Archive for August, 2007

How good is the computer in NHL ’94?

August 31, 2007


Like all good Americans, I still own a Super Nintendo with a working version of one of the greatest sports games of all time (greatest hockey game, certainly): NHL ’94.

My roommates and I would stay up late, completely engrossed in our battles. The games usually finished with the loser cussing out digital versions of Ulf Samuelsson or Paul Coffey for skating the wrong way.

Well, we recently went our separate ways, and I’ve been left to play NHL ’94 alone. I may sound like a loser, but…. well, I am. After destroying the East All Stars (played by the computer) with the Florida Panthers (the 1994 Panthers, mind you), I thought that the computer may not be very good at this game.

So I performed a small experiment. I set my team as Florida, and the computer as the East All Stars. However, this time, I did not touch the controller.

If my player got the puck, he stood there until someone hit him or took it. I merely hit start to begin each period. Some called me crazy. Some will call me a genius.

What was the result?

The Panthers lost 1-0.

Jagr scored for the East on a one-timer with about 2 minutes left in the game.

Other stats:

  • East was 1/23 shooting. Florida was 0/0 (shockingly)
  • The All Stars had one breakaway, which they missed.
  • The All Stars won the body check statistic 43 to 5.
  • Florida actually won the faceoff battle 13 to 12 (???). No, really.
  • Each team got a penalty, though the one on Florida was a bullcrap holding call.
  • Mario put Joe Cirella out for the game with his roughing penalty. Who is Cirella, you ask? Someone out there has probably bought a car, a house or insurance from him.

So this pretty much proves that any of those “practices” I had playing the computer were worthless. I debated picking up the controller with a minute left in game, but that would have ruined objectivity of this highly scientific experiment.

I guess I’ll just have to go back to NBA Jam T.E.

He’s on fire!!

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Kids Baseball Movie Countdown from 1993 to 1994 – #1 The Sandlot

August 21, 2007

#1 The Sandlot

So here it is. Finally. The gut-wrenching wait is finally over, and our champion is crowned. It is a surprise, to everyone I’m sure, that The Sandlot is the best kids baseball movie made between 1993 and 1994. But its so much more than that. I go so far as to say that it is the best baseball movie of all time. Not even kidding.

What is this movie about? It’s about us. We aren’t Major League Baseball players, and most of us will never even hit that home run to win the big game. That’s what makes the movie so great. You may not remember a random game during league play, but you definitely remember when Robert Horton laid you out in a complete pass interference penalty and you STILL caught the touchdown. The kind of stuff playground legends are made of.

Starring:

Scotty Smalls
Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez
“Ham” Porter
Michael “Squints” Polodorous
Yeah-Yeah
DeNunez (note: Played by the same guy that played Jessie in the Mighty Ducks. This guy may be my idol.)
Bertram
Tommy
Timmy

These are the nine kids. They don’t really have names as far as I’m concerned. They only exist in the Sandlot. Except for maybe Ham (fat goalie in the Big Green) and DeNunez (Jessie in the Mighty Ducks).

Also Starring:

Denis Leary: NOT Kevin Bacon like you thought. Lowest amount of cussing ever done by Leary in a 15 minute period he’s on screen.

James Earl Jones: Second greatest performance of all time next to reading “The Raven” on The Simpsons. Again, I say this completely serious.

Beast: He was the fast one and the dog at the same time.

Plot Summary

Scotty Smalls moves into a new town where he doesn’t know anyone, and it kinda sucks. Who in movie history has ever moved into an awesome town? They never roll in and there’s roller coasters and candy everywhere. It always sucks.

Along comes Benny, a kid who’s remarkably fast despite being called Benny. He takes Smalls under his wing and teaches him how to not suck at life. Smalls starts to fit in, and no longer resembles an L-7 Weenie.

There are many shenanigans involving a dog and a lifeguard, but the main conflict arises when Smalls hits his dad’s Babe Ruth ball over the fence. The kids build 3 or 4 contraptions that NASA would be proud of, but it all came down to Benny just hoping the fence.

The mean old man turns out to be Darth Vader, and all turns out well.

Shaky Premises

Not many here, actually. Aside from the absurb Erector set skills of Scotty Smalls, everything else can make sense. The dog appears huge at the beginning because they are kids and that was their perception. Squints gets the girl cuz he’s a pimp. There are a few, however:

Denis Leary is your dad and you don’t cuss after losing a Babe Ruth ball.

James Earl Jones is blind… or maybe that explains why he needs that helmet in the future…

The pitcher wouldn’t see the guy on third stealing home? Really? The guy is F-I-R-E-D.


Best Lines (too many to list all)

Squints: If you’da been thinkin you wouldn’t ‘a thought that.

Benny: Got a fireplace?
Scotty Smalls: Yeah.
Benny: Throw that in there, man.

Mr. Mertle: I take it back. You’re not in trouble, you’re dead where you stand.
Phillips: You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!
Ham Porter: You play ball like a giiirrrrrrrrl!

Smalls: Oh yeah, the Great Bambino. Of course! I thought you said the Great Bambi.
Ham Porter: That wimpy deer?

Bertram: My God, he looks like a dead fish.

Squints: For-ev-ver!

Timmy: She don’t know what she’s doin’.
Tommy: Yeah she does. She knows exactly what she’s doin’.

Ham Porter: Hey, Smalls, you wanna s’more?
Smalls: Some more of what?
Ham Porter: No, do you wanna s’more?
Smalls: I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?
Ham Porter: You’re killing me Smalls!

Final Thoughts

This movie is just incredible, and still feels like a cult hit. You never see any coverage on those movie countdowns, sports related or otherwise. This movie epitomizes what it meant to be a kid. The most important thing in your entire life was catching a ball or playing outside as long as possible. If you don’t remember it, watch it again. If you do remember it, watch it again. Then go play something in the backyard.

Who’s more NOW?

August 1, 2007

Summer is always a funny month for SportsCenter. Last year, NFL and BattleBots experts predicted the ENTIRE season for the NFL. This summer, it’s Who’s More NOW? Apparently, the constest is who creates as much off-field buzz on on-field buzz. If this is the case, my vote would be Pacman Jones and Michael Vick, but I don’t think that’s what they mean.

In “honor” of ESPN’s Who’s More NOW? contest, we thought we’d put our own options together. There won’t be a bracket or anything, but we need to do something now that all of our Who’s More NOW brackets got busted.

Who’s more NOW?

  • Mike or Ike?
  • Jeff Reboulet or Xavier Nady?
  • Blades of Steel or NHL ’94?
  • Chriss or Cross?
  • Independent George or Relationship George?
  • Mike O’Malley or Moira Quirk?
  • Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson or Madden ’04 Michael Vick?
  • Bumble Bee Man or Comic Book Guy?
  • Becky “Ice Box” O’Shea or Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez?
  • Alexander the Great or Charlemagne?
  • Guts or Legends of the Hidden Temple?
  • Coco or T-Bone?
  • The Phillies’ Ryan Howard or The Office Ryan Howard?
  • Smurfs or Snorkles?
  • Green Monkeys or Blue Barracudas?
  • Those pandas from that one Nick Jr. show where they eat eucalyptus but you can’t quite remember the name of the show or David the Gnome?
  • Garfield or Heathcliff?
  • Mayor McCheese or Hamburgler
  • Al Sharpton or Jackie Childs
  • Luke Duke or Beauregard “Bo” Duke
  • Voltron or Power Rangers
  • Transformers or Go Bots
  • Mask or Space Ghost
  • Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat
  • Count Choculitis or Spontaneous Dental Hydroplosion?
  • Buzz Aldrin or Ricky Bobby?

And the winner is… Mike O’Malley. All is right with the world again.