Fans choose Calvin Johnson over Cam Newton for Madden cover

AP

Lions fans who believe in curses just got some bad news. Lions fans who don’t can celebrate another sign of their team’s return to relevance: Calvin Johnson is on the cover of this year’s Madden game.

Johnson, the Lions receiver who’s coming off a brilliant 2011 season, was rewarded with the most lucrative contract in NFL history this offseason, and now he’s been selected by the fans who participated in the Madden NFL ’13 vote brackets as the cover player for this year’s game. In the final round of voting, 52 percent of fans chose Johnson, to 48 percent for Cam Newton. Nearly 20 million votes were cast in the 32-player “tournament” to choose one man for the Madden cover.

Whether the Madden curse is real or whether it’s just an example of regression to the mean, Johnson is now the player who will carry that burden into the 2012 season.