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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Favre still at risk for Madden jinx

He’s a Super Bowl winner who has thrown for more touchdowns (and interceptions) than any quarterback in NFL history. He’s won three MVP awards. And he’s the winningest signal caller in league history. But in his illustrious career, there’s one thing Brett Favre’s never done: grace the cover of the Madden video game.

That is, until now.

With his image set to be the Madden ’09 cover, Favre will become the first retired player to do so. He also joins Dorsey Levens (he was featured on a version of the game released in Europe in 2000) as one of two Packers to receive this honor, and is the fifth quarterback chosen by EA Sports — following in the footsteps of Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Vince Young.

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Almost all fans of the game know about the alleged “Madden curse” that haunts a player after he is used as the cover boy. Just about every player since 1999 has fallen victim to the curse.

In 2001 — my first encounter with the Madden series, back in the days of Nintendo 64 — Eddie George was one of the first to experience the curse. In 2000, he rushed for 1,509 yards and 14 touchdowns. The next season, after he was on the cover: only 939 yards and five touchdowns. Culpepper saw a similar decline in production the year after he was on it as well. And as for Vick, the 2004 cover boy, well, that sad story writes itself.

Packer fans are likely glad that Favre was never chosen until after his playing days in Green Bay ended (although he would have made a great candidate a number of times). Meanwhile, fans of other teams are surely celebrating that their star player wasn’t selected. New England’s Tom Brady or Randy Moss, San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson and the Giants’ Eli Manning could have all been argued for this year’s Madden, as each put up the type of year that warrants a video game cover. Nevertheless, they’ll all avoid the curse for at least one more season.

Favre admitted that he isn’t exactly a video game junkie — then again, not many 38-year-olds are. Not surprisingly, though, he said most of his teammates are pretty good at the game, with some playing the game better than they play in real life (Aaron Rodgers?). Most athletes typically like to play as themselves on the game, which is understandable. But if Favre is ever to pick up a controller and try to light up the virtual opponents like he did the real ones, he’ll be able to do that playing on any team — he’s a free agent on the game.

Surely, now that he’s retired (don’t believe the rumors that he’s coming back), Favre is obviously immune from the cover jinx, right?

Wrong.

Just consider the following scenarios that very well may happen to Favre. After all, not even Green Bay’s golden boy is invincible.

Brett’s wife, Deanna, intercepts the flu from him.

Tack up one more interception thrown by the career leader.

Following in the footsteps of basketball great Michael Jordan, Favre tries his hand at another sport but is unsuccessful.

A brief stint on the new and improved American Gladiators ends poorly for No. 4 when he dislocates both arms after taking a big hit from Wolf in the Gauntlet. (Rumors also were flying on the show that Favre and one of the female Gladiators, Hellga, were seen canoodling backstage, but Brett adamantly denied the report.)

While shopping at a mall in his home state of Louisiana, Favre is spotted wearing a pair of Levi jeans.

An anonymous tipster who saw Brett wearing the denim quickly made a call to the Wrangler headquarters; minutes later, the front office of Wrangler cut all ties with the former spokesman Favre, who was later seen crying in the mall’s food court after hearing the news.

After filing for bankruptcy when his daughter, Brittany, invests the family fortune into a failing clothing line started by former packer Gilbert Brown, Brett is forced to work as a bag boy at Piggly Wiggly to support the family.

Ironically, Favre sets a new record in the process: most sacks (filled) in a day, with 344.

Favre’s former backup and current Green Bay starter, Aaron Rodgers, breaks all of Brett’s team records — in one season.

You wish, Packer fans.

Tyler is a junior majoring in journalism. Let him know who your choice for the cover of Madden ’09 would have been at [email protected].

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