Drexel GNN

Finally, I get the chance to do this blog post.

I was able to go to the Drexel Global Night of Networking, or Drexel GNN. It’s something Drexel does every year and it’s to help Drexel alums from different majors and graduating years connect with each other, and they hold these all over the country (and in some parts of the world) on one single night. I went to the event they held in Philadelphia. I met some people, I had some great conversations, and I even made some new LinkedIn connections out of it. I guess that means the night was kind of a success.

In regards to the night itself, it was held at the rooftop bar of a restaurant in Center City, and it was pretty posh if I’d say so myself. They even had hors d’oeuvres. And honestly, I think that was what got me through that night because that was kind of the one place I’d probably not be if I had my way. It’s just something about going to a bar where you know absolutely nobody and seeing so many strangers that’s just overwhelming. At the very least, I met somebody from my major.

A few months ago, I talked about going to an alumni meetup for the people in my major. Honestly, I like meetups like that more. It’s a lot more subdued, I actually know people who are there, and I had a lot more fun because it was just a social mixer with a laptop that had Spotify and a ping pong table. I like a setup like this. It makes me feel less overwhelmed and I can be able to have a lot more fun. Also, I can better approach people and start the conversations as opposed to having people come to me to start a conversation because being at a bar will make me feel like approaching people is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest while reciting the digits of pi.

Did I enjoy the Drexel GNN? Yes. Will I go to the Drexel GNN next year? If I can, sure. Here’s hoping that I don’t feel like a stranger in a bar that makes me realize I’d hate going into a bar.

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Let’s talk Ninjago

First off, I’m sorry that I’ve been away for so long. I have no excuses, and I hope that this blog can somehow continue to grow.

That out of the way, let’s get into the meat of this thing.

I got to see The Lego Ninjago Movie. After seeing The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie, I came to the conclusion that this Lego film franchise is my favorite film franchise. Why does this take the cake over the stuff offered by the likes of Marvel, Dreamworks, and the Disney Animated Canon?  Mainly the fact that every movie in this series is a movie I look forward to seeing as soon as I can, and this was no different.

What’s this movie about, you ask? The Lego Ninjago Movie takes place in Ninjago Movie where a teenager named Lloyd leads the charge to protect the city from the evil Lord Garmadon as the Green Ninja. There’s a little wrinkle to this: Lord Garmadon is Lloyd’s father. That’s a big source of humor for this movie, although that aspect can take a while to see some payoff. Also, as the movie goes on, the interactions with Lord Garmadon and Lloyd lead to the emotional moments that this franchise has beneath the comedy. These emotional moments also take some time to show up, although when you see them, you’ll probably get the feeling that they’ve been earned given what you’ve seen Lloyd and his friends have gone through. The other thing I can say is that if you’re going to mix comedy and emotional moments, you need to know when to apply each, and this movie knows when to do that most of the time. I’d say that this franchise knows how to do that particular skill pretty damn well.

And now let’s talk about what I loved the most from this movie: Jackie Chan as Master Wu, Lloyd’s teacher in all things ninja. Jackie Chan had the best lines in the movie, I was just smiling in every scene he was in, and in terms of the best character, I’d say it’s a toss-up between him and Lord Garmadon. When I walked out of the movie, I told my mom that I think Jackie Chan makes everything better, while my mom said that Jackie Chan was the best part of the movie and was pivotal to the movie’s success. I will say that I came into this not knowing who the cast would be, so I don’t think I’m in a position to talk about this aspect, although I will say that Jackie Chan was a good call to have in this movie if I could say so myself. I don’t think this is one of those things I can explain. I honestly can’t think of someone who could take that role and play it as well as Jackie Chan did.

In terms of how good this is compared to the other Lego films, I’d say that it’s not as funny as The Lego Batman Movie, but it’s still pretty good when it comes to providing laughs. Compared to The Lego Movie, I’d say that it’s kind of a different situation in that this movie is more for the Lego connoisseur as it’s based on a particular Lego line instead of something the general public such as the fun of playing with Lego blocks or Batman. I honestly don’t know anyone that knows Ninjago, though that may have to do with the fact that Lego Ninjago started when I was in high school, and I don’t know anyone that plays with Lego, let alone knows of the Lego Ninjago franchise.

As for score? I’m going to give The Lego Ninjago Movie a 7/10. This movie may take a while to find its groove, which may have to do with the fact that it kind of needs to establish the world it’s in, but once it does hit its groove, it’s super enjoyable. Also, Jackie Chan is the man. Jackie Chan is a treasure. Jackie Chan is the best part of this movie.

And now, I leave you with Jackie Chan singing “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from Mulan. In Chinese.  

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.

The Baffling (to me at least) Idea of Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey.

Rowdy Ronda Freakin’ Rousey.

As a WWE fan, all I have to ask is…why? Why now?

For all those unaware, Ronda Rousey is rumored to enter a program where she and three of her MMA buddies known as The Foursewomen of MMA will take on Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley, The Four Horsewomen of WWE will feud and have a match at Survivor Series, which will result in Ronda going over and entering a program at WrestleMania where she’ll take on either Charlotte or the heir to the company, Stephanie McMahon. From what I’ve seen, this has become a rather infamous rumor because it’s blatantly obvious that this is a ploy by WWE to ride the wave of MMA popularity to a point where they can gain some mainstream cred. Allow me to vent my thoughts now that probably won’t be read or made fun of that’s this platform’s equivalent of getting downvoted to oblivion on Reddit.

For starters, my main question is “why now”? I wouldn’t have a problem if this was building off her appearance with The Rock at WrestleMania 31, when she was the undisputed greatest female MMA fighter in America, where she regularly beating her opponents in under a minute to the point where people were genuinely wondering if she could kick Floyd Mayweather’s ass. Nowadays, the biggest thing I remember about her was the rapid decline in her popularity following losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes. It’s been nine months since she last stepped into an octagon, and those two losses have killed any chances she had to come into WWE where you could credibly call her a formidable threat that laid waste to all who challenged her in a different field of combat. Or in layman’s terms, any chance you could book her like a female Brock Lesnar is in the toilet.

I’m not against the idea of Ronda Rousey being a WWE superstar completely. Hell, if you give her a manager akin to Paul Heyman, you could work with something, even do something about those two losses. But does it have to be this Horsewomen thing? Not only are people calling this a blatant push for Rousey, but you have what many consider THE GREATEST four women to be involved in WWE, if not the professional wrestling industry, and you’re having them job to an MMA star because…Vince needs that mainstream cred. If this bombs, all we have is a bitter fanbase that’s going to do nothing but bash WWE to no end and look at New Japan or Ring of Honor to see women’s wrestling and wishes for Vince McMahon to die so HHH can take over and make Becky Lynch a star with at least decent booking, Sasha Banks a champion with a meaningful title reign filled with successful five star defenses, and Bayley is rehabilitated into the crowd favorite that she was back in NXT…until you realize that he’s orchestrating some Charlotte/Ronda program for WrestleMania, worse, a program that puts him in that great April spotlight again, whether it’s a match between Ronda and Stephanie that features Hunter in his wife’s corner, or a mixed tag match which has him and Steph going up against Ronda and The Rock.There could be a chance that my pessimism is unfounded and this program will not only come to

There could be a chance that my pessimism is unfounded and this program will not only come to pass, but be really great and everyone involved looks like champs. However, I’m not convinced that that’s what’s going to happen. The MMA community has moved onto the next big thing in Conor McGregor, and WWE is trying to pursue him as well, if Enzo Amore’s antics were any indication. And now, you’re going to try to push a star that was at her peak two years ago and perhaps use some of the fans’ most beloved stars as fodder to achieve this objective and shake up the women’s division. I have no idea how many buttons of the fans this pushes, but I really fear that this’ll go belly up and the dumpster fire will be nothing but a point and laugh show for the fine folks at r/SquaredCircle.Please give me something resembling hope that I’m wrong.

Please give me something resembling hope that I’m wrong.

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.