Home Field Advantage: Madden 2007 brings insanity, lethargy

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February 16, 2007

4:29 PM

Insanity is a funny thing. It’s a lot like the black market organ trade — it seems far away and harmless, not really applicable to you at all, but before you know it you’re dazed and sitting in a bathtub of ice in Kuala Lumpur wondering how the hell you got there. So I guess that when I said that insanity is funny, I really meant to say terrifying, harrowing and, at best, uncomfortable.

p. Trust me: I’m in the know. I haven’t quite reached full blown drooling-and-making-phone-calls-with-my-shoes crazy, but the vultures of madness have begun to circle ever closer over my bed. Once again, I know — I’ve seen them.

p. I haven’t slept in a week. I’ve watched the dark corners of my room turn from harmless and necessary architectural joints to gaping mouths ready to reach down and slurp me up into the deep unknown. Huddled under my blanket for protection, I don’t dare stick my head out for more than a second, my bloodshot eyes scanning the shadowy room for vampires or — worse — ornery RAs, before quickly returning to my snug safe haven.

p. There’s a worse force, however, that plagues me — a creature so vile and inane that mere mention of his name causes me to tremble alternately with rage and fright — the beast of idiocy that sentenced me to this fate of terror and cowardice. He is known, among the masses that are ignorant of his various atrocities, as John Madden.

p. My roommates, having recently acquired a PS3, have gone on a Madden 2007 binge, often playing deep into the early morning. For them, each night marks a chance to further their franchise, make trades and free agent pickups and, sometimes, actually play games. What runs throughout, of course, is a stream of crappy music, cheesy sound effects and the same three witticisms uttered by the devil incarnate in a tone that could only be induced in normal people by the combination of a vice grip and a complete disregard for the wellbeing of any future generations. For me it means another sleepless night spent staving off the demons that swirl over my head, flapping their leathery wings until dawn.

p. The situation in my apartment is not unique, although others may not quite share my enmity toward the game. I’d be willing to wager that, on any given day, more students are inside playing sports video games than there are outside actually playing a sport. It bothers me, frankly, even more than the thought that whatever lurks under my bed is now in league with the creatures that hover menacingly above it.

p. What bothers me most about the game — about sports games in general, really — is the way that they’ve divorced fun from action. Statistics show that the country’s waistline is rapidly expanding, a sentiment to which I always reply with a sarcastic, “Really?” That’s like telling me that smoking causes cancer — it’s the truth, but damn if it isn’t obvious. The main difference between smoking and this new apathetic attitude toward exercise is that people actually care enough to quit smoking. Sometimes, if I shut my eyes and try really hard, I can remember a time when sports were played between actual people, exercising actual muscles from parts of the body beyond the thumb. People enjoyed these sports and made frequent trips to a mythical place called “the outside” just to play them.

p. I think that the only answer for this new lethargy is to try, as a group, to quit video games cold turkey. Sure, video games aren’t the only culprit of this widening of America, but they are, as far as I know, the only one thus far to have caused me to hallucinate. An unpopular sentiment, I know, but one with a windfall of benefits. With a concerted effort, I believe that this initiative can be successful, leading to a healthier, trimmer and happier student body. So, let’s get started; there’s no time to waste when considering such a noble endeavor. Really. I’m serious. I can’t hold out much longer under here.

p. __Brad Clark is a columnist for The Flat Hat. He wrote this from the under the blanket on his bed. We’re thinking about firing him.__

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