The Force Awakens is the most optimistic film in a long time… on Tumblr

I’ve found playing Jedi in the Old Republic video game series difficult. The Jedi Code promotes intellect over emotion. But while playing the games, your protagonist develops deep emotional connections with their companions. Some of these connections become romantic relationships. The games have often encouraged these relationships through mechanics while tsk-ing them in dialogue. This article suggests that we’re seeing a new side of the Force. It is an interesting thesis.


Presented without comment.

Is the Big 12 on the Verge of Major Change?

College conference realignment continues to intrigue me. Massive institutions of higher learning playing musical chairs because of their athletics departments. Granted, there are billions of dollars at stake. But that money is often a drop in the pond compared to their endowments. Four of the five major conferences are secure in their positions. This article examines the fifth, the Big12.

Intro to Psikik: Sports

For most of my life, sports have been an integral portion of it. From little league soccer and baseball to adult rec softball, I’ve often been a participant. These days I enjoy sports by watching them or getting updates on my iDevices. It all probably started with my Dad, he’s an avid sports fan and has been very influential on my sport and team of choice. If I could only save one sport and one team? Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore had always been a bit of a romanticized ideal of baseball for me. Cal Ripken, Jr. Eddie Murray. Mike Mussina. A rich history and lots of tradition. I lost my ways for a while when I moved away for school. It didn’t help that the Orioles were in the midst of a decade of losing seasons. But a couple years ago, the Orioles were calling up their latest prospect, a switch hitting catcher by the name of Matt Wieters. I couldn’t afford a full season of but I paid for a month and watched his debut in the Show. Then last year it really took off the O’s were back in the pennant race and a return to winning. So last year and this year I’ve been glued to my iPhone or iPad Mini or AppleTV as I watch them on for the full season.

There’s so much to like about these Orioles, they’re scrappy but there’s loads of talent to be found. Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis and JJ Hardy for a solid every day core. Now all they need is to develop the starting pitching. They’ve got a few decent arms and with the way the O’s mash, they’re in just about every game. But if Goose (Kevin Gausman) and Dylan Bundy develop the way we hope, we’ll be making pennant runs for the foreseeable future.

Besides Major League Baseball, College Football has to be my second love. I grew up a Florida State Seminoles fan during the dynasty years. My Mom, an alumnus, raised me to cheer for the garnet and gold. I’ll admit the 90s Noles spoiled me and I was heartbroken during their decline in the mid-2000s. I moved to Gainesville in 2006 for college and ended up going to school at the University of Florida. And so, the Gators, the rivals of my childhood Noles, tried to wrest away my fandom. But a single season cannot erase a lifetime of cheering and so by halftime of the Battle for the Governor’s Cup, I was back to rooting for my Noles. But that doesn’t mean I don’t root for the Gators. My college allegiances are a mess but in order: Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Florida.

I personally find the college game a lot more fun and interesting. The guys in the NFL are so good and play at such a high level that the game feels repetitive and boring. But the diversity of offenses and defenses and experimental plays keeps the college game constantly fresh. The only other college sport I tend to follow is baseball but I tend to just follow along in recaps and game threads only catching the occasional televised game.

Next up, professional basketball and the Miami Heat. I was born and raised in South Florida and I used to have a strong affinity for the teams there (Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins) but I never was a big basketball person until the emergence of Dwayne Wade. I had somewhat followed the Heat during the early Mourning years but when I was growing up everyone was a Jordan fan. But Wade. He took Miami by storm and hasn’t let go. His ability to drive to the rim and draw fouls is amazing. And then he grabbed his two draft-mate friends and brought them to South Beach to win it all. And win it all they have (though it took them a year).

Finally, my last sports love is the Seattle Sounders. I love them from far away and don’t get to watch many of their matches but if I were living in Seattle, I’d proudly be a supporter and season ticket holder. Soccer was my first little league sport but baseball became my true love. Recently, I’ve rediscovered the joy of watching soccer matches and I plan on continuing to do so. My hometown team, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, is my second division team though if they moved up to MLS, I might have a hard time sticking with the Rave Green.

So that’s my sports life wrapped up in a single article. My hope is that each of these introduction articles gives a little bit more insight into who I am.

Here are my opening weekend thoughts…

Games Watched: Wagner at Florida Atlantic, Ohio at Penn State, Bowling Green State at Florida, Murray State at Florida State, Clemson at Auburn, Michigan at Alabama

Wagner (FCS) @ Florida Atlantic (Sun Belt)
Quite possibly the ugliest game I watched. FAU squeaked by with a late touchdown and held on to win. I know there’s a new coach but come on guys. As far as the QBs, Curtis is the future, but Wilbert looks like he’ll keep FAU competitive in games they can win. Plus FAU’s about to embark on it’s SEC money games against Georgia and Alabama so they need to be in a position to win against Middle Tennessee next week.

Ohio (MAC) @ Penn State (B1G)
Wasn’t able to pay too much attention to this game and I’ll admit to a bit of schadenfreude here. I’m not entirely sure Penn State should be fielding a team and I feel bad for all the players but this is really only the start of a very long time in the cellar of the Big Ten. Only a bit of roster attrition this year but like everyone else I’m expecting a lot more following the conclusion of this semester.

Bowling Green (MAC) @ Florida (SEC)
Another awful game. Florida didn’t gain control of this game until halfway through the 4th quarter. Bowling Green isn’t an FCS school but Florida’s got a week to get it’s house in order or else they’re going to get a rude awakening in College Station. At one point the Gators had Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, Jacoby Brisset and Jeff Driskel all on the field. That’s four Gator QBs for those counting. I’m not entirely sure how Driskel ended up in charge of the Gator offense but I agree with #TeamGuyWhoHandsItToGilly. Gillisee is going to have to carry this offense. I’m just afraid to watch when Florida meets a defense that is determined to stuff the box.

Murray State (FCS) @ Florida State (ACC)
Standard FCS opponent disclaimer but this was the second best game I watched this opening weekend. Florida State had pretty good control of this game from the opening kickoff. The Oline kept the quarterbacks upright and opened holes for the running game. The defense played like one of the best in the country. Next week is another tune up for the Noles but I’ll be there in person.

Michigan (B1G) @ Alabama (SEC)
Alabama proved that Alabama is still Alabama and Michigan is still playing catch up. The Tide once again look like world beaters and I can’t see how anyone will stop them up until November when they face LSU in a night game at Death Valley. Michigan’s going to have to iron out those kinks before they host Notre Dame in a couple of weeks.

Other Random Thoughts
I’m not one to cheer for other teams in my conference but come on ACC. Maryland and Wake Forest barely got past their FCS foes and NC State got embarrassed in the Chick-Fil-A kickoff against Tennessee.

I like Samantha Steele. She held her own during Gameday and made it through her missteps relatively cleanly. Since she’s going to be compared to Erin Andrews in every way, I’ll go ahead and give her a solid B+ for this weekend. Erin decided to make a career move but I don’t think ESPN will really miss her at all.

Gameday has two new commercials both featuring Jimbo Fisher. Stickers is far and away the better one. Cards just makes Corso look old and forgetful. Neither of which is a good look for ESPN.

I primarily track the months of the year by the sports that are currently being played. College baseball and Spring Training in March. Baseball from April to October1. College football from September to January. It’s officially college football season. I just finished watching the ending of the Vandy/SCarolina game and the first half of the Wazzu/BYU matchup.

College football is the sport I’m probably most passionate about. Baseball will always be my first love but nothing gets me more excited than an on-campus stadium packed with 80,000 plus fans. Baseball is a thinking man’s game. Lots of slow strategic play. Football is all about passion. Hard hits. Fast pace. There’s a lot of strategy involved but a lot more moving parts and randomness.

My college loyalties are slightly divided. I was raised an FSU Seminole but I attended Florida Atlantic and the University of Florida. FSU takes priority in the rivalry game but I root for the Gators otherwise. Finally, I take no solace is cheering for any conference. You’ll never hear any S-E-C! or A-C-C! chants from me. If FSU or UF isn’t winning, I’m not cheering on one of their conference mates in hopes that their winning ways rub off on my team.

I’m planning on watching a lot more football games this year and I’ll provide some thoughts on the games I do catch each week.

  1. Normally I have little reason to follow the baseball season after early August. My favorite team the Baltimore Orioles have spent the last decade and a half in the cellar of the AL East. This year, they’re 3 games back and squarely in of midst of a playoff chase. 

Day Four:

2009-01-05 - P365D4

Today the AFC East Champion Miami Dolphins took to the field for the last time this season. Nic and I went to Kim Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill. Unfortunately, we arrived a little bit late and the place was packed full. However, we lucked out when one of the managers stopped by and asked how many people were in our party. It turned out there was another couple that had a booth but their friends had never showed. So we got to sit with them. The girl was sweet, the guy was a bit drunk. We ordered food and enjoyed the game. At halftime we decided to head to Nic’s place to finish up the game and it just lucked out that the couple’s friends showed up. It was a good time and we had a great talk while we were at her place. Unfortunately the Dolphins lost but we spent a good five plus hours together talking and having fun.

Older brothers won 5-3.

We had to even up the teams a bit.

I did pretty well. I fielded most of the kick off returns to get us in good position.

I had defended one pass playing back as the safety.

I had about four rushes for about 30 yards and a touchdown.

And I caught one pass for 10 yards.

Also threw up some good blocks playing in the TE/Slot Receiver spots.

Now time to get ready for the Christmas party!

Well I’m about to wrap things up at work and go pick up some stuff for tonight.

Pledge Bowl – Our chapter has an annual football game between the brothers. The last two classes and their trainer line up on one side and the rest of the brotherhood lines up on the other. I didn’t get to play last year but I’m excited for this year even if my little brother is on the other team.

Christmas Party – We don’t have an official formal for our frat and our joint banquet is in the Spring semester. So this is our formal event for the Fall. It’s a classy affair with egg nog and apple cider, cookies, sodas and other fun stuff. I just need to get home right after Pledge Bowl and clean up and get some stuff.

After the disasters that were Wednesday and Thursday, this Friday is shaping up very nicely.

Part 3 of 10 in My Dreams to Achieve Series.

Baseball wasn’t the first sport I ever played. But it has had the largest impact and will always be a part of my life. I played up through high school and even was an umpire for the little league. In college, I’ve played a season of slow pitch softball. I remember my first year of tee ball when I caught a ball with my head. I earned a blue star for that feat. I remember my first year of kid pitch when I got a fastball to the helmet. I remember never lifting the bat off my shoulder for the rest of the year. I loved stealing bases and playing up the middle.

But I’m no David Eckstein but hell I wish I was. And if I was the only team I would ever play for would be the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve bled orange and black from the day I was introduced to baseball. Cal Ripken, Jr., the Ironman, is the player I most admire. He worked hard every day. Even when hurt, which didn’t happen very often. He perfected his defense. He was a big guy but he was always in position to make a play. He was so good he sometimes told pitchers what pitch to throw.

The last time the Orioles won the World Series was 1983 just over a year before I was born. I want to be there the next time they win it. But I want to be able to sit in the stands and watch the entire season. So it is one of my dreams to own season tickets. I’m not sure how long it will take me to get there. But I know it will be worth it.

Baltimore Orioles Logo