Not Even Brett Favre Can Escape the Madden Curse
After a first-ballot-hall-of-fame 16-year career as a Green Bay Packer, Favre retired holding every major quarterback record. To forever enshrine him, he was selected to be on the cover of the Madden '09 video game.
The past eight USA Madden cover athletes (Eddie George, Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander, and Vince Young) all had season ending injuries or increased statistical drops during their year on the cover.
But Favre wasn't ready to leave the game, and came back.
Unfortunately, Packer management didn't want him back.
In the 2005 NFL draft, the Packers drafted QB Aaron Rodgers with the 24th overall pick, and had waited in the wings for three seasons for Favre to retire. Favre left after the '07-08 season after leading the Packers to a 13-3 season, and an appearance in the NFC Championship Game.
Packers president Mark Murphy was ready to progress to the post-Favre era, and handed the reigns to Rodgers.
Favre was not.
When Brett came out of retirement, he wanted to stay a Packer. Unfortunately for Favre, Murphy stood behind his decision. Favre had to compete for his starting job he held the previous season, in which he was a Pro Bowler.
Favre picked up the subtle hints that his services were no longer wanted, and began shopping around. When he began talking to the arch rival Minnesota Vikings, who were in desperate need of a quarterback, Packer higher-ups began to shake.
Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick. But just to ensure that Brett would not be traded from the Jets to the Vikings, the Packers added a clause in the deal that if Favre were dealt to Minnesota, the Jets would have to surrender three first-round picks to the Packers.
Favre was welcomed with open arms to New York. The Jets had been struggling to find a reliable quarterback, and had split time between Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens during the previous year. The Jets cut Pennington (who would later sign with the Miami Dolphins), and Favre had no serious competitor for the starting job in New York.
In his first game as a Jet, Favre completed 15-22 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns, including a 56-yard strike to Jerricho Cotchery for Favre's first score as a Jet. The Jets beat Miami 20-14.
The Jets' offense would bounce back the following week, demolishing the Arizona Cardinals 56-35. Favre threw six touchdowns, three to Laveranues Coles.
Favre beat the winless Cincinnati Bengals following the Jets' bye week, 26-14. The following week, the Jets lost to the Oakland Raiders 13-16 in overtime. Favre threw two interceptions and zero touchdowns.
Favre and the Jets went on a hot streak, winning their next five games with impressive wins against St. Louis, the arch-rival Patriots, and the Tennessee Titans (the Titans' first loss, dropping them to 10-1).
It had appeared as though Favre had broken the Madden Curse, and the 8-3 Jets appeared headed to the playoffs.
But the curse was only toying with Favre. The Jets finished the season 1-4, including a must-win game that would have given them the AFC East title against Miami.
Favre threw nine interceptions and three touchdowns during the Jets' final five games.
The 9-7 Jets missed the playoffs, and Favre was run out of New York.
During the '08-09 season, Favre was 343-522 for 3,472 yards with 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. His longest pass of the season, 56 yards, came in his first quarter as a Jet.
He is now 5720-9280 for 65,127 yards, 464 touchdowns, and 310 interceptions. His consecutive game streak is up to 253 while posting a 160-93 regular season record, a 12-10 postseason record, 10 Pro Bowl appearances, and three MVP awards.
Although he is the first player to be elected to the Pro Bowl while he was on the Madden cover, is indisputable that he was yet another victim of the Madden Curse.
Not even John Madden's love and devotion towards Favre could save him.
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