The colorful and sometimes annoying analyst John Madden was once famous for his playing and coaching abilities. The former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Oakland Raiders decided to lend his name to EA Sports in 1986 in hopes of creating a football game that could also be used as a teaching tool.

Since 1986, the game has developed into a staple in the industry, generated billions of dollars in revenue and created so much excitement that the release day for the game is dubbed “Madden Holiday” in which enthusiasts schedule days off from work in celebration of their favorite holiday.

NFL players also look forward to the game when their “player ratings” are revealed. The player ratings are probably the most extensive part of the game in which all positions and all stats are calculated and a final rating or score is given. Most players who do not get a satisfactory score (usually 80 and above) obviously doubt the validity of the rating but there has to be something said when a video game has predicted the Super Bowl winner a majority of the time since the simulations began. Not bad for “just a video game.” But with much accolade comes one negative aspect about the franchise and that is the famous Madden Curse.

“Madden Holiday is here
and we will play all night.
Call in sick and sound sincere
and tackles will be light.
The fridge is packed with drink and meat,
the taste of victory sure is sweet
Come my friends on this launch day,
hailmary’s we will throw.”

(poem from