Seriously, has it come to this? Have we hit the very bottom of the barrel of quarantine and pandemic outrage?
Those are rhetorical questions, because we have. Why have we? Because we’re bothered by the Steelers rankings—both individual and team—on a freaking video game! The video game in question is, of course, Madden 21, a football video game that popped up around the same time I began to care less about using my thumbs for anything other than the space bar and owning people on Twitter.
Actually, scratch that last part. I cared about video games back in the late 80s, which was when Madden first became available (and long before I began using my thumbs to own people on Twitter). I just never thought, “Hmmmm, I wonder where Rod Woodson is going to be ranked this year?” Besides, Madden was for amateurs, anyway. Back in the day, if you weren’t quenching your football video game thirst with Nintendo’s Tecmo Bowl, you were a nerd, a geek, the wallflower at the party (actually, you probably never went to the party). Ever try to set your manual on Rod Woodson or Bo Jackson? If you did, you know that no other rankings have ever mattered in the history of video games.
Anyway, I’ve talked a lot about video games for someone who washed his thumbs of them many years ago (I blog now, which is much, much cooler). How little do I care about video games, these days? If you played me, you’d be up 42-0 at halftime; and it wouldn’t matter if my team was full of guys with really high ratings and your team was the Bengals—you’d still make it each time you decided to go for it on fourth and 23.
By the way, why do people do that? That’s not cool unless you’re eight.
My point is, if you can dominate my highly-rated players with the Bengals, that’s all you need to know about the validity of Madden’s rankings. They don’t mean squat. I don’t care if T.J. Watt has a lower rating than Punch-Out’s Glass Joe. I don’t care if Minkah Fitzpatrick is made to look weaker than a ghost after Pac-Man eats whatever those things are.
It just doesn’t matter.
Are these Madden ratings an accurate barometer of the Steelers and their players? Obviously not. Fitzpatrick was voted a First-Team All-Pro in 2019; that gives him enough power to scare opposing quarterbacks into throwing where he isn’t.
Watt is also a First-Team All-Pro, and he’ll likely continue to eat up passers in 2020 like Pac-Man eats Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde after consuming a Power Pellet (Google is a marvelous thing when used for good and not evil).
Video games are for kids (and other people). Their rankings of players and teams isn’t something to get worked up about.
Finally, I will conclude this article by saying something I never thought I would: Shut that damn video game off and do your homework!