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The Inner Space

April 29, 2015

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Issue 5
vol 4

When I was in high school I was obsessed with The Matrix. In college it as Friday Night Lights and if you have been following me those long ten years then you know that. After college it became the Dark Knight and then the Dark Knight Rises. With each movie I was looking for some meaning and that meaning would shed light onto myself. I guess life is about self discovery. And to think that at one point I thought I knew or had discovered all that there was to know about me.

I know why I write and now you know too.

Lets do this.

Two Wolves

two-wolves

There is a story about a grandfather talking to his son’s son. The Grandfather spoke of a conflict, a war, inside of him, inside all of us. A war between two wolves. One was selfish, mean and cruel a scarred combination of the worst in humanity and the other was the best of us. The boy asked which won would win and the Grandfather said “The one you feed.”

I am not sure if it is a Cherokee story or not. I don’t care enough to search and find out but the story is no less true. The mental environment you cultivate plays a big part in how you view the world around you, work with and through it also.

I was raised by who could be easily classified as Black intellectuals. I was taken to museums and arts shows when I was little. My mother did confess that she took me to those things because she wanted to give me culture and expand my horizons. She also took me to those things because they were free. My father, who majored in art and understood it very well, gave me simple lessons about the history of art and the eras we were looking at. I used “Black intellectuals” because I was also educated about race and the socio-political environment I would have to navigate because I was a Black man. I was also taught the history, academic an cultural, of Black people in America in a very casual way ever present way. There was a picture of Zora Nearle Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, and Billie Holiday that hanged in my living room.

I was also taught to be a respectful skeptic. I was 8 years old and I told my father an opinion that was blatantly sexist. He challenged me. He changed how I thought about the subject. He encouraged me to think outside the box and often asked me questions about how I arrived to that conclusion. He would critique my logic and after a while I learned to do the same thing to him and the world around me.

These values and education does not exactly fit in with the Military and a stranger fit still is my bellicose nature. While what you have seen about the military in TV and Film aren’t exactly accurate.

SEEMS LEGIT.

SEEMS LEGIT.

The environment isn’t always friendly to someone brought up to think like me. Being smart is always a bonus in the military, or anywhere, but being black and bookish (for lack of better phrasing) I am looked at like and oddity.

There is apart of me that gets excited at the idea of combat. Right or wrong the thought of launching Tomahawk into an enemy country makes my insides all warm. Its not just a missile or a weapon it is an offensive weapon. That means we will never shoot a Tomahawk in defense of a unit. When we shoot one, our only goal, is to fuck someone’s day up.

'MERICA. FUCK. YEAH.

‘MERICA. FUCK. YEAH.

A part of me knows that is wrong. The very idea of killing should send chills down my back and make me sick. Life is precious. We have no right to take what we did not grant or create. Its almost universal in every civilized country and religion that killing is nothing short of abhorrent. With all that said there is a very real part of me that would like to be apart of that. Its hard to reconcile or even understand.

Mom would not be proud

I hesitate to share this so let me preface it with some known facts. 1) I am a heterosexual male. 2) I have been raised in a culture that tells and reinforces me to think of women as sex objects. There was this post I made a little while ago. 3) None of that is an excuse. 4) I got caught checking out a woman’s butt at work.

I work with a collection of characters (read: mental patients) and one of them decided to anoint herself my “work wife”. She is tall, blonde and goofy. If I was a white women I would be her. Or she would be me…Um…

Shits getting weird...

Shits getting weird…

Either way there is this woman that comes in and works from time to time. At the end of the day I was sitting at my desk and my work wife was sitting across from me at her desk. This woman says goodbye and I *ahem* shamelessly check this woman out.

“I caught you.” Work wife says with a smug smile easing across her face. .

“What?”

“I caught you looking at her butt,” Work wife goes on to explain how I checked this woman out. “In your defense, she does have a nice butt.”

My only response is to shrug. Its not the first time I have been caught. If I were younger I would have been mortified. And I should have been embarrassed but with age I have become a bold perv and I am not proud. Not ashamed either. Just sort of apathetic.

Not sure why but I felt like sharing.

 Maddening

I got an Xbox One last October for super cheap. I am sure it took me a matter of hours to get the most up to date version of Madden for that console. Normally I play Madden all football season long and don’t really pick it back up until shortly before the NFL Draft. Not this year. Some reasons I will explain I can’t get enough of this year’s version of Madden. Madden 15.

Every year between 2001-2010 I owned the current year’s version of Madden. New players, mechanics and features are added each year. I didn’t own Madden 2011 because I had no place to live (stuck on the USS Bunker Hill) but from 2012 on I continued my streak. Some years the improvements are only superficial and other years the game feels totally different.

In Madden 2002 I would run a sweep play (a play where I toss the football to the running back and he runs wide in hopes for running up the sideline for a big gain) with such a sickening regularity it was almost a joke. If it was 3&18 I was going to sweep right to my custom running back where he would take it for 40 yard or more each time. In Madden 2003 I couldn’t do that. The game had improved enough that it kept me honest and I had to learn to be more dynamic in my play calling.

In 2004 Madden 2005 came out my first year of college. It was my favorite version of Madden. They introduced so many features to improve the defense. That year I played in a dorm wide Madden league and I chose the Ravens. I beat the Eagles, a previously undefeated team, and won the AFC North. In the playoffs I had an epic game against the Jaguars and lost by 3 points. Even in my defeat my defense played like heroes.

Madden 2002 vs Madden 15.

Madden 2002 vs Madden 15.

This year’s version of Madden is my new favorite. What I like the most is that I feel like I have close to total control over how my players progress and grow. Let me explain.

My preferred mode in Madden is the franchise mode. In franchise mode you control a team over the course of up to 30 seasons. In those 30 seasons the CPU controls the other 31 teams as you control your team. You control their playbook, free agent, draft, etc…

For the longest time I was really a C+ player. My defense was fierce, often leading the league in fewest points allowed fewest rushing yards,  most the sacks. And this time was no different. I used the St. Louis Rams and played to their strengths. I ran the ball and played defense.

My real talent was developing players. I would draft well and get the very best young players to year after year. Up until this year the longest I played with a specific franchise was 5 years, maybe. Right now I am on my 13th season with the Rams with a total of 5 Super Bowl Trips with 4 wins. Tre Mason, Greg Robinson, and Sam Bradford are either currently Hall of Famers or will be very soon and Aaron Donald is not only the greatest defensive tackle of all time but the greatest defensive lineman and the best pass rusher with 206 sacks (the current record is a staggering 200 sacks in a 18 year career).

Every year you play in franchise Madden generates a draft class. This class is a randomly created set of players with attributes for their specific positions. I had big, sure handed recievers but I needed a fast guy. That’s why I drafted Layne Harper. I called him “Young Jordy Nelson” but as the years went on as he went to 10 consecutive Pro Bowls and averaged 106 reception a year he became Mr. Consistent. Until his 9th season when he caught 19 TDs and 143 passes. He was, and still is a monster. If he retired right now he would have a wopping 1217 catches, 14,001 yards and  119 TDs.

The Young Jordy nelson should be self evident.

The Young Jordy nelson should be self evident.

One of the biggest reasons I play Madden is the fantasy of running an NFL franchise. Making choices that allow me to draft, sign, develop and lead players to winning seasons. Winning seasons for the team I am most emotionally tethered to. I love the Rams and I want them to be competitive and I don’t care how it happens. Even if they win a Super Bowl at 9 am on a Saturday while I sit in my underwear on my couch.

Until Next time.

~ Adam

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