Near as I can tell, the biggest difference between a Madden player like me and ones like Farley, Gibbons and Wright comes down to two things.
First, while I mostly spent my younger days playing games like Joe Montana Football, NFL 2K and Madden alone versus the computer, these guys were playing against friends and family and entering neighborhood tournaments in high school. They were developing their skills against human competition.
Secondly, I was unprepared. To become a pro Madden player requires an extreme commitment and, I think, a bit of natural skill. That isn’t in the cards for most people, but getting better should be in reach.
As for me and my budding pro Madden attempts, I think it’s safe to assume that any hopes for a career has come to an end. I’ll go back to playing the computer and the hollow pride that success in that realm provides. Even though I didn’t get a golden football a la George Plimpton, I’ll happyily go back to the metaphorical bleachers, humbler and with a lot more respect for what it really means to play Madden Football well.
The Circle is committed to publishing budding writers beyond our membership. Jason Tabrys has written for Uproxx, Screen Rant, Comic Book Resources and Den of Geek. He has what some would call a baseball video game addiction and he has never beaten Captain Skyhawk. Find him on Twitter @jtabrys.