So The Madden Curse Is Totally Real, Guys
Posted on Friday, August 23 @ 13:30:00 PST by Daniel Bischoff
Our nation's professional football players are collectively suffering from an affliction so rampant and widespread that it's a wonder we haven't started a walk-a-thon fundraiser to support them in their time of need. No, I'm not talking about concussions or jail time following criminal charges. I'm talking about the dreaded Madden curse.
Since 1999 when Electronic Arts decided to ditch the constant cover star John Madden for professional athletes coming off of a season of dominant performance, stars like Garrison Hearst, Marshall Faulk, and Ray Lewis have suffered season-ending injuries after appearing in that year's Madden video game box art. Do players believe in the curse? Certainly the fat checks cut by EA help cushion the blow, but with the cover-decision making process handed off to fans in a yearly vote, it can feel a bit like Ol' Yeller.
In fact, EA has even told reporters that they believe fans purposefully vote against their hometown favorites in order to ensure their team doesn't go without a star player. The Madden curse might not be real, but it certainly seems like some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy at this point… or maybe just a natural result of an athlete coming off an incredible performance last year.
This year, fans voted retired running back Barry Sanders to the cover, negating any effect the Madden curse might have on the 2013-2014 season, but it doesn't shake the evidence that EA's yearly football sim has had a profound effect on certain key players in the past 10+ years that an athlete has been featured on the cover:
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