Monday, November 10, 2014

Redskins Fans Need Patience and Impatience

Mike Shanahan was hired by the Washington Redskins to take over for the 2010 season as the Head Coach and general manager. The two-time Super Bowl (head coach) winning Shanahan did many things in his tenure with the Redskins, the first of which was to set out and let players know that none of them are bigger than the team. Albert Haynesworth was the key example. Then Donovan McNabb. Then, to a degree, LaRon Landry.

What the Redskins did next was establish youth across the board for the Redskins. Going from one of the oldest teams in the league under Joe Gibbs and Jim Zorn, the Redskins quickly became one of the younger teams in the league (especially at the top of the depth chart) and this was a major part of their ability to contend in 2012 and win the division championship for the first time since 1999.

But youth does not bring great leadership. There needs to be a balance. London Fletcher was a tremendous leader, but his skills on the field were fast-declining and this made it tough for teammates to trust him on the field, no matter how much they respected him off of it. Many players also made stupid mistakes. Fred Davis being one of the major trouble-makers for his late nights, hangovers, and marijuana use.

Robert Griffin III was drafted in 2012 to become the face of the Washington Redskins' franchise, and he electrified early and often, setting team and league records almost every single week. But a torn ACL late in the year/in the playoffs led to Griffin needing surgery and his timetable to return (All in for Week 1) was a major rush. Griffin was cleared, but many questioned if it was a wise decision. Griffin played, and did not play with an explosiveness.

For much of the 2013 season, we wondered if mistakes were made. Then, every week, there were leaked reports of dissension between players and players, players and coaches, coaches and owner--and ultimately Mike Shanahan was terminated.

We all know just how important it is for a quarterback to have consistency in his career. Consistency in his stats, in his growth, in his maturation, in his relationship with other players, and in his relationship with coaches. Ultimately, you would prefer a quarterback stay in one scheme with one head coach and, for as long as possible, with the same offensive coordinator. We watched Jason Campbell here in Washington go through offensive coordinator after offensive coordinator, and his best year was the result of his first time with the same coordinator. But Campbell was inconsistent, on and off the field, and it resulted in him being shipped out by Mike Shanahan only weeks after being promised it was his team.

Entering 2014, with a new Head Coach in Jay Gruden, and a new General Manager in Bruce Allen, fans hoped RGIII would become a more polished version of his 2012 self, with far more consistency than his 2013 form. But inconsistency started in the offseason when Gruden came in with a new system and a new scheme. Griffin not only has to continue to learn to play quarterback in the NFL, but he also has to learn a new set of plays, with new players, and new communication.

Aaron Rodgers did not get to start until his 4th year in the league. He was not a finished product, because he had to learn to play, not just study. Robert Griffin III was thrown in immediately. He is barely in his full third season. He also suffered a dislocated ankle in the second game of the year, so he lost more time.

You may question Griffin's ability to stay healthy. It is logical. He got hurt in college. He got hurt in the NFL, several times. But you have to be patient and allow him to find consistency. For now, the only consistent pattern in RGIII's career is inconsistency. Players need to learn. They need to play. They need to grow. Everyone should agree that Griffin is an electric, dynamic, fully-capable player. Give him the opportunity to grow into the player he is capable of becoming.

But this team is no longer young. Many of Shanahan's "in his prime" players are now in their 30's. Gruden is going to have to find his own youth, while also doing everything he can to give Robert a reliable group to find consistency with. So while you have to be patient with Robert Griffin, you may want to turn your impatience towards the veterans on this team who undoubtedly have to do more to prove they deserve to stay.

Patience will go a long way in helping Alfred Morris be the running back he was in years 1 and 2 of his career. Impatience will push Pierre Garcon to either live up to his contract or crumble and head elsewhere. Patience will help Jordan Reed get the chance Robert Griffin deserves. Impatience should force us to find offensive linemen who can help the offense play at a comfortable level every week.

I will not urge you to be patient, or impatient. I will urge you to be patient AND impatient. But keep in mind, you have to be patient in particular areas, and impatient in others. Robert Griffin III is not the problem. He is not a problem. Give the young guys with promise a chance. Give the new guys with experience the opportunity to grow with the young guys.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marvel Releases HD Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

After yesterday's huge event, with official announcements for Captain America: Civil WarBlack PantherGuardians of the Galaxy 2Thor: RagnarokAvengers: Infinity War (Pt. 1 & 2), and much more, Marvel has finally released the first HD trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron.


All day yesterday, we had a bunch of people releasing videos of the trailer filmed from their couch of their television. Marvel has given us the actual trailer now, in 1080p.

The trailer is much the same as the leaked version that the world saw last week, however, Marvel decided to throw in the Mjolnir challenge at the beginning of the trailer (perhaps a last-minute decision because fans already saw the rest). We see Tony Stark try to lift the hammer, and then he adds an Iron Man glove. Then comes War Mach.. err... Iron Patriot... with a glove from his suit of armor, attempting to help Tony Stark to no avail. Then Steve Rogers, b.k.a. Captain America, gives it a shot, where we see Mjolnir move a little (and a priceless look on Thor's face), but then Cap is unable to finish the job. And then we break down into total mayhem as the mangled remains of an Iron Man armor (Mark I?) have come to life in the form of the initial Ultron.

Avengers: Age of Ultron focuses on "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" as they once again join forces, presumably free of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, in the trailer, there is an appearance from former Director Nick Fury. Aside from Tony Stark's Iron Man, Steve Rogers' Captain America, Thor, and newly acquired teammate James Rhodes' Iron Patri... f' it, I'm calling him War Machine, the team once again features Bruce Banner and his HulkNatasha Romanova as Black Widow, and Clint Barton as Hawkeye.

We are certain much more will accompany The Avengers in this chapter of their journey, but we will leave it to Marvel to unveil that as they please.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Marvel Studios Makes Major Announcements

So today, October 28, 2014, Marvel Studios (Disney) held an event, with announcements being promised.




This was a major deal, because Marvel's last release of the upcoming dates for their films had a bunch of dates with no titles associated, and fans were only able to speculate as to what they could be seeing.

One of the first major announcements at the event, being teased for Avengers: Age of Ultron:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hoes or Happiness

I just launched a campaign over on TeeSpring and I hope you'll go check it out for me.

http://teespring.com/hoesorhappiness

They always said money can't buy you happiness. Someone told me on Twitter they would choose unlimited money over unlimited love because they "could buy hoes." Well, that's where the shirt comes into play!

Please go do what you can to help out. There are tees, long-sleeve tees, hoodies, and women's tees. At the very least, hit the share buttons, let your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know to go check it out.


Monday, October 20, 2014

DC Comics Alienates Television Series' Arrow and The Flash

As I am sure you all are aware, DC Comics announced their movie lineup and release dates centered around The Justice League movie. Fans were finally given an outline of what and when to expect from what many feel is the long overdue Justice League universe. The next step was to make a few more major announcements about the upcoming movies, and who will play the heroes and villains.

We already knew Henry Cavill would be returning as the Man of Steel. We knew Ben Affleck would debut as the caped crusader Batman. We had confirmation that Jason Mamoa would become Aquaman. We got news that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would take on the role of Black Adam in Shazam. Then we got news this past week that Ezra Miller would become The Flash. In an update which was later posted to that article:
"UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miller will indeed be playing Barry Allen - the same character Grant Gustin stars as in The CW series - as, "The story centers on Barry Allen, a man with super speed and super-fast reflexes." How do you feel about separate movie and TV universes?"
Personally, I feel this is a devastating development. While I do not personally like the casting of Ezra Miller in general, my feelings on that matter are secondary to why I believe this is a mistake. Many fans I have discussed what I call The JustiCin have echoed the very same sentiment, DC Comics made a mistake by creating a separate universe for the films than for the successful television programs Arrow & The Flash.

While I personally wanted to see Gotham take place in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash, I was forced to accept that I would just have to live with the difference. But now that I am forced to live with Arrow and The Flash being separated from The JustiCin, I am overwhelmingly disappointed. 


An incredible universe has been built in Arrow, and the branching of The Flash showed just how fortified Arrow's groundwork has become. It also gave fans hope that the two series' would lead to & be directly involved with The JustiCin, as many of the characters in Arrow have either directly appeared in the Justice League comic books, or in the solo comics & animated television shows for Batman, and to some degree, Superman.

Instead, these television shows will live independent of The JustiCin. How does The JustiCin affect Arrow and The Flash? Warner Bros. does not have movie/character rights divided amongst several companies the way Marvel does with Disney/Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox, and Sony Pictures. The CW can not block DC Comics from using the characters from their shows in The JustiCin, and I would imagine they would welcome the "crossover" for the exposure and lucrative gains. It should have been logical for DC Comics and Warner Bros. to maximize Arrow and The Flash with mixing them into The JustiCin and using the shows to also promote the events within. It would have also allowed DC Comics to stick it to Marvel for what has become a subject of embarrassment when discussed among hardcore comic fans.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had two series' lows for viewership recently, and while not necessarily unsuccessful, it has underperformed in comparison to Arrow and The Flash. It would have been an even stronger statement by DC Comics had they subtlely or indirectly acknowledged their dominance in television and brought the championing series' into The JustiCin.

Of course I am just one person, my discussions have been with few. I would like to hear more from the fans on how they feel about The JustiCin and the "ommission" of Arrow and The Flash. Do you feel this move could hurt the television series'?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Unboxing October 2014 Loot Crate #FEAR


I got my October Loot Crate. I was extremely excited Friday afternoon when it arrived. I was not expecting it to come on the 17th of the month when I got my first two crates on the 25th of August and September. I decided since I got it early, I was in a decent mood, and I was on the last crate of my first subscription plan, I would make the unboxing video special compared to the first two, and actually do a face-cam.

If you are not familiar with my first two videos, I basically just showed off the crates, the items, and my hands sorting through them. They weren't terrible. The crates were literally the focus of the videos. This time though, it felt more personal, more connected to the audience, and I was able to show off my reactions so you could see how exciting or maybe even (not likely) underwhelming any of the items in the crate were.

The theme is FEAR, which should make all the sense of the world. If you go to Youtube to view the video, use the link in the description and go subscribe to Loot Crate TODAY! You can still get the FEAR CRATE on Sunday only!

If you're watching in here only, use the following link to go subscribe to Lootcrate!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Redskins Fans - Do You Want Gregg Williams Back?

It seems like forever ago. In many ways, it really is. A lot of bad has come out of the years following the loss of Sean Taylor, the departure of coach Joe Gibbs and his assistant coach Gregg Williams. We got stuck with Jim Zorn. Our defense failed to make an impact every single year. We had the Vinny Cerrato disaster. We brought in Bruce Allen, who brought in Mike Shanahan and son Kyle. Mike brought in Jim Haslett. The defense has been in shambles since. Mike Shanahan is even gone and the things the defense did while he was head coach, they’re still doing with Jay Gruden at head coach. That says a lot.

A year ago, I asked why this defense seems to try to not make the play. I asked why the offense seems so anti-adjustment, flat, and unable to take a single pawn from the opponent’s side of the chess game. One player, then another, and then another chimed in with the same idea: Mike Shanahan coaches practice so that the offense is set up to win every single play. It made all the sense in the world. I had heard that before. It’s not uncommon for a coach to do such a thing. When the defense practices to lose, they’ll never play with an advantage. When the offense practices to win, they will never step up in the face of a genuine scheme and real adjustments by the opponent’s defense. You could almost say it was a little too clear last season. Perhaps the trend is still carrying on today?

I wanted Jim Haslett to get another shot at this without Mike Shanahan. With being able to scheme and adjust in practice. With replacing an aging, unable to cover, all-time great in London Fletcher. With bringing in an imposing, attacking Jason Hatcher. With addressing a concern at nickel corner with 4th-round draft pick Bashaud Breeland. Weeks later, and with an injured DeAngelo Hall, the defense is incapable of making plays.

Raheem Morris was brought in by Shanahan to help Jim Haslett, especially at defensive back. Morris’ units always succeeded in Tampa Bay, except when he was the head coach. It made sense to bring in a guy who clearly knew how to communicate with DB’s and bring out the best in all of them. But did he really? Since Morris has come in, the only player in the secondary to really make an impact was DeAngelo Hall, who did not really change his game too much from any point before. David Amerson, a promising young corner out of North Carolina State University, plays with physicality and intensity – things he displayed on the field in college, maybe only slightly amplified by Morris. Brandon Meriweather has shown incapability to cut the mistakes he has always made. There have been no adjustments to his game, his angles, or his tackling. E.J. Biggers, a Raheem Morris guy, has shown absolutely nothing on the field in his time here in Washington. Yesterday, he watched Larry Fitzgerald make a double move in front of him, stood still the whole way, and did not react to the play until the football was already in Fitzgerald’s hands.

But the rest of the defense is not adjusting. There is no pressure on opposing quarterbacks not wearing Jacksonville uniforms. There is no coverage ability from the linebackers not named Keenan Robinson. The defensive line pushes the pocket, but save for occasionally, there is no clean-up by the edge rushers.

But the defense is not the only unit struggling. The offense has its woes as well. No matter the offensive line unit; no matter the running back; no matter the rotation at wide receiver; no matter the revolving door at tight end; no matter the quarterback. Plays are being made, but not often enough. Rookies who are supposed to be groomed to take over from the incompetent vets can’t win the spot in practice and show in-game that they are incapable. But the offense has been a roller coaster over the years, and Jay Gruden is new to our staff and is trying to get the ball rolling. Jim Haslett has been here with the defense for years, now in his second regime.

There is a lack of swagger, ferocity, intensity, playmaking, and adjusting in this defense. Players are not playing their responsibilities, edges are not being attacked, and DB’s assignments are constantly blown. Tackling? What tackling? It doesn’t happen. We were spoiled by Sean Taylor in Washington. It is unfair to expect anyone else to play at his level. But Sean was a blueprint for hard work paying off. The fact that “nobody” is even close says a lot about how little work players put in. Maybe it’s not just the hard work, maybe it is the scheme. Maybe it’s a coach that nobody seems to go to bat for.

I remember there being bad performances from our defense under Gregg Williams where players spoke of how they disappointed themselves, their teammates, and “most importantly” the coaches. London Fletcher went to bat for the next Greg Blache, and was almost in tears speaking about how his coach did not deserve to be associated with such poor play from his defense. I have not seen a single player do the same for Jim Haslett. Do guys not want to fight for their coach?

I’ve yet to see a defense associated with Gregg Williams give up on him. A player or two ran their mouth in New Orleans and busted him for BountyGate. I do not condone what Gregg Williams and his defenses were doing in regards to hurting opponents. The system ran deeper than New Orleans, as former Redskins players chimed in saying he did the same in Washington. That was investigated but nothing ever came of it on the heels of CapGate. But all of that aside, it’s safe to assume Williams has actually cut that system. He is still a magnificent motivator, a great thinker, and a brilliant scheme and pressure coordinator. There were reports two offseasons ago that Williams would have been willing to return to the Redskins organization and speak with Dan Snyder. This past offseason, many wondered if it would happen with a new coach coming in, if Gregg would be willing to replace Haslett. But the Redskins retained Haslett, and Williams is coaching the defense in St. Louis.


So I ask fans, would you like to see Gregg Williams back in Washington coaching the Redskins’ defense? Would you like to see the return of the 4-3? Let us know in the poll below and leave a comment to discuss further.

Do You Want to See Gregg Williams Return to the Washington Redskins?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Halloween

What Are Your Halloween Plans?

Halloween is just around the corner, and for many people that I know, Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year in the United States, and it's gaining momentum worldwide. Little kids dress up and go trick-or-treating; high school students go to costume parties; college students go to bigger costume parties and host events at bars and clubs if they're legal; adults spend time with their children or even going to parties themselves with friends.

How are you going to spend your Halloween this year?

What Costume Are You Wearing?

We all know about the stereotypical girl Halloween "rules"... cute and sexy, not scary!

DUH!

Costumes are what makes Halloween fun, unless you're #TeamSkinnyFatAss like me and some of my friends and just want to binge on candy. While I don't personally condone you acting out like Ice in Hocus Pocus--being able to enjoy yourself with a belly full of 3 Musketeers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and avoiding Candy Corn at all costs is far more than an acceptable way to punish yourself in preparation for the following month's Thanksgiving Festivities!

So what do you all plan to dress as? There's the classic "Scream" get-up. There's comic book characters like Superman and Deadpool. There are legendary horror slashers like Michael Myers and Freddy. There are witches and devils and ghouls! Or you can go as a dude disguised as a dude playing another dude--or his latest incarnation of Iron Man! Maybe you even like to dress your pets in Halloween costumes!

So leave a comment and let us know what Halloween Costume you will (or won't) be wearing!

Decorations!

I'm that kid who always wanted to go see the lights and decorations on Christmas and Easter. Going for a ride with my grandparents or aunt was always fun. But on Halloween, you have to have your little house of Hell and haunts to keep passers and visitors drawn in, and/or freak them the Hell out! When I was a kid going trick-or-treating, we always had to visit a house that went over-the-top with decorations--lights, music, dummies, the whole shabang-a-bang! This guy even had a 30-foot skeleton that leaned over the entire front yard of his house! It was incredible--and fear-inducing for a young child, but fun!

Do you already have decorations? Do you plan on buying some? Do you not care for the showmanship?

Don't Laugh, People! Mwahaha!

My take on The Dark Knight's Scarecrow
Here at Don't Laugh, People, we obviously take Halloween seriously! We love to dress up, and even personally do the work to design our own costumes if it isn't something that we can buy straight up. We try to keep it theme-related every year while we go hang out with family, but it's perfectly acceptable for everyone to do their own thing based on what they want to do and what they're in the mood to do.

As you can see to the right, I dressed with my own take on The Dark Knight's version of Scarecrow with help from my best friend/brother. If you've ever made your own costume, or plan on making one this year, shoot us an email and submit some pictures (of the costume).

Try Not to Die!

Or be safe, to be more politically corre... no, you know what? F-that! Try not to die! Halloween is full of fake spooky, horrific things... but also full of a lot of the real ones as well. People use Halloween as their cover to actually commit heinous crimes such as robbery, murder, assault, and poisoning! Always be wary of your surroundings, the people you interact with, and anything you come into contact with. CHECK THAT CANDY, FOLKS!

But most importantly, have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Direction of Don't Laugh, People

The Purpose of a Website

The purpose of any website is to inform. That is, and will always be the case. The most successful sites are very specific.

However, "to inform" could be interchanged with "purpose," so to give a more specific answer of what the purpose of a website is, it's purely about attention. A website has to provide in demand content, it has to grab attention with it's layout and wording, and it has to keep consumers returning through long-term tactics such as giveaway, sales, subscriptions, etc.

What is the Purpose of Don't Laugh, People?

I have always considered Don't Laugh, People to be an extension of myself and other like-minded individuals who author posts here. I have wanted to promote DLP as being a less-specific entity, because no human in our possible audience is specific to one medium. However, as I have begun researching more and more, I would like to do something here that would reshape the identity of Don't Laugh, People. Instead of just bunching everything together into one giant blog of endless thought-stream, I am currently looking into creating specific branches to the DLP tree for a variety of subjects and topics. In other words, I am looking to do what we have always done, but in a broader variety with more specific ways to locate the content.

How Can You Make Your Website More Successful?

Currently, I am looking at the possibility of changing servers/hosting, and maybe even my source. Blogger has been a terrific catalyst for me in discovering what exactly I would like to do with Don't Laugh, People, but being a blog is not what I want to be, specifically. I want so much more out of DLP, and being restrained and shackled by the blog label, or Google & Blogger's user-unfriendly tools, has only made me realize even more how much more we are capable of. I have reached audiences I never imagined I could reach, I have promoted through Twitter which I have seen grow well-enough, but I recognize the potential for unlimited growth is even more alluring. While I know I have a lot of work ahead of me in order to get to the point I need, and that it can not be a sudden change, I am very excited about the possible future of Don't Laugh, People as a brand, a community, and an extension of more than just myself.

I will be enduring in the current format for now. But many changes will be coming, and in due time, the site will be more than just a blog, it will be the brand that I envisaged.

A Layout That Attracts Viewers' Attention

The other day I embarked on a mission to find a layout for Don't Laugh, People. I used to know people who would help design logos, templates, layouts, and even design the entire site for free, or at the very least, on a friendly discount. Prices for web-design work and assistance have skyrocketed over the years, with most designers asking upward of 4 figures before the decimal point, and some even asking for 5 figures before the decimal point. Granted, some of those asking for the highest amounts do more than just design your layout. They do logos, they do near groundwork coding, they add something unique to just your site, and they do promotion to help attract an audience to your site, and their work.

If you have the money, it is worth every penny to pay up and get all of the benefits of a professional designer. Blogger, as I mentioned above, is very user-unfriendly in this regard, so dealing with their sub-par templates is about as good as it gets unless you can work around the HTML and CSS. Or you can do as I did, download a program (even free trial versions work fine and not all of them watermark over your finished result). With these programs, you can do far more than most sites allow you on their own with stock, or even paid product. If you decide to invest money into these programs, you can make your own professional-LOOKING website. The more time you invest in studying, and doing the work, the better the result will be, but you have to put in the time.

I have settled at the moment, for just keeping a simplified template on the site, but I am working diligently on creating a new layout and design for DLP. After I gave fellow-writer Enigma a hard time the other day over her request that I do the research, I have heeded her advice and have been studying what designs, colorways, and layouts work the best around the net for respective purposes. While I've found it's still highly content-driven, there are things in general that make these sites successful that I would be ill-advised to not incorporate in my own attempt at designing the site.


I just wanted to take this time to update my audience on what I am doing with Don't Laugh, People right now, what I am working on doing currently for the immediate future, and what I hope to do for the foreseeable future. I want to thank my audience for sticking with us in the high and low points on the blog, points which reflect the highs and lows in my own life. I have a focus, I have a vision, and I promise you of these things--I just hope it is not too much to ask that you take me on my word and hope you keep sticking with us while we try to step up even further. Thank you! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Loot Crate

Before I begin, I am not sponsored by Loot Crate. I wish I was, and I hope somehow I find a way to be sponsored by them in the near future, but I am genuinely writing this post from the bottom of my heart. I love Loot Crate!

So I heard about Loot Crate at the beginning of the year, and got really interested. If you don't already know, I'm a geek, and a lifelong gamer. Loot Crate advertises themselves directly to geeks and gamers, so it's a match made in Heaven.

I missed out on July's epic VILLAINS crate, and there were so few when they released it as an old crate that it sold out in minutes. The crate had Deadpool socks in it, so my disappointment in missing out was amplified tenfold.

I did, however, sign up right away to get in on August's HEROES crate. It was only logical to believe they would have the summer's biggest blockbuster's most beloved hero involved in some way, and Loot Crate did not disappoint. The addition of the anthropomorphic tree got the August edition renamed by Looters as Groot Crate.
August Loot Crate - HEROES

While I was not personally the biggest fan of September's GALACTIC crate, there were still items that I appreciated. It's also worth noting that the crate's popularity among most in the community was more than well-received... it was a favorite for most.
September Loot Crate - GALACTIC

The upcoming crate is October's FEAR crate. As I did with HEROES and GALACTIC, I will be posting my unboxing video on Youtube. I also strongly recommend that if you are a geek, a gamer, or both... that you go ahead and Subscribe to Loot Crate IMMEDIATELY. *SIDENOTE: CLICK THAT LINK IF YOU ARE GOING TO SUBSCRIBE TO LOOT CRATE!*

Besides just subscribing and getting the actual crate itself, you automatically are signed up each month as a Looter for a chance to win the Mega Crate or Mini Mega Crate. This month's Mega Crate is said to contain $3000 worth of materials, which you COULD win for only the price of subscription. Even if the odds are not in your favor, the possibility that you do win the Mega Crate should be more than enough to push you over the edge when deciding whether or not to subscribe.

So go ahead, subscribe to Loot Crate, and join in on a fast-growing phenomenon! It's way more than worth every penny, literally!