Tuesday, January 21, 2014
05:29 AM - January 21, 2014. Written by JohnDoe8865The opinions stated within this blog post are mine alone and in no way associated with OperationSports.com or anyone in an official capacity for this website. This blog post contains my thoughts.
NBA 2K14's post launch failure is a good thing for the future of sports games and let me tell you why. Imagine a world in which 2K14 had a flawless launch. No server issues, no corrupt save issues, no crashes to the dashboard, and no broken features. As a gamer this sounds like basketball utopia. However, in this scenario, I believe 2K's implementation of virtual currency would not have come under the same scrutiny that it has. Now that's one man's opinion but I think it needs to be discussed. As people's frustration grew over a broken game with broken saves and broken features, people also started to notice other things wrong with NBA 2K14. The virtual currency implementation, the lack of local save files to your HDD, and the reliance on always connecting to 2K's server to name a few.
In many ways, NBA 2K14 embodies that "always online" spirit that gamers erupted against en masse when the Xbox One was initially revealed. Microsoft walked back these features and the rest is history. 2K14 often feels like a game made for that always online world. The always online nature of the game didn't reveal itself right away either. I paid my $64 at launch and bought 2K14 like many of you did. I went home and was blown away by the graphics and gameplay, like many of you were. Many gamers were in the "honeymoon" period with 2K14 and rightfully so. It wasn't until after the launch of the game and after the reviews were posted by every major site, OS included, that the gaming world woke up to what was going on.
I myself might have downplayed or diminished the grumblings of fellow gamers on some issues had I not experienced a broken MyCareer save that couldn't be played until Patch #2 was released. At the time I was furious. But now I'm glad that it happened the way it did. It gave me a chance to stand back and reflect on the game and it's various issues. It afforded me the opportunity to look at the implementation of VC as a universal currency across all modes. It gave me the chance to wonder why it took so long to boot the game up sometimes. It game me a reason to wonder why I couldn't find the roster I had worked on unless I was disconnected from online (as I was when I first worked on the file). I'm not saying that all of these issues wouldn't have been noticed by gamers eventually. But I do believe the roar over them would not have been as loud and I don't believe that major websites and even our own Press Row Podcast would have devoted entire stories to "vc", had 2K14 had a trouble free launch and fantastic post launch support. We'd have all been too busy playing the game!!
So yeah, I'm glad that NBA 2K14 launched with so much broken, now that I reflect on it. It gave sports gamers a reason to question the future of our hobby and to start speaking up about our concerns for this generation of sports games. Without gamers and critics crying fowl over the way that "vc" was implemented, would we as a gaming community have had any meaningful discussion about the state of micro-transactions, in-app purchases, and always online in December and January? I don't know the answer but I'm glad we didn't have to face that. In large part because of NBA 2K14, baseball gamers the world over now ask questions about SCEA's "universal currency", scheduled to debut in MLB: The Show 14. All sports gamers have rallied around the idea that we shouldn't have to connect to a server in order to access our local save files. I think some really positive discussion came from the failed state of NBA 2K14 and it just might be the tip of the spear for gamers to shape what kind of experience we demand and accept from our sports games going forward. And it even expands beyond sports games to console games in general. NBA 2K14's failures have been a massive story. And rightfully so in my opinion.
I believe that in the long run we might look back at NBA 2K14 and be thankful that we had to address some of the issues that we have addressed as a gaming community. It might prove to be this generation's Madden NFL 06 moment for some of us. For different reasons obviously but perhaps more important. The failure of NBA 2K14 on so many levels is a good thing for the future of sports games.
If any of you would like to comment, I'd be happy to know what you think about it.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
04:10 PM - January 8, 2014. Written by jmik58
The injury saga of Derrick Rose has been a tough one to follow for those that empathise with the plight of the Bulls' talented point man. It's not as easy, however, for us to relate to the front office in Chicago. What is life like when the heart of your franchise goes down for an entire season -- or more? The injury to David Robinson that led to San Antonio drafting Tim Duncan was one of the most impactful twists of fate for any professional sports organization in recent memory. But allowing your organization to struggle in the current season with the hope it leads to gains in the future (draft positioning) is a tough call to make.
Last year the Bulls pushed forward to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals despite the void Rose left. This year, however, Chicago is struggling with a sub-.500 record and the organization has responded in kind. Luol Deng has been traded away and Andrew Bynum immediately released -- perhaps a sign that Chicago is looking past the current season and banking on the future when Derrick Rose returns.
If you were the GM of a sports franchise that lost a star player to injury, would you push forward or plot for free agency and future draft picks?
Bonus Question: What strategies have you tried in the virtual world as a sports video gamer?
Sports Headlines for January 8, 2014
- Ray Allen and Spike Lee are entertaining the possibility of making 'He Got Game 2.'
- According to a CNN report, 15% of college athletes in football and basketball read at an elementary level.
- Greg Maddux will not be the first unanimous selection to the Hall-of-Fame thanks to at least one voter's decision to leave everyone off the ballot from the 'Steroid Era.'
- According to the first-run shirts for sale, apparently Florida State didn't beat Auburn after all? [Image]
- Always go for the win! [Animated Gif]
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
11:23 AM - January 7, 2014. Written by jmik58
It wasn't quite Vince-Young-over-USC good, but last night's finish that saw Florida State steal a national championship from Auburn and the SEC -- in one word, 'Wow!'
College football isn't like its professional sibling in regard to parity as much as we like to think it is. So when two evenly-matched teams square off and the game comes down to the final minute -- that's what championship moments are meant to be.
Today also marks the first day of the post-BCS era and with it some unintended positives. Sure, we get our computers exchanged for a playoff format. But one thing that stands out in my mind which may go unnoticed by many is the boost in quality of play we'll get in the title game. No more four-week layoffs from conference championship week to bowl week for the nation's elite. The semifinals will be the time to work out the jitters with a quick turnaround allowing for a regular season type of preparation -- the routine teams and players are used to.
What aspects of a college football playoff are you most excited about?
Sports Headlines for January 7, 2014
- Denny's trolls Auburn hard with a well-placed tweet following the team's title-game loss.
- Not to be outdone, Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano (FSU alum) also took a shot at QB Cam Newton (Auburn alum) with this picture.
- Auburn fan loses out by not hedging potential $50,000 payout.
- Did anyone actually tune in to watch the Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel circle-jerk? [Image]
- Lindsey Vonn has decided she will not compete in the 2014 Socchi Olympics.
Monday, January 6, 2014
11:46 AM - January 6, 2014. Written by jmik58
Sure, America's economy isn't what it used to be, but football fans have never been more ravenous for their sport. Yet tickets are sitting on cold Midwestern shelves and are at historically low prices for tonight's BCS championship game between Florida State and Auburn. So what gives?
It's the final game of the 2013-14 college football season and the final hurrah for the infamous BCS system. It's the undefeated Seminoles with Jameis Winston versus yet another SEC school -- everyone has a reason to watch and something to cheer for or against. Maybe everyone is still watching, they're just doing it from home.
Is the cost of traveling too much for the fine folks of Southeastern USA to trek to the nation's opposite shore? Or has the in-home experience finally surpassed that of the in-person spectacle? One thing is for sure, the view may be just as good with HDTVs and the food and companionship can't be beat from the comfort of your own man cave.
Has your preference shifted regarding your favorite way to watch big sporting events? Are you as satisfied watching at home compared to the in-person experience?
Sports Headlines for January 6, 2014
- 2013 was a record setting year for points in the NFL, as well as a shift in penalties called that favor the passing game.
- Unbelievable! San Francisco's game-winning field goal literally tumbled between (and around) the outstretched arms of the incoming blocker. [Animated Gif]
- The Lambeau L--slip!. [Animated Gif]
- A spot-on characture of each NFL division. [Image Album]
- Just your standard full-length pitch, over the head goal. [Video]
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Friday, January 3, 2014
11:27 AM - January 3, 2014. Written by jmik58
Maybe Bob Stoops knew what he was talking about. The SEC may field the top team in the nation each year, but the rest of the bunch appears to be just as vulnerable on a neutral field with the nation's other elite teams -- especially their quarterbacks. And what happened to the vaunted Alabama defense? Forty-five points surrendered to Oklahoma, thirty-eight on the shoulders of the staunch Crimson Tide defense.
South Carolina defeated Wisconsin by a respectable ten-point margin, but LSU struggled to beat unranked Iowa, Georgia was upset by Nebraska, Texas A&M squeeked by Duke, and now Alabama has lost to the Sooners. God forbid in SEC-land should Auburn lose the national championship game on Monday. Sure, the SEC is full of good teams, but when you talk yourselves to a level so much higher than the rest of the nation, it takes more to verify and maintain that elite status.
Is it "open season" on the SEC after their less-than-dominant performances thus far in the Bowl Season?
Sports Headlines for January 3, 2014
- Chris Kluwe fired some serious shots against his former bosses in Minnesota, saying he was cut due to being homosexual.
- Oh Oakland, 'your' not helping the stereotypes. [Images]
- It doesn't take a hockey fan to appreciate this shot of the Red Wings entering The Big House to falling snow from this past weekend's outdoors matchup. [Image]
- Underwater Basket Waving 101 : There's a class for that -- at UNC.
- It's not the first time we've heard this from Bill Belichick, but is it finally time to consider the end of the extra point?
Thursday, January 2, 2014
12:12 PM - January 2, 2014. Written by jmik58
September is a long way from now, but unofficial reports have surfaced that point towards a September bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. For months, both sides have postured and fired verbal shots towards the other as numerous attempts to schedule a fight between the two continued to fall through.
Both are set to return to the ring for separate matchups sometime in April or May. This would allow for a natural progression towards a September face-off between arguably the world's two most-revered boxers. But nine months is a lot of time for plans to fall through the cracks or for an injury to derail plans -- not to mention a return to the blood-test saga.
On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to fight?
Sports Headlines for January 2, 2014
- Da Bears sign on for seven more years of Jay Cutler.
- Top NFL prospects Clowney and Bridgewater have decided to turn pro.
- Johnny Manziel doing what only Johnny Manziel can do. [Animated Gif]
- Being a sports fan in Minnesota must really stink. [Image]
- Michigan State football might be good on the field, but not quite as skilled with a gatorade bucket. [Animated Gif]
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
11:29 AM - December 31, 2013. Written by jmik58
Where do we draw the line in post-game corrections? According to the NFL, an apology is all that is given when officials miss calls that determine playoff qualifiers, but stats and records can be shifted arbitrarily to fix missteps by official scorers.
Peyton Manning's seven-yard pass to Eric Decker at the end of the first half may be reversed to reflect a running play since the pass appears to have been a backwards lateral. The change would slip Manning behind Brees' mark with 5,470 yards -- still an impressive feat.
Should statistical adjustments and rulings changes be allowed once a game is complete? Or should leagues implement an all-or-nothing philosophy in regard to post-game corrections?
Sports Headlines for December 31, 2013
- Forget pictures or videos -- how about the best quotes from the sports world in 2013.
- If it's any sign of the relationship Rex Ryan has with his team, apparently players 'mobbed him' upon hearing he was coming back for another year.
- Apparently Peyton Manning didn't actually break Drew Brees' passing record after all? [Animated Gif]
- Seriously, who schedules these games? Southern wins basketball game by 104-points over Champion Baptist College.
- ESPN just can't stop bleeding the Tim Tebow brand -- has hired him as analyst for the SEC Network.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
10:55 AM - December 26, 2013. Written by jmik58
It always feels good seeing highlights of the year's best plays or moments. But maybe none of your favorite stars or teams gave you anything to cheer about in 2013. To paraphrase a certain brewing company in St. Louis, Missouri: This one's for you!
If you count yourself among the loyalists to the Knicks, Spurs, Bulls, the health of Kobe Bryant or Derrick Rose, The LBJ Haters Club, San Francisco 49ers, the read option, defense in general in the NFL, the St. Louis Cardinals (hey, it was still a great run!), Big-Ten Football, anything other than SEC football, or just a fan of anything Cleveland -- it's safe to say 2013 wasn't all roses.
What were your most disappointing sports moments or letdowns of 2013?
Sports Headlines for December 26, 2013
- Matthew Stafford's wife complained about booing fans in Detroit -- a Lions fan retorted by complaining about her husband's tendency to throw to the wrong team. [Image]
- In America we do this for college football, but check out the crowd of 91,000 at a Cricket match in Australia. [Image]
- Oh those terrible NBA sleeved jerseys. Where do we even begin?
- Lions fans have started to receive their playoff tickets in the mail. Too bad the team was eliminated. Oops!
- Masahiro Tanaka has been posted by his Japanese club making him the first star available to the MLB since the collective bargaining agreement leveled the "bidding" rules to allow more teams to compete for Japanese players.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
11:49 AM - December 24, 2013. Written by jmik58
Jason Garrett is by no means the world's greatest head coach -- but then again, is he even really in charge of his own team? Tony Romo is reportedly out for the rest of the regular season with a back injury. That is, unless you're the omnipresent Jerry Jones who has decided to interject by stating that Romo may actually not be done just yet.
Jones owns the team and likely will never "fire" himself from its self-appointed general manager duties (of which there is a consensus he is out of touch in the salary cap era). The captain of the ship once known as America's Team (is it still?) has gone so far as to shift around the play-calling duties of his coaches mid-season and it wouldn't surprise many if he adds his opinion to game-planning as well.
Jason Garrett understood the micromanaging he would experience from his boss when he took the head coaching job in Dallas. But public interjection (that often contradicts previous team reports) may be slightly extreme, even for a control freak like Jerry Jones.
Do you think Jason Garrett has the most frustrating job in the NFL? What other players, coaches, or general managers could argue for the title?
Sports Headlines for December 24, 2013
- The 49ers were about to send off Candlestick Park in disappointing fashion after Atlanta recovered an onside kick. Cue NaVorro Bowman and a game-clinching pick-six that sealed a playoff birth for San Fran.
- Would the real bowl season please stand up? Finally, some quality matchups are in store: tonight pits Boise State against Oregon State -- but the Broncos are without suspended QB Joe Southwick.
- Say What? Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni tells disgruntled fans to 'find another team.'
- Charlotte has revealed the new Hornets logo. What do you think? [Image]
- Check out this incredibly insightful and entertaining helmet-cam video (with audio) of an AHL referee during a recent hockey match. [Video]
Monday, December 23, 2013
11:19 AM - December 23, 2013. Written by jmik58
With one week to go, Peyton Manning already owns the single-season record for passing touchdowns (51). I posed the question last week regarding your thoughts on the emerging offensive explosion within the NFL -- to which many are not a fan -- Tom Brady, however, is very impressed.
Granted, Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in league history, but the rule changes favoring the offense and pourous defensive play make it somewhat difficult to judge apples-to-apples the passing achievements of seasons past.
Where does Peyton Manning's single-season passing touchdown record rank and is it muddied by the NFL's favortism towards offense?
Sports Headlines for December 23, 2013
- It might be the wake-up call they needed as the playoffs roll around, but Seattle can't be happy to lose at home to the Cardinals.
- Apparently it was a day to end home winning streaks as the Raptors did just that to OKC, handing the Thunder their first "L" on their own turf for the 2013-14 season.
- The past twenty years have been an era of changing players, teams, and venues -- but there's still something historic and special as we say 'goodbye' to Candlestick Park tonight.
- From one fictitious Crimson Tide star to the NFL's modern day superstar: Does Peyton Manning sound like Forrest Gump? [Video]
- You can't blame anyone for being a little apprehensive to believe that Tony Romo actually pulled out a December victory. [Image]
Friday, December 20, 2013
01:16 PM - December 20, 2013. Written by jmik58
Kobe Bryant has had a brilliant career and despite how it ends, his legacy will likely go untarnished. Still, it's difficult to watch his basketball days wind down with a lack of grace. After a devastating achilles injury last season, The Black Mamba is down again -- this time for six weeks with a bum knee -- but what happens when he returns? Another injury?
There are a wide variety of ways to finish a career. The NFL's Barry Sanders left in his prime (too soon?) without ever sniffing a championship while John Elway went from Super Bowl champ to retiree. Michael Jordan, on the other hand, possibly stuck around too long. The lasting image of each, however, is still the height of their prime -- with a little cringe mixed in for guys like Sanders, Jordan and possibly now Bryant.
Should superstars like Kobe Bryant retire at the end of their careers when their bodies start falling apart, or does it have an impact on their legacy?
Sports Headlines for December 20, 2013
- We all knew the deep pockets of over-the-air broadcast companies wouldn't go down easily. The FCC's ruling to end sports blackouts is being challenged and likely won't end soon.
- This weekend starts the college football bowl season which means it's time to get a quick preview in for the BCS's last hurrah.
- Chicago head coach Mark Trestman is considering resting his starters -- a good idea or momentum killer?
- An OKC fan really wants to know if Jimmy Butler likes his hat. [Video]
- Drop down, turn around, go to town, behind the back, flip thingy ... and goal for Claude Giroux. [Animated Gif]
Thursday, December 19, 2013
01:07 PM - December 19, 2013. Written by jmik58
The first glimpse at one of the NBA's so-called "nickname" jerseys was unveiled by Spike Lee on his Instagram account yesterday. The image shows the jersey that Ray Allen will wear when the Celtics and Heat match up on January 21st. Allen will don "J. Shuttlesworth" across the back of his uni, a reference to Jesus Shuttlesworth -- Allen's character from Lee's 1998 movie "He Got Game."
The NBA plans additional games in March and April with the nickname jerseys and fans can nab one of their favorite player starting Jan. 14. The price tag: $109.95.
Do you like the idea of 'nickname' jerseys, or does it come across as tacky or a money-grab by the NBA?
Sports Headlines for December 19, 2013
- Indiana let Miami hang around long enough for the Heat to push through for a victory thanks to 32 points from D-Wade and nearly a triple-double from LeBron.
- The FCC has voted to eliminate sports blackout rules. For most Americans this is great news, but for those devoted to over-the-air broadcasts it could mean the end is near.
- In case you missed it -- check out the viral video of SIU's basketball coach ripping his players. [Video]
- If you thought ESPN's coverage of Tebow or 'The Heat Index' was annoying, try living in Wisconsin since Aaron Rogers went down. [Image]
- Only on the basketball court: almost two feet of difference -- 5'8" vs. 7'6". [Image]
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
10:42 AM - December 18, 2013. Written by jmik58
Top Sports News for Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Sound Off on the Question of the Day and today's links in the comments section below.
- Damian Lillard one-upped foe Kyrie Irving to steal a win for Portland on the Cavs' home court -- Lillard's second game-winner in as many games.
- Another day, another video of a coach losing his cool on his players -- this time it's SIU's Barry Hinson.
- Aaron Rogers sends out a 'thank you' to Ravens kicker Justin Tucker for his game-winning effort over Green Bay's rival Detroit.
- It's been a personally rough couple of years for Rockets coach Kevin McHale, but he's back again after the death of his mother.
- According to an ex-CBS Sports president, television ratings could decline up to 20% if college athletes are paid for their play.
- The United States has selected gay athletes to serve on a Sochi Olympic committee -- a clear political statement thrown in the face of Russia's anti-gay stance.
- The next big thing in MMA fighting -- Male vs. Female fights?!
- Team Brazil's U17 team just gives up and stands around for the final minutes of their 4-1 loss to Team USA. [Video]
- Not only do Red Sox fans have to burn their old jerseys, they have to find a way to peel bumperstickers off their cars. [Image]
- Olivia Viney has become the first female in the state of Michigan to score points in a state championship football game.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
11:47 AM - December 17, 2013. Written by jmik58
Top Sports News for Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Sound Off on the Question of the Day and today's links in the comments section below.
- So much for explosive offense on Monday Night -- the Ravens "kicked" the Lions on six field-goals, including a 61-yarder to take the victory.
- Maybe you're 'old-school' or just enjoy solid post play, but life beyond the arc is becoming the reality for many NBA teams.
- Don't cry on me and tell me it's raining: Dez Bryant claims he left the field early to hide his tears.
- Who wants to follow Cano? New York finally settled on their third or fourth option by signing Brian Roberts to man second base for 2014.
- The NFL is in need of good QBs, but Teddy Bridgewater isn't sure if he wants to make the jump just yet.
- Not only did he break his jaw, Bengals punter Kevin Huber suffered a neck injury when he was decleated while covering a punt return.
- He could probably buy one for each person in attendance, but Paul McCartney really wanted that Nets t-shirt! [Animated Gif]
- Tony Romo's "inbox" paints a clear picture of just how difficult his life is right now. [Image]
- Jerome Iginla's hand looks like a truck ran over it after a recent on-ice fight. [NSFW]
- Multiply the game clock by three: How long does it take to actually watch a basketball game?