Hot Topic 4/7: Devin Hester’s 100 speed rating

Posted April 7th, 2007 at 1:49 am

SpeedPredictably, the reaction to the news of Devin Hester receiving the first ever 100 rating in Madden for his speed has been mixed. Browsing through various forums and sites reporting on the news I’ve gathered up some of the more common statements that have been made on the topic.

“So and so ran a faster 40 time than him”

The 40 time does not necessarily have to equate with the speed rating. Some guys just play faster on the field than the 40 time would suggest. He may be the most explosive with his speed, or speed may be a bigger factor for what he does so it shines in a different light.

“He isn’t faster than so and so from the past”

Don’t compare Hester to someone from the past, EA isn’t doing that with the ratings. Hester is only being compared to the other players that will be in Madden 08.

“Now EA can’t make anyone faster”

This simply isn’t true. The 100 rating for speed that is programmed into Madden this year is not the fastest they can make any player go from now until eternity. Its simply the fastest player that will be in this version. They could make the speed of the best rated guy in future years go faster than Hester will this year.

“Hester isn’t the fastest player in the history of the NFL” Joystiq article.

Well duh. Thanks for pointing that out. That would make sense if the rating were based on history.

“There is no such thing as a perfect 100”

That doesn’t mean someone can’t be the best at what they do within a sample of people. So compared to everyone else in the sample that you are studying, one person is going to play the fastest. If you ranked 300 NFL players in speed someone has to be the fastest or close enough to be tied for the fastest. If you don’t utilize the highest number on your scale, why even have it?

“So crying to EA about your ratings pays off” Kotaku article.

This one caught me off guard. It sounds like the person who wrote it doesn’t like the NFL, doesn’t like EA, doesn’t like the Bears/Hester, or maybe its a combination of all those factors. Regardless he is clearly bitter about something. I like the spin that was put on by him in reference to his lobbying for the rating. Lobbying does not equate to crying or whining. Personally I think it’s pretty cool that players are passionate about Madden and care how they’re reflected in the game.

“Its just a marketing ploy by EA”

Sure that could be, but if you’re suggesting that EA didn’t give out a 100 rating for the history of Madden so that some year down the line they could spring it like this and make a big deal of it, thats pretty absurd to imagine. It is likely just a change in philosophy when it comes to assigning the numbers. If it’s impossible to achieve a 100 rating, that would mean the real scale only goes up to 99. Thus, a 99 in the past = 100 now.

“Then so and so should have a 100 rating in their category”

Possibly. I would guess that we’ll see other players get 100s this year. This is just the first news of it.

“Who cares, you can’t return punts in Madden anyway”

This was certainly the case on the current gen games, however the PS3/360 versions have done punt returning really well. It is actually dangerous to let your opposition return a punt. That is why you’ll see many players kick it out of bounds or directionally to try and prevent the opportunity to return.

“Let the cheesing begin”

The game plays as realistic as you make it. If someone is going to try and get creative with Hester, there will be risk involved. He isn’t going to have great hands as a receiver or be able to hang on to the ball as a running back. In the end the 100 speed may not even be noticeably faster than he was before. Its just a number, it doesnt reflect how fast he’ll play in the game. Just that he will be slightly faster than the next guy.

“Speed is the only real way they can differentiate talent for returners in Madden”

This, for the most part, is true. You can’t really have a kick return rating of 100 that will make any difference for the user at least. Since they’re controlling the returner, its all on them to make things happen. The only thing that really assists the user is the speed of the returner. For the CPU possibly other ratings would apply, but thats not the case for when the returner is user controlled.

“He deserves it, he shattered all the return records and had a huge influence on the success of the Bears”

There is no doubt that he had an amazing year, arguably he was the most important player to his team in the whole league. Going back to how you can make one returner better than another in Madden, speed is one of the few ways to do so. He did deserve some way of seperating him from the other returners in the NFL.