How To Create The Ultimate ‘Madden’ Tournament


The NFL Draft has come and gone. Free agency is done, and it’s unlikely that any more major moves will come for a while.

Welcome to the REAL offseason.

If you’re a football junkie, you’ve got two choices: watch baseball (yeah, right!) or make your own NFL season from scratch using “Madden.” And just playing “Franchise Mode” (or whatever they call it) on “Madden” won’t suffice – you want a real, authentic NFL experience. You don’t want Arena League methadone, you want NFL heroin!

So here are the 10 steps to staving off football madness with a real, authentic “Madden” tournament.

1. Prepare To Give “Madden 25″ A Proper Send-Off

EA Sports is in the middle of votingf on the cover player for “Madden 15,” which will be released on August 26. Now is the time to say “so long” to a game that’s given us a ton of joy this year. Take a deep breath and prepare for one last crazy romp.

2. Get 31 Friends

Here’s where it gets tricky. If you want to really replicate the NFL season at home, you need to blow it out. Assume control of a franchise, and enlist everyone you can think of to take over a team as well. If one of your friends is terrible at “Madden,” just let them control the Jaguars for authenticity purposes.

3. Make Sure Your Friends Are Dirtbags

Make sure you’ve got an addict, one or two with criminal records, a Middle-Easterner with Yosemite Sam mustache and definitely a crazy rich Texan. Get one who complains nonstop and up-charges you when he goes on a beer run. Remember, you want this tournament as real as possible.

4. Get A Commissioner

Everyone has “that asshole” friend. Some middle management “friend” that you just can’t stand. He’s your league commissioner. Throw a ginger wig on him, and you won’t believe it’s not the actual NFL.

5. Get A Pregame Show

Gather your friends who majored in journalism – trust me, they aren’t busy working – and sit them behind a desk. If you have friends who played ball in school, grab them too. Barring that, grab your  buddy who got a concussion from jumping off the frat house balcony. It’s basically the same thing. Then, get them to argue incessantly about which of your 31 teams are best before you’ve even played a single game.

6. Turn Your Injuries To 100%

“Madden” allows you to adjust game sliders to make the game more real. So set injuries all the way up and suffer the same heartbreak you feel when your real team’s starting receiver goes down in the preseason. It’s a good pain. Feels like football.

7. Give Your Team Some “Character” Issues

“Madden”‘s franchise mode is realistic, but it definitely doesn’t feature things like “double murder” or “threatened girlfriend with guns.” You’ll have to improvise: find your nerdiest friend and take his 20-sided die. Roll it. If it’s a number between 1 and 19, every player on your team was arrested for transporting drugs. If it’s a 20, roll again.

8. Get Cheerleaders

If you can’t find any cheerleaders, just hook up your PS4 to a TV at a strip club.

9. Start Playing!

Link up your systems and get it going. Have everyone play each other once per week. Make some people play on Mondays, and others on Thursdays for some reason. Even force some to play at 6:30am to simulate the NFL’s International Series in Wembley Stadium.

10) Fire Yourself

Your virtual Seahawks lost to the virtual Browns? Doesn’t matter if your controller ran out of battery – you’re fired. Show yourself out.

Photo: Future Publishing

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Evan Scott Schwartz (@TheEvanSchwartz) is a writer from New York City.