Wasted on the Youth Guest Blog: Suckers’ Quinn Walker on Playmaker Football
Nov 05, 2010
(Under the Radar's Summer 2010 Issue is a special issue named the Wasted on the Youth Issue that features musicians and actors talking about their childhood memories and things they loved when they were kids. We're also posting web-exclusive essays that were not printed in the issue, including this one by Suckers' Quinn Walker.)
One of the most memorable gaming experiences I have growing up is the incomparable awesomeness of the play designing graphically challenged Playmaker Football. I would look forward to waking up early after a sleepover with my best friend George in order to sneak into his dad's room after he had left for work, and spend hours constructing plays specifically aimed at demolishing the ones George had used on me the previous day.
When I first began this sneak attack I would then creep back onto George's floor and feign sleep so that he'd have no idea what was in store for him. That worked for a bit, until he caught on, then it was useless not to just sit there for as long as possible before he'd wake and create a plethora of unstoppable surprise plays. I would also designate names such as "George, said and done" and "George's Ultimate Destroyer" to my players. The play names were never nearly as direct since I was attempting to fool him with what they would be. His guys would set up on the offensive line and then my defense would be in one single row, all prepared to crush whichever play he had chosen.
This game gave us immense joy for a long time. We were obsessed! I'm actually crashing at his younger brother's place in Olympia, WA on tour right now, and he remembers our passion for this game in great detail. He was pretty disturbed by it, never understood the appeal.
Hmmmm, now that I think about it, I may not be giving George enough credit here. He won, once or twice. He was always a good competitor in everything we challenged each other to, other than bike stunts, which would wildly injure him every single time. He opted for more of the stay-in-your-seat-and-think-for-a-while games. This game is one of the prime examples of my early relationship with my best friend. I recall his dad coming home from work a few times a week, calling us nitwits and juvenile delinquents for still being immersed in it at his computer in his bedroom. Occasionally he'd kick us out and force us to go outside to get some sun. But we normally usurped his bedroom and played into the night while he made us cookie pan pizza.
After a couple years of focusing heavily on this game and sports in general, we began to drift into the drug and woods world, which became the downfall of Playmaker Football. Perhaps we'd still play it to this day if that confounded marijuana had never gone to our heads. Attached is a modern day photo of George (left) and his brother Thomas at Biscuitville in Durham, NC. Notice George is wearing a "world's greatest grandpa" hat. The little kids who live next door to him can't stand it, they call it a lie.
(Quinn Walker is a member of Suckers, whose debut album, Wild Smile, was released this past June. In 2008 he also released a double solo album, Lion's Land / Laughter's an Asshole.)