For years, Saints quarterback Drew Brees believed the fabled “Madden cover jinx” was a fairy tale dreamed up by superstitious people drawing parallels between unrelated events. However, recent events off the coast of Louisiana have made a believer out of Brees, who fears the massive gulf oil spill is a direct result of his being placed on the cover of Madden 2011.
“Wow, I always thought that Madden cover curse fake,” Brees said while watching coverage of the disaster. “I mean, the minute I get put on the cover – boom – there’s a big oil disaster right of the coast of the state I’m sitting in. They say the damage could ruin the Louisiana fishing industry. I guess I should feel a little guilty. If I didn’t have such a great year last year, none of this would be happening right now.”
Brees was named Madden cover boy on April 22. On the very same day, CNN reported that oil was leaking from an underwater rig that was damaged by an explosion two days earlier.
“I didn’t even get to enjoy being the cover boy for a day before the jinx hit,” Brees said. “I’m literally sitting there on my couch admiring the thing for the first time when breaking news hits CNN that there is a massive amount of oil leaking out of a damaged rig in – you guessed it – the Gulf of Mexico, right off the coast of – you guessed it – Louisiana, which is the state where you guessed it New Orleans is. I just hope they don’t put me on the cover ofSports Illustratedthis year. I don’t want a sink hole to swallow the French Quarter.”
On the bright side, Brees said, at least the curse didn’t take the form of an injury or some other team-related misfortune.
“I guess I should just be happy that I didn’t tear my ACL or something,” said Brees. “I mean, sure, the oil leak is catastrophic in its own right, but if something happened to me, the people of this region would have nobody to play for them. Now at least I can go out and dedicate this season to all those affected by the Gulf oil spill of 2010.”
Not everybody believes the Madden cover jinx is responsible for the gulf oil spill. In fact, some of Brees’ own teammates believe the connection between the two events is “a bit of a stretch.”
"Oh, come on,” said receiver Marques Colston. “I think Drew is getting a little too caught up in the whole jinx thing. Just because the oil spill happened at around the same time as he was named cover boy doesn’t mean the two things are related. He needs to be less self-centered and have a greater world view. Don’t get me wrong, though. I do believe in the Madden cover jinx, I just think it will manifest itself in some other way, such as the insanely painful and debilitating back spasms I’ve been having the past few weeks.”
"I don't know. Who do you have hiding in your pants?"
You can't spell "D'oh!" without O.
If EA Sports is right, the Indianapolis Colts will hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of Super Bowl XLIV.
Using a video game simulation of Super Bowl XLIV with their football franchiseMadden NFL, the publisher predicts the Colts will defeat the New Orleans Saints 37-31 thanks to a crushing Drew Brees interception returned for a touchdown in the final minute. The turnover will be the fifth and final one by the Saints in a game that seemed destined they would lose, no matter how well they played.
"The Saints put forth a valiant effort with some flawless play-calling and outstanding execution," said EA spokesman Brian Noll. "But it seemed the computer had it in for them. You know how that is sometimes."
Brees' first interception of the game came on New Orleans' opening drive when the Saints went 64 yards to the Colts' 18-yard line in four plays. On the very next play, Brees spotted Marques Colston breaking open on a post pattern near the end zone and let the ball go. But, seemingly out of nowhere, Colts linebacker Gary Brackett leaped high into the air and caught the ball one-handed even though it was being thrown 12 yards downfield past him.
"A very impressive play. Almost inconceivable," said EA's Noll. "But guys step up in the Super Bowl."
The Colts responded three plays later. After being shut down for a total of two yards on their first two plays, Pierre Garcon caught the ball on a slant pattern and bowled over five Saints defenders on the way to an 86-yard touchdown.
The Saints then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting the Colts up for a 14-0 lead on a Peyton Manning touchdown pass that was lasered in to Reggie Wayne between three Saints' defenders in blanket coverage. Manning also appeared to have been hit a good second before he released the ball, but the blow did not affect the ball's perfect flight. New Orleans stormed back after that thanks to some determined play and eventually tied the score 31-31 but it was not meant to be.
"They had to know the computer wasn't going to let them win," said Noll. "It was that kind of game."
Brees' final interception came as New Orleans was driving into field goal range for a game-winning kick. At Indianapolis' 33-yard-line, Brees rolled out to his left and hit a wide open Reggie Bush on a screen pass. But the pass unexpectedly caromed off Bush high into the air, where it landed in the arms of Indianapolis' Jerraud Powers, who ran it back 70 yards for the game's decisive score as time expired.
"Even for a classic Madden computer screw job, it was hard to watch," said Noll.