An Open Letter to EA Sports

Dear EA Sports,

It has come to my attention that by Friday, September 12, 2014, there will be a patch available for Madden 15 that removes wife-beater Ray Rice from the game, due to his indefinite suspension from the league. Because of this revelation, my brain has been hard at work coming up with further ideas for this patch. So, I am writing this correspondence to pitch my ideas in he blindest hopes that your development team will come across them and fit them into Madden 15 alongside the Ray Rice Removal Update (<— see that? Alliteration. That's how you know I'm serial.)

1. An update that removes all other convicted felons from the league, including, but not limited to, Michael Vick, Donte Stallworth, and Josh Brent. I'll come clean EA. This one isn't necessarily one I want. This is more so being advocated by my friend The Juggernaut. I'm not completely behind it, mostly because I don't want to risk losing Aldon Smith.

2. An update that changes Washington's name from "Redskins" to "Something Other Than Redskins." This one isn't fully fleshed out yet, but hey, you have a development team and NFL partnerships. I don't.

3. An update that changes the name of Big Head Mode into "Concussion Mode" or something of that nature. Why? Well, apparently, playing in the NFL causes people to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and, to me, there is no better way to raise awareness than through Big Head Mode, a Madden staple.

4. A proposed Easter Egg: Take it from someone who lives outside of Dallas. The general consensus is that Tony Romo could get hit by a bus and no one would care. So, I propose you make Brandon Weeden the stater, and I don't know, put Brett Favre on the roster to fill the spot, I guess. Anyway, the Easter Egg is that if Dallas is playing at AT&T Stadium (where they are 16-17 over their last 33 regular-season home games), all of the offensive sliders are to the left, and the player is on Rookie difficulty, then Brandon Weeden is mysteriously replaced by #9. When the Easter Egg is active, A.I. dictates that Tony Romo has a one-in-four chance of throwing an interception and that ratio increases to to one-in-three inside the red zone, and one-in-two when down by more than three points with less than 3:00 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

5. Another proposed Easter Egg: In Owner Mode and NFL Superstar Mode, Jerry Jones can be seen drinking liquid gold in the Cowboys' team office.

6. I propose the active Madden curse. This means that at some point during the year, whether it be Franchise Mode or NFL Superstar Mode, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks goes down with a torn Achilles or something.

7. In keeping with real-life NFL tradition, the Seattle Seahawks need to miss the playoffs in the 2014-15 season. The Ravens missed the playoffs last year after winning the Super Bowl XLVII the year before. The Giants missed the 2013 playoffs after winning Super Bowl XLVI. Granted the 2012 Packers and the 2011 Saints both made the playoffs the year after they won it all, but both teams went one-and-done in the playoffs (especially the Saints, who have the distinction of being the first and only team to lose a playoff game to a sub-.500 squad). The Steelers, of course, won Super Bowl XLIII in 2009 and failed to make the post season the next year, and the New York Football Giants were one-and-done in the playoffs the year after David Tyree's helmet catch ruined Tom Brady's perfect season. So, okay, I'll pull back a bit. Seattle can make the playoffs, but they have to get their asses stomped in the first game. Again, it's tradition, man.

8. Bill Belichick's cut-off sweatshirts. Seriously, EA. Make that a thing. Furthermore, put him in the fucking game! I have no desire to see the great Tom Brady coached by some douchebag named Chaz Masters. Who the fuck is Chaz Masters?!

9. Yet a third Dallas Cowboys Easter Egg: Home games need to have about 50% attendance by fans of the visiting team.

10. I would like to see DLC that changes the look of some fans in Denver and Seattle. The team logo on shirts and stuff is posted in the foreground of the image, while a large pot leaf is shown in the background. Also, change the name of Sports Authority Field back to Mile High Stadium.

11. Even though this was a feature found mostly in NFL Quarterback Club games,I would like to see DLC that adds simulations as a playing option. You know, change history and whatnot.

12. A patch that runs Michael Sam's overall rating to 95 and Johnny Manziel's down to, like, 37, or something.

13. And finally, something I have wanted to see in a Madden game for a long time: realistic commentary. I'm not talking about making sure the A.I. in the game is miraculous and can sound exactly like commentary would on TV, but honestly, I would like to see the following groups:

— For games that would be broadcast on CBS/NFL Network: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, and Tracy Wolfson.

— For games that would be broadcast on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Erin Andrews.

— For games that would be broadcast on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michele Tafoya (with the occasional Madden cameo).

— For games that would be broadcast on ESPN: Chris Berman, Trent Dilfer, and Lisa Czarniak (I know these are the #2 guys, but seriously, you can't do better than Berman).

Since you have decided a patch removing Ray Rice from Madden 15 is the right call, then I demand that these thirteen points be taken into consideration post haste. Remember, EA, you only have until Friday.


Robert Franklin, Madden player since 1995


About Robert L. Franklin

Ah, the About Me section - social networking's excuse for you sounding like an elitist prick. Hmm... what to say? What to say?
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