Who will be the Madden 09 cover athlete?

Posted April 15th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

More so than ever before the cover of Madden is up for grabs. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the series. With that in mind the “traditional cover athlete” and decisions behind who gets chosen could be completely different. So lets look at some of the different aspects to consider, some players who won’t be on the cover, and the top contenders.

There are the traditional cover athletes. The players who would get the cover based on their performance the previous year.

There are the 20th Anniversary cover athletes. Big name players who may want the prestige of this version despite not needing it. They may not need the money or exposure but for such an event would consider it.

There are the non-traditional covers. Those may include John Madden or one featuring all the covers from the previous versions of the game.

First getting out of the way some players who won’t be on the cover.

  • LaDainian Tomlinson: EA’s first choice last year but turned down the offer. His agent then made it public that they weren’t offered enough money. Surely EA didn’t appreciate all that. Plus Tomlinson had a rough year.
  • Terrell Owens: Was on the cover of NFL 2K5. Does not portray the image or get the type of attention that EA would like to present especially for such a big event as their 20th Anniversary.
  • Randy Moss: Pretty much the same as TO
  • Tony Romo: Brings about images of botched field goal holds, playoff interceptions, and Jessica Simpson.
  • Peyton Manning: Way too overexposed. He advertises for everything. The effect wouldn’t be as great. Former NFL Fever cover athlete.

Now the rundown of the top eight candidates for the Madden 09 cover.

  • #8 – Bob Sanders: Won the Defensive Player of the Year award. His impact on the Colts is always brought up when playing on national television. The only defensive player to be on the cover of Madden was Ray Lewis in 2005 so that could either mean the odds are against another or a defensive player is due.

  • #7 – Tom Brady: Most likely would’ve been the cover athlete had the Patriots not lost the Super Bowl. Now seeing him on it would just conjure up thoughts of how they had an incredible run but didn’t win the one that mattered most. He is on the cover of Backyard Football so obviously he has not taken the same stance as Tomlinson. One of the greatest QBs of all time would certainly fit on the cover of the biggest Madden ever.

  • #6 – John Madden: It would make a lot of sense for Madden to be back on the cover of his game after 20 years. Consider also the possibility of Madden being on the cover of the collector’s edition box with an athlete on the cover of the actual game box.

  • #5- Brett Favre: It would be fitting after a great career if Favre was chosen for the cover of Madden. You could look back on his career in the same way that you look back on the history of Madden. Favre has proven he loves media attention and this would give him a new reason to be in the spotlight once again. Plus he has plenty of time to promote the game and has a very favorable relationship with the media.

  • #4- Eli Manning: I have been amused at the momentum behind Eli as that all originated here and has spread like crazy. Almost because of that it reduces my confidence that he will eventually be the guy. I think EA is looking to have someone on the cover that isn’t already assumed to have it in the bag. Still the story behind him and the Giants is one that can’t be ignored.

  • #3- Antonio Cromartie: This year’s Devin Hester. He represents excitement and big plays. The 109 yard FG miss return is a great example of that. He led the league in interceptions and picked off both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the playoffs. Can’t beat that resume.

  • #2- Braylon Edwards: Edwards is a young and exciting player that has put up big numbers on a young and exciting team that is getting a lot of attention (as evidenced by the Browns five primetime games this year). There has never been a receiver on the cover of Madden but Edwards would be a great choice to be the first. The ghosted cover art (which may or may not be an indication of the eventual player) shows a wide receiver.

  • #1- Adrian Peterson: As I mentioned with Eli Manning the impression around this year’s cover announcement is that they’ll be making a splash. Peterson would be a great cover athlete. He is young, an upstanding citizen and teammate, and broke records and won awards all as a rookie. Because of that he wouldn’t be a surprise. I can’t justify taking him out of the #1 slot though. He makes almost too much sense as the possible Madden 09 cover athlete.