Ode to NCAA Football 2006

I am in seminary. We don’t have cable and I have not played video games since I last hung out with my old roommate, Matty (Painter not Baker, though ironic that they both have professions for last names). Being in seminary I have no time but to read, go to school, and go to work. This blog is dedicated to that beautiful season of my life when all of life revolved around the amazing college football game, NCAA Football 2006.

My roommate Chad Langston had an Xbox and it all started where he and I would play occasional games against each other. Chad knows a lot about football. I know some but in comparison to Chad I know nothing. He would get irritated when I beat him because though I knew less then he did, I at least knew how to play video games and exploit the computer. Video games don’t require great info on the subject to be good at them. (I know nothing about being a marine or aliens but it didn’t stop me from dominating in Halo).

I had this other friend, Christopher Rogers (we called him “little big head” mostly because he was little and had a literal and figurative big head). He loved competition and loved competing against anyone and everyone. Chris could get beat in one-on-one basketball twenty games in a row and ask for another. He was good at NCAA Football, though. Probably the best among us. There was no one who could exploit the game better than he could.

Christopher saw us playing the video game one time and suggested that we make a Dynasty. We would each pick a one star program and build that program up. It was awesome. We (when I say we I mean mostly Chad the Purist) came up with rules for us to follow to be fair, such as “if a game is started no matter the outcome it has to be finished.” Christopher picked San Jose St., Chad went a little closer to home with Troy, and I picked the Owls of Florida Atlantic.

Then there was ole Matty. I think I should probably dedicate a whole blog to Matty. He would stay most hours in his room playing a serious computer game that was like another life in cyber space. In this game they had their own characters, own names, jobs, missions, characteristics, and what have you. There was even a way to make money in this game. Unbelievable. I caught Matty one time fishing on his video game so he could get some fish and sell them. He told me that he broke his fishing pole (on the computer game mind you) but not to worry (I wasn’t) because he was able to sell it back for about the same price he bought it for (I was relieved).

In the second season Chad convinced Matty to join us in the social event of playing college football. Matty picked Hawii. He acted like he didn’t care at first but my boy got into it yelling at the screen.

We were dedicated playing over five to six season that wonderful fall at Auburn. All of our players had names and we treated them either with great love or great contempt depending on how they performed for us. Players who had been with our programs all four years were pretty dear to us. I still remember Cameron Barclay, one of my first recruits who eventually blossomed into an incredible linebacker. Chad said he probably never made the NFL but was probably in a European League. Not cool. Chad accused Christopher and me of running dirty programs (video game mind you). That was probably true for Christopher who was under NCAA investigations.

The game consumed us. We would go to Subway and sit there talking about potential recruits and tough games coming up as if it were our profession. It got serious. I remember Chad came in my room with this horrible look on his face. I asked him what happened, to which he went into great detail that his starting running back broke a rib and would be out for several weeks. I was truly concerned and consoled him that his season would still be salvageable. In the end we were not too dissimilar from Matty with his video game fishing pole.

It was great though and I look back as that being some of the most fun I had at college. Great times with great friends talking great trash. FAU will always have a special place in my heart. Whenever I get with the guys we always talk about all of our experiences in college, playing volleyball until three, literal fights in our rooms, watching horrible movies that our other roommate Greg would pick out, though the funniest stories come out of our time playing NCAA Football 2006.

I am in a different season now and I am thankful. I would trade no season for the season I am in right now with my beautiful wife, Susan. It just makes me smile thinking of sitting in our living room with all the guys rooting against the guy who was playing at that very moment. This blog is dedicated to Chad, Little Big Head, and Matty and to the very game that united us to such an unbreakable bond. Here is to NCAA 2006. May you rest in peace.

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