With the passing of John Madden on December 28, there have been tons of people explaining the impact that the man had on their lives. Just like many of the people in my generation, I grew up learning football throughout the Madden franchise and the legacy he has left for three generations of people, but today, we will discuss a few ways to honor John Madden in next year’s Madden game.
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Make John Madden a Playable Character
There are a lot of ways that next year’s iteration of the game can memorialize John Madden, but one way that would be cool is to make him a playable character in Madden Ultimate Team (MUT). Many people won’t remember, but Madden himself was an offensive lineman and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 24th round of the 1958 NFL Draft, despite never playing a down of professional football due to a knee injury.
One thing that MUT has done is create the MUT Master card that players receive by playing the game and recording specific things (600 passing touchdowns, 15,000 rushing yards, etc.). As you do that, you can upgrade the card and make him better as you play. This could be a fun thing that Electronic Arts could easily do and not even change anything that they are doing in their gameplay.
Make a Game Mode About Madden
This is the least likely to happen because the amount of time and resources that would go into a mode like this could be allotted somewhere else. This could be a hybrid of Longshot and Franchise mode as you are a player that suffers a career-ending injury and has to change his career path and become a coach.
This could be a fun way to memorialize the man who made the game possible, and they can name it something like “The Madden Way” or something like that, but essentially going through the career of John Madden would be a fun and unique way to do this.
Putting John Madden on the Cover
Knowing how EA works, I wouldn’t be shocked if this is as far as they go to memorialize John Madden nearly eight months after his death. It kind of feels like a move they would do and make it only on the $100 version as well. I know it’s his namesake, but I would personally prefer that former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas would have that bestowed upon him.
But anyways, having John Madden grace the cover of the game that has had his likeness used for over 25 years seems like an appropriate nod that the company can do as a sign of respect and appreciation for their partnership throughout the years.
Introduce a Retro Mode
Another game mode that could be a fun wrinkle as a nod is something that MLB The Show did a few years ago and essentially recreate the gameplay of yesteryear in the newest version of the game with current players for a nostalgic feel. However, I would add an extra wrinkle to it.
Madden has a relationship with the National Football League, and what better way to show an appreciation for John Madden than by adding his legendary commentary with Pat Summerall for the mode as well. It obviously won’t go too far in terms of what they can say during the game’s broadcast, but just the nostalgia incorporated would be incredible.
Obviously, there are a number of ways that EA can honor John Madden in next year’s game, and theoretically, multiple ideas can end up being the correct answer. However, the legacy that John Madden has left is enormous, and simply just putting him on the cover of the game seems like it is not enough.