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.

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.

One to Watch: LA Galaxy v Real Madrid

It’s like you’ve selected the ‘Randomise Team’ option on FIFA 11, except it’s really happening! Real Madrid take on LA Galaxy and a certain David Beckham in a pre-season friendly this weekend…

The two teams had a sparring session last year but Beckham missed out due to an achilles injury.  This time he’s fully fit and eagerly anticipating the match, especially after scoring directly from a corner-kick against Chicago just last weekend.

His former side, Real Madrid, will be looking to sharpen their claws by picking away at the Los Angeles outfit, in preparation for what promises to be another hotly contested La Liga.   With Barcelona at the helm, Madrid need all the preparation they can get to reclaim the Spanish crown.

Some may see the friendly as a bit of a holiday-game but the Beckham factor could create a little bit of competition amongst the players. The former United star has expressed his feelings for the Spanish giants saying:

“I spent four amazing years at Real Madrid. To go from a club like Manchester United to Real Madrid, it really doesn’t get much better than that in football. I’ve got many friends still there, many friends as players and fans and throughout the club as well.”

Beckham has forever been in the public eye and the media hang on to his every word but he appeared very chilled out on the Late Show with Craig Ferguson (see video below) just last month. Still, it annoys me to hear the former England captain refer to football as ‘soccer’ – it makes me feel cheated, like Stacy Giggs, Abbey Clancy, Coleen Rooney and every other WAG who knows perfectly well what they’re getting into (apologies, I got a little carried away there)!

Speaking of WAGs, Posh and Becks have just welcomed their newborn daughter into the world and have come under some harsh criticism for naming her ‘Harper Seven’.  I think it’s a lovely name and a great way to pay tribute to Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman for what was a classic detective picture from the ’90s.

As for the game tomorrow – it is not going to be broadcast live on British television but can probably be found on a number of illegitimate websites which I would know nothing about or condone in any way.

Kick off…

LA Time: 7.00pm Saturday 16th July
UK Time: 2.00am Sunday 17th July

I’m fully aware that this is perhaps the most awkward selection for ‘One to Watch’ ever but there’s really not much else on!