Without throwing one well-spun spiral or making a single down, video game giant EA Sports may have just saved the Philadelphia Eagles 2012 season. All that by simply revealing its Madden NFL 13 Top 10 quarterback list this week where Michael Vick ranked dead last.
If the universe strives to keep balance, then the EA Sports list is a properly timed dose of yang to sports analyst yin.
Superstitious fans breathed a sigh of relief when EA technology wizards announced the top QBs on the soon-to-be released Madden game, where Vick was 10 of 10. Because on the very day that EA offered a sneak peek of its award-winning “revolutionary” game, ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton hesitantly dubbed this year’s Eagles the “Dream Team.”
“I hate to bring it up but…” Clayton said apologetically on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. And we all know why he was squeamish about saying it. Last year, the Eagles 8-8 record that followed a similar prediction was less like a dream and more like a stooges routine. So this week when the well-intended analyst started albeit reluctantly to pronounce the Eagles as a “DT,” fans everywhere shouted in vain at their one-way flat screens: No! Don’t say it. Don’t do it, John.
But he did.
And all may have been lost except for EA Sports saving-grace release of its list. Game experts rated the QBs, with Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers at number one, giving the Wisconsin star a 99 score and Vick, at the bottom spot, a humble 89.
If we’ve learned anything in sports history, it’s that the team prematurely declared a dream or the athlete on the cover of SI often does not win the championship. Or worse. They suffer some bizarre injury or strange twist of fate and retire early. Like a Grimm brothers fairytale ending. Of course, the unexpected can happen every year, no matter what they call you. Injuries do occur. But covering a team with superlatives before the first ball has been snapped tempts fate. Just because you have freedom of speech does not mean you can shout “Dream Team” in a crowded media field. Pleeeaaassse.
To EA technogeeks, Philadelphia fandom sends its thanks. Bless your Xbox/Wii/PlayStation-making minds for balancing analysts’ weighty words by placing MV7 last on your list. And bonus kudos for keeping the Eagles QB off the cover of the new game. The infamous German storytelling brothers could have written some ghoulish tales about athletes who end up there.
And to sports pundits, fans send a note of admonishment. Let the Birds fly free from your entangled media tags and maybe this time they can play long into the season happily ever after.