Latest posts by Senor Weaselo (see all)
- House of Pain: Opening the Gate (or, The Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo Breakdown, 2019 Edition) – April 30, 2019
- House of Pain: X Gonna Give it to Ya – April 14, 2019
- And Now, A Jets Fan’s Take on the New Unis – April 5, 2019
Evening, lizard people. I’m hijacking the Friday evening open thread tonight because tonight’s gonna be a fun night of sports. Well, for me. Well, if I didn’t have dress rehearsal for a concert tomorrow night.
(It’s 27 minutes. And 25 of those minutes you’re waiting for a cadence. Also we will have music to look at. And we will be wearing shoes.)
On one hand, we’ve got the second half of an MLB playoff quadrupleheader! All times Eastern.
Game 1, NYY vs. BOS (Happ vs. Sale), 7:32 first pitch, TBS
Game 2, ATL vs. LAD (LAD leads 1-0) (Sánchez vs. Kershaw), 9:37 first pitch, FS1
If you’re wondering who I’m rooting for in each series, that would be the Yankees (it’s me) and the [MLB Redacteds] in the AL, and #Rocktober and the Braves in the NL—fuck Dave Roberts for eternity, and never forget that Ryan Braun got a federal arbitrator fired and then tested positive for PEDs like a year later anyway.
I could spout many, MANY more words about the playoffs, but I’m getting dirty looks from everyone else in the writers’ clubhouse, so onto the other stuff I was covering for tonight. Oh, but first, time for another installment of
This Week in [DFO]!
Balls’s AFL recaps came to a climax (heh) for the season as the Grand Final was played and both the premiers and the Tipping Pool champ was crowned. Congrats to both the West Coast Eagles and SonOfSpam!
Yeah Right released the second half of his trip to Denver, where he went to Red Rocks and saw David Byrne.
And the usual weekly material—Instant Hippo Thoughts, Quotables, the CFL and BattleBots Beats, the stuff you all know and love.
Now as I was, and as the topic image alludes to, tonight is also the BattleBots season finale (8 Eastern, Discovery Channel, not sure about other time zones, check your listings), and with it, the championship. Okay, the fights already happened in like April/May, but nobody who actively comments on this site was there to my knowledge. And if they were they wouldn’t be allowed to reveal it. But away from the tangent. Four robots remain in contention for the Giant Nut. Let’s go over their season so far, going semifinal to semifinal.
Semifinal 1: (4) Minotaur vs. (9) Lock-Jaw
Minotaur: The Brazilian Bull started its season with the dream matchup we were all hoping for in 2016, taking on defending champ Tombstone. After taking a loss that cracked its chassis, bent Tombstone’s frame which in hindsight affected Tombstone for the rest of the season, and fucked up the BattleBots floor to the point that they needed to take some time to fix it, Minotaur recovered with a win over Hypothermia, and slowly got its bearings back from under it. After strategically keeping the powerful drum at bay a bit for the wins over Hypothermia and Blacksmith, both judges’ decisions, they held nothing back in a KO over SubZero cementing their spot in the tournament, and once they got there, took all four of Witch Doctor’s wheels and tires off and then flipped and gripped and ripped Monsoon where the British bar was stuck face-down on the rails. After winning so many fights and tournaments around the world, can RioBotz win BattleBots and become the first team outside of North America to take home the Giant Nut?
Lock-Jaw: It started as an up and down season for Donald Hutson, Mutant Robots, and Lock-Jaw. After a victory over Bombshell in their first fight, Lock-Jaw looked to have the jump on End Game except for getting one of the lifter forks stuck in a killsaw cavity, leading to End Game getting the turnabout and the KO win. After a loss via unanimous decision to Bronco when neither robot was at peak performance, the 1-2 Lock-Jaw was in trouble. But after being given the #1 seed in the Desperado Flash Tournament, Lock-Jaw seized its second chance, winning the tournament, earning a Giant Bolt, and earning an automatic bid into the championship. From there, Lock-Jaw’s plow attachment was enough to stop Son of Whyachi’s powerful spinning hammers, and then a rematch with Bombshell (fresh off an upset of Tombstone, but since it was Tombstone in less than mint condition) lasted all of one hit. As written earlier, Lock-Jaw is the fourth Mutant Robots robot to make at least the semifinals (Diesector four times, Tazbot, and Karcas 2), as Donald Hutson looks for a fourth championship across all weight classes (two with Diesector in the Comedy Central days, one with Karcas 2 in the 2004 NPC Charity Open).
Senor’s thoughts: I think this’ll be a fun one. If there’s anyone who can devise a strategy that isn’t “hit Minotaur until one of us stops working” (so not Ray Billings) it’s Donald Hutson. I mean if I read it correctly Son of Whyachi had the most energy in its weapon, more than Tombstone, and Lock-Jaw’s plow was able to kill that. The thing is, Minotaur’s drum is known for its reliability since it has something like four belts, which again makes the Tombstone fight more impressive on both ends. Monsoon did take down half of the belts in their fight apparently, but we all heard that death hum all the same. I think Minotaur has enough reliability to last and win on aggression if Lock-Jaw goes the defensive route, and enough power in that drum if the offensive route, so I’ll pick them to go to the final.
Semifinal 2: (3) Bite Force vs. (10) Whiplash
Bite Force: The former BattleBots champ returned with its less successful Season 2 vertical bar after being chain-sniped by Chomp in 2016. Though mostly unchanged, there was that detail of having a piece of metal to guard the chain so that was probably useful. Bite Force is the only unbeaten robot still in the competition, because like Tombstone and Bronco it went 4-0, beating Blacksmith, HyperShock, End Game, and Bombshell, the latter three via KOs, Bite Force survived HUGE’s onslaught, the only time it might have been behind on points before HUGE collapsed, before taking it to RotatoR. That makes Bite Force a perfect 6-0 this season, with 5 wins by KO. Paul Ventimiglia and Aptyx Designs are also looking for their fourth BattleBots championship across weight classes and third heavyweight title, all post-Comedy Central (Green Wave at the Rochester R3 competition in 2005, Brutality in 2009, and Bite Force in the first ABC Season).
Whiplash: 2015 alternate and 2016 full-timer Splatter didn’t have much of a showing, losing to Warrior Clan and a rumble against I don’t remember who because it’s not even listed on the website. Team Fast Electric Robots kept at it with a robot named Whiplash, at first just a vertical spinner, but then in 2017 just a scaled-down version of Splatter. And it worked so well that they scaled Whiplash back up for BattleBots. By working well, I mean it beat robots such as Sewer Snake, Swamp Thing, Touro Maximus, and Vlad II which hasn’t been driven by Gage Couchois in over a decade so it doesn’t count, losing to Swamp Thing and finally Original Sin in the finals. (RoboGames and many other robotic tournaments are double-elimination. They lost to Swamp Thing in the first meeting but won in the consolation final to face Original Sin. Eh, three of the Big Four—the original Big Three of Team PlumbCrazy, Hardcore Robotics, and Late Night Racing, plus RioBotz—ain’t bad.) Watch that 2017 run here. As for this competition, they went 3-1 in the qualifiers, beating other big names, C2 Robotics (Christian Carlberg and Mecha Rampage), Team Toad (Michael Mauldin and Hypothermia), and Team Razer (Warhead), only losing to Tombstone, which makes up for beating Swamp Thing when it mattered more, I guess. Then to top it off were wins against Greg Gibson and Yeti in the first round and Inertia Labs and Bronco in the Sweet 16. Wins over any of the remaining robots, let alone winning their first Giant Nut, would be another notch on the belt.
Senor’s thoughts: Matt Vasquez will absolutely win Best Driver if they don’t win the Giant Nut, and if winning the Giant Nut disqualifies them from winning Giant Bolt categories. But Paul Ventimiglia’s just been doing the same things he always does this season, driving Bite Force like it’s on a rail, especially in the Bombshell fight (that last hit was perfectly on the wedge) and the RotatoR fight, never letting up. So Matt Vasquez’s driving won’t be considered a massive advantage, which means it comes down to the robots, and as great as Whiplash has been with the lifter/disk combo, Bite Force’s vertical bar has impressed me. I’m gonna take Bite Force in a classic that’ll be a driving masterpiece by both teams.
Finals? Well, that gives me Minotaur and Bite Force. I imagine they’ll go weapon to weapon once or twice, which will worry Marco Meggiolaro because vertical bar/disks have advantages over drums (I’m not entirely sure why, to be honest, but we saw it in action with Bombshell last year), but to me, even though both robots’ drives are absolute fucking tanks, I think Minotaur’s weapon is slightly more resilient and, as we saw with HUGE doing damage to the weapon mount, and they’ll again be turning that drum to 11. But on the other hand, I think Bite Force is more tanky the rest of the way, which is saying something considering the shots Minotaur took from Tombstone, So I think it’ll go to the judges either way, and the Giant Nut will go to… the Brazilian Bull, Minotaur.
Senor Weaselo makes no claim to these predictions being accurate or not. I mean, I would have had Tombstone-Son of Whyachi in the quarters.
Oh, speaking of, we have seen an image of Tombstone and Tantrum fighting in an exhibition. No idea if other robots are involved, and some idea whether this is the fight where one of Tantrum’s first-shaped armor panels nearly went through a seam in the wall.
Also I just found a link to this today (thanks, Mike Jeffries posting it on the BattleBots subreddit), if you’ve wondered how the hell teams get their robots repaired in time, Discovery had this web miniseries called BattleBots: Resurrection. It covers similar stuff to the Botopsy Reports but goes more in-depth behind the pits as teams scramble to get their robots back to fighting shape. AND, we have knowledge that there was indeed a Bot 56 now. Basically, one guy came to the pits, but didn’t actually have a robot ready, or built at all for that matter, so they said “All right, if you’re ready by the last day, we’ll give you one fight then.”
So does Raven make it into the Box? I mean, you can take a guess, but now you can see how it happened!
Oh, you want even more stuff? Fine, there’s also hockey. Probably not nationally. There is national JV footy action though.
Louisville at Georgia Tech, 7:00, ESPN
Middle Tennessee at Marshall, 7:30, CBSSN
Utah State at BIG LOVE (BYU), 9:00, ESPN 2
…Oh, do you still want sexy? Yes? Fine. Keeping with the theme, Austin Powers fembots it is!
Or, while we’re at it, in homage to everyone’s favorite shark robot, even if it didn’t make the tournament…
All right, see you Thursday when we recap on the Beat, then probably one final Thursday afterwards for the awards show post. There’ll be audience participation!
Wait, that’s not a bonus? Well, still. Go have fun watching things, drinking drinks, and commenting comments. I’ll be with the music if you need me.