Drew Brees Not Worried About the Madden 2011 Curse

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been chosen to grace the cover of Madden NFL 2011. Along will taking home the Lombardi Trophy earlier in February, Brees said that being the cover boy is “a great way to cap off an amazing year.”  It certainly is. Brees now has a Super Bowl title and Super Bowl MVP trophy, he’ll be starring in the highly anticipated NFL season opener against the Vikings, and now he’s got a pretty sweet cover on the new Madden game. Of course the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the news was “What about the Madden curse?” But Brees said he’s not worried about any curse on his Twitter page:

Here’s what I have to say about the Madden curse: Destiny is more powerful than a curse. Whatever is meant to be will happen. Faith.

It’s a good attitude to have, but will it be enough? Troy Polamalu succumbed to the Madden Curse most recently while Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander and Vince Young all had issues during their cover year. Others, like Larry Fitzgerald played fine during their cover year. I’m hoping that Drew’s good year can keep on course and that he’ll prove the curse is merely a myth.

Brees on cover of ‘Madden NFL 11′ [AP/ESPN]

Troy Polamalu Has Sprained MCL in Knee, Madden Cover Curse Strikes Again!

madden-cover-polamalu-fitzgeraldIt didn’t even take a full half of football for the Madden Cover Curse to hit its latest victim. Troy Polamalu went down in the first half of the Steelers opener against the Titans after getting his leg caught in an awkward position. Polamalu went out a few minutes before halftime and did not return. After the game, Mike Tomlin confirmed that Polamalu has a sprained MCL adding that the injury usually keeps a player out 3-6 weeks. Now the only question is how long before Larry Fitzgerald gets hurt considering the two players shared the cover.

Michael Vick broke his leg after being on the cover, Shaun Alexander had a foot injury, and last year Brett Favre suffered his torn biceps. Almost indefinitely something bad happens to the cover guy the year he appears on the cover, and usually it’s due to injury. This time around we’ve already seen the same thing. Unfreakingbelievable. Will someone explain to me why EA decided to expand the cover to feature two athletes? Did they want to knock two teams out of contention or did they figure having two guys on there would cancel each other out?

Brace Yourself for the Release of Madden ’09 Video Game on Tuesday

I’m not much of a video gamer these days, and to be fair, I really wasn’t much of one growing up either (Nintendo and Sega were the only systems I owned). That as the case, even I spent a fair amount of time playing the Madden football games back in the day. I used to play it in the 90s on Sega and Super Nintendo with some friends from elementary school, and then later on Playstation while in college. These days I think the game has passed me by — you now can play against opponents online, build ridiculous franchises and players — it’s just incredible what they’ve done with the game. And from the sounds of things, they’re not missing me as one of the customers.

Since the game’s inception in 1989, Madden football has sold over 70 million units raking in a reported $2.4 billion. That’s just silly money. And people (many of you reading this), will be lining up to get a copy of the game for a retail value of $60 when it goes on sale at midnight Tuesday. They’re even throwing a Maddenpalooza party at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena with live music from performers who appear on the game, as well as former NFL players signing autographs. And the game is so popular that a release party drew the likes of Hugh Heffner and his ladies out to celebrate. While the release of the Madden ’09 game is highly anticipated, the big question that has already been proposed by many of you is: will the Madden Cover Curse take its toll on Brett Favre this year? Or has it already worked its mysterious magic?

NFL Players Bet Mortgage Payments on Games of Madden

If there’s two things we know about NFL players, it’s that they make a lot of money and they like to play video games. When you mix the two elements together, naturally you’re going to get some pretty competitive games for some even more competitive stakes. Check out what former cover boys Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, and Ray Lewis say is on the line when they bust out a game of Madden, courtesy of ESPN the Magazine:

Daunte Culpepper: “Ain’t nothing to bet $15,000 on a game. I’ve won and lost mortage payments over the years.”

Marshall Faulk: “One time, I lost my Bentley for a week. I didn’t think anyone could beat me. I found out the hard way.”

Ray Lewis: “I don’t bet money. I bet push-ups on demand. When I tell you to, you get down and do as many as I say. I might make you do them at dinner, on a date, wearing a suit, I don’t care. My little brother owes me 2,500.”

While I’m not one for watching a bunch of loser teenagers playing Madden on TV, I would love to watch Culpepper playing a game with 15 large on the line. Or even better, imagine watching Ray Lewis win a game of Madden and demand a thousand push-ups on the spot. 2,500 push-ups, are you kidding me? I don’t think I could knock that many out over the rest of my life. Anyone else think these guys have way too much money if they’re winning and losing mortgage payments on video games?

Will Luis Castillo Be the Next Madden Cover Victim?

As I posted at FanHouse, Luis Castillo might be the next player to suffer the Madden Jinx. We’ve already seen ’08 cover boy Vince Young fall victim to a pulled quad this weekend, and next up might be Castillo. How is that possible you ask? Well, the North County Times notes that Castillo has been placed on the cover of Madden ’08 en Espanol — the Spanish version of the game. I’m guessing Tony Gonzalez politely declined.

So now that Castillo has been placed on the Madden Cover, the trifecta has been completed. Think about it — we have an admitted steroids user to go along with a murderer, and a dog fighter. Now, if only they can convince Najeh Davenport to appear on next year’s game, we’ll have every sect of the NFL covered.

So, the natural question must be asked: Who was on the brief list of possible candidates to appear on the cover of this game? Perhaps Matt Gutierrez and Anthony Gonzalez? Does Carlos Rodgers count? He’s got half of it covered. Your comments are welcome …

Vick Removed From Madden ’08 Game

There’s nothing that will rob a man of his dignity quite like removing his character from a video game. Particularly when the game in question is John Madden Football. And that’s what happened to Michael Vick, a sure sign that things have hit absolute rock bottom.

The most dynamic player in the Madden franchise over the past five years has been removed from the game. Michael Vick, the Falcon’s star awaiting sentencing for dog fighting related charges, was removed from the Madden NFL 08 roster update. There has been quite a bit of speculation over the past several weeks as to what EA Sports was going to do with Vick – and the removal has many Madden die hards very happy, and many very upset.

From being on the cover of the game to being removed. You couldn’t possibly find more polar opposite conditions. Wow. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this is truly sad.

All Michael Vick News on LBS:
Ookie Forgets to Buckle Up
Meet Ookie Vick!, Vick Indicted
Back When Vick Was Cool
Say Goodnight to Vick’s Pitbulls
Michael Vick’s Water Bottle

Penn St. Quarterbacks Train by Using Madden on PlayStation

Just this weekend I was having a discussion on football players using Madden. I said that some players use it to practice reads and learn plays. Come to find out, that is certainly the case — at least in Happy Valley. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, via Buffalo Bill Ben Maller:

The idea is to give the Penn State quarterbacks more work on their playbook, which is loaded onto a Madden football game for use in the video game machine.

“While we’re in there, so-called wasting time, playing PlayStation, we can actually learn something,” starting quarterback Anthony Morelli said. “It will almost be like watching film. Changing plays on the fly, it’s just a fun thing that’s going to help us on the field.”

“It’s pretty much getting to the point where it’s almost real. It’s getting scary,” he said. “They’ve got guys’ accuracy, your arm strength. They’re almost making it look exactly like you. Some guys even move like they really move. It’s crazy. It’s realistic.”

Apparently this is the work of Coach Paterno — Jay that is — Joe don’t even know what PlayStation is. He even adds that the quarterbacks will run through the first 15 scripted plays of the game on Friday using Madden to get prepared for Saturday’s game. These games are so realistic nowadays, learning to react on the game can actually help you make reads. That is crazy.