Crash Landing back to Earth

So, I finally got to read some feedback on Wrath, months after I got it. It was pretty good feedback, and I hope to revisit it soon. The main thing was that I had something going in terms of ideas, and all I need to do is develop the world and characters.

And with that, I was exposed. It made me realize that putting it up for sale on Amazon, even for a contest, was a stupid idea. It was, to them, something that read as an undeveloped, hastily made mess. And developing my characters is going to be a challenge and a half because I can’t develop characters if my life depended on it because I barely know anything about relationships, if at all.

Let me explain. I spent a lot of time by myself growing up. Didn’t hang out with friends, didn’t invite anyone to the house, never really went out with anyone, never had a girlfriend…and even when I was with a group, never ate with anyone during lunch, I just felt like the odd man out, like I was hastily taped to a picture as an afterthought. And now, choosing to be something resembling a recluse for pretty much my entire life has come back to bite me in the ass.  How can I be able to make characters like actual people and give them depth if everything I’ve done makes me come across as an antisocial loner?

Oh sure, I could go out and try to make friends and try to connect with people…if I wanted you to feel bad for me with how pathetic I am with trying to connect with people. Let me explain.

When I was in college, and I saw all my classmates with their friends working like teams to make their senior projects and hanging out together like a little family, I started to contemplate and worry about what I was doing with my life, and one of the things I contemplated over was why I didn’t have those connections. Then it clicked to me: They have something I don’t. I firmly believe that when it comes to being social butterflies and easily making friends and being really good roommates to the point where the dwelling runs like a well-oiled machine with amazing efficiency and developing relationships that last, there’s a kind of gene that you’re either born with or you aren’t.

My mom was born with it, my sister was born with it, my grandmother was born with it, and I wasn’t born with it. My psychologist had to tell me that the skills necessary to form relationships and make friends can be learned and just need to be worked on to be both maintained and developed. And to that, I say this: even if I can learn how to develop relationships, it is a pathetic imitation that’s just painful an awkward to see in action. That’s why I say this “social gene” is something you’re born with or aren’t born with. And honestly, I feel like it’d be a better way if you just have to deal, kind of like that time when I was contemplating that first time. You’re either born with the ability to be social and make friends and make lasting relationships or you aren’t. And if you aren’t, you have to deal with that for the rest of your life and your best course of action is to embrace being a loner, not giving a damn if you come across as antisocial, crazy, or whatever. Just be wary that being with people for extended periods of time in a situation like being roommates can cause you trouble, up to and including being classified as “does not work well with others” or “dangerous to self or others”.

And that is why the biggest problem is character development, and that is why this method of improvement petrifies me. I have no basis on which to develop characters and establish relationship dynamics that are based on anything resembling real life, mainly because of trying to avoid anything resembling human to human interaction for years. And that’s not the only fear I have, nor it is the only problem that I received feedback on, but the way I develop actually has the potential to make my stories worse because it’ll only further give an impression that I have no idea what I’m doing.

To any aspiring writers, I have this advice: Make friends. Be social. And hope to God you were born with a social gene. It’ll help you a lot.


Writing About Copyright

Copyright is kind of interesting. I’m pretty sure everyone knows about it even if you don’t give the slightest crap. It’s the thing that gives a creator the legal right to use and distribute it however they wish and shows that they have the legal rights to it and that they own…whatever it is they made. And I could talk about copyright infringement and all that fun stuff, but I’m not a lawyer and it’ll kind of bore me and you.

So let’s talk about my experiences. When I first got into the creative writing mood, I think my mom would say I would have what you could call a bad habit of sharing my ideas and work willy-nilly. And that if I were to share it, and somebody were to make a buttload of money on what I had planned, I had nobody to blame but myself. But in school, I took a class on legal basics for filmmakers, and then I looked online a bit, and I discovered something mind-blowing:

In the United States, once you have the work in a fixed medium, such as written on paper or typed into a word processor, the copyright is yours. And you don’t even need to put a copyright symbol or an All Rights Reserved spiel on the thing. Isn’t that amazing?

The only thing is that you can’t copyright ideas or plans out outlines. And you actually have to register formally if you want to take somebody to court for copyright infringement. Those things I understand, mainly because it’s evidence of authorship that goes beyond family and friends.

So what does this mean for someone like me? Well, I have some short stories on an external hard drive, a screenplay that’s been published but hasn’t gone anywhere near someone that make it an actual movie, and some chapters of a book going for me, so there’s that. And if I ever do get to a point where I can do something, it’s off to registering. And registering. Aregisteringing.

Though the big thing that’ll determine the effictiveness of my copyright navigation is if what I make is even worth stealing.

Some Views on Adaptation

I’m Going to write about a TV show I don’t watch. In particular, I’m going to write about Game of Thrones. Why? Because I feel that I can get something out of it in terms of writing if I look deeper.

I don’t need to tell you how big a deal Game of Thrones is. It’s THE biggest show of this decade, if not this generation. Even as somebody who doesn’t watch this show, I can see how loved it is and how the stereotypical idea of “shut up the talk about it because I haven’t seen the latest episode” can actually be true here. However, I don’t watch this show because I’m not really that big of a fan of the fantasy genre. I just missed that boat when Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy were the biggest things on the planet seemingly simultaneously, so when I heard of Game of Thrones, I thought nothing of it. Another thing I have no interest in is the book series Game of Thrones is based on, A Song of Ice and Fire. The only interest I’ve had in this franchise has gone as far as to look up its author George R. R. Martin and his writing process, and I can say that he’s a pretty interesting guy.

The thing that’s interesting about Game of Thrones to me is how it’s been adapting A Song of Ice and Fire. As of the time you read this, Game of Thrones has finished seven seasons and is preparing to air its final season. Meanwhile, the last two books in the Ice and Fire series haven’t been published and are nowhere close to being ready for the hype train that comes with a release date. From what I’ve heard, Game of Thrones knows the ending of the saga, so if you read the books, the show’s got you covered…and it’ll spoil the ending.

That’s kind of interesting to me.

Take the Harry Potter series, a phenomenon I can say I lived through, or at least a good chunk of it. Four books had already been published before the first film came out in 2001. This may not seem like much when you see that Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, and the fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series was released that very same year. I will say that the deviation comes from the medium and the pacing for both of these.

Harry Potter has each of the installments in one movie (or movies in the case of Deathly Hallows), while Game of Thrones had to deal with the fact that the series they were adapting was both incomplete and had a lot of plotlines and intricacies going on. The interesting thing is that George R.R. Martin would only have a channel like HBO tackle his series because he didn’t want things like budget or censorship compromising his vision, which is what led him to write his Song of Ice and Fire series in the first place. Meanwhile, Harry Potter isn’t aimed at adults, so it doesn’t have that burden. Also, the story of Harry Potter could be told more easily, so when the final book came out in 2007, the fifth book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was in theaters and it was pretty smooth sailing from that point.

I think the thing I get from this is this: Pacing can be a bitch. How you pace can be a bitch. The fact that you hear so much about book and adaptation can speak volumes. Game of Thrones chose to adapt pretty much everything George R.R. Martin put on the page, and now that they’re out of adapting material, they’re on their own save an outline and the final plot points of the saga and fate of the characters. Harry Potter had their plot all done for the most part, and they could just crank out the movies to an adoring public in what you could call a simpler time for the Internet.

As you can see, the way of adapting a book series can be kind of baffling. It can also be a daunting task. And if I ever get in this world, I hope to be the one whose work is being adapted instead of the one who has the task of adapting.


Thinking too much about LeBron’s Finals Performance

To some basketball fans, there’s a thought that the league is rigged to benefit the league and the owners so they can line up their pockets with all the cash that comes in from great TV ratings that come from the success of the teams in their biggest media markets and their biggest stars killing it in the playoffs. To supporters of this theory, they point toward the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals where the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Milwaukee Bucks, the 2002 Western Conference Finals where the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings (ESPECIALLY Game 6), and the testimony of Tim Donaghy. As a result, the NBA Draft Lottery has become the sports equivalent of the Kennedy Assassination, with everyone looking forward to seeing how the lottery proves the conspiracy, particularly the 1985, 2003, 2008, 2011, and 2012 editions.

Do I think the league is rigged? No, I don’t. Every time I hear about this, I feel like I’m listening to an angry fan bitching that their team lost. Being around sports my entire life at various levels have rendered me unable to see a fix without hard evidence. And no, shitty refs don’t count.

But the idea is too fun to just leave alone. There’s a guy I follow on Twitter named Chris Lee Moore. He has a show called TV Trash where he reviews bad TV shows and he sometimes talks about sports. Like me, he doesn’t believe that the NBA (or any type of sport) is rigged or booked like pro wrestling, though he’ll admit that boxing doesn’t help his argument, and that the 2011 NBA Finals which saw the Dallas Mavericks beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat is Exhibit A because there would be no way at that time that anyone other than LeBron would be organized to win the title if fixers had their way. I want to take that line of thinking further using LeBron’s Finals appearances this decade, because if there’s any proof that the dynamics and forecast for the NBA can change with one player and his offseason moves and where he plays, it’s LeBron James.

  • 2011: LeBron joins the Miami Heat with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in an introduction that would make Gene Simmons proud if he played basketball. This only serves to make people hate him even more following The Decision, and following his finals loss, LeBron James is cemented as the league’s villain. An arrogant prick that everyone wants to see fail at everything he does.
  • 2012: LeBron beats Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder for his first title. Over this year, the hate died down over admiration for his skills, and the narrative is that LeBron has FINALLY won his title. The fact that 2011 happened, along with the chemistry that Lebron has with the rest of the Heat roster makes me feel like this wasn’t the coronation you’d think of it to be. How would you fix this to make it feel like a coronation? I can’t see the fix here.
  • 2013: The Heat are in a league of their own. They go on a 27 game winning streak and they beat the San Antonio Spurs in seven games. The sky is the limit for the Heat, and we’re not just talking about a 3-peat, we’re talking about a dynasty like the Bulls of the 1990s and maybe even the Celtics of the 1950s and 1960s. You just feel you’re looking at something historic. Also, that Ray Allen three. 
  • 2014: The Heat and the Spurs make it back to the Finals. However, the Spurs win it in 5 and LeBron opts out of his contract. If there was a plan to fix the league for a Heat dynasty, the plan has officially blown up and is in tatters. And isn’t it fitting that it was the Spurs that ended the Heat’s run? I’m not sure how big of a market San Antonio is, but the 5-time champion Spurs are the antithesis of the NBA trend of individual popularity and the building the team around one guy. Watching the Spurs, you really see how Gregg Popovich has managed to get every player to buy into a “Team First” mentality you probably learned playing for a rec team or for your high school which may lead some to not recognize individual greatness. I mean look at Tim Duncan. Dude’s said to be one of the best at his position ever, and one of the best players of the 2000s, but I never thought of that because he played in the same time as Kobe Bryant…and LeBron.
  • 2015: LeBron James has returned to Cleveland and promises to deliver a championship to the part of America that runs in his blood. And he makes the finals. One thing though: he loses to the Golden State Warriors who are led by this guy who’s really good at shooting 3-pointers named Stephen Curry. No storybook ending for you, LeBron. And once again, if you were a fixing guy, you look at this and see another golden opportunity to line your pockets and kill it in ratings and create another moment that’ll go down in basketball history…wasted.
  • 2016: He did it! LeBron brings a title to Cleveland, and he beats the Warriors. And he comes back from 3-1 down which will bring about the most overused Twitter joke in sports. Now the Warriors had won 73 games in the regular season, breaking the once thought to be unbreakable record held by the ’95-’96 Bulls. And with this Finals loss, this Warriors team lose their chance to be called “the greatest team in NBA history”. Now, there were claims that the Finals were rigged to go seven games after Draymond Green’s flagrant foul suspension. I just say that you have to learn how to close the deal. And that Draymond Green needs to stop hitting people in the nuts.
  • 2017: The Warriors beat the Cavs in five games, and LeBron isn’t the best player in the series. And neither is Stephen Curry. Nope, it’s Kevin Durant, who made his way to Northern California and spent this season proving why he should be called the basketball player in the world.

So, where does this leave Lebron? And where does this leave the hypothetical fixers? Well, sometime after Lebron returned to Cleveland, the comparisons to Michael Jordan came in and people got into heated debates about who’s the better debate and who’s the one that’s truly worthy to sit on the throne of “greatest player in NBA History”. I’ve heard that with the 2017 Finals, LeBron’s resume is pretty much complete. So now you see the Cavs going all in this year to get LeBron another ring, mainly because most people won’t look past how many Larry O’Brien Trophies you’ve won. Along with this, you can see the rumors that he’s going to Los Angeles to win a ring with the Lakers next year alongside Paul George and Lonzo Ball.

On the other hand, you have something special with the Warriors. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant are like the 2013 Heat. Nobody can touch them, and Kevin Durant is making his claim for best in the world, and I don’t see him stopping anytime soon.

I think that these two conflicting narratives will go down as my reasoning as to why the NBA is not fixed. You have two different directions, and people will say that the league is rigged against whatever direction you want to see happen, depending on what team you’re a fan of.

So, what’s going to happen? Will the Warriors continue to rack up the titles throughout the latter half of the 2010s? Will LeBron reach six rings, and where will those victories happen? All I know is, the league isn’t fixed to make any one thing happen, because I think the unpredictability of sports makes it fun.

Besides, if the league was rigged in some way, Lavar Ball would have probably blabbed about it by now because I don’t think he can keep his mouth shut for five minutes. Something about being a Lakers fan seems to suck me into these kinds of conversations.

How Star Wars can explain Vince, Roman, and their hate

I don’t think I’m breaking new ground when I say that people on the Internet hate Roman Reigns. A lot. To the point where Wikipedia has an article dedicated to what people think about him. That is a level of hate that I never thought possible. And as I thought about all this hate, a thought came to me, and the more I thought about it, the more it makes way too much sense:

Roman Reigns is the Star Wars prequels of professional wrestling.

Let me explain what I mean by this. I believe the Star Wars prequels are the most hated things on the entire Internet. Even with things like Nickelback, the Michael Bay Transformers movies, and Michael Bay himself, the prequels stand alone on their own tier of online scorn. Trying to say even one positive thing about these films is like climbing Mount Everest and then having to fight Braun Strowman inside Hell In A Cell when you reach the top.  When I saw what people have to say about the Star Wars prequels, a weird kind of Poe’s Law comes into play: when I see these people put these three movies to the sword complaining about things like Midochlorians, Darth Vader’s “NO!”, giving shitty backstories that ruin how you see anyone that could have been described in the original trilogy as “a mysterious badass”, an overabundance of CGI, or saying that the person sitting in their chair taking it in needs to just watch the original trilogy like a real fan, I can’t help but think “do this complainer really think that, or are they trying to obliterate the easy thing to hate so the cool kids can like them and maybe even invite them to sit at the cool kids table?” That’s what I feel when I see Roman Reigns hate. People bash him for what could be legit reasons (his booking from 2015, his mic skills, Vince’s insistence to groom him to be the next face of WWE).

That’s what I feel when I see Roman Reigns hate. People bash him for what could be legit reasons (his booking from 2015, his mic skills, Vince’s insistence to groom him to be the next face of WWE), although the vitriol makes me think that the Roman bashing could be so they wouldn’t get picked on by r/SquaredCircle and be invited to watch New Japan with them while they talk about how Big Bad Vince is keeping guys like Sami Zayn down.

And the more I think about this, something else came to me. If Roman Reigns is the Star Wars prequels of professional wrestling, Vince McMahon is its George Lucas.

The reason for this line of thinking is that George Lucas went from being one of the most beloved directors in Hollywood and creators of what could be the greatest universe ever to the man that was so stuck in his vision that he ran the franchise that’s loved by so many people into the ground.

Let me list my parallels:

  • The fact that any good booking (such as last fall’s Smackdown Live) brings up the idea that Vince had absolutely no involvement whatsoever is like George Lucas getting no credit for anything good that’s happened in Star Wars. Think about it, when was the last time a Star Wars fan had anything nice to say about George Lucas and/or his contributions to the franchise? When was the last time anyone had to say anything nice about Vince regarding the in ring product since his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1999? This may be a stretch, but I have more.
  • The complaints people have over Roman, like his mic skills and his 2015 booking leading to the seemingly never-ending push? Those are like the complaints lodged toward the prequels over the CGI and the Midichlorians. In both cases, the same complaints have been made numerous times.
  • Vince’s micromanaging and changing the booking at the last minute brings up the Star Wars special editions and Lucas’s constant alterations for these special editions.
  • You ever get that feeling that Vince does stuff that makes you go “Fuck This Company”, complete with the GIF? You know like not giving Sasha Banks a meaningful title reign, running CM Punk out of professional wrestling altogether, canceling Talking Smack, not pushing guys like Sami Zayn and Finn Balor into the main event picture, not making Bray Wyatt into the next Undertaker as many feel he has the potential to be, making the Undertaker’s last opponent Roman Reigns instead of John Cena, or just any booking that feels like it was done by Vince out of spite because he hates the fans and spends every minute he’s awake thinking of ways to give them both of his middle fingers? I may be exaggerating, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Star Wars fans felt the same way when it comes to not being able to see the original trilogy in glorious high definition Blu-Ray because the one called Lucas is a dick.
  • All the Vince hate gave me the morbid thought that people were waiting for Vince to die and hope something would change in the meantime. That’s like something else unthinkable but which actually happened: Lucasfilm and the Star Wars IP being sold to Disney, and George Lucas going away, and any future ideas he had being thrown into the garbage…and if HHH or whoever else is in charge puts Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania instead of Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles in an epic storyline that involves The Club or Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE/Universal Championship or whatever dream match you can think of, that is a level of disappointment and betrayal that Star Wars fans once felt. They felt it when the Star Wars Expanded Universe was declared to be non-canon by the mouse, which led The Force Awakens to be accused of being a retread of A New Hope instead of a potential epic new saga rooted in the worlds and concepts introduced by those that wondered what happened after the end of Return of the Jedi.

I know that this is weird. I’m aware that this line of thinking will probably go over like a lead balloon. But at the end of the day, this line of thinking makes too much sense to me. Also, the complaints that have been lodged have become so common you can predict when they’re going to be presented. If I’m able to present a different way of thinking about the hate toward Roman and Vince and convince people about my line of thinking, I think I can consider this a successful post.

Remembering NCAA Football (and maybe looking forward)

When I was in middle school and played a lot more video games than I do now, there was one series that I could play like it was the last series of video games on the planet: EA Sports’ NCAA Football video game series. It was simple and straightforward: college football that could rival any game in the Madden series, and even ESPN NFL 2K5, which I consider to be perhaps the best football game I ever played. My favorite thing to play was the Dynasty Mode, where you can take a team and lead them to greatness. I did this with my Oho State Buckeyes, although the popular thing among many players would be to take a program that nobody cares about and lead them to greatness…which I also did by taking the Ohio Bobcats from the MAC to a victory in the Rose Bowl (it was the BCS era).

However, following the release of NCAA Football 14, the video game landscape was changed forever. The NCAA became tangled in a long legal battle over players being compensated for the use of their likenesses in the game. At first the NCAA announced that they wouldn’t renew their licensing deal, meaning that the NCAA wouldn’t put their name in the title. Later, the SEC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 confrences announced that they wouldn’t license their trademarks for the next game in the series. As a result, there would be no NCAA Football 15, and a game series was pretty much dead and buried, leaving only memories and dynasty stories. (Thank you, Wikipedia for all those details.)

I was in college when the death bell rang. I kind of fell out of playing video games during my sophomore year because of the workload taking most of my time, so the reason for this post is me going back and watching dynasty playlists on YouTube which caused the memories to come back. What are my thoughts? I want college football to come back so freaking much.

This series perfectly captures what college football is about, from the atmosphere to hitting the recruiting trail to make a name for yourself as a coach. As for 14? I’ve seen it being played, and honestly, it shows how a new game could be greatly welcomed. It’s stuck in a time warp. NCAA Football 14 was the last game of the BCS era, and while that may be a nitpick, it’s just something that’ll date this game greatly. Also, they didn’t bring back the team entrances that were featured in some games prior. (Here’s a collection of entrances from NCAA Football 12, and while it’s not exact, it’s pretty damn good for a video game. While that may be nitpicking, I think that’s important because of the fact that presentation is a big deal in college football, and college football is one of the most atmospheric sports out there in that going to a game at the stadium will blow watching the game on TV out of the water.

Not only is the last NCAA Football game a permanent reminder of the BCS era, but the legal trouble had caused the series to miss the explosion of sports games on YouTube, so the Dynasty mode and Road to Glory modes this series had to offer wouldn’t be able to achieve the views that grace the playlists of Franchise modes in Madden, the MyGM and MyLeague modes of the NBA 2K series, and the career modes (both manager and player) of FIFA. How unfortunate.

So, now what? What is there to do if you’re a college football fan looking for a video game for your sport? Well, there is one option. A company called iMackulate Vision Gaming is working to build a college football game of their own. And while they admit that they won’t have NCAA licensing right away, they’ll be able to let the game be customizable to a player’s content. Here’s their FAQ list if you want to know what their gameplan is.

What would I put in my own college football game if I had the knowledge and funds? While I’m going on imagination and assuming unlimited funds (think of those “where would you go to college if cost wasn’t a factor?” lines you probably got asked in high school), here I go:

  • An emphasis on presentation. While the gameplay is key in any video game regardless of genre, I really think that college football is a type of area that can really benefit from putting a little extra in the presentation. As I said earlier in this post, college football is an experience, and capturing the gameday experience can go a long way with a lot of people, myself included.

One of the things I would like to see is a well established dynasty mode. Dynasty mode was my favorite thing to play in the NCAA Football series, to the point where I wouldn’t play anything else So, these bullet points are dedicated to my hypothetical Dynasty mode:

  • A way for storylines to be created This’ll help a lot with those who consider themselves storytellers through sports games. You can have people build a program from literally nothing, create a coach that can build his name through the ranks of college football, and even take on the task of rebuilding a program tarred by scandal, even it’s for something unspeakable like the dark clouds that loom over Baylor, which many people felt should have been given the death penalty by the NCAA. While I wouldn’t do something that morbid, I’d be surprised if somebody would try to do that kind of storyline in a dynasty mode.
  • Helmet stickers. A lot of colleges have them, and maybe you can determine what earns a helmet at your school. It’s just something that could help make your school be what your vision is, especially if you create a school from scratch.
  •  A new look at recruiting. If I remember correctly, EA Sports has a create-a-recruit feature for their dynasty modes, meaning you could create a recruit and put him in that season’s recruiting class as one of the many that your program could pursue. And with that, you can even design the high school uniform. And with that comes with creating a backstory and what type of player the recruit is. (And you can even do something like creating reels of recruits for each year of your dynasty that you may pursue. Here’s an example: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, and Year 4.) Also, you can even make a sort of high school type of Dynasty mode where you compete for state championships and the prestige of producing top tier recruits on a yearly basis.
  • Player personalities. Previous NCAA Football games had this with recruits had desires (for lack of a better word) such as playing time, proximity to home, and the potential to go to the NFL. This also was seen in promises you could make for prospects, such as giving them a certain amount of playing time or giving them a specific jersey number. You could also have some players be subject to the injury bug, presenting a risk as to if you want to pursue that particular player in recruiting. These would be awesome to bring back. However, there is one other thing that this could play into…
  • Discipline. I remember in the PS2 and Xbox eras, I would occasionally have to deal with a disciplinary issue involving one of the players. Granted, it was nothing as big as what happened at Baylor or Penn State or North Carolina; instead, it was small things such as cheating on a test, cutting class, or one of those “conduct detrimental to the team” things. And all those times it was a player with a discipline rating of a “D” or something.  I’d have a certain number of points if I chose to take action (oh yeah, you’d have the option of if you want to take action or not), to spend on suspending players, be it for a quarter, a few games, or even the entire season. It’s a matter of how lenient or strict you want to be. Though if you’re too lenient, you can find yourself on probation and being doomed to be put on probation, not be in the postseason, have scholarships reduced, not be on TV…and those were the only things I remember. Looking back, that was something that put a level of authenticity in the experience. Maybe you can even do something bigger. How about have the recruit discipline be a factor, such as “your recruit is known for being a headcase, such as having problems like grades that make them barely eligible or they’ve been ejected from a few games (hey, maybe that new targeting rule can be a thing in a new college football game), and you have to decide if it’s worth it to pursue someone that comes with baggage”. How about even kicking someone off the team? That could be even big and even be one of the actions that can develop a reputation for your coach, and maybe attract or drive away recruits (among other things). For a series that releases annually and can easily receive criticism for being the same game year after year, that would be a way to stand out from the competition.
  • The coaching carousel. This was something that was featured in the last few NCAA Football entries, and it was meant to simulate the real world of college football coaching, where head coaches and offensive and defensive coordinators were fired and hired by other schools. In what I’ve seen, this only happens in the offseason though, in real life, head coaches are fired in the middle of the season, and interims are put in place, and sometimes interim coaches become the permanent man in charge. This could be cool, especially if you have…
  • Integration with Madden. Granted, this can probably only happen if EA Sports comes back into making NCAA Football, since they have the exclusive license to NFL games, have had it for over a decade, and most likely won’t relinquish it anytime soon. Still, I think that something can come from this. You could have the coaching carousel involve Madden with NFL coaches taking college jobs and vice versa. You can have every Dynasty week play into the big board for the NFL draft in a Franchise mode, which will play into some of the players on your team that mull over going pro; one of the things that you could do to convince your player to stay was that you could say that if they stayed, they could increase their draft stock. It could be like my idea where you have high school games impact recruiting. I’m sure EA Sports could figure out this complicated system, even if it takes them several years. I wonder what would happen if a rival company approached them with the concept if they don’t think of it themselves.

I know these ideas are out there, but honestly, every time the new round of sports games is released, an annual reminder that there’s a void in that universe. And that void is the lack of a great college football video game. And that void grows bigger with each passing year. Here’s to hoping that void gets filled before we all die.

Back To Football

At last, at long last, football is back. It’s back in many ways. The NFL is returning, but more importantly, college football and high school football are back as well. As a result, my weekends are going to have a lot more time in front of the TV. Granted, the fact that the Premier League is here too may mean that some games and the pregame show College Gameday may not be on my radar because I have to choose what to watch and my mom will tell me to pick something, but either way, football is back, and I’m happy.

Now let’s talk about the teams I’m following. First, my college team, the Ohio State Buckeyes. I’ve been a fan since I was introduced to them by Mr. George and Mrs. Polovick in middle school, and I haven’t really looked back since. I even have the school’s fight song and alma mater on my phone (yes, the Ohio State Marching Band has stuff for sale on the iTunes store). As for the team on the field, I think we have a good chance to go all the way to the College Football Playoff, which should be a given any season. The only thing I have to say is that our non-conference slate is really week aside from Oklahoma and I’ll admit the Big Ten isn’t as easy as it seems with Penn State and Michigan on the schedule and the fact that the Big Ten title game could very well have a really good Wisconsin team. But that’s kind of the beauty of college football: the unpredictability. And if we get into the playoff…here’s hoping that the Buckeye Battle Cry plays instead of getting curb stomped in a shootout. It’s gonna be a fun season.

And for high school, it’s my alma mater, the La Quinta Blackhawks. While La Quinta, California may not be anywhere near the high school hotbeds of Texas, Florida, or Western Pennsylvania, I always get excited to see how my alma mater does on the field. Every Saturday, one of the first things I do is go on to KESQ’s website and watch their Best Local Sports Show to see how the Blackhawks did, along with the other schools in the Coachella Valey, particularly my dad’s Indio Rajahs. I really hope they find out a way to stream games in that little part of Souhern California, because I swear to God I will tune in any chance I get, time difference be damned.

Are you ready for some football? I know I am.