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Time to rev up for 'Madden 13' cover vote

We in the NFC North narrowly avoided disaster, I mean victory, in the 2011 vote to determine the cover of "Madden NFL 12." A vigorous voting campaign allowed Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis to defeat Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, clearing the way for Rodgers to win the league's MVP and Hillis to fade into injury oblivion.

The "Madden Curse" is what you make it, of course, and that's why we're going to follow closely the cover vote for "Madden NFL 13." ESPN's SportsNation started the vote this week on its Facebook page, which after some time I realized you need to "like" in order to vote. A play-in round began between two players of each team, and the current 64 will be whittled to a 32-player field after March 21.

Here are the NFC North pairings. Remember, your team needs you.