Veras

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Veras last won the day on November 12 2017

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About Veras

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    First Marmoset of the Apocalypse

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    Indianapolis
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    American football, baseball, politics (especially campaigns), history, and video games.
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    Minnesota Timberwolves howling alternate, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Blues, Seattle Seahawks
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  1. Veras

    My Ideal Life - Forward Spiral

    Thank you for the kind words. Things are definitely improving. In fact, I only have one week of intensive outpatient therapy left. I also have a 40-hour per week job now, so hopefully it will free me up to start writing and designing again once I'm not doing 9 hours of counseling every week. I hadn't thought of that, but I like it. I don't take any offense to the suggestion, but I'm not LGBTQ+ (okay, I'll admit to a slight attraction to Taye Diggs, but that's about it). I used rainbow colors because I wanted to add an element of change to the spiral, and the colors are arranged the way that they are for a reason, other than the fact that I only had like 10 colored pencils. This is the original drawing, which I think will make what I was going for much more clear: I wasn't just going for change, I also wanted to show going from cool, dark colors to warmer colors as the spiral moved forward. The purple to blue downward transition actually has special significance. When I drew this, I was absolutely certain that my wife and I were splitting up (whether or not that happens is still up in the air, but it looks better now than it did then). Purple is her favorite color. More than that, she is also an artist (much better than me), and she has frequently used that same deep purple color to represent herself in her work. So the beginning of the spiral is me moving away from her, and falling into a low, blue point. I don't want my marriage to end, and if it does, it will be pretty tough for me to get through. But I know that, even if worst comes to worst, I'll eventually bounce back. It may take me a while to heal, but I know that eventually, that coldness will dissipate, things will turn around, and someday I'll feel warm again. As for getting a copyright... I'm not sure. I mean, I think this is an interesting illustration, but I don't think it's that good. Plus, I wouldn't even begin to know how to go about doing that, much less promoting and spreading it. It's not like I'm qualified to speak at conferences or anything like that (well, not in the mental health field, anyway). I definitely appreciate the extraordinary praise that you've given me and it, but that's all a little grand. I'm just looking for something to remind me to avoid stepping backwards and losing myself in depression and anxiety again.
  2. The AFA and PHL don’t exist in the same universe. And Charlotte’s USFA franchise wears red, white, and grey. If they’re successful (and the USFA collapses), it’s likely that a potential AFA franchise would mimic the Cyborg look.
  3. This may be a little sappy, but bear with me. Over the past few months, I've been struggling with severe anxiety and depression. At the same time, a lot of things in my personal life have been crumbling, and things got bad enough that I spent Monday through Thursday in an inpatient treatment program. During one education session a few weeks ago, a counselor talked about how depression leads people to engage in certain behaviors (isolating themselves, for example), that causes deeper depression, which leads to more depressed behavior, and so on. It is a downward spiral. That really resonated with me, and over the past few weeks I've been doodling a shape that looks a little like this. When I was in inpatient, I got bored with a session, flipped over the paper they gave me, and drew another downward spiral. Once it was finished, I started spinning the page around, and realized that the spiral doesn't have to point down. It still looks good pointing up, or left, or right. It doesn't have to represent inevitable misery and failure. By coincidence, the next session was an art therapy kind of thing, and we were told to draw our ideal life five years from now. With my personal life in chaos, I couldn't do anything specific, because I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing in a month, much less five years. So instead, I cleaned up and colored my forward spiral. Sometimes it goes up, and sometimes it goes down. It's always changing, but it's always moving forward, and it's always getting closer to the middle: closer to where I want to go. Just because I'm at a low point now doesn't mean that I always will be. In fact, an upswing is inevitable, and even though I know I will have low points again, I can keep going. I like my original, but I didn't exactly have a lot of materials to work with, so I want to recreate it digitally and have it printed as a poster. With more time and access to Illustrator, I was able to try it in a few different styles. If I'm going to pay to have it printed, I want to make damn sure that I've got it exactly right, so first of all, I'm asking for C&C on the shape itself, as well as on which version is best. I also don't have a lot of experience with having things that I've designed printed, so if anybody has any tips for that, it would be greatly appreciated. To save space, I'm only posting small versions here. Click on the version number for a higher-quality look. Version 1 - The Original. This one looks almost exactly like what I drew in the hospital. Version 2 - No outlines. I removed the outlines, and let shading alone create the slight 3D effect. Version 3 - Black. The only materials that I had available was an ink pen, 8 colored pencils, and a tub of markers. If I were to start from scratch and do it by hand, I would want to use oil pastels on black paper. I don't have access to those things, which is why I'm doing it in Illustrator instead. This is close to what I imagine it looking like. Thanks you for your time.
  4. I’m alive, just working through some things. I’ll be back when I can write again.
  5. Eh, bad ideas are part of the history of design. That said, if the Denver Bulls end up going back to red and green but their logo looks like a toupee, I'm going to want to smash something. I mean… you’ve kind of forced his hand here. It seems to me that @hawkfan89 now really has no choice but to do exactly this, lol.
  6. Lol, they won it all last year. You had better be careful with the use of the word “finally.” There are some Captains, Royals, and Whales fans on here who have been waiting since the the 40s and 50s!
  7. In a game that was expected to be extremely lopsided, the scrappy Bobcats managed to keep it close… for three quarters. The Gladiators scored first on a swing pass to FB J.C. Kraushar on the game’s opening drive, but the Cats tied it at 7 five minutes later. LB James McDuffy slipped past the blockers and blew up WR Angelo Caro on a wide receiver screen, and CB Bob Cooper came up with the loose ball at the Detroit 18, which set up a touchdown reception by rookie sensation Deacon Cross. A field goal late in the second would allow the Gladiators to take a 3-point lead into the half, and they then opened the third quarter with an interception at the Tampa 32. This allowed them to score then own touchdown off of a turnover, and extend the lead to 17-7. Once again, however, the Bobcats refused to go down without a fight. With just over four minutes remaining in the quarter, they drove all the way to the Gladiator 1. Detroit forced a 4th and goal, but the always-aggressive Bobcats kept the offense on the field. QB Bobby Davis faked the handoff to RB Wayne Lee, and then hit TE Barry Threadgill in the flat for the touchdown. Detroit wasted no time in reasserting control. The ensuing drive ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass from John Lewis to Angelo Caro on the first play of the fourth quarter. They extended the lead to 13 on a 24-yard field goal midway through the quarter, and the final nail in the coffin came when SS Eddie Kosakowski picked off an overthrown ball and returned it 65 yards to the end zone with 1:07 to play. The clock ran out, and with the score at 34-14, the Gladiators were able to hoist the Victory Cup for the second consecutive year.
  8. That is pretty interesting. Actually, the fact that both of those teams made it to the final four would make for an interesting storyline, even if the game were being played somewhere else. Their defensive core is young and extremely talented. They have the potential to develop into one of the great defensive units in the history of the game over the next few seasons (assuming they can keep everyone around). At the same time, they need to build on offense if they're going to have a real shot at a title. They know it too: they've been linked to a number of quarterbacks around the league, including Donny Minor in New Orleans and John LeBell in Philadelphia. They're also courting Louisville's Manny Rowe, who has dominated the USFA. Rowe might be a tough get, though. He started his professional career as a backup with the Wolves in 1982. He alternated between the bench and practice squad, and was cut after the 1983 season. He has a chip on his shoulder and would very much like to show the team that they made a mistake.
  9. The general consensus was that the team that made the fewest mistakes would come away with the win, and the game plans of both teams reflected that throughout the first half. Knowing that the only way that the Milwaukee offense would be a threat is if they were given a short field, the Gladiators took an extremely conservative approach, repeatedly feeding the ball to RB Johnny Hewitt in an attempt to protect the ball. He was reasonably effective thanks to the phenomenal play of FB J.C. “Crusher” Kraushar, who was able to keep All-Stars DT Jeff Marenghi and LB Gabriel Rose away from his running back. It would be Milwaukee turnovers that defined the first half, as QB Ray Oram threw a pair of picks. The first came just minutes into the game, and set up a 7-yard touchdown drive; while the second came late in the second quarter and allowed K Willie Sluder to knock down a 47-yard field goal with one minute remaining in the half. The Wolves managed a field goal in between, so at halftime, the score was a competitive 10-3. The Gladiators would blow the game open midway through the third when Ron Pryce recorded his second interception of the day. It set up a field goal, but the Gladiators then forced a 3 and out, Johnny Hewitt ended the next drive with a touchdown run. He would score again five minutes into the final quarter, this time on a pass from John Lewis, to put the home team up 27-3. The Wolves would score a touchdown in garbage time, but it could not stop the Gladiators from becoming the first team since the 1980-1981 Centennials to go to back-to-back Victory Bowls. The Hurricanes had been heavy favorites in the quarterfinals because of QB Tom Hudson, and they won despite his poor play. Unbeknownst to the football world, his bad game was the result of a torn rotator cuff that he had suffered on the lone series that Houston’s starters had played in week 17. Hudson had refused to even complain to the team medical staff about the injury, fearing that doing so might result in his being forced out, so he played through the pain. For the second week in a row, his passes were off-target and frequently underthrown. With Hudson playing like an average quarterback instead of the star that he was, the game was very even in the first half. The Bobcats jumped to a 7-0 lead late in the first on a 3-yard run by Wayne Lee, and had every opportunity to extend it in the second. CB Huslu Green picked off Hudson at the Houston 22, and made it all the way back to the 1 before being forced out of bounds. Bobcats fans felt that Green should have been credited with a TD, and their displeasure was multiplied two plays later when Lee made it into the end zone, only to have the score invalidated by a holding penalty. On the next play, disaster struck when there was a miscommunication between QB Bobby Davis and WR Deacon Cross, which resulted in a pass going directly to CB Michael Divers, who sprinted 102 yards for a touchdown to tie the game. Tampa blew the game open in the second half. On the second play of the third quarter, WR Sylvester McNeese split the safeties and Davis hit him in stride for a 76-yard score. They added a field goal five and a half minutes later to make it a 10-point game. On the ensuing Houston possession, DE Steven Perdue sacked Hudson hard, slamming him to the turf on his injured shoulder. What had been a minor rotator cuff tear was ripped cleanly in two, and Hudson was replaced by the untested fourth year backup from Connecticut, Paul Dreibelbis. The home crowd was silent as they wondered if the backup whose name they couldn’t even pronounce could lead a comeback. The odds got longer in the final minute of the third quarter when McNeese was able to get behind the Houston defense again for a 96-yard touchdown catch. The stadium was dead silent when Dreibelbis took the field again, but he quickly got the crowd back into things by hitting Mark Ellison for a 69-yard touchdown. Then, with 4:18 to play, the Hurricanes kicked a field goal, making it a 7-point game. Sadly, that is as far as the comeback attempt could go. Davis, always better in high-pressure situations, led the Bobcats on a 77-yard touchdown drive that ended with Wayne Lee diving for the pylon to put the Tampa lead at 31-17 with just over 2 minutes to play. The clock ran to 0:00, and the Bobcats earned the right to play in the Victory Bowl for the first time in their 9-year history. Victory Bowl Preview The Bobcats are a team defined by their scrappiness. They’re tough, are known for come-from-behind victories, and they often get the job done against stronger opponents. That’s good for them, because the Gladiators are defined by their talent. The Bobcats should be able to put up some points against a good Gladiator defense, but it is virtually inconceivable that they will be able to slow down Detroit’s offense. John Lewis and Johnny Hewitt are the game’s premier QB/RB combo, and the Tampa secondary doesn’t have anyone who matches up well with speeder WR Angelo Caro on the outside. Unless the Gladiators agree to let the Bobcats use 12 or 13 men on defense, we’re probably looking at yet another Victory Bowl blowout. Detroit wins, 30-17, and becomes the first team to repeat as Victory Bowl champions since the 77-78 Washington Wasps. This is Detroit’s 9th Victory Bowl appearance, which is second only to Pittsburgh’s 12. They won the 16th (defeated Pittsburgh), 17th (New Orleans), 19th (Buffalo), and 43rd (St. Louis) and lost the 15th (Pittsburgh), 18th (Pittsburgh), 20th (Colorado), and 21st (Pittsburgh). A win will give them sole possession of the second most titles with 5, once again trailing Pittsburgh’s 9. This is Tampa’s 9th season and they have never before played in a championship game.
  10. Worked crazy hours this week. Hopefully I’ll be able to atay awake long enough to post tonight. If not, then tomorrow afternoon. That’s a long way off for now, but they’ve had some early draft picks, so we’ll see if it pays off for them. I hadn’t even thought of that. You’re right. It’s just too bad that Bill Trotter isn’t alive to see the two teams that he founded play in the semifinals. If that’s the way things shake out, you can be sure that the pregame ceremony will include a sizable memorial for him.
  11. Their lease runs through 1997, but they already want a new stadium. The team is clearly angling to use the earthquake as an excuse to get out of the lease, though there isn't any indication that they would be leaving the Bay Area. I move across the bay to Oakland isn't out of the question though. That is the Victory Bowl matchup that most sportswriters are predicting, and it would probably produce the most interesting game. Detroit and Houston have built a pretty strong rivalry over the past few years. This is their 30th season.
  12. If it's any consolation, Houston was a very tough draw. There is a good case to be made that they are the most talented team in the league. Hudson is arguably the AFA's top QB, and his supporting cast is so good that they can win a playoff game even when he has an off day.
  13. 1989 Quarterfinals The Ghosts got off to a bad start, as their first possession of the day lasted only two plays before RB James McCoy lost a fumble at the Cleveland 22. Three plays later, Bobby Davis put the Bobcats in front with a 10-yard pass to rookie WR Deacon Cross, and the Cats were up 7-0. They would only build on that momentum, putting up two more touchdowns in the second quarter, including another Davis to Cross connection. The Ghosts were able to make it a 2-score game going into the half after RB Jose Ortuno took a swing pass into the end zone with 40 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Ghosts came out of the locker room feeling good about their chances at a comeback, but their offense struggled to click. It wasn’t until DT Keith Barry stripped Davis on a sack with 4:16 remaining in the third quarter that the complexion of the game shifted in their favor. The Ghosts recovered at the 11, and on the very next play, QB Therron Nikoloudis eluded the defense and scrambled into the end zone. The Bobcats offense responded to their error, driving deep into Cleveland territory, but came away with nothing after Barry forced a fumble for the second time in less than three minutes, this time tearing the ball free from the grasp of RB Wayne Lee. Nikoloudis then drove 90 yards to the Tampa 4 before being stopped, but Cleveland’s field goal cut the deficit to 21-17. That score would hold for 10 minutes, before the Ghosts took the lead for the first time of the day on a 15 yard TD reception by WR Bob League. Both teams went three and out, and when the Bobcats got the ball back, they were at their own 12, trailing 21-24 with 1:33 to play. Davis, who has earned the nickname “the Cardiac Cat” for his ability to lead late comebacks was unfazed by the pressure. “We’ve got this,” he assured his teammates in the huddle as they stood in their own end zone, “We have them right where we want them.” His confidence was not misplaced. The Bobcats marched down the field, deep into Cleveland territory. Finally, facing 4th and goal from the 4, Davis tossed the ball to Wayne Lee on a screen pass (which was technically recorded as a run), and he dove into the end zone with 4 seconds on the clock to reclaim the lead. A bad snap on the PAT meant that the lead would be 27-24, but the point made no difference. The Ghosts attempted to get into the end zone on a schoolyard play with multiple laterals, but were unsuccessful, and for the first time in team history, the Bobcats are one win away from the Victory Bowl. This game began much like most people had predicted. Ten minutes into the second quarter, the Gladiators were up 14-0 (and the lead would have been larger, if not for a red zone fumble by FB J.C. Kraushar at the end of the first). However, midway through the second quarter, the Dragons came to life. QB K.C. Baker got them on the board on a sneak with 6:15 remaining, and they added a field goal as time expired before the half. They then stunned the Autodome crowd when WR Curtis Tyre beat CB Ron Pryce for a 73 yard touchdown reception. They had put up 17 unanswered points in less than 7 minutes to take a 17-14 lead. However, they could not hold the momentum. The defending champions responded with a long drive that ended with a game-tying 30-yard field goal. They retook the lead early in the 4th on an 8-yard Johnny Hewitt touchdown run, and would not surrender it. Portland’s best chance to tie the game up came with just over four minutes to play. On 2nd and 2 from the Detroit 39, WR Thomas McLaurin was left wide open as he streaked down the left sideline, but Baker was under too much pressure to go through his progressions, and never saw him. Instead, the quarterback took a shot at Tyre near the right sideline, forcing the ball into double coverage, where it was picked off by Pryce. Detroit failed to run out the clock, but only because they ran out of field to work with first. Hewitt scored from 1 yard out to put the score at 31-17 with 28 seconds to play, sealing the Gladiator victory. The Milwaukee Wolves offense spent the entire week leading up to the game listening to the media talk about how incompetent they were, and how the defense would have to carry the team. This apparently lit a fire under them. QB Ray Oram started the game playing like a maniac, and was responsible for the first 21 points of the day. An 11 yard TD pass to WR Robert Daus in the first, plus a 47 yard strike to rookie Howie Calvin and a QB sneak into the end zone in the second gave Milwaukee a 3-score lead early. Kansas City simply couldn’t do anything right. Even the way that they broke the shutout came on a fluke. Facing 4th and goal from the 3, QB John Vessey attempted a pass as DT Jeff Marenghi bore down on him. He was able to get the ball off, but Marenghi tipped it, and it came down into the hands of LG Vince Thompson – the very blocker who had failed to stop the athletic defensive tackle. He fell into the end zone, and the Crows were on the board. This seemed to bolster KC’s spirits, as they were able to pick off Oram at the Milwauke 33 just after the two-minute warning, and in the period’s waning seconds, they cut the deficit to 14-21 on a 1-yard run by RB Dyron Battle. The Crows tried to build on their momentum by starting the second half with a surprise onside kick, but it was botched so badly that they not only failed to recover the ball, but allowed Milwaukee’s Monte Brown to scoop it up and go untouched into the end zone. Milwaukee was able to extend that lead to 35-14 midway through the third after being able to start a drive at the KC 3 following a Gabriel Rose interception return. The Crows never had a chance to get back into the game, despite the fact that CB Terry Coleman recorded a pick six to cut the deficit to 14 early in the 4th. They simply could not move the ball against the Milwaukee D. Indeed, it was an interception by CB Ransom Young with 5 minutes remaining that really sealed the game. It set up a field goal which put the score at 38-21. The Wolves had recorded 4 takeaways (2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries) and scored 17 points off of turnovers – not coincidentally their margin of victory. Houston QB Tom Hudson was widely expected to be the star of the show, but he was uncharacteristically ineffective as he repeatedly missed his receivers and underthrew his targets. Midway through the first, one of these underthrown balls was picked off by CB Tom Hamblin near midfield, but the Houston defense held strong, and nothing came of Boston’s ensuing possession. Hurricanes supporters wouldn’t have to fret over Hudson’s poor play, however, as the team’s running backs, David Kennedy and Matt Cotten, stepped to fill the void. It was Cotten who scored the first points of the day, returning a punt 79 yards to the end zone in the final minute of the first quarter. Kennedy then added 7 more early in the second on an 11 yard scamper in which he vaulted over All-Star FS Jim Hubbard. The Captains struck back on the very next drive scoring on a 6 yard pass by Jon Cliffe after having gone 74 yards in less than 90 seconds. This would send the game into the locker room with Houston up 14-7. The Hurricanes came out with a new look defensively in the second half, throwing complex blitz packages at the Captains. At first, Boston handled this well, driving into the red zone after the third quarter kicked off. However, under intense pressure, Cliffe threw a bad pass that was picked off at the 1. The error seemed to shake him, and he wasn’t the same for the rest of the game. He was relentlessly pursued, and took 5 sacks over the game’s final 28 minutes, the first of which resulted in a fumble just as Boston threatened to cross into Houston territory. A pick by Houston CB Myron Slaughter early in the fourth allowed Hudson to begin a drive 35 yards from the end zone. Despite the fact that they failed to complete a single pass, the offense easily drove to the 3, and then Kennedy slipped through the line for his second touchdown of the day. A field goal with 6:23 left to play would put the Houston lead at 24-7. Boston answered by driving all the way to the Houston 18, but any chance of a dramatic comeback was extinguished when Cliff was hit while he threw, allowing CB Michael Divers to make an easy pick at the 6 with 3:46 to play. The Captains would get the ball back, but not until after the 2-minute mark, and they simply didn’t have time to put up the 17 points that they needed. The Hurricanes now find themselves one win away from the Victory Bowl for the third consecutive season. Semifinals Previews Detroit Gladiators (14-3) vs Milwaukee Wolves (12-5) Nobody has been able to stop the Gladiators all year, but they haven’t had to play the Wolves. Detroit’s success has come from forcing opponents to choose between shutting down QB John Lewis and RB Johnny Hewitt, and Milwaukee may be the only team in the league that has the talent to do both. DT Jeff Marenghi is a disruptive force in the middle, and with MLB Gabriel Rose playing directly behind him, there won’t be many rushing lanes open. This means that the Wolves won’t have to bring an extra guy into the box to keep Hewitt contained, which is bad news for Detroit. Of course, Milwaukee matches up poorly against the Detroit defense, too, so this could be a low-scoring game. The Wolves snag the upset, 17-10. Houston Hurricanes (14-3) vs Tampa Bay Bobcats (13-4) The Bobcats have been impressive since the end of the strike, but this is the end of the line for them. They have an impressive RB in Wayne Lee and a solid receiving corps, led by offensive rookie of the year Deacon Cross, but Houston’s skill players are just as good. Their rookie wideout, Mark Ellison, finished fourth in ROY voting, and nobody on the Tampa secondary will be able to stick with him. Another rookie, RB David Kennedy brings a smashmouth style that the team has lacked in recent years, and as good as Tampa QB Bobby Davis may be, he is no Tom Hudson. Beyond that, Houston boasts a top-10 defense, while the Bobcats don’t have a single All-Star on their unit. Houston wins easily, 34-21.
  14. To be fair, that division has only been that bad for the past three years (it just seems like longer because I'm moving so slowly). They're actually 4-5 in the postseason since the Whales VB appearance. In fact, the Dragons made the big game two years later, but were blown out by Pittsburgh.