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49ers RB Christian McCaffrey on Madden curse: “I’m not superstitious at all about it”

Jun 12, 2024 at 9:25 AM

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The "Madden curse" may be overblown. Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports recently examined the history of the video game covers and assessed whether the curse has any validity. He concluded that 58% of the previous cover athletes experienced misfortune during the season following their selection. However, over the past 10 years, that percentage has dropped to 25%.

According to Benjamin, the last year a player was cursed was in 2018 when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was on the game's cover. The following year, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was the cover athlete and went on to win his first Super Bowl—against the San Francisco 49ers.

Running back Christian McCaffrey was just named the cover athlete for the latest entry in the EA Sports franchise, Madden NFL 25. He recently joined the NFL Network show, "The Insiders," and was asked about any trepidation regarding the "Madden curse."

"No, I'm not superstitious at all about it," McCaffrey told Tom Pelissero. "I was so excited, man. I mean, this was such an honor to be able to [do this]. When I first got the call, I was in shock. It was something that I just never thought would happen to me. I never thought that somebody would call and tell me I'm on the cover of Madden.

"So when I got the call, I wasn't thinking about any curse. I was just excited. And, no, I think that stuff is kind of myth, and whatever happens, happens. But I'm excited to be on the cover."

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen appeared on the cover of Madden NFL 24. While his team was eliminated from the playoffs in the second round, Allen logged his fourth consecutive season throwing for over 4,200 passing yards and started all 17 regular-season games. The only downside might have been his career-high 18 interceptions.

McCaffrey is coming off an impressive 2023 campaign. His league-leading 2,023 scrimmage yards and 21 total touchdowns helped earn him NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors, while his career-high 1,459 rushing yards led the league.

Last week, the 49ers rewarded McCaffrey with a contract extension to keep the running back in the Bay Area through the 2027 season, securing his financial future.
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