Sunday, August 14, 2011

Coloma vs Watervliet: The Final Meeting

As you may have heard, Coloma vs Watervliet will play their final football game this year.  This will be the 102nd meeting between the two schools, with a rivalry starting over 100 years ago.  The two communities are close, in location and in family ties, will see their final game which abruptly announced this game will be the last.

With Coloma joining a new conference, the Wolverine, Coloma can play intra-conference games for their non conference games instead of what they have had to do in recent years, traveling to places like Hamilton High School, or having teams from Canada or Indiana come to McDaniel's Field. The downside is that the big game at the beginning of the year is gone.  Sure, the rivalry isn't what it used to be, with the teams being a less than competitive in recent years, and the game traditionally being at the end of the year.

But its a shame to see the game go away forever.  It is something I have looked forward to for the last 15 or so years, when I started going to Coloma games.  I remember the 100th game, with the throwback jerseys, the introducing old players before the game and all the celebrations.  Coloma won that contest, as they did my senior year game.  Last year Coloma wasn't so lucky in the final game in Coloma, but I thought the rivalry would continue.

Working at the local grocery store, I remember talking to customers and coworkers about the game.  Everyone was always really excited for it.  There was always a lot of bragging going on.  Sure, it was small town Michigan high school football, but the rivalry was real and intense, and a lot of rivalries can't say that. 

Its terrible this game is ending.  Its more awful that in 20 years, 30 years down the road, I will tell people about how when I was a young football fan, Coloma had a truly great and long rivalry with the team down the road. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

NCAA 12: What We Have Been Waiting For

NCAA Football came out about a month ago today.  So I have had plenty of time to play it through and try out all the game has to offer.  So here is my review.

If you have not already bought this game, do it soon.  It has the best, smoothest game play I have ever seen for any football game, Madden, NCAA or QB Club 1999.  The running engine has been overhauled, again, which at first I was not pumped about, but after playing I see why they did it.  I don't know if I could go back and play an older game after seeing this.  The running backs can make real cuts and accelerate like they should.  The tackling system is better too, with no more magnet style movement to the runner no matter if your the defensive player or not.  This makes the game much more enjoyable and easier to play. 

The graphics are better this year, as they always are.  But this year they are actually impressive.  They removed a lot of the glitches and added 3D grass.  The players look more realistic the stadiums have their own identity.  The fans are louder and look like people, not cardboard cut outs.  The atmosphere, with custom team entrances, feels like college and not like Madden comes to campus. 

The new features, such as starting as a coordinator and climbing up the coaching tree, or playing both sides on Road To Glory, makes the game more fun and deep.  I can play both and one doesn't overtake the other.  The little changes to the dynasty mode, as improved recruiting and custom schedules and conferences, makes the game more how college football should be, exciting and unpredictable. 

I can honestly say this is the best NCAA Football game I have ever played, and the best football video game ever.  Period.  They took the problems that has been plaguing the game, fixed them, and then fixed things that weren't really broken.  It is nice to see EA really try after taking a decade or so off with no competition.  I can only hope the same effort was put into Madden 12, which comes out at the end of the month.