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EA Sports: Aaron Hernandez being removed from video games

Aaron Hernandez PatriotsAaron Hernandez has not yet been convicted of any crime, but that hasn’t stopped endorsers and other companies from cutting ties with him. The latest to scrub Hernandez from existence is video game juggernaut EA Sports.

On Monday, an EA Sports spokesperson told CBSSports.com that the former New England Patriots tight end is being removed from NCAA Football 14 and will not be featured in Madden NFL 25, the latest edition of the popular NFL video game series. The news came after the following photo began making the rounds on Twitter (via @LiterallyLowe), which shows Hernandez being unlocked as a reward in NCAA Football 14:

Aaron-Hernandez-NCAA-Football-14

“We made a decision to remove Aaron Hernandez from Madden NFL 25 and NCAA Football 14,” the spokesperson said. “Because NCAA Football 14 was finalized prior to our decision, Hernandez’ image still appears in the Nike Skills Trainer. However, he is not in the game, and anyone who unlocks that particular Nike Skills Trainer reward will receive an Alex Smith Ultimate Team player item instead. The image of Hernandez will be removed via a Title Update in the near future.”

Alex Smith instead of Hernandez? Ouch. Well, I guess that wouldn’t be so bad if we’re talking college.

Hernandez being dropped from video games is just the latest example showing how his image continues to crumble. First his jerseys were removed from online Pro shops, then sponsors dropped him, then the Patriots offered a free jersey exchange, and now EA Sports. Does that mean games that still feature Hernandez have become the latest eBay collector’s item? Based on what we saw last week, that wouldn’t be a surprise.

Chad Johnson had to create himself in Madden video game

Anyone who knows Chad Johnson knows that he is a huge video game guy. In fact, his former wife probably should have known their marriage wasn’t going to last from the moment Chad proposed to her while playing Call of Duty. Most video game guys who like sports play Madden, so obviously Chad is no exception. For the past 11 years, Johnson has had the pleasure of being able to play as himself while playing the game. Now, he no longer has that luxury.

With Madden ’13 having been released on Tuesday, Johnson was recently faced with a cold hard truth while gaming.

Between getting cut by the Dolphins, losing sponsors, going through a divorce and having his VH1 show cancelled, Johnson likely has a lot more on his mind than not being in a video game. He probably should have thought about that before allegedly head-butting his wife, but that’s neither here nor there. To his credit, Chad also told his followers not to feel bad for him a couple hours after tweeting about Madden.

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Giants DT Marcus Thomas upset with Madden over botched identity

The newest installment of the legendary EA Sports video game Madden was released on Tuesday, and from what we hear the game includes a number of updates and improvements. Unfortunately for Giants defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, none of those updates resulted in the game using his proper identity.

Kotaku shared the screenshot you see above with us, and the man you see pictured next to Thomas’ name is the wrong Marcus Thomas. That Marcus Thomas is a former NFL running back who last played for the Broncos back in 2009. According to the Giants’ Thomas, the video game creators have been making the same mistake for years.

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John Madden does not believe in the Madden cover curse

Whether you believe in curses or not, you have to admit it is strangely coincidental how so many athletes who have appeared on the cover of EA Sports’ “Madden” video game have gotten injured over the years. After an off year in 2011, Peyton Hillis had no choice but to become a believer. Drew Brees may not have missed any actual time, but there were rumors that he played through a couple of significant knee injuries the year he was on the cover of the game.

Unsurprisingly, John Madden himself does not believe in the curse. And if it does exist, he says he is confident Calvin Johnson can put an end to it this season.

“I was on the cover for several years, and I never once even pulled a hamstring,” Madden said while laughing according to the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a violent sport. Injuries are going to happen.

“If there was such a thing (as a curse), you couldn’t ask for a better man to prove that wrong than who we’ve got this year. He might be as close to indestructible as we’ve ever had on the cover. Maybe I shouldn’t say that…that might…I’m not going to talk about that any more.”

Fortunately for Madden, Nate Burleson already said something similar about Megatron a few months back. If you believe in curses and you’re a Johnson fan, you probably aren’t feeling great about him being on the cover of the video game and Burleson and Madden both challenging the curse gods. If Megatron can put together a healthy season given all the things people have said about his presence on the cover, I think it’s safe to say the curse doesn’t exist.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Madden NFL 13 will reportedly feature Tebowing

The concept of Tebowing may have fizzled out quickly over the past several months, but those who were sitting around waiting for it to come back are in luck. If there is any platform with the power to rescue what was once the most popular fad in sports, it’s the Madden NFL video game series. According to Madden NFL creative director Michael Young, Madden 13 will honor Tim Tebow with his signature move.

“Tebowing is in for #madden13,” Young wrote on his Twitter account Friday.

As of last month, Tebow’s lawyers were battling with the website Tebowing.com over trademark issues. My guess is the creators of Madden have permission to use it or will refrain from calling it “Tebowing” in the game, but you never know. Since the EA Sports people always seem to take authenticity very seriously, they have no choice. Tebow is obviously going to be featured in the game and you can’t show a full game of Tebow without him dropping to a knee on the sidelines before a game or in a prayer circle after it. Real is real.

H/T NFL.com
Photo credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Calvin Johnson beats Cam Newton for Madden ’13 cover

Calvin Johnson is getting the recognition and notoriety a player of his caliber deserves, but maybe it’s not the kind he should want.

The Lions receiver won the voting to appear on the Madden ’13 video game cover. He topped Panthers quarterback Cam Newton with 52% of the 651,790 votes cast in the finals.

The voting was done as a 32-player tournament where each NFL team had one representative. Johnson beat Dwayne Bowe 92%-8% in the first round, Arian Foster 73%-27% in the second round, Rob Gronkowski 63%-37% in the third round, Aaron Rodgers 67%-33% in the semifinals, and Newton 52%-48% in the finals.

The announcement was made on ESPN’s “SportsNation” show on Wednesday afternoon, where both finalists said they didn’t believe in the infamous “Madden Curse.” Last year’s cover winner, Peyton Hillis, also said he didn’t believe in the curse, but that was before he had an abysmal season for the Browns, which changed his mind.

Last week, Lions receiver Nate Burleson said he was going to vote for Calvin because he thinks his teammate can break the curse. Lions fans better hope that is the case. Given the history of the cover curse, I would be worried.

Photo Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Nate Burleson believes in the Madden Curse, thinks Calvin Johnson can break it

If Calvin Johnson winds up winning the Madden cover vote and suffers an injury next season, Lions fans may blame more than just the Madden jinx. Those who are particularly superstitious could take aim at Nate Burleson. Burleson, who claims to be a big Madden fan, admitted to Mlive.com that he believes in the Madden cover curse. Despite that, he says he is still going to vote for his fellow receiver.

“Yeah, I’m going to vote for him,” Burleson said before adding that he believes enough players have suffered injuries to legitimize the curse. “I’d love to see my guy on the cover of Madden. I’m a big Madden fan. … If any guy can break the curse it’s Calvin. This dude is a monster. He’s strong enough to break tackles, so he can break a curse.”

Johnson is one of four finalists and is currently matched up against Aaron Rodgers in the semifinals. As for being enough of a beast to break the curse, Peyton Hillis looked like just that coming off his monster season in 2010. Injuries then derailed his 2011 season and Hillis became a believer.

So if you’re one of those people who is superstitious enough to wear the same socks and underwear every Sunday of the NFL season, you can now thank EA Sports and Burleson if Megatron misses any time in 2012. Falling victim to a jinx is one thing, but Burleson’s decision to add a jinx on top of a jinx could spell trouble for Detroit. Or maybe his jinx will jinx the jinx and all will be well. No one really knows how these things work.

Photo credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE