For you NCAA basketball-NFL hybrid freaks, EA Sports' Madden franchise has decided to combine all of what we love about football video games and March Madness.
That's right: EA's Madden cover athlete for 2012 is kind of in your hands. And every NFL team is represented, including the Seahawks, which has put up some guy named "The 12th Man" (stupid name, I think) to represent Seattle.
Voting is under way, down at the four-letter network. Follow that link, and you can vote for the next person to undergo some sort of injury. Also, whoever you vote for might end up missing part of the season, thanks to this silly NFL lockout. If that happens, then we can honestly say the Madden Curse has hit its ceiling ... probably.
There are some quips with this, though, at least with me. Let's go down the list, and figure out if the players that are representing their respective teams make any sense.
1. Green Bay Packers -- Aaron Rodgers. I like this. Mainly because he had one of the best postseason runs this young man has ever seen. Good call, though some are crushed that we won't get to see Clay Matthews' gorgeous hair on the cover of our favorite (only?) NFL video game.
2. Detroit Lions -- Ndamukong Suh. Why not? He single-handedly turned around the Lions' defense, and gave the team some promise with his aggressive play in his rookie year. Also, he almost made a field-goal, damn it!
3. St. Louis Rams -- Sam Bradford. He turned the worst team in the NFL into a playoff contender, albeit a bad one. Good candidate for the Rams, horrible candidate overall.
4. Arizona Cardinals -- Larry Fitzgerald. Um, duh? Who else? Max Hall? Please, son.
5. New York Giants -- Hakeem Nicks. I like this one, too. You can't put Eli Friggin' Manning on the cover of Madden, while his brother Peyton has yet to even grace EA Sports' franchise. Robbery.
6. Washington Redskins -- Brian Orakpo. Wow. The 'Skins messed up on this one. What about Albert Haynesworth? (Jokes.)
7. New England Patriots -- Danny Woodhead. "Wanna' see my Danny Woodhead?"
8. Buffalo Bills -- Steve Johnson. I ain't diggin' this one, y'all. The bro blamed God for his dropped catch. Ryan Fitzpatrick deserves the Bills' putrid spot.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars -- MJD. He's really the only great player they have, which is horrible.
10. Indianapolis Colts -- Dwight Freeney. I totally like this one. He's easily the best player on the Colts' team, and without him, they would be nowhere ... or am I thinking of someone else?
11. KC Chiefs -- Jamaal Charles. Too easy.
13. Baltimore Ravens -- Ray Rice. Not the worst choice, but not the best either. I know Ray Lewis graced the cover of the game in 2002, but give him one more shot. Also, what about Ed Reed? Why choose someone from the Ravens' offensive unit?
14. Cleveland Browns -- Peyton Hillis. Racial break-through. A successful white running-back. Good call, Cleveland. Hopefully he won't leave, like every other successful athlete in Ohio.
15. Atlanta Falcons -- Matt Ryan. I guess Matty Ice is the most marketable Falcons' player. The best? Sorry, that title goes to Michael Turner.
16. Carolina Panthers -- Jordan Gross. Most of America doesn't know who this guy is. That's because he's the best player on the league's worst team. Duh.
17. San Diego Chargers -- Philip Rivers. This one's a no-brainer. Rivers has been the silver lining each and every year, which have been filled with disappointments.
19. Chicago Bears -- Julius Peppers. Well, this is another good call. No way in hell Madden would put Jay Cutler as their representative after KneeGate. (Cliche phrase, you guys.)
20. Minnesota Vikings -- Adrian Peterson. What? Putting him on the cover of a video game? Hell no. That's modern day slavery, damn it. (NOTE: Good choice; easily the best player on the team.)
21. New York Jets -- Mark Sanchez. Um, this is going to cause some unrest among certain football fans. Aside from Tim Tebow, the "Mark Sanches is horrible/amazing" debate is unreal. So good call, putting him up for a vote.
22. Miami Dolphins -- Jake Long. Wow. An offensive lineman on the cover of Madden? Can those big guys up front stop complaining now about how they don't get credit from the media? It's a great choice, though. He bolsters that O-line almost by himself.
23. Drew Brees -- New Orleans Saints. Last year's cover athlete? Really? I guess. Let's go for a repeat, man!
24. Tampa Bay Bucs -- Josh Freeman. He's not the best player in Tampa, but he's easily the most recognizable, and the one with the highest ceiling.
25. Philadelphia Eagles -- Michael Vick. Good call, EA Sports. I say we vote for him, just to piss off PETA.
26. DeMarcus Ware -- Dallas Cowboys. I guess you can't pick Tony Romo when he only played a couple of games, huh?
27. Houston Texans -- Andre Johnson. The bad-ass wideout who is so friggin' respectable, yet can kick Cortland Finnegan's ass? He's got my vote.
28. Tennessee Titans -- Chris Johnson. Do it. Easy call, EA.
29. SF 49ers -- Patrick Willis. I suppose, man. But can you imagine if Mike Singletary was still coaching? I'd rather vote for him, and those crazy eyes.
30. Seattle Seahawks -- The 12th Man. Stupid name. I am voting for this, just to see how it will look. Will it be an earthquake? Will it be fans? And will people think Seattle has no good talent, so the developers of the game are saying, "Um, I guess the fans, no?"
31. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Hines Ward. He's freaking annoying, and Big Ben's rape case is still a bit too fresh. Although, Rashard Mendenhall was an awesome choice, too.
32. Carlos Dunlap -- Cincinnati Bengals. Of course the Bengals didn't Chad Ochocinco or Carson Palmer, amidst those damn trade rumors.
What about you guys? Any gaping holes? Leave 'em in the comments.
(More musings, silliness, and not-suitable-for-Bleacher-Report NFL stuff -- as well as a weekly NFL podcast -- can be seen at The Pigeon Toe: An NFL blog)
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