EA announced today that the next Madden cover athlete will be chosen by a bracket voting competition. One representative has been chosen from each NFL team, and players can vote for the winners in each bracket. Every Monday, the winners of the previous bracket will be revealed and fans can vote on the next match-ups. The competition is now running at ESPN.com, and the winner will be announced on the network's SportsNation site on April 27.
EA has hosted a vote for the Madden cover before, but only between a handful of finalists pre-selected by the developer. This is the first year to let fans weigh in on MVPs from each team, to select the next victim of the Madden Curse.
The timing of the announcement comes with the future of the coming season on shaky ground. Players and owners were unable to reach an accord with mediation and currently are at a stalemate on forging a new collective bargaining agreement for the league. The draft is still planned for late April, but if an agreement hasn't been reached by then, teams will be unable to sign their drafted players until an agreement is reached.