Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The 59

"Our fans were fantastic and I want to say a big thank you to the 59 people who made the trip to support us. They are the real loyal supporters, they gave us fantastic support and we let them down badly."

- Ian Sampson, Northampton Town Cobblers

Not sure I've ever read a quote like that.

The Cobblers are struggling this year and just came off a 4-0 loss to Hartlepool.

Speaking of 59. The Nationals are drawing some record crowds around the country. A comment under this post mused about the 59 folks that showed up. Ahh, late August baseball for teams in the basement. There is a charm to it. Really. Die hard fans are the only ones left. One of them is over at "The Nationals Enquirer". This time of year you get some real gems. I'm going to steal some of his thunder here, but it is too funny to pass up.

"During Wednesday night's Nationals-Astros game on MASN, Ray Knight seemed to come to the realization that he was armed with a telestrator in the MASN TV booth (as you probably know, Ray's been filling in for Rob Dibble the last few games of this road trip). For a few minutes in the second inning, Ray pretty much went off the deep end with his newfound telestrator power, attempting to telestrate...everything. The results were a bit confusing mostly, but let the record show that we like Ray Knight in the booth paired up with Bob Carpenter. We just hope MASN confiscates his telestrator pen from here on out."





Thursday, August 26, 2010

On a Side note Pilgrim


Scott Pilgrim vs the World is the best movie I've seen since... we'll I don't know when. Edgar Wright nailed it. Absolutely. Amp vs. Amp is one of the most masterful scenes I've seen in film, didn't want it to end. If you haven't seen the film and then go see it and half way through see this moment coming up... poop your pants and get ready (if you haven't pooped them already). An original movie that doesn't come around very often. Wallow in it when watching.

!!!!

!

Watch the movie already.

On an extended side note... maybe two extended ones... Mary Elizabeth Winstead is from Asheville NC. God's beautiful country. Beautiful people. Carry on NC!

(I said poop the pants)

FIFA 11 and you

One of the starkest differences between a game like FIFA 10 and Madden 11 is options. And number of teams. Number of teams maybe comes first. Also, the spectrum of good and bad teams that span the globe. There are many other things different betwixt the two. Both those are the biggest.

So what I'm thinking this year. September 28th, to be exact when FIFA 11 comes out. Is to try and get an online league going. Or at least join one.

It'll be XBOX 360 because I'm hoping my man Matt will be playing too.

Difficulty will be Professional. World Class seems fake. Sped up or something. Maybe I'm just not that good yet.

Game speed... will probably be "slow". Maybe normal. Slow limits goals but not difficulty. I can play as Stoke City and give Barcelona a run for it's money but with Northampton town, no matter how hard I play, I can't win.

Clubs involved will be open do discussion.

Created player is allowed. And in as much maybe the league will start a couple weeks after Sept 28th in order to train up.

Ball will be the Hummell .04 Concept.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A sad day.

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

-------------------------------------

He moved to a new town,
felt like he was lost,
he always wore a frown,
till he seen the angel across,

one day he met her,
it was like a sign,
she was so pretty just,
endless like time,

together they fell,
in deep love real fast,
vowed to love each other,
that they'd always last,

then it got stronger,
deeper than thought,
he'd love her forever,
felt life was to short,

then something went wrong,
and they spent less time,
the boy started to wonder,
is she even still mine,

till one day she called,
and heres what she said,
"id rather be alone,
then with u instead,

from that day on,
inside more he died,
he couldn't let go,
no matter how hard he tried,

no time has past,
in life he feels he has no part,
twenty-one days later,
he died from a broken heart,

heres to all u lovers,
who don't picture your selfs apart,
make sure you cherish every moment,
right from the very start.

- Some dude on the internet.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And... yet again. Madden.

Gus Johnson calling the game this year! Hot damn! Wait. Maybe I'll skip Madden this year. Nope, too late. In the cart.

Superficial first impression just looking at the thing (sigh):
Gus sounds like something out of Joe Montana Sports Talk football. "The freak! (pause) Randy Moss (pause) gets his (pause) first reception of the game." Second thing I notice here is that the players on the sidelines look better. A lot better. In between snaps the game looks better. Coach and player models are much improved. More sponsors (bothered me last year just to have, like, one). The crowd still needs work. I wish the camera was less jerky, it follows the ball precisely so if a player is getting jossled around at the line the camera shakes back and forth rapidly.

They mailed in the music this year. Wow. Not good.

Superficial review done (maybe all Madden games get these days anyway except from Bill Abner) No gameplay for me yet. I'm still having too much time playing FIFA 10. However, I did simulate this years season, just to see how some of my potential fantasy players do. Below are the results for the Skins. Not good. I'll put it in the memory bank and see what happens at the end of the season.

All the regulars at the top of the league. Manning, Bress, wait... Romo and Flacco? Bold. In rushing you get Gore, Turner, McGahee, Peterson. McGahee probably shouldn't be there. Receiving we have Colston, Marshall and Fitzgerald. I don't see Fitzgerald there because he doesn't have anyone throwing to him this year.

Biggest question I needed answered? Jake Delhomme. He finished the season with a 66.8 passer rating. 17 TDs with 17 INTs. Hmmm. We'll see how that plays out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Primum Mobile ERROR


Finally. Entered the Tera-byte world today along with an AV to Digital converter. More to come.

Up on my YouTube channel as well. BILLYSASQUATCH.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

GM: Today was the Day

They filed with our friends of at the SEC. An IPO. The same company that last did that in 1916. A bit hasty, especially when you consider that 30-40% of their sales are 'Fleet'. I'm not sure America has warmed up to spending $25k (28k if you want the LTZ!) on a Malibu that probably should be in the $17k range. Their cars are nice, but too expensive. Only government agencies spend 30% more on something they shouldn't have (see: Fleet Sales)

Never the less. Today GM goes for the gold in taking that leap to being a public company again. Welcome back GM? I think they want to think so and I think they want it in a very bad way.

Hasty, says I.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Premier League On!

Very fun opening weekend the the Premier League. I was already pretty excited but I wasn't expecting to be as into it as I am. I was able to catch one live game and a couple hour long 'highlight' replays today on Fox Soccer Channel HD (not in HD on Time Warner yet).

Wish I was able to catch the Stoke game live -- below is a very shorthand version. A loss for Stoke but great goal by Faye. My man in the back. But even better was the Wolves with one of the best free kicks I've ever seen.

Now here's my test video of the two goals I mentioned... Learning as I go here.
video
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On an England National Team note; They beat Hungary earlier last week 2-1. Gerrard single handedly pulled the England team from the jaws of defeat after the team went down 1-0. He scored two goals within 5 mins.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Left Handed Game

Got a little sucked into the YouTube wormhole today. Started out looking for I don't know what and wound up digging into famous basketball players games. Most NBA fans remember cornerstone moments by the likes of Micheal Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. But does anyone remember the "Left Handed Game" as orchestrated by Larry Bird?. I certainly had never heard of it.

After some digging around I found out that Larry Legend did this regularly on long west coast trips during their dominate years around the 1986 (50-1 at home, run) season. They say he was bored. I didn't believe it till I saw it.

But HERE it is. 22 of his 47 points left handed. He made the shot at the end of regulation to send it to overtime and then preceded to make the game winning shot. Bird in his prime, not to be missed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

FIFA 10

So I've written more then enough about this game and so let it be written here as a quick and final review as this is a run on sentence and FIFA 11 comes out soon.

STORY: 2
Sports game; it's going to get a low score. But you know what? It's the first year I got into the single create a player thing. It was fun and you really feel like you are building skills all role playing like. It's a slow climb, but not a grind. My stories were/are written in 32 team tournaments where league two English teams are taking on the MLS.

OBJECTIVES: 3
Most solid of all sports games I've played. Scoring a goal is still a hands up moment. I don't feel like my objectives are laid waste like Madden. In the final minutes of a game, Madden will steal your girlfriend and take her to the French Riviera if it so chooses. I didn't experience that here. To put this in perspective I give Dr J v Larry Bird on the Amiga a 5. Yup, I'm whipping that out.

IN GAME DESIGN: 4
Impressive. Menus are clean (maybe a bit too many). Easy to navigate. And on the PS3? START BUTTON MEANS; START. On the XBOX 360 "press start" means hit any button. I go way back with the start button. If you say start button, you better mean it. Presentation design changes a bit with bigger games with different score and time and field views. It's subtle, but effective. Opening game load screens are the best I've ever experienced with a player v keeper thing. Excellent. The player creation is slick and very well done. Easy to navigate and looks good. Menus on the right in bubbles the tree out to sub cats. Standard, but good.

IN GAME ARTWORK: 3
Needs work. Games in play look good, but get in close and things fall apart. Low shoulders on every player are not a deal breaker, but the dudes at EA need to look at a human body. A real one. Clothing is also an issue. Things seem parashooty. Not a word but whatever.

MUSIC: 4
Euro junk says American I. But I love it. It fits and doesn't take away from the experience. I like the EA puts in the latest from bands. It's a tightrope, but here it works.

AUDIO: 5
Extremely effective. Minor chants and whatnot. Whistles from fans can get annoying when you are a one star team playing the Brazil national team. Demanding damn fans. But I think the audio is top shelf coming thru my stereo in 5.1.

GAMEPLAY: 5
Yes a 5. It's one of the funnest things out there. Play it, love it.

EMOTIONAL IMPACT: 4
Goes hand in hand with Gameplay. It stinks to loose, feels great to win. It's balanced and fun.

LONGEVITY: 5
This game is glued into my PS3. Fun for many hours. So much to do and so many teams and so many options. The shear number of types of tournaments keeps me coming back. Also the "Live Season" is pretty impressive. Tracking your results verse what actually happened is surprisingly interesting. It is a well integrated system with the web. It works and is impressive. EA could be doing more here I think if they had reasonable competition, but as it is... groundbreaking.

PACKAGE DESIGN AND PACKAGE ART: 3
Meh. They didn't embarrass themselves.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: 5
This one is out of 10. Just another yearly release. Impressive, but I'll be seeing this one on thrift store shelves in 10 years with all the other sports games.

XFACTOR: 10
Oh. It's a ten. Play it. Love it.

So, in conclusion it gets a 74% from me. Kinda blah right? NO! History has been made here. It's my highest rated sports game I've every played. Deservedly so. Better then Dr J v Larry Bird. It's that good as far as sports games go.

The End.

The new Madden release is here now, and just like every other year I'll probably pick it up. It's like a sports game tax. I'll enjoy it for a bit but then FIFA 11 comes out late this month. Will it kill Madden before the NFL season even starts? A true test for this die hard NFL fan.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Billy Sasquatch

Longest running created player in video game history. video He's from somewhere on the Monogahela River in West bygawdViriginia and he will not quit till the job is done.

To Chris Cooley:

You make the Redskins likable.

That's all.

A couple guys that made regular appearances on Cooley's blog - Todd Yoder and Colt Brennan - have been cut. In a professional sports world of rape, gun charges, drug use and murder - Yoder and Colt were a couple of the good guys. There are many like them, I guess, just will miss having them on the team.

Maybe next year when greed will possibly shut down the NFL season (once again), folks will realize that there is something more then just dollars. Fans in this country pull for teams made up of more then the bottom line.

Most professional franchises only get a couple chances a generation to win it all. But I say, the chance to have a likable team every year is 100%.

Check this out as well, HERE.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Metaphorical Mountain

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.

And that... reads like one of the hundreds of motivational posters I see going out the door to customers everyday at work.

But I like it.

(Simile Mountain? I'm never sure.)

Toffs Order Update...

The item I ordered is on back order. Shame. The email response was courteous though. I have attempted to email them back with the address provided for an update. I'm going to put this dot com through the paces if no response is given. I'll be patient.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

40 Year Old Soccer

EPL.com has an amazing flashback video of Crystal Palace v. Arsenal from 1971. It is striking in comparing and contrasting this nearly 40 year old game with a modern MLS game. There is so much urgency. Long balls are on the mark and first touches are controlled. Just to name a few.

Incidentally, I found a place to buy old jerseys over at Toffs.com.

I'll be a monkey's uncle... They have Northampton jerseys.

I just placed an order for a retro Stoke City Jersey, customized and all. It's always a tricky thing to order from international sites so I'll be sure to keep an eye on this one. So far so good. My online statement is accurate with the conversion from Pounds to Dollars. Prices are good. For what I would spend on a dinner out or game you can get a well made 1972 Total Football Holland jersey. Comparatively, my Columbus Crew jersey was a bit more.