Itching for football season

The other day ESPN 2K5 Football was released for this season. This is arguably the best football simulation ever created. I know the hardcore Madden fans will disagree, but ESPN really kicks the hell out of Madden at this point in my opinion.

There are a few major factors. First, ESPN costs $19.99 this year. Compare that with the $49.99 you are likely to spend with Madden. Next, ESPN has online leagues. This allows you to join and compete in a league with buddies online. All of the stats are tracked and uploaded to a special web site for your league. It tracks all wins, losses, and every major stat you might conceive of. ESPN also has much better presentation. You actually feel like you are watching a football game on TV, and the commentators are not as annoying as Madden always seems to become. Lastly, there is a profile system called VIP that tracks all of your habits as a player. Other players can download your VIP and check out your tendencies and even play against the computer who will play as you. It’s a great scouting system and one that will be excellent for online leagues.

This release, along with the start of training camp in the NFL, has me itching for football season to start. I just can’t wait.

On the other hand, I’m a Miami Dolphin fan. This past weekend our best offensive weapon, Ricky Williams, decided to retire from football after only 5 seasons at the age of 27. I can respect his decision, but I cannot respect his timing. He’s left his team in a huge lurch, that that really sucks for the players and fans that were counting on you. If you are going to retire, you should have done it at the end of last season. Doing it now is just plain wrong.

Add that to all of our other off-season woes, and this might be a very bad year to be a Dol-fan. Luckily I’m not a fairweather fan, I’ll still love my Dolphins. I just don’t have to like what’s going on.