Can Teddy Bridgewater really become a better quarterback by playing Madden? The Vikings rookie clearly thinks that it helps him. He told Ben Goessling of ESPN about the “virtual reps” he gets by playing with the Vikings’ playbook loaded into the Madden video game.
“It helps you because you get one more rep than you had in practice, actual practice,” Bridgewater explained. “Any chance you get to take an extra rep or go the extra step, extra mile it’s going to be very beneficial transferring it to the field.”
This got me to thinking: what other video games might help an NFL quarterback prepare for the season? Here are some games Teddy might want to check out.
Working in the pocket is a little like being a frog on a busy highway. Stuff is coming at you from all directions. You’re just ducking and dodging, trying to stay alive. Frogger could really help Teddy develop his pocket awareness.
The key to Tetris is staying calm under pressure. As those blocks start coming down faster and faster, you really have to concentrate and fight the urge to panic. Tetris is the perfect game for developing the ability to focus when things are getting intense.
3. Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong is all about keeping your eye on the prize. That big monkey is trying to kill you with barrels, but you have to stay focused on rescuing the princess. You can’t let yourself be discouraged. You must get to the top of the level. Donkey Kong would remind Teddy to stay focused on the ultimate goal: saving the princess aka winning the Super Bowl.
4. Double Dragon
Two-player Double Dragon is all about teamwork. You and your buddy have to work together to beat up all those enemies. Teddy and Cordarrelle Patterson could really benefit from this. Those guys need to build their chemistry.
Football players need a warrior mentality in order to survive the mental and physical rigors of the game. Contra is the perfect game for developing this soldier-like mindset. Plus, at the end you get to kill aliens.
6. Oregon Trail
Traveling with an NFL team can be a bit of a grind. The best way to overcome the travails associated with modern travel is to remind yourself how much worse it was back in the olden days. Even the most irritating plane trip is a cake walk compared to the realities of 19th Century travel as depicted by this classic PC game.
7. Duck Hunt
The benefit of playing this classic shooting game would be two-fold. Killing ducks with a plastic gun would not only help Teddy work on his accuracy as a quarterback, it would also help him develop his deadly shooting eye for when he goes out hunting with his buddies. He plays in Minnesota now, he needs to get into the culture.
Alligators are trying to eat you, quicksand is opening up suddenly in the ground and trying to suck you down, scorpions are trying to sting you. But you just keep on going, trying to get that bag of money, that bar of gold, that golden ring. How does this help Teddy? Just think of the alligators, the quicksand, the scorpions as haters, and the money as…well, money. Haters gonna hate, but nothing is going to stop Teddy from getting paid.
9. Missile Command
Aliens are trying to blow up your cities, and you have to fend them off with lasers. The lesson? Protect your turf at all costs. Whether you’re battling aliens, Bears, Packers or Lions, it’s all about defending your home. Even if home is just a temporary home you’re stuck in while waiting for your new home to be completed.
10. Spy Hunter
How could a game about a spy in a tricked-out James Bond car driving on an endless road fending off enemy vehicles possibly help a quarterback? It can’t, really. It’s just an awesome game.