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Local Stepdad Instantly Regrets Playing Madden 23 With Stepson

Poor guy can't catch a break.

One week post-Christmas, local stepfather Donald Peterson was coming to the realization that playing a videogame with the son of his fourth wife may not have been the key to gaining the lifelong respect that he had hoped. 

Peterson assumed their shared appreciation for video game violence would bring them together. It was true that the youngster’s carnage of choice was Call of Duty and Fortnite, and the young man’s exposure to football was limited to a single Mark Sanchez butt fumble meme, but introducing him to the brutality of the world’s greatest sport was sure to be the perfect father-son bonding experience.

Peterson took pains to assure Natalie, his new wife — and mother of the sullen and uncommunicative Cory — that he was not planning on embarrassing his stepson.

Yes, Donald would brush off the awesome skills he used to demolish Charlie (his roommate/pot dealer between wives two and three) at Madden 2006, but he promised to hold back and lose some games to the self-centered fruit of her loins.

The thrice-divorced stepdad giddily wrapped up the latest Madden in football-themed Christmas paper, repeatedly claiming that reindeer with goalposts for antlers was the most hilarious thing he’d ever seen. 

He presented this epic gift to Cory on Christmas Eve, too anxious for the magic of Madden to make them best buds to wait till the next morning. Cory responded with, “Physical media?” and a smirk before continuing to text his friends for the next three hours. 

Peterson’s reluctant stepson finally agreed to a game after his mother threatened to withhold those snowball Christmas cookies he loved “unless you play that Matlock game with your poor father.”

A few days and a few hundred cookies later, Peterson was 0–73 versus his stepson. Cory had refused to play the tutorial or even glance at the controller diagram, relying only on inherent teenager videogame prowess to outscore the emasculated shell of his stepfather 3512–6.

(Mr. Peterson’s lone touchdown came when Cory got up to use the bathroom at the two-minute warning of a 58-point blowout. Peterson unpaused the game and scored in three plays, the first two featuring him running out of bounds untouched. He missed the extra point.)

Come New Year’s Eve, Peterson remained undaunted, demanding yet another rematch. He had not slept since December 28, doing hourly shots of 5-Hour Energy in order to master the complexities of the Xbox One controller. He had been positive the Nintendo Wii-mote would become the standard for all future generations of consoles, and was adamant that Cory would not be so cocky — playing one-handed while scrolling TikTok with the other — if they were using the proper equipment.

When Cory declined, opting to go to a party at a neighbor’s house instead, Mr. Peterson yelled “Coward!” — and possibly cried a little — as the door closed. He then chugged a Red Bull-spiked espresso and continued practicing.

His wife came into the room three hours later, asking if he was going to watch the ball drop. Peterson did not divert his attention from the screen — where he swore he was finally on the verge of calling a play without suffering two delays of game penalties — and screamed, “Oh, ball drop — very funny! You know damned well it’s a glitch in the game that makes me fumble so often!”

At 2 a.m., Cory staggered through the door, tripping over their cat, Mittens. “Have you been drinking?” demanded Peterson. “You’re sixteen! You’re grounded! No tv, no phone, no video games! ”

Cory chuckled, saluted Peterson, tripped over their other cat, Mr. Midnight, and threw up on Mittens. 

Peterson shooed the bile-soaked feline away and smiled. He said, “You know what? Your grounding starts tomorrow.” He handed his son a controller, the one he’d run through the dishwasher. 

Cory spent the next half hour alternately ralphing up Christmas cookies and passing out. 

He beat Peterson 42–0.


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