FootballDocs Fantasy Football - fantasy football rankings and free information.
WAIVER WIRE START SIT WEEKLY RANKINGS ADVICE ARTICLES DRAFT SOFTWARE MAGAZINE PLAYER RANKINGS PROJECTIONS CHEAT SHEETS
FootballDocs Full Divider
CURSED! 2015 Madden Cover Boy: Richard Sherman

Madden Cover Curse

"The Madden Curse" has targeted DB Richard Sherman in 2014

Bookmark and Share





Updated: July 21, 2014
Original Release: August 18, 2003


Is Seattle super star DB Ricahrd Sherman's 2014 season doomed? No so fast! There is some hope against the dreaded "Madden Cover Curse". In this article, we dive into the details of one of the most popular curses to ever hit sports, and point to some quirky trends to keep in mind pertaining to the curse for your fantasy football draft. Without further delay, enjoy!

Honestly, we don't know quite what to make of this one. So many victims haven't been able to escape, and now "The Madden Cover Curse" has its sights set squarely on superstar DB Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks for the 2014 NFL and fantasy football seasons. Like it or not, this fantasy football draft strategy has paid off through the years for those superstitious folks out there who just flat out avoided the latest Madden coverboy in their draft. As for us, we've got the Seattle Defense as #1 fantasy defense in our free Fantasy Defense Rankings and also the highest ranked defense in our Fantasy Football Projections, and with our best Ebeneezer Scrooge impression say, "Bah! Curses!" After all, we're men of science, and everything can be explained rationally through scientific fact... can't it? Come to think of it, where is that salt shaker? And who just let the Leprechaun in the room? Oh well, let's get to the details behind "The Curse":

With the official unveiling of the coverboy for the 2015 version of the most popular football video game ever, we have also officially updated the most feared curse in all of sports... ever.  How feared?  According to ESPN, LaDainian Tomlinson reportedly turned down the 2008 cover (summer 2007 release) and the millions in additional revenue that came with it. Perhaps to avoid the Madden Curse? (He still didn't escape, as evidently just being selected as the potential coverboy causes the Madden Curse to take effect). Back in 2003, this article was originally composed to be nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek, fun read to discuss a quirky trend. Years later, this is just getting downright freaky. We can't rationalize it. We can't explain it. We can't even make any sense of it. It just is what it is. So with that in mind, let's just accept it at face value and take a look at a FootballDocs' timeless classic to show you what the Madden Cover Curse is all about...

So what is the Madden Cover Curse?
Move over Sports Illustrated, it's time to talk about a real curse. It's not even Halloween yet, and we are already diving into the realm of the supernatural with all this talk regarding curses. So here we go... turn down the lights and sit back as we pass this little urban electronic legend down into your neck of the woods.

The Madden series of electronic football games by Electronic Arts (EA) Sports has been a staple for America's youth (and some not so youthful) ever since its launch in 1989. Since then, it has become the best selling sports title in the history of the electronic gaming industry. In 2000, the Madden franchise decided to place a NFL player on the cover instead of using John Madden's mug. That 2001 version (released in 2000) was the beginning of one of the soon-to-be most infamous curses in all of sports. It was discovered that if you went into a bathroom, turned out the lights, looked in the mirror, and said John Madden's name five times in a row, he would appear and start signing "My Brett Favre is Back!" (GASP!! SWEET HEAVENS!) Err... sorry... wrong Madden Curse ... OK, how about we try this again... (ahem) It was discovered that after NFL players started to grace the cover of the Madden Game, every player that appeared on the cover experienced a substantial drop in production for the year of the cover's release (enter "Psycho" music - IT'S A FANTASY FOOTBALL NIGHTMARE!!)

The first time the Madden Curse was in effect (inaugural 2001 cover), it took an extra year to get started.  Ever since then, it has been very consistent in crushing a player's season for that release year. However, there are a couple of exceptions. In the 2004 season, Linebacker Ray Lewis was the first coverboy to come from the defensive side of the ball. It took an additional season for the Madden Curse to kick-in, as it clearly took pity on him deciding that up to that point Lewis had experienced enough turmoil in his NFL career. Consequently, Lewis got a one year BYE from the Madden Curse before it crushed his 2005 season.   Well, unfortunately for Donovan McNabb and the Philly Nation, the one-year BYEs were over and the Madden Curse promptly got back on track in 2005. The second execption to the Madden Curse occured with Larry Fitzgerald in 2010. Fitzgerald was the first-ever reciever to grace the cover of Madden. While Fitzgerald's 2010 season wasn't completely crushed by the Madden Curse, he did experience nearly a 400 yard decrease in receiving yards compared to the previous season. Perhaps the Madden Curse doesn't like to waste its full energy on receivers or perhaps it focused most of its effort on co-coverboy Troy Polamalu on the defensive side of the ball. After all, it was the first-ever split cover with two coverboys on it, and on that cover going from left to right Polamalu appeared first. Clearly the Madden Curse was confused by this unexpected display of trickery by Electronic Arts. It did adjust and there was some collatoral damage inflected on Fitzgerald after crushing Polamalu's 2010 season. Another exception to the Madden Cover Curse occurred with Drew Brees in 2011. But let's face it, Brees had an army of loyal voodoo practitioners down in the Lousiana back country, and there was no way they were going to allow a curse to touch their beloved QB. In 2012, Calvin Johnson was completely immune, suggesting either WRs are indeed immune when compared to the relative success of previous WR coverboy Larry Fitzgerald, or it's just that "The Curse" has compassion by not taking out the best player on pathetic NFL franchises like Detroit and Arizona. In 2013, "The Curse" got a well deserved break and EA granted it an official Leave of Absense. Reaching way back, EA got all-time great RB Barry Sanders to grace the cover for the special 25th Anniversary Edition.

Some might say that the Madden Curse doesn't exist, but try telling that to the previous coverboys of Madden Football (including some players like Tomlinson that were reportedly asked to be on the cover but turned it down). Check out the numbers for yourself:

The Numbers:

2001 Cover (Summer 2000* Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2000   Eddie George
TEN
RB
16
453
2
--
1509
14
2001   Eddie George - CURSED
TEN
RB
16
279
0
--
939
5
* There was a one year delay to get the Madden Curse rolling!


2002 Cover (Summer 2001 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2000   Daunte Culpepper
MIN
QB
16
3937
33
16
470
7
2001   Daunte Culpepper - CURSED
MIN
QB
11
2612
14
13
416
5


2003 Cover (Summer 2002 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2001   Marshall Faulk
STL
RB
14
765
9
--
1382
12
2002   Marshall Faulk - CURSED
STL
RB
14
537
2
--
953
8


2004 Cover (Summer 2003 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2002   Michael Vick
ATL
QB
15
2936
16
8
777
8
2003   Michael Vick - CURSED
ATL
QB
5
585
4
3
255
1


2005 Cover (Summer 2004 Release) Defensive Statistics
Year Player Team Pos Games Tackles Assists Sacks Fum. Rec. INT
2003   Ray Lewis
BAL
LB
16
121
42
1.5
2
6
2004   Ray Lewis* - LEGAL PITY
BAL
LB
15
101
46
1
2
0
2005   Ray Lewis - CURSED
BAL
LB
6
39
8
1
0
1
* One year delay from "The Madden Curse" as pity was taken for legal troubles...?


2006 Cover (Summer 2005 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2004   Donovan McNabb
PHI
QB
15
3875
31
8
220
3
2005   Donovan McNabb - CURSED
PHI
QB
9
2507
16
9
55
1
Total Draft Package - fantasy football player rankings, projections, draft software, magazine, draft advice, and more - only $11.95!


2007 Cover (Summer 2006 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2005   Shaun Alexander
SEA
RB
16
78
1
--
1880
27
2006   Shaun Alexander - CURSED
SEA
RB
10
48
0
--
896
7


2008 Cover (Summer 2007 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2006   Vince Young TEN
QB
15
2199
12
13
552
7
2007   Vince Young - MILD CURSE
TEN
QB
15
2546
9
17
395
3
2008   Vince Young* - CURSED
TEN
QB
3
219
1
2
27
0
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2006   L. Tomlinson SDG
RB
16
508
3
--
1815
28
2007   L. Tomlinson** - CURSED
SDG
RB
16
475
3
--
1474
15
2008   L. Tomlinson** - CURSED
SDG
RB
16
426
1
--
1110
11
2009   L. Tomlinson** - CURSED
SDG
RB
14
154
0
--
730
12
2010   L. Tomlinson** - CURSED
NYJ
RB
15
368
0
--
914
6
2011   L. Tomlinson** - CURSED
NYJ
RB
14
449
2
--
280
1
2012   L. Tomlinson** - RETIRED
NYJ
RB
--
--
--
--
--
--
* While Young experienced a decent drop in production from 2006 to 2007 (19 vs. 12 total TDs and 13 vs. 17 INTs), the real hammer came in 2008... hmmmm... perhaps back in 2000, "The Curse" didn't need a year to get rolling... perhaps if you play for Tennessee, the Madden Curse has a one year delay to realize its full effect! Chalk it up to "Music City Magic"?

** Tomlinson reportedly was offered the 2008 cover (summer 2007 release) and turned it down along with the millions in additional revenue that came with it. Perhaps to avoid the Madden Cover Curse? He still didn't escape, as evidently just being selected as the potential coverboy causes the Madden Curse to take effect. In fact, Tomlinson just made the Madden Curse mad by trying to avoid it, as it crushed every season for Tomlinson since turning the cover down, eventually driving him to retirement. Talk about a women scorned. Clearly the Madden Curse doesn't take rejection well.


2009 Cover (Summer 2008 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2007   Brett Favre GB
QB
16
4155
28
15
12
0
2008   "Jet" Favre - CURSED
NYJ
QB
16
3472
22
22
43
1


2010 Cover (Summer 2009 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2008   Larry Fitzgerald ARZ
WR
16
1431
12
--
--
--
2009   Larry Fitzgerald - IMMUNITY!
ARZ
WR
16
1092
13
--
--
--
Year Player Team Pos Games Tackles Assists Sacks Fum. Rec. INT
2008   Troy Polamalu
PIT
S
16
54
19
0
0
7
2009   Troy Polamalu - CURSED
PIT
S
5
18
2
0
0
3
Wide receiver immunity... or is it? More on this in the 2013 cover discussion below.


2011 Cover (Summer 2010 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2009   Drew Brees NOR
QB
15
4388
34
11
33
2
2010   Drew Brees^ - VOODOO HELP!
NOR
QB
16
4620
33
22
-3
0
^ If there ever was a city that could laugh at a curse, it's N'Awlins. There is so much Voodoo down there, not only do they laugh at curses, heck, they thrive off them! The good folks of the Big Easy used every last bit of that Voodoo to help protect their beloved QB. So Brees had New Orlean's back after Katrina, and New Orleans had his back after being on the cover of Madden. Take that Madden Curse!


2012 Cover (Summer 2011 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2010   Peyton Hillis CLE
RB
16
477
2
--
1177
11
2011   Peyton Hillis - CURSED
CLE
RB
10
130
0
--
587
3


2013 Cover (Summer 2012 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
2011   Calvin Johnson DET
WR
16
1681
16
--
11
0
2012   Calvin Johnson - IMMUNITY!
DET
WR
16
1964
5
--
--
--
Wide receiver immunity... or is it? There are two prevailing theories of thought here: (1) Wide receivers are indeed immune as the standard NFL physical abuse is much lower at the WR position compared to other key positions that predispose them to a breakdown after a big Madden Cover type year in the year before or (2) the Detroit and Arizona franchises are just so pathetic that even "The Curse" has compassion by not taking out their best player on the team. There is nothing more devasting to a fanbase than a winless season. We vote for #2.


2014 Cover (Summer 2013 Release) Passing/Receiving Rushing
Year Player Team Pos Games Yards TD INT Yards TD
N/A   Barry Sanders DET
RB
--
--
--
--
--
--
N/A   CURSE LEAVE OF ABSENCE!
DET
RB
--
--
--
--
--
--
Look, even "The Curse" needs a breather and some well deserved time off. Recognizing this, EA reached way back to retired NFL RB Barry Sanders to grace the cover for a special 25th Anniversary Edition.


So who is on the cover for the 2015 edition of Madden Football?
Unfortunately for the fans of Seattle still seeing stars from their amazing Super Bowl run last year, the latest cover boy for the Madden franchise is DB Richard Sherman. But it's not all bad for the Pacific Northwest, as there is an outside chance "The Curse" takes mercy considering Sherman is a defensive player. 2005 Madden coverboy LB Ray Lewis side stepped a year of the curse due to legal pity, but 2009 coverboy Troy Polamalu wasn't able to side step anything as "The Curse" crushed his subsequent season. Is there some mechanism by which defensive players can achieve true immunity from "The Curse"? Did Sherman seek the services of a medium to get peace with the curse? We need more data! And you know what? We're gonna get more data! Let the 2014 NFL season begin! Hey, enough with the curse, how about some fun?! No problem as you're just a finger click away from enjoying the most popular football game... ever:

Just click on the link below to order Madden 15 today and have delivered right to your doorstep:

Madden NFL 15 - PlayStation 4 Standard Edition

Madden NFL 15 - PlayStation 3 Standard Edition

Madden NFL 15 - Xbox One Standard Edition

Madden NFL 15 - Xbox 360 Standard Edition


Testimonials | Advertising | About Us | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Fantasy Sites
FootballDocs Copyright
FootballDocs Total Draft Package - Includes software to generate custom fantasy football rankings!