The apotheosis of Cincinnati Bengals football as practiced by team president Mike Brown occurred during an NFL playoff game on a rainy Saturday night at Paul Brown Stadium in January 2016. In the space of just a few minutes, Brown’s clear conviction that character is of minor consequence in sporting endeavors was demonstrated, again, to be folly.
With the Bengals leading the Pittsburgh Steelers by a point in a wild-card round game, and with Pittsburgh beyond desperate because quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was playing with an injured shoulder, linebacker Vontaze Burfict took a personal foul penalty for striking wideout Antonio Brown in the head following an incomplete pass, and cornerback Adam Jones talked himself into an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Those 30 yards put the Steelers in position to win the game with a field goal.
A smart man, a smart organization would have learned the obvious lesson from that moment.
The Bengals instead drafted Joe Mixon with the 48th-overall selection.
That hasn’t been the case however with the “Madden NFL” franchise since 2012 thanks to its team-building mode and agreement with the NFLPA.
The incredibly popular card-collecting Ultimate Team mode now features freshly drafted rookies introduced in conjunction with the NFL Draft for its sixth year running with “Madden NFL 17.” The players enter with cards reflecting the type of ratings they may start with in the next game (in this case “Madden NFL 18”) along with special future editions that rate them at what their perceived full potential is envisioned to be. The new rookies are obtained through card packs or the Auction House.