Jamaal Charles talks 'Madden 12' cover vote

March, 28, 2011
By Jon Robinson
CharlesDenny Medley/US PresswireJamaal Charles pulled off one of the biggest surprises in the "Madden 12" cover vote so far.

Honestly, I never thought Jamaal Charles stood a chance.

He was matched up against NFL jersey sales champ Tim Tebow in the first round of the "Madden NFL 12" cover vote, a popularity contest against one of the most popular athletes in all of sports.

Shows what I know. Charles dominated the vote from day one and never looked back, leaving the man himself as stunned as I am.

"I'm surprised, and it's scary at the same time ... it's blowing me away," Charles tells me with a laugh when I ask him about the results. "I had tweeted: 'Who do you think is going to win the round between me and Tim Tebow?' But I never thought it was going to be me."

In my best Howard Cosell voice, all I can say is: Down goes Tebow! Down goes Tebow!

"Most of the fans voted for me because they were afraid of Tebow getting the Madden Curse," Charles says. "If everyone was on my side, no telling how bad I could've whipped him.

"But it's all about the fans. I have to thank the fans for getting me this far."

If Charles does continue to advance and ends up on the cover, he says it will be a dream come true for a guy who spends all of his free time talking noise to teammates while on his PlayStation 3.

"I'm a huge gamer, that's all that I do," Charles explains. "I'm on that 'NBA 2K11' right now, and you know I can't stop playing 'Madden.' I play a lot of fighting games, I play a lot of racing games. I don't really go out when I'm in Kansas City, so I just stay at the house and play video games.

"I started playing 'Madden' when I was a little kid, then I played a lot when I was in high school. I remember when the PS2 came out, 'Madden' is all I played, and now on the PS3, it's changed so much, it's crazy. Everything is like real life."

The only thing not very realistic is the fact that Charles has trouble actually running the ball as himself.

No worries for the Pro Bowler, though, as the Chiefs running back has found a way to get his virtual self the ball.

"When I play my friends, I throw me the ball all the time because I feel like if I throw me the ball, we're going to win," he says. "They all get mad, trying to gameplan around me because they know where I'm going with the ball. I put myself in the seam and all I throw are straight go routes. I try to run the ball, but I just can't run like I want to. In real life, all my plays are outside plays like tosses, but I can't get to the edge. In real life, I get to that edge. That's why I end up just throwing me the ball.

"It's funny because people always hit me up on Twitter and tell me I'm a beast in 'Madden.' Like when we played the Ravens in real life, the fans were all playing the game in 'Madden' before it really happened and they were telling me I was killing it in the game and they were hoping I was going to do it in real life. They take this game serious."

And it's that passionate response from the fans that adds to the hype of the cover vote.

"If I can get on the cover, a lot of kids from my community will see me on ESPN and they'll know that they can one day make it where I'm at. I think it inspires a lot of people, and I think my fan base looks up to me as a real adult who handles everything the right way. And with me and Kansas City being a small network out there, it would be cool to represent the Chiefs on there. I'd be real proud."

Another aspect Charles is proud of is the fact that his character in 'Madden,' is almost single-handedly making it cool to play as the Chiefs again. Then again, he's just continuing the trend of superstar Kansas City running backs who have dominated the game, from the Nigerian Nightmare to Larry Johnson.

Adds Charles: "Everything I do, I just try to win, and me inspiring people to play 'Madden' as the Chiefs, I think that's great. I get so much joy from that and hearing those kids tell me that they play as me in the game. That's what I do this for. I play for the people.

"I used to play as the Chiefs all the time growing up. People always talk about Christian Okoye and I know when I was a kid, I loved playing as Priest Holmes. Hopefully I can carry on the tradition."

A tradition Charles likes to rub in to his teammates, friends and fellow gamers whenever they get the chance to sit down and play some 'Madden.'

"I like to play against Earl Thomas (of the Seahawks)," Charles says. "He has no skills. He sucks. He tries to match his character up against me all the time whenever I'm in the slot, but I dust him every time. I'm gone."

And while Charles likes to laugh and boast about his skills in the game, there's one subject that almost wipes the smile completely off his face -- the Madden Curse.

"I'll start worrying about that if I get on the cover," Charles admits. "I think it's all mental and I'm just going to keep going out and doing what I'm doing. It's all mental.

"Curses can be broken. Curses are like rules, rules can be broken and curses can be broken too."

Want to see Jamaal Charles make the cover and break the curse? Be sure to vote for Charles as he faces Maurice Jones-Drew in the second round of the "Madden 12" cover vote.


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