My first job out of college, I was fired. I used two words with my editor that proved career limiting. I have quit with no notice; I've given two weeks and had cake on my last day. I've signed paperwork at the long conference room table twice. And I've had a farewell so tearful I wore sunglasses as I said goodbye.
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Barely a week after the Super Bowl ended, fans of the Cleveland Browns got confirmation they were functionally eliminated from contention next year too. The team's president and general manager resigned after hiring a new head coach, a comical sequence that is so bass-ackwards you can't even repeat it in Madden.
Alex Rodriguez was suspended yesterday for the entire 2014 Major League Baseball season. I've emailed the makers of MLB the Show to ask what this means as far as the roster of the next game, which releases in March. One thing that probably won't change, however, is The Show's own form of performance enhancing drugs.
Earlier this afternoon, 2K Sports' Ronnie Singh — Ronnie2K on Twitter — gave everyone playing NBA 2K14 a code for a special pre-game player animation as a make-good for the online troubles that paralysed the game this weekend. Naturally, when I went to enter the code on my PlayStation 4, 2K's servers were down.
To a video gamer, the pairing was so natural that I didn't recognise how unusual it really was. On Oct. 12, ESPN broke up its top two announcing teams to put Brad Nessler and Kirk Herbstreit in the booth for the network's Texas A&M-Ole Miss nightcap. The two have, virtually anyway, worked millions of games together in more than a decade with EA Sports' NCAA Football series. This was their first time calling a game together in real life.
Seven years ago, Hunter Hillenmeyer was signing autographs in a Jewel-Osco supermarket up in Fox Lake, Ill., the kind of ham-and-egg gig that any Chicago Bear could expect at some point in his career if he was any good. It wasn't anyone's idea of stressful work. Smile, pretend to be famous, collect your couple-three thousand bucks for two hours of doing nothing. But then this dude showed up like something out of The Silence of the Lambs, and laid his right forearm on the table.
As Auburn's grandstands still thundered above him, A.J. McCarron, the Alabama quarterback born in 1990, searched for the words to describe losing in such irregular fashion — on a play that had happened only five times before in major college football history, and never to decide a game, much less one this consequential.
Heading into this console transition my opinion was that, of all the genres that could possibly sell a new Xbox or PlayStation, sports would come in last. Despite the richer visuals and refined experiences I've seen so far, that opinion still stands.
Eight years ago, I convinced myself I needed a new video gaming experience. I'd been dragging a canvas deck chair into the living room, sitting a metre from the screen just so I could make out the receivers from defensive backs in Madden, or tell a curveball from a fastball in MVP Baseball. I finally said enough in December 2005 and went to a Circuit City to bring home the latest in interactive entertainment.
The score was 4 to 3, two outs in the ninth, when I woke up on the couch. No one was on base. "I don't need to see this," I said. "Nah, stick around," Dad said. I had two games that day, the World Series on TV, and Hardball! on my Commodore 64. If the Los Angeles Dodgers didn't win one, I'd make them win the other.
The next six weeks will shine a bright light on a four-year question mark in sports video gaming: NBA Live. Every other team sport due for release this year has launched but this one. Like it or not, EA Sports will have the next month mostly to itself, and what it doesn't say will speak as loudly as what it does.
Zach Farley didn't know much about the others in his residence hall when he moved back in at Westfield State University as a sophomore about seven years ago. He did know one suite had a PlayStation 2 and a copy of Madden, the communal fire of a dorm for most of its 25-year existence. Farley introduced himself to that room first.
We'll soon learn which lone university will bail on EA Sports' college football video game, ending an 18-year run in which the series featured all of the more than 100 major-division teams every season — a bedrock expectation of any "it's in the game" claim.
Michael Vick may, for the rest of his life, remain a contemptible stereotype to much of the public: A brutal or stupid man. A laughingstock. A guy who did federal time. Still, there is one aspect of his football career that cleanly escapes the wreckage of his personal scandal, that lives on almost as a separate identity, and is a mortal lock to return tomorrow.