I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting as we wait for the release of both NCAA Football 12 and Madden NFL 12, and I couldn’t help but think about what has caused the competitive change from my generation (95-06) to what we have now.
Many people believe that the Madden Nation show and all of the excessive trash talking and name-calling started the downward spiral of tournament participation. Others believe the console split has been the biggest factor in declining tournament numbers. I agree with both of these to an extent but I believe the biggest factor is the background of the current player.
I was speaking with a few Madden Vets and asked them to look at the reason why we first played Madden. Back then we played because we wanted to emulate what we saw on Sundays and even outside playing in the neighborhoods or local parks. Many of the old heads (33+ years old) Madden players actually played some form of organized football. And those of us who played in the collegient ranks developed a higher sense of competitiveness while playing between triple sessions or even late at night in the dorms, for food.
What I’ve noticed that has been lost with the current generation of Madden player is an actual football background. It is safe to say that many of the current players came to football thru Madden. Back in the day, damn I sound old, we didn’t really have the video games and when we did get our Atari, Commodore or Nintendo the main games weren’t sports.
I remember on Atari the main games were Pit Fall, Kaboom and Pong. None of these could keep you tied to the screen if a football game was on, or if there was a pick up game at the playground or on the block. So the fact that we are actually in the era of Madden where people come to football thru it, that has had a huge impact on what we see today.
Madden has no doubt brought some of the best schemes and competition to the live event and online stages. The only problem I see with the community is the understanding that comes from playing football or some form of team sport. Many of you hear us old folk talk about the comraderie of the past. When you play a team sport you understand that even with everyone working in unison it is possible that you can still lose. At no time is it acceptable to lose, but in a team sport it is also never acceptable to degrade or mouth off at the team that just beat you. Players who do that never get the lesson they are supposed to learn from a loss.
In sports, and also in Madden you have to be able to deal with a loss. There is no place for “You’re a bum, let’s play again for real, wasn’t nothing on the line” excuses. Those statements tell you that you need to be more prepared because your opponent came strong and you didn’t. Every loss is supposed to make you better, if you choose to learn from it. Arrogance and cockiness will keep you from reaching your full potential in anything you do. That doesn’t mean you wont be successful at times, but it does mean you will never be consistent.
What are your thoughts about the direction the Madden Community is going in? Comment below and let us know what you think!