first_imgElliot HughesCome on. It’s the “Breakfast of Champions.” Is this really even a question?For decades now, Wheaties cereal has been an iconic platform for athletes to reach iconography themselves. Everyone grew up with Wheaties and knows it well. Wheaties is right there with Thomas the Tank Engine and Winnie the Pooh.Although these days Madden does have more attention focused around the unveiling of its next cover man, it doesn’t come close in prestige to Wheaties.Appearing on the cover of Wheaties puts you in the same club with some – if not most – of America’s biggest sports heroes. To name a few: Lou Gehrig, Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe and Mary Lou Retton.I have trouble seeing any negative consequences to being on the cover a Wheaties box. You are fitted in an image of greatness, marketability for the athlete shoots up and, oh yeah, Wheaties just happens to be delicious and healthy.Healthy. Not exactly something that can be ascribed to Madden.I’m not saying curses are real … but here are the facts about being on the cover of Madden:Excluding this year’s cover man, Peyton Hillis (because he has yet to play the season that follows his cover appearance), eight of the 12 cover men had overt negative years immediately following taking the cover. Of that eight, five suffered injuries. I’m just sayin.’Wheaties is for champs, Madden is for chumps.Kelly EricksonSure, being immortalized on a Wheaties box would be pretty awesome, but let’s be honest, almost any athlete can find their face on that cardboard – including NASCAR drivers. When it comes to gracing covers, no cover has a higher prestige than the likes of Madden.Disregard the talk of the Madden Curse; it no longer is an issue. Troy Polamalu, Larry Fitzgerald, Drew Brees – who have all been on the cover – haven’t had those career-cramping seasons.Being chosen to be the face of Madden for a season, not only are football players glorified for their work the previous season, but they also become a part of history that no one else can claim for that year.While every athlete may want to claim at one point they made it onto the Wheaties box, it only lasts a few weeks before it’s gone. It can even happen multiple times, such as Ken Griffey Jr. – he appeared every year from 1996-2000 – or the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010.Regardless of the fact that Madden may not possess and delicious, nutritious qualities but – speaking to what it does provide to society -without madden the world would not have the quality YouTube video that is “Greg Jennings (Broken leg) scores on the saints.” There would be no putting “the team on my back,” “crossing the plane” or “fuck you gumby!” What would the world do without these gems? No healthy, nummy cereal needed here, just laughs and the ability to pretend one is a football team.When it comes to the Madden cover, there have been no repeats and the exclusivity that comes with the honor makes the opportunity a greater distinction than being on some cereal box.last_img