Madden 13 - Calvin Johnson and the Madden Curse

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jun 04, 2012 04:12 PM EDT

You don't need to be on the cover of the newest Madden to be unlucky, as Justin Blackmon proved today. With Calvin Johnson as the newest player to grace the cover of the Madden franchise, many are curious about how the infamous Madden cover curse will affect him.

pictured, Calvin Johnson


What's the curse, you ask?

It goes like this. Before 1998, every annual installment of the Madden NFL series featured the namesake John Madden on its cover. But this changed in 1999, when EA (to the opposition of Madden) decided that the league's top players would appear on the cover in Madden's place. The first to do so was Garrison Hearst. Players who have appeared on the cover in subsequent years have generally failed to reproduce their success of the previous years, for a variety of reasons. Marshall Faulk, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander, and Vince Young all have suffered injuries in their season appearing on the cover. These performances and injuries resulted in speculation of a curse. In total, the 10 cover players since 1999 had a total of 39 Pro Bowl appearances prior to their Madden cover appearances, compared with just 4 Pro Bowl appearances afterward.

Check the above slideshow to see what befell each cover athlete, and what could be ahead for Johnson...

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