You don't have to look far to see that the Madden Curse is real. In 2002, Dante Culpepper struggled as the Vikings notched a 4-7 record after going to the NFC Championship game the previous year. He would miss the last five games of the season due to injury. Michael Vick fractured his fibula one day after being announced as the "Madden NFL 2004" cover boy. He would only play five games that year.
Even two years ago, Antonio Brown had good numbers but was caught in a distracting off the field story dealing with Ben Roethlisberger's criticisms. He would later be traded to the Oakland Raiders. Shoot, even Patrick Mahomes got hurt and missed a stretch of games before he won the Super Bowl. He overcame the curse more than proved that there was none.
Basic mathematics suggest the success of a player after being honored as the face of Madden is somewhat hit or miss. Isn't the case with just about every NFL player?
At the end of the day, the health, well being and professional success of NFL players are real things. They can potentially cause real problems in the player's lives and in their family's. It just feels wrong to associate a video game with something that could be so serious.