Friday, December 12, 2008
It's times like these that I wish I had spent more time working on my fastball and less time on "i before e except after c."
On a positive note, the World Baseball Classic is returning in 2009. I really like the idea behind this, and I hope that the tv networks get their coverage right this time around. The last time it was held, in 2006, nearly half of the games were presented with abbreviated video. However, the advent of the MLB Network gives me hope. Competiton drives invention and a desire to succeed. Hopefully, ESPN will use this as a chance to deliver a better tv product this time around. In other words, show the whole game or don't show it at all!
The wonderful folks up in Bristol (ESPN) broke a story today on their Outside the Lines program that made me laugh. Apparently there is only one thing Republicans & Democrats can agree on, college football needs a playoff. And they want to do something about it. The planned legislation does not specify how the playoff system would be implemented, but it is clear on one thing: The BCS needs to go. It seems anyone who has watched one snap of college football has an idea of how to fix the BCS mess. Most will cite the March Madness college basketball tournament as a reason for why the playoff is needed for football. March Madness is one of the most lucrative tv contracts in all of sports and is currently owned by CBS. The network does a tremendous job of promoting, televising, and analyzing the games since they picked up the contract for the games in 1991. Nearly 20 years later, the Madness has thrived on CBS and the station has become synoymous with the March basketball.
Now, imagine if in 2010 when ESPN picks up the rights to the BCS that instead, we have a playoff system in place. The possiblities of some of those useless bowl games actually mattering would have fans salivating. Now, I have a reason to tune in for the Allstate Sugar Bowl because a team's chances of winning a National Championship will be ended within 4 quarters of play. It gives those games a sense of importance and urgency, which are two things sports thrive on. Why else would fans wish for a Game 7 in other sports?
Who would have thought I would agree with congress on something? The playoff system is long overdue for college football. There should be no guess work in determining the National Champion. No one wants to share the throphy. And congress is going to make sure that no one has to share a throphy again.
I was deeply disappointed to hear that Petty Enterprises has released 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte amid concerns of no sponsorship. Times are tough, especially when one of the crowned jewels of the sport is forced to merge with another team just to make ends meet. The year 2009 will not be a kind one to NASCAR; I certainly hope Brian France has a plan to keep teams afloat this season, or we may be left watching Hendrick Motorsports battle Roush-Fenway Racing for the championship. Oh wait, we already did. Oh well.
Another sad note for NASCAR fans, the Wood Brothers team, another staple of the Cup Series garage for over 50 years, announced plans earlier this week to cut its racing schedule drastically. They will no longer run a full season, and their plans for the Truck Series have also been put into question. I hope this is not a sign of things to come for NASCAR, but with two of the most legendary teams in desperate trouble things do not look promising. Looks like Jimmie Johnson's road to the 4 in a row is going to be easier than previously thought.
Thanks for stopping by, and next time wipe your freaking feet off on the door mat!
Friday, December 5, 2008
The other great feature added to the squared circle is the use of abilities. Last year, every superstar had two fighting styles that determined what abilities they had. This presented a huge problem, with superstars doing moves and acting in ways they never would! (When is the last time you saw Jeff Hardy bust himself open with a chair to show he's hardcore?) This has been remedied as each superstar has up to six abilities. They can be something simple like the ability to double stack tables or something more complex and character specific like stealing an opponents finisher. And the A.I. is much more refined than ever before. Big Show won't go for top rope moves like a cruiserweight, Rey Mysterio takes to the air in ways that will leave you scratching your head. It really adds to the value of this game.