That's my involuntary response to scenarios in which video games are mentioned. I've never got the sickness that others have when it comes to the Madden NFL video game. I refuse to call them nerds because I know that several Vikings players are Madden addicts and I prefer not to take a beating for disparaging gamers.
Next month, Madden 11 will be released, but, to satiate the hard-core gamers, the makers of the game have been releasing the rankings of players two teams at a time. Vikings player rankings for the game are expected to be released today or tomorrow. The 16 AFC teams have already had their numbers released, as has the NFC East, but fans will notice a new facet to the game that has been added – swagger ratings.
Trying to incorporate as many different elements as possible, the Madden game has added confidence/cockiness as an element of ranking players. The swagger component is something new and is viewed as something positive. To the surprise of few, the swagger rating has drawn a lot of interest among gamers. The highest swagger ranking to date belongs to Chad Ochocinco, who checked in with a 99 swagger rating. Others who scored extremely high on that rating are Darrelle Revis, Randy Moss, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
The interesting part of the swagger rating is that it gives credence to those who are viewed by some as being too cocky and too emotional. The Cowboys, for example, have several good wide receivers, but the highest swagger ranking goes to Dez Bryant, who has yet to play a down in the NFL.
While swagger is an objective statistic, one can only wonder how high the Vikings players will rank on that list. There may be more swagger on the Vikings than any team in the league, with Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, Jared Allen, E.J. Henderson, Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin all expected to score high on that list.
Given John Madden's bromance with Favre, it's hard to imagine Favre won't score a 99 on swagger, but there have been questions raised as to what Madden provides the game these days other than his name endorsement. Viking Update will pass along the rankings once they are released, but, if the makers truly have accurate swagger rankings, the Vikings may be off the charts.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.