For whoever is interested, you can go to http://www.ninja2009.com/website and download a tour sampler CD for free. If your a Nine Inch Nails fan I would also advocate signing up for notices on other free music. Trent Reznor let people download his last Album, The Slip for free at ANY quality that you wanted. You could get MP3, CD, or even record quality for those with high end audio equipment. Its pretty suite that he does it. For the Slip, Reznor posted thanks, this albums on me.
A few players have choosen the CFL in the past over the NFL. A few reasons are if they were offered a larger contract and for early entry if their NCAA eligibility had been taken away (poor grades). One of the greatest RB's of all time Herschel Walker choose the USFL over the NFL (so did Reggie White and Jim Kelly). It was strictly monetary.
As for the Bills playing in Canadia, I think its fine. Some people get caught up in the whole there shouldn't be games outside the U.S. thing. That is stupid. Think of it like this:1. the NFL is actually a private corporation 2. In being a Inc., the NFL has this crazy idea that they should profit as much as possible 3. The NFL has just about reached its saturation point on U.S. soil (L.A. wants another team but maybe they should have gone to games when they had two) 4. In trying to increase market share the U.S. is targeting large populous areas in which we share borders or customs (I.E. Mexico, Canada and England) 4. the best way to increase interest in these areas is to give them a top rated product (NFL rejects just don't draw the hype like the stars produce, I don't blame them, I love football but I wouldn't pay to go watch a washed up Lawerence Phillips play) 5. The crazy fade called a global enconomy has U.S. born corporations trying to increase market share boy going to recently open countries with growing middle classes and in need for their products (I.E. China, India: Look at it from the Walmart and McDonalds perspectives: theres about 2-4 billion ppl in those two countries, even if half of them eat burgers (in India's case McChicken's) that still a ton of burgers.
So the Bills playing a game in a foriegn city that you could spit from one of the skyscrapers in it and hit U.S. soil isn't an attack on the U.S. game or against the Buffalo Bills. Its just the NFL's way of garnishing more foriegn market share. In terms of globalization American Football is the least poplular of the 4 main sports that we have in our country. Baseball has a lot of foriegn born players from (japan, Dominican, Mexico, Etc), Basketball (Every team has at least one Eastern European player on it and Hockey (we're lucky we have enough players to form an olympic team, most clubs are comprised of Nordic Eastern European and Canadian players).
So you see the NFL is in dire need to Globalize to gain Market share. It is playing catch up to the other big 3 sports. If anyone contests this just look at the NBA and Yao Ming. He is one of the biggests cash cows they have. Did MJ ever have 1 billion ppl tune in to watch him live at 2 am? It really is just a money game. We just let our passions for the game hide that most of the time. I do the same just as much as anyone. Its hard not to when I ve played or worked in football since 3rd grade.
Sometimes I feel like the only one who isn't enjoying his football sims as much as he used to. The current state of the Madden franchise has alienated me from purchasing it. From year to year it feels that the creators at EA offer a slight tweak to the graphics, a minor change in gameplay and a new roster. To me that does not merrit a $50-60 investment. Currently I am stuck on the interception happy Madden 2007 for the Wii. Though the controls are great for the first incarnation of the game, they still could be better. I opted not to buy the rushed 2008 version of the game for the sole addition of online play, which is supposed to crash more often than Paris Hilton driving back from a party.
The developers at EA have been trying to push the game to people who don't generally play football games by making it easier. Don't get me wrong I think that making the game easier to play is great and trying to reach new demographics is what companies should do but at what cost. Should EA sacrifice some of its loyal and more advanced football gamers to reach out to a crowd who isn't interested enough in football to know some of the basic rules? Last years version of Madden was the lowest selling version in years. There is no doubt in my mind that the 2007 Madden sales alone prompted the change of their top executives.
The bread and butter of Madden, Franchise Mode is in definite need of an overhaul. It has remained virtually untouched since EA made the mover implementing college testing. As a former collegiate football operations assistant I have always wondered about the draft process along with the application of the mini-games in player development. Madden misses on QB, OL and WR development by passing on staple drills such as 7 on 7 (a passing drill where offensive skill packages match up versus linebackers and deffensive backs) and Oklahoma (a one on one run penetration drill where a defensive player lines up from an offensive player and tries to penetrate the offensive lineman and tackle the running back behind him). Franchise mode also lacks the ability to develop 2nd string players. It seems the only way that a player can increase his attributes is to start and to get as many stats as possible. It completely ignores the fact that backups can work on things to progress throughout the year. Keeping this in mind I would like to propose my top ten changes to franchise mode I would like to see in an upcoming version of Madden.
1. College stats for potential draft picks (A team should have to base a players ability off of his college career, awards, combine and workout performance)
2. More versatility in player development (refer to the changes suggested in the previous paragraph)
3. Teams should employ college scouts which you send to schools with potential pro prospects (this can be curtailed by amounts of money and time you can afford to spend on scouting, I.E. an in state school will be cheaper and easier to scout)
4. Attributes of Free agents shouldn't be viewable, you should pro scouts that evaluate their ability and have to bring them in for physicals and work outs
5. Teams should release less marquee players; I have had offseasons where Terrel Owens, Dwight Freeney and Ed Reed have been released. There is generally one pro bowl caliber player in free agency every year.
6. Franchise players who don't want to resign with their current team
7. Players that demand to be traded or have other issues that deter them from playing (I.E. suspensions)
8. Free agents that won't except the largest contract if its with a terrible team; also negotiating rookie contracts should be harder (there needs to be some hold outs)
9. A Mel Kiper big board for the draft along with him proclaiming busts. While were at it, possible have multiple draft rankings, and have the front office and coaches disagree on draft picks every now and then.
10. Going 16-0 shouldn't happen every year, make it really hard, I like to play great games that are close and lose every now and then
Let me hear your voice if you are fed up with a yearly roster update to the only allowable NFL franchise. I can't possibly be alone on this issue, can I?