You happy, bro?
Richard Sherman sure is.
On Friday, the 2-time All Pro, Pro Bowl, and Super Bowl Champion cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks was voted by the fans via ESPN.com for the title of Madden Cover Athlete, beating out Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Fans have been voting for the athlete in a tournament tree style voting process since the start of Madden NFL 12.
Sherman becomes the first defensive back since Steelers safety Troy Polamalu on Madden NFL 10 to grace the cover of the popular pro football video game series. However, unlike Sherman, Polamalu shared the cover with Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Sherman also becomes the third defensive athlete to be featured on the cover (Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens was the first defensive player featured on Madden NFL 2005).
This isn’t the first time a Seattle Seahawks player has been on the Madden cover-Shaun Alexander graced the cover of Madden NFL 07 after his record breaking MVP performance during the 2005 season when the Seahawks made a run to their first Super Bowl. Seattle would eventually fall to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, 21-10.
Seahawks fans may see this as a mixed blessing. The year Alexander graced the cover, he sustained a broken bone in his foot that caused him to miss 6 games. His overall numbers, from rushing yardage to rushing touchdowns, dropped significantly. The next year, his numbers deteriorated even further and his career eventually ended after the 2008 season. Many are worried Sherman could be the next victim of the “Madden Curse.” For those unaware of the “Madden Curse,” it’s a superstition that the athlete featured on the cover becomes injured and/or experiences a significant decline in play. The curse started with Madden NFL 99 when 49ers running back Garrison Hearst broke his ankle and missed the next two seasons.
There’s plenty of reason to think that Sherman won’t be injured or have something drastically happen to him, but it’s hard to deny the unusual circumstances surrounding the Madden cover.
Don’t believe it? Take a look at this info graphic of the Madden Athletes since the 2000 Season (aka Madden NFL 2001).
Madden NFL 15 will be released on August 25th and be available for Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.