For many pro athletes, there is nothing like being bestowed the honor of cover athlete for a high-profile sports game. Some fans, however, want their favorite athletes to have nothing to do with box art--particularly that of the popular Madden NFL series. The "Madden curse" is infamous among sports gamers and pro athletes, with several cases of pros having injury-ridden or statistically awful seasons the year they appear on the cover of a Madden NFL game.
Last year's cover athlete, the formerly durable Shaun Alexander, broke his foot and saw his NFL record for rushing touchdowns broken by San Diego's Ladainian Tomlinson after just one year in the record books. The previous year, Donovan McNabb graced the cover of Madden NFL 06 and fought injuries all season long. In the biggest case for the existence of the curse, Falcons quarterback Michael Vick broke his leg in a preseason game shortly after Madden NFL 2004--with Vick on the cover--hit store shelves.
San Diego Chargers fans are now trying to take matters in their own hands. Their cherished runningback, last year's Most Valuable Player Tomlinson, is one of the leading candidates for the cover of Madden NFL 08, and the fans would like nothing more than to see the honor go to someone else.
One man has started the Web site SaveLTFromMadden.com (and an accompanying MySpace page), complete with a crossed-out mock-up of a Madden NFL 08 cover with Tomlinson, in an attempt to keep curses as far away from the athlete as possible. The site's main point is an online petition directed toward Electronic Arts asking the publishing giant to not put Tomlinson on the cover of Madden NFL 08. As of press time, the petition had 606 signatures.
Chargers fans won't have long to wait to see if LT will be tackled with "the curse." EA will unveil the new Madden NFL 08 cover athlete tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.