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.