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Volume 24 No. 156
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EA Sports Again Using Fan Vote To Determine Cover Athlete For "Madden"

EA Sports for the second straight year will use a fan vote to select the cover athlete for the upcoming version of "Madden NFL." This year's process will be greatly expanded from '10, with the voting being featured on ESPN's "SportsNation" and including one candidate from each NFL team. Beginning today and lasting through April 27, fans will be able to vote for their "Madden" cover choice at in a seeded bracket-style format. The full bracket will be unveiled this afternoon on "SportsNation," but candidates include Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, Bears DE Julius Peppers, Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Saints QB Drew Brees and Eagles QB Michael Vick. For Vick, the cover athlete of "Madden NFL 04" while with the Falcons, the entry further signifies an image rehabilitation since his release from prison and return to the league. The campaign continues an increased interest in fan voting initiated last year with "Madden NFL 11," resulting in Brees winning the cover nod over Colts WR Reggie Wayne and Vikings DE Jared Allen, and extending recently to "NCAA Football 12" with a quartet of choices. EA Sports is also leveraging an existing, multi-faceted partnership with ESPN in the latest vote effort. EA Sports has repeatedly said it will release "Madden NFL 12" in August, as originally scheduled, regardless of the status of the NFL's ongoing labor dispute. If Brees were to win the vote, he would be the first player to appear a second time on the cover. John Madden himself was on the game cover from '90-'00 until EA Sports began using players, starting with former Titans RB Eddie George.

Bears DE Julius Peppers Jets QB Mark Sanchez
Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap Lions DT Ndamukong Suh
Bills WR Steve Johnson Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Broncos QB Tim Tebow Panthers OT Jordan Gross
Browns RB Peyton Hillis Patriots RB Danny Woodhead
Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman Raiders RB Darren McFadden
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald Rams QB Sam Bradford
Chargers QB Philip Rivers Ravens RB Ray Rice
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles Redskins DE Brian Orakpo
Colts DE Dwight Freeney Saints QB Drew Brees
Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware Steelers WR Hines Ward
Dolphins OT Jake Long Texans WR Andre Johnson
Eagles QB Michael Vick Titans RB Chris Johnson
Falcons QB Matt Ryan Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks 49ers LB Patrick Willis
Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew The Seahawks' 12th Man