Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Madden Bowl XVII: A hot ticket in frozen Dallas

6:01 PM on 02.09.2011 // Samit Sarkar

Before last Thursday, the last time I saw Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in person was at the unveiling of the Madden NFL 10 cover, which took place in April 2009 in New York City’s Times Square. “If I’d asked you before today -- April in New York, or February in Dallas: which one would you have guessed would be colder?” I put that question to Fitzgerald while we were both freezing our fingers and toes off at the Coke Zero Black Carpet outside Madden Bowl XVII in Grapevine, TX, with the temperature in the mid-20s and a bone-chilling wind making things worse.

“I would’ve definitely said April in New York,” he told me with a grin. “I mean, this is bizarre.”

If you’re suffering from football hangover, now that the big game has passed and an impending lockout looms ominously over all our heads, don’t worry: just retreat into the world of videogames. EA Sports’ Madden games let you live out your football fantasies, but the pro athletes themselves enjoy the games, too, and EA brings the two together every year at the Madden Bowl.

1

The Madden Bowl is an annual Madden tournament in which football players try to bring each other down on the virtual gridiron. It’s always a great time -- even the snow, ice, and below-freezing temperatures in North Texas couldn’t stop athletes and a few celebrities from making their way out to the party. Access Hollywood correspondent Maria Menounos walked by the press on the Black Carpet, commending us all for braving the cold to interview the stars. Rapper Big Boi, who later performed at the event, is a big Madden fan, and has been for “over ten years.” He and his buddies are so serious, in fact, that they often wager on Madden games on the tour bus.

Musician Cee-Lo Green, who took the stage after Big Boi, told us that while he doesn’t play videogames very much, his son does, and is “showing me the ropes.” When I asked him about the games his son enjoys, Green told me that his son is “a soldier [...] he plays Black Ops and stuff like that.” He’s not the only one for whom Madden is a father-son bonding experience: Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said that he often plays the game with his ten-year-old son, who “kicks my ass” regardless of the team that Gonzalez picks (his son plays as his father’s Falcons).

2

Of course, most athletes are concerned about the Madden development team’s evaluation of their talents: their in-game ratings. One football star in attendance asserted that everyone cares, even if they don’t want to admit it. But Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, an up-and-coming star who has played two years in the league, told us that his Madden rating isn’t that much of a big deal to him (his original Madden 11 rating was a 77). “I can take more pride -- if my rating’s low -- in going out and beating someone anyways,” he explained. “It’s one of those deals where [I] have to earn the respect of Madden, of the guys at EA Sports. [...] I’m hoping this year catapults me into the low 90s, at least.” I was surprised by his team choice in the game -- I expected him to say that he plays with his real-life team, but he said that he always goes with his hometown team, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Patrick Willis, who is a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and was slated to play in the tournament, expressed trepidation at the special format this year, which used the Online Team Play feature in Madden 11 to set up 3-on-3 co-op games. “I’m nervous,” he confessed, after explaining that he hadn’t yet tried online co-op himself, although he plays a lot of Madden and is a force to be reckoned with -- Willis was the runner-up in last year’s Madden Bowl to Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

3

As it turned out, Willis’ worries were unfounded. The New Orleans Saints team in the tournament -- which consisted of starting quarterback (and Madden 11 cover athlete) Drew Brees, halfback Reggie Bush, and backup quarterback Chase Daniel -- knocked out Jones-Drew and his Jaguars teammates in the very first game. Willis eventually joined up with Menounos and Cincinnati Bengals wideout Chad Ochocinco to take on the Saints team in the finals. The patchwork team played as the Colts in a reenactment of last year’s contest for the Lombardi Trophy.

The Madden Bowl championship came down to the wire. The Colts were up 14-7 late in the fourth quarter, but Daniel led the Saints down the field for a touchdown with 37 seconds to go. In a no-guts-no-glory move, they decided to go for a two-point conversion and a last-second win, instead of merely kicking the extra point to force overtime. But the defending Lombardi Trophy winners’ hubris was their downfall, as the two-point attempt failed and the Colts ran out the clock for a 14-13 win.

Menounos became the first-ever female winner of the Madden Bowl, and said afterward that she hopes her victory will “perhaps pave the way for other females to participate in the event in years to come.” A smiling Willis heaped praise on his partners, saying, “It was a true team effort,” as Menounos hoisted the trophy above her head.

4

After the conclusion of the tournament, the party kicked off with Big Boi and crew performing Outkast classics like “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson.” The guys even invited a few lucky women to join them onstage for some dancing. Next up was Cee-Lo, who got the entire crowd to sing along to his Grammy-nominated hit, “Fuck You.” Guest DJ Biz Markie spun long into the night as the party died down. By the end of the night, a light snow was falling, as if to confirm that the festivities were over.

5

[Full disclosure: Coke Zero -- an official sponsor of the Madden Bowl -- provided my flight to Dallas and accommodations for my stay in the area, but did not have any bearing on this editorial content. Aside: Coke Zero is a beverage that I happen to enjoy. -Samit]

Photo Gallery: (25 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Samit Sarkar,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
We are T-7 days until the release of Street Fighter V! There will be a blog released on the February 15, only one day before the release. This blog is about reflecting on Street Fighter IV.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Can good videogame music sugarcoat a game so much that we forget it's a bad game?
lewness avatarlewness
My Wii U came back from repairs... It does not recognize me anymore. It does not remember anything - Xenoblade, Smash, everything. Also, the game disc that was trapped when I sent it is in a separate sleeve, cracked. RIP data.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Separated at birth? [img]https://38.media.tumblr.com/dc4c946f418196e87160398f851c19fb/tumblr_nuwhksbSVu1sjh5bfo1_400.gif[/img]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I got my RNDM Viynl by Mega Ran last night but forgot to post a picture. Enjoying it so far though.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Damn, my 26" monitor just crapped out on me. S'what I get for buying knockoff brands I guess. Back to the 19" non-HD monitor for me.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
I miss mapping :( I was thinking about learning GameMaker, but now I'm leaning toward Unreal Engine 4, maybe to map for the new UT?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I've spent the past 3 hours with that Lost Planet spinoff EX Troopers after finding it on sale for $20US on Amazon. It would've been great if Capcom had released it here. Or if they decided 2 turn that IP into Monster Hunter w/ guns set in an open world
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Anyone notice that the Qposts are posting in the Normal Blog list? Niero? Bueller?
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Rubio supporters rough up robot at New Hampshire rally. Mr. Destructoid's long lost cousin?
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
For a nice mailbox surprise today! Forgot I ordered this a while back.
Shinta avatarShinta
Bosman and Huber running a Nintendo channel show, and playing games with Treehouse during E3? I'd be down for that.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
I just found out Phoenix Wright is getting an anime this year. Color me surprised and very interested.
Operative20 avatarOperative20
I really want to continue my RE playthrough but this FUCKIN JAVA PROGRAM JUST WON'T WORK WHY AM I SUCH A FAILURE
SayWord avatarSayWord
Life is Strange Spoilers: I am about to start Episode 5 but noticed Uzumaki inspiration right away. Beginning scene with the town and lighthouse, tons of Spirals including the projections in the "End of the World Party". Anyone else notice this?
JPF720 avatarJPF720
Is it just me or with only one month and a week 2016 has been hit with some considerable losses, but in terms of severity and scope? From musicians and athletes to freaking websites...Let's keep riding this storm of sadness guys.
Parismio avatarParismio
Cam you believe that hot dog's with cheese in them exist? That is the grossest monstrosity to ever grace the market. The cheese belongs on top of the dog people! All over it!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Looks like I have a new job doing deliveries which is 50% sitting on my ass in the passenger seat. $12/hr. I wonder if I can do monster hunting during that 50%...
ObliqueZombie avatarObliqueZombie
Holy cow, Final Fantasy VII was actually REALLY good! The PS4/PC "cheats" really helped my enjoyment. Check out my Cblog for extended thought, and what do you think of FFVII with a 2016 outlook?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I regret nothing and I regret everything.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -