Shown is a still frame from “Madden21.”

Lining up under center and taking a snap in “Madden 21” for the first time in a long time in the long-running NFL sim series is an eye-opening experience, particularly for those of us who grew up with this video game franchise over many years (and many consoles) of our youth.

In this modern era of 5,000 yard passing seasons and spread offenses, I was in the shotgun. On first down no less. Something that was once a video game only method of play, right up there with always going for it on fourth down every time, but both are now very much a part of real-life 21st-century football.

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