As an athlete, Tom Brady has had quite the career. Five Super Bowl Rings, two-time NFL MVP, and fourth all-time in both passing yards (61,582) and touchdowns (456). However, there’s one accolade that has eluded him…until now. When EA’s Madden franchise honors some of the Greatest of All Time in the NFL in Madden ’18 G.O.A.T. Edition, Brady will be this iteration’s cover athlete.
The 39 year-old quarterback has never been featured on a Madden game cover before. He did make the cover of the (now-defunct) NFL GameDay 2003, but the folks putting out the Madden games had never approached him before this year.
This brings us to the point of this article, dear readers. Gamers who have played the Madden games for a longer period of time, may be aware of what has come to be known as, the “Madden Curse.” Essentially, it’s a superstition amongst football fans & gamers, which stems from 17 out of the 19 players who have been featured on Madden game covers having suffered suddenly-shortened seasons (including season-ending injuries), soon after the game with their visage dropped into retail stores.
The looming spirit of this supposed curse has become so prevalent in the minds of gamers and sports fans, that bets are even placed on the likelihood that the current Madden NFL cover athlete will have a serious injury during the season. The gambling industry has gone so far as to post odds on this phenomenon every year.
Brady has said that he’s not concerned about the curse. The New England Patriots’ QB is quoted as having remarked, “The Madden NFL cover is a great honor for me. 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! [The curse] doesn’t stand a chance!!!”
Well…Tom…Your career is based on a game where players and teams have statistics that fans & gamblers rely on. So, let’s take a look at some of the Madden Curse’s stats, shall we?
- Last season, Brady’s teammate, Rob Gronkowski, was the franchise’s cover athlete. However, his season lasted a scant eight games, and he missed out on playing in Super Bowl LI due to back surgery sticking him on the injured reserve list.
- Following his appearance on the cover, the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman spent his 2015 offseason recuperating after surgery to repair a torn ligament.
- It’s not always injuries, either: In the 2014 season, Adrian Peterson of the New Orleans Saints was indicted for child abuse charges, and was summarily suspended after game 1.
- In the 2012 season, the Cleveland Browns’ Peyton Hillis was celebrated for his stellar performance in the previous year. However, he missed out on much of the season because of injuries and illness.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. There’s a whole Wiki on this curse.
Now, I’m not a superstitious person myself, but if I were Brady, I would be throwing salt over my shoulder, avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, and steering clear of ladders for the entirety of the season.
What do you think, dear readers? Do you put any stock or belief in the Madden Curse? What do you think of EA’s choice of players to feature on this iteration’s cover? Let us know in the comments below!