ESPN INSTANT CLASSICS WITH TRISTAN JUNG: No. 1 – One second

The AI in NCAA ’10 has actually driven me insane.


Do you care, have you ever cared, do you ever want to care about anything? Good! You shouldn’t care! No one actually cares! THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY REAL CONCEPTION OF ORDER IN THE HISTORY OF SOCIETY! There are no honest men, there are no knights of faith, there are only existential nihilists and NIHILISTS WHO PLAY VIDEO GAMES. And there are, I assume, normal people.

Recently, myself and a group of friends decided it would be fun to run a 5-man NCAA ’10 Dynasty mode save file. We took control of 5 teams in the Pac-10 just to see what would happen.

ESPN INSTANT CLASSIC No. 1: New Mexico State 31, Arizona State 24

After losing its first game in a 26-7 beatdown to Illinois, Arizona State under head coach RoGain Ballz (me) looked for an easy win at home against New Mexico State…

A VERY REAL ORAL HISTORY OF THIS GAME

Mack Brown: This was the worst loss I have ever seen.

Mack Brown 2: Yes, this was the worst loss I have ever seen.

Lee Corso Copy 1358723958: Well, I thought we’d see a good, ol’ fashioned college football game, but what we got instead was a Shakespearean tragedy. This game wasn’t even televised, but I showed up in this oral history anyway.

CeeLo Green: After I got fired from Washington [author’s note: just wait], I decided to watch this game at home for some reason.

RoGain Ballz: Well, we got off to bad start.

Arizona State quickly found itself down 21-7 at halftime despite the score being tied with less than a minute remaining in the quarter. Arizona State turned the ball over twice, including a devastating pick-six.

A. Mexer, Arizona State simulated-name QB: Well, yes, I threw a really bad interception, but I’m telling you, there’s no way a Group of Five school could ever intercept one of my passes without serious intervention by the AI in the game.

Ian McLafferty, coach of Washington State: That was a terrible throw. We crooted Mr. Mexer in high school, and we always knew that he couldn’t perform in the clutch.

Mack Brown: I still thought Arizona State could make a comeback. Mmmmmmmack Brown.

CeeLo Green: I believed in the Sun Devils! Really did! But after they went down big in the first half, I turned off the television.

Somehow, Arizona State managed a huge comeback. 

Not Lawrence Tynes, NM State Kicker: Yeah so my kickoff was awful. Arizona State ran it back and suddenly it was 21-14.

Mexer: That first drive after our first stop was something special. We just ran the ball through the New Mexico State line and I didn’t have to do anything.

Tristan Jung: Turns out, I can run a successful offense on NCAA ’10 for exactly 4 minutes of game time.

Mack Brown: Eyyyyyyy, the Sun Devils came around and made this a football game! Too bad I had to leave early to catch a flight!

RoGain Ballz: So we scored again after New Mexico State got a field goal. We had to get a stop to get the ball back with the score 24-21. We got a stop. I don’t know how.

CeeLo Green: I turned the game back on and I was certain Arizona State would pull it out!

Corn Cobb, coach of Oregon State: I was very, very shriveled after my loss in the previous game, so I wasn’t watching, but the GameCast probability on ESPN was like 38 percent for Arizona State.

Tristan Jung: Yeah, so I went down the field. Got a completion to the 30. Got it down to the 20 but couldn’t find the end zone. With 5 seconds left, I ran out the field goal team. Field goal was good. Overtime. Everything was fine.

Mack Brown: I made sure that there Tristan kicked the ball before time expired, even though it wouldn’t have mattered.

Tristan Jung: So there was one second left.

CeeLo Green: After the next play, I thought of the second line of the chorus to the song “Fuck You”. Fuck you Arizona State, and forget you too.

Mack Brown: Yeah so maybe I should’ve spoken one second later. But mmmmmmmack Brown.

Tristan Jung: I probably should’ve kicked the ball out of bounds or squibbed it. But I didn’t know how to squib it. But you know, what I didn’t deserve to squib it. I didn’t deserve to squib it, or win this football game, because in the end no one deserves to win any football games. We are all just really flawed, stupid members of the human race.

The AI is perfection. The AI deserves to win. The EA Sports AI is a logical process, coded and refined through years of development. The players in the game are figments of the imagination. Sure, you might think Jeff Tuel is in the game, but he’s not. It’s his likeness. It’s his platonically constructed video game self. Humanity loses because time is undefeated.

Arizona State allowed a walkoff kickoff return touchdown as time expired to fall to 0-2.

I just wanted to go 1-0 this week. I just wanted to win one game. But I am not worthy. I am not worthy. I am not owned. I am not owned.

RoGain Ballz: God dammit. Losing a college football game on a long return touchdown as time expired has literally never happened before… (thinks)

Okay so maybe it has happened before.

Mack Brown: But Mack Brown.


What have we learned from this?

  1. The fucking NCAA ’10 AI cheats. It cheats like crazy. But that’s life. Some people just get ahead in life by cheating like crazy.
  2. You should never actually care about the outcome of a video game sporting event, real sporting event, or any event that is tangentially connected to your happiness. It’s a waste of time.
  3. Turns out, to be good at a video game, or a real game, or any sport, you have to practice.
  4. Life is unfair.

CONGRATULATIONS: This game was an ESPN INSTANT CLASSIC with a game score of: 1273! If you want to watch all the highlights and relive the glory, save now!

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