If you've ever held a controller in your short life, then you're well aware of the EA Cover/Madden Curse. Everyone get your marshmallows out, spray on your bug repellent and gather around the imaginary campfire because the legend goes that whoever appears on the cover of the annual edition of Madden will not only have a lackluster season, but it would be as if God vomited on their universe. The Madden curse exists and it all started in 2000:
2000 - Barry Sanders: Dude, just quit. Done. Never played another down again. He announced his retirement early as if he had some strange precognitive ability.
2001 - Eddie George: He bobbled the most important pass of his life which led to a season-ending loss. After that, his career was plagued with injuries and his rushing average went to an all-time low.
2002 - Daunte Culpepper: Had a 4-7 season, suffered a knee injury and missed five games because of it.
2003 - Marshall Faulk: Injured throughout the season, and the rams missed the playoffs finishing with a 7-9 record.
2004 - Michael Vick: Suffered a fractured fibula in a pre-season game one day after Madden 2004 hit stores. Dude only played five games that season.
2005 - Ray Lewis: After rocking the NFL with interceptions, after Madden 2005 he didn't get a single interception and suffered a torn hamstring.
2006 - Donovan McNabb: Dude suffered a sports hernia injury in the first game of the 2005 season. He tried to play it off but then he was re-injured and missed the last seven games of the season.
2007 - Shaun Alexander: He broke his left foot only three weeks into the season and missed the next six games.
2008 - Vince Young: Hurt his quad in the fifth game of the season making it the first time in his career he couldn't play because of an injury.
2009 - Brett Favre: Do I even have to go into this one?
2010 - Troy Polamalu: Injured his knee on the opening night of the NFL season. He eventually recovered, but re-injured his knee later in the season against the Bengals. If he was injured again in the season, doctors claim it would have been career ending. Larry Fitzgerald: After pulling off a 64-yard touchdown the year before, Larry's receiving yard average dropped to an all-time career low. Not to mention TMZ stalking him for a flurry of traffic tickets throughout the season.
Earlier this month, the cover of EA Sports MMA was revealed and as of last night, there's a strong case to be made that Fedor Emelianenko became another sacrifice to the EA Cover Curse. The last time Fedor lost an MMA bout, Bill Clinton was President of the United States. Just sit back in your chair and marinate on that. Of course, the only way to verify any of this will be if Randy Couture grabs the L against James Toney at UFC 118. Everyone knock on every piece of available wood possible.