Madden football has been in the lives of football and video game fans for 29 years. And with the game’s release this upcoming Friday, the sport section will look back at their favorite memory playing the celebrated football game.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Madden ‘08 on the PSP in franchise mode. I was the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I was playing against the CPU on All-Madden. The Bengals hit a go ahead field goal with .02 second left on the clock to give them a one point lead. With my brother watching telling me not to quit, the Bengals squibbed the punt to the hands of Aaron Ross. I ran back and forth for a few seconds before finding an opening and returning it 73 yards for the game winning touchdown. Steelers 36, Bengals 31.
It’s such a vivid memory of mine. Waltzing through defenders in an attempt to score a 100 yard touchdown, yes, I started from my own 1-yard line. It was a game between the New Giants and New England Patriots. Two teams that have been known as interconference rivals for a long time now, especially within the Brady and Manning era. The joys of playing Madden ‘08 on Xbox was sometimes overwhelming for me because I would get excited with the thought of coming home from school and playing the game. It was mid-September, Labor Day had passed, I was still at the beginning stages of school and had just arrived home from a mediocre, middle school day. I was the New York Giants because that was the city I resided in at the time. Dashing from the 1-yard line to the end zone with Brandon Jacobs felt exhilarating as I literally “trucked” defenders in my way. The game ended up being a blowout, and for me, that was the game I’ll never forget. Giants 49, Patriots 0.
My favorite Madden moment came while I was playing my friend’s little brother, who was very confident that he would crush me. We were playing Madden 17. I beat him 60-6. I was playing as the Indianapolis Colts, and he was playing as the Carolina Panthers. He even had his sisters cheering for him, and I still crushed him. It was fantastic. I believe I picked him off 6 times in the game and ran at least 1 back for a pick-6.
Most kids looked forward to Saturday morning cartoons. Not me. I wanted to play my dad in Madden. It was like clockwork, every Saturday morning. We played Madden 2009 with Brett Favre on the cover. I rarely won, but one day I did. Not only did I win but 21’d him before halftime! Steelers vs Giants. Troy Polamalu ran back a pick for 80 yards! Turns around and does the same thing again, my offense barely touched the field. After I won, I ran around the house jumping and screaming, then we went to get ice cream. That was my prize for winning which was fine with me. That’s my favorite Madden memory.
My favorite Madden memory is more of a long-term thing as opposed to one particular game. On Madden 10, I had a franchise mode where I really went all out. By the time it was over, the franchise had progressed so much that only two quarterbacks were still on their real-life team. The best part, though, was that I had not only broken, but decimated the all-time rushing records with Matt Forte. He had surpassed Emmitt Smith by the time he was 28 or 29, and when he finally retired at age 34, he was nearing 30,000. There was one season where he had something like 3,400 rushing yards. He often would break out for a 300 yard rushing game. I believe I did that on All-Pro level, although at some point I was on All-Madden, so honestly I’m not certain. It may have been All-Madden with adjusted sliders. Anyway, Matt Forte’s fictional career will always be my favorite Madden memory.
I’m a bit older than most students at UNCG, so I have to take my Madden memory back to the ‘07 version with Shaun Alexander on the cover. I am a Bears fan, and that happened to be the year Chicago made it to the actual Super Bowl. So when I ran franchise mode with my favorite team, I had a great defense, but a very average rated offense to steer. And while Rex Grossman may have been a turnover prone rollercoaster in real life, with myself at the controls he had no problem turning several MVP seasons in a row. I still think if I plugged in my old PS2 today, I could dial up my favorite play, 999PAseam, and hit a streaking Muhsin Muhammad down the sideline. Maybe one day I will break down and update to a Madden version from this decade, but for now ‘07 is still my favorite.
My best memory of a madden game was a few years back on the Xbox 360 on the Madden 25 game. My dad is a huge cowboys fan so he was playing with them. And I’m a Jets fan so obviously I was playing with the Jets. He was up late in the game by three points, and he waited the clock out a few seconds. So with about 7 seconds left in the game, he was kicking the ball of to me. And it was ironic because I said before the kick off that “wouldn’t be crazy if I returned it back for a touchdown?” And my dad just laughed and said “yeah it would” then when he kicked the ball off, I had Santonio Holmes in the backfield waiting on the ball, and as soon as he caught it I just ran behind my blockers and took off down the right side of the field as I returned it for a touchdown and won the game. My dad was in complete shock. That was by far my best Madden memory.