Stuff Jon wrote in 2014
More than 100 articles are published to the Internet each and every year! Jon Bois wrote a lot of those. Here are the 10 he is happiest with.
Using a sandbox physics engine, I tried to produce my own basketball video game. As it turns out, video games are very difficult to make! By the time I was done, my players were crushed to death by a bus that fell out of the sky and/or set on fire. I truly believe in my heart that I did my best.
9. NFL Daft.
I analyzed a few NFL Drafts and learned that almost nobody in the NFL knows what they are doing. I like the comments more than the piece itself, because we played a game of “Try to Out-Draft Matt Millen.” I simulated a draft and let commenters make draft picks completely blindly and randomly. We drafted better than Matt Millen.
I’m happy that I got to write an article with that headline. I’m very happy that I got to write it the day after the Super Bowl, and about the team that was thoroughly stomped on. The comments section is Mordor.
This might be RadioShack’s final holiday season before it goes under, so I shared a bunch of stories from my three and a half years as an employee.
I was determined to get to a Super Bowl in Madden with Mark Sanchez as my quarterback, no matter the team, and no matter how many tries it took. Eighty-nine years. Eighty-nine years is how long it takes.
I love Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, and there is one episode I love most of all. This, captured through GIFs and videos, is an examination of a phenomenally mean, not-smart man and the British celebrity chef who won’t stop screaming at him.
Like everyone else, I was pretty heartbroken when Tony Gwynn passed away at the age of 54. He was baseball’s jolliest supervillain dork. We say “there wasn’t anyone else like him” about a lot of people. This time, we meant it.
We managed to raise thousands of dollars in charity as I built two nightmarish rosters in Madden: the Seahawks were all enormous and perfect at everything, while the Broncos were tiny and horrible at everything. I wanted to score a thousand points in a single Super Bowl. Instead, the game totally lost its cookies, glitched up, and created a misshapen alien fetus-monster in the middle of the field. I provided photographic evidence, but I couldn’t explain it. I still can’t.
A note of warning before you click that: in terms of both word count and animation size, it might well be the longest, heaviest article you have ever seen on the Internet. It’s a 44,000-word illustrated online novel about Tim Tebow, who signs with a CFL team and soon learns that an offensive drive in the CFL does not end in the end zone. The stadium walls open up, and they continue to play through the streets. What follows is a decade-long offensive drive that stretches millions of yards through the Canadian wilderness.
The whole thing is crudely-animated, and as a written thing, it has flaws. It’s just a thing I really, really wanted to do, so I did it.
Using NBA 2K15, I built an NBA draft class that was nothing but tiny, stupid, completely talentless players, and then I made NBA teams draft them. Then I fed them the same draft class the next year. And the next year. And the next year. I did this until all the real-life NBA players retired, and the sport of basketball was essentially murdered. By the end, we witnessed a 12-overtime thriller in which a team won 3-0.
This one takes the top spot for me because it’s one of those few things I can look back on and say, “holy shit, all of it actually works.”
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Y’all also be sure to check out Spencer Hall’s 10 best pieces of 2014.