Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis has pulled off an unbelievable Cinderella run throughout the Madden 12 cover bracket, and on Wednesday, he was the last player standing.
Hillis, a No. 10 seed in the bracket, is the first Madden cover choice to be voted on by the fans, and pulled off the upset of No. 3 seed Michael Vick in the final, ESPN.com reports.
The Browns' running back defeated Vick by an overwhelming margin, earning 66 percent of the final vote in the 32-player bracket. Hillis completed several upsets on his way to the cover, bouncing Ravens running back Ray Rice (No. 7), Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (No. 2), and Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (No. 6) before eliminating Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (No. 1) in the semifinals.
Hillis said he was excited about the Madden cover victory, but was surprised that he defeated Vick, a player that he's "always looked up to." Vick praised Hillis for the win, and thanked his fans for sticking with him and helping him reach the bracket finals.
"My fans, they stuck in there," Vick said. "I made it this far and that’s a plus for me."
The Browns' organization made a big push for Hillis throughout the Madden cover tournament, as the team's homepage prompted fans to vote, in addition to campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.
As for the Madden curse, Hillis says he's not worried about it.
"For people to believe in this so-called curse, I can't wait to prove people wrong," he said. "From what I believe and where I am in my spiritual life, it would be good to prove them wrong in that sense."
Hillis rushed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns with Cleveland in 2010.