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Madden Curse Claims Another Victim

This running back went from cover-boy of football's biggest game, to back-up of the Chiefs.

From Big Foot to aliens, there is a lot of things that are supposedly out there that many people call fake or hogwash, and that line thinking also extends to the thought of curses as well for many a person. Peyton Hillis, formerly of the Cleveland Browns and now with the Kansas City Chiefs, has every right to believe otherwise, at least with the curses part.

After being traded from the Denver Broncos before the 2010 season, for then QB Brady Quinn (who ironically signed with the Chiefs as well this past week), Hillis had a breakout season in which he topped 1,000 yards and gained admirers by the flock with his hard running and his soft hands out of the backfield. He became such a common name to fans that he even beat out Michael Vick for the cover of last year's Madden game.

Unfortunately, with the cover shot also came the history of the 'Madden Curse,' which haunted many of the previous cover athletes. This curse, while skipping some athletes, hit Peyton Hillis full force last season with the Browns and turned his once promising career end over end.

During the 2011 season, Hillis was beset by a number of negative occurrences.

He was plagued by injury, inconsistent play and a total 'wishy-washiness' that alienated both his teammates and the organization. Some of the incidents that plagued Hillis, reputation wise, was the one game he sat out with a bout of strep throat and a time where he missed a treatment on his hamstring to go out suddenly and get married. That, coupled with talk of retirement and the changing of his agent more than once, pretty much sealed the end of Hillis's time in Cleveland and his chance at a big payday.

The signing of Hillis with the Kansas City Chiefs, a one-year $3 million dollar contract, may not be anywhere the rusher expected to be at this point, but it is a chance to buck the curse and turn around a career that held promise just a year ago. Just don't be thinking he needs to rebuild his reputation any, because he feels he doesn't.

"Not at all. I think how I played in the past and where I've been, it can speak for itself and I feel like everywhere I've been I've produced and I've done well with the opportunities I've got and it will be the same here,'' he said. "And I know that. I play for me, myself and my family, and for the Chiefs. I'm very excited for the opportunity and hope everything works out.

"I think that a lot of people wanted to show that I could prove myself again and if that's the case, I'm more than happy doing it. I saw this as an opportunity to be reunited with coach Daboll and with (general manager) Scott Pioli and coach Crennel because they're great people.''