Seven things we want to see in Madden 12

The American Professional Football Association began in 1920, and changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) two years later. However, as any stat geek will to tell you, the game of football has changed constantly over the last 91 years. The players, rules, and strategies – they all evolve. And publisher Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL football series continues to evolve as well – only not always in the ways we’d like. So, as the Super Bowl looms, we’ve written down a laundry list of complaints, requests that we’d love to see show up in next season’s version. Here’s hoping a few of these become reality.

7) For the historians: story time scenarios

The history of the NFL is littered with amazing individual stories. How about borrowing from NBA 2K11’s Michael Jordan challenge? We’d love the chance to try and emulate Gale Sayers’ amazing accomplishments in a tragically short career, or perhaps fill in missing Super Bowl holes of Dan Marino or Dan Fouts or Fran Tarkenton (seriously – Trent Dilfer has a ring, and these three don’t?) Combining old-school players with their real-life stories would be a heck of a lot more fun than doing the same old franchise mode again. Plus, it’d teach the kids a little something about past greats who only their dads (or granddads) know of.

Above: One of these four former quarterbacks won the Super Bowl. It’s not any of the ones who would make sense

6) For the collectors: every player ever

A few years back, Madden took out all the historical teams due to complaints from former players. Bring ‘em back – and make them better than ever by putting the real names of the players on the rosters (and when it matches the uniforms, the jerseys), too. Then let us set up tournaments, seasons, and online leagues with them so we can get the matchups that we really want, like the ’85 Bears against the ’00 Ravens (who really had the best defense of all time?) or the ’72 Dolphins against the ’07 Patriots (undefeated versus almost-undefeated). We want Jim Brown smashing into Brian Urlacher, Joe Montana passing to Jerry Rice while being guarded by Darrelle Revis, and Johnny Unitas avoiding sacks from Reggie White. Give us back our history!

Above: Could this guy run on Urlacher? Only one way to find out

5) For the ironheads: real team tackling

This year’s Madden features the best tackling the series has ever seen – until the second man in shows up. All too often, the additional defender is purely window dressing, barely (if at all) influencing the direction of the ballcarrier or his fate. We want to see brutal high-low hits that bend runners in ways that they’re not supposed to go, just like what happens on the field every single Sunday – without the snapped fibulas or shattered ankles, of course.

Above: The Steelers tackle in ways that test the human body’s ability to flex in several directions at once. We want that