The Madden Curse is well known to NFL players and fans. When will teams start placing a "No Madden Cover" clause in player's contracts?
Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis is just the latest player to fall victim to the siren call of fame and fortune we call the Madden cover.
There are some who refuse to admit that the Madden Curse exists, but the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.
In fact, there has only been one player since 2001 to have graced this cover without suffering a disappointing season. Larry Fitzgerald avoided the curse when he shared the 2010 cover with Troy Polamalu, who was injured in the first game of the season and went on to miss four games.
Let's just run down the list, shall we?
Starting in 2001, Eddie George made the cover and promptly lost his marbles, averaging 3.3 yards per carry for the rest of his career.
In 2002, one of the league's hottest quarterbacks at the time, Daunte Culpepper, made the cover and then went out and threw 22 interceptions while losing 11 games.
Marshall Faulk's Hall of Fame career hit the skids and the "hottest show on turf" came screeching to a halt after his appearance on the cover in 2003.
Michael Vick never made it out of the preseason in 2004, as he broke his fibula against the Baltimore Ravens upon donning the cover.
Ray Lewis was Madden 2005's cover athlete. His season was cut short by a wrist injury in Week 15. It was also the first season that he did not record a single interception.
The list goes on. Donovan McNabb shredded his knee on a freak play on the sidelines in 2006.
Shaun Alexander's career was suddenly cut short after a foot injury in 2007. He kept trying to play, but the player that remained was merely a shade of his former glory.
Vince Young was the league's hottest young quarterback and was chosen to grace the cover of Madden 2008. Bad move, Vince. Young would injure his knee during the 2008 season.
In a move to capitalize on the exit of one of the NFL's legends, Madden chose Brett Favre for their 2009 cover. Brett pulled a brett and bungled that whole thing up pretty good. Oh, by the way, he was atrocious that season and we later found out that he had been playing with a torn biceps. Ouch.
I think I've made my point. The Madden Curse is a real thing that should be taken seriously.
If I were an owner, I would insist on placing a "No Madden Cover" clause in the contracts of my star players.
Personal note: If anyone actually pulled something like this off, I think I'd crap my pants.