Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Dallas youth take part in NFL Street Unplugged
The night was a cold one, but that did not seem to stop the players from having a great time and earning those ever important style points.
Last Saturday at John Clark Field in Plano, area youth were given the opportunity to participate in NFL Street Unplugged. Dallas was the sixth of seven stops before the final event at Super Bowl XLI. Previous locations include Seattle, Oakland, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Baltimore with the next stop in Miami on January 20, 2007. Ten teams competed in two age brackets (12-14 boys and 15-17 boys) for the chance to play this hybrid on-field/PSP version of "street" football at Super Bowl XLI in February.
NFL Street Unplugged combines playing the NFL Street video game along with an untraditional version of touch football. Teams of three get points not only for scoring touchdowns on the field, but for style plays, including under the leg passes, diving catches, and one-handed receptions that can be found in the video game. These points are added to points accumulated through playing the NFL Street on PSP on the sideline. Individual games consist of a two two-minute halves, with each team spending time on offense and defense, as well as time racking up points on the sideline PSP.
The Dallas event was a cold one, but that did not seem to stop the kids and teens from having a great time. While the number of teams was small, the action was big as the players did their best to get the ever important style points. The best play of the day came from the 15-17 year old bracket as the Cowboys quarterback sent a behind the back bomb all the way to the end zone for a one-handed catch by the receiver. I believe this play, given the typical point inflation, garnered 40,000 points for the trio.
The Cowboys went on to take their age bracket with a final score of 806,389. The victors in the 12-14 year old age bracket were the Louisiana Ladybugs (whose coach/clearly could not believe the boys decided to go with that name) scoring 829,421 points for the day. Leading the respective age groups nationally are MSB of New Orleans with the score of 1,311,310 and the Fierce from Atlanta with 1,148,000 points.
The Dallas stop was followed by a performance from Flipsyde, hip-hop rockers out of Oakland, California.
NFL Street Unplugged, the first event of its kind to tour the United States, promises to be gain more attention over the following years. One suggestion for future competitions would be to put the PSP footage on a big screen so audience members can see the video gaming and live action at the same time for complete football-to-brain infusion. Nonetheless, the event was a success as kids and spectators alike enjoyed the kind of fun that can only come from playing touch football... and from playing video games on someone else's PSP.
Complete Dallas Results:
Louisiana Ladybugs - 829,421
Colts - 550,420
Packer Boys - 464,553
Bucs - 380, 327
Raiders - 362, 250
Da Boyz - 249,859
Cowboys - 806,389
Them Boyz - 581,849
Falcon Force - 534,250
Head Busters - 165,850
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