Polamalu, Fitzgerald share game's cover

WASHINGTON -- For the first time in its storied -- some say
cursed -- history, the cover of EA Sports' "Madden NFL" video game
will feature two cover athletes: Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

"Being on the cover of 'Madden' is a real honor," Fitzgerald
said Friday after Electronic Arts made the announcement. "And
sharing it with a talent like Troy is really special."

The shared cover of "Madden NFL 10," which arrives in stores
Aug. 14, has something for everyone: Polamalu is a defensive AFC
player and Fitzgerald an offensive NFC player.

EA Sports senior product manager Anthony Stevenson called the
two Pro Bowlers "exemplary examples of the epic battle between
offense and defense in the NFL."

Both played in last season's Super Bowl, which the Steelers won
in a 27-23 nail-biter. Both athletes are known for their long,
helmet-defying hair.

Steel City football fans should be
particularly happy, because Fitzgerald played college ball at the
University of Pittsburgh. And he was also on the cover of EA's "NCAA
Football 2005."

EA's football franchise is feared for its mysterious "Madden
curse": Previous cover models like Donovan McNabb, Shaun Alexander
and Vince Young have suffered injuries during their "Madden"

Fitzgerald, however, was defiant. "I didn't think about the
curse," he said. "If both of us have MVP years, everybody will be
chomping at the bit to get on the cover."