What if someone invented a drug that you only had to take once to become addicted, could keep you high all year long, and then compelled you to go out and buy the exact same thing and start the whole process over again every 12 months? Something like that could easily become so pervasive, so dangerous that it could literally change the way people approach their daily lives.
Well guess what -- they've already done it.
It's called Madden Football.
I'm honestly a little disturbed at how vein-slappingly hungry I am for the latest version of this game to come out. Tomorrow's the official release, but as anyone who's ever obsessed over a Star Wars movie, a Harry Potter Book, or an iPhone knows -- what that really means is that the Kraken will actually be released at midnight tonight.

I'm sure the lines have already started forming around town, and I personally know a bunch of dudes who are planning on calling in sick tomorrow so they can play the game (Something I've not done since college when Satorical and I basically locked ourselves away from the world and played Herzog Zwei for like two days straight -- a marathon that was not so much planned as it was dictated by the fact that neither of us would accept the concept of losing to one another, so we just kept going).

Anyone who knows me can easily tell you that I'm a total Madden slut, and can easily play the game for hours on end without blinking an eye. The Madden world is where my Broncos actually play up to their potential. The Madden world is where draft picks are meaningless, and any free agent can be had via trade to maintain your virtual 15-season domination of the league not only in wins and championships, but in glaringly unrealistic stats as well.

But more than all of this -- the Madden world is where you can turn to when your actual team sucks on TV, because it only takes a few minutes to set up a "do over" of the game they just lost where you not only have the chance to win -- but fully gives you the chance to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.
And there will be lamentation.
Because Madden football is important. Not more important than a woman by any means -- But for those first few days it takes until we figure out all the new features and perfect our passing game,
..It's pretty darn close.
Next to March Madness and the Fantasy Football Draft, Madden time is really danger time for husbands and boyfriends the world over. Trash doesn't get taken out. Dinners don't get fully eaten. Friends aren't asked to leave (regardless of how many cross-armed eyebrow-motioning-towards the door messages you try to send).

But that's not all, because during a Madden binge your favorite shows aren't going to be available unless there's a second TV in the house, and if you can't hear the dialogue on that show over me and my buddies shouting when something goes right (or extraordinarily wrong) during the game -- it's a fight that we're gonna have to have later, because we just started the 3rd quarter and this game decides who makes the wildcard, ok honey?
Oh man -- the fights that were had.
See, when a guy gets too deep into March Madness, a girlfriend of wife can pull the ultimate trump card of standing in front of the TV with a seductive look in her eye and say, "You can watch that, or you can have this." And most guys (smart guys) will snap back to reality, step away from the TV, and vow check on their brackets the next day while bragging to their trusted buddies about what an awesome a girl they have.
But if a woman wanted to pull that move during a full-on Madden binge, you know what most guys will do?
Push the pause button.
Worst of all -- it might take days, even weeks before we realize why that made you mad. And it's not that we don't love you, it's not that the game is more important. It's that for whatever reason, dudes get hopelessly stuck when it comes to new things we want to be good at. Videogames. Texas Hold'em Poker. Grilling. Cunnilingus.
Skills that take time to perfect, yet provide all sorts of surprises and rewards while you're learning them.
I know it may not always seem like it, but we do know what the best things we have in our lives -- it's just that we're suckers for newness (women are too, it's just that guys are a lot worse at managing it). And the people who make and market Madden know this, which is why they've perfected the timing of the new game's release to the point where it capitalizes on every football fans building anticipation for the off-season to end, and for their favorite sport to get back in action.

I live alone now (gee, wonder why) -- so the issues aren't quite the same, but I do have a dilemma. See, Denver plays their first preseason game tonight, which is going to be broadcast on national TV. It should end right around 11:30 -- so if I wanted to (despite the fact that money's still tight and I really shouldn't even be thinking about this at all) I could probably make it out to one of the stores that's gonna be open tonight to sell it (especially if my Broncos stink up the field and I need instant revenge complete with updated rosters and new highlight stick capabilities).

But I'll tell you right now, even if I get this game right at midnight -- I'm not gonna be anywhere near done with it by 1am.
And I really do need to go to work tomorrow.
..Of course, I could go in a little late, right?

[Listening to:    N*E*R*D"Brain" ]