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The history of John Madden Football

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Let’s play the football game, in honor of its 30th anniversary

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John Madden Football cover Electronic Arts

On The History of Fun this week, we have some timely content: a look back at the John Madden Football franchise, which turns 30 years old in 2018. But it’s not all about Madden himself — consider this also a history of Electronic Arts.

Gentleman, scholar and apparent football guru Chris Plante walks us through the original name that founder Trip Hawkins wanted to give Electronic Arts, who Hawkins originally wanted to front his company’s big-deal football game, and which surprising developer tagged in to help out with the first Madden.

Also, Russ and Plante fight about Tecmo Bowl for the length of the episode.

Special thanks to everyone who participated in our new segment, Reader Only Memories, wherein we share listener stories about the topic at hand. Here is the full thread of responses:

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New to The History of Fun? Every Monday, Russ Frushtick, Allegra Frank and Chris Plante explore the hidden backstories behind the things we love to do. Ever wonder where dodgeball came from? Or the origins of the creepy Chuck E. Cheese robots? Or how about why Beanie Babies exploded and then vanished into the sands of time? We’ll seek to answer those questions and have some fun along the way! Subscribe and join us — we’d love to have you.