A forum commenter far more perceptive than I am has discovered the Tony Stewart Reverse-Madden Curse. (Someone else discovered it. I named it.) As Madden fans know, any player who graces the cover of the popular video game franchise is destined to have his ankle sawed off by terrorists before season’s end. Often, his career is never the same. The Madden Curse is similar to the Sports Illustrated cover jinx and the Campbell’s Chunky Soup Curse, which recently claimed the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson.
No such curse exists for Tony Stewart. Two years after he appears on the cover of a NASCAR video game, he wins the title.
NASCAR 2001 came out in 2000. Stewart won the Sprint Cup in 2002.
NASCAR Thunder 2004 came out in 2003. Stewart won his second Sprint Cup in 2005.
Yes, that’s Stewart on the cover of NASCAR 08, which came out in 2007. He is first in points in 2009.