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I Don’t Think I Killed Myself
submitted by mrmichaelsquid to nosleep [link] [comments]
I grew up a skinny little introvert in the suburbs. I had a few friends but usually just got lost in books. I went to summer camps, took piano lessons and enjoyed playing soccer. I did OK at school and the 4th, 5th and 6th grades all passed by as I grew into larger clothing and shoe sizes. My reality would splinter into unfixable fragments one summer when I was ten years old.
I was playing soccer at the park with Jason, the one friend from school who seemed to take a liking to me. He was a stocky redhead who couldn’t get enough fart jokes and videogames. He had some crazy system that was very advanced, but I can’t recall the name. I had to twist his arm to actually get outdoors to play soccer with me.
One day, Jason and I were out kicking the ball for about twenty minutes before he hunched over out of breath. He complained about being tired of playing and punted it hard and it soared over my head. “Asshole!” I shouted and I ran to get it, watching as it bounced high and barreled towards the road.
I ran fast enough to catch up to it before it went into the street, but I tripped. By the time I heard the loud music, it was too late. I saw the chrome fender of a fast-approaching black car that was about to hit me. There was no way to avoid its course. Time slowed as I soared into the street and in front of that speeding car.
There was an awful crunch and my ribs and skull pulsed with a shocking amount of pain. I felt a pressure inside my head, it felt like it had burst. I never felt such agony, and I wanted it to end. The world went black, and screams erupted before it all clicked off with a snap.
I awoke to a telephone ringing, I was confused as to where I was. I was in a small strange room I did not recognize, and the stink of stale cigarette smoke and bourbon made me wrinkle my nose.
“Jesse, take out the fucking trash!” The booming, gruff voice slurred the consonants. I sat up on the couch, feeling my head with my small fingers in confusion at the length and texture of my hair. I thought I must’ve been in a weeks-long coma. But I was alive.
“Jesse, I said TAKE OUT THE TRASH you idiot!” I felt a sharp smack on the top of my head and yelped. I held my throbbing head and locked eyes with the strange man looming over me. He was talking to me.
“Where am I, who are you?” I asked, feeling tears glaze my eyes. The red-faced man with gray-peppered stubble smirked an awful smile as he stooped to look into my eyes. His were bloodshot, bulging orbs above a bulbous nose and yellow-toothed grin.
“You want me to put you back in a cast you little shit?”
I rose and quickly scanned the interior of the trailer I found myself in, soon finding the overflowing garbage which was filled with crushed PallMall packs, empty flasks and styrofoam containers. I kneeled to the stained carpet and brushed stinking cigarette butts and food debris into the bag, twisting the top as I made my way outside the flimsy door.
The sun was oppressive in the circle of old trailers rusting away. Was I kidnapped? I thought maybe there’d been a mixup at the hospital, and my mom was devastated and looking all over for me. I dumped the reeking trash into a dumpster buzzing with flies and then looked around. I needed to get help. I decided I was going to make a break for one of the other trailers to ask for a phone when I caught a glimpse of myself in the pane of a door window. I stopped dead in my tracks.
There, staring back at me, was the face of a child who looked nothing like me. A shaggy-haired kid with freckles and scared eyes. I held up my hands as my brain swirled in confusion. I tried to think of my mom and only saw a chain-smoking woman with blue eyeshadow who was yelling at the red-faced drunk in the trailer. My head hurt as I struggled to remember what she looked like in the suburban house I grew up in. I could see her blonde ponytail, but her face was a blank oval of flesh. The house was a faint memory that degraded with each detail I fought to remember, like some dissolving recollection of a dream.
My last name—previously on the tip of my tongue—slipped away from me entirely. I couldn’t remember it. All I could remember was the name Nelson. My name; Jesse Nelson. I then remembered trips with my drunk dad to the lake to go fishing, and Christmases with I.O.U’s written in folding cards under a plastic tree. Every sliver of clear memory was lost in a hazy cloud; fine brushstrokes of details lacking the big picture or even the canvas beneath.
I kept a journal as I transitioned into this childhood as another person. I tried to recollect as many details as I could, thinking if I could piece it together, I might be able to get home. I endured my father’s endless insults as well as the negative attention from kids at school. I quickly learned if you can’t afford name brand clothing, you are a magnet for bullies.
The insults were endless; Trailer trash. Thrift store reject. Redneck. Hick. School was hell, and home life was not much better. No video games, no TV. This new dad would bet on horses, and he’d usually lose. He’d then get really angry, and I quickly learned to leave and take walks along the highway to avoid getting hit.
I struggled in school. The school system I was enrolled in was teaching different courses than my previous one. Despite the difficulty and distraction, I managed to do alright in high school. Flashes of a previous life would still occasionally come at odd moments. Memories of the metronome’s ticking as I sat still for piano lessons, or ice cream Sundays with a smiling set of parents. A grinning man behind a steering wheel. Each time the memories flashed into my head they would burn out, soon replaced with the new ones. Fresher memories of throwing rocks at beer bottles and my pop’s shouting matches with Mr. Nash; the nasty man at the end of the trailer park. They both argued about a woman. My missing mother, I presumed.
Still, I learned to enjoy what I had in my new life. I even grew accustomed to my new face and modest new home. The bullying also became less intense the less I seemed to care.
I developed different sets of interests which grew as time passed. I knew a bunch more about cars than I thought I did, as if the memories of this child and my own had merged in some slurry that was slowly taking form. I graduated from high school, and with a sweaty hug from my pops, I knew that was as far as my education would go.
My grades were not good enough for a scholarship and dad was dead broke. I picked up a job at the gas station. That’s where I met my maniac of a best-friend; Ron. He was a few years older, a metalhead with a ratty mustache and a hilariously twisted sense of humor. He made life there manageable, actually pretty fun a lot of the time.
I would drink beers with him and his buds on the weekend and worked hard, making my fingers calloused as I removed stripped bolts and struggled to save money. I eventually moved out of my pop’s place and into a small, cockroach-riddled apartment in the nearby town. I grew into a young man, having fun and enjoying my freedom as I saved up for a car.
Something drew me to it, but I couldn’t quite say what. Its sheen and luster, the black powerhouse was in my sights for months before I put down that initial payment. “You get the car then you get the girls,” Ron always said. I soon was at the dealership shaking hands with a smiling salesman. I hopped into the new vehicle and smelled the fresh leather interior. I turned her on and my heart purred with the revving of the engine. My new black Mustang.
I shouldn't have been drinking, and I know that. Ron had won $1000 from a scratch-off card, and I was now 21 and had my very own car; he wanted to party. I picked him up and we drank at a new spot downtown where he insisted all the ladies frequented. He was slurring, wagging a finger at the bouncer until we were kicked out. It was only around four in the afternoon and we were tanked.
I was driving too fast, metal blasting as Ron shouted “RIGHT, take this RIGHT!” and the tires skidded as I pulled past a park. He lit a cigarette and I yelled at him, screaming not to smoke in my car. A glowing ember hit my arm as he tried to toss it. I didn’t see the kid tripping into the road before it was too late. I saw his face. A face I recognized immediately.
My heart broke into a thousand pieces before the impact. I knew as soon as I stepped out of the car and saw his bloody head and twitching, broken fingers. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The sirens approached and I wept into my hands before the cuffs twisted my arms behind my back. It was me dead on the street. The real me.
I’ve been in prison a few weeks now. Every day is the same. It’s rough here, but if you act tough and fight back, you don’t get eaten alive. But I can't unsee my own youthful face staring up at my fast-approaching car. I swear to it, just before the impact I saw it. That little boy was grinning a wicked little smile at me like I'd just lost a bet
Jul/3/2020 News: (1) Anti-corruption reform (2) Polls (3) Stray dogs (4) Constitutional Court (5) Corruption trial (6) COVID news, Loan vacations, Grandma's phone (7) Real estate (8) Beeline ISP (9) This lake belongs to me (10) Soccer league LOL (11) Mayors busted (12) Yerevan's $10mln garden (13)..
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]
Anti-corruption background checks begin for public officials
The govt passed a law to require judges and officials to undergo "background checks" before being hired.
Additionally, asset forfeiture law was passed to confiscate embezzled property. A new prosecutors' department was created to handle asset forfeiture.
These new prosecutors are also going through background checks before being hired.
The new anti-corruption institute tasked with doing these new background checks has audited 26 potential prosecutors
: 2 failed, 11 barely passed, 13 passed. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191736
U.S. sends $1mln anti-corruption aid https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191739
New stray dog shelter and strategy to reduce numbers
In 2018, newly-elect Yerevan Mayor Marutyan vowed to end the practice of killing stray dogs. It wasn't just to be humane. City says mass-killings make the other dogs more aggressive, and research shows they breed faster. Not killing is a long-term strategy.
City took over the task of catching dogs from the private industry, which was mired in corruption.
They began neutering, tagging, and releasing the non-dangerous ones.
City's dog-department has just launched its new facility. It has a clinic, surgery, post-surgery rooms, more cages, and soon a disease lab.
They neuter 25 dogs per day. 1300 in 2020H1, twice more than last year. 4300 since 2019.
City says equally important is dog owners' behavior. They shouldn't dump pets on the streets.
The law requires pet owners to register their pets, but only 400 out of 20,000 have done so.
If they were registered, the owners would less likely dump them, and if they did, the pets' micro-chip would allow City to find and punish the owner.
To encourage more owners to register, City wants to eliminate the $10/year ownership fee. https://hetq.am/hy/article/118973
La casa de papel
It's a TV show that blew up in Armenia during the pandemic. One of the main actors is Lebanese-Spanish-Armenian Hovik Keuchkeryan. Today he visited Armenia. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191744
Parliament asks Constitutional Court to delay Kocharyan hearing...
... because Parliament wants time to discuss the opinions recently received from Venice Commission and ECHR on whether Kocharyan can be charged with the law he's charged with as part of March 1st case.
Parliament asked CC to translate and send them the documents.
Kocharyan earlier withdrew his case from CC but that doesn't mean CC won't discuss the topic, especially since another entity had also asked CC to discuss the topic. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191689
ex-CC judge's entrance is blocked
Hrant Nazaryan is one of the three CC judges who was recently fired. Today he tried to return to his office but the security blocked his entrance to the building, citing the law that fired him.
Another fired judged Gyulumyan hasn't visited CC for several days now because "she doesn't want to confront the police". https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191697
Polls: Pashinyan's rating refuses to drop
85% approve Pashinyan's job, 79% President, 68% Ministries, 55% Parliament, 23% opposition.
What is Pashinyan's weakest point?
16% not tough enough, 10% hires bad officials, 4% not drastic enough.
Gallup International. June 10-27. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191701
Poll: is Armenia on the right track? / Were your expectations met?
Did the revolution outcome satisfy your expectations? 79% fully/partially yes, 6% no.
69% says Armenia is on right/definitely-right direction. 2% definitely-wrong direction (15% in Georgia)
Will things improve in Armenia? 80% yes (69% in Georgia)
Is democracy better than other forms of govt? 63% yes (49% in Georgia)
"Most people are aware of CC crisis and support Constitutional reforms," said CRRC pollster.
CRRC pollster: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020509.html
Chamber of Lawyers files complaint against NSS
Lawyers complain that NSS violated the attorney-client privilege by wiretapping the suspect when he made a call to the attorney. "The content of the call was later used as evidence," said lawyers. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191750
Healthcare Minister testifies as a witness in bribery case
Months ago the deputy Healthcare Minister Armen Davtyan was charged with accepting bribes. He denies wrongdoing.
The person who gave bribes is Razmik Abrahamyan. He confessed.
A trial was held today. Minister Torosyan was called to testify as a witness.
He spoke about the anti-corruption fight within the system and how he routinely spoke with directors of various institutes to make sure they don't even try to offer bribes to Ministry officials "because the old way of doing things is gone".
P.S. The bribe giver is the same guy who is also a defendant in a separate case about the extortion and trafficking of dozens of newborn children. He's the director of the Republican Childbirth Clinic. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191691
+662 infected. +448 healed. +13 deaths.
118,102 tested. 11,211 active. 15,484 healed. 469 deaths. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191683
Kalashnikov began producing AM-103 rifles (up to 50k/year). Their Armenia-based partner donated $170,000 towards COVID. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191713
11 Lithuanian doctors have finished their 2-week campaign to help Armenia. https://hetq.am/hy/article/119002
Banks and loan vacations during pandemic
As of June 1st, banks gave loan vacations to 550k people and 17.4k businesses to ease their COVID burden.
They reviewed $2.7 billion in loans.
Bank deposits shrank 1.1% but went back to pre-pandemic levels recently.
Interest rates are unlikely to increase, says the president of banks union.
"Unlike the financial crisis of 2008 and 2014, today's situation isn't due to changes in economic fundamentals. This makes managing the problem harder. The parts of the economy that serve as engines are heavily damaged. We hope the govt, businesses, and citizens will succeed in overcoming it." https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191536
Grandma's cellphone / Medical worker disciplined
Context: a grandma's body was lost because of bad handwriting that led to confusion. Then her body was picked up by the wrong people who misidentified her. Her body will be exhumed and returned to the correct family.
St. Gregory Illuminator hospital says they've identified a junior nurse who allegedly took the dead grandma's phone and stole cash from her account, before grandma's family came to pick up her stuff.
There is an investigation. He could be fired if confirmed. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191663
Oncology institute workers...
... are getting that sweet VIP deal. The institute will use "modern high-quality buses to transport employees for free". Two routes for now. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191687
Real estate prices & transactions Earlier we learned
how COVID affected housing purchase/rent market. All realtors recorded a drop in transactions.
One realtor saw a 3x decline in transaction numbers. While the prices remained stable at the beginning of the pandemic, in June it dropped by -5%.
Another realtor recorded a sharp drop in second-hand housing transactions, but no drop in the newly-built housing market.
A noticeable drop was recorded in non-residential property lease prices. "Many landlords gave discounts."
Across Yerevan, sales transactions +84% in May vs April, but -61% YoY.
New rent transactions +7.8x in May vs April.
Beeline workers are against TEAM merger
Context: UCOM's co-founder was fired. He formed a new TEAM ISP. TEAM wants to purchase the financially troubled Beeline.
300 Beeline workers asked Pashinyan to suspend any merger because they're afraid that TEAM will replace them with TEAM's own workers.
TEAM says they won't lay off anyone because they need the existing Beeline workers' experience. "It's a big company. We can't replace the workforce." https://factor.am/265961.html
SU-30SM jets conduct first target practice
"All targets were hit struck accurately," bragged Pashinyan, who will brag about the jets for another 50 years. https://youtu.be/bmfsO7PH0jo https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191733
A dude claims Akna Lake belongs to him
A local "heavy guy" claimed the iconic Akna Lake is his property, and he'll do fish-breeding in it.
The Nature Ministry had to respond with "now it's not yours" after environmentalists raised an alarm. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282613/
Azerbaijan's chief epidemiologist goes 404
"I'm not in Baku. I'm in rayon. Sitting in a village without internet or news. I don't know anything. Call the Ministry," said Abdullah Agaev when someone tried to contact him.
Meanwhile, Aliyev brought the military to help with the pandemic. http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282603/
update: Soccer tournament suspended over match-fixing Last week we learned
how Soccer Federation cooperated with INTERPOL, NSS, UEFA, sports betting agencies, and found that 5 teams were fixing the match results in the secondary league (not the main Premier League).
The entire secondary league is now suspended indefinitely. 45 people associated with those 5 teams are permanently banned. Another 13 are suspended.
Meanwhile, the Premier League continues its matches. Only 2 rounds left. 3 teams have a chance to win. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191706
Tag: #MatchFixing #Soccer
Former soccer federation chief's restaurant raided
ex-HHK MP and soccer boss Nemets Rubo is hiding in Russia. He's wanted for alleged kidnapping and torture
, and financial crimes.
His restaurant Harsnaqar, where the alleged kidnapping victim was held, was raided today. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191723
Journalists find "fishy" corruption / 2 mayors busted
In January, Hetq outlet published a report about fishy things going on around a fish business in Ararat province. Prosecutors say
: in 2004 a lease was signed for an 11ha land in Sis. In 2007 the company illegally built fish-breeding pools on 5ha.
Sis's former and current leaders knew about this but ignored it.
The former mayor cannot be charged due to statute of limitations, while the current mayor qualifies for Pashinyan's 2018's mass amnesty.
Sis was told to either destroy the facility or take it under public control. They chose the latter. The facility was recently sold for $230,000.
Free money: https://hetq.am/hy/article/118996
infrastructure and road upgrades
Norakert has a 7km water delivery network. A govt subsidy will repair 2.5km this year, with the rest being repaired last year. It'll also help 60 businesses to get regular water delivery. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191666
Sevan is having 5 of its roads leading to residential complexes repaired. A $316,000 infrastructure project. It'll also renovate the curbs and water drainage. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191665
Syunik province has 3.4x more infrastructure upgrades this year, worth $17.7mln. Apartment energy insulation, roads, etc. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191734
Top-5 documentary/biography books Yerevan residents read in May
5) Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. (about how other people will get rich but you won't)
4) D'une porte l'autre, by Charles Aznavour. (about why Marvel movies are nothing more than a theme park)
3) A subtle Art of Not Giving F, by Mark Manson. (about helping mark Manson to get richer)
2) Becoming, by Michael Obama. (about being black)
1) The monk who sold his Ferrari, by Robin Sharma. (about helping Robin Shirama to get richer) https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020395.html
this guy plants
Stepan Taroyan takes the dried out branches and wood and turns them into natural art. He works at Yerevan's Green Department.
$10mln Yerevan project for a new leisure center and park
Arabkir district's Komitas St. has a neglected park. It'll be renovated and a multi-functional center will be built.
The works have already begun, with 30 budkas being removed from the area to clear the way. The main construction begins in 2021.
5,000 plants will be installed to close the large gaps. They'll be joined by an amphitheater and a fountain. This will allow concerts and theatrical performances to be held.
The nearby 'Arabkir' shopping area will be brought under a roof and turned into a modern center with food, Armenian wine-tasting, international cuisine, an area for kid's entertainment, and handmade product sales.
The center's backside will be made out of glass and face the renovated garden. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020467.html
You've read 1894 words.
Disclaimer & Terminology 1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty.
2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise.
3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 13, 2002
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY: submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]
WATCH: Misawa vs. Chono highlights
- Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
- The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
- The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
- NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
- Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
WATCH: Chyna on Sabrina The Teenage Witch
- Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
- There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
- And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
- And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
- Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
- Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
- Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
- Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
- Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
- NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
- Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
- When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
- Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
- Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
WATCH: Hogan can't start the motorcycle
- Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
- Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
- Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
- Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
- XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
- The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
- Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
- Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
- Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
- The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
- Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
- Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
- Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
- Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
- The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
- Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
- There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
Plus500 (LON:PLUS) – a good hedge against the return of volatility
submitted by hdent1985 to UKInvesting [link] [comments]
As volatility is set to return to the market, Plus500, with a current beta of -0.33, could be a logically-sound hedge against board market risk whilst adding capital gain potential as well as diversification benefit to the total portfolio, as it has already shown over the past few months. Why (and What is) Plus500
The first time I came across with Plus500 (LON:PLUS) was during a UEFA Champions League game (European soccer competition) between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona that I watched a few years ago where they were (and still are) the jersey sponsor for Atletico Madrid (a top Spanish soccer club for anyone who doesn’t follow soccer). From their brand name it was hard for me me to figure out what Plus500 does, which I later found out that not only they are a one of the largest online trading platforms in Europe for CFD, spread betting and other financial assets (including cryptocurrency), but also a listed company on London Stock Exchange. And then it all made sense to me why Plus500 would choose to advertise their services through a soccer club: there are many commonalities between both soccer fields and financial markets: the ever-changing situations, the fast pace dynamics, and large volume of boisterous spectators that are ever-present.
Plus500 is an international financial firm providing online trading services in contracts for difference (CFDs), across more than 2,000 securities and multiple asset classes. Heightened market volatility (again) could further boosted Plus500's growth
Ever-changing situations, fast-paced dynamics and large volume of boisterous spectators are indeed what characterised the global financial markets in the first half of 2020. Following the surprising V-shaped recovery from the market bottom in late March, Stocks retreated over the past few weeks as the global markets are gearing up toward another period of heightened volatility. The VIX index had a noticeable pick up over recent weeks (see charts below) as more and more confirmed COVID-19 cased were being reported following the ease of the lockdowns as well as recent protests both in the US and aboard. In addition to a looming second wave of COVID-19, there are several other potential risk factors, such as Trade conflicts between US and Europe and the upcoming Presidential election, which could significantly influence investor’s confidence over the stock markets and stimulate more tug of wars between the bulls and the bears of the markets on a day-to-day basis.
VIX index - Risk is gradually returning
Source: Refinitiv Eikon
Uncertainty triggers volatility, and Plus500 is certainly one of the a few companies that make money from this directly. The stock has performed very strongly this year (+52% YTD) relative to the board UK stock market (FTSE down by 18.3% YTD) thanks to the record level of trading activities by its customers. It also added more than 82,000 and 100,000 new customers in Q1 and Q2 respectively which exceeded their expectations for both quarters.
Plus500 stock price since 2018
Source: Refinitiv Eikon
There are other reasons to stay optimistic about the stocks: Plus500’s business operation is reasonably well diversified
in terms of geographical location (see chart below). It’s also fairly cash rich
for company of its size. Plus500 has a negative net debt of over $287 million in the current financial year and a projected free cash flow yield of 31.6% in 2021, which means they are unlikely to face any potentially significant liquidity concerns which often can cause businesses to go bankrupt (such as the position Wirecard find themselves in this week). Furthermore, Plus500’s shareholder returns policy is to return at least 60% of net profits to shareholders,
through a combination of dividends and share buybacks, with at least 50% of this distribution being made by way of dividends. Its current dividend yield of 4% p.a. will be particularly appealing to incoming seeking investors.
Source: Refinitiv Eikon
Plus500 stock profile
Source: Genuine Impact Another Wirecard situation?
Ultimately the stock’s future price momentum will dependent upon the sustainability of the market volatility as well as uncertainties in regulatory landscapes. As showed in the chart earlier Plus500’s business operation spreads over several jurisdictions and they are authorised and regulated by the market regulators in the UK, Cyprus, Australia, Singapore and Israel, which means that any change and update in regulatory framework concerning CFDs or other financial instruments will likely to significantly affect Plus500’s business operation and influence market expectations on their future revenue and growth. Rewinding the clock to February 2019 its stock price more than halved over a two-week period, when the Australian market regulator announced restrictions in CFD trading rules which adversely affected Plus500’s profitability. Similar regulatory uncertainties in the future could easily cause its stock profit to slump. It’s also worth noting that Plus500 also had its fair share of accounting controversy in the past. One incident was that in its 2017 Annual Report, Plus500 announced that they did not generate net revenues or losses from market P&L in 2017. However in February 2019 the company issued a contradictory report stating that it had incurred a $103 million loss from client trading activity in the 2017 financial year, causing investors to cast doubts over the credibility of their published financials and their stock prices to plummet. Investors and regulators are likely to be more sensitive and aggressive than ever toward these kind of accounting irregularities for any public company after the Wirecard case.
Analysts upgraded their 2021 and 2022 revenue projections
Source: Refinitiv Eikon Agree to disagree
The market seems to hold a slip view on the stock. As a matter of fact the four broker analysts that provide research coverage on Plus500 cannot have a less divided opinion on its outlook which is reflected in the ratings they give out (one strong buy, one hold, one sell and one strong sell) and range of target prices they’ve set (£6.65 - £21.38, current price at £13.01). However, over the past few months there appears to be a consensus amongst these analysts on the stock’s future growth momentum
as they all lifted their 2021 and 2022 revenue projection for Plus500 (see chart above), thanks to the increasing trading volume and customer growth over the past few months. Their average revenue projections for 2021 was $365 million back in March 2020, and has now been lifted to $574 million for the same period, representing a 57% increase (roughly in line with the stock's YTD performance).
This upward momentum is likely to continue if volatility resumes in the coming weeks. Like their competitors in the sector, Plus500’s financial performance this year will be dependent, among other things, on the global financial market conditions providing sufficient trading opportunities for customers.
Thanks for reading my post and I appreciate any feedback and comments! Stay safe and all the best with your investments.
Top Ten Greatest Male Players in Challenge History - No. 7 - Derrick Kosinski
Honorable Mentions Pt. 1 - Wes, Jamie Murray, Brad Honorable Mentions Pt. 2 - Theo, Dan, Abram, The Miz, Turbo No. 10 - Alton Williams (Real World: Las Vegas) No. 9 - Mark Long (Road Rules: USA - The First Adventure) No. 8 - Darrell Taylor (Road Rules: Campus Crawl) No. 7 - Derrick Kosinski (Road Rules: X-Treme) If The Challenge had a Player Efficiency Rating system, Derrick’s Career PER would be at the very top. He’s one of the most consistent elite challengers ever. submitted by futurepoet to MtvChallenge [link] [comments]
Derrick has participated in 10 challenge seasons. He’s either made the final challenge or lost right before the final eight out of ten times. The other two times, he was sent home fifth. If you go back and analyze every individual Derrick performance, you’ll soon come to realize that he’s never had a bad season under his belt.
Missions Performance-Wise, Derrick was: 2nd best on Fresh Meat (after Evan), 2nd best on Cutthroat (after Abram), 3rd best on Inferno II (after C.T. and Landon), 3rd best on Gauntlet II (after Landon and Alton), 3rd best on Dirty Thirty (after C.T. and Nelson), 4th best on Inferno III (after Abram, Alton, and Johnny), and 5th best on the Duel (after Evan, C.T., Wes, and Brad). The Island had no missions, but Derrick was the clear-cut number one competitor (Ring Wrestle and Ball Buster are cold hard evidence). The missions on the Ruins were too team-oriented to determine a ranking system, but Derrick was at the very least top five and you can make an argument he was in the top three. That’s 9 out of 10 seasons where Derrick was a top five male performer.
The only season where Derrick wasn’t a top 5 male competitor was on his rookie season, Battle of the Sexes II. But even on that season, Derrick still left his fans with a career highlight moment in his short stay. And it was in his the first mission he’s ever participated in, Dangle Drop. In this mission, competitors had to hold on to a punching bag dangling above a lake for as long as possible. Derrick (alongside Abram) won the competition for the Guys, by outlasting everyone in his preliminary heat and then beating Coral and Rachel in the final heat. Young Derrick’s cockiness and drunken behavior didn’t rub off too well within the males team on the first day of Sexes II. If he would’ve just performed average in Dangle Drop, he was potentially the first boot. But Derrick proved to the rest of the team that he was a worthy competitor with a whole lot of fight in him. Derrick became a victim of Elimination Hill on Sexes II after the fifth mission (regardless of having outperformed Mike the Miz up to that point). Mike was an established veteran who had strong social ties to the Men’s team upper echelon, and because of this, he was saved. Derrick’s showing on Dangle Drop (Sexes II) was a sneak peek to his ATG mental strength, Surf Torture (Inferno II) cemented it.
Surf Torture was the premier mission of Derrick’s sophomore season. In Surf Torture, pairs made within both the Good Guys and Bad Asses teams had to endure physical tests that were assigned to them by highly trained navy seals. The series of physical tasks ranged from wheelbarrows to having to lift heavy logs up and down the shore of a beach. When physical fatigue kicked in and the pairs were no longer performing the exercises in a sufficient manner, they were eliminated from the competition.
When Surf Torture commenced, pairs dropped left and right because of how physically demanding the tasks were. The final 2 pairs came down to Abram/Derrick (Bad Asses) and Landon/Mike The Miz (Good Guys). You couldn’t have written a better final showdown for a mental strength competition. Determination. Drive. Heart. Those four guys embody those intangible qualities better than anyone else in Challenge History.
Here’s what the four mental strength titans had to say during Surf Torture’s final showdown: “I’m dying, so I know they’re hurting just as bad as I am” (Abram). My hamstrings are starting to cramp up and I’m trying to get myself away from thinking about [the pain]” (Landon). “[My] whole mind is saying ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this anymore” (Mike The Miz). “It’s coming down to the wire. As much as this mission is torturing us, as much as I’m hurting, I’m not gonna give up to the Miz or Landon” (Derrick).
The last physical exercise of Surf Torture was the upper body decimator, the wheelbarrow. The first mission of the season literally weighed on Derrick and Mike’s shoulders, chest, and arms (All Abram and Landon had to do was hold onto their partners legs). Derrick was far from an empty gas tank. He was maneuvering up and down the shore with at least a quarter of his inner drive left, nodding his head from side to side whenever the navy seal asked if he was ready to quit. The Miz was a whole another story. He was running on fumes. Derrick was on his hands in a push-up position, meanwhile Mike was dragging his entire body through the sand (elbows and belly touching the floor). Mike’s engine eventually shut down and the navy seals eliminated him and Landon, giving Derrick, Abram, and the rest of the Bad Asses the first mission win of Inferno II. Derrick’s drive in Surf Torture is a frontrunner for greatest display of mental strength in a Challenge ever.
Other than Surf Torture, Derrick was the shining star of two other Inferno II missions. (1) Time To Ride: Players had to drive miniature motorcycles through a zig zag course above water. Derrick posted the fastest time out of all seven males and the times weren’t close. Derrick - 57 seconds, Landon - 1 min. 49 sec., C.T. - 2 min. 50 sec., Darrell - 3 min. 16 seconds, Abram and Mike Mizanin DQ’ed. Derrick put on a clinic for other all-time greats. (2) Dodge Yer Balls: Derrick and C.T. looked like professional dodgeball players, whereas Brad, Darrell, Landon, and Mike Mizanin performed as they had just picked up a dodgeball for the first time. Derrick and C.T. wiped out the entire Good Guys Team all by themselves in easy fashion. Although it was a joint effort, production made an error in giving C.T. the life shield. Derrick deserved it as he eliminated four Good Guys as opposed to C.T. eliminating three, and Derrick also had two game winning catches (C.T. had none). So, in actuality, the life shield ratio between C.T. and Derrick on Inferno II should’ve been 5 to 3. On the Gauntlet II, Derrick makes it known that when all is said and done, he’ll go down as pound for pound the greatest challenge player ever in America’s Fifth Sport.
For about the entire first half of his career, Derrick weighed in at about 150 lbs. In the Challenge, that’s the lightest weight to ever exist in the men’s division. The other notable names I can think of within Young Derrick’s weight class are Adam King, Ryan Kehoe, and Luke Wolfe. None of these guys hold a candle to what Derrick has gone on to accomplish in the first half of his career. The club of 150 pounders is always viewed as the bottom of the food chain for Challenge heavyweights to devour. The smallest guys every season are always called into elimination first and are picked off rather easily. Young Derrick was an exception to this design within the game. More times than none, he wasn’t the heavyweights prey. It was the complete opposite. He was the one who preyed upon those bigger and stronger than him.
On the Gauntlet II, Derrick went into five physical eliminations. Derrick was victorious in the first four. The opponents he feasted on were: 170 lb. Brad, 180 lb. Adam, 190 lb. Ace, and 220 lb. Syrus. He defeated Adam Larson and Brad in Name That Coconut (a trivia game and a physical battle mixed into one) and beat Ace and Syrus In Beach Brawl (a sumo wrestling contest on sand). The Derrick vs. Syrus elimination was highly believed to be “Derrick’s swan song”. However, the combination of Derrick’s drive and wrestling experience helped him shock the world as he came out on top against Syrus, 3-1. Derrick suffered season-ending defeat in his fifth elimination, versus a 200 lb. Timmy in the final male gauntlet before the final challenge.
Derrick’s one hell of a regular season on Gauntlet II earned him nickname “The Pitbull”. He also received a nod of approval from the most respected veteran in the game, Mark Long. Mark praised Derrick for “[having] so much heart, and being the guy who went against the monster every time and [slaying] the monster”. Mark Long declared retirement at the G2 reunion, but as he was doing so, he passed his signature bandana over to Derrick (to represent a passing of the torch). “From the First Road Ruler to the Last Road Ruler”, Mark knew that Derrick was ready to be at the front and center of the Challenge’s future. After Gauntlet II, it was just a matter of time before “The Pitbull” would get his first challenge victory. The only question was when.
On Fresh Meat, Derrick was paired with Diem and they placed 4th overall out of 13 teams. Together, they won three missions (the second most out of any team behind Coral/Evan). They won Batten Down The Hatches (agility based), Jump Down Under (swimming based), and Deep Blue (tested ability of holding breath under water). Derrick continued to prove how well rounded of a competitor he was to add to his bulletproof mental strength and tip-top wrestling ability.
Derrick’s fifth challenge was The Duel. Although he was eliminated at the halfway point, he still gave us some moments to be proud of. Derrick did something we thought he would never do and that’s win a puzzle elimination. Derrick’s intelligence has always been his biggest weakness, so him winning Ascender vs. Tyler is a nice outlier experience we can appreciate in his long line of work. We also got traditional Derrick in Push Over, a mission where players, having their hands tied together, had to wrestle one another off a large plank that was attached to the end of the boat. Derrick did what Derrick knows best and that was get low and use leverage to push his opponents off. The mission was done tournament style with 8 male participants. Derrick managed to take out C.T., Big Easy, and Brad to win Push Over. I have Derrick’s low man execution in Push Over as the third best mission highlight of the Duel (behind C.T. in Flying Leap and Wes in Sunken Treasure).
On the next season to take place, Inferno III, Derrick gets called in as a replacement for C.T. who punched Davis the first night in South Africa. Derrick didn’t expect to be on the season, which probably means he didn’t do any prep training in the off-season and it best explains why his mission performances on the Inferno III were teetering more towards middle-of-the-road than being the number one guy on his team. He didn’t win a single life shield, but still managed to put up solid numbers in the mission stat sheet. Derrick’s finest showing on I3 was his Cornerball win vs. Davis, where he roughhoused Davis in a 1-on-1 game of rugby. After six valiant efforts, Derrick finally got his long awaited championship on Inferno III. Throughout his career, Derrick’s pitbull mentality has piled up a phenomenal highlight reel. On the flip side, Derrick’s social mechanics are one of the best the game has ever seen.
In his ten season career, Derrick only had 2 seasons where he was at the bottom in terms of social positioning (Sexes II and Gauntlet II). The other 8 seasons Derrick has been on, he was at the top of the totem pole in terms of alliances. For example, on I2, Derrick/C.T./Brad/Darrell kept each other safe from ever calling one another out for the elimination. Three of four of these guys never saw an elimination and made the final (Derrick was one of them). This was the only secret alliance on the I2, as alliances were considered taboo during the Golden era. On Fresh Meat, the main alliance that ran the entire second half of the game was Derrick/Diem, Darrell/Aviv, and Theo/Chanda. On Cutthroat, Derrick was the most well-connected player on the Blue team, and could’ve gone without seeing an elimination the entire season had Ty never been such a catastrophe. Derrick’s social game on his second and third championship seasons (The Island and The Ruins) were perfect.
On The Island, from the public perception, there were village leaders (Kenny, Johnny, Paula, Johanna, Dunbar) and the rest of the village were outsiders. Derrick was the only player on the entire island who was happily welcomed by the leaders group, but also had a great relationship with the rest of the outsiders. Derrick was great friends with Kenny and Johnny, but unlike the two of them, he never bullied Robin, Tonya, or Evelyn. These people were his actual friends who thought highly of him. For this reason, Derrick’s key was never in consideration to get taken throughout the entire season. You couldn’t say the same for Kenny, Johnny, Dunbar, and Paula (all of whom either had their key stolen or were in danger of getting it stolen). Derrick’s untouchable social game on the Island is best highlighted when he threw a face-off just to give Johnny a key. Late in the season, people without keys were jumping at each other throats to get into the face-off, but yet, no one batted an eye when Derrick who already had a key volunteered for a second time. Had anybody else done this, it would’ve been seen as cynical, but because it was Derrick, people genuinely didn’t seem bothered by it. The plan of Johnny getting his key worked, and Derrick won a 10-1 landslide vote versus Cohutta. Derrick was respected so much that Cohutta’s plea was him essentially telling everyone that Derrick was a better fit for the final boats.
On the Ruins, Derrick was the third member to the J.E.K. coalition. He was the silent partner in crime (hence his first name initial not being included in the alliance name). Derrick benefited from all of Evan and Kenny’s political moves without being seen as a member of the alliance. Derrick had the strongest social ties in the game (Along with J.E.K., he was great friends with all the old schoolers - Syrus, Darrell, Katie, Tonya, Veronica, and Ibis). Derrick had to conform with the J.E.K. political movement by sacrificing old school friends in order to get his way to the end. Derrick, however, was not punished for his actions, because after all he was just doing what was best for his game (Derrick was a respectful sportsman to everyone unlike the rest of his J.E.K. associates). Derrick’s overall player qualities stood the test of time on Dirty Thirty.
When our beloved all-time greats come back from a grand layoff (5 season break or more), the narrative arc in their comeback season is always the same: They fall short of the final challenge. We seen it with Darrell on Invasion, Mark on Exes, Alton on Seasons II, and Brad on Vendettas. Derrick broke the curse on Dirty Thirty. Although he had been missing in action for nine seasons, Derrick made it all the way to second place behind his all-time great comrade Jordan.
Dirty Thirty was an extremely mentally strenuous season with all types of twists and turns. The season also has one of the most stacked male casts of all-time, but this didn’t seem to bring out a single ounce of ring rust in Derrick. He was the only male to never be sent to the redemption house. Derrick won three missions, an elimination, and was apart of the top alliance of the house (with Bananas/C.T./Jordan/Tony/Leroy). Derrick’s well-connected social game was best highlighted in Veronica going to bat for him by turning the vote towards Leroy in the greatest political move of the season. Derrick is the true elimination king, not Wes.
Wes’ 14-8 elimination record is the most padded and highly overrated statistic in Challenge history. His win against Derrick in Pole Wrestle is praiseworthy, but his best wins after that are beating Zach/Zahida in Lights Out or Jamie in blindfolded soccer (those victories aren’t much to write about for a second and third best of a hailed “elimination king”). He also has five exile wins that are basically non-canon in these debates (as him and Casey had 40 lbs. less luggage to carry, per average, than their opponents). Wes’ seven other victories were versus: Chet, Nick Brown, Davis/Tyrie, Brandon/Ty, Nate/Priscilla, and Nate/Christina. In Wes’ 8 losses, he was dominated four times: twice to Leroy, once to Bear, and once to Big Easy (although he was at a large weight disadvantage). His four other losses were versus Bananas in a crapshoot, Dario in an agility contest, Cohutta in a strategy based elimination, and his stamina failed him in an exile where the luggage factor was no longer benefiting him (versus Luke/Evelyn).
Derrick, on the other hand, is 8-4, arguably 9-4 (if you count his mercenary win against Joss in Vendettas as an official elimination). Derrick’s three best elimination wins are (1) vs. Joss in Crazy Eight: The Pitbull came out of the doghouse one last time and it’s jaw was locked to the 8-figure that him and Joss were fighting for. There was no letting go, and after 20 rounds of back-breaking battle, Joss’ mental fatigue kicked in and Derrick prevailed in the Vendettas death match. (2) versus Syrus in Beach Brawl (3) and versus Bananas in Reel World. The other opponents Derrick has knocked out throughout his career were Adam Larson, Ace, Brad, Brandon, Davis, and Tyler.
Derrick’s four losses are the most honorable Challenge deaths imaginable and take nothing away from him as a competitor. (1/2) He lost to Timmy and Tyler in strictly weight based eliminations (otherwise known as eliminations that hold the least amount of weight in judging competitors, no pun intended). Derrick was at a 50 lb. disadvantage in both contests, and there was nothing he could’ve done to win. No physical contact was allowed. It was just push or pull with all of your body weight. (3) Derrick/Diem lost to Darrell/Aviv on FM1 exile. Derrick/Diem had 75 more lbs. of luggage to carry than Darrell/Aviv. They stood no chance before the elimination even began. Fresh Meat exiles, in general, are considered unlawful in all-time great discussions. (4) Derrick lost to Wes in what people call today, the most memorable elimination to ever go down in Challenge history. Derrick’s performance here is a moral victory. Wes, in his post-elimination confessional, said he wanted Derrick to be The Godfather to his first child because of how much respect he had for Derrick after their elimination.
Although a prime Wes beat Derrick head-to-head, Derrick is not only the one to have knocked out the bigger names throughout their elimination career, but he’s also won more beautifully and lost more honorably. This is why Derrick rightfully deserves to sit on the throne for Elimination King (only C.T. and Darrell challenge him for a seat). Derrick’s Overall Assessment.
In the league of Challenge legends, Derrick is seventh best. Most challenge fans would probably disagree with having Derrick one spot ahead of Darrell. But in my eyes, the only thing Darrell really has over Derrick is championship belts. Derrick has had a more consistently efficient career with more competitive highlights. When you break down their careers side-by-side: Derrick’s best competitive seasons (Inferno II, Gauntlet II, Fresh Meat) are greater than Darrell’s best (Inferno, Fresh Meat, Invasion). Derrick’s best social game performances (Island, Ruins) are better than Darrell’s best social game seasons (Inferno, Inferno II). Derrick’s worst showings (Sexes II, Duel) are a whole lot more memorable than Darrell’s (Fresh Meat 2, Dirty Thirty).
Derrick has ATG mental strength, aggression, and wrestling ability, whereas Darrell has ATG physical strength and stamina. Both have poor intelligence. Although they’re both close competitively speaking, Derrick edges out Darrell by being more well rounded in other areas such as agility and balance (two areas Darrell is inconsistent in, since he’s afraid of heights).
In eliminations, you can’t go wrong with picking either or. In missions, I’d take Derrick. In a final challenge, I’d take Darrell, but the question is would Darrell even get there? Derrick has shown time and time again he’s in for the long haul, whereas Darrell has been sent on the first flight home one-fourth of his career. This, along with a more well-connected social game is why I believe Derrick is the slightly safer choice between the two.
Derrick’s ceiling is the 7th position. His highly questionable intelligence molds him as a second place finisher in Challenge finals today (Dirty Thirty is proof of this). To be in consideration for the Challenge Mount Rushmore, you have to be a betting favorite to not only make it to the end, but also win a modern final all by yourself. The rest of the six legends that have yet to be revealed have all shown to be more than capable of enduring an entire season and accomplishing a first place finish. They’re also a lot more independent in constructing their own destinies from beginning to end, whereas you can always argue Derrick’s winning legacy might’ve not been as decorated if he never would’ve joined forces with Kenny Santucci (Derrick’s three championships have all been with Kenny on his team, who was always politically in charge of the game’s operations).
[OC] What if every world cup team had the same population? - Group C
submitted by Mel0n_Collie to soccer [link] [comments]
Hello again all, trying to distract myself from the fact that it’s already May, I’ve put my matching Friday pants and socks set on to bring you another edition of the alternative World Cup. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the premise of this series why not indulge yourself in the last two groups. Group A
, Group B
Whilst yesterday featured a group with sprinkles of quality throughout, I’m afraid to say this gathering is a little one-sided. One African team dwarfs three squads of an Asian persuasion, so with more utopian island spots than full time pro’s on display, I’ll try my utmost not to drift into a Thomas Cook holiday blog, no promises though. Group C
Togo, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinnea Bissau, Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Western Sahara, Algeria, Morrocco
Population (millions): 240.19
When it comes to brainchildren it’s strongly advised not to have favourites, but between you and me this is the funnest squad of the lot.
Similarly to Eastern Europe, West Africa has often been a hive of sporting talent restrained by the labyrinth of borders within its confines. George Weah, Emmanuel Adebayor, Yaya Toure, Didier Drogba and Abedi Pele are some notable stars of the past, but the conveyor belt of sporadic world-class attacking talent over the last 30 years appears to have crescendoed into a full blown production line of stars in every outfield position.
Something that my hypothesis can’t fairly simulate is what affect an open plan Africa would have on the decision making of some of our games Euro-Africano elite. N’Golo Kante is of Malean descent whilst fellow Parisian Paul Pogba boasts his Guinean parentage. It would be a safe bet to assume at least some juggling would take place with the region's newfound affluence, but until I am able to read the minds of millionaire athletes I’m not going to touch the subject with a barge pole, besides I think I’d go for the sort codes well before I look at their national preference.
What we DO have however is a terrific squad on paper that will continue to improve as the years continue, with 17 year old Barcelona wunderkind Ansu Fati hailing from Guinea-Bissau, as long as he doesn’t succumb to a Spanish inquisition.
A difficult pick but I’ve settled on a squad that could play in numerous formations, Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez are two of the Premier Leagues most potent wide players whilst the midfield is a superfluity of athleticism and technique.
|Goalkeepers || || || ||Birthplace ||FM20 ||Value ||Age |
|Edouard Mendy ||SEN ||Rennes ||GK ||Montivilliers, France ||65 ||€4.40 ||28 |
|Yassine Bounou ||MAR ||Sevilla ||GK ||Montreal, Canada ||68 ||€10.00 ||29 |
|Defenders || || || || || || || |
|Faouzi Ghoulam ||ALG ||Napoli ||LB ||Saint-Priest, France ||72 ||€17.10 ||29 |
|Dakonam Djene ||TOG ||Getafe ||CB ||Dapaong ||74 ||€26.80 ||28 |
|Kalidou Koulibaly ||SEN ||Napoli ||CB ||Saint-Die, France ||84 ||€64.30 ||28 |
|Achraf Hakimi ||MAR ||B. Dortmund ||RWB ||Madrid, Spain ||72 ||€23.30 ||21 |
|Eric Bailly ||CIV ||Man United ||CB ||Bingerville ||72 ||€31.40 ||26 |
|Salif Sane ||SEN ||Schalke 04 ||CB ||Lormont, France ||69 ||€9.00 ||29 |
|Serge Aurier ||CIV ||Tottenham ||RB ||Ouragahio ||70 ||€19.90 ||27 |
|Kwadwo Asamoah ||GHA ||Inter Milan ||LWB ||Accra ||74 ||€21.10 ||31 |
|Midfielders || || || || || || || |
|Riyad Mahrez ||ALG ||Man City ||RW ||Sarcelles, France ||77 ||€62.00 ||29 |
|Hakim Ziyech ||MAR ||Ajax ||CAM ||Dronten, Netherlands ||79 ||€42.80 ||27 |
|Thomas Partey ||GHA ||Atleti ||CDM ||Krobo Odumase ||76 ||€33.40 ||26 |
|Naby Keita ||GUI ||Liverpool ||CM ||Conakry ||78 ||€52.20 ||25 |
|Ismaila Sarr ||SEN ||Watford ||RW ||Saint-Louis ||67 ||€22.20 ||22 |
|Pepe ||CIV ||Arsenal ||RW ||Mantes-la-Jolie, France ||76 ||€45.60 ||24 |
|Idrissa Gana Gueye ||SEN ||PSG ||CDM ||Dakar ||75 ||€28.80 ||30 |
|Amine Harit ||MOR ||Schalke ||CAM ||Pontoise, France ||69 ||€10.07 ||22 |
|Forwards || || || || || || || |
|Sadio Mane ||SEN ||Liverpool ||LF ||Sedhiou ||90 ||€92.40 ||28 |
|Wilfried Zaha ||CIV ||Crystal Palace ||CF ||Abidjan ||77 ||€59.60 ||27 |
|Moussa Marega ||MLI ||Porto ||ST ||Les Ulis, France ||70 ||€16.80 ||29 |
|Islam Slimani ||ALG ||Monaco ||ST ||Algiers ||68 ||€19.80 ||31 |
| || || || ||Average/Totals ||74 ||€712.90 ||27.13636364 |
The likes of Feghouli, Kessie and Gervinho didn’t survive the longlist but the competition was stiff. I’m not overly happy with the inclusion of goal starved Islam Slimani but the area is surprisingly scarce of talented out and out forwards.
If this team fails to collect all nine points in this group it would be the worst thing to happen to West Africa since Di Caprio’s accent in Blood Diamond.
South India & Arabian Sea
6 Indian provinces (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa), Sri Lanka, Maldives
Another region that practises footballing atheism, this was one of the most difficult to research. But if any documentarians want to make this into a series then I’d be happy to take some time out to fly out and research the Maldives for a while.
The two island nations donate their services to an uninspiring mess of Indian nonentity. Including the world’s sixth highest scoring active player Ali Ashfaq, never heard of him? Nah me neither.
Ali Ashfaq has officially netted 463 times in his now 19 year career. Haters will say most of that was in the Maldivian league but I think I’d only be able to score half that amount so fair play to him.
|Goalkeepers || || || ||Birthplace ||FM20 ||Value ||Age |
|Kamaljit Singh ||IND ||Hyderabad ||GK ||Goa ||24 ||€0.02 ||24 |
|Chathura Ekanayake ||SRI ||Eagles Malé ||GK ||Sri Lanka ||22 ||€0.00 ||27 |
|Defenders || || || || || || || |
|Anas Edathodika ||IND ||ATK ||CB ||Kerala ||33 ||€0.03 ||33 |
|Adil Khan ||IND ||Hyderabad ||RB ||Goa ||32 ||€0.02 ||31 |
|Mandar Rao Dessal ||IND ||Mumbai City ||LB ||Goa ||31 ||€0.02 ||28 |
|Lenny Ridrigues ||IND ||Goa ||CDM ||Goa ||24 ||€0.02 ||32 |
|Mohamed Imtiyas ||SRI ||Renown ||CB ||Kotahena ||25 ||€0.01 ||24 |
|Akram Abdul Ghanee ||MDV ||Valencia (MDV) ||CB ||Maafaru ||28 ||€0.01 ||33 |
|Edwin Sydney ||IND ||Chennaiyin ||RWB ||Kerala ||21 ||€0.01 ||27 |
|Asikur Alawadeen ||SRI ||Pelicans ||CB ||Kurunegala ||23 ||€0.01 ||26 |
|Midfielders || || || || || || || |
|Brandon Fernandes ||IND ||Goa ||CAM ||Goa ||33 ||€0.03 ||25 |
|Rowllin Borges ||IND ||Mumbai City ||CDM ||Goa ||32 ||€0.02 ||27 |
|Sahal Abdul Samad ||IND ||Kerala Blasters ||CM ||Kerala ||34 ||€0.04 ||23 |
|Michael Soosairaj ||IND ||ATK ||CM ||Tamil Nadu ||32 ||€0.03 ||25 |
|Nikhil Poojari ||IND ||Hyderabad ||CM ||Karnataka ||29 ||€0.02 ||24 |
|Ahmed Razeek ||SRI ||Berliner AK ||CDM ||Berlin ||44 ||€0.06 ||26 |
|Mohamed Umair ||MDV ||Maziya ||CM ||Malé ||27 ||€0.01 ||20 |
|Romeo Fernandes ||IND ||Odisha ||RM ||Goa ||23 ||€0.02 ||27 |
|Forwards || || || || || || || |
|Ashique Kuruniyan ||IND ||Bengaluru ||CF ||Kerala ||35 ||€0.04 ||22 |
|Jobby Justin ||IND ||ATK ||ST ||Kerala ||28 ||€0.02 ||26 |
|CK Vineeth ||IND ||Jamshedpur ||ST ||Kerala ||27 ||€0.02 ||31 |
|Ali Ashfaq ||MDV ||Club Green Streets ||ST ||Malé ||27 ||€0.01 ||34 |
| || || || ||Average/Totals ||29 ||€0.47 ||27.04545455 |
The most notable islander is German born Sri Lankan Ahmed Razeek, the Berliner came through the ranks at now-Bundesliga team Union Berlin, but finds himself playing fourth tier football at the time of writing. At 25, Razeek only dedicated his services to Golden Lion in 2019, a bit of European experience may help the nation who have commanded just four wins in the last five years.
India’s most promising contribution to the side is 22 year old Ashique Kuruniyan, the young forward lacks goals but is known as something of a playmaker, Kuruniyan to Ashfaq could be the new Ozil to Ronaldo, but realistically I think this team will be lucky to find the net at all if the ratings are anything to Goa on.
Oceania and Southeast Asia
Australia, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Cambodia, Singapore, Phillipines, Malaysia, 11 Indonisian Provinces (Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku, Sulawesi Island, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara)
I almost broke the comma button on my laptop writing out all those islands, and it still doesn’t quite reach 240m. The pacific islands are home to some of the worst national teams out there, none more infamous than American Samoa who hold the record for the biggest ever defeat in international football, a 31-0 loss to Australia. If anyone hasn’t seen the documentary that was inspired subsequently to the loss, ‘next goal wins’ is perhaps my favourite football film and couldn’t recommend it highly enough when trying to explain the humanity of playing football in this part of the world.
The antagonists of the Samoan’s defeat, Australia have since changed confederations from lack of challenge. Joining the Asian Football Confederation in early 2006, the Socceroo’s have since won the Asian Cup on home soil and qualified for each of the previous four iterations of the World Cup. In 2006 a ‘golden generation’ fronted by Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill narrow missed out on a quarter final berth being beaten by eventual champions Italy in the 95th minute thanks to a controversial penalty.
While the likes of Kewell, Cahill and Mark Schwarzer have long since retired, the Aussies produce a modest yet constant procession of pro’s. Along with fellow anglophone New Zealand, the select Oceanic islanders often choose a path of playing in England’s football pyramid, with a few Premier League stalwarts found within the squad below.
Southeast Asia has a curious footballing culture, a strong general interest in the European game with seemingly little rewards for their appropriation, no malaysians manage to sneak into the selection whilst the Phillipines’ most famous athlete behind Manny Pacquiao only makes back up keeper.
As you can see the team is dominated by Aussie and Kiwi men, but there is some polynesian persuasion in the way of Wesley Lautoa who takes restbite trying to defend the likes of Neymar, Mbappe and Depay by bullying semi-pro strikers playing for New Caledonia.
|Goalkeepers || || || ||Birthplace ||Football manager ||Value ||Age |
|Matthew Ryan ||AUS ||Brighton ||GK ||Plumpton ||66 ||€15.80 ||28 |
|Neil Etheridge ||PH ||Cardiff ||GK ||London, England ||64 ||€11.00 ||30 |
|Defenders || || || || || || || |
|Winston Reid ||NZ ||West Ham ||CB ||Auckland ||66 ||€14.50 ||31 |
|Milos Degenek ||AUS ||Red Star ||CB ||Knin, Croatia ||62 ||€1.30 ||26 |
|Trent Sainsbury ||AUS ||Maccabi Haifa ||RB ||Thornlie ||60 ||€0.88 ||28 |
|Bailey Wright ||AUS ||Bristol City ||CB ||Melbourne ||59 ||€3.30 ||27 |
|Wesley Lautoa ||NCA ||Dijon ||CB ||Epernay, France ||62 ||€2.20 ||32 |
|Aziz Behich ||AUS ||Basaksehir ||LB ||Melbourne ||60 ||€2.20 ||29 |
|Brad Smith ||AUS ||Bournemouth ||LWB ||Penrith ||63 ||€9.50 ||26 |
|Stephan Schrock ||PHI ||Cares ||RB ||Schweinfurt, Germany ||57 ||€0.77 ||33 |
|Midfielders || || || || || || || |
|Aaron Mooy ||AUS ||Brighton ||CM ||Sydney ||70 ||€26.70 ||29 |
|Tom Rogic ||AUS ||Celtic ||CAM ||Griffith ||67 ||€11.90 ||27 |
|Mathew Leckie ||AUS ||Hertha Berlin ||CM ||Melbourne ||65 ||€4.80 ||29 |
|Robbie Kruse ||AUS ||Mebourne Victory ||RM ||Brisbane ||64 ||€1.30 ||31 |
|Awer Mabil ||AUS ||Mitdtjylland ||RW ||Kakuma, Kenya ||63 ||€1.50 ||24 |
|Craig Goodwin ||AUS ||Al-Wehda ||LM ||Adelaide ||58 ||€4.60 ||28 |
|Ryan Thomas ||NZ ||PSV ||CDM ||Te Puke ||65 ||€6.50 ||25 |
|Massimo Luongo ||AUS ||Sheffield W ||CDM ||Sydney ||62 ||€7.80 ||27 |
|Forwards || || || || || || || |
|Chris Wood ||NZ ||Burnley ||ST ||Auckland ||67 ||€23.40 ||28 |
|Adam Taggart ||AUS ||Suwon Bluewings ||ST ||Perth ||62 ||€0.84 ||26 |
|Aposrolos Giannou ||AUS ||AEK Larnaka ||ST ||Nousa, Greece ||63 ||€1.30 ||30 |
|Daniel Arzani ||AUS ||Celtic ||CF ||Khorramabad, Iran ||60 ||€8.20 ||21 |
| || || || ||Average/Totals ||63 ||€160.29 ||29.68181818 |
Daniel Arzani is the best bet for a future talisman, despite really struggling to make the grade in Europe he’s still only 21 and could yet fulfil his potential. The Celtic forward has impeccable technical ability and has an eye on one day becoming a regular at his parent club Man City.
Chris Wood has a Premier League goal record that any striker would be proud of and is the archetypal Sean Dyche forward, but I would suggest that his physical play style precedes his genuine international quality. New Zealand famously exited the 2010 World Cup as the only side to leave undefeated, and part of that was due to the defensive talents of Winston Reid, who at that time was a 21 year old padawan learner to Blackburn hero Ryan Nelson. Now 31, The former West Ham captain Reid leads this sides defensive line where he’ll do his best to make the younger lads do most of the legwork.
Neil Etheridge is unlucky not to be the standout number one in this team, the keeper come underwear model caught the eyes of English fans saving three penalties in the 2018-19 season, although when on loan to Bristol Rovers he caught a free-kick and stepped backwards into his own goal, don’t think we’ve forgotten Neil.
9 Chinese Provinces (Feng Jin, Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichaun, Tibet, Xinjiang Uygur, Ningxia, Qinghai)
Population (millions): 256.25
A little over the limit for this one but you wouldn’t notice from the squad. The west of China is the least densely populated region and the one with the least investment in the club game, so it is no surprise that there is correlation to the talent, or lack thereof.
Every metric I’ve used in research points to this being the Chinese team that will struggle the most, the bulk of the players hail from Sichuan, which since we’re on reddit may give most of you PTSD of Rick and Morty fans standing on McDonalds counters.
None of the following players featured in the most recent Chinese national squad. In a sporting wilderness that hasn’t been invited to the game of Monopoly out east, you can’t blame this side for underwhelming.
Finding a 22 was a real struggle and there is an imbalance of positions to show for it. The only true striker is Chongqing’s Li Fang, who is officially listed as a striker-come-right back which is an oddly specific duology of skills.
|Goalkeepers || || || ||Birthplace ||FM20 ||Value ||Age |
|Wang QI ||CHI ||Shaanxi Athletic ||GK ||Shaanxi ||35 ||€0.60 ||27 |
|Yerjet Yerzat ||CHI ||Chongqing Lifan ||GK ||Xinjiang Uygur ||36 ||€0.72 ||27 |
|Defenders || || || || || || || |
|Yang Xiaotian ||CHI ||Jiangsu Suning ||LB ||Shaanxi ||40 ||€1.40 ||30 |
|Wang Erzhuo ||CHI ||Shaanxi Athletic ||CB ||Shaanxi ||28 ||€0.24 ||33 |
|Alishat ||CHI ||Xinjiang Sport Lottery ||CB ||Xinjiang ||40 ||€0.43 ||25 |
|Zhang Ao ||CHI ||Xinjiang Sport Lottery ||RB ||Shanxi ||28 ||€0.37 ||29 |
|Liu Yu ||CHI ||Shanghai Shenxin ||CB ||Sichuan ||30 ||€0.44 ||25 |
|Zhou Xuri ||CHI ||Dalian Yifang ||CB ||Sichuan ||29 ||€0.30 ||21 |
|Otkur Hesen ||CHI ||Sichaun Jiuniu ||LB ||Xinjiang ||20 ||€0.00 ||27 |
|Bari Mamatil ||CHI ||Qiangdao Huanghai ||RWB ||Xinjiang ||39 ||€1.50 ||31 |
|Midfielders || || || || || || || |
|Peng Xinli ||CHI ||Shanghai Shenhua ||CM ||Shanxi ||47 ||€2.60 ||29 |
|Mirahmetjan Muzepper ||CHI ||Shanghai SIPG ||CAM ||Xinjiang ||46 ||€3.30 ||29 |
|Zhang Xiuwei ||CHI ||Guangzhou E ||CM ||Sichuan ||46 ||€2.70 ||24 |
|Luo Senwen ||CHI ||Hebei China Fortune ||CDM ||Sichuan ||44 ||€2.10 ||27 |
|Li Yuanyi ||CHI ||Shenzhen ||CM ||SIchuan ||42 ||€1.30 ||26 |
|Zhang Chiming ||CHI ||Tianjin ||RW ||SIchuan ||38 ||€1.10 ||31 |
|Shewket Yalqun ||CHI ||Guangzhou E ||LW ||Xinjiang ||33 ||€0.94 ||27 |
|Yehya ||CHI ||Xinjiang Tianshan ||CM ||Xinjiang ||24 ||€0.24 ||32 |
|Forwards || || || || || || || |
|Yan Dinghao ||CHI ||Gondomar ||CF ||Sichuan ||45 ||€2.40 ||22 |
|Li Fang ||CHI ||Chongqing Lifan ||ST ||Sichuan ||34 ||€1.30 ||27 |
|Gan Yingbo ||CHI ||Sichaun Longfor ||CF ||Sichuan ||24 ||€0.16 ||35 |
|Abduhamit Abdugheni ||CHI ||Jiangsu Suning ||CF ||Shaanxi ||35 ||€0.75 ||23 |
| || || || ||Average/Totals ||36 ||€24.89 ||27.59090909 |
The squad is predominantly composed of players from the nations second tier CL1, which to enlight the general reader means they probably aren’t going to win the tournament.
Another day another group, tomorrow we finally see one of the long anticipated Western European megasquads, and play a game of spot the Uzbekistani. Thanks again for reading, let me know if you think I've missed anyone from the squads or made an error and try to have a stab at the starting XI’s for today's teams.
Is it inevitable my emergency fund will go up in flames?
Context: submitted by carmelo7anthony to personalfinance [link] [comments]
Live in San Francisco and work for a media company. I currently have a job but am worried that if movies/sports don't come back soon that they will be doing layoffs or furloughs at some point. We rely on covering these things and while they are gone we can't monetize anything. NBA coming back helps and so has soccer and some of these shows like Tiger King, but we are still having issues selling ads. So I am supremely worried about the company being forced to do something to cut costs. I have been with the company for 8 years now so have been here a while, but due to that I am also well paid ($165K) for my age and am now on a team where I contribute less than what I used to when I negotiated my salary. Have been told I am overpaid by HR before in relation to my age and title. But have always performed well enough to keep me around. Having people to go to bat for you at the company has helped too. However during a pandemic I feel like I might get the ax first for cost cutting purposes due to this fact. Our company is owned by Disney and they obviously are struggling with parks closed (lowkey fuck disney world opening even if it helps pay my salary lol) and no movies out and recently buying Fox and being in debt. So the worry is they will see us as a small fish in this giant pond of theirs and tell our bosses to make some cuts.
My lease ends in September, and I am super super stressed out by this pandemic. Living in SF the rents are insane and I am currently paying nearly $4k per month for a 1 bedroom with an office space which has been amazing during WFH but also insanely expensive. Have been living here for 2 years and originally was splitting rent with my GF but we broke up about 7 months ago and I have had to pick it up solo.
I have a good emergency fund that should cover 4-5 months of rent + expenses should shit hit the fan. However if I renew this lease, and lose my job, I don't know if I could find another job at the same pay rate in the current job market. So i'd be struggling to pay those last 6 months and might have to dip into 401K or borrow from family in a worst case scenario which I don't want to happen. Jobs in Marketing and Design seem far less essential during a recession and job crunch.
So here are my options. I probably won't be renewing this lease. Too many memories of the old relationship, and while it is safer to stay here rather than move during a pandemic, it feels financially irresponsible.
The main option I am considering is moving to a spot further away from the city in the $2K-3K per month range. Hopefully a 2 bedroom. This should extend my emergency fund a couple of months to 7-8 months if shit hits the fan.
The reason I say 2 bedroom is because I have a cousin who just recently graduated from Stanford for his masters degree. Kid is smart as hell but his degree is in international policy. He wants to be roomates and is actively applying for jobs and could conceivably cover half the rent but that of course is contingent on him getting a job, any job even if it isn't in his field. He has a couple of months to get a job but what are the chances of him actually getting one? I wouldn't want to cover his rent for too long but worry this may be the case. I consider the guy a brother but also don't want to be taken advantage of.
Other option would be to go straight 1 bedroom and downsize even more in that $1.5K-2K range but of course this adds to me being lonely and potentially in an even worse neighborhood and kind of saying FU to my cousin, which I am sure he would understand but not sure what he would do, maybe go back and live with his family in Chicago? My other issue with a lot of the 1 bedroom units is that they are around 600 sq ft and I have a lot of stuff from the past 6 years and worry it won't all fit. Honestly a first world problem worth sucking up though.
Final option that my parents seem to be pushing is to come back home to Texas. Father works as a medical administrator at a hospital and is very concerned this pandemic will rage on for a while. He feels like if my company is letting me WFH for now I should save as much as I can and moving home would save rent money. My two worries here are that a cross country move with all my stuff would cost around $4K plus the flight and movers insurance. And of course if things go back to normal come early 2021 and say I still have my job I'd have to find a new place remotely and move back again and pay $4K to move back to SF. Of course if I lose my job I'd likely have to find a new one in the Fort Worth area, where design and marketing jobs are far more scarce compared to SF with all the tech companies.
Of course the second big negative of the move back to Texas is exposing my family to the virus. Want to be safe above all and don't want money to cloud judgement. Texas is a hot spot right now, and my parents are both over 60 and higher risk. Even if I quarantine at a hotel for 2 weeks which isn't cheap, I worry about exposing them. And worry I am jumping the gun if this pandemic doesn't last that long.
Right now of all my options I am leaning towards going for a 2 bedroom in the $2.5K range (according to the 40x rule you'd wanna make around 100K per year to afford a spot at this cost.) and hopefully this downsize lets me manage for a while. Then if my cousin moves in he would hopefully find a job and be able to contribute to rent to split that cost. In this scenario even if I were to lose my job, unemployment would hopefully help cover my half of the rent at least for a while as well.
Honestly just overwhelmed right now. Gave the 60 day notice to my current unit. Time to start looking for new places now. Maybe my dad got to me in saying don't waste money. But I think my best bet is to stick it out here in SF where there is a market for my skills and to cut down on expenses. If my emergency fund is depleted, so be it. A once in a lifetime pandemic is exactly the type of thing a fund like that is meant for. Appreciate any thoughts and advice.
Stay safe. Stay Melo.
TLDR: Considering moving home to save money or moving to smaller living situation. Bit overwhelmed with all the options but need to pull the trigger soon. Want advice as to whether I am unrealistically worried about depleting my emergency fund and potentially going overboard to maintain something that is meant to be spent in times of crisis.
| || | submitted by Macaupoolss to u/Macaupoolss [link] [comments]
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Why you need to bet on Sports
submitted by ofagames to u/ofagames [link] [comments]
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