With COVID-19 making it unsafe to go out and about like NFL players normally would, some of the Ravens have found other ways to spend their free time. Bradley Bozeman, Patrick Mekari and Jaylon Ferguson are among those who have found themselves playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for hours on end, and they can’t seem to get enough of it.
The Call of Duty series is one of the most successful in video game history. The first-ever Call of Duty game came out Oct. 29, 2003 as a computer game. In total, there are 24 different games that cover gameplay from World War II, the Cold War and present times.
Modern Warfare, the current hit video game, came out in October 2019 and is still crushing the market for gamers around the world. Athletes across the league have been seen playing COD and even streaming their gameplay content on sites like Twitch.
Bozeman, the Ravens’ left guard, said he and his teammates all play together. The chemistry they have on the field also carries over to the virtual world of video games.
“Everybody’s got their own little crew they play with,” Bozeman said on Glenn Clark Radio Oct. 13. “It’s a fun game out right now and it’s on the top. I used to play Fortnite all the time and then I switched over to COD. It’s just a good way to pass the time.”
Bozeman is quite the fan of the video game, even to the point that his wife, Nikki, has set some parameters for him.
“Any time that I’m doing something or I’m working or I have something going on, mostly it’s Fridays,” Nikki said. “And he’ll come home and he’ll play Friday. I’ll call him and I’ll say, ‘What are you doing?’ And he’ll just laugh, and I’m like, ‘Video games?’ And he’s like ‘Yeah.'”
Nikki told Bradley that if there is nothing to do around the house – including laundry, dishes or other household chores — then he is OK to play. For Bradley, it’s difficult to put the controller down at a concrete time. The times he and his teammates end each session vary.
“Talking about when it’s time to get off, it really depends on how well or how bad you’re doing, Bradley said. “Because if you’re just getting smacked at the start of every game, you’re just like, ‘OK, I’m over it.’ But sometimes you get on a roll and you’re like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll play for a few more games — just one more.'”
Mekari, another Ravens offensive lineman, also enjoys playing COD on his off days. He likes to be able to lounge around the house away from work.
“There’s not much else to do on Mondays. Even last year I kind of sat around the house on Mondays, did some streaming, got a lift in. But besides that, you kind of want to just enjoy your day, enjoy your one day off a week, get away from football just a little bit,” Mekari said on GCR Oct. 12. “So I feel like video games is a great way to do that. You’re recovering while you play, you’re relaxing, getting your mind off of [football], so it’s fun. I feel like on Monday I play for hours.”
Mekari also likes being able to connect with his younger brother and bond more. For him, it’s the little things in life that he appreciates.
“My little brother and I play Call of Duty a bit, but during the work week it’s work,” Mekari said.
Ferguson, an outside linebacker for the Ravens, also plays COD. Just like Bozeman and Mekari, Ferguson plays for hours on end.
“It’s like, ‘Where did the time go?’ You catch your breath and then the day’s over,” Ferguson said on GCR Oct. 5.
A large part of COD is communicating with teammates and formulating a game plan that ensures the highest level of success in each game. But just like on the football field, there is always some smack talk. Whether it’s toward his enemies in the game — or even his own teammates — Ferguson recognizes his competitive nature.
“I talk more trash when I’m playing video games,” Ferguson said with a laugh.
For more from Bozeman, listen to the full interview here:
For more from Ferguson, listen to the full interview here:
For more from Mekari, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox