Cody Davis: New England Patriots defensive back, father of three … and avid "Rocket League" competitor?
When he's not making tackles or blocking field goals, Cody can often be found blocking a different kind of goal in "Rocket League," a popular video game best described as soccer played with RC cars and a giant bouncy ball.
And he's not too shabby at it: His Platinum III Division II ranking puts him in the top 28 percent of players in the game's standard 3v3 mode, according to Tracker Network. In a recent best-of-five showmatch against The Dad editor-in-chief Joel Willis, Cody (or "S4LTINE," his gamer tag) chatted about his background in gaming and showed that a safety's quick hands can also keep up on a virtual pitch.
The Dad, a lifestyle brand for fathers, runs a gaming community called The Dad Gaming, focused on positive, wholesome gaming fun. Cody has been participating in The Dad's "Rocket League" events throughout the offseason and teamed up for a friendly showmatch Wednesday night on Twitch. While Cody dropped the first game 6-1, he rallied back against his higher-ranked opponent to take the next three games 5-4 (OT), 6-4, and 2-1 respectively. Viewers weren't just treated to a close set of games, but to a peek into Cody's background as a gamer.
Cody and his brother Brent grew up playing PC games like "Counter-Strike" and "Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II." The trend continued through college, "until these little things called kids starting coming out [laughs], and my gaming kind of slowly declined," Cody said. "You know, during the season, it's hard to get any gaming in."
Even so, the Davis brothers never grew out of gaming. Cody and Brent continue to play together, mostly "Rocket League", after their kids are off to sleep. "[Brent] gives me some pointers every now and then," Cody said. "But most of the time he's just carrying me along, trying to win some matches."
Over the past two or three years, Cody estimates he's played over 200 hours of "Rocket League." But since joining The Dad Gaming's community, he's focused more on practicing, watching tutorials and improving his play rather than simply queueing up for games.
Before heading into the showmatch, The Dad's commentators - or "casters" in esports parlance - asked how he handles high-stress situations. Cody replied that he doesn't like to be hyped up for too long. He prefers to relax, keep calm and listen to worship music prior to big matchups.
While Cody's "Rocket League" showmatch may not have had the highest stakes, his cool head kept him in the game after an early deficit. Combined with slick plays that impressed viewers and casters alike, Cody had little trouble playing both sides of the field and snagging a comeback victory.
Want to try Rocket League for yourself? You're in luck - the game is free to play and will be getting a limited time NFL-themed mode this Tuesday.