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Madden Bowl XVII to be broadcast live on ESPN3

7:00 PM on 01.31.2011 // Samit Sarkar

Every year since 1995, EA Sports has held the Madden Bowl -- a Madden NFL tournament in which NFL athletes duke it out for supremacy on the virtual gridiron -- right before the real-life Super Bowl. This year, Madden Bowl XVII will take place on Thursday, February 3, in Dallas, Texas, and for the first time in the event's seventeen-year history, it will be broadcast live over the Internet on And of course, if you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you can watch the stream on your Xbox 360 via the ESPN app.

In light of the debut of co-op Online Team Play in Madden NFL 11, the Madden Bowl tourney has a different format this time around: four three-player teams will compete for the crown. Three of the teams consist of NFL teammates, while the fourth is an "All-Madden" team made up of past Madden Bowl stars:

  • New Orleans Saints: Represented by Madden NFL 11 cover athlete Drew Brees, running back Reggie Bush and quarterback Chase Daniel
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Led by reigning Madden Bowl champion Maurice Jones-Drew, linebacker Kirk Morrison and tight end Marcedes Lewis
  • Dallas Cowboys: The hometown team will consist of wide receiver Miles Austin, tight end Jason Witten and linebacker DeMarcus Ware
  • All-Madden Team: Consisting of last year’s runner-up, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, and former Madden Bowl champions, Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, and Ravens running back Willis McGahee

If the thought of watching football players play Madden doesn't excite you, know this: Cee-Lo Green and Big Boi will perform at the event, and Biz Markie is the show's guest DJ. And I'll be there, so expect a report next week on how it all went down.

The live stream will begin at 9 PM EST on Thursday night. Will you be checking it out?

[header image courtesy of Conrad Zimmerman]

Samit Sarkar,
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