The Madden NFL 15 cover featuring Richard Sherman was leaked Monday by retailers. Fan reaction was mixed at best as the cover for the PS4 and Xbox One football simulation puts the Seattle Seahawks cornerback in an odd pose and without a football. Some gamers with Photoshop skills were quick to make improvements to game's cover with hilarious results.
The box art first appeared thanks to a series of retailers such as Amazon, GameStop and Best Buy posting the new in their listings for Madden NFL 15. EA Sports later confirmed that this is the official cover for the game but it does seem a bit out of sorts for Sherman.
The lock-down corner back has his body turned away from the camera with his right hand sticking palm out at the camera. Probably the closest actual football equivalent to what Sherman is pictured doing is a one-handed jam of an opposing wide receiver coming off the line of scrimmage. However, the Madden NFL 15 shot comes across as odd without the context of an opposing player included.
The immediate reaction among the gaming community was one of bewilderment. Some wondered why the defensive player wasn't doing a more trademark shot like batting away or intercepting a pass or delivering a crushing tackle on a receiver.
Some members of the influential NeoGAF forum had more creative and funnier ideas though for a Madden NFL 25 cover as seen in the gallery above. Inspired by the stop handsign that Sherman appears to be displaying, Photoshopping skills were put on display to turn Sherman into Iron Man and Gandalf ("You shall not pass!") from The Lord of the Rings.
Other video game genres were crossed with Mortal Kombat Sherman entering the fray. One daring placed a pair of guns in Sherman's hands like something out of The Last Boy Scout while another added in R&B group The Supremes.
It looks like the current Sherman cover is not the final word for Madden NFL 25, however. The Ultimate Edition cover has still yet to be revealed. Is it possible that Sherman could possibly influence EA Sports into including the entire "Legion of Boom" defense from the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks? It would fit the defensive theme that EA Sports is taking with promoting the game this year.
Madden NFL 15 is currently slated for an Aug. 26, 2014 release for the PS4 and Xbox One. PS3 and Xbox 360 versions will also be available.
[Correction: The Simpsons mash-up was created by Casual Gamera.]