Making the cover, or in this case, not making the cover of a video game isn’t everything. Unless, of course, that video game happens to be EA’s NCAA ‘12 and your name is Cam Newton. Then it becomes more of a story. At least on this site it does…
EA announced on Thursday that they will be casting a Facebook vote to decide the cover athlete for this year’s game. While the fans will have the final say, EA has already pegged four soon-to-be-NFLers as your finalists.
The four finalists include: Auburn defensive tackle and potential #1 pick Nick Fairley, Alabama’s Heisman running back Mark Ingram, Washington QB Jake Locker, and Oklahoma’s multitalented running back DeMarco Murray.
Before we assess those on the list, we must first address those that didn’t make the final four, particularly Cam Newton. Cam is both a marketing dream and a marketing nightmare at least at this very moment for EA. He was without question the face of college football this past year and put together one of the finest seasons we have seen in recent memory. He’s a handsome lad, has a million dollar smile, and knows exactly what to say when there’s a microphone in front of him. That’s the dreamy part.
The nightmare is the mystery and unknown that has consumed us all when it comes to Cam’s collegiate story. The rumors about what he knew, what can be proved, and what the NCAA will eventually uncover when it comes to his time at Auburn is what obviously has forced EA to leave him out of the discussion. If something were to somehow break between now and July 12th, aka the release date, it would be a disaster.
Put yourself in their shoes. Avoid controversy altogether or put yourself at risk if, and this is a big if, something somehow surfaces before this glorious game hits the shelf? It’s not worth it if you’re EA, and Cam Newton’s presence on the front won’t sell you that many more games outside the state of Alabama. By allowing the fans to decide from four different players, you’ve already got the marketing wheels moving in gear and a story that people are attracted to.
In terms of the finalists we do have to pick from, I think we can all offer up a collective “meh.” Nick Fairley and Mark Ingram seem like logical choices and significant favorites, but the other two seem like odd selections. If we were choosing our ’12 finalists back in August of 2010, I would have no problems with this whatsoever, although I’d probably want to know a little more about this then unknown Fairley character.
Personally, I think LSU’s all-everything corner Patrick Peterson would have been PERFECT for this gig, but then again I’m just a nerd that loves video games.