Ravens running back Ray Rice was one of 32 candidates to become the cover boy for "Madden NFL '12," which will be released in August even if the NFL lockout is still in effect. But in a bracket-style vote to determine the oft-unlucky winner, Rice got knocked off in the first round by Browns running back Peyton Hillis.
Hillis dominated his AFC North counterpart in the voting, garnering 62 percent of the 424,059 votes. Rice nearly getting doubled up by Hillis? That was a surprise. Either Ravens fans didn't know EA Sports and ESPN's "SportsNation" had teamed up to determine the cover boy or they were wary of the "Madden" curse.
Still, given the history of the probably-just-coincidental curse, it might be best that the Ravens won't tempt the fates by having Rice on the cover of the popular video game. Shaun Alexander (age), Vince Young (ineptitude) and Brett Favre (karma) each appeared to be hexed after appearing on recent covers.