Madden NFL 11 recently made headlines for not including long snappers. At the rate mishaps are befalling NFL superstars who appear on the Madden cover, EA Sports may be asking a long snapper to help promote the game next year.
The defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints suffered perhaps the season’s biggest upset October 24, 2010, losing to the Cleveland Browns 30-17 in the SuperDome.
New Orleans and Madden NFL 11 cover boy Drew Brees, known for their explosive offense, couldn’t move the ball. New Orleans went down 20-3 in the first half to a team with only one victory before Sunday’s game. It’s the second time this season New Orleans has lost to a struggling squad.
The Arizona Cardinals beat New Orleans October 10, 2010. They somehow managed to score 30 points against the Saints without a rushing or passing touchdown. Is the Saints’ sudden bout of less than Super Bowl quality play coincidence or curse? The “Madden Curse” superstition is the explanation many give for the problems that often plague the game’s cover athletes.
After appearing on the cover of Madden NFL 07, star running back Shaun Alexander went from record setting scorer to being out of the league. Alexander hasn’t played since an uninspired 2008 stint with the Washington Redskins, who cut him for being ineffective.
Michael Vick appeared on Madden NFL 04 and broke his right leg before the regular season even started. Vick’s career entered a downward spiral that included prison time for dogfighting charges.
Brett Favre was retired when he graced the cover of Madden 09. Favre un-retired but found the Green Bay Packers had moved on. Green Bay traded Favre to the New York Jets, where the team faded as he sustained one of the most serious injuries of his career. Favre thought he had put that nightmare season behind him. Now the married superstar is under NFL investigation, accusing of sending voicemails and lewd photos to a Jets TV host.
Super Bowl winners often have a difficult time repeating, so that could factor into the Saints start as well. Perhaps it’s not a Madden Curse but a French Quarter-sized Super Bowl hangover in play.