Turlock native and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is a number one seed in an online vote to determine the next cover star of the “Madden NFL 25” football video game.
Kaepernick's rise to potential “Madden” cover star is one of the most meteoric in history; at the start of last season, Kap was a second-string backup to Alex Smith. In last year's edition of “Madden,” Kaepernick's character model is entirely generic, without Kap's trademark tattoos.
“I feel like that's the high school version of myself,” Kaepernick told ESPN, which is hosting the “Madden NFL 25” cover vote. “I don't have any tattoos or anything. I hope they get that right for this year.”
Another thing Kap hopes “Madden” programmers “get right” for next year's edition is his speed – Kaepernick told ESPN he believed he was too slow in last year's “Madden NFL 13.”
This year's “Madden” numbering will jump from 13 to 25, in honor of the video game franchise's 25th anniversary. The online vote to determine the game's cover star includes both current NFL stars and an “old school” bracket with all-time NFL greats.
Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl last season, is one of three 49ers to earn number one seeds in the bracket-based vote, joining legendary quarterback Joe Montana and wide receiver Jerry Rice. Montana and Rice are the two top seeds on the “old school” side of the bracket; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is the other number one seed in the “new school” bracket.
Kaepernick faces off against San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, a 16 seed, in round one of the voting, which concludes March 20. Five rounds of voting, each lasting a week, will culminate in the selection of a “Madden NFL 25” cover athlete on April 24.
The “Madden” cover is often linked to a so-called “Madden Curse,” where the cover athlete is struck by an injury or poor play in the year he stars on the cover.
“I don't believe in it,” Kaepernick told ESPN. “I think (record-setting Detroit Lions wide receiver and “Madden NFL 13” cover star) Calvin Johnson proved this year it's not real.”
To vote for the Madden NFL 25 cover athlete, visit http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/feature/madden25cover.