As we gathered to enjoy the festivities of this year’s Super Bowl, I came across a discussion of sports curses and the ones associated with the game of football. One of the more interesting selections mentioned involved the ultra-popular Madden game console curse that seems to have affected the on-field performance of a handful of players. In this article, we will explore the meat and potatoes to this curse, as well as those who have fallen victim.
Depending on what sports circle you are connected to, your view on which curse is the most prominent throughout history will differ from person to person. For instance, if you are a Red Sox fan, then you are all too familiar with the Curse of the Bambino. Since the 1950s, there has also been a well-known curse attached to the cover of the Sports Illustrated as well. And then there are those who put a lot of stock into the curse related to the cover of the Madden NFL Football video game series.
The Madden NFL Football game has had a long run in the entertainment world, making the rounds each year for a decade now. The earlier versions of the game showcased Madden on the cover, but in 1999, he decided to take a new turn in regards to marketing and started to use popular players as the main focus of the game cover. The first to feel the wrath of the curse was running back, Barry Sanders, who in 1999 was shown in the background of the cover.
Madden NFL 2000 was released and Barry Sanders from the Detroit Lions could be seen, but the man who was on the track to become a Hall of Famer made an announcement that rocked the football scene. Before entering the 1999 summer training camp, Sanders told the Lions that he would be retiring. The news eventually brought about his resignation and since he no longer truly represented the game cover, his image was replaced with that of Green Bay Packers running back, Dorsey Levens. Unfortunately, Levins was cut from the team in 2001. Was this part of the curse?
Sanders never made a comeback to the sport, and after later filing a civil suit against his former team, he lost. The franchise claimed he owed about 7 million dollars from abruptly relieving himself from a contractual agreement. As for Levins, he found a place as a backup player for the Eagles and the Giants. In 2006, he eventually retired from the team that first left him behind, the Packers.
For the 2003 cover of Madden NFL, Marshall Faulk, a running back from the St. Louis Rams was chosen. At the height of his career, he was viewed as one of the greatest on the field. With accolades, such as earning the NFL MVP and the Player of the Year, it was of great concern when he missed five games from an ankle injury. He never quite recovered and he was unable to dazzle fans and sports critics like he did before. Even though he held records for receptions and rushing touchdowns, he has yet to reclaim his former glory.
When Michael Vick, the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons appeared on Madden NFL 2004, he probably had no idea what laid in store for his future. His signing was a big deal, but during a preseason game against the Baltimore Raven, he was forced to sit out a considerable amount of games due to a fractured right fibula. Since Vick’s ups and downs in health, the Falcons have felt the blow. Since then, Vick hasn’t been in the news for an exceptional football season, but for the spotlight cast upon his many personal, embarrassing moments in the media.