Cornerback Richard Sherman will become the second Seattle Seahawks player ever featured on the cover of a "Madden" video game after the results of fan voting were announced live on ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Friday.
Sherman, 25, beat out Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin in the final round of voting for the "Madden 15 cover, securing himself a spot in video game and franchise history after the month-long contest, which netted him a total of 9.6 million votes throughout the campaign.
He becomes just the third defensive player to land the cover, joining Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis ("Madden 2005) and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who shared the cover with Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for "Madden 10."
Newton was just the latest victim of Sherman's run to the cover of the latest edition of the venerable game series. After dispatching Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery by a 46 percent margin in the opening round, the two-time All-Pro then took out New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham in the second round with 65 percent of the voting.
In the semifinals, Sherman repeated his tipped-ball feat from the NFC Championship Game, ending San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's chances, much like he helped end the Niners' playoff run in January.
The cover vote is just the latest turn in what's been a whirlwind offseason for former 2011 fifth-round pick out of Stanford. Sherman attended the White House correspondents dinner -where the president did his own rendition of Sherman's post-NFC Championship Game rant. Sherman also picked up several new endorsement deals and - most importantly for Seahawks fans - signed an extension with the team that could keep him in Seattle through 2018.
While many Seahawks fans will be thrilled to see Sherman featured prominently on "Madden 15," others are likely wary. The legendary "Madden Curse" often bodes ill for players gracing the cover.
The only Seahawks player to ever appear on a "Madden" cover previously was running back Shaun Alexander, who was featured on the cover of "Madden 07 after his 1,880-yard, 27-touchdown MVP season in 2005 that powered Seattle into Super Bowl XL. Alexander suffered a foot injury in 2006 and never ran for more than 896 yards and 7 touchdowns in a season again.
Sherman didn't seem to concerned about the curse leading up to the announcement.
"I'm not sure how real (the curse) is," Sherman told ESPN's Trey Wingo before the results were announced on Friday. "A lot of us played the 'Madden' game since we were really young, and it's always been my dream to be on the cover."
June 6, 2014