Usually here on vikings.com, when a Vikings player is up for a fan vote, we encourage fans of the Purple to head over to whatever site the vote is being held on and vote away for said Viking.
Not in this case.
Yesterday, EA Sports and Doritos announced that, instead of naming the player that would be on the cover of the next edition of the popular Madden video game around the time of the Super Bowl, they are now going to let fans vote on who should be on the cover. The choices this year are Saints QB Drew Brees, Colts WR Reggie Wayne, and Vikings DE Jared Allen.
Now, as cool as it would seem to have a Viking grace the cover of one of the best-selling video games on a yearly basis, most people are now aware of the “Madden cover jinx” and therefore we are encouraging all Vikings fans to cast their votes for Brees or Wayne by clicking here.
A quick Google search will illustrate the jinx. Here is a look back at the proof:
Madden 99 – Garrison Hearst
This was the first year that a player — and not John Madden himself — graced the cover. Hearst, a running back for the 49ers at the time, had a great regular season, but suffered a nasty ankle injury in the playoffs that caused him to miss the next TWO full seasons.
Madden 2000 – Barry Sanders
Sanders didn’t have a chance to get hurt during the season in which he graced the cover since he — seemingly out of nowhere — retired before training camp started that season.
Madden 2001 – Eddie George
For former Titans runner broke the trend and actually had a pretty good season in 2000, but then his career dropped off the following season and was never the same player again.
Madden 2002 – Daunte Culpepper
The last Viking to grace the cover, Culpepper had thrown for 33 touchdowns the season before, but during the season in which he was on the cover, he tossed just 14 touchdown passes, missed five games, and the Vikings finished 5-11.
Madden 2003 – Marshall Faulk
Faulk was coming off a season where he had over 2,000 combined yards and over 20 touchdowns. But, as the cover boy, he started just ten games and had about 1,400 total yards and ten touchdowns.
Madden 2004 – Mike Vick
Vick was one of the league’s top dogs the year before and thus earned the nod as the cover guy for Madden, but he broke his leg during a preseason game and missed 11 games. I think he may have had some off-the-field issues later on in his career as well.
Madden 2005 – Ray Lewis
Lewis was the first ever defensive player to be on the cover, and he pretty much avoided the curse, though his numbers were slightly down from the prior season. He did miss several games the following season with an injury.
Madden 2006 – Donovan McNabb
McNabb was injured after week nine and missed the rest of the season, and Eagles missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season, finishing 6-10.
Madden 2007 – Shaun Alexander
Alexander had nearly 2,000 yards the season before and 28 touchdowns, but in 2006, he missed six games due to an injury, scored just seven touchdowns, and his yards per carry dropped by 1.5 yards. He was never a factor in the NFL again.
Madden 2008 – Vince Young
After winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2006, Young following that up by throwing for just nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 2007.
Madden 2009 – Brett Favre
Favre almost pulled a Barry Sanders in terms of retiring before the game was released, but he of course made his way to New York to play for the Jets. He hurt his shoulder late in the season and the Jets missed the playoffs.
Madden 2010 – Larry Fitzgerald / Troy Polamalu
Fitzgerald has almost 400 less receiving yards than the season before, but the real story here is Polamalu, who suffered a knee injury during the opening game of the season and though he played in a handful of games the rest of the way, he was not the same force that he had been up to this season.
Tags: Jared Allen
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