Fortnite has taken over the world thanks to the likes of Ninja and Barstool Gametime. Included in that world is college football:
USA Today-“Every single time I go in the locker room I see that game on the TV, every second of the day,” said Virginia linebacker Chris Peace. “It’s an intense game, even if you’re not playing. One guy can be playing and the whole locker room will be watching.”
It’s “big time, big time” at Florida, said junior linebacker David Reese, where “everyone but a few people play,” said his teammate, offensive tackle Martez Ivey. It’s “crazy how many people” are into the game at Georgia Tech, senior linebacker Brant Mitchell said. Fortnite is “huge in my locker room,” Rutgers offensive lineman Tariq Cole confirmed, as teammates will “curse each other out in the middle of the locker room because somebody died.”
There’s a trend in college football that has occurred for decades. A trend becomes popular, players become a part of that trend, coaches complain about it (stupid kids!!), and then start using it in recruiting. The Fortnite trend is no different:
There’s a generational gap, of course. Fortnite may be the go-to outlet for student-athletes. Coaches, meanwhile, are less enthused.
“I call a high school kid and ask, ‘You play that Fort Hill?’ I don’t even know the name of it,” said Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi.
Just like most things in life, Alec Baldwin’s famous “put that coffee DOWN” scene from Glengarry Glen Ross applies to college football. Instead of always be closing, it’s ABC: always be crootin.
“It bothers me that people are that into it. But that’s the generation we’re in. They’d rather do that than work.”
Coaches may not mention Fortnite by name, if they know it, nor even single out video games as a habit to necessarily avoid — even if those who spoke to USA TODAY were unable to wrap their head around the game’s mushrooming popularity.
“Video games are taking over the world,” said Maryland coach D.J. Durkin. “What happened to being outside? You should just go outside and just play. Those days are gone. I’m trying to bring them back with my own guys.”
Football guys hating Fortnite is my new favorite trend. I am very excited for the first time a coach blames a big loss on his players not being focused and spending all their time on Fortnite instead of watching film.
P.s. I am officially predicting a Fornite related recruiting/NCAA violation in the upcoming year. Book it:
There’s a financial crunch to deal with: Ivy said he’s spent a “good amount” of money, about $300, buying new characters, models and weapons in the past 200 days. There’s a time crunch, as student-athletes try to cram games into increasingly small windows of time.
“These guys are so good,” Reese said. “If they streamed, they’d be able to make money on it. But there’s an NCAA policy, so they can’t do it. I feel bad for them.”