Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson was selected Wednesday to appear on the cover of Madden NFL `13, the popular video game, in a vote by fans.
Johnson beat out Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, by garnering 52 percent of the more than 651,000 votes in the competition between the playmakers. ESPN revealed the results live on its "SportsNation" show in New York's Times Square.
"Man, it's great," a smiling Johnson said. "Just to see yourself on this Madden (cover) and seeing all the guys that have been on Madden? C'mon, man."
Former Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis, now with the Kansas City Chiefs, was on last year's game cover. Other players to have appeared on the cover of the EA Sports game include Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Brett Favre and Drew Brees.
Johnson, who said he was "shocked" to win the vote, had 96 catches for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He signed an eight-year deal with the Lions worth up to $132 million last month.
The competition for the cover drew nearly 20 million votes, with Johnson beating out Dwayne Bowe, Arian Foster, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Rodgers before the final showdown with Newton.