While we’re still not sure yet if there will even be football this season, we do know that EA Sports will be releasing Madden NFL 12 this summer. EA Sports announced today that they have a cover athlete for their annual best seller; Madden NFL ’12 will feature Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis on the cover.

Hillis was chosen for the cover as part of a voting campaign that saw fans voting for their favorite potential cover athlete in a bracket style tournament. Hillis (a no. 10 seed in the tournament) consistently beat out higher ranked players throughout the rounds, including the reigning Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers. over 12.7 million votes were cast throughout the tournament and in the finals Hillis defeated Madden NFL ’04 cover boy Michael Vick by a 2:1 margin. After the announcement Hillis said,

“I’ve been playing Madden NFL for ten years, and it’s a dream to know that I’ll be on the cover of this great game.”

The honor of being the Madden ‘cover boy’ is one of the most coveted “trophies” in sports and sports gaming. Previous Madden covers have showcased Drew Brees, Marshall Faulk, Troy Polamalu, Brett Favre and many other NFL stars.

Along with the honor of the cover comes the ‘Madden cover curse’, which is the belief that the athlete on the cover of Madden NFL will either be injured or perform poorly in the upcoming season.  The season that Daunte Culpepper set the record for most fumbles in a season, Michael Vick broke his leg in the preseason , Donovan McNabb tore his ACL, Shaun Alexander broke his foot, and those are just a few examples. Time will tell if Hillis will be affected by the curse, but the odds seem stacked against him.

Did you vote in the tournament? Who did you vote for? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter.

Madden NFL’12 will be available on August 30th for all major platforms.