Who is going to win Superbowl XLVIII (a.k.a. Superbowl Extra Large 8)?  Got your pick?  Well, so does Madden 25, EA’s football-based video game that predicts the Broncos beating Seahawks in overtime, 31-28:

http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/broncos-win-super-bowl-xlviii-predicts-madden-nfl-144805173.html

So what?  So what if a computer simulation says the Denver Broncos will be hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy in New York this Sunday (or maybe some other day, depending on the weather?).  Well, perhaps for no other reason than the fact that this particular video game has correctly called the winner of eight of the last ten Superbowls.  As any compulsive gambler will tell, that’s mighty impressive.

But before you Broncos fan start celebrating the early victory, it seems like another, equally efficient, computer simulation has picked the Seahawks to beat the Broncos 24-21:

COMPUTER: Seahawks will Beat Broncos 24-21…

So what?  So what if some OTHER computer says the Seattle Seahawks will be the ones making Disney World plans on Sunday given that Madden NFL Football has an 80% accuracy rate in predicting Superbowl Winners since it started running its annual simulations?  Well, because the Prediction Machine’s Predictalator ran over 50 000 simulations of the game which saw the Seahawks win 54.8% of the time to the Broncos 45.2% with a most common score of 24-21 Seattle.  Also: ““Since Week 2 of the NFL season, the Predictalator’s projected Super Bowl every week was Denver vs. Seattle.”

Also, this ape is picking the Seahawks to win: APE: SEAHAWKS To Win…

So what?  It’s just an ape!  Well, this ape has correctly predicted the last six Superbowl winners.

Whichever way this game goes, there’s no denying that Superbowl Extra Large 8 pits the two best teams in the National Football League (Sorry, 49er fan), the first time this has happened in recent memory.  It’s the high-flying offensively minded Denver Broncos versus the tenacious defensive-minded Seattle Seahawks!  Who’ll come out on top?

Well, to be honest, despite the fact that these ARE the two best teams in the NFL meeting in the championship, I don’t have a whole lot of love for either team.  Still, it could have been worse.  We could have had a Patriots vs. 49ers Superbowl I would have had little or no interesting in watching.  No, at the very least, this one offers a terrific match-up with plenty of drama, both on and off the field.  Which is why I’ll be going with…

The Seattle Seahawks.  Why?  Mainly because I was so annoyed by the self-righteous indignation that followed cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-game interview after Seattle’s victory over San Francisco I feel it only right the Seahawks should win.  Yes, I’m not so much rooting for the Seahawks as I am rooting against everyone who expressed dismay because their feelings were hurt by what Sherman said after the NFC Championship game.  “That player was so mean to that other player.  I hope he loses!”.  Really?  Is this your first time watching professional sports?  Do you imagine the pleasantries exchanged between opposing players during the heat of the game running something like this:

Crabtree: I say, old boy.  Do you mind if I race by you enroute to a touchdown?

Sherman: Apologies, my good man.  I simply cannot allow it.

Crabtree: I’m afraid I’ll have to insist.

Sherman: It just won’t do.

Crabtree: I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Sherman: Alrighty then.  Best of luck to you.

Crabtree: And you, sir.

If so, you have every right to be upset.  But no right to watch professional sports ever again.  Your football-viewing privileges have been revoked.  This Sunday, kindly busy yourselves with alternate pursuits like purchasing new throw pillows for the guest bedroom or penning a firm but polite letter to the editor objecting to his use of the word “hell” in a non-religious context.

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be a close game, but you know what they say: “Offense wins game, but defense wins championships”.  And Seattle has the better D.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 34 DENVER BRONCOS 24

AtlantisRises1

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch.  Akemi’s thoughts on Rising II…

After viewing Rising II, I can say that she is definitely warming up to the show.  Well, maybe “warming up” is not the right term.  More “thawing out”.  The show’s dated elements (she keeps referring to “hairstyles and fashion” which, I suspect, actually means “Weir’s hairstyle and fashion”) are clearly the biggest stumbling block to her enjoyment.  Still, she is enjoying “the computer graphics” which still stand up for the most part.

She enjoyed the second half of the two-part opener more than the first and was surprised by Sumner’s death: “I was surprised the fact Colonel Sanders died so quickly.  I thought Colonel very important position.”  Fear not.  Plenty more where he came from.

On the other characters…

Beckett: “I like Beckett.  I find very cute.”

McKay, who she actually cited as one of her favorites by episode’s end: “Always complaining, like Italian-Canadian people.  But I like it.”

Teyla: “She looks like Beyonce.”

Ford: “Not sure about lieutenant Ford.  Good.”

Weir: “She looks just so old-fashioned for me.”

Sheppard: “He is cool, but I don’t know.  I liked Eli a lot.  Eli is more likeable.  I don’t like super strong main character.”

Overall: “This [show] is more easier to predict what happens.  SGU is more surprising.  But so far, just two episodes.”

For my part, I quite enjoyed my rewatch of Rising II.  Loved the city rising up out of the ocean, the puddle jumper vs. dart sequence, the wraith queen’s creepy/dramatic entrance.

A couple of years ago, I offered a little insight into some of the show evolving elements, first introduced in this two parter – among them: wraith mind tricks, wraith killability, and that lovable scamp Jinto…

June 7, 2012: Day of Stargate Past – Atlantis, Rising I and II

Another evolving element was the wraith cells that went from magically retractable doors to the plain rising/falling/sliding doors of later episodes.  Why the change?  Well, let’s chalk this one up to “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”  The retractable, web like doors looked great in the opener but, in hindsight, were an unnecessary expense – a visual effects shot every time the wraith opened and closed a cell!  That’s money that could have been put to better use, like, say, a stun blast or extra coconut cake on the lunch truck.

So, what did you all think?

Randomness writes: “In your opinion, why do you think Jack was so eager for John to go to Atlantis? Do you think he saw potential in John or do you think it may also be because he knew John had the ATA gene, and had a somewhat questionable history and thought perhaps with all this combined it was the best choice for him?”

Answer: I think that Jack saw a lot of himself in John Sheppard – brash, a bit of a loose cannon.  Perhaps he realized that, by joining the Atlantis expedition, Sheppard would have the opportunity to actualize his potential…much like Jack did after heading up SG-1.

Bailey writes: ” Just a thought, do you think knowing some details about the people behind the scenes from what you have told her has any influence on how she perceives the characters in both SGU and SGA?”

Answer: Do you mean did I tell her about the time Jelly ate Michael Shanks’s tuna sandwich?  No.  She knows nothing about any of the actors outside of their onscreen personas.

fsmn36 writes: “He flirts all day, but always seems strangely taken aback when a woman actually throws themselves at him (because that’s the other thing, John never chases them). Thoughts on that aspect of Sheppard, Joe? Was he meant to be a playboy and I’m merely too protective of him?”

Answer: I don’t think there’s any denying the fact that Sheppard was a bit of a playboy…but more often than not, uh, cooler heads prevailed.

23 thoughts on “February 2, 2014: Superbowl Extra Large 8! My prediction! And admonishment! Our Stargate Atlantis Rewatch continues with Rising II!

  1. The city surfacing is still one of the greatest shots of the show, and the backstory such a perfect twist on the classical story of Atlantis. We definitely see that Sheppard does not lack …testicular fortitude. Nine out of ten people in his position would have put the shot through the head of the Wraith queen rather than releasing Sumner. A pity he didn’t use a burst to keep firing at her as well.
    One aspect of the show that amazes me is how petite the actresses on the Stargete franchise tend to be in real life. While neither Weir nor Teyla are exactly towering in the show, they both present enough strength of character to make it easy to overlook exactly how small (and even delicate) they are. As for Akemi’s commenting on Weir being old fashioned, well, she is a successful diplomat/politician in world affairs, which means she can’t stray too far out of what people expect to see without putting herself at an even bigger disadvantage in the “old boys club”. Weir was never one of my favorite characters, but through her run on the show my respect for her, and the actress playing her, increased steadily. I am betting it will be the same with Akemi.
    All in all, this was a solid pilot episode(s) for a new show, better than most out there. Now, off to watch the next episode before the Superbowl and what I guess I hope is a Broncos win. No reason for cheering them other than a coin flip, so I won’t be upset if they lose.

  2. As I’ve said before, I was initially cool towards SGA. While I was hoping for a new and exciting adventure we ended up with too many similar elements between SG1 and SGA:

    * Galaxy domineering species keeping the human population in a repressed technological state
    * English speaking humans
    * Non-Earthling recruited to the primary team by episode 2
    * Charismatic, wise cracking, anti-authoritarian hero

    Of course, I ended up loving the show and all the characters . . . even Jinto.

    My thoughts on Rising (I watched it on DVD which has it edited as one long episode):

    I always love it when we see someone find out about the Stargate program for the first time and the Antarctica sequence was a great way for Sheppard to be initiated. And then we had a double whammy with everyone arriving at a new place that had even the most seasoned Stargate travellers in awe.

    I don’t understand why 8 symbols enable you to travel to another galaxy. Surely the six symbols plus point of origin is plenty to get you anywhere in the universe. What does the 8th symbol actually signify?

    I love the multinationalistic nature of the Atlantis expedition. I spotted an Australian flag which made me happy. Although I’m sceptical that so many people from so many countries could be told about the Stargate and it still remain a secret.

    I was very excited by the Wraith concept. They were creepy and had a lot of potential. I was hoping that they would be revealed as the source of vampire stories back on Earth and that they would have similar qualities of being super strong, immortal, vicious bastards. Ultimately it turned out that the Wraith were egotistical, conniving, devious bastards very similar to the Goa’uld and, as a result, disappointing. Rather than all that yakking that whent on between the Wraith queen and Sumner I would have preferred it if she had gone straight up to him without a word and ripped his head off and sucked out his brain. THAT would have been cool!

    Speaking of Wraith queens, what happened to them? The Wraith species seems to be dominated with males. I’m sure we meet more females in later episodes but, on the whole, my memory is dominated with male wraiths.

    Anyway, I might sound overly negative but in reality Rising is a really strong pilot that does a great job of introducing the new characters and environment. Even if it didn’t have SG1’s shoulders to stand on I think it would have been a success.

    I have the Terms Of Enlistment audiobook queued up ready on my phone. I’ll start listening to it on the commute to work next week. I reckon it’ll take me about 2 weeks to get through it.

  3. My thoughts on Rising I and II. I still don’t know if the Ancient man in the first scene is angry at the Ancient lady or if that is his ‘trying not to cry’ face. My assumption is that he transported over to the city and took off into space, so it is possibly anguish over leaving her. Or, he could be mad because he, in fact, wasn’t chosen for the mission and scowls his disapproval in turn. Either way, I can’t tell, and that is an issue.

    My favorite line in both episodes is when the bespectacled science guy is in the puddle jumper bay with science guy #2 and says, “Spaceships!”, with an excited demeanor. Very endearing.

    My least favorite part is the Wraith Queen. Dull and predictable in what she will say and how she will say it. I never did think she was effective.

    It’s also interesting to see the difference between actors and their comfort level with their character. Our SG-1 friends look comfy, McKay looks to be in the middle, and the rest look to be not comfortable yet. Of course, this is a pattern followed by every show. It takes time to learn your character and grow with them over time. It’s just interesting to pick up on it after rewatching.

    Now for the music….I’m a musician, a brass player, so I love it when composers use French horns and bass trombones, and all other brass, in their works. I’m sure a lot of the music was electronically produced, but do you know if the theme was performed by a live orchestra? The music is solid…always has been in the Stargate episodes.

    I think that’s all I have for now. Have a good Super Bowl Sunday.

  4. I’m with you on the Seahawks. I don’t have any emotional tie to either team and I didn’t really care about Sherman’s trash talk. Trash talk sells newspapers; it doesn’t win games. The Seahawk defense is very good and more often then not, statistically it’s the stronger defense that wins Superbowls. I’m thinking it’s going to be closer though, at 28-21 Seattle.

    On the predictive models, given a 50-50 distribution, it is not uncommon to be right for 7 or 8 successive flips of the coin. In fact, one of the challenges my college statistics professor would do is to have the students either flip a coin a hundred times and write the results or make them up (without flipping), and turn the results in to him. He would then guess whether it was real or made up. Out of a class of thirty students he guessed them all correctly. The trick was that when people made up the results, they would often only go just a few heads or a few tails before they inverted the results. They in effect made their results “too random”. He would look for long (greater than 5) consecutive sequences that were the same and if he saw none, he would determine it was made up.

    As a result of this lesson, whenever I’m dealing with 50-50 propositions (the Superbowl, most sport match-ups, two-party elections), I tend to ignore those models that “have been right for the past seven” whatever. Statistically it is probable that they could arrive at the same results randomly and thus have no real predictive power.

    On re-watching Rising 2, I think I read yesterday that someone commented that the automatic release upon shield failure was a little too convenient. It never really bothered me though.

    The design of automated safety systems are often implemented as a “last possible measure” meaning that you try to give the benefit of the doubt to the operator, until it is clear that if corrective action is not taken immediately then damage will result. Automatic braking systems work this way. They don’t activate on every braking event, only on those events that are about to cause accidents. Atlantis’ release from the ocean floor falls into this category for me.

  5. What no Super Bowl chocolate?

    Rising II, again with the music I love it I do. The city coming up out of the water is magnificent. Sheppard figuring out the puddlejumper is priceless. It should have given him a ham sandwich at least!

  6. I predict the Seahawks win the Super Bowl. Nevermind the fact it’s 22 – 0 at halftime. That has nothing to do with it, I swear. 😉

  7. I have the game on mute and unmute it for the commercials, thats the way its supposed to be.,right,, Some of them are better than others of course. Thought it was going to be a shutout for a while. The groundhog and the super bowl on the same day, who does the scheduling?!?

  8. I’m celebrating the Super Bowl by watching Downton and Sherlock. It was a shock when the T-1000 doesn’t make it in Rising, one of many cool twists to come in SGA.

  9. You called the game better than most with a 10-point spread! But wow, what a blow-out. That was painful to watch on behalf of the Broncos. Your polite football dialog is hilarious. I thought the reaction to Sherman was ridiculous and racist. His ear-to-ear smile tonight was lovely to see.

  10. Seahawks blowout! Woohoo!
    Yeah, some playboy Sheppard(never sees it coming), Rodney is the one who got all the action!

    I don’t quite get comparing Sheppard to Eli though, wasn’t Eli the McKay like character in SGU?

  11. Sorry, Joe…I have failed you miserably. MISERABLY!

    I have forsaken the Wraith…yes, you heard me right. My sincerest apologies. At first I thought it would only be for a short while, just until this <i.Sherlock series was over. But then…then…guuuuuuuh! How do I confess this on your blog – in front of everyone??! It’s so…so…uggh. So personal. 😛

    Anyways…here goes…

    I have once again fallen under the spell of…ya know…

    Mr. Rochester. 😛

    This isn’t the first time I’ve fallen under his spell…and it surely won’t be the last, no matter the incarnation. I am just a sucker for miserable, broody, arseholes I suppose. 😛

    das

  12. I think that Torri Higginson is a very beautiful woman, and never noticed any problems with the hairstyle being dated, but I thought her clothes were always a bit frumpy, from the first time I watched the show.

    Jenny Horn I wasn’t going to say anything, but I thought the two Ancients might have been constipated.

    I love the whole “you can’t name things anymore” schtick.

    I think the series just gets better with every episode. Yes, I got bored and made it to episode 5, Suspicion. It takes the cast very little time to become cohesive and for everyone to get comfortable in their parts. I think the dialogue gets better. It more matches the characters. I suppose it’s more a case of the writers having a clearer idea of where they are going with the characters.

    Does each major character has a bible? How much does it change through out the series?

    I’ll never understand the passion some have for football. I find it interminable. Especially when there’s five minutes left on the clock but it winds up taking an hour and ten minutes to finish the game.
    If I want to be that bored I’d watch golf. Or bowling.

  13. The game – oh my…so sad. Really felt sorry watching the anguish on many faces and the game progressed.

    But, there were perks today – food – wings and pizza and other temptations plus Sherlock and of course our SGA redux.

    Absolutely just love the sight of Atlantis rising and the magnificent music…mesmerizing.

    As JeffW said – as a safety mechanism…and the Ancients certainly had a lot of magic in their bag of tricks. It was getting to almost the last minute so it was the last step to try to ensure survival. So the fail-safe would be rise even thought there was threats at the surface. Made no sense to just drown and not try to make a fight of it as needed.

    I can’t say I liked the wraith queen, but Andee Frizzell gave it a good go.

    One comment from Sheppard to Weir showed an emotional point for him. Regarding Sumner’s death, he said – I have to live with it.

  14. Hmm, Seahawks seemed to have very little trouble. Some of the (very) expensive advertisements were quite enjoyable -will the Clydesdale farmer wed the puppy, mill blonde next year? it would seem likely. The TurboTax kid knows that the prom queen is not for him, but, he’s still smart enough to do his own taxes.

  15. I’m thinking that Akemi is attracted to geeky sci-ency type guys. If this is the case, she probably won’t like Ronan…much.

    One of the best things about the very first episode that continued later on in the series was the bro-mance between McKay and Beckett. The two of them were awesome together. Many of the best lines were between the two of them. Who made the decision that McKay and Beckett would become friends? It was brilliant.

  16. I still have lingering remnants of the flu, so I just slept through a Shrek marathon rather than watch the game.

  17. Hello !
    mon épouse et moi avons revisionnés tous les épisodes SGA l’automne dernier car nous sommes terriblement en “manque” d’une bonne série de science-fiction (il n’y a plus rien à la TV) . Alors, je ne recommencerai pas tout de suite mais vais lire quotidiennement vos commentaires et ajoterai les miens de temps en temps. Au moins, cela fait du bien d’en parler !!

  18. If she thinks Atlantis is old fashioned then she’s going to struggle if she ever gets round to SG1…why watch it back to front anyway?..surely start at the beginning to get the backstory – or even the film – then continue the Seasons as they were shown in chronological order….

  19. Re arcticgoddesses’ comment on the bromance between McKay and Beckett, it’s funny but I never saw that to any great extent. I remember watching the emotional pier scene in Sunday wondering, “where in the heck did that come from?”
    Now McKay and Sheppard on the other hand….. LOL

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