There Is No Madden Curse

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]

It’s not very often that I get to talk about two of my favorite things at the same time, those two things being football and video games, today I’d like to try to make some sense of this whole alleged Madden curse that people like to talk about from time to time, usually right around the time that were going to hear who is going to grace the cover of the next Madden game.

The Madden games get a lot of flack for not really innovating and I think there is definitely some truth to that, but what I’m here to talk about is how this curse thing is just a bunch of bologna. The first thing I need people to understand is that playing in the NFL, everyone is hurt at sometime during a season, by the end of the year, there isn’t a single player who will tell you they are 100%. As a person who has played the sport of football at a high school and college level, I can attest to the fact that by the time the season is over, you simply don’t want to move for about a month.

So I’ve established that pretty much every player is injured during a typical NFL season, the next thing I’ll talk about is how the cover athletes are picked. In the past, when this supposed curse first started, the athletes were picked after an extraordinary season, usually a season in which the player would produce to a level they hadn’t been able to in any previous years in the league. The odds of accomplishing back to back seasons of that caliber simply aren’t that good. You’d probably have a better chance at winning the lottery. So now I’ve established that all players are hurt throughout the season and the cover athlete usually came off of statistical seasons which would make it next to impossible to top the following year.

The next thing I’ll bring up is positions in the NFL, Running Backs take the most hits throughout the year, they also have the shortest shelf life of any position in the NFL. Running Backs also take the most abuse and are statistically proven to be at greater risk for injury due to the number of hits they will take in a season. Imagine running into a pile of 275 pound Linebackers or 350 pound Defensive Lineman 300 times a year and see how well you feel by the end of the year. The point is that Running Backs rarely match extremely good seasons, and if they do, there is usually a decline coming sooner rather than later.

Now EA has started offering people the chance to vote for their favorite player to be on the cover, a lot of people have taken to voting for players they don’t like, because they believe they will be cursed and do poorly the following season. I for one like to vote for my favorite players because I don’t believe in such nonsense. Peyton Hillis won the first Madden cover vote last year, he surprised people the year he won and was a real workhorse, then there was a lockout, in which time you can’t really practice or train with teammates. There was also a contract dispute because having one good year went to Peyton’s head. He probably wont be heard from anymore, but not because of a curse, simply because he was never really that good. There are tons of players who have had an anomaly season in the NFL.

Look at it this way, had Mike Vick won over Hillis and Vick had the same exact season he had last year, people would have blamed a curse for it. Actually, Vick has never completed a full 16 game season in the NFL and his play style gets him hurt often. The same would have been said if Peyton Manning would have been on the cover last year. Sometimes people just get hurt and those injuries catch up to all of us at some time. Coming off his Superbowl win a couple of years ago Dree Brees was on the cover, he took his team to the playoffs after being on the cover. I’d call that quite a success.

I’ve never really been sure as to if people believe in this thing or not, but I would think people would want their favorite players from their favorite teams to be on the cover of the only NFL game that comes out. This year it’s already down to two players, Calvin Johnson of the Lions and Cam Newton of the Panthers. I’m pulling for Johnson because he will have a great year next year no matter what, while Newton will probably suffer a sophomore slump. Teams will have had a whole offseason to learn about him and how to defend him. Of course if he wins and has a down season it’ll get blamed on the curse, when in actuality its more to do with the skilled players in the NFL that actually study and know how to defend against players.

So make sure you vote for the player you really want next year, there is no curse and there never was. Have fun and let’s get ready for some football!


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