The so-called Madden Curse, which doesn't involve witch doctors as much as it does wacky concepts like "regression to the mean" and "injuries in a full-contact sport," claimed one of this year's two cover boys in week one.
A Costa Rica casino is now taking proposition bets on when the Madden Curse strikes Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals, Troy Polamalu's cover co-star. Polamalu was sidelined for three to six weeks after spraining ligaments in his knee in week one. This, of course, was attributed to the Madden cover jinx, which has dinged pretty much everyone except Marshall Faulk (2003) since they started putting athletes on the cover.
Playblackjack.com is giving 9:1 odds (bet $US100, win $US900) on each of Fitzgerald's remaining 15 games. Basically, the terms are that Fitzgerald gets injured for at least one game — not the kind of season-ending, career death spiral the Curse is cracked up to be. He needs to be listed on the Cardinals' official injury report for that game to win the bet, says the casino.
Larry Fitzgerald must be listed on the Arizona Cardinals official injury report for a bet to be graded as a winner. If he's injured during practice or outside practice, the upcoming game is the wining game. If he stays healthy throughout the year, all bets are off and all money is returned.
You can see where this is headed. First, a player can be listed on an official injury report and still play the entire game. See Patriots, New England, whose coach has listed Tom Brady as "probable" since scouts watched Brady play for Michigan. Second, it suggests that Fitzgerald could get both legs broken in the first quarter of, say, week four, but the winning game is actually week five. Third, it leaves open the possibility that Fitzgerald gets a hangnail in weeks two through 17 and every game is a winner.
Betting on a specific player's injury? What a fantastic idea! If only there were some way to affect the outcome. Like, if only the people who organized such an honest gambling business also had professional relationships with people whose job it was to injure others ... Will the Madden Curse strike again? Bet on it! [PlayBlackjack.com via Go Nintendo]