Friday, May 26, 2006

16-Inch


My line on the season is now 1/2, 2b, rbi, run.
I came up with 2 outs and a man on (second or third, I'm not sure) I hit a line drive up the middle and stretched into a double. So now I'm on second with 2 outs. The next batter hits a weak grounder to 3rd, and she beats the throw. Meanwhile, I'm running to 3rd, and run right on through the stop sign, and slide at home safely. A little risky, but the play wasn't that close. Sure enough the next batter popped up, making my aggressive base running important.

My last at bat was a ground ball fielder's choice with two outs.

I also played 3 innings (half of a 7 inning game, that ended after the top of the 7th) at 3rd base. Some good plays, no errors.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Recap

Why does anyone care about Barbaro? The second he didn't win the Preakness, he became obselete. Yet apparently, the media seems to think that I care about how every detail of this horse's life. Move on.

Hockey's back and no one has noticed.

Some epic basketball has been played. LeBron almost made me believe. I wish that Phoenix had Stoudamire...that's Amare!

Shhh! Be quiet. I'm trying to listen to all the exciting NBA Draft Buzz. Does Toronto even care about the Raptors? I would find that hard to beleive.

The Mavericks and Suns are playing in the West Finals, and they needed heroic shots from Dirk (game 7 vs Spurs) and Thomas (game 6 vs Lakers) to survive to where they are now. Seriously though, when you're up 3, under 24 seconds, how can you foul Dirk when he's shooting? I know the Spurs are a terrible free throw team, but you have to avoid a foul, make your free throws and then force them to make a 3.

NewsFlash! Barbaro just ate some hay.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

But Wait There's More

After I chronicled my own personal history with football video games, and marveled at how quickly the graphics have improved, I discovered the personal attachement that so many people hold for other video games in the past. With that in mind, here's a brief run down of some other football video games that I didn't have the privledge of enjoying as much as the others. Oh and I'm sure that I've still managed to overlook your favorite game...sorry.


Atari 4-Player Football
Here's what I've learned from this 1978 flyer:
The season never ends with Atari Sports
This was a video football attraction.
Not only did they introduce a whopping 5 plays including field goals, but they also invented an offensive position: "video receiver."


10-Yard Fight for NES
This has been referred to as the first "slightly realistic football video game." I'm not sure if that leaves the possibility open that there was a "moderately realistic" game that came before this. Perhaps the sound effects inspired those in the Tecmo Bowl series.


4th and Inches
This game was released on 4 exciting platforms: Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64 and Dos. This game put the strategy in action/strategy...but I'm not sure where the action came from.


John Elway's Quarterback for NES
Who needs real NFL teams or players when you can get John Elway on the cover? And why have uniforms in colors other than red or blue? Although they did overcomplicate things by having a mind boggling 9 offensive plays. Luckily Tecmo Bowl would show them you really didn't need all those plays.


Tecmo Bowl for NES
2 passes, 2 runs. I mean who needs that many? Why even have plays? Why not just hike the ball and let the players vibrate around like it's electric football?


Cyberball
The thing I remember about this arcade game was that if you didn't get a first down, the ball - which was a bomb - exploded. Thus, you lost posession. Oh, and I also remember pushing in quarters in the Godfather's Pizza arcade.

What I didn't remember was this bananas description courtesy of mobygames.com:
"At one time, the game of American Football was not played by average humans, but in the year 2006, an all-pro player was caught with a bionic knee... By 2022, the game was played not by humans, but robots, and the usual pig skin ball was replaced with a 350 pound bomb to spice things up."

I don't want to jinx his career before it starts, but my money is on Reggie Bush. Either that, or as a direct result of the Madden cover curse, Alexander is found to have the bionic knee.


Mutant League Football for Sega Genesis
If the game isn't being played by robots, it might as well be played by mutants on a booby-trapped playing field. I'm almost surprised this wasn't branded as Mortal Kombat Football.


Troy Aikman NFL Football for Sega Genesis
Clearly this game tried to make up for it's lack of NFLPA license, by overpromoting their NFL team license. We get it. It's the NFL. And Aikman connects with WR#88!


NCAA Football 06
This game introduced a Race for the Heisman mode, but the best part is that while you make the journey from high-schooler to Heisman winner, you upgrade your girlfriend. So of course, when you walk-on your girl is a total butterface.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

How Far We've Come

Realsports Football for Atari
This game beautifully combined the graphics of pong, with the football excitement of choosing from 7 plays over and over. But at least the uniforms were accurate.


NES Football
The year was 1990. I had Nintendo. And this was football. And yet at the time, I knew it sucked. But I didn't have any other option. There were 8 teams but without any NFL licensing. Completing a pass was a feat worth celebrating...but it was football.


Tecmo Super Bowl for NES
Still enjoyable to this today because of awesome gameplay and complete NFL licenses. (Well almost complete, QB Eagles and QB Bills being some notable exceptions.) This game ate my childhood. Remarkably good franchise mode considering it was 1992.


NFL Football '94 for Genesis
This game introduced me to the straight ahead camera angle that will become the standard. It also introduced trash talk and really crappy gameplay. I kept playing Super Tecmo Bowl.


Bill Walsh College Football '95 for Genesis
This game ate up hours and hours, and is still playable today. Real colleges, if only about 25, and some real bowl games. Smart AI, realistic penalties. Solid game. Players moved like real players, sort of.


NFL Quarterback Club '96 for Genesis
How can you make Quarterback Club without the trademark quarterback competition? Not a big step forward, but a playable game, real NFL teams and players and featuring 50 of the greatest scenarios of all-time (to that point).


NFL Blitz for N64
Improved graphics and addictingly fun gameplay. Players are actually started to look like players, except that the game doesn't look like real football.


Madden 2001 for PS1
We're getting there. Realistic, looks good, options galore. It's come a long way already. But it will look a lot better in a few years.


NFL 2k2 for Dreamcast
Looks really sharp, but almost too sharp. Like a cartoon, instead of realistic. But the game was realistic. Plus it had Michael Vick.


ESPN NFL 2k5 for PS2
Now we've got the ESPN presentation, updated divisions, challenges, cribs, better graphics than the Madden counterpart for that year, the best gameplay yet. Check out that grass!


Madden 07
The future of video game football. Exclusive licensing will make sure it is. And it looks a little bit better than NES football, but will it have the gameplay to match?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

This Month In Sports



When the Texans passed on Reggie Bush (the equivalent of passing on the bacon guy at Fogo de Chao) I choked on a chunk of pastrami and lapsed into a meat-induced coma (my favorite kind).

I awoke 10 days later and wondered what I missed:

Well the Royals are 8-22, but they really blew it by not winning their first game or at least 2 of their first 3 games. Thus insuring another year without a winning record. 2005 came and went and the best mark they posted was 3-3. The last time the Royals had a winning record was April 13th, 2004. (4-3) Maybe next April.

Barbaro wins the Derby. Because the only thing worth watching for is to see if a horse will win the Triple Crown, the Derby has almost become less exciting. It was still the most watched sporting event of the weekend, but ...zzz...zzz...

Leinart and Young have reported to mini-camps on teams that could be rebuilding! Except that both teams are going to do everything they can to keep them off the field in 06.
Which puts a lot of pressure on:
Vick-Bush, Falcons-Saints, Monday Night, Week 3, First Home Game in New Orleans. If Bush and Vick don't combine for 700 rushing/return yards it will be a disapointment.


Is there a bigger curse in football than the Madden Curse? Maybe the Super Bowl losing Curse. Or maybe the slump that follows a record breaking performance in a contract year. So what I am saying is that if Shaun Alexandar doesn't die on the field, he should consider himself lucky. Oh and I'm not drafting him for my fantasy team. I'd rather take Slowy McBrittle (who went undrafted but then was signed to a 50 million dollar deal by Isiah Thomas, who then traded him to the Bears).

And the incredible Hulk hit another asterisk out of the ballpark.

But I was too busy watching the Suns come back from 3-1 against the Lakers. And now the Suns have a huge advantage over the Clips that no one is talking about - they have just played 3 games in the Staples Center. They are used to the locker room. Going back and forth between LA and Phoenix. This will be like a second home to them, if only they can get Frankie Muniz out of their head.