Forget the Super Bowl. Are you ready for some video-game football? In December, Rob "Illspins" Wright, 28, of Euclid, was one of 32 players to compete in the national finals of the EA Sports Madden Challenge in Las Vegas. And while he didn't win the $50,000 grand prize, rest assured, Illspins is keeping his head up, his chin straight and his thumbs flapping.
Have you always been good at video games?
Pretty much, yeah. I've always dominated at football. I'm good at chess and Tetris, too. Anything that challenges my mind against someone else's mind, I usually win.
Somebody's got a lot of confidence.
Hey, half of winning is confidence. If you can freak out the other guy a little bit with your attitude, you've got an advantage. It's all about psychology and intimidation.
It's working! Here, take my pen.
Nah, I'll just stick to playing.
Can you make money at this?
Oh yeah, there are tournaments all the time. I probably made $5,000 or $6,000 last year.
Do your skills qualify you to coach the Browns?
Honestly, the games are so realistic now, I bet I could coach a middle-school team.
How often do you play?
Depends. I might play three or four games in a week. Or I might play three or four a night.
Obviously, you're not married.
Nah. If I'm serious with a girl, though, she always comes first. If it's casual dating, that's a whole different story. I told a girl once that the game would be around longer than she would be.
Do you see her anywhere in this apartment?
Do you have a game-day uniform?
Yeah, I've got a lucky black hoodie and a gray tanktop. The thing is, I'll never admit a loss is my fault. So if I don't win, it's gotta be the clothes.
When you play, do you always play as the Browns?
Did you watch them last year? What do you think?
What does your mom think about this?
She didn't really like it at first, but when I started winning some money, she was OK with it.
I stink. Give me a good Madden tip.
Learn your zone on defense. Know your controller.
And don't play for money.
Oh, come on. I'll spot you two touchdowns.
I think I'd better leave.