September 11, 2009
Troy Polamalu(notes), who shared the cover with Fitzgerald, left tonight's Titans/Steelers game with a knee injury. He didn't return. Early reports have him out for three to six weeks. Given that Polamalu is superhuman (he was doing things in the first half, pre-injury, that human beings just aren't supposed to do), though, I'd bet on the quicker side of that recovery time.
Anyway, back to the Curse: I'll admit, it's weird. Through the first 96 regular season games of his career, Polamalu has missed only eight of them. They put him on the cover of Madden, and just like that, he's out for three to six?
Take just a little bit more caution when going over the middle against San Francisco, Larry Fitzgerald.
To review, athletes in their cover years:
2001: Eddie George. No injury.
2002: Daunte Culpepper(notes). Missed five games, played poorly.
2003: Marshall Faulk(notes). Missed six games. Never ran for 1,000 yards again.
2004: Michael Vick(notes). Broke his leg, missed 11 games.
2005: Ray Lewis(notes). Missed only one game.
2006: Donovan McNabb(notes). Missed last seven games of the season.
2007: Shaun Alexander(notes). Broke his foot, missed six games.
2008: Vince Young(notes). Missed one game. But things didn't go well.
2009: Brett Favre(notes). Missed no games. But did become insufferable.
2010: Troy Polamalu. Out 3-6 weeks with a knee injury.
2010: Larry Fitzgerald: TBD.
If, heaven forbid, something happens to Larry this weekend, that could be the tipping point for me. As for now, though, I remain unsold. Injuries happen. Players get on the cover after they have great years, and inevitably, the next year isn't as great. Things happen.
If I believe in the Madden Curse, I'm compelled to believe there's something special about Ray Lewis and Brett Favre that makes them exempt to it. This is something I refuse to do.
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