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Column: FIFA: More than just a video game, a way of life

Soccer Columnist

Published: Monday, February 17, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 19:02

Whichever sport it may be, losing is not always the most gracious of happenings. Growing up playing soccer and running track, it appeared from a very early age, losing was never easy.

Losing in FIFA 14 has not made matters any easier either. Now in my last semester at UConn, I look back at all of the memories I’ve made – and, some of my best memories have been made in my dorm room.

Quite depressing, right? Incorrect.

FIFA 14 and those which have come before it have provided my roommates and I some of our most memorable experiences at UConn. The refusal to go downstairs during a fire alarm two years ago is clear indication of that. After all, we were in extra time–Manchester United v Chelsea–all knotted up at four. To us, pausing the match is not an option and never will be.

While our playing careers are clearly behind us, we do have a self-proclaimed doctrine to adhere to. We call it the Manifesto.

Four men (myself included) became so obsessed with the FIFA series that we created a Manifesto, which keeps track of our wins and losses. Records which we’ve kept for three years straight have tested our friendships, our wallets and yes, the trash talking is inevitable. Let it be known that a few controllers have been damaged in the process along with it.

But we sit around the table or the crammed bedrooms in Northwest, Hilltop or Hilltop Apartments in search of glory. A sweaty goal from Ross Barkley across the goalmouth to Romelu Lukaku. A wonder strike from none other than Wayne Rooney to seal victory. Friendships untouched and emotions unbarred.

We’ve all given up the dreaded goal in the 90th minute, where expletives flow off the tongue as easy as Barcelona creates their next goal. We’ve all come to terms with the ‘super sub’ who tears at our heart-strings or have become accustomed to the unrealistic goal, whatever that may mean.

Understandably, I am the best FIFA player there is, plain and simple. Now if I could get my two roommates to agree, that’d be a feat more notable.

For those of us FIFA-fanatics, we all have our own unique styles, celebrations and even tactics. We set out lineups to match the actual team selections perfectly and refuse to play unless there are updated rosters. I’m guilty as charged as I’ve anxiously awaited Juan Mata’s arrival at Old Trafford.

And with our records slowly saying positively and negatively, it all evens out. Those of us who win regularly, take a bow. Those of us who lose fairly readily, take a bow. In the end, records do not mean a thing, roster management means squat and, more importantly, the countless hours accumulated on the PlayStation 3 will not earn us a 4.0 at UConn.

Through the various approaches of losing ungraciously such as storming out of the room or refusing to play the other due to collusion or lack of luck, our camaraderie remain constant. Men turn to boys for brief instances, but that is quite alright.  

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