Is New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty aware of the “Madden Curse”? Judge for yourself by his response to Friday’s announcement that quarterback Tom Brady would grace the video game’s cover next season.
“As long as he does what Tom does, I’m happy about it,” McCourty told The Knockturnal Friday evening inside The Plaza Hotel. The Nyack, New York native and his twin brother Jason were in attendance at the inaugural Yogi Berra Museum Awards Dinner, recipients of the “Yogi Berra Museum Service Award.”
“It was cool to see the cover and to see ‘G.O.A.T. Edition,’” the two-time Super Bowl champ continued, referencing the acronym “Greatest of All Time.” “He’s the oldest guy on a ‘Madden’ so he has to feel great (that) at 40 in August, he’s still on a ‘Madden’ cover. That’s a pretty great reward.”
The “Madden Curse” refers to players who were chosen as the face of “Madden NFL” only to fall prey the subsequent year to an injury or production drop-off. Past “victims” include Troy Polamalu, Vince Young, Michael Vick and Daunte Culpepper. Last season, New England tight end Rob Gronkowski joined the infamous club, appearing in only eight games due to injury.
Of course, things eventually turned out just fine for the Patriots as the team won its fifth Lombardi Trophy. McCourty has already begun working out during the week in New England as the team seeks to repeat, but found himself in Manhattan Friday to accept an award for the cause he and his brother champion: Tackle Sickle Cell.
“We just try to do things that we believe in and help kids and help patients with Sickle Cell Disease,” McCourty told me of his family’s non-profit, which is affiliated with the Embrace Kids Foundation. “It’s an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as Yogi Berra.”
The gala, which also honored Yankees’ legend Ron Guidry and team General Partner / Vice Chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal, raised funds for the The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State University. Berra, a Baseball Hall of Famer with 18 All-Star appearances and 10 championships to his name, would have been 92 on Friday.