Video Games I Wish Were Made

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

Sadly, I am without a “current” gaming system. Because of this, I’m probably not the person videogame developers have in mind as they brainstorm new ideas. Just because I don’t play any new games doesn’t mean there aren’t game ideas out there that I think should be made. Like a lot of kids, I had a very active imagination while I was growing up and every once in a while my creative/imaginative streak comes back. This is one of those “once in a whiles.” I now present to you videogames I wish were made.
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The Lumsden Debate - Jesse or Neil?

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

I like amateur sports. There’s something about them that gets me every time; maybe it’s the unbridled passion or the sometimes reckless abandon that players play with. The game is just different, whether its football, basketball, baseball or even hockey. I am not trying to open the debate about whether amateur sports are better than pro, or if one is more entertaining than the other, it’s just something different, something that might be more pure.

I should clarify at this point, I’m not talking about NCAA vs. the NFL or NBA; we’re talking Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Legitimate amateurs. Amateur does not mean bad; most of the players out there are quite good, maybe just not as polished or as athletically gifted as some of their American counterparts that you watch on Saturday afternoons on CBS/ABC. As someone who once played high school sports and has coached high school football, I can tell you that the CIS is a big step up.

One of my favorite activities over the past 10 years has been watching live CIS football on Saturday afternoons in the fall, first at Ottawa U and later at Queen’s. Depending on the matchup, the atmosphere can be quite lively, and fans (me) can get quite worked up.
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(Non)Thoughts from a Ramblin’ (Gamblin’) Man…

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

Awesome or sad? The only two “sporting events” I’ve watched in the last two weeks were BoSox-Yanks at Yankee Stadium and Joey Chestnut defending his Nathan’s Hot Dog Championship at Coney Island.

Messier (potential) divorce? Brett Favre and the Packers or A-Rod and Cynthia.

Readable? A story about a (possible) coaching controversy in women’s basketball at a Canadian university.

More memorable? Ken Read- the Crazy Canuck or Ken Read- the guy who was in one episode of Corner Gas.

More than meets the eye? The firing of Ted Nolan.

Crying over spilt milk? Outrage that Canadians’ favorite male and female athletes are Tiger Woods and Maria Sharapova, respectively.

For the love of the game or pathetic? Players who play in the Can-Am baseball league.
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Attractive Female Celebrities and Movies that Have at Least One Sports Related Connection

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

The “intro” for these things is always the hardest part. I pretty much know what the content is going to be and I even have a catchy little ending already picked out, but how do I ease you, the reader, into this little diddy? How do I rationalize what I’m about to present?

Do I use a cheesy anecdote that may or may not be true? Maybe a joke of sorts? Or maybe that “Youtube” that the kids are always talking about…let’s go with that last one.


Hmmm, nice video, but what’s the sports connection?

You see, celebrities-like Jessica Alba and Cameron Diaz- like to spend time doing things outside. Some times these things are sports – the above video also features champion surfer Kelly Slater, albeit briefly. These celebrities also occasionally appear in movies that loosely feature sports in their plotlines – a bit like this piece, I guess. Without further ado, attractive female celebrities and movies that have at least one sports related connection. Maybe the title needs some work, oh well…on with the show
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Puzzle Season!

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

If the following paragraphs don’t cement my position as a “cool dude” and potential “heartthrob,” I don’t know what will. The following will be a look into my soul; finally, an answer to the timeless question, what makes me tick?

So without further ado, Alex, what makes you tick?

Puzzles. No, not any of those wonky Sudoku puzzles or even puzzles of the crossword variety. I’m talking about good old fashion jigsaw puzzles.

I honestly don’t remember when I first started puzzling, however I imagine it was sometime around 1986 and likely involved farm animals – kinky, I know. In my early days, puzzles were an educational vehicle; they taught me geography and allowed me to admire art. In recent years, puzzles have become a hobby, a nice activity to enjoy on a cold winter day or a challenge to tackle during a summer blackout.

In recent years I’ve completed a puzzle of Norman Rockwell’s “Pride of Parenthood” painting, a Simpsons collage, and an Impossible – a puzzle with no border, a repeating image and 10 extra pieces. I know what you’re thinking, “this guy is super cool!” Exactly.
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Newsradio and Sports (Because I Have Too Much Time on My Hands)

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

Matthew: Oh, Dave, oh my, you would have loved it… a week in a foreign place, strange people, strange customs.
Dave: I know exactly what you mean, I’ve been to Canada.
Matthew: Trust me, Japan is even more exotic.
Dave: Clearly you’ve never been to Winnipeg.

Alright, I have a confession to make. While I immensely enjoy watching sports, another guilty pleasure of mine is the TV show “Newsradio.” Yes, the wonderful NBC Sitcom that was cancelled 9 years ago. It’s always been near and dear to my heart, and it feels as though my heart is ripped apart every time it begins a new syndication run before being yanked again. TBS, TVTropolis and A&E, I’m looking at you…

For a while now, I’ve been trying to think of a way to integrate Newsradio into one of these little pieces; pretty much I was looking for an excuse to go back and watch a ton of episodes. Could I do one of those comparison pieces, where certain athletes are compared to Newsradio characters? I probably could, but it wouldn’t be very good. Without any sort of “concept,” I shelved the broad theme for a rainy day…

Then this week rolled around. Not only did I have an exam that I was supposed to study for, but the weather was also crappy, with torrential downpours. It was the perfect storm. Procrastination and rain. It was time for a Newsradio marathon! I quickly realized there were a number of “sports” references throughout the series. An idea! Not only can I lie in bed and watch Newsradio, but I can also “write” about something that (very) loosely relates to sports. Without further ado, quotes and plotlines from Newsradio that relate to sports and sport-like-activities!
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Appreciating “Football” and Getting Bottled (sort of)…

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

Probably by this point you are sick and tired of hearing about this “Euro Cup” deal. Sadly, this is not your means of escape. I would like to think, however, that what I’m going to present is slightly different. At least that’s the intention 40 words in. We’ll see how it goes.
If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t really contributed a whole lot regarding “relevant” or “current” sports topics. I shared pictures of smokin’ hot women. I’ve discussed my experiences watching rowing and cross country skiing. I’ve even put together a crazy story about Lil’ Penny. But nothing “now.”

Not to be too much of a walking cliché for Christian Lander’s book/website, but I’m currently studying abroad right now in Vienna, Austria. As you know, this little city is playing a fairly large role in the Euro Cup. Not to sound too ignorant, but prior to last Saturday, I really couldn’t give a damn about this soccer tournament. I didn’t know who was playing. I didn’t know who was supposed to be good. I didn’t even understand what the big deal was. It was all a “ho hum” thing. I knew Manchester United was a good team; I have in the past watched Lady Bugs and the Big Green; and I had recently watched Green Street Hooligans, but this really wasn’t enough to “get me in the zone.”

But then last Saturday rolled around and there was something in the air. I rounded up some peeps and started to make the trek to Vienna’s Fan Zone. We quickly got side tracked and changed our minds.

Rather than going to the main Fan Zone, we settled for a smaller one, located close to Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium, in the shadow of the world famous Risenrad ferris wheel. Baby steps. The wheel, which has been featured in “The Third Man” and the James Bond film “The Living Daylights,” was adorned with a giant Adidas ad featuring Czech goalie Petr Cech. The smaller venue was nice; we were given free rain ponchos, thunder sticks and some crazy hand things. It was a nice experience, but there were bigger fish to fry.
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Corporate Naming Rights

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

Ahhhh, where were you when professional sports transitioned from a past time and leisure activity to a major corporate spectacle? Was it the first time you watched a soccer game and saw all the corporate logos? Was it during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl? Maybe the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl? Or was it during the Built Ford Tough Pre-Game Show? Or the first time your favorite stadium was adorned with a corporate logo and name?
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French Open “Preview”

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

It’s that time of year – Tennis season! Sure, tennis doesn’t really have an offseason and one major tournament has already been played - the Aussi Open in January – but honestly, who really followed that? Over the next 7 weeks, two majors will be played; first the French Open at Roland Garros and then Wimbledon at the All English Club.

While there may be other tennis hungry “writers” here at The On Deck Circle who’ll talk about ace percentages, back hand form and service speeds; I want to provide you with a more aesthetically pleasing preview of the WTA’s Major Season. To keep this under the auspices of a “preview” I am only going to “profile” players ranked in the Top 25 of the Roland Garros field. These women are athletes first! Keep in mind, I really know very little about tennis.

So now, I present you 9 names to know and players to “watch” during the French Open and Wimbledon over next few weeks. Players are listed with their name, French Open ranking and listed country of origin. Names are listed by actual tennis rankings.
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Help for LeBron…?

This article has been submitted by Alex Jackson.

I’ll admit it, Lebron James is pretty good. There, finally someone said it.

Clearly I am not the first person to utter that sentiment and I definitely will not be the last. If there was even a modicum of doubt (did anyone really have any?) that Lebron is a very special player, it was erased during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics. In Game 7, he scored 45 of his teams 92 points, an incredible 48.9 percent. While I could probably do some “research” and find out when all of his assists came, I’m not going to; toss in his 6 assists and ‘Bron either scored or was directly responsible for setting up almost 62 percent of his team’s points on Sunday. Not bad.

For the 7 game series against Boston, he scored 187 points and dished out 53 assists. Again, assuming the assists accounted for 106 points(even though I know it was more), he accounted for 293 of the Cavs’ 596 points, 49.1 percent. The dude is good.

Here’s where the debate comes in, though, how much of that production is the result of sheer awesomeness and how much is the result of need? Personally, I’m in the “need” group; if Lebron doesn’t do it, no one else will. No offense, but the supporting cast is dangerously inept. (see what I did there?)
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