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Michael Vick vs. Peyton Hillis For The Madden 12 Cover

Michael Vick is in the running for the Madden 12 coverThe war for the Madden curse is on! A Michael Vick vs. Peyton Hillis ESPN fan poll will determine the Madden 2012 cover player. Two players that didn’t even enter last season as starters are now dueling it out for the NFL video game cover.

If you think back to a year ago at this time or even the start of the 2010-11 NFL season, the idea that a year later Peyton Hillis and Michael Vick would be battling it out for the Madden 2012 cover was simply preposterous. Neither player entered the season as a starter yet both turned into the 2010 fantasy football waiver wire darlings of the season. For Hillis, it is even more remarkable as outside of Cleveland I can’t imagine anyone even owned his jersey sans a few odd Denver Broncos fans.

For the first time in Madden history, EA Sports let the fans pick the cover player. ESPN set up a bracketed tournament of polls and allowed fans to vote throughout the period to determine the finalists. What makes Vick and Hillis’ matchup even more impressive is that Vick beat out Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson while Hillis (a 10th seed in the tournament) beat out Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. What do you think the odds were on that happening?

Of course Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns fans are likely spending time casting votes against their favorite players. Why would a Browns vote for Vick or an Eagles fan vote for Hillis? I got two words for you…Madden Curse!

For that reason, Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers didn’t seem that broken up about losing. Rodgers acknowledged his defeat via tweet, citing the curse.

“Gb fans who are scared of the curse are rejoicing somewhere today haha”

Yes indeed Green Bay Packers and Vikings should rejoice that their hometown heroes won’t be on the Madden cover this year. The Madden curse is very real and something I have blogged about quite a bit over the years. It’s real…very real and Eagles and Browns fans should be very afraid.

Going back to Garrison Hearst in 1999, every player featured on the cover of Madden has either suffered a serious injury or disappointing season that or the following season. Check out my full detailed history of the Madden Curse here.

It appeared that Drew Brees avoided the curse last year but it was not meant to be. Yes Brees’ New Orleans Saints did make the playoffs, but it was revealed after the season that Brees had indeed suffered a torn MCL injury during the season. While it was never confirmed, there were reports speculating about Brees’ injury all the way back in September. Brees did play through it but even the biggest Madden skeptics have to question whether the Saints would have suffered one of the biggest upsets in NFL postseason history if not for the curse.

A Michael Vick win here would make Vick the first ever two-time Madden cover athlete. Vick last graced the Madden video game cover back in 2004. Unfortunately Vick never even made it out of the pre season that year. Even scarier, Vick suffered the injury the day after the game hit the shelves.

As a Philadelphia Eagles fan I am hoping to see Peyton Hillis grace the cover and injured reserve in 2011. Cast your vote now and check out ESPN SportsNation on April 27 for the winner announcement. Ironically April 27 would mark the four year anniversary of the day Michael Vick first denied any involvement in the dog fighting operation that would later send him to prison.

Something tells me that the NFL will be pulling for Hillis. Vote now for the Madden 12 cover athlete at ESPN.com.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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