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.
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.
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.
McCoy is a much more iconic running back than Bush right now and is more deserving of the cover.
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.
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.
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.
Best cover corner in the NFL gets the nod over a borderline #1 receiver for an average team.
I love Orakpo, but Super Bowl momentum is still enough to push the salsa dancing Cruz to round two.
As much as I'd love to see the curse fall to the Browns again, Rodgers was god-like last season.
Johnson regressed last year, Lynch had a career year. Not that hard of a pick.
As a Steeler fan I hate them both, but I hate Rice more. And Green had an amazing rookie year.
Brees will win it, but I don't think anyone should get to be on the Madden cover twice except for John Madden himself.
Megatron is so much better than Bowe and so much more deserving
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.
Ware had 19.5 sacks last year, but Allen had 22.
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.