Facebook Previous articleWine Blogger’s Conference Scholarship and EthniFacts Announce Third Annual Multicultural ScholarshipNext articleFrench Wine Capitalizing on U.S. Drinking Trends Press Release Email Share ReddIt Twitter TAGSBrewers AssociationConsumerCraft Beer Pinterest Linkedin AdvertisementBoulder, CO • March 15, 2017—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers—today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 40 were craft brewing companies.1“With such a broad range of brewers in today’s beer landscape, the leading small and independent producers have helped build the craft brewing industry to what it is today,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “Embracing their experience and ability to thrive and overcome challenges, the top producing craft brewers will continue to inspire, innovate and influence the future of beer.”For a complete list of brands in the overall brewing category, please visit BrewersAssociation.org.A comprehensive State of the Industry report will be delivered during the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference, held from April 10 -13, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The Association’s full 2016 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual breweries, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, available in May 2017.1 Figure based on companies that met craft brewer definition for all or part of 2016. An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.About the Brewers AssociationThe Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupSM, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association and the free Brew Guru™ mobile app. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.Advertisement Home Industry News Releases Beer Business Brewers Association Releases Top 50 Breweries of 2016Industry News ReleasesBeer BusinessBrewers Association Releases Top 50 Breweries of 2016By Press Release – March 15, 2017 15 0
Pacific Sports, the premier lifestyle and endurance sports management and consulting firm, has unveiled the renewed, energized US Open Triathlon (USOT) in the cities of Rockwall and Heath, Texas. In addition to Olympic, Sprint and Super Sprint distances; relays in the Olympic and Sprint distances; and two youth courses; the event will also launch the US Open Triathlon Collegiate Cup.It will be a big weekend in the Metroplex with the USOT Expo on Saturday 11 October and the race on Sunday 12 October. USOT competitors can make a weekend of it and also take in the Texas/Oklahoma football game at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday and the Texas State Fair in Fair Park.“Rockwall and Heath will provide us a tremendous venue for the U.S. Open Triathlon,” said Pacific Sports President Jack Caress. “We want to engage college, university and junior college triathletes, as well as the numerous cycling and triathlon clubs in the region, youth 7 to 14 years old, and all the weekend warrior/recreational triathletes in the state.“It is important for the future of this event to bring a triathlon that the Dallas Metroplex area can be proud of and that we can build on.”The event starts with a swim in the calm waters of Lake Ray Hubbard in the marina at Rockwall Harbor. The bike course will travel through rolling terrain incorporating the roads of Rockwall and Heath, and the run course will be in the Rockwall Harbor area with the finish immediately adjacent to host hotel, Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront.The Texas Triathlon Collegiate Cup is open to current students, alumni, faculty and staff of any college, university, junior college or community college. It is a race-within-a-race and will start within a solely-designated wave. Points toward the Cup will be assigned to the top five finishers for each gender and race category.Registration is now open for the October US Open Triathlon event.Founded in 1983 and based in Orange, California, Pacific Sports is a premier sports consultation firm, specializing in event production, management, and corporate sports marketing development. Having produced more than 300 sports events in the United States, including the 1996 Triathlon World Championships and 12 US Championships, Pacific Sports is dedicated to helping participants in all its events live an active lifestyle.In 2014, the firm will produce 10 events around the US including the longest running triathlon in the US (37 years), the Newport Beach Triathlon and two 2014 inaugural events, the Brooklyn Triathlon on iconic Coney Island and the US Open Triathlon in Texas. Pacific Sports’ largest event, the Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles, has seen more than 40,000 competitors swim, bike and run in its 14 year history.www.pacificsportsllc.comwww.usopen-triathlon.com Related
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Nov 20, 2012Fungal meningitis cases hit 490Over the past few days 10 more infections and one additional death have been reported in a fungal meningitis outbreak linked to tainted injectable steroids, according to an update yesterday from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The update raises the total case count to 490 and the death toll to 34. The methylprednisolone acetate doses from New England Compounding Center (NECC) implicated in the outbreak were also used to treat joint problems, and the CDC said it received one more report of a related peripheral joint infection, pushing that total to 12. Meanwhile, a Senate committee that is investigating the outbreak sent letters to pharmacy boards in all 50 states asking how they oversee compounding pharmacies and what actions they’ve taken in light of the outbreak, according to a statement yesterday from the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The committee held a hearing on Nov 15 to learn more about how the outbreak occurred and why regulators failed to prevent the tainted steroids from reaching patients.Nov 19 CDC fungal meningitis outbreak updateNov 19 Senate HELP committee statementNov 15 CIDRAP News story “Senate committee raises more meningitis outbreak questions”Walkerton E coli outbreak caused no increase in cardiovascular eventsThe big Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak in Walkerton, Ont., in 2000 did not increase residents’ subsequent risk of cardiovascular events, according to a report yesterday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). The authors write that Shiga toxin released by the pathogen damages the kidneys, leading to hypertension, and may lead to chronic inflammation of the circulatory system, which may promote atherosclerosis. The researchers used data from the Walkerton Health Study and Ontario’s healthcare databases to compare cardiovascular events in four groups of adults aged 40 to 89: 153 Walkerton residents who had severe gastroenteritis, 414 Walkerton residents who had mild gastroenteritis, 331 Walkerton residents with no gastroenteritis, and 11,263 people from surrounding communities unaffected by the outbreak. The participants were followed from 2002 through March 2010. Overall, 1,174 people died or had a major cardiovascular event. The analysis showed no increase in cardiovascular risk for those who had severe gastroenteritis (hazard ratio, 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.38-1.43), and there was a slight decrease in risk for those with mild gastroenteritis (hazard ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.42-0.98). The authors suggest that because of their participation in the Walkerton Health Study, residents may have received extra screening and treatment for hypertension and kidney disease. They found that the incidence of prescriptions for antihypertensive drugs increased more sharply among the Walkerton residents than in those of surrounding towns during the study period.Nov 19 CMAJ reportStudy finds gaps in rules on reptiles, amphibians in childcare centersState regulations for preventing Salmonella transmission from reptiles and amphibians vary for childcare centers, as some rules banning dangerous animals don’t appear to emphasize the known risks posed reptiles, researchers reported yesterday in a letter in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Investigators from Columbia University and EcoHealth Alliance, both based in New York, reviewed state regulations aimed at curbing Salmonella infections from reptiles and amphibians in childcare centers. They found that as of December 2011 only 50% of states had rules requiring staff and children to wash their hands after touching any animals. Twelve states banned reptiles from the centers, and 3 of the 12 also barred amphibians. Some states had rules barring dangerous animals from childcare centers, but only a few specifically mentioned reptiles. Colorado appeared to have the most explicit rules, which ban reptiles, amphibians, and potentially dangerous animals and also require staff and children to wash their hands after touching animals. The researchers said their review might underestimate regulations that are in place, because cities and counties might have them. However, they said their findings suggest that stronger regulations could boost public health efforts to reduce Salmonella infections in young children.Nov 19 Emerg Infect Dis letterResearchers detect BSE evidence in cattle salivaDiagnosing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) typically requires brain or spinal cord samples, but a letter yesterday in Emerging Infectious Disease describes detection of BSE evidence in the saliva of cattle. Using Western blot and immunohistochemical tests, Japanese scientists detected the accumulation of BSE-causing misshapen prion proteins, called PrPSc, in brains collected at necropsy from three experimentally infected cows but also in saliva in all three cows at necropsy and in two of the cows at the early stages of clinical disease. After the saliva samples underwent three rounds of amplification, the team was able to detect PrPSc in the third cow 2 months before the onset of signs. They conclude, “Our findings suggest that PrPSc is likely to be detected in the saliva of BSE-affected cattle during the clinical stage of disease, after accumulation of PrPSc in the brain.” They also say the presence of PrPSc in saliva may help explain the spread of two related diseases: scrapie in sheep and chronic wasting disease in deer.Nov 19 Emerg Infect Dis letterH5N1 strikes Bangladesh poultry farmLivestock officials in Bangladesh yesterday announced an H5N1 avian influenza outbreak at a commercial poultry farm in Dhaka division, according to their report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The outbreak, which began on Oct 23, killed 156 of 4,191 susceptible birds, and the remaining ones were culled to curb the spread of the virus. Officials haven’t yet determined how the flocks were infected. The country’s last H5N1 outbreak occurred in April, when the virus struck nine poultry farms in Dhaka, Khulna, and Rajshahi divisions.Nov 19 OIE reportNIH awards $19 million to start Georgia malaria centerThe National Institutes of Health has awarded a 5-year contract worth up to $19.4 million to establish the Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Center (MaHPIC) in Georgia. Researchers from Emory University will head the center, with partners at the University of Georgia (UGA), the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to an Emory press release yesterday. The MaHPIC team will use a multidisciplinary systems-biology approach to study and catalog in detail how malaria parasites interact with their human and animal hosts in order to develop better diagnostics and treatment options. The principal investigator is Mary Galinski, PhD, professor of medicine, infectious diseases, and global health at the Emory University School of Medicine. MaHPIC plans to share the project’s data and new analytical tools with the global scientific community via the Internet.Nov 19 Emory University news release
Study links community C difficile cases in kids to antibioticsA study published this week in Pediatrics suggests that most Clostridium difficile infections in children are unrelated to hospitalization and that a majority of these community-associated cases involve children who recently received antibiotic treatment for unrelated conditions.C difficile causes at least 250,000 infections in hospital patients and 14,000 deaths each year in adults and children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was involved in the study. Antibiotics can reduce beneficial gut bacteria, allowing C difficile to flourish.The authors used data from an active C difficile surveillance system covering 10 US regions to identify cases, defined as a positive stool test without a positive test in the previous 8 weeks. Community-associated cases were those in which stool was collected from outpatients or hospitalized patients within 3 days of admission.Of 944 pediatric cases that were identified, 71% were community-associated. C difficile incidence per 100,000 children was highest among 1-year-olds (66.3) and white children (23.9). The share of cases with documented diarrhea (72%) or severe disease (8%) was similar across age-groups, and there were no deaths. Among 84 patients who were interviewed and who reported diarrhea on the day of stool collection, 73% had received antibiotics during the previous 12 weeks.In a press release, the CDC said most of the children who had previously received antibiotics had been treated for ear, sinus, or upper respiratory infections. The agency said other studies have shown that at least 50% of antibiotics clinicians prescribe for children are for respiratory infections, most of which don’t require antibiotics.”When antibiotics are prescribed incorrectly, our children are needlessly put at risk for health problems including C difficile infection and dangerous antibiotic resistant infections,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, commented in the release. Mar 3 Pediatrics abstract Mar 7 CDC press release Report details GBS complication in likely Zika virus caseResearchers from French Polynesia yesterday reported what they call the first known case of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) following a probable Zika virus infection, detailing their findings related to an outbreak in the region. The case is reported in the latest issue of Eurosurveillance.The region is experiencing ongoing epidemics of Zika virus and dengue infections, and the authors noted that Zika virus illnesses are usually benign and rarely lead to hospitalization.In a weekly communicable disease update today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimated that more than 29,000 people in French Polynesia have sought medical care for Zika-like symptoms since the outbreak began in October. As of Feb 21, there were more than 8,500 suspected cases; 74 were in patients neurologic and autoimmune complications, including 41 with GBS.The case report describes a woman in her early 40s who was hospitalized for neurologic symptoms, which included paresthesia in four extremities. Over the next few days she experienced more symptoms, including muscle weakness and bilateral but asymmetric facial palsy, consistent with GBS.The medical work-up suggested that she had been sick with a flu-like illness about a week before the onset of her neurologic symptoms; her medical team suspected Zika fever because the outbreak was ongoing.Further, serologic tests suggested a recent Zika virus infection, without cross-reactions suggestive of an earlier dengue infection, according to the report.The authors said the case raises the possibility of GBS as a complication in Zika virus infections. Although the mechanism is unknown, it could resemble an immunologic pattern seen with other infectious agents, they noted, adding that the case could hint at a more pathogenic Zika genotype or increased susceptibility in the Polynesian population.Mar 6 Eurosurveill report Mar 7 ECDC weekly communicable disease threat report
Print In this article: With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit. LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement PHILADELPHIA — Pep Boys Chairman and CEO announced today that in response to weak sales performance in the company’s service center operations it is placing two of its most experienced executives in this area. AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Mark Page, previously senior vice president, service operations has been named senior vice president, parts and tires. He will report to Hal Smith, executive vice president, merchandising and marketing. In this new role, Page assumes responsibility for inventory selection, purchasing and vendor relationships for these product categories. In addition, Joe Cirelli has been promoted to senior vice president, service, and will report to Mark Bacon, senior vice president, operations. Cirelli’s previous experience includes oversight of several different areas of operations including as vice president, operations administration; vice president, customer satisfaction; and, most recently, as vice president, development. In commenting on the management changes, Stevenson said, “Service center operations represents our greatest priority to improve Pep Boys’ overall performance. I am confident that these skilled executives will bring a sharper focus to these areas of the business.” For more information about Pep Boys, go to: www.pepboys.com. _______________________________________ Click Advertisement Up Next:CSK Auto Appoints New General Counsel DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business. DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. Don’t Miss:Klein Appointed Vice President/General Manager Accuride Aluminum Wheels,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement
The £1bn-plus regeneration project will involve tearing down the existing 1960s structure and replacing it with a larger scheme with more office and retail space. The number of platforms will be increased from 18 to 21. The scheme covers 15 acres of land around the station, where 4.2m sq ft of space will be created.Network Rail is upgrading its main London stations. Hammerson has been appointed to upgrade Victoria. And US group Hines is about to secure the £360m redevelopment of Cannon Street in the City.
Over the past few months, Catalan newspaper Sport have been pushing Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic towards Manchester United. Sport now claims the La Liga winners will not improve the 31-year-old’s contract and this is partly to edge him out of the club.At the Camp Nou, there’s a belief the Croatian will leave the club in this window. He is no longer irreplaceable for Ernesto Valverde, who has several options in the midfield.Rakitic’s contract expires in 2021 contract and the time is right for Barcelona to cash in €50m from his sale this summer.It’s claimed both Barca and Rakitic are ‘considering’ Manchester United and Inter Milan as the two possible destinations.Embed from Getty ImagesThough there is interest, the two clubs are yet to convert it into an offer that is acceptable for Barca.United’s interest is pushed again, mainly due to uncertainty around Paul Pogba’s future. It’s claimed that a few weeks ago, United contacted the Blaugrana to learn about Rakitic’s situation, but haven’t taken it forward from there.Rakitic would prefer a move to Inter over United as he could earn more than at Old Trafford, due to Italy’s new tax laws. However, a move to Serie A remains more complicated as of now. Sport states the possibility of Manchester United making an approach for Rakitic could advance things. Barca, on their part, are clear they need a minimum €50m to sanction his sale.Sport continues to fight a lone battle in their effort to push Rakitic towards United, but even their latest report does not provide any concrete indication the player will join the Premier League side.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksTrending TodayForge of Empires – Free Online GameIf You Like to Play, this City-Building Game is a Must-Have. No Install.Forge of Empires – Free Online GameUndoMisterStocksThese Hilarious Photos Were Captured On The SubwayMisterStocksUndo聽多多 Hearmore.asia1969年前出生的香港居民現可免費試戴頂尖的歐洲助聽器聽多多 Hearmore.asiaUndoCNN with DBS BankWhat Banks Did To Help Corporations Mitigate Future CrisesCNN with DBS BankUndoRaid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadEven Non-Gamers Are Obsessed With This RPG Game (It’s Worth Installing!)Raid: Shadow Legends | Free DownloadUndoPerfect-Dating.comThousands of successful men are looking for women in Tung ChungPerfect-Dating.comUndoSingles50Hong Kong: A 40+ Dating Site That Actually Works!Singles50UndoTheTopFiveVPNEnjoy Netflix Now Without Any RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPNUndoSmart Tech TrendOver 55? You Have to Try Those Revolutionary Glasses!Smart Tech TrendUndo
(2K Sports) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/6f/14/nba-2k20-trae-young_1hj10i2ml9i901j3zs42arh205.jpg?t=378510309&w=500&quality=80 Still the king of gameplayWidely regarded as offering the best gameplay experience in the genre, the “2K” series at some point along the way became overly technical to play. It’s complicated and difficult but over time becomes exceedingly rewarding. Those who stick with it appreciate that about the game.There is a sense that “2K20” is a little more forgiving. It still isn’t a game that anyone could just pick up, play and instantly find success, but it is trending in the right direction to becoming less intimidating.It’s impressive simply to watch the AI execute an offense. Each team does so just like their real-life counterparts. It will take some time to learn to do that same thing, but getting comfortable with the pick and roll and running some basic plays is a good start for most.MORE: The biggest complaints from bug-filled “NBA 2K20” launchAmong notable improvements, there are now 27 different types of ball handlers, which adds some personality and eliminates the feeling of uniformity. Left stick movements are more effective on their own as well instead of having to combine with other controller inputs to make things happen.The biggest strategical change, however, has to do with the use of turbo, which is now more limited. Instead of turbo essentially being the default movement, it is instead now necessary to use it more sparingly and selectively. That results in various moves and blow-bys that are far more effective and a better differentiation in players based on size and speed. The only downside is that there are situations where being out of turbo shouldn’t mean the player can’t reach top speed. They should be able to hustle on fast breaks or in recovery situations regardless.There really hasn’t been anything for “2K” in terms of gameplay that required drastic intervention. Instead, valuable incremental improvements have been delivered that’ll be appreciated by those who dig deep and know how to utilize all the tools available.Single-player vs. MultiplayerMost sports gamers have come to accept that the priority from the development end are the online modes that drive engagement year-round and also can generate digital revenue. Single-player offline modes that for decades were the foundation of sports games have seemingly been neglected due to that shift in resources.”NBA 2K” is the one series that has bucked that trend by continually moving its offline modes forward in substantial ways. Surprisingly, “2K20” may be the edition that is thought of more fondly by the primarily offline player rather than an online one.The exceptional gameplay is key to that, of course, and it’s more true against the CPU than in online environments and with fantasy type modes where realism starts to fade away. The highly customizable MyLeague Mode is largely unchanged but still very impressive for those seeking that true “franchise” experience.The WNBA has been added this year and the implementation was handled well. With a full season mode and unique commentary, the league was treated as more than just a marketing bullet point which unfortunately was the case with competitor “NBA Live” when that series brought on the WNBA a few years ago.Allowing for female-created characters could have been a better use of resources, though, than the WNBA, which has limited appeal. There is no option for female MyPlayers, which would have been utilized more through the various online competitive modes that feature the created characters.The online MyLeague could be considered broken at this point. Issues range from the inability to invite users to the leagues and server problems that prevent them from advancing. “The Neighboorhood,” an open-world area where created characters can interact but its true intentions are to act as a central area for product placement, did not markedly change despite marketing promises otherwise.The usual server problems have wreaked havoc in the early days of release and hopefully those will clear up soon. “2K” does not have a great track record in this area, but given that there is money involved, it’s safe to say work will be done to get things right. Many of the modes in the game entirely rely upon the servers being both up and stable.Frustration from consumers can be seen by the hashtag #fix2k20 becoming the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter during the first weekend of the game’s release. From the outside looking in, it would appear the “NBA 2K” video game series is all about flash. It heavily incorporates celebrities, has high production values delivering the equivalent of a new movie every year, includes many of the league’s stars of the past, and celebrates as much about the culture surrounding the sport as it does the product being played on it.Publisher 2K Sports has capitalized on the fandom around the “NBA 2K” series since it really took off back with “2K11.” What started the meteoric rise wasn’t that flash but instead was the realistic gameplay accompanied by the respect shown for the history of the league. Michael Jordan became the centerpiece along with the introduction of classic teams. The series first became popular with true basketball fanatics before it started being tailored for the mainstream where it took on a more online-connected focus and began being monetized through the sale of an in-game currency and plastered with heavy product placement. “NBA 2K20” is a great game for those who new to the franchise or who have taken some time away from it. The every-year purchaser, however, may not find the same value present as they’ve come to expect from 2K while stumbling upon familiar reasons for frustration. Despite that, it would be difficult not to recommend “2K20” under almost any circumstance given its authenticity and depth in a number of areas. (SN Illustration) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/e0/f5/4-out-of-5-stars_5x55mzm657581fkh1a3nut6hx.png?t=-776566842&w=500&quality=80 Both hardcore fans and the more casual crowd alike should find themselves pleased by “NBA 2K20,” which is the best-playing edition of the franchise ever. There is no shortage of ways to enjoy the game, whether playing with your favorite NBA team, controlling a single character through a career, facing competition online, building a fantasy team, or controlling a franchise over multiple seasons.’NBA 2K20′ RATINGS: Full list of top overall players, rookies and more’NBA 2K20′ review (2K Sports) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/e1/31/nba-2k20-kawhi-leonard-paul-george-russell-westbrook_2iv1r78zptue1buam0gv9isd2.jpg?t=378481733&w=500&quality=80 “NBA 2K20” is good enough that the series should continue to be considered the most well-rounded in the sports gaming genre. The gameplay is superb and the other areas of strength, which include the broadcast presentation, celebration of the history of the NBA, MyLeague franchise mode and MyCareer story mode, remain excellent.This year, however, it feels as though outside of subtle but effective gameplay improvements, the rest of “2K20” has failed to take significant steps forward and, in the case of one of the primary modes, has even regressed. MyGM changes so bad it seems intentionally sabotagedWhile MyLeague has been the definitive franchise mode in “2K,” the MyGM mode has proven to be a successful complement. Both were essentially franchise modes at their core but MyGM added in some text-based narrative elements, which added some levity and created unique challenges to face in running a team.In an attempt to further differentiate MyGM from MyTeam, the mode was fundamentally changed in “2K20,” and the byproduct has been near-universally loathed.At the heart of what’s gone wrong is the introduction of online leaderboards to add a competitive element. Because of this, everything has to remain uniform so that the rankings prove to be relevant.That means there is no changing any setting, including difficulty or quarter length, and no use of custom rosters or draft classes. Also problematic is that the quarters are locked to 6 minutes but any simulated games run 12-minute quarters and stats are not being normalized between the two.Taking a page out of mobile games, the idea to force choice in what to focus on as a GM does make some sense going in, but it’s simply not fun or at all realistic to have to pick between completing a basic task and playing an actual game.The changes appear to have been well-intentioned given that it really did need something new to differentiate it further from MyLeague, but MyGM has essentially been killed off in the process and one has to wonder whether it’ll survive to “2K21.”New story for MyCareer Mode more grounded but anti-climaticSeven years ago, the “NBA 2K” series introduced a narrative-driven story mode called MyCareer. Since then, 2K Sports has recruited some of the biggest names in Hollywood for involvement in MyCareer mode, both in front of and behind the camera.For “2K20,” the narrative-driven MyCareer involves the likes of Idris Elba, Rosario Dawson, and Thomas Middleditch. Several NBA stars also cameo.None of them have a huge presence, though Middleditch seems to get the most screen time and is a pleasant surprise in that he isn’t the typical scumbag who agents have been portrayed as in all past installments. Elba and Dawson provide some motivation for the main character and emotional grounding. They are solid in their roles though they aren’t given much to work with.What has been most appreciated about the story is that it avoids the usual character cliches. There isn’t even a true villain this time around.It was startling how anti-climatic the NBA Draft turned out to be after all the buildup to it, however. It comes and goes in an instant and the main character doesn’t even get to walk on stage after waiting in the green room. There’s a call to say he’s been drafted and then it cuts right to a team press conference.Enjoying that the #NBA2K20 MyCareer story is avoiding character cliches and is more grounded in real events in the lead up to the NBA Draft, but then I was stunned by how anti-climatic the actual Draft turned out. Now on the way to the Hawks! pic.twitter.com/798vH3KJ3W— Bryan Wiedey (@pastapadre) September 6, 2019MyCareer remains one of the most anticipated ways annually to play “2K,” not just for the story portion but going beyond that and utilizing the character in other ways online. It’s important to have such a mode that is accessible, unlike much of the rest of the game which requires a higher level of knowledge and skill to find success.Monetization pressures eased but still present2K Sports has faced numerous controversies in recent years regarding the manner in which the games have been heavily monetized. Currency can be used to improve the skill of MyCareer characters, purchase things like animations or apparel, and to obtain new players in MyTeam.It hasn’t simply been that many people feel they’ve already paid $60 and then are being asked for more, but the way in which design decisions have been made in an effort to artificially create the need or desire to pay to get past intentionally placed barriers so that the game becomes more fun.Legislators are now debating whether to go forward with an attempt to ban all monetization in video games, and 2K putting the spotlight on gambling-like mechanics in one of the trailers was a very bad look and horrendous timing. Outside of the pack openings, which could be argued is a form of gambling, those visual elements don’t involve actual wagering but are used to deliver rewards.The card-collecting MyTeam mode is built upon a foundation of spending money or earned currency, but in the end it can easily be avoided by those who don’t want to be involved in that. The bigger issue for “2K” has always been the way its virtual currency negatively influenced the game design.”2K20″ offers some relief as the currency is worth more when applied to MyPlayer characters. 100K VC ($25 worth) in “2K19” would take a character from a rating of 65 overall to 75 overall. With “2K20,” it takes that same character from 65 overall to 82 overall. Thankfully, it appears as though the grind isn’t as demanding as it has been, but it’s unlikely to eliminate completely the frustration many have felt about the influence of monetization on the game.Overall rating (2K Sports) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/1c/38/nba-2k20-donovan-mitchell_wmbcduvg7znk1o7lqwygr381p.jpg?t=378451605&w=500&quality=80 “NBA 2K20” is available now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC. A digital copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review, which was completed using an Xbox One X.Bryan Wiedey posts sports gaming news and analysis daily at Pastapadre.com, is co-founder of the sports gaming site HitThePass.com, hosts the “Press Row Podcast” and can be reached on Twitter @Pastapadre.
Pittsburgh’s Jared Wilson-Frame (4) passes as Maryland Eastern Shore’s Ahmad Frost (11) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) “Jared is a really good shooter when he has his feet set, but it was his rebounding, his assists, his playmaking, but more than anything his voice,” Capel said. “He had an energy out there. I thought he made the right play, the correct play the majority of the time.”In total, Pitt outscored the Hawks, 41-1 off the bench. Forward Terrell Brown also broke into double figures with 10 points off the bench.The under-manned Hawks only dressed nine players for the game and that number was whittled when reserve guard Gabriel Gyamfi fouled out early in the second half.Point guard Xavier Johnson led the Panthers with 12 points. He’s crossed double figures in each of his first 11 games as a true freshman,“My confidence is high almost every game,” Johnson said “The whole team just such cheers me up when I’m down. They try to keep me up and help me play the same way.”Not only did UMES not have the number of bodies, they were out-classed in size, as well, with just two 6-foot-7 forwards in A.J. Cheesman and Tyler Jones and no one taller. The Panthers handily won the battle on the boards, 51-29 and outscored the Hawks in the paint, 36-24.Jones led UMES with 16 points before he fouled out late. Cheesman also finished with 16 points.BIG PICTUREUMES: Guard Robert Andino became the 10th player in the school’s history to cross the 1,000-point plateau. He entered the game with 996 points and scored six more despite shooting 2 of 10. The fifth-year senior took a medical redshirt in 2017-18, but has returned to form, averaging a career-high 13 points per game coming into Saturday.Pitt: Playing its first game without backup center Peace Ilegomah, who announced his intention to transfer during the Panthers’ off week, sophomore forward Shamiel Stevenson received his most playing time in over a month. Stevenson had six points and two rebounds in 11 minutes and committed two turnovers.TURNING POINTThe Hawks started the game with a 5-0 lead, but the Panthers flipped it quickly, going on a 26-3 run that erased any doubt about the end result.“We came out and had a good little showing for five minutes,” UMES interim head coach Cliff Reed said. “You’ve got to make shots. That was the key. When they made their run, they could continue their run. We couldn’t stymie the run.”The Panthers shot 43 percent from the floor while the Hawks made 31 percent and only 17 percent (3 of 18) from 3-point range.UP NEXTUMES: Continues its season-long, six-game road trip by traveling to Winthrop on Dec. 20. The Hawks have not won a road non-conference game since Dec. 21, 2016.Pitt: Remains home to host New Orleans on Dec. 20 in the Panthers’ next-to-last non-conference game of the season. PITTSBURGH (AP) — Senior guard Jared Wilson-Frame recorded his first double-double of the season as Pittsburgh rolled over Maryland-Eastern Shore, 78-43 on Saturday.Wilson-Frame has been the Panthers’ best bench scorer and second-leading scorer overall this season, so his 11 total points were not particularly unexpected.But the season-high 11 rebounds, three assists compared to zero turnovers and overall presence on the floor was exactly what Pitt head coach Jeff Capel needed from his highest-senior for the Panthers to stop a two-game slide.