Video Games Can Be Hazardous for Athletes

Article excerpt

As anyone who has been around your Field Correspondent knows, he has an almost pathological aversion to two things: video games and fantasy sports.

It turns out that there is a good reason for this. (We can also simply point out that we have found much more ingenious ways to waste time at work than checking on how the starting right fielder on our team in the department's second fantasy baseball league did in Los Angeles the night before.)

Apparently, being the subject of--or the inspiration for--a video game can be hazardous to your career, as witnessed at the blog http://foodcourtlunch.com. Our hero has compiled a list of "cursed" video games that doesn't even include the infamous "Madden Curse," in which NFL players who appear on the cover of the John Madden football video game suddenly turn into pumpkins.

Check out the following list:

Released in 1999, Ken Griffey Jr.'s Slugfest for the Nintendo 64 marks the turning point of Junior's career. At that point, he was destined for the hall of fame. Afterward, as the blog noted, he "immediately contracted osteoporosis" and never was the same.

Jerry Glanville's Pigskin Footbrawl for the Sega Genesis, released in 1990, was a blend of football and some sort of medieval battle game, featuring trap doors on the football field. Soon after its release, Glanville fell into one of the trap doors, which dumped him into a TV analyst's chair.

Released in 1987, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out for the NES came shortly before Tyson pretty much lost his mind. He went from unbeatable champion to indicted ex-champ in short order, starting with a loss to the immortal Buster Douglas.

Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II for the Sega Master System and Genesis came out in 1992, just after Senna won his third Formula One championship. He was killed during a race in 1994.

And finally, one that lives on only in the twisted minds of those who have been watching The Simpsons since they had to find the signal with rabbit ears. It was Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge, featured in a 1995 episode of the show. Homer played the game--not very well--and there's even some background, something about the fictitious Carvallo getting clocked with an errant drive. …