If You Believe In The Madden Curse, It Just Dislocated Patrick Mahomes' Knee

Illustration for article titled If You Believe In The Madden Curse, It Just Dislocated Patrick Mahomes' Knee
Photo: Justin Edmonds (Getty)

I have written at length—albeit a long time ago—on this website about how there is no such thing as the Madden curse. If you ever want to put together a counter-argument, though, today is your day to do it.


Patrick Mahomes, the brightest young star in the NFL, reigning MVP and cover star of Madden 20, just suffered what NFL.com calls a “gruesome knee injury and was instantly ruled out for the rest of the game.

The NFL Network’s James Palmer reports that Mahomes suffered a “patella (kneecap) dislocation” (you can see doctors pop it back in in the video above), and will have an MRI tomorrow to determine if he has also suffered any ligament damage. Even if he hasn’t, Mahomes could still be out for up to six weeks just recovering from the dislocation.

This sucks, because despite the rest of the sport’s issues, Mahomes is an exhilarating talent, and the NFL is worse for having him on the sidelines for what could be an extended period of time.

That’s this year’s cover in the trash, but let’s not forget that Madden 19s cover star was Antonio Brown, who so far in 2019 has been released from one team, cut from another, accused of rape and caught sending threatening text messages to someone else who had accused him of sexual assault.

This may provide ammunition for Madden curse believers, but I put it to you that football is the problem here, not a video game.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.


Here’s the thing with the “curse”. Any player, statistically, is going to have a roughly 4.1% chance to injure themselves and they tend to miss a mean of 3.1 games per injury as per this article from 2016 (with broken graphics)


This means, on average, a player is has a roughly 54% chance to be injured in a season. So, while it can’t quite be said a player can be “due” for an injury, if you flip a coin enough times it’s generally, eventually going to come up tails. Most players that feature on the cover were healthy for most or all season in the year before they were featured and players that are good enough to make the cover probably play a lot of snaps. The more snaps you play, the more chances for you to be injured.  It’s less of a curse and more of a statistical probability.