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C.J. Spiller, Jim Kelly candidates for Madden NFL 25 cover

By Tim Graham

Bracket season is upon us. We're about to see them everywhere because that's what gets crammed down our gullets this time of year.

Just this morning, I determined what to have for breakfast by assembling a bracket of all available foods in my kitchen. Top-seeded Cocoa Puffs were upset in the semifinals once I realized there were only crumbs left in the bottom of the box. That cleared the way for fourth-seeded bagel to take the title.

Also today, EA Sports unveiled its brackets for the Madden NFL 25 cover. Winners will be determined by an online vote.

As an anniversary edition, there are "old-school" and "new school" brackets. The "old-school" side is comprised of a retired legend from each team except the Houston Texans. The "new-school" side proposes one active player from each team.

After two years with wide receiver Stevie Johnson as the Bills' candidate, running back C.J. Spiller got the nomination.

The choice is an indication of what the NFL's pop-culture community thinks of Spiller's emerging star power.

Spiller is the 13th seed in his regional and will square off against fourth-seeded Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant in the first round.

Below this post, you can see video clips of what Spiller will look like in the new game.

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is the seventh seed in his regional and will be up against 10th-seeded Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis.

Three-quarters of the No. 1 seeds are San Francisco 49ers: Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Colin Kaepernick. Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is the other.


C.J. Spiller | Stevie Johnson
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |