07-12-2005, 11:47 AM
VolNation's Grand Poobah
I thought this was pretty good.
[b]Video game release sparks frenzy |
Scott Kushner -
Tuesday, July 12, 2005 issue
Click here to print
Let me be the first to declare today a national holiday.
Today the newest edition of EA Sports’ NCAA Football hits the shelves, and everyone who is used to seeing me around will soon forget I exist.
The next several weeks will be made up of sitting on my futon, stuffing chips into my mouth and yelling at a TV screen.
Sure, I will make a trip or two to class. I guess I have to put out a sports section twice a week, but my thoughts will be on my dynasty. Trust me.
Anyone who has played this game knows exactly what I am talking about. Rather than having conversations about actual events going on in the world, I talk about imaginary players’ Heisman Campaigns.
For example, Managing Editor Scott Simmons and I just spent the last five minutes breaking down strategy. He told me a story about how he won the 2003 Morrill Hall NCAA Football Tournament — without a single passing yard.
I was enthralled, seriously. How sad is that?
I like hearing about other players strategies.
Some people use a strong-armed quarterback and consistently throw downfield. Others use a wishbone offense and run every single play, wearing the clock down.
The justification behind my obsession is that I can call my gaming “work”. I cover college football throughout the fall and by playing, I gain a solid background on the college football landscape for the upcoming season.
The game gives me an advantage among fellow journalists. While many reporters can only speculate as to what the most successful method of offense Tennessee could employ, I take the Vols to the field.
Students across the campus will figure out UT’s quarterback controversy before the Vols even start summer practices. If No. 10 (Erik Ainge) performs better than No. 16 (Rick Clausen) in the video game, it must be a sign of things to come.
In last year’s edition everyone yanked starter No. 12 (C.J. Leak) for either No. 7 (Brent Schaeffer) or No. 10 (Ainge), and look who started the season at QB.
While the rest of the sports media was in shock that a true freshman would start the season at quarterback for an SEC team, the first time in over 50 years, I anticipated the move.
It was also no surprise to me when they announced they would be co-starters; that’s the offense I employed all season.
But that was in the past. Let’s look toward the future.
The new edition is of course expected to make improvements over last year’s game, which will further my obsession.
You can create a high-schooler and make him a prospect, then send him to your college where he can develop into a Heisman winner.
There is a year-long recruiting process that includes feedback from rivals.com.
Now the question you’re all asking yourselves. Does being this excited over a game make me a loser?
I am proud to call myself I dork for acting this way.
There will be multiple nights this summer where I deny a trip to the Strip or the Old City just to sit by myself and build up my team.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Thousands of people across the country have already put their copy on reserve.
These are my people. They will play thousands of games online and make my obsession look like a casual hobby, so I’ll feel better about myself.
A video game web-board is like a personal self-esteem camp.
But if you want to write me and call me loser anyway, I’m fine with that. I’ll be too busy winning championships.