Apr 17, 2007
I fully admit I scoffed last summer at the notion that RB Shaun Alexander should be downgraded due to the possibility that he’d be stricken by the dreaded “Madden Curse.” Alexander, as you know, had his season severely slowed by an injury, but I don’t place the blame on the curse. I place the blame on his 29-year old body, the 330 carries he averaged in the five seasons prior, and that fact that, after playing all 16 games in his first six seasons, the law of averages said he was due to get hurt.
For the most part, I think there’s a direct correlation between injury issues with the Madden Cover Boys and a heavy career workload. That makes Vince Young – who is expected to be formally announced as this year’s cover on the Jimmy Kimmel show tonight – unique this year. Young is 24 years old, and he’s been very durable. Sure, he runs a lot, so an injury is always possible, but Young strikes me as the perfect candidate to break this so-called curse. He’s not only big, strong, and youthful, he’s got an intangible quality, an aura. If I was Young, and I walked under a ladder while spotting a black cat running in front of me on Friday the 13th I wouldn’t bat an eyelash.
I’m working now on our initial set of projections for the 2007 season and I currently have Young ranked 13th at QB. He actually finished last year 12th, despite not fully taking over the starting job until Week Four, so 13 may be considered low by some. I think it’s fair for many reasons. If a healthy Young has a disappointing season in 2007 it won’t be because of any curse. It will be because his opponents spent the off-season devising ways to stop him. There should be ways to do that. I know he was fantastic last year, but I’m telling you, there were many, many times when it was obvious that when he went back to pass he had no idea what he was looking at. His instincts, athletic ability, and chutzpah took over. That’s great and all, but eventually Young will have to master the mental aspects of the game. I think he will because I believe he’ll put in the time he needs to prepare himself, but I’m not 100% sure it’ll happen in 2007. It also hurts him how his supporting cast can be considered weak.
Young is a player who defies logic, no doubt about that, and I fully expect him to finish as a very solid fantasy option when the upcoming season is all said and done. But when it comes to concerns about him this year, the Madden Curse doesn’t make my list.
On another note, if you’re up tonight watching Young on Kimmel, check out the band set to perform: Silversun Pickups. Their song “Lazy Eye” is currently the top played song on my ipod. It’s got a great early 90s alternative feel to it, and it rocks pretty hard toward the end. What’s peculiar to me about the song is the vocal sounds like a woman, yet when I saw the video it was a dude singing. I think there’s a female doing backup vocals, but I’m curious to see this guy sing this song.
Speaking of new music, I’ve found a way to listen to some new songs, despite still being very into anything recorded by The Shins. Here are some new ones I’m into right now in addition to Silversun Pickups.
Modest Mouse, Dashboard
The Fratellis, Flathead
The Decemberists, O Valencia and The Crane Wife 3