Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Samsung, we're in the middle of a three part series talking about how technology helps UConn fans better connect with their team. Last week I talked about how the combination of the internet and HD programming have helped me see the Huskies in ways that seemed impossible just a few years ago. This week, I want to go past that and talk about being the Huskies -- virtually at least.
I don't think it's going out on much of a limb to say that our target audience here at the UConn blog lines up pretty well with EA Sports' and their collection of games. Personally, I've been following my own virtual version of the Huskies for about as long as I've been able to follow the real deal -- at least as far as football goes. Long before ESPN or even the Big East bothered to recognize the Huskies, EA did, even if it was with horrible ratings, a generic stadium and a rivalry with Buffalo. However, for a kid growing up 2,000 miles from Storrs, keeping track of the Huskies through a videogame was often easier than following the real team.
Obviously, following the action on field has become much easier, but that doesn't mean I've abandoned my virtual crew. In fact, this year I've been tied closer to them than usual. It hasn't been a perfect replication, but the Huskies that play in my Xbox haven't been that far off from the ones that play at Rentschler. I'll admit, my virtual team has three key differences. They were able to beat Michigan, but that was mostly because I played against virtual-Tate Forcier instead of virtual-Denard Robinson. I also managed to avoid an embarrassing loss to Temple. Perhaps most importantly, virtual-Zach Frazer got knocked out about 4 plays into my season and virtual-Cody Endres didn't have nearly as big of a drug problem as the real life version.
The odd thing for me though has been tracking my success in the Big East. I almost threw my controller through my TV after a close loss to Rutgers. After Louisville beat me, I almost gave up on the season. I decided to give it one last chance though, and, well, my Huskies upset West Virginia. It's downright eerie.
I can't tell you what will happen next Thursday when UConn hosts Pitt, but I can tell you this: when my virtual Huskies hosted them, they won. Keep your fingers crossed.