Every year video gamers and football fans alike get excited over who will top the cover of this seasons Madden NFL game. For the first time ever, there are two faces that will dawn upon the coveted season ruiner. Troy Polamalu of the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers and Cardinals put on one hell of a show last season and both teams earned the right to have one of their players on the cover of the most popular football video game in the nation.
For the past umpteen years, anyone getting the glory of being the face of the new seasons Madden has had something bad happen to them or their team that potentially ruined their entire season. Dating back, the following blunders occurred to the Madden cover boys.
- 2002 - Daunte Culpepper only played 11 games in the 2002 season after suffering a knee injury that made him miss the final five games of the season. The Vikings went 5-11 that season.
- 2003 - Marshall Faulk was a 1000 yard back from the beginning of his career up until he graced the cover of Madden in 2003. It could be from the trade to the Rams from the Colts, or it could be from the jinx.
- 2004 - Michael Vick broke his leg in the 2004 preseason and missed the first 11 regular season games for the Atlanta Falcons. I wonder if the Madden Jinx follows you from the beginning of the season until you end up making $10 an hour working for a construction company on house arrest for dog fighting. Maybe Vick should have been on the cover last year too.
- 2005 - Ray Lewis still one of the more dominant linebackers in the NFL began a decline and failed to reach 100 tackles in a season after appearing on the cover. Not to mention the allegations of murder.
- 2006 - Donovan McNabb appeared on the cover after losing to our very own New England Patriots the year before. McNabb only played 9 games in 2006 due to injury and eventually needed surgery.
- 2007 - Shaun Alexander also graces the cover after losing in the Superbowl (which now seems to be becoming a parting gift) and fractures his toe in week three. Alexander also hasn't played well since.
- 2008 - Vince Young appeared on the cover after LT declined (because he was afraid of what might happen) and Vince played in all 16 games of his rookie season and also brought the Titans to the playoffs. However, the following season, he got depressed and gave up his job to Kerry Collins and the Titans began a run at a perfect season.
- 2009 - Brett Favre dazzled the cover of Madden 09 bearing the green and yellow of the Packers after un-retiring for the 34th time. All this, only to be traded and having a new cover printed in the green and white of the Jets. Favre brought the Jets to the playoffs and threw a pick for his final pass of his career.
For what is to come of Troy Polamalu, Larry Fitzgerald, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals in 2010 is unknown for now. All I can say is good luck to both players and teams, they're going to need it. As long as anyone from the Patriots stays off the cover, they can come out with as many Madden games as they want.
Pre-order a copy of Madden 2010 at Amazon.com today.
Thanks to Zolotkey for the picture of Brett Favre.