Madden Curse Update: Calvin Johnson makes Madden history

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Every gamer who loves sports games knows about the Madden Curse. Athletes appearing on the cover of Madden NFL have had some of the worst seasons in their careers, often due to injuries. Madden NFL 12 cover athlete Peyton Hillis turned in such a lackluster 2011 for Cleveland they didn’t resign him. Madden NFL 13 cover athlete Calvin Johnson not only survived the season, but turned in the best campaign in history for a wide receiver. In doing so, the Detroit superstar struck a serious blow to the mythology of “the Madden Curse.”

Johnson finished the season with 1,964 yards receiving, despite having no consistent threat opposite him. He broke the single-season receiving record football legend Jerry Rice had held since 1995. Two other league marks fell to Johnson also: he had eight consecutive 100-yard receiving games, and four straight games with at least 10 catches.

His Detroit Lions took a step back and didn’t make the playoffs. It would be a reach to say that had anything to do with a curse. After all, the Lions miss the postseason pretty in spite of having the league’s best wide receiver. The player known as “Megatron” is more powerful than any Madden Curse, or most of the pass defenses in the NFL.

Madden NFL 11 cover boy Drew Brees didn’t sustain any serious injuries either. Peyton Hillis was certainly awful in 2011, but he was an odd choice for the cover to begin with. Remember, EA allows its customers to pick the cover boy by voting. Usually, it’s a player who took the league by storm and is among the best at his position. Even in his career year, Hillis didn’t meet that criteria. Several NFL previews for the 2011 season warned he might be a one-year wonder. So far, they appear to be right. That gives us only one bad season in the last three years by a Madden cover athlete, one that probably didn’t warrant the cover in the first place.

Has Johnson finally put the Madden Curse to rest? Superstitions are hard to get rid of once they gain a following. Despite a lack of real world evidence that stepping on a crack has broken anyone’s mother’s back, we still morbidly recite that rhyme. The Madden Curse is a part of pop culture. The next time someone on the game’s cover suffers an injury, believers will say, “See, we told you so!” Due to the violent nature of football, it’s a miracle any cover athlete makes it all the way through 16 games.

EA tries to maintain a good sense of humor about the Madden Curse. If Johnson sustains an injury during the 2012 season during the game’s Connected Careers mode, the in-game news feed runs stories about the curse.

Read [Yahoo Sports]


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