It’s a great time to be alive. The summer sun is at its peak, and soon we’ll all see it shining brightly from the comfort of our well-carved couch grooves as we watch meaningless preseason football, and try to determine if the seventh receiver on the depth chart runs a good post route.

For a highly-addicted segment of the football-watching population, there’s an even greater form of virtual cocaine lurking later this month. Madden.

It’s almost time to completely abandon your family and work obligations, and trap yourself in a basement with three weeks of Chef Boyardee to ration. So if your football thirst isn’t satiated by quarterback competitions, players who sucked and still suck, or Tim Tebow running in the rain, then surely your level of arousal will raise quickly as the Madden release date of Aug. 28 creeps closer.

Each year when the Madden player ratings are released, players are either elated or pissed off, but never indifferent. This year we get a whole week to dissect the ratings for each position, because Electronic Arts is releasing positional ratings each week leading up to the game’s launch.

The quarterbacks kicked things off today, with Aaron Rodgers declared the best virtual QB in the virtual universe. Here’s the full top 10 list:

10. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles: 89 overall

9. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: 90 overall

8. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: 91 overall

7. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers: 92 overall

6. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos: 93 overall

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: 95 overall

4. Eli Manning, New York Giants: 97 overall

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: 98 overall

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots: 98 overall

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: 99 overall

And here’s a video with Marshall Faulk providing in-depth, original analysis (disclaimer: not in-depth or original) of the list in an unnecessarily loud voice. “Ratings Correspondent” is a pretty bad ass title.

“Peyton is like an extra coach on the football field”…having a surplus of coaches is always paramount when you’re beating an artificially generated opponent.

Screen cap via Jon Robinson