Well its official... a couple of things are actually.
#1, welcome to Kurt Nose Best, the only place to get my rantings about the sports world, the real world, and other topics as I so choose. This will be my official place to rant, so henceforth, if you feel one of my opinion storms coming on, check here first. I'm sure I have something to say on almost anything.
#2, this will be my only comment on VT... its a horrible tragedy, and it could have happened anywhere. Instead of blaming the police and the administration, we should blame the gunman, because it was truly his fault and his alone. My heart goes out to all who suddenly have a little dimmer outlook on life.
#3, its that time of the year again... Madden cover unveiling! Like so many things in football, this is a minuscule event blown up to epic proportions for the sole reason that it deals with the NFL, the undisputed ruler of the sports world. But as any diehard NFL-er knows, the Madden cover isn't a position of distinction or a truly blessed honor... its a bloody curse!
Ever since Madden 2001 chose Eddie George as its cover boy, things have gone awry for the game's coverboy, and in most cases, the player's team... lets recap:
2001, Eddie George: sure, the argument can be made that George did not fall victim to the curse, since his Madden season was statistically better than the one before it. If you ask the Titans, though, the curse bit hard in the AFC playoffs that year. It was George who ended the Titans Super Bowl repeat bid when he seemingly lateraled to Ray Lewis in the closing minutes of the Divisional Round playoff game with my Ravens. George and the Titans were never the same.
2002, Daunte Culpepper: the cure bit hard here. Not only did 'Pep get injured during his cover year, he almost recovered from a post-curse hangover, only to have every (insert letter)CL in his knee ripped up, and jettisoned to the Dolphins, where hes been abysmal, frankly.
2003, Marshall Faulk: Faulk is a typical curse case, having a substantially less productive and injured riddled year during his cover year.
2004, Mike Vick: Vick is all the proof one needs to indicate the curse really exists. Vick didn't even make it to the season... he broke his leg the day after the game came out, and missed all but 5 games.
2005, Ray Lewis: I think if anybody came close to breaking the curse, it was Ray Ray (naturally). Ray was fine for most the year, helped Ed Reed win defensive MVP, and almost played the entire year (he broke his wrist before week 17). He did not, however, record an interception for the only time in his career, and the Ravens missed the playoffs.
2006, Donovan McNabb: As if playing with TO isn't enough of a curse, McNabb has this neaped upon him. One sports hernia and embarrassing Philly season later, and Donovan had enough of Madden.
2007, Shaun Alexander: Alexander and his Seahawks tried to tempt fate on every level, tackling the Big Three Curses head on (the other two being Campbell's Chunky soup and Super Bowl loser; more on those in a bit). Alexander was not big enough to overcome, however, breaking his foot early in the season. If it wasn't for Tony Romo, the Seahawks would have also made an early exit from the playoffs, as well.
So all that being said, who is this year's pick of inevitable injury and plague? None other than NFL darling and all around good guy, Titans QB Vince Young (did Eddie teach them nothing?). You heard it here first... Vince Young will not play all 16 games next season. He will get hurt. Consider that carefully in your fantasy draft. To stack the deck even more, Young will be fighting the dreaded sophomore slump, which may prove to be just too much for the Wonderboy. It is my humble prediction (take it to the bank) that Vince Young v2.0 will no longer be "In"Vince"able" Young.
The other two curses to beware of this year? Super Bowl losers have been pathetic since the Giants of 2001 (don't ever mess with Ray & co), and so this year's Bears will be a huge disappointment compared to last year. The good news is, the rest of the team sucking will finally match Rex Grossman's strong suits.
Finally, this year's Chunky Soup campaign has threatened to ruin the careers of 8 (count 'em!) players this year. Chunky Soup is no small scale curse, either (see Warner, Kurt; Roethlisberger, Ben; Hasslebeck, Matt). Campbell's is yet to announce the names of its latest eight victims, but here's hoping that the Ravens are eating Progresso this year!