Daniel Bryan’s retirement and the recent NFL concussion stories intersect in a way that leaves me feeling like a hypocrite

After months of speculation and a stream of glib, defensive sarcasm on part of WWE fans, we all have to finally admit that Daniel Bryan has retired from professional wrestling.

There’s a finality to that reality that wrestling fans simply aren’t used to. Such closure is uncomfortable, a squirming feeling that comes from an inability to tune in next week and see what happens next.

As fans wrestling fans we’re trained from the beginning to expect a payoff to come later. There’s always next week. A new episode of RAW. A new cycle to begin; a never-ending parade of emotion, fisticuffs, and twenty minute promos.

Perhaps that is why so many people were insistent that Bryan’s retirement had to be a story line. After all, everything else has been up for grabs as story material, even the “death” of Vince McMahon.

Alas, the show is over and the American Dragon has left the spotlight for the last time. Continue reading

Winning Your Oscar Pool in Three Easy Steps

Friend of the site and all around great person Claire McBroom has graced Backlog with her presence, bringing you, dear reader, surefire steps to winning your Oscar pool. Personally, I plan on picking ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ for everything. I think it is a sound strategy. – Will 

A few years ago, some of my most pop culture-obsessed friends and I started a yearly Oscar pool. None of us are professional entertainment or show biz types, and the stakes are low, but the thrill of the win is an incomparable high.

I should know — I’ve won more pools than any of my friends. I’m not bragging, this is just a statistical fact.

Ok, maybe I am bragging. It feels great. Continue reading

2016’s top 10 albums of 2015

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New Backlog contributor Noah Lamprecht has graced us with more 2015 lists. Thanks go to him, and enjoy. 

You’ve read all the lists at this point.

All. The. Lists.

Games, music, movies, TV shows, books… Whatever. Anymore we don’t know how to process the end of one year and the start of another without making a list of everything we did or didn’t enjoy.

And that’s fine. Continue reading

If a dryad wisps in the woods does anybody hear it?: A ‘Heroes of the Storm’ guide for Lunara

Do you hear that sound, mortals? It’s the call of the Earth, beckoning you back to Mother Gaia.

Err… Sorry. That was just my cell phone. False alarm.

Speaking of being one with the Earth: A new Heroes of the Storm Hero was added to the roster this week in the form of Lunara, World of Warcraft dryad and follower of Cenarius. Continue reading

Reaching mobile gaming’s “zone of zero spending” is a wonderful feeling

I won’t mince words: Mobile gaming is a gross, darkest timeline culmination.

This cesspool of micro-transactions, health packs on cool down timers, and $100 “best value” bundle packages must be the result of some dark voodoo within the gaming industry, cast long ago. It may even be a Life Is Strange scenario where a new, terrible timeline was created in the wake of one terrible decision.  Continue reading

Early impressions: Fallout 4 (PS4)

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One of the most worn out phrases in games journalism has to be “If you’re a fan.”

And why not? With the way game development works and the fact that sequels are far more likely to get the green light from a publisher than an untested property, it’s in the best interest of those companies to release things that they know will hit their consumer’s sweet spot.

Fallout 4 falls into this pit, for better and worse.

Continue reading