It may be NBA and NHL playoffs time on the sports calendar, but the NFL has set up a 16-seed tournament of its own. The Madden NFL 15 Cover Vote will be decided by a fan vote, and the game’s official Twitter page passed along the information to fans and gamers alike:
The entire bracket can be found on ESPN.com.
There are only two defenders on the 16-man bracket, but one of them just happens to be one of the two No. 1 seeds. Richard Sherman, fresh off his Super Bowl win and a hefty new contract, is a top seed. Ironically, he is going up against a wide receiver in the first round in Alshon Jeffery of the Chicago Bears, who took the NFC North by storm last year with his athleticism and ability to grab the ball at its highest point.
Look for Sherman to seize on his popularity and advance very far in this vote.
Cam Newton is the No. 1 seed on the other side. He probably wants to be the cover athlete if his comments from 2012 are any indication, via a blog post by Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer:
This is a big deal for me because I play Madden.
I don't believe in (the curse) because right now I am in the midst of OTA practices, working to be the best player I can be, along with my teammates. And I'm pretty sure everyone in the league is doing the same thing.
The game released an early trailer that featured one of Newton’s teammates in linebacker Luke Kuechly. So at least Madden is promoting those two defenders in the voting before the game is released:
This may not be the equivalent of preseason football or the NFL draft, but perhaps the Madden cover vote can help football fans get through a small portion of the long and arduous offseason.
Madden is always an enormous hit each season, and the cover athlete is an integral part of every version. Deciding the cover athlete through a vote is a unique way to engage fans and capitalize on the excitement surrounding the series.