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The Worst Cases of the Madden Curse That'll Make You Believe

Updated June 14, 2019 2.2k votes 380 voters 12.3k views13 items

List RulesVote up the athletes who you agree actually went downhill after appearing on the cover of Madden.

Even if you’re not a particularly superstitious person, there are some peculiar happenings that really can’t be denied when it comes the cover image of this particular video game franchise. The Madden Curse is the stuff of legend. The history of those who are featured on Madden covers is undeniably unsettling. Being featured on the game doesn’t gaurantee anything (except for more money), but there are certainly cases that make it seem like being the Madden cover athlete is the equivalent of making a deal with the devil. These are the worst cases of the Madden Curse.
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    Peyton Hillis (2012)

    Peyton Hillis (2012)
    Photo: EA Sports
    After rushing for 1,177 yards in 2011, Hillis suffered from a bevy of injuries including strep throat, a sprained hip, and a bum hamstring. He only played in 10 games, racking up a measly 577 rushing yards, and 3 touchdowns. He has never returned to form since that breakout year.
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  • Vince Young (2008)
    Photo: EA Sports
    After leading the Titans to a 10-6 season, Young was featured on the cover of Madden. The following year he was benched in the preseason after violating team rules. He threw 17 picks and injured his quad before losing his job to Kerry Collins.
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  • Shaun Alexander (2007)
    Photo: EA Sports
    After rushing for 1,880 yards, and being featured on Madden’s cover, Alexander injured his foot and missed six starts. This was his first time since the 2000 season that he didn’t reach 1,000 yards, only going for 896. After the cover and the foot injury he was injury prone and dropped off rather quickly, never reaching elite form again.
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  • Michael Vick (2004)
    Photo: EA Sports
    Shortly after being announced as the cover athlete for Madden 2004, Vick fractured his fibula during a preseason game. He didn’t make it back until the final 5 games of the season, throwing for 585 yards and 4 TDs. The Falcons didn’t make the playoffs, posting a 5-11 record.
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