Tag Archives: UFC Specter

Emerald Specter 49: Storytelling

If you haven’t been paying attention, Emerald Specter.com is quickly shifting to telling stories. Stories about all kinds of wonderful things, some in “real time,” and some pre-written. With this focus, this branding, I’ll be moving things in directions that I hadn’t necessarily intended when I started moving the site in this direction.

In August, No Man’s Sky Update 1.3 will be released and that will (apparently) introduce all kinds of new little goodies to the game. There is an ARG, or alternate reality game, that is currently happening (entitled Waking Titan) which is leading to this update’s release. This is all important because I’ve decided to tell a narrative using No Man’s Sky but not using No Man’s Sky “narrative,” if that makes sense. I’m waiting for the update to come out to see what other things I’ll have access to in order to tell the narrative that I have in mind. I’ve come up with the basis of this narrative, now I wait to see what alterations I need to include with the release of this update. This IS happening and I’m going to be doing this a little differently than I initially intended (though included as an option everywhere I’ve talked about it).

There will be two narratives going on at the same time… the first is the narrative of the live stream of the game I’m playing, complete with audio commentary as I go and my “co-pilot” will join me at being somewhat “in character.” The reason I continue to put that term in quotations is that if something comes up in the real world while I am playing, I’ll break character and may even have some “dead gameplay” happening while we figure out what is happening. I’m planning on a schedule of when to follow along live but this is really just gathering the information for the other part of this narrative: the edited and “finished” product.

Ideally, the idea is to have a cohesive “season” of story told through several installments. When you watch one of these polished episodes, you’ll get some of the live in-game audio but you’ll also get a lot of voice over narration, telling the story that is harder to pick out from the live feed. Did you see me react a certain way on a planet and didn’t really understand format he live feed, even after watching the scene three times? Well, in the voice over polished episode, you’ll hear about the story beat that was intended to be included in the live feed but my “in character” perspective wouldn’t necessarily understand what was happening.

Yes, I am thinking deep on this one. I hope you’ll enjoy what I’ve got planned.

Moving along, I’ve mentioned on the Specter Show about writing serial fiction for this site. While I stalled slightly after writing “episode 1” of the series, I have started in on the first third of “episode 2” and I’m not looking back. I’ve gotten Kevin Couick (from the Greatest Show) interested in the writing of a serial, so we may have a second serial gracing the site that I am not directly involved with! I’d edit, as I have asked him to do for me, but I wouldn’t be writing anything about it.

With the series I’m working on, which I’ll call “Untitled: Series 1,” I want all 12 or 13 episodes completed, edited, and released in 12 or 13 consecutive weeks (as if I were HBO releasing one of their original series on their channel). Once I’m done with the editing and scheduled set up of the release, I intend to start working on another series. Will that be Untitled: Series 1, Season 2? Probable, though I don’t want to exclude the possibility of New Series Season 1. With Kevin in the mix, I wouldn’t feel the pressure to expand into another series right away, as there would be more content to release that would be interesting for you (the audience).

Keep strong if I decide to write a different series instead of season two of the first one… there are lots of stories I have to tell and some of them need to be out there before continuing with the already released “sequels.” Besides, if you like both series, THEN which one do I write third? Right?

All this talk of writing may also result in audio versions of these episodes. So, with the release of a season and then a release of the audio versions at a future date, I would essentially have a novel and an audiobook released within a relatively short span of time.

Also, I don’t know if Kevin intends to novelize his offering but I am intending to novelize mine. Some people like to hold a book when they read and I’d like to be able to sign something for those that really enjoy what I will write.

If you’ve been paying attention to some of the things I’ve talked about on past episodes of the Specter Show, you’ll note there are a couple of items that are completely missing from any sort of documentation in the last few columns or episodes… that would be the narration I was talking about doing for the Doctor Who synopsis readings that I’d promised. I haven’t forgotten about them, I have pushed them to the background because I am actively writing and do not want to interrupt the creative process. I may also discover that I don’t have time for that until a “lull” in the writing process, too, so perhaps saving it for later would be a better thing.

The final thing, which is sort of a storytelling topic, is the concept of columns. I have been writing multiple columns at one point, would liked to have gotten back to that for the sake of content, and I have failed to relaunch things like I’d promised. Well, I’m considering doing something a little different and that would mean an explanation of how and why I’m considering this.

I used to write a professional wrestling column waaaaaaay back in the 20th century (which ran for 350 weekly releases for a website that has since gone down in quality). That would be six years plus of writing about professional wrestling. How did I accomplish this feat? What made the column last that long?

First and foremost, I chose a single topic and talked the hell out of it. Sometimes it was about a match, sometimes it was about an angle (a storyline between two or more wrestlers), sometimes it was about history (lineage of a championship, progression of a specific character, or the rise/fall of a federation), and sometimes it was just about what was currently happening in the world of wrestling (at that time, it would have been between WWE and WCW… later being between WWE and TNA). After the first 50-75 columns, though, topics started to be a little tougher to fill out the entire column length (which was about 750-1500 words, depending on the topic). My audience was clamoring for more, so I did something unexpected…

I added sections to the column.

The first part of the column then became a brief “info dump” about what I thought about what was currently going on at the time. This was about 250-500 words, depending on how interesting the angles were at the time.

The second part was the “traditional” column, containing a focus on a single topic that was now reduced to 500-1000 words, depending on the specific topic. This was also an opportunity to revisit ideas I’d already written about and retell them in the shorter format.

The third part was a story I started developing as part of a series of fictional accounts. At first the story would be released to fantasy booking (setting up angles or shows with specific matches or whatnot). Once the fantasy booking started to see a lull, I created a fictional wrestler and ran him through entering the business and eventually becoming a Hall of Fame character in the twilight of his career.

That third part was, by far, my most popular feature. The third part was also another 500-1000 words, depending on the era of the wrestler’s life I was currently in (and whether he was involved in some random, small federation or one of the “big 2” at the time). There were random columns through the remainder of my run that were nothing but the third section, and those were the highest read columns I ever wrote.

Unfortunately, those columns are not available on that website any longer… not only have they drastically redesigned, they apparently dumped their historical information (I checked), so most of what is on that site now is either new or just plain “in the now.”

If you’ve been paying attention and haven’t gotten distracted by my recounting of my wrestling column, you may have figured out that I am thinking of doing that with this column (or a brand new one). I would write about a topic that relates to the website (like the Emerald Specter column you are currently reading), include the SpecterFit column that I have wanted to relaunch (which wouldn’t always be long enough to warrant a full column, so this new format would fit much nicer into what I’m looking to accomplish), and there are other columns that I wanted to resurrect as well (Storytelling Specter, Game Specter, UFC Specter, Footie Specter, Chess Specter, Ingress Intel, Fantasy Football Specter, and Specter Who) that can be included as pieces or rotating pieces in the final column.

Everything on this site is in a constant state of change. I am adapting as I go and rather than wipe the site and reboot, I want to show a progression of where I came from to where I am at, currently. This column will reflect that.

Starting with Emerald Specter 50, the column will be rebranded slightly with a name that will encompass more about what is going on with the site as a whole (including all the sections I mentioned). I don’t have a name picked out at the moment, but it’ll be something similar (and expanded)… something like Tales from the Emerald Specter, Wrath of the Emerald Specter, Welcome to the Specterverse, Journal of Emerald Specter.com, or something along those lines… the numbering won’t be reset and we will see if that works to move into the future.

I’d love to hear feedback… @EmeraldSpecter on both Instagram and Twitter, email me at emeraldspecter.com@gmail.com, or simply submit a comment on this column.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next week for the grand opening of the new column.

UFC Specter 4 – Some People Are Stupid

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There is some build up to the title of this column but I’ll go as quickly as I can.

UFC 184 was to be headlined by Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort… until Weidman cracked a rib or something and now can’t fight. The co-main event, Rousey-Zingano, was moved to the main event, with another Women’s Bantamweight fight moved into the co-main event slot. Basically, two women fights are headlining over all the men.

On the comments of the thread, one guy had posted “hope I can get my money back for this one.” Several others posted similar sentiments on the same thread and I posted the truth about the situation… which is why people are stupid.

Why would you want your money back when the best fight of the night has been moved to the main event?

That comment has gotten me almost 50 likes so far.

There is a subset of humanity out there that is too stupid to see talent when the talent is presented to them. They are biased beyond biased and have other tendencies, too, like they don’t like black people, they hate gay people, and they think that women can’t do anything but cook, clean, and put out. Well, those people are the stupid ones.

Weidman-Belfort was destined to be a decent fight, yes. Would that fight have been the best one on UFC 184’s card? Not by a long shot. Ronda Rousey has not only proven that she’s the baddest woman mixed martial artist on the planet but she’s proven that she can draw… and UFC 184 is going to prove that she can draw as THE main event instead of the secondary main event. Rousey-Zingano, however the match comes out, will be the best fight of the night.

I’m professed to be a lady fight lover. I admit that I have some bias. What I don’t have is a blinding tunnel vision for the other fighters out there. Weidman is a champion. Aldo is a champion. Johnson is a champion. Pettis is a champion. Velasquez is a champion. Jones is a champion. None of these are women and I will watch all of them fight because I know I’m in for a good fight. I also like Benson, Cerrone, Dos Santos, and the Spider are all also awesome. There are countless others that I’ll watch, regardless of who they’re fighting, because I know I am about to be treated to a good sight.

But the ladies rule the day for me.

Why? Well, this stems all the way back to female kickboxing that I used to occasionally watch. Those women, regardless of weight class, were out to kill each other. MMA fighters aren’t quite so vicious after the fight but during the fight, they’re trying to kill each other. That is a damn good time.

Rousey-Tate was better than I thought it was going to be… that was really the first live fight I got to see. That was the fight that solidified the idea that the ladies are tops. As a Tecia Torres fan, I’m also looking forward to seeing more of her.

All in all, though, if you have a bias because of skin color, sexual orientation, or gender, then you’re stupid. Yes, actually stupid. Because you can’t see talent when talent shows you it exists.

Fight on.

UFC Specter 3 – Better Than Boxing

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I have traditionally been a big boxing fan. When the UFC first started way back in 1993, the novelty of the whole thing wore off rather quickly, especially when you looked at the fact that the guys who rolled around on the mat more than anything else were doing most of the winning. How is rolling around on the mat exciting? It isn’t, so I was into boxing, where you had to stand up and punch your opponent into unconsciousness.

Boxing has a fatal flaw, though. The “big fights” happen so few and far between that you almost get lulled into unconsciousness yourself waiting for one of the big fights to happen. Who wants to watch something that happens between “Joe Nobody and Mike Nevergonnabe?” Yeah, there are thousands of guys vying for supremacy in boxing and because of that you hardly ever get to see anything interesting.

The UFC was different. Right around the end of 2013 I got into the UFC to take my mind off of things that were going on in real life. There were more big name fights happening more often and rather than thousands of fighters fighting to be the best, you only had the best of the best going for the UFC gold. The UFC, being a private company, only keeps the best of the best on the roster, so when you have two fighters fighting, they are more than likely worlds better than anyone else. So, you don’t have to watch anything but the UFC, though some other companies claim to have some of the best… I disagree, but we can do that.

The UFC is starting to water down a bit, though. Nothing like boxing but as long as the UFC retains their single championship structure with top ten contenders fighting for a shot, I think they’ll be alright. Boxing has 4 or 5 organizations, each with at least 1 champion per division, and that means that are thousands of nobodies fighting for championships that will never be remembered by the end of the event, much less in long term history.

When you look at UFC history, the early years mar the organization as a whole, in my opinion. The spectacle that was the original Ultimate Fighting Championship event all the way through, let’s say, UFC 30 were more or less a side show that happened to be marketed as something of a spectacle than an actual sport. When Dana White took over is when the UFC really started looking interesting.

If I understand how the fights work, too, it’s Dana White “strongly suggesting” that two people fight. If that means he walks over to Jon Jones and says “it would be in your best interest to fight Daniel Cormier” as his next fight, I’d say that is the way to go… short of just stating “your next fight is against Junior Dos Santos, live with it.” What could be more interesting than just making the fights and letting people beat each other up? I’ll take what I can get.

So, isn’t UFC better than boxing? I think so.

It’s time.

UFC Specter 2 – Rousey-Zingano Preview

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Who is better than Ronda Rousey? No, really, I’m asking you for real… because she is really killing the competition and I don’t really think I see anyone on the horizon to take that belt off of her anytime soon.

Like Jon Jones, whom I have gained a much deeper appreciation of, Ronda Rousey has yet to be seriously challenged for her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Cat Zingano, who beat Miesha Tate to earn a spot waaaaay back before the Ultimate Fighter 16, but lost her spot when she got into some sort of accident. Now that she’s back, and earned another shot, I think that Cat might give Rousey a little bit of a run for her money… or will she?

Of everyone I’ve seen Ronda face since I started following the UFC, only Sarah McMann was in the realm of “I think she might put up a serious fight” before the fight began. Well, Rousey ended that chance really early and we didn’t get the fight I thought we were going to get but she was the last one who I thought might have a chance. Cat? Well, she’s the latest.

Having seen the Tate-Zingano match waaaaay back, I was impressed that Cat really knocked Miesha around… I even was looking forward to seeing that fight when it should have originally happened. Now, though, we actually get to see these two clash.

I’m predicting a Rousey win, I don’t think Zingano has what it takes to beat the champ, but I’m hoping for a really good fight.

Fight on.