San Francisco 49ers quarterback and Pitman High School graduate Colin Kaepernick has reached the Sweet 16 in a 64-man tournament to determine the cover athlete of the upcoming “Madden NFL 25” video game.
But his chances of reaching the Elite Eight could be slim, as Kap faces off against popular Houston Texans running back Arian Foster.
“I heard I'm losing, help me,” Kaepernick tweeted on Thursday.
A year ago, Kaepernick was just a backup quarterback to longtime 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. But Kaepernick shined in what was thought to be a spot start after Smith was sidelined by a concussion, and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh “rode the hot hand” and stuck with Kap for the rest of the season. The Turlock kid ultimately led San Francisco to the Super Bowl – becoming a bona fide superstar in the process.
Becoming the cover athlete for the annual “Madden” video game is one of the highest honors that a football player can receive. This year, fans will pick the cover star through an online bracket-based vote, resembling the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament.
Kaepernick scored an easy win over San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates in the first round. But in the round of 32, Kap, a No. 1 seed, barely eked out a victory over Cincinati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green with 54 percent of the vote.
Vote totals are not revealed for rounds currently underway. Most voting occurs via the ESPN.com website, but fans can also vote by tweeting; Kap substantially leads the race in terms of tweets, with about 700 compared to Foster's 20. Foster does not maintain an active Twitter account.
Should Kaepernick reach the Elite Eight, he'll find himself up against another breakout quarterback from the 2012-2013 season – either the Indianapolis Colts' rookie Andrew Luck, or the Seattle Seahawks' rookie Russell Wilson. The winner of that match-up would face either Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, or New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in the Final Four.
The finals will see one of those eight remaining modern-day players square off with a legendary player of yore. Two San Francisco 49ers legends remain on the “Old School” side of the bracket – Joe Montana, and Jerry Rice.
Kaepernick, Montana, and Rice are all no. 1 seeds, potentially setting up an all-49ers final should the top seeds win out.
To vote for Kaepernick, either tweet #madden25kaep or visit http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/feature/madden25cover. Voting for the round of sixteen ends on April 3.