The Madden Curse! Even a non-sports guy like me knows this chestnut. In 1999 Electronic Arts stopped putting John Madden on the cover of the Madden NFL games after he directed Shakespeare in Love and everybody thought it was no longer appropriate. Every year thereafter a new football player graced the front of the game box and each of them was murdered in terrible, mysterious ways.
Well, no, but there are some people who wish that’s what would have happened to Michael Vick.
Anyway, it seems that the people who get the honor of being the Madden NFL cover boy sometimes end up with injuries that wreck their seasons. Wikipedia has a fairly exhaustive list of all of these, and you can click here to read up on it.
People take the Madden Curse so seriously that fans petition to have their favorite player not appear on the box; there was a site called SaveLTFromMadden.com when LaDainlian Tomlinson (that’s an actual name?) was up for a spot on the cover.
EA has long poo-pooed the Madden Curse, but now they’re embracing it according to The Wrap. The site says that EA is developing a comedy film about it. The plot:
The story will follow a former Madden video game champion who is forced out of retirement just as he finds himself on the corner of the game’s cover—and subject to the curse.
This is actually not the worst idea ever, although only if it ends up being an actual curse and the player needs to team up with a gypsy to fight it. Honestly, though, unless magic comes into play what’s the actual story? Does the whole thing end up being about confidence? Or maybe about doing your best even in the face of career-ending crippling injuries?
I just wish John Madden was still alive to direct.