In the land of sports video games, it doesn’t get any more iconic than Madden. The Madden series has been a juggernaut for most of the past 25 years, with the release of classic game after classic game. No other sports game series has been able to adapt and evolve the way Madden has.
But when talking about John Madden Football, you have to mention the Madden Curse (or Madden cover jinx). Many players who have graced the cover in years past have gone down with season-ending injuries or suffered a severe decline in production during the same year that they’re featured on the cover. It’s not just a legend, there’s ‘evidence’ to support this supposed curse.
The following players are thought to be victims of the cover jinx:
Garrison Hearst – 1999, Barry Sanders/Dorsey Levens – 2000. Eddie George – 2001, Duante Culpepper -2002, Marshall Faulk – 2003, Michael Vick – 2004, Ray Lewis – 2005, Donovan McNabb – 2006, Shaun Alexander – 2007, Vince Young – 2008, Brett Favre – 2009, Troy Polamalu – 2010, Peyton Hillis – 2012.
One possible explanation is that all players featured on Madden covers had big seasons the year prior — basically saying that there’s nowhere to go but down. But when there are so many instances of players getting hurt and declining, it really makes you wonder.
Fans of the Seattle Seahawks are just hoping that the same thing doesn’t apply to Richard Sherman. You can’t hear them now — don’t you ever talk about Richard Sherman like that!
It’s also probably safe to say that Carolina Panthers fans aren’t too bummed that Cam Newton didn’t make the cover.