Some of you may have heard of the “Madden Curse.” For those of you who haven’t, heres a little info on the curse. Every year EA Sports features an NFL superstar on the cover of their anual Madden football video game. Every season following the realease of Madden, the player featured seems to have a disappointing season.
The Madden video game has been featuring NFL superstars since the Madden 2000 edition. On the cover of Madden 2000 was Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, a future hall of famer. Barry Sanders abruptly retired the following season shocking NFL fans everywhere. This may or may not be where the curse began, but follow with me.
The following year Eddie George graced the cover of Madden 2001. Eddie George had a decent year following his Madden cover, until the playoffs that is. This is where it looks like the curse hits George. He made a key fumble in the Titans lose to the Ravens and the following year was the first season George’s yardage dipped below the 1,000 yard mark.
The Madden 2002 coverboy was Minnesota Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper. The Vikings started off the season with a miserable 4-7 record until Culpepper was side-lined with a season ending knee injury.
Madden 2003 featured the star RB for the St. Louis Rams, Marshall Faulk. Faulk missed 2 games that year with an injury, and marked only the second time in his career that he failed to rush for 1,000 yards. He has yet to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season since.
Madden 2004 was Michael Vick’s turn to get hit by the curse. Vick suffered a fractured fibula in a pre-season game the day after the game was released. Vick was out for the first 11 games of the season and his team went 5-11 after posting a 9-6-1 record the year before.
Super Bowl XXXV MVP, Ray Lewis got the cover for Madden 2005. Lewis failed to intercept a pass on the season for the first time in his career, after picking off 6 passes the previous season. Lewis also missed the final game of the regular season and his team missed the playoffs after winning their divison the year before.
Madden 2006 cursed Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. Donovan suffered a sports hernia in the first game of the season, and only managed to play 9 games.
This year’s edition, Madden 2007, will feature Seattle Seahawks RB, Shaun Alexander, who is coming off a MVP season in which he set a new single season touchdown record. Is the Madden curse strong enough to bring down the reigning MVP? or is there even a curse? You decide.