In case you missed the official announcement Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has now been named the Madden 19 cover athlete. Since word that that might ultimately happen started to leak out on Tuesday, several fans of the Steelers are now worried about Brown falling victim to the long running superstition called the Madden Curse. During a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Brown was asked to give his response to the people worried about him falling victim to that perceived curse.
“Well, you got to stay focused,” Brown said. “Obviously, this is a tremendous honor. You can’t get caught up in worrying about what others believe. I’m extremely focused and excited to be in everyone’s household, to let them see me in my Steelers uniform representing my club and representing my family and representing Madden. And so, I’m extremely excited to be a cover athlete since some of my friends, Gronk (Rob Gronkowski, Tom, Brady, Odell [Beckham]. So, I’m excited to join the names of those list of players to be the cover athlete.”
You can easily Google all of the stories related to players who are deemed to have fallen victim to the Madden Curse so I’m not going to regurgitate any of that information. Personally, I don’t believe in curses, only karma. Ha! I will, however, indulge you in the fact that former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was the last and only player from the organization to be on the cover of Madden since the game’s inception as he shared it with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in 2009, the season after both player’s teams squared off in Super Bowl XLIII. Polamalu’s 2009 season ultimately didn’t go well at all as he missed 11 regular season games due to a knee injury. Oh, and the Steelers also failed to make the playoffs that season.
As for Brown, who turned 30 last week, he’s had a relatively healthy and very productive career in the NFL since being drafted by the Steelers in 2010. His rookie season he missed one game due to a knee injury and three more during the 2013 season due to an ankle injury. He wouldn’t, however, miss another game due to injury until the 2015 Divisional Playoff Round as he was forced to sit that contest out due to a concussion he had suffered the week prior during the Steelers Wild Card Round win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Last season, Brown did miss the Steelers final two regular season games with a calf injury.
Obviously, should something drastic happen to Brown in 2018, fans and pundits will quickly point to him being on the cover of Madden this year as the reason why. If you are the kind of person who worries about such things, I suspect 2018 will be a long season for you.
Closing out his recent interview, Brown was asked to name the team he would choose in Madden if he couldn’t choose the Steelers and his response to the question was classic Brown.
“Well, the purpose of the video game is to play with yourself,” Brown said. “So, me, I’m trying to throw myself the ball the whole game. I’m trying to make everyone else run clear-out routes, I’m trying to load my stats up in the game to try to see if I get seven touchdowns.”