Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 8/2/12
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The face of the Madden Curse himself is assuring Detroit Lions fans that they have nothing to worry about when it comes to receiver Calvin Johnson. Hes safe, John Madden said. Hes too good not to be safe. More than two decades ago, a video game that has become increasingly popular over the years was named after Madden, a former NFL coach and current television broadcaster. Unfortunately, his name also has become associated with the jinx that has hit so many NFL stars who have suffered injuries and other setbacks shortly after appearing on the cover of the game. Many Lions fans fear that Johnson will be the next to be struck by the so-called Madden Curse. Madden, not surprisingly, doesnt believe in the curse. I was on the cover for, what, 15 years and, hell, never had a problem, Madden said while watching the Lions practice Thursday. Never pulled a hamstring, never had an Achilles, never had a concussion. So I dont think anything about it. Every player in the NFLs going to get something (an injury). When they get a little something, they give it to that (the Madden Curse). The players like being on (the cover). They want to be on it. Madden called himself a fan of Johnson and was looking forward to having a photo taken with him after practice. Asked about whether Johnson will become one of the NFLs all-time greats, Madden replied: I think the jurys come in with their decision on that one. He is one of the greats. I dont know how much more he has to do other than longevity and they get into (championship) rings now, how many rings does he have and all those things. But just looking at him as a pure player, hes great right now. Sometimes you watch things he does, hes scary great. How far is he going to go, how long is he going to do it could be questions. Madden also had high praise for the Lions front office and coaching staff, who were behind a turnaround that took the club from 0-16 in 2008 to 10 wins and the playoffs last year. When youre as bad as they were, you have a culture, Madden said. You develop a winning culture, but you also develop a losing culture. When you develop that, it has to be changed. Its getting players, too, but its also changing the culture. This administration has done that. Theyve come in here and theyve changed the culture. Once you get that changed then thats your base and your foundation, and you just go on from there.
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