The voting for which player will grace the Madden NFL 13 cover has come down to the final two; Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers and Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions. Many players feel it is an honor to have their likeness on the cover of what is probably the greatest football game ever made but shouldn’t they be worried about the curse?
If you ask any player about the dreaded “Madden curse” they will dismiss it as nonsense but when you look at how players have fared the year they graced the cover of the Madden game, it makes you wonder.
A lot of athletes that have been on the cover of Madden have had bad and in some cases injury-plagued seasons. I mean if it happens once or twice then it could easily be written off.
It only makes sense that a player will have a down season or two during their career and it makes even more sense that a player will struggle after having a career season. Which is why it would be easy to write off the struggles that some of the guys that have graced a Madden cover have had.
Still some of these struggles have been puzzling like last year’s winner Peyton Hillis. Hillis had a few injury problems playing for the Cleveland Browns last season but he also had other issues that hadn’t surfaced up until that point in his career.
Hillis struggled with a nagging hamstring injury for most of the season and squabbled with management over his contract situation. The weirdest part of his season though came when he decided to sit out a game on the advice of his agent because he had strep throat.
Hillis came out of nowhere to become a star and win the cover last season but there have been more established players who have fallen victim to the Madden jinx.
Troy Polomalu missed 11 games after gracing the cover of Madden in 2010. Running back Shaun Alexander graced the cover after an MVP season and Super Bowl run but never rushed for another 1,000-yard season in his career.
Michael Vick got hurt during the preseason after gracing the cover of Madden and missed 11 games during the 2004 regular season. Barry Sanders was on the cover of Madden then called it quits before the 2000 season even started.
There have been other players that have either missed chunks of seasons or were never able to get back to the form that made them a star. Both Johnson and Newton are young enough where the curse probably won’t be a career ender but it is possible that their teams’ fortunes could be jeopardized this season if something happens to them.
Good news is only one will win and the winner of the Madden curse…errr I meant cover will be announced on April 25th. Good luck to the winner because you will definitely need it.
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.