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No Madden Curse? Let’s Check On Peyton Hillis

Peyton Hillis

We seem to recall a time when people, including Aaron Rodgers himself, were pissed the Green Bay Packers quarterback lost out to Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis for the Madden 12 cover.

Rodgers lost the fan vote to Hillis in the semifinal round. Hillis went on to beat Michael Vick for the cover.

Frankly, some of us didn’t give a shit about any of this because, 1. it’s only the damn cover of a video game, and 2. the Madden cover boy has historically met with terrible luck the following season. The dreaded Madden curse!

When Hillis won, we wrote some smart-ass post like “We’ll never hear from Peyton Hillis again.” Well, guess what? That’s not entirely far-fetched.

Hillis has 211 yards on 60 carries, a 3.5 yard average, and two touchdowns this season. His Browns are 3-4 and the big running back has missed the team’s last two games with a hamstring injury. He aggravated the injury in practice this week and will sit again in week nine.

It doesn’t stop there, either. Hillis, who’s been clamoring for a new contract all season, skipped a game because of strep throat earlier this season. Some suggested he decided not to play because of his contract. Others simply questioned his toughness. To top it off, Hillis also missed a charity event last week because of what he termed a miscommunication.

None of it looks good and it doesn’t look like Hillis, who’s making $600,000 in the final year of his rookie deal, will get a new deal anytime soon.

It still gets worse, though. Several of Hillis’ teammates decided to stage an intervention with him this week — not because he’s on drugs, but because he has a shitty attitude.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says one Browns veteran. “Last year, Peyton was such a positive, inspirational force on our team – but now he’s like a different guy. It’s like he’s in a funk that he can’t get out of, and it’s killing us, because we really need him. And we’ve told him that. But we’re at the point where we just don’t know what to do.”

Hillis says there’s no problem, but that’s obviously not the case.

Rodgers, meanwhile… well, you know all about what Rodgers has done so far this season.

Does anyone want to debate the legitimacy of the Madden curse again?

(Via The Score)

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. Dave November 5, 2011

    I voted for hillis! Atta boy

  2. E. Wolf November 5, 2011

    All Packer fans should vote against Rodgers EVERY TIME, and any Packer for that matter, in the madden box cover vote. The curse may or may not be real, and even if it is not real, such things have a strange effect on the psyche. Recall how the German national team played after Paul, the Octopus, picked against them in the semifinals in the World Cup.
    As far as I am concerned, NO PACKER should ever appear on the Madden Cover, EVER.

  3. Phillthy November 5, 2011

    Shits real

  4. Chris November 5, 2011

    It isn’t a curse, it’s a regression to the mean. A return to average play.

    When a player has a statistically exceptional year, we give them awards and accolades like the cover of Madden. But the reason their year was exceptional was because it was ABOVE the average.

    Every player, regardless of their talent level, will eventually regress to the mean (or their average level of play). They regress for a variety of reasons; luck, injury (especially in football), lack of heart (I’m looking at you Chris Johnson), or teams just finally figured you out.

    Of the 31 players up for the cover last year (I don’t count the 12th Man in Seattle), 13 have been injured or are playing much worse than last year.

    That’s 42%. It’s not a curse! It’s not even that uncommon! It’s regression to the mean.

  5. DoubleDave November 5, 2011

    ^ Whatever, dude. You can all it tomato, I call it a curse.

  6. Rymetyme November 5, 2011

    Madden curse!? Sounds like fans’ excuse for voting a shitty hack of a football player with one good season for a shitty team as their poster boy.

    If you wanna go on believing that people don’t make their own luck just wait until Rodgers is on the cover next year… yet continues his brilliant dominance of the NFC. You can then continue living in fantasy world and claim that Rodgers bought Madden-curse immunity from a magical fairy.

  7. Xavier November 5, 2011

    The madden curse is real!!

  8. Guru November 5, 2011

    This graph shows that it’s pretty “real.” But, of course, this isn’t the result of a supernatural force. It’s simply due to the fact that great players are being selected after great years. It’s just too hard to replicate past performance in the NFL.


  9. Dean Sanders November 5, 2011

    But guys, what about Daunte Culpepper?

    (completely fucking joking)

  10. iltarion November 5, 2011

    Plans need to be hatched to insure that Aaron Rodgers does not make the Madden Cover next year. Whatever it takes. I am accepting all suggestions.

  11. Xavier November 6, 2011

    Its not too hard to replicate performance for the likes of Peterson, Brady, Ware is it… But im sure if for madden 13 one of those was on the cover you would all be saying it was going to happen eventually. NO! The curse is real and Rodgers should br kept away from it for the rest of his life.

  12. Rymetyme November 7, 2011

    the poor fortunes fallen upon madden posterboys is about why they got selected to grace the cover — not some silly curse. Since a new edition comes out each year, the people who made the posterboy decision (last year it was the fans) are likely to choose someone who was “trendy” the previous season.

    While this could be someone like Brady, Brees or Peyton Manning, it’s more likely going to be some surprise player who will likely fall back to earth (Hillis).

    God I pray Rodgers gets on the cover next year so he can add it to the huge chip on his shoulder and be motivated to humiliate the Packer fans who think he’ll fail because of something so idiotic.

  13. E. Wolf November 8, 2011


    You’re a tool. For one thing, Packer fans who don’t want Rodgers–or any other Packer for that matter-to be ont eh cover would certainly not be humilliated, but rather relieved and maybe mildly surrpised.
    It STILL is not worth it. Again, recall Paul the Octopus picking against the German National Team in the world cup.