Sports

SPORTS

Like it or not, we’re not quite ready…

When I was a kid, I was a sports fan of the moderate variety partly because it was background noise when I was growing up and almost every television one encountered on one’s daily travels was playing some sort of team or solo sport. I don’t recall being a huge fan of any particular team or teams, but I remember like/hating the Yankees because they seemed to win a lot whenever I saw a game on TV and most everyone I knew in the Bronx area not liking the Mets because they lost so much. Well, they did win big a few times, but I recall the old post-game show, Kiner’s Korner being renamed “Whiner’s Korner” by a school friend who did a spot-on impression of Ralph Kiner. One fine day in school, a teacher who was walking past us in a hallway as we headed to lunch overheard his impression, stopped dead in his tracks and asked him to do it again, laughing. He was a Mets fan, but he also found that impression pretty hilarious.

Other sports such as football, basketball, the occasional hockey match and many, many more were watched over time, we got a load of education on assorted sports around the world from ABC, and yes, I was a boxing fan for ages. A relative once met Muhammad Ali in an airport back in the early 70’s and got his autograph in a small slip of paper (which is still kept in a scrapbook here). Ali’s eventual decline from greatness was a sad thing to see as the 70’s turned into the 80’s, however. It’s one of the reasons I pretty much stopped watching the sport save for in the 2000’s when I assisted in a few game events for EA Sports where a few boxing video games were playable at a series of Golden Gloves matches here in NYC. Amusingly enough, sports games were a big thing here for a while, but as they got more visually impressive, I started to miss older games like Tecmo Bowl and a few titles up to the 32-bit era. As they became more monetized, now, I avoid most modern sports titles, although I’m a sucker for a good racing game, specifically a good rally game.

Anyway, with this pandemic and its forcing sports to more resemble older video games with elements like crowds that look like cardboard cutouts replacing fans or teams playing to nearly empty stadiums complete with piped-in cheers, I took a curious look at a few games and nope, they weren’t the same. Sure, the visceral thrill part was there, but the overall picture was a tad lacking in that one needed to overlook the sparse or fake audiences (or mixtures of both oversized crowd cutouts and real spectators) and the sad fact that maybe a player might take I’ll if even the tiniest precaution wasn’t taken. But, folks need their entertainment, their bread and circuses if you like. So, here we are. An online friend whose wife is a nurse said to me last year that she thought maybe watching hospital staff treating pandemic patients might make a good spectator sport. She noted that while it won’t be as thrilling as a hard body check or a miracle three-pointer, the whole life or death thing on a daily basis might be a thing one won’t get from those other team sports.

-GW

Gallery: Hockey Manager 20|20

hockey manager 2020 header

Ice, ice, maybe?

I used to play a lot of sports games a long time ago on a number of systems I own or have owned. I don’t these days save for assorted racing games I like and some “extreme” sports games, but Netamin’s Hockey Manager 20|20 does look somewhat intriguing with all those charts and graphs to peruse and use. The trailer isn’t at all that exciting unless anything about the sport automatically gets you cheering, so here you go – a little test, followed below the jump by a slew of screenshots and some game info.

Continue reading

Review: Mutant Football League (PS4)

MFL_PS4Okay, confession time (again), For the record, I really don’t care for most professional or what’s positioned as “professional” sports these days. Now, I’m not  completely against your own sports or sports entertainment choices, mind you (if you love what you watch, I’m not stopping you at all). I actually used to be a lot more physically active and have played a bunch of team sports over the years and yes indeed, even had a few favorite pro teams for a number of decades. That said, as I’ve grown older I’ve found myself not caring about overblown, over-hyped event sports as bread and circus spectaculars in the grand scheme of things partly because it only takes a few crazed fans acting up to kill interest in what should be a less mentally stressful entertainment experience.

That said, I could play Digital Dreams’ killer Mutant Football League (MFL) all day and not grow tired of it. This one’s a “Shut up and buy it!” game if there ever was one and if you’re a fan of more arcade-like games in the NFL Blitz vein or recall playing the well-aged but still hilarious Mutant League Football back on the Sega Genesis, this one’s going to be right up your dark alley and waiting to club you on the head and swipe $20 from your wallet before skipping away whistling. Since your cell phone wasn’t lifted, when you’re back to a conscious state, do call up a friends and invite them over for some solid co-op action, online play or hell, even just to spectate and cheer at the mayhem on screen.

MFL_PS4_03

Continue reading

Sporty Sport Sport Stuff, Humor Edition

tomjump0 
Nope, I did not watch the big bootfall game last night (ask me about the NFL and you get this as a response), but seeing a GIF on Twitter of Goo Gaga leaping at some point last night took me right out of my bad mood and made me laugh for a good few minutes straight. Gal’s got more balls than both teams combined on and off the field.

tomjump1 
Clearly, the Lady herself must have been thinking of A few of the Mission Impossible movies as inspiration, or that’s my excuse for her acrobatics that came off better live than some movie stunts with overworked CG artists trying too hard over-exaggerating action in that way that never quite looks right.

tomjump2 
I ended up watching the whole routine later and being surprised it worked as well as it did. I’m not sure what Tom Cruise was doing last night, but I’d bet if he were near a TV, he was either grinning like crazy or going crazy because Gaga’s act will be the one talked about until he decides to jump off another building in whatever he works on next. J.J. Abrams’ phone was probably ringing off the hook before the halftime show was half done.

Back in a bit – been nursing some gloom for a bit, but I think I got some mojo back…

-GW

Save

READS: Surf NYC – Into the Deep End With The Urban Wave Jockeys

SurfNYC_Cover

Photo: Andreea Waters

 

I guess you can call photographer/author Andreea Waters‘ new book Surf NYC ($34.99, Schiffer Publishing) a perfect summer beach read of sorts. Granted, if you’re strolling around certain wet and sandy spots with a copy in hand and your phone’s GPS chatting away looking for where some of the photos in the book were shot, you may luck out and get an autograph from one of the more outgoing daredevils committed to riding the weird, wild waves in and around the NY area.

On the other hand, you’ll probably want to respect both the privacy and utter daring of these urban daredevils out to conquer with their own respect the very waters doing what comes naturally and often under unnatural circumstances. The book is a 136-page hardcover with 64 outstanding images of the guys and gals who dare along with the places they do that daring in. You’ll come for the images, but stay for the stories told in quick bits by the surfers interviewed.

Photo: Andreea Waters

Photo: Andreea Waters

 

Continue reading

Back to the Future Part II Proves The Future Actually Sucks…

Yeah, yeah. I was trying to be less of a curmudgeon this year, but the fact that people are waxing a wee bit too nostalgic over Back to the Future Part II and its “predictions” about the world of 2015 has roused me into a stupor over all this fanciful fawning. Let’s face it, folks: most of us are just too eager to over-appreciate some forms of technology despite realizing it’ll be abused and very royally mucked up once it gets into the paws of the public. The combination of old and new bad habits will make that otherwise cool tech too damn deadly to be of any use unless it’s under VERY highly controlled conditions… Continue reading

AryaBall: Almost There – Just One More Push (Throw, Toss, Fling, Swing, Kick) Away!

If you think about it, Babak Forutanpour’s AryaBall is more or less the smartphone of outdoor toys. Like your modern phone is an all-in-one device that does many things, AryaBall takes care of a few popular sports using a clever, innovative design that makes you want to grab one just to try it out. Go take a look at the almost funded Kickstarter and if you like what you see, well – you know what to do. I’m actually surprised that Babak hasn’t thought up ONE sport using everything in that cool new toy, as I could see some network exec slapping himself in the forehead at the very idea of some new (and popular) competitive show that makes for more must-see “reality” TV. Anyway, 45 more hours to go (and counting down) and AryaBall is only a few thousand from its goal… suspense!

How Do You Say “Play Ball!” In Japanese Again?

(thanks, springdraco!) 

So, yeah – someone decided to partially translate this classic Abbott and Costello routine from English to Japanese and somehow, I found this more hilarious than I needed to, so here you go. This clip is from the great old flick The Naughty Nineties, by the way. I think I was thinking of seeing this in full reverse with a pair of Japanese comics doing this bit in Japanese and having English subtitles done up. That would be pretty darn spectacular, as Japanese baseball has some oddball rules you don’t see here that make it a more exciting game in a few respects. Granted, I’m not a HUGE sports fan at all (yeah, yeah – I’m soooo unpatriotic it hurts YOU more than it does me), but I know funny when I see it and appreciate a good laugh a hell of a lot more than a well thrown, hit or caught ball of any type.

Oh, yeah – here’s a longer version of the famous routine below – enjoy!

(thanks, ClassicTV789!)

I Would Seriously Watch More Sports if NWA World Did All the Coverage…

“Tennis, anyone?” Not me, usually! Or Golf, Football and anything else with overpaid mostly already wealthy “superstars” running around or otherwise interacting with each other on a field of some sort. On the other hand, if the nightly sports report was anything close to as nutty as what NWA World cooks up ridiculously fast and seemingly for not a lot of money, I’d be glued to the tube every night for those highlights!

Hmmm… Of course, I have the feeling that those guys and gals over in Taiwan are having a load of a joke at our expense. But it’s all good, I say – some sports fans take their hobby way too seriously, so these videos do a really nice job of lightening the load…

Game of Thrones Season 3: Carmelo May Be A Fan, But I Probably Don’t Need to Know This…

 

Eeek. Um, OK? I guess (and HOPE) Carmelo Anthony is a big fan of the show and all, but I really don’t like these oddball crossover promotion advertising whatever deals because it almost seems as if someone thought it was a good idea to over-check the demographics of who watches the show, figure out who may NOT yet be a fan and make an annoying ad that appeals to that market (and may not be so annoying to that demographic or whatever). Or something like that. Yeah, it’s as clumsy as this post is (or clumsier, as I don’t cringe at my writing – I leave that to you, dear reader), but I guess that’s how it goes. It’s not TV, It’s HBO, you know… Bleh. Oh well, as long as there’s no attempts at putting any sportsball players IN the show as a marketing mistake, this video can be forgiven…