The game about the game

Madden – Sports’ new arbiter of cool

To a new generation of football players, landing on the cover of the latest version of [Madden NFL] is a career-defining experience, the way an enormous shoe contract, or the Wheaties box, or the cover of Sports Illustrated once determined which sports stars had hit the big time. “I mean this is a dream come true, for me to be on the cover of Madden NFL and be part of the game,” this year’s cover boy, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, gushed to the Sporting News. “It’s something you think about as a kid, but you don’t think it will ever happen.” (Vick is 23, which means he was 9 when the original John Madden Football was released for the Apple II.)

NewMexiKen walked into Best Buy to purchase the new Eva Cassidy CD the other evening. A football game was in progress on a large screen TV near the front of the store. The depiction was so real I wondered who was playing, then realized it was Madden 2004.