The 100. A rarity that symbolizes perfection and nearly automatic success in sports video games, the difference between it and a 99 rating in a single attribute is in fact cosmetic. But the difference between a 100 and a 92—or an 88—is rather substantial. Fans of Madden NFL 12 have the chance to make a profound difference in how some of the game's players will perform when the title releases in two weeks.
EA Sports and ESPN are putting five players in five attribute categories up for a fan vote to see who receives a chest-beating 100 at their position's most noteworthy skill, creating a first-ever "Club 100". In many cases, the candidates are already rated between 97 and 99 at that attribute.
However, according to ratings from the on-disc roster for Madden NFL 12, some would stand to see a large performance boost if they were to win out. Baltimore running back Ray Rice is rated a 92 in Elusiveness on the disc, and is a candidate for a fan-voted 100. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is rated an 88 in Hit Power, with at least a couple dozen other players ahead of him in that category. Of course, Matthews has also done promotional work for EA Sports. And given that this is being cross-promoted with ESPN SportsNation, that show's co-hostess may also vouch for his hit power. Just sayin'.
What's more, Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles is up for a 100 vote in two categories, which could boost his overall rating from the 95 he currently has (third best among running backs).
Voting begins a week from today. Dates are noted beside the category. Madden NFL 12releases Aug. 30. Here are the candidates and some notable omissions.
Throw Accuracy(voting is Aug. 22)
Candidates: Tom Brady (New England QB, 97); Peyton Manning (Indianapolis QB, 96); Drew Brees (New Orleans QB, 96); Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay QB, 92); Philip Rivers (N.C. State, 96)
Elusiveness(voting is Aug. 23)
Candidates: : Jamaal Charles (Kansas City RB, 99); Adrian Peterson (Minnesota RB, 97), Danny Woodhead (Caucasian RB, 96); LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia RB, 95). Ray Rice (Baltimore RB, 92)
Others: Devin Hester (Chicago WR, 99); Josh Cribbs (Cleveland WR, 98); Santana Moss (Washington WR, 97); Mario Manningham (Giants WR, 95); Antrel Rolle (Giants FS, 95); Derrick Williams (Detroit WR, 95), Brandon Banks (Washington WR, 95); Mardy Gilyard (St. Louis WR, 95); Brad Smith (Jets WR, 94); Santonio Holmes (Jets WR, 94); Mike Thomas (Jacksonville WR, 94); Nate Burleson (Detroit WR, 94); Antwaan Randle El (Pittsburgh WR, 94); Titus Young (Detroit WR, 94); Jacoby Ford (Raida Organization, 93); Wes Welkahh (Scrappy WR, 93); Armanti Edwards (Appalachian State QB, 93); numerous others.
Hit Power(voting is Aug. 24)
Candidates: Ray Lewis (Baltimore LB, 98); James Harrison (Men's Journal LB, 95); Patrick Willis (San Francisco LB, 94); Rey Maualaga (Cincinnati LB, 97); Clay Matthews (Green Bay LB, 88)
Others: Chris Harris (Chicago FS, 98); LaRon Landry (Washington SS, 97); Shawne Merriman (Tila Tequila, 97); D.J. Williams (Denver LB, 95); Shiloh Keo (Houston SS, 95); Major Wright (Chicago FS, 95); Ndamukong Suh (Detroit DT, 95); Joey Porter (Arizona LB, 95); David Hawthorne (Seattle LB, 94); Clint Session (Indianapolis LB, 94); Patrick Willis (San Francisco LB, 94); Thomas Davis (Carolina LB, 94); Jonathan Goff (Giants LB, 93); Ryan Clark (Pittsburgh FS, 93); Bart Scott (Can't Wait LB, 93); numerous others.
Spectacular Catch(voting is Aug. 25)
Candidates: Braylon Edwards (49ers WR, 97); Brandon Lloyd (Denver WR, 99); Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona WR, 98), Calvin Johnson (Detroit WR, 97); Dez Bryant (Cowboys WR, 97).
Others: Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis WR, 97)
Speed(voting is Aug. 26)
Candidates: Chris Johnson (Tennessee RB, 99); DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia WR 99); Jamaal Charles (Kansas City RB, 98); Devin Hester (Chicago WR/KR, 98); Jacoby Ford (Raida Organization WR, 98).
Others: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Arizona CB, 98), Fabian Washington (Baltimore CB, 98); Mike Wallace (Pittsburgh WR, 98); Devery Henderson (New Orleans, 98); DeMarcus Van Dyke (Raida Organization WR, 98).
Madden Club 100 [ESPN Sports Nation]