Like many of the proud 12th Man out there, I love my Seahawks with a burning passion that can only come out at the loudest setting my voice can produce. I've loved them ever since I really got into football by the time I turned 10.
At the same time, I'm a huge video game nerd. I get ecstatic whenever I hear about a new 'Legend of Zelda' entry title and salivate at any game footage. So where does football and video games come together you ask?
Every year, the annual ritual among friends and myself is to pick the game up and play all night, with plenty of yelling and cheering and embarrassment to go around.
Synonymous with the game however, is something absolutely sinister: the Madden Cover Curse. This year, the best corner in the game, Richard Sherman, will the face of the yearly roster update. And as all Madden players know, each time a player has gone on the cover, nothing good has come of it.
Take for instance the early days of Madden 2002 and the cover athlete, Dante Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings.
According to Ryan Fleming of digitaltrends.com, Culpepper was coming into the season looking like a potential MVP after a season of 3,937 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and taking the Vikings to the NFC Championship. In fact, the Vikings were the favorites to make it back to the playoffs. However, the curse proved otherwise as the Vikings tanked and Culpepper was injured mid-season.
The curse doesn't just affect offensive players either. Take the Madden 2005 cover athlete Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens.
Lewis in the 2003 season came away with a career high six interceptions and a very productive 161 combined tackles. Those kinds of stats earned Lewis cover honors and fans were hoping that the very first defensive athlete to grace the cover would break the curse.
Nope, not even the fearsome Ray Lewis could stop the curse. The following 2004 season still saw good production from Lewis, but zero interceptions, and the Ravens ending with a 9-7 season.
Now there is hope that an athlete can beat the curse. Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions is the one player that can say they went up against the curse and won. Sure, Johnson and Lions didn't win the Super Bowl that year, but let’s look at what he did do. Johnson set nine records for receiving, including most receiving yards in a single season with 1,964. Safe to say that Megatron had a mega year. (Okay, I’ll stop)
Seattle fans are correct to be worried about the Madden Cover Curse. With so many players having gone down from injury or lack luster seasons, seeing Sherman on the cover isn't exactly the easiest thing to see.
Not to mention, the 12th Man has already gone through a cover debacle already with Shaun Alexander gracing Madden 2007. The high hopes of seeing the league MVP on the cover were dashed with a broken foot and a man that never returned to form afterwards. As we say amongst my group of friends: it was the beginning of the dark times.
But truth be told, Richard Sherman sure looks good on the cover.