I'm not sure what was wrong with the Madden cover selection process before 2011. I had no issue with the game's producers choosing the best NFL athlete from the previous season. Simple, right? Seems to me like most of the time, they did a pretty good job too.
However, starting last year (and continuing this year) Madden decided to get the fans involved, having them vote for the winner of a 32-player tournament. I understand the idea, I do. It's like another miniature March Madness. You give each team a fighting chance, because each team gets a representative, but you really open yourself up to a whole host of American Idol-esque voting problems. And it really loses excitement when you have to wait three weeks to make sure Aaron Rodgers beats out Cleveland's back up right guard.
Without further ado, the top 10 reasons you should dislike the cover vote.
Let's get the obvious one out of the way. The major problem with the Cover Vote is that you end up with this on your cover, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Now, I'll admit that I didn't participate in last year's vote. Honestly, I had no idea it was going on. But I still have no explanation for how Hillis came to grace the 2012 cover. I'm still waiting for someone to fill me in. Was it an April Fool's joke gone wrong?
As far as I know, each person can vote only once. But I know a bunch of engineers who could probably find their way around that... you know, if I gave them 7 seconds. The only thing I can come up with is that Cleveland Browns fans, distraught over their lifetime drought of Madden-caliber athletes, all got together in one room and paid some guy to create an algorithm that would vote for Peyton Hillis over and over and over.
Still unacceptable. Great picture, though. Good find by me.
Another thing that is wrong with the Madden Cover Vote is that certain teams do not have a single player that deserves even the longest of shots to be on the cover (see slide 1). But hey, at least the Seahawks didn't force it and nominate Charlie Whitehurst, right?
Whoever decided that the 2012 Seattle representative should be "The 12th Man" is completely insane. What is that gonna look like, buddy? How is that gonna sell? Kids aren't going to know what it is if you put normal people on it. That's not how America works. Come on.
Unrelated side note: I would have voted the heck out of the 12th man. Would've been hilarious.
Has anyone else noticed that the Rams are the only team that has no representative for the 2013 cover? Oh, no one else noticed. I guess I'm not surprised. How many people would notice if the Rams just didn't show up for their home opener? Their 5 season ticket holders and the nice lady who brings them orange slices at halftime?
Anyways,the Rams were going to have a rep in WR Brandon Lloyd, but they traded him to the Patriots right before the voting opened. It's actually really, really funny because it was late enough that the match ups were already set and Lloyd had to stay in the voting, but it was also early enough for them to change the still-frame action shot so that he appeared in a Patriots jersey. Classic.
And if that wasn't enough, his first round opponent? Rob Gronkowski. Icing on the cake. You spoil me, Madden.
When asked for a comment, the city of St. Louis said, "Meh."
Who cares? This is an NFL-sized popularity contest and I don't need to know that Colin Cowherd has a Twitter and thinks Aaron Rodgers is a good quarterback. Is anyone being persuaded by these useless commentaries?
"Hey man, you got a second?"
"Sure, Alfonso. What's up?"
"Well, I was pretty intent upon picking Darrelle Revis to advance past Stevie Johnson, but both anchors of SportsNation have informed me that Johnson is the most underrated receiver in football and that they expect him to pull the upset. Now, I'm conflicted."
"What does it matter?"
"Well now I am forced to consider that maybe Stevie Johnson is the better choice to represent my interests as a fan and as a socially active citizen. Maybe I have been wrong about it this whole time..."
"Dude, I don't care. I'm going to the movies, you in?"
"... Nah, I really need to think this over and make an informed decision that will benefit me and my family in the long run. Might take a while."
Now, I am not saying that P-Willy isn't a great player. Nor am I saying that he should have been as low as an 11 seed. But there is no way he should have been in the semifinals. This is an offensive league, you don't get credit (deserved or not) for being a LB. You just don't.
He breezed past Matt Forte in the first round, which I completely disagree with, but can understand. But then he handily defeats Maurice Jones-Drew?? No sir. That is where I draw the line. That tiny little man is the toughest, most ballsy football player in the game. He's 4-foot-8 for Tebow's sake! Those chunky little mutton-like thighs are the most dangerous weapons on Earth. I'd rather be in a foxhole with MJD any day.
11 seeds are 11 seeds for a reason. I just figure the 49ers fans got out to vote, because they have nothing else to do with their lives, except watch the Sharks, but look how that's going.
SIX SEED! Is that a joke? Do you know how many TD catches Megatron had last year? Like, at least 200. He was undoubtedly the best receiver in the league and carried a mediocre team to the playoffs. He got Matt Stafford to 5,000 yards. Under no circumstances should Matt Stafford ever throw for 5,000 yards. Totally ridiculous.
Calvin Johnson should have been the two seed in Victor Cruz's spot. I know that he won a Super Bowl, but Johnson would run circles around Cruz. He is also seeded lower than Ray "Bane of My Existence" Rice, and Larry "Don't Forget About Me as This Metaphorical Elevator Door Closes on My Career" Fitzgerald.
But Megatron doesn't care. He just puts his head down and wins match ups, like a champ.
I only have one question: if Tim Tebow were to win the Cover Vote, which facial expression would he go for? The cry-baby college look? The "I just played a full game and completed 2 passes" face? Or the "Tom Brady just spanked me like a little child up and down this field so I'm leaving for New York where I'll never have to play again" expression?
For those of you who don't know, I dislike Tim Tebow.
And in all honesty, this spot should belong to Matt Prater.
The Chargers are in this weird limbo where they aren't completely devoid of talent, but they just have no one playing well of late. And I mean NO ONE. The only candidate they could muster was aging Antonio Gates, who missed half the season with a stubbed toe.
Technically, Philip Rivers is the best player on the team, but he had a dangerously sub-par season, and so was unavailable for contention. And this is a very bad sign, because Joe Haden played well enough to earn the spot for Cleveland.
Otherwise, you could have turned to Vincent Jackson or Ryan Mathews (sneaky good season, even missing/splitting time) but one is gone and one doesn't have the name recognition yet. People know who he is, but people don't know who he is, you know?
You don't really think about how long this stupid process takes because you only vote when you get an e-mail telling you to do so. But it takes them over a month to pick a worthy champion. The March Madness tournament doesn't even last a month.
Why can't each voting period be one day? As I said, people take 12 seconds out of their completely empty schedules to vote as soon as the round starts anyways. How many people actually spend time thinking about it?
Gosh, I don't know who to choose. At least they got one thing right. Too bad it leads me to my final wrong: level of competition way too high for final vote. I did all this work, picked meaningless eight to nine match ups, just let me have an easy final selection.
I love Cam Newton. I want to vote for Cam Newton. But I can't do it. I mean, it's Calvin Johnson. He's too good to pass up. Here's what it comes down to for me: Cam and Calvin both play for incredibly mediocre teams. However, Calvin led his team to 10-6 and a playoff appearance. Cam's team went 6-10.
I love the talent, now show me some W's, kid.
Vote Megatron! And make sure they get it right this year.