Wednesday, January 19, 2022

‘Madden’ cover athletes: Revisiting who graced cover of famous video game after John Madden’s death at 85

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Legendary NFL coach and commentator John Madden died Tuesday at the age of 85. The Pro Football Hall of Famer touched the game in many different ways. He was a successful leader of the Oakland Raiders, a color analyst who effectively explained the game in an entertaining fashion and then of course he had a hand in creating the most successful football video game of all-time.

Even younger fans who never had the chance to watch Madden coach or call a game know the name very well. EA Sports””Madden NFL” title is still a popular video game even after several decades, and is something children and adults alike can enjoy. It’s also how many fans actually learned the ins and outs of football. 

Another facet of “Madden” video game history is the cover reveal. Every year, an NFL player is elected as the cover athlete, and it’s seen as a high honor (or a curse). Madden himself graced the cover since the game’s inception in 1988, but stepped off for good in 2000. Let’s take a look at every player who was fortunate enough to grace the cover of one of the most influential sports video games in history:

While “Madden” usually features one athlete per year on the cover, there has been flexibility in the past. They reached back in time and put Sanders on the cover of “Madden NFL 25,” which was the 25th anniversary of the “Madden NFL” series. The game has also featured two athletes at the same time, such as with Fitzgerald and Polamalu in “Madden NFL 10,” and Mahomes and Brady on the latest edition. Something the video game hasn’t done, however, is put Madden back on the cover. 

Madden hasn’t appeared on the cover since “Madden NFL 2000,” but it feels as though it’s something that should happen for “Madden NFL 23.” To honor a football legend one more time on the video game that bears his name. 

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