The latest installment of the long-running “Madden NFL” video game came out back in August, but Tom Brady has not been able to bring himself to play the newest edition instead of the one he fortunate enough to grace the cover of last year. On Monday, he finally decided to move on.
In a funny video he shared on Instagram, Brady passed the torch to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is the cover athlete for “Madden NFL 19.”
Brady playing Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” in the background was a great touch. Between that video and the joke he cracked about Rob Gronkowski after Sunday’s thrilling victory, No. 12 is on a bit of a social media hot streak.
25-year-old Aaron Frishman was one of over 100 competitors in Jacksonville, Fla. this weekend to participate in the Madden 19 Classic qualifying tournament taking place at GLHF Game Bar at the Jacksonville Landing. He came to the event, driving several hours with a friend, in hopes of becoming one of the lucky finalists to qualify for the Madden Classic main event in Las Vegas. Instead, he left in panic and shock after having witnessed a shooting that left several wounded and at least three dead.
The experience, Frishman told Larry Brown Sports, was “like something you see in a movie, but you never actually think you’ll witness in real life.”
Frishman, who lives in Pembroke Pines, Fla., drove over four hours and 300 miles to participate in the Jacksonville event. He was eliminated on Saturday but was in attendance on Sunday as his friend, Darren Hojjati, competed in the single-elimination tournament. Hojjati, who lives in Los Angeles but flew out to Florida for the competition, had just lost in the second round of the tournament about 10 minutes before the shooting occurred.
The two had different experiences during the shooting.
Frishman says he was sitting at the bar at GLHF Game Bar, drinking a beer, when he suddenly heard the shots fire. He says he froze upon hearing the shots and didn’t know what to do, so he crawled under his bar stool and curled up in a ball, praying the shots didn’t come his direction.
“He was shooting at everybody. 100-plus people. I was just praying he didn’t shoot in my direction,” Frishman told larrybrownsports.com.
He was lucky that the shots did not go towards him, allowing him to survive as he remained under his bar stool for a good 2-3 minutes before things stopped.
Frishman was only a few feet away from the shooter, who also was at the bar. According to Frishman, the shooter, who witnesses say had lost in the tournament, had a beer at the bar, though Frishman believes it was only one beer and that the man was not drunk.
Frishman told LBS that the shooter was easily distinguishable in the crowd because he was wearing sunglasses indoors.
The remnants of the havoc wreaked by the shooter were horrifying. Frishman saw several people bloodied from the gun shots.
Hojjati, 29, had just finished his second-round tournament game about 10 minutes before the shooting. Upon hearing the gun shots, Hojjati says he began running and found safety in a bathroom along with several other men.
“There was no exit. I heard one shot, left, started running, ran into the bathroom with a bunch of other dudes and started barricading the door,” Hojjati told Larry Brown Sports.
He says there were about 10-15 people hiding in the bathroom.
“Some of us were ready if he was going to burst in there. We were going to disarm the guy,” he said.
Hojjati only came out of the bathroom after an off-duty cop said it was safe to evacuate.
“Your initial reaction is to think it’s a joke. It’s so surreal to be involved in that. Never thought I’d have to experience that,” a shaken Hojjati said.
The horrifying experience left the two wondering why there wasn’t more done to ensure the safety of those in attendance.
“There were no metal detectors, no police presence,” said Frishman. “I would feel a lot safer if there was a metal detector.”
He notes the events often get heated because there is a lot of money on the line.
The traumatic experience left a deep impact on Frishman.
“It makes me never want to go to a Madden event ever again let alone play Madden. Now I don’t want to play Madden again.”
At least four people were killed and several others wounded in a shooting that took place at a Madden NFL 19 tournament in Jacksonville on Sunday, and the company that developed the game has weighed in on the horrible tragedy.
Not long after reports of the mass shooting began surfacing, EA Sports released the following statement on Twitter:
We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville. We are working with authorities to gather facts at this stage.
Drini Gjoka was one of the video gamers participating in Sunday’s Madden 19 video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. where a shooting took place, leaving at least four dead and 11 people wounded. He was among those who were wounded.
The teenager, who bills himself as a Madden pro, tweeted about the horrific experience around the time it happened, saying that a bullet hit his thumb.
You can read his account below:
Won my first single elim game 16-9. Off to Round of 32
A Twitch livestream from a Madden 19 video game tournament in Jacksonville appears to have captured the fatal shooting in an extremely harrowing video.
Video gamers were gathered at the Jacksonville Landing on Sunday for a tournament of the popular NFL-themed videogame. A Twitch livestream, which airs streams of videogames for spectators to watch simultaneously from different locations around the world, showed two gamers facing each other in the game. Suddenly a loud pop is heard in the background, followed by a few more. A few seconds later, the two players who were facing each other in the game disconnect, presumably to hide.
It’s become routine for professional athletes to complain about their video game ratings. Whether it’s NFL players feeling slighted by Madden or NBA players feeling slighted by the 2K series, every year someone gets a bit hot under the collar.
Here in 2018, that distinction goes to Atlanta Hawks rookie Trae Young, who subtly expressed his displeasure in an NBA 2K19 rating of 77 — a rating that is very much in the wheelhouse for most rookies.
While Young did dominate in his one and only college season, averaging 27.4 points and 8.7 assists per game for Oklahoma, he has been repeatedly questioned about his size (6-foot-2) and what it will mean for him against NBA competition.
During Summer League play, Young showed flashes of brilliance, but he also struggled at times and couldn’t find the bottom of the net. Along with his aforementioned size, that’s likely why Young was given a sub-80 rating by those at Visual Concepts and 2K Sports.
Of course, if Young goes out and lights the basketball world on fire, it won’t be long before his rating rapidly increases.
EA Sports apologized on Thursday over a Colin Kaepernick-related edit that appeared in their “Madden 19” video game.
Rapper Big Sean caused a controversy when he tweeted Thursday that EA had removed Kaepernick’s name from a verse on a track he recorded for the game.
It’s disappointing and appalling @NFL & @EA took @Kaepernick7’s name out of my verse on Big Bank for Madden 19, like it was a curse word. When he's not a curse, he's a gift! Nobody from my team approved any of this.
After the story went viral, the video game company issued a statement about the matter in which they said they made a mistake and vowed to fix it.
“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack. Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks.
“We messed up, and the edit should never have happened. We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.”
Their statement won’t change the minds of those who believe the edit was made due to Kaepernick’s political agenda, but at least all can acknowledge that EA is working quickly to fix the issue.