Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson, will appear on the cover of EA Sports’ Madden 21 football video game. The cover of Madden Football has been linked to jinxed players in the past, but the last few players who graced the Madden cover faded the so-called hex.
Last season, Patrick Mahomes appeared on the cover and the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
Jackson has been the favorite to land the cover since he won the MVP award in February. He won by a unanimous vote too — a super rare feat that happened only once before in NFL history. He joined Tom Brady as the only other unanimous MVP winner (Brady won that in 2010).
Jackson accounted for 43 touchdowns on the year (36 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns). He also rushed for 1,206 yards, which broke the former QB rushing record (previously held by Michael Vick). Jackson became only the second QB in NFL history to lead the league in passing touchdowns and rushing yards (joining Steve Young circa 1994).
Jackson also set a record by becoming the youngest QB to win the MVP (a few days shy of his 23rd birthday).
In only his second season in the NFL, Jackson led the Ravens to a 14-2 record and the top seed in the AFC. They were upset by the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Round.
Coming into the 2020 season, the Ravens are one of the Super Bowl favorites. According to an update by William Hill, the Ravens are 6/1 odds to win the 2021 Super Bowl.
Go all out in #Madden21
— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) June 16, 2020
JLax Madden 21 Reveal
EA Sports changed up Madden cover this year. Instead of one image, it’s a collage of five images of Lamar Jackson in action.
“It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid, since I first started playing Madden,” said Jackson. “It’s dope. I have every Madden. To me, to be on the front of it, it’s a dream come true.”
Madden 21 will be available on all platforms (PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One) on August 28, 2020. The MVP version of Madden 21 will be available on August 31. Versions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will come out later in the year.
No Mas Madden Cover Jinx?
The Madden Cover Jinx first reared its ugly head at the turn of the century. It seemed like any player that appeared on the cover of Madden Football was doomed for the season. It began with Daunte Culpepper and Madden 02. Then, continued for the next two seasons with Marshall Faulk and Michael Vick encountering calamity in the ensuing seasons.
The Madden Cover Curse returned in back-to-back seasons in the late 2000s with Sean Alexander and Vince Young.
Peyton Hillis might be the biggest victim of the proverbial cover hex. Hillis, a former Cleveland Browns running back, is the NFL’s version of a one-hit-wonder, like the artist who performed “I’m Too Sexy” or Miley Cyrus’ dad’s cheesy country anthem from the 1990s.
- Madden Curse Victims: Daunte Culpepper (Madden 02), Marshall Faulk (Madden 03), Michael Vick (Madden 04), Shaun Alexander (Madden 07), Vince Young (Madden 08), Peyton Hillis (Madden 12).
In the last few seasons, players on the cover faded the Madden Curse. When Patrick Mahomes dislocated his kneecap at the start of last season, Chiefs fans assumed the cover hex struck down their QB. Mahomes quickly recovered and led the Chiefs all the way to a championship.
Two seasons ago, Antonio Brown appeared on the cover and had a strong season. Three seasons ago, old man Tom Brady appeared on the cover of Madden 18. He went to the Super Bowl, but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The year before that, Rob Gronkowski appeared on the Madden 17 cover. The effervescent Gronk didn’t let bad juju get inside is head. He did, however, undergo surgery after suffering a mid-season back injury.
“I want that curse,” joked Lamar Jackson about the Madden cover. “I hope that’s a curse.”