinion of C.T. being the fourth greatest male challenger ever. Here’s my argument: C.T. is the greatest Challenge talent ever, but he doesn’t have the greatest legacy. Like mentioned earlier, he’s the Peyton Manning of the Challenge and I don’t consider Peyton Manning the #1 G.O.A.T. of Football (Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, and Tom Brady fit that bill better). In my eyes, Bananas, Jordan, and Landon are those three guys. The combination of their talent, winning percentage, and accomplishments fair just slightly better than C.T’s.
 
C.T. has just three championships in a sixteen season career. The rest of my top three have won just as much in a lot lesser time (Jordan, Landon) or doubled his wins in the same type of lengthy career (Bananas). C.T.’s temper and poor decision making tossed three years of his absolute prime down the drain (Inferno III, Gauntlet III, Duel II) and his inability to perform in the clutch tossed another year (Exes). That’s five seasons where the ultimate competitor, C.T., missed out on championships.
 
On the Inferno III, C.T. is cast on the Bad Asses; He was the best player on the cast, but he gets sent home the first night in South Africa because he punches Davis. C.T. would’ve been a lock for the final this season, he threw another potential championship out the window.
 
In the Gauntlet 3 final challenge, Big Easy cost C.T. and all the other final remaining veterans a championship win. You’re probably confused as to how this is C.T.’s fault, but he actually had a major hand in letting Big Easy ride to the final. If you go back to the first gauntlet deliberation where Johnny got sent in against Evan, Johnny plead to the rest of the Veteran males that Big Easy should have to go in, because he was going to lose them a final. C.T., who was the leader of the team, didn’t buy into Johnny’s plea; He had personal dislike towards Johnny and his reason for not throwing Big Easy in was because he loved partying with him. What’s the logic in that? C.T., the whole season was preaching about “trimming the fat” (getting rid of the girls on their team) and never worrying about Easy once was a horrific example of how to play a winning game. Prime C.T. was always finding a way to be the author of his own demise.
 
On the Duel 2, C.T. went into cannibalism mode. C.T. would’ve legitimately smashed Adam’s head and ate Adam’s head if it wasn’t for like thirty cast and production crew members successfully capturing him (and then tranquilizing him and putting him in his cage). There’s no guaranteeing C.T. would’ve won the D2, since the top crop of males this season was stacked. But this is an absolute peak C.T. we’re talking about, who’s in contention for the best men’s competitor all-time, so a championship victory is never out of the question.
 
In the Exes final, C.T./Diem lead the whole way until the final run up the mountain. Right before the finish line, C.T.’s tank ran out of gas (mirroring Peyton’s ability to choke in the playoffs) and he delayed winning his first championship for even longer.
 
C.T.’s competitive abilities (ATG physical strength, aggression, athleticism, intelligence, and eating) and his championship success in his career’s second half are sufficient enough to get him into the Challenge Mount Rushmore, but the four seasons he tossed down the drain in the first half of his career are a little too detrimental to have him in the top trinity. I think about it like this: Would I consider drafting Prime C.T. (Inferno - Free Agents) as my first pick when constructing a team in an-all time draft? Nope. He, was easily #1 in terms of competitive talent, but he was a complete hothead with bad decision making and only won one championship in ten seasons. Would I consider drafting Dadbod C.T. (Invasion - Total Madness) number one? Not at all. He’s won two championships in six seasons, with a phenomenal social-political game, but his competitive abilities are half of what they were before. Every version of C.T. comes with a small albatross that keeps him from having top three legacy.
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I Read It So You Don't Have To: Secrets of the Southern Belle (by Phaedra Parks)

I hope the past few days have been restful and rejuvenating for you all, but -- as I'm sure you must have learned by this point -- the journey to personal betterment is an eternal endeavor. We haven't got a moment to waste, so let's bid adieu to the sunny serenity of the California coast and settle in down South with Real Housewives of Atlanta's Phaedra Parks, as she descends from her ivory porch swing and illuminates the esoteric in Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to Be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment.
True to the title's descriptive and straightforward sentiments, Phaedra begins the book with a concise synthesis of the worldview she hopes to present:
I believe every woman should be a Southern Belle or minimally aspire to being more ladylike, charming, and intelligent, because we should all be treated well.
As she continues, we get our first glimpse of the deep well of compassion that underlies Phaedra's mission to improve the lives of those around her.
Honestly, I sometimes feel sorry for women of northern persuasion. There they are rushing around in their baggy, drab clothes, doing everything for themselves and looking like they just rolled out of bed. They don't seem to understand there's a better way.
Thankfully, I no longer have to count myself among that witless horde. I feel like, until this fateful moment, I have been living like one of those people from the black-and-white "before" footage of an infomercial -- haphazardly bumbling through the most menial of daily tasks with no way of knowing how much brighter my world could be. Phaedra has freed me from Plato's Cave, and I have no choice but to follow her instruction and strive to shape myself in her image.
A true Southern Belle is known -- first and foremost -- for her fundamental kindness and compassion towards others, so it is only appropriate that the book's first section is succinctly titled, "Be Nice." However, even this simple directive has been trampled by the corrupting influence of the modern world. As Phaedra laments,
Unfortunately, as we see more migration from other parts of the world, we also see an increase of poor manners and rude behavior.
She elaborates, providing specific examples of the personal injuries incurred as a result of these unmannered interlopers.
I find it particularly odd in business, when the salespeople or tellers don't speak or thank you for your patronage. Don't they realize that without customers they would not have a job?
I, too, find it offensive when minimum-wage workers have the nerve to act like actual human beings rather than automatons at the mercy of my personal whims, and I appreciate that Phaedra is bold enough to ask the question that has undoubtedly been on the tip of our collective tongue. Yet somehow, she still remains humble enough to freely admit where she has room to learn; here, she lets the reader in on "something I've never quite understood about non-southerners:"
They're suspicious of basic southern warmth because they're worried it's insincere. But at the same time, they will tell you the most inappropriate things! They tell you stuff about their health that you don't want to know. They launch into crazy stories about their terrible childhoods and how misunderstood they are. They complain about what happened long ago, and they fret openly about the future. Then they tell you what they paid for things and you want to crawl under the table.
Frankly, that's not very attractive.
What is attractive, then, you may ask? Effusive compliments, for one thing -- "I don't know why some people are so concerned with being sincere, when being nice is so much more effective." We also learn to "never contradict anyone, even if you know they are wrong." Phaedra illustrates this particular lesson with the following example:
If someone tells you that your taxes are due on April 30 instead of April 15, you look puzzled and say, "Goodness, I had no idea. Did they change the date?"
And what happens after that? Either the person says yes and you're forced to play along with whatever bizarre delusion and/or power-play your companion is currently indulging, or they say no and you say -- what? "Right, of course, I knew that the whole time!" Or, "Gotcha! It's April 15th, you incompetent fraud!" Or maybe, "I don't even know what taxes are -- money is for menfolk!" I just can't imagine any of those scenarios playing out with less discomfort than a simple correction, but after four years living in New England, I can only assume that's just northern negativity clouding my vision.
We are next presented with a list of "compliments that come in handy," a few of which I've transcribed below for immediate incorporation into your own phrasal repertoire.
What an interesting way to think about it. (Good for a point on which you disagree with someone.)

You thought of every little detail; I love a meticulous lady!

Wow! That is so original. I would never have put it together like that. (In this South this might mean, "I hate it," but in a polite way.)
Boss Babe is out -- Meticulous Lady is in! Phaedra reminds us to keep health concerns -- "especially female issues" -- far from polite conversation, then shifts gears to a much-needed lesson in verbal comportment. It's not just their "attractive regional accents" that distinguish Southern Belles from their less-attractive northern counterparts; they also devote great attention to evoking grace through their cadence and tone.
Sometimes northern women can sound awfully abrupt. It's just a habit they have, poor things.
If you'd like to take your place amongst esteemed gentility, however, I urge you to change your ways! For one thing, when speaking, "slip in something affectionate so that a very harsh reality doesn't come across as rude or abrupt." For example, see how much unpleasant confrontation is avoided with the following turn of phrase:
Darling, don't you know you're too smart and pretty to be the town drunk?
Silly girl, haven't you heard? Addiction is for ugly people! You should also feel free to use these compliments liberally throughout conversation -- "You don't have to mean it, you know." As an example:
If you can tell that someone has put a lot of effort into a particular aspect of her outfit, just draw attention to it. Sparkly stars-and-stripes high heels could be terribly tacky, but you bet they're supposed to be noticed, so go ahead and do it. "Those are certainly patriotic shoes!"
Let me take a crack at it -- This book certainly has a lot of words in it! Writing a book is such an impressive achievement -- I'm sure it feels so rewarding to finally see it In print! And I love the way you occasionally use infinity signs as bullet points -- it's so evocative! I think I'm getting the hang of this!
"Another southern difference?" As Phaedra informs us, "we try not to make direct requests. It just sounds so forward and frankly unpleasant if someone comes right out and says what they want from you." Phaedra's Starbucks barista must really despise her -- If it isn't too much trouble, could I bother you for something to drink? No, anything's fine -- I wouldn't want to impose.
Almost like a modern-day Rosetta Stone, the next passage introduces us to the nuanced connotations that pervade a true Belle's vocabulary. For example, Phaedra tells the reader that "if I tell someone 'Goodness, you must have spent all day on your hair. I am so impressed!' it really means I hate it." Before I manage to convey how impressed I am by the book before me, I read on to learn that "when you're discussing a homely girl, you generally say, 'She's so smart!' The general thought is you can't be both ugly and dumb. God wouldn't be that cruel." Please excuse me while I take a few hours to re-analyze every compliment I've ever been given in my entire life.
Now that that's done, here are a few more translations to help you decipher the Belles in your life.
Belle-Speak: She's a nurse-in-training.
Unvarnished Truth: She dates only old men.

Belle-Speak: She's a butter face.
Unvarnished Truth: Everything looks good but her face.

Belle-Speak: Hope he's got money.
Unvarnished Truth: He's unattractive and pays for affection.
The second one is not even really a euphemism so much as Phaedra trying to demonstrate her knowledge of hip modern slang, but I digress. We transition into advice for conversation starters -- "don't throw them complicated or controversial subjects like politics, animal rights, or local zoning." Truly, I can't tell you how many times I've been approached at a party with an opener about municipal ordinances, and it just kills the mood like nothing else. Worried about how you'll ever find something to talk about under these restrictions?
Don't worry about sounding interesting. "Interesting" is an overrated notion. Just fill the empty air.
That…explains a lot, actually.
Our next lesson is in reference to dinner parties -- "don't make a fuss, unless you're complimenting the cook." In case you're confused as to how this guidance should be interpreted, Phaedra clarifies with some examples -- "'Is there meat in here? I'm a vegetarian' is the wrong kind of fuss." Since I typically ask this question while flailing my arms wildly and making intermittent whooping noises, I completely understand how it could be disruptive amongst refined company. Although I'm starting to get a bit nervous that I won't be able to keep track of these seemingly countless rules, Phaedra's next assurance puts my mind at ease: "If all else fails, remember the secret weapon of the Southern Belle is delicate helplessness."
In the next passage, we learn that, "if there's any characteristic that defines a Southern Belle, it's her habit of firing off little notes on any occasion." Just as with verbal compliments, these notes require little to no basis in factual reality -- "obviously it's perfectly all right to exaggerate." But while truthfulness is more or less dispensable, your choice of writing implement could have grave repercussions. As Phaedra exhorts, "Never, ever write a letter in pencil. You might as well not bother at all." Within the realm of pens, however, "blue and black are perfectly acceptable, even if they do lack panache."
We return once again to the topic of appropriate subjects for conversation, and are cautioned against asking anyone their age. Of course, wild speculation is encouraged, "as long as you're out of earshot." In the next tip, Phaedra declares: "Don't discuss the cost of anything. Any discussion of cost is just in poor taste." I just can't help picture how much of a nightmare this woman must be at a fast-food drive-through. Our final instruction?
Don't discuss hair color. Men always pretend they don't dye their hair, so you just have to go with it.
At first glance, this seems reasonable enough, especially in the context of the social graces espoused by the book so far. However, Phaedra's attempt at further explanation quickly begins to careen off-course.
For women, it's a little bit more complicated because you have the question of whether the drapes match the carpet, so to speak. And I do know some who dye the carpet to match -- that was the big thing in high school. Now with all this weird waxing, you don't have to do as much dyeing, but that's another thing you don't talk about either!
Let's see if I've got this straight: I should always believe a man about his purported hair color no matter what, but if a woman tries to lie about hers, she'll get caught…because I will inevitably be forced to confront the realities of her pubic hair? An intimate partner, sure, but I just can't imagine this situation arises with enough frequency to merit even the few lines its given in this text. And honestly, at this point, I don't even think I want to know what Phaedra means by "weird waxing."
This section of the book concludes with a final catalog of "the 'She did what?' mistakes." The list starts off strong with "wearing white to another woman's wedding." However, by the time we end on the most unimaginable of atrocities -- "drinking beer from a bottle" -- I'm beginning to wonder if this list was actually supposed to have been titled "things the sexy homewrecker does in a bro-country music video."
The following section is titled, "Work Hard," and I am immediately inspired to do exactly so by the implicit challenge thrown down in Phaedra's opening lines, in which she coquettishly asks, "Who always delivers a presentation on time, with the printed materials perfectly written and proofread?" I'm usually quite good at taming my most pedantic impulses, but contrarian passions I never knew I had are foaming at the mouth to find an upcoming typo and self-righteously call her bluff. Although perhaps I should find a more feminine way to phrase that; as Phaedra cautions, "we don't like to think of ourselves as driven, because that sounds so neurotic and unpleasant."
We next learn that "you cannot be a Southern Belle unless you understand what it is to be ladylike." But unfortunately, it is all too easy to be caught up in the ways of the world and lose sight of this primary calling.
A lot of women today enjoy being the feisty, brassy, foul-mouthed kind of gal who drinks with men and shows a lot of flesh. They think it's cool.
Phaedra continues and reflects that, "I've heard the argument that this is progress, from the feminist point of view, but I don't necessarily agree." I can never remember -- which wave of feminism was the one with all the feisty gals? But clearly, their agenda has gone too far! How, in contrast, does a delicate Southern Belle behave?
She looks as if she's heard of sex, probably has had sex, but has no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings.
I'm not sure exactly how to convey this highly specific sentiment in any other way than purchasing a t-shirt custom-printed with the phrase, "I have heard of sex, have probably had sex, but have no plans to have sex with anybody in the immediate surroundings," so I hope that approach will suffice for now. Phaedra follows up by cautioning us that,
A lady never puts in the shop window what isn't for sale.
Personally, I like to think of myself as more of a museum than a gift shop, but to each their own! We next learn more about the delicate balance a Southern Belle must achieve in order to maintain her esteemed position. For example, while "she doesn't cuss and doesn't talk dirty," frigidity is similarly unbecoming -- "if somebody tells a good dirty joke in her vicinity, she'll laugh." I'm barely a third of the way through this book, and I'm already exhausted at the prospect of having to remember all of these hyper-specific edicts. It's no surprise that the Southern Belle has to remain consistently vigilant; as Phaedra intones, "coming from a Pentecostal family, I hate to see a woman down more than two drinks." It seems to me like the simplest way to avoid such emotional turmoil would be to simply refrain from compulsively tallying the beverage intake of strangers, but I soon learn there are far more perilous hazards lurking around every corner. Phaedra shares her personal strategy for avoiding the very implication of incivility in the following excerpt:
I don't ever go to the bar at a party; I think that just looks terrible. If I must have a glass of wine or crave a fruity adult libation, I'll ask a nearby man to procure it for me.
Sir! Procure me a fruity adult libation -- tout de suite! But I would hate to diminish the male gender by implying that they're only good for the acquisition of potables; no -- men can be leveraged in an increasingly broad array of day-to-day tasks. As Phaedra shares:
I have friends who have never in their lives pumped gas for their own cars. They will ask a complete stranger to do it for them. One of my besties from New Orleans will flag down a man, give him her credit card, and have him pump and pay for her gas.
Honestly, I can't help but wonder if this might actually be some kind of avantgarde performance art, in the tradition of Marina Abramović's Rhythm 0. Because the idea that this gambit has never gone horribly, horribly awry truly strains credulity. As I read on, however, I learn that my current train of thinking is sorely misguided.
Sometimes when I'm at a grocery store the fellow bagging the groceries will ask if he can take them out to my car. Why would you say no to this? But sometimes women do. And I look at them and sigh and think, "Poor thing. She has a lot to learn."
Thankfully for my personal development, the next chapter -- titled "A Crash Course in Being (Selectively) Helpless" promises exactly the sort of content that I so desperately need to understand. As Phaedra explains, a Southern Belle is "never intimidating, because some things she just can't do on her own." She goes on to offer concrete examples of how to incorporate this ethos into your life on beginner, intermediate, and expert levels.
Experts: assume help will arrive. Flat tire? Pull over to the curb, and don't sweat it. Can't figure out which wrench to buy at Home Depot? Or how to program your DVR? This is what former boyfriends and other gentlemen are for. Believe me, the age of chivalry is not dead.
Rent due? Don't sweat it -- a gallant gentleman likely already has a check in the mail. House burning to the ground around you? You should know a Belle doesn't walk down the hallway on her own two feet! Bear attack? I'm sure a male bear is just around the corner, ready to jump in and defend your honor!
Without a hint of irony, we transition to Phaedra's advice for the workplace. We learn that the quintessential gentlewoman is savvy, competent, and always at the top of her game. For instance, at her workplace, "she figures out how to work the coffee machine and the copy machine." With that kind of go-getting attitude, the Southern Belle will be bound for the C-suite in no time! Provided, of course,
She never does that thing I hear of in the North sometimes of telling you how little she paid for something. Why would you brag about bargains?
I can't hear the phrase that thing I hear of in the North in anything other than the voice of Tinsley's mother, Dale. Except she would probably use it in reference to something like "giving compliments to your daughter" or "weight gain." Regardless, a more appropriate question at this juncture might be, "Are you sure this book was proofread quite as judiciously as you claimed?" As I scan the page, my eyes happen upon the line:
10 percent for tithing, if your religion encourages tithing, which mines [sic] does.
Of course, it would be entirely uncouth for me to brag about my typographical superiority in this context, so now seems as good a time as any to exercise some of my newly acquired techniques. Oh, Phaedra -- bless her heart! I suppose we can't all be detail-oriented, can we? It must be nice to be so casual and carefree when you express yourself!
Without further ado, however, we move along to our next lesson -- "People don't know when you're hungry, because they can't hear your stomach growling, but they definitely know when you're homeless." To be honest, the more I think about this statement , the less sense it makes to me (people…can hear your stomach growling?). Luckily, with the jam-packed schedule of a Southern Belle, I simply don't have time to dwell on the issue for a moment longer!
Our next tutorial? " If you have one fabulous pair of shoes, you will wear them to church. It is the very least you can do for Jesus." As we all know, Jesus loves sweet kicks, so he loves nothing more than to see you rock the newest styles when you drop by on Sunday. And besides -- the higher the heel, the closer to heaven! Phaedra summarizes the Southern Belle's can-do attitude with the line: "We all may not be sitting around big ugly Formica boardroom tables, but we get things done." As someone who has only ever attended meetings held around moderately sized tables, I find this to be a validating sentiment.
When it comes to extracurricular pursuits, "beauty pageants are important." However, "as much as she loves performing, the Belle will not take to the stage: some of those theater people are just too peculiar, bless their hearts." Honestly, Phaedra and I come down on the same side on this one. But I will have to heartily disagree with her next passage -- with respect to traditions of stepping within Black Greek Life -- in which she states,
The traditionally white organizations don't have anything comparable.
Um, excuse me? Have you never seen this iconic video?! However, Phaedra does reassure us that she's far from ignorant in the ways of the world. As she states, "I have read about hookup culture and known a few easy women." Of course, easy men don't exist -- or at least, that's what I've read in all the most prominent textbooks regarding hookup culture. But don't mistake Phaedra's awareness for acceptance -- "that doesn't mean I like any of it." However, this sentiment is belied just a few paragraphs later, when our author recalls:
I offended the mother of one of my best friends once by booking some exotic entertainment at this friend's birthday party. My friend loved the anatomically exceptional dancer, but her mother was livid.
I'm sure that it was only your friend who loved the "anatomically exceptional" dancer, and I assume this must have been one of your aforementioned token "easy" friends, besides. A Southern Belle, in contrast, is interested in serious, long-term relationships. And for this purpose, "it would be much better to marry a young man that you can train. I have always said that I would rather be a babysitter than a geriatric nurse." Yet even these kinds of discrepancies seem trivial in comparison to the boundless passions of eternal love. As Phaedra shares,
I want Apollo and me to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, so I try to overlook momentary annoyances.
That aged well. Bless her heart.
We're soon treated to a cheeky list of "what her husband doesn't know," which echoes several key themes from earlier in the book -- most notably in its bizarre fixation with pubic grooming.
He doesn't know what her true hair color is, because the curtains always match the carpet.

He doesn't know how often she waxes, or exactly what waxing entails.

He doesn't know that she has her own credit card, her own savings account, and a safe-deposit box.
I've got to say, that last one hits just a little bit different with hindsight. Always timely, however, are Phaedra's views on the importance of the homemaking arts. In this evocative passage, she describes the primal horror of an encounter with a woman tainted by an unimaginable curse:
A nice lady from another part of the country recently confessed to me that she doesn't know how to do any crafts. In fact, she said, she gets all nervous and antsy in crafts stores, because they're so full of things she doesn't understand. I laughed like I thought she was joking, but really, I felt bad for her. Imagine not knowing how to make all those cute objects that brighten up lives in the South! I shudder to think what the inside of her house looks like!
With that fable still ringing in my ears, we transition to the next section of the book: "Look Pretty." Phaedra reflects, "I am always shocked when I leave the South and encounter the enormous number of women who don't seem to understand how their clothes should fit." Now feels like an appropriate time to draw attention to the book's back cover, in which an open-mouthed Phaedra swivels her torso in such a way as to create a bulging protuberance across one half of her chest. In awe of her commitment to inclusivity, I now realize this could only have been an intentional choice to make herself seem more approachable to us northern oafs, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Phaedra goes on to inform us that, "personally, I prefer skirts and dresses over pants." However, although "high-waisted pants and pants with visible hem cuffs are quite elegant and ladylike," one should take care never to forget that "minimalism and menswear looks are just puzzling and not appealing to a Belle." I, too, must admit that I find menswear looks puzzling -- a girl? in boy clothes? I just can't make heads or tails of it! And this is far from the only contemporary fad that baffles the true Southern Belle. As Phaedra continues:
I've never understood the appeal of the natural look. It's so easy to improve your appearance; why wouldn't you take advantage of the many beauty aids available to you?
In a frankly unexpected dig against the ceramic arts, Phaedra notes that "unless you are a professional potter (and I don't think Southern Belles generally are), your nails need to be clean and filed." More generally, your physical proportions should remain mild and inobtrusive:
Ever since voluminous behinds became fashionable, I often see these lumpy, huge derrieres on women with legs as thin as a chicken's, and I think God would never put a rump roast on toothpicks, so why did you do that?
That's why I always caution my friends to pair their butt implants with a battery of leg implants, in order to really round out the overall contour of the body and mimic that structurally stable, God-given look. After all, as Phaedra quips: "'Knowledge is power' -- that's my motto." But this knowledge doesn’t come without a price; being as world-wise as Phaedra often requires direct confrontation with the atrocities of today's world. As she recounts, for example: "I was astonished to find out that not every woman possesses a lint roller." It's truly a tragedy to learn how the other half lives!
We are next informed that, "you have to have your ears pierced, but only one hole in each ear." The consequences for an infraction of this critical edict are left unvoiced, from which I can only assume that they are swift and merciless. Any self-respecting Southern Belle has a taste for the finer things in life, and Phaedra is no exception. As she remarks:
I love diamonds; I'd have a diamond duvet if I could afford it.
Because I am less fiscally endowed, I have had to settle for stuffing my duvet with assorted Swarovski crystals, at least for the time being. However, I'm eager to upgrade -- I can only imagine that the extra hardness of the diamonds will add a satisfying acupuncture affect to my nighttime regimen!
Phaedra moves on to fashion advice, and cautions the well-heeled Belle to remain conservative in her fashion choices. But don't worry -- there is a time and a place to let loose and express your more artistic side. Or, as Phaedra says, "something a little funky or ethnic may even be appropriate from time to time." To further illustrate this principle, she explains: "If I were going out West, for example, I might wear some turquoise bracelets."
But some things are a bridge too far! Any woman with a modicum of dignity would know never to be caught dead in "polar fleece," "a naughty-nurse costume," or "footed pajamas." We are also encouraged to carry around a hand fan -- "the elegant way to stay cool" -- as well as a "small leather-bound notebook for jotting down inspirations." I lose my train of thought for a moment, caught up in a daydream about the ingenious wonderings that must be contained within Phaedra's hallowed journal. But I'm brought back to reality by a declaration of "what's not in my purse," beginning with the stern pronouncement: "any kind of contraband substance."
Our pilgrimage to polite society continues with a comprehensive exploration of the monogram's social gravitas. As Phaedra intones, "I've even seen cars with a very discreet monogram on the driver's door." But with light must come darkness, and the next chapter bravely confronts an issue many others would fear to face: "Looking Like a Tramp" ("There, I came right out and said it," Phaedra breathlessly gasps below the harsh text of the passage's title). She gathers herself together and courageously reports, "some women look downright sleazy."
Alas -- even more tragically -- couture catastrophes are not restricted to those of legal majority. Phaedra heroically pulls back the curtain on a nationwide epidemic of wardrobe misconduct being perpetrated against society's most vulnerable:
I saw a picture not long ago of some hippies or hipsters or whatever you call them from some remote city. The parents looked the way you'd expect them to look, a little bit bedraggled, but the worst thing was they had this adorable little baby all done up in a black onesie. And as far as I could tell, it wasn't even Halloween!
How to combat this terrifying trend? Phaedra offers words of wisdom: "Little Southern Belles always look sweet and appropriately girlish." Specifically, we are encouraged to incorporate design elements like "tasteful, conservative rickrack." By way of further explanation, she clarifies that, "what they don't do is dress like Lady Gaga in dresses made of butchers' best cuts of beef." I'm disappointed to learn that my idea for an Etsy store selling bespoke meat-based children's clothing might be a nonstarter, but I suppose I appreciate our author giving it to me straight.
Another childcare commandment?
No costumes outside the house. Of course every little girl loves to play dress-up. But I truly dislike seeing Snow White or a fairy princess trailing along behind her mother at the Piggly Wiggly.
As she sits in her living room, most likely waiting for a man to come to her aid for some reason or another, Phaedra is struck by a sharp, blazing pain. As the flash of blinding torment subsides, she catches her breath and shakes her head wearily -- another costumed child has gone into a grocery store. Forgive their guardians, for they know not the harm their actions have caused to our author's delicate and genteel sensibilities.
But it does us no good to dwell on the darker side of life! Rather, we'll move right along into the book's final section, "Have Fun." However, this does not seem to be exactly the same kind of "fun" colloquially mentioned in mainstream circles. Rather, the Southern Belle defines fun with the principle, "everybody needs to know that you made an effort." For example, "if you're pouring punch into paper cups for a gaggle of seven-year-olds, put a spring of mint in it." My previous experiences in the general vicinity of children lead me to believe that at least 75% of the seven-year-olds in this group would respond to this elegant enhancement by dumping the punch out on the ground because it has a gross plant in it. Maybe that's part of the fun?
No analysis of Southern culture would be complete without a discussion of that most hallowed of pastimes -- college football. And although "only a really unusual woman watches football alone," it is imperative that a Southern Belle attend the social events associated with the on-season. What's more, she should take care to do with impeccable style. As Phaedra laments:
Sometimes I see pictures of women in store-bought football jerseys and I feel sorry. A store-bought jersey does nothing to flatter the feminine body.
As for the game itself, minimal understanding is required -- "Naturally a Belle knows how much men enjoy telling her things, so she isn't shy about asking questions." True to her generous spirit, however, Phaedra nevertheless provides a basic primer in the rudiments of the sport:
Basically each team is trying to get the ball through the tall H-shaped goalposts at the end of the field. […] The problem is that the ball can look awfully little from pretty much anywhere in the stands. There's no shame in watching the video replay to see what really just happened.
As a final tip, Phaedra suggests that "belles whose husbands have season tickets might even invest in matching linens and china." Our next unit of instruction concerns the arrival of a newborn bundle of joy; as we learn, "the birth of a baby is a big deal in a southern family." It's so interesting to learn all of these unique cultural details! I don't know if I've ever heard of another culture that places such importance on birth -- I'd love to get an anthropologist's take! There are also strict guidelines to which one must adhere regarding the naming of a debutante-in-training:
A Southern Belle's name:
-- is obviously feminine.
-- is two syllables or more (names like Ann or Joan seem abrupt, like so many Yankees).
-- is a real name, not a geographic feature like Sierra.
-- means something. Preferably something nice.
Once born and appropriately christened, children should be painstakingly shielded from the contaminating influences of the world at large. Phaedra explains that "pop culture is full of children behaving disrespectfully." Without the slightest suggestion of self-reflection, she goes on to declare that "besides, we think TV characters are basically tacky."
Phaedra reiterates a few of the courtship commandments mentioned previously, most concisely in the adage, "Belles don't date losers." And, as any suitor worth his salt should know, "a date with a Belle is no time for a boy to experiment with 'alternative' clothes or grooming either." Instead, a Southern Gentleman takes care to keep his language clean from distasteful or offensive language -- "For instance, why say 'liquor' when you can say 'adult refreshment'?"
As we near the end of the book, it seems only fitting that we take a few pages to cover the traditions and rituals associated with life coming to a close. Buttressed by her extensive knowledge of mortuary science, Phaedra instructs us:
Postmortem is no time to experiment with cosmetics. No one wants their sweet aunt Gertrude looking like some ashy Jezebel when she meets Jesus.
The passage concludes with the brassy observation, "we don't usually cremate in the South; we figure if we wanted to burn we'd just live recklessly and go to hell."
Before the book closes in earnest, Phaedra shares a few of her special, meticulously developed recipes. The most evocative of her culinary optimizations is a recipe for sweet tea, in which she thoughtfully informs us, "sweetness can be personalized by adding more water or ice to the tea."
The book's final pages contain an instrument designed to measure the effect of the preceding 252 pages on one's essential courtesies, charmingly titled "The Belle-O-Meter Quiz." As Phaedra explains:
So, ladies, how are you doing? I'm sure you've all been very attentive to my suggestions and are amazed by the results. You're probably totally used to a steady diet of compliments and flirtation and invitations. But here's a little quiz in case you feel the need to measure how far you've come.
If you'd like to take the full quiz, you can do so here. But if your busy Belle schedule doesn't permit you to devote that much time to something so self-indulgent, a few example questions are provided below:
Your routine greeting when you meet a new person is:
a. A surly glare.
b. "Hi."
c. "Well, hello! How are you today?"

If your gentleman friend brought you a corsage to wear on a date you would:
a. Put it in the refrigerator. Nobody wears corsages nowadays!
b. Pin it to your coat collar and check your coat.
c. Pin it in an unusual spot like your waist or behind your ear, after extracting one little blossom to put in his lapel.
The answer key informs us that answering mostly C's means that "you are a genuine Southern Belle." As Phaedra goes on to suggest, "maybe it's time to share your new skills with a friend and pass along this book. I hope it's been helpful to you." As a book hoarder of the highest order, I will have to skip that suggestion, but I am nevertheless thankful to move one step closer to self-actualization with the help of another Real Housewife. Until next time!
Upcoming plans in comment below!
submitted by efa___ to BravoRealHousewives [link] [comments]

[MISC] Results of the Clash of Clans survey

Here are the results of the survey I conducted a few days ago. Keep in mind that there may be some bias since I only posted the survey on Reddit (especially in the demographics section). There were 317 responses. Below the survey results, I listed all the responses to "My favorite memory..."
Here are graphs and pie charts for each question (the percentages on the bar graphs are incorrect. Please see below for correct percentages on all the questions): https://photos.app.goo.gl/ts63k2mZ8QoSJ4K39
Survey from 2 years ago for comparison: https://www.reddit.com/ClashOfClans/comments/7pt3my/misc_results_of_the_survey

Demographics

What gender are you?

• Male: 305 responses (96.2%)
• Female: 12 responses (3.7%)

How old are you?

• Below 10: 1 response (0.3%)
• Teens: 191 responses (60.3%)
• 20s: 93 responses (29.3%)
• 30s: 18 responses (5.7%)
• 40s: 9 responses (2.8%)
• 50+: 5 responses (1.6%)

What country are you from?

• United States of America: 188 responses (59.3%)
• Canada: 22 responses (6.9%)
• United Kingdom: 21 responses (6.6%)
• India: 21 responses (6.6%)
• Australia: 11 responses (3.5%)
• Netherlands: 11 responses (3.5%)
• Germany: 7 responses (2.2%)
Other: 36 responses (11.4%)

Player

How often do you play the game?

• Attack a few times a week: 16 responses (5%)
• Attack 1-2 times a day: 52 responses (16.4%)
• Attack 3-4 times a day: 84 responses (26.5%)
• Attack 5+ times a day: 165 responses (52.1%)

What Town Hall are you?

• Levels 1-4: 36 responses (5.3%)
• Levels 5-6: 56 responses (8.2%)
• Level 7: 54 responses (7.9%)
• Level 8: 65 responses (9.5%)
• Level 9: 107 responses (15.7%)
• Level 10: 115 responses (16.9%)
• Level 11: 106 responses (15.5%)
• Level 12: 83 responses (12.2%)
• Level 13: 60 responses (8.8%)

What Builder Hall are you?

• Have not gone to Builder Base: 20 responses (3.6%)
• Level 2: 24 responses (4.3%)
• Level 3: 37 responses (6.7%)
• Level 4: 58 responses (10.5%)
• Level 5: 66 responses (11.9%)
• Level 6: 83 responses (15%)
• Level 7: 62 responses (11.2%)
• Level 8: 51 responses (9.2%)
• Level 9: 154 responses (27.7%)

What trophy league are you in?

• Not in a league (grey): 19 responses (3.2%)
• Bronze: 30 responses (5%)
• Silver: 91 responses (15.2%)
• Gold: 109 responses (18.3%)
• Crystal: 151 responses (25.3%)
• Masters: 80 responses (13.4%)
• Champions: 57 responses (9.5%)
• Titans: 29 responses (4.9%)
• Legends: 31 responses (5.2%)

How many accounts do you have?

• 1 account: 108 responses (34.1%)
• 2 accounts: 105 responses (33.1%)
• 3 accounts: 45 responses (14.2%)
• 4 accounts: 21 responses (6.6%)
• 5+ accounts: 38 responses (12%)

What style of game play do you like?

• Wars (CWL, Regular, and Friendly): 143 responses (45.1%)
• Farming: 143 responses (45.1%)
• Trophy Pushing: 18 responses (5.7%)
• Builder Base: 2 responses (0.6%)
• Other: 11 responses (3.5%)

What is your favorite activity to participate in?

• CWL: 142 responses (44.8%)
• Clan Games: 67 responses (21.1%)
• Clan Wars: 62 responses (19.6%)
• Season Challenges: 18 responses (5.7%)
• Special Events: 16 responses (5%)
• Builder Base: 5 responses (1.6%)
• Other: 7 responses (2.2%)

How often do you buy the Gold Pass?

• Never: 103 responses (32.7%)
• Once every few months: 59 responses (18.7%)
• Every other month: 30 responses (9.5%)
• Always: 123 responses (39%)

How long have you played the game? (Not including breaks)

• Less than 6 months: 30 responses (9.5%)
• 1 year: 30 responses (9.5%)
• 2 years: 46 responses (14.5%)
• 3 years: 64 responses (20.2%)
• 4 years: 36 responses (11.4%)
• 5 years: 40 responses (12.6%)
• 6 years: 53 responses (16.7%)
• Since release: 18 responses (5.7%)

Clan

What is your highest role in the clan?

• Leader: 41 responses (13.1%)
• Co-Leader: 120 responses (38.3%)
• Elder: 95 responses (30.4%)
• Member: 57 responses (18.2%)

What level is your clan?

• Levels 1-3: 25 responses (8%)
• Levels 4-6: 46 responses (14.7%)
• Levels 7-9: 50 responses (16%)
• Levels 10-12: 50 responses (16%)
• Levels 13-15: 52 responses (16.6%)
• Levels 16-18: 37 responses (11.8%)
• Levels 18+: 53 responses (16.9%)

What Clan War League is your clan currently in?

• Bronze: 14 responses (4.5%)
• Silver: 43 responses (13.9%)
• Gold: 85 responses (27.4%)
• Crystal: 103 responses (33.2%)
• Masters: 52 responses (16.8%)
• Champions: 13 responses (4.2%)

How active is your clan?

On a scale of 1-5 with "1" being Dead (almost no activity) and "5" being very active (almost non-stop activity).
• 1: 3 responses (1%)
• 2: 24 responses (7.7%)
• 3: 68 responses (21.7%)
• 4: 131 responses (41.9%)
• 5: 87 responses (27.8%)

How many people are in your clan?

• Below 10 people: 7 responses (2.2%)
• 11-20 people: 15 responses (4.8%)
• 21-30 people: 33 responses (10.6%)
• 31-40 people: 72 responses (23.1%)
• 41-50 people: 185 responses (59.2%)

Does your clan use out of game apps?

• Yes: 141 responses (45%)
• No: 172 responses (55%)

Is your clan part of a family of clans? Is so, what is it called?

• My clan is not part of a family of clans: 233 responses (75%)
• FWA (Farm War Alliance): 11 responses (3.5%)
• RCS (Reddit Clan System): 6 responses (1.9%)
• My clan is part of a family of clans that is not listed here: 61 responses (19.6%)

What type of clan are you in?

• War: 233 responses (74.4%)
• Farming: 46 responses (14.7%)
• Donation: 6 responses (1.9%)
• Clan Games: 6 responses (1.9%)
• Trophy Pushing: 2 responses (0.6%)
• Other: 30 responses (9.6%)

Clash of Clans Stories

One of the questions in the survey was to share a favorite memory you have of playing Clash of Clans. Some people wrote a lot, others a little, and some did not share at all. I found a lot of the responses really heartwarming and I decided I want to share all of the stories. I broke them into categories to make it easier to read. I suggest to read them all if you have the time

Best Overall Story

One day I was chillin in global chat just vibing. There was like 10 players that were actively chatting in global with me. We had all been chattin for nearly an hour when I said,” Yo bois we should make ourselves a clan” we all were like,”Honestly I’m down” I made the clan, and we joined forces. We were anywhere from th 6-10, me being a th 10 at the time. We had an amazing run and lead a great clan to many war victories. Slowly our clan began dying but in 1 last dying effort to revive the clan I sent out a mail begging for the clan to reactivate itself, I wasn’t ready to give up our incredible clan we built from a small group of homies from global. 1 of the OG global chat players said,” you know what? Your right. Ima be active. I ain’t ready for this to end” or something to that effect. Slowly everyone began to come back and we were at our peak level of activity. This was back in the day when you could change clan settings without it saying so in chat. One day I logged in to find that our clan description had been changed. It said and I quote,” F*ck you *my username”. I was the leader. The only people in the clan that were Co-Leader and could change the clan description was the OG people that had started it. There was basically a war amongst our clan leaders. People accusing others of being the one ruining the clan, and the saddest part was it was one of the OG people so none of us really wanted to accuse anyone because we all thought we were homies. The clan discription continued to change to more vulgar and racial sayings. After many many members left, including many of the OG creators, the person finally confessed. His name was PuffyApple. He had been such a homie and a great person for so long but he had been the one doing all. He apologized and said sorry i dont know why I did it. It was too late. Everyone that was once loyal left the clan but a few. I didn’t know what to do so I went to raid while I decided. I decided i would kick him. When I got back he had kicked the remaining players and left a message to me saying,”Sorry dude” and left. My amazing clan was gone. But it’s ok I still remember the glory days of that clan. It will live on forever.

General Stories

Probably my th7 push to t2 2 years ago. It took a lot of time and I spent something like 6 months up in titans but I really enjoyed it. I would typically spend 4+ hours a day online searching for bases. Most of the bases I found that I would attack were th9s and 10s with either a lot of snipable buildings to get a 50% 1 star or an anti 3 star which I usually got 2 stars off of. The occasional th8 that I found was typically a three star. Something else interesting is the fact it took me three hours of boosting to get through all of the masters.
When I first joined the game (4+ years ago) I joined a small clan. It grew and we all had fun together. Everyone was nice and it was amazing. Unfortunately an a-hole convinced the leader so he can have leader for a bit and kicked everyone.Left the game for 4 years... I started playing again and I get the thought to recover my old account. It works and the memories flood back. Coc was a major part of my childhood and to find the account back meant a lot.
I still remember my first few good clans I've joined and the fun banter I'd get in. I found some screenshots recently of some weird conversations we've had and I still am friends with some of the guys on facebook and snapchat. My most favorite memory is when I mentioned liking some boy (im a girl) and some guys was like "oh... girl or gay?" I also liked having arguments about who was going to kick next
It’s not that amazing but back in the day i used to play with my friends in primary school just before the clan war update, and we talked for hours and hours how clan war could be a thing. Ideas came up such as all clan members donate troops to the clan leader and he/she does one massive attack with a thousand or so troop space. This memory will stick with me for a long time
I love recruiting, so every time I bring new members to my clan that’s a good memory. I also just really enjoy chatting with all the friends I’ve made over the years on this game, talking to my clan mates, winning wars. Memorably, my clan recently went on a 31 war win streak we put our heart and soul in. That was great. This game has brought me a lot of joy over the years.
I remember when I was a rushed TH6, had to be in 2014 or something like that. The old days with crack head Goblin and pervert Giant. The stars to indicate troop levels. You had to train in each individual barracks. Global chat was filled with BD clans, and "Any Girl?". When the max Town Hall was TH10 with blue walls. The simpler times were the truly the best times.
Back in the 5th grades years ago, me and my friends would bring our tablets to school and would play clash together. We would schedule the wars so that we could attack together at school so we can be as coordinated as possible. It also resulted in me ruining my iPad by dropping it while my friends were attacking for me while I was holding it. Good times lmao
My friends from school would start playing clash of clans for about 2 weeks but then stop playing. This happened every year and every few months and since I enjoyed the game I would grind and have the best base out of all my friends. Now I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when I show them my strong base.
Either getting excited at school knowing that I had more trophies than everyone in the country or at 10pm sitting there reaching legend league on my th8 account. If not those, it was certainly a great moment when the squad gathered round to watch me upgrade to th13 at school when it just came out
Staying up the night to loot dark elixir at TH7 to upgrade barb king and hogs. Also to generally making new friends, learning new tactics, and getting better at the game. Also to admire the valks from TH8 coz they are the most aesthetically pleasing troop to look at🤭
There was a super rushed th11 that was in the same clan as me. A year and a half later that player was #1 in Canada I now realize that it probably wasn’t the same person and it was probably someone with the same same
Honestly, after a long time of leaving and coming back to the game and finally reaching th9. I feel like the game truely starts at th9 and i'm really into the game now.
Town hall 9 was the best town hall because there were so many unique strategies and I'd consider it the first time I actually became a successful competitive attacker.
In 2016, me and cousin thought someone was backing but it turns out that they weren't hacking and we took it so seriously lol.
That one cold winter night in my bed while I had a training boost on and grinded while on my tv watched YouTube
It gives me the option if I want to play, I can. I can also put it down for a few days and jump back into it.
When you got attacked and your army camps was destroyed you lost your army too and had to retrain
Discussing our wat strategies back when me and my high school class mates had a clan together
Global chat and an active clan chat where i know all the people. Also 2014 req & leave clans
Staying up until 1 am pushing to titan league with my best friend.
Helping a legend league clasher in global find a top level clan.
town hall sniping to get to masters as a th7 on my main account
Just farming or pushing and talking to random people in global
My favorite memory is absolutely annihilating my friend’s base
That feeling when you went back to the game after years.
I'm not sure, every moment playing it was fun:D
The tutorial in my new account.
My friend introducing it to me
North 44 and Jorge Yao
When i first got it
Global chat ofc
The funny bases
Global chat
Global Chat
Being lit

Progress/Upgrade Stories

When I maxed my TH9 in my main account. I took a 6 month break and downloaded clash again when I went to visit my cousins in Bakersfield. My base was rushed asf, level 6 walls, level 4 defenses and no king or queen. That’s summer when I visited them was the hottest it’s been in years so I stayed inside for the majority of the time so I had a lot of time to farm. Long story short I maxed out by the time I came back home and was really happy
My first time unlocking the barb king and a couple of teslas on th8. This was back in around 2013-2014, I remembered I was hyped on getting my own hero. I was also glad upon unlocking the teslas because back then it dealt twice dps damage or so to pekkas (back then, 14 year old me thought pekkas were the ultimate badass troops), so I thought; oh here it is, the ultimate defense buildings at that level back then.
When I finally maxed out TH9 (excluding heroes). I was very rushed (gold walls and level 5 heroes) when I upgraded to TH9. I returned to the game about a year later and began to play consistently. After about 4~5 months I fully maxed TH9 excluding heroes.
One of my favorite times in the game was finally getting to th9 since i was eager to get all the new stuff (Xbow, Queen) so i smacked a hammer of building on my town hall and i was at th9, the town hall that was the max one when i heard about the game
I’m not too involved with the game, I picked it up with the intention of just relaxing and playing it, so probably when I got my heroes to 50/50/20
When I came back a few months ago after not playing since 2016 and everything was so cheap, and so many collector raids were available
When I got the barbarian king, I was incredibly excited. One of my best memories.
Getting my queen to 30. Or generally maxing out any th is pretty satisfying to me
Getting dark elixer for the first time
maxing out my th9 when th9 was the max
When I unlocked my dragon in th 7
Donating max troops with th10

Friendship Stories

I was in a mediocre clan that had a couple really active members (2-3 hours playtime a day on average), but most just logged in like twice a day. I added one of the active members on kik and we chatted for quite while every evening for like a month, their birthday was coming up and they reminded me like every day of it and made kind of a big deal about that I shouldn't forget about it. I told them I wouldn't (and didn't) and told them my birthday too (which was like 8 months later) then after a while they quit the game and we lost contact, but after I hadn't spoken to them in like 5 months they still congratulated me on my birthday, which was a big surprise and very much appreciated.
I was in band class when this game first came out around December of 2012. I would’ve been 12 or 13 years old in 7th grade. My friend had just told me this new game had came out and he was trying to get me to play it. It was booming with popularity and I thought it looked fun enough, so I downloaded it during my class and played in between practicing my trumpet and listening to my teacher talk. I quickly became addicted to it and eventually I was the best player at my school. I kept playing all throughout high school, and even into college where I am now almost graduated. That game was clash of clans and I haven’t stopped playing for more than a week or so since.
My most favorite memory of the game. Ya know there’s so many to choose from. But one that most likely stands out to me is when I built a clan from lvl 1 to lvl 10 with a friend. It brought us closer in real life. And with discord it brought the clan from just clan mates to friends who share memes and such. I have gotten to know so many people that used to be “just clan mates” but are now game friends that I talk to daily on discord. That just has to be my favorite memory from the game because it means so much to me. There’s just a lot of satisfaction from growing a clan like that. Dedication and trusting people.
one of the main reasons I still play this game is because of the friends I have made with the players in my clan. I've been in the same clan for 4 years and not only do we all take the game seriously we truly treat one another like family. many of us have met up in person and we've gone hiking and played football together, just to name a few. the social aspect of this game is really big and I'm not too sure if I'd still be playing today if it weren't for my clan.
My favorite memory of the game was the friends I made. I was young and stupid and rushed my base to th9. It was when I joined my “ex-clan” that I finally realized how much this game would impact me. There were many friendships made that I feel will last a long time. My favorite memory was not necessarily about the game, but rather the connections I made with it.
Being in middle school about 6-7 years ago and joining clans with my friends, then having someone kick everyone out and making a new clan. It was annoying at the time but now I look back on it very fondly.
Getting back home from school and having a good time with my friends ( this was like 5 years ago and they all quit a long time ago) We would play for hours, sometimes to 2am on school nights
Leading my first clan at release with a bunch of high-school friends. We all played during school or athletic events and I remember rushing to townhall 7 to donate dragons for everyone.
not really a good memory but definetely one of my favourites. Long story short, i talked someone out of suicide, i joined their clan and talked with them and got them help.
Being in my second clan in general. Made some really good friends who were in their high teens when I was barely 12. Felt part of a family really. It sucked to leave them:(
Made some friends in USA and when I visited USA met with them. They hosted a dinner for me. It was amazing experience. Moreover got a nice tour of Detroit with them.
I had a clanmate who was terminally ill the clan had around 13 total members and we where all friend but hadn't met in real life. So most of us all went to visit him
Just being able to play with my friends and family and having fun and chatting outside the game too. Fun way to keep together online
Chilling with friends during my teens just to plan out a war attack and together watching it succeed or fail horrendously
My co-leader came to visit from another country and we had an absolute blast visiting wineries and playing clash.
I just enjoy having conversations with my clan mates
Playing with my school friends as a kid
Playing it with my friends every summer

Clan Stories

Starting my own clan has been one of my best experiences in the game. It has actually helped me develop some life skills like leadership, marketing and persuasion (to try to get people to join). I remember when I was a new th8 trying to build my clan with a guy I met from Reddit. We messaged back and forth trying to come up with a name, rules, how often we should declare wars etc. Once we made the clan, we slowly managed to get like 10 people to join. A BD from global joined and asked for coleader. I assumed he wanted to kick everyone in the clan once he had Co. Acting like an idiot, I promoted EVERYONE to Co so that way he wouldnt be able to kick them. However, I was also a Co at the time and was unable to demote them back to where they had been. I regretfully had to ask the Leader to come on and take care of everything. Luckily, he didnt kick ME too lol. After a few months the leader grew inactive and he gave me Leader. I have built the clan to level 15 and it has been a great learning experience
My favorite memory was creating my first successful clan. I was TH8 at the time and my brother and I were in Wisconsin Dells. I must’ve been no older than 11. (I’m 16 now) I would play on my moms iPad and when creating this clan we focus on getting as many people as possible. We got 50 people within an hour. Then we kicked some of the bad people and then bam TH10’s we’re joining (max th). Then by the end of the week we gave one guy co and he kicked the entire clan. Pretty sure this is where my trust issues started lol.
Back when I was a th7, I joined a new clan, I was fairly rushed back then, so I had difficulty finding a clan competent clan in the first place, let alone long term. I joined this clan, expecting to be kicked at some point, but no. The leader was kind, and told me that I could stay, if I fixed my rush. This guy was like a teacher to me, and still is. I wouldn’t be as good at the game as I am now without any of this guys help.
Back when we were all TH 5 or 6, this person joined our clan who was top town hall, maybe th10 at the time. He donated all these fantastic troops and made us feel pretty lucky. He stayed with us for a couple months then moved on, maybe to do the same for another clan. I think his or her name was joj*o. Many of us are TH12 or 13 now, but those were fun times.
Right now, I'm in a great clan that's always active. We just created a new clan for our mini accounts so that we have more room for people in the main clan. This has made it way easier to play my mini accounts and I think every clan should do this.
When I saw a th11 join our clan back when th11 was max. We were a clan with the highest member being th9, so it was a pretty big deal
Making a clan with some buddies and just messing around together
Being promoted to elder and then to co-leader a year later
Building up a clan from only random people met on global
Joining a clan from reddit, was fun while it lasted
Getting promoted to Co-Leader in my beloved clan
Creating my own clan for the very first time
first few months of joining my clan
Starting a clan with all your friends
Getting promoted in my clan.
Finding a good clan finally
Being the leader of a clan
When the clan turned lvl10

War Stories

Back before friendly wars, or SC really supporting competitive play, the competitive scene was home grown and self organised. New players wouldn't know a time where you had no option to challenge a certain clan. To make that happen it would take two clans coming together, contacting each other out of game and communicating a plan. Every player would have to calculate their war weight, spreadsheets were creating mapping out each clans war weight. You would have to make sure your clan mates didn't upgrade or drop a new defense at the wrong time to create an unfair match up... and then all the cats are herded, and both clans are ready... the clan leaders would press 'search' at the same time and hope for the best. The first time we pulled off a match with the clan we wanted to compete with, 30 v 30, it was glorious. It was something we all wanted to do from the beginning - challenge the clan you wanted in a contest that was totally balanced. From here, community organised leagues were born - something that gave Supercell the push to start the CWL. I'll always remember when we matched that first time. The chat blew up and we were so psyched. It was beautiful.
I joined a clan called GOBS LIMITED, where we only upgraded barracks to level 4, and only upgraded goblins in the lab. It was the most fun I’d had in years. Then SC introduced three anti engineering patches that completely killed us for about two years. I always looked back on that time as the funnest and most memorable thing to happen to me in a game. Then, level 8 goblins happened. All the dead players saw it, and dusted off their gob accounts. Some of us had kept going over the years, in our own clans or hopping around looking for a new home that wanted a goblin. But we all got back together and started finding war matches. Our years of effort had not been in vain, and we continue to win our wars. We’re currently undefeated with a 16-0 score since GOBS LIMITED has been raised from the dead. We are still growing, so if you’d like to join us search up our new feeder clan GOBS INC™️ (Use the emoji or the search algo can’t find us). We’d love to have another goblin in our horde. You won’t regret it. -Frozen Goblins
Joining a clan called Darker Knight for the first time 5 yrs ago. I was in a really bad clan my with my friends who were all rushed or th3. I noticed the clan sucked ass so I left and went to global. I talked to this th10 (which was the highest th at the time) and ig he saw something in me because he recruited my th4 lookin ass to his clan. The clan was amazing. I got max troops for the first time and it was truly amazing. I'm still in the same clan (but its like a feeder clan) and the clan has gone passed its glory but its still solid. One of my favorite memories from the clan was when I first unlocked dragons and needed to get a star on a th9 to win the game. The clan helped me strategise for 50%. I went in and nervously placed down my dragons. In 2 minutes of tension filled placements I got 50% and won the war! Good memories
About 4-5 years ago now my current clan used to be our school clan. we were in a war, probably one of our first, and i was the only person in the clan with a dark barracks. like 4 people had attacked their number 2 and no one could get a star. the leader at the time said, “can someone please take out number 2.” i responded “i got this” and then proceeded to 3-star him with a minion swarm in less than a minute
I was TH6 (in 2015) and the two stock attacks at the time were Giant/HealeWiz or Loons. We ran into a difficult base where the loons circled around the AD and got picked off. The giants pathing was in a way where they missed a cannon and time failed. I made a small change (everyone was taking healer and wiz in CC, I took minions to take out the cannon). My first 3 star which I made a plan myself.
I used to have a th 9 account before it got banned. My favorite story was when my entire army died against a th8 cause of a valkyrie in the cc that brutalized my giants. My queen walk took down half the base and the town hall, and got me a 2 star instead of a loss. It was also first time queen walking.
Usually war wins or getting 2 x 3. I guess my favourite was doing the last attack with less than a minute left knowing I needed a 2 with >78%. I had to attack a town hall higher and clinched it with 79%. Loads of spectators and I know they would not have expected me to get it done.
The first time I 3 starred in war back in 2016 as a town hall 9. It was much harder back then and I'll never forget how happy I was that I was able to 3 star another base.
I remember the first time I three starred a Th9 with GoHo on my Th9. I felt like I was a legend then, but I can do it pretty consistently now. The first time was the best.
going over a 3 star plan, skitching it, talking live on discord, then watching the new guy clutch a 3 star in the last minute of war to win it for us.
when my th8 account gave me a th4 account matchup and i beat him with a barb king and 3 balloons
Hitting late in a war, and getting back to back 3 stars to win it for my clan.
Not specific but I like the nail biting finishes to wars or comebacks in wars
When I 3 starred a TH12 as a TH11 which helped secure the win in a CWL war!
Attacking in the war while in school during breaks with my friends
I have had the most fun during very close and competitive wars.
When I won an attack with only archers against a max th9 base
Betting with friends on clan wars not money but snacks
Winning a clan war by the skin of our collective teeth
Getting the last second triple is always up there
Close war wins. Clutch 3 stars
When wars first game out
Clan wars being added

Funny/Wierd

On my then mid-th9, I would leave my clan and go into global asking for a clan. I'd wait until a really low clan invited me, and then I'd join that clan. Clans with younger players and no players at or above my level works best. I'd then do the whole "Thanks for the invite" and "Is this an active clan?" routine. Then I'd request wall breakers, and 9 times out of 10 would get lvl 2 wizards or giants. I'd then say something along the lines of "This clan is horrible! I asked for wall breakers and got (whatever I got)!" And then I'd leave. Probably not the nicest thing ever but whenever a clan actually donates wall breakers I stick around for a bit longer and make small talk. I'll miss global.
definitely when I tricked my clan that my 2 accounts were 2 people for a few months. I even had a couple of conversations with my self, and had everyone convinced that I am me and my friend. I exposed myself and they were so close to kicking me, great times
back when global was a thing i named myself defnotahopper and would hop bases like a mf 😂😂 and i remember how hype i was when the lava hound was released
Not a fond memory but when I was younger some guy in global chat told me Santa wasn’t real. That ruined my life back then.
When I was in war and some one donated me all wall breakers. I literally left
Teaching my clanmate in how to change the sheets of his bed!
Getting head while attacking in a war
You ;)
Penis
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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 20: Casey Williams and Manta Malaise?

The results are in for Match 18.
The game was lasting quite a long time, with Red Carpet Renaissance’s more aggressive playstyle hardly giving the room to breathe to the carefully-crafted tactics of the Sharp Lookers, but those very same plans at once keeping them from finding themselves getting clicked.
Violet Lange was watching, still, invested in how the hell this could keep on going, what might finally turn the tides, only for her cell phone to vibrate, a text message appearing on it from a contact registered under: “C. Williams”
waiting at docks
we still on?
“Oh, shit, what time is it?” Violet glanced upwards slightly, and cursed again as she realized what hour and minute read. “Yeah, I gotta go. Uh…” She waved at the ongoing game. “See ya ‘round, guys, you’ve been totally great!”
Nobody noticed her walk away.
Nobody wins! For an equal score of 66, everyone’s time was wasted!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Sharp Lookers 19-10 Things seemed even for most of the voting period, with many of the votes being split, but late into it, a modest number of Sharp Lookers votes translated into a massive lead. For the first time, this resulted in votes splitting perfectly by .5s when the division was done, and since it would mean taking a point away from one side to give it to the other, that thirtieth pop point simply vanishes into the aether…
Quality Red Carpet Renaissance 20-22 Reasoning
JoJolity Red Carpet Renaissance 17-24 Reasoning
Conduct TEAM 10-10
Half an hour later…
“Uh… Kisa?” Masa asked, earning his partner’s attention. “You know how I said I’d watch the girl to make sure she didn’t pull somethin’ weird?”
“Hm?” Kitose Saiko turned to face his friend, and noticed the lack of anybody he was standing beside. “Oh my god. How… How, Masa?”
“I dunno!” He answered, sounding similarly bewildered, waving his hands as Kisa, in his frustration, lit up the entire remaining pack of his cigarettes and took a drag from each of them at once. “She just sorta… Was gone when I stopped paying attention.”
“The woman is… Gone.” Dimitri was incredulous as well. “And there goes our hints on this Black Angel! The library is surely closed by now, so we’ve wasted a day and this town knows we’re looking.”
pranked again… violet lange, u r officially… epic
As Nebula’s synthetic voice remarked that and moved to silence, Ace couldn’t help but laugh. “Vitus is gonna be pissed too, that we were dragged off to play some game instead of tailing Peres… Haahhh, man, what were we thinking? This was her job, I bet. She just needed to waste our time awhile, get us heated and fighting each other, throwing piss around and playing dirty… Gave us the slip soon as our attentions were off her. Well played, I must admit… Well played…”
“Distracting us from the Black Angel…” Dimitri stroked his chin. “And also from Peres? But I remember Laverne saying the Black Angel vigilante was banned from the Devil Blue, the hotel she works at. What could the common thread between them be..?”
“Well, I’m annoyed too… Don’t just bail on an agreement you make…” Masa answered, before adding with a slight smile. “But hey, in some good news…” He held up a gift card, waving it between his fingers. “She left the CaraMel’s gift card, 200 USD just like she said, and that place? Not just to die for, from when Ray came back with stuff from there the other day, but I hear the ‘goss’ is ‘hot’ there too, as she said in that super-exaggerated little Valley Girl voice. What say I claim this card and treat you all? Call it a, uh… Ceasefire, for now.”
gonna be annoyed if its stale by the time i can actually eat it
but ok sounds good
The game of assassin was fruitless, but the fruits of an assassination are still born, and two pairs of Stand Users fight to protect their local leaders from them. There’s still about a day to vote in that when this goes up.
Scenario:
South Aurelio - East of the Wormwood
“I am so sorry, I just lost track of time… I got these four roped into this big assassin game, and I didn’t wanna bail, but…”
Not long after Violet Lange officiated that little college game and the evening began to roll in that, again she found a Stand User’s company. Casey Williams, MFA member, sat in the passenger seat of a vibrant purple convertible, occasionally staring either at passing suburban scenery in the transition between the college town and suburban hellscape, or the way her companion’s lavender scarf billowed in the wind.
“Look, I get it, I get it, shit happens, especially ‘round Midnight Sun. You don’t need to explain.” After a few moments of silence, tapping her hands against the outer door of the car as her arm hung over the window, Casey spoke up. “I, uh… Didn’t expect you to call me, but Kirk vouched for you. Why me, for… Whatever this is?”
Violet had, that morning, asked Casey to aid her in an investigation after she finished up with some shit she had to do on campus, and still now, had said very little about what was going on sans its importance. “I trust you… For the same reason I took over the bifrost server, and the same reason I revealed myself to your team. André had faith in you all to do what was best, and, well, I have no idea what to do but follow his lead and use what power I have to do it. As for you in particular… I want to work with somebody my age, basically. No more than that.”
“If you trust me so much,” Casey said, looking to the river to her left as the pair drove along a road opposite it, admiring how the setting sun reflected upon its rippling waves, “why haven’t you told me what we’re doing, then? You sounded like it was important, so I agreed to hear you out, but you’ve still been cagey.”
“I wanted it to be in person, while we were speeding along,” Violet explained, looking out upon the road still, briefly glancing off in the distance and seeing a manor across the water, braking for a moment and pointing towards it. “See that house by the riverbank there?”
She handed Casey a pair of binoculars, and the latter surmised, “looks like a dump.”
“From the outside, and nobody has owned it for thirty years, yet…” She paused, as if she was about to say a name and reconsidered. “My contact - a high-schooler who comes and goes late at night, you wouldn’t know them, and I’m purposefully leaving them out of this, but I can vouch for their reliability - says that sometimes, late at night, delivery trucks bring perfectly good furniture to the bridge just North of here, and by morning, they seem to have just disappeared into the ground. I dunno if you pay attention to the news, but there’s a ‘Serial Killer’ who operates in this town, and besides that… Sixteen people who disappeared in this area are still missing, and haven’t had their bodies identified. The more research I’ve done lately, I’m completely certain of it. That ‘abandoned residence’ must be the ‘lair’ of this killer! It’s certainly big enough to hold that many people and then some… So I plan to break in.”
“Serial killer..?” Casey’s head tilted slightly, then, suddenly, the words hit her as Violet resumed her drive. “Wait, what? So even if you’re right, you’re just gonna bust down this guy’s door without knowing what he’s capable of? Why this? Why you, and so covert?”
“Because I’ve spent my life sneaking and slipping by to survive, clinging to stronger people. Because I used to roll with the kind of scum who would use Stands to do whatever the hell they wanted like we were better than everyone else. Because the last time I tried to get someone to take care of this killer, all she did was kill an innocent man in front of me! I’m tired of just being an ‘extra,’ moving pieces around and waiting in place, Casey. I’ve said that I just want to survive, but a friend of mine, every day, fights tooth and nail to make this place better. I’m going to be an adult and try, goddammit, and if you don’t want to do the same, I can just drop you off, and-”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Casey continued, raising her hand up, and then offering Violet a confident little smile. “When did I say I was going to refuse? Hell, lives are on the line, pedal to the metal! I hear this town has like two cops, and I sure don’t see either of them around!”
“That’s what I like to hear…” Violet’s own lips curled upwards slightly, and she stepped on the gas. “We’re gonna totally tear shit up today.”
They drove along the bridge in silence from there, Casey contemplating things as they sped along, occasionally stealing glances towards the house just what was now South of them. Not long after, though, she began to grow uncomfortable, pulling her shirt’s collar over her nose. “Eugh… What’s that smell now? We pass a dead skunk or something?”
“That’s… I know this smell. That isn’t a skunk.” Violet gave a glance to her rear-view mirror, and her face stiffened. “Casey… Get out of the car, now! Ditch it!”
“What? What is-” Casey stammered, surprised and trying to hurriedly work her seatbelt off as Violet began to jerk the vehicle around, as if intended on steering the thing straight into the river. As she did so, she glanced behind her, and though the rising shape of a figure on the back of the car was hard to make out in the twilit evening, there was certainly a massive, and vaguely humanoid, and there were eyes on her.
There were so many eyes.
Slightly down the Wormwood River…
Ah, the Wormwood River. This massive landmark is a symbol of Los Fortuna in many ways. It came to exist during the city’s foundational years, it runs from the Northernmost mountains into the city itself, and quite symbolically, it splits the affluent Eastern portions of the city, highly regarded centers of culture and quality of life, with the Western, the environmentally unclean, the poorer, the portions of the city in which the greatest safety and stability comes from being within the care of a territorial gang which has earned the ire of countless other districts.
This divide was sharp and clear in the way it split the affluently beloved outer suburbs of the Woods of Aurelio, whose schools, fine homes, esteemed country club, golf course, town hall, and most of the town’s voting centers all sat in the East.
Manta Malaise thought this symbol of all which they sought to destroy a poetic place to take their pollution this evening.
“This Metropolis which is so very very burdensome to me, and this humble hamlet so tantalizingly close to it nearby,” they began aloud, just in the off chance somebody was around to hear it (and if not, rehearsal was always useful), while the diesel-burning gas-guzzling pickup truck they purchased on the resort’s tab began dumping a container’s worth of sand and grit, “I have heard it said that this location in which we are entrapped it on the decline… Yet nay, I say. At least, nary the full picture… This place is but a microcosm of all that surrounds it, a more blatant case of all that is true elsewhere, as well… A fine example for the world, it will make.”
As they spoke, a ripped-away purple car door floated by on the river, distracting them from speaking about how, if they repeat this process for a few weeks (maybe buy a new car every time), they would be able to kill the fish eggs and microorganisms that make up the key bottom of the river life’s food chain, eventually add nitrogen to the mix to toxically increase ugly and deadly algal growth, and aloud, they spoke “curious… That is a recognizable door of a quality automobile… To whom might it belong? Ah, no matter!”
Seconds later, a bloodied figure with several open wounds along its back burst from the water, clinging to dear life to the floating door and beginning to kick in Manta’s direction with surprising strength. He seemed to have tall blond hair, green pants, and a sleeveless shirt, though those all were obviously soaked and stained both with water and blood. As he reached the shore nearby them, within the range of ‘Morgana Courts Danger’, he gasped and turned onto his wounded back.
The young man who floated towards Manta Malaise said nothing, and did not even seem to notice the effects of their proximity as they approached and turned him around to get a look at the other side of the sleeveless shirt-clad figure. The life was fading from the blond man’s eyes, and his lips trembled, a faint grin on them. He did not say a word, but as Manta looked down, they realized that the phrase on the outfit he wore said more about his final feelings, the state of his body, than his voice ever could.
Ouch!
“What… What on this fetid dying earth is going on here?” They weren’t concerned, per se, but curious about the sudden arrival of this man.
He continued not speaking, bringing a trembling hand up and away, pointing softly with a single finger Southwards, slightly - towards a shabby-looking abode.
“Do you… Mean to send me there?”
His strong lips curled into a serene smile, his hand dropped, and his eyes closed.
“Nghh… I had not the time to have his final sounds heard in life a rejection of this quest, perished for naught…” Manta remarked aloud, gritting their teeth. “As if I would simply traipse towards what is not my business… Though, how did he get here through the water? He seemed to appear so suddenly…”
They looked towards their truck. The motor was still running, but it had emptied its load fine. “I am curious,” they remarked, and so, after cranking the heat and AC of the vehicle as high as it could go, they abandoned it, diving into the water to see where this dead lad may have come from.
???
Casey awoke to that same odor again, but less severely so, in an uncomfortable, unsheeted mattress in what appeared to be a bunk room of sorts. As she rose, she had to avoid scraping her arm on a rusty spring, rubbing her eyes all the while.
“Nngh, what’s..?” She looked around, and after glancing past her a few times, saw Violet laying in a similar situation, a bizarre metal collar around her neck poking out behind the scarf, but otherwise looking unharmed. “Violet..! Wake up, Violet!”
“Nnghh… What’s..?” She sat up, feeling around for her beret and putting it on, glancing at Casey. “You’ve got a weird collar on you, Casey…” She felt at her own neck, then. “Oh.”
“Look out for those things,” a casual-sounding, low voice uttered, earning the attention of the pair; a woman with dark, wavy hair and a velvet dress was filing her nails on one of the springs. Nearby her sat a cone-haired, dirty-blond high schooler, built like a football player and a varsity away from dressing like it. “When ‘that person’ brings in a ‘Stand User,’ they get a collar like that… Likes to make up little game rules, and if they break ‘em or leave, uh…” She jerked her thumb towards a far-off wall of the room filled with a few dozen bunks, in which a bloody, smoky outline shaped like a person outstretched was dried against the wall. “Poor bastard didn’t listen because the floor wasn’t literally lava… Hey, don’t jump now, yeah? That’s not the game being played right now.”
“Palmer, you’re scaring the hell out of them, and that really isn’t useful right now… We’re going to get out soon, I’m sure of it,” another young woman’s voice called out, and as the voice seemed familiar, the face confirmed it. Though her long neat hair was short in an uneven cut, the blue blazer’s sleeves were destroyed, and the bowtie was loose, it was absolutely TV personality Jillian Heart.
“Jill..?” Violet asked, tone lightening up immensely.
She took a moment to process that, but then nodded. “Hey, Lange. You and Reed doing alright? And, uh, this a friend of yours?”
“Yeah, hi,” Casey answered, “Casey Williams… College student.”
“She’s cool, yeah,” Violet promised, looking around, “where’s Chad? Not like him to run off…”
“That’s why we’re getting out soon,” Jill answered, happily, “we noticed it when you two were brought in! Broke open this statue in the courtyard and found a waterway that ‘Worm’ - that’s what the killer goes by here - has to have been using to get in and out. They have one of those ‘Stands,’ but we all can see it, so they wear it like a costume and it guards them… But Chad’s the strongest person here, and he’s been our rock through all of this! After Worm left again, he volunteered to go through it and find help, and with him, that means it’s as good as done!”
“I see… So that makes how many people left here, then?” Casey started counting on her fingers.
“Sixteen, minus you two,” Miss Palmer answered, “I’m, uh… Palmer, by the way. Drama teacher at the high school out here. Same story as everyone else here, more or less… Bet the Superintendent’d be happy to hear Elton here and Swift Taylor are still alive, though.”
‘Elton’ said nothing, still, simply sitting there, while Jill took over a bit to talk about the place.
“I think I’m gonna start getting the lay of the land, then…” Casey said, feeling the need to take the initiative. “I’ve still got my Stand with me, thankfully, and if we can’t leave just because help shows up, that means we’re gonna have to fight to get out when this killer shows.”
“Careful,” Jill warned, “there’s traps all over the damn place here… And ‘Worm’ changes them when we’re not looking, just like they change the furniture, or what doors lock how. Makes everyday in this big house hell, and it’s worst of all around the edges. Makes up most of how people die here…”
“I’ll be careful,” Casey said with a nod, stepping out into the halls of the bizarre home.
The underwater corridor Chad had needed to swim through to get out was brutal, and even Manta Malaise had felt tense handling it. Over four meters underwater, less than two meters wide, and the top of the dark, dirty, dank area was lined with rusty nails, blades, and the blood of the man who had attempted it, across a forty-meter stretch of water - slightly shorter than an Olympic swimming pool, but so much more claustrophobic, and with pressure much higher.
They managed it, however, and were they able to speak now, would have commended the amateur cameraman who only swam as a summertime hobby for managing fatally what they were able to get through unscathed carefully. At the end of this gauntlet was a straight shot up, illuminated by moonlight, and so, Manta hurried upwards, taking a breath as they surveyed the area they had come out in.
It was a large fountain on the Eastern end of a long, statue-decorated courtyard full of thorny ground. The crumbled, destroyed remains of such a statue, presumably having once sat atop this passage, was now in pieces, only a pair of outstretched arms on either side of them.
“Look out, you damnable fool! The arms, the arms!!” A theatrical voice called out, and Manta looked its way to see a figure in a top hat, three-piece suit, and black cape with a handlebar moustache and unibrow, and before they could process it, an automated voice emerged from the crumbled head at the fountainside.
Flow 24 Detected
The stone arms seized their neck firmly, and so soon after they had breathed, they could not again. It was no matter for their strong arms to easily smash these damaged ones of stone, however, and soon, they crumbled and descended into the deep. However, Manta felt a new weight around their neck nonetheless; a metal collar.
“So… You are the ‘help’ that damned Kroeger sought? Imposing and impressive-looking for sure, but entrapped like the rest of us now.” The dapper fellow complained.
“Who are you to criticise me, when you yourself are enraptured in this place as well?” Manta asked, spying the man twirling his moustache and moving to do the same with their own facial hairs as if in challenge.
“You dare insult Los Fortuna Parking Lot Magnate Born Bad? I was celebrating turning a GarfieldEATS into one, when I thought I might make my next grand step the transformation of the entire Wormwood River into the world’s largest parking lot as well!” Bad was twirling his moustache hard enough one might have thought it would catch alike. “It would have been a fortune for me, and a record for parking lot-kind!”
“That would destroy the ecosystem of all of Los Fortuna, you know… Ingenious, if more brazen and avant-garde than I might have done,” Manta answered, “tell me now. What have I been caught in?”
Through much villainous posturing, Born Bad explained similar basics of the situation to Manta that Jill had for Casey.
“So my own curiosity has laid me in this ‘Worm’s’ tunnels… Yet, at once, I think it will do to undo this as well. Entrapment here stands in my mission’s way.”
That conversation was cut short by the sound of the Westernmost balcony opening its doors, several meters above them, and a young woman with brown hair, eyes, and skin was looking down at them. She appeared, at once, confused and intimidated by their presence, which was the response Manta generally wanted to evoke.
“Hey, you! Are… Did Chad send you?” Casey asked, clearing her throat. “How is he? Is he alright?”
“If you mean the youth who died luring me here without a word, he is certainly deceased… And has caused for me a definite predicament of a pickle.”
“Wh…” She sounded taken aback. “He’s dead? H-how can you sound so indifferent? That guy risked his life to get help for us, and-”
“And I knew him not, and he got me trapped here. Why should I shed tears for his passing?”
Before this argument could escalate further, a large, pristine-quality monitor which framed the upper Northern wall of the courtyard turned on on its own, and in it, was an image of the entrance foyer of the manor. Slowly, from its floor, that that thing Casey saw before emerged, idly twirling a saber in its hand and lifting it over its head as it leaped several meters into the air.
(Shout-outs to Skelly-tan for this art!)
A voice, both distorted and gargling yet perfectly coherent spoke from its wide maw. “Good evening, everybody, thanks for tuning in! It’s me, you all know me, your hero, the Conqueror Worm! Let’s give it up for our guests tonight… We’ve got a lot going on for our last big ‘game night!’ That’s right, you heard me, last one! Much as doin’ what I have here has been fun, after this, I mean to move onto bigger and better things… But I’ll never forget this place, pinky-promise!”
There was a sort of twisted, uncanny elegance to the way ‘Worm’ paced around, both as if it were limping in agony and gliding effortlessly, the camera focused on it at all times.
“Yep, Aurelio, you heard me right… Conqueror Worm is done bein’ your killer! The lot of you left in here are the end of a generation, and y’all are absolute treats to work with! So, with three Stand Users here, good an’ collared and here to have a time and a half, let’s make this a grand finale for the BOOKS! Stand Users,” it pointed its blade towards a small entranceway behind it, “that door there is locked, but also, in the right circumstance, the one way you’re gettin’ off my property without explodin’ into funny lil’ chunks! See!”
The screen, then, turned into a showing of two maps of the building, with several spaces highlighted. “I just got finished slitherin’ around droppin’ off three ‘chips’ which ya scan against your own specific collars, and then, if you’ve unlocked that mini-foyer behind me, boom! They’re off, and you’re free! I just gotta make sure you die before then, and I can do it with ease! With this body of mine, I can grab anything, put it in there, and pass through any surface I can fit on, see! And to the first person t’get out of it alive? A SPECIAL gift’ll come!”
“Didn’t mention the master key?” Another voice asked.
“Well no I didn’t, but no way they can get that offa-” The camera returned to its view of Worm, though Violet was standing directly behind it, directly waggling a keycard in between her fingers. Not much further back, Jill was covering her mouth with clear amusement. “Wh- Why you!” He swung at her with her blade, and she dodged back, and Worm threw his head back and laughed. “Well, I’ll be… How’d you manage t’pull that off? That’s on MY person, INSIDE here!”
“I started to steal things just for the rush and attention of it when I was seven years old,” Violet said something then, which the audio blurted out and her mouth was off-camera for, but the sound of which shook Worm to his core, his laughing growing slightly incredulous. As she did, she swiped the card over her collar, and it clanked to the ground in pieces. “Yeah, that’s right, I figured out exactly who you are… and now your whole audience knows.”
“I mean sure, think that if y’want!”
“Right… You probably censored it then.” She pouted, then struck a cool and casual pose. “No matter… I’ll just show them your corpse.” A big bushy white hound emerged from Violet’s person, then, ethereal and snarling and beautiful, and she called out, “This is the start of a new me! ‘Forgive and Forget’ is putting you down, Worm!”
As the Stand-dog rushed forward, he chuckled. “Keep runnin’ into white Stand-dogs lately, huh… It’s gonna end for you like it did the last one, too! You shoulda just run!”
F&F leapt into the air, taking aim for the throat underneath Worm’s pungent armor, but he lifted one arm, and as fangs sunk into that, his other swung its blade.
Violet’s face went wide-eyed and pale, and she looked down at herself, clutching her stomach and noticing how red poured out.
“Ooh, did I reach bone there? Tough break…” Worm pulled back the blade, removing it from Forgive and Forget’s midsection as the white dog dropped to the ground before its user, fading away as she fell to her knees. “Aw, y’didn’t realize? This ‘Saber of the Gold Knight’ I perma-borrowed from our local museum ain’t just a conversation-starter… I wouldn’t take it for no good reason at all!”
“Violet..?” Jill asked, stepping back towards another room, too afraid of Worm to rush to her friend’s aid. “What… What even happened? Worm swung at the air, and… And…” Panicking, despite her resolve, Jill ran into the other room, a look of clear terror and guilt on her face.
“…I dunno, blanked out there!” Worm chuckled a bit, shaking off its bitten, uninjured-looking arm and retracting the sword inside its own fetid rolls of rotten off-white flesh. “But whatever happened, that’s ONE down!” He kicked Violet into a corner to the sound of her whimpering and sighed, pacing around a bit as he held up his master keycard and sucked that, too, up in his person. “Won’t cause me much trouble like that, but I know the other two of ya are in my courtyard… Funny startin’ place, since I like to use that place for when a guest wants to just say ‘I give up! End it here!’ Real useful tool for that bit of mercy, y’know? But anyway, the show goes on, and one-on-one is more interesting anyway! First one t’get to the end, I’ll even throw in an EXCLUSIVE interview to make it worth your while! But I’m not gonna keep the viewers at home waitin’ anymore saying more, since this is already goin’ on a little while, and you’re our stars still! So, without further ado…”
“OPEN THE GAME!!! Man is that SATISFYING t’say!”
Location: The estate of the Conqueror Worm, a two-floor building straight out of a Survival Horror. The whole place is hanging with an odd smell, and walls of most of the rooms are dotted with realistic murals of bones and various body parts - given Conqueror Worm’s ability, one must wonder how they were made.
1F MAP, 2F MAP. Due to interests of character limit, the details of each room in the estate can be found here. Most of the rooms are pretty simple, though, so don’t be intimidated by that.
The players are denoted by the circles marked with their character’s initials, with Manta standing in the fountain on the far-East end of the Courtyard of Despair, and Casey standing on the Western second-floor balcony overlooking it. Worm, meanwhile, starts in the first floor’s entrance hall, marked with a question mark. The C marked squares and the M marked squares are the chips that Casey and Manta need respectively, scanning which against their collars will ‘count’ them as read. For what it’s worth, the Violet chips were in the hot tub, freezer, and conservatory, but that is completely irrelevant now.
The circles with numbers in them represent the nonstand-using Survivors present in the area. Exact details on each of them aren’t particularly important, but a list of their names can be found here. The personality blurbs and occupations listed aren’t really relevant for the match’s sake; even the sports stars have been brought to a point where they have the same stats as everyone else.
The X and Y marked rectangles are locked doors and their respective keys are somewhere on the map denoted by the X and Y marked diamonds; these function not unlike car keys; though they can be used to physically lock and unlock the door in person with a turn, it’s much more convenient that one press of the buttons on them can instantly lock and unlock every door on the map marked with the correct letter.
The “F” marked square is the keycard that unlocks the finish line room.
Several of these rooms have traps which Worm knows about, but the players will not be given foreknowledge of all of them. These are already set in stone, however, and it will be up to the attentiveness of the players in following the location descriptions not to fall victim to these; hints are provided, basically, and they’re designed not to be too hard to respond to if you see them coming.
The rooms’ ceilings are generally quite high, three and a half meters above the ground, with about half a meter of space between the ceiling of one and floor above - basically, being a story directly above or below Manta is NOT enough to be within the range of Morgana Courts Danger.
Goal: Casey and Manta, your own survival is priority number one here. Try to get yourself out of this situation alive! In order to do so, you must deactivate your own collar through the insertion of three chips placed around the facility, where labeled on the map. Free yourself and escape alive. That is your priority, and you are under no obligation to help anybody else if you have no desire to. Leaving the map for longer than five seconds without outright moving through the finish space marked on the map will result in the collars detonating, even if all three chips are inserted.
Conqueror Worm, kill Casey and Manta by any means necessary.
A player character will win if their score surpasses that of the Conqueror Worm’s, while receiving less will result in elimination. A tie will be regarded as normal.
This match, thus, has special voting rules. Basically, there are four valid voting options in this: ‘Casey and Manta,’ ‘Manta and Worm,’ ‘Casey and Worm,’ and ‘Conqueror Worm,’ depending on if a voter believes that both players manage to escape, one of them is stopped by the killer, or both of them are.
NPC Information:
‘Conqueror Worm’ Sheet
(Plain Text Version)
Additional Information:
Unless noted otherwise, all doors are wooden.
While there are several unique NPCs throughout the estate, functionally, all of them can generally be expected to act in the same way: they have 222 stats with irrelevant special skills, and generally speaking, do not want to die, and will act in accordance with things they believe to follow that end, though they are not particularly skilled in identifying traps on their own. Manta Malaise frightens them, however, so they may find they require a little more effort to convince people to follow them around than Casey would be able to. Born Bad (“1” on the map), a fellow Dastardly-looking villainous caricature and thus kindred spirit of theirs, is the sole initial exception.
Violet Lange is bleeding and unconscious, and will in no capacity be able to assist, but still alive and should remain so as long as her particular injuries are not aggravated and the game does not take too agonizingly long. The killer has already forgotten about her.
Through review of previous materials, the players do have sufficient information to correctly identify the user of Conqueror Worm, who is, in fact, a character who appeared in the previous Suburb match. They will be allotted one guess, accusation bolded, in the text of the strategy, to name the person. There is no penalty for an incorrect guess, but a correct guess will see ten bonus points awarded; to one side if only they guess it, while both receive five if both do. One hint: they were present at Match 8’s baseball game.
The chips are extremely durable, but if they are rendered inaccessible or removed from the premises, a safety switch will force them to be treated as if they were simply activated and used; Worm isn’t interested in a game where victory or loss is impossible.
The traps themselves will be revealed throughout the first segment of the killer’s strategy, and take up characters in as much, but the existence of these are an indisputable fact which the players must be wise to either avoid or work around.
Though his durability and endurance are exceptional to the point where a fight would be immensely difficult, the killer also possesses a ‘master key’ which, if utilized, can be scanned against the collars to unlock them, unlock the front gate, and unlock any of the electronically-locked doors in the facility.
Team Combatant JoJolity
Masters of Funky Action Casey Williams “No escape, huh? I didn’t want one anyway. That was never part of the plan.” You came here for a reason, even if you’re still trying to define what, exactly, that reason is to you. Whatever you think being a hero might mean in this situation, live up to the standard you define for yourself!
Judecca Highrollers Manta Malaise “The greatest threat to the peace of my heart isn’t Jotaro! It’s him! Josuke Higashikata!” This is an indubitably vexing situation into which you have been brought. While you abscond from this, make certain that you find clever ways to get back at that bastard who has entrapped you here!
???? “Worm” “‘Misconceptions’ are the most terrifying things in the world… And the consequences are even worse if you’re overly confident that your abilities and talents are superior.” You’ve made an absolute deathtrap of your estate here, and it would be a damn shame for any of that to go to waste. The more of your traps successfully go off and seriously hurt someone, the higher your JoJolity rating will go!
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
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2020 NFL Draft Review - Analysis and Career Predictions for Each Team's Draft Class - AFC North

If you missed the first installment of this series, you can read the NFC North review here. Every year after the draft, I write a way-too-long review of each team’s draft. The purpose of this draft review is to give predictions for the careers of each team’s drafted players. I’ve watched film of each player I’m commenting on. Draft grades are overly optimistic and unrealistic. Unlike the majority of post-draft coverage out there, I will pick busts. Keep in mind that 23.4% of all first-round picks bust.
Let me preface this by saying: predicting the career of an NFL draft pick is a ridiculous exercise. There is so much unknown that goes into whether a player succeeds or fails at the next level. I can make educated guesses based on team situation, supporting cast, and research about the prospect’s character and work ethic, but there’s a reason teams make so many mistakes every year. You simply don’t know for sure how a player will react to being a pro. Injuries are also a huge factor in the fate of a player and impossible to predict accurately. I still write this long prediction article for three reasons:
1 - No one else does it. 2 - It’s more interesting than draft grades. 3 - It’s fun to try to get things right.

Overview

Like NFL teams, I’m going to get things wrong. The greatest football mind in history drafted Ryan Mallett and Chad Jackson. I also like to argue against the consensus when my evaluations allow me to. That has gotten me in trouble with some unpopular predictions that turned out to be hilariously wrong. On the flip side, I don’t think anyone else predicted Lamar Jackson would be the best quarterback of his draft class. All of my picks are rooted in comprehensive film study and a mathematical understanding of what drafts typically produce (spoiler: draft grades are unrealistically generous).
Before we start, here are some of my general thoughts on the 2020 NFL Draft.
Quickly on the broadcast - they did a great job given the circumstances. The production quality was great and they did more actual analysis than usual. My main gripe with draft coverage every year is that they don’t show incredible highlights (they somehow didn’t show the Aaron Dobson catch in 2013). This year, they showed more footage of actual football and I appreciated that. The only two negatives for me were the constant tragic stories and Booger McFarland.
Oh, and if any poor soul bet on Justin Jefferson Under 21.5 draft position, ESPN should apologize to you. They showed him on the phone celebrating right before cutting to Goodell announcing the 21st pick - Jalen Reagor to the Eagles. Jefferson was of course on the phone with the Vikings, who took him at 22. Brutal beat.
As for the draft, remember this tweet about mock drafts being “wronger” than ever? Funny, this was probably the chalkiest first-round ever in the internet age. Nothing was truly shocking to me, including the Packers trading up for Jordan Love (more on that here). I had Damon Arnette in the first round in my first mock draft this draft season. I wrote an article lauding Jordyn Brooks as an undervalued commodity. Noah Ibinoghene going in the first was surprising, I suppose. But there was no Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 or Tyson Alualu at No. 10. It speaks to how the media and internet scouts might be catching up to, or God forbid actually influencing the teams.
So here is the first installment of my annual draft review. Each player will receive their career prediction in parentheses following their name. For example: Joe Burrow (5). Here's how the picks break down:
5 – All-Pro: Starter who has performed at an elite level at his position. 4 – Above-Average: Starter who has been among the best at his position. 3 – Solid: Starter or valuable back-up with significant positive production. 2 – Replacement Level: Below-average starter or back-up who made minor contributions. 1 – Bust: Player who didn’t amount to anything positive.
Next up, the AFC North.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have historically been pretty good at drafting despite having the smallest scouting staff in the league. With the first pick in each round, they would have had to try to mess this up. Instead, they had the single best draft in the entire league, drafting the No. 1, No. 14, No. 52, and No. 69 (nice) players on my board.
Joe Burrow lacks the ideal competitiveness after transfer- just kidding. The Tiger King just had the greatest season in the history of college football, capped off by a dismantling of a Clemson defense with multiple day-one picks. Joe Burrow (5) is going to be a franchise quarterback and Zac Taylor is a lucky man. Joe Exotic is being praised everywhere for his poise, accuracy, touch, and athleticism. What stood out to me on film was his ability to create outside the structure of the offense. He is dynamic in that he can scramble to run or throw - a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. LSU even ran him on designed quarterback draws, an indication they were comfortable with his durability.
Burrow’s 2018 obviously wasn’t great (57.8% comp., 16/5 TD/INT), but it’s not smart to question his ball placement after his 2019 film. His offensive supporting cast was amazing, but it was overwhelmingly obvious that the game moved extremely slowly for him at the highest level of college football. When the NFL bullets start flying even faster, Burrow will have an easier time adjusting than most quarterbacks.
Tee Higgins (4) may have been the best value in the entire draft. Higgins’ perceived draft status on the internet was just odd. From WRU with 28 career touchdowns and undeniably impressive film, Higgins was widely accepted as the 5th-8th best receiver in this class. Why? I don’t care much about his lack of timed speed (4.54) as he played fast enough and has other dominant traits. The only legitimate reason for the lack of respect is his thin body as it relates to durability. He came up lame a lot on film, and NFL teams are spooked by medical issues. I am not going to be shy about endorsing this pick.
Tee Higgins has unbelievable hands, body control, and ball-tracking ability in a 6-4, 216-pound frame. He didn’t look great against Jeff Okudah and Ohio State but was clearly banged up. There’s also no shame in struggling against Okudah, who’s probably a top-five NFL corner right now. Joe Burrow to Tee Higgins will be the premiere QB-WR connection in the league by 2023.
Logan Wilson (3) was one of “my guys” and Akeem Davis-Gaither was close (No. 69 on my board). Wilson was arguably the best coverage linebacker in the draft and is probably not terrible at tackling, considering he tallied 409 (!) of them at Wyoming. His film was fun to watch, as an off-ball linebacker with ten career picks. As for Akeem Davis-Gaither (3), he’s light but lightning fast. His floor is a contributor on specials, but in a pass-happy league with Lamar Jackson running around, his speed plays on defense as well. He’s not going to take on blocks in a phone booth but he made some wow plays at Appalachian State, constantly finding the ball and getting tackles-for-loss on the edge from his Sam position. Doubling up on linebacker with two talented prospects was a great strategy.
The Bengals aced this draft. Loading up on defense will be the priority for the next few years, as they have one of the best young offensive cores in all of football.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens always draft well and this year was no different. They selected my No. 11 overall player at 28, my top-ranked running back at 55, and four other players in my top-100. The legacy of Ozzie Newsome lives on.
Patrick Queen (4) showed some inconsistencies on tape in terms of missing tackles and angles and possibly even taking plays off. However, his highs on film are as impressive as any player in this class, and in the Ravens organization, they feel confident in coaching him up to play at that level consistently. Put on the National Championship game and Queen looks like the best defensive player on the field. Put on Texas and watch the goal-line sequence where he almost scores a 99-yard touchdown on third down and then fits up for a 4th-down stuff. His Auburn tape isn’t as impressive, getting beat by their running back (No. 3) and blocked in space on screen passes. In Baltimore, he’ll be kept clean and asked to fly around and hit people. He could not have gone to a better situation.
J.K. Dobbins (3) was my No. 1 running back in this class. He is a tougher (love a back not wearing gloves) runner than Jonathan Taylor and plays with great contact balance and low pad level. He has a stiff-arm, ideal burst, and necessary physicality and creativity. He’ll be a hammer learning from Mark Ingram in Baltimore. Again, a perfect fit for the Ravens in real football, but probably not the best landing spot for fantasy, at least in the short term.
As for their other picks, the only one I’m not excited about it is Justin Madubuike (2). He screams Reverse Planet Theory to me, taking advantage of bad guards with splash plays that don’t translate. Devin Duvernay (3) can be an actually-explosive version of Willie Snead. Malik Harrison (3) is a thumper who can call the defense and make plays. Ben Bredeson (3) was one of my favorite mid-round guard prospects. I’m very happy Lamar Jackson won MVP last year, and this class will help keep the Ravens among the elite teams in the NFL.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns were easy to mock for going into the draft, with two huge needs at left tackle and safety and a fairly stacked roster everywhere else. They unsurprisingly filled those needs with their first two picks, grabbing arguably the best prospect at both positions.
Jedrick Wills Jr. (3) was not exactly my favorite tackle. I noted balance issues, which scare me more than anything else for an offensive lineman. I saw his head snap back too many times, noted some off-target punches, and really scary attempted shoulder blocks. His traits are all top-notch, including his uncommon lateral agility for his size. There are winning reps that highlight his strength (grabbing and throwing guys down on speed rushes), but don’t inspire in the way of translatable technique. He’s a better prospect than Ereck Flowers, but some of his mis-timed and off-balance punches remind me of the Giant bust. There’s more risk here than people realize, but coaching can take care of the sloppy technique.
Grant Delpit (4) was my favorite safety. His 2018 film was tremendous, and his 2019 film showed a clearly banged-up player toughing it out to help lead his team to a championship. Delpit has tremendous change-of-direction skills and great instincts as a center field player. He is a little sloppy and all-over-the-place, but again not at 100%. Bottom line is that he gets it done, and the game is slower for him than most. He’ll start for years to come and make multiple pro bowls.
As for the rest, I didn’t think Jordan Elliot (2) was big enough to be as not-really-that-quick as he was. Jacob Phillips (2) called the LSU defense and fills a need, but strikes me as more of a special teamer at the pro level. Harrison Bryant (1) profiles as a possible TE2 but according to my notes “might just be a college dude.” He had two touchdowns versus Utah’s exclusively NFL-player secondary though. Finally, Donovan Peoples-Jones (3) falling to 187 made no sense talent-wise so there must be off-field or medical concerns. He’s raw and the game didn’t come easy to him, but I liked his activity as a blocker and he ran solid routes (comebacks especially). He showed good hands and has a ton of potential, perhaps even slotting in as the WR3 this season. I don’t think Shea Patterson is good.
I was never high on Baker Mayfield, but it's easy to be excited about this Browns roster going forward. There is no real personnel weakness anywhere. If Mayfield can be coachable and tone down the turnovers, the Browns have enough talent to compete for one of the for-some-reason seven AFC playoff spots.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers essentially used their first-round pick on Minkah Fitzpatrick, who would have easily been the best safety in the draft. They came into the draft needing a quarterback, tackle, and cornerback, but somehow didn’t select any of those positions. I wasn’t a huge fan of their haul, which was headlined by one of the most overrated receivers in the draft.
After being burned by Limas Sweed and Sammie Coates, the Steelers went back to the big-and-fast archetype at wide receiver with Chase Claypool (1). I ultimately labeled him as an “average pro if that” after noting his below-average ankle flexion, tight hips, and general clumsiness. Claypool’s large hands are fantastic, and he’s obviously very fast, but I wasn’t feeling his film as translatable to the next level. I love that he was still on the punt unit but I don’t see a high ceiling as an outside receiver against quicker corners. There were better receivers on the board.
Alex Highsmith (1) was the first of two Charlotte… uh… Bobcats?... selected this year. Highsmith attempted to tackle Travis Etienne versus Clemson and was run through like a middle-schooler. Throughout that film, he was quite easily neutralized by the Tigers' left tackle. He tries really hard, has a decent first step, and can bend just a little. I’m a big 3-cone guy for edge rushers, and his 7.32 in addition to poor film against Clemson doesn’t help his case.
📷
Every single Anthony McFarland (2) mention starts with his legendary performance against Ohio State in 2018. Unfortunately looking closer at the film, they simply missed some fits and he exploded on the edge. He did show some one-cut ability in the open field, but his tape shows someone who is clearly comfortable on the edge, which doesn’t really fit the NFL at all. McFarland has traits, but the game is difficult for him, getting stuffed on the goal line by Temple, showing bad ball security, and rarely pushing the pile. He’s a satellite speed guy, which if schemed right can be valuable.
I'm sorry Steelers fans, but this year could be the last dance for Ben Roethlisberger. Minkah Fitzpatrick is really, really good at least.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more divisions in the coming days.
Link to this article: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-afc-north/735564?src=cat_feat_9954
Link to NFC North article: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-north/734932
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2020 NFL Draft Review - Analysis and Career Predictions for Each Team's Draft Class - NFC North

Every year after the draft, I write a way-too-long review of each team’s draft. The purpose of this draft review is to give predictions for the careers of each team’s drafted players. I’ve watched film of each player I’m commenting on. Draft grades are overly optimistic and unrealistic. Unlike the majority of post-draft coverage out there, I will pick busts. Keep in mind that 23.4% of all first-round picks bust.
Let me preface this by saying: predicting the career of an NFL draft pick is a ridiculous exercise. There is so much unknown that goes into whether a player succeeds or fails at the next level. I can make educated guesses based on team situation, supporting cast, and research about the prospect’s character and work ethic, but there’s a reason teams make so many mistakes every year. You simply don’t know for sure how a player will react to being a pro. Injuries are also a huge factor in the fate of a player and impossible to predict accurately. I still write this long prediction article for three reasons:
1 - No one else does it. 2 - It’s more interesting than draft grades. 3 - It’s fun to try to get things right.
Overview
Like NFL teams, I’m going to get things wrong. The greatest football mind in history drafted Ryan Mallett and Chad Jackson. I also like to argue against the consensus when my evaluations allow me to. That has gotten me in trouble with some unpopular predictions that turned out to be hilariously wrong. On the flip side, I don’t think anyone else predicted Lamar Jackson would be the best quarterback of his draft class. All of my picks are rooted in comprehensive film study and a mathematical understanding of what drafts typically produce (spoiler: draft grades are unrealistically generous).
Before we start, here are some of my general thoughts on the 2020 NFL Draft.
Quickly on the broadcast - they did a great job given the circumstances. The production quality was great and they did more actual analysis than usual. My main gripe with draft coverage every year is that they don’t show incredible highlights (they somehow didn’t show the Aaron Dobson catch in 2013). This year, they showed more footage of actual football and I appreciated that. The only two negatives for me were the constant tragic stories and Booger McFarland.
Oh, and if any poor soul bet on Justin Jefferson Under 21.5 draft position, ESPN should apologize to you. They showed him on the phone celebrating right before cutting to Goodell announcing the 21st pick - Jalen Reagor to the Eagles. Jefferson was of course on the phone with the Vikings, who took him at 22. Brutal beat.
As for the draft, remember this tweet about mock drafts being “wronger” than ever? Funny, this was probably the chalkiest first-round ever in the internet age. Nothing was truly shocking to me, including the Packers trading up for Jordan Love (more on that later). I had Damon Arnette in the first round in my first mock draft this draft season. I wrote an article lauding Jordyn Brooks as an undervalued commodity. Noah Ibinoghene going in the first was surprising, I suppose. But there was no Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 or Tyson Alualu at No. 10. It speaks to how the media and internet scouts might be catching up to, or God forbid actually influencing the teams.
So here is the first installment of my annual draft review. Each player will receive their career prediction in parentheses following their name. For example: Joe Burrow (5). Here's how the picks break down:
5 – All-Pro: Starter who has performed at an elite level at his position. 4 – Above-Average: Starter who has been among the best at his position. 3 – Solid: Starter or valuable back-up with significant positive production. 2 – Replacement Level: Below-average starter or back-up who made minor contributions. 1 – Bust: Player who didn’t amount to anything positive.
First up, the NFC North.

Green Bay Packers

Everyone is talking about the Packers, and rightfully so. They traded up for a quarterback and with a need at receiver, didn’t select any in arguably the best receiver class of all time. They are being widely mocked by football fans everywhere for bungling the draft and quite probably infuriating Aaron Rodgers. The Packers went to the NFC Championship game last year and Rodgers is 36 years old, so they are as win-now as it gets. So how can anyone defend them trading up for a quarterback? Very easily, actually.
If your stance is “I don’t believe Jordan Love will become a franchise quarterback” then you have every right to make fun of the pick. What I find humorous is how many people seem so sure Love will fail. Surely each person meme-ing and gif-ing on twitter has studied Love's film, right? Because to be clear - if Jordan Love develops into a franchise quarterback at any point for the Packers, then this pick will have been one of the best in the entire draft. It’s only fair to criticize the pick because of conviction about the player. It makes no sense to argue they don’t need a quarterback. There is nothing more valuable than a franchise quarterback, and again, Rodgers is 36.
So I don’t believe the Packers should be the laughingstock of the league for picking Love. It is fascinating that the overwhelming sentiment is that they screwed this up, which is funny considering how difficult and unpredictable the draft is. Jordan Love has tremendous potential, and the Packers took a shot that could result in 10+ years of being set at the most important position.
Having actually done the work on him, I begrudgingly have to agree with the negative feedback because I do not believe Jordan Love (2) will develop into a franchise quarterback. Love has Mahomes-ish arm talent and athleticism. He has a smooth delivery, good pocket awareness, and throws well on the move. The physical traits are there, as few human beings in the world can deliver missiles with a flick-of-the-wrist like Love. He also processes information quickly enough and shows flashes of progressing through reads quite well. It is reasonable for a team to watch his film and project that he can make NFL-level reads and decisions. When you mix that with his arm talent, all it takes is an interview that sells his intelligence (27 on the Wonderlic) and football character for a team to fall in love.
However, there is one glaring issue in his game that I just can’t get over - his ball placement. He too frequently misplaces easy throws - flats, bubbles, slants, stick routes - including a bad pick on a corner route against Wake Forest. He also ended that game with a pick, unable to place the ball over a linebacker. These missed placements re-occur frequently on his 2019 tape. His accuracy (think a pitcher’s control) isn’t poor, especially when his feet are right. But his placement (think a pitcher’s command) is substandard.
For what it’s worth, I had similar concerns with Patrick Mahomes’ inconsistent ball placement coming out. I just didn’t know he was a football savant. I don’t think Love is Mahomes but his traits-profile and style are similar. Any discussion about Love should include the disparity between his 2018 performance (64% comp. 9.4 YPA, 32/6 TD/INT) and 2019 performance (61.9% comp., 6.4 YPA, 20/17 TD/INT). Losing coaches and talent around him is the explanation, but the contrast is quite jarring. If I loved Love, I’d be happily defending this pick on all corners of the internet. I just don’t love Love. I wonder how fans would have reacted if this pick was Tua instead....
In the second round, the Packers passed on a myriad of talented receivers for a bruising two-down workhorse back. This pick is less defensible than taking a quarterback, but I try to understand what teams are thinking. Clearly, they believe A.J. Dillon can be an impact player. I had Dillon ranked 93rd overall, but I do recognize his skillset as valuable. He's a 97th percentile SPARQ athlete with home run speed (4.53 40) at 247 pounds. He has excellent vision and can be punishing in a four-minute offense. Fantasy players want Aaron Jones to play most snaps and get 25 touches a game, but it makes sense to keep him fresher, use him on passing downs, and sit the plodding Jamaal Williams on the bench.
This picks further fortifies a strong position group, an underrated strategy in the draft. The arguments against this pick are valid - positional value, lack of passing-game help, other Green Bay needs. However, it’s also fair to recognize A.J. Dillon (3) as an impact back. It wasn’t my favorite pick, but to me, the draft is more about player than position, and Dillon will be a solid pro. I’m also not fully on board with the vocal analytics folks who think running backs aren’t valuable at all.
In the third, the Packers again surprised by adding an H-back/tight end in Josiah Deguara (1) from Cincinnati. After investing a top-75 pick in Jace Sternberger last year, the Packers again looked towards the future. Deguara likely won’t do much in 2020, but this pick sets up their 12-personnel for the Jordan Love era. Deguara can block a bit and catches the ball well, but he wasn’t even in my top 200 players in a poor tight end class. Draft slot has me thinking a bit, but I’m going to pick him to be one of many non-factors in this draft.
The Packers did nothing to help Aaron Rodgers at wide receiver in a loaded receiver class. They also failed to improve a run defense that was shredded in the NFC Championship game by San Francisco. Instead, they chose to address their 2022 offense. I agree with the overall sentiment that this was a poor draft, but only because I predict Jordan Love will fail. If he lives up to his potential, then this draft class will go down as one of the best.

Minnesota Vikings

Manipulating the draft to make 16 picks was brilliant. There is so much uncertainty for the upcoming season so the Vikings opted to secure who they wanted rather than relying on the rat-race of remote undrafted free agency. Depending on when the season begins, adding veteran free agents and having try-outs may be more challenging this year. Minnesota made the smart move in adding 16 rookies that they can bring up to speed on their terms through potential virtual practices and meetings. Making 16 picks is also great work because of statistics. The vast majority of draft picks end up being worthless. Simply, the more you make, the better your chances of finding contributors.
I ranked Justin Jefferson (2) lower than most (9th-ranked receiver in this class), so I don’t view this pick as some outrageous value. I had Jefferson ranked as the 32nd-best player in this class, so I wouldn’t even call it a great pick. Jefferson has the traits of a very good pro receiver, but I fear he may be more Jordan Matthews than people realize. I consistently ranked Jalen Reagor over Jefferson, and knowing the Eagles did as well leads me to believe I may have been on to something.
Jefferson’s film was dominating at times, but scouting players is about projecting what translates rather than evaluating college performance. LSU put Jefferson in the slot and let him work the middle of the field on RPOs and embarrass less-athletic safeties, linebackers, and nickels on “be-better” routes like slot fades. He has good hands and athletic traits, but I don’t see his film translating into a dominant pro. His route-running needs work, reaching too much on breaks, and there’s little evidence of him beating press on the outside. 50% of all picks from 21-32 result in a replacement-level player or bust. I’ll go out on a limb and predict a guy I wasn’t super high on underperforms at the next level.
Jeff Gladney (3) was my third-ranked corner and 30th-ranked player overall. He’s feisty with quick feet and plays with tremendous competitiveness and physicality. I wrote “Jalen Ramsey” in my notes before looking up his measurables (5-10, 191). I obviously think he plays much bigger than his size. Or I need new glasses. I went back for a second look on Gladney and wasn’t nearly as impressed. He’s a little clumsy and not much of a technician. He has success just being a twitchy athlete and aggressive, which isn’t a great sign as he’ll lose that advantage in the NFL. He also dropped the ball before the end zone after a pick-six a la DeSean Jackson. Still, I believe he’ll be a solid starter and go to exactly two pro bowls.
Ezra Cleveland (3) was a steal. He’s glorious in pass protection and has unreal athleticism for his size. His ability to mirror is unmatched in this class. Cleveland’s biggest weakness is his lack of strength, but with the right strength program he can improve there. One of my favorite plays was watching him chase down and tackle a defender after an interception.
Cameron Dantzler (2) was my 8th-ranked corner. He ran a 4.64 at just 188 pounds and has messy hands, but I liked his film otherwise. He’s competitive and makes plays, including sacking both Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa for some reason. He’s thin but doesn’t care. I just don’t know if he has the recovery speed to start and there were too many missed tackles on film.
James Lynch (3) was a legitimate steal in the fourth round. He dominated overmatched Big 12 tackles but has the type of strength and power that plays in the league. He can contribute at five-technique as he puts on more weight. He’s obviously not a 10-plus sack-a-year type at the pro level. Troy Dye (2) wore a club in the Pac-12 championship game and is physical. He’s just not that explosive and is more try-hard than traits-rich.
The Vikings deserve a lot of credit for this haul. It will be extremely interesting to go back and look at how many of their 16 picks are still there in two years.

Chicago Bears

The biggest Bears news of the weekend was the report that they won't pick up Mitch Trubisky's fifth-year option. Chicago made two franchise-defining moves that used up a ton of draft capital over a four-year span - trading up for Trubisky and trading for Khalil Mack. Mack came back down to earth after a ferocious first year in Chicago, but should be a force for a couple more seasons. Trubisky, on the other hand, has regressed and given the team very little confidence. He'll compete with the enigmatic Nick Foles, who is as bipolar as players get.
The NFL Draft is the most important roster-building day on the NFL calendar, but this Bears class is probably the least consequential of all 32 teams. If they nailed it, so what? They get a starting tight end, starting corner, rotational edge player, and rotational deep threat? And if they bombed it, so what? What matters is their quarterback competition and head coach performance.
I used to believe prospects were destined to fail or succeed. I thought how lucky the Steelers were for having players like Big Ben and Heath Miller "fall" to them every year. The reality is that some programs develop players better. The Bears are at a crossroads with Matt Nagy, who last season saw his offense regress and defense unable to overcome the loss of Vic Fangio. Point is, these draft picks may be walking into a lame-duck situation, which isn't good for anyone.
To further annoy Bears fans, I have to be honest that I was much lower on their first three selections than the consensus. I thought Cole Kmet (2) was the single most overrated prospect in the entire draft. My notes include the words "weak" and "soft." He showed poorly as a blocker against Virginia with no pop in his hands, struggled to get off second-level collisions, and lacked great balance - arguably the most important trait for any player. Kmet is big with good hands but I really don't see his game translating to anything more than an average player. There's a reason this tight end class was universally knocked as weak.
In the second they went with Jaylon Johnson (1), who I had as my 10th-ranked cornerback. Johnson gained some steam as a potential first-round pick, but I just didn't like his film. He pretty much lost Utah the game against USC, giving up an early TD because he lost his balance and getting flagged for a game-sealing defensive pass interference because he couldn't get his head around. His film showed poor balance, late reactions, missed tackles, and worst of all - questionable effort, especially against BYU. He has the feet and length to stay with receivers, but I want him in cover three and that's it. Late eyes and questionable balance are deal-breakers for defensive backs.
As for their other picks, I will give Darnell Mooney (3) a shot to be a deep threat. He can't block and is probably too weak to do anything right now, but his speed absolutely plays. All he did at Tulane was run slants and go routes so it will take some time. Trevis Gipson (2) jars the ball loose frequently but everything just looks too difficult versus Oklahoma State and Texas. Hustle sacks are great in terms of college performance but provide no confidence in terms of translatable traits.
A few years ago, I correctly predicted the Bears would be a surprise playoff team. You'll be shocked to read that this year I won't.

Detroit Lions

The Lions draft class makes it pretty obvious Matt Patricia is fighting for his job this year. Their first two picks are ready to challenge for rookie of the year from day one, they added a 22-year old edge-rusher and two guards who can play right away. Help is here and Matthew Stafford is healthy - Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn will not survive another bottom-10 finish.
Jeff Okudah (5) is an NFL shutdown corner right now. He has it all, including the necessary swagger. What will separate him at the next level is his physicality and aggressiveness. He can "motor" (align pressed and stay with his man without making contact with his hands) or shoot his inside hand at the line to throw off timing. With his traits and instincts, I expect him to be a top-five corner in the league in his rookie year.
D'Andre Swift (3) is as fun as it gets. My favorite note is that he makes the game look easy. Certain players are able to be so comfortable at the college level that it is evident on film how slow the game is moving for them. Swift does some things with the ball that prove that point, like spin out of tackles for loss and cross up safeties in the open field like Allen Iverson. He's also awesome in the passing game as a receiver and blocker. The Lions haven't found a foundation back since Barry Sanders and they are hoping D'Andre Swift can be just that.
I think he has that upside, but his film concerns me as well. Swift is more comfortable in space, taking advantage of huge holes and perimeter stuff that simply won't be there in the NFL. He's more Sony Michel than Nick Chubb, and didn't show much creativity or tackle-breaking inside. He'll have no issue being a complementary back, but runners who are comfortable in space often struggle to transition to the pro game where there is none. No outcome would surprise me but I think a Reggie Bush-like pro career is where he settles in.
I did not love Julian Okwara (2) on film. He looked good against frumpy tackles, but my notes read "yikes vs UGA." He was frequently driven back in that game, including by a wide receiver. His pass-rushing wins were with pure athleticism rather than translatable moves.
Jonah Jackson (3) was good in pass protection and showed ideal aggressiveness. I didn't see him get enough movement in the run game for me to be excited but he's a possible starter. Logan Stenberg (4) on the other hand was one of my LINK five favorite prospects in the entire draft. He has an ugly body and below-average athleticism but his film is fun to watch. He'll struggle with quickness sometimes but he's tough and strong and showed well against Georgia on film. He's a huge reason Benny Snell and Lynn Bowden had so much success. I project him as a quality starter.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the other divisions in the coming days.
Link for the article: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-north/734932?src=cat_feat_9954
submitted by gpngc to NFL_Draft [link] [comments]

College Football Betting. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the fundamentals of college football betting. Much like the NFL, college football offers the standard bets: spread, moneyline, totals, parlays, and teasers. Unique to college football are the 1st quarter and halftime bets. Let’s take a look at each type. While the NFL draws more money and more bets, college football takes second fiddle as the next most popular sport to bet upon in American. The American Gaming Association estimates that bettors wagered over $4.7 billion dollars on football last year and over 12 million bets were placed on college football.. With games taking place throughout the week (mostly on Saturday), CFB offers more We offer a handful of college football betting tips and strategies that can help bettors win more in 2019. Targeting the under in windy games and home favorites after a bye have proven to be profitable strategies over the long term. Home-field advantage is an important factor to weigh, but it's often overvalued by bettors. 12 College Football Handicapping Betting Tips from Expert College football Handicappers by Docsports.com - 5/21/2019 Doc's Sports Services is the most trusted and well-respected sports information Specific Football Betting Strategies. In the following articles, we provide details of how to effectively implement specific football betting strategies. Some of the advice in these is more advanced than what we’ve covered so far, but we make sure to explain everything in a way that is very easy to understand.

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