Bengals' streak of not having a Madden cover athlete continues

Maybe next year.
Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn

Prior to the official reveal of the Madden 25 cover athlete, there was some speculation that Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow would wind up on the cover.

When healthy, Burrow is one of the best quarterbacks in the entire NFL. He's a Pro Bowler and a perennial MVP candidate, and he led the Bengals to a Super Bowl berth a couple of years ago, so it wouldn't have been crazy if he was the player that EA Sports selected to grace the latest iteration of the popular annual release.

However, it wasn't meant to be. Instead of Burrow, San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey was tabbed to be the cover athlete.

As one of the best -- and most productive -- running backs in the entire NFL, McCaffrey is certainly deserving, but here at Stripe Hype we were hoping to see a Bengals player grace the cover of the legendary game for the first time ever.

Yep, you read that right. A Cincinnati Bengals player has never been on the cover of Madden, and that streak will now continue for another year, at least. Don't believe me? See for yourself. Here's the full list of every Madden cover athlete since 2001 (when they started putting players on the cover annually instead of Madden himself):

List of Madden cover athletes

  • 2001 Eddie George
  • 2002 Daunte Culpepper
  • 2003 Marshall Faulk
  • 2004 Michael Vick
  • 2005 Ray Lewis
  • 2006 Donovan McNabb
  • 2007 Shaun Alexander
  • 2008 Vince Young
  • 2009 Brett Favre
  • 2010 Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald
  • 2011 Β Drew Brees
  • 2012 Peyton Hillis
  • 2013 Calvin Johnson
  • 2014 Barry Sanders/ Adrian Peterson
  • 2015 Richard Sherman
  • 2016 Odell Beckham Jr.
  • 2017 Rob Gronkowski
  • 2018 Tom Brady
  • 2019 Antonio Brown
  • 2020 Patrick Mahomes
  • 2021 Lamar Jackson
  • 2022 Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady
  • 2023 John Madden
  • 2024 Josh Allen
  • 2025 Christian McCaffrey

It's a long list that doesn't include any Bengals players. However, given the long, documented history of the "Madden Curse," perhaps that's a good thing.