The Madden Curse proves to be true
By Sajan Jabbal, Contributor
The NFL is into week five of the 2019-20 season which also means all you hardcore Madden gamers are in full swing for your annual football video game entertainment. The Madden franchise and the athletes chosen for the cover are prized. But in fact, gracing the cover has proven to be detrimental for many athletes.
From injuries, to scandals the Madden Curse is real and here is the proof.
Madden ‘01: Eddie George
A star running back of the Tennessee Titans, he set career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns. In playoffs however, he bobbled a pass that was intercepted during the AFC Divisional round. The next year, he had the worst statistical season of his life. He was never the same after gracing the Madden cover.
Madden ‘03: Marshall Faulk
Leading his St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowl appearances. Gracing the cover next season, he hurt his ankle and failed to rush over 1,000 yards for the next five seasons.
Madden ‘04: Michael Vick
An explosive quarterback who mastered the mobile quarterback mold, Michael Vick led a poor Atlanta Falcons team to the playoffs in the ‘03- ’04 season, but after gracing the ‘04 cover, Vick only played in five games throughout the ‘04-’05 season due to a fractured fibula he sustained during the pre-season. Three years later, Vick plead guilty to dog fighting charges and served a two year prison sentence.
Madden ‘08: Vince Young
Tennessee Titan star Vince Young was on the cover of Madden ‘08, which proved to be a curse in the long run. After injuring his quadricep and his knee in the ‘07-’08 season, he did not get his starting position back for two years. When he did get his starting position back, he played great, but after an altercation with Titan head coach Jeff Fisher, he was cut by the team.
Madden ‘09: Brett Favre
After announcing his retirement after the ‘07-’08 season, everyone thought that he would not be affected by the Madden Curse. He joined the NFL once again the following season and after a great two years with the Minnesota Vikings, he retired once again. During retirement, he was caught in a sexual assault scandal, in which he was accused of sending derogatory pictures to a staff member on the New York Jets during his one season with the team.
Madden ‘11: Drew Brees
Brees graced the cover of Madden ‘11, and after struggling with a knee injury throughout the season, the team imploded due to a scandal in which the Saints coaching staff were penalized for paying players to cause injuries on the eld.
Madden ‘12: Peyton Hillis
Hillis was a surprise inductee in the Madden 2012 cover, and the running back was never able to get past 500 rushing yards again.
Madden ‘13: Calvin Johnson
Superstar receiver Calvin Johnson was on the Madden ‘13 cover. After having an amazing two seasons after the cover, many thought that the curse was over. However, after the 2016 season Johnson made a surprise retirement announcement at the age of 30.
Madden 25: Adrian Peterson
Peterson was the star of the 25th anniversary edition of the Madden game and a year after his cover appearance, Peterson was indicted on charges of sexual abuse and was suspended for the rest of the season. Although he has made a comeback to the NFL, he is still cursed with the past of his sexual abuse charges.
Madden ‘17: Rob Gronkowski
Large tight end Rob Gronkowski graced the Madden ‘17 cover. Gronk sustained two injuries in the following season only playing eight games before two years later announced his retirement, stating that he no longer has fun playing football.
Madden ‘19: Antonio Brown
Lastly, but definitely not at least, star receiver Antonio Brown was on the cover of the 2019 game, and although Brown was never an issue on and off the eld, nobody was expecting what would happen in the 2018-19 season.
Despite being considered the best receiver in the game Brown’s history in the NFL has been riddled with violations of contracts and being released as a free agent due to conduct. This included but was not limited to, skipping practices, threatening a coach and violating team policy and California state law by posting a recorded phone call with Oakland Raiders’ staff without their consent to social media.
After moving from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders, and finally to the New England Patriots, Brown was accused of sexual assault. Currently under investigation for sexual assault, the Patriots have cut him from their roster after one game.