For the first time ever, EA Sports allowed football fans and video game enthusiasts to select who would appear on the cover of its annual Madden NFL title last year. Michael Vick, the Eagles' lone representative in 2011, fought valiantly until the final round, where a groundswell of support catapulted Peyton Hillis to victory, making the Browns' running back perhaps the worst player to be honored in the cover's rich tradition.
Vick is searching for vengeance this time around, but EA expanded the format from 32 to 64 players this year. Before he can return to the final round, Vick must first go through teammate LeSean McCoy, who is coming off of an All-Pro season.
Personally, we'll be pulling for Shady. Vick already appeared on the cover with the Falcons for Madden '04, and he is coming off of a disappointing season. McCoy just completed a breakout season, finishing fourth in rushing yards, fifth in total yards from scrimmage, and first in the NFL with 20 touchdowns. A combination of finesse and power, McCoy is ready to take center stage.
Of course, this is only the first round of a long, grueling, some would say pointless tournament. Examining the field, you'd have to think Tim Tebow is the favorite to win this thing. Either Victor Cruz or Jason Pierre-Paul could make some noise for the Super Bowl Champs, and my dark horses are Calvin Johnson and Cam Newton.
Better hurry -- voting for the first round only lasts until... March 21? Ughhh FANTASTIC!
>> Vote here
Editor's Note: The following is sponsored content written by TicketIQ.
Penn State is headed to the Rose Bowl Game, and it will cost a pretty penny to be on hand in Pasadena on January 2.
With a statement win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game Penn State clinched their first Rose Bowl berth since 2009. The No. 5 school in the nation will face No. 9 USC in a rematch from seven years ago. Such a long absence for both schools in the bowl game is driving resale ticket prices to new heights, so much so that the Rose Bowl Game will be the most expensive bowl game this season – including the two Semifinal games.
On TicketIQ, an event ticket search engine that pools tickets and data from over 90 percent of the secondary market, the average resale price for Rose Bowl Game tickets is now $804. Not only does that make it the most expensive Rose Bowl since at least 2010, but also the priciest bowl game of the last seven seasons. If looking just to get in on January 2 the cheapest tickets are now priced from $346 each.
The showdown between Penn State and USC is so expensive that it will be more than twice the average price of both Semifinal games. As it stands now the resale average for Peach Bowl tickets between Alabama and Washington at Georgia Dome is $389 with a get-in price of $185. Clemson and Ohio State will clash in the Fiesta Bowl to the tune of a $241 average and $71 get-in price.
Prices are so high for this year’s game in Pasadena that they rival the 2015 National Championship Game. The first-ever Championship Game under the new College Football Playoff system, that year’s game between Ohio State and Oregon averaged a $858 ticket and $317 get-in price.
While Penn State fans, students and alumni raced to snag tickets during the general on sale, prices were quick to skyrocket on the secondary market following the school’s invitation to the Rose Bowl Game. On Saturday afternoon, several hours before the Big Ten Championship kickoff, Rose Bowl tickets were averaging under $600, marking a nearly 40 percent increase since that time. The cheapest resale ticket price has jumped more than $100 since Saturday, climbing from its $245 price tag since.