I held my breath, grit my teeth and voted for Brian Orakpo for the cover of EA Games’ Madden 12.
I didn’t want to vote for Orakpo, mind you. I like the guy. Superstitious as I am, I really believe if he makes the cover, something bad will happen to him this season. Yes, Virginia, there is a Madden Curse.
EA Sports is letting fans pick the athlete to grace the cover of this year’s version of the video football simulation game. In a clever twist, the voting process is set up like the NCAA Tournament bracket, with one player from each of 32 teams facing off against one other player. Voting for this round is open on ESPN Sportsnation through April 3.
The 16 survivors of that round move on to a second voter paring with the online poll closing on April 10.
Orakpo is paired against Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks in Round One. We can’t let Orakpo lose to a Giant. So, go vote for Brian. Don’t worry. Even with the Curse, it’s safe. A quarterback is going to make the cover, most likely Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Points after: EA Sports releases the updated Madden game to coincide with the start of the NFL season, normally September. So, this whole labor thing between the owners and the Player’s Association has to resolve by September to not interrupt the release of Madden. Right?
Tell me I’m right.
Fun fact – NFL players have been shown on Madden since 2000, which coincides with Dan Snyder’s ownership of the Washington Redskins. Coincidentally, no Redskin player has ever graced the Madden cover in spite of Snyder’s best effort to sign big-name players to Washington. Unless you count Donovan McNabb, cover player of Madden 06.
That doesn’t count because he was an Eagle.
The three current Redskins most likely to make a future cover of Madden are all Washington draftees: Orakpo, LaRon Landry and Chris Cooley. That’s not a coincidence. That’s a hint.
Only two defensive players have ever been pictured on Madden, Ray Lewis on Madden 2005 and Troy Polamalu, with Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, on Madden 10 that was released for the NFL 2009 season. Polamalu was injured in the first game of the year and would appear in five games the whole season.
Ray Lewis escaped the cover jinx in 2004 (Madden 2005), but missed 10 games in 2005.
That brings us back to Brian Orakpo and the Madden cover curse. Um, if you believe the cover is a curse, then DO NOT vote for Brian and save the Redskins season.