The Nice Guys: Spring Break Woes

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Cory has a bone to pick with Spring Break. Of course it’s bizarre and doesn’t make much sense. Plus, it’s weird how much adults LOVE Disney World.

 

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Special guest and WGMU alum Brian Gianelos joins in on our discussion.

 

You can hear The Nice Guys every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 5:30. Tune in for hosts Cory Morgan and Matt Dotson, as they provide a look into their daily lives and neurotic ticks. Self deprecation, unwarranted hostility, and overall hilarity ensues each and every week.

 

 

The Nice Guys: The Goose Problem

nice guys 3Matt brings to our attention a rather concerning issue with some new campus residents.

You can hear The Nice Guys every Wednesday, from 4:30 to 5:30. Tune in for hosts Cory Morgan and Matt Dotson, as they provide a look into their daily lives and neurotic ticks. Self deprecation, unwarranted hostility, and overall hilarity ensues each and every week.

 

 

 

Just By Chance: Chance the Rapper’s Rise to Stardom

Kaitlyn Koegler

WGMU Blogger

chance the rapperIt was an unprecedented event; a rapper with no record label behind him winning three Grammys.

Becoming the first artist to win a Grammy for a streaming-only album, Chance the Rapper (born as Chancellor Bennett), is a 23 year-old rising star with three mixtape releases under his belt.

Releases all pioneered by none other than himself.

Chance, unlike most big names in the industry, is not signed by any record label, releasing his music on Soundcloud to avoid the restrictions that come with being signed to a huge company.

Not to say that he isn’t wanted by any; he is. Big time. Pagesix reports that the artist is reportedly turning down 10 million dollar offers just to stay out of what he believes is a pointless deal.

“It’s a dead industry,” said Chance to Rolling Stone. “What’s an album these days, anyways? ‘Cause I didn’t sell it, does that mean it’s not an official release?” 

Despite his criticism of labels, he continues to prosper. With 1.39 million followers on Soundcloud and all-star artists like Justin Beiber and Kanye West featuring on his tracks, it doesn’t look like Chance will be slowing down anytime soon.

If you’re interested in seeing Chance live, tickets for his summer tour are currently on sale at ticketmaster.com. He will be making stops in Bristow, Virginia Beach, and Baltimore.

Holtby/Grubauer- The Best Goalie Tandem In The NHL

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Friday February 10, 2017

caps goaliesIt is without a doubt that the Washington Capitals possess the greatest goalie tandem in the NHL. No other organization has such outstanding depth and versatility at the game’s most significant position. Braden Holtby and Philip Grubauer have been lights out and rarely give up any easy goals. Both standing strong in their creases and their Dominik Hasek-like acrobatic agility has been the key ingredient behind some of their remarkable shutouts within the last few months. The team in front of them is playing better than anytime in recent memory, scoring profusely and shutting down teams with strong grit and brutal intensity. But all the players in front of these two great goaltenders are given the energy and confidence they need because of their goalie’s stellar play between the posts.

Backup goaltender Philip Grubauer has 10 wins in 15 games with a save percentage of .931. Holtby ranks third in the league in wins with a goals against average of 1.97. Statistics like these clearly illustrate that whom the Capitals have in net this season is very special. Holtby continues to remain a viable candidate for his second Vezina and Grubauer continues to show he can replace other NHL teams starting goalie with ease.

As great as winning in the regular season is, what happens in the spring is what really counts.  A team knowing they can trust their goalies from giving up easy goals and preventing their mistakes from ending up as tally’s is a huge psychological necessity a team must have if they want to go deep into the postseason. With these two goalies in the Caps lineup, fans should be confident that this is the year this snake-bitten franchise gets over the hump.

Why Tom Brady is the Best Quarterback of All Time

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Friday February 3, 2017

tom bradyNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has achieved so much in his career. The 39-year-old is a four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, a two-time NFL MVP, and a three-time Super Bowl MVP.

Let’s not forget that he is a 12-time Pro Bowler as well. Brady is the best quarterback of all-time because he achieved so much with different players on offense.

It’s no secret that Brady has been throwing to a revolving door of receivers since he entered the league in 2000. For some reason, he always gets a lot production out of each receiver who comes to Foxborough.

Still not convinced? Well, according to Ricky Doyle of NESN.com, the 39-year-old signal-caller has thrown at least one touchdown pass to 64 different players in his career. He only needs to throw a touchdown pass to six different players to tie Vinny Testaverde record of 70. Here are some of the players who Brady threw a touchdown pass to:

  • Alge Crumpler
  • Doug Gabriel
  • Chad Jackson
  • Reche Caldwell
  • Bethel Johnson

These are not household names, folks. Some people say Brady is successful because he played in the same system for his entire career. Indeed, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been Brady’s coach since he came into the league.

However, most people fail to realize that a quarterback has to build chemistry with his receivers and tight ends to be successful. And it usually takes a long time for players to build chemistry.

Even with new faces each year at the receiver positon, the Patriots’ offense was still lethal. From 2009-2016, New England finished with a top-10 offense seven times. In 2014, it had the 11th-ranked offense.

Brady did play with some great players like Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Troy Brown, and Deion Branch. And the 39-year-old still plays with Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.

When you think of the great quarterbacks in NFL history, most of them played with superstar tight ends and receivers throughout most of their careers.

For example, Peyton Manning threw to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Joe Montana had Jerry Rice, and Troy Aikman had Michael Irvin. Moss, who is considered one of the best receivers of all-time, only played with Brady from 2007-2010.

Brady is the best quarterback of all-time because he achieved so much with players who did not have a lot of success with other teams. The four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback always finds ways to win.

What Happened to Todd Gurley?

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Wednesday February 1, 2017

todd gurleyLos Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley got off to a great start in the NFL, but fans are wondering what happened to the 22-year-old running back. Why didn’t he have a great sophomore season? What happened to him?

Well, when the then-St. Louis Rams selected running back Todd Gurley with the 10th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, they thought they were getting an Adrian Peterson-type runner.

Coming out of Georgia, Gurley’s running style was similar to Peterson’s. He possessed a rare blend of power, speed, agility, and quickness. Jeff Fisher, who was the Rams’ head coach at the time, wanted the offense to be centered around the ground game.

Fisher wanted a running back who could run the ball 20-25 times a game. Gurley definitely fitted the bill. In his rookie season with the Rams, Gurley showed the NFL how lethal he could be. He ran for 1,106 yards to go along with 10 touchdowns, and he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award for his efforts.

However, the one-time Pro Bowler experienced the proverbial sophomore slump in 2016.

He couldn’t find rushing lanes or break off long runs. Indeed, the Rams kept feeding defenses a heavy diet of Gurley, but he didn’t make many big plays. The young runner ran for 885 yard to go along with six touchdowns and only averaged 3.18 yards per carry.

Now, Gurley should shoulder some of the blame for his sophomore slump. However, the Rams did not surround him with enough talent. It’s hard to be a successful running back in the NFL when your offensive linemen cannot create rushing lanes for you.

The Rams’ offensive line was mediocre at best. This unit didn’t carve out enough space for Gurley. Also, the passing game struggled throughout the entire season. Both Case Keenum and rookie quarterback Jared Goff lined up under center for the Rams in 2016, but neither performed well.

Goff couldn’t win a game for Los Angeles and threw for 1,089 yards to go along with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Keenum only racked up 2,201 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. To make matters worse, Los Angeles’ receivers and tight ends couldn’t get open and struggled with drops.

Kenny Britt was the best receiver on this team in 2016, catching 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five touchdowns. Opposing defenses knew the Rams wanted run the ball with Gurley, so teams keyed in on Los Angeles’ rushing attack.

The Rams need to surround him with talented players. Because of Gurley’s sophomore slump and the offense’s lack of production, Los Angeles fired Fisher after five seasons with the franchise. The Rams went 31-45-1 during Fisher’s tenure with the team.

Now that they hired Washington’s former offensive coordinator Sean McVay to be the team’s new head coach, fans can expect Gurley to return to his old form.

Washington had the third-ranked offense in league last season. It also had the second-ranked pass offense. The 31-year-old head coach can come in and galvanize the Rams’ pass offense.  That is great news for the 22-year-old running back because a successful pass game will take a lot of pressure off of him.

Gurley should be back in vintage form in 2017.

Whoever Gets the Ball Last Will Win Super Bowl LI

Kaleel Weatherly

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Monday January 30, 2017

super bowl 51Super Bowl LI is now set. The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots to battle for the NFL’s richest prize, a Super Bowl victory. While both teams have high-octane offenses, this game will come down to which team gets the ball last.

Atlanta’s offense, led by quarterback Matt Ryan, has been lethal throughout the entire regular season and postseason. For example, the Falcons had the third-ranked pass offense and the fifth-ranked rushing offense in the regular season. This team can light up the scoreboard with ease.

The 31-year-old quarterback is the favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player of the Year Award. He threw for 4,944 yards to go along with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions in the regular season.

However, Ryan has an outstanding supporting cast. Julio Jones is considered one of the best receivers in the NFL. He possesses a combination of superb route-running skills, size, and speed. In 2016, he hauled in 83 passes for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns.

For the most part, Ryan always looked in Jones’ direction when the team needed a big play. It’s clear that Jones is Ryan’s go-to receiver. Atlanta’s rushing attack, led by running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, is dangerous as well.

Freeman and Coleman combined for 1,581 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns in 2016. They both have a rare blend of power, speed, and agility.

Indeed, New England’s defense has done a great job of limiting big plays and creating turnovers. But there are too many weapons on the Falcons’ offense to take account for. The Patriots are only surrendering 16.5 points per game in the postseason. But they haven’t played a team who has an offense like Atlanta.

New England defeated the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers to reach Super Bowl LI. Houston’s defense is what got that team to the postseason. Pittsburgh has a great offense, but it does not have as many game-changers like the Falcons.

The Patriots will have a tough time containing Atlanta’s offense. But the Falcons’ defense will also struggle against New England’s offense. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gets better as the years go on.

After serving a four-game suspension due to his involvement in DeflateGate, the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback returned to the field and dominated. New England went 11-1 with Brady under center this season.

This year, Brady has thrived with receivers like Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. When tight end Rob Gronkowski went down with a season-ending ruptured disk injury, many thought New England’s offense would suffer.

Well, it didn’t. New England had a top-five offense in 2016, and Brady threw for 3,554 yards, 28, touchdowns, and two interceptions. Along with Brady’s strong play, running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 1,161 yards and a league-high 18 touchdowns.

Atlanta had the 25th-ranked defense in 2016, but this unit has been playing well in the postseason. However, the Falcons’ secondary is inexperienced, and Brady will look to take advantage of that.

Both teams are great on offense, and Super Bowl LI will be a shootout and a close game. Neither defense will be able to stop the opposing offense from scoring. This means that whichever team gets the ball last in the fourth quarter will win the game.

 

Capitals Pummel Habs On Historic Night For Ovechkin

Nick Colletti

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Tuesday January 10. 2017

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 09: Washington Capitals Left Wing Alex Ovechkin (8) meeting Washington Capitals Goalie Braden Holtby (70) to celebrate his goal, the fourth of the game making the score 4-1 Capitals during the Washington Capitals versus the Montreal Canadiens game on January 9, 2017, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

Hockey history took place last night at the Bell Center in Montreal, the successor of the hallowed Montreal Forum. The Capitals, winners of five straight, skated on enemy ice in hostile territory looking to keep their impressive winning streak alive. The Caps would claim victory and another coveted two points, but it would be Alex Ovechkin who stole the headlines.

The Capitals’ captain scored his 544th NHL goal tying the legendary Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s all time goal record, in Montreal no less. It would be the future Hall of Famer’s 19th regular season goal and now the superstar is only 1 point shy from his 1,000th career point total. But it was an impressive team effort that helped the Caps claim the W in the end.

Nicklas Backstrom got the party started with a dirty goal off a Carey Price rebound in the slot that gave the Capitals the opening tally. No red lights would be ignited until the third period, due to the Capitals impressive defense and Braden Holtby’s exceptional performance in the crease. Unfortunately Holtby would have his shutout streak ended when Tomas Plekanec followed through on a rebound amidst a pile of humanity in the slot. Habs fans erupted and Montreal finally had life, but their momentum would dissipate very quickly.

Evgeny Kuznetsov broke the tie off with a deke past a Montreal defender and then chipped the puck past Price to quiet the Bell Center and their passionate inhabitants. The goal would only be the beginning of an offensive clinic by the road team that prevented the Habs from making any real comeback effort. Kuznetsov would register another point as he aggressively forced a turnover behind Price’s net and gave a beautiful feed to Brett Connelly who beat Price and scored a very valuable insurance goal. The scoring wouldn’t end that night as the man of the hour tied Richard’s career goal record with a Howitzer on the point. Ovechkin is now only 1 point less than a 1,000 and has a chance to earn that last point at home against their fiercest rival in the Pittsburgh Penguins. 4-1 would be the final score for the road squad in what can be a very loud and fierce environment for the visitors. The Capitals have won six straight and look sharp in all facets of the game. The schedule that looms ahead looks daunting, but Caps fans should be confident that their team is starting to play their best game at the right point of the season. Every game is winnable and every playoff game is winnable if they can stick to their game and not compromise it for any opponent.

NFL Week 15 Predictions

Dan O’Brien

WGMU, Sports Blogger

Thursday December 15, 2016

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Los Angeles Rams 9 @ Seattle Seahawks 42

 
Seattle is the sort of team that I hesitate predicting will win. Their performances over the past couple of weeks have been filled with minimal offense and an absent defense in games that the Seahawks from four years ago would not have lost. It’s clear to me that Seattle has problems when Russell Wilson doesn’t perform miracles to get offensive production and when they go away. However, with all of their problems in the past couple of weeks, they’re still atop the NFC West and they are in a much better position than the LA Rams. The LA Rams have a running back that isn’t producing like he was last year and a wide receiver that got a massive contract performing like a massive flop. But not to be outdone, the LA Rams find a way to make a bad situation worse by firing their head coach with three weeks left in the regular season. This shows that the owner and general manager were so tired of seeing despicable losses only matched by atrocious attendance rates at home games that they fired their coach after promising him more money no more than two weeks ago. Seattle has problems, but they can be solved through good coaching in a game with a large audience and a good win to get them on the right track at the right time. Seattle is a dominant team at home and I can’t find any reason that the LA offense should succeed. Their quarterback has started for only a month, their offensive weapons going against Seattle’s defense are the equivalent of bringing a fist to a gun fight, and their head coach just got fired. I see Seattle playing angry and destroying the LA Rams at home to show the league that they are still a force to be reckoned with.

 
Miami Dolphins 24 @ New York Jets 17

 
The Dolphins find themselves in a very peculiar spot as their season is nearing its end. Unlike most seasons where there would be lots of regret for what could have been as well as wondering for when things would be different, the Dolphins have reasons to look up. They are 8-5 and have a good shot at making the playoffs, something that hasn’t been thought of by Dolphins fans in a long time. Their quarterback is injured and will likely be out for the rest of the season, so they’re going to need a lot of help along the way if their playoff dreams are going to turn into reality. Luckily, they face the New York Jets, or as like to call them the New York Mess, and that’s about as much help this late in the season as you’ll get. Divisional games are more competitive and the New York Jets have won some games, but if you need overtime to get a win against San Francisco, I’d say your season is about to expire. New York will play better than usual, but Miami will use its running game to keep their playoff hopes alive.

 
Cleveland Browns 17 @ Buffalo Bills 27

 
These two teams are some of the biggest surprises in the NFL. Buffalo has remained competitive throughout the entire season and surprisingly they have a chance to make the playoffs. The Browns have looked less like a team and more like a cautionary tale, and yet even they can find a way to surprise by remaining winless only weeks from the end of the regular season. Buffalo hasn’t been this optimistic since the 1990’s when they had numerous Super Bowl runs, but no Super Bowl rings. Cleveland hasn’t been this upset since LeBron made his announcement to take his talents to South Beach, but Cleveland might be better served taking this hump of trash called the Browns out to the landfill. In one of the easiest and least surprising picks of this week, I choose Buffalo to keep their hopes alive and well, while the Browns will keep their winless streak alive and haunting.

 
Detroit Lions 17 @ New York Giants 24

 
The Detroit Lions are playing at the New York Giants and both teams are fighting for a lot. Detroit could really use a win here as their schedule gets tough and they’re trying to win the NFC North. That said, the Giants are coming off a dominant win against the Cowboys and don’t plan on losing their hold on a Wild Card spot. If the Lions lose this game, then good performances by the Vikings and/or the Packers could jeopardize their hold on the NFC North title. If the Giants lose this game, then the Buccaneers and Redskins could take the two Wild Card spots and keep the Giants out of the playoffs for the fifth year in a row. This could very easily be a back and forth game where a single play could define who wins this game. The Giants defense should give a recently injured Matt Stafford trouble and I have the Giants winning at home 24-17.

 
Philadelphia Eagles 10 @ Baltimore Ravens 24

 
The Baltimore Ravens are currently flying under the radar, but have shown the ability to play tough in games this season. They won games early on and then lost four in a row to lose the headlines that they were getting. However, they’ve only lost 2 of their last six and those were to Dallas and New England in competitive games. Baltimore is a much better team at home than they are on the road and they have what Philadelphia doesn’t, which is momentum. The Eagles have only won 2 of their last 8 games and are currently on a 4-game losing streak. They are going to go into Baltimore with no playoff spot in sight and have to fight a team that hasn’t lost at home since early October. I think the Ravens will fly high and the Eagles will eat crow as Baltimore plays physical defense, forces mistakes, and stakes a legitimate claim to a playoff spot.

 
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 @ Cincinnati Bengals 17

 
Late in the season is the time of year that Pittsburgh plays some of its best football. Pittsburgh does have concerns, such as maintaining a lead in the AFC North, especially since Cincinnati isn’t a bad team and will try to pull an upset. That said, there are reasons that Pittsburgh should perform well since Big Ben is under center, Le’Veon Bell is running and Antonio Brown is serving as a deep threat. This is the sort of game where Pittsburgh might struggle early on to get some points on the board, but their resilience will lead them to a win as they fight to hold on to the AFC North title.

 
Indianapolis Colts 13 @ Minnesota Vikings 27

 
Indianapolis and Minnesota are both coming into this game to stay relevant in the playoff picture. Indianapolis has Andrew Luck as a reason to be optimistic about the future, but not much else. Minnesota will be at home and Adrian Peterson will be making a much-anticipated return. Everybody is highlighting a major win by the Colts recently as a reason to believe they can make it to the playoffs. Unfortunately, that win was against the Jets and they lost the next week to the Texans. I just don’t see the Colts overcoming the surging Titans and the resurgent Texans to win the AFC South title. I don’t see how they can overcome the tough Minnesota defense with so much on the line. Lastly, I don’t see how they can hold Adrian Peterson who has been waiting on the sidelines for much of this season. Minnesota will be fighting for a win from the first minute and will fight to stay afloat in the NFC North.

 
Green Bay Packers 35 @ Chicago Bears 7

 
Green Bay has been playing surprisingly well over the past three weeks, but they’re going to need keep winning if they’re going to have any chance to win the NFC North. The past three weeks have shown a resurgent Aaron Rodgers and a Green Bay defense that is showing much more promise. That said, they have an easy game this week followed by two difficult games, both against the other NFC North opponents. If Green Bay is to have any hope to overcome Minnesota, let alone overcome Detroit for the NFC North title, they need to win this gimme of a game. Green Bay has players who have played in tough situations like this and I anticipate they go into Chicago and make a statement about their season not being over.

 
Tennessee Titans 17 @ Kansas City Chiefs 31

 
This game should be very interesting to watch, as Tennessee is fighting to win the AFC South and Kansas City is nipping at Oakland’s heels for the AFC West. Tennessee is much better than people are accustomed to, with Marcus Mariota showing promise in his second year and DeMarco Murray being one of the best rushers that no one is talking about. However, if there’s one team that is not getting recognized for how well it’s performing, it’s Kansas City. They have won consistently and have won a large percentage of games from the last year and a half. I would even go so far to say that I believe Kansas City is the third best team in all of the NFL so far, behind only New England and Dallas. Tennessee and its weapons will fight hard, but Kansas City isn’t an easy place to play and with so much on the line, the Chiefs will rise up to win at home.

 
Jacksonville Jaguars 13 @ Houston Texans 24

 
This AFC South matchup is a game between two teams with very different reputations. The Jaguars have found ways to consistently lose and stay irrelevant this season, while the Texans have found ways to inconsistently win and barely star relevant this season. Houston is not the team it seemed to be early on the season and much of that can be attested to J.J. Watt re-injuring his back. Even with all of their struggles, the Texans are still relevant and can win the AFC South, showing how open the division is as a whole. The Jaguars might show some signs of life, but the Texans will be able to bring out the win and keep their playoff chances just barely alive.

 
New Orleans Saints 20 @ Arizona Cardinals 27

 
This matchup on Sunday is a very interesting game as both teams have reasons to be successful, but are having disappointing seasons. The Saints have Drew Brees and Sean Payton, both of whom have had vast amounts of success in the past. Nowadays, both of them are fighting for relevancy in their division, even though they have both been to a Super Bowl. The Cardinals have Carson Palmer, David Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald, but can’t turn those weapons into consistent wins. Both of these teams have their problems, but I see the Saints as the team that end up screwing themselves out of a possible win. Arizona wins a game at home that adds a W to their schedule, but does nothing in regards to playoffs.

 
San Francisco 49ers 13 @ Atlanta Falcons 42

 
The Atlanta Falcons find themselves in a surprising situation, the sort of situation they wouldn’t have expected to be in about a month ago. While they had a sensational start to the season, they go back and forth between winning and losing and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won 5 in a row, tying the Falcons for the NFC South lead. The Falcons have shown some problems over the past month, particularly on defense, but there is no reason that the Falcons should lose this week, especially to the 49ers. The 49ers have been playing so badly that no one’s paying attention to Kaepernick and his protest. The Falcons win a decisive game at home to fight off the surging Buccaneers and remain atop the NFC South for one more week.

 
New England Patriots 31 @ Denver Broncos 17

 
The Denver Broncos are not the team that they were last year and that cannot be understated. The argument can be made that some of the losses they had could have gone the other way and things could have been drastically different. That said, last year’s Denver team didn’t make excuses because they were too busy winning a Super Bowl. Now, it looks as though Denver will be watching the Super Bowl from home instead of playing in it, as they’re 3rd in their division and not playing up to early expectations. New England does have severe problems, such as a slightly injured Tom Brady and an absent Rob Gronkowski. Overall, New England does get challenged by Denver’s defense early on, but produces enough offense to grab the W out of the Mile-High Stadium.

 
Oakland Raiders 27 @ San Diego Chargers 17

 
Like many times this season, San Diego will put up a respectable fight and will keep things relatively close for the first three quarters. Then the 4th quarter officially begins and the Chargers’ chances of winning officially end. San Diego has reasons to be successful in this game, especially since it’s with a divisional rival that has playoff implications on the line. However, San Diego just doesn’t know how to win this season and Oakland has a lot of reasons to win. With the explosive offense that has been creating headlines all season, Oakland will have a fight for three quarters, but pull away late in the game to put another win in their column, bounce back from last week’s loss to the Chiefs, and fight with the Chiefs for the best playoff spot.

 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 @ Dallas Cowboys 24

 
This pick is a very difficult pick to make for various reasons. First, any upset pick is one that is likely to go the other way. Second, it’s difficult to pick the team going against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks in a row. I’m happy I got it right last week with the Giants beating the Cowboys, but the main reason I’m making this pick is because I think Tampa Bay is underrated. This is not to say I think they’ll make a Super Bowl run, but they’re just now getting on people’s radars because of winning 5 games in a row. Dallas has reasons to be successful, but Tampa Bay has momentum and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Cowboys fold under the pressure fighting a tough Tampa Bay team. Tampa Bay will win a very close matchup with Dallas that has Cowboys fans wondering is it too late now to say sorry to Tony Romo and have him start again.

 
Carolina Panthers 20 @ Washington Redskins 31

 
The final game this week is going to be an interesting one due to the ramifications it could have in the NFC playoff picture. If Washington were to win, they keep fighting for a wild card spot and sincerely hope that the Giants or Buccaneers lose in order to create an opening. Carolina has no realistic chance at making it to the playoffs, but if they win, they push Washington further away from a playoff spot. Many people will watch this game and the Redskins of old would have folded under the pressure like they have done for so long. The Redskins would find any way and every way to lose in previous years, but things are different now. I see an ability for the Redskins to win close games that I’m not accustomed to seeing. I think Carolina will fight to win and to try to salvage what is left of this season, but Washington will pull away with a win that makes Cam Newton want to put on his flashiest suit to distract from his flat-lining season.

Mike On The Mic’s Top 5 Albums & Songs of 2016

Michael Bamarni | Top Five Albums

  1. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

e3c43867Radiohead’s first release in five years will stand the test of time as being one of their best releases ever. For a band that has been around for over twenty years and with multiple classic albums already in their discography that is quite a great feat.

It also might be their most personal album to date. Thom Yorke’s lyrics throughout are full of sadness and openness not seen by many current artists nowadays. With all that being said the album isn’t just a tear fest, the music’s simplicity keeps the listener fully engaged and there are some crazy string sections, guitar solos, and choir chants to keep you rocking too.

Stand Out Tracks: Burn The Witch, Daydreaming, Identikit, True Love Waits

  1. Frank Ocean – Blonde

frank-oceanOne of the biggest music jokes on social media over the past few years has revolved around the release of Frank Ocean’s follow up album to the wildly successful Channel Orange. Release dates were switched so many times, whether by the man himself or just the media reporting inaccurate information. Finally though, four years after his last album, Blonde was released and it did not disappoint.

Much like Radiohead’s album, Blonde does more by doing less. There are very few songs with actual drumbeats or loud production; instead you get more guitars and pianos. It’s a great release because while it is an R&B album at heart, Ocean is not afraid to explore other genres and sounds. If Ocean’s going to continue to release albums of this high quality, I don’t mind waiting another four years for a follow up.

Stand Out Tracks: Ivy, Self Control, Nights, White Ferrari

  1. The Growlers– City Club

maxresdefaultThis is the album that might get the most polarizing response out of any on the list, but if you give this new Growlers album a proper listen, and maybe even a few more listens after that, you will see why this album is as high on this list as it is.

An album that sounds modern and also extremely reminiscent of 60’s/70’s rock, it gives the listener an incredible mix of funky bass lines, catchy choruses, and somber ballads. Brooks Nielsen’s voice is incredibly unique, and his lyrics are no joke. It may not be the stuff you hear on the radio, or an album you hear much about in general since the truth of the matter is that rock music that is this upfront with its influences isn’t as commercial as it was maybe 20 years ago, but that doesn’t stop the fact that it is still heavy on killer tracks, and few on the filler.

Stand Out Tracks: City Club, I’ll Be Around, When You Were Made, Too Many Times

  1. The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

the-1975-i-like-it-when-you-sleep-for-you-are-so-beautiful-yet-so-unaware-of-it-2016-officialTake a rock band creating an album over an hour long, plus an album title longer than anything seen in modern music, an album full of instrumental tracks, and that’s being released in the year 2016, what could go wrong? A lot is the answer, especially since it was coming from the same band whose debut album was shut down by many critics for being too poppy and radio friendly just three years prior.

The 1975 went bold, and as what might be the biggest musical surprise of the year, it paid off. The album is a journey that is almost better to listen to in it’s entirety instead of just picking and choosing songs. The lyrics are very self aware but also very poetic. The genre changes are constant and invigorating. Overall this album is fantastic, and even if you’re not the biggest fan of “rock” music, that doesn’t mean this album won’t work for you. It has it all. You’re bound to like some of it. You might even like it when you sleep.

Stand Out Tracks: Love Me, Change of Heart, Somebody Else, The Sound

  1. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

ca9xf0eweaapibgThis man doesn’t stop. Call him anything you want, but you definitely can’t say he’s lazy. Kanye West had a year for the record books. He released and rereleased the same album at least three times, each time with mixing changes, added tracks, added vocals, etc.

First the album was solely available on Tidal, then eventually went on all the big streaming services (yet there is still no physical copy available.) Then he created a tour stage unlike anything ever seen before. Not only that, but he returned to the Yeezus-era Kanye by going on huge concert rants which while fun at first, ended up being a sign of mental exhaustion along with who knows what else, but here’s the thing, with all that being said…the album is fantastic.

With 20 tracks to its name, it is by no means a quick listen.  That doesn’t stop it from being amazing. It has influences from all of his other albums, while still pushing his sound forward. To some it may not be his best album-there are some tracks here that are really unnecessary, but that’s kind of what makes it work. The album fits the person, a genius, but one with flaws and mistakes that even he can sometimes admit to having. This is Kanye’s White Album. It has a little bit of everything and for the most part, it’s all incredible.

Standout Tracks: Ultralight Beam, 30 Hours, No More Parties in LA, Fade

 

Michael Bamarni | Songs of the Year

  1. Burn The Witch

You ever hear a song for the first time, and think to yourself that you’ve never heard anything like it before? That was how Burn The Witch was for me. By using a string instruments instead of guitars and also building a slow but steady intensity that ends up reaching it’s climax just as the song ends, you never really get a chance to breathe. It’s okay though, because suffocating never sounded so good.

  1. Miracle Aligner

For those who don’t know, Alex Turner is one of the greatest musical minds of the past 10 years. His albums with the Arctic Monkeys show that he not only knows how to make a catchy song, but that he is an incredibly intricate and detailed lyricist who can make you laugh or cry at a moment’s notice. Miracle Aligner, the stand out track from the overall somewhat disappointing second Last Shadow Puppets album is a beautiful track that has an extremely fun chorus and lyrics throughout that make you think how a man who just hit 30 years old can be so lyrically creative.

  1. Somebody Else

Many people thought The 1975 were a joke after their first album. They were even voted worst band by NME back in 2013 so to see them ranked as the number one album of the year by the same magazine is quite incredible. The song on the album that stands out the most is the R&B inspired Somebody Else. It’s on the longer side and is definitely not super loud or energetic, but what it does have going for it are beautiful lyrics and an overall vibe that is hard to describe, but once you hear it you know. It’s almost as if Matt Healy is aware that he has created his own unique sound on this album, and this song in particular does the best job of showing off the sound.

  1. Oblivius

What side you standing on? I haven’t heard Julian Casablancas sing this impassioned on a Strokes song since 2006. Clearly a comment on the current political climate of  mid-2016. He asks the listener to make a decision on what they want out of their country.  Not only do the lyrics stand out, but the breakdown might be the best musical moment of 2016. It builds and builds until you reach that loud chorus once more. Then it ends with a Casablancas yodel. What else could you ask for?

  1. I Feel it Coming

Daft Punk have a gift. The gift is that they make really good songs, and I mean REALLY, REALLY good songs. Sadly, they don’t release much music nowadays. So when Starboy dropped, the lead single from The Weeknd’s new album, and it had (feat. Daft Punk) at the end of the song, it was good news.

I Feel It Coming is a better Get Lucky, and it has Daft Punk written all over it. In an interview with The Weeknd he admitted that the song was finished when he entered the studio and that it was really just a matter of writing lyrics and a melody. While The Weeknd might not be the best lyricist in the world, his voice is so soothing and reminiscent of Michael Jackson, that you can’t help but smile while listening to the track. It’s the song of the summer, guys.