Madden is the most successful sports video game franchise in history.
It has ranged from the Sega Genesis all the way to the Xbox 360—over 20 years of entertaining football fans everywhere. The cover has always been an honor, as well as a supposed curse.
This year, the voting went to the fans.
The fans have spoken: Either Peyton Hillis of the Cleveland Browns or Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles will grace the cover of the legendary game.
Let's think about these two before this last season happened. What was going on?
Michael Vick was only a little over a year removed from his jail sentence, wasn't even the starter for the Eagles and seemed to be good trade material.
Peyton Hillis? Well, he was just some guy involved in the trade for Brady Quinn from Denver to Cleveland. I guess it has worked out well for the Browns.
Is this a good choice for Madden, though? A very recently ex-con who managed to turn the majority of the country against him—many of whom still are against him—is on one side. Opposing him is a running back who had a great fantasy football year on a less than stellar Browns team.
Where is Aaron Rodgers? Clay Matthews? Andre Johnson? Peyton Manning? Tom Brady? Where are the superstars?
A case could have been made for Michael Vick to be listed as a superstar, but the lack of support due to his horrible crime of fighting dogs has kept a large portion of people opposing his success. Vick has seemingly changed his ways, even participating in many animal rights activities, but has still been unable to make up all of the fans he had before sitting behind the slammer.
Peyton Hillis is good, but is he Madden cover good? The most recent Madden covers include Drew Brees, Larry Fitzgerald, Troy Polamalu and Brett Favre.
Hillis isn't on their level. Not even close.
Michael Vick did already appear on a Madden cover, in 2004, featuring his Atlanta Falcons uniform. This was when Vick was in his prime, before any reputation killers were around. Do the Madden makers think he deserves to be on it again?
Well, it doesn't matter. They left it in the hands of the fans.
I suppose fans cannot complain as to who gets the cover, as it is by popular vote, but it seems like Madden 12 lost this decision. Peyton Hillis isn't a big name all around the country, at least to non-fantasy players, unless the Browns pull through this season.
Michael Vick is still largely hated among many people, but is apparently popular enough to get voted into the Madden 12 cover finals.
In order for Hillis to get to this point, he had to overcome Ray Rice, Matt Ryan, Jamaal Charles and Aaron Rodgers.