Friday, October 25, 2013

Fanboy Comics interview

I chatted with Fanboy Comics this week about I, Crimsonstreak and II Crimsonstreak.

The interview with managing editor Barbra J. Dillion touches on lightening up the superhero genre, works in progress, and other superhero goodness:
BD: How soon may readers anticipate the final installment of the trilogy, III Crimsonstreak? Have you already begun work on the book?

MA: I’ve finished the first draft of III Crimsonstreak and am working on revisions before I submit it. It’ll be approximately the same length as the second book and tie up the plot. The third book’s in a pretty good place right now as far as first drafts go. I’ve got some character moments to nail down and some third act plot machinations to smooth out. I expect a release late summer/early fall next year as long as I get it submitted early enough.
Be sure to check out the entire interview.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Progress report

After announcing that I'd finally chosen my next project, I'm going gangbusters on it. The paranormal novel involves a hotshot TV reporter, and I've really made some good progress over the last week or so. My work-in-progress currently stands at about 20,500 words. I'm gunning for about 85,000, so I'm a little under a quarter of the way there. I've been particularly productive over the last four days, averaging about 3,000 words/day (I've been on vacation this week; so much easier to write when the day job is on the shelf!).

Right now, the working title is The Exclusive (I'm also considering The Source). I have an outline, but I find myself going back and making changes or adding to it as I write. That happens sometimes. The first draft of my last project (I haven't announced the title) didn't need many changes to the outline. It really depends on the book and what happens as your write. I've recently discovered that I don't need a hyper-detailed outline, but I do like to go back and check my progress, adding little details and thoughts about the book as I go along.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Colts Observations, Week 7 vs. Broncos

Heroic Homecoming. The video tribute to Peyton Manning was a thing of beauty. For the most part, I've dealt with his departure well, but seeing him get a warm reception from the fans and realizing it had an impact on him got to me. Peyton Manning is a great quarterback who, if circumstances had accommodated, would've played his entire career with the Colts. But his injury, his contract, a terrible season, and the chance to pick the next franchise quarterback all factored into the decision to let him go. He's found a good home in Denver, but he'll always be a Colt and we'll always love him.

This one belonged to the defense. Denver has been pretty much unstoppable all season, yet the Colts slowed them down, particularly in the first half. While Peyton went off in the second half, the defense came up with two timely turnovers that preserved the game. I know Indy gave up 33 points, but they played big when they needed to.

Won't lose back-to-back games. The best thing I can say about the new regime is that they're resilient. After a lackluster performance last week, the Colts responded with a huge game in prime time. In front of a national audience, the city welcomed Manning back while the "new" Colts showed how they want to win games. This win was major in the suddenly muddled AFC and helped the Colts take a two-game lead in the division.

Andrew Luck. His first half numbers were huge, while his second half numbers weren't. Still, the Colts quarterback showed the grit and mettle we've become accustomed to, staying elusive in the pocket and picking up yards with his legs when necessary. The guy needs to take some sliding lessons, though. He looked like a wounded baby gazelle on ice the one time he slid.

Robert Mathis. After years of having Manning in a red shirt that made him untouchable, Robert Mathis got to sack Manning twice, including a game-changing sack/fumble that resulted in a safety and completely turned the game around. Mathis was credited with four quarterback hits for the game, and when Denver left him one-on-one with a lineman, he typically made them pay.

Conflicted fans. This was one of the weirder games I've ever watched, and I got the sensation that the crowd felt the same way. Some people wanted Manning to come back and kick the Colts' butt, others wanted to see him play a good game but lose, and I'm sure there were some out there who wanted the Colts to dominate the game. I think, oddly enough, the game managed to hit all those points.

Running away with it. At one point, the Colts looked like they were going to run away with this one. They led 36-17 after Adam Vinatieri nailed a 52-yard field goal. Colts fans were feeling it, and the Broncos looked too out of sync to manage a comeback.

Not running away with it. Then, the game turned. Denver scored back-to-back touchdowns and the Colts were clinging to a lead. Just like that, it looked like Peyton was going to out-Peyton his old team.

Trent Richardson. I keep looking for good things to say, but I have to look really hard. Every time he gets the ball, he gets buried by the defense. Sunday night, he had 14 carries for 37 yards and a fumble that turned a convincing win into a nail-biter. Is it going to click for this guy? On a third and one play in the first half, Denver stacked about 80 guys in the box. This would've been a perfect time for some play action or misdirection, but they ran a power play and Richardson went nowhere.

3rd and 11. Nothing was bigger than Andrew Luck's third down scramble that turned into a first down. The play set up a touchdown to Stanley Havili, giving the Colts the lead for the first time of the night.

Laying down the #Boomstick. Pat McAfee lived the dream, absolutely unloading on diminutive Broncos punt returner Trindan Holliday in Mario Harvey fashion. Not too long ago, the Boomstick was the Colts' leading special teams tackler, so it's good to see he's still got good form.

The Fleener Drive. The defense got a huge stop just before halftime, and Luck led the team on a big touchdown drive to go up 26-14. The big factor in that drive, shockingly, was Coby Fleener, who caught three passes for 31 yards, including a 21-yard reception in which he helicoptered over Broncos defenders (without fumbling). The drive ended with a walk-in eight-yard TD catch. After dropping a sure touchdown last week, it was a big rebound for Fleener in a crucial situation.

Kevin Vickerson is a terrible human being. By my count, Kevin Vickerson was flagged for three big penalties (twice for taking his helmet off in the field of play if I recall correctly). The biggest bonehead play of the night was his loving "chest bump" on Andrew Luck on a second and eight incompletion. The penalty got the Colts out of bad field position and awarded them a first down when chomping clock was key. It was a stupid play; Vickerson clearly had time to pull up and then decided he'd knock Luck down instead with a little chest bump action to show us all how tough he really was. The bonehead got what he deserved, and if I were the Broncos, I'd cut him immediately.

The Never-Ending Punt. The Colts tried really hard to punt at the end of the game, but penalties kept taking time off the clock. Here's the line:
4th and 8 at IND 22 - P.McAfee punts 56 yards to DEN 22, Center-M.Overton, fair catch by T.Holliday. PENALTY on IND-M.Overton, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at IND 22 - No Play.

4th and 18 at IND 12 - P.McAfee punts 44 yards to DEN 44, Center-M.Overton. T.Holliday pushed ob at IND 45 for 11 yards (D.Herron). Penalty on IND-S.Havili, Offensive Holding, offsetting, enforced at IND 12 - No Play. Penalty on DEN-A.Caldwell, Defensive Holding, offsetting. Penalty on DEN-S.Johnson, Illegal Block Above the Waist, declined.
After all this, the Colts took a timeout so their beleaguered special teams unit could take a breath. Al and Cris joked that the whole thing was great for the Colts because they took something like 30 seconds off the clock.

Vontae Davis thought he was playing the Patriots. In the post game interview, when asked how the Colts prepared, Vontae Davis said it's always a challenge getting ready for a great quarterback like Tom Brady. Vontae Davis the cornerback is a great player; Vontae Davis the post game interviewee is an idiot. Hard to say too much bad about him, though. He was phenomenal one-on-one.

Fumble? Not a fumble? Who recovered it? What is going on? Please, someone tell me. I had no idea what was going on when the Broncos fumbled in the red zone in the fourth quarter. Al Michaels didn't know what was going on. Cris Collinsworth didn't know what was going on. Then, all of a sudden, they said the referees gave the ball to Indy, yet we never really saw or heard a call down on the field. Then, they said the Colts couldn't challenge the play because they couldn't prove they had possession. A second later, they suggested maybe John Fox would challenge the play since the Colts had recovered (leading me to say, "There was a fumble? The Colts recovered? What are you talking about?!"). But turnovers are automatically reviewed up in the booth, so I think Al and Cris were just filling airtime. I don't know. I'm still confused.

Ten defensive backs? Could we have fifteen? Injuries mounted in the second half, with Darius Butler, Josh Gordy, and Vontae Davis all getting nicked up. This helped Denver find some holes in the passing game, as a few players were in unexpected situations and/or a little gimpy while trying to cover their guy.

Reggie Wayne Knee Watch, Day 1. Really, the fourth quarter was bad for the Colts. Nothing was worse than seeing Reggie Wayne go down on a big third and one play. He clutched his knee, howled in pain, and was inconsolable on the sideline. I hope it's just a sprain, but it didn't look good. Reggie's an iron man; hell, he's Ageless Reggie Wayne. The guy brings it every practice and every game. Luck and the Colts need him if they hope to make a playoff run. We'll be thinking about ya, No. 87. I also wonder what Peyton thought when Reggie went down. I know that's something he didn't want to see.

Crazy finish. About midway through the third quarter, it didn't look like the phrase "onside kick" would mean much, but Peyton kept things close.

DHB still can't catch a cold. Man. He's fast, he gets open, and he can't come up with the big play. Maybe, like Fleener, he'll find redemption. For now, though, he's simply a fast guy with mediocre receiving skills who makes the occasional play.

Great pass rush. The Colts were all over Peyton, hitting him ten times and sacking him on four occasions. They were able to get pressure in key situations, including a sack that led to a safety and another pressure that forced an interception. The defense also brought Manning down on the Broncos' final drive of the game, forcing a field goal and a desperate onside kick.

Erik Walden was a factor. Repeat: Erik Walden was a factor. For the first time this season, Erik Walden factored into the game. When Denver finally made sure to double Mathis, Walden got some one-on-one opportunities, including a pressure that hit Manning's arm, resulting in an errant pass that Pat Angerer intercepted.

LaRon Landry: The Cleaner. Landry was all over the place. It's been unnerving to see him miss so much time since the Colts made him a big free agent acquisition, but he certainly has a presence on defense. His ability to make open-field tackles on short pass plays is uncanny and prevented at least a couple Denver first downs.

Defense and special teams. I don't know if you followed the pregame hype, but Colts owner Jim Irsay suggested that maybe the Colts didn't put as much emphasis on defense and special teams as they should have when Peyton played for Indy. What I got from it was that Peyton was such a good quarterback, he covered up those inadequacies. Those comments kind of became a big deal. It seemed fitting that defense and special teams factored so heavily into the Colts' success in this game. Manning, meanwhile, plugged away as always, throwing for 386 yards and three touchdowns. If only his bonehead teammates (Kevin Vickerson and Ronnie Hillman, I'm looking at you) could get out of his way.

Fourth and two! C'mon, show it! During the pregame show, several of the commentators shared some of their favorite Peyton Manning memories. Hines Ward regaled us with tales of the infamous game in which Mike Vanderjagt missed a field goal so badly, the ball still hasn't returned from the Phantom Zone. Collinsworth reminded us all of the great "Fourth and Two" game in which Bill Belichick, stuck with a crappy defense and a red-hot Manning, went for it on fourth and two deep in Patriots territory. The result: Kevin Faulk bobbled the ball and the Colts made the stop. Manning ended up winning the game. Unfortunately, they never showed a replay, but I had this tucked away in the archives:

Finally, our national nightmare is over. Peyton came back, the fans welcomed him, he almost pulled off a signature comeback, Andrew Luck answered his ten millionth question about what it's like to replace a legend, Peyton answered his twenty millionth question about what it's like to be back home, and we can stop talking about it for the rest of the year...unless the Colts and Broncos meet in the playoffs. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

II Crimsonstreak release day!

Oh, yeah!

II Crimsonstreak is out today!

Follow the continuing adventures of the pop culture-loving superhero as he races to save not only the Earth...but the entire multiverse. He'll team up with some of his closest friends--like his girlfriend Jaci and the Crusading Comet--and get "help" from snobbish intergalactic space cops and a noble birdman.

It's all awaiting you in II Crimsonstreak from Candlemark & Gleam!

Here are the links:

Candlemark and Gleam

Colts Observations, Week 6 vs. Chargers

Well, that sucked. The Colts and Andrew Luck were supposed to explode onto the national stage. Well, they exploded all right. Actually, the correct term is imploded. Indy looked sluggish and confused in all phases of the game in front of the national Monday Night Football audience. A crisp opening drive in which the Colts settled for a field goal was about the only real highlight.

Good opening act. After the Chargers got flagged for offsides on the first play of the game, the Colts went into their bag of tricks with a flea flicker that resulted in a big gain to Ageless Reggie Wayne. Great play call given that everyone thought Trent Richardson would run it on 1st and 5.

Just drop it already. The offense couldn't get anything going after that opening drive. The Colts never sniffed the endzone the rest of the game. The biggest problem? Dropped passes. Off the top of my head, the following Colts had drops in key situations: T.Y. Hilton, Trent Richardson, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Coby Fleener, and (gasp!) Reggie Wayne. DHB let a long pass glance off his fingertips, Wayne dropped one that would've picked up a key first down, and the pass Fleener dropped would've probably resulted in a big gain and possibly a touchdown.

Where's the pass rush? The Chargers did a good job of protecting Philip Rivers and Rivers did a good job of getting the ball out fast. Cory Redding and Kelvin Sheppard were both credited with sacks, but Rivers wasn't under constant pressure and didn't have to worry about much of a rush all evening.

Time of possession. A Chargers team that hasn't run the ball very well all season kept grinding away. They churned up 147 rushing yards, and just about every time Ryan Mathews or Danny Woodhead touched the ball, they managed a positive gain. A lot of players whiffed on tackles, took bad angles, or were simply out of position to make a play. These positive plays allowed San Diego to rule the time of possession battle by a wide margin, 38:31 to 21:29.

1,000 receptions. Ageless Reggie Wayne caught five passes for 88 yards, leaving him with 1,001 receptions for his career and cementing, statistically, his position among the all-time greats. He's had a tremendous career in Indianapolis and re-signed with the team despite the roster disintegration of a couple seasons ago. Despite the milestone, I bet Reggie would've rather walked out of San Diego with a win.

Richardson review. Trent Richardson seemed to find a little more running room against San Diego, although the Colts didn't really stick with much of a running game (offense wasn't exactly their forte this week in general). Richardson carried 10 times for 40 yards, good for a 4.0 yards per carry average. He also caught a pass for 13 yards that left a few Chargers with some severe bruising. And, of course, Richardson had his share of unproductive carries and also dropped a pass on a screen play that looked like it could get Indy out of a field position hole.

Third down "efficiency." The Colts were 2-10 on third down, well below their season average. We saw some drops in key situations, and they had a hard time sustaining drives and finding an offensive rhythm. Meantime, on defense, the Colts allowed the Chargers 7 conversions on 14 attempts (50%). It felt like Indy couldn't stay on the field on offense or get off the field on defense.

Adam Vinatieri. Look, I love Vinny. But when he's really the sole highlight of the game, you've got problems. He hit from 30, 50 and 51 yards (the two long field goals tell you that Indy didn't move the ball very far).

Field goals. The only thing that remotely kept the Colts in the game was the inability of San Diego to find the endzone. The Colts surrendered one touchdown and four field goals, but the cumulative effect of long drives left the defense tired and the offense frustrated.

Costly penalties. On three different occasions, the Colts committed a penalty on third down that allowed a Chargers drive to continue.

The long drives. The Chargers had four drives of 10+ plays. One of those drives lasted more than nine minutes. The defense was clearly tired.

Still at the top of the division, but... With losses by the Texans and Titans this week, the Horseshoes had a shot at taking a two-game lead in the AFC South. Instead, they'll have to settle for a one-game lead as they face down the Denver Broncos next week. I hear their quarterback is pretty good.

Crappy punting. After a few lackluster punts, perhaps Pat McAfee should put less emphasis on the Pat McAfee Show and focus more on punting. He's one of the best in the league, but he's uncorked some awful punts this year.

4th and 3. The Colts were driving a little bit in the third quarter. The drive stalled at the San Diego 40, and they faced a 4th and 3 situation. The Colts decided to punt. I think they should've gone for it, but hindsight's 20-20. After the punt, San Diego had a soul-crushing drive that took more than nine minutes off the clock. It ended in a field goal.

And then they punted again. Toward the end of the game, the Colts were backed up and faced a 4th and 2 situation. With about three minutes left, they had three timeouts and the two-minute warning. They again decided to punt it away, hoping desperately that the defense would hold. McAfee's punt went only 35 yards, landing at San Diego's 48. In the ensuing drive, the Colts would give up a 15-yard run on 1st and 15. Nick Novak would eventually kick the 50-yard field goal that proved to be the nail in the coffin.

Still in it. Despite the lackluster performance, the Colts kept the game close. After a first half clearly dominated by the Chargers, Indy trailed only 10-6. Late in the game, they were within a touchdown of tying things up, although scoring a touchdown seemed a Herculean feat by that point in the game.

Freeman out. Jerrell Freeman suffered a concussion and a cut chin, and left the game. Mario Harvey and Kelvin Sheppard took over for Freeman. Harvey was a definite liability in pass coverage.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

New (micro)review of I, Crimsonstreak and II Crimsonstreak

Nerds of a feather, flock together reviewed both Crimsonstreak novels!

Overall, they liked what they saw.
This is superhero fiction more in the vein of The Incredibles than The Dark Knight....With the end of the first novel and the start of the second (which follows neatly on from the plot of the first), I was becoming a fan of Adams and a fan of Crimsonstreak.
Read the full--well, it's more of a "micro" review, actually--here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I've finally chosen a new project

After debating things for a while, I chose a new project. The idea actually came out of a writing retreat from February, and I tucked it away. I'll be splitting time between edits on III Crimsonstreak and writing the new novel.

Right now, I can't really say much about it. I have a rough outline, but now that I've written about 2,400 words, I'm going to go make a more detailed one. Sometimes you have to write a little bit of a book before you know what it's going to be, and that's the case with this one.

It has some paranormal/supernatural elements and the main character is a TV news reporter. As I've worked at a TV station for my entire professional career, I plan to draw on my experiences for this book.

I don't have a working title, but it will be something from the TV news industry.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Colts Observations, Week 5 vs. Seahawks

Colts capture early momentum! And by that, I mean the exact opposite. In the first quarter, the Colts looked absolutely awful, with collapses on offense, defense, and special teams. Offensively, they began with three three-and-outs. On their third punt of the game, the Seattle Seahawks got through and blocked the kick. The officials ruled the recovery a safety, saying the Seahawks never had possession of the ball. That ruling was upheld on review. The Colts found themselves in a quick 12-0 hole that could've easily been a 17-0 one. Defensively, Marshawn Lynch ate up the Colts, taking his very first carry for 24 yards.

Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself! As quickly as the game seemed to get away from the Colts, they got right back into it. Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton for a 73-yard TD pass that cut the deficit to 12-7. On the very next drive, the Seahawks had to settle for a field goal. Lawrence Guy got a big mitt up to block it; Delano Howell scooped it up and took it the distance. Just like that--and in the face of all logic and statistics--the Colts had a 14-12 lead.

And then the 'Hawks came right back. Just when you thought the Colts were taking control of the game, Russell Wilson led Seattle on a 12 play, 82 yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to Jermaine "Don't Call Me Jevon" Kearse. Seattle took a 19-14 lead. The key play was a 4th and 3 near midfield in which Wilson escaped pressure and scrambled for a first down to keep the drive alive.

And then the Colts came right back. Luck led Indy on an 11 play, 54 yard drive that ended with a field goal. The score was 19-17 as halftime neared. The key play involved Luck somehow escaping pressure, spinning, and throwing a pass to T.Y. Hilton on third down to keep the drive alive. This drive also included a crucial pass interference penalty on 3rd and 22 as well as a holding penalty on Anthony Castonzo that nullified a good scramble by Luck.

Robert Mathis: The Lost Sack. Robert Mathis notched his 100th career sack, except you would never have known it if you were watching at home. On a 4th and 9 play, Mathis got around and stripped Wilson for the sack. After that, it was kind of hard to follow. Here's the official play-by-play recap:
(Shotgun) R.Wilson sacked at IND 48 for -7 yards (R.Mathis). FUMBLES (R.Mathis), RECOVERED by IND-E.Walden at IND 46. E.Walden to SEA 44 for 10 yards (M.Lynch). FUMBLES (M.Lynch), RECOVERED by SEA-R.Wilson at SEA 30. R.Wilson to SEA 30 for no gain (L.Guy). Credit minus five sack yards for Robert Mathis on the play.
So basically, Mathis got credit for a sack-and-strip, Walden recovered Wilson's fumble before fumbling on the return after being hit by Marshawn Lynch. Wilson recovered Walden's fumble. Had there been more time on the clock, it would've been a first down for Seattle due to the change of possession, but time ran out for the half. Everybody got that?

All you need to know is that Robert Mathis got his 100th sack (he'd add another one later).

Second half defense. The Colts weren't perfect in the second half, but they played big when it counted. Here's the rundown of Seattle's second half possessions: field goal, field goal, field goal, punt, interception. Yes, Lynch and Wilson got their yards, but they didn't get touchdowns. Even when Luck got sacked in the third quarter and fumbled to give up excellent field position, the Colts held Seattle to a field goal. This was key: the Colts gave up big plays, but they didn't give up touchdowns.

Offensive production. After fumbling away their first possession of the second half, the Colts scored two touchdowns and a field goal (their last possession consisted of kneel downs).

Those throws. Oh, those throws. Both long passes to T.Y. Hilton were things of beauty. The first one involved a coverage breakdown on the part of the Seahawks, but Luck read it and dropped a perfect pass in there for Hilton. The second Luck-Hilton hookup was even prettier; Luck put the ball over a defensive back and in a place only Hilton could catch it.

T.Y. "Call Me TD" Hilton. Five catches, 140 yards, two touchdowns. Hilton was lightning in a bottle, and after a couple relatively quiet weeks from him, it was great to see.

The Ageless One. Reggie Wayne caught six passes for 65 yards. On the go-ahead TD drive, No. 87 caught a pass for a first down (this was reviewed after a terrible spot) and then had another reception for 19 yards (somehow he and Darrius Heyward-Bey ended up in the exact same spot, but Reggie came down with the catch). Another Reggie Wayne grab didn't figure into the stats--his brilliant reach-behind reception on the two-point conversion was key.

Wild Wilson. The of contained Russell Wilson? (shrugs) He ran 13 times for 102 yards and no touchdowns. He was 15-31 for 210 yards, two touchdowns, and a late interception. This guy is phenomenal; nearly impossible to sack and an accurate thrower. When it looked like the Colts would get to him, he'd usually sashay out of a tackle and run for positive yards. I haven't gotten to see a ton of Wilson other than highlights, but I can see why he's so highly touted. Great player. He did make a few inaccurate throws, but that was more of a result of pressure by the Colts than anything.

Great job, CFL. Great job. A key play in this game came on a third and two. After Marshawn Lynch ran for two yards, Wilson found Golden Tate for six yards. On third down, Wilson tried to run around the left side, but Jerrell Freeman made a brilliant open field tackle to stop the drive and force a punt. To me, this was the key defensive play of the game. Who knows what happens if Wilson shakes the tackle (as he did so many times) and keeps the drive alive? Freeman, by the way, had a monster game with 13 tackles. He got burned a couple times by Wilson, but I'm pretty sure everyone missed a tackle on him.

Richardson. We've been patient, but it's still hard to gauge this Richardson trade. You don't trade a first-round pick for a guy who plods ahead for one or two yards a carry. Given Ahmad Bradshaw's status, though, it's a good thing Indy made the trade. I just want to see more production from Richardson, more "chunk" runs in the second half. I will say this, though: rewatch the Luck-Hilton TD for 73 yards; Richardson made a big-time block to give Luck enough time to launch the ball. So perhaps his value isn't measured entirely in yards per carry. Another example: on 3rd and 5, Richardson broke tackles for a 10-yard gain and a first down while the Colts tried to chew some clock. Donald Brown seems to be the Colts' most effective back, but I think that's because the Colts pick their spots with Brown.

Darius Butler, closer. Darius Butler batted away a pass on the Seahawks' last drive. A few plays later, he stepped in front of a pass intended for Sidney Rice and intercepted it to seal the win (Wilson also got rocked on the play right after he released the ball).

Pink flags. I think we all appreciate the NFL's "A Crucial Catch" campaign, but let's give the refs their yellow flags back. The pink ones are seriously hard to see (or, as an alternative suggestion, make them extremely neon pink so they're easier to see and distinct from the players' towels and wristbands).

A spirited throw. I love how Chuck Pagano launched his challenge flag onto the field after the officials gave Reggie Wayne a terrible spot on a third down catch. I mean, Pagano really chucked it out there. I found it amusing.

A little help. Hey, you can't win games without a little help. The Seahawks had a couple killer pass interference penalties, including an offensive PI call that I still never completely understood (yes, it was a little pushoff, but I didn't think it warranted a flag).

You can outrun the holder! Delano Howell is fortunate he made a move to avoid Seattle's holder, who trailed him on the blocked field goal and nearly tackled him. Howell sidestepped him and managed to get into the endzone. I still think his teammates will rib him during the film session.

Because you have a lot to beat your chest about. Sergio Brown got flagged for taunting on a kickoff return in which the returner took a knee and the touchback. Since Brown neither kicked the ball nor tackled the guy, I have no idea what he could've possibly been taunting him about. Twitter reaction: #smh.

Hey, Seattle, you only get three timeouts per half. A little thing that hurt Seattle was its quick employment of timeouts in the second half. They took their third and final timeout with 8:55 left in the game when the Colts lined up for a two-point conversion. Seattle's personnel didn't match the Colts' personnel.

David Reed is awesome on kickoff returns! I'll let my thoughts on Twitter speak on this matter:

And I always want to call him Russell Watson. I know who Russell Wilson is; I watched him play at Wisconsin. Yet, I can't tell you how many times I typed "Watson" by mistake in my game notes.

I guess you could say the Colts needed a little "Faith of the Heart" this week...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rest in peace, Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy, whose military and espionage thrillers spawned blockbuster movies and video games, died last night at the age of 66.

I read a lot of Clancy books in junior high and high school. You'll find bigger Clancy fanatics out there--my knowledge is mostly limited to The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears. I don't think I ever read the books in which Jack Ryan became president.

In junior high, my friend Kevin and I were really into Clancy. Our attention spans weren't the greatest, however, and we liked to poke fun at the insane amount of detail Clancy used in his books. Sometimes it felt like he described things in excruciating detail. We often joked that "the tank plodded across the desert, its treads flattening sand and kicking up dust as it moved across the surface." That wasn't a line Clancy ever used--and it's a poorly written one at that--but we got a chuckle out of it.

Having read all the books that were turned into movies, I think the cinematic The Hunt for Red October bears the closest similarity to the source material. I'm sure there are differences (and it's been a long, long time since I've read the book), but I remember reading the book and thinking it was somewhat close. The cinematic Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears were a lot different from the books, almost to the point where I couldn't wrap my mind as to how the movies could qualify as adaptations.

In college, I knew a guy who was absolutely obsessed with Clancy. Like, the only movie he ever wanted to watch was The Hunt for Red October (I really didn't mind that much). He could quote you passages and tell you in exacting detail how the books differed from the movies. He pretty much hated the other adaptations because they didn't stay true to the source material--seriously, he refused to watch Clear and Present Danger for this reason. He took a slightly softer stance on Patriot Games.

Clancy, for his part, wasn't entirely satisfied with the movie adaptations (to put it mildly). He loathed the casting of Harrison Ford after Alec Baldwin decided not to return for a sequel. Clancy thought Ford was "too old" to play Ryan.

So while I'm not a diehard Clancy fan, his books (and the movie adaptations, for better or worse) had an influence on my life. Maybe I should finish the rest of his Jack Ryan books.