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Troy Smith, meet the Jinx. Now, you should have been aware that it might strike once airport security wouldn't let you bring your Heisman Trophy on your flight home from New York.

But don't feel too bad. You're just the latest to be struck down by one of sports' famous jinxes or curses: the Heisman Trophy Jinx, the Madden Cover Jinx and, of course, the Curse of the Billy Goat.

A quick look at the vicious and unrelenting attacks:

Heisman Trophy Jinx

Troy Smith
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Troy Smith isn't the first Heisman winner to follow up with a miserable experience in bowl season.

The Jinx: Winners of the Heisman Trophy either crap out in bowl games, stink it up in the pros, or threaten to write books on how, hypothetically, they would have committed murder if they had done it.

Who it has afflicted: O.J. Simpson, Vinny Testaverde, Andre Ware, Ty Detmer, Desmond Howard, Charlie Ward, Rashaan Salaam, Danny Wuerffel, Ricky Williams, Ron Dayne, Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Jason White, Troy Smith.

Members afflicted you may not have thought about: Paul Hornung (suspended by NFL for a year for gambling, racial comments, pants fell down at a Notre Dame pep rally), Earl Campbell (essentially unable to walk these days), Bo Jackson (artificial hip), Doug Flutie (discriminated against by NFL for years), Matt Leinart (drafted by Cardinals).

Heisman winners in national title games, some recent examples: Troy Smith, 2007 BCS Championship Game (4-for-14, 35 yards, 1 INT, -29 yards rushing, Ohio State loses 41-14 to Florida); Reggie Bush, 2006 Rose Bowl (committed brain-fart lateral turnover as USC was on way to 14-0 lead); Jason White, 2004 Sugar Bowl (13-for-37, 102 yards, 2 INTs, Oklahoma loses 21-14 to LSU); Eric Crouch, 2002 Rose Bowl (5-for-15, 62 yards, 1 INT, Nebraska loses 37-14 to Miami); Chris Weinke, 2001 Orange Bowl (25-for-51, 274 yards, 2 INTs, Florida State loses 13-2 to Oklahoma).

Who you thought it may have afflicted but not really: Gino Torretta. He went 24-for-56 for 278 yards and three picks as Alabama crushed Miami 34-13 in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. But Torretta just wasn't any good to begin with.

Note that he didn't win the Heisman: Vince Young. But see below.

Who it hasn't afflicted: Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen, Herschel Walker, Tim Brown, Barry Sanders, Eddie George.

Madden Cover Jinx

The Jinx: Whoever appears on the cover of the Madden video game will get hurt, have a bad season or maybe just call it quits.

Madden 2006
Donovan McNabb is one of the many unfortunate Madden curse victims.

Who it has afflicted: Barry Sanders, Madden 2000 (retired from NFL without playing a down in '99 season); Eddie George, Madden 2001 (had crucial bobbled pass that led to an interception in playoff game; injured, never again averaged more than 3.5 yards per carry); Daunte Culpepper, Madden 2002 (a year after throwing 33 TDs, suffered season-ending knee injury with team at 4-7); Marshall Faulk, Madden 2003 (injured, failed to rush for 1,000 yards for first time in six seasons, never reached 1,000 yards again); Michael Vick, Madden 2004 (suffered broken leg in preseason game day after game was released); Donovan McNabb, Madden 2006 (defending NFC champs collapsed in T.O. turmoil, suffered season-ending sports hernia); Shaun Alexander, Madden 2007 (injured, went from record 28 TDs to seven).

Who it hasn't afflicted: Ray Lewis, Madden 2005. Although the Ravens missed the playoffs, Lewis made the Pro Bowl. It pays to be God's Linebacker.

Player who must have appeared on Norwegian version Madden 2007 cover: Ben Roethlisberger.

Players most likely to need extra medical insurance in 2007 as best bets to appear on Madden 2008 cover: LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Chad Johnson, Reggie Bush (could become first double-jinx victim!), Vince Young.

Player too smart to ever appear on Madden cover because nothing bad ever happens to him: Tom Brady.

The Curse of the Billy Goat

The Curse: A Greek immigrant named Billy Sianis brought his pet goat to Game 4 of the 1945 World Series at Wrigley Field and even paraded around the field before the game with the goat. However, he and his goat were later booted from their box seats by Cubs owner Philip Wrigley and, outraged at his ejection, Sianis placed a curse that the Cubs would never win another pennant or play in a World Series.

1969: Cubs blow 8½-game division lead in August, lose to Mets.

1984: Cubs blow a 2-0 series lead over Padres in NLCS, lose the deciding fifth game when a critical ground ball goes under the legs of first baseman Leon Durham.

1989, 1998: Lose in playoffs.

2003: Steve Bartman.

2004: Led NL wild card by 1½ games entering final week. Lose crucial game to Mets when Victor Diaz, who grew up in Chicago as a Cubs fan, hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to tie a game the Mets would win in the 11th.

Injuries to Kerry Wood, Mark Prior. Is Carlos Zambrano next?

Odds the Curse will end in 2007: Slim.

Evidence the Curse of the Billy Goat is merely an urban myth: Dave Kingman, Steve Trout, Don Zimmer, George Bell, Jim Riggleman, Andy MacPhail, Don Zimmer, Kevin Orie, Gary Gaetti, Kyle Farnsworth, Dusty Baker, Corey Patterson, Neifi Perez, Jim Hendry, $136 million for Alfonso Soriano, $40 million for Ted Lilly, $21 million for Jason Marquis.


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