Monthly Archives: February 2016

Watch the Greatest Show LIVE on Saturday, March 5!

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Where will you be at 10:30PM Eastern / 7:30PM Pacific on Saturday, March 5? You should be watching and enjoying the GREATEST SHOW! We will be broadcasting, live, on Google+ Hangouts on Air for episode 71 at the times listed. There is a question and answer feature you can use to join in on the fun, asking questions that we can answer or taking requests for topics… all kinds of stuff.

You can also participate in the Mad Libs!

Join us!

ESPL Week 8 – Sleeping Giants

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With Gothica reclaiming the top of the table, we have ourselves somewhat of a “awaken the sleeping giants” scenario with the three of the top four clubs really making statements.

The first match saw no scores, no cards, and a lot of unhappy players were complaining about poor officiating. Several chances were had, even Scott Stennon putting on in the net was worth note, though it was recalled for being “offsides.”

The second match saw Arlow Powers from Real Olympia putting in the opening goal but Duncan McBriar equalizing late in the second to bring about the draw that ended the match.

The third match saw Tsung Bai scoring for Sporting Black Cats to open the match, which then led to the unstoppable 7 goals from Gothica by Donovan Righte, Adam Stonewall, Guillermo Martinez, Hiro Takahashi, Pierre LaFayette, and 2 from Simon Tarken.

Another blowout occurred in the fourth match when Naval Armada scored 5 goals by Piotr Khrush, Xaviers Masters, and a hat trick by Khan Galaxy. Only two goals came from Wordsmiths, by Jason White and Wonk O’Riley.

The fifth match, and first of the spotlight matches, saw a close battle as Knightsquare scored three goals by Alan Marquardt, Anthony Marconi, and Claude Deveraux. Emerald United scored four, though, by Paco DeJesus, Xin Li, and two by David Jansen to win.

The final match of the week ended in a scoreless draw, just like the first match but Patrick Barnes put forth more attempts than anyone else on either team but failed to capitalize on any of them.

What will happen next week? Only time will tell.

Fitness Specter 37: The Dawn of the New Age

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This is a different Fitness Specter, this is a new age. I’m here to let you know a little history, that changes are on the horizon, and that this is the move towards the future.

In 2014, I founded an organization called WAFFLE. The “pun” acronym stands for World Association of Fitness Fanatics Love Exercise and it was designed to be the “UFC of self improvement.” The logo was this:

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The idea was that you signed up for a fitness goal (conquer a certain number of steps, run a mile in a certain time, walk up a certain number of flights of stairs, etc) and you’d get a “win.” There were weight classes, championships were on the horizon, and everyone was on an even playing field… leading to eventual “person vs person” competitions, all promoting the health of everyone involved.

Due to popular request, I was busy creating “term events” that would last longer (a month, a week, etc) and would reflect an “iron man” style event… becoming WAFFLE Iron… yes, another pun. There were 4 events (all WAFFLE events) with a 5th on the horizon… and the beginnings of a WAFFLE Iron event…

What happened? Well, that’s the funny thing. There were two regulars competing with WAFFLE events: myself and my wife. We added two friends to the mix, and they both competed exactly once before there formed a rift. One of them moved. The other said something that can only be called stupid, and then there was work that started to get unruly. The WAFFLE events were going to be continued but as with my own personal fitness, things started to slide because of moving across the country and work stress.

The biggest problems with WAFFLE, at least from the perspective of recruiting, were multiple. No one wanted their weight out there in the open (the weight classes had a range, they weren’t exact… but there was a roof and using that roof you could guess about how heavy someone was). The idea of “competing” against a goal in a single, specific day became difficult for some to participate in (and thus making competing at all something they couldn’t do on those specific days). The joke title seemed to create animosity for the endeavor, thus making participating in WAFFLE something to be avoided. Those were the major reasons, and those were the reasons that I let WAFFLE lapse… intending to restart the organization again but then I started to think about other things.

That leads me into the writing of Fitness Specter, of which you are reading the 37th edition, that has been my “here’s what I’ve done, here’s ideas for you” style column. I will not be dropping the writing of the column, but the column will be changing slightly. Let me not let the cat out of the bag, just yet.

It’s no secret that I’ve gotten into the UFC. I’m a long time (former) professional wrestling fan and since that form of entertainment has been leaving me behind (as each generation gets left behind by the “new shiny” version that follows it) I started looking to “real sports” as an outlet. I followed boxing for a long time, too, but because the fights started getting less interesting while the “belt” of the trunks kept rising (I believe it is currently just under the nipple), I needed something else. From a personal tragedy, I started watching the UFC and started enjoying it…

The UFC has the storylines like the WWE, but they’re less manufactured. The WWE held pay per views to “end the storyline” in my day, and because the UFC doesn’t have that many rematches, that is essentially what happens when a UFC event ends. The parallels are there and I, as a wrestling fan only, didn’t see the close connection. As a UFC fan, no longer a WWE fan, I absolutely see the parallels and also see that the UFC is doing a better job of what the WWE has been doing for decades. I like the UFC and the presentation. I wanted to do something that had that style of showmanship.

Thus I created WAFFLE. WAFFLE is dead, though, but I still want to pair fitness with an event like atmosphere. Since I’m already writing a fitness column, I’d like to roll everything into one…

I’m now officially announcing SpecterFit. Instead of a pun acronym and joke aura, I’m creating the same vibe without the tight restrictions but still promoting fitness in a semi-competitive manner. As an extension of the column, which will also take the name SpecterFit (numbering to continue from this point on), the events will be entire months in length and be goals for personal improvement rather than  promoting a competitive atmosphere.

Starting with the next column, you will be reading SpecterFit 38. I’m intending to write a weekly column again, but I won’t rope myself into stating the exact date that will start. I will rope myself into announcing the first event of the SpecterFit series: January 2017.

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To participate in SpecterFit 1, all you need to do is email a personal goal to emeraldspecter (dot) com (at) gmail (dot) com. The goal can be a step count in a day, week, or month. The goal can be running a distance in a day, week, or month. The goal can be lifting a certain amount of weight, biking, climbing flights of stairs, in a day, week, or month. What will accomplishing this goal get you? Badges. Instead of championships, instead of weight classes, you’ll earn badges. The most important part of what you’ll get is healthy. Lose weight, get fit, join others.

SpecterFit is a revolution. SpecterFit seeks to glamorize fitness, health, and nutrition, and the column will reinforce the lessons I’ve learned that I can pass along to everyone else out there. SpecterFit the event will help you accomplish and set goals, along with others who will achieve their own milestones. Interested in learning more? Email me, I’ll tell you about it

Win.

The Greatest Show 69: Bill & Ted Would Be Proud

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In our 69th episode, we rock this podcast like no podcast has been rocked before… except for the cool stuff we did in other podcasts, which really means we are just going through our awesomeness further… here it is… Bob & DJ (plus cooking!).

This is the real link.

ESPL Week 7 – An Epic Adventure

The biggest week yet, as everyone who is anyone, gets their chance to shine in an epic week of goals, guts, and glory. There are so many things to go over, let’s not waste anymore time!

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Emerald United hosted Shamrock Celtic as Patrick Barnes returns to action after a 4 week suspension. He did not disappoint. The whole first half was all Patrick Barnes, in his epic return he had nearly fifteen chances as both clubs were having issues gaining anything in the way of an actual score. Barnes was the dominant force on the pitch, though, and didn’t stop until the half ended. The second half saw more of the same, though Emerald United formulated a plan to deal with Barnes. At 68′ Joe Olman put the home side up 1-0, and Barnes seemed to lose focus and became less effective. He was more of a team player from that score on as at 84′ Barnes assisted Arak Shemin in scoring the equalizer to end the game in a draw.

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Naval Armada hosted Sporting Black Cats for the awakening of the sleeping giant. At 39′ Khan Galaxy shoots through the first goal for Naval Armada, getting Sporting on their back foot and defending more than attacking. Piotr Khrush scored the second home side goal at 50′, followed by the first goal from Sporting at 52′ by Victor Khrushchev. At 54′ William Tavern gives Armada another goal, followed by Pedro DeJesus at 58′ with the most beautiful goal of the game. Khan Galaxy scores again at 79′, Stephan Khan gets his first goal of the season at 87′, and Sporting puts in a meaningless goal at 91′ when Jean-Louis Pepon has a goal just slide past the keeper in the last moments of the match.

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Halo hosted Allen FC in a struggle to break the cycle of draws in the ESPL. The only two goals came at 34′ when Wade Wonder scored for Allen FC and at 87′ when James Traceur evened the game for Halo. This one was a tough defensive battle ending in a draw.

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Knightsquare hosted Shazam CM in the final game of Sunday’s action. Jackson Alexander opened the match up with a 48 second goal to catch the home side completely off guard. Hoshi Tanaka scored the second goal for Shazam at 32′, then Knightsquare got their sole goal of the game at 33′ from Claude Deveraux. That left Shazam CM to score at 38′ (Carlos Marcos) and at 87′ with the second Tanaka goal to give Shazam a solid 4-1 victory.

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Vulcan FC hosted Gothica in what the supporters see as a decisive victory. All four goals came from Gothica at 21′ Guillermo Martinez scored off of a Boris Putin yellow card (at 20′), at 40′ Boris Putin was sent off with a yellow/red and Gothica scored again at 41′ when Donovan Righte also scored. The final two goals came at 65′ (Norman Tavez) and 85′ (Adam Stonewall) put the nail in the coffin to give Gothica a strong win away.

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Wordsmiths hosted Real Olympia in a defensive struggle that ended up in a draw without a score.

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Shazam CM’s decisive victory puts them back at the top of the table, with Gothica right on their tale back in the running for the top. Emerald United and Shamrock Celtic’s draw keeps them both near the top and we still have four unbeaten clubs, the same four, which will head into week 8 in the same state.

Week 8 is right around the corner!

ESPL Week 6 – Green With Envy

There’s a new leader in the ESPL, and they’ve got the rest of the league green with envy. Let’s get to the recaps now!

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Wordsmiths hosted Gothica for what should have been an easy win for the away side, but that turned into something a little more difficult than Gothica was bargaining for: Guillermo Martinez put Gothica on top at 27′ for the 1-0, which only lasted until Josh Franklin tied the match at 31′. At 44′ Adam Stonewall knocked in a hard shot to put the visitors back on top to finish off the half. Second half opened with a series of chances by Gothica, only to have them stopped by Goalkeeper Dorian Parker time and time again. Shu Liang for Wordsmiths was given a yellow card for essentially riding Martinez to the ground in a header attempt, which opened the door for Pierre LaFayette to slip one in at 78′ under the keeper’s nose, after having three other shots blocked. Norman Tavez was given a yellow card at 88′ after Wordsmiths nearly scored a solid shot but Tavez brought Franklin down in the box. Franklin’s penalty kick was easily caught and Gothica wins 3-1.

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Halo hosted Shazam CM for what was expected to be a scorefest for both clubs. There were a lot of chances made by both sides and though both sides pleaded for them, no cards were handed out the entire match. This one ended in a draw.

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Emerald United hosted Real Olympia and showed what a strong home side should be able to accomplish. At 1′, actually 36 seconds, Trent Areonak blasted through the defenders to put one in hard past the keeper to score. At 27′ Michael Bradfords equalized with a well curled kick into the back of the net. The home crowd thought this was going to be a slog… then the second half began. Bart Hathaway scored Emerald United’s second goal at 59′, Xin Li was offsides but the official missed it to get Emerald United’s third score at 69′, Edge Righte juked the keeper at 78′ for Emerald United’s fourth goal, and at 89′ Garrett Parker snuck a squeaker in for their fifth goal of the day.

“Who’s stronger?” asked Trent Areonak, team captain for Emerald United. “We keep hearing how Gothica is the strongest club in the ESPL but we just shut down Real Olympia at home to take the top spot.”

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Vulcan FC hosted Naval Armada, with both clubs looking to make their mark on the ESPL this week. At 2′ Muleaki A’anhi broke open the scoring for the home side, shocking the visitors even further was Jacque Lareaux’s follow up at 3′ to put the home side up 2-0. Jacque Lareaux earned a yellow card at 14′ for running over Jesse Davis, causing him to be subbed out early. Khan Galaxy scored Naval Armada’s first goal at 31′ to give his side some hope and that’s how the first half ended. The second half saw Khan Galaxy score again at 49′, Jacque Lareaux score at 52′ to put Vulcan FC back on top, only to have Khan Galaxy complete his hat trick with a goal at 79′. Neither side could overpower the other to change the draw that the match ended in.

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Shamrock Celtic hosted Knightsquare for their last game without Patrick Barnes leading the charge. Franz Volstag shocked the home crowd silent with a goal at 1′, right at the 53 second mark. That would be answered by Arak Shemin at 28′ to even things up. The second half saw Arak Shemin score a second goal at 63′ so that the Shamrock Celtic could hold on for the 2-1 win.

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Sporting Black Cats hosted Allen FC for the spotlight game of the week, which resulted in a 0-0 draw without much to tout as far as the action goes. Both clubs were well matched.

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Emerald United slid into the top spot with 13 points, pushing Shazam CM down because the best they could do was draw. There are four clubs still undefeated going into week 7: Shazam CM, Shamrock Celtic (despite not having Patrick Barnes but one week), Allen FC, and Naval Armada. The unbeaten clubs, though, cannot seem to maintain any sort of consistency, something analysts believe will change with Patrick Barnes returning to the Shamrock Celtic lineup, making them a much bigger powerhouse than they have been.

The top goalscorer becomes Shamrock Celtic’s Arak Shemin, the sole source of bright light in the lineup. Adding Barnes back into the mix could mean that his goals dry up, or simply that he is joined by his partner in crime.

I can’t wait for next week!

ESPL Week 5 – The Opposite of Week 4

Week 5 in the ESPL was not quite the excitement machine that week 4 was, but there were interesting bits in each match that kept each fanbase more than invested in the outcomes.

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Sporting Black Cats hosted Wordsmiths in the opening match of the fifth week. This one was not quite anyone was expecting but the star player of Sporting, Victor Khrushchev, nearly scored twice but was denied once by the keeper and once by the crossbar. Wordsmiths failed to mount any serious effort for scoring in this draw.

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Allen FC hosted Gothica in what was expected to be a slugfest. At 5′ Wade Wonder scored a goal against the “big boys” of the ESPL. At 14′ Hans Mueller scored a second one for Allen FC when he tapped one in from the left of the keeper for a goal. Gothica retaliated when at 24′ Guillermo Martinez shot one in with authority. At 26′ Guillermo Martinez zipped right through the defense to score a second time and evened up the match. In the second half, Allen’s own November Nstinga scored his second ever ESPL goal at 62′, and Allen held on to win 3-2.

“There were many calls that should be evaluated by the league,” said Donovan Righte, leading scorer for Gothica. “We had some costly injuries out there and not once were any of them more than a free kick. It’s ridiculous.”

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Shamrock Celtic hosted Naval Armada, still without Patrick Barnes back from his red card suspension. Shamrock Celtic spent most of their time defending as Naval Armada turned up the heat early in the first quarter and never let up. Khan Galaxy, supposed to be the best player in the game, had eight chances throughout the game but was shut down by Celtic’s keeper Ken Broadwell each time. Fans had no shortage of excitement but there were no scores to capitalize on them.

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Shazam CM hosted Vulcan FC for the final game of the Sunday games. Duncan McBriar scored the first goal at 14′ to give Vulcan the early lead, which lasted all the way to the second half. Carlos Marcos evened the score at 67′ when the Shazam striker slid a ball right through the keeper’s legs to end the game in a draw.

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Emerald United hosted Halo in the first of the two highlight games of the week, giving fans something to cheer for with a plethora of scoring. Hector Cruz scored first for Halo at 6′, quieting the home crowd quite a bit. At 14′ Edge Righte evened things up and the crowd woke up, until Scott Stennon put Halo back in the lead at 21′ with a header off the corner. At 59′ Garrett Parker evened the score with a well placed ricochet off the right post for a goal. At 61′ Edge Righte scored another one, putting the home side up with a solid shot. Scott Stennon got his second goal at 80′ with a bomb from way outside the box to even things up again. That didn’t last long as Edge Righte completed his hat trick at 89′ to secure the win for the home side and giving the home crowd a reason to believe.

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Real Olympia hosted Knightsquare in the final game of week 5, without any scores and having nothing much of note happening except Real Olympia managed to have the lone chance in the game late in the second that sailed high over the goal.

Week 5
GP W D L GF GA GD PTS
Shazam CM 5 3 2 0 10 6 4 11
Allen FC 5 3 2 0 9 6 3 11
Emerald United 5 3 1 1 9 7 2 10
Shamrock Celtic 5 2 3 0 8 6 2 9
Gothica 5 2 2 1 14 13 1 8
Naval Armada 5 1 4 0 9 8 1 7
Halo 5 2 1 2 11 11 0 7
Sporting Black Cats 5 1 1 3 6 8 -2 4
Wordsmiths 5 1 1 3 9 12 -3 4
Real Olympia 5 0 3 2 3 5 -2 3
Vulcan FC 5 0 2 3 9 12 -3 2
Knightsquare 5 0 2 3 8 11 -3 2

Shazam CM holds on to the top spot with a draw and a little help from Allen FC, who vaulted themselves into second place with their defeat of Gothica. Naval Armada’s woes continue but with Khan Galaxy having so many chances there is still hope they can salvage the season as a whole.

The top goal scorer in the league is officially Donovan Righte with 5 goals, leading the way even though Gothica couldn’t pull out a win. Tied for second (three way tie) are Calvin Casey for Wordsmiths, Arak Shemin for Shamrock Celtic, and Scott Stennon for Halo… all having 4 goals. There is talk that Patrick Barnes would have been in this group instead of Shemin, or perhaps Shemin AND Barnes would have been at the top and perhaps Shamrock Celtic would be solidly in first place as a result.

Stay tuned for week 6 in the ESPL!