Executives at EA Sports could be placed in a compromising position if Michael Vick is named as cover winner of “Madden 12.” In an attempt to increase fan interaction with the popular Madden video game, the gaming company decided to hold an online contest to decide which NFL player would grace the new cover.
EA Sports used ESPN’s “Sports Nation” to host a tournament featuring the top 32 players in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) and Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) were the favorites to win the contest.
However, fans voted Vick and the vastly unknown Peyton Hillis (Cleveland Browns) as the two finalists.
Vick’s presence on the cover could lead unforgiving animal rights activists to protest EA Sports and “Madden 12.” And if Hillis happens to win, it could be difficult to promote an unknown player from a small NFL market.
Vick will likely beat out Hillis because of his popularity, but he may not be too excited about winning the cover. When Vick was named the cover of Madden in 2003, he continued the “Madden Curse” by getting injured in the preseason and missing 12 games. –a.r.