Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Remember when we used be friends, John?

Vince Young is all about overcoming the challenges set forth in front of him. From overcoming questions about his passing ability at Texas early in his career, to USC in his senior year, to a Wonderlic score of 7 or 16 depending on which attempt you look at, to whether he could be an NFL quarterback, Vince Young has silenced the critics time and time again.

Now he faces his newest adversary as he will grace the cover of EA Sports, Madden 2008. An honor that is quite impressive considering it is his second season, it brings with it a dubious history for carrying with it, the curse of the cover.

The Curse of the Madden cover has been debated for years, but has some significant evidence in its favor. With the first player to appear on the cover, Garrison Hearst in 1999, to Shawn Alexander in 2007, the Madden Cover has quite an impressive resume. After Hearst's career year in '98, he suffered a broken ankle in '99. After Barry Sanders was due to appear on the cover in '00, he abruptly retired giving way to Dorsey Levens, who amassed 224 yards the next season. This may have been due to the curse or to the fact that they put Dorsey freaking Levens on the cover.

In 2001, Madden opted for Eddie George, who was nearing the end of the career. Whether it was the Madden Curse or the fact that George was the equivalent of a punch-drunk boxer by the time he graced the cover, is debatable. However, starting in 2002, injuries plagued Daunte Culpepper ('02), Marshall Faulk ('03), Michael Vick ('04), Ray Lewis ('05), Donovan McNabb ('06), and Shawn Alexander ('07). All the while Madden watched, eating mutated turkey and riding in his bus, doing nothing.

While really, it's just a cover, Texas nation now must spend an entire season worrying about its native son. However, with all he has achieved and overcome, is Vince really susceptible to the curse? He after all does have some experience in dealing with curses. During his time at Texas he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated three times, another media outlet well known for the mystical powers of their cover.

While Vince does not believe in the curse, probably because he is a sane and rational human being, this is the first time I would much rather see Madden's portly figure on the cover, rather than Vince. But who are we kidding, curses don't exist. And if they do, can't we throw some salt over a shoulder, do a preventative dance, and whatever else your great grandmother used to do in these situations.

No comments: