5 things I’d rather get than the Xbox 360 version of Madden NFL 2007

When 15-year-old Kolton Mahoney booted up his fresh copy of Madden NFL 2007 in his Xbox 360, he was shocked to find that it wasn’t Madden NFL 2007 at all. In fact, the game he had received for Christmas was actually a disc of pornography.

According to a report coming out of Utah, the unsuspecting Mahoney (and his parents, who had purchased the gift from a local Circuit City) was shocked and appalled by the explicit images found on the Madden NFL 2007 disc. Holiday ruined? Apparently. But as far as I’m concerned, there are plenty of things I’d rather get than Madden NFL 2007 for the Xbox 360.

5. John Madden Football ’92 for the Sega Genesis

Let’s face it — slight improvements each year and polished graphics can’t make a game. An ambulance rolling onto a field to deliver sprites of paramedics that will carry away injured players on a stretcher — now that makes a good game! The rules of football have not changed, folks, and Madden Football ’92 is a tried and true classic. More frat-boy arguments have been settled over quick games of this Genesis classic than by anything else. And while I haven’t done any research, I can bet that college-age date rape cases; drug and alcohol abuse; and vandalism were at an all time low in the year the game was released.

4. This killer knit sweater

Now, I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way you’re going to get laid wearing that thing. But that’s not an issue for me, because I’m married and my wife now has no choice. So not only would this sweater keep me warm on these cold winter nights, but I’d look so ridiculous that all of these super models and local celebrity newscasters that keep calling me will finally get off of my case. Touchdown, baby.

3. A one-dollar gift certificate to a Taco Bell in Hawaii

I live roughly 3,000 miles away from the nearest Hawaiian Taco Bell, but that matters not. I’ve wanted to visit the islands and I’ve needed a good reason to. One dollar off a baja gordita with grilled steak is totally a good enough reason to make an appointment with my travel agent. Warm flatbread with grilled steak, lettuce, Fiesta Salsa, Zesty Pepper Jack sauce, and Three Cheese goodness totally wins over any version of Madden NFL any day of the week. Sprites of stretchers be damned.

2. PlayStation 3

Number two was actually going to be gonorrhea, but I thought saying I’d want a PlayStation 3 would be funnier. These jokes don’t write themselves, people.

1. Porn

What is wrong with America that in 2006, our virile youth are disappointed that they receive pornography instead of a shoddy update to a football game in a franchise that has been on a steady decline for years? Seriously, when I was his age, I was ecstatic when I accidentally found a garbage bag full of unmarked wet t-shirt contest videos on my neighbor’s lawn. Madden NFL 2007 is rated “E for Everyone.” Smut videos are not. He could have charged people for private shows, took his earnings to his local game shop, and still had money left over for important things that a 15-year-old needs. You know … like alcohol and condoms.

Nick Chester