(CNN) — When a nation full of football fans tears into the just-released copies of “Madden 25″ this week, they will undoubtedly rush to play the game as Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers, as Drew Brees and his New Orleans Saints.
Those selecting to play as the Denver Broncos will almost certainly be doing so to play as Peyton Manning. They are most assuredly not doing it to play as Aaron Brewer.
That would be Aaron Brewer, the second-year Denver Bronco who’s a virtual NFL unknown. Though that may soon change — sadly, perhaps, for Brewer. He is the lowest-rated player in all of “Madden 25″ (last out of about 2,300 players) and thus now widely regarded as The Worst Player in the NFL.
Sure, it’s just a video game that’s issuing this determination. But as the only mass-consumed list where players are quantifiably rated (and rankings are obsessed over), the “Madden 25″ results carry surprising weight. Madden’s so-called “Ratings Czar” Donny Moore says players complain to him all the time about their ratings.
Brewer’s overall rating is 39. For reference, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is tops in the game with a 99. Most players fall somewhere in the mid-60s to mid-80s range. So yeah, that 39 stings.
While officially listed as a tight end, Brewer’s main role on the team is to play a position most casual football fans have never even heard of: long snapper. This is not a turtle reference. Although the position one must assume to be a long snapper is rather turtle-like. Long snappers are generally NFL afterthoughts, which probably has a lot to do with that 39 and Brewer’s unenviable new status.
Of course, declaring someone the “worst player in the NFL” is like calling someone the dumbest person at a cocktail party for Nobel Prize winners. This is an almost impossibly elite group in which to even be included. Of the nation’s 1.1 million high school football players, about 1,700 will make it to the pros. That’s 0.15%.
With the NFL’s annual “cutdown week” now upon us, talented athletes are being tossed aside left and right as teams slash their active roster down to the league-mandated 53 players. Merely surviving this crucible should be applauded. I mean, have you seen “Hard Knocks?” This stuff ain’t easy.
Brewer would know: He overcame serious odds to make the Broncos last year as an undrafted free agent. UFAs are the ultimate underclass of NFL wannabes. If the league was an old cruise ship, they would be in steerage, bunking six to a room, below deck, battling nausea and rodents, just waiting for the rocky ride to be over.
He came all that way just to land a 39 in Madden?
Looking closer at the ratings: Brewer received a measly 53 for Catching and a relatively very low 69 for Toughness.
Really? For a guy who slams his body against oncoming 6’3″, 250-pound men for a living? Wonder what the Toughness rating is for the guy who figures out Toughness ratings?
Regardless, Brewer will be the one slipping on that #46 jersey — even if the number he’s more closely associated with this season turns out to be “39.”