Review: Offensive Messages Mar Generally Miserable Broadcast of Madden Bowl

Posted February 4th, 2011 at 10:00 am

The attempt at broadcasting the Madden Bowl live through ESPN3 was admirable. There is definite interest in watching NFL players going head-to-head in Madden. While the technical side was excellent (ESPN3 is amazing to watch on the Xbox 360) the program spent far too much time focusing on everything but the games being played. Add to that the lack of foresight to turn off message notifications and things turned disastrous.

An indication of what to expect came when the first game kicked off and footage of it wasn’t being shown. It was actually 7-7 before cutting back to the game being played which meant viewers apparently missed an opening kickoff return for TD and a 73 yard TD soon thereafter. Profiles of the city of Dallas seemed to take precedence. The two semi-final games were only paid attention to for a few seconds at a time and then on their final game-deciding drives.

Eventually an increasing amount of time was spent showing the actual games but how ESPN and EA didn’t figure that is why people would tune in to watch is a head-scratcher. Those who actually had the desire to watch the Madden Bowl wanted to see the game being played by NFL stars not any of the filler they included. By the time they started showing more of the game from the reactions on Twitter it was clear many had already turned it off.

Considering that they were using the Online Team Play feature that meant the usernames were being displayed and inevitably people started sending messages and friend requests. With the notifications left turned on that resulted in various slurs, offensive language, and taunts being broadcast for everyone to see as they showed up on screen. Even as this became evident as a major problem it was never corrected and continued to take place through the end of the show. That was an inexcusable oversight. 30fps grabbed a few different captures of examples.

The two hours also felt stretched too thin, even with the occasional interviews that took place to fill some time. It was clear after about 45 minutes they had run out of content. If another broadcast is done it would probably be best to either limit it to the championship game or have multiple games being completed at the same time for the earlier round/s.

As to the actual results the team of Chad Ochocino, Maria Menounos, and Patrick Willis (patched together after the Cowboys team no-showed and had to be replaced) won the Madden Bowl XVII Championship over the Saints team of Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, and Chase Daniels in a thriller 14-13. All three games came down to the wire and from a gameplay standpoint Madden 11 actually came across quite well. It’s just unfortunate that the actual production of the show was so terrible.

I made the crazy assumption the Madden Bowl broadcast would actually show the Madden Bowl.

@Josh_Looman Are you sure espn3 is broadcasting the madden bowl? or a dallas travel video?
Mikey Frisch

Ughh.. It's like they decided to show the madden bowl on ESPN3 minutes before it started. It's as if this wasn't planned to be broadcasted.
Brad D.

@pastapadre Madden Bowl is horrible. They don't even show the game. Why even televise it?
Kyle Tkachuk

@espn more gamplay of the madden one wants to hear about this stuffs trip to dallas
Chris Bondra

Ummm I thought I'd be watching NFL players playing Madden not this dude looking around Dallas. Come on Madden Bowl show the players.

@pastapadre @FootballDetails Well, all I tuned in for was to see where Josh Freeman was staying. #sarcasm

20 minutes of madden bowl broadcast and they have shown 2 minutes of madden and have missed All of the touchdowns
David Bouch

And with that, Madden Bowl is turned off. Between Madden simply sucking, to this being a joke to watch.

PS3 msg system is such fail. They keep getting msgs in Madden Bowl like "fuck you". And everybody watching can see

@EAMaddenNFL Enjoyed #MaddenBowl on @ESPN3, but next year show more of the games, turn off message notifications, & only need 2 hosts not 4.

ESPN3 televised Madden Bowl = screen showing raw, unfiltered racist Xbox Live messages while EA suits talk about athlete licensing deals.
Jason Kirk

@EAMaddenNFL @ESPN3 YEA! Madden bowl XVll was live allright.So where a hundred x-rated messages from gamers on playstation 3.