Madden: Adrian Peterson vs. Barry Sanders

We wouldn't -- and couldn't -- have it any other way, could we?

Of course. Of course, the Madden cover will feature an NFC North player for the second consecutive year. We just don't know which one yet.

Former Detroit Lions tailback Barry Sanders and current Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson are the two finalists for the "Madden 25" cover, announced Wednesday evening over at SportsNation. Voting will take place on ESPN.com for the next week, and the cover winner will be announced April 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Sanders has been particularly vocal about the contest and after winning his semifinal vote over Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, he tweeted:

"Wow. Just wow. I can't believe I won, I can't believe I beat @JerryRice THE Jerry Rice. Thanks so the fans. This is all you guys."

If Peterson has mentioned the contest publicly or tweeted about it, I've missed it.

Personally, I blame the strong legions of Green Bay Packers fans for two other NFC North teams being represented in the finals -- the same Packers fans who voted for Peyton Hillis a few years ago to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Madden curse. You know who you are. Watch out. I'm going to start sifting through IP addresses.