New York Giants wide-receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been named the winner of the 'Madden NFL 16' final cover vote and will be the latest athlete to grace the cover of the storied video-game franchise. He is the first Giants player to achieve this honor and won the final fan vote over New England Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski.
Both Beckham and Gronkowski are known for their video game numbers and superhuman performances so it makes sense that the end result would come down to these two titans of the game. Both players are obvious fan-favorites but perhaps the casual gamer should be happy that Beckham was elected as the cover star. The obligations of the winner include photo shoots and various media appearances to promote the game. A Gronkowski victory would have been sure to ignite some questions about Deflategate and suspended quarterback Tom Brady.
The vote concluded today with a series of appearances from Beckham and Gronkowski on various ESPN shows throughout the day, ultimately culminating in a last chance appeal live on SportsCenter before the winner was announced.
New York Giants fans will now turn their attention towards the spiritual part of their minds to debate the possibility of the "Madden Curse". The last two cover athletes, Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Seattle's Richard Sherman, have appeared to dodge any possible demons but there are numerous other players who have fell on ill fortune in the ensuing season (Michael Vick, Peyton Hillis). For the winner, the prize-money is somewhere in the region of $125,000 and should offset some of those niggling doubts.
Either way, look for a strong media presence featuring Beckham this summer ahead of the game's release on Aug. 24, 2015.