I am a pretty huge sports fan. I have all kinds of rookie, jersey and autographed cards, signed pictures (with Gordie Howe passing away recently, there’s only one person left from the infamous Production Line featuring Gordie Howe at right wing, Sid Abel at center and Ted Lindsay at left wing – and I have an old picture of all three of them signed by all three of them next to my PC). So I obviously spent every few nights watching the NBA finals and that naturally sparked up my interest in playing NBA 2K16 again.
My love of sports has always translated to a love of sports video games. I remember logging countless hours on the early versions of Madden for my Sega Genesis, Tecmo Super Bowl on the NES, EA’s NBA games and more. While I still play a lot of them, probably none hold my interest as well today as Madden and NBA 2K – though the NFL and NBA just happen to be my two favorite sports as well.
What Curry and the Warriors did to the league this year was insane. I generally stay out of discussions about which generation was better at what, and which player would win in a game of one-on-one hypothetical discussions (outside of thoroughly enjoying Bill Simmons’ The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy – a Father’s Day present from my kids a couple of years ago). I will say that the number of three pointers Curry sunk this year was insane, and I loved the articles about how his run this year more or less broke NBA 2K16.
I never really took advantage of Curry’s continually improving rating in the game this season, generally opting to stick with my Detroit Pistons team in the GM mode. Even then, the vast majority of my time was spent in the MyCareer mode. My character was anything but a sweet shooting point guard and in fact was an athletic center with about a three foot range, but watching the finals convinced me to pick up the controller again a few more times and play some of the different modes.
Now, one of the most common traditions for American sports fans is to grab a beer when watching sports. As a born and bred Detroit Lions fan, a beer or four are pretty much standard operating procedure as they are so bad more often than not. My beer habits tend to fluctuate by season. This is not a hard and fast rule, but in the middle of summer I tend to lean towards IPAs, wheat beers – lighter fare. Conversely when winter hits, I gravitate towards heavier beers like porters and stouts. Tonight it was particularly warm, so I broke out Lotsa’ Problems double/imperial IPA.
Given how the finals initially looked like a blowout against the Cavs only to turn into hearbreak for Curry and company, I thought Lotsa’ Problems rather described how the Warriors’ season came to an end. So why so much Curry in the imagery? Eh, he was a cover guy for the game this year, plus man – he had more than just Lotsa’ Problems in the finals when his decision making and jump shot really came into question over the last few games.
The beer in question comes from Perrin Brewing Company in Grand Rapids here in Michigan. Now, not all of my beers are going to be of the Michigan variety, but a lot of them will be and some breweries will no doubt appear multiple times. Perrin is bound to be one of them (along with some of Michigan’s other better known breweries like Founders, Bells, Shorts and lesser known very local oes like Charlotte Brewing and Eaglemonk).
This particular beer is one of Perrin’s tier 4 offerings, and I got it as part of a ‘Problems’ IPA multipack (that has a session and standard IPA in it too). Admittedly, this is not my favorite IPA – not even my favorite from Perrin. It is a deep golden, almost orange color in the glass with heavy hop and citrus aroma. There are hints of other fruits to the taste as well, though being a double IPA it tastes a little boozier as well and doesn’t hide its 8.5% ABV very well, frankly. I find that odd, since I have had some much heftier double IPAs that sneak up on you far more effectively due to their drinkability.
So, as I sipped on a couple of these, I picked up where I had left off in my career mode. I played the daylights out of this game upon it first releasing (by the way, it is a PlayStation Plus freebie right now for the PlayStation 4 in North America. Grab this if you haven’t already). That being said, I have neglected it over the last couple of months. So my first game was a bit awkward as I was trying to rediscover the controls and pick up some of the finer points to how I played my character. I do not go out of my way to score or hog the ball. That is not to say I do not put up points, because I do, but they tend to come off of fast breaks (he is tall, but faster than a lot of the centers because I focused his development on athleticism early on). I like to rebound, set screens – do a lot of the dirty work. Every now and then I have my character take over if my team is just discombobulated.
However, I tend to be pretty good at sports games, and quickly learn the necessary patterns to take advantage of the AI, so there is a bit more tension in the game if I am not playing point guard and setting the tempo, or creating a knock down three point specialist that can win the game behind the line. So that is part of why I like the athletic dirty work persona of my big dumb brute at center. All in all, I enjoyed coming back to the game – probably more than Warriors enjoyed the finals. The Lotsa’ Problems IIPA falls somewhere in between.
Article by Nick