June 7, 2011
Madden Bowl XXI was held in Miami over the weekend. Scores of the greatest video gamers in the world brought their talents to South Beach to see who would be crowned as this year's greatest Madden player on the Xbox 360. Bobby Seevers, 14, from Kansas City, Missouri, came into the weekend as the defending champion and favorite. Sunday evening he closed out his opponent to secure his second straight title and the $100,000 prize. But the real prize was still to come.
Raiders owner, octogenarian Al Davis, was in attendance at the tournament and shortly after Seevers capped off his victory, Davis hired him as the Raiders new Offensive Coordinator. Davis had run one of the most successful football franchises for decades, but the last decade has proven to be more bizarre than good.
The Raiders have been marred by recent draft busts. Davis chose JaMarcus Russell with the first pick in the 2007 draft. Russell is already out of the league. Davis is known for wanting a vertical passing game. He traded for Randy Moss in 2004, and in 2007 he selected the only quarterback in memory that could throw the ball 70 yards from his knees. Unfortunately for the Raiders, making draft picks isn't as easy as picking the guy with the strongest arm or the quickest feet.
In 2009, the Raiders used the 7th overall pick on Darrius Heyward-Bey, receiver out of Maryland, after he ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine. Heyward-Bey was considered a 2nd round talent around the league. His 40-yard dash raised eyebrows, but his lackluster years in college had him ranked outside the top 5 of receivers in the draft. Heyward-Bey has floundered while receivers picked after him such as Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, and Percy Harvin are on their way to stardom.
Some in the media have remarked that Davis seemed to be making draft choices as if he was playing a video game. You want a quarterback? Sort the players by arm strength and pick the top guy. Want a receiver? Sort by speed. You want a wacky offense filled with trick plays, onside kicks, and no punts ever? Hire 14-year old Bobby Seevers, Madden World Champion.
That's right folks, a 14-year old who never punts, always onside kicks, always goes for two, runs incessant trick plays, and makes the wildcat look tame is now calling the plays for the Oakland Raiders. No word yet if he throws a tantrum and hits the reset button when he's losing. EA Sports is already in talks with Twentieth Century Fox to turn this story into a feature film. The project is tentatively titled Just Win Baby, which is the Raiders motto.
And if you believe that, I have a screenplay for you.