Soo @EASPORTS @NCAA @NCAAFootball Can We please bring back NCAA football ? Everybody keep RT .— Josh Holsey (@HeyItsJholsey) June 14, 2015
It's the offseason, so let's talk about something random.
The details of O'Bannon v. NCAA (which is still ongoing in appeal) are all over the internet for you to find. I'm not really going to concern myself with its particulars or get into an argument over which side has the better argument or whether I think college players should be paid, etc. Those are arguments for another day.
No, what I'm wanting to talk about is simply the loss of something that was fun for everyone involved.
I've never been a big fan of sports video games, but my brother enjoyed playing the NCAA games. I remember the joy and fun when they started using the actual stadiums and fight songs (even though Auburn's was never used), though. While I never took to playing them, I did like to see the sights and sounds of a college football Saturday rendered in digital form.
The games went beyond mere football, though. Where many folks got the biggest enjoyment was from the "Dynasty Building" aspect. They would quickly move past the players that were totally not the actual players, nope, not at all, and into "recruiting" fake players. The game had a strategy aspect to it where you could take the lowest of the low and build them into a national champion. Then you could move on and do it again somewhere else!*
While there are obviously players who felt they were being exploited and not receiving anything for their likeness being used (for anyone to argue otherwise is laughable, the players had the same numbers in the same positions), I'm willing to bet the number of those who loved seeing themselves rendered in video game form and didn't care that they weren't compensated for it outweighs those who took enough issue over it to sue.
Not that they wouldn't also appreciate the money. Let's not get crazy, here. Getting paid for being in the game - even just a little bit - would be awesome, too. However, I'm willing to bet that many of them would take not getting paid for it in order to be able to play as themselves or have themselves in the game.
EA Sports hasn't ruled out bringing the game back. They've even said they would be happy to see some of the profits go to the players. We may one day be able to experience a College Football Saturday in video game form again.
If that happens, I hope they'll add a retroactive database that includes teams from the seasons where there was no EA Sports NCAA Football. Even if it's just downloadable roster content, it would be fun to fill in the gaps.
For now, the only things folks can do is keep wearing out copies of NCAA Football 14 in modded form.
So what was your favorite part of the game? Tell us in the comments!
*So now I'm wondering... was there ever a limit to that? Was there ever a point where you - the "coach" - had gone through so many seasons in Dynasty Mode that the game said "you have now outlasted the plausible limits of human longevity and therefore have passed away and the game is over"?