The player gracing the cover of this year’s Madden video game won’t have to worry about a silly curse or performing up to par — in fact, he won’t have to worry about playing a single down, since he’s been retired for 15 years.
Barry Sanders beat Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings to win the Madden 25 NFL cover honors. The Hall of Fame running back garnered 58 percent of the 700,000 votes cast to beat out the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player.
“I am shocked, excited, humbled, elated,” Sanders tweeted. “I am also proud to be the Madden 25 cover athlete. The voter turnout in this program has been remarkable. And the fact that I won is pretty sweet, but very surprising and amazing.”
With 32 retired players and 32 current players making up a 64-player bracket, EA Sports had fans vote on who they wanted to see on the cover of their beloved game. Sanders’ path to victory wasn’t easy, as he had to beat out Joe Montana and Jerry Rice to reach the finals with Peterson.
With Sanders representing this year’s winner and wide receiver Calvin Johnson getting the nod in 2012, the Detroit Lions are the first team ever to boast back-to-back covers.
Sanders’ partnership with EA Sports is nothing new, however. The 44-year-old has attended and participated in many events for the company. Earlier this year, he took part in the Madden Bowl in New Orleans to talk football, which you can see in the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@EAMaddenNFL