Welcome to the West Report blog

 

     Heading into week 14 the Seahawks have the #6 playoff spot with a chance to move up to #5 with a win @ Ravens. The Thursday night game ended with a Vikings loss meaning both teams could end the week at (8-5) with Seattle owning the tie breaker. Here’s a look at the current playoff seedings.

     #1 Panthers (12-0)
     #2 Cardinals (11-2)
     #3 Packers (8-4)
     #4 Redskins (5-7)
     #5 Vikings (8-5)
     #6 Seahawks (7-5)
     #7 Buccaneers (6-6)
     #8 Falcons (6-6)

     With the NFC West title out of reach and only the top six teams making the playoffs this week’s game in Baltimore is almost a must win. Seattle could lose and still keep the #6 spot with a loss by Tampa Bay also but with the way the seeds are sitting we really want that #5 spot and a trip to the weak NFC East division winner. A road game being on the schedule during the first round a trip to Redskins, Giants or possibly Philadelphia would be much more welcome than playing @ Packers where the #6 spot will be going.

     Odds makers are giving the Ravens (4-8) no chance this week which makes me a little nervous. If the Seahawks aren’t the underdog then the universe just isn’t right. Call it a Pacific Northwest thing. You’d think after two straight NFC Conference titles I’d be confident. Maybe next year after a third straight. For this week I’ll be cheering on the home team and hope we can take care of business and stay injury free. Still got four regular season games to play.

     Go Seahawks!

 

     Bonus Games!

     Saints (4-8) @ Buccaneers (6-6)

     The Saints season is basically over. With both the Falcons and Bucs ahead in the standings and Carolina making a bid for a (16-0) season the playoffs are a goal for next year. This week however gives them an opportunity to play spoiler for playoff hopes in Tampa Bay. If the Bucs can win this week and go (2-1) in the final three weeks they almost have a lock on the #6 seed. A spot that the Seahawks might also need depending on how things play out. As great as it has been this season watching Tampa Bay climb out of the NFL basement that doesn’t mean I want them to take my Seahawks spot. Go Saints!

     Redskins (5-7) @ Bears (5-7)

     At the start of the season I had the Bears as being the worst team in the NFL. Since those first few games however they have pulled it together and played some real battles. This game doesn’t have a direct impact on the Seahawks but the meaning comes from next week with Bears @ Vikings. We need Chicago to win that game so for this Sunday lets hope they get the win and can carry that momentum into another victory during week 15. Go Bears!

 

     Here’s how the rest of the season looks for the NFC West.

     Seahawks (7-5)

     @ Ravens
     Browns
     Rams
     @ Cardinals

     Cardinals (11-2)

     @ Eagles
     Packers
     Seahawks

     Rams (4-8)

     Lions
     Buccaneers
     @ Seahawks
     @ 49ers

     49ers (4-8)

     @ Browns
     Bengals
     @ Lions
     Rams

 

     Got picks? Then head on over to The Fan’s Tribune and post ‘em up! Solid opinions about the games and it is just plain fun to compare your outlook with other fans.

     Want to read more? I’d suggest giving Buccaneer Bri a read. Honest posts from a true fan about their team while being a good read at the same time.
 

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The West Report

 
The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

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week 11

 
     Week 10 Cardinals @ Seattle went something like this;

     1st Quarter

     Seahawks offensive penalty, another penalty, penalty, recovered fumble and two plays later the Seahawks defense is back on the field. That about sums it up for the 1st quarter in Seattle. It ends with Cardinals having an 11:30 to Seahawks 3:30 time of possession advantage. The Seattle defense is playing great but are visibly getting worn down with no rest from their offense and our good guys are lucky Arizona only leads 3-0.

     2nd Quarter

     R. Wilson fumbles into the end zone and the Cardinals grab the safety for a 5-0 lead. Seahawks penalty, penalty and another automatic 1st down for Arizona which leads to a visitor touchdown. Add in some more yardage ending with another touchdown and it’s quickly 19-0. Not looking good. Under 3:00 left in the half and the Seahawks make a few long yardage plays including a fantastic throw to Richardson. Richardson limps off the field with a bad hamstring. No good deed goes unpunished. Next Lynch limps off the field with an injury added to the penalty insults. Out of an I formation with Jackson the tail Wilson gives the hand off to the leading fullback instead for Seattle’s first points, 19-7. A clear fumble going to Seattle on the following Cardinal drive is called an incomplete pass instead which leads to a field goal by the Cardinals. Going into the half its 22-7 with a 21:17 to 8:43 time of possession advantage for the visitors.

     3rd Quarter

     A touchdown to open the quarter for Seattle is offset by a field goal by the Cardinals. A great stop and punt by Arizona that should of been Seattle ball on the Cardinal 40 is called back by penalty to the Seattle 40. A long drive by the Seahawks that included a 4 & 1 conversion ends in a punt. Two spectators in the stands are flagged with holding penalties on the drive. The quarter ends with Cardinals on top 25-17.

     4th Quarter

     Seahawks defense comes up with a touchdown as Avril pops the ball up into the hands of K.J. Wright. After review it’s called back and the Seattle mascot is flagged for lining up in the neutral zone. Seahawks ball on the 3 yard line from where Lynch runs it in for an official touchdown that I’m marking as a defensive score for Seattle. The two point conversion is no good. 25-23 Cardinals still on top where a personal foul penalty gives the Cardinals great field position compliments of K.J. Wright. A few plays later Wright redeems himself by stripping Palmer of the ball where B. Wagner picks up the fumble and runs it back 33 yards for the go ahead score. Seattle’s cheerleaders are flagged for un-sportsman like conduct with is reversed upon official review. The two point conversion fails again leaving Seattle on top 25-29 while Irvin limps off and into the locker room with an injury.

     Seahawks penalty, penalty, Arizona given a 1st down at mid-field, tipped pass caught by Arizona for another 1st down. A 3rd down stop is negated by another penalty, touchdown Arizona who takes the lead 32-29. Those two points given up on conversion tries are looming large for the Seahawks. Penalty (of course) brings up 3rd and 23 for Seattle who comes up short and punts leaving 6:09 left in the game. Irvin officially out for the game with a knee injury. Arizona 3rd and 4 with 2:14 left at mid-field keeping it inbounds to run down the clock. A 43 yard run for a touchdown is the nail in the coffin for the home team. Cardinals win 39-32. Props to the Seahawks defense with an interception, two fumble recoveries and 14 points scored. This game was lost by Seattle’s offense without a doubt.

 
     NFC West standings heading into Week 11

     Cardinals (7-2)
     Rams (4-5)
     Seahawks (4-5)
     49ers (3-6)

     What does it mean for our Seahawks? Well, outside of some very long shot mathematics 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th playoff seeds are now out of reach with the 5th spot most likely going to the Panthers or Falcons. Seattle after the halfway + Bye mark is playing for the 6th Wild Card spot. The good news is the way things are looking the Seahawks can still go 4-3 through the rest of the season and get it.

     This week we have the 49ers @ Seahawks. This isn’t a must win game but it is a key piece of the playoff puzzle because we need to finish the season at least 8-8 to get into the post season. Looking down the road to week 13 the @Vikings game is the must win. With how they are playing the Vikings are who the Seahawks are going to be fighting for that last spot with. Seattle can lose Steelers, @Ravens and Browns with a week 11 win against Santa Clara and a week 13 win @Vikings.

     Go Seahawks!

 
     Bonus Games!

     Packers (6-3) @ Vikings (7-2)

     Both of these NFC North teams are battling for the 2nd or 3rd playoff spot with the Packers already having the head to head against Seattle and the Vikings a half game ahead in a head to head situation. With a Packers win here that gives Seattle the push if both the Seahawks and Vikings finish the season (8-8) or (9-7). We need a Packers win here or else we’ll be relying on the Giants or Bears to beat them down for us. Not good. Go Packers!

     Raiders (4-5) @ Lions (2-7)

     It’s hard to believe that the Lions are this bad. A win by the Raiders means the Lions can finish the season no better than 8-8 with the push going to Seattle for the #6 Wild Card spot. It’s the Raiders so I won’t suggest anyone cheers for them but if the Lions lose we can all cheer that.

     Rams (4-5) @ Ravens (2-7)

     Slim odds for the Ravens but the Rams have the same chance at the #6 spot that the Seahawks have. This isn’t that important of a win for the Rams but helps them keep pace with Seattle. A loss most likely means they finish the season (7-9) tied for 8th place and out of the playoffs. Go Ravens!

     Bengals (9-0) @ Cardinals (7-2)

     At this point the Cardinals have almost wrapped up the #3 spot for the playoffs and we really don’t want them to lose. For the larger scheme of things this is a meaningless game for the Seahawks but we need to cheer them on to end the game with no injuries. Looking down the road the Week 13 @ Rams and Week 14 Vikings are games we need Arizona to win for us. Those wins let the Seahawks grab a #6 spot at 8-8 at the end of the season. Go whoever!

     Buccaneers (4-5) @ Eagles (4-5)

     Both of these teams are in the same outside edge that the Seahawks are in but the head to heads still favor Seattle. Considering the remaining schedule for both teams I think Tampa Bay has the harder schedule so we need the Bucs to pull off the win here and almost put the nail in the Eagles playoff hopes. Go Buccaneers!

 
Here’s how the rest of the season looks for the NFC West.

Seahawks (4-5)

49ers
Steelers
@ Vikings
@ Ravens
Browns
Rams
@ Cardinals

Cardinals (7-2)

Bengals
@ 49ers
@ Rams
Vikings
@ Eagles
Packers
Seahawks

Rams (4-5)

@ Ravens
@ Bengals
Cardinals
Lions
Buccaneers
@ Seahawks
@ 49ers

49ers (3-6)

@ Seahawks
Cardinals
@ Bears
@ Browns
Bengals
@ Lions
Rams

 
     Got picks? Then head on over to The Fan’s Tribune and post ‘em up! Solid opinions about the games and it is just plain fun to compare your outlook with other fans.

     Want to read more? I’d suggest giving Buccaneer Bri a read. Honest posts from a true fan about their team while being a good read at the same time.

.

The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

Seahawks: Week 4

October 2, 2015

Welcome to the West Report blog

     The Seahawks are (1-2) heading into the week 4 Monday Night game at home versus the Lions. The headlines this week have varied but most seem to agree that this is an early season must win for Seattle. With the season only just starting and their playoff hopes already being doubted this game does raise one important question.

     Am I the only one who could care less who Russell Wilson is dating?

     Seriously. This is what my Pacific Northwest news outlets are wasting ink on? How about the Kam holdout. Or some updates on Mebane’s injury. How questionable is Lynch really? How is Wagner getting ready while nursing a bad ankle? But no. My newspaper seems to think I want to read the Seahawks gossip page. I have no idea who this person is! I have never heard her music! Maybe, just maybe, if she was an ex-groupie for Slayer or had the largest Iron Maiden paraphernalia collection in my state I might just read the rest of the article. Failing that however I really DON’T CARE!

     I also don’t give a frigging hell what house he just bought or what car he’s driving! Football man! FOOTBALL! It’s the god damned sports page! Move that crap to the Sunday insert section you set aside to start fires with over the winter.

     Anyway, Monday Night Football, week 4.

     The pressure is on for the Lions to get a win or fall to (0-4) on the season. Of all the places in the world to play they draw an away game against Seattle on the most feared field in the NFL. Pity them, because the 12th Man won’t.

     A lot was made of Seattle getting the win against the Bears but I totally disagree. To blatantly steal a term from the “Bleacher Report” Chicago at this point in the season is a dumpster fire. Getting that win wasn’t a turn around or an improvement. It was simply taking care of business and getting the win when expected to. And this week is looking to be the same to many sport analysts for my Seahawks.

     And again, here I am going to totally disagree. Sure, the Lions might have some problems, but after an extensive and exhausting five minutes of internet research I could find no definitive reasons for them.

     Look, the Lions drew @ Chargers, @ Vikings then played the Broncos at home. That’s one hell of a way to start the season without a trip to Seattle topping it off with. (0-4) isn’t an unreasonable record all things considered. Week 5 has them @ Cardinals before they get the Bears at home. Detroit being at (1-5) heading into week 7 was already in the tea leaves. And for that reason I think the Seahawks are going to have their hands full on Monday Night.

     Of all the games this week I think Lions @ Seahawks has the biggest upset potential.

     It is at home, sure, but it is a late game. It’s also on a Monday which further breaks up the routine. And don’t forget that we have some banged up players, B. Mebane (groin), K. Pierre Louis (knee), S. Terrell (hip), D. Dobbs (shoulder), T. Simon (toe), M. Lynch (hamstring), K. Wright (hip), M. Morgan (hamstring), L. Willson (back), B. Wagner (ankle), W. Boy (thumb). On top of that this will be a short week before playing @ Bengals. Not good.

     All in all a tough game but I think the Seahawks manage the win.

     Go Seahawks!

     Got picks? Then head on over to The Fan’s Tribune and post ‘em up! Solid opinions about the games and it is just plain fun to compare your outlook with other fans.

     Want to read more? I’d suggest giving Buccaneer Bri a read. Honest posts from a true fan about her team while being a good read at the same time.

     
     
How the rest of the season looks for the NFC West.

Seahawks (1-2)

Lions
@ Bengals
Panthers
@ 49ers
@ Cowboys
Week 9 Bye
Cardinals
49ers
Steelers
@ Vikings
@ Ravens
Browns
Rams
@ Cardinals

Cardinals (3-0)

Rams
@ Lions
@ Steelers
Ravens
@ Browns
Week 9 Bye
@ Seahawks
Bengals
@ 49ers
@ Rams
Vikings
@ Eagles
Packers
Seahawks

Rams (1-2)

@ Cardinals
@ Packers
Week 6 Bye
Browns
49ers
@ Vikings
Bears
@ Ravens
@ Bengals
Cardinals
Lions
Buccaneers
@ Seahawks
@ 49ers

49ers (1-2)

Packers
@ Giants
Ravens
Seahawks
@ Rams
Falcons
Week 10 Bye
@ Seahawks
Cardinals
@ Bears
@ Browns
Bengals
@ Lions
Rams

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

4th july a

     What a great month June was for taking the bike out of town on a ride. The weather was perfect and that streak has continued into July with only a hint of rain and even less road construction on my usual routes. I spent the month almost on constant rides and I’ve fallen behind in blog postings. But judging by the posts, or lack of them, on motorcycle blogs I follow I wasn’t the only one so I’m in good company on that count.

     After some spring maintenance on the bike I started the month by riding over to North Idaho for their Spring Opener. If you haven’t ridden over yet for the event then it is something to put on your to do list for next year. If you don’t know what a Spring Opener is then let me elaborate. It is an event in your state that marks the official start to the riding season. Usually a two or three day party with events, rides, camping, bands and beer. Many states will also hold a Fall Bash to mark the official end of the riding season. In other words, a really great excuse to get the bike out and go for a ride.

mountains

     The event was again held in Kingston, ID as it has been for a few years now. The pic at the top of this post is at a chain area before heading over 4th of July pass on the way there from Spokane, WA. The location they have over there is a great one right on the river and surrounded by mountains. Easy to find and was still cool even during the hottest parts of the day. I went over on a Saturday only ticket so don’t know how good the camping is but from the looks of it I’ll be staying the whole three days next year.

rodeo 1

     The rodeo area was surrounded by all kinds of vendors. The philly steak sandwich I had for lunch is almost enough excuse by itself to ride back again next year for another. The prices at the beer garden were low for an outdoor event held in the middle of nowhere too. The band wasn’t too shabby either. Really had a good time with no complaints other than I had to head out too early so I didn’t have to go over the pass after dark. Really need a better headlight.

     The bike games had all kinds of people and bikes trying their best to take home a prize. There was the Joust event, spear as many rings as possible.

joust

     Ride the plank. 30 feet of 2×6 and measured for distance.

plank

     The ever popular, and my favorite, Slow race. First one to the finish line loses.

slow 1

     And then those events that I didn’t get pictures for. The Keg Roll, Honey I’m Home and Weenie Bite.

     All in all a great day and a perfect start to the riding season in North Idaho. Looking forward to hitting up the event next year and try out the camping. There are lots of back highways and twisty side roads to explore in that area so an excuse to take a ride shouldn’t be hard to find.

My Ride Stats
130 Miles
61 MPG (New Record! Following an oil change and new spark plug caps)

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

bike header 1    

     Three weeks later and over 150 motorcyclists are still being held in a Texas prison for no other reason than attending a political meeting while being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

     Waco city police along with Texas state troopers, SWAT, FBI and ATF used the unfortunate incident on May 17th to conduct a mass arrest of just about anyone they wanted to. Those arrested have included citizens on the other side of the building, a man who doesn’t even own a motorcycle who was just giving some friends a lift and at least one rider who showed up late for the meet after events were over.

     As reported by ABC News Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton stated, “At last count we have 170 individuals that we have arrested and are booking or have been booked into the McLennan County Jail. Those individuals are being charged with engaging in organized crime in reference to the shooting at Twin Peaks, which is a capital murder.”

     What?

     So everyone. Protagonists, antagonists, witnesses, victims and innocent bystander alike have all been arrested and charged. Seriously? How would you like to be shot then arrested for helping the person who shot you. According to Texas officials not one single person who attended the pre-scheduled public legislative meeting is the victim of a crime. There are no witnesses or innocent bystanders. Everyone who attended the event is guilty of being a biker and that’s good enough for Texas.

     Regardless of what state you are in this should really be raising some red flags. And apparently the red one being raised in Texas is that of China. Since when was attending a political gathering considered a capitol crime against the State in America?

     And yes, that’s exactly what the May meeting was. The under reporting by news outlets on that fact I find infuriating. Every state in America has a COC (Confederation of Clubs) meeting to discuss legislative issues that all riders no matter who have a vested interest in. Three seconds of research by any news reporter could of confirmed that. But in Texas showing up for a public gathering to hear the latest on House Bill 2459 is a crime against the state and if anyone steps out of line you will all be arrested.

     An online petition to Free the Waco Bikers has been started and could use your signature.

     Texas House Bill 2459 by the way is a proposal that would make drivers give motorcycles a three foot buffer when passing or making a turn. I haven’t seen the actual agenda but it’s a reasonable assumption this might of been one of the topics to be discussed. And as an example this would be one of the topics you could expect to spend some time on when attending a COC or any MRO (Motorcycle Rights Organization) meeting. Don’t let the Hooters knockoff location fool you. Anyone who’s attended an MRO conference can tell you that if you can stay awake for the whole thing it’s considered a success.

     But in the People’s Republic of Texas political activists, MRO groups and concerned citizens alike are all considered members of criminal gangs for the purpose of mass roundups and detentions. Makes for more dramatic headlines don’t ‘cha know. It also helps distract from arrests being conducted without individual probable cause, punitive $1,000,000 bonds, presumed guilt by association, refusals of public information requests and a projected three months of imprisonment without a court appearance.

     Still unexplained is what exactly 18-22 local and SWAT police were doing there in the first place. Ask yourself this. When attending a public event or scheduled political gathering and extra police are present to help keep the peace are they stationed throughout the venue? Or are they all waiting out front with automatic rifles.

     Yeah, thought so.

     The actions taken by police following this tragic event should be a concern for all riders, not just those in Texas. It’s too easy to think this type of thing couldn’t happen to you because any reasonable person should expect to be treated equally before the law. Especially here in Washington.

     Why especially us? Because a few years ago we passed a motorcycle anti-profiling bill that said these types of mass arrests and presumptions of guilt by association are wrong and illegal. And yet even here this is still happening.

     RCW 43.101.419 – Motorcycle profiling.

     (3) For the purposes of this section, “motorcycle profiling” means the illegal use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle with or without a legal basis under the United States Constitution or Washington state Constitution.

     The language of the law seems pretty clear cut me but that didn’t stop police in the Tri-Cities. The Tri-City Herald reported back in June of last year that police in Benton county had stopped motorcyclists to gather potential gang information unrelated to any traffic violation. It was stated that photos and videos were taken of the motorcyclists, including having some of the women remove pieces of clothing so photos of tattoos could be taken. One of the stops involving eight motorcyclists occurred as they were leaving a political meeting hosted by the COC to discuss legislative issues. Following the incident public officials then went on with refusals to public information requests about the detentions.

     Sound familiar?

     The same newspaper has since reported that a suit against the city of Kennewick for refusing those information requests was settled in favor of the motorcyclists. The rest of the suit has since moved and is pending in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington State against the City of Kennewick, Benton County and the officers involved in the stops. It will be the first major legal test of the anti-profiling law we passed a few years ago. Here’s me hoping the motorcyclists win. 

     Without a similar law protecting riders in Texas it is unclear what suits will be filed against the city, county and state. The Waco Tribune has reported that at least one suit for unlawful arrest, detention and property seizure has been filed. I would expect this to be just the first of many. Simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time isn’t supposed to be a crime in this country.

     For those riders reading this and are thinking, “But I’m not a member of any Motorcycle Rights Organizations!” My reply would be, “Well why the hell aren’t you?”

     Our local and national MROs are the reason we are slowly putting an end to Motorcycle Only Checkpoints. Ever wonder why we don’t have to dress up like Power Rangers with inflatable air bag suits? MROs. Who is putting a stop to motorcycle seatbelts and reducing the use of cheese grater guardrails? Your Motorcycle Rights Organizations that who. I encourage all riders to look up their local chapters and help secure your rights.

     The Texas COC has issued two alerts asking concerned citizens to act, First and Second. Help yourself by helping a fellow rider in Texas and let officials know that these actions will not stand.

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.

top 10 1

 

     Memorial Day traditionally is the three day weekend we all go camping in the rain on then spend the rest of the summer telling each other how much fun it was. It is also the day we honor our armed forces and remember their service both past and present in the defense of our country. So, for all of you who are smart enough to stay out of the rain here is my top 10 list of the best war movies ever to watch this weekend while staying warm and dry at home.

 

Patton (1970)

Patton (1970)

     George C. Scott’s performance in his portrayal of Gen. Patton is almost impossible not to watch. But the reason this makes #10 on my list is historical accuracy. Aside from being a great movie just about everything in this movie is true. I say just about because of the liberties in Patton’s speeches and events that were moved around on the time line of war for dramatic reasons. But those are minor gripes and doesn’t take away from how good a watch this is.

 

Twelve O'Clock High 1949 a

Twelve O’Clock High (1949)

     Gregory Peck leads the cast in this war drama about the 918th Bomber group. This movie takes the #9 spot because I view it as simply the best movie about the U.S.A.F in WWII ever. That my grandfather was a waist gunner on a B-17 probably has something to do with it also. While not based on an actual event this movie’s portrayal of just how much a soldier can endure has little in which to compare it with.

 

Midway 1976 a

Midway (1976)

     This movie got a lot of criticism because entertainment value and character drama was sacrificed for the sake of historical accuracy. But here at The West Report you get extra credit points for doing just that. This movie does skip over some things mainly about the run up to the the battle but everything in it is right on. Not only are the facts solid but just about every movie star from the 1970’s is in it. Literally every other scene when you think there couldn’t possibly be any more a new actor is on screen. Add all these things up and I will have to disagree with the pro movie critics and put this at #8 on my all time list.

 

The Great Escape 1963 a

The Great Escape (1963)

     The Great Escape is not only a great movie about breaking out of a German POW camp but it’s also a great way to escape into movie land for 170 minutes. The movie follows the attempt of 200 prisoners to break out of Stalag Luft III at the end of WWII and is dedicated to the 50 prisoners shot after being recaptured. Normally I wouldn’t enjoy a movie that trades historical accuracy with character drama but considering the subject matter and the dedication I don’t think it takes away from this movie. The all star cast, the fun characters and the overall final product of this film is just too entertaining not to give it my #7 spot.

 

Stalag 17 1953 a

Stalag 17 (1953)

     It’s hard to find laughs in a POW camp but this movie finds them. Now don’t read that wrong, this isn’t a comedy, otherwise it wouldn’t be #6 on my list. However the depths we sink to in this movie’s we are lifted out of as the prisoners find reasons to smile while making the best of a bad situation. This is just an all around fun movie and should be in everyone’s DVD collection.

 

Saving Private Ryan 1998 a

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

     The first time I saw this movie I snuck out of work an hour early for lunch and watched it at the movie theater a few blocks down the street. What I didn’t know was that it was 3 hours long! Talking my way out of that one when my boss finally caught up with me an hour after break is a feat I am still proud of today. But it’s not for that reason it’s #5 on this list. Blending a mix of actual events and a compelling storyline this movie set a new standard that all war movies made after will be compared to. And I really don’t have to say more than that since chances are it’s already in your movie collection for the same reasons it’s in mine.

 

To Hell and Back 1955 a

To Hell and Back (1955)

      Audie Murphy is the most decorated combat soldier in U.S. Military History. This movie is based on his autobiography and not only that but he plays himself in the movie. How cool is that? Parts are a bit over dramatized for the camera and it has that 1950’s polish but it doesn’t take much away from how fun this movie is. While other films lower on this list were made better from a cinema production perspective this is a movie about a real American hero that sadly too many people couldn’t identify. For that reason it wasn’t a very hard decision to place it at #4.

 

Band of Brothers 2001 a

Band of Brothers (2001)

     I know what you are thinking, “Hey that wasn’t a movie!” But it’s my blog so I get to place it at #3 on my movie list. The film making is great. The acting is great. The pace keeps you watching and everything is true in this well directed story about Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne in WWII. There are a few movie goofs but to be honest I had to watch the series a few times before I caught them. Not only is this a great movie but it is one of the few exceptions out there where the movie is better and more informative than the book.

 

The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 a

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

      Taking place during 1943 in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma this movie deserves every award it won. The only gripe I have is how much it glazed over the true conditions in those camps for the prisoners. Of course if it hadn’t I doubt it would of ever gotten past the censors in 1957. That aside the movie has aged well and is still a gripping tale that earns a #2 spot on my list.

 

Das Boot 1981 a

Das Boot (1997) Director’s Cut

     Best war movie ever. Originally a 6 hour TV Mini-Series it was cut down and released in 1981 as a feature film. Rather than that release however it is the 1997 Director’s Cut with added footage and commentary that sits on top of my list at #1. Filmed on location at the actual German sub pens in La Rochelle, France, Das Boot is simply the best most authentic submarine movie made. No other movie has come close to the portrayal here of life aboard a WWII submarine. To top things off everything in the movie actually happened. I know it might seem a little odd to place a movie about a German crew on top of my Memorial Day movie list. But as a movie that crosses borders and conflicts to portray the hardships and agony of war our soldiers endure I stand by that #1 spot. Just watch it. You’ll understand.

 

Top 10 Honorable Mentions

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
Sahara (1943)
Go for Broke! (1951)
Only Old Men Are Going to Battle (1974)
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
First Blood (1982)
The Killing Fields (1984)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Gettysburg (1993)
Enemy at the Gates (2001)

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source. Movie posters are from http://www.imbd.com and used only for informational purposes. The screen cap at the top is from the movie Patton 1970.

Fallout 4 Check List

April 24, 2015

Fallout 4 E3

     Any Fallout fan is going to get the joke the picture above tells and it pretty much sums up my feelings about the 101 stories out there about Bethesda and the upcoming E3 event. I’m seriously getting tired of, “Click Here to read that there’s nothing to read about Fallout 4. Our advertisers thank you.”

     Then again I also found myself thinking that even worse than a no announcement for Fallout 4 might be them actually setting a release date. Considering how bad Fallout New Vegas was there is no guarantee that a future installment will live up to the hype. Depending on what direction Bethesda goes I may end up holding out more hope for the Fallout Lonestar mod instead.

     When throwing all genres into one big pile I think that Fallout 3 stands alone on top as the single best video game ever made. By Mennen if it’s not broke then don’t fix it! With that in mind here is my check list of what I would want from Fallout 4.

Keep it Single Player and Offline

     It’s called the wasteland for a reason folks. The last thing I want to see is 40 “lone wanderers” in my subway crawl or emote dancing at the trading post. Just how many vaults are around here anyway? The next to useless NPC followers we teamed up with on the occasion were more than enough. If we just HAVE TO include multiplayer then make it an expansion or DLC. Just like in Fallout 3 we had “The Pitt” then give us another city outside of Fallout 4 we can travel to that is an online free fire zone.

Bring back the Sandbox

     In Fallout 3 if you were smart, lucky or just sneaky enough there was nowhere you couldn’t go and almost nothing you couldn’t do. Bethesda dropped a huge radioactive post apocalyptic wasteland in our laps and said, “Good luck and remember kids, only you can prevent human flesh fires.” From horizon to horizon a great deal of the fun was just seeing what was over the next hill.

     New Vegas totally killed that by building several bottlenecks into the map you couldn’t get past until a certain level. And even when you did explore the out of the way places you would just run into an invisible wall. Sorry, you can’t go past here because it’s the map edge or a section boundary. Why don’t you turn around and follow the road to the next set piece we have pre-planned for you instead?

     And it wasn’t just the map building either. Even when I got to a new area and stumbled across a side quest I would discover I could only follow it if my barter skill or charisma were a certain level. Just what I frigging need. Sure, I’ll waste some skill points on those, why not? I’m sure they’ll come in very handy the next time a Deathclaw jumps my ass. I’ll just pretend to have a headache and talk my way out of it.

     Who the hell needs charisma? I have questions and a combat shotgun. Give me all your Sugar Bombs then start talking.

Mod Support

     Give me G.E.C.K or give me death! Unless death lets you play a ghoul character then give me both! Player mods and player maps being added to the game keep it fresh and expands the replay and continue play of the game for years and years. I don’t have too many worries on this one since Bethesda has a good track record supporting the mod community. It isn’t very hard to get a company to let gamers work thousands of programming hours for FREE.

Radio Stations

     One of the little touches that made a huge difference to Fallout 3 was all the music and radio stations. Three Dog was always saying something different and you got to hear propaganda from different factions and broadcastings on issues from several points of view. And it was fun to just crank up the Pipboy and let “Civilization” by Danny Kaye and The Andrews Sisters draw feral ghouls from miles around. Damn, typing that out makes me want to listen to another President Eden fireside chat.

Vehicles

     No thanks. If I wanted to I could rig a backpack onto a super mutant and dangle a carrot in front of her nose. I’ll be there in no time. Vehicles are a really bad idea. I already have a 30 year old motorcycle in real life that I can’t get parts for. Getting a new clutch for a 150 year old bike at the wasteland trading station just isn’t going to happen. There are already enough “universal cog” things about Fallout that walk a fine line but vehicles are too far out of bounds. Leave them to the Enclave.

1st Person

     Please keep it a 1st person game. The only thing 3rd person is good for is taking dramatic screenshots, which is very cool, but playing the game from an out of body experience angle takes away from the immersion factor.

Crafting

     The minimal crafting of Fallout 3 was perfect. Who didn’t go out and have a ton of fun with their Rock-It Launcher the first time you built it? However the overloaded endless list of crap in New Vegas, most of which you’ll never find in usable quantities, was an example of how not to do things. Like mod support though I don’t worry too much about this one. Bethesda has a strong track record here while Obsidian who did New Vegas clearly had no idea what it had gotten into.

V.A.T.S

     I’m sitting on the fence here. You really can’t get rid of it since the gun prop sights ingame are mostly meaningless. I have always viewed V.A.T.S as an ingenious band-aid covering up that fact. Plus it is a lot of fun. So if the game engine isn’t going to let you actually use your weapon then keep the system. Though if we are going to keep V.A.T.S then please fix the bugs. It gets frustrating watching my character shoot the barricade I’m crouched behind in slow motion instead of the Radscorpion running straight at me that I was in fact aiming at. If the next generation game engine does allow 1st person correct use of your weapons then I won’t be too sad to see them scrap V.A.T.S.

Build for the PC

     If it happens to also run on consoles then that is ok with me. But build Fallout 4 for the PC! It is no coincidence that a keyboard has 101 keys on it folks. Fallout and PC are just meant to go together. Games, all games, made for console then adapted for PC absolutely suck. Dumb it down for console if you must Bethesda but the heart of Fallout is in being a PC game made for PC Gamers.

Survival Mode

     I thought this was the one good thing that New Vegas added to Fallout. Having to pay more attention to food / water / radiation at times really added to the immersion factor. It wasn’t perfect by any means but as a first attempt I liked where it was going. In the new game I would really want some obvious common sense added though if we are going to include or improve on survival mode. I mean here you are getting a refreshing drink at Bitter Springs. Lets see here, clean water, empty bottles and bottle caps. Now if only there was a way to combine these things into something I could take with me.

     I also think weather would be a great addition to survival mode. I could easily spend a couple days hunting down some Raiders through the wasteland by their tracks in the snow. A night attack in the rain on a super mutant camp? Finding my way to the next town through a summer dust storm? Frigging bring it!

 

     So that about sums up my check list for Fallout 4. Other than the obvious, “Release it or announce a release date already!” And hopefully we’ll be lifting our Nuka Cola in toast to Bethesda doing just that in a month or so. I along with millions of other gamers are years past due for a new lunch box.

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The West Report

The opinions expressed in The West Report are the author’s own. Feel free to repost or share, we just ask you credit or link to this article as a source.