The 'Madden' Dream Team

March, 14, 2012
03/14/12
5:27
PM ET
By Jon Robinson
Madden Dream TeamEA SportsWhen it comes to the greatest player in "Madden" history, Michael Vick is the clear No. 1.

Michael Vick is to "Madden" what Bo Jackson is to "Tecmo Bowl."

A level of domination so extreme, so in-your-face, that you can't think of the game without the virtual athlete attached.

Same goes for Tom Chambers dunking from the 3-point line in "Lakers vs. Celtics" and Jeremy Roenick's absurd ability to make little Wayne's head bleed in "NHL."

So it got me thinking: With the "Madden NFL 13" cover vote now under way, not to mention, my obsession with athletes I can mute, reset, and edit to my liking, if I had to put together an all-time team of "Madden" athletes, a team of the greatest virtual ballers this side of Bo and LT from "Tecmo Bowl," who would make the cut?

To help me out with this squad of superstars (and seriously overrated not-so-superstars who played like Hall of Famers for at least one year in the video game), I went straight to the source, enlisting the help of some of the brains behind the "Madden" franchise throughout the years.

So I flew out to the "Madden" game factory in Maitland, Fla., for the day, and picked the brains of Donny Moore ("Madden" ratings guru), Anthony Stevenson (marketing director), Larry Richart (central gameplay designer) and Michael Young (creative director), to get their thoughts on the greatest virtual athletes of our time.

Here's the team we came up with:

QB: MICHAEL VICK -- "Madden NFL 2004"

I think it's safe to say that more money changed hands in underground "Madden" tournaments based on Michael Vick from "Madden 2004" than any other player in the history of the franchise. "We've never had a quarterback that fast before," says Moore. "He had 97 throw power and 94 speed and with Playmaker ability, the game was tuned specifically for Michael Vick."

"The guy broke the game," adds Stevenson. "There was a lot of talk last year when we were doing the cover vote of why he was in the vote. He's a polarizing guy, so a lot of people were surprised at how easily he was breezing through the vote. I think part of it is because the video game version of Vick almost has more of a history than the real quarterback. Without fatigue, you could just run him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and nobody could stop him. I think if you ask any 'Madden' fan who is the best, they'll all say the same name: Michael Vick."

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