John Madden named as Madden 23 cover figure

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It was only right.

John Madden has been announced as the cover figure for the upcoming release of Madden 23. 

This year’s edition of the game will be the first time that Madden has appeared on his namesake cover since 2000. The game has been released annually since 1990’s inaugural John Madden Football. 

On EA Sports’ decision to choose Madden – who passed away in December 2021 as – game executive producer Seann Graddy said “we were thinking about this year’s game and who was going to go on it, [and] it almost became an obvious answer. I say that because we really wanted to celebrate Coach in the product this year and what he’s meant to us for the 30-plus years that we’ve been using his name in our game.”

Madden’s image was on each version of the game from 1990-2000, before he began appearing in a small box in the next four editions alongside a player. He was completely removed in 2005, when Donovan McNabb became the cover athlete of Madden 06. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II and Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady shared it last year.

Madden 23 will have three editions: All-Madden, broadcasting and coaching.

The All-Madden cover features a young Madden from his Raiders days holding a football, with white letters reading “Thank you, Coach.” On the broadcasting edition, Madden is shown in a suit and tie drawing on a telestrator, which became a signature of his during his announcing tenure. The coaching cover shows Madden being hoisted into the air by his players after winning Super Bowl XI.

“The thing that we wanted everyone to take away,” Graddy stated, “is that we’re celebrating all three phases of Coach Madden’s kind of legacy.”

EA has also announced that it will donate $5 million to the John Madden Legacy Commitment to Education, which will be split among a number of nonprofit organizations, including $2.5 million committed to create the EA Madden Scholarship, which will collaborate with the United Negro College Fund to generate scholarships for students at 12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


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