Derrick Brooks is the greatest tackler in Buccaneers history. Doug Martin just might be the most elusive back ever to pull on a Tampa Bay jersey. It might be fun to see the two face off on the football field.
They could do battle in cyberspace, if the voting for the Madden NFL 25 cover breaks just right. Both Brooks and Martin are among the 64 former and current players in the running for that honor, the former as part of the “Old School” bracket and the latter on the “New School” side.
For the fourth straight year, fans are getting the chance to determine who will grace the cover of the latest version of EA Sports’ beloved video game featuring America’s favorite sport. Voting began in the first round of the “tournament” on Monday on ESPN; go here to join in the fun.
There’s a new wrinkle in this year’s bracket, which is why Brooks, who will be a first-time eligible Hall of Fame candidate next year, and Martin, who just finished his rookie NFL campaign, are in the same competition. This time around, there is a bracket of 32 NFL legends pitted against a bracket of 32 current stars. The winner on each side of the tournament will go against each other in the final vote to determine this year’s cover. Almost every team in the league has the potential for a head-to-head final battle between legends and rising stars; for instance, Joe Montana and Colin Kaepernick – former and current 49er signal-callers – are both #1 seeds in their respective brackets.
That’s not to say a Brooks-Martin final matchup is likely. Brooks has actually been slotted as a #15 seed on the Old School side of the tourney, going up against former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis. On the other side, Martin is a #8 seed, pitted against #9 seed Matthew Stafford, the Detroit Lions quarterback. The winner of that matchup will likely face Washington QB Robert Griffin III, a #1 seed, in the second round.
Each of the NFL’s 32 teams has one representative in the “New School” bracket; the NFC South has Martin, Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones, Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly and New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham. All but one of those teams is represented on the “Old School” side, as the Houston Texans are left out but the 49ers have both Montana and wide receiver Jerry Rice in the mix.