Madden Cover Vote: Field of 32

What would March be without a bracket?

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris

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EA Sports' Madden NFL franchise is one of the highest selling games year in and year out, and the announcement of the cover athlete for this vaunted franchise is one of the most anticipated news stories by millions of gamers every year. Last offseason the folks at Madden decided to put the decision of who to make the cover athlete into the hands of those fans. 

This year, EA Sports added another twist to it.  Adding a "play in" round of 64 players, two from each team, the fans chose which player would be each team's representative.  And while the system had a small flaw in my opinion, with the Rams' winning representative Brandon Lloyd signing with the Patriots via free-agency, the bracket will fix that flaw itself with Lloyd facing Rob Gronkowski in the first round (good job, guys!).

The voting rounds will now line up as follows:

  • First Round: March 21-28
  • Second Round:  March 28 – April 4
  • Third Round:  April 4-11
  • Semi-Finals:  April 11-18
  • Finals:  April 18-25

Below I have each of the match-ups and my personal choice (in bold), as well as reasons for each selection as a guide for your consideration.  As a fan and a voter, you can visit Sports Nation's website to make your voice heard.

1

Cam Newton

16

Legarrette Blount

I'm picking Cam Newton here, after superman's remarkable rookie season I'd be surprised if he didn't eventually win the whole thing.

8

Antonio Gates

9

Dwight Freeney

Antonio Gates is one of the best tight ends in the league, but whoever wins this matchup will lose to Newton in the second round.

5

LeSean McCoy

12

Reggie Bush

McCoy is a much more iconic running back than Bush right now and is more deserving of the cover.

4

Larry Fitzgerald

13

Troy Polamalu

I don't want to pick either of these players since they have both been on the cover of Madden, but I'm picking Fitz because I don't want the Madden curse to fall on my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

6

Matt Forte

11

Patrick Willis

This is one of the toughest picks for me, but I've been a Willis fan since he was in college and he may be the best inside linebacker in the NFL.

3

Maurice Jones-Drew

14

Sebastian Janikowski

Sorry MJD, but how amazing would it be to have a kicker on the cover?!?  Especially one who set a record for points scored last year.

7

Derrelle Revis

10

Stevie Johnson

Best cover corner in the NFL gets the nod over a borderline #1 receiver for an average team.

2

Victor Cruz

15

Brian Orakpo

I love Orakpo, but Super Bowl momentum is still enough to push the salsa dancing Cruz to round two.

1

Aaron Rodgers

16

Joe Haden

As much as I'd love to see the curse fall to the Browns again, Rodgers was god-like last season.

8

Marshawn Lynch

9

Chris Johnson

Johnson regressed last year, Lynch had a career year. Not that hard of a pick.

5

Ray Rice

12

A.J. Green

As a Steeler fan I hate them both, but I hate Rice more.  And Green had an amazing rookie year.

4

Drew Brees

13

Matt Ryan

Brees will win it, but I don't think anyone should get to be on the Madden cover twice except for John Madden himself.

6

Calvin Johnson

11

Dwayne Bowe

Megatron is so much better than Bowe and so much more deserving

3

Arian Foster

14

Tim Tebow

Foster has emerged as one of the best backs in the league. Tebow might win it because his fans are morons, but I don't think a backup quarterback should be representing the biggest sports game released this year.

7

Jared Allen

10

DeMarcus Ware

Ware had 19.5 sacks last year, but Allen had 22.

2

Rob Gronkowski

15

Brandon Lloyd

Gronk catch ball, Gronk catch touchdown, Gronk win vote.

Check back next week when I break down the Madden cover vote sweet 16, and as always, check in with CraveOnline.com for all your gaming news.