EA’s cover curse strikes again: Ronda Rousey is its latest victim

The so-called “Madden curse” looks to be extending to other EA Sports titles. No sooner had UFC star Ronda Rousey been named EA Sports’ UFC 2 cover athlete than she went down by knockout to Holly Holm at UFC 193 here in Melbourne.

The knockout has put a black spot on Rousey’s former 12-0 lossless record.

The Madden curse is well-known amongst gaming circles. Back in 1998, Garrison Hearts became the first person to appear on the Madden cover after John Madden himself, and almost immediately broke his ankle. He was out for two seasons while on the mend.

Later, Barry Sanders, the cover star of Madden 2000, suddenly retired before he played that season. Daunte Culpepper, Madden 2002 cover star, went on to blow out both his knees in 2005 and 2006. Finally, Donovan McNabb, the 2006 cover star, tore his ACL and meniscus a short time later.

The EA Sports cover curse doesn’t end at Madden (and UFC) — NHL ’16 was supposed to feature the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, but right before release, Kane was alleged to have sexually assaulted a young woman. He was removed from the cover, leaving star Jonathan Toews all on his lonesome. Though, both Kane and Toews have appeared on the NHL cover before, in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

“EA Sports is a cultural barometer to know what’s going on in sports at the moment,” Rousey said before UFC 193. “As a gamer myself, it’s pretty surreal to be on the cover of the game and to have a woman on the cover of a UFC game shows a lot of progress. I’m really happy to be involved with it.”

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About the author

Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.

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