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Friday, July 20, 2007
All Pro Football 2K8 and the Gary Plummer Conspiracy

First of all, I should have used the word "travesty" instead of "conspiracy", but conspiracy is a more eye catching word. Ok, having said that... I've been playing All Pro Football 2K8 for the better portion of the last 24 hours. At this point I don't see any reason why this game won't be my most favorite football game of all time. However, I am having one major issue with it. And that is the attributes assigned (or lack thereof) to my Uncle, Gary Plummer. His NFL legacy of being the "unsung hero" and under-appreciated have followed him onto the gridiron of video game football as well now. Let me explain. And what's more, let me give 2K Sports a few things to consider for next years version.

First of all I need to briefly explain the attributes assigned to players in this game. Gone are the stats of "tackling - 99, speed - 75, etc etc". In APF2K8, every legend is given specially named skills instead of being rated 1 to 100 for each category. For example, Jerry Rice has "soft hands, breakaway speed, route god" to name a few. I won't go into the explanation of all the abilities, but I will go into what they should have given Gary.

As it stands, unless a patch comes out later, the only ability given to Gary out of the 20 or so that a Linebacker could have been given is "run coverage", meaning he has a knack to get to a running back, and can plug the holes where the running back is supposed to run through. That ability is spot on for Gary. But there are quite a few others that he deserves. First and foremost is the "Leadership Bonus", which means that having a player on the field with that abilitiy makes the other players around him better. Throughout Gary's career, even though he didn't make the Pro Bowl, 3 of the Linebackers that played right beside him, did. And in 1996, 2 out of the 3 starting Linebackers for the 49ers, Ken Norton AND Lee Woodall made the pro-bowl. Throughout his career, Gary was known as a "players coach" and many NLF teams inquired about interest in coaching once he retired.

The second ability Gary deserves is the "Big Hit" ability. This ability gives a player a boost in the tackling department and and the ability to "lay the lumber" on a ball carrier. Gary played in a time of big powerful Running Backs like Christian Okoye, Icky Woods, Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker among others. He stuck it to those guys, and prided himself on being strong and agile. And if you need a little more proof of his "Big Hit" ability, go ask Derrick Holmes formerly of the Buffalo Bills.

The third ability Gary should have been given is the "Signal Stealer" ability. This ability allows the player in the game to "steal" the offenses play before the snap. In real life, this ability requires a tremendous amount of football knowledge, and the discipline to study the game during the off-season. I remember having a conversation with my Uncle one day about how he could tell if the play was going to be a pass or a run because on passing plays, the offensive linemen would put their hands palm down on the turf because in pass blocking they had to "protect" the Quarterback and back up to form a pocket. On running plays, the offensive linemen would dig their fists into the ground so they could get a little more friction and take off to burst out and push the defensive linemen backwards so the Running Back had a hole to run through.

The fourth and final ability Gary should have most definitely been given is the "Durability" ability. Throughout Gary's 12-year career, Gary only missed 8 games. At one point in his career he had played in over 160 straight games. He had a knack for staying healthy. Mostly due to his workout, eating, and training regime. But also in part due to his knowledge of the game and knowing where to be and when to be there, instead of getting blindsided or other careless potential situations. He missed the first three games of the 1996 season because he broke his thumb and wrist, and the coaching staff forced him to sit.

So in conclusion, while this game is an absolutely incredible and almost perfect football game, the missed the mark with good ol' #50, Gary Plummer. I hope in next years installment, they really take the time to research a little more, and hand out more accurate abilities. As I'm sure there plenty of the other 221 NFL Legends in this game that could stand to have a more accurate representation of themselves.
posted by Ricky @ 7:59 PM  
  • At 7/21/2007 06:32:00 AM, Blogger Smith said…

    Bla bla bla bla bla. I look at your posts and if they are longer than a paragraph, my ADHD kicks in and I have to leave your site. Please Ricky, SUMMARIZE!!!

  • At 7/22/2007 09:04:00 AM, Blogger Jackson said…

    How many special abilities do most players get? You seem to be assigning him a lot of abilities, more than you mentioned for Jerry Rice.

    BUT Plummer was one of my favorite players before I found out he was related to you, which has only marginally decreased his coolness in my eyes. So I'm sure he did get ripped off.

    Also, I want to play!

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