Madden cover curse? Not so in Calvin's case

The Detroit News

Madden NFL cover jinx? What curse? asks ESPN’s Kevin Seifert who presents former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson as a classic case where being depicted on the video game cover didn't affect performance.

Johnson was featured on the 2013 cover. Seifert writes on what happened next: "Oh, no big deal. He just set the NFL record for yardage in a season (1,964), breaking the mark Jerry Rice had held for 16 years. Johnson managed to stave off the cover award's effects for three more 1,000-yard seasons before he retired the past winter."

He ranks Madden cover boys going back to 2000, which includes Barry Sanders (who’s depicted in the background of the 2000 cover with the eponymous John Madden in the forefront) at No. 17 when he faxed his retirement letter.

The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski will be on the Madden NFL '17 cover, it was announced Thursday.