New XFL football season in 2020! Thanks, no thanks.

For those that think we need more football in our lives, the XFL kicks off in February 2020, the weekend after the NFL Super Bowl. You may remember the XFL from the 1-season-season back in 2001, promoted as a mix of WWE wrestling and professional football. The league folded but supposedly it’s back and better than ever now.

I can’t speak for all football fans, but I don’t think I’ll be an avid fan of the league. We already have football on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Saturday. And now with fantasy football, I’m just about exhausted every Sunday night!

I’ll tell you a little story about yesterday, Sunday. My fantasy football team, The Billy Oceans, faced the best team in the league. He scores like, a bajillion points every week, so I didn’t have much hope going into it. My team, though, is almost in a must-win situation if I want to make the 4-team playoffs. So he ends up outscoring me by early afternoon.

I take a nap. It’s Sunday after all.

I wake up to find my team dead even, scoring quite a few points while I was sleeping! Long story short, in the Sunday night game, Lamar Jackson gave me a headache and I get headaches maybe once every few years. Not good!

So do I want MORE football once the NFL and college are over? For the sake of my health, I’ll pass.

-Out of the Wilderness

 

Football coach flips the script on offensive creativity

Indianapolis, IN — It was about two decades ago when Kansas State made a splash in college football introducing the wildcat offense. It was highly effective, so much so that many other football teams including those on the professional level all the way down to peewee ball* incorporated it into their playbook.

In this variation of a run pass option, usually it’s a running back that will line up as the quarterback, take the snap, and either run it themselves or hand it off to another running back lined up in the backfield with them. The team’s quarterback will line up as a receiver, or simply remove themself from the field for the entirety of the wildcat formation.

Since the inception of this defense-confusing-lineup, coaches have become more aware and in turn been able to foil most wildcat variations, which is why it’s mostly fallen off most playbooks on all levels.

Enter coach Trevor Knightby. He was a graduate assistant on the sidelines of his college team when he first saw the wildcat used. It was then, he says, the idea was born for another offensive revelation.

“I had no idea I’d become a head coach one day,” says Knightby, “but my parents wouldn’t let me move back in after college unless I helped my dad out with the local high school’s sucky team– I mean– promising young team.”

The senior Knightby, then the coach of the worst varsity squad in the state, was gently forced out of his position mid-season (although he was allowed to remain on staff as a 10th grade history teacher) and that’s when Trevor took over. “It was the fourth or fifth game that year and pretty much the entire city had moved on to prepare for the upcoming basketball season. We’re known for being an almost average basketball school, so I guess most people thought even that was better than a football team that hadn’t scored a touchdown since Saban was an NFL coach.”

Knightby threw caution to the wind and started running an offense never before seen on any level of football. To call it a variation of the wildcat is a wildcat understatement. Under Knightby’s leadership, this new offense was ghostly, surprising, and could downright cause reactions of apocalyptic proportions.

In his offense, there are 11 players on the field but that’s about where the similarities to the wildcat end. In fact, that’s where similarities to any offense you’ve ever seen end. What you won’t see are running backs, quarterbacks, or passes. Knightby credits his dating life for the new radical offense. “My ‘aha’ moment was actually when I was ghosted by a girl I’d met a few weeks earlier. She was nice, but one day she just disappeared. Haven’t heard from her since.”

Take that to the gridiron and you have an offense line, a handful of wide receivers, and that’s it. The center snaps the ball to an empty backfield (where most teams position a quarterback), causing the defense to feel like the quarterback must be ghosting them. They scramble around assuming they’re missing something but don’t want to be made to look foolish.

This design has yet to earn a win for Knightby’s team, and in fact, at the time of this publication, they haven’t gained any yardage, points, or respect from the city.

-Out of the Wilderness News

*Peewee league teams using the wildcat cannot be confirmed, as none of the news staff has ever actually watched a peewee football game. 

NFL helmet with new plastic still on it

I was watching the Tennessee Titans and noticed a few of the helmets still have plastic on the top front. My guess is because it’s preseason and they’re trying to reduce any contact marks from other helmets. Wide receivers and the quarterback didn’t have the plastic, just the offensive line.

I’m so excited football is back!

-Out of the Wilderness

Life and death, and “Skol, Vikings!”

Last week will go down as a landmark on my life’s timeline. For anyone who saw my recent post about having a gun pointed at me, you’ll know what I’m talking about. And for those that missed it, you can click this link to be caught up, or… to make a long story short, a fellow motorist driving aggressively pulled up next to me as we were moving down a Nashville road and used his gun to make his feelings known more clearly.

For a few days after that brazen encounter, I had a headache which is very out of the ordinary for me. My head hurt because the brazen encounter took time to truly sink in. This happened. I could’ve been hurt.

What was I thinking?

More questions than I have answers for continue scrolling through my mind; did he try to pull the trigger and it malfunctioned? What was he thinking in that moment? Was it a 9mm or a .22? Why was he so aggressive? I’ll never know how drastically my life would have changed if the gun had gone off and I was struck by the bullet, or something less painful like the bullet just hitting my car. As close as he was, we were maybe 15 feet from each other, the chances of him hitting his target were pretty high. What if I died that day? What if I was shot, but didn’t die? Who would I rely on for help? Who would care for my dogs?

The bottom line truth is this: even though he didn’t pull the trigger, my life has changed forever. I guess it would be presumptuous to say exactly how because only time will tell, and right now I don’t know all the ways my life will be different from this one random afternoon. I do know the way I drive will be different. God only knows what the future would’ve looked like had things turned out worse, so I’m taking this as a warning to think before I act, and a gigantic blessing that I have another chance to correct my course, if that makes sense. A do-over. A reset. A fail but with no major penalties.

So that was the first half of the week. Then I found out an acquantance of mine passed away very unexpectedly. He’s a friend and fellow filmmaker with a couple of my friends, and someone I worked with on a huge project from 2015 to 2017. The news hit my two friends hard. They were close to him, and though I didn’t know him as well as they did, my heart became heavy the instant I found out. I’m sad for his family, I’m sad for my friends. It doesn’t make sense when such a great person takes an early exit, and we who are left behind are the ones who lose because of it. It’s hard to come up with something positive in circumstances like this, because the best scenario is one where he isn’t gone, but something cool happened on Sunday that I’m believing is a silver lining, a little gift from above that is sweet in it’s own little way. This guy was the biggest Minnesota Vikings fan this side of Heaven, and yesterday the Vikings pulled off a win in the final seconds of their playoff game, and it was pretty unbelievable. I won’t give a play by play recap, but they won on a last second, 61-yard touchdown pass as the seconds ticked down to end the game. I heard on the radio that right before the play started, the Vikings had roughly a 6% chance of winning the game. It was only that high because they were down by 2 so a field goal would’ve won it. But with 10 seconds to go and no time outs, 60 yards away from the end zone, TVs were being shut off across the country. The game was over. But uh uh uh, not so fast! Hike, drop back, launch, a catch and a sprint to the end zone for the win! It was a highly improbable ending, but so, so sweet. The biggest Vikings fan on that side of Heaven was jumping up and down, I’m certain.

Now another week has already started and I’m very curious about how it’ll unfold. I wouldn’t mind a week where nothing happens, a week that is so forgettable that I already forgot it and it hasn’t even happened yet. But if it turns into a week where God teaches me something, not to mention where He might have in fact intervened to save my life and my way of life, I would count that as a win, too.

And another Minnesota win would be pretty nice, too. Skol, Vikings!

-Out of the Wilderness

Nature’s lesson on: Gun safety

I’m starting this post off with a little information about roadkill, but hang with me because it’s relevant to the topic of gun safety.

So there isn’t a centralized datasource on what the most common roadkill is, but according to this map deer, possum, raccoon, squirrel, and armadillo are up near the top. On the interstate, I’d guess deer as the most common.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-8-19-51-am

What don’t we see on this map? Any sort of bird, and the one I want to focus on here is the crow, or vulture (because on the interstate specifically, these are the birds most commonly seen).

crowMy theory is that the reason we never see dead crows on the side of the interstate is because they’ve learned what to do and not to do, not by avoiding the interstate altogether, but the exact opposite. Hanging around and becoming comfortable and aware of the danger. Familiarity.

I think this kind of behavior can be applied to gun safety as well. The more you’re around these weapons, learning about them, shooting them, the more comfortable and aware you’ll be of their danger. Familiarity. To avoid them altogether is like a deer approaching the interstate. Unaware, uninformed, unfamiliar with the danger and risk.

The example of the crow can be applied to other areas of life as well. I’m thinking about sex education (the more you know, the better decisions you can make). Instead of ignoring the topic completely, talk about it, discuss it, become familiar with what sex is and isn’t.

Sports. The more you’re immersed in a sport, the more you’ll know, maybe the better you’ll be at playing. If you avoided watching football, reading about it, hearing about it on TV or radio, how familiar will you be about it? Not very.

There are all kinds of real-life applications of the crow on the interstate story.

There is no mystery to the crow about the interstate because where there is mystery, there is mistake. And I can’t recall seeing any dead crows (or vultures) on any interstate I’ve ever travelled on. They don’t make mistakes.

For gun safety, become familiar with them and in that way, you’ll be aware, informed and avoid the mystery that can often times lead to mistakes.
sigsauer-Out of the Wilderness