Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pun of the Day

EA Sports maddens entire Titan fan base by placing Vince Young on the cover of '08.

Vince Young has been chosen to adorn the cover of Madden 2008, which has placed every Tennessee Titan in a state of premature mourning due to the perceived Madden Curse.

Let me interject myself into the whole Madden curse discussion. I believe there are no such things as jinxes or curses (The Brady Bunch will agree to disagree). My friend swears by the Voodoo and Witch Doctoring he spent three years learning at a Caribbean Med School , I sincerely doubt any of that exists either. The injuries attributed to the Madden Curse can be blamed simply on bad luck and the inherit dangerousness of the football. Many of the players featured since the curse began have been veterans who already had a lot of wear and tear on their bodies (see George, Eddie) or overhyped younger players of whom success was not assured (see Vick, Michael). Also, the positions that generally make up the the cover boys for the venerable video game franchise, running back and quarterback, are positions which lend themselves to injury more than others. A running back is being hit hard roughly 25 times a game while quarterbacks get walloped by defensive players who want to do nothing less than knock them out of the game. Injuries are simply inevitable and a player who is on the cover is featured for a reason. A player featured on the cover of Madden is generally one of the top players in the league at his position. That player will be on the field with the ball in his hands as much as possible and thus the odds of an injury increase even further.

Please indulge me and allow me to play dime store psychologist for a moment. Fairly or unfairly, athletes are stereotypically viewed as superstitious people. They may be more likely to buy into the idea of a curse and thus maybe some of the more recent cover boys do actually believe that impending doom awaits them in the upcoming season. In order to avoid his fate (which is stupid because if you've ever read a Greek myth, you'd know that you can't avoid fate) the cover subject either consciously or subconsciously plays the game more cautiously than he would otherwise, thus opening himself up to injuries/poor performance by playing a half a step slower or without that reckless abandon that vaulted onto the cover in the first place.

We have yet to see what fate belies Young Vince, but will a sophomore slump or serious injury be attributed simply to bad luck/performance or rather to a higher, otherworldly power that wants nothing more than to emotionally and physically cripple the players who grace the cover of John Madden Football.

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