Feature Article
Picking The Right Team: Blind Faith Equals Bad Results

 It is the little things that can sway games. A few inches here or there on 3rd and inches or 1st and 10, or a few inches this way to keep the ball out of that guy's hands and into your guy's hands. But that's the beauty of football and sports in general: mere inches mean the difference between jubilation and heartbreak. In Madden NFL 08, learning to win ballgames starts at the very beginning of the process of selecting a team that fits your play style. I am not going to sit here and tell you to not play with your favorite team just that your favorite team might not be the best suited team for your play style.

Recently a friend of mine who enjoys throwing the ball around the field decided to run a tournament with his Buffalo Bills, an obvious leap of blind faith towards his team.

My friend said, “I always play with the Bills, for better or worse.”

You would say that's no big deal because he was just being loyal to his team right? Well, the entry fee to the tournament was a mere $5, but we were playing for about $100 and two free games of our choice from the gaming store hosting the tournament. What made things worse is you could play with two different teams that you would sign up with at the start of the tournament.

His picks? Buffalo and Jacksonville.

Not exactly the poster children for air-it-out passing attacks.

You can guess what happened next; he lost his first game by a margin of 38-7 and was befuddled on why he lost to...you guessed it, the New England Patriots. Now, of course the Pats are men among boys in Madden NFL 08, but that is no excuse for otherwise crappy team selection.

When picking teams for leagues, online play or just a franchise it is best to look at what you do best as a gamer, be it passing or running, and then pick a team that suits your abilities -- if you want to succeed and not fail that is. You may be the kind of person that likes to build a franchise (good luck with that this year by the way, although maybe it will be sunshine and kisses after the upcoming patch), but if you aren't, a quick path to winning involves studying yourself and potential personnel and figuring out what the best fit is.

Myself? I love to play good defense and I like to have a good ground game that can eat up clock. I can play guys who score in the 50s on a regular basis and put the game in the 20s instantly with that style of approach. I also use the QB run game quite a bit, usually not in a cheesy type fashion, but then again Vince Young could be considered a cheeser to NFL coaches today. That means I'm usually rolling with the Titans or the Steelers depending on what's going on.

Of course, to many if not most NFL fans this is considered blasphemy to play with teams that aren't 'your' team. But, I do ask you show a bit of open-mindedness and try out a team that might fit your play style better and see how it goes. You never know, you might just like it.