Bambino, Madden, Kornheiser?

By Tony Kornheiser
Thursday, August 24, 2006

You know how there's that John Madden curse? That every athlete who is on the front of his video game seems to immediately get injured?

Well, Madden is one of the big guys, one of the network guys, so when his guys go down, they go down in a heap. They're usually done for the season. I'm a cable guy. I'm one of the small guys, but I'm trying to work my way up so that there's a Kornheiser Kurse that's sort of a second-rate Madden curse. Like maybe my guys would get measles. Or strep throat. And I'm hoping to present the following as proof of my potential so that I can get my own sports video game and everybody who's on the cover can go straight to the emergency room, too -- or the police station.

Let's examine my first preseason game: Oakland at Minnesota. During the game, the Vikings' first-round draft choice, Chad Greenway, got hurt, did not pass Go, did not collect $200 and was quickly dispatched to injured reserve. A couple of days later, Minnesota's Koren Robinson got arrested for doing 100 in a 55-mph zone and, oh, by the way, sadly he had a relapse and was cited for driving while intoxicated and fleeing from police. (I don't know that anything terrible happened to any of the Raiders, other than having to go back to Oakland.)

My second game was New Orleans vs. Dallas. Terrell Owens had begun to practice the week of the game. Now, two days after I was in the booth comes news that Owens aggravated his hammy (and his coach) and will miss at least the next exhibition game. The Saints didn't suffer any particular injuries, but Drew Brees and Reggie Bush couldn't get anything going at all on offense. While Coach Sean Payton would hardly blame me for that, I'm inclined to take the credit.

Where are we going next? Well, tomorrow night we're broadcasting Pittsburgh at Philadelphia. Just for argument's sake, what if Ben Roethlisberger jams that injured thumb and goes out for six to eight weeks? What if Donovan McNabb is forced to scramble around looking for a wide receiver and, hello again, sports hernia! On Monday, I've got Green Bay at Cincinnati. Carson Palmer is set to debut. Do the letters A-C-L mean anything to you?

And, dare I say it, I've got the Redskins at home in their season opener on Sept. 11. Oy.

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