"Madden NFL 25" is partying like it's 1999.
More than a decade after surprisingly announcing his retirement from the Detroit Lions, Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders won a national vote to appear on the cover of the latest edition of the Madden video game. Sanders tallied 58 percent of the 700,000 votes, emerging victorious over 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson.
Detroit Lions (@Detroit LionsNFL) April 25, 2013
With shifty stop-and-start and spin moves that often drew joystick comparisons, Sanders was the most dynamic running back of his generation. Now he will introduce himself to a new generation of football fans via the EA Sports video game.
"I am shocked, excited, humbled, elated. I am also proud to be the Madden 25 Cover athlete," Sanders wrote on Twitter.
"And special thanks to @sandysandovalEA for giving me the chance and putting me in the running. EA has been a great partner," Sanders added. "The voter turn out in this program has been remarkable. And the fact that I won is pretty sweet, but very surprising and amazing. #Madden25"
Sanders' appearance marks back-to-back "Madden" covers for the Lions after wide receiver Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yards record while shattering the nonsensical notion of a "Madden Curse."
If Peterson wants to look at the bright side, he can take solace in the notion that he won't be hounded by silly curse speculation two years after shredding his knee in a season that featured no "Madden" cover.
UPDATE: Peterson graciously accepted Sanders as the winner of the poll.
Congrats to my guy Barry Sanders for winning the 2013 Madden Cover!Any other guy to take me down... it would've been a problem! Saluteâ Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) April 25, 2013
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.