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Friday, February 19, 2010
Updated: April 15, 7:25 PM ET
'Madden' and Mullets

By Jon Robinson
ESPN Video Games

Jared Allen
When he gets into playing a game, Jared's mullet swishes around like a car wash.

Can you motion-capture a mullet?

That's the kind of question EA Sports is dealing with now that Jared Allen is among three finalists to appear on the cover of "Madden NFL 11."

"If I make the cover, I'm going to straighten my mullet and make it as trashy as possible," Allen jokes as we talk about his potential photo shoot. "You have to highlight the tools that got you there."

And even though Allen knows he's the underdog when it comes to fans voting for the coveted (albeit cursed) cover, the Vikings quarterback breaker says he's got a plan to beat Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees and the Colts' Reggie Wayne to the front of the box.

"Everyone at some point in their lives has either had a mullet or known somebody with a mullet," explains Allen. "I cover all spectrums, and I'm not afraid to call in a few favors."

Whether that's babies with mullets ("bullets"), or those flaunting the traditional looks of the Tennessee Top Hat or the Camaro Crash Helmet, Allen is looking for some help to push his name to the top.

But Allen doesn't want to be on the "Madden" cover just to collect a paycheck. He's an actual gamer who would relish the opportunity to rep one of his favorite hobbies.

Jared Allen
If you think Jared is a monster in real life, you should see him on a polygonal field.

"I play everything from 'FIFA' and 'Madden' to games like 'Pure' on my Xbox 360," Allen says. "I have an Xbox 360 in every house and a couple of Wiis right now, but I've been playing games since the old Nintendo days. I still remember how much I loved playing the old 'California Games.' I just met some guy from Microsoft and I was trying to convince him to come out with a new version. With all the motion technology [Project Natal has] coming out, imagine playing Hacky Sack."

"I was also into 'Rock Band' for quite a while," Allen continues, "but expert is just so dang hard. So I played on hard difficulty for a bit as a drummer, but then I had to retire. I'm making a comeback now, though, because I listen to country music and I just got the country songs that came out. The other music game I play is 'American Idol.' When 'Black Velvet' comes on, I kill it."

Jared Allen
Jared Allen.

As for Allen's polygonal representation in "Madden," the big man has no complaints. "'Madden' has never done me wrong and all of my characters in the past have been pretty awesome," he says. "A lot of people come up to me and tell me that they're sacking the crap out of the quarterback in the game."

And with the possibilities of Project Natal football, Allen sees a gridiron game in the not-so-far future where his character is actually chasing fans around their living rooms. "First thing you'll need to do is learn to duck," he tells me. "And stay down.

"People are also going to need to stretch before playing. I'd hate to hit you and you end up pulling something in real life because you got scared in the game. Cardio and stretching are going to be a huge part of it.

"How are you going to explain to your mom that you pulled your groin playing Xbox?"