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Peyton Manning takes football very seriously. You saw it when I was playing. You heard it in his Hall of Fame speech. And Manning said in a mockumentary-style video released Friday that it all led to one critical goal.
To become a Madden rating adjustment.
Manning, of course, makes fun. The rating adjustment program only started in 2018, after Manning retired, and did not begin incorporating former NFL players – Chad Johnson is the most active alignment of NFL alumni – until last year. One of the game’s first adjustments was the son of an NFL legend – Barry J. Sanders, a former Stanford running back.
But Manning is now part of that club, just as he is with almost all clubs that have anything to do with professional football.
“I always felt like I wanted more. More rings. More trophies. Of course the jacket. It just wasn’t enough,” Manning said in the video. “The truth is, it’s always proven that I had what it took to become a Madden rating adjustment.”
In the video, he took a shot at Tom Brady’s accuracy ratings, saying they were “just a little high” and that they were one of the first things he wanted to correct.
In a little more seriousness, Manning became a Madden rating adjuster, watching his first game last Sunday between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers. He took the game from the sidelines with his son, and his notes led to a few changes in the game.
He helped upgrade Denver cornerback Patrick Surtain II, a rookie, to a total of 80 – the same character he also helped jump the Broncos’ running back Javonte Williams to. Manning was also impressed with Charger’s safety Derwin James Jr. – one of the best Madden players currently active in the NFL – which thrust him to a total of 92.
“When I played, the Madden NFL rating was a big topic among the guys in the locker room, and it still is today in the league,” Manning said. “I kept an eye on where I landed each year and the Madden team was mostly accurate throughout my career, which correctly gave me the coveted 99 a total of six times.”
However, Manning can still push for one more thing: Despite being a Hall of Famer and one of the best of his generation, the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback never appeared on the front of the game.
Maybe one day his new role can fix that too.