Hillis Defeats Vick; Earns Spot on Madden 2012 Cover

Bleacher ReportContributor IApril 27, 2011

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 26:  Tailback Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns runs the ball by linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis has been chosen for the cover art of the next Madden game, hosts Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle announced live on SportsNation.

Hillis, who played for the Arkansas Razorbacks during his college years, defeated Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and Comeback Player of the Year Michael Vick, to gain the final cover spot.

Selection of the cover athlete was done through online polling conducted on the ESPN website. The two finalists were guests on today's episode of SportsNation, where they provided commentary on the show's topics prior to the announcement of the winner.

Peyton Hillis becomes the first Brown to be featured on the cover, narrowly defeating Vick in the final rounds of voting. Despite his grassroots popularity, Hillis is surprised by the amount of votes cast for himself and Vick.

"I think it shows both of us how popular we are, even if we thought we weren't. Me, being a nobody. And Vicks' situation, being down and up," he said.

Although many cover athletes have fallen victim to the "Madden Curse," Hillis also stated he is not worried about any future injuries.

"For people to believe in this so-called curse, I can't wait to prove people wrong," he said. "From what I believe and where I am in my spiritual life, it would be good to prove them wrong in that sense."