|Megatron says he doesn't believe in the Madden curse (Getty Images)|
After 64 players, seven weeks and 20 million votes, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was named to the Madden NFL 13 cover Wednesday afternoon. He was serenaded to cheers of "Megatron" from fans during a live broadcast from Times Square.
Johnson beat out Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for the cover honors. Both players were on hand for the announcement. "I thought you guys loved me," Newton said after learning his fate. "Just kidding," he added with a smile. "Big ups to Megatron." More than 20 million votes were cast by fans to whittle the list of candidates from 64 to one.
The news all but guarantees that Megatron will be the next victim of the Madden curse, which he says he doesn't believe in. And neither does Newton. "If you do what you got to do there won't be no jinx," said the Panthers' quarterback. That prompted ESPN's Colin Cowherd, who was co-hosting the spectacle, to ask Johnson, "You're not going to turn your ankle in Week 1 or something?"
Cowherd was booed loudly by the crowd.
The Madden curse might seem more like the intersection of conspiracy theories and bad luck, but just take a look at its history. And then there's this from Peyton Hillis, last year's Madden cover "winner."
"No doubt about it," Hillis said back in December when asked if the Madden curse was real. "Things haven't worked to my favor this year. There's a few things that happened that made me believe in curses. Ain't no doubt about it."
Johnson disagrees. We hope he's right. "The people voted, they got what they wanted," he said. "I'm very grateful for that, this means a lot, this is great."
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