The Madden Curse Strikes Again!

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst ISeptember 11, 2009

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 10:  Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the game at Heinz Field on September 10, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

People try to say its not real but once again the Madden Curse struck last night, this time Troy Polamalu and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the victims.

Polamalu suffered a knee injury in the second quarter and will be out 3-6 weeks.

This is the first time the game has used two players on its cover, so those of you with Larry Fitzgerald on your fantasy team, you may want to get a solid back up!

Most believe the Madden Curse began in 2001 when the game began using players rather then John Madden himself on the cover. However, a closer look shows that in the background of the 2000 cover is Barry Sanders, who just before the 1999-2000 season abruptly retired around the time the game came out.

Since then, every player to grace the cover of this game has suffered from low statistical seasons and/or injury:
2001 - Eddie George - Injury ridden season and career low statistical year.
2002 - Daunte Culpepper - Missed 5 games with a knee injury and had a league leading 23 interceptions
2003 - Marshall Faulk - Ankle injury lead to Faulk starting a career low 10 games in 2003.
2004 - During the pre-season leading up to the 2003-2004 season Vick suffered a broken leg and missed the first 11 games of the regular season. Not to mention other negative things that happened to him later in his career.
2005 - Ray Lewis - Missed six games with an injury and was his only season missing the pro bowl.
2006 - Donovan McNabb - Torn ACL in week 11 of the season, has been injury prone and has not been to a pro-bowl since being on the cover.

2007 - Shaun Alexander - Signed a new 8 year contract and the proceeded to fracture his toe which ruined his entire season and has never been the same since. He is currently a free agent.

2008 - Vince Young - Began the 2007-2008 season on the bench for breaking team rules, proceeded to hurt his quadricep in week 6 vs. the Tampa Bay Bucs. He finished the year with just 9 touchdowns and 17 interceptions and had a 53.5 passer rating in his first playoff game. The curse on Young moved on into the following year when he injured his knee in the first game of the season, was booed off the field by fans and lost his starting job for the season to Kerry Collins. The Titans went on to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the AFC with Young on the sidelines.

2009 - Brett Favre - Came out of retirement and joined the Jets. Led the league in interceptions with 22 and ended the season with his first major injury his career that required surgery during the off-season. Has since retired again, come back out of retirement and joined the Vikings all while falling out of the good graces of most NFL fans.

2010 - First split cover with Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald. Both coming off great season in 2008-2009 and a classic match-up in Superbowl XLIII. As mentioned above, Polamalu suffered a knee injury in yesterdays opening game that will keep him out 3-6 weeks.

The Arizona Cardinals open the season on September 13th vs. The San Francisco 49ers and Larry Fitzgerald comes into the season being heralded as the best wide receiver in the league.
Lets see how his year plays out now that he is on the cover of 2010 edition of Madden, and his cover partner has already suffered the effects of this curse.