Thursday, September 28, 2006

There is no such thing as the "Madden Curse!"

John Madden never did anything to you.

Actually, I take that back. He’s done a lot.

He’s provided you with entertaining, insightful commentary his entire career, coaching tid-bits the likes of which no other announcer is capable of giving and introducing you to the Turducken. And yet you have the balls to accuse this man of a curse?

Let me, loyal reader; enlighten you to the REAL curse: The EA Sports Curse.

The Madden franchise is without a doubt the flagship of EA’s fleet, but that isn’t to say he’s the only regatta sailing the seas.

It is true, Shaun Alexander has a broken bone in his foot, a year after Donovan McNabb suffered a sports hernia, a serious groan injury and a TO, which happened a year after Ray Lewis’ worst season as a professional, which happened a year after Mike Vick went down in the pre-season with a broken fibula, which happened a year after Marshall Faulk’s entire career went down the crapper, which happened a year after Daunte Culpepper was actually benched mid-season for his poor play, which happened a year after Eddie George went from Pro Bowler to cripple which happened a year after Barry Sanders up and retired after being named cover-boy. But you can’t blame John Madden!

Take a look at some of EA’s other sports titles:

Fight Night, their boxing series, has single-handedly ended the title runs of Roy Jones Jr. (2 losses in his cover year, 2 the previous decade), Bernard Hopkins – who actually regained his title in a rematch just weeks after the newest game came out, with Arturo Gatti on the cover, who naturally lost his first title defense after the game was released with his handsome grill on the cover.

EA’s hockey game has actually taken a life. NHL 2004 featured up-and-comer Dany Heatley, who, weeks after the game’s release, was involved in fatal car accident that took the life of his friend and teammate Dan Snyder.

NASCAR 2006 featured Jeff Gordon, the only year he failed to finish in the top 10 in his career. It has put seven champions on the cover – none of whom were able to win the year they were on the cover. (This year’s cover boy, Elliott Sadler, failed to make the “Chase for the Cup.”)

Chris Weinke and Joey Harrington are just a few of the studs who have graced the cover of EA’s college football offering: NCAA Football. Back when I had Sega Genesis, my favorite player in the game – and college football – was Tommie Frazier of Nebraska. Was it really blood clots that kept him from the NFL, or the cover of the 1997 version of the game? Oh, and Ricky Williams also had his mug on the cover … But you can’t blame the EA curse for everything.

But what can you blame the curse on?

Can you blame Brazil choking in the World Cup this year on Ronaldhino’s cover appearance on EA’s FIFA World Cup 2006?

What about the Steelers abysmal start? Surely it has nothing to do with Bill Cowher jawing it up on EA’s Head Coach release … right?


Say what you want about Sports Illustrated. Take Warrick Dunn’s word and never do Cat Fancy. But the one thing an athlete would be smart enough to avoid? An EA Sports video game cover …

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