8.14.2008

I love Madden, but I hate trivia hosts (no offense, Noel)

So, Madden '09 is awesome. I'll just go ahead and get that out of the way.

I've been playing it a bit with my buddy Jeremy, and we both agree, this is one of the best editions of the game that's come out in... Like, ever. And while talking about it, I was reminiscing about how much fun I used to have playing Madden 96 with Mike, and Madden 2000 with my brother in law. And it got me curious to check out what other magazines and websites are saying about the 20th anniversary of the game.

So I ran across this one from Gamespot.com (which is really, really well done), and as I read into the recaps, it brought up the Madden Curse and how it effected the various athletes to grace the cover of the historic franchise the past 10 years or so - which brought to mind a particularly aggrevating memory.
I was playing trivia in a bar in 2006 in New York with some friends, and one of the last questions was "Who was the first NFL Player to appear on the cover of a Madden football game?" We were tied with 2 other teams at that point, and I knew the answer as clearly as I knew my own name - it was Barry Sanders.

I knew this because my cousin Stephen is a MASSIVE Barry Sanders fan. Always has been, and still is now. He has posters, pictures, stats and autographed everything hanging up all over his house - and back in 2000, one of his hugest moments was getting Barry Sanders to autograph his copy of Madden 2000 for Playstation.

Well, the trivia host - who was a total cock, like almost every single trivia host I've ever met ever in my entire life ever ever (except Noel, who I desperately mean no offense toward), was all cocky when he revealed the answer to be Eddie George, on Madden 2001. The other two teams got points, we fell behind, and I was looked at like a pile of kitten droppings by the rest of my table.

Not willing to put up with this indignity, but not wanting to cause a huge scene, I stood up and walked over to him and said "Dude, it was Barry Sanders."

He covered the microphone with his hand and said "What?"

I said "Madden 2000 had Barry Sanders on the cover. The answer is Barry Sanders."

He said "I'm sorry, it was Eddie George. Please take your seat."

I pulled out my Treo (hot to trot at the time, I know) and began dialing up a picture. "What are you doing?" he asked.

"Proving you wrong," I replied.

"I'm not wrong," he stated. "I write these questions myself. I did the research. It's Eddie George."

The picture of the cover of Madden 2000 loaded, and looked not unlike this:



He sighed at me and said "Come on, you can't even tell that's him." So, I Googled "Barry Sandars Madden 2000" and came up with a number of pages totalling in the millions. I dialed through some and argued my case. The trivia dick said "Look, I'm not giving you the points, go sit down." I demanded to talk to the manager of the bar. "It won't matter, he's not MY manager, so just go sit down."

I stood fast. "I'm not leaving until you acknowledge I'm right."

He grimaced. "Fine, how about I give you your points, and we just leave it at that?"

"So you're saying I'm right?"

"Sure, fine, whatever."

"Then take off the other team's points," I demanded.

"I'm not going to do that," he replied.

"Barry Sanders was the first player to be on a Madden cover. You just agreed with me. I want my points, and I want the other teams to have points deducted for being wrong."

"Look, I'm sorry, it's not going to happen," he stated.

I got aggrevated. I stamped. I stammered. I grabbed his microphone.

"Excuse me everyone," I said, with the trivia dude demanding I give the mic back, "I just want to ask you all something. I just proved to this man that Barry Sanders was on the cover of Madden 2000, a year before Eddie George appeared on the cover in 2001. He's acknowledged that I'm right, and offered to give me my points. Now, my question is, if I'm right, then should the other two teams get points even though they were wrong?"

The folks paying attention all said "no." Even one of the two teams said so.

I handed the mic back to the trivia guy and nodded, indicating that he should go ahead and make things right, then I headed back to my seat. Just as I sat down, the trivia guy announced, "Folks, I need to make a correction - I believe I read the question wrong. I am looking at it here, and it says "Who was the first NFL player to have his portrait on the cover of a Madden game?"

My mouth gaped open.

"The picture that the 'gentleman' you just heard from showed me has Barry Sanders in the background, so we're not going to be able to accept his answer as correct."

"Come on!" I demanded.

"Sorry, that's how the question was worded," he said into the mic.

"If you'd read it that way in the first place, I could have answered it differently!" I shouted, nearly as loud as the PA carrying his voice was. "But you didn't, you just asked who was on the cover first!"

"Sir," I heard from behind me.

I turned around. It was someone who I figure was the manager. "You should take your seat and relax."

"But it's not fair!" I demanded.

"It's okay," he responded. "We'll give you your next round of drinks on the house... Just let this one go."

And so, we lost the match due to the dipshit trivia dickhead moron retard deciding to re-ask the question differently. But we did get free drinks, and that was nice...

Still, I was right, goddammit.