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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