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Top Ten Greatest Male Players in Challenge History - No. 4 - C.T. Tamburello
Honorable Mentions - Abram, Dan S., Jamie, Mike M., Theo V., Turbo, Wes submitted by futurepoet to MtvChallenge [link] [comments]
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)
No. 6 - Kenny Santucci (Fresh Meat)
No. 5 - Evan Starkman (Fresh Meat)
No. 4 - C.T. Tamburello (Real World: Paris)
C.T. carrying the Johnny Bananas backpack is the greatest highlight ever recorded in Challenge history.
Before the backpack moment, we hadn’t seen C.T. in three years. He was rumored to be forever banned after almost killing Adam King on the Duel II. On Cutthroat, when T.J. announced the heavy hitters twist and C.T. came walking out the dark, challenge fans all around the world were not prepared for what they were about to witness. C.T. was finally let out of his cage and Johnny Bananas became absolute prey.
If there were ever to be a logo for the Challenge, a visual image of the C.T.-Bananas backpack moment would be it. Picture this: Replace the Jerry West silhouette in the red and blue NBA logo with a white silhouette of C.T. mid power-walk and Bananas in the back of him imitating a backpack. Then, replace “NBA” with “MTV”. Now, you got your MTV Challenge logo. C.T. being at the front and center of a hypothetical challenge sports logo makes perfect sense considering C.T.’s athletic performances changed the landscape of the Challenge from a regular game show to the series becoming known as America’s Fifth Sport.
C.T. is the Peyton Manning of the Challenge.
Peyton Manning is the greatest regular-season quarterback in the history of the NFL. C.T. is the greatest regular-season competitor in the history of the Challenge.
Peyton Manning only has two Superbowls (and won his second one in his final season in the NFL, while being a shell of his former self). C.T. has three championships (and won his final one while being in his worst physical shape ever).
Both, Peyton Manning and C.T.’s regular-season career numbers lead you to believe that they should have had twice as much championships than what they currently have. However, their own blunders (C.T.’s boneheaded mistakes and gassing out right before the finish line on the Exes 2 final = Peyton’s choking) throughout their careers hold them back from reaching extreme success in the post-season.
To continue this comparison, Johnny Bananas is Tom Brady (6 championships). C.T. is the more natural athlete and talented challenger between him and Bananas, but Bananas has had the better legacy (Peyton’s the more talented QB between him and Brady, but Brady accomplished a greater legacy).
C.T. has seven of the greatest regular season competitive performances that didn’t result in championships.
The Inferno: In C.T.’s rookie debut, the higher end competition consisted of Abram, Darrell, Mike Mizanin, Shane and Timmy. C.T. won 4 life shields. C.T. led all the males in life shields and actually won more life shields than the higher end competition as one whole collective (Darrell, Mike Mizanin, and Timmy each won one life shield, totaling up to 3). C.T. was the best performer of the season as a rookie. He made the final challenge, but his Real World team lost to Road Rules in a close race.
Inferno II: C.T. was the life shield king. He racked up 6 life shields this season in one of the most competitive male casts to ever be assembled in Challenge history. C.T. led the season in life shields again, Landon came in 2nd with four, Mike in 3rd with three, and Derrick came in 4th with two. C.T. made the final, but he and the final remaining Bad Asses got blown out the water in a triathlon.
The Duel: C.T. won three missions and landed in the top 2 seven times. In C.T.’s third season, he was the second best competitor behind Evan, who won six missions (but half of them were due to having the superior partner in Jodi in comparison to C.T. having Diem). Despite being a top 2 performer, C.T. got disqualified against Brad in the final male duel and didn’t make it into the post-season.
Gauntlet III: C.T. was co-captain of one of the most dominant regular season teams ever, the G3 Veterans. C.T. was either the best or second best athlete on the team (along with Evan, the other team captain). C.T.’s performance in Piñata Pit (which I delve into later) proved what a freak of nature of a competitor C.T. was.
Rivals: C.T. managed to win two missions and landed in the top three overall six times with an average partner (Adam). Rivals C.T. was the scariest. The whole season was based around J.E.K. and friends trying to take him out, because he was such a force to be reckoned with. C.T. lost right before the final because of Adam’s performance in the T-Bone elimination.
Exes: C.T. and Diem won two out of eight missions, only second to Bananas and Camila’s three. C.T. and Diem made the final, but got second place. C.T. and Diem had the lead the whole final, but C.T. collapsed moments before the finish line.
Dirty Thirty: C.T. was competing in his 11th season and still putting up the best scoring numbers in one of the toughest male casts ever assembled. C.T. won 6 missions. That’s the most out of all males on Dirty Thirty (Not a single other player won 5, Hunter won 4, Nelson and Leroy won 3, and the rest have 2 or less). C.T. made the final on D30, but got third place because his gas tank can’t keep up with the other two finalists.
C.T.’s ATG Physical Strength, Aggression, and Athleticism is the most lethal combination in Challenge history.
If the Challenge were to ever have a Madden-esque video game, C.T.’s player rating regarding his athleticism and strength would look something like: STR: 99. SPE: 99. AGI: 99. A prime C.T. was a cheat code. The Bananas Backpack moment attests to this. Below are some other missions and eliminations where C.T.’s strength and athleticism proved to us he was of a different breed.
In Piñata Pit (G3), players from both teams had to jump in a mud pit, retrieve a ball, and return it to the starting line. The mission was played in rounds. Each round, there were fewer balls than there were players. Players were getting eliminated round-by-round. The game of Piñata Pit came down to the two best players on each team, Veteran C.T. and Rookie Derek McCray. You’re probably reading this wondering who Derek McCray is. I don’t blame you. Let me give you some background information on him. The moment Derek M. first stepped into the Challenge, he was immediately viewed as a competition threat, even with no performance log to back for it. Derek M. came into the Gauntlet 3 with instant respect, based off the fact that he had been recruited by more than 200 colleges for his football talent. Considering Piñata Pit contained all the aspects of a game of football: running, tackling, stripping a ball away from an opponent, and taking it to the end zone, the average betting man would’ve bet on Derek to score and win it for the Rookies. Challenge fans, however, knew to bet differently. When the final round went underway, Derek reached the ball first, but C.T. was inches behind Derek as he gained possession of the ball. C.T. then proceeded to slam him to the ground effortlessly and Derek literally yelped as he was getting manhandled. C.T, with what looks like half an effort, popped the ball out of Derek’s arms and took it back to the end zone to win it for the Veterans. In Piñata Pit, C.T. basically took the manhood out of a Division 1 athlete.
In the T-Bone elimination (Rivals), C.T.’s “Choo! Choo!” train almost killed Johnny and Tyler. It’s the biggest near death experience in Challenge history. I have a theory: We haven’t seen C.T. in a physical combat elimination ever since for good reason. I’m positive that’s a calculated decision by the Challenge Gods, not one that’s left up to chance.
C.T. faced off against Leroy in Wrecking Wall (FA), an elimination where both players had to punch through a 30-foot dry wall to make holes to climb up until they were able to reach the bell at the top. First player to ring the bell won. Leroy is an elimination beast; he’s won 8 career eliminations because of his physical strength and athleticism alone. He was no match for C.T. though. Anyone who watched the Duel 2, knows C.T.’s punching power is nothing to be played with. His punching power knocked out a whole wall on that season.
In the Flying Leap mission (Duel), players, one at a time, had to jump back and forth from one end of a platform to another that was suspended from a crane 20 feet above water. Numerous flags were hanging from poles located on both sides of the platform. Players had to grab as many flags as possible within a three-minute time limit; Whoever collected the most flags won. C.T. won Flying Leap with flying colors. He was the only male to not land on his body when jumping or not use any running momentum to assist his jumping sequences. C.T. instead showed us his athletic prowess, by setting his feet, loading his hips, exploding and jumping across, landing on his feet every time. Everyone on the sidelines watched in awe. C.T. made it look like a walk in the park.
C.T.’s All-Time Great Intelligence.
C.T. is the perfect two-way player. He not only has the brawn, but he has the brain as well. His long history of solving puzzles makes him an ATG intelligent male player. Below are some of C.T.’s greatest moments in which he had to put his brain to work.
C.T. eliminated Evan in Ascender (Duel), an elimination game in which players had to climb up a rope, pull a handle at the top of the rope, to release a basket containing puzzle pieces. The players then had to climb back down the rope to assemble a tiling puzzle similar to a tangram. C.T versus Evan was the second last male elimination on the original Duel. Up to that point, Evan was the clear #1 best competitor of the season and C.T. was the second. The two best players were going mano a mano. Evan got raddled under the stage lights (got caught trying to cheat), and the brain of the cold blooded killer, C.T. solved the tangram with ease.
In the Rivals 2 final, C.T. completed the puzzle checkpoint in a flash that Johnny/Frank fell behind in. Upon seeing the puzzle, C.T. straightaway figured it out because the puzzle was one that he played when he was hungover at a breakfast country club.
In the Final Redemption Challenge on D30, players had to read a code that provided a combination to a lock that contained puzzle pieces. The first two players to retrieve and complete their puzzle would return to the game, while the rest were eliminated. C.T.’s competition in this challenge was Dario, Jordan, Leroy, and Bananas. C.T. was the first male to successfully figure out the code and complete his puzzle, and re-entered the game as a result.
C.T. eliminated Darrell in Knot So Fast (Invasion). It was the last champions elimination of the season. The grandest stage of them all was set and the two all-time great champions had to rely on their strategical intelligence to win this one. Darrell put up a good fighting effort in trying to undo C.T.’s knot, but it looked like a physically impossible task. It actually was. According to Darrell on Challenge Mania, C.T.’s knots were so tight that production had to cut them off with machetes after the elimination was over. C.T. broke the Knot So Fast elimination. That’s how intelligent C.T.’s strategy was. The elimination win versus Darrell gave C.T. a spot in the finals, where he faced off against underdogs Cory and Nelson, who were fifteen years younger and in the athletic prime of their lives. In the final challenge, C.T. still managed to acquire his second season win and proved to the rest of the Challenge world that the underdogs were no match for the champion of champions.
C.T. has the All-Time Greatest Eating Abilities.
Eating is such an important trait to have in the challenge. It’s often identified as the most difficult portion of the final challenge each season. Players hate it. We’ve actually seen players quit in the final before because they couldn’t stomach eating disgusting things. We’ve seen C.T. devour all types of disgusting things without looking fazed in the slightest, that makes you question whether or not he has taste buds.
Remember the pickled fish soup in the Rivals 2 final? C.T. drank his like he was chugging a beer, while everyone around him was vomiting all over the place. Wes couldn’t bother to even taste his drink, so C.T. chugged it down for him.
In the Exes 2 final, C.T. ate the deer head and sheep blood as if it was everyday dinner. When he finished his plate, C.T. decided to go for seconds and helped Diem finish up her plate as well.
C.T.’s eating abilities are inhumane. Not only is C.T. known for downing disgusting foods in final challenges as if it were nothing, but he’s also known for winning regular season competitions where you had to eat a ridiculous amount of food (Toss Your Cookies v. Shane, eating the entire birthday cake on Race to the Altar in Exes).
C.T.’s first championship and third championships (Rivals II and WOTWII) were social-political clinics.
C.T. played his first eight seasons without winning the big one. It wasn’t until Rivals II, his ninth season, where he finally got his first challenge gold medal. As usual, C.T. crushed it on the field, but off the field, in the Challenge house, he played one of the best political-social games I had ever seen. On Rivals II, the opposite sex had control over the votes on male elimination days. C.T. was wooing all the girls, and they thought they were going to be apart of the next love big story on the Challenge. C.T. was never voted in because at least one player within four of the female teams had a fling with C.T. or were falling heads over heel for him on Rivals 2 (Anastasia, Cooke, Diem, and Nany).
On War of the Worlds II, C.T. was a member of the U.K. Team. He was apart of Cara’s Cult/The Royal Family. The physical shape C.T. was in this season was his worst ever, so him not ever being considered for elimination by his own team is mind blogging. C.T.’s social game was on a whole another level this season. My favorite C.T. moment on WOTWII is when he turncoats on Cara’s Cult right before the final and saves Tori from elimination to strengthen U.K.’s team for the final. C.T.’s political-social finesse on WOTWII rightfully earned him his third championship.
C.T.’s social-political skill, in general, deserves more recognition. Every time I hear people talk about C.T.’s eliteness, people only bring up the competition juggernaut and not the social-political mightiness he’s established over the course of his sixteen season career.
C.T. has only done three less seasons than Johnny Bananas, but he’s been in 11 less eliminations. Other than the first Rivals, I don’t recall there being a time where he wasn’t at the top of social structures. He has a whole catalogue of seasons where he was either pulling strings from the top or aligning with the biggest playmakers that were ones doing the pulling (i.e: Inferno 2 – CT was in a four person alliance with Derrick/Brad/Darrell where there duties were to not nominate each other in the inferno selections; The Duel – CT/Evan/Derrick/Brad each were paired with the best athletic girls and controlled the chain selections; Exes 2 – in an alliance with Mark/Robin, Johnny/Camila, and DunbaPaula that ran the game till the very end).
C.T. made history twice on Invasion and War of the Worlds II.
C.T. won his second championship 22 seasons after his rookie season. He debuted on the original Inferno, which took place in 2004, and won Invasion of the Champions in 2017. That’s a span of 13 years. C.T.’s Invasion win broke the previous record of the longest span between a rookie debut and championship win, that was held by Johnny Bananas. J.B. won his sixth championship 16 seasons after his rookie season. He debuted on the original Duel, which aired in 2006, and won Rivals 3 in 2016 (a 10 year span).
C.T.’s new breaking record was broken again by none other than C.T, just a few seasons later. C.T. won War of the Worlds 2, which took place 27 seasons after the Inferno, and 15 years later.
C.T.’s Overall Assessment.
If you read up until this point, I’m guessing a lot of you probably refuse to agree with my opinion of C.T. being the fourth greatest male challenger ever. Here’s my argument: C.T. is the greatest Challenge talent ever, but he doesn’t have the greatest legacy. Like mentioned earlier, he’s the Peyton Manning of the Challenge and I don’t consider Peyton Manning the #1 G.O.A.T. of Football (Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, and Tom Brady fit that bill better). In my eyes, Bananas, Jordan, and Landon are those three guys. The combination of their talent, winning percentage, and accomplishments fair just slightly better than C.T’s.
C.T. has just three championships in a sixteen season career. The rest of my top three have won just as much in a lot lesser time (Jordan, Landon) or doubled his wins in the same type of lengthy career (Bananas). C.T.’s temper and poor decision making tossed three years of his absolute prime down the drain (Inferno III, Gauntlet III, Duel II) and his inability to perform in the clutch tossed another year (Exes). That’s five seasons where the ultimate competitor, C.T., missed out on championships.
On the Inferno III, C.T. is cast on the Bad Asses; He was the best player on the cast, but he gets sent home the first night in South Africa because he punches Davis. C.T. would’ve been a lock for the final this season, he threw another potential championship out the window.
In the Gauntlet 3 final challenge, Big Easy cost C.T. and all the other final remaining veterans a championship win. You’re probably confused as to how this is C.T.’s fault, but he actually had a major hand in letting Big Easy ride to the final. If you go back to the first gauntlet deliberation where Johnny got sent in against Evan, Johnny plead to the rest of the Veteran males that Big Easy should have to go in, because he was going to lose them a final. C.T., who was the leader of the team, didn’t buy into Johnny’s plea; He had personal dislike towards Johnny and his reason for not throwing Big Easy in was because he loved partying with him. What’s the logic in that? C.T., the whole season was preaching about “trimming the fat” (getting rid of the girls on their team) and never worrying about Easy once was a horrific example of how to play a winning game. Prime C.T. was always finding a way to be the author of his own demise.
On the Duel 2, C.T. went into cannibalism mode. C.T. would’ve legitimately smashed Adam’s head and ate Adam’s head if it wasn’t for like thirty cast and production crew members successfully capturing him (and then tranquilizing him and putting him in his cage). There’s no guaranteeing C.T. would’ve won the D2, since the top crop of males this season was stacked. But this is an absolute peak C.T. we’re talking about, who’s in contention for the best men’s competitor all-time, so a championship victory is never out of the question.
In the Exes final, C.T./Diem lead the whole way until the final run up the mountain. Right before the finish line, C.T.’s tank ran out of gas (mirroring Peyton’s ability to choke in the playoffs) and he delayed winning his first championship for even longer.
C.T.’s competitive abilities (ATG physical strength, aggression, athleticism, intelligence, and eating) and his championship success in his career’s second half are sufficient enough to get him into the Challenge Mount Rushmore, but the four seasons he tossed down the drain in the first half of his career are a little too detrimental to have him in the top trinity. I think about it like this: Would I consider drafting Prime C.T. (Inferno - Free Agents) as my first pick when constructing a team in an-all time draft? Nope. He, was easily #1 in terms of competitive talent, but he was a complete hothead with bad decision making and only won one championship in ten seasons. Would I consider drafting Dadbod C.T. (Invasion - Total Madness) number one? Not at all. He’s won two championships in six seasons, with a phenomenal social-political game, but his competitive abilities are half of what they were before. Every version of C.T. comes with a small albatross that keeps him from having top three legacy.
Welcome to Gettysburg (Day One)
Day Two Here Day Three Here submitted by mcjunker to TheMotte [link] [comments]
Gettysburg is by far my favorite battle of all time.
First, it is an all-American battle in an all-American war, and myself being an old school nationalist it carries significance that other battles simply don’t; I may find Austerlitz or Stalingrad nifty, but nobody there was my people.
More, it was an extraordinarily clean fight. At any point, a soldier on either side could hurl down their rifle and grab some sky and be reasonably assured of having their surrender accepted without reservation, and for that matter their captor could rely on their new POWs to trudge back to the rear under light guard in good faith. Even though much of the fighting took place in an urban environment with embedded civilians, only one civilian died in the fighting. Let me tell you, the more military history you read up on, the clearer it is that massacring civilians before, during, and after a rough fight is par for the course. One might even say that butchering unarmed men, women and children of the enemy tribe is the de facto
military objective more than half the time; it might be some weird, half instinctual, proto-game theory going on: “We told them to surrender or else. They didn’t surrender, we won anyway, and now there’s gotta be an ‘or else’ to persuade the next batch of holdouts that we mean business.” In the long run, butchering the first village usually made it morelikely the next three villages would get the message and surrender without a fight, saving the invaders men, materiel, and time. Or perhaps it’s that killing civilians has always been pure bloody-mindedness. But not at Gettysburg. Gettysburg is where the American platonic ideal of soldiers fighting soldiers and leaving the civilians be actually happened.
Another aspect to the battle that fascinates me is how utterly unplanned it was. Neither army had intended to fight there, and between the scale of the brawl, the rapidity of developments, the intransigence of their subordinates, and the communications lag, neither the Confederate general Lee nor the Union general Meade had a grip on the situation at all until the second day of the battle, and neither could enact their ideal plans until the third day. It was something of a clusterfuck for both sides, and the course of the battle depended on the initiative and guts of small unit commanders with little idea of what the big picture was.
Gettysburg tends to be remembered as the turning point in the war, when it stopped being a gallant passage at arms between roughly equal powers and started being a slow, painful inevitable grind towards Union victory. This is not exactly accurate; only with years of hindsight could anybody construct a narrative that framed this fight as the turning point, for at the time Gettysburg was seen as just another grisly slaughter yard in a long series of them. Still, between this fight and the conquest of Vicksburg out west, this does appear in hindsight to be the high watermark in terms of Confederate progress towards successful seccession. Certainly it was the last time any Confederate army went on the strategic offensive. For diehard secessionists (both during the war and in the years after), this was the last hurrah before the war started being truly hopeless.
It is also, I should mention, a place of spiritual significance for me. Myself being secular humanist with a vaccination against Protestantism from my younger days, I don’t have much in the way of codified religion. But when I was a youngin’ visiting relatives out east, I got to visit the battlefield. I found myself standing in front of a monument on the field on the north end of Herbst Wood (where the right flank of Iron Brigade stood and charged on the first day of the battle). It described how a Michigan regiment of about a thousand men stood on that spot and suffered two thirds casualties over the course of the day. I read the details on the monument, and stared up at the mustachioed rifleman staring defiantly to the west.
Looking left and right, I saw more monuments every fifty yards or so in a straightish line, spreading out to mark where a human line had once stood and bled. And I turned my back on the monuments to face away, and behold, I saw an opposing line of Confederate monuments stretched out horizon to horizon about a hundred yards away. Two lines, violently opposed but unmoving; courage and horror frozen into place forever. And the world there seemed very big, and very grand, and I felt very small and unworthy. The air was at once colder and hotter than any air I’d ever felt. The wind cut through my clothing and reminded me that flesh was mortal but spirit was eternal. This was holy ground, soil consecrated by blood. Shi’ite Muslims have Karbala. Catholics have the Road to Calvary. Australian aboriginals have Uluru. I have Gettysburg.
A brief note- I will be including maps periodically to show the progression of the fighting. These maps must be taken with a grain or three of salt. They are intended to show relations between the armies and the terrain, not to mark the exact positions or dispositions of the units, nor to show an exact proportion of numbers involved. This is because I am not an expert mapmaker, and I thank you in advance for your understanding. First, a map of the northern part of the battlefield.
Note how many roads lead there, and note the high ground of Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill to the south of the town.
The Battle of Gettysburg happened because Lee needed to go on the offensive, and Lee needed to go on the offensive because of the big picture. I shall cover the broad outline just so the significance doesn’t pass anybody by.
The Confederacy in the Spring of 1863 was in a terrible dilemma. The leadership had two urgent problems, either one of which could (if unaddressed) destroy their enterprise, and to make things worse they didn’t have the resources to solve either of them alone without a miracle.
One, the Union was fixing to shove yet another army down Richmond’s throat. Two years of failed invasions into Virginia had been brutal to both sides, but the North had immense reserves of cash, food, industrial output, and manpower with which to replenish themselves, and the South simply didn’t. The Army of Northern Virginia on which every invasion thus far had broken was underarmed, underfed, and undermanned, and if these issues were not fixed then they’d be seeing Union soldiers in the Confederate capitol before Autumn. There had already been a push that year, which Lee had staved off at Chancellorsville. There was plenty of time left before winter for a second attack.
And two, Vicksburg, the railway hub that sat on the Mississippi River, was under dire threat. The Union had already grabbed New Orleans at the south end and pushed north up the river, and had been pushing south down the river since day one of the war, but Vicksburg prevented the whole river from falling in to Union hands. Vicksburg alone let the South shift resources and information from its Western half to its Eastern half. Losing it could be a death blow. The garrison of Vicksburg was also
underarmed, underfed, and undermanned.
The fresh crops taken off the farm and the fresh host of new recruits also taken off the farm were middling at best. Even throwing all the resources they had at either problem and letting the other develop as it would might mean losing on both fronts. Splitting the resources in half to prop up both didn’t seem promising either. Lee, being something of a strategist, developed a third option. There was no point (he reasoned) in trying to prop up Vicksburg at this point- it would take weeks to shift reinforcements that far west, and by then it would be midsummer. If the siege lasted that long, either the garrison would fold or disease would rip through the Yankee army and drive it back home, as it had the last two years running. In either scenario, further support would affect nothing. Therefore, he proposed a bold plan- don’t sit around waiting to get hit in the face. Invade north. Take the fight onto their
The more the Confederate leadership considered it, the better it sounded. Northern land hadn’t been ravaged like Virginia had- it would be easy to live off of the enemy’s food for once, thus lessening the headache of their constant supply problems. It was also an election year, and the anti-war Democrats were raging at the ocean of blood and gold being wasted on bringing States back into the fold who very clearly wanted to go their own way. One good, solid victory on Northern soil could tip the balance, drive home the point that that war was unwinnable. Get the Black Republican warmonger Lincoln kicked out of the White House, get a reasonable Democrat in, and next year they just might get a negotiated peace that would lead in time to true and recognized independence.
To which end-
Lee snaked his newly reinforced army of about 75,000 men up through the Shenandoah Valley, using the mountain range to mask his movements instead of using to well-worn direct route that the Union was camped on. He would end up north
of the bulk of the Army of the Potomac, simultaneously threatening Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which for a guy trying to score a symbolic victory to discourage the enemy voters put him in a pretty nice spot.
Lincoln freaked out, told Hooker and his Army of the Potomac to go out and beat Lee, to utterly destroy his army, and also not leave any weak point undefended, which are just the kind of orders one enjoys receiving. Hooker, having a bit of an ego and a poor history of getting his ass kicked by Lee, got into a feud with Lincoln’s advisors and impulsively offered his resignation as Commander of the Army of the Potomac following some stupid spat with the bean counters back in Washington. Lincoln called his bluff and fired him three days before the battle, putting General Meade in charge of the whole damn army with almost no prep time.
I should cut the narrative here to cast moral aspersions right quick. The Union were the good guys, and the Confederates were the villains. That said, the North made for really terrible heroes, and the South had more than its fair share of virtues. This was not a grand crusade of freedom-loving Yankees tearing down the moral abomination of human bondage. This was a brutal, no holds barred death struggle between the efficient new urban Industrial Revolution and the rural Cavalier latifundias
. Only a smallish segment of New England Puritans and bleeding heart Quakers hated slavery on moral grounds- the rest of the North either hated it on financial grounds, didn’t give a fuck one way or another, or were actively supporting racial slavery. And on the flip side, most Southerners who fought in the war perceived quite accurately that outsiders were coming into their world to demand submission, and had decided to give these invaders the William Wallace treatment. This is a normal and admirable response that every healthy society should have in its toolbox, and in my not-even-slightly humble opinion it is a damn shame that so many people endured so much agony in support of so un-American a cause.
For you see, when Lee’s army reached Pennsylvania, they kidnapped every black person they could find, free or not, and sent them all south in chains. There was no attempt to ascertain their status by some legal due process, no splitting of hairs. The bare skeleton of Confederate ideology, the great Truth that would have snuffed out by continued political loyalty to the Union, had been that all men were not created equal. To be more precise, men had white skin, and anyone with black skin was not a man and did not have the rights of man. As such, anyone with black skin was to be sold into slavery and threatened with torture and death if they refused to labor in the cotton fields. The army that invaded the North was, in practice, the biggest slave-hunting gang that had ever set foot on American soil.
The side wearing grey were staunch defenders of a country based on the Ideal of Ethnic Supremacy, and the side wearing blue were fighting for a country based on the Ideal of Equality. There were a million nagging features of material reality in the South and the North that challenged both of these Ideals, but there were no Ideals to challenge these Ideals, save only for each other. We know that this is true, because as the war shifted away from a Federal attempt to rein in wayward states to an all out assault on the institution of slavery, more and more Northerners balked at the idea of dying to set niggers free; men who had fought for years to bring the rebels into the fold again threw down their rifles and went home in disgust after they heard of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as it became clearer that poor whites who never owned slaves were expected to die for plantation owners’ right to stay rich, fewer and fewer Southerners were willing to jump into the meat grinder feet first; many of them
deserted to go home and form Unionist bushwhacker gangs instead. Speaking of the draft, a higher percentage of southerners dodged the Confederate draft than in Vietnam, yet Vietnam is remembered as a deeply unpopular war while the Lost Cause has painted the South as a unified bloc striving as one against the Yankee oppressor.
Also, the Confederacy had a draft imposed upon the states by its federal government. So, yeah, State's Rights. Tell me how that worked out.
To reiterate. Both sides are not the same. We are rooting for the Union. Slavery. Etc.
The two armies surged northward, on parallel tracks with Lee on the west side of the Appalachians and Meade on the east side. Being critically low on recon drones and spy satellites, the only ways to find the enemy army was to send guys out on horseback to physically look at them before riding back, and to talk to locals whether they’d seen anyone wearing the other team’s uniform recently. Clouds of skirmishers, cavalrymen, and small detachments of infantrymen from either side scattered themselves in all directions, straining to catch a glimpse of the other army. The first side to locate the enemy, amass sufficient force, and maneuver against them would probably win, without regard for right or wrong.
———————————————————————— JULY 1st, 1863 Early Morning
General John Buford had a 2,500 strong brigade of cavalrymen patrolling southern Pennsylvania, being one of dozens of detachments sent out to find the enemy army. Using human intelligence from locals in Gettysburg, he learned that there was a column of rebel infantry marching down the Chambersburg Pike.
And indeed there was. Advance scouts from Buford’s brigade made visual contact with a column marching south towards Gettysburg. The ball was now rolling.
The story goes that the Confederates were looking for new shoes and heard that there was a stockpile in Gettysburg. As far as I can tell, this is a baseless legend- inspired by the true fact that the rebel army didn’t have enough shoes, but baseless nonetheless. The three Confederate commanders marching towards Gettysburg (Archer and Davis with a brigade apiece and Heth as division commander coordinating them), were simply doing what their counterpart was doing- reconnaissance in force, hoping to develop a lead for the rest of the army to follow. 7,000 infantry under Archer and Davis were about to pick a fight with 2,500 cavalrymen under Buford. The currents of this morning fight would provide the grooves for the next three days to follow.
Buford’s men fought as dragoons; the horse let you scoot around to where you need to go, but you got off it and fought on foot. They Union cavalry broke into tiny little four man teams to bloody the approaching Confederates’ noses. The terrain was a bushwhacker’s paradise- plenty of rocks and trees to hide behind, and plenty of low, rolling hills to speed off behind to break line of sight. One man would hold the horses while the other three crouch-ran forward under cover to pop off rounds into the enemy column from the sides of the road. When the enemy infantry redeployed from a fast moving but harmless column formation into a slow moving but dangerous line, the three shooters would run back to their buddy to mount up and retreat to a new position.
The cavalrymen were outnumbered nearly three to one, and their carbines had less range and power than the rebel rifles; then again, the terrain was working for them and their breechloading carbines could shoot much faster than the enemy’s muzzleloading long rifles. It was very close to being an fair fight, as long as the cavalry could stay mobile and keep their distance.
Buford and Heth both had unclear, contradictory orders- “Push forward aggressively to locate the enemy, but do not enter into a general engagement until we know what we’re up against.” It was an order that must have made sense in the tent when Lee and Meade sent their own versions off. You wouldn’t want to force a battle until you knew the enemy’s location and disposition and the terrain you were going to be standing on, any more than you’d want bet it all on a poker hand before looking at your cards. But to the guys on the front line, it meant “charge forward, but do not charge forward. Attack, but do not engage. Show some initiative, but don’t pick a real fight.” Heth decided they were up against a skeleton crew of skirmishers, and he had orders to check out Gettysburg. He send riders back with a quick report and a request for reinforcements. Buford decided that if the whole damn rebel army was heading his way, he needed to delay their advance for as many hours as he could to give the rest of the Union army time to get to Gettysburg- the high ground south of the town looked like ideal terrain to fight from and he wanted his buddies to get there before the rebels. He too sent riders back with calls for help.
And meanwhile, the murderous, hazardous stalking of the rebel column continued as it trudged towards Gettysburg. Meanwhile, in the Rear with the Gear
Imagine running a marathon- 26 miles and a bit from start to finish. That’s how spread out a Civil War army is, from vanguard to rear guard. You can’t really concentrate 75,000-100,000 people together that closely. Disease starts killing people off really fast, feeding everyone is a headache, and if you have to march out, the lead element will march all day before stopping for the night, while the rear element hasn’t even left camp yet. It’s unwieldy. So they all spread out to grab some real estate and forage easier and not choke on each others’ dust and crap.
The riders from the Chambersburg Pike were spreading the word through the marathon length of the armies. Units were halting, turning around. Captains and colonels and generals were consulting maps to figure out what roads to take to get south or north to Gettysburg from where they were now. Regiments were putting their heads to together to figure out whose company oughtta go in what order.
The movements were slow and and ungainly and awkward, but they were starting up. Mid Morning to Noon
The rolling hills on either side of the Chambersburg Pike stopped at McPherson’s Ridge, a grand place to make a stand- plenty of cover, steep incline. In any case, there wasn’t much further to retreat to. Archer and David pushed the cavalrymen, Archer on the south side of the road and Davis on the north. Thoroughly annoyed infantrymen backed up on the Pike behind them, eager to get at the enemy but without frontage to occupy. Buford dug in on McPherson’s Ridge, and the full force of Heth’s division slammed into him.
Denied their mobility by the necessity of holding territory, the fair fight turned into a meat grinder for the dismounted cavalrymen. When Confederate artillery set up on Herr’s Ridge, it turned into a bloodbath.
Buford, at last, got in contact with somebody who outranked him. General John Reynolds, second in command of the whole Union army, rode ahead of his division to get eyes on the situation.
The two struck a deal in the middle of a firefight. Buford promised to hold to the last man, and Reynolds promised to reinforce him. It was an exercise in trust; if Buford’s men held firm and Reynolds let them down, they’d be swamped and slaughtered to a man, and if Buford’s detachment broke and scattered, Reynolds’ reinforcements would march directly into a line of hills held by an entrenched enemy force of equal size. Failure on either side would be fatal. Reynolds rode south again, leaving Buford and his dwindling cavalrymen to fend off 10% of the Confederate army all alone.
Meanwhile, Buford’s thin line was cracking. Outnumbered, outgunned, and unable to advance or retreat... That which was inevitable to start with was happening now. Davis’ brigade was pressing against Oak Ridge on the Union right, and Archer's was taking Herbst Woods tree by tree. Buford’s men were giving ground they couldn’t afford to lose. Confederate artillery was blasting giant holes in the ranks of the defenders. That’s when the relief came- two fresh brigades of infantry coming up the Emmitsburg road, under generals Cutler and Meredith.
Cutler got there first, taking up positions on Oak Ridge and straddling either side of the Pike with cannons. Their massive volleys disrupted Confederate momentum and silenced some of the rebels’ big guns as everyone scrambled for cover. Grateful and exhausted cavalrymen sidled off to the flanks to safety. Meredith’s brigade is still lagging behind- that’s the problem with columns, only the guys in front can do anything.
If Buford and Reynolds expected everything to be right in the world once reinforcements arrived, they were very much mistaken. Those men out there attacking up Oak Ridge were some of the finest infantrymen in the world- dedicated, disciplined, contemptuous of death. They did not stop being efficient killers just because they now fought peers instead of the hornet-like cavalry skirmishers. Cutler’s brigade was facing a small tidal wave of battle-maddened Southern veterans, and had no time to dig in and situate themselves before the moment of impact. Davis’ men ripped into them like a pack of starving wolves. Cutler’s men fell back to safety on the top of Oak Ridge. In pieces.
Meanwhile, Meredith’s brigade was finally in position to retake Herbst Woods on the south side of the road.
Now, Meredith’s brigade were the absolute elite of the Union army. They were the grizzled veterans, the old crew, the best drilled, the most experienced, the hardest of the hard. They were nicknamed the Iron Brigade, and the Black Hat Brigade, because they were authorized to wear dashing black foraging caps to signify their status as the best of the best. With their comrades north of the road falling back, it was imperative that the Black Hat Brigade protect their left flank. To which end, Reynolds frantically snapped orders for them to line up and charge Archer’s men who were occupying Herbst Wood.
Their charge was met by a storm of musket fire that churned the Iron ranks into blood and guts. But this was the Black Hat Brigade. For them, taking ten percent casualties in a single minute was just another Tuesday. They got in close to the rebel line to return the volleys with a vengeance, and then charged with the bayonet. Archer’s men saw the distinctive black hats come for them through the musket-smoke. For the first time, they realized that these were no mere cavalry skirmishers, no half-assed militia company facing them. The best of the best of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them at terrifyingly close range. Archer’s men cracked and scattered. The ones who stood firm, died. The ones who threw down their rifles and grabbed sky were allowed to live as prisoners. The ones who ran, lived, but found the Iron Brigade hot on their heels. Meredith’s elites carved through Archer’s brigade like it wasn’t even there.
Reynolds was a good leader. A great one, in fact. He was decisive, experienced, competent. Many thought he should have gotten command instead of Meade. As his men retook Herbst Wood, he turned behind him to check on how close reinforcements were, some rebel rifleman did his cause a world of good, and shot Reynolds in the back of the head. Now the situation got pretty weird- Davis’ brigade had kicked the shit out of Cutler’s brigade and was pursuing them on the north side of the road, and the Iron Brigade had kicked the shit out of Archer’s brigade and was pursuing them on the south side of the road. Neither victor was aware of what had happened across from them, and soon enough they would pass each other by almost touching the edges of their lines. The first one to figure out what was happening would get to win.
As it so happened, General Doubleday (in command now that Reynolds was dead) saw the danger and the opportunity first. He broke off an Iron regiment from his reserve to swoop in and protect the flank just in time, setting them up in a defensive stance facing the road. That regiment was joined by another broken off from the Iron assault, and yet another from Cutler’s brigade, who had seen the maneuvering and joined in on its own initiative. It was like a ballet, all three regiments coalescing into a single front facing north across the road, as though they’d spent the last week rehearsing. Under their protection, the rest of the Black Hats gave chase to their prey.
When Davis finally turned and attacked, they were chopped down by a mass of highly accurate fire from the newly entrenched men. Confederates died by the dozens and were maimed by the score. As they reloaded, the Black Hats were astonished to find that the whole Confederate brigade vanish into thin air, like magic. The firing stopped; no more targets. It was bizarre.
The three regiments advanced cautiously. And were gutted by a close range surprise volley by the hidden Confederates as they tried to scale the fences on either side of the Pike.
It turns out that there was a cut in the side of road, deep enough for a man to jump down into with only his head able to peek out. Davis’ men had leapt into it as a source cover when the firefight started and found it was a grand place to shoot out of. But it was also a death trap. Once the Union regiments figured it out, they got in close enough to fire blindly down at point blank range into the milling mass of men. Davis’ men surrendered, thousands of them all at once. Unable to move, unable shoot back, it was really the only choice.
And with that, the first round of Gettysburg was over. Oak Ridge and Herbst Wood had held, and about 150,000 odd soldiers were converging on Gettysburg to shift the tide of war this way and that. AFTERNOON
The rest of the first day was not free of drama, and heroics, and mass suffering. But it was free of surprises. The iron laws of physics had decreed that more Confederate units would be on hand for the fighting in the afternoon, and so it was. Fresh rebel troops swept down from the north and from the west, relieving their exhausted comrades and preparing themselves to assault Oak Ridge and Herbst Woods. Fresh Union troops arrived from the south to reinforce what they had and to extend their line out east, protecting their right flank and screening off the town itself.
Hours passed without a shot being fired. Everybody was reorganizing themselves, resupplying, carting the wounded to the rear to let the surgeons saw their shattered limbs off. Two small things happened that delivered a Confederate victory on day one, and a Union victory on day three. Union General Barlow pushed his brigade out to occupy Blocher's hill, and Union General Steinwehr plopped two of his brigades on top of Cemetery Hill. The first created a huge gap in the Union right, and the second secured the invaluable high ground for the rest of the battle.
Meanwhile, three Confederate divisions set themselves up for a concerted attack- Heth would press into Herbst Wood on the Union left, Rodes would assault Oak Ridge at the center, and Early would swoop down the Harrisburg road to threaten the Union right. When the big push came at around 2 p.m.
, it was badly organized and mismanaged. Southern commanders couldn't get it together and attack at the same time. Individual units charged at Oak Ridge alone, like a mob of Hollywood henchmen attacking the hero only to be smacked around one by one. Cutler's men didn't just fight them off; it was closer to mass murder. General O'Neal's brigade swooped down off of Oak Hill only to be cut down by musketry and cannon fire, and they did it without O'Neal, because O'Neal stayed in the rear while his men died. When O'Neal's brigade fell back having suffered heavy losses, Cutler shifted his men to greet the new threat from Iverson's brigade, who also charged without their commander. Iverson's men marched in parade perfect order across open ground, without so much as a molehill for cover. The story goes that during the assault, Iverson looked out from safety and saw half his men lying down on the ground. Iverson was pissed off because he thought his men were surrendering. In fact, he was watching his brigade die in droves.
The issue wasn't morale. The Confederate troops were eager to get at the enemy. The problem was purely organizational in nature. The men in charge of telling people what to do were simply too confused and disoriented to work out the solution in real time. While O’Neal and Iverson were getting bloodied, Barlow’s men on Blocher Hill were getting slaughtered. Barlow’s desire to hold the high ground on the defense was understandable- high ground being a grand place to fight from- but he was about one mile ahead of any friendly units. This meant that it was trivially easy to flank and destroy his brigades.
Georgia men under generals Early and Rodes linked up to flank and destroy Barlow’s isolated brigades. A thick stream of filthy, bloody, and terrified Union men flowed back to the town of Gettysburg, leaving a gaping hole in the Union line and spreading their panic like the plague. Victorious Confederates whooped and hollered. As the men to the north of town trade massacres- the failed assault on Oak Ridge being roughly balanced by the disastrous dissolution of Barlow’s brigades- Heth finally attacked the Iron Brigade still occupying Herbst Wood in the west. He’d been delaying it all afternoon, stymied by the contradictory orders from Lee. Lee, who was several miles away and not at all in touch with the situation, still wanted to avoid a general engagement. But now, Heth has been let off the chain to avenge Archer’s brigade.
Heth’s full division attacked Herbst Wood. It was a slow, hot, gory fight. The attacking rebels are aggressive, but also methodical and well-organized. The Black Hats made them pay for every tree they seized. But there’s only one outcome for a fight like this.
The Iron Brigade has the ghastly honor of having the highest casualty ratio of any Civil War brigade, North or South. Out of the 1,885 men in their ranks that morning, 1,153 (61%) were be dead or maimed by nightfall on the first day. The fates of individual units from within the brigade are even more gruesome- in the 2nd Wisconsin regiment, 397 out of 496 (80%) were killed or wounded. But despite the horrific losses, they didn’t break. They gave ground slowly and in good order, but they gave ground nonetheless. Iron does not break, but it does bend. By late afternoon, the dominoes fell as they were always going to.
With the debacle at Blocher’s Knoll, any hope the Union had to hold the right was lost. The Black Hats were being ground into sawdust on the left. And Rodes has finally gotten his brigades to charge at the same time, overwhelming Cutler’s defense.
Every Union man was running now, some in a blind panic, some withdrawing in good order like professionals.
The open field battle turned into urban warfare as the Confederates chased the Union army through the streets of Gettysburg. Companies blocked the streets to hold off the enemy advance long enough for the comrades to scamper. Marksmen played sniper games in the windows, either shooting men in the back as they ran away or ambushing overly aggressive platoons, depending on the color of their uniform.
The Union men were desperate to reach Cemetery Hill, south of the town. High ground and the reinforcements already stationed there promised safety. The Confederates were just as desperate to catch them first and seize that invaluable terrain for themselves. Nightfall
A great deal of “woulda coulda shoulda” ink has been spilled over the orders that Lee gave to General Ewell, the man in charge of Rodes and Early: “Take Cemetery Hill if practical”. But Ewell saw two brigades with a lot
of artillery standing on top of what appeared to be a natural fortress designed by God to repel infantry, and his men were exhausted to boot. Ewell decided it was not practical, and so did not try. Just one of those things, I expect.
In any case, the day was a Confederate victory. Every spot on the map the Confederate troops wanted to go, they had went. They had crushed all resistance, had even gone toe to toe with the cream of the Army of the Potomac and won. Their enemies were in flight before them.
There was, possibly, a certain amount of disquiet because the enemy had merely been driven from one ridge into another ridge, one even steeper and with more cover than the last. And rumor had it the rest of the Army of the Potomac was coming at them.
But that was a problem for the next day.
The Losers of the Red Bull Junior Team - Part 3 - /r/Formula1 Editorial Team
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The Losers of the Red Bull Junior Team - Part 3: The Vettel Age (2007-2009) by TheStateOfIt In case you missed it:
Sebastian Vettel was the driver of the Red Bull Junior Team. Others that entered F1 in Red Bull’s name before him had been hit or miss. Christian Klien was a distant second fiddle to David Coulthard, Vitantonio Liuzzi was just there, Scott Speed had his notorious temper and the less said about Robert Doornbos, the better. But Vettel was the driver that made everyone believe in Marko. We all know his heroics in Toro Rosso in 2008 and becoming a title challenger in 2009, but even his rookie year impressed many. A point on debut as a last-minute replacement for Robert Kubica, his fourth place in China and even threatening for the win at Fuji.
Everyone started to believe in the Red Bull programme at this time. If such a star like Vettel could come from this academy, who’s to say there can’t be more?
I bet the rest of these hopefuls thought so too.
The Vettel Age (2007-2009) Pedro Bianchini (BRA) - 2007 - Formula BMW
If life was fair, Bianchini wouldn’t be on this list. The list of Red Bull Junior drivers says he joined in 2007, but he was on Red Bull’s watchlist for a much longer time. In fact, in his karting days, he made an appearance on Brazillian late-night television decked out in full Red Bull gear. In any other timeline, this would be a relic for many an F1 fan, watching a current driver gain national attention at his infancy.
Not in this timeline, though. In one of his first tests in Formula BMW, he got caught up in a major accident that broke his fibula and sidelined him for the first bit of the season. With minimal testing, missed races, and a still healing injury, Bianchini struggled and performed well below expectations. Naturally, the results-hungry Marko monster’s appetite wasn’t whetted, and threw the poor kid out of the programme. He left full-time motorsport after another unsuccessful season in Formula BMW, though he still races karts on the rare occasion.
He now works as a sales coordinator for some company called Fibrafix, thanks to some LinkedIn and Facebook diving. Once again, it’s not stalking if it’s research.
Kevin Mirocha (GEPOL) - 2007 - Formula BMW
Mirocha suffered a similar fate as Bianchini, being dropped after a single season in Formula BMW with average-ish results, the most being a podium at Silverstone. However, there was no broken fibula to blame. The Polish-German driver was just above-average, but once again, Marko’s theory of development is not improving above-average drivers to the top of the table, but rather that all his drivers should already be at peak performance.
After being kicked out of Red Bull, his move to F3 the year after showed a hint of promise, but joining HBR Racing in the following year’s Euroseries proved to be a massive mistake as the whole team collapsed mid-season, taking Mirocha with them into the pit of uncertainty. Despite that, he found minor redemption in the 2010 Formula Renault NEC Championship, winning a race in a part-time drive. This made him a surprise call-up to GP2 in 2011 for Ocean Racing Technology, however that drive was short-lived. Scoring zero points, he was dumped mid-season for a fellow Red Bull dropout, Brendon Hartley.
His final showing was a much more successful season in Palmer Formula Two (to differentiate it from current Formula Two), even winning a race, but as the series died a quiet death, so did Mirocha’s racing career. A peek at his Instagram indicated he took up automobile photography and the like. That was over three years ago, though, so lord knows what’s happening with him now.
Daniel Morad (CAN) - 2007 - Formula BMW
I can tell you, with 95% confidence, that if you’ve seen a go-kart crash on YouTube before, you’ve seen Daniel Morad. I know you’ve seen Daniel Morad, even if you yourself didn’t know it was him. Y’all remember this incident, right? It’s literally on every ‘celebrates too early’ clickbait compilation on YouTube.
And that guy is Daniel Morad.
Morad, however, is much more than a karting mishap. Under Red Bull, he was the 2007 Formula BMW USA Champion. All good, right? He was immediately dumped by Red Bull.
Morad has no idea why. Compatriot Robert Wickens was also under the Red Bull Junior Team when he won the Formula BMW USA Championship just a year prior. He got chances in Formula Atlantic, Formula Renault, Formula 3, A1GP and Palmer Formula Two under Red Bull’s employ. Morad got a one-line email saying he was out of the programme.
He was able to make it to A1GP at least, but with Team Canada out of the series, he exploited his Lebanese heritage to race for constant backmarkers Team Lebanon. In the final season of the series, Morad did the team a favour by scoring their first ever points finish in the entire series.
His next career move to GP3 wasn’t as fruitful, but he did get lucky with the reversed-grid system to take a victory in the Silverstone sprint race. That year was also the same year where he won the Rotax Max Challenge, which was the race of THAT incident. For the past decade, though, he’s moved on from hands-free go-karting to sportscars, finding some success in GT3 cars in IMSA’s endurance series, winning the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the GTD class. Nowadays he’s also a Twitch streamer as well, making appearances in several iRacing events alongside the best of the best.
Tom Dillmann (FRA) - 2007-2008 - Formula Three
Yep, I consider him a failure of Red Bull’s Junior Team, despite his appearances in Formula E. Dropped right from Red Bull after a disappointing start to his Formula 3 Euro Series campaign, Dillmann’s career never settled at all after that, hopping from team to team, series to series, category to category for nearly every year after. As much as motorsport is about breaking away from the pack, entropy in your career moves hasn’t translated to results for Dillmann.
The most Dillmann got out of his career was a championship in the decaying Formula Not-Renault V8 3.5 series in 2016 and a win in GP2 in 2012, being another benefactor of the reverse grid system in the Sprint Race. His championship in Formula Not-Renault did earn him a reserve driver spot at Venturi in Formula E, which he cashed in to race in a few events when main drivers Stephane Sarrazin and Edoardo Mortara weren’t around. It seemed Dillmann finally had something going right in his racing career in his second season deputising for Venturi, nabbing 4th at New York.
Then he joined NIO. And, for those not familiar with Formula E, NIO suuuuuuuuucks. Dillmann’s only real comparison, his teammate Turvey, was streets ahead. Like, literally, because Formula E runs on streets, and Turvey was normally ahead, so literally, like... streets ahead. Please laugh. Anyway, he’s now testing with Formula Two teams has proved to be really, really competent in the world’s vacation to simracing, being quite the star in The Race’s All-Star events and finishing 2nd in the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Mika Mäki (FIN) - 2007-2009 - Formula Renault 2.0 / Formula 3
His early career was bright. Performed well in his national karting championships. Barely lost out on two Formula BMW trophies to the same guy. Red Bull comes and signs him up. And, unlike most on this list, he did not disappoint in his first season, winning the Italian Formula Renault Championship in 2007. His next season in Formula 3 Euroseries got off to a blinding start, winning two races and being in hot contention by round six.
Then he got into an off-track accident. He crashed his Nissan 350Z in a tunnel, spearing through a metal railing. Mercifully, he was uninjured, but questions were raised about how such a serious crash occurred in a 40 km/h tunnel late at night. I’m unsure how the investigation went and whether Mäki was punished or not, but you can just tell his results were affected. His hot streak in F3 suddenly ran cold and though he managed a few more decent results, his championship hopes were gone.
He still claimed another race victory in next year’s Euroseries and even finished second in the F3 Masters event, but Red Bull had enough and cast him away. One final, hapless, half-hearted, half-season effort with Motorpark Academy the next year saw him finish last in the F3 Euroseries he had been contending for just two years earlier. That was the end of Mäki’s racing career.
But Mäki isn’t dead yet. From the looks of things, he’s gone batshit insane. He’s started his own media/marketing/communications company called Ajaton, which means Timeless in Finnish. His company’s tagline is ”FRUITY AS FUCK”. Mika himself dressed up like a fucking dictator in his company profile picture. I don’t know how much of this is good PR or creative marketing, or how much of it is Mika being mad. Whatever it is, I’m all aboard the wacky Mäki train.
Dani Juncadella (ESP) - 2008-2009 - Formula BMW
Red Bull seriously missed the boat with Juncadella, and Juncadella missed the boat with Red Bull. How did this mutual boat-missing happen? He performed solidly in his two seasons in Formula BMW under Red Bull, coming in as a runner-up to Felipe Nasr in 2009, though most credit to that goes to Mucke Motorsport getting themselves DQ’ed from five races. Then Red Bull Junior Team did their traditional purging of talent, and Juncadella was one that got exiled from the team going into 2010.
Back then, it was a shame… for Red Bull. After a year getting acclimated to F3 machinery, Juncadella made himself famous as he won the 2011 Macau Grand Prix. The next year, he took domination to new heights, winning the 2012 F3 Euroseries, the F3 European Championship (which was basically the Euroseries with a hat on top) and the Masters of Formula Three. Red Bull had missed out on the biggest name in Formula Three.
But then it would be Juncadella missing out on Red Bull’s support system. Despite his F3 success and subsequent tests with Ferrari and Williams, there was nothing going for him in single-seaters. Him signing to Mercedes brought about some rumour with being Mercedes’ development driver, but all this led to was him making the sideways switch to DTM.
He did snatch the role of reserve driver at Force India in 2014, appearing in three Grand Prix weekends, but he got sick of Formula One politics and testing restrictions, retreating back to his role in DTM. He hasn’t found the same success in touring cars, though, propping up the table in most of his DTM seasons. Only a solitary victory at Brands Hatch in 2019 and a last lap battle with Max Verstappen in Team Redline’s simracing championship were indications of Juncadella’s previous success in Formula Three.
Mirko Bortolotti (ITA) - 2009 - Palmer Formula Two
Bortolotti, like Juncadella, had tons of hype and talent behind him. There wasn’t that much of it during his karting days or his early single-seater career, but the hype around him exploded when he won the 2008 Italian Formula Three series by an absolute landslide, with a seven-race winning streak being more than enough to seal the championship. His reward was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to test with Ferrari at Fiorano.
He cashed in that reward by setting the F2008 lap record around Fiorano. Sure, testing limits heavily restricted the running of Ferrari’s race and regular testers on Fiorano, but still, beating that lap record in what was supposed to be a token, prize-winning joyride made everyone sit up and take note. The hype meter went through the roof when he signed on to Red Bull’s junior team, and finishing a solid fourth in Palmer Formula Two gave him the chance to test for Toro Rosso over the winter.
In the first week of January 2010, the press tipped him to replace Jaime Alguersuari for the upcoming season at Toro Rosso.
In the second week of January 2010, Bortolotti was removed from Red Bull’s junior team.
Granted, he did say he wasn’t exactly ready for Formula One in the midst of all the rumours, but Red Bull suddenly pulling the plug was the last thing everyone expected. Ferrari’s driver academy swooped in and planted him in a GP3 ride for 2010, but he struggled in the switch of categories and was booted out of that junior driver programme after a year in the GP3 midfield. He won the Palmer Formula Two championship in 2011, but the rapid shift from Italy’s next Formula One driver to GP3 midfielder had already disillusioned the 21 year-old Italian, and after one final test with Williams as a prize for winning the F2 championship, he shifted to sportscars.
Bortolotti’s shift to sportscars has been fairly successful, becoming the champion of the final Megane Series Championship in 2013 before signing on to Lamborghini’s factory squad in 2014. Before his shift to Audi in 2020, he won the Blancpain Endurance Championship for them in 2017 and took class wins for them in both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring. All congratulations to Mirko, but who knows where he could’ve been had Marko done what the press thought he’d do a decade ago: stick him in the car.
Not everyone can be Vettel. If everyone is Vettel, nobody is. (yes I ripped Syndrome’s line, it’s a badass one). However, this section contains probably the saddest stories, where many of these drivers actually proved their talent at a young age, like Morad, Juncadella and Bortolotti. And yet, despite all that, they never got a fair shake with Red Bull.
We have one final part left to go, the fourth-part of this four-part series. The next part features the losers of the Red Bull from more recent times, coming from textile salesmen, sons of Top Gear personnel and an actual, legit, hero.
Lost in the Sauce: Trump Tower inflated profits to obtain larger loan...again
submitted by rusticgorilla to Keep_Track [link] [comments]
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce
, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. TOMORROW: I’m going to post a keep_track look at issues involved in police brutality, prosecution of cops, protests, etc.
- HOW TO SUPPORT: I know we are all facing unprecedented financial hardships right now. If you are in the position to support my work, I have a patreon, venmo, and a paypal set up. No pressure though, I will keep posting these pieces no matter what.
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Russia Trump announced Saturday he is postponing the annual G7 summit, which was due to be hosted in the U.S. in June, until September — and plans to invite four additional non-member nations including Russia. Boris Johnson responded by saying that he will veto any push by Trump to readmit Russia to the G7 gathering.
The U.S. National Security Agency says the same Russian military hacking group that interfered in the 2016 presidential election has been exploiting a major email server program since last August or earlier. The NSA might have issued an advisory to publicize the IP addresses and a domain name used by the Russian military group, known as Sandworm, in its hacking campaign — in hopes of thwarting their use for other means.
A Russian oligarch is reportedly backing an effort to smear Biden and states he is working with the Trump administration to leak additional damaging material… The oligarch, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, gave tapes of Biden on a phone call with then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to pro-Russia Ukrainian politician Andriy Derkach, who then leaked the tapes. The audio consisted of edited fragments of phone conversations from years ago when Biden joined other leaders in pressing for the ouster of Ukraine’s corrupt prosecutor general.
Giuliani is also trying to raise $10 million to finance the production of a Biden-Ukraine documentary that can be released this year. Giuliani and his partners have considered the possibility of drawing in investors from overseas, raising the possibility that Giuliani is (again) attempting to orchestrate foreign involvement in the current presidential election.
- Derkach met with Rudy Giuliani last year. Onyshchenko worked with another Giuliani associate, Pavel Fuchs (also a co-developer of Trump’s Moscow Tower), to launder hundreds of millions in frozen Yanukovych assets bought from a Russian tycoon. Now, this same group of oligarchs tied to Trump and Giuliani are leaking tapes of unknown provenance to try to undermine a US political campaign.
- Pro-Trump One America News Network wanted Onyshchenko to come to the US to help with Rudy's disinformation campaign. OAN tried to help him get a visa to travel to the U.S.
Flynn-Kislyak transcripts Last week, the DNI office released the transcripts of the December 2016 calls between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak… The transcripts confirm that Flynn lied to the FBI when he claimed that he had not discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration in response to Vladimir Putin’s attack on the 2016 election.
The transcripts show Flynn encouraged the Russians to not retaliate severely, suggesting that when Trump took office things between Moscow and Washington could be smoothed over… At no point does Flynn castigate Kislyak for Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election. As the Obama administration was trying to impose a punishment on Putin for that attack, Flynn, on behalf of the Trump gang, was sending an utterly different message: We don’t care about that.
Kisylak argued that the Obama administration sanctions were aimed at damaging the incoming Trump administration just as much as they were the Kremlin… “I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect,” said Kislyak, adding that he hopes “within two weeks we will be able to start working in [a] more constructive way.
- In fact, Flynn was signaling to Putin that once Trump took office, Trump wouldn’t be pursuing the matter and, instead, would be reaching out to Russia as a partner. (A few months later, Trump, in the Oval Office, would tell Kislyak that directly.)
Tidbit: Mueller’s team asked Trump a series of questions about Flynn's calls with Kislyak; the president simply ignored them.
Tidbit: Flynn told Kislyak in December 2016 that "the boss" (Trump) was aware of Russia's request to have a secure teleconference between Trump and Putin.
Personnel issues The FBI's top lawyer Dana Boente was asked to resign on Friday following criticism by Fox News for his role in the investigation of Flynn… Two sources familiar with the decision to dismiss Boente said it came from high levels of the Justice Department rather than directly from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Trump’s given reason for firing the State Dept. Inspector General last month was proven to be a false pretense… Trump claimed he was fired for leaking to the media when, in fact, IG Steve Linick was cleared earlier this year by an independent investigation. Pompeo recommended Linick’s removal at a time when the office was investigating multiple instances of abuse of power by the Secretary of State.
- Before he moved to the FBI General Counsel job, Boente was the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia—the last US Attorney appointed by President Obama to leave office during the Trump era.
Members of three House and Senate committees will interview former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Wednesday, as part of an investigation into his abrupt firing. Linick will speak to members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind closed-doors.
Mike Pompeo's CIA advisory board rankled agency veterans… As CIA director, Pompeo and his wife Susan organized an undisclosed board of outside advisers while he was director of CIA that some at the agency viewed as inappropriately weighted toward wealthy individuals and well-connected political figures.
- The committees also plan to call Brian Bulatao, undersecretary of State for management; Lisa Kenna, Pompeo's executive secretary; senior adviser Toni Porter; Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper; former Deputy Assistant Secretary Marik String, a legal adviser to the department; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Political-Military Affairs Mike Miller; and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Charles Faulkner.
Op-Ed: Mike Pompeo Is the Worst Secretary of State Ever. The F.B.I. said a Saudi Air Force trainee who killed three U.S. sailors and wounded eight others at a Navy air base in Pensacola, Fla., on Dec. 6 was an act of foreign-planned “terrorism.” ...That sort of intelligence failure — the first foreign-planned terrorist attack on U.S. shores since 9/11 — is something you’d expect Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be particularly upset about… He just smirks and marches on. But every American should care. The morale and effectiveness of our State Department — and our standing in the world — are both the worse for him.
Last week we learned that the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general exaggerated his credentials… Joseph Cuffari’s official government bio claims “Dr. Cuffari earned a Ph.D. in philosophy,” but new reporting revealed that his degree is from an unaccredited “diploma mill” that required no classroom instruction and issued degrees for low flat fees. Additionally, the Ph.D. is in management, not philosophy.
Congress Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday about the origins of the Russia probe. "Mr. Rosenstein will testify about the new revelations contained in the Horowitz report concerning the FISA warrant applications and other matters," Chairman Lindsey Graham said in a statement. "This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation."
Top Republicans are suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over new proxy voting plans that will allow some members of the House to vote from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to allow proxy voting was approved by the House earlier this month, largely along party lines, and is only temporary.
- Reminder: After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein begged for his job, reportedly trying to assure President Trump that he was on his team. “I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein[said on a call with Trump. “I can land the plane.”
House Republican introduces bill to hold up members' pay if they vote by proxy… Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), who is leading the effort, said: “Outsourcing the duty of a member of Congress is unconstitutional and wrong. House members should not be allowed to send someone else to do their jobs for them.”
Last week, Trump unexpectedly withdrew his support from a FISA reauthorization bill, leading Republicans to abandon the proposal and the House to pull a vote on the legislation. However, as Rep. Justin Amash pointed out, in 2018 Trump himself signed into law the long-contentious spying authority he recently began railing against.
Judicial news Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urges senior judges to step aside before the November election so Republicans can fill vacancies… Graham said:
“This is a historic opportunity. We’ve put over 200 federal judges on the bench. … If you can get four more years, I mean, it would change the judiciary for several generations. So if you’re a circuit judge in your mid-60s, late 60s, you can take senior status, now would be a good time to do that, if you want to make sure the judiciary is right of center…”
Democratic lawmakers are scrutinizing one of President Donald Trump’s outside advisors and his multimillion-dollar “dark money” network for rigging the judicial nomination process… The Senate Democrats’ report details how an interlocked group of anonymous donors has been directing the judicial nominations process through media and lobbying campaigns. Leading this effort is allegedly Leonard Leo and his conservative organization, the Federalist Society.
- Op-Ed: Should Trump lose, you can bet that the day after, McConnell will be on the phone to the White House Counsel’s Office demanding that they nominate someone for every vacant seat, ASAP. It won’t matter who — somebody’s neighbor, somebody’s nephew (there isn’t even a requirement that judges be lawyers) — so long as they’re committed conservatives, and as young as possible so they can serve for decades
The Supreme Court late Friday rejected a California church’s challenge of the state’s new pandemic-related rules on worship services, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s liberals in the 5-to-4 vote… Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent falsely accused the state of religious discrimination in an extremely misleading opinion that omits the most important facts of the case. Roberts went out of his way to scold Kavanaugh’s dishonest vilification of the state.
Immigration DOJ memo offered to buy out immigration board members… The buyouts were only offered to Board of Immigration Appeals members hired before Trump took office. Critics view the move as an effort to push out the civil servants on the board and stack it with new hires who would align with the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration agenda.
An immigrant woman sued a private prison company on Wednesday alleging she was raped inside an ICE detention center in Texas that resulted in her giving birth to her attacker's daughter. The woman, identified in the complaint as Jane Doe, was detained at the Houston Processing Center, operated by CoreCivic.
The Trump administration is accelerating efforts to seize private property for Trump’s border wall, taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to survey land while its owners are confined indoors. However, landowners are largely fighting the effort in court. Since December, the administration has obtained only seven miles of land.
Family separation returns under cover of the coronavirus… Citing the coronavirus to seal the border, the Trump administration is engaged in a pressure campaign against immigrant parents to get them to give up either their kids or their legal claims to protection in the U.S.
Trump corruption Trump Tower’s 2010 Profits Magically Grew By $3 Million In New Loan Filings. One set of reports listed the tower’s 2010 profits as $13.3 million; a second put them at $16.1 million. That helped the Trump Organization borrow $73 million more than it had before.
Last year, ProPublica revealed another set of income discrepancies at Trump Tower and other company-owned buildings, ones that seemed to hark to the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump would inflate income figures when seeking a loan and deflate the figures when filing taxes. Other Trump Organization properties investigated by ProPublica reported higher profits in the CMBS filings than they did in tax filings. A Trump Organization spokesperson said at the time that “comparing the various reports is comparing apples to oranges” because reporting requirements differ. Trump Towers Istanbul partner lobbied the president and White House cabinet to sizably boost trade with Turkey in response to the novel coronavirus. Asked whether the president performed favors for a business associate, a senior White House official emphasized the longstanding trade relationship with Turkey, a NATO ally.
Lawmakers urge Trump to cancel DC's July 4 event… "Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans," the lawmakers wrote. "Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic," they added.
The Republican National Committee held its winter meeting in January at Trump’s struggling Doral golf resort, giving Trump more than half a million dollars from the RNC and 13 state GOP committees. The state Republican party committees of West Virginia, Texas, Connecticut, Minnesota, Iowa, North Carolina, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Georgia, and Wyoming all contributed to the massive tab.
Trump’s Spent Nearly $20 Million on Lawyers to Carry Out His Political Vendettas… A large part of recent spending is aimed at curbing mail-in voting.
Just Tsumugi (V3-6 spoilers)
submitted by pie314271 to danganronpa [link] [comments]
Tsumugi Shirogane, otherwise known as Maybe the Mastermind of DRV3, is a PLAIN character. So plain, in fact, that she ends up becoming the mastermind of V3. Oops. Unfortunately, being the mastermind of the game means that you're forever associated with being the mastermind of V3, especially since Tsumugi apparently accomplishes less in five chapters than Mukuro did in half a chapter. However, if you take out all the "mastermind" stuff from the equation, there's still a Tsumugi. I'd like to take this chance to talk about the Plain Tsumugi (Just Tsumugi).
When you first meet Tsumugi, not only is she mostly unresponsive, her first response is something obscure that you've probably never heard of. At least, I had no idea what she was talking about. The first thing that comes to mind as a result is that she's probably going to be a filler character. Unsurprisingly, she is! Excluding the mastermind-shot-put-ball-murder before V3-1's time limit, she literally does nothing!
Would this normally be a good thing? Probably not. However, it works for Tsumugi because she's so thorough in trying to do nothing. Before the time limit, she's in the dining hall with a bunch of other characters (Korekiyo, Miu) that you don't really care about at the moment. She's also one of the last people to find the body, and hardly says a word during the first trial. The latter fact somehow continues into later trials, further backed by her total inaction.
Chapter 6 aside, Tsumugi manages to near-consistently have the fewest lines
of any character in any chapter. Her only serious competition here is Maki, Himiko, and Keebo, but she still has less lines than all of them in every trial except the 1st and 5th ones.1
The 5th trial is particularly of note. Everyone else has a role in the crime besides Shuichi. The major ones are obvious, and Keebo sees Himiko with the crossbow. Naturally, Shuichi solves the case, so that leaves Tsumugi with literally nothing. Granted, she is the most cooperative in chapter 5 since Monokuma doesn't know either, but she still had no role in the crime.
These are just a few examples, but the point is that Tsumugi hardly does anything notable.
Actually, Keebo has one less line in trial 5, but whatever.
Wait, she exists?
So, I've spent the first two sections explaining why Tsumugi thoroughly accomplishes nothing throughout the whole came. She's almost a next-level filler character in this aspect. By all accounts, there is no reason for me to like her on this basis. So, what gives?
While my main reasons for liking pre-reveal Tsumugi aren't based in this fact, it's still a positive. It's nice to see her randomly pop in at points to give the case some breathing room, then slide back into the background. She's a filler character, yes, but she never gets in the way. To demonstrate, let's compare her to Sonia from DR2.
Sonia is also a relatively plain character (or at least trying to be one), though this isn't specifically reinforced. She occasionally has a joke, typically along the lines of her failing to understand the inner workings of Japanese. So far, this is relatively similar to Tsumugi.
However, this is where the similarities end. She starts off with few lines, but by the later trials she's very active, putting in a decent amount of lines, particularly in 2-5 where she places 3rd. Is this really a good thing? Not really.
Take the 4th trials of DR2 and DRV3. In 2-4, the majority of Sonia's lines are her defending Gundham or yelling at Kazuichi. This is okay and Sonia/Gundham is a reasonable ship, but I also don't care. Besides the end of the trial, the whole thing seems to be played up for laughs, and it's not helped by the fact that she constantly puts Kazuichi down. I don't even like Kazuichi, but 2-4 makes me feel bad for him even though I shouldn't. In essence, she tries too hard to be funny and interrupts a case where it doesn't need to be interrupted.
On the other hand, in V3-4, Tsumugi still hardly says a word. The only time she truly speaks up is later on when Kokichi "confesses" to his crime and accuses Gonta. This is because Gonta is probably one of Tsumugi's few friends (more on this later). However, she kinda backs down eventually once Kaito takes center stage with Kokichi. She has a short segment where she does something, but she still fades into the background. She wouldn't be funny if she kept trying to toss her references into the trials, and she knows it. So, instead, she doesn't say much. One line
in the same trial comes to mind in particular:
Kaito: "It wouldn't slide! Just like Maki Roll said!"
Kokichi: "It would slide! Just like Shumai said!"
Kaito: "Who the h--- is Shumai?"
Tsumugi: "Oh, he's a pupil of Ramenman! Erm, sorry... my hobbies slipped in..."
While I find the fact that I'm never going to understand 95% of the references Tsumugi makes hilarious, the fact that she apologizes for making such a references shows extreme self-awareness. She knows that none of the other students care, and she might even be aware that you, the player, probably don't care either.2
In essence, this makes her possibly the safest comic relief character in the entire series. Most people find characters like Ibuki and Gundham to be funny, and they certainly have their fair share of interjections in class trials. On the other hand, most people do not find characters like Yasuhiro to be funny, but he also has his fair share of lines. Such comic relief characters who actively try to participate in the trial thus have a wide range of popularity among fans. Tsumugi, on the other hand? She has some comic relief moments, but she rarely interjects. Some people might find her jokes funny, others might not, but it's easy to just ignore it, unlike with, say, Gundham, who's constantly espousing his dark lord(TM) personality. I think Gundham's funny, yes, but if I didn't find him funny I'd have a hard time dealing with him.
At least, it's clear that Shuichi doesn't care. Take her first FTE (scroll down to the next section for the link):
Tsumugi: "But the characters with glasses are never allowed to take them off! Not even once! It's like they say, glasses are just like underwear!"
Shuichi: ...I have definitely never heard that before.
And neither have I.
Tsumugi and Gonta
I'd like to take a quick moment to talk about these two and their friendship, as it's the only really important one Tsumugi has.3
Besides V3-4, it's mostly shown offscreen, but it's nice. First, a few minor observations:
- At the start of Chapter 3, when Shuichi is unlocking the 4th floor, Tsumugi and Gonta are together.
- Two people don't talk much during the gym meeting where the student council is first announced: Tenko, who's obviously trying to stay hidden, and Tsumugi, as usual. The one time she speaks up during this sequence is when she tells Gonta to join the council right after Angie suggests it.
- Tsumugi only decides to investigate the Virtual World's mansion solely because Kokichi brings Gonta there.
- Obviously, she stands up for Gonta in the later half of V3-4. She eventually backs down, but with resignation. Maybe this was a greater incentive for her to get Kokichi killed later on?
There are a few more examples, but these are the main ones.
Anyway, with this information in mind, I feel like this friendship very accurately represents post-Kaede DRV3. Beyond Chapter 1, the V3 characters still bond with each other, but only to the extent that they only have their little friend groups that they talk to. Kaito ropes Shuichi and Maki into his friend group, but that's it. It also explains why we see so much of Maki and Kaito. Furthermore, everyone else? They're probably not on your side. Kokichi's off making his own schemes with some coercion against Miu and Gonta, Angie forms a restricted student council, and Korekiyo throws a wrench into the whole thing later on.
Tsumugi and Gonta's friendship is very clearly representative of this idea as well. It's a friendship that you rarely see unless you pay attention, because Shuichi really has no business thinking about it. It's still there though, and it's nice to see. In this sense, Tsumugi fits right into V3's cast.
This is why Tsumugi is at least a decent character in V3. However, this doesn't say much about Tsumugi herself, so...
Well, Tsumugi has a few interactions with Himiko too, I guess, but it's not much even in comparison to this.
Like every other character, Tsumugi has FTEs. While I don't care about the vast majority of them, I really like two things: the first FTE, and what the FTEs represent as a whole.
Let's start with FTE 1. In it, Tsumugi wastes the entirety of your time as Shuichi trying to prove that she is plain as possible. While her very last statements tread into "ridiculous" territory, some of the middle ones are much more grounded - not very likely, but still possible. Here are a few of her lines in FTE 1:
"Most people are surprised when they finally notice me."
"First off, when the teacher's taking attendance in class, they'll skip me. So I have to make sure I get counted or I'll be marked absent! Doesn't that suck?"
"Then, whenever people are splitting into teams, I get picked last cuz I'm plain."
"Also, I can get into movie theaters without a ticket cuz I'm plain. Just kidding. I bet I could do it though. I'm so plain I don't have much of a presence."
These are some of my favorite FTE lines, making this one of my favorite FTEs. Keep in mind that this FTE's in competition with a bunch of other great V3 FTEs, like Tenko's 1st one, Korekiyo's first two, Kokichi's final one, and literally all of Ryoma's.
The main reason is that this one FTE shows a type of character that Danganronpa rarely shows. Having a comic relief character who rarely talks is already one thing, but Tsumugi displays such a high level of introversion that it wraps around to being unique but also hard to notice. Besides V3, the majority of characters in each game are outgoing and clearly working to make friends with everyone. Most of them care about their talent a ton, and the ones that don't like Leon are still very active. Besides Shuichi, every single protagonist falls under this category too.
V3 takes a different direction by having characters that are less willing to just talk to you. However, many of them have good reasons, such as trying to keep secrets (Maki, Korekiyo) or just general apathy (Ryoma, Himiko). Tsumugi, however? She has nothing to hide besides her chapter 1 actions that no one is thinking about yet.
This leads into why the general concept of her FTEs is great: she'll totally talk to you about everything related to cosplay (which she proceeds to do for the rest of the FTEs), but you have to ask her for that information. She spends a few FTEs talking to you about it before she finally decides "maybe Shuichi's actually interested in my useless hobbies!" and gains the confidence to ask Shuichi if he wants to give cosplay a try or at least work with her.
Some other characters are similar in this aspect (e.g. Himiko and Korekiyo), but their talents still permeate into their daily lives. Himiko has her catchphrase, and Korekiyo occasionally makes observations such as group dynamics even when unprompted. With Tsumugi, her trait of being a giant dork isn't very linked with cosplay, just with anime. The only time she shoves it in your face is when her lab opens up and she shows brief moments of excitation. (To avoid making it sound like I'm repeating what I just said earlier, let me clarify: these characteristics mostly apply to Tsumugi outside of class trials. What I was talking about earlier mostly applies to class trials.)
The best part, however, is that she states some very interesting things that no one really thinks about.
It's Plain to See
Excuse my usage of her catchphrase. Most people find all of V3's catchphrases annoying. I don't, but I get it.
Let's look back at the lines I mentioned earlier. She mentions a few oddities that happen specifically to her that apparently "justify" her status as a plain person. These are only the types of things that people pay attention to if it happens to them. If someone else gets skipped in class, why would you care as long as you make sure to get counted? If she doesn't have that much of a presence, it's her responsibility to make sure she has one. Surely, as an Ultimate, she should have something, right?
Well, two things:
- Just because she's an Ultimate doesn't mean that she wants to be known for that. It's a side effect of her not pushing her talent in front of others. It seems that many Ultimates in Danganronpa are intentionally designed to be somewhat crazy because you'd expect someone with an Ultimate title to stand out, whether intentionally or not. It's part of why Mahiru is good. She's normal.
- Well, yes, you usually wouldn't care if someone else got skipped, but that's the point.
I think what she says is very legitimate.
Even if you're good at something, it doesn't mean that people will notice, but that's okay. You have a choice on whether you want to be known for it. Tsumugi is definitely someone that does not enjoy the publicity, nor does she appreciate others trying to get publicity out of cosplay. At least, that's what I believe.
There is evidence to back this up, by the way. First, her third FTE:
Shuichi: "What's it like to draw a crowd?"
Tsumugi: "Hmm, that's a hard question..."
Tsumugi: \sigh** "I'd much rather make cosplay than wear them..."
Shuichi: Tsumugi seems kind of stressed out, I should change the subject.
Second, her comments on others in FTE 2:
Tsumugi: "Of course, there are still cosplayers who think their characters are important. But... the worst ones just use the characters as stepping stones. Some people try to use that fame to become celebrities or idols."
This entire situation is an interesting inversion of the first two games (much like the majority of V3). In the first two games, our friendly protagonists Makoto and Hajime say that they were so excited to get into Hope's Peak Academy, knowing how well-known it makes them and how it's an easy path to success in the future. Tsumugi, though? She would never accept an invitation to Hope's Peak Academy purely on those grounds. Some of Hope's Peak Academy's negatives were out in the form of Hajime and defining yourself based on your talent, but the publicity aspect of it was never explored much. Tsumugi explores that aspect.
The point is: Tsumugi's entire character as described by her FTEs says something that I really did not expect to find in the game, but it's good. For every character that's in the spotlight, there's one without much of a presence.4
And that's fine! Tsumugi's character seems to support this idea, and I'm totally down for it.
Ironically, mastermind Tsumugi happens to take up the entirety of the final case's spotlight.
I like what Tsumugi represents, but I'm not sure how many others would agree. Still, even if you take away her FTEs, I still think Tsumugi at least does some nice things. She's still good in the main game.
Meme Magic Is Real, You Guys submitted by Isi744 to copypasta [link] [comments]
I know you already have your explanation for Donald Trump being elected. But I’m telling you: it’s false. He was elected because of Chaos Magick, Memes and a Frog-like creature named Lord kek.
Nov 11, 2016 · 12 min read
The King of Troll has won. That’s it. Trolling clearly went from horse-shit to an art form in a matter of years. And now : it’s a powerful political tool to become the commander in chief.
For some people, it has become religion : trolling is a way of life and Memes… are prayers.
And yes, I’m talking about 4chan.
I don’t know if you know that, but the Politically incorrect chan has been one of the many to pledge itself for the Donald. For month, it’s been acting to make him win against Sanders. And to destroy their arch-enemy : You-Know-Who-Clinton. Hand in hand with The_Donald subreddit and others groups, they’ve been part of the infamous “Trump army” to defend him by creating memes, that Donald Trump sometimes used, harassing in the footstep of Milo Yiannopoulos and going as hacking democrat phone lines.
I’m not going to dwell on what 4chan is or isn’t, but the /Pol/ channel is probably one of its most active place, and the one that received the most criticism — to say the least. The medias wrongfully summarize their political stance as Alt Right or white nationalist, whereas its a place that is far more diverse than you think. And far more chaotic : some people come here for intense trolling of the ones they want to get revenge from. Others because they have a real politic agenda. It’s a place where free spirits and vengeful dropouts gather to take on a trolling crusade on whoever they want.
Disclaimer : don’t take all this too seriously because 4chan is so deep into trolling that nothing is one-sided : all I’m about to tell you is partly shitposting but it’s also perfectly serious at the very same time.
Did you know the name they gave their champion ? They call him… the God-Emperor.
And now that the Emperor defeated all his enemies and was elected emperor in chief… they’re rejoicing !
Here you can see them enjoying “Your Tears” :
I’m not here to drink yours, but to bring your attention on a very serious matter. Precisely, on this type of discussion, hidden in plain sight in the 4chan feed. There’s so much mystery and internet folklore in this thread, that it’s going to blow your mind.
The Birth of Meme Magic
Did you know internet memes had super power ? That’s obviously what is at stake here: “Trump was memed into the white house”, they say, meaning that memes were powerful enough to have a tremendous effect on reality. Is it magic ? For its creator, Richard Dawkins, who coined the work in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, it was just a way to explain how cultural information spreads. His definition of an internet meme, was close to the Darwinian concept of genes, but for ideas : just like a gene, a meme is an idea that spread by random changes and accurate replication.
However, it’s not the survival of the fittest anymore, but the survival of the funniest.
Memes has become a gigantic trend the past ten years, and message board, where they are created and shared, are generally not considered influential. But did you know they even managed to use their memetic power… to order a Russian bombing Syria General.
This. Is. Crazy.
I don’t have confirmation that the strike was, indeed, carried out. But for those guys, it was proofs that they hold power that went beyond harassment and mundane trolling.
They could troll reality.
And then Trump came. The King of Trolls inspired them. Moreover, they shared with him many views of the worlds, such as his will to change the American foreign policy, to get closer to Russia, to side with Assad. Inspired by Alex Jones (Infowars) and the likes, they considered Clinton to be a crooked murderer at best. A Bilderberg Illuminati lizard at worst.
When Trump appeared, things really change for them.
And things changed… for Pepe. Pepe the Frog.
The Rise Of Lord kek
Pepe the Frog was just a meme like many other. In the beginning, it was a character of a comic series called Boy’s Club, created by Matt Furie in 2005. It’s an humanoid frod that mostly smile and say “Feels good man”, except in its variation, such as Angry Pepe.
He started appearing on 4chan in 2010 and soon become the unofficial mascot of the Politically Incorrect channel on 4chan.
When Trump appeared, the guys back at /Pol/ just mixed all their icons together, in a typical mash-up fashion, and here was the result :
And then weird stuff started to happen. Internet magic.
To understand them fully, they are two other things that you need to know.
I didn’t knew about Dubs before "￼; background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px);">that guy explained it to me : “Every post on 4chan and similar venues comes with an 8-digit numerical stamp. This number represents that post’s entry position in the entire posting lineage of the imageboard”.
With the amazing amount of messages 4chan gets, the last numbers are, for the most part, totally random. So for 4channers, it’s basically like rolling a dice, and it soon became a game : “When a poster gets repeated digits, its called “dubs”, “trips”, “quads”, and so on”.
Therefore, users started placing bet as to what number they were going to get :
When you win, it’s called a “GET”.
At the same time, in another corner of the web called World of Warcraft, the term “kek” was born. The online meme dictionary, Know Your Meme, explains it better than me :
In the online multiplayer role-playing game WoW, released on November 23rd, 2004 , players can choose to play on either the Alliance or Horde factions, which are considered enemies within the game’s universe. Players of separate factions are unable to communicate with one-another, as their typed text is run through an in-game translator. For players of the Horde faction, typing the letters “LOL” results in members of the Alliance faction reading “kek”.
All those elements came together and things happened :
Pepe the Frog was mixed with Donald Trump as mascots of 4chan.4chan users started noticing that discussion associated with Trump contained more “GETS” than others.“kek” kept appearing in the messages, notably because of the amounts of “GETS” but also to celebrate the a new trolling by Donald Trump.
…and then 4chan started believing : something was really happening. Something was telling them one thing : TRUMP WILL WIN. Below, you can see how a user managed, on June 19th 2016, to obtain the ultimate GET with the most sacred of number : the 77777777.
But that’s just the beginning. It gets weirder and weirder.
On November 27th, 2015, a 4chan user submitted a post about the Egyptian deity to the /his/ (History) board on 4chan, featuring a depiction of the god as a frog-headed man.
It had the head of a frog.
And — OH MY GOD — HIS NAME REALLY HIS “kek”.
I’m sorry I freaked out but you have to admit that’s a pretty big coincidence. Then we head right into synchromysticism, an internet practices that consist in “drawing connections in modern culture and finding connections that could be coming from the “collective unconscious mind”; and finding connections between occult knowledge (i.e. esoteric fraternities, cults and secret rituals), politics and mass media.”
But that’s not it yet.
The /Pol/ channel greeted the news with praise and a bit of awe : how could this be real, and what did it meant ? What was even more fascinating was "￼; background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px);">the description of that Egyptian God :
kek (Kuk, Keku) means darkness. He was the god of the darkness of chaos, the darkness before time began. He was the god of obscurity, hidden in the darkness. The Egyptians saw the night time, the time without the light of the sun, as a reflection of this chaotic darkness.
As a god of the night, kek was also related to the day — he was called the “bringer-in of the light”. This seems to mean that he was responsible for the time of night that came just before sunrise. The god of the hours before day dawned over the land of Egypt. This was the twilight which gave birth to the sun.
The “bringer of the light” sounded awfully like the Donald to them.
The proof kept piling up : this statue of kek appeared on the message board. However "￼; background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px);">fake it may be, the hieroglyphic name of kek literally blew 4chan’s mind:
At that point, a “kek worship general” thread was created on the /trash/ (off-topic) board on 4chan. On June 25th,board asking if viewers had “accepted lord kek, ancient Egyptian god of darkness, into their lives?”.
At that point, the Cult of kek was born — and Meme magic seemed more real than ever. As far as 4chan is concerned, it was as official as it could be, and it had a precise theology, centered around “Memetic Magic, the manipulation of the Root, social matrix and the fabric of reality” :
Of course, by that time, Trump had started using those unexpected allies, and winking at them on social medias.
Can you imagine that ? Underdog troll of society getting the attention of the (future) President of the United States ?
And along the long campaign they led on social media, they started to notice how they managed to succeed in destabilizing their opponents. They started to feel their power of disturbance, and the power of “Kekism” and “Memetic warfare”.
It became so strong… it got to Clinton.
September 11th : Pepe the Frog rises
On the 10th, Donald Trump JR posted this on his Facebook page :
The day after was a historic date in Kekism.
First, Clinton famously fainted. For all of 4chan, it was a sign that the forces they had conjured were answering the call.
Second, Hillary Clinton campaign team posted an article against… Pepe the Frog, making him more real and more powerful than ever, describing him as a “cartoon frog who began his internet life as an innocent meme enjoyed by teenagers and pop stars alike” :
But in recent months, Pepe’s been almost entirely co-opted by the white supremacists who call themselves the “alt-right.” They’ve decided to take back Pepe by adding swastikas and other symbols of anti-semitism and white supremacy.
Then all forces of memetic magic were unleashed.
Strongly ingrained in conspiracy theories, and with Alex Jones on their side, the Trump Army viewed the struggle as a real fight against Satan. The number of the Beast was considered a bad signs on message board as Hillary Clinton became an embodiment of the evil God Moloch himself, as part of a Luciferian globalist conspiracy and all New World Order Illuminati theories:
They were very involved in Spirit Cooking hysteria, where the contemporary artist Marina Abramovic (seen above) was accused of holding satanic pedophile rituals for the global elites, arguing that some Wikileaks leaked emails were proof that John Podesta partook in some of them.
Of course, the Clintons are accused to be part of most Satanic orgies in the world, and that Bill would never miss a "￼ Bohemian Grove party, another elitist all male secret society that have polarized the attention of a lot of conspiracy theorist:
Wether they believed it or not, they used the American public belief in conspiracy theories to discredit their enemies. That’s smart, isn’t it ?
But they like to play with magic too, and how it’s supposed to works is deeply rooted in internet folklore and the tradition of… chaos magick.
From Chaos Magick to Meme Magic
It has been at the root of a lot of internet phenomenon for years. To sum it up, Chaos Magick emphasizes the paranormal power of thoughts, ideas and beliefs to influence the minds. It’s NOT magic per se, of course.
One its most famous practice is the creation of Sigils, on which a chaos magician is going to gather and focus his will.
This way, Sigils are believed to allow one’s project to enter the realm of reality. But as years passed, a question appeared : what about memes ? As collective entities, created by the will of thousands around a single thought, repeated and refined, it was the utmost sigil.
And “hypersigil” some said.
What if... One-club men lived forever
The year is 2017. Top scientists have finally cracked the ability to stop ageing, and the world rejoices. submitted by whatif_gaming to footballmanagergames [link] [comments]
The discovery prompts an immediate FIFA investigation into exactly what this means for world football from now on. How will the careers come and go when every team can just preserve their best stars? How will the next Messi break through? The Qatar FA suggest restricting it to only Qatari players, a motion that's only narrowly defeated. In unrelated news, a bunch of mysterious Qatari bank accounts are seized the day before the vote. Eventually, a compromise is decided upon between. Only those players who’ve proven themselves to be in it for the sport, and their team, can use it. The players who have stuck with their team through thick and thin, who’ve turned down bigger money offers to stay where they are. One-Club Men. However, should their loyalty ever waiver, and they choose to leave, those players will lose their right to an everlasting career, and have to face the advance years once again. Who will remain loyal the longest? Who will ride out the lowest of lows to stay at their lifelong club?
Unfortunately for those of you hoping I’ve found a secret miracle, that’s just the best nonsense I could come up with to frame this scenario. In less dramatic terms, using FM 2017, I'm going to select 50 one-club men from the top 5 leagues and de-age them to around 22. Every 5 years I'll de-age them down to 22 again, unless they abandon their loyalty. I'll also be adjusting everyone's contract to expire in 2020 to make it equal, and undoing international retirements where necessary. Nothing overly complicated, but I’m expecting this one to run a long long time if I’m going to have everyone leave, so I’m good with it not being too complicated. Reddit side note! It's me again. Some may remember my experiments from ages ago. I'm back and writing again, but as you can probably tell, with a new name and website. If you want to see this post with much better formatting, all the images, and everyone's profile at the end, go here to read it in full: link You can stay here if you prefer though!
So who actually qualifies for this? I've restricted it to players from the Top 5 leagues of England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France, and only included those that have been at their clubs the longest. As well as the genuine candidates like Messi and Totti, loaned out players like Lahm qualify, as do those like Iniesta who haven't left in FM 2017, and even those that have left in-game, but are known for their careers at one club. Buffon is a good example of the latter. I've included a link to an image with all 5 players here: link
With all this loyalty around, I wanted to mix it up a bit by adding in one final player. Someone completely opposite to everyone picked so far, the anti-one-club man, the journeyman of all journeymen. And after some research, I came up with the perfect candidate. Sebastián Abreu, a man who in his career has played at an impressive 29 different teams in 11 different countries, setting a Guinness world record along the way. Abreu will receive the same treatment as the loyal players, except it won’t stop when he moves team. I want
him to move around more, spread his wings, see how many teams he can collect over an illustrious career.
That’s enough explaining for now. Should be pretty clear what’s going on, just a bunch of footballers never getting old. Time to get things rolling and see who eliminates themselves. Who can stick it out the longest, who will become THE one-club man?
With our younger one club men unleashed on the world, many of them attract instant attention from new clubs. For a while it stays quiet and looks like the first transfer window may pass without incident. Only a few loans crop up... until Javi López
because the first man to fall. With Espanyol not meeting his standards, he makes a £2.4M trip down the coast to join Valencia. He proves to be the only summer casualty by the time the window slams shut.
January brings the winter window, and the Premier League clubs start to sniff around, ready to throw bags of cash at unsuspecting players. It doesn’t take long before the next two players are reeled in by money and lose their eternal youth. First Marcel Schmelzer
in a £20.5M move to Liverpool, followed by Bruno
joining moneybags Man City. By the end of the window, Nacho
also heads to the north of England, joining rivals Man United. I’m not sure if any of them have realised how damn cold it is up there. That window swiftly ends, settling the bottom 4 finishers in the competition.
Returning to the world of actual football results briefly, and there aren’t many shocks to be seen. Man City finish 6th, Everton get relegated and Borussia Mönchengladbach reach the Champions League Semi-Finals. A few players see their team relegated, as Werder Bremen, Caen and Freiburg go down, so there could be a few casualties once that disappointment has set in. But all in all, the footballing world has coped just fine. Loyal Players Remaining:
46 Abreu Club Count:
23 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
With everyone’s transfer budgets warmed up, it doesn’t take long for the action to get back underway. The previous season has barely finished before Chris Solly
trades in his morals for a Premier League move to Norwich. Sergio Álvarez
joins him in England, making the slightly odd move to Bournemouth before a big £52M move sees Koke
trade loyalty for a big move to Man City. That’s the most surprising move so far, as I expected many of the players at top clubs to stick around. The final two transfers of the window take us to sunny Spain, where both Xabi Prieto
become massive glory hunters, trading in their life long clubs for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona respectively. Javi López, having left Espanyol to join Valencia last year, immediately realises his mistake and rejoins Espanyol. It’s too little too late though, his status as a one-club man is already ruined.
The winter window comes and goes without even a hint of action, so things may already be starting to quieten down. Over in Brazil, Sebastián Abreu has his contract with Bangu come to an end after a good season but fails to attract any new suitors before the European season ends.
Around the world, things keep ticking on relatively normally. Watford take a surprising FA Cup win despite finishing rock bottom of the league, meaning they’ll have European nights alongside their Championship campaign. The loyalty of Seube, Höfler and Bargfrede is rewarded, as Caen, Bremen and Freiburg are immediately promoted back to the top tier. Las Palmas head in the opposite direction, which causes David García to hand in an immediate transfer request. The Spaniard could very well be the next player to go. Loyal Players Remaining:
41 Abreu Club Count:
23 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Watford (FA Cup)
My suggestion that things may be quietening down is immediately disproved by the biggest move so far. Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm
makes a huge £82M transfer to Manchester City, throwing away all he’d built up at Bayern so far. But it doesn't end there, as 2 more huge transfers are finalised right after. First Claudio Marchisio
drops Juventus, clearly not happy with them losing the title to AC Milan, and moves to Real Madrid. Then Daniele De Rossi
trades in Roma for Barcelona. Whilst both have moved in real life, I didn’t expect either to fall so early in this, being icons at such huge clubs. A little later, David García
makes his predicted move away from relegated Las Palmas, opting to stay in Spain with Osasuna. And then on the final day of the window, one last move. David Zurutuza
decides the Premier League is more to his taste and joins Noble at West Ham. Javi López continues his tour of Spain, realising rejoining Espanyol doesn’t earn him back everlasting youth, and so heads to Sevilla instead. Currently, he’s moved around more than the specific journeyman player I chose to actually move around. Talking of, Abreu does find a new contract, heading back to Uruguay to join River Plate Montevideo.
The winter transfer window is again mostly quiet, with very little potential action. There are still some transfers though, as Robin Knoche
becomes the 15th person out, heading to Borussia Dortmund. Then a legend moves on, as Iker Casillas
decides that barely getting any game time behind Keylor Navas isn’t worth it, and so joins Monaco for a mere £11M. I guess you can't escape the real world after all.
The summer of 2018 means a World Cup, a tournament which regularly creates bizarre results in Football Manager. This year is no exception, as the likes of Italy, Belgium and Argentina fall in the group stages, before South Korea beat both Germany and France in the knockouts. The final between Brazil and Croatia proves 100% less heartbreaking than the real 2018 final for the Croatians, as they become champions of the world. In domestic football, Man United take all the English trophies on offer in a Quadruple, whilst Freiburg find themselves relegated yet again, as do Montpellier. Loyal Players Remaining:
34 Abreu Club Count:
24 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Croatia (World Cup)
Another season, another transfer window, another set of swirling rumours around our one-club men. Borussia Dortmund manage to steal away another of our competitors from a German rival, taking Timo Horn
early in the window. Having been relegated yet again last season, Nicolas Höfler
decides enough is enough and leaves Freiburg for Hertha Berlin. Over in Italy, and Chievo Legend Sergio Pellissier
finally caves, leaving his relegation-threatened lifelong team for European battlers Fiorentina. But that's all the entertainment I can offer, no big signings this time around I’m afraid. Let's go see what Javi López is up to instead. His merry-go-round of clubs continues yet again, moving over to Deportivo de La Coruña in the latest of his ever-decreasing value of transfers.
January retains its typical bleak and dull atmosphere, with no sign of action whatsoever until the final day of the window. Hugo Mallo
decides to try and add to his trophy cabinet and heads to Man United. Not the worst career move to throw away eternal life for considering their dominance right now. And with his departure, the total number of players that we've lost hits a nice round 20.
In the Premier League, Man United claim their 4th title in a row, exerting total dominance over everyone. But where one dominance rises, another falls, with Dortmund claiming the Bundesliga to knock Bayern off their perch. The shock of the season comes in the Coupe de France, where 3rd tier LB Châteauroux knock out Lyon, Auxerre and PSG before falling to Caen in the semi-finals. With Monaco having fallen to 4th tier SA Spinalien, Caen beat an easier opposition of RC Lens in the final, leading to Seube lifting the teams first-ever Coupe de France. Not bad for a player I expected to never lift a trophy. On a less joyous note, Höfler having left relegated Freiburg, sees his new team Hertha relegated immediately too. It seems there is no escaping the 2. Bundesliga!
On the record front, Gianluigi Buffon sets a huge benchmark, breaking the 200 cap mark for Italy. With no-one else close to him, he’ll stay the leader for a long time. Messi also breaks a boundary, climbing through 400 league goals during his career at Barcelona. Like Buffon, he’s way clear of any competitor, and unless a miracle happens that sees him abandon Barcelona, I can’t see anyone catching him soon. Loyal Players Remaining:
30 Abreu Club Count:
24 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Caen (Coupe de France)
2020 arrives, and with it, two important points arrive too. Firstly, everyone gets de-aged for the first time in this experiment. The 20 that have left get to watch from a distance thinking about what could have been. Second, the initial contracts are set to expire, so anyone that hasn’t re-signed will out the door. Which is exactly what happens to Víctor Valdés
. Having barely appeared for Barcelona since his return, he leaves the club on a free and heads to the southern French coast to join Marseille. A day later and someone else leaves France, as Romain Danzé
who decides one de-ageing is enough and moves to Schalke. Tony Hibbert
also struggled for games at Everton despite his new youthful look, and so he walks out the door. He opts for Aston Villa, who to my great surprise have sunk to a mid-table League 1 team. Feeling left out, Spain joins in, with Oier Sanjurjo
departing Osasuna and moving to Villarreal. The window is then capped by a bizarre final free transfer. Despite appearing regularly, Xavi
isn’t offered a new contract by Barcelona. Man City can’t quite believe their luck and snap up the Spanish wizard a few days before the window shuts.
Winter brings with it just one transfer in its usual action-heavy way. Roberto Torres
leaves Osasuna, making a £35.5M switch to Atletico. I’m not sure whether Atletico thought they were getting a different de-aged Torres because that can only be described as an overpayment. Either way, that means we've now lost over half the competitors.
Euro 2020 passes, and Croatia prove their World Cup victory was no fluke, becoming both champions of the World, and champions of Europe. On the Continental front, things have been fairly predictable so far, at least until this years Europa League. Hoffenheim escape a tough group and go all the way to win the entire thing. Not bad for a team that barely qualified in the first place. Oh, and Messi wins a little thing called the Ballon d’Or for the 10th time. I think he’s only just getting started. Loyal Players Remaining:
24 Abreu Club Count:
24 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Hoffenheim (Europa League)
The 21/22 season begins with two transfers on the first day. Loïc Perrin
makes his way to the Premier League to join Leicester. But that's a minor splash compared to the other move, as after 768 appearances and 302 goals, Francesco Totti
leaves Roma. It seems wrong to see it, but he’ll now be wearing a Man United kit. Dortmund continue their run of stealing loyalty, this time bringing Tony Jantschke
into the fold. Another contract is run to the end, forcing Álex Bergantiños
out of Deportivo without much choice, before being picked up by Cagliari. Mikel González
opts to end his time at Real Sociedad, joining Pellissier over at Fiorentina. And as August comes to a close, it looks like Totti may be the only big departure. That is until Gianluigi Buffon
decides to call time on his Juventus career. It’s an odd move, with the legend going sorta sideways from a regular starting Juventus spot to Bayern Munich. But there’s no going back now, as his 636 league appearance career with the Italians comes to a close. Two legends down in one window.
No season is complete without a single winter signing to warrant an entire separate paragraph, and this season is no different. Sergi Roberto
moves away from Barcelona, in a £24M move to French giants PSG. A good way to guarantee yourself plenty of titles I guess. Abreu also makes a winter move, adding Guarani in the Brasilian second tier to his collection.
Roberto’s decision proves to be a good one, as PSG go on to claim their 10th one in a row. Not many surprises elsewhere, although Real Oviedo get close to pulling off a shock in the Copa del Rey. The second tier team beat Osasuna, Barcelona and Sevilla on the way to the final, but ultimately Real Madrid prove a step too far. Elsewhere everything is won by a team you’d probably expect. Exciting stuff. Loyal Players Remaining:
17 Abreu Club Count:
25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
With the pool of players rapidly decreasing, very few of the crew are even wanted by other clubs anymore. Perhaps deterred by their steadfast loyalty? A few moves do still happen though, so we’re not dead yet. Firstly Anthony Lopes
gets fed up of PSG dominating his league and moves to AC Milan for a better shot at a trophy. It’s not long before that story is forgotten, as the biggest transfer fee in the competition so far is dropped. Andrés Iniesta
is stolen away from Barcelona, in a huge £86M move to Man United. The midfield maestro fell 2 appearances short of 600 league games for Barcelona, but with his new £300K per-week contract it’s not hard to guess why. That proves to be all the action for the summer window, with no-one willing to top that huge move.
After half a season of hearing their noisy neighbours gloating about their star signing, Man City snap. And if there’s one thing City are good at, it’s splashing the cash. In probably the easiest negotiation over fee Barcelona has ever had, Sergio Busquets
makes a £95M move to the sky blues. Yeh, that’ll show United. Once again no-one wants to get in the middle of the awkward Manchester squabble, and the winter transfer closes with a whimper.
The second World Cup of this experiment comes and goes. This time all the giants make it safely through the Group Stages, but it’s Africa that really excels. Morocco make the knockouts, Egypt battle through to the Quarter Finals, but Nigeria come out best. They beat South Korea and Argentina before falling valiantly to France in the Semi-Finals. A 1-0 victory of Italy does see them finish in an impressive 3rd place, becoming the first African team to finish in the top 3 of the World Cup. France win the title on penalties after a deceivingly action-filled 0-0 draw with Spain. The domestic scene follows that with a similar lack of real shocks. In the Carabao Cup, Bournemouth beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United on the way to lifting the trophy. But it’s the lesser Cup, so outside of Bournemouth no-one really cares. PSG finally have their grip on the Ligue 1 broken, as Casillas leads Monaco to a fantastic title. Otherwise, all the league titles and cups fall to teams you’d expect them too. Another thrilling year. Loyal Players Remaining:
14 Abreu Club Count:
25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Bournemouth (Carabao Cup)
Literally nothing happens. Thomas Kessler
decides that no team can ignore his existence for 20 seasons in a row and get away with it, leaving Köln to join Trabzonspor. So as I said, literally nothing happens. Even Javi López moving to yet another club would be more interesting than that.
The same applies to the footballing season. Asides from Casillas captaining Monaco to a Champions League title, or Atletico winning the title again, exactly 10 years after their last win, everything is frustratingly normal. And even those two events are hardly shocks.
Before I start to lose hope, there are a few interesting moves over the last few years from the losing group that are worth highlighting. First season mover Bruno didn’t make the impact he hoped and found himself moving to the lovely Stoke. Robin Knoche barely received any playtime at Dortmund and found himself cast out to Dinamo Zagreb. Even in League 1, Tony Hibbert could barely get any game time at Villa and so moved on the Scunthorpe in League 2. But the winner of the oddest move has to be Zurutuza, who somehow manage to pull off a move to Liverpool after West Ham found themselves relegated, only make a few disappointing performances, before being released on a free to join Al-Arabi in Qatar. Not quite the career he was anticipating when joining the Premier League I bet. Loyal Players Remaining:
13 Abreu Club Count:
25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
The summer transfer window arrives for another season, and with it finally comes a huge deal! Javi López has found yet another club! Hooray! As for actual competitors, absolutely no movement whatsoever. Even from Abreu, who’s been at Guarani for 2.5 years now. Manceau, Lewington and Seube complain to their managers about playing time or relegation, but none of them actually make a move anywhere. So our final 13 will add another 5 years onto their career length.
There are some fun statistics from our 51 worth mentioning at this point. Buffon leads the way with both total league appearances (935) and international caps (259). His caps are at a point where they’re too high for the game to display, as the value is stored as an unsigned 8-bit integer, and so has rolled over to just show 3. Most appearances for a single club goes to Dean Lewington however, who thanks to being a regular sits at 857 league appearances for the MK Dons (or 889 if you include Wimbledon). In the goals department, the winner is obvious. With almost 500 league goals, 100 international goals and 14 Ballon d’Or awards, Messi sits on top of everyone. On the international scene, he’s run close by Müller and the fast-approaching Kane, but for league goals, it’s not even close.
2024 brings with it a Euro tournament, which doesn’t provide much in the way of surprises, but brings with it some exciting high scoring matches. All ending in a 4-3 victory for a Thomas Müller led Germany over neighbours Netherlands. Which I’m sure went down very well. The domestic scene decides to spring a few shocks though. In Serie A, Roma claim an impressive title thanks to main striker Iheanacho, their first since 2001. The German and French cups provide surprise winners, in the form of Hertha Berlin and Dijon. Both cap an impressive run by beating their respective league winners, Bayern and Monaco. Even the continental tournaments turn up too. First Monaco cement their place as a top power in football by winning their second Champions League in a row. That coming a week after the best win there could possibly be. Tottenham win the Europa League! Screw the other stuff, that last part is all I need! Loyal Players Remaining:
13 Abreu Club Count:
25 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Dijon (Coupe de France), Hertha Berlin (DFB Pokal)
At this point though it’s fair to say that the competition results are more interesting than the movements of the players. Which is the perfect signal that things need to speed up a little bit. So from now on, updates will be every 5 years, which lines up perfectly with player age resets, letting us see who has made it to the next checkpoint.
Another round of de-ageing hits, and you’d think that would incite some interest in our final 13. Instead, it’s a ghost town. We do have an immediate dropout though, as Nicolas Seube
finally gets fed up with his lack of playtime at Caen and heads for Panionios in Greece. A year later the situation is repeated. I’m not entirely sure what his unhappiness was about, but Iker Muniain
decides he’s had enough of Athletic Club and moves to Hamburger SV. At least he left on exactly 100 goals for Athletic though, a nice round number. With 11 left, a standoff to reach the top 10 ensues. For 3 years no-one budges in their show of loyalty, until in 2029… Dean Lewington
leaves for Derby County on a free. It’s a huge move, with Lewington becoming the first man to break through 1000 league appearances for a single club before leaving. But he’s moved on now, and it won’t be long before that record is broken. That move means we’re left with our final 10 contestants. Terry, Iraola, Messi, Susaeta, Noble, Jourdren, Müller, Kane, Manceau and Bargfrede have secured a top 10 spot, and now all that’s left to do is fight it out for number 1.
Over in Brazil, our anti-one-club man continues his journey, although it remains in Brazil for the moment. Only 2 clubs are added to his count, with a long stay at Atletico Goianiense followed by a £2M move to top tier Coritiba. I’m kind of hoping he starts to make enough waves in the Brazilian league to move to Europe and add some new countries to his history.
Those that fell before the first de-ageing are retiring, finishing off their magnificent, or in some cases very un-magnificent, careers (as losers). Javi López finishes his fine anti-loyalty tour around Spain with 7 transfers to his name. Schmelzer, Nacho, Solly, Álvarez, Koke, Mario, Prieto, Marchisio, De Rossi, David García, Zurutuza, Knoche, Höfler, Pellissier, Mallo, Horn and Hibbert end their careers. Many, such as Nacho, Horn and De Rossi stay just as committed to their new clubs as they did their old, finishing out their careers after just a single transfer. Of the pensioners, Sergio Pellissier manages to rack up the most career league appearances and goals, at 894 and 246, although that’s largely thanks to a huge head start. De Rossi dominates on the international scene, earning a whopping 197 caps over his 30-year career. Naturally, all those records will be blown out the water once the next group start retiring, but it’s nice to have some benchmarks.
Around the world, plenty has gone on worth hearing about. The Netherlands claim their first-ever World Cup win, beating Brazil in the final, whilst in the Euro’s Germany win their second tournament in a row. The Gold Cup throws up a few interesting results too, as first, the Mexico B team win it, with their A team tied up in the Confederations Cup. Then 4 years later Canada take the title, only the second time in their history. Over in Italy, Lazio find themselves relegated as the league starts to shake itself up a bit. But other than that, domestic football remains relatively unspectacular. Oh except… TOTTENHAM WINNING THE LEAGUE. Didn’t even have to reset it and we won it before Arsenal did. North London is very much Lilywhite now, suck it Gooners! Loyal Players Remaining:
10 Abreu Club Count:
27 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Tottenham (Premier League)
Another 5 years pass and to start with it looks like the top 10 are going to hold firm. Eventually though, the temptation of money proves too much for one man. That man is Geoffrey Jourdren
who trades in his starting slot at Montpellier for a cosy backup contract at PSG. Then comes… dead silence. Not even a rumour, or an unhappy player. No-one even hints at leaving for the next 4 years, which means we end the period with nine players on the books. The real waiting game has begun. Even our journeyman Abreu is moving in a very slow way, as a five year Coritiba stint finishes with a free transfer to Red Bull Brasil. I think my hopes for a European move have died.
At least there are a lot of retirements to run through. Bruno, Lahm, Casillas, Valdés, Danzé, Oier, Xavi, Torres, Perrin, Jantschke, Bergantiños, González, Roberto, Iniesta and Busquets hang up their playing boots. That does leave us without some noted legends, with Lahm, Casillas, Iniesta and Busquets reaching 200 caps for their country. You’d think Spain would have won more with that golden generation. Casillas and Xavi also both hit 1000 league appearances thanks to a strong head start before the experiment. But it’s Andrés Iniesta who is the most loyal of the bunch, racking up nearly 600 appearances for his original club before departing.
Five years leaves plenty of time for interesting results once again. England take a World Cup win, which is always a sign of the apocalypse, only made more bizarre by Scotland making the semi-finals in the same competition. Portugal take the other title in that period, whilst the Euros also see a surprise winner in Switzerland. France provides the biggest shock at club level, as Lille come from nowhere to win Ligue 1, and then immediately revert back to mid-table once again. Otherwise, the time belongs to Manchester City. The oil bar… sky blues take 4 out of 5 titles in both the Premier League and Champions League, with all that cash flinging finally paying off. Loyal Players Remaining:
9 Abreu Club Count:
28 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
England (World Cup), Lille (Ligue 1)
With just nine players left, once again we get a transfer fairly early on in the period. Early as in the first transfer window, which makes me wonder why they waited so long. Anyway, Mark Noble
has had his patience tested by West Ham’s yoyoing between the Premier League and Championship a bit too much and finally caves. He makes a £20M move to Burnley, who… are doing the exact same thing. Not sure that was the brightest idea. Like the previous 5 years though, one transfer is all we get. None of the others move, despite some pretty heavy unhappiness from Bargfrede and Manceau. Abreu keeps up his trail, running out his contract with Red Bull Brasil and opting for Chapecoense to reach 29 clubs in his career.
With very few moving recently, that also means less and less are retiring, as just 7 ex-competitors leave the game. Totti, Buffon, Lopes, Kessler, Seube, Muniain and Lewington call time on their football life. The fact they all stuck with it for so long means there’s so impressive stats between them. Totti racked up 1154 league appearances, with 768 at Roma. Dean Lewington, after leaving MK Dons with 1003 appearances finished with a total of 1287. Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon finished with a whopping 1307 league appearances, but perhaps more impressively, 334 international caps. But the single most surprising statistic goes to Thomas Kessler. Despite barely playing in Germany he manages to notch a grand total of 7 goals after his move to Turkey. Maybe if he’d been a striker he’d have actually played at Koln. Oh and Seube ends his career Greek. Because why not.
As per every time, a quick look around the world’s results is needed. Spain win back the World Cup titles, whilst Italy take a Euro win. Argentina, Mexico and Australia claim all their continents international trophies in the window, so no massive surprises there. The domestic world isn’t exactly littered with shocks either. Brescia win a Coppa Italia, and Nîmes Olympique grab 4 top 5 finishes in a row in France, but there’s not really much to shout about. I think it’s best to just get on with the next de-ageing. Loyal Players Remaining:
8 Abreu Club Count:
29 clubs in 10 countries Odd Winners:
Brescia (Coppa Italia)
Down to 8 now, so it’s getting tougher. And a lot slower, so slow in fact that not a single transfer in our group happens in five years. For a moment I was excited to see Manceau at Recreativo de Huelva, but that was just a loan. So I was back to being crushed. On the plus side, Abreu makes some huge steps. He adds not just 1, but 2 new countries to his history! The first is Portugal, in a huge step up to join Braga. As usual, it’s just until his contract ends, before he moves on to Frankfurt in the Bundesliga. He’s hardly setting Europe alight but I don’t care, he’s actually moving!
There’s only one retiree to talk about too, as pretty much everyone has already gone. Geoffrey Jourdren finishes up with 925 total league appearances. It probably could have been a bit more, if he’d not spent 10 years of his career being a backup at PSG and Bayern. On a far more interesting note, Terry breaks through 1500 career league appearances. Kane also hits 256 international goals, which results in the number resetting to 0 just like caps. So the game has him on 96 caps with 11 goals, when the actual numbers are a stunning 352 caps with 267 goals.
Having seen my disappointment last time around, the world decides to liven things up. Denmark become both Champions of the World and Champions of Europe in 2042 and 2040, although they lose the European title to Germany 4 years later. At the continental level, the Champions League stays on track, but the Europa League brings some bizarre winners into the mix. Nîmes Olympique, Real Sociedad, Leicester and Bristol City all win a trophy. It seems Mark Noble finally made a right move transferring to Bristol City, as the club is now a strong top 6 Premier League side. Manceau wins a Coupe de France at Angers, but it’s still Nîmes making waves, forming a big three with PSG and Monaco. It may not be long before either Nîmes or Bristol City win their league, which is not something I expected to be saying. Loyal Players Remaining:
8 Abreu Club Count:
31 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners:
Nîmes Olympique/Bristol City (Europa League), Angers (Coupe de France)
2045 kicks off and once again Manceau deceives me. This time it’s a loan spell in Denmark with Brøndby that had me thinking he was gone. Well you know what they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice… I’m probably gonna fall for it. It looks like there’s going to be no moves whatsoever once again, until June 2047 arrives and I notice a contract is set to expire. Imagine my shock when Lionel Messi
is not offered a contract by Barcelona and is let go. It’s made doubly worse by the fact that of all teams to pick him up, it's Atletico Madrid. Apparently, 37 Ballon d’Or awards aren’t good enough for Barcelona anymore. I don’t even care that nothing else happens. That’s enough to stun me.
Over in the retirement home, Mark Noble moves into a room. After an up and down career, the Englishman did manage some silverware with Bristol City and ended his career with 1317 league appearances. He even earned not just 1, but 90 England caps across his 44-year career.
Around the world, interesting results are still cropping up. England grab their third World Cup win beating Colombia, whilst Honduras win their first-ever Gold Cup. Much to my bitter disappointment, Arsenal win 4 of the 5 Champions Leagues on offer, as well as 3 Premier League titles. Chelsea have a period of bottom 10 finishes which deeply upsets Terry, whilst over in France, Chamois Niortais begin to try and join the top 3. Don’t worry I’ve never heard of them either. Loyal Players Remaining:
7 Abreu Club Count:
32 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners:
Honduras (Gold Cup)
With the world still reeling at the fact the Messi has moved from Barcelona, everyone kinda forgets to make any moves. In fact, Messi is the first person to move yet again, leaving Atletico in a very cheap 34.5M move to Man City. Which is more in line with where I originally expected him to go. Abreu finishes one contract, at Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and moves onto the next, but it’s with Monterrey so doesn’t count. Sebastian, it has to be new clubs. John Terry is starting to get frustrated with a Chelsea team that has really fallen from grace. The Londoners barely survive relegation in 2052/53, so Terry may be the next to go. Or maybe I know nothing and it’s completely random.
No-one retires this year, so let’s take a brief look at some statistics of our remaining 7 + Messi. All our players have now reached 1000 appearances, with Bargfrede in last at 1173. Messi has crossed 1000 league goals, now a full 300 clear of the chasing pack of Abreu and Kane. On the international level, Thomas Müller becomes the first player to need a rollover of caps twice, moving on to a massive 524 international caps. But it’s Kane who still leads the international goal stat, nearly breaking 350, a full 50 ahead of the German.
Müller does, however, grab a World Cup win for Germany so I’m sure he won’t be too upset. At least until they’re deposed by Holland 4 years later. On the continental level, Bristol City win another Europa League title beating previous champions Espanyol. Middlesbrough also nearly earn a trophy, having joined Bristol as a top 6 team. But the winner of the biggest shock, although I did say this might happen, goes to Chamois Niortais, who topple the dominance of PSG and Monaco to capture a miraculous Ligue 1 title in the last season of the period. Loyal Players Remaining:
7 Abreu Club Count:
32 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners:
Chamois Niortais (Ligue 1), Bristol City/Espanyol (Europa League)
The summer window of 2055 opens and as I warned may happen, there’s an almost immediate transfer. Fed up with Chelsea’s mediocre finishes, John Terry
decides to move on. Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, Arsenal is his next club, which I’m sure will cause a few shudders. A year later and another move comes around, once again due to unhappiness over the club’s performance. Surprisingly it's Thomas Müller
,who's annoyed by the fact that Bayern haven’t won a Bundesliga title since 2048, and so runs down his contract. Leverkusen almost earn his signature, but eventually its the glory of PSG that proves too much to resist. But we’re not done there! Another player runs down their contract, opting to move to Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal. Vincent Manceau
finally makes a real move rather than constantly faking me out. So with another 3 players down, we’re left with our final 4. The race for the top 3 is hotting up now!
We do have a retirement this time thanks to the transfer window livening up. The world's best-ever player, Lionel Messi, retires from football. He ends up on a total of 1858 league appearances, scoring a massive 1068 goals in this time. 1430 appearances and 895 goals of those belonging to his 45-year career at Barcelona. On the international scene, he earned an impressive 505 caps and 276 goals. But it’s the awards where he shines. 279 individual awards, 82 team titles, 22 league titles, 6 Champions League titles, 45 Ballon d’Or awards. What makes it even crazier is 41 of those Ballon d’Or awards were in a row, as he earned every single one from 2015 to 2056. I don’t think I’ll see another player like that crop up in any save, truly the world’s best player.
Looking out on the world, I can say that it’s a Chamois Niortais player that breaks Messi’s streak, as the French team claim another two Ligue 1 titles. It’s hard to say they’re a “surprise winner” at this point. Bristol City finally make the full step up to join the big guns, winning 3 Carabao Cups, 1 FA Cup, 2 Premier League titles and even a Champions League trophy. If any Bristol City fans want this save to give themselves hope over the future, I can send it over. Internationally it's the era of Portugal, as they claim both the Euro and World Cup trophies. Loyal Players Remaining:
4 Abreu Club Count:
32 clubs in 12 countries Odd Winners:
Bristol City (Premier League/Champions League), Lyon (Relegation)
With so few players left, now is probably a good time to speed it up once again. The final four will be tough to budge, so how about we move to 10-year intervals to try and cut down on dead years. And I'll be moving to the comments, because I've hit reddits character limit.
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