The Madden curse
EA Sports Madden video game is the most popular sports video game series in history. It has spawned record-breaking sales, a nationwide tournament and even a television show. However, Madden has also given rise to an infamous curse. Most of the NFL stars who have been featured on the cover of the Madden game have suffered injuries and other calamities the following season. Take a closer look at the top five victims of the Madden curse.
5. Madden 09: Brett Favre
Being featured on the cover of Madden was deemed to be the perfect send-off for QB Brett Favre in his retirement from the Green Bay Packers. Plus, the only way he could have suffered from the Madden curse was if he stubbed his toe on his farm. However, Favre came out of retirement to play for the New York Jets. Although he played in every game in 2008, Favre tore his biceps and threw 22 interceptions.
4. Madden 07: Shaun Alexander
Shaun Alexander was featured on the cover of Madden after rushing for 1,880 yards and winning the NFL MVP Award in 2005. However, he fell victim to the curse next season when a foot injury kept him out of six games. Also, Alexander failed to reach 1,000 yards rushing for the first time since his rookie season of 2000. The curse essentially ended Alexander’s NFL career and he retired after 2008.
3. Madden 10: Troy Polamalu
Madden 10 raised eyebrows when it was released because there were two potential victims of its curse. However, Larry Fitzgerald had a fine season for the Arizona Cardinals in 2009. Troy Polamalu, on the other hand, suffered a couple of injuries and only played in five games that year for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The curse spread throughout Pittsburgh as the Steelers suffered a massive Super Bowl hangover, going 9-7 and missing the playoffs.
2. Madden 12: Peyton Hillis
When Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis was voted onto the cover of Madden 12, I thought there were many more worthy candidates. It was as though he was being served up on a silver platter as a sacrificial offering to the Madden curse. In 2011, Hillis missed time due to a hamstring injury and he even contracted the devastating malady known as strep throat. Hillis was also accused of sitting out games so his numbers would not decline in his contract year.
1. Madden 2004: Michael Vick
Everyone knows what happened to QB Michael Vick in the wake of being featured on the cover of Madden 2004. Besides his legal problems which surfaced a couple of years later, the Madden curse struck very quickly in 2003 as Vick broke his leg in the preseason. He would go on to only play in five games that season and the Atlanta Falcons went 5-11. Both his injury and later imprisonment make Michael Vick the all-time worst victim of the Madden curse.
Patrick Michael was born and raised in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. As such, he is a lifelong, diehard New Orleans Saints fan. His highlight as a Saints fan was experiencing the magical Super Bowl season of 2009.
“Madden NFL Cover Athletes,” ranker.com
“Pro Football Reference,” pro-football-reference.com
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