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For years, EA’s Madden football video game series has been ruining careers of many prolific NFL players. SoB’s Pete chronicled the pitfalls for every Madden cover athlete from 1999 (Garrison Hearst) to 2008 (Brett Favre), and added extra analysis for 2009’s cover boys (Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu). We all know the Madden Curse affects NFL players, but can the game’s simulations curse NFL teams?
Bill Belichick, Bob Kraft, Tom Brady and the whole gang over in Foxboro better hope not.
ESPN.com’s Jon Robinson says he ran three separate simulations of the 2010 season and postseason. The result? Each time, the Patriots beat the Packers in the Super Bowl.
“I went ahead and simulated the season and postseason three different times, and got the same result all three times (the first time this has happened for me). According to my sims, the Patriots and Packers end up in the Super Bowl with the Patriots coming out on top in a high-scoring thriller thanks to the late-game heroics of Tom Brady,” said Robinson.
For what it’s worth, Madden sims have never really been the kiss of death for teams. EA has officially simualted each Super Bowl since 2004, and in six of the seven years, Madden’s simulation correctly identified the winner of the game, including two Super Bowl wins by the Patriots over the Panthers and Eagles (source: Wikipedia).
But, it’s also important to note that the only time that the Madden simulation was wrong was in 2008, when the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 to end New England’s pursuit of perfection. So, maybe Madden’s games have something against the Patriots? That remains to be seen.
Absolutely. The Pats and Pack were both playoff teams last year, and featured young defenses that continue to mature and (ideally) get better. The offenses for both teams are top-5 caliber, and both teams feature quarterbacks among the best in the NFL.
But, the Patriots have some problems too. Their defense is young and may not get that much better. Their running back position is occupied by three aging veterans (Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor) and a wildly inconsistent former first rounder (Laurence Maroney). Their head coach is also the team’s offensive AND defensive coordinator. Oh, and Tom Brady may be unhappy if he doesn’t get a contract extension before the season.
Also, the Patriots are in a stacked division that feature two teams that could finish 11-5 or better in the Jets and Dolphins. Can the Pats climb ahead of the Jets, Dolphins, Ravens, and Chargers? Only time will tell.
Do you think this this qualifies as being affected by the Madden Curse?