The latest incarnation of Madden saw the absolute gutting of one of the most popular features, franchise mode. That EA would destroy something considered one of the core aspects of the Madden game, shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been following the series. The reality is that Madden doesn’t like giving you the ability to edit rosters, or play multiple seasons on the same copy. They want you to sim and re-sim the one season they give you, and that’s it. Otherwise you might not have a reason to pick up the next years roster update version of the game.
Madden had to be dragged kicking and screaming to add a franchise mode to the game. Since at the time they were actually trying to get PC sales of the game too, they had to respond to the success/critical acclaim of Dynamix’s Front Page Sports Football. The game had not just a franchise mode, but allowed you to edit just about everything you could think of. It would allow you to setup anything from a 4 to 32 team league. That there are still people playing FPS Football online today should tell you of the high esteem it’s held in.
But that’s part of the problem for EA. If people like a version of a game and can edit stuff, why are they going to buy the next edition? It doesn’t matter that for some reason people are sheep and buy Madden year after year. Seemingly with the game making hardly any year to year changes. You would think that Madden losing a monopoly lawsuit would turn them off to some people, but the Madden series is able to just keep trucking.
The sad thing is that as long as EA controls the rights to the NFL, there’s not much anyone can do about it. Most people agree that NFL 2K5 (Sega’s last release) was better then Madden at a cheaper launch price. The last 3-4 years though it seems there is something that upsets fans of the Madden series. Big changes that are relatively hidden under good PR from EA. Stuff that will be forgotten next year when the “latest and greatest” from the Madden series comes out. All the reviewers will give it huge ratings and promise you that THIS is the Madden that will solve all the previous problems.
Just talking about it makes me want to download Front Page Sports and give it another run through. It’s been years, but I remember how much fun I had printing out all the player ratings (and this was before the Overall Stat) and debating what was better to add to my roster. I would sim games instead of coaching them, so I had to draft well. It’s probably sad on some level that some of my favorite childhood memories are from the video games I played.
Last night during Monday Night Football in the fourth quarter ESPN went to a long shot of the crowd (and by crowd I mean 3 to 6 people) who while on camera proceeded to chant Tebow. While Orton had his struggles last night, blaming the loss on him is a bit much. Especially considering from all reports that Tebow looked awful in the preseason compared to both Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn. While it isn’t new for a struggling team to be chanting for the 2nd or 3rd string QB to be put in, or them to start chanting during the first game while it was still winnable is a bit new.
Tebow has been the darling of ESPN since his college days, a charismatic star with a questionable level of talent. So is it crazy to wonder if ESPN just happened to find a few drunk Broncos fans last night chanting for Tebow? It gives them something to talk about, and keeps their created monster in the news. Speaking of news, it also gives their nonstop talking heads something to gab about in between games since the Everything Sports Network is Football talk 90% of the time.
Tebow isn’t going to save the Broncos, and there’s a reason he’s not starting. There were times last night when Orton was able to get the ball away with Raiders breathing down his neck (nice O-Line Denver) when a younger QB might rush the throw or a mobile QB might hold the ball too long. Even with Orton’s fumble, there were plenty of chances for another less experienced QB to screw up.
While there will always be a vocal part of the Denver fanbase that wants Tebow in (just try bashing him on twitter) most of them realize why he isn’t a starter or even the backup QB at the moment. Leave it to ESPN to try and push the issue via their hijacking of Monday Night Football. More and more, ESPN is using it’s popularity to push their own points. Without controversy there is nothing to talk about. With 3 networks and the 24/7 ESPNews all needing something to talk about, it’s no surprise that Tebow is front page news. But in the end it’s all manufactured. Tebow is a product of ESPN as much as this controversy. The reality is that if the Broncos want to win, Tebow will be nowhere near the field.
If your sitting there chanting and arguing that Tebow should be on the field, your nothing but a tool for ESPN. Your not thinking critically at all, and your just parroting them. There’s no special magical ability that Tebow has that is going to make the defense stop the run, or magically make his WRs catch every pass. Get over it.
If I had to make a startup league, the first thing I would do is start chasing down all the best players in the nation who aren’t smart enough or couldn’t academically make it into Division 1 schools. Also I don’t care about the new naming for the Divisions, it’s still 1, 2 and 3 for me. I would also try to plunder one or two top players in order to get into the papers and make a lot of noise. I’d offer the kids enough money that they could pay their way through college later if the league failed. The absolute last thing I would do is bring in NFL re-treads. It always makes new leagues look bad.
My feeling is that when you look at players who are undrafted or late round picks and end up having big careers, there are some players who never get the chance because they couldn’t academically make a top school. This of course is partially due to the NFL using the NCAA as a free developmental league. I for one think that the NFL and NCAA ties really need to be cut. Not only that, but these NCAA kids should be getting paid considering the amount of profit made off of them.
But I would collect the best HS kids from each region and make 6 regional teams. I would try to get smaller local fields for the games, because nothing looks worse then a half empty football stadium. Just ask the XFL. The league would start the week before the Super Bowl, playing on Sunday, then Saturday the next week and Sunday for the rest of the season for 10 games. The two best records would play in the championship game.
Following that, players who move on to greener pastures or are cut can be replaced by players from your region. If by the beginning of training camp someone isn’t with a team or considered a team’s property they are a free agent. The league will continue running a spring schedule until it’s gotten up to 12 teams. Along with increasing regional teams, hopefully grabbing more and more big name youngsters to join the league instead of going to the NCAA.
The last phase would be to move the league to a fall schedule, hopefully on Saturdays as an experiment to see how it works before moving to Sundays. If it fails we go back to the spring schedule. With the amount of profit the NFL is making, and the number of insanely talented youngsters in the NCAA, if there’s any sport that’s ripe for a competitor league it’s the NFL. It’s sad that leagues instead of trying to create new stars are taking washed up retreads from the NFL, making them automatically an inferior league.
Not exactly surprising. Of course Goodell is just going to tell himself that these are a handful of fans who are greatly mistaken. But the owners have done everything possibly wrong if they were trying to win the PR battle. The fact that the league decided to end the CBA early, that the owners won’t open the books, that most fans don’t want an 18 game schedule, etc … It’s not just a pocket of fans that happened to have been at the draft last night. You could put fans from just about anywhere across the nation and the reaction would have been the same. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
I wonder behind the scenes what’s going on. Owners have been forcing local and state governments to pay for their new stadiums. The lockout looks largely to be the fault of the Owners. Do the owners owe these communities games? Should the owners pay back some of these communities if there aren’t games? I really would love to see what would happen if for example the city of Philly sued the Eagles for not having games. That’s what the owners would deserve, a little payback for holding cities ransom over new stadiums.
It’s easy to make multi-millionaire sports athletes look bad. Especially when it was the NHLPA and MLBPA trying their best to not get a salary cap. But at just about every turn so far it seems the Owners are doing everything to be the villains here. It’s like that South Park episode in which Lars Ulrich complained that he had to get a regular tiger cage, and not a golden tiger cage.
The whole controversy between Jeff Fisher/Vince Young finally came to a head with the announcement that the Titans would be looking to move Young. Normally when you’ve had a long tenured coach like Fisher who has been successful as he has you go with the coach. But Fisher hasn’t exactly been that successful lately. He hasn’t won a playoff game since 2003. Since 2004 he has 3 losing seasons and 2 8-8 seasons, so in the last 7 seasons he only has2 winning seasons.
Vince Young wasn’t the greatest QB, and definitely had some issues, but he was head and shoulders above the ancient Kerry Collins and Rusty Smith. Not only that, but Vince Young has yet to have a losing season as a starting QB. Considering that players have come out in defense of Young, the issues might be due to Fisher.
What else isn’t being considered is who is going to QB the Titans next season. Kerry Collins has been a failure as QB for the most part. He’s just getting too old. Rusty Smith is no one’s answer at QB. Last season teams that signed a new QB ended up having the signings blow up in their faces. The cream of last years free agent crop was Derek Anderson and Jake Delhomme. As bad as the cream was though, no signed FA QBs last season (who switched teams) made an impact for their new team.
There’s easily ten teams in the league that would love a new solid QB. Giving up on Vince Young without a real replacement is a bad move. Meanwhile the number of qualified Head Coaches out there has seemingly never been higher. Bill Cowher would be the perfect fit for the Titans. There is no way that it’s easier to replace Vince Young then Jeff Fisher. It’s not always going to be that easy to pick up a quality coach. Picking up a QB always seems to be a problem no matter the year. I doubt there will be a time when a lot of Quality QBs will be on the market.
I can see Jeff Fisher being in trouble though. He has a somewhat talented team, but he obviously is in need of a QB. I don’t know how many more losing seasons he can have without feeling the heat. Obviously this was a bit of an internal struggle between Fisher and owner Bud Adams, but at what point can Fisher continue to survive without producing wins? When you get to the point of a coach being somewhere for over a decade, there’s something good about the stability of the franchise. But you still have to win, and need playoff wins. Let’s not forget what got Marty Schottenheimer chased out of two different towns despite huge winning records.