In one of the only upsets we may see in 2011, given the whole lockout thing, Browns running back Peyton Hillis has ousted Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers from the Madden 12 cover competition.
Somehow, Hillis mustered more votes than Rodgers in an election that was opened up to the fans.
Sure, Browns fans are zealous — but so are Packers fans. Maybe, in the end, the Cheesehead base didn’t turn out the way they should have, assuming that Rodgers easily would win.
Hillis will need even more help if he hopes to upend Mike Vick, who bested Adrian Peterson for the other spot in the finals.
Given that Hillis has a much lower profile than Vick, the next vote could end up becoming a public referendum on Vick, one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports. The fact that he is so close to returning to the cover of the Madden franchise, however, is remarkable, given the ups and downs of his career and his life during and after a federal incarceration for conspiracy to engage in gambling and dogfighting.
Cast your vote at ESPN.com through April 27. The winner will be announced on SportsNation that same day, the four-year anniversary of the date on which Vick first denied any knowledge of or involvement in the dogfighting operation that had been discovered on property he owns in rural Virginia.