Madden Curse, Philadelphia 76ers, and Sports Superstitions

If we know one thing, it’s that sports fans are incredibly superstitious.

That is certainly the case when it comes to injuries. Most NFL fans prefer their favorite player to not to be on the cover of the NFL Madden Video Games, because of the historic cases of injury. They call it the Madden Curse.

This same idea also applies to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers first-round picks have a history for always getting injured bringing up the question — are the 76ers cursed?

History of the Madden Curse

For years John Madden always graced the cover of the NFL Madden Football games, but in 1998, EA Sports changed things up putting Garrison Hearst on the cover. Hearst had his best season rushing for 1,570 yards for the San Francisco 49ers, but broke his ankle in a divisional playoff game. The break was so severe that he would miss the next two seasons. This is were the Madden Curse begins, according to Business Insider.

These are some of the various injuries that make up the argument for the Madden Covers list for “Madden Curse.”

  • (2001 Cover) Eddie George appeared on the 2001 cover and severely injured his toe the following year.
  • (2002 Cover) Dante Culpepper injured his knee and missed the final five games of the season after leading the NFL in passing touchdowns the year before.
  • (2003 Cover) Marshall Faulk had at least 2,000 yards from scrimmage in four straight seasons, but missed two games with injury and was limited in others.
  • (2004 Cover) Michael Vick missed the first 11 games with a broken leg.
  • (2006 Cover) Donovan McNabb suffered a sports hernia missing the final six weeks.
  • (2007 Cover) Shaun Alexander broke a bone in his foot and missed the final six games.
  • (2008 Cover) Vince Young strained his quadriceps missing one game.
  • (2010 Cover) Troy Polamalu missed 11 games with an injured knee ligament.
  • (2012 Cover) Peyton Hillis missed six games with various injuries.
  • (2017 Cover) Rob Gronkowski played in just eight games and missed all of the playoffs.

The overwhelming number of injuries to Madden Football cover stars is incredible, although, there has been a bit of a gap in recent years. I’m not saying there is a Madden Curse, but I’m also not not saying it. Time will tell for the 2018 Madden Cover.

History of the Philadelphia 76ers Curse

The Philadelphia 76ers have been an incredibly bad franchise in the recent years. The team consistently tanked each year and received high picks in the NBA Draft. They utilized the phrase “Trust the Process” as things started to look up, but there is no looking past the injury history for Sixers’ first rounders.

The list is incredible:

  • (2013 Draft) Nerlens Noel was selected with the No. 6 pick and played zero games his rookie season due to surgery on his right knee.
  • (2014 Draft) Joel Embiid was selected with the No. 3 pick, played zero games his next two seasons after having surge on a broken navicular bone in his right foot.
  • (2015 Draft) Jahlil Okafor played 53 games but sustained a small tear of the meniscus in his right knee.
  • (2016 Draft) Ben Simmons was selected with the No. 1 pick and played¬†zero¬† games his rookie season after suffering a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot.
  • (2017 Draft) Markelle Fultz was selected with the No. 1 pick and recently injured his ankle.

The history is insane. 76ers first-round picks have a weirdly high-rate of injury. Some of it may be to selecting injury-prone stars, but the persistent injuries is still peculiar.

So which is worse?

Both “curses” are interesting in their own right, but one stands out from the other: the Madden Curse.

Here’s why: Players who appear on the Madden Curse are generally at the top of their game. It’s an incredible honor that recognizes one of the NFL’s great players. The 76ers, on the other hand, are consistently bad. Injuries to their top picks move them from last place to….last place.

Don’t get me wrong. It sucks for the players in both situations. 76ers first-rounders have such high expectations but suffer brutal injuries and same goes for Madden covers.

Put your superstitions aside, though. There aren’t really curses…but I still will always hope my favorite player does not make it on the front of a Madden Cover. As for the Sixers, if you Trust it enough, maybe the Process will pay off.

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