Electronic Arts may have stumbled upon something with this cover-voting trend. Sports are a topic people are passionate about just slightly less than religion, and so this method removes them from the contentious topic of choosing who graces the cover. It's rolling out another such democratic process, with the second annual NHL cover vote to determine which ice hockey player makes the front of NHL 14.
You can cast your ballot at the cover vote site. The process starts with two preliminary rounds, then a 16-player bracket. The winning player will be revealed during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. You can also vote using specialized hashtags on "Twitter Vote Thursdays."
The current round, lasting through April 28, pits teammates against each other to determine who will represent each hockey club. After that the 32 players will be narrowed down to 16 between April 29 and May 5. That kicks off the 16-player bracket, culminating in the finals starting on May 27.
"Players who have graced the EA Sports NHL cover in the past have historically had banner years in the season that followed," said EA Sports NHL general manager Dean Richards, in the announcement. "Patrick Kane scored the Stanley Cup winning goal in 2010, Steven Stamkos notched a league-leading 60 goals in 2012 and Claude Giroux becoming the Captain of the Philadelphia Flyers this season. We're looking forward to see which fans step up to get their player on the cover of NHL 14."
It sounds like EA is arguing a sort of reverse-Madden-curse for its NHL covers, which you would think means we should vote for the player who needs a leg up in the league.