For Brady, Madden cover curse is no worry
You would think that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would be at least a little bit wary of appearing on the cover of the next Madden video game, Madden NFL 18. He’s not exactly a rookie at 39 years old, and even if he thinks his weirdo diet makes him Superman, he probably has only a few NFL seasons left. Plus, there’s the matter of teammate Rob Gronkowski, who was limited to eight games because of a back injury last season after appearing on the cover, the latest NFL player to succumb to the so-called “Madden Curse.” Nah, he’s fine with it. In a statement issued by Electronic Arts, the maker of the Madden video games, Brady doesn’t seem worried about the curse.
“The cover is a great honor for me,” Brady said. “Especially since I have been playing the game since growing up next to EA headquarters in the Bay Area. I’m not one to believe in curses, so I’m ready to take the challenge head on like always! It doesn’t stand a chance!!!”
There have been a few successes among the Madden cover subjects, notably former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (Madden 13, NFL single-season receiving yards record) and Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman (Madden 15, firstteam all-pro). But the list of post-Madden flops is much longer (for clarity’s sake, the year that follows the player’s name is the NFL season in which he appeared on the cover). Here’s just a partial list:
Garrison Hearst, 1998: Hearst actually had a superb season after he appeared on the cover, rushing for 1,570 yards. But then he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in the San Francisco 49ers’ second playoff game that season and sat out the next two years.
Michael Vick, 2003: Vick suffered a fractured fibula during a preseason game and missed the Atlanta Falcons’ first 11 regular season games.
Donovan McNabb, 2005: McNabb was named NFC offensive player of the month for September, but sports hernia and thumb injuries limited him to nine games for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vince Young, 2007: One season after being named NFL rookie of the year, Young helped lead the Tennessee Titans to the playoffs. But he battled a quad injury all season and finished with nine touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. He started just 22 games over his final four NFL seasons.
Peyton Hillis, 2011: Hillis followed a 1,177-yard, 11-touchdown season with an injury-laden 2011 for the Cleveland Browns and had a steady decline after that.