Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why the Browns aren't cursed by Peyton Hillis' Madden cover

Well, the people have spoken.  And they love Peyton Hillis--13 million votes later, and Peyton Hillis will be on the cover of Madden 2012.  That's it, right?  They love Hillis? Or maybe enough of them just hate Michael Vick?  Or maybe enough people want to see something positive happen to Cleveland?  Or perhaps it's just that everyone's grandpa was a Browns fan, and so it follows through the generations? Or maybe Browns fans are just really really passionate.

Or, of course, perhaps it's just an extension of the curse, and so of course it's a Cleveland player finally.  Which curse, you may ask?  It could be any number of curses when talking about Cleveland sports history, but in this case, of course, we're talking about the Madden Curse.  From Eddie George to Daunte Culpepper to Ray Lewis to Shaun Alexander to Vince Young to LaDanian Tomlinson to Troy Polamalu, injury and misfortune has affected many (but not all) video game cover models.

Peyton Hillis on the ESPN set with a mockup of a possible Madden cover.
But, of course, let's look at the reality--normally, stars on the cover are coming off several great years in a row, often with deep runs into the playoffs which made them famous.  Which means, in many cases, they had a lot of miles on them that could lead their production nearly only down.  Now, of course, Peyton hit a minor wall last year, but he's still on the upside of his career, as this was a fan-driven contest, and not a career appreciation award.

Amy Sancetta / Associated Press
So breathe easy, Browns fans.  It's not a curse, it's NFL career curves.  And Peyton Hillis is still on the right side of that curve.  Let's just hope the final cover is something cooler like him hurdling a defender or bowling over a linebacker on his way to the end zone. 

Just don't be ashamed to knock on wood a few times.  Like right now.  And every time you turn your Xbox on to play Madden this fall.