It all started in 1999, Garrison Hearst was on the cover for the first time with no John Madden. He just came off his best year of his career, only to snap his ankle after being on the cover. He did save his career a little by winning the Comeback Player of the Year in 2001.
In the year 2000, one of the best running backs of all time was supposed to be on the cover. Barry Sanders might have been cursed before he was set to be on the cover of Madden's ever popular football video game.
He was on a team that you can't even name two people that played with him and he only went to the playoffs once in his career. However, he suddenly retired at a very young age and has never looked back.
The cover then went to Dorsey Levens, the Packers running back who helped Brett Favre go to the Super Bowl twice. After being on the cover, he was released by his team and had brief stints at Philadelphia and New York.
In 2001, Eddie George was on the cover one year after competing in the Super Bowl. It seemed like George had beaten the curse by having career highs in TDs and yards.
However, in the playoffs he had a costly fumble that cost the Titans the game. He never had another 1,000-yard season or averaged more than 3.4 yards per game. He got cut by the Titans, and Bill Parcells snapped his consecutive games started streak.
In 2002, Daunte Culpepper was the first QB to take the cover. He had struggled with turnovers and eventually lost his primary receiver to a trade . He was traded to the Dolphins the year after, and he is currently out of the NFL.
In 2003, Marshall Faulk went on the cover after winning two Super Bowls. He injured his ankle and finished the season with under 1,000 yards after four consecutive seasons of 1,300-plus yards. He eventually became the backup running back and has just recently retired.
In 2004, Mike Vick took the Madden cover. He fractured his fibula in a preseason game and missed the first 11 games. He is currently out of the league and in jail on dog fighting charges.
In 2005, Ray Lewis became the first defensive player to take the cover. He had a great year in tackles with 147. However, he did not record a single interception and broke his wrist in Week 15. His team failed to make the playoffs.
In 2006, Donovan McNabb was on the cover. He was putting up better numbers then Peyton Manning before the cover. Donovan hurt himself with a sports hernia and eventually it ended his season. He also lost his primary receiver Terrell Owens after the cover.
In 2007, Shaun Alexander was on the cover. He came off a season where he broke Priest Holmes' single-season TD record. He broke his foot and missed six starts. He failed to rush for 1,000 yards since and watched LT break his record the year after he set it. He has since been cut by his team and is currently looking for an NFL team to sign him.
In 2008 Vince Young took the cover. He was barely hurt this past season; however, he threw 17 interceptions. He also had rumors that he was going to retire after one season. There is still time to see if the curse will affect him further.
Louis Castillo also appeared on the Spanish cover for the popular game. He missed 6 games with an ankle injury and failed to make the Super Bowl once again
For 2009, Brett Favre has taken the cover. He is the first Caucasian on the cover and the first person to be on the cover while he is retired. He is now causing drama in the NFL by trying to come back in the NFL, and the Packers don't want him as a starter.
It would be weird to see Favre in any other jersey, especially when he is on the cover in a Packers uniform.