Jonathan Stewart talks 'Call of Duty'
January, 4, 2012
By Jon Robinson | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Chuck BurtonJonathan Stewart is the last man standing, on the field and in "Call of Duty."To the young Carolina Panthers team, video games aren't just a way to wind down after a tough game or grueling practice. It's a way to bond with teammates off the field while, of course, shooting each other in the face.
"It's always fun to shoot your teammates," laughs Jonathan Stewart, one of the biggest gamers on the Panthers, and ringleader to the team's "Call of Duty" deathmatches.
"When I first got to Charlotte, one of the things me and DeAngelo (Williams) had in common was our love for 'Call of Duty.' We'd always play online against some of my friends from back home or we'd get some of our other teammates into playing the game. We play it all the time," Stewart explains over the phone as he shares his passion for Activision's billion-dollar franchise. "There's a lot of trash talking going on, that's for sure."
Besides talking junk, another thing you can count on when Stewart's pulling the trigger, is the game will feature a lot of blood.
"I don't care how many times I die in the game. All I care about is how many kills I get," he says. "I'm doing whatever it takes to get a kill. I'll run into an area where the enemy is at, I don't care if there's four of them hiding there, I'll try to kill as many of them as I can before they take me out. I'm not much of a sniper. I'm too antsy for that. I want action."
And now that the season is over, that action is coming full force in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," as Stewart claims he can play the game for six hours a sitting when the shooting intensifies.
"I think I'm actually the best 'Call of Duty' player on the team because I'm single," says Stewart. "I don't have a wife, I don't have any kids, so I spend the most time playing it.
AP Photo/Chuck BurtonStewart is a huge "COD" fan.
"It's funny, because Gary Barnidge thinks he's really good at the game, but I've played him a few times, and he's not very good."
One guy not into "COD" is quarterback Cam Newton.
"Cam's a 'Madden' guy. He's always playing 'Madden,'" says Stewart. "But for me, I want to play shooting games. I want to take my competitiveness to 'Call of Duty.'"
A game Stewart obsesses over to the point where he can recall some of his favorite kills instantly, almost like he's talking about his most electrifying NFL highlights.
"I remember this one time, I was the last person to join the game, then I just went haywire and got 15 kills in a row including the final kill of the game," Stewart boasts. "I was running up the stairs and shot this one guy, then when I got to the top of the stairs, I stabbed somebody else to end the game.
"It just feels so much more rewarding when you stab somebody. That was the best day in my 'Call of Duty' life."