Madden Community Spotlight Friday: DJ Rhude
Welcome to the brand new Madden Community Spotlight Friday. Every week on Friday, weíll bring you a special interview with someone from the Madden playing community. This week we spoke with DJ Rhude, whose love for Madden is equaled only by his love of Hiphop music.
EA SPORTS: A lot of Madden fans recognize you from your appearance on season two of Madden Nation, but what they might not know is that youíve been involved with Madden fan sites for years. When did you become involved in the Madden community?
DJ Rhude: Iíd say I got involved around the year 2002. I started out posting in the Madden section on the EA website forums before I found my way over to Maddenmania.com and Maddennation.com. It was there I started to establish my presence and connected with other diehard Madden fans who shared the same passion for the game that I did. After years of posting on these sites, you begin to build friendships with people that lead to opportunities that you may have never thought would ever be available to you. As a longtime player of Madden, it just blew my mind that I could get on TV, ESPN no less, and be seen by millions playing a game I grew up on. It was because of the love for the game and video games in general that myself and a partner started our own site called Vetzballin.com.
EA SPORTS: Youíre an avid online player, but you also do a Madden franchise report each year. Would you say you spend more time working on your franchise or playing online?
DJ Rhude: Lately Iíd say I spend more time playing offline in franchise mode. Time restrictions prevent me from playing online as much as I used to in the beginning so I have to choose, but boy, when Madden first went online I spent a chunk of my night hours online playing different people. I can safely say that my first experience online, I quickly found out that I was not the best Madden player on earth (laughs).
EA SPORTS: What makes for a good franchise report?
DJ Rhude: You like the reports to be informative, but at the same time not too cluttered. I prefer the quick, clean reports that provide me with enough information about a team I may not have known much about before. The pictures you see in some franchise are a really nice touch as well. But Iíve seen some franchises with just text that were hot as well. The most important thing is to be unique and get your style across.
Whatís your most memorable moment from one of your franchises?
DJ Rhude: Iíd have to say just about any game I played with my Castoffs franchise. That was a team I put together of low rated, unwanted players and rookies and tried to take to a championship. If I had to pick a moment, Iíd have to say the time I finally won the championship after 6 tough years with Jesse ďthe bachelorĒ Palmer as my QB. That is the only time youíll ever see Palmer win anything except for maybe a date.
EA SPORTS: Do you always like to do a report with your favorite team, or do you sometimes switch it up?
DJ Rhude: The only time I ever switch it up was to run with the Castoffs. Other than that, itís the NY Football Giants all day, every year.
EA SPORTS: There have been some changes to the Giants roster in the off-season, namely the retirement of Tiki Barber. Whatís your strategy for addressing those changes in Madden this year?
DJ Rhude: Nothing will change much for me strategy wise on the field. Iím a run first guy to set up the pass, so I will be smashing people in the mouth with the big guy Brandon Jacobs. Donít get me wrong, a back as versatile as Tiki Barber will be sorely missed as I wonít be able to throw the ball to the halfback as much as I was accustomed to with him, but my philosophy on offense will basically remain unchanged.
EA SPORTS: Music is obviously a big part of your life. If you could only listen to one song while playing Madden, what would it be?
DJ Rhude: M.O.P. ďAnte UpĒ If that song doesnít get you hyped up to play some football, nothing will.
EA SPORTS: Who is your biggest online rival in the Madden community?
DJ Rhude: That would have to go to my boy Moz. Iíve played a ton of guys, but some of my battles with him have been intense. Him being a Cowboy fan just ratchets up the intensity even more. Man, I hate losing to that guy because I will hear about it for days. The same thing goes for me when I win, I torture him.
EA SPORTS: What are some of the classic battles youíve had while playing online?
DJ Rhude: Most of my great battles come against guys who are fans of rival teams in the NFC East or guys who use their favorite teams. It always adds something extra when you play a guy who knows his teamís personnel so well.
EA SPORTS: What are you looking forward to most in Madden NFL 08?
DJ Rhude: Iím looking forward to the franchise mode as I am every year. Iím anxious to see what improvements EA has made to the mode. And Iím just looking forward to the game in general, especially since from what Iíve been reading everywhere it seems EA has given us tighter player control back. Itís crazy to see how grown men get excited over this game each and every year.
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