E3is a fun show not just because of the companies it attracts, like Microsoft,Sony, Nintendo,Electronic Arts,Activision,THQ and dozens of others, but because of the celebrities who show up too. I had the chance to sit down with Heisman trophy winner and the NFL's #2 draft pick last year Reggie Bush before the big Microsoft event Tuesday night. Complete with multi-karat diamonds in each ear.
The TV show "Extra" was just wrapping up its interview (Question: Super Bowl ring or wedding ring. What does Reggie Bush want first? Question: If I'm a girl out on a first date with Reggie Bush, what do I need to do to guarantee a second date?) My time with him was spent a little differently. I joked that "Extra" took my two questions, and I had nothing else to ask. I was joking. And he laughed. Hard. Probably out of relief.
Instead, we fired up the big Plasma and I had him walk me throughElectronic Arts' Madden 2008, probably the year's most anticipated gaming title behind Bungie's Halo 3 for Xbox 360. Bush was excited. "I'm a huge fan of games and Xbox in particular," he told me. "That's what we do, what the guys do when we have a little down time, you know, see how good we are."
Madden on Xbox is a big deal since it runs at 60 frames a second instead of the industry norm of 30 frames. That makes for more fluid, realistic movement, and that's something really important to an NFL star. "I'm pretty good on here," Bush says, playing the game during our interview. "I'm the first person with a 100 acceleration rating." Not sure what that is, but when I asked him if the stat would make it onto his football card, he said, "I hope so!"
Reggie Bush's relationship with EA and Microsoft is important to him. "I'm a businessman," he says. "A professional.' "It's all about the brand, increasing the brand. Making the most of an opportunity."
Funny. During the game he played quarterback. It's a role he says he's ready to play on the field, with a glint in his eye. "Is that because of your training with Madden? Or because of God-given talent?" I asked. "A little bit of both," he smiled. "I got it down pat."
He says he continues to marvel at the realism of the game. "It's very real. They always do a great job of making it look so real," complete with team members' tattoos.
As we wrapped up our short time together, Reggie threw an interception and the Falcons ran it back for a TD. "Ohhh! Cut, go to commercial, rap!" said a good-natured, but sheepishly embarrassed Bush.
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