Jose: Is "The Reason" nominated for any Grammys?
Me: "The Reason"?
Me: I know it's nominated for "rock song of the year."
Jose: Okay. [to himself:] …performing their Grammy-nominated song "The Reason."
Me: "The Reason" is not a Sum 41 song.
Jose: But it says "The Reason" on the production schedule…
Me: No, it says "No Reason." "The Reason" is a Hoobastank song.
He earns $60,000 a year doing this.
I attended the 2004 Spike TV Video Game Awards on Tuesday with my buddy Jose, the game beat reporter for the Washington Post.
I picked up a press pass and entered the press tent.
I have never seen a sorrier group of people in my life. I had to make sure that I didn't accidentally walk into a comic book shop.
Jose needed to file a report under deadline, so he sent me out to cover the red carpet. I stood next to the female reporter for EB TV and another dubious broadcast reporter who went to his Sadie Hawkins dance freshman year of high school with Laci Peterson and kept dropping crass comments about Scott Peterson into his interviews with celebrities.
Among the celebrities I saw up close: Bam Margera, Green Day, Kelly Hu, Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz, Method Man, Tara Reid and Tony Hawk.
The actual awards show left much to be desired. It was an improvement over last year's trainwreck, but that's not saying much. Being a prisoner of war is less painful than last year's show.
I watched this year's show with a copy of the production rundown in my hands. I knew every aspect of the show in advance. It definitely sounded better on paper.
What I read:
"Ludacris re-enters & jumps from bridge."
What you saw:
Ludacris floats down to the stage via wires.
(Who is that midwestern-looking white dude posing as a hardcore singer during Ludacris' recent "rock" performances of "Get Back"?)
What I read:
"Tommy Lee flies in on drum kit & lands in…
Pyro: Ring of Fire."
What you saw:
Wires slowly lower Tommy Lee down into a ring of flames that, with enough lighter fluid, I could easily re-create in my barbecue grill.
You know an awards show is lousy when Anna Nicole Smith cancels, the host of the show performs twice with the same partner, the evening's main attraction is Mötley Crüe, and the best person they can find to introduce them is the host of the pre-show.
Snoop Dogg was supposed to perform his remix of "Riders on the Storm" by The Doors with The Doors, but evidently, Ray Manzarek still possesses some integrity.
The problem with a video game awards show is that few video game designers are recognizable, and at the same time, it's strange to see the actor who played Hellboy accept an award for Halo 2. It doesn't work either way.
During every commercial break, Funkmaster Flex would implore the audience to "make some noise" and be livelier on camera for this pathetic spectacle.
Because Flex yells everything he says, his little motivational speeches quickly grew annoying.
I kept imagining how mortified Anne Frank would be if Flex was stuck in that attic with her.
When introducing presenter Danny Masterson, Fuckmaster had to mention Demi Moore. The teleprompter spelled her name "Demmee Moore."
Katamari Damacy looks really fun.
Me: Who wrote this headline?
Jose: What does it say?
Me: "King Pong."
Me: The headline for your article is "King Pong."
Jose: What does that mean?
Me: I assume it's a combination of King Kong and Pong, you know, the first video game.
Jose: Who's going to get that?
The final edition of the article ran under the improved headline "Major Players." The subheadline still stunk, however.
"Are Video Games, Like, Huge? Dude, They've Got Awards, Even."
Apparently, Don Graham put valley girls in charge of writing subheadlines for the Style section.
I contributed this graf to Jose's article:
Tuesday night's show was a long way from last year's not-so-spectacular one, taped at Las Vegas's MGM Grand and featuring a wrestling match between WWE "superstars" Chris Jericho and Rey Misterio [sic], with porn star Jenna Jameson as the ring announcer. Back then, many hard-core video gamers, a devoted and possessive lot, were ticked off was this about video games, or was it about Spike TV? How could Madden NFL have won game of the year yet lose to Tony Hawk Underground for sports game of the year?
I informally dictated all that to him! Me!
Jose's flying back to Los Angeles next year to cover E3. He says he might be able to secure credentials for me. Woot.
Lamest Video Game Based on a Television Show 2004 nominees
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