OT Calvin Johnson Cover of Madden 13

Submitted by sec20 on April 25th, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Title says it all



Final Vote

Johnson 52%

Newton 48%



April 28th, 2012 at 12:08 AM ^

Calvin Johnson just did the Top Ten on Letterman tonight.   (He was terrific, by the way.  This kid's got a career after football.) 

One Brady Hoke did the Top Ten on Letterman after he turned around the football team from Letterman's alma mater.  Hoke did pretty well after that.  I believe that's enough of a sample to prove the same will hold for Calvin.


April 25th, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

Calvin has been steadily improving all of his career, and didn't do significantly better last year than he had the year before, so the "Madden Curse" (aka regression to the mean) shouldn't really have an effect.


April 25th, 2012 at 7:08 PM ^

Drew Brees, Larry Fitzgerald, and Ray Lewis have all recently beaten the "curse". I actually think the curse isnt real one bit so I dont care. I mean if CJ gets hurt and misses a game or 2, is that the madden curse or just a part of playing football. Now if he misses 13 games thats a different story but I dont believe in this shit. And Hillis, well he was a one year wonder boy.

Congrats Calvin!


April 25th, 2012 at 7:44 PM ^

You guys do get that the madden curse is just regression to the mean, right? A player is more likely to get the cover after a breakout year (Hillis, for example). But of course, most breakout years come with a lot of luck (as in, the player is outperforming his expectations). The player is likely to regress back to his expected playing level the next year, regardless of whatever accolades he does or doesn't recieve. The madden curse is a definite pattern, but in no way is it cause and effect.


April 25th, 2012 at 9:44 PM ^

Except that half the guys on the cover got hurt, rather than regressed to the mean.

Whatever though.  I'm happy for Calvin, happy that his charity is the one to get a big fat donation as a result, and glad to see him get recognized.  As Shaun Alexander put it, "Would you rather be hurt and on the cover, or just hurt?"


April 25th, 2012 at 7:46 PM ^


Although I think that there is no such thing as the madden "curse" because of the very slim chance there would be a correlation between a players actual performance and him being pictured on the cover of a video game, I think there are some interesting things to note. 

1999 - Garrison Hearst - Got hurt in the playoffs, missed the entire next season

2000 - Barry Sanders - Retired

2001 - Eddie George - Year after cover had a toe injury, never had more than 3.4 YPG again

2002 - Dante Culpepper - 13 TD's, 14 INT, ended season in week 11 with back injury

2003 - Marshall Faulk - Ankle Injury, never rushed for more than 1000 yards again

2004 - Michael Vick - Fractured Right Fibula, Falcons went 5-11

2005 - Ray Lewis - Had a very good season with 147 tackles, Ravens did not make playoffs

2006 - Donovan McNabb - Sports Hernia, Eagles went 6-10 finishing last in the NFC East

2007 - Shaun Alexander - Fractured Foot, didnt make 1000 yards, was cut the next season

2008 - Vince Young - Only missed one game with a quad strain, but we all know how his career has gone since

2009 - Brett Favre - went 1-4 in last 5 with jets throwing 8 picks and 2 TD's, picture scandal

2010 - Troy Polomalu and Larry Fitzgerald - Although Fitzgerald only missed one regular season game, he did not play in the playoffs due to broken ribs, Polomalu on the other hand only played in 5 games all season with a sprained MCL

2011 - Drew Brees - Did not get severly hurt in the season, Lost to the 7-9 Seahawks in the playoffs

2012 - Peyton Hillis - Missed games with a Hamstring Injury, Strep Throat, and a strained hip, and he only scored 3 touchdowns all season.


I think Calvin will be fine, but it sure is hard to argue with the fact that 10 of the 15 missed significant time or key games during the season they were on the cover, and 9 of them were never even close to the same caliber of player they were the year prior (with Hillis still to be judged). Add in VIck's jail time and statistics show that 2/3 of the time, if your on the cover of madden, a giant negative turn for the worse will take place in the near future of your career.


April 25th, 2012 at 8:26 PM ^

Larry Fitzgerald did play in the playoffs the year he was on the cover. He had 6 catches for 82 yards and 2 TD's against the Packers (W, 51-45); the next week he had 6 catches for 77 yards (L, 45-14). Then he missed the Pro Bowl due to broken ribs. So like I said in another one of these threads, if Calvin's only curse is missing the Pro Bowl, then I'm fine with that


April 26th, 2012 at 9:02 AM ^

The Madden curse is largely due to people cherry picking only the bad.

For example, Garrison Hearst rushed for something like 1500 yards and had over 2000 total yards that year, but got hurt in the playoffs. He still had a stellar season.

Also, with the Eddie George point. Notice how it says, "season after he was on the cover," because the season he was on the cover was far and away his best statistical season (1500 yards and 14 TDS). He also had 2 more 1000+ yard seasons.

If we were to apply that same cherry picking logic to Bret Favre, then we could say the curse didn't have any effect on his play because he the year after he got the cover he had arguably his finest season. We could also apply it to Polamalu and say while he had a subpar 2009, he won defensive MVP in 2010.

It's laughable to suggest that the curse made Vince Young have a horrible season, because he's only ever had horrible seasons. In fact, that year, he might have been the luckiest QB in the league and his Titans squad may have been the luckiest team in the league, because they somehow managed to pull off that miraculous run of games to make the playoffs (The only time Young has made the playoffs in his career). Cursed? More like blessed.

Ray Lewis made 1st team All-Pro the year he was on the cover, and Larry Fitzgerlad caught more TD passes than he's ever caught in a single year in 2009.

Even Marshall Faulk had a solid year (something like 1500 total yards). Madden just happened to put him on the cover the year after he went over the dreaded 2000 carries mark.

Peyton Hillis and Daunte Culpepper had no business being on the cover.

Drew Brees? Cursed? LOL

Barry Sanders wasn't even on the cover of Madden 2000, John Madden was. Only a select few copies games feautured Barry on the cover, and I say "featured" loosely, because the cover was a giant picture of John Madden, with a tiny Barry Sanders picture blurred out of focus in the back ground.

Yeah, that's Barry Sanders' "Madden cover."

Also, I'm not really sure you can say how cursed he was because he retired before the game was even released.

If you want to say Mike Vick and Donovan McNabb were "cursed," that's fine. However, just remember that originally the Madden curse was supposed to end your career, and both of those guys played at a high level long after being on the cover (Vick still is).

The Madden curse was probably conceived in the bowels of the EA Sports marketing department to stir up conversation and draw more attention to the game and its cover athletes. 


April 25th, 2012 at 11:02 PM ^

And believe there is a curse....but at the same time the NFL is a brutal league with tons of horrible injuries each year, so maybe I'm being extremely illogical believing in the curse.