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The Madden Curse is All Too Real

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With Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints getting ousted by the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks in one of the bigger upsets in NFL playoff history, I can’t help but get goosebumps when thinking about the Madden Curse.

Brees graced the cover of this year’s edition of the iconic EA sports franchise of Madden NFL football. Coming off of a Super Bowl victory, he couldn’t have felt any better about himself and eschewed any thoughts of the curse and was happy to be the posterchild.

At this point, he will still say that the Madden Curse is silly and had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. Maybe he’s right, but history speaks for itself. Have a look and decide for yourself.

2000: Barry Sanders – Sanders abruptly retired a week before training camp.

2001: Eddie George – George enjoyed the best regular season of his career. However, in the first round of the playoffs he bobbled and easy pass, which was then intercepted, returned for a touchdown, and sealed defeat for Tennessee; the #1 seed in the AFC.

2002: Daunte Culpepper – Culpepper’s Vikings, fresh off of an NFC Championship Game appearance had an abysmal season. Culpepper himself suffered a season-ending knee injury.

2003: Marshall Faulk – Faulk, one of the NFL’s best running backs ever had a 2003 season to forget. He suffered nagging injuries and for the first time in 5 seasons failed to rush for 1,000 yards, as his Rams missed the playoffs.

2004: Michael Vick – The curse struck early in 2004. Vick, one of the league’s most exciting players suffered a fractured right fibula only one day after Madden 2004 was released. Vick came back later in the season and had a hand in the Falcons 5-11 record.

2005: Ray Lewis – As the curse started gaining notoriety, Madden went with a defensive guy, thinking that it might end the bad luck. Unfortunately for Lewis it didn’t work. He failed to record an interception for the first time in his career and was forced to sit out the final game of the year with an injury. This set the stage for an injury-riddled 2005 season where he only played in 6 games.

2006: Donovan McNabb – When McNabb was announced as the cover-boy he mocked the curse saying: “I don’t believe in the curse at all.” He should’ve. McNabb suffered a sports hernia one game into the 2005 season. He pushed through to play 8 games, but missed the final 7 games for the last place Eagles.

2007: Shaun Alexander – Three weeks into the season, Alexander fractured his left foot and missed the next 6 games of the season. The injury seemed to hamper him for the rest of his career and his production was never the same.

2008: Vince Young: Young’s injury came in the Titans fifth game of the season. He hurt his quad and missed the first game of his life at any level. He finished with a terrible year statistically; barely completing 50% of his passes with 13 interceptions and 12 fumbles.

2009: Brett Favre: Favre pled his way out of Green Bay and was traded to the Jets. He started strong, but injuries hit him as the season wound down. His struggles caused the Jets to lose 4 out their last 5 games and miss the playoffs after an 8-3 start to the season.

2010: Troy Polamalu/Larry Fitzgerald: This was the first cover with two players on it, so the curse got to choose which player to hamper. It chose Polamalu who missed 11 games due to injury, a main cause for the Steelers missing the playoffs. Fitzgerald got off the hook relatively unscathed, but after the season, Kurt Warner announced his retirement and Fitzgerald was left on one of the worst teams in the NFL.

2011: Drew Brees – Brees enjoyed a successful regular season despite doubling his interception total from a year ago. The curse hit him in the first round of the playoffs, where his Saints, nearly a two-touchdown favorite, were upset by the worst team (by record) in NFL playoff history: the 7-9 Seahawks

It remains to be seen who will be on the cover of next year’s version of the game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more and more players didn’t start taking the LaDanian Tomlinson route and turning down the opportunity. For your own sanity, you had better hope that a player from your favorite team doesn’t accept the honor, because with the Madden Curse, it’s not a matter of if, but when.


2 Responses to “The Madden Curse is All Too Real”

  1. John Madden-

    I have never asked anything of you in my entire life, but for the sake of my sanity, and the sanity of all the other great Cincinnatians…..PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put Mike Brown on the cover of Madden 12. Thanks in advance.

    Posted by Ryan Johnston | January 10, 2011, 12:47 pm
  2. They should go back and put MADDEN on the cover, like they did originally.

    Or a selection of PUNTERS

    Posted by Bobby Digital | January 11, 2011, 3:38 pm

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