There are two ways for an NFL player to ensure that he will have a lousy season. The first way is to sign a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. The second way? Appear on the cover of the Madden video game. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu became the latest NFL star to fall victim to the Madden Curse when he left Thursday night’s season opener with a knee injury. He will reportedly miss three to six weeks of the season with an MCL sprain.
Here is a list of players who have appeared on the cover of Madden and the disasters that befell them:
Brett Favre (2009) torn biceps; totally sucked the second half of the season
Vince Young (2008) knee injury; lost his starting job and his mind
Shaun Alexander (2007) foot injury caused him to miss six games; career never the same
Donovan McNabb (2006) torn ACL; missed last seven games of season
Ray Lewis (2005) missed one game
Michael Vick (2004) broken leg; missed 11 games, went on to murder dogs
Marshall Faulk (2003) ankle injury; missed six starts and never rushed for 1,000 yards again
Daunte Culpepper (2002) missed five games; sucked for next two seasons
Eddie George (2001) No injury
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald shares the cover of “Madden 10” with Polamalu. He may want to consider playing Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in bubble wrap.