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The AAF is the NFL’s newest worry

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Two months ago, the NFL’s long-term demise may have been spelled by the revival of the XFL. The XFL was initially a football league in 2001, but now Vince McMahon wants to revive it. While announcements about the XFL have been dormant since January, a new player is emerging and faster. The Alliance of American Football or the AAF has been formed and will play a 2019 season the week after the Superbowl.

The AAF, in contrast, Vince McMahon and the XFL have given more concise answers to the many questions asked. Make no mistake, the AAF is a substantially more potent threat than the XFL. The AAF not only is going to begin a year earlier but also has TV contracts ready with CBS. The AAF will also stream games and incorporate fantasy football.

The biggest reason the AAF is a threat is management. The AAF is founded by Charlie Ebersol, who has worked for the NFL and sports media. He even made a documentary as to why the 2001 XFL failed. The AAF also has a number of credible football players serving as executives and advisers. Among them are Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, Jared Allen, and Justin Tuck. The AAF also has the legendary team builder and executive Bill Polian. A B-List idea with A-Team management is a recipe for success in business. This is why the AAF has garnered the backing of venture capitalist firms such Founders Fund featuring the country’s top VC, Peter Thiel ad Cherning Group.

The AAF during its announcement stated that it would fill a void where the NFL ends in February. In this void, many sports fans stop watching sports and stop participating in fantasy sports. The AAF also wants to reach the large pool of college football players who don’t wind up in the NFL. Other sports have multiple professional leagues in the NFL.

The AAF will have 8 teams, 10 games, and a two-week playoff. In eliminating injuries and maintaining excitement, the AAF is eliminating the kickoff, and will instead start the 25-yard line. For teams seeking an onside kick, will have 4th and 10 on their 35. The extra point is eliminated; teams have to go for 2. Teams will have two replays a game. To speed the game, the play clock will be 30 seconds, matching the increasing pace of the game. The AAF will also change the way players are compensated with win bonuses, stat bonuses, and fan engagement bonuses. On top of these bonuses, the league will also provide scholarships for their future off the field.

For fans, the tickets and concessions will be cheap. This is in sharp contrast to the NFL where tickets prices are rising even for mediocre teams. TV timeouts will also be done away with. Commercials will only take place during natural breaks. In April the cities will be announced. Note: they’ve already been decided, but they want us talking about it later, something that isn’t happening with the XFL.

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Takeaway

Unlike the XFL, the Alliance of American Football announced its existence with far more questions answered. While the Alliance didn’t touch on the National Anthem or criminal records, they also answered far more questions about their gameplay than Vince McMahon’s vague announcement. While the NFL has a complement in the Alliance of American Football, this alliance may in years to come be a fierce competitor. In the meantime, rather than being disruptive, Charlie Ebersol and his staff are focusing on being useful. This strategy is far more conducive to long-term success.

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A Disney reboot of Daredevil would be a slap in the face to fans

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A Disney reboot of Daredevil would be a slap in the face to fans

Hollywood executives are cynical and it’s partially our fault. They’ve learned that they can give us the middle finger one day and we’ll come running back the next day. They’ve also learned they don’t need to be honest, honorable, or in any way caring towards the audiences who make their jobs possible because we are forgiving fools.

In the unique case of Daredevil, the extremely popular show on Netflix that was cancelled last month, there’s a very good chance some Hollywood executives are going to double down on their hatred for audiences. Their going to take the middle finger they already gave to fans with the cancellation and haughtily raise another middle finger by trying to reboot the series on Disney+, the upcoming streaming service that will rival Netflix.

According to Publicist-Whisperer Donna Dickens at /Film, the continuation of the story that the multitudes of fans really want isn’t going to happen:

Translating the Daredevil Cancellation Press Release

https://www.slashfilm.com/daredevil-cancelation-press-release/WHAT THEY SAID: “We look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future.”

TRANSLATION: Remember how I said they were buttering up the fans? That butter is to help cold, stark reality slide down our collective gullet a little easier. Because this sentence is a death blow via precision vagueness. The key is in what Marvel/Disney isn’t saying. They aren’t looking forward to working with Charlie Cox in the future. They are looking forward to the continuing adventures of Daredevil. At some point. In the nebulous future.

I’m sorry, y’all but this version of Daredevil is dead and it’s not coming back. Still in denial? Let’s look at some other context clues.

First of all, there’s Netflix’s own statement, which mirrors the precision vagueness of Marvel’s.

“[…] while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.”

Again, they promise the character will return, not the actor.

Everyone did their part

Cancellations happen. Hollywood is in the business of making shows and movies that make money, so there are many reasons why a good show can and should be cancelled. Low viewership, high production costs, unhinged actors, poor writing… there are plenty of valid business excuses that can be made for taking a show off the air.

But that wasn’t the case with Daredevil. It was the 4th most popular show on Netflix. Production costs were high, but Netflix seemed willing to push forward. The actors have been extraordinary on- and off-screen. The third and final season left fans with excitement over two emerging villains to add to the mix.

Things were going as well as anyone could have expected. The wildcard was Disney.

We did our part. We talked about the show and got our friends hooked on it. The actors did their part by not only giving great performances but also being awesome and supportive throughout the run. Netflix promoted it and continued to deliver excellent storytelling despite the high production costs. Everyone deserves better than this unceremonious ending to something wonderful.

Reboot insult

This is Hollywood. Reboots happen. In a business that relies on regurgitating old content, it often makes business sense to start from scratch. But in the case of Daredevil, a reboot is neither necessary nor wanted. Fans have invested into three glorious seasons of M-rated superhero television that gave some of us hope for greater things in the future.

As I wrote before, this should have been the template for superhero success. Tens of thousands of fans agreed:

Review: Daredevil season 3 proves Netflix finally perfected the small screen superhero show

https://www.reddit.com/r/television/comments/9tkgsk/review_daredevil_season_3_proves_netflix_finally/I’m late to the game. For the last few years, everyone has told me I should be watching the Marvel shows on Netflix, but my attempts to watch Luke Cage and The Iron Fist ended after 3 episodes and 20 minutes, respectively. It appears that the third time was a charm after starting Daredevil two weeks ago.

It’s 1:24 in the morning and I just finished season three after binging the first two seasons plus a The Defenders. I normally watch three or four episodes a night, but the final six episodes were so enthralling I had to brew some espresso so I could finish it off.

If Disney does try to reboot the series as a family-friendly version with a fresh story and new actors and directors, I won’t be watching it. You can’t serve juicy steaks for three seasons, replace them with fast-food beef-like patties on a greasy bun, and expect us to be happy. Fans didn’t invest time into the show only to have it wiped from official existence to make room for a Disney replacement.

Some would say I should give a new series a chance if Disney made one. Nope. They ruined Star Wars. They’ve started vomiting out live-action versions of their classics in a money grab that doesn’t require an ounce of creativity. The Daredevil betrayal is the last straw for me. They’ll never learn to respect their fans if we continue rewarding them for their abuses.

Everyone involved with Daredevil, including the fans, did everything necessary to keep the show going. Disney made a business decision to hurt a future competitor at the expense of their fans. A family-friendly reboot won’t draw a Disney+ subscription from me.

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Latest Godzilla: King of Monsters trailer may mean it’s actually getting released next year

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Latest Godzilla King of Monsters trailer may mean its actually getting released next year

One of next year’s early blockbusters will be Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It is scheduled for May 31 after being pushed repeatedly to position it against the competition. This newest release date will give Marvel’s Avengers: End Game plenty of time to eat up audience dollars before passing the baton.

Originally slated for this year, executives kept looking for the best window for their second installment of what they hope to be a franchise similar to the successful Planet of the Apes reboot. The first installment of Godzilla in 2014 was widely seen as the first legitimate blockbuster featuring the Japanese monster after a handful of clunky attempts. It did well with a strong cast (including Bryan Cranston) and chalked up over $500 million at the worldwide box office against 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This installment features Millie Bobby Brown who has experience fighting demonic beasts in Netflix Stranger Things.

My only concern is that they seem to be putting out all the major bad monsters in this one – Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. It lends to the notion that this will be limited to a trilogy with the climax being Godzilla vs. Kong, crossing over the giant ape’s own franchise.

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Binge-worthy show: The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

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Binge-worthy show The Night Manager shows why Tom Hiddleston should be the next James Bond

He’s too posh. He’s too pretty. He isn’t intimidating. He’s too big as a Marvel character. There are many reasons people have dismissed the notion of Tom Hiddleston playing the role of James Bond in the famed series. All of these reasons can be dismissed by watching The Night Manager.

Available on Amazon, the AMC-BBC collaboration is six episodes long. There are reports that it could be brought back for another series, but if it never comes back, rest assured the single series is still worth a watch. The funny part is that Hiddleston might be the main draw, but he’s not even the best overall performance. That honor goes to Hugh Laurie, the well-mannered villain of the show.

As usual, no spoilers.

Much effort is put into making the beautiful people look as beautiful as possible in lovely settings even when things get crazy. It opens with Hiddleston cutting through a crowd of protesters just prior to the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. He’s on his way to work to engage in his craft as a manager at a high-end hotel in Cairo. Even through the chaos, Hiddleston holds an air of separation from both the protesters and the military holding them back. And he does all this while wearing cargo pants and an untucked linen dress shirt.

This is where the presence of Hiddleston comes into play and demonstrates why he would be able to play James Bond. His sharp eyes announce he’s not to be reckoned with while simultaneously charming the observer. As one character later notes, “Everybody is attracted to you.”

The men want to be on his side and the women (and one man) want him to be by their side.

His impish grin may have been perfect for playing Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it takes a more menacing turn in The Night Manager. We realize there’s grit behind his boyish looks that betrays two tours in Iraq and a personal grudge he’s held with him for years. If Daniel Craig brought emotionless chills to the Bond character, Hiddleston would bring an emotional fortitude. He’s only truly happy when he’s doing the right thing, which may go against the stereotypes associated with a world-class assassin, but luckily we’re in a world where stereotypes are being broken.

There’s another reason Hiddleston would be the right person for the role. Unfortunately, it’s a political one. Some are pushing for a minority or a woman to take the role to the next level. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as it’s done with the most qualified person in mind and not just to make a political statement about inclusion. With Hiddleston, it’s an opportunity to use the same formula while mitigating the damage that is sure to come if they don’t select a minority or a woman. Everyone likes Hiddleston. He’ll make the passing on a controversial choice easier to swallow.

There’s even a scene when he orders a vodka martini at a bar in Cairo. It was the most obvious nod to the Bond franchise they could have made without asking for the drink to be shaken.

If you only watch The Night Manager to verify my Bond assertions, so be it. If you watch it for its great acting, engaging espionage, and brilliant storyline, well that’s even better. Either way, get your six-hour binging snacks ready.

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