What NCAA Football video games meant to me growing up

I didn't have a lot of friends in high school. I was a nerd growing up. My parents were SHOCKED that I wanted to play football in eighth grade. SHOCKED, I tell you. I'm not good at sports. I'm extremely uncoordinated. The only sports I was good at were ones I could use my god-given strength to beat people up in. This included football and wrestling.

Still being the nerd that I am, I discovered that playing NCAA Football all the time would be able to bridge the two. Problem was, I didn't have a PS2 for the longest time. It started off with NCAA 2002 with Chris Weinke on the cover. I played it with my football buddies and we really bonded over that game my freshman year. The first one for PS2.

Next came NCAA 2003 with Joey Harrington and I could not put that thing down. Endless hours and hours and hours at my friends house were spent playing that game. Next came NCAA 2004 which featured Carson Palmer on the cover. That game was pretty much the gold standard for football games for the longest time.

My parents were really hard on me growing up and were adamant about me never playing video games, because they would much rather have me focusing on school work. Little did they know that video games can also be social tools and stress relievers. When I finally got a PS2 for Christmas, I played the crap out of that game. It was so much fun and I took so much fun running a dynasty and recruiting players.

The coolest thing about these games that really got me turned on that actual people I knew were in the game. The time I was in high school, a bunch of people from my high school had joined the NIU football team. I KNEW PEOPLE IN A VIDEO GAME. This was crazy to me. I still had pipe dreams of walking on to the football team at this point, but injuries would seriously derail this.

I would play as NIU and get A.J. Harris the Heisman. He was the man in 2004 (2005 game), the year NIU won the Silicon Valley Bowl. I would also put my high school team in the game and put actual players in the game.

If I didn't love the NCAA Football franchise, I wouldn't have been such a big fan of college football and I doubt I would have attended Northern Illinois and this blog would have probably never existed. I'm happy I do.

-MB

This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.

EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13 TV: "Son" (via EASPORTS)

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