Growing up, who wouldn't have wanted to be on the cover of a Madden videogame? Anyone with aspirations of playing in the NFL without suffering serious injury or abrupt retirements, that's who. Can Drew Brees, who was selected to appear on the cover of Madden 2011, avoid the longstanding curse that has plagued the videogame series for the past 8 years?
Prior to 2002, Madden himself used to appear on the cover. That changed when EA slapped Daunte Culpepper's mug on the box art, who went on to have an off season throwing more interceptions than he ever had before and finishing below .500 on a Vikings team that began the year with high hopes of winning it all, or at least their division.
But it doesn't stop there. Former Seattle Seahawk Shaun Alexander would break arm after appearing on the cover, and Vince Young would become injured as well. There have been a handful of others, and most recently, EA put Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzerald on last year's cover, each of which dealt with health issues during the season.
This year's cover was decided by a fan vote, the first time EA has ever done so. Games and fans could cast their vote for Drew Brees, Reggie Wayne, or Jared Allen, and it comes as little surprise that Brees emerged as the victor. The question is, will it cost him next season?
For just over $28,000 ($28,067.31 to be exact), you could probably buy the laughable Detroit Lions football team and still have paid $28,067.31 too much. Nevertheless, that was the internet bill Chicago Bears fan Wayne Burdick received last November to watch his team eek out a 27-23 victory over the Lions.
Burdick managed to rack up the bloated bill while sitting docked in a Miami port killing time before his Caribbean cruise began. Using a wireless card plugged into his laptop, he was able to receive a feed from his Slingbox connected to his cable box. That's all well and good, except for the fact that Burdick was being charged international rates at a cost of 2 cents per kb. Ouch!
After contacting AT&T about the wrongdoing, Burdick managed to get his bill reduced to a much more 'affordable' $6000. But, there is a happy ending for Burdick. He writing to the Chicago Sun Times, the newspaper got in touch with AT&T and convinced the ISP to credit his bill for $27,776.66.
So why the high charge in the first place? Apparently Budick's wireless card was picking up an errant signal, kind of like the ones the Lions offense have been receiving from the sidelines all season long.
With the New England Patriots having been unceremoniously knocked out of playoff contention in unprecedented fashion with an 11-5 record, most of you are probably so disgusted that you won't even bother to watch the Super Bowl. But for the rest of you, and particularly those of you planning to attend and watch the Cardinals finish off their storybook playoff run with one final (and one very shocking) victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (that's right, I'm calling the Cardinals on this one) in person, Microsoft will be helping to keep you safe during the ensuing pandemonium.
NFL security VP Milton Ahlerich said earlier that Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will be "one of the safest locations you can possibly be" during the Super Bowl, which shows how confident he is in Microsoft's Surface. Security will be using Surface to coordinate security forces, giving them a display of a Microsoft Virtual Earth map of the entire region, along with the ability to quickly zoom and display a 3D image of the city with realtime resource tracking.
"We’re thrilled to be a part of the Super Bowl activities and supporting our long term customers here in Tampa," said Robert Wolf, President and CEO of E•SPONDER. "Our goal remains to provide the region’s first responders with easy-to-use, real-time collaboration tools to help protect the fans attending events throughout Super Bowl week and the game itself."