Who is the first name that comes to mind when you think of 99? Perhaps you gravitate to hockey great Wayne Gretzky (better known for plagiarizing Michael Scott). For some, it’s Yankees goliath Aaron Judge. Or maybe you prefer rap mogul Jay-Z who, in a moment of vulnerability, admitted to having 99 problems. Those are passable responses, but who it should make you think of is DeAndre Hopkins, the newest member of Madden’s exclusive "99 Club."
For any non-gamers in the room, 99 is the highest rating a player can be awarded on Madden. Nuk was a 98 going into last week but after his heroics against Buffalo including a soaring 43-yard Hail Mary (a play Air Jordan profited immensely from), the judge and jury at EA Sports decided the 28-year-old could no longer be denied.
Madden happily opened its doors to Hopkins Thursday with the Cardinals receiver officially gaining entry to the prestigious "99 Club," a glorious football kingdom inhabited by the likes of Aaron Donald, Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas (the only other receiver permitted) and Russell Wilson. The four-time Pro Bowler seemed appreciative of his well-deserved honor, acknowledging his accomplishment on Twitter.
After earning his seal of approval from Madden earlier in the day, Hopkins went out and collected another milestone Thursday night, becoming the youngest player in league history to amass 700 career catches. The previous mark belonged to Hopkins’ Arizona teammate, Larry Fitzgerald.
With the former Texan's stock at an all-time high, there has never been a better time to be DeAndre Hopkins than right now.