To kick off the second week of STAT BOX STORIES, I turned to another heated divisional rivalry in the NFL to feature in Madden NFL 12. Even though the NFC South is prone to being overlooked in favor of other divisions like the AFC East, NFC East, or AFC North, the truth remains that the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints were the last two #1 seeds in the National Football Conference. Even though that top seed only resulted in a Super Bowl win for New Orleans–with the Falcons falling last year at home to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Packers–the landscape of the NFC South is certainly shifted with these two teams set to battle it out every season; with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not far behind.
The first week of STAT BOX STORIES wrapped up yesterday with my entry on Manchester City hosting Manchester United in FIFA 12. If–for any reason–you missed any of the entries, feel free to use these quick links here:
Monday, October 31st — NCAA Football 12: LSU at Alabama
Tuesday, November 1st — Madden NFL 12: Ravens at Steelers
Wednesday, November 2nd — NHL 12: Bruins at Canadiens
Thursday, November 3rd — FIFA 12: Manchester City hosts Manchester United
Now, for the voting; in this first vote, I’m going to open up next week’s NCAA Football 12 game to your whims. Comment on this post with your choice for one of the following match-ups:
- Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal
- Nebraska Cornhuskers at Penn State Nittany Lions
- TCU Horned Frogs at Boise State Broncos
The voting will be open until 8:00PM ET on Saturday, November 5th. Whichever match-up has the most points will be the winner and will be featured as the NCAA Football 12 STAT BOX STORIES entry next week.
Since this is a fan vote, the day for each game to be featured will be on a “sliding” schedule; this means that NCAA Football 12 will be featured next Thursday, and Madden NFL 12 will slide up to Monday, and so on.
STAT BOX STORIES WEEK 2 SCHEDULE
Monday, November 7th, 2011
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Phoenix Coyotes at Winnipeg Jets
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
FC Barcelona hosts Real Madrid
Thursday, November 10th, 2011
Winner of the Fan Vote
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed Week 1 of STAT BOX STORIES and hope that you will vote for next week’s NCAA Football 12 showdown and come back next week for another series of game stories.
Of the four games I will be playing as part of the STAT BOX STORIES here for the blog, FIFA 12 is the one that I will have the best chance of embarrassing myself with by sharing failed game results against the CPU AI opponents. While I have been playing the FIFA series for a while, my skillset with the game is still that of a relative beginner due to the fact that I don’t get to watch as many real-life soccer game broadcasts as I would like; as a result, my knowledge of strategies being used in the game at present is limited. However, the challenge is something I hope to embrace as I put myself to the test each week.
For the first FIFA 12 entry of STAT BOX STORIES, I decided to go with an classic rivalry of two teams sharing the same city; Manchester City and Manchester United. Although Manchester United gets most of the publicity due to its recent success and personalities like Wayne Rooney–who graces the cover of FIFA 12 and the menu screens–Manchester City won the most recent meeting between the teams in real life by a comfortable and unexpected margin.
As two of the “Original 6” teams of the National Hockey League, the history and rivalry between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens has been well-documented over the years. Though the Canadiens hold the distinction of having the most Stanley Cup victories of any franchise in league history, the tide has turned in recent years as Montreal has made it to the Stanley Cup Final less and less frequently while the Bruins enter the 2011-2012 season as defending Stanley Cup Champions.
Growing up in central Maine with Franco-American grandparents, my earliest memories of watching professional hockey on television involve watching Canadiens games–broadcast in French–on TV5. As a goalie, it was not difficult to hold Hall of Famer Patrick Roy in high regard while he was manning the nets north of the border. And, as a result, my allegiance in the storied rivalry leans more towards the bleu, blanc, et rouge instead of the black and gold of Beantown.
For the first STAT BOX STORIES entry using NHL 12, I could think of no better match-up than the Canadiens hosting the Bruins at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
There are a couple of big games on the NFL schedule this coming weekend, but for the first STAT BOX STORIES entry for Madden NFL 12 I decided to go with a heated AFC North rivalry; the Baltimore Ravens traveling to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in primetime for Sunday Night Football.
For the inaugural entry of STAT BOX STORIES, one of the biggest games of the upcoming college football weekend is being tackled head-on in NCAA Football 12. Number 1-ranked LSU makes the trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium to take on the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide, and for the sake of this game I took control of the Tigers in a very hostile road environment. The game was played on All-American difficulty with 7-minute quarter lengths, resulting in 28 minutes of game time. All gameplay sliders were left at default settings, though penalty settings have been tweaked to result in a more balanced game.
As a sports fan, video gamer, and member of the EA SPORTS Game Changers program, I think about sports more often than just about anything else in a given day. One aspect of sports that I’ve always loved–since I was old enough to get my hands on the local newspaper’s Sports page as a kid–has been the statistical breakdown and analysis of a box score. Though I will reveal some level of quirkiness in my personality by saying this, I fondly remember clipping particularly meaningful box scores and keeping them in three-ring binders along with plastic sheets housing trading cards for the MLB, NHL, and NFL.
This love of statistics has continued on with me to adulthood, and I am excited to announce a new blog project which will hopefully allow me to accomplish a few goals I’ve overlooked for too long now:
- Get back to writing, everyday if possible.
- Start getting my video gaming skills honed in multiple sports games instead of focusing too intently on just one.
- Get more practice saving image and video highlights, as well as creating statistical images.
This project will be known as STAT BOX STORIES, mainly because the preferred title–Box Scores–has already been utilized in an ingenious series of sports gaming blogs on Kotaku.com written by Owen Good; indeed, that series of blog entries in many ways was a necessity in terms of inspiration for my own blog plans to come to fruition.
Every Monday through Thursday, I will share the game statistics–as well as the story beyond the stats–for games played in NCAA Football 12, Madden NFL 12, NHL 12, and FIFA 12. On Fridays, a vote will be posted where anybody following along with the progress of the blog can make their voice heard for an upcoming match-up in one of those titles.
In the interest of getting the blog series started off on the right foot, I’ve tried to hit on some of the bigger rivalries or important upcoming games in each sport for the first week of planned installments. Here’s what we’re looking at for the week beginning Monday, October 31st:
LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens
Manchester City hosts Manchester United
I hope that you’ll join me this Monday for the Halloween start to STAT BOX STORIES, and see how I do when I take control of the virtual LSU Tigers heading into Bryant-Denny Stadium for a prime-time SEC match-up against the Crimson Tide of Alabama!