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The Current OP Meta is a Result of all of Valorant's Combined Flaws.
submitted by mckaystites to VALORANT [link] [comments]
Hey guys, I'm a 10 year CS player here. Previously played at Level 9 Faceit and A - ESEA. Have probably 1000+ hours of watching pro games under my belt, and even more spent in KZ and HnS servers. I love Valorant, and I love a lot of what they're trying to do with this game in comparison to CS. But, I think the current OP meta is a result of almost every short coming the game has right now (for the most part).
Firstly, I think it's important to preface this by saying that Valorant is 100% by design, made to be easier / more approachable than CS:GO. You can see this in almost every aspect of the game. If it's something that was intimidating to new players in CS, it's been massively simplified here. Spray patterns are far less aggressive. Lineups have been almost entirely eliminated, or completely streamlined. Movement speed has been reduced to allow for easier tracking and aiming. Counter-strafing has been forgotten and replaced by instant momentum. Even the slight advantage you got from good movement (brought along by thousands of hours of practice in CS:GO) has been entirely eliminated by a massive simplification of movement in general, as well as how severe tagging is. I'm not saying these are negative aspects of the game. I understand almost if not all of these changes. Tons of these choices succeed in their desired goal, and it's lead to tons of my friends enjoying this game despite never getting more than 4 games into CS.
With all that said tho, lots of these choices indirectly feed into the current OP meta.
I don't say this lightly either. If you were to directly compare the AWP and the OP, the AWP is hands down 3x more powerful than the OP currently is.
It boasts :
- More ammo overall, and more ammo per clip.
- Instantaneous ADS, and instantaneous Accuracy after scoping in. (though this is more a trait of all scoped weapons in CS:GO)
- Better hip-fire accuracy.
- Higher ROF
- More forgiving movement accuracy
//Thanks to u/IAmNotOnRedditAtWork
for pointing some of these out as they escaped me
I have a shortish video on this, with some old community server / lower level faceit games. It's presented as more of a frag movie than anything so there's no need to watch it, but I do think it can offer some important context when talking about how insane the AWP actually is for high level players.
I've edited it to have specific time stamps in the description so that you can jump between the clips that are actually relevant to this discussion. Turn down volume as there is music and I'm sure its obnoxious. Here you go
Despite the obvious advantages the AWP has, we don't really see it being as prevalent and oppressive as we do in Valorant. We do not see double AWP and Triple AWP rounds being NEAR as viable as they are here, with triple AWP rounds being almost nonexistent.
I chalk this up to quite a few things :
- Movement speed. I think this is discounted quite a bit by nearly everyone. But people fail to realize how big of a deal this really is. I don't think I need to elaborate on this too much. But I think it's important to highlight "punishing" an AWPer. Typically, in CS you're only going to punish an AWPer if they miss their shot. Sure you can smoke them off or flash them, but typically at a high level they'll be playing in a position where it's easy to fall back and avoid being traded if they do get flashed off their angle, that is until you're on site. (Also important to note that not all AWPers play aggressive at lower levels). If it's mathematically easier to hit shots in Valorant, you bet your ass this is having an overall effect on how consistent this weapon can perform. It also (purposefully) eliminates the usefulness of jiggle peeking or baiting shots, which is a massive part of counter-play in CS. I'm not saying they should increase movement speed. I just think pointing this out is healthy for understanding and discussing this topic as a whole.
- Movement Speed pt. 2. On top of movement speed in Valorant being much lower, many CS players will probably tell you that the way in which you move in Valorant is instantaneous. There is no counter strafing, and as a result, if you were to stand still, and then start running, you reach your max velocity almost immediately, if not immediately. This is the same in reverse. You lose your momentum the second you let go off WASD, your momentum being what brings about innaccuracy. This allows the OP to be hyper aggressive in situations where it shouldn't be. Period. You can hold an angle, whiff your shot, and then repeek that same angle aggressively all because you have no aim penalty within a time frame where your aggression should be punishable. In CS:GO the max velocity is higher, and the acceleration has a longer time between min and max. This makes it so that repeeking an angle has a window of innaccuracy that is PARAMOUNT in balancing for a weapon like this. The OP in Valorant currently has little counter-play outside of maybe DDoSing your opponent and hoping they miss shots.'
- Utility. This isn't a secret. Most the player-base is probably aware in some form that this is having an effect on the meta. On top of there being very little vision limiting utility (smokes), I think the lack of counter play regarding flashes is also an issue. In CS, it's usually quite easy to see a flash coming, and depending on your weapon and/or position, either turn and avoid the flash, or to turn and run entirely. Sometimes if it's a pop flash you'll tank it and pray you don't die. But in Valorant, the flashes are very very quick to pop, and they last almost no time at all. You can't act off your own flash at all on most angles, and ton's of choke points require you to walk a distance where the flash is entirely negated anyway. For instance, Ascent A site. If you flash from main the distance between main and site is large enough that most people holding close aren't going to be flashed by the time you're pushed up. So maybe you get the AWPer off the long angle they're holding, and then you start pushing only for the person holding close to take contact and have the AWPer peek back out. This is why we see Phoenix being so viable in TSM's lineup. Flashing out smokes gives the entire team the biggest possible window in order to act on that utility. It's basically equivalent to a pop flash in CS, and also allows you to have more control over where you're flashing onto a site. So you can flash and pop out of the smoke much quicker than if you were around a corner, and you can also flash much deeper into a choke point then you'd normally be able to. That said, this is not a direct counter to OP meta. It's just an issue with flashes I've noticed, and a sort of "work around" I've seen take center stage.
And this kinda brings me to my next issue. And probably the one we all should have expected.
- Map design. Outside of most the maps feeling incredibly linear, and despite them feeling like Hallway simulator 2020. I think there's another issue in relation to thoughtful map design. One of the things I mentioned above was how certain elements were streamlined, in relation to utility mainly. This, in my opinion, also relates to the map design.
CS has very tried and true bits of utility at play. Smokes, Mollies, and Flashes. When you play CS at a level where executes are necessary, it's actually quite fascinating to learn how each map has been designed with utility constantly in mind. Cache B site for instance, there's a window directly above site meant for throwing utility. Mirage A has a massive area above ramp for throwing util. Inferno Apts even has fucking windows on the opposite side of site, with a chimney adjacent to them in order for you to bank utility off of. Dust 2 recently underwent a change in B tuns to allow for more utility and site executes given how hard the site was too take control of. Whether it be on attacks or retakes. Valorant has streamlined "utility" so much, that they've forgotten the exact reason why it was implemented in the way that it was in CS:GO, and why it worked so well. Valorant has thrown thoughtful map design out the window in favor of meaningless gimmicks that fall flat after your 5th game on the map.
Guess what Riot, I don't care about opening and closing destructible doors, or ropes that give you a surprising amount of velocity and accuracy while attached, and definitely not 3 fucking sites. I play ranked games where my opponents go 3-14 and then start fragging out when they decide to whip out the OP. The gun is too easy to use and it sports almost zero counter-play. IT IS AN ISSUE. I understand not jumping the gun and rushing towards some half ass balancing decision, but you've been so quick to address smaller issues that didn't actively suck the fun out of the game and reward players for using an obvious crutch.
// People have pointed out some poor phrasing on my part here, would just like to iterate that I'm not against these kinds of gimmicks, they have a place and I don't mean to undermine anyone who enjoys them. I just think these gimmicks are being used in place of good map design. Sort of a "sure ascent is a terrible map but here are some doors you can open and close, this one has ropes!"
Ascent is the closest map to CS design we currently have in Valorant in my opinion, and it still ignores most of what made those maps work in the first place. Scrap the gimmicks. Nobody wants this random shit. I want maps with intelligent design choices, meaningful spots for fair trades at the beginning of rounds, I want maps designed with rotates in mind and counter-play at heart. You can tell CS maps are designed with all the games utility in mind. I'm constantly reminded that I can't say the same about any of Valorant's maps.
With that being said, what are some ways to fix these issues?
- Add a slight time frame with the OP that adds inaccuracy after moving, keep this outside of movement speed, have it be its own value. For instance, if you scope in with the OP, then strafe to the side and stop moving, add an extra .5 or whatever amount of time where there is still an innaccuracy debuff applied. OPs are meant for holding angles, they are already ridiculously good at that in this game. Punish them for playing aggressive.
- Phoenix's flash needs a slight "rework" to come more into line with vision blocking utility in relation to cutting off angles. Phoenix's flash shouldn't pop so quickly. I think it sports niche usability with little counter-play. When throwing out Phoenix's flash, have it hover in air at the very end of it's duration while giving it an obvious "charge-up" animation, give a larger (but still small) window in order to either back off an angle, or to turn your back too it, and then have it pop, and increase the time frame in which you're flashed slightly. I also considered having Phoenix be invulnerable to his flash, as a way to give Phoenix a way to more reliably entry, while still forcing him to play slightly outside of his team in these situations, (or risk flashing them). This promotes playing anti flash and/or less predictable and maybe even more dangerous positions in order to deny Phoenix this ground when he attempts to entry. I think it adds a reasonable amount of counter play in a game that severely lacks it currently, I think it gives Phoenix some needed independence and room to make these types of solo plays, while also letting an agent specifically gain ground around OPers. I think a good way to envision this is Ascension A site. Instead of OPing heaven when you know Phoenix likes to flash in from main and push you off your angle, you can play on site to the left, and play anti flash in order to kill him when he attempts to entry. Diagram Here
- LET YOUR COMMUNITY DESIGN MAPS FOR YOU. For the love of god the fact that I even have to say this makes me angry. Community interaction has lead to CS being the powerhouse of an E-sport it is today. Volcano's involvement is proof of this. No one is saying you have to add them as actual competitive maps, but acting like you can produce better content than your entire community is ridiculously naive when you've already shown that's NOT the case. Add some kind of community tool for your players to design maps, and have some kind of game mode that rotates these featured community maps every couple of months or something. Even if it's just to give the team at Riot ideas and inspiration. I was worried months ago when you said you weren't going to allow even the most basic of community creativity in this regard. It's okay to be wrong Riot. Valve was smart enough to realize the community could carry some of that workload, while also teaching them and giving them inspiration. Volcano is on your dev team because of this reality.
Memorial Tournament Preview Blog
submitted by -elbisreverri- to barstoolsports [link] [comments]
Since Riggs, Trent, and Frankie have turned their golf positions at Barstool into less blogging and more playing with themselves and selling $50 cases of soda, I decided to take a dull, butter knife stab at a preview blog for this weekend’s Memorial Tournament. Last Week
Real quick let’s talk about how much we should all hate the PGA after Sunday’s off-air debacle, and then about some questionable feature groups this week. For weather reasons on Sunday, the Workday final round tee times were moved up so players could finish before incoming storms. Great, that all makes sense. But somehow the PGA was not able to broadcast the round on TV, and when they did have to kill the live broadcast, they didn’t even mention where to go watch the rest of the tournament. THERE ARE NO OTHER FUCKING SPORTS ON, WHAT COULD CBS HAVE MADE PRIORITY OVER THIS FINAL ROUND? No seriously, someone please tell me because I would love to know what aired on CBS from 11 am to 3 pm instead of live sports. Can we also talk about how terrible the Thursday/Friday coverage is every weekend on all networks? You usually get 2-4 featured groups you can stream online from 9-3 (even these groups you often need NBC Sports Gold to watch), and then get maybe 3 hours of full coverage in a TV broadcast. There is legitimately a channel called the Golf Channel, who are airing a shitty preview/talk show while you are missing coverage. Here’s a fucking mad idea - put live golf on the golf channel before the major networks get prime coverage.
Then we got a look yesterday at the featured groups for the Memorial. How do you fuck this up? If you are younger than 70 and even sporadically watch golf, you could do this job better than whoever does it for the PGA. Here’s the formula: Brooks Koepka makes a joke about Bryson Dechambeau using steroids one week ago = you put them in the same group. Golf has so little drama because all these guys are friends and making millions of dollars even when they aren’t winning. Fans need these storylines/rivalries to be buffed up, not ignored because they might hurt Bryson's feelings. This Week
As far as a course preview, we get a strange twist this week with the players coming back to Muirfield, who just hosted the Workday Charity Tournament. I’ve been watching golf for a long ass time and cannot remember the last time this happened, but it’s not a major headline at all so maybe this does happen on occasion. Either way the setup this weekend will look different than last weekend, with much faster greens, thicker rough, and some changes in tee box locations. I think we see some youngeinexperienced players struggle with the change in green speeds, especially since they just played these same greens and they were rolling like carpet (stimpmeter will go from 11 to 13.5). My gut tells me the winner is either a veteran or someone who didn’t play here last week. This would rule out guys like Hovland, Burns, Merritt, Niemann, etc.
Finally, we have to mention that Eldrick Tiger Woods returns to the field this week. I’m looking at his +2000 odds and hate the value because we have no idea where his game is at right now. That being said, Tiger has won the Memorial five times and placed T9 last year, and T23 the year before. I will root for Tiger to win every tournament he enters, but I won’t look at a future for him at these low odds, and for his first post-break golf since The Match.
Now let’s go over wagers this weekend and what you should look for. I am usually not a fan of betting on outright winners, before any golf has been played. The odds always look so good but you will rarely have a profitable year trying to bet winners every week. That being said, here are some of the best value picks IMO.
- Dechambeau +850
- This man is -69 (nice) in his 4 tournaments since the resumption of the season, with final results of 3rd, 8th, 6th, and 1st. Not only is he launching drives 10% further than the field consistently, but his confidence is sky high and that mental edge goes a long way. Bryson also won here 2 years and 40 pounds ago, so he does like this course. But let’s not forget what a whiny bitch he is. Give me odds on if he will punch a cameraman this week and I would hammer yes.
- Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas +950
- Rory holds the current #1 world golf ranking, and JT holds the current #1 FedEx cup ranking. Neither golfer has won since returning from quarantine, however they each grabbed a trophy or two early in the season (pre-pandemic). Both have seen some inconsistencies in the past month, with over par rounds or missed cuts, but undeniably still playing great golf. You might want to think about JT’s state of mind after blowing a lead and then a playoff last weekend, but I still like him to show up and be in the mix.
- DJ +1500
- DJ recently daddy-dicked Brendan Todd in the final round of the Travelers, starting his final round 2 shots behind and leaving with a 1 shot victory (6 shots ahead of Todd). He might win, he might not, either way he’s going home to Paulina Gretzky and a Johnny Depp style lunch spread.
- Koepka +1750
- I’m going to choose to ignore Brooks’ round one 74 at the Workday this weekend, followed up by a missed cut. His previous two tournaments he posted 8 consecutive rounds under par, and a Sunday 65 to place 7th at the RBC Heritage. That being said, in my brief research it looks like his best finish at the Memorial was T31 in 2017, so maybe he hates this course. But Petty King’s hate for everyone besides himself is a great motivator. Can’t wait until we get a “suck on that Faldo” on a hot mic.
- Morikawa +2000
- My guy Collin is less than a year removed from his amateur status, and has now made 24/25 cuts to start his career. Three weeks ago he lipped out a 3 footer to lose in a playoff, had a rough 2 weeks at the RBC and Travelers, but then he came right back and won in a playoff this past weekend. This dude is a sniper from the fairway, but can he stay straight off the tee and hole some putts? 2 playoffs in his last 4 tournaments would indicate yes.
- Cantlay/Matsuyama/Rose/Kuchar +1250 to +6500
- All four of these guys have won the Memorial in the past, with Cantlay at the best odds trying to repeat his title from 2019. I sneaky love Justin Rose here who has been playing great golf, and reminds me of a slightly less hate-able version of Adam Scott. Always fun to root for Kuch daddy as well, but his association with Sketchers is unforgivable.
- Hovland/Simpson/Schauffele/Berger +2000 to +3000
- Three young studs who have won or come close to winning this season, and a veteran who has been playing lights out golf (Webby). I would not be surprised to see a slow start for Hovland after two disappointing Sundays in a row, but he is too good not to make a push if he makes the cut. Schauffele actually scares me, he is definitely the odds on favorite to be a serial killer after his PGA career (eh maybe Mickelson). But that focus and weird fatheson relationship has been working for him, and he’s sitting just a few spots outside the FedEx cup top 10 and playing great golf. Meanwhile Webby is sitting at #2 in the FedEx cup rankings with a win at the RBC Heritage and a top 10 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Side note, why is there a “t” in mortgage? Fuck that word.
My pick: once again reiterating I will likely not bet on a Sunday winner before Thursday starts, but if I was I would put my money on Justin Rose +4500 or Xander Schauffele +2500. Thursday Matchups
Easily the best way to bet on golf, and in my experience the most profitable. Here are a few picks I’ll be making before Thursday. Currently I am 4-2 betting matchups (last 4 PGA events) and I’ll track my picks moving forward. If I get to Jack Mac or Reags level of bad betting, I promise I’ll retire and not pretend I know what I’m talking about. I’m only going to pick matchups in the featured groups for Thursday. Nothing worse than betting on someone like Marc Leishman, and having to refresh the golf cast simulator thing instead of watching live play. Dechambeau (-115)
over Thomas (-105): everything is so planned out and calculated with Bryson, and his sit-out at the Workday feels like a part of his plan. Fucking hate rooting for this kid, but I see him coming in fresh against JT who blew an enormous lead last weekend. D. Johnson (even)
over Morikawa (-120): my favorite first round matchup bet. It seems counter-intuitive going against the guy who won at this course a few days ago, but don’t forget the major change this week will be how the greens roll. And Morikawa is 150th on tour in strokes gained with the putter. Lock it in. Take a flier - round 1 leader
I don’t think I’ve ever bet this prop but I’ve also never written a golf blog before so let’s take a shot here. I’ll put a half unit on it as well: Rickie Fowler +4000
Rick's finishes at the Memorial the past 3 years: T14, T8, solo 2nd. In 2017 when he placed 2nd, he shot an opening round 66. I also feel like I see him in the mix a lot in early rounds, but can’t quite put together those low weekend rounds.
That’s all I’ve got. Sorry it’s not funny but it’s better content than we’ve gotten out of Foreplay.
Let’s make some money and blow off work Thursday and Friday.
FIRE and Kids – The cost of raising children in Australia
submitted by AussieHIFIRE to fiaustralia [link] [comments]
This post has been inspired by this recent podcast
featuring three of the biggest names in the Aussie FIRE blogging community, and the follow on discussions in the Aussie Firebug Facebook group about how much it costs to raise kids in Australia. As all three acknowledge they don’t have kids so it’s not something they really have any experience with.
As someone who has two young kids I thought it would be useful to write about it from my perspective. Obviously my situation isn’t the same as everyone else’s, there are plenty of people who would be horrified with how much we’ve spent, and others who would wonder how we manage to spend so little. Everyone’s situation is different, so what works for my family wouldn’t necessarily work or others.
My oldest child has only just started school this year so I can’t really speak from experience beyond the 0-5yo age range, but I’ll talk through some of the typical costs, what we have and haven’t spent money on so far, and what we’re anticipating in the future. The costs people actually talk about
The first two things that almost always come up when people start talking about the cost of babies are prams and carseats. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on these things if you want to, prams in particular. From a quick look at Baby Bunting the most expensive pram there is nearly 3 thousand dollars, and I’m betting that with a few accessories you can easily get over that mark.
No, you do not need to spend that much on a pram. Yes you can probably pick one up on the cheap from Kmart or Target etc for well under a hundred bucks, but it’s probably not going to be as sturdy or hold much of the gear you take with you. Happily a pram is also the sort of thing where you can pretty easily and safely pick one up secondhand or get a hand me down from someone else.
We bought a Babyzen Yoyo, which is basically a small sized pram although it still has enough storage room for us. It folds up so that you can take it on a plane as carry on luggage, is quite light, extremely maneuverable and very sturdy. I’ve taken it running plenty of times, it’s even got a Parkrun PB of 22:06!
This thing is absolutely gold. Unfortunately it’s priced as though it’s made of it as well. There wasn’t an option to get one second hand because it had only just been released so we had to pay full whack. I think we spent over a thousand dollars on it including all the accessories and the lie flat and sit up seats etc.
It was worth every cent. It’s been going for 5 years and 2 kids and is still in great shape, we’ve never had a problem with it at all. My wife tells me it is one of the best things I have ever bought her, although we both use it obviously.
And at the end of the day a one off cost of $1,000 for us as a family is going to have basically zero impact on when we hit FIRE. Plugging the numbers into a compound interest calculator and using 7% annual return over 30 years I miss out on $8,000, which is about a month worth of returns on my target portfolio. I can live with delaying retirement one month for about 5 cumulative years of having a really good pram that works great for us.
Similarly you can spend a fair chunk of money on car seats. This is one of those things that I wouldn’t want to get second hand because you can’t see if they’ve been broken or not and safety is a huge priority for us and presumably everyone else.
Happily car seats don’t tend to cost that much, you can pick one up for a couple hundred bucks or less pretty easily. If you do that it tends to be one for a much shorter age range, say 0-2yrs whereas I think you can get ones which will take your kid from 0-8 but they cost a lot more. In any case per kid you’re probably looking at a thousand bucks total, and this could easily be a lot less.
Again it’s not going to make any appreciable different to us reaching FIRE. So as easy as it is to point at this sort of stuff as being ridiculously expensive and over priced etc, it’s really not going to make much of a difference to most people. Sure you don’t want to spend any more money than you have to, but you also want to make sure you’re getting something that works for you. The other one off costs
There are also a bunch of one off costs for babies and young kids like cots, beds, mattresses, baby carriers etc. From what I’ve been told you want to buy a baby mattress new, but that’s only about a hundred bucks at Target, potentially cheaper elsewhere. We have an Ikea cot which cost about the same, you could easily get one second hand or likely for free just by asking around your friends who will probably be delighted to get it out of their house.
Some people do co-sleeping in which case you don’t need the cot and mattress although you may like to kid yourself that your baby will actually sleep in their own bed, maybe even through the night. It’s nice to pretend sometimes!
As kids get older you’ll need a proper bed for them, again you can probably pick this up second hand pretty cheap and a mattress can be easily had for a couple hundred bucks. So none of these things are really going to have much of an impact so long as you’re a decent saver already. The big costs you see
When you don’t have kids it can be great to live in a studio flat or one bedroom apartment in the inner city close to all the bars and restaurants and all the rest of it. You can stay in your local area and have plenty to keep you entertained, there is probably a supermarket nearby and plenty of public transport so you may not need a car either.
Once you have kids, it’s likely going to be a different story as your priorities change. It may be that you’re happy renting with kids, but lots of people tend to prioritise stability and security when they have kids and that means owning your own home in most cases. I’m not saying everyone will want this, but a lot of people will.
So now that you have kids you almost certainly want a second bedroom and if you’re planning on having more kids maybe a third or fourth etc. Obviously kids can share bedrooms for a while at least but sooner or later they will probably want their own space, as will you.
You’ll also be wanting parks with playgrounds nearby and somewhere you can easily take your kids for a walk or kick a football around, ideally in a good school district which can add a couple hundred thousand dollars to the cost all by itself if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne. And if you want to live somewhere cheaper but send the kids to a good private school, well that can cost anywhere from the low thousands to multiple tens of thousands per year.
Similarly if you didn’t have a car before, you will very likely want one now. I’ve mentioned before that we drive a base model Corolla which works just fine for us so far, but you’re still probably looking at $20k plus if you buy one new, mid teens if you want one used. If you want an SUV or a luxury model car, be prepared to fork out a lot more.
In the same vein if you were previously going on lots of holidays and plan to keep doing so, well you now have at least one more plane ticket to buy, might need a bigger hotel room etc. As I talked about in this post
about big ticket items, that all comes at a real cost. We bought land and built a house, so I can say that we spent roughly $100,000 more on that than we would have otherwise. The ongoing costs
There are also a bunch of ongoing costs for kids as well. They need to be fed, they need clothes and shoes, they need medicine, and a bunch of other stuff that costs money. I wrote here
about a bunch of things that we do to keep costs down, but the reality is that you still have to fork over a decent chunk of change.
On top of all that contrary to what you might have been told public school is not free, there are a bunch of things that you have to chip in for here as well. We’re not at the stage that we’re forking out a fortune in extra utility bills etc but we certainly use the washing machine a lot more than we would if we didn’t have kids, there are extra lights and tvs etc on so there are extra costs there as well.
There are also a bunch of extra items that you don’t really need to spend, but probably will. For us this includes stuff like swimming lessons, some sports like AusKick (AFL) and Junior Blasters (cricket), occasionally taking them to a theme park or zoo etc. They also get birthday and Christmas presents, and if they get invited to other kids parties they take a store bought gift with them.
The above is about what I think our 5yo costs us at the moment based on our spending, our 2yo is probably about two thirds of that due mostly to her not eating as much and not getting swimming lessons yet, as well as not being in school or doing sports.
I’ve left the holiday line blank because this is hugely variable. Last year we did a trip to the UK and it probably cost us about $3,000 extra between the two of them, next time it will be another couple thousand dollars more because the youngest one will need her own seat rather being on someone’s lap for the flights.
So our spending for our eldest is about two thirds of the costs quoted in this article
for a 6yo girl, I would assume that apart from a boy maybe eating a bit more the costs should be fairly similar. The main difference compared to our costs seem to be education and transport.
Also, it was somewhat shocking to me just how expensive swimming lessons are! This is actually at our local council aquatic centre and is the cheapest in town. We do get to use the pool whenever we want, but that only tends to be once or twice a week at most. At least the lessons will hopefully only be for a few years for each child, although after that we may be forking out for something else instead. The hidden cost of kids
The biggest cost is often actually one that doesn’t show up as an expense, the opportunity cost of one parent giving up paid employment entirely for a while or doing part time hours (I’ve used the phrase giving up paid employment here because looking after kids and a house is definitely work!).
If we say that you’re giving up a full time paid job that’s at minimum wage of roughly $20 an hour for 40 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, then that’s $38,400 a year ($33,605 after tax and medicare levy) that the family is giving up for however long this goes on for. If you’d otherwise be earning more than that, then the opportunity cost each year is even higher. On top of that there is the hit to your career and future earnings, because those are definitely going to be impacted as well.
If you’ve got two kids that are separated by two or three years and you as a family want a parent at home until they go to school, well that’s 7 or 8 years of missing out on that money which works out as around $250k based on a full time minimum wage job. I’m pretty hopeful that my wife would be earning more than minimum wage as well so for us it’s even more than that. On the plus side, she gets to spend more time with the kids although that probably feels like a mixed blessing some of the time!
Alternatively if both parents want to keep working then there will likely be childcare costs for the first 4 or 5 years and then before and after school care, as well as missing out on spending time with their kids. Because we haven’t gone down this route I don’t know exactly how much it costs, I do hear plenty of stories about it being $100 a day minimum around where I live and it’s a lot more in capital cities. There are subsidies available for this, but you can pretty easily be spending tens of thousands each year on childcare while they’re young and then once they’re old enough before and after school care.
You may be lucky enough to have grandparents or other family nearby that are happy to help out with this if they live nearby, but that won’t apply to everyone and it’s unlikely to reduce the cost entirely. The costs that are yet to come
At the moment our kids are still young and fairly inexpensive. Between the two of them they tend to eat roughly what a grown adult eats, but from what I’ve been told that will change fairly dramatically as they get older. They’ll need new clothes more frequently, more shoes, potentially play more sports, go on more school excursions, you get the idea.
Education could be another factor. There is a public high school that will be built in the next few years quite close by, and assuming that it’s decent our kids will likely be going there. But if it’s not, then we’ll have to look into private schools which can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands.
There will be extra curricular stuff as well. Given my wife and I are both horrible at music it seems unlikely that our kids will be doing extra lessons there, but there are plenty of other areas like sport or extra educational activities that we’d be considering. I know a few parents who have kids who are in elite sports programs (as in regional or state teams) and the costs here can very quickly add up, likewise if extra education is needed or wanted then that’ll be an extra expense. Government and other assistance
I know that depending on your circumstances that there can be government assistance in the form of Family Tax Benefit, childcare subsidy and possibly other programs as well. We don’t get any of these which is fine, we don’t need them and they are presumably meant to be for those who do. If you’re not sure if you should be getting any of these then Centrelink does have this payment finder
We did get the one day a week Kinder program for 3yos and 3 days a week Kinder program for 4yos, although these both also came with costs of roughly $1,500 a year so it actually cost us money, again this is fine, just a reminder that it isn’t actually free.
Depending on your employer you may also be able to get parental leave for a while, and there is a minimum payment which they have to make so long as you’ve met some requirements. Some employers may also have some continuing support with subsidised childcare and the like. None of this was applicable to our situation but at least some of it will likely be available for others. So what’s the bottom line?
For us the biggest actual one off cost so far has been the bigger house and land that we purchased because we wanted our kids to be able to have plenty of space inside and outside the house. That cost about a hundred thousand dollars more than we would have paid if it were just the two of us. All the other stuff like a pram, car seats, cots/beds, mattresses and all the rest of it have been maybe $5,000 total, which is tiny by comparison.
The opportunity cost has been bigger than this though. When we had our first child when we were in Hong Kong my wife wasn’t working much anyway as there just weren’t that many jobs she could do and my wage easily supported both of us so she was doing some very casual part time work and so not doing that work afterwards didn’t impact us much.
In Australia though she probably would have been earning at least $40,000 a year after tax, so we’ve foregone almost $200,000 on an after tax basis there. Which as I’m sure you can imagine has a pretty big impact on when we will hit FIRE, particularly given we’ve got another few years or her not being in paid employment at all and then likely only working part time after that. So I would guess we’ll be looking at forgone earnings of at least $500,000 by the time all is said and done, and it could quite easily be a lot more.
The actual ongoing costs of the kids so far haven’t been too bad. Between the two of them it’s about $8,000 a year at the moment, although we would anticipate that this will go up a fair bit over time as they start eating more and getting into more extra curricular activities. I get that this is spending that isn’t a necessity, but do I really want my kids to miss out on a bunch of fun stuff so that I can retire a year or two earlier? No, no I do not.
So far the total costs look something like this. You can see that by far the biggest cost has been the earnings that we’ve missed out on because my wife has been at home looking after the kids and doing the household stuff (yes I do some of it because I think it’s important that we share the jobs and to role model stuff for the kids, but the reality is that she is at home a lot more than I am and does more of it). Buying a bigger house and land is next, and the actual costs of feeding and clothing and all the other one off stuff for the kids is a tiny proportion of the actual cost.
All up I’m hopeful that we can keep the ongoing costs to somewhere between $125k and $150k per child from birth through to age 18, although if private school is necessary then that will push up the costs a fair bit. This is less than half of what this article
suggests, so although it sounds like a lot of money it’s actually fairly frugal by comparison.
To put it in perspective, it’s basically spending about 7 or 8 grand a year on each child. There are plenty of people out there who spend more than that on food alone, let alone the rest of their living expenses.
As I said earlier travel costs are on top of this, and this can increase the costs quite a lot! Travel is a huge part of the reason we’re pursuing HIFIRE, and we want to be taking the kids on plenty of holidays while they’re growing up.
That’s obviously discretionary spending to a large extent, but we do have close family living overseas who we want to see every couple of years or so, and it’s not fair to expect them to always be the ones travelling. I would guess that we’ll be looking at about $50k per kid in travel costs by the time they turn 18. That’s about 3 grand a year, which doesn’t sound wrong based on the cost of international travel. It may be less than that which would be great, but could also be a fair bit more.
So all up for the two kids we’re looking at about a million dollars from birth to age 18. About half of that is the foregone wages from not working, which is by far the biggest impact. The actual cost of the kids is about another 30%, then travel is 10%, another 10% for the bigger house and land. And then right at the end is less than 1% for the one off stuff like prams and baby seats and cots etc. How could we spend less?
Obviously there are other things we could be doing instead to keep the cost down. The biggest expense is the wages that aren’t being earned because my wife is looking after the kids and the household stuff. We could have chosen to have her work and instead pay for childcare and after school care etc.
If we did though then she wouldn’t get to spend as much time with the kids (which she tells would be welcome some of the time!) and there would be a lot more house work and shopping that would need to be done after work or on weekends for both of us, we’d potentially eat out more often as it’d be more of a hassle cooking meals each night, as well as a bunch of other tradeoffs.
So having her stay at home was our preferred method, and thankfully we’re in the financial position where we can afford to do it that way. Other people make different choices, or they’re unfortunately not in a position to make a choice, they need both partners working or if they’re a single parent have to do it this way.
We could have also gone with a smaller house and less of a backyard. I shared a bedroom with my brother for part of our childhood and we both managed fine. It’s not ideal, but it’s certainly doable, and we could have saved a lot of money by having a smaller house. Again we chose not to because we wanted a bigger house and a decent sized backyard for them to be able to run around in and we can afford it.
We don’t have to travel, although it’d be a bit rough expecting family to travel overseas to see us every year or two and then not reciprocating. Still, that would save a fair amount of money.
It’s pretty hard to say how things will work out with the actual costs of raising the kids. I know roughly what we’ve spent so far, but it’s pretty difficult to know what we’ll be spending in future as they get older. They’re likely to be eating a fair bit more food, s they grow they’ll need new clothes and shoes, they’ll presumably be playing sport and doing other extra curricular stuff which will all cost money.
$150k per kid from 0 to 18 seems like it’s a lot less than what it costs most people, but then we already live a fair bit more cheaply than most others so maybe it’s about right.
At the end of the day we’re happy with the choices that we’ve made so far, but there has certainly been some room to have spent less money than what we have, or to have had more money coming in through both of us being in paid employment. Obviously it has an impact on when we will hit our FIRE number, but I’d rather take a little bit longer to get there than to make different tradeoffs along the way.
Have you got kids or are thinking about having them? How do you think it will impact on your FIRE journey?
Original post with pretty charts, pictures, tables etc is here
Let's talk about the mind tricks and psychological warfare being waged by cheaters, hackers, and RMT vendors in Tarkov, and what we can do about it. This is a long post, but Tarkov is worth it, and a TL;DR is provided at the top.
submitted by aerodreamz to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]
Edit: There's obviously big money at stake as I started receiving death threats the moment this post hit the front page on hot. Be careful with your personal info and probably best to avoid commenting here if you have doxxable details on your reddit account. Stay safe, it's just a game and not worth it. TL;DR:
- Tarkov is a crazy wild game with a bunch of people running around trying to do weird things. Remember that bizarre outcomes are just as likely (if not more) to be happenstance than suspicious behavior. Don't let others gaslight you into thinking every encounter is a hacker or cheater.
- Cheat sellers, RMT vendors, and their customers, all want to push the narrative that rule-breaking is far more common than it actually is, and that the game developers are ruining the game so you may as well just hack/cheat yourself to level the playing field. It's great for business as a seller, and it helps rationalize malicious actions as a customer. Spreading paranoia, mass outrage, and undermining the developers are CIA-level tactics to sow chaos and anarchy that benefits bad actors at the cost of everyone else.
- The best thing we can do is silence attempts by bad actors and focus on productive, positive discussions in Tarkov and let BSG (who are the only people who can do anything) do their jobs. They spend 65% of their resources on crushing bad actors and their profit margins, so this isn't an issue that's flying under their radar. As a community, the best voice we have against malicious behavior is deafening silence to starve it of attention and free publicity, minimizing the chances that they can sow enough fear and angst to radicalize players to get more customers.
First off, the point of this discussion is not to debate how prevalent cheating in Tarkov is. This sub already has more than enough speculation on that topic and as you read further along you'll see that letting fear and paranoia fester is exactly what bad faith agents in Tarkov want.
Wherever you have competition, you're going to have cheating. Whether it's Tarkov, Olympic sports, or the stock market. As long as there is competition, there will always
be someone who looks to gain an unfair edge, and it doesn't even matter if it's something as mundane and trivial as online chess, there's always going to be that guy who runs their opponents moves into a grandmaster-level AI because their enjoyment comes from that win at any cost.
However, despite the fact that bad faith competition exists in nearly every facet of life, it seems like the Tarkov community is far more paralyzed by fear, anger, and suspicion than any other competitive forum. Why is this?
- The game design makes it exceedingly difficult to discern bad faith actions from legitimate play. A naked level 1 with a TT pistol can accidentally get a lucky hipfire shot that instantly kills a fully kitted veteran who is highly skilled in the game. The incredibly punishing nature of the game also makes it so that deaths are highly impactful, which makes it difficult to "let go" of trying to figure out what went wrong. All put together, it means that players are forced to simply accept highly punishing deaths without being given any insight or explanation on how they were killed. 20 headshots with an R99 SMG in Apex Legends is incredibly obvious aimbotting. But in Tarkov, the fight is over with just 1, which leaves a lot of unanswered questions with no satisfying answers.
- Because the shared raid map system that Tarkov uses, players have a wide variety of objectives that lead to very differing goals, resulting in bizarre interactions where the original intentions of other other players is unclear. Someone who's hiding in a raid to wait for the violence to die down could be stumbled upon by some other person who is completely lost trying to find a quest objective, or wandering around exploring an obscure area trying to find easter eggs. From the vantage point of the hider, it seems suspicious they were hunted down by someone who had no reason to legitimately to hunt in the location that they were. In other words, players will frequently run into other players acting in inexplicable ways that can be easily misattributed to malice when it was just as likely to be happenstance.
- The lack of SBMM (skills-based matchmaking) means that all players are drawn from the same pool when forming raids. This means a complete new player to FPS genre entirely could be running face first into the most skilled players in the entire game. When the competition spans the entirety of the skill curve, it's incredibly difficult to know what is going on because player actions are often contrary to expectations of others. Chaos makes it easy to be suspicious about bad faith play because nobody is acting "logically" from each perspective. Naive players may charge in aggressively in silly ways that end up working by sheer luck that more experienced players will assume would only be as a result of unfair information. A very high skill player can take fights that they win with superior mechanics that most would assume you would only engage because of unfair aim.
The point is, this game is designed to breed suspicion, paranoia, and fear. Which is great in one way, because it's what makes it so exciting and fun to play. However, when channeled in the wrong way, is a serious problem because it's exactly what bad faith actors want. Let's think about various actors in Tarkov, and ask the question, "do they want people to believe that rule breaking is more or less prevalent than it actually is?"
CHEAT SELLERS: MORE
Because the narrative is, everyone is cheating, the game is unfair no matter what, every raid you load into has someone that is map-hacking, every fight you take is against someone who is aim-botting. Therefore, you should consider picking up some little helpers yourself to make it fair again, or be a naive idiot that willingly plays at a disadvantage while everyone else is using hacks. The idea that literally cheaters and hackers are infesting every single raid is probably the best possible sales pitch a cheat seller could have.
The few instances of cheating leads to fear and paranoia festering, prompting more people on the fringe to consider cheating themselves, leading to more cheating, more fear, more paranoia, more business.
RMT VENDORS: MORE
Because the narrative is, this game is filled with cheaters anyway, half the lobby is people who bought stuff with mom's credit card, and Nikita is setting out to personally reduce your happiness in life and the game is unrewarding and unplayable for a normal legitimate player that doesn't hack or make a full-time job out of Tarkov. Why bother doing all the pointless stupid grinds while you're dying 50 raids in a row to hackers or someone who bought all their gear with their credit card, when you can just buy a few little cheeki Roubles from the side and get to having fun in the game?
Negativity and toxicity toward both the existence of other bad faith players, as well as toward the game design itself, is inherently the best possible environment for a thriving RMT system. This is especially perfect for Tarkov because unlike other MMORPGs, it's much more likely that incremental changes will be more brutal rather than having power creep / loot creep / money creep, which fuels despair and more interest in RMT.
CHEAT/RMT USERS: MORE
This one is simple. If they can convince everyone that it's more common than it actually is, the more they can rationalize their own behavior. It's not that bad, everyone else is doing it anyway! Besides, it's not even that big of an advantage, some other cheaters cheat even harder! Some of you may have seen a recent thread where one individual texted "lmao I'm gonna turn off cheats for this group though, cuz these guys play legit."
As if playing legit was actually the minority situation for a massively mainstream FPS game.
THE AVERAGE PLAYER LIKE YOU AND ME: ?
It is human nature to rationalize defeat. When you face down failure with no explanation on why like in Tarkov, it's tempting to blame cheaters, hackers, etc. Different games often have different ways of rationalizing defeat. In team games like Overwatch or League of Legends, teammate-blaming is common to offload the burden onto random strangers. In solo matchup games like Starcraft II, race balance is often used by players who are frustrated that they lost. What's even more, these other games do an excellent job of explaining where you could have done better
, but players will still look for ways to blame someone other than themselves. It's no surprise that in Tarkov, fear and suspicion of bad faith gameplay exists.
The problem is, if we allow ourselves to be tempted to err toward the side of suspicion, to blame negative outcomes on the belief in rampant cheaters, hackers, etc., then we are aligning ourselves to the same narrative that bad faith actors like cheat sellers and RMT vendors want to push. We allow ourselves to be corrupted with the idea of "this game is bullshit, everyone else in the game is not playing fairly, why do I even bother trying?"
This is a dangerous mindset because it fuels a toxic narrative that "this game is never going to be fair to me, the devs don't care, the game is becoming less and less fun for me, I should just quit if I'm not going to cheat myself."
Let me be clear, I'm not saying that toxicity itself will convert an entire playerbase into cheaters. In fact, I think it has a minimal impact at a high level perspective because there just aren't that many people that are willing to traverse to the disreputable ends of the internet and take risks just to gain some internet points. However, even a 1% cheating rate to 3% cheating rate is a 300% proportional magnitude in the profitability of selling cheats or RMT vending.
And more importantly, it significantly damages the enjoyment and integrity of the community at large.
You can see clear evidence of bad faith actors in this subreddit. There have been several threads in this subreddit just in the past few days that have reached the front page claiming 1) false bans are rampant, Nikita should just let RMT be 2) hello I am bob, I am hacker all day, you should hack too because literally it's everywhere you don't even KNOW, btw PM me for cheap hacks 3) xyz devs are ruining the game, why stop RMT/hacks, just let it go, you're DESTROYING THE GAME, STOP DOING THAT BSG!.
I'm not going to say any individual thread (even though many examples have been debunked) are complete bullshit. I'm just going to say that the narrative of these threads is completely aligned with individuals who are lobbying to protect their interests in making a profit out of bad faith play.
What can you do to stop this? It starts with the self.
Encourage productive discussions, positive mentalities, and discourage DESTRUCTIVE SPECULATION and toxic attitudes.
- When you get an incredibly lucky clutch/kill, remember it for yourself, and use it as a reminder as to how fickle this game can be. Think about how your opponent must be so confused/suspicious about what you got away with.
- When you yourself are on the receiving end of that ridiculous death, remind yourself of all the times where you were on the other side. Make your default reaction be "damn, Tarkov is crazy" rather than "I bet that was hacking 100%." Remember how easily flukes can occur, and how easily luck could be conflated with cheating.
- Focus on learning and improving in a game where there is endless room to get better, something that is irrelevant to whether some minority of players chooses to play unfairly.
BSG has shown an exemplary degree of interaction with this community. Always wait for an official response before jumping to conclusions.
- Upvote threads that discuss legitimate aspects of the game, whether it's discussions on strategies, advice on how to get better, or general productive discussions that are within our control as regular players.
- Downvote threads that revolve around discussing cheating, hacking, or a bullshit "Reddit expert panel" of trying to speculate whether gameplay footage was legitimate or not, especially when there is a lack of context on user lag/latency, frames, system specs, server issues, date stamps, etc.
- Upvote threads that explain technical nuances known to impact Tarkov gameplay, e.g. desync bullets resulting in apparently unkillable players, etc.
- Downvote threads that attempt to sow paranoia in masses of players that have nothing to do with anti-cheating efforts. At best, they are attention-seeking threads made by users to profit infamy at the cost of community integrity. At worst, they are propagandized pieces designed to undermine faith in the developers and increase the temptation to use black market cheats/services and perpetuate a death spiral.
- Downvote threads that attempt to induct mass outrage against developers. When someone says "they nerfed X, this is bullshit, we should all just RMT now," it could be from legitimate upset players, but keep in mind that it's also perfectly aligned with exactly the type of agenda that bad faith actors have. Remember that the best thing that malicious actors can do is to pit the player base against the developers so they can create a lawless wasteland to do business undisturbed.
- Go try making a thread about cheating/hacking/boosting in Overwatch or Apex Legends and see how much official response you ever get from developers. This subreddit has been gifted with probably one of the best levels of community engagement from devs you could ask for.
- When someone tries to hit the front page with a thread like "I've been falsely banned," track that thread carefully and wait 3-4 days for the official response. If it's anything like 90% of the threads we've seen in the past few days, you're going to see the truth hammer get dropped, providing the poster doesn't delete their own threads/accounts when they're exposed to be full of lies.
- Upvote threads that make grandiose claims that are worthwhile for an official response. Then mercilessly scrutinize how events unfold, because 99% of the time, it's always liars that are hoping they can incite a riot as "punishment" for the developers interfering with them than anything else. This is a common occurrence in other communities that have high developer interaction like Old School Runescape, where banned players are known to make top-page threads about being falsely banned, before evidence is provided showing that they are completely full of shit and memes ensue when the truth hammer is dropped.
BSG spends 65% of its resources fighting cheaters and RMT and is a developer that has shown endless passion and commitment to its install base. As beta players that are trying to help them develop the best possible game, the best voice we have against bad faith actors in the Tarkov community is deafening silence. Starve them of attention, free marketing, free publicity. Demonstrate that just because they can infect one player, that will not tilt the hundreds of legitimate players into letting themselves surrender and be infected themselves.
Putting an asterisk on every VFL/AFL premiership ever
submitted by spannr to AFL [link] [comments]
Recently there's been a bit of a debate around the traps concerning this 2020 season and whether or not the eventual premiership should have an asterisk next to it. And that's a silly debate, because of course every VFL/AFL premiership ever can have an asterisk next to it. Just pick and choose the asterisks that you personally believe should exist:
|Year ||Premier ||Reason this premiership gets an asterisk |
|1897 ||Essendon ||didn't even have a Grand Final |
|1898 ||Fitzroy ||general clusterfuck |
|1899 ||Fitzroy ||too much rain |
|1900 ||Melbourne ||Melbourne winning the flag from 6th so bullshit they changed the final system in response |
|1901 ||Essendon ||umpiring error gives Essendon the semi-final 'win' - should have been Fitzroy in the GF |
|1902 ||Collingwood ||season tainted by Essendon's 'Goodthur' controversy |
|1903 ||Collingwood ||Collingwood's captain was called "Lardie" that's not even a real name |
|1904 ||Fitzroy ||Crapp umpiring |
|1905 ||Fitzroy ||MCG too wet and soft |
|1906 ||Carlton ||fake Grand Final, was just the prelim in disguise |
|1907 ||Carlton ||fake Grand Final, was just the prelim in disguise again - also illicit Geelong pre-season affair with the VFA's Richmond clearly taints the whole season |
|1908 ||Carlton ||Essendon clearly psychologically scarred by vicious Fitzroy riots |
|1909 ||South Melbourne ||Argus system 'challenge match' is kinda bullshit |
|1910 ||Collingwood ||season tainted by Carlton bribery scandal |
|1911 ||Essendon ||season tainted by player expenses shenanigans |
|1912 ||Essendon ||rules tinkering: players have to be branded with numbers on their backs so that fascist 'Stewards' can report them - I mean what is this, the Napoleonic occupation of Iberia??? |
|1913 ||Fitzroy ||silly finals system allows Fitzroy to play St Kilda again in the GF after losing to them in the prelim |
|1914 ||Carlton ||Jamieson illegally in the back of Bollard, South robbed, #justice4bollard |
|1915 ||Carlton ||comp too imba after University pulls out |
|1916 ||Fitzroy ||wrong for spooners to also be premiers |
|1917 ||Collingwood ||season compromised by WW1 |
|1918 ||South Melbourne ||Carlton too distracted by the Allies thumping the Kaiser to perform well |
|1919 ||Collingwood ||season clearly unbalanced by the winless Melbourne having their first professional season (ie. with paid players) eight years after the rest of the comp |
|1920 ||Richmond ||a player debuts in the Grand Final for Richmond and plays a key part in the result? that's too implausible to be true |
|1921 ||Richmond ||Richmond's season tainted by ball-stabbing incident in R7 |
|1922 ||Fitzroy ||season tainted by Richmond fans death-threating an umpire into retirement |
|1923 ||Essendon ||Grand Final played on Caulfield Cup day? that's not even close to September |
|1924 ||Essendon ||nonsense round-robin finals system that was immediately scrapped |
|1925 ||Geelong ||compromised draw with the three expansion teams |
|1926 ||Melbourne ||Collingwood into the GF without winning any finals - a contrived win for Melbourne |
|1927 ||Collingwood ||GF the lowest-scoring match in 20th or 21st centuries, not good enough to count as a real GF |
|1928 ||Collingwood ||Pies players under a bribery cloud |
|1929 ||Collingwood ||Pies hoarding all the goals and premiership points actually the cause of the Great Depression? #wakeupsheeple |
|1930 ||Collingwood ||Geelong defeats Collingwood in the Preliminary Final but the Pies get to go again because the Argus system is a joke |
|1931 ||Geelong ||R6 was played in two halves, either side of R7 and R8? you can't count 1931! how do we know who even really won? |
|1932 ||Richmond ||uh... Melbourne playing three games for premiership points at the Motordrome and losing all three clearly tainted the season in ways we can't fully appreciate |
|1933 ||South Melbourne ||Bloods deviously importing so many players from WA they should be called the "Swans" |
|1934 ||Richmond ||I mean technically Richmond kicked more goals on the day but that's no match for Bob Pratt's 150 goals in the season |
|1935 ||Collingwood ||Bob Pratt taken out by a brick truck the Thursday before the GF and you can't prove it wasn't a Collingwood player driving the truck |
|1936 ||Collingwood ||Gordon Coventry rubbed out for 8 weeks and missed finals but clearly he was just a fall guy and they should have suspended the whole team |
|1937 ||Geelong ||Sellwood? Hawking? Abbott? if the Cats were going to time travel modern champions back to take the cup at least they should have come up with better fake names |
|1938 ||Carlton ||MCG 12,000 over capacity? some people actually watched the game from on the grass inside the fence? well that's just unsafe |
|1939 ||Melbourne ||rules tinkering: VFL trying to get holding the ball called more often - now you can't just drop the ball when tackled! |
|1940 ||Melbourne ||if you don't think St Kilda winning the Patriotic Premiership was the real premiership that year then you might as well go kiss A-dolf Hitler's boot |
|1941 ||Melbourne ||season compromised by WW2 |
|1942 ||Essendon ||season compromised by WW2 |
|1943 ||Richmond ||season compromised by WW2 |
| || ||edit: Methuen's suggestion - Jack Broadstock shouldn't have been on the field: went AWOL in order to play and was arrested by military police before Jack Dyer intervened |
|1944 ||Fitzroy ||season still compromised by WW2 (no MCG) |
|1945 ||Carlton ||Bloodbath |
|1946 ||Essendon ||some of the Bombers' record 11 third-quarter goals have to be fake, it's statistics |
|1947 ||Carlton ||season clearly should have been called off in shame after the Big V went down to WA in Tasmania of all places |
|1948 ||Melbourne ||clearly the season should have ended on the drawn Grand Final, 69 to 69 |
|1949 ||Essendon ||Coleman kicks his 100th goal for the season in the concluding minutes of the GF - a story stolen directly from Jack Titus in 1940, you have to ask what else was faked about Essendon allegedly 'winning' this premiership #fakenewsflag |
|1950 ||Essendon ||Essendon's captain was the biggest Dick ever to play Aussie rules |
|1951 ||Geelong ||Coleman set up by Caspar |
|1952 ||Geelong ||season tainted by weather so wet and muddy they had to introduce white balls mid-season |
|1953 ||Collingwood ||Cats' full-forward caught having an affair and forced out of the team, they then lose the GF and you can't prove it wasn't a Collingwood player in disguise sent to seduce him |
|1954 ||Footscray ||season tainted by Fitzroy betting scandal |
|1955 ||Melbourne ||Melbourne's kamikaze tactics |
|1956 ||Melbourne ||season compromised by accommodations for the Olympics |
|1957 ||Melbourne ||allowing everyone to compete for the night series clearly tainted the real finals somehow |
|1958 ||Collingwood ||MCG bias |
|1959 ||Melbourne ||uh-oh, Essendon implementing a special high performance training regime, sounds suss |
|1960 ||Melbourne ||Melbourne shouldn't have been able to play a Grand Final with no opponent, that's clearly unfair |
|1961 ||Hawthorn ||just the expansion teams playing, doesn't really count |
|1962 ||Essendon ||medical shenanigans |
|1963 ||Geelong ||whole of round 11 postponed due to weather, season obviously invalid after that |
|1964 ||Melbourne ||Fitzroy clearly should have won the premiership: their lay down misère (zero wins, #1 worst offence and #1 worst defence) was clearly the highest bid |
|1965 ||Essendon ||crowd support drove the Dons to the prelim win and a GF berth after a brutal attack off the ball on one of their players but was it a false flag operation????? |
|1966 ||St Kilda ||timekeeper was a big St Kilda fan you say? oh sure, we can toootally trust that the siren was correctly sounded in this close fought St Kilda game |
| || ||edit: showmanic also suggests St Kilda kicking the ball out of bounds deliberately (legal until 1969) to use up time at the end of the match |
|1967 ||Richmond ||competition clearly unbalanced by players wanting to play for the Galahs rather than compete for the premiership |
|1968 ||Carlton ||too windy |
|1969 ||Richmond ||VFL tinkering with the dang rulebook again to try to boost scoring: now you get a free kick if the opposition kicks it out of bounds on the full?? |
|1970 ||Carlton ||Syd Jackson probably should have missed the game through suspension |
|1971 ||Hawthorn ||R21 Fitzroy v Carlton played in zero-visibility fog clearly a sign of interference by ghosts, season should have been abandoned |
|1972 ||Carlton ||too many goals |
|1973 ||Richmond ||take your pick of option 1, cheap hits and punches take out three Carlton players or option 2, Francis Bourke and Royce Hart not supposed to be playing but played anyway |
|1974 ||Richmond ||Tiges tainted by R7 brawl at Windy Hill |
|1975 ||North Melbourne ||season ruined by pointless rules tinkering: bizarre, wacky centre 'square' introduced to replace sturdy, traditional centre diamond |
|1976 ||Hawthorn ||pre-equalisation era resource disparity: Hawthorn had a complete monopoly on former captains tragically about to die from cancer at too young of an age as a source of motivation, North Melbourne forced to rely on just wanting to win the premiership |
|1977 ||North Melbourne ||rare second-ever drawn GF clearly contrived for the advantage of the first TV broadcast |
|1978 ||Hawthorn ||political interference: North Melbourne supporters clearly too exhausted from booing Malcolm Fraser in R20 to effectively encourage the team to victory |
|1979 ||Carlton ||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6orWbfMkWDI&t=8s |
|1980 ||Richmond ||bottom of the ladder Fitzroy had more points for than top of the ladder Geelong? clearly a fake season |
|1981 ||Carlton ||Garry Sidebottom misses the bus |
|1982 ||Carlton ||Carlton illicitly obtains special powers from Helen D'Amico |
|1983 ||Hawthorn ||Morwood/Foschini transfer clusterfuck making a mockery of VFL transfer rules - plus the Big V goes down to both SA and WA, just call off the season already |
|1984 ||Essendon ||season destabilised by breakaway competition rumours |
|1985 ||Essendon ||season tainted by biff: Lethal breaks Neville Bruns' jaw, John Bourke for the Pies reserves gets suspended for 10 years and 16 matches |
|1986 ||Hawthorn ||illegal Tasmanian bank account |
|1987 ||Carlton ||compromised draw with the new expansion teams |
|1988 ||Hawthorn ||compromised draw with the new expansion teams |
|1989 ||Hawthorn ||illegal Tasmanian bank account |
|1990 ||Collingwood ||replay of drawn Pies v Eagles QF pushes back whole finals schedule, disadvantging Essendon |
|1991 ||Hawthorn ||take your pick of option 1, you can't play a legitimate GF at Waverley or option 2, match tainted by Bound for Glory |
|1992 ||West Coast ||Vic teams get their zones taken away and a foreigner team wins as a result #AntiVicBias |
|1993 ||Essendon ||Baby Bombers bust their way through the salary cap |
|1994 ||West Coast ||rules tinkering: arbitrarily changing the length of quarters from 25 to 20 minutes |
|1995 ||Carlton ||Diesel Williams the recipient of not only payments outside the salary cap but also one of the first ever racial vilification charges |
|1996 ||North Melbourne ||West Coast forced to play 'home' semi final at the MCG |
|1997 ||Adelaide ||psychological warfare: Port Adelaide entering the comp and blasting innocent ears with their terrible club song - Crows unfairly advantaged by being already partly immune to Port bullshit - alternatively steroids in the AFL |
|1998 ||Adelaide ||Crows somehow allowed to win flag from 5th on the ladder edit: and while losing their first final, just like Carlton the next year |
|1999 ||North Melbourne ||finals system is so shit that Carlton finishes 6th, loses first final, yet progresses to semi-finals where they play West Coast who are once again forced to 'host' a semi at the MCG - Blues make it to the GF where they're rolled by Norf |
|2000 ||Essendon ||season compromised by accommodations for the Olympics (and retrospectively, Lions' intravenous saline scandal and Carlton's salary cap breaches) |
|2001 ||Brisbane Lions ||Lions' intravenous saline scandal (and retrospectively, Carlton's salary cap breaches) |
|2002 ||Brisbane Lions ||six games not involving Carlton forcibly moved to Princes Park after Carlton moves games to Docklands - meanwhile Carlton wins the spoon and then has their salary cap cheating exposed, fuck 2002 Carlton basically - also Adelaide forced to 'host' a semi-final at the MCG |
|2003 ||Brisbane Lions ||all the non-Vic teams made finals #AntiVicBias |
|2004 ||Port Adelaide ||Brisbane forced to 'host' home prelim at the MCG - also because Port's win triggers insufferable debates about whether to count SANFL Port's flags |
| || ||edit: lbguitarist's suggestion - St Kilda's PF momentum ruined by ground invasion after the G Train's 100th |
|2005 ||Sydney ||Barry Hall escaping suspension after the prelim |
|2006 ||West Coast ||druuuuugs |
|2007 ||Geelong ||1) Cats commit murder in broad daylight and get away with it, 2) disgraceful Melbourne v Carlton spoonbowl with priority draft pick at stake, 3) 'Guttergate' |
|2008 ||Hawthorn ||morally bankrupt Hawthorn triple team Fev to stop him also getting to 100 goals |
|2009 ||Geelong ||take your pick of option 1, season tainted by Melbourne's tanking or option 2, Hawkins hitting the post |
|2010 ||Collingwood ||St Kilda robbed in broad daylight and the police did nothing about it |
| || ||edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - St Kilda robbed of momentum by replaying the GF the following week rather than playing extra time, replay replaced with extra time from 2016 season onwards |
|2011 ||Geelong ||tainted by Meatloaf and the lavish Gold Coast concessions |
|2012 ||Sydney ||season tainted by Essendon doping regime and the lavish GWS concessions |
|2013 ||Hawthorn ||season tainted by revelation of Essendon doping regime |
|2014 ||Hawthorn ||Brendon Bolton coaches Hawks to five wins from five games while Clarko out with Guillain–Barré syndrome yet nobody tests Bolton to see if he's some kind of cyborg or superman (though clearly swapped back for the real human version to go coach Carlton) |
|2015 ||Hawthorn ||treatment of Adam Goodes puts a stain on the whole comp |
|2016 ||Western Bulldogs ||umpiring so biased the AFL had to apologise for it |
|2017 ||Richmond ||THEY'RE WEARING THE WRONG JUMPER |
| || ||edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - Cats forced to play 'home' QF at their opponent's home ground; veryparticularskills' suggestion - Cotch dodges suspension after PF |
|2018 ||West Coast ||Sheed played on |
| || ||edit: PyrrhicNicholas' suggestion - Maynard was blocked |
|2019 ||Richmond ||Gilstapo intimidation |
|2020 ||? ||pandemic-affected season |
Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jun. 17, 2002
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY: submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Some of you may have missed last week's post because I didn't do it on Wednesday. Ended up posting it Thursday instead, so it's there in the archives below if you missed it. I know this 2002 series of Rewinds doesn't really have the momentum or appeal that it had back when I was posting them 3 times a week for years on end. Sorry about that, like I said before, I just decided to post these on a whim when the virus started and didn't really prepare for it so it's all kinda haphazard. But just didn't want anyone to miss the one from last week if it flew under the radar.
WATCH: Bob Sapp vs. some dude. Doesn't matter. K-1
- Steve Austin walked out of WWE this week and threw everything into upheaval. As a result, Raw featured Vince McMahon challenging Ric Flair to a match for ownership of the entire company. It was the ultimate final blow-off to a huge long-term angle, and they did it with only 2 hours of build-up. With Vince now in charge of both shows, questions are swirling about whether this spells the end of the brand split, only a few months in. The reason this all happened is because, only 6 hours before Raw went on the air, Steve Austin showed up to the arena and found out he was scheduled to wrestle (and Dave thinks put over, though he hasn't confirmed that yet) Brock Lesner. Dave immediately points out the obvious, that an Austin vs. Lesnar match is something you should build up ahead of time, not throw it on free TV with no build up at all. Plus, he's still so new, he's incredibly green, and he's spent the last few months selling way too much for people like the Hardyz and Bubba Ray Dudley. Hell, before he debuted in WWE, he wasn't even the most over guy in OVW. He's nowhere near the level you'd expect for him to be winning matches with Steve Austin un-hyped on free TV. In fact, Lesnar should probably go through just about everyone else on the roster before putting him against Austin. That's a potential Wrestlemania-level match and Dave seems befuddled that they would just book it for Raw like this.
- Apparently Austin felt the same way because he and his wife Debra left the building and flew home before Vince McMahon even arrived to the arena, the second time since Wrestlemania that he has walked out on the company. A source who was there when McMahon learned of the news said that, for the first time anyone could remember, Vince seemed to drop his "game face" and there seemed to be genuine panic about what to do. Rock has one foot out the door to Hollywood. Undertaker and Triple H are banged up and won't be around forever (bet). Business is already collapsing. And now the biggest star the company's ever had just walked out the door. Last time Austin walked out after Wrestlemania, he was only away for 2 weeks. This time, there's a feeling it could be much longer. Those close to Austin say he's been unhappy for months and this decision wasn't anything specifically to do with the Lesnar match. That just happened to be the final straw. Austin made news last week when he went on the WWE's Byte This show and voiced his frustrations with the company's creative direction. Plans had been put into motion over the last couple weeks for Austin to feud with Eddie Guerrero and then Chris Benoit, which he was happy about (he was enjoying his recent house show matches with Eddie and Benoit is one of Austin's favorite opponents) but that's out the window now. Austin and Vince McMahon reportedly haven't been on good terms for several months now and word is the night before Raw, the two of them had a very heated conversation over the phone that left Austin pissed off and frustrated even before this went down.
- And that's the deal on Austin. He has more money than he'll ever be able to spend and doesn't have any financial need to wrestle. He only does so because he enjoys it. And if he doesn't enjoy it anymore, then by all means, it's his right to leave and he doesn't owe the business anything if he wants to hang up the boots. But Dave does feel like Austin owes WWE at least a few weeks to write him out of storylines since he's such an important piece of the company. Walking out from a live TV taping is unprofessional and it leaves guys like Guerrero and Benoit left hanging, thus screwing up their future plans and money-making potential too (yeah, that's something that doesn't get talked about much. Austin walking out fucked Guerrero over pretty hard here. It would take him another 2 years to get back into that main event scene that he would have been involved in here). That being said, pretty much everyone in the locker room sympathizes with Austin and agrees with his complaints about the creative direction of the company, but not many of them were defending the way he walked out. And given that this is the second time he's done it, the feeling is he shouldn't be allowed back without facing some actual punishment this time.
- So anyway, the day of Raw, they went into panic mode and had to re-write the entire show. And with the feeling Austin won't be coming back anytime soon, Vince felt they needed to do something big. So they went with blowing off the dual-owners angle in a match that was designed to turn Flair babyface again and establish Vince as the heel owner of everything. There was also discussion of turning Undertaker babyface again, since he's been getting more cheers than RVD when they work together at house shows lately but they decided against that for now (they end up doing it in a couple weeks). So now Flair has been abruptly turned back, after only turning heel a few weeks prior. The brand split may or may not be dead. And there we stand.
- In what would have been a major story during any other week, DDP has officially retired from wrestling at age 46. Unfortunately, Austin's walk-out overshadowed everything. The decision on DDP's retirement was actually made by Vince McMahon and Jim Ross, who pretty much made the choice for him after they got his medical reports. DDP has been advised by multiple doctors that his spine is shot and he needs to retire. For the company's own liability, WWE decided to listen to the doctors and DDP agreed. There has been talk of finding ways for DDP to work the remainder of his contract for the company in a non-wrestling capacity. (He obviously ends up wrestling a handful of matches in the years since, but for the most part, this really was the end of DDP's in-ring career as a full-time wrestler).
- There were a couple of moments on Raw this week where Shawn Michaels was cutting a promo and made a comment about Austin "losing his top spot" and another comment later about Rock "stealing Triple H's spot." A lot of people in the company backstage were upset, feeling like this was the same ol' Shawn, going into business for himself and trashing on Austin and Rock and yada yada. Not the case. Those comments were actually scripted for Shawn to say because they want to get over the idea that Shawn on the mic is a loose cannon and you never know when he might start "shooting" and say something he's not supposed to. It's all very dumb, you see. Almost like Vince Russo is coming back any day now or something.
- Dave gives a big preview and rundown of the Jarrett family's new NWA-TNA promotion, which has its debut show next week on PPV. Not all cable systems are carrying it, however. Cablevision and Dish Network both declined to carry it, but DirecTV is. This cuts down on the number of available homes for the show and probably cuts 20-30% off their potential revenue. The main PPV provider in Canada, Viewer's Choice, has also declined to carry it. Steep mountain to climb here. Dave expects them to do decent numbers for their first show but predicts an XFL-like collapse after that. By week 3, Dave is scared for their chances. From here, Dave gives the whole history of other promotions who've tried to make it on PPV in the U.S., with varying degrees of success and failure. UWFI, UFC, ECW, WCW, PRIDE, etc, WWF has even toyed with similar ideas. In 1991, they did the one-off Tuesday In Texas PPV as a test to see if they could run PPVs back-to-back (Survivor Series was only the week prior) and it was a flop. The original concept for Shotgun Saturday Night was for it to be a weekly Saturday night PPV with a similar >$10 price point, but that idea got scrapped before it got off the ground and it became just another TV show. Dave doesn't think TNA is going to make it without a TV deal. This PPV exclusive plan just has too much working against it. The Jarretts have talked about the millions of disenfranchised fans that stopped watching after WCW died, and it's true. Those people are out there. But those millions of fans all checked out between 1999-2001, and TNA isn't going to win them back by using the same people and the same concepts that ran those viewers away from WCW. All your wacky booking ideas, your Vince Russos, your Jeff Jarretts as champion, bringing in guys that even WWE won't touch (Scott Hall), etc. Those are all the same things that ran away those WCW viewers. Dave just doesn't see how this experiment can work in its current form.
- Vince McMahon himself was the latest guest on WWE's Byte This show and needless to say, it was interesting. Vince denied the idea that the wrestling business is "cyclical" and said it's more like a series of peaks and valleys that have slowly been trending upwards over the years. Vince also admitted WWE doesn't always make the best decisions but says their batting average is good overall. Vince also said he's proud to have the word "wrestling" in their company name, which is a pretty big about-face from all the years he's tried to publicly claim they were "sports entertainment, not wrestling." He admitted things are rough right now but said there are huge changes coming soon that will change the entire industry but wouldn't elaborate on what he had planned (I think time has proven that the answer to this was nothing whatsoever. They had no idea what they were doing during this time and were just making shit up as they went along). Vince acknowledged that Austin has been frustrated lately and said Austin is the most demanding of all the wrestlers in WWE. Vince also said he pays no attention to the internet because everyone thinks they're a booker. He also complained that it's hard to live up to people's expectations because fans all think they know everything now. Acknowledged ratings being down and played it off like, yes, WWE is sick. But it's only a cold, not pneumonia or anything, so don't panic.
- More notes from Vince on Byte This because huge unbroken paragraphs suck: he hinted at producing movies starring WWE talent. Dave thinks that's a bad idea. "No Holds Barred," anyone? Criticized backyard wrestling, which Dave actually agrees with him 100% on. Was asked about bringing Vince Russo back and said he hasn't given it any thought but he has an open door policy (see you next week, Russo! Jeez, it almost makes you wonder if Vince got the idea from this interview or something). When asked about the recent Jim Cornette/Ed Ferrara incident, Vince basically seemed disinterested but said he admires Cornette's passion for wrestling but felt spitting in Ferrara's face was unprofessional. When asked about NWA-TNA, Vince said he didn't understand how they could do it without television. Trying to get people to pay $9.95 a week for a 2 hour show (a minor league product at that, because anything other than WWE is basically minor leagues at this point), when they already get Raw and Smackdown on free television. Otherwise, he said he has no opinions on it because he hasn't seen it, but Vince seems to share Dave's opinion. He doesn't see this PPV model as sustainable and doesn't seem particularly threatened by it.
- NJPW's latest Best of the Super Juniors tournament is in the books and was a disappointment, just like everything else in NJPW lately. Koji Kanemoto won a pretty boring tournament. There was only one new name involved, which was Michinoku Pro wrestler Curry Man (Christopher Daniels under a mask). He's talented and charismatic but he's not even that big a star in Michinoku Pro, much less to the NJPW audience. Otherwise, it was more of the same, with no real notable matches.
- Zero-1 in Japan is hoping to put together a working relationship with NWA-TNA. Specifically, they're hoping they can do a Shinya Hashimoto vs. Ken Shamrock feud, perhaps over the NWA title.
- While training for his comeback, Kenta Kobashi messed up his shoulder doing bench presses, because of course he did. Doctors have told him not to return too soon but he still plans to be back in the ring by next month. Because of course he does.
- NJPW's latest show at Budokan Hall was a disaster. From photos Dave saw, he figures there couldn't have been more than 3,500 fans in the building. Even at its weakest after the NOAH exodus, AJPW never fell below 7,000 at Budokan and this show looked to be half that. It's likely the smallest crowd NJPW has ever drawn to that arena. The whole show was said to be terrible because of the depressing atmosphere of a building that was 2/3 empty.
- This week's World Cup game between Japan and Russia did a 66.1 TV rating, making it the #2 highest rated sports broadcast in the history of Japan. This is notable because by doing so, it surpassed the Rikidozan vs. Destroyer match from 1963, which did a 64.0 rating, knocking it down to #3 (for what it's worth, it's believed that a Rikidozan vs. Lou Thesz match in 1957 was actually watched by even more people, but official ratings weren't kept as detailed back then, so it can't be counted for sure).
- Dave has read some excerpts from the new Shaun Assael book on Vince McMahon called "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks." From what he's read, Dave says it's a very good and accurate portrayal of how the WWE has grown to what it is today. Vince's former close friend and VP of Titan Sports during the expansion era Jim Troy and Jim Barnett were both interviewed for it, among others. If you're a hardcore fan who's been following the Observer for years, there's nothing new here that you probably don't already know from a major story standpoint, but there's some interesting details at least that were new to Dave. But to the average fan, this should be pretty eye-opening. Dave expects to have a full review soon.
- CZW held its second annual Best of the Best tournament at the old ECW Arena and the show got rave reviews. Particularly British wrestlers Jodie Fleisch and Jonny Storm, who tore the house down in their match. Trent Acid defeated Fleisch to win the tournament.
- The Coen brothers, producers of the movie "Fargo", have had talks with Bobby Heenan about doing a movie based on his life (this pretty obviously went nowhere).
- New Jack is no longer working with XPW and has jumped ship to work with a rival local promoter in Southern California. Perhaps not coincidentally, the last check New Jack received from XPW promoter Rob Black for $800 ended up bouncing. Dave says New Jack probably isn't the guy you want to write bad checks to.
- NWA-TNA has changed its taping plans and no longer plans to tour, and they will now be live every week. The first two shows will be taped this week in Huntsville and after that, all future shows will be live from Nashville at the 9,000-seat Municipal Auditorium. Apparently the rent for that building is really cheap because a newer, more modern arena was just built nearby, so TNA can afford it. That being said, with as much trouble as they're having selling tickets for the debut show in Huntsville, Dave thinks it's pretty optimistic to start trying to run live tapings in the same 9,000-seat building every week. He thinks they would be much better off running a small 800-seat building every week, with a smaller, more intimate atmosphere that would come across a lot better on TV than a big cavernous arena that, inevitably, is going to be mostly empty (to this day, 18 years later, TNA/Impact has never once drawn a crowd of 9,000 fans. Never even really close actually).
- Various other TNA notes: Dave runs down the list of confirmed names for TNA's first taping. Rick Steiner, K-Krush (formerly K-Kwik in WWF), Konnan, Steve Corino, The Harris Brothers, Psicosis, and a bunch of others. Don Frye has talked to Jeff Jarrett about coming in to work a match with Ken Shamrock. Jackie Fargo is going to be there doing something. They made an offer to Shane Douglas but he only agreed to come in if they didn't hire Francine (some kind of falling out between them). TNA decided they'd rather have Francine. They're expected to be doing some kind of old school vs. new school angle so....yay. More latter-years WCW shit. Mike & Todd Shane are coming in as a tag team called Dick & Rod Johnson and will have costumes that apparently look like penises, just in case you were still on the fence about whether Vince Russo is involved. The top stars are basically making around $3,500 per week which is a pretty decent salary for one day's work every week. The guys without name value, on the other hand, are getting $300 per show and are covering their own transportation. Just in case you were still on the fence about whether Jerry Jarrett is involved.
- Ken Shamrock did an interview and acknowledged that he hasn't done pro-wrestling in a few years and knows he's going to be rusty. He also said he's worried because with only 1 show per week, he won't really be able to get enough matches under his belt to get good again. He also said he's signed a 3 fight deal with UFC and will be fighting Tito Ortiz in September, which turns out to be a pretty huge damn deal.
- Dave saw the K-1 match with former WCW developmental wrestler Bob Sapp vs. some dude. Doesn't matter. What matters is Bob Sapp is enormous ("makes Brock Lesnar look like Jerry Lynn"). And he mauled this poor guy. In fact, it looked like Sapp was trying to get DQ'd, as he started kicking and kneeing the guy while he was down and just treating it like a street fight, violating lots of rules in the process. He was DQ'd but then K-1 booked Sapp and this other dude for a rematch in July. That leads Dave to think this was planned as an effort to get Sapp over as a lunatic, but if it was a work, somebody should have told the other guy because Sapp fucked him right on up. "This was like everyone feared Mike Tyson would behave, but 1,000 times worse and from a man far more scary." Furthermore, Sapp came out in a full Ric Flair robe and to Ric Flair' ring music, and the arena went insane. Sapp has massive superstar appeal in Japan right now and promoting him as a violent psychopath who has no regards for the rules in a shoot fight appears to be getting over huge.
WATCH: Vince McMahon opening promo with Ric Flair on Raw
- Edge will not need surgery for his torn labrum injury, so he'll only miss a few weeks of action instead of a few months. Edge is in the midst of the biggest push of his career and this is his chance to finally break through to the next level so needless to say, good news.
- Notes from Raw: show opened with Vince walking out, which was unexpected since this is Flair's show. He said Austin wasn't there and made a point of saying Austin was too much of a coward to be there. Pretty well buried Austin and buried Raw as a bad show (blaming Flair in kayfabe for all the show's real life problems. Sorta like last year when they actually turned the bad ratings into a storyline by trying to blame it on Corbin. Some things never change). They're doing a storyline with Trish making fun of Molly Holly for allegedly having a fat ass because, again, some things never change. Former Tough Enough contestant Chris Nowinski debuted doing the Harvard grad gimmick like the heel jock in every teen movie. "The heel jock." Never change Dave. Shawn Michaels made his big return, cut his promo joining the NWO and turning heel on the fans before superkicking Booker T out of the group. So theoretically, this should mean Booker T should have to work his way through the entire NWO one by one before getting to Shawn at the end, in what should be Shawn's first match back. "I'm not holding my breath," Dave says. And of course, Vince beat Flair to take control of both shows. Horrible match but considering it was a last minute panic move, understandable under the circumstances. Lesnar ran in and helped Vince win the match.
WATCH: Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon for sole ownership of WWE
WATCH: Linda Miles vs. Ivory - WWE Velocity 2002
- Notes from Smackdown: during a big pull-apart brawl, several agents ran in to break it up. Among them were Dean Malenko and Fit Finlay, appearing on TV for the first time in their new backstage roles, and John Lauranitis who was also shown on TV last week. More gay jokes with Billy and Chuck and Rico, which Dave calls Russo-esque. Not quite yet. Jamie Noble was introduced with Nidia from Tough Enough season 1 as his valet, in a feud with Hurricane. There was a big effort to make Bob Holly a star this week, starting a feud with he and Kurt Angle and they really pushed Holly hard as a star and Angle busted his ass to try and get him over. And they did a show-long angle with Maven in the hospital (he's legit injured) and Torrie Wilson shows up, it's implied that she gives him a blowjob, and then Dr. Tajiri shows up, mists Torrie and beats up Maven. Dave is at least happy that they're trying to make an angle out of Maven's injury so he has a storyline to come back to, which is more effort than they put into most stuff these days.
- Various WWE notes: referee Tim White suffered a torn rotator cuff in the Backlash Hell in a Cell match and will need surgery that will keep him out of the ring for months. Rey Mysterio is scheduled to debut on WWE house shows this week and, as of now, is expected to be wearing his mask again. Terry Taylor has been reaching out to get hired, but the company won't return his calls (they eventually re-hire him in September).
- There's been a lot of praise for the new Spiderman comic "Tangled Web" which was written by Raven (I had to research this, but yeah. "Tangled Web" was a Spiderman anthology series that lasted about 2 years and had 22 issues. Each issue was written by different authors. Issue 14 was called "The Last Shoot" and sure enough, it was co-written by Raven alongside Brian Azzarello, who is the mind behind one of my favorite comic series of all time, 100 Bullets. And I had no idea. Wild).
- The long-discussed plan of having Arn Anderson as Chris Benoit's manager seems to be off the table now. The thought is Anderson has been devalued so much in recent months (they pretty much wheel him out every time they need someone to take a beating for heat in a Flair feud) that he wouldn't be effective as a manager for a strong, serious heel.
- Tough Enough II winner Linda Miles made her in-ring debut on Velocity, against Ivory. She was accompanied by fellow winner Jackie Gayda, who turned heel on her and cost Linda the match. Dave thinks it's waaaaaay too early to put these 2 women in a feud against each other considering how green they both still are.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Steve Austin accused of abusing Debra, much more on that situation and Austin's walkout, Jesse Ventura not running for re-election, Rock wrestles in Hawaii, and more...
- The Rock, Vince McMahon, Undertaker, Jerry Lawler, Jm Ross, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Shane McMahon were all in Memphis at the Mike Tyson/Lennox Lewis fight last week. Rock could be seen on camera a few rows deep throughout the fight, while Vince was shown on camera as a celebrity in attendance before the fight. The others were never shown on-camera, but they were all there. The PPV is estimated to have done 1.8 million buys and grossed a record $103 million, which are numbers that WWE can only dream of. Prior to the PPV, Rock co-hosted a pre-show party with guests such as Halle Berry and Britney Spears.
I'm finalizing my portfolio for this year.
submitted by CapitalC5 to stocks [link] [comments]
It's been a while since I made a big post. Lots of people are still messaging me about the energy sector post, especially for the ENPH tip, so I'm here to show my portfolio. I don't own all companies yet, this is partially hypothetical. I'm holding on to a reasonable cash position for a possible new downturn, but I have starting positions in most companies and will DCA.
I will try to keep it summarized, as I have done quite a lot of analysis on each of them. I'll draw the main picture and give the most important arguments for my choices, but I'm not expanding too much. If you're interested, you can DM me to talk about them more.
Let me start by saying I'm a growth investor. I always look for a combination of growth with a great track record, if possible at a reasonable price. There are exceptions as you will see below, but the main balance stays the same. I'm not a defensive investor, but no aggressive one either. My timeline is 2-5 years at least (due to a possible start of a small business), but I would gladly hold on to these companies 10+ years.
TLDR; For you guys not interested in my portfolio, I've added a short list of interesting smaller cap companies at the end, most of them trading at decent values.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES - $AMD
This one is becoming a blue chip, but has more than enough growth potential to live up to those high valuations. Preferred by gamers and beating their biggest competitor in the CPU market hard. While AMD and INTC were close competitors at the beginning of the 21st century, INTC took the lead by a lot. Since 2017, they introduced 7nm CPU's and GPU's and they are closing the gap fast. Not only are their chips more performant, they are also cheaper. Market cap $60B vs $261b.
Those next generation chips lead them to new partnerships, often beating INTC. Microsoft, a long time Intel customer, began using AMD chips in their Surface laptops. Lenovo using AMD for their new servers. Nvidia started using the chips in their AI products. AMD is also used by Apple's high-end laptops, while Intel (used in the budget range) will probably get replaced by Apple chips made in-house. Apart from laptops, AMD has government contracts to deliver supercomputers in 2021/2023 and they are used in both PS and XBOX consoles, to give a few examples.
For the CPU market, AMD is destined to take over, but they're also taking on NVDA for their GPU's. They have been catching up for years and in 2019 they finally made a better performing GPU in the $350-400 price range. There is a possibility to gain GPU market cap since NVDA has been pushing their prices due to the lack of competition. Therefore, with AMD stepping up their game, they need to give up market share or lower their margins. Financial
Assets over liabilities are x1.88. Cash to debt ratio well above industry average, debt to EBITDA well below IA. ROE 17.12% and ROIC 28.06%. Earnings were growing fast before Covid (125% in Q3, 78% in Q4). Yes they're overvalued, but with their future outlook, I would always buy below $49. Doubts
Now that they are done catching up, the question is, will they outperform in the future. To gain more market share of Nvidia, they need to be better, not equally good. AMD also needs to control the heating better, as it is one of their long term problems.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MASTERCARD - $MA
Fintech companies like SQ and PYPL are a great investment. However, a lot of big companies will (and already did) implement online financial services. MA is able to easily work with multiple of those companies and they're using their global presence pretty well, that's why they're my pick for the fintech industry.
They launched Mastercard Accelerate last year, implementing those online paying platforms and letting start-ups take advantage of their global presence to grow and transform very fast. Last year they acquired Ethoca (managing e-commerce fraud) and Vyze (platform to connect merchants with multiple renders, giving them the opportunity to get those financial needs for start-ups). MA is basically helping start-ups to grow faster, which will result in more financial transactions in the future.
Last but not least, they like to focus on expanding to countries where there isn't much competition yet. They are expanding their exposure to Middle East and Africa, working with local networks and e-commerce platforms. They are in a strong position to capitalize those regions in the future and take on market leader Visa even more.
They get compared a lot to Visa, so I'll expand on that subject a bit as well. While V is focussing on performance and speed, MA plays the cyber security card. They are already working on ways to implement cryptocurrency and Mastercard tend to have more growth potential vs stability from market leader Visa. While V is in the lead, MA is more widely used by fintech companies, which shows potential take-over in the future. Next to their credit services, they also own debit service Maestro, which is widely used in Europe. Financial
Returns as high as 150% (ROE) and 60% (ROIC). Very large margins and perfectly stable balance sheet. High EPS growth YoY, 53% and 42% in the last two years. Quick ratio 1.87. V has more assets and even bigger margins, however MA wins in returns and cash. In terms of more growth, I like to focus on those last numbers more. Doubts
It's a blue chip at a $300B market cap. Their growth potential might be limited, although I see them as one of the better picks between blue chips.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ENPHASE ENERGY - $ENPH
I already talked about solar energy in another post, so I'm gonna skip the explanation. As some of you know my choices were ENPH and SEDG, so I'll explain a bit about why I choose ENPH here. Mainly it's because of their financials, so I'll dive that straight away.
Quick ratio - 2.35 vs 1.74
ROE - 142.94% vs 21.51%
ROIC - 85.51% vs 25.81%
Net margin - 25.81% vs 10.28%
However I think SEDG balance sheet is a lot better and safer, ENPH is working on their future more efficient. They are paving the way smoothly with bigger margins and return on investments. Although SEDG might be the better pick right now, ENPH will be the better one in a short while. ENPH is also a bit less overvalued and their PEG ratio is lower, which makes them the better pick to get in right now.
Diving into the products as well, ENPH just has the better and more efficient product. Their micro inverters are more durable (20 vs 12 years) and give the chance to increase or decrease the amount of solar panels easily, depending on your personal situation.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- GALAPAGOS - $GLPG
I'm not a big fan of biotech companies, but these guys have my attention. Not because they're working on Covid vaccines, but because of two reasons. First one is them getting back-up from Gilead Sciences. That's the push they needed to start operating worldwide, increasing their potential market cap. Now that they have the cash from GILD, they can keep on buying interesting divisions and increase their growth. While having almost no long term debt, they are set pretty well with about $4 billion extra in cash.
Second, they have multiple medicines in later trial phases, with Filgotinib as their biggest one. They had a setback on those results, but the company is very confident, giving an opportunity to get them at a decent price. I wouldn't be surprised if they partner up with another big pharmaceutical company in the metabolic disease section. Financial
High PE (84 vs 44 average), but PEG ratio is 1.2. Quick ratio 9.28. ROIC 75.91% and ROE 7%. Became profitable this year with 16.25% net margin. 38.7% YoY EPS growth. Doubts
Like all biotech players, there's a lot depending on medicines getting through phase trials and being commercialized. If Filgotinib will fail, their stock will obviously fall. However since they are backed by a big US giant, they can commercialize the product faster and on a bigger global scale if trials succeed. That's what gives them the advantage in comparison to other biotech companies for me.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- WALT DISNEY - $DIS
This one has got me doubting a lot. I've taken them off and put them back on my list multiple times, but eventually I decided to keep them at least 2 years to see how they will evolve into streaming.
Biggest advantage they have on their competitors is they basically have a monopoly on kids entertainment. Kids are growing up with electronic devices and content, so they're creating customers at a very young age. That's how Coca Cola used to work. They targeted 14-16 year olds, dumping loads of money into advertising which resulted in life long customers, as people didn't change cola brands often.
Disney+ is a big hit and they won't get so much competition from other streaming services as Netflix and Roku will. They have one of the strongest defined brands out there and they know perfectly how to build and maintain their company. It's also still unclear how sports with public will evolve, but it's certain streaming will become even bigger after Covid. Therefore their money-losing ESPN acquisition could even turn into a moneymaker. Financial
I can't really say great things about their financials. ROE is 12.67%, above 10% is decent. Assets over liabilities are x1.85 and debt to equity is 0.61. You could apply the saying "too big to fail' here, but that's about it. The bad financials are mainly caused by their big investment to streaming of course and they're working on it hard. They doubled their cash position, increasing their quick ratio from 0.75 to 0.89. Doubts
I would say financials are their weak point here. They still have to go through some bad weather this and next year I would say. Them doubling their cash position in Q1 was soothing, as I see it being the biggest issue for the future. It might be better to wait it out and keep an eye on them for next year, but I wanted to take a position already. Not higher than 8% of my portfolio though.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- MICROSOFT - $MSFT
They don't really an introduction I guess. 2nd biggest player for cloud services with Azure. Naming Satya Nadella as CEO and making the transition from hardware to software in 2014 were the best decisions they could've made. Acquired the government contract with Pentagon, however there's still uncertainty about it. In short, Amazon is claiming they were about to win the contract, but Trump criticizing the company would've lead to calling off the deal. For me, that's probably the main reason why MSFT didn't fly as high as their fellow cloud competitors yet. Financial
Assets over liabilities x1.67. ROE and ROIC respectively at 43.82% and 28.88%. Quick ratio of 2.88, 0.65 debt to equity and 1.86 cash to debt. Decent financials, great returns. Talking about blue chips, I would say MSFT is still fairly valued with a PEG ratio just below industry average. Also paying a small dividend. Doubts
The Pentagon contract allegations could be pretty negative for the company. They will probably not come back on their decision, cause if they do, MSFT will claim they already made big investments towards them and things will just keep on dragging on. Even without the contract, MSFT should be a 10 year hold while buying on dips.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- INNOVATIVE INDUSTRIAL PROPERTIES - $IIPR
Haven't read a lot about them here on Reddit, but they're a very decent investment. Basically, they buy properties from cannabis companies and leases them back to the sellers, giving them the cash they need to grow faster and IIPR keeps the long term advantage of renting out those properties. They need to buy about 6-8 properties a year to keep their growth rate going and they already bought 7 this year. They still have a lot of cash ready to take advantage of the crisis.
Not only are they 20% undervalued right now, they have a lot more growth potential after that and on top of it, they pay close to 5% dividend. I'm not a big fan of betting on the best cannabis company for the future, but IIPR is a great buy to have exposure in that industry. It doesn't happen very often I come across a company that combines growth potential with a high dividend, but IIPR does. Financial
Quick ratio 6.75, cash to debt 2.8 (while REITs have an 0.07 average). Net margins 13% above average. Assets over liabilities x4.88. Annual EPS growing by more than 150% and about 41% in the last quarter before Covid. They just missed Q1 estimates, but it was only an 8% drop from Q4, performing way better than other REITs. Doubts
IIPR has held a lot of new investment rounds, diluting shares. Of course extra capital will result in higher growth and will eventually be positive in the long run. There has been a drop in these last few days due to the announcement of selling 1 million more shares soon. I would look at it as an opportunity to get an even better price on them.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- TELADOC HEALTH - $TDOC
It's the only company I don't own yet. I can't force myself to invest more than $140 per share for them, although I really like their business model. A lot of people are skipping doctors visits these days, going straight away to get medicines and counting on the advice of pharmacists. A lot of times, there's more examination needed.
Not only do I see them succeeding in their field, I see them as an essential part of the automation of the pharmacy industry. It's a useful tool in emergencies, giving advice and deciding how serious the condition is, if (fast) medical care is needed. Teladoc will also play a role in insurance and giving the employers a checking tool. 98.9% of their shares are owned by institutions. Financial
In terms of profitability and returns, not great of course. They are estimated to get profitable in 2023. Great balance sheet, assets over liabilities x2.66. Quick ratio 6.14, cash to debt 1.06, debt to equity 0.48. Doubts
It's hard to see if a company is well managed before they are profitable. Their moat isn't very narrow, however I feel being one of the first ones gives you a big advantage in this field.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- DRAFTKINGS - $DKNG
Gonna keep this one pretty short, there has been enough posts about Donkey Kong. For me, the most important factor for choosing them in this industry is their fantasy sports section. They are widely popular and that division will only get more interesting while online gambling, and especially in-game betting, gets more and more legalized in the US.
Although they realized major revenue growth in 2019, they almost doubled their earnings loss. Main reason of course having to develop their platform and system. Good thing is, their technology is highly scalable, meaning they margin will grow massively while expanding in to more states and countries. Not many ratios available yet, so that's about the only financial information I own atm.
The only negative I see is their pretty wide moat, so this one should be monitored more closely in the future. But for now, they have the momentum and are one of the most popular choices, great investment.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES - $RTX
As many of you know, two great companies (UTC and RTN) merged together in April. While United focussed on aircraft engines (Pratt & Whitney), Raytheon manufactured weapons, military and commercial electronics. They always delivered advanced technologies and them gaining multiple government contracts in the last decade is confirmation of their performant products.
Raytheon will continue to grow their leadership in different segments. Because of their diversity, they seem perfectly in place to grow even more into an aerospace & defense giant. Engines, aerostructures, avionics, sensors, cybersecurity and other software solutions are just a few examples of their working fields. Financial
With a PE ratio of 13.58 and PB ratio of 1.41, this is probably the most undervalued stock in my portfolio. Assets over liabilities x1.43. The rest of their financials isn't that great. UTC was carrying a lot of debt, but because of the merger, it will be better balanced as RTN was only carrying $2 billion net debt. If they can decrease their debt and optimize their merger, they are set to be the new number one in defense. Doubts
It's still unclear how the merger will work out financially and logistically. In theory, they should be very well armed (pun intended) to take on LMT as market leader. Their exposure to commercial aircrafts is also a big threat, but it's less of an issue because they can make up with their other practices.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
As you can see, I've tried to get the best blue chips with still some growth potential and stable growth companies together. Since a lot of companies already got mentioned on this forum, I'll include a bonus round of interesting companies I came across during my search for the best companies. I didn't include them in my portfolio mainly because I feel the chance of them succeeding and living up to their future potential is more risky than others. For you looking for higher risk, higher reward, check out these companies below.
- $INMD. They offer minimally-invasive aesthetic medical products for various procedures, such as liposuction with simultaneous skin tightening, body and face contouring. They are actually the only company in my watchlist that scored maximum on my financial checklist. I love to watch their financials. While we're in an overvalued market, INMD has only 18.73 PE and 0.6 PEG. They certainly got hit by Covid, but I would be very surprised if they don't multiply their market share over the next years.
- $SMCI. Based mainly on servers and storage solutions. They are the supplier for cloud computing and AI based companies. They were ranked 18th fastest growing company by Fortune Magazine in 2016, but they still have a long way possible to grow. I see them stagnating a bit for a few years, but they definitely have potential in the long run. Financially very stable, big on cash to make some acquisitions and trading at only 14.84 PE.
- $CDLX. Great business model. They basically turn financial transaction data into valuable information for advertising. They show returns as high as 30:1 for advertising spent. Not only is the online payment industry growing fast, but after Covid companies will need to work their advertising budgets even more efficiently. CDLX has momentum and will increase that market cap massively. That future outlook has a price unfortunately and I feel they're too expensive right now.
- $OLED. They hold patents on ultra high definition OLED screen technology. There's still a large transition going on from LED to OLED screens. They are estimated to increase their manufacturing with 50% by the end of 2021. Unfortunately most of that growth is already priced in right now. It doesn't take away the longer term potential, but it doesn't make it that sexy of a buy right now.
- $OMCL. Omnicell provides pharmacy automation solutions and other tools for healthcare systems. Big on cash, low on debt. They have an interesting business and the automation of healthcare will continue to grow, however they are also trading a bit above value.
- $PCOM. A technology company based on e-commerce and services through loyalty programs. Most of their partners are airlines, which explains their difficulties of getting back up since the drop. At the moment it's unsure how this will work out. There will barely be room for bargains or rewards, however while the industry has to build up again, there's an opportunity to take away long time customers from competitors. Although they have enough cash to weather this crisis, they are depending on the industry. At PE below 10 and having a decent cash position, it's worth a gamble.
- $APPS. Digital Turbine offers a mobile platform mainly for new apps. They have a very high future revenue forecast of 202.2% over the next 3 years. Big on cash and no debt as well. They already acquired Mobile Posse in March, diversifying their platform. Analysts are putting an average price target of $9.88 on them, giving it a 61% potential return.
- $NVMI. They develop and produce process control systems used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, mainly focussing on industrializing X-ray and optical technologies like holographic images. Cash to debt 6.1, debt to equity 0.1, quick ratio 5.75, ROE 12.83% and ROIC 20.26%. Their financials are great. The only thing you could say is they are slightly overvalued, but still a very nice buy in comparison to the overvalued tech industry.
- $INS. Active in the fintech sector, they provide tech solutions and processing services. Very similar financials to NVMI. Big on cash, almost no long term debt, great returns (ROE 29.7% / ROIC 85.95%) and steady growing EPS. They are also slightly overvalued, but should easily get back to $45 range after the crisis is over.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
So, that's about all I have to share. This will also be my last big post a while. Analyzing stocks has been my main occupation for the last three months, but it's time to work on opening up the hotel and bar again. I hope some of you get something out of this. I'm not a professional so always check again for yourself. I'm gonna hold on to these companies for a while now. Will add some extra capital at the beginning of 2021, so you could expect another big post about my newest findings then. For now, I'm gonna take a break from following the market day in day out and enjoy the weather a bit more.
Have a good one!
[OC] We intend no harm - Chapter 23 (Hynian Adrenaline)
submitted by UpIsOben to HFY [link] [comments]
Well well well. This chapter took a bit longer, because I had to deal with friends and food and fun. All that stuff keeping me from writing ;)
As usual, I wasn’t sure how things would turn out. But now that the chapter is complete, I’m satisfied.
Have fun reading. First
Captain Zork was standing in the crammed map room. He listened to Zokosh reporting the events that had led to his weapons officer’s death. When he heard that she had been attacked while showering he felt bad that he had to question her. But it was the standard procedure for murder cases. Luckily Zokosh knew this procedure. She had stated at the beginning of the ‘interrogation’ that she would take no offence and he was just doing his job.
While he listened to her, he noticed that Zokosh did not seem to be distressed over the events. Her voice was as calm and steady as if she was reporting a slight malfunction in an unimportant subsystem. When she described how she pierced him with her knife, her voice took on an subtle sharpness and disdain. It was easily missable, but when the captain picked it up he felt its icy chill creeping down his spine. He instantly hoped to never incur her wrath.
After the Captain had tried to poke a few holes into her story, as it was mandated, he told her to get some rest. While Zokosh went to her quarters to properly dry off, the captain went to the crime scene. Karom the ships medic was already examining the body. The Captain told him Zokosh’s story.
“That matches the evidence.” Karom pointed at the dead hynian male with the combat knife sticking in his skull. “But there was something I found strange when I looked at the crime scene.”
“Something strange? What do you mean?” The Captain asked looking at the corpse and than at the shower stall trying to find something odd.
“Look at the body. There are no knife wounds. A lot of scratches from claws and some bruises. But if she had the knife in her hand, shouldn’t there be at least some stab marks?” He bent a bit forward and jabbed his hand repeatedly against an imaginary opponent.
Now the captain understood immediately. “If you look at the scratches on his chest, she could have stabbed him a dozen times. Maybe she had to pick up the knife from somewhere.” He looked at the Stall. It was the easy to clean kind, just a flat wall with a single push button for activating the shower. No shelf to store shower gel, shampoo or knifes. Zokosh’s stuff was still standing on the floor.
“I can’t imagine her picking up a knife from the floor during a fight. I heard that a crewmember had seen her putting the knife between her lips. But you told me, he had put his hand on her mouth.” Karom said and showed the captain the corpse’s right palm with the bloody bite marks.
Zork’s ears twitched while he was thinking. “You're right. Something is strange.”
The medic pulled the bloody knife out of the body’s skull with his gloved hand. Then he looked at the injury. He gently closed the knife's wound with his fingers. “Look at that.” In the middle of the closed cut was still a round hole.
“What kind of weapon would leave a small hole like this?” Captain Zork asked confused.
“Hmm … something like a stiletto dagger, maybe? But why hide the wound with the knife? And then again 'where would she keep it'.” The old medic was thinking hard. “I heard some rumors about the Secret Order. Allegedly they are using...”
“Shut it!” Hissed the Captain causing the Medic to flinch. “Don’t talk about them
.” After the captain had calmed down he continued. “So, he was attacking her in the shower and she killed him in self defense?”
“Yes, Captain. The evidence backs it up. It looks like he was waiting in the stall at the far end for his opportunity. After Admiral Xem was able to struggle free, she pierced his skull. If I could do an autopsy, I could tell you if he died of blood loss or because she broke through the bone and penetrated the brain.” Stated the medic.
Zork sighed. “Well, that was not the kind of penetration he had hoped for.” He had known the dead guy only for a few months, so he wasn’t too attached.
In hynian culture women did not have the same rights as men had. They were meant to be pleasant and nice to look at. Just like the beautiful flowers in the imperial palace’s gardens had to be protected from pests trying to feast on them, it was the honor and duty of men to do the same. Ironically some of the most beautiful flowers in the gardens were poisonous enough to kill any pest touching them. Of course the Captain had never been in those gardens, but every hynian knew about that metaphor.
“Do you still need that
?” The captain pointed at the former weapons officer.
After the Medic flicked his ear dismissively, the Captain grabbed the dead guy’s jumpsuit and ripped his rank insignias off. Then he wrapped the jumpsuit around the corpses neck and dragged him across the ship.
The rumor has spread fast around the Cheshnak Ra. So the crew gave their best to not notice the corpse. All of them knew what Zork was about to do. A captain was responsible for his crew, so it was his job to rid them of their collective shame.
When he reached the trash compactor the first officer was waiting for him. He did not salute, it would have been a disgrace to the emperor to do that in front of trash. Except for the FO only the crew members working in this section were present, they were focusing intensely on their mundane tasks.
“For the report. He was not killed in action. He had been trialed, judged and executed for sexual assault. He has become the pest in the garden. Thus he was stripped of his honor as a man and his rank as an officer. He will not be permitted into the afterlife. His family will be informed that he is neither be named nor grieved. He will have never existed.”
After the FO had filed the record, the captain hoisted the corpse into the trash compactor and closed the lid. The crushed and mangled corpse would be disposed with the rest of the Cheshnak Ra’s waste. In cynian culture the body had to decompose to let the soul reach the afterlife. Pressing a body into a cube and letting it drift through hyperspace was the ultimate punishment.
It would take a few days until it would be time to dispose of the trash. Of course they could throw it out right now, but nobody dared to give this pest even that amount of attention. Later someone would sneakily dispose of the tainted jackpot as well.
After Admiral Zokosh had returned to her quarters, she took off her jumpsuit and started to dry herself properly. Once she was done, she climbed into her bed and switched the light off. She had been lying in the darkness for a while, but she was unable to sleep. Her blood was still saturated with adrenalin. With an annoyed hiss she got up again, put her clothes on and left her quarters.
Most species especially prey races had a flight response when they faced danger. Some had a fight or flight response. Hynians instinctive reaction was always to fight, they had to willfully work against their biology to flee or surrender. Luckily their bodily reaction was not as strong during ‘unpersonal’ fights like spacebattles. A crew on adrenaline could not operate a spaceship properly. But in ground combat or even hand to hand combat, their instincts would still trigger the same chemical processes as eons before.
Hynian adrenalin was an impressive ‘drug’. They produced more of it than any other species and it was way more potent. There are reports of hynians who ripped tendons because their muscles were overstimulated in particularly intense life or death situations. The other thing that was special was that the adrenaline would not dissipate for a few hours.
Zokosh knew that she needed her brain to realize that the threat was gone. Seeing your enemy dead before you would normally do the trick, but the pest’s death was so quick, that her brain refused to stop producing adrenaline. There were two more ways to get rid of it. She was not in the mood for one of the methods right now. It would also undermine her authority and her self respect. So she took the other option.
Soon after she left her quarters the Admiral reached one of the storage rooms. She opened the door and looked inside. Some of the night shift who were on standby were training with weights or sparring with each other. Even the best life support systems could not get rid of the humid smell of fresh sweat.
The one crewman who was facing the door almost dropped his weights when he saw the Admiral. Of course everyone knew what happened a few hours ago. Zokosh flicked her ear signaling him to keep on. Then she walked over to the half naked guy pummeling the punching bag. His blue skin was glistening in the artificial light of the makeshift gym.
Zokosh tapped him on the shoulder. “Excuse me, but I really neeeed that right now.” She blushed a bit, when her voice had such an seductive tone. With this amount of pheromones in the air her body seemed to have considered option one against her will.
The crewman looked surprised at her and then at the punching bag. It took him a moment to understand, then he smiled and stepped back. “All yours, Admiral.”
“Thanks, Crewman. As long as I’m off duty, you can call me by my name. If you think you earned it, you can call me Zok.” She responded returning the smile. This offer was directed to everyone present. Then she started to beat the punching bag with a combination of many fast jabs mixed with some heavy blows. She was quick on her feet evading imaginary attacks. From time to time she sprinkled some kicks into the mix.
The crewmen who were training were giving their best to not mess up their training routines, while watching the woman dish out one hell of a beating. Of course all of them had heard how she toyed with that guy before she boarded the Cheshnak Ra. But seeing her go all out was a sight to behold.
Zokosh was the beautiful daughter of a duke, so she could be seen as the epitome of what hynian women should be like. Right now she did not give a fuck on proper conduct. She wanted that adrenaline out of her system and it felt great pummeling away at the sandbag. Because of the adrenaline her stamina had increased about tenfold. She could not care less about sweating or the eyes that she could feel on her.
The crewman had grown up in hynian society, so they were raised to see women as beautiful but fragile. Some of them were shocked to see how intense Zokosh could be. Some were discovering that they really liked that kind of woman.
After 15 minutes of a nonstop beating, Zokosh decided to get more air. Without a second thought she unzipped her jumpsuit to her midriff and let it fall from her back. She was wearing a sports bra, because she had anticipated that this might happen. After she tied her sleeves around her waist she continued the pummeling.
Wearing a tight top like a sports bra during training was not that uncommon. But because the crewmembers weren’t expecting her to do that and because all they had on this ship were data sticks with red dots, they looked at her surprised and a bit too intrigued. Zokosh did not care. Maybe that was caused by the slowly decreasing amounts of adrenaline in her blood.
One of the guys who were sparring earlier was walking over to Zokosh. He was shirtless and had wrapped his sleeves around his waist just like her. “You look like you need something better than that old bag.” He flicked an ear at her, obviously joking with whatever he meant. His fellows laughed amused.
Zokosh smirked at him, while beating the living daylight out of the punching bag. “You want to help me get rid of the adrenaline? I’m sure your idea involves that mat. But are you brave enough to take me on in front of your friends? Might be embarrassing, if you were finished after a few seconds.” She was breathing heavily while talking.
Goshk looked surprised for a moment. He had expected her to reprimand him or make him clarify that he had sparing in mind. For a moment he thought about trying his luck today and offer her some private practise somewhere else, but then he decided against it. “I would be totally up for that
but I meant sparing.”
“Brave enough to admit, but smart enough to make the right choice.” Zokosh responded smirking impishly, not revealing what she was thinking about that
. Before she went to the sparring area, she took a chug of water from her bottle.
While they were taking positions the other eleven crewmen surrounded them. Zokosh looked at them her heart was still pumping fast. “I can’t go back to the sandbag after fighting for real. So you guys better get ready, if Goshk goes down to fast.”
After she said that, they were discussing the order in which they were facing her. If you were to late in line, you might not get a chance at all. If you were to far in the front, you would most likely get beaten quickly. The best places were somewhere in the middle. Grappling with this sweaty women sounded alluring to all of them.
“Any rules other than the standard?” Asked Goshk.
“Hmm … If you try to cop a feel, I’ll knock you out. Except for that, no holds barred.”
One of the spectators gave the starting signal and the sparring partners started to circle each other. Goshk knew that if he waited for to long Zokosh would recover her stamina, so he had to make his move quickly. He lowered his center of gravity and tried to grapple the Admiral. She dashed sideways and hooked his foot with hers, causing him to stumble. In this situation she could have brought him down and locked him to the mat easily, but she wanted this fight to last longer than one exchange.
Zokosh let him turn towards her before she attacked him with a flurry of punches and jabs. Of course she did not go all out on him, like she did with the punching bag. She used just enough force to make sure he would not want to get hit. He protected himself pretty well and used an opening to start his counter.
The spectators were watching the fight in suspense. The two opponents were enjoying the spar just as much as the spectators. This time Zokosh did not have to show off, so she held herself just enough back to keep the fight enjoyable. She was sure that Goshk must have noticed it. After a few minutes Goshk managed to grapple her, making him the crew member with the closest contact to a women in months. Zokosh held against it, trying to topple the bigger Hynian.
Her heart was still beating fast and now it was pounding against the males chest. She did not notice it, but the spectators were quite envious of him. After both of them showed some impressive footwork, Zokosh managed to hook Goshk's leg. All she needed to do now was to push her upper body a bit more against her opponent to throw him off balance.
Goshk fell backwards and Zokosh slipped out of the grapple. When he hit the ground, she grabbed him and placed him in an armlock. Her leg was bent and her shin was pressing against his face while she was locking his arm whith hers. To do that she clamped his forearm between her upper arm and her flank, while holding his upper arm with her hands. She did not use enough pressure to cause him pain, but her grip left him nowhere to go.
“Do you give up?” Zokosh smiled victoriously. Her adrenaline levels were now dropping fast.
“You got me.” he replied with her leg in his face. “You held back, didn’t you?”
“It’s more fun that way. I hope you don’t want to complain.” She let go of him and laid down on the mat breathing exhausted. She was still smiling. The reduced adrenaline make her realize, that she was showing the crewmembers way more than they should see. Hynian adrenaline was one hell of a drug.
She knew she should cover herself, but she still needed some time to cool down. Luckily the spectators were surprisingly decent. They had openly watched her pummel the sandback and they had looked at her during the fight, but now that she was lying on her back breathing heavily, they went back to their training routines. Maybe they had looked enough earlier. Whatever the reason, it gave Zokosh the time she needed.
Goshk had already gotten up. He was not ‘high’ on adrenaline, so he had noticed how her chest felt against his. He could have sworn that he felt her heart pounding. While he was drinking from his bottle, he looked at the half naked smiling woman. His ears raised for a moment, then they flicked in opposite directions.
“I’m going to get a shower. I’m all sweaty and stuff.” He said to no one in particular.
One of the less buff, more cheeky crewmen responded. “Better take a long shower, to get all that ‘sweat’ out … off. I meant get that sweat off.” The rest of the guys chuckled, but it didn't bother Goshk. They were just jealous that he got a good reason to take a shower.
Zokosh did not react, maybe she did not even hear it. She was focusing on herself. She savored feeling her heart rate slow down and her muscles relax. When had finished her post adrenaline rush ‘meditation’ she got up and put the upper part of her jumpsuit back on.
“Thanks for letting me rest.” Zokosh was pulling her zipper back up. “I guess i need another shower.” She said to herself.
The cheeky guy responded again. “Don't worry, we’ll stay here. Except you want someone guard the door.”
She smiled at him. “Thanks for the offer, but that won't be necessary. Good night, guys.”
“Sleep well, Admirell.” Responded the group.
Zokosh flicked her ears in an amused way and left. ‘When did they come up with that?’
When the Admiral had left the improvised gym. One of the guys laughed. “Dude, you could have told her that Goshk is ‘showering’. If she goes there now she'll totally run into him.”
“You could have also told her. But you didn’t. Maybe they go for a round two in the shower? I don’t want to rob Goshk of that chance.” The cheeky one laughed again.
“You know that she just stabbed a guy in there, might be a bit strange to do it.”
“She looked like a case of adrenaline rush, not like she was bothered or something like that. The law says that he is to be forgotten. So doing it right there would be fine. At least I would totally do it there if I had the chance.” He explained.
“You would do it anywhere if you had the chance.”
The guys laughed.
“Hey, wanna bet if they do it?” Asked one of them
Zokosh was writing a message on the datapad taped to the door. ‘Attention. I'm taking a quick shower. Please do not disturb. Zokosh.’ After she did that, she opened the door and waltzed in. She blushed when she saw Goshk walking naked from the bench to the shower stalls.
Goshk had expected to have the shower all to himself, it was the middle of the night after all. He looked surprised and confused at Zokosh. Than he looked down on himself and at the reason why he needed that shower.
The female Hynian bit her lower lip while she was looking at him. “Can you keep a secret?” She asked.
“Hm? I guess?” He replied still confused.
Zokosh closed the door behind her. “That’s not good enough. I’m an Admiral and a noble. Can you keep a secret?” She repeated her question, slowly unzipping her jumpsuit.
Now it finally clicked for him. “Yes! I’m really good at keeping secrets!”
“That’s good. If someone asks, I have seen you in your underpants we had a laugh and then I went to bed.” She was stripping fast letting her clothes trail behind her. When she reached the enamored male, she pushed him eagerly into the shower stall. First
I wasn’t sure, if they should hook up. At first I wanted to add the shower scene as a funny mishap, but then I thought, that the two got some good chemistry.
I hope you enjoyed it :) good night.
What is Push? This is a tie between a bettor and a bookmaker where the final score of a game or contest is exactly the same as the point spread, or the total points (combined scores of both teams). Sporting Charts explains Push - Sports Betting Push and pull spots are magnified buy low, sell high spots. This is a common theory is used in any field of investing, but how can this situation be applied to sports betting? Read on to find out how bettors can find push and pull spots when handicapping. PUSH is more than a simple word to indicate how to open a door – it’s actually a sports betting term. When the point spread or totals bet you make hits the exact number set by oddsmakers, it’s a PUSH. You can tell by the capital letters that it’s an important wagering term. Capital letters mean business! Sports Betting PUSH Pushes are the most common in sports that use the point spread like basketball and football. However, a push can also happen when betting on certain run lines in baseball or spreads in soccer. A ‘push’ occurs when the result of a sporting event ends in a tie between the sports bettor and the Sportsbook. Neither party wins or loses. So, the original wager is refunded back to the sports bettor.