A bit of recap and my take on Griezmann’s situation
Just as a warning, this is probably going to be a huge post, so feel free to stop reading if it’s too long. Before joining us, Griezmann was a very good prospect on a very competitive Real Sociedad squad. Him and Carlos Vela were a pair of dynamic and skilful wingers. After Vela turned down our offer, we decided to go for him on the summer of 2014. I remember that when we first signed him I was very exited but I couldn’t have guessed not on a million years that he would end up being one of the best players on the planet at our club. As it happened to many, he struggled at first, but ended up doing a pretty good first campaign, even winning a title against Madrid. Haters tend to criticise Cholo for destroying players, but nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that if a player has the mentality and willingness to improve, el Cholo will guide them to their peak level. Griezmann embraced cholismo and has been, in my opinion, the best example of what I just said. He was our star and best player our attacking reference, but that is precisely when things started to go wrong. Every summer he was getting linked with either Barsa or Man. U. Those rumours were never addressed which generated instability on the club and I’m sure that also on the locker room. I’m pretty sure he would have gone if not for the transfer ban that we were imposed and the fact that the UCL final was on our stadium, in the end, he helped us a ton on winning the EL on a season that left us with a bittersweet feeling I would say. And boy oh boy here we come, the next season. As I said before I’m completely sure that the contacts between Barsa and Griezmann started much longer ago, but this season and the following one, it all blew up. I comprehend that as a footballer you look for your own interest, but there are ways to do it with respect to the club and fans who support you. I don’t know if you remember, but similar to what it has happened with Thomas this summer, his family started to publicly pressure the club. This pissed me off so hard, especially because one of the main arguments that they used was that he wanted to win titles. HE had the chance of winning the CL on his boots with that penalty. I was on that stand, behind the goal and as I saw him walking to the penalty spot I could tell that he was going to miss for fuck sake. Well anyways, after a relatively good season on which we had to tolerate his family complaining all day, his teammates having to convince him like a child, we even fucking made him the captain of the team before players like Godín, Koke, Torres, Saúl or Oblak. After all of these, the shitshow of La Decisión came. If I as a supporter couldn’t help but feel that he was laughing at our faces and at Barsa’s face, imagine what were their teammates thinking, he was sharing locker room with club legends and with players that gave 200% on the pitch but were never recognised as much as him, and yet he still demanded a special treatment and a mind-blowing salary of 700K a week which is more that what Neymar allegedly earns at PSG in comparison. This unsustainable situation for the club was a liability, but once we did the investment, one should expect performance, and above all, COMPROMISE. I think I speak for all Atleticos when I say that among all the things that I’ve said, Griezmann’s compromise is undoubtedly what pisses me off the most. He had everything here, a team that played for him, supporters that loved him, a manager that trusted him like his son, he had status and one of the best salaries in the world, and most importantly, he was on a team that could fight for every piece of silverware available. He was our star. 12 of March of 2019. Atleti have to play against Juve the second match of the tie of UCL. Griezmann, who hadn’t been active on the first match of the tie, did one of the most horrendous matches I remember him with the Atleti’s shirt. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the whole team performance on that day was shambolic, in fact, I was discussing it with a friend, and on my 15 years of supporting Atleti, I’ve never felt so angry with the team. But my point is, we, as fans, found it out later, but how do you think the climate t on the locker room was, knowing that your star player is not focused on the team. Later, we found out that now only Griezmann was going to one of our biggest rivals, but that he had signed a deal with Barsa in the middle of the season, which btw was illegal given his situation at the time. Honestly I didn’t just felt like I’d been betrayed, I felt as if a friend came to my house, stayed all day, just for him to then bet me up, steal my pc and spit on my face before he leaves. I, as well as a huge majority of Atleti fans, don’t support, and I will never support the chants of ¨Griezamann die¨ that were sung by Frente when we faced Barsa, but one part of me can’t help but to feel angry after what he did to us. However, I maybe I’m part of a minority here, but I can’t also help but to feel sad. Sad because of the way that Barsa are treating him, this won’t stop if EL CLUB DE AMIGOS is still present at Barsa. Sad because he looks depressed, lost and I’m sure that regretful. Maybe the thing that I feel the most is ,hearing his wife, after all the effort she put on convincing him to stay, tell him: ¨Te lo dije, gilipollas.¨ Which means: I told you, fucking idiot. Thank you for reading this! And just a reminder that this is my opinion and you don’t have to agree with it. Hope you liked it!
Preface Going into the 2019 season, the Patriots held very high expectations. The defense that had just shut down the high-powered 2018 Rams offense had arguably gotten better. Although the offense had lost Rob Gronkowski, the addition of first-round WR N’Keal Harry and free agent Demaryius Thomas seemed to at least keep their offensive options. Combining this with Sony Michel coming off a successful rookie campaign and 4 of 5 starters of a strong offensive line, with Trent Brown being replaced by 2018 1st round selection Isaiah Wynn, the offensive situation looked optimistic for New England. As the team progressed through the 2019 preseason and into the season itself, things began to look even better. Although N’Keal Harry injured himself in the first preseason game, the team was eventually informed that Josh Gordon would be reinstated, even being allowed to start Week 1. The defense showed its prowess throughout the preseason, especially against the Lions and Panthers, with the only bad game coming against the Giants, when the Patriots mainly played people at the bottom of the depth chart. To add to New England fans’ excitement, they saw their team sign WR Antonio Brown the night before the team’s debut against the Steelers. As New England embarrassed Brown’s former team 33-3, and then the Dolphins 43-0 it seemed almost inevitable that New England would become the first franchise to win 7 Super Bowls. However, that was not how the season progressed. Brown couldn’t handle himself even under Belichick’s control, and his decision to threaten the children of one of his accusers of sexual assault found him released from the team. Josh Gordon was injured Week 6 against the Giants, eventually being medically released and later found to have relapsed when he was on the Seahawks. The rest of the offense was riddled with injuries: Julian Edelman had nagging rib injuries, Philip Dorsett hurt his foot early in the year and also sustained a concussion, Mohammed Sanu sustained an ankle injury in his first game, early kick/punt returner Gunner Olsewski was injured in Week 7, Brady himself reportedly struggled with his elbow. The worst effects of injury came against the Offensive Line, as 4 out of the 5 starters sustained some injury, and this is not including the fact that C David Andrews missed the whole season because of pulmonary embolism. The most impactful injury out of this bunch was LT Isaiah Wynn, as the team had to deploy Marshall Newhouse to replace him, a role that Newhouse did not fill adequately, to say the least. Blocking also suffered when FB James Devlin suffered a season ending injury, followed by his backup Jakob Johnson also being put on IR only a few games later. Matt LaCosse and Ben Watson both missed multiple games, forcing the team to only roll with Ryan Izzo at tight end at some times. These many injuries, as well as a terrible TE corps, not only stunted the passing attack but also crippled the running game. Michel was often met and tackled in the backfield, resulting in a terrible YPC despite being the AFC East’s leading rusher. Despite these offense struggles, the team’s excellent defense performance, in combination with facing many subpar offenses, carried the team to a 12-4 record and the 3rd seed in the AFC. However, the offensive struggles were too great for the team; although the team’s defense held the red-hot Titans offense to 14 points and gave the offense multiple chances to pull ahead, the offense failed to perform when needed, unable to finish drives, even when on Tennessee’s 1-yard line. Sometimes you really do need an offense to win a championship. Pre-draft Notable Losses QB Tom Brady, FA, Buccaneers: The one loss that seemed unthinkable until it really happened. Even though we knew that Brady’s contract voided after this year, many fans thought he was still going to re-sign and finish his career here. However, New England really did not have the cap space to do so and build a satisfactory team around him, causing Brady to decide to sign with the Buccaneers, a team with high offensive potential and has a shot at the super bowl. The Greatest QB of All Time will be missed here in New England, as the team experiences uncertainty at the position for the first time in nearly 20 years. FB James Devlin, Retirement: When it was announced that it was a neck injury that sidelined Devlin for the rest of the season, his future with the team was in doubt. Once the team signed free agent Dan Vitale, it was almost certain that Devlin would announce his retirement sooner or later. James Devlin was an underrated part of the Pats’ success in the 2010s, where he proved to be a reliable lead blocker, bolstering the effectiveness of New England’s run game. His absence for most of 2019 was palpable as the team consistently struggled establishing a run game, and the Patriots have a tall task of finding an effective replacement for him. K Stephen Gostkowski, Released: Gostkowski’s departure represented another long-time Patriot staple leaving the team, although the Patriots had started to live without him as his season ended very early due to an injury that required surgery. The Patriots missed Gostkowski’s leg last year, as the team could not reliably score field goals longer than 40 yards, causing the offense to attempt 4th down conversions deep into enemy territory. LB Kyle Van Noy, FA, Dolphins: One of Belichick’s greatest successes in terms of correctly utilizing players that were previously viewed as ‘busts’ because their coaches could not use them correctly. Van Noy was acquired from the Lions for a measly swap of 6th and 7th picks midway through the 2016 season. Throughout his tenure with the Patriots, especially within the last two seasons, Van Noy became a staple piece in the team’s LB corps with his versatility and great fundamentals. Van Noy now joins his former LB coach Brian Flores in Miami, who will likely maximize Van Noy’s potential. LB Elendon Roberts, FA, Miami: Elandon Roberts joined his teammate Van Noy in joining Miami to be coached under Brian Flores. Roberts was promoted to captain for his final season in New England, and primarily played most of his defensive snaps as a run-defending thumping linebacker. Roberts also filled in as an emergency FB when both Devlin and Johnson were injured, and played decently well for a third-string FB, I guess. Roberts represents another role that the Patriots had to fill through free agency and the draft. LB Jamie Collins, FA, Lions: The Patriots added a familiar face in the athletic freak Jamie Collins heading into the 2019 season. Collins’ athleticism allowed him to flash in the early parts of the 2019 season, when he obtained a pick-six at Miami and almost blocked a Bills field goal attempt by broad jumping over the Bills’ line. Like Van Noy, Collins heads to a former Patriots defensive coach in Matt Patricia in Detroit. Unlike the Dolphins, the Lions front office did not watch the second half of the 2019 season, where Collins tended to lose discipline and become a liability in the defense, showing off some of his former issues. I highly doubt Lions fans will think Collins is worth his $10 million APY contract DT Danny Shelton, FA, Lions: Patriots North scoops up another Patriots player, what a surprise. Going into the 2019 preseason, Shelton seemed like he might be on the outside looking in for the Patriots roster. It looked like other tackles such as Mike Pennel had the ability to replace Shelton. However, Shelton impressed and was able to earn his spot on the team. The nose tackle’s primary role throughout the season was to be a run defender, a role he played quite well. Shelton will help add some strength to a Lions defensive front that played badly last year. DB Duron Harmon, Traded, Lions: Duron Harmon was a long-time player at the safety position, filling in the role of the third safety while working alongside McCourty and Chung. He earned the nickname of “the closer” due to his performances at the end of matches where he would end the game through obtaining an interception. The Patriots quickly found their replacement for Harmon, most notably adding DB/ST Adrian Phillips, so there really isn’t much worry for him leaving the team. OL Coach Dante Scarnecchia, Retirement: Arguably the greatest loss that the Patriots suffered outside of Tom Brady, the OL guru has again decided to retire. Scarnecchia is responsible for the Patriots having great offensive lines throughout his tenure and is a sometimes underrated aspect of their wild success. Unlike Scar’s previous retirement in 2014 where he was replaced by Dave DeGuglielmo, both Cole Popovich and Carmen Briscillo have experience being an understudy of Scarnecchia, which will likely help to soften the blow of his retirement. There were also rumors that Scar was still advising New England on scouting the OL position for the draft, so perhaps you can never keep this man away from this team. Additions, Extensions, Retentions, C David Andrews, Returning from IR: Although this technically does not fit this category, Andrews deserves to be mentioned. Even though Ted Karras played decently as he was thrust into the starting role, the Patriots felt Andrews absence, especially in the run game. Losing Andrews also likely contributed to the rest of the IOL (especially Mason, who played a lot of the season with a foot injury) not performing as well as they could have. Andrews' return will improve Jarrett Stidham’s performance, both through his protection as well as increasing the effectiveness of the Patriots’ rushing attack. OG Joe Thuney, Franchise Tag: Bringing back Thuney was a wise move for the Patriots. The star left guard will be instrumental to protecting young quarterback Jarrett Stidham as well as ensuring the run game operates smoothly. Although some consider IOL to be a low-value position, Thuney will help the team acclimate to the other changes that happened around the offense. Having a solid line is an important element of building a good offense, and Thuney will ensure that the left guard position will work reliably. DBs Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung: With Brady leaving, the Patriots found it valuable to keep long-time veterans around the team to maintain their team morale and culture while acclimating to the personnel change. McCourty has been a captain and locker room leader of the Patriots for quite some time and will be an important leader as the team adjusts to 2020. Both McCourty and Chung will feature in what should be a very strong secondary unit throughout the 2020 season. DB/ST Adrian Phillips, FA: Boy do the Patriots love versatility special teamers! Phillips has played well as a special teamer and also played in many positions in the Chargers secondary, and will bring his veteran experience to the Patriots secondary. He will likely play in the rotation of safeties with Chung and McCourty, filling in a similar role to Harmon, who was traded the day before Phillips was signed. DT Beau Allen, FA: The former Buccaneers DT will likely fill in as a replacement for Danny Shelton, who left the team to play for Detroit. Allen projects to play as a run-stuffing nose tackle that will ensure the Patriots can control the run. FB Danny Vitale, FA: Vitale is an interesting signing. While he is listed as a fullback, he probably will not be a straight replacement for the retired James Devlin. Devlin primarily filled in as a lead blocker and sometimes as a rusher, but very rarely was used as a downfield threat. Vitale has some decent athleticism and pass-catching experience that the Patriots will likely utilize. His versatility may mean the Patriots move him around a lot instead of just using him as a lead blocker, though he has decent experience at that position as well. LB Brandon Copeland, FA: Copeland was a signing the Patriots made to help account for the losses they had in free agency. The veteran LB recently played for the division rival Jets, where he primarily performed off the ball under Gregg Williams. Copeland brings some versatility and leadership as he has had to adapt from playing from the defensive line to off the ball. WRs Marqise Lee and Dameire Byrd, FA: Byrd’s main attribute is straight-line speed, though he really has never been able to convert it into a high amount of production, in part due to injuries. Perhaps it’s because Dorsett was on this team for three straight years, but I am not going to bet on Byrd producing just because he has speed. Lee is much more interesting, as he was able to produce solidly during 2016-17. However, Lee has not performed nearly at all in the last two years because of injuries. If Lee can return to his pre-injury form, (though not very likely), he could carve out a pretty decent role on this New England roster. The Draft: 2.37 Kyle Dugger, DB, Lenoir-Rhyne: It wasn’t a surprise to many Patriots fans that the team elected to trade out of their first round pick, though some that held up hope the Patriots would make a selection might have been disappointed. Many fans wondered where the team would go with their first pick, and when it was announced that the team chose a DB from a division II school, people were initially exasperated. Belichick’s record with 2nd round defensive backs is quite well known such that it has become a meme within the fanbase and around the NFL. His main success with the position in the second round was with Patrick Chung, and even he wasn’t very successful until his second stint. Obviously, we can’t declare a player a success or failure just because of prior trends or draft position and instead should look at the player himself if we are to make a judgement upon him. Coming out of high school, Dugger only received offers from DII schools because he was very undersized. As he eventually grew into his frame in Lenoir-Rhyne, he elected to commit to the school that recruited him. Dugger is a hard-hitting player who most likely will transition to playing in the box as a safety for the Patriots, likely eventually taking over for aging veteran Patrick Chung. What separates Dugger from many other defensive backs the Patriots have selected over the recent years is his athleticism. Dugger running a 4.49s 40, jumping 42 inches in the vertical jump and 134 in the broad jump while being 6’1” and 217 pounds presents a mixture of speed, size, and athleticism that is rare for a safety. The main aspect of his game that the Patriots need to work on is his transition to playing against NFL-level competition. Generally, the jump from a DI school to the NFL is quite large, the difference from DII to the NFL is even larger. It will likely take a year or two for Dugger to be ready to be a significant contributor on the defense as he adjusts to his new system. Adapting to these circumstances, the Patriots have ensured that Dugger will not have a lot of pressure to perform on defense early on through extending Chung and signing Phillips. Interestingly, Dugger’s coaching throughout his years at Lenoir-Rhyne has been inconsistent, he had to play under three different coordinators during his four years at the school. Hopefully with some great coaching and system stability with Bill and Steve Belichick Dugger can carve out his role as a future player in the secondary. Perhaps to the disappointment of some Patriots fans, Dugger’s contributions early in his career will most likely be on special teams. Dugger had experience being a returner in college, and I would not be surprised if that becomes his primary role early on in his tenure. Dugger’s athletic ability gives him the potential to become a future star on the team if he can adapt to the NFL. Only time will tell whether he works out or becomes another player too add to the list of failed second round picks. 2.60 Josh Uche, OLB, Michigan: Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio remarked that prior to day two, the Patriots had three players they had a priority on acquiring: Dugger was one of them, and Uche was the other that the Patriots were able to draft with their selections. Like Dugger, Uche is an explosive athlete with great speed as well as motor. Due to enduring an injury in the senior bowl, he was unable to participate in the combine. However, his athleticism shows up on film. Uche is a very versatile player, being able to play both on the line as well as off the ball and his efforts got him named the most versatile player by PFF in their 2020 draft guide. Michigan DC Don Brown said that he put Uche in nearly every position on the defense. I am sure Belichick was quite happy when he saw the 245 pound linebacker in coverage downfield against Penn State WR KJ Hamler. Amongst his versatility, his pass rush ability is what truly stands out. His 23.2% pressure rate and 28.2% pass rush win rate were second in both categories in the FBS. Uche achieved these great statistics through his incredible getoff off the line as well as good hand placement combined with his fantastic athleticism. Don Brown stated that Uche’s primary motivation was to become the best pass rusher in the country, and the dedication and work that Uche put in to be amongst the best in the country showed throughout the 2019 season. The primary aspect of Uche’s game that he needs to solidify in order to increase his role on the Patriots is increasing consistency with run defense. Uche marked the first of five consecutive selections the Patriots made that addressed pressing needs. Considering the amount of LB talent that left over the offseason, it is possible that Uche will see a decent amount of playing time on the defense, perhaps in a similar role to former Wolverine Chase Winovich, whom Uche now rejoins in New England. I see Uche likely being the second-most impactful rookie to play for the Patriots this season, helping to strengthen the team’s pass rush, resulting in a more effective pass defense overall. 3.87 AnferneeJennings, OLB, Alabama: Jennings’ selection serves as a nice complement to Uche’s. While Uche is this very athletic and undersized linebacker, Jennings better fits into the traditional, big, physical type of linebacker. Coming from Alabama, Jennings offers great fundamentals and football IQ that come from developing under Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban. While he may not be the most athletic or flashy player, Jennings will likely cement his role in the Patriots defense as a solid and reliable player, especially against the run. Jennings registered great production during his time at Alabama, leading edge defenders in FBS for run-stop rate at 12.6%. The Alabama product has often been compared to former Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy due to his ability to be a versatile piece across the line. Jennings is a very persevering player as well. In 2018 he suffered a worrying knee injury. Fortunately, the injury did not prevent him from returning to the field, but Jenninngs had to put in a lot of effort in order to return to his previous form. Saban also complimented Jennings’s dedication to improving himself in practice sessions. Jennings likely projects as an edge defender who will play very well against the run while also sometimes dropping into coverage. Jennings will likely see a fair amount of action as a rookie, especially on rushing downs. While he may not have a high ceiling, Jennings will likely be an anchor of the Pats’ defense as he progresses through his contract. 3.91 Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA: On the offense, New England desperately needed to do something with their TE situation. Matt Lacosse may be a replacement level backup, but Ryan Izzo is not an NFL-caliber player. With very little cap space to address the position in free agency, the Patriots looked to the draft to fill their TE position. By selecting Asiasi in the third round, it is the first time the Patriots have spent a day two or higher pick on a tight end since 2010, when they selected Gronkowski. Asiasi will likely become the Patriots number 1 option at the position. When looking at Bill Belichick’s 1991 scouting notes shared by Daniel Jeremiah, NBC analyst Phil Perry noted that Asiasi seems to fit the bill for the number one role. Devin Asiasi displayed great catching ability throughout his year starting at UCLA, only having one drop throughout the entire year. Asiasi also demonstrated great ability to run after the catch, averaging 5.6 yards in this category. Another ability that Asiasi brings as a TE that the Patriots sorely missed in 2019 is blocking. Even if Asiasi won’t perform as a great blocker (which is best reserved for #2 or #3 TEs anyway), it will most likely be better than the awfulness that was Patriot tight end blocking last year. Asiasi was suspended for three games in the 2018 season for undisclosed reasons by Chip Kelly. However, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are on good terms with UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, meaning that they were able to confer with Kelly and confirm that Asiasi would be a good fit with the team and his suspensions were nothing to.worry about. Asiasi also possesses high football intelligence, being able to run complex concepts such as option routes in Kelly’s TE heavy offense. Even though Asiasi is undersized for what people normally think of a #1 TE , only being 6’3” and 257 lbs., his athletic ability and smooth movement should translate well into the NFL. Although Asiasi will likely be the starting Y-Tight End for the Patriots offense, I would not bet on him to break the trend of rookie TEs having low production, though Asiasi will definitely contribute in blocking. 3.101 Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech: The Patriots also repeated something that they did 10 years ago, which was taking two tight ends in the draft. Dalton Keene is an interesting prospect to project for the Patriots. His playstyle resembles that of an F or move tight end. Even Belichick admitted after drafting Keene that they would have work to do in terms of finding him a role on this team, since the role that Keene played in the Virginia Tech offense is nothing like anything the Patriots run in their offense. If Keene seems to be such a confusing fit for the Patriots, then what made the team trade back up into the third round in order to select him. The most defining feature that Keene exhibits through his play is toughness. He is a very dedicated and ruthless player, oftentimes toughing it out through injury and not playing with high regard to his health while on the field. The aggressiveness that Keene displayed both during practice and games caused his teammates to give him the nickname of “Rambo”. Keene’s offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen called him the toughest player he has ever seen. Keene has never produced that much in the receiving game, only racking up 341 yards in his most productive receiving season. Perhaps given his athletic talent it suggests that Virginia Tech underutilized his ability in the passing game, instead placing more focus upon his ability in the run game instead. Keene will be a versatile player and likely fill multiple roles as the Patriots’ second tight end, primarily being used as that F tight end, move tight end, or perhaps H-back. He may in fact share similar duties to FB Danny Vitale. I would be more than happy if Keene and Asiasi can combine for about 600-700 receiving yards and a few touchdowns in their rookie year. 5.159 Justin Rohrwasser, K, Marshall: Another need that the Patriots needed to fill during the draft or free agency was the kicker position. Many people expected the Patriots to take someone like Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia Southern kicker Tyler Bass, or Chase Vinatieri from South Dakota. When the Patriots selected Rohrwasser, a kicker who was so unknown that he didn’t even have a profile on the NFL’s website many people were confused. What caused the Patriots to select this unknown kicker from Marshall. Rohrwasser displayed great performance throughout the 2019 season, having a statistically better season compared to the other higher profile kickers in the draft. Rohrwasser made 18 of 21 field goals and 35 of 36 XPs. He was perfect on kicks greater than 50 yards out, even hitting a clutch field goal from 53 yards against Western Kentucky after being iced twice. Belichickj stated that the Patriots have watched over 250 kicks and were impressed by his ability to kick in clutch situations as well as poor conditions, something Rohrwasser will have to do often in the AFC East. It is unclear whether Rohrwasser will relieve punter Jake Bailey of his kickoff duties (thought I think it’s more likely than not). If there is any position I trust Bill to evaluate, it’ s the placekicker. Rohrwasser will likely be the most impactful rookie on the patriots, mainly because he is the only surefire starter out of all of them. If Rohrwasser succeeds, the Patriots will be able to not go for fourth downs deep in enemy territory again and have a good kicker on a cheap rookie deal. 6.182 Michael Onwenu, OG, Michigan: After addressing many immediate needs, the Patriots decided to take some shots at reserve linemen. Considering what happened in 2019, it is smart for the Patriots to add some young talent to the Offensive Line in order to account for things not going according to plan. The first thing that strikes people when they look at Onwenu is his size. This man is HUGE, especially for an interior lineman. Coming in at 6’3”, around 350 lbs (he actually weighed closer to 370 during the season at college), Onwenu is a very physically imposing presence. He is very good at doing his job of not letting defenders get by him. During his past two years at Michigan, Onwenu played 1198 snaps, Onwenu only allowed 13 pressures and 2 sacks. He plays with great power and if he is able to get his hands on the defender, then it is over. Onwenu also possesses decent movement ability for his size; he will be able to perhaps do downfield blocking a bit better than people expect him to. Also, according to Michigan’s OL coach Ed Warriner, Onenwu really doesn’t have the ability to go much lower than 345 lbs. Onenwu will start out on the team as a backup in the iOL, though more likely in his natural position of RG. Onenwu is quite different compared to New England’s other iOLs, he is 50 pounds heavier than the rest of our starting interiors. It will be interesting to see how Onwenu is able to execute the Patriots’ offensive scheme considering how physically different he is compared to Thuney, Andrews, and Mason. Either way, Onenwu will be a reliable depth piece that can protect Stidham if any of the starters go down. 6.195 Justin Herron, OG/OT, Wake Forest: The second lineman that the Patriots invested draft capital in was Justin Herron. Herron started 51 games for Wake Forest, exclusively at the LT position. Herron’s experience at the position will likely slot him in as the primary backup to Isaiah Wynn, who has spent a lot of time of his career injured. Herron did suffer an ACL tear in the first week of the 2018 season, but rebounded quite well in 2019. Herron, like Onwenu, is a great pass-blocker. In 2017, the season prior to tearing his ACL, Herron allowed zero sacks. In 2019, when he recovered from his ACL injury, he only allowed four sacks and 13 pressures. Some analysts raise questions about Herron playing tackle at the next level, instead projecting him as a guard. Interestingly, analysts made similar remarks about now-starting LT Isaiah Wynn. Considering that he only played left tackle during his time in college, I think the Patriots evaluated him and will use him as a tackle. If New England wanted an interior lineman, they likely would have selected someone else. Another concern that some have about Herron is his athleticism, which showed up at the combine, especially in his 8.41s three-cone drill. Scarnecchia often said the Patriots don’t care too much about athleticism in the OL, saying that they only needed to be athletic-enough. If the Patriots were that concerned about his athletic ability, he likely wouldn’t have been selected. Even so, it’s a great idea to grab a tackle who played solidly in college and will spend most of his rookie deal as a reserve player. This pick will be a success if Herron makes the team and can competently back up Wynn if he finds himself injured again. 6.204 Cassh Maluia, LB, Wyoming: In the midst of the Patriots grabbing multiple offensive lineman, the Patriots selected another linebacker to increase their depth. During the 2019 season, Maluia went relatively under the radar due to his fellow linebacker and 65th overall pick Logan Wilson. However, those who studied Wilson likely saw Maluia pop out on a few occasions and make great plays. Maluia is an athletic and undersized linebacker, weighing in at only 231 lbs. His athleticism showed up both on tape and on the field, where Maluia displayed versatility across the field being able to both be a thumper as well as a decent coverage player. Maluia’s biggest concern is probably his tackling form, as his aggressiveness caused him to miss a fair amount of times. If Maluia makes the 53 man, he will likely contribute mostly as a special teams player, though his athletic ability might allow him to play a few snaps at defense. 7.230 David Woodard, C, Memphis: With their final selection in the 2020 NFL draft, the Patriots threw a dart at another reserve lineman. Woodard played all across his the iOL throughout his college career, displaying the versatility that is desired in a backup lineman. Woodard does not have athletic testing available, though some analysts expressed concern about his athletic ability and his size, as Woodard only weighs 291 lbs. As detailed earlier, the Patriots generally concern themself more with technique than pure size and athleticism, and Woodard displays great technique. He graded out as the best run-blocking and second best pass-blocking center in 2019 through PFFs metrics. The Patriots will likely have to still improve Woodard’s technique to make him a future part of the team. Woodard projects as a reserve interior guy, particularly backing up C David Andrews if he makes the team. UDFAs Considering that a UDFA has made the New England roster for 16 straight years, I think it is appropriate to talk about some of the more interesting prospects in short. These are not all of the FAs the Patriots signed but some that I think are the most interesting and have the greatest chance to make the team. For the QB position, the Patriots signed Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke and Louisiana Tech QB J’Mar Smith. Lewerke initially showed promise but a shoulder injury he suffered in 2018 really derailed his career. Smith is more interesting, as he displayed his athleticism throughout his career, as well as possessing great arm strength and ability to make flash off-platform throws. He was suspended for a game, but in his 11 starts he went 10-1 and won C-USA offensive player of the year. Neither QB really poses much threat to Stidham, but if one of them shows promise (especially Smith, who reportedly had a few offers from other teams), don’t be surprised if Belichick makes space for them on the 53 man roster. For the WR position, which many people were surprised the Patriots did not take a shot at in the draft, the most interesting players are Auburn WR Will Hastings and Miami WR Jeff Thomas. Hastings was Stidham’s former slot receiver in college, racking up 26 receptions and 525 yards with the QB in 2017. Hastings tore his ACL prior to 2018, and Stidham missed his reliable option during the season. Hastings ran a 4.49s 40 and a blistering 6.64s 3-cone during his pro-day. Hasting’s connection with Stidham may allow for him to sneak onto the team. Thomas, on the other hand, mostly specialized as a deep threat for the Hurricanes. Even though he is undersized at 5’9 and 170 lbs, many scouts said he displayed draftable talent throughout his career. The aspect of Thomas that was more influential in making him a UDFA is his character concerns. Thomas has had an issue with nearly every coaching staff that he has interacted with, and got kicked off the 2018 team for attitude issues. If Thomas can pull himself together and realize that there are no more chances, he could transform into a future weapon for the Patriots. Arizona RB J.J. Taylor is another interesting pickup for the Patriots. He is very short, coming in at only 5’5” tall (never in my life did I think I would be taller than a Pats player), but still manages to pack 185 lbs. Despite his size, Taylor is quite talented, displaying some decent shiftiness as well as the ability to bounce through contact. Perhaps because of his size and elusive playstyle, he has drawn comparisons to former Patriots RB Dion Lewis. If Taylor can show enough ability throughout the offseason, he might be able to get the Patriots to replace a RB, primarily Rex Burkhead, who many Pats fans theorize the team will cut for a few years now. Ohio State TE Rashod Berry is another interesting player the Patriots picked up. He reportedly may change his position to OLB. Berry had some experience playing defense for Ohio State early in his career, though he did some snaps along the defense for a few games in his senior year. Many Ohio State fans say that Berry is a very athletic player who was underutilized by the Ohio State system. Wherever he plays, it will be interesting to see how his skill translates to the next level. On the defensive side of the ball the Patriots were able to sign Auburn EDGE Nick Coe after negotiations between him and the Bills fell through. Coe was one of the top ranked free agents after the draft talent-wise, as he produced well in his first few seasons at Auburn. He is a much more prototypical big edge player the Patriots generally use in their system, but also has the versatility to play off the ball. However, Coe seems happiest playing as an edge rusher off the line. Coe’s main issue is his off-the field issues, where he feuded with his coaching staff over his assignments on the team, and also did not put in as much effort as a result. Coe is a very high-potential signing, but he will have to accept whatever role New England gives him if he wants to succeed. The signing that gave the most guaranteed money went to Arkansas LB De’Jon Harris. Harris primarily plays as a thumping linebacker, which will likely be his role if he manages the Patriots. He has been theorized to fill a similar role to Elandon Roberts did last year (though likely not as a FB on offense). As a thumper, Harris’ best ability is tracking down and meeting the ball carrier, except he does suffer from some tackling issues. The Patriots somehow managed to convince Bill Murray to join the team, where he will slot in on the defensive line. The DT from William & Mary displays good ability to be disruptive along the defensive line, though keep in mind that this was against FCS competition. Murray also managed to block 10 kicks during his tenure, something that Belichick is surely proud of. He reportedly is also a guy who is great at making his teammates laugh, perhaps like his celebrity counterpart. Considering that DL is a weaker position on the Patriots, Murray has a real shot to get on the team with his talent. If I am going to talk about UDFAs that have a great chance of making the team, I am not going to overlook the secondary. The DB that the patriots signed this year was Washington’s Myles Bryant. Bryant is another undersized player, only coming at 5’8” and 183 lbs.. and primarily played free safety in 2019 after playing slot corner for the previous two years. Bryant showed good short-area quickness on the field as well as in athletic testing, running a 6.81s 3-cone. His greatest weakness is tackling, likely worsened by his small size. Bryant will need to improve his tackling if he wants to make the team. I also wanted to shout out 2019 UDFA UNM DB D’Angelo Ross, another undersized corner that showed some promise in the preseason prior to suffering a season-ending injury. I still don’t fully understand why Belichick spends so many premier picks on DBs when he can just pull great ones out of his rear nearly every year in the UDFA market. Roster Projection: Projecting the Patriots roster is especially difficult due to the amount of bodies at many positions such as OL, LB, and DB. This problem is exacerbated by the fact I haven’t seen anyone play yet or have the most recent updates on everyone’s health. I am not confident that this roster will be that accurate to the final roster that appears week 1. QB (2) - Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer RB (5) - Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden, Damien Harris FB (1) - Dan Vitale WR (7) - N’Keal Harry, Mohammed Sanu, Julian Edelman, Marqise Lee, Jakobi Meyers, Matt Slater, Jeff Thomas TE (2) - Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene OL (9) - Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, Yodny Cajuste, Justin Herron, Hjalte Froholdt, Michael Onwenu DL (4) - Adam Butler, Beau Allen, Lawrence Guy, Byron Cowart EDGE/LB (9) - Deatrich Wise, Chase Winovich, John Simon, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Dont’a Hightower, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Cassh Maluia, Brandon King CB (6) - Stephon Gilmore, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Justin Bethel, S (5) - Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Terrence Brooks K - Justin Rohrwasser P - Jake Bailey LS - Joe Cardona KR and PR - Dugger Conclusion? The Patriots enter a time of uncertainty that hasn’t existed in my lifetime. This 2020 squad is very hard to predict because of all the unknowns that exist all over the team, most notably at QB. It is possible that the Patriots perform better on the offense this year due to the sheer amount of players that are now healthy, especially alongside the offensive line. Although it is most likely the Patriots will not be a contender this year, depending on how well Stidham and the rest of the offense perform and develop, the team could bring itself into contention as early as 2021. I anxiously, but optimistically, await this team’s future.
Welcome to the Summer Transfer Megathread 2020! Here you can discuss rumours, confirmed transfers and also which player you personally would want to sign and how you would like to integrate them into the squad. Of course transfer rumours can still be posted as their own separate posts but you are free to post them in here as well. I will keep this updated as new rumours come in, but only those sources that mention us directly. If you believe a rumour should be added, just PM me or post them down in the comments. If you want to know how reliable a source is, just take a look at our Transfer Tier Guide.
Guide to Offers for This Weekend, Premier League and Ascot
Football is back on in the UK. There's been a drought in the betting industry for the past 3 months and now that sporting fixtures are coming back, You can quite literally make £100s of pounds. The reason for this is that The bookmakers are now all competing with eachother to get the most customers, which means they will be giving a lot of free bets and offering a whole range of promotions. This is great if you are completely new to Match betting, because on top of the welcome offers, you will also get the additional offers every day. These offers are of course also available to existing customers. The Offers: Premier League: Coral - Get a £50 free bet if your team is leading at half time but goes on to lose the match- Available on every premier League Match. ( I did this last night on Tottenham, got the £50 free bet because they were leading at half time but went on not to win the match) Bet365 - Bet £50 Get £50 Inplay (Everton v Liverpool) Betfair Sportsbook - Bet £20 Get £20, Availble until June 22nd Coral- £10 Refund if your team loses Paddy Power - £5 Free Bet (Sun June 21 19:00 (Everton v Liverpool). You just have to log in and claim this bet, It's in your account right now. Paddy Power - Money Back As Cash If Bournemouth win (up to £10) 888sport - Bet £10, Get £5 Free Bet If Win Paddypower - Bet £20 on sports Get 20 Free Spins Coral - Bet £15 Get £5 (Inplay) Skybet: Saturday Boosts Ascot (Last day today): William Hill - Money Back As Cash If 2nd (All races in Ascot) Paddy Power: £5 Free Bet ( 13:50 Race Ascot). You just have to log in and claim this bet, It's in your account right now. Skybet - Money Back As Cash if 2nd, 3rd or 4th (13:15 Ascot) Genting - Money Back If Lose and Admiral Nelson Wins (13:50 Ascot) Bwin- Money Back as a free bet if 2nd ( 12:40 Ascot) I posted a guide on Matched betting on Tuesday which got a very good response, If anyone wants to learn how to Match bet quickly, You can take a look at it Here Hope this is of help to some people, If you have any questions feel free to ask.
OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – BAR FIGHT? NOT WITH DOC BIONICFINGERS! Part one.
That reminds me of a story. I’m going cooped-up crazy. Shacky-wacky. Hotel doldrums have set in. Yes, I know. Es and I just got back from a resounding tour of a shipbreaking yard in India. Flew way above First Class. Never had to even touch our luggage. ♫Oh, what fun it is to charter flights. Limos all the way. Hey! ♫. But, the hotel bars here are paling quickly. Quiet. Too quiet. Same old, dull, dazed, and dormant crowd. The Expat population in Dubai is dwindling mightily. The COVID craziness is a madness that is taking a heavy toll. Everything’s shut down. Everyone’s staying at home. I’m almost nostalgic for a good old Dubai 35 car pile-up and traffic jam. Es sees that I’m in a quandary. She had quite a few friends here in Dubai. The ones I had have all left due to cratering oil prices or they’re what’s considered an ‘essential employee’, and thus unavailable. “ROCK! QUIT YOUR PACING!” Es says in her most inimitable manner. “YOU’RE MAKING ME CRAZY!” “A thousand pardons, my darling. But, Boditek. I suffer! Klytus, I’m bored. Bored out of my fucking mind. I can only write so much on the Precambrian Hydrocarbon reservoirs of Eastern Siberia. Television’s a bust, there’s no Netflix, even Pirate Bay is blocked here, and I’m going spare!” I whimper. “Go then. Begone with thee. Go find a dark bar and grab a seat on Mahogany Ridge. You need a night off. Just take your fingers with so you won’t scare the locals. And be home before they open the borders. We want to be first in line when that happens” she says. “By your command!”, I say, grab her around the waist, give her a spin, a quick smooch on the cheek, and pat on the backside before I hit the stairs in our suite in a flat-out gallop to retrieve my now charged digits from their charging port on my nightstand. A few minutes later… Stately, plump Dr. Rocknocker came from the stairhead bearing three incredibly expensive technologically-derived Kevlar-ed digits. He was clad in his finest Desert Fox chino shorts, freshly cleaned and oiled field boots, a new pair of jade Merino Rannoch Luxury Country Socks, best new Hawaiian drinking shirt, a Blasting technician T-shirt and black, recently blocked, Stetson. He was so full of himself, that he actually stopped talking about his own self in the narrative in the third person. “Esme? Darling? I’m off!” I say with a lilt in my voice and a cheeseburger in my pocket. But that’s another story. “You’re off, all right”, Es chuckles. “Now Rock, remember. This is the first time in a long time I’m letting you off the chain, out unsupervised among the general population. Don’t break anyone if you can avoid it and even if someone needs a quick killing, remember, you’re on vacation. OK?” “Oh, my dear!” I chuckle and snicker, “You know me. I wouldn’t kill anyone here in Dubai. There’s no money in it.” “Still. Best behavior?” She admonishes. “I can’t guarantee anything, but I will try,” I reply. “Pinkie promise?” she requests. Damn. One of the few fingers of which left I have a natural set. Now I can’t say that it was just a Kevlar-coated contract. “But of course”, I say as we entwine pinkies. Hers nice, clean, and pink; mine keloidal, gnarled, and scarred. Yeah, it about makes me retch. But Es sort of enjoys these silly things now and again. I’m waiting in the hotel bar for my cab to arrive. I have a quick Long Island Iced Tea or three before I hit the streets. I’ve got this weird hankering for a sports bar. Don’t know why. I hate football, i.e., soccer, cricket, and those other weird forms of ball chasing they call sports over here. But I yearn to be in a bar full of leather, hewn wood, and smoke. Attended by the smell of manly men drinking as they see fit. In Dubai? Fat chance. I ask my driver, who has just arrived, and who will be with me all night; if he minds me smoking, having a drink in a plain brown wrapper, and if he knows of a decent sports bar in Dubai. No. Nope. Quantum Sports Bar. “It’s sort of pricey”, he tells me. My driver for the duration is one Roy Toisuta, an Indonesian chap who looks like he fell off a charm bracelet. In reality, I could make up three of him. But he’s affable, quick on the gas and bound to be a boon companion. He is wiry in that whipsaw sort of kill-you-with-a-paperclip-1000-different-ways sort of manner. Like the human personification of a gaunt wolverine. We’ll get along famously. He tells me he doesn’t drink for whatever reason. He announces that he would wait for me out in the car while I go in and do whatever one does in a Sports Bar in Dubai for a few hours. “Look, Roy”, I say, “I’m on retainer. C’mon in and I’ll buy you dinner and all the coffee, tea, or fizz water you could want. I just need someone non-judgmental. See, I have this affliction. I’m an alcohol-fueled carbon-based organism. I tend to drink a lot, but only to excess. You have any sort of problem with that?” “Well, Rock”, he says, “As long as we’re being honest, I have no problem. The way I see it, the more you drink, the looser your wallet becomes.” “I don’t suppose you’d care to lay a small wager on that conclusion?” I ask, leerily in that strange way I have that makes Komodo Dragons gulp in disbelief. “I’ll bet, after what you told me about your recent confinement, that I’ll be dragging and/or carrying you out of the bar tonight. “ he snickers, dreaming of my very loose wallet and its contents. “You’re going to be tying one on, I can see that.” “You can see me. But you can’t see my past” I think. “Well, you’re not drinking, so what’s in it for me if I win?” I ask. “A free driver for the next week?” he asks. “Want to make it a month? I’m really, really thirsty.” I sneer. “Make it a fortnight.”, he laughs. “Easiest money I’ve ever made. I can barely hold you back.” “Deal”, as we shake hands. He notices my gloves for the first time. “What’s that all about?” he asks. “Industrial accident years ago. Not terribly pretty.” I say. “Oh. OK. Ready to go?” He asks. “Gentlemen”, I announce, “Forward. Drink!” Roy accepts a cigar from one of my travel pocket humidors and we walk up to the entrance. “You be who?” asks the doorman. “Well, my good man, I am the Motherfucking Pro from Dover, and this is my able-bodied companion, Kato”, I say in my most affected Elliott Gould imitation. “What?” he asks trying to corral at least two functioning synapses. “Pardons. I’m Dr. Rocknocker and this is my trusty driver, Roy.” I continue. “Ah. What? Hmm? Who?” was the response. “Oh, I am sorry. Which word confused you?” I asked, most deferentially. “You trying to be smart?” he asks. “Well, I reckoned that at least one of us should,” I replied. He sat there and fumbled with that reply like a nun in a warm bathtub fumbles with a bar of soap. You know the type, she has hope in her soul… As he struggles to come up with an answer, I offer him a cigar the likes of which I’m certain he’s never seen outside of a Hollywoo movie. “Here, my good man. My card.” I say as I hand over a large example of the perfection of the tobacconist’s art. He gratefully accepts the cigar and removes the rope barrier. “Have yourself a good time, gents.” He says. “Oh. We intend to”, I reply. “Ever need anything, just ask for Sandeep” the towering Nepali remarks with a smile. “Thanks. Have a night yourself…”, I reply and stuff another cigar in his shirt pocket for later. He grins wide as Dubai Creek and just as brown. He shoots me a wide smile and a universal thumbs-up sign. “Best to make friends rather than antagonize the locals”, I muse. “You’re an odd bird, Doctor Rocknocker.” Roy chortles. “Roy, it’s just ‘Rock’, OK? It’ll save both time and cuts down on CO2 exhalations. And I’m all for protecting the environment.” I smiled back. Roy chewed on that one for most the rest of the night. The Sports Bar was quiet. Fairly empty, with probably more wait-persons than patrons. One particularly buxom specimen of the female side of the equation welcomed us in an overtly and obviously affected mien. She wanted to show us to a table that was within the sphere of her waitressy influence. “No, thank you”, I said as I spied acres and acres of glistening unoccupied Mahogany with tens of unoccupied seats that both faced the long bar and the several large-screen televisions there. Seemingly bereft of people to wait and prey upon, she ignored us roundly. To her financial detriment as we would all find out during the course of the evening. I chose a likely looking seat at the bar and Roy joined me, cautiously, a seat or two away. “I don’t bite, Roy”, I said. “Social distancing”, he replied. “Ah. Well, I have a fully functional immune system as well as the hardest working liver in the galaxy. I assure you I’m in no way communicable.” I replied, slightly miffed. “Besides, after that cab ride here, whatever ætiology I have, you have as well, and vice versa.” He scooted over one seat but shuttled that seat back to the right about 15 more centimeters. “Some folks just don’t like their personal space invaded”, I surmised. I pulled out one of my cigar cases, a cutter, lighter, and a stack of currencies that I was going to try and get rid of that night. I had freshly minted UK Pounds, Euros of many nations, Indian Rupees, Russian Rubles, Japanese Yen, Chinese Renmimbi, some Uzbek Som, Afghani Afghans, Argentinian Pesos, down under Ozzian Dollarydoos, Mongolian Tugriks, Omani Rials, a few Samoan Tālā, and a bunch of US dollars. How I ended up with that last group remains a mystery. Roy goggled at the stack of weirdly colored and weirdly wonderful currencies of many nations. “Sorry, Roy”, I said, “No Indonesian rupiah. Haven’t been to Jakarta in a long time.” “What the hell are those weird ones there?” he asked. “Which ones?” I chuckled back. It was at that time our reverie was broken. The bartender, one Zac O'Madden, an Irish national currently working for the hotel to which this bar is attached, interrupts our nascent debauch and asks for our drink orders. “Not so fast there!” I say. “Introductions first. We’re not savages here.” Zac chuckles. “You’re obviously American.” “Вы уверены в этом? [Are you certain of that?]”, I say in return. Zac just stands there and laughs. “Та үнэхээр итгэлтэй байна уу? [Are you really certain?]” I ask in Mongolian. “Ĉu vi vere certas? Bạn có thực sự chắc chắn?” “You’re as Russian or whatever that was as I am Kenyan. Now I know it. You’re American.” He says assuredly. “And you have this nasty habit of being correct. I’m Dr. Rocknocker, call me Rock. This slight but solid fellow to my right is Roy, late of Jakarta and Krakatoa, actually west of Java.” I snicker. “And I am Zac O’Madden, of Dublin and points east. Nice to meet you all. What can I get for you?” he asks. After we shake hands in a very manly, indeed, manner, I ask Roy what is his pleasure. “A tall club soda with a twist of lime, on the rocks.” He replies offhandedly. “You’ve done this before”, I observe rather unnecessarily. “Zac, Roy gets what he wants tonight, my tab. I’ll have a Sazerac, hold the sugar. Actually several. You see, on the flight over, I sat through another showing of ’Live and Let Die’, and now I miss Mardi Gras, New Orleans, and Pat O’Brien’s. But I don’t like sweet drinks.” “Coming right up”, Zac says with a well-practiced swish of his bar rag. “Oh, but I’m not finished. I’d also like a beer chaser. A pint of…ah, do you have a beer menu?” I ask, looking down the long row of tappers. “Coming up”, he says, and races off to find me one. A few minutes later he returns with my cocktail, Roy’s fizz water, and a bar beer menu. I raise my glass to Zac and then to Roy. We clink and I say, “I like this guy. And I like this bar. We’re going to have us a large night.” I drain my unsweet Sazerac in one go. Hey. I was thirsty. Needs a scootch more absinthe I observe. Roy and Zac just sort of stare, wide-eyed, as I peruse the beer menu. Nice menu, nice diversity. Oh, very nice. “I’ll have the Asahi Kuronama Black if you don’t mind. Plus another Sazerac, a bit more absinthe if you please. You see, I have this genetic condition I need to keep in balance.” I grinned. Zac looked at me like I had some sort of adverse medical condition. “You OK, Rock?” he asked most earnestly. “Look, Zac, I just met you and you’re a hell of a tarbender, far be it from me to tell you your job, but you see, there is this…” I said, trailing off. “Yes?” His was a look of genuine concern. The genuine concern he won’t own that pile of currency on the bar in front of me by the end of the night. “Yeah. Genetics dealt me a weird hand. See. I’m an ethanol-fueled carbon-based organism…” Roy just rolled his eyes. Zac looked puzzled. “Yeah, I require alcohol in good-tasting and heroic amounts on a regular basis. I also have to smoke huge, black cigars in order to moderate the bioreactor.” I smiled, as I leaned back and fired up a heater. Zac looked at me. Chewed over what I said for a moment or two. He shrugged his shoulders, grabbed my empty glass, and said, “OK, whatever. Round two in moments.” Roy went to ask me something, thought better of it, and just leaned over and grabbed my Zippo from Irkutsk. He looked at the cameo-relief silver and amber city crest attached to the lighter, flipped it open, and tried firing up his cigar. “They draw better if you cut the end first,” I said, absently; and not looking, just hand him my V-cutter. Zac returns with a new Sazerac, a chilled bottle of Asahi Kuronama Black, a tall pilsner glass, and a new club soda for Roy. I puffed my cigar, drained another Sazerac in one go, tried the Japanese black beer, and found it to my liking. I leaned back to observe what sort of sports carnage they were observing on the big screens. Roy just looked at me with wide eyes but said nothing. The evening wore on. After a couple or twelve more Sazeracs, I decided it was time to teach Zac the finer points of mixology via premium vodka, bubbly citrus, ice, and lime wheels. I also found that they had a stock of Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844, from China. “PBR!”, I almost yelled, “Holy wow! I grew up on the stuff.” “Not this stuff, Rock”, Zac said, “Look at the price. We only got a small amount due to a shipping error. It’s not sold outside of China normally.” It was UAE 165 per bottle, about US$45, and worth every dirham. Zak was amazed when I told him to go ahead and have one on Roy and me. “Really, Rock?”, Zac exclaimed. “The usual buggers here are so tight, they hum when the wind blows. Hardly anyone buys me a drink. Except for you Americans. Finest kind.” “That’s me. An international ambassador of amity and alcohol,”, I say and toast in his general direction. “Crack tubes!” Roy was getting tired as a newt. Evidently not drinking, listening to old war stories, and watching recorded US Football games due to the COVID lack of anything live, can take its toll as well. I’m going strong as I’m asking Zac to explain what the fuck cricket is all about. “So, let me get this straight,” I say, ordering another double cocktail and a couple of PBR chasers for Zac and myself. “The guy on the mound runs up and pitches to the guy dressed in the body armor. He uses a bent 2x4 to defend the wicket, which, if I recall correctly, can be sticky. Then he keeps the aliens from stealing the stumps and burning them to ashes in Australia...” “God”, Zac exclaims, “You’re fucking hopeless.” “Everything I know about cricket I learned from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy.” I smiled proudly. “That was rather obvious…” Zac sheeshed. He left to attend to another patron, a loud and woozy Kiwi. I looked at the source of all the bad noise and in my inattention, just clicked my full beer glass. I inadvertently violated Rule #1 and spilled a small soupçon of expensive, imported beer onto my left hand. “Whoops!”, I said and stripped off my sodden left-hand glove. I used Zac’s bar towel to sop up the bar and dry my techno-digits. Roy looked not only at my ‘whoops’, but goggled my Japanese one-off, so far, electro-fingers. “Rock. What the hell, man. I mean, what the fuck. Are those for real?” he asked. “Yeah, they are a new prototype and I’m the lab rat.”, I said, waggling them and seeing that something as mundane a beer spill could never possibly injure them. By this time, Zac wanders back, sees I’ve used his bar rag, and looks at my hand for real for the first time. “What the fuck, Rocko? You some sort of cyborg?” he asks. “By definition; yes, I am. And my grandfather used to call me that. Thanks.”, I replied. “But, yeah, I’m an alcohol-fueled one at that,” I say, tapping and pointing rather pointedly at my currently unpopulated cocktail glass. Zac returns with a reload. He and Roy demand to know the whole story. “If you must pry…” I say. “Oh, we must, we must”, they reply in unison. So, I regale them with the tale of the Siberian rig. The blowout, fire, and the moderately overzealous Russian FNG. “Rock, I don’t know if that’s true, but by your appearance, it has to be. Let me buy you a drink.” Zac says. Roy asks for a Molson Light. “Roy! You old fraud.” I said. “I usually don’t drink. But after that story, I think I need something cold, wet, and with a little punch.” He said, staring at my hand. “Then you’ve chosen well”, as I down another Rocknocker, sip at my PBR and snip a new cigar. “Rock, can I ask you a question?” Roy asks. Zac is polishing our spot at the bar insistently. I think he has a question or two as well. “Sure. Go nuts.” I reply, puffing on my new cigar and sipping this lovely amber 1844 brew. He crouches conspiratorially and asks in a low sotto voce: “Is that why you drink as you do? To dull the pain? From the accident. That’s it, right? Isn’t it?” Roy asks, almost genuinely concerned. I laughed loud and long. I chuckled, snorted, and had to calm myself with gulps of my beer and cocktail. “Roy, Roy, Roy…I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m from Baja Canada originally. I’m a multiply-degreed petroleum geologist. I’ve lived and worked in Russia for many, many years. And, as I’ve said, I’m an ethanol-fueled organism. Quadruple perfect storm. My fingers don’t hurt. Or they might, I have no idea. I don’t even know where hell they are.” I laughed at my own witty repartee. Roy actually paled some. He took a long draught of his anemic beer and just stared at me. Zac had disappeared. He presently returned with a bottle of Beluga Gold Line Vodka. “Rock, after that, this one’s for you. On the house.” He said. “Only if you will join me. And let me pay for yours.” I said. Zac agrees. The shnozzled Kiwi from previous in the narrative staggers by and hears the tag-end of our conversation. He leans over to grab the expensive bottle of vodka and says “Don’t mind if I do.” “None for you, asshole. You’re lucky I let you stay here waiting on a cab” Zac growls, and grabs the bottle away. The Kiwi looks at Zac. He looks at Roy. Then he looks at me, my drinks, cigar, and the smaller pile of currency on the bar. He may have been loaded, but something swam upstream against his internal current of booze and made him decide that right now, discretion was the better part of valor. He toddled unsteadily away. “Asswipe”, Zac spits, “He’s here every other month. He pays for his drinks, but he can’t hold them. Never once tips or buys a round. General asshole. Still, management won’t let me toss nor ban him.” “Some people”, I distastefully agreed and poured Zac and myself a healthy double-tot of the fine, smooth, and icy vodka. “I weep for our species sometimes.” I insisted Zac join me. I asked Roy if he’d like a taste. “Thanks, Rock. But you’ve already been too much of a bad influence on me.” he smiled, and tipped his almost empty pilsner glass. “OK, no pressure. I may drink like a school of belugas, but if someone else doesn’t want to, I respect that all day long. Still, the offer stands.” I continue. “I’ll think about it, Rock. I’m still not over how you can just sit there and joke about your cybernetic fingers and how you got them. I’d…I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it. “ he shudders. “Want to see the scar on my leg where I got shot with a .45? Or the scar on my coconut from a hunk of falling ice on a drilling rig?” I asked. “Fuck no!”, Roy almost screams. “What the hell. You held together by scar tissue?” ”That. Baling wire and Duct Tape.” I laughed, “And people wonder why I drink.” “I thought so!” Roy exclaimed. “I drink because I chose to. I can stop anytime. In fact, I stopped smoking and drinking once; by nothing more than sheer force of will.” I said proudly. “Really?” Roy asked. “Yep”, I replied, “It was the worst 45 minutes of my life.” To be continued…
When discussing Bitcoin in general, many people believe it’s only for those anti-government libertarians who want to engage in illegal activities, but there’s simply no truth in that statement. Bitcoin is simply a money transfer system backed by a public ledger and quantifiable technology. Have you ever used a pre-paid card? A payday loan? Or a currency exchange booth? Chances are, you have, and if so—well Bitcoin has the potential to offer a cheaper version of all of these currency services if used to its full potential. Shawn Wilkinson, the founder of Storj (a cloud storage service) advocates its massive potential especially in online microloans. He thinks that cryptocurrency as a whole has a lot of power to change the way even the most impoverished communities use money, regardless of race.
Edwardo Jackson is perhaps one of the most notable black Bitcoin enthusiasts out there. In fact, he is so passionate about the currency, he currently runs a blog called Blacks in Bitcoin. Jackson is a Las Vegas resident and professional poker player, but found his love of Bitcoin while he was a writer for Upworthy in 2013. Jackson believes Bitcoin is still in the early adoption phase and thinks that now is most definitely the time for anyone who is thinking of getting into it to buy in. Currently, Jackson has developed his own blockchain based technology known as CD3D which is a decentralized app-based token which you can use in a game where instead of betting on sports, or the outcomes of elections, you vote on actors and actresses and win money based on their box office performance. This game is still under development and you can check the CinemaDraft websites for updates on when it may be opened for play. Jackson prides himself in his Bitcoin knowledge and wishes to educate everyone about it, so much so, he even hands out his personal phone number to anyone who asks so they can call him if they have questions.
You read that right, Richard Sherman, NFC Championship playing defensive back, is a Bitcoin fanatic! Sherman was born in Compton; California and it became clear early on he was destined to be a sports player. He achieved many high school records not only in football, but also as part of his school’s track team. Sherman received a scholarship to attend Stanford university where he played on their team from 2006-2010. In 2011, Sherman was signed by the Seattle Seahawks and played with the team for many years until 2018 when he signed a 39-million-dollar contract with the 49ers. He is very public about his love of cryptocurrency and his many investments in the technology field, so much so, he even takes Bitcoin for payment in his online store for all of his Seahawks and 49ers merchandise.
Reggie Middleton is an American entrepreneur and CEO of Vertiseum. Middleton’s claim to fame began in the early 2000’s as a financial writer for the Huffington Post. In 2011, he left his job there to start his own company and blog, Boom Bust Blog. He was an early adopter of Bitcoin, citing that its ability to be quickly, and largely, transferred making it one of the best methods of currency currently on the market. He also advocates how safe and cheap it is to transfer Bitcoin as opposed to using cash or the banking system, which has many caveats and difficulties as well as rising costs. Just think, to make a transfer from one bank to the other you either need to withdraw cash and physical drive it from one bank to another to avoid massive fees. If fees don’t scare you, you can wire the money, but this still takes gas, time, and often times there are limits on the amount you can transfer. Bitcoin solves all of these problems. Middleton loves crypto currencies so much, he founded Vertiseum, an Ultracoin technology. Although the legalities of his ICO are currently under scrutiny, Middleton still stands behind his advocacy of cryptocurrencies and posts many YouTube videos educating the public on the many uses of them in everyday life. https://preview.redd.it/awat63so54851.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0b99941873b4cc3d57b47c9c0ab908010c3c13ae
Black Influencers to Follow
Want to learn more about Bitcoin before you dive right in? Understandable! There are many influencers of color who know a lot about the cryptocurrency world! Check out Dr. Boyce Watkins, a financial scholar who offers numerous courses in cryptocurrency for beginners as well as an internet club for investors. He also runs Financial Juneteenth, a cryptocurrency group specifically for black investors and it is currently one of the largest cryptocurrency-based communities on the internet, so make sure you pay it a visit! Lamar Wilson is another notable influencer, widely known for building his own blockchain company Hijro, as well as a cryptocurrency wallet, back before it was even cool! He contributes abundantly to the Financial Juneteenth group listed above, as well as teaches a class about investing in cryptocurrencies on the Black Business School site. Also follow Ian Balina, a man famous for his unique approach to ICO’s thanks to his analytics background and former employment at IBM. He currently leads a global cryptocurrency investor syndicate, and posts content on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Balina’s content is so revolutionary that he has been featured in numerous articles in many different magazines, most notably Forbes and Huffington Post. If after following all of these people you are still a little lost when it comes to cryptocurrency, don’t worry! It’s a confusing field at first. Just remember that cryptocurrency is for everyone and it make take time to learn about the ins and outs of the high-level technology. There are many websites which offer free guides you can take advantage of to help you find your way. So, subscribe to a few of them, investigate your questions, and you’ll be a cryptocurrency pro in no time!
What Should a Person Who is Trying to be Good Do in this Case then?
This is effectively a reply to something madscandi said to me in my thread The Definitive Guide to long term football betting . I’m told that if betting multiples on outright markets is as profitable as I say it is then the edge is more likely to be gone than widely accepted . I was also told that I seem to be trying to convert people because all I talk about on here is betting multiples on outright markets. So the aim of this post is to explain that I’m most certainly not trying to convert anyone . I’m more than happy for not one person on here to ever bet multiples on outright markets. And secondly to explain why the day the edge disappears I’d celebrate if I knew about it. Now I realise these are points that are unlikely to be of much interest to most people and that’s why I’ve made clear what I’m going to write about . I will try to be concise but unfortunately in order for me to be convincing I may not be concise. Let’s however try to make this very very easy. I am a very ordinary person . In fact that’s not quite true . I think of myself as a loser. In my mid thirties I had no job no degree no A levels no girlfriend no chance of ever buying a house no car not many friends a bad relationship with my parents and was sharing an overcrowded flat with other losers . That there is a complete loser. On top of that I was about to be diagnosed with a debilitating chronic illness. Then one day in February 1997 I got locked out when no one was in and being broke took shelter in the bookies and within five minutes was very surprised to learn you could bet each way on outright markets in February and that at least one team seemed to be clear value in the place part of their price. 22 years later Im a millionaire. But am I happier ? No. Why ? Apart from my illness it’s because I’m not free . I believe that 100s of millions of people are being conned into believing that betting singles on sports games and matches is the best way to beat the bookies when in fact betting multiples on outright markets is not only easier to profit from but crucially less likely to cause addiction. Now we get to the crux of the matter . What should a good person do in that situation? Or rather a person who is trying very hard to be a good person ? And I believe that it’s clear that I should tell people . Not doing so would be morally wrong and clearly selfish . Not convert people merely inform them. My two best friends dont bet this way although one of them lost his accounts anyway and ones a compulsive gambler . And neither did my father . And nor have I ever tried to convert them . Why would I ? What do I gain ? It’s enough that I told them . However one thing I’ve learned is that, curiously, gambling forums , which you’d have thought would be the most appropriate place to let people know due to things like gamblers already understanding risk, survivorship bias and money management unlike other people, are,incredibly, the worst places to tell people ! Now at this point I should point out that apparently this is because I’m doing it wrong but the thing is if you remember I’m a loser . You don’t get to be living in an overcrowded flat in your thirties with few friends and no girlfriend and no job if you’re the kind of person who knows how to deal with people . And you cannot change a losers mindset . So let’s just move on and accept that I have to tell people my way . And to keep this reasonably short it became obvious to me some time ago that only by acquiring a lot of evidence and then sending it to mathematicians will I finally be free of the need to tell people . Because it will no longer be true. And as a result of not being constantly criticised I hope and expect to be happier. So why then am I posting on Reddit about it. Well the two main reasons are I feel a bit guilty that here is a way for ordinary people to win money from gambling in a non addictive way which normally gets a very bad press and I’m effectively going to destroy it just to make myself happier. I kind of feel that I’m being selfish in not persisting with the odd post on forums . But then every time I post I still get more negativity than anything else . Which brings me to the other reason . Sheer curiosity. I’ve become utterly fascinated by gamblers . And you surely have to admit that this quite possibly a unique situation. I literally cannot give away on forums the easiest way I know to make money!! Incredible. Utterly incredible. And so I’m also going to be sending all my evidence to sociologists all over the world . And in order for sociologists to be interested I feel I should keep trying . I mean it’s not as if I have anything important to do instead . I still have no girlfriend you know and never travel. TL DR Okie dokie so the bottom line is I expect to be happier once it’s no longer true that betting multiples on outright markets is profitable.😀
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A Brief History of the Glazer's Failing Ownership of United, and Why the Notion that They Are Not to Blame for the Club's Decline is Beyond the Pale (x-Post from r/soccer)
I posted the following comment in a thread on soccer yesterday, and one of your lads kindly asked me to post it here for the United community to read. First though, a confession: I'm a Liverpool fan (*vinyl screech*). Now, at this point I'm not going to say that "I come in peace" or other such bollocks, nor am I here to gloat at your club's current misfortunes. I wrote this comment because for me this goes far deeper than football rivalries or petty schadenfreude. Manchester United is a proud and historic British institution, and the way that it has been shamelessly exploited, mismanaged and bled dry by the the current regime is a national disgrace that for me exemplifies a lot of what is going wrong with football and in fact this country as a whole at the moment. What's equally galling to me is that there are many people here on reddit and other forums who, either through ignorance of the facts or misplaced allegiances, still defend the Glazers for it. As a Liverpool fan I can relate better than most. Like the Glazers, our previous owners Hicks & Gillett bought our club in the mid 2000s with leverage and then unceremoniously dumped the debt onto the club. A decade ago we were an inch away from administration and ruin until John Henry and FSG saved our arses. If you think that can't happen to your club too, then you've not been properly paying attention. So, without freddy adu, here is a no-bullshit guide to the history of the Glazer ownership saga, warts and all... I see a lot of people defending the Glazers on reddit lately, and usually with the same breath mocking Man Utd fans in a derisive tone for being fickle. "Look how much money they've spent", they'll say, or maybe point to patsy Woodward for orchestrating the on-field shambles. For those of us who have been around long enough to witness the slow-motion train wreck that has been the Glazer's tenure from the beginning however, it has been crystal clear for some time that the Glazers are the authors of their own (or rather the club's) misfortune. For those who are OTL or maybe think the Glazers have done nothing wrong, I'd like to regale you all with a tale of the greatest heist in football history. Like a bad crime novella, it involves intrigue, dirty business practices and, perhaps most bizarrely all, a bucket load of horse cum. First things first though, dear readers, let me reassure you all that this is not a knee-jerk reaction by United fans to their team's current atrocious form, nor is it born of envy as a consequence of the brilliant resurgency of their noisy neighbours in Manchester and Merseyside (heh). In fact, these protests have been going on quietly behind the scenes ever since the Glazers first took over the reigns of the club 15 years ago... Let us go back in time now to the EPL at the turn of this century. Manchester United, guided by the savant-like managerial talents of Alex Ferguson, were dominating English football like never before. A decade of almost unparalleled success on the field had elevated United to the pinnacle of British football, both in fan popularity and, more importantly for our story, financially. The club had built a solid international reputation throughout the 90s as a pioneer of the commercial aspect of the game. As an institution they were THE benchmark that all other clubs in Europe measured themselves by. They were the first footy club in Europe (maybe the world) to become publicly listed on a stock exchange, and by the early 2000s had a market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange of around £750 million, making it by far the most valuable club in world football. They were a model club in every sense, posting annual profits of upwards of £30m which was faithfully pumped back into Ferguson's squad every summer. The post-9/11 world was in some senses a bleak and uncertain time to live in, but what seemed a sure bet to many of us was that Manchester United would continue to be the richest and therefore most successful team in England for evermore. After all, what was there to stop them? Enter the Glazer family, proprietors of a Florida NFL franchise and a failing shopping mall empire. Beginning in the early 2000s, the reclusive head of the family, Malcolm Glazer, began quietly but diligently acquiring shares in Manchester United. Once he had reached 30% ownership, Glazer senior was obliged by stock exchange rules to make an offer for the remaining shares, which no doubt had been his plan all along. The United board led by CEO David Gill were at first resistant to Glazer's attempt at a hostile takeover and rebuffed his advances, making stern recommendations to the shareholders to reject the offer. Of particular interest to keen observers were the positions of two of the major shareholders at the time, Irish racehorse breeders John Magnier and J. P. McManus, who together owned around 30% of the shares. In order to reach 75% ownership and force through a total buyout of the club, the Glazers would need to convince the Irish investors to sell their shares at some point. As fate would have it though, Ferguson had recently fallen out in spectacular fashion with Magnier and McManus over the stud rights of a valuable racehorse, the legendary Rock of Gibraltar, which they had gifted to him for his service to the club. The whole thing inevitably ended in court, and now the manager of Manchester United was in the awkward position of being at loggerheads with two of the club's major shareholders. Whether or not this affair was the catalyst, Magnier and McManus soon decided to go against the board's recommendation and sold their shares to the Glazers. Within weeks, the takeover was complete and the Americans were now in control of the richest and best-run club in world football. It soon emerged, however, that the Glazers had borrowed around £750 million (the full value of the club) in order to buy it, and immediately upon completing the takeover had passed this debt burden onto the club. Manchester United had until that point been completely debt-free and possessed the financial muscle to outspend any club in England and probably the world. Now, under the new ownership, they were hamstrung by a yearly interest bill of around £70m against earnings of £250m, which could only result in stifling the club's ability to compete in the post-Abramovich transfer market. Understandably, many fans were apoplectic at these developments, and demonstrations took place at the last minute to try to stop the deal happening. Famously, the Glazers even required a police escort at their first appearance at Old Trafford, such was the public's disdain. The fans' concerns quickly proved to be well founded, as despite continued success under Ferguson, expenditure on players was sporadic. Fergie famously lamented that there was "no value in the market", but wiser heads understood that the budget was being constrained by the Glazers. More worryingly for United's finances, however, was that the debt wasn't going down, but rather UP. The Glazers had borrowed via a high interest "PIK loan", which stood at almost 20% APR. All of a sudden, Manchester United, arguably the biggest club in the world, was in deep financial distress. There was even talk of selling the stadium and training ground in order to lighten the albatross of debt hanging around the club's neck. In the end, the Glazers fortuitously managed to refinance the debt by first issuing bonds at a low 5% yield and then listed the club on the NY stock exchange, selling 10% of their shares. The club was now out of immediate danger, but the bulk of the debt remained. According to the latest financial results, United spent £20m on interest payments last year and remain around £400m in the red. To date, the club has spent in excess of £1 billion on servicing this debt. Today, thanks mostly to the boom in EPL television rights and the efforts of Woodward in cannily exploiting the commercial opportunities afforded by a vast global fanbase, the club is in sound financial health (for the time being at least) and the debt level is sustainable. However, they certainly rode their luck in the early years and selfishly placed the club in an extremely perilous financial position. During the first eight years of their ownership, the club continued to succeed on the pitch despite the Glazers, not because of them. Regardless of the relative lack of investment in the squad throughout this period, United overachieved thanks simply to the brilliance of Ferguson. But since the great man retired in 2013, the Glazers have been badly exposed as having no obvious talent or understanding of football matters by a never-ending chain of bad decisions. As if to add insult to injury, they draw in excess of £30m in dividends and salaries for themselves from the budget each year. The club's fortunes on the pitch are in a tailspin after the last seven years of mismanagement, and yet the Glazers continue to reward themselves for it most handsomely. And for those of you who still point to the lavish spending spree that United has embarked on in recent seasons, know this: not a PENNY of it has come from the pockets of the Glazer family - it has been entirely self-generated by the club's revenues. In summary then, Manchester United fans' ire is not simply down to poor form on the pitch, but rather the way in which the Glazers bought the club in 2005 with bad debt and the gross mismanagement of it ever since. They relied on the genius of Ferguson for too long and completely bungled his succession. They have proven not only to be poor stewards of the club time after time, but have also badly crippled its finances for decades to come with unnecessary debt. In my opinion, aside from the Munich disaster, the Glazers' parasitic tenure has been the biggest misfortune to ever befall Manchester United.
[META] How to build and buy accounts- the COMPLETE guide to becoming stacked AF.
Here's a thorough guide on how to find accounts and build them for cheap. However, before I begin, allow me to temper your expectations:
Your chances of finding an legitimate seller who sells accounts with a Season 1 skin are very slim. I don't even try.
Finding a Black Knight account that is full access is also difficult as well.
Most of the accounts you will find are usually NFA. That means you either cannot change the username or have email access to the account.
This guide works best if you play Fortnite on PC or Mobile, but it can be made to work with consoles.
Expect to build this account over MULTIPLE seasons. Building an account for an entire year is optimal.
This guide ABSOLUTELY requires a Paypal account.
All prices are in USD, this can be more or less pricey depending on your region.
Now that your expectations may be destroyed, let's get on with the guide. The first thing you want to do is to decide and find what type of account you want. Find out whether you want to prioritize having skins but little security or having security but not as much skins.
If you prioritize having account security over skins, you have two options (more will be detailed in later in this guide):
You buy/inherit an account from a trusted friend or family member.
You build a default account from scratch.
If you prioritize having a certain amount of skins without grinding or a specific unobtainable skin, your only option is to basically buy them off account-selling sites.
Now, let's get account finding:
Where do I get accounts? The best place to get accounts by far are sites where a third-party is in charge of account distribution and payments. There are three benefits to using these sites:
It's relatively easier to find accounts.
Seller has greater accountability due to selling under a third-party, so there are more protections for buyers.
It's practically an automated middleman/escrow.
Where else could I purchase accounts and why do you not recommend other sources so highly? Let's discuss these individually:
Account trading forums (EpicNPC, OGUsers, PlayerUp, etc.): My main concern with those sites is the lack of responsibility when finances are involved. If something happens to you and if you suspect that you got scammed, those sites cannot do much whereas if you buy accounts from a third-party, you usually will get some sort of guarantee or warranty where it would involve some sort of replacement or refund.
First-party sellers (Personal selling sites, Social media pages, shoppys/atshops/sellys, etc.): If you get scammed, the seller will take ZERO responsibility more often than not, so you would have to take your seller at your word.
Social media groups (Discord servers/Facebook groups, etc.): If you care about account legitimacy long-term, don't even try. Has all of the downsides of buying from first-party sellers, but it makes it easier for scammers to take advantage due to the absolute lack of protection on behalf of the buyer (and seller!).
What sites should I use for buying accounts; i.e. what examples of websites would be considered as a third-party in charge of account distribution and payment?
IGVault is the best example of this as IGVault themselves are in charge of payments and deliveries (you pay IGVault and IGVault themselves deliver), however their price can be a little bit high. Another benefit is that you know what cosmetics are exactly on the account.
Kaleoz/GM2P/G2G are also usable, but you pay through these sites and these sites ask the seller to deliver the accounts on their behalf. Also, accounts tend to be more random on these types of sites than on IGVault.
What do I do so I don't get scammed or burned if I try to buy accounts somewhere else aside from those websites with a third-party in charge of account distribution and payment? The best answer is to be smart regarding who you're dealing with. Red flags are italicized.
ALWAYS TRADE WITH A MM/ESCROW IF YOU CAN. I can't stress this enough. A middleman works by holding the sellers account and delivering the account to you once payment is confirmed. An escrow holds the payment and distributes the accounts and payments themselves. If they refuse MM/escrow and ask you to pay up front or if they don't go first with the account, most likely not, you will be scammed.
REPS CAN BE FAKED.If they insistently show rep without you asking**, more likely than not they're giving you a false sense of security, but there are exceptions.** It's your job to deduce if their reputation is legitimate. Reputation faking can be done in a couple of ways:
Seller gets their alts/friends to "trade" with them; alts/friends say account is legitimate.
Seller delivers the account and then asks the buyer to leave a positive review then take the account back.
Seller steals reps from actual reputable sellers and claims them as their own.
If you are buying full access accounts,be wary of any sellers selling their accounts with a claim of changeable email in 90 days. This is a major red flag as they can recover the e-mail and get the email and Fortnite account back. If you do choose to buy an account with full access, always be sure to purchase an account with the email information instantly changeable.
If your seller primarily resells FA accounts and has a page, always monitor what they're selling Check and be vigilant if they put up accounts they have already sold.If you notice that they're selling the same account or very similar accounts**, its definitely a scammer.**
Trade using PayPal Goods and Services. Using PayPal Goods and Services protects your payment, and you can more easily access some services such as a chargeback/refund if your transaction goes awry. A good sign of appreciation is to offer to pay a little bit above the seller's price (enough to cover the fee for Goods and Services) and ask for PayPal Goods and Services. If your seller insists on Friends and Family or if they're asking for much more to go with PayPal Goods and Services (remember, it's not that much. PayPal's fees for Goods and Services are 2.9% + $0.30 USD), chances are they'll scam you.
Before you pay, get lobby proof/screen share proof and ask them to let you check Epic. Some proofs you can ask include:
Asking them to get a free game from the Epic store and allowing you to cross reference the invoice/invoice ID with the epic games payment history (this verifies email ownership because the invoice will automatically be sent to the Epic email address; only works with FA)
Running Skin Checker and cross-referencing the account inventory allowing prior to payment (works best with FA)
Be very wary of sellers only asking for non-refundable payment methods (gift cards, accounts, crypto, favors, etc**.)** This is a big red flag. As the name implies, all bets are off once you send payment. You'll most likely be scammed.
After you buy an account, be sure to use something like Easy Skin Checker to grab the account inventory, verify that you got what you received, and change the information immediately.
Don't say NGF (Not going first). This will point your seller to think of you as a scammer as buyers are expected to pay first, just like in a regular store.
[Reddit] Cross-reference scammer lists. Also, always cross-reference your seller's post history and deduce whether this seller will actually sell you the account or not.
Finally, use some common sense. No one who knows how much OG skins are worth will sell you a FA Renegade Raider for $20 with no strings attached. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Cross-reference offers for similar accounts on sites.
What is the best type of access to an account?
For having an account, having an account as full access is the best option. However, for buying accounts, unverified is the best option. If you buy an account and it is verified, it can be taken back more easily via e-mail. Here are some accessibility guidelines below: FA:
Use Easy Skin Checker to verify that your account has the cosmetics it says it has/guarantees.
CHANGE EMAIL AND EPIC GAMES PASSWORD IMMEDIATELY. If you have the wait for 90 days, try to block all unintended access to the email. If not, and if your account gets taken back, refund immediately.
Set 2FA if desired.
Use Easy Skin Checker to verify that your account has the cosmetics it says it has/guarantees.
Change epic games password immediately.
Check for activity. If they have current season levels and battle pass, it is indicative that the account is currently actively played. If it is, you can still commit/build if the original owner does not bother verifying. You have access to the Epic account after all.
Verified but NFA:
Use Easy Skin Checker to verify that your account has the cosmetics it says it has/guarantees.
Check for activity. If they have current season levels and battle pass, it is indicative that the account is currently actively played. If it is, buy another alt or do not commit/build.
Change epic games password immediately.
Unless you know the original owner of the account quit, do not unlink any console. It could be taken back easily as the account is verified.
Buy another alt if desired.
What accounts should I go for or avoid?
Assuming you have an account you can commit to/build, of course you want to aim to get a valuable account (has rare, in-demand cosmetics), but it may take a couple of tries. There's a couple of routes to get to rolling a valuable account, but some methods cannot be done without buying an account:
OG accounts (Season 1-3): Pay attention to the skins/emotes obtained from the battle pass. Accounts can be "OG" but not stacked in any way.
All accounts with Renegade Raider, Recon Expert, Aerial Assault Trooper, OG/Purple Skull Trooper, or OG/Pink Ghoul Trooper are AUTOMATICALLY worth investing into provided you have ensured continuing access to the account (unverified, inactive af and wont be taken back, fa etc.). There will always be some sort of demand for these skins, but it does not.
Season 2 is still OG, however having Royale Knight does not mean that the account would necessarily be that valuable. Black Knight (T100) in most cases would automatically be worth investing into, but it does not carry as much value as Season 1 skins.
Season 3 being OG is subjective in itself. The only skin from the Season 3 battlepass worth getting is The Reaper (T100).
Special mentions: Omega with lights. Banners: Battle Bus, F, Paragon, YouTubers/Streamers, Lv100 season banners (any before C2S1).
Exclusives/Event/Seasonal/Collaboration cosmetics: Certain exclusive skin accounts automatically have and having enough event/crossover cosmetics can make an account very valuable (cue an unexpected tier list):
Galaxy: This skin can usually stand on its own in terms of value, but has a value similar to BK.
(Stealth) Reflex: One of the more obscure exclusives which came with a NVidia GTX 1050-1070Ti. Codes should still be redeemable. In time, skin will appreciate in value.
Wonder: Since Epic Games cancelled this skin, this skin has appreciated in value.
iKONIK: Somewhat valuable.
Honor Guard: Used to be somewhat valuable, but codes are cheap nowadays which hurts its value/standing as an exclusive.
PSN/XBL/Switch exclusives: Most are slept upon, but Double Helix, Eon, Rogue Spider Knight, and especially Royale Bomber carry some value. If you buy an account with a console exclusive, it WILL be linked to the platform of the exclusive skin which can hurt its value.
Glow Skin: Not very valuable as they were sold for absurdly cheap and were compatible over a wide range of Samsung devices.
Event skins: Having one isn't necessarily valuable, but having enough of them can make an account very valuable to the right people:
20XX yeacollaboration/ICON series cosmetics: Will usually only be in the item shop for one period of time before not returning to the shop.
Minty Pickaxe: Somewhat valuable.
StarteChallenge Packs: Since it's shown that some packs can return, they are not as important to building accounts.
Special mention: Paradigm
Seasonal skins: You can get most of the seasonal skins in a year's timeframe. These skins include (total: 13300 VBucks optimized for seasonal skins; $99.99 spending unoptimized):
Football skins (1-2 occurrences per yr, 1500 VB)
Soccer skins (1-2 occurrences per yr, 1200 VB)
Basketball skins (1-2 occurrences per yr, 1200 VB)
Love Ranger (2-3 occurrences per yr, 2000 VB)
Sgt. Green Clover (1 occurrence per yr, 800 VB)
Easter Skins (1 occurrence per yr, 800 / 1500 VB)
Halloween Skins (1 occurrence per yr, 1500+1500 VB (3000 VB))
Amount of skins: Self-explanatory but expect the following (variables italicized):
x to y amount of skins listings have accounts tending towards x amount of skins. This holds more and more true . Example: 50-100 skin listings tend to have a skins amount closer to 50 than 100.
If you're buying from a seller that has a listings such as "z\*1+ skin acc" and "z*\2+ skin acc" (assuming z\*1* < z\\2), you'll likely get an account with z\*1* to z\\2 skins if you buy "z\*1+ skin acc". It's highly unlikely you'll get over *z\\2 skins from "z\*1+ skin acc". *Example: If you have a seller that has a 50+ skin account listing and another 60+ skin account listing, if you buy from the 50+ skin listing, chances are you'll get an account with 50-60 skins and its not likely to get an account with over 60 skins.
100+ skins become much more expensive and much more scarce. A good middle area to start building is 50-80 skins.
As of C2S2, if you unlocked skins for every battle pass, you should have 82 skins. To determine how much you would need to invest in the item shop, refer to the seasonal skins above.
I bought an account/I decided to use a default. Let's build it up, but how?
Let's say you're a default or you're missing out on a couple of rare skins. What should I get first?
Battle Pass. Best way to get BR cosmetics Also a great way of getting V-Bucks but not necessarily the most consistent as there are little opportunities to get free V-Bucks past Tier 100.
Save The World. Logins and Storm Shield Defenses give out a pretty consistent source of V-Bucks, especially in the early-game of StW.
Exclusive/event/seasonal cosmetics. There are quite a lot of cosmetics you can get without V-Bucks.
Seasonal item shop skins. Refer to the seasonal skins list.
Item Shop skins.
How would I be able to build my account in the most effective way possible? The only two resources you will need to build a stacked BR account are exclusives and V-Bucks.
Exclusives: you can get these from GameFlip/Kaleoz/G2G/your favorite code site.
V-Bucks: USE CHEAP V-BUCKS FROM A TRUSTED SOURCE. This is a great way to save money on V-Bucks. However, using cheaper v-bucks can cause refunds in cases, and, depending on which method you use, may have additional requirements. You can get these from GameFlip/Kaleoz/G2G/your favorite site.
1000 VB: EGS : $9.99; 3P : $7.70 - $8.50
2800 VB: EGS : $24.99; 3P : $18 - $22
5000 VB: EGS : $39.99;3P : $28 - $31
13500 VB: EGS : $99.99; 3P : $66 - $76
I'm a Default/Mammoth/Christmas Tree and I really want to get a skin from the Item Shop, what should I go for first? If you are really impatient to get a skin, buy 1K V-Bucks and whatever starter pack is in the shop ($14.98 USD unoptimized) and grind through the entire battle pass as fast as you can. You earn net 550 V-Bucks from the Battle Pass alone. Unfortunately, from this, you will only get 1150 V-Bucks, so your only option is to main a starter pack skin, a battle pass skin, or an 800 vbuck skin.
Best luck is NFA/Unverified but if you can get FA it's very nice, but FA is much harder. Use common sense for avoiding scammers Get the 13.5K VB package; thats all you need for seasonals Max out some battle passes and do some stw
If you want to repost this guide, adapt it, or improve upon it, please credit me using my Reddit tag; u/CFlu, or my Discord (DM me) sauces taken from epicnpc, pinned post in this subreddit, and a year of building and trading accounts.
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