My favorite teams are the Panthers, and who ever is playing the Patriots….

Okay, so check out this awesomeness. My brother came in town last week and we hung out a lot over the weekend. He has a PlayStation3 along with Madden 08. On his fantasy team he has Randy Moss and Wes Welker, so he has become accustomed to cheering for them over the course of this season. I, as most of you know, loathe the Patriots (Gaytriots). Therefore, the battle lines were drawn. Lee Jay and I would simulate the up and coming Super Bowl 42. He would be the Gaytriots, and I would be the Giants. We would set the stadium to be Arizona’s stadium, even, like in the real thing.

Madden 08 on the PS3 isn’t one of my favorite games because it doesn’t have coach mode in it. See, I suck at controlling players but I excel at football strategy. I would rather just call the plays and have the machine play out the action. However, on Madden08 for the PS3 (supposedly next gen gameplay…bah!) this feature is missing. If you don’t control the runners, the game will play out the action fine as normal. But when you call a passing play, you have to control the QB and throw the ball – if you don’t the QB will just stand there like an r-tard and let himself get sacked. You also have to control the kickers on kickoffs, punts, field goals, and extra points. This, to me, makes Madden become an arcade game rather than a football simulation. What is the point of having player ratings if there is a human element involved in the action? It seems pointless to me, but then again I’m not a fan of arcade football.

I grew up playing a complex board game my Dad introduced me and my brother to when we were very young called NFL Strategy, by Tudor games. If you love football, you would be doing yourself a favor by trying to get your hands on one of these awesome games created in the 70s (last I looked, there were several up on Ebay). This game, along with my Dad’s tutelage as well, taught me and my brother SO much about football strategy. We learned about charting tendencies, formations (offensive and defensive), What X; Y; Z; Mike; Sam; Will all meant, hash marks and strong/weak sides, game planning, and studying playbooks. The game came with about 40 offensive plays that ran the gamut from running plays (off tackle, dives, smashes, powers, and sweeps) to passing plays (screens, short passes, middle passes, and bombs), to goal line formation plays. There were only about 15 or 16 defensive plays, but every situation was covered from man coverage, to basic zones, weak zones, strong zones, double coverages, and blitzes. Because of this, I am a fan of football strategy. I want to be able to run the team, design my own playbook, create my own defensive schemes (I’m more of a defense guy…I’ll use stock offensive playbooks no problem), and call the plays. When you control players it becomes more about who can move their thumbs and punch buttons better, and much, much less about who can call a better game of football strategy.

Football strategy, and not arcade action, is what I want out of my Madden experience, and what I could get out of earlier versions to one extent or another. Once upon a time we could use our own playbooks in Franchise modes, but for the past several versions that feature has been missing as well. Why? Who the hell knows. Monkeys are at the helm of this franchise if you ask me.

Anyway…now is not the time for Madden criticism. Although, let me add the following if any powers at be at EASports might read this in the future: PLEASE find the people who created Sierra-On-Line’s Front Page Sports football games from 93-96 (not the buggy 97-99 versions) and get them to create the next versions of Madden. Tiburon just isn’t innovating or creating magic anymore. It’s like they’re just adding new layers of tar on an obviously rocky road. I think the building needs to be torn completely down and rebuilt from scratch. Madden 07 and 08 haven’t been “next gen”. They’re shite compared to what they should be, and they’re sure as effing hell not football simulations. If you forget about the graphics and animations, which of course are not going to be as awesome in 95 as they are now, the game play, strategy, and depth in the Front Page Sports games make the current Madden versions (and pretty much every version of Madden ever, really) look like tinker toys. The playbook, play, and game plan creators in the Front Page Sports games alone far outshine any similar features in any other football game that I’ve ever played. Hell, those games were shipped on freaking floppy disks! Hello! We have DVDs and Blu-Ray DVDs now, and we can’t innovate and implement features better than folks in 95?! Really? Asshats!

Ah, sorry, I got carried away there on a tangent. Now on to the coolness of this post: Me vs Lee Jay. Giants vs Gaytriots at the University of Phoenix Stadium. 10 minute quarters with accelerated clock turned on.

Now I’ve been saying all year long that the way to beat the Pats is to run a 3-3-5 nickel defensive as your base package. This is because it’s just as easy to defend the run as well as the pass in a 3-3-5, and you can also drop 8 into coverage if you want. You can’t do that with a 4-man line unless you’re gonna drop a lineman into coverage. I would dog (sending 5 at the QB) or blitz (sending 6 or more at the QB) on just about every single down, though. Zone blitzing would be something I’d do often when I’m blitzing – disguising coverage and making Brady figure it out on the fly. Granted, he’s good at that. But my D would be knocking him down a lot, and hopefully he’d get flustered. He’s an emotional guy, and I believe that if a team is getting to him often then he’d let it get to him. Knock him down, and step on him when you’re getting up. Step on his ankle too… you bet your ass I would do it if I were on the field.

So that was my defensive game plan in this game vs Lee Jay. It was a great first half, with the two of us trading touchdowns back and forth. I was able to run the ball well vs his D, and he was able to pass well against my D. If I got him to 3rd down, it was over as in the end his offense was 0 for (whatever…can’t remember the attempts) against me on 3rd down. However, there were several times I didn’t get him to 3rd down. It was NYG 21 NE 14 at the end of the first half.

Then all hell broke lose with my D in the second half. 16 total yards rushing allowed. 4 sacks of Mr. “I didn’t want anything to do with my pregnant ex-girlfriend or my child, especially when I could hang out with Giselle instead” Brady. 7 interceptions of Brady passes. NO second half points allowed! NYG win 31 to 14! Woo Hoo! Down with the Gaytriots! I played a lot of 3-3-5, but when it was clear that they needed to pass every down, I broke out the dime and dollar packages. I like playing the dime flat package because it puts everyone closer to the line of scrimmage. I think football is meant to be played in your face, and when my D lines up I want them to be smacking our opponents in their mouths! Yes!

I still sucked ass at controlling the QB, but luckily the NYG running backs were able to run all over the NE defense, like I think they will be able to do in the actual Super Bowl. I racked up something like 215 yards of total rushing, and I think just like 120 yards of passing LOL. Michael Strahan ended up with two interceptions and a sack, and was named MVP of the game. It ruled, and I hope it’s similar to how the Super Bowl goes this coming Sunday, February, 3rd. Please beat the CRAP out of the Gaytriots! Yes!

Well…that is all for now. Have a good one.

B

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