We all know about the ‘Madden Curse’ – everyone who gets featured on the game’s cover experiences a year of horrible misfortune and disappointment. What everyone forgets, though, is that John Madden himself was on the cover of the iconic game for its first 10 years. This asks the obvious question: What kind of horrible things were happening to the poor bastard for a near decade? We found out.

• Broke his leg.
• It rained on his birthday.

• Hair started thinning.
• Was caught mid-blink in new driver’s license photo.

• People thought he went as a pumpkin for Halloween, but he didn’t dress up.
• One half-time, was caught on mic admitting he’s “more of a tennis guy.”

1993 - MADDEN NFL '94
• Developed Telestrator’s Elbow. Couldn’t doodle on screens for 8-12 weeks.
• Suffered telestrating withdrawals.
• Got addicted to opiates.

1994 - MADDEN NFL '95
• Mistook microwave for washer and ruined his nice pants.
• Had to set a mousetrap for a mouse problem and it went off as he was trying to set it. It didn’t get his fingers, but it scared him cuz it came close. He decided to just live with the mouse.
• Joined a Pilates class but never went. That’s on him though.
• Auditioned for and lost the role of Ross on Friends.

1995 - MADDEN NFL '96
• Entire year of mis-buttoning his shirt buttons by one.
• For some reason, couldn’t say “Boom” catchphrase during Tinactin commercial, instead said “Bam” for 688 consecutive takes, until voice actor had to say it for him. The voice actor later died.
• Forgot how to loud whistle with his fingers, one of the few talents he had.
• Kept waking up with “The nightmare about butts again.”

1996 - MADDEN NFL 97
• Entire year of mis-buttoning his shirt buttons by two.
• Forgot how to blink.
• Accidentally joined Al Queda, thinking it was “Spanish for 'the cheese.’”
• Almost drowned in cereal milk.

1997 - MADDEN NFL 98
• Hit and run (alleged).
• Came up with the idea for Facebook but didn’t act on it.
• Dropped a baby.
• After leaving it on the counter for a while, thought he was taking a bite of a Turducken, but ended up being a Turduckenroach.
• Fed Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food to his fish and killed them.

1998 - MADDEN NFL 99
• Introduced himself as Mohn Jadden at least a dozen pre-game shows.
• Dropped another baby.
• Dropped from Tinactin after fungus scandal.
• His wife lost 15 pounds which doesn’t sound bad on paper, but it was her left leg.
• McDonalds gave him a 4 piece nuggets instead of 6.

1999 - MADDEN NFL 2000
• Experienced entire year of sneezes that never fully became sneezes, just stopping after the pre-sneeze buildup.
• Y2K somehow only affected his computers.
• Had war flashbacks, but the card-game version.
• Developed a weird pain in his abdomen. After going to the doctor, he got a horrible diagnosis; a rare disease leaving him with only a week to live. Devastated, he chose to spend his last days on his deathbed with close friends and family. As he started to lose consciousness, a doctor entered. He walked closer – closer and closer – until finally, he emerged from the shadows. His face? A butt. The nurses? Butts. His family, all butt-people. It was the nightmare about butts again. After waking in a panic, he looked up a local witchdoctor who performed an emergency curse removal, passing the misfortune onto future Madden cover athletes, their teams, and for some reason, the yet-to-be-created Microsoft Zune. Madden hasn’t had nightmares since, and is currently in immaculate health.