This video game throwdown for the ages brought out Super Bowl week's true competitors.
Last night at the Bud Light Hotel (yeah, beer has an entire hotel in NOLA), the second (and to some, the more important) of this week’s two trophies was handed out. Celebrities, musicians, and a boatload of athletes gathered to talk smack and lay down the (virtual) law.
Hosted by Trey Wingo and Michelle Beadle, athletes played 3-on-3 games of Madden 13, organized bracket style: winner-take-all. And by all, we mean a trophy and the everlasting adoration of sports nerds everywhere.
Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham talk strategy and Drew’s baby-smooth chest.
The opening match pitted the defending champs and hometown hero New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, and Mark Ingram playing as the Saints - against the draftees – Denard Robinson, Kenjon Barner, and EJ Manuel, playing as the 49ers. The Saints had home field advantage, but suffered from inexperience, as apparently grumpy dad Drew Brees has never touched an XBOX controller. Drew received some counseling from his backup QB Chase Daniel, but it wasn’t enough to keep them from falling behind by a touchdown late in the game. Real Drew Brees was able to lead virtual Drew Brees down the field for a score, but decided to go for two and the win – a decision that will be looked back on with doubt for all of history, or about as long as it took everyone to get another beer. The rookies stuffed them at the goal line and moved onto the finals.
Tempers flare between Arian Foster and Victor Cruz, presumably about who is a better dresser.
On the other side of the bracket, Arian Foster, Victor Cruz, and Rob Gronkowski took on the (kinda-sorta) rookies – AJ Green, Trent Richardson, and Doug Martin. This match-up pitted the Falcons against their dreaded rivals: the Falcons. As Trey Wingo pointed out, the Falcons are 0-0 all-time when they are playing the Falcons. Youth won out again, taking the experienced guys down 17-14, and closing it out by recovering an attempted onside kick.
Trent Richardson and Doug Martin celebrate a touchdown, or maybe the fact that they are both super-rich now.
While we’ve been blessed with exciting Super Bowls, the same was not true for the finale of the Madden Bowl. The draftees took a quick lead on Martin/Green/Richardson and never let go, essentially running out the entire second half with virtual workhorse Frank Gore. At the end of the day, these young’uns, who have never even played a snap in the NFL, were able to pry the Madden Bowl away from the crafty veterans. What did we learn from this year’s competition? Kids are good at video games, of course.