I have to admit, I secretly love this time of year. And I don’t mean Springtime in New York (although I do). I mean the announcement of the player who will grace this year’s incarnation of EA’s Madden NFL video game.
I love it because it means sportswriters all around the country will be talking about the Madden Jinx. When will it strike? What team will be affected? Will it strike at all?
So why do I care? Because … I made it up—in 2002, the year Marshall Faulk graced the cover. The Madden Jinx was the very first piece I pitched to The Mag. My first ESPN clip. I owe a lot to that made-up jinx. If it’s not responsible for landing me my job at The Mag, it was at least the idea that made a few editors say, “Hey, that Cheerleader mag chick gets us.”
It also meant my first real interview with a pro athlete. Kind of. I e-mailed questions to Faulk’s agent. When they came back answered, I remember thinking, “Wow, Marshall Faulk maybe answered questions, written by me, that his PR person possibly took the time to ask him. How cool is that?”
Well, with today’s announcement, it all may come crashing to an end. The athlete fronting this year’s Madden cover is Brett Favre, the first retired athlete on the box. Unless he pulls a Junior Seau and reappears in a Patriots jersey in a few months (ooo, that’s a frightening thought), or pulls a Favre and just returns to the Packers, this year’s coverboy has no chance of continuing the curse.
So, Brett, if I can make one request of you … please come back. My reputation’s on the line here.