Later this week, we’ll learn whether the next version of the Madden game will feature Eagles quarterback Mike Vick or Browns running back Peyton Hillis on the cover. Some fans think that Hillis advanced to the finals over Aaron Rodgers not because Browns fans outperformed Packers fans but because Packers fans voted for Hillis because they feared Rodgers falling victim to the so-called “Madden curse,” a phenomenon that is as a real as those who believe in it allow it to be.
Vick badly wants to be on the Madden cover for the second time in his career, notwithstanding the Madden curse. And though Vick admits to being superstitious, it sounds like his superstitions no longer include the Madden curse, even though he broke his leg only six days after Madden 04 launched in August 2003.
“I am superstitious,” Vick said, via John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I won’t say what kind of superstitions I have, just know I have plenty of them. At the time I was very superstitious. And at the time, I got injured. I broke my leg before the season. But it was God’s plan. It wasn’t meant for me to be out on the football field that time. But I put my faith in a higher power now. Things that I may not want to happen, I put my faith in Him and live life.”
He’s willing to take the risk this time around, because it’s an honor determined not by the executives at EA but by the fans. “It’s a great opportunity for me,” Vick said. “The fans vote. It’s feedback from the fans. You see what the fans see. The first time, I really wasn’t too big on having the opportunity. I appreciated it, but this time around I think I will appreciate it so much more. I took a lot for granted early in my career. It was a great opportunity at the time, but now it will be so much more satisfying. To show it to my kids and say I was able to accomplish.”
Still, some of those fans may vote for Vick for the same reason that Packers fans may have voted for Hillis. Whether the Madden curse exists or it doesn’t (and last we checked Drew Brees started every game in 2010 despite being on the cover of Madden 11), people believe in it, and it would be foolish to assume that votes weren’t cast during the process for a reason other than seeing the recipient of the votes on the cover of the game.