Once again Electronic Arts is looking to Madden fans to decide the cover athlete for Madden NFL 12, only this time, it requires a lot more effort on the part of voters. In the spirit of NCAA Basketball, EA Sports is putting together a tournament bracket to decide which athlete gets the “honor” of appearing on the 2012 cover.
While last year’s three-choice vote delivered the most popular cover athlete candidate in Drew Brees, EA clearly felt that it was unfair not to give every NFL team a chance. With this year’s tournament bracket every team is represented by one of their more notable players.
Notable entrants include this year’s Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Drew Brees once again, Tennessee running back Chris Johnson, and the 12th man (no. 12 jersey) that was recently retired from the Seattle Seahawks organization. Sure, there is going to be some disappointment that players like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady didn’t make the cut, but that is only if you are unaware of the Madden Curse.
Ever since the introduction of the Madden franchise it has become popular knowledge that being picked for the cover is a blessing in disguise. While some players end up getting it worse than others, it’s always a scary sight to see your favorite team’s star player under the Madden banner.
The plan with last and this year’s fan vote is that it will, in some form or another, decrease the “power” of the curse. Arguably the vote worked to some effect, as Brees did not suffer any injury, but instead suffered the loss of two formidable running backs and a first round playoff defeat to a limping-to-the-finish-line Seahawks team.
Much like EA is making changes with the way in which they combat the Madden Curse, we hope they are tweaking some of the mechanics of the Madden franchise. Perhaps EA will make improvements to GameFlow or they may even need to completely rework their stat boosting if there is no 2012 NFL Season.
The voting and various bracket advancing will take place from now until April 27th, when the cover athlete will be unveiled on ESPN’s SportsNation. Any would-be NFL fans looking to get it on the fun need only visit the ESPN website to cast their vote each week. It’s as simple as that.
Which of the 32 possible Madden 12 cover athletes are you planning to vote for? Any notable omissions that you are sad, or glad, to see not on the bracket?
Madden NFL 12 releases August 11, 2011.