Sex vs. Violence: the Media Contradiction

censored

One of the more blatant contradictions of today’s media (and that’s saying a lot) is the attitudes towards sex and violence. On the one hand, violence is borderline glorified with movies, TV shows, video games, and even the news making violence popular in today’s culture. No one is afraid to show blood and guts, or beheadings, or other viscious torture and murders. In fact, just about the only limitation that exists that I can think of is not being allowed to post videos involving the death of real people. We don’t think twice about violence in the media today, and have become desensitized to the point that it’s actually scary. However, I’m just restating what everybody already knows.

The issue is that our acceptance of violence is a direct contradiction to our repulsion against sex. Why is it that sex in TV, movies, or other types of media is always censored when violence is not? Why are you looked down upon for watching pornography but not for watching an action movie with a lot of violence? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I think it can be universally agreed upon that having sex is something people do all the time and is generally a good thing, while being violent is not something that we teach people to do and is considered bad. However, these two things play the reverse role in the media. It makes absolutely zero sense to say looking at the nude celebrity hacked photos makes you a pervert or a scumbag, yet watching all of the war and violence on the news just makes you a regular, informed person.

It makes more sense to show pornography on TV then to show coverage of the war in the Middle East. Watching people have sex does not affect someone mentally the way being exposed to violence could. One is a harmless activity for pleasure, the other could plant a seed in someone’s head down the road to do something horrible. Nothing good comes out of watching violence on the news or for entertainment. It can be depressing, or even worse it could make people the opposite and gain pleasure at the hands of others suffering. Weapons are viewed as cool and a sign of power. Sex toys are looked at as weird and gross. The word sex is even being censored on some radio stations now, where death metal songs about ripping people’s heads off are not censored at all.

The main point is that there is a fundamental contradiction between the way sex and the way violence are portrayed through the media. In effect, our society censors love and glorifies hate. The porn industry should not be looked down upon and Hollywood should not be praised. The former is a much healthier form of entertainment than the violence included in the latter, and that is one of the more noticeable problems (again, among many) of the media today.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

2014 NFL Season Preview: NFC

If you haven’t read it yet, read my AFC preview first (http://jpierro21blog.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/2014-nfl-season-preview-afc/) because my Super Bowl prediction will be included at the end of this post. Without further ado, here is my breakdown of the NFC this year.

NFC East

nfc east

Much like the AFC North, I think this division could be up for grabs as well, with the Giants playing the role of Cleveland in that they’re the least likely to finish on top. If RG3 stays healthy, him and newly acquired weapon Desean Jackson can light it up on offense with a balanced running attack from Alfred Morris. Health will be the most important factor for the 2012 NFC East Champs. For the defending division champs, I expect much the same from last year. Nick Foles and Lesean McCoy lead an up tempo Chip Kelly offense and the Eagles are certainly talented enough to win the division again. Finally, there are the Dallas Cowboys. Having finished 8-8 and lost the division to each of the other three teams in three consecutive years, I’m picking the Cowboys to finally come out on top this year. They’ve always had the talent, but questionable coaching, off the field controversy, injuries, and inconsistency have plagued them in recent years. There’s no reason they can’t break through this year in a division that doesn’t have a powerhouse team.

 

NFC North

nfc north

There may be a shake up in this division in 2014. The Green Bay Packers have traditionally been the favorites the past few years, but their defense does not look good at all and I don’t think even Aaron Rodgers will be able to make up for it on offense. The Vikings have questions at quarterback, but Bridgewater has the potential to at least give the Vikings some game through the air, and Cordarelle Patterson is always a threat. In addition, new offensive coordinator Norv Turner has said he is going to use Adrian Peterson in the passing game more this year which I think is a great idea. Detroit is coming off of a disappointing season and nothing they did during the offseason indicates they will be much better this year. Finally, I think Chicago is similar to Dallas in that they certainly have the talent to win the division and have been close in recent years, but haven’t quite pulled through. I think Jay Cutler is ready for a breakout year with the emergence of Alshon Jeffery alongside Brandon Marshall, and Matt Forte out of the backfield. Along with a solid defense, I think the Bears are 2014 NFC North Champs.

 

NFC South

nfc south

The Carolina Panthers, led by a great defense and the arm of Cam Newton, look to build on last season’s breakthrough year in which they finished second only to the Seahawks in the conference during the regular season. Their defense should be great once again, but the loss of wide receivers Steve Smith and Brandon Lafell on offense could be an issue for Cam Newton. Rookie Kelvin Benjamin may have to play a big role, and could be a possible offensive rookie of the year candidate. The Falcons are coming off a very disappointing season after reaching the NFC Championship the year before. A healthy Julio Jones this year should help, but I don’t think they will be much better. The Buccaneers parted ways with star corner Revis in the offseason and still don’t have a reliable quarterback, while Drew Brees and the Saints are more than capable of winning the division this year, which I think they will by a game or two over Carolina.

 

NFC West

NFC west

This division looks to be the best in the NFL. Even with the loss of Sam Bradford, the Rams have a good enough defense to still compete. They could post a 7-9 season and still finish last in the division this year. Defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle looked as good as ever in the season opener, and I think they will eventually come out on top again in the division. San Francisco and Arizona are both capable of clinching wild cards but I like the Cardinals more than the 49ers this season. I think wide receiver Michael Floyd will have a big year and the Cardinals defense is among the better ones in the league. The 49ers have questions on offense and defense, and I’m not sold on Kaepernick under center either.

 

Playoff Predictions

1. Seattle Seahawks

2. Chicago Bears

3. New Orleans Saints

4. Dallas Cowboys

5. Arizona Cardinals

6. Philadelphia Eagles

 

NFC Champion: Chicago Bears

Super Bowl Champion: Chicago over San Diego

 

Let me know what you guys think about the NFC in the comments down below. Like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

 

2014 NFL Season Preview: AFC

nfl 2014

After a long and interesting offseason, the NFL finally kicked off on Thursday night as the defending champion Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers. The remainder of Week 1 will be in full gear tomorrow so here is my division by division preview of the 2014 NFL Season.

 

AFC East

Revis

Perennial AFC powerhouse New England made some noise this offseason by acquiring star cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to bolster their defense, while signing Brandon Lafell, resigning top receiver Julian Edelman, and trading for tight end Timothy Wright to improve the offense. With a slew of offensive weapons that also include Danny Amendola, Shane Vereen, Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Rob Gronkowski, quarterback Tom Brady should have no problem on the offensive side this year, assuming everyone remains healthy. I don’t think the Patriots will necessarily run away with this division though, I expect the Jets and Dolphins, who both finished at 8-8 last year and improved in the offseason, to be decent teams this year. The Bills on the other hand, without a legitimate quarterback and their best defensive player on injured reserve, will finish last again, although one bright spot could be rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins if he stays healthy.

 

AFC North

manziel

Ok, I admit I’m trolling a little bit by using Manziel as the picture for the AFC North preview, but I honestly believe that he could end up as a starter in a division that is up for grabs this year. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or Cincinnati all have a great shot at winning this division, and if Manziel has a great season and Josh Gordon comes back under a new drug policy, you can’t rule out Cleveland either. Ultimately, I think this division will eventually come down to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh as the Ravens just don’t have a good quarterback and their offense will struggle. I like Pittsburgh to go 10-6 and win the division because they finished strong last year and have missed the playoffs three straight years in a LONG time. Two time super bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger is still capable of putting up big numbers and rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton has potential for a big year as a starter.

 

AFC South

clowney

I have been a huge JaDaveon Clowney fan since the borderline criminal hit against Michigan two years ago. I think he will easily win defensive rookie of the year, however I don’t expect much else from the Texans this year. With the loss of Matt Schaub to the Raiders and injury prone players like Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, they will be competing with the Jaguars and for third place in the division, with Tennessee not too far ahead. Andrew Luck will once again lead the Colts to the division title, although with an ineffective Trent Richardson and loss of Donald Brown to the Chargers, they will have to rely on Ahmad Bradshaw if they want to have any type of ground game.

 

AFC West

afc west

The AFC West will be the best division in the AFC. Three teams from this division made the playoffs last year and there is a good chance it will happen again this year. Although they won’t put up the numbers they did last year, the Broncos will once again win the division with a great offense and improved defense but will face tough competition from San Diego. The Chargers split the regular season series last year including a win at Denver in prime time. With young weapons on the offensive side in Keenan Allen, Ryan Matthews, and Ladarius Green, I think Philip Rivers is due for an MVP type season. I think the Chiefs will be average at best, and the Raiders may surprise some people this year if Matt Schaub has a bounce back season and Maurice Jones-Drew lights it up on the offensive side.

 

Playoff Predictions:

1. New England Patriots

2. Denver Broncos

3. Indianapolis Colts

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

5. San Diego Chargers

6. New York Jets

 

AFC Champion: San Diego Chargers

 

Let me know what you guys think of the AFC this year in the comments down below. Please like the post, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks!

Jeff

Time to Repeal the Second Prohibition

marijuana-3000-2000-wallpaper

A generation in the United States that has already had a big enough influence to impact legalization of gay marriage and universal healthcare is well on its way to achieving the next goal: Federal legalization of marijuana in the United States. Having recently been legalized in Colorado and Washington state, the legalization of marijuana has to become a hot topic as of late, so I figured it is time to officially weigh in on the matter.

Like alcohol, marijuana was banned throughout the country beginning in the early 1900s. Unlike alcohol, laws banning the possession, sale, transport, and cultivation of marijuana have not been repealed since. Several reasons have been given for the federal ban on marijuana, some being valid and others being outdated. Let’s break down each one to determine if it is rational or not.

gateway

Probably one of the oldest and least informed arguments is that marijuana is a gateway drug. This argument makes the assumption that smoking marijuana will lead users to try more dangerous drugs that can be very dangerous to your health. Many researchers have since found that there is no causal factor between the smoking of marijuana and the use of more dangerous drugs. Out of over 100 million Americans who have tried marijuana, only one-third of them have tried cocaine and just four percent tried heroin. There is strong evidence to suggest that even the minority who did go on to use hard drugs most likely did so not because of marijuana, but because of mental health or stress related problems. The Institute of Medicine stated that “Marijuana does not appear to be a gateway drug to the extent that it is the cause or even that it is the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse.” In fact, tobacco and alcohol are much more likely to be used as gateway drugs.

The most common argument for the prohibition of marijuana is its negative health impacts. First off, there is the concern about potential addiction to the substance. It is possible to become addicted to marijuana, but the chances are very low. Marijuana does not cause biological addiction from which your body becomes depedent on the substance. It becomes a psychological dependence for some people. Furthermore, a 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine showed that 32% of tobacco users develop a dependence, 23% of heroin users, 17% of cocaine users, 15% of alcohol users, but just 9% for marijuana users. To look at those statistics in another way, you are more than three times more likely to become addicted from legal cigarettes than illegal marijuana. The study concluded that few marijuana users develop a dependence, and the depedence for those who do is far less severe than other drugs.

10 reasons

The second health concern is the possibility of developing cancer as a result of smoking marijuana. In fact, there is no clear causal connection between the smoking of marijuana and lung cancer. Granted, part of the reason for this is the lack of data available due to marijuana’s illegal status. What is known is that marijuana contains a fraction of the carcinogens found in cigarettes, which are directly related to lung cancer. A study conducted in 2012 found the heaviest smokers of marijuana could develop bronchitis, but that moderate smoking had little to no risk. Marijuana can increase heart rate and blood flow, but experts say this would not pose a health problem to people who are old or don’t have heart problems to begin with. Furthermore, unlike alcohol and tobacco, there is no clear connection between marijuana and any sort of deadly disease, and it is not possible to overdose on marijuana.

In 2010, an independent scientific committee compared the harmfulness of 20 drugs based on the damage they caused to individual users and to society as a whole through crime, family breakdown, absenteeism, and other social ills. The results showed that the most harmful drug was alcohol, and marijuana ranked eighth on the list with approximately a fourth of the harmfulness of alcohol. The government’s response to the seemingly much less harmful marijuana was that the damage would increase a lot more if the substance was legal because there would be more use. However, the World Health Organization refuted this by saying that even if marijuana use rose to the same levels as alcohol and tobacco, the public health costs would still be far less than the two legal substances.

alcohol vs weed

Many of the dangers of marijuana come from the fact that there many different strains that could be laced with anything, and users don’t always know exactly what they are smoking. Regulating a legal marijuana industry would greatly reduce this problem. In addition, it has been proven that there are ways to ingest marijuana that are even less harmful than smoking, such as using a vaporizer or ingesting it through edibles. Also overlooked is the myriad of benefits that medical marijuana has provided, ranging from assisting with simple to body pain to being able to help with depression, seizures, and even HIV. Early reports out of Colorado have indicated a 10% decrease in crime rate since the legalization of marijuana, and an infusion of millions upon millions of dollars into the economy, two critical societal benefits.

health benefits

One legitimate concern from the legalization of marijuana would be the increase in underage use. The brain undergoes active development until about age 21, and heavy use of marijuana (like any other drug) could impact the development of the brain. Like any other threat in society, education and strictly enforced minimum age laws would need to be enacted to try to keep those who are underage from using.

weed economy

In my opinion, it will only be a matter of time before marijuana becomes recognized by the federal government as a legal drug throughout the United States. It is not a completely harmless substance, but it is one of, if not the least, harmful drug out there and has untapped potential for benefiting society. If nothing else, it times for the laws to at least become consistent. A War on Drugs in which two of the most harmful substances out there are legal, and one of the least harmful isn’t, sends a contradicting message on exactly what the whole point of the War on Drugs is.

That being said, a bill has been introduced in Congress, and you can see the summary in the link below.

https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/499

Sources: New York Times: “What Science Says About Marijuana” By PHILIP M. BOFFEY

Thanks to everyone who read this post, please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Final Thoughts on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

world cup

World Cup Fever has been raging across the world for the last month, with many exciting moments, big surprises, unlikely heroes, and an epic conclusion. From the perspective of someone who only tunes into soccer during big events such as the World Cup, here are my thoughts on everything that has happened in Brazil over the last month.

group of death

A collective groan was heard across the country in December after the United States found out what group they would be to start the World Cup. Nicknamed the Group of Death, Group G featured #2 ranked Germany, #4 ranked Portugal, and a Ghana team that had knocked the USA out of the last two World Cups. This was a group so tough, even coach Jurgen Klinnsman told US fans not to expect the United States to win. Controversy rose once again when one of the best players in United States history, Landon Donovan, was left completely off the roster.

Despite the odds being stacked against our country, many people, including me, still believed the USA had a chance.

And they did not disappoint.

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186512/index.html

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186483/index.html

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186469/index.html

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186497/index.html

The United States posted a 1-1-1 record in the group stage, with an even goal differential, and their only loss being a 1-0 contest against eventual champion Germany. They would fight to the bitter end in the knockout stage against Belgium, finally losing 2-1 in extra time despite an all time great performance from goalie Tim Howard. I watched this World Cup first as a United States fan, and second as a sports fan. I was proud of what my country was able to accomplish: Surviving the Group of Death, advancing to the knockout stage in back to back World Cups for the first time ever, being able to overcome adversity such as Clint Dempsey’s broken nose and Jozy Altidore’s leg injury, having everyone from star players to substitutes to the goalie give 100% effort at all times, and making it farther than Italy, England, and defending champion Spain.

super stars

brazil

belgium

tim howard

usa fans

This was the second World Cup that I followed in depth, the previous one being the 2010 South Africa World Cup. I learned a lot more this time around and realized that this event was about far more than soccer, and that even non-soccer fans and non-sports fans can get excited and rally around their country for this event. I learned that the United States truly does care about soccer and that their programs are moving in the right direction. I was surprised at how many hardcore soccer fans there were here. The World Cup certainly brought out a lot of the bandwagoners along for the ride, but gave the true soccer fans a chance to get excited as well. I think the World Cup as a whole was very exciting this time. Whether it was powerhouses like Spain, Portugal, and Brazil getting eliminated shockingly early, underdogs such as the United States and Costa Rica advancing farther than anyone thought, witnessing the second highest scoring World Cup, a 95th minute World Cup saving goal, epic penalty kick shootouts, the biting incident, the final goal in extra time of the championship, or all of the mayhem surrounding Brazil in general, it was certainly a memorable 4 weeks.

stadium

copacabana

trophy

I found the culture surrounding the World Cup very interesting as well. Copacabana beach and Rio de Janeiro were big party scenes during the event. Most people would vacation near a stadium, watch all the games of the teams that came through, and then party hard during the off days. Other than an overhead passing collapsing, I think Brazil ultimately was a success with no major crime reports or other infrastructure problems occurring, despite completing only 10 or so of a promised 52 projects for this World Cup. The biggest disappointment for me, other than the United States loss to Belgium, was the injury to Brazil superstar Neymar. I wasn’t particularly rooting for Brazil in general, either because I liked them or because they were the home team, but I think the semifinals and finals would have been a lot more interesting with one of the world’s best players playing in his home country. One of the biggest highlights for me was actually during the final day. Snapchat introduced a Rio Live 2014 account that gathered all the snapchats from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil during the final game. It was really cool to see the event through the eyes of the fans.

game winner

The World Cup returns in 2018 in Russia, but for now we are left to appreciate, celebrate, mourn, and take in what was an unbelievable spectacle this year in Brazil.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Celtics Draft Reaction and Free Agency Predictions

smart young

The 2014 NBA draft wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, and now that free agency is in full force it’s time to take a look the future of the Celtics and the NBA. Boston had two first round picks in the draft, #6 overall and #17 overall, with the 17th pick being acquired from Brooklyn in the Pierce/Garnett trade. They chose star point guard Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State with #6, and I was not a big fan of this pick. As a huge Rajon Rondo fan, this likely means that his days are numbered in Boston. The Celtics already have three players that can play the point, with Rondo, Bradley, and second year man Phil Pressey. I also dislike Smart due to his flopping reputation and immaturity at times. I would have liked to see them draft Julius Randle, who went to the Lakers with the very next pick, to give them some inside toughness and rebounding. On the other hand, I like the James Young selection at 17. The 6’6″ freshman shooting guard out of Kentucky provides a dynamic scoring option in the backcourt that I think would complement Rondo and Bradley very well.

melo

One of the two biggest free agents this summer is superstar forward Carmelo Anthony. The 2012-2013 NBA scoring champion spent the last few years on the New York Knicks before becoming a free agent on July 1. Potential destinations for Melo to land have been rumored to be back to New York, Los Angeles with the Lakers, Chicago to team up with Derrick Rose and the Bulls, Houston to pair with James Harden and Dwight Howard, and even a mega deal to go to Boston along with Kevin Love. At this current moment, it is being rumored that the Lakers are the Knicks’ top threat to land Carmelo Anthony. I am skeptical that this will happen. At this point in his career, Carmelo is looking to join a team that will contend for the next several years. The Lakers were awful last year, and even if Kobe Bryant comes back healthy, Kobe is nearing the last couple years of his career and there is no supporting cast in Los Angeles.

I definitely don’t think the Kevin Love/Carmelo Anthony deal to Boston will happen. It also wouldn’t make sense to go to Miami because he is too similar of a player to Lebron. Of the three options left, I think it makes the most sense for him to return to New York. The Knicks clichéd the #2 seed in the East just a year ago, and with Phil Jackson running the show now, Melo can be sure there will a valiant effort to put together a championship team. Houston would be my second choice for Carmelo. He would thrive in that high-powered offense and create a dynamic big 3 with James Harden and Dwight Howard, not to mention Houston is already a playoff contender. Third choice would be the Bulls. The health of Derrick Rose is a main reason why Chicago might not be able to pull this off, but if they could and Rose remains healthy, Chicago will instantly contend for the East.

lebron

The biggest decision in the NBA this summer will be the future of the Big 3 in Miami, who have opted out of their contracts to become free agents in order to give themselves more flexibility in the future. Rumors have swirled that Lebron might return to Cleveland to join his old franchise and pair up with young starts such as Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins. One reason for not returning to Miami would be the health and consistency of Dwyane Wade, who carried the Big 3 in the early years but has been injured and inconsistent at times during the postseason. Despite this, the Heat were still a title contender until they got smashed by the Spurs in the Finals. Rumor had it that Lebron essentially forced the Heat to trade up in the draft to acquire point guard Shabazz Napier. Other rumors have it that the Heat are trying to acquire guards Kyle Lowry and Luol Deng. With Miami being one free agent away or so to being able to compete with the top teams in the Western Conference, I think Lebron will ultimately return to Miami with Wade and Bosh under significantly different contracts.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

2014 NBA Finals Preview/Prediction

heat spurs

For the second consecutive year, the Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat will face off against the Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs. Both teams once again dominated the regular season and took familiar paths to reaching the Finals, but this time the Spurs will have home court advantage thanks to earning the top seed in the playoffs. Much has been made about the disparity between the Eastern and Western Conference this year, and as a result the Spurs are much more battle tested in the playoffs than the Heat. San Antonio battled an 8th seeded Mavericks team in seven games, a sharp shooting Portland squad, and the second seeded Thunder led by MVP Kevin Durant. Meanwhile, the Heat swept a pathetic Bobcats team, overcame an old Nets team, and knocked off an incredibly inconsistent Pacers team. Nevertheless, both teams still feel like they have something to prove, and the rivalry aspect of this series should make it a good one.

lebron duncan

Tim Duncan will be looking to avenge last year’s heartbreaking Finals loss and cement his legacy with his fifth NBA championship, while Lebron James will be looking to match an accomplishment done by Michael Jordan (twice) and Kobe Bryant by winning his third consecutive championship. The Heat are the younger and more athletic team, capable of playing high-flying offense and lock down defense. The Spurs are the more balanced and well-rounded team, with a deep roster of both veterans and young players. On the coaching side, the advantage clearly goes to Spurs coach Gregg Poppovich over Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. One important factor to look out for at the beginning of this series is the status of Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who missed the second half of game 6 of the Western Conference Finals with an ankle injury, but is expected to start Game 1 on Thursday night.

coaches

As everyone remembers, the course of last year’s NBA Finals was dramatically altered by Ray Allen’s three pointer in Game 6 as the Heat went on to win the series in seven games. I think this will be another hard-fought series, similar to last year, but in the end home court advantage helps the Spurs take home their fifth NBA championship in seven games.

Who do you think will win the 2014 NBA Finals? Vote in the poll down below.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

2014 Stanley Cup Final Preview/Prediction

rangers kings

The Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 20 years to clash against the Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Kings, making their 2nd Cup appearance in three years. Most people assumed that either Boston or Pittsburgh would represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, but after the Bruins were upset in seven games by the Canadiens, and the Rangers came back from 3-1 against Pittsburgh, that was not to be the case. Meanwhile, the Kings have been an even bigger surprise coming down from 3-0 against San Jose, 3-2 against the top seeded Anaheim Ducks, and from down 4-3 in the 3rd period to knock off the defending champion Blackhawks in overtime. The 6th seeded Kings will have home ice advantage in the series due to finishing 4 points ahead of the 5th seeded Rangers. The teams split their two matchups during the regular season.

goalies

Henrik Lundqvist has been praised as one of the elite goalies in the NHL for the past several years now, and a key factor in the Rangers Stanley Cup run. However, Jonathan Quick has one thing that Lundqvist does not: big game experience. Aside from being the starting goalie for the 2012 Champion LA Kings, Quick was also the starter for Team USA in the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year. These are two of the premier goalies in the NHL, so expect some big games and clutch saves from them throughout this series. On the offensive end, the Kings are led by Marion Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, and Jeff Carter, who have combined for 21 goals and 65 points this postseason helping the Kings to a 3.5 goals per game average in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Rangers have averaged just 2.7 goals per game and will need Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, and company to step up big in this series.

kopitar

The Kings have not only become the first team to win three consecutive game sevens to make it to the Stanley Cup Final, but they won them all on the road by coming down from 3-0 in the first round, defeating the top seed in the second round, and beating the defending champions in the third round. I think the Los Angeles Kings have the momentum and will emulate what happened in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, winning the series in six games.

Who do you think will win the Stanley Cup Final? Vote in the poll down below.

Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)

Summary

After mysterious radioactivity is detected off the coast of Japan, scientist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) makes it his personal mission to uncover the truth. 15 years after what was thought to be an earthquake destroyed his lab and killed his wife, the true nature of the radioactivity is revealed and it is up to Godzilla to save the city of San Francisco.

What I liked

I was entertained for the first hour of this film. I thought the movie did a good job of setting up the background to what was happening, and I think Bryan Cranston did a good job in his role as well. The special effects were impressive, and it was fascinating to see director Gareth Edward’s portrayal of Godzilla. The movie kept the plot line relatively and focused on what everyone wanted to see: an epic battle between Godzilla and the evil creatures destroying the city of San Francisco.

What I didn’t like

I thought the second half of the movie was rather weak. I eventually got bored with all the fighting and action and think the movie was about a half an hour too long. Furthermore, there wasn’t much creativity outside of the Godzilla battle; many of the themes and scenes were unoriginal and have been used in many other movies. Furthermore, Godzilla doesn’t really appear until towards the end of the film, but instead we are trying to figure out what these radioactive MUTO things are and what they are doing. Finally, some of the scenes were unrealistic, for example the classic guy getting saved conveniently right before the monster is about to kill him.

Rating

IMDB: 7.3/10
RT Critics: 73%
RT Audience: 73%

My Final rating: 5/10

Thanks to everyone who read this review. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

2014 NBA Conference Finals Preview

conf finals

The conference finals matchups are set, and I’m here break down the two series and give my predictions for who will play in the 2014 NBA Finals.

Eastern Conference Finals: #2 Miami Heat vs. #1 Indiana Pacers

ECF

For the second consecutive year, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will face off in the Eastern Conference Finals. The difference is that this time Indiana has home court advantage. The Pacers have been remarkably inconsistent in their first two series against inferior teams, but have shown signs that they are pulling it together in the Washington series. In order for the Pacers to have a chance in this series, they are absolutely going to need consistently good efforts from Paul George and Roy Hibbert on a nightly basis. They cannot afford a 4-17 shooting night from George or a zero rebound game from Hibbert. In contrast, Miami has been playing consistent basketball, posting an 8-1 record to begin the playoffs. Dwayne Wade looks healthy and is playing very well, and the Heat are playing good basketball. The matchup to watch in this series is going to be Paul George vs. Lebron James. Unlike the Nets, who had to use several players to guard James, the Pacers have had success with George guarding James. Paul has the edge defensively while Lebron has the edge offensively, so it should be fun to watch. The Pacers are more than capable of winning this series, but they just haven’t shown enough consistency in the second half of the season and early in the playoffs. Heat win the Eastern Conference in six games.

Western Conference Finals: #2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #1 San Antonio Spurs

spurs thunder

These two teams will clash again in the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years. MVP Kevin Durant and the Thunder will face defending Western Conference Champs Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Two years ago, the Spurs took a 2-0 lead before the Thunder won 4 straight to advance to the Finals. Both teams are desperate for a shot to get revenge at Lebron and the Heat in the Finals. Both teams are battle tested and have proven themselves as the league’s best in a very competitive Western Conference. I expect this to be a very hard-fought series. I’m looking forward to future Hall of Famers Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook match up against each other, as well as Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan. The Spurs might have the all around better team, but I think Kevin Durant is on a mission this year. He is tired of always being second, being called unreliable, and many other criticisms in recent years. I think he puts the team on his back this series and explodes in Game 7 to upset the Spurs and reach the Finals.

Who do you guys think will win the NBA Finals? Let me know in the poll down below.

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Thanks,

Jeff

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