Thirty years. Thirty-one years. Seems like a long time ago… until a Cleveland fan gets an assignment to write something about the Indians that can tie into the current baseball landscape.
In 1985, the Indians were 37 years removed from their last World Series. Hell, the Indians 1948 World Series Championship happened before the Mets or Royals even existed. It would be easy to pen another tale of woe, from another sad, jilted Indians fan. It would take almost no imagination for me to tell you my age1I’m 34. I remember when Pauly Shore was funny. and add up all those Cleveland championships that don’t exist, as if the city’s bare trophy case is justification for a lifetime of whining about sports. If I wanted to spend the next 500 words typing different combinations of “Only in Cleveland2OIC also stands for Opiod Induced Constipation, which probably also explains a lot about Cleveland fanhood.,” I could finish this column in my sleep.
Nope. I’m here to give Indians fans hope. Or, at least take away the hopelessness.
Only half of the teams in baseball have been around for as long as the Indians, which was chartered as the Cleveland Blues in 19013The Yankees are the youngest old team in baseball, with a start date of 1903.4I Hate the Yankees. That leaves a robust 15 teams that didn’t even exist before 1962. I’ll spare you the list that compares World Series Championships against league tenure. Instead, let me say that the Indians are a few unlucky bounces away from the same historical success that the Royals and Mets are experiencing this season.
Kansas City had a good ten year run, then disappeared for three generations before their recent turnaround. While the Mets haven’t even mustered a string of consistent success, instead scattering eight playoff appearances – and two championships – over 54 years. That’s what baseball is like if you’re not the Yankees527 championships gets tossed around a lot, but the Evil Empire has an astounding 40 WS appearances., Cardinals, Giants, or Dodgers.
It’s been a tough road lately for Tribe fans, but Jose Mesa’s blown save is certainly no worse than Bill Buckner’s error. Those Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner contracts don’t really stack up to the horror that Bartman inflicted upon the Chicago Cubs. It took 86 years for the Red Sox to lift the Curse of the Bambino, which is 85 years and 10 months longer than it took Francisco Lindor to the majors in 2015.
Being a sports fan in Cleveland is hard, it’s the fanhood equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck. Every season we sit on the couch and daydream about all those things we’ll do with the next season. It’s a stressful way to pay the bills and to root for teams. But next payday… let’s just say there’s hope for that vacation we’ve all been dreaming for.
When playing a video game, you always want to achieve the realism of whatever it is you are playing (sort of). Let’s be honest; how real is it when you are playing a zombie-like game where you are roaming the land shooting or stabbing the heads off of the living dead? In this particular case, how real is it that you take a college or professional team all the way to the championship game every single year for 15+ years in a row and you are undefeated every single year? Now that would be the ultimate task to achieve in real life.
I was lucky enough to have grown up in the era of Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Both brands provided the world with the best games there is known to man during their popular times in the 80’s and 90’s. Now a days, I’m not much of a gamer. Occasionally, I do go to a friends house and play whatever Tiger Woods game that is current. Other than that, there isn’t much gaming going on for me.
Yesterday, I was listening to The Dan Patrick Show, and they had a poll to see what was the best sports game of all-time. While listening to the show, it got me thinking of what my top sports games were while I was growing up. To me, growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s was the best time for sports games.
I’m more of an old-school kind of guy, so my favorite games are going to mostly consist of games games from the old days. But my list won’t be complete without what’s going on the the sports-gaming world of today. Here’s to name a few of the of my favorite video games of my generation.
Any Madden NFL game:
Have we come a long way since that very famous and classic game that is known as Tecmo Bowl. Tecmo Bowl set the tone and revolutionized how football games are played now-a-days. No sports video game list would be complete without mentioning the Madden franchise, so that’s how I am going to start off my list.
The Madden NFL games are probably the most popular sports-game series in the world today. The Madden NFL series introduced us to two types of gameplay: management mode and on-field action. Both of these types of gameplay are still relevant to this day and I don’t see them going anytime soon. Madden NFL also introduced us o “Owner Mode” in which you run the team as you see fit.
Cool Boarders 2
Back in ’98, I was introduced to Cool Boarders 2: a snowboarding game that consisted of 7 snowboarders, 18 different snowboards that ranged from 3 types of snowboards; freestyle boards where you could o crazy with tricks, alpine boards where you could go the fastest on that you really didn’t have much mobility or control over, and you had the all-around boards where you had the best of both worlds; mobility and perform better tricks.
Another cool feature in this game was the customization you had with either you had with the boarder or the snowboards. You could just tat up your boarder with some pretty sick tattoos and you could also put on some pretty sick graphics on your boards as well.
Like I stated earlier, this was one of those games where you wished this would be the realist thing ever. How sick would it be to land 4 or more McTwists on the halfpipe or quarterpipe? And how random would it be to see an alien performing tricks on the pipes or seeing Frosty The Snowman flying down the hill on a frying pan at 100 mph?
MLB: The Show
Like I said, I’m not much of a gamer now a days, but I am really fascinated with this series of games. The MLB: The Show franchise is taking the sports gaming scene by storm and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
This franchise introduced us to sports gaming like no other. MLB: The Show takes us on a simulation of what it is like to making it to the big leagues. It takes us on a journey of what it is like to being a somewhat of a cocky or humble person playing in the minors and making it into superstar status in the majors in the very creative “Road to the Show” mode.
NFL 2kand NFL 2k1
Now, what NFL game could possibly go toe-to-toe with the Goliath of NFL gaming that is Madden NFL? Well, the world was introduced to NFL2k released by the short-lived console Sega Dreamcast. The franchise mode wasn’t as great as what Madden NFL provided, but the fan interaction seemed to have made up for it.
NFL2k1 had similar gameplay as its predecessor. NFL2k1 became of the first sports titles to introduced online-gaming that has ever since revolutionized how sports-gaming or gaming in general is played now a days.
NHL back in the 90’s
Aaaaaah, now let’s go back to 16-bit consoles shall we. please?
To me, the NHL back in the early 90’s were some of the greats. The one game of the series that deserves the recognition for how the NHL games are today is NHL ’94 mainly because it was the first game of the series that introduced to us to the one-timer and you were able to do the wrap around with such ease. Oh, and how fun were the fights you would get into?
Mike Tyson’s Punch Out
If you’re list of all-time best sports games doesn’t include this, you have no business playing any video games.
There really hasn’t been a more significant game ever to come out that had as much impact on the gaming world than Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Even after it’s first release over 20 years ago, it is still a landmark to this day. Even though it wasn’t exactly much a simulation-type boxing game, the game made up for it with its charm.
You could say that there was sort of a resemblance to the real Mike Tyson in the game. When you got to face him in the final bout, Tyson would only give you the knockout blow that caused severe damage to Little Mac.
What originally started off as just an arcade game back in 1993, later hitting Sega consoles in 1994, NBA Jam took over the world. NBA Jam became extremely popular when it earned over $1 billion in revenue by 1994. In 1994, Amusement & Music Operators Association reported that NBA Jam is the highest grossing arcade game.
The game consisted of 2-on-2 competition with every team in the NBA featured. It captured the gaming world with its complete exaggeration of how a basketball game is played that defies the laws of physics with jumping 50 feet in the air and coming back down with a monstrous dunk. If a player were to make three shots in a row, the player would get “on fire” and would be incredibly hard to stop with his unlimited turbo and his shooting spree would continue.
I honestly still play this game to this day. In Nashville, there is a bar where they have the original arcade game in the back. I’m not much of a bar-going person now a days, but I make the exception for Paradise Park on Lower Broadway.
Tecmo and Tecmo Super Bowl
Without the Tecmo Bowl series, we probably wouldn’t have the Madden NFL series today.
Tecmo Bowl was the first arcade game to not only use real teams, but to use real NFL player names. It probably cleared the path for other NFL game series that we are accustomed to today. Both the arcade (1987) and console game (1989) became extremely popular pretty fast when they were first released. The game featured some of the best of the best at their position: Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor and so on and so forth.
Since it’s release back in 1987, there have been many versions of the game that have to come out, most recently with the Nintendo Wii back in 2007.
If you really wanted to win every game, if you are lucky enough, you would have chosen the Los Angeles Raiders. Back when this game was first released, the Raiders had the great Bo Jackson. Given that Bo was such a great running back who’s career was cut short, he was unstoppable in the game, almost like how he was in real life, witch was quite exaggerated in the game. All you had to do was just have that one running play that Bo ran, you were pretty much guaranteed a touchdown every time.
Jobu’s Mailbag has been filling up, but Jobu has been too busy helping the Indians during a really tough June to answer everyone’s questions. First in line was an email from an Indians fan named Tom, these are his questions and Jobu’s answers.
Since this is the first of Jobu’s mailbags, I’ll let you know how this will work. Jobu goes through the questions, answers all that he can at the time and emails them to me. I post them here. I will never change any answer, not even grammar. No editing. Jobu has his own way of talking, and if I go changing things I might tweak the meaning of his answers without knowing. I will occasionally add links to questions or answers, but I’ll never change the content of the text.
So, without further ado, the first ever Jobu’s Mailbag answers column:
It’s been a busy week here at More Than A Fan. Our layout has changed a little bit (look closely over there and you’ll see a new name or two) and Lisa is probably going to be hungover for the rest of the week after celebrating the Mavericks NBA Championship. There was a few other things that happened last week, even if I can’t remember them all.
Mike Tyson finally calmed himself down enough to deal with getting inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. There is no doubt that Mike Tyson has been a controversial figure in sports, being both a head case in the ring and a criminal out of it, but I’m a firm believer that you cannot tell the history of boxing without a long-winded story about the man