Categories
Sports Strength

Conor McGregor’s Next Fight, Everything We Know So Far

Earlier this year, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier fought for the second time, and the result was just as insane as the first. The first time around, Conor needed just 106 seconds to dismantle Poirier, and in the rematch, which took place in January, Poirier put McGregor to sleep in the second round. Next month, the two will meet for the third time to finally settle the score. Before UFC 264 takes place, here’s everything you need to know.

Date & Time

The fight will take place at UFC 264 on July 10th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. As with most UFC PPVs, the main card will start at 10 PM EST, which means Conor and Dustin will likely fight a little bit before midnight. You can watch it on ESPN.

How To Purchase Tickets

This is a Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas in the summer right after fans have been deprived of that sort of environment, so naturally, ticket prices are a fortune. The prices range from $500 to $10,000 and of course, they’re going very quickly. You can get tickets here at AXS.

How Conor McGregor Is Preparing

The story of the rematch is that Conor McGregor came in only worrying about boxing because his large plans included a fight with Manny Pacquiao next. For this reason, the wrestling and leg kicks caught him off guard and were a big part of why he got finished. In his own words, “a little single disciplined in my approach and stance with mostly boxing.” However, framing things this way isn’t fair to Dustin Poirier even if it’s true. That’s why it’s so great that we’re getting the trilogy fight, so everything can be settled.

Don’t be fooled by Conor’s “shooting ass shelling ass bitch” and “little bitch kicks from a shell” comments from Twitter a few months ago. It’s important to remember that coming into his rematch with Nate Diaz, leg kicks were a big part of his game. Through all of his vintage trash talk, even though it doesn’t always seem like it, Conor McGregor undoubtedly respects all aspects of mixed martial arts and will use any and every tool he needs to take the win in July.

Considering how compromised Conor’s front leg was in their first fight, properly defending against Poirier’s leg kicks will be key. It’s very likely that Dustin will test Conor’s defense in the opening minutes of the fight. When Dustin appeared on Teddy Atlas’ podcast last month, Teddy gave him the tip of feinting the leg kick and getting a big reaction from Conor, who’ll be overly cautious about them too, so this is going to be a chess game from every aspect.

In terms of his own offense, McGregor did have success with boxing early on in the fight. His timing and accuracy are still some of the best we’ve ever seen in the sport. A change that Conor could make for this third fight that could be crucial is making kicks a bigger part of his attack, although his gas tank likely can’t support a kick-heavy attack for anything close to 25 minutes.

That’s what to look out for in terms of physical changes within the fight, but it’s worth noting that we could see a different attitude from Conor next month too. In February, Conor made a point of going to both Twitter and Instagram to post “No more Mr. nice guy,” potentially pointing to his friendly nature going into the rematch and how it could have affected his mentality. The lead-up to this fight has already been meaner than the first, with the tweets the two traded a few months ago.

How Much Conor McGregor Is Getting Paid

It’s tough to say how much Conor will be paid until after the estimated numbers come out after the fight, but we can make an educated guess based on his past purses. For his last few fights before the second Poirier fight, Conor was getting a base pay of $3 million, but for the rematch at UFC 257, he was guaranteed $5 million. It’s probably safe to assume that the Irishman will make either the same or slightly less for this bout, considering he’s coming in off of a loss.

Categories
Sneakers Style

5 Sneakers To Watch Out For the Weekend of June 19th

What’s up sneaker family! I see we are still on the quiet side, but I’ll chalk that up to us enjoying our lives and being back outside. This is actually the most excited I’ve been in a while about drops, and I’m thinking I may get back out there in terms of trying to get new releases. How about y’all? There are a lot of cool releases to look forward to over the weekend, and I’m not going to waste any more time rambling. So let’s take a look at what we got.

1. Union x Air Jordan “Desert Moss”
GOAT
Union x Jordan

Release Date: 6/20

Whew! These bad boys are absolutely sick. Releasing to commemorate Union’s 30th anniversary, Union and Jordan did their thing on these, and I love the way the green laces contrast against the yellow upper. You could also swap the green laces for white to create a totally different look. I’ll even go on a limb and say that because of the yellow/purple mixes, this could even be a great shoe for Lakers fans. Imagine how these sneakers will look with a Lakers jersey. Fire right?

BUY NOW, $999
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Funion-la-x-air-jordan-4-retro-desert-moss-dc9533-desert-moss
2. Union x Air Jordan “Taupe Haze”
GOAT
Jordan x Union

Release Date: 6/20

Might as well, right? Same shoe, different color. Some people aren’t fond of bold colors, so for those that like to live life on the boring side (kidding), these Unions are probably the better choice. They can be paired with just about anything, and again, I think a lace swap would change the entire appearance of the shoe. That’s the beauty of sneakers, you can create any look you want.

BUY NOW, $850
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Funion-la-x-air-jordan-4-retro-taupe-haze-dc9533-taupe-haze
3. Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 “Mono Ice”
GOAT
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 “Mono Ice”

Release Date: 6/18

Ladies and gentlemen this is a first. If you have been reading my blog since the beginning, then you know Yeezys are a hit or miss for me. It’s not that I dislike them, it’s just that sometimes I have a hard time trying to figure out how they could potentially pair with my wardrobe. For the first time ever, I am totally and completely sold. I am a huge fan of any blue monochromatic  sneaker, and while the color is subtle, it still pops. 10/10.

BUY NOW, $329
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Fyeezy-boost-350-v2-mono-ice-yzy-350-v2-mono-ice
4. Nike KD 14 “Deep Royals”
GOAT
KD Deep Royals

Release Date: 6/19

KD had himself a monster game the other night, so it’s only right that we show some love to the new KD 14s. I think KD has some of the most creative sneakers on the market, and he is never afraid to experiment with colors, designs, and patterns. The ‘Deep Royals” literally look like a painting that belongs in a museum. I’m totally going to get these shoes, not to wear, but to frame and hang in my house (seriously).

BUY NOW, $179
https://go.skimresources.com?id=27667X1584577&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goat.com%2Fsneakers%2Fkd-14-ep-deep-royal-cz0170-400
5. Maison Margiela x Reebok
Sneaker News
Maison Margiela x Reebok

Release Date: 6/18

I know. This isn’t a weekend release, but I couldn’t help it. Look at these! Do you see the masterpiece that we are looking at? Maison Margiela and Reebok always come together to create great sneakers, but I don’t think they have ever done anything like this. Bruh! If you can’t tell I am super hyped for these. Definitely one of the best shoes of 2021 so far.

BUY NOW, $500
https://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=687298&b=450685&m=45519&urllink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reebok.com%2Fus%2Fmaison-margiela-classic-leather-tabi-high-shoes%2FGX5040.html&afftrack=.NDE2MDEwLTA.994f2232-ceee-11eb-8521-77edbae7257a

That’s going to do it for this week. As usual you can find me on Instagram and Twitter. See y’all next week! 

Categories
Culture Trading Cards

The Top 10 USA Basketball Cards to Look Out for on eBay

Baseball might be known as “America’s pastime,” but basketball is truly the sport the U.S. dominates in international play. The United States men’s basketball team has won medals in all 18 Olympics that they’ve competed in, taking home 15 golds.

In 1988, our final “amateur” teamwhich featured future NBA players Dan Majerle, Stacey Augmon, Danny Manning, J.R. Reid, Mitch Richmond, Charles Smith and David Robinsonshockingly lost to Russia in the semifinals and wound up winning the bronze medal, the worst finish ever for the U.S. team in International play at the time.

In April of 1989, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) amended the rules stating that NBA players were not allowed to play in the Olympics, giving way to the 1992 “Dream Team” that featured 11 eventual Hall of Famers including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing.

That squad, thought of as the greatest sports team ever assembled, famously dominated their opponents by an average of 44 points en route to winning the gold medal against Croatia.

The 1996 and 2000 teams also won the gold. But after disappointing showings in the 2002 World Championships (6th place) and the 2004 Olympics (bronze medal), stars such as Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony announced their commitment to play in the 2006 World Championships and the 2008 Olympics, where they would be nicknamed the “Redeem Team.” In Beijing, they went 8-0 and brought the gold medal back to the United States, beating Spain 118-107 in the final game.

The 2012 and 2016 teams also captured the gold, sending the 2021 squad to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics as winners of six of the last seven games. Will they again step up on the international stage and make it seven out of eight? They are strong favorites, currently sitting at -305 to win the gold at Draft Kings, with Serbia and Spain their closest competition both at +800.

Trading cards and collectibles that feature these gold medal teams remain extremely popular in the hobby. With the upcoming Tokyo Olympics set to kick off in late July, will memories and nostalgia drive prices up? That remains to be seen. However, while these stars typically play for a team that represents just one city, every four years for just a few weeks, the entire country roots for them. As you’ll see from the list below, there are some really cool USA Basketball cards out there that can be found on eBay if you’re feeling patriotic!

1. 2014 Panini Flawless Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant & Chris Paul Auto /20 BGS 9 – $14,400
https://www.ebay.com/itm/353418012226?hash=item52495ae642%3Ag%3A0asAAOSw3R5gS97O&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

This card features one Hall of Famer (Kobe) and two players who are sure to be inducted once their storied careers come to an end. To have all three of their autographs on the same card is extremely unique. In fact, only 20 of them were produced.

One thing I do find a bit strange about this card is that Kobe signed his name above Kevin Durant’s text, while Durant signed his name by Kobe’s text. However, with a $14,400 sold listing attached to it, it doesn’t appear the buyer was too concerned about that quirk.

Shop Flawless USA Basketball Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=flawless+usa+basketball+&_sacat=0
2. 2018-19 Panini Flawless Kobe Bryant USA Basketball Signatures Auto /25 – $8,888
https://www.ebay.com/itm/154455313895?hash=item23f6410de7%3Ag%3AnFcAAOSwSrxgoJpe&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

This card is absolutely gorgeous, featuring Kobe going up for a reverse jam. Numbered to just 25, it’s no surprise that it sold for $8,888 (a nice touch by the buyer with all of those jersey #8’s).

Flawless is one of the most high-end, well-designed products that Panini produces. They knocked this one out of the park.

Shop Kobe Bryant USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=kobe+bryant+usa+basketball&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=flawless+usa+basketball+&_osacat=0
3. 2012 Panini Prizm LeBron James USA PSA 10 – $7,601
https://www.ebay.com/itm/402759446319?hash=item5dc6556f2f%3Ag%3ADiEAAOSwCZZgV8wy&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

2012 was the first year that Panini Prizm basketball was produced, and they honored the gold medal-winning 2012 USA Basketball team with a special insert in the set. There are also silver, green (retail) and gold (#/10) Prizm parallels of these cards.

This particular LeBron James card is a PSA 10 Silver Prizm with a population of just (6).

Shop LeBron James USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=lebron+james+usa+basketball&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=kobe+bryant+usa+basketball&_osacat=0
4. 1986 Star Michael Jordan 1984 Olympian BGS 9.5 – $2,524.95
https://www.ebay.com/itm/254960674039?hash=item3b5cd724f7%3Ag%3AtzkAAOSw72Zgitze&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

The Star Company is most known for its 1984-85 set that featured the first NBA-licensed cards of Michael Jordan, pre-dating the iconic 1986 Fleer set.

You won’t find Star cards that are graded by PSA, as only Beckett will authenticate and grade them. The 1985-86 set that this particular card came from was Star’s final set and was short printed, making this “1984 Olympian” card extremely rare with just (167) BGS 9’s, (119) 9.5’s and no 10’s in the population.

Shop Michael Jordan USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Michael+Jordan+usa+basketball&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=michael+jordan+uda+basketball
5. 1993 Upper Deck SE Michael Jordan USA Trade PSA 10 – $1,295
https://www.ebay.com/itm/224398603005?hash=item343f32f2fd%3Ag%3AzB0AAOSwRVdgbQBe&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

This 24-card set was only available by exchanging an Upper Deck SE USA Trade Card which was randomly inserted in one out of every 360 packs. This set was a preview of the upcoming 1994 Upper Deck set that featured the players selected to play on “Dream Team II” as well as 11 players from the original “Dream Team.”

Only 50 of these cards have ever been graded with just (12) receiving PSA 10’s. The $1,295 price tag is not surprising. It’s Michael Jordan. It’s rare. It’s gonna do numbers.

Shop Michael Jordan USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Michael+Jordan+usa+basketball&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=michael+jordan+uda+basketball
6. 2012 Panini Prizm James Harden USA PSA 10 – $898
https://www.ebay.com/itm/143984791692?hash=item218629908c%3Ag%3AlGYAAOSwn-dgV8wz&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

Harden received one of the two final roster spots on the 2012 gold medal-winning team along with Blake Griffin (who was later replaced by Anthony Davis after injuring his knee). He didn’t play a significant role, however, averaging just 5.5 points per game in London.

Like the aforementioned LeBron James 2012 Prizm USA card, this James Harden silver Prizm parallel PSA 10 is extremely rare, with a population of just (5). While the $898 price tag is steep, if you like this card you can find raw (ungraded) copies for about $40.

Shop James Harden USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=James+harden+usa+basketball&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=Michael+Jordan+usa+basketball&_osacat=0
7. 2019 Panini Mosaic Stephen Curry Genesis USA PSA 10 – $836
https://www.ebay.com/itm/353418952318?hash=item5249693e7e%3Ag%3A2-8AAOSwYGJgTQ%7Eh&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

What’s interesting and unique about this card is that Stephen Curry never actually played for the United States in the Olympics. However, he did win gold medals with USA Basketball in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2007 Global Games and is a finalist to compete in the Olympics this year. He had to withdraw from the 2016 games in Brazil because of injury concerns.

The PSA 10 population on this card is just (30), and with Curry’s popularity combined with the rarity and beauty of this Genesis parallel, I think this card has plenty of upside.

Shop Steph Curry USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Stephen+curry+usa+basketball&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=James+harden+usa+basketball&_osacat=0
8. 2017 Panini Flawless Kevin Durant Team USA On Card Auto /25 – $820
https://www.ebay.com/itm/373566240776?hash=item56fa487808%3Ag%3ArDQAAOSwxqBgS8Al&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

Durant absolutely dominated the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, winning the 2016 “USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year” Award alongside co-captain Carmelo Anthony.

During the tournament, he shot 57.8 percent from the field (52-90), 58.1 percent from 3-point (25-43) and 81.3 percent from the line (26-32) en route to his second gold medal.

This card features an on-card auto and is numbered to just 25, but Durant’s market is currently free-falling. While that’s not a good thing if you already hold his cards, it presents an interesting buy-low opportunity if you’re looking to pick one up!

Shop Kevin Durant USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=Kevin+durant+usa+basketball&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=Stephen+curry+usa+basketball&_osacat=0
9. 1991 Skybox USA Dream Team Set of 3 PSA 10 – $750
https://www.ebay.com/itm/303952048786?hash=item46c4f43292%3Ag%3AQ%7E8AAOSwTkhgb6lK&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

I was 12 years old when this set came out, and at the peak of my card-collecting days. I remember how cool I thought it was that you had to assemble a “poster” out of three separate cards that I was chasing in packs. I had the left one and right one thumbtacked to my wall, and ripped what seemed to be an endless number of packs before finally landing the middle piece to the puzzle.

Thirty years later, the thought of picking up all three of these cards slabbed as PSA 10’s seems really cool. It won’t be easy to pull off, as the populations on these cards are low, especially the left side (#544) with Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley and David Robinsonthere are only (175) of them. I wish I saw this listing sooner!

Shop 1991 Skybox USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=1991+skybox+usa+&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=dream+team+usa+basketball&_osacat=0
10. 1991-92 Skybox USA Dream Team Barcelona Card PSA 10 – $699
https://www.ebay.com/itm/143986140499?hash=item21863e2553%3Ag%3AseQAAOSwUuRgMI–&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
eBay

This is another piece of “Dream Team” history, with just (49) of these graded as PSA 10’s in the population. It features Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Patrick Ewing on the front and Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Karl Malone and David Robinson on the back.

The gold foil border and flag in the background really makes this card pop. With all of those Hall of Famers on one card, and with a population that low, how could you go wrong?

Shop 1991 Skybox USA Cards!
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=1991+skybox+usa+&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=dream+team+usa+basketball&_osacat=0

Categories
Sports Strength

Portugal’s Youth Will Smoothly Transition the Post-Ronaldo Era

When you think about the teams Portugal has produced over the years, past or present, your mind immediately turns to Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portguese captain has dominated for both club and country over the years, with the current group of players being some of the best Portugal has taken to a tournament for a very long time. 

The current depth of this Portguese National Team is quite remarkable. You have young talent after young talent, with a large majority playing top level football in Europe and almost all of them being major focal points for their respective teams. 

But it hasn’t always been like this. 

A young 19 year old CR7 made his Major Tournament debut for Portugal at the 2004 Euros, hosted on home soil. Inexperienced and heavily hyped after his move to Manchester United, Ronaldo was in a team considered to be the “Golden Generation” of Portuguese football, lead by none other than Luis Figo. 

Considering it was his debut tournament, leaving with two goals and two assists was nothing to be ashamed of, however his performance was overshadowed by the feel good story of Greece winning the tournament (unless you are a fan of Portugal of course). 

While the footage of Ronaldo crying after the full time loss in the Final will forever be remembered, you can look back and safely say the whole experience combined with that single result taught him a valuable lesson, and I have no doubt that it shaped him into the player and person he is today. 

A New Era

The changing of the guard didn’t exactly go as planned for the National Team. 

In 4 major tournaments (2010/14 WC and Euro 2008/12)  Portugal made a single Semi-Final appearance in this 6 year span, with the worst of it coming at the 2014 World Cup, where they failed to make it out of their group. 

For most nations, reaching the Semi-Final would be seen as a success, but for this country, with a man who many consider to be the GOAT, it’s simply not good enough. 

The obvious star player for Portugal was Ronaldo, but every one of these squads had quality players from top leagues around the world. Rui Patricio in goals, an elite centre back partnership consisting of Pepe and either Ricardo Carvalho or Bruno Alves, 

A midfield with Joao Moutinho And Raul Meireles, leaving Nani to assist the main man in attack. The best part about it was almost every one of them had played with at least one other at club level before or during this six year period.

You would think being familiar with the people around you is a good thing, but maybe the lack of fresh faces negatively impacted the team. Whether it was the coaching or indeed the players, the simple fact is the teams representing Portugal during this time should have produced a lot more than they did.

Euro 2016 Triumph And Euro 2020 Chances

Those that watched the 2016 final would no doubt have felt a sense of Deja Vu when Ronaldo got injured, but while the emotional scenes were identical to the 2004 final, the result this time around was positive. Credit has to be given to all of Portugal’s squad that day because even with Ronaldo, France had the better side both on paper and on the pitch. 

After Fernando Santos took over post 2014 World Cup, the team has played with confidence, knowing that almost every player on the pitch is capable of playing attacking football. They’ve won it before and they can do it again, but how good really is this squad Portugal have taken to Euro 2020.

The two starting 11s above are from the Euro 2016 final (left) and my expected starting 11 for Portugal in their first group game (right). Premier League Player Of The Year Ruben Dias along with his Man City team mate Joao Cancelo in defence are huge upgrades.

Diogo Jota has been a goalscoring machine for both club and country while Bernardo Silva is exceptional with the ball at his feet. 

The sheer amount of depth on the bench is a scary sight for any team playing Portugal.  Joao Felix hasn’t exactly lived up to his $136 million price tag, but the ability for him to most likely come off the bench and impact the game is a welcome sight. 

The likes of Andre Silva and Renato Sanches, once hyped youngsters and starters for the National Team have both had amazing seasons and will no doubt add to this team if called upon. 

The one player besides Ronaldo who’s impact for this team is vital is Bruno Fernandes. Whether it’s to do with the system or added pressure, he simply isn’t the same player at international level as he is for Man United. 

In his two previous seasons at United, Bruno has contributed 94 times in 108 games, whereas in his 29 appearances for Portugal, he has only just 9. The quality he possesses is obvious, but it’s time for Fernandes to show it on the world stage. 

So what exactly are Portugal’s chances of going back-to-back and how far can they really go? First, they will have to make it out of the “Group of Death” consisting of current World Cup champions France, Germany and Hungary. 

Realistically their chances of making it out are high. I have Portugal finishing 2nd behind France and if all things go to plan (which never happens in these tournaments) I have England winning their group to set up a tough Round Of 16 matchup between the two. 

With 2022 World Cup qualifying still in progress it’s unknown what will be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last major tournament, but sadly by the end of one of them, at 36 years old,  it will most likely be the end of the road for his international career. 

No one will ever be able to replace him in this team, but the new era of Portugal will be just as exciting as the old one.

Categories
Culture Gaming

Rich and Lonely and Team Summertime Launch Custom Trading Card

Inspired by the viral popularity of Pokemon cards, CREATE and Team Summertime launched their very own Pokemon inspired metal trading card earlier today, a collaboration with former Call of Duty player MBoZe’s clothing brand, Rich and Lonely.

The release featured Rich and Lonely’s iconic mascot “Richie”, a cartoon Shiba Inu puppy, surfing with the word “CREATE” written next to his head in a cloud. Only 200 of these cards were produced and demand was high, as they sold out in a matter of minutes.

“Our original plan was to produce regular cards and some holos, and give them away with the purchase of a shirt, but we decided to print them on metal instead,” said CREATE founder and CEO Aaron Create.

Pokemon has had quite a year, with February 27th marking the 25th Anniversary of the launch of the brand. Prices of Pokemon cards have skyrocketed in the last twelve months, hitting their peak in early February before retreating a bit of late. However, that hasn’t slowed down the brand’s popularity in mainstream culture, as evidenced by Logan Paul recently sporting a Charizard necklace on the way to the ring in his mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather.

The Pokemon-inspired cards are definitely the most unique piece of merch dropped by the OpTic affiliated crews today, but for those who want to rock something from the two crews, they also released a collection of tee shirts and long sleeves that feature the same graphics available at createsupply.com. At the time of this writing, some of the gear is still available! But supplies are limited.

Aaron Create

We’ve got our eyes on the tee with the card graphic, but they also released a more traditionally Rich and Lonely branded tee, which features a dead-eyed “Richie” and his beach ball.

Aaron Create

Esports orgs drop a lot of branded merchandise for their fans, but by incorporating the cards element as well, RNL and TST have managed to capture the attention of both esports aficionados and collectible enthusiasts alike. 

Categories
Sneakers Style

The 30 Best Air Max Releases

When it comes to the Nike family of sneakers, we hear a lot of talk about Air Jordans, Dunk, Forces, and the many collaborations that Nike has produced through the years. However, there is one sneaker that is super impactful, but more on the quiet side when it comes to “hype.” In our opinion, Air Maxes are extremely underrated at times. Sure the 95s and 97s have gotten numerous name drops in classic Hip-Hop tracks, but let’s be honest, when is the last time you heard someone mention the latest Air Max release in a song? Exactly. Today we are here to change that. We are going to be showing love to some of the best drops in Air Max history, while also showing some love to the newer sneakers that may have slipped under your radar. Let’s get started.

30. Nike Air Max 1 “Evolution of Icons”
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Nike Evolution of Icons

Release Date: March 2021

Let’s start with this new iteration of the “Icons” that were released on National Air Max Day in March. The white and grey suede overlays made this futuristic shoe a killer, as they paid tribute to past Air Max classics.

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29. Warhawk Air Max
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Warhawk Air Max

Release Date: 2007

Released in 2007, the “Warhawks” remain one of the most celebrated Air Max releases. Inspired by the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the colorway pays tribute to the World War II planes used by the U.S. Air Force. The “Warhawks” are still a coveted release with a current starting price of $4,425. These sneakers are a valuable collectors item for sure.

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28. CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death”
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CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death”

Release Date: March 2021

This release could end up going down as the second-most anticipated of 2021 (the “Bacons” remain the most hyped of 2021 thus far in our opinion). This CLOT x Nike collaboration was an eye-catching collaboration with a sick neutral tan color schematic that offered cutting edge and comfortable versatility.

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27. Nike Air Max “Lunar 90”
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Nike Air Max Lunar 90

Release Date: July 2014

Talk about a throwback. The “Lunar 90s” aka “Lunar Landings” were an extravagant shoe that dropped in the summer of 2014 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. The shoe featured 3M reflective detailing on the upper, and an outer space moonwalk theme scattered through the sneaker to give it an “inter-galactic” look.

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26. Nike Air Max “Dia de Muertos”
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Nike Air Max “Dia de Muertos”

Release Date: October 2020

Another recent release, the “Dia de Muertos” celebrated the Day of the Dead holiday with a vibrant mixture of colors and graphic patterns. This was a very festive shoe that was actually slightly pricier than your standard Air Max, and the shoe can still be found on resell markets such as GOAT.

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25. Off White x Air Max 97 OG “The Ten”
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Off White x Air Max 97 OG “The Ten”

Release Date: November 2018

In November 2018, Virgil Abloh and Nike linked to create the Air Max 97 OG “The Ten,” a progressive shoe that could very well be among the most beautiful 97s to ever be created. The translucent upper was a unique feature that made the shoe an instant eye-catcher. It’s not everyday that you see translucent sneakers, and “The Tens” still remain a hot commodity nearly three years after their release.

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24. Nike Air Max “Taxi”
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Nike Air Max Taxi

Release Date: March 2021

This is an editor’s pick. The Air Max “Taxi” sneakers were an interesting take on NYC culture. While the bold yellow colorway makes it harder to pair than more neutral colors, there are still a lot of looks that can come out of this shoe. You can pair these with solid black or white joggers, and a hoodie/t-shirt. It’s up to you depending on your style and mood.

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23. Supreme X Nike Air Max 96 Metallic Silver
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Supreme X Nike Air Max 96 Metallic Silver

Release Date: May 2021

This whole sneaker screams mid 1990s Missy Elliot music video, and we’re here for it. The silver and red mixes were dope on this colorway, and once again the futuristic vibe took things to the next level in what was another fire Supreme and Nike collaboration.

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22. Nike Men’s Air Max 270 Shoes
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Nike Air Max 270

Release Date: Unknown

Everybody needs a classic, and these fit the bill nicely. While not the most dynamic Air Max in the bunch, the grey university red/white is a cool shoe with a nice overall design (and perfect for anybody who attended/attends a school with red, white, and grey colors). The 270s in general are a great casual sneaker for store runs, days at the park, and even the gym.

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21. Nike Air Max London “City Pack”
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Nike Air Max London “City Pack”

Release Date: February 2020

The Air Max London “City Packs” paid tribute to postmen and postwomen with the solid red upper, orange overlays, and yellow patches. Despite being released over a year go, this iteration of the Air Max is still very successful, as the value is still high.

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20. Nike Air Max 90 Classic
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Nike Air Max 90 Classic

Release: 1990

If you are new to the Air Max game, then you should start with the classics. They are simple, but simplicity is key sometimes with sneakers. The all-white colorway is the Air Max version of the Air Force 1s. Clean, crisp, and comfortable. Consider picking up a pair if you haven’t already.

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19. Nike Air Max 90 “Infrared”
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Nike Air Max Infrared

Release Date: 2015

Originally released in 2015, the “Infrared” made waves for it’s cooler tones, and red/white mixtures. The grey overlays really made the shoe pop, making the “Infrareds” one of the go-to Air Maxes.

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18. Nike Women’s Air Max 97 “Orange”
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Nike Air Max Orange

Release Date: Unknown

Some people are fans of 97s, others are not. Regardless of your preference, this is a good statement sneaker with its bright orange color, and 97s tend to be on the comfortable side as well. If orange isn’t your preference, then there are plenty of other 97s to choose from.

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17. Nike Air 90 “Premium”
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Nike Air 90 “Premium”

Release Date: Unknown

A fly comfortable shoe dressed in a “Midnight Navy” colorway. The “Premiums” are your average AM 90s, but with a university theme.

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16. Nike Air Max 1 LV8 “Obsidian”
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Nike Obsidian

Release Date: 1/22

Re-releasing in January, Nike offered a fresh take on this new edition of this legendary silhouette. Decked out in a wolf grey colorway, the “Obsidian” also sports a futuristic design and style with its white leather upper and chunky outsole. Not only is this a good beginner shoe, but it’s also a great collectors sneaker for the veterans.

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15. Nike Air Max 90 “Valentines Day”
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Nike Air Max Valentines

Release Date: February 2021

These also caused quite a stir at the beginning of the year. In short, sneakerheads were looking for a nice romantic themed shoe to surprise their loved ones with, and they got their wish with the “Valentines Day” iteration of the 90s. The shoes were designed to look like flowers, pink and red candies, and any other item that represents love. These sold out pretty quickly upon its original release, and while the shoes are definitely festive, you can also wear them for other occasions.

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14. Nike Men’s Air Max Atmos “Elephant”
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Nike Men’s Air Max Atmos “Elephant”

Release Date: March 26th, 2016

Introduced on National Air Max Day in 2016, the “Elephants” featured a beautiful animal print complete with white panels that contrasted with a black upper, and a green Nike swoosh to finish the look. The “Elephants” are still highly sought after, and select sizes can be found via the resell market.

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13. Huf x Nike Air Max 90
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Huf x Nike Air Max 90

Release Date: Varies

Nike and Huf have come together on multiple occasions to create some pretty fire collaborations. While we don’t have a favorite colorway (all have been great), which you choose is all about your personal preferences or what you are feeling style wise at the moment. Whichever you choose is up to you, but just know that you will be getting a great shoe.

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12. Nike x Skepta
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Nike Air Skepta

Release Date: Varies

Similar to the Huf collaboration, there are plenty of colorway options available from the Nike x Skepta partnership. While all of their releases have been stellar, our personal favorites are the new“Tailwind” colorways which dropped on June 12th. Designed to look like a spider, these were pretty dope take on the traditional Air Maxes.

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11. Undefeated x Nike Air Max
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Undefeated x Nike Air Max

Release Date: Varies

Undefeated and Nike teaming up seemed like a no-brainer as both are known for their cultural influence. There are multiple colorways available from their partnership, but the “Black Militia Greens” from 2020 seem to be the most popular. It’s a little bit harder to get sneakers from this collaboration because it is Undefeated. However you could luck out depending on which size you wear.

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10. Comme Des Garcons x Nike Air Max
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Comme Des Garcons x Nike Air Max

Release Date: January 2020

Comme Des Garcons and Nike have been frequent collaborators for years, mixing couture and classic streetwear in its releases. The two have partnered on many drops in recent years, and there are plenty of sneakers for fans to choose from in their collection. Making their debut during Paris Fashion Week, the “Greys” are an eye-catching sneaker with an interesting take on 95s.

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9. Nike x Air Max “Silver Bullet”
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Nike Silver Bullet

Release Date: January 2020

The definition of “chrome spinning,” the “Silver Bullets” remain an Air Max classic. The silver mesh upper and white leather overlays really take this shoe to the next level, and are some of the most fashion forward 97s on the market.

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8. Clerks x Nike Air Max
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Nike x Clerks

Not much needs to be said about these. The “Clerks” are among the highest selling Air Maxes in Nike history, and noted for their taupe suede design, and color patterns. These shoes are still pretty difficult to come by, with many resellers only having select sizes available, proving their demand.

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7. Chlorophyll Nike Air Max
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Chlorophyll Nike Air Max

Release Date: 2020

An earthy shoe, the “Chlorophylls” were released in celebration of the retro runners 30th anniversary. The shoe featured a breathable white mesh, grey suede overlays, and a black leather mudguard. This is a great shoe for anyone who is a fan of the outdoors.

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6. Kidrobot x Nike Air Max
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Nike x Kid Robot

Release Date: February 2005

Talk about highly coveted. The “Kidrobots” dropped in 2005, and were designed to match the Kidrobot Maserati Quattroporte III Royal of 1986. If these shoes sounded like royalty, it’s because they were, and honestly the “Kidrobots” are among the most beautiful Air Maxes ever created.

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5. Travis Scott x Nike Air Max
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Travis Scott x Nike Air Max

Release Date: 2020

Travis Scott and Nike linked up last year to drop the “Cactus Trail 270s,” in what was a pretty dope release. By now you should know that everything Travis Scott touches turns to gold, and these sneakers were no different. You can still grab a pair (both new and used) for a relatively reasonable price.

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4. Nike Air Max 90s Kaws
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Nike Air

Release Date: Unknown

Hard to find and hard to come buy. Kaws is something of a Nike national treasure, and is one of the most sought after Nike’s of all-time. Released in 2008, the “Volts” came with the choice of either a black or white colorways, and are a reminder of a simpler time in sneaker history.

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3. Cork x Nike Air Max
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Cork x Nike Air Max

Release: Unknown

The “Coconut Milk” were a nice variation of what we were normally used to from Air Max releases. The tropical island design instantly reminded you of one of those fancy drinks that you get on vacation, and from a visual standpoint, these were stunning. The coconut Nike swoosh were a unique touch, making this a must cop for any Nike/Air Max fan.

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Atmost x Nike “Animal Supreme”
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Nike Animal Supreme

Taking it way back to 2018, the Animal Pack was a pretty cool release that was a reflection of the times (animal prints were a staple of mid 2000s fashion). In addition to the leopard print, there was also a leopard, zebra, and tiger variation available for your choosing. The designs were inspired by Nike and Atmos’ original collaboration from 2006, but modernized to fit current popular culture and styles.

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Nike x DQM “Bacon”
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Nike Air Max “Bacon”

The ‘Bacons’ are arguably one of the most sought-after Air Maxes of all time. Bringing back the iconic 2005 design, the “Bacons” re-released this year on National Air Max Day, and were extremely hyped. It’s always nice to see a retro sneaker make it’s way back, and the “Bacons” were quickly snatched up.

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Categories
Sports Strength

Longest Unbeaten Runs in National Team History

The Italian National Team is on the brink of breaking into a very exclusive group, those to go 30 or more matches unbeaten in international competitions.

Roberto Mancini’s side currently sits at 28 games unbeaten and they are trying to chase down several squads that featured legends of the game, including Brazil’s team from the 1990s and Spain’s squad in the 2000s. 

When Italy won the 2006 World Cup in Germany after beating France on penalty kicks, the Azzurri were in the midst of a 25-game unbeaten streak.

Both of those squads would go on to win a World Cup within a year of their record-breaking streaks. Spain and Brazil sit atop the list at 35 matches without a loss, a simply astounding record when considering some of the teams they went up against.

Today, we’re looking at five national teams that this current Italian team are trying to chase down in the history books.

Italy National Team – 28 Matches
Oct. 10, 2018 – Current
BSR Agency/Getty Images

The Azzurri are in the midst of their second-best run to date at the international level, trailing only the Italy side in the 1930s that rattled off 30 straight matches unbeaten. Roberto Mancini’s group features Lorenzo Insigne, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Nicolo Barella, and the Azzurri have yet to concede a goal in their last nine matches.

Italy National Team – 30 Matches

Oct. 24, 1935 – July 20, 1939

It’s taken nearly 72 years for the current Italy team to come close to a record of this stature despite winning the World Cup in 2006 and reaching a final in 1994. The Italian teams of the 1930s were guided by Vittorio Pozzo, who helped lead the Azzurri to two consecutive World Cup wins in 1934 and 1938.

France National Team – 30 Matches
Feb. 16, 1994 – Nov. 30, 1996
Claudio Villa Archive

The timing of France’s run is quite surprising when considering the fact that Les Bleus actually missed out on the 1994 World Cup in the United States after failing to qualify. Les Bleus put together a tremendous run of form though over the better part of two-and-a-half years and it ultimately set them up for success in 1998 when they would hoist the World Cup on home soil.

Argentina National Team – 31 Matches

Feb. 19, 1991 – Aug. 8, 1993

It’s hard to remember a time in Argentina before Lionel Messi, but this was the case with the Albiceleste sides of the 1990s. While Diego Maradona played a minor role for Argentina, Gabriel Batistuta was the star of those Argentina teams, helping his country win back-to-back Copa America titles in 1991 and 1993.

Brazil National Team – 35 Matches
Feb. 16, 1993 – Jan. 18, 1996
Aubrey Washington/EMPICS via Getty Images

Brazil’s reign as one of the top footballing nations has been steady throughout its history, with very few periods where they lacked success. The Selecao’s play in the 1990s was quite impressive though, with teams that featured Ronaldo, Rivlado, Dunga and Cafu. Brazil would win the 1994 World Cup in the United States during the height of their streak, after progressing through the tournament allowing just three goals.

Spain National Team – 35 Matches

Feb. 7, 2007 – June 20, 2009

Xavi. Andres Iniesta. David Villa. Do we need to say more? This Spanish team was nothing short of incredible, and there’s a reason why they went on to win a World Cup — their first in the country’s history — in 2010. It would take a heroic performance from the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2009 Confederations Cup for the Spanish to fall.

Categories
Events/Tournaments Gaming

E3 2021: The 10 Best Gameplay Reveal Trailers

We gotta keep it a hunnid with everyone reading this right now – E3 2021 was kinda buns. Don’t get us wrong, though – there were a few noteworthy announcements that fired up gamers’ timelines across the globe. But the majority of the all-digital event left a whole lot to be desired. We’re not here to go into great detail about the virtual show’s many shortcomings, however. Instead, we’re going to celebrate all the awesome reveal trailers that landed on our screens during the developer/publisher dedicated livestream events. The 10 games we listed below are the definite highlights from this year’s installment of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

1. ‘Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora’

While the Ubisoft Forward showcase did little to impress, at least it ended with a nice surprise in the form of the debut for a brand new Avatar video game. That game ended up being Avatar: Frontier of Pandora, a first-person experience that gives players the chance to fully explore the Western Frontier portion of Pandora. What was shown off points to a game that’s rife with beautiful sights to see and human foes to vanquish within an expansive open-world environment. It’s gonna be a while before the next Avatar film hits movie theaters, so this licensed action/adventure romp as the blue-skinned Na’vi should hold everyone over until then.

2. ‘Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope’

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ended up being the type of crossover game that no one even knew they wanted until they got it. Who knew that a bright and bubbly platforming romp that adopted XCOM battle elements would be such a hit? Even though it got spoiled just mere minutes before its official reveal, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope’s eventual unveiling still elicited plenty of excitement. Everything that made the first game so memorable is returning alongside new elements, such as galactic adventuring, party newcomers, and the usage of Sparks.

3. ‘S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl’

The Xbox + Bethesda Games Showcase had a few gems scattered throughout it. One of the earliest highlights arrived when viewers got treated to an engrossing gameplay demonstration for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl. Visually, this upcoming first-person shooter definitely wowed in that department. The dark industrial locales and intense shootouts scattered throughout the game’s new trailer built up plenty of hype for its impending release. Plus the attention to detail was clearly evident as the characters onscreen spoke in their native Russian language. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl looks to be one of the most immersive FPS games on the horizon.

4. ‘Halo Infinite’

Were we disappointed to STILL not get an official release date for Halo Infinite yet? But of course! But at least 343 Industries did a good job of giving us all a better look at its multiplayer component. The upcoming free-to-play online multiplayer portion of Halo Infinite looks great and a nice return to form for longtime Halo fans. The battles painted an image of high-octane, action-packed skirmishes full of fast-paced shootouts and the cool implementation of a new grappling hook. Those custom Spartan armors look pretty sweet, too. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is looking like our next addiction, for sure.

5. ‘Forza Horizon 5’

Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder in the case of the Forza Horizon games. The fourth game in the spinoff open-world racing series actually dropped in 2018. The long wait for another entry in the franchise was paid off handsomely when Playground Games pulled the curtain up on Forza Horizon 5. The footage that was shown for this much-anticipated sequel is simply jaw-dropping – the gorgeous sunny locales of Mexico looked as lifelike as possible while dozens of cars furiously zipped around them. The Forza games have always looked amazing, but Forza Horizon 5 looks like a true evolution when it comes to the graphical fidelity aspect of it all. We can’t wait to knock over some pins and pinatas in our new souped-up rides.

6. ‘Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’

The long-rumored Guardians of the Galaxy game finally came out of hiding at this year’s E3. And once official info about the game came out, most folks were surprised to learn that it’s deviating from what Marvel’s Avengers did before it. Players will only control Star-Lord as they send out battle commands to Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Racoon, and Groot. This upcoming interplanetary action/adventure game will also feature the ability to make important decisions that impact your crew members’ opinions of you and impact the story at large. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s extended focus during the Square Enix Presents Summer Showcase provided a ton of info and gameplay footage that has us pretty intrigued about the final product.

7. ‘Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin’

Months prior to this game’s official announcement, rumors ran rampant about this Square Enix/Team Ninja collaboration. Everyone finally got to see it in action and it looks to be a pretty cool spinoff that mashes up Final Fantasy’s signature fantastical themes with the hardcore combat mechanics seen in Nioh. The reveal trailer definitely deserves to get mocked for its overuse of the word “Chaos” and the uninspired character designs. But it also deserves to be commended for showing off the game’s impactful combat that looks just as deep and complex as other Soulsborne-themed experiences. Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin is definitely on our radar.

8. Kazuya Mishima Reveal for ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

As soon as the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct got underway, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out swinging with its latest character reveal trailer. The sight of someone carrying Ganondorf to his death piqued our curiosity. But as soon as we heard the familiar drums behind Kazuya Mishima’s Tekken 2 theme, our hype levels went through the roof! We finally got a Tekken representative in Smash and it’s the badass poster boy that has been with the franchise from the very start. Kazuya’s Smash reveal trailer was quite the surprise and it ended up being a fun highlight reel of everything he’s capable of in Nintendo’s mega-crossover fighter. We can’t wait to pull off some sick Korean Backdashes and Demon Uppercuts once Kazuya finally comes out.

9. ‘Metroid Dread’

We didn’t get any more updates about Metroid Prime 4 (and Bayonetta 4!), sadly. But what we did get was a shocking reveal for an all-new Metroid game that adopts the 2D side-scrolling gameplay style that the series started out with. Samus Aran is back to eradicate some extraterrestrial beasts within creepy caves and so much more in the upcoming Metroid Dread. The world’s most recognizable intergalactic bounty hunter could be seen sporting a sweet-looking new suit of armor in the game’s reveal trailer. Plus we got treated to some awesome footage of her new cloaking abilities, which will play a huge part in keeping her alive during the sort of confrontations she can’t possibly win.

10. ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ Sequel

The final major reveal that Nintendo gave us all was all about Link’s next mainline adventure. The second Breath of the Wild was given a ton of time to show off its biggest features – Link seemingly has the ability to rewind time to send back huge projectiles at his foes and be able to move through solid objects now. His latest journey will take him into the mysterious buildings and other ruins that reside in the skies above Hyrule, which sounds like it’ll be the most exciting element of this highly anticipated sequel. There’s a ton of incredible games to look forward to in 2022 – the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is among that list of games that has us ready to spend some pre-order cash on ASAP!

Categories
Sports Strength

BMX Rider Nikita Ducarroz Is Ready For The Olympics

The 2021 Summer Olympics is just a few short weeks away, and this go-round will be monumental for a variety of reasons. One of those is the introduction of BMX, which is now officially an Olympic sport. Many athletes will be making their first appearance at the summer games next month, and Swiss/American biker Nikita Ducarroz will be among them. Born in Nice, France, Ducarroz discovered her love for biking over a decade ago and has achieved numerous accolades within that time, including back-to-back podiums at Montpellier in 2017 and 2018, as well as winning Estonia’s Simple Session in 2020.

Getty Images
Nikita Ducarroz

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Ducarroz has managed to add to her list of career accomplishments, placing 2nd at the UCI World Championship and the USA BMX C1 Woodward PA. Now she is merely days away from putting her talent on display at the sport’s world biggest stage, and ahead of the games, Ducarroz sat down with ONE37pm to discuss her excitement, the importance of women in BMX, and what she hopes to achieve this summer.

ONE37pm: It’s such a pleasure to talk to you Nikita! How have you been?

Ducarroz: I’ve been good! I’m coming off the World Championship and taking a nice little half training half vacation week here in France.

ONE37pm: When did you first discover your love for BMX?

Ducarroz: I started in 2010 when I was fourteen. It kind of happened by accident! I was watching some YouTube videos, and it looked like something that was fun to do. At the time, I had been playing soccer, and my life revolved around it. I had actually just made the decision to stop playing, and BMX jumped out at me. I wanted to try it out, and it took off from there. I started in front of my house, and then I eventually made it to a skatepark and never stopped.

ONE37pm: What has your overall training process been like throughout this pandemic? At one point you were training during lockdown right?

Ducarroz: It was definitely a very interesting time. I was going with the flow. Nobody in the entire world knew what was going on, and we were just taking it one day at a time. I was very fortunate to have moved to North Carolina in March. The day after we arrived, the whole world shut down. I moved to an indoor training facility run by Daniel Dhers, who is another professional rider. We got really lucky because even though everything was shut down, we were able to continue training.

We were able to form our own Covid bubble, and I think we had six different countries that were living there. We all stayed together and didn’t go anywhere else other than the park. We also built this makeshift gym inside of the park with random stuff we all had at the house. Basically, we had this uninterrupted time to focus on training and becoming better on our bikes, which has never happened before because we are always traveling.

ONE37pm: BMX is going to be introduced into this year’s Olympics. How impactful is this moment going to be?

Ducarroz: It’s huge! There’s sort of two sides to it in the sense that the Olympics, in general, are kind of the biggest stage you can get to as an athlete, but on the other hand coming from BMX, growing up, we didn’t train thinking we could make the Olympics because it wasn’t a possibility. When it got announced, it was different and new, but it’s still an opportunity to show the whole world what we are doing. BMX is such an amazing sport, and I think it is not very well known or still looked at as not being a “real sport.” To have an opportunity to share a passion and show the whole world what we are doing is a really cool thing for us.

ONE37pm: What goes through your mind when competing? Do you have an idea beforehand of what you are going to do, or do you go with the flow?

Ducarroz: No, I’ll get to the course, or I’ll have some sort of photo layout. As far as tricks, I work on the tricks that I want to do before, whether it’s things that I like to do or things that I need to do to win a competition. Once I get there, I have to figure out what line I’m going to take on the course. The cool thing is that everyone looks at a park differently. I have my own way of doing tricks, and I build my whole routine around that in terms of hitting the stuff we need for the judges, usage of the court, keeping the routine under 60 seconds, and staying consistent.

ONE37pm: Last Question. What is your ultimate plan for the Olympics?

Ducarroz: I would like to get a medal! Obviously gold would be absolutely unreal, and I think what we are always chasing is that dream run. Being able to stomp exactly what you plan to do coming from working on all of these tricks and spending this whole last year getting better. All I want to do is finish my whole routine, nail every trick, and then at that point, it’s up to the judges to decide if it’s worthy of a medal or not.

We will all be rooting for Nikita in the Olympics. In the meantime you can keep up with her journey on Instagram and Twitter.

Categories
Culture Trading Cards

The Top 10 Formula One Cards To Look Out For On eBay

If you are interested in trading cards, you may have heard about some huge recent sales of Formula One (also know as F1) cards, one of the hottest up and coming categories in the hobby in quite some time.

Sparked by popular the Netflix series, “Formula 1: Drive to Survive“, as well as the hobby’s continuing expansion of interest in alternative sports outside of traditional mainstream American culture, it appears that the future is bright for both the sport and collectibles of its most popular drivers.

Unlike the big three sports (football, basketball and baseball) with tons of products, different sets and manufacturers, it isn’t easy to find vintage cards of F1 legends such as Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna. Populations are low and prices are high, but there are opportunities out there if you know what to look for.

For modern drivers, it has become much easier after F1 signed an exclusive license with Topps in September of 2020 to create their first licensed trading cards and stickers. The recent releases of 2020 Topps Chrome, 2020 Topps Chrome Sapphire and 2020 Topps Dynasty have been on fire, as you will see in the list below.

1. 2020 Lewis Hamilton Topps Chrome Sapphire Orange Refractor /25 – $12,258
https://www.ebay.com/itm/373578999403?hash=item56fb0b266b%3Ag%3A67wAAOSwI9BgncOG&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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Lewis Hamilton is a British racer who is the top current Formula One driver, and one of the greatest of all time. He currently drives for Mercedes after five years (2007-2012) with McLaren.

His seven World Drivers’ Championship titles are tied for the most of all-time with the legendary Michael Schumacher and he holds the record for most wins (98), pole positions and podium finishes.

Hamilton was also named one of the “100 Most Influential People Globally” by Time Magazine in a 2020 issue, and makes quite a few appearances on this list.

This particular card is an orange refractor and numbered to just 25, meaning there were only 25 of this card ever produced. The fact that it sold raw for over $12,000 goes to show just how hot this market currently is.

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2. 2020 Lewis Hamilton Topps Chrome Sapphire Gold Refractor /50 – $7,621.21
https://www.ebay.com/itm/373570477866?hash=item56fa891f2a%3Ag%3AKykAAOSw6wFglFaX&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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This card is a variation of the main photo shown on previously mentioned card and is a gold refractor numbered to 50. In the interest of this list not being all Lewis Hamilton cards, this list is all of the base refractor parallels that you can find in the 2020 Topps Chrome set:

  • Refractor – 1:3 packs
  • Purple Refractor – #/399
  • 70th Anniversary Gold – 1:30 packs
  • 70th Anniversary Orange – 1:46 packs
  • Gold Refractor – #/50
  • Gold Wave Refractor – #/50
  • Orange Refractor – #/25
  • Orange Wave Refractor – #/25
  • Red Refractor – #/5
  • Red Wave Refractor – #/5
  • 70th Anniversary Red – 1:848 packs
  • SuperFractor – 1/1
  • 70th Anniversary SuperFractor – 1:3,384 packs
  • Printing Plates – 1/1
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3. 2020 Max Verstappen Topps Chrome Red Wave Refractor /5 – $7,223.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/274775034382?hash=item3ff9de4a0e%3Ag%3AltQAAOSw9ShghF11&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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Verstappen is a Belgian-Dutch driver with Red Bull racing. He was the youngest driver ever to compete in a Formula One race at the age of 17 years, 166 days, at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

In 2016, at just 18 years old, he became the youngest driver–and the first Dutch driver–to ever win a Formula One Grand Prix and he currently holds the points lead for the Drivers’ Championship over Lewis Hamilton.

This red wave refractor is one of only five that were made, making it the most rare card of his that has sold on eBay (so far). It will be interesting to see how much his 1/1 Superfractor sells for if/when it goes up for sale.

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4. 1986 Ayrton Senna Panini Supersport Italian Lotus Rookie Card PSA 9 – $6,500.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/373589396217?hash=item56fba9caf9%3Ag%3AJUQAAOSwSlpgalvI&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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Ayrton Senna was a Brazilian driver who died in an accident before the 1994 San Marino Grands Prix at the age of 34. Before his death, he won 41 Grands Prix and 65 pole positions, as well as the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

He is thought of by some as the greatest driver in the history of the sport, with strong cases to be made for both Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton in that conversation. Either way, Ayrton is an absolute legend in the sport and there aren’t many cards of his out there.

There are only 17 graded copies of this card in the PSA population report, including (3) PSA 10’s and (7) PSA 9’s.

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5. 2020 Lewis Hamilton Topps Now #3 PSA 10 – $4,000.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/224477885057?hash=item3443ecb281%3Ag%3Ac60AAOSwbhBgttp7&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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This Topps 2020 Now card came out well before the 2020 Topps Chrome set. For those who don’t know what Topps Now is, they are cards that celebrate huge sports moments and are only made available initially on Topps.com in a 24 hour window. Topps then announces how many of the cards were printed, illustrating the rarity.

For this particular card, there were 1,915 produced–with only (139) of them graded by PSA–(81) of which received a PSA 10 grade.

Shop Lewis Hamilton Cards!
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6. 1987 Ayrton Senna A Question Of Sport UK Portrait PSA 9 – $3,100.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/402795027301?hash=item5dc8745b65%3Ag%3ACRoAAOSwWyhgeOHK&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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Only (12) of these cards have ever been graded by PSA with no PSA 10’s in the population. There are (9) of these PSA 9’s out there, making this one of the highest graded examples of this card in existence.

With such a low population, as Formula One cards gain momentum it will be interesting to watch the value of this card when they go up on future auctions.

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7. 2020 Kimi Raikkonen Topps Dynasty Alfa Patch Auto – $2,938.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/164818649852?hash=item265ff502fc%3Ag%3AyCAAAOSwaz9geLMq&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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Kimi Raikkonen is a Finnish driver for Alfa Romeo Racing. He has 21 wins, 18 pole positions and 103 podiums throughout his career, one of only five drivers in Formula One history to have more than 100.

Topps Dynasty is a premium card brand, and the patch autos through the set are visually stunning. However the set is not limited to strictly F1 drivers.

The patch autos of other big name drivers command big money on eBay, including Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, and Sebastian Vettell.

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8. 2020 Lando Norris Topps Chrome Auto Red Refractor /5 – $2,500
https://www.ebay.com/itm/224453943362?hash=item34427f6042%3Ag%3AZxYAAOSwu15glZEJ&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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Lando Norris is a British-Belgian driver with McLaren Racing. He is just 21 years old, and started racing at the age of just 7. In 2018, Norris was signed as a junior driver with McLaren and drove in his first Formula One World Championship for them in 2019. He has three podiums but has yet to win a race.

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9. 2020 George Russell Topps Chrome Red Refractor /5 PSA 8 – $2,000.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363383059546?hash=item549b51745a%3Ag%3A20YAAOSwFptgkKoI&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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George Russell is also a British driver who races for Williams-Mercedes. He is one of Formula One’s top young up-and-coming drivers, winning the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship, and the 2017 GP3 Series Championship.

With PSA currently shut down at most submission levels, it comes as no surprise that only one of the five of these cards that were produced have been graded.

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10. 1992 Michael Schumacher Grid #51 PSA 10 – $1,597.00
https://www.ebay.com/itm/393358401397?hash=item5b95fcdf75%3Ag%3AhiEAAOSwF0lgrvmQ&nma=true&si=zEaNmVJut9oR%252Bxy0VZaN9M3I9sA%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557
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Schumacher was a German driver that raced for Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari and Mercedes throughout the course of his career (1991-2012). He holds seven World Drivers’ Championship titles, tied for most of all-time with Lewis Hamilton and boasts 91 wins, 68 pole positions and 155 podium finishes on his resume.

There are only (171) of these cards currently graded by PSA, with just (64) PSA 10’s. In late April, they were selling for over $3000 but prices have pulled back a bit.

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