TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there. Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored. So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD. Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements: - League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three - Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value. - Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones - 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people. - All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000 The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand. Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair? Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces. So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do? For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined. Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594) Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion) Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem. Candidate: Charleston Battery Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700) Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal. Candidate: Charlotte Independence Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314) Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion) Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021. Candidate: Hartford Athletic Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066) Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion) Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something. Candidate: Indy Eleven Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421) Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion) Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there. Candidate: Louisville City FC Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000) Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion) Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital. Candidate: Memphis 901 FC Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325) Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option. Candidate: Miami FC, “The” Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000) Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion) Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club. Candidate: North Carolina FC Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583) Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion) Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close. Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450) Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion) Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.” Candidate: Saint Louis FC Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494) Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion) Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history. Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518) Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be. Candidate: Austin Bold FC Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594) Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion) Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price. Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939) Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692) Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion) Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage. Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC Location: El Paso, Texas Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500) Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion) Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s? Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000) Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion) Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed. Candidate: New Mexico United Location: Albuquerque, N.M. Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion) Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion) Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem. Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066) Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion) Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach. Candidate: Orange County SC Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250) Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion) Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining? Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962) Time zone: Arizona Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400) Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion) Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock. Candidate: Reno 1868 FC Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000) Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion) Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it. Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion) Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion) Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface. Candidate: San Antonio FC Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000) Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion) Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf… Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561) Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million) Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support. Candidate: FC Tulsa Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000) Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion) Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark. And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our… VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field). Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight. But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League: Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven Louisville City FC Miami FC North Carolina FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Tampa Bay Rowdies Saint Louis FC San Antonio FC New Mexico United Phoenix Rising FC Las Vegas Lights FC Orange County SC San Diego Loyal SC Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories. Firm “yes” Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here. Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million. Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in. Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami? Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league. Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs. Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem. Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on. Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer. San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle. Cautious “yes” New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted. North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black. Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight. San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through. Cautious “no” Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in. Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue. Austin Bold FC: See the other two above. FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top. Firm “no” Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk. Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances. El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one. Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse. Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid. Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through. Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship: Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence Memphis 901 FC Austin Bold FC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC Oklahoma City Energy FC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC FC Tulsa With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Forward Madison FC Greenville Triumph SC Union Omaha Richmond Kickers South Georgia Tormenta FC Tucson Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion. USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs. USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small. USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up. And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated. Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
(Malcolm in the Middle) Most Reasonable Conclusion of Where They Live
I would like to just point out this is just my opinion using the facts I was giving. I figured that finding Francis' location in Alabama was the easiest. I concluded that Francis most likely was in Birmingham, AL because he was five hours away from New Orleans for the episode where he went to Mardi Gras with his friends (S2E15 Grandparents: 3:32). From there I looked for what places where 5,000 mi away from Alaska because Malcolm said their house was 5,000 miles away from Alaska (S3E2 Emancipation: 11:10). Since Alaska is a huge state I concluded that he was most likely in Anchorage, AK because Francis said they would get cruise ships (that is farthest north cruises go) and the rest of the state is not that accessible. Also it was in wooded area which Anchorage has. Most people say that it's in California or even Texas but those are only 3,000 miles away. I figured the state had to be south because it doesn't snow often (S6E3 Standee: 2:00). Also their lockers were outside in high school which is more common in hotter states (S4E4 Stupid Girl: 2:20). From their I tried South Carolina which still was too short so I tried Orlando, Fl which ended up being 4,753 miles which is almost 5,000 miles. To make sure that was accurate I saw how long it would take from Orlando to Birmingham which was a little over eight hours which fit with what Hal said it took to drive to Francis after Hal lied to Commandant Spangler (S2E12 Krelboyne Girl: 16:14). So in conclusion I believe they live somewhere in Flordia near Orlando, possibly. This fits with being able to visit Lois' half sister in Manitoba Canada (they say 21 hrs but it is about 29 so it's little off but it works better than other ideas) (S5E20 Victor's Other Family: 2:30) and when they go to an Indian Casino (S2E5 Casino) which could be in Arkansas, Oklahoma or Texas. The only true thing that doesn't go with my prediction is that Malcolm goes to Harvard which he stated is 2,000 miles away, it's 1,281 miles, which is more consistent with Texas (but that doesn't go with the other information) (S7E22 Graduation: 1:15). Since this is more of an outlier than other given information I concluded it was a random number (as most of these could be). Of course everything depends on where in Alaska Francis was which was more of a prediction of mine (even though it fit with the cruises) as well as the Canada thing. Though some things are inconsistent, this is the most reasonable conclusion. As I would like to say again this is only my opinion with the facts that were given to me.
The Prestige: The prestige is about two stage magicians and their journey from partners to rivals. In this Christopher Nolan masterpiece these two men find themselves at odds following a catalytic tragedy. A usual stage trick of theirs involved Julia, Robert Angier’s (played by Hugh Jackman) wife, being tied and locked up then lowered into a locked glass cage filled with water, which she then would escape from. Starting off all as friends, things were going peachily until Alfred Borden (played by Christian Bale) decided to change up the act and use a different and more difficult knot for the trick. This was against the wishes of Angier but Borden still wanted to go through with it. That night on the stage Julia wasn’t able to get out. In one of the most frustrating scenes I can think of in cinematic history, Borden and Angier (Batman and Wolverine) watch idly by in horror as Cutter (played by Michael Caine, or more famously known as Alfred) is trying to break the glass detaining Julia. Because Borden made the change without Angier knowing beforehand this caused a rivalry that continued to spiral end escalate throughout the years. As competing magicians they continually and tirelessly worked to disclose each other’s new tricks and sabotage their acts. The actions of sabotage eventually lead them to extremes which result in tragic consequences. It starts with tricks such as catching a bullet. Once Angier discovers the trick he sabotages Borden, ultimately leading to Borden losing a finger. The final magic tricks from each involves cloning, prison, and murder? A star studded cast of Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and many more, this is one movie that deserves to be watched by all. Thor Ragnarok: Thor Ragnarok in my opinion is the greatest of all 23 currently released marvel movies. Taika Waititi is a creative genius and was allowed to use those skills in his adaptation for this movie. The aesthetic makeup of this movie is bold, vibrant and quite simply childish, exactly something you would anticipate the inner workings of Taika’s mind to be like. What makes this film different from all the rest is the lightheartedness and quality humor that percolates throughout the entirety of this theatric masterpiece. Snide humor such as Thor and Hulk’s reunion in the arena of Sakar when Thor says “we’re friends from work” to the spectators. This line was a from a Make-A-Wish child who suggested it for the scene when he visited the set. Nearly every scene with Korg is an instant favorite, filled with one-liners made even better by the New Zealand accent. To top Korg off he is played by none other than director Taika Waititi. One thing that I did find irksome however was highlighted when watching “how it should have ended”. In the film Thor is easily incapacitated by a shocking device that is planted on him by Valkyrie. It makes you question how, if the device works so effectively on Thor then why wouldn’t they use it on Hela? The biggest change in this movie from the others, for Thor’s character perspective at least (pre endgame), was when Stan Lee hacked off his luscious locks. It seemed to completely change my image of the character but for the better. Originally, I hated that they would do such a thing. However, I like the new look and once he went back to long hair I found myself almost longing for the short haired version. When people who are against Marvel/ Superhero movies for some reason this is the film to suggest. It isn’t like all the others which cause you to feel almost comatose because the atmosphere, storyline, or whatever is not the same. Instead of responding to the question of “how was the movie” with “it was a typical superhero flick” Thor Ragnarok warrants a better response, a positive response, one that doesn’t group it with all the other superhero movies. The Patriot: Mel Freaking Gibson. This film is a journey and a half of the American Revolutionary war. Here’s the storyline given on IMDB “It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more than to live peacefully on his small plantation, and wants no part of a war with the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Meanwhile, his two eldest sons, Gabriel and Thomas, can't wait to enlist in the newly formed "Continental Army." When South Carolina decides to join the rebellion against England, Gabriel immediately signs up to fight...without his father's permission. But when Colonel William Tavington, British dragoon, infamous for his brutal tactics, comes and burns the Martin Plantation to the ground, tragedy strikes. Benjamin quickly finds himself torn between protecting his family and seeking revenge along with being a part of the birth of a new, young, and ambitious nation.” One of the greatest cinematic antagonists Col. William Tavington is the catalyzing factor for all sorts of emotional highs. Being the cause for the deaths of Benjamin Martin’s children at the onset of the movie, you find yourself cringing each time he makes an appearance. If you’re familiar with the Game of Thrones T.V. series then you will understand well when I say he gives the same emotional trauma as King Joffrey did. It’s not only because he killed Eddard Stark but the way he did it that caused you to despise him, among other things, that draws remarkable contrast to the emotional “attachment” you feel towards Colonel Tavington. It doesn’t help that one of the son’s he kills is portrayed by the late Heath Ledger. Two fun facts about Heath Ledger in relation to this film are such: · “He didn’t work for a year because he only got offers for teen heartthrob roles. He was about to quit acting, and return to Australia, when he was cast in the film.” (And thank goodness because he is an incredible actor and we would have missed out on the greatest villain portrayal of all time in the Joker had he not remained in the acting world) · “Heath Ledger said researching the American Revolutionary War for the film answered his question of why Americans “wave their flag so high.” “It’s because they went to hell and back to build their country.” Being an American this film promotes ample feelings of patriotism and pride. Despite the fictional aspects it is always a great addition to any movie when applicable. Something about being reminded that the United States of America is the greatest and most skilled, powerful and dangerous militaristic forces can’t be undersold (some other great movie examples are Lone Survivor, 13 Hours and American Sniper) Warrior: Crying can be defined as: “to utter inarticulate sounds, especially of lamentation, grief, or suffering, usually with tears.” This emotion is not an unusual one to experience when watching your typical rom-com or drama, even a pixar or dreamworks animation can cause the waterworks to start flowing. Maybe there is something wrong with me but I have never been brought to the point of tears while watching a movie. Not when they put down Marley in Marley and Me, nor when Iron Man died at the end of Endgame, not even when Mufasa was killed by Scar in the Lion King (and we all know that that is at least in the top 3 of the saddest cinematic scenes of all time). So, how is it that the closest I got to crying was in a movie whose storyline is: “Two brothers face the fight of a lifetime - and the wreckage of their broken family - within the brutal, high-stakes world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting in Lionsgate's action/drama, WARRIOR. A former Marine, haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Riordan returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan's unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives.“ Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is not the most emotionally stimulating category but yet this movie was able to bring me nigh unto tears, twice. The first was a scene involving Tommy Conlon (portrayed by the talented Tom Hardy) and his father Paddy Conlon (played by Nick Nolte). Throughout the film you feel bad for Paddy as he is just trying to make amends for the terrible father figure he was, on his journey to find his way back into either of his sons polar opposite lives. It climaxes for him when he is at the casino and is emotionally destroyed by his son. You next see him in his hotel suite listening to a tape recorder and drunk (which destroyed his sobriety that he had been working so hard on so he could be allowed back into Brendan Conlon’s life). Tommy takes over and helps his father get into bed then comforts him as he sobs himself to sleep in his son’s arms. The second scene is the finale. Brothers Tommy and Brendan fight their way through a major tournament to ultimately meet each other in the championship. Here’s the script of the final scene: “Brendan climbs into the cage as the house LIGHTS DIM. The crowd is going bonkers. And they EXPLODE when Tommy appears at the end of the tunnel with his hoodie up and begins his march toward the cage. The Marines shower him with cheers and "Hoo-ahs." The girls scream. The rest of the audience stamps their feet and chants his name. But he acknowledges no one, and the hard look on his face never wavers. INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - MOMENTS LATER Fenroy and the crew on the edge of their seats, all staring at the big screen. ON TV SCREEN: TOMMY GETTING GREASED UP AND CLIMBING INTO THE CAGE. INT. TAXI - SAME A nervous Paddy sits in the back of the cab as the DRIVER navigates through holiday traffic. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME And here it is. The two brothers face to face in the middle of the ring, staring each other down. Tommy with his usual controlled fire, Brendan intense, searching his brother's eyes for some flicker of recognition. JOSH ROSENTHAL Gentlemen, this is the final. Five rounds. I expect a clean fight. Obey my commands at all times. Defend yourselves at all times. Touch gloves, go back, let's do this. As Rosenthal finishes his instructions, Brendan peers into Tommy's empty corner. BRENDAN Where's Pop? Tommy turns without answering. All business. Brendan returns to his corner. Looks at Tess. So much emotion on her face. 96. JOSH ROSENTHAL Gentlemen, are you ready? Are you ready? Let's go to war! Tommy comes right after his brother. Just like with his previous three opponents. A natural wrecking machine. Frank screams at Brendan to stay calm, but Tommy is all over him, POUNDING on him with savage intensity. As bad as the other fights were for Brendan, this one is worse. EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME The crowd is tense and subdued. It's not going well. ON MOVIE SCREEN: TOMMY KEEPS TATTOOING BRENDAN WITH HEAD SHOTS. BEATS HIS BROTHER WITH MALICE. IT'S HARD TO WATCH. INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME Fenroy and company thoroughly enjoying themselves. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME Tommy continues to batter Brendan, then he swoops in, picks him up, and SLAMS his big brother into the ground. Then he does it again. And again. And again. Brendan, the wind knocked out of him, is on his back, trying to protect himself from Tommy, who mounts him and starts blasting away with a BLUR of lefts and rights. The only thing that saves Brendan is the HORN. Which Tommy ignores, blasting his brother with a brutal CHEAP SHOT to the jaw well after the round had ended. TESS What was that! FRANK C'mon, Josh! Brendan lays on the ground as Josh Rosenthal pulls Tommy off him and admonishes him for the cheap shot. Tommy stares at Brendan. You want more? Frank runs into the cage with the stool and Brendan limps over to him and sits down. Brendan stares at Tommy, who paces in his corner like a caged animal. FRANK (CONT'D) Sit down. Look at me. Look at me, Brendan! Let it go! Breathe. (MORE) 97. FRANK (CONT'D) Beethoven. He's coming hard, just like we planned. I want you to angle out, hit, and move. BRENDAN Angle out, hit, and move. FRANK Good. Breathe. Relax. He's not your brother, right? He's just a guy who's in the way. Josh Rosenthal claps his hands. It's time. Frank glares at him as he picks up the stool. FRANK (CONT'D) I'm taking a little more time for the cheap shot! Do your job, Josh! Tess sits uncomfortably in her chair. Her husband's face is a mess. In front of her, Callen and Sheridan commiserate. J.J., the TapouT crew, and Colt Boyd look on. The electricity in the crowd is greater than ever. They want a champion. EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - MOMENTS LATER Very quiet at the Drive-In. It's tough for everyone to watch what's happening to Brendan. ON MOVIE SCREEN: ROUND TWO. A REPEAT OF ROUND ONE. TOMMY JUST WHALING ON BRENDAN AND BRENDAN TRYING TO HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA - SAME The Marines in the crowd are all on their feet, screaming for Tommy to end it. The chant starts up again. 15,000 strong. "Tommy! Tommy! Tommy!" Frank tries to instruct Brendan, but he can't hear him, and he's too overwhelmed. Tommy presses Brendan against the cage and does the same thing Koba did. He lifts him off the ground, carries him on a dead run, and body SLAMS him so hard the cage shakes. Then Tommy mounts him and starts pounding away again. The HORN sounds ending the round, but this time it's Brendan who pops up and pushes Tommy. Tommy shoves him back. Rosenthal has to separate them as the crowd roars its approval. 98. CALLEN (V.O.) Here we go, Mom! Time to lock up your china, the boys are at it again! INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - LATER Fenroy and company watching the big screen. ON TV SCREEN: ROUND THREE. MORE TOMMY DOMINATION, BUT BRENDAN IS SOMEHOW TAKING IT. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME Again, Tommy is on top of Brendan, trying to ground and pound him into submission. Frank, leaning on the apron nearby, screams at Brendan. FRANK Switch! Switch! Tommy tries to pound Brendan out, but Brendan latches on to Tommy's arm, wraps his legs around him, and REVERSES position, just as he did with Midnight, the Dane, and Koba. Tommy is in deep trouble. Brendan pushes him face down on the canvas and cranks his shoulder. There's no escape. SHERIDAN (V.O.) Oh my God, that's a deep omoplata! CALLEN (V.O.) He's doing it again! Conlon's doing it again! This is going to be over! Brendan applies intense pressure. Tommy's shoulder is contorted, WRENCHED backwards, and his face is a mask of pain. Tommy's in agony, but he won't give in. BRENDAN Tap, Tommy! Tommy SHRIEKS like an animal, but still won't quit. In fact, he elbows Brendan in the face in defiance. Brendan in turn cranks the shoulder even more. It's at the breaking point. BRENDAN (CONT'D) Tap! The shoulder twists. Twists. And then, audible only to Tommy and Brendan, CRACK. Dislocated. Then the HORN ending the round. 99. Brendan, worried he hurt his brother, leans over to see if Tommy's alright, but Tommy, like a wounded animal, leaps up and grabs Brendan around the throat with his one good arm. He shoves him all the way across the cage and into the fence, and it takes Rosenthal and Frank to separate them. EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME The crowd fired up by Brendan's comeback, and mesmerized by what's taking place in the cage between the brothers. It's complete and utter chaos in there. ON MOVIE SCREEN: TOMMY PACES IN HIS CORNER, HIS SHOULDER WRECKED. JOSH ROSENTHAL TRIES TO SEE IF HE'S ALRIGHT BUT TOMMY TURNS AWAY. HE'S NOT QUITTING AND NO ONE'S GOING TO TELL HIM HE HAS TO. INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME Sheer amazement that Tommy didn't submit. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME Tommy, flap down, tears of pain pouring down his face, stands defiantly in his corner. In the other corner, Frank attends Brendan. In the crowd, Tess covers her mouth. She can't believe what Tommy allowed to happen to him. Frank puts the stool down and gives Brendan some water. Brendan's face is wracked with guilt and concern over his brother. BRENDAN I popped his shoulder. FRANK Relax, breathe. BRENDAN I heard it tear. FRANK You popped his shoulder? Good. I want you to pop his other shoulder. This is not what Brendan wants to hear. He looks over to Josh Rosenthal. BRENDAN Josh! 100. Frank snaps. Grabs Brendan by the face. FRANK Hey! Hey! No Josh! Look at me! You got two rounds left! You need both rounds! Go in there, kick him in the head, take him down, and finish him! Rosenthal claps his hands. Frank exits the cage. The wounded Tommy stands in his corner, his ruined left arm hanging low. Brendan makes eye contact with him. BRENDAN Tommy! What are you doing? TOMMY Shut up! C'mon. BRENDAN What are you that crazy? JOSH ROSENTHAL Let's go to war! The BELL sounds. Round Four begins. Tommy throws useless right jabs. He's one handed and has no chance. Brendan stays away from him, not wanting to hurt his brother. BRENDAN What are you doing? It's over! Frank screams at Brendan from cageside to take the wounded Tommy out, but Brendan is reluctant. BRENDAN (CONT'D) It's over, Tommy. C'mon. We don't have to do this. Tommy and Brendan circle each other. Tommy throwing rights and wincing in agony at any movement. Brendan stares at him. Everything about him says "Quit, Tommy." But Tommy won't. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA TUNNEL - SAME Paddy runs up the tunnel, his All Access pass around his neck, and enters the arena. Sees Brendan and Tommy in the cage. Quickly figures out what the situation is. 101. EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME Zito and the kids staring at the screen, imploring Brendan to take the helpless Tommy out and win the championship. INT. BOARDWALK HALL CAGE - SAME Brendan continues to circle and not engage. Frank is livid. He knows he'll lose the fight on the judges' scorecards if he doesn't do something. FRANK Finish him! You finish him! Tommy keeps throwing defiant right jabs at Brendan. Finally, with no choice, Brendan fires back. He batters the defenseless Tommy up against the cage and POUNDS away at him, blasting his left shoulder with punches that make Tommy wince in pain. It's anyone's guess how he can take it. Brendan presses his brother up against the cage. Begging him to quit. But Tommy merely responds by elbowing Brendan in the face again. This sets the older brother off, and he resumes pounding on Tommy until the HORN sounds and Rosenthal pulls Brendan away. JOSH ROSENTHAL Break! Break! Brendan heads back to his stool as Tommy leans against the cage in agony. The Marines scream for him, but his eyes are glazed over. It's unthinkable that he hasn't broken yet. From near cageside, Paddy looks to the corner and makes eye contact with Brendan. They exchange a small look of understanding. A NOD. They both know what needs to be done. EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME The crowd wants a victory. Tito and the boys start the "Mis- ter C!" chant again. ON MOVIE SCREEN: FRANK ADMONISHES BRENDAN IN HIS CORNER. IT'S OBVIOUS WHAT HE'S TELLING HIM, BUT BRENDAN'S EYES ARE FAR AWAY. HE'S NOT LISTENING TO A WORD. INT. BOARDWALK HALL CAGE - MOMENTS LATER Tommy and Brendan stand for Round Five. Tommy's face is battered after Round Four and Brendan's face is ruined. 102. In the crowd, the "Tommy" CHANT begins in earnest. In fact, it may be louder than ever. Having done the impossible and carried on with one arm, Tommy is more superhuman and heroic than ever before. But his face tells another story. Soaked in pain and anguish. All his stoic walls crumbling down. INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - MOMENTS LATER All eyes riveted to the screen, where the brothers circle each other as in the fourth round. ON SCREEN: MORE PAINFUL STABBING JABS FROM TOMMY. BRENDAN GIVES HIM ONE LAST, LONG LOOK, BUT TOMMY RESPONDS BY KICKING HIM IN THE LEG. FINALLY, LEFT NO CHOICE, BRENDAN SWOOPS. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME Brendan SLAMS Tommy to the ground. His face is contorted in merciless pain. Brendan slips his forearm under Tommy's neck and squeezes. Tommy struggles, but he's got one arm and there's NO ESCAPE. His face getting red from lack of oxygen. As an anguished Tess and a shaken Paddy look on, Brendan CHOKES his brother. As he does, he pleads with him. BRENDAN I'm sorry, Tommy! I'm sorry! Tommy continues to struggle. BRENDAN (CONT'D) Tap, Tommy! Tap! Tears pour down Tommy's face. Brendan is crushing his wind pipe. Tommy's eyes bulge. BRENDAN (CONT'D) I love you, Tommy! I love you! Tommy, about to pass out, no more air to breathe, slowly opens his left hand, looks at Brendan, and TAPS his shoulder on the Conlon family crest. Finally submitting. EXT. STARLIGHT DRIVE-IN - SAME While most of the crowd erupts in celebration and the kids leap into each other's arms, Joe Zito stares at the screen. ON MOVIE SCREEN: AS PEOPLE ENTER THE RING, BRENDAN AND TOMMY STAY ON THE GROUND, BRENDAN CRADLING HIS BROTHER IN HIS ARMS. 103. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME Frank makes eye contact with the jubilant Tess. Indicates she should meet them in the locker room. Meanwhile, people pour into the cage. Frank pushes them aside, keeping them away from Brendan and Tommy, who remain on the ground, exhausted. Tommy to begins to WEEP. INT. COLT'S PITTSBURGH FIGHT CLUB - SAME Silence at Colt's. Everyone spent from what they've seen. ON TV SCREEN: CHAOS IN THE RING. BRENDAN HOLDS TOMMY IN HIS ARMS AND PUSHES AWAY A DOCTOR. INT. BOARDWALK HALL ARENA CAGE - SAME Tommy buries his head in Brendan's chest. A torrent of sobbing gushes from him, years of pain pouring out in heavy bursts. From the crowd, Paddy stares into the cage and watches as Brendan comforts his little brother, then helps him to his feet. Callen, Sheridan, and J.J. Riley make their way inside for the post-fight interview, cameras trailing behind them. With Frank continuing to run interference, Brendan pushes through the crush of people, arm around Tommy, and exits the cage. The crowd parts for Tommy and Brendan. Paddy watches them, a tear in his eye. He's overwhelmed by the sight of his two boys together again. As the noise from the arena fades, the brothers walk through the wild crowd and continue on through the tunnel, arm in arm... THE END For me, the part the just punched me right through the gut was when Brandon started talking to Tommy, “I’m sorry, Tommy! I’m sorry!... Tap, Tommy! Tap!... I Love you, Tommy! I love you!”. As soon as this is all over Today by The National begins to play and it just causes you to melt inside. Warrior Is A Cinematic Masterpiece! And, if it can almost make me cry then it has my respect. Batman Trilogy: Batman Begins – The Beginning of one of the greatest trilogies out there. Christian Bale accepted the mantle of portraying the caped crusader and brought us one of the finest live action superhero movies. In a reversed dogmatism, the first film of the series was the worst of the three. Were I to make any changes to batman in general, in all the adaptations out there, the “batman voice” is one of my least favorite things. Why in the world does he need to talk like that? If people aren’t able to piece together who he is then changing his voice is more so just an awkward attempt to add another aspect to the film. Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors in Hollywood and Batman is no exception. Liam Neeson is a legend and making him the main villain, Ra’s Al Ghul,, made me happy. The Dark Knight – The Dark Knight is the best of the three, and that is because of Heath Ledger and his genius take as the Joker. Chalk full of one-liners his performance was so great that he won an academy award. - “Do you wanna know how I got these scars?” - “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” - “How about a magic trick? I’m gonna make this pencil disappear. Ta-daa! It’s… it’s gone.” He showed off more talents than with just his acting. He directed both homemade videos that The Joker sends to GCN. As Christian Bale takes this journey of toeing the line with one of the greatest villains you’re constantly on edge, as is typical of a Christopher Nolan movie, wondering how close Batman is really going to get to breaking his one rule of killing someone. One dislike or complaint that I had for the movie was the casting choice for Rachael. Although she is Jake Gyllenhalls sister, I don’t have much care for her as an actress and feel like they could have, and should have, cast someone else in the role, especially since she does play an important part in not just The Dark Knight, but through into the next movie as well. The Dark Knight Rises – The voice of Bane is a heavy favorite among people. Plenty of memes have been created using Tom Hardy’s portrayal of him. Despite being just 5 foot 9 inches and Christian Bale 6 foot, the camera work makes it seem as though bane is a behemoth of a man compared to him. He was too big (tone wise) from his role in Warrior so in the dark knight they made him put on a little bit more of mass to make him look like he did in the movie. I remember the scene where he picked up batman and broke his back and his dialogue “I was wondering what would break first, your spirit, or your body”. The scene sent chills throughout my body and now every time the movie is on, no matter where I am or who I am with, there is without fail at least one person who will say the line along with him. When I first heard that Anne Hathaway was going to be playing catwoman I was a little upset. However, she did an incredible job and I ended up really liking her performance and my mind was changed. In this concluding film of the trilogy I was left at the end hoping that they were going to make another film with Robin since they teased him but unfortunately that never came to fruition. Peanut Butter Falcon: Top 3 movies of all time. Peanut Butter Falcon is the story of three people, Zak (Zack Gottsagen), Eleanor (Dakota Johnson) and Tyler (Shia LaBeouf). Let’s start with Zak. Zak is a down-syndrome kid who is confined to a nursing home because he has no family. He loves wrestling and wants to attend his favorite wrestler’s (Salt Water Redneck) wrestling school. One night with the help of his roomie, Carl, he covers himself up with lotion and slips through the bars that were put on his window since he tried to escape just a few days prior. As he is hiding out in a boat, in just his whitey tighties, the boat is suddenly boarded and takes off through the marshes. Eleanor. Sweet Eleanor, a nursing home employee is responsible for Zak. Upon his runaway she is commanded essentially by her boss to find him before he has to report it to the authorities and government. Tyler. The getaway boat driver is the main character. He lost it all essentially when his older brother died in a car crash. In an act of retaliation he burns down a fishers equipment and jumps on his boat to escape from them. This boat had a stowaway hiding in the back who almost got him caught, that stowaway was Zak. Initially Tyler is trying to get rid of Zak as soon as they get to some civilization but since Zak is determined to get to the wrestling school Tyler agrees to help him get there (after a few unfortunate events that sort of force him into it.) So Zak and Tyler, Shia LaBeouf and a down syndrome kid, brodies, set out on their journey with Eleanor trying desperately to find Zak. Tyler and Zak develop a very special and close bond with each other as they are trekking to their destination. Eventually Eleanor catches up to them and is livid at Tyler since she ran into him a few days before and he lied about knowing anything about Zak. Zak forces Eleanor’s hand into coming with them on their journey as he throws her keys into the water. The three of them set out and become a makeshift ragtag family. This is just one of those movies that you can watch multiple times a year and not get sick of. Additionally, it is because of this film that Shia LaBeouf has started to make a resurgence into the film industry and recreated himself. If you watch an emotional video you can see how much Zak changed Shia’s life and it only adds to the connection you feel to them and their characters as you embrace this heart warming adventure tale
South Carolina Casinos and the Biggest Casino City in South Carolina. South Carolina has a total of 4 casinos and pari-mutuel facilities at your disposal which are spread out across 2 cities throughout the state. The city with the most is Little River with 2 casinos. Unlike its neighbor North Carolina, there are no land-based casinos or Indian casinos in South Carolina. If you want to gamble in the Palmetto State, you’ll have to jump on a boat and sail down the river. Types Of Casinos In South Carolina There is only one casino boat in operation, The Big M Casino in Little River, SC. Actually the company has two boats in operation that alternate sailing ... Federal Bill Would Bring South Carolina Tribe’s Casino to North Carolina. Posted on: March 14, 2019, 05:56h. Last updated on: March 14, 2019, 05:56h. For banner ad pricing please contact us at 1.800.256.0175 : Home Page: Indian Documents: Indian Education: Indian Links: Indian Nations There currently is only one casino boat operating in South Carolina, The Big M Casino located in Little River, SC. The company that owns the casino actually has two boats that alternate sailing times each day. The Big M Casino offers: blackjack, roulette, craps, let it ride, three card poker, video poker, and slots. The minimum gambling age is 21 and you must present a photo ID to be allowed ... South Carolina-based Native American tribe has brought forward a proposal for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's administration on how it would like to operate a casino on land in Kings Mountain. Cooper spokesperson Ford Porter told the station that the proposal wasn't a public record, citing a state law exempting documents dealing with legal proceedings, the Associated Press reports. This casino could absolutely rival Las Vegas casinos. Lots of space as well as plenty of action around the way. They have a spacious sports book as well as a very sizable highroller room and poker room. Even though it was social distancing, they enforced mask policy and still made you feel like a player. Will come back - RknRon. Between Christmas and New Years. Harrah's Cherokee Hotel. My only ... Indian casino revenue neared $33.7 billion in 2018. Indian gaming operates in 29 states. 25 states allow Vegas-style Class III Indian casinos, 4 allow Class II-only casinos (bingo slots). 38 percent of all U.S. gambling revenues come from the two states California and Oklahoma. Indian gaming provides 612,000 jobs nationwide (both direct & indirect jobs). Indian gaming pays $9 billion in taxes ... A new North Carolina gambling casino by the Catawba Indian Nation, called Two Kings resort, has support in Congress. It is expected to open in Kings Mountain in 2021. It is expected to open in ... Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730 News Headlines Kings Mountain Casino plan gets federal greenlight March 19, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Interior has approved plans submitted by the Catawba Indian Nation to build a $273M casino resort in Kings Mountain, NC.
Nation Ford vs Indian Land - South Carolina High School ...
Watch Here https://gurih.vidoku.website/hs-boysbasketball.php?live=Indian%20Land%20vs.%20Elevation%20Prep%20Academy&state=South%20Carolina ™STREAMING! Today... Welcome to Indian Land's only gated community. Situated just outside of Charlotte, NC. This European neighborhood redefines working from home. You won't want... Check out this aerial video of the Santee Indian Mound, a prehistoric earthwork located in South Carolina. Learn a little bit about its history, as well as i... Watch the live broadcast https://bit.ly/33Bir5E The Nation Ford (Fort Mill, SC) varsity basketball team has a home non-conference game vs. Indian Land (Fort ... 🔴 Go to Live Broadcast here https://4u.watch-hd.co/hs-basketball.php?live=Indian%20Land%20vs.%20Nation%20Ford&state=South%20Carolina%20Highschool%20Boys%20... The Elevation Prep Academy (Charlotte, NC) varsity basketball team has a home non-conference game vs. Indian Land (Fort Mill, SC) today @ 7p.🔴💯 watch live... 🔴 Go to Live Broadcast here https://sportstar.watch-hd.co/hs-basketball.php?live=Indian%20Land%20vs.%20Andrew%20Jackson&state=South%20Carolina%20High%20Sch... A history of the Congaree and Catawba tribes in central and northern South CarolinaFor the latest news weather and sports visit: http://www.wach.comLike WACH... The Catawba Indian Nation wants to bring casino gambling to Kings Mountain, but they’re facing opposition from churches, neighbors and a rival Indian tribe.