Madden NFL 08

I’d like to say that I haven’t posted for a few days because I’ve been writing the paper that I have to present at an academic conference in a week. I’d like to say that, because of these days of silence, the paper is done.

Instead it’s hardly begun. And it’s John Madden’s fault.

I bought Madden NFL 08 for the Wii some weeks ago, but I only started playing it in earnest a short while ago. And I’ve been hooked. I took this years Broncos (may the football gods look kindly upon them at Indy) and set myself up as coach and GM. We ran the board in our first season in existence (this season) and took the Super Bowl.

I haven’t wrote a jot or tittle on that paper as a result (though that’ll change tonight).

There are some curious quirks to the video game. I’ve gone through my first off-season draft now, and I’m finding that it severely penalizes rookies once they join the team — their “Awareness” score is tanked. While there’s certainly a “learning curve” at the pro level, it seems a little too steep in this regard. There was also some strangeness in the trading system. As the best team in the NFL I was scheduled to pick last in every round, yet I found more than one team willing to swap first round picks with me one-for-one. So instead of picking 32nd, I could move up to, say, 8th or something. That’s just nonsense. And as a result of the “grading down” of young players I was able to convince the Detroit Lions to trade Calvin Johnson, a very young wide receiver who may well turn out to be one of the best to ever play the game, for a second round draft pick. That’s just wrong.

On the plus side, my virtual Jay Cutler now has the option, on any given play, to just chuck the pigskin deep, knowing that more often than not either Calvin or Javon Walker will make the grab. ‘Tis nice.

But I do need to start that paper…

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