Polamalu out. Madden Curse strikes again?

EA Sports
The cover of the new Madden 10 shows Larry Fitzgerald and Troy Polamalu.

The video game industry has few superstitions as dogged as the Madden Curse.

With the recent release of the newest "Madden" football title – a video game institution with more than 1.5 million copies sold in August – sports fans are reminded of the bizarre coincidence that befalls whichever player poses for the game's cover.

Last night's Titan vs Steelers game saw "Madden 10" cover-boy Troy Polamalu leave the field with a knee injury. Reports hint that he'll be out for three to six weeks.

Injuries are part of football, but Polamalu's misfortune fits a pattern. Most of the players that grace Madden's covers wind up missing a number of games that season. Yahoo broke it down:

2001: Eddie George. No injury.
2002: Daunte Culpepper. Missed five games, played poorly.
2003: Marshall Faulk. Missed six games. Never ran for 1,000 yards again.
2004: Michael Vick. Broke his leg, missed 11 games.

2005: Ray Lewis. Missed only one game.

2006: Donovan McNabb. Missed last seven games of the season.
2007: Shaun Alexander. Broke his foot, missed six games.
2008: Vince Young. Missed one game. But things didn't go well.
2009: Brett Favre. Missed no games. But did become insufferable.
2010: Troy Polamalu. Out 3-6 weeks with a knee injury.
2010: Larry Fitzgerald: TBD.

(Fitzgerald shared the spotlight with Polamalu on Madden's cover this year.)

Bret Favre disproved any lasting streak – and, really, several of these players only missed one game. But columnists are atwitter with spooky talk. Don't put much stock in a video game's effect on the real world – then again, what fun are sports without crazy theories?


What did you think of the game last night? What do you think of Madden 10? Let us know in the comments, or follow us on Twitter.


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