Your EA Madden '12 cover athlete will be....
NFL fans know who Hillis is but he's far from the most well-known player in the NFL.This is definitely the most surprising Madden cover we've ever seen. In terms of popularity, I didn't think he was anywhere near Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick, who he beat in the finals. But over one million votes in the final proved me wrong.
Kudos to the apparently massive Cleveland Browns fan base for getting this done. Hillis was a 10-seed so this is the equivalent of George Mason not just making it to the Final Four a few years ago -- but winning it all.
He beat seven-seed Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice in the first round and followed that up by edging Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan in the second round, 51 to 49 percent. Ryan was a two-seed so that qualifies as his biggest upset. The Elite Eight had him beating Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles 60 to 40 percent and in the Final Four he topped QB Aaron Rodgers of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
In the final against Vick, a three-seed, Hillis won by a huge margin -- 66 to 34 percent.
And now that he's been voted on as the Madden '12 cover athlete, you can start the Madden Curse chatter.