To honor the end of another great madden cycle, I conducted an interview with the final Super Bowl champ of the cycle: The one and only Dan.
Jesse:"Alright Dan, my first question to you, Coming into this season, how did you feel about your chances of a SB? (Had been to only 1 all cycle and fell short)"
Dan: "I was not entirely sure. Every year prior was heartbreak after heartbreak. I really believed it just wasn’t my cycle. But with Norman at XF, I figured it was definitely possible, but definitely an uphill climb to get it done."
J: " So with that being said getting Omaha and HRM for Fletcher WASNT the last piece of the puzzle you needed? there were other things that needed to be addressed to be sure of a SB? "
D: "I definitely had to play better defense in key situations, nothing team wise.. just better scheme and better playing. On offense, I needed to just play better in the later stages of the game, and I can definitely say I accomplished both of those things this week."
J: "You absolutely did. How does it feel being the only NFC user to win a bowl all cycle?"
D:"Believe it or not but I wasn’t even thinking about it right before or during the game. It was only after the dust was settled that it occurred to me that I broke the NFC curse. I was so thrilled to have done it, like I lifted the souls of sixteen wonderful people and brought a title home. The victory was for them!"
J:"A man of the people. That’s why we love you Dan! My next question: 'Where does Fletcher rank on your *personal* list of Personally drafted AI?'. "
D:" Right there at the top, at least among my BL players. Let’s compare him to another Hall of Famer, Maurice Little. He was a superstar dev immediate impact player. Norman, however, was normal dev and very raw. He had to be made into a great player, and it required a lot of hard work, patience, and perseverance to get him to what he is. And that is why this championship was so satisfying, because I saw this kid grow from a 69 overall nobody out of LSU, into one of the greatest passes this league has ever seen. It didn’t come easy, and that’s what makes his story so special."
J:" Truly remarkable and I agree, when you take a player who isn’t supposed to be anything and you can dev and build him up, it makes CFM even better. Devving drafted players is a special and great feeling, and you not only did that, but used this player to win you a Championship! The hard work and loyalty to Fletcher payed off. "
D:"I have the most fun in leagues when I build through the draft, grow and dev these guys, and see what they’ve become as the cycle progresses. What’s great about CFMs is that it’s your team and not anybody else’s, and you are able to put the pieces together how you best see it. When you win with your team, as opposed to somebody else’s, it makes winning much more special"
J:" How much does this bowl mean to you?"
D:"This one means a lot to me because of how much I struggled this cycle in the biggest of games. I was finally able to persevere and win by grinding out four consecutive games against four uniquely tough opponents. From a wider angle, I never wanted to be viewed as a “one cycle wonder”. The fact I was able to win in multiple championships ends any of that conversation. "
J:", I agree that it ends that conversation from even being able to begin. You had a ton of success in m20 and I know alot of users were wondering how it would translate, if it would at all, to m21, and even if you weren’t able to replicate the EXACT success (it would be almost impossible to win as many Super Bowls as you did in not only 1 but 2 madden cycles) you still succeeded in a league which I can argue was harder to win in that last cycle."
D:"Yeah it’s hard to replicate three titles in five seasons. I knew that no matter what I did this year it was nearly impossible to match the magical run I had with those Jaguars in 20. But with that being said, it’s such a relief that I indeed did not leave 21 empty handed."
J:"To be fair, I don’t think a single person in the league thought you were going home this cycle empty handed, everyone respects your skill that much! With that being said, you said about your success with your Jaguars in m20 and it sets up my next question: We see the success Austin’s had all cycle, we saw the success you had all last cycle, in your opinion how does one get to that point? Hard work, obsession, pedigree?"
D:"While non of us are pro madden players by any stretch of the imagination, we are all very committed and dedicated to this league. I really think it all comes down to practice, learning, and experience. We all sucked at this game mightily at some point (my madden 12 online record was like 20-100, lol). What guys like Austin and others do is constantly work to understand the game a little bit more every day, especially when the new game comes out in the fall. When you understand the game better, and apply what you learned on the gridiron, the dedication really does pay off"
J:"Hard work and dedication always pay off, even if the payout is winning 1 extra game a season, everything always works out if you put the time and effort into it"
D:"Couldn’t have said it better Jesse!"
J:"My final question for you Dan, and once again thank you for taking the time to do this, Did you ever think in your mind during the Miami trip, 'I’m gonna be a problem for all these guys.' ?"
D:"Honestly I gained so much respect from everyone who showed up down in Miami. Definitely saw a side of people that I otherwise would never have thought. It was such a pleasure getting to know everyone in that kind of way. As far as competition goes, I think it does help to humanize your opponents and understand they are real people just like you, and not some unbeatable faceless demon like others are sometimes portrayed."
J:" I’ve always thought the same thing. Putting a face to the name helps with anything competitive, but the Miami trip was a great time and a huge indicator of how much people love this league."
Thank you to Dan for his time, and congratulations to him for adding a 4th SB to his BL legacy. Thank you to everyone who read along and keep your eyes peeled for more content coming either the DL page, BLN, or BLHH!!