My journey through PML began on a random Google search. I typed premier madden league into my search bar and little did I know, there was an actual league called “Premier Madden League”. Now, this side of CFM didn’t exist to me yet. As far as I knew, the leagues I currently participated in were top of the line. I wanted the next level, if there was one, I needed more. I wanted to play with the best. The Daddy League searches only got me so far. Some Band leagues, a few Discord leagues, nothing to write home about. Lack of structure, constant user turnover, and far too many fair sim results plagued my leagues. I filled out an application, an intense application I must add. Favorite all time players, rule knowledge assessments (shout out to Burn), Madden experience, and more were all embedded in this well-crafted application. I remember filling it out and screenshotting the confirmation to a few of my friends. More than likely to say, look how serious they are taking this league (maybe adding a LMAO). It would be weeks until I received a message from JT.
I was invited to try out. I could tell JT was feeling me out and hanging onto every word I would type in our chat. I started to get a sense of the pride he puts behind the league. He asked me a few informal interview questions. I answered to the best of my ability, some classic textbook responses, the rest organic, natural, and real. I was invited to play my tryout game vs Fallen, using the Broncos, versus my New York Jets. I wound up losing on the final play of the game inside the 10 yard line after a miraculous second half comeback. Falling short, and with a long list of applicants, I assumed my chances were slim to receive an invite. To my surprise, I received a message that night from JT saying I was on a short list of applicants that were receiving a look. It was exciting, sort of like keeping your fingers crossed after a job interview. 24 hours later, I was introduced as the new owner of the New Orleans Saints on the 3rd cycle of Madden 20.
One word to describe my first few moments in PML. Culture Shock. It was an entirely different world than I what use to in my traditional CFM leagues. The league is a melting pot of Madden players. From college teenagers, to middle age professionals. Players I watched on YouTube to Madden developers to podcast personalities, I realized I was a small fish in big pond. I began researching some users, components, and content within the PML league. Did I get myself involved in something I couldn’t handle? Early on, yes (maybe yes still). I didn’t know the dedication and time it took to be a successful and contributing member of a league like this. I took my Saints for the final 3 games of cycle 3. Needless to say, I didn’t think I would be invited back for the 4th cycle. So much ran through my head. Wow, they have mock drafts? What the hell is a sim score? Training camp? Offensive and defensive coordinators? How the hell does JT have the time to run a league that seems like a full time job in itself? There were moments where I was mentioned in the chat asking for content. “Saints at least give us content if you aren’t here to win games”. I been here for 2 weeks, what could I possibly write about? Possibly my fault too because I haven’t taken the time to immerse myself deep into the league. It was still a casual league, added to the list of several leagues I was already in. Thoughts of dropping out of the league crossed my mind. I couldn’t possibly keep up with everything going on here, and at the same time play on a competitive level versus the best of the best. Scouting? Really? Game film, what the hell is going on here? Ill just look over your stats before the game and I’ll be alright. Right? Nope, not in PML.
I learned the hard way that PML has no place for a casual player not looking to put in the extra work to be successful. I began cycle 4 with a 3-6 record. Surely, I had nobody looking at me as a threat to the league. I remember listening to one of Nat and Que’s preview shows and hearing my name being bashed, like it was week after week, badly. Times were bad. CEO_KJR though, a true person. I remember being buried in the chat here and there and receiving a DM from him basically telling me keep my head up and hang in there. Sometimes a little bit of confidence is all you need from someone. Obviously, I believed my skill level was better than how I was playing, so I took it to the chat. I decided to bark back and stand my ground. I called out anyone who wanted to play me H2H for some cash. Enters, Dramaman licking his chops for some easy cash. We all know the story there. Destroy Drama two times, not get paid for my wins, and finally make a name for myself in the league. I was interviewed on Nat’s show and I was finally being viewed as a competitive player in the league. It was also the start of a dominant streak that seen me miss the playoffs on the final week of the season on a tiebreaker. I won 7 straight to finish 10-6, missing the playoffs because, well, I won’t get into that (Nat ate steak that night though). Nevertheless, it was fun, and I was enjoying the ride and the experience.
Finally, I was understanding what went into this league. Provided a bit of content, increased player ratings, got into scouting, watching game tape, popped up in chats, and causally watching games throughout the league. I finally immersed myself into the PML culture. Was it time for a Super Bowl run? Cycle 5, I was predicted to win 13 games, and be a top seed in the NFC and a possible Super Bowl contender. Well, I flatlined and won 6 games that season. The fun times were over. With the highs come the lows in PML. The respect level decreases amongst peers, and I’m sure I don’t have to say the rest (Tier C and D know what I mean). Getting ready for M21, I joined B league for one last dance. Went 13-3, AFC Championship game, but who was watching? Probably nobody.
My experience in PML has been a great one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is like a brotherhood. We speak to each other more than we speak to our own friends and family. I can pop in that chat at 3:45am and know there is a conversation waiting for me. We probably know more about each other’s daily lives than the people close to us do. Not involving yourself in the culture, the chat, the secondary stuff that makes the league work doesn’t allow you to get the full effect of such a wonderful product and experience. We fight, argue, bash, post GIFs, but in the end its all for the sole purpose of fun, camaraderie, and good competition and that is what separates PML from my experiences with other CFM leagues. Not calling myself a seasoned veteran, but I hope the newer managers in the league use this as a template to not just be successful in the standings, but enjoy all that the league offers. Hang in there, involve yourself, and just enjoy.
I hope to include a PML editorial piece every week. If you have any ideas or topics, send me a DM. I would love to explore them.