Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Might as well find a way to cope

We can all pretty much agree that Drew Brees is going to be on the new Madden cover, right? The reigning Superbowl MVP is the media darling of the moment. Two months ago he was Bacchus. He has a second kid on the way. His team leads the league in merchandise sales this offseason. The announcement will be made days before the opening of Jazzfest. The embarrassingly pretentious HBO drama Treme is soaring in popularity. From EA's perspective, nothing is more marketable than New Orleans right now. Even if the fans don't vote him onto the cover (they will) he's going to be the guy.

The question, then, is what do we do about it? As anyone who pays attention to such things knows, the Madden cover spot carries with it a heavy and eerie curse. The T-P article notes some of its victims.
The most notorious examples were Detroit Lions tailback Barry Sanders in 1999 (abruptly retired before the season); Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in 2003 (broken leg in the summer); Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in 2005 (season-ending hernia); and Seattle Seahawks tailback Shaun Alexander in 2006 (broken foot).
But there are many more. Neither Daunte Cullpepper nor LaDanian Tomlinson was ever the same player after appearing on the cover of Madden. Immediately after Brett Favre showed up on the 2009 cover in his Packer uniform, his Green Bay career came to its ignominious end and Favre himself became known as much for his selfishness as for his more purely football-related exploits. The point is, the Madden appearance is a turning point in a player's career and not in a good way so be prepared to preserve your memories of Drew Brees at his high point because pretty soon that's all you'll have left.

The good news is twofold. First of all, the Saints already won the freaking Superbowl so none of this shit even matters anymore. Secondly, the NFL draft is this week, and so there is ample opportunity to begin planning for the future. (hint)

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