This man grows gigantic onions. I have no idea what the Chinese on this page reads, though I imagine it’s a description of the man and his 6-pound onion.
September 30, 2007
I would like to congratulate the Buffalo Bills on winning 17-14 against the Jets. More importantly, they did not lose anybody for the season yesterday, so good for them.
My parents are going to Atlanta for the week, so I’m going to have to drop them off at the airport today. I suppose it’s a good thing that I don’t care about any of the NFL games going on here (Browns/Ravens, Seahawks/49ers, Steelers/Cardinals), though I will say that I would like to see the Browns and Cardinals win. I don’t really have a desired pick in the Seahawks/49ers game, seeing as how I don’t care that much about either team. I would also like to stay awake long enough to see Chad Johnson score a touchdown tomorrow night, but I don’t care that much about the Iggles game tonight.
September 29, 2007
I was watching some terrible show with Pat yesterday, one whose name I quickly forgot. It’s pretty much any fractured-family sitcom, though without Nikki Cox or Bobcat Goldthwait as a talking stuffed bunny. There was one line that I really enjoyed, though, when the father was looking for dinner: “I smell no meats of any kind.”
It’s a new motto for me, and probably also for Tony. Dan might not use it, though, as last time I heard, he subsists on rabbit food.
September 28, 2007
I went over to Pat’s today for some video gaming and Sunday relaxation on Friday, since I am busy on Sunday. We played Lethal Enforcers 1 and 2. I was rather rusty, and Pat was better at shooting the innocent folks than the bad guys. We didn’t get too far on that… After that, we played Streets of Rage 2. I ended up beating the game, but he lost all of his continues in round 7. I believe this means that I am officially better at that game. Huzzah!
After playing, I decided it was time to go home, as I must go to synagogue in the morning. Upon opening the door, I noticed a skunk and non-chalantly said, “Hey, it looks like there’s a skunk out here.” Pat’s wife, taken slightly aback by the idea that a skunk should enter their abode, shut the door. Pat, meanwhile, went to look for a camera to take some skunky pictures, but by the time he came back, the skunk was gone. “If it sprays on you, I’m not letting you back in,” she said to Pat. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I wouldn’t let him in my car, either… At any rate, the skunk went off on its own way, having apparently been intimidated by my incredible me-ness, so Pat didn’t have the opportunity to smell like a skunk for the next couple of weeks.
Hey Kevin, remember how our freshman and sophomore dorms had sinks but no bathrooms? Remember how far you’d have to walk down the hall to get to a urinal? Remember what a lazy slob I was?
Well, I’m glad we had this talk. I didn’t want you going through the rest of your life thinking I never peed where you brushed your teeth. But I’ve got a feeling you always just knew.
September 27, 2007
I destroyed the Colts and the Redskins to take my 15-1 Bills (the one loss was a simulated game against the Pats) to a Super Bowl victory. After the season, I made some big changes. The biggest one was drafting a QB from Auburn with the #3 overall pick. This guy is slightly faster than Losman, more aware, slightly more accurate, and slightly less powerful. He is an 89 overall versus Losman’s 82 and the time is ripe for a QB controversy. Norton, the man who has everything you can want in a wide receiver except for hands, gained 6 points in his catch stat (79 now) and is up to a 98 speed. This makes him a significantly more deadly threat, and Marshawn Lynch jumped up to a 98 speed as well, so I should be breaking more long runs. I broke my first long run with Lynch against the Colts, going straight up the gut for 80 yards because their safeties were doubling up the receivers.
Unfortunately, my defense got worse because I let a pair of DTs and my LOLB go. I replaced Ashton Youboty with a guy who is similar, so my secondary remains good but not great. My new LOLB is a 72 overall, but is probably the best 72 overall that I’ve ever seen: he is fast, tackles well (for an outside linebacker), is pretty close to being a big hitter and brick wall weapon, and has everything except for strength and awareness. I’m satisfied with him, though I do want his awareness to improve, and I can run him through drills for that. For DT, though, I’m thinking about trading JP Losman and my 2nd rounder for Pat Williams or somebody along those lines. There were three teams willing to trade me, so I’ll see what I can get.
The other big loss was that somehow I downgraded at center from the bad Melvin Fowler to a pair of guys who are actually worse. One is a good blocker but is extremely slow. The other is not as good of a blocker but is much faster. Neither is particularly strong, though they have fair ratings for centers (87-89 strength). I’m going to run drills on both and see who catches on quicker, starting that fellow. On the bright side, three of my 5 linemen are good and Langston Walker has improved to the point that he is acceptable.
All in all, this team is probably about even with last year’s team. Its advantage, though, is that my QB has a lot of room for improvement, whereas Losman has plateaued. At any rate, I’m still declaring myself the odds-on favorite to win next year’s Super Bowl…
September 25, 2007
For some reason, after a few days of not working, the franchise mode problems I had regarding minigames and simulating entire weeks are gone, so all is back to normal. I don’t like how there are problems, though, as this means that there’s something weird and possibly specific to my machine/copy.
One thing I enjoy about 08 is the fact that crazy substitutions kind of make a comeback. From what I remember of 06 and 07 (for the PC), you couldn’t sub in a defensive back for a wide receiver, but you can on the XBox. When I’m leading in the second half, I like to sub out my two tight ends with backup tackles and form a 7 offensive lineman rush. I would have liked to have extreme subs, though, like being able to put a QB in at WR (to take full advantage of a Kordell Stewart type) or vice versa (Matt Jones).
I wish that next gen would have had slide protection built in. It’s frustrating knowing exactly where the line breakdowns will occur and not being able to do very much. But my biggest wish is the quick audibles in each formation, like in the PC version, where right-stick up would set up a pass, down a run, etc. Instead, I’m limited to a very small number of audibles and because I run a lot of formations, any audible is likely to give away my plan and allow the defense to react.
At any rate, my Bills are 13-0 after demolishing the Steelers 52-0. Next season, I’m looking to upgrade my lines yet again, this time bringing in a couple of good DTs and a good center. The draft looks to be chock full of good QBs and CBs, too, so maybe I’ll find a replacement for Losman, who works well enough for my scheme (lots of halfback running and deep play action routes) but isn’t really that good. Marshawn Lynch is turning into a very good halfback, although he doesn’t really have the elusiveness or the power of an elite back, but behind a quality offensive line, he’s pounding the ball pretty well.
September 24, 2007
I’ve enjoyed playing Madden for the 360, but there are a couple of problems that I’ve run into.
The biggest one is that the game freezes at certain points. For some reason, I cannot train players on my active team. Once I go in and select the players I want to use and the drills, it goes to a loading screen and then stops near the end. The other time that things freeze up is when I want to simulate multiple games at once. I can simulate a single game, and can also go one by one down the week, but when I try to simulate a week or simulate to the next game for my team, the game immediately locks up, music stops, everything becomes non-responsive, and I have to physically power the thing down. These two things are extremely annoying, but at least it isn’t freezing in the other portions. The odd thing is that I can play the minigames all I want, so it obviously gets to the drills there; I just can’t train my players in franchise mode.
The other problem is an in-game problem, based on some bad rules. Pass interference is called when you’re blocking a guy within 5 yards. The most blatant example happened when Chris Kelsay, Buffalo’s left end, bit on a play action and tackled the halfback. Well, while he was tackling the halfback, the computer decided that this was a quick pass to the HB, so the QB throws the ball right at the halfback, who naturally misses because he’s on the ground underneath a 250-ish pound left end. This gets called as pass interference, even though the halfback was crushed a yard or so behind the line of scrimmage. This has happened to me a couple of times, and so it seems that they didn’t quite get the pass interference logic correct. I don’t want to turn off interference calls, but this means that when I start turning penalties up (because I’m a masochist), I probably won’t turn this one up so much.
One thing that I do love, however, is that you can finally fool somebody with fake snaps. There are certain players which are more susceptible to getting drawn offsides with fake snaps when you’re playing the computer, and that’s a great thing, I think. I can usually draw one or two opportune encroachment calls a game, but they also leave in the risk for false starts. That is a great feature, and one which I hadn’t seen in previous Madden games, so huzzah for that.
Update: You might want to check out this post. It may be helpful.
September 23, 2007
Paul Posluszny, one of the few bright spots for Buffalo this season, broke his forearm and is done for the season. For those keeping track:
FS Ko Simpson – Out for season
CB Jason Webster – Out for season
CB Terrence McGee – Currently out, should be back sometime
LOLB Keith Ellison – Out for a few more weeks
LOLB Coy Wire – Out for a few more weeks
MLB Paul Posluszny – Out for season
TE Kevin Everett – Out for career
QB JP Losman – Out for a couple of weeks
And this is just week three. Oy, vey…