Sunday, November 25, 2007


Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, I was fortunate enough to have the day off and spend it at home with my family, eating some great food...hmmmn...but the sweet dessert that was served on that day did not come in the form of ice cream. No, this delicious dish was a long overdue victory against my younger brother Imran, in Madden NFL 07.

Long, long, sooo freakin' long, have I endured the humiliation of loss and defeat. In our house, if you lose in Madden, you can challenge the winner at any time, but you have to set up the Xbox, including the controllers, hand it to the winner and set up the "winner's chair" a rocking video game chair that we have that is oh-so-comfortable (with built-in speakers). This ritual has become the equivalent of a public shaming in our household, a veritable scarlet letter.

For the last like 20 games, I have suffered loss after loss against my jubilant younger brother, whose delight in my having to set up the Xbox was only exceeded by his love of trash talking me throughout the games ("remember when this used to be fun for us?" "okay, do you want me to just let the computer do all the plays on this drive?" "should I fumble the ball so you can at least score once this quarter?").

Finally, redemption came Thursday night in an epic battle. I picked my favorite AFC team, the Colts, and Imran picked the Steelers. I found myself winning at the end of the first quarter after an interception resulted, later, in a touchdown. I was still winning at half-time, and I cried out excitedly, "Mom, I'm winning!" (our Mom happens to know how much these games mean to us) and she gave some words of encouragement from the kitchen, but sort of half-heartedly, as if to say, "son, you're only going to lose in the second half."

But not this day, no, on the day of thanks, it was Umar who would pull through. I maintained my lead, despite a strong comeback attempt, and capped off a 50 to 41 victory against Imran that felt so good my spleen was smiling... sweet the taste...and next time, friends, it will not be me setting up the ya!


M. Imran Abd Ash-Shakur Rana said...

There comes a time when a boy becomes a man. And that time was Thanksgiving Day for Umar where he finally beat me in a close game.

Yes, it pains me to admit it, but as his younger brother who has come of age in Madden years before Umar, I am proud to see him come through. Even though he can only do it via the Colts (I mean, who can't with Manning at the helm?!), I have to give him props. I just couldn't pull it off. What was worse is that I couldn't pull it off in front of an audience that included our immediate family plus Umair Bhai and his.

Perhaps Allah was teaching me a lesson in humility? Who knows?

I fault the loss to some khibr and staying away from my Steelers plan of running a lot with Willie Parker. He's sick in Madden '07 and while I used him a lot, it wasn't enough.

Plus, you can't fricken stop Wayne and Harrison on those deep routes! Thank God he didn't use that more!


Umar: I hope you truly ENJOY the ceremonial setting up of the winner's chair and xbox. This will (insha Allah) be your ONLY time to get away with it!


M. Imran Abd Ash-Shakur Rana said...

Here, I even gave you props on my blog: