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NFL rookies are paid a large sum of money before they even step on the field. Do you think they should be paid that much? Mitchell Cuff, Las Vegas
Twenty years ago did you think for a moment that the video game would have the success that it had? Farrel Allan, New York City
No and not only did I not think that, nobody else thought that. We didnít know what we doing video-game wise because there werenít any video games when we started 20 years ago. And it started as a computer game. And it was going to be part teaching tool, part computer game.
And then all these video games came around and different hardware and we were the first game so we adjusted and adapted to it, but to say that we knew that this was going to be or that we were ahead. We didnít know. We just started at a time and happened to be the first one that started.
What was it about this game that helped you decide you wanted to be apart of it? Matthew Donelan, Seattle
The first part of it was I wanted 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense. Now 20 some years later that sounds simpleyeah, itís footballbut everything up till then had three or four guys. So that took three years to developto get 11 on 11.
So that was the most important part. When I knew that we could get 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense then we could play a game. We could do everything in the video game that is done in the regular game. But until we could get to that we couldnít do it. So it took three years just to get there.
What do you think the Madden football game has brought to the game of footballto fans or even to players? Oliver Beqaj, Los Angeles
I think itís brought a new way to learn the game to fans and to players. Theyíre the same people. When you think that weíve been doing this for 20 years and guys that are playing now in the NFL, they started playing Madden in grammar school, and then they played in high school, then they played in college, and now they play in the NFL and theyíre part of the game.
I think there was a generation years ago when I was growing up where you would learn the game by going out into an empty yard and playing. Now I think this is a way they learn the gamethey learn the game through video games.
Itís a good thing, because thatís today. The things we could do when I was a kid or even why my kids were kids, you canít do today. Itís easy to say "Oh heck, yeah I remember, I used to walk two miles, both of them uphill to go play and weíd play out on a field and the guys would come." Well, you couldnít do that today. I think people who say thatís the way it used to bewell it did used to be, but itís not that way anymore and this is the way young people learn today.
Whoís the best team in the 09 version? Who do you recommend suiting up with?
Well youíre always going to get the best from the best teams. I think itís fun to play as the New England Patriots and as the Indianapolis Colts. You know thatís the way you can spread it out and change and be a great quarterback. You can air it out a lot. You can air it out a lot more. You donít even worry about running.
Who do you enjoy watching most play football today? Stacy Healy, Newport Beach
I jump from year to year. And itís always kind of being a frontrunner you can say that but I enjoy the best teams that year. Because youíre going in broadcasting and watching, youíre always going in search of excellence. Thatís what Iíve always been, because I have a passion for the game, I want see great games, I want to see great players and I want to see them do well. I donít go looking for negative stuff and that.
Like the patriots last year being undefeated, Tom Brady doing what he does, Peyton Manning and the Colts, San Diego Chargers coming along under Norv Turner, Dallas Cowboys last year I can see that theyíre going in the right direction.
I thought what the Giants did last season was amazing and that makes me appreciate them because no one picked them to be in the playoffs. And then they get in as a wild card. They beat Tampa Bay. Then they go to Dallas, beat Dallas. Go to Green Bay, beat Green Bay. And then go to the Super Bowl, play an undefeated team and beat them.
I think that is so good for football, because if we ever got to the point where we knew what was going to happen, and it happened all the time, we wouldnít have to play the game. And the fact that we donít know whatís going to happenand it was proven and it was proven in the biggest game of the yearI think just stamps this game as the great game that it is.
If you were the Packers GM what would you do in this situation? Nathan Henneka, Salt Lake City
I would take him back and play him and anyone that says bringing him back as a back-up doesnít know what theyíre talking about. I would argue that with anyone and I would tell them they donít know what theyíre talking about. Because this is football and football is competitive and its competitive team against team but its also competitive for a position and playing time.
And itís not like a corporation where you can say youíre the CEO, youíre the CFO, youíre the whatever, you donít name people and I donít think you give a guy a position of back-up quarterback. Or even in Aaron Rodgers casea starting quarterback. If he earns it then he should be the starting quarterback.
Obviously, hell, if he doesnít earn it then he canít be the starting quarterback. So you canít say, Brett Favre has to come back as a back-up. Anyone who says that doesnít know what the hell theyíre talking about.
What Iím saying is if Aaron Rodgers is better than Brett Favre then he should be the starter. But if I was the general manager I would bring him back and Iíd start him. It used to be years ago where you could have a five year plan and now itís year to year man, you better do it this year.
If you have a chance now, do it now, because you may not get another chance for 15 years. And thatís another way itís changed, with free agency and everything. If you get a good team youíre not going to be able to keep them. And if you have a chance you better make hay.
How much of an impact do you feel the 2007 Giants-Dolphins game in London had on European fans and do you think the popularity of American football in Europe will equal that of what it is in the U.S.? Geoffrey Wowk, New York City
No, no, itís not going to equal that of what it is in the US. Just like soccer in this country isnít going to equal what it is in Europe. Theyíve always wanted a real game in Europe. We tried over the years, the NFL has had pre-season games there and that wasnít what they wanted.
And then they had NFL Europe which was a form of a minor league and that wasnít what they wanted. They wanted a real NFL game, so you give them a real NFL game. And it has an impact but the true impact is going to be when they have their own team in the NFL and the NFL expands to Europe.
And thereís going to be a day when thatís going to happen, I donít know when it will be. The regular season game had more impact than pre-season, and when they get a team itíll have a lot more impact when they have their own team.
What is the one greatest sports moment of all time in your opinion? Margie Furbush in Parlin, NJ
Oh boy. You know it all depends. If itís personal, my greatest moment was winning the Super Bowl. So that would be mine. I donít know. You just see them all the time. I think what Tiger Woods did in the Masters just a month ago I thought that was amazing. That tennis matchFederer and NadalI thought was amazing.
Iím a big fight fan, so what some of those guys over the years have done are amazing. I donít know. I donít even know what the heck would be considered there.
What is your favorite NFL city to visit? Marc McNally in Overland Park, KS
Iím a big guy of games and players and where the good game is or the best game is, but I also like history. I get a certain feeling when I go to Lambeau field in Green Bay. Soldier field in Chicago is special to me. Those are the places that I really like. The stadiums.
And then there are some stadiums that are good to broadcast from, like Giants stadium in New York, that theyíre tearing down. And Cowboys Stadium in Dallas is a great place to broadcast from. But to me itís still about the players and the game and the best place to be is where the best players are playing the best game.
How close have you come to returning to the sidelines? James Brewer, Detroit
I never really wanted to. I came close once and it was a time when I was working at Fox and Jimmie Johnson was also at Fox and heíd left the Dallas Cowboys and was doing a studio show and had just accepted the job at the Miami Dolphis. And we were having dinner and he and I had started talking about itlike what youíd learn by being in television that you would use if you went back as a coach. And Iím getting excited about it. And heís gettingIím going to do this, Iím going to do that, I learned this, Iím going to change this. And Iím saying yeah, Iíd do this. And boom, boom, boom.
And then Iím walking from dinner back to the hotel and I was with Matt Millen. And I said Matt, this is the first time since Iíve retired that I feel like I want to go back and coach again, and I said I hope when I wake up in the morning the feeling goes away. And I woke up the next morning and the feeling went away.