Rob Gronkowski is one of four finalists to land on the cover of EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 16,” and that’s pretty awesome, right?
Not exactly. Gracing a “Madden” cover certainly is a cool honor, but it also comes with a price: the dreaded “Madden Curse.”
Since the franchise started replacing Hall of Fame coach John Madden with an NFL player on its cover in 1998, it has had the eerie ability to cast misfortune on almost all who headlined its famous game. The first victim? San Francisco 49ers running back Garrison Hearst, who severely broke his ankle in the 1998 playoffs after being selected for the “Madden ’99” cover.
The curse isn’t all-encompassing — just ask Calvin Johnson or Richard Sherman — but given the injuries that Gronkowski already has had to deal with in his young career, Patriots fans might find themselves pulling for those other three finalists. Judging by Gronk’s past comments, it appears he might be as well.
So with the latest “victim” (or trend-breaker, if you’re an optimist) set to be revealed May 13, we’re taking a look back at some of the worst “Madden” curses of the past two decades.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images