Being on the cover of the Madden NFL games has been deemed a curse. Injuries, poor play and any other malady that could befall players usually happens the year after the player makes the cover of EA Sports' popular pigskin franchise.
The latest player with a target on his facemask is Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who won the fan voting over rookie quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Johnson received 52 percent of the more than 20 million votes cast, meaning his mug will be plastered on Madden NFL 13 when it hits shelves Aug. 28. The newest installment of the franchise has an upgraded passing game and adds Phil Simms and Jim Nance to the broadcast booth.
Hopefully, Johnson will have better luck than last year's winner, Peyton Hillis, formerly of the Cleveland Browns. Hillis went from a 1,100-yard rusher and a darling of the blue-collar city to a perceived prima donna who sat out a game over a contract dispute, missed practice to go to a wedding, and gained less than 600 yards. He has since left as a free agent for Kansas City with few Clevelanders sorry to see him go.