Whether you believe in it or not, you can't help but know about the "Madden Curse".
Since 1999, nearly every NFL player to be featured on the yearly video game cover has either been injured, or had a massive decline in production. It's never been brought up to my knowledge, but I can't help but notice the eerily similar misfortune of the MLB World Series MVP award, mainly in the last five years.
Let's start with the most recent, 2010 MVP Edgar Renteria of the San Francisco Giants, or should I say the Cincinnati Reds. Now granted, he's never been the "go-to" guy, but within months of helping San Fran to a world title, they get rid of him.
Same with the 2009 MVP, Hideki Matsui. While his numbers are much better than those of Renteria, Matsui failed to play a full season again and had one of his worse strikeout years. Not to mention the Yanks also shipped him off to...relax, not Boston, but the Angels.
After the 2008 Series, Cole Hamels was looked at as a God in Philadelphia. The then 24-year-old had an other wise successful season (14-10, 227.1 IP, and a 3.03 ERA with just under 200 K's), not to mention he was unbeatable in the postseason.
Sure enough, the following year he tanks. His record was sub-.500, his ERA ballooned to 4.32 and he surrendered over 200 hits.
The year Mike Lowell won his MVP award, he hit batted .324 in 154 games to go with his 21 homers and 120 RBI. In 2008 he played just 113 games, then 119 the year after that and just 73 last season. Lowell has been considering retirement since last year.
And finally it brings us to the scrappy David Eckstein in 2006. No, he never played a full season, but after winning his MVP he's averaged just 115 games per year.
Who's to say what's what. Some say curses exist while others insist it's just paranoid hogwash. Wherever you stand on the matter, you can't ignore the facts.
Maybe we'll know more next November...