Saturday, November 28, 2015

Adventures in Video Games - A new journey/blog from yours truly!

One thing that I enjoy is sharing my thoughts of my many hobbies whoever is interested enough to spend a little time reading what I have to say. Each blog that I run was basically started as a creative outlet for said hobby and to hopefully get more enjoyment...whether that be trading cards, toys, music or now video games. Today I launch Adventures in Video Games!

I never envisioned myself as a video game collector, nor did I see myself with a room full of Transformers and other action figures one day. However games have always been one of those "distractions" that I've had around since I was young. With so many hobbies and what seems to be so little time, I'm always looking for ways to get more out of my hobbies and these blogs have been a great outlet for me to share my thoughts and opinions. Some have even forced me to enjoy things that I've put aside and ignored.

That said I felt a blog for my game collection was perfect as there are many games I own that I've never played or haven't touched in years. My hope for the blog is to sit down and play some of these games and share some photos of the games as well as my thoughts and opinions. I won't be doing any "Let's Play" YouTube videos or anything like that. Instead I'll be sticking to the tried and true "pen and paper" so to speak to share my content.

While it may not be the most entertaining read at times, I hope if you enjoy games like I do that you'll stick around, or at least drop in every once in awhile to check out what I have to share. My hope is that I'll be able to provide new content on a somewhat regular basis moving forward, yet while trying to still juggle my posting duties on my other sites. I'm excited to see where this journey leads me so here I go.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Little Love for my 7-0 Carolina Panthers

Going into the 2015 NFL Season if someone had told me that the Carolina Panthers would be 7-0 entering week 9 of the season...without Kelvin Benjamin I would have laughed. It's not that I doubted my team, but to be undefeated without our number 1 wide receiver? If I'm being honest, and I am, I didn't see this coming.

All season long I've heard the critics say that Cam Newton isn't a franchise quarterback. He can't win without real "weapons" and the wide receivers on our team are horrible. I've heard that the Panthers haven't beaten anyone. Basically I've had to sit all season thus far and listen to the nation say the Panthers suck.

I've been a fan of the team since 1995 when the team played their first game. I'm not a bandwagon fan so all this criticism eventually gets to you. I'm so proud that this time has come together and strung together the wins they have. They have a big hurdle in their way today in the form of the Green Bay Packers. If the Panthers are going to go 8-0 they will need to play their A game as today's match up won't be an easy one.

2014 Panini Rookies & Stars Crusade #39
The success of this team all begins with Cam. While his stats over the last handful of games aren't anywhere near the realm of Brady, Manning or Brees, he is still 7-0 and last time I checked that's what matters. Cam has taken huge strides since even last year. Of course it helps that this is the first time in a while that he has been completely healthy...and it shows in his play. I also think that in a weird way, Kelvin Benjamin going down in the pre-season has only made Cam a better QB. It's forcing him to spread the ball around more. He's also doing a fantastic job controlling the running game in the back field w/ a healthy Jonathan Stewart. If Cam can continue to spread the ball around and play smart, I think he has a good chance of shutting up even more of the national critics with his play today.

2015 Topps Valor Shield of Honor autograph patch 05/50
2015 Topps Inception Rookie patch 002/125
2015 Panini The National glove swatch #7
2015 Panini The National 317/499
2015 Panini Rookie & Stars #RSR6
Devin Funchess hasn't panned out to be the wide receiver a lot of fans were hoping him to be. He's dealt with a few dropped passes in his limited playing time he's gotten, but it's still early. Plus I think Kelvin spoiled us fans last year bursting onto the NFL scene with the rookie season he had. I have high hopes still for Funchess and I think he'll play a crucial role in the passing game in years to come.

2015 Panini Spectra auto 67/99
A little known WR from Ohio State University, Philly Brown has been hot and cold with the Panthers. He made some good plays last year w/ his speed, but in the pre-season this year he was known for all the wrong reasons - dropped passes. Philly has recently turned things around and has been a big part of this offense at times w/ his incredible speed. He also has turned around the whole dropping the ball thing and has been awarded with more playing time. He may not be a household name or have the receiving numbers as other NFL WRs, but that doesn't mean he can't burn the Packers later today.

2015 Topps Valor Gridiron Warriors
It's no surprise that Greg Olsen has been Cam's #1 target for most of the season. A great blocking tight end too, Greg has been an invaluable part of this offense. I swear of the last few games though the refs have hit him with a few phantom calls that have resulted in touchdowns he scored being waived off or a big penalty costing the team yardage. However Greg is a great example of the heart this team has and how this team has come together to play as one.

2015 Bowman Rookie Chrome Refractor auto
2015 Topps Inception auto
Cameron Artis-Payne hasn't gotten on the field much this season due to the stellar efforts of Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert, but like with Funchess I think he'll play a big part of this offense in years to come.

2015 Panini Certified auto 83/99
The saying is that defense wins Championships and Carolina has plenty of horses on defense. Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly, Kwann Short, Josh Norman and others have been in the spotlight, however Shaq Thompson has really burst onto the scene and is putting together a really nice rookie campaign for himself. Shaq missed the Monday night game last week against the Colts, but is back and ready to wreck some havoc against the Packers offense today.

There are of course many, many other players that have factored into the teams 7-0 record to this point, but I don't have any new cards of those players to share! This has been an incredibly fun ride so far and I look forward to today's tough match up. Even if the Panthers come out of today w/ a 7-1 record, I'll still be just as proud of the team as if they come out 8-0. I think one of the things that sets this team apart from the a lot of the other teams is that they believe in one another and play as a team. I know that may sound cliche, but it's true. This team has one another's backs at all times. The Panthers may not be the flashiest team or win the prettiest, but they are finding a way to get things done each and every week and I don't think today will really be any different.

Go Panthers!! #KeepPounding