Sure, the annual Madden ratings are a big deal to football players — and for the particularly egotistical ones, it’s natural to feel that the game doesn’t properly assess their talents. But this one crosses a bit too far into ridiculousness. Seattle Seahawks wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh (that’s HOOSH-mund-ZA-deh) feels that Madden NFL 10 has underrated him at a 91, so in a show of protest, he declared on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN Radio show on Monday that he won’t be playing the game.
Houshmandzadeh had played his entire career for the Cincinnati Bengals until he signed with the Seahawks during the offseason, and what’s the first thing he did, before even playing a preseason game in a Seahawks uniform? Why, blame his former team for his shortcomings, of course:
Man, they don’t get my rating right … I just looked at the game and they have this wrong and that wrong. And I understand I averaged 10 yards a catch [in 2008], but it’s the offense, man, not me.
In case you were wondering, Madden 10 lists Houshmandzadeh as the sixth-best receiver in the NFC; the five ranked above him (co-cover athlete Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith, Anquan Boldin, Roddy White, and Calvin Johnson) each had at least two more touchdowns than he did in 2008, and he’s the only one of the six who didn’t have at least 1,000 yards receiving. It sounds to me like the ratings are pretty fair.
Of course, he claims he’s better than the numbers say he is — even though sports videogame ratings are generally based on the prior year’s statistical performance — and he’s adamant that EA Tiburon has wronged him (though he admits that “it might be a little pouting, too”). “I’m not playing Madden no more [sic], until they get my rating right,” he whines. For Seahawks fans’ sake, let’s hope he puts his money where his mouth is in the 2009 NFL season.