If you love it, change it: Madden

[Editor’s note: Who says changing your favorite game has to be in the realm of practicality? I would totally play BigPopaGamer’s version of Madden. Read on for his take on improving the Madden series as part of the Monthly Musings. — CTZ] 

So for those of you that know me, you know I am a bit of an armchair quarterback. I love my football (college and pro) games. I don’t play them that much, only when the newest upgrade comes along. So of course that means I love the Madden and NCAA series of football games, but I’m only going to talk about the Madden series in this article.

Madden. Ah, the voice, the man, the legend. We all know and love him for what he has done for the game of football. But what he has done for the gaming world is unbelievable. Nowhere will you find a series of games with clearer battle lines drawn in the sand. And for all it’s glory, there are still a few fundamental flaws that I would change about it. More after the jump.

Field Goals

Look, when you are playing Madden, whether it is a computer or a person, kicking field goals is just pussy and boring. Whoever thought it would be entertaining to watch some skinny soccer player in a helmet; kick a ball through uprights was retarded. And this is especially relevant when you are playing a videogame and having to do this. You have to go for the first down; it’s an unspoken rule in Madden.

So I propose to change it.

1. Put the ball in a giant air cannon and shoot it at a target between the poles. If you hit it, you get points. If you miss, that middle linebacker gets to spear you.

2. Get one of those giant slingshots and use it to hurl the ball between the uprights. If you miss, the middle linebacker gets to spear you. 


3. Put the kicker in a giant air cannon and shoot it between the poles. So all of a sudden, the kicker’s ability to actually kick a ball is null and void and all the coach wants is the smallest fucker he can find. Then all the responsibility gets put onto the cannoneer. If he misses, not only does the little guy in the cannon eat dirt, but the middle linebacker gets to spear you.

This also gives meaning to all those shrimpy guys that got picked last in backyard football. Finally, we are giving credit to those little guys for what they can do well … fly through the air.

Free Agency/Salary Cap

These screens are boring.

I hate having to restock my team every season. I play Madden because I like to play football, not play Head Coach or General Manager. This part is incredibly boring to me so I want to suggest a new system to get free agents.

Get rid of free agency. I know, you all gasped like I had just told you that I slept with your mom last night (I did and it was great). But seriously, it’s a boring part of the game. So I say, when you sign a player to a contract and that deal is up, he has two options: 1. He can resign with you or 2. He can go off and work at Benny’s Football Academy in Dayton Ohio. That’s it. None of this negotiation bullshit. If you offer some money and he don’t like it, then goodbye Mr. Urlacher, have fun pumping gas.

My second idea was just to create a system just like the NCAA games have, except different incentives. In NCAA, you have to find out what part of your school’s program the recruit likes the best and hammer it home. But you have to make sure the stuff they like is stuff you are good at. If you have a great weight training facility but shitty fans and your recruit really loves the fans, I wouldn’t make it a point to mention that you only have the mothers of the players in the stands on game day.

So in Madden, instead of talking about what parts of the NFL team that they like, offer them other things. Like, unlimited supply of cocaine, assistance with drug testing, free strippers, all the Grey Goose they can drink, etc. See my point? NFL players are just huge jocks and frat boys with millions of dollars and time on their hands. So, make it worth their while. Of course, for every stripper you offer, you have that many strippers left to offer to the next guy, so be sure you ration your women, drugs, alcohol and other illegal substances carefully.

Of course this would all mean the salary cap goes away, but I don’t think many of you would complain that the new form of currency in the NFL are the things mentioned above. It would sure make the off-season a whole hell of a lot more fun.

Online Football Leagues

This is something that has really irked me for a long time. With a game like Madden, which is set up to be played together, why can’t there be an organized league to actually play the game like a real league? There are enough football maniacs out there to be committed to playing once a week online with a specific person.

I propose that a gamer is allowed to set up a league with up to 32 other players. The computer then randomly puts together season schedules for all the teams and lets you know when you have to play these games. If your opponent shows up for the game and you don’t, you forfeit the game. Easy as that.

Also, on a side note, why in the hell can the guy that I’m playing against, who lives in Jersey, can see what kind of play I am picking? Are you seriously fucking with me? We still haven’t gotten to the point that if I forget the receiving patterns of the play I called cause I’m on some X or Crack, and I push the button to see the passing routes, that the other player can see it? EA, this is some bullshit and you know it. Fix that for the next series or I swear to God I will come down there and kill someone.

Madden Tournaments

Wait, they already have those. Damn.

This is the point where you ask yourself, “Do I need professional help?”


Now look, if I’m buying a game with the name of Madden on it, I better sure as hell have the legend himself calling the game for me. None of this anonymous voice bullshit like in the last one. No sir. But I would change a few things about the announcers.

Like take for instance, when a running back takes a big hit, I think if it’s a hit that could possible kill someone that Madden should be able to say something like, “Damn that guy just got fucked up.” And Summerall or Michaels could agree and say, “Fuck yeah he did.” I’m just saying, throwing in some expletives or funny phrases would make them a lot more interesting.

My original idea was to have Madden and Michaels in my room announcing it as I go, that way I never get tired of the recorded phrases. But I was told that Mr. Madden was unavailable to be there every time I pushed the power button on my 360. Damn.

Challenge System

I don’t know about you, but I have never won a coach’s challenge yet. The computer is horrible at judging things like if the guy was out of bounds or whether the QB’s arm was moving forward as he was hit, etc. So I propose this change: If you challenge a call made by the ref, you get to fight the other coach in a good ol’ bare-knuckles boxing match or you get to choose your meanest player to box the referee that made that call.

While I would love to see Bellicheck and Tony Dungy throw down, I think it would just as hilarious to see Alan Faneca take on one of those 50-year old somethings in the zebra outfit. They might as well just dig a hole in the football field, throw the ref’s broken body in there and get on with the game.

Superbowl Opponent

Because this is Madden, I want to talk about the Superbowl. Instead of two teams duking it out for the championship, one from the AFC and one from the NFC, we do this: Take the winner of the AFC and NFC game and then put them against the Superteam in the Superbowl. Who is on the superteam you ask? Well it’s not a bunch of all-stars if that’s what you mean. Nope, the entire roster would be filled by one man and many clones.

Yep, you guessed it. Brett Favre. So make a bunch of clones of Favre and have this team play your team in the Superbowl. That would make the next edition of Madden epic.

The newer editions of Madden are good games, but they aren’t perfect. I’m sure there are other things that irk me; I just can’t think of them right now. So there ya go.

I know some of my ideas would have to change the way they play football in the real world, but isn’t that a small price to pay for a good videogame? These are just a few ideas from a rambling gamer. I hope you enjoyed this article and as they say in my state, “Ya’ll come back now ya here?”

Also, all the cheerleaders should be naked: