The gaming industry’s most prolific superstition didn’t take long to reach center stage in the 2009 NFL season.
Athletes who have graced the cover of Electronic Arts’ best selling Madden NFL 10 football simulation have traditionally fallen on some hard times.
Pittsburgh cornerback Troy Polamalu, famous for his big plays and long flowing hair, is one of the Madden NFL 10 cover athletes. He sprained his MCL (Medial Collateral ligament) in the league’s season opening game, putting the Madden Curse on display for a nationwide audience. The injury could keep Polamalu out of the lineup for as long as six weeks.
Electronic Arts has mixed things up in recent years, although no one at EA Sports would likely say it’s in reaction to any curse. Last year was the first time it had placed a then retired athlete on the cover. The 2010 cover is the first to feature two athletes, Polamalu and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The two were focal points of Super Bowl XLIII and EA Sports used them to tout the “Fight for Every Yard” features in the new game.
For what it’s worth, Fitzgerald had a decent game the first week of the season although his team lost. If anything happens to Fitz this year, athletes may get so skittish EA will have to put a punter on the cover of Madden NFL 11.