by Alex Poletti
Photo by Joe Burbank
After winning MVP honors at Super Bowl LIV, video game company Electronic Arts has removed Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes from the cover of their football video game ‘Madden 20,’ citing his playoff success being incongruent with what they expect from their cover athletes.
“Today, we’d like to announce that all future copies of ‘Madden 20’ will not feature Patrick Mahomes,” CEO Andrew Wilson says. “We will be recalling the product from stores as well in hopes of remedying this situation as soon as possible.”
This seems a bit strange for the company to be exerting so much energy on changing the cover art of a game that came out in June of 2019, but EA considers Mahomes’s Super Bowl win an egregious violation of their expectations.
“We have a long history of cover athletes getting injured or choking in the playoffs,” Wilson continues. “So much so that it’s become a staple of being on the cover. When Mahomes won the Super Bowl, he betrayed our trust and ruined the legacy of this game’s cover.”
The Madden Curse, as it’s known, started back with ‘Madden 99,’ when running back Garrison Hearst broke his ankle after posing for the video game. Since then, 16 of the 22 athletes to grace the cover suffered injuries the following season. Before Mahomes, only Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski won the Super Bowl the same year he appeared on the front of the game, but he was out for the game with a back injury.
“What makes this so heartbreaking is that it looked like Patrick was going to obey the rules of the Madden Curse at the beginning of the season,” Blake Jorgensen, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, says. “When he dislocated his kneecap in week seven, I felt like we were all on track. Then he has to go and stab us in the back by winning a Super Bowl. It’s unbelievable.”
EA announced that in lieu of Mahomes, a photo of Kyle Shanahan crying into a bag of Applebee’s takeout.