Whatchu Talkin Bout…Hillis?

April 19, 2011 – 1:06 am by Hickey

The battle for Madden ’12 cover boy (Motto: The only place you’ll see the NFL in 2011-12!) has been narrowed down to Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown.

Wait, what’s that? (Looks at screen again)

Browns running back PEYTON HILLIS? What the…

On the surface, this appears to be one of the most lopsided matchups we’ve seen since David took on the Phillistine with a slingshot. Listen, I know that Peyton Hillis was one of the best stories in the NFL last season. Without him, my fantasy football team would have… well, actually we still missed the playoffs and the team sucked so badly that I’ve renounced fantasy football for the rest of my life. But he was my best player, which pretty much explains the last sentence.

While he’s a feel-good story, Hillis was still only the 11th-ranked rusher in the NFL last season with with 1,177 yards. That’s only 66 yards ahead of Cedric Benson.

I would also be remiss for not belaboring the fact that Hillis plays for the Cleveland Browns. Frankly, there hasn’t been a Browns player worthy of video game cover consideration since Bernie Kosar, and even he went by the nom de plume “QB Browns” in Tecmo Bowl.

I assume that Browns fans are the ones responsible for voting Hillis this far into the competition, and that’s understandable. Clevelanders would like a shot at winning something — anything — just once in their lives.

But one of the very well-publicized side effects of being on the Madden cover is the Madden Curse. Are Cleveland fans really so willing to set themselves up for more obvious heartache, or is there some perverse line of of thought that somehow combining the Madden Curse with the curse of being from Cleveland will cause these sinister forces to cancel one another out?

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