Lamar Jackson + Lil Wayne? Big Truzz.
As I tweeted earlier this morning, watching the first look of the highly anticipated Madden 2021, which features the reigning MVP, former Louisville football star, and arguably one of the hottest names in the sports world, Lamar Jackson, was beyond surreal.
I grew up play nothing but EA Sports Madden Football year-round (and still do), so for Jackson who is my favorite Louisville Cardinal of all-time, on the cover was already wild enough. But when the first released trailer was narrated by my favorite rapper growing up, I wondered if I was living in some sort of weird nebulous where all of my favorite things came together in one.
The 1:44 video featured nothing but cuts of Lamar Jackson throughout his football playing career, including of course, the lovely red and black, and of course clips of him in the soon to be released Madden 21.
Lamar Jackson ready to be the guy for the next generation
We already know that Jackson is set to be one of the fastest and most elusive quarterbacks in the game history, rivaling the 2004 release of Madden which featured Michael Vick on the cover, a game that Jackson has referenced as being his favorite of all-time on numerous occasions.
USA Today asked Jackson about his favorite memories of playing Madden growing up, and of course, he begun gushing about Madden ’04.
“Oh! Michael Vick, 2004,I remember chucking the ball up there, running around. It was so different. No one could keep up with Mike.”
“He was unstoppable.”
16 years later and Jackson will get the same opportunity to influence younger generations due to his unstoppable play, much like Vick did for him. If you talk to ANYONE about Madden, it is nearly impossible to have a full conversation without bringing up ’04. Because of how unstoppable Michael Vick was, it made putting the sticks down nearly impossible.
However, if Madden is going to do create that for Jackson they’ll need to get it right unlike last season. While in Madden 2020, Jackson took a major jump in gameplay from the year prior and was a lot of fun to play with. Somehow, anytime he was hit he would fumble – something we’ve seen not happen on the actual field.
If they can get Jackson’s fumbling down, keep him from being injured (that was the fault in 2019), and catch his passing abilities up to where it was during his 3,127 yards, 36 touchdown MVP winning season than the game will truly be a flop. However, I don’t expect that to be the case. Though plenty of fans have taken to social media to voice their displeasure with lack of change year over year, no one seems to believe that Jackson won’t be one of the best players on the game.
As if the trailer wasn’t enough, we also got the first glance at the cover art for the game – something that is an annual rite of passage for Madden fans. They also released some of the new features for the game, including the “Face of the Franchise: Rise to Fame” mode, where players will participate in a “playable documentary” and play through high school, college, the NFL Draft combine, the NFL draft, and of course through the NFL – all inspired by Lamar Jackson.
So what about the Madden curse? For years there was talk each new release about the cover athlete and whether or not they’d end up injured. It was a very real thing for quite some time, and while last year’s cover athlete, Patrick Mahomes, did get injured – it resulted in a very minor blip on the radar during the season and the Chiefs winning a title – thus ending the curse.
Jackson talked about the curse, saying “I’m not worried about a curse. Patrick Mahomes was on the front and he also won an MVP, so I hope that’s the curse. I’d love to follow Mahomes’ path of MVP, then Super Bowl. That’d be a great path to follow right now.”
This year is set to be one for the books for Lamar Jackson, assuming he’s able to build off of his second campaign and take an even bigger step into the “elite” quarterback conversation. For Louisville football, they are now a walking billboard across recruiting.
Oh yeah – Jack Harlow is set to have his music featured on Madden. This one is truly for the Ville.