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Are You a . . . Quitter?

It's no fun getting embarrassed in Madden.

It's no fun getting embarrased in Madden. During one particularly horrendous game against my roommate, I three three consecutive picks -- down 35-7, I called game over before the start of the second half. Hopefully, when you do this with a friend, they take it easy on you. After all, everyone has an off day (or an off month).

On the other hand, it's much easier to quit when you're playing online. It's anonymous, there aren't really many penalties (besides the quit percentage they tag you with), and you don't have to deal with those people ever again.

Being a Bad Sport

There are lots of reasons to quit, of course. If someone is being a particularly bad sport about things -- taunting, running up the score, going for it on fourth-and-long with the lead (in other words, acting like the '07 Patriots) -- then I can sympathize with dropping the game. It's no fun to take a beating when the other guy's acting like a jerk. A twelve-year old jerk. Dropping homophobic slurs left and right. Yeah, we've all been there, at least if we've played a few games of Halo or Gears of War.

However, I also think it goes the other way. If your opponent is beating you fair and square, you shouldn't quit even if you're losing by 30. If they're patiently running the ball and running down the clock, and playing a lot of conservative defenses against your offense . . . then that's really the best you can expect. It's not like they can just gift you touchdowns, and you're certainly getting a valuable chance to practice against a better opponent.

I bring this up because I recently resumed playing Madden online. I induced quits in my first three games, leading me to feel mildly frustrated. I was racking up wins, but I never got to actually play a full game! This was especially annoying because I'm actually much weaker on defense than offense, which meant that a) it's not like I killed any of my opponents, they could definitely move the ball against me; and b) I really wanted the practice!

Finally, I got a complete game in my fourth try. I went up 21-0, and the score was 42-7 heading into the fourth quarter. By that point, I'd been running the ball on pretty much every play (I finished the game with 13 passes, and 35+ rushes). But my opponent kept plugging away, and he started hitting deep bombs on me in the fourth quarter -- before I knew it, the margin was rapidly shrinking. A 50-yard touchdown to T.O. - 42-14. A streak from Chad Ochocinco - 42-21. But I kept running the ball (thank God for Chris Johnson's speed!), and ended up winning 49-28.

It might have been a blowout, but I really admired my opponent after that game. He stuck to it and got quite a few big strikes on me in that fourth quarter (which he or she won, 21-7).

Most of us, I'm sure, agree that there's something to admire in sticking it out until the bitter end. I'm also sure that most of us have been on the other side, wondering why we're wasting a valuable half-hour valiantly denying the inevitable loss.

So, I ask the members of the Gamespot community: are you a quitter?