Relive a Legend
So, you’ve already heard the news about the new kick-(beep!) career-related game mode featured in Madden NFL 13.
If not, do yourself a huge favor and check out the awesomeness here. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out.
For those of you who are in the know, well, congrats on being dialed in to everything E3 for starters. That’s some serious dedication. Second, start dreaming big, player. You have some big (beep!) shoes to fill.
So what are we even talking about here? In short, we’re talking about the chance for you to relive a legend.
You see, in Connected Careers, the all-new game mode that seamlessly combines Superstar, Offline Franchise, and Online Franchise modes into a single career mode, you can practically play as any player or coach and live out your NFL dream.
How rad is that?
So let us ask this:
Want to play as any active player or coach in the NFL? Like we said above, you can. But you already knew that. But what you probably didn’t know is this:
In addition to starting a career with the likes of Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson, Ray Lewis, etc., you can take things a step further by playing as rookie versions of legendary coaches and players like Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, and Bill Walsh.
Question is, do you have what it takes to play out a career with Hall of Fame-like stats? If the first answer to pop in your head was, “Um, duh. Of course I have what it takes,” well please continue reading.
For those of you who didn’t, please continue reading anyway.
Although you can play or coach as a great number of legends in Madden NFL 13, we’ve singled out four legends who seriously raised the bar during their playing days.
Like we said, dream big, baby. Dream big.
So let’s start with …
Joe Montana, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
All the legendary quarterback did during his 16-year Hall of Fame career was win four Super Bowls, three Super Bowl MVP awards, and two league MVP awards. The six-time All-Pro signal-caller also played in eight AFC-NFC Pro Bowls.
After hearing that, are you still up for the challenge? If so, well there is some good news for you, as the bar will be set pretty low early on.
You see, Montana spent the first year and a half on the bench as a backup. So if you’re looking to match his stats during your Connect Careers rookie year, simply throw one touchdown and call it a day. Do anything more than that and you’ll be ahead of the curve.
But obviously things pick up from there.
With his 49ers team struggling, Montana was finally inserted into the starting lineup in Year 2. In Year 3, a legend was born.
And then some.
In just his first full year as a starter, Montana led his 49ers team to its first-ever Super Bowl victory. And oh yeah, he was also the game’s MVP.
Three years later Montana was at it again, this time in dominating fashion. With a 15-1 regular season record, and three convincing playoff victories, Montana capped the magical season with a second Super Bowl victory … and yes, a second Super Bowl MVP Award.
So let’s quickly recap: Four seasons as a starter. Two Super Bowl rings. Two Super Bowl MVP awards.
In his 10th season, Montana dazzled his fans yet again by winning another Super Bowl championship, two years after suffering a “what should have been a season-ending or worse” back injury. The following season Montana’s cemented his Hall of Fame career by winning his fourth Super Bowl title.
Ho-hum. Just another day as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever live.
In other words, good luck to those who dare to play out a career as Montana. You’re going to need it.
Next we have …
Jerry Rice, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers
So Joe’s just way too cool for you, eh? We don’t blame you for thinking it. If that’s the case, then why not take a stab at playing as his favorite target? If that sounds more appealing to you, then all you’re going to have to do is win three Super Bowl titles, one Super Bowl MVP Award, play in 13 Pro Bowls, become an All-Pro 12 times, and earned Offensive Player of the Year honors twice.
Oh, and just one other thing: You’re going to need to score 208 career touchdowns when it’s all said and done.
Well, if you seriously think that, then you’d better come out ready to play because unlike his quarterback, Rice’s career started off fast with 49 receptions and 900-plus yards. Not bad for a rookie.
Or, should we say, “Rookie of the Year?”
In Year 2 Rice was already playing at All-Pro level after recording a league-leading 1,570 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. He would go on to lead the league in both categories (in a single season) five more times.
And he was just getting warmed up.
Rice nearly won league MVP honors in Year 3, before winning his first Super Bowl title one season later. In Super Bowl XXIII, a game that was very kind to him, Rice was named the game’s MVP by reeling in 11 passes for 215 yards.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Montana-to-Rice Super Bowl winning phenomenon struck again a year later.
Yep, Rice had this NFL thing down.
So what does that all up to thus far? Oh nothing, except two rings, a Rookie of the Year award, and a ton left in the tank.
Rice went on to win a third Super Bowl title, and later retired—much later we should say—as the league’s all-time leader in career touchdowns.
So there. There’s your blueprint for ultimate success. Have at it!
If you can.
Emmitt Smith, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
Now if you’re more of a ball carrier type, one who loves to live life between the tackles, then perhaps Emmitt Smith is the player you wish to emulate.
If so, then get ready to run … and run … and run.
Then score … and score … and score.
And during all that running and scoring, get ready to capture three Super Bowl titles, a Super Bowl MVP award, a league MVP award, an Offensive Rookie of the Year award, eight Pro Bowl selections, six All-Pro selections, and ending your career as the league’s all-time leading rusher.
That’s all. Nothing else.
So, still think you can out-Emmitt Emmitt? If so, be prepared to produce some impressive numbers right away.
Like Rice, Smith came out of the gate hot, rushing for 900-plus yards in Year 1. And that would be the last time Smith failed to hit the century mark until his final three seasons of a 15-year career.
In Year 2, Smith exploded with 1,500 yards, then topped that in Year 3 with 1,700 more. That third season was also special, as Smith led his Cowboys team to a Super Bowl title.
In that celebrated season, Smith became the only running back to win a Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP award, a league MVP award, and the NFL rushing title in the same season.
Smith then followed that historic season by winning two more Super Bowls, and two more rushing titles, in three seasons.
That’s six seasons, three titles, an MVP award, and yards o’plenty for Emmitt.
The consistency would continue season-by-season until Smith retired as the all-time rushing king.
If you’re still willing, see if you can earn your stars like Smith did every Sunday under the hot Texas sun.
Vince Lombardi, Head Coach, Green Bay Packers
Wow. If you’re going to go for broke on the coaching front, why not go after the guy whose name appears on the Super Bowl trophy?
Go big or go home, right?
Chasing after the most legendary coach of ‘em all, you’re going to have to be disciplined, determined, and tactical if you want to come close to being the called the next “Lombardi.”
In nine years with the Green Bay Packers, all Lombardi did was win five NFL championships and two Super Bowls, while compiling a career coaching record of 105-35-6. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Lombardi only lost one playoff game in his career (9-1).
Speaking of that lone playoff loss, Lombardi led his Packers to the title game in Year 2, but fell short against the Eagles. The disappointment was short lived however, as the Packers won the NFL Championship one year later.
And the year after that.
In his final three years as Head Coach of the Packers, Lombardi went out in style (now there’s a major understatement) by winning three-consecutive NFL championships and two Super Bowl titles.
Like we said before, wow.
In addition to all of the titles in Title Town, Lombardi groomed five future Hall of Fame players during his nine-year tenure with Green Bay, before retiring after his 10th and final season in Washington.
To cap things off, Lombardi was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame himself just two short years after retiring from the game.
Go big or go home is exactly right.