05:01 PM - December 5, 2006 by Steve_OS
Reggie Bush, Carson Palmer, Michael Strahan and Vince Young Featured as Madden NFL Football Gamers Vie for $100,000 Prize
ESPN, Electronic Arts and its EA SPORTS™ brand will again present Madden Nation – a reality series taking fans inside the world of Madden NFL 07. Airing weekly on Wednesdays, beginning December 13 (12:00 and 12:30 a.m. ET/ December 12 at 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. PT on ESPN2), the eight-episode series will pit the nation’s top 13 Madden NFL 07 gamers—along with real-life NFL player sponsors—against each other in elimination-style tournaments on a 12-city bus tour. NFL players Reggie Bush, Carson Palmer, Michael Strahan and Vince Young will be among the players featured during the tour, including scenes in the actual homes of some NFL players. The finale, which takes place in New York City’s Times Square, will air Wednesday, January 3, on ESPN2. The Madden Nation winner claims a $100,000 prize.
“After seeing the enthusiasm of fans from last year’s competition, we look forward to bringing them another action-packed series with this year’s Madden Nation, featuring more NFL players and some unforeseen plot twists,” said Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment.
With scenarios designed to test players’ skills, the tournament will now feature the gamers competing in teams of two to maintain their place in the tournament. However, each round one player from the losing team must face a "free agent" vying for their spot on the bus and in the competition. Tour stops include NFL cities Orlando, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati, Canton, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia and New York, as well as stops at EA SPORTS™ Madden Challenge events, NFL stadiums and a Monday Night Football game - all en route to the finale in Times Square.
Last year’s EA SPORTS Madden Challenge champion, Jarvis Thomas of Upper Marlboro, Md., appears in this year’s Madden Nation along with contestants made up of three former college athletes, a gamer from Australia, a DJ and father of three, a former World Series of Poker player, several college students and others. Additional footage and show information can be found at www.espnvideogames.com.
"Madden Nation is a great window into the passion and spirit of competition that lives in the Madden community” said Brandon Barber, Director of Entertainment Marketing at EA. “This year's Madden Nation is proof that video games can make great television and of the great partnership between EA and ESPN in pursuing that goal."
Each gamer is matched with an NFL player and meets him along the tour.
Gamer’s Representing Them
Billy “da Secret” Wolf
Troy “T-Roy” Brown
Richard “DJ Rhude” Thomas
Tommie “The Therapist” Hill
Brooklyn Park, MN
Robert “RJ” Warren
District Heights, MD
Fred “Fred Dizzle” Amonseum
Woodbridge, VA (originally West Africa)
Michael “Blotto” Southman
Donald “DJ” Mazzola
Mukala “Coach Muk” Sikyala
Stephen “Stevo Baby” White
Ft. Washington, MD
Jarvis “Young Jarvis” Thomas
Upper Marlboro, MD
Alex Smith- TE
Mike “Mad Dog” McAnaney
ESPN Original Entertainment
Launched in 2001, ESPN Original Entertainment is ESPN’s award-winning original programming banner. The EOE brand spans ESPN's sports-themed original movies, scripted and unscripted dramatic series, daily talk and debate series, documentaries, game shows and groundbreaking televised events such as the X Games and The ESPYS, and is delivered across multiple media platforms. With theatrical releases such as Through the Fire about basketball phenom Sebastian Telfair and Once in a Lifetime about the 1970’s New York Cosmos, EOE continues to plant itself firmly on the cutting edge of sports and entertainment television and event creation. Also, EOE's daily lifestyle and entertainment-themed series Cold Pizza and Quite Frankly are cornerstones of ESPN2’s programming lineup. With many new scripted and unscripted projects in development, EOE serves both the passionate sports fan and the more casual viewer, and strives to expand ESPN's already industry-leading offerings in live events and sports news & information programming.