Barry Sanders Wins Fan Vote For Cover Of "Madden NFL 25," Beating Out Adrian Peterson
EA Sports last night named Pro Football HOFer Barry Sanders as the cover athlete for "Madden NFL 25," winning an expanded fan vote program that pitted former NFL stars against a collection of current players. Sanders prevailed over Vikings RB Adrian Peterson -- 58% to 42%. The cover balloting drew 40 million votes, more than twice the 19.6 million votes from last year and more than three times the 12.7 million in '11. "Madden NFL 25," with the name of this year's version of the popular football videogame franchise denoting its 25th anniversary, will be released Aug. 27 (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer). Sanders’ “victory also made it back-to-back” Lions on the cover following WR Calvin Johnson’s win last year. Johnson “snapped the stigma of the 'Madden Curse' in 2012, breaking [Jerry] Rice's NFL single-season receiving yards mark.” On his Twitter feed, Peterson wrote, "Congrats to my guy Barry Sanders for winning the 2013 Madden Cover! Any other guy to take me down... it would've been a problem! Salute" (ESPN.com, 4/24).
PROVED ELUSIVE: ESPN's Charissa Thompson during a special on the unveiling of the cover said, "We started off with 64 stars in a bracket divided by old school and new school. Forty million votes later, we have whittled it down to two." Prior to the reveal, Sanders said of not being on the cover while he was an active player, "Back in the late nineties, I was scheduled to be on the cover, I was excited about it, grew up a huge John Madden fan and that was sort of the beginnings of the game. Unfortunately, that was the year I was retired, so I missed out on the game, but I'm hoping this year is my year" ("Sports Nation: Madden Cover Vote Reveal," ESPN2, 4/24).