Posts Tagged ‘EA Sports’

Peyton Hillis is the cover of Madden 2012 and here’s why

I’m just going to warn you off the bat that talking sport is like talking politics or religion. There is a good chance that you will not agree with what is below. It is biased and written from a place of absolute love for Peyton Hillis. When I watched the results of the Madden 2012 cover come out I kept seeing people exclaim: “Who is Peyton Hillis?” and “Hillis doesn’t deserve to be on the cover of Madden” and some even declared “Well I won’t be buying it because Vick got screwed over”. To them I say maybe you should have paid closer attention last season.

Peyton Hillis Madden 2012 Potential Cover

"I assume Peyton Hillis' sleeves are custom made." ~ Scott - Waiting For Next Year

Some people know it, some people don’t: Peyton Hillis is a beast. Polish the Console is based in Cleveland and quite frankly I am 100% biased. I am a Browns fan and I have been since I watched my first game with my grandfather back in ’83. I have seen highs, I have seen many lows, and I have yet to see a championship. Ever. In any sport. In the 2011 preseason Cleveland got their our glimpse of what we got when we traded Brady Quinn to Denver. I can still remember the first night I saw him play in the preseason.

My wife was next to me and we were sitting 8 rows up in the Dawg Pound (The East End Zone) in a pouring rain that left nobody dry no matter how many rain coats you had on. It was the sort of game you expect to see sloppy football and no good grip could be had by hands or feet. The rain was so strong I had a difficult time keeping my eyes open through it. My wife could no longer wear her flip flops because they absolutely refused to grip her foot. Then through the driving rain we see it barreling towards us: number 40. A man who could single handedly make any offensive coordinator look like a damn genius. From that point on he earned the love of every Cleveland Browns fan in the nation. Over the course of the season we learned something that people in Denver knew all along: Peyton Hillis was an unstoppable force. This is a bit of what Denver saw from him. Not my video I do not take credit for the music:

While, yes, Peyton Hillis was not the best running back in the NFL he was certainly one of the more punishing. I could throw individual game stats and figures at you but with 16 games 270 carries 1,177 yards for an average of 4.4 yards per carry he is hands down not the number 1 running back in the league last season and far from the best player. Then again neither was the other finalist, Vick. But this year’s Madden cover wasn’t about stats or MVPs. This years Madden cover was all about the fans. You can’t deny the power of the fans. Yes some people may have feared “The Madden Curse” and picked against their own team’s player or voted against Vick on principle, apparently he has a shady past. Some people may have voted against him because they didn’t know who was, and that’s fine. Simple fact is 66% of the people voted for him in the finals.

Peyton Hillis Leaping over defender

Couldn't go around it, so we went over it!

But when we break down some of this years innovations released by EA we begin to see why Hillis is in fact a solid fit. For me the visualizations are icing on the cake. Some of these include:

  • Broadcast Redefined: Experience NFL Sundays like never before with completely overhauled presentation, including 32 team-specific run outs featuring mascots and cheerleaders, over 500 dynamic broadcast cameras authentic to every NFL stadium, innovative “real” on-field cameras shot by expert NFL Films cameramen, and a network inspired new broadcast graphics package.
  • Unprecedented On-Field Authenticity: Hundreds of visual improvements across all areas of the game including: new player equipment, helmet stickers, pylon and ball physics, a player degradation system that affects uniforms and helmets based on weather and field surface, 3D grass, and new player specific animations that showcase the personalities of each NFL player.

What really matters is how the game plays. On Sunday you always see someone break a sick tackle and go big. This is something that Madden has been working towards but has never been quite there. This season they continue making strides towards this while maintaining and even expanding on the speed and flow that they introduced last season:

  • All-New Collision System: Now maintain full control of players up to the point of impact — from tackling to blocking — providing the most authentic collisions in franchise history. This new system uses a player’s momentum and over 100 new tackle animations, including 40 gang tackles, to provide more impactful hits, stolen tackles, and consecutive hit tackling.
  • Advanced Defensive AI: Over 100 defensive A.I. enhancements resulting in the smartest Madden defense ever. Players in zone and man coverage will properly recognize and react to plays, including the ability to break out of assignments when appropriate, resulting in a defensive team that truly works together.
  • Custom Playbooks: The #1 most requested feature by fans in recent years, allows you to build the ultimate game plan by modifying an existing playbook or creating your own by selecting up to 400 offensive or defensive plays from 75 different playbooks. Integrate your custom playbook into a game plan for use with the improved GameFlow system, which executes an authentic, situational game plan for you.

It’s this “All-New Collision System” that makes Peyton Hillis a perfect man to have at the helm. For those that didn’t witness last season’s Cleveland Browns here’s a small taste of what gave us our indomitable hope:

He embodies the new collision system. On the field he is a super dense mass of pure momentum. His entire play style is derived from “I’m gonna go through it. If I can’t go through it then I’m gonna go over it. If neither of those work then when I go down it’s going to contain a lot of forward progress and end in an earth shattering thud.”

Peyton Hillis Madden 2012 Cover

None of you want that running at you in an open field

Peyton Hillis is like the Kool-Aid man in an orange helmet. He is one of few people in the world who could legally change his middle name to “Muthafukin” and actually pull it off. I was thinking about getting a Peyton Hillis tattoo mid season last season but I came to the realization that it would see I’m not man enough for it and reject my body by leaving to start a more manly life of its own.

He single handedly delivered “sports hope” to an entire beleaguered city. It’s no mystery how we feel about our sports. Cleveland fans are a special breed where we will suffer through endless steams of losing seasons in all major sports just for that one glimmer of hope to carry us through. Each time Peyton Hillis broke through a defenses we saw our dreams break through one more layer of our 40+ year history of missed chances. He’s a bight shining ray of hope for the fans who need it most. That is precisely why he is on the cover of Madden.

Madden is never about that player on the cover. It’s all about the fans. I thought they hit on this last season when the New Orleans fans were in the background. This was the first instance we have ever seen the fans featured prominently on any Madden cover.  The fans make it all possible and the fans are what keeps it going. Peyton has already come out and said “This is not about me.” When asked about being on the cover:

“Well, it’s huge,” Hillis said. “They really haven’t had a winner in a while, ever since they left to go to Baltimore. In my mind, this is not about myself, this is not about me, this is about what can I give back to the team and community and hopefully that’s a winner.”

What you see is not a man driven by money or fame. It’s a man who simply enjoys stepping out onto a football field and wants to play and play hard. He’s a man who has a deep love for the game. He’s a man that genuinely cares about competition. Peyton Hillis is a guy that can get things done. I wonder what makes him tic? I wonder if he’d be interested in knowing what makes me tic? In my eyes Peyton Hillis is a fantastic fan picked choice for Madden 2012 and I for one want to say thank you to everyone who voted, no matter who you voted for.

You may now disagree with me below.

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