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SPORTSBALL, WEEK 4: This game sucks

Welcome to Sportsball, this thing I do every week where I play Madden and learn about football. And life. But mostly feel bitter resentment towards the Jacksonville Jaguars. More on that later.


I began this week with a simple goal: don’t suck.

Simple enough, right? The next game was an away game against the Jacksonville Jaguars who had a record of 0-4. Seeing as I constantly write about how I started my season with a draft and as such all the teams perform in ways that are no way indicative of their real-world counterparts, I figured I’d look up the league standings and take a picture.

There I am, sitting pretty in seventh place. Not bad.


As I found last week, only playing once a week leaves you kind of rusty, and being rusty means getting scored on. I didn’t want to lose by such a slim margin again, so I made practice a priority—turns out there is a practice mode, in the Franchise Mode menu. I run a few plays, mostly to get a better hang of the QB controls. I learn a few things: mostly how to control the QB better, as well as how to pull off Audibles.

For those of you who are just as new at this as I am: I gather that an Audible is when the Quarterback calls out a new play to the team that’s different from the one they’ve set up for and talked about in the huddle. It’s a good tactic for catching the defense off guard. It’s also great for those times when I go for the play that the gameplan recommends without knowing what it means and am completely shocked when I see that all of my receivers are going to be running straight to the left.


This of course, makes me wonder if Audibles are delivered in Secret Code or not. You know, since Audibles are, um, audible. If my Quarterback decides to yell to the rest of his team that he’s changed his mind, then at the very least the opposing team is going to know that my dude has changed his mind.

So QB controls and Audibles. I feel like I had a productive practice session. I imagine my players are all going to be a bit sore. They’re lucky I didn’t make them do wind sprints (can your players get injured in Practice mode? That’s kind of a scary thought). I also learn that my defense is pretty good defending against the plays I tried running, which was reassuring.


Back in the menus (or Mirkwood, as I like to call them), I figure out how to scout players without really learning what that means. I guess it’s kind of like Pokemon. You go out and walk around in tall grass hoping to catch Wide Receivers or Quarterbacks, but you only have so many slots (pokéballs) and you don’t know what their stats are or which attacks they know until after you’ve committed to scouting them. Will I find a Charizard that only knows Leer? Or a QB with a OVR rating of 34? WHO KNOWS, MAN?

This is where I usually talk about this week’s game. But I don’t want to talk about this week’s game. Let’s talk about comic books instead. I’ve read a bunch of comics lately. Hawkeye is great. You should go read that and write comments about it below, and not about how I lost 17-0. Sound like a plan? Yes?


Because when you’re losing badly, this game is infuriating. But that’s why I watch Adventure Time:

See you guys next week.

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