The race to grace the cover of “Madden 13” has been narrowed down to two of the NFL’s brightest stars in Cam Newton and Calvin Johnson.Weeks of online voting has whittled down the pool of 32 players to a head-to-head between the Panthers quarterback and Lions wide receiver.
Johnson is coming off a stellar season in which the 26-year-old wideout led the league with 1,681 receiving yards. Newton, 22, ranked 10th among NFL quarterbacks last year with 4,051 passing yards, adding another 706 yards rushing.
Voting ends April 25, with the winner appearing on the 24th installment of the EA Sports franchise, which first hit shelves in 1988.
The honor of having your picture on the best-selling game has had its drawbacks through the years, however, with several cover stars having gone on to suffer poor form or injury — something that has become known as the “Madden Curse.”
Johnson, however, is not concerned about the prospect of replacing last year’s Madden pick, former Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis, who subsequently had an injury-plagued 2011.
“No, I don’t worry about it,” Johnson told ESPN.com Tuesday. “All things come to an end.”