Paul Rudd Annoys Lewis In Madden 13 Ads
Is there anything more annoying than a friend doing a victory dance in your face while chanting, "Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow?"
Well that's exactly what Hollywood actor Paul Rudd, who stars in iconic movies including Clueless, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Halloween, does to Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis while playing Madden NFL 13.
In a series of ads for the popular football video game, Lewis and Rudd play the role of two best friends who have been rivals since living next door to each other in their youth. Their bond as adults is so tight that they won't even play Madden with other people.
"I take it so far as I don't even play the new Madden with anybody else. That's like my marriage," Rudd said, with Lewis nodding his head in agreement. "One time several years ago we talked about maybe have an 'open' Madden relationship where each of us could maybe play with some other players – doing it online, connecting with strangers.
"It sounded exciting and everything, but it I think it would ruin the relationship."
Judging by these hilarious commercials, it seems like reopening their Madden relationship could actually do their friendship some good because Rudd could be one of the most annoying video game opponents … ever.
Rudd and Lewis play hundreds of games together; some highlighted over the course of several ads in which the movie star taunts the future Hall of Famer. In Game No. 16 of 21, Rudd uses a rewind feature that repeatedly showed Lewis missing a tackle at the goal line. In another, Rudd uses Kinect voice command to force Lewis to spike the ball on third-and-goal in a game against the computer.
But the most irritating of them all: Game No. 192 of 201 where Rudd selects the Pittsburgh Steelers to play against Lewis. Check it out below, plus another video featuring an on-camera interview where the two talk about their fictional relationship.
Reed, Pollard Compete In Field Goal Battle
While we're checking out videos, here's another gem.
In this one,* *we get to take a break from the Billy Cundiff vs. Justin Tucker kicker battle and insert Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard in their place.
The two Ravens safeties had a friendly competition prior to yesterday's practice to see who could hit a field goal from 30 yards out. Reed made his, and did a little dance to celebrate afterwards (he must take his lessons from Rudd). Pollard may want to stick to hitting receivers instead of footballs.
This CSNBaltimore.com video captured the moment:
Ravens Open Practices 'A Big Hit'
While the Ravens will never be able to replicate the tradition of training camp at McDaniel College in Westminster, The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Cowherd believes the three open practices for fans this summer "have to be considered a big hit."
The team held practice at M&T Bank Stadium (20,000 in attendance,) Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis (21,000) and Stevenson's Mustang Stadium (3,000 tickets given out to the 30,000 applicants) throughout training camp.
Cowherd acknowledged that not as many fans could watch these sessions as they would have in Westminster, but the Ravens made it a point not to isolate themselves when they made the decision to hold camp at the Under Armour Performance Center, where they feel they are better able to prepare for the season.
"The point is, each time the Ravens threw open the doors this summer, the fans turned out in droves. It was this great bonding between a football team and its fan base," wrote Cowherd. "And maybe what these practices did most of all was ease the bruised feelings a lot of fans have for the way the Ravens ditched their old training site at McDaniel College."
Cowherd says that Owner Steve Bisciotti deserves most of the credit for these open practices. At first he was concerned about making the training camp move to Owings Mills, Md., but after meeting with Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and Dick Cass, he realized it was the best decision for football.
"When he finally signed off on training camp at The Castle, it was with the provision that the Ravens find some way to make it up to the fans with open practices," wrote Cowherd. "And if the scene at Stevenson and Navy-Marine Corps Stadium and the Bank this summer is any indication, Ravens fans have appreciated Bisciotti's efforts."
McClellan Has Edge Over Upshaw?
Perhaps one of the more surprising developments in training camp thus far is learning that Ravens top draft pick Courtney Upshaw is no lock to win the starting outside linebacker role opposite Paul Kruger. He started off playing with the first-team defense in minicamp, but began to lose ground in training camp in part because he suffered a shoulder injury.
Albert McClellan, who has started at the spot in both preseason games, appears to have the edge on the starting role, wrote The Sun's Matt Vensel after listening to Harbaugh talk about the competition.
"You've got to earn your stripes. You've got to earn your position, no matter what," Harbaugh told the media yesterday. "I don't know why a lot of people would think that [Upshaw would be given the starting job]. It's pretty presumptuous. The best guys play."
McClellan played in all 18 games last season (including playoffs) as an undrafted rookie from Marshall,* *and was named the starter at middle linebacker against the 49ers on Thanksgiving night when Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe where both injured.
"It sure sounds like McClellan's roster spot is secure," wrote Vensel. "He wasn't a lock coming into camp, but he might just be the frontrunner to start in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. Upshaw, who looked tentative at times in Monday's practice, will eventually play a significant role this season, too. The Ravens will need him too – especially if Suggs doesn't suit up in 2012.
"But Harbaugh made it clear that nothing will be handed to him. The rookie will have to earn it."
Hensley: Williams Should Have Taken The Money
News broke late Sunday night that cornerback Cary Williams declined a three-year contract offer from the Ravens worth about $15 million. The 27-year-old veteran believed it was the right gamble to make because he's beaten the odds so many times before and thinks he will have a standout season in 2012.
ESPN's Jamison Hensley says it hard to bet against Williams, but believes he made the wrong decision.
"It's admirable to see a player, especially a cornerback, have such confidence," the AFC North blogger wrote. "But, in this case, Williams is making the wrong gamble."
Hensley gave three reasons to back his opinion: 1) Williams will be targeted by quarterbacks this year in order to avoid Lardarius Webb, 2) The loss of Terrell Suggs will make the corners' job tougher by having to cover for more time and 3) There's no guarantee that Williams will even start with Jimmy Smith competing for the job.
Cundiff Edges Tucker
I've noted on a few occasions before when Tucker has come out on top in the kicking battle, so it would only be right to mention that it was Cundiff who got the edge in practice yesterday.
Both players converted field goals from 29, 34, 41, 52 and 58 yards, according to The Baltimore Sun, but Cundiff came out the victor from beyond 60.
"With the rest of the team getting into each kick, Cundiff converted from 61 yards while Tucker's attempt from the same distance sailed wide right," wrote Jeff Zrebiec. "In fairness to Tucker, there was an issue with the snap that threw off his timing a little bit."
- @CoachBillick: Surprising takeaway from Ravens game: Ozzie Newsome may have found something in UDFA Bobby Rainey, all-purpose RB out of Western Kentucky. [Twitter]
- @mzenitz: Shawne Merriman released by the Bills today. Clearly nowhere near the dominant pass rusher he once was, but worth a look for the Ravens? [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: No injury setbacks for Ravens. Eight total guys not practicing and they all are expected absences. That list is WR D. Reed, TEs Pitta and Dickson, OT J. Reid, LBs Bynes and Suggs, DT McBean, and DE McPhee (death in family). [Twitter]
- @Ravens: Safety Sean Considine was held out of contact today. Doctors said that he got "dinged" but Considine said he didn't. Harbs sided with docs. [Twitter]
- @TorreySmithWR: That moment when you walk into the huddle and your center is singing "hey I just met you...and this is crazy..." hahahahaha I love this team [Twitter]
- Curtis Painter has outplayed Tyrod Taylor in preseason games, but the Ravens' backup quarterback battle wages on. [The Baltimore Sun]
- The standout performer in practice yesterday was receiver Tandon Doss, says Zrebiec. "With his hamstring issues seemingly behind him, second-year wide receiver Tandon Doss is starting to show up more and more in practice," he wrote. "Monday may have been his best session yet, as the 2011 fourth-round pick caught four passes in 11-on-11 drills. Doss is battling LaQuan Williams and rookies Deonte Thompson and Tommy Streeter for the fourth receiver spot." [The Baltimore Sun]
- Hey Jason Butt, could rookie offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele potentially become the long-term answer at left tackle for the Ravens? "At this time, the organization doesn't see Osemele as a future left tackle. That designation would go to , in a sense, who could become the team's long-term left tackle after this year, assuming Bryant McKinnie isn't back. McKinnie still has a good chance to earn his starting spot back this year, which could move Osemele to backing up both right tackle and left guard. Osemele's a talented lineman and could make a push to play left tackle in the NFL at some point. But it's not likely to happen any time soon." [CBSSports.com]