The Madden ratings of life

I haven’t touched a video game controller in a while, but it wasn’t long ago that I could beat up on people in all sorts of displays of button-pushing prowess. Although Tecmo Super Bowl will always be the gold standard for football video games, Madden has become the new favorite, even spurring TV shows where unathletic goofs meet world-class athletes for awkward exchanges and smack-talking. And chances to win money for being good at video games.

The other day when I saw a commercial for the Madden video games, I thought about the ratings system for players. They can be anywhere from 1-100. The higher the number, the better the rating. For example, the Colts have a 91 rating while my Browns have a 70 overall. Players are rated individually for their speed, agility, catching ability, throwing accuracy, kick power, everything. This made me think: What if regular schmoes like you and me had Madden ratings? Oh boy.

Top Bun, Wendy’s Build-A-Burger Contest
Jumping ability: 95
. Closest NFL comparison: Randy Moss. If you’ve been to Parkview Field for a game, you’ve seen this contest. Bottom bun lays down, comically large burger toppings are placed in a row, top bun retrieves the toppings and builds the burger. At the end, the top bun comes running with the final topping. If it’s not a close race (and sometimes even when it is), the top bun makes it a belly-flop finish. I don’t know how our promo people always find world-class high jumpers, but it’s impressive.

Catchers, Subway Foot-Long Fling
Catching ability: 42
. Closest NFL comparison: Braylon Edwards – you know, the guy who leads the league in drops every year. The premise is simple: Three fake sandwiches are blasted out of an air cannon toward a couple of people standing about 200 feet away, each holding one end of a towel. Catch the subs in the towel, you win. Miss them, you lose. It’s pretty tough to catch anything from 200 feet away, but especially when you basically combine it with what amounts to a three-legged race as you try to run with somebody else. It makes for good entertainment, though. If somebody does actually catch one, the crowd goes bananas.

Everyone else at the grocery store
Awareness: 23. Speed: 42
. Closest NFL comparison: Bad Brett Favre, with the speed of Refrigerator Perry. I went grocery shopping last weekend between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. This was a terrible mistake. I don’t enjoy shopping in general, but I absolutely don’t enjoy the awkward waiting game that happens anytime someone is standing, cart stopped, scouring the nutritional facts on Cheez-Its while all I want is the economy-sized box of multigrain Wheat Thins. But alas, it’s behind their cart. Sigh. I was so put out by the whole thing that a lady said “Go Bucks!” to me (I was wearing Ohio State gear at the time) and I was so out of it that I didn’t know how to respond. If that lady is reading this (the odds are hilariously bad, but still)… “O-H!”

Ohio University Mascot
Tackling: 16
Make whatever excuses you want. You couldn’t take out Brutus Buckeye (break tackle rating: 98) when what seemed like a “hey, let’s have some mascot fun” moment turned into a “hey, I’m seriously going to try to take down another mascot, then try to hit him below the belt when he doesn’t play along” embarrassment. Ohio University is a nice school with a beautiful campus and a really good marching band, but this was bad.

Allan Wertheimer
Speed under normal circumstances: 37
Speed when free food is involved: 139
I know the ratings only go up to 100, but Allan puts in some sort of cheat codes when he even hears rumors of food that he doesn’t have to pay for. He’s skit-skatting and be-bopping all over the place. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Dave Hutte
Swagger: 99
I wish I was making this up, but apparently video game designers think it’s important to numerically rate a player’s “swagger,” since that decides how good of a football player they are. Apparently they’ve been watching too many games with Dan Fouts doing color commentary. Anyway, this is new for Madden 2011, and I’ve never met anybody with more swagger than old pal Dave Hutte. Maybe it was the 18 years in the Green Bay Boys’ Choir. Maybe it’s his ability to make the ladies swoon. Maybe it’s the fact that he plays Madden more than anybody who ever lived. Know this, though: the only person who eclipses Dave Hutte in swagger is Ric Flair. They may also share the same agility rating, but swagger makes up for a lot of deficiencies.

Random thoughts:

  • The players’ union HAS to do something about maple bats this off-season. Tyler Colvin (2007 Daytona Cubs and a good dude) got speared in the chest by the business end of a maple bat the other day and will miss the rest of the season. Another foot higher and it might have hit him in the neck. If somebody don’t do something about this now, it’s going to take a career-ending or life-threatening injury to get something done. And that’s ridiculous.
  • Is it completely depressing that I’m excited to watch the Tenth Inning of Ken Burns’ BASEBALL documentary series? You can do so at Parkview Field soon.
  • The Giants are hitting below .220 this month and are still in first place in the NL West. Are you serious?
  • I’m embarrassed to say this, but last week I ran on the Rivergreenway for the first time. It was delightful. If you live in Fort Wayne and have never tried it out, try it, and do it soon. You’re downtown, yet you feel like you’re secluded, you can run, walk, sit and read a book… I’m not being sarcastic when I say it’s one of my favorite places in town.
  • I’ve been trying to avoid thinking about minor-league baseball over the last week or so, but next time I post I might have some season-in-review thoughts. Also, Lake County won the MWL title this year. If it wasn’t going to be the TinCaps, it might as well be an Indians’ affiliate.

And now, musical guest… OK Go and a bunch of dogs!

Hat tip to Michael Limmer for
showing me the video… Maybe my favorite music video ever. It’s creative, it includes dogs, it’s wonderful.

Take care!


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