Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cell Phone Numbers, or NFL Blitz on 64

On Friday night at camp, we had 12 hours of silence. During these hours, each small group (4 or 5 guys or girls) had shifts where they would wake up and pray over the camp and read Scripture for an hour. It was a refreshing time for me, and I was able to lots of meditation and thinking.

I spent a lot of time in the memorial garden. Last year, four of the Snowbird staff died in an auto accident in the middle of the summer. A father of a staff member put together this really nice memorial garden on campus. It has huge stone benches with the four names engraved in them. I had met one of the staff members very briefly, but I didn't know him very well. Even so, I was able to grieve for my friend who died last year, Jason Ray. In fact, while I was sitting in that garden, I was finally able to delete his phone number from my cell phone. I don't know if it's normal or not to keep numbers like that for this long, but I am glad I finally deleted it. I think it will bring a deeper level of healing.

Most of you who read this at this point probably knew Jason, or at least know what happened to him and our connections. For those for don't (and for those who did), I am going to recount some of my favorite “Jason Stories” here and in further posts. The first will deal with the Nick Burn's bonus room, a sleepover with “the band,” and several games of NFL Blitz on N64. Erik and Nick know what I'm talking about...

So, as was custom, we would go to Nick's house to play music and hang out in high school. On one particular weekend, we decided to just sleep over at Nick's house. Now, we all know Nick is not a huge gamer. Unless it's Dark Summit, or that terrible Bruce Willis game. Anyways, somehow a copy of NFL Blitz and an N64 ended up in his bonus room. We would have some intense games on this. Jason HATED losing. He also loved the virtual version of Mike Alstott. (On a sidenote, if someone from Midway reads this, you made Mike Alstott WAAAAY too good in that game. I mean seriously, he's Mike Alstott. Not Barry Sanders) Alstott would break at least one tackle a play. Which was frustrating. This is on top of the fact that Blitz is a game intentionally designed to be frustrating because it threw in plenty of controversial fumbles and interceptions to keep the game close. All this amounted to a game that was about 70% skill and 30% luck.

So, we fire up the ol' 64. Jason of course picks the Bucs. I liked to play w/ either the Packers or Cowboys, depending on my mood. I don't remember who I picked for this round of challenges, but whoever it was, they were on their A game. Because I beat Jason soundly in Game 1. He's pissed, wants to play again. So we play again. And again, I come out the solid victor. Now, two consecutive victories in Blitz is not unheard of, but not too common. Three in a row, getting that is like a running riot in Halo. It's basically affirmation that you are sick nasty wit it. So, after defeat number 2, Jason wants to play again. He's pissed at this point. To the point where it's funny to all of us, but we don't say anything. The third game starts at 1:40 in the morning hours. I switch teams because I am bored of beating him. I think the first two were the Packers, then game 3 I went w/ the boys from Dallas.

I don't remember the details of the game, or else I would outline them. There were plenty of moments where both of were yelling at the 64 for bullcrap plays. But, in the closing seconds, I think I took the ball from Ray and just kept it long enough to pull out the win. 3-0 for the evening. Jason is furious. I mean, really mad. He stands up, hurls the controller to the ground, and walks out of the room. We laugh, and go downstairs. I am expecting to see him sitting by the bar with some water or something. Oh no, he stormed out of Nick's house and walked home (which was right down the street.) Straight up left. The next morning, he comes over at about 10 and we are up eating some cereal. He walks in, gives the signature “What's up” and sits down. We look around for a minute, then Erik, Nick, and I just start laughing. Oh man, it was great.

So the point of this story is I will destroy you in NFL Blitz. Bring it.


Jessica said...

Kudos to you for being able to delete the phone number. I still have a couple numbers in my phone that should have been deleted, but I can't bring myself to do it. I'm glad you are able to have some time to reflect and remember! Have fun this summer for the rest of the camp!

nick said...

Chad, I love it. You inspired me to write some of the stories I loved about Ray. Good times man.

Meghan said...

I miss him. He was a b-school homie. hah And, clearly I miss seeing your face around campus...even after that silly poetry writing class which completely marred my college transcript! And by marred I mean, people wonder how someone who pretty much got all A's in college managed a B- in poetry writing! oops.