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Madden NFL 25's 64-player cover voting bracket pits past against present

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Madden NFL 25's 64-player cover vote will let fans decide if an NFL legend or one of today's superstars will appear on the game's cover, and the campaign's first round is now open for voting on ESPN.

Jerry Rice won out over Cris Carter in the play-in round's battle between Hall of Fame wideouts, so Rice will give the San Francisco 49ers a second spot in the old-school bracket alongside quarterback Joe Montana.

Each of the two brackets features 32 NFL stars. While the seeding system means there will likely be some laughably lopsided votes — we're not even sure if longtime Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme would vote for himself over Montana — the brackets also have the potential for some neck-and-neck fights. Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis are two of the best halfbacks in NFL history, and it'll be tough to choose between them.

The first round of voting kicks off today and will remain open for 10 days, while the next five rounds will each run for a week, with the winner set to be announced at the end of April.

Madden NFL 25 will launch August 27 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, marking the franchise's 25th anniversary.

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