As you are almost certainly aware, ex-Rugby League golden boy Jarryd Hayne is in the process of trying to make it in the NFL. It's a ludicrously difficult task but Hayne has been doing an admirable job of having a go. He's hardly at the finish line yet, but he's outperforming expectations.
Now he's gonna be in Madden. The video game.
Jarryd Hayne isn't playable in the main Madden game, but he is now featured in the Madden Ultimate Team mode. For the uninitiated, 'Ultimate Team' is sort of like Madden's version of Fantasy Football — it allows players to collect players, build teams and compete with friends. FIFA has a similar mode and they've become real money spinners for EA.
Today Hayne was revealed as the featured player in the Madden Ultimate Team Mystery Box, meaning that some fans have been able to add him to their team. Other players will be able to bid and trade him in the Madden Ultimate Team auction house.
I have no understanding of NFL or how any of this works, but EA Australia sent through this explainer of some of his ratings:
— 95 Acceleration – He gets up to speed incredibly fast, he’s on par with the elite running backs in the NFL in this category — 93 Carry – He’s really good at hanging onto the football, all that rugby league training has taught him how to protect the ball and not fumble! — 90 Juke Move – He’s able to cut on a dime and shake defenders who are about to tackle him, a tough guy to bring down in the open field.
This all seems reasonable to me, but I suspect that some hardcore NFL fans will protest. Hayne hasn't even been selected as part of the main squad for the San Francisco 49ers yet. He's done amazing things to even be in the running and has survived the first cut. Plenty seem enthused about his progress but it remains to be seen whether or not he'll actually make it in the sport.
Regardless, this is pretty cool.