ESPN has a great idea when it comes to choosing the cover athlete for the popular Electronic Arts game Madden 2013. Instead of letting the developers decide who gets their picture on the cover, why not have a vote where the fans decide. ESPN developed a bracket system for 32 of the most popular athletes in the NFL last year and this year opened the field up to 64, with a play in round where the fans choose their favorite player from each team.
When I was clicking through this morning selecting the player I wanted to advance to the next round, I was choosing the player I thought was the best performer but things changed when I had to vote for the Lions Calvin Johnson.
Johnson was matched up against Dwayne Bowe and holding a number five seed in the bracket. Johnson was clearly the better player than Dwayne Bowe but all I could think about was the “Madden Curse” when voting. The belief for this “curse” is that once you are on the cover of Madden you are bound to have a bad season that year, get injured, or be on the decline as for playing level.
The reason for this belief goes back to players like Dante Culpepper who after being on the cover had a decline in his stats and ability. Shaun Alexander was the league MVP before he was featured on the cover, he then injured himself and never rushed for the amount of yards in his remaining years as he did in his MVP season. Vince Young was featured on the cover in 2008 and his career never really took off, most of the time since then he has been a backup or injured.
After Calvin Johnson signed his large contract extension a couple of weeks ago and had the stellar season last year, I voted against him, not because I do not like him but I believe in the curse. Lions fans like myself may be doing the same after the teams success, due in large part to Calvin Johnson. If you are participating in the Madden Cover Vote over on ESPN will the “Madden Curse” affect the way you vote for this years cover? Or are you willing to risk having your favorite player on the cover?
By: Chris Swift
(Photo by Artiee under a Creative Commons license)