NFL draftees beat rookies 21-7 in Madden Bowl XIX

Fri Feb 1, 2013 1:31pm EST
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By John Gaudiosi

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - They have yet to play an NFL down, but a trio of 2013 NFL draftees defeated three current league rookies in a virtual showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons before more than 5,000 football fans on Thursday night.

Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel, Oregon running back Kenjon Barner and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson are all expected to be part of the 2013 NFL rookie class, but they managed to become the first draftee team to win the Madden Bowl in its 19-year history. The score was 21-7, at the EA Sports event held at the New Orleans Bud Light Hotel.

"We had one of the greatest teams," said Manuel. "We had a great play caller. We had great play makers. It feels good to win."

The annual video game tournament, which kicks off a host of parties and special events leading up to Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII, featured four teams of three football players each playing "Madden NFL 13" on Xbox 360 consoles.

The NFL Draftee team's road to victory started with a narrow win over the Home Town Heroes team, which featured New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, running back Mark Ingram and tight end Jimmy Graham.

"The Madden Bowl is a pretty big deal because, obviously, a lot of guys play," Brees said. "There's some healthy trash talk and you get a big Madden trophy that your name goes on. So a lot of pride is taken in that."

Taking out the reigning Madden Bowl champions -- and Super Bowl XLVI winners -- was no easy feat, said Barner.

"That first game was a little more stressful," he said, referring to the 21-20 contest that came down to the wire. "It really felt like a real game. You just weren't getting hit."   Continued...

Oregon Ducks running back Kenjon Barner (24) runs past Kansas State Wildcats linebacker Arthur Brown (4) during the Fiesta Bowl football game in Glendale, Arizona, January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Darryl Webb