Sports fans, especially NBA fans, are sure to be familiar with the “Miami Flu” family of viruses, the “LA Flu,” etc. It can be found in places with a pleasant climate throughout the year and a lot of places. for the young, rich with lots of energy to party when their teams visit. The result, especially if the game is played before Sunday afternoon, is that players sometimes do not have their best games in these countries.
Times are changing in professional sports. For one, players don’t consume alcohol like they did when Allen Iverson was closing down a TGI Friday’s, or when the Chicago Bulls “Last Dance” drank cocktails on the plane and beer in the locker room. Today’s professional athlete understands that alcohol causes inflammation, even more so at 30,000 feet. To fly all those miles, play in at least 70 percent of the games, and do so at a high level for more than Iverson and Charles Barkley did, they have to treat their bodies as carefully as their own children. .
Combine that with every person in late night establishments armed with a high definition camera, maybe it’s best not to go to Mansion that weekend. It’s not worth the appearance fees, free bottles and free section to do a club walk-through. Even if the event is in your team’s home town.
Sounds great to fans, coaches and front offices. Less partying, less problems, more focus on work. Possible. These people still have a ton of idle time in the day after training and practice, and what Gen Z does in a much bigger way than the generations before them, is play video games.
The face of that group right now is Kyler Murray. Details leaked from his $105 million guaranteed contract extension that included him being required to spend at least four uninterrupted hours a week studying with no television and no video games. This clause – which gives me flashbacks to when I used to take my Playstation 2 from wherever my mother hid it during the school week and return it before she or my father got home – was later removed that became public and Murray was embarrassed.
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He is known to be a frequent player of Call of Duty and even made the mistake of saying during an interview “I’m not one of those guys who sits down and kills himself watching the movie. I don’t not sit here for 24 hours and break down this team and that team and watch every game.”
Being that Murray is a big fan of that game, and this story going viral, a Redditor took a deep dive into the surface level – posted on the subreddit r/NFL – to try to see if video games really affect the Murray’s game. In the COD world, Double XP weekends are just like any holiday that involves meat and alcohol. It is a necessity to indulge a lot. During these weekends, players can receive double points, double weapon upgrades – anything to make their profile better.
The Reddit user went to Pro Football Reference and looked at Murray’s quarterback rating, average passing yards per game, and win/loss record during each form of a Double XP weekend compared to other weekends during his NFL career. All three statistical categories were lower.
Now, this is far from proving a causal effect between Murray’s playing and his video game use. It’s not factoring in the injuries of his teammates or teammates, how good of a team the Cardinals were playing, what the weather was like, the turnovers he didn’t contribute, or even how much he actually played at video games during these weeks. And one more thing, win/loss record is not an individual stat in a team sport. What these results prove above all is that those of us who had to upgrade in video games with Game Genie and blood codes, and had to ask our parents to buy a second controller, are starting to get old.
Times have certainly changed. Not even 25 years ago, Dennis Rodman missed a practice during the NBA Finals to participate in WCW Monday Nitro – nWo 4 Life – while Murray is criticized for staying at home.
Anyway, this whole Murray controversy got me thinking that if I had kids, I’d start a parenting group called “Lock em’ Out.” It will be my version of the Home Owners Association. Any parent who wants their children to be in this group has to commit to taking their children out of the house for at least seven hours a week and the only exception is emergency situations. And no electronic devices are allowed outside during that period.
It’s not that I’m against video games. Do what makes you happy. But if my hypothetical progeny ever becomes a professional athlete, if they are criticized for not taking themselves seriously, it won’t be because of something they do at home that is posted on a wall.