It was just announced that Tom Brady is the cover athlete for this years Madden NFL 18. If you’re superstitious and believe in the Madden curse, you are either jumping for joy due to your hate for the Patriots, or freaking out.
If you aren’t familiar with the Madden curse, let me give you a brief overview. It’s simple. If you grace the cover of the Madden football video game, your next season will be shortened by injury, or hit a noticeable statistical decline. It sounds laughable. However, what I first thought would be fun and laughable research, has become quite alarming. Lets take a look.
Your probably wondering what the answer to the obvious question is. How many times has the cover athlete been injured or had a decline statistically the next season? See for yourself. Players highlighted in green are the players that had a great year & escaped the ‘curse’ Out of the 22 names listed, only 6 didn’t follow up with a decline statistically or injury. Like, what the f#cK!
Madden 99 – Garrison Hearst (49ers)
Broken ankle in playoff game. Surgery complications would later cause a bone in his foot to die.
Madden 2000 – Barry Sanders (Lions) & Dorsey Levens (Packers)
Barry Sanders retired shortly after being announced as the cover person of Madden 2000. I don’t count this. He retired on his own. Dorsey Levens for Green Bay was announced. This would be his last season as a starter. An injury limited him.
Madden 2001 – Eddie George (Titans)
George did have a great season that year. However, a bobble in the playoffs would lead to an interception that ended the Titans playoff run. George remained in football for 4 more years, but would never top 1,200 yards a season again.
Madden 2002 – Daunte Culpepper (Vikings)
Missed most of the season due to a knee injury. Performance fell apart next season.
Madden 2003 – Marshall Faulk (Rams)
Never rushed for more than 1000 yards again.
Madden 2004 – Michael Vick (Falcons)
Fractured right fibula during preseason game. Missed 11 games
Madden 2005 – Ray Lewis (Ravens)
Good season statistically, but was first time he didn’t record an interception during the season. His next season would ended abruptly due to torn right hamstring though.
Madden 2006 – Donovan McNabb (Eagles)
Was on track for a good season, but then groin injury sent him to the IR. Was never the same again.
Madden 2007 – Shaun Alexander (Seahawks)
Broke his foot in week 3.
Madden 2008 – Vince Young (Titans) & Luis Castello (Chargers)
Vince young would injure his quad in week 6. This was the first time he missed a game due to injury. He then reinjured himself in the final game of the season. Young never got the starting roll back. Luis Castello got sidelined by a knee injury and played in 10 games.
Madden 2009 – Brett Favre (Packers)
Decent season! However, he suffered a shoulder injury late in the season that nagged him for three more seasons.
Madden 2010 – Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) & Troy Polamalu (Steelers)
Larry Fitzgerald escaped the curse! Troy Polamalu wasn’t so lucky & got double the dosage! Polamalu sprained his MCL in week 1 & missed four games. He then injured his posterior cruciate ligament three games later.
Madden 2011 – Drew Brees (Saints)
No injury, but statistically one of his worst seasons to date.
Madden 2012 – Peyton Hills (Browns)
Issues with hamstring and strep. Played in 10 games.
Madden 2013 – Calvin Johnson (Lions)
Great season Escaped the curse!
Madden 25 – Adrian Peterson (Vikings)
Nagging foot injury. Played 14 games.
Madden 2015 – Richard Sherman (Seahawks)
Great season! Escaped the curse.
Madden 2016 – Odell Beckham Jr (Giants)
Great season! Escaped the curse
Madden 2017 – Rob Gronkowski (Patriots)
Had back surgery. Placed on IR.
I do believe that it’s all a coincidence though. Let’s face it, the Madden video game franchise wants to sell games. Obviously, they are going to put superstar players on the cover to attract attention. If you’re a big name, chances are you’ve been in the NFL for quite sometime to achieve that status. This means the likelihood of injury is probably greater. Still, the list in an interesting thing look at.