Photography is a big hobby/escape of mine. But, I’ve also always had a sweet spot for video games. An hour playing a game leaves me relaxed and refreshed. I’m pretty specific about the games I play. Role Playing Games, Fighting Games and Adventure Games are always a sure bet. However, the game that always really excites me is Madden Football.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve partaken in my Madden Ritual. It consists of the following (please hold snickers and laughs till the end):
- It starts well in advance. I take the day the game comes out and the day after, off for vacation.
- Then I buy the game at midnight on the day it’s available
- This is followed by purchasing 2 Mountain Dew’s and a box of MilkDuds
- From there I head home, put the game in, sit on the couch and get ready to play some Madden
- This is where the fun starts. The first thing I do is create a custom Franchise where all players are placed into a draft. This allows you to literally pick and create your own team.
- I play the entire first season that night and then simulate 10 seasons forward. The simulation is important because it gives me an idea as to what players might retire (and when), what players will decline and who are the real rising stars. It’s kinda cheating the system…but I like to think of it as advanced research.
- I sleep in the next day, wake up around noon, pop open a Mountain Dew and then start customizing all the settings to my liking. This is a time intensive process. Just as I’m finishing it up, the Pizza arrives. Oh yes, I order Pizza. A boy’s got to eat you know. I take a break from the 2 hour or so customization session.
- So at this point I have the game tuned to my liking and I have 11 seasons worth of data with which to leverage when I build my team. And that is exactly what I do. I create a new custom franchise that uses the total player draft. This is just such a cool way to play the game. You’re literally the general manager, architecting a team from scratch. My joy comes from the building as much as it comes from the playing.
- It takes about an hour to get through the draft and then another hour to execute the trades I want. We’re almost ready to start playing…first, we’ve got to play the pre-season though. What’s nice about the pre-season, is that just as in real life, you get to see if you’ve put together the team the right way. You get one last look at your players to determine if any trades are needed. If they are you make them and if not you’re ready to rock and roll.
- Thus roughly 18 – 20 hours later, we can finally start playing for real!
It’s a little dorky, sure. But, it’s fun, it keeps me loose and it’s one of the things I was always able to count on year after year. For the first time in roughly 8 years I will not be participating in my Madden ritual. There’s too much stuff going on with work and life, my XBOX 360 is in storage (not hooked up) and I haven’t even pre-ordered the game.
I guess sometimes life just gets in the way.