Madden Doesn’t Discriminate Based On Ethnicity

I’m sure Tony Kornheiser will have some xenophobic comments* about the fact that EA Sports markets the MADDEN video game franchise to Spanish-speakers, but CNBC.COM’s Darren Rovell points out that the curse transcends language.

Madden in Spanish

For the three people reading this who don’t play MADDEN, the curse goes back to 1999, when the folks at ELECTRONIC ARTS decided to replace John Madden’s mug on the cover with that of an NFL player deserving of the honor. The results? Well, Michael Vick and Shaun Alexander would like to have a word. And I suppose we can add Robert Garza’s name to the list.

We thought we’d have nothing to talk about when Electronic Arts agreed to put a retired Brett Favre on the cover. But, thankfully, Favre of course is out of retirement and that gives us another chance to see if the curse will continue for another year. …

Well, we here at Sports Biz are not just watching the Brett Favre. We’ve also got our eyes on Chicago Bears offensive lineman Roberto Garza. Why? Well because EA released its Spanish version of the game today and Garza is on the cover. …

But the Spanish version of the game has to have a Hispanic player on the cover, so it forces EA to vary the positions a bit. Last year, it was San Diego Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo and this year, it’s Garza.

Should we need to remind you, last year, Castillo … had his worst year, only starting nine games and ending up with 2.5 sacks after totaling seven in as many games in 2006.

Hmm. No idea if Jeff Garcia is Hispanic, but he’s certainly played like he was on the cover of some version of the game. And Eagles fans are no doubt lamenting the fact that EA Sports somehow chose not to put 3rd-generation Mexican-American Tony Romo’s face on the box for this season.

* That’s a joke. Mr. Tony loves everybody, even Latinos.