It’s shaping up to be a busy 2018 season for Leah Pritchett. In addition to the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) star’s responsibilities behind the wheel of her Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Top Fuel Dragster, Pritchett will also steer a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in the full slate of 2018 SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events.
Pritchett’s 354-cubic-inch HEMI® engine-powered Drag Pak will be prepped and maintained by the DSR team, led by crew chief and new DSR employee Kevin Helms. Helms brings years of experience driving and tuning a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to his new role, including a 2015 NHRA Stock Eliminator World Championship and 2017 NHRA Stock and Super Stock runner-up finishes.
“You should see the smile on my face, whether I’m talking about it or my team is talking about it,” said Pritchett, who in 2018 will also mark her second full year in a Top Fuel dragster. “It’s a dream come true. The double-duty aspect, I had a taste of it last year and honestly, I think it makes me a better racer overall. When we roll out in 2018, the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak will be put on the track by Don Schumacher Racing, which makes me feel fulfilled in every way. We have proven to have a very competitive racecar, and the goal is to be the quickest and fastest in both silos (Factory Stock and Top Fuel).
“To have a three-time World Champion Sportsman racer like Kevin Helms (as crew chief) is definitely an ace in my pocket, and I’m just being a student of his. We have had a pretty good off-season of development. The test sessions we’ve had, I never experienced a crew chief that was a driver and tuner before, so the dynamic is very exciting and compelling to me. Kevin is definitely a very large asset to the program, which gives me a ton of confidence.”
The first event in the 7 race series is the NHRA Gatornationals, scheduled for March 15-18 in Gainesville, Florida.
1. Stephen Curry, PG Golden State Warriors $34,382,550
The median household income in Oakland was $68,000 in 2016.
It will take nearly 10 years for the average household in Oakland to earn what Curry makes in 1 week.
2 LeBron James, SF Cleveland Cavaliers $33,285,709
The median household income in Cleveland was $27,551 in 2016.
It will take 23 years for the average household in Cleveland to earn what Lebron makes in 1 week.
3 Paul Millsap, PF Denver Nuggets $31,269,231
The median household income in Denver was $61,105 in 2016.
It will take nearly 10 years for the average household in Denver to earn what Millsap makes in 1 week.
4 Gordon Hayward, SF Boston Celtics $29,727,900
It will take 9 years for the average household in Boston to earn what Hayward makes in 1 week.
The median household income in Boston was $63,621 in 2016.
5 Blake Griffin, PF LA Clippers $29,512,900
It will take 10 ½ years for the average household in Los Angeles to earn what Griffin makes in 1 week.
The median household income in Los Angeles was $54,432 in 2016.
In 1999 the highest paid player was Shaquille O’Neal at $17,142,000.
In 2005 Shaquille O’Neal was the highest paid player at $20,000,000.
In 2010 Kobe Bryant was the highest paid player at $23,034,375.
In 2015 Kobe Bryant was the highest paid player at $25,000,000.
56 players make $17 million or more this season.
37 players make $20 million or more this season.
24 players make $23 million or more this season.
15 players make $25 million or more this season.
Median income source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey
Who did it better? Elvis or Frank? Comment below!
For some, “hitting the slopes” is as simple as hopping on daddy’s jet and heading for the family chalet in Vail. After a day of busting your ass on the bunny slopes, you’ll be ready for a night on the town. Obviously, you’ll want the other pretty people to see you driving something appropriately arrogant. A Mercedes G65 AMG would be a good choice, but your mother drives one of those, so no. You can’t have an Escalade because every poser in every town has one. A Land Rover is just too pedestrian. No, you need something that says, “I’m fuck-you rich!”. Like a 2017 Bentley Bentayga…
This stupidly, expensive SUV is made by the Bling-Masters at Bentley, and it’s just dripping with excess. It looks like your dad’s Continental GT from the front, but it’s much bigger, and way more imposing. Behind the massive grille (which resembles a sterling silver…screen door) is a twin-turbo 6.0L W12 (like a V12, but different) that deals 600-hp/664 lb-ft to all four wheels. That’s enough power to effortlessly plow over snow drifts, poor people, whatever gets in your way. It’s also enough grunt to propel this rolling penthouse to 60 mph in 4-seconds dead. If you keep the hammer down, you’ll eventually see a top speed of 187 mph. Not only is that kind of speed completely insane, but it’s enough to earn the 2017 Bentley Bentayga the title of ‘World’s Fastest Production SUV’.
Fun Fact: For an extra $170,000, Bentley will install a Breitling Mulliner Tourbillion dash clock. Complete with a sold 18k yellow or white gold case, 8 real diamonds in the face, a titanium movement cage, and a novel self-winding feature. Three times every 15 minutes, a low-volt electric mechanism will literally spin the entire clock around to wind the movement. Or, you can press a button and watch your passenger’s heads spin with your…6-figure clock.
Besides the ticket-attracting pavement power, this Bentley SUV can actually traverse moderately difficult terrain. The full-time AWD system (an advanced version of Audi’s Quattro system) employs a Torsen center differential to shuffle power between the axles, and there’s a plethora of on/off road driving modes to maximize traction and power application. Despite the Bentayga’s 5,400 lb. curb weight, it can maneuver itself over/through obstacles quite admirably. This is thanks to the standard air suspension, which can extend itself to provide nearly 10-inches of ground clearance. And the sway bars can even disconnect themselves to allow an impressive 9 inches of wheel travel.
But honestly, do you care how your quarter-million-dollar chick magnet gets you down your snow-covered driveway? No. Because you just want to get home and chill with the hot lingerie model you just picked up at the club…
by David Stonecipher
When a game series has annual releases for 18 years running, it might be hard to come up with new ideas to keep each new entry fresh. Moving away from the futuristic setting of recent Call of Duty titles, like last year’s Infinite War, Sledgehammer Games is hoping that fans will simply forgotten that CoD actually began as a World War II franchise. Granted, it has been nearly a decade since a Call of Duty game was set in the classic war, but the developer is now pretending that the series’ return to this historical era with Call of Duty: WWII is somehow innovative.
By taking the franchise full circle, Call of Duty: WWII is the first time the series has revisited the titular war since 2008’s World at War. By moving away from fictitious conflicts and back to historical events, the latest CoD tries to be more realistic than the franchise’s more recent installments. However, by recreating actual battles already presented in previous CoD titles, much of Call of Duty: WWII feels overly familiar. Even the game itself treats the stages as old news.
I guess Sledgehammer Games felt that players have played through the Normandy Invasion so many times in older titles that there wasn’t much more that they could add to the conflict. Instead of depicting the retaking of the famous beachhead during a serious mission, Call of Duty: WWII uses Normandy as a simple tutorial stage where players are busy learning how to crouch and move during one of history’s bloodiest battles. You’d think these are things that would have been covered in basic training before soldiers were thrust into the massive amphibious invasion.
Top New Game Features
Call of Duty: WWII doesn’t feel familiar just because of its similarity to older titles, though. The story campaign also seemingly pulls inspiration from nearly every war movie ever made. However, while short, the story mode is a well-executed improvement for the series. If you’ve seen a WWII film before then the game’s cast will be instantly recognizable including the wise-cracking recruits to the stern sergeant. The locker room banter from your unit sometimes feels a little bit more like a road trip through Europe than Saving Private Ryan. In the end, the title’s straightforward, scripted events make it feel so much like you’re watching a movie rather than playing a game that Activision itself is even treating it more like a film.
Following the launch of the game, it was revealed that Call of Duty: WWII earned over $500 million in the first three days after release. It’s not often that publishers of video games announce opening weekend numbers since that type of promotions is generally reserved for movies, but I suppose you can market your product however you want if you own a multi-billion dollar franchise.
In the end, however, people probably aren’t buying Call of Duty: WWII for its brief story campaign. Multiplayer has always been the series’ biggest draw. Once again the game’s setting also defines its multiplayer. As can be expected from the historical background, the jetpacks and wall-running are gone in this entry. Call of Duty: WWII focuses entirely on period weaponry mechanics without the additional gimmicks. Sledgehammer leans more towards player choice and inclusion over historical accuracy when it comes to creating your multiplayer character. This allows users to pick their ethnicity and gender. Unfortunately, this is a game about the European Front in World War II so somebody is going to have to pick the short straw during matchmaking and play as a Nazi. Prepare to hear lots of bad German accents in voice chat from overly enthusiastic fans.
Surprising absolutely no one, Call of Duty: WWII delivers an enjoyable outlet to battle friends or progress through another short campaign. There’s even something to look forward to for those who aren’t excited about the World War II setting this time around. Call of Duty will certainly return again with an all-new game next year.
Ultimately, 8 out of every 10 privates will enjoy and enlist in this Nazi-stomping romp.
Star Wars Battlefront II: EA Strikes Back
By David Stonecipher
I don’t know if anyone has ever actually wondered who would win in a fight between Lando Calrissian and Darth Maul, but if The Simpsons character you most identify with is “Comic Book Guy” then you can finally put this geek debate to rest. Thanks to Star Wars Battlefront II, fans can now step into the boots of more iconic Star Wars characters than ever before giving users the ability to witness all kinds of battles that never actually played out in the movies. For most game modes, however, don’t expect to be living out your childhood fantasy of becoming Han Solo or Darth Vader until you’ve paid your dues as an expendable rebel trooper or stormtrooper. You’ll have to play a bit to earn the right to be one of the famous heroes or villains.
In an apparent effort to confuse people as much as possible, this is actually the second time a game titled Star Wars Battlefront II has been released. The newest entry in the franchise is a direct follow-up to DICE’s 2015 title, which in turn was a reboot of the similarly named series that ended in 2005 with, you guessed it, the first release of Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
Naming originality aside, Battlefront II serves as Electronic Arts’ newest attempt to deliver the typical Star Wars fan’s wet dream. Overall, the game manages to do a decent job of fulfilling that promise as the sights and sounds are all incredibly authentic to the source material. Like all Battlefront games that came before it, the latest installment once again focuses on recreating large-scale battles set within the Star Wars universe via individual match-based sessions.
Top New Game Features
Expanding on their first Battlefront game, the developer has tweaked the formula a bit to make way for some general improvements. Basic stormtroopers and soldier units now all have classes that serve specific roles such as front-line combatant or support specialist. Responding to feedback from the first game, DICE also included a single-player campaign with Star Wars Battlefront II.
The intent of the story mode was to give users the option to play the game however they like but, in reality, Battlefront II is still ultimately a PvP-focused title. The campaign is nice but it won’t keep fans coming back to play and, while the game also includes various co-op modes, they are treated as secondary training sessions with limited daily rewards. Apparently, the answer to the question, “War. What is it good for?” is selling video games since EA clearly believes that competitive conflict is more lucrative than modes that encourage players to work together.
After everything is said and done, perhaps the single most notable takeaway from Star Wars Battlefront II is how amazing it looks. The visuals really help the game stand out from the crowd. The animations and shooting mechanics are also top-notch when playing with either the first or third person camera.
However, there is still a constant reminder that the original Battlefront games managed to do many things better than the current reboot. It gave fans the option to play any map with full bots rather than only allowing users to experience a few select modes if they want to fight against the AI. While technological improvements keep pushing the franchise forward, Battlefront II is still far far away from giving players the sense of choice that was already established within the same series a long time ago.
In the end, the Star Wars brand is pretty much guaranteed to make money and EA knows this. It really doesn’t matter what is in the game, but thankfully it’s clear that DICE actually put some care into Battlefront II as the game has plenty of good points and is sure to show fans a decent time. That’s good, because they could have just phoned it in and let the Star Wars license do all the work and then we’d all be stuck playing “Jawa Kart Racing” or something.
7 out of 10 Wookies celebrated this game by ripping the arms off droids.
I just finished viewing a clip of Colin Cowherd commenting on the NFL Personal Conduct Policy and the power the NFLPA ceded to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when they negotiated the current CBA, Collective Bargaining Agreement. In his recital, Cowherd points out a statement in the NFL that EVERYONE associated with the NFL must refrain from conduct that is detrimental to the integrity of the league. The policy specifically says, “Conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL personnel.”
So, here is my question. How does Commissioner Goodell not see that the National Anthem protests being conducted by his players are UNDERMINING and PUTTING AT RISK the integrity of the NFL and NFL clubs? Why is Commissioner Goodell turning his back to the number one detrimental conduct of his players to the integrity of his league? This is not an opinion. This is a fact. This is not subjective, as Colin Cowherd argued regarding other applications of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.
The people in power, and I am talking NFL and NFLPA executives and network television executives, have chosen to spin the reasons for ratings decline in 2016. There was evidence that there were too many commercials. I won’t disagree with that and reducing the number of commercial interruptions is a positive move but that won’t bring back viewers. The sportsmanship rules put into place turned the league into the No Fun League. Again, I won’t argue with that. The penalties for celebrating a touchdown were out of touch with the combative spirit of the game and it was good to see preseason players once again choreographing touchdown celebrations. What will be this year’s spin if ratings continue decline? The investigation into President Trump’s Russian connections is distracting viewers. Hurricane Harvey awoke people to other priorities in life. College football is drawing fans away.
The product the NFL puts out on the field every Fall weekend is phenomenal. The players are world-class athletes and mysteriously superhuman. The talk on Monday mornings over a cup of coffee should be “did you see the throw Carson Palmer made this weekend”, not that half of the Browns insulted the American flag.
The next NFL player who is suspended due to the violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy should put the NFL in his cross-hairs and argue that the policy is arbitrarily enforced and cite the damage to the league’s integrity from the national anthem protests. This will force the NFL to redefine conduct that undermines the integrity of the league and clubs. The NFL has shown it will not discipline players for protesting the American flag; Colin Kaepernick is purely a business decision based on the fact he will not lead a team to a championship and the community discourse he will create is not worth winning a couple additional games.
Colin’s final point was that the policy also states that conduct by anyone that is irresponsible damages the reputation of the league and that too is completely subjective. And, again, how Colin chose to apply it that is true. My point, how can the league not say that the action of players that alienates half of their fan base is not irresponsible? In any other business, if an employee’s behavior offends half of the customers that employee would be immediately terminated. Period. End of story. You’re fired, as President Trump would say. Whether or not you believe the National Anthem protests undermine the integrity of or damages the reputation of the league is not up for debate. The fact is that half of the American population disagrees with your point of view and that alone is evidence that the integrity of the sport has been damaged.
Only the Brave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, is the story of one unit of local firefighter become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the nation.