Face-Off with Jim Laurin & Dave Dyer
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Published: Thursday, April 19, 2007
Updated: Monday, April 19, 2010 00:04
The Madden Video Game Curse, is it real? There are those in the sports world who believe it, as the past seven football players who have been on the cover have either retired prematurely, had an off-year, or were injured. This past week, Tennessee Titan quarterback Vince Young was announced as the man who will grace this year's cover. So will this mean that Young will suffer the dreaded "sophomore slump," after a great rookie
campaign (according to the video game cover)? The first victim of the slump was Tennessee running back Eddie George in 2001. During the year that George was Madden's cover boy, he failed to run for 1000 yards in the season and the Titans missed going to the playoffs. Since then, the curse has manifested itself in one way or another to standout players such as Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, and Donovan McNabb. Last year's victim was Seattle Seahawk running back Shaun Alexander, who was coming off an MVP season only to start the 2006 season with a broken foot, and had a down year after returning from his injury. The Clock's philosophical dynamos, Dave Dyer and Jim Laurin, once again square off to boldly go where no Madden gamer has gone before.
Alright, Jim. Even I know that you, as well as I, believe in curses. With the
fact that both of us are loyal Boston Red Sox fans, we know about the pain and shame that came along with the "Curse of the Bambino" (of course, that finally ended in 2004). The Chicago Cubs have the "Curse of the Billy Goat," which has kept them from winning the World Series longer than the Red Sox did. Football surely must have a curse as well, and it comes in the form of a bus riding, turduckett eating, 71-year-old ex-coach by the name of John Madden and the video game that is named by him. Madden himself looks a little like the Bambino, and his curse brings about the same amount of pain. Since the Madden curse, both George and Faulk are retired from football. Daunte Culpepper's knee is shredded, and his career might be close to being over. Donovan McNabb? How about two injury-riddled years that included his backup, Jeff Garcia, being cheered twice as much as McNabb ever was. The truth in the matter is that this curse is real, and Vince Young should have trouble sleeping at night now, knowing that his season is now going to go straight down the commode.
Dave, you are what we in foggy London town like to call foolhardy, young squire, because a curse does not exist, like your desirability towards women; it is a figment of your imagination. Those who believe that there is a curse surrounding the Madden cover boy should ask the 2005 cover boy Ray Lewis. Lewis still led a feared Baltimore defense that was without many key players that season and was quarterbacked by the dreadful Kyle Boller. There is no reason to slap the blame on only one player. Look at McNabb who had a beat-up offensive line that season and no receivers except the suspended T.O. and for Vick, the same argument; even though he broke his leg in the preseason, he has had injury problems all through out his career. These are some examples but I feel that the elite players do not want to be on the cover for this fear and because of this the second tear and up and coming guys are the ones that make the cover (like VY) and this fuels the superstition's fire and validity.
Ah Jim, we both know the ladies of Plymouth State love me, and your jealousy is as bad as ever. But of course you would be, since you're as handsome as Willie Nelson. If this was a one or two year occurrence, then I would agree with you. But the fact that this has been happening now for the last seven years has to make you wonder. And with the Lewis argument, even if all their players were healthy that year, Boller was one of the worst quarterbacks I'd seen since Tim Couch of the Cleveland Browns. They wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway. But this curse is certainly for real, at least in the beautiful eyes of this writer, and Vince Young is going to spend his year either on the ground from getting pounded so much, or in a hospital bed, for the exact same reason.
Coincidental, this is a word I'm gonna just throw out there. For as hard as those superstars who are good enough to achieve such levels of distinction, play, they are bound to be on the fence as far as year in and year out physical consistency. Every player has big years and vice-versa, but under scrutinizing eyes of the public, the organizations, coaches and fans, the players who are good enough to make the cover will have bad years, it is merely coincidence. People put too much on this curse and so do players but real players understand that they face a chance of finishing the season on the IR with every snap, and that's real.