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April 20, 2012

Cam Newton issues Madden challenge


Far from running from the Madden curse, Cam Newton is campaigning for a spot on the cover of the video game he has played since his childhood.

Newton, the Panthers' record-breaking quarterback, issued a challenge Friday to Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson – the other finalist in the online voting for the cover – and fans to play him in the popular EA Sports' Madden NFL game.

Newton's 'Cam-paign' challenge came in the form of a home-made, seven-minute video released on YouTube.

The video apparently was shot with a hand-held camera inside Newton's Charlotte condo. Newton is clearly enjoying himself on the video, but he makes it clear he covets the cover, curse be darned.

This is a big deal for me because I play Madden,” Newton said.

I don't believe in (the curse) because right now I am in the midst of OTA practices, working to be the best player I can be, along with my teammates,” Newton added. “And I'm pretty sure everyone in the league is doing the same thing.”

After the opening sequence, Newton invites viewers into his “laboratory” – a TV room in which he had two Madden games going on a pair of flat-screens.

He asks Johnson, aka “Megatron,” to play him in an online Madden showdown. Newton then makes the same offer to fans, as the camera pans to a dry-erase board detailing information they need to accept the challenge.

The supposed Madden curse started in 1999 with former San Francisco running back Garrison Hearst, who broke his ankle after appearing on the cover and missed the next two seasons. Since then, many of the cover honorees have suffered injury or a drop in production the following season.

But Newton is undeterred.

Madden 13 needs a real gamer,” Newton said on the video. “I am that.”

The Madden voting continues through next week; the winner will be announced Wednesday on ESPN's SportsNation.

--Joseph Person

(Fans wanting to challenge Newton in Madden should e-mail their full name, phone number and gamer tag to playcam@cam1newton.com.)


Posted by Observer Sports on April 20, 2012 at 02:31 PM | Permalink


I think it's really cool he is doing this. I've already emailed him to try to get a game in.

Posted by: Evan | Apr 20, 2012 2:56:04 PM

That is a cool shirt Newton is wearing. I admire him taking the "curse" head on, but I still voted for Calvin Johnson. I'm not taking any chances.

Posted by: defensewinsgames | Apr 20, 2012 3:16:01 PM

I want that t-shirt!!

Posted by: Buck1 | Apr 20, 2012 3:37:54 PM

Wow, it's been an hour and a half since this was posted and there aren't any "YOU SEE? THIS PROVES THAT CAM NEWTON IS THE MOST EVIL PERSON TO EVER WALK THE EARTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" posts by all the 'Bama and Saints fans that have been dominating the comments on this blog. There may be hope after all...

I'm glad Cam is embracing this, but I still believe in the curse and want Megatron to win.

Posted by: J | Apr 20, 2012 3:52:59 PM

Cam is such a showboater, you have to wonder how long a small market like Charlotte can hold onto him.

Posted by: Nuke | Apr 20, 2012 4:17:35 PM

Is it "Fear No One" or "Fear #1"? Cool shirt.

Posted by: Big Kev | Apr 20, 2012 4:35:14 PM

I have to agree with this post by "Voiselle" in the Charlotte Observer Panthers forum.Cam Newton may need to read it and heed it.


Joined: 08/28/2011

Posts: 368

"Last year Peyton Hillis became a believer in the Madden Curse."

"Peyton Hillis last year."

May 2011: “I’m a Christian man and I don’t believe anything could be put in front of me that God can’t take away. I would love to prove everyone wrong and have an exceptional year and not get hurt.”

December 2011: "There's a few things that happened this year that made me believe in curses. Ain't no doubt about it."

Read more here: http://forums.charlotteobserver.com/?q=node/19756#storylink=cpy

Posted by: Black--Panther | Apr 20, 2012 5:02:33 PM

Under Armour's website had these shirts VERY briefly... but they are currently sold out. I've been trying to get one for weeks. They told me that they are working to get more in stock. Don't know what is taking so long...

Posted by: appstategrad2008 | Apr 20, 2012 5:03:45 PM

Hey Nuke,

You're a dud.

Posted by: John | Apr 20, 2012 5:16:13 PM

Hey Nuke,

Cam's a stud... you're a dud.

Posted by: John | Apr 20, 2012 5:16:52 PM

Sounds like Cam is already got the big head. the jinx is on.

Posted by: Dragon | Apr 20, 2012 6:00:15 PM


Small market team? Like Green Bay? Who has Aaron Rogers but no interstate, Maggianos, or Trader Joes? If the Panthers win, he'll stay.

Posted by: PantherD | Apr 20, 2012 6:03:06 PM

Oh boy. Another story about Cam.

Posted by: Mike | Apr 20, 2012 6:56:00 PM

Hey "J", I'm a die hard Crimson Tide Fan but I'm also a super die hard Carolina Panthers fan. When Cam was at Auburn, I hated anything he did. Now that he's with the home team, I let bye gones be bye gones. He's our Quarterback and that's that. Let's win a Championship Baby!!!! Go Panthers!!!

Posted by: BlackKat | Apr 20, 2012 8:21:58 PM

I like the video - hilarious! I really like that t-shirt!! Lastly, I absolutely love the way Cam looks...wow! When he thumped his chest I almost fell outta ma chair. On behalf of the famale Cam-Nation, uuuueeeiiii! On another note, I've heard JStew also brag about being good - would love to see the two against each other.

Posted by: ColdInNY | Apr 20, 2012 8:59:31 PM

The Madden curse is pure coincidence. Knowing that Cam was likely to win the cover, I did some digging to see if the curse was real or not. It isn't.

In most cases, the players were running backs somewhere around 30 - which we know is when running backs begin to rapidly decline - or old quarterbacks who were long past their primes. Ray Lewis had been hurt for a significant part of another season in which he wasn't on the cover. Michael Vick was on the cover in 2004, and we all know how his run-first style of play is such an injury risk. Is it really any surprise that one of his injuries turned out to be serious? And by the way, Drew Brees was on the 2010 cover but didn't skip a beat in 2009. Vince Young, the cover athlete for 2009, was overhyped coming into the NFL and has since become what could be considered an overall bust.

The Madden curse is basically just a legend that has been made into a way bigger deal than it is. I hope Cam gets the cover.

Posted by: Matt | Apr 20, 2012 9:03:26 PM

Charlotte a small market? Do you realize the Carolina Panthers are one of the top ten most profitable franchises? Before Newton was ever in the picture? Charlotte might be a small market population wise, however please do not underestimate the amount of money that lives in Charlotte. Bet you wish you could say the same thing about your poverty ridden murder Capitol of the nation. The Saints were irrelevant 5 years ago and thy will once again be irrelevant. Goodbye irrelevant New Orleans. You are once again irrelevant

Posted by: Patrick | Apr 20, 2012 11:44:53 PM

Apologies...I forgot to mention New Orleans was once again irrelevant

Posted by: Patrick | Apr 20, 2012 11:47:33 PM

New Orleans is irrelevant

Posted by: Patrick | Apr 21, 2012 2:07:23 AM


Posted by: PANTHERSFAN4LIFE | Apr 21, 2012 8:16:54 AM

The Madden Cover Curse IS real. Do NOT vote for Cam and ruin our 2012 season. The chance something will happen to him is not worth taking the chance just to get on the cover of a stupid video game.

The Madden Curse: Fact or Fiction?
Geradl Coffey USA Today

ESPN's Outside the Lines has a fantastic article on the history of Madden NFL, one that's worth the few minutes it'll take to read. The title of the article is "The Franchise".

Curses and jinxes are ubiquitous in sports, and the Madden curse is one of the most famous. There are famous curses like the curse of King Tut, which aren't real, and then there are curses which are real. The Madden curse is real. There are those who might scoff and claim that the believers are simply superstitious fools, but I'll go ahead and prove them wrong by going over the history of every athlete to make the cover of Madden, going back to 1999 when the first player made an appearance.

Madden Cover Players

2012: Peyton Hillis
In 2010 Peyton Hillis had a breakout year rushing 270 times for 1177 yards and 11 tds. He makes the cover of Madden and in 2011 he's embroiled in a contract dispute, misses 6 games for one reason or another, and only managed a 1 year contract in free agency.

2011: Drew Brees
2009 was a banner year for Brees and the Saints. A fantastic completion percentage, a td ratio of 34 tds to 11 INTs, and the Saints take home the Lombardi trophy. In 2010 Brees had a year that was miserable (for Drew Brees). Twenty point drop in quarterback rating, twice as many INTs, 1.5 yards per attempt less. Then they have the dubious distinction of losing to the Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs, the same Seahawks that ended the regular season with a 7-9 record.

2010: Larry Fitzgerald/Troy Polamalu
Larry Fitzgerald missed the Madden curse this year, because Polamalu took the full brunt of it. He sprained an MCL first game of the season and missed the next four. He played three more games and then was injured again, missing several more games. In all he only played 5 games that season.

2009: Brett Favre
In 2008 Favre led the Packers to a 13-3 record and a trip to the playoffs. He threw for over 4,000 yards and had the second best completion percentage of his career. He then went through the whole retiring/unretiring thing, and ended up with the Jets where he threw for 700 yards less than the previous season and had a TD:INT ratio of 1:1 (22 TDs, 22 INTs). He topped it off by becoming implicated in a sexting scandal.

2008: Vince Young
After appearing on the cover, Vince Young's 2008 season disappeared in injuries. He only played in 3 games in 2008, and never managed to start another full season for the Titans again.

2007: Shaun Alexander
Shaun Alexander was a stud of a RB from the time that he entered the league in 2000. In 2006 he rushed for almost 1900 yards on a 5.1 ypc average. He ended up on the cover of Madden, broke his foot the next season, and was out of the league two seasons after making the cover.

2006: Donovan McNabb
In 2004 McNabb had a pretty impressive season. 3875 yards passing, 64% completion (highest of his career), 31TDs to only 8 INTs. Oh, and he also played in a Super Bowl. In 2005, after landing on the cover of Madden, McNabb had a pretty lousy season, which ended when he threw an interception, tried to make a tackle, and injured his groin. He was placed on IR the next month and never quite had the same kind of season.

2005: Ray Lewis
2004 was very much a down year for Lewis. He missed the last game of the season due to injury. He also failed to record an interception for the first time in his career. Lewis has had an injury filled career, but in seasons when he played at least 14 games, 2004 was also the worst for him in sacks.

2004: Michael Vick
One day after the game was released Vick broke his leg in a pre-season game and missed the next 11 games.

2003: Marshall Faulk
After making the cover Faulk was injured and missed some games, only making an appearance in 11. He would never have another 1000 yard season and was out of the league two seasons after appearing on the cover.

2002: Daunte Culpepper
Culpepper's 2002 season was a mixed one. He did throw for 3853 yards, but he also threw for more INTs (23) than TDs (18), and his yards per attempt were the worst of his career as a starter. The Madden curse is tenuous on this one.

2001: Eddie George
George made the cover based on a 1500 yard rushing performance in 2000. In 2001 his production dropped from 1500 yards to 900 yards, and he never recovered his former glory.

2000: Dorsey Levens/Barry Sanders
There were two versions of the cover this year. One featured Dorsey Levins, and the other featured John Madden with Barry Sanders in an action pose in the background. After his appearance on the cover Levens was injured and only played 5 games of the 2000 season. In 2001 he got back on the field but never recovered his starting job and was gone from the Packers the next season.

Sanders made the cover and then retired just before training camp, falling short of the all time rushing record.

1999: Garrison Hearst
In 1997 Hearst rushed for almost 1600 yards on a 5.1 ypc average. He added another 535 yards in receiving, for a total of over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Then during the playoffs he suffered a nasty break, followed by complications from surgery which led to Avascular Necrosis (basically the bone dies, making it incredibly painful and difficult to use).

Posted by: Black--Panther | Apr 21, 2012 9:22:19 AM

@ Cam's video....ROFLMAO...I sincerely hope he meant that video to come across as tongue-in-cheek humor because I was about to fall out of my chair I was laughing so hard. Everybody has an ego, be it large or small, everyone has one. If nothing else, you have to admit that Cam has covered the bases. He's most likely going to be on the Madden cover and if he breaks the 'curse' that's news; if he gets hit by the 'curse' that's news too (albeit bad news for Panther Fans). Nonetheless, ya gotta give the guy credit for taking the challenge head on. Go Cats !!

Posted by: PantherFan2012 | Apr 22, 2012 12:20:51 PM

Newton gets another chance to accept an honor with grace and humility, but is ANYBODY surprised at this point that he responds with arrogance and ego? What a clown this guy is, and let's remember the most important stat he put up last year: .375. His winning percentage.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Apr 22, 2012 2:05:01 PM

Once I got past all the self-imposed nicknames, I thought Cam did a great job with the rest of the video....he is hilarious! But I am still voting for Calvin Johnson to be on the cover of Madden. I know Detroit doesn't need any more hard luck, and I don't wish it on them, and I am not generally superstititious, but not taking any chances here. Awesome shirt, Cam!

Posted by: Renny | Apr 22, 2012 4:19:34 PM



Posted by: tide coward detector | Apr 23, 2012 11:37:46 AM

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