I bought the PC version of “Madden NFL 08” week. Most Madden aficionados will recognize that as the last edition of that football franchise to be released on that platform. And with no other notable NFL sims out on the market (sorry, Quick Hit Football), the best that an avid PC gamer can hope for is a game with rosters that were only accurate at the beginning of the 2007 season.
There’s a hidden beauty in this; the details of the NFL are so well-created in the game, popping that DVD-ROM into my desktop was almost like travelling back in time. Chad Ochocinco hadn’t yet tucked away his Johnson, Brett Favre had yet to reveal his, and Michael Turner was still in San Diego. And most creepily, Bengals wideout Chris Henry was still alive.
Obviously Henry died in 2009, more than two years after the release of that game. Like so many athletes, I had forgotten about him, dispensing his memory along with those former athletes that seem to hang up their cleats and take a swan dive off the face of the earth. And when we hear one of those names summoned from that mental ether, we reflexively ask, “Whatever happened to that guy.” But here, nothing had happened to Chris Henry. Not yet. Here “he” was, right in front of me, even if “he” was just an old headshot and few rows of data.
And that’s when I realized that I could What would happen in the 2007 season wasn’t going to be what happened in “my” 2007. And it wasn’t. The following “seasons” unfolded with the surprise of McNabb Signs With The Redskins times 100. The Chicago Bears moved to Boston. I moved the Bengals to Mexico City. Eli Manning took his talents to Kansas City. Tom Brady became a Charger, and not once did he wear those feminine puffy boots.
This is all just a poorly-constructed allegory for what the new year brings in 2011. Nothing about the new year is written, nothing is pre-ordained. You have 365 unscripted days to use however you please. It’s life’s closest thing to hitting the reset button: you can start anew and do anything you want. Well, almost anything.
Antoine Winfield did everything he could in Week 16. He gets the Meast for having the best Tuesday night game in ages: 8 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a TD is pretty nice, even if he did most of that on one play.
Your Least is Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter. Who pressures the NFL to cancel a game because of snow? Only the worst mayor in America, that’s who. I still say that the Vikings and Eagles should have played in an empty stadium. Hell, the Jaguars do that every week.