SBNation theme this week video games! Gamers stand up!
I will stay seated, because, I’m retired, circa 2012. After a week binger playing Assassins Creed, I realized I had a problem and re-gifted my X-Box to my cousin J’mere.
While I was still actively playing video games, bingers were a fairly often occurrence. I can remember playing my younger cousins in Madden or NBA Live and letting them get just close enough to start gloating, then blasting them in the last quarter just to remind them who’s boss. Every year at Robert Morris (my Alma mater) we would have Madden tournaments, none I won, but I wasn’t really trying (I mean that’s the excuse when we lose on the sticks, AmIRight?). My fondest memory is working two jobs after moving to Fort Lauderdale and coming home to play NCAA 2007 with my boy Nick. It would be 9 or 10pm before we would even get home, but we would still get in at least 5 games. Ah, those were the days.
Like anyone who plays sports games, you can recall the best players from most years editions of that game. Madden 04’s Vick, NFL Streets Vick, NFL Street 2’s Larry Csonka or Ray Lewis almost every year he was “In the Game”.
My favorite players? Usually Canes. I almost never played a season or single game that didn’t have a Hurricane on the roster. This was sometimes on purpose but at the rate we put players in the league while I was playing, it felt every team had at least one representative. When it really came down to it though, these players are my favorite Video Game Canes of All Time.
D.J. Williams/Ed Reed - Madden 09’
A big thing for me when I played was franchise mode. I loved creating a team and spending plenty of time filling out a fantasy roster. More times than not D.J. Williams and Ed Reed would be easy selections. Williams was one of the fastest and best tacklers in the 09’ version. Reed was the best ballhawk safety and one that made it much easier to navigate with on defense, whether playing centerfield or rushing the quarterback.
Lamar Miller - NCAA 2011
Every team I had needed to feature some BLLLRRRRRR at the Running Back position. Miller is arguably the fast Hurricane running back of all time and it showed heavily in NCAA 11’. Empty back sets and I-formation pro sets were easy first downs and always a possible house call.
Jeremy Shockey - NFL Street 2
If Larry Csonka shed the most tackles of any NFL Street player, Shockey was right behind him.
Clinton Portis - NFL Street 3
Street 3’s secondary highlight player, Portis was a homerun threat that would win me game after game.
Sean Taylor Madden 07’
Similar to Ed Reed, Taylor made playing defense alot easier. He was basically D.J. Williams and Ed Reed in the same body, maybe with their individual pop combined in one player. #21 was always the first safety I chose when creating a team.
My Top Five Video Game Canes
5. Jacory Harris - NCAA 2010
For the vast majority of those NCAA games with my roommate, more times than not, the Hurricanes were my go to team (or 2007 USC but I digress). After playing so many Madden games with Michael Vick at the helm I developed a love for mobile quarterbacks. So I was never disappointed to have one on my favorite team to use every night.
4. Devin Hester - Madden 08’; NFL Street 3
Hester was aptly nicknamed the Human Joystick, and for good reason. We all are well versed in his back breaking returns as both a Miami Hurricane and a Chicago Bear. Well his jaw dropping highlights caught the attention of EA Sports. His Gamebreaker in Street is legendary, basically guaranteeing a score most times used. The greatest achievement for video game Hester? He was the first 100 speed Athlete in Madden history, cementing his spot as playable Madden cheat code.
3. Ray Lewis Madden - 02-06’
First pick when selecting a player between 2002 and 2006? Michael Vick. Second? Ray Lewis, every time. During this time frame Ray Lewis held a 99 rating as the best linebacker of his generation, and possibly any. the Former Raven was either your favorite player to use or the one you hated to face off against. During Lewis’ run, EA Sports introduced the Hit Stick, amplifying Lewis from simple GOAT to a Terminator on the field.
2. Tommy Streeter - NCAA 2010
What’s a QB without his go to receiver? The same year Streeter broke out for the Canes as Jacory’s favorite target, he became my favorite receiver to deploy in any format. He was the prototypical receiver; 6’5, 210, 4.3 speed and great jumping ability. Our favorite game to play in NCAA was Tug of War. You needed to feature home run players like Reggie Bush to have the best chance to score in 4 plays. Streeter was an easy target with his size and speed combo. 5/10 throws resulted in a touchdown, and plenty of headaches for my former roommates.
1. Steve Jones - Madden 04’
The greatest Cane of All Time. #20 was 6’3, 225, he was Eddie George with speed and wiggle. Marshall Faulk in Ray Lewis’s body. One of the only players that I have had the pleasure of using in Madden and NCAA.
Wait you never heard of him? Ok, then what about create-a-player? Gotcha!
A favorite feature of the EA franchise and any sports game is the chance to create yourself as a playable character and reek havoc as a cheat code player. “ But Stephan, that’s not your name!”. Correct, but back when the feature was introduced, it couldn’t pronounce my first OR last name, so I chose the short form of my first name and my grandmothers maiden name, Jones.
Hard to screw up that name right?