Oh shit! Drew Brees on the cover of Madden ’11!

Duuuuuum da-DUM-dum! So much for the Saints' 2010 season.

I didn’t pay any attention to Thursday evening’s first round of the NFL draft as it was taking place. But now that I’m catching up, I do know my Super Bowl champion Saints (I sooooo dig saying that) wrapped up the first round by taking a cornerback, Florida State’s Patrick Robinson, who’s suposed to have a million bucks of athleticism but lacks in the mental skills. But if Sean Payton and crew can work some magic with him, they could be set at the corners for a long time; last year, they drafted Malcolm Jenkins of Ohio State, who started to really come around by year’s end.

And my Giants, at No. 15, took South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul; he’s supposedly a boom-or-bust player who could complement Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck and hasten the departure of Osi Umenyiora.

So I should be happy, right?

No — actually, I’m not.

Because I just saw the above image.

Drew Brees on the cover of Madden ’11. EA Sports made the announcement Thursday.

The strongest jinx in sports this side of the Sports Illustrated cover.


So why am I sweating a stupid video game (which I can no longer buy for PC format — thanks, EA Sports)? You don’t know much about sports if you don’t know the Madden jinx. And this one hits my co-favorite team at its Achilles’ heel — if something happens to Brees, the Saints are totally screwed.

To recap for the uninitiated, here are some of the misfortunes that have befallen Madden cover boys in the past decade:

2002 — Daunte Culpepper: The then-Vikings quarterback threw 23 picks and set a league record for fumbles lost and Minnesota went 5-11. His legacy since: two blown knees and, eventually, the ignominy of being a QB for the 0-16 2008 Lions.

2003 — Marshall Faulk: The Rams’ Hall of Fame running back never had a 1,000-yard season again after being on the cover. His knees shot, he retired two years later.

2004 — Michael Vick: He broke his leg in the ’04 preseason, missed 12 games and the Falcons went 5-11. And then, of course, that little problem with dogfighting and prison …

2005 — Ray Lewis: Arguably the best linebacker of all time (OK, head to head with Lawrence Taylor), he had his worst season that year — the only year he didn’t make an interception, and his season was cut slightly short by a wrist injury.

2006 — Donovan McNabb: First, he suffered a sports hernia in the ’06 season-opener. Then, in week 11, he tore an ACL against the Titans.

2007 — Shaun Alexander: The reigning NFL MVP when he was selected for the Madden cover, he broke his left foot in the third game of the ’06 season and his career took a precipitous fall after that. The Seahawks released him at the end of ’07 and Washington signed him as a free agent during the ’08, only to cut him after five ineffective weeks.

2008 — Vince Young: The Titans QB suffered a knee injury in the ’08 season opener, lost his job to Kerry Collins, pouted and whined for a year, and only got his starting job back last October after the Titans started the season 0-6 (and after owner Bud Adams forced coach Jeff Fisher to make the change of starters). Young did perform very well the rest of the season, to be fair …

2009 — Brett Favre: First, the retirement/unretirement mess in Green Bay, after EA issued the Madden game with Favre in a Packer uni on the cover. Then the trade to the J-E-T-S JetsJetsJets! Then the torn biceps and the Jets’ fall from sure-shot ’08 playoff team to going 0-for-December and missing the playoffs. Then the move to Minnesota, where Saints and Vikings fans know how well that turned out …

2010 — Troy Polamalu: For the first time, two players shared the cover, and while Larry Fitzgerald had another solid season at wideout for the Cardinals, Polamalu, the Steelers’ all-pro Head & Shoulders pitchman safety, had a nightmare ’09. It started with a knee injury in the season-opener, then continued with a second knee injury later in the season. His injuries are one of the key reasons the Steelers missed the playoffs the season after winning the Super Bowl.

So you see why I’m just a little concerned about Brees being on the cover of the next Madden?

On the optimistic side, maybe the Saints have had so many bad things happen in their history that even with a Super Bowl at last, they have a long way to go to balance things out. So maybe karma cuts them a break and lets Brees sail through the ’10 season unscathed.

Hey! I’m being optimistic here — work with me, okay?


2 Responses to “Oh shit! Drew Brees on the cover of Madden ’11!”

  1. And now, it’s the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints — but is it worth the price to the players? « Franorama World Says:

    […] Besides, I’m not sure I’m as excited about this season as I was last one, even though the Saints are a solid choice to repeat. And it’s not totally because of the post-championship hangover or even the dread of Drew Brees facing the Madden Curse. […]

  2. The Super Bowl (and the blog), a year later « Franorama World Says:

    […] that somehow seemed to magically vanish. There was also the announcement that Drew Brees would be testing the jinx as the cover boy for Madden ’11. (He didn’t get hurt, didn’t have a bad year […]

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