Monday, March 29, 2010

CROSSTOPIX #4: Part 1 of 3

Welcome everyone to the fourth edition of CrossTopix! Wow, it's almost been a full month since the site has started going full-time! I hope all of you reading are continuing to enjoy this site as I've been enjoying posting the content. If you are an up-and-coming musician, a future movie maker, or someone with an exciting website, please get in contact with me by e-mail to if you would like to come onto this site. We have many exciting and fun guests lined up from now through the beginning of June but we can always use more!

And with that said, let me introduce to you this week's guest. Not only is he a guest, but he is now a member of the CrossTopix team, let me introduce to you Spry! The official sports correspondent of CrossTopix, now here's a word from him:


Spry: Hello, my name is Spry, the new and official sports correspondent for CrossTopix. I am a graduate from WIU with a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and have had a passion for sports all my life. My favorite sports are baseball, football, and basketball. I have plans on making a new column here and hope to provide more sports-related content for this site!

1. What is the greatest sports movie ever? Is it a comedy like Caddy Shack or The Kingpin? How about a serious drama like Any Given Sunday or Field of Dreams?

STVO: I love all-assortment of sports movies, but I probably lean more towards comedies. The King Pin is one that I have seen many times and laugh every time I watch it. Say what you want about Bill Murray as a person, but he is a very funny guy. Ernie McCracken was such a jerk and so full of himself, you just wanted to see Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson, who is also great) just rip off both of his hands and beat the crap out of him. Bowling is one of my favorite games to play, so this may be another reason I could get into it. Another movie that stands out is The Sandlot. That movie is just a classic movie telling the story about a big group of childhood friends who share the love of baseball and other activities as they play the game and get in mischief together. Except for perhaps the chase scene with the dog “Hercules,” I’m sure many of us have been in similar situations to the main characters during our time as kids.

A few drama movies I did like were Any Given Sunday and Hurricane. I’ve only seen it once and it was 10 years ago, but I did find Any Given Sunday to be a fun “real” inside look at behind-the-scenes of the NFL. Hurricane was an interesting story with Denzel Washington playing Rubin Carter. While they told a good inspirational story, they did candy coat the real life story by making Rubin Carter seem like he was a completely honest and innocent man his whole life despite having some other criminal convictions prior to his murder trials in real life. While I don’t like the movie as much as I did when I first saw it and didn’t know better, it isn’t that bad of a movie.

Spry: Sports movies are great because everyone can relate to a sports movie. Everyone isn’t athletic but they can relate their life to sports in some way or another. The greatest sports movie to me is Field of Dreams. Why? Well, baseball is my favorite sport so this was an easy choice. I love how it displays the history of the game from all the way back into the 1920’s to the present day of the game and where it’s going.

2. In 2005, EA Sports acquired exclusive rights to the NFL license making them nearly a monopoly in the football video game market until 2012 if they aren’t able to renew the deal. Should this kind of practice be held with sports video games? What companies would you like to see make games with the NFL license again?
STVO: I know I’m not the best person to be discussing this as I’m not a big sports gamer or a big sports person in general, but I wish that other companies did have the rights to the NFL license. Many people praise Madden as the best football game around and that’s perfectly fine, but when it comes to the way businesses work, I believe competition brings the best out of everyone (hence why we have great game titles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo usually.) I enjoyed hearing people compare the NFL 2K series to Madden and even hearing stories of why one is the better game or not. Also, I think it would be fun to see Tecmo move onto the modern generation consoles with an NFL license (yes they made Tecmo Bowl DS, but them using the NFL license will make them stand out more. It would be Just like EA using the NBA license in their take of NBA Jam on WiiWare later this year, a title I’m looking forward to.) I’m very old school when it comes to sports video games, Ten Yard Fight and Tecmo Bowl were where it’s at! I just think that the sports-gaming world would be better if 2K Sports, Tecmo, EA, and others were in competition.

Unlike others, I like EA and respect they are one of the biggest game developers in the world and they have to continue to be that by putting their big budgets and power to the test, but I just feel a license like the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA, etc. should be available (for the respective fees of course) to the third party developers that choose to do so! I even feel the “non-sports” of UFC, WWE, etc. should be available more than one third party developer (like THQ.) I would love for EA to make a WWE game, use the engine they use for Def Jam Vendetta (the one used in titles such WCW vs. n.W.o World Tour, Wrestlemania 2000, and WWF No Mercy), keep the rosters up-to-date, and use the EA production values to make the ultimate pro-wrestling game!

Spry: I disagree with the one company making NFL games; sure there are game companies that make unlicensed football games, but nothing is better than NFL-endorsed games. I thought the 2K sports franchise for football had a better interface than the Madden series before EA bought the rights to all NFL titles. I hope that in the future there will be more than just Madden NFL, sure Madden is the top selling sports video game of all time, but competition is good for an industry because it pushes every company to build on their product to make it better.

3. Rare collector’s items, what’s the most you are willing to spend and what for? Also, what do you think of some of the crazy amounts people pay for such (i.e. Stadium Events for NES, Panzer Dragoon Saga for Sega Saturn, 1st issues of comic books, etc.)

STVO: Well, living in Chicago with a full-time job kind of hampers me collecting much of anything with my paychecks, hence why I use Netflix and Gamefly as opposed to buying movies/video games these days. When I do get those extra spurts of money or back in the day when I lived at home, I would buy older video games for systems like the Sega Saturn and have considered collecting, and for some cases, re-collecting old gaming consoles/games that aren’t available to download on Wii or Xbox 360. The most I can recall spending for games are paying around $25 each for Panzer Dragoon 1 and 2 for Sega Saturn in 2009. I usually have been lucky when it comes to buying older video games, plus I can buy many of the older games on Xbox 360 or Wii’s Virtual Console.

Now for those real rare video games, I really would love to play Panzer Dragoon Saga!! I just don’t think I want to pay $150 or more to do so. With that kind of money, you can buy more than one game! Now for those millionaires out there (or wackos taking out their live savings) spending anywhere from $5,000 to $13,000 for Stadium Events for the NES (with Power Pad) are insane in my opinion (well if you’re a millionaire, maybe not.) I remember playing that game (or a really similar one) when I was little and having fun, but I don’t think it was close to being the greatest game of all-time. Later on, I got into DDR and one version I own even has a similar track racing game as an extra in it, which I’m sure you can get for far less money than that. Also, I know people love mint condition collectibles, but paying $3,000 for an SNES version of Chrono Trigger is just ridiculous!! I love that game and would be personally satisfied buying that game on the PlayStation 1 (which I do own that version) or the Nintendo DS version, both which is essentially the same game with possibly more features.

The bottom-line, is if you feel that you can afford these items for the insane amount and won’t go into debt to collect them, more power to you! It is fun to collect things (especially if they’re rare!) but you have to make sure it is at the right price! Now for those that buy Britney Spears’s hair, a make-up case owned by Marilyn Monroe, or a Bill Cosby-worn sweater for those prices, I’m sorry, but… GET A LIFE!!!!!

Spry: Ahh yes memorabilia! There’s something important, historic or interesting about an item… something that makes the item desirable to millions of people. People will pay large dollars for certain items. This is why Ebay was created…..

I’ve heard crazy stories where people bought Ty Cobbs, OF Detroit Tigers, False Teeth. Who buys false teeth? Or Babe Ruths sweat? Most normal people get autographs or pictures, but there is that rare person who buys someone’s hair.

Or you can get some of the Detroit Tigers infield dirt…what do you do with infield dirt?

That's all for Part 1!!! Tune in Wednesday as we make our predictions for the NCAA Final Four and the upcoming MLB season!!!! Also we discuss the best places to go in Las Vegas! In the meantime, log onto Facebook and join the CrossTopix Fanpage. Also be sure to leave comments here on the site to let us know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. You guys make very valid points. I would have to say that no sports movie can compare with Hoosiers. This movie has it all, action drama, and even a little comedy. It is the try underdog story.
    As for the EA sports titles. I truly like the madden series. I never like the gameplay for the 2K series. Maddens controls and overall graphics were much better. I am with Stvo on the best sports game ever through Tecmo Bowl can't be beat. As for the competive nature of the market. I agree that competition brings out the best in companies but it can also make a company hurry a game to beat the rest on release date. I have seen several of game come out and not live up to the hype because they rushed it. Mainly Baseball games, but there were a couple of years that the 2K series wanted to get the games out before Madden and they released an inferior product.