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Shuan Alexander on the cover of Madden NFL 2007
Take John Madden out of the picture and you run into problems. Before 1999, Madden's image graced every edition of the Madden NFL video games. Most of the athletes who succeeded him seemed to have been cursed. Michael Vick was the cover for the 2004 game and soon after suffered a leg injury causing him to sit out most of the season. Two years later, Donovan McNabb underwent a surgery that took him out of play for that season. Shaun Alexander (pictured) sustained a foot injury that ruined his stats for the year.
When Vince Young announced he'd be the cover in 2008, he admitted I done prayed about it." It's been reported that Young replaced this year's MVP LaDanian Tomlinson after a fan-led campaign, SaveLTFromMadden.com, might have led him to decline the offer.