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Breaking Madden Roster Cuts: The worst ATM in the entire world

This week's Breaking Madden requires the services of 21 individuals who are terrible at pushing buttons. These are their stories.

This week in Breaking Madden, I will be playing as Marshawn Lynch, and so will all of you. You don't get to see the game until Thursday, but in the meantime, you can tell me which buttons to press by filling out this quick form.

Let's dance:

Mashing a sequence of buttons wouldn't get Beast Mode very far upfield, so to help him out, I'm replacing the entire Chiefs defense with players I found on Twitter. There are 21 of them. They are all five feet tall, weigh 160 pounds, and are as slow, weak, and unthinking as I could make them.

Since this week is all about indiscriminate button-pressing, these were the sorts of folks I was looking for.

Sincere thanks, as always, to all y'all who responded.



Defensive end: Walter Baumann

Maybe you're mis-remembering, or there was some splinter group of the Weathermen who infiltrated the Cable in the Classroom industry and started cranking out petty eduterrorism. And I mean, I couldn't blame you, because kids have little option but to work with the information they're given. When I was seven, an adult told me that due to a water shortage, people in California had to pee in the toilet and pull a cord and the urine would feed up to the shower head and they had to shower in their own urine. I held this information to be true for years.

Defensive end: @LisaFurioso

I have no doubt that the person on the other end of the Nintendo help line delivered excellent customer service. In the pre-Internet era, people on the other end of a long-distance communication actually held up their end of the bargain. At some point around 1995, I was looking through an old SimCity box and found a postage-paid postcard that read, "mail this in to join the SimCity fan club." The game was more than five years old at this point, but stuck it in the mailbox anyway out of pure curiosity.

A couple weeks later, I get this typed letter, personally addressed to me, that explains that the fan club promotion had concluded years ago and apologizing for the inconvenience. If this were the Internet Era we were talking about, someone would have made a "pffffft" noise and thrown it in the garbage. They wouldn't even wad it up first. They'd just hold it flush against their palm, crudely swing their arm forward like a catapult, and watch that flat slip of card-stock waft slowly to the floor like a dead leaf.

Long-distance stranger accountability has just eroded. People at the cable company will lie that they've scheduled a repair truck just to get you off the phone. A third of my email isn't answered in a timely fashion because the tab says "Inbox (4)" and I crumple within myself and compress into a single 190-pound molecule of despair.

A thing about period pieces that genuinely amazes me: a Roman general can send a message from Gaul to Caesar and it actually gets there. Hell with all the swords and flaming arrows and whatnot, the logistics are the real fireworks.

Defensive end: Griffin McElroy

Everyone has a story like this, right? Like, specifically this one? You hit "reformat" because you didn't understand what "reformat" meant? Let's conservatively estimate that 100,000 Americans have done this, and that each one lost, I don't know, 20 hours' worth of work. That is 83,000 days, or 228 years, of American labor that was completely destroyed because some chucklehead decided, "let's use the word 'reformat' instead of 'erase' and not explain what it does."

Defensive end: Journo Horse

For the uninitiated: this is what it looks like when you do that.

Defensive tackle: Chris White

The Worst Ding-Dong Ditch Players Ever: A People's History

5. The kid who forgot the "ditch" part and just stood there
4. The kid who forgot the "ding-dong" part, stood on the porch for a minute, and then just kind of wandered away
3. The kid was grounded so he would just ding-dong ditch his own front door from the inside of his own house
2. The kid who would just hang out in a literal ditch and set bags of dog shit on fire

Defensive tackle: Zachary Pligge

When i was four I honestly just assumed they really quickly re-arranged the same floor of the dang Dillard's to put different stuff on the shelves. I always wanted to stand right outside the elevator so I could watch them do it. Actually, you know what, scratch what I said earlier, kids are just plumb stupid.

Linebacker: Pete Segall

Theory: this is the entire Dr. Who universe. He thinks he's this mega-powerful Time Lord who has hundreds of episodes' worth of adventures, but he's actually just a shithammered dude in a phone booth in Britain somewhere.

Linebacker: Taylor Gabbard

Behold this poor man, who probably started watching because someone told him it was good. Y'all people who recommended this show to others carry the same weight as those who recommended Scrubs or Lost. Innocent people wasted their time on televised vanilla, and that's on you.

Linebacker: Ragan

well i think that that was very nice

Linebacker: D Guar

If any element of this tweet was missing, this person wouldn't have even contended for a spot. If the year is 1996, or if TRASH COMPACTOR isn't capitalized, or if literally any of this were elaborated upon, it's not even considered. You are great at social media and you probably killed a guy.

Cornerback: Caitlin Kelly


Linebacker: Matthew Anderson

When I was 18, my friend and I decided to buy a coconut at the grocery store, and for some reason we were hellbent on opening it before we left the parking lot. After a half-hour of throwing it at stuff, I finally ran it over with my Oldsmobile. It worked. I still do not know how to properly open a coconut.

Cornerback: Gregory Martin

Oh, this makes my heart hurt. I'd like to tell y'all about my personal worst video gaming moment of all time.

When I was eight I played King's Quest V religiously. It's a pretty difficult game for an eight-year-old in the first place, and on top of this, my family's computer had a very small hard drive, so I just had to use a single save file over and over. This means that if I saved my game after making a crucial mistake, there was no going back, and all was lost.


That dead guy down there is King Graham. See, in order to scale this cliff, you have to tie a rope to something and climb your way up. There are two objects you can tie your rope to: the super-conspicuous branch, and this overhanging rock that blends in with the scenery so well that you don't even realize it's a thing you can interact with.

If you choose the overhanging rock, you're safe. If you choose the branch, the branch snaps and you fall to your death. I tied my rope to the branch and then saved the game. The game doesn't allow you to untie your rope from the branch, nor are you able to go back and find another rope somewhere. It's a million times worse than a "game over." The game was over, but it didn't let me know, so my little eight-year-old ass spent hours scouring this entire screen for some pixel I could click that would let me undo what I'd done. Over those hours, it slowly dawned on me that this game, a game I had spent a month playing, was over because I clicked the wrong thing.

Still sore about it. If I still haven't gotten over it two decades later, I probably never will.

Cornerback: Maureen Williams


Cornerback: Mack

The worst thing about Google+ is that it effectively killed Google Reader, which might be my favorite service in the history of the Internet. It was imperfect and amazing. It's how I made a lot of friends, and it's also how I found out SB Nation was hiring over five years ago. Reader had sort of a cult following, and by no means did Google -- a company who's always tooling around with floating Internet balloons and self-driving cars and whatnot -- lack the relatively tiny resources to spare to keep it going.

But they killed it, maybe because they wanted us to migrate to the not-nearly-as good Google+, or maybe out of indifference. At any rate, Google is Eddie Murphy, and this is when they started to Daddy Day Care everything.

Free safety: Adam Hansen

Well, now you can tell everyone you've played Myst. "You push a button that does nothing" is 95 percent of the game. The other five percent is opening magical books with little TVs in them that show strange men who scream at you.

Free safety: rewenzo

This process should be verified via a bow-tied gentleman in NORAD with lock-and-key-authentication. He cackles, preferably.

Linebacker: Sir Deli Meat

This is funny, but what pushed you over the top was the promise that I'd be able to put DELI MEAT on the back of a football jersey.

Strong safety: Emily

My mentions were full of restaurant employees who pushed panic buttons out of curiosity, but Emily is the only one who thought it was a doorbell. If it's a doorbell, how does that work? Do you use it to get inside the building you are already inside of? (P.S. I would push that button 110 times out of 100.)

Strong safety: Alex Nichols

The Internet is a billion times better than it was a decade ago -- not just technologically and aesthetically, but in terms of the quality of the content and the amazing things people are doing. Message boards, however, are a thing I miss.

They're still all over the place, of course, but I miss moderating my own forum. Our boards at Progressive Boink were sort of a miniature proto-Twitter, and y'all better believe we used word censors all the time. If someone tried to include a sexist or homophobic or ableist slur in a post, for example, the system would automatically replace it with

there's that word again


I have a lot of thinking to do, please excuse me

or something of that sort. We weren't the PC Police, we were a paramilitary PC junta. I miss the petty tyranny.

Defensive tackle: Nate Fisher

Been there. I mean, it was my own dang fault for selecting a language I didn't speak out of pure curiosity, but its refusal to give me some sort of lifeline to find my way out of it makes that ATM the second-worst ATM I've ever used.

The worst ATM I have ever used is the Fifth Third Bank ATM in Louisville International Airport. It's still right there on the second floor, just inside the doors, and its continued existence is an affront to us all.

1. It's one of those "you don't get your card back until the very end" ATMs. Banks seem to have wised up to the fact that this is not the way to go about it, and newer machines usually just let you slide your card, or stick it in and out, but
2. This ATM is pretty new. High-definition color touchscreen and all that. But it still holds your card prisoner until you're done, as though it needs to admit it for a goddang MRI.
3. The problem, of course, is that folks are totally liable to forget to take their card when they're done. The more hassled and/or in a rush they are, the more likely they are to do this. This ATM is in an airport.
4. This ATM is literally three steps from the airport's Fifth Third Bank location. If the card is found by someone and returned to them, and the card isn't a Fifth Third card, they immediately destroy it.

I've only lost two cards in my life, and both happened at this machine. The last time, I left my card in the machine and returned literally 90 seconds later to the sound of my card being shredded to Hell. With zero cash on me and my flight minutes from taking off to a city with none of my banks in it, I had to cancel my trip. When I did, the folks at the airline kiosk offered knowing grimaces. "The Fifth Third machine, right? Mhmm. This happens a lot."

Seriously: can y'all think of any reason why ATMs should hold your card hostage the whole time? Any at all? Let me know, please.