Football fans may not have any control over the labor situation, but for the first time, they can pick who is on the cover of the "Madden" game series.
EA Sports' "Madden NFL 2012" cover will be decided bracket-style, with fan voting on SportsNation, with rounds beginning today and the contest wrapping up on April 26. On Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick and Cleveland Browns' Peyton Hillis visited ESPN to talk about the contest.
Both say they're lucky to have some of the most die-hard fans behind them.
"Oh man, Eagles fans are so proactive when it comes to supporting the Eagles. We have a strong following, and very dedicated fans," Vick said, adding that his first-round matchup against the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware should get their attention. "If there's a Cowboy on the other side, then all that intensity just magnifies times 1,000."
Hillis, whose first-round matchup is against Baltimore's Ray Rice, said Cleveland's passionate fans are an asset.
"Most definitely. It definitely helps you out in something like this," he said. "Cleveland fans are great. They really do support their team, and they back them up no matter what."
Hillis was watching another matchup in the bracket, featuring former Arkansas teammate Darren McFadden.
"Me and Darren are real tight," Hillis said. "I think he has his work cut out for him in the first round with Philip Rivers. I hope he makes it."
Both player said they're intrigued to see how the voting goes.
"I'm gonna follow it, man," Vick said. "I gotta make sure I follow it, and know what's going on and see where I stand and everything."
The curveball in the contest is the Seattle fan base, which the Seahawks call the "12th Man," meaning technically, those fans are voting for themselves.
"Yeah, that's unfair. That's unfair," Vick said, laughing. "I don't really know what to say about that one, man. That's really tough."