Usually the Madden cover curses the athlete. This time, the athletes have cursed EA.
EA had a smart idea to kick off Madden's annual showing. Create a 32-player bracketed tournament and let fans vote for the cover athlete.
Today, the two finalists for the Madden NFL 12 cover were revealed. It couldn't have turned out worse for EA. Forget being between a rock and a hard place; EA Sports is trapped between a knife and a gun fight: relative unknown Peyton Hillis of the perennially awful Cleveland Browns, or convicted dog-killing pariah and ex-convict Michael Vick. Either EA has to market a game featuring a player the average person cares little about, or they're hit with animal rights activist protests for a highly controversial cover boy.
There's no winning this one. EA made a bold attempt at involving the community, and the community screwed them.
I've got nothing against Peyton Hillis. He's a solid foundation for Cleveland to build upon. The Browns have been the League's punching bag for a while now, but they're also one of the NFL's beloved underdogs.But Hillis is hardly a big-name running back. Hillis has 1574 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns -- for his career. Granted, that's just a three-year span, but Hillis has managed only one good (not great) year so far. It's amazing to see the Cleveland community rally to support him in this contest as he's outlasted notable running back Adrian Peterson.