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Why is Madden named after John Madden? The story of how a video game sensation was created

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Whether as a coach, broadcaster or the face of one of the world’s most popular video game franchises, John Madden was football.

Any portrait to be painted of Madden’s life and career contains those three distinct football lives, but the current generation of NFL fans know Madden best from his name emblazoned on the front of video game cases. 

With nearly 40 entries into the series, “Madden NFL” is the undisputed king of the sports video game landscape. Throughout the years, other franchises have tried and failed to unseat the long-running EA Sports franchise, but “Madden” and his image have endured.

Here’s how it all came to be:

MORE: John Madden’s 10 best quotes

Why is Madden named after John Madden?

In the mid-1980s, Madden was approached by Electronic Arts (EA) founder Trip Hawkins and producer Joe Ybarra, hoping to earn an endorsement from the former Raiders head coach and NFL broadcaster.

Hawkins and Ybarra originally swung and missed on two other notable football names prior to approaching Madden: 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, who already had endorsements with Atari, and California head coach Joe Kapp, who wanted initial royalties to endorse the video game.

First designed as a seven-on-seven game, Madden didn’t want to put his name on something that was less-than authentic, forcing EA to change its plans. While Madden eventually endorsed the game, it also took a few years for the EA folks to redevelop the game into an 11-on-11 format.

Who created Madden?

As is the case with current releases of Madden, the game was developed and published by Electronic Arts, with some help from Madden himself.

Hawkins’ plan was to move Strat-o-Matic dice games to a computerized medium, leading to the idea of a football simulation game for computers.

After refining the game and switching to a legitimate 11-on-11 simulation, the first Madden video game hit shelves in 1988 for Apple computers. It wasn’t for several years until the game would be released on home consoles.

Madden, to his admission, didn’t know much about computers and viewed the game as something of a teaching device before an actual competitive gaming medium.

The game featured the 1980 Raiders offensive playbook, and some critics viewed it as too hyper-realistic, something that Madden wanted over the arcade-style genre that others prefered.

BENDER: How Madden made NFL fun for eveery generation

John Madden net worth

At the time of his death, Madden was worth an estimated $200 million, per CelebrityNetWorth

In addition to the “Madden” video games, Madden was a pitch man for several notable brands, including Miller Lite, Toyota and Tinactin. 

How much does Madden make off of Madden?

In 2005, Madden signed a deal with EA Sports worth $150 million for the game to use his name and likeness forever. Madden, though, didn’t collect as much money as he could have off of the “Madden” franchise: He’s said in years past, on more than one occassion, that deciding against buying stock in Electronic Arts’ initial public offering is “the dumbest thing (I) ever did in my life.”

Madden was given the opportunity to purchase unlimited stock in EA Sports during the IPO, but opted not to. Those stock prices soared from $7.50 a share to $70 between 1989 and 1999.

The Madden series has made nearly $4 billion with over 130 million copies of the game sold worldwide as of 2018.

MORE: How real is the ‘Madden Curse’?

Madden cover athletes

Madden himself was on the cover of the franchise for 13 iterations. Starting in 2001, NFL players graced the cover instead.

Here’s the full list:

Game Player Team Position
Madden NFL 2001 Eddie George Tennessee Titans RB
Madden NFL 2002 Daunte Culpepper Minnesota Vikings QB
Madden NFL 2003 Marshall Faulk St. Louis Rams RB
Madden NFL 2004 Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons QB
Madden NFL 2005 Ray Lewis Baltimore Ravens LB
Madden NFL ’06 Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles QB
Madden NFL ’07 Shaun Alexander Seattle Seahawks RB
Madden NFL ’08 Vince Young Tennessee Titans QB
Madden NFL ’09 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers/New York Jets QB
Madden NFL ’10 Larry Fitzgerald/Troy Polamalu Arizona Cardinals/Pittsburgh Steelers WR/S
Madden NFL ’11 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints QB
Madden NFL ’12 Peyton Hillis Cleveland Browns RB
Madden NFL ’13 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions WR
Madden NFL 25 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions RB
Madden NFL 25 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings RB
Madden NFL ’15 Richard Sherman Seattle Seahawks CB
Madden NFL ’16 Odell Beckham Jr. New York Giants WR
Madden NFL ’17 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots QB
Madden NFL ’18 Tom Brady New England Patriots QB
Madden NFL ’19 Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers WR
Madden NFL ’20 Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
Madden NFL ’21 Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens QB
Madden NFL ’22 Patrick Mahomes/Tom Brady Kansas City Chiefs/Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB/QB



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Chelsea and Liverpool prove Premier League excitement, even if title is a foregone conclusion

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LONDON — Manchester City have shown themselves to be in a league of their own, so the Premier League should be thankful that Chelsea and Liverpool are still able to keep us all entertained. Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge helped neither team and only consolidated City’s vice-like grip on the top spot, but football is about jeopardy, risk and overcoming flaws, and when it all comes together, you get an unforgettable game like this one.

Even before City moved 11 points clear at the top of table with a 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday, this second-versus-third clash was always a case of both sides needing to win to maintain faint hopes of catching Pep Guardiola’s winning machine. City’s win at the Emirates was their 11th successive Premier League victory and they have all been won with such monotonous ease, scoring 33 goals and conceding just seven, that every three points is now met with little more than a shrug of inevitability.

Barring an unlikely collapse in the second half of the season, City will win a fourth league title in five years and you will struggle to count on the fingers of one hand the times they have had to dig deep into their reserves to overcome adversity during that period. Guardiola has built one of the all-time great teams in English football history during his six years at the Etihad, but they may simply be too good to contribute to games like this one.

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Chelsea and Liverpool gave us such a pulsating encounter because they both have weaknesses that can be exploited by their opponents. And as a result, they both had to take risks in an attempt to secure a crucial victory.

And they also had to go into the game with unwanted distractions hovering over both clubs.

Chelsea, with three wins from their past eight in the league, were without £97.5 million striker Romelu Lukaku, dropped by coach Thomas Tuchel because of an outspoken interview about his failure to impress so far at Stamford Bridge since returning to the club from Internazionale in the summer. And Liverpool were without manager Jurgen Klopp, goalkeeper Alisson, defender Joel Matip and forward Roberto Firmino — all isolating because of COVID-19.

City, in contrast, have enjoyed a remarkably serene run of successes since losing to Crystal Palace in October, which is why they are free-rolling to another title. But the Premier League is regarded as the most exciting in world football because of games like this, and teams like Chelsea and Liverpool and the drama they create.

From the first minute, when Sadio Mane was fortunate to escape a red card for appearing to strike Cesar Azpilicueta in the face with an elbow after just 14 seconds, the game was incident-packed. Azpilicueta later said it was a “clear red card” when interviewed after the game.

Christian Pulisic, playing centrally in the absence of Lukaku, wasted a golden chance to open the scoring on seven minutes when, with only stand-in keeper Caoimhin Kelleher to beat, he was indecisive and allowed the youngster to smother the ball. It proved a costly miss when, two minutes later, Mane took advantage of his lucky escape from a sending off by pouncing on a mistake by Trevoh Chalobah to score.

Chelsea were in disarray and Liverpool looked like the team that won the title in 2019. When Mohamed Salah made it 2-0 on 26 minutes with a stunning near-post finish after gliding past Marcos Alonso, it seemed as though Liverpool were about to give Chelsea the kind of hammering they inflicted on Manchester United during a 5-0 rout at Old Trafford earlier this season.

Liverpool were unable to score a third, though, and two Chelsea goals in the space of three minutes at the end of the first half turned the game on its head.

When Kelleher punched Alonso’s in-swinging free kick clear on 42 minutes, the keeper looked to have done well to deny the Chelsea defender. But the ball dropped the Mateo Kovacic on the edge of the penalty area and, as he was backpedaling, the midfielder somehow guided a volley beyond Kelleher and into the net. It was a spectacular display of technique by the former Real Madrid player and it gave Chelsea a foothold back into the game.

And it took them just three minutes to score the equaliser when Pulisic atoned for his earlier miss by latching onto N’Golo Kante‘s pass before beating Kelleher with a precise left-foot shot past the Republic of Ireland international. As the chaos continued on the pitch, Mason Mount almost put Chelsea 3-2 up in first-half stoppage time with a scuffed volley that bounced just wide of the post.

When a game is so eventful in the first half, it rarely delivers a second half of the same quality because of coaches plugging the holes that had led to the earlier excitement. But while the goals stopped flowing, the entertainment didn’t.

Salah forced a crucial save from Edouard Mendy with a 25-yard lob on 57 minutes and Mane was also denied by the Chelsea keeper. Kelleher, not to be outdone, then produced a stunning save to prevent Pulisic from scoring his second of the game.

In total, there were 25 chances over the 90 minutes, with both sides registering six on target. Neither could find a winner, though.

“For the outside world it was quite a good game to watch, but we came here for three points and didn’t get them,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk said.

Even if one team had done enough to claim all three points, it’s difficult to imagine they would have been able to close the gap on City, who are destined for another title. And the challenge facing both chasing clubs only grows more daunting in the next month, with Salah (Egypt), Mendy and Mane (both Senegal) now heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

But the Premier League still knows how to excite, even if the title is already a foregone conclusion.

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Michael Scudamore has Do Your Job in mind for Doncaster | Racing News

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Doncaster’s Lightning Novices’ Chase could be next on the agenda for Do Your Job following his creditable effort in defeat at Kempton over the festive period.

Runner-up to My Drogo and Belfast Banter in Grade Two and Grade One novice hurdles in the spring, Michael Scudamore’s stable star made a successful start to his chasing career at Warwick in November.

The eight-year-old fell at the eighth fence when stepped up in class for the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, but bounced back to finish second to Edwardstone in the Wayward Lad last week.

With Scudamore keen to avoid a rematch with the winner, who is seemingly bound for the Kingmaker at Warwick, Do Your Job could instead bid for Grade Two honours at Doncaster on January 29.

Reflecting on his Kempton performance, the trainer said: “I was very pleased. He jumped well and travelled well and did everything right, he was just beaten by a better horse on the day.

“The main objective was a clear round really and maybe if we hadn’t fallen at Sandown we might have pressed on a bit more and made it more of a staying race.

“The most important thing was to get a clear round under his belt and get some more experience over fences for him.

“I think we’ll stick to novice races while we can and we might look to the race at Doncaster. That is what we have pencilled in at the moment, anyway.

“It would certainly be Plan A to try and avoid Edwardstone and I was very pleased to read he was going to go for the Kingmaker. Hopefully they stick to that plan!”

While Do Your Job looks set to remain in novice company on his next start, Scudamore admitted is considering a step into the handicap arena for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham – a race he won with Next Sensation in 2015.

He added: “I’m sure he’ll have an entry in that. He also ran very well at Aintree last year, so there’s that to consider as well.

“He looks like a horse that could have the right sort of profile for a Grand Annual and we’ll see nearer the time.

“In some ways it might make more sense to go for a handicap now, but as we saw at Kempton some of these novice events don’t have a lot of runners in them and there’s some decent prize-money on offer, so it seems silly to pass them over when you’ve only got one chance to run in them really.”



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Adiwang hopes to fight Saruta next

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Lito Adiwang was booted out of ONE Championship strawweight rankings after coming up short against Jarred Brooks. ‘The Thunder Kid’ is already itching to step back inside the cage and hopes to fight a ranked fighter next.

Of the fighters in the ONE Championship strawweight division rankings, the 28-year-old Filipino seeks to score a date with No.2-ranked Yosuke Saruta.

“I want a big comeback. I still want a big name. I want to challenge Yosuke Saruta. Maybe if ONE allows it, and he wants it, then I’ll take it. Saruta is someone who I really want to test myself against,” said Adiwang in an interview with ONE Championship.

The 28-year-old admits it is a dangerous fight and a huge risk to take. The high-risk, high-reward scenario is something that Adiwang would like to take as he seeks to put his name back in the rankings again by beating a former champion.

“It’s a big risk for me because I’m coming off a loss, but I want a great comeback and a big name in my return so I don’t fall far off from the rankings.”


Lito Adiwang seeking for a better year in 2022 at ONE Championship

Adiwang now holds a professional record of 13-4 and has been competing in ONE Championship since October 2018. He won his first five fights before receiving his first loss against Koha Minowa via a split decision two years later.

The Benguet-based fighter had three fights in 2021. However, he also suffered his second loss in ONE Championship against Jarred Brooks.

Still in his prime, Adiwang goes back to the drawing board and seeks to polish his MMA skills in 2022.

“I have to check my mistakes inside the Circle, but I also have to check my mistakes outside the Circle. It has to be a balance. Sometimes, I forget other personal obligations and those are the things that I have to work on. I have to balance things out based on last year. I have to correct this in 2022.”




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