CHARLOTTE — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has advanced to the round of eight in online voting for the NFL player who will be on the cover of Madden '13, the most popular NFL video game.
The question is, does he want to win and risk the Madden Curse?
Newton will meet Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the in the next round. The other quarterfinal matchups are 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis vs. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers vs. Ravens running back Ray Rice, and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski vs. Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
The ultimate winner will grace the cover of the video game, and tempt fate.
The curse, as noted in the link above, has affected every cover subject since 1999 to some extent -- from a broken ankle that kept 1999 cover subject Garrison Hearst out for two seasons to 2004's Michael Vick breaking his leg and later being convicted in a dogfighting scheme to '08's Vince Young, whose star faded with shocking speed.
Is it bad form to decline the cover if fans vote you in? And if you are a Panthers fan, are you voting like crazy for Fitzgerald?