This year, EA Sports' Madden 12 will have fan voting for its cover athlete, and in the spirit of March Madness there's a bracket of 32 players, one for each team. ESPN's SportsNation will have the live announcement of the winner on April 26, two days before the 2011 NFL Draft.
The Denver Broncos participant is quarterback Tim Tebow, a No. 11 seed. He will face No. 6 seed Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles in the opening round. Given what we've seen out of 11 seeds Marquette and Va. Commonwealth in an actual tournament, are we going to count out Tebow as the underdog in this tournament?
But given the history of the Madden cover athlete curse, do we want Tebow to make it to the finals? Even if he makes it out of the first round, there would still be four more rounds to go. As Mile High Report points out, his possible future opponents could be Maurice Jones-Drew and Peyton Hillis. Jones-Drew plays in Tebow's hometown of Jacksonville and Hillis is a former Bronco who went on to rush for over 1,000 yards with the Cleveland Browns in 2010.
And an OOPH! for the Panthers as they're participant is Jordan Gross. Hard times indeed in Carolina. And the Seattle Seahawks? The 12th Man. That's a legitimate participant, but also demonstrates the lack of a brand name on the roster. Sam goes for the Dolphins with Jake Long.
The No. 1 seeds are Green Bay's Aaron Rogers and the Charger's Philip Rivers. Rodgers should be the overall favorite following his postseason performance.