(left to right) Chukwudi Chukwu, Bryan Long Jr. and Andrew Cree II pose for a photo illustration about the best gamers on the team in Peden Stadium on September 26, 2017 (Blake Nissen | Photo Editor)
At first, Andrew Cree II had to respect Bryan Long Jr.’s “Madden” skills.
Cree, a linebacker at Ohio, said he’s one of the top five “Madden” players on the team. And in saying that, he also named some other good players. Long was a part of that group, along with Michael Ballentine and Jaylen Morgan. Those were the top three Cree knew.
Long, a wide receiver, couldn’t acknowledge Cree’s “Madden” skills, though.
“I’m No. 1,” Long said. “I feel like Cree is at the bottom pretty much. He can’t beat me.”
While the Bobcats play real football, they like to indulge in “Madden” and other video games when they have free time. Playing video games is an off-field activity, but it still allows the Bobcats to build chemistry and friendship.
Cree, Long and others don’t hesitate to talk trash to each other when they’re on the sticks, though.
When Cree heard what Long said, he had to reply with some heat.
“I emptied his pockets,” Cree said of the last time the two played.
Madden And Virtual Football Schemes
Cree likes to use any team on “Madden,” so long as it has a good defense. As a linebacker, he understands various defensive schemes.
Though Cree proclaims to be solid on defense, Long thinks differently.
“If Andrew Cree (II) tells you that, he should be a comedian,” Long said.
And then once again, Cree had to reference when he defeated Long the last time.
“Well then how did he lose?” Cree said.
Trash talk aside, playing “Madden” does have an educational element. The plays on the game, whether it be halfback screen on offense or Cover 2 man on defense, are actual football plays.
Cree plays on defense in real life, and Long plays on offense – both can learn about the other side’s ways of thinking through playing the game.
Long runs a solid pass-oriented offense that’s indicative of his acumen on that side of the ball. He knows where the holes are on defenses. Long said Cree runs a lot of Cover 4 and Cover 3, so he just throws into the defense’s holes.
“He can’t really tackle, he tries to hit stick a lot,” Long said.
UFC: The Ultimate Virtual Fighting Duel
Chukwudi Chukwu was once the best at “UFC,” but he’s willing to say he’s not anymore. For now, at least.
“Cleon (Aloese), honestly I probably would say is the best,” Chukwu said. “I’ll give it to Cleon now. He’s definitely the best. I mean I’m gonna claim my title one day again.”
Chukwu, a defensive lineman, is an avid player of the EA Sports “UFC” franchise, a video game based on the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Along with Chukwu, Aloese and right guard Durrell Wood are viewed as some of the best “UFC” gamers on the Bobcats.
The violence between mixed martial arts and football is different – mixed martial arts is combat.
But Chukwu acknowledges a similarity in the sense that offensive linemen and defensive linemen jockey for position at the line of scrimmage.
“One thing when you’re (offensive line) versus (defensive line), one thing is we use our hands a lot,” Chukwu said. “Boxing is great for a lot of (defensive linemen) because what you want to work on at the end of the day is hand down your opponents’ hand.”
Though Chukwu has not reclaimed his title, he has recently gave Aloese some competition. When Ohio traveled to Purdue earlier this month, Chukwu brought his PlayStation 4 on the road. The two played in the team’s hotel. Chukwu won.
Aloese believes Chukwu still has some work to do, though.
“He did beat me a couple times, but other than that, the record tells everything,” Aloese said. “It’s like 15-1.”
Dragon Ball Z and RPG Games
Javon Hagan and Kylan Nelson are part of a different group of gamers on the Bobcats. They’re not heavy sports gamers. Hagan and Nelson, Ohio’s starting safeties, prefer role-playing games like “Call of Duty,” “Destiny” and “Dragon Ball Z.”
“You don’t want to see me in those at all,” Nelson said. “You do not want to see me in those. Javon thinks he can beat me in Dragon Ball Z, but that’s over.”
Hagan’s favorite character in Dragon Ball Z is Gohan, but Nelson doesn’t want to hear any of that.
“He thinks he can be Gohan, but that doesn’t matter,” Nelson said. “I don’t even worry about him in that one.”
Hagan plays “Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse 2” on Xbox One, and though he and Nelson love the franchise, they occasionally play sports games. When “NCAA Football” was Hagan liked playing that, and he was even ranked online at one point.
Nelson’s sports game of choice isn’t as popular as other games on the team. Just like he claims no one can touch him in “Dragon Ball Z,” he also says he’s good at “MLB: The Show.”
But not too many people on the team want to play that.
“They only want to play FIFA or Madden,” Nelson said. “Nah, they don’t want to see me in MLB: The Show.”
As Nelson finished talking about his favorite video games, he had to add one more thing. Hagan stood off to the side, waiting to speak about his favorite games.
“Majin Vegeta is definitely better than Gohan,” Nelson said as Hagan cackled with playful disbelief. “Majin Vegeta is way better than Gohan on record.”
“You out your mind,” Hagan said.