9 Reasons Madden Football is Better Than the NFL

The NFL is great. But the NFL as played in the Madden franchise of video games has surpassed it. It’s time the real NFL fired their human players and made the switch to a 100% digital league. It would do wonders for the salary cap.

Am I being serious. My heart says no, but this acid I took says yes. Either way, here are 9 ways in which Madden is better than the real NFL.

1. GameFlow
Football-Scoreboard-Night-Light_3543-mGameFlow serves to shorten game length in Madden through the use of strategic assumptions so that players can spend more time playing and less time flipping through the playbook and waiting to line up. If only the NFL could adopt such a strategy. Between TV timeouts, coaches milking playclocks, halftimes, and slow offenses, an investment in an NFL game is always a three-hour affair punctuated by sporadic action.

While Madden strives to be as real as possible in most aspects of the game, I don’t think anyone playing the game in GameFlow mode will miss the 20 idle seconds that can be eliminated between plays.

Further, GamePlay mode simplifies Madden so that first-time players can just pick up and run with a preset strategy. In real football…not so much.

2. Gus Johnson Calls Every Game
johnson-150x150While Gus Johnson may get into the booth for CBS every week or so, in Madden ’11, he’s bringing his unbridled enthusiasm to every contest. How far we’ve come since the snoozefest days of Pat Summerall calling our video games. While previous incarnations of Madden had Pat to their detriment, now we get upset that in the real world there’s only so much Gus to go around.

His audio is a little choppy in Madden, but I’ll take a compromised Gus Johnson calling a game over anyone else. The man could keep you on the edge of your seat for bass fishing, for God’s sake. Short of splicing Johnson’s genes, I don’t think there is a reasonable way to allow the NFL to catch up here. In a video game, he can jet from Tampa Bay to Minneapolis in a matter of seconds.

In the real world, he may not be beholden to the Madden Cruiser, but it’s unlikely that we’re gonna get Gus for more than one game a week. Alas.

3. GamePlanning
bill-belichick-decade2Most of the people playing Madden would make lousy NFL coaches. To be an NFL coach, you need ice water running through your veins. You can’t second-guess your instinct and you need to be looking about six moves ahead, even as the clock dwindles and nothing seems to be working.

That doesn’t sound like most of the Madden gamers I know. The guys I know start to visibly shake when asked “paper or plastic” and can’t scratch their ass without running it through committee. Madden, though, has taken this into account. GamePlanning allows gamers to pre-select a shortlist of plays in different scenarios in order to streamline playcalling in crunch time. You can look cool and composed without slowing down for a second.

Should any of these characters get tossed into an actual 2-minute drill on the road, they would be curled up in the fetal position, fighting tears. Advantage: Madden ’11.

4. Boosts
madden_nfl_11_iphone_brees_20111-150x150Realism is over rated. Video games are supposed to be escapist, so allowing players to get a “boost” during online play in exchange for Madden coins sounds like a pretty fun twist, rewarding players for meeting the challenges of Madden. When I’m in the game lobby, I avoid those “boosted” players like the plague, but if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

One could counter that “boosts” do exist in the NFL, but shrunken testicles shouldn’t be the price to pay, so let’s give Madden the edge on this one too. Sorry, Lyle Alzado.

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Tags: Gus Johnson, Lombardi, Madden, Madden '11, NFL,