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Madden helped shape Josh Allen into successful NFL QB

The Buffalo Bills QB shares memories of gaming past in anticipation of his image gracing the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL 24

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Psst! Hey everyone. Have you heard? This year’s edition of the “EA Sports Madden NFL” franchise will be graced by a familiar face. Wondering who I mean? You’re not? You already know it was Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen you say? And that you weren’t living under a rock or anything. Fine. The cat’s out of the bag. Josh Allen will be the first Bills player to grace the cover of the long-running video game franchise. That’s pretty exciting!

To help set the tone, Michael Rothstein of ESPN and Josh Allen talked Madden memories and the star quarterback had plenty of them.

Did you find the title to be cloaked in a bit of clickbait? Not according to Josh Allen. One interesting tidbit Allen shared is he played so much that “I knew what Cover 2 was, it was two-high safeties. I knew Cover 1 was man, Cover 3 was everybody gets a third of the field, and three deep, four under, all that stuff.” Allen credits his time studying as an advantage before ever setting foot on a field for the “IRL version” of football.

Allen’s memories of the game don’t end there either. From racing his brother from the car to the controller to determine who got to be the home team, from carrying over that competitive fire against teammates and friends.

The most vivid memory is of a game that was never completed. A young Josh Allen stuck a Tic Tac® up his nose while playing Madden with his babysitter. The game was called for obvious reasons. Allen told ESPN “The doctor covered my nose and I had to blow out really hard.” It might not be a hit stick highlight, but it’s a Madden memory nonetheless.

As Allen recalls digital times past, it’s clear that gaming and Madden have a special place in his heart. While many see video games as nothing more than diversion, for people like Josh Allen they can represent special memories with family and friends.

I’m of the age where I can recall picking the Bills in “Tecmo Super Bowl” despite the existence of “cheat code level Bo Jackson.” I remember cheering on my mom as she pioneered the concept of speed runs on the original “Legend of Zelda.” And Facebook will periodically bring up the Madden screenshot I shared of a dejected Tom Brady reacting after another pick-six.

Sports can bring people together. Video games can bring people together. The Madden cover can be more than a footnote in an athlete’s life and game company’s lifecycle. It can be one more reason to come together as the greatest fan base there is.

Take a gander at the full ESPN article here to see more of Josh Allen’s memories — then take a second to drop a favorite gaming memory in the comments.