The NFL Hall of Famer talks about 25 years of video game football in this exclusive interview.
SAN DIEGO – Former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders was back on the football field, playing alongside fellow Hall of Famers like Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders and Cris Carter against NFL legends like Dan Marino, Marcus Allen and Jerry Rice in the Madden NFL 25 Pigskin Pro Am flag football game. The annual traveling event, organized by EA Sports and sponsored by GameStop, took place on the deck of the USS Midway aircraft carrier in San Diego, CA and featured Hollywood celebrities like James Van Der Beek, Carly Chaikin, Tricia Helfer and Kym Johnson.
For Sanders, this event marked a celebration of a different kind. One of the greatest running backs in the history of the game, Sanders was voted in by fans over Minnesota Vikings running back and reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson. Over 40 million football fans participated in the six-round competition that featured current and legendary NFL greats.
Sanders, who left the NFL in his prime in 1999, has remained a fan favorite over the years. Many of his NFL rushing records remain intact. Sanders is rated one of the best virtual running backs in the new “Madden NFL 25” game, which launches August 27. Sanders talks about his own video game background and explains why “Madden” has remained a part of the NFL over 25 years in this exclusive interview.
What is a favorite Madden video game memory?
My oldest brother, Byron, loved playing the game as a kid and we used to play a lot. Generally, I could beat him but when he started getting around to about the eleven or twelve year old range, there was nothing I could do to beat him. And so that’s pretty much when I had to stop playing him. I would almost play anybody but him. Madden is a game that anyone can express their football interest through being competitive in the game. What’s so great about it is not just fans play but NFL players, current and retired players, play the game, so it just has a broad following.