Football season is here, and for some this is a time of joy. Thousands, if not millions, of die-hard football fans are preparing for their yearly fantasy football drafts. If you’ve never been to one, just imagine ten-to-fifteen total football dorks with stacks of notepads and draft magazines surrounding them as they struggle with the option of picking another running back over a wide receiver with their second-round pick. For the gamers in the room, there is certainly one player that they will at least think twice about selecting, if not avoiding them completely. Ask any superstitious football fan out there, and they will tell you that Shaun Alexander is a doomed pick for fantasy this year.
The reason you ask? Why, he’s on this year’s cover of Madden NFL Football. While it is an obvious honor to players when selected, previous players have met with either injury or poor seasons after appearing as the cover-boy of EA’s flagship sporting series. From Eddie George to Donovan McNabb, the Madden Curse has touched each and every one of their careers. If you don’t believe me, I have presented the facts below. It may be nothing but superstition, but I know there are plenty of people out there that don’t believe in coincidences.
It has been fabled that the Madden Curse began the year before with Hall-of-Fame running back Barry Sanders. Seen in a silhouette behind John himself on the cover of the previous Madden avoiding a Chicago Bear defender, it is said that Mr. Sanders’ early retirement from the sport angered the Football Gods. The curse begins on a small scale with Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George, whose team narrowly lost to the St. Lois Rams in the previous year’s Super Bowl. EA will point to Mr. George’s year as proof against the curse, but the superstitious will point to his bobbled pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs for support. Ray Lewis returned that interception for a touchdown and Baltimore knocked Tennessee out of the playoffs.
What would become of Eddie George you ask? The next year would find George, hailed as one of the most durable running backs in the game, plagued by a drop in production due to a nagging injury during the next season. From then on, he averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry, where before he was around or above the 4.5 mark prior. He lost his starting job in Tennessee and moved to Dallas, where he was cut in 2005 after a single year with the Cowboys. He was last seen on G4 doing a gaming/sports hybrid show called Training Camp and he has other off-field restaurant ventures as well. His football career only went downhill after his season on the cover of Madden.