Is the Madden Curse real?

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

The trailer for Madden 21 released yesterday, and people have already started wondering what type of curse the Madden gods will bestow on the cover athlete, Lamar Jackson. I’m not a superstitious person and don’t believe in curses, so I think that the whole idea of a Madden curse makes no sense. If you don’t know about the Madden curse in full detail, here is a brief summary of every cover athlete in the past decade:

(Madden 11) Drew Brees:

After winning the superbowl, Brees led the saints to an 11-5 record before losing to the Seahawks in the wildcard. It is worth noting that Brees had a minor knee injury during the season. It was not severe at all as he missed no games but played with a knee brace during some of the regular season. It was overall a successful year for Brees, so I say no Madden curse that year.

(Madden 12) Peyton Hillis:

Peyton Hillis sort of threw his own career off balance by being a fullback and getting in contract disputes with the team after his successful 2010 season. Many say he had ongoing hamstring injuries throughout the next season, but a lot of people claim that he was fine and was sitting out due to these disputes. He ended up only playing 9 games in 2011 where he had 577 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, and he never was really the same. Peyton Hillis has a very confusing career anyway that would take a whole separate article to talk about. Call it a curse if you want, but I don’t think he was a crazy talented player in the first place. He had one good year and played worse after it. It happens.

(Madden 13) Calvin Johnson:

This one makes no sense as Megatron was absolutely dominant in 2012. After being the cover athlete, he caught 84 passes for 1,492 yards in 14 games. Definitely no madden curse for Calvin Johnson.

(Madden 25) Adrian Peterson:

Adrian Peterson was suspended the next season for child abuse charges. Call it what you want, but I don’t think he got cursed. I mean, he brought it on himself.

(Madden 15) Richard Sherman:

Richard Sherman and the Seahawks went 12-4 the next year and made an appearance in the Superbowl following his Madden cover appearance. Sherman was awarded the NFC defensive player of the year award. Clearly no madden curse as he had one of the best years of his career, and he is still continuing his great career now.

(Madden 16) Odell Beckham Jr

After being on the madden cover, Odell had a season with 1,450 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Definitely no madden curse.

(Madden 17) Rob Gronkowski:

Gronk would have back surgery that placed him on IR following a week 12 game. The Patriots would still win the Superbowl without him. You could say he got the Madden curse, but he did win the Superbowl and had a great year the following season.

(Madden 18) Tom Brady:

Brady won MVP after being on the Madden cover. He also went to the Superbowl. Definitely not a cursed year. 

(Madden 19) Antonio Brown:

Brown had a fantastic season following his appearance on the Madden cover. He led the league in receiving touchdowns. He did kind of go crazy after the season, but that’s his own fault.

(Madden 20) Patrick Mahomes:

Mahomes won the Superbowl. So… I don’t think he got cursed.

So let’s recap: 7 out of 10 of the players had incredible seasons and 4 out of 10 made it to the superbowl and 2 of them won it. Either the Madden curse is fake, or it is the weakest curse ever. I don’t even get the discussion. I feel it needs to be put to rest.

The real curse is the fact that EA adds nothing to the game each year.

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