Thursday, April 19, 2007

Madden NFL Covers

Yes, this is a sign that pro football is coming back... well, after the draft. But, I'd like to point at something. John Madden (former Raider coach, game commenter and analyst) has had his name on football softwared since 1985. He started working on the games with the NFL (becoming John Madden NFL) in 1994.

In 2000, the Madden games started highlighting athletes on the cover of the game. There has been a lot of talk about a jinx with injuries that have happened to the players on cover that year. The 2000 cover had Barry Sanders on it. They replaced him with Dorsey Levens when Sanders retired at the start of that year. I'm not going to go through the whole list of injured players and try to get you to believe in the jinx. I'd like to pay attention to the covers themselves. Here's a list of who they've had:

2000 - Barry Sanders (later Dorsey Levens)
2001 - Eddie George
2002 - Daunte Culpepper
2003 - Marshall Faulk
2004 - Michael Vick
2005 - Ray Lewis
2006 - Donovan McNabb
2007 - Shaun Alexander
2008 - Vince Young

So essentially, they've had 5 running backs, 4 quarterbacks and a middle linebacker on the cover. Notice anything missing here? Sure, there aren't wide receivers, tight ends, defensive backs, offensive linemen, kickers or punters. The Associated Press MVP for the year prior to each of these would have some merit in their decisions one would think. Here's their list:

1999 - Kurt Warner
2000 - Rich Gannon
2001 - Marshall Faulk
2002 - Rich Gannon
2003 - Peyton Manning/Steve McNair
2004 - Peyton Manning
2005 - Shaun Alexander
2006 - LaDainian Tomlinson

So, essentially they got two of them right (well... 3, word is that Tomlinson turned down the cover this year.) Then there are the Super Bowl MVPs... and to save you a long list, Super Bowl winning quarterbacks John Elway (2), Tom Brady (3), Warner and Manning could have been on covers as well as a few wide receivers too. Now, Ray Lewis is the only one of that bunch that made a cover. Going back to that original list of those that have been on the cover, I wonder what the criteria is. I don't think I have to say that I see a trend. It does make me wonder if there is purpose in it and if there's a definite market they are trying to go after.


LoraLoo said...

As much as I love football, I can't get into the console football games. I'm a much better spectator. :)

Ken said...

It's the same criteria that networks use when broadcasting games. Here's an example, the Philadelphia Flyers were one of the worst teams in this year's NHL, but NBC knows they will draw viewers so put them on, and I can think of one time (and it was regional coverage and not broadcast here) that the President's Trophy-winning Buffalo Sabres (yes, I'm a homer) made it on the NBC broadcast.

In other words, they pick the player they think will help them sell the most video games. But that's just my conspiracy theory for the day.

Unknown said...

Also, no white guys...until now with Favre.