Most Madden NFL Cover Athletes
The Madden Curse is infamous throughout sports gaming, with EA Sports bringing out the worst seasons, careers and hidden demons of those who grace its cover. The 25th anniversary Madden game featured Adrian Peterson on the PS4 and Xbox One covers. The next year, he was indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child after it was confirmed he disciplined his child by beating him with a switch. He only played eight games in 2014.
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After Peyton Hillis was named the Madden 12 cover athlete, his career went down the toilet. After posting 1,177 rushing yards and 477 receiving yards to earn 12 total touchdowns, he never accumulated an equivalent amount of TD’s, receiving or rushing yards over the next three years of his career, retiring in 2015 and not even playing in his one game during the 2014 season.
Before Drew Brees took the cover for Madden NFL 11, pretty much at least one athlete was cursed per year. Troy Polamalu only played five games in 2009 due to injury, while Brett “Jet” Favre played a not-great year of football for the New Jersey-based football club in 2008. Vince Young was never the same after Madden 08, nor was Shaun Alexander post-Madden 07. Donovan McNabb played half of the 2005 campaign, Ray Lewis underwent his legal troubles in 2004 (playing poorly in 2005), Michael Vick only played five games in 2003, Mashall Faulk lost more than half of his TD total from the year prior to 2002, and Daunte Culpepper bombed in 2001. Finally, Eddie George played a great 2000 year, but in 2001 he scored a fraction of his prior year’s TD’s and lost a ton of yardage.
Ronda Rousey is certainly not the worst case of an EA Sports cover athlete curse, but definitely has experienced the worst timing so far.