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Let’s Look At The Madden Football Curse
Historically, few people are more superstitious than athletes. From eating the same thing before every game to wearing the same old t-shirt under their pillow during every game, athletes and fans alike look for any reason to explain wins, losses, hot streaks and cold streaks. This is expanding into the world of video games, let’s take a look at The Madden Curse.
The Madden Curse is the belief that bad things can happen to a player or a player’s team that headlines the All-Madden football game every year.
Madden NFL ’99
This is the first year that All-Madden Football has featured a picture of a player on the cover, that player being Garrison Hurst. Hurst had a career year in 1999 and was one of the hotter names in the NFL at the time. After making the headlines, he led the 49ers in rushing to a first-round playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers. In the next playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons, Hurst would go down with a knee injury and would not play again until the 2001 season.
Madden NFL 2000
Barry Sanders appeared on the cover with John Madden for the 2000 edition of All-Madden Football. Sanders had a long and impressive career and still had some of the best numbers in the league as well as some of the most exciting games. A week before training camp opened for the season, Barry Sanders retired, leaving the Detroit Lions without an effective game.
Madden NFL 2001
During the 2001 season following his appearance on the cover of Madden Football, Eddie George averaged 3 yards per carry (a career low) and ran for just over 900 yards rushing while battling a nagging toe injury.
Madden NFL 2002
The year before, Daunte Culpepper threw for over 4,000 yards and 33 touchdown passes. After appearing on the cover of Madden NFL 2002, Culpeper threw just 13 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions before his season ended in Week 11 due to injury.
Madden NFL 2003
Running back Marshall Faulk appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 2003. Faulk had one of his best years in the league the previous season, but after appearing on the cover he missed five regular season games with an ankle injury. He never again rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. The Rams would go 7-9 on the year, a year removed from a 14-2 season that resulted in a Super Bowl appearance.
Madden NFL 2004
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 2004. Five days after the cover was released, Michael Vick broke his right fibula. He was only able to play in the final five games of the regular season that season.
Madden NFL 2005
Madden NFL 2005 saw the first defensive player to appear on the cover, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens. That season, Lewis would not have a single interception after making six the previous season. He would also be injured during Week 15 of that season and would be forced to miss the final game of the year. The Ravens would also miss the playoffs that year after winning their division the previous season.
Madden NFL 2006
After leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl only to lose to the Patriots, Donovan McNabb appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 2006 the following season. Although the Eagles would return to the NFC Championship Game as a team, McNabb would battle a sports hernia all season. only to sit out a game against the Dallas Cowboys and have season-ending surgery.
Madden NFL 2007
Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander appeared on the cover of Madden NFL in 2007 after setting the record for most rushing touchdowns in a season. After missing just one game in his previous 64 starts, Alexander would miss six starts with a broken foot. He would go on to fall short of 1,000 yards rushing in a season for the first time since 2000.
Madden NFL 2008
During Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young’s season on the cover of Madden NFL 2008, he went on to throw for less than 2,500 yards with 17 interceptions. Young would later be injured and miss his first NFL game due to injury. Up until that point, Young had never missed a game due to injury during an NFL, college or high school season.
Superstitions have been around for a long time in sports, but the Madden Curse is a pretty good one with a long, long history.
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