Well, America, the people have spoken and either Peyton Hillis of the Cleveland Browns or Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles will be the cover boy for the newest Madden football game set to come out this fall. In a change of pace this year, EA Sports and ESPN devised a 32 player competition to decide which athlete would be on the cover of the game this year. They then set the competition up similar to the brackets used in college basketball for March Madness and let the people vote on who they wanted to advance.
On the one side, Vick was the 3rd seed in his 16 player bracket. He had to best DeMarcus Ware, Andre Johnson and Adrian Peterson to get to the finals. Hillis, on the other hand, was a 10 seed and had a much harder road to travel to get to the final showdown. He had to best Matt Ryan and top seeded Aaron Rodgers to meet up with Vick.
This unlikely duo easily wasn't what EA Sports had in mind when they started this competition. There's no way they could have expected Vick, who is either loved or hated because of his recent animal transgressions, or Hillis, who is a white running back who broke out this season, to be the finalist for one of the most prestigious acknowledgments in sports.
The plus side to this is that if Vick pulls off the win, you know that the new Madden game will be even more talked about than normal because of the controversy that will surround it.
If I had to pick a winner out these two, then Vick would probably get my vote. He has the attention of a nation due to both his recent past as well as a stellar season that saw him return to his pro bowl form. People that are fans will vote because, well, they are fans. People that hate him might vote because of the potential devastation of the 'Madden Curse' that seems to follow all the players that grace the cover of the iconic game.
The only way that I see Hillis pulling off the upset is if he had all the Vick haters voting for him, which is far more likely than it seems.
Either way, this years Madden cover will be both unique and interesting, and may end up being the highest selling one of all time because of it. For the results of this titanic clash, tune into ESPN's 'SportsNation' on April 27th.