18. 04. 22
posted by: Luke Mauer

Ever since Jared Rueff's question about which Princess/Character we would like to face 1v1 in a cage death match, our minds at TBPYNH have been running wild (brother).  And ever since I misread the question in the first place, this tournament had begun.  What tournament you might ask?  The princess tournament.  16 competitors.  One winner.  I feel this is most comparable to celebrity death match where Mills Lane says "I want a good, clean fight.  Now let's get it on!" The official list of Disney princesses I found only had 14 characters so there are two special entrants that I'm sure you're all aware of.  Princess Fiona (from Shrek) and none other than Cruella DeVille (from 101 Dalmatians).  The bracket was done randomly and is set up as the following:

1    Jasmine (Aladdin)
16    Moana (Moana)
8    Anna (Frozen)
9    Tiana (The Princess and the Frog)
5    Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
12    Merida (Brave)
4    Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
13    Rapunzel (Tangled)
6    Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
11    Princess Fiona (Shrek)
3    Elsa (Frozen)
14    Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
7    Pocahontas (Pocahontas)
10    Cruella DeVille (101 Dalmatians)
2    Mulan (Mulan)
15    Cinderella (Cinderella)

The first round isn't without upsets. Jasmine defeats Moana in a close bout.  Tiana defeats Anna (I picture Tiana as Naomi out there kicking ass).  Belle defeats Merida.  Rapunzel upsets Ariel as she is really nothing out of the water.  Princess Fiona defeats Snow white, despite the fact all 7 dwarfs tried to interfere. Else defeats Aurora by count out as the princess fell asleep before making it to the ring.  Cruella DeVille defeated Pocahontas with the help of her two hench men.  And lastly, Mulan defeated Cinderella by DQ when Cinderella used her glass slipper as a weapon.

Round 2, just as exciting, has some unique matchups.  Jasmine defeated Tiana in an absolute classic that had the fans going crazy.  Belle defeats Rapunzel in what appears to be a heel turn - Beast interfered and helped with a beatdown after the match.  Elsa tried to use her frozen powers, but they were no match for Princess Fiona as she trucked through Elsa, snowman and all.  Mulan also stopped the evil Cruella DeVille to move on.

The semi finals gave the biggest upset as evil Belle defeated the number 1 seed Jasmine to advance to the finals.  Mulan also took down the monster Fiona to advance to the finals.  The matchup is set.  Evil Belle w/ Beast vs. Mulan.  The finals weren't without drama.  Beast tried to interfere several times and the referee (presumably Mowgli from Jungle Book) was knocked down as Mulan seemed to have it won.  Beast tried to interfere again, but Mulan destroyed him with a kick.  Mulan hit another kick on Belle and got the 3 count. (Mulan is basically Asuka right?).  Mulan is the princess champion.  Stay tuned for part 2 to see which other character wins to become the top duo in Disney World.

18. 04. 17
posted by: Luke Mauer

It's NBA playoff time and we've reached out to our experts to tell you what they think will happen.  Tune in to the NBA Playoffs or tell us what you think might happen this year.  Are we close?  Are we clueless?  One is correct - you determine which.

 

 

Adam:

Champion:  Golden State
Finals Matchup:  Golden State vs Cleveland Cavs
Western Conference Finals:  Warriors vs Houston
Eastern Conference Finals:  Cleveland vs Sixers


These predictions are based solely on what I believe will happen, hell no this isn’t what I want to happen.  I’d love to see a small market team make a run and take down the heavyweights, but this is the real world, not Hollywood.  I think a few teams will be there in a year or two, the Sixers for instance, I think will be a contender soon, just not this year.  Wolves should be good but they aren’t, Pelicans are one other scoring option away too I believe (No I do not think Boogie takes them over the edge, they need a playmaker.)  Celtics are a team who has caught a lot of tough breaks, the Hayward injury and now the Kyrie injury have in my opinion eliminated them, but I don’t think I would have taken them over the Cavs anyway.


The West is a two team show, and the Rockets just do not have the post season experience needed this year.  Next year, maybe they can turn that corner with some success this year.  Other than those two, I do not see any real contenders out west.  So unfortunately I see another boring playoff finals matchup where the Warriors likely beat the Cavs in 5-6 games.  And this folks is why the NBA is virtually unwatchable.   

Andy:

I hate to break it to you, but this year’s NBA playoffs are not going to be very exciting.  Which is a tough thing to say, considering the NBA is, in my opinion, the sports league has the world’s best athletes, and demands a combination of athleticism and skill that is unmatched. What I mean when I say the playoffs won’t be very exciting is that I don’t expect many surprises. We’re going to see the same things play out that we’ve seen the past few years: LeBron and the Cavs will turn up their defense and intensity, and LBJ will remind us that he’s still the best player in the league. Toronto, despite having a great record, will look overmatched and flustered against a Cavs team that flipped the switch. In the West, Golden State, despite some injury concerns, will make a run through the tougher conference look like a cake walk. Chris Paul and James Harden will become playoff Chris Paul and James Harden, which unlike playoff LeBron, are far worse than their regular season selves. And once again we’ll have the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors facing each other in the Finals.

Even the surprises or upsets aren’t going to be unexpected. I mean, the Cavs will be a lower seed against the Raptors, but no one will expect them to lose. The Sixers (or should I say the Process) are going to make the Eastern Conference Finals, but when they beat a depleted Celtics team, you won’t hear about it being a great upset. The most unexpected result might be when the Rockets make the Western Conference Finals a close series. It may even go six games! What a shock! After that it’s straight off to the Oracle for another Steph vs. LeBron series. Or is it KD vs. Lebron now? Either way, we’ve seen this before.

The lack of a compelling story through this year’s playoffs is what really has me thinking hard about this prediction. Since all we’re seeing is another repeat of what we’ve already seen, we might as well see the best version of that, a version that will set us up for next year’s playoffs to have one story worth paying attention to. That’s why the Cavs have to win this year. If they even the series between themselves and Golden State at two apiece, LeBron has to stay in Cleveland for one more go at the Warriors to break the tie. And if they win next year, does LeBron walk away at the absolute top, having proved himself against a superteam many have said is the best ever?

Probably not. But it at least gives us a story to care about.

Luke:

The NBA playoffs, much like the NHL playoffs, are far, far better than the regular season.  The intensity is greater, the games actually matter, and the fans are usually more into it.  At a minimum, the video packages are much cooler.  So it's playoff time, which means a slate of really great basketball, right?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I see a few blowouts on the horizon.  I think the Cavs, Rockets, and Warriors could all sweep their first round series' or at least win 4-1.  I think Toronto SHOULD, but will likely win in 6.  The most intriguing first round matchup in the East is likely the depleted Celtics vs. the up and coming Bucks.  I think the Greek Freak can keep this one close and look for a first round upset.  I wouldn't be shocked if this one goes 7.  I honestly think the West will go chalk through the first round with the most likely upset being the Pelicans over the Trailblazers.  I think with a healthy Cousins, this team could make some noise, but Anthony Davis is still one of the best players in the NBA.  Plus there is only one game separating seeds 4-6 so there aren't really any "upsets" there.

I've always liked Carmelo Anthony and when his Knicks teams made the playoffs (maybe that should be singular - did it only happen once?) it was so fun to watch!  Linsanity, Carmello - I thought there was a chance.  There wasn't.  There never has been.  I'd love to see The Thunder win it all for Carmello but being upset by the Jazz in the first round wouldn't shock me.  If they make it through, I think the Rockets will beat them in 5, 6 at the worst.  Golden State will sweep the Blazers/Pelicans winner, setting up a Western Conference Finals of Rockets/Warriors.  In the East, I see the Cavs beating Toronto as they did all year - probably in 6 and I think the 76ers will make the Eastern Conference Finals, beating the injured Celtics who squeak past the Bucks.  This will set up a 76ers/LeBron matchup everyone wants to see.

In the conference finals, I'm forced to go out on a limb (which is a strange thing to say when you pick a 1 seed) and say the Rockets will finally do something right and take out the defending champions.  They certainly have the team to beat the Warriors, but they've also likely had that team before and underperformed.  I say CP3 and Harden get it done this year.  On the other side, LeBron will be LeBron and they'll oust the young 76ers in 6 and shake hands and LeBron to the 6ers rumors will be abundant.  This gives me a Houston/Cavs finals where I'm taking Houston.  I think LeBron gets tired by the Finals from carrying his team and the West is so much better than the East just overall.  The Rockets finally win one and Harden/CP3 will finally get to taste that gold that has eluded them forever.  Look for Houston to lose in the first round vs. the Timberwolves.

That's it for our playoff predictions - let us know who you think will win the championship this year.

18. 04. 09
posted by: Adam Land

March Madness 2018 just ended, Villanova beat Michigan to win their second National Championship of the last three years.  Blue Blood right? Not in a lot of peoples opinion.  Actually, most people you would ask, typically the old school college basketball fan, would say the Blue Bloods consist of UCLA, Kentucky, UNC, IU, Duke, and possibly can add Kansas and/or Georgetown to that list.  Well, for me, and probably most of our listeners, that list is completely outdated.  


We live in an era of instant gratification; we want the newest of everything all the time.  Why not an updated list of Blue Bloods?  I’m 29, I haven’t seen consistent success from a majority of that list in my fandom life, so for me that leaves me wanting more from said list.  Below I have broken down how I feel the current Blue Blood tiers should work.

 
My criteria for the list of Blue Bloods is year 2000 to now, obviously some will make the “both” list, but to be “new” the success is gauged from 2000 because that’s when I remember really beginning to pay attention to NCCAB.  

New Blue Bloods
Tier 1
Villanova – 2 National Titles since 2016
UNC – 3 National Titles since 2005
Duke – 3 National Titles since 2001


Tier 2
Connecticut – 3 National Titles since 2004 – has missed tournament last 2 years, just fired head coach
Kansas – 1 National Title in 2008 – wins the Big 12 every year, consistently deep in the tournament
Kentucky – 1 National Title in 2012 – Best recruiting class every year and always underachieves (they are lucky I didn’t stick them in tier 3)


Tier 3
Florida – Back to Back titles in 2006-2007, very little success in the tournament since
Michigan State – 1 Title is 2000 – consistent top 5 team who underachieves in the tournament


New and Old Blue Bloods
UNC – See above – Also won titles in 57, 82, and 93
Duke – See above – Also won titles in 91 and 92
Kenucky – See above – Also won titles in 48, 49, 51, 58, 78, 96, 98
Kansas – See above – Also won titles in 52 and 88


Former Blue Bloods
UCLA – 11 National Titles – 1 since 1975 in 1995 – this means no titles in 23 years, last time I checked that meant a team was not relevant
IU – No titles since 1987 – I wasn’t alive in 1987, how can people my age honestly think they are a Blue Blood?? (if this offends you then you are one of the problems)
Georgetown – 1 Title ever – The John Thompson era has been long since over – maybe Ewing can help out but the fact they were ever considered on this list is a bit crazy to me

Have thoughts?  Issues? Your own list?  Please reach out – let’s discuss. 

18. 04. 13
posted by: Luke Mauer

From Friday April 6th through Tuesday April 10th, the WWE housed its largest weekend of the year.  The weekend started with the Hall of Fame inductees for the WWE Class of 2018 Hall of Fame ceremony.  Inductees included Hillbilly Jim, Mark Henry, Jeff Jarrett, Ivory, The Dudley Boyz, and was headlined by none other than Goldberg.  While the night itself is historically uneventful, it's the kickoff to the greatest weekend of WWE's year and was highlighted specifically this year with some great speeches.

The Saturday night even could be argued as the best night of the entire weekend as NXT put on a tremendous show at NXT Takeover: New Orleans.  The event started with a 6 man ladder match for the newly formed North American Championship which included Adam Cole, Killian Dain, Lars Sullivan, Velveteen Dream, and two new debuts - EC3 and Ricochet.  It was a spot fest and arguably the best match on the card, but it certainly did not disappoint to kick off the show.  Adam Cole ultimately won by tipping Ricochet off the ladder and quickly climbing it himself.  Next, Shayna Baszler, former UFC fighter, won the NXT Women's Championship from Ember Moon (more on her in a moment) and then hugged it out with Rhonda Rousey after the match.  WWE is quickly piling up a large number of former UFC fighters.  The NXT Tag Team Championship match was a triple threat match between The Undisputed Era (champions), The Authors of Pain, and Pete Dunne/Roderick Strong.  There was a legitimate injury prior to the match which forced Adam Cole to sub in for The Undisputed Era, fighting his 2nd match within an hour.  With the help of A Roderick Strong turn, UE won the match and retained the gold.  The NXT Championship also changed hands as Aleister Black defeated Andrade "Cien" Almas in a fantastic match which highlighted both competitors strengths.  The final bout of the night was an unsanctioned match between "unemployed" Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.  This is a long standing feud filled with real injuries and about a two year backstory.  I'd suggest looking into it if you really don't know the tale.

NXT is a very different brand than either Raw or Smackdown, or the "main roster" shows as they're referred to.  The crowds are more excited, the characters are more developed, and the overall action just seems better.  Again, it may be an argument, but this show likely topped the majority of WrestleMania in my opinion.

Speaking of WrestleMania, Andy and I both picked each match on the card and Andy undoubtedly dethroned me from my own game.  The first two matches, in my opinon, were the best two on the card.  The opener was a triple threat match for the Intercontinental Championship between The Miz (champion), Finn Balor, and Seth Rollins.  It was a great back and forth between three wrestlers who have great chemistry and it showed throughout.  The match ended with Seth Rollins winning the title, which I think will be a good move long term.  The second match was the Smackdown Women's Championship match between Charlotte Flair and the undefeated Asuka.  This was possibly the match of the night as both women gave their all and Charlotte ended Asuka's streak, retaining her title.  Andy correctly picked both of these matches as I personally missed them.

Ronda Rousey made her in ring debut and put on what was likely the third best match of the night as her and Kurt Angle defeated the "bosses" Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.  Rousey was very over with the crowd and performed very, very well after the buildup was questionable at best.

A couple dazzling returns occurred as The Undertaker finally answered John Cena's challenge and defeated him in what equated to a squash match.  Daniel Bryan also made his in ring debut after several years as a part of a tag team win.  He wrestled again two nights later and has looked tremendous in the ring.

The final three matches showed some surprise as Shinsuke Nakamura lost his WWE Championshp matched and then turned heel by cheapshotting AJ Styles after the bell.  Braun Strowman chose a partner from the crowd for his Raw Tag Team Championship match, which ended up being 10 year old, Nicolas, and they won the belts.  They forfeited them the next night because Nicolas had 4th grade interfering with his travel schedule.  The last match of the night was a huge surprise as Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns to retain his Universal Championship.  Brock has been announced to go back to the UFC and there was reportedly a heated confrontation after the match between Brock and Vince/Shane McMahon.

Other results included "Woken" Matt Hardy winning the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, Namoi winning the Women's Battle Royal, Cedric Alexander winning the Cruiserweight Championship, Jinder Mahal winning the U.S. Championship, The Bludgeon Brothers winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championship, and Nia Jax winning the Raw Women's Championship.

The Raw (and now Smackdown) after WrestleMania serve as a hot crowd and lots of debuts and surprises so I'll highlight those below:

Raw - Ember Moon (mentioned above losing her NXT Women's Title) debuted along with No Way Jose and AoP (Authors of Pain) as call ups from NXT.  Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe returned from injury and both played significant roles on Raw.  Paige was forced to announce her in ring retirement due to injury in a very emotional but great segment and lastly, Bobby Lashley returned to the WWE after spending a decent amount of time in TNA (Impact).

Smackdown - Paige didn't find herself down for too long as she was announced as the new General Manager, taking over for Daniel Bryan who is now a full time in ring competitor.  Again, another great segment as Paige is getting a lot of support.  The Iconic Duo (now just Iconics - Peyton Royce and Billie Kay) debuted and attacked Charlotte Flair, leading to the (finally!) cash in of Carmella's Money in the Bank briefcase where she had to do nothing but kick Charlotte once and is the new WWE Smackdown Women's Champion.  The only other item of note, as mentioned earlier, was Daniel Bryan faced AJ Styles in a "dream match" but was interrupted by Shinsuke being a heel, again, and attacking both competitors.

All in all, this was a great weekend for the WWE and now next week we get a Superstar Shake Up where superstars will change brands (Raw and Smackdown) and there are no more brand-specific PPVs for the remainder of the year.  It should be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes.  Thanks to everyone for tuning in and congratulations to Andy on winning the first ever WrestleMania Challenge (or wet dream).  Next year, you won't be so lucky!

18. 04. 09
posted by: Adam Land

Now before you start, yes the fat guy is writing about new fast food items; but if it’s one thing I know, its good fast food.  When I heard this week that one of my favorites was releasing new items, I had to make sure I tried it out and let everyone know if it was legit or not.

 
This week Taco Bell released the Triple Melt Burrito and the Triple Melt Nachos, same base ingredients, different mouth delivery options.  I ordered both of these when I went to Taco Bell tonight, completely ignoring my slight lactose intolerance as I usually do.  Both items were very good, and only $1, I would order both again for sure.

 
Now, the negatives of both are there, but slight, thus why I would order them both again.  The burrito, in my personal opinion it needs a crunch element, but I always prefer the burrito’s that have Frito’s in them, which is why I’m pumped for the return of the Beefy Crunch Burrito.  The only negative for the nachos was the expected concern for $1 nachos, too small, and not enough toppings for all the chips.  
There was a third new item I tried out for you all too – but that one is reserved for the food review on this week’s episode of The Best Podcast You’ve Never Heard.