Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 4 ’18-’19

I’ve been a Browns fan my entire life, so let’s see how this season goes… Continue reading “Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 4 ’18-’19”

Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 3 ’18-’19

I’ve been a Browns fan my entire life, so let’s see how this season goes… Continue reading “Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 3 ’18-’19”

Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 2 ’18-’19

I’ve been a Browns fan my entire life, so let’s see how this season goes… Continue reading “Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 2 ’18-’19”

I Wouldn’t Say Fair-weather Johnson

I’ve grown up watching the NFL like lots of folks. My own Dad was not a big fan, but my Grandpa and Uncle were. I’m from Ohio so early on I dealt with The Bengals and Browns a lot. In fact my Aunt and Uncle kept me in Cleveland Browns memorabilia, especially since my Uncle was from Cleveland.

When I started being old enough to decide my own likes, I attached myself to the Pittsburgh Steelers, I caught on to them from my local barber shop. The shop my parents took me to had a huge photo of Terry Bradshaw and it wasn’t a Steelers photo, it was an ad for some kinda hair product. Which was kinda odd because Bradshaw didn’t have much hair. I just remember asking who that was and most of the guys were all about the Mighty Mighty Steelers of Pittsburgh.

When I liked the Steelers they totally sucked. They were way past the 70s Super Bowls, way past. I had a Louis Lipps jersey I got for Christmas. I loved Merrill Hoge and Bubby Brister. My Uncle wasn’t too threatened by my Steelers love because his Browns were dominating the AFC half of the NFL at that time. However, no matter how great Cleveland was, they could not get past The Denver Broncos. After what became known as “The Drive” and the amazing fourth quarter comeback led by John Elway, I was a Broncos fan. I had John Elway’s Quarterback for the he 8 bit Nintendo. I had all the Broncos Starting Lineup figures. It was ok they got embarrassed in the Elementary School era Super Bowls.

I would stay with the Broncos for the longest. I even made it to a game against my more local Cincinnati Bengals. I’d ordered a Terrell Davis Jersey online to wear to the game. It was a size too big and felt like a moomoo but I wore it anyway. The Bengals were the worst team in the league but they beat the Broncos. In fact running back Corey Dillon broke the single game rushing record.

Our end zone seats became pretty rowdy and a drunk Bengals fan spat on me. He was quickly removed but it was still kinda crappy. Plus I paid a hundred bucks in 2000 to get spit on. Went back to that staidum with kick ass free tickets later on though and kinda rooted for the Bengals to beat the Texans. Tickets were 50 yard line. It was a much better experience.

I grew to hate the Steelers, super Fair Weather Johnson team. I’m not a fan of bandwagons. My NFL love cooled over the last ten years or so. Last Super Bowl I watched was Payton Manning and the Broncos get brutally beaten by the Seahawks. It was at a Buffalo Wild Wings so at least the food was good.

Suddenly after a few years away, I started to miss the NFL. Maybe it was President Trump’s constant attacks that made me want to revisit what I’d once loved so much in my youth. Most of the names I’d last watched were gone. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and a few others were still around. Still hated the Steelers and the Broncos did nothing for me. The Buffalo Bills had changed uniforms and those looked cool, kinda had that old school AFL vibe. I caught Bills living legend Jim Kelly on the ESPY’s back in the spring and his story and courage battling cancer really hit me.

A few days of checking up on Kelly led to stories of the Bills first round draft pick Josh Allen and his journey from California, to Wyoming, to the NFL. At a family birthday party my wife and oldest daughter we’re making tie dye shirts and when asked what colors I wanted I went with Bills colors.

Then I caught the Bills and Bengals on a preseason game. Then just like that the Buffalo Bills became my team. They we’re blew out in week one by the Ravens, but I’ve always liked an underdog.

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Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 1 ’18-’19

I’ve been a Browns fan my entire life, so let’s see how this season goes…

Continue reading “Die-Hard Cleveland Browns Fan Analysis: Week 1 ’18-’19”

Madden 19: My First Impressions

Since approximately 2010, the Madden football video game series has been a constant staple in my gaming arsenal. In fact, with the exception of maybe Call of Duty, I have put more time into the Madden series than any other game series ever. This year’s installment of the game is sure to see it’s fair share of time inside of my Xbox. I’m here today to share my first impressions of the game.

I’ve had the game for approximately two weeks (give or take). Throughout that timeframe, I have played extensively in the Franchise mode, so my thoughts on it will take up the bulk of this piece. My first impression of franchise was that it was pretty much the same as last year with a few minor tweaks. The system with which you progress players has changed, and honestly, I prefer the old system. Instead of using XP points to upgrade individual skills (speed, strength, catching, zone coverage, etc.) you earn upgrades to certain characteristics of your player that upgrade different individual skills. For example, say you earn an upgrade for your quarterback. You can choose to upgrade your QB as a scrambler, field general, pocket passer, and so on. Each of those categories improves individual skills. I prefer the in-depth nature of picking individual skills to upgrade. That is probably my most major complaint with the game thus far. As far as other, more minor gripes go, I have experienced some bugs, particularly with commentary. I keep getting commentary referring to the game I’m playing as the Super Bowl, when in reality, it is a regular season game. It’s minor things like that, but they do tend to get annoying after a while. However, I expect these will be fixed for the most part in a coming update. I have not yet experienced any of the other offseason features of franchise mode. If there is something new worth mentioning in a later article, I will certainly do that. Overall, I feel that franchise mode, and the rest of the game for that matter, are extremely similar to last year’s game. With that being said, if it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it. I think that can be applied to Madden. There are many small, realism based changes to the game that I am very fond of. Overall, I just don’t see enough of a change to call it anything close to significantly different from any past installment in the series. If you’re a football or Madden fan, it is certainly worth picking up. Just don’t expect to be mind-blown. You’ll be sorely disappointed.

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Bring Back NCAA Football Games

Today, I will be briefly ranting about two things near and dear to my heart: football and video games. More specifically, I will be talking about NCAA Football video games. NCAA 14 was the last college football game released by EA, do to licensing disputes and a plethora of other issues. At the time in which the games were still coming out, I wasn’t an exceptional fan. I liked them, I always purchased them, but with the exception of 2012, I always preferred Madden games to their NCAA counterpart (Madden 12 was awful). However, I recently started watching a YouTube gaming channel which featured an NCAA 14 Dynasty series, which hit me right in the nostalgia spot. So, for the first time in years, I hooked up my old Xbox 360 and played some NCAA 13. I ended up not buying NCAA 14 for whatever reason, so I made do with what I had. I was immediately enthralled by the game. I had forgotten just how in-depth and fun the Dynasty mode was. I absolutely love the recruiting process and I find it to be just as fun, if not more so, than the actual games themselves. The nature of college football forces players to constantly be looking to the teams future, as you have a maximum of 5 seasons at most with any and all in-game players. Currently, I am going into my 4th season as head coach of my local team, the Marshall University Thundering Herd. I hold an immaculate record, having lost only 4 games in those 3 completed years (playing on Heisman difficulty, of course). I have both a Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl victory, and two C-USA Championships to show for my success. I’m pressing on in my dynasty, not feeling the slightest hint of exhaustion or boredom toward the game. This has led me to raise the question of why in the world the NCAA and EA Sports have not revived this series. The game is exceptional. I obviously don’t have exact figures, but I’m 100% certain that the NCAA Football series made millions of dollars for EA. It undoubtedly exposed a significant amount of people to college football, to the benefit of the NCAA. Surely the two sides could reach an agreement on a way to bring the series back. On top of that, the game could be heavily beneficial to the players themselves. I have always been a strong supporter of paying college athletes. While I do not believe that they should receive any compensation outside of a scholarship from the school’s themselves, the players should be able to monetize their likeness, in the form of profiting from their respective jersey and merchandise sales, as well as actual usage of their likeness in things like the NCAA Football video game series. The reintroduction of the game could be the best possible way to ensure a higher quality of life for both college athletes and causal video game players. The series has provided me with countless hours of fun, and continues to do so, despite the last rendition of the game being 5+ years old. The revival of the game could help bridge the gap between the millions of dollars made by the NCAA and the lack of compensation for college athletes. Bringing back the game would be a win-win-win situation for the NCAA, collegiate athletes, and video game players alike. In my opinion, this is something that really, really needs to happen. I hope to one day be able to turn on my new-generation gaming console and again be able to enjoy the fun of the college football experience, sooner rather than later.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check out some of the other great content from the writers at Mid-American Culture. Thanks for reading!