Investigating The Madden 'Curse' Host Michele Norris speaks to Jamin Warren, co-founder of the video game magazine Kill Screen, about the cover of the wildly popular Madden Football game series. It's a big honor for a football player to make the cover of the game. But if you believe fans — and even some players — once you're on that cover, you might be bound for the injured list, a spate of interceptions, fumbles or a general career fog.
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Investigating The Madden 'Curse'

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Investigating The Madden 'Curse'

Investigating The Madden 'Curse'

Investigating The Madden 'Curse'

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Host Michele Norris speaks to Jamin Warren, co-founder of the video game magazine Kill Screen, about the cover of the wildly popular Madden Football game series. It's a big honor for a football player to make the cover of the game. But if you believe fans — and even some players — once you're on that cover, you might be bound for the injured list, a spate of interceptions, fumbles or a general career fog.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

Welcome to the program.

JAMIN WARREN: Hello. How are you?

NORRIS: Now I'm going to begin by asking you to explain this thing called the Madden curse. Is it real?

WARREN: The outcome was unexpected. From the very beginning, the players who ended up on the cover, they were either injured or something terrible would happen to them. It was to the point where EA themselves had to begin to talk about whether or not there was a curse. And all the fanfare around choosing that initial athlete kind of faded as you would sort of wait for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.

NORRIS: So, Jamin, we should talk about the two candidates for this year's cover. Peyton Hillis is a very good running back. Michael Vick is great, but, of course, comes with a big cart of well-documented baggage. Any chance that fans are voting for these guys not because they like them necessarily or because they're voting for the person that they really want to get hit with that curse?

WARREN: You know, I think my general theory is that EA was tired of shouldering the blame every year when something would happen to the players on the cover of the games. Now they've decided to diffuse the blame across, you know, everyone. It's everyone's fault now. It's a community problem.

NORRIS: You know, Michael Vick has a lot of people around him who are helping him craft his image on the other side of the storm surrounding the dogfighting and the charges and the - and his attempt to really, you know, rebuild his image around football. Would EA, Electronic Arts, want him to be the face of their flagship product? That seems like that might come with a few complications for them.

WARREN: I mean, normally, when people idolize video game characters, it's because of fantastical elements or things that they can't do in real life. And with football simulation, it's really interesting because the things they idolize in the video game are the exact same things that they idolize in real life.

NORRIS: Jamin, thanks so much.

WARREN: Thank you very much.

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