CHARLOTTE – March is the month for brackets, and the madness is no longer limited to basketball.
A fan vote to determine what NFL player will appear on the cover of the EA Sports Madden 13 video game is under way, with an expanded bracket that will allow Panthers fans to select who will represent the team in the competition.
Now through March 21, fans can vote for either quarterback Cam Newton or wide receiver Steve Smith to represent the Panthers in the 32-player bracket.
Results of the team round will be revealed on the ESPN show "SportsNation" as well as ESPN.com on March 21, after which multiple fans votes will whittle the field down until the cover choice is revealed on April 25.
EA Sports put the choice in the fans' hands for the first time last season, and nearly 13 million votes were cast before Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis landed on the cover. Left tackle Jordan Gross represented the Panthers last year, when NFL teams picked their representative, but now fans have even more of a voice.