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Madden cover will be determined via ESPN fan vote

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The only NFL football we may have in 2011 is Madden 2012.  And the folks at EA have broken out a bracket-style process for determining the man whose face will grace the cover of the game.

Voting is being conducted on ESPN, with the winner to be announced on SportsNation.

There’s one player per team, and they’re seeded No. 1 through No. 16 in two groups (not by conference), with No. 1 squaring off against No. 16, No. 2 against No. 15, and so on.

Here’s one set of seeds:  (1) Aaron Rodgers, Packers; (2) Matt Ryan, Falcons; (3) Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars; (4) Danny Woodhead, Patriots; (5) Hakeem Nicks, Giants; (6) Jamaal Charles, Chiefs; (7) Ray Rice, Ravens; (8) Sam Bradford, Rams; (9) Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals; (10) Peyton Hillis, Browns; (11) Tim Tebow, Broncos; (12) Brian Orakpo, Washington Football Club; (13) Steve Johnson, Bills; (14) Dwight Freeney, Colts; (15) Jordan Gross, Panthers; and (16) Ndamukong Suh, Lions.

That sets up an interesting No. 1 vs. No. 16 matchup between Aaron Rodgers and Ndamukong Suh.  Packers fans will have their work cut out for them if they hope to fend off the followers of the up-and-coming Lions.

On the other side of the ledger (we’ve got no idea why they didn’t break these down by conference), here are the seeds:  (1) Philip Rivers, Chargers; (2) Hines Ward, Steelers; (3) Mike Vick, Eagles; (4) Drew Brees, Saints; (5) Mark Sanchez, Jets; (6) Andre Johnson, Texans; (7) Patrick Willis, 49ers; (8) Julius Peppers, Bears; (9) Adrian Peterson, Vikings; (10) The 12th Man, Seahawks (seriously?); (11) Chris Johnson, Titans; (12) Jake Long, Dolphins; (13) Josh Freeman, Buccaneers; (14) DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys; (15) Carlos Dunlap, Bengals; (16) Darren McFadden, Raiders.

Don’t bet against Steelers fans.  Hines Ward is the favorite in that group.  Vick, the most polarizing player in the league today, could conjure enough votes to make it deep into the process.

Round one voting lasts from March 21 through March 27.  The second round runs from March 28 through April 3.  The quarterfinals commence on April 4, with polls open until April 10.  The semifinals span April 11 through 17.  And the final two square off on April 18 through 26, with the winner presumably announced on April 27 or April 28, the first day of the draft.

For some reason, we’re intrigued by this.  Oh, yeah.  There’s a lockout.

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71 Responses to “Madden cover will be determined via ESPN fan vote”
  1. biggerballz says: Mar 21, 2011 1:57 PM

    tim tebow? he’s not even a starter.

  2. madtolive5 says: Mar 21, 2011 1:57 PM

    Who picked this list? 12th man? Dunlap? Long? Gross? Tebow? on and on and on

    seriously?

  3. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 21, 2011 1:57 PM

    I’m voting for Aaron Rodgers so he’ll succumb to the Madden Cover Curse!

    (Note to plucky intern monitoring comments: “Succumb” is not a dirty word.)

  4. vicktator says: Mar 21, 2011 1:58 PM

    Everybody, vote for the 12th man, EA Sports has been giving us a bad game for years, lets give them a bad cover.

  5. dldavidlong says: Mar 21, 2011 1:58 PM

    as an eagle fan i put the madden curse on demarcus ware.

  6. FinFan68 says: Mar 21, 2011 1:58 PM

    If there is no deal, DeMaurice Smith/Roger Goodell should share the cover to remind fans why the only version of NFL football they can have this year is a damned video game.

  7. bengalsown says: Mar 21, 2011 2:01 PM

    Hines Ward on the cover would be a travesty.

    What, will they feature illegal crackback blocks and truly emphasize the “smiling while displaying your mediocrity” button?

    Will Steve Johnson on the cover make the game all you to: “Create your own player, rattle around in the bottom of the barrel for a couple years, and then be a one year wonder!”

    LOL @ Seahawks for not having enough talent to warrant having any of their players on the cover.

    At least the Bengals fans have something to look forward to.

  8. b7p19 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:02 PM

    Love it. Great idea. Kinda funny that they didn’t really want any Seahawk players on the cover, so they just went with the sign at the stadium. That playoff run seems so long ago right now doesn’t it?

  9. medialovesthecowboys says: Mar 21, 2011 2:02 PM

    I’ve owned every Madden since ’95, and all I can say is who cares who’s on the cover! Until they fix Online, Franchise, and Superstar, this will continue to be the most overrated/overhyped video game in history.

    Oh and not for nothing, but I vote for Bob Sanders. Only because he wouldn’t get Madden cursed, he only plays til Week 6 in a normal year, anyway.

  10. bengalsown says: Mar 21, 2011 2:03 PM

    @madtolive5

    What’s wrong with Dunlap? He was arguably the most dominant DE in the NFL the last 6 weeks of his rookie season.

    Besides, who else from the Bengals are they going to put on the cover, Dhani Jones?

    LOL

  11. bengalsown says: Mar 21, 2011 2:04 PM

    Tim Tebow on the cover, hahahaha

    The new skill they would introduce with that is using both joysticks to balance the clipboard. Better not drop it!

  12. lucky5927 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:05 PM

    Where is Clay Mathews? And I will purposely avoid the new Madden if it has the 12th man on the cover. Besides, Texas A&M started the 12th Man in 1922.

  13. trbowman says: Mar 21, 2011 2:05 PM

    Vick has already been on a Madden cover, why is he eligible?

  14. ninjapleazee says: Mar 21, 2011 2:05 PM

    if they don’t make more improvements to the game.. it’ll be the same exact game for the past 10 years cept with a different player on the cover

  15. jaggedmark says: Mar 21, 2011 2:05 PM

    How the hell does Suh get a #16 seed, while Woodhead, Tebow, & Gross get higher seeds?

    Guess it doesn’t matter, but it seems stupid.

  16. harleyrider1973 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:06 PM

    I say put Payton Manning on it. Maybe he will get hit with the curse, but of course hes not on the list.

  17. packattack1967 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:06 PM

    We have truly entered into absurdity. This is second to only LaBron James’ show about his free agency signing.

  18. biggerballz says: Mar 21, 2011 2:06 PM

    i hear they are making another version called madden litigation featuring goodell and smith as the cover. The game basically involves sending emails to the media, and to extend a lockout/strike as long as possible.

  19. biggerballz says: Mar 21, 2011 2:08 PM

    how come london fletcher-baker is not on the list? No brady or manning? What EA too cheap to pay them?

  20. JackLeone says: Mar 21, 2011 2:12 PM

    I’m the biggest Vick advocate but…… he has already graced the cover. There are enough players to go around. Give someone else a chanced to be cursed.

  21. thetobygrizwold says: Mar 21, 2011 2:12 PM

    This list gave me a good laugh.

  22. annnann says: Mar 21, 2011 2:16 PM

    Wow, the 12th man choice is really…um….interesting, and how do they determine the seedings? Some of them seem a little random. I think Aaron Rodgers should be on the cover and hopefully escapes the madden curse, of course.

    Or maybe the 12th man should get it, with the uncertainties surrounding the CBA, the focus should be on the fans.

  23. madlithuanian says: Mar 21, 2011 2:17 PM

    Wow. Some of these choices are absurd. Just put Rodgers on the damn cover already. To me, the easiest solution would be to get a contract w/ the NFL and say whoever wins the Super Bowl MVP gets the cover, like it or not.

  24. alexnexus says: Mar 21, 2011 2:17 PM

    DeMarcus Ware doesn’t have a chance against Michael Vick.

    Vick puts people on the seats -lovers and haters alike-.

    If Ware wins I ain’t buying the game.

    Go Vick!

  25. dwoofer says: Mar 21, 2011 2:18 PM

    Max Hall of the Cardinals !!!

    fer shurrrr ……..

  26. eslaught says: Mar 21, 2011 2:20 PM

    If Hillis wins will he be the first white rb on a madden cover? And if Jake Long wins will he be the first OL on the cover? If so they have my vote. If not put sanchez on there with a sombrero and a big fake moustache so I can laugh at something when this season gets cancelled.

  27. panther17 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:20 PM

    I’m voting for the 12th man as it is the only option remotely resembling Fan solidarity.

  28. enjay9 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:21 PM

    You do realise the seedings were done to have inter-divisional matchups

  29. bigfella87 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:22 PM

    I vote Lendale White, Broncos.

    (On another note, please don’t let it be Hines Ward. But we all know when scared and confused, there is safety in numbers, so I’m willing to bet every Steelers fan votes on this.)

  30. jhorton83 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:22 PM

    I hope somebody games the voting so that a player like Danny Woodhead or Jordan Gross wins. It would be funny seeing EA forced to put one of them on the cover.

  31. scudbot says: Mar 21, 2011 2:22 PM

    This list is no good. Where’s Greg Jennings, the man who scored a 99 yard touchdown on a broken leg while carrying the whole team?

  32. postfixer says: Mar 21, 2011 2:24 PM

    They need to bring back the first ever Madden cover with John Madden blasting through a chalkboard covered in X’s and O’s, carrying a football.

  33. thespeaker08 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:26 PM

    Jordan Gross made it for the Panthers? Great player but.. why not Jon Beason? OL don’t make Madden Covers. Not today, at least.

  34. moolah954 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:28 PM

    More reasons why they should bring back NFL 2K… i hate Goodell

  35. wutthecrapman says: Mar 21, 2011 2:28 PM

    The cover of Madden should be…

    A LAWYER.

  36. edukator4 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:30 PM

    i will buy this game only in the event of a lockout… set up the season, and have the computer simulate all the games. that will be my entertainment on sunday afternoons from september through february.

  37. droksid says: Mar 21, 2011 2:32 PM

    Tim Tebow is going to win.

    He wins every vote he’s a part of. He leads the league in jersey sales for crying out loud.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m a Tebow fan but I don’t think he deserves the cover of Madden. He really hasn’t done anything special in the league yet.

    But he will ride his popularity to the cover. Bet on it.

  38. billsfan27 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:32 PM

    How about a photo of a courtroom with a giant gavel shattering the shield….

  39. panther17 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:35 PM

    Why Jordan Gross over Jon Beason, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, or Charles Johnson for the Panthers? Really Jordan Gross?

  40. metalhead65 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:36 PM

    since you have decided to pc by refering to the redskins as the washington club then I will vote for orapko. hopefuly enough people will to then they have to put him on the cover and you will will have to say the team name.

  41. Caldon says: Mar 21, 2011 2:36 PM

    If only EA would take this year off to improve the game as well.

    Sigh – oh well, it will never happen, to much money lost.

  42. kellyb9 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:41 PM

    Maybe instead of worrying about who’s on the cover, they should try to make the game better. Every year it seems like all I’m getting is a roster update.

  43. nackul says: Mar 21, 2011 2:44 PM

    @bengalsown

    It should totally be Dhani Jones. His show’s pretty good.

  44. DonRSD says: Mar 21, 2011 2:45 PM

    this is what we are regulated to for madden?

    where are the in game improvements and not ‘game rewind’ or ‘we added refs to the field’?

    2k destroys madden.

    i honestly have more fun playing apf 2k8 than madden 11.

    the defensive shell looks alone make 2k better.
    i can shade inside, outside or wrs. show cover, cover 2 or cover 3 looks PRESNAP

    madden 12 = madden 11, 10, 09,08, 07 etc with updated rosters, new cover boy & new bs feature to lure new players in

  45. canadianvikingfaniii says: Mar 21, 2011 2:46 PM

    It’s not like I am going to buy this garbage anyway. The same problems plague Madden every year, the mechanics are just horrible, especially on pass defence.

    Instead of trying to squeeze every last dollar out of the consumers every single year, they should of taken advantage of the fact there could possibly be a lockout and spend the year developing a whole new game engine instead of slapping bandaids on this garbage.

    I miss Joe Montana’s NFL Football 94′

  46. ingloriousmaster says: Mar 21, 2011 2:46 PM

    uh…where’s Brady?…you know…mvp?

  47. nackul says: Mar 21, 2011 2:48 PM

    Also, anyone else think it should be the fat guy representing the 12th man?

    He’s the real MVP of this league.

  48. thevikes85 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:48 PM

    Clay Matthews hitting and making Mendenhall fumble should be the cover,it was the biggest play of the year…..and i’m far from a Packers fan!!

  49. downsouth49er says: Mar 21, 2011 2:49 PM

    Watch how many votes tebow gets. Wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up on the cover because there seems to be some kind of obsession with him amongst some people.

  50. dbellina says: Mar 21, 2011 2:54 PM

    How do I vote for Gregg Rosenthal?

  51. readysethike says: Mar 21, 2011 2:55 PM

    Until 2k is allowed to make Nfl games why would anyone buy madden?

  52. pjg1309 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:55 PM

    Why does it matter I am NOT buying it until there is a deal to play football next year anyway

  53. cappa662 says: Mar 21, 2011 2:59 PM

    This will be more fun than the actual game (which has sucked for the last 10 years). Give the franchise to 2KSports. EA does not know what they are doing at all.

  54. panther17 says: Mar 21, 2011 3:01 PM

    For those complaining about the game getting better instead, try only buying it every other year. You actually notice differences between them then. :)

  55. cappa662 says: Mar 21, 2011 3:04 PM

    I voted for Tebow!!!!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Nevis says: Mar 21, 2011 3:13 PM

    My vote is for the CBA attorneys.

    PS – the fact that the 12th Man is on this list should tell you just how stupid this franchise has become.

    EA sucks, 2K5 is still the bes football game ever made and still would be today if EA didn’t get their panties in a bunch over competition and monopolize the NFL gaming market.

  57. jsmayer181 says: Mar 21, 2011 3:24 PM

    enjay9 says:
    Mar 21, 2011 2:21 PM
    You do realise the seedings were done to have inter-divisional matchups
    ———————————————-
    Not only that, but each side of the bracket has one set of inter-divisional matchups, so that the Giants-Redskins pairing is on opposite sides than the Eagles-Cowboys pairing.

    I’m personally rooting for the 12th Man out of Seattle. Considering the fans are the ones getting jobbed with the decertification/lockout/lawsuit, they’re the only group deserving of this honor.

  58. naterysavy says: Mar 21, 2011 3:28 PM

    Anybody else notice that after you vote it doesn’t show the voting percentages for each player? What’s to stop EA from manipulating the results so polarizing guys like Vick, Tebow, Ward, etc don’t advance while safer ones like Rodgers or Andre Johnson do?

  59. EJ says: Mar 21, 2011 3:31 PM

    bengalsown says:
    Mar 21, 2011 2:01 PM
    Hines Ward on the cover would be a travesty.

    What, will they feature illegal crackback blocks and truly emphasize the “smiling while displaying your mediocrity” button?

    Will Steve Johnson on the cover make the game all you to: “Create your own player, rattle around in the bottom of the barrel for a couple years, and then be a one year wonder!”

    LOL @ Seahawks for not having enough talent to warrant having any of their players on the cover.

    Stevie Johnson never got the shot to show what he was made of until this past season.
    You all will see that he is #1 Wideout material after this season, if it ever begins.

    Or are you just mad because he ripped your Bungles for 8rec, 137yards and 3 touchdowns?

  60. midniterambler7 says: Mar 21, 2011 3:56 PM

    No write in balloting? There goes Ben’s chances.

  61. stavreafavre says: Mar 21, 2011 4:05 PM

    My favorite comments are from the people who’ve been buying the game every year for ten or fifteen years and go on to say how much it sucks. Free advice guys: If it ever starts to hurt when you’re hitting yourself on the head with a hammer, try stopping for awhile.

  62. vaphillyfan says: Mar 21, 2011 4:07 PM

    With the jinx I hope Vick doesn’t get the cover. I wish he wasn’t even on the list. We need him this year. If we even have a year.

  63. xtb3 says: Mar 21, 2011 4:23 PM

    Say what?

    Every team listedby it’s nickname EXCEPT Washington Football Club?

  64. khmer379 says: Mar 21, 2011 4:28 PM

    Aron rodger get my vote

  65. hokiez says: Mar 21, 2011 4:39 PM

    I am yet again embarrassed to be a Seahawks fan. No player even worthy of Madden 12? I’ll put one one. EARL THOMAS!

  66. ticewasbetter says: Mar 21, 2011 4:50 PM

    Going by the past two years it should be either Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews as the super bowl champs. Or if EA wants to go back to the player that either progressed the best or came into the league as a rookie and produced at a high level I’d go with Josh Freeman or N. Suh.

    EA has to fix the commentary silence in that game, you can score a TD sometimes and the announcer doesn’t even say anything. Speaking of which, what happened to the stadium PA??

    Oh, and Packer fans cheer ‘go pack go’ when their defense is on the field not the offense, that’s annoying after every first down.

    All in all Madden ’11 was pretty good, except if you’re a Viking fan and every time you hit the start button at the beginning of the game you gotta look at a bunch of Saints that we gave the Super Bowl to.

  67. droksid says: Mar 21, 2011 4:50 PM

    @vaphillyfan

    At least you have a good replacement if he goes down. Unless you trade him.

  68. mulehead70 says: Mar 21, 2011 5:10 PM

    How about Jerry Richardson and Smith on the cover? It can be called Madden Lockout 12.

  69. mrlynch33 says: Mar 21, 2011 5:37 PM

    Wow please vote for the 12th man as a joke…..not only that I dont want Patrick Willis being cursed.

    other than that I would like to see Steve Johnson win too…but only if they used a pic from his postgame presser with the beater on

  70. dbellina says: Mar 21, 2011 6:21 PM

    There’s a few things I don’t understand.
    1) Why does it make me choose between Matt Ryan and Jordan Gross?

    2) Hines Ward or Carlos Dunlap???

    3) Patrick Willis or “The 12th Man?”
    (I thought Naufahu Tahi was the 12th man.)

    4) Jake Long vs Mark D Sanchez? When has and O-lineman ever been on the cover?

    5) Why did they exclude Arian Foster (led the league in rushing,) Brandon Lloyd, and Roddy White (no. 1 & 2 in receiving yards?)

  71. dbellina says: Mar 21, 2011 6:25 PM

    Two more things, I’m pretty sure Tom Brady won the NFL MVP this year so where is he? and what about Jason Witten?

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