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NFL greats recreate combat scenarios in the new web series Battlefield: Operation Gridiron

In one of the more unusual—but interesting—marketing gimmicks for an upcoming game, EA and Spike TV have come together to create a new reality TV show merging football, military combat and video games into one. The show, Battlefield: Operation Gridiron, features four of the most recognizable football players active today, and trains them to survive in a combat scenarios modeled after the upcoming Battlefield 3 game.

The contestants/combatants are: New Orleans Saints Quarterback and former Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver and five-time Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald, Green Bay Packers Linebacker and two-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews III, and Minnesota Vikings Defensive End and three time All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection Jared Allen.

Using tactics from Battlefield 3, the four were taken to a secret location and given special combat training by Special Forces operatives. After the training was complete, the four were then given tasks similar to missions found in Battlefield 3.

“Taking to the battlefield in these real life war settings was really exciting and eye-opening,” Brees said. “Every day men and women face challenges similar to what we tackled in this show but with potential dire consequences. Filming this show once again reinforced my respect for the soldiers who fight every day for our freedom.”

The series will air as three webisodes, leading up to the finale on October 24, which will debut on Spike TV at midnight. The first webisode can be seen on the Battlefield 3 Facebook page, and the subsequent episodes will debut there each Tuesday at 9am PST.

So in an ironic twist, people that gamers have been playing as for years in Madden (and in an uncredited fashion in NCAA Football) will now themselves play out the actions of characters from another game. Sweet irony. Head over to the Facebook Battlefield 3 page and decide for yourself, then look for Battlefield 3 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 25.