The Sports Blog Is Under New Management

With a new sports guy at the helm, what can be done to ensure the genre gets the attention it deserves?

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Hello everyone! As you may or may not have noticed, I am your new sports previews editor. I have taken over the role that has been vacant for quite some time, and there is a lot of catching up to do. But in order to improve the sports beat and the sports side of things on GameSpot, I want to hear from you, our faithful readers.

I am as ready as they’ll ever be.
I am as ready as they’ll ever be.

Before we get into that, let me properly introduce myself and my background in the sports gaming scene. My name is Marko Djordjevic (don't worry about the pronunciation of my last name). I was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and lived the last four and a half years in Vancouver. I've been a sports gamer for over a decade.

My love of sports games started on the PC with FIFA: Road to the World Cup 98. My friends and I were so addicted to the game that we even played on the same computer with one person using the keyboard and the other forced to play with the mouse. I have played soccer games religiously for years, and at one point during my university days, my friends and I had our own personal "FIFA Crew" website, where we kept track of the various tournaments we hosted at different locations.

Since then, I have played nearly every sports game imaginable. Thanks to various golf and rugby games, I began following those sports in real life. With golf, I went out and bought a set of clubs that were well over 300 dollars. As for Rugby Union, one of my goals in life is to head to either South Africa or Australia to watch a Tri Nations Match. In all honesty, there isn't a sports game I wouldn't try if I could get my hands on it.

At the same time, though, I am not strictly a sports-only gamer; I love all genres. This year, my favorite game to this point is Portal 2, and I absolutely adored Patapon 3. I might be focused on delivering you the best sports games coverage, but if you feel like getting my opinion on any other game, I won't hesitate to give it.

So now comes the time when I want to hear from you, the readers, about what you would most like to see GameSpot offer in terms of sports coverage. Here are a few of the things I am thinking about implementing:

1. A Western perspective on Eastern sports. If you notice on the site, sports that are not generally popular in the Western Hemisphere are usually previewed/reviewed by our friends in Australia and/or the United Kingdom. While I probably shouldn't review a cricket or snooker game, I would like to do an impression piece on those titles from the perspective of a person who wouldn't generally play them. How easily accessible are they for people who haven't played the sport before? Would I want to play the sport for real if given the chance?

2. Non-gaming postings. I don't simply play sports games. I play the sports in real life and love to watch them on TV too. I am frequently on various sports sites getting news and information from around the world, and I plan to post interesting things I discover or find on other sites. At the same time, if you see something cool--a great goal, a funny clip, or an interesting article--I want you to hit me up with a link, and maybe we can talk about it. I noticed on the forum that there are a lot of discussions going on about all sorts of different things, and this could be an interesting way of opening the door and exposing those topics to others on the site.

3. Interaction outside of the interwebs. Now that I'm living in the Bay Area, one of my goals is to attend as many live sports events as possible--meaning that I want to catch at least one A's game and hit up the HP Pavilion to see the Sharks, and I even want to see a college football match live and in person, whether it's Stanford or Cal (or both, for that matter). If I have plans to attend a match, I will give people a heads-up, and hopefully we can meet up and talk sports.

4. Interviews with athletes about their own gaming lives. We all know that athletes play video games during their downtime. I'd love to hear more about what they play and see if they have their own tips and strategies on their favorite genres.

These are just a few of the ideas I have running in my head right now. To be honest, I don't know which ones I'll be able to implement and which ones will interest all of you. Some might be harder to pull off (getting copies of UK and/or Aussie games might be a bit difficult), but I will try my best to give the best coverage I can.

Is there something I'm missing? Is there something you feel is lacking that we need to add? I noticed that people were asking about the potential of there being a GameSpot NCAA Football 12 League. Does this actually interest people? I'm not in charge of the review, but if people really wanted to and if time permitted, I would love to play with others via PSN and/or XBL. It doesn't have to be NCAA; it could be any sport, as long as people are interested and we can properly maintain it.

Another thing I am interested in hearing is your opinions on the topic of mobile sports games. Although we don't regularly cover mobile games, I could certainly do a biweekly or monthly feature on the various sports games available on iOS and such. I can honestly say that Backbreaker and NBA Jam are games on my iPod, so if talking about these kinds of games appeals to enough people, then we can certainly do it.

NCAA Football 12 begins the busy sports release schedule
NCAA Football 12 begins the busy sports release schedule

So in a nutshell, the future of the sports beat and sports games on GameSpot is open for manipulation. I am serious about hearing opinions and suggestions from you, the readers. Of course, we won't be able to do everything, but if there is enough interest in one particular topic, I will do my best to bring it into the fold. Also, these don't have to be general sports ideas. If there is something about a specific sport or franchise that you want more coverage of, let me know, and I'll see what I can do. Don't be afraid to state your ideas in the comments below or send me a PM if you want to be a bit more detailed.

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