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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Game creators attempt to redirect 'Madden Curse' by giving cover to non-star

By now, you've heard Cleveland running back Peyton Hills (who again?) will grace the cover of the latest installment of the Madden football video game franchise, as voted by fans.
Despite the relative no-name status plaguing the Hillis choice, the game will still sell. It's one of the best-selling video game franchises ever. So it didn't matter if he, or Eagles QB and former Madden cover boy Mike Vick won the vote.
Vick, famously featured on the 2004 edition of the game, broke his leg six days after the game debuted in 2003.
Lions legend Barry Sanders was shown in the background of the iconic franchise's cover for the 2000 edition, then faxed in his resignation before the 1999 season.
These guys aren't the only ones. This Sports Illustrated gallery helps digest the injuries and other career-altering events.
Some may argue the Madden curse doesn't exist or is purely an indictment of the perilously short nature of the careers of NFL players, stars or otherwise. And it's easy to blame the system. We've seen playoff rosters in other sports reward the the washed-up superstars who rely on name recognition to earn the fans' votes (I'm looking at you in 2003 MJ or AI in recent years).
Let's be honest: Who cares about Peyton Hillis? I'm assuming nobody voted for their own team's stars because of the legendary hex the game (and Sports Illustrated covers) bring on their centerpiece (or faint background image in Sanders' case).
Lions behemoth defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was even in the mix, but thankfully lost in the early going.
If something derails this burgeoning star, it would just be another bad break for Cleveland fans.


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