For those of you who don’t find yourself playing video games, this post might not mean a whole lot to you. But, for those of you who treat the release of EA Sports’ NCAA Football (insert year here) as a national holiday, then I’m probably already a step behind you. In years past, the glorious day of this games release would mean that my roommate and I would be lined up at Wal-Mart at about 11 pm the night before to make sure we got a copy when it was released at midnight. Nerdy? Of course. But, the joy we got from the game in the subsequent two days of hooky more than made up for it.
But, sadly, my new-found adulthood and responsibility kept me from lining up last night and the burden of the dreaded “end of quarter” will keep me from playing hooky from work. So, for those of you lucky enough to be at home manning the sticks and leading UK to a BCS game, I salute you. In fact, I completely and totally envy you. Never grow up. Just keep in mind that while you’re doing yourself a service by playing this fine video game, there are a couple of rules that you need to keep in mind. After all, the rest of us aging has-beens have left with a great responsibility:
1. You must ALWAYS play for blood. Does it matter that you are up 41-3 against a I-AA opponent in the first game of the season? No. Even if there are 30 seconds left on the clock, you fire that f’ing pigskin. At the end of the day, all you have is your values, and I value being a ruthless S.O.B. And besides, you never know; that 57 yard Hail Mary against Texas State might be the difference between your quarterback winning the Heisman or slipping off into an alternate video game world of insignificance.
2. If you are going to score a touchdown, then let the world know you are happy about it.Somersault into the endzone. This is one of the greatest video game innovations ever. Sure a touchdown is cool, but doing a Reggie Bush flip over the pylon really demoralizes that acne-faced 14 year-old you are playing online.
3. There is no act of violence induced by this game that is unacceptable. You want to insult your friends mom because he kept running the halfback direct snap? Go for it. You want to hurl a coffee mug at your roommate’s head because he lines up for a Hail Mary every play and then scrambles with his fast quarterback for 30 yards (more on this later)? Feel free. I’ve had to break up fights in both situations and I’ve never been more proud. At least my friends have a love for the game.
4. You have your player. Make him legendary. Whether it’s some guy you grew up with, someone who thrashed your team in high school or the cousin of the guy who took your sister’s virginity in the back of a pickup, you latch on to that guy and you run with him. Why? Because he is your guy – and dude, he is on a video game. That pretty much makes him your hero. Who cares if he is a 53 overall? All he needs is you working the sticks and he is bound for The League.
5. Don’t be “that guy”. You know who I am talking about, my aforementioned friend. The guy that finds the one play that there is no defense for and runs it over and over. In this case, it is the Hail Mary with a scrambling quarterback. Defense defends the pass, you take off down the sideline. If they try to contain the run, you bomb it out. C’mon dude. What is that? This is the same guy that always volunteers to set the game up and then the next thing you know he is Boise State at home, wearing the blue jerseys. It looks like there are 11 tiny floating heads. All of these moves are usually followed with some king of high pitch cackle or a clap. C’mon, dont be that guy.
Now get after it, kiddoes. Win one for the old guy.