It takes a special Madden player to play with the Cleveland Browns every game. I am such a person.
Year in, year out, the Browns tend to suck with their overall team rating. This year is no different, but for some reason, the Browns aren’t actually half bad. Heck, they just beat the Packers (yes, I know it was pre-season, but Delhomme, Wallace, and Dawson made me smile.) As a Cleveland fan, you learn to manipulate which plays and which players work best, and focus on those, just like grade school football — I played flag football for one year, St. Dominic’s didn’t have an actual team past that.
So, tonight, I played my first game of Madden 2011 online. As the Browns, I played away against the San Diego chargers. The game was going fine. I opted to kick first, and they scored on their opening drive. I scored subsequently, and it was a tit-for-tat scoring game until I intercepted a ball and took the lead, which I maintained going into the fourth quarter.
This kid was talking trash the whole game. I opted not to say a thing until the third quarter when he mocked my selection of a wildcat offense. Cribbs made an amazing throw for a first down and a modest game, so I turned my microphone on (I have a Motorola headset like the coaches use that I got for $4, thanks Woot!) and whispered “WILDCAT!” and summarily turned it back off.
Going into the fourth quarter he gets the ball and scores. He’s been going for two the entire game with 100% success to chip away at my lead. Not this time. He misses. I get the ball, leading 38 to 37. Unfortunately, for the first time in the entire game with no turnovers, I go 3 and out, and decide to go for it on fourth down. I didn’t get the first, and got my first turnover. This kid was ecstatic — and he let me know through a slew of expletives.
Going down the field, the Browns defense was spectacular and I shut down his run game. With less than 40 seconds to go, he gets in the red zone (which is sponsored by Old Spice in Madden 2011) and starts running down the clock. I burn all of my time-outs, but that’s not the end of the world. I am fairly good at quick scores with no time outs, and I have Phil Dawson, but he won’t save me in this case like he did the Browns on Saturday since I’m only up by 1 — unless he only manages a field goal.
Here’s where my one psychology class comes in (thanks SLU!). I click back on my microphone. This kid’s been talking trash the entire game. The bane of my online existence in Madden 10 was where Pete played defense and I offense. We actually beat some guy using the best team in the game with Bruce Gradkowski at QB. He quit and we heckled him. Sure, it hurt my rating, but screw it, he lost to the ’09 Browns with Bruce Gradkowski.
My microphone is on and I ask him, “so, you’ve been talking trash the whole game, and you’re having the QB take a knee against the Cleveland Browns?” His reply, “yep.” I ask further, “how long have you been playing this game?” He replies, “oh, I don’t know….” I josh him back, “yeah right, you just don’t want to lose to the Cleveland Browns and you know I can win unless you run out the clock.” At this point, he’s teed up his field goal team and is ready to probably seal the deal.
I press further, “really, you’re going to kick it here?” He responds, “well, I don’t know what I am doing, let me take a time out and think about it.” Being sarcastic, he’s planning on running up the score, so he calls time out and plans to go for a touchdown. I’m ecstatic, because I am confident I have a decent chance at pulling out a win.
Back to the game, his offensive squad comes back to the field, and he starts heckling me — but just then, he orchestrates a slant right pass behind the defensive line, which Eric Wright intercepts. “SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!” and then he goes silent. I don’t laugh, but respond with “pride cometh before the fall”, and line up for a running play, since it’s first and ten on or about our 6 yard line. I am a Cleveland Browns fan, I am going to win this one respectfully, or so I thought….
THEN, this kid quits the game! I get the win, but no stats emailed to me, which is disappointing. Which brings me to this blog post, and the kid’s XBOX360 gamertag.
Z2 IVIoNsT3R 2Z — you lost to the Cleveland Browns with the clearly superior San Diego Chargers and quit. I hope you google yourself and find this post. You’re a disgrace to online gaming and I wish you the worst luck possible in the future. If I didn’t give you horrible ratings (I did), I would love to beat you again in the future. I’d post the stats here, but I don’t get them via email when you’re a crybaby and quit. Pansy.
Go BROWNS, sucka!