NFL superstars often have to overcome many obstacles to find success, one of which may be the infamous Madden curse.
While watching the effect it might currently be casting on a prominent AFC East rival, Miami Dolphins star Tyreek Hill has dismissed it and said he would love to be featured on the cover of the enormously popular video game.
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“People see one bad game or a few bad games and just think a guy has lost it all of a sudden,” Hill said. “A lot of people, they may believe in the Madden curse. But truth be told, I don’t believe in the Madden curse — be an honor to be on the cover of Madden, man.
“You know what it would mean for a kid — just anybody — to grace the cover of Madden? And for people to say that it’s a Madden curse, it’s just ridiculous.”
The superstition surrounding the game developed by and named after Hall of Fame coach John Madden is that the player featured on the cover will encounter something bad, primarily a decline in performance or an injury — or in some cases both.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is on the cover of the current version, and he is having a subpar campaign to say the least. He currently leads the league in turnovers, and the Bills, who entered the season as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, are plodding along with a .500 record and in a battle just to make the playoffs.
“We look back at Antonio Brown on Madden 19 when he went crazy,” Hill said of the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver. “I think A.B. had a crazy year in ’19, whenever he was on the Madden curse. For people to just sit here and say, ‘Oh, it’s the Madden curse. That’s why they’re 5-5. It’s this and that.’ That’s just internet talk. That’s just Twitter talk, just to keep the trolls alive I guess.”
Allen’s misfortune is turning out to be good news for the Dolphins, who lead the division with a 6-3 record despite a loss to the Bills earlier this season.
At the beginning of this century, the Madden curse appeared to be at its strength, seemingly derailing cover stars such as Eddie George, Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk and Michael Vick. Brown scored 15 touchdowns during his cover season before his career eventually veered all the way out of the NFL.
More recently, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have fared just fine after being featured.
But Hill might want to be careful of messing with a good thing. After stating he wanted to become the first player to gain 2,000 receiving yards in a season, the 29-year-old is well on his way to accomplishing that feat. He has 1,076 receiving yards in nine games, a 17-game pace of more than 2,030 receiving yards.
Should he set that record, Hill likely would be a strong choice to grace the cover of the next Madden release. If so, it will be worth keeping an eye on where his career goes from there.