Gus Johnson Possibly in Madden 11

Posted April 22nd, 2010 at 12:04 pm

EA Sports may have dropped a hint towards one of the elements of the “new broadcast presentation” that will be implemented in Madden 11. Heard at the end of a trailer celebrating the announcement of Drew Brees as the cover athlete is none other than the intensely popular Gus Johnson. You can watch the video on the Madden Facebook page and catch Johnson in the voiceover at the end. Continue on for some thoughts on what his involvement in the video could mean and leave your thoughts in the comments! (Update) With Johnson doing the voiceover on the debut trailer and other information I have since learned, look for him to be in Madden 11.

It would seem more likely that Gus Johnson has been brought on board to replace Tom Hammond rather than to form a second announcing team. Johnson’s involvment, as a play-by-play guy for CBS, will lead to speculation that CBS presentation could be involved. However if there is network inspired presentation the more likely candidates may be ESPN or NFL Network but CBS can not be ruled out.

Bringing in Johnson would make a lot of sense. Hammond has been the object of much criticism over the past two years primarily due to a lack of emotion. Johnson would be the polar opposite and he came across well in NCAA Basketball 10. He has that relationship with EA Sports, having been in NCAA Basketball and as an announcer for Strikeforce, which is closely partnered with EA Sports MMA.

  • I really hope Hammond is gone. I don't care much for Collinsworth either. His color commentary is kind of annoying (in real life as well as the game). But he's a hell of a lot more bearable than Tom Hammond has been. It doesn't help that you hear the same stuff over and over again within 2 games.

  • 65South

    I can't get on facebook here at work to view it, but if Gus Johnson is added to the presentation for Madden 11 that is a great, fresh addition in my book.

    …Now if they could somehow remove Tom Hammond that would be a double bonus.

  • Henny

    This would be awesome!!!

  • poser-J

    Gus Johnson-Cris Collinsworth would be a great team.

  • Kris

    Its nothing big. He just says “product not yet rated” and “ea sports its in the game”. The important thing is that its him!

  • Sportsgamer

    Madden fucking sucks, but Gus Johnson rocks.

  • skihawks

    Many people ripped Hammond but I don't blame Hammond for the poor audio. EA did a terrible job with editing.

    However, I have no qualms about Gus Johnson. He has taken over as the voice of sports with his electric enthusiasm. I just hope he strays away from Strikeforce….

  • Yeah I wouldn't say it was all his fault, but he did lack emotion and we've seen that some announcers just translate to a game better than others based on their flow and tone. Hammond was just never a good fit for it. The way it came across at times, like copy/paste audio, that would fall on both Hammond and EA probably equally.

  • Kdubbs29

    The all-time best in-game commentary is Gary Thorn and Bill Clement in NHL. It isn't repetitive and feels like a real broadcast. They need to emulate that!

  • wangchung2nite

    Remember when Gus busted a Nut on that Stokley play in Week 1? I WANNA HEAR THAT IN MADDEN 11… “CRABTREE… DOWN THE SIDELINE…. TOUCHDOWN!!!!”

  • deepen03

    Yea Gus Johnson would be great.. anyone other than Tom Hammond is good at this point.

  • money941


  • Different sports have different obstacles though. With NHL, and to an extent NBA the action is almost always taking place. With Football it is very much stop and start. While baseball is slow and prodding. Changes the way they have to approach commentary.

  • This guy is a clown. I dont care what he does as long as he stays away from MMA.

  • bob
  • Bl4ziNBuLLd0G

    lol yea i remeber watching that game. that was funny as hell. after the play his voice got so cracky it sounded like he just got done running a triathalon after having an orgi.

  • Gus Johnson is awesome, but he made some dumb statements for Strikeforce.

  • Freshhhhh

    Gus Johnson fucking sucks. I'm so sick of people riding this guys nuts when he's a BELOW AVERAGE commentator. I can't stand when this clown yells in the beginning of a freaking game, he goes out of his way to be so dramatic when all I want to do is cut of my ears when I hear his voice.

  • Keith.

    Hey Pasta, are you going to post the new Backbreaker tv commercial? Looking good!

  • T. Daley

    Hallelujah, praise the lord. You are absolutely, positively correct on that assessment. Thorn and Clement do a spot on perfect commentary. The game make you feel as if you are really at the game.

  • jusmegamer

    The game is pure hype and will never have anything other than gimmicky nano-blitz type defense. When they put solid D in this game it will go to the next level, but that will never happen because the game is made for the arcade crowd

  • GoMadden

    Gus Johnson is seriously in a league of his own when it comes to sportscasting. There is no better voice out there, and he can make anything sound exciting. If he actually is involved in the Madden 11 presentation I would give HUGE props to EA for finally doing something about it. Their voice acting has been absolutely dreadful the last few years (no offense to the guys involved). It can be tough to make canned content sound exciting, but if anyone can do it Gus Johnson can.


  • GoMadden

    He also says something about Maddengra! 😀

  • GoMadden

    He also said Chris Johnson has “getting away from the cops speed” lol!

  • Maybe this weekend depending on what it offers, but I generally don't post commercials for any game if there is already gameplay footage out.

  • JoeCB1991

    Johnson and Collinsworth would be pretty good.

  • fas carl

    pasta how do you feel about gus johnson being in the game

  • Michael

    Did anyone notice Drew Brees in a suit in the video? It looks in game… During the part where he say “i'm in the game”

  • Keith.

    So, you'll post the EA drew brees commercial, which has absolutely no gameplay, but you won't post the Backbreaker commercial, which is full of great looking gameplay?

    Okay, pasta.

  • Yep.

    Looks nice.

    anyways, I really hope Gus will be the play-by-play…Really sick of Hammond.

    “If it's in the game… it's in the game??” (lol)

  • This should make Madden much better. I hope he'll say HAH HAH!!!!!!

  • Excited by the prospects of how it could improve atmosphere. Two things that have lacked for me in football games recently is not enough emotion (from players and announcers) and general atmosphere such as crowd and home field advantage. Of course just having Gus announce doesn't mean it will be great, but I'm encouraged by the move.

  • Rodgers4MVP

    i want a espn presentations!!!!!!! i could care less about gus johnson.




  • rockchisler

    So whose better?….

  • spursfan86

    maybe this could be a hint that the CBS football broadcast will be in this game, seeing that ESPN is being used in NCAA football 11

  • Patrick Kirkpatrick

    Tom Hammond does a good job. Gus Johnson fails at everything. You should hear the host for NFL Sunday Ticket even rip on him. Collinsworth is even worse. I watch the games in which these two are involved on mute all the time. Gus Johnson is way too annoying to bear. It would ruin a perfectly good game.

  • Sherman

    lol Gus Johnson is hilarious I am hoping he puts his great saying about Chris Johson in the game…… watchout…. he got running away from the cops speed!!!!



    Will Brinson

    Gus Johnson is renowned — nay, revered — in most circles for his ability to induce rapid-fire heart attacks on television viewers during sporting events; Johnson is best known for his highly charged, uber-enthusiastic calls, which he'll now be bringing to EA Sports Madden NFL 11 in just a few months.

    The Madden team tapped Johnson as the new play-by-play voice for the world's most popular sports game, and with good reason. Look no further than Johnson's call of the Week 1 game between the Bengals and the Broncos for proof as to why he'll re-energize gameplay for online football fanatics.

    ShareJohnson's inclusion was part of the Madden team's decision to really focus on the audio inside the game (particularly with “open field progression audio,” like a game-winning, breakaway touchdown run) with this rendition, a very welcome decision indeed.

    And thanks to the fine folks at EA, FanHouse had a chance to catch up with Gus and ask him about being associated with the franchise, how they worked in his style, whether he realizes how many myocardial infarctions he's been responsible for, what kind of lines he created for the new game, and if he every saw the Gus Johnson Soundboard.

    Will Brinson: Alright, Gus, thanks for talking to FanHouse today, man.

    Gus Johnson: No problem, bro. No problem.

    WB: Let's dive right in then, because the internet's already blowing up with the news — you're the new play-by-play voice for Madden '11. I'm a huge fan myself, so, first of all, are you a player yourself? And how excited are you to be teamed up with this franchise?

    GJ: Well, I've been playing Madden since like '93, but I've always been a video game player, dating back to when I was a kid, starting with Atari and head-to-head football and stuff like that. And I do play Madden — I had been playing for a lot of years but stopped playing as much when I had my son, because, you know, I just didn't have enough time. But it's incredible to be part of this franchise; EA Sports is obviously the leader in video games in the world and to pick me to be the voice of the No. 1 sports video game of all-time and one of the top video games of all-time, to trust that to me as their voice, I can't even say it's a dream come true, because I never even dreamt that big. I never thought that anything like that could ever happen, especially when you consider the guys who came before me, guys like Pat Summerall and Tom Hammond.

    WB: Correct me if I'm wrong, but the story I heard was that the Madden team at EA Sports actually heard your call from Week 1 of the Denver-Cincinnati game — and I actually went back and watched this clip to just get ready for this interview — that ended with the Brandon Stokely touchdown and they saw that and knew they wanted you. Is that how this relationship formed?

    GJ: Actually, it's a deeper story. You know, last year I did NCAA Basketball 2010, which was with Coach Raftery. And it was a duel package because they were offering [gamers] a CBS broadcast version and a regular ESPN broadcast version with Brad Nessler and Coach Vitale. So I was out in Vancouver a lot last summer and I was working and doing the voiceover for NCAA 2010 and they slipped the word to me that the Madden guys were possibly looking for a new voice.

    So they had me, while I was there, read some lines for the football game kind of as an audition tape. And they had other guys on the list, I think, but we kept talking through the summer and then the football season starts and Week 1 happens and that Brandon Stokely play took place and that Monday they all went into the office and looked around the room at each other and made a decision on who they wanted and then we worked out a deal.

    WB: Okay, so when you've got something like the Kansas State-Xavier game this year or the Cincy-Denver game … how hard is it to bring the enthusiasm from a live game over to something like a video game where you're not actually watching it?

    GJ: Well, you know Will, I had to use my memory. And I had to become an actor to be honest with you. And hopefully, when the game comes out, that's been transferred over to the game. Because basically, you're in the booth by yourself with a whole bunch of scripts; we recorded something like 60,000 to 70,000 lines (Ed. Note: Gus himself actually recorded about 30,000 for the game out from that total).

    So what you have to do is imagine if you're calling a big touchdown … “And he catches it at the thirty, he's gone! A 95-yard touchdown!” You know, you've got to get there, in your mind and you gotta open yourself up and not be embarrassed that you're yelling and screaming or getting worked up in a booth by yourself looking crazy.

    So I had to stand up most of the time and let the energy get out of my body so I wouldn't feel like I was incarcerating my spirit and to try and deliver these lines in an authentic way, similar to the what you hear on Sunday or during a basketball game I'm doing. So it took some time to get in the pocket, but once I got there, it started to feel more natural.

    WB: So you're “working with” Cris Collinsworth on this — were you guys synched up in the booth or did they have his quotes in the can or did they redo the whole nature of the in-game experience?

    GJ: Well, it was a combination. But, mostly, since — you know, he's such a professional. He sounds so good. And he's a perfect match for me, but Cris is the voice of reason, you know?

    WB: Right, right, and you just induce heart attacks!

    [Laughter all around] GJ: Right, right! There's a great balance there, though, of fire and ice.

    WB: Did you develop any new lines for the game itself?

    GJ: Oh yeah. We got some new lines, that's for sure.

    WB: So can we get a sneak preview?

    GJ: Well, I'd love to, man, but then I'd have to kill you …

    WB: [Laughing] If I wanted that, I'd just go back and watch Xavier-K-State again!

    GJ: Haha, well, I want it to be a surprise. Because the great thing about the game, Will, is that with these lines is that they're going to fire off. And when they fire off, for people that know, it's gonna really hit 'em hard. It's gonna be surprising — we tried to bring emotion to the game, we tried to bring some humor to the game, we tried to bring some pop culture to the game.

    So, it's going to be very different — we targeted our young demographic that loves sports, obviously, loves Madden, loves video games, loves hip-hop, loves, you know, the “culture.” That's what we tried to focus on and we tried to make it entertaining.

    WB: Color me stoked, then. I gotta know, too, did you ever see the Gus Johnson Song Buckets site?

    GJ: Ha, well there was so much. I saw this thing with a little dog, which I thought was hysterical.

    WB: It's the Gus Johnson Soundboard …

    GJ: Yeah, yeah! I did see that — that was really cool, man. It seemed like it was a very positive thing.

    WB: Oh, definitely. I wasted at least an hour on a Friday playing with that thing. Which kind of leads me into my last question: you're definitely one of the top announcers in the game, and the younger audience — sports writers and fans my age really love your calls — do you think that joining up with Madden is a step to really vault you into a bigger scope of public recognition?

    GJ: Yeah, yeah, I think so, because I'm going to be really connected with a younger audience. And that 18-35 demographic is a really powerful audience. Millions of people buy this game, millions of people play it … 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, somewhere around the world. So I'm sure lots of moms and dads are gonna be tired of my voice [Hysterical Brinson overlaughing] and yelling and screaming and acting crazy with their kids.

    But I think after some time after hearing that voice and becoming more and more familiar and yeah, I think it'll help grow my profile.

    WB: I definitely hope so, Gus. Well, thanks again for talking to FanHouse again and I'm looking forward to checking you out on the new edition of Madden.

    GJ: Great talking with you too, Will — I'm looking forward to it too, and just hope we hit our mark.