Madden NFL cover athletes including Michael Vick and Shaun Alexander have gotten injured the year they appeared on the game. These injuries have given rise to the “Madden Curse,” a superstition that claims the cover athlete will suffer physical harm or career misfortune. A believer in the curse will cite the number of high profile athletes who have suffered an injury while on the cover. The skeptic will counter that football is a game full of injuries and that these are coincidences.
Eddie George and Madden NFL 11 cover boy Drew Brees are among the athletes who didn’t get seriously injured during their time as spokesmen. Both did have playoff runs that ended in bizarre fashion. George, normally sure-handed, bobbled a pass that led to an interception and touchdown against Baltimore. The miscue ended the season for his Tennessee Titans. Brees and his New Orleans Saints, defending Super Bowl champs, were the first team in history to lose a playoff game to a squad with a losing record.
I have no crystal ball or any magical knowledge other than what I’ve gained playing Elder Scrolls games over the years. Gamertell is just here to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the athlete chosen to appear on the game cover. So far, Peyton Hillis is giving supporters of the curse some ammunition. After a breakout 2010 season that saw him post 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns, Hillis is off to a slow start this year. He hasn’t suffered a season-ending injury, but has missed a couple of games with minor injuries including strep throat. There are reports that he may seek a trade, although he’s in acontract year and could just be negotiating.
Are Hillis’ struggles just the perils of playing a punishing position in a violent sport, or is something more sinister at work? The answer for you may depend on how superstitious you are.