Check out the brackets for this year’s Madden NFL 15 cover vote, and the obvious big names are no where to be found. No Brady, no Manning, no Rodgers and no Russell Wilson, just to name a few.
Then again, according to Randy Chase, Sr. Director of North America Marketing, EA Sports, this year’s vote is about finding the player who is going to lead the NFL into the future, a next-generation-type athlete to lead the franchise as it heads into its second season on next-gen consoles.
“In the past, we’ve had players who represented every team, then last year we did old school versus new school to include some legends, but this year, everything in the video game industry is about the next generation, so for this year’s cover vote, we wanted to look at who the next generation athletes are in the NFL,” says Chase. “We want our cover to match-up with where we’re taking the game this year.”
Candidates include the likes of Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Richard Sherman, Collin Kaepernick, and Luke Kuechly, with the results of Round 2 (the Elite 8) scheduled for May 22.
One name that was hotly debated that didn’t make the final cut was Johnny Manziel.
“We talked about it, but the tough thing is, what if he’s not the starter?” says Chase. “You don’t want to run the risk of having a guy who hasn’t really done anything in the NFL yet, and may not even be the starter on his team, and then put that guy on the cover of Madden. I think some of our past Madden cover athletes would get a little mad at us for that.
“No matter who you put on the cover, there’s always going to be someone thinking it should’ve been somebody else. I think the fans enjoy the cover vote, and they enjoy sparking these conversations about who had a better year and who has been more deserving. We’re just always trying to find a new angle to introduce to the cover vote each year, and we’re excited to see some of these younger players in the mix.”
As for who Chase thinks is the favorite to win it all, he’s looking toward the defending Super Bowl champs.
“Richard Sherman is going to be tough to beat,” he says. “Sherman has a lot behind him, he just won the Super Bowl, and he’s on TV all the time, so I think he’s got a real good shot at winning.
“I’m also looking forward to a possible match-up between LeSean McCoy and Cam Newton. That was the final at Madden Bowl and I think there will be some good smack talk there. I can already hear LeSean saying, ‘Hey, I won Madden Bowl, vote for me!’”