Did 'Madden 12' snub Mannings, Brady?
By Tim Graham
If there truly is a “Madden” curse, perhaps it’s not reserved for the player who appears on the video game’s cover each year.
Maybe the real curse is in choosing him.
"It’s very polarizing," said Anthony Stevenson, senior product manager for EA Sports, the game’s manufacturer. "No matter what we do, half the people will be really, really happy, and half the people will hate it."
Not even turning the process over to the people will solve EA Sports’ annual problem. For the first time in the game’s 23 years, fans can vote for their favorite team to be on the “Madden NFL 12” cover.
A representative for each of the 32 clubs has been seeded in a single-elimination tournament. A weeklong vote will be held for each round until a champion is announced April 27 on ESPN. Fans also can participate in a March Madness-style bracket challenge to predict the outcome.
Funzo democracy at work, right?
Turns out, folks aren’t entirely thrilled with the individual nominees. Reigning MVP Tom Brady and perennial fan favorite Peyton Manning aren’t in the field. The Miami Dolphins andCarolina Panthers are represented by offensive tackles. The Seattle Seahawks' option isn't a player at all.
One of the rumors making the rounds is that unusual nominees were required because some stars declined an invitation, that they were afraid of the so-called “Madden” curse.
Eddie George, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, Vince Young and Brett Favre are among the supposedly doomed honorees.
Stevenson doesn’t buy the connection, although fans have started Facebook campaigns for their favorite players not to get votes.
"People do believe there’s a curse with Sports Illustrated covers or ‘Madden’ covers," Stevenson said. "As an NFL player, you cannot believe in that. If you believe in something like that, then you concede when you step on the field, and something bad happens it’s not in your control.
"If you believe in a curse, you’re probably in trouble. You’re asking to get hurt. Athletes want to believe their well-being and their success or failure is 100 percent in their hands."
In fact, Stevenson sees the opposite of a curse when it comes to the “Madden” video-game franchise.
"All of our past cover athletes get together every year, and it’s almost like the ‘72 Dolphins," Stevenson said. "They get together, and it’s literally a fraternity."
This year’s pledge period is a tournament bracket.
Stevenson called Thursday to explain why a few of the more interesting nominees were chosen.
Please Click the Title above to continue reading.