The year’s absence of the Curse lulled football fans into a false sense of security. Donovan McNabb took his team to the Super Bowl after three straight losses in the NFC Championship. While there were some rumblings during the regular season, the return of Terrell Owens for the Super Bowl enabled the Eagles to keep it close against the Patriots, but another Adam Vinitari field goal sealed a victory for New England. The 2005 Season would be an utter nightmare for McNabb and Philadelphia.
Terrell Owens would begin a series of media outlashes against McNabb and the Eagles before the start of the 2005 preseason. After agreeing to cooperate, Owens was still a major distraction for the team the entire season, forcing legal arbitrators to rule in favor of management’s decision to sit the disgruntled receiver on the sidelines. Worse than this was McNabb’s constant bout with injury as he suffered a “sports hernia” in the opening game of the season. His injuries finally sidelined him during the mid-season game against division-rival Dallas, and McNabb decided to sideline himself and undergo season-ending surgery. To add insult to injury, McNabb was even accused of “playing the race-card” by Philadelphia NCAA president Jerry Mondesire in December. The NCAA quickly offered an apology. McNabb’s bout with the Madden Curse left him injured and questioned in his own locker room.
Last year marked the fifth season ravaged by the Madden Curse if you ignore 2004 and Ray Lewis. Believers of the curse may already be discounting Shaun Alexander’s chances as two of his starting blockers on the left side of the offensive line are gone. While he may still have fullback Mack Strong, it is doubtful that he repeats his record-breaking season this year. Along with the Madden Curse, Seattle must also contend with another modern curse. Since Super Bowl XXXV (35) and the New York Giants, no team that has lost in the NFL Championship has returned to the playoffs the following season. Listen, I’m not saying that Shaun Alexander is a marked man, but I am saying that the Curse has tagged cover-athletes before, and there’s no way I am risking my fantasy success with that in mind by picking him in my draft.