The Madden Curse: Bullshit or Not?

General rule of thumb for my life as far as supernatural occurrences like ghosts, UFO’s, Big Foot, don’t believe it till you see it.  Same goes for curses; Curse of the Billy Goat, Curse of the Bambino, poltergeist, James Dean, Bruce Lee, all unfortunate situations, not curses.

Well there is one curse I’ve seen first hand and I believe and I RESPECT it, and that is the Madden Curse.

Ok maybe I’m being a little fastidious but facts are facts;  Prior to 1999 John Madden used his fat droopy face to decorate every console cover of his video game franchise until EA sports decided to put a popular or next big thing type NFL Player on the cover.  This is the modern-day version of being put on the cover of the Wheaties box and it has become apparent that John Madden put a voodoo curse on whomever took his beloved spot on the cover of the game, because your life goes to hell. Let’s take a look year by year and see how didn’t make it out alive.

1999: Garrison Hearst:  Remember him? You should because he was an absolute beast for the 49’ers breaking a bunch of franchise records and becoming one of the best rushers in the NFL.  So what happened after that season and becoming the first guy to make the cover of Madden? Hearst suffered a gruesome ankle break when his foot was caught in the Georgia Dome turf and twisted severely as he tried to spin away from Falcons’ defensive end Chuck Smith. Hearst ran into complications following surgery as circulatory problems choked off the blood supply in the area, leading to vascular Necrosis, causing the talus bone in his foot to die.  His fucking foot died!

2000: Dorsey Levens: Who? He seemed like he was an up and coming superstar for the Packer’s rushing for over 1000 years in 1999 thus scoring the Madden cover.  The next season he was regulated to a back up role and his career pretty much sputtered to a non-spectacular close in 2003.

2001: Eddie George: This guy was a beast from the minute he steps on the field for The Titan’s in 1996 winning the rookie of the year.  He was an all-pro from 1997 to 2000 and in 2001 he appeared on the Madden cover and it was at that point in 2001 his numbers quickly declined, his numbers got worst year to year and in 2003 The Titan’s cut George and he was shortly there after out of football completely.

2002: Dante Culpepper: This guy never really deserved the Madden cover to begin with but regardless after his 2000 season as QB in Minnesota he was seen by many as a star.  During that season Culpepper passed for 3,937 yards, 33 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also rushed for 470 yards and seven touchdowns.  He had a mediocre season in 2001 but made the cover of the 2002 Madden game and then went completely in the tank.  He would go on to have decent years later on but never close to being the player people thought he would be.

2003: Marshall Faulk: A great all-purpose back who helped create the “greatest show on turf” which was the nickname given to the Superbowl Champion St. Louis Rams that Faulk anchored as one of the best players in the game.  In 2002 St. Louis signed him to a very lucrative contract, making the cover of Madden being one of best footballs in the world and maybe ever and then it was all downhill.  His 2002 season he was injury plagued and the St. Louis Rams become a very average team.  Faulk was never the player he was in 2001 before he made the Madden cover and was a non factor by 2004.  He was out of football by 2005.

2004: Michael Vick: This is an easy one; Sure his 05’/06′ seasons were fairly sucsessful by his standards but those seasons were over shadowed by Vick’s legal problems outside of football. The same year Vick made the cover of Madden two men were arrested in Virginia for distributing marijuana. The truck they were driving was registered to Vick. Then in 2005 Sonya Elliott filed a civil lawsuit against Vick alleging she contracted genital herpes from him in the autumn of 2002 and that he failed to inform her that he had the disease. Elliot further alleged that Vick had visited clinics under the alias “Ron Mexico” (this is real) to get treatments and thus knew of his condition. 2006 He flipped off fans, 2007 was drug possession and then finally Dog Fighting and Jail.

2005: Ray Lewis:  Ray Lewis is one of the best defensive players of all time, but the season following his appearance on the Madden cover his season was cut short by a week 6 injury. He was placed on injury reserve in week 8, having amassed 46 tackles, a sack, an interception, 2 pass deflections, and a fumble recovery in the season’s first 6 games.

2006: Donovan Mcnabb: McNabb after puking up the 05 Superbowl losing to the Patriots, the next year he hit the cover of Madden Football. As you can guess it was pretty much down hill after that.  He spent most of the year 05/06 on injured reserve and his career as an Eagle ended in 2010 joining the Redskins and never reaching the heights he did before the 05 season.

2007: Shawn Alexander: In the 2005 season, Alexander broke out by setting several records and was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player en route to a Super Bowl XL appearance with the Seahawks.  In March 2006, Alexander signed an eight-year, $62 million contract (15.1 million of which was guaranteed and 15 million to be paid in the first year of the contract) to remain with the Seattle Seahawk’s organization and after signing this lucrative contract his career just flourished! Just kidding, Alexander broke his left foot in week 3 of the season and was out of the NFL by 2009.

2008: Vince Young: An up and coming star in the NFL, Vince Young burst on the scene in 2007 having a stellar rookie year for The Titans.  Young gets the 08 cover…and how does the 08 season go for him?  In the first game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Young injured his knee and was expected to miss 2 to 3 weeks. On September 15, Jeff Fisher made the decision to go with Kerry Collins and for Collins to remain the starter for the rest of the season. The Titans went on to finish 13–3 in the regular season with Young assuming back-up duties.  Today you can find him backing up Madden cover victim Michael Vick in Philly.

2009: Brett Favre: yes the all-might Brett Favre made the 09 cover the year he joined the Jet’s after leaving Green Bay.  He had a pretty unimpressive season with The Jet’s and retired to unretire and so on, going to the NFC title game in 2010 only to throw the game away on a pick, have a terrible 2011 with the Vikings and finally bow out of the game ungracefully…and it was during the 09 season that he decided it would be a good idea to share some dick picks with a sideline reporter, cause when does that shit ever come back to haunt you.

2010: Troy Polamalu/Larry Fitzgerald:  These two squared off in the Superbowl the previous year, both coming off amazing individual seasons.  Fitzgerald made it out alive the next year after the Madden cover, having a decent season injury free.  Polamalu got injured at the end of the 2010 season not being able to finish it out.

2011: Drew Brees: Coming off his Superbowl MVP in 2010 Brees was given the cover for 11. He didn’t suffer any injuries or have a crap season, but that weird mole did get a little nastier.

2012: Payton Hillis:  Hillis had a breakout season with the Browns in 2011 and landed the cover only to come crashing down to earth in 2012, having a terrible, injury plagued season.

So for all you Patriot fans out there, if Gronk makes the cover and then gets hit by a bus or  gets caught in the stale of a men’s bathroom with Stuart Scott and a bag of magic markers, don’t say I didn’t warn you.


~ by ATOM on March 10, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Madden Curse: Bullshit or Not?”

  1. Larry Fitzgerald disproved the curse long ago, but in case you need further proof, Calvin Johnson has just set the receiving yards record. One of the best seasons by a receiver of all-time… came after being on the cover. I find it ironic it came just a day after all the 12-21-2012 doomtards figured out their pseudo-science was nothing but nonsense superstition. I guess Santa decided to bring us all a dose of reality for Christmas?

    • I agree, it just made for something fun to write about, but yeah Calvin Johnson pretty much put the madden curse to an end. Although if Gronk had gotten the cover we’d have a case.

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