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How an NFL player’s mom got her own Madden cover

She’s still picking up his tab, apparently

novelty cover of Madden NFL 21 starring Felicia Boykin, in nurse’s scrubs.
Felicia Boykin, nurse, St. James Hospital, has been paying the Xbox Live subscription for Miles Boykin, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens, since he was in sixth grade.
Image: EA Sports/Microsoft
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

This summer, Felicia Boykin found out her sixth-grade son, Miles, put his Xbox Live Gold subscription on her credit card without telling her. Miles Boykin is no longer in the sixth grade. He’s in the NFL, in fact, and his mom’s been paying his Xbox freight ever since.

Worse yet, once Ms. Boykin found out, she insisted that she continue paying — the dreaded “no, no, it’s OK, honey” guilt trip!

Miles, a second-year receiver with the Baltimore Ravens, appealed to Xbox to help him take care of his obligations like a grown man. By way of an “I’m sorry,” they cooked up this scheme with EA Sports:

image of a custom-made Madden NFL 21 game case for Felicia Boykin, the mother of Ravens receiver Miles Boykin.
You’re the real MVP, mom. And you got a Madden cover to prove it.
Photo: Microsoft

Xbox marketers are billing this as “the first ever female MVP cover athlete” (which might interest Kevin Durant’s mom, come to think of it). It bears mentioning that Felicia Boykin is a nurse at Chicago Heights’ St. James Hospital, so she is being formally recognized for that service, not picking up Miles’ multiplayer tab.

Although, you’ll notice that the lower right corner of her cover, right there under the official NFL hologram, says “PAY UP SON.”

It helps that Miles included a swagged-out gift case that Xbox usually sets aside for the big influencers — including a pair of Nike Air Zoom pulses, which the shoemaker says are perfect for health care workers on their feet all day. She also got a pair of cleats signed by her freeloading child, and a controller with a Ravens faceplate.

EA Sports has taken some stick for its cover styles this year, but the minimalist look, using stock photography, was borne of necessity. Cover stars like Lamar Jackson couldn’t make it in for the official photoshoot because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In that light, making Felicia Boykin an official Madden cover star seems as appropriate as putting one of her son’s teammates on the pack shot. Here’s an embiggened cover, if you want to print it out and put her in your game case.

novelty cover of Madden NFL 21 starring Felicia Boykin, in nurse’s scrubs.
Madden NFL 21: Felicia Boykin Edition for Xbox One.
Image: EA Sports/Microsoft

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