image from EA Sports.com
The results for the first round of EA Sports Madden 25 massive cover vote are in. Both the Old School and New School brackets have seen their first eliminations.
There were a few surprises, but primarily we saw what most would have expected early in the tournament.
Here is a look at the results from the first round. The legend or current player's name that appears in bold is moving on to the second round.
Click here to vote for the second round.
Old School Bracket Top Portion
1. Joe Montana
16. Jake Delhomme
Delhomme had about as much of a chance to win this matchup as Jason Terry and Brandon Knight have of breaking up an alley pop.
It's on to the next one for Montana.
8. Curtis Martin
9. Jerome Bettis
The Bus wins over another great running back, but this is only right. Bettis seems perfect for the Madden cover.
5. Marshall Faulk
12. Clinton Portis
Portis is a classic tweener here. He hasn't been gone long enough to be considered a "legend." especially not matched against one of the greatest all-around running backs in league history.
But he also isn't still fresh in the minds of fans. The No. 5 and No. 12 matchup is usually good for an upset in the NCAA tournament, but not here.
4. Dan Marino
13. Reggie Wayne
Wayne is one heck of a receiver, and quite underrated, in my opinion, but we're talking about Dan the Man here. Marino on the cover would be awesome, at least to me.
6. Marcus Allen
11. Tedy Bruschi
This is one of those matchups that makes me ask: "why is Tedy Bruschi seeded so high?" I suppose it is the only matchup that would cause me to ask that question, but still, I have to wonder.
Is it because he's worked for ESPN and SportsNation is the host for the tournament?
I know Bruschi was an integral part of the some great New England Patriots defenses, but there is no way he should have been seeded higher than Derrick Brooks.
3. Barry Sanders
14. Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera? In my Miz voice: "Really?"
I know there may be some contractual reason, or even some issue where greater ex-Chicago Bears may be included in an as yet announced feature, but I'd rather have Willie Gault or Emery Moorehead representing my Bears.
This should have been the No. 1 vs. No. 16 matchup.
7. Randall Cunningham
10. LaDainian Tomlinson
This was a tough one for me. I would have liked to see Cunningham win, but LT was fresher in the minds of the voters.
He moves on.
2. Ray Lewis
15. Derrick Brooks
This should have been a close vote as Brooks is better than a No. 15 seed. But fresh off a Super Bowl championship, this was easily Lewis' world.
Old School Bracket Bottom Portion
1. Jerry Rice
16. Fred Taylor
Fred Taylor was underrated when he played, and I'd be willing to bet quite a few of today's gamers barely remember him.
Going against an all-time great like Rice was predictably lopsided.
8. John Randle
9. Eddie George
This was another one of those close No. 8 and No. 9 matchups, but George moves on. He has been on the cover before, but he won't get beyond the second round.
5. Michael Strahan
12. Sterling Sharpe
Strahan pulls off the win over Sharpe, who is still getting slighted in my eyes. Sharpe's career was cut short by injury and people don't realize just how good he was.
He would have pushed Jerry Rice as the premier receiver of the 1990s, were it not for injury.
4. Kurt Warner
11. Ozzie Newsome
There aren't many tight ends in history that could beat Warner here. Even though Newsome has built two Super Bowl champions as an executive, that accomplishment didn't get him enough votes.
6. Tim Brown
11. Chad Johnson
It's safe to say Bill Callahan didn't vote for Brown, but somebody did, and Ocho Cinco is sent packing. How many times can one man experience gridiron rejection in a 18-month period?
3. Troy Aikman
14. Deuce McAlister
The only way Deuce was going to beat Aikman was if all votes originating from New Orleans counted for two. That obviously didn't happen.
7. Jim Kelly
10. Terrell Davis
I love TD, and I think he deserves more credit as one of the best running backs of his era. Apparently, many people share my thoughts. Kelly suffers from an excessive lack of cool, thus TD moves on.
2. Deion Sanders
15. Cortez Kennedy
I know the 12th man can't be underestimated, but Kennedy would have had a better chance beating Primetime in a foot race.
New School Bracket Top Portion
1. Colin Kaepernick
16. Antonio Gates
If only Gates' chances to win were as thick as his waistline has become. Kaepernick is the future...of everything.
8. A.J. Green
9. Matt Forte
This day was tough on Bears' fans like myself. I thought Forte had a chance to win this one. It's been a frustrating week for him. First the NFL passed that absurd helmet rule, per Yahoo Sports, and now this.
The proposed rule change for running backs might be the most absurd suggestion of a rule change I've ever heard of.— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) March 17, 2013
Guess I'll get my fine money ready #loweringtheboomfund— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) March 20, 2013
Everybody pray for Matt.
5. Julio Jones
12. Jimmy Graham
Jones is the best receiver in Atlanta. No disrespect to Roddy White, but J.J is a force. If he played on a team with fewer options his numbers would far surpass A,J. Green's.
Should pending free agents be included in the cover vote?
4. Arian Foster
13. Danny Amendola
Switching teams after the cover vote representatives are announced equals easy victory for Foster. He would have won anyway, but Amendola signing with the Patriots just made it laughable.
6. Von Miller
11. Victor Cruz
I was a little surprised about this one. I thought Mr. Salsa would win this despite the uncertain future in New York. But Miller comes out on top, maybe it was the nerd glasses?
3. Russell Wilson
14. Justin Blackmon
This is my sleeper pick to take it all the way. He works hard, had a dynamic rookie season and the Seahawks' fanbase is insane. You heard it here first...or second.
10. Clay Matthews
I guess Browns' fans didn't want to Hillis-ize Richardson by turning out in force to get him to the next round. Peyton Hillis upset Michael Vick to appear as the cover guy for Madden 12 thanks to rabid Browns fans.
He proceeded to play terribly the following year and moved on to Kansas City.
Don't be sad Trent, they love you so much they decided not to vote for you.
2. Andrew Luck
15. Jake Locker
I know Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs this past season, but I don't know if he will advance much further.
This tournament almost requires that "it" factor and Luck is like David Schwimmer in a field full of Matt LeBlancs and Matthew Perrys.
He may wind up forgotten.
New School Bracket Bottom Portion
1. Robert Griffin III
16. Ryan Tannehill
Perhaps the only man that can knock off Kaepernick in the final is RGIII. Tannehill had no chance here.
8. Doug Martin
9. Matthew Stafford
A year after Calvin Johnson graced the Madden 13 cover, Stafford falls flat to the man with the most ordinary name in the whole tournament.
Martin had a stellar rookie season, but I'm a little surprised he won this round.
5. Ray Rice
12. Luke Kuechly
I love Kuechly, but it will be hard to defeat any Ravens player in this tournament.
4. Dez Bryant
13. C.J. Spiller
Bryant tweeted this subtle reminder for fans to vote for him in the cover vote...
I guess it worked.
6. Jamaal Charles
11. Darrelle Revis
Woe are the Kansas City Chiefs. Charles is a dynamic back, but he couldn't even beat an injured cornerback that may not even be playing for the New York Jets in 2013.
That's pretty sad.
3. Rob Gronkowski
14. Antonio Brown
Gronk wins this one easy, and I have to admit he could be a threat to go all the way to the final. Hopefully, he doesn't post another insane video smashing player likenesses again this year.
I have a feeling he may have scared some of the younger gamers.
7. Patrick Peterson
10. LeSean McCoy
What player has the best chance to knock off Kaepernick?
I would have loved to see Peterson advance. He is one of the most exciting players in the game, but it's Shady McCoy's day in the spotlight.
2. Adrian Peterson
15. Carson Palmer
AP deserves the cover more than any other player, but that doesn't mean he'll win it. Beating Palmer was quite easy, but we'll see what happens if he meets RGIII later in the tournament.
Predictions for the Second Round
Montana over Bettis
Joe may be unstoppable in the old school bracket, at least until he faces Primetime in the finals.
Faulk over Marino
This is going to be ever so close, but Faulk has an edge in the cool department—at least as far as this generation is concerned. But I'd love to see Marino win, then again, I said that already, didn't I?
Barry Sanders over Allen
It is hard for me to imagine any running back beating Sanders out. Allen will fall in the second round.
Lewis over Tomlinson
I think this one may be a little closer than people expect, but Lewis' presence in the commercials, the awesome intro from Madden 13 and a little thing called the Super Bowl will be too much to overcome.
J.Rice over George
This should be an easy win for Rice. Most consider him to be the greatest receiver in history and that will translate into a deep run.
Strahan over Warner
This could be another close one, but Strahan has a major television presence. Warner has a weird reality show called The Moment, but I don't think that will resonate much with the gaming crowd.
Aikman over Brown
Aikman doesn't have much chance to win it all, but he should be good for another win or two.
D.Sanders over Davis
I'm going to hate to see Davis leave as he is one of my personal favorites, but Primetime is probably the single coolest player in the legends' bracket.
Kaepernick over Green
The Niners' star won't even be seriously challenged until he reaches the final.
Foster over Jones
This is very interesting, but I think Foster has a more magnetic personality. Both are amazing on the field, but Foster will win the popularity contest.
Wilson over Miller
People will start to take notice once they see how easily Wilson defeats Miller. The Seahawks' star is a serious threat.
Matthews over Luck
Something tells me this will be the first huge upset of the cover vote. Matthews is a superstar for a major market team in Green Bay. Ross...err, I mean Luck will fall.
Griffin III over Martin
Martin will not be a Cinderella as the RGIII machine will roll into the next round.
R.Rice over Bryant
What current player do you most wish were included in the voting?
Dez's twitter campaign may have helped him in the first round, but Rice is a Raven, and I think we'll learn that means something in this process—except for Ozzie Newsome of course.
Gronkowski over Revis
There is no way Patriots fans let anyone wearing a Jets uniform—permanent or not—beat them in a Madden cover vote.
Peterson over McCoy
This is easy pickings for AP. He'll run past McCoy into the next round, but it'll get interesting when he's matched up with Gronk.