For the second straight year, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz finds himself in the running for the Madden cover. However, EA decided to put a twist on things for their 25th anniversary, and have added an "old school" bracket here in 2013. Included in said bracket is retired Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.
Cruz, given an 11th seed in his "new school" first-round bracket, goes up against Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller. The winner of that head-to-head will move on to face the winner of Justin Blackmon (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks).
Meanwhile, Strahan was given the 5th seed in his "old school" first-round bracket, and he will square off against Sterling Sharpe (Green Bay Packers). The winner of that head-to-head will move on to face the winner of Ozzie Newsome (Cleveland Browns) and Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals).
In 2012, Cruz made it all the way to the third round before being eliminated by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (55% to 45%). Willis would go on to lose to Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) who was then beaten by Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions) in the finals.
The payday for winning the Madden 25 cover is expected to exceed $200,000, but then the trouble is maneuvering to avoid the legendary "Madden curse" – which Johnson managed to do a season ago, setting the single-season NFL record with 1,964 receiving yards.
You can place your vote by heading over to the SportsNation section of ESPN.
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