He retired earlier than most wanted, but Barry Sanders hasn’t been forgotten.
Far from it.
Sanders, an electrifying running back for the Detroit Lions from 1989-98, has been selected to be on the cover of Madden 25, the 25-year anniversary of the popular football video game.
In a nod for old school over new school, Sanders defeated Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in the final round of the voting announced Wednesday night. Peterson came back from major knee surgery to rush for 2,097 yards in 2012, the second most in a season in NFL history.
Sanders, now 44, finished his career with 15,269 rushing yards, the third-most behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.
This is the second straight year that the Lions are represented on the Madden cover. A year ago, it was receiver Calvin Johnson, who went on to break the so-called “Madden Curse” by setting the all-time record for receiving yards in a season.
What’s more, former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is on the cover of the NCAA Football 14 video game while Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander appeared on the MLB 2K12 cover.