Lions WR Calvin Johnson has been named the cover athlete for the “Madden NFL ’13” video game, which will be released later this year.
In a fan vote, Johnson beat out Panthers QB Cam Newton for the right to be on the cover. Those two players were the finalists in an ESPN bracket that included cover choices from all 32 NFL teams.
Johnson had a terrific season in 2011, with 96 receptions for 1,681 yards and 16 TDs, while leading the Lions to their first playoff appearance in 11 years. He is the first Detroit player to be on the cover since Barry Sanders in “Madden 2000.”
The honor of being on the cover hasn’t been a very successful one, however. There is a “curse” attached to the game, as players such as Eddie George, Michael Vick, Vince Young and, most recently, former Browns RB Peyton Hillis have been injured in the years they have graced the cover.