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The Madden Curse hexes its way into a feature film

12.21.2010

I've heard of plenty of video game movie adaptations being talked about recently, but I'm not even sure how to classify this. Allegedly there's a pitch by EA to make a film about the infamous Madden Curse, where players who appear on the cover of the game go on to have terrible, terrible things happen to them shortly thereafter.

The Wrap says the story would follow a "Madden video game champion who is forced out of retirement as he finds himself on the cover and subject to the curse." I've read that three times, and I'm still not sure what it means. Is he a football player, or video game player? Why would he be retired if he's just now on the cover?

In any case, the curse itself is pretty fascinating when you read about its history through the years. Here's a detailed outline via The Wrap:

NFL legend John Madden appeared on the cover of all the Madden games until 1999, when San Francisco 49ers running back Garrison Hearst had the unfortunate honor. Hearst played well throughout the regular season but broke his fibula in the NFC divisional playoffs. He missed two full seasons rehabbing his leg and never fully recovered from the injury.

In 2000, the Madden cover featured runnings backs Barry Sanders and Dorsey Levens. When Sanders retired before the season, EA Sports released new copies of the game with Levens on the cover. He injured his knee and never won his starting job back.

The Madden Curse struck 2001 cover subject Eddie George a year late, though his career was cut short nonetheless, while QB Dante Culpepper suffered a season-ending knee injury after appearing on the 2002 cover.

After rushing for more than 1,300 yards for four straight seasons, 2003 cover Marshall Faulk was bothered by a lingering ankle injury that limited him to under 1,000 rushing yards.

Michael Vick broke his leg one day after Madden 2004 was released with his photo on the cover. He only played in five games all year.

After earning the honor in 2005, perennial Pro Bowler Ray Lewis failed to record a single interception, and a torn hamstring forced him to watch the Ravens fail to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. He also broke his wrist and missed 10 games the following year with a thigh injury.

In 2006, Donovan McNabb said publicly that he didn't believe in the curse. The Philadelphia Eagles QB suffered a sports hernia in his first game before opting for season-ending surgery after eight games.

In 2007, running back Shaun Alexander broke his foot and missed six games, never regaining his Pro Bowl form.

After Tomlinson turned down the 2008 cover, EA turned to Tennessee Titans QB Vince Young, who was swiftly struck by the curse, which limited him to just five games thanks to a quadriceps injury. The following year, he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss most of the season.

Madden 2009 featured golden boy Brett Favre on the cover, but even the Madden Curse couldn't keep him out of the lineup.

The 2010 cover featured both Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu, the latter of whom sprained his MCL in the season opener before tearing his PCL later in the season. As for Fitzgerald, he suffered a rib injury that caused him to miss a playoff game, as well as the Pro Bowl.

So Brett Favre has been the only one to break the curse so far, though current 2011 cover boy Drew Brees has yet to fall to injury, though there are still two weeks left in the season... So, does all of this, unlucky as the events may be, deserve its own film?

Extra Tidbit: Orrrr do football players just get hurt a lot, and the best ones are greater targets than most?
Source: The Wrap

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