It’s been seven months since the Super Bowl but the New England Patriots are in no rush to forget what took place between them and the Atlanta Falcons.
The NFL season kicked off once again on Thursday and the Patriots succumbed to a surprising home defeat.
But tongues had already been wagging since before the game, thanks to a piece of trolling by the Patriots that had absolutely nothing to do with their opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Can you see that? Did you spot it?
Look again, at the scoreboard in the background. Or maybe at the scoreboard between the upper and lower tiers. There’s a score on there, but not one from this game.
Instead it reads ATL 28-3 NE – the score the Patriots overturned to win the Super Bowl. The score they seemingly won’t let anyone forget.
After going down 42-27 against the Chiefs though, maybe they should’ve been a little less smug.
Although to be fair, they’re still the Patriots.
The loss has also helped continue the Madden Curse theory.
Since Madden NFL 99, 17 of the 20 players to have featured on the game’s cover have had a terrible season or suffered a season-ending injury. The idea of a curse started out as a joke, but as the years have gone on it’s become a serious superstition for some fans.
Last season Patriots star Ron Gronkowski was on the cover and suffered multiple injuries, while this season his teammate and five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady has the honour.
Brady, as it happens, is very much not a believer in the curse – as this video of him smashing a mirror for no good reason shows.
But after the veteran failed to register a single touchdown pass against the Chiefs, and only made 16 of his 36 attempts during the game, people reckon the curse has got a hold of the 40-year-old too.
However this season goes for Brady, it surely won’t be as bad as it did for former Philadelphia Eagles star Donovan McNabb.
After leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 2004, McNabb graced the Madden cover the following year – only to suffer a groin injury which left him on the sidelines for the rest of the season.
A year later things got worse as he tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee, sidelining him again, and his career never again reached anything like the heights that landed him the cover following all that.
Smashing that mirror may not have been the best idea…