Madden '08 Ratings


As surely as the swallows return to Capistrano each March, so too does controversy alight upon the world of video gaming every fall when the new edition of the Madden football franchise is released.  The arguments, which can become quite heated, center inevitably around the rankings assigned to each player in the game – those magical numbers which decide whether your digitized footballer will be capable of superhuman feats, or will spend the whole game staggering around as uselessly as Nick Nolte in an airport.

Football fans put great stock, for some reason, in the EA peoples’ assessment of the players’ skills – a too-low ranking will cause bursts of indignation and cries of bias, while a too-high one will elicit screams of laughter at the ineptitude of the silly bastards programming the game.  All academic of course, since you can just go in and edit the settings yourself – but still, good fodder for a blog post on a boring Tuesday afternoon.

So how do this year’s Vikings rate in the game?  Not surprisingly, the top-ranked Viking is LG Steve Hutchinson, who gets a 98 (that’s out of 100 for those not up to speed).  Next on the depth-chart is DT Kevin Williams who gets a 97, followed by LT Bryant McKinnie with a 94, S Darren Sharper with a 93 and C Matt Birk and CB Antoine Winfield who both receive 92’s.  Past reputation plays into this a lot obviously – I’m afraid it’s been a couple of years since Matty Birk deserved anything over a mid-eighties, and Darren Sharper is certainly not a 92.  And Bryant McKinnie at 94?  Turk McBride is laughing his ass off at that.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the Vikes’ highly-ranked players are on the defense and O-line.  The highest skill-position guy is RB Chester Taylor at 86, followed by rookie RB Adrian Peterson at 85.  Again, how many Viking fans are actually going to leave AP at 85?  Most of them will have him jacked up to 100 within ten minutes of opening the game.  And they’ll have him playing QB and kicking field goals too.  And speaking of QBs – Tarvaris Jackson rates only a 76 and Brooks Bollinger a 73.  And our receivers fare little better:  Sidney Rice is considered our top guy at 78, followed by Bobby Wade and Billy McMullen at 75…and then Troy Williamson at a lowly 74.  Hopefully, when Troy gets his copy, this will enrage him to the point where he goes out and puts up Jerry Rice-like numbers.  If I were Brad Childress, I’d be in Troy’s ear about this in practice.  “They said you were a 74.  You gonna let them get away with that?”  Unfortunately, I doubt Chilly has even heard of Madden ’08.  I doubt he’s even heard of Tecmo Bowl.