As improbable a duo as could be expected, Peyton Hillis will face off against Michael Vick in the Madden NFL 12
cover contest being run by EA Sports over at ESPN.com. Both guys bring plenty of unique buzz to the contest, as you have a previously convicted felon going up against a one-hit wonder who eschews the stereotypical color for his position. Either way, I am guessing that someone won’t be happy, as PETA will go after EA Sports (again) if Vick wins or EA will have a guy in Hillis that does not exactly exude “star power”.
On that note, I had a spirited discussion with John last week about EA probably having a hissy over Hillis still being in play for the cover. I compared it to a network that bid billions to get the MLB World series contract and gets stuck with the two smallest TV market teams playing one another. John correctly pointed out the power of the Browns backers across the country as the reason why Hillis is still in the running. Of course, this could also signify that Browns fans have nothing better to do (Cavaliers season is over…thankfully…and although the Indians are playing well, no one has noticed) and this is about as close to a “victory” in anything that the Cleveland Browns have seen in some time. I will say that Hillis getting on the cover (and the subsequent season ending injury that goes with it ) is worth it for them.
Of course, any PR is good PR for a game that may be played without the corresponding product on the field. Which also brings into question whether there will even be a player on the cover if the lockout hasn’t ended yet. There are a lot of legal wrangling going on including the use of players names and likenesses, so this could also be for naught.
As for the contest, the winner will be announced on live on April 27th at 4;00p.m. EST on ESPN2, but you can vote for either player
at ESPN right now. I am personally voting for Hillis because I like to see the torment on the Browns fans faces when their only playmaker goes down for the year.