For us common folk, it’s hard to imagine the everyday life of an NFL player. A $25 organic-spinach smoothie for breakfast, riding in their Bentley to practice, having paparazzi and crazed fans storm them for photos and autographs, an elaborate steak dinner with private security keeping the “trash” out, Playboy bunnies and models incessantly texting naughty pictures, and then finally heading home to one of the many variations of housing styles featured on MTV’s Cribs. That sounds accurate, right?
According to Aldrick Robinson, Wide Receiver for the Washington Redskins, my depiction isn’t even close. Apparently Lindsey Lohan’s sobriety is closer to the truth than my original thoughts. Robinson basically plays his video game, NBA 2k, a lot.
I gave the NFL rookie the green light to talk about anything he wanted. Thrilled with this open-forum interview, Robinson immediately wanted to talk about NBA 2k. According to Robinson, a typical day for him looks something like this: “I get out of practice around 4:30, I eat, then I play it [NBA 2k] for about four hours,” he says.
The 2011 sixth-rounder (178th overall) explains that because he actually “lives the NFL everyday,” playing that on a video game would be “boring.”
“NBA is kind of fun because I don’t actually play that sport anymore. I played basketball in my high school days – I was a guard. And I was good,” he humbly adds. “I play it on PS3 and Xbox 360 but mainly PS3 – there’s more competition on PS3. It’s easy because anybody can play with a PS3 and an Internet connection – you can play people from all across the world.”
No stranger to competition and certainly not afraid of a challenge, the confident 5-foot-10 gamer issued a nationwide challenge back in 2011 for NBA 2K11. He’s quoted in an article on the Redskins blog saying, “I’m probably the best person in the nation at that game. If you play PS3, I’m under CallMeLilA . Look me up and you will get beat down.”
I asked if it was OK for the sake of this article and facilitating harder video game challenges for him in the future if I could post his name (or handle, or hashtag, or whatever it is you call it in video game jargon). “No doubt, because a lot of people don’t believe the hype about how good I am. You tell whoever to look me up under CallMeLilA,” he urges. “Here, let me spell it so you get it right,” he adds.
His favorite basketball team in “real life” is the Lakers, but to be fair to the lesser competition, Robinson plays with the Brooklyn Nets on the game. “They [the Brooklyn Nets] are a good team but they are underrated on the game. I would play with the Lakers but everyone thinks the Lakers are a cheat team on the game because of their stacked players in real life, so I try to make it even. I’m still winning. If I play with the Lakers everyone will say I’m just winning because I’m playing with the best team. The Nets are a middle of the road team and I still dominate with them,” Robinson explains.
There’s got to be some competition left out there for you, I asked?
“I play some of my teammates. I guess as far as competition goes, I think right now it’s my fellow receiver Leonard Hankerson. He gives me a good game every time. We’re about 90/10 because I let him win sometimes just to keep the rivalry alive. I don’t want to beat him dead all the time because then he won’t play me anymore,” Robinson jokes. (To clarify, Hankerson is the 10%.)
If Hankerson’s your toughest competitor, you’ve got to be on the hunt for something better, right?
“Well, yeah. Brian Orakpo [Redskins linebacker] was better than me last year, I gave him the edge, but I haven’t been playing him a lot this year. I hope he’s practicing (or whatever), but I want to play him. Will you get him to play me?” Robinson laughs.
Reports have surfaced for years claiming video games are bad for your health, citing issues such as finger deformities in young children due to the intricate and rapid finger movement (hello, TYPING), strained eyes and neck muscles and more. I asked Robinson if he could speak to any of these claims and provide further insight. “Well actually I have a couple dislocated fingers [from football] and they start to bother me sometimes but I play through it. I’m a warrior you know,” he says.
Given his love for the game, I began to wonder if Robinson traveled with his game console or there was a computer/iPad version to help tweak his intermittent fixes on the road. “No, I don’t travel with games. I stopped doing that in college. I’ve brought it to the hotel once for a home game, but my mind is only on the football game at hand,” he says.
Robinson made his NFL debut earlier this season in the Redskins home opener beating the New Orleans Saints. The rookie subbed in for an injured Pierre Garcon, where he set off to score his first career touchdown and recorded four receptions and 52 yards for the Redskins.
You may remember earlier this season the SMU grad suffered quite a hit in the end zone, before the game even started. Teammate Brandon Meriweather ran a route that landed him straight into Aldrick, sans helmet, which knocked both the guys out and put them out of at least one game. “I got knocked out and was slightly concussed and missed the one game. I was out of video games too,” Aldrick added.
I’m sure Coach Shanahan was happy to hear that his injury was enough to warrant putting down the controllers for a few days.
Note: This post is part of The Blonde Side’s Momentum Challenge series to interview one active player from all 32 NFL Teams within the short time frame of 34 days. Aldrick Robinson and his love for NBA 2K cross the Washington Redskins off the list.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance sports and travel writer based in Houston and is currently in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Follow her travels for sporting events and check her out on Twitter.