Peyton Hillis fronting Madden NFL 12

Cleveland Browns running back beats out Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick to become the cover athlete of EA Sport's next pro football sim.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's bid to become the first person to repeat as Madden NFL cover star since John Madden himself has fallen short. Electronic Arts today announced that Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis has been chosen to front Madden NFL 12 by the series' fan base. According to ESPN, Hillis beat Vick by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent.

Well, that's at least one win for the Browns in 2011.

Hillis emerged as the winner from an EA bracket of 32 potential stars wherein fans were allowed to vote for their preferred cover athlete. The bracket featured one player from each NFL team except the Seattle Seahawks, which were represented by its fan base, "The 12th Man."

Entering his fourth year as a pro, Hillis is coming off a breakout campaign with the Browns that saw him rack up 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground and another 477 yards and two TDs through the air. Perhaps more impressive than his stats on the field with a mediocre Browns team (5-11) was the list of talent Hillis upended to earn the cover spot. The Browns rusher steamrolled his way onto the Madden NFL 12 box art through some big names, including Vick; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan; and Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the reigning Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.

One reason the naming of the Madden cover athlete garners attention is due to the long-running "Madden Curse," which dictates that calamity will befall any player unfortunate enough to grace the game's packaging. After appearing on the Madden NFL 10 cover, Troy Polamalu suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of that season's opening game. Madden NFL 2008's cover athlete, Vince Young, received a knee injury that caused his backup quarterback, Kerry Collins, to start most of the 2008 season.

After a string of injuries, 2007 cover star Shaun Alexander went from being the NFL's Most Valuable Player to being a backup running back in just two years. Madden NFL 06 cover athlete Donovan McNabb suffered a season-ending sports hernia halfway through the season after he was named cover athlete. Additionally, 2004 cover athlete Michael Vick missed most of the 2004 season after breaking his leg and was incarcerated after being convicted on a series of gambling and dogfighting-related felonies in 2007.

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Discussion

133 comments
amaan4ever
amaan4ever

they should have put Desean Jackson. Atleast they have something that will help em forget lebron

PwNiShEr1216
PwNiShEr1216

@xpepox no u have all wrong MANNING is the one overrated manning has had 1st round draft picks to throw to all his life while brady has had hardly no one before the 07 yr.....new england never cheated because every team does it ur just some sour colts fan that cant stand him but when u look even last year 36 tds and 4 picks whereas manning had almost 20 overall manning isnt half of what brady is Brady>Manning and whats sad is brady has 2 less years of experience he did more in 4 years with the pats than the choke artist did with his time in 12 XD

Jannradio
Jannradio

Awesome, the poop Browns got their boy on the cover. Peyton Hillis' had one good year, and I say again. One "GOOD" year, it wasn't spectacular, it wasn't even great. 1,100 yards in a 16-game season isn't much. However, I give the guy props for being a white running back in a black dominated position in the NFL. Michael Vick had his best year in the NFL regardless of being outta practice for 4 years, not to mention he is still the most versatile weapon on the football field. Break a leg Peyton Hillis, literally. Let's watch the Madden Curse unfold in the pre-season.

xpepox
xpepox

@PwNiShEr1216 Brady is an overrated back up out of michigan who only has rings because the patriots were cheating at the time. and manning threw 50 more ypgs and had a higher completion rate with third and fourth sring recievers on the field.

mustained13
mustained13

A full season lockout would mean no curse. Or would it?

djwood84
djwood84

EA: Please send Josh McDaniels a free poster of the Madden cover with Hillis on it. Then he can look at it every morning and remember how stupid he is for trading him away for magic beans.

Frostyballoon
Frostyballoon

As a browns fan this is the only thing we will ever win so at least let us have this moment for a while...

Ekxkfkfkdk
Ekxkfkfkdk

If they're going to put a running back on the cover, why not Arian Foster? He DID do BETTER after all.

xdude85
xdude85

Peyton Hillis is one of the best players the Browns have gotten in a long time. Too bad the same can't be said about the rest of the team.

Patrickstar1986
Patrickstar1986

Darn I voted for vick... RECOUNT!!! Lol aw well I wasn't going to buy the game anywho...

PwNiShEr1216
PwNiShEr1216

@xpepox cause brady outplayed him in every aspect and didnt get nominated...........if the best qb in the league cant get nominated than surely the second best wont either whereas bradys the best manning is second

Kastigador
Kastigador

Peyton Hillis is a fun back to watch. He is just so violent when he runs. Cornerbacks bounce off him like a basketball. Sure, he's not a top tier super bowl MVP player like Rodgers, but he did have a hell of a year last year and he's an exciting player to watch.

cjf187x
cjf187x

Vick did his time, came back and played football and had a breakout year. Not that I'm an advocate for Dog fighting but, give me a break. How many athletes have been charged/accused of various crimes, against humans, and are still playing sports? But if you're gonna put a running back on the cover at least put someone decent on it like, I don't know... Darren McFadden?

CC_MINION
CC_MINION

the super bowl champs should b on the cover. lik rogers or clay matthews. not a team that didnt come close to be in the super bowl

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

My condolescences to Hills and his soon-to-be-torn quad.

redskinStu
redskinStu

It should have been Rodgers or Brady. The fact that Vick was even on the list only proves that there are a lot of very shallow people out there who are very easily impressed.

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

What? No Aaron Rodgers? BS. I call BS!!

Rayrota
Rayrota

Better luck next year, Browns.

anthonycg
anthonycg

@xpepox He got fined his position in the NFL shutdown. He and a few other QBs did. It is also obvious now that the NFL can do whatever they want to the NFL players because they are the ones that need the money - not the owners that founded the thing.

lilflex1
lilflex1

as a browns fan and one that voted for him i forgot about the madden curse

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

His competition was Vick.. LOL. They should have had Vick; then they could have added a backyard dog-fighting mini-game for career mode. Would've been the most interesting addition to Madden in years.

Miketendo
Miketendo

@Collinmul Im with you "reverse the curse". My friend from work is a huge Cleveland Browns fan ( and an Indians fan for that matter hmm ... anyway) and even he was like "wtf?"

collinmul
collinmul

So one of the most cursed teams in football has its best player appear on the Madden cover? The outlook for the Browns can't get any worse, right? So we're going for some sort of "reverse curse" here?

Onix95
Onix95

This monopoly on the NFL/NFLPA by EA is lame. ESPN 2K12 would have been nice. Way too much stagnation by Madden.

Nightrain50
Nightrain50

Peyton Hillis is a beast. If only EA would actually take a look at franchise mode, I might consider buying it. I doubt they will though.

ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

Yet another reason Madden has become nothing but pure fail. Madden 11 was a BIG regression. Now, it looks as if they want to ensure themselves as the leader in mediocrity by having an average at best NFL player on the cover. How did this guy even get nominated in the first place? Has anyone seen this guys stats? What a joke. You should be ashamed of yourselves EA for letting something like this happen. This guy has no business being a cover athlete.

xpepox
xpepox

how does peyton manning not even get a nomination. he threw for 4700 yards last year. that is sick.

Sparta316
Sparta316

I like Peyton Hillis and I don't mind the Browns, but damn that's an ugly uniform.

stziggy
stziggy

I wonder if EA didn't play with the numbers. These are the folks that announced that if a player gets a concussion in the game, they are out for the entire game. If EA is that PC, it's not much of a jump that they would not want Michael Vick on the cover of their game. Imagine if Vick did get the cover. You'd see news stories of dogs defecating on copies of Madden. Given the amount of effort EA puts into developing Madden every year, defecation is certainly justified regardless of who is on the cover. Bottom line: I believe the vote was rigged!

EliteGamer09
EliteGamer09

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

HeavyDahn
HeavyDahn

The man who single handily boasted my fantasy team last year is on the cover?! AWESEOME!

flowersjf
flowersjf

@dylan417 Yeah you're right, but I'm sure that maybe that could have been a factor in deciding the victor of the madden cover.

monson21502
monson21502

@hunter8man, the dude was a beast last year. best rb against both the steelers and ravens plus he had to go against them twice....

monson21502
monson21502

looks like i wont be picking him up for my fanasty team this year:P

AvnKnight
AvnKnight

This is guy that was jumping over everyone right? Still funny to see a browns player on the box, but this was probaly one of those vote for the worst things like what American Idol turned into.

luffy11234
luffy11234

As a person from cleveland (well ohio) this is some great news who cares about the rest of the players teams look at what this guy did. He deserves this cover

hunter8man
hunter8man

I could care less about Madden anymore, but Peyton Hillis was nothing special last year. He's a good player, and possibly the next Mike Alstott, but there were so many better choices for the cover. Personally, I would have liked the 12th Man of Seattle to win. It would be somewhat symbolic since the NFL wants to give the impression that they really care about their fans during this lockout nonsense.

HardBUCKSHOT
HardBUCKSHOT

the browns better hope this guy plays well. if not,......? they're not going to get any better even if he's at 100%

Shady84Porter
Shady84Porter

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Samox
Samox

Aaron Rodgers should have been on the cover. Whatever, at least he won't be cursed now.

DivineSword
DivineSword moderator moderator

Congrats Hillis, now let see how this will affect the sales!

Funployee91
Funployee91

I like the lockout inspired cover idea. How about changing the core gameplay to tedious litigation between billionaires? That would be more original than the same game as last year with new rosters, a new controller "flick" system that revolutionizes the game, and different menus.

Jannradio
Jannradio

I still can't believe he beat Michael Vick, he must have some die hard fans that would eat his jock strap after a week long practice or something.. When I saw him in the finals I said to myself: "Who is Peyton HIllis?.."