Tuesday, August 29, 2006

LEBO: Hoyrish Edition

I assume that both the people reading this blog are familiar with the term "LEBO." It's an acronym coined by Jeff in the comments section of the old version of theblog.net, and it stands for "Land of Eternal Buckeye Optimism." I like to use the word in reference to the wildly optimistic ("Seriously, man. THIS IS THE YEAR," every single year) sect of the OSU fanbase, especially when we haven't got much reason to be so jolly. This kind of attitude has gotten me labeled, on more than one occasion, as the "most pessimistic Buckeye" many of my acquaintancecs know. I prefer to think of myself as a realist ("No, Scott, we are NOT going to go undefeated each and every year," or the 2004 classic "I have emotionally prepared myself for our upcoming loss at Iowa"), but that's neither here nor there. The point is, the residents of LEBO are certainly not alone, in a national sense. I'm sure we all understood this in a strictly logical way ("Other fanbases must have people like this too, right?"), but now we have proof. BEHOLD, the game-by-game predictions of No-trah Dame uberblog The Blue-Gray Sky. I don't think I'm overstating it when I say that they are positively Scooter-esque.

Monday, August 28, 2006

54 - 45 GVGOAT

54) Quake II (PC)
Who like killing people!??!? ME ME ME!!! Basically it was the next gen of Doom, but it got the job done and then some. And that rail gun....mama like!!

Above: I'll first person YOU!!

Fun Fact: Quake III occured during the Cave v. Erin mating ritual.

53) Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES)
Duck Tales haters rejoice!! I know you're just loving this one. Regardless of what you may think, this game was one of the best titles released for the NES. In fact, it was one of the last titles made for it. It featured great game play and excellent co-op mode which was a rarity for the time.

Above: Chipmunks invade a mechanical mouse's meth lab

They made a horrible sequel, which I believe was titled Chip 'N Dale: Members Only...heh...ok, maybe not (tanget: how has my condem name: Members Only Jacket not caught on yet???), but IRREGARGLEUP, the follow-up game was bad.

Fun Fact: Chip 'N Dale: Members Only was one of the worst sequels ever made, but still not as terrible as these...
3) Samus's Metroid Rage (NES)
2) XXXreme virtual toilet presented by R Kelly (Wii, hehe, Wii)
1) Duck Hunt's 20 anniversary shooter....50 Cent's "Da Kunt" Gangsta Challenge (not PC)

52) Ninja Gaiden
I will never, ever, EVER figure out how to use the spinning sword attack in this game. I don't care how many times I tried, I could never do it right. It still angers me. I did like the fact you had a velcro body and could stick to any surface, that was always fun. Plus, is there a time when being a ninja isn't fun?

Above: The elusive, flirting ninjas.

Fun Fact: Scott lost his virginity to Ninja Gaiden

51) Smash TV
A total forgotten legend. It was basically the video game version of "Running Man" and it ruled! Dueling analog action, baby!

Above: Me SMASH!!

Fun Fact: Smash TV wasn't actually a game, I made it up to see how many of you are still paying attention.

50) Metroid (NES)
The hottest girl on girl action available on the NES, a chick in a metal suit fights a giant mother brain. Why not. An incredibly complex map, which I still have NEVER figured out, and the awesome roll-n-poop move really added to its flavor.

Above: Where does he shoot that stuff from?

Fun Fact: The game's name actually comes from one of the regular enemies in game. One of the few titles that used such a convention.

49) Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
Easily the most frightened I've ever been playing a video game. The whole thing was creepy. The visuals, the sound, the objectives, even the way the game handled. Also, it had great use of limited lighting and the effing radio that would start buzzing. DAMMIT, I'm freaked out right now. The whole "horror" game genre is largely untapped mostly due to how difficult it is to do successfully. This game (and 3 and 4 to a lesser extent) did it wonderfully.

Above: That wasn't like that before....shit...

Also, this title gets MASSIVE bonus points for the fact we all played it. "BOARD WITH A NAIL IN IT!!!", Manifold man, and watching Phil drag the 80 pound sword around, were just a few of the great moments.

Fun Fact: I once woke up at 2am because people playing this game were screaming so loud. The game was not being played in my house.

48) Oregon Trail (PC)
Look, I don't care how many buffalo you kill, you're only getting 100 pounds of meat. Also, I never understood that. The slowest, biggest, easiest to shoot thing in the game was also the most useful...duuurrr. If you thought I learned things from Carmen SanDiego, then this game blows it out of the water. Do think I'd know where Independence Rock or the Snake River was if it wasn't for this game??? The other highlight was the trades the CPU would offer. Such as 17 bullets for 5 wagon tongues. Actually, I think that was on Coshocton trading post last week.

Above: Dick jokes!!!

Also, naming anyone in the wagon Scott, Scooter, Shifty McMidget or any other Mizer variation meant certain death for that character. I never completed a game without the Scoot character dying. Wanna ford a river? Well guess what, Scott's gonna drown! Enjoy.

Fun Fact: Scooter once died of dysentary on the very first wagon move.

47) Final Fantasy X (PS2)
This game was the single biggest reason people bought PS2 near the launch date. An incredibly hyped game, it was a graphical masterpiece at its release date for consoles. It kept me occupied for the better part of a quarter including an entire winter break. Technically, it wasn't a great advance in the usual turn based RPG style, but the graphics were so overwhelming, you didn't care.

Above: 4 of those 7 characters are male. Honestly, I don't believe it either.

The other side of any FF game is the story line. This game's was well....girly. It was basically a click-flick playing out on my game. I think "estrogen swinging breast pump" was an actual move. I'm not sure if I've ever forgiven the series for this travesty. Plus, you had to play this gay-ass water polo game with the character who looked like Mario Lopez.

Fun Fact: Also, in keeping with my long standing tradition of getting to the final boss and never defeating him, I never completed this game either.

46) StarCraft (PC)
It seems to me in the world of RTS games you were either a StarCraft guy or a C&C guy (not the music factory). My preference was always killing human and using tanks, but if you wanted to do the same thing with aliens, then this game was your choice.

Above: Hot alien action.

Fun Fact: StarCraft is part of Blizzard Entertainments' "Craft" empire. Don't worry, another one is coming up on the list.

45) NHL '93-2001 (SNES & PS2)
I played a whole bunch of this series. Whether it was trying to get the goalie stuck on the net or trying to make 'lil Wayne's head bleed, this game was a blast. It was fast action with constant checking. '95 featured "the spot" from which you could always score by shooting a wrister from just outside the left face-off circle. Also, I laughed when typing "shooting a wrister". NHL 2001 was memorable for our 6-man created team highlighted by defensemen Race Garber with a 100 in shot power, but a 36 in shot accuracy. That meant a virtual Race Garber shot was exactly like a real life Mike Vick pass! Basically Garber's shot could go anywhere in the 180 degrees in front of him, and like a Mike Vick pass, can usually only be caught by someone in the bleachers only after going through 4 other people's torsos.

Above: The long standing Quebec vs. Tamba Bay rivalary.

Fun Fact: There will never be a better named created character than Holey the Goalie.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Finally: Preseason Top 10

Yeah, I asked for it like two weeks ago. And yeah, Jeff is the only one who has responded thus far, what with Dids being obsessed with "World of Warcraft" and "Kid Icarus" and whatnot, and Evan being ... I don't know, somewhere. Working like a damn dog in Bah-ston, I assume. I don't know, I felt like I had to get these out there before the season actually started, so ... I am. (Sidenote: as I type, I am watching ESPN Classic, where [this week only] they're actually showing college football games, and not just in the 1-hour "we have to make room for more boxing and bowling" "Drive Thru" format, either. The current game? Last year's Sugar Bowl, Georgia vs. West Virginny. The first quarter is just coming to an end, and the 'Eers look so thoroughly dominant that I seriously considered rejiggering the following list in order to squeeze them in there. Then I sat there for a second and went "you dipshit, just watch the last 2.5 quarters and you'll come to your senses." But I had forgotten how really REALLY good they looked in the first 20 minutes of that game.)

So ... Top 10. The thing is, as has been discussed numerous times elsewhere by actual college football-oriented blogs, you have to define exactly what you're trying to accomplish: is your list (or preseason blogpoll ballot, if that's your thing) an evaluation of talent alone? Is it a prediction of how the season will turn out? Is it a prediction of who will accomplish the most? Is it a prediction of what the final polls are likely to be? I tend to side with SMQ more than the blogpoll faction which requests that strength of schedule not be taken into account -- the theory is that you want to judge the worth of teams based on performance and on evidence available, and not on perceived strength and weakness of schedules, but the thing is, in anyone's preseason poll or list or alcohol-soaked blithering, we have no real evidence to work with, as no games have been played. I think the best way to go is to try and predict what the rankings will end up being, and yes, strength of scedule therefore has to be a consideration. I don't like preseason polls, and I think they should be done away with, so everyone waits until there is SOME on-the-field information available; however, if you have to have one, I think it should be a predictor of the way the season will end up. Voters should then disregard that prediction as much as possible when filling out in-season polls, and just go by the evidence they can see on the field.

Last piece of general discussion before starting the actual list: there seems to be a pretty general consensus of which 12 or so teams should contain the Top 10. The problem is that noone knows where the hell to rank the teams inside of that list of 10, because every single team has at least one glaring hole or potential weakness, to go along with at least one big strength (which is why I've adopted the format I've used here, an outright theft of CFN's). Needless to say, I hate my list. Here we go.

1.) USC
General notes: Until given reason otherwise, they're my preseason #1. They've been stockpiling talent for what seems like epochs (and REAL talent, not all this "hey, Virginia's got a couple of top-10 recruiting classes in a row, let's pick them as our national dark horse team the next four consecutive years"), and I can't just overlook the fact that every time they've graduated seemingly-irreplaceable players over the last few years, they've just plugged in some new sophomore top-20 national recruit and kept on chugging. Of course, playing a Pac 10 schedule every year doesn't hurt that chugging, either (MWB, bitches!).
Biggest justification(s) for having them #1: The aforementioned stupidly well-stocked cupboard that reads like a who's who of the best recruits of the last five years. The revolving door of badass offensive linemen. The fact that they return 5 of their front seven on defense, so they should be able to continue to pressure opposing QBs the way they have the past few years, with little dropoff. They have a receiving corps which is the best in the country, and by pretty significant margin. The schedule -- especially in-conference -- is ridiculously back-loaded so that, should the Tro-men escape the two early games at Arkansas and home against Nebraska (a somewhat pesky chore, but extremely doable), they have relatively smooth sailing until the last three weeks, when they have home games against Cal and Notre Dame and a functional home game against UCk-LA. Plus they're going for history.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: In theory, you don't just replace all the shit they lost, especially two Heisman winners, and not to mention three offensive linemen. For years, their rather iffy defense has been helped immensely by the fact that they've been feasting off turnovers from Pac 10 foes who are stuck playing from behind most of the time; conventional wisdom would suggest that they have to come back down to earth from the +21 turnover margin they had last year (they have to one of these years, right?).

2.) Texas
General notes: What the hell is this, last year? I hate having these two teams 1-2. Lost in all the "who's gonna be the QB?" hoopla, some people are forgetting that these guys are returning almost everything else. Pretty much every player they lost was a [Cave] BEAST [/Cave], but if USC is the "Yankees' payroll" of CFB recruiting, Texas is that of the Red Sox: in theory, I guess the former has more, but compared to the rest of the country, they're basically equivalent.
Biggest reason(s) to have them higher: Well, they're the defending champs and they return a respectable 13 starters, with a gaggle of proverbial VHTs waiting in the wings. Like USC, they return the bulk of their front seven; unlike USC, their front seven was legitimately dominant last year, especially their tandem of senior DEs (Robison and Crowder). Because of the relative "meh"-ness of the Big XII and the Bomar scandal at Oklahoma, if the Longhorns get by OSU on September 9 they'll be significant favorites in every game they play the rest of the season. Do you really think Nebraska is gonna beat these guys? Oklahoma may be able to eek out a 13-10 type of game, but Texas really looks like the better team.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: The guys they lost were really REALLY good: DT Larry Dibbles, WLB Aaron Harris, CB Michael Huff, TE David Thomas, and some QB ... Vargas or something. Is a team with a freshman (redshirt or not) QB with NO experience really expected to perform this well? Do you think the "Mack Brown has trouble winning big games" stigma is gone after last year, or do you think all those high-profile games the last two years were primarily won by Vince Young?

3.) Louisville
General notes: It still boggles my mind that this team is good every year now. Louisville? Seriously? And it still pisses me off that Michael Bush chose to go there instead of OSU. Honestly, I try not to think about it. I keep waiting for them to not be that good anymore - it seems like that waiting is going to be in vain.
Biggest reason(s) to have them higher: The only possible reason to put them higher than this (and shit, probably the primary reason to put them this high) is the Big East schedule. The two best teams they play this year -- Miami and West Virginia -- both have to come play at the PIZZALAND, THAT'S FUN! They were almost undoubtedly better than every team they played last year, even Vickginia Tech, whom they were beating in the fourth quarter of the bowl game even with Brian Brohm out with an injury. Also, there's the offense, which routinely blows out the bad-to-mediocre opponents which usually litter the schedule; the Cards somehow always seem to have a very good quarterback, a very good and often underrated offensive line, and a cadre of no-name receivers who just flat-out get the job done. This year looks to be no different. Also, despite losing sackmaster and first-class cleat-cleaning tool Elvis Dumervil, seven defensive starters return, including 7 of the top 8 in the secondary.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: Ever since the program's football rennaisance under John L. Smith, no matter how good they look, both on paper and on the field, nor how easy their schedule appears to be, Louisville always seems to find the banana peel, routinely losing at least one that they shouldn't. And there's the matter of them breaking in 3 new offensive linemen, including both tackles. Also, I mean, your schedule can only take you so far - they'd have to REALLY impress the voters with their performance in order to get this high. In short, I'm probably crazy. But somebody's gotta go here.

4.) No-trah Dame
General notes: I hate myself. I really wanted to put them lower than this, but I couldn't.
Biggest reason(s) to have them higher: As SMQ said, even though every single team has flaws, No-trah Dame's seem to be the ... I don't want to say "least bothersome," because I'm sure it was plenty bothersome for ND fans to watch every OSU skill player blaze past Irish defenders like they were fenceposts in the ground, but ... how about "most easily fixable," or at least "most easily ... cover-up...able"? Yes, the defense alternated between "iffy" and "bad" last year, bizarre Michigan game excepted. Nine starters are back from that defense. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing will probably be the determining factor of the fortunes of the Irish this year, as the offense figures to be just as good as last year. The point, however, is that comparatively speaking, "defense last year was shaky but everyone is back" doesn't seem like such a huge problem, compared with some of the question marks other top teams are facing. Another positive for them: the schedule has just the right mix of "name recognition" opponents that will look great on a resume but actually may not be that tough to beat (even though I personally think they'll lose to Michigan). A second glance through that "killer" September schedule ended up being the difference between them and OSU at #5.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: The two players the defense loses were last year's two leading tacklers, and the Irish sure didn't add any impact players to replace them. In theory, a season-opening stretch of @GT, home vs. Michigan and Penn State, @MSU, and then home vs. Purdue sounds like a harbinger of doom, but in all seriousness Michigan may be the only "significantly above average" team on the list: GT is hampered by the Chan Gailey Equilibrium, Penn State should experience a hefty drop-off from last year, Michigan State is Michigan State (i.e., "Seriously, who knows what the hell is gonna happen?"), and Purdue is Purdue. The Irish finish the season on the road at USC, a game they will probably lose, dropping them in the end-of-season rankings.

5.) Ohio State
Not much to say here, since we've said it all countless times, either on here or in bars or whatever. But the gist is as follows: Lots of talent. Short on starting experience on the defensive side of the ball, even though several of the "new" starters have started multiple games in their careers. The offense has relatively few question marks: can Teddy Inge be a reliable #1 receiver? Was the juggernaut-ish unit we saw at the end of the year legit, or was it merely a product of playing below-average defenses.? Good thing for the offense: the line should be terrific, probably the best we've seen in Tressel's tenure. Bad thing: the schedule is front-loaded, with three of the four toughest games occurring before October, a very dangerous thing for a team trying to break in a bunch of "new" defensive starters.

(Sidenote: Brian's OSU preview is up. It contains the usual MGoBlog "I will assume the worst about every one of OSU's question marks, and even about a few of their apparent positives, too" conceits, but it's written with his usual flair and is remarkably well-researched. If you want to read up on the Buckeyes and you're sick of hearing the opinions of idiot national prognosticators and listening to the equally-idiotic residents of LEBO (TM Jeff), it's just what you need.)

Okay, that's the Top 5. I'm tired. Everything else is gonna be shorter, hopefully.

6.) Miami
General notes: Yep, this one's a little iffy, especially considering my pick for #7. But I have to agree with Phil Steele here: they were the best team in the ACC last year. The loss to Florida State was hideously ugly, but if you watched the game, it was fairly clear that the 'Canes were the better team. They return a respectable 12 starters, and the ones that leave, by and large, were good but not irreplaceable. Essentially, it comes down to which team you think is more representative of these guys: the blowout loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl or the blowout win over previously-undefeated Vickginia Tech in Blacksburg. I lean toward the latter.
Biggest reason(s) to have them higher: Everything I wrote above. The defense has been fantastic ever since the Butch Davis Era got into full swing, so regardless of personnel losses, one has to assume that they will continue to have a top D. Kyle Wright improved dramatically as the season went on last year. The schedule is manageable, with their three best conference opponents (FSU, BC, and VT) having to travel to Coral Gables. They're Miami.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: Maybe the LSU game is a better indicator; after all, the ACC proved to be a thoroughly overrated conference last year. They have to travel to Louisville, whom I've already idiotically put at #3. They lose 4 starting offensive linemen, and the offense was painfully inept at times last year.

7.) Louisiana State
General notes: In an exercise which is obviously giving me ample opportunity to look like an idiot, putting Miami ahead of an LSU team that handed them their lunch last year might be the biggest stretch. Might.
Biggest reason(s) to have them higher: Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini. They've been recruiting like crazy and churning out studs for over five years now; I think it's to the point where we can safely assume that just about everyone they trot out is gonna be good. JaMarcus Russell is back for his junior year, which puts him on the short list of candidates for next season's Carlos Huerta award. Skill position talent abounds.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: Head coach Les Miles. Personnel losses on both lines (3 out of 9 starters return in the trenches). Road trips to Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, and semi-trendy bounceback pick Arkansas. The thing is, those are their 4 toughest games, and by a pretty wide margin. They win two of them and that's a ticket to 10-2, right around #7 ... or that's what I keep telling myself.

8.) California
General notes: Jeff is now doing a little dance.
Best reason(s) to have them higher: As Jeff said, Tedford is known for coaching up relative turds to heights of college quarterbacking noone expected from said turds. They return 15 starters and should improve on last year's negative turnover differential. There's a guy named Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, maybe you've heard of him, from Jeff or otherwise. And they should have the best or second best defense in the Pac 10.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: "Second best defense in the Pac 10" might place them somewhere in the 50s or 60s nationally. The defense got a reasonable amount of pub last year, especially from CFN, but they got torched by just about every competent offense they faced: 27 points allowed vs. Oregon, 35 vs. USC, 38 vs. Washington State, and 47 vs. UCLA. Illinois played them extremely touhg last year. We're giving Tedford the benefit of the doubt, but this group of quarterbacks MAY just be unpolishable.

9.) Iowa
General notes: This spot was an absolute toss-up with Michigan, who I think is, for once, significantly underrated rather than the usual "wildly overrated." The deciding factor was the way the schedule works out: even though the Hawkeyes have to travel to Ann Arbor, but their other conference road games are against Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota, and the non-conference slate is creampuffy; meanwhile, Michigan travels to Notre Dame, Penn State, and Ohio State. I'll probably regret this later, but the Hock-eyes are my #9.
Biggest reason(s) to have them higher: Drew Tate is Brett Favre Jr. Kirk Ferentz is a fantastic coach. The aforementioned scheduling issues. Even though two very good offensive linemen are gone, Ferentz plugs in new ones every year that are lights-out. They return their entire defensive line from last year, and the last names of the players replacing Abdul Hodge and Chad Greenway are "Humpal" and "Klinkenborg."
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: They lost pretty much all of their receiving yards from last year. Hodge and Greenway were uber-good. The secondary was pretty iffy last year and figures to be again. That's about it; this looks like a Top 10 team at a probable minimum.

10.) Auburn
General notes: I love Auburn's scheme. I love the tremendous ath-eh-letes that pepper their roster. I LURVE Kenny Irons (Sidenote: anagrams for the running back are scarce -- after racking my brain, I decided to cheat. And I got basically the same crappy results: these are the possible anagrams for "Kenny Irons"). But every time I wanted to put them really high on my list, I kept thinking back to the Capital One Bowl, when a thoroughly "meh" Wisconsin team pushed the War Tigers all over the field and dominated every facet of the game, as all of us sat and watched in abject drunken confusion. I can't in good conscience put them higher than this.
Biggest reason(s) to have them higher: Irons. Brandon Cox, whose season started (Georgia Tech) and ended (Wisconsin) miserably, but who was pleasantly above average the rest of the season. The schedule is promising, as LSU, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas all have to travel to Jordan-Hare, and the most daunting road games facing the Tigers are at South Carolina and Alabama. That's the kind of schedule national title teams usually take advantage of. They outgained SEC opponents by a league-best 119 yards per game last year, and return a respectable 13 starters and 54 lettermen. Though a bit undersized, the defense is usually lightning fast and loaded with ath-eh-letic freaks.
Biggest reason(s) to have them lower: The things is, as SMQ noted and the Wisconsin game seemed to validate, it looks like you can smashmouth these guys. The guys they have to replace on defense were hella good. Most of the WR production graduated, as did two stud offensive tackles. Plus, they're another one of those programs that just seem to wilt under expectations and flourish when faced with doubters. It'll be interesting to watch these guys.

For shits and giggles, 11-25:

11. Michigan
12. Florida
13. Oklahoma
14. Florida State
15. West Virginia
16. Clemson
17. Tennessee
18. Georgia
19. Nebraska
20. Virginia Tech
21. Purdue
22. Arizona State
23. Boise State
24. Boston College
25. Penn State

Phew. Dids, Evan: when you get a chance, you're up.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

64 - 55 GVGOAT

64) Space Invaders (PC)
Yes, a total classic. It's in the hall of fame. Scroll, drop, and shoot. Is there really anything else I can even say about it? No.

Above: 2-Dimensions of rage

Fun Fact: The game had no final level. The aliens just kept moving faster until....well, forever.

63) Battletoads (NES)
There's one thing I remember most about this game: It was impossible. No matter how many times I got to the stage where you had to ride that bizarre flying unicycle, I could beat it. In fact, I don't even know if I ever beat the game with a game genie. However, the game was really fun. And all the levels were quite different for a good mix up of game play. So what if they were a rip off of the ninja turtles, the game still ruled.

Above: Cruising through an intestine faster than No. 1 Chinese food. 8 RUCKY!!!

62) Castlevania (NES)
We've all played it. It's an absolute legend in the gaming world. But, the game really wasn't THAT good. Simon and his whip, which was better than Johan Santana's in 2004, went around beating the crap out of vampires and vampire related monsters. Somehow this game is remembered a bit more fondly than it should be.

Above: Yeah, it's Castlevania II, but you get the idea. Apparently "Simon's Quest" was a hunt for little boys.

Fun Fact: Castlevania is actually referring to the legend of vampires in Transylvania. In keeping with the theme of slight changes to tradition, the main vampire is not called Dracula, he's named Scott Bacula instead. (Wow, that was a reach, thumbs down. I just revoked my own bit. There's another vampire joke there, but I'm letting it go. Next!)

61) Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003-Present (PS2)
The best and most realistic golf game ever created, none of it's versions have been a let down. Being able to play full season, with stats, and actual players is a nice touch. However, once you get enough stuff, the game becomes incredibly easy. So, easy that the final challenge for me was trying to shoot under 50 on 18 holes. 18 Holes.....IN A ROW!!

Above: A good walk spoiled.

Fun Fact: While easy in the later stages, the "world tour" match play mode was always a bitch. I once lost three straight 1-up matches to Jim Furyk in which he shot a 59 each round. Controllers were thrown.

60) Baseball Simulater 1.000 (NES)
Some games are made for realism, this game is not one of them. Each of your players had special hitting and pitching abilities such as missle hit, bomb hit, stop pitch, no shadow hit (which was awesome for 2 player, but totally pointless against the CPU), crazy bounce hit, and I could go on and on. This game was easily the most fun sports title that didn't use any real atheletes.

Above: The Delta Queens would be proud of those unis.

Also, it was one of the first game to feature season long stats with a battery backup on the cartridge. That's what really took this one to the next level.

Fun Fact: During a nintendo-fest a couple years ago, I beat Phil by hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs to win 10-9. Phil dropped to the ground, rolled around for a bit, then went on vacation.

59) Gradius (Arcade)
Another in the list of great arcade games that also made the switch to the console. For this title, the transition actually worked pretty well. A fun little side-scrolling shooter, it was everything this type of game should be. I have nothing funny to say about this game. Although, I'm sure Jack would argue I've had nothing funny to say about ANY of these games, we all know he's a liar.

Above: Good use of the double-ovary shield.

58) Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? (PC)
Why is this game on the list? Well first of all, every single one you sang the title after you read it. C'mon, we know you did. Plus, any game that can make me look up facts AND I still have fun doing it is worth a top 91 ranking. The premise of the game was fantastic, but they could have done more with the graphics and features. "Where in the World" is the most known, but I actually think "Where in Time" was the best version I played. However, they were all basically the same game.

Above: Big Ben STILL isn't wearing a helmet. When will he learn!!?!?!

Fun Fact: Carmen was a tranny.

57) River City Ransom (NES)
Sigh, I heart this game. While there's many reason for my affection, I will give you three:
1) You can die by running into the edge of the screen
2) In co-op mode, you can beat up your partner, kill him, AND take his money
3) The enemies say "barf!" a lot when dying.

Above: Takin' out the trash.

Also, I've determined that Scooter would have been the best River City Random character of all-time. Here's my reasons why...
1) According to Adam, he's the strongest person ever!! OMG!!
2) One of the best skills you have to buy in the game is "stone hands" and he was BORN with those. So you'd get it for free!
3) Scott Face on a nintendo character. Just Wow.

Fun Fact: There needs to be more games where you can kill a guy, then beat up someone else with his dead, fat corpse.

56) Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)

Ever since Nintendo unleashed the Mario empire on us, the other game makers have been trying to get a piece of that frachised action. In the non-nintendo world, no one came closer than Sonic. The first few Sonic games were a lot of fun. Cool spinning, super jumps, VERY VERY fast paced game, and blue spikes!! It was basically Mario, if Mario was a blue thingy and on a strict regiment of crack and angel dust.

Above: So, THIS is what happens when you collect all those rings.

I gotta be honest, normally I would include such a crude picture, but he's parting the tail!!! How clutch is that?!?!

Fun Fact: If you could roll him fast enough in his ball, you would achieve super-"sonic" speed. The reward was an instant seizure.

55) TMNT II (Arcade & NES)
Once upon a time video game makers decided to make a great arcade game, and they made TMNT the arcade version. Then, they decided, "hey, let's release a game for the console, that's TOTALLY different from the super popular arcade version AND let's make it suck". Oh, and did they ever. TMNT for the NES sucked and it did so very hard. Finally, they released TMNT II for the NES WHICH they should have done in the first place. Pricks.

Above: BEHIND YOU! (could also be used for Sonic's picture)

Everyone had their favorite turtle. C'mon, we all did. Mine was Donatello. He was purple!! And he had that gay stick. The biggest question I always had, why didn't Leonardo ever cut anyone with his swords? How is that even possible?

Fun Fact: I spent approximately $3,562.50 on this game in the arcade.

Friday, August 18, 2006

74 - 65 GVGOAT

74) Spy vs. Spy (PC)

Not exactly the high point of race relations, this game features a white guy and a black guy living together and trying to kill each other. I always wanted to know what went so wrong between these two. Also, were they roommates? Lovers? Isn't anyone else concerned for the next people who move into that house?

Above: I'm not looking at your screen. Shut up!!!

When it came out, this game was the ultimate in attempting outwit your opponent. Or rather, who can watch who's screen better. Still though, a total classic.

Fun Fact: The 4-player version of Spy vs. Spy featured 2 additional spies and special killing moves. Red Spy with "7 Deck Blackjack" and Yellow Spy's "Parallel Parking"

73) Excitebike (NES)

Voted, "the toughest video game character ever", no matter how many times you bit it, that little racer always got back on. Also, despite how fast his legs were moving, he probably had a 40-time somewhere around 9 seconds. The truly revolutionary feature of this game was "create-a-track". Granted you only had about 6 things to choose from, but at the time, it was really sweet.

Above: Vrooooooom.......VROOOOOOM......(**stall**)......DAMN IT

Fun Fact: I swear if you push back hard enough, he'll do a flip. It's worth like, 40 continues, I SWEAR!!!

72) Pole Position (NES)

Be very careful when doing a google image search on this title. Just warning you. After what I just saw...I can't comment on this game. Moving on.

Above: After what I've seen, and seeing this picture, don't you think "lap speed" would be a good way to measure a lesbian? Ok, seriously, moving on....

71) Wolfenstein 3-D (PC)

I really wanted to put this one higher, but, in the end, I just couldn't. It's basically a Doom clone, BUT BUT BUT, you get to kill actual nazis in your pursuit of zee Hitler. Now here's the thing about this game, if you don't like hitler pics, DO NOT play this game. But if Hitler portraits make you HOTT, welcome to a world of masturbation at every turn!

Above: The modern nazi decor.

If you like the looks of level 1, then you'll LOVE the rest. So remember, if you like your nazis german, levels very similar, and hitler pics identical, you'll enjoy this one.

Fun Fact: If you shoot every Hitler portrait in the game, you will probably run out of bullets.

70) Wave Race 64 (N64)

I know most of you haven't played this one, but trust me, at the dawn of the 64 bit era this game was gold. It handled extremely well and really took advantage of the then new console abilities.

Above: A game most of you never played, which means there's no crackers in the middle

69) Missile Command

A video gaming pioneer. The first of a few titles that reach back to the antiquity of gaming to form what the industry is today. Point...Click...FIRE!! The action was fast AND furious, and if you weren't "up to speed" then your town turned into Hiroscreama, if you get my Tokyo Drift.

Above: I'm serious, this WAS cutting edge.

Fun Fact: Missile Command was programmed entirely in BASIC.

68) Double Dragon

An absolute arcade legend. No game could gather a crowd like watching 2 guys trying to beat the final level of this one. No one ever asked how many quarters it took, it was a non-factor. The point was, they were in the final chamber, with 10 enemies and one of them gets to have a machine gun, which was simply unfair.

Above: Wait....Uhhhhh...Right there.....YOU (K)NEED MY GRUNDLE!

Fun Fact: Crazy Fat-Headed villain (usually mini-bosses) from this game might get my vote as ugliest human creature in video game history

67) Rampage (NES)

Ever want to control huge dinosaurs and monkey while getting to eat people in buildings? You say you also want them to die in a 3x3 pool of water? Yes? Then you're in luck, I have just the game for you. Rampage took the opposite model of video games up to that point. You get to BE the huge monster. That novelty along with easy game play made this title very popular despite it being completely repetitive.


Fun Fact: Screaming woman are nutritious when consumed.

66) Ice Hockey (NES)

When I began searching for pics for this game, I typed "Ice Honkey" by accident. Somehow, Vanilla Ice wasn't pictured. Anyway, Ice Hockey the game taught us one thing, you CAN create a video game on the "rock, paper, scissors" model and have it work. Also, it verified that hockey and 8-bit nintendo games were racist. I don't care how fat the fat guys were, they were always white. So, I guess the game could have been titled "Ice Honkey" and it would have still been appropriate.

Above: Near the center line you'll see one of natures most beautiful moments, the splitting of the two-headed skinny blue embryo

Fun Fact: This game disproves the mostly accepted myth that we are all "like snowflakes". You're either skinny, normal, fat, or goalie. Yes, that means you.

65) Myst (PC)

"Bring me the Blue Pages!!" One of the greatest selling games of all-time it also turned out to be one of the most irritating. You wonder about as a first-person clicker and solve puzzles. Your character is also the only one in the game besides the people in the books. So, if you were a loner who liked playing a video game about a loner, this one was for you.

Above: For its time, a wonderfully artistic game

For me, the main intrigue of the game was the surreal experience. It almost seemed as if the guy being alone made him hallucinate the surroundings, because, well, they didn't make any sense. I mean honestly, how many puzzles can be on a deserted island?

Fun Fact: Going through all the levels, the game would take most players days of gametime to conquer, but as it turns out, the game could have been completely solved in 5 minutes. "No, bring me the RED pages"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Things better left unsaid ?

Good work so far with the video game breakdown by the Diddy Kasem - countin' 'em down till we reach the top.

Anyway, I'm here for a quick sports related post:

Okay, as you may or may not have noticed over the course of this summer, I’ve been relatively quiet about my beloved Columbus Crew the last few months. To make a long story short, they’re horrible and approaching league records for futility. They’re an uber-dismal 4-11-8 and have scored a grand total of 17 goals in those 23 games. They’ve scored more than once in a game on just one occasion. To say the Crew’s been tough to watch is putting it mildly. A lot has to do with injuries. At one point this year all 4 of our goalies were hurt. (Sound familiar Browns fans? Spinal Tap drummer, anyone?) A lot doesn’t have to do with injuries though. The whole lack of talent thing is kinda important too.

Amazingly we aren’t much worse than we were last year, because we were atrocious in 2005 too. That’s why we hired a new coach in the offseason - Sigi Schmid. Personally, I love him. He’s got a great pedigree - won championships in college and a title when he coached the Galaxy. (He was actually fired midseason by the Galaxy a couple years ago while his team was in first place.) He cleaned house this off-season and brought in a lot of guys I liked while shipping out guys I was more than okay parting with. And I love his candor. He never sugarcoats things with the media or his players.

Anyway, this candor kinda came to a head after last night’s game, which bordered on the must-win variety if we had any chance of making the postseason. Needless to say, we lost, blowing a lead, and going down 2-1 after a 90th minute goal. Take a look at some of the things a dejected Sigi said @ the post-game press conference (courtesy of the Columbus Dispatch). Imagine the coach/manager of your favorite team, regardless of sport, saying stuff like this:

"I really don’t know what to say. I feel sorry for the fans. I’ve never felt this way. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I need to step away. Maybe I need to resign. Maybe (the Crew needs) somebody else because obviously I’m not getting it out of (the players) right now. I’ve never had that feeling with any team I’ve ever coached. That’s something I’ve got to wrestle with over the next day or two. I’m just not getting it out of them. It can’t be 31 guys; maybe it’s me."

"There are (Crew players) out there that I still believe in, but the one constant besides injuries for us is that there is always one or two guys that come up with an awful game. It seems like we can never get eight, nine, 10 guys to have a good game at the same time."

"I want the fans to know that I am not happy. If they think the season has been frustrating for them, it’s been triply frustrating for me. I used to sleep pretty well, but I can’t tell you the last time I was able to sleep eight hours without waking up and thinking about what else I can do."

On the Crew's playoff chances: "We might still be in the hunt at the last game, but if I were going to Vegas I wouldn’t bet on us.”


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

84-75 GVGOAT

84) Rush 'n Attack (NES)
Not exactly a graphical masterpiece, even for the early days of Nintendo, the game was still fun. A thinly veiled fight against 8 bits of communism, I was never sure if I was playing Rush 'n Attack, Russian Attack, or Rushin' Attic. That’s not even a joke! I mean, it’s not a joke because it’s not funny. Anywho, the game play was rather difficult and nearly impossible to beat without a game genie. I think the best I did playing legit was around level 4. The whole key to the game was getting the glowing rocket launcher, which was actually just a "D" on it’s side.

Above: Easy to swallow, it’s 1 byte of communism!

The other highlight of the game was the fact when you killed someone (always with one hit) they gave a fruity jumping scissor kick, then fell through the bottom of the screen. Trust me, it makes sense.

Fun Fact: In Megaman 3, the English translators were going to name his sidekick "Rushin' Attack" however they didn’t after they realized it infringed on the rights of this game. Instead, they just shortened his name to "Rush," but they still kept his color Moscow Red. Also, Megaman has sucked ever since.

Horrible pun: If someone takes too long to finish college majoring in Russian, shouldn’t they be called a Stalingrad? Too Soon?

83) RBI Baseball (NES)
I gotta be honest, this game only made the list for pure reputation. It was a great game and all, but I just never got that into it. Maybe I was still waiting for a game that kept season stats and allowed multi-seasons and that sort of jive. The game play itself was great, but in fairness, I just didn’t care. However, leaving it off the list would have been a total travesty, I’m aware.

Above: Allan Trammel vs. Frank Viola. Much like the game, I say, "Meh".

82) Metroid Prime (Gamecube)
It is one of the few games to fully explore the studio space of the gamecube. A great 'cube only title that had superb action and a solid story line. But, you did fight a lot of bugs.

Above: Yes, Samus is a girl, we get it.

Fun Fact: Metroid Prime is the only gamecube title to make the list.

81) North & South (PC)
A game about the civil war. A game with several different action screens, including the bizarre battles where cavalry would charge, and one side seemingly arbitrarily won. A game where a tomahawk could randomly appear on the overmap and kill a battalion. Why not. However, the game was someone ground-breaking as a pre-cursor to console RTS games. It featured the ability to start at any point during the war and it had trains!

Above: Art imitating life

The key was to always blow up the bridge, b\c once the horses started, you had no way to stop them, and they would be lost in the ravine. There can be only one!!

Fun Fact: There is a cheat code to enter "Assassinate Lincoln" mode.

80) NBA Jam (SNES)
This game was created to appease all that is American: instant gratification. Guess what? It works. Insanely fast and completely ludicrisp, the action never stops. Things everyone knows...

1. He's heating up!
2. He's on fire!

You could say that to almost anyone and they’d know what you were talking about.

Above: Check out my 73 foot vertical leap!

Fun Fact: While everyone had a favorite team, the Warriors were easily the best. There, deal with it!

79) Bionic Commando (NES)
A fantastic game. Played well, the graphics were acceptable, and provided a solid challenge. The whole, "I’m gonna swing around with this hook" was awesome. However, the game lacked a little fun factor for me. Jumping ... Hello?

Above: Why is that guy entirely pink?

Plus, I always enjoyed the “neutral areas”. It seemed so ridiculous, but hey, whatever.

Fun Fact: In the Japanese version, one would fight Nazi and then kill a revived Hitler at the end of the game. Americans, however, have to kill "Master-D." Apparently, Japan decided to change sides about WWII.

78) Golden Tee (Arcade)
The greatest, "we’re at a bar, let’s play video games!!" game of all-time. The controls are simpler than usual golf games, but require dexterity that slowly leaves you as you drink. Trimming it down is what makes it great.

Above: Putting from the rough ... Eh!!!

Fun Fact: While making a new arcade version every year, the game is rarely any different. However, it is still uber-popular after more than a decade.

77) Duck Tales (NES)
Look, shut your face, all right. Bouncing on enemies with a spring loaded cane operated like a plunger by an elderly duck is fantastic any way you look at it!

Above: Well, I just Scrooged the pooch.

Fun Fact: Probably the shortest game to defeat on the list, a skilled player could probably beat it in 20 minutes.

76) Super Dodgeball (NES)
Let’s cut to the chase here, I love watching the fat River City Ransom kids get hit by things. When they get tired, they breath heavy, and when they get eliminated, they turn into angels! **Cute Alert!** Learning how to do the super throws was easily the most important and most fun part of the game.

Above: USA! USA!

Fun Fact: If you hit a player hard enough, his body could get stuck in the edge of the screen, have a 3 second spasm, then be thrown back into play.

75) Pro Wrestling (NES)
"A winner is you!" I’d tell you about each wrestler, but wikipedia does it for you. I’ll just say, if you were star man, you were a tough out. But the "brain buster" has always had a special place in my heart.

Above: Engrish Wrasslin'.

Fun Fact: Pro Wrestling is the only video game Scooter has ever defeated.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

91 - 85 GVGOAT

91) Gauntlet (Arcade)

Video games, at their essence, are created for us to waste time. This game does that mindlessly better than any other game. Button mashing away!! pew pew pew!!! Sure, you couldn't really tell if he was throwing ninja stars or doggy biscuits, but that didn't matter. There was endless shit to kill, and you did. Why did infinite numbers of ghosts generate from piles of bones? Well, why wouldn't they?

Above: Go AROUND the wall, stupid.

Fun Fact: Wakefield and I once played Gauntlet: Dark Legacy for 13 hours straight.

90) DDR Max (PS2)
Just when you thought white people only had the electric slide and the macarena, Dance Dance Revolution arrived and took middle American, Tokyo, and New Orleans by storm...eeeeee. The game makes the list for being wildly popular AND ground breaking. It was the first time activity co-existed with gaming in a fun way.

Above: That kid's got next, but his keys aren't on the floor.

Fun Fact: One of the few games that's WAY more fun when not sober. Also, like most things, it's better to watch happen when Evan has a huge clock around his neck.

89) Links: The Challenge of Golf (PC)
The first golf game that was even worth playing, and basically all games since have used it's method of swinging. Push once to start, let the power increase, then hit again for accuracy. The game was a graphics god on a 286 machine and actually had sound too!!

Ironically, this game was the only game for which I couldn't find a picture link.

Fun Fact: I spent the better part of 5 years of my life saying "great....double eagle". Which was what the game told you, if you in fact were able to get one.

88) You Don't Know Jack (PC)
The only quiz game that ever achieved any type of success in the realm of video games, the YDKJ series managed to keep fresh and fun throughout. One of the first of a few series achievements that will appear on the list, it's hard to say one of these game by themselves was better, but as a series they never disappointed.

Above: Screw Him!!!!

Fun Fact: Considering how wildly popular this series was, it died out very, very fast.

87) Wrestlemania 2000 (N64)
The game makers finally listened and created a wrestling game with all the features we'd been begging for: Create-a-wrestler with full body type attributes, moves picker, dancing, and intro-music. It was wonderful. My guy had every eye-rake, low-blow (with bell ringing sound effect), and side russian leg sweep you could imagine. Coupled with my two-handed pelvic fist pumped blue meanie dance, I was a fushia fighting machine.

Above: This game was quite the undertaking....har har!

The game featured the ability to start as a lowbie and win various titles through a career mode. And it also had specialty matches such as a 30 man royal-rumble, which was fantastic.

Fun Fact: Scooter's created wrestler looked more like him than he does.

86) Paperboy (Arcade)
A classic in the arcade, every greaz-o "
rebel" couldn't wait to drive Johnny around on his bike and break windows with newspapers. The game really didn't handle that well, but was a legend and quite fun to play. Also, any game that actually has Death chase you around has to make it in the list.

Fun Fact: The paperboy had no feet and his ankles had been fused to the pedals.

85) The Simpsons (Arcade)
There have been many, MANY
attempts to capitalize on the Simpsons franchise in the video game world, but almost all of them have sucked royaly. This game is the lone exception provided much fun for the whole simpson clan. Basically played in the River City Ransom mold (foreshadowing) it had all the characters and charm that was needed plus fun game play and great animation. Having Marge run around and hit people with a sweeper never got old.

Above: Hired goon take a sweeper right in the boy-zone.

Fun Fact: I also played a game called something like "Bart's Nightmare" on PC. It was one of the worst games ever made.

The countdown begins

Welcome one and all to the countdown of the greatest 91 video games of all-time. Some ground rules.

1) The rankings encompass how highly the game is regarded AND my personal affinity for the game. They were judged on these factors:
a) Graphics/Sound (of that era)
b) Popularity
c) Ground-Breaking
d) Fun Factor
e) Legendary Status
f) Replayability
g) The Memories....*sigh*

2) As you will see, the games are Nintendo heavy. I was living in a Nintendo World, and I am a Nintendo Girl...uhhh...Boy. Whatever. Apologies to come later...
3) Debating my choices is encouraged, however, as well all know, appeal to Todd is the final verdict.
4) Games include any system from any era

Some statistics.....I took a few liberties with the genre to make it simpler but here's the breakdown. Including the honorable mentions and the apologies there 107 total titles.

By System
NES: 37
PC: 27
PS: 14
Arcade: 9
N64: 8
Gamecube, Xbox, Sega: 1

Reaction: I'm a little surprised only 9 titles from SNES made the list.

By Genre
Sports: 25
Action/Adventure: 21
Platformer: 18
Arcade: 14
RPG: 9
Shooter: 8
RTS (Real-time Strategy): 7
Puzzle: 5

Reaction: Considering racing games got grouped into sports, this list broke down about as I expected.

Ok, I'll be the first to admit I haven't played every game EVER. So here's a list of titles that get snubbed due to my lack of knowledge. Sorted by...ASCII.Value(name[0]))

Civilization (PC) - RTS
Great game all-around, however I was a SimCity guy and that's why this one didn't make my hard drive.

Diablo II (PC) - RPG
I have no idea why I never played this game. Seems like I should have.

Everquest (PC) - RPG
This game was THE on-line game before WoW showed up. Think it might show up on the list? I'd like some guesses on it's location.

The others....no notes.
God of War (PS) - Action
Kirby's Dreamland (NES) - Platformer
Metal Gear Solid (PS) - Action
Resident Evil 4 (PS) - Action
Soul Caliber (PS) - Action
Tekken (PS) - Arcade
Tomb Raider (PS) - Action
Tony Hawk (PS) - Sports

Honorable Mentions....
A few games stuck out in my memory but I just couldn't include them on the list of 91.

Adventure Island (NES) - Platformer
Ok, so for the most part, this game sucked, but it holds a place in my heart for no real reason. I did enjoy the fat guy's crazy vertical leap and for some reason he has a skateboard.

Cabal (NES) - Action
*SEE ABOVE sans any skateboards or jumping

Frogger (PC) - Action
This game was popular AND legendary, but I hated it.

Marble Madness (PC) - Arcade
Probably the most irritating game of all-time. I think that in itself is worth noting.

Super Off Road (Arcade) - Sports
I absolutely LOVED this game in the arcade. Getting 4 greazed up losers in a bowling alley playing this one was always a blast. Just wasn't the same when it was released for console play.

Remember...this is only the beginning. Next post will begin the actual list.

Someone finally sticks up for Notre Dame

If you're anything like me, THE major question you've had on your mind during the inexorable build-up to the college football season is "Why is everyone picking on Notre Dame?" I understand that this football program has a history of being an underdog, never getting the respect they richly deserve until they go out there and absolutely snatch it from the unwilling media, and that said unwilling media probably still has a mental complex wherein they automatically assume the worst about the Irish until they are presented with uncontroverted proof to the contrary. Because of this, the 2006 college football preseason was just like all the others I can remember: blatant attack after blatant, baseless attack leveled at the Domers by stubborn media folk who clearly have an axe to grind against the program and their uber-genius head coach. I found myself wondering on many an occasion "Will someone PLEASE set these people stright?"

Well, fear not, dear reader.

Thankfully, CNNSI's Stewart Mandel had the balls to step up to the heretofore deserted plate and defend Notre Dame. Hallelujah! Echoes waking, and all that shit.

And because you can never get too much Irish (and, I'm sure, because coverage on them is so, so lacking), the site is also offering up possible answers to the much-debated question of Who is Brady Quinn's backup? And - AND! - a listing of the 10 Best Players in Notre Dame history! Huzzah!

It looks like the media MIGHT finally be coming around. And if you ask me, it's about damn time.

Do you really want to hurt me, college football poll voters?

Do you really want to make me cry?

I mean… putting the Bucks at #1 is just setting me and Buckeye nation up for some sort of immense disappointment, isn’t it? Anyway, this post is in response to Jack’s call for a college football preseason top 10. But first, I have to get this out of the way. You may want to sit down for this.

This picture of Boy George is a little jarring.
He looks like that guy in the Gorillaz video for ‘Dare’.

Here’s some more of NYC’s favorite new garbage man.

Okay, back to the matter at hand - here’s my entirely shoddy preseason top 10. Note, this top 10 is based on the quality of the team, not taking into account each team‘s schedule/predicted finish. It is also based on almost no research whatsoever.

1. USC - I hate putting them here, but they’re still oozing with talent. The possibility of a Dirty Sanchez taking snaps is good for college football fans nationwide.

2. Texas - Outside of Huff, this defense returns most of their guys (unlike my #3 team). And that D came up big when it mattered last year. How many field goal attempts did the Buckeyes have against Texas? And as long as their QB isn’t a complete liability, their offense will move the ball more than enough.

3. The OSU - Not much to say that hasn’t already been said. Everyone’s expectations are probably too high. By the way, I am part of everybody.

4. Auburn - Okay readers, let’s see who can come up with the best anagram using the name of one of Auburn’s players. Let’s start with…oh I don’t know…Kenny Irons. CFN has Auburn and USC in the title game. Makes a lot of sense, but Texas has less teams in their way than Auburn or the Bucks.

5. LSU - I still don’t trust Les Miles (or JaMarcus Russell for that matter), but their demolition of the Canes in the Peach Bowl was mighty impressive.

6. West Virginia - Much like their hardwood counterparts, maybe the most fun team to watch in the country. They get bonus points for beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl after I picked them to do exactly that. I think they’ll lose one game they shouldn’t this year though.

7. Notre Dame - Let the media fellatio commence!!!!

8. Michigan - I had to put another Big Ten team in here just so I didn’t lose my Midwest Bias Official Membership card.

9. Cal - All the pieces are there. Everyone’s assuming that Tedford will be able to adequately polish one of the turds that played QB for the Bears last year. Marshawn Lynch is one of the top 2 or 3 tailbacks in the nation AND was the inspiration for the most offensive thing I ever wrote on this blog (see my post a/b last years Las Vegas Bowl.) Needless to say, I love him.

10. Miami - Even though this is Midwest Bias, I still couldn’t get by without putting one of the Florida teams in the top 10. This one seemed like the best fit.

Just for S&G, here’s my 11-20:
11. Florida State
12. Iowa
13. Clemson
14. Oklahoma
15. Florida
16. Louisville
17. Nebraska
18. Penn State
19. Georgia Tech
20. Tennessee
Alright, I think jinxing 20 football teams in one post is enough for one day

Monday, August 14, 2006

Summer Break is over...I think

Just wanted to let you know, the general stopped by and picked up the flag....

Ok, so I'm (kinda) back from by 3 month hiatus. (FYI: "Don't Hiatus" changed my life and I also had to change my pants after reading that. Thank you.) Things have been happening, blah blah blah. As usual, the blogging will pick up as college football approaches. If you're like me, which you are, then you want that time to go as quickly as possible....so....I've taken on a challenge. Starting tomorrow I will begin presenting my personal list of the 100 Greatest Video Games of All-Time.

As of right now, it will go as follows. I have a top 90 (although it's unranked currently) and 10 other games that are great but I've never played, plus an honorable mention. My plan is to either unveil 5 or 10 a day and hopefully keep you coming back for more. Honestly, my head hurts after all this video game thinking. I'm a little scared and moist trying to finish it....we'll see what happens....together.

Also, for those who don't know...our guild name in warcraft is "Girls Gone WoW". You needed to know.

Monday, August 07, 2006

So ... what's going on?

Me? Oh, I haven't got much. There was the two months of Bar exam preparation, then the three-day bludgeoning at the hands of the examiners, then one day "off," and then .... yes, the rumors are true: I got hitched. This "get it all hammered out in a few days" thing seemed like a good idea (sort of), and in practice I suppose it worked out (I did get out of a decent chunk of wedding preparation), but ... man, was I worn out a week ago. Just the kind of thing that can be remedied with a week on the beach. So now, I am back where I have a computer and internet access and everything else, relatively refreshed and quite frankly bruised and juicy that the college football season is a scant 24 days away. Things kick off on a Thursday night with Boston College travelling to Kelly-Shorts Stadium to take in the mighty Chippewas of Central Michigan. Al will undoubtedly be there, and I think the odds of us arriving at the Cliffside sometime that night are somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-5. Can you wait? I can't.

So, some lingering thoughts on stuff and things that have transpired in the not-so-recent past:

The Bar
I've probably already discussed this with anyone who gives a crap, but the Bar totally kicked my ass. I studied like a motherfucker for 2 months and still left that auditorium after three days of intense cogitation feeling like I had been headbutted in the chest. The lone thing that helps me sleep at night is that the passage rate is relatively high, so I just had to sneak into, like, the 35th percentile of test-takers. I am not quite "confident," and am keeping my fingers crossed. Most of my fear stems from the fact that the 3rd, 4th, and 9th essay questions absolutely bent me over the table (and were manifestly unfair, as, for example, the real property essay was about a subtopic which -- yes, I checked my outline -- was NOT EVEN COVERED in our BarBri class; Ian mentioned something like this before, and I concur: the examiners must send moles into the bar review classes to see what the professors tell us, so they can do the exact opposite. It's quad-furiating.), and to be perfectly honest, I'm not too thrilled with how I did on the MPT or Multiple Guess portions either. Other than that, though, I totally kicked its ass.

The Wedding
I thought things went well. It happened, and we haven't killed each other yet, so married life is great so far. At the reception, we got approximately twice as many compliments on the extremely short nature of our ceremony as we did on anything decoration- or attire-related. Hour-long ceremonies are for the birds -- keep that shit under 15 minutes, and everyone walks away happy. And I hope you all had fun at the reception and afterwards at whatever bar you went to. I am looking forward to your impressions of the reception and some stories about you guys going out afterward. Also, thanks for the gifts, if you gave us one, or the money, if you gave us some (I think Jeff gave us the best card I've ever given, received, or probably even seen. It's on our fridge). We are deeply appreciative. We have a ton of wine left over, but I'll be sending out an email about that soon.

And speaking of Jeff, the first email I opened last night after a week on the Gulf of Mexico was from Nipsey, and it was bloodninja-tastic. It was just a link to an article about how the kid from Harry Potter is gonna be appearing nude on stage in some play, but it was accompanied by the lone sentence, "I TAKE OFF my robe and wizard hat." I cast Level 3,000 Eroticism and went to bed satisfied.

Sports Things
Christ, I don't know. I watched as much of the World Cup out of the corner of my eye as I could. I watched the hilariously fixed NBA Finals, sort of, until I became disgusted and swore off the NBA for the foreseeable OMG D-WADE IS T3H PWNZ0RZ future. I continue to be disheartened and angry at ESPN for myriad reasons, not the least of which is ESPN Classic's complete de-evolution into the Triple-B channel (Billiards, Bowling, and Boxing). Seriously, with the amount of time that channel wastes on this crap, you would think that those three sports WEREN'T COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT TO 90% OF ALL AMERICANS. And cut the "SportsCentury" and "Cheap Seats" bullshit, too: your audience is SPORTS FANS, and we want to see OLD GAMES. GAMES, dammit!!

Unlike Jeffy, I didn't watch a single second of the Tour de France. I've been vaguely aware of the fact that my Tigers continue to inexplicably dominate the rest of the majors, but since I moved to Columbus I haven't been able to watch more than 2 or so of their games (not that I had time to watch any more of them, anyway). I noticed last week that the idiot coaches -- or their secretaries or SIDs or whoever the hell else fills out those ballots -- dropped the Buckeyes into the accursed "Preseason #1" perch. Because people are stupid. As you can tell, regarding the "blessing or albatross" query, I come down firmly in the camp of the latter. Also, since Jeff started a list (of the rare "top 4" variety, it should be noted), I say we each put together a reasonably well thought-out preseason top 10, for no good reason.

Feels pretty good to be back.


Saturday, August 05, 2006


Hi there! So we went on a little bit of a hiatus there. (We’re sorry. Please don’t hiatus.)
Things have been kind of hectic lately and unfortunately, the blog wasn’t a priority for the fearsome foursome over here. We’re all very ashamed. So allow me to quickly sum up everything important that happened in the sports world the last couple of months (in no particular order):

- So I spent every waking hour of my non-work/non-sleeping life in June watching the World Cup. Outstanding tourney as usual. Then Zidane went crazy and sorta ruined everything. I’m still picking up my jaw off of the Torgonator’s living room floor. I mean we’ve all seen some bizarre meltdowns in sports, but that was unreal. Wilbon said in was “a million times worse” than Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off.

- So despite coaching the only team not to lose to the World Champs, Bruce Arena was shown the door, and rightly so in my opinion. I really thought he should just step down after the Ghana debacle and US Soccer gave him a week or two to do so, but the Bruce refused. Too bad he had to go out like that. I felt exactly about the Bruce Arena firing as I did about the John Cooper firing: I mean they were both immensely successful coaches and I felt privileged to have rooted for their teams for so long. But man, it was just time for them to go. I’ll always look back fondly on their tenures, but I’m glad they’re no longer in charge.

- During the British Open it became apparent that Tiger Woods is a robot. THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO… Or maybe not, considering how much he cried on the 18th green with no sign of rusting. Seriously though, I think its okay now to include him in the greatest golfer ever discussion. Before now it was premature. YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN SOME SNACKS.

- So, you think Phil Steele’s a little pissed about the Rhett Bomar thing? Countless hours of research down the pooper.

- Much like with the World Cup, I watched a ton of Tour de France action recently. And much like the last 7 tours, my favorite rider in the field won. I’m so happy.…wait…. he did WHAT?! SHIT! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Fucking Mennonites! The Mennonites are responsible for all the wars in the world, you know. Right, Mel? Seriously though, when the favorites are kicked out before the race for doping, and then the winner ends up being juiced too (allegedly/probably/etc.), there’s something really wrong with your sport. And amid all this is the Justin Gatlin thing, which is in my opinion a bigger story. I mean are cycling and track that desperate for attention in America that they feel the need to act like baseball players? News Flash!!! It’s not working! You’re the fastest man on the planet, you’re hepped on super-crazy-goofballs, and you don’t get a tenth of the coverage that Terrell Owens’s new book does. Justin, if you’re gonna get caught on roids, it damn well better be in a year divisible by 4.

- This week at Culver's: Really Reese’s All You Can Eat Chicken !!! Mmmm. Almost as good as Cookies & Cream Pork Chops. Wait... what was the other one?

- September 2nd can't come soon enough. I mean, have you seen all the quality games that night? I can't remember an opening weekend being this frisky. And just because no one's talking about it, Northern Illinois is no pushover. My all-too-early and baseless prediction is a 31-21 win for The OSU in a game that makes Buckeye Nation a little extra nervous for the Tay-haas game. And I just found out that we're starting out at #1 (Thank you Notre Dame defense.) So everybody chant along with me: WE'RE #1! WE'RE #1! Sweet. We can do that without reprisal for at least the next 4 weeks. So some guy at work asked me this morning about the #1 ranking: "Blessing or albatross?" There's an argument to be made for both, but I say blessing. I think if later on in the year, if it's between us and another team for a certain spot in the polls, voters are more likely to pick the team they originally thought was more talented. But on the other hand (I have 5 MORE fingers), going wire-to-wire is a herculean undertaking. Please no one mention 1998 here. Shit. I just did.

For the record, Nipsey's top 3 mirrors CFN's (guess I was wrong about no one else liking USC - wait... 'liking' is NOT the term I meant to use there):

1. USC
2. Texas
3. The Ohio State

Then I'd put Auburn at 4, and after that I have no freakin' idea. Even though I think they're overrated, I might actually put Notre Dame at 5 by default. I guess I've been reading WAY too much Blue-Gray Sky recently.

- In a huge loss for the NFL, Willie Roaf has retired. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2532615
Wonder what he might do with all this free time? Thinking about a new career perhaps?
(Did anyone know that Willie Roaf went to Louisiana Tech?! I mean, that’s just awesome. It’s the best nugget of information I’ve come across in a long time. Does Cave know this? I love that bar!) So in celebration of such a fine career, I offer a very special Fanta dance in your direction, Willie! DON’T YA WANTA?

- Before the NBA playoffs started, analysts were saying that with all the superstars (Shaq, Kobe, LeBron, Melo, D-Wade, Duncan, Chris 'Hulk-a-maniac' Kaman) and the storylines involved that this version of the playoffs could be the best ever. I was skeptical, but I gotta give credit where credit is due. Those were the best NBA playoffs I’ve seen in a very, very long time.
Then the finals sucked and kinda ruined everything. The Mavs didn’t show up and D-Wade was so protected I think I got called for a few fouls on him.

- I gotta give props to the Hurricanes for winning Lord Stanley’s Dinnerware. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Canes. For those who weren’t in Columbus in the mid 90s, when Peter Karmanos was in the process of moving the Hartford Whalers (cue ‘Brass Bonanza’), Columbus was his #1 choice, at least for awhile there. Obviously, this was before Nationwide Arena or the Schott. So until a home for the Whale could be built, they were going to play in a makeshift arena crafted out of an old abandoned airplane hangar out near Port Columbus. Seriously. And on top of that Karmanos was going to personally rename the team. His choice? The Columbus Xplorers … and no that is NOT a misprint. I guess he thought leaving the ‘E’ off would make the team more Xtreme, more Xciting and perhaps Xistential … maybe not that last one. (That choice of name was just plain Xtemporaneous.) Anyway, I’ve never been able to watch a Canes game without wondering what might have been. For the record, after watching the Canes win it all a couple months after seeing the Jackets not even sniff the playoffs for the 5th time…. I still wouldn’t have it any other way.

- Keeping with the NHL talk, it looks like there’s going to be a very long standoff in the Zherdev contract negotiations. If Doug McLean is just playing coy, trying to get the best deal possible, good for him. But if he lets Zherdev play in Russia instead of Columbus this year, he might as well just sign his own pink slip. To say that the Zherdev camp has some bargaining power is putting it lightly.

- And finally, on a personal note, let us all congratulate Midwest Bias co-founder (and all around swell guy) Jack Fu for passing the bar and getting married in the span of a couple days. Here’s wishing you and K Fu - yeah I made that up - all the happiness in the entire blogosphere. (Please note: K Fu is not to be confused with K Fed or the martial art of Kung Fu.)

“I will now read these special vows which Homer has prepared for this occasion. "Do you, Marge, take Homer, in richness and in poorness" -- poorness is underlined -- "in impotence and in potence, in quiet solitude or blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey- navigated"...... and it goes on like this.”