The Sport Report

The Sport Report is a satirical sports news website developed by JDG Media.  The purpose of the site is to deliver sports news in the form of blogging and video, from a light-hearted angle.

I produce most of the content for the site and am responsible for its general upkeep.  Through trial and error, I’ve grasped the basics of running a multimedia website through working on the back end of The Sport Report.

It’s a really fun website to work with as I have a lot of freedom in what I can write.  Plus it requires updates every week, so it keeps me on my toes.  Sometimes the writing is a little close to the bone but I can assure you no sportspeople were harmed during the making of the site!

Though all of my articles will be documented here, if you would like to see the posts in their full ‘glory’ then check them out directly at The Sport Report, where almost all pieces will be accompanied with images and/or videos.

Polite Baddies

Politeness is not just a cleaner dialogue with generic tag-words (please/thank you) on the end of a nasty sentence – it is a customary aspect of being professional and should always be applied when communicating, especially on the page/web-page.

Working part-time in retail has granted me with enough examples of impoliteness and misdirected political correctness to last a life time…or at least until the end of this blog.  From ugly attitudes orated through received pronunciation, to harsh letters of complaints which seem almost poetic in voice – I’ve came across every type of masked rudeness there is to come by.

Fortunately, my passion lies with copywriting and I do not let the venom from my day job poison my life.  Instead, I use it as ink and channel my anger onto the page (as you can see).  However, it is important to remember not to convey such emotion when writing on behalf of a client – even if you’re ‘polite’ with your choice of words.

Never allow your own agenda to infect a post or better yet – don’t have your own agenda at all (other than to complete the contract as best you can).  Your own blogs and publications are your literary filters for stress and emotion, confide in them as much as you like.

Unless the contract specifically demands otherwise, polite language is the least a client expects from you.  Note – there’s a balance between being polite and being patronising, to avoid the latter you simply need to understand your target audience.  For example, it could be patronising to overly stress the importance of clean hands in a surgeon’s handbook, whereas it would be more acceptable to do so for a resident biology student.

The beauty of the web-page is that you can go back and tweak the language to deliver certain messages in certain ways, instead of blabbing carelessly about a subject and accidentally saying something inappropriate.  It’s easy to decorate the page with a polite lexicon but it’s pointless to do so if the undertone is tainted.

Looking back over this blog, some could say I’ve patronised every copywriter in the world by discussing such a basic notion of the industry.  But you’ve got to remember this is my own blog and not a client’s, therefore I can say whatever I like – you big gang of ‘orrible trolls!

Thank you so much for reading.

FIFA 12 – Three (less obvious) Improvements

Much is said of FIFA 12′s new ‘Impact’ gameplay engine and how the player will be able to execute a variety of tackling styles etc.  But first, we want some improvements to the technical side of the game – like menus!

Ye Olde Menu

The FIFA series has had pretty much the same menu screen for the last four games.  Whereas it does the job, our eyes are bored of the bland titles, our ears are bored of the obscure music and do not get us started on the stupid dotty-circle-loading icon! I know it’s a tedious task but change it up EA Sports, give the job to an intern or something.

The arena feature is unique to the EA Sports brand and is used in a number of their different sports games – it’s genius.  However, I can remember a certain FIFA World Cup 2006 having a much better arena screen, which allowed a multiplayer kickabout as the game loads.  Why was this ever taken away from us and substituted with some dodgy striker vs. goalie mini-game?

Let it snow…actually – don’t!

The FIFA series is famous for its realism – genuine kits, sponsors, commentary, terrace chants, emblems etc, but when it comes to the weather system, is it really worth it?  Despite what Andy Gray says in the repetitive commentary (another area for improvement), nobody in the world LOVES playing football in the snow and there’s certainly nobody who likes playing in the snow on a video game.

All too often the player finds themselves squinting after a white ball, which is being passed about by Real Madrid wearing their sheet-white home kit in the snow.  Just get rid of the snow.  Snowbody is going to miss it – sorry, that was embarrassing.

Introducing the End of the Introduction Scenes

There’s no denying FIFA’s excellent gameplay, albeit with a few annoyances.  Every match has the potential to contain a certain pass or skill move you may never have seen before, every shot from the halfway line has that slight percentage of creeping under the bar and that’s what we play these games all year round for.  Sadly, the same cannot be said for the pre-match intro scenes.

We’ve all seen these jittery surrogates shake hands a million times, we’ve seen the virtual referee ‘warm-up’ over and over again – there’s nothing that EA Sports can do to make the intro scenes better, other than to remove them altogether and spare players the misery of waiting those extra 40 seconds before kicking-off.  There’s nothing worse than starting another online game to redeem yourself after a loss and being forced to watch a glitchy ceremony, as you hopelessly smack the controller to somehow skip the scene .

Full Time

There’s a whole host of subtle problems with FIFA 11 (random online points system, Extra Time Only? The inability to change shorts/socks colour, annoying substitution animations, manic goalkeeper behaviour, the nest of cooperative gameplay bugs and so on…) but we all still play it religiously.  We’re not slagging off EA Sports here, we are merely shining a light in the shadows created by positive reviews of enhanced gameplay and Ultimate Team game modes. We love FIFA, we just want to love it a bit more!

See this post on The Sport Report with accompanying video.