Every year a new football star appears on EA's Madden NFL cover, and for some reason, said player's performance is reduced or they get injured.
For instance, the Madden 2010 cover players were Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu. Fitzgerald suffered a rib injury that caused him to miss a playoff game, along with the Pro Bowl, while Polamalu sprained his MCL in the season opener before tearing his PCL later in the season. Those are just two of many unfortunate incidents involving cover players. This strange phenomena has come to be known as the 'Madden Curse'.
According to The Wrap, the curse is in line for a movie, and EA is producing. The story is said to follow a former Madden player who is forced out of retirement after spotting himself in the corner of the game's cover - making him subject to the curse.
If the rumours are true, it's fairly bizarre of EA to highlight problems players have had and blame them on the supposed 'curse'. EA's new-found belief in the curse - likely thanks to the potential for profit - is a nice change in tune from 2007, when EA Sports' marketing director Chris Erb told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "I don't know that we believe in the curse. The players don't believe in the curse."