It started on a spring break road trip in college.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate was playing baseball at Notre Dame. The team went south for a college road trip to play games. They stayed with a host family. At the time, Tate focused his gaming -- when he had time -- on Halo.
On this road trip, he started playing Call of Duty, a first-person shooter game that can be played online. He was hooked.
"I was really terrible," Tate said on a call to promote the game Monday. "It is one of those games that it takes a while and there's a learning curve but once I learned the game I got decent where I could get a few kills every game and just kind of got hooked.
"I went and hustled up the money as a college student to get the game and since then, every year I get it."
While Tate was on the line to actually promote the game, he had the added benefit of this being a product he uses often. It is one also quite popular in the Lions' locker room, a place where cornhole, ping pong and FIFA are also mainstays that kept the team loose during their 2014 playoff run.
Tate estimated between 10 and 15 Lions players play regularly, including cornerbacks Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and tight end Eric Ebron. It provides yet another way for the Lions to bond by doing something other than talking football. Tate played Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in a pro-am game Sunday during the Call of Duty championships.
Tate wouldn't say who the best Call of Duty player in the locker room is -- or if anyone was truly awful at the game like he was at the start.
"No one comes to mind as being absolutely terrible," Tate said. "I'm such a competitor that if you're terrible, you're not going to be on my team."
And now, a look around the Interwebs in search of Lions and other news:
Tate doesn't see the loss of Ndamukong Suh as added offensive pressure. DeAndre Levy doing some crazy offseason stuff. Cedric Ogbuehi visits the Lions. Todd McShay sticks with the defensive line in the latest mock draft. Other mock drafts.
The pain of losing in the playoffs will help the Lions in 2015, Golden Tate tells Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The draft offers variety at cornerback, writes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
With the nickel spot unclear, the Lions have options, writes Justin Rogers of MLive.
Riley Reiff is willing to play anywhere this year, writes Eric Mayer in the Daily Republic.
Two NCAA stories today -- the first, from Jay Busbee of The Dagger, on why Vegas doesn't take full-bracket bets for the tournament. Eamonn Brennan from ESPN on why this could be an extremely entertaining Final Four.