It's official: Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis will appear on the box cover of this year's Madden (due in stores on August 30th). He's only the fourth running back to appear on the cover in Madden history. And he got there because you put him there.
EA Sports, along with partners SportsNation and ESPN, asked Madden fans to go online and vote for one of 32 possible cover candidates. Along the way, after three rounds of voting that saw showdowns like Mark Sanchez vs. Drew Brees (Brees won) and Aaron Rodgers vs. Ndamukong Suh (the number one-seeded Rodgers won), the field of 32 had been whittled down to just four players: Rodgers versus Hillis, and Michael Vick versus Adrian Peterson.
Of the four, no one here at Sports Gamer central would have picked Hillis. Personally, considering the year he had last year, including his MVP Super Bowl status, I thought it was Rodgers all the way. But the NFL is all about parity, and on any given Sunday anything can happen. And in the end, after more than 12 million votes were cast, after the dust finally cleared, Hillis had achieved a landslide victory by pulling down 66-percent of the votes. Vick, in the final, received only 34-percent.
Other players defeated by the number 10 seeded Hillis along the way: seven seed Ray Rice, two seed Matt Ryan, and six seed Jamaal Charles. "This has been a humbling experience and I want to thank all the fans in Cleveland and throughout the country that got behind me and voted each and every week," Hillis said.
The Browns were a mere 5-11 last year. But with the luck Hillis apparently has on his side these days, Browns fans have got to be optimistic about their chances in 2011.