Mark Madden: Outrage over insignificant Madden NFL video game ratings is ridiculous

Blood pressure skyrocketed in Pittsburgh when Acrisure Stadium was christened and ketchup bottles were removed. They were presumably stored right next to the statue of Joe Paterno.

But the locals have already found another insignificance to gossip about. (It never takes long.)

The EA Sports Madden NFL video game player ratings are on the way – they leaked rather slowly, because an event of such magnitude deserves a slow build.

Players don’t care. Cincinnati’s Ja’Marr Chase scored 87 (out of 99), placing him 18th among receivers. He took to Twitter and promised to keep working, saying the note provided “extra motivation”.

The Bengals lost in the Super Bowl. Wanting to come back and win should provide enough motivation.

But winning a Super Bowl isn’t based on the individual. Today’s athletes are more narcissistic. Inject Chase with truth serum, then ask which he’d rather get, a Lombardi Trophy or a 99 on Madden. (The “Club 99” advertised.)

The madness was compounded when Tom Brady consoled Chase. Above his Madden note.

The narrative took a twist in Pittsburgh when TJ Watt scored 96, second among top rushers. Cleveland’s Myles Garrett scored a 99.

Watt, you may recall, tied the NFL single-season sack record with 22½. Garrett finished way behind with 16. But Garrett is excellent.

Watt was disappointed when he didn’t react to the affront on Twitter. That leaves a big gaping hole in that column and lengthens the three hours of a certain radio show that much. But Watt just got married, so he has plenty to be unhappy about.

Even KDKA-TV’s Bob Pompeani spoke out on Twitter. So it’s serious.

A radio host said Watt’s rating invalidated the whole game. (I bet people still buy it and play it.)

A member of the fake media has said that anyone who works for EA Sports should be fired. What, all of their employees, or just the guy who determined those ratings? Should the whole company be shut down because Watt got 96 and Garrett got 99?

His bandmate Cam Sutton white knighted for Watt via Instagram, mostly spewing unintelligible gibberish but saying the ratings are “so political”. He also said that Watt actually broke the sack record, implying that the league took it away from him.

Tell me how Madden’s rankings and/or sack record could be politicized. Is it a black/white thing, a blue/red thing, a Pittsburgh/Cleveland thing, a Heinz/Acrisure thing? What?

Here’s a bold thought: maybe Garrett and Watt’s notes were based on more than just bags. Is Garrett a better all-around player?

I don’t play Madden. Does Watt get hurt a lot at Madden? In Madden, does Watt take off a streak in the fourth quarter regardless of the score?

Garrett won a playoff game. Watt did not. In fact, Garrett beat Watt in a playoff match. Is it a factor? (Absolutely not, but it’s fun to mention.)

The word “disrespect” is thrown around freely. How can being ranked second in your position behind a great player like Garrett translate into disrespect?

Madden’s ratings are subjective. Watt was honored as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. That too is subjective. But doesn’t that mean more? Watt was also a first-team All-Pro for a third straight year. He tied the sack record. A video game rating doesn’t outweigh what Watt did.

But you just like to be angry.

Steelers fans complain that the ratings of all Steelers players are too low. If that’s true, how come the Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since the 2016 season?

The Madden video game is very detailed: maybe if you use Mason Rudolph at quarterback against Cleveland, he gets accused of shouting a racial slur at Garrett?

But why would anyone want to play Rudolph? Video games are supposed to be fun.

About Douglas Torres

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