Be careful what you ask for, Cam.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is campaigning for your vote in the Madden Cover Vote challenge. Go vote here. He is in the final with Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin ‘Mega-Tron’ Johnson and challenges Johnson in this video to a game.
“My first challenge goes out to you, Mr. Mega-Tron Calvin Johnson. If you are who you say you are, and you wanna be Mr. Madden ’13, can you play Madden?”
The always entertaining Newton is very candid in the video, and describes his thumbs as “official” when it comes to working a gaming controller.
“We can play on X-Box, playstation 3, Atari, gamecube, PSP, PS Vita, it really doesn’t matter! We can even go to the SAAYGA!” Newton exclaimed.
While this may be an important milestone in Newton’s career, he may want to rethink wanting to be the cover-boy for the game. The Madden curse is real. Take a look at this list of former players who graced the cover and the impending doom that followed.
1999 Garrison Hearst 49ers: The former running back broke his ankle during the first play from scrimmage to begin the ’99 season causing him to miss two full seasons. He never recovered and quietly exited the league.
2000 Barry Sanders Lions: Like a scene out of Final Destination, Sanders must have envisioned a disastrous end to his career, forcing the Hall of Fame running back to abruptly retire before the season began.
2001 Eddie George Titans: George is the only player to have a decent regular season following a Madden cover, but he did fumble away a playoff game against the Ravens. The Titans had a Super Bowl caliber team that year.
2002 Daunte Culpepper Vikings: Culpepper posted one of the worst seasons by an NFL quarterback in 2002. He threw 23 interceptions and set a new NFL record for lost fumbles in a season.
2003 Marshall Faulk Rams: Before his cover shot, Faulk could be counted on to rush for 1,000 plus yards every season but the curse continued, and another Hall of Fame running back began a rapid descent into retirement. Nagging knee problems plagued Faulk until his last carry.
2004 Michael Vick Falcons: Vick broke his fibula in a preseason game and you know the rest.
2005 Ray Lewis Ravens: Lewis only played in six games due to injuries following his cover. He also didn’t intercept a pass for the first time in his career.
2006 Donovan McNabb Eagles: McNabb’s season began with a sports hernia and ended with a torn ACL in week 11.
2007 Sean Alexander Seahawks: Coming off an MVP season, Alexander injured his foot in training camp, an injury that never went away, forcing him to miss six games in 2007.
2008 Vince Young Titans: Young was a sporadic quarterback coming into the NFL, and that continued in 2008. He did only miss one game, but his career has been a mess ever since.
2009 Brett Farve Packers/Jets: The Farve retirement game became popular in 2009 when he decided to come out of retirement to play for the Jets. He threw 22 interceptions and was sacked 30 times. He also made some really bad decisions with text messaging.
2010 Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals/Troy Polamalu: The curse seems to only attack one player at a time and Fitzgerald was spared. Polamalu sprained his knee in the season opener and limited his production for the rest of the year.
2011 Drew Brees Saints: Brees avoided injury but his production dropped significantly. He doubled his interception total from the previous season and the Saints were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the lowly Seahawks.
2012 Peyton Hillis Browns: Hillis had a breakout season in 2010 before landing on the Madden cover. Hillis struggled to overcome a nagging hamstring and went from rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010 to only 586 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2011.
With that said, Cam. Do you really want to be on the cover of Madden 2013?