In the latest piece of evidence indicating that video game football is not exactly a reflection of reality, Barry Sanders became the second straight Detroit Lion to be named to the Madden cover on Wednesday. Calvin Johnson won the honor last year, and actually broke the “Madden Curse” by having the most productive season by a wide receiver in NFL history. (Unless you consider the fact the Lions missed the playoffs to be a continuation of the curse).
Ironically, the last three covers have been represented by players from the two worst franchises the league has to offer — the Lions and Browns. They still remain the only two teams who have existed since the Super Bowl’s inception to not reach the game. Of course, Megatron and Sanders are several cuts above Cleveland’s representative on the cover– flash-in-the-pan running back Peyton Hillis.
This is actually the second time Sanders has been on the cover. The first is on Madden 2000, where he is shown in the background breaking a tackle by what appears to be Bears linebacker Sean Harris, who is possibly the only player worse than Hillis to be depicted on the cover. However, John Madden is on the centerpiece of that particular cover — the last time in the game’s history that has been the case.
The new Madden cover has a cool touch in the opposite direction. Sanders is in the foreground with a pair of iconic Detroit images in the background — the sculpture of Joe Louis’ fist, as well as those three buildings that haven’t been abandoned.