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Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Gamer Blog: Brian Orakpo and Michael Crabtree on NCAA Football 10


You don't want to run into Orakpo under a scrum.

When Redskins rookie Brian Orakpo hears about the new "fumble pile" feature in Madden where players battle at the bottom of body mountain for the ball, all he could do is laugh.

"It's nasty down there," he tells me. "When you get in a pile, it's every man for himself. It's gruesome. I get down and dirty too, you've got to."

But according to Orakpo, nothing is dirtier than how he was portrayed in NCAA Football 09.

"Last year, they did me wrong. I didn't even start. I know they have mistakes, I just happened to be last year's mistake. But they put me on the cover this year, so that makes up for it. It's all good."

That's right, Orakpo appears on the front of NCAA Football 10 (PlayStation 2), an honor he greatly appreciates because of how huge a gamer he really is. To Orakpo, this isn't just another endorsement, it's a lifestyle.

"I'm a beast on the game, and I'm not just saying that because I'm on the cover," he says. "I feel blessed to be on the cover of a game I've been playing for years…I'm so good, I need to have your job.

"Call of Duty: World at War, Halo, Halo Wars, Madden, NCAA, NBA 2K9…I'm on everything. I'm a huge gamer. That's why it's so cool to be on the cover of the PlayStation 2 game. The PlayStation 2 is the foundation of gaming for a lot of people."

Orakpo says that Tecmo Bowl was the first sports game that ever got him hooked. His days sacking the quarterback as Lawrence Taylor have flipped into dreams of watching his Madden character sack the NFL's elite.

But what other players does he like to play with? "DeMarcus Ware, Jason Taylor, Shawne Merriman. I like all the guys who get after the quarterback.

"I'm not the kind of guy who is happy at just being OK at what I do. I want to be great. That's what the NFL is all about and I'm ready to work."

But that doesn't mean Orakpo isn't already thinking about his future outside of football.

"Like I said, I'm a huge gamer, so I could see myself consulting for EA on games one day. As long as they want to pay me nice to come in and work on the games, I think it would be fun.

"If not, I'll come work for you."

When asked about the future of gaming, Orakpo doesn't hesitate.

"The next evolution of gaming has to be 3D. It's the next step. They already do so much in games like Madden, but I think when the next system comes out, you're going to see my character running after you for the sack. You just better hope they don't add pain sensors."

Crabtree has a whole different type of strut for his wide-open end zone catches.

CRABTREE'S GOT GAME

I also had the chance to sit down with Michael Crabtree of the 49ers recently, and he had this to say about being on the cover of NCAA Football 10 (Xbox 360) and passing the ball to himself in the 09 version of the game:

"I feel like I'm the king of the game every time I play. This (being on the cover) is something I'm still going to brag about when I'm 60 years old. It's funny, my little brother knows every player in college football by playing the game. He would tell me who I was playing before I would even know. He is like a scout because of it. My little brother would play 24 hours a day if he could. I could call my brother and ask him who number 92 is on Indiana and he could tell me how good he is because of this game.

"And I know EA is making my Madden character right now, too. It's going to be great. I just hope they add in how I get up and run after I'm down. They need to add my little strut. If EA Sports does that, Madden is going to be off the chain."