As CollegeHumor's video game reviewer I was super stoked when we were sent an advanced copy of Madden Bye Week '07. The game picks up where Madden '07 leaves off. In Madden '07 you get to control the players on the field, in Madden Bye Week '07 you get to control them off of it.
The NFL Regular season is 17 weeks long, however, each team only plays 16 games. The reason? Every team gets one bye week to recuperate their bodies and relax, and that's where you come in!
To begin, you choose a team. I chose the Seattle Seahawks because during bye weeks players like to spend time around the city, and I've never been able to visit the Pacific Northwest.
For my first day off, I was defensive end Bryce Fisher. I knew I was in for a challenge because players like to spend their first days off at home, and Bryce Fisher was recently charged for assaulting his wife, but everything went swimmingly! The game play was amazing as I was able to choose from a variety of cereals that Mrs. Fisher stocks the home with. I went with "Special K: Fruit and Yogurt" because I read somewhere that Fisher loved hearty oat clusters packed with lively berry flavor.
The next couple days were really exciting. I was superstar quarterback Matt Hasselback and MTV was shooting "Cribs" at my house! Shows like "Cribs" are great because they allow casual fans to gain real insight into the, otherwise very guarded, personal life of their favorite private celebrities. I was really funny, too. When they showed my bedroom I was like "this is where the magic happens." The producers ate it up.
On Sunday I was NFL MVP Shaun Alexander and instead of watching football, I just hung out with my two golden retrievers (Patsy and Buster) all day. I figured Shaun needed a break from the monotonous grind of the gridiron and just take a mental vacation. At night I took Shaun and his wife out for some gelato, (Shaun got Pistachio and his wife some Fruity Sorbetto thing) and afterwards Well, lets just say Mrs. Alexander has a vivid imagination. What that woman can do with pint of Cherry Sorbet Well worth the cost of the game $45.99
Monday was back to the grind and that's kind of where regular Madden takes over. You know, playcalling, passing, rushing, fake field goals, whatever. My thoughts are: any six year old with opposable thumbs can move the ball down the field, but it takes a real human to understand these players. You need to know what they love, to comprehend their passion for life, beyond the sport they play. Ultimately, this isn't a "video game," its a testament to the human will. Available on X-Box and PS2.