The Commish

By By Kyle Nelson

By Kyle Nelson

The curse is real. Not the curse of the Bambino, and not the curse of the Were-Rabbit (you’ll understand when you have kids). I’m talking about the Madden curse.

Maybe you don’t believe in curses. Especially silly curses involving professional athletes and overpriced video games. But I’ll tell you someone who does believe in the Madden curse- Shaun Alexander.

For those who don’t know what the Madden curse is, let me explain. You have talent. You get picked to be on the cover of the upcoming year’s Madden, the ber-popular NFL video game. Then-that very season-you either get injured or you suck. It’s happened to Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Daunte Culpepper and, now, Alexander.

I’d first like to congratulate all you fantasy football owners out there who selected Larry Johnson or LaDainian Tomlinson over Alexander. Sure, Alexander seemed like a safe pick after totaling 1,800 yards and 27 touchdowns last year. Of course Madden was going to come calling. Alexander just shouldn’t have answered.

Moving on to players who will actually be suiting up in week four?Brian Westbrook has to be the most desirable player this week. Not only is he coming off a 117-yard, three-TD performance, he’s playing on Monday night against the Packers, a team even Bea Arthur could score against (“Golden Girls” for life!). If you have Westbrook on your team, then you’re going to win this week. (I’ll take absurd overgeneralizations for $200, Alex).

I interrupt this fantasy column with an important piece of advice: If you have two kickers on your team, release one now and walk away from the computer. If you have three kickers on your team, shoot yourself in the head and call it a day.

Here are a few random predictions for week four: Look for Larry Johnson to live up to his name against San Francisco and for Charlie Frye to remind you of his name against Oakland. David Carr will lead his team to yet another defeat but will throw a couple meaningless touchdowns in the process. Michael Vick will bounce back against the Cardinals, a team unlike New Orleans. Yeah, they’re both playing in new stadiums, but for some reason it’s not as big of a deal in Arizona. Seattle will not put up 42 points against Chicago. Keyshawn Johnson will not run for another touchdown. Carson Palmer will throw three touchdown passes. T.J. Houshmandzadeh will have his name mispronounced. But above anything else, remember this: The human spleen is located in the upper left part of the abdomen, behind the stomach (if you don’t believe me, ask Chris Simms).

Finally, let’s talk about your reputation. You are a fantasy football geek. If you’ve lasted this long in my column, you have to be (or else I’m a damn good writer). You refer to players’ performances in fantasy points instead of real stats. Instead of saying that Greg Jennings had 101 yards and a TD, you brag that he had 16 points. That’s nerdy. But don’t be ashamed. Embrace the geek in you. Stop pretending to do homework on Sunday nights and just tell your family that you’re crunching the numbers to find out if the Viagra Stallions have a shot at coming back and defeating the Cucamonga Cracker Killers. Let everyone get to know the real you. Even if the real you could never get a date, an invitation to a fraternity or anything else the fake you aspires to get. At least this way you can sleep at night with a clear conscience. That is, after you check the stats. Peace out, fantasy geeks.