Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hey all! 360sportsjam will be following the entire NCAA basketball tournament, and you can follow it here. Here are today’s 2nd Round picks.

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I am here to rant about Thanksgiving. No, I do love the holiday. There is nothing wrong with celebrating the Pilgrims who landed in Plymouth and giving thanks for where we are today. There is especially nothing wrong with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, pumpkin pie, apple pie, peach cobbler, or whatever else you may enjoy. Nothing wrong at all. Stop drooling.

What IS wrong is these commercials before Thanksgiving. I was watching Jeopardy! when a commercial for Macy’s came on. At least I think it was Macy’s. I immediately tuned out when I saw it wasn’t about anything I cared about. I mean, how many sales can you have?! But then it got my attention with people wearing Santa hats looking all happy, jolly, and “Ho, ho, ho!” Meanwhile, “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” played in the background. It immediately got me thinking. WHY do these stores start advertising for Christmas before the turkey has even been bought?!

Black Friday also troubles me. Last year, a Wal-Mart employee was killed after a horde of shoppers rushed inside the store to be the first to snag  the latest items. They trampled him and he was pronounced dead around 6 in the morning, an hour after the doors had been opened. This is what is wrong with our society today. We must be the first to get the new toy for our kids, first to get the new SMART phone, first to get the new car, first, first, first. Why can’t we slow down, be calm about things? I’ve waited a couple weeks to get the new Alex Rider book, one because I have a gift card, and two, I keep forgetting to give it to my dad to use when he comes home from work. But I wait. No intense whining, just, “Darn,I forgot to give you my card again today, Dad. No worry, I can wait.” 

Pass the cranberry sauce, please.

 

It’s Funny How…

Posted: October 31, 2009 in Uncategorized

I keep linking you to my sports blog:

http://360sportsjam.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/nfl-week-8-preview/

World Series Preview Link!

Posted: October 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

World Series Preview is now available at:

http://360sportsjam.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/world-series-preview/

New Power Rankings!

Posted: October 28, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I have new Power Rankings set up at:

http://360sportsjam.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/nfl-week-7-power-rankings/

Chapter 3

Posted: August 26, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Chapter 3

 

            Rachel and Daniel burst into their house.

            “Mom! Dad! Guess what?” Daniel shot Rachel a warning glance. He didn’t want her to broadcast the fact that he had been almost killed by a runaway boulder. She caught his meaning.

            “What happened?” their mom replied.

            Rachel started talking. “Daniel … ,” she began but stopped when she saw another warning glance.

            “Yes, what is it?” their mom pressed. Daniel could tell that she could tell something had gone wrong.

            “Uh … umm … Daniel got the winning assist in the soccer game!”

            “Oh, that’s great! Congratulations, Daniel!” Daniel could tell his mom knew she wasn’t getting the full story. She gave him a look that said, “You’ll tell me later what you don’t want to tell me now.”

            During dinner, Daniel’s father tried patiently to listen to Daniel’s account of the soccer game, but Daniel could tell his dad was worn out. He looked haggard and drawn. After dinner, he walked slowly around the house, thinking to himself. He had obviously received some bad news. That or the work pressure had been getting to him lately.

            Mercifully, Daniel was able to escape the questioning gaze of his mother during the night and escaped up to his room.

 

*            *          *          *          *

 

            Later that night, Daniel was just about to fall asleep when he heard a knock on his door.

            “Come in,” he mumbled. Rachel walked in. Daniel sat up.

            “Hey, what’s up?”

            Rachel sat on his bed. “You never told me how you escaped the boulder. I mean, you were frozen one second and tapping me on the shoulder the next.”

            Daniel winced. In the dark, she shouldn’t see his expression. He knew she could tell he was uncomfortable. He debated whether to tell her or not. If I tell her, she may think I’m crazy. But she is my sister, and she should trust me.

            He looked at her. “I don’t know,” he said.

            She considered this for a while.

            “You’re lying,” she said.

            Daniel was taken aback. How did she know he wasn’t telling the truth, at least part of it? Fact is, he wasn’t sure what had happened. At least not 100 percent. He had a vague idea of what he needed to do. He just needed a way to put it into action. They sat in silence for several minutes, each harboring their own thoughts.

            Then Daniel broke.

            “Okay, this is what’s going on: I had this weird vision. It was right after Rick Heinwurst collided with me. It involved a few things, like, like …” His voice trailed off. Rachel was staring now. “Yes, go on,” she said, her tone patronizing.

            “And there was this half-man, half-horse guy who leaped down from the cliff, and he stopped the boulder, and then he yelled at me in English.”

            Ouch. Not how he wanted it to go. Rachel stared at him some more and then began to back away.

            “Daniel, are you okay? Do you want me to get Mom and Dad?” Daniel realized she thought he was insane, probably from his close call.

            “I know what you’re thinking. I am not crazy, Rachel. This really happened.”

            She stopped moving.

            “Okay, look,” Daniel said, in as reassuring a tone as he could muster. “Next Saturday, after my game, I want to check something out. Will you come with me? I have to find out if these things mean anything or not.”

            Slowly, she nodded.

 

*     *     *     *     *

             The rest of the week passed uneventfully. Daniel’s practices went well, and he didn’t notice anything new about the cliff face when he passed it. But he did notice Solomon Marks. He was a constant presence everywhere Daniel went — at school, at soccer, even one night when Daniel accompanied his dad to the hardware store. No matter where Daniel was, sooner or later — and usually sooner — Solomon seemed to wander in. Once, he caught Solomon staring. Solomon quickly glanced away, but after that Daniel felt that he needed to start avoiding him. But Solomon seemed to persist in his presence no matter what changes Daniel made to his routine.

            The breaking point came when Daniel glimpsed Solomon on the street outside his home in the morning. This was getting out of hand. At school, in the hall, Daniel confronted him.

            “Just waiting for you to come out,” Marks offered as an explanation.

            “But how come you were gone by the time I came out?” Daniel pressed.

            “I … grew tired of waiting and almost missed the bus.” It was an obvious lie. Daniel had made the bus with time to spare.  Solomon didn’t even ride the bus — his mom or dad usually drove him.

            “I have to get to class now,” Marks said. Daniel let him go, even though he had other questions, like, Did you see anything odd the other day when the boulders almost crushed me?  

*     *     *     *     *

 

            Finally, Saturday came. Daniel had been waiting in anticipation the whole week. Today, he would bring Rachel to the cliff face and discover what was happening up there. Right after his game, of course. With the resolve that he could do anything after his close shave, he burst out the door — into pouring rain. Rachel and his mom laughed at his surprised look as he turned back inside the house to grab an umbrella.

            “Why didn’t you tell me it was raining?” he laughed.

            “We thought you knew. That’s why we’re laughing,” Rachel giggled.

            “However,” Daniel’s mom said, narrowing her eyes, “you seem in a big hurry. Where are you headed off to in such a rush?”

            Oops. Daniel thought quickly. Of course.

            “Soccer, mom. Got a big game today.”  He sat back down at the table. His mom nodded.

            “Even in the rain?” she asked.

            “Yes,” he replied. “They don’t cancel unless there’s a hurricane.”

            “Well,” she said, “at least have some breakfast first.”

            As she turned back to the stove, Daniel gave Rachel a kick under the table. She glanced up and gave a knowing nod.  Pleased that his plan was still in action, he leaned back in his chair. Now if only the rain would stop!

 

Copyright 2009 Santos DeBarros

Fourthmanstanding Publishing

Madden 2010 Review

Posted: August 24, 2009 in Random Stuff, Uncategorized
Tags:

About a week ago, I got Madden 2010. Now comes a review for fans of the franchise.

This game is great. I love all the new modes and the  in-game minigames are great as well. Those are the new Fight for the Fumble andIce the Kicker abilities. In Fight for the Fumble, when the ball hits the ground, players from bothteams converge on it. The players are then directed to press a series of buttons, either repeatedly, like X X X Y Y Y  or sometimes like A B XXX Y AAA. Whoever can complete their grouping  first without messing up collects the fumble. In Ice the Kicker, I believe that if the teams are separated by three points or less with 2 minutes left in the 2nd of 4th quarters, the defense can call a timeout and control the icing effects on it.

The NFL Superstar mode involves taking control of a player you create yourself, or you can play as a rookie from the ’09 draft class. You go through the rigors of signing an agent, being scouted by teams, going through the combine, and finally draft day. You also take an IQ test. You get the option to be selected by your favorite team, and now I am playing for the Patriots. I’m playing as a running back. You  go through training camp, do some interviews and play a few preseason games. At the end of the training camps, you get attribute points based on your performance during training camp practices. Use these to up needed skills. Once you hit the regular season you fall into a routine, which you’ll get used to pretty quickly. One downfall is your player gets really good really quickly, and from then on its pretty easy.

 

Fantasy Challenge involves drafting your own “Dream Team” and taking on other similarly crafted teams. You start in the Newbie League and move to the playoffs. After defeating the best team, you take on a team called the Kickers for the League Championship. They are a made up team and if you tackle them really hard you will get a “Roughing the Kicker” penalty because the team is made up of kickers. The only plays they really run are fake FG run and passes. However no matter what the y always score some matter of points. When they kick a field goal, they have unlimited range! The next league is the Black and Blue league. Haven’t made it past it yet.

By the way, after defeating the Kickers, I unlocked them for “Play Now” mode. There is a host of other unlockable teams that I bet you get by beating them in Fantasy Challenge.

Graphics are great!

 

9 out of 10 points possible. 0.1 off because no game is perfect. 0.9 points off because I had a glitch freeze my screen when I was doing really well versus the Steelers in my NFL Superstar playoffs. It didn’t matter though. I turned it on and off, played them again, and scored the winning touchdown reception. HAHAHAHAHA! Yes, I’m talking to someone who reads my blog. You know who you are.

Upcoming Posts:  The long awaited (sorry it hasn’t been sooner) Chapter 3. Any day now. Then Chapter 4. And a look at football season. Also a check on the baseball season so far. And anything else I think of.