The NFL Madden Curse made more timely by the recent shooting at this year’s Madden Gaming Convention in Jacksonville Florida, you know the story: some nut with a gun shot two guys because they out-shinned him in the game he thought he was king of. I'm not sure if this shooting has anything to do with "the curse," but it definitely seems to be part of the Fool's Journey.
|Suspect David Katz in 2017 when he won tournament.|
Getting back to "the curse": over the last twenty years, 16 players who have appeared on the cover of the popular game have been plagued with dismal seasons or suffered serious injuries during the year the game came out wearing their images.
In 1999, the popular game stopped putting the ex-old Oakland Raiders couch, John Madden on it -- in case you don't know who about John Madden, he was the overweight coach who would walked up and down the sidelines with his hands in the air talking to himself like one of our many homeless of today.
|Last Cover With Madden On It|
In 2000 the cover of the popular game changed from Madden to a football star. The first person to obtain the honor, Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders who had just gotten off a 1000 yard rushing year. So what did Sanders do that first year? Nothing. He retired. Maybe he knew something. He never stepped on the field as a player again.
From there, the list goes on from Minnesota Vikings QB DAunte Culpepper's 2002 appearance, where he went from a perfect season in 2001 to a dismal season where he was injured six games, fumbled 16 times, and went 4 and 7 in his starts.
2007: Seattle Seahawks RB Shaun AlexanderLike Faulk, he entered his cover year with five straight 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. And his dominance also came to a halt. In 2006, his rushing total dropped from 1,880 to 896, and two years later, he was out of the NFL, a Washington Redskins washout.
2008: Tennessee Titans QB Vince YoungHe was Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006. For his cover year, though, Young threw just nine touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions, missed a game and earned a seat on the bench for 2008, never fully regaining Jeff Fisher's trust.
2009: Green Bay Packers/New York Jets QB Brett FavreEA began by making Favre the cover athlete as a tribute to his Packers career, which had just ended. But then Favre forced his way out and into New York. All he did there was throw an NFL-high 22 INTs and hurt his shoulder before moving to Minnesota.
2010: Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Steelers SS Troy PolamaluFitz had one of his standard Pro Bowl seasons with more than 1,000 yards, but Polamalu missed a career-high 11 games in 2009 thanks to an MCL injury, recording a career-low 20 tackles before sticking to the sidelines.
2011: New Orleans Saints QB Drew BreesThrowing 33 TDs and earning another Pro Bowl selection is good stuff, but Brees had what constitutes as an off year the season he graced the cover, throwing a career-high and franchise-record 22 picks. His Saints also lost to the 7-9 Seahawks in the playoffs.
2012: Cleveland Browns RB Peyton HillisYou forgot about him, didn't you? Hillis grunted his way to 1,000 yards as a surprise lead back in 2010, but during his cover year, he missed a half-dozen games with an injury, averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and ran his way into a journeyman backup career.
2014: Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian PetersonIf Johnson shattered the curse, Peterson may have reignited it in 2013. Fresh off his sixth 1,000-yard season and two years removed from a historic 2,000-yard campaign, he missed all but one game after being indicted on child abuse charges.
2017: New England Patriots TE Rob GronkowskiThe five-time Pro Bowler was coming off another double-digit touchdown season in 2016, but he missed virtually all of the Patriots' first four games with a hamstring injury, then finished with just six starts due to a herniated disk and other injury issues.
So you see, there is something happening here and it ain't pretty. So, what about this year?
Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown gets the honor. Let's revisit this after the season, but so far, it's not looking good: how about this headline: