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As we inch ever closer to the kick-off of the 2012 football season, it’s time to take a look at the annual All-Video Game team. From old school veterans to young up-and-comers, this list examines the best players at their particular positions, and a short statement explaining the choice.
QB- Nathan Drake (Uncharted): I just have this suspicion that Drake played QB in high school. He is the athletic golden boy that I would want leading a football team, and his easy mannerisms will be sure to win over the squad. Drake has spent days throwing grenades with deadly precision, and that skill should transfer directly to the football field. Easy choice.
HB- Sonic the Hedgehog : Obviously, Sonic has the speed, but he also possess a number of other characteristics that make him a stud running back. His short, stout frame gives him a low center of gravity that lets him really attack the hole up front, and if he gets outside, he’s gone. Sonic’s been around awhile, so I know his durability is solid, and he‘s got the rings to back up his talent.
FB- Cole Train (Gears of War): Woo woo! Here comes the Cole Train, baby! Well-known sports talent Augustus Cole brings his wealth of Thrashball skills directly to the gridiron. Cole has the tenacity to handle the fullback position, and he brings a certain swagger to the offense that the fans will love. He is an excellent in goal line situations.
TE- Wakka (Final Fantasy X): I wasn’t a huge fan of Wakka in FF X, but I really like him at the tight end spot. He has the height and physique to handle the pass catching duties, and, as an RPG character, I know he knows how to block. His Blitzball background can only help.
WR- Luigi: Luigi, you say in disbelief. Why would you take him? Because he possesses all the key elements that make Mario a good athlete: solid speed, strong leadership qualities and mad hops, and adds sixinches. Plus, wide receivers tend to be divas, and this lets me avoid the issue of Mario’s legendary ego. Luigi is a role-player.
WR- Falco (Star Fox): Yeah, this just makes sense. He’s got the prototypical receivers physique, can obviously get some air when he needs to and his years of formation flying have made him a beast of a route-runner. I know he knows how to follow orders, giving me a very disciplined receiving corp.
LT- Goro (Mortal Kombat): Just imagine the blocking power Goro can generate with his four muscular arms. He’s got pretty quick feet for a big guy too, making him the perfect choice to cover my week side. He is the most important man on the offensive line.
LG- The Heavy (Team Fortress 2): A front-line warrior who can take a beating and keep coming back, the Heavy is a solid anchor for the weak side guard position. He knows the importance of team tactics and brings a dose of humor to keep the team grounded.
C- Donkey Kong: If he isn’t the perfect center, I don’t know who is. His barrel slinging past has prepared him to toss a football a few yards, and his strength and experience make him the premiere centerpiece of a very good offensive line.
RG- E. Honda (Street Fighter): Quick feet, even quicker hands and a fierce competitive edge are just a few of the reasons E. Honda is my clear choice for strong side guard. Nobody, and I mean nobody, gets past E. Honda.
RT- Nightmare (Soul Calibur): An imposing monster at tackle, Nightmare creates some hellish mismatches in the trenches. His ferociousness is equaled only by his strength, and, frankly, he terrifies whoever is across from him.
DE- Fawkes (Fallout 3): Fawkes has the perfect mix of brains and brawn that separates a good football player from a great one. His innate mix of technique and brutality make him an obvious choice for defensive end, and his loyalty has won him the admiration of fans and teammates alike.
DT- Grunt (Mass Effect 2): It turns out saving the galaxy wasn’t Grunt’s calling after all; it was organized sports! I’ve seen the way he can bust through a line, and his explosiveness off the ball allows him to clog up the middle with frightening efficiency.
DT- Big Daddy (BioShock): What he lacks in finesse, Big Daddy makes up for in raw aggression. Once he has picked a target, he will not rest until they are destroyed, or, in this case, viciously sacked. He doesn’t need a drill to be able to penetrate even the toughest offensive line.
DE- Kratos (God of War): An outlet of pure aggression, Kratos is a relentless pass-rusher who can provide violent run support when needed. His unique mixture of strength and speed make him an absolute terror on the end of the line, and opposing tackles can rarely keep up.
ROLB- Sabin (Final Fantasy VI): I really like Sabin at the outside line backer spot. I favor an aggressive style defense, and as any Final Fantasy aficionado knows, Sabin’s specialty is blitzing. He has the strength to handle the inside run game, and his martial arts background provides the quickness he needs to assist in pass defense. The mullet is just the terrifying icing on the cake.
MLB- Bowser: When I think of the person I want anchoring my defense, Bowser is the absolute number one choice. He has experience giving commands, and is a proven leader who inspires absolute loyalty. He possesses all the physical tools a linebacker needs, and he brings the most important talent you can’t teach: persistence.
LOLB- Duke Nukem: A grizzled gaming veteran, and no stranger to the field, Duke is a brute that shuts down the left side. There may be questions about his off-the-field behavior (and rumors of steroid abuse) but there is no doubt about his playmaking ability.
CB- Cole MacGrath (Infamous 2): Good speed, solid vertical and a knack for covering a large distance quickly, MacGrath has the ability to be a lockdown corner. He’s, dare I say, electric on defense…I hate myself. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, but I’m thinking evil Cole. He’s got more swagger.
CB- Garrus (Mass Effect): Not only does Garrus have all the physical tools needed to be an elite corner, that special visor of his just may make him the best defensive player on the team. With my strong safety blitzing heavily, Garrus is often left on an island, and I am completely confident with that.
FS- Ezio (Assassin’s Creed): Ezio has proven time and time again that he can be an effective field general, and his ability to spy and direct from a vantage gives him natural playmaking ability at the free safety position. He can literally come out of nowhere to snag seemingly impossible interceptions, and can free-run them back to the house.
SS- The Spy (Team Fortress 2): In my blitz-heavy scheme, my SS needs to be able to blend in seamlessly no matter where he is on the field, but be able to handle himself in an up-close and personal situation. His sneakiness will earn him many a sack, I guarantee it, and he has the intelligence and awareness that is so key.
K- Hwoarang (Tekken): I mean, come on. Is there a better kicker anywhere in the video game universe? He’s obviously in great shape, and you have to love the competitive edge he brings to the team, as well as his impressive assortment of battle cries. Now if I could only learn to properly pronounce his name.
P- Guile (Street Fighter): I’m not going to claim to know the ballistics of it, but I imagine Guile’s crescent kick could absolutely launch a football. I’m not going to lie here, I have no idea how accurate he will be, but I feel it’s a worthy gamble. Plus I think that, if necessary, he could make a last-ditch, touchdown-saving tackle.
KR- Frank West (Deadrising): He may not be the obvious choice, but think about what West brings to the kick returner position: he is strong enough to break some tackles if needed, he has a photographer’s eye and nobody is better at weaving through a group of would-be tacklers. If he can bust through a zombie line of defense, he can handle a return wedge.
Alright, those are my picks for the 2012 football squad. What’s yours?