Monday, March 06, 2006

Ramblings

I hope this week flies by faster than last week. I have a big weekend coming up. Saturday, I get to experience the genius of the Twilight Singers in their pre-SXSW show. Sunday is draft day. That's right it is Fantasy Baseball time once again. Please try to keep your enthusiasm in check. This year I'm trying something a little different. I'm still doing NL only keeper league, but I'm using yahoo this time. It has gotten to the point that I'm tired of selling out cash to play and never being able to play with my friends. This year I get to play with Bob. We've already set the draft order, and I got the shitty middle position. I prefer the beginning or end of the draft order. Anyway, more to come on how the draft goes, and why they should just give me the trophy now.

With the past week being a frustrating mess, I decided I needed to treat myself with a video game. I decided on Black for the Xbox (also available for the PS2). I bought it for basically one reason it's called gun porn. Basically, you just shoot the crap out of everything. At least that's what I had heard. Don't get me wrong it's a solid game. Actually it's a beautiful game, particularly if you find particle effects and the rag doll physics of a man flying through the air out of the second story window and doing a face plant beautiful. The game is basically you living a five-six hour Bruckheimer film. I do have a couple problems with it. First, it's too short. Second, the guns seemed designed to cause more damage to the environment than the guy you're trying to shoot. There were many times I've unloaded the big daddy machine gun into the guy, and one shell might hit him. But it is pretty watching the dust and bits of concrete wall fly around him. That's why I stuck with the shotgun. Third, the whole destruction of environments that I was being sold on really doesn’t come into play often enough. There are only a few set pieces where you really feel like you are in the shit. For example there is a confrontation with the enemy in a bathroom stall. You can take cover behind the stall walls for only a second till enemy fire completely obliterates it. Once the firefight is finished the whole room is decimated. I wanted that to happen through the whole game. I realize this is limited by the technology, but I would eventually like to see a game with completely destructive environments. When I send a rocket launcher into a watch tower I want to blow out the stilts and watch it tumble. If I fire a mortar and it lands in some woods I want to see those trees coming down. I want to pay the price of having the roof cave in if I'm dumb enough to fire a rocket launcher while inside a building. I would accept a lower frame rate on the next generation consoles if such a game could be made. Still, Black is fun, and there are a few "Oh shit!" moments. I would recommend it as a rental though because it's so short.

Commercial Hip-hop has proved once again their lack of creativity. Remember back in the day when the "fish-eye" lens dominated their videos? Well, now rap videos have their new favorite technique. It's the widescreen/full screen combo. I didn't like it the first time I saw it, and now that every other video seems to use it I detest it. I hate to give even more props to Kanye West, but even though it doesn't always work (i.e. both "Heard Em Say" videos) at least he tries to do something different each time out. I'm currently digging his "Touch the Sky" video where he plays Evel Knievel.

I'm sure most of you have seen this story on the autistic kid who plays his first high school basketball game after being the team manager for years. I think every station including ESPN has done a piece on it. In case you haven't read the story and watch the video here. Also, compare the first clip "Autistic Teen's Hoop Dreams" to the third related clip called "Hoop Dreams for Autistic Player." The first piece works much better than the third one. I think it's because it follows the whole progress of the final minutes of the game. I get dust in my eye when you see the coach point to put the kid in. I'm also sure Disney is salivating over the rights to the kid's story.

I admit it. I'm a closet Buffalo Bills fan. I didn't always though keep my love for the Buffalo Bills such a guarded secret. After the Music City Miracle I decided to place my Bill fandom in the closet along with my wrestling videos and Journey box set. Why do I hide it? Because I'm a Cubs fan. It became fairly annoying when I would admit my love for both the Cubs and Bills, and people would view as some kind of sports masochist. How much sports pain can one fan endure? Apparently a lot. Here's the thing: I might actually be a masochist.

I always watched football, but growing up in Columbus football came in only Scarlet and Grey. Eventually, I came to the decision that I needed to pick a NFL football team to follow. This is where the masochism could come into play. I basically picked the Bills by looking at the 1986 USA Today pre-season rankings and selecting them because they were near the bottom of the list. Like I've said before: I like the underdogs. Jersey, team history, and other factors went into play as well, but mainly I consciously picked from the bottom of the barrel. We all know what happened after that. Four straight Super Bowls: One "wide right" field goal attempt in 1991, two blow outs in 1992 & 93, and then a promising first half in 1994 only to see it come crumbling down. Some would point to the come from behind win in the 1993 wild card playoff game against the Oilers as a highlight. I would look to it as the crest of a wave before it crashes against the rocks.

Now add all that up with the years and years of misery as a Cubs fan, and you can see why some would think I was a sports masochist. Some would say that I might in fact be the curse for both teams and should retire my fan membership for both teams. To those people I would like to point out the 2002 BCS Championship in which my Buckeyes won. Some will debate that the refs won it for them.

Finally, watching the Oscars proves once again that Nicholson will always be the coolest guy in the room.

2 comments:

MOL Junior said...

it ain't easy 'round here for a pimp!

faith said...

Once a cubs fan, always a cubs fan...or so I'm told!