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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Yet another reason to boycott EA and their monopoly on the NFL franchise. I am fan of John Madden Football games when John Madden still had a hand in developing them. Ever since EA bought the sole rights to use the NFL namesake and players exclusively until 2012 I boycotted them. Having only one developer make the only NFL licensed only spell doom for us the players. With no competition EA can put whatever garbage out there and we will play it. They need competition to keep their game fresh. Madden I will see you in 2012 or hopefully another NFL licensed game by another developer.
"Whoa, he got hit so hard he's blowing snot bubbles!" John Madden, Madden '93.
If you are going to be the only legal NFL game franchise, you can't overlook something like this.
*** the vikes
I don't like sports, at all, nor do I follow them, and even I know that this is wrong. Just include the guy, how hard is it? Especially because they already included a long snapper, who seems to be the WORST.
I fail to see where snapper lawn mowers fit in with this story... Oh! Because they're long snappers... Lawn mowers?
Oh, I'm sorry, the stupidity hit my face.
Remember when you forgot to show up for picture day, and you got your yearbook at the end of the year and you weren't in it, it's kinda like that. Here's an idea we make players pay to be in the game, that way we pay less, and we could make them pay up on a salary base. Highest paid pay more than the lowest paid. I'm a genius.
It would be pretty disappointing to be on a professional football team, and to see all of your co-workers on a video game, but not to be on one yourself.
I never played Madden in my life, but that's pretty messed up not to have every player.
Eff Brett Favre and all the millions of fanboys that kneel before him for a chance to put his junk on their tongue. Stupid Lebron divas.
Ironically, the long snapper is imperitive to have on a team that actually plays football. But it's not as important who snaps it in the game.
Ha, I love all of his teammates giving him a hard time about this. Honestly, I think they should add these guys. I mean, I say that just for the sake of keeping the realism. I mean, coaches really don't have any impact in Madden. You could have the worst coach in the league as your head coach and still win the Super Bowl, but they have all the coaches names and what they specialize in. So why not just add the speciality people?
That sure does sound Outraged!!
Well Bill Belichick has never been in a Madden game. Although that might just be Bill trying to be secretive per usual...
Why don't they try and work out a deal for NFL network on demand and fantasy football online now that would be sweet