History of the 'Madden' Curse

April, 22, 2010
4/22/10
10:32
AM ET
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees officially has been selected to grace the cover of the "Madden NFL 11" video game.

It’s a nice honor for a player from a small-market team. But history has shown it’s not always a good thing to be on the "Madden" cover. Let’s turn it over to our friends at ESPN Stats & Information for a look at what’s happened to the guys who have been on the "Madden" cover in the past.

  • 2010, Troy Polamalu/Larry Fitzgerald: Polamalu only played five games due to knee injuries, Steelers missed playoffs; Fitzgerald wasn’t affected much (97 receptions, 1,092 yards, 13 TD, Pro Bowl).
  • 2009, Brett Favre: Feuded with Packers, traded to Jets, horrible down the stretch (lost 4 of last 5).
  • 2008, Vince Young: Missed 1 game with quad injury; led Titans to first playoff appearance in four years.
  • 2007, Shaun Alexander: Fractured foot, missed six games; fewer yards and TDs in '06 AND '07 than in '04 OR '05.
  • 2006, Donovan McNabb: Sports hernia in first game, missed seven games; feuded with Terrell Owens all year; had been to five straight Pro Bowls, hasn't been since.
  • 2005, Ray Lewis: Broke wrist, missed one game; first season without interception; missed 10 games next year with thigh injury.
  • 2004, Michael Vick: Fractured fibula one day after video game was released, missed 11 games; Pro Bowl next 2 seasons; obvious issues since then.
  • 2003, Marshall Faulk: Ankle injury, missed two games, never rushed for 1,000 yards again.
  • 2002, Daunte Culpepper: 4-7 record before season-ending knee injury.
  • 2001, Eddie George: Career season, but fumbled in playoffs as top-seeded Titans lost first game to Ravens.
  • 2000, Barry Sanders: Retired one week before training camp.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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