This Thursday the 2018 college football season kicks off in the NAIA and NJCAA. D2 kicks off the following week, so here’s Balladeer’s Blog’s preseason rankings in NCAA D2.
RANKINGS: 1. TEXAS A&M AT COMMERCE LIONS (Defending National Champions) ### 2. UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA ARGONAUTS ### 3. INDIANA UNIVERSITY – PENNSYLVANIA CRIMSON HAWKS ### 4. MINNESOTA STATE MAVERICKS ### 5. FORT HAYS STATE TIGERS ###
6. NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE BEARCATS ### 7. FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS ### 8. UNIVERSITY OF INDIANAPOLIS GREYHOUNDS ### 9. GRAND VALLEY STATE LAKERS ### 10. HARDING UNIVERSITY BISON ### Continue reading
For Flashman Down Under, Flashman in the Opium War & Flashman and the Kings click HERE Balladeer’s Blog moves on to another Harry Flashman adventure referred to but never completed before George MacDonald Fraser’s death.
Projected Title: THE BATTLE CRY OF FLASHMAN
Time Period: Part of the United States Civil War
NOTE: The title is a play on the famous Civil War ballad The Battle Cry of Freedom. That title was also used for one of Bruce Catton’s examinations of the conflict.
The Story: Personally I think a collection of short stories would be the only way of reconciling all the scattered and varied references made to Flashman’s Civil War adventures in other novels. From those other Fraser writings we know that Harry somehow wound up serving on both sides of the war but ultimately won a Medal of Honor for his service in the Union Army.
Further complicating things is the fact that the author mentioned how Flashman left and re-entered the U.S. multiple times during the war after his initial involvement starting at some point in 1862. Continue reading
The Golden Bat: the ugliest superhero in the world.
THE GOLDEN BAT (1966) – Ogon Batto is the name of this film in its native Japan. The movie was based on the title character, Japan’s very first comic book superhero who debuted in 1930. That 1930 date puts him years before Superman and Batman in the west!
At any rate for the 1966 movie Japan’s perennial action star Sonny Chiba played the leader of a group of science-oriented commandos in what looked like aluminum foil suits. Chiba and his gang have fancy aircraft like England’s Thunderbirds and their debut mission finds them trying to save the Earth from collision with a rogue planet called Icarus.
Chiba’s outfit has constructed a giant laser cannon to destroy Icarus before it can reach our planet. Trouble is it needs a final component to be found only on a lost island. When Sonny Chiba’s Mighty Aluminum Foil Power Rangers explore the ancient city on that island they uncover the tomb of … the Golden Bat! Continue reading
Superhero movies continue to dominate at the box office, so Balladeer’s Blog figured it was time to look at another neglected comic book star: in this case Kalthar, from MLJ Publishing. FOR MY BIG LIST OF NEGLECTED MLJ SUPERHEROES CLICK HERE
KALTHAR THE GIANT MAN
Secret Identity: None. Kalthar is his real name.
Origin: The father of the infant who would become known as Kalthar the Giant Man gave his life saving the Urgana African tribe from Muslim slave traders. To thank the dead hero for his role in keeping them free the Urgana people raised his infant son as one of their own and named the child Kalthar.
As he reached adulthood Kalthar formed a Tarzan-like bond with all the jungle animals around the Urganas’ Congo River locale. Kalthar so impressed Ta-Lo, the High Priest of the tribe, that the medicine man chose the adopted young man to receive the gift of the secret grains which Urgana medicine men discovered in the jungle. Those grains enabled Kalthar to grow to giant size and helped him battle evil-doers throughout Africa.
First Appearance: Zip Comics number 1 (February 1940). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1941.
Powers: Continue reading
One week from today the 2018 college football season kicks off in the divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog. Some of the games scheduled for next Thursday night:
The 20th ranked ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BATTLIN’ BEARS will be hosting the CARROLL (MT) COLLEGE FIGHTING SAINTS. It’s a risky opening week clash between two Frontier Conference teams.
The number 22 team in the nation, the SOUTHWESTERN ASSEMBLIES OF GOD UNIVERSITY LIONS, will take it on the road against the (RV) EVANGEL UNIVERSITY CRUSADERS. Crucial early season positioning is on the line in this battle.
At number 25 are the DAKOTA STATE TROJANS, who travel to face the DAKOTA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY TIGERS (should be the Blue Tigers). This matchup will be the Midco Sports Network’s Game of the Week. Continue reading
I.WHAT’S UP WITH YI? – Yi the Divine Archer from Chinese mythology deserves to be remembered in one breath with some of the other great heroes and monster slayers from belief systems around the world. Most people are only familiar with his feat of shooting down multiple suns that appeared in the sky one day, but this article will provide a light- hearted look at all of his fantastic adventures.
Yi is pronounced “Yee” according to some sources, but according to others it’s pronounced “EEE”, so you can insert your own Ned Beatty joke here. (Mine would go like this: REDNECK: C’mon, ya fat little hog, what’s the name of the Divine Archer in Chinese mythology? NED BEATTY: EEEEEE! )
Yi was of semi- divine birth, but since “Yi the Semi- Divine Archer” doesn’t have the same ring to it, we’ll stick to his better- known nickname. Yi performed most of his heroic feats for the Chinese ruler Yao, the godling son of the supreme deity Huang Di. Yao would be remembered as the first of the Three Sage Kings in Chinese legends.
2. OFF- BROADWAY – Two of Yi’s earliest adventures after reaching manhood presented him with the weapons he would be most associated with forever after. Yi saved the people of Yao’s kingdom from a monstrous tiger, from whose bones he carved his indestructible bow. Conveniently his next adventure involved slaying a rogue dragon, from whose tendons he crafted thousands of unbreakable shafts, then affixed arrowheads and feathers to the two ends. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s bit Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead returns with this shoutout to the Police and their song De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da – The lyrics are more relevant than ever.