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Missouri Football

July 29, 2005

"The saddest thing in life is wasted talent."
-Lorenzo Anello in A Bronx Tale

I watched the movie A Bronx Tale tonight. I'd seen the bar fight seen before while flipping channels on TV, but I finally got to see the film in its entirety tonight. It's a good movie; it's a Robert De Niro film, so that's not too surprising. There's a really funny scene where they're shooting craps in the back of this bar and Sonny (the local boss) kept getting irritated and having guys thrown into the bathroom, since he was on a hot streak (having his 9-year-old prodigy rolling the dice for him). I'm not sure if Chazz Palminteri (who wrote the screenplay) realized how funny it was going to translate on film, but it had me laughing out loud hard. Palminteri, you might also know, played the role of Dave Kujan in the all-time great The Usual Suspects. For some reason he never did much of note after that. It's too bad -- I enjoyed him as a "tweener" villain in A Bronx Tale, and in The Usual Suspects... well, if you haven't seen that movie, you just need to do that. No questions asked.

My skill level in NCAA Football 06 for the PS2 seems to have increased, particularly with Missouri, as I've been handing out some beatings with them online. The fact that they don't have an I-formation is annoying, but I use their real formations, so I deal with it. Missouri QB Brad Smith is just amazing. I beat some guy who played as Iowa (the #3 ranked team in the game), and tonight I knocked off someone who played as Memphis (and who went in 2-0). That was really fun; Memphis has a great RB (DeAngelo Williams), but I contained him and mixed up my blitz/cover 2 routine to throw off the opponent. Plus I caught all the breaks early. I hit QB Patrick Byrne as he went to throw, and the ball went right to one of my linemen, Xzavie Jackson (yes, that spelling is correct), who rumbled the six or so yards between the spot of the INT and the end zone for the TD. Later, WR Patrick Coffey (the star WR for Missouri) burned Memphis' secondary for a deep TD. He ended up with 220+ yards receiving on the day.

Derrick Ming
Don't forget to block Derrick Ming on a LB blitz.

What really pissed off my opponent was when I hit one of his WRs with a big hit and the guy fumbled... and I recovered. The Missouri home crowd went nuts. He paused it and sent me an instant message of "bullshit". Classy guy I was playing, let me tell you. What cracked me up was that on my next possession, my primary RB (Marcus Woods) fumbled due to a "user strip" where he caused it... but one of my guys fell on the ball. I felt like sending him a retort message of "ha ha", but no sense in tempting fate by gloating.

Before halftime I was up by 21, and after I made yet another INT (he couldn't handle the pressure), the guy quit. Wimp. So I pounded the CPU into the ground, further boosting my online stats. Stupid, and a little nerdy? Perhaps. But I didn't care. It was fun to hang up a 63 spot on the scoreboard, particularly with that loser's username attached to the other end of it. Ha ha!

The game is really fun though. Especially when you're winning. In one game (against an opponent whose identity will go unnamed on here), I collected 15 sacks by Missouri LB Derrick Ming. Ming finally got hurt, probably from making so many sacks in one game. But by that point, he had already knocked out Chris Leak (I was playing against Florida); as I mentioned, it's fun to win. Losing sucks, but it's still a great game, even when you're on the receiving side of a whipping. The game had some trouble loading for me initially, but I opened up the PS2, cleaned off the lens with some rubbing alcohol and a Q-Tip, and that solved the problems. At least for now (knock on wood).

Ron Mexico in Blitz
Now you can test Ron Mexico's skills on the field.

With EA Sports grabbing the "exclusive" NFL license for console video games, that means that titles like Blitz: The League now can't have NFL licensed teams. As always, when exclusive licenses come into play, the consumers lose in the long run. But one hilarious development is that they've named the Falcons knock-off team QB "Ron Mexico", the alias used by Michael Vick in a now infamous relationship that became public earlier this year. Between that, and the way that the game highlights player drug use, illegal hits, etc., it's evident that somebody at Midway obviously has a great sense of humor.

Time to end this column, but I have plenty more to say. The runaway train that has left the station regarding Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a baffling, fascinating, and horrifying (all at once) look at politics, American culture, and the combination of the worst of our society: self-serving politicians, trial lawyers, and irresponsible parents (or grandparents, as in the case of the story I have to tell). I have to stop myself now before I start prematurely writing the column right here...

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