USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Gruff voices screamed touchdown with the sounds of tackles in the background as 16 video game enthusiasts turned out Feb. 8 for USS Harry S. Truman's (CVN 75) Morale, Welfare and Recreation's (MWR) Madden National Football League (NFL) 08 tournament.
It was the first competition of the new year, and the top prizes included a T-shirt and a 200 DVD case holder.
The Madden tournament was a huge success last year, said Truman's MWR representative Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class Donovan Lavette, which is the reason why MWR decided to hold another one.
"Video gamers seem to be talking about Madden all the time and this is a way to see who the best Madden player on the ship is," Lavette said. "All the individuals who made it to the finals the last two times are back again making the games entertaining to watch."
The lure of Madden NFL 08 stems from its fast-paced, yet smooth, game play that gamers say designers have perfected.
"The last tournament I felt like I gave the game away, so, I had to come back to try it again," said Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class Danny Shack of Supply Department, S-3 division. "I'm a true Madden player, and when I saw the flyers and posters for the tournament, I decided I had to participate."
Fans agreed that much of Madden NFL 08 appeal is traced to its balanced game play and the thrill of face-to-face gaming.
Aviation Machinist's Mate Edward Jones of Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, IM-3 division, who, in the past, has always come up short in the championship matches of the tournaments, has been playing the video game since the heydays of the original Madden NFL.
"Even though I seem to be having this trend of losing I still enjoy playing, because I like shattering opponents' dreams and hopes when I do win," Jones said.
Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class (AW) Ryan Williams assigned to the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 won the tournament.
The previous Madden NFL 08 competition winner, Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Airman Jermaine Benjamin of VFA-11, was on hand to play Williams after his championship win. He lost, making Williams the new title holder.
"I basically used offensive audibles that are featured on the game to win," Williams said. "I'm not trying to brag but it was rather easy to win the overall tournament. I learn what moves and plays my opponents like to do and use defensive plays to my advantage to win."
All in all, Sailors said they enjoy it whenever MWR puts on events like the Madden NFL tournament because it gives crew members something to do in their free time and interact with other Sailors.
"I love these competitions," said Shack. "This is a good morale booster right here that helps keep the cruise interesting and not boring."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.