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Madden says Saints win Super Bowl

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(Read caption) Fans have until March 15 to vote on who to put on the Madden NFL 11 cover.

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Well, that's done. Let's all go home.

We here at Horizons love video games (check out the stir we caused over Modern Warfare 2). And we love football. So it was with happy hearts that we learned that the folks at EA Sports, the company behind the Madden NFL game franchise, had again simulated the Super Bowl this year. The winner? The Saints over the Colts by four, 35-31.

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How accurate is that? Better than Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog. The video game simulation has been correct five out of the last six years. But as good as the Madden games have gotten at presenting realistic reproductions of what goes on on the field, there are intangibles that even sophisticated simulations like Madden can't factor-in. Nerves of rookie players and last-minute injuries are just a couple of them. The 2007-08 Patriots, the team that represents the one dark mark on the Madden simulation's record, saw that in Super Bowl XLII, when their sure-thing season evaporated under the glare of the cameras and Giants QB Eli Manning.

So, never fear, Colts. You'll have your chance to prove Madden wrong come Sunday.

1, 2, 3 – Not it

The Madden Curse. Who would have thought that posing on a cover of a video game would carry with it such notoriety – and misfortune. As we told you last year, nine out of the last 11 players to grace the video game's cover have befallen injuries in the ensuing season. Brett Favre bucked the trend in 2009, but one of Madden 2010's featured players, Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, was injured in the season opener and missed four games. His cover buddy, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald made it through 2009 without missing a game.

This year, perhaps in a move to remove blame for anything that might happen to the cover model, the Madden franchise is letting fans pick which player appears on the cover of Madden NFL 11. In a partnership with Doritos (who's hungry?) EA set up a website where fans can vote on who (or who not) to put up front. This year's choices include Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Fans have until March 15 to vote.


Do you think the Saints will win? Let the world know where you stand in the comments below, and keep up with us on Twitter – we're @CSMHorizonsBlog.