Review Category : National Sports

The Myth and Reality of the ‘Madden Curse’

EA SPORTS(NEW YORK) — Bad things happen to good people…and NFL players who are on the cover of the popular Madden NFL video game, according to a lore known as the “Madden curse.”

Sometimes referred to as the “Madden cover curse,” injury or poor performance has befallen a number of NFL players who have the honor of gracing the front of the video game created by Electronic Arts.

But the cover model of the latest version of the game released on Tuesday, Odell Beckham Jr., isn’t buying into the idea, not even for the fact that football is a sport that seems to easily injure its players.

After Electronic Arts, based in Redwood City, California, announced in May that a fan vote determined Beckham would grace the cover of the latest game, the New York Giants wide receiver tweeted that he was “honored.” He also tweeted a definition of the word “curse,” and said he believed “in God and his divine plan” instead.

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks gave a similar response to ESPN.com when he was selected for the cover of Madden NFL 15: “I don’t believe in curses. I believe in God.”

Sherman played injured in the last Super Bowl, where the Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots, but has managed to avoid surgery on his elbow.

A spokesman for the Giants told ABC News on Tuesday that Beckham Jr. was not available to comment.

The Madden series, named after former player and coach John Madden, started in 1989. But the “Madden curse” may have started with the 1999 edition of the game, according to BleacherReport.com.

1999: That’s when San Francisco 49ers player Garrison Hearst became the first player on the cover of the game. In the postseason that year, he broke his ankle and missed the next two seasons.

2000: Following Madden NFL 2000, cover model Green Bay Packers running back Dorsey Levens performed poorly and was eventually released by the team in 2001.

Players like Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, featured on Madden 13, seemed to defy the curse. He set the NFL record for receiving yards in a season after he was chosen for the cover.

The maker of the video game, Electronic Arts, did not respond to a request for comment.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 8/25/15

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — INTERLEAGUE
Cleveland 11, Milwaukee 6

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Houston 15, N.Y. Yankees 1
L.A. Angels 8, Detroit 7
Minnesota 11, Tampa Bay 7
Toronto 6, Texas 5
Kansas City 3, Baltimore 2
Chicago White Sox 5, Boston 4
Seattle 6, Oakland 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE

N.Y. Mets 6, Philadelphia 5
Washington 8, San Diego 3
Colorado 5, Atlanta 1
L.A. Dodgers 5, Cincinnati 1
Miami 5, Pittsburgh 2
St. Louis 9, Arizona 1
Chicago Cubs 8, San Francisco 5

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Justin Wilson’s Organs Donated to 6 People, Family Says

Photo by Alfredo Sosa / The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Justin Wilson, the IndyCar driver who suffered a fatal head injury over the weekend, may have given the gift of life to six others after his organs were donated, according to his family.

Wilson was reportedly traveling at 200 mph during a race Sunday at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway when he was hit in the head by debris from a crashed car. Wilson, 37, never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead Monday.

He left behind wife Julia and two daughters ages 7 and 5. He was originally from England but living in Colorado.

Wilson’s family said Tuesday, some of his organs were donated to six patients. All are thought to be in the US.

His brother Stefan Wilson, also a race car driver, shared the news on Twitter.

Wilson, who drove in Formula One, was a seven-time IndyCar race winner. Stefan Wilson said his brother was known for his generosity.

“It makes you feel even prouder to be his brother and just sort of exemplifies the life that he led. … Always giving and thinking of other people,” Stefan Wilson told ABC News today. “It is just another case of that.”

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Steelers Sign Michael Vick

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed veteran quarterback Michael Vick, the team announced Tuesday, after an injury to backup Bruce Gradkowski.

Gradkowski suffered a dislocated finger during last weekend’s preseason game. The team, needing a safety net for starting signal caller Ben Roethlisberger, reached out to Vick. The two sides agreed to a deal Tuesday.

Vick played for the New York Jets last season, starting three games and going 1-2. He passed for three touchdowns and threw two interceptions.

Gradkowski was placed on the injured reserve list on Tuesday after undergoing surgery. He is expected to miss three to four weeks, ESPN reports.

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Steelers Sign Michael Vick

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed veteran quarterback Michael Vick, the team announced Tuesday, after an injury to backup Bruce Gradkowski.

Gradkowski suffered a dislocated finger during last weekend’s preseason game. The team, needing a safety net for starting signal caller Ben Roethlisberger, reached out to Vick. The two sides agreed to a deal Tuesday.

Vick played for the New York Jets last season, starting three games and going 1-2. He passed for three touchdowns and threw two interceptions.

Gradkowski was placed on the injured reserve list on Tuesday after undergoing surgery. He is expected to miss three to four weeks, ESPN reports.

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Los Angeles Clippers Fined for Violation of League Rules in Free Agent Meeting with DeAndre Jordan

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The National Basketball Association announced a $250,000 fine against the Los Angeles Clippers for a violation of league rules in the re-signing of DeAndre Jordan in free agency.

The specific violation, the NBA says, involved a presentation the team made to Jordan that “improperly include a potential third-party endorsement opportunity for the player.” Jordan was involved in one of the most hectic signings of the free agency period when he seemed to have agreed to a deal with the Dallas Mavericks before changing his mind and returning to the Clippers.

The NBA says that the improper presentation ultimately had no impact on Jordan’s final decision, but that the team’s actions violated anti-circumvention rules.

The goal of the anti-circumvention rules are to prevent teams from arranging for compensation from a third-party not included in a player contract.

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Washington Redskins Trademark Mediation to Begin in September

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Football fans in Washington, D.C. could soon see an end to the trademark dispute involving their home team.

A mediation conference between the NFL and Native Americans over the Washington Redskins trademark suit will begin on Sept. 10, ABC News learned Tuesday.

The conference will explore any possibilities for a settlement in the case.

The Washington Post reported last week that Redskins President Bruce Allen said the team would not consider a name change to help push the negotiation process along.

Still, whatever happens with the trademark, it has no affect on whether the league will continue to support the team’s nickname.

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Tony Stewart Lends Private Plane to Family of Justin Wilson

Geoff Burke/Getty Images(LONG POND, Pa.) — The racing world responded with concern Sunday when IndyCar driver Justin Wilson was injured during a crash at Pocono Raceway, but three-time Sprint Cup Series champ Tony Stewart apparently went above and beyond.

Officials with Stewart-Hass Racing confirmed that Stewart provided his private plane and pilots to Wilson’s family so they could travel to the Pennsylvania Hospital where Wilson had been airlifted, reports NASCAR.com. Unfortunately Wilson died of his injuries Monday.

Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed the news after word of Stewart’s generosity became public as other IndyCar racers thanked him on Twitter.

On Sunday night, Indy driver Graham Rahal tweeted Stewart, “[Y]ou’re a hell of a man for donating your plane for JWs family. Hats off to you, you’re a very generous human.”

Stewart was hit by a piece of debris in a multi-car crash at the ABC Supply 500.

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Florida State Running Back Dalvin Cook Found Not Guilty in Battery Case

Stacy Revere/Getty Images(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Florida State’s Dalvin Cook has been found not guilty of a misdemeanor battery charge.

According to ESPN, Florida State University running back Dalvin Cook was found not guilty of misdemeanor battery on Monday after he was accused by a woman of punching her in the face outside of a bar in June.

Cook had denied any involvement or wrongdoing and was suspended pending outcome from the trial.

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Bears’ Jeremiah Ratliff Won’t Appeal Suspension over Substance Abuse Policy Violation

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — The Chicago Bears’ Jeremiah Ratliff will not be appealing the penalty he received for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

The league announced Monday that it was suspending Ratliff for three games without pay after he pleaded guilty on April 30 to a DWI charge, ESPN reports. The defensive lineman was arrested and charged in in Grapevine, Texas in 2013.

Ratliff is still eligible to participate in preseason practices and games, according to ESPN, however, he’ll miss the 2015 regular season’s first three games against the Green Bay Packers, the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks.

Ratliff will be eligible to return to the Bears’ active roster on Sept. 28.

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