Bucs Blog! 2016 Season, Week 3.

You know how you get to the doctor’s office ten minutes before your appointment, and the receptionist tells you they’re running about fifteen minutes behind schedule and you end up waiting an hour before the doctor tells you he’ll have to reschedule you for next week, but don’t put this off too long otherwise that grapefruit-sized chunk of prostate cancer will drop out of your ass onto your carpet or something?

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite that bad at Raymond James Stadium last night. I mean, unless you’re the Bucs.

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Rams 37 – Bucs 32

Yep. Things got a little weird down in Tampa-town yesterday, as the Buccaneers hosted the newly rechristened Los Angeles Rams into the pirate port. Now look: the last time I cared about any team called the L.A. Rams, Joe Pendleton was their quarterback (I’ll sit quietly while you Google the reference), but this was also Tampa’s home opener after splitting two road games to get the 2016 season started.

The Bucs seemed to be at least somewhat in control early, going into the hole down by 7 points after the Rams opening drive. The teams ended up going back and forth for the rest of the half, with the Bucs nursing a 20-17 lead going into halftime. That included a first-quarter interception of Rams QB Case Keenum returned for a touchdown. That was to be Keenum’s only real costly misstep of the day, however.

Meanwhile, Tampa QB Jameis Winston also threw a pick, but that was mitigated by three TD throws and 400+ passing yards, going 36 out of an insane 58 attempts. Granted, the Bucs running game was hampered somewhat by the absence of Doug Martin, who went out last week with an injury. Charles Sims kicked in another 50 or so yards on the ground, but that’s not really enough to take the pressure off Winston when it comes to moving the football. To his credit, Sims stepped up and played solid ball, adding another 70 passing yards to his production stats for the day. Speaking of receiving, Mike Evans and Adam Humphries were the big yardage guys, but it was Cameron Brate who hauled in two of Winston’s two TD passes, with Evans notching the third.

A costly Bucs fumble late in the third quarter was returned by the Rams for a touchdown, coming right after a Los Angeles scoring drive that ended up with Tampa staring at the wrong end of an 11-point deficit. Three scoring drives (two by the Bucs, one by the Rams) saw that lead shrink, grow, and shrink yet again with the clock ticking toward oblivion. Attempts at two-point conversions on all three drives were thwarted (something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a single game), with the Rams unable to put the game out of reach and giving the Bucs one more chance as time wound down to the two-minute warning.

Then, the weather gods kicked the football gods right in the taint.

With lightning in the area deemed a danger for those at the stadium, the game was suspended for more than an hour. I think if they’d been able to keep playing, the Bucs would’ve pulled this out. As it happened, the delay ended up benefitting the Rams, who managed to hold on to their win and get out before the weather gods and football gods changed their minds again.

The loss drops Tampa to 1-2, and perhaps to second place in the NFC South Division, pending the outcome of tonight’s game between Atlanta and New Orleans. Elsewhere, the Carolina Panthers also fall to 1-2 after losing to Minnesota.

Next up? The Bucs host another home game, this time against the Denver Broncos, who are 3-0 and on fire right now. Listen up, all y’all: This one might hurt. Then again, they could be ripe for an upset. Yeah, let’s go with that.

It’s a Bucs Life, amirite?

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New interview with Trek.fm’s Literary Treks!

Yes. I’m babbling again. I babble, and people record the results for later broadcast. It’s a weird world in which we live, ain’t it?

Legacies-3-CoverThis time, I’m pulling double duty in Kevin’s absence as I have a sit down with hosts Matthew Rushing, Dan Gunther, and Bruce Gibson over at Literary Treks, the Trek.fm podcast devoted to exploring Star Trek tales in prose and comic form.

The focus of this latest chat is Purgatory’s Key, the novel Kevin and I wrote to round out the Star Trek: Legacies trilogy which is part of Pocket Books’ celebration of Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary. We spend a good bit of time talking about how the project came together, what it’s like to collaborate with Kevin as well as with fellow wordsmiths Greg Cox and David Mack (hint: It’s fun).

ST-Waypoint2-SubscriptionCoverWe also talk about other things I have in the pipeline like the Klingon Empire travel guide, my collaboration with Kevin for IDW’s Star Trek: Waypoint comics mini-series, and my next couple of Star Trek novel projects. To warn you up front, I spend a lot of time gushing about the comic, because it’s JUST SO DARNED COOL. It’s definitely one of those dream projects that you just latch onto when opportunity strikes, so yeah, I’m having a ton of fun with it. I’m sure pretty much everyone will be sick of me talking about it soon, but there I’ll be….still yammering about it.

Anyway, the interview runs about an hour, give or take, so have a listen, if you’re of a mind to do just that:

Literary Treks #163: Pinochle Buddies

Thanks very much to Matt, Dan, and Bruce for having me on the show. It’s always fun to hang with them and geek out for a bit. Until next time!

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Your Moment of TrekZen*

There’s no chance he’s getting away this time.

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This little slice of awesome comes to us by way of artist Rick Celis, who has quite an impressive gallery of pop culture and other creative goodness over on his DeviantArt page, so be sure to check him out.

(* = inspired by the “Your Moment of Zen” segments from The Daily Show)

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An “Ask Dayton” lightning round!

The last time I did one of these, I was sitting in a waiting room while they operated on my wife, and folks helped me get through the hours I had to navigate until I got to see her.

Things are way cooler, today. I’m reading through the galley pages of Headlong Flight, doing some other writing work for another client, and also reading through a manuscript so that I might provide a cover blurb/quote. If there’s time this afternoon, I have some revision notes to address for the manuscript I turned in a week or so ago.

So, why not spice things up a bit with an “Ask Dayton” lightning round?

Okay, here’s the deal: Ask me anything, if you’re so inclined, and I’ll do my best to provide a brief yet thoughtful answer. If I can’t conjure such a reply, you’ll instead receive a wise-assed comment, created just for you! It’s sort of like an “AMA” over on reddit, but without the requirement for me to shower afterward to get the reddit off of me.

Also, this little exercise shouldn’t be confused with the “Ask Dayton” bits that I do every so often over at the G&T Show. The guy who answers those queries is a rather surly dick who likes to growl and snap his way through whatever oddball questions the show’s listeners throw his way. While that guy looks like me, sounds like me, and has the same name as me, we’re two totally different people. Really.

Asker’s choice, so far as the topic goes. We can talk about writing, pop culture bullshit, deep thoughtful musings on the duality of man and the blurred line between good and evil, the tragedy of a show like Full House getting a Netflix renewal while Firefly fans are left sleeping in the wet spot, whatever.

I reserve the right not to answer anything I deem too personal or inappropriate for this particular venue, but this is a rule I’ve never actually had to invoke. Still, it never hurts to make such things clear up front.

Okey-dokey, then. Who’s got a question

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Posted in ask dayton, friends, q&a | 6 Comments

Bucs Blog! 2016 Season, Week 2.

Well, that was embarrassing.

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Cardinals 40 – Bucs 7

Short version: Following last week’s impressive outing against division rival Atlanta to start the new season, reality reasserted itself as Tampa promptly traveled to Arizona and proceeded to step on its collective crank.

Longer version:

Apparently, the Bucs forgot pretty much everything that made them a force to be reckoned with last Sunday against the Falcons. Everybody forgot how to block, or tackle, or catch passes, or to stay on the right side of the ball or line of scrimmage..

Quarterback Jameis Winston, coming off a solid game last week, threw four (count ’em: four) interceptions and lost a fumble. Five turnovers from your QB is rarely a recipe for success, so here’s hoping he shakes off those missteps and gets back to doing what we already know he can do.

Though you can argue that all four picks (somewhat unfairly…especially the one returned sixty yards for a touchdown) are on Winston, he was by no means alone in contributing to the day’s spanking. For one thing, there were injuries to key players, including workhorse running back Doug Martin. Here’s hoping he and the other players forced to leave the game early recover fully and rapidly.

It wasn’t all bad news. Receiver Mike Evans managed to hang tough against a truly impressive Arizona secondary, notching six catches including one for Tampa’s only score on the day. Though he didn’t get to score, Adam Humphries still managed a half dozen grabs of his own for almost seventy yards.

As for Arizona? Simply put, they came to play. Setting aside last week’s loss to the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots, QB Carson Palmer put up some strong numbers while guiding the Cardinals offense, completing 18 or 31 passes for 300+ yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. Tampa’s defense was unable to put any kind of real pressure against Palmer, hampered by extended periods on the field thanks to a string of short or broken drives from the Bucs offense. Meanwhile, the Cards defense hounded and harassed the Bucs all day, including planting Winston three times. Then there were those aforementioned turnovers.

So, yeah. Not a pretty day, at all. However, it’s only Week 2. Now that they’ve had a taste of both sides of a final score, here’s hoping the Bucs will snap back in and get back so some good football.

The loss drops Tampa to 1-1 on the still minty fresh season. Carolina and Atlanta also won, which means the NFC South is all knotted up (ain’t that always the case, though?) with the Bucs just barely holding on to the top spot by the one hair follicle lone the skin of their teeth. New Orleans lost again, dropping them to 0-2, but if history is an indicator, this division can turn and twist and do all sorts of crazy yoga moves before the season’s over.

Next up for the Bucs? Their home opener at Raymond James Stadium, against the recently rebranded (or retro-branded, if you prefer) Los Angeles Rams. The last time I cared about a team called the Los Angeles Rams, Joe Pendleton was their quarterback. I almost feel like the Bucs should break out the Creamsicle uniforms, or something.

It’s a Bucs life, yo.

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Happy Birthday, Adam West!

Holy 88th Birthday, Batman!

The happiest of birthday wishes to Adam West, aka the hippest, coolest, happinest Batman ever. 88, and still running like the Energizer Bunny on Red Bull.

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Dance on, Caped Crusader!

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Talking about Midnight Run with the Gettysburg’s Address podcast!

My friend Nick Minecci launched a new podcast a while back, The Gettysburg’s Address. The show’s name is derived from Nick’s online handle, “Gettysburg7,” and it’s here that he invites various creators to discuss pop culture and whatever else seems to stick its claws into the societal consciousness from time to time.

For a change of pace, Nick invited me over so that we could talk about movies we like.

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First up? A mutual favorite and a truly underappreciated gem from the one of the best decades for action movies, the 1980s: Midnight Run. This is a film I’ve babbled about a few times, and it’s one of those movies that I’ll watch at the drop of a hat. Nick and I have been known to have entire conversations using dialogue from this flick. What’s it about? As I once yammered:

MidnightRunWhat happens when an ex-cop turned bounty hunter is sent to find an accountant who embezzled millions from the mob, and who’s now being hunted by mobsters as well as the FBI as he tries to get his fugitive from New York to L.A. before the accountant’s bail bond defaults?

Comedy gold, that’s what.

Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin lead a stellar cast in one of the best-ever twists on the old “odd couple” buddy movie formula. Released in 1988, Midnight Run sort of got overlooked due its release in close proximity to another little action movie you may have heard of, Die Hard.

When Nick decided that he and I should partner up every so often to devote episodes of the Address to “movies you may not have seen, but should go and watch right now,” Midnight Run was the first one we both suggested.

What follows is basically a recorded version of one of our late-night conversations/instant message back-n-forths, though perhaps somewhat more understandable. Have a listen:

The Gettysburg’s Address – Episode 3: Midnight Run

Thanks very much to Nick for having me on the show, and to Michael Medeiros for handling all the technical voodoo in his usual stellar fashion.

 

Posted in friends, movies, podcasts | 1 Comment

Happy Breakaway Day!

Celebrating the 17th anniversary!

September 13th, 1999: And you thought your day at the office sucked.

You’d think there’d be a market for nerdy celebration days like this.

Try to get out and enjoy it!

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New interview about 24: Trial By Fire!

24-TrialByFire-FrontCover“Dammit, Chloe!”

With all of the hoopla surrounding Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary, which included my involvement in not one but two books released in close proximity to that momentous occasion, it’s easy to forget that I had another book published in and around all of that.

Now that 24: Trial By Fire is in the wild, I’m starting to get requests for interviews from different quarters. Last week, I did a podcast interview with Joshua Rivers of The 24 Podcast, which is a fan-based news and info site about all things Jack Bauer. We chatted about the book and the fact that I’ve been a 24 nerd since the first episode, and what we’re hoping to see from the series coming next year, 24: Legacy. Have a listen, whydontcha:

The 24 Podcast – 24: Trial By Fire with author Dayton Ward

Thanks to Joshua and everybody else over there, for having me on the show!

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Bucs Blog! 2016 Season, Week 1.

Last season, on Bucs Blog:

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Yeah.

If Tampa Bay’s 2015 season had to be summed up in two words, I guess the best way to term for boiling it all down is “unrealized potential.” They finished 6-10, which was actually in defiance of expectations. That was with a rookie quarterback who was really starting to get into his groove during the second half of the year, not just with his performance but also his attitude. It was clear at the end of the season that Jameis Winston was not satisfied with how things ended, and he had every intention of being all up in whatever solutions were put forth to move the team forward. I was as impressed by that as anything I saw him do on the field. At the time, I remember thinking, “Get this guy some decent help, and we might have something, here.”

I guess somebody was listening.

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Bucs 31 – Falcons 24

After a shaky start in the first quarter that included an interception, Winston dialed in and we were off to the races. Guided by first-year head coach Dirk Koetter, Winston and a retooled Bucs offense shook off an early 10-3 deficit and started playing like they meant it. Winston was able to spread the love all afternoon, throwing touchdown passes to four different receivers and racking up 280 passing yards.

Ever-dependable running back Doug Martin may not have been one of those receivers, but he still clocked 60 rushing yards and helped keep Atlanta’s defense honest, giving Winston room to work the passing game. Fellow RB Charles Sims along with stalwart receiver Mike Evans helped out by nabbing TD passes, and even tight ends Brandon Myers and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins were in on the action, recalling Bucs offensive madness from the days of old. Sims’ scoring play in particular was something to say, as he managed to shake off tackles from half of Atlanta’s defense along with a ball boy and that one guy selling beer in the stands on his way to the end zone.

Defensively, Tampa showed up to play against a formidable Falcons offense, including sacking Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan three times. A few miscues here and there allowed Falcon scoring drives to linger too long and keep them in it longer than they deserved, so there will be some things to fine tune in the weeks ahead. That said? A solid if not spectacular performance that got the job done and allowed the Bucs offense all the opportunities it needed to secure the win.

And it’s a win against a rival within a fiercely competitive division that sets Tampa off on the right foot going into a new season with a new coach. At 1-0, the Bucs own first place in the NFC South, with Atlanta, New Orleans, and Carolina all notching losses to kick off their year. It’s a long season, though, and every one of these teams can beat each other on game day. For now, though, I’ll take it.

Next up? The Bucs travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, who are coming after a heartbreaking loss to New England last night after a blown last-second field goal. They’ll be looking for their first win in front of a home crowd, so this should be a slugfest.

Welcome back, football!

Posted in bucs, football | 2 Comments