EA Sports Actually Does The Right Thing And Puts John Madden On The Cover Of Madden 23

There has been no shortage of slander around these parts directed squarely at EA Sports' head for what they have turned Madden into over the years by ruining franchise mode, becoming a DLC shill, and allowing everyone to make the same "I'm just paying for a roster update" joke that is as unfunny as it is true ever since they established a monopoly on NFL simulation video games that would make this asshole blush.

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However, I will give those mamalukes credit for clearing the very low bar and not botching an absolute gimme of a move by putting their namesake on the cover following his death considering a team with a chance to win the Super Bowl decided to run this play on 1st & Goal with mere seconds left in The Big Game™.

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Sorry for the ricochet shot, Seahawks fans

If EA announced the only way you could get a cover with John Madden on it was by spending $100 for the All-Madden Edition along with dropping another $1000 on some Madden Ultimate Team bundle, I wouldn't have batted an eyelash because that's how they seem to roll these days. But they did the sentimentally right thing along with the financially smart thing since I'm pretty sure all the Olds like myself that grew up playing Madden back when the big fella was on the cover every year will be actually buying a physical copy of the game even though using discs in the year 2022 of our Lord is as boomer as it gets. Granted, this is also coming from a lunatic that considers John Madden the most influential person he's never met, wrote the blog about his passing with tears in his eyes, and has a copy of the OG Madden for Sega Genesis in a shadow box he purchased from Michael's despite thinking that is the worst store on the entire planet.

So I guess good job EA for not completely fucking this up? If you guys want to be known as the company In The Game again, maybe put as much effort in the franchise mode that everyone grew up loving as you do in microtransactions for game modes nobody has ever or will ever give a fuck about. Actually I'm sure young kids that have grown up with quick hitting games love that stuff but those fuckers don't have a Barstool login so I'll happily yell at my cloud before leaving you guys with what is still the greatest moment in Madden history (P.S. FUCK YOU GUMBY), the best of the Madden ambulance that would most certainly cause some people to lose their minds if it came out today, and some of my favorite Madden franchise mode memories from college, which every group of friends should fire up while they are living in that fantasy world for 4+ years.

The Mike Alstott Story

A not so quick story just because it's the second thing I think of when I hear the name Mike Alstott after him crushing human bodies and souls. When I was in college, my roommates and I had a 10-man Madden franchise. Everyone was allowed to make one trade per season since we didn't want every team to essentially become fantasy rosters. Most people would trade for a quarterback or stud receiver or middle linebacker. Well my one buddy used his one trade on a fullback named Michael Joseph Alstott. While everyone loved Alstott for reasons that can easily be identified in that 60 second video, using your one trade on a short yardage back in Madden seemed like a crazy move since you could just sort Free Agents by Break Tackle and get a pretty decent option without using your one trade.

Since we needed to keep the league moving, if you didn't play your game in a couple of days, you would get simulated. The one rule was Injuries would be turned off since we live in a society and all. Well the Alstott owner had held us up because he had a full day of classes. The other owners wanted to get their game in because college students have never been the most patient bunch. The Alstott owner walked in the house a few hours later after a couple of games had been played and the season had been saved. He asked if he won, was told that he lost, and then said "Well at least you turned injuries off, right?". The kid's face who hit Simulate told everyone the answer was clearly "No, I forgot". We went to the Injury Report page for the Franchise and all we saw was:

Mike Alstott (Herniated Disc) - Out For Career

Not out for the week or the year. But out for career. Game Over. Because of a simulation. Still the most brutal thing I have seen in Madden just because it was so easily preventable, which of course makes it better because we still bust the Alstott owners balls for getting his soul ripped clean out of his body because of a video game til this day. So thank you Mike Alstott for not only providing wonderful memories on the football field but also on the video game operating table.

The Tale Of Horse Moo

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Not to date myself, but when I was in college we used to have a Madden league and imported NCAA Football rosters for new draft classes. One of my roommates was the Texans and drafted RB 34 from Oregon State AKA Steven Jackson. When it came time to rename him to Steven Jackson, he instead chose to rename him to Horse Moo because that’s what he said a queef sounded like. Yes I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but in college you don’t really bat an eyelash when one of your friends does something stupid. Well, every time Horse Moo played against our friend who was the Colts (which was a lot since they were in the same division and we banged out a full Madden season every two weeks or so despite 10 idiots playing in it), he would run for roughly a billion yards and the Colts player would scream “FUCK YOU HORSE MOOOOOOO!!!” as the Texans player would scream “HORSE MOOOOOOOO!!!!!” at the top of their lungs. So when I hear the name Steven Jackson, I think of him being named Horse Moo in Madden after a ridiculous description of the sound a queef makes then think about the former All Pro running back then think about this funny anecdote of Jackson refusing to take a drug test. This story may have taken home the bronze medal, but it’s a strong bronze in my mind

The Curtis Martin Game

My buddy and I played the NFC Championship Game of our franchise during our townhouse's Christmas party. Full crowd of drunk idiots as he kept tossing 50 yard touchdowns to Randy Moss in double coverage, ends up beating me by 3 to win.

He decides to play the Super Bowl vs. the Jets right after we finish. He's leading a close game almost the entire time and scores a TD to Moss with 20 seconds left. Jets get the ball, Curtis Martin runs a diagonal route in the middle of the field, and takes it 80 yards to win the Super Bowl as the entire house goes crazy while my friend's soul leaves his body.

The Curtis Martin Game lives in infamy til this day.

RIP John and thank you for the millions of memories

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