Everyone has heard of “The Madden Curse” and if you haven’t, let me sum it up for you — it seems like since EA Sports has put an NFL player on the Madden Football game, that certain player has struggled on the field while suffering an injury.
Here are a few examples — in 1999 Garrison Hearst started the curse after breaking his ankle while missing two seasons and then in 2000, Barry Sanders followed, retiring before training camp and then was followed by Dorsey Levens, Eddie George, Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, with each having sub par seasons.
In 2004, Michael Vick appeared on the cover and he broke his fibula, so I believe you get the picture.
I’m also sure you guys are wondering what is this I’m getting at, huh?
Well, each year the Times-Tribune has a special front for its Prep Basketball Preview and things started out well for the players or teams we have decided to put on the front page.
For the 2006-07 preview, we put then-defending state champion South Laurel on the front and they had a good season by advancing to the Elite Eight.
In 2008, we had Corbin’s Josh Crawford and South Laurel’s Lauren Wombles gracing our “Dancing with the Stars” front and both had fantastic seasond.
The following year the Corbin Redhounds graced our “Break the CARDINAL Rule” cover and they almost did.
Things continued to go well in 2009, as Corbin’s Madison Johnson, Knox Central’s Cody Miller and South Laurel’s Matt St. John graced the “Three for the Show” cover.
All three players’ teams reached the 13th Region Tournament while Johnson and the Redhounds defeated St. John and the Cardinals with ease, 71-35.
And in 2011, that’s when things began to get interesting or as many say, “The Times-Tribune Curse,” began.
The North Laurel Lady Jaguars graced the cover and was picked by many to unseat the Clay County Lady Tigers as 13th Region champions — it didn’t happen.
The Lady Jaguars could never get anything going and finished the season with a 15-12 record while going 3-5 during their last eight games. They fell in the first round of the 49th District Tournament to Clay County, 63-26. The 37-point loss to the Lady Tigers turned out to be former coach Roy Bowling’s last game with North Laurel.
Just last season, Dinky Phipps’ and his Tigers graced the “Dinky’s Dandies” cover and saw their season come to an end in the first round of the 51st District Tournament with a loss to Pineville.
Many thought Phipps had his best team since the 2005-06 season, but the Tigers never got a chance to live up to the hype in the 13th Region Tournament after the Mountain Lions eliminated them.
So, is there a curse?
Of course not, just some bad luck I’d say.
So who is on the cover of this year’s Prep Basketball Preview? You’ll have to wait and see Saturday.