Madden NFL 13 hit shelves Tuesday, meaning a bunch of Ravens squealed out of the parking lot on their way to Best Buy immediately after practice.
What's the first thing they do once they rip that cellophane off?
Of course, look at their player ratings.
That created a lot of … spirited ... chatter in the locker room when I started asking some questions. Here are some of the highlights of today's interactions:
I told Tyrod Taylor they were cheating him on his speed (87) and agility (88). He's definitely one of the most agile guys on the team.
Tyrod didn't seem to care at first, then later came up to me and said he was going to tweet @EASPORTS to complain. He then later told me to check out his combine numbers, and was annoyed that some of his teammates didn't give him credit for being one of the fastest quarterbacks in the NFL.
Defensive tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu is apparently the slowest player on the team with a 39. That totally flummoxed him.
"They have me as the slowest!?!?" Kemo yelled. "I could name a couple of guys that are slower around here."
Fellow defensive tackle Bryan Hall (of course) didn't make it any better for Kemo. He came up and simply said, "You ain't catching anybody, bro."
Running back Damien Berry has an 83 in speed, despite coming into the league as a Miami speedster. Fellow tailback Anthony Allen has an 84 in speed despite being more of a big-bodied plower.
"I got jipped!" Berry said. "EA Sports is trippin'. They've got to do better scouting."
Tired of everybody complaining about how low they are rated, I moved on to trying to find out who the best Madden player on the team is.
I was referred to Pernell McPhee, who said he's been playing ever since he can remember. McPhee's top challenger used to be tight end Davon Drew, but he was cut, so that leaves the second-year defensive end as top dog.
The only game McPhee has lost so far (of the* *many he's played with linebacker Chavis Williams and injured safety Emmanuel Cook) was due to poor clock management. He was distracted by a phone call and didn't kick a potential game-winning field goal with 10 seconds left. Cook won in overtime.
Still, asked if he was the best player on the team, McPhee said, "No doubt, hands down. The other two games [against Cook], I brutalized him."
A fan who must have played McPhee online attested to his skills:
@jack_rowell: "I played pernell a while back...he's real good! But I did sack him with himself lol"
Wide receiver Torrey Smith, however, contested McPhee's statement. He said he's going to set up a tournament at his place.
I'll give you the results if it happens. Judging by the passion I saw in the locker room today, it probably will.