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Madden Bowl XVII

The Glass Cactus in Grapevine hosts EA Sports annual Madden NFL tournament

Have you ever played Madden NFL?  We did, live on ESPN 3 on Thursday night prior to Super Bowl XLV. Chad Ochocinco, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, LaMarr Woodley and Maurice Jones Drew were just a few of the NFL superstars taking part in the 17th Madden Bowl, the first to be broadcast on ESPN3.com.

The event, turned tv program came together at the last minute, so there was little preplanning. In fact promotion to announce the carriage rights on ESPN3.com did not begin until a few days before the event itself as EA Sports and ESPN finalized their agreement.

Can 3 on 3 game play translate to an Internet audience?  Absolutely, especially with the megawatt star power coming out for this private event. But a decision needs to be made about the focus of the program.  Twitter was a twitter with gamers' requests for more game action.  Is that what this show should be, just pure game action?

My instincts tell me it should combine game action and celebrity interviews.  So if we get the chance to do this again, I'd vote for following the games more closely and using the split-screen technique for the rest of the content.  You learn a lot doing an event for the first time.

I do know that ESPN3's Cassidy Hubbarth and Christian Fauria did a great job and performed comparably to two of the network's heavyweights, Trey Wingo and Michelle Beetle.  Actually, I should not call Michelle a heavyweight even though she complained about feeling heavy on this night.  In truth I think she's excellent, with a dynamite personality and the next big thing at ESPN.

We enjoyed doing this show, just to see the likes of Mark Sanchez, Tony Gonzales and the groupies that follow them.

We even pissed off a big time entertainer.  His name is Big Boi and I guess I'm out of his demographic because I'd never heard of him although he is a big boy.  He got mad because we had to take a commercial break before his interview segment.  He stormed off and  left the world to wonder what he might have said.

I screwed that one up. What a loss.  What a night, until it started snowing again.

To see one of the features we produced for the event, click here