P: Tress Way (Redskins)

Former Union High school and OU standout Tress Way is now a Pro Bowl punter for the Washington Redskins. He was also used as a (non-passing) quarterback on a team that won a national video game title. PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP file

Tress Way completed his only two pass attempts during his six-year career as Washington’s punter in the NFL.

In the 2020 Madden Bowl, a gamer named Raidel “Joke” Brito proved himself as the world’s best at the Madden NFL 20 video game, winning $65,000 and a coveted championship belt using Way as his quarterback.

Why use Way at the important position? In a salary-structured game, Brito could get Way on his video-game roster cheap while spending plenty of money of skill players.

Brito never let his video-game Way throw the football once, using the run game exclusively. Meanwhile, the real-life Way said he jokingly explained to his close friends why that happened.

“Whenever you carry the respect of a career QBR (total quarterback rating) that’s higher than Tom Brady’s QBR, just the possibility of throwing is enough,” said Way, who played at OU from 2009-12. “I encouraged everybody that I’m a team player, that’s all the matters. I don’t need the glitz and glory.”

Way lives in Norman during the offseason with his wife Briana, a former OU softball player. The couple recently welcomed daughter Hadley to their family on April 27. She is the younger sister of 2-year-old twins Beau and Harper.

A typical day for Way includes a wake-up call with the twins, which includes a morning in the backyard where there’s a inflatable swimming pool, a mini-trampoline and toy golf clubs.

“It looks like something out of the old Discovery Zone on 71st and Memorial. That’s balls everywhere, golf clubs everywhere, a little four-wheeler,” Way said. “At 7:30 in the morning, I just open up the back door and say I’ll see you at nap time.”

It hasn’t been the typical offseason because of the pandemic. Family trips and visitors to the house are limited, and instead of going to OU to work on his punting game, Way has to find places around town.

“I’m very thankful for my position,” Way said, adding a chuckle. “I’ve been going out to random lots on a day where there aren’t 40-mph winds and punt some footballs. There are certain exercises that I need to do to stay explosive and stay in shape.

“I can’t imagine the offensive linemen and defensive linemen who are really relying on their strength and their training during a time when we’re usually at our facilities and they don’t have access to the gym.”

Way is a ping-pong legend in the Washington locker room and also invented a board trivia game named “What’s Your Bid” since entering the NFL.

Now he is the quarterback of a Madden Bowl champion.

“I want to create this myth when I’m done playing ball … the legend is going to grow and I think by then, I’ll be able to make up anything I want and people will believe it,” Way said.

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Eric Bailey 918-581-8391


Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

Sports Writer

Eric covers the University of Oklahoma football and men’s basketball teams. A Haskell Indian Nations University graduate, he has been a member of the Tulsa World sports staff for 12 years. Phone: 918-581-8391