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Eric Broughton

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Madden NFL 18 predicts a 24-20 Super Bowl victory for the New England Patriots over the Philadelphia Eagles, which would give this year’s cover star, Pats quarterback Tom Brady, a sixth world championship ring.

In the EA Sports’ simulation — which essentially is just a CPU-versus-CPU game with current rosters on All-Pro difficulty — New England is trying to salt away the victory when the Eagles’ Malcolm Jennings strips the ball from running back Dion Lewis. Philadelphia, trailing by four, gets the ball back with under 2 minutes left, apparently deep in its own territory.

Quarterback Nick Foles, who took over when starter Carson Wentz was injured in week 14 of the season, gets the Eagles to about midfield. In what appears to be a Hail Mary pass either because it’s fourth down, or because there’s no time for another play, Foles’ heave for Alshon Jeffery is batted away by Patriots defensive back Stefon Gilmore, sealing the 24-20 result. To be perfectly honest, these simulations are just that… fake. But they are really fun to watch.

EA Sports’ simulation, in what may be a bit of marketing scheme, and has called for a dramatic ending in every Super Bowl since videos began accompanying its predictions seven years ago. Here’s what Madden has predicted over that span, with none of them turning out exactly as simulated.

2011: Interception with 20 seconds left, 24-20 final.
2012: Field goal as time expires, 27-24 final.
2013: Interception of a Hail Mary as time expires, 27-24 final.
2014: Snow (in the Super Bowl’s first cold-weather, open-air stadium), overtime and a 31-28 final.
2015: Hail Mary touchdown as time expires, 28-24 final.
2016: Five-yard TD run on the last play from scrimmage, 24-20 final.
2017: Go-ahead touchdown on fourth down with 20 seconds left, 27-24.

Since the simulation began in 2004, Madden NFL is 10-4 picking winners straight up and 9-5 against the point spread. It is 8-6 picking the over/under — with most of that success coming in the video era. Madden NFL is 5-2 in that stretch, with its five hits coming between 2012 and 2016. Amazingly enough, the Madden sim did also predict the 2015 Super Bowl’s final score, a 28-24 New England triumph over Seattle. And the 2015 and 2017 Super Bowls in real life delivered two of the big game’s most thrilling conclusions ever, which were very similar to the dramatic endings in the simulations.

Super Bowl 52 is Sunday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC. from

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CEO & Co-Founder of Springfield Daily. Former financial analyst and project manager, turned online entrepreneur. Eric also owns Interactive Media, a digital marketing and consulting firm located in Downtown Springfield as well as the fitness startup FitTube. Eric received his Masters in Business Administration from Benedictine University, prior to that played college football at Quincy University, and is a Springfield High alumni.

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Entertainment

The Simpsons are no longer what they were: This fan managed to make a graph to find the moment they lost its grace

Staff Contributor

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The Simpsons is, perhaps, the most famous series in the history of television. Virtually everyone knows Springfield’s favorite yellow family and has followed his adventures for years and years. In fact, decades. But as we know, nothing lasts forever and that was precisely what happened with the show’s grace: it’s over, although the episodes keep coming out.

At what point did the Simpsons stop being cool?

The truth hurts, we know, but it’s time to face it: The Simpsons stopped being good a long time ago. And in fact, Sol Harris, a fan of those, found the terrible truth, and that is that currently there are already more bad chapters than good ones. Ouch.

He also graphed the whole series – a lot of free time, but thank you – to know at what time and with what events he began to lose his “spark” that we love so much. That’s how things were:

 

Do you agree? At least we can say that the movie is good, and The Simpsons will always occupy a place in our hearts.

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Entertainment

Former alderman Bill Clutter discusses pollution and corruption in new book

Thomas Clatterbuck

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In 1987, CIPS unearthed a coal tar pit in Taylorville, Illinois. Despite being used in numerous consumer products, coal tar is extremely toxic. But despite the risks to the community, CIPS failed to deploy the proper environmental protections, and the town was exposed to coal tar dust and toxic fumes. Shortly afterwords, numerous children developed rare cancers, including neuroblastoma.

The botched cleanup was the cause of these cancers. Cost-saving choices made on the day of the cleanup resulted in ineffective measuring being taken to control the toxins. This lead to neighborhoods being poisoned. While that might seem obvious in hindsight, proving a major corporation was responsible would prove far more difficult. But private investigator and former Springfield alderman Bill Clutter was part of the fight to do just that. In his new book, “Coal Tar: How Corrupt Politics and Corporate Greed are Killing America’s Children,” Clutter shares the saga of fighting both CIPS and the Illinois EPA to prove just how dangerous coal tar really is.

During our discussion of his book, Clutter shared that the Taylorville is just one of many towns dealing with coal tar. Because coal gasification (the process that creates coal tar) was so common in the early 20th Century, coal tar pits are also common. Franklin, Indiana is currently dealing with a similar situation to what Taylorville went though. And a similar cancer cluster in Morgan City, Louisiana helped proved coal tar was the likely culprit in Taylorville as well. One bright point is Illinois has tighter regulations for cleaning up these sites because of the Taylorville case.

Corruption

Before becoming involved in the Taylorville case, Clutter was a politician in Springfield. He shares local history from his time on the city council, and gives an inside look at the political machines that dominated the city and state during the 1980s and 90s. It also helps showcase how corporations gain influence over the regulators that are supposed to be watching them. CIPS relationship with the Illinois EPA was a large part of the difficulties the Taylorville families faced in getting justice.

Although Clutter was ultimately successful against CIPS, he doesn’t sugar coat how difficult the fight was. Even with a strong community group pushing for answers, and their lawyer Tom Londrigan waving his fee, pursuing the case was still an extremely expensive and lengthy process.

The book

Clutter’s book was published by Investigating Innocence Media. You can purchase the book on his website, or on Amazon. Proceeds from the book will help go to Investigating Innocence, a nonprofit that helps fight wrongful convictions.

You can watch our full discussion in the player above.

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Announcements

Bookstock coming back to Jacksonville for its third year

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The Jacksonville Public Library will be hosting its third annual Bookstock concert this weekend, September 22nd. Melanie Devaney, Chad Elliott, and Ben Bedford will be performing during the afternoon. There will also be a children’s concert in the morning with Kevin Farris, Duke Otherwise, and Mike Lockett. Bookstock will also include a craft market for children this year. In addition to selling items, kids can learn about running their own businesses.

These concerts are free to the public, and are part of the Friends of the Library Book Sale. This is one of their major fundraisers. That sale will be going on all day.

To learn more about the events, check out the events on Facebook, or the Library’s website.

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