On The Ice Friday – Calgary Hitmen

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The Calgary Hitmen of the WHL take their name and colors from, founder, part team owner, and WWE Hall of Famer, Bret “The Hitman” Hart. Initially there was a lot of criticism of the Friday The 13th-esque logo, including push back from would be sponsors. This lead the team to use an alternate logo for their first season. Eventually the fans won out and got this (the original) logo back as the teams primary.

In my opinion the logo is more Ninja Turtles’ Casey Jones then Jason Voorhees style. Overall I think it’s a pretty simple jersey, but sometimes simplicity is best. If I ever find myself in Calgary, I’ll definitely pick up one of these jerseys.

EA Sports Season Ticket

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EA Sports is always looking for a way to make a buck, their newest way is the EA Sports Season Ticket. For $24.99 per year (365 days) or / 2000 MS Points you get the following for FIFA, Madden NFL, NHL, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR, and NCAA Football series:

  • Early Full Game Release: 3 days before their scheduled retail release, you’ll be able to download and play the full version of participating titles
  • 20% discount on downloadable content for participating EA SPORTS titles, beginning with Madden NFL 12
  • Premium Web Content for Free: beginning with FIFA 12 Creation Centre
  • Exclusive Membership Recognition: Identification in and out of game
Lets break this down piece by piece.
  1. Being able to download games 3 days before the release is a pretty cool idea, the only problem is that you need to pre-order all your games to make sure they get there on release date because if not you’re going to have a useless, presumably large file on your hard drive. Speaking of a large file, I can only assume this downloads are going to be in the neighborhood of 4gb +, so if you do plan to spend the money, hopefully you will have a fast enough connection to make getting the game early worth it.
  2. 20% discount of all paid DLC is probably a bigger deal then it may seem. FIFA made somewhere around 70 million off of FUT packs last year, so being able to save 20% off those could be huge if you are into boosters or Ultimate Teams. Also, this takes a little bit out of the sting of the very pricey Tiger Woods Course DLC.
  3. From what has been said so far, premium web content for free may just be the same things you were getting for free with pre-orders.
  4. Exclusive membership recognition, are you kidding me? That sounds as good as turning your Twitter avatar green.
Depending on how many games you buy, it seems like it might be a half decent idea. I plan on buying everything but Tiger Woods, so that breaks it down to about $6.25 per game. I’m probably an edge case but I would be willing to pay that just to get into the game 3 days early (don’t get any ideas EA). So to me the 20% discount on DLC is a bonus which would also pay for itself in FIFA Ultimate Team Packs.

What do you think? Is this just a money grab or do you think its a good idea?

On The Field Friday – Boise State Football

There may not be a more distinctive field in the NCAA then Boise State’s own Bronco Stadium with it’s iconic blue turf. Sadly, because of that turf the Mountain West Conference considers Boise State’s all blue uniforms to be an “unfair advantage”.

Initially I thought this was really stupid. In retrospect, I kind of understand where the problem may lie. When I first heard of this I assumed it was because the uniforms were causing confusion on the field, but I don’t think that is the real issue.

The real issue arrises from the coaches watching the game from their booths. A common scene on the sideline is a coach talking to their QB and showing the pre-snap formation of the defense. My assumption is that those side-line printers aren’t that good, and because of that the players are bleeding into the field, making it very hard to show his player the formation.

As you can see from this picture, even when not printed on a page, its actually kind of hard to see the players.

All in all, do I think it’s stupid?

– Yes

Will it have an impact on the games played at Bronco Stadium?

– No

Best of luck to the Boise State Broncos.

Did you know…In March of 2011 the NFL passed a rule that no stadium may have a field that is not colored green, that rule is known as the “Boise rule”.

MLB 2011: Hot Stove Talks

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We are less than one week away from the MLB Trade deadline and I decided to have a compilation article with Jeff at TwentyThreesThoughts on our thoughts of the current MLB players being rumored to move.

Visit: http://twentythreesthoughts.wordpress.com/ and support a friend of the site.

CARLOS BELTRAN

TSG: Beltran is a great pickup for any team looking for a good outfielder for the rest of the season. If you think he is going to repeat what he did for the Astros in 2004, you’re sadly mistaken. If you think he’s going to be a quality outfielder, then you are right. He is a solid fit for the Braves, he can slide right into CF and give Heyward some days off in right.

23: At one point in time I would’ve trusted Beltran, but it’s 2011 and I’m smarter than I used to be. I don’t think I could give up major prospects for a 3 month rental, unless I knew I was going to win the World Series. Beltran has a no trade clause and will choose where he wants to go. I don’t touch Beltran unless I’m certain I can afford the prospects in return for a player that has a history of injuries. Prognosis: Stay Away.

Get more of our Hot Stove thoughts…

EA Puts Down Servers For Old Games

Its that time of year again, EA is taking down online play for a bunch of games. Essentially this is EA telling you it’s time to upgrade.

August 11, 2011 Online Service Shutdown

  • NASCAR 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (North America)
  • NCAA Basketball 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • NCAA Football 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • SKATE for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10 for PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii
  • Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11 Demo for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

October 1, 2011 Online Service Shutdown

  • Madden NFL 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
  • NHL 10 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
The one game of interest to lost its online play is NCAA Basketball 10. EA Sports hasn’t put out a new NCAA basketball game since November of 2009, so I’m very interested to see if there is an uprising for whatever community still exists for this game.

On The Field Friday – Seattle Mariners 1998 Turn Ahead The Clock Jersey

While “Turn Ahead The Clock” may have been one of the worst ideas in MLB’s history, it does give us something to talk about. In case you didn’t know, in 1999, Major League Baseball and Century 21 Real Estate had a promotion where rather than wearing retro uniforms, team would “Turn Ahead The Clock” to jerseys they would wear in future.

In the year prior, 1998, Mariners Marketing Director, Kevin Martinez brought the idea to his team to wear jerseys from 2027, which would be the teams 50th Anniversary. Ken Griffey Jr. played a crucial role in creating designing the Mariners “Turn Ahead The Clock” jerseys, even down to choosing the new colors. One of those colors being red, possibly foreshadowing his future move to the Reds?

Griffey also made some last minute changes to the jerseys once they got to the ball park. He convinced his teammates to cut the sleeves off their jerseys and spray paint their cleats silver.

While the 1999 MLB wide “Turn Ahead The Clock” was pretty much panned for being a joke, the Mariners 1998 outing was widely considered a success by the organization.

Throwback Thursday – FIFA 2001

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With the official release date for FIFA 12 coming out this week, I felt it would be apropos to mention one of the more interesting releases in the FIFA series.

FIFA 2001 was much like any other FIFA game, more of an evolution then a revolution most would say except for two things. The main one being that this was the first year the game had been brought to Sony’s super powerful PlayStation 2 system.

The second feature was far ahead of it’s time. The disc had a “‘scratch and sniff’ feature that allowed you to smell the turf. Why has this feature disappeared? I’m assuming it made a lot of people nauseous. I didn’t have this game, so my guess is that when the disc spun up that material would get hot and funk up your whole room, but I could be wrong.

I’d love to see EA Sports bring back “scratch and sniff” discs, but that may still be ahead of it’s time.

FIFA 12 comes out on September 27th in North America and September 30th for the rest of the world.