The Madden Curse: A History

Zeke Fuhrman@@mellamoelzekeAnalyst IIIAugust 7, 2008

He’s broken records, shattered expectations, and wreaked havoc in the NFC North for the past 15 years.

So if anyone is going to break the Madden Cover Curse, it is Brett Favre.

Unarguably the greatest statistical, come-from-behind gunslinger of all-time, Favre is poised to break the curse.

But he won't be wearing a Packer uniform.

Brett "The Jet" Favre was traded east to the Big Apple on Thursday, thus ending his amazing tenure in Green Bay. Favre is coming off one of the greatest comeback seasons in NFL history, leading his 13-3 Packers to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.

After Favre's "retirement," he was put on the cover of the newest NFL Madden game.

And the turmoil began.

Favre decided to come back to Green Bay. Green Bay decided they didn't want him. And Green Bay dealt him to New York, where the media will eat him alive, waiting for him to fail.

But, if anyone can come back from this deficit, it is Favre.

But he isn't the first person to be hit by the dreaded Madden Curse:

2001: Eddie George, Tennessee Titans

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: 1995 Heisman, 1996 Rookie of the Year, Led Titans to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV.

2001 Stats: 315 attempts, 939 rushing yards, 5 TDs (All were career lows while with the Titan franchise)

2002: Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota Vikings

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: 1998 Sammy Baugh Trophy (Nation's Top QB), Led Vikings to 2000 NFC Championship Game

2002 Stats: 3,853 Passing Yards, 18 TD, 23 INT, 75.5 Passer Rating, 21 fumbles. Vikings were 6-10 under Culpepper.

2003: Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: 1994 Rookie of the Year, three-time Offensive Player of the Year, 2000 MVP, Super Bowl XXXIV Champion

2003 Stats: 209 Attempts, 818 Rushing Yards, 3.9 YPC, 10 TD. He saw his production drop every year until his retirement in 2006.

2004 Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: No. 1 Overall Pick in 2001 NFL Draft, 2 Pro Bowls.

2004 Stats: Vick broke his right fibula in pre-season, and didn't play until Week 11. In 5 games, Vick had a complete 50% of his passes, with 585 passing yards, 4 TDs, and 3 INTs.

2005 Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: Two-time Defensive Player of the Year, six-time All-Pro, Super Bowl XXXV MVP, Only Defensive Player to be on Madden Cover. Member of the 20 INT/20 Sack Club

2005 Stats: Lewis was confined to six games due to injury. He tallied 46 tackles, one sack, and one interception. 2005 is the only season Lewis didn't make the Pro Bowl in his career.

2006 Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: No. 2 Pick in 1999 Draft, five-time Pro Bowler, 2000 MVP Runner-Up (behind Faulk), holds every quarterback record at Syracuse University, 2004 NFC Offensive Player of the Year, Lead Eagles to appearance Super Bowl XXXIX.

2006 Stats: McNabb tore his ACL in Week 11, and has been relatively injury prone since. In 2006, McNabb played in 10 games, completing 180 of 316 passes for 2,646 yards, 18 TDs, and 6 INTs. Has not appeared in a Pro Bowl since being on the cover.

2007 Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: Three-time Pro Bowler, 2005 NFL MVP, scored a then-record 28 TDs in 2005, graced the cover of NCAA Football 2001. (The only player to be on NCAA and Madden Covers)

2007 Stats: After signing a eight-year contract with the 'Hawks, Alexander fractured his toe, and had an injury plagued year, with only 896 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 games. Alexander is currently a free agent.

2008 Vince Young, Tennessee Titans

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: Led Texas Longhorns to 2006 BCS Championship, 2006 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

2008 Stats: Began season suspended for undisclosed reasons. Threw only 9 TDs and 17 interceptions.

2009 Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers/New York Jets

Accomplishments before Madden Cover: 3x MVP (95-97), led Packers to 7 consecutive division titles, and Super Bowl XXXI title. Holds records for most TD passes (442), passing yards (61,655), completions (5,377), attempts (8,758) consecutive starts (275), and most career victories for a QB (160).

2009 Stats: Came out of retirement and traded to the Jets, who were 4-12 last season, who will attempt to rebuild around the 38-year old QB. Will he follow in the same footsteps of Joe Namath (Rams) and Joe Montana (Chiefs)? Or does he have enough left not to regret his decision.