Tuesday, September 11, 2007

a weekend of highlights

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stop! hammer time!

reason my weekend ruled #1: the Ducks showed up for some serious work last Saturday. I don't think I can say much more that the big sports outlets can say, but I'll add a few brief comments on the two most important areas of Oregon's game.

1. Dennis Dixon came back from playing baseball much of the summer ready to play some football. Maybe his zen-like dedication to a shitty batting average taught him that failure is acceptable? Maybe Chip Kelly's offense suits him better? Maybe he's off (or on) some medication? Maybe everything just clicked? Who knows. I'm watching for aligned stars or seventh signs. I don't care how it happened, but he looks like he's captured his form.

Now, if you can come back to me in November and I'm saying the same things, then we'll be in business. Week by week, he has to prove he can still do it - the problem last year was meltdowns mid-season.

2. The defensive line looked like it could stop somebody for once. "We eat today, coach!" tackle Jeremy Gibbs yelled during a pre-game taped part about defensive coordinator Aliotti, and boy, did they. We all knew the secondary was going to be good, and I felt the linebackers would mature well enough this year. The question is the line, and they looked, err, questionable during the Houston game.

Now, they look like they can put up a serviceable fight. And that's all we need to lock down a lot of teams. If they can keep teams to ~150 rushing yards total in a game, I'm happy.

Highlight #2: Dreamcast Day!

I don't know whether this counts as a highlight or a holiday (or both?), but yesterday was 9/9/07, which marks the eighth anniversary of the Sega Dreamcast's launch.

Why is this so important to me, you might ask? The Dreamcast was the turning point for me. This was where I matured as a gamer - before, I knew what a fighter was, now I was learning move sets for Soul Calibur and Street Fighter Alpha 3. I also started to take racing games a bit more seriously...though honestly, I look back at Sega Rally 2 and Sega GT and shake my head. Test Drive: Le Mans has held up well, though, and still warrants a good play-through, even though somehow I lost my main data save but still have an almost-complete Le Mans race...whatever.

I also matured in my knowledge of games, gaming culture, and the industry. It's no coincidence I started reading EGM in 1998; it's no coincidence that was around the point I stopped paying attention to what the EB geeks were saying at the mall. This was also the rise of the Internet; I remember IGN Dreamcast being a daily stop (back when IGN was still worth it) and lamenting EGM's lack of online presence. Oh, how little I knew about the future. Anyways. Messageboards and news sites on 56K were how I learned what gaming really was, in 2001 I signed up on a forum that I'm still a part of the community for, and I haven't turned back since.

I have the Dreamcast to thank for me being a true, hardcore gamer. Beyond the great games, beyond the innovation, it's left an indelible mark on my life - it made me hardcore. For that I will always remember Sega's little white console that could and it's rather nine-ful release date.

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