The biggest name in sports gaming, EA Sports, will bask in the love of some of the biggest names in the NFL during its annual tournament, Madden Bowl XVII. For the first time this year, fans of the Madden franchise will be able to observe NFL superstars showing off their gaming chops in Madden NFL 11 as ESPN3 will be televising the event live from the Glass Cactus in Grapevine, Texas. This virtual football showdown takes place during the week of Super Bowl XLV on February 3, 2011.Players from three NFL teams, the New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, and Jacksonville Jaguars, and an All-Madden squad, made up of Madden Bowl veterans, will face off against each other in Madden NFL 11 (review) on the PlayStation 3. This year’s tournament will feature the all-new Online Team Play mode, which requires teams to compete 3-on-3 with each team member controlling a skill position: Quarterback, Running Back, and Wide Receiver on offense, and Defensive Lineman, Linebacker, and Cornerback on defense.
Super Bowl XLIV MVP and Madden cover boy, QB Drew Brees will join RB Reggie Bush and QB Chase Daniel to make up the New Orleans Saints' unit. WR Miles Austin, TE Jason Witten, and LB DeMarcus Ware will form “Team Cowboys,” while the Jacksonville Jaguars in the house include RB Maurice Jones-Drew, LB Kirk Morrison and TE Marcedes Lewis. The dangerous All-Madden Team consists of the 49ers LB Patrick Willis, and former Madden Bowl champions, Colts DE Dwight Freeney, and Ravens RB Willis McGahee.
Some of the other NFL heavyweights on the guest list are: QB Michael Vick, WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Reggie Wayne, WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Chad Ochocinco, WR Brandon Lloyd, DT Ndamukong Suh, QB Josh Freeman, and TE Rob Gronkowski.
Madden Bowl XVII won't just be about the tournament, however. Viewers will be treated to red carpet interviews and a Madden NFL franchise retrospective. And very much like the real Super Bowl, Madden Bowl comes with its own live musical intervention, courtesy of Big Boi of OutKast, Biz Markie, and Cee Lo Green. Still no word if Cee Lo Green will be singing "Forget You," or, um, the original version of his current hit single (NSFW).
It's all the things you love about the Super Bowl...minus the creepy CGI talking babies.
Madden Bowl XVII will be televised on ESPN3 at 9:00 p.m. EST. ESPN3 can be accessed online and via Xbox Live.