The lights are on
EA Sports' slogan "if it's in the game it's in the game" apparently doesn't apply to special teams long snappers. Though Madden NFL 11 supports full 53-man rosters, they often exclude the less glamorous specialists in favor of practice squad skill players. One NFL team has taken notice, and it doesn't sit well with many of the players.
Minnesota Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler has been on the team for seven years, but he has yet to appear in a Madden game. "I'm very disappointed that they overlooked one of the best players on the team," said Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson. "He's invaluable."
Loeffler isn't the only long snapper left out in the cold by developer EA Tiburon. Only one true long snapper is included in Madden NFL 11, Zak DeOssie of the New York Giants, but he'd probably rather not be. His long snapping rating? A slanderous 0 out of 100. The player currently listed as the Vikings long snapper in Madden is center John Sullivan, who said "I did long snap that one day at practice, but I did terrible." Apparently Madden ratings czar Donny Moore, who determines each team's depth chart in the game, thinks he can handle the job.
Vikings public relations director Bog Hagen believes something must be done to recognize these overlooked players. "I think it's a slap in the face to the profession of long snappers," he said.
"How can long snappers get in the Pro Bowl, yet not be in one of the top
video games in America?"
When reached for comment, Loeffler said he doesn't even bother checking out Madden anymore. "I don't even play it, mainly for the reason I'm not in it," he admitted. "I feel disrespected." With 31 of 32 long snappers missing from the game, they've created a quasi-support group to deal with the pain of being left out. "It's brought us together, we've kind of formed a band of brothers since we've been disrespected for so long," Loeffler joked.
EA Tiburon's exclusionary policy toward long snappers has created yet
another schism in the Vikings locker room, which is no stranger
to controversy. While some teammates have come to Loeffler's defense, other have
used it as yet another tool to alienate the special teamers. Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Pat Williams loves to give Loeffler a hard time about it. "[He] was laughing at me all day long yesterday for not being
in the game," Loeffler admits. "He said I don't even exist."
The team's grey bearded gunslinger Brett Favre, who worked with EA Tiburon when he appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 09, may be in on the conspiracy. "I think it probably makes the game better," said the all-time NFL leader in touchdowns/interceptions. "Who the f*** is Cullen Loeffler?"
With the help of punter Chris Kluwe, who calls himself "Chris Warcraft" in the third person, we polled the Vikings, and the controversy has the team split down the middle. Here's what they had to say:
Set The Long Snappers Free CampKevin Williams – "I think it's a travesty, you should always have the snapper in the game."
Sidney Rice – "That's messed up.
Madden's supposed to be for everyone in the league; it's not right to
be missing a person. Handle that!"
Percy Harvin – "It's a total disrespect to long snappers."
E.J. Henderson – "Tragedy."
Antoine Winfield – "That's disappointing and disrespectful."
Visanthe Shiancoe – "Why the hell isn't he in there? ...for real, why not?"
Ray Edwards – "That's f***ed up!"
Ryan Longwell – "I actually returned the game once I got home and found out, that's how much [Cullen] means to me."
Chris Kluwe – "As an avid gamer, it wrenches my heartstrings to see
this unfortunate lack of respect for one of the best snappers in the
business. Also, [EA] should bump my stats up."
Rhys Lloyd – "I think it's a disgrace, when we
talk about realism in the game, that we don't have the real snapper and
holder (Tarvaris Jackson is currently the holder) in the game. Cullen
Loeffler is a fantastic human being. Boom."Who Cares CampJared Allen – "I do NOT care."
Steve Hutchinson – "I DO not CARE."
Pat Williams – "I feel good about that, that's the greatest thing I've heard all day."
Greenway – "I feel like, as a snapper, he should be grateful to be in
an NFL organization, so he should shut his mouth and not worry about a
Ben Leber – "I think it's appropriate. I don't think he deserves to be in there. I'm not even sure he's a human being."
Jim Kleinsasser – "Awesome!"
Cullen Loeffler – "Seems like just another day at the office."
Will EA Sports do the right thing and start including the the long-overlooked long snappers in future roster updates? We've reached out to them for comment and will update the story when they respond.
[UPDATE] EA Sports has responded, but apparently Cullen Loeffler's pleas have fallen on deaf ears. EA Tiburon public relations director Rob Semsey answered our line of query with a curt "We don't have a comment." Don't give up hope yet long snappers – because your cause is just, if you keep fighting the good fight one day you will earn your emancipation from the shackles of irrelevancy. Or you could send E.J. Henderson down to Florida to straighten them out. He's a badass mofo with a 92 hit rating who probably won't take no for an answer.
Content manager Matt Bertz contributed to this report.
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i thought the EA Sports motto was, "If its in the game, eh, maybe next year."
It is great that the team cares, but nobody cares besides the team, so now their mind should be focused on their schedule not about a Madden video game. They are in the NFL so they should stop getting pissed off and get to work.
as a vikings fan, the responses of these players are hilarious, but i do feel bad for him not being in the game
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This was great! I DO not Care. I do NOT care.
if its in the game , put it in the game
OMG, these player reactions are HILARIOUS!
and im on the side of letting the Long Snappers in the game. Why the hell not?
being a vikings fan and m-f listening to a former great long snapper on the best local radio station for sports and knowing how important they are, i am highly disappointed they don't have the long snappers in the game.
the reactions of the players from both views are HILARIOUS!!
This is *** hilarious. Although I can't figure out if this is for reals or just a joke. I've seen Loeffler's "Will it Long Snap?" videos and the guy is (kind of) funny.
If this is made up, then well played, GI. Well played.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go create Cullen Loeffler and put him in the game.
Hasn't he heard of Create-A-Player? Those other Viqueens can edit the roster if they are upset about their ratings.
Correct answer is "who gives a s*** lol. Funny article, the who cares camp had some amusing answers. Not even a human being!? LOL!
i think ben leber is a piece of trash for saying hes not even human cullen loeffler should put icyhot on his jock strap and piss in his water bottle!
well i can see why there pissed,man everyone should be in the game.
lol Chris Kluwe
"also, EA should bump my stats up."
Honestly I dont think that really matters. Yeah sure long snapping might be kinda hard and they need someone "special" to do it. But are they really necessary in a video game? No. For the most part when I see people play Madden they go for touchdowns most of the time. Hardly ever a kick. Want to include the snapper? sure, its as easy as a number/text swap. stats and all that crap not really even needed.
If there really are snappers that is all they do they should consider themselves lucky to be the NFL. it seems like the type of position that a coach can make any 2nd or 3rd string player(no matter their usual position) go out and do.
get Kluwe to really dig deep and find out the feelings of other long snappers around the league. I think everyone is dying to hear what Patrick Mannely has to say on the subject.
Wow, some of his team mates are dicks lol. especially the guy who can't beleive he is a human being, harsh much?