The madden journey for all of us starts at a young age. For me it started out as an 8 year old boy sitting Indian style on the floor playing madden 94 on good old sega genesis. I fell in love at first sight. Getting able to sit there for hours and pretend I was my favorite players was the coolest thing in the world. Whether it was dropping back with Jeff Hostetler and hitting Tim Brown for a deep pass or running a HB sweep with Barry Sanders, (which always went to the house) or my personal favorite when a player would be injured and the ambulance running over everything in site to get to the player, the game was amazing. From that point on growing up as a kid that was the first thing added to the Christmas list each year.
As time passes things evolve, and year by year the Madden game would just hook me in more and more. Whether it was starting a franchise mode with my favorite team the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders or just playing head to head with friends I just could not get enough of the game. Finally they added online head to head mode, and for years it was a competition between me and my friends who would have the best online record. Always trying to play ranked games vs each other, hitting the X button on the controller at the same time to search for games while talking on our landline telephone (damn I am getting old). Fast forward to 2 years ago, a buddy of mine, asks me “Mike do you want to get in this online franchise with me, it’s sick you get to control a team vs 31 others”. So getting bored of the same old head to head on madden, I gave it a shot. Wow is all I can say. Controlling the team from play calling to salaries, to who is on the practice squad was the wildest thing I have ever seen. This was a different world, I became hooked and being a former college athlete, the competitive drive came out in me again, trying to build the perfect team where I would take each loss to heart.
For the past year, I would receive text messages from my friend who introduced me to the franchise world, and eventuall about this league called PML. Over and over all I would hear how it’s amazing, you need to see all the guys who watch the games at one time, the fantasy leagues within the game, or how he is projected to win or lose for that week. He kept saying Mike fill out an application it’s amazing and I just kept brushing him off, saying ya ya, how much better can an online franchise mode be then the ones we are in already. Getting tired of the same old players spamming plays, I caved in and filled out an application. I was amazed at the amount of time and detail that was put in to the process, the only thing I don’t think I was asked for was my Social Security number and my bank account. You can tell the people here must be serious players here.
Two weeks ago, after a little bit of a wait I received my message on discord, it’s time for your tryout game. Was never more nervous for a game before. With a Sam Adams October fest beer next to me to loosen me up I was lucky enough to knock off my opponent. A few days later I received the news, would you like to become the new owner of the Los Angeles Rams. We are now 3 games into my ownership of the club, and boy it has been a wake up call. I was welcomed into the league vs Sam Howell and the explosive Tampa Bay Bucs offense who hung up 45 pts. The following week it was the ground attack of the Panthers who rolled up over 150 yards on the ground. Then this past week it was the suffocating Seattle defense who forced a handful of turnovers in the red zone. The experience has been awesome so far, the guys in the chat have been welcoming and seem like they are all friends even though I’m sure half of them wouldn’t know one another if they bumped into each other in the street. The level of play of here is different, I will definitely need to put more work in and watch some game film, and I am excited for the challenge to get these Rams back to where they belong as a competitor in the NFC West.