Monday Night Quick Hits

• I’m going to make this quick, since as I’m typing these words, it’s only 73 minutes until the release of Madden ’08. My local EB Games is opening at 11pm to start pre-selling the game, and then will be handing out the copies at 12:01 eastern. I was wavering on it until a few hours ago, when the Madden bug hit me. Now I plan on starting a superstar career and getting through the preseason tonight.

• Speaking of Madden, it’s worth noting that Vince Young may have already become a victim of the Madden curse. Young was suspended for the Titans preseason opener, 3 days before the game comes out. Amazingly, that doesn’t even rank among the top Madden curse examples. Check out this chart, which I put together the day Young was announced as the Madden cover athlete:

Players on Madden Video Game Covers
All-Time (prior to Madden NFL '99, Only John Madden was on the cover)
Year The Skinny
Vince Young 2008 ??
Shaun Alexander 2007 Broken Foot
Donovan McNabb 2006 Sports Hernia
Ray Lewis 2005 Career-low 0 INT
Michael Vick 2004 Broken Leg
Marshall Faulk 2003 Ankle Injury
Daunte Culpepper 2002 Knee Injury
Eddie George 2001 3.4 yds per rush for rest of his career
Barry Sanders 2000 Retired
Dorsey Levens 2000 Knee Injury
Garrison Hearst 1999 Broken ankle on first play of playoffs

Vick’s broken leg is probably the best example of the curse -- it happened literally days after the game hit stores. Shaun Alexander’s broken foot was pretty bad too, as was Garrison Hearst’s playoff injury (btw, Hearst only appeared on the international edition of the PC version of Madden, but that, on a technicality, makes him the first Madden cover athlete)

• So tomorrow I return to work after an amazing stretch of 20 days off. Some of the things that happened during my time off: Barry Bonds became the all-time home run leader, Alex Rodriguez became the youngest member of the 500-homer club, Tom Glavine became possibly the last member of the 300-win club, Tiger Woods won his 13th major, Rick Ankiel returned to the majors with a bang, the NFL preseason began, Kevin Garnett was traded to the Celtics, and probably a ton of other things I’m forgetting.

• Now that I’m going back to work, I won’t have as much time for my “24” marathons. I’m two episodes into Season 5. Not bad for someone who as of a couple months ago hadn’t watched at all from the beginning. I’ll obviously be caught up long before Season 7 begins in January.

• My publishing issues that I mentioned Friday necessitated a complete rebuild of the site, which blew away any old comments. Not a huge loss, since no entry had more than two comments on it, but I just wanted to clear that up so you wouldn’t think I’d gone in and deleted them. I’m too busy to be censoring comments on my blog.