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The most exciting game never televised…

Playoff run, rookie season. Stick to the plan, there is no reason to stray. A shame I only pitch every 5 days. #MLB #MLBtheshow #RTTS #PS3

DrGonzo619 from Twitter, 4-14-10

There have been many great sports moments captured on film and on print.  We should be eternally thankful to those journalist and broadcast companies for capturing such memories. October 15, 1988 an injured Kirk Gibson hits a walk-off home run in Game 1 of the World Series to limp around the bases in a most glorious fashion. I am sure, my grandpa, who was a longtime Dodgers fan, was filled with elation at this moment; along with the rest of the Dodgers’ faithful fans.  November 20, 1982, the final play of University of California, Golden Bears versus Standford University forever to be called “The play” where the Golden Bears ran back a kickoff return as the Standford fans and the band were already on the field.  The announcing on this broadcast is one of the most exhilarating.  Yes the world of sports is filled with so many moments that will grab a hold of the human spirit and can bring either joy, tears, sorrow, jubilation all in one instance.  The right video game and the right opponent can also lead to some of the most memorable competitive moments.  Many of these moments go unnoticed except for those participants of the video game match.

Fight Night 2004 was the first time EA used the joysticks to control punches.  Many gamers didn’t like the feature because those “button-mashers” couldn’t destroy everyone with wicked combos. Even a child can learn how to hit buttons in order.  Combinations were much more difficult to perform using the Total Punch Control system. My favorite feature of the game was the moment you or your opponent were about to get knocked down, the game would go into slow motion and you’d hear the player’s heartbeat.  It created cinematic knockdown sequences similar to Raging Bull.  If the player who was about to hit the mat was you, then your controller would vibrate to the heartbeat.  It created a tense moment for a tense time, as it should be.  You have to decide if you are going to go “Rocky” on your opponent and just start laying haymakers with hopes of stunning them, or put your hands up to try and block their punches until you recover from the daze, or back up and run around the ring in hopes you can cower your way back to health.

Message from J

Left on my windshield December 21,1999. The name was somewhat scrambled, but I knew exactly who had left the message.

When games are designed right, they bring forth great matches.  My friend and I, who was my roommate at the time, would have the most epic matches. We would start off with the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and then progress our way onto heavyweight.  We were usually tied by the time we reached the heavy weight class, which meant the winner of the night would be decided by the heavyweight bout.

I cannot forget to mention that there was also an imaginary belt.  We never saw it, but once someone won, they carried this belt. Let me tell you, when you wore it, it felt like you were taller and had an aura behind you; ok maybe not, but when you didn’t have it you felt the total opposite of the feeling mentioned. As we’d pass each other before work he’d say, “Hey, I hope your pants down fall down today, you know, because I have your BELT” or he’ll mock me in Shakespearean fashion, and say ” “Tis shall be a good nights rest my friend; for me that is.  For I have-th the belt.”  There would be nights when I would try to go to bed early when I had possession of the belt and he would knock on my door and scream, “Oh no you don’t. Get out of bed and let’s fight. I am getting that belt back!”

My friend and I have known each other for years, (1st grade to be exact), which means he was a culprit in the most horrid tale of elementary school kids misbehaving.  Throughout my college years, we had many competitive games.  Early in our life it was mostly dominoes; a game I think he taught me only so he can belittle me when he beats me in it.  Dominoes is a trash talker’s paradise.  Also, one day I embarrassed him in basketball.  Embarrassed because he is 4 inches taller than I and also played varsity basketball whereas I played Sega.  However, in college I went through a fitness phase and was training like a maniac with a soccer squad and was running stairs like an Olympian.  We played our one-on-one basketball game on an elementary school court which meant the rims were about 8 feet tall so we were both dunking like we were Shaq, (well him more than me, I am still more of a finesse “lay-up” guy).  I managed to steal a victory from him as I was able to out hustle him.  Surprising to say the least, I still recall his dad asking who had won and he too could not believe it.  I remember him having to ask twice as he was in a deniable disbelief.  My friend will deny the victory to this day, but nevertheless, until he has a means to contradict my story, it is the victors version that will go down in history my friend.  Needless to say we are highly competitive.

Dominoes at Berkley.  Photo taken circa 1996

The Author is getting beat in dominoes by J at Zo's apartment in Berkeley. Photo taken circa 1996

In Fight Night, we had one fight where he finally got his revenge.  We had been going back and forward on the lower weight fights and he was just ripping into me with taunts as he landed his punches.  I had a 125 gallon fish tank with a prized Albino Oscar in it.  I had fed it some bad goldfish and he was sick.  The poor fish was just sitting on the bottom of the tank for about 4 days as if he had bad constipation. Luckily he survived, but in the mist of my worries, around day 2 of the sickness, my friend knocked me to the ground in Fight Night and it was obvious he had the upper hand that night and he said, “Aha! It looks you are finished.  You are going down for the count like your fish.”  followed by a loud boisterous laugh as the referee counted to ten.

I have never been the type to fight back with trash talk.  I let my game speak for itself.  But I admit he had my number this day.  As we fought our final bout, Ali vs Ali, our other friend, Zo,  showed up.  We paused the game, let him in, and then my friend said to him “Ah! You came just in time to witness a thrashing.”  He un-paused the game and I remember coming back on him, I almost had him worried for a round.  I can tell he was worried because the level of trash talking diminished to silence.  But then he unleashed a fury of haymakers that I would never recover from.  As he knocked me to the ground in TKO fashion, my friend, drunk off victory, fell to his knees in front of the television set, ripped off his cotton t-shirt and let out a monstrous roar that was probably heard for blocks around our house.  He didn’t say anything, he just walked to his room laughing like a viking who found a wealthy plunder.  As he turned towards the hallway on the way to his room, he put his fists up in victory, and in my mind and his, in his raised clenched fist, he held that belt. My friend Zo, just shook his head and sipped soda from his cup as he waited patiently for a night out in Downtown San Diego with the EA Fight Night champion.

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