I said I wouldn't do it...

Tom DessaletCorrespondent IAugust 23, 2006

...but I did.

I've been doing the same thing since 1993, when I was only 6 years old. Every year I would purchase the John Madden football game for the Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Playstation or Playstation II console. It was a habit I could not break.

Things changed once I hit college. There was no time for Madden. Training for my upcoming race (Philadelphia Marathon) combined with girlfriend, parties, and real life (yes, sometimes you need football outside of the PS2) sports came into play bigtime.

Mind you, these activities all existed pre-2006, but in a house where parents were king, you needed something to vent your frustration on- usually the virtual Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Rhein Fire. I got to NYU, a school focused on strong academics, and suddenly lost interest in Madden 2006. Games took too long among friends, and shorter, more friendly oriented games replaced the 13-time incumbent champion of my electro-life. Fifa 2006, NBA Street, and various games on the Nintendo 64 platform (NHL breakaway, College Slam, Gretzky 3D Hockey, especially) became the staples to satisfying Tuesday night boredom pangs.

I would not ever again buy Madden. I had signed up for the Madden Challenge in Philly in 2006, only to not show up due to a lack of interest. 2007's campaign would feature again, no such showing. Madden was no longer my friend.

Packing for school, I had everything a student could ask for: computer, printer, a few pairs of running shoes, money, Steelers posters, autographed Darius Miles high school jersey to hang on the wall, Rico Brogna Starting Lineup figures, bobbleheads of every necessary sports figure this last quarter-century, a microwave, Cup-o-Noodles by the crate, pots AND pans, Nintendo 64, 4 controllers, Playstation 2, Fifa 2006, R Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" DVD, a surround sound speaker system, Phillies tickets, Mets tickets, and an option for as many Knicks tickets as possible (ok, only 2 per game...) through the NYU ticket office. I was set for the year.

Then the media frenzy went off on Madden.

"The biggest pre-sales of any video game ever." 

"...even a Pay-Per-View complement to the game's release."

"...hundreds of thousands of people camping out worldwide to get it at the release date on midnight."

So I didn't cave. GameStop of Richboro PA had one fewer pre-sale than usual. No chance in hell I'd give in to Madden again. Not for 60 dollars. Not for 50 dollars. Not for 49.99.

Today I was searching ebay for Penn State tickets so I could visit my homies and take in a few games this fall. No doubt, one of the "Hot Items ending soon on Ebay" was Madden 07, listed for each platform.

I took a peek.

And bought it for 36 bucks.