Apr 27, 2011

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Peyton Hillis to Grace the Madden NFL 12 Cover

Peyton Hillis to Grace the Madden NFL 12 Cover

Last year EA left the Madden cover up to the fans giving them the option to pick between three players. This year EA had a more controversial way of giving fans the choice by creating a Madden NFL 12 Cover Tournament. The tourney which started at the end of March featured one player from each team in the NFL. At first glance the tournament seemed to be filled with obvious winners but the voters proved most people wrong, hence the winner of the tournament and Madden NFL 12 cover athlete Peyton Hillis.

The Cleveland Browns running back busted onto the scene with his battering-ram style, rushing for over 1,177 yards and 11 TD. In fact he was the first Browns running back since 2008 to rush for over 1,000 yards. Most NFL fans didn’t know about him until his excellent performance against New England when he rushed for 184 yards and 2 TD’s while averaging 6.3 yards a carry, but those who watched him play in Denver knew he had the ability to be a thousand yard rusher.

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Most definitely the underdog in the tournament, Hillis was the resounding winner in each round except the second where he edged out Atlanta Quarterback Matt Ryan by a 51% to 49% victory. Hillis even beat out Super Bowl Champion Aaron Rodgers in 61%-39% dominating victory. Hillis was helped by a big campaign from the Cleveland Browns and of course a city who is begging for another superstar athlete after their previous athlete took off to Miami.

Hillis probably had an added boost being matched up against one of the most polarizing figures in sports, Michael Vick. After serving his jail sentence for his role in the dogfighting ring, Vick finally got his chance to start and he took advantage of it. Though his performance on the field earned him the Comeback Player of the Year Award last year, fans still seem to have a love hate relationship with Vick. PETA even tried to get EA to take Vick out of the tournament but EA stood by their decision to keep him in. To many people’s surprise Vick tore through each round to get to the finals but ultimately it seemed like people just didn’t want Vick to be the face of the NFL gaming scene.

That said don’t take anything away from Hillis, this guy is a beast. He’s a hard working football player who never got his chance at Denver and when he finally got the opportunity he was looking for, he promptly showed everyone in the NFL the type of running back he is. Personally I’m happy for HIllis but hope he doesn’t fall victim to the curse. After all he only had 270 carries last year so with 60 or more carries he could definitely lead the league in rushing yards and TDs. One thing is for sure is that Peyton Hillis will be an unstoppable force in the next Madden game, knowing how buggy broken tackles always seem to be.

Congrats to Peyton Hillis and stay tuned for more Madden NFL 12 coverage as we expect EA to reveal more information about the game tomorrow.

[Source: ESPN Sports Nation]