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What's Trending Wednesday: 2015 NFL Schedule Released

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Okay football fans, while you still have to wait five months for the NFL season to begin, you now know when your favorite team will be matched up against which opponent. Last night, the National Football League released the 2015 NFL schedule via a primetime special. The program, which aired on the NFL Network, announced the schedule for all 256 regular season games and also featured an analysis of the schedule and meaningful matchups.

Although the NFL schedule was released last night, it was in late December when the NFL released each team’s home and away opponents for the 2015 season. Some may ask why the schedule isn’t just released simultaneously, but it’s not as simple as one may believe. There are many factors contributing to a schedule for a league which consists of 32 teams, each of which play 16 games. Some of the more important circumstances include broadcast requirements, stadium availability, competitive balance, as well as travel factors. In terms of scheduling, everything needs to be as fair and balanced as possible for the teams, while also featuring compelling matchups for the fans.



Research by Michael Merritt

Guess Who

Image from SWNS.com via The Dail Mail

With every new date for a top event, whether Kanye or Britney, Wicked or West Ham, fans with less-than-bottomless pockets sometimes cringe. It’s extremely rare to hear a true music lover ever state that they regret digging deep for those nosebleeds to see their longtime favorite musician, but before they make the commitment, many will lament the cost. For Rolling Stones fans, high ticket prices are part and parcel with their fandom.

A quote from Rolling Stone highlights fans’ displeasure:

"Can the Rolling Stones actually need all that money… How much can the Stones take back to Merrie England after taxes, anyway? How much must the British manager and the American manager and the agency rake off the top?...  [It] says a very bad thing to me about the artists' attitude towards the public. It says they despise their own audience."

And that quote was published in the November 15, 1969 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. You can read the whole piece here, it’s definitely worth a peruse.  As per the date of original publication, concertgoers were being asked to fork over $8.50 tops for tickets to the Stones’ tour supporting their album Let It Bleed. At the time, other top acts like The Doors had ticket prices topping out at $6.50. Today, that would get you a venti frappucino and a dirty look from the barista because you’d have nothing left for the tip.


Have you ever wanted to attend a music festival, perhaps in order to see what all the hubbub is about? Maybe you've been considering it, but just don't know which festivals play which kind of music, or which festivals are near you? Or maybe you want to hear a lot of acts perform for a good value (and festivals usually do provide a pretty good value for the price)? Then we have you covered with our Music Festivals Guide.

Newly re-launched, the guide now provides two ways to find a festival: by genre or by date. So you can find out, for example, that the Electric Zoo Festival is an EDM festival, and that it is scheduled for September 4-6. Or that country fans living in Louisiana will be right near Bayou Country Superfest when it takes place from May 23-24. The page also has links to some handy resources, such as our post on tips for surviving a festival and Top Music Festivals of 2015.

Start your search for a festival to attend this summer by visiting the Music Festivals Guide page.


What People Are Talking About

Avengers Family Feud

Source: YouTube.com. Please note: video may not be suitable for work.

Avengers: Age of Ultron, the much anticipated sequel to The Avengers is set to hit movie theaters on May 1, which means the cast is making their rounds on late night television. This past Monday, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johanson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Evans stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live!

During the episode, Jimmy Kimmel took a break from being a late night television show host and reprised his role as a (mediocre) game show host for a special addition of Avengers Family Feud. Robert, Scarlett, and Chris H. were on one team, while Jeremy, Mark, and Chris E. manned the other podium. While both teams gave some pretty farfetched answers, Robert Downey Jr.’s team won by a hefty number of points. Their prize? A three seat Avengers themed tandem bicycle. Don’t feel bad for the losing team though, they were each given a $15 gift card to Applebee’s.



Winter is HERE: Game of Thrones Season 5

WARNING: Spoiler Alert

What follows below is a delightfully inexpert recap in preparation for tonight’s episode 2. As a bonus, here’s a very good argument as to why you probably don’t want to invite Jon Snow to your dinner party, even if he is kinda cute in that lost puppy sort of way:

After keeping people tuned in for the long months between June and April with such light fare as True Detective, Going Clear and The Jinx (which absolutely no one saw or spent hours discussing), HBO’s much loved and totally family-friendly Game of Thrones returned last week for its fifth season. If you're playing catch up, here's a quick recap of where we left our favorite (or most despised) characters last season:

Sansa Stark, now a brunette, is hiding out in the Eyrie with her annoying cousin Robin and the unflappable and possibly Most Evil of All Lord Petyr Baelish, aka Little Finger. Baelish has recently killed Sansa’s Aunt and Robin’s mother, Lysa Arryn, by pushing her out the Moon Door, just after he married her. While Sansa is adjusting to her new family situation, her younger sister, Arya, just let the Hound die a slow and painful death at the hands of Brienne of Tarth, who was accompanied by Podrick Payne. Arya dodged Brienne’s attempts to help bring her home, as Arya is now (rightly) suspicious of pretty much every human, and just purchased passage on a ship bound for Braavos, a trip made possible by the special coin she received from Jaqen H’ghar and the phrase “valar morghulis.”

Their half-brother, Jon Snow, is still up at the Wall, where he helped defend Westeros against the onslaught of Mance Rayder’s army of Wildlings, which included his special lady friend, Ygritte, who died in his arms after being shot by a child. Like you do. The Brothers of the Night’s Watch held the Wall until Stannis Baratheon and his army – thankfully without that bloodthirsty pyromaniac Melisandre - arrived to stamp out the invasion from the Free Men beyond the wall. Speaking of beyond the wall, Bran Stark, accompanied by Meera Reed and Hodor, has just made it to the Godswood of his visions, where they were saved by a Child of the Forest.

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