Gamers test Madden ’07 dexterity

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

For Clovis Civic Center managers Brock Neely and Isaac Siaz, their love of video games turned into an idea they believe can benefit the Clovis community.

Siaz and Neely have started a video game tournament for all those Madden ’07 fiends who dominate their friends and any other competition that crosses their paths.

The Madden ’07 Best of Eastern New Mexico Tournament will be held Sunday at the Clovis Civic Center. For a $15 entry fee, players can enter the single-elimination, tournament-style bracket with each game set at the All-Madden level, the most difficult setting in the game.

“It’s not just for gamers, but for everyone in the community,” Siaz said. “After football season, we knew there was nothing to do on a Sunday after church. So we made this tournament to give the community more things to do.”

Proceeds from the tournament will go the Oasis Child Advocacy group, which helps support abused children.

The tournament will be capped at 100 contestants, each playing four-minute quarters on either XBOX or PlayStation 2 consoles. The winner will receiver an autographed jersey of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver and Clovis native Hank Baskett.

Gamestop manager Denise Keagle said the Madden series is the store’s top-selling sports title. Madden 07’ was also one of the best-selling games in the country in 2006, selling 1.8 million copies.

“It’s just a challenge of beating your friends,” Keagle said of the game’s appeal. “You can pulverize your opponent’s guys, and cause injury and have them taken off the field.”

Robert Wiley of Clovis plans to enter the tournament. He said he has played Madden since its 2004 edition, and said he plays the game 10 to 20 times per week.

“I usually play with the (Kansas City) Chiefs or the (Dallas) Cowboys,” Wiley said. “Its just a competitive game and I definitely want to win.”