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Turning reality into fantasy
Adam McLaughlin
Antelope Staff
Online courtesy photo

Seeing is believing. The UNK Lopers are indeed in EA Sports NCAA Football 10.

With a new feature called “team builder” launched by EA Sports this year, user-generated teams can now be created and used for in-game play. The always-anticipated football game revolutionizes with new modes each year. But in 2010, this “create-a-school” feature stands out because it can be downloaded online by users from around the world.  

One UNK student took the initiative to turn a perception into reality for fans.

“I decided that since the Lopers are having such an incredible season, I would bring them into the game,” said Joel Thurman, a senior majoring in history. His Xbox 360 gamertag “Samurai Crusade” hosts the team and is available to search and download.

Thorough preparation work went into creating the Lopers: designing logos, uniforms, team stats and naming players. Thurman said he spent around eight hours just to get the team rolling. Back and forth from his Xbox 360 and computer he went, fixing kinks before he took the team live.

Thurman formed his player stats around preseason weight room numbers, such as the 40-yard dash and bench press. But he got a real look from watching the games in person, keeping a close eye on how strong individuals were.

The highest rated Loper is center Jack Hiett at an 85.

Thurman matched UNK’s Ron and Carol Cope Stadium with Bowling Green’s Doyt Perry Stadium.  He said the two are  as close as you can get— from grandstands, to locker room facilities and scoreboards.

He then matched UNK’s spread offensive look with Tulsa’s playbook, predominately shotgun formation. “I was looking for a playbook that runs a lot of motion and single back plays.”

Creating UNK started out as just a hobby, until Thurman got attached to the whole RMAC conference. Thurman has created every team the Lopers have played to date: from UNO to Colorado State Pueblo to New Mexico Highlands.

“I started off playing with UNK against the Big 12, but I wasn’t happy playing in that fantasy land,” Thurman said. “I felt like playing in the RMAC with teams that UNK played during the season.”

The most difficult part to him was adjusting Division II talent compared to Division I.

“Team builder is nice because you can use your school on a Division I caliber scale,” Thurman said. “The way I setup the team would be for results that would accurately happen like in real life. That’s what I think you get with UNK.”

Thurman currently has 33 team downloads and has received tips from fellow UNK students on  what to do with the team in specific areas. Although he’s one of a selection of Lopers’ teams to download, he feels his team is the best out there because of the accuracy, which he rates a nine out of 10.

Look for those UNK Lopers on any Xbox system and start playing with them today.


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