"If I stayed any longer I would've stole something."
Those were the words of Indianapolis Colts sack-master/video game guru Dwight Freeney as he walked out of the L.A. studio of "Call of Duty: Black Ops" developer Treyarch after an all-day behind-the-scenes look into the making of the shoot-em-up blockbuster.
Freeney not only played an early copy of "Black Ops", flying helicopters and trading fire in covert warfare from Vietnam to Cuba, but also sat down with game designers and artists to find out what kind of work and dedication it takes to flip flying bullets into a worldwide phenomenon just in time for the holidays.
Crushing quarterbacks has its perks.
"The said they loved having me at the studio, but the truth is, I think I loved it even more," Freeney told me as he got into his car after a day of blasting polygonal bad guys. "I was over there in helicopter mode and running around different rooms looking for cheats.
"I've been a fan of "Call of Duty" since the first one that came out. It's something that takes me out of the reality of this world and brings me into another one. It's amazing how the series, not only gets more realistic, but evolves."
Jon Robinson: What's the most time you ever spent in one sitting playing a "Call of Duty" game?
Dwight Freeney: I don't even know because I get lost. I might start when I get back from work at like six or seven o'clock, and sometimes I still find myself playing at four or five in the morning. That's when I realize I need to wake up in a few hours. [laughs] That's when I go to sleep. But that's the kind of thing that happens when you play this game.