Since its humble birth in 1988, the EA Madden football franchise has grown rapidly into one of the top grossing sports entities of all time. Along the way, it has given countless young men and women thumb tendinitis, turning football fans into gamers, and gamers into football fans.
Along the way, it has also cursed nearly every tremendous athlete that has graced the cover of the game box since 1999. EA Sports has repeatedly said that they don’t believe in such things, but has done a number of things to shake up the process in recent years.
In 2010, the company selected two players from the previous Super Bowl to share the cover spotlight. Both had down years.
So last year, what used to be a unilateral decision on the part of the executives at EA Sports, was finally put to a fan vote with the help of ESPN’s Sports Nation.
For better or for worse, no Redskins player has ever been selected to fill that role. For the non-superstitious types, you can change that this year by voting one of the two candidates to the top of the list.
But if they regress, it’s all your fault. Here’s the deal:
EA SPORTS and ESPN announced the return of the award-winning Madden NFLCover Vote campaign, where fans can cast their vote for the next athlete to grace the cover of one of the highest-selling videogame franchises in North America.
Last year, nearly 13 million votes were cast through ESPNSportsNation.com and ESPN mobile in both companies’ most successful cross-platform activation. Tenth-seeded Cleveland Browns running back, Peyton Hillis, trucked through the six week competition all the way to the ultimate end zone – the Madden NFL 12 cover.
This year, the campaign has been expanded to 64 candidates, and voters have between now and March 21 to vote on the first round of the field. The first round features competitions between teammates, which for the Redskins mean Brian Orakpo vs. Ryan Kerrigan for an outside linebacker bash:
Since one of the Redskins will move ahead to the next round no matter what, it’s okay to vote in this round with a clear conscience. But if you continue to vote and a Redskins player ends up winning, just beware the consequences of the Madden Curse.
Y’know, if you believe in that stuff.
Updated 3:51 p.m.:
For each of you loyal fans that refused to vote out of allegiance to your players and belief in the curse, Orakpo salutes you: