By Hadleyblogger Steve
Will U of Phoenix Byte the Bullet Against Capella?
Cycon Systems Cyber Bowl, 7pm EST Saturday, G4 Network
(Silicon Valley , CA) When the nation’s two top-rated on-line college football teams face off Saturday in the first-ever Cycon Systems Cyber Bowl, they'll be facing some unique challenges.
"Well, for starters, none of us have ever actually met each other in person," says Biff (“Byte”) Barwell, head coach of the top-rated University of Phoenix E-Falcons. "I mean we email a lot and share our plays in our weekly chat rooms, but it's going to be a little different actually doing them on a field. We frankly don't know how that will come off."
Their opponents in the e-contest from number-two ranked Capella University CyberRaiders agree. "It's going to be a crap shoot all right," says Capella coach Hubie (“Hard Drive”) Douglass. "Most of our guys are great gamers, they love playing the on-line stuff. We've even got one sophomore who’s done programming for Madden 2007. But I'm not sure he knows what a real football looks like."
Douglass was frank regarding some of the difficulties he faces in assembling his cyber-team for the first time. “Our middle linebacker, Otis ("Firewall") McCloskey, says on his MySpace profile that he’s 6’7” and weighs 350, and it turns out he’s really 5’8” and maybe 140 dripping wet. When I was [coaching] at Middle Valley Polytechnical I used to send my assistants out to scout the other team – this time I had to install spywear just to find out what my own players looked like.”
ESPN college football analyst Lee Corso discounted speculation that other schools, such as the DeVry University ROMs, were more deserving than Capella of the title shot against the E-Falcons. “This matchup might look one-sided on your monitor,” said Corso, sporting a large paper-mache-head replica of the CyberRaiders’ mascot, “Hacker,” but let me tell you this, my friend – everyone knows the real game is played down there on the field, not out somewhere in cyberspace. And on that field, where you replace chips and RAM with real flesh and blood, anything can happen.”
Although visits to the game’s website have been brisk, those hits have so far failed to translate to ticket sales, with fewer than 800 tickets having been sold for the game, to be played in 36,000-seat Spartan Stadium at San Jose State University. Game organizers admit that if demand doesn’t pick up soon, this year’s game may be the last. “Start-up bowl games always take some time to find their niche in the college sports landscape,” Cyber Bowl chairman Vic Miles said. “But we think we have a unique product to offer the viewing public. Maybe next year we’ll take a look at using virtual reality technology. That would give people a show!”
Preparation for the big game was disrupted for both teams yesterday when a main server went down in the middle of key strategy meetings. "My computer froze up for nearly an hour," said Coach Barwell, "By the time it came back up most of the guys had lost interest and were off surfing porn sites. Their attention spans are pretty short, actually."