As most of you already know, Danny Woodhead is the New England Patriots' representative in the tournament to determine which player will grace the cover of Madden 2012. When we initially blogged about this a couple of weeks back, I was one of the Negative Nancy's in the comments who said that Woodhead shouldn't have been the Patriots' representative. While I still think that Tom Brady deserves a shot at the cover (potential curse implications disregarded), I can't help but root for Danny Woodhead to pull this one out both as a Patriots fan and as a result of the remaining field.
Let's break the remaining eight candidates down...
Patrick Willis, 49ers - No where close to being a household name. I guarantee that if you put him on the cover, over half the people who pass by the displays outside video game stores will have no clue who he is.
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs - Ditto.
Peyton Hillis, Browns - I'm semi-intrigued by the possibility of Hillis, although probably I'm more impressed with him than I should be, since the one time I saw him play in 2010, he ran all over the Pats. Maybe it's just me, but I think the Madden cover should go to a player from a team that's won a playoff game in the past 15 years.
Drew Brees, Saints - I don't even understand why he's on the bracket, seeing as he was the coverboy for Madden 2011. I don't think anyone should be on back-to-back covers.
So those four are players that I'd say are definite "No's". For the remaining possibilities...
Michael Vick, Eagles - Like Brees, he's already been on the cover, but that was eight years ago, so I'll let it slide. He did have quite the season in 2010, which should make him cover eligible. I hate to bring up the whole dog thing again, but it definitely continues to be a factor. I don't think it would be ridiculous to have him on the cover, but I'd personally pass.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers - Madden has been going with the theme of Super Bowl winners getting a spot on the cover with Palomalu sharing half the cover in 2010 and Brees being the representative last year. In some ways, it's a nice honor to have a Super Bowl winner, but by the same token, it also kills all debate about who deserves to be featured on the cover. For example, if that was the trend, this whole tournament would be pointless. I don't think they should have a Super Bowl winner on the cover three years in a row. Plus, the Packers just had Favre on the cover for the 2009 edition. Time to spread the wealth among other teams.
Adrian Peterson, Vikings - I'd have a hard time arguing this one. He's one of the league's featured backs and the Vikings last had the cover in 2003 with Daunte Culpepper. If it's not Woodhead, it should be Peterson. In fact, if I took off my Patriots-colored glasses, I'd have to admit he's the most worthy candidate.
Danny Woodhead, Patriots - But why not Woodhead? The Patriots are long overdue for a cover spot. They were the team of the decade in the 00's but never received the top billing of a Madden cover. The only argument you can make is that he's not a "star" in terms of piling up a bunch of stats. However, when it comes to heart, hard work, and achieving your dreams, nobody comes up bigger than the littlest dude on the Patriots' roster. And, seriously, who doesn't love Danny Woodhead?