Shutdown Corner - NFL

Peyton Hillis believes in the ‘Madden Curse’ now"Actually, I don't even believe in curses. It's really sad how many people believe in curses. This is football; everyone gets hurt. If you run the ball 40 times a game, you're going to get banged around and get nicks and bruises here and there, but I don't pay too much attention to that. I'll let it take care of itself." -- Peyton Hillis, May 11, 2011

"No doubt about it, 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." -- Peyton Hillis, Dec. 29, 2011

All it took was a 600-yard, eight-touchdown decline in his rushing numbers this season to get Peyton Hillis to believe in the Madden Curse.

The Cleveland Browns running back admitted this week that he finally believes in the so-called curse that plagues NFL players who appear on the cover of the popular video game series. Like Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper, Shaun Alexander, Drew Brees and Vince Young before him, Hillis insisted there's no such thing as a curse when it was announced he had won a fan vote to becoming the cover athlete on the 2012 edition of the game.

[Related: The top 10 sporting villains of 2011]

Then he hurt his hamstring, had public squabbles with the team about his contract, bizarrely sat out a game on his agent's advice and earned some negative PR when he bailed on a charity Halloween party. I see his point. What else could it be? A hamstring injury in the NFL is so rare that it must be from a curse. And the mistake of getting bad advice from the wrong people is the stuff of which curses are made.

Yup, there's no other explanation for these unfortunate set of circumstances than the ominous aura that surrounds men with their pictures on a video game disc holder. It's the only thing that makes sense.

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