Calvin “Megatron” Johnson had his biggest game of the season on November 10, 2012, against the Minnesota Vikings. He hauled in 12 catches, including his second touchdown of the season. That was good for a season-high 207 yards. The 12 receptions were a career-high. Amazingly, the 207 yards aren’t close to a career high. “Megatron” posted games of 244 and 214 yards during his unbelievable 2011 campaign.
Unfortunately, Johnson’s Lions came out on the losing end, 34-24. The superstar doesn’t play defense, and sometimes his teammates don’t either. Johnson leads the NFL with 974 yards receiving. Over his last 25 games, he has 2655 yards, which leads the league. The receiver was the subject of controversy after the team’s first matchup with Minnesota. There were concerns he might have suffered a concussion, which the league could fine the Lions for not reporting. Does the Madden Curse affect you if you deny the injury? Now the team believes he sustained a pinched nerve. Megatron has also battled knee issues through much of 2012.
EA shows its awareness of the curse if Johnson is seriously injured in Connected Careers mode. A news story mentions the curse, as Skip Bayless tweets about the injury. Designers try to deal with the superstition in humorous fashion when possible.
Retired running back what LaDainian Tomlinson once turned down the Madden cover. He said it was about money, but it still fueled talk he believed in a curse. Once a superstition becomes widely spread, it never seems to go away.
The Madden Curse has already joined Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle and seven years of bad luck from breaking a mirror in our supernatural lexicon. We will never fully prove or disprove it but it’s always fun to talk about.