I can’t believe it is upon us already. This great holiday comes once a year. Maddenreleasemas – just the word makes me feel like I’m 12 again. Yes my friends, October 30 is the release date for Madden 12, most definitely the best and most anticipated release in the Madden franchise (that is, until Madden 13 comes out).
My dad first introduced me to football games. The first we ever played together was Foto-Electric Football. You would take an offensive play, and put it under a filter. The defense would take another play, and put it over the filter. You remove the filter, and Bam! You have a play. A 40 watt bulb would provide for hours of fun.
Eventually, I upgraded to the video game realm of football games. The first football video game I ever played was ABC’s Monday Night Football on the SNES. It came complete with 4 running and 4 passing plays and a 13 game season. Complete with Frank Gifford ‘play-by-play’ (he would give a half time speech of what had happened and if you got really lucky, he would interrupt the game with a ‘look at that play’ where he would talk up how great the last play was – which was usually, pretty awesome) and the colliding helmets, my introduction to video game football had begun.
Next, I upgraded to Madden ’96 and Madden ’97. Not that there were any major changes (aside from the rosters), these two games completely changed the way I looked at football video games (and all sports-related video games for that fact). Having real teams and real players rocked! I loved to stack a team (Barry Sanders and Mike Alstott in the backfield? Thank you very much!) and completely run over the competition. The commentary between John Madden and Pat Summerall was the stuff of legends as well (Between the BOOM!s and POW!s by Madden and how it seemed that whenever you made a bad play, Summerall would give the bad news really made the game). These games even had a sideline reporter to tell me how Warren Sapp was out for the next 12 weeks with elbow bursitis. These games were as good as games could get (or so I thought).
During my college days I upgraded to Madden for the PS2, which proved a very difficult transition. There was no more Pro formation Sweep Right that I could run for 35 yard gains, and Emmitt Smith was a washed-up running back for the Cardinals. And to cap it all off, I was terrible at these new Madden games. I put up the first ‘perfect’ season in dorm history, when I went 0-16 with the Browns. (What was I thinking? The early 2000s Browns? I think they won like 8 games in 3 years.) Luckily, college students are blessed with hours of free time from their generous professors, so I had soooo much time to perfect my craft. Did I get good at Madden, by any stretch of the imagination, no, but I was at least respectable (at least I told myself that).
After graduation, I continued playing the Madden franchise, from Madden 07 to last year’s edition, Madden 11. Each year, I would get sucked in to who had the best stats, who could run the Wildcat best, and why couldn’t Brady Quinn be as good in real life as I could make him after 3 years in Franchise Mode? I still play Madden (not well), even to this day.
Very soon my friends, Madden 12 will be released in to the eager hands of the public. Many questions will be answered. Who will be the fastest player? Will Chad Ochocinco’s last name be higher than his overall rating? Will Brady Quinn finally be serviceable? Yes, the new Madden will be in our hands very soon.
Happy Maddenreleasemas everyone!
Review: 99 (in honor of Tom Brady)